Productivity Away From the Office Desk.
Monday thru Friday, for about eight hours each day, you’ll find some of us in the office. But that’s not the case for others of us. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we’re stationed all over the place, including overseas. It’s not just us. More and more people are embracing the flexibility their jobs offer, and doing their best work at home. There are elements of being at home that are drastically different than being in the office, some of which have taken us a bit to figure out. We thought we’d share a few tips we’ve found helpful along the way.
Establish them. Even at home- especially at home- this is an important thing to do. While perks of working from home include being able to stand up and chat with family members for a few minutes in the middle of the day, or access the coffee machine any time you want, or even pet the dog while doing something that doesn’t require a lot of brain power, there are times when you need to remain uninterrupted. Coming to this agreement with your family (or… good luck… your dog) is necessary for you to remain productive during your time at home.
The office is not your home, nor is your home the office. If you’re going back and forth, make sure you have the tools to be productive at both places. For example, do you have a calculator at work, but not at home? Do you have to go searching for a notepad or pencil when you need to sketch something at home, but have an entire area set up for that at work? Work those little details out by making sure you or match your tasks to your location.
Maybe it goes without saying, but if you’re working from home, you have the extra burden to be a good communicator. You need to be able to tell the rest of your team what you’re up to, what you’re working on, what you’ve got coming up in your workflow, and on and on. They can’t read your mind, nor do you have a live video stream recording your every move. If you can communicate effectively, this will probably bring you and your team closer together, and be able to pick up each other’s work quickly during busy times. It’s all relative.
We recently had a time change… so did one of our team, Brian, who lives in Brazil. We used to be a mere two hours off, but now we’re four, and that leaves only a few precious hours when we’re all “working” to collaborate on projects. We’ve learned to get as much done as we can without feedback from the other people involved, and this is crucial to making legitimate progress in a timely manner.
Having the storage to transition from work to home goes hand in hand with having the tools to do so. If you can, get access to backups by putting them on a hard drive. That way, you don’t have to run into work every time a fire drill occurs and you need information now that can’t wait until you’re in the office tomorrow. Synch what you can. Synch your iPhone, your Outlook, your e-mail, whatever. Having as much information with you wherever you are will help you function better when it comes time to push out work.
More and more jobs are allowing for this type of flexibility, leaving us with more and more options. Working remote has a lot of perks to it- if you can maintain the balance between home-life, the office, and your workflow it just might be ideal. Remaining productive no matter where you are is the key to the game, though, and that might take a little getting used to. These ideas are just a few- but we’re sure there are many more ways to be successful if you’re switching from your desk office to your office office. If you have another tip for being productive while working remote- leave a comment. We’d love to hear your ideas!