Flexible working, remote working, working from home, WFH – whatever moniker it is given there is no doubt that work is now something you do, not somewhere you go and for this reason many are taking the opportunity to work outside of the office.
However, for those employers that have not yet taken the plunge and moved their work out of the office working from home can conjure up negative images; employees lounging around on their sofa, crisps in hand, Netflix binge truly underway…
These images could not be further from the truth. I want to demonstrate what a day looks like for the end user, those of us who do work from home. I think that you might find those that work outside of the office have very similar days to those of you in the office.
Firstly, I work for Arkadin – a leading global collaboration service provider. So it comes as no surprise that I do work from home when we provide the applications that allow workforces to do the same.
For the past few years I have been working from home for 2-3 days a week, or at client sites, occasionally at London Euston when my train has been cancelled, and often at the local coffee shop that has great WiFi (and great flat whites)… anywhere where I can get an internet connection really.
Working in an office environment is great, but I simply get more done outside of the office because I have no distractions. When I am in the company office, I have planned new business prospecting times (yes this is when I call you!), regular internal meetings and administration work that consumes my time. To ensure I am as effective as possible, I plan each week ahead of time to make the best use of the time I will be alone WFH free of distraction, or in the office where I require the input of other business units etc.
This is my day in the life from Monday this week:
I’m always up at this time.. even on holiday…I fear it is ingrained in me.
After a quick bite, I get my two dogs ready for a walk to the park, a quick one if it is raining. 7:30 am – Return home, put the kettle on, read through any overnight emails and respond to any that I can within 5 minutes.
Check the news, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Officially start at work we have a virtual team meeting using Skype for Business, (87% of remote workers feel more connected to their team with video conferencing).Two of us are in the office, the rest of us are all working from home today.
Finish responding to emails.
Continue working through tasks for 2 major projects.
First coffee break of the day!
Various internal meetings regarding clients at different stages, contract negotiation with the Legal team, Service Delivery Manager looking after a client rollout and a Project Manager finalising the phase of a Skype for Business telephony project which will enable others to work remotely.
Make a few new prospect calls to introduce Arkadin.
Lunch! Play fetch with my dogs and read the news.
Action any emails that came in throughout the day.
End of the working day. I throw my trainers on for a quick run around the local park, before coming home to cook dinner and relax for an hour.
I switch back on the computer as I find I’m more productive early at night, luckily working from home means I cut out the commute and so am still feeling full of energy when this second wind of productivity hits me. Time for some product training, prospecting and account planning.
I go to bed relaxed, looking forward to tomorrow and full of ideas.
I have always worked into the evening. With this formula I find, I am simply more productive because I am clearer headed and able to concentrate more, I also have more energy because I am finding more time to exercise. Most important of all, I gain two whole hours a day because I am not commuting.
The biggest thing for me was learning all about time management. No one is born with this skill, and for me, this was definitely the hardest obstacle. I use a number of tools which I will post in a follow up article.
Does your company have a work from home policy? Do you take advantage of it? How did you find the transition from work to home? What applications are you using on a daily basis to keep in communication with your team and customers?
- Remote working enables me to be at my most productive at times I might otherwise be commuting.
- Thanks to remote working I can get my work done and get my exercise in.
- Using video conferencing brings my colleagues to me, without any of us having to get on a train.