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Working from home can be a real struggle when you aren’t used to it, especially if you lack supportive employers or managers.
Employers should vow to stay both transparent and supportive when you’re working remotely, but what do you do if yours isn’t?
Here are some steps you can take if you feel your higher-ups are less than supportive:
First: Help Them Help You
The first step you should take is to simply talk to them. Your boss might not even realize you feel this way.
I know this sounds incredible intimidating, so it’s a good idea to write down what you want to say to them.
Ask yourself what they could do to help you feel supported, then relay that to them in a professional manner. Try not to start with “you don’t” when you’re explaining what’s going on and refrain from bringing up coworker opinions at this point.
According to THIS post on Indeed, you should first contact your boss to set up a meeting. Rehearse what you’re going to say and keep notes. Be proactive about discussing solutions.
Being prepared with a list will be beneficial for both of you.
Second: Team up with coworkers
Without garnering a reputation as a gossip (read: stick to the facts), talk to a fellow employee. It’s completely possible that they are being treated the same way.
It might seem like you are ganging up on your boss, but the old saying is true: there is power in numbers. Also: if your coworkers are experiencing the same thing and willing to stand with you, you’ll have a better chance of change.
If all else fails, try speaking to your boss’s boss or another higher up in the company.
Third: Speak with HR
Your manager may be your go-to when you experience problems, but you can also speak to Human Resources. They are your next line of defense if you can’t resolve an issue with your boss.
Companies implement policies that need to be followed and it’s the HR’s job to make sure employees comply. Report any issues to them as soon as possible. Don’t let things fester.
Last resort: look for a new job
If all else fails, it might be time to dust off your résumé or even branch out on your own and freelance. If that seems impossible right now, just think: you’re already home so now’s the time to make the leap.
If working remotely is temporary, do you really want to continue to work for a company that doesn’t support you?
Consider taking online courses to beef up your skillset. They will come in handy if and when you’re ready to make the switch.
Bottom line: yes, there are some times when you just need to deal with things because that’s the nature of the job, but your boss shouldn’t be making things worse. At the very least, they should connect you with resources that will help.
Remember: your current situation is temporary and there is plenty of support available online.
Note: if you feel your employer is breaking the law or putting your life at risk, don’t hesitate to take your complaint further.