Thousands of Britons will be working from home for the next few weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, joining the current 1.5 million people who regularly work from home.
With remote working a relatively new concept, many are entering unchartered territory. Here are five things you need to be aware of about working from home:
1. Your manager/employer could be spying on you
Software that takes screenshots of your screen and sends your browser history to your line manager has been on the rise in the UK following the shift to working from home.
Large organisations have installed software on employee's laptops that take screenshots throughout the day and monitor how much time they spend browsing the internet.
“It is always important to remember that when you are given a device by your employer, always assume they are either tracking the location or software you are using or will at some point do an audit of the devices to see what you have been up to, and that it is all legal.”
Edgar Ndjatou, Director @ Workplace Fairness
2. You might work longer days
Remote workers generally put in longer days than their in-office colleagues, according to a recent study.
The evidence suggests that many remote workers are "overcompensating to prove to their colleagues they are not in their pajamas at home and prove to their employers they are a safe pair of hands willing to go the extra mile in return for the discretion an employer gives them to work at home or in a remote location,” according to the study’s lead author, Professor Alan Felstead of Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences, speaking with The Daily Mail.
3. Setting boundaries with friends, families or partners is a must
If you are the only remote worker in your household, you may have to set some boundaries in order to remain productive.
Other household members may assume that because you're at home, you are available for distractions, or to complete household chores. To combat this, you may have to set some boundaries. Lay down the ground rules as early as possible to avoid confusion about your availability.
4. You'll have to become a brilliant communicator
Discussions that take place remotely - particularly over text or email - will need to be handled more delicately than usual. If you are not careful with your choice of wording, it can cause colleagues to take offence to something very simple.
Consider using emojis to soften your tone, and read your message over before sending to ensure it doesn't sound like it could be conceived as blunt or rude.
5. You'll need a project management plan
Besides written to-do lists or diary planners, there are also plenty of modern project management apps to consider that will help tremendously with managing your workload when working from home.
The most popular project management apps include:
Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing our top tips and advice for how to successfully work from home across social media and in articles. Although the COVID-19 outbreak means that we are working from home for an unfortunate reason, the silver lining is that we are becoming acquainted with the style of work has been on the rise for many years and is quickly becoming the new norm.