Out of Office

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently 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:

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Mike Vardy: How To Be An Effective Road Warrior

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.

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Most Australians are Out of Office Workers

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.

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Switched Off

Switched OffOut 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:

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How Virtual Teams Can Create Human Connections Despite Distance

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:

  1. Setting ground rules for managing virtual communications
  2. Aligning personal and professional goals
  3. 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.

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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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