The remote work movement (or working from home) is a steam engine barreling down the tracks. Just recently the idea has become more prevalent in many successful companies. Yet, many companies have yet to adapt to the notion of having off-site assets (people). Whether it is distrust in your colleagues or simply a lack of understanding, remote work life can be a wonderful thing for you and your company.
Diving into a remote work lifestyle takes planning and dedication. Simply put, this job role is not about having the freedom to do whatever you want with little-to-no supervision and work when you feel like it. The remote worker is about producing results on a non-traditional, non-linear work schedule. Remote work takes a strong will to get the job done. After all, when your team is relying on you, you will need to make sure you are pulling your own weight.
Start with getting your team together and set a plan of action for telecommuting. Communication is key, and I mean extensive communication with your team and organization to make sure projects are hitting milestones. Let your team know when you are expected to be online and ready to work. Failure to communicate will cause a domino effect in projects.
Being able to operate off-site requires you to have the tools to do the job. Depending on your job role, your toolkit might change. Let's look at the common denominators. A solid computing device and wifi connection are key. However, if you are a world traveler and work simultaneously, wifi connection is not always available. Companies like Apple have built-in tethering that allows you to grab a connection from your cellular data and other options include wifi hotspots. Be sure your current workflow is steady enough to offset the additional monthly data plan.
Other items include backup drives, field mics, camera or video recorders, backup chargers, a mobile phone that can be unlocked, and on-the-go power supplies. Whatever the task, be ready.
Offices tend to hold some of the biggest distractions; coworkers chatting and joking around, people walking in and out of your office. These distractions serve as some of the biggest time wasters when it comes to productivity.
Scene: You are working on the Ninja Report (HIMYM reference anyone?) and your boss walks into chat. Before you know it, time goes by and your lost your flow and have to reboot your work brain.
Working from home has the same distractions in disguise. Pets, television, cleaning, neighbors, all of these are distractions. Make sure your home office is distraction free and offers room for creativity and efficiency.
By now, I am sure you've heard of this term. Coworking space is a classy term for a place you can go to get work done around like-minded individuals. Even if your organization has a dedicated office, you should consider opting for a corporate membership to a coworking space like The Hatch. Being able to surround yourself with motivated people will help you build connections through networking and who knows, it might even lead to a partnership or two.
This might sound like a simple process to achieve the non-linear work life, but many people work years to build their skill set and ability to be efficient off-site. If you work for an organization that is open to adopting this work style or a person who dreams of the remote life, be sure to plan a professional pitch as to why this makes sense. Improper planning can lead to your supervisors viewing you as lazy. Not only do you have to worry about the supervisor, but your coworkers will expect the same treatment.
It reminds me of Field of Dreams. "If you build it, they will come." The same is true with digital marketing. If you build a solid off-site workforce, you will attract top talent who already recognizes that results are not always generated in a cubical, but can be achieved from the tops of mountains, booths at Starbucks, or the confines of your own home.