We have all been affected by the pandemic, and certainly within our work lives, with millions of people making the transition to remote working, and setting up an office at home.
With the vaccine rollout promising an end in sight to the lockdown, and workers gearing up to return to the office, many companies are adopting flexible and hybrid working practices to allow people to continue to work from home, and government ministers are pushing for flexible working practices to become the default position, according to the Financial Times.
We have a look at what remote employees can do to better take control of their work from home situation.
Employers have been hesitant to enable remote working on such a massive scale, but the pandemic forced their hands, and have been pleased to see how successful it has been. Employees, too, have been enjoying the benefits of working from home, and many would now prefer to continue remote working instead of returning to the office.
Business owners are also benefitting from adopting the WFH approach, as they can save on operational costs on equipment and office space, be able to maintain COVID-secure practices in the office easier and be able to expand their workforce without the need to expand their premises.
However, whether through choice or enforcement, workers do need to feel in control of the situation, as remote working permanently will differ significantly from a temporary, pandemic WFH, meaning it is essential to create a better working situation.
Here are five ways to help workers adapt.
1. Build Comfortable Home Workspaces
Working from home for a day or two and planting yourself on the sofa is fine, but looking towards a long term solution, permanent WFH will need upgrades to the home office. A good desk and ergonomic chair is a solid starting point, followed by appropriate lighting, and privacy issue to ensure workers are not disturbed by family and other interruptions.
2. Ask Employers For Assets
They say a poor craftsman blames his tools, but if you do not have the right technology to be able to complete assignments satisfactorily, your work will be impacted. Ultimately, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide the right equipment and resources. Workers need to ask for the right equipment as soon as the need becomes apparent.
3. Establish A Good Work-Life Balance
However, WFH does pose a few obstacles. Employees are less active during their workday, and also miss out on social interactions, leading to a decline in physical and mental wellbeing. Homeworkers must be able to completely separate themselves from their home office at the end of the day, and ensure they are getting at least some light exercise.
4. Find Entitlements
Many home-based workers will have found that utility bills will have increased, with more electricity, water, heating, etc, being used. Employees may be entitled to ask their employer to cover some of those costs, and self-employed workers can claim back their expenses also.
5. Look For New Opportunities
Employees want to be productive and comfortable while remote working, but it is important not to settle into a comfort zone, and forget aspirations of climbing the ladder and increasing their earnings.
Workers need to continue to develop and learn new skills, as well as developing their careers.
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