Apart from the practical benefits of remote working for both businesses and employees, ditching the daily commute can lead to other benefits like increased productivity, less stress and an overall general sense of improved wellness.
While remote work has many selling points, it’s also important to understand the potential pitfalls when it’s not managed properly. These can include isolation, decreased collaboration and the loss of a sense of community and team spirit.
Whether you’re starting a new role which was openly advertised as remote, or you’ve established with your manager that your job or certain tasks can be carried out away from the office, you should always make time to have a discussion about the support you’ll need to make it work in reality.
To start with, access to technology is often one of the biggest barriers to successfully transitioning to remote working. Using collaborative platforms and regularly communicating via video-calls could make the difference between engaging with your team on a meaningful level and feeling siloed and out of touch.
So, make sure that you and your manager are aligned on how you’re going to maintain your virtual presence within your team. If the costs of implementing cloud software and offering phone and internet plans are unattainable for your employer, you’ll have to carefully consider whether you’re willing to provide them for yourself.
Staying connected with your manager and co-workers remotely also has a lot to do with your own mindset and working habits. Developing a healthy routine for your working day could be key to your productivity and functioning properly as part of a wider team. Some ways to achieve this might be to set up specified times for breaks as well as carrying out certain tasks during agreed timeframes to give your co-workers transparency around what you’ll be working on and when.
Working remotely also requires a great deal of trust in your ability to work away from the office – that’s trust in yourself and trust from your manager. When trust is compromised, it can quickly lead to a breakdown in your relationship with your team. To maintain your integrity as a remote worker, try to minimise potential distractions, set up regular check-ins, and agree with the frequency and method of reporting, depending on your role and KPIs.
For you and your employer, a lot could be gained by exploring the possibilities for remote work, but success is never a given just because it’s on-trend. To make it work, you’ll have to work closely with your manager to build a shared and robust framework of technology, attitudes and working practices.