Time tracking, training and staying ahead: Our top tips for working remotely

Technology is a wonderful thing. For many, it has been business-critical over the past few weeks, with many businesses and firms now working from home amid the Coronavirus outbreak, and some teams will undoubtedly be experiencing this style of working for the first time. With this in mind, we’re positive that firms will be implementing working practices to maintain efficiencies, productivity and overall client service levels, as well as supporting the wellbeing and development of the team, with many understandably turning to technology for the solution. So, if you’re looking for some top tips to help keep yourself or your team on track, look no further.

Maintain regular hours

When working from home, it can be all too easy to see your working day blend into your evenings, especially if you’re dealing with a client crisis or an urgent case. But it’s important to maintain balance in your working life and to know when your shift is over, regardless of your location. Make sure you regularly review your time tracking to understand the number of hours you’ve clocked – it may be an eye opener – and consider replacing your end of day commute with a short walk or activity to break up the day.

Establish a workspace

If you’re lucky enough to have a separate office space with a work computer, this is an excellent way to keep you in ‘work-mode’, staying motivated and switched on for the day ahead. But we appreciate that not everyone will have this luxury. Where possible, establish a clear workspace whether it’s in your kitchen or dining room, away from your typical relaxation space (where possible), and set yourself up with everything you need for the day ahead – including chargers, water, notebooks, pens, whatever it takes to ensure you have a productive day. Plus, you might want to consider setting up a music speaker in this area, as research has revealed that 77% of businesses find that playing music in the workplace increases staff morale and improves the atmosphere. Happy listening.

Take regular breaks

You can’t operate at your best if you don’t give your brain sufficient rest and taking regular breaks is an important part of this. If you’d usually take a 30-minute lunchtime break at the office, make sure you do the same at home, getting fresh air wherever possible (providing you’re not in self-isolation with symptoms). Also look to take short breaks away from your screen. Research has found that the most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take short breaks for up to 17 minutes, but if that’s a bit longer than you’d prefer, simply take the time to make yourself a hot drink, get a glass of water or a quick breath of fresh air in your garden – whatever works best for you. You can even set reminders to do this with TimeOut for Macs and Smart Break for Windows devices.

Keep your cyber security up to date

With a large majority of the nation working remotely, cyber criminals will be looking for opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities and steal valuable data – particularly in the legal industry. Already, Coronavirus phishing scams are emerging, with data showing that from February 23 – March 16 there was an upward trend of attempted attacks, with victims losing over £800,000 to Coronavirus scams in February. It’s more important than ever to ensure your anti-virus and computer software is up-to-date, and that you feel equipped with the necessary skills to avoid risk. In this case, it’s worth considering Altior’s Compliance course, Money Laundering: the Risks and Warning for Solicitors (which is delivered entirely online).

Ask for what you need

If your firm is supporting your work from home set up, they’ll also be able to provide you with any equipment you might need (within reason). If you notice something missing from your set up, speak to your HR team or line manager about it – a lot of businesses will have a fund set up for items like keyboard, monitors, chairs and more. So, don’t be shy. But if your requirements fall out of the remit of office supplies and are more focused on training and development, know that there are online classrooms available to you, including Altior’s own Live Online. Whether you want to continue your PSC, focus on CPD, improve your knowledge of Compliance or more, there will be options available to you. Speak to our team today for the latest schedules and availability.

If you haven’t worked remotely before, it can be quite a culture shock. Many people thrive off the office environment not only to enhance relationship building and to encourage productivity, but it can also help with skills development, learning from other members of the team. However, given the current climate, working from home is the safest course of action for many businesses and firms to protect clients, as well as the team. But this doesn’t mean that productivity levels or development time have to suffer. To the contrary, there are many innovative digital tools available that can support you during this time, and at Altior, we’re on hand to help. So if you’d like to speak to our team about our remote training options to further your career progression during this time, get in touch today on 02920 451 000 or email us at infoaltior@barbri.com  

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