Working remotely. The good, the bad and the epic.
Working for Monster exposes you to a range of advice, of experiences and lots of questions. These include everything from the inevitable "Can you look over my CV?" to hearing the debates about where it's best to work and what the trends are for hot-desking and remote working.
I'm based in Manchester, along with a handful of other colleagues, and generally spend a lot of time bouncing between here and London where our main UK operation is based. It's a life spent working with VPN, mobile phones, coffee shops, meetup groups and Virgin Pendolinos. But I probably wouldn’t swap it.
Everyone has read about the pros and cons for working at home but the truth is that – if you can avoid distraction – you can ultimately be extremely productive working under your own roof. If you can be disciplined in your approach to the day, you'll be fine. And when you do make those pilgrimages to base camp, you’ll actually find you are more productive there too, trying to wring out the most from your trip.
Obviously, being able to get-stuff-done during your week days has its perks. Lunch time runs to the post office or shopping just got much easier.
Yep, it can get quiet. Not being surrounded by the vibrancy of the office can cause problems and you need to keep the focus. Chances are, if you're working remotely on a regular basis (and still have your job!) you're pretty good at pulling yourself together and remaining delivery focused.
IM (Instant Messaging) is great. But if you're not careful, you will find yourself over-using it and not actually speaking to anyone. Pick up the phone.
Keeping yourself warm, fed and watered is all on you, unless you're lucky to have your employer cover certain utilities. Running your home as an office obviously has costs. But these are generally so low that the cost is outweighed by the benefits.
Depending on what you're working with, the number of meetings you have etc, really means you can explore the city and develop your network. I've found that by talking to people you randomly meet really opens up the possibilities; they will share tips and give suggestions of places to set up shop. In Manchester I've been lucky to use a couple of coffee shops, co-working spaces like TechHub (now Spaceport X) and even various offices where I know people and they've been kind enough to take me in.
This flexibility really creates an engaging way of working, surrounded by new spaces, new people and new opportunities for professional networking (in the most informal way, of course) but also business development – whether you're in that space or not!
Written by Graeme, Monster.