7 Tips For Making Remote & Home Working Work For Your Business!
For most modern businesses the concept of letting your staff work from home or remotely isn’t new. It has been a necessary part of working life for businesses around the world since the introduction of remote data connectivity.
Some industries and sectors are better suited to the remote working lifestyle than others. For example, factory workers constructing on conveyor belts in their living room seems impractical, but for the digital sectors, well, we were born with a laptop under our arm and the ability to work remotely.
The fashion and trends in office designs since the turn of the industrial revolution have not advanced as much as we might all assume. The notion that a worker needs to be at a desk between 9 and 5:30 is outdated, and many businesses are reaping the benefits that a motivated remote workforce can bring. Although it must be said, it isn’t all roses and meetings in your pants.
Isolation, as well as deteriorating company culture, are valid reasons for maintaining an office environment. Communication can flow easier if actual people are around to answer actual questions in a timely manner. Belonging and team-morale are big motivators in the workplace, or worse, demotivators if not done correctly.
So with the rise of remote working, and with more and more political, environmental or social reasoning for it to take place, we explore our top 7 tips for remote working in a GIANT way:
Tip 1 – Make a safe workspace.
Working on your sofa or bed seems like a fun idea, and perhaps whilst you were at university is was, but now we are in the real world, making sure you have an appropriate and safe work station is key. This includes seating.
Did you know? 80% of UK adults claim to have one kind of back issue! So posture is critical to maintaining a successful remote working strategy. In an office environment we move around more, getting up to speak to a colleague or to put the obligatory office tea round on. The same needs to happen when working remotely or alone. Desk exercises are recommended, and for these, it’s best you go to the experts – here’s what Bupa says.
Tip 2 – Plan your day
It’s no different to working in the office really. Split your days into sections and plan what you want to achieve. Make sure you check in with this planning throughout the day to make sure you are still on course. Having a day plan will stop you procrastinating or getting distracted by what’s going outside your living room window. Just because you are not in the office, doesn’t mean sh*t doesn’t need to get done!
Tip 3 – Take regular breaks
Working from home can often make employees feel guilty and as a consequence they often work harder and longer to appear to be ‘working’ – this can be counter-productive. It’s a well-known fact that regular breaks help us to achieve higher levels of effectiveness and productivity. The same applies at home or when remote working.
Go for a walk around the block, drop a letter off at the post box or spend 10 minutes de-weeding the garden. It might seem like you’re wasting time, but the reality is that you are giving your brain a little break and recharge.
Tip 4 – Catch up with team members
Don’t isolate yourself, without regular human interaction you might be forgiven for thinking you cease to exist or have slipped into a parallel dimension. But fear not, you do exist and you are real! Catch up in the morning with team members so you are all on the same page. Take advantage of software like Google Hangouts or Skype to get that face to face regular contact. Plan a wrap-up call at the end of the day to keep in touch with key updates, and don’t forget to use social media and other news outlets to keep in touch with the world outside your window.
Tip 5 – Make sure you have everything you need
Fail to plan is essentially planning to fail. When working remotely make sure you have everything you need to carry out your duties. This includes the basics of a charger for your phone and laptop (you would be surprised at how obvious this is) as well as having remote access to the software and programmes you use during the day.
Documents, books, equipment, whatever it is, plan your time and work out exactly what you are going to need.
Also, milk, cow or almond, make sure you have milk. Because there is no one to complain to if you run out! And you really don’t want to run out! 🐄
Tip 6 – Pretend you are going into the office
Sounds dumb right, but if you get up in the morning, have breakfast and get showered and dressed like you would if you were going into the office itself, it automatically sets the right tone for your day. It also means if a surprise video conference pops up you won’t be caught with your pants down, literally.
Preparing the mind through the use of work-based habits is the best way to ensure your mind is ready for the day ahead and does not get distracted by that massive pile of laundry by the washing machine.
Tip 7 – Don’t feel the need to over-communicate
This is the biggest crime that we make when remote working. We feel the need to communicate excessively. This is to prove to our peers and bosses that we are actually working! Stop it! Stop it now!
Remote working and working from home, in particular, is designed to free up that thinking, to allow you to focus on the job in hand. It can be difficult for managers to let go of the normal office environment, so if managing people it’s important to trust your staff until otherwise proven otherwise. I mean, why hire them if you don’t trust them? You will find staff that feel trusted often over-deliver on your expectation of them and are generally happier whilst doing so.
Make sure your communication is regular and effective like you would do if you were in the office, no need to overcompensate and to make your day less productive than originally planned.
So that’s it – seven quick tips for maximising the working from home experiences. There are some great benefits for businesses and staff alike when working from home, including greater levels of trust, autonomy and motivation. Not to mention minimised business costs and a more receptive workforce!
If you haven’t done it before, give it a go – before you have no other choice to!
Let us know how you get on, your challenges or tips for being an awesome stay at home employee.
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