The Covid-19 pandemic swept the world from the start of 2020 with devastating effects. Unable to go to the workplace, as usual, many people were forced to work from home, setting up makeshift remote offices.
Over the next few months, it became clear that rather than the unproductive and inefficient method it had been considered, remote working is surprisingly effective. With the right equipment and software in place, a home office becomes every bit as productive as the real thing, with only actual contact between persons missing.
Now that things are beginning to return to normal, many companies are looking at having staff work remotely at least part of the week.
Furthermore, more people than ever are working for themselves from a home-based office. Here’s some advice we have put together that should make your remote working as effectively as possible, without much in the way of expenditure.
Create an Office Space
The first step is to create a dedicated office space, one you can shut off from the rest of the house and be ‘at work’. This is vital as you need to get into the working mindset and away from the fact you are still at home.
Many people use a spare room – should they be lucky enough to have one – while others convert a basement, garage, or outbuilding. Find somewhere you are comfortable and set up in there. You don’t need much, but you will need a telephone point, an electrical outlet, a desk and chair, and a broadband connection.
Communication is the Key
Communication between yourself and the rest of the team – assuming you are not working for yourself – is essential for keeping productivity acceptable.
You should invest in apps that allow you to make video calls and software to manage payments and bookings and keep everything on schedule. If working for a company, they will help with the software and hardware investment. Ensure you inform your line manager or team leader of your work completed and keep them updated with regular communications.
Flexibility and Productivity
The main benefits of working from home include the lack of need to commute. This cuts out a lot of time spent on the move, and expense for transport. Another major benefit is that of improved flexibility.
Your company may want you to work the same standard hours when you are remote working. This makes a lot of sense as all the team will be at work at the required time. However, there may be some instances in which you can be more flexible with your hours and work when it suits you best. This depends upon individual roles and suitability.
It should be said that the future of remote working is bright, and ascertain such schedules will need to be created within the remote working framework applied to the company. This will need to be decided. It may be that you digitally sign in and out and match the number of hours you are required to work.
Stick to Working Routines
There is a lot to be said for sticking to your usual working routine, although, as we said above, there is room for flexibility. If you work normal hours, take breaks when you usually would. If you dress a certain way to go to work, do so when working remotely (especially if there are video calls involved where you need to appear in working mode).
If you do a certain task at a certain time or on a certain day, then continue where possible. All of this helps you feel you are ‘at work’ rather than just working from home, and that is an entirely different mindset.
Remember to Take Vacation
It’s all too easy to forget about your allocated holiday time when you are working from home. However, it will still apply, as you will likely be doing the same hours as you were when you worked from the office.
Take your vacations and don’t be tempted to go to your home office during this time. Make it a no-go area except outside of office hours, and ensure you enjoy your deserved break.
There is no doubt that remote working trends will be refined over the next few years as businesses move towards this method more readily. The benefits are clear to see, and this last year has been an eye-opener for many businesses, from the smallest to major corporations.
Working from home is set to be a growing trend in the future, so it may be worth looking for that suitable office space now and getting set up. We hope we’ve helped you see how to do remote working work for you.