One of the biggest global employment trends is working remotely from your office. More and more people are embracing remote working, mainly due to advances in technology such as cloud computing, the development of communication tools as well as the progress of mobile technology. It provides valuable savings in terms of time and cost of transport, increased flexibility to schedule work demands around family needs and also offers a quiet platform to focus on your work, away from office politics! For the employer, it can drastically reduce office rent and is a great perk to offer staff. However like all things there is a balance that needs to be made. Give too much flexibility and the worker can become unproductive. On the flip side of the coin, a lack of trust and micro-managing remote workers means nothing will be done.
Here are our top tips to maximise remote working:-
Make your presence felt digitally
Making phone calls or emails can seem like the easy way to stay in touch. However if you are working remotely, consider arranging regular video calls with colleagues. Not only is a video call a powerful visual reminder that you are part of the office team, you also have the ability to pick up on important physical cues from colleagues that are lost with other forms of communication.
Maintain a physical presence
Working remotely should never be a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It can take some effort on your behalf to regularly catch up with co-workers and your direct manager for face to face meetings. But it’s a sensible investment of your time. Attending departmental meetings can improve the flow of communication between you and your co-workers. It also keeps the entire team in touch with shared goals and provides openings for you to highlight your successes.
Keep your team in the loop
Uncertainty about when you are in the office can be a source of frustration for colleagues, so one of the key remote working tips to bear in mind is to keep co-workers up to speed with your schedule. It comes down to good communication on your behalf because it’s unreasonable to expect colleagues to stay up to date with your schedule or availability. Get into the routine of reminding people when you will be in the office – and conversely, when you are best accessed via email or video calls. Timing is everything, so provide a gentle reminder of your availability at the beginning of each week, and be sure your voicemail and email signature informs callers of the days when you are working remotely.
Be an active participant in firm-wide initiatives
One of the biggest potential downsides of working outside of the office is being overlooked for sought-after roles or projects. But it can happen. Be prepared to raise your hand high to be considered for new initiatives or special projects. Take the opportunity to liaise with colleagues and senior management on a regular basis to ensure your name comes to mind when leading talent is needed for a new project.
When you are not in the office every day, it can be challenging to maintain a rapport with colleagues. This is where instant messenger programs can be handy, providing a timely way to stay in the loop with your co-workers. Remember, conversations don’t always have to be about work to build rapport. By making the effort to maintain your visibility in the workplace, it’s possible to forge ahead in your career without compromising the flexibility or benefits of working remotely.