Archive for the ‘Digital Nomad’ Category
Freelancers often don’t get the recognition they deserve – and as a result, managers and leaders don’t get the best out of them. If you only see them as small, inferior parts of your team, you won’t fully tap into their range of expertise and depth of skills.
A Fast Company article recently listed four tips for getting more from your freelancers:
- Freelancers need motivation too
- Respect the limits of specialization
- Untangle roles and keep responsibilities clear
- Don’t lose sight of your own job in the process of managing others’
“How do you manage someone you’ve never met in person? And how do you gain loyalty from somebody who works for you 10 hours a week?”
These are two of the intriguing questions Justin Crawford asks in his article 4 Tips For Leading Teams Of Freelancers. The article is aimed at leaders and managers who outsource work, but it applies equally if you have telecommuters and other Out of Office workers in your team.
It only offers four pieces of advice, but they are valuable to any manager faced with this situation for the first time.
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.
The whole concept of work-life balance has changed, especially in this 24/7 “always on” world. Out of Office workers need to find their own balance between their work life and their outside-work life, but this is increasingly important for in-office workers as well.
Sharif Khalladi talks about the importance of “work-life integration” rather than “work-life balance”. In other words, “instead of separating work and home life, they intertwine and coexist side by side.”
Part of the pleasure of being a digital nomad is the ability to work from anywhere, and coffee shops are one of the most popular workplaces. However, digital nomads have to act respectfully in these environments. Claire Mason’s article about “Etiquette for freelancers and digital nomads” outlines some suggestions for behaving appropriately.
- Keep your cables out of the way
- Order food, not just coffee
- Keep your phone calls private
- Keep your papers to yourself
- Smile and be friendly
- Take headphones with you, and focus
- Remember your charger
- Have a specific task to complete
Working from home is the most common method of working away from an office, but it’s not the only option. In this episode, we consider four different workspaces for Out of Office workers: the home office, public places like cafes and clubs, co-working spaces, and on the road.
Listen to the episode here:
If you’re working in a distributed team, you might already know about some of the more common tools and apps, such as Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Skype, Buffer, and Hootsuite. These are all wonderful tools, but there are also a whole host of other tools available. We’re going to share some of them today, so you know about them and can consider whether it’s worth integrating them into your workplace.
Listen to the episode here:
- HiTask: A task management tool
- Trello: A workflow management tool
- Gmail Streak: A basic CRM integrated with Gmail
- HipChat: A chatroom application designed to help teams collaborate
- Slack: Competitor to HipChat, with many of the same features
- Sqwiggle: A simple chatroom aimed at distributed teams
- IDoneThis: A simple tool for teams to share what they’ve achieved each day
Connecting with the world:
Often, people in distributed teams don’t have the same personal connections with remote team members as they have with people in the same office. This is natural, of course, but can be overcome. Creating better personal connections leads to more rewarding work, better collaboration, and higher productivity.
Listen to the episode here:
- Read the Harvard Business Review article How Virtual Teams Can Create Human Connections Despite Distance
Location independence is the idea – becoming more and more common – that you can live and work from anywhere, without being confined to a fixed office. This book is an overview of what it takes to set up such a lifestyle.
Location independence has two parts: physical freedom (which is now possible because of the Internet) and mental freedom. Truant starts by tackling the mental aspect – including the mindset you need. The book is broadly based on the idea of “geoarbitrage”, which put simply just means that you can live in countries with a lower cost of living, while earning money from customers outside that country. In other words, your money goes further. This can be a very effective lifestyle, provided you’re open to the idea of living elsewhere and embracing other cultures.
Because of this central idea of travel, most of the book describes what it takes to plan for moving to another country, but from the viewpoint of a location independent worker rather than a holidaymaker.
If you’re interested in pursuing this sort of lifestyle, this book would be an excellent starting point.
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