Remote working hints and tips!

Picture of Kerrie Preston

Published on 29 March 2020 at 14:47

by Kerrie Preston

Remote Working - Life QI

Whilst this is slightly off subject from our usual blog articles with a large proportion of people new to remote working, we thought a quick article with some hints and tips would be of great help with the current situation we are all facing!


Temporary Office - Get comfy

Whilst it isn't always possible, the best way to settle in at home is to create a work space that you can move away from at the end of the day. Having dedicated office space means you can have a proper desk, an adjustable office chair, one or more large monitors, a keyboard, mouse and either a desktop or a laptop running alongside.


Hard Drives - Don't Lose It

Remember to back up important information, this can be done on an external hard drive, USB sticks, or cloud based storage such as dropbox etc.


Remote Meetings - Stay Connected

Remote meetings are a great way of getting everyone involved. People can start to feel isolated so seeing a friendly face is a nice touch throughout the day. There are a couple things to think about before starting your remote meeting:                                                                                                                                                                         

  • Internet Connection - Get Connected

The first requirement before anything else is to ensure you have an internet connection or a hotspot on your phone otherwise you will struggle to attend remote meetings when asked to.


  • Audio - It's good to talk

Make sure you have a headset with a good mic and if possible, try and put yourself in a quieter area (this maybe easier said than done!).  Mute yourself when you’re not talking, it is surprising how much background noise can be picked up!


  • Webcam - Say Cheese

Whenever possible, make sure to always turn your video on when attending a video call. It’s nice to be able to see each other and have the luxury of picking up on visual cues.


Engage Regularly - Keep in Touch!

Engage with your remote colleagues on a daily basis through some kind of communication. There are multiple channels to communicate (Slack, email, phone to name a couple). Plan a regular scheduled face-to-face meeting with your team (Video).  This constant interaction and engagement will help people to feel included. 


Trust your Team - Let them Flourish!

Companies are not always willing to embrace a remote workforce because there's an uncertainty about whether or not the work will get completed to the same level as in the office. To combat this concern you could have a set of 'work-from-home guidelines', such as respond to emails within 24 hours, Limit calls (where possible) to office hours so people are not working around the clock and attend a team meeting each week via video call to check in and update your colleagues. 


Avoid Multi-Tasking - Remove the Clutter

Carve out some time to answer emails, try not to 'to and fro' all day on emails unless they are urgent, as extensive email trials with "reply all" can just be a daily distraction.  Often there can be a peak of emails on Fridays as people are trying to move work off their plate, try and do this earlier in the day to take the pressure off the person you are sending it too.  Also, where possible engage in video meetings instead of phone meetings as they tend to work better.


Most Importantly - Show Support & Empathy

Empathize and appreciate colleagues lives by discussing family and commonalities. Where possible management should check in frequently using collaboration tools, shared docs and spreadsheets, phone calls, chat, and video to invest in the relationship. Continue to show support, praise people's successes and offer support to help people achieve their goals. 


Stay Healthy - Be Happy

  • Health & Well-Being
Staying sane while staying home isn't always easy.  Keep moving and maintain balance between work and personal life. It can be easy to continue working on through the night but try and restrict yourself if you can and take regular breaks.


  • Mental Health
Rapid changes can be anxiety inducing.  Take time for yourself, talk to others if you are feeling the strain and, of course, check in with the HR team if you need any additional support!


  • Fitness & Food
Healthy body, healthy mind. Try and stick to your normal routines when it comes to fitness and eating habits. It is too easy to slip into bad habits. Whether you are into yoga, fitness classes, or running there are plenty of activities you can either do from home via online exercise classes or take time out to go for a run. If you like to track your activity you could always download Strava.


The same applies for food, the fridge is much more tempting at home! Try and limit yourself to your normal daily intake, if you are struggling to account for what you have eaten there are plenty of apps out there that let you track your food, one example is 'My Fitness Pal'.


And Finally, Keep Talking 

Don't be afraid to ask, any question you have is a good question and there will always be someone at the end of the phone who can help you through any concerns you may have.



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