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By this point, if you are workshifting you have either earned the ability from an employer or chosen the path yourself as an independent workshifter.

And, although workshifting is becoming more and more accepted and valued among traditional employers – sometimes, getting to a workshifting position is not the most difficult step on the path.

Having transitioned from a fully-traditional position to a bona-fide workshifter with the same organization, and with little to no guidance on the what-when-and-how of workshifting expectations by this organization, I initially found myself in a world of uncertainty and self-doubt!

Time tracking, defining project scope and deadlines and “showing up” virtually were not the issues – I knew that the quality of my work would not suffer whether I did it chained to an office desk or on my leather sofa. What I did not know, however, was how my output was being perceived simply because the work was being done remotely. Out of sight, out of mind? Offsite and unreliable?

So, I took some steps to ensure that my efforts were recognized and I instilled, from the outset, an inherent trust in my capacity to work remotely without adversely affecting the organization. I knew I could be counted on, but others needed to know it, too.

To whom much is given, even more is expected! The one step I took to ensure that, as a new workshifter, I could be trusted, was to OVERcommunicate in the following ways:

  • Inclusively: Not only were pertinent email CCs necessary, but I took it one step further and provided a weekly summary and monthly time sheet with detailed logs of what and whom I had handled. Sure, it took time for me to track, and often a measure of precision to report on exactly how my time was being spent, but it also ensured that my time could never be questioned by my superior nor his, in spite of the fact that the results spoke for themselves.

  • With Honesty: In the same way I reported what I was doing to produce work and results, I similarly and candidly reported when I would be away from my home office and/or taking time during the day to handle non-work tasks. At the same time, I set clear expectations about the alternative hours I would keep on those days to make up the time and ensure that my results were met.
  • Selflessly and Flexibility: If the goal of my new schedule was 100% flexibility, I recognized my threshold of tolerance (translation: what I was willing to concede) and knew that its cap was roughly 80% – this left room for any unscheduled or impromptu meetings or projects that would require on-site presence without completely disrupting my sense of autonomy and freedom.

What is the one step you’ve taken to ensure trust as a workshifter?

Photo Credit: vagawi

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Natalya Sabga is a project management professional and operational efficiency expert turned author, consultant and executive education advisor. Fascinated by the study of human behavior, she has parlayed this into a successful writing career. Ms. Sabga is also the author of "From Secretary to CEO: A Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder Without Losing Your Identity" (2010). She is also the President of DNterprises, LLC - a firm specializing in project needs' analysis, and project management from implementation to operation. Ms. Sabga is currently working on her next non-fiction narrative, "A PMP's Guide to Project Managing Your Life," and authoring the blog 'ASK N'.
  • http://profiles.google.com/gihan827 Gihan Perera

    I’ve faced the same situation when making the transition from a home office to being  a “digital nomad”, without a fixed workplace or fixed working hours. Although I’m a business owner rather than an employee, the same issues of trust and reliability apply when dealing with my clients.
    For me, the key has been to reply to requests quickly and clearly. If it’s a same-day request, I’ll action it and reply, explaining what I’ve done. If it’s not a same-day request, I acknowledge it that day, and clearly explain what I’m doing, what I would like from them (if anything), and when I’ll next report back to them.