Working off-site, or being an office nomad, is a trend that continues to grow among employees throughout the United States, according to Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace report. In addition to doing their jobs outside of a traditional office setting more often, Americans are also working remotely for longer periods of time.
In fact, Gallup revealed 43 percent of U.S. employees work outside of the office in some capacity. I am not surprised; it is something I have done for years to some extent and full time for nearly a decade—first as a freelance writer, then as content manager/editor-in-chief for an international publishing company, and currently as the manager of communications for one of the nation’s fastest-growing healthcare staffing companies.
If the notion of being an office nomad appeals to you, these 7 tips can help make you successful.
1. If you like your current job and have a good rapport with your boss, see if it is possible to work remotely instead of coming into the office every day. Inquire about setting up a trial run to determine whether a full or part-time arrangement would suit you both.
2. Be upfront with recruiters and potential employers about your personal desires and professional must-haves. Do you need healthcare coverage or have a minimum salary requirement? Perhaps you would prefer a remote job that will benefit from your skill set while providing opportunities for learning. No matter your wishes, make sure you know what you want (and if you can get it) before taking a position.
3. Establish all that will be required of you prior to accepting an opportunity to ensure you and the employer are on the same page. For instance, inquire about the work schedule and other important factors. If an off-site position is a full-time gig, it may be safe to say you will be expected to work the same schedule as your prospective co-workers. Should the employer be situated in a different time zone, you may be required to adhere to its business hours instead. But never make assumptions; ask.
4. Set up a designated work area. If you do not have an office or the space for one, take heart. While a separate room may be ideal, it is not mandatory for success. However, determining a workspace is essential. Give your home a good once-over to see where you could place a desk that will be solely dedicated to your work. Doing so will help you stay organized and prevent other rooms from inadvertently becoming part of your workstation.
5. Consider changing your environment on occasion, but confirm doing so is acceptable to your employer. While it is crucial to establish a workspace in your home, there may be times you wish to work remotely from another location. Some professionals thrive in office-sharing situations or enjoy working from a coffee shop from time to time. Today, more establishments offer opportunities to those office nomads than ever before. My beach club, for example, and others like it have added Wi-Fi to their amenities (though a hotspot could be used, too) to give members who work remotely more flexibility and a fresh perspective.
6. Communicate and collaborate with your superior and colleagues frequently. If you are going to work remotely, you must engage with your team often. If not, you could end up working in a silo, which can be bad for morale, innovation, and efficiency.
7. Schedule regular break times. If you are engrossed in an undertaking or eager to complete a project ahead of time, it is easy to lose track of time. But to refresh, you must stand up, stretch, go to the bathroom, and get something to drink and eat when you’re thirsty or hungry. If you tend to put these respites off, send yourself email meeting invites as reminders to get up and move.
The benefits you receive when you choose to work remotely, such as fewer distractions, increased productivity, greater flexibility, and lack of commute, are numerous and attractive. And working remotely provides an excellent way for PRiME Women to better make ends meet, save money, semi-retire, and more—all from the comfort of home (and now and then, maybe a beach chair).