With remote working becoming increasingly popular, more and more people are now having to adjust to life away from the office. With this being the case, we commissioned a survey to discover if people really do like working from home and what other incentives would persuade them to change jobs.

The Top Employee Incentives for Moving Jobs scaled

Remote working has transformed the 9-5, giving employees more freedom and a better work-life balance. According to a recent survey by Marketing Signals, 35% of workers feel that remote working has improved their mental wellbeing. Despite this, some employees are struggling to adapt to working remotely. For many businesses, remote working is here to stay, making it all the more important for businesses to support their staff in any way they can. Gareth Hoyle, Managing Director at Marketing Signals, shares his top five tips to help anyone successfully navigate remote working:

1. Take breaks and set boundaries

Getting up to make a cup of tea or chatting with a colleague is second nature when working in the office, but remote workers can often find themselves glued to their desks. Taking regular breaks throughout the day is key to maintaining both productivity and wellbeing.

‘I always encourage my employees to go for a walk and stretch their legs’, says Gareth. ‘Although our mantra is “work from anywhere” most of the team work from home which can start to take its toll on your mental health if you don’t take regular breaks, so I’m happy for my team to close their laptops whenever they need to.’
Being at home can also lead to the blurring of boundaries between your personal and professional life. Remote workers should avoid working overtime when they don’t need to by disconnecting from emails in the evening. Shutting their laptop when they’ve finished their work and leaving it until tomorrow is an important boundary to maintain.

2. Consider your workspace

Not everyone has the luxury of an office space at home, but creating a designated work area can help employees to stay focused. ‘When transitioning to working remotely, I made sure that all my employees had the equipment they needed to do their jobs, from laptops to a comfortable chair,’ says Gareth. For staff that don’t have a dedicated workspace, Gareth encourages ‘using different rooms for working and relaxing’ to maintain a sense of separation between work and home life.

3. Communication is key

Communication can seem challenging when working remotely as it’s no longer possible to walk over to someone’s desk to ask them a question. But that doesn’t mean maintaining strong working relationships has to be difficult. There are all kinds of software out there that help workers to communicate with one another, such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams. ‘Communication is one of the most important parts of working remotely,’ says Gareth. ‘While it’s essential to have the right type of software for the job, attitude is key. Leaders and employees need to be open to asking questions and giving and receiving feedback.’ Workers should aim to keep other team members in the loop about projects and reach out when things aren’t going to plan. Because progress can be less visible in a remote setting, employees need to remember to speak up and be open.

4. Maintain a healthy routine

According to the survey, 48% of workers revealed that remote working gave them the time to develop healthier routines, with 22% doing some form of exercise before they begin work. But with the absence of a daily commute, some members of staff can struggle to stay motivated. ‘It can be something as simple as going for a walk, making a cup of tea and getting dressed,’ suggests Gareth. ‘Some people enjoy exercising in the morning, while others might prefer to cook themselves a balanced breakfast. Your routine is personal to you.’ It can be tempting for those working at home to stay in their pyjamas and work from their bed, but in the long run, these habits can have a negative impact on your general well-being. While there’s no need to wear a suit and tie during team meetings, a healthy routine has the power to give workers more energy, boost their mood over time and do their job to the best of their ability.

5. Nurture social connections

With teams scattered across the globe, drinks after work might be few and far between, but that doesn’t mean remote workers should resign themselves to a life of isolation. Gareth says that ‘employees can still feel connected to one another through video calls, it just takes a bit of extra effort.’  He goes on to suggest that staff should make time for more informal catch-up calls as well as work-related meetings. ‘Asking about someone’s weekend or upcoming holiday helps to build those more meaningful connections.’ Outside of work, 33% of employees felt that they had a stronger connection with their partner as a result of spending more time at home. Remote workers need to remember to make time for the real people in their lives and step away from their screens for in-person get-togethers. Remote working will take a bit of adjusting for most people, but its long-term benefits far outweigh any of the challenges it comes with. Over time, employees and businesses alike will begin to embrace remote working and all the ways it can be used to improve efficiency and productivity.