Remote work isn't new; it's just growing in popularity thanks to technology and the exposure to hashtags like #DigitalNomad and #WorkFromAnywhere on social media. Remote workers weren't born overnight when the internet was first created in the 1980s. Working remotely was the norm long before downtown offices and commuting even existed.
Just after WW2, there was a rise in corporate headquarters and larger office spaces and cubicles. During this time, the 8-hour workday was established.
Then came the advancements in computers and technology that lead to remote workers of today. The internet and public WiFi allowed employees to do everything they would in their cubicle, but outside the office. They can also work all hours of the day.
It can be difficult to explain complex ideas. The lack of face-to-face interaction limits social cues, which may lead to misunderstandings and conflict.
To avoid miscues and misinterpretation, match the message with the medium. Videoconferencing is the next best tool to talking face-to-face. Small, non-urgent requests are best suited to e-mail, instant messaging, or all-in-one platforms like Slack.
Frequency of communication matters. Provide regular updates, respond to messages promptly, be available at important times.
Remote workers should be working in harmony, but people often don't know what others are doing and how everything fits together.
Create formal processes that simulate the informal way; for example, stopping by a colleague's desk or eating lunch together. These interactions serve as course corrections.
Managers should clearly articulate the mission, assign roles and responsibilities, create detailed project plans, establish performance metrics. They should also document all that and make it available offsite.
Managers should model and enforce the processes until they are completely incorporated.
Articles about the remote work lifestyle have tended to focus on drinking piña coladas on the beach, traveling the world, and otherwise enjoying a life that inspires envy in your social media following.This is not one of those articles.
Remote working may have tremendous advantages but research suggests that human beings aren’t meant to work in isolation. Working socially with co-workers who are good friends leads to higher engagement and satisfaction in one’s job.
For remote working to be successful, it needs to be tailored to suit one’s particular needs and personality, finding a good fit, while taking care of one’s mental well-being.