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  • Writer's pictureNorma Davila, Ph.D., CPRW, CPCC, SHRM-SC

Your Success at Working Remotely

In REA’s series on working remotely, we started off sharing how remote work has become a viable option for many organizations to source and retain talent as well as to maintain business continuity. In a second blog, we posed some critical questions for you to ask yourself as you consider this option as a next step in your career. Now we will share with you our recommendations for success after you accept that offer to work remotely.

Clear expectations are the foundation for a successful career because they set the social contract between you and your employer. Clarifying expectations is particularly important for remote workers because, very likely, you will be performing your role with a high level of autonomy. Thus, obtaining clarity in and alignment of your expectations and those of your employer allows you to focus on delivering results from the beginning of the employment relationship. Consequently, the best time to bring up the topic of expectations is during the first days of your on-boarding.

Consider the following when you meet with your immediate supervisor to discuss expectations.

  • OUTREACH Make sure that you understand the span of control of your work and to whom you can reach out when you need additional support. You may have read your job description; however, organizations often have implicit rules about reaching out across levels which you need to know.

  • PRIORITIES Step out of the organizational chart and gain a broader view of the business. Find out how your role will contribute to the organization’s overall success so that you can focus your attention on the organization’s priorities from the beginning.

  • SUCCESS Ask about what success in your role means to the organization and how your performance will be measured. Start working towards achieving your objectives.

  • COMMUNICATION Request information about how often you will need to communicate, with whom, and through which channels to remain visible and on top of mind. Use the available technology to build relationships.

  • AVAILABILITY Inquire about when you will need to be available to answer calls and messages especially if your role entails collaboration across different time zones. Boundaries between work and personal time are even more critical when you work remotely.

Now that you have a clearer idea of what the organization needs from you, let’s take a closer look at what else you can do to be ready for success as a remote worker.

  • Take time to plan your transition into remote work.

  • Establish how and when you will work with your supervisor as well as with other members of your household.

  • Confirm that you have what you need (e.g., equipment, tools, systems, and back-ups) to do your work in place on your first day of work.

  • Set up your dedicated office space so that it is as suitable for video conferences and meetings as if you were on-site.

  • Dress appropriately for the job because you are representing your organization.

  • Reach out to others who work remotely in your organization and elsewhere so that they can share their experiences and suggestions with you.

  • Participate actively in work (e.g., meetings) and non-work-related activities (e.g., virtual coffee breaks) sponsored by the organization so that you remain on top of mind.

  • Be consistent in your working hours and on how you report them.

  • Meet your deadlines consistently.

  • Volunteer for assignments and projects related to your areas of expertise and your professional development interests.

  • Seek opportunities to attend trainings and conferences in your field to obtain information and to nurture relationships within your network.

  • Attend in-person events whenever possible to strengthen those new relationships.

  • Schedule time away from work (e.g., stretch breaks, coffee breaks, lunch breaks) even if your role requires 24/7 availability.

  • Stay informed about trends in remote work so that you make other adjustments in how you work.

As you reflect about these suggestions, consider reaching out to a professional, such as a career coach, who is fully dedicated to support others through transitions such as this one. Career coaches are experts in managing career transitions and can provide you with valuable guidance about how to approach how you work remotely.

  • Guide your transition into your new work environment and way of working

  • Discuss habits and practices that will increase your efficiency and effectiveness in your role

  • Provide workspace guidance on what you need to prepare

  • Suggest household do’s and don’ts during your working hours

  • Share insights on working virtually

  • Make suggestions about maintaining visibility in the company

  • Propose development options such as volunteering for projects and creating your own opportunities

You don’t need to navigate your next steps alone -- we’re here to help. Check out REA’s Flexible Coaching Services to help you get a jump start to succeed at working remotely!

We curated these resources for you to gain additional insights for success as a remote worker.

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