Work is not a place: 7 tips for seeking freedom from your cubicle
Most U.S. employees have the day off for Independence Day, and with this holiday comes fireworks, summer heat and picnics. However, seeking freedom in our lives is a much greater charge and challenge, and one that has grown increasingly complex.
The freedom to work anywhere—regardless of device or location—and share ideas globally, productively and creatively, is a core vision that unites PGi customers and associates. By adopting flexible work arrangements, PGi has expanded into 25 countries and grown to 1,800 employees worldwide. Approximately 50% of PGi’s global workforce enjoys flexible work options and we’ve reduced our physical office space needs by 25% due to increased telecommuting, flexible hours and other virtual working arrangements.
PGi is just one of an increasing number of companies on the edge of the virtual collaboration trend. In fact, by 2015, analysts predict the mobile workforce will reach 1.3 billion employees worldwide due in large part to the explosive proliferation of mobile work devices. Defining work by our corporate culture and creative collaboration rather than physical location expands the ways we do business and create community.
Are you interested in freedom from those beige half-walls? Here are seven quick and easy tips to bring flexibility into your work life with telecommuting, virtual communications tools and other alternative work choices:
- Consider flextime arrangements
Be sure to speak with your supervisor in advance, but consider working an alternative to the 9-5 grind. Early morning hours in particular prove productive for many people due to the quiet and solitude.
- Try a work-cation if you’re just taking a couple of days off
According to a 2011 study by Regus, more than 75% of Americans stay connected to the office while on vacation, and more than 66% check email regularly while away.
- Stay connected and available, even if you aren’t at your desk
Take your smartphone or tablet with you so that you can respond to emails and phone calls promptly, and use video conferencing and web conferencing tools to build relationships, enhance productivity and create dimension in your virtual communications.
- Compartmentalize by the task, not by the hour
Don’t feel that you have to end meetings at the stop time Outlook designates—give attendees time back in their day and end ten or fifteen minutes early if you’ve accomplished your discussion early. They’ll appreciate the freedom as much as you will.
- Look for optimal performance and productivity patterns throughout the day
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Test your creativity and productivity at different times during the day and see if you can improve performance.
- Experiment with different telecommuting locations
Are the walls of your home office closing in on you? Visit a local coworking space, your favorite coffee shop or even a public library to network with other professionals and inspire creativity.
- Set boundaries to find freedom
Perhaps the single best way to find freedom is paradoxically to establish clear boundaries. Close the door on your home office. Work hard when you’re “on” and rejuvenate fully when you’re “off.” Strive for work-life balance, understanding that balance doesn’t always rest at 50-50, but where you feel the most satisfied and energized by all facets of your life.
Surveys demonstrate that employees are more productive and produce higher-quality work when given the freedom to work remotely. By encouraging telecommuting and flexible work arrangements that rely on mobile and virtual tools, companies can encourage creativity and productivity both within and outside of the office and retain employees as their own lives evolve over time.
Originally published on PGi Blog.