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.