Location Independent Work
Over the last decade the number of people working from Remote Locations has exploded. New developments in Technology allow hundreds of thousands people to get away from the office; to work from their home or even from different places around the world. This could be an office worker that works one day from home, an entrepreneur that decides to spend half his time in the Coffee shop or somebody who decides to run his or her business from the jungle. Laptops and mobile internet make it possible to work anywhere in the world.
It has been shown that traditional office space are far from efficient. A standard cubicle and office without windows can cut down efficiency and productivity by 50%. Still, most of the people make the daily tour to their office to work fixed hours to perform their given tasks. The standard office has been developed during the 20th century. All of a sudden we needed a lot of work-space for a lot of people; and the easiest way to do this is cubicles and small offices. Rarely has been considered or researched whether this is actually an efficient and productive way.
The classical office is simply a calculation of how to fit the most amount of people in a certain amount of space.
This has lead to the typical office where people have a lack of daylight, a lack of exposure to nature and most of the time feel unhappy.
So we need to rethink the office space. But who is gonna pay for this? Big companies, like Google and Apple, are already doing this. They are shifting from the typical work space to more open workplaces directly integrated with nature. Lots of exposure to nature and direct sunlight lead to happier and more productive employees. In the end this means more work output in less time, which creates a healthy and profitable company. So who is gonna pay for it? The employees themselves!
Remote worker ≠ backpackers
I would like to make a clear distinction between Backpackers who take their laptop while traveling, and Remote Workers that run successful business while on the go. Both are perfectly fine, but is important to be aware of the two options that are often living intertwined with each other. Don’t get the casual backpackers mixed up with a professional running a remote business, even though both are not mutually exclusive.
What are the benefits of remote work?
There is lots of research that shows the benefit of Remote Location Independent work, IF applied correctly. Working on a beach with sand blowing everywhere is not gonna help you be more productive; neither is working while sitting on the side of a swimming pool. Please note that these kind of images are far from reality and that this is not a representation of real life. If done right, people that work remotely have increased productivity, a higher efficiency, feel more happy and live healthier lives. All this while performing the same amount of work in less time.
To sum up:
- Increased Productivity
- Increased Efficiency
- Increased Creativity
- Increased Happiness
- Increased Health
- More free time
- Less traffic jams
How to work efficient as a Digital Nomad
Being location independent does not mean that you can work from any location. There are still some essential properties that will make a work space more or less efficient. This might differ for each individual, so you might need to test out a few varieties.
Cafe’s and Restaurants can be fine to send a quick e-mail, but don’t get stuck into them for too long. Often people will say ‘but I like the noise’, but for most people this noise actually creates a distraction that will decrease their output. Even though it might feel nice, keep an eye whether you are actually more efficient. Furthermore, most cafes have patchy and slow internet, facilitate a bad work posture and are very social environments. It is not unluckily that you will run into people you know, dropping your efficiency dramatically.
The future for many people working remotely is to go to co-working spaces. These offices provide work spaces that can be rent out per hour, per day or even per month. They vary in their service and price, but overall you will get a desk, a comfortable chair and high speed internet. Most offices will provide you with an external screen. Having a comfortable chair to work from will help you prevent bad posture, back pain and neck pain. The desk, fast internet and external screen will almost certainly increase your productivity. Slow internet will cause a few second delay every time you perform an action, which adds up over time. Overall a co-working space will most likely make you much more productive, and that is exactly what we are aiming for.
So now I am stuck in office, just in a different location?
No, it is not about spending all your time in co-working spaces. It is about maximizing your efficiency so you can spend more time doing things you love! Maximize your work efficiency so you have more time for fun & play. Instead of having a brief chat while you are working in a cafe, focus in your work while you need to and go for a coffee and real chat after.
Furthermore most co-working spaces already go beyond the typical office space. Most often you will find creative spaces with lots of plants, natural daylight and even indoor trees. After focusing in your work for two hours take a break with your fellow entrepreneurs, walk among nature and replenish your brain power.
Note: some things are perfectly done outside a co-working space. It depends on the kind of work you do. In general I would advise to go to a co-working space for highly focused work. Perhaps when you have more creative tasks, it might be beneficial to retreat in a calm spot close to the ocean. See what works best for you!
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