Making the move from a standard office to a remote worker can be daunting. It’s a departure from the structure and social elements we associate with corporate life. We took a look at some of the challenges faced by women working remotely, and what they can do to ensure a smooth transition.
Creating structure is something both employers and employees need to address early on when establishing a remote team. The employer wants to ensure that enough work is getting done. The employee wants to make sure they are completing tasks, while maintaining flexibility. Managing expectations is key on both sides in creating a productive team. Ease your supervisor’s mind by staying connected. Make it easy to reach out with tools like Slack which make communicating your goals and team collaboration simple.
Finding balance as a remote worker can be difficult, but is critical to not getting worn out. Working from anywhere means you likely can control your schedule. So tap into your most creative and productive hours, while ensuring your work time has an end. Stay accessible to your colleagues during office hours, but set boundaries of when you can be contacted. Women often feel a need to demonstrate their full commitment to their job, more so than men, but staying connected 24/7 is draining. All employees need time to recharge at the end of the day. Just because your phone is always on you, doesn’t mean you should be responsive at all hours.
Feeling connected to your colleagues and company culture can be difficult when you’re not sharing a workspace. Co-working spaces can be a good solution to this, as you may miss Friday happy hour or enjoying your lunch with a colleague. If you’re still craving that social scene, seek out other environments that have an established community like exercise classes or volunteer events that provide a sense of belonging and common interest. At Behere we not only establish that community of like-minded women, but provide avenues for women working remotely to connect through things you want and things you need when you’re out of your comfort zone.
Keeping the lines of communication open is key to ensure you are connected with your coworkers, just as you would if you were in the office. Make sure you call into meetings to share what you are working on and let your colleagues know all of the modes of communication that make it easy to keep in touch. Avoid the question, “When will you be in the office next?” and encourage your team to not delay any meetings based on geography.
Don’t be afraid to ask for training
Don’t be afraid to ask for training when you’re working remotely. You may feel like the space between you and your coworkers could deter training and job advancement, especially since almost half of women in the US feel that they receive less professional development and career growth than men. So continue to communicate your goals and voice your eagerness to learn.
Working outside of the standard corporate office can have drawbacks, but overall the flexibility makes for a happier, healthier and more productive employee. Women around the world are taking advantage of the remote lifestyle, where they find balance while loving their work and gaining experiences.
If you’re looking to make the switch to remote work or just become a better remote worker then head to our resources page.
Written by Katie Tatham – @kltatham (Canadian wanderer & outdoor enthusiast)