A mobile office or virtual office allows you to run a professional business while not physically occupying office space, or a so-called “executive suite”.
Where has the office gone?
The laptop was the first piece of technology to free the modern office worker from a fixed location, but as technology continues to make advances, with laptops becoming lighter and more powerful, and free Wi-Fi hotspots popping up in every bar and coffee shop, the idea of being tied to one particular desk in a corner of cubicle country is no longer mandatory or in fact practical.
The idea that you can work anywhere, anytime is attractive for a number of reasons: There are a number of cost savings to not having to maintain actual office space; it provides employment opportunities for circumstantially marginalized workers such as stay-at-home parents; and it may benefit society in other ways such as reducing traffic and improving work-life balance.
While many companies are allowing their workers to telecommute, increasingly freelance workers are also using technology to provide their services to clients. It has been estimated that by 2013 the number of office-based, non-office-based and home-based mobile workers will be close to 1,2 billion people, or more than one third of the entire workforce of the planet. Just how do you manage this new mobile environment?
Keep your PC current
It stands to reason that in the mobile office environment, your laptop computer is the heart, brain and lifeblood of your business. Some points to keep in mind:
- The smaller and lighter your device, the more mobile you will be. It makes sense to trade up on your equipment.
- Security is very important: you need to ensure that you have the latest antivirus software installed, and you need to update this frequently.
- Smartphones, tablets, portable printers and other equipment, in addition to your laptop, may all add to creating a user-friendly mobile environment.
Create a paperless filing system
There are various proprietary and freeware office suites which will allow you to create, save and share word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents online. Saving and backing up online – in the so-called “cloud” – is essential to protect against losing data to technical malfunction, theft, etc, and also when migrating or upgrading from one device to another.
Use cloud based information tools such as Evernote and Springpad to capture all your ideas, webpages, photos, notes and even audio reminders – all in one place and accessible on all your devises with an internet connection.
Manage your time effectively
One challenge for the mobile office worker is that you do not have a boss hovering over your shoulder to ensure that you use your time as productively as possible. Managing your time effectively becomes entirely your own responsibility. Typically, in the first few months of telecommuting or running a mobile office, there will be some drop-off in productivity, but this is likely to improve as the mobile worker becomes better organized and adapts to new routines. Bear in mind these recommendations:
- Use an electronic diary or planner to keep track of appointments and project deadlines.
- Set aside regular time slots for email correspondence, touching base with colleagues or clients, reporting on progress, etc.
- Set clear but realistic response times for clients, for example the time it will take you to respond to emails.
- Track your progress on projects with specific milestones and key performance indicators.
- Remember that you are your own manager as well as an employee. In the mobile office environment it makes sense to manage by objectives rather than to manage by observation – this means that your management needs to be results-oriented.
Stay in touch with colleagues
Whether you are telecommuting or working for yourself in your mobile environment, it is important to have “virtual colleagues” as a sounding board and to stay motivated. Using social networks can do a lot to enhance your work experience as a mobile office worker.
If you would like to find out how you can implement systems to enable you to work remotely or just work smarter – then take action NOW! Contact Wendy on 0407 967715 Email;we***@or*************.au
Programs to suit individual challenges and budgets. Free initial phone consultation – so what are you waiting for?