The popularity of remote working has grown massively over the last few years, with the Covid-19 pandemic playing a huge part in encouraging us to turn our dining tables into makeshift office space.
However, in the years since we have been coaxed back into a normal working routine, research has shown that over 22% of companies worldwide are now fully remote, with remote working growing by an astronomical 91% over the last 10 years. Many companies favoured the hybrid approach initially, but have since opted for the fully remote option.
Maratopia has recently joined the 22%, having shut the doors to our beloved office in February in favour of joining this brand new routine of working remotely.
We’ve compiled our own tips and tricks for working from home, so that you can figure out that all important work life balance as a remote worker.
Create a Routine and Manage Expectations
When you are managing your own time, it can be easy to get lost in trying to stay focused while juggling your personal life, which sits within reaching distance when working from home.
To effectively manage this, it might be an idea to create a schedule or plan of your day, with a focus on your most important priorities. This will help you to create clear expectations for your day, map it out according to your most important tasks, and maximise your time efficiency.
This will help you to stay productive for longer, and stretch your working week even further by helping you to fill any gaps in your schedule.
Without any commuting to do, you’ll also free up your travel time for working remotely. You’ll start your working hours feeling refreshed and focused, instead of harassed by the morning rush on the train.
Create A Work-Life Balance when Remote Working
One of the challenges of remote working is the tendency to blur the lines between your professional and personal life without realising. This is surprisingly easy to do when your business environment is the same as your home life environment.
To combat this, ensure to establish some ground rules when you’re dealing with separating your personal time from your remote work so that you can spend time with your family and process information from the day.
Now, with the help of administrative software like Google Calendar, you can utilise the ability to set your working time in your online calendar. This will prevent anyone from booking in person meetings or video calls outside your working hours, and helps to set clear expectations about your work hours.
Creating this division while working from home is incredibly important for maintaining your mental health and enabling you to spend time with family members. Many remote workers struggle with finding this balance between their work and family life, so creating these solid boundaries early will enhance your employee engagement in both spheres of your life.
An additional way you can create a work-life balance is to create an office setting in your home for use during your working day that can be separated from the rest of the house with a closed door while you’re indulging in family time.
You can do this by creating a dedicated workspace with traditional office furniture. Using office furniture that is created for those who sit to work for long periods of time will mean you can work with a healthy posture. You may also want to upgrade your broadband to make sure you’re always under a strong connection while you’re remote working.
Building your office space in an airy room with plenty of natural sunlight and windows that open will enable you to keep fresh air circulating around the room while you are remote working. This will also help you with staying productive.
Get Some Fresh Air
Getting yourself out and about during your working day will allow you to plan any difficult conversations you may need to navigate, or gain enough perspective to see the big picture on a logistical problem.
Find time during your lunch break or before or after your working day to take a walk through your local area, as regular exercise can help to prevent working days from becoming stagnant.
You could even have a discussion with your management about flexible working hours, which will allow you to take a stroll whenever you need to. Make the most of more flexible hours by popping to your local gym for a quick cardio session to de-stress, which will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your working day.
Getting out and about during the day has much wider benefits than just feeling the wind through your hair. Studies have shown that increased exposure to sunlight can help to reduce the prevalence of certain medical conditions like cancer, and also helps to reduce psychological illnesses like anxiety and depression.
Where you go isn’t important, just make sure you have time to detach from your work for a little while. One of our colleagues likes to go and visit the chickens on a neighbouring farm!
Keep in Touch with Other Remote Workers
There is a fear among remote employees that remote working tends to encompass working largely alone, without much influence from other remote workers. This can lead to widespread loneliness and an impact on mental health.
However a large part of working in a remote team involves checking in with other team members. As in-office employees, it’s easy to communicate across a room, but when you’re remote working, frequent communication via other means is essential for keeping the line open.
In a similar way, don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a rut when you’re having a problem. If you need, help an open dialogue of communication through calls with colleagues should help you get the problem solved efficiently.
To stay connected, engage in a video call regularly, rather than relying on phone calls, and ensure to check on each other’s well-being often.
Now, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with other remote employees using software like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts. These tools can quickly help you to organise mass communal calls, or one-to-one catch ups with colleagues who need assistance, or to communicate during their working day.
Research shows that video calls are more personal, and easy to communicate, and more remote employees feel connected to colleagues and find it easier to maintain working relationships this way.
Utilising your phone or laptop to engage with co workers for an hour can help you work on important communication skills, and build stronger remote teams. A study by the University of Nottingham recently showed that engaging in regular calls using a camera can significantly reduce anxiety and depression, in the same way as taking some time to wander outside.
Whatever your industry, we all face the same challenges while working remotely, but ensuring you look after your own, and other employees’ wellbeing, it’s a sure fire way to create a solid team.
Keep it Professional
While you’re remote working, you should be careful to always give the best, most professional perspective of your company to clients and customers you deal with on a daily basis.
To achieve this, ensure to always dress appropriately for meetings, and try and choose a background that is neutral and tidy for any face-to-face calls, although you can blur your background if you’re short on space.
Tips for Joining the Remote Working Movement
If you’re thinking of joining the growing movement into remote working, there are a number of factors you may want to consider as a company.
If you have a pre-existing communal office space, you’ll need to empty and clean it with adequate notice of the end of your tenancy to your landlord. You can sell any surplus furniture online through websites like Ebay, or Facebook Marketplace. As the market for office furniture is so small, you may find that many buyers will make you an offer to bulk buy multiple items.
Without a physical reception, you’ll need to set up software to allow remote employees to answer the phones from home, and be directed to the correct department.
You will also need to ensure that your company can switch to cloud-based storage and writing software to allow for easy file distribution between remote workers. You may also find this useful for departments who need to collaborate on projects, or make edits to a communal document.
While remote working might be the new norm for the majority of your new daily routine, you might want to organise regular physical meet ups with your remote employees. Pop-up office spaces have seen an astronomical rise in popularity since city centres offices began the transition to remote working.
You can often book a pop-up meeting space for a period of time to host your company, or to meet clients, which creates much smaller overheads. This is also a great opportunity to check in with remote employees, make progress checks and assess the well-being of your remote teams. In person meetings are also fundamental for keeping the team spirit alive and kicking, and can assist with team motivation.
Do you want to find out more about the services we provide at Maratopia? Contact us today to discuss how we can help you take your digital marketing to the next level.