Here at Skype we regularly work remotely, and often with teams on varying schedules and in various spots around the globe. Add to that the fact that Skype also can be an essential tool for doing business from anywhere, and you’ll see why we were naturally interested in the first annual National Flex Day in the U.S. To join the celebration around working together with anyone, anywhere, anytime, we’ve outlined five tips for successful flex work.
- Stay in touch.
Today’s tech tools allow a multitude of ways to stay in constant contact with others, so there’s no reason you can’t be in touch with colleagues and clients on the regular. Individual or ongoing group chats using instant messaging can bring on an immediate response, as if you’re right there in the office having a conversation. Chats also come in handy for teams spread across time zones, as dispersed folks can join the conversation when it’s best for them.
- Embrace face-to-face time.
When you’re not in the office at the same time as your colleagues – or at all – tools like video calling and video messaging can help fight feelings of isolation. And not only do smiles, hand gestures and other body language enhance any interaction, they can go a long way to building rapport with clients and dispersed teams. One business owner recently told us that having a video call increases the likelihood of a sale by 70 percent. Not bad! But make sure you look the part: ditching the sweatpants for a professional daily look ensures you’re prepared if a Skype video call pops up on your schedule.
- Work together better.
Being remote doesn’t mean you have to skimp on collaboration. Share your screen during a Skype call to enhance presentations or to train a colleague. Drag and drop files into a Skype chat to send them to a client. And don’t forget Skype Manager, which lets you allocate features, subscriptions and credit to your team, or SkyDrive, which lets you share files in the cloud.
- If you’re home, get out of the house.
When working from home, it’s easy to get into the habit of remaining deskbound all day. But getting out for a quick walk or even a trip to the local coffee shop can help keep creative juices flowing. You could even give walking meetings or co-working spaces a try.
- Create a workspace that works.
If you’re not heading into a traditional office workspace at all, the more you can find balance between comfort and efficiency, the better off you’ll be. Whether you have a dedicated home office or just a backpack to work on-the-go, make your workspace a place you can be productive. From the right office equipment (or backpack) to an ergonomically correct desk and chair, your space and surroundings can impact your motivation.
Do you have any tools or tips for remote working? Tell us about them in the comment section below.