The world of today: working from the office is no longer necessary. While remote business is not entirely commonplace, it is gaining increased traction from the possibilities of cloud computing, and the freedom it grants to workers. The potential for this concept to expand is enormous, however here we look at 5 very simple cornerstones to working efficiently and effectively from absolutely anywhere.
Get on the cloud
The essence of why doing business remotely has begun to take off in recent years is the rise of cloud computing. Data can now be stored online across multiple servers, making it accessible from anywhere, on any device with an internet connection. No longer do you need to go into the office, log into your computer and open documents from a hard drive – all of that information is now reachable from a secure online network. Regardless of where life takes you (whether you’re on a train in Europe, in a restaurant in the US, or on a yacht in the Mediterranean), you can access and complete work, perhaps even more efficiently than if you were in the office.
Use the right tools
There are a number of cloud-supported applications which will help you to be an efficient remote worker. One of the most prominent is, of course, Google Docs, which allows for simultaneous viewing and editing of documents from multiple locations. Not only can group projects be completed by workers in isolated locales, but progress can be easily followed, meaning back-and-forth emailing of enormous documents is no longer necessary. Associated apps like Yammer, Wrike and Dropbox all bring their own modes of efficiency to the table, guaranteeing that with the right approach you can stay on top of all of your working requirements, even while on the go.
Know your environment
Working out of the office isn’t just a free pass to sitting around in your pyjamas all day in front of Ellen and eating cereal for every meal. Productivity must be translatable across all environments – whether you’re in a coffee shop, on a plane, or at your desk at home, you must be able to adapt to your circumstances and still be able to do your job. This is perhaps the most important aspect to successfully working from anywhere: even with all the latest technology on your side, it all amounts to nothing if you don’t get your head in the game and do the work. Of course you won’t always get to choose your location – some people require clutter and noise to be productive, while others struggle unless they’re surrounded by silence. Unfortunately we sometimes have to make do – and you’re a professional, right?
Be visible and available
To make working remotely a long-term and effective measure, you must also show yourself to be a team player. Being available during business hours and consistently in contact with your employer is the best way to demonstrate that your current arrangement (whether it be out of necessity or for a current project) is a sustainable one. Indeed, while much is being made of the new era of remote workstations, the reality is that most workers still come into the office for their 9-5 days and complete their tasks under the physical eye of their boss. Therefore, to allow remote business arrangements to gather momentum as an efficient and reliable form, it is important to display your strong attachment to your employer – working remotely does not mean being aloof, but quite the opposite.
Stay connected across multiple devices
The beauty of cloud computing is that you don’t even need your laptop to access the data you need. With your iPhone, iPad or Android, and an internet connection, you can tap into what you need, whenever you need it. This means you don’t even need to be prepared for the work you’re going to be doing – a last-minute assignment while you’re away from your computer doesn’t need to result in a mad dash back home. Rather, you can simply whip out your phone or tablet and go from there. Ingenious.
Rob Johnson is a media graduate and freelance writer who sometimes finds the possibilities of cloud computing go over his head. As long as companies have PCI Hosting so he can make his online purchases securely, he’s happy.