08 Jan Remote Working Practises
Remote working is common in many sectors today from Financial Services to Housing Associations. More employees now work from home or offsite than ever before. According to data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics), the number of UK workers who have moved into remote-working has increased by nearly a quarter of a million over a decade. Thanks to changing attitudes and ever-improving network capabilities this number is expected to continue its upward trajectory over the next 3 years, with half the UK workforce expected to be working remotely by 2020.
Working offsite requires respect on both ends. Flexible managers should be able to trust their employees to work hard, and workers need to hold themselves accountable to do so. However, this freedom can cause some workers to develop poor behaviours including a lapse in safety when working.
Working remotely might have its complications and downsides. However, the practice can be hugely beneficial to both organisation and employee when executed properly. If you or your employees don’t take advantage of remote work privileges, you’ll miss out on all its benefits, like flexibility, lower costs and fewer commuting hassles. While there are many complications with remote working, this doesn’t mean you need to put an end to it. Here’s how to get the best of both worlds.
Avoid these behaviours when working remotely or creating a remote working policy.
A strong company culture is important for all business regardless of size. However, when employees get the chance to work from home or remotely, they often neglect this concept.
Each company wants and needs to create an atmosphere that sends a message of a great working environment, and many HR professionals work very hard at building that. However, these efforts tend to be lost on employees who work remotely. Remote workers sometimes miss out on the community that most employees feel by coming into the office on a regular basis.
When you’re working in the same environment where you relax, sleep or spend your free time, you’ll likely struggle to stay motivated and focused.
Remote employees are also more vulnerable to various distractions such as children, pets, TVs and other home life matters. Some people might not even work at all, whether that’s intentional or not.
Underestimating Security Risks
Whilst it is natural to feel secure whilst working form your own home, it is important to remember you could potentially face higher risks than when working from an office. In the age of data and remote systems, it is easy for an intruder to strike and gain access to a central data system when dialled in remotely.
Remote workers should be treated in the same bracket as lone workers and should be issued with a lone worker app and/or device. The usage of this solution should be part of any policies moving forward to ensure safety for both employee and company data.
Master these practices to leverage remote working opportunities.
Maintaining a live schedule
Since you’re not seeing your colleagues every day, it’s hard to stay updated on their whereabouts and the goings-on of the company.
Remote workers need to make it a point to have a living schedule. By keeping constant updates and reminders, it is easy to stay abreast of what the rest of the team is doing and not get behind or miss deadlines.
There are many tools and apps that keep track of moving parts of assignments, meetings, days when other employees are in the office and more.
Create a physical workspace.
Just because you’re working at home or offsite doesn’t mean you can’t create a productive environment.
By setting a particular space in the home that is only for work, such as an office or a particular spot at a dining room table, it is a clear message to the employees and anyone around them that they are in work mode.
It can be as simple as setting up a desk with notepads and pens or clearing some space at your kitchen table rather than lounging on the couch or in bed. Make sure you have zero distractions: Turn off your TV, put on some bright lights, keep your phone on silent unless it’s needed for work, etc.
Maintaining a channel of communication within the team is important for not only security & wellbeing purposes but also for productivity and a feeling of inclusiveness.
Whilst making use of messenger platforms can be a great tool for ensuring you are kept in the loop with the latest developments from the office, a lone worker solution with a time at risk feature is a vital tool for ensuring your employees constantly touch base to confirm there are no problems.
For more information on how we can help your organisation with policy, procedure or solutions please get in touch.