Have laptop charger, will travel! Here’s how to work remotely without leaving behind your productivity…
One big benefit to entrepreneurship is the flexibility that goes along with independence.
When you’re your own boss, you can set your hours, choose your workspace, and even handpick your co-workers — whether your actual “office” is a desk at home or an entire business suite.
Yet even with this autonomy, working offsite — in other words, someplace other than your office — can be a good way to break free from your routine.
If you’re looking to do some uninterrupted work, gain fresh inspiration, or brainstorm your big-picture goals, it may boost your productivity to work remotely from time to time.
But before you grab your power cord and set up camp at a coffee shop, don’t forget: your time offsite can be invigorating, but things can sometimes take a sudden turn for the worse. Before you know it, your freeing break from the routine can veer into a sludge of stagnation…
That is, if you haven’t made a few simple preparations.
Make the most of your time and effort while you’re away by arming yourself with a couple of no-fail tips. You’ll get more done, and feel better while you’re doing it.
If you plan to work for a while in a loud public space, bring headphones to block out conversations around you or to play music that helps you focus. If you’re in a quiet place – say, a library or at home — and you like a little ambient noise, bring along those same headphones and listen to a white-noise app or your favorite music.
Make sure to bring your laptop, smartphone, and any other devices necessary to complete your work. Charge your devices beforehand — and don’t forget to bring your chargers. And because you likely won’t have access to printers and office supplies while working remotely, you should plan your tasks accordingly. And make sure you have access to reliable Wifi if you need the Internet.
Following a few simple guidelines can go a long way to make sure you (and whomever you’re communicating with) keep information secure. For example, don’t use public Wifi if you’ll be working on private matters, such as banking. Conduct phone calls in a quiet space, away from other people, to respect the boundaries of your clients, colleagues, and the people around you, too. And if video calls are important for your work, make sure you’re in a place where the recipient of your call can expect the privacy of your conversation to be maintained. You’ll need to avoid strangers’ curious ears and eyes tuning in from across the room.
Working offsite requires a different level of discipline and accountability than a normal office environment. To make the most of your time, prepare an agenda and prioritize your tasks to avoid getting sucked into checking emails the whole time — unless that’s your objective. Log your time to keep yourself on track. You could also try setting an alarm to reinforce your timelines. And consider what attire is appropriate for your offsite work. What kind of clothing will help you feel most productive? Wear that.
Setting a budget for offsite work may sound silly at first, but unplanned lattes and restaurant meals can quickly add up. You’ll be better off planning your expenses for offsite work, and then holding yourself to whatever budget you’ve allotted. If you find that you’re tempted to overspend at a certain location, then choose another place to work. And don’t worry: you can still visit that little café with the perfect lattes – just save it for a day when you’ve got a lot of work and need a pick-me-up!
Working offsite could be just the change of pace you need to break through any obstacles laying in your path. (And for those who travel, working remotely is a basic necessity of the job.)
With a little planning and organization, you may find that working remotely is one of the most rewarding aspects of entrepreneurship itself.
Now, let’s pop in those earbuds and get to work.
About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO
Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.
She loves LEAP because:
A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.