I am writing this week’s post form a cattle station in the Northern Territory, 33000 acres of rugged beautiful landscape. In the near distance I can see the fires from seasonal burning. Earlier a pack of dingos crossed over a small rise in front of me whilst I was working at my computer. It feels like I have taken “Remote Work” to a whole new level.
There are a variety of terms to describe the process of working from a location other than the traditional office space. Common terms include home, virtual, cloud, remote and telecommuting.
Working away from a common office space is not something new to me nor my team. We connect from several states and at times countries. The workplace culture has been gradually evolving, with the understanding that the benefits of collaborating beyond an office environment can open up a world of talent to you and your organisation.
Like anything else in life though, there are the pros and cons to working remotely, and whilst there are numerous benefits working away from the office is not for everyone. In my first two years I have had to relearn some skills I thought I already possessed.
Connecting – “Relationships are the glue that holds great workplaces together”¹. Working remotely will entail a level of creativity on how you connect, offer feedback, as well as socialise and develop as a team.
Communicating – Learning how to communicate effectively and efficiently. Much of the communication when working remotely is not ‘face to face’, and clear communication tools are vital.
Organisation and Discipline – Discipline around scheduling needs to be considered and failure to do so can either lead to overworking or underworking, remote work requires balance.
Setting boundaries – Many value the idea of working remotely to give them a work/life balance, yet this is probably the one factor that becomes blurred very quickly indeed. I find setting time aside for different tasks and having routine helps me during my day.
Knowing when to disconnect- Disconnecting when working remotely is important, constantly checking emails and responding to your phones every alert does not assist productivity or well-being.
Whatever you choose, make sure it suites you and your work style, don’t be misled and remember;
- It’s not a sleep in morning,
- The uniform away from the office does not always comprise of pyjamas and tracksuits,
- You cannot take naps whenever you feel like it, and
- You cannot walk out at the end of the day.
So why do I do it ……………