In 2016, the workplace underwent a dramatic change as 3.6m Baby Boomers retired, one-fourth of millennial workers rose up to take on management roles and Generation Z had just begun to enter the workforce. The demand for a more flexible work environment continued, along with the desire for greater autonomy and a healthier work-life balance.
Category Archives: Remote Working
Finding a decent place to work in London as a remote worker, digital nomad, or freelancer can be difficult. Many cafes are often too loud, not WiFi-equipped, or too small, and when you’re on a deadline, you don’t have the time to sift through endless online reviews to find somewhere decent.
The next time you find yourself in Central London, here are a few recommendations to save you some time and stress. Whether you’re in Bloomsbury looking for somewhere to get some writing done or you’re in Barbican needing a quiet place to host an online meeting, these lovely establishments are here to save the day.
“Ah, Herr Lamont. Ja, vee had a room for you…”
As greetings go, this is not what you want to hear when arriving at a hotel in the middle of the night. It is certainly not what you want to hear after your flight has left late, arrived late, and missed a connection that meant renting a car to finish the journey.
When I began working from home 10 years ago, the lack of office distractions and my newfound freedom to focus on a piece of work for an extended length of time, was a revelation. It was a novelty that has never worn off, and I look back on my years of office-filled banter, sitting within a busy newsroom among journalists who were continually talking on the phone, and I wonder how I was ever able to get anything done!
Co-working is a fast-growing trend.
Initially, it was the domain of start-ups who’d outgrown their bedroom-based offices and needed a flexible, affordable space for their growing business. But over time the popularity and number of co-working spaces has blossomed, with more and more professionals wanting to decide for themselves how and when they work, so that they can spend more time with family, waste less money on travel and operate from an environment that inspires and motivates them.
Ten years ago, almost to this day, I set-up my first home office and entered the world of remote working. Back in 2006, virtual working was the exception rather than the rule, and I only made it sustainable through hefty train fares into London each month for regular client meetings. Virtual collaboration tools and technology had a long way still to go, and connectivity was nowhere near as ubiquitous as it is today. But nevertheless, I made it work well, and discovered a newfound freedom through working when and where I liked.
The workplace has been steadily evolving over the past year or two, and big changes have come afoot in the first part of 2016. In the UK, the shift towards co-working has exploded, which has been led in part by the increasing number of individuals choosing to go freelance, who want more flexibility and control over where and when they work. Currently there are 1.4 million freelancers working in the UK, and the continued growth of virtual collaboration tools and technology, as well as the increasing acceptance of remote working, has given the freelance economy a tremendous boost.
Sometimes you just have to travel.
And as much as I love being able to catch up with my wonderful colleagues in Germany and Australia through an online meeting tool (GoToMeeting of course), sometimes you have to jump on a plane and get in the same room as someone.
The ‘office’ as we know it has undergone a significant transformation in the past few years, with many businesses and employees warming up to the benefits of remote or virtual working. It’s a trend that has infiltrated businesses of all sizes, from global organisations through to SMEs, sole traders and freelancers.
The average Briton takes 9.1 sick days a year, according to accountancy firm PwC. Doesn’t sound like much, does it, especially given that the average Briton works 150 days of the year*! But we all know that coming to work when you’re unwell won’t make you any friends AND could well make you feel worse!
Well, Citrix has done it again!
Gartner has released their Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing – and we’re thrilled to announce that Citrix and our web conferencing tools – GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining and remote support tool GoToAssist have yet again been recognised as a leader in the market.
Working from home is gaining acceptance among a growing number of organisations, as HR policy-makers latch on to the value of flexibility in creating a stable, productive workforce. It’s no longer a nice-to-have or just for working parents – flexibility is becoming a key concern for today’s employees who want more say in how, when and where they work. Companies that don’t adapt to this new reality risk losing talented people to more progressive rivals.
As our work lives become gradually more flexible, more of us need to be productive outside an office. Whether you’re a freelancer or remote worker, chances are you’re going to want a change of scenery every once in a while. Cafes and co-working spaces are the perfect place to caffeinate, refuel and focus with other like-minded individuals.
There is a lot to be said for being your own boss. I made the break from full-time employment in 2006, one month after getting married! I had a single client in place before handing in my notice, but it was still a big gamble, and particularly as I was hedging my bets on the emerging social media space. When I think back though, the nerves were minimal. Excitement and anticipation overwhelmed any feelings of doubt, and I couldn’t wait to be in charge of my professional future. I had created a tiny work space in my bedroom, within our one bedroom flat at the time. I was young, determined and raring to go.
Now that the countdown to Christmas is in full swing, it’s always nice to reflect on the highs of 2015, and in our case, the blog posts that really got our readers thinking and sharing. So just before we kick back with a glass of mulled wine and call it a wrap for 2015, we thought you might like our Christmas Top 10 of the posts that grabbed the most eyeballs this year…
Four years ago, the first edition of The Smart Working Handbook was published, designed to offer best practice advice in transforming organisations through smart working techniques. Its success was unprecedented, with more than 100,000 copies being downloaded and shared. Its advice has been adopted by numerous organisations including the UK Cabinet Office, as the official guide to Smart Working for the UK’s 440,000 civil servants.
It’s safe to say that wearables have successfully carved themselves a place in the consumer market: smartwatches, fitness trackers and notification devices are playing an increasingly prominent role in our day-to-day existence. Rapid advancements in flexible display technology mean that we’re able to expand our notion of what wearable tech can do, and where it can be used. But where do they fit in during working hours? Can wearables actually help us do our jobs?
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
Who are we to argue with the wise words of Albert Einstein? Certainly not me! On some days, usually when I’m up against a big writing deadline, it’s hard to tell if there’s really a desk under my mountain of paperwork, notebooks and mugs. A former journalist colleague of mine once discovered a six-month old mouldy, half-eaten pasty on his desk when he was ordered to give it a clean up!
Today was a day in the office for me. Office day’s involve a 650km round trip from my home on the south coast, into the heart of our capital city and then on to our head office. As a remote worker, these days are the exception rather than the rule but serve as an incredibly important part of my remote working experience.
Futurologists are forever trying to anticipate how today’s technologies will shape tomorrow’s working practices. Granted, we’re not at the point where our jobs have been taken over by robots with artificial intelligence, allowing us to enjoy a life of leisure, but communications platforms do allow us to interact and connect in ways we never thought possible. However, for many, the communications revolution hasn’t yet materialised into utopia.