Increasing numbers of people are working outside of their offices these days, and it isn’t hard to see why. Office space in Dubai currently goes for around $45 per square foot, so even a modest office in a free zone can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. In the face of this, many small and medium-sized businesses are distributing their workforces around the Emirates, with global companies drawing on staff around the world. Doing things this way comes with advantages and drawbacks, and to get the most out of a mobile workforce, you may have to adjust the way you’re used to doing business.
Choose the Right Environment
Office environments are, if nothing else, controlled. From who gets in or out to the temperature and art on the walls, you can micromanage an office down to the colour of the carpet. That power goes out the window when you’re working from remote locations, as even in your own home, the environment is geared more toward living than working.
That variability can really hurt your productivity. If you routinely work in a public place such as a coffee shop, you can expect a lot of foot traffic past your table, along with a fair bit of noise. If you can block that out, good, but it’s a smart idea to have a backup spot you can work from when you need to be free of distractions. At home, if you have kids or roommates, be sure they know when you’re working and that they respect your closed door or sectioned-off corner of the room.
Time Is Money
Time is as important as space when you’re working from remote locations. If you still have an office, but you occasionally work in the field, the timing is easy. In this case, you’re on the clock from when you arrive at your oil derrick, building site, or other work site until you leave. When you work entirely without an office, that sense of discipline can slip fast.
Experienced remote workers eventually fall into a pattern of peak productivity and down time. Finding your rhythm mostly takes experience. Until you have it figured out and can routinely push out a solid eight-hour workday from home, set and keep regular business hours as if you were still in an office.
Setting a productive schedule can be tricky at first. If you have to coordinate with an overseas workforce, try scheduling work times and meetings with an app like Doodle or Callendy. These programs work with iOS and Windows, and most apps in this field have a mobile version. Scheduling company-wide meetings across time zones with them is generally as easy as setting your own schedule a week in advance.
Working outside the office can make your work easier and more responsive to the needs of your clients. You have to do it right, though. Find a good place to work, set boundaries with those around you, and get in the habit of setting and following a regular work schedule.