What would your life be like if you didn't have to spend every working day at an office?
Perhaps you would have a more enjoyable work environment, be able to spend more quality time with your family, reduce or eliminate the time and expense of a daily commute, reduce interruptions and increase productivity, be more flexible with scheduling personal tasks, and enjoy a more relaxing lifestyle.
The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries created the need for workers to come to offices every day. Until recently, many office workers had no choice except to work in the office, because that’s where they could find files, telephones, the secretarial pool and their colleagues.
However, working in an office now might still be convenient and efficient, but it’s often no longer necessary. We have access to files over the Internet, telephones in our pockets, secretarial assistance from outsourced providers, and can meet colleagues remotely.
Millions of office-bound workers – employees and business owners alike – have changed their work style so they are not forced to work in an office every day from Monday to Friday. They do this for convenience, comfort and freedom – and they can be just as productive, and their organisation can be just as profitable.
We call this the "Out of Office" work style. The Internet makes this possible and practical for millions of people, and you could be one of them.
The Out of Office environment is the way of the future. The main reason for its growing popularity is the growth of the Internet in general, and ‘Cloud Computing’ in particular, which has made the Out of Office environment feasible, even for small organisations.
Cloud computing is not a technology; rather, it’s the practice of having software and data on the Internet, rather than on computers.
It means we have access to our files, software, services and everything else wherever we are – from our office, our home, or an Internet café in a foreign country. We don’t have to carry a laptop computer with us or keep transferring files back and forth using USB thumb drives.
Out of Office – The Book
My friend Chris Pudney and I wrote this book to help you create your own Out of Office work style.
In this book, we’ll show you how to:
- Manage your productivity when working by yourself
- Cooperate with clients and colleagues who need access to you
- Stay on top of your e-mail so it doesn’t consume your whole day
- Create a comfortable and productive work environment at home
- Collaborate with others using conference calls, shared documents and other on-line tools
- Tap into expertise around the world through on-line forums, discussion groups and social media
- Build and protect your reputation in the on-line world
- Live a completely mobile lifestyle, where you can work from cafes, libraries and even exotic locations!
The Out of Office Podcast
Chris and I have regular conversations about how Cloud Computing, mobile computing and Web 2.0 tools have helped you to have a more flexible, convenient, comfortable and free work life.
Webinar Recording: Pros and Cons of Using the Cloud
Using "the Cloud" means you can free yourself from a single fixed workplace, and get access to your stuff from anywhere. However, it also has some disadvantages and risks. In this webinar, I'll show you the pros and cons of using the Cloud effectively in your business.
Online Course: Gold Star Services
The last few years have seen an explosion in Web services to help your business – event management, multimedia, e-mail, productivity tools, and more. Sign up for this on-line course and I'll send you one of these each week, explaining how to use them to maximum effect in your business.
Webinar Recording: How to Work From Virtually Anywhere
With the rise of laptops, mobile broadband and cloud computing, we no longer need to be in our office to get things done. Welcome to the life of the digital nomad! It's a lifestyle based on working where ever you are at that time. It might be working in your home-office, at a client's office, at a hotel as you travel or at a local cafe. And, over the summer holiday period, you might even be travelling interstate or overseas with your family.
I teamed up with Geoff McDonald for this webinar on this topic. We discussed a selection of ideas from my latest book "Out of Office", and I shared tips and tricks, strategies and suggestions for being productive and staying secure when you're constantly travelling or working from multiple locations.