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.
Many people look enviously at people who work from home, but they sometimes struggle when they are given the same opportunity. Working from home involves more than just a good Internet connection and a dedicated home office. That’s a good start, but it takes much more to make this successful – especially in the long term.
The article Make working from home work for you lists “13 home working must-haves”. Not surprisingly, a good Internet connection and a comfortable work space do make the list, but so do some other less obvious things.
Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, and the author of “Smarter Faster Better – The Secrets of Being Productive In Life and Business”. Charles was recently interviewed on the Virgin Podcast, in which he shared the following productivity tips:
- Motivate yourself
- Look for elements that you enjoy
- Focus on building mental models
- Set goals
- Don’t get caught up in decision making
- Draw on your own experiences
- Embrace panic
If you’re a leader or manager wondering whether to allow some of your team to work away from the office, we’ll give you 25 reasons why it might be the right thing to do – for you, them, and your future success.
Listen to the episode here:
The 25 Reasons
- No more commutes
– Australians spend 4.4 hours a week commuting
- Fewer interruptions and distractions
- Fewer sick days
– They even work when they’re sick!
Improve Work Flows/Performance
- Meetings become more efficient
- Collaboration is improved
- Deferred communication reduces wasted time
- You can operate 24/7
Happier, Healthier Workers
- They are happier
– You’re 87% more likely to love your job if you work from home
- And healthier
- They suffer less stress
– 82% of telecommuters report they have lower stress since they started telecommuting
- Not restricted by location
- Freelance talent markets open up
- Employees want it
– 70% of workers would rather telecommute than work in an office
– GWA suggests this number is higher
- Attract Gen Ys
- Be competitive
- Keep them when their personal circumstances change
- Help them move
- Keep Gen Ys
- Keep experienced workers
- Office costs
– GWA has an online calculator
- HR costs
Fit for the Future
- Natural fit for the skills of the future
– The Institute of the Future has identified 10 key skills of the future
- You’re preparing yourself for future distributed work
- You become a better leader
With the rising popularity of Out Of Office work, some enterprising gym and health club operators are expanding their lounges to provide members with co-working spaces. Club operators had noticed many of their members hanging out at the gym after a workout, using the lounge WiFi to get work done. So they decided to tap into this by offering more accommodating facilities for Out Of Office work. This is great for workers as it provides them with another venue for Out Of Office work, and it’s great for gym and health club operators because people who spend more time at the club also spend more money there.
Read the full WSJ article.
What do you think? Would you enjoy doing your work at the gym? Have youc ome across any innovative co-working spaces? Please let us know in the comments below…