Technology has made it possible for many full-time employees to work from home. Because most of us have a computer and access to the Internet at home, we tend to think that working remotely is easy. While it can be, working from home poses some special issues for both the employee and the manager.  

The benefits of working from home are well documented. Employees enjoy greater flexibility; eliminating the commute saves time and helps to preserve the environment; businesses can reduce capital costs by renting smaller offices and cutting back on supplies and snacks; organizations can build a more diverse workforce by recruiting from virtually anywhere; and employees generally achieve a greater work/life balance. Disadvantages include feelings of isolation, family distractions and intrusions, the need to self-motivate, and the inability of some employees to prevent work from consuming their lives. 

Considering both the pluses and minuses can help individuals decide if working from home is right for them. That being said, the long-term trend points in the direction of more and more employees working from home. How can workers maintain their productivity? What difficulties might they face when working remotely? How can managers support a remote team while ensuring that the work gets done?

The attached infographic, Staying Connected While Working Remotely, addresses all these issues. It is valuable reading for workers and supervisors alike. It begins by offering tips for creating a workspace that keeps workers productive, including recommendations for office equipment and furniture. The most important tip is the first: Keeping the home office separate from the rest of the home is paramount — for productivity and for unplugging when the workday ends. 

The document goes on to present the challenges experienced by remote workers. This helps employees anticipate what they may face when deciding whether to work from home, and it helps supervisors understand the possible glitches that remote workers must overcome. The top three issues that arise are the inability to wind down after work without any time and distance between work and home, loneliness, and difficulties in communicating and collaborating with coworkers. 

The infographic continues with suggestions to help remote workers stay motivated, and tips for helping managers support their remote workforce. 

Reading all this can make working remotely seem difficult, but it really isn’t. Successfully working from home does, however, require planning and effort on the part of both employees and management. When done correctly, remote working can be most rewarding for everyone involved. 

Keep reading to learn how to make remote working a win-win situation. 

This infographic was created by CoachDiversity Institute, a diversity and inclusion certification program