6 pieces of advice for teleworking
Reconciling work and personal life has been something called for by workers for years. Teleworking has been projected as the panacea to achieve harmony between both spheres, but has not yet been implemented comprehensively. In fact, only 27% of Spanish companies consider the option of teleworking, according to the data collected by the National Institute of Statistics.
This may be due to the fact that, although the technological barrier no longer exists and the option of distance work is legally recognised, the conception of the labour world is outdated. We have a face-to-face culture that is an obstacle to technological innovation: we do not really understand connectivity as a competitive advantage, nor do we promote virtual and collaborative work.
The International Labour Office and the European Union have pointed out the need to restructure the conception, timetables and ways of working, trying to accentuate the positive effects of teleworking with public policies that take into account the specific needs of this group.
Why go for teleworking?
More autonomy and flexibility, reduce travel times, be more productive by having intensive rather than extensive days ... Working outside the office has great advantages, but it can also generate certain inconveniences, such as working more hours and at a more intense pace or conflicts due to interference between the work space and the life of the home.
What’s more, achieving a balance between professional and personal life and the satisfaction of employees when doing their work has become one of the lines of work of Corporate Social Responsibility, as it has been observed that promoting plans related to the quality of life of workers has a positive impact on their performance and therefore benefits the organisation. In addition, thanks to telework, the company reduces its expenses and finds it easier to hire qualified professionals, regardless of where they live.
When considering working from a distance, we must bear in mind that this change in the working model opens up new possibilities and conditions to which we will have to adapt. Therefore, the ideal person for teleworking is one who is independent, self-disciplined, dynamic, flexible and has a great capacity for adaptation.
How to survive teleworking
Once you have taken the step of working from a distance, you have to take into account some recommendations to prevent the change from taking its toll on you:
Make your office. Having a well-defined workspace within your home is particularly important when it comes to teleworking. To achieve this long-awaited conciliation, it is convenient not to mix the play spaces of the "office" in the house, in order to avoid distractions. What’s more, feeling comfortable when working will help increase your productivity, so you must maintain standards of light, order and temperature.
Establish what your daily routine is to be. Routine and schedules seem to be diluted when we do not have an external entity to supervise us. It is very important to set a routine and working hours when working from home because, given that we have enormous flexibility and freedom, we can neglect our tasks. In addition, meeting a schedule prevents us from being connected 24 hours a day and, once again, we avoid conflicts between work and personal life.
Don’t be distracted. The refrigerator, television, social networks or other unimportant tasks become a temptation that is difficult to resist. Self-discipline comes back into play: you must be able to work as if you were in the office, without making unnecessary pauses or letting yourself be carried away by laziness.
Create your own form of organisation. Each person has a specific way in which they organise themselves, but it is always necessary to plan to get the job done and, in addition, to take advantage of the time and be as productive as possible. Working for daily objectives, in blocks of time with breaks between them or doing the most complicated first are some ways to distribute time correctly and not end up exhausted.
Relate at a distance. Losing contact with your colleagues by not being in the workplace is one of the great risks of teleworking. To not lose the feeling of belonging to the company or to avoid feeling isolated from the rest, we must make an effort to maintain the relationship with meetings every so often, networking, telephone contact, and so on.
If this is not done, this lack of communication can have negative effects on our well-being and health, according to the International Labour Office and the European Union in their report Working at any time, anywhere: effects on the world of work.
Get the support of new technologies. We can share documents and work online with our colleagues, meet telematically, organise our tasks through applications ...
We are fortunate to find ourselves in the midst of technological turmoil and there are many ways to be more effective and take full advantage of the benefits offered by teleworking. Now the apps make it easy for us!