Advancing technology, a bigger focus on “work-life balance” and a lack of certain types of skills have all contributed to an increase in remote working in the UK.
Although many workers enjoy the idea of remote working, there are several practicalities you may not have thought about. These are our top tips to help you ensure that you can do your best work remotely, and still take note of your wellbeing.
Set a routine
Not only can a clearly defined routine help to give your day more structure, but it will also help other members of your team who are trying to reach you know when you are and aren’t available.
This doesn’t mean you have to plan out every minute of your day and stick to it religiously, but having a regular time to start in the morning or take your lunch break can help keep you on track and eliminate any confusion amongst your work mates.
Be aware of additional costs
When you begin remote working, it’s best to be aware of any additional costs and discuss them with your company to see what they can offer.
Common expenses may be a high quality Wi-Fi package or the cost of a desk at a coworking office, but there are other payments you may not have thought of, such as your refreshments throughout the day or the cost of a coffee in a coffee shop if you’re working on the go.
Optimise your workspace (or find one nearby)
84% of remote workers in a recent survey by Buffer said they work at home, and that’s fantastic if it works for you.
If you are working from home, make sure you have a dedicated space to work from. It helps if you can separate your workspace from your living space, as otherwise it can be difficult to block out distractions while you work and then unwind at the end of the day.
If this is a struggle for you, look into other office space options that may work better and help to keep your productivity up.
Schedule regular updates with your team
Checking in regularly with your team can help with collaboration and make you feel more included in what’s going on. Even a 5 minute call every morning where you all discuss what you’re doing that day is a great way to touch base.
It also means that any miscommunications or issues get resolved quickly and you can all be more productive in your day.
Communicate socially as well as professionally
As well as catching up with your team about work, it’s also important to maintain a social dialogue with the people you’re working with.
Some companies use intranets to share updates and talk more casually. It may be that you can get involved with any in-office activities remotely or by video calling in.
A good relationship with your team will make it easier to collaborate and communicate over work matters, so it’s important you don’t neglect it when you’re working remotely.
Get a quality video camera (and use it!)
When you are remotely calling into meetings and catch ups, a good quality video camera is invaluable.
So much communication is done through body language, so being able to see your team can help you to convey your opinions quickly and easily.
Create a productivity playlist
Although not just a hack for remote workers, we still felt this classic productivity hack deserved a mention.
In a traditional office, you’ll always have conflicting opinions when it comes to music. Where some people won’t want any music at all, those that do are likely to have a wide variety of tastes.
When you work from home, you can create a playlist that works best for you, and you won’t even have to feel rude sitting there with your headphones in all day!
Use distraction limiting apps on your phone
There are plenty of great tools that boost your productivity. An app on your phone that restricts your access to social media can be a great way to stop your mind wandering.
You can also consider putting your phone into night mode or setting your status to Do not disturb to stop yourself being bombarded with notifications.
Mark the end of your working day
As well as having a defined space to separate work from your home life, having a set end to the working day can also help.
This could be a specific time that you finish working every day, or a key activity or marker that ends the day for you, such as taking the dog for a walk or cooking dinner.
Many remote workers take less holiday time than their office based colleagues. This could be because they feel they are already being awarded extra flexibility, they are able to fit some of the activities they would have previously used holiday for around their work schedule, such as doctor visits, or they are able to travel and work at the same time.
Despite this, it is still essential to plan in some vacation time for your own mental wellbeing and for your relationships outside of work.
A holiday will give you the chance to clear your mind and come back to work re-motivated and with a fresh perspective.
What are your top tips for working remotely? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!