Working in a virtual office is an increasingly popular choice. But like traditional offices, virtual workspaces have challenges, frustrations, and benefits. Heeding the advice below will help you thrive in your virtual workspace, whether it’s in your favorite library or a submarine at the bottom of the sea.
What is a Virtual Office?
It’s easy to recognize a traditional office, but fewer people know what a virtual workspace is. If you use technology to work outside an office building or home office, you are working virtually! A man discussing a business plan over the phone as he walks to a local park is a virtual office worker, just like the woman touching up a professional email in her local library.
Businesses love virtual offices because they don’t have to buy a physical workspace, and employees like it because they can work anywhere they want. Many only need a laptop or tablet, and some even become hobos so they can experience new adventures as they travel from one neighborhood to the next.
Keep a schedule.
By working virtually, you do have more freedom, but many people struggle staying productive. After all, it’s easy to procrastinate when you have a free schedule, and you can find distractions with only a few mouse clicks. Even worse, the only one telling you to work is you!.
Many virtual workers fight temptation by sticking to a schedule. Not only does this reinforce good habits, but it also helps them plan out their day. They can even create rewards once they reach certain milestones, or break their work schedule into doable chunks. Instead of writing a 3,000-word blog post in one sitting, they can take breaks after every 500 words.
Everyone is different, but starting work as early as you can is a smart strategy. Distractions are fun, and it’s easy to lose track of time or put off work until tomorrow. While it’s easy to think you can complete more work in the future, it’s not a guarantee. Many people regret this attitude once they realize how much time they waste! Remember, losing a few productive minutes or hours every day adds up, especially when it’s time to collect your paycheck!
Don’t work alone.
Friends make life more fun and are a welcome distraction while you work. Indulging in their company can sap your productivity, but ignoring them isn’t helpful, either. Everyone needs friendship, and you won’t create your best work if you feel lonely. Even sharing a few words with a close friend before and after work can boost your optimism and performance.
But spending time with friends isn’t always easy. Schedules conflict, and when you work virtually, you won’t usually start your day at an office full of coworkers. Thankfully, technology makes it easy to find friends anywhere. Calling your loved ones is one way to fight loneliness, and you can even use webcams for an even more intimate experience.
Some hobos play video games and join online communities, knowing that these are great places to meet new people if you live and work in remote areas. Even better, moving doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly lose contact with your online buddies.
Invest in technology.
Your virtual office is only as good as the technology you use in it. While you can work on a rickety chair on an old tablet, why settle? Your comfort and productivity are worth some investment, even if you feel content. Remember, your body won’t always stay young, and the work market is ever changing.
Start by creating a budget. Include all current expenses, and then your office upgrades. If you can’t afford your favorite computer chair now, don’t worry. You’ll get it eventually if you keep making small updates. Also, don’t forget replacement costs. Technology never lasts forever, and your laptop won’t either, even if it’s your favorite!
Buying high-quality equipment is a great way to save money, and you should never forget that chairs, computers, and keyboards are cheap because they break easily! Investing more now can mean spending less over time, but this depends on each item’s design. You can always find good deals if you look for them, and comparing products means you can weigh each product’s durability, functionality, and cost before you buy.
Also, don’t forget housing! Even though every neighborhood has parks, libraries, and businesses you can enjoy, some will fit your needs better than others. Upgrading your home or community isn’t a small decision, and you might regret not making it a priority.
Virtual offices are a great alternative to traditional spaces if you understand their limitations. Thankfully, now you know them!