“I’m thinking about applying for corporate jobs again and have been approached about a part-time Marketing Director job. I know it would be a good move and work with the family but for some reason I’m putting off making the phone call to the recruiter.” Marion had left the corporate marketing world 6 years before […]
Especially for International Women’s Day Anna Meller wrote an e-book to help women inspire change at work, and helping you make your workplace a more flexible one. Anna firmly believes you an inspire change to, after all “change happens best when nobody notices” and “small changes add up”. Just pick one or two that you feel are most likely to succeed in your organisation and help build more flexible workplaces.
Anna’s top 7 most practical tips for inspiring flexible working
- Re-design your job for flexibility, start by defining your job objectives, and make sure you get clarity on what you are meant to achieve and what you should focus your time and energy on.
- When you are looking for more flexibility, consider working the same hours, and look for ways you can redistribute your hours eg. to evenings, early mornings, weekends or distance working.
- When your organisation is hiring, mention there are flexible recruitment agencies that may well bring in the talent they are looking for if they can offer more flexibility.
- Schedule a team meeting to discuss work life balance, and what it means to different people in your team. How can you support each other in achieving this?
- Have you got all the skills you need for flexible working? Check it out on the e work life assessment tool and identify skills gaps for yourself or your team.
- Be a role model. If you are a middle or senior manager working flexibly, be visible. It’s invaluable to show others that it can be done, inside and outside the organisation.
- Identify the business case for flexible working for your organisation. There’s a good one on the Agile Future Forum to help you get started.
Would you like to know more? You can read the full story in Anna Mellers e-book: Ten Ideas for Inspiring Change in the Workplace .
Author: Inge Woudstra, Trainer, Speaker, Consultant and Founding Director of Mum & Career
“I’m thinking about applying for corporate jobs again and have been approached about a part-time Marketing Director job. I know it would be a good move and work with the family but for some reason I’m putting off making the phone call to the recruiter.”
Marion had left the corporate marketing world 6 years before to spend more time with her two children who were approaching senior school age. She now felt keen to return to work and had been focusing on the logical plan of using her past experience and networks to get back into a leadership position. She’d had a few promising leads but noticed that she was dragging her feet and putting off following up on them. Why was she making this so difficult for herself?
As we talked, I noticed that Marion’s energy soared when she spoke about friends who had set up their own businesses and about her own ‘impractical’ entrepreneurial ideas. When she reverted to talking about the ‘realistic option’ of going back to mainstream corporate life her energy drained away like a pricked balloon. Her tone of voice and body language were telling a different story from her words. As we talked, she identified a strong reluctance to give up her freedom and autonomy and the focus of our conversations switched to the feasibility of entrepreneurship. Having turned down a second round interview for the Marketing Director role, she is now enthusiastically developing her own venture.
Rational vs Instinctive Decision-Making
Many of us tend to believe that our decisions should be directed by our rational brains and we distrust our emotional response. But we need to remember that our experience of working, be it positive or negative, is subjective. Whether we enjoy a job depends just as much on how we feel about it as how good it looks on paper. Our emotions are often linked to underlying values, like Marion’s pull towards freedom. And an instinctive reaction can pick up something intangible (like a company culture or a manager’s personality) that does or doesn’t feel right before you can explain the reason why.
And there’s another reason to listen to your intuition. It’s true that ‘gut feel’ can be misleading and lead to faulty conclusions*. On the other hand, psychology studies show that we do not always think best when we rely on reason alone. For more complex decisions (like career choice) our rational brains can hit information overload. If we put our attention elsewhere and allow our unconscious mind time to work through all the factors and come to a decision, we are more likely to make an ‘instinctive’ choice that we will be happier with over time, even if goes against a logical pros & cons evaluation**.
Ways to incorporate the emotional & instinctive in your decision-making
1. Follow your energy. When you talk about each of your options, notice when your energy levels rise and when they drop. What are you most drawn to investigating? Ask your friends/family what they have noticed too.
2. Try describing yourself out loud in each of the different options: “I’m running my own business”, “I’m a Marketing Director”. Which intuitively feels best? Which feels more like ‘you’?
3. When you find yourself over-deliberating about your options, take a break, engage in an activity that distracts your mind for a few hours and then write down your decision before consciously thinking any more about it.
And in general, when you’re considering your next move, value your emotional reactions just as much as your logical analyses.
Note: names and some details have been changed to maintain confidentiality
* For examples of biases see Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast & Slow
** One study by Dijksterhuis & van Olden asked participants to look at 5 posters and choose which one they liked best using 3 different techniques: 1) pros & cons 2) gut feel 3) look, solve anagrams, look again, decide. A month later the 3rd group were happiest with their choice. This Unconscious Thought Theory effect has been replicated in more complex decisions such as renting an apartment (See Richard Wiseman, 59 Seconds).
Author: From the blog Women Returners: Back to Your Future aka Julianne Miles and Katerina Gould, an occupational psychologist and an executive coach who support professional women to return to work after a long career break.
Campaigning organisation Maternity Action estimate that 60000 women lose their jobs because of pregnancy or maternity discrimination every year. This is despite the Equality Act 2010, which protects you from unfavourable treatment because of pregnancy, pregnancy related illness or maternity leave.
In my experience, the most common problems arise from pregnancy related absences and around returning to work. I’ve advised women whose employers object to the number or timing of her ante natal appointments. There is a right to paid leave: you should not be asked to make up the time or to rearrange appointments outside office hours. Employers should not apply absence policies to women with pregnancy related illnesses except to the extent that this is to assist her (such as a referral to Occupational Health to consider whether any adjustments might enable her to return to work). Nevertheless, I have advised many women disciplined or even dismissed because they have taken time off with pregnancy related illness.
Having said that, outright pregnancy discrimination is still common: women tell me that their employers’ attitudes towards them have changed once they announce their pregnancy, with an assumption that she is no longer committed to her work, won’t return after her maternity leave or will only want to work part time. Employers raise performance concerns out of the blue or suddenly announce the role is redundant. One was even told that she would be replaced if she took her full entitlement to maternity leave. When one client complained about something her manager had said to her, he denied it, saying that her memory was bound to be affected by her pregnancy.
Returning to work is one of the most common times when women experience problems. Some women find their position has been filled and their services are no longer needed; their employer claims they are redundant. Your maternity leave must not play a part in any decision that your role is redundant. Any selection process should not take account of absences for maternity, ante natal appointments or pregnancy related illness. If you have been replaced during your maternity leave, your role is not redundant and it is unlawful to dismiss you. If your role is genuinely redundant, you have priority for any suitable alternative vacancies.
I would advise any woman experiencing discrimination to get something in writing as soon as possible: send an email setting out the problem, whether that be asserting your right to time off for an appointment or complaining about a comment about your pregnancy. If your employer has a HR department, get in touch with them as well as speaking to your line manager, or manager’s manager if they are the problem. If that doesn’t work, raise a formal grievance.
If things aren’t resolved internally, get legal advice as soon as possible. It’s important to remember there are short 3 month time limits to bring Employment Tribunal claims for discrimination. Whilst you may well have a lot on your plate preparing for a new baby, you might lose your right to claim if you wait.
Author: Louise Taft (Prolegal). Prolegal provides prestigious expertise without the elevated costs expected in this area. We employ the people, the resources and the technology needed to deliver you the highest quality of service in employment law.
The legalities of maternity leave can be confusing enough, but paternity leave adds to these complexities through the issue of under-exposure. Many new fathers do not know what to expect legally from their employer when they choose to take paternity leave; and they don’t know what responsibilities they must comply with. We’ve shone a spotlight on the issue to illustrate the key points, but for a fuller picture of legalities, click here.
Ordinary Paternity Leave
Ordinary Paternity Leave (OPL) was introduced in April 2003, entitling eligible employees to 1-2 weeks of paid leave. This is available in cases where a partner has given birth or where you’re adopting a child, so explore your rights with your employer from this basic premise. As a move towards shared parental rights, you can now receive up to 26 weeks of paid leave, as Additional Paternity Leave (APL) if the mother, or co-adopter, returns to work. This allows the father (or mother, in the case of same-sex partnership or adoption where their partner takes the traditionally ‘maternal’ role) to spend time “caring for the child or to support the child’s mother/adopter”. You cannot, however, get both leave and pay. There are rules on how to claim, and when your leave can start. Here are some of the basic points to keep in mind:
- You must take OPL within 56 days of the child’s birth, or the placement for adoption.
- OPL is only available to employees, and you must’ve been continuously employed for no less than 26 weeks before the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC). In adoption cases, you must’ve been employed no less than 26 weeks ending with the week in which the child’s adopter is notified that they’ve been matched with a child.
- You may take OPL any time between the child’s birth and its 56th week.
- You must either be the child’s father, or the spouse/civil partner of the child’s mother/adopter.
- You must also have some responsibility for the child’s upbringing, either as a biological father or as a part of a family relationship with the mother/adopter.
- You must provide your employer with written notice of your intent to take OPL no less than the 15th week prior to the EWC.
Additional Paternity Leave
- Minimum statutory entitlement from your employer for APL is for one period of leave, taken in consecutive weeks, lasting minimum two weeks and maximum 26.
- APL must be taken between 20 weeks after and 12 months after childbirth/adoption placement, and depends upon your spouse or partner having returned to work from their maternity/adoption leave. To take APL you must, as an employee, satisfy the same criteria as for OPL.
- In addition to OPL, for APL the mother/adopter must have been entitled to maternity leave, statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or adoption leave, and have returned to work with two weeks of their leave time remaining.
- You must give at least 8 weeks’ notice for APL requests.
Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP and ASPP)
- An employee is entitled to Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay if they match the criteria for OPL and have received normal weekly earnings for the 8weeks ending the 15th week before the EWC (expected week of childbirth), and these earnings must be no less than the lower earnings limit applicable at the time. These earnings are calculated on a weekly average of the employee’s gross earnings from the employer.
- You should give at least 28 days’ notice to your employer from the date on which you want to receive OSPP.
- OSPP is payable for 1-2 consecutive weeks and is paid at whichever is less out of the government’s rate (£136.78 from 7th April 2013) or 90% of the employee’s usual weekly salary.
- Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) will depend on the number of unused weeks of maternity pay/adoption pay left when the mother/adopter returns to work. The mother/adopter must have returned to work with at least two weeks of maternity/adoption pay benefits remaining.
- ASPP is paid at whichever is less out of the government’s rate (£136.78) or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings, and will be payable until the end of the mother/adopter’s maternity pay, or the date of the child’s first birthday, whichever comes sooner.
You have THE RIGHT to return to work after OPL and APL, just as you would after Ordinary Maternity or Ordinary Adoption Leave, as well as if you’ve taken four weeks, or less, of Parental Leave. If you take more than four weeks of Parental Leave (or additional maternity/additional adoption leave), you have the right to your job or a similar one, where it’s impossible for you to have your old one back. To be a ‘similar’ job, it has to offer the same or better terms and conditions – you cannot be demoted or downgraded. If you refuse this ‘similar’ job, and you are seen to be unreasonable in this choice, your employer can choose to take this as your resignation.
You have EQUAL redundancy rights as your colleagues when you are on paternity or parental leave. You also have the right to be offered any suitable alternative job if you’re selected for redundancy, even if there are employees better suited to the role). The only way you can be made redundant is if the employer can clearly justify making this step, for example if a part of the business closes, and everyone in this section is made redundant.
Keeping in Touch Days:
You are entitled to KIT days during Additional Paternity Leave, just as in maternity or adoption leave, though these days are optional, and both employer and employee need to agree to them. The type of work and the pay need to be agreed before you come into work. Some employees can work up to 10 paid KIT days during their leave.
Your employee rights shouldn’t be affected when you take paternity, maternity, adoption or parental leave (though surrogacy is still a complicated field).
The terms and conditions of your employment are protected – you are entitled to any pay rises or improved terms and conditions given out during your leave, and you can continue to build your holiday entitlement whilst on leave, to use before or afterwards. Pension contributions, however, usually stop if you take any unpaid leave like maternity or parental leave (unless your contract says otherwise).
A system of statutory parental rights has been suggested by the government which should come into play in 2015, allowing parents to share the paid leave that is currently only applicable to mothers. Once introduced, OPL will remain, but APL will be abolished.
Author: Phoebe Ryan, content and online PR executive writing with Pannone Solicitors.
Is eighteen my magic number? Eighteen months ago, I decided to leave my corporate career. In December 2013 I actually did leave after eighteen years (it took a long time to work through how best to direct the next phase of my career!). I’m now eighteen days into my new venture of self-employment and thought I would take a moment to reflect.
Why did I make this crazy decision? I took no severance package, I had no certainty of clients – it seems like a risk.
Looking for a new professional challenge
However, for me, the greater risk was actually to do nothing. I’ve had an amazing corporate career and enjoyed many successes and a wide variety of experiences. I have learnt much from wonderful leaders and colleagues. As a Mum of two girls now aged 8 and 5, I also cannot fault my previous employer in terms of flexible working. I worked part time in a senior position and that was not the problem.
The reason I decided eighteen months ago to leave, was because I craved a new professional challenge. I wanted to take the skills and competencies that I had and employ those in different sectors, for different sized organisations and optimise that variety. I also feel that I have a huge amount of valuable experience to bring value to smaller, medium and growing organisations.
Senior level and flexible working
What isn’t straightforward is moving companies at a senior level and maintaining flexible working. I’m positive there are examples of women (& men) who have achieved this career migration blended with an integration with home life (I’m not a fan of the phrase ‘work-life balance’). However, I was impatient myself to start the new phase in my professional career. The searching for, and negotiation of, what is still viewed by many as a privilege (and an earned one at that ) to not work 9 – 5, 5 days a week in a specific office location – was too much of an uncertain obstacle to me. I found I would talk with a Recruitment Consultant and either not mention my preference for flexibility or play it down – I’d learned that when you do, the conversation changes.
Getting the job done vs. availability
The absurdity of ‘flexibility’ and it’s actual rigidity and perception in organisations today occurred to me. It’s going to take longer than my immediate career life span for the current working paradigm to shift sufficiently for organisations to be less interested in people’s availability and more interested in outputs, talent and fit for a job. The fundamental fact is that I get the job done. Well. How and when and where … well I’m a professional. I make good decisions about when I do actually need to be at a certain location and when I don’t. I make good decisions about connecting with people and building relationships. I make good decisions about when I need to prioritise to achieve a deadline. My integrated life is full, but completely manageable if I can control my own schedule without needing to seek permission or justify to others where I am. Sure … measure that if I’m not delivering the outputs. Trust that I will make the right choices – after all, it’s in the interest of the job holder to continue to deliver isn’t it?
Hence my decision to keep my professional development going by finding my own integrated solution, rather than seeking those rare enlightened few who would hire at a senior level with flexibility.
The new challenge
This is not the only reason I decided to work for myself. I am a pragmatic, intuitive professional and this enables me more than just flexibility in terms of work schedule. I can determine how I work, my method, who I work with and where. Is it challenging me – yes! In so many ways and it’s just the early days, but the root cause for me to leave my corporate career was to seek and live new professional challenges – so in that sense it is delivering already.
As an HR professional, once I freed myself from the constraints of conventional working options, this became fascinating. Research shows that there is going to be a fundamental shift in our approach to working in the next decade to twenty years. I read and connected with ‘Future Work‘ by Alison Maitland and Peter Thompson with new enthusiasm. What better way to understand the coming employment trends that technology has enabled than to experience and live it myself?
And so here I find myself, after 18 years of wonderful and varied HR experiences and after 18 months of very considered deliberation, 18 days into what I am expecting to be an interesting, challenging and hopefully fulfilling chapter in my career (fulfilling for both myself and my Clients).
Along my eighteen month journey from decision to action, I had many inspiring pieces of advice and interesting conversations. Two I would like to highlight are as follows: Hillary Lees at Essence Coaching for helping me to ask myself the right questions and manage my inner critic. Dr Sam Collins founder of the Aspire Foundation for introducing me to the power of Vision Boarding.
Author: Paula Leach, Director, Indigo Day Ltd , Paula Leach on Facebook. If you are an HR professional, CIPD qualified with corporate experience and you would like to embrace Associate working with Indigo Day Ltd, please contact Paula Leach directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. She would love to hear from you as she is excited to be building a fabulous network of highly professional and experienced HR colleagues.
What are your plans for your business? Some parents start an enterprise purely to provide a little bit of extra income, but many have big plans. In this article from Antonia Chitty of Family Friendly Working you can learn more about growing your business, whether you started off knowing that you wanted a high growth enterprise, or the growth of your business has surprised you. Read on to find out some of the challenges you come across when you aim high.
Do you know you want to grow?
You may have a great idea for a business, a unique product, or a service you think everyone needs. Your business may be up and running already. But how do you know you want your business to grow? It may happen organically, and as your children get older and you have more time, you find the business expanding. Alternatively, you may be carefully planning each year’s growth over five or ten years.
What do you need to grow?
Developing a business that will support the family needs a lot of input from you as you address important issues such as pricing, insurance, premises, stock, staff and promotion. Making the move from a lifestyle business to one which is revenue focused is stressful. Think about whether you want a business which just supports your lifestyle or whether you are prepared to focus on profits and margins. And hard work isn’t enough – you have to want the business to succeed from your inner core.
What do you need in place to grow?
It is vitally important to get a few things in place if you are serious about business. Protect your trademarks and designs. It can be costly to contest copycats, and trademarking will make it easier. The bigger you get, the more sense it makes to register as a company, especially if you are borrowing to fund your business. If the business has difficulty paying its creditors, your personal property is not at risk. If you are planning to sell the business, even in ten years, it should influence your business planning. Make sure you develop a strong brand, and register and protect your trademark and designs. A potential purchaser for a business will look at the value of the machinery you own, other equipment, patterns, and of course, a database of your existing customers. Know this and plan your exit strategy even as you start the business.
Working out how to finance the growth of your business can be a headache. There are a number of ways to get finance. Ask your local enterprise agency about sources of grants. These often require match funding, where you provide an amount to equal the grant. Some people use personal savings, which they loan to the business. In the early stages banks may encourage you to take out a small personal loan or extend the mortgage on your house. This makes you personally responsible for the debt.
If you have set up your business as a registered company, you may prefer to take out a business loan. As mentioned before, this limits your liability if the business fails and cannot repay the debt. Banks offer business loans to companies, partnerships and sole traders. A bank will want to see your business plan, evidence of the funds you are investing in the project, and details of how the business will repay the loan. If your business is already established, include accounts from previous years’ trading. Contracts with buyers to purchase your products and services in the future will also strengthen your case for a loan. The bank will probably also want to then hear from you regularly about how the business is performing and whether it is meeting targets.
You can also look for other sorts of investment. You may have a friend or family member who is willing to make a loan to the business. Make sure you are clear about the terms of repayment and what control, if any, they investment gives to the investor. You may be pleased if a relative loans you £5,000 to get started, but less pleased if they then start wanting to know every detail of how you run the business. Clarify things like this in writing before accepting loans.
You may also get finance from a professional investor, an angel. This sort of investor will be experienced at assessing businesses and business plans. They will be looking for a strong and growing business to give them a return on their money. An angel will probably want part of your company, known as shares or equity, in return for their money, and a say in managing the company. If you are looking for large investments to the tune of hundreds of thousands, look into venture capital. City investors will finance a business, in return for a share in the company. This sort of investment will usually depend on your company meeting performance targets and financial goals. The investor may also want a seat on the board of directors.
When you are making your business plans, you need to be clear how you will make your company profitable. This applies from the smallest company up. Will you be supplying wholesale? If so, you need to calculate in margins so that your retailers can make a profit. They will want around 50 per cent profit after VAT, and you need to cover your materials, time, marketing and distribution costs too. Think about VAT registration early on. You need to register once your turnover exceeds £61,000. This figure increases by a small amount annually, so check current figures. Even if you aren’t registered for VAT when you start out, consider allowing for it in your prices. Otherwise, an increase of 17.5 per cent can either be a nasty shock for your customers, or make an unpleasant dent in your profits. Plan out your payment terms. Acceptable terms can vary, depending on the sector you work in. A standard invoice may request payment within 30, 60 or even 90 days. Work out your cash flow so your customers pay you in time for you to pay your bills.
This article only touches on a few of the issues you might face if you want your business to grow. Visit your local enterprise agency for further advice, or find out more about growing your business in Antonia’s book, The Mumpreneur Guide: Start Your Own Successful Business.
Author: Antonia Chitty is an award winning entrepreneur and author. Antonia has a diverse background, initially qualifying as an optometrist before working in PR, then writing for Which? magazine. This has aided her in writing books on topics including business, health and complementary therapies, disability and special needs, and parenting.
Returning to work after a long career break can be difficult. Have you ever considered a position in Human Resources. HR recruitment agency Portfolio CBR gives tips to help you establish a career in HR. This may well be offering the flexibility and intellectual stimulation you are looking for.
Despite what you may think, you probably have ample transferable experience for a human resources role. Even during your years out of work you will have added to pre-existing HR relevant skills or acquired new ones. For instance, your daily responsibilities in HR are likely to revolve around:
- Helping to run the day-to-day administrative operations of the HR department
- Recruiting and retaining employees
- Ensuring employees are adequately trained
- Sustaining employee records
- Assisting with employee relations and inter-departmental communications
- Employee benefits, safety, health and welfare
All of these tasks necessitate certain characteristics including efficient time management and organisational skills, the ability to thrive under pressure, exceptional people skills and an analytical mind. These are the sort of skills you develop as a parent. In addition you are adding life skills, which can be invaluable in HR. Find more on transferable skills
Those looking to make a career move into HR do not need to have a degree, although having one will not do you any harm, but rather most employers will be looking for a good standard of GCSEs and A Levels, and the willingness to further your career through training programmes and dedication.
You may feel like you left the adult world of work and offices a long time ago, however, it is important that you now make the most of the network of contacts you have and don’t underestimate the size of it. Speak to friends, old colleagues and other mums, the odds are that someone will know of a role that would work for you, even if it’s through a friend of a friend, set up meetings and let them see your determination to get back to work. Don’t be afraid to approach old colleagues you haven’t been in touch with for a number of years, most likely they will be happy to hear from you, and will remember you the way you were. Linked In is for instance a good way to find and approach them.
As previously mentioned, applying for an HR role without specific HR experience or qualifications is not necessarily a hindrance, employers will want to see that you are ready to progress and have
the foundations ready to build on. Impress your potential employer straight away by going in with a good knowledge of the qualifications available to you.
Starting in an HR assistant role for two to three years, your aim should be to work your way up to the role of HR advisor and further on to a management role after another few years. This is not an unusual method of progression in the HR industry, and many HR managers were trained on the job while attaining their Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development qualification.
Finding a part time or freelance HR role can be a long and arduous task as they are a rare thing. However, they are out there and when you are striving for that illusive work-life balance dedicating the time to looking for the right job is worth the effort.
A freelance HR role is a good option for those who had reached a senior HR consultant or manager level before their break. Utilise your established contacts in previous places of work, and look in your local area for smaller businesses that may be in need of an HR professional on a freelance basis. This will allow you to work independently on flexible hours, while earning a wage that does not have to be entirely spent on childcare.
However, if you are embarking on a new career finding a part time role which provides training while you work would be more appropriate and fruitful in the long term.
There are a number of specialist HR recruitment agencies providing valuable knowledge and experience based advice for those looking to return to HR, or begin a new career in the sector.
Here are a few good places to start:
Author: The article was written for Portfolio CBR. They offer recruitment services nationwide for all levels of HR, global mobility and HRIS roles.
If you have made a successful flexible working application, it is time to start preparing. In order to make the transition from the office to working from home both smooth and successful, take a look at our advice below.
As a mother, this may be hard, but if you choose to work from home for your family you need to create a space that is entirely dedicated to work. This will effectively be your office, so make sure your workstation has all the equipment you’ll need to work efficiently. Make sure that your family understand and respect this space, as well as your need to work. You will need to focus too; don’t let household chores distract you.
Develop a routine
If you are working remotely to assist your work/life balance, set your timetable to do just that. If you are in charge of getting the children ready for school, start work as soon as you get home. Use your time to your advantage by making the most of your time. Ensure that your work and personal life remain separate.
Now that you have a workstation and a timetable, it’s time to get productive. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can relax and work any less – you still have the same responsibilities that you had in the office. Manage your time and stay organised. Set yourself goals and stick to them. But remember to allow yourself breaks. Go outside, have coffee in the garden if its good weather, or meet with a friend for lunch.
A great way to stay on track with your work is to stay in contact with your colleagues. Start by letting people know what times you’re available. Its important that your colleagues know when they can reach you, as well as when to expect a reply. Active communication can convey that you are approachable, trustworthy and dependable. You can still be an active member of the team from any location.
Use the right tools
There are a number of tools you can use to aid communication and collaboration. You can schedule regular webinars for feedback and brainstorming sessions using either Skype or Google Hangout. If you want to keep on top of your projects, you can use applications like Basecamp to keep to deadlines and keep others updated on your progress.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You can do all the planning in the world, but working from home is a major transition for anyone. It will take time to find and settle into a rhythm. If you feel like you need help, whether that is professionally or emotionally, just ask! If you have concerns about work, be open and don’t be afraid to ask questions. This may be a period of adjustment for your employer and colleagues too.
We hope that these suggestions have given you a better idea of what to expect when making the transition to remote working.
About the author: Sara Parker blogs for Face for Business – providers of telephone answering services to UK SMEs.