Page 13 - Scene Magazine 45-08 August 2020
P. 13

  brainstorming, or even water-cooler chatter. You will miss out on the social aspect of being with co-workers. Staff will have to intentionally make the effort to draw you into meetings electronically by audio or video access.
Furthermore, as social distancing loosens and kids head back to school you will not have the same family contacts as before. Nor will you have quick access to friends that were also at one time nearly immediately available. In the end, you will have a lot more alone time than now. You may actually feel more isolated in the future that you do right now. In the end, however, only you can decide if that really is a pro or a con.
Your reasons for working remotely must be of value to your employer, not just you. They don’t care that you have eliminated a two-hour commute or that you can work in your pajamas. They will, on the other hand, appreciate that you can demonstrate that you are able to complete tasks more quickly because of fewer interruptions. They will appreciate that your responsiveness to emails, voice mails, or text messages makes you more accessible than you were when at the office. And the only way to demonstrate that is take time to evaluate time spent on tasks at home. It must be worth the added effort that co-workers must make in order to communicate with you one- on-one or in group meetings.
To combat this you might even offer
to take on the responsibility of setting
up virtual meetings and make sure all is arranged well ahead of time. If they do not want to take you up on managing meetings you must make the extra effort to make sure you show up on time. Being late to a meeting when all you had to do was sign in does not show a good faith effort.
To be productive from home on
a permanent basis you must set up
a specific location and equip it with
all you need to complete your tasks. Sitting in front of the television might be comfortable but it does not make for the best environment. Furthermore, make sure there is a group calendar that your colleagues can access so they also know when you are accessible as well.
When you visit with your boss to discuss working from home you must realize that they will have questions that you must have acceptable answers
to. The list could be endless but it will most likely have at least some of those listed below. If you cannot answer these questions then you are not ready to ask.
• How will they know your schedule or that you are working?
• How will you join scheduled meetings? • How will they reach you for impromptu
meetings?
• Who will be responsible for setting up
all remote meetings?
• How will co-workers reach you for quick questions?
• How will you continue to be a part of the work culture?
• How will you stay relevant in the decision-making process?
• How will you access stored data at the office to complete your work at home?
• What about meetings scheduled off- site?
• How will you handle sick time? Or a child that is sick?
• Are you willing to work part-time remotely and part-time onsite?
• What will you do if they say no?
Your answers will be unique to your environment but they must also be valuable to your employer. Keep in mind that it will likely be a push, pull, and negotiate kind of conversation. It
is possible that you may continue in your current situation without much change but be prepared that your job responsibilities may be re-arranged if you really want to negotiate an ongoing remote working relationship. Finally, if no is the only answer you must be willing to either accept it or to move on.
Working remotely is here to stay.
It will be great for some. It will hinder others. No matter what, we all need connection to be productive members of the workforce. You just need to find out what that means for you.
You need to
be able to demonstrate that you are in the 20 percent that are responsible, more productive, and available when working remotely.
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