CIPD, the professional body for human resources and people development, has put together a series of top tips to help you and your teams get the most out of homeworking. They include top 10 tips for working remotely.
Don’t forget to check out our own Information Services guide to working at home – everything you need on setting up your IT plus key information on data security, redirecting phones and health and wellbeing.
1. Set up a designated workspace. Separate space for yourself to work in, somewhere you can focus on tasks without being distracted and set up with everything you need for a normal working day – computer, phone, stationery, papers etc.
2. Make sure you have all the tech you need. This includes a reliable and secure internet connection, any necessary files, hardware and software, remote access to your company network and, importantly, knowledge of how to get IT support.
3. Get dressed. Changing into working clothes will help you mentally switch to productive work mode. It will also help you distinguish between ‘homeworking’ and ‘home life’.
4. Write a daily to-do list. Set out a list of realistic, achievable tasks to keep you focused.
5. Know when to step away from your desk. Be clear about when your working day begins and ends and take breaks to refresh. It’s easy to let yourself be ‘always on’ when your home and office are the same place. When work is over, be sure you switch off to avoid burnout. Think about having ‘core hours ’ which people you work with are around for.
6. Stay in conversation. Contribute regularly to team chats/group emails so you don’t drop off the radar. Ask about what people are working on and share what’s on your plate. Being physically separated means you miss the ‘water-cooler moments’ so this is a means to keep informed.
7. Foster relationships. Make time for non-work chats as you would in the workplace and use video calling to maintain face-to-face contact.
8. Be clear in your communication. Speaking in person gives you visual and audio cues that help you communicate. Conversing remotely removes a lot of that extra information so make your communications extra clear and concise.
9. Ask for support when needed. Speak out when you need assistance, further training or support. Your manager, colleagues and you are part of a team and should be supporting each other, especially remotely.
10. Make remote working work for you. Change where you sit, put on music, whatever helps you work. And enjoy the perks – no commute or uncomfortable shoes, and all your home comforts!
For more information and resources, see the CIPD webpages.