Remote working has been an unexpected byproduct stemming from the globe’s reaction to coronavirus. As businesses adapt to unprecedented times, we look at the impact this has on employees and what you can do to overcome this challenge.
In this article, we will focus on the following common problems found when working at home:
- Online security
Are you struggling to overcome the challenges of remote working? Read on to get some advice from someone who’s in the same boat.
Head offices stereotypically have a misconstrued view of remote working. They may think their employees are slacking off and sneaking in the odd Netflix session. But our experiences over the last few months paint a very different picture.
In reality, remote working is hard — and the previously bold lines between your professional and personal lives are blurred into a hazy grey.
For many people out there it’s difficult to discern where the working day starts and ends. This means you could be overworking and leading yourself into a burnout without realizing. When all facets of your life reside under one roof, you’ll find it nigh on impossible to switch off. But you must find the perfect balance, so you bring your ‘A’ game to work and have a chance to live your own life during downtime.
How do you establish a better work-life balance while working at home? If you get a chance, recruiting experts at social.hays.com have an extensive article on this very topic. One of the greatest tips from this article is setting yourself strict boundaries.
For example, at the start of lockdown, many of us made the mistake of thinking our beds are just as productive as an ergonomic desk. Spoiler alert, they are not.
By working out of your bed, you’re bound to slip into bad habits and feel unmotivated. As a result, you end up working long hours throughout the day to catch up. To prevent this from happening, devote a section of your apartment solely for working.
A standard working corner consists of a sturdy desk, upright office chair, laptop, monitor, and a Bluetooth keyboard. The result? You section off your home and work life, and you get more work done in less time because of it. Plus, sitting upright is going to do wonders for your back.
Online Security and Remote Access
Modern technology plays a pivotal role in establishing our newfound collective reality. From shared servers and cloud storage to direct messaging and time tracking software, the digital age enables modern employees to be more flexible about where and when they work.
However, the last few months have felt more like a worldwide beta test into permanent remote working. And online security is a major judgement factor as to whether it passes or fails.
So, should we assume our work is safe online — and how do businesses protect themselves if it’s not? Tim Berners-Lee sure did open a can of worms when he invented the world wide web all the way back in 1989.
Though convenient, our reliance on the Internet (and all things digital) makes your business vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data miners. And the most popular form of defense? Virtual private networks (or VPNs).
VPNs have burst onto the scene in recent years, but not everyone knows exactly what it is they do. So, here’s a quick elevator pitch: Virtual private networks enforce online anonymity by creating an encrypted tunnel around your Internet connection. This means your presence and stored information are protected online.
Businesses can make use of VPNs to protect sensitive information and allow employees to remotely access their work portal from home with an extra sense of security.
But with that said, using a free VPN is just as good as a big-name brand like Express or Nord. If you want to read up on the subject, whatismyipaddress.com has written an article that compares some of the best free VPNs on the market. The majority of free VPNs work just fine, so it’s rather easy to avoid the monthly charges.
Working remotely is challenging, not least because we’re so isolated from our colleagues. Staring blankly into a computer screen is made all the worse by a lack of social contact. Being able to touch base with colleagues is vital. And not just to break up the day to have a natter either.
Having strong communication channels is needed to collaborate on tasks and establish performance expectations with leadership. Without being able to talk to each other your company stops being a team and devolves into a group of loosely connected individuals.
Thankfully in the modern age, we are more connected than ever before. From emails and texts to group Slack channels, there is little need to communicate in person so long as you make the effort online.
Although the bulk of remote working is done in isolation, being able to see someone face to face is still massively important. Luckily technology plays a big role in making our home office as close to the real thing as possible.
Video conferencing software like Zoom.us has been one of the biggest wonders of 2020 because they’ve transformed the way we socialize over lockdown. But, it’s also been adopted as an important communication tool by remote workers. Many companies plan daily catch-ups meetings for employees over Zoom, which allows them to synchronize their schedules with other colleagues and set up for the working day.
If you have any takeaways from this article we hope these are some of them.
- Build a healthy work/life balance
- Your work is worth protecting with security precautions
- Communication is easy over the web if you put in the effort
Adjusting to remote working can be tough, especially when it’s not something you signed up for.