MaidPro featured by FlexJobs in article, “Explaining Work Flexibility to People Who Don’t Understand It”. Check out the article below:
As any successful telecommuter can attest, working remotely is not always a cakewalk. Yes, there are tons of incredible benefits, but there are also some challenges, including explaining work flexibility and getting others to realize you do, in fact, have a real professional job!
Those who have never telecommuted or had a flexible job don’t always understand what these terms actually mean. It can be frustrating—but with some patience and explanation, you can easily help these people better comprehend the world of flexible work!
Here are some common questions remote workers face from people who don’t totally understand work flexibility, and strategies for explaining work flexibility:
“How do you get anything done with the TV going?”
Frequent remote worker Jesse Harrison, founder and CEO of the Employee Justice Legal Team, has the perfect response to this inquiry: “By turning it off.”
Distractions plague workers regardless of their location. On-site employees battle chatty colleagues and office politics, while off-site counterparts need to withstand the temptation to pick up a magazine or complete household chores (and everyone needs to log out of Facebook). Focus and time management are skills needed everywhere.
“How does your boss know you’re actually working?”
Lindsay Wissman, a telecommuting copywriter for The Content Factory, has a great way of tackling this question: “I’m pretty sure she’d know if I weren’t working because my output would be really low. But since it’s not and I meet my deadlines, she knows I’m working hard. If I weren’t working hard enough, she’d have fired me a long time ago.”
“Why are you grocery shopping on a Tuesday morning?”
Doing personal activities during standard business hours can give the impression that you’re slacking off when in reality you’re simply making sound scheduling decisions. Taking an hour off to attend a midday yoga class contributes to your overall well-being, but that time gets made up later on. Explaining the trade-offs that flexible work allows helps others formulate an accurate picture.
After nine years of working remotely, elMejorTrato.com CEO Cristian Rennella has developed this way of helping others understand: “I work at times of the day when I personally feel more productive. I can adapt my tasks away from work in ways that are more comfortable and organic to my needs, such as taking the kids to school after a couple of hours of work. Having flexibility in my work allows me to get up early and work from 7 to 10, which is my most productive time of the day, and then resume from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. And the results have been excellent!”
“Do you even work?”
Yes, believe it or not, flexible workers do encounter people who either seriously or snidely pose this rather silly question. Sometimes it comes from those who cannot fathom what a job looks like if it doesn’t involve going to a workplace. In other cases, the asker may be a bit jealous of your circumstance. In either circumstance, explaining work flexibility is a must.
Madeleine Park, marketing manager for MaidPro Franchise, offers this tactful way of responding: “Of course! I have been fortunate enough to work for a company that not only encourages getting out of the office but provides outlets for which to do so. Most of my work can be done completely online, which means that as long as I have a smart device and Internet access, I can do my job. Most of the time, I am connected to work through my phone, so even when I’m not ‘on the clock,’ I am still working and accessible. I am very grateful my employer recognizes this and appreciates our hard work.”