How to work from home: Three dangers and how to avoid them

1.Time Management

Whether we work from home or the road, we rarely fit into the nine to five mould. Flexible working can give us the freedom to mix it up and juggle our home and work lives more effectively. And while this can be a benefit to employee and employer, being removed from the traditional workplace, can come with an increase in distractions.

Deal with this by
• Having a designated work area at home (away from the TV)
• Working to clearly defined, SMART objectives
• Using calendar/tasks tools to keep each day on track

2. Isolation

Remote working (especially from home), means we’re physically removed from our colleagues and sometimes the world-at-large.

I know that on some of the days I work from home, I might not see another person between 0800 and 1730 (unless I take myself off to a well-known coffee chain).

For some employees working in isolation can be an issue that could affect morale, productivity, and even mental health.

Deal with this by
• Getting face to face time using video calls
• Collaborating in real-time using instant messaging, chat rooms and social tools
• Ensuring remote workers visit the office occasionally
• Making time to socialise as a team

3. Work life balance

Positive impacts of flexible working on work-life balance are pretty well documented, but removing the physical boundary between home and work can sometimes push things the other way, creating always-on workaholics who instantly reply to late night emails, at the expense of family time, social life, and creativity.

Deal with this by
• Using project management tools to plan your work schedule
• Focusing on objectives and results and not on your inbox

A few years back, Plantronics MD and smarter working expert, Philip Vanhoutte coined a definition of smarter working that still works for me. He said “Smarter working means having the culture, tools, and disciplines to work wherever and whenever you are most productive and creative”. (Not sure if these were his exact words, but pretty close).

I think that this definition is particularly useful – If we ask ourselves, “am I working productively?” Or, “Am I working creatively?” and if the answer is no, then it’s time ask why, and to take a look at the culture, the tools, or the disciplines we’re using at work (wherever work is).

Can we help you to work smarter? Book a chat to find out.

2013-08-27T16:41:00+00:00

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