Coming out of 2020, most of us tend to think of remote working as working from home. In practice however remote working can happen from your home office, but that home office can be anywhere.
After spending close to a year being unable to travel and often only leaving the house for essential purposes, I’ve been fortunate enough to get on the road again. This week I’ve had dinner with friends, helped my little sister get ready for school and stay in a house with an unreasonable amount of fish tanks.
The most heartening moment? Planning a meeting where a colleague asked about my constantly changing Zoom background. I was shocked to learn he had no idea that I had left town. Staying connected and collaborating with my colleagues while also reconnecting with friends and family is a hope I have for everyone that has been thrust into remote working over the last year.
While this has been a rich experience, it’s not been without difficulties. Here are some of the things to consider when working on the road.
Plan travel time around your collaborative meetings.
It’s critical to respect the time of your team, respecting people’s time is a key way you can demonstrate situational empathy for the people you work with.
Be prepared for an unconventional roster.
There is a reasonable chance that at some point in your travels, you’ll want to have lunch with a friend or spend quality time with family between the hours of 9-5. This doesn’t have to mean you need the day off, only that you might start earlier or finish later.
Pack for the office you’ll need at your destination.
People have different living circumstances and some of them may not be set up to accommodate a remote office. Hotel rooms and kitchen tables can become painful to work from, especially over long periods. Make the preparations that will keep you productive.
Remote working has presented challenges, leaving a mixed experience for many people and their organizations in its wake. Though the opportunity to access the ever elusive “work-life-balance” without feeling like I’m sacrificing the value I add to my organization is too good to miss out on.
Companies around the world are making decisions about how they want to compete in a landscape of rapidly evolving work practices. Every employee also has the opportunity to decide if they want to be confined by the commute or have the freedom to enjoy life and work equally.