If you are like most clients of Thomas P. Miller & Associates, you are acclimating to working from outside of the office, probably from home, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It might be a new experience or an expansion of existing culture, but life is different nevertheless.
Here at TPMA, a number of us regularly operate remotely. Several principles that work well for us might be helpful as you refine your own style.
Communicate! By definition, remote work is isolating, so be intentional. Use text, email, phone calls, Microsoft Teams—whatever reaches the people you work with. Take the initiative more frequently than you feel is necessary.
Maintain open and honest relationships with your superiors, whether managers, presidents and CEOs, or even board members. This is not the time to ask others to fill in the blanks. Tell them what you are doing and thinking. Said another way, never give someone a reason to distrust you. Again, too much is better than too little.
Get to know those you interact with. It’s OK to take a little time to just have fun. You would do that in the office, right? Virtual conversations allow others to put your face with all of your other interactions.
Going beyond expectations helps. One TPMA team member who works remotely was touched when her manager sent a gift and card to say how much she is valued. It made a world of difference.
Include more detail on your Outlook calendar than you think is necessary. The discipline helps you stay focused and enables coworkers to know when you are available.
Set work hours and stick to them. You need the work-life balance and your coworkers need to know when you’re available.
We at TPMA are glad to talk about best practices for remote work. Let us know how we can help you through these challenging times.