It’s a dream come true for many of us – working from home (WFH). No commute, no rushed mornings, and the advantage of your own space. Moreover, WFH has also proved to strongly benefit organizations, in terms of better employee engagement, higher productivity, and lower business overheads. And for working parents, it offers a way to balance the needs of their career and their families.
Looking to get the best of both worlds with this work arrangement? Here are practices that can make your WFH stint successful and praiseworthy:
- State how your WFH can help the organization. For example, “Eliminating my hour-long commute frees up ten more hours per week I can spend supporting clients.” Think of ways in which your productivity is better, or how your meetings are more effective. And consistently use those reasons to make a case for remote working. Having team mates and leaders back you up on your choice to work remotely, will help you navigate the ‘out of sight out of mind’ phenomenon.
- Create opportunities to build personal connections. The toughest part about WFH – lack of in-person contact. Shift that. Have team members you work with regularly? Schedule a personal check-in. Email your mentee or manager to ask how the new client meeting went. Send personal birthday or appreciation messages. Showing that you care for your team even though you are remote, has long-term dividends.
- Show up when it matters. Even if a dial-in number is offered for your convenience. If there are team reviews, show up with ideas and suggestions. Have a new employee joining your team? Go to the office a few times in their first two weeks, to mentor and be supportive. This would be your contribution to building the team culture, and being available when it matters. The same practice stands true for situations that are challenging for your team – annual goals review, or when someone gets a pink slip.
- Set expectations with your family. There might be some blocks of time that are non-negotiable for focused work. Share those with your family. Especially with children. For example, “Since I have meetings on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, I may not be able to have lunch with your or pick you up from school. But we can make lunch together on Friday.” Think of this as an opportunity to embody values of boundaries, work ethics, and commitment. It also helps you stick to your routine!
Working from home is a distinct professional skill to build. Especially if you desire work-life balance, while driving performance, and seeking success in all aspects of life. Make it work for you.