Mitch Joel, author of the Twist Image blog, has a number of tips for working on the road. These are useful for employees and digital nomads alike. Here’s a summary:
- Always have an extra charger for everything.
- Keep your devices as fully charged at all times as possible.
- Ditch the briefcase, and get a nice looking knapsack or backpack.
- Take all of your cables, chargers, headphones, adapters, USB memory sticks, dongles and more and store them in one bag.
- Save it to the cloud.
- Block out the world with a good pair of in-ear headphones
- Being your own extension cord.
Citrix, a company that produces a lot of software for remote work (and one of my clients), has produced an interesting infographic about the benefits of the Out of Office work style (click the picture below to see the full infographic):
Among the statistics they quote are:
- 90% of flexible workers say they are happier because of the flexibility
- 60% would leave their job if that flexibility was taken away
- 80% of organisations have seen cost-related benefits
Videoconferencing has come of age, and it’s now a feasible, attractive and sometimes even preferable option for bringing people together. Let’s look at the pros and cons, tools and principles for making it work.
Listen to the episode here:
- Online meetings etiquette guide (past episode)
- The 7 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make in Web Conferences (special report by Gihan)
- 10 Tips for Keeping Control of Your Online Meetings (another special report by Gihan)
The tools to conduct video conferences have become ubiquitous, so it’s easier than ever to hold a video conference. Doing it well is another matter.
One of the behaviours we advocate in the book is to set up a dedicated workspace if you work from home. However, not all Out of Office workers have the luxury of a room they can devote to the purposes of a home office. This can result in the need to make do with a relatively small workstation. If that’s the situation you face then you should read an article by Sarah Rivkind published on the Virtual Vocations blog. Sarah has five tips on how to organise a small desk:
- Clean it
- Organise cables
- Drawers, boxes and shelves
- No personal items
- Use space wisely
Read Sarah’s article in full at VirtualVocations.com.
Cloud Computing is the foundation for successful Out of Office work environments. When data, applications and even hardware are stored “in the Cloud”, it makes it so much easier for workers to be more flexible, portable and effective away from the office.
If you’re responsible for implementing Cloud Computing in your organisation, you’ll be interested in this Knowledge@Wharton interview Up in the Cloud: Hype and High Expectations for Cloud Computing. It’s broader than just talking about Out of Office work (which of course is how it should be), but understanding the broader issues will make it easier for you to support and manage Out of Office work as well.
Most of our discussion on this podcast has been about telecommuting from an employee’s viewpoint. But today we’re going to change our perspective, and consider it from the employer’s point of view. So if you’re a telecommuting worker, this might give you different insights, and also you might want to ask your boss to listen to this episode! And if you are an employer, this might give you some ideas why you might want to allow your employees to work from home.
Listen to the episode here:
Reference material and further reading:
Taking short regular breaks helps you stay fresh and focussed when working Out of Office. GotoPC recently asked workers to vote on their favourite ways of taking a break. The results are summarised in the infographic below.