Andrei Soroker owns a small IT business whose staff work Out Of Office. Andrei identifies four reasons why working Out Of Office is good for employees and employers alike:
- Faster growth
- Resource allocation
- Efficient communication
- Enhanced work hours
Read Andrei’s article in full at Entrepreneur.com.
Start the year by resolving to start, stop and continue these habits, which are mostly for Out of Office workers but really apply to almost everybody.
Listen to the episode here:
Here’s a summary of the 7 resolutions:
- Start Using The Pomodoro Technique: The Pomodoro Technique is one of several methods for helping you focus on work without being distracted or interrupted. The core of these approaches involves repeated cycles of
working intensely for a period of time (25 minutes in Pomodoro Technique) followed by a short break (5 minutes).
- Start 90-Day Projects: Compress your annual goals into 90-day projects: it’s easier to look ahead just 90 days, easier to get feedback along the way, and less chance of moving goalposts.
- Stop Distractions and Interruptions: Set up your workspace in such a way as to minimise the potential for interruptions and distractions.
- Get to Inbox Zero! Clear out your inbox now (while still keeping important messages for later processing), and then build the habit of always clearing it out every time you check it.
- Continue to use the Cloud: Focus on two key themes: personal productivity and collaboration.
- Continue Building Your Profile: It’s easy to be forgotten or ignored because you’re “out of sight, out of mind”. Take responsibility for your own career development.
- Always Keep Learning: Start from our Web site OutOfOfficeBook.com for the book, blog, articles and past podcast episodes.
Keith Ferrazzi writes for the Harvard Business Review, that a recent survey of knowledge workers found that although 79% of respondents work permanently or frequently Out Of Office, only 44% found virtual communication as effective as face-to-face communication.
To close the gap Ferrazzi suggests moving virtual teams to a new set of behaviours:
- Set ground rules for managing virtual communications
- Align personal and professional goals
- Strengthen relationships to enable the candor required for true collaboration
Read Keith’s article in full at HBR.org.
If you’re managing a team that includes Semi-Commuters (part-time telecommuters), they might ask for permission to use their portable equipment (laptops, phones or tablets) in the workplace. This is known as “Bring Your Own Device”, or BYOD. It’s not unique to Out of Office work, of course, but it’s more common there for your part-time telecommuters.
This article “4 Ways Startups Can Leverage Employee-Owned Tech” considers some of the pros and cons of BYOD for your organisation. Although its title says it’s directed at startup companies, the ideas apply to everybody.
Every organisation is different, of course. So you’ll have to adapt these ideas to your own. As the article itself says:
“It’s important to note that the preferences and cultures of each company are different, so use your own needs as a guideline to developing a BYOD system that works for you.”
Mobile Work Exchange has listed four trends Out Of Office workers should look for in the coming year:
- Mobiles and Millennials: watch for the use of mobile apps and social media to recruit young, social-savvy talent
- Phablets: smartphone-tablet hybrids such as the Samsung Galaxy Note, Apple iPhone 6 and Google Nexus 6 will be sold in large numbers
- Guidance: on security, authentication, identity management, and related topics will top mobility agendas in 2015
- Mobile Apps: look for more tools and methodologies to keep deployment of mobile technologies growing strongly this year
Read the article in full on the Mobile Work Exchange blog.
Do you have any predictions for Out Of Office workers in 2015? If so, let us know by leaving a comment.
The old way of setting goals is to sit down every January and set your goals for the next 12 months. But that doesn’t work anymore because the world is changing so fast. This means goals quickly become irrelevant and it’s too easy to get sidetracked by other priorities. So, instead of setting 12-month goals, do 3-month or 90-day goals. This episode is based on a little book by Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson about how to set and achieve goals.
Listen to the episode here:
Working while travelling is an intrinsic part of the Digital Nomad work style, so we provide lots of advice in the book on how to do so effectively and productively. Mike Vardy shares his personal tips for being an effective road warrior:
- Travel measurably light
- Keep running checklists
- Set up boundaries
- Leverage the commute
You can read Mike’s article in full on the Workshifting blog.
Most Australian employees are Out of Office workers, according to the latest research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, ACMA.
We’re still a long way from saying that Out of Office work is the majority of work, but ACMA reports that 51% of employed Australians do some sort of Out of Office work (that is, using the Internet for working away from the office) as part of their regular work style. Not surprisingly, for most of them (80%), the home is the most common place where they work away from the office.
ACMA has created this infographic to summarise their findings:
© Commonwealth of Australia (Australian Communications and Media Authority) 2014.
Out of Office workers are used to being connected and online most of the time. But there might be times when you want to “switch off” and be offline for an extended period. In this episode, we look at how to prepare for it, do it, and follow up effectively.
Listen to the episode here:
One of the main arguments against Out of Office work is that it creates barriers and obstacles between people connecting with each other. On the surface, it’s hard to argue with that reasoning. After all, how can you create as real a connection with somebody when you only ever interact with them at the other end of a phone line, Skype conference call, or Google Hangout?
The counter-argument is that this might be exactly right! Yes, it might not be possible to create the same sort of human connection as you do when you’re in the same room. But that shouldn’t necessarily mean you can’t create any connection with them at all. Nor does it mean that Out of Office work has other advantages that might – on balance – be more valuable.
There are some things you can do to increase connection in online collaboration, as the Harvard Business Review blog article, “How Virtual Teams Can Create Human Connections Despite Distance”, outlines:
- Setting ground rules for managing virtual communications
- Aligning personal and professional goals
- Strengthening relationships to enable the candour required for true collaboration
That’s just a summary of the points, and you can read the full article for the details.