Working from Home – We do it, you can too!

April 25, 2023
By Beth Breault

In the past few years, the daily working environment for many people has changed dramatically. The norm used to be that employees were required to travel to an office and had set working hours, often the same hours as everyone in the office. The uptick in flexible work arrangements started before the pandemic. With the onset of the pandemic, almost every employee was required to work from home. This work arrangement changed the dynamics of most jobs in every industry. The sense of freedom grew, but so did the loneliness of missing one’s working peers.

As we look to the future of work, we see employers exploring different types of remote work models. We have started down a new path in North America of a more hybrid approach to people’s working environments. Many companies, not just those in high-tech, embrace flexible work arrangements. The latest features of HR systems support this flexibility. Some employees will choose to only work from home and are dealing with managing what that looks like for the long haul. So, what does effective remote work require from you, the employee?

HRchitect’s workforce has always been largely remote since our inception and went 100% remote in early 2018. We have many tricks to help enhance the pros and diminish the cons of remote work.

The Positives of Remote Work.

If you are among the ranks of working from home permanently, you probably started with the vision of freedom, more time for yourself, and not dealing with office politics. This ideal world includes no traffic jams, a walk in the park during your lunch break, or having your dog at your feet while you work. Working at home sounds perfect, like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

The Pros of working in a remote location are real for most people. Remote work allows you to manage your time, including personal appointments or daily errands. You can manage your time, be available for meetings, and complete tasks on time. The time and money saved by not commuting are among the most significant pros. You can now spend the time you save with family and loved ones. If you are most productive during off times, you can manage your schedule around that period. It is also possible to change working from home to working anywhere; therefore, travel becomes possible because you can work with just your laptop and an internet connection. Known as “digital nomads,” some workers live a nomadic lifestyle moving from location to location while meeting their work obligations virtually. Other remote workers are known as location-independent workers. They typically have a home base but may decide to relocate for a few weeks a year and continue working.

Remote Work: Overcome the obstacles.

There can be obstacles to working remotely. There is no separation between work and leisure time. Your office is your home, making it hard to turn off work mode. Online meetings sometimes lead to misread cues from your coworkers, leading to misunderstandings among participants. Social interaction and events were significant to employees’ experiences in an in-office environment. Being a remote worker requires self-discipline and some navigating to be successful and learning how to manage your time effectively.

Employers may expect digital nomads and location-independent workers to work in their regular time zone for some part of their workday. Therefore, a stable internet connection is critical to success in a remote work environment.

Employers should be mindful of the aforementioned remote work challenges and work to deliberately create a remote work culture that sets employees up for success in overcoming these obstacles.

Tips to maximize your effectiveness as a remote worker:

  • Communication is key. Use all the tools available, including email, online chat, text messages, and team boards like Slack, to collaborate effectively.
  • Manage expectations by having effective conversations with your boss and coworkers.
  • Share your availability. Keep your office calendar updated with the hours you are available for work. Visibility to your schedule will help others know when you can meet and enables you to manage your schedule.
  • Make sure you have a dedicated and pleasant office space. Being crammed into a dark corner of a room is not conducive to feeling and working well. If possible, dedicate your home office to your work so you can turn off the lights outside work hours and resist working night and day.
  • Take breaks and do not work through lunch every day. Small breaks during the day help you maintain focus and prevent fatigue.

Trust is a corporate requirement to succeed with a remote workforce.

HRchitect understands that each employee has unique needs to be successful in remote work. Our leadership team can coach and assist employees struggling with working from home. HRchitect embraces everyone’s productive times but trusts their employees to be responsible and professional with scheduling. As consultants, our primary goal is to be available for our clients. This requires we clearly understand our client’s expectations around meeting availability. Trust can be built within the team even when working miles apart.

Be intentional about work-life balance, collaboration, and fun.

HRchitect encourages work-life balance by their employees. Leaders and colleagues love hearing stories about family life from each team member. We share PTO photos, pet photos, recipes, and funny stories. We are encouraged to reach out to other colleagues if a question or problem arises. Working on an issue this way allows everyone to collaborate to solve problems. This practice helps the team know that they are not an island but part of a fun-loving team. HRchitect builds a solid team through happy hour calls, trivia evenings, and weekly team meetings to catch up with colleagues. There are many perks that HRchitect has perfected to ensure working remotely is full of pros and hardly any cons. This culture makes HRchitect the best place to call your work family. It leaves no doubt why we were voted one of the Best and Brightest Companies to work for in the Nation for three consecutive years.

Check out our current openings to learn more about joining our team at HRchitect.

About the Author

Beth Breault is an Implementation Manager at HRchitect, leading a team of consultants implementing HR and Payroll systems. She brings over 15 years of Human Resources and payroll experience as a consultant and an HR practitioner to the HRchitect team. In addition, Beth is certified to implement payroll in US and Canada.

To learn more about Beth, visit her profile on LinkedIn.