25 March 2020

Five challenges for first-time home workers and how to overcome them

For many people, remote working is the norm. But for others, it’s the path less travelled, and will be their first experience out of office.

We’re living in uncertain times, but thanks to the wonders of technology, it’s easier than ever to stay connected from afar.  And while everyone needs the technology to carry on working, it’s equally important to emotionally support your people as they navigate this disruption. Here are 5 challenges facing people working remotely for the first time, plus our quick tips and tricks to get your colleagues settled into their new routine.


  1. Suddenly there’s no office

For anyone who doesn’t have a home office, their first priority will be setting up a dedicated workspace. This could be a whole room, just a corner, or even the dining room table. If possible, try to avoid setting up in your bedroom – countless studies have shown this can negatively impact sleep.


  1. It feels you’re going it alone

Whether it’s a friendly smile after an uncomfortable phone call or just someone to bounce ideas off, working remotely is a big change – it’s not uncommon to feel lonely. Now’s the time to reach out to your colleagues, whether it’s to chat through a problem or have a natter about what you had for lunch. You may be on your own physically, but you still have a support network.


  1. Getting motivated can be difficult

The alarm’s changed, there’s no commute, and you’re not even going to the office. So, do you really need to get dressed today? Although your slippers may look tempting, getting into the clothes you’d normally wear will get you into the right mindset. Ditch the PJs – you’ll feel more energised out of them!


  1. You’re responsible for managing your own time

You’re no longer in the office, but it doesn’t mean your schedule has to completely go out the window. Start by mapping out your working pattern, scheduling regular breaks and team catchups. And just because you’re no longer travelling to work, it doesn’t mean you can’t get up at the same time. Why not use this new time productively?


  1. It was novel at first, but now you miss your colleagues

Dinner last night, the weather today – watercooler conversation is what keeps our culture alive and our spirits high. You’ve gone from being around people for eight hours a day to sitting alone at your desk, so create a non-work space to share stories, interesting information and funny memes.


If you need help keeping up morale, maximising productivity or making the most of remote working, contact Chris Giddings at chris@mccannsynergy.com

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