Have you ever considered asking your boss if you can work from home instead of commuting to the office every day?
Before you make that request, there are some potential pitfalls you may want to consider.
Dr. Melanie Peacock from Mount Royal University joined Global Calgary on Tuesday to discuss five questions to ask yourself before moving to a home office.
Are you focused? Or will you be distracted?
“If you’re going to work from home, you’ve got to make sure you have the right motivation and focus so that you’re not distracted by too many things when you’re in the home environment,” Peacock cautioned.
Is there a quiet spot in your home where you can work?
“You need to have a dedicated workspace,” Peacock said, adding it helps separate work from home. “Otherwise it can become very blurred and very blended.”
“I’ve talked to people that have said they’re working non-stop.”
“You have to be very clear that ‘this is where I work – and this is where I don’t.’”
Do you understand what your employer will want from you?
“You have to be very clear on what expectations are,” Peacock cautioned. “All of those things that we stress and work for in a work environment are only amplified when someone is working from home.”
She said having a remote employee involves a lot of trust on both ends.
“That issue of trust isn’t often discussed, and it’s a key element.”
Are you a new employee?
“I find working from home arrangements can be great, but maybe not necessarily at the beginning of an employment relationship,” Peacock said. “You have to have established that rapport, those communication patterns, and that understanding.”
Will your co-workers still feel like they’re being kept in the loop?
“You need to make sure the whole team — or group of employees — is aware of what’s happening and that expectations have been set,” Peacock said.
“I always remind employers — and employees — if you’re thinking about working from home, then make sure that the remote worker is still invited back for maybe face-to-face meetings. Or if everybody is remote, bringing them together once in a while. You cannot replace or underestimate the value of that face-to-face time.”