Every process is being reevaluated, from the way we communicate to the way we shop to the way we handle waste streams. It makes sense, then, to reconsider the way we work too.
There have been many articles written on the benefits of remote working for direct employees, but what about employees contracted from other firms? As a consutling firm, Faithful+Gould is often engaged to augment a client's existing staff on short and long-term assignments. Traditionally these employees conduct their work on a client project site, or in their offices, but this may not always be the best solution.
There have been many articles written on the benefits of remote working for direct employees, but what about employees contracted from other firms?
As a contract employee working on-site, the most common approach is to incorporate yourself into the client team as if you were an actual employee. In my nine years with Faithful+Gould I have been assigned to multiple client sites; every time I go to a new site it feels like starting a new job with new co-workers and a new daily routine. The clients I have helped on-site have provided a work space, made introductions and set up training to get me started on my assignement.
Contracted employees are brought in to fill a void, or relieve the workload of an existing team. When working as a contract employee, there have been a few times that some parties are not adequately informed of my role and are therefore hesitant to divulge any information. When this happens, the issue is addressed by the actual company employees and we all move on with the project. It has never been an obstacle that ultimately keeps me from doing the job.
I am doing the same work that I would have if I were on-site, but in a different environment.
My current assignment is with a confidential retail client, where I augment exisiting staff, but on a part time basis remotely from my Faithful+Gould office. One of the keys to sucess of this engagement is to have exisiting knowledge of the client. Faithful+Gould, and myself in particular, have been enagaged with this client to support its construction cost estimating before. I have already been immersed in its culture and know the processes it uses; therefore, I did not need any extra training, and can support the team in completing cost estimates on a project by project basis.
I am doing the same work that I would have if I were on-site, but in a different environment. Rather than feeling like a new employee and somewhat displaced from my routine, I can access my regular team and equipment while simply working on a new project. The biggest challenge for working remotely is communication; it can be harder to gather detailed or tangible information about the work than if you are working on-site, particularly in regards to having questions answered and fully being considered a “team member.” The lack of need for extra equipment to be supplied by the client, and the extra resources available from my team at Faithful+Gould, provide a better and more flexible solution to the client.
This off-site working relationship is new to them; typically, they have contract workers on-site at all times, so we are all learning how to best handle the off-site work as we go. The level of communication needed, file sharing, work delivery, etc., are all topics we discuss regularly via calls so we can all stay on task.
Working remotely for this client allows me to complete more work than if I were in its office...
Working remotely for this client allows me to complete more work than if I were in its office as it cuts down on commute time, does not impact its limited office space, and avoids the internal sensitivity to contract workers that the full-time employees are currently experiencing. My workload is streamlined because I have access to my usual preferred equipment, software and full team in case I need support.
This client’s two-day-a-week schedule is flexible so I can incorporate it into my week as it fits best. To check in, I meet with the client on an as-needed basis or at the completion of a project. We are in constant contact via email and phone so the lines of communication are very clear. These accommodations seem to be working out best for both parties and the client is extremely happy having us engaged.
Working remotely can be a great solution, and a cost effective way, to solve many of our clients' needs.