Working from home was once seen as a luxury or infrequent perk of some jobs. But, as technology improves and physical presence becomes less necessary, working from home is becoming a mainstay of modern offices. While some companies seem to use remote work as a natural part of their workplace culture, others are reluctant to get on board because of fears regarding productivity and employee accountability. Does your manager fall into the latter category worrying about the staff being unproductive while not working from the office? Well, there are a few ways that you can prove your productivity to them and reassure them that work quality won’t suffer.
Use collaborative tools
One of the best ways to prove your productivity is by utilizing tools that make distance collaboration easy. In project management you can deploy Trello or Basecamp to make sure that projects are on time, and that each member of a collaborative team is doing their part, when they need to. If your work tends to be more independent, share a Wunderlist to-do list with your manager. He or she can then add tasks they need you to complete, and see when you finish.
With distributed teams becoming more common, messaging apps like Slack are becoming a normal part of organizations. Use video calling or conferencing apps like Skype or GoTo Meeting to be able to communicate regularly. One of the keys to proving your productivity is being available and having open communication. So, find the tools that work best for you that can allow this to happen.
Some organizations even deploy a strategy of using daily stand-up meetings to assess where everyone is in their projects, and to see progress. Just because you aren’t physically together doesn’t mean you can’t have a stand up! For 15 minutes each morning, have a quick “stand-up” meeting with your managers or whole team. Then they know what you’ll be working on that day and how soon they can expect deliverables.
These can also work to hold you accountable when you know that you’ll need to have something to show for yourself in tomorrow’s stand-up meeting. Whether you complete your tasks before noon, or want to spend time on it after dinner, the great thing about working remotely is that you can work when it suits you. Regular check-ins ensures that you aren’t procrastinating and that your managers know they can hold you accountable for getting things done.
Use hard deadlines
Similarly to check-ins, hard deadlines ensures that you can have things done when they need to be done. While not all offices or organizations utilize deadlines, having your manager set ones for you, or even you setting them for yourself can help you to prove your productivity when working from home.
If you can show your manager when you’ve completed a task by deadline, or you can send them a deliverable within a pre-established timeframe, you can be sure that they will appreciate your ability to be productive, even when they aren’t monitoring you in the office.
Be honest with yourself
Here’s a crucial element of the “work from home” debate: some things are just better suited for the office. While technology makes most things possible these days, you should be honest with yourself if a particular meeting, project, or task just makes more sense for you to be in the office. Also remember that solitude does not automatically equal productivity. Often we can get stuck in a creative rut if we don’t have others around us who inspire. It can also be much more difficult to “bounce” ideas off colleagues when they aren’t physically there. Of course you should use the most up to date technology for productive conferencing and task management, but when it just isn’t enough, be honest about it and head into the office.
Staying productive while working from home can be challenging for some. But if you use certain tactics that force you to prove what you are getting done, you can stay motivated in a better way and reassure your managers that you can complete your work even when you’re not in the office.
Working from a comfy sofa at home can be great, but so can working from the office be. Don't underestimate the power of working with your team "in real life" - it's easier to bounce ideas off and to inspire and encourage each other.
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