24 March, 2020

Five tips to transform you into a remote-working superstar

Over the last few weeks, the number of people working from home has risen massively. It’s vitally important that we all continue to work remotely whenever possible, as this method of “social distancing” is our best bet of slowing the spread of coronavirus in Britain, and avoiding worst-case outcomes.

But this brings a fresh challenge: how do you make the most of your working day when you’re out of the office? At Saphire, we have masses of experience working from home. So, we thought we’d do our part by sharing five strategies to master remote work. We have no doubt this will help you continue to pursue success – even if you’re now doing it from the spare room rather than the boardroom!

1 – you need a dedicated space
This is a must. What’s really important is that you find somewhere you can carry out your daily tasks in a way that suits your needs. That might mean something very different depending on whether you need to fuel your creativity, or need some peace and quiet to focus on the figures. What’s important is deciding what’s right for you, based on your job and personality… happier working on the couch, or do you need a traditional desk to be productive?

2 – you need a morning routine
Most of us have a routine to start our working day. We get dressed, have breakfast, maybe listen to the news or a favourite podcast on our way into work, then wake up with a coffee and a chat with co-workers while logging on for the day. When working from home, it is very easy to forgo this part of the day. That’s a mistake! Your routine “primes” you for the working day ahead. It doesn’t have to be the same as your current routine, but it needs to be a structured start to the working day. Make sure you get dressed, make sure you have a start time, and factor in a “wake-up” period where you can spend a few minutes chatting and / or sipping some java!

3 – you need a schedule
Here is a simple fact: if you can work to a schedule, you will probably have an easier workday and be more productive. In an office environment, you rarely have to think about this kind of thing – workloads, lunchtimes, and break times are either dictated by your employer, or you are prompted to define them yourself by a line manager. Not so when working from home. This basic level of organisation won’t just let you stay on track, it will also signal to your boss and / or co-workers that you’re a safe pair of hands during the current crisis!

4 – you need some fresh air
Here’s one of those things you need to fit in to your schedule: a walk around the block. There are lots of good reasons for this, some of which have nothing to do with working (the government, for example, has advised everyone to keep up with basic levels of exercise while social distancing or in isolation). But there is also a good case for popping out from the perspective of work: you need to rest your eyes and mind! In an office, you might pop out at lunch time, discuss what you watched last night in the kitchen with a co-worker, or break up your day in any number of ways. At home, you won’t. So, use this opportunity to get some fresh air, stay happy and healthy, and keep your mind fresh for the rest of the working day!

5 – you need to know when to call it quits
Here is one of the most dangerous things about working from home: if you’re not careful, your working day will never end. It’s vital that you learn how to establish a healthy work-life balance, keeping yourself mentally healthy and log-off at the end of the day. You can still take notes when great ideas come to you, but try to put work out of your mind until the morning and go offline.

There’s no doubt that the coming weeks and months will be challenging for many of us. And for those of us who are new to working from home, it presents additional challenges. We hope these five tips will help you to have greater successes remotely. If you need more help, we can help you to create the perfect digital infrastructure for your specific business needs – just get in touch here.