Just for a moment, put yourself in the shoes of an employer who hires remote employees. Consider the traits you’d want in an employee who’d be working across the country and you’d possibly never have the opportunity to meet in person. What is the first quality that comes to mind? Chances are, you most likely want a reliable employee you can trust.
With that it mind, put yourself back into the shoes of a job seeker applying for remote jobs. Does your resume, cover letter, and personal brand market you as a trustworthy and reliable person?
Trust is huge when it comes to being an excellent remote employee. In most cases, employers never meet their remote employees. Not only does this put the employer in a vulnerable position, but also it adds an entirely new element to their hiring process — trusting a person they don’t know (in-person) to bring in results for their company.
The difference between working in an office and working remotely is you have to live up to who you say you are on paper fairly immediately. Employers rely heavily on your resume, cover letter, online presence, and phone or video interviews to determine if you’re the best fit for their company and culture. This is why it’s important to be genuine during the hiring process and show your best self to your employer.
When it comes to hiring remote employees, employers must trust their first instinct. Because of this, you need to calm their fears them by showing them you’ll be the best employee they’ll never meet.
Be passionate and self-motivated.
The most challenging part of working remotely is keeping yourself motivated to work. Because you work from home (or a coffee shop), it’s easy to become distracted or procrastinate on important projects. However, you cannot let these things get the best of you. Instead, set attainable goals to help you accomplish tasks.
Your passion is also an important element of working remotely. It can be challenging to feed your passion when you don’t have in-person meetings to bounce ideas off of other people. To maintain your passion, find new ways to develop ideas and stay interested in what you love about your job.
Stay connected and be available.
With most remote or virtual jobs, you’ll still have a set schedule. However, you might face obstacles such as time zone differences that’ll try to interfere with your schedule. Keeping in this mind, commit to your job just like any other position.
The schedule you create with your employer is the one you must commit to. If you are expected to work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., then you must follow through with this schedule. In addition, you should also expect to log onto work early or stay late if your boss needs you. Work expectations such as these don’t change just because you’re working from home.
Always be honest with your boss and coworkers.
Just like any job, transparency is key to a successful and productive work environment. Working from home doesn’t mean you completely escape the stress of a traditional job. You’ll have just as many projects, meetings, and deadlines to manage, just like you would in an office.
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or find yourself drowning in work, you need to speak up to your boss or coworkers. It’s easy to think you can do everything when you’re working from home, but the reality is, you can’t do it all.
For example, if you find yourself working an extra two or three hours per day just to get through your daily tasks, speak up to your manager to find out what’s keeping you from working efficiently.
Don’t hesitate to share your ideas.
One thing remote employees often forget to do is share new ideas or collaborate with their coworkers. It’s so easy to get stuck in your own world and forget about what the rest of your team is doing. However, if you keep in touch with your coworkers and share your ideas, you’ll be able to add much more value to the company.
Whenever you have an idea, make sure you voice it. Your boss and coworkers are looking for feedback just as much as you. Since working from home lacks the face-to-face interaction, verbal communication is absolutely necessary to create a successful workplace.
Treat this like a real office job.
The common misconception people have about working from home is the flexibility and lifestyle that comes with a remote position. Your home is now your office.
If your company has set office hours, you need to respect those hours (unless you and your boss have worked something else out). It’ll be tempting to sleep in an extra hour and log onto work a little late; however, this is something you must avoid. Working from home is just as serious and demanding as a physical office job, so make sure you give this job the same attention.
Strive to be the best employee you can possibly be.
Your boss hired you because of your passion, motivation, and skills. Follow through with what you promised your employer — and do your best to exceed those expectations. Since you don’t have in-person interaction with your coworkers, find other ways to stand out at work.
For example, once you get settled into your job, strive to meet all your deadlines on time and even work ahead on projects if you can. As mentioned earlier, the best remote employees make themselves available even when they don’t have to be. This doesn’t mean you have to drop everything 24/7, but giving your boss the comfort of knowing you’re available will definitely make you an asset to their company.
In today’s workforce, working from home is a dream many Millennials have. However, it’s important to remember that working remotely is more than having work-life balance; it’s also about being a hard-working and reliable employee who will contribute results to your employer.
What are your best tips for remote employees?
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