For many the next few weeks and months will bring an increase to remote or home working. This may be an expansion of a practise that you’ve done 1 or 2 days a week or month, or it may be a totally new experience.

In my current role, whilst face-to-face training courses and consultancy often involve travelling to clients site much of the rest of my role is carried out remotely. In the past I was also part of a trial of remote working for my team, where we worked remotely 3 days per week and tried to co-ordinate on site on the other days.

Through this article I want to share a few ideas and concepts that I’ve encountered which will help you through this period.

  • Agree clear expectations and outcomes with your organisation – remote working shouldn’t be about clock watching, or “logged in” monitoring.

  • Become proactive at calling your colleagues – it can be hard work working remotely and you can easily become isolated.

  • Use online chat facilities to engage with your team – but don’t forget about phonecalls and/or video calls. Try to maintain some remote face-2-face contact.

  • Use your commute time wisely – where you can perhaps use this saved time to go for a walk or a cycle. Perhaps start work earlier, but have a longer break at lunchtime. Maintaining a healthy approach to your day can help you be more productive.

  • Be aware of distractions – it’s all to easy to do a small job (load washing machine, which is fine) …..but then find you’re doing lots of other jobs too. Make sure you maintain a balance.

  • Think about your technology and even your chair. I ended up with a sore neck years ago when I started working from home. Switching to a swivel chair sorted it out. Workplace ergonomics are just as important for you at home.

  • Consider making a “Do not Disturb” sign – lets others in your house know when they can and can’t pop in to ask something. This has saved many a webcall for me, where my son left a note under the door instead.

  • If your work doesn’t lend itself well to remote working, then perhaps now is a good time to think about some personal development by attending some virtual learning courses. Will deliver benefits to your organisation in the longer term.

  • Switch off at the end of your work day – it can be too easy to find you’re still working all evening.

  • I’m going to mention communications again – make sure people know how and when to contact you. A good conversation is worth so much more than a set of pinged emails or messages.

I’m sure there are many other tips I could share – but that’ll do for now. Keep in touch – and feel free to contact me if you think I can help you, your team or your organisation.