How to be part of the team when you are remote working

Remote working means working from home. It shows your employer is putting trust in you to get the job done. How can you work from home and show you are still part of the team? Using your Young Professional teamwork skills can make a big difference to how your employer sees you.

What is remote working? It’s another way of saying ‘working from home’.

Remote working, or working from home, is happening more these days for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes employers like you to work from home because it means they can have smaller offices and pay less for office space. Sometimes you might be working for a startup that has no office at all! Employers will sometimes let their staff work from home a couple of days a month to help with employee wellbeing. You might be permitted to work remotely, at least some of the time, if the employer knows and understands you have challenges relating to mental or physical health or location.

Finally, let’s not forget the rise of slashie culture, or multi-jobbing. Youth Ambassador Harvey Morton has done this great write-up of juggling multiple roles and boosting your skills with slashie work culture. You should also read Jess Amy Dixon’s chat about the pros and cons of slashie culture – because you get more freedom working several jobs at once but it can also get quite stressful! As a slashie, you are quite often freelancing – and this quite often means that one of your jobs or clients will want you to work from home. If your other job is working in an office, you can get a taste of office working and working remotely.

The pros and cons of working from home as part of a team

There are lots of benefits to remote working. You can set your own pace, play the music of your choice, and basically work in the way that’s best for you. Jobs that let you work from home are some of the best jobs for introverts out there, because you can hear yourself think.

But there can be downsides to remote working too! For one thing, you’re getting less of a social atmosphere. For another thing, your employer needs to really trust that you’re doing your job and see yourself as a valued – and busy – member of the team.

Teamwork is important to remote working because:

  • Your employer knows you care about your job and won’t let the team down
  • Your employer knows you aren’t abusing your privilege of working where they can’t see you
  • You feel more social and part of things, even though you are working from home

So… when you’re snug at home, being a busy bee for your employer, how can you make sure you are keeping your teamwork skills up to scratch?

How to boost your teamwork skills when you are remote working from home:

Stick to regular communication. When you communicate with your boss or line-manager, it’s a happier vibe and good for you both! Communication helps your employer trust you’re taking your job seriously even though you’re not in an office. It also helps you feel connected and a part of the team.

Ask if your boss wants a weekly (or daily) email of what you’ve been up to.

Ask if your boss wants regular catch-up calls so you can chat and discuss work done and projects that are coming up.

CC-in or BCC-in your boss (this means include them on the email in a way that is either visible or invisible to the person you’re actually emailing) if you are sending out work emails to the company or to clients. This way, your manager can see how you’re communicating with others and what you’re doing. This helps your boss feel a part of things. It also helps them to give you a steer if you need extra support.

Ask what means of communication your boss prefers. They might like email communication, but also be willing to accept text and WhatsApp chats for emergencies when you need a quick answer or guiding hand.

Ask if your boss wants to explore work chat apps like Workplace or Slack. There are lots of apps like these. They are like Facebook for companies and the whole team can use them.

Check to see if your boss prefers phone voice calls or video calls. With a video call, they can see you are in your working area at home, not going out bowling or at a friend’s house!

Sometimes your boss will suggest team meetings in the office, or fun team events. Always take the boss up on these offers. It’s great to get out and catch up with the rest of the team. Those team meetings are also great for bouncing ideas off each other.

Wherever you are on your working day – you might be working, grabbing lunch or taking the dog for a quick walk – make sure you have access work emails, texts and calls on your phone.

Respond to emails and texts straight away. Don’t leave it for an hour and forget about them. Let your boss see that wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re always on the case.

Use teamworking in remote working to repay the trust your employer has placed in you.

Working from home is a great privilege! You’ve been trusted to get on with your work without having your boss breathing down your neck all the time, and it’s a great feeling! But with great power comes great responsibility. Use regular communication to show that you respect the privilege and trust you have been given. Regular communications with your boss when you are working home will help you progress in your job and be given even more privileges and responsibilities as you get used to your new-found freedom.

If you’re working from home, do your best and enjoy every moment. And keep communicating! Sometimes that’s all it takes to really feel like you’re part of the team!

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