Thanks to recent world events, remote offices are growing in popularity. Rather than commuting into work and working in a shared office space, employees are increasingly favouring working remotely from a home office setup.

While this arrangement has benefits for both employers and employees, setting up a remote office for success doesn’t just happen by chance. Rather, employees will need to work with employers to create a space that is comfortable and fosters productivity.

However, this can be easier said than done, especially when you consider just how many workers are making the transition to remote work. Luckily, by taking the time to implement a thorough plan, this transition can be successful.

The remote work plan

Many people think that all remote workers need is a computer and access to the internet. However, this isn’t the case. If employees are to continue working efficiently and effectively from home, they need multi-faceted support.

This support encompasses things like access to the right equipment and methods by which to remain in constant contact with colleagues and managers. This way, when it comes to working remotely, employees are given every chance to succeed.

Step 1: Accessing non-negotiable items

When setting an employee up to work from home, the focus should be on creating an environment that encourages the worker to get their best work done. This means providing access to the internet, a computer with a webcam, a phone and a desk.

However, the list doesn’t stop there. Workers will also need a comfortable chair to work in. Investing in an ergonomic chair, much like the chairs in the office, will help remote workers remain comfortable and supported during the course of the working day. It’s worth noting that office equipment can be leased rather than bought outright.

Step 2: Stressing the importance of wellness

Not all remote workers will have access to the same office setup. Some workers may be fortunate enough to have a dedicated office to work from. Other workers may be required to turn one end of the kitchen table into a makeshift desk.

In order to keep workers comfortable and healthy, it’s necessary to not only stress the importance of wellness, but educate workers about wellness. For example, just because they are at home, workers shouldn’t work through lunch. Additionally, access to natural light is a must in order to reduce eye strain, headaches and feelings of drowsiness.

Step 3: Instituting a work/life balance

As previously mentioned, sometimes working from home can encourage bad habits such as working through lunch or working late into the night. To help remote employees achieve a good work/life balance, implementing a time tracker can be quite helpful.

By logging working hours, employees can see what they’re investing their time into and ways to potentially increase efficiency and effectiveness. Trackers can also serve as reminders to take breaks in order to boost focus and creativity. Importantly, only employees will have access to the tracker so it doesn’t feel like they are being watched by head office.

Step 4: Creating channels for communication

By working remotely, it’s easy for employees to feel isolated from their managers and fellow coworkers. To help employees feel engaged and like part of the team, it’s worthwhile to utilise collaborative work management platforms.

These platforms make it easy for team members to share updates and knowledge, track project progress and access resources. Additionally, a collaborative platform ensures clear communication. Helping both in-office and remote employees receive consistent messaging, which in turn, ensures that all team members are on the same page.

Step 5: Investing in learning and development

It’s easy for those working from home to feel isolated and undervalued. After all, how will remote employees know if their work is being received well? Open and honest communication, along with peer feedback and proactive individual check-ins is a start.

However, employees are known to truly feel valued when a company invests in their development. By offering remote employees access to a variety of online courses, employers can show that they are invested in the growth and continued success of workers, whether they are based in the office or remotely.

Making the transition to remote work

The working landscape is changing. No longer are employees expected to commute into the office and work traditional 9-5 hours. Instead, the modern worker can choose to work in the office, remotely or under a hybrid arrangement to enjoy the best of both worlds.

While these changing working arrangements have a wealth of associated benefits, reaping these rewards doesn’t just happen overnight. Rather, employers have to invest in remote workers. This means creating a plan that will inform the transition to remote work.

With a plan that details the equipment and support needed, as well as new ways to communicate and show appreciation, remote work can be successful. While the transition may be tough, ongoing support and communication will combine to help remote workers remain efficient and effective.