For some people remote working comes naturally. For others it can be a real challenge. Remote working delivers huge benefits with no stressful commute, less office politics and easier household management of things like deliveries and doctors appointments. But it has its drawbacks too. Working remotely can leave you feeling isolated and away from the action.
Here are a few top tips to keep you on track:
1. Remember why you are remote working
For many people it is all about a more flexible lifestyle, being able to manage work around the demands of personal and family life. Think about the benefits and put any drawbacks into perspective.
2. Stay in touch
Just because people cannot see you in the office that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t hear from you. Stay in touch through regular email, telephone and face to face communication. Social media can also be a great way of keeping involved and staying top of mind.
3. Get away from the desk
Depending on your line of work this could mean getting out to business networking meetings, catching up with clients or having 1-2-1 meetings in the office. Even just a walk round the block at lunchtime can deliver vital fresh air, an important change of scenery and a renewed focus and vigour for the afternoon. Whatever you choose to do, taking a break from the desk to interact with the rest of the world delivers real benefits.
4. Make a clear division between work and personal life
This could be in terms of your actual work area, or the hours you work. Particularly if you remote work from home, what should be flexible working can become all encompassing as the computer is just a few steps away. Try and ensure you create a dedicated work area (not the kitchen table) and communicate the hours you plan to work so that colleagues, clients and family all understand the boundaries.
5. Stay safe and stay healthy
If you remote work from your local coffee shop using their free wifi there are cyber security risks. Similarly, if you sit on the sofa with your laptop, you may well be damaging your back. Ensure you put the necessary plans in place to remote work comfortable and securely. Invest in an appropriate desk, chair, lighting etc to avoid back pain and injury. Protect yourself with suitable firewalls and antivirus software.
About the author
Rebecca Newenham runs award winning virtual agency Get Ahead VA. Her team of over 30 virtual assistants all work remotely, delivering marketing, social media, PR, administration, website design, telephone answering services and more to over 100 clients across the UK. Rebecca is currently taking part in the Watch Hut; Success stories campaign which is looking into the success stories of people in business around the UK.