The Right Equipment
A virtual position will require certain equipment to complete most of the basic functions and tasks. Specifically, most will require:
- Laptop, Mac, or computer (preferably with a video camera)
- Stable and reliable internet access
- Access to virtual engagement tools (Google Meets/Hangouts, Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Microsoft Meets, Skype, etc.)
- A phone
Designate an Organized Space for Working Remotely
Work where you work, and sleep where you sleep. Do not work from your bed. Designate a space for your “remote or home office” and make the space inviting and comfortable, but functional. Keep your remote office away from areas of key distraction like the television, etc. Have an area that is used for working purposes and can be differentiated when you are in the working zone.
Maintaining a Normal Working Schedule
Establish and maintain a normal working schedule and routine, with breaks, lunch, etc. Get up, get dressed, and get to work. This doesn’t require putting on a suit, but you should be prepared for video calls and meetings. Do not stay in your PJ’s. During designated working hours shut everything off and focus on your work and the projects that need attention. When you are finished with work, then turn things off for the day, if permitted.
Ensure a Structured Workday
Plan each week with set goals and prioritize the required tasks to achieve. Structure each workday according to the assigned projects tasks, with daily check-ins to assure alignment and progress.
Communicate Like Never Before
When working remotely, communication as a whole is even more critical, but will also require more effort. Given required goals and tasks, sometimes things can get lost in translation and may not be as clear as if you were working on projects in person. Assure all projects, goals and tasks are outlined in writing and then discuss and follow up through a video conference or call. If you haven’t understood a message or any communication clearly, it is important to speak up and regularly clarify the requirements and direction and assure you and your employer are on the same page.
It is always beneficial to supplement email or text communications with frequent face-to-face/video sessions or voice interactions. Video conferencing and talking on the phone helps convey tone and body language that are fundamental to overall effective communication. Video conferencing is especially important for reviewing in-depth projects and challenges
Set Goals and Track Progress
Agree on goals and objectives, and track key projects and output, allowing for breaks and down time. Tracking activities and progress toward specific deliverables can help reduce distractions such as internet browsing, social media surfing, etc.
Assume Accountability & Communicate Immediately Communicate Problems
If you are unable to complete a project, task, or program remotely, be accountable and transparent about it.
Communicate any problems you encounter immediately with your Supervisor so they can provide support and apply extra resources as required.
Avoid Distractions. Take Breaks
During the scheduled or designated working hours, set aside all other personal tasks or distractions, and behave just as if you were not working remotely or from home. Ask friends and family not to contact you during designated working hours. It’s important to take (short) breaks from your work, which will also boost productivity.
Source: How Virtual Internships Work