The best thing about remote work as a contractor is that your clients won’t be standing over your shoulder. This is also the worst thing about remote work if you happen to be the client.
So, how do you cultivate your client’s trust? Here are some standard recommendations:
Fortunately, there are applications and software that can automatically do that for you.
Remote Staff’s tracker, for instance, monitors your total time at work and takes screenshots of your monitor every few minutes (depending on your client’s request). In addition, this tracker comes with a to-do list you can program with the day’s task as well as a prompt every 20 minutes or so to follow up on your progress.
It is very important to be accurate in describing your daily tasks so your client has a good idea of what you’re doing once they receive the reports. Obviously, you should keep any personal browsing to a minimum while you’re on the client’s time as well, especially since they can see which websites you frequent on shift.
Most remote clients are not fussy about you taking a short break every now and then so long as you finish work, but this can also depend on your work schedule.
If you work full-time, for instance, you could probably take a 1-hour lunch break. Do bear in mind that this does not count as a billable hour, and it is best to change your Skype status to “lunch” or something similar just to give your client a heads-up.
Lastly, your foreign clients usually do not observe our local holidays, so you probably still need to come in on Independence Day, National Heroes’ Day, and so on. When in doubt, message your client.
The recommended turn-around time is within 3 minutes, provided that the client messages you within your agreed working hours. Prompt replies reassure your client that you are logged in and are working.
The same goes for Skype calls, of course.
It goes without saying that you should have finished the day’s tasks by then. Leaving your tracker on could result in idle, excess hours that your client might have to pay for.
If your client does not insist on using a tracker, then a simple heads-up before you log out for the day will do.
Despite our best-laid plans, life just happens sometimes. You might need to pick up your kids, tend to a sick relative, or stand in line at the bank or a government office all day.
In such cases, drop your client or handler a line just to warn them. You can always make up for the hours over the week at least.