For the last 15 years of my career as a high-tech executive in Global 50 companies, I WAS A REMOTE WORKER!! There, I said it out loud; I feel better! Keeping it on the down low for all those years wasn’t because I wasn’t productive or effective because, I was both! It was because there was a stigma attached to remote working that remote workers, especially executives, weren’t as committed as those who were on site and bumping elbows with senior execs in the hallways each day. I had to work very hard to overcome that stigma and go the extra mile on everything I did.
Times are changing fast and remote working is here to stay. That said the old rules for being successful at remote working haven’t changed. As I look back now, I see that my success at remote working was akin to being a master of the dark arts except, in this case, the dark arts were politics, presence, preparation, performance and promotion. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting my tips on how to become a master of the dark arts of remote working.
I’d like to start the series by giving you my 10-point framework (it’s GOT to be valuable if there’s a full 10 points!) on what you’ll need to become a great remote worker. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll cover this framework a couple of points at a time. I’ll even share a few amusing stories including the Sheriff’s raid during a staff meeting and the midnight call by my cat to my boss’s boss. Here is my framework for remote working success:
- Be aligned with your boss, partners, key customers, spouse, or others in your chain of command on what is expected, and the output that’s needed.
- Find a professional space that limits interruptions, has high-speed internet, has a ‘studio’ like the place for video calls, and provides you with the basics of bathrooms, food, and drink.
- Be a master of your productivity tools, defend your time, and be organized.
- Prepare for your meetings–yes, every one of them!
- Be present and engaged and be genuine and thoughtful with your oration
- Manage the politics. If you feel something is not right it’s probably true
- Understand that connections with influencers and decision-makers matter and that may require an occasional in-person meeting or day on-site.
- Find a way to stay connected socially and get some exercise!
- Be output focused, deliver high-quality work, and make sure people know about it!
- Finally, DO NOT skimp on personal development and continuous learning.
Remote is the new on-site so be a master of your domain!