The majority of SuccessFactors consultants we hire are remote workers. Highly skilled specialists are sought after but the nature of the job doesn’t require international relocation. Working from home or a remote office space does not suit everyone and you need to demonstrate your understanding of the situation to impress the potential hirer. These are our tips
Timezone management when remote working
You may need to be on hand for set hours for collaboration but this is usually up for negotiation especially if your timezone is out of sync with your employers. If you are in India and the company is in the USA you’re at least 11 hours ahead. You may be expected to work an irregular schedule e.g. 11am to 7pm in order to maximise your time overlap but if the hirer wants you to work US hours you’ll need to seriously consider whether the night-shift is for you. You need to work out how the difference in time zones can be managed so that you can pre-empt questions. You also need to make your hours official. When companies have many remote workers it’s difficult to keep track of where in the world people are – you don’t want phone calls at 3am unless you are actually at work!
Establish targets, milestones and evaluation systems
If your boss can’t see you sitting at a desk it’s important to establish ways of demonstrating your hard work. Your achievement should be task-based and clear targets need to be established early on. A reporting system should be in place and you need to ask the hirer about it at the beginning of your contract, if not at interview stage. If you start a remote contract without this it is likely that you’ll feel anxious about how your performance is being viewed and also lose motivation. It’s essential that both you and the hirer are confident that the job is being done properly.
When you’re sat in an office with your colleagues informal communication is the norm with ‘formal’ communication in the form of meetings or appraisals punctuating day-to-day work. When you’re a remote worker it’s easy to fall out of the loop, especially if you are the only, or one of a few, remote workers in a team. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of those informal chats with co-workers – they are vital for keeping everyone on track. As a remote worker you need to establish a way to ensure you are kept up to date with the project development.
Make effort to build relationships
As a remote worker you may think that as long as you do your job you don’t really need to build relationships but actually it’s crucial. When everything is going well you may not need your network but if there’s an issue you need people you can rely on. Don’t expect the rest of the team to reach out to you as the remote worker, you need to make that effort. Build loyalty and trust. This helps to ensure people communicate with you effectively and those contacts may be vital for securing your next contract.