March 25, 2014
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More people now see working remotely as a positive and rewarding way to complete work. A typical misconception is that employees will goof off without supervision. However, in my experiences I have found that working remotely increases productivity because it eliminates office distractions.
During the past two years, I had the opportunity to work for my father’s company, Yerecic Label, remotely from Athens. In this time, I have made many mistakes and learned how to work at my full potential remotely. Here are my six tips to being a great remote worker
- Make sure you are passionate about your job. The key to being successful working remotely is to be self-motivated. If you aren’t passionate about your job and the work you are doing, it is a lot easier to shirk responsibility and goof off.
- Set and keep your hours. My first year working for Yerecic Label, I tried to fit my work in around my classes, clubs and other activities. Bad move. Most of the time I ended up doing my work when almost everyone was out of the office. This year, I have carved out set hours that I am working during key work hours. My co-workers know the best times to reach me and I am much more efficient.
- Minimize the amount of emails you send for approval and submissions. Managers get dozens and sometimes hundreds of emails each day making it tough to get a quick response or feedback. Combining your submissions or work will make your supervisors’ life easier and it will also help you get quick complete responses. Find your happy place to get work done. Find a place without distractions where you work best. Whether that’s a local coffee shop, library or your kitchen table, work in a place that is going to help you focus and avoid tempting distractions.
- Use technology for easy collaboration. There are so many great tools to utilize when working remotely to help group work. Some of my favorites include Google Docs, GoToMeeting, and Skype. Whatever tools you use, try to incorporate video since you can get more discussed in a 5 minute conversation than 20 emails.
- If you can, show your face in the office as much as possible. It is easy for your supervisor and co-workers to forget to include you in a relevant project or new company happenings when you aren’t in the office daily. No matter how responsive and connected you are remotely, you can’t replace face-to-face interaction. Some of the best insight and ideas come from simple conversations, so make it a point to get into the office to spark your creativity and connect with your employer!
Remote work is growing in almost every industry. Working remotely has significant benefits such as a decreased commute time and increased flexibility. Implementing good work practices can help you to the path to success. What tips do you have in your experience from working remotely?
Kristin Yerecic is a senior studying strategic communications and minors in business and economics. You can follow her on Twitter at @yerecick