Peter Sperry

1. Make a major effort to see yourself as others see you and seek out unbiased viewpoints. I have been stunned by the number of people I meet who report successfully teleworking for long periods but when you talk to their colleagues the response is “s/he only works 3 days a week”. Probe your supervisor to make sure they really are satisfied with your work and not just papering over their frustrations in order to support the workplace fad de jure. Also make the same effort with your colleagues who stay at the office to ensure they do not feel they are picking up the assignments you never hear about because you are not there.

2. Focus on “closed door” work. Any assignment you would do in the office with the door closed or with a “do not disturb” sign on your cubicle is probably fair game for telework. Proactively call or email your supervisor and colleagues 2-3 times a day to learn what is happening. Make an effort to chat on the phone about work related hallway/elevator/breakroom knowledge you may be missing.

3. Establish a well defined performance goals/metrics with quaterly progress reviews and annual performance evaluations. You should do this regardless of where you work but it is particularly helpful for remote workers to be able to maintain focus and document they are meeting or exceeding expectations.

4. Telework and Results Oriented Work Environments will eventually become the norm in government as well as private industry. This trend may also be accompanied by more outsourced freelancing of individual assignments. I could see a work environment in which individual certified government service providers bid monthly or weekly on tasks they complete remotely. Once certified as competent and secure they could access an Ebay like site where government managers would list assignments along with minimum standards and due dates. Individuals would bid for the work much like they do on the reality show “Shipping Wars” and recive assignments based on their bid and their quality rating. they would work on as many or as few assignments as they want and do so remotely.