One of the most exciting benefits of the Modern Workplace is flexible or remote working. The idea of being at your workplace from 9 to 5 is from way back in the industrial revolution, lingering around for far too long like a hangover in your mid 30s.
There have been so many advances in technology and society since then, it’s surprising that only in recent years is the concept of the remote work force catching on. Whilst the idea of a remote workforce can be difficult to navigate for some and tricky to setup for most, the rewards are plentiful.
I’m a big advocate of this, but also a big advocate of getting it right. It’s the Change Manager in me. I can’t help it.
So, here’s a few things you’ll need to be on top of in order to be an effective remote worker, as well as staying happy while doing so!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
Get yourself a dedicated and separate workspace to other ‘key’ areas of your home. Don’t work from your bedroom, and try your best to keep away from distractions like the TV or the Playstation/Xbox/Nintendo... (I’m console agnostic, and all about the gaming equality…)
Being around distractions will only lead to distractions.
KEEP IT CLEAN, PEOPLE!
Just like you would in the workplace (I hope), make sure your work area is tidy. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. So make sure it smells nice, there’s some fresh air, the room is clean, and above all please wear pants…
See above - a clean work space will mean less distractions for you.
DISCIPLINE, YOUNG GRASSHOPPER…
Working from home presents a whole host of new challenges, one of which is the discipline required to stay focused on the task at hand and remembering you’re still at 'work.' You’ll not only need the responsibility to work remotely and stay on-task, but also the motivation to do so.
Try your hand at structuring your day. Write yourself a day planner, and actually assign your time.
USE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB.
There’s a myriad of tools out there to help you work remotely and still be as productive as possible. Personally, I think Microsoft Teams is a great tool that covers the needs of most workers and companies, and chances are your organisation already has it sitting in the background if you are using Office 365.
Collaboration is king, so get yourself familiar with collaborative and intelligent software suites like Teams. You’ll be able to work more collaboratively, and still have audio and video calls as you need.
Just remember to get a good headset.
This can often be the trickiest part. To be blunt, sometimes the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality can take over here.
You can never over-communicate when it comes to a remote workforce. There’s no face-to-face interactions or water-cooler talk, so you can easily (and inadvertently) miss important passing comments about clients or task related topics, so be sure you communicate a lot, and with the best amount of detail you can muster. Again, the right tools will help a lot here.
Communicate - a LOT - being sure to give detail to be efficient.
Once all is said and done, remote working can be an excited but daunting concept from both sides of the fence, but don’t be afraid to give it a go. I can’t speak highly enough of how much more engaged your team will be, and how you’ll find it wasn’t that scary in the end.
Just be sure you have the above in check, and that you have set the right expectations from a management perspective.
When you’re ready to dip your toes in the pool, get in touch. We can help steer you in the right direction and support the change.