While more companies are adopting remote work as an employee offering, a stigma still exists around the practice. Some businesses and executives still worry that remote workers are less productive while working out of the office than when they are physically present in the office. Today, remote work is rapidly growing in popularity, with 79% of employees expressing the desire to work remotely in some capacity. With businesses like WeWork continuing to expand, the New York Times recently reported that hotels across the country have begun to create dedicated remote work areas for both guests and non-guests, as they see an opportunity to “build loyalty with both hotel guests and the general public.”
And while flexible work is our future, we need to ensure that we are increasing our productivity, and not playing into any stigmas. Here are a few tactics to ensure that you are doing your best work while remote:
Plan Your Remote Work Spots in Advance
When traveling, it is essential to plan how and where you will work. Many seasoned remote workers seek out options like formal shared work spaces that provide free Wi-Fi and other necessities like power sources and, of course, coffee. It’s important for everyone trying to work on the go to scout out new cities to plan for any accommodations that they can leverage to maintain full productivity. If your hotel doesn’t offer a good “work mode” environment, research other spaces in advance that will allow you to be productive. Ace Hotel in NYC, which has a Stumptown Coffee, is a personal favorite of mine. Just make sure to get there early. It fills up very quickly. I also have a membership to a small local co-working space near my sons’ school, which I use when I have more than one school commitment on a given day. One of my favorite examples is from West Coast Fuzer Eric Hanson who, when on vacation, takes any necessary video meetings early in the AM from the back of the family SUV.
The Work From Anywhere Kit
It’s important to note that planning does not stop at location. Even if you’ve discovered a great place to work, a lack of proper equipment can be a crippling limitation that saps productivity. How many times have we all been on a conference call that has one person trying to contribute from what sounds like a wind tunnel or a loud waiting room. Those situations contribute to the stigma that remote work = lesser work. Having experienced these scenarios, I developed a “Work From Anywhere” kit, which contains everything I may need while working on the road. It has all of my chargers (phone and laptop), different headset options, two camera options to improve video meetings, my mobile hotspot, and a few power banks for good measure. Combining this hardware with Fuze’s software, I am prepared to be an asset to my teams, regardless of my location and travel schedule. When developing a WFA kit of your own, it’s important to include what works best for you, while keeping in mind the responsibilities of your role. With a good location and a WFA kit that’s prepared for any situation, your work--and your teams--won’t suffer.
Ultimately, productive remote works comes down to planning, preparedness, and creating an environment that sets you up for success, whether that’s having the latest headphones, extra coffee or the right technology at your fingertips.