Conducting Business, Away from Your Business: Secrets for Making Working Remotely Work for You
With coffee shop cubicles and co-working spaces (insert QBCoWorks plug here) on the rise in recent years, many professionals are learning how to work away from the office thanks to technology. If you’re familiar with QueenBee’s origins, you know that one of its founding members has worked remotely from another state since its beginning in September 2015. Surprise! It’s me. So, I’m here to let you in on a few things that have worked for me for almost four years….
Circle of Trust
First things first, how’s your communication with your teammates? Good? Bad? Non-existent? Good communication is essential to any business, but even more so when you’re not physically in the office. Having a conversation isn’t as simple as walking over to someone’s desk, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Pick up the phone and give them a call, even if it’s just to say “hi.” Meet with your co-workers regularly, make sure you’re staying up-to-date with what’s happening with their workflow. Technology has made it easy to connect by using things like FaceTime and screen sharing. When you are in the office, make a point to grab a coffee or lunch with those teammates you don’t know as well. Good communication is a building block to having professional relationships and from those relationships, comes trust. If you don’t have trust, your company and your career, won’t get very far.
Same Page, Same Goals
One thing that makes my first point about communication even easier, is having clear goals. Make sure everyone is on the same page about company direction, employee expectations and policies and procedures. Maybe these things are already in place when join your company or, in our case, maybe as an employee you help shape them. Either way, getting everyone on the same page will keep you moving forward, no matter what location you’re working from.
Know When to Turn it Off
Working from home, can sometimes mean that your days run together. There’s no office to leave, no door to lock. It’s a lot harder to walk away from something if it’s just in the next room. There are a few things you can do to separate your work life from your home life. The first is to treat your work days just like you would if you did go to an office. Unfortunately, that does mean having a “no working in your PJs” policy, but it’s worth it! In summary: get up, get dressed, start working at the same time every day, take a lunch and walk away at the end of the day.
Lastly, and maybe most important for your sanity…. get out there!! If you work from home that means you’re essentially isolated for 8+ hours every day. Human interaction and connection are essential to our lives. Whether this means a regular lunch date with your friends or joining committees in your community, stay connected to those around you.
I hope these tips help anyone who is in the same boat as me! If you have more questions about how I still get to be a bee away from the hive, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .