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With connectivity & communication technologies getting better by the day, its becoming increasingly practical to work remotely. However, not many employees understand how to ensure their impact is same or more as on-site employees and receive equal rewards & recognition while enjoying benefits of location & possibly, work-life balance. On the same note, employer would continues to see remote employees as effective as on-site and continues to invest on geo-diverse workforce.

Before going into what it takes to become a successful remote employee, lets look at top reasons for an organization to promote remote work culture.

  1. Location independent talent pool: Tap talent from multiple locations across the country or world, without needing to setup an office.

  2. Geo distributed work, can help with follow the sun model with virtual 24×7 workforce

  3. Employee retention, satisfaction & engagement, if the company allows employees to move between locations owing to personal requirements.

Remote employees need to follow certain ground rules to ensure “out of sight isn’t out of mind”, rather it is a win-win and long term engagement model

Here are some of the critical areas that every remote employee needs to understand and follow to be a successful contributor for self & the company’s goals.

1. Be ultra serious about setting up your home-office (make-shift will give less-than-desired results)

  • A Real office type of room, to give it a professional look for video calls. Have few book shelfs in back drop, if possible.

  • Noise free (kids not running around or window next to a busy highway)

  • Good broadband with a dial-in back up (We never know when the links go down, disconnecting you from a critical meeting where decisions are made)

  • Power back up

  • Logistics: Headphones, VPN, monitors and all apps/software thats needed to do your job

2. When you are physically away, being available is all that matters! 

  • During office hours, stay online on Instant Messaging tool with audible alerts

  • Make it to ALL meetings, send a note where you have a conflict or can’t make it. (When in person, you could probably do away with this, since some of the colleagues might have noticed you going into another meet)

  • Use video, wherever possible, it makes the presence felt and helps make the point.

3. Make your presence & contributions felt

  • Speak up – By design, most chatter, discussion, fun happens with people present in the room while people over audio/video keep wondering whats happening. So its more important for remote users to involve or interject, if needed, to ensure their point is heard & considered.

  • Be responsive – Stay on top of the discussion so that you can be responsive when an opinion is needed.

  • Use feedback channels effectively: We all know, only a few respond to pre & post meeting activities, which actually shape decision making, especially if they are voluntary. Use surveys, pre-work/activities to share your ideas, thoughts effectively.

4. Share Reports

  • Share weekly activity reports

  • Update project status reports more diligently than you would if you were on-site.

5. Make periodic on-site trips, use them effectively

  • This is self explanatory. Plan in advance to meet important people, meetings to make most out of the travel

  • Share trip effectiveness reports, this keeps leadership informed of benefits of investment on remote employees

Remote employees can become company’s strategic partners by sharing critical information on talent demographics & customer research to help recruitment & sales of the organization

Hope these tips will help you succeed with no downside & all benefits of being a remote employee! Happy holidays & wish you a bright new year ahead!

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