Unify Blog

Being an anywhere worker gives you undeniable flexibility and freedom. The tools we have at our fingertips enable a workforce to cut down on commuting costs and time, letting us work productively and in a way that suits our own personalities. For many remote workers, this is their own home, with a constant supply of their favourite brand of tea and a fridge full of lunch options!

There’s one question I’ve commonly asked though: what about the social side of employment?  Do you feel isolated when working remotely?

Having been an anywhere worker for a few years now, I can honestly say this is something I don’t experience.  Maybe it’s how I approach working from home, or maybe I’ve slowly lost my mind and have conversations with the microwave…

It has made me aware of how I address the social side of remote working though, so here are my top tips for being a social anywhere worker:

  1. Visit the office.

This might seem contradictory to being a remote worker, but I make the journey to the office once a fortnight (roughly), and I tie in my onsite meetings with days where I know the rest of the team will be in. It is rarely my most productive day, in a traditional sense at least, but it is invaluable to chat with people and learn everything you can.

2. Talk

Use technology to communicate, to work in virtual teams, to share.  If a Circuit conversation is ‘busy’ with new messages, start an ad-hoc call.  You can see if everyone is free to speak, so start a conversation. Have a bit of human interaction, you can even record the call if you want to capture the output and comments… whatever happens, make sure you hear other people’s voices.

  1. Be human

If you were in the office, you’d ask people how their weekend was, or how they are, so why would you not when typing them a message? Sometimes the simplest tips are best!

  1. Know when you need interaction

Sometimes, you can be working on a project and need some inspiration. You want to bounce ideas off someone or have questions that crop up frequently.  Without realising it, I have adapted to this. I use technology to make remote working less, well, ‘remote’. A colleague and I, when working on projects, will open an audio call, discuss what we need to be doing, and then leave the call open as we work. It sounds bizarre (so bear with me), but it does mean that we can chat as though we’re sitting next to each other in the office. It allows spontaneous conversation and actions, as well as helping to break down the ‘remote barrier’.

  1. Use video

It seems obvious, yet so few people do it. Seeing each other increases engagement. You can gauge reactions and interest level, which helps you to modify what you’re talking about or how you are explaining it. Also, if you’re using video often, it means you’re less likely to stay in your pyjamas all day (a particular problem if you need to nip to the shops to pick up some milk)!

  1. See people

Once a week I go to the gym at lunchtime.  I take a formal lunch break (quite unheard of) and I leave the house. I see people. I speak to people. I return to my home office having had a social fix and am energised when back at my desk.

On reflection – these are all pretty obvious and, as I said, this is just what I do. I am a social creature by nature, but have never felt isolated whilst being an anywhere worker. I guess that this is the benefit of #TechInRealLife.

Find out more about how you can ‘have it all’ as an #anywhereworker. Visit circuit.com

Mother, sister, daughter, friend, employee, mentor, scholar, medic, teacher, philosopher, artist, chief cook and bottlewasher... with a tiny *hint* of geek

Posted in amplifyTEAMS, Archive, Circuit, Mobile Working, New Way To Work, Virtual Teams