Shifting from Office to Home
Let's talk about the logistics of the home office have you considered the logistics of creating your own office and what elements will you miss so have any of you actually built your home office okay you have are there did you transition to that from another job so you had to build this thing kind of from scratch yeah the first thing I did was buy the printer copier scanner for myself right that really felt official yeah okay right because this is so the printer copier scanner is a mainstay in every office pretty much around the world it's the kind of thing that when you walk in well even on day one you don't know anyone's name but if you need a copy made for sure there's a copier there and so that's a that's an interesting example but there are a lot of things just like that that you do have to consider if you're moving too out of office because we joke about it but seriously if you're working from home and you don't have a way to copy or scan or fax that that's a potential issue and ...
you can't just call up kinko's and get them to bring one in just like the office that you left can so here are some of the things you need to consider if you're thinking about just making a boat for home like is your home even ready for this? You'll lose your comfortable chair the office that I left, I had a thousand dollars ergonomic steal a serious chair. It was amazing was like floating in cloud nine and I come home and the only chair around is like a leftover from the dining room table. It's like this is terrible for my back. Now I have to consider investing in an ergonomic chair free coffee free food. These are the things that when you walk in an office, you really take for granted there's a water station here, there's a coffee station there and there's people to make it for you, it's just magnificent, you know, when you get up from your bed and you walk to your home office, I mean, unless you've hired a staff that stuff's not gonna happen on its own, so you have to account for that high speed internet is a huge one uh, most big office building these days will spend ungodly amounts of money on internet for the entire office because they have to it's a business expense, they have to have it, and you're able to walk in there and any file you need to upload any video chat you need to have, you know, it's, just going to work at a high speed when you're working at home, you're essentially completely working online, and if you don't have justice passed and reliable of a connection that's going to be a problem so you even have to consider is your home in an area where you can get a high enough internet connection? The second one is a sort of won but it's pretty big you can't keep up appearances with chance running, so if you walk into an office just going to your desk, you may run into some people that you haven't seen for a while. Hey, how are you doing? How are the kids? How was last weekend? These quick exchanges their small talk, but think a long way in cementing a relationship? And so when something let's say something negative happens to you, you're going to get the benefit of the doubt if you've had positive report up into that point in, if you're if there's a promotion or a new a new role that opens up in the office, if you've had these run ins, they'll think of you if you've had positive run ins. So when you don't go into an office, those chance happenings, they don't have one anymore, you could miss out on offline brainstorms, so in an office setting. You have a team that's working on a certain project and they'll just say look let's go grab a conference room let's hash this thing out an hour we want to get this thing done if you're on that team and they are very well integrated with your schedule they could very easily forget to invite you to open the dialogue and open the conference line you're left out of these things the team completes the thing without you that happens to many times your value goes down so it's on you to make sure you stay involved with that I want to talk about my ideal work space we have a desk set up here that is actually fairly close to what my desk looks like uh with the exception of I have a lot more stuff just just junk everywhere so they did a great job of cleaning this up but it's an ideal workspace keyword being ideal so I have two monitors set up I usually have a laptop and then so I'll have this open and that is one monitor and then a secondary monitor honestly the more screen you can get, the better the way I recommend doing it is have one screen for communications, email, chat, web, video whatever you need and then the other where you're going to create content so excel sheets were documents things like that so I keep occam's and research section on one screen documents on the other uh, I have found it that you're a lot more efficient when you give yourself more screen space if you have to work all the time when a very small laptop screen it is possible, but it does slow me down this iphone stand here I love I'm assuming most people that are going to be working from home probably have a smartphone and so it doesn't have to be this. This is a twelve south high rise if you have an iphone highly recommended it's pretty much the best in that category and the reason why I have this number one and keeps my phone charged at all times, but number two actually adds a third screen, so I have my laptop screen, the monitor screen and now my iphone becomes a scream. And so what I do is I have this set up with email and twitter and things like that where converse with my colleagues throughout the day and if I get a message, the notifications going to show up here and so instead of having to clutter additional screens over here with notifications that come in all the time I just used my phone is a notification window throughout the day because if I'm not talking on it, what use is it? You might as well repurpose it as a notification window headphones are a big deal for me if you're working in the house especially with other people still in the house being kids or a significant other there could be noise there could be commotion headphones do an amazing job of symbol ing are signaling to the outside world you're in the zone you're working if the headphones air on think twice about bothering this person it's sort of a universal symbol it works in the office it works in the whole office is well s o if if you if you need to just zone out and get away headphones or good, I love the job or a revote because it's a bluetooth headset that actually has a microphone built in and so if you're really in the zone it could be listening to music. If a phone call comes in, you don't have to change a thing you could take the call with your headset and then keep ongoing so makes things really, really simple if you have a headset that doubles as a bluetooth headset external mouse and keyboard is a big big deal uh the more cramped you are, the less quick you are at responding to things, getting two things typing things I use an external mouse and keyboard whenever I can it just makes life a little bit better trying to keep things cleaning clutter free like this is your this is your idea workspace clean clutter free things were out of the way you could focus on work when you look at this, it just screams work. We've got three screens, headphones in a mouse and that's about it try to keep the other distractions to a minimum, so how to cope with shifting from the office to the home office? So I touched on this a little bit before, but these were some of the things that you have to put on your plate as a remote worker that you usually don't have to if you go into the office every day to some degree, some of this happens by default keeping tabs on office events. This becomes a part of your job when you're in an office every day, you see bulletins that have put up, you have people saying, oh, did you hear about this office party that's happening? These things just sort of come to you if you're disconnected from all of that, and the rest of your colleagues are not it's on you to keep tabs on what those are, request meetings, beheld teleconference rooms. So if you especially if you work in an environment where you are one of the few remote workers on your team, you need to make sure your team back in the office, they're all aware of the arrangement, they understand that you are working from home, but not disconnected from the team you're still available, and whenever they have team meetings, try to hold these in rooms where there's either a dia linn station or a video conference so that you could be a real part of these meetings, and you have to stay on that if you're in the office and somebody says, hey, let's, go have a meeting, it's very easy. You're there, you can hear it, you could go when you remotely you can't hear that vocally, so you need to make sure you have someone back in the office that you that's your liaison to make sure you're included in these things, I recommend a weekly touch base with your manager when you're in an office. A lot of times performance reviews only happened annually or are semi annually. There's no real need to have a touch base every week if you're in the office, because more than likely, you're running into each other multiple times a day. So why put another meeting on the on the agenda? Just a touch base when you remote? That dynamic changes completely. Keeping touch with your manager is essential when you're a remote worker, because it's very easy to be forgotten, and you need to be able to reach out to them, see what the pulse of the offices see what the vibe is where some new initiatives that are going on are you included in those and if you have issues of your own, this is a great time to get those out network calendars, so a lot of people are excited to share their pto with everybody there like you know what, don't don't contact me during this time I'm going to put this on the network calendar everybody in my team's going to know it, I'm going to be somewhere awesome and you're not, but I'm going to make sure you know about it, but but remote workers need to share their whereabouts much more frequently than in office worker people when you're not there, all the term people have a tendency to just assume you're not around you're not available your name might not be the first one that comes to mind when they need something done and they need a lending hand. You want to make sure that's not the case like, hey, I am here for you I'm a part of the team let's do this thing you know if you can't run into people face to face, we live in a great world there's instant message social media you can follow your colleagues, plan lunch or coffee when you do travel into the office currently I have a situation where most of my team is based in new york I'm based in north carolina, I go to back to the office once or twice a month is this was an arrangement I made when I took this job is like, I know this is going to be unusual, but we're going to make sure I get up there enough to shake hands with people have lunch with people, have coffee with people because these were teammates at work with on a daily basis, so there is some value in face time. I do like to visit the office. I'm just very glad I don't have that live at the office, so it is a new paradigm if you're if you're pulling yourself out of an office goingto a home office, regardless of whether you're staying with the current company, we're just going to start something new or work with a fully distributed team. Establishing boundaries is absolutely critical, and this is not always the easiest conversation to have because those boundaries need to be established with people you really care about. This could be friends and family neighbors, spouse, children, it's pretty tough when you're in your home office on an incredibly important conference call with a client make or break deal and the kid oh just rolls in, you know, this is a really work from home problem, and this doesn't happen at the office because of the physical separation but like, do you have a contingency plan for that? These are things that remote workers legitimately have to think about. Maybe you have a door installed, maybe there's actual hours that are posted and they know don't come during this time, maybe it's a symbol like the headphones, if the headphones air on you know it's, you can't you can't disrupt me, I'll get to you in a minute that's a tough conversation to have because these were people that mean a lot to you. And when your ass at home, you look like you should be at home, even though sometimes the reality is mentally you're very far from home, you're very much engaged in whatever you're doing. But establishing those boundaries from the get go are very important to make sure things go smoothly and that everyone is on the same page. Investing in what matters it's very tough to work from home if you don't have a decent office set up if you don't have a chair that's comfortable to sit in if you don't have the proper headphones so you can take calls on a daily basis if you don't have decent. Lighting so if you have to do video calls and it looks like you're in a dungeon, probably not the best look for your business eso sometimes you have to invest in a light stand in a light box to light up your own room. You don't have to do that in an office, but if you're gonna be video chatting for five hours a day, it's probably worth investing in that to make sure you look good. And if being at home and isolated reader with just significant other kids is just too hectic, too stressful or to isolating, consider a co working space now have a picture of one over here and what these are the popping up all over the country, not even in big cities, but sometimes uneven rural places and it's, where people come together, freelancers, designers, people that are able to work from home, they come together in a space, and even though they don't do the same things, they just want some sort of camaraderie. And so these people aren't working on the same project, but they are there together as humans, and they can take a break from their work and just chat and it's also a great place to network, because none of these people are already working for the same company you can figure out what are you working on? Who are you working with? And if a need comes up inside of that office is very easy to exchange information. So for freelancers, a co working space is a great, great place to broaden your horizons, keep the freelance gigs coming on and still work remotely. You don't have to go there every day but feel like you're part of some sort of family and darrin, before we move on, we have a question from rule a community in a couple of people voted on this on rue is is based in tunisia and you mentioned, you know, having a co working space, maybe in a larger city, but maybe there are co working spaces in tunisia, but ruiz says, you know, it's one thing for you to say, hey, I work in north carolina compared to new york, maybe that's a reasonable time frame, but if someone's in a very remote place say tunisia and they want to get a job in new york, maybe people would be less okay with that. How does somebody who lives in a more remote area, how do they make that bond? Yeah, it's it is tough starting out when you're trying to cross international borders, but there are some opportunities in some careers that are more amenable to that than others editorial opportunities are big one people that write for the new york times are based everywhere as an example and so that's not the on ly thing but sometimes when you really want to break out of where you're at and geographic location is a major factor, sometimes it requires a change of career and maybe it's not one that you're presently prepared for maybe you need to take some classes and study up on what you need to do, but there are some jobs and we will touch on those in a bit that are very well suited for remote work and time zones don't matter at all and there are a lot of those but once you know what they are, you can say, you know what one of those does fit me I'm going to make the effort tio learn what I need to to fit into that mall real quick to just you know, another question was, you know, for different time zones, you know cindy des rosier she wants to know, you know, is there any advice for those of us who work remotely in a different time zone? You know, from the rest of the co workers so annan gadget we had people distributed in every continent except antarctica so way deal with a lot of time zones and we were a twenty four seven news agency so something was always happening at all kinds of times what touched on this in a bit, but there are communication tools that allow remotely distributed teams to communicate, and then it maintains archives of those calms. And so what? What happened in my example, wass overnight, right? Our european and japanese shift would manage the news, and then when I would come on in new york time, I would be able to look back at eight hours of communications and things that they said overnight it's just they're waiting for me. I can scan through it, I can catch up on it it's not like it used to be. Where if you physically miss out on something you've missed out on it, the trick is getting the entire team on the same platform, so that comes our digital and virtual unless face to face, and that requires a cultural shift in an organization to stop speaking to each other as much, and putting more of it on paper in a traceable format, a searchable format it's definitely a cultural shift, but some organizations, especially newer ones, are starting on that from the get go because they just want to be ableto harness what has said throughout the organization in a more traceable way.