Towards the end of 2022 the US Census Bureau published findings revealing the number of people working from home had tripled between 2019 and 2021. Trend forecasters are now anticipating as much as 22% of working Americans will work from home by 2025. It is safe to say, whether you are an employee or an employer, “hybrid working” is around for the foreseeable future.
At Walker Glantz we have seen how creating professional parameters and routines in your home positively impacts meetings and interactions with prospects, clients, and colleagues. Those boundaries are ones we have come to expect from our team and we now implement with new hires.
Curious on collective learnings following the last few years, we asked the WG team to offer wisdom gained from experience working from home.
Working from home has its pros and cons. If you’re going to do it, do it well.
The following recommendations are excellent guidelines on maintaining a high-standard of professionalism in general but they are crucial when you are remote-working. Here are ten ways you can remain professional, be taken seriously, and progress in your career, while working from home:
1.Always send out a meeting agenda. You will appear polished, prepared and you will stay on task.
2. When you are sharing your screen, minimize tabs. Only keep the ones open that directly apply to what the meeting is about.
3. Pause/snooze notifications on desktop apps and your phone. You do not want a client to see internal private discussions with your team, or communications with a loved one.
4. Block off personal time as early as possible. It is more important than ever to attend meetings. Don’t be the one responsible for having one rescheduled.
5. Set clear boundaries to your family. Let them know when you can and cannot talk, and let them know when you are in “work mode” and what your expectations are.
6. Follow a similar routine every day. This enables work/life balance. For example, close the office door at 8.30am and come out for a break at 11am every day.
7. Show up as you would in an office. By that we mean: be prepared, meet deadlines, and have completed action items from previous meetings. Be on time and communicate if you won’t be.
8. Dress appropriately. You might not be expected to wear your suit jacket these days, but don’t wear anything you would feel uncomfortable wearing in-person.
9. Utilize technology. We are 100% reliant on technology when we work from home. Always have a back-up plan in the instances one of them fails.
10. Be available to clients and colleagues alike. Make sure everyone you interact with knows when you are available and when you are not. Do not have your icon set to green (for example) and then take a number of hours to respond to an inquiry.
The advantages of working remotely at Walker Glantz.
We are a unique company in that the majority of our tax department works in office and the CAS team has always worked remotely. Our team works closely together, and have found new ways to communicate during the work day while maintaining personal boundaries.
We keep our calendars current and use them as a digital assistant. Our calendars are linked to our firm’s Slack channel and are automatically updated to let the team know about availability.
In the pursuit of learning, and given that one of our key company values is to pursue excellence, we wanted to find out what the team liked about remote-working at Walker Glantz.
Here are some of their answers:
–Streamlined and up-to-date technology. “We have brilliant technology set up. There are processes that help us support each other in the software we use.”
–A level of collaboration we didn’t have before. “We collaborate a lot more on the systems and apps we use for us and our clients.”
–Less commuting, more time with family. “I don’t have to waste time commuting. It is more time spent with my child.”
–More contact, not less. “I may work from home but I never feel alone. Our team can easily see each other’s availability and reach out for help.”
–More conversation about capacity. Our meetings allow us to update each other on our workload capacity and how we can best help each other.
–A supportive environment. We have weekly meetings with “lightning round” questions that allow us to better get to know each other.
We are always looking for top talent.
We are a proud team with outstanding professionalism and nimble flexibility. We’re always growing in size, and looking for top-class financial professionals to join our team.
If the way we work sounds like you, get in touch here.