• Patricia Byron

Remote Working & Discretionary Effort


Discretionary effort is often cited by employers an an indicator of employees going an extra mile. Its when the employee is engaged in what they do, it's when they care about their job and become more productive.


However on deeper research it is found that some employers confuse discretionary effort with increasing the volume of work. Discretionary effort is about outcomes, not hours worked


During the pandemic, we have seen remote working flourish. Yet for a lot of my clients, discretionary effort is becoming increasingly source of anxiety.

Many are now working longer hours, not taking breaks, and trying to juggle family life.


Many are returning to their desks (or the kitchen table) late at night, just to send that one last email or finish that last report. Remote workers, especially those with children, need to set the boundaries between the relationship with their work and their personal life.


What are your doing to set your boundaries and build trust.


Remember why you are doing the job you are doing now, and how you contribute to the overall mission and goals of your organisation. Some managers feel the need to micromanage their staff when they are working remotely.


If needed, build trust by keeping your manager up to date with your progress, your achievements, your goals and avoid the trivial minute actions you are taking on a daily basis. Show your destination not your journey!


Ask for help with IT, Get into a routine, take your breaks, go for a walk, pack away your work at the end of the working day and avoid going back to the desk later.

You cannot multi task. Do one task at a time and set your boundaries!



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Co Dublin, A94 F3X6

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