Recently, I moved from Castlegar to Kelowna and began working remotely again. The transition to a remote office was smooth this time as I had a prior stint with it a couple years ago. Undoubtedly there are some obstacles to overcome, but for me, the benefits definitely outweigh any minor inconveniences.
Learning to work remotely has allowed me to go wherever I want, stay connected with my team and continue to get my work done. Whether in Kelowna, or anywhere else, I’m always able to access what I need to in order to do my job and stay connected.
Another huge benefit of building a competency in working remotely is that our practice is not geographically restricted to the clients that we seek out and work with. As we become experts in working remotely, we are able to create great relationships with clients from all over the country and provide the same level of service as if we had an office right down the street from theirs.
My favourite part of working remotely is the hours. I can work when it suits me best; I am not bound to an office from 9-5. Working remotely forces an organization to really focus on results – and results are not necessarily tied at all to a particular schedule or location. This flexibility allows me to spend my days doing whatever I want and then do my work in the evening – this is especially awesome during the summer when I don’t want to be stuck inside at a desk. In addition, this flexibility has made me more effective at my work, since I don’t have to sit around in an office all day where I would just be day-dreaming about getting to go to the beach or whatever else I may want to do.
One of the obstacles we have had to overcome in learning how to work remotely is staying connected as a team and to our clients. There are so many tools available to make this easy though – we use Skype and an internet phone system to stay in touch. This does mean that if the internet is ever down or slow things can become a bit more difficult. Even so, internet issues are not a frequent enough problem for it to be a big issue.
A second obstacle of working remotely is the potential for distractions. If you always have your TV or video games right beside you it can be hard not to pick them up. I do have to admit though, that I find I work better with some TV going in the background – I couldn’t have that if I were working in the office.
If you work in a field where working remotely is a possibility I would definitely recommend you try it. Take a test run and go away for a few weeks somewhere and continue to work from wherever you are. That will allow you to identify any potential issues, which you can then work on fixing. It’s an investment and a learning process, but getting to a place where you can work remotely is worth the challenge of figuring out “how”.
Written by Schuyler Holoboff