Having the flexibility to choose where and when you work is something most people think is idyllic. However, as many people have experienced during the pandemic, working remotely can come with some challenges. Choosing the right remote work location is perhaps one of the most important business decisions you need to make.
To create a successful remote working environment, you need to answer some important questions, as a business, employee and overall team.
What environment do you work best in?
Many people feel that they work best in a room filled with energy and ambient noise. Such people tend to thrive in coworking spaces with an open floor plan. However, if there is no space for people to take time out and concentrate this can create a problem for productivity.
Who you might meet.
If you are interested in coworking spaces, be sure to meet some of the other occupants. Often industries that follow similar lines will occupy a coworking space happily. Freelance writers, graphic designers and animators might all be creating a buzzing and vibrant atmosphere in the space you are considering.
These people could also become assets to your business. Coworking spaces offer more than just a desk and chair, they are a great place to grow your network, and you never know who you might be seated next from one day to the next.
The downside is that you never know who you might be seated next from one day to the next. Some people are too social and chatty. Make sure you get a feel for the environment and the types of people who are attracted to the workspace before you commit to any coworking environment.
Consider your company’s culture.
Whether you’re a solo operation or have a team of employees, the space you choose to work in will impact your company’s culture. Not only will it inform your team of your expectations for the company, but it will show any visitors a side of your business too.
Some spaces are open plan and very busy, others follow the cubicle model with quiet spaces and fewer distractions. You need to decide what type of culture best suits the needs of your core team and how you can accommodate the key employees of your company.
What are your everyday tasks?
If you are working largely online with little feedback or interaction with others, you might enjoy working from home, a cafe or even from a train while travelling to your next destination. For those who host many meetings and need a large degree of privacy, a separate office in the home or a coworking space might be appropriate.
For those people who need to manage projects together, a combination of home and shared space might be the answer to ensure flexibility and productivity. A three-days on-site, two-days off-site proposition might be the answer to needing direct contact to expedite projects but needing privacy to work.
Before you go
Balancing the needs of your company with the needs of your employees is difficult. One of the key questions is what do you need to do as a business to be productive. A marketing firm might need to come together online once a week, leaving employees free to work from home in the hours that suit their lifestyle, while running a cafe requires some workers, such as barristers, to attend a physical location, while others, such as accountants, can work anywhere.
Many people have found that the dream of working from home has not been as idyllic as they supposed. From the pressing need to wash dirty dishes to the interruptions from pets, children or partners, working from home is not the answer to productivity.
Ask your team what they want from a working environment, how they work best and what can be negotiated to ensure that your best employees are happy and your business is thriving.