Working from home in your fuzzy slippers might sound like a dream to some people, while others prefer the structure an office environment has to offer.
But as companies across New Jersey and elsewhere are cutting costs and saving money, the option to allow employees in certain positions to work remotely has become a much more common occurrence. Switching from one environment to the other can cause a bit of culture shock.
Sheryl Silver writes about it in the Career Wise column on NJ.com. In it she poses the benefits and challenges that arise in such a situation.
For those who work remotely, there is a lack of connection with co-workers. It requires leadership development and strong process improvement efforts to keep a solid schedule.
Gone are productive and creative conversations that arise spontaneously in an office setting. It takes effort to encourage those connections when a physical barrier is put in place.
As Silver notes:
“Pre-scheduled as well as unplanned, unscheduled conversations happen at work between co-workers, bosses and direct reports,” she noted. “People working remotely who feel isolated should do their best to replicate this kind of interaction and communication. If they do, it can lessen their sense of isolation. Staying in touch also helps prevent the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ phenomenon people fear makes them easily dispensable. By the way, I believe that’s a legitimate fear.”
If you’re someone who especially misses face-to-face contact with co-workers, Kurke suggests arranging breakfast and/or lunch meetings with clients or other people who are working remotely or self-employed. “Use conversations during these meals for professional problem-solving,” she advised. “With non-clients, the meals can focus on other topics of mutual interest. For people who thrive on in-person contact, this face-to-face contact can be re-energizing.”
Do you work from home? What sort of adjustment does it take compared to an office setting? Leave us a comment and share some tips that might be helpful in making the switch.
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