Is working alone right for you?

As more of us work from home long term, many businesses are considering flexible working as a popular option in the future. Whilst making do with working from home during the coronavirus pandemic is something we’re all having to do – and it comes with the general understanding that everyone’s situations aren’t ideal – are you a good fit for working alone more permanently?

Here are five must-have traits of successful homeworkers, with our tips for how you can improve these skills.

Communication

Working remotely can get lonely. It’s easy to feel disconnected from your workplace and your team, and it’s more difficult to have informal chit-chat with your co-workers. When you’re working remotely you need to be able to communicate with your team to stay productive and on track. From checking the progress of a job to seeking approval for the next steps, your ability to get on with your job relies on good communication skills.

Why is this so important? Consistent, clear communication makes us more productive as we’re able to get our ideas across efficiently and concisely. Expressing ourselves to our colleagues is also a great way of maintaining those social connections when working alone. 

Confidence

Working solo means you need to trust yourself. Being able to use your initiative is an integral attribute of successfully managing yourself. It allows you to get stuff done and not steer off track by overthinking a decision. 

Having confidence and independence is important for being able to work well on your own without constant supervision. For example, in an office environment, there’s the accountability of being surrounded by people working away, making it easier to not get distracted and ask for help.

Focus

Distractions abound when you’re working from home, and they can get in the way of a job well done. Your time management skills directly influence your productivity. If you struggle with this, methods like the Pomodoro technique can help you to block out time for focused work. 

But, it’s also built upon your confidence and motivation to achieve this – if you’re sure of your abilities, you won’t spend so much time worrying about the decision of perfecting a task for fear of negative feedback.

Routine

Those who work from home find it tempting to fall into the trap of working all hours of the day and spending too long glued to the laptop screen for just ‘five more minutes’. Ultimately, this gets in the way of our work-life balance and impacts our relationships. Rest is crucial to maintaining productivity, and not properly disconnecting can lead to stress and burnout. 

However, it’s important to be accountable during the hours your company requires you to work, so being able to implement a routine that works for you and your job is key. You could try:

  • A relaxing morning routine to wake up and start the day slowly before jumping into work, whether it’s spending time to take in your morning coffee, guided meditation or yoga. 
  • An evening wind-down routine that sets clear boundaries between work and home.
  • Regular breaks during the day to stand up from your desk and stretch your legs.
  • Lunchtime walks to get your steps in and get fresh air in your lungs, taking a moment to be present in nature and clear your mind of any worries. According to the British Psychological Society, mindful walking is a great way to switch off from the work day.

Learn to love lone working

Those who work in isolation are attracted to the job for a number of reasons, including the independence it affords them. However, there are downsides to this way of working, which can impact your wellbeing, mental health, and relationships. With this course, expert guidance will help you revisit the upsides of lone working.