Working hard for the money - Guest post from Emma Heuston, Author of the Tracksuit Economy
Pretty chuffed to have Emma Heuston, author of The Tracksuit Economy writing a guest blog post for us!
Emma has recently released her book: The Tracksuit Economy: How to work productively AND effectively from home, where Emma shares her insight into becoming a remote working powerhouse. Six years ago Emma was a corporate lawyer in Sydney but after a near death experience and having her son, she realised that Sydney corporate life was not a good fit. As she was stuck in peak traffic, yet again with her little boy sobbing at the back from exhaustion and hunger after a long day at childcare. She decided she could no longer keep going they way they were. She was going to find an easier and better way. Today she still works as a corporate lawyer but as a remote worker from her home office in Byron Bay and fits life around her gorgeous son. The Tracksuit Economy is her account of her journey and a practical and relevant guide for anyone who wants to find a work-life balance and work from home.
Head over to iBooks or Amazon and buy a copy of The Tracksuit Economy, for less than the price of a coffee!
Working hard for the money
Demonstrating your worth as a remote employee
by Emma Heuston, Author of The Tracksuit Economy
Remote workers have the potential to both disrupt and improve the structure of an organisation.
If an organisation is going to hire remote workers, or permit existing workers to work remotely, it must re-frame policies, change the way teams work and re-define what is considered “normal” practice.
Remote workers can increase the productivity and profits of an organisation, provided they have adequate leadership and the right metrics to demonstrate their worth to the organisation.
Below, I unpack the way in which remote workers can make themselves indispensable to an organisation, without being in the office.
Remote workers should work in a way that is both accountable and easily measurable. While at first blush that may sound like I am coming down on the “big brother” side of the organisation, it is not the case.
Quantifying what you have done not only proves your worth, but is also important come review time or if you are questioned about your work output. While you know you have been working hard, that manager in head office who is not happy some workers are able to live and work near the beach on their own terms may not be quite so understanding.
There are great applications that measure time spent each day like Toggl. Alternatively, you can create diary entries (your To Do list can double as a record of what you have achieved on any given day) and where possible, run reports and store them electronically.
Be proactive – when you take (or start) a remote role, raise how your metrics are to be measured so you are in no doubt about how to keep track of your work from the outset.
Agents for change
Not only do remote workers pave the way for a new way of working, they ensure it is done productively.
Because remote workers miss out on the low hum of water cooler chatter and gossip, they rely almost solely on other methods of communication such as emails, chat messages or company updates. As a result, they can sniff out system inefficiencies a mile off, such as problems with processes or communication channels.
This can help an organisation fine tune its organisation methods and make remote workers valued and indispensable members of the team.
Make some noise
Being a remote worker, communication is a two way street. The organisation you work for should certainly be inclusive. However, you must also be honest, open and make some noise. Let them know you are there and show your engagement with the organisation.
The distance need not be a problem, there is oodles of new (and not so new) technology out there like Slack, Google chats and Trello to name a few to help manage remote communication, just ensure it is done on a regular basis to help keep all team members in an inclusive loop.
Know your worth, then add tax
A remote workforce requires a change in perspective. It is a case of measuring production regardless of presence and de-bunking the myth that you must be “seen” to “succeed”.
Remote workers should be aware of how important they are to an organisation (see the paragraph on metrics above) and ensure that though they are out of sight, they are still TOP of mind. This means being engaged, participating in team conversations and proposing initiatives that catch on over the whole organisation.
Think outside the square
Finally, a remote workforce requires all parties involved to think outside the square. If the in-office workers are given perks (such as an in-house chef or daily lunch allowance), the organisation must think about how to give that perk in a re-packaged way to remote workers. Does it mean a fortnightly fruit and vegetable box home delivered or gift cards sent from time to time? It will depend on the parties involved, but the important thing is no one feels left out.