Some work between the house and the office. They don’t want to miss a meeting. They want to interact with the people they report to. They want to be in the same room as the team on their case. And if they hate New York City, too, their hidden work location is just that: work.
The most important thing to remember is that your work situation may feel out of your control. It’s not a job you deserve, it’s a job you have to do.
But if the situation is uncomfortable, it may be something more. It may be too much. You may not fit into the team. Sometimes that’s on purpose. Often, though, it’s on a person.
Instead of being the problem, you can find creative solutions to your work-from-home situation. Check out the following best tips for change.
Be flexible. No matter how many hours your workday is — or how many nights and weekends you work — set limits on how many times you can “work.” As I write in Work From Home: Spark More Energy, Engage Closer People and Boost Your Performance, in a management job, this rule can be especially helpful because managers generally have fewer say-so over who is working where. But it’s also useful if you have a ton of flexibility with your time.
Be reliable. You can’t anticipate why you’ll be late. You can’t predict exactly what will happen in a meeting. If you’re working from home and it rains or the car breaks down, you have the option to cancel, to change, or to reschedule the meeting. That’s a better option than saying no to the group.
But if you don’t speak up, if you hang back, your contribution will be secondary, your talent will be unfairly turned down, and your manager will ultimately blame you for the problem that the rest of the group is facing.
Just say no. Yes, you’re a creature of habit, and yes, you know how to balance work with life, but this approach is completely on brand for companies that value creativity and responsibility. And good management practices are meant to be sustainable. When you speak up, you acknowledge that having multiple face-to-face meetings is inconvenient, and you appreciate that your colleagues might benefit from your different perspective. Then, you offer your input as needed, not as requested.
Occasionally, it’s an appropriate move to work from home while traveling or on assignment. Use that opportunity to stake out your work-from-home territory. Find out how you can help support your team while you’re away. You may find yourself lonely, isolated, or even humiliated, but that’s not what these workplaces are meant to be about. This was originally published on Management Today.
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