Archive for the ‘Semi-Commuter’ Category
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.
Although most of our discussion here is about working away from a traditional office, we’re also interested in making in-office workplaces more effective. That’s why I enjoyed reading about tangible links between productivity and workspaces.
Heidi Pollard, CEO of UQ Power, a consultancy company to the mining and resources industry, says:
“Environment is a critical factor in successfully building trust, collaboration and communication in a workplace”.
So if you can’t work Out of Office, at least make your in-office workplace the best that it can be
Mercer Insights produced this fascinating infographic about telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements (click the picture for a larger version):
Infographic by Mercer Insights
Although in general we endorse an Out of Office work style, we also know it isn’t right in all circumstances. The Wharton Business School published an article “When Working at Home Is Productive, and When It’s Not”, which is worth reading for the pros and cons of telecommuting. It was written at the time of the Yahoo! telecommuting controversy in March, but it’s still relevant now.
Citrix has created a fascinating infographic about the changing nature of the workplace when it comes to work styles (click the picture for the full version):
In this episode, we share 25 simple but effective tips for improving your Out of Office work style – in the areas of productivity, e-mail, reducing interruptions, flexibility, and online meetings.
Listen to the episode here:
Buy the book here (available at a reduced price for a limited time).
Summary of the 25 tips:
Set up your workspace with productivity in mind:
- Have a dedicated office
- Make it easy to switch between workspaces
- Create good ergonomics
- Make it a place where you like to work
- Turn off alerts for non-urgent communication
- Conversely, allow important and urgent messages to get through
- Educate people about your work day
- Schedule work for quiet times
Manage your time:
- Use the Pomodoro Technique or Work Sprints
- Set priorities for the day
- Track your time
- Focus on outcomes and results, and keep promises you make to others
Handle email efficiently:
- Don’t use your inbox as your To Do list.
- Separate processing from responding
- Unsubscribe from irrelevant newsletters, notifications, and mailing lists
- Use sub-folders to organise incoming mail
Run better online meetings:
- Have a pre-meeting checklist
- Know what you want to get from the meeting
- “Arrive” early, and be ready to start on time
- Get comfortable with the technology
Be flexible, but in a smart way:
- Set aside dedicated time slots each week for certain things
- Establish a routine for the day
- Set weekly goals rather than daily goals
- Mix it up
- Try different things, and break all the rules!
In a recent blog post at Fast Company magazine, Anya Kamenetz makes the point that most of the research doesn’t support Out of Office work.
Here’s one extract from the post:
“The business case for face time is that it promotes more creativity, innovation, collaboration–in one study, even more job satisfaction. The workers who talked to each other more were much more satisfied with their jobs, while email exchanges had no such effect.”
However, the article does also say “We’re all figuring this out as we go along”! So it’s worth reading it for perspective.
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