As the summer holidays have arrived, you might be thinking about going on holiday. But what if you run a business is it possible to run your business from home, or from anywhere you want?
The modern workplace environment has become a lot more flexible in recent years. More and more businesses are allowing flexible work hours and remote working. The options for remote working are increasing.
Yes, it is possible to run your business from home, while on holiday, or even if you want to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle.
However, to be at your most productive, we recommend you follow these nine remote working tips.
The Cloud is your friend
According to a study by mobile network provider Vodafone, 75 per cent of companies worldwide have now introduced flexible working policies. This wouldn't be possible without the Cloud.
The Cloud has helped businesses become mobile. Thanks to Cloud-based products, such as Office 365, you can access files from anywhere on any device. This is increasing productivity levels for remote workers.
Find the right tools
Without the right technology and tools, remote working can actually become a demotivating experience. A fast laptop or desktop computer is a must. But technology can help across all areas of remote working.
Instant messaging tools and products, like Skype for Business, can speed up communication with the office. There are also project management tools that help you to track all the work going on within your business.
Empower your team
Will your business continue to grow when you're out of the office? Working remotely can empower your staff, but only if you let it. If you still want to control every single thing that happens in your business, then remote working might see your business stagnate.
By letting your team make decisions on their own, your business can continue moving forward, even if you are not there. Trust them to handle decisions when you're out of the office. It will also increase your productivity by removing disruptions.
Check-ins are a must
Yes, you've empowered your staff and yes they are making decisions while you're away, but you still need to check-in from time to time. As we've already discussed, there are plenty of excellent tools to help you stay in communication with your team. Email, Slack, instant messaging, Skype, even the old favourite the phone can all keep you in contact.
While we advise letting your team make more decisions, it's still important to check in with them and make sure everything is okay. It's easy for an employee to keep a problem to themselves because they don't want to disturb the boss. Just remember, it's about finding the right balance between these two tips.
Plan your time
This tip is for both work and personal time. If you're taking time away from the office, it's pointless doing an average days work, just sitting in a hotel room instead. Also, if you want to stay productive when away, you need to plan in times when you are going to do some work.
Set yourself limits on how much work you are going to do each day. It's okay being available to your team and ensuring things keep moving. However, don't let work take over your whole day, especially if you've gone away on holiday. Schedule work time and stick to it.
Find a Place Where You're Comfortable
Having a comfortable workspace is imperative to remote working. Without it, you will lose productivity, and in the long-term, you can cause yourself some damage. Make sure you have a table with enough room to fit your devices. Working remotely with your laptop on your lap will become a pain very quickly.
If your goal is to work remotely from abroad, think about the climate and the facilities available. If you have air-con, you can work comfortably in most environments. If your dream is the remote desert island, you might find sand gets into your laptop pretty quickly!
Learn to Network Online
If you want to keep your business growing while you're away, you need to keep generating new business leads. A lot of the most effective lead generation options can be done remotely, including networking.
With email, social media and the trusty telephone, you can continue to nurture and build relationships online.
Block Out Distractions
Find a space where you can be your most productive. Outside of the office, distractions can come in many shapes and sizes. Please don't add to them by working in an area with built-in distractions.
You might find you work better remotely with a minimalist desk set-up compared to how you would work in the office. There are apps you can get that will stop you looking at your phone every five minutes. Beating distractions is a significant battle in being productive when you work remotely.
Outsource your IT support
Remote working involves a lot of technology. With compliance and regulations like GDPR, you need to make sure that technology is set up to be secure. You also want to make sure the technology is set-up correctly, so it works every time.
Outsourcing your IT will also take away another host of distractions that can come from having to fix IT issues. To run your business from home (or anywhere else), you will need to hand over the annoying chores that eat into your productivity. Outsourcing, in general, can do just that, especially when it's outsourcing IT support.
Running your business from home is possible
Whether you want to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle or keep up with work on holiday, running your business remotely is possible.
Following these tips can help you build a structure around running your business from home. We also recommend that if you want to be out of the office for an extended period of time, you test everything you put in place.