How to maintain the trust of your manager when you work remotely

Trust is earned, and if you’ve been granted the benefit of working remotely, it’s probably because you already impressed your boss with your stellar work ethic.  Or perhaps you bargained for the right to work remotely in lieu of other benefits.  Either way, maintaining the trust you’ve built requires some effort on your part.  Here are a few ways to keep your manager happy when you work from home.

Check in frequently

Delivering work is a great way to keep your manager happy, whether you’re in the office or working from home, but when you’re out of sight, you have a greater onus to remind your manager that you’re still on the job.  This means checking in with frequent updates.  It’s tempting to wait to check in until you have good news, like tasks or projects completed, but sticking to regular updates can help to set your boss’s mind at ease and prevent frantic calls or emails from a manager wondering what you’re up to.

Set a schedule

One of the most difficult aspects of working remotely is managing your own time and remaining efficient and productive.  Without a manager looking over your shoulder, it’s all too tempting to take frequent and extended breaks to watch TV, check social media, or chat with friends.  While a flexible schedule is a major benefit of working remotely, most people don’t have the mental fortitude to stay on track without a strict schedule.

If you’re worried that persistence and focus will be a problem, simply set a schedule similar to what you would have at the office.  Get up at the same time each day, shower and get dressed, and sit down at your desk to work when your shift starts.  Schedule in regular breaks for meals, trips to the restroom, or just to get up and stretch, then return to work after a set amount of time.  Eventually, you can add flexibility, but in the beginning, developing good habits is a must.

Be honest

When you are given a privilege, you naturally want to prove you deserve it.  This could lead you to over-promise.  Unfortunately, your inability to deliver on promises proves just the opposite – that you’re not worthy of the privilege of working remotely.  It’s also pretty stressful.

So, when you receive assignments, be honest about your ability to complete them within a set timeline, just as you would if you worked in an office environment.  It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver.  With extra time, you can encounter snags and still deliver on time, or if everything goes smoothly, you’ll impress your boss by delivering early.  Either way, you win.

Post by Sarah Harris

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