Young male student working at a desk in home.

July 2, 2021, by indybamra1

Tips for Working From Home

By Jennifer Balloch, Employability Officer

Working from home has become the norm for the majority of office workers over the past year, and for many companies a blended or flexible approach to home working is likely to continue in the future.

There are many things to think about when either transitioning to working from home or starting a remote position. There are the practical questions: Is my WIFI sufficient? What technology will I use? Do I have a quiet space where I won’t be interrupted? What about home insurance? Then there are the ‘bigger questions’ that tend to focus on wellbeing and mental health: How will I feel connected to a team when not working in the same physical space? Who can I talk to if I have any issues or concerns? What support will I receive? How can I switch off if I’m working and living in the same space? There will probably be many more questions.

Here are some tips to help answer some of the practical questions:

  • Be upfront with your employer and ask the practical questions at the outset or voice any concerns when they arise. Having a conversation and getting to know who you’ll be working with and understanding the company’s policy on remote working should help to put your mind at ease.
  • Organise a dedicated workstation. In an ideal situation this would be a home office, but for a lot of workers this isn’t possible. So, try to think about where you will work, where you will be comfortable and have minimal distractions. Does that mean working at a desk in your bedroom? The kitchen table or in the living room? Choose what works best for you. And if it helps, you can always blur your background during video calls.
  • Contact your home / contents insurance provider and let them know about your change in circumstances. It may be that you don’t need to do anything at all, or you may need to amend it to account for extra technology in the home. Either way, be upfront and make sure you’re covered.

Here are some tips to answering the bigger questions:

  • Before asking your potential employer these questions, start off by thinking what your ideal answer would be. This will give you a framework to have your own essential and desirable criteria to score companies against. After all, the recruitment process should be two-way: an ideal fit for you and an ideal fit for the company!
  • Now that you have a clearer idea about what is important to you, you could start by following companies on social media or LinkedIn to understand the culture of the organisation and how they value their staff. Sites such as Rate My Placement or Glassdoor could give you invaluable insight into how supported or valued employees feel about their employer, which may in-turn answer some of your questions.
  • If you’d like to know more about support such as a buddying scheme, mentors, or staff development, then just ask them! It may be that your potential employer doesn’t have anything in place but likes the idea and is keen to initiate it. There may be a longstanding framework in place, or it may be that your potential employer doesn’t offer a support network and is not keen to trial it. Whatever the answer, at least you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether a company is a good fit for you.
  • Working from home or living at work? This can be a fine balance, and for some, getting that balance right may take time.

Take a listen to this podcast to get some practical tips on how to keep work-life and home-life separate. If you have a video interview coming up and you’re worried about how to do this at home then check out our other blog post. If you’re finding it difficult to manage your career activities whilst working from home, it may be a good idea to book an appointment with a careers adviser to address your concerns.

Posted in Career wellbeingCareers AdviceCovid