For so many of us, remote working is the new normal. As nation-wide restrictions are being put in place to keep us all safe, this includes working from home where possible.
With this introduces challenges for both employers and employees all over the country.
Working from home takes some getting used to, and it is easy to fall into patterns that are not the most helpful in terms of being productive while at home. Now we are entering the winter months, with shorter days and colder weather, it is more important than ever to think about how to manage working from home better.
To help you with your working from home woes, we have come up with this remote working survival guide that has all sorts of advice and tips for both employers and employees.
Top Tips for Employers
You may never know that someone is struggling unless you ask for offer ways to support them.
This has always been important but especially now more than ever before as this past year has been tough for everyone.
As an employer, you should be making sure that formal wellbeing support is offered to all for whenever they may need it. This may be in the form of referrals to professionals, wellbeing chats and catch-ups or even remote meditation.
Also, make sure that anyone dealing with mental health and wellbeing has the training to do so as giving the right advice is so important.
In addition to checking in with wellbeing, communication is key to happy employees. You want to be sure that communication is strong so 1) employees are happy in terms of their wellbeing and how they feel about their work, and 2) that the business is still running as it should be.
Keeping that communication strong between you and your colleagues will help everyone to stay on task and get the social interaction that everyone is longing for while working remotely.
This also helps the office culture and morale alive and keep bonds between employees strong. After all, you want your team to be happy.
During the first lockdown, many businesses went online overnight meaning that the technology was flawed, and employees did not know how to handle what they were given.
As remote working has become more normal, it is expected that employees have access to everything that they need online with little or no hiccups along the way.
For an employer, this may mean assessing current digital processes to see what is working and what is not and making sure that your team has access to the technology they require.
This may also mean additional training for staff that are struggling. You should be doing whatever necessary to help with the move from in-person to remote.
Staff may feel like by working from home, they are missing opportunities to develop and grow as employees.
As everything has moved online, this is the perfect chance to recommend courses and training that can help your team develop certain skills.
Whether staff are looking to improve their online skills, or if they want to learn more about how to communicate or how to organise their workload, you can send them on the right path to learn and develop.
All of this makes it seem as though there is a lot on your shoulders right now. Remember to make sure that you are feeling happy in terms of your wellbeing and workload.
There is no shame in asking for help when you need it as we all understand the struggle of adapting to remote working.
Make sure you lead by example as you are no good to your team if you have burned out yourself! Look after your mental wellbeing, give yourself the training necessary and take a break when you need it.
Top Tips for Employees
You may be used to working from home by now, or you may still be struggling. Either way, make sure that your environment is optimised for productivity.
By this, we mean ensuring that you have good lighting to stop you from getting headaches or straining your eyes and that you clear your space as best you can. Removing clutter and distractions is key to this.
A clear desk (except for essentials such as posts its, pens, mugs upon mugs of tea and a nice photo frame) will help you to stay in the right mindset when working from home all day.
This means keeping your phone away from your line of vision, so you keep on task!
When working from home it is easy to feel anxious, become overwhelmed, and stress. In this tough time for wellbeing and mental health, it is important to do your best to stay upbeat.
Try to take breaks when you can during the day, make sure you get some exercise and eat healthily.
All of this will help you to keep a clear head and get a strong work-life balance.
If you are struggling, make sure that you tell someone as there is always help available. Seeing what your workplace offers for their employees in terms of mental health support will allow you to take that all-important step in getting some help.
Your colleagues and network will always be there to support you.
Staying in touch with colleagues helps to keep you motivated to work and allows you to keep up with what is happening in the business.
This also separates work and personal life as it can be difficult to distinguish that difference when you are home all day. Making sure that you are in contact with people in the day then stop working when you usually would help with this too.
Hopefully, this guide will help you next time you are struggling while working remotely.
Remember that you will not be alone in how you feel and that reaching out to colleagues or your employer will be sure to help both you and them.
For more tips on working from home, job applications, and recruitment then check out our other blog posts!