Work from Anywhere Q&A – RemoteDoc

Work from anywhere – today one really can work from anywhere that makes sense for you given personal or work technology like laptop computers, mobile phones, collaboration and software tools.

how to work from anywhere - RemoteDoc

As part of our resources – RemoteDoc is our team answering questions of interest to our audience on careers, work and technology. Connect with us on twitter or you can send us your RemoteDoc question for consideration here, and we’ll feature selected questions to answer with approval on this page.

Our top work anywhere and remote work best practices –

  • Be ready – know your job requirements and whether they can accommodate working remotely some of or all the time; it depends on work needs, but increasingly we can stay connected and collaborate through email, project management apps and phone or video conferencing. Some software tools have automation features to make planning or coordinating easier. Employers typically provide tech and training for it, or will let you know what’s needed for a job.

  • Be flexible too – working remotely is flexible work, but be flexible too when you sense a matter deserves a call rather than an email, or when your team wants to meet up in person. Provide periodic updates to your team or supervisor. A remote work meetup can be a great experience for all; some employers choose a fantastic meeting destination, others a comfortable place for group conversation, then dinner. A company or group meetup can be one or multiple days, depending on how often a meetup occurs.
    remote workspace example

  • Be a great employer – remote work or work from anywhere is a great perk but also a strategy that saves employees time to reduce commutes or avoid commuting altogether, as well as money from office expenses and other fixed costs. Letting employees work remotely or work anywhere also expands geographic reach, knowledge and lets you find and hire the right employee for a job.
    That said, involve your employees in big decisions that affect the future of your company, firm or organization, like you would for any in-office employees. Your employees will feel more engaged and have more of a stake in its future success. Be sure to include your remote employees in employee or internal communications that you send to all-staff and be transparent about work policies relating to remote work so everyone including prospective employees at your organization is aware of them.
    doing work at Starbucks cafe

  • Get to know each other – working remotely you can still get to know your colleagues so take the initiative, or simply share what you did in your free time over the weekend. You may find colleagues with similar interests; some employers have a team bulletin board, intranet or private social account to post hiking photos, dog or pet pics, travel pics, what they made in the kitchen over the weekend… you get the picture!
    Also be open about your preferred work style, such as for updates – when or how often you like to be updated about what’s going on. Especially if you’re in a management role, this can be helpful to your team members.

  • Ask about work culture in an interview – culture’s shaped by factors such as management, industry and service, so an interview is an opportunity to ask frank questions and get a feel for the work culture to determine whether you’ll enjoy working in that context. If you’ll have a supervisor, try to meet him or her in person for an interview and ask about their preferred work style, how they usually like to communicate as well as the work culture.

    A special edition of our #workanywhere tweetchat, Weds. Aug. 3rd

    We’ll have a special edition of our #workanywhere chat on twitter and we’ll post initial Q&A on working remotely or from anywhere. Joining us will be three special guests – we’re very excited, so join in and participate with us!



    Q&A from August 3rd

    Question from Patricia L. – Does remote work end up saving you time – how much?

    A: One saves valuable time from commuting that can be put to work, planning or, for instance, personal health or family needs. At our chat on Wednesday, we talked about how depending on the commute one can save 40-45 minutes each way, each day. As with any working environment, reduce distractions so you can focus, like finding a quiet spot or room for calls, video chat or conferencing. If you’re working remotely, such as at a workspace, scope out a place or meeting room to have a conversation before getting set up so you can talk uninterrupted.

    Question from Beth A. – Are remote jobs mostly technical like programming?

    A: Not mostly, as there are non-technical as well as technical roles that employers are hiring for remote or work from anywhere positions. There are project management roles coordinating company sales or not-for-profit programs among different regions of a country or the world; online teaching and professional development educators from K-12 through post-graduate; even nurse and medical practitioners providing consultation by phone or video. Remote roles have evolved beyond mostly customer service and support to providing the actual services in a growing number of fields.

    Jason R. asks – What tools are most useful to be aware of?

    A: An external monitor for your usual workspace if you use a laptop can make working more comfortable and mobile apps like Basecamp or Wrike can help you manage team projects remotely. Also think about your work needs. Employers hiring for work at home, remote or anywhere jobs generally provide equipment and training or support, or tell you what’s needed for the role. Become familiar with any work tech needed before applying to be sure you’re OK with any job requirements.

    Q&A from Sept. 7th

    Question from David S. – My employer is considering a work from home policy; how can I encourage it to be more flexible?

    A: If the policy is still in the works, consider sitting down with the person at your business or organization in charge of developing the policy, along with your supervisor, and offer your suggestions. You can point out the benefits of working from home or remotely, such as saving time or better work-life balance, and provide input on ways to keep teams on track with projects. You can do the above if the policy has been implemented, but point out some of the things that are working well and what you think could make the policy even better for your workplace.

    Question from Dr. Jason V. – What about fields that are traditionally in a clinical or similar setting?..

    A: This is a great question we received. The answer is that remote working is possible now in any field and some roles are full-time, others part-time. There are medical and pharmacy positions that are telework from home or remotely, serving patients, physicians or benefit managers who need medical advice or assistance. Making this possible are video chat and video conferencing, tools you can begin becoming familiar with if you haven’t, such as Skype or Facetime, or that you would be trained on.

    Marissa L. asked – What do you suggest as far as couples who want to work at home together?

    A: Understanding different schedules and work-related needs helps with communication at home or working remotely. It’s good to sit down and discuss what’s needed and one’s typical work schedule, which may mean different times of the day when you take breaks. You may decide to work out together at the end of the day, go for a walk or prepare a healthy meal together. There’s flexibility one may not find having to commute and from the time saved.
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    work from anywhere