5 Hard Truths About Working Remotely

You can set your own schedule? You can work from anywhere in the world? You can dress living-room casual, at least from the waist down? The ideas of telecommuting and working remotely have finally become mainstream. However, as many employers and employees have come to understand, it’s not as simple as it seems.

#1 Maintaining Relationships Takes Work

Even if you were never one to gather around the water cooler, it’s easy to underestimate the value of sharing a common culture, space, and cause with other people. Without those dozens, even hundreds, of small interactions, it’s harder to connect for bigger asks like a letter of recommendation, a reference, or even a heads up about a new job opening. There are plenty of digital ways to maintain and build your network, but when working remotely, this takes active effort.

#2 You Take on New and Unexpected Responsibilities

While the idea of “being your own boss” may be enticing, it also means more responsibility. If you get distracted by an interesting video or online article, there is no one looking over your shoulder to help you focus. If you have questions, it may not be as easy as walking to the next office and getting clarification.
You become responsible for setting your hours, maintaining productivity, acquiring the tools and information you need, and keeping the rest of your team up to date.

#3 You Become Your Own Help Desk

disaster recovery
Not only do you have to keep yourself on track, but you may have to troubleshoot as problems arise. Every tech malfunction and miscommunication is amplified. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing: it can lead to a deeper understanding of the software, technology, and tools you use on a regular basis. It can be challenging, though, to navigate new programs and figure out how to efficiently search for solutions online instead of across the hall.

#4 You Have to Adjust Your Expectations

Is it still feasible to work from 9 to 5? Or is 10 to 4 a better option? Do you get more done in 4 hours of uninterrupted work than you did during 8 hours in the office? Much of your expectations for yourself, or for the people you’re managing, will have to adjust. Finding a new normal will take time and can’t be forced. Fluctuations in productivity must be approached with curiosity and understanding. Change isn’t always progress, but you can make it progress if you embrace it.
Finding a new normal will take time and can’t be forced. Fluctuations in productivity must be approached with curiosity and understanding. 

#5 It’s Both a Talent and a Skill

Some will naturally gravitate towards remote work and telecommuting while others struggle to adjust. This is neither good nor bad. While some personalities will find the transition easy then work to optimize it, others will struggle from day one. The skill of communicating and maintaining relationships remotely can be both learned and facilitated.

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The easier it is to adjust to working remotely, the more likely employees are to thrive in a new situation. Let the experts at ADVANTEX use their years of experience to find the best tools, applications, and technology to help your employees transition into the new world of remote work and telecommuting.
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