Today I had a conversation with an association that works virtually. Each staff member works from their home and reports to the headquarters. As we discussed their current setup, it got me thinking about virtual teams and remote work. Is it successful? Does it work? Are there strategies in place to successfully run your association remotely?

Working remotely is actually pretty common place nowadays. Technology allows us to perform our tasks from a computer and internet connection. The tricky part to telecommuting is communication and accountability. Today we compiled a list of helpful tips from “work from home” experts. Check them out below.

Skill Set – As a Manager

“One of the biggest misconceptions about managing remote workers is that it requires an entirely different skillset.” – Rebecca Knight of HBR

Because remote working is somewhat new to some association managers, they’re convinced it requires a unique management style. Knight points out that while telecommuting teams may have a different environment, their needs and responsibilities are no different than a regular office based team. As a manager of a virtual team or not, it’s important to follow these guidelines to successfully run a team.

Skill Set – As an Employee

A good colleague of mine works from home for a national nonprofit organization. She mentioned that the only way to get work done is to create a work space. Designate one room as your home office. Set up your desk as if you were in an office and set guidelines for yourself. How frequently will your personal life enter your work life space? If you know yourself to be easily distracted, be sure to set up strategies to avoid this distraction.

Design

“You need natural light and a door, so that you can separate your work from your home life when the workday is done,” says Bill Murphy in INC. If you have video calls, be sure to have a space in your home office that has a clean background “or at least hanging a backdrop so people aren’t distracted by home-office clutter,” (Murphy).

Productivity

Think about your productivity levels at the office. How do they compare to your at home office? You probably don’t count time talking to co-workers as a waste of time, right? So don’t be too hard on yourself when your at home productivity levels are not 100%. They probably won’t ever be. “Own your day” as Murphy would say. Unless you’re set to a rigid 9-5 structure, let yourself work at your most optimal times of productivity. And accomplish other tasks when you’re feeling distracted.

Do you work from home? What are your tips? We want to know! Reach out to me at aketcham@arcstone.com.

 

 

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