Working remotely, while a huge opportunity to boost productivity, comes with potential challenges and setbacks. Remote work, or teleworking, can be a great solution to a number of issues that the modern workplace faces, such as employee retention, office space, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and more. But before you delve into teleworking, it’s important to understand how to do it safely and effectively.
What is teleworking?
First off, what is teleworking? Teleworking is simply working from any place that is not the traditional office — that could be working from your own home, from a third-party meeting area, or anywhere with internet connectivity. Telework involves using information technology to perform your work remotely, which is why having access to the right technology and software is essential to successful telework.
What are the benefits of teleworking?
There are countless benefits for both organizations and employees in embracing teleworking. For organizations, it can save on office space and transport costs for employees. Teleworking is also linked to increased productivity and employee retention across industries. For employees, working remotely allows for a healthy work-life balance, saving time and money on commutes and unnecessary time spent in the office.
How can I telework effectively?
If you are considering making the leap to telework, whether full-time or as part of a hybrid work model, there are a few considerations you should take into account beforehand.
Technology and software are some of the most important factors in whether your teleworking experience will be a success. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself before settling at home:
- Do I have the right computer/laptop to work from? Can my employer provide me with this?
- How is my WiFi connection? Is it stable and strong enough to support working from home all day, especially if other people use it?
- Do I use a headset/work phone/ printer/other additional equipment while in the office? Can that equipment be sent to me and work just as well from my home office?
- Will I have access to internal databases/shared drives/secure information/VPNs while working from home?
- What communication methods will I use to connect with my team? Are we set up on a messaging app? Is everyone proficient in using virtual meeting apps?
- Do we use a work management platform, and is it suitable for remote use? If not, would it be possible to migrate our team to one remotely?
It may be tempting to use your new teleworking routine to work from the couch or even from bed. However, studies have shown that this may not be the best option, both for productivity and professionalism — and for your mental wellbeing.
Setting up a home office is a great way to ensure successful remote work. Take a space in your home that is separate from your relaxing spaces (i.e., your bedroom and living area) and dedicate it solely to working. This will help your brain to differentiate between work time and downtime and help you to switch off from the always-on mentality that can often arise with remote work.
You may find your working hours becoming more and more erratic while working from home, and though you may feel like you are working longer than ever, your productivity doesn’t reflect that. So, what can you do?
Take some time to figure out a productivity method that works for you. It could be time tracking, using a time blocking tactic like the Pomodoro method, taking regular breaks, or any other framework that yields results for you. Remember that everyone is different — finding your personal productivity hack is your best bet for doing your best work.
While remote working, it can become difficult to maintain a proper work-life balance. Studies have shown that many employees actually log longer hours when working from home, and it can be difficult to separate work and home life when it all happens in the same place.
Be sure to set your working hours ahead of a day at home and stick to them. Take a lunch break and try to get out of the house for a walk at some point. When the workday is finished, switch off your work apps and notifications completely — don’t allow work to bleed into your newfound free time.
Successful and efficient telework depends on a positive remote working environment and culture. For more information on creating a positive remote working culture, check out our dedicated section.