WITH more employers implementing flexible working arrangements and technology advancement, an increasing number of employees are working away from the office for part or all of their working week.
The idea that working hard means being desk-bound is beginning to disappear. Working off-site may bring you the promise of greater freedom and autonomy, but it also comes with a different set of challenges and responsibilities.
Being able to take advantage of remote working arrangements may be very exciting at first, but once you are over the initial euphoria, it is time to get realistic.
The freedom and convenience that comes with the new arrangements require self-discipline and motivation. To be an efficient remote worker requires skills that differ from that of being in the office. You need to plan ahead and adhere to a regime.
Maintain a structure
Keeping yourself organised is of utmost importance, especially if you are working from home permanently.
You need to remain focused on your performance and career progression, and not fall into the trap of abandoning the structure of your working day simply because your manager is not there to watch over you.
It may help to create a dedicated workspace in your home. You may even wish to dress in your office wear to help you get into the right mindset. Set deadlines for the tasks you need to get done first and do your best to stick to them.
If you are working away from the office only on certain days, you may wish to develop a new pattern for your working week. Many people find that they are best able to take advantage of working away from the office by creating a routine, allocating different tasks to different days.
If you normally work in a busy, open-plan office that is full of interruptions, saving tasks such as writing reports for the days you are not in the office may be beneficial.
There are many tasks that you may be able to get through faster while you are away from the hustle and bustle. Plan ahead and save the tasks that require more interaction with your colleagues for days when you will be in the office.
Make sure both your presence and work performance remain visible while you are away from the office, and consider what you can do to help your supervisor manage you while you are off-site.
The level of visibility you should aim to achieve will depend largely on your workplace culture and your supervisor's style of management. If you were the one who suggested remote working arrangements or if your manager is sceptical about the new situation, it is advisable to be as communicative as possible.
You may like to call your manager the first thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon to update him on your progress. Sending e-mail messages throughout the day to let him know when tasks have been completed will also be reassuring.
Trust between managers and employees is what makes flexibility in the workplace work for everyone, so make sure you play your part in gaining that trust.
With discipline and a reasonable routine, you can make the most out of your new-found flexibility and increase your job satisfaction as well as your productivity and performance.
Being motivated and showing that you have the ability to thrive while working independently will leave a good impression on your manager and your colleagues - whether you are in the office or not.