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Helping Employees Adapt to Becoming Remote

Helping Employees Adapt to Becoming Remote
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  • 0:03 Working Remotely
  • 0:51 What Is a Remote Worker?
  • 1:27 Becoming a Remote Worker
  • 2:37 Adapting a Worker to a…
  • 4:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Working from home isn't all fun and games. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the role of the remote worker and how managers can encourage success by helping remote workers adapt more easily.

Working Remotely

It's looking to be a busy Wednesday workday ahead. You have two project deadlines to meet, an afternoon webinar, and a presentation to finish - all before picking the kids up for soccer practice.

You grab some coffee and prepare to head to work...right down the hallway in your home office. You are one of the nearly four million employees who now work remotely at least 50 percent of the time, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com. Companies like Apple, Disney, and Amazon have embraced the idea of telecommuting employees.

Telecommuting, while growing in popularity, presents a unique opportunity for workers - and unique challenges for employers. In this lesson, we'll explore the world of the remote worker and ways that managers can help them work more successfully wherever they are.

What Is a Remote Worker?

You may have guessed it from the lesson's opener, but remote workers are employees of a business who work outside of the main office or headquarters. Most work from home, but it's also possible to work from a coffeehouse, library, or any other location where the tools exist for the worker to perform his or her job effectively.

Working remotely is sometimes called e-commuting or telecommuting because of its reliance on electronic devices (like computers or tablets) and telephone access (like mobile phones or landlines). Remote workers may live in the town where their job is located or in a town on the other side of the world.

Becoming a Remote Worker

Working from home sounds like a dream, right? You can perch on the couch in your pajamas with a computer in your lap, eat lunch from your own refrigerator, and enjoy the comforts of your home while earning a paycheck. However, unless an employee has worked remotely before, adjusting to a job where the office is down the hall from the bedroom could have its challenges. First-time remote workers, especially, may struggle with making the transition from a typical nine-to-five office job to a more flexible, work-from-home scenario.

As a result, not every remote worker may understand how to effectively work in a remote capacity. They may be tempted to try to work from home while also watching their children. They may struggle with setting a formal ending to a work day or may have difficulty prioritizing tasks without the constant reminder of a boss situated right down the hallway. Simply put, some remote workers may not adapt to the remote setting as flawlessly as an organization might hope.

For managers dealing with challenges presented by remote workers, this lesson is for you. In the next section, we're going to cover some techniques managers can implement to help remote workers become more adaptable to the challenges of working remotely.

Adapting a Worker to a Remote Job

Whether it's a worker whose dog is always barking in the background of your weekly team conference call or an employee who can't seem to meet the deadlines from home, managers may need to step in with some of these techniques to help remote workers succeed:

1. First, make a to-do list. An itemized list of tasks that need to be accomplished, with accompanying deadlines and objectives, can help keep remote workers on-task.

2. Next, build a specific performance evaluation matrix for remote workers and share it with them. Understanding what is expected of them creates accountability.

3. Don't forget to follow-up on goals and projects with regularly-scheduled accountability meetings. Think of it as the remote alternative to swinging by someone's desk to check in.

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