With the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) hitting the UK, more and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home and only come in for essential meetings.
With this move, there have been several articles around that have made remote working sound like a difficult thing to get right - something achievable only through further tools and further management. While for some companies, this may be true and remote work will need significant changes (think the trading floor of Goldman Sachs). But for a large portion of tech-companies, remote working should be a hassle-free issue, just stop worrying and start empowering.
New tools are great and fun to use, but before we all dash to pick up the latest ‘remote tooling’, really think about if they are worth it. Do you need a virtual whiteboard for your team, or is the agile workflow software you use (we use Jira) good enough that its’ use can be extended to support a fully remote team? The answer is often that new tools are made redundant when your team are bored of the additional work they add.
So, instead of jumping to new tools - we recommend thinking of ways to further the use of your current suite and communicating the new usage outward.
When our team works fully remote, we increase our communication through Slack and utilise Zoom for meetings. This is one element of increased discipline that we think is needed to work remotely. Having said this, don’t do things like force people to turn their camera during meetings, allow them to feel comfortable while attending meetings and working from home.
We have the ethos that all employees should decide if they work from home at any time. Things in life happen and the last thing you want is your team worrying if they can stay at home and take that delivery or avoid others if they fall ill, but not ill enough to take the day off.
The primary issue for those not used to remotely working is the amount of distractions that are naturally at home. There’s TV, family, pets and all sorts of other fun things to keep you occupied. In general, it’s best to try and work in a separate room away from all distractions but if that’s not possible, then sit in the living room with headphones on and listen to music. DO NOT put the TV on if you can’t resist to watch it - you’ll end up distracted and your work load will pile up. Working from home is all about having the discipline to wake up on time, get ready and attack the day just like any other day.
Soon working from home will really set in and people will start to see the primary advantages of remote working. You have more time to get stuck into tasks, meetings go unaffected if done properly, you can get deliveries anytime etc etc. There are so many advantages to working remotely but you must set about a routine so you remain effective and hard working.
If this is your first time working from home, enjoy it! Don’t panic and start searching for all the tools to help you work from home. Just set a routine and be self-disciplined and you’ll get used to the idea (and maybe even grow to love it as many in the tech community have done).
Here at Brego, we love remote working and have our team spread about the country. While we love office-working and believe it can provide good team-building, we understand that stuff happens in life all the time and so you have the option to work from home however many days you’d like. See our careers to join our team.