Recently, in light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, many large corporates have introduced a travel ban, widespread across their offices and employees on a global scale.
This has caused a sudden need for employees to adopt a remote working approach, one which they might not have been prepared for previously.
Remote working is more than simply putting a laptop into an employee’s hand, patting them on the back and sending them on their way.
In many ways, this is an unfortunately negative introduction to remote working. Being able to work virtually is a skill and employees invariably need appropriate support in order to be successful.
Everyone works differently, but we offer a few simple tips to help ease the transition of working from home/remotely and to enhance the experience.
- Plan your days
- Treat it like a work day
- Stay in contact with your team
- Take regular breaks
- Have a defined start and end time
Let’s take a look.
1) Plan your days
It is important when working from home, or working remotely, to still have a structure to your day.
It can be easy to get caught up multitasking or jumping on tasks as soon as they come into your Inbox; for example, responding to emails instantly to prove that you are working. However, this approach isn’t especially helpful.
Depending on your type of work, it can be beneficial to have a plan, be that a to-do list for the week or just tracking day by day. It gives you the opportunity to have all your tasks set out in front of you, to work through systematically, and gives you a tangible way to measure your progress.
2) Treat it like a work day
It can be incredibly easy to think, “I’ll just put the laundry on” or “This is a good opportunity to get the washing up done” or similar, while working from home.
The reality is, this will impact your productivity and blur the lines between work and home.
By treating it like a work day, with scheduled breaks, dedicated work time and time away from your screen as you would in your office, you will find that your productivity increases and you can more easily adopt a working mindset.
3) Stay in contact with your team
This one is really important.
For some people, working remotely can feel very isolating. It doesn’t need to!
Thanks to the wonders of technology, there are so many ways in which to stay connected with your team.
Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, Yammer, even Whatsapp, are available to you and your team in order to stay in contact. And we’re not just talking about work chat.
In a co-located office, you never think twice about chatting to your neighbour about what was on TV last night, or what their weekend plans are. So why should that be different when working remotely?
Reach out and stay in touch with each other; keep up the banter, check in with one another and talk about more than just work. Establish that human connection.
4) Take regular breaks
As with point 2, it is really important to take breaks during your working day.
When working co-located, breaks happen naturally, through talking to colleagues, making a drink, walking to the toilets etc. But when working remotely, or from home specifically, those breaks happen a lot less.
It can be really beneficial when working remotely to ensure these breaks still happen regularly.
Whether that is five minutes standing outside, going to make a drink, or simply taking the time to send a non-work message to a colleague.
5) Have a specific start and end time
It can be very easy to lose track of time when you are in the flow while working at home. It can also be easy to start work when you would normally set off for your commute and thus find yourself working more hours.
It is important to remember that you have set hours for a reason.
Make sure to have specific start and end times to your day to prevent you from losing track of time and overworking your hours.
Additionally, when the end of your day arrives, make sure you fully step away from work.
It can be difficult when working from home to leave work at work, so make sure the laptop is put away, out of sight preferably, and if you have a designated home office space, shut the door on it.
So there are 5 tips to help you adjust to working from home, if you are new to remote working.
Do you have any other tips that could help this rise of new remote workers? Let us know!