Working from home has been a rising trend over the past few years, aided by cloud computing and virtual meeting apps, and has now been accelerated massively by the pandemic. Most sectors are developing remote working solutions and many engineers are now working from home, if their job permits, and enjoying the benefits. However, working from home can be tough with motivation and productivity taking a knock.
The team here at BMR Solutions have put together some top tips to help engineers get the most out of working from home. As engineering and technical industry recruiters based in the South West, we understand the intricacies of many roles, as well as possible demands of working from home.
Tips for Engineers Working from Home
Although some engineering roles cannot be undertaken at home, employees and firms are adapting to the new virtual landscape, finding solutions and possibilities. In a poll conducted by The Engineer at the beginning of March 2020 (prior to lockdown announcements), 75% of respondents said that their job was possible from home, with only 25% stating this was not feasible.
For engineers who can, working from home is the new reality for many. Here are some ways to improve your working from home:
Create a working space
Having a space dedicated solely to work can help you enter a productive mindset, even if all you could manage is the end of the kitchen table. As long as you are comfortable, have enough room, and you can concentrate, any space will do.
If you are fortunate enough to have a home office or spare room, now more than ever is the time to use it. While the appeal of working from home may be the proximity to the bedroom, keep your bed for relaxing and remove work-related thoughts from your ‘switch off’ areas.
Communicate with others
Communicating with your managers and co-workers is vital, not only to efficiently work but also for social wellbeing. Be sure to have weekly catchups and discuss your work progress, or lack of, to ensure you aren’t over or under worked. While working from home it can be harder for superiors to oversee engineers and check if they are overwhelmed or struggling; they will appreciate your transparency and cooperation.
For the social aspect, don’t be afraid to message your co-workers and have casual conversation – it’s nothing you wouldn’t do in the office! If you are struggling with aspects of working from home, they may be too and you can help each other.
Prepare for technical issues
Many engineering roles and processes require specialist programmes, access to secure files and licenced applications, all of which may be restricted while working from home. With so many engineers using VPNs and bombarding the system, things will undoubtedly get tricky at times. Similarly, protected files aren’t always easily accessible when working from home; even remote engineers have to occasionally pop by an office to access or download software and files.
When technical issues do arise when working from home, report them to the IT team and communicate with others. While frustrating and a hindrance to engineers, technical issues can and do occur, but they are also resolved, so may just require some patience and expertise. If there is time before working from home, it can be useful to download what you can or access hard drives to aid your transition from the office, however, be sure to check the rules and privacy.
Constantly checking the news may be anxiety-inducing, especially during a pandemic, but it is important to stay in the loop. Important announcements may be made concerning you, your engineering sector, and your position working from home.
If you are looking for engineering jobs or a role change, keep informed on sector developments. Although not as prevalent as always, recruitment is still happening, with many engineering roles offering remote working alternatives. While working from home, keep LinkedIn up to date, search other roles and keep in the know – you never know what opportunities are out there. For engineering or technical industry roles, contact BMR Solutions, sector recruitment experts.
Keep your office hours
When working from home it can be harder to switch off at the end of the day and stop doing work. Best practice is to keep to your regular office hours and routine, following your daily working times. A perk of working from home is the lack of commute (unless you count moving between the living room and kitchen), allowing you more leisurely mornings.
As your computer is near you may be tempted to just finish a job or check something out, but if it is outside of you working hours, jot it down on a notepad and sort it tomorrow. Unless it is urgent, resist the urge to do work just because it is convenient.
Learn More with BMR Solutions
If you would like to find out more about available working from home engineering roles or hiring technically able candidates, check out BMR Solutions. Based in the South West, BMR offer recruitment expertise across various engineering sectors, manufacturing and much more. Submit a vacancy with BMR or view our available jobs to find your perfect engineering hire or role.