If you’re lucky enough to have a job in which you are allowed to work from home, even part of the time, you have a manager who is on the cutting edge of today’s workforce. However, now it’s time to prove yourself. You now have to continue to meet the expectations of your boss, fulfill all your work obligations, and be a beacon of hope for those who are hoping their employer gets on the remote work band wagon.
So, what exactly does your boss expect when you work remotely?
1. Open lines of communication
Your boss will expect that they can contact you whenever they need during the workday. You’ll need to have reliable internet access, up to date computer equipment, and clear phone service. Keep this in mind when choosing locations to work outside of your home too! You’ll want to make sure you have full bars on your phone if your boss needs to reach you.
2. Reliable hours
Perhaps you aren’t working 9-to-5, but your boss will want to know that you have set reliable and regular work hours. How much time you put into your work day is up to you, but your boss will expect you are still putting in the time necessary to be successful and to grow your skills. Make sure you communicate when you will be working, when you’re available to answer email and phone calls, and also stick to the schedule that you’ve set.
3. Consistent work quality
Working from home doesn’t mean slacking. Your boss expects that the work you submit and claim as your own is still the same high quality work you would produce if you were working in their office.
4. Team collaboration
You’ll still be expected to work as part of the larger whole. This may mean being open and available for team collaboration. Or, it might take the form of video conference calls, group idea boards, or common electronic documents via something like Google Docs.
Whatever avenue your company takes, keep in mind that just because you work alone doesn’t mean that your work needs to be completed alone. Make sure you stay up to date with all the technology and apps out there that will make working from home easier.
You boss hopes you will still take initiative to accept new projects, think creatively, and go above and beyond. Once you’re out of their eyesight they will worry that you remain on task and that you have your talents concentrated on the work they require you to complete. Assure your boss that you are maintaining utmost professionalism by surprising them with the initiative you take while out of the office.
Like anything worthwhile it can take some time to find your groove when you first start working remotely, but once you’ve mastered the art of getting things done on time you’re going to need to branch out. Find your rhythm, make your deadlines and then tackle more.
Maintain relationships with the people you work with, even when you don’t see them every day in the office. This allows you to be more involved in the day to day happenings of the workplace and keeps you on track to accept leadership roles and managerial positions down the line. If being social is difficult for you because you’re out of the office, be sure to maintain open communication via email, company message boards, and social activities planned during down time.
Working from home doesn’t have to be a situation that stresses your boss out. Instead, if you enjoy all the flexibility that working remotely brings, make sure you are constantly meeting the expectations of your boss and being an important promoter of the work from home lifestyle.