Wow! Today, over four million people in the UK work solely from home and the number is increasing. The fact is the way we work is changing and working in an office may no longer be the best option for many jobs.
Benefits of Remote Working
The benefits of remote working for employers include a reduction in the need for office space and workers enjoy increased flexibility and job satisfaction. The number of people working from home is rising as superfast broadband plus easy-to-access Wi-Fi spots is making connecting to office cloud-based systems easy. Check out this article: Remote Working – Three Ingredients and use remote working tools such as TeamMate 360.
Here are some top tips to make remote working for you and your team.
Top Tip #1: Wi-Fi Connections
Home data packages are relatively cheap and easy to set up. However, with millions of free Wi-Fi spots around the country remote workers can work in cafes, libraries and almost anywhere. The main challenge is making sure they have a safe and secure connection by using a VPN.
VPN creates a secure tunnel over a public network and therefore is a great way to stay safe when using a wi-fi hotspot. If your company provides you with VPN access, you could, and should, use the VPN connection to access corporate resources, as well as create a secure browsing session. Remote access solutions such as LogMeIn can also create a secure tunnel to the second computer at home, from which you can access files or use do other computing. Alternatively, you can use a free personal VPN service like Hotspot Shield, designed specifically to protect you when using an unsecured network.
Top Tip #2: Increasing Productivity
Remote working means you can wear the clothes you feel comfortable in, sit (or slouch) in a way that makes you feel creative; you can play the music you love. According to a Canada Life survey homeworkers rank their productivity as 7.7/10, compared with 6.5/10 for office workers. Employees working in an office took on average 3.1 days of sick leave last year whilst homeworkers only took 1.8 sick days. The ‘bottom-line’ is remote workers are more productive than office-based workers.
Top Tip #3: Remote Workers Can Do Most Things
To make expensive international calls or to upload data-heavy files such as PowerPoints or videos to a network. Now, free international calls can be made using tools such as Skype or other video conference tools such as GoToMeeting. Cloud-based solutions have transformed remote working.
Top Tip #4: You Can Work with Friends
In an office, we must interact and work with people we might not like. Working remotely means you can work and collaborate with them without needing to spend lots of time sharing the same office. Using Skype or GoToMeeting you can connect and share screens and work together when you need to rather than all day, every day. This is the best of both worlds!
Top Tip #5: Younger Workers are Happier
Millennials know just how capable smartphones, tablets and laptops can be. They do most of their banking online, chat to friends using smartphones and buy gig tickets and flights using apps. It makes sense that they will thrive remote working too – remember that happy workers are productive workers.
Top Tip #6: Trust Your Team
When people work remotely, you need to trust them and judge them on the results they achieve and NOT the hours they work Think about it, which is more important to you – outcomes of hours worked. By all means put in place appropriate reporting processes, but do not stifle their freedom and flexibility by ‘policing’ everything the do!
Top Tip #7: Boost your Team’s Morale
Sitting under bright lights in an office all day is the number one way to ramp up stress levels. Research studies have found typically remote workers have lower stress levels , which means a reduction in the chance of heart attacks, strokes and time-off work.
Top Tip #8: Increased Choice
People respond to being given the freedom to choose. Allow people more freedom. If wearing a suit whilst working in your kitchen makes you feel more productive, then go for it. If, however, working curled up in an armchair supping a cup of coffee works for you, so be it. Let people choose!
Top Tip #9: Exercise Breaks
Working out in an office might involve walking up the stairs, going out for lunch, going to a meeting somewhere else in the office. Remote workers might not need to go anywhere all day therefore encourage them to take mini exercise breaks. A short walk (or jog), a bike ride, taking some deep breaths outside or just stretching for a few minutes helps concentration increases blood flow and energy levels.
Top Tip #10: Book Catch Up Meetings
Humans are social beings. Make sure you check in and touch base with remote workers. Indulge in idle chat from time-to-time rather than always keeping on-line meetings as strictly business. Find opportunities to meet both face-to-face and on-line – keep in touch and support them. Make remote workers feel part of the team.
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