So the issue of working from home continues to gain traction here in media.
I was recently asked to provide some insights into this issue – especially from my own work experience. Some of my responses have been published in Digital News Asia‘s article, “Working from home: A case-by-case consideration“.
I still maintain that working from home remains an issue of trust.
So, what I wanted to elaborate on were some of the best practices of employees in companies with Work From Home (or in our case, thanks to cloud-based productivity, collaboration and communication technology, “Work from ANYWHERE”) policies, all of which are premised on trust, empowerment and responsibility.
- Discuss working styles upfront – a discussion that especially needs to be held between managers and work group team members.
- Keep good communication – whether through online chats, phone calls or email, the key to successful flexible working is good communication.
- Be open and transparent about your whereabouts; about what you are doing and where you will be.
- Make sure you have physical meetings regularly and co-ordinate when they will spend time at the office together.
- Check in; take time to check in with each other regularly so you can keep improving your working relationships with colleagues.
- Make appointments. You set aside time to meet with someone in person, so why not make appointments for important telephone calls? By booking time, you can be sure that your coworkers will be prepared and focused.
- Stay focused when on conference calls. It’s easy to stray when meetings go long, but keep multitasking to a minimum during phone conferences. The other party can almost certainly hear your keyboard clicking while you respond to someone else’s e-mail message.
- Stay online as much as possible. If you are not online, it is likely that people may think you are not working – even if you are. Respond quickly to e-mail and your colleagues will know you are being productive.
- Establish a schedule. Keep home work hours similar to those you would keep at an office. Your manager, coworkers and customers appreciate knowing when you are available.
- Be present. Check in with your team regularly throughout the day and be responsive to their questions and comments.
- Focus on objectives. Work with your manager to define clear goals and objectives against which your performance can be measured.
- Tell your team and your boss when you work from home. Type in your calendar that you’re working from home, so that others do not book physical meetings with you that day.