A few years ago, remote working was virtually non-existent. Today, it’s a core part of many modern organisations’ flexible working initiatives. According to a recent study, the number of UK people working from home has increased by nearly a quarter of a million over the last decade. Thanks to ever-improving technology and changing attitudes, this number is expected to continue climbing, with half the UK workforce expected to be working remotely by 2020.

There are a host of benefits to working from home, particularly from a health and wellbeing perspective. Remote working is proven to increase productivity and decrease stress, but however convenient it may be, it can quickly lead to feelings of isolation when you are by yourself every day. Even if you are happy with your own company, you may not realise how quickly you would miss interacting with co-workers and how much you rely on outside stimuli until it is no longer there. So how do you find the right work-at-home balance?

Whether you currently work from home, or you are considering a remote position, you may benefit from the tips provided below in order to identify solutions to help you build healthy habits for a positive work experience:

1. Add some background noise

Nothing can prepare you for how quiet things suddenly become when you change your work environment from a bustling office to working from home. Whilst you may enjoy the peace and quiet at first, the silence can become deafening. Keep yourself sane by having some background noise whilst you work. Whether it’s playing music or leaving the TV on in another room, this simple change can help you to work more efficiently as the mental association you make between work and an office environment can make you more productive.

2. Choose face-to-face contact where possible

It may be incredibly tempting to strictly communicate over e-mail, but choosing phone calls to communicate with people instead, will help you to remain engaged with others. You can take advantage of video conference calls like Skype as a great opportunity to stay connected with your colleagues in the office too.

3. Take a break

Often, working from home can lead to a feeling that you have to continuously prove yourself to colleagues or managers. Don’t let the guilt of working from home prevent you from taking a break every now and again. Taking time to recharge your batteries will mean you come back to your desk with a new sense of purpose.

4. Be social on social media

Social media is a fantastic way to network and connect with like-minded people in the business and is a brilliant tool to help you build relationships in your sector. Set yourself a goal when logging on to social networks to ensure you aren’t tempted into taking too many social breaks, it should enhance what you do, not become a big distraction.

5. Change your environment

Working from home doesn’t have to be taken literally. Don’t be afraid to take your laptop, tablet or notebook and spend some time outside the house. This could be in a local coffee shop, library or any public space with free Wi-Fi. Changing up your working environment can help to stimulate your energy and give you a new perspective on a task.

6. Find other remote workers

If you have other friends or co-workers who work remotely, connect with them and work together. Meeting up with other people who understand your work style can be the perfect support system as you get used to remote working. The important thing is that you leave the house and interact with an actual human being.  However, make sure  this doesn’t become counter productive and just an excuse for a catch-up with a friend.

7. Use technology to your advantage

Working alone is great for concentration but it can also leave you feeling cut off from the team back at the office. There are so many great tools that encourage interaction with co-workers, from video conferencing to team brainstorming, which will help you feel more connected and re-establish your role within the team.

8. Get networking

It’s easy to reach out to other people in your industry, so seize the opportunity to attend conferences, training and events. Instead of looking at networking with the view of getting more business, approach networking opportunities as a way to connect with like-minded people and help you to form a support network.

 

By entering into a remote working situation with the right mindset you can enjoy the benefits that go along with it. Regardless of whether you work from home once a week, once a month, or every day, integrating these habits into your at-home work life will create a positive work environment and help you work more efficiently.

For more information on remote working read our blog post “The Rise of Remote Working“.