Welcome to Mosaic‘s feature on digital skills tips with specialist contributions from School entrance tests and Rob Williams Assessment.

Digital Skills Tips for Remote Workers

  • Set up a designated workspace. 

Separate space for yourself to work in, somewhere you can focus on tasks without being distracted and set up with everything you need for a normal working day – computer, phone, stationery, papers…etc.

  • Make sure you have all the tech you need. 

This includes a reliable and secure internet connection, any necessary files, hardware and software, remote access to your company network and, importantly, knowledge of how to get IT support.

  • Write a daily to-do list. 

Set out a list of realistic, achievable tasks to keep you focused.

  • Know when to step away from your desk.

Be clear about when your working day begins and ends and take breaks to refresh. It’s easy to let yourself be ‘always on’ when your home and office are the same place. When work is over, be sure you switch off to avoid burnout. Think about having ‘core hours ’ which people you work with are around for.

Conversing with your remote colleagues

  • Contribute regularly to team chats/group emails so you don’t drop off the radar. Ask about what people are working on and share what’s on your plate. Being physically separated means you miss the ‘water-cooler moments’ so this is a means to keep informed.


Fostering digital team relationships

Make time for non-work chats as you would in the workplace and use video calling to maintain face-to-face contact.

  1. Be clear in your communication. Speaking in person gives you visual and audio cues that help you communicate. Conversing remotely removes a lot of that extra information so make your communications extra clear and concise.
  2. Ask for support when needed. Speak out when you need assistance, further training or support. Your manager, colleagues and you are part of a team and should be supporting each other, especially remotely.
  3. Make remote working work for you. Change where you sit, put on music, whatever helps you work. And enjoy the perks – no commute or uncomfortable shoes, and all your home comforts!

Top 10 tips for managing remote teams

  1. Agree ways of working. Make sure every team member is clear about how you will work together remotely, how you keep each other updated, and how frequently.
  2. Show the big picture but prepare to flex. Remind your team about the big picture and how their work fits into it. Review short-term goals regularly and adjust as needed. If some members can’t carry out all their usual work, consider other skills they can lend to others to meet team goals.
  3. Set expectations and trust your team. Be clear about mutual expectations and trust your team to get on without micromanaging. Focus on results rather than activity.
  4. Make sure team members have the support and equipment they need. This includes any coaching they might need to use online systems or work remotely. Keep your calendar visible and maintain a virtual open door.

Have a daily virtual team huddle

This is essential for keeping connected as a team, to check in on each other’s well-being and keep workflow on track. It needn’t be long, but regularity is key.

  1. Keep the rhythm of regular one-to-ones and team meetings. This maintains a sense of structure and continuity for all.
  2. Share information and encourage your team to do the same. Without physical ‘water-cooler conversations’, opportunities to pick up information in passing are more limited. Share appropriate updates or learnings from other meetings and projects and invite your team to do the same.
  3. Tailor your feedback and communications. People can be more sensitive if they’re feeling isolated or anxious, so take this into account when talking or writing. Communicate regularly, not just when things go wrong, whether it is information, praise or criticism.
  4. Listen closely and read between the lines. Not being in the same room means you don’t have extra information from body language or tone to get the sense of what people are thinking or feeling, particularly in more difficult conversations. Home in on what’s not being said and ask questions to clarify your interpretation.
  5. Help foster relationships and well-being. Make time for social conversations. This increases rapport and eases communication between people who may not meet often. It also reduces feelings of isolation.
  1. Offer support on well-being. Organisations should remind staff of their existing health and well-being benefits (such as employee assistance programmes or occupational health) and how to access them when working remotely.

10 top tips for effective online meetings

  • Speak clearly and steadily. This will help ensure everyone can understand you. And try to modulate your voice, to keep people interested and engaged.
  • Establish etiquette guidelines. Agree a system to give everyone a voice. Arrange ‘hands up’ signals to agree who speaks next and use chat functions to allow everyone to contribute.
  • Repeat the question. The chair or presenter should repeat questions they ask or before answering them, to ensure all participants are aware of the original question. Repeating the question in writing within a chat box could provide additional clarity.
  • Keep slides simple and visual. Keep to a single thought per slide to help participants understand and focus on what’s being discussed. It’s better to have more slides with fewer things on them.
  • Your participants may be joining from a mobile device and wordy slides will be tough to read. Anchor your presentation on relevant, image-based slides.
  • Engage participants regularly. It’s hard to simply listen online for a long time. Invite participants to give comments or ask questions, and use tools like chat or polls.
  • Be explicit about actions and summarise. Spell out clearly any actions that need to be taken and by whom. Summarise meeting takeaways and circulate notes promptly.