Like so many businesses, from close of play today, Remit Group has taken the decision to ask colleages to work from home.

Working remotely can feel isolating, but it doesn’t need to. If you’re new to working from home, here are some great tips on how to make the most of this new experience, including setting your schedule and working within those hours.

Set yourself up for success, treat the house like you would your office, have designated working periods and create an area that is free from distraction. Eat lunch, take regular breaks and include some exercise, if you can, to give your mind a rest and get your blood pumping.

On the flip side, be honest about your procrastination, we all do it, whether we are in the office or not, but if you’re working remotely with no one looking over your shoulder or checking in regularly, you have to be your own boss.

For starters, think about monitoring your activity and surfing time on the internet, it’s easy to get distracted by BBC updates, or the pile of washing or just tidying up. Working from home will still need you to be mindful of deadlines and deliverables to the business. So make sure you plan these in and can proactively self-manage these without the nudges and reminders you might usually get from colleagues in the office. Your company, colleagues and customers are still relying on you!

Some simple tips

  • Set your work hours and try to work within those hours in line with business requirements
  • Keep in regular contact with colleagues to avoid being in your bubble, out of the loop just lonely
  • Keep in regular contact with your boss and/or colleagues – ideally a blend of telephone calls, video calls, email or other digital platforms
  • Within the latest government guidance try and exercise for 20-30 minutes in your day
  • Designate a distraction-free space to work
  • Discuss with those you live with how to use common spaces
  • Build your schedule around peak productivity or requirement periods
  • Be flexible and open-minded about the ‘normal’ office structures and timings – you may need to be adaptable
  • Still dress like you are going for work – it makes a tangible difference about how you approach what you are doing and helps you focus
  • Make sure at the end of the working day you clearly separate work from home
  • Doing work “whenever you feel like it” is a recipe for disaster

When you are working from home, as well as staying connected to your customers (internal and external), it’s important to stay connected to the wider organisation and support network.

Think about ways of working to keep you and your team connected:

  • Scheduling regular manager and peer one-on-ones
  • Continue to lead and manage projects as you would in an office environment but with the support of technology – schedule virtual meetings to make sure projects are on track and objectives are aligned
  • Coordinating virtual team chats through Microsoft Teams (or a similar solution) – work-related chats and also to just check-in and say Hi! – it’s important for you and for colleagues to feel connected and supported.

When you are in a traditional office, you may be used to making time to grab lunch together, make a round of teas and coffees, or chat to get inspiration and celebrate success. Don’t overlook the power and importance of still making time to be social and network with your colleagues, managers, and mentors. Find time for a quick message, telephone call, video chat, or virtual high-five (elbow bump) — it’s important to feel seen and heard, even if it’s virtually!