A person working in a typical office environment can explain you the advantages of remote working. Have you ever thought despite knowing advantages why people or the offices don’t switch to remote jobs? Probably people who explain you the advantages also can explain you it in much better way. It’s quite clear that office jobs and remote jobs have their own advantages and disadvantages and therefore need personal transition of people who are leaving a traditional office job for a remote environment. This article is to discuss the transitions required in human behavior and personal traits to move from office jobs to remote jobs or we can say the prime demands of a remote job. There are primarily six challenges to deal with for such transition.
Who you are
Before you move to remote jobs you must know who you are how apt and emotionally and psychologically you are fit for these jobs. The first step is doing some personal reflection means knowing who you are and what your boundaries are. Being honest with you will lead to success in remote jobs. Being too optimistic may lead to bigger struggles stress and failure. Remote jobs are not for everyone. Few of the traits required to be successful in remote jobs are mentioned below:
The four critical requirements determine the success in remote jobs. A good communicator will be more successful in remote jobs.
Working remotely is actually working in significantly less structured environment. Mostly remote workers work from homes which means there are many dis-tractors in environment.
Under this situation keeping yourself motivated will be the biggest challenge. Compare it with the official working environment with 8 hours of self-discipline and focus. Therefore sense of responsibility and keeping yourself motivated become more important. Taking regular breaks from work and minimizing distraction from work become more important. Identifying the important source of dis-tractor and controlling them and if controlling them is not possible then avoiding or suppressing them can be a solution i.e. using music to block outside noise.
Offices have people and obviously the teams, regular face to face interaction and chats while working. Even if the people are not speaking the regular encounters with familiar faces develop a sense of bonding, a phenomena reflecting the social nature of human being and contribute to cohesive team building. However remote in most of cases is spending large swaths of time alone. Though good for concentrating on work however it can be overshadowed with isolation, a feel a case of cabin fever. The trading off between controlling your environment and isolation can easily swing in favor of isolation as the human beings are social animal. In many cases is reflected in term of forgetting social graces and spoken language skills. Readjusting to public spaces after long confinement to homes in remote working becomes difficult. Being proactive about this kind of isolation is the best way to deal with it.
The prime advantage of flexibility has downfall also. Since there is no difference in your office or home the psychological boundaries are also get blurred. Being human beings its difficult for people to maintain these psychological boundaries for long time. Most of the people it become 24 hours office or 24 hours home-stay.
- Setting boundaries and limits helps me pace myself, and really enjoy the upsides to not having a central office.
- Fix specific timelines for work and for mental breaks.
- Manage time properly.
- Stay on-task during set time.
- Limit most work days to 8-8.5 hours, even without plans.
Communication is the way that connects you with your coworkers and clients. It is the prime factor that determines your success in remote job. Our day to day communication in remote jobs can be broken down into official communication and social communication.
- Official communication is important as no one can see you
- Social Communication is important to beat solitude.
Communication is utmost important in remote job as nothing is apparent and you need to tell everything to everybody i.e. your coworker, your clients. A simple example is you are less reachable if you are otherwise stepping away from your computer than if you are leaving your desk in office. In fact being incommunicado is the same as being a useless, invisible ghost when you’re working remotely.
- Be in reachable limits for your clients and coworkers. Keep them happy, keep your projects up to time and handle conflicts smoothly and meet there expectations.
- Install chat, emails etc. on phone to be in loop during business hours even when you are away.
- Keep everybody aware if you have major distraction/communication hole during your working time.
- When moving away from your remote location for even a shortest time period, make your coworker aware of it. Set reminders for follow ups.
- Keep status of your project tasks updated to keep everyone aware of it.
Human being a social being generally misses the social interaction during remote job most. I still remember the lunch or happy hour with coworkers in office-based work. Successful work places are those where people are connected to each through social interactions also besides the meetings and emails. A positive relationship resolves the conflicts much easier than a formal relationship. Besides that a good repartee with coworkers promotes creative and hard work. Building such relationship remotely will be harder however.
- Build network for talking with people. Having conversation with coworkers related non-work related things helps in developing healthy relationships and trust. A person to person talk is much better then emoji and gifs.
- Tone is the deciding factor in a communication. Text has no tone thus keep the people guessing about your tone sometimes leading to false assumption. So being explicit about emotions involved or hopping into a video chat can be super valuable to avoid conflict.
- Seeing and hearing a coworker is a near-instant way to humanize them and talking a problem out is less frustrating than trying to type long trains of thought.
Your good communication is a source of trust and sustainable flexibility. Remote work is based primarily on the trust you can generate about yourself in other and how much you can trust on other. There is no traditional way of check-in and therefore trusting each other become important. In an office environment it’s easier to generate the trust among teammates as you know each and every one and well aware of there working environment.
Organizational culture makes this easier. It starts from the assumption about your coworker. If everybody believes everyone is smart, intelligent and hardworking and everyone is actually so the system works perfectly. All the conflicts can be smoothed. Getting client trust is harder so is keeping project alive. Building rapport and air of responsibility are critical to earning trust.
- Well defined targets, goals and objectives develop the trust. When the work is output based, it’s easy to see if the work is done.
- Set expectations clearly. Clients Expectation and your capability to deliver decide the level of trust. If you can’t meet a deadline don’t commit then.
- Embrace your communication skills, by following up from fuzzy calls or meetings with a summary, action items, etc.
- Start with a good faith and be trustful to other. People are hired and remain employed because of trust and responsible behavior.
- Develop accountability to yourself. Do your best to deliver on promises and be the person whom coworkers can readily trust.
At the end
Remote working can be termed as a summation of your capability of self-directed communication, trust, and personal care to enjoy flexibility. It gives an opportunity to develop an ability to be trusted, being in control of your time and your personal life. The joy of flexible hours, your own working environment and travel free life can be overshadowed with isolation and confinements. To be successful in working remotely need extra efforts on communication and meticulously planning. If you think you have the internal drive to tackle the challenges, I highly recommend going for it.