With the increase in demand for flexible working, companies are now seeing a rise in requests from employees to apply for flexible working in their roles. Working remotely can offer the work life balance that is not always possible in the workplace, but you need to ensure you have the skills, knowledge, and discipline to be able to deliver. Remote working is a skill that requires self-motivation, understanding, being able to prioritise, manage expectations and the ability to communicate with ease. It can change your life for the better and offer you the much-needed work life balance, but it needs to be controlled and managed.
We have put together our top 4 tips to ensure you are set up for remote working success:
- OPTIMISE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT
Working on remote basis requires you to have an office environment set up from home, which includes having the right equipment, software, and systems. Think about the standard office environment and what is required to operate on a daily basis, most of these will still be relevant.
Some examples of these are:
- A high-speed PC
- A cloud-based software subscription such as Microsoft 365
- A good chair and desk
- A quiet working environment
- Reliable broadband
- A phone specifically for business calls
- White boards / planners
Your working environment should be clear, quiet, and professional looking at all times. Even if you are having to work out of your living room ensure that the background is free of clutter and personal items and that you can hold potential conference or video calls without the disruption of pets or family members. This not only allows you to concentrate fully, but means you are prepared if you asked to join one last minute.
- CREATE A TIMETABLE TO PLAN YOUR DAY
To manage your time successfully on a remote basis, create a timetable and block out days and time periods for different tasks on a routinely basis. It is with good intentions that we always have a plan in our minds, but this can quickly take us away from our objectives if there is not visual list to keep you on track and accountable.
Set your timetable up and allow for the following:
- Communications (phone calls and update logging)
- Lower-level work (tasks that required a less concentration)
- High level tasks (task that require all your concentration and not distraction)
- Buffer time (time) to allocate to task that have taken longer
- Time for you
- USE AN APP TO TRACK YOUR TIME CORRECTLY
When working remotely, you are often asked to prove how long you have taken on each task. On the other side you need to ensure you are not consistently exceeding the hours you are contracted to do.
It is tempting to scribble your start and finish times down on a piece of paper when working on a task, but this has major flaws. Not only could you lose this, but you get distracted on another task or call and then you have no record of the time actually spent on the task at hand.
There are various apps and software to choose from now such at Toggl, which you can use from your phone or PC. Just click start at the beginning, pause when taking a break and then resume recording when you return. This also provides an electronic record should your client or manager wish to see it.
When working with a new client or employer it is advised to set time checkpoints at the beginning, so they have an understanding on how long tasks take, enhancing the remote working relationship.
- MAKE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CHECKS DAILY
It can be easy to get carried away in a task on your own and forget to keep a healthy balance when you work from home. It is important for your health and wellbeing, that you have a suitable working environment.
A typical office environment can prompt and provide routine for this like, breaks, time away from the screen, walking to another department or area that will provide light exercise, you also have the commute to and from the office that supports part of the daily recommended exercise.
However, working in a remote homebased environment – you are isolated and away from colleagues and a structured normal office environment.
Have self-awareness and recognise if your mood, general happiness, job satisfaction and well-being is not what was in comparison to working in a non-remote working environment. Write down tips for helping you stay physically and mentally healthy and incorporate these tasks into your daily routine schedule and promote a healthy balance.
Working from home has its challenges and can be chaotic if you do not have the essentials set up! The hybrid-work environment is here to stay so if you are looking for more ways to help you stay productive while you work from home – visit our E-Learning Hub today! We have an accredited 13 module course which will enhance your skillsets and provide you with the personal confidence to succeed in a hybrid working world.
If you want to learn more, contact us for information on our accredited E-Learning course: “Certified in Remote Working.”