According to a forecast of employment trends by the World Economic Forum, work flexibility, including telework, is “one of the biggest drivers of transformation” in the workplace.” A Gallup poll found that 37 percent of American workers have worked virtually in their careers, a four-fold increase since 1995. (Source: Remote.co). While companies like Yahoo, Reddit and IBM are moving away from remote working, other companies such as Automattic, American Express, and Aetna have used it to their advantage and reported savings of millions of dollars in infrastructure costs.
Let’s just say remote working isn’t going away anytime soon; so companies should encourage it and find ways of making it productive in the long run. Here are five ways one can ruin a remote working role.
1. Take the lack of supervision for granted
In the luxury of your home environment, it is very easy to get carried away and indulge in some non-work related activities (things like binge-watch GoT episodes, plug into some PlayStation awesomeness or go to the mall for some change of scenery). It just seems like so much fun but it’s a sure-fire way to start typing out your resume. So the simple technique to avoid it is when you get the urge to give into a distraction, DON’T!
2. Blur the line between work-life and family life
When you are at home, other family members may assume that you are available to fix the leaking tap, go grocery shopping, babysit the kids for a while, run some errands or take the kids to soccer practice. Great for family life, not so great for work life. Once you blur that line, it’s going to get tougher for you to keep the sanity because work needs undivided attention whether it is done from office or from home.
3. Go underground
When you are not in an office surrounded by your peers, team members and superiors, it so easy to take a back seat and let others do the communicating. That’s going to hurt you…big time! When working from home, you need to ramp up your communications, not reduce them. It is important to have a rhythm of meetings; daily status meeting with the team, weekly connect with peers, monthly reviews with the business unit and quarterly face-to-face meetings with direct managers and superiors.
4. Zone out during virtual meetings
This scenario, I have say is not necessarily limited to working from home. But there are higher chances of it happening when working remotely. I have been on a conference call where someone logged into the call and walked away and his dog decided to attend the call on his behalf. There have been other instances of people not responding even when they are on the call. This is the kind of stuff that makes companies retract remote working options.
5. Anything goes till something goes wrong
The writer C.S. Lewis famously said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Studies, however, show that people demonstrate honesty only when they are being watched. Going by that, remote working is a ticking time bomb if individuals don’t treat it with respect and show integrity.
I have seen situations where someone from my peer group will send a “WFH today” email to the group and in the next few minutes, I will hear chuckles from desks around me. Remote working has been getting a lot of bad press because of a section of the audience has abused the concept. There is, however, a significant population of remote workers that actually end up spending more hours working when they are working from home (partly integrity and partly guilt/fear). Personally, I think remote working is a revolutionary concept as long as a bunch of people don’t ruin it for the rest.
Celoxis is a comprehensive project management tool that helps companies streamline management of projects, timesheets, expenses and business processes, specific to their organization. Over the last decade, Celoxis has specialized in delivering improved collaboration and increased efficiency for teams of all sizes, both in SMB and Enterprise segments. To know more visit www.celoxis.com