How to Become an Effective Remote Worker

A generation ago, the notion of having employees who worked from home rather than in the office was a foreign one, to say the least. Management had a hard time accepting the idea that people could be productive when not under their watchful eye. Over the past quarter-century, the business world has done a complete 180. These days, it’s not uncommon to find people frequently working from home, whether occasionally, one day a week, or each and every day.

Whether you are new to working remotely or you’ve done it for years, you’ll want to make sure you give your boss the same kind of stellar performance as if you were working from the office. Here are some tips to help you become an effective remote worker:

  1. Establish a Routine – Many people envy remote workers because they believe such arrangements allow individuals to work whenever they please. In some instances, that may be the case. As long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter whether it is completed at 2 pm or 2 am. Other jobs require a more rigid schedule, as the remote worker must be available for teleconferences or to interface with customers during regular business hours. Even if you have flexibility in when you can perform your duties, however, it’s to your advantage to set a schedule – and then stick to it as much as possible. This will help ensure you are in a working state of mind during those hours. It will also help friends and family to realize you are still a professional, even though you are working at home, and that they shouldn’t expect you to be available for impromptu visits or casual phone chats during your working hours.
  2. Maintain a Professional Work Space – Depending on the size of your house or apartment, you may be limited in your work space, but it’s always best to set up a professional style office whenever possible. Establish a budget for a desk, chair, computer, phone, and whatever other supplies you need to create the ideal working environment. Pay attention to lighting, ergonomics, noise levels, and traffic flow. Avoid setting up your work space next to the kitchen or living room, for example. A spare bedroom makes for the ideal office space, as you can always close the door if family, roommates, or neighbors get too loud. Remember to make others aware that you are not to be disturbed when you are in your office.
  3. Dress for Success – We’ve all heard the jokes about people working from home in their pajamas or even au naturale. But just remember the old adage that it’s “the clothes that make the man” – or the woman, for that matter. It’s hard to feel professional when you are dressed like you are getting ready for a long winter’s nap or to do yard work. If your job is the sort for which you would be expected to wear a suit in the office, wear a suit at home. If it’s more of a golf shirt and khakis type gig, then opt for that kind of attire. Don’t forget to comb your hair, brush your teeth, and put on a smile. You want to project the right image, even if just to yourself.
  4. Don’t Disappear into the Woodwork – Out of sight, out of mind. There really is truth to that saying. When working at home, be sure to maintain a presence in the office. Meet colleagues for lunch whenever possible. Show up in person for meetings from time to time, rather than making your appearance by Skype. And by all means, demonstrate that you still consider yourself part of the team. Show up at the holiday party and make a visit to the office on significant days, such as celebrations. Doing so will help you maintain a professional image and help to forever shatter the image of the Dr. Phil-watching, potato chip-eating, pajama-wearing remote worker.

For more information on non-traditional working arrangements or assistance with your job search, contact High Profile Staffing today.