According to the AHRI Inclusion and Diversity Report 2017; 88% of employers are offering flexible hours to their employees. More so than ever before employees are logging in from home. I have professional friends who are regularly working at least a day a week from home. I recently talked to industry friend in the law sector who’s support staff are clocking on whilst commuting to work responding to emails (their contracted day no longer starts when they get to their desk, the 9 to 5 has died). She is also finding both men and women alike are looking to a four-day work week to be involved in child care, may this trend continue! Just today I stumbled across a recruitment company Gemini3 who recruit for job share opportunities. Watch out world!
According to the Freelance Behaviour Report 2016 from Design Crowd (looking at the design industry in particular but still interesting data) flexibility was a top motivator. For those who are stay-at-home workers 71% wear T-shirts, 8% wear business attire, 19% wear pyjamas and 2% ‘wear’ their birthday suit!!!!
As a consultant, I am privileged to have a flexible work arrangement. I will often meet clients in the city and delivery face to face training and coaching in their office. Yet much of my preparation and virtual delivery is remote and mostly this is from my home office. Having worked in London and inspired by short stints in the media and not for profit industries I prefer their slant towards a casual work wardrobe. But I can honestly say I have never worked in my birthday suit, not even on my birthday.
So, what are my tips for navigating working from home and in particular working productively including clicking the camera ‘on’ in video virtual meetings?
If you want to be an effective remote worker you need to invest in a good internet connection. Yes this may cost you every month but without it you are setting yourself up to fail.
And plug it in when you are on virtual meetings. The Wi-Fi maybe adequate for day to day work but for connecting live you want to maximise the stability of your line so plug in.
To focus you need a private space to actually work. One away from the fridge and washing machine where you can shut out your partner, kids, dogs, other. Set firm boundaries about what it means when your door is shut, stick a sign saying you are on a call…
Projecting a professional image which shows you are organised, and focused is important. If the backdrop to your video call is the spare bedroom with junk piled high, it’s not a good look. Either seriously smarten and declutter your home office or, if this is difficult position your camera to face a blank wall.
Jokes aside about working in your birthday suit occasionally you are caught unaware for a last-minute video call. Rather than making excuses about why your video-cam doesn’t work, have a jacket ready on the back of your chair.‘Da-da’ it is amazing how it can make you look spruced and cover most casual tops.
Finally, one for the women, I know I know… you didn’t get around to brushing your hair this morning. Have a hair tie handy and sweep it up, tangles and all.
For more tips on managing remote, virtual and video meetings please get in touch.