Remote Working During Covid-19: Unicorn's Top Tips

As of March 2020, the world has been finding new ways for businesses to operate during the Coronavirus pandemic. The situation has provided the opportunity for some companies and their employees to work remotely, keeping business running whilst allowing staff to follow social distancing guidelines.

Fortunately for This is Unicorn, our business operates in the eCommerce industry, one of the sectors experiencing a more profound need for services than before the Covid-19 pandemic due to a surge in online demand, so our team has successfully been working remotely for the past 8 weeks.

Remote working can be as effective as office working, if not more. Employees are empowered to manage their own time, capitalize on periods of deep focus, and not become stressed or worn out by long commutes. All of this can be hugely valuable  at the same time as allowing companies to cut large overheads that come with running full serviced offices.

It’s a concept that entrepreneurs, freelancers and start-ups have understood for a long time and since the coronavirus pandemic has forced companies into working from home, many are starting to see why.

The ability to work from home or remotely is, we believe, one of the benefits of working for our company. It offers our employees flexibility and shows them that we trust them to get the job done whether they are physically in the office or not.

We’ve put together some tips on how to benefit from working from home, as well as how to overcome some of the inevitable drawbacks.

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Leverage the right tools​

Don’t go crazy downloading loads of new software. Choose a main platform for conducting calls and stick to it! Like many other companies, our team has been using Zoom to conduct meetings, quick catch ups and calls with clients. It’s extremely easy to navigate and users have the ability to share their screen with other attendees, minimising the need for back and forth document sharing. Zoom’s features also include breakout rooms, allowing those part of larger meetings to break off into smaller groups for discussion and the option to record meetings for visual and audio download.

Communicate - and not just about work!

Slack has always and continues to be our day to day communication channel. Since working remotely, our team uses this platform to share messages of support, recipes, music and general isolation boredom relief ideas. To end the week, we all sit back and enjoy a cold beer or wine for our Friday afternoon virtual drinks over Zoom, something we used to enjoy at a local bar at the end of the working week. Communication between team members can actually, as we have found, become stronger as a result.

Take control of your day​

The main pro with regards to working from home is that staff can take control of how they want to undertake a working day. Some people are more productive in the morning, so can use this time to focus without office distractions. We have found that our team members become more disciplined and effective, knowing they are being trusted to take control of their day to day tasks. There is also the huge aspect of time saving as many employees, especially in larger cities, have long commutes.

Increase operational output

Companies that allow remote working can also benefit from reduced costs in terms of rent, utilities, maintenance, furniture & equipment. In addition, no one can underestimate the power of employees taking time off work every now and again to recharge. Remote working significantly reduces the stress that comes from working a tight schedule in an office environment and subsequently reduces the need for employees to request days off as often. The remote workforce model gives teams the flexibility to balance work and life throughout each day. Also, by simply eliminating long commutes and distractions from open-office layouts, businesses can expect to see more hours worked by their employees and at a higher satisfaction level due to at home comfort.

You got this

Working from home can be challenging and daunting at the beginning, however you can absolutely reap the benefits if you take the time to figure out what type of WFH routine works for you as an individual, and at a company level. All you need to do is scroll through your LinkedIn feed to see the multitude of companies advocating the same way of working and joining the trend. Living in a world where technology and communication is ever evolving, the team at Unicorn feels fortunate to be part of this remote working initiative as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we plan to continue to take advantage of it moving forward.

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