Tips for working remote and some Ethical challenges of telecommuting

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 10:53

Essential Tips for Working From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic

1. Get Dressed
It might seem like a simple tip, but it’s a crucial one. You don’t need to dress as formally as you might for work, but the simple act of changing clothes serves as a signal that it’s time to wake up and get things done.

2. Designate a Workspace or Home Office
If you’re used to going into an office each day, the separation between work and home is physical, and you want to try to recreate that as much as possible with a designated physical workspace at home. Your workspace doesn’t have to be its own room but it should feel as separate from the rest of your home as possible.

Try to make your workspace comfortable with a chair you can sit in for eight hours a day and a few decorations. Find an area with good natural lighting if at all possible. Even if you don’t usually spend a lot of time outdoors, losing out on the time you spend outdoors during your commute can start to weigh on you quickly, and it will only happen faster if you don’t have natural light coming in.

3. Don’t Get Too Sucked in by the News—or Anything Else
Distraction is one of the big challenges facing people who work from home—especially people who aren’t used to it. That means that whatever you’re usually thinking about getting home to after work is now with you. It’s human to get distracted. But you need to be wary of how much you let yourself get distracted.

You probably already take a few breaks throughout the day at the office, and that’s fine to do at home, too. Using that time to throw in a load of laundry is OK, but try not to look at your new work arrangement as an opportunity to finally clean out that closet or anything else that takes a lot of sustained focus.

4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
If you don’t usually work from home, chances are there will be some bumps in the road if you have to suddenly go fully remote. The key to steering through these bumps is communication—especially with your manager and direct reports. Either before you make the switch or as soon as you know it’s happening, come up with a plan that lays out expectations for how often you should check in and how you’ll convey any changes or new assignments to one another. Do the same with anyone you usually work collaboratively with throughout the day.

This plan is likely to change as you go. And that’s OK. This is a new situation for everyone.

And you don’t have to stick with only text-based communication. You might find it’s best to check in with your boss and coworkers over the phone or through video chat. This will cut down on miscommunication and break up some of the social isolation that can come from working from home.

Regina Borsellino [] [] Content edited

The Ethical Challenges of Telecommuting

Ethical employers must juggle the potential ethical challenges of managing remote employees, including developing trust in remote workers, encouraging trust among project team members when some are working remotely, keeping equity in mind when reviewing the performance of remote and in-office staff, and deciding which employees get to work remotely. Supervisors also must guard against abuse of the remote-work opportunity, maintain the security of the remote employee’s work-related data, foster a level of collaboration that is vital to product development, and protect the remote worker’s safety.

Managers should set clear expectations for remote workers, such as maintaining professionalism while working and accomplishing a certain volume of work or number of tasks by a certain time. Those who meet these goals should be rewarded. In the interests of fairness and equity, neither expectations nor rewards should differ from those established for any remaining in-house workers.

The ethical employer communicates trust in his or her employees when implementing telecommuting. That trust is based on respect for the employee’s motivation and the recognition that the employee has needs that are important in establishing work-life balance.

Perhaps the employer’s vote of confidence in the employee’s ability to work well remotely is the reason that productivity tends to increase in successful telecommuting programs.

Examples of Ethical Behaviors in The Workplace
• Obeying company rules
• Effective communication
• Taking responsibility
• Accountability
• Professionalism
• Trust and mutual respect for your colleagues at work
Examples of Unethical Workplace Behaviors in The Workplace
• Lies
• Taking Credit for Others Hard Work
• Non-Office Related Work
• Extended Breaks [] [] Content edited

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