If you were used to getting up and going in the office each and every day, working remotely can be new and daunting. Staying connected is extremely important during this time to allow you to maintain your job and also make sure you are providing value to the company. Chances are your boss was used to managing a team face-to-face and may not know how to manage a team of remote teammates, which can make them into micromanagers. Here is how to fulfill the requirements of your job, stay connected, provide value and keep your manager from micromanaging you. Communication is key! Here is when to communicate:
Communicate Often. Communicate when you receive a task and communicate when you complete it. The idea is to communicate throughout the day so that there is accountability, not just when your manager is asking for it. This will come as a breath of fresh air because they will realize they don’t have to continually manage you.
Communicate Deadlines. When you are given a new project or any project, communicate when you think you will be finished. Giving deadlines will give firm expectations about what you will be working on and when they can expect their project to be done.
Communicate Priorities. It is always helpful to update your manager on what you are working on and in what order. When working remotely, many projects can be included in your list, especially if you are self starter and find your own projects to work on. Communicating those priorities to your manager will let them know what you are working on and if you are working on it in the correct order.
Communicate Questions. Make sure to always ask questions if you are unsure. Just like in a face-to-face setting, employees will always go to their manager to ask questions; this is no different. Email, text, call or chat your manager with your questions. Be respectful of time and always have backup work to do while you’re waiting for your questions to be answered. That way you are never left without something to do.
Communicate Schedules. If you are taking lunch or breaks at the same time each day, communicate your schedule to your manager. You are still entitled to take your breaks and lunches, however make sure that your managers know when you are taking them. This allows them to be respectful of your time as well as know if you are not responding during those times.
Communicate Correctly. Using the correct medium and the correct type of communication is vitally important. If you are used to emailing and calling your manager, continue using these modes of communication, however do not shy away from asking about new modes as well. If a quick response is needed, consider a chat feature or texting, but make sure your manager is open to this option first.
Remember, there is no such thing as overcommunicating when you are working remotely. A good remote worker is able to show what they are accomplishing and in a timely manner without the need for continual communication. If you are unsure, ask your manager if you are communicating enough for them or if there is a different way they prefer.