How to be a Remote-Working Rockstar

-By Anshul Mathur, working remotely as a QA Analyst for UpGrad

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Imagine a cubical as big as an independent room, a cool Macbook pro to work on, no problem of adjusting to food and accommodation, free from the daily hassle of commuting to office and being able to figure out work timings as per your own convenience… Certainly sounds like a dream for all working individuals. Am I right?

‘Work from home’ has proved to be a fantastic policy across the globe for employees who want to take care of certain things at home while maintaining their professional commitments, explore multiple work opportunities instead of staying limited to one (which is a financial help and also adds to career diversity), as well as for employers to retain employees that they trust with responsibilities and work delivery.

But is the road to working ‘successfully’ from home completely smooth? Not exactly. Let’s take a look at all the possible challenges or barriers that may hinder working from home.

Work environment

No one can deny the fact that the office is the best place to learn and work. Your cubicle, surrounded by intelligent people assisting you every time you need help, is missing at home. There are some things you can only learn or gain knowledge about, from your colleagues — by watching them work, walking over to them and having a quick and insightful chat, etc.

Synchronisation

Syncing with everyone you work with and the industry in general, is absolutely necessary in the agile world. Things change pretty quickly and the threat of being outdated in terms of product/feature knowledge is always knocking on the door of individuals who work remotely. A lack of synchronisation can cause a lot of confusion, indecision and possibly even a fear of falling behind, for those who are not part of the typical office environment.

Expectations

While a remotely working employee is still settling down in his/her home office, everyone else may start expecting a lot more. Assumptions about a distraction free, more convenient atmosphere for work at home may creep into team members and they may look for additional outputs as a feature of overcompensation. Not everyone understands the working from home concept too well yet.

Infrastructure and surroundings

The perfect set of office tables and chairs,a coffee machine that is available 24*7, along with uninterrupted internet connectivity is hard to replicate at home for everyone. Many would sit on relaxed couches in the true spirit of working from home and try to be productive and focused at the same time.

Routine

No alarm at 7 AM, no hurry of reaching the office at 9:30 AM and no concern whatsoever about what to wear for the day! While these details may seem minor and even amusing; when it comes to work, not following a structured routine makes it tough for most people to keep up with the pace expected from them and make them lethargic.

Good old office fun

The parties, the games, cake cutting ceremonies, snacks, sweets and everything else that happens in the office, which helps build a sense of community, are missed.

So…How can you truly be the remote rockstar that you have the potential to be, despite the above mentioned limitations?

Conviction and commitment to work is all you need to deliver from home, trust me.

A few things, if kept in mind and followed religiously, can actually make a remotely working individual the rockstar of the team.

It all starts with some good work

Delivering good results is the first step towards building a strong relationship with team members. Focus on applying your skills in the most productive direction and add value to the entire team. You need to make sure that work remains your priority from wherever you work. Be true to your responsibilities and set benchmarks for work delivery, to earn the respect of your peers and supervisors.

Don’t assume, keep asking

It’s easy to ignore unlikely things in the product just because you’re assuming it to be that way. This is why you should ask as many questions as you can. You may end up raising a few false alarms but that’s alright as long as all confusion and doubts get resolved and things are transparent. Don’t just be satisfied with your own reasons to believe what you do. Asking others questions helps in understanding things better.

Self motivation

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It all starts with belief in yourself that you can contribute significantly to whatever you take on, without always having to rely on other people. Keep yourself involved in team activities even from home, by using all possible communication channels. Constantly drive yourself to learn more. Be positive about your role and place in the team — the support from your leader & manager can boost your confidence a lot, so appreciate that. Take pride in your work and keep asking for feedback which will help you keep striving towards improvements.

Point of contact

Be transparent, establish and maintain a relationship with at least one person in the office as your point of contact (POC). You need to make sure this person is informed about everything you do. You should offer your assistance to them whenever needed, build confidence so that they delegate important work to you. You should have a healthy and ethical relationship with your POC to ensure you’re correctly represented within the team.

Availability

Maximise your availability, try to be there for all the meetings. Attend discussions, whenever possible. Even at home, make sure your work is your highest priority, and only takes a backseat incase of an urgent or important personal need.

Visit the office

Whenever you have a chance, do make it to the office premises. Being with the team can bring a lot of satisfaction as far as your work is concerned. Meeting everyone can bring you confidence and a sense of community, and help you start afresh.

Some other key things to remember

  1. Talk to all team members – Chat, call, mail, wish them on birthdays and for successes. Basically, let everyone know you’re there.
  2. Give suggestions for improvements – If you feel there’s something in the product or process that could be better, just say so.
  3. Respect everyone’s time – Everyone’s busy with their work. Be considerate of others’ time and have the sense to wait for responses and not get impatient or annoying.
  4. Learn and implement – Enhance your knowledge, learn new things and implement those that could help improve the existing setup.

You can definitely be a rockstar while working remotely, but only when the entire team you work with is a rockstar team. It’s the team that makes an impact and everyone’s contribution is equally significant. You should give your best and assist the team in achieving its goals and making huge progress for the business.

Click here if you want to work with the amazing tech team at UpGrad!

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Source: Medium:Remote Working
How to be a Remote-Working Rockstar

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