The nature of work is changing to be more flexible, and it is becoming more essential to understand the best ways to work remotely. In a research study examining practices utilized by high performing teleworkers (1), strategies were identified that help workers overcome common barriers associated with remote work. These include:
• Using the right technology: This mainly includes simulating the technology you would need to do your job well in the office for your home office environment, such as fast internet and a large computer monitor. • Being accessible: When working remotely, frequent checks of communication platforms (email, other messages) and timely responses are necessary to stay connected to coworkers, supervisors, and clients. • Communicating: When not in the office, it is recommended to communicate often about expectations, progress, and availability. • Altering the psychical environment: The high performers suggested creating a space in the home that is designated specifically for working and productivity. • Creating a work-oriented mindset: This is the psychological preparation for working, such as creating time boundaries around certain activities or changing out of pajamas before working from home. • Remaining flexible: For some in flexible telework positions that require being in the office part time and at home part time, the ability to readily transition between the office and home is useful. This includes a willingness to work in the office when your team members require something in-person because it is not transportable. • Scheduling and planning tasks: Scheduling work, prioritizing certain goals, and planning tasks is important when working remotely because you must hold yourself accountable for achieving the level of performance you would reach when being supervised onsite. For those who transition between remote work and onsite work, consider creating designated days when you are in the office so it is easier to plan meetings and tasks. • Setting boundaries: Communicate with family or roommates about work expectations and interruptions when you are in the designated workspace or during certain times. If you have children, it is useful to outsource care so you can work uninterrupted.
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References: Greer, T. W., & Payne, S. C. (2014). Overcoming telework challenges: Outcomes of successful telework strategies. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 17(2), 87.