There’s always been professions where working from home or on the move is the norm, but in today’s environment technology and necessity has meant that more and more employers are offering flexible working arrangements.
While working outside a conventional office eliminates some distractions and saves on commuting time, without discipline and motivation it creates opportunity for distractions like Netflix, unannounced visitors and that pesky full basket of laundry.
Phoenix Health is one organisation who embraces a remote working model for staff where possible. We jumped in a Zoom conference call with our remote employees and got their tips for a productive remote working environment.
- Start and end your day with a routine. This looks different to everyone but keeping normality like a regular alarm time, preparing your lunch so you’re eating healthily and maintaining after work commitments help establish productive habits.
- Set up a dedicated workspace. This one is important, set yourself up with everything you need to be productive (e.g. separate screens, printers, a comfortable and supportive chair). You’ll be spending a significant amount of time in this space so it’s important not to just ‘make do.’
- Maintain regular working hours, this includes scheduled breaks. One of the biggest advantages of working remotely is flexibility but keeping structure will ensure work doesn’t creep into your downtime and vice versa.
- Establish communication channels and embrace them. Programs such as Slack and Zoom are great for collaboration and short messages that don’t need to be emails. Overcommunicate; remember how often you’d chat to colleagues in a conventional office! Be succinct and clear in your communications and remember to be positive too. It can be hard to convey tone in an email or a phone call so embrace the exclamation mark and your favourite emoji! 😊
- Set ground rules for everyone in your workspace. Boundaries are necessary when working remotely. If you’ve got kids, a spouse or house mate coming and going it’s important to set out some guidelines to help them give you the space you need to meet deadlines.
- Use a VPN. A VPN, or virtual private network, holds websites and stores information only meant for internal use. Many people would already be using one in a conventional office and by using one remotely you can be confident your work is both secure and safe regardless of the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to.
- Finally, look after your physical and mental health. At times working remotely can feel just that; remote. Make time to socialise with colleagues, leave the house where you can and exercise. Fresh air and sunlight will do you good. In fact, vitamin D is needed for our immune systems to effectively function!
Whether it’s by choice or necessity there’s definitely advantages to working remotely. Embrace the flexibility, remember to maintain balance and we’re sure productivity will flow.