Out of Office

Archive for the ‘E-Worker’ Category

Working Remotely – the Psychological Advantages and Disadvantages

Michael Britt, who publishes the excellent podcast “The Psych Files”, recently had an episode about the pros and cons of working from home. We’ve covered some of these before in the blog and the book, but I particularly recommend this because Britt approaches it from a psychological perspective.

Our Productivity Platform

Our Productivity PlatformThere are lots of productivity tools, and in this episode we share our personal favourites. Everybody is different, so you’ll have to discover what works best for you. But we hope that by seeing what we use, you’ll be able to adapt them for your own productivity needs.

Listen to the episode here:

Download the MP3 file here

Subscribe to the podcast

Buy the book here

Links and Resources

Time Management:

Consuming Information:

  • Kindle: Easy to download samples; available across all my devices (via the Kindle app)
  • Pocket (formerly Read It Later): Allows you to bookmark interesting content for reading later
  • Buffer: Automate/schedule the publication of your tweets, posts and status updates on various social media platforms


  • Dropbox: Perfect for sharing files across all devices
  • Evernote: Similar to Dropbox, but better for tag, sorting and searching; it can also handle “snippets” better (e.g. photos, infographics, hand­drawn notes)
  • Google Drive: Started life as Google Docs, a Cloud-­based productivity suite (word processor, spreadsheet, slide deck, etc.); now a Cloud-­based file storage system


  • GoToMeeting and Google Hangouts: Use these for audio/video conferencing. Includes screen sharing, one-click recording, and other useful collaboration features
  • Skype: Use SkypeOut to call anybody anywhere; easier and more convenient than a landline
  • LastPass: Password manager that has a really useful feature to share passwords securely with others
  • Google Calendar / Tasks / Contacts: Google’s Cloud-­based calendar, to do list and people list

Personal Effectiveness:

  • Noom Coach: A fitness app on my phone, mainly related to healthy eating
  • BeyondPod and Podcast Addict: Podcast apps with some productivity features, like speeding up playback
  • iMindmap and Mindjet: Mind mapping software for recording in a more visual way

Kimberley Black: Why Meal Planning Is Important When You Work from Home

Over at the Virtual Vocations blog, Kimberley Black explains how meal planning can improve your Out Of Office style of working.

  • You will save time
  • You will eat better
  • You will save money

Kimberley also offers this cute acrostic poem about meal planning:

Making food in advance
Extra time for family, friends, work, or even yourself!
Adding fresh, seasonal ingredients
Less time spent grocery shopping

Portion control
Lowering your grocery bill
Applying a smart shopping strategy using coupons and bulk deals
No more microwave defrosting
Never again relying on fast food
Impulse buys are out
Nutritional benefits
Getting the most out of meals!

Read Kimberley’s article in full on the Virtual Vocations blog.

Is Telework the future?

Is Telework the future? Infographic
Time Doctor – Track your time. Track your team’s time. Know EXACTLY what is REALLY going on.

Wasted Time at Work: An Enlightening Infographic

Wasted Time in the Workplace - Infographic

20 Best Free Apps For Mobile Entrepreneurs

Mobile appsMore and more work is done on the road, either on business trips or as part of the life of a Digital Nomad. Of course, the growth of mobile technology helps enormously in allowing you to be productive when you’re away from the office.

What apps do you use regularly to stay productive on the road? My favourites include Dropbox, Evernote, and the Google suite of products (Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive and Maps).

Here are some more suggested by Mike Michalowicz.

The Birth of Bring Your Own Office (BYOO)

Bring your own officeYou might have heard of “BYOD”, or Bring Your Own Device – the idea that employees increasingly want to use their personal computing devices (phones, tablets and laptops) for their professional work. But what about BYOO – or Bring Your Own Office? Caleb Parker makes the case that this could be the next big technology workplace trend.

The idea is simple, and it’s very similar to our Out of Office idea. It’s one thing to bring your own device to the office, but that still assumes you’re going to an office. But people want to work from anywhere, and they no longer have to go to a traditional office at all. Hence … Bring Your Own Office!

This is exactly the scenario that faces the E-Worker, or full-time telecommuter. It also applies to freelancers, outsourced workers and sometimes to remotely distributed teams as well. It’s an area that is only growing, so be prepared for BYOO to come to your workplace soon!


VideoconferencingVideoconferencing 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:

Download the MP3 file here

Subscribe to the podcast

Buy the book here.

Additional resources:

How to Organise a Small Office Desk

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.

The Internet Knows More Than You Think (Infographic)

by wond.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

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