By Sunny Simon
My dear friend David just received a fantastic job offer. Beside the exciting audit work, excellent compensation package and bonus plan, he gets another perk. David, who resides in Atlanta, will be working for a firm in Minnesota. He will join the ranks of employees working remotely. It’s a convenient setup for someone as disciplined as my friend, but for someone as gregarious and outgoing as David, there will be a transitional adjustment.
A study performed by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, both New York Times best-selling authors and social scientists, found remote employees sometimes report the feeling of being left out. Specifically Grenny and Maxfield reported, “ that workplace politics are more pervasive and difficult and when conflicts arise they have a harder time resolving them.”
What strategies can employees like my friend David employ to successfully alleviate tensions between offsite and corporate distance? They can begin by making an effort to communicate with the team via phone, Skype or Slack, a popular app utilized in the workplace where teams come together to collaborate and share important information. On the corporate campus, taking small breaks to chat with teammates happens organically. On the pro side, Dave will have large chunks of uninterrupted time to be productive, but he needs to break occasionally and take time to remain in tune with the team.
Another challenge of working remotely, especially for individuals like David whose work ethic can go into overdrive, is adhering to a hard stop at the end of the day. No checking emails or working another hour on a project throughout the evening. Break from work and spend time with friends, family, gym workouts and hobbies. It might even help to tuck your laptop away in a closet so it doesn’t beckon to you in off-hours.
Experts also recommend a change of scenery. Rather than spending the entire day holed up in a home office, remote workers, like their onsite counterparts need to change it up. Perhaps David should set up shop on his patio, or venture out to a nearby coffee shop. Changing it up a bit boosts productivity.
It’s beneficial for anyone new to the work- from-home tribe to plan the week in advance. Schedule in meetings, important phone calls, and dedicated project time, then map in the breaks, lunches, and team or manager check-in time until this work schedule evolves naturally.
Thinking working remotely might be ideal for you? Approach your manager this week and see if you might do a trial run. Good luck! Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com