Following government instructions during the current Coronavirus pandemic, finance and accountancy professionals around the world are being asked to work from home until further notice. Although this may be commonplace for the 45% of our audience currently offered flexibility as part of their benefits package, for many, this will be a first taste of remote working.
Our specialist knowledge of the profession, combined with the flexible working policy offered to the GAAPweb team, means that we are in a good position to offer this guide on working from home for Accountants and other finance professionals.
Remote working tips for finance and accountancy professionals:
- Stick to your morning routine
- Freshen up & get dressed
- Maintain the structure of your working day
- Operate from a dedicated workstation
- Communicate with colleagues
- Attend your scheduled meetings
- Stay motivated
- Enjoy it
Stick to your morning routine
When working from home, you may find yourself starting work before you have gotten out of bed, but in order to maximise your professional performance we recommend you don’t reach for your laptop or paperwork until you have given yourself a chance to wake up.
The best way to do this is by sticking to your regular morning routine. If you exercise before work or listen to a podcast while commuting, make time for those things so that by the time you start work, you are in the right headspace to work effectively and efficiently.
Freshen up & get dressed
For some finance professionals, remote working offers a greater degree of freedom than usual in terms of attire. However, while your boss probably doesn’t expect you in full business dress at your dining table, putting on clean clothes when you get up will help you to feel fresh, switched on and ready to face the day as you would in the office.
Maintain the structure of your day
Despite the long working hours and overtime taken on by some finance professionals, having separate locations for your work and home helps you to maintain a healthy work/life balance. By starting work on time, taking your usual breaks and signing off at the end of the day, you will be able to prevent this balance from becoming blurred or disappearing entirely.
Operate from a dedicated workstation
In an ideal world, remote working would take place in a study, personal office or some other quiet space with a desk, comfortable chair and everything you need to get your job done to a high standard.
However, we know that this is not always possible. Consider your alternatives: a dining table and chair make for a great makeshift workspace, while a sofa and coffee table combination offers a more relaxed working environment. If you do have to work in a space that would otherwise be used for leisure time, make sure to put all your work things away at the end of the day to maintain those important boundaries.
If you are a parent currently juggling looking after the kids with working from home, consider signing up to Lemon-Aid for free daily lockdown tips and advice for families.
Communicate with your colleagues
Whether working in practice or industry, liaising with colleagues can be a big part of the working day for many Accountants. However, when working from home, communication can break down between coworkers.
Ensure regular contact with your colleagues via telephone, video calls, email and messages, whether for business discussions or just to catch up. Consider also a Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp or similar group chat to maintain the feel of office chat and banter.
Attend your scheduled meetings
At first, it may make sense to cancel or postpone meetings while everyone is confined to their homes, but by attending your scheduled meetings via video or telephone, you will be able to stay on top of your work, keep clients in the loop and cause the least amount of disturbance to your normal working day.
In the office, the presence of your colleagues and bosses is usually enough to encourage productivity, but at home, it can be all too easy to lose momentum in your work. Maybe you need to schedule a team call every day to make sure you’re on top of your tasks or perhaps a yoga session in your living room will help you to get into the working zone - the key here is to find out what keeps you motivated and take full advantage of it.
For many employed in finance and accountancy, remote working is not a commonplace perk, so make sure you are using the extra time and flexibility afforded to you to its fullest. The hours you save by not commuting will quickly add up, so use this time to do things for yourself like learning a new language, binging a TV series or reading that book you’ve been meaning to start for months.
Stay tuned to the GAAPweb blog in the coming weeks as we share more advice, tips and interviews about working from home for accountancy and finance professionals.
Are you currently working remotely in a finance and accountancy role? Whether this is due to the current Coronavirus pandemic or a standard part of your role, we would like to hear about your experiences. Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.