The video below showcases a company who switched to a five-hour workday, and in so doing, increased workplace productivity and the work-life balance of its employees.
This article explains the benefits of a five-hour workday, including:
Putting time constraints on the workday forces workers to look at their jobs differently, to see where they can be more productive. At Tower, everyone in the company actively analyzes what they’re doing right—and what they’re doing wrong—in order to achieve maximum efficiency.
You can find out more in The Five Hour Workday book by Stephan Aarstol, the CEO of Tower Paddle Boards.
By definition, an Out of Office team has some or all of its members working remotely – and that raises important communication challenges. You might think you’re good at communicating remotely, but are you really? The article Five Keys to Communicating Remotely suggests five techniques to improve your communication with remote team members.
- Choose your tool wisely.
- Focus on the message received.
- Listen more carefully.
- Think about more than your message.
- Be more intentional.
We frequently espouse the idea that offering flexible work arrangements such as working Out Of Office helps you recruit and retain the best staff. Andrea Duke has written an article that examines this idea, and concludes:
So, when it comes to recruiting and retaining top-tier talent, throw out that laundry list of “unique” benefits and opt for those that will have a significant impact on your employees and their ability to maintain a work-life balance.
We talk a lot about how to make out of office work effective. But there are still benefits to meeting in person – even if it only happens occasionally. In this episode, we look at various scenarios for in-person meetings, as well as their pros and cons.
Listen to the episode here:
One of the great things about working Out Of Office is that you can work from almost anywhere, including the great outdoors. Jennifer Parris suggests five ways you can be productive when you’re outdoors:
- Being away from your desk can be a great way to clear your mind so you can focus a single issue
- Similarly, uncluttering your thoughts can lead to inspirational ideas
- When inspiration strikes, record your thoughts on your smartphone
- Maintain connectivity to the Internet by setting up your smartphone as a mobile hotspot
- Catch up on the latest news and developments by listening to podcasts by leaders in your area of expertise
I’d add that simply relaxing and enjoying the outdoors is a great way to recharge, and in so doing, avoid the fatigue that can sap productivity.
Entrepreneur.com published an article, Getting the Most From Your Remote Workforce, to help leaders get the most of out of their Out of Office workers. Their list includes:
- Improve communication.
- Chart productivity.
- Hire Appropriately.
- Create the Right Team Atmosphere.
- Make Troubleshooting Staff Available.
Experienced leaders will be doing some of these things anyway – but it’s a useful checklist for everybody.
We have often said one of the main benefits of Out of Office work is the flexibility it offers employees. In fact, some surveys show that telecommuters are even willing to take a pay cut in exchange for this flexibility.
But that’s not always the case!
Recent research from the International Consortium for Executive Development Research suggests the opposite might be true for some people. In particular, women in their 30s want higher pay over flexibility.
This doesn’t apply to everybody, of course. And it doesn’t invalidate earlier research. It simply shows that everybody is different, and organisations who embrace that diversity are more likely to keep the best talent.
Today we’ll discuss some recent technology developments that are significant for the future of work in general, and out-of-office work in particular.
Listen to the episode here:
- Microsoft buys LinkedIn
- Facebook Live: Everything You Need To Know
- The Pokémon Go Secret to Your Business Success
- Facebook buys Oculus
- This Is What Your Future Virtual-Reality Office Will Be Like
- VirtualSpeech for public speaking
- Google’s Push Into VR
- Google: Defeating Go champion shows AI can ‘find solutions humans don’t see’
- Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York
- Future Work Skills 2020
The quest for the best talent continues in most workplaces, and it’s even more important when you have an Out of Office team. Many workers see flexible work – including working from home – as a benefit, but don’t assume that’s all you have to offer in order to get the best people. The article How to Attract Top Talent for Your Virtual Team shares some of the pitfalls and lessons of a company that gradually shifted from in-office to Out of Office.
It looks at things like the company culture, the personality of the remote workers, and setting the right recruitment criteria.
Working Out of Office is growing in popularity but it still has some way to go before it becomes a mainstream way of working. One of the obstacles on the path to mainstream acceptance is employers regarding flexible work arrangements such as telework to be a benefit or perk, rather than as a deliberate strategy for recruiting, retaining and engaging staff. Speakers at a recent conference on flexible work listed several key aspects of successful Out of Office work programmes:
- Senior managers embrace telework as a strategy and an essential element of organizational success.
- The program is informal, meaning that employees don’t have rigid requirements on when they need to be in the office.
- Employers measure whether work is getting done and not the amount of time people spend in the office.
- Employees feel free to request telework.