Through the power of Cloud Computing technology, more employees are choosing to work remotely. A recent Virgin Media Business survey anticipates that by 2022 60% employees will regularly work from home.
As the Cloud grows, so do the number of individuals working outside of the office, but why is this the case? Why would a business agree to let employees work at home?
Benefits to employee:
- No commuting time
- Save money on travel
- Quieter atmosphere
- Improved work/home balance
Benefits to employer:
- Less office space required – permanent staff desks can be replaced with hot desks.
- Less office resources are being used, such as paper towels, heating and hand soaps. This may seem trivial, but it all amounts to a business saving.
- Attracts and retains staff
- Improved staff performance
As remote working through the Cloud is clearly here to stay, we’ve compiled some tips to help employees make the most out of working away from the office.
1) Be comfortable
This may sound simple, but wear what you are comfortable in. If you are required to wear a uniform for work it may not be the most comfortable – especially if you have to wear a full suit and tie in a heat wave, this can actually hinder productivity! If you work on a construction site, there is no need to sit at your home desk in your hard hat and high-visibility jacket. Don’t feel guilty for wearing your favourite ripped jeans and baggy jumper, as long as you get the job done.
2) Stick to a work schedule
Sticking to a work schedule and using a ‘to do’ list keeps you in the right frame of mind and stops you being distracted by ‘home tasks’ such as hanging the washing out and ironing. I’ve fallen foul many times to my partner giving me the common summons ‘whilst you’re here, can you just…? Keeping to a work schedule is also a necessity for many in the office as it is easy to get distracted by who’s making the next cup of coffee or the squirrels chasing each other outside the window.
3) Pick the right technology
With numerous forms of communication available, it’s important that you pick the right systems to talk to your team. Does your organisation have an existing business tool, such as Microsoft Lync? Or do they use free end user tools such as Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime? There is no point sending colleagues important messages on WhatsApp if they haven’t logged in for three years… keep updated! These technologies are also normally company driven so there’s no point downloading the latest app if you are the only one using it.
4) Stay on the radar
Now you have the technology, use it! Be available for people to contact you and keep your colleagues posted on your work and progress (where applicable). There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get in touch with someone that’s working at home and feeling like you’re talking to a brick wall.
Just be aware that if colleagues can’t see you online, there’s a good chance some may assume you’re not working at all. You may be working remotely, negotiating the largest contract in the history of the company, but if you’re not contactable, as far as colleagues are concerned you may as well be on holiday.
5) Conference calls
Another pet peeve for many is background noises on conference calls. This is even more important when working remotely. When you’re negotiating a huge sale with your boss and a customer what is worse than the connection dropping, the smoke alarm going off or your dog barking in the background? Not much! This can damage your credibility with all parties involved.
YouTuber’s Tripp and Tyler have put together a parody of an online conference call and as amusing as it is, it really does sum up many of my conference calls.