Working remotely is the new normal for many professionals. Whether your job became remote due to the pandemic or you’ve always operated remotely, balancing the comfort and convenience of working from home while remaining professional with coworkers and employers is still essential.
Setting Clear Expectations
Establishing guidelines and expectations for working remotely is crucial to maintaining professionalism. An open conversation with your employer should occur at the beginning of remote work. It should set out “office hours” for remote working and breaks and mealtimes, which allows plenty of time for work-life balance.
Keep your current professional calendar if you’re switching from in-office work to working remotely. Be mindful of your coworkers’ schedules and responsibilities when arranging meetings or projects.
Communication and Courtesy
Maintaining communication with your coworkers and employers is vital when working remotely. Take the time to learn how your coworkers prefer to communicate and make sure they understand your preference. Whether through texting, emailing, or a messaging app, the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively will keep business running smoothly.
Being respectful and responsive is also essential. Respond to emails, messages, and phone calls promptly. For voice messages and email, try to reply by the end of the workday or first thing in the morning. When it comes to online meetings, always let the facilitator know if you’re running late. They can decide if they want to go ahead with the meeting or wait until you can check in.
Maintaining a Positive Work Culture
Working remotely may be a challenge for some coworkers, especially if they have young children at home or other family responsibilities that require time management. Be patient with documents and projects, as many coworkers may need time to acquire the home office equipment or programs to catch up.
Take time to connect with your team members and check in on them weekly. The stresses of shifting to a work-from-home structure can sometimes be overwhelming, and all team members, including yourself, benefit from a supportive and positive workplace environment.
It’s easy to maintain professionalism when working remotely. Establish the proper structure and workplace culture from the start, keep communication open and transparent, and remember that you can be professional and have fun as you work!