I’m penning this article while sitting riding in my RV through the hills of West Virginia enroute to Kentucky. I’ve created a work scenario for myself that allows for this type of flexibility. “Back in the day”, very few people could work remotely unless they were writers and had typewriters, a travel luxury. Today, more and more companies/organizations are allowing their team to work from virtually anywhere. Now, as Jenn at Red Barn would say, it’s not all roses and unicorns this remote world I live in – but, it’s pretty darn close.
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Why I LOVE IT
- I work on my time. In the end, as long as all the work gets done and clients are happy, does it really matter when the work gets completed or where? Absolutely not. In fact, I am far more creative when I’m not sitting in my office surrounded by stuff. Put me in my RV (I wrote 4 magazine articles this morning before 10am), or outside in the woods and I’m creative as all get out!
- Change of pace. Going back to the creative piece, sometimes different scenery can inspire or the lack of the stifling office piles of papers (well in my office anyway) gives you some freedom to think better. For me, getting away always improves my work output.
- My team is huge, costs are low. I can have employees all over the world and I don’t have some massive brick and mortar to pay for. I can also give my clients a more competitive rate and pay my employees more and even offer them more perks.
- My employees are happy. Happy employees mean happy customers means happy business owner. If one of my team members wants to take their laptop and go sit at a park for the day, they go. The only “No” is if there are scheduled staff meetings or meetings with clients. Although we’ve been known to have more than one meeting outside or even via Skype.
- Sometimes you miss people. Now today, I’m in the RV with Dave – so I have people! But there are days when I don’t have any client appointments and I’m just tired of no human interaction. Same with my staff – good news is we are all conscious of that challenge and work with it. We may all get together at my house or all grab lunch – just for some humanizing!
- Staying Organized. Big challenge for me, not my forte but I force myself. Between project management tools, lists, and cloud based everything, I seem to keep it together. You must embrace technology if you want it to work though.
- Not everyone is a good remote worker. I learned this the hard way when hiring my team. I’ve learned that some people just love a cubicle (Gasp – not for me at all!).
- Discipline. You should be disciplined working remotely – especially for me in the RV! I set work time and stick to it. But once my work is done – I’m done, I don’t sit in front of my laptop from 9-5 because I’m supposed to.
- Getting away from work. When you don’t go to an office, your office follows you around. My discipline challenge is not working all the time vs. not working enough! At home, I leave my office and don’t go back in. The RV is a bit more challenging! I put away my laptop and papers into my bag and that’s me closing the door for the day.
- Security. Making sure our data is secure in multiple locations has its challenges, but we just have processes to ensure we are internally compliant! So far (fingers crossed) we’ve done very well!
Business owners who allow their team to try working remotely might be pleasantly surprised of the outcomes! Happier employees, better productivity and increased revenues!