Before the Covid 19 pandemic, 17 percent of U.S. employees worked from home 5 days or more per week. That increased 44 percent during the pandemic. Here’s a fact:
Remote work, part-time or full-time, is here to stay. And you’ll likely be doing it soon
if not already and those you work with and lead need to know how to do it well.
Have you considered what it will take to succeed with that new challenge? Have you thought about the differences between working in an office space to working at home? Most importantly, have you developed a process that enables you to be productive and successful working remotely? Or, if you’re a manager, have you taught your team those skills?
Here are seven simple but effective keys to help:
1. If you can’t change where you work, change your attitude about it. When we are in a situation we can change, the way to make the most of it is to change our attitude. You don’t need to deny it if you don’t like remote work, but find the positive aspects to focus on until your situation changes. Whining never helps.
2. Develop a work day routine. Your old workspace, start and end times, provided a routine for your professional life. When at home you need to develop a routine to support your productivity. Get dressed like you would at an office or worksite even if you’re not going to leave your home. Track your efforts and identify projects and milestones. Importantly, identify your workday’s end so it doesn’t keep expanding and enveloping personal time.
3. Use results rather than input to evaluate your success. In the past our activities at work filled each day. As long as we were busy, we felt productive. Remote work isn’t about how much time you spend, but how many results you produce. You may find that with fewer office type distractions, you may be able to work fewer hours and get as much or more done.
4. Clarify expectations. Your employer may well have different expectations of you as a remote worker. If they haven’t been specific about what they expect, inquire so that you know.
5. Model your remote work after how you work at the office. To the degree that you can, use the same processes and protocols. Don’t cut corners because your remote workspace doesn’t feel traditional.
6. Stay connected as well or better than before. This doesn’t necessarily mean lots more time on the phone or in Zoom meetings. It is about being strategic and caring to maintain important relationships that might be affected since you’re not sharing space with those people.
7. Go outside. E.O. Wilson said it well: Just being surrounded by bountiful nature, rejuvenates and inspires us. The nature outside your home might be more or less bountiful, but getting out of the house periodically for a short walk will help.
The more tools you have in your toolbox, the more you’ll be able to accomplish. If there are some ideas here you’re not using, choose the ones that make sense to you. And if you’re doing all seven, keep it up–you’ll be more successful as a remote worker because of it.
Mark Sanborn is an award winning speaker and Leadership Expert in Residence at High Point University, the Premier Life Skills University. For more information about his work, visit www.marksanborn.com.
For a free assessment and information about The Classic Fred Factor online training and a unique opportunity to license the training, go to www.FredFactor.com.