Here are some tips to help maximize the effectiveness of teleworking, courtesy of GovLoop.com:
1. Provide updates – nobody knows what you are up to so you need to provide updates to the boss. Whether asked or not, sending a weekly update on what you are working on and have done is great. If you are teleworking only on a specific day, I’d encourage you to do a proactive morning (here’s what I’m working on) email & end of day email (here’s status update)
2. Answer the phone – If someone calls while you are teleworking and you don’t pick up, they get upset and think you are lazy. Same rules don’t apply at the office as when you don’t pick up the phone there, people assume you are busy at a meeting. So that means bringing the phone with you always….if you go out to lunch, go downstairs, etc.
3. Use all communication formats – Some people are phone people, some email…and some face-to-face. So if you are getting the run-around at work, try to use all formats. Get off email and make a call. Use instant message if that’s the best. And if face to face is the best – ask a friend in the office to stop by someone else’s office for you.
4. Don’t let people know….that you are on the patio, that it is a beautiful day, that the dog just had a great walk, the cat is meowing while you are petting her, that you went kayaking at lunch…focus on work items and keep all background noises to the minimum.
5. Make the best use of your time in the office – If you telework frequently, you should rethink how you use your time in the office face-to-face. You should periodically go into the office. Think of this time as face-to-face time, build relationships, and more. While in office, spend less time cranking out emails or documents and more on those relationship building activities – stop by people’s offices, go to coffee/happy hour with folks, etc. This makes you more productive in your teleworking time.
6. Find Telework Buddies – For those that telework often, it’s important to find telework buddies. You don’t have the office cooler (or the coffee/lunch chatter) so you need some virtual chatter. Find some folks you can banter with on email or instant message so you have some daily dose of work bonding.
7. Save Projects for Teleworking – If you only telework one or two days a week, save specific work for telework. As stated above, in-person days are great for relationship building and day-to-day items. Use your telework time for long periods of uninterrupted work on bigger projects (great for writing documents, putting together plans, catching up on non-urgent email)
Visit the Georgia Commute Options webpage to learn more about teleworking and receive free assistance to help implement a teleworking program at your workplace.