Just because you’ve chosen your spare bedroom, or your living room/kitchen/garage/favorite coffee shop, etc., to double as your office – it doesn’t mean you have to be secluded from the rest of the world – including any teams that you work with or clients you need to be communicating with on a regular basis.
Take the Cat on the Couch team, for example – we’re thousands of miles apart from each other and (often) our clients, yet our clients get seamless service and communication, plus…we’re nearly always accessible – maybe too accessible, but that’s how we chose to be in our business.
And as we look back on how far we’ve come with Cat on the Couch, it’s clear that working remotely has only helped to increase our productivity and the level of service we provide.
Part of the reason we’re so comfortable with working remotely, is that we support ourselves with the right communication and time management tools and software to get the work done…even while we’re working in our own personal spaces. Tools such as remote email access Skype, BaseCamp, and other software make working at home more like working at the office – minus the office and all the negative aspects of office life.
The advantages of working remote (for us, anyway) are pretty clear:
- No commuting
- More personalized and flexible workflow to suit your personality
- Fewer office distractions (often means more productivity)
- Working late can mean taking a dinner break and then going back to work
- Computing in the cloud (with services like Google Docs) gets better all the time
- The ability to work from nearly any location
Of course, there are downsides to working remotely – especially if you’re working from home. First, there’s your workspace that’s always accessible outside your normal work hours. And, of course, there’s the sheer discipline that’s often needed to create work/family boundaries so that you’re meeting your personal as well as your work commitments.
A few other possible downsides can include:
- Lack of personal interaction
- Distractions of TV, Facebook, etc
- The added discipline needed to stay focused
- Being too accessible electronically – email, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc
- Of course, these downsides can be minimized with the right tools, the right attitude and the right team supporting you along the way. And if you know where to draw the line between work and your family, then you’re on the right track to increased productivity while you work remotely.