The Beginner’s Guide to Remote Working

For those taking their first steps into remote working, here’s some useful guidance to get you started. We’ll look at the pre-requisites to get you going, why communication channels are so important, what to do and what to avoid. Read on to find out more, plus extra hints and tips.


What you need to get in place to work efficiently – these are things you can do straight away.

  • Somewhere to work: a dedicated space that’s clean and tidy
  • Laptop / PC: contact your team leader or line manager if you need access to one
  • Set expectations and ways of working with your team leader
  • Communication tools – there are many available like Bluejeans, WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, iMessage, Slack and many others - check with your organisation which to use
  • Make sure local files are available when working remotely – copy files to your laptop or put documents into a shared area so they can be accessed and shared as required
  • Be aware of GDPR and your organisation’s policy on documentation and data
  • Look at your diary – do any meetings that could be done remotely have a remote meeting set up? Run a test meeting with a colleague if you’ve never held a remote meeting or hosted one

Communication is key

Let’s run through two examples of having different types of remote meetings on some apps that you may be familiar with.


  • Download the app for windows / iOS /Android. Make sure you have microphone and webcam switched on
  • If you work in a team, agree a regular scheduled BlueJeans call
    • Start of day team kick off?
    • Regular catch up with your team leader?
  • Be aware of your working environment on BlueJeans – your viewers will see what’s behind you
  • Be aware of your appearance on BlueJeans – no pyjamas!
  • Let other people in the house know when you’re on a call to avoid getting interrupted


  • Avoid isolation – WhatsApp contact can help you feel that you’re totally involved
  • Set up groups for your team – be very conscious this is a work group not a personal group
  • Chat as you would in the office, keep communicating
  • Rather than replace communication with emails, it may be more efficient to drop a quick WhatsApp message
  • WhatsApp can run on your desktop so you don’t need to open your phone and get distracted;

Working remotely – hints and tips


  • Create a dedicated work space
  • If you have multiple monitors – use them – it will make you more efficient
  • Make sure you have tea and coffee breaks
    • This keeps you hydrated
    • Time to walk away from the laptop and think
  • Get fresh air and exercise – it’s important not to get isolated
    *Please note this is subject to changing government advice
  • Make time away from your work environment
  • Be productive – make a list at the start of the day, tick it off, anything unticked is where you start your following day’s to do list


  • Don’t fall into a trap of working when convenient just because you’re at home: maintain regular work hours
  • Don’t have a work station full of distractions;
    • Don’t have social media open while you’re working
  • Get up and dressed as if you were going out of the house – resist the temptation to work from bed, the sofa or anywhere unsuitable for working
  • Don’t forget to keep in touch and communicate
  • Don’t feel guilty
  • It’s OK to have some background sound
  • It’s OK to finish when you normally would for the day

To hear these tips in more detail, click here for a short Access video presented by Adam Freeman.

Important note: always check your organisation's remote working policy first.