There are a lot of benefits associated with working from home or some other off-site location. Remote employees don’t need to uproot their lives and move to wherever the home office is. And there’s no need for a long, daily commute. Working from home also allows for greater flexibility. And for some people, it’s easier to focus and get work done.
But working remotely also has its drawbacks. One of the biggest is that it can make communication between employees and bosses very difficult. Since remote workers aren’t in the office every day, it can sometimes be difficult for them to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on. Misunderstandings are more likely to occur.
So what should you do if you’re a remote worker and you want to avoid miscommunication with your boss? Here are a few tips:
- Communicate with your boss more often than you would if you were in the same office – not less.
- Think about the best way to deliver necessary information. Texts and emails are good for sharing information and ideas. Video conferences are good when brainstorming is required. And a phone call (or even meeting in person, if possible) is best when complex or difficult issues need to be discussed.
- Establish ground rules regarding when and how you’ll communicate.
- Establish ground rules regarding what you can make decisions about independently, and what you need to talk to your boss about first.
- Schedule a regular, weekly phone call with your boss. Spending 20 or 30 minutes each week discussing projects, new developments, and potential problems can be very helpful.
- Always be very clear about when you’ll get things done – or why you can’t get something done by a certain time. Remember, you need to work extra-hard to avoid misunderstandings!
Shellenbarger, S. (2016, March 15). The challenge of managing a long-distance relationship with your boss. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-challenge-of-managing-a-long-distance-relationship-with-your-boss-1458065121