As the saying goes:
Work isn’t a place you go, it’s a thing you do.
There has been a trend, for several years, of more staff working away from the office. The coronavirus outbreak has accelerated this change in working practice around the world as companies help to protect their staff from exposure.
As your organisation transitions to a more fluid approach to the workplace and adopts remote working, it is essential that productivity levels are maintained.
At igroup, our success is based on flexibility. Our team are encouraged to work remotely to ensure that they deliver the best possible outcomes for clients wherever they are. If you’re currently in the process of moving to remote working and are worried about the impact it might have on operations, read our tips to find out how we use structure, technology and communication to stay effective.
Have a Workspace
Modern offices are ergonomic and designed to keep staff productive. When working away from business premises it’s
essential to have a space that’s free from distractions and offers the
amenities you need to get things done.
A comfortable desk in a quiet area where you can work uninterrupted is essential. It might be tempting to work from a coffee shop for a change of scene, but this can be a bad idea – lots of people moving around you are distracting and unreliable wi-fi connections can interrupt workflow. It is also disruptive to have background noise on any calls.
Keep an At-Work Mentality
If you’re used to “going to work” every day, then you’ll
have a routine that’s structured around that.
Many people find it really useful to retain elements of that routine.
Just because you no longer have to commute to an office, try
to stick to the same morning routine – get up at your usual hour, and wear
office attire (this is particularly important if you’re still going to have
meetings, even if they’re as video calls).
One great tip if you’re remote working is to go for a half
hour walk before you start your day.
This helps to create a distinction between being “at home” and being “at
work”. It will also help to keep you
Structure Your Work
On any given day it’s important to know what you’re going to
get done. Setting a to do list for the
day is helpful. It’s satisfying to cross
things off as they’re completed and helps to keep you motivated.
A morning call with your team and an afternoon round-up
where you discuss your plans for the day and catch up on work completed is a
great way of ensuring that the usual workload is being met and that any
projects you’re working on stay on track.
Very few people maintain 100% focus over a full day, and
while working at home can be less distracting than the office, it’s still a
good idea to take regular breaks to recharge your energy and regain your
Remote working shouldn’t be an excuse to slack off and an
unreasonable amount of time unavailable isn’t productive, but you should still
take time away from a screen to rest your eyes and grab a coffee.
Supporting your colleagues when working remotely is
important – agree a break schedule with your team so that phone lines are
covered properly, and work can continue.
The most important aspect of managing a remote workforce is
trust and accountability.
One of the most effective ways of keeping productivity
levels high is with a buddy system where staff pair up and keep each other
motivated. This isn’t a case of
surveillance, rather support whereby staff keep each other accountable and
provide cover if one is on a break.
Use the Right Technology
If you’re working remotely, it’s essential that you’re able
to access all the information that you need to get your job done. A solid internet connection is essential – if
your remote working space doesn’t have one, you might need to resort to using a
hotspot from your phone.
In terms of software, an integrated productivity suite like Office 365 that includes collaborative tools is increasingly important. A fully developed Intranet and document management solution supported with services like Teams that help staff communicate through video, voice and chat means that work can continue remotely without interruption to document access or colleague support.
Want to find out more?
If your business is in the process of transitioning to a remote working system, please contact igroup on 0203 697 0302 and we can help you ensure that your systems are sufficient.