Remote working has plentiful benefits for businesses and employees – when challenged with working from home, here’s how to make it a success.
There’s no doubt that the way we work is changing. While research shows that 68% of UK businesses now offer flexible working (Merchant Savvy), data from the Office of National Statistics indicates half of all employees could be working remotely in the near future.
Whether you are working from home for the first time or have always been a remote worker, working remotely offers numerous benefits. Businesses can offer employees greater autonomy and a work-life balance, individuals can enjoy not having to commute, more productive work time and an ability to better manage other aspects of their lives, such as childcare.
Although remote working is beneficial to both businesses and employees, people worry about feeling disconnected when working away from the office. While practical aspects such as an ability to access files, manage joint projects and participate in meetings are a consideration, individuals can miss the feeling of team camaraderie and mental wellbeing that come from physically working alongside other people.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – here’s how to enjoy the benefits of remote working and stay connected.
Talk every day
It’s easy to get your head down at the computer when working remotely – and before you realise it, you haven’t spoken to anyone all day. If you work away from the office full time or regularly, make a point of talking to someone every day. Simply pick up the phone instead of sending an email once in a while, and you’ll feel a closer part of your workplace community.
Make the most of video conferencing
Technology really comes into its own for remote workers and using video conferencing to participate in meetings makes a big difference. There are plenty of well-liked apps among business communities for bringing people face-to-face, wherever they may be.
Online project tools
There are a whole host of apps, online tools and other software that bring huge benefits to teams who work remotely. Project management online tools are great for managing specific projects as well as the general workload of teams. Commenting on message threads, assigning tasks and reviewing work is all easy on tools such as these – bringing a positive sense of collaboration among remote workers too.
Apps all the way
Using apps with the purpose of keeping connected with team-mates is another way to get the benefits of interaction with colleagues. There are also great apps for staying in touch with others. But if too many messages become a distraction, switching on apps such as Serene can help maintain some focused time during the day as well.
Book some face time
For those who work remotely most of the time, having some face-to-face meetings or team building time booked into the calendar can be motivating. Knowing you’ll have the opportunity to see colleagues in-person occasionally can make time spent working remotely more productive.
Remote working necessitates a new way of thinking in order to stay connected. But with the right strategies in place, working remotely can result in even better connectivity among colleagues than ever before.