However, it can also have challenges, such as:
- A sense of isolation
- Potentially stagnant professional development
- Blurred lines between work and home life
The good news: With a little effort and a solid strategy, there are plenty of ways for you to achieve work-from-home success.
Working from home can sometimes feel isolating without the ability to walk to a colleague’s office or have in-person conversations. But technology can help decrease the sense of working alone.
These tools can remove barriers so we can more easily cultivate the feeling of connection from afar that many of us look for in a job.
Here are just a few ways you can create a productive remote work environment that meets your individual need for connection:
Camera on. Try taking your weekly meetings up a notch by using tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams and asking everyone to turn on their camera.
You may get a little pushback at first from those who enjoy the perk of working in their pajamas or workout clothes, but they may soften their stance once the feeling of community starts to settle in.
Making time to connect face-to-face allows team members to get to know whom they’re talking to on a more personal level through body language and facial expressions.
Join professional networks. Whether it’s a group of fellow independent contractors who meet locally or a nationwide organization that caters to your professional niche, you can connect virtually with remote workers with similar skills.
Check with your local chamber of commerce, search for business networking groups or look for remote-worker Meetups in your area. You’ll likely find professional support along with learning and development opportunities that can help move your career forward.
Try a coworking space. Change up your work-from-home routine from time to time by coworking. You’ll still work independently but in a shared area, offering the potential for human interaction with people other than your family.
You may even be able to get a fresh perspective by bouncing ideas off fellow workers doing their own thing.
The difference between achieving your goals successfully and failing is often keeping yourself honest. Accountability cannot be delegated and does not magically happen by chance. It is up to you to ensure you find the support system you need to keep yourself moving forward.
Even though accountability starts and ends with you, here are some ways that you can make staying on track easier:
Find a mentor. In addition to helping you expand your professional network and opportunities, a mentor can be a great accountability partner. High-level managers and company leaders often have more than one mentor who has helped them get to where they are.
Hire a coach. There is a reason that more and more professionals are hiring coaches to help them advance their careers. A good coach can assist you with clarifying, setting reasonable time frames for, and attaining personal and professional goals. Someone in your network may be able to provide a referral for a coach with whom they’ve worked, or you can find a coach online through apps such as coach.me.
Hold group celebrations. Create a fun way to acknowledge team achievements remotely. Setting goals as a team and working together to accomplish them deserves a celebration:
- Schedule a video conferencing call
- Order take-out to be delivered to every team member
- Chat over virtual coffee or cocktails
Be creative! The main focus is coming together to have fun with the details of how you spend that time.
Working remotely can be a boon to your professional well-being and can take a toll if there is no clear delineation between work and home life.
Yet you can keep yourself connected and meet your professional goals with a compelling mix of community building and accountability.
Do you feel it is easier or more challenging to stay healthy when working remotely? What types of things do you do to keep yourself from feelings of isolation? What are some things you do to keep yourself accountable? Share your thoughts with me on LinkedIn or Twitter!