How to Work from Home (Part- 2): Telecommuting

Dilbert © Scott Adams, Inc./Dist. by UFS, Inc.

Dilbert © Scott Adams, Inc./Dist. by UFS, Inc.

Many big employers in India are now offering policies and programme to assist their women employees through crucial milestones of life. Companies are making an effort to retain women in their workforce by providing them the option of working from home. Employers are recognising the need of a work environment that supports a good work life balance and in many cases it actually increases employee availability, productivity and retention.

Technology companies took the lead in India by introducing mobility suite of IT applications that allow access to office IT infrastructure from anywhere. This enabled work from home and flex time. Companies now offer various flexible working models to cater to different segments of employees who have diverse needs and priorities.

Work from home programs are blessing for women who have to take care of personal and social responsibilities along with their job. Such flexible work options help women to continue with their careers at critical life stages like child birth or elderly care.

Many employers generally are reluctant to hire a new employee who wants to work from home from day one. A better and feasible arrangement is to work from office for initial months to familiarise with the company’s work culture and later switch to working from home. It’s an understanding between employer and employee if she would prefer a temporary work from home arrangement or would like to work permanently from home.

Work from home does not hinder ones’ career growth directly, but employees working from home have to work harder than their in-office peers to increase their visibility, showcase their contributions and to network. It takes lots of discipline and hard work.

In India, a common dilemma for employees is that working from home affects their career prospects and lower the chances of a promotion.  It is partially true however here are few tips to make remote working work for you:

-Self Discipline: Do not take work-from-home for granted. With liberty comes responsibility- you have flexibility on your time but deadlines should be always adhered to.

-Time Management: The success of telecommuting depends on effective time management. You need to decide your working hours and communicate it to your colleagues too. Mixing up work and home responsibilities will only increase your stress.

-Be in Touch: Do not isolate yourself. Stay in touch with colleagues at work so that you are aware of what is happening out there, attend office parties and get-togethers. If possible, plan to be in office for sometime (ideally no less than once a week).

-Effective Communication: When you are not physically present in a meeting, effective communication becomes quiet critical to help you in making your presence felt.

In the end, flexibility must lead to increased productivity to make remote working successful.