Most of my career, to date I should add, has been spent as a remote employee. This is my fourth week officially working in my company’s headquarters in Toronto. Though I have worked for the same company for 10 years, it is amazing the culture shock that comes with moving from a home office to a head office. Just getting up in the morning, getting dressed, hair done, packing a lunch, commuting into the office, working with people walking by your desk, the sheer volume of meetings … and the list goes on. I am very lucky that I have friends at work who have gone through the same thing and can provide a sounding board on how to adjust.
Here’s what I have learned moving from a home office to headquarters:
Learning #1: My time is more stretched now in head office due to more in person meetings. While working remotely I was better able to multitask while on conference calls to accomplish more things on my plate. Was this good or bad? Jury’s still out on this one.
Learning #2: Due to time differences, I used to end my day with 2 full hours without emails/meetings/phone calls. This was a great way to wrap up my day making check marks on my ‘to do’ list. Now I am working on the same time zone as the majority of my colleagues. How am I adjusting? I am working on better delegating and distributing workloads within my team. I am blocking time in my calendar for getting projects done. I am also being more critical of my attendance in meetings to ensure that I absolutely need to be there or determine if someone else could attend.
Learning #3: Building relationships is much better in person than on the phone. Those little drop by’s about a project or an update allow me to be a stronger manager in knowing the little wins & challenges my team face on a daily basis. I love this part of my changing environment! When working remotely, I tried to meet a colleague for a coffee/lunch every few weeks to stay in touch with the team, get out of the office & get some “water cooler time” – it was something I actually had to schedule in. I love that this happens now as a part of my daily routine without even trying.
Only a few weeks in, so these are just a few of my learnings… more to come about onboarding an employee moving office locations and creating engagement with remote employees.
I would love to get your thoughts: has anyone else made this change or gone from a headquarters to a remote home office? What were your learnings, challenges, frustrating, wins & tips?