More and more of the UK’s workforce are turning to working remotely but how does one to decide where to pitch up camp.
Jason Downes, MD of Powwownow, a conference and flexible working tool provider who allow their employees to work from home once a week, says: “The UK is gradually moving away from the 9-5 office culture and venues are realising this and making themselves more accommodating for professionals to work from. Employees are no longer content battling to commute for hours every week when they could be spending that time more productively and improving their work / life balance. Working from a remote location can prove distracting and less productive if trying to work from somewhere loud with loads of other things going on but providing you choose a good spot that ticks all the boxes, a lot of work can get done.”
Jason has produced a list of the key things that should be considered when deciding where to work from when the office just doesn’t cut it:
Location, location, location
Naturally, anywhere you choose should be comfortably accessible for you as the ease of travelling to the location should be high on the agenda. You don’t want to be hot and bothered by the time you arrive or worrying about your journey when you’re done. One of the huge benefits of remote working is that you save time of travelling too.
As well as ensuring the venue has Wi-Fi, make sure it has sufficient signal strength to cope with your demands. This is not always essential if you are merely looking to write content and looking for some peace and quiet, but for web browsing and responding to emails to using more high technology collaboration tools such as iMeet, a strong Wi-Fi connection will be required to function well.
If you’re like me and need a good cup of coffee to get you going and keep you going throughout the day, then take note! If coffee is a crucial element of your working day then you need to make sure you’re drinking good quality stuff as this will enable you to be as productive as possible.
This can be reflective of a place or reflective of the time of day. Ideally, you want to be surrounded by business professionals of a similar mind-set as this will create minimal distractions. Some flexible working spaces may be home to creative and vibrant companies which can be fun if you’re involved but frustrating if you’re next door and approaching a deadline. Likewise, some coffee shops can favour young families, which again are probably not going to create the best environment for you to work effectively.
How accommodating is the venue?
This is something that can often get overlooked but is an important factor to consider. If you have planned to be in one place to work for the entire day then you need to know if the venue is tolerable of this. Nobody wants to be asked to ‘move on’ after a few hours or feel uncomfortable when using the Wi-Fi, so suitable atmosphere and culture of the place you would like to work should be strongly considered.
It may sound simple but ensuring there are copious amounts of plugs to accommodate your technological needs should be high on the agenda. You definitely don’t want to be a victim at the hands of a lack of juice for your laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Ensuring there is going to be enough seating for you to have ample room to work effectively is crucial. Having to wait for a seat or working with your elbows tucked in will only lead to frustration and a lack of productivity. This is the same with tables, if working on a laptop without a table is not for you then make sure you attend a place where you are guaranteed a table to work from. Comfortable seating can also be extremely important, especially to people who perhaps suffer from back pain, don’t gamble on this.
Is it a venue that plays music? For some that will be music to their ears (sorry) and help their productivity but for others it sounds unpleasant. If you know you may need to dial in to a conference call or have an important conversation on the phone then being able to have a bit of peace and quiet will shape your decision. Some venues have the option of hiring a private room for meetings and quiet time, so this may be something to explore should you deem necessary.
Can you spend all day here without having to worry about where your next feed will come from? It’s only natural for us to flag if we haven’t eaten; food fuels the body and the mind so is essential for a productive day’s work. A venue which can feed you without costing an arm and a leg may also be a motivating factor if operating on a budget.
If you are doing a lot of writing or creative work then natural light might be important to create the right atmosphere and help those creative juices flow, as opposed to sitting in a dark cellar of a place. You also don’t want to spend the day straining to see. It’s very much a case of horses for courses as an individual may make their decision based on the task(s) they are looking to carry out.