Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in a hermetically-sealed bunker), you’ll be aware of the increased instances of Coronavirus worldwide and the demand for remote working that this has created.
We don’t want to add to the number of fear-mongering articles that are already online. However, with the increased focus on remote working as a solution to prevent the spread of the virus, we thought we’d chip in.
If you feel the need to take precautions against the virus, here are our 7 top tips on remote working.
In the UK alone, more than 1.54 million people work from home. This increase is largely due to the benefits of remote working. In fact, if your business offers remote working opportunities you can expect:
- Increased productivity
- Reduced costs
- Access to a larger talent pool
- Increased employee engagement and loyalty
And that’s before considering the benefits gained by doing your part to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus (if it comes to that). So without further ado here are our 7 top tips for working remotely:
To get anything done and be as productive as possible you need to feel comfortable in your surroundings. Get plenty of natural light if possible, and if not consider investing in a daylight lamp, as this will help with keeping your alert and therefore productive. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch — spaces that are associated with leisure time — dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.
Ensure that you are not hunched over and that your laptop is at a good height and if possible use a second monitor to maximise your productivity. If possible consider a stand-up desk so you can switch between sitting and standing.
Dependent on your personality get storage so your desk is uncluttered and use touches such as a low maintenance plant and some personal mementoes such as a photo frame will help inspire you. Make it your own space where you can shut the door and focus.
And make sure you choose the right music to fir the task you are trying to accomplish.
If you are working remotely on a temporary basis due to isolation then you will want to keep any costs to a minimum using the kitchen table is fine especially if you will not experience to many distractions (Tip: Use headphones and play music to help keep you focused)
As you will be spending some considerable time at your desk it makes sense to invest in a good, ergonomically-correct and comfortable chair. If you are comfortable you will be more effective at your work. When you’re uncomfortable it’s hard to stay focused and productive.
Feel free to economise on other things. You don’t have to own a desk; you can move from the dining room table to den to the patio. But see your chair as an investment, not an expense.
Use the Correct Tools
As with the chair ensure you get the possible tools to work. This includes a laptop, noise-cancelling headphones with a decent mic (we use a Jabra headset) and a good webcam (the ones built into laptops are generally only OK at a push) alongside a good phone be it mobile or a desk version.
But don’t forget none of the above is of any use if you do not have good broadband either at home or in the local co-working space or coffee shop!
And finally chose your software of choice carefully. We believe G Suite is the best for collaboration and fits in perfectly with a remote workers scenario as within its portfolio is Meet, Chat and Voice alongside its granular document sharing capabilities.
Plan Your Day & Create a Routine
Generally speaking, we can focus on any given task for 90 to 120 minutes. After that, we need a 15 to 20 minute break so we can recharge and get ready to achieve high performance on our next task.
So do this: Split your day into 90-minute windows. Instead of thinking about an 8-, 6-, or 10-hour workday, split your day into four or five 90-minute windows. That way, you will have, say, four tasks you will get done a lot more efficiently.
It might help to create a morning and nighttime routine.
The first thing you do in the morning is the most important thing you will do that day because it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
So prepare for that first thing the night before.
Make a list. Make a few notes. Review information. Prime yourself to hit the ground running for the next day.
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off the larger operation happening in the office.
Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools (as mentioned under tools) can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture.
Working remotely requires you to overcommunicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Overcommunicating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write a five-paragraph essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself.
Exercise & Eat
Get up and move around every so often. If you are so inclined even go for a jog, whatever works for you but make sure you take a break from the screen.
Ensure that you drink water and eat healthily and at regular times as you would if you were based in an office.
See remote working as an advantage
The flexibility that working from home or remotely gives you means no lost time commuting, easy for you to get work done at odd hours — hours you choose to work.
On your terms.
If you would like more information on how to set up your business for remote working with G Suite, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we would be delighted to have a chat about how we can help you transition to G Suite and make the most of the cloud.