The world of work is undergoing some fundamental changes, as millions of employees who used to be office-based, begin a new life of remote working. This type of change cannot be understated, especially when for many it will be full-time and permanent, at least for the foreseeable future.
So how best can you navigate this new way of working? What are the common pitfalls? And crucially, how can you stay productive and engaged? Check out these top tips for some inspiration:
- Forget the stereotypes: Remote working isn’t new. According to last year’s ONS Labour Force Survey, more than 1.54 million Brits were already working from home for their main job, which is an increase from 884,000 ten years ago. Ask any of these remote workers about their biggest bugbear and you can be guaranteed it has something to do with the negative perception from colleagues who think they spend all day in their pyjamas, watching Netflix and signing for Amazon deliveries. You’re one of them now, and you’re about to find out the reality is far different.
- Have the tools for the job: We can only be effective when we have the right hardware (e.g. phones/ laptops), system passwords and telephony software, so we can seamlessly connect in the same way, as if we were in the office. A reliable and fast home broadband provision is also key – if you can upgrade then it’s worth considering, and if you have other people sharing a connection with you then it’s a good idea to ask them to be considerate during your working day, e.g. downloading the latest game can wait for the evening!
- Structure is key: To be able to do your work in a place where you normally relax will require a new mindset. Where possible, it’s advisable to set up a dedicated workspace away from where you normally “chill.” Having a window nearby and some plant life is also believed to be helpful. Write up a schedule and make sure you keep your diary up to date – it will make arranging calls so much easier.
- Communication: On the subject of calls…. It’s crucial to maintain contact and relationships with colleagues, suppliers and customers. Not only does it ward off loneliness, but it also makes business sense to keep emails down and give a personal touch, where possible. As tempting as it will be to keep the video off, having an ability to see and engage with each other has such positive benefits that it’s good to get into a habit of keeping that green light on.
- Take a break: It’s not good for your eyes (or productivity) to stay glued to a computer screen for hours. Make sure you get up regularly and reward yourself when tasks are complete – even if it’s just for a coffee break! Yes, some health gurus may use this time for a quick HIIT workout (good for them) but even if it’s just a walk around a living room chatting to Gran, it’s great to mix it up so you can go back to your work refreshed.
Is your workforce enabled to work remotely? If not.....