Renner Careers Blog; August 15, 2022
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, it signaled a shift in the workplace — literally. For millions of employees, the workplace shifted from the office to home. A lot of them never went back.
It turns out, thanks largely to technology, you can not only survive working remotely, you can thrive.
According to one report, 58.6% of the total U.S. workforce is now remote. Growth in remote work has grown 44% in the past five years and 91% in the past 10.
So how do you become a thriving telecommuter?
Take a hearty dose of self discipline, mix it with some dependable routines, and you have a recipe for success.
Draw a Line in the Sand
Becoming a successful remote employee requires a lot of self discipline and, in a way, some self deception. You have to make home feel like work and establish a clear boundary.
Naran, who began working remotely in March 2020, said learning that separation initially did not come easily.
“When I started working from home, too many home distractions slowed down my productivity,” she said. “Then I learned to avoid the distractions and to complete my assignments in budgeted time. I use some tools such as a separate room to work and noise-canceling headphones and an alarm.”
Develop a Routine
Working remotely with success also requires a routine. Stick to a schedule, work in the same area and take planned breaks.
“I usually will get up and walk my dog at lunch and eliminate all distractions,” said Ivana Andia, staff auditor at Renner and Company. “I start at 9 and work until 5:30, usually, and am constantly checking (Microsoft) Teams or emails for any important updates.”
Haiyen Nguyen, also an in-charge accountant for Renner, mostly works in the evenings so that her days are freed up to take care of her four children.
“I easily get distracted by the kids,” she said. “So I have to find a quiet time to work.”
Part of your work-at-home routine, of course, should be planning.
“Write down all things or tasks you need to complete for the day and find time to complete them within the timeframe,” Haiyen said. “Prioritize easier jobs and complete them first. Work on more complicated (tasks) when you are most concentrated so that you don’t make mistakes.”
Trust the Technology
Without the modern technology and applications, it certainly wouldn’t be possible for so many employees to work remotely. So knowing and trusting the technology is essential.
“Definitely try to learn everything you can to use virtual tools like Teams, Zoom, Outlook,” Ivana said. “Make sure your devices are working properly at all times.”
Reap the Benefits
Ivana, who comes to the office once or twice a week, said telecommuting has been both convenient and productive for her.
“It’s great because you are exposed to a virtual world in which you can communicate quicker, not be exposed to the pandemic and reduce your carbon footprint,” she said. “Another big plus is the time I spent commuting to work is all spent on client work now. I have that time saved to input into my work papers and learn more.”
According to statistics in a study, 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when working from home.
Naran said working remotely has improved her productivity and benefitted her personally and financially. She lives in New Jersey and, prior to the pandemic, commuted four hours each way on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings. She also rented an apartment in Arlington.
“Working from home (now) gives me a huge opportunity to save time, my work-life balance and money,” Naran said. “It allows me to maintain a very close relationship with my daughter, improves my reliability to my team, increases my productivity and my ability help anyone from anywhere.”
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