Like many people starting a new job, I had ‘first day of school’ nerves for the first few days. I spent time learning about my new workplace and getting to know my colleagues. I looked forward to the lunch breaks to be shared with the team and the getting-to-know-you moments with those who sit near me.
But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my time in the office was cut short!

Now, along with everybody else, I’m working remotely from home. I’ve had the opportunity to work from home a couple of days here and there in previous positions so I knew what it would be like and I can share some of the tips I’ve learned so far.

First, it’s not going to be as easy as you expect. Moving from the buzz of a busy office to working remotely can be a shock for some people. It just takes time to settle into it, rather like starting at a new job. 

Working alone can be great for productivity, but some people can’t easily work without the casual banter of their colleagues. A big part of my new 9-5 day is adhering to the new routine I have established for myself but still allowing my time to be flexible enough to enjoy office banter – which has now moved to being purely in a digital capacity. Never underestimate the power of a good GIF!

Secondly, it helps to treat remote working with the same discipline as if you were actually working in the office, only without the commute - I am missing my local coffee stop on the way to the tube! 

I still have someone to report to, of course, but I have a new accountability partner: ME. Setting your day up in achievable blocks of time will make it easier to have meetings in your active wear, or play with the dog between calls. You will find that you settle into a productive routine.

Third, work on your communication skills. We’re all used to casual communication online, but it takes skill to communicate *well* in a professional online environment so everybody can be on the same page. Turning a phone call into a video call can make communication that little bit more effective and engaging.

In previous workplaces I have used Microsoft Teams, but it wasn’t until starting in my position as Client Success Manager with ClearPeople that I have had the chance to really benefit from its full potential. By having a digital workspace available, it has empowered me to naturally thrive and design my life both inside and outside of work.

The good news is remote working can be a positive experience. We develop our self-reliance and self-discipline, whilst having the freedom of flexibility in our work environment. My current lunch time routine includes an online exercise class.

Until the Covid-19 outbreak eases then, we’re all going to be remote workers. Let’s make the best of this new normal we find ourselves in and welcome the positive change that remote working brings to our 9-5. 

If you need a hand to get the best from Teams, ClearPeople’s User Adoption & Change Manager, Taryn Nixon is running free webinars where she’ll be taking you through all the ins and outs of working remotely and get you up to speed on all things Teams. 

Author bio

Sarah Major
Client Success Manager, ClearPeople

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