From A Table To A Telephone: My Journey To Remote Work
Bidding the team adieu as I moved to Mumbai from Delhi was truly the hardest part, in hindsight, about working remotely.
I joined Team SHEROES in April, 2016 and got welcomed into what can only be called the warmest office ever. Every time the AC got too cool, and we started to sneeze, Sairee would come over and tell us to practice yoga and be fitter than we are! There would be team lunches everyday, red bull breaks, brainstorming sessions, eager friends and a very youthful vibe.
At the time when I joined, my own reporting manager used to work remotely, she was on her maternity leave, and would always be around like she would have, in office.
Since she was based out of Delhi, we used to drop by her place every now and then and get our doses of direction and clarity- there was barely any difference from when she would be in office.
A few months into the new it was decided that I shall be moving to Mumbai. I dreaded the very thought of moving away from the team and the cheer and I was worried about how remote working would turn out.
A couple of disorganised days later, I realised some things had to be done right to make it a worthwhile day working away from the workplace.
A well setup table, a ready internet connection and a to-do diary were the smallest of concerns.
The biggest thing on the table was confidence- confidence to be sure that you can do this; work remotely and win with the team. Confidence that you can connect with everyone and assurance to not lose out on any touchpoint, just like you would be there in office.
After about a month of working away from the team, here is what I learnt, that you should know about remote work:
1. It doesn't only take a cooperative boss to make remote work a success- it needs dedicated employers too.
2. Remote working, although more convenient, is definitely harder than working out of the office.
3. You must set up a desk to work, with a full internet connection and a backup, with a notepad for quick notes and most important, a handy-to-do list EVERYDAY!
4. Check with the team- connect with them on a personal note, talk to them about non-work related matters, most of all, the trick to a great remote work setup, is great communication.
5. Ask for regular feedback- most of us ask for feedback when we feel something is going awry. Mark your calendar for regular feedback updates, say, every alternate day or basis what you are working on, and get feedback- it always helps.
A month away from office, while I have massive pangs of missing the whole team and the fun we shared, work has become more focussed, and bonds have become thicker.
With a fully functioning home, the maid routinely coming in between work, no fixed lunch hours and courier boys coming between proposal-making; working remotely is a journey to make everyday more productive than the previous.
In the end, it's not about what remote working makes of you, it is what you make of remote working!