Archive for the ‘E-Worker’ Category
As work teams become more fluid, managers and leaders not only need to understand how to lead full-time Out of Office workers, but other types of workers as well. One growing sector is the freelancer community (also known as the “gig economy”). It’s easy to treat freelancers as simply resources who do one-off jobs. But that ignores the skills, talents, and unique experiences of these freelancers.
The Harvard Business Review article “Performance Management in the Gig Economy” gives leaders a number of ideas for getting more out of these freelancers:
- Share context
- Measure more than cost, schedule, and quality
- Encourage agile talent to communicate concerns before problems bloom
- Demonstrate two-way feedback
- Make sure the right managers are supervising your agile talent
- Acknowledge excellence and share the news
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.”
Geoff McDonald is a futurist and innovator, who is just brilliant at spotting patterns and trends.
In his blog post “The End of the Desk: 3 Massive Workplace Trends”, he talks about three big changes affecting all workplaces:
- Mobile Everything
- From Visual to Audio
- Sitting is the new Smoking
You probably aren’t surprised by the first, but the other two might be new ideas. Read the full blog post here.
There’s a common belief that innovation and synergy are weaker in distributed teams, because people don’t bump into each other to spark great ideas. However, that’s not necessarily true. It is possible, as long as you overcome the natural “out of sight, out of mind” bias against your remote workers.
Listen to the episode here:
Jarek Wasielewski of ClickMeeting wrote about how videoconferencing is a powerful productivity tool, even for in-person teams:
- Meetings Start and End On Time
- Perfect for On-call Meetings
- Better Decision-Making and Collaboration
- Online Meetings Reduce Stress
- Working From Your Place of Choice Improves Focus
For Out of Office teams, videoconferencing is an even more important tool for productivity, collaboration and trust.
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:
Working Out Of Office means taking responsibility for many aspects of your working life, including staying healthy. There is mounting evidence that the sedentary lifestyle associated with desk work has a serious, negative impact on health. This can be exacerbated if you work Out Of Office because you are less likely to get up from your desk to go to a meeting room or visit a colleague. So, it’s particularly important for Out Of Office workers to make a conscious effort to incorporate healthy behaviours into their work routines.
Physician Natasha Withers lists 12 tips for staying healthy while working Out Of Office:
- Setup a separate workspace
- Choose a good chair
- Or ditch your chair altogether
- Get up every hour and get out at least once a day
- Set a schedule and stick to it
- Schedule workouts
- Schedule active meetings
- Create a soothing environment
- Maintain a healthy work-life balance by logging your time and setting limits
- Keep the kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and meals
- Get showered and dressed as if you’re going to the office
- Get involved in a virtual telecommuter community
Although Out of Office work is attractive, it’s not always easy – especially when you’re just starting out. In this blog post, Melissa Hincha-Ownby discusses five challenges she faced as a telecommuter, and how she overcame them.
As Out Of Office workers we have a high degree of control over how our workspaces are set up. So, if you want to further improve your productivity beyond the high levels you already enjoy then you might consider investing in an indoor plant or two and shifting your desk close to a window.
According to a report by the World Green Buildings Council (WGBC) workers with access to natural light enjoy better sleep, better quality-of-life scores and higher productivity. Also having an expansive view was found to relieve stress and promote creativity. And “biophilia” – our affinity for living things – helps relieve stress, improve cognitive function and promote creativity.
Now, I’m not sure how much of the correlation reported by the WGBC is causal but at the very least creating a pleasant, natural workspace has got to be worthwhile. And if your opportunities for accessing natural light and biophilia in your home office are limited, well, you can always grab your smartphone and laptop and head for the nearest park.
If you’ve created a green workspace we’d love to hear from you. Please let us know your experience by leaving a comment.
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