The pandemic has proven that many of us can work just as effectively without a single workplace - but is there a trick to making working from anywhere work for you? We asked five successful women to share their tips…
If the past few months have proven anything, it’s that, for many of us, needing to sit at a desk to do our jobs isn’t essential. And if being in the office isn’t a necessity, who says being at the home office is, either?
From pitching up at co-working spaces to quitting the country altogether and doing the day-job from the Maldives (or, well, Dorset), flexible working has been gaining in popularity - and we can see why.
Making your hours work for you and travelling around the world for inspiration are huge plus points, but there is a trick to getting into the right headspace, and it’s probably not working from your pyjamas in your Airbnb.
To find out how to nail working flexibly, no matter your postcode, we asked five successful women for their top tips.
1. Limit distractions
“As a PT, gym owner and freelance art director, I don’t have time to waste when it comes to work,” says personal trainer Lucy Pinto.
“I’m pretty strict with my set-up, and have my laptop, notebook and my bottle of water ready, with my phone on silent from 6am to 2pm.
“I make sure I train first thing, as this sets me up for the day so I can work without feeling sluggish.
“I like to be around nature too, so the beach, a local coffee shop with lots of plants or my back garden make for the perfect office and allow me some headspace.”
2. Turn down the noise
“I often work from hotel restaurants or cafes when I’m on the road; the wifi is usually pretty strong in these places, which is essential for holding team video meetings over Zoom,” says founder of dating and social app HER, Robyn Exton.
“My first question always used to be where the power sockets were, but now that I have a power pack, I can head to the quietest table and not worry about running out of juice.
“But even in the quietest of places, my sound-reducing headphones are my absolute essentials.
“They put me in a focused state of mind that helps me concentrate on my screen and not what’s happening around me.”
3. Try lightweight tech
“For me, building a remote-worker survival kit has been a game-changer,” says freelance digital editor Jessica Vince.
“My designated ‘work bag’ has multiple compartments to keep my must-haves to hand when on the go, from headphones to business cards and portable phone chargers.
“As a digital editor, I’m mostly at my laptop so of course, it’s crucial to have a decent internet connection, and I’ve recently discovered Logitech’s MX Anywhere 3 mouse.
“Compact and lightweight, it fits into my kit effortlessly. Whether in a café or an airport lounge, I can work just as efficiently as I would in an office.
“The mouse is nearly silent too. so there’s no threat of unwelcome eye rolls and the rose pink colour doesn’t hurt either…”
4. Be over-prepared
“Drawing outdoors is a big part of my work, so I always have a backpack of supplies ready to go,” says illustrator Jessamy Hawke.
“It’s packed with paper, a clipboard, a roll of over 70 pens, masking tape, a travel sketchbook and a flask of coffee - it’s my portable mini-studio to set up wherever I find a place to sit and draw.
“Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty heavy as I like to be over-prepared - taking far more paper than I need and definitely too many pens.
But I love working on-the-go - there’s a constantly changing backdrop of different colours, textures, and light, which I then reflect in my paintings when I’m back in the studio.”
5. Set your to-do list
“I’ve always been really flexible with my working, fortunate enough to be able to work in Europe one day and America the next,” explains influencer Em Sheldon.
“All I need is my laptop, my phone and my Canon cameras, so it’s been quite a contrast to be in one London home for a few months!
“While in the UK, I usually split my time between London and Yorkshire and rather than commuting every other week, I now do my meetings via FaceTime, Zoom and even voice notes.
“I check in with my team on a Monday and do a sign-off on a Friday to ensure we’re all on the same page and it’s been working really well.
“Having a list of tasks that you can do at your own pace, rather than within ‘office hours’, allows us to fit in things like lunchtime walks, a morning workout or household chores while still getting the work done on time.”
Whatever your job, make sure you’re prepared to work from anywhere with the Logitech MX Anywhere 3 mouse.