Back in September, we wrote a piece on remote working, sharing our thoughts on commercial considerations for when an employee wants or needs to work remotely — and the additional issues when that employee is to be based overseas.

Who could have known that six months on, remote working would become the norm (at least temporarily) for so many of us?

Key considerations

In that original article, we highlighted some of the many questions which need to be answered when your employee is not only working away from the office but also in an entirely different country:

• How will they get paid?
• Do they need a new contract of employment?
• Will they need to contribute to retirement savings while abroad?
• What HR policies and other rules need to be adhered to?
• Can they still get healthcare and other benefits?
• How will things work across different time zones?

These are all still valid questions. However, it’s fair to say that there are now some more fundamental topics that need to be addressed.

Our top four takeaways

At PEO Worldwide, we are all now working remotely, and so we find ourselves having to “walk the talk” and carry out our respective tasks from home offices.

Here are our four top takeaways from our experiences of working remotely over the past couple of weeks.

1. Have a dedicated workspace

Or, where that’s not possible, put work things away whenever your normal workday ends. Otherwise, it’s really easy for your work to creep into your all-important downtime.

When you can still hear the laptop ping every time you receive a new message or email, it’s too tempting to have a quick look. Before you know it, you’ll be replying to emails and carrying on working late into the evening.

Often, this work won’t be your best work. Replying to emails outside of work hours could also mean others will feel they need to respond after their working day is finished and create a vicious cycle, which won’t give your mind the recovery time it needs.

2. Test the technology you have available

Can you access that folder easily? Is your conference call line clear? Is all your data still secure? Apart from all these questions, is your home broadband speed even up to the tasks you now need to undertake?

3. Make time to chat with colleagues remotely

Those social interactions and “quick questions” that get asked across desks or as we move around the office are really important. They’re important for team bonding, and they’re very often the most efficient way to make sure those pressing issues are raised and addressed.

4. People will step up to the challenge!

Many business leaders and managers probably think that allowing someone to work remotely gives them an opportunity to slow down a little, away from the watchful eye of their superiors. That’s not been our experience. Everyone in the PEO Worldwide team continues to fulfil their roles diligently — ensuring the essential tasks we carry out are being done on time and handling some tricky issues with care and compassion.

We’d love to hear how you’ve been tackling the challenges of remote working — whether that’s domestically or overseas. Share your experiences with us on our LinkedIn page or tweet us at @WorldwidePEO. If you’d like to talk to us, you can also give us a call on 0203 137 0217.