Out of Office

Use Cubefree to Find Workshifting Workspaces

Citrix Labs has just released the Cubefree iPhone app, which helps Out Of Office workers find libraries, cafes and co-working spaces with suitable workshifting amenities. The app also shows you other Cubefree users who are nearby, including those who might be part of your professional or social network.

Being a Citrix product, Cubefree integrates with other Citrix tools such as GotoMeeting, GotoWebinar, ShareFile, and Podio. The promotional video shown below provides an overview of the app.

Cubefree isn’t the first such app for finding workspaces – for a list of nine more see this blogpost. If you’ve used any of these apps or know of others then please tell us about it by leaving a comment.

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Plan for Tomorrow, Today

Planning your workday is such an important task for Out Of Office workers that it’s usually the first thing we attend to when we start work each day. However, I’ve recently heard advice advocating planning your workday at the end of the previous workday. Mike Vardy lays out the benefits of adopting such an approach and how to implement it.

  • Have a definite end time to your workday
  • Capture action items from today
  • Review your calendar
  • Pick your top three tasks for tomorrow

You can read Mike’s article in full on the Workshifting blog.

I’ve recently adopted this approach into my ways of working. If you’ve done likewise then please let us know your experience by leaving a comment.

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How to Manage a Hostile Meeting

How to Manage a Hostile MeetingMost meetings are polite and orderly, but occasionally you might be chairing a meeting with hostile participants, conflicting agendas or a controversial topic. Learn how to manage these meetings so you can achieve the meeting’s objectives without losing your cool.

The most important thing is to be sure you don’t let your emotions get in the way of achieving your outcome. Ignore the power plays, put-downs and pettiness and focus on what you want. If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs, everybody wins!

Of course, that’s easier said than done! I recently wrote a blog post for Citrix about this topic, addressing things you can do before the meeting, at the start of the meeting, and during the meeting itself.

Read Now

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5 Myths About Leading Distributed Teams

Many managers admit they don’t know how to manage and lead virtual teams effectively — particularly when it comes to trust, communication, managing deadlines, and achieving consensus in decision-making. Even worse, there are some common myths about virtual teams, which can cause friction within the team or even seriously damage its performance. In this episode, we address these myths and offer suggestions and advice for how managers and leaders can overcome them.

Listen to the episode here:

The five myths:

  1. Myth #1: It’s too difficult to build trust
    Reality: It’s not more difficult; it’s just different.
  2. Myth #2: It’s too difficult to build synergy
    Reality: Synergy is intentional, not incidental.
  3. Myth #3: Team members feel too isolated and detached
    Reality: Some personalities thrive under remote work arrangements.
  4. Myth #4: Interpersonal skills aren’t important
    Reality: If anything, interpersonal skills are even more important.
  5. Myth #5: You can’t measure and reward performance
    Reality: Sometimes you can do it even better.

Download the white paper, written by Gihan Perera for Citrix, on this topic (available here courtesy of Citrix Online):

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Dragos Roua: The 5 Fundamental Rules Of Working From Home

Digital Nomad, Dragos Roua, lists his five fundamental rules for working from home.

  • Setup a specific workspace
  • Split work into edible chunks
  • Work outside home
  • Go out
  • Thoroughly log each day

We advocate several of these ideas in our book, and have come to appreciate the benefits of the others since publication. It’s well worth reading Dragos’ article in full at Lifehack.

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Working From Home – Is It The Future?

There’s no question that working from home is growing in popularity, and obviously we’re big fans of it. Here’s an interesting infographic showing some statistics about how fast it’s growing:

Working From Home -- Is It The Future? by Staff.com
Staff.com – Connecting Great Companies with Global Talent

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Three Other Out of Office Books

Three Out of Office BooksAs the Out of Office trend continues, more authors have been writing about this lifestyle. In this episode, we review three other books in this area and compare them to our book.

Listen to the episode here:

The Three Books

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31 Simple Ways to Maximize Efficiency in Your Home Office

Maximize Efficiency in Your Home OfficeWorking from home gives you great flexibility, but also forces you to create your own systems, processes, and discipline. This can be a challenge for some people, especially because everybody is different. So there’s no one-size-fits-all system you can pull off a shelf and apply to your circumstances.

But this Lifehack checklist 31 Simple Ways to Maximize Efficiency in Your Home Office is a useful starting point. Look through this list and borrow what works for you when setting up your own system.

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A Study into the Work-Life Balance of Homeworkers

The University of Loughborough is conducting a study into the work-life balance of Out Of Office workers. Here’s their call to action:

There is little research into the work-life balance of people who work from home. The purpose of this study is to explore the factors that influence how people who work from home manage their work-life balance. I am seeking adults aged 18 or over who work from home (part-time, full-time or some of the time) to take part.

This survey consists of a set of questions about working from home, your preferences, and some demographic questions. It should take around 15 minutes to complete.

I took the survey – it’s a set of multiple-choice questions. If you’d like to contribute then visit the survey’s home page.

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Cloud Computing For Out of Office Collaboration

Cloud Computing For Out of Office CollaborationDespite the explosive growth of cloud computing, few organisations are using it effectively for collaboration, especially with their Out of Office workers. In this episode, we share some practical tools to foster online collaboration.

Listen to the episode here:

Additional Resources

General

Business Documents

Research and Notes

Calendars and Appointments

CRM

E-Mail

  • Podio (replacement for internal e-mail)

Collaboration Tools

  • Online meeting tools: Skype, Google Hangout, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, WebEx, MS-Lync
  • Support for online meetings: Bubbl.us (mind mapping), Padlet.com (bulletin board)
  • Online Forums: Yammer (like a private Facebook group for business), Ning (like private Facebook)

Productivity Tools

  • Basecamp.com (project management)
  • Support ticket systems like Bugzilla, Trac, JIRA
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