With a tiny bit of planning, it can be effective to remote work from anywhere, even the Maldives.
Okay… who the heck am I kidding? I can’t speak authoritatively on working from the Maldives. I may be the last travel blogger on the planet who has not been to the Maldives (and I have no plans to go anytime in the foreseeable future).
But I can definitely speak to remote work, something I do a lot of.
I not only have to effectively remote work a good chunk of the time both at my home office (the one where showering and putting on real clothes is optional) but I also remote work a lot from airplanes, airport lounges, hotels, and other strange locales.
And for the last two weeks,, I’ve been working half-time from a luxury cruise ship on a transatlantic crossing.
My requirement for remote work made this recent article from the M-Dash (the MM LaFleur blog) interesting. Besides being my latest fashion obsession, MM LaFleur produces what I consider to be a must-subscribe blog for any professional female of the blog-reading demographic.
The article is a great primer for working effectively from any remote locale and inspired me to think about my own five rules for remote work:
- Dress for work – Its easy (way too easy) to roll out of bed in pajamas and spend all day lounging about with a laptop but its tough to get real work accomplished when you look (and feel) like you are enjoying a sick day. I find that getting up and taking a quick shower and getting dressed (even if its in “nice yoga pants”… an oxymoron at best) helps me feel businesslike. And I always put on shoes.
- Have a detailed plan – Planning out my attack on the day is important when I want to be sure I’m effective. I am a big fan of planning out my day first thing in the morning before I sit down to begin working.
- Take scheduled breaks – No, not the “let’s watch television” kind of breaks. The get up, stretch your legs, eat something healthy kind. I try to treat my blocks of work time the same whether I’m in the office or at home or in a hotel. I wouldn’t take a binge television break at the office so I try not to do it at home either. Although I do have days where I’m working on something that is repetitive and hours long (like cleaning up a database) where parking on the sofa in front of an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt binge watch session. That’s where the “detailed plan” comes into play… at least I know when I can do that.
- Have backup tasks – Let’s face it… sometimes connectivity from the road sucks! (Don’t ask me how long this simple article took… the internet crawled to a halt three times in the past 2 days as I worked on it.) If I’m going to be truly productive, it requires having alternatives – that means files that are stored offline for when I can’t get an internet connection and I have hard copy work I can pick up/put down when I am not near technology at all (like sitting in the waiting room at a doctor’s office or waiting to take off on a backed up day at O’Hare).
- Invest in technology that works for you – For me, that’s the highest speed of internet my home carrier offers. On the road, it means having a cellular plan that isn’t cost-compromised by my frequent use of my phone as a wireless hot spot and monthly Gogo inflight internet subscription. And sometimes on vacation, it means splurging on an internet package (like the $399/unlimited full cruise package I got for this 16 night Seabourn cruise).
What is your best tip for effective remote work? I’ve got a free Gogo inflight internet pass to give away for the best idea submitted between now and midnight CT on Friday, April 15, 2016.