Digital Marketing News

6 things nobody tells you about Remote working

If you’ve ever been stood waiting for a delayed train in the torrential rain first thing in the morning, then the chances are you have already wished you were remote working instead.

Also known as telecommuting, remote working was already growing in popularity with businesses throughout the UK, and now after being forced to adopt a work from home approach due to COVID-19, many are now looking to implement it in the long run.

Companies that encourage remote working approach often report higher levels of employee retention and engagement, reduced turnover, higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity and autonomy, and lots of other benefits.

Of course, there are tons of employee benefits that come along as well, including a better work/life balance, more control over your work environment, no more commuting in the rain, and the chance to save some extra money each month.

Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages that come with working from home, but people are not as vocal about them.

Because of this, here are some things that you should know before taking the plunge into full-time remote working.

You will feel like you’re missing out at times

As you are not in the office, you will be missing out on the occasional lunch club, team nights out, or just going for a few drinks after work. Although this may not seem like a big deal, these are some of the things people really do miss. You may even find yourself missing some of that hilarious office banter because pets aren’t usually that chatty.

What you can do about this

Only you can truly decide how involved you want to be with your colleagues when working remotely, but some companies may try and make this decision for you. A lot of companies encourage the use of Microsoft Teams and other online tools to help teams stay in touch. If these tools are available, make sure you make the most of them. Also, don’t be afraid to show your face around the office if you get the chance.

Productivity levels will change

When working in an office a lot of people can get distracted by the constant meetings and quick chats with people stopping by their desk, but just because you don’t have coworkers it doesn’t mean you will be able to work all day every day without any interruptions. The same goes with your morning commute, just because you don’t have one, doesn’t mean you should be spending that time working. This is way it is important that everyone is on the same page in terms of expectations.

What you can do about this

No two remote working arrangements are the same, so make sure you speak to your manager about your expectations. Likewise, it is important that you understand everything that is expected of you as a remote worker, including working hours and flexibility. Only you can decide what you want to get out of remote working. Many companies have had great success when adopting this approach and this is down to everyone at the company understanding what it required from them.

It will get lonely at times

This is one of the least discussed aspects of remote working. If you speak to someone about remote working, you’ll likely end up talking about how you don’t have wait in the freezing cold for a train, and how cool it is to work in your pyjamas. But nothing really gets said about how lonely it can be at times.
On one hand, being on your own all day can be extremely beneficial to your productivity. But on the other, constantly being on your own can quickly become your biggest distraction.

What you can do about this

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest problems to solve. If you need people to be around all day, coffee shops make an excellent workplace. Another solution for this is to try and communicate more with your colleagues, Microsoft teams IS an easy way to have a chat with your colleagues without having to even leave your laptop. And you can always go into the office more often!

Get ready to learn new skills

Even if you do work for a company the invests in training, the chances are you will still have to become proactive at learning new skills. To be more efficient when working on your own remotely, you will have to pick up new skills to complete your work and do it at the highest standard possible. For example, many organisations hiring content professionals expect them to not only be excellent writers, but also be capable of doing visual content work.

What you can do about this

You might not have to do anything about it, apart from talking to your manager. If your company provides support for training, then maybe they can help you take a course so you can develop this skill.
If you’re a contractor this can be a little bit more difficult. It’s up to you to stay up to date with the latest technologies within the industry. There’s no shortage of online resources that you can use to learn new skills, and some of them are even free! (Udemy, Teachable, WizIQ)

Remote work is a skill

if you’re in charge of hiring at your company, hire for remote working as if it was a skill – because it is.
Remote working makes you become a more skillful communicator. It also makes you be more resourceful, as you do not always have colleagues around to help you out. Computer problems? WI-FI problems? You’re the IT guy from now.
Taking ownership of your work is a desirable quality when hiring for a remote worker. Communicating online has never been easier, but it is a skill to do it well.

What you can do about this

Rather than looking at it as a problem to be solved, instead, think of it as an opportunity to learn a new skill.
Transitioning from the office to working remotely can be a big change for some people, but being productive is a skill and can be learned just like any other. It just takes some time to settle in, and find ways that help you work well.
If you struggle to be as productive when remote working, we have some tips to help you be more productive at work.

It’s not for everyone – and this is fine

Perhaps the least discussed aspect of remote work is the fact that it’s not for everybody.
Some people can struggle to stay focused during the day and other people just find themselves more productive when they are working in an office with people around them, and nothing is wrong with that!

What you can do about this

If you’re considering making the shift to remote working, the only way you can truly find out is actually trying it.
However, you need give yourself enough time to make a decision whether it is a good fit or not. It might take a while to adjust, so be sure to give it a good chance if you’re thinking about making the switch.

We hope this gives you a more realistic view of working remotely if you’ve never done it before or things to consider if you’re an employer who’s thinking about adopting a remote working approach at your business.

Got a question?

We're here to help. Check out our FAQs, send us an email or call us on 0208 629 6006.