Procurement · 15 January 2018

Infographic: Four ways to make the most of remote working

Persistence and determination are the true sources of success
Most UK employers now offer staff flexible working arrangements

To mark Work From Home Week (15 to 21 January), Business Advice has provided four useful techniques for remote working, in the form of a helpful infographic.

Rates of remote working have been on the rise in recent years, mainly due to the many practical advantages it can offer to both employees and employers.

In 2017, the majority of UK workers (58 per cent) were offered a flexible working arrangement by their employer, providing more reason than ever for businesses to re-evaluate their employee engagement techniques.

However, in spite of this surge in remote working, companies and individuals continue to experience difficulties.

With Work From Home Week taking place in the UK this week (15 – 21 January) upon UK companies, experts at small business communications platform Powwownow have provided four tips to companies and employees alike on how to make the most of remote working.

(1) Communicate regularly

Before an employee begins working remotely, it is important for managers to agree on the most efficient methods of communication for the future.

Nigel Purse, founder at The Oxford Group, emphasised that it is essential for both managers and employees to be comfortable in their working arrangement. This way, they are liable to ask constructive questions and make comments that they may not otherwise.

Regular conversations about the progress of the employee, and any support they may require, are important fixtures in such working relationships.

(2) Make sure your goals are clear

In a communal working environment like an office, it is much easier to get fully-rounded briefs and explanations to accompany new tasks. But, when working remotely, it is easy for such important details to slip through the net and see quality of work plummet.

Co-founders of  Monkey Puzzle Training, Karen Meager and John McLachlan, have warned that unclear objectives attached to tasks make it more likely that employees will lose focus on the job at hand, and give their attention to something they have a fuller understanding of.

They advised that full job briefs are given before tasks begin, and that any necessary conversations or questions are had prior to the job beginning.

(3) Stay in control of your work-life balance

One of the most prevalent issues among remote working employees is difficulty in achieving a healthy work-life balance. Recent research found that 63 per cent of people surveyed wanted to make improvement to at least one aspect of their life in the new year, and one of the most frequently-cited areas of concern is achieving a better work-life balance.

Finding a working environment that enables employees to keep work and home as two separate entities – such as a specific office, or even a favourite cafe – helps to maintain concentration levels, develop stronger working habits and provide a sense of productivity by the end of each working day.

(4) Remember your purpose

Working from home or another remote location makes it easy for employees to feel out of touch with the business as a whole and the things it is trying to achieve.

Maintaining a productive work life outside of the main business premises relies on creating a sense of community and involvement. For example, author of Drivers, Susanne Jacobs, has insisted that a sense of purpose is what allows all of us to get out of bed in the morning, and without it, it is difficult to muster the motivation to put in the work that enables us to reach our objectives.

Read more: How to handle flexible working requests from employees

Four key tips for remote working

Four Ways to Make the Most of Work from Home Week

Read more: Majority of workers call for work email ban whilst on holiday

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.