7 top tips for working remotely if you are in the military community


1. Change your password before you leave your employer’s office. Some IT systems require users to change passwords every 90 days or less but VPN systems don’t always allow users to do this remotely. Change your password before you start working remotely so it will be reset to the latest setting.

2. Try to log in from home before you start to make sure everything works. Let your IT department know if anything isn’t working, whilst you can still go into the office to fix it if it doesn’t.

3. Set up a work space and check the wifi and mobile reception in it before you get going. Because of the way quarters are constructed it’s common to find mobile dead zones where signals will not penetrate. If you have trouble investing in a mobile signal booster (check with your HR or IT department in case they can provide you with one or fund the cost of it).

If you are based in or near Aldershot Garrison, Bovington, Bulford, Leuchars Station, RAF Leeming, RAF Brize Norton, RMB Chivenor or the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and are working from home because of travel restrictions (as opposed to self isolating because you suspect you might have been exposed to Coronavirus) join their Military Coworking Hub and work from there.

Military Coworking Hubs are fully equipped, shared office spaces with wifi on military bases which the spouses of serving personnel can use for just £20 a year. More hubs will be opening in other military bases throughout 2020, including HMNB Faslane, HMNB Portsmouth, RAF Valley, Defence Academy Shrivenham, Fulwood Barracks and RAF Akrotiri. For more information visit https://www.militarycoworkinguk/.

4. Take regular exercise and get fresh air. Working from home can be super lonely and without your normal commute you will find you very quickly feel isolated. Establish a routine that allows you to exercise before you start work for the day and take regular breaks; go out for a walk at lunchtime (without a mobile device in your hand!).

5. Stick to your normal routine. Get up and get dressed in the morning as if you were heading to the office as usual. By keeping to your normal working hours not only will you maintain productivity, it will also help you separate your home from working life — trust us that’s going to be REALLY important in the coming weeks. Working from home is great occasionally but when you do it everyday it can feel like a bit of a prison at times. If you don’t have a coworking hub to work from and your work space is in your living area practice an ‘empty desk’ policy and put your laptop and all your papers away when you finish for the day so that you can really switch off.

6. Use video conferencing to stay in touch with other members of your team. It REALLY helps to see other people — even remotely. It also helps you feel connected and engaged and keeps you productive and projects on track. You will be surprised how much you rely on the daily interactions as you pass people by in the corridors and overhear conversations to find out what’s going on. Try and replicate that will regular team video calls. If you are the manager make sure your team holds them. Video meetings are a bit harder to manage than real world ones. Make sure anyone who isn’t talking mutes their microphone and have an agenda which you stick to to keep things focused.

7. Join our military coworking community https://www.facebook.com/militarycoworkinghubs/ on facebook and find your tribe. Connect remotely with other working partners of serving military personnel and join a community where you can make friends, help and inspire each other. With our combined expertise in a wide range of industries and sectors there is always somebody who has the answer to virtually any work-related question and if we don’t we can usually use our networks to find someone who can.

Most importantly: don’t worry about coronavirus. Stay calm and stick to your employers and government advice about staying healthy.

Try and view this as an opportunity; Covid-19 is forcing employers to bring in policies and develop strategies to support an effective remote workforce which means your chances of taking your job with you when you are posted just increased exponentially.

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