What we've Learned about Working from Home - Working from Home Tips

Your Guide to Working from Home

Are  you looking for some working from home tips? What have we learned about working from home? It’s over a year since the first UK lockdown took place, and many people have been working from home for the entire duration. At DocuSign, there over 5000 employees, and only a small percentage worked from home before, but they worked 100% remotely if they were able when we went into lockdown. Like us, thousands of organisations across the UK asked their staff to work 100% from home if they could. Maintaining a positive work-life balance, staying motivated and staying productive takes work. So what have we learned while working from home? Here are the top working from home tips we’ve learned along the way:

1. Many employees prefer working from home, and employees can do their jobs remotely successfully

Moving forward, it’s important for companies to think about an employee-first strategy. DocuSign will let employees choose where to work when its offices reopen. A YouGov survey has indicated that 57% of UK workers want to be able to continue to work from home at least some of the time when the pandemic is over. This includes 4 in 10 people who hadn’t previously worked from home before COVID-19. Allowing employees to work from home in the future will become an important part of employee satisfaction. Employees like the flexibility of working from home.

2. Cloud-based tools make working from home easier

Mastering working from home is about finding the right tools to stay productive and connected to customers and other employees. Employees need tools for HR and recruitment and collaboration tools like GSuite and DropBox. DocuSign eSignature and DocuSign CLM have helped many businesses to manage and sign contracts remotely.  Many businesses have ramped up their use of cloud-based tools in response to the pandemic. The right cloud-based tools that work on mobile devices and can provide seamless, secure access really make it easier for employees to do their work from anywhere. 

3.You can build trust with the right communication

When everyone is working at home, a little more effort needs to go into managing communication. Not only is it best to provide tools to make communication more manageable, but it’s essential to carve out time for communicating with each other - whether that’s a daily morning catch up or a weekly team meeting, slack channels, something else or all of those things. Ensuring everyone still feels connected is crucial to ensuring a remote culture that works. Employers and managers need to set clear goals. For employees, it’s a good idea to provide regular updates on your goals, achievements and accomplishments so your team members and managers are aware. Schedule regular catch-ups for work, and allow the first few minutes at the beginning of a meeting for socially catching up as you might when you are in an office together to build relationships and trust. Transparent and consistent catch-ups can help to ensure everyone knows what the goals are and what’s expected of them. Regular communication helps to build relationships and build trust. 

4. Clearly separate your home life from your work life

When working from home, do you find it easy to separate your home life from your work life? According to research from the Office of National Statistics in the UK, those working from home in a converted bedroom, a home office study, or a kitchen table did six hours of unpaid overtime on average per week in 2020, compared with 3.6 hours for those that never work from home. The September 2020 statistics show that home workers are more likely to work after 6 pm than those who work away from home. The statistics suggest that remote workers are allowing their working life to blur into their home life. It’s important to try and achieve a work-life balance, and here are some ways of doing that we’ve learned along the way. 

  • Don’t forget to schedule time for a break - go for a walk or have a coffee. In the office, you would usually have a break in the day, chat with co-workers or go for a coffee. It’s essential to keep finding time to have regular breaks at home and not sit in your home office chair for 10 hours straight. 
  • If possible, designate an area from home which is just for your work. 
  • Leave your workspace when you would typically leave the office. It’s even better if you can separate your working day from your personal time by going out for some exercise, walking or meeting a friend. That sets a boundary marking the end of the workday for you to begin your evening. 
  • If possible, turn off work notifications on your mobile in the evening so you aren’t distracted by work.

5. Working from home has benefits for the environment

Remote working does have environmental benefits. Aside from a reduction in commuting, it also encourages organisations to go paperless. Going paperless has many benefits for the environment, and it helps to deliver better customer experiences