Switching to Remote Working: Making It Easy
In the past, remote working was a rare arrangement that was allowed by employers for specific and abnormal circumstances. However, the spread of the coronavirus and covid-19 pandemic around the world saw many governments decide those who could stay home had to stay home. Many employers had to accept their staff working from home and signing into calls and meetings through video calling software like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. To many people’s surprise, in a huge number of situations, remote working actually proved better for both staff and employers. Staff benefited from skipping the stressful, expensive and time consuming commute, while employers found that they could effectively run their business without having to fork out costs associated with commercial premises and their upkeep. It was a win-win situation that has resulted in many people now switching to remote work on a permanent basis. If you fall into this category of people, you may be looking for ways to make remote work as successful and comfortable as possible. Here are some tips to help you achieve this.
Create a Home Office
Now this may be easier said than done for a lot of people, but creating some sort of home office will see home working become a lot more productive and comfortable for you. Sure, It may be tempting to work from your bed or from the comfort of the sofa, but you do need to make strict distinctions between work spaces and relaxation spaces in your home. This will help you to create better work-life boundaries. If you have a spare room, this is ideal, but if not, you simply need to choose a space with some sort of desk or table and commit this to being your working space between set hours of the day. Make sure you have a comfortable – and if possible, ergonomically designed – chair to sit at. Ensure you have plenty of stationary supplies like 8.5×11 paper. If possible, invest in a printer and scanner. Many people also like to use second or third monitors.
If you live alone, working from home can be simple, as you are able to settle down and concentrate. But if you are living with others, you may need to put some boundaries in place that allow you to work and concentrate without distraction during your shift. You could simply say that you don’t want to be disturbed during set hours of the day. Alternatively, some people find that a door sign system works for them, with the sign being able to show if you’re busy or not. Setting boundaries will ensure that you can maintain good productivity at all times, rather than falling behind on your work because others are talking to you or asking you to do unrelated tasks or chores.
The switch to permanently remote work can be a learning curve and you may take some time to settle into your new way of working. But hopefully, some of the suggestions and guidance above will help you on this journey.