Over the last 8 years, I’ve quite successfully built a whole business working remotely. I get asked regularly when I think we will get to the point of requiring an office and while I had absolutely thought about this in the past, my answer now is, never. I am entering my 9th year of business and not once has it been an issue that I don’t have a physical office. We meet clients at their place of business (which can be a really important part of doing our job the best we can), we liaise on the phone and over video conferencing.
We’ve grown rapidly to a team of 5 in the past 18 months, with two of our team in other states for the majority of the year and I would say the past 12 months, in terms of communication have been better than ever. Working remotely can be difficult, you do have to be VERY self-motivating, and honestly, that isn’t a skill I was born with. I rely on my team and the programs we use for encouragement and support. Here are my top 5 tips for working remotely:
- Use a job workflow system that includes a to-do list. Using a tool like this allows you to have your day planned, and it is less easy to get sidetracked.
- Schedule in regular breaks so that you work hard, rest. Work hard, rest. This stops procrastination and helps you complete a job in the allocated time.
- Find a buddy. If you work alone it can be easy to feel a bit lost. We talk to each other when we are having difficulty and work out a solution. If you are alone in your business, reaching out to a business group or finding someone in a similar position can be a great way to keep motivated.
- Try different working locations until you find the place you feel most productive. Our teamwork from home, libraries, caravan parks, co-working locations, their couch, their desks, and the great thing about working remotely for us is, as long as we have a computer we can work from wherever we want, but not all places are great for productivity, so find the place you feel comfortable.
- Ensure your family and friends understand your work hours. All of us have struggled with this to some extent, working remotely does not mean we are free for coffee at any time. We still each have our times that we like to work.
We discussed working remotely in greater detail earlier this year in a collaborative blog from all of the team, and you can read the blog here.