The short answer to this is yes. With the changes in connectivity and the tools and aps available employees can really work from anywhere. It is this autonomy that intrapreneurs thrive on and is crucial to nurturing them within organisations.
It is easier now than ever before to have a distributed team and the only factor that can hinder the effectiveness is the time difference across countries and hemispheres. Logistics are one thing – it’s the humans that we need to consider. Can employees really be effective with nomadic working conditions? The stereotypical image of a telecommuter unshaven and in their pyjamas immediately comes to mind. Here are 10 ways to ensure remote and distributed teams are motivated, engaged and productive and effective working from anywhere.
- Daily Stand Up Meeting
Introduce a daily stand up meeting with all of your team members. This gives direction to the team and also accountability to what the team members will be working on that day. It is also the ‘switch on’ that some team members need to move from personal time to work time
- Have a Dedicated Workspace
Having a dedicated workspace is a psychological trigger that you are “at work” it is also a signal to other members of your household that you are working. Having your working hours set out in advance is also beneficial to ensure maximum productivity and to ensure that your work doesn’t encroach on family and personal time.
- Track Your Time
If you are finding that you get to the end of the day and can’t really account for your time start tracking your activity throughout the day. By tracking your actions you can see where you are most productive or where you are slacking off.
- Dress for Work
Another psychological trigger that you are “at work” is having the routine of getting dressed for work. Dress as if you could be called on for a meeting at a moments notice. Quite simply put some pants on!
- Prepare Food the Night Before
Whilst it is documented that telecommuters eat healthier meals than their in- office colleagues, food prep can take time and eat into productivity (pun intended!) Prep meals the night before or in the morning before your working day has started. Plan out breakfast, lunch and snacks to ensure that gazing mindlessly into the fridge doesn’t happen.
If you feel that you need a change of scenery or the distraction of the laundry is getting the better of you, leave. Go and work in a café or in a co-working space. Set yourself objectives of what you want to achieve in that time and nail it.
- Reduce Web Clutter
Web browsers allow users to keep dozens of tabs open at once, and while that is nice if you are doing research on a work project, it can be distracting if one of your tabs is always on Facebook. Get rid of the distracting tabs, only keep the tabs open that you really need for your business.
- Reward Self-Discipline
If you find yourself wanting to get up and get a snack or a drink make sure you finish a business task first. The snack or drink then becomes a reward for finishing a task. The same holds true for slotting in household chores such as the laundry. Finish the business task then put on a load, that way you can be assured that the business tasks are getting the priority. This approach slso helps with procrastination, just get it done.
- Answer Phone Calls and Emails in Batches
Let the phone go to voice mail and close down email while you are working on a project task. There is nothing more distracting than answering a call or hearing that email ping in the middle of project work. Let it go, finish your task and return all your phone calls and emails at the same time.
- Communicate to Friends & Family
I have a lovely neighbour (retired) that “pops” over to say hi cause he sees my car in the driveway. I now have a sign on my door – sorry can’t answer the door I’m in a meeting. It’s easy for people to think you are “just at home” when you are actually working. Communicate to those around you that you are working and you can’t stop what you are doing. And no you can’t pick up your mothers Dry Cleaning as you are working.
The secret to working from anywhere is communication, discipline and routine. Making sure you have a sound working structure will be the catalyst to the success of working from anywhere.