How to work productively away from the office

Friday 22 February 2013

As the popularity of mobile devices increases, more business leaders and employees are gaining access to the technology needed to work remotely. Using smartphones, media tablets and internet dongles, they can potentially operate to the same level as in the office - using cloud-based services and applications to keep up with daily tasks wherever they are.

However, there are plenty of internal and external factors which can derail remote working productivity if steps are not taken to mitigate them. Mobile workers need to be aware of the issues, and also how to combat potential drains on productivity. But how can they ensure they maintain performance levels and output when working on the move?

Working productively at home

If you are working in the comfort of your own home, it is important to ensure a distinction is drawn between your work and personal life. Home workers are advised to:

-  Create a study area away from the rooms you would normally 'live in'

-  Ensure you have a fast, reliable broadband connection which can support the delivery of high-bandwidth services over the internet

-  Have the option of closing the door and shutting noise out from elsewhere in the house

-  Have lunch in a different part of the property, or outside, to break up the working day

-  Dress appropriately for work - this will help put you in the right frame of mind to be productive

-  Work set hours, and avoid other distractions such as housework, TV, or the temptation to simply spend the day with the family

Working productively on the move

Mobile working gives professional people a great deal of flexibility and can potentially eliminate 'dead time' from the day. But it can also be difficult to settle into a working rhythm unless you are very disciplined and focused on the task in hand. Mobile workers should:

-  Try to find a quiet corner of the room to base yourself in, helping to minimise distractions

-  Find a comfortable chair and a table which is a suitable height

-  Have both mobile broadband and Wi-Fi options where they are working, to ensure a network outage does not prevent you from working

-  Keep files and documents electronically/online where possible, to minimise the amount of paper you need to carry

-  Keep your mobile device chargers on you at all times, in case the battery runs out

-  Set targets for the working day - as a whole and hour-by-hour. This should help you overcome distractions, particularly if other people are constantly coming and going

Posted by Jenny Arthur