Picture this: It’s the start of a new work week. You wake up and tackle your “commute,” a short walk from your apartment towards your favorite coffee spot. Here is where you will park yourself, morning bun and latte in hand, for the next several hours as you dive into a sea of emails while overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Not a bad office view at all.
For many of us, that sounds like a dream come true– wearing your favorite jeans and a comfortable t-shirt in a chic, cool coffee shop, working at your leisure. And for a select group, that is their reality. The workplace today does not look like it did 20 years ago. According to a recent survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit in London, 34% said more than half their company’s full-time workforce would be working remotely by 2020 and 25% said more than three-quarters would not work in a traditional office by 2020. As you can see, more and more flexible work hours and locations are becoming a norm in the workplace. In this technological era, it doesn’t matter where you work from anymore, as long as you are connected, you can participate in the corporate conversation and accomplish a lot.
Since I graduated college in 2011, I haven’t known any other style of work than to work remotely. That’s not say I’ve never stepped foot in a traditional office with cubicles, headsets and water coolers. But honestly, I haven’t spent more than a year in that type of mundane environment. Five out of 7 days a week, I go makeup free, wear comfortable jeans and drink coffee all day. Lavish lifestyle, right? Yes, I am thankful to have so much untraditional flexibility. But when you work remotely, you have to take a few things into consideration.
- You don’t work a 9am-5pm
- You must be a self-starter
- You need to be available and stay connected
When you’re in a traditional office space, if Sally needs that proposal by 2pm, she will more than likely come to your desk to get it. When you work from home just because you have flexibility that doesn’t mean the deadlines stop. You have to ensure you are meeting all the guidelines just as you would if you were physically sitting next to your boss or colleague. For this reason, it is crucial that I have access to the best apps, programs, and technology.
Whether I’m working from my home office, a coffee shop, or traveling, Skype has become a reliable resource for staying connected with partners and colleagues. The flexibility to use Skype on all my devices allows me to group call, Skype video message, screen share, file share, mobile call and instant message from anywhere at anytime. I especially find the mobile calling feature necessary when I travel outside the United States. Skype offers free credits to first time customers and even a pay-as-you-go option.
Because we often become so inundated with emails, I love using Skype Qik, an everyday chat feature, to stay in touch with my colleagues on current projects and initiatives. I almost dread logging into my email inbox, but with Skype Qik, I check the status on a project and get updates instantly, without the chaos of communicating through email.
As our world gets nosier, I’m thankful that there are products out there like Skype that allow me to do what I love, in an enjoyable environment.
Tweet me @Jamiedanno using the hashtag #TheThingsWeCanDo (or tell me in the comment section below): How do you use Skype to stay connected?