24 March 2020

Working from home could be magical

The most important ingredient needed for anyone to be successful while working from home is 'Good understanding with the boss (Trust)' !!

If you ever thought that connectivity and infrastructure would be the most important aspects for employees to be successful while working from home, then here is your pleasant surprise. It is not a hard requirement but a soft requirement which has nothing to do with your laptop or your internet connection.

The most important ingredient needed for anyone to be successful while working from home is 'Good understanding with the boss (Trust)' !! This was ranked by many connects of mine who took a voluntary survey while they are currently working from home with lock-downs in place across almost all parts of the world. Even though we are in a digital world, we are still evolving to build relationships over any virtual platform. I also had conversations with many people on this subject and they clarified that sometimes their boss sent them a flurry of emails probably just to test if they were online! In another case, the boss wanted his team to log into the system by a particular time every morning. While on the other hand, a few were fortunate to have different bosses who gave them tasks at the beginning of the day and reviewed the same at the end of the business day.

The underlying characteristic here is 'trust'. People felt that they were at ease once they knew that they weren't policed, watched over or even asked to be on unnecessary video calls. Even if networks failed and calls dropped, people with understanding bosses wouldn't bother as they were confident of convincing their bosses for the genuine technical glitches. What followed 'trust' were other other infrastructure-related options like a working laptop, strong internet and phone connection, a dedicated 'office space' in the house and lastly, a good pair of headphones.

I decided to deviate a bit and help readers on how to build trust with their boss:

  1. Communicate with an aim to build a rapport.
  2. Seek his/her opinion in your decisions. You may be missing out on a wealth and experience here.
  3. Be open and transparent in your failures just as you are in your achievements.
  4. Deliver on your promises within agreed terms.
  5. Share your personal and professional career objectives and also compliment your boss on his / her success - they are human afterall and expect recognition as well.
  6. Last but not the least - present multiple options (that you believe in) and not problems or challenges. You may leave the choice to the boss as well.

'Time for self-development' and 'Family' topped the charts for being the most important benefits of working from home.

Thanks to no commute, people feel that they are blessed with many hours at their disposal and quality time is being spent with their family. A close watch of the smiles of their growing children, the tasty home-made delicacies being relished and most importantly - to share moments of bonding with your spouse perhaps by helping in the kitchen. After all, working from home is about taking short and regular breaks for fitness and work-focus reasons.

With multiple options for digital learning these days, working from home is a great time to invest in oneself by re-skilling and up-skilling. Even the World's best surgeons are learning to master remote surgeries that can be performed hundreds of kilometers away, from the operation theater itself. So it is never too late to learn.

Teething challenges like interruptions from visitors and family members are getting slowly addressed and people are surely learning to manage these challenges. Managing one's time and having a strong internet connection are the other challenges making up the top three.

The key survey findings:

  1. Establishing a clear working relationship with the boss and building trust.
  2. Make the best of what we have by focusing on family and self-development apart from work.
  3. Never give up, despite challenges of interruptions within the home environment, which can be overcome with good time management.

*Special thanks to all my connects who voiced their opinion and shared their precious time in the above survey.