Diversity Woman Magazine

SUM 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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DW Life > d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S u m m e r 2 0 1 9 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 41 ISTOCKPHOTO You Want Policy. Telecommuters stay connected via video and other technol- ogy, and teams occasionally meet in per- son. "We introduced something called #inperson," says Tara Lilien, chief tal- ent officer. "As a manager, if you want everyone on your team in the office for a meeting, you have the choice to do that. en employees know that they can't schedule their doctor's appointment or work from home that day." To stave off feelings of isolation, one Peppercomm telecommuter organized a group called the Outliers Network, which gives at- home workers opportunities to gather for some face time. Some telecommute occasionally, like CJ Griffin, a partner at the East Coast law firm of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, who usually works from home once a week. "I use that day to do work that requires a more intense focus," she says. "It is hard not to be interrupted by the noise of a busy office, by coworkers with questions, or by telephone calls. I can answer my cell phone through an app that makes it appear to others as if I am in the office, and I can remote desk- top in and access all of our programs." Griffin says working from home even one day a week makes a difference. "ere is something special about hav- ing a quiet house all to myself—it feels like having 'me time' while I am also ac- complishing my work assignments," she says. "As a parent and partner at a busy law firm, that 'me time' can be very re- juvenating." At companies like Porzio, employees appreciate their company's flexibility and follow suit. "ey know if there's a reason that they need to come in to any of our offices—and they do it," says Car- ole Mecca. "ey like the arrangement they have and they want it to work, just as we want it to work. So it's been good for employees, and it's definitely been good for us." DW Kimberly Olson is DW's managing editor. I f your job can be done from home, or mostly from home, you may have visions of becoming a telecommuter, with the freedom to pick your kids up from school or do your grocery shopping during nonpeak hours. Here's some advice for doing it right. JUST ASK. If you want to telecommute, put in a request. "People are sometimes unwilling to ask because they're afraid of how they'll be perceived or of someone saying no," says telecommuter Jennifer Romanski. "People don't want to lose people they've invested in, especially if you've added a lot of value." MANAGE DISTRACTIONS. "What time of day to you bring your best focus to work?" asks Mika J. Cross, director of 1 Million for Work Flexibility. "Sticking to a regular, set schedule helps first- time remote workers to maintain productivity and collaboration with their team. And have a dedicated work space that gives you more structure and routine." STAY ON THE RADAR. Put thought into which business hours you plan to hold, how you plan to remain accessible, and how you'll keep your work visible to colleagues. "It's important to stay in communica- tion and be available," says Caroline C. Maxwell, who works remotely. "It's no different than if I were just down the hallway. That might mean I need to have my cell phone on so my princi- pals can shoot me a text or call me on my cell phone when I've stepped away from my home office." BE MINDFUL OF YOUR SCHEDULE. "I often get lost in email at night and lose track of time," says sociologist Mary Noonan, PhD. "People who work from home should try to keep tight boundaries on their time and not just work more because they can." Tips for Would-Be Telecommuters

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