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Remote working

Remote working means doing a job from a location other than an employer’s main workplace. This could be working from home or at a local office of a company.

Many employers now offer opportunities for hybrid or virtual working. Hybrid means working some of the time remotely using digital technology, and some time going into the workplace. Virtual means working remotely and not going into the workplace at all.

Is remote working right for me?

If you’re thinking about jobs that offer remote working, make sure it’s right for you. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Do you like personal, face-to-face contact at work?

  • Working with others is an important part of most jobs. For many people, having face-to-face relationships is one of the best things about going to work.
  • Remote working can be too isolating for some people, and it can make it harder to work with others.
  • It is possible to work as part of a ‘virtual’ team, but for some it isn’t the same as having direct working relationships.
  • Some people prefer working remotely as there are fewer distractions and they avoid the tiring daily commute.

Do you have the right environment to work at home?

  • Working at home can make it harder to keep work and home life separate.
  • Can you work without distraction from others in the house?
  • How would working at home affect others in the household?
  • Would working at home affect your mental and physical wellbeing? It’s important to make time to get out of the house and get some fresh air and exercise.

Putting the right things in place  

If you’re thinking about working from home, either all or part of the time, you’ll need to have some basics in place to make it happen.

Set up your workspace

  • Have a quiet and private space for your work.
  • Make sure your surroundings are appropriate if they are going to be seen on a video call.
  • Make sure others in the household know what your workspace is for and when you will be using it.

Get the equipment you need

  • Your employer should provide you with the equipment you need to do the job, such as a laptop or work mobile.
  • Is your internet connection up to the job? Does the wi-fi work in your workspace?
  • Do you need a printer and a secure place to store files and papers?

Agree the working rules

  • Agree with your employer your hours and the times you’re expected to work. Discuss any flexibilities.
  • Put arrangements in place for staying in touch with your manager and team.
  • Make sure you can access any training you need for the job and for your future development.
  • Agree rules with yourself and try to stick to them. Have a clear work schedule. It can help to have regular start and finish times.

Advice and guidance on your rights when working from home or remotely is available from acas (external website).

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (external website) has advice for employers and employees, covering issues such as risk assessments, mental health, working on computers at home and making sure your home-work environment is safe.

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