These days, a growing number of employees are working remotely to maximize their waking hours and achieve a better work-life balance. In fact, as of 2015, 23% of employees reported doing some sort of remote work, up from 19% in 2003, according to Remote.co.
Now some folks who telecommute do so on a full-time basis, and there are certainly benefits to be reaped from that type of arrangement. When you telecommute all the time, you save money on travel to and from the office, and also get more flexibility along the way.
But for many people, working remotely on a full-time basis is a bit too extreme. Rather, a partial remote work arrangement is more ideal, since it gives them the best of both worlds -- a break from actual commuting, but the ability to also interact with colleagues in person. If you're privy to such an arrangement, here are a few critical steps that can help you manage it successfully.
1. Set a clear schedule
When you're in the office part of the time and work from home (or another location) the rest of the time, it can be difficult for your coworkers, and even your manager, to keep tabs on your whereabouts. And that can prove problematic for scheduling things like team meetings or lunches. If you're going to work remotely part-time, set a clear schedule in advance and share it with the people you work with so they know when to expect you on-site. That schedule might change from month to month, or even from week to week, but if you're vigilant about looping others in, it won't negatively impact your team's productivity, and it won't cause you to miss out on important items that are best addressed in person.
2. Maximize your time in the office
When you're only in the office a few times a week, it becomes all the more crucial to make the most of your time there. That's why you must make a point to schedule important tasks or meetings ahead of time to coincide with the days you'll be present at work. Think about the various projects you're working on or key items that need to be discussed. Then, identify the ones that are best addressed in person, and schedule time with the people who need to be part of those efforts or conversations.
3. Time your office visits to coincide with social events
Missing out on team events, whether it's daytime outings or happy hour, can be isolating, and it can also limit the extent to which you develop strong relationships with your peers. A better bet? Aim to be in the office during those days when team events are scheduled. Doing so will show that you're making an effort to get to know your colleagues, all the while helping you feel more connected to the people you work with -- even if you don't see them as often as they see each other.
Though working remotely is a privilege many employees appreciate, it's also a tricky setup to maintain, even when you only do it on a part-time basis. If your team members are aware of your schedule and you make good use of your time at the office, you'll be more likely to maintain that arrangement without having it adversely affect your career.