For some people, working from the office can be an ideal option that allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance. However, it can also lead to a lack of variety and creativity. My journey with working remotely started when I joined Keitaro, almost 5 years ago. Operating remotely from its start, the Keitaro team has always had flexible working hours. Taking into consideration that all my previous work experience was working from an office with 9-5 working hours, the change was a bit of a shock to me. But in a short amount of time, I found the workaround most suitable for me and adapted to the new environment, learning how to manage my time and workload while working from places other than the company’s office. When I say that I have adapted, it doesn’t mean that I haven`t tried a few different options in order to find the ones that work best for me 🙂
In this blog, I will share a few benefits from working remotely that have a positive impact on my performance, productivity and creativity. The three main points I would like to share with you are the environment, distractions and inspiration.
Besides the obvious benefits of working from home, where anybody could create the most comfortable work environment and setup, working from other environments has also been of benefit for me personally.
Stepping out of my comfort zone and the usual routine, this summer I tried using as many different locations as I could while working remotely. When our home lives and work lives are blended together, it can be hard to keep our energy and creativity at their peak. To combat this, I took the time and the chance to explore my surroundings and recharge. Changing environments supported me in finding different setups and choosing the most appropriate places for different activities and tasks.
When you have the freedom to work from anywhere, you learn that distractions will find you no matter where you are if you let them. Sometimes it will be a friend who will join you for breakfast, sometimes endlessly scrolling online a topic of your interest, and sometimes it’s simply boredom. One technique I use to effectively counter this is planning and prioritizing tasks for the day and then putting my focus and energy into finishing those tasks in the morning while I am still fresh and full of energy. Also, if I am on a tight schedule, I create an agenda that I stick to. This requires discipline as a core skill. My focus is set on the final result and knowing that at the end of the business day I will be satisfied with the outcome and finished work.
Let’s be honest that sometimes we are bored at work and that is normal, especially if you have more than 2 years working in the same environment, same position, etc. This is the moment where the benefit of flexible hours lets you organize your working hours throughout the day, week and month. Sometimes you would be surprised how a 1-hour break can save the day.
Creativity is about applying knowledge, thinking and finding a way to apply your skillset to achieving maximum output for a project or task. It requires constantly filling the well with inspiration and finding new ways to improve and learn new things.
In the last few years, I’ve learned to find inspiration from daily activities, which have turned into habits in the last year. For instance, I have started reading books on topics of which I have zero knowledge, learning new skills connected with my profession, exploring nature and enjoying every moment of observation, and upgrading skills such as cooking. Of course, I don’t do all of these things in one day 🙂 But the variety of new information, new skills and new experiences is stimulating and supports me in finding inspiration for every challenge ahead.
Along with training yourself to be on schedule and have strong discipline, experimenting with different models could just guide you toward the best working solutions for you. In a short period of time, the benefits in performance and productivity will be evident as a result of your creativity. Though I am working in the Marketing department, I believe that creativity can find its way into every sector and business — we just need to look for it.