“The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people – as remarkable as the telephone.” – Steve Jobs
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Working Remotely at home versus Remotely Working at home, do you know the difference?
Steve Jobs got it right, the personal computer combined with the internet has revolutionized work. Unfortunately management theory has not caught up with the technology and there will always be slackers, only the location of the water cooler has changed.
Home and remote working are still viewed from two different perspectives or opinions, both valid depending on the circumstances. First, there is working remotely at home, defined as successfully completing your assigned tasks on time and with the expected quality from a home office or other remote location. Secondly, there is remotely working, which is a tongue in cheek expression to describe those who are perceived to pretend to work from home, but secretly use it as cover to lounge around, slack off, or work on personal tasks.
I am not opposed to lounging around or completing personal tasks, even occasional slacking off is fine. The key difference is getting your work done first and managing perceptions. That is, making sure others believe you are home and remote working and do not think you are remotely working.
Whatever the truth is for you be it working remotely or remotely working, follow these three rules.
1. Use great discretion and be careful what you share online.
Remember and apply the wisdom from the old saying from wartime that “loose lips sink ships” and don’t sink your own ship. This means avoiding any communication that can harm your credibility. Communication to be avoided includes indicating via email, instant messenger, or social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that you are doing anything other than work activities during work hours. You never know who is watching your updates. So keep that early afternoon of you drinking a cold beer by the pool, laptop in hand to yourself. The best advice is to not communicate anything you would not print and post on your Supervisors door.
2. Avoid anywhere that can be perceived as a non-work location during scheduled work hours.
This would seem obvious, but many a work at home dream has been broken at the entrance to your local pub, restaurant, mall or hardware store. Locations commonly regarded as work remotely friendly like coffee shops are fine.
3. Be responsive to work related communications.
Respond to instant messages and emails immediately. Answer all incoming calls. If you are in a meeting, indicate you are unavailable.
We welcome your feedback and would love to hear you comments and personal experience with this topic.
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