Top Tips for Working from Home
Following the latest Government Announcement, everyone who can work from home should now do so. The challenge for us all is to keep ourselves positive, connected and productive.
We would ask managers to agree with individual employees how and if they can continue to contribute ,whilst balancing employee health, wellbeing and other pressures at this challenging time, and in ways that may need to be flexible and may be different to “normal” working. If pressures such as childcare requirements cannot be reasonably balanced, explore with staff options around use of paid special leave (additional provision found here), unpaid leave or annual leave.
There are so many positives to home working, both for ourselves and our wellbeing and also the wider business benefits. I really hope that for a lot of teams this may prove the case for more flexible working arrangements with teams who have so far been wary of it!
Some of us may be quite used to home working already and will have some tips and guidance to share! If you’re new to home working, then here’s some guidance for you.
1. Use the available technology
With video communication, webcasting, messaging platforms and more, the tech is there to make this work! But attitudes and behaviours are just as vital for a productive remote team.
2. Agree ways of working
Agree as a team how you’ll get the most out of virtual collaboration for success e.g. it’s acceptable to send a quick message to say “I’ll call you back” if you’re deep in focus.
3. Check-in with each other
When we work remotely, our exchanges become more formal and task focused. Pick up the phone, or ping a message, just to see how someone else’s day is going. Virtual team check ins at the start and end of each day replicate the usual social greetings and create connection.
4. Adapt working structures
What works in the office may not remotely. Instead of lengthy meetings, have short virtual huddles with a strong facilitator so people don’t get lost because they’re not physically visible. Apply this thinking to team resourcing, scheduling and action planning.
5. How are we feeling?
Keeping in tune with how teams are feeling is even more critical when they’re remote – have five minutes on the start of every virtual meeting to say hello properly and see how people are.
6. Manage the distractions!
Distractions are the biggest reason why many people say home-working wouldn’t work for them. Get your team to talk openly about how they’re managing theirs – specific break times are a good start!
7. Say thank you more
We have a human need to feel valued and when we work remotely the opportunities for this diminish. Make sure you dial up the appreciation for your team mates and actively share the successes of your team!
8. Stay energised
What gives us energy is different for everyone but you need to work it out fast for success. A tried and tested formula is breaks + movement + fresh air (every so often). Plus avoiding the lure of the biscuit cupboard with healthy snacks instead.
9. Be realistic and honest
If schools and nurseries close, the impact on how we are able to work will be even greater. Be open and honest with each other about your own working patterns (and limitations) – and respond quickly and empathetically to the needs of others.
10. Keep in touch!
Please remember to keep in touch with your manager and make sure they have your latest contact details. Please also add your home phone and personal mobile phone numbers to CoreHR and Delve so we can contact you in an emergency.
We’ll continue to provide updates about Coronavirus and home working through:
- The Coronavirus pages on the Intranet. If you, or your colleagues, don’t have access to the Intranet, you can find the information on our website.
And if you’re a manager…
There’s a critical role for leaders and managers to connect, support, coach and role model. Choose two different people to call each day for a 10 minute check in.
- Keep your laptops, tablets, mobile phones and charging cables at home if you are working from home. Contact your manager if you do not have the necessary equipment.
- Test your access to the network, applications and email and report any issues through ServiceNow
Redirect your work phone to your home or access your voicemail remotely where possible.
To redirect: log into your phone number, press *219 then the full number to redirect to, including full area code bit. When we’re all back, press #21 to cancel the forward.
- Only take the documents you really need and make sure you keep them safe at all times.