As a digital nomad, I sometimes wonder if my colleagues think I’m working when they’re not watching. Because despite the frequent travelling and easy access to all sorts of distraction, I am working. And like 98% of interrogated people, I am even more creative now. Yet, I read an article claiming that 62% of remote workers worry their colleagues might think they’re not productive. So how can you prevent the thought from even shaping in their minds and secure your job in the long run?
In a previous job, I remember working with colleagues who were travelling very often. During those periods, I could never rely on them answering emails or picking up the phone. So now I’m working remotely, I’m putting a lot of effort into being available. With WhatsApp, FaceTime, Slack, Telegram and Email, I don’t have any excuse. Imagine if you don’t show up to the office without explaining why… It’s going to look suspicious, right? Same situation for me (and you).
Now, I’m not going to lie. I get distracted with life admin tasks and chores that I sometimes do in the middle of the day because I can. So if I need a doctor’s appointment, I simply book the earliest available. But I tell my boss in advance, make sure she’s read the message and is ok with it. And I always catch up on emails and messages when I’m available again. And of course, I don’t do this too often, nor for silly reasons.
Do the job
Another very obvious point… but of importance! I follow my to-do list on Asana every day. This way, when I log in in the morning, I know what I’ve got to do. That allows me to keep track of what I’m doing, set recurring tasks and make sure I’ve not missed anything. I’ve even put my own personal projects in there, like trips planning (which happen a lot in a digital nomad world). This way, I don’t miss deadlines and my colleagues know they can rely on me to do the things I said I would take care of.
Catching up with your colleagues on a regular basis is important, and I don’t mean with your manager or direct team members only. There’s no harm in scheduling regular catch-ups with colleagues from different teams. It’s important not to lose the everyday interactions that take place in the office. Ask them what they’re up to, what they’re struggling with or hoping to achieve. This helps to maintain trust and enables future opportunities more than exchanging emails. This is your opportunity to populate what you’re working on to everyone. That might even trigger some ideas of collaboration. And try to make those catch-up video calls because everybody prefers talking to a face.
Making remote working a success is about being adaptable to the business and your team’s needs. If you have chosen this path already or are considering working remotely, you’ve got your reasons. So be brave, pursue them, and let me know how it goes!