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I have been working for 5 months within the IT department of an organization, and have chosen to work remotely (telecommute), as do many other people here. So, I don't need to be physically in the office every day.

But with the holiday season, however, I have been been teleworking for around 3 weeks. How might this affect my employment? Although my manager is OK with my working remotely, is there still a problem with this? I am worried that the situation could portray me as a lazy employee.

closed as off-topic by Philip Kendall, Jan Doggen, Dawny33, gnat, HorusKol Jan 5 '16 at 5:32

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  • 2
    This really depends on the culture of your company and how happy your manager is with your productivity. That's where you need to ask. There are long term concerns when telecommuting, having to do with maintaining visubility and staying aware of what else is happening, but I don't think that's what you're asking a d I think other questions have addressed this. – keshlam Dec 28 '15 at 23:57
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Speaking as someone who has spent the past 5 years or so working remotely (working on two projects, managed from three sites)... There are definitely drawbacks as well as advantages, even if management fully supports your working from hone.

The biggest drawback is that you're "out of the loop." You miss out on most of the hallway chatter. You need to make a deliberate effort to communicate with your manager and co-workers, to kedp them informed of what you're doing and what you need, and to get input from them on everything from what they need from you to what opportunities are opening up that you should jump on. It helps tremendously if you've already established yourself as part of the team and as someone others can reach out to; you may need to actively put yourself into that role if you aren't "just a few offices over." Reliably calling in to teleconferences helps; set alarms if you tend to forget or get distracted.

You also lose out on a lot of informal education, and may have to work harder to keep your skills up to date and preferably leading.

If you don't or can't make that extra effort, it's easy to get overlooked, and to fall into focusing on the wrong things, neither of which is good for your career.

Strong advice: You need a space really dedicated to being an office, to reduce risk of being distracted. And when you're working, you are working and should not be interrupted by the rest of the family frequently or for more than a few minutes. If you have a spare room that can be office and only office, that's ideal.

Also strong advice: Continue to dress on work days as you would if going to a traditional office. It's a good way to subtly remind yourself that you're "on the clock" and owe your employer a full work day at least.

There's much more that can be said, but this is already getting too long for Stack Exchange. Talk to other folks in your company who are working remotely or have done so to get tips specific to your company's culture, and consider looking for websites that deal specifically with telecommuting.

  • +1 for a solid answer, I like the dress for work and have an office space, that's what works for me as well. – Kilisi Dec 29 '15 at 6:32
  • At our office we had two remote contractors and it worked very well. They often worked in their own offices, but a local co-working space might be good too. This gives the impression they are committed. Most important for our remotes though was consistent video conferencing, key on the 'video'. All of our meetings have a built in Google Hangout. We also had a team policy of one computer in the meeting being used to 'share the room' this allowed the remotes to see everyone as well as focus on what was being shared. They always had video enabled on their end as well. – Bill Leeper Dec 29 '15 at 15:04
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Extended remote work has a tendency to diminish the strength of your in-office relationships. Things that would go unnoticed if you were in the office more often might be noticed and perceived differently (i.e. running an errand around lunchtime that makes you unavailable for a meeting). I will ignore the the few jobs that are permanent remote work, which usually comes with significant cost-savings.

Even companies that are setup for and frequently have employees that do remote work may not see extended remote work in the same light. And even for companies that have permanent remote people and teams, if you were not hired into a role with the expectation of extended/permanent remote work, then you can still suffer from problems and bias that both on-site and other remote workers do not have.

Unless you are trying to change the position to be permanently remote, and your manager is supportive of this, you should provide extra communication during this time and resume your normal work schedule as soon as you can.

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The only way to know is to ask your manager directly. The next time you are in the office, set an appointment for a general, informal, performance review. Ask if you are meeting expectations, and if there are any issues that your manager is aware of that might be caused by your remote work.

If this is a frequent concern of yours, you might consider setting an in-office schedule, whether it's weekly/bi-weekly/monthly, to establish a pattern and familiarity with your colleagues. You could also schedule, as part of that, a brief 1:1 with your manager so you're more immediately aware of any concerns.

Being visible and available is important for your career, so even if you don't have to be in the office, consider making it a habit, even if infrequent.

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