I’ve mentioned in my previous posts that my organization is going through some changes. As I go through the changes, I am learning a lot and want to continue sharing what I’ve learned with you.
Recently, I had to attend a few Town Hall meetings and strategy sessions in-person, and here is what I learned:
What you hear on the phone may not be accurate: As a remote employee, what you hear on the phone or see via e-mail may be just half the story. Keep in touch with your teammates offline to get additional information.
Example: A friend/colleague was working on the most important project in the organization, and I was convinced that she was having fun. When I asked her how her cool project was going in person, the look on her face confirmed that it was not that great.
All requests are urgent: Changes involve a learning curve and chaos. I would question why I was being asked for the same information multiple times. When I was there, I realized that my management did not have time to find the information in their inbox and things were moving a million miles an hour.
Example: I received a call at 7 am to present to my VP that morning. I also had other important meetings that morning and needed urgent information before the discussions. I could not find the time to text or email my teammate for information. I gathered the information and presented to the VP in a timely manner.
You are monitored: How you dress and how you behave come into play when you go in-person. I think this is the case for all employees, but managers of remote employees need to ensure that you are stable.
Example: Women tend to maintain good attire by default, but managers also take note of your overall appearance, professional behavior, confidence, and interactions. The expressions you might make while on the phone need to be toned down during in-person meetings.
Please share any examples you may have at: email@example.com
Change always comes with opportunities. Professionally, there are many changes happening for me right now. I have the opportunity to do new work, find a new position, and create new connections. I want to take this opportunity to share with you what I am learning as part of this process.
Speak Up: Make sure that you speak up and share your thoughts on your part of the project or the overall plan as transitions are underway. It is best to provide input when you can make an impact—which is at the beginning. As a remote employee, you will need to be even more vocal than usual to make your case.
Ask Questions: Transition is a time of flux, and you need to ask clarifying and direct questions for you to understand the impact on your job. Managers are usually able to discuss some information; if they cannot discuss it, they can inform you of the same.
Stay Connected: Continue your conversations with your manager during one-on-one meetings. Lync your teammates and stay informed. Attend all the meetings that discuss the changes in your organization, since they will have an impact on you, even as a remote employee.
Update Resume: If you are looking for new opportunities, update your resume and add search agents to your company’s internal HR site. Alerts will give you access to new job openings right in your inbox. Continue talking with your mentor to work on your next steps.
Avoid Rumors: Being remote can work to your advantage, since you are not physically there to stop and listen to the conversations going on in the office. Try not to get pulled into the rumor mill. If you have questions, ask them directly to your management chain, since they will have the most accurate information.
Change is the only constant, and we need to keep going! Please share any suggestions that have worked for you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Reward and recognition are necessary to keep most of us motivated. When you work in an office, you can see and feel more of this from your peers and your management. When you work from home, this may be reduced.
I’ve learned to create rewards that are meaningful for me when I finish an important task, project, or presentation. I do need to continue to work on this, since I finish one task and move on to the next without a break sometimes.
Here are a few suggestions that have worked for me:
- Lunch with a Friend:This one is always on the top of my list, because I get to connect with other adults face-to-face. By catching up with a friend, I can get updates on the community, like what to expect when school starts, which teachers are coming back, etc. I learn a lot about community happenings during these lunches.
- Movies:This is my favorite “alone time” activity. I enjoy going to the movies alone and immersing myself in something that makes me laugh or feel good. Going with others adds pressure to have a conversation, and sometimes you just want to keep to yourself.
- Window Shopping:I shop online due to convenience, but I also enjoy going to local stores. That way, I learn what the fashion trends are and what not to wear. If you work from home, dressing up is not a priority, so going out to shop helps me to keep up.
- Walk with a Friend:I like one-on-one conversations better than multiway interactions, so I plan to meet with a friend for a walk to talk. This may seem simple, but if you work 9-5 from home, getting out of the house for any reason is a huge accomplishment!
- Hiking or Rock Climbing: I go to the local community center and rock climb. It helps me stay fit and gives me great pleasure—which is a reward for me!
- Bath:A bath sounds so basic, but for a working mother, taking a quiet bath is huge! Taking a 20-minute bath without being called to fix something or hearing something breaking in the background is better than a trip to the Caribbean for me!
Most of the time, I plan these events in advance. Just having that anticipation encourages me to finish my task on time and keeps me excited.
Share your ideas about rewarding yourself by sending a note to email@example.com.
Exercise is the first thing I give up when I get busy, even though I know that it should be the last thing I should give up when I am stressed.
Here are some tips I am trying to implement to ensure I get the exercise I need:
Put it on your calendar: I had heard this suggestion many times, so I put it on my calendar, but I just continued to pass on it. So, I started using Google Goals, which helps me take the first step and get up! Once I am up, I walk away to take a break or take a walk.
Brainstorm: See what works with your schedule and your family’s schedule. I like to exercise in the mornings, but that is also the busiest time at work, so I found another option: during the kids’ afterschool activities. This schedule has another benefit—the “mom guilt” is less, because I am not taking away my time with them. Instead, I’m doing my thing while they are doing their thing!
Fit it in: Whenever you can. Do a 7-minute workout during your break or walk while the kids are at practice. They practice, and I walk. I walk with other moms, which gives me a chance to have some human interactions. Connecting face-to-face is critical as a remoter.
Use the weekends: Weekends can be just as busy as the weekdays, but there are pockets of time when I know I can fit in some exercise or meditation. Try diligently to stick with that.
Go for a hike: Make this a family activity. It will teach the kids the value of both exercise and nature. HikeItBaby is a great resource for finding hikes in your area.
I hope these tips help you, too. If you have additional suggestions, please share.