Working remotely can be both liberating and restrictive. On the one hand, you have complete control about where and when you work, while on the other, you lack the structure and amenities a fixed office provides.
There’s no place like home
Working from home – every business person’s dream? No commute, flexible working hours and no office politics. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. With a home office comes other drawbacks that need to be overcome.
Remember that even if your customers know you work from home, they expect a level of professionalism that inspires confidence. A dedicated fixed line and a business address can say a lot about your company. It’s also worth renting professional space for important business meetings.
Set yourself some rules. Create a space that is solely for work purposes and dedicate blocks of time to work. Don’t let yourself get distracted by chores such as cleaning the bathroom or doing the washing up. Ideally you’ll be working at the same time your customers are so you’ll be on hand to answer any of their queries.
On the move
Working on-the-go has become a popular way to maximise downtime and provide remote workers with space away from home. It can help focus the mind to complete a task or allow you to respond to emails and write up reports in between meetings. Finding the ideal place with enough space, the right level of noise and decent communication channels can require some research.
Local cafés often provide free wi-fi but noise levels and uncomfortable furniture can be a turn-off. Nowadays libraries also cater for remote workers, offering wireless and a quiet place to get your head down, but phonecalls may be banned meaning you may miss important calls.
If you’re working while travelling, it can become even harder. Only some public transport services offer services such as wireless, plug sockets and tables. Know what to expect in advance and if it looks like these things are off the cards, take along some work you can do offline. You may also need to access business information from a computer that isn’t yours – cloud computing and data storing is therefore worth bearing in mind.
Working remotely, whether that be at home or not, can save on costs, but it’s important to make sure you have safeguards in place to overcome some of the pitfalls. Virtual office services can give you a helping hand, providing a professional and cost-effective front-of-house. Find out what works for you and what your customers expect and stick to it.
Posted by The Secret Businessman