There are changes happening in the current employment landscape, and you may be asked to work from home in the near future. Are you prepared? Once the transition has been made, and your company realizes business can continue without the physical presence of all employees, it might be a very good idea to ensure you exceed your employer’s expectations.
While the benefits of working from home are numerous for employees, Workplace Fairness says it is important to follow guidelines that guarantee the experience will be a “win” for the employer, as well.
The following practices will better ensure that your “work from home” time is acceptable, productive and in the employer’s eyes, beneficial to the company.
10 Must-Do’s When Working from Home
1. Create strict, uninterrupted times for your work. Make sure that other household members understand and respect the work boundaries you have set. This extends to other parties who might be inclined to call or visit with “personal time” communications – they must honor your work boundaries as well. Don’t spend your time on social media or personal calls—and don’t answer the doorbell.
2. Ensure care for your children. Make arrangements to have children taken to day care or cared for by family or friends or nannies. If you a have an acquaintance who has also been asked to work from home, you might be able to trade childcare on alternating days or split each day so you both have uninterrupted work periods.
3. Be sure you have all necessary work tools prior to starting your day. In addition to a quiet office area, assess the “must haves” to conduct your work.
These might include:
work phone/fully charged cellphone
reliable Internet connection
workstation or desk
4. Pre-arrange with your employer to have corporate electronic access through the company’s firewall. In most cases, working from home means using a computer. If you’re using one that has been provided by the company, corporate firewalls probably won’t be a problem. The same may not be true if you are using your personal computer to transact company business.
5. Beware of using your work-related computer for personal activities. Your employer will likely be able to track your personal transactions and will take a dim view of using company time and property for personal business.
6. Create an office workspace dedicated to your employment. This “office sanctuary” may have the added benefit of being an office-in-the-home tax deduction as well.
7. Stay “plugged in” to your employer. The adage “out of sight, out of mind” is sometimes applicable to employees working remotely, to their detriment. You may not be privy to certain communications that you would otherwise be aware of if you worked in a corporate office environment. Be sure you communicate directly and often with management and key associates via conference calls and video chats to “stay in the loop” and to ensure your value is well recognized for that next annual evaluation or promotional consideration.
8. Dress appropriately when working from home. You are more likely to be in a “working mood” when showered and dressed than you are if working in your pajamas.
9. Offer to “make up” time used for emergency personal purposes. Offering an employer an additional hour of work here and there to compensate for picking up a sick child from school will be appreciated by your employer and make them feel you are a trusted work-at-home employee.
10. Consider “giving back” to employers with some complimentary employer time. For most of us, working from home translates to a considerable reduction in commuting time to one’s employer. Consider offering your employer an extra 30-60 minutes of work time – it will reflect favorably on you as a proactive employee, and should better ensure that your employer will appreciate, and continue your working from home arrangement.
The prospect of working from home is welcomed by many employees, and the flexibility it offers can be an asset to both employees and employers alike. Follow the guidelines above to ensure the experience is a “win-win” for all concerned.