Remote Working: How To Make It Work For You
by Wessex Internet Team
One of the biggest benefits that Full Fibre brings to the countryside is increased opportunities for businesses and for flexible working patterns, such as working from home or remote working.
With reliable, ultrafast internet comes the possibility for exciting businesses to start up in the countryside – businesses that are digitally dependent and therefore more flexible, something that is useful for workers of all ages, not just millennials.
There is an increasing move towards more flexible and remote working: a YouGov survey found that just 6% of respondents work the traditional 9 to 5 day, whilst Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work Survey found that 99% of respondents would like to work remotely at least some of the time over the rest of their careers.
With the capabilities provided to us by ultrafast broadband (Cloud, file transfer, online communications, video conferencing etc.), remote working is becoming increasingly achievable and effective.
So what are the benefits of remote working?
It would seem that working from home is actually conducive to getting more done: according to a survey, homeworkers rank their productivity as 7.7/10, compared with 6.5/10 for office workers.
This might be down to the fact that there are usually less distractions at home than in an office, and you can work according to your own preferences (e.g. music/no music etc.).
A flexible schedule
Remote working is a great option for people who can’t adhere to a traditional 9 to 5 format (e.g. care-givers), giving them the ability to schedule their work around their needs and commitments.
Time and environment-friendly
A big benefit of working from home is the time saved by not commuting, as well as the reduction in toxic emissions caused by travel – saving time and saving nature!
A flexible schedule and less time commuting mean more time for yourself, for hobbies, and for friends and family, which results in a positive work-life balance, in turn improving motivation at work and reducing stress.
For those working from a rural home: the countryside is a brilliant place to live and work. Greenspace boosts concentration and creativity – perfect for entrepreneurial work – as well as having diverse health benefits. Win-win.
Speaking of health – there is often limited opportunity to exercise in a traditional office. When you work from home, on the other hand, you can schedule time to workout, or to get outside for a walk – great for drumming up some creative thinking or clearing your head.
Wider talent pool
Remote working also has benefits for employers: by having employees who work from home, companies can hire the best talent regardless of who or where they are.
And then, sometimes, working from home is simply a necessity. When your business is based in a rural area, like the Wessex Internet offices, it’s sometimes necessary for staff to work from home when they can’t make it into work because of adverse weather conditions.
The power to choose
Of course, some people will prefer (and work better in) a traditional office environment. It’s a matter of what works best for the individual. As Richard Branson says:
‘Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce.’
Technology provides us with the ability to choose. We can harness the flexibility provided to us by digital connectivity, so that we are able to work wherever suits us: if you have access to reliable, ultrafast internet, your office can be wherever you need it to be.
How to make remote working work for you:
Whether you’re working remotely or running a business from home, here are some tools that can help supercharge your productivity:
Have a dedicated space for work
According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work survey, 84% of remote workers work from home. It also found that unplugging after work was the biggest struggle with remote working. To help counter this, it’s important to create boundaries between work and home life.
A dedicated ‘office’ space can help to create these boundaries:
Resist the temptation to work from your bedroom (keep this as a place of rest and relaxation) and instead try to use a space that you don’t regularly use in your downtime.
Make this ‘office’ space a calm, comfortable and motivating environment. Invest in an ergonomic office chair – you spend a lot of time in it! Create a routine so that work doesn’t merge into your free time – establish a time to start working and a time to stop working and stick to it. Outside of these working hours, enable Do Not Disturb Mode on your phone so that you don’t get notifications from work apps like Slack (see below).
An instant messaging service that’s ideal for remote teams. It allows you to communicate in a way that’s more natural and more immediate than email.
A great, simple option for video conferencing. A nifty feature is Hangouts Meet, which uses machine learning to analyse people’s calendars and suggests a suitable meeting-time based on their schedules, booking a meeting direct to everyone’s Google calendar.
It hardly seems necessary to say, but Google Docs is king for sharing and collaborating on documents.
TeamViewer allows you to connect to your office PC from home or on-the-go, so you can work on projects and send emails etc. as if you were in the office.
Stay secure with a VPN
If you’re accessing a company network remotely, you need to ensure that any sensitive data is kept secure. For this, you need a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN service allows users to establish secure online connections with a remote computer network from anywhere in the world. It prevents hackers from accessing the data that is being transmitted between the remote worker and their company network.
Working from a coffee shop? A VPN is particularly important to protect you on public WIFI.
Trello is essentially a digital noticeboard – you can assign tasks to team members and give them due dates etc. (Trello have also written a guide on how to embrace remote work, which is worth a read!)
If you have trouble staying off your phone while you’re working, this app is a great one. By spending time away from your phone, you grow virtual trees and earn coins which can be used to help plant real trees in Africa. It’s great for maximising productivity by keeping you focused and helping you become less dependent on your phone – and all while helping the environment!
Of course, the biggest piece of advice we can give you is to get reliable, ultrafast broadband. No matter what the size of your company, or what sector you are in, you will need a speedy, dependable connection to optimise your business. Full Fibre is the fastest, most reliable connection available anywhere in the world.
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