Three remote workers share their experiences and offer advice in this debut guide.
The concept of a remote workforce is often addressed from the employer’s viewpoint considering the impact it might have on the business. What sets this book apart is it is written from the perspectives of three employees who work remotely. Douglas, Gordon, and Webber team up to tell their stories through vignettes while offering “pro tips” to help prospective remote workers meet the unique challenges of operating in a location other than their employers’ places of business. Whether the information they share can be defined as “secrets” may be questionable, but their intent is sound: to provide the remote employee with an informal manual in order to navigate a nontraditional work arrangement. The authors break the book into six parts (effectively chapters) intended for remote workers and a seventh part directed at their managers. The guide’s first part is one of the most intriguing because it focuses on the psychological aspects of toiling remotely. Here, the authors’ own experiences, related conversationally, contribute to their intimate understanding of what it really takes to work “alone.” For example, a common misconception, according to the authors, is the notion that remote employees have more free time, but “the reality is actually the opposite…working from home means working more.” Less surprising is the difficulty associated with separating home life from work life. Thankfully, the authors do more than just observe these conditions—they suggest strategies for handling them throughout this timely and beneficial book. Other chapters concerning physical environment, logistics, and communication are more utilitarian, providing content one might expect, but they are no less helpful. The final chapter is basically sensitivity training for managers of remote workers. Here, the authors seem to not so subtly advocate for what might be regarded as preferential treatment: “As a manager in this environment, you need to take more overt steps to show recognition than you would in a traditional office setting.” Still, this chapter competently discusses the special managerial challenges of a remote workforce.
Insightful and reassuringly positive; should help remote employees avoid land mines.