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.
Category Archives: Remote Working
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.
I have to admit – I’m one of those workers who you’ll find tucking into a cheese and pickle sandwich at my desk at lunchtime. It’s a chance to have five minutes to myself and a cheeky peek at BuzzFeed before I crack on with my work. Not a great habit I know.
Love them or hate them, obsessively organise them or desperately avoid them, meetings are a massive part of working culture. From a quick team catch-up to a full blown brainstorm to the nervousness of a management meeting or client review, taking a group of people into a room often results in a series of personalities rising to the surface. How many of these have you encountered? (Clue: if you haven’t met one, you quite possibly are one!) And how do you use them to your advantage to make the most of the time?
The theme for this week’s round-up of the latest and best posts shared on social media over the last week is working families. What with the introduction of new shared parental leave legislation and a pledge from the Lib Dems to improve childcare provision for working families, these two stories have featured prominently in the news and sparked new discussion in recent days. Read on for a snapshot:
How do you announce redundancies, discuss negative customer feedback, manage poor performance or resolve conflict with teams and individuals who work remotely?
Watch this webinar recording with Lynne Copp, Founder of the Worklife Company, as she explores this tender strand of communication and shares four tips for communicating effectively during difficult conversations with remote workers.
The theme for this week is freelancing. While many of us enjoy the variety working from home, working from unfamiliar offices or even occasionally from our favourite local café, for some of us that comes as standard. The UK’s freelancers have been making a few headlines this week; here are some of the stories.
Let’s be honest…web conferencing can be a wonderful business tool for teams who are geographically dispersed or working remotely. But even the most experienced web conference user will have surely experienced some of the common awkward situations that are part and parcel to getting a group of co-workers to communicate virtually. It’s not always the most natural of situations, and unless web conferencing is a regular occurrence in your business schedule, it can be easy to fall down some of the technology crevices.
Most of the country has been issued with a snow warning in anticipation of the arrival of the “Beast from the East” – a stretch of cold air heading our way from Siberia. How lovely.
Back in 2013, 77% of organisations were affected by severe weather. Yet despite it being acknowledged as one of the biggest threats to UK businesses, few are often prepared for the disruption it causes.
Living in the digital age is a double-edged sword: The tools available to us can be wonderful servants, but they can also be terrible masters.
An avalanche of emails, texts and social media alerts threaten productivity in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. The challenge for us, then, is to use this technology to boost our productivity while still fending off distractions.
New Year’s resolutions often focus on losing, quitting or saving something. Whether it’s losing weight, quitting cigarettes or saving money, resolutions emphasise a desire to be healthier and happier. For small business owners, aiming for a healthier, happier business in 2015 starts by making others the centre of attention — specifically employees.
I remember listening to a scientist a long time ago who was making the point that while we make astounding advances in certain areas of science, other areas remain frustratingly the same. Take for example, the way in which blood is extracted in medicine. The humble needle is still the primary tool – a tool, which hasn’t changed significantly in a considerable period of time. This point came to mind the other day when I listened to a conversation on the radio about working from home. It appears that attitudes to remote working have not evolved significantly while work practices and other attitudes relating to our work lives have changed greatly.
“Meetings are a great way to fill my working day,” said nobody, ever.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a quick catch-up with a colleague or a regular team get-together – a meeting should serve a purpose and have at least a bare minimum agenda (and no, three bullets two minutes before the meeting do not qualify as an agenda). Otherwise the meeting is really just a waste of time that could be better spent getting on with “real” work, or even doing non work-related stuff.
The CBI is calling for businesses to take flexible working more seriously, following the publishing of a YouGov poll yesterday which showed that around 42% of workers would feel uncomfortable asking their employer if they could work more flexibly.
Earlier this year the UK government put new legislation into effect giving all employees the right to request flexible work. So for those who have always fancied working from home, dropping down to a four-day week or fitting working hours around school drop-offs and pick-ups, now’s the time to ask! Your employer is required to say yes or no. If they cannot say yes, they have a legal obligation to provide you with a valid reason why.
In the spirit of National Work-Life Week, a Working Families initiative, we’ve prepared a few useful articles for those thinking about working from home, or those looking to re-address their work-life balance. Happy reading!
When I decided as a single parent to adopt my daughter from China back in 2006, I knew that things would have to change within my career if I was going to be there for my child.
Over the years my career has taken centre stage, and I have struggled to find the balance between life and work. When the adoption finally happened after many years of waiting, I was leading a small web team within a demanding work environment.
Working from home (also known as workshifting) seems like quite a self-explanatory concept: You dodge the commute, the distractions and the cost of working in an office by opening your laptop at home instead, right? But, there are several aspects you need to consider, whether they are the ergonomics of your new workspace, the equipment, your motivation or your general happiness. So, below, I have put together some tips to help you plan for and successfully work from home!
I like to think of myself as a fairly organised person, but every so often, my email haunts me. Those occasions when I have more than 100 messages just sitting in my inbox are completely demoralising.
So in my quest for productivity-zen, I decided it was time to test a different email management system: Inbox Zero.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, knew the importance of collaborative work. “He believed that Apple’s great advantage was its integration of the whole widget – from design to hardware to software to content-he wanted all departments at the company to work together in parallel,” writes Walter Isaacson in his biography, Steve Jobs. Jobs involved all departments in the development process. “Our method was to develop integrated products, and that meant our process had to be integrated and collaborative,” Jobs said.
But funnily enough, this collaboration took place around a big table, where various departments would thrash out ideas and offer their own perspectives. Imagine how he would receive the array of online business collaboration tools now making their way into the workplace!
It’s an all-too-common scenario: You’ve been asked to join a project that involves co-workers in one country and stakeholders in another. Meanwhile, you’re stuck in the middle, time zones apart.
Although in-person, telephone and email interactions have their place for projects like these, the ability to meet together online, see each other via webcam and collaborate on documents can speed up the process substantially.
Summertime for many of us means packing a stack of good books and heading off on the hallowed family holiday to somewhere sunny. But you know full well that it’s not that easy to simply switch off — the business certainly won’t, after all — and this can make holidays more stressful than being at work! With that in mind, we’ve put together the following guide to help business-minded holidaymakers get the most out of their trips.
Since I work with team members all over the globe, scheduling meetings can be a pain. It sometimes takes me longer to find a single time that works for five people in four different time zones than the actual meeting itself.
But I recently discovered a tool that makes scheduling meetings with international colleagues lightning fast: a time zone converter. If you plan any sort of events, webinars, conference calls or web conferences with overseas participants, you absolutely need to check this out!