A Top Employer’s best practice guidelines for working remotely

Employees around the world are experiencing balancing home and family, whilst also trying to stay impactful and connected with their colleagues in completely new ways. This unprecedented, globe-spanning move to remote work is a turning point in how we work and learn.

We recently interviewed one of our Top Employers, Microsoft to hear more about some of their best practice guidelines for working remotely. This is what they had to share:

Share work-from-home guidance

Most organisations have put together training material to guide employees on how to navigate their “new” office environment and remote working. Many are experiencing remote work for the first time, and with very little time to prepare for this change, have many questions, such as: How do you set up a space where you are able to focus? How do you stay connected when you cannot meet face-to-face? Why does it feel like it is never the right moment to take a break? To aid employees, organisations can share diverse work-from-home guides that offer practical tips on everything from setting up their physical and virtual workstations to best practices for communicating availability to teams.

Create space for people to disconnect

In our typical working environments, we find ways to disconnect daily, often without having to try. Making dinner for our families or meeting friends at an after-work exercise class, or anything that helps us separate from the events of the day so we can decompress and get ready for the next one. Even under the best of circumstances, disconnecting when you work remotely can be challenging. Help employees to create a space to disconnect when they need a moment to rest, refresh and re-invigorate.

Continue driving team culture

A healthy team culture depends on frequent get-togethers. With so many people moving suddenly to remote work, it is tempting to postpone important events and fun team moments until everyone can get back to what we knew as normal. Whenever possible, it is best to keep focus on team culture even when you need to do so whilst being apart. The get-togethers that help nurture team culture may seem challenging to pull off remotely at first, but it really is worth the extra effort to keep everyone connected and moving forward.

Practice key management skills

Employees rely on their managers to check in, coach and encourage them through changes. As employees navigate a whole new way of living and working, they need support from their managers more than ever. Reinforce inclusion, check in often, and coach employees to discover their own best practices for remote work. Every employee has unique needs and challenges right now, and each will approach situations differently. As managers, it is important to understand and react to their individual needs as much as possible.