There’s no denying the growing trend of telecommuting opportunities across the nation. In fact, according to Upwork’s 2018 Future Workforce Report, 38% of hiring managers predict that their employees will work predominantly remotely in the next 10 years. With that in mind, the ability to be productive from home or a coworking space is essential for modern workers. So how can you seamlessly transition into a telecommuting position without skipping a productivity beat?
Here are just a few tips to help you keep up with the rhythm of your workflow as you transition to a telecommuting position.
Look over all onboarding materials thoroughly.
First, it’s essential to take some serious time to look over any orientation or onboarding materials you received prior to starting the position. This will serve as a sort of ‘survival guide’ and help you set reasonable productivity and communication expectations between you and your employer. For instance, if you’re required to use speech recognition technology, it’s important to familiarize yourself with that equipment and ask questions if you have them. You also shouldn’t hesitate to ask for clarification if there’s anything that’s unclear within the materials. If the company doesn’t have an “official” set of rules, make sure to compile a list of questions or concerns you may have as they arise. Either way, your employer will notice and appreciate your proactivity and eagerness to do things “right.”
Get tuned into technology.
It should come as no surprise that cloud technology is helping the telecommuting movement to reach its full potential. About 80% of cloud adopters saw improvements within six months of moving to the cloud, and most employers use a number of communication-driven apps to keep all relevant files located in one easily accessible place. If the cloud sounds intimidating, just remember that your email provider is a perfect example of cloud computing, as are most social media apps. As you begin to use this technology at work, it’s important to take the time to learn to use new software and apps effectively.
“Most companies will use some combination of communication tools to connect their virtual teams, be it Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack, Campfire, smoke signals, or carrier pigeons. Whatever the trendy apps are, learn how to use them — fast — and use them often. Start by saying ‘Hi.’ Engage in general conversations, share relevant articles, say ‘thank you,’ and swap praise. These are your co-workers, just like any other office. Building effective relationships is key, if not even more vital to your success on a remote team,” writes Erica Breuer on The Muse.
Start developing a routine — and try to keep it consistent.
In many cases, consistency is key when it comes to developing a telecommuting schedule. Even if the nature of your work allows you to set your own hours, it’s important to try to set realistic goals and boundaries when it comes to your specific schedule. For example, about 54% of Americans over age 18 drink coffee every day. Try to have your morning cup of coffee around the same time each workday, try to clock in at the same time, and try to take your lunch break at the same time. It’s okay to be somewhat flexible, but coordinating your hours this way often helps you ease into the flow of working remotely. It will also prevent you from the overwhelming feeling of having to work later into the night to make up for a late start to the morning.
Ultimately, working from home is still work, and lounging around in your pajamas is not likely to result in your best work. That’s why it’s so important to learn to telecommute like a pro. Although this concept is relatively new, already about 80% of employees view the option to work remotely as a job perk. While each and every employer has their own unique set of rules and regulations, it’s up to you as a proactive employee to learn how to adapt and regain your work-life balance.