Work remotely and make it work

The ability to work remotely is the job perk that’s more and more becoming an option candidates seek in an employer. And more and more employers are offering it as an option.

I’ve done it plenty.

I’ve worked from airports while stranded and awaiting a new flight. I’ve worked from home. I’ve worked from across the country. Admittedly, it’s easy when you work for a company who makes working remotely not only possible, but simple

But however it’s done, it’s important to do it right. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to lose track of tasks and difficult to stay connected to your managers and colleagues.

We’ve pulled together some tips to help you thrive in a remote work situation:

  1. Connect with your team

An article from Fast Company tells us to reach out as much as you can to the extent that it adds value to your working relationships. For example, let your manager know when you’re working on a particular assignment and offer updates. In a remote setting, your supervisors (and teammates!) will not know when you’re working on something unless you tell them.

Including away messages when you’re not working can also be helpful in keeping the lines of communication open and everyone on the same page. This kind of interaction, although virtual, is still significant and creates a more accessible community culture.

  1. Leave the house a mess

In a TDS Business Blog post from last year, blogger Lisa Karl admitted that her temptation while working at home is cleaning up the house.

“There always seems to be dishes in the sink, a counter to wipe down, shoes to put away — you name it! This is where having set business hours and a set home office helps. You wouldn’t be late to your non-home office because you needed to do a load of laundry, would you?” she writes.

Good point, Lisa.

  1. Avoid interruptions

This is also a big one for remote workers, especially when working from home. Etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore says crying babies and barking dogs aren’t conducive to a productive work environment.

She writes, “many mothers choose to work remotely in order to spend more time with their children. Schedule a few hours a day for silence and ensure all phone calls and meetings take place during those hours. You could hire a babysitter to play with your kids while you work or find a part-time daycare close to home.”

Other work-from-home tips include dedicating a particular space in the home just for working, like a home office. Also try to separate work time and home life. If your job allows, stick to traditional “office hours” at home. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean dinner or family time should be interrupted by work tasks.

How do you successfully work remotely?

About Krista Ledbetter

Krista Ledbetter comes from a newspaper reporting background. Several years, tweets, and a career shift later, she keeps busy as a brand journalist for TDS Telecom. You're most likely to find her running or on the couch--hers or otherwise. She enjoys both in equal measure.

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