This week we are looking at the value of technology and mobile working in modern life. Join in our twitter discussions by following #mobileletsme and let us know how it helps or hinders your business. Our Sage Business Expert Mary Cummings looks at how you should embrace mobile working and her advice on how to achieve this.
The advantage of working from home means that you can, of course, work flexibly and set your own hours. However, with these cold, dark, wintery months, the temptation is to stay very firmly tucked in the warm indoors, and we all know that working by yourself can be very isolating. When the weather is warmer, I for one will look forward to getting out and about, and networking offline as much as possible.
But in the meantime, here are some simple ways that you can embrace mobile working.
The network is your computer
I’ve had more laptop mishaps than I’d care to remember – most involving an over-enthusiastic toddler. Thankfully she’s older and wiser, and so am I. The cloud is my computer, as I now store everything in OneDrive and Dropbox. Not only is this safer, it means I can easily connect with my work wherever I am, or on the go.
Online Virtual Meetings
All of my mentoring calls are now conducted online with anymeeting.com, but there others of course such as Goto Meeting, or Goto Webinar. I wouldn’t be able to grow my business if it wasn’t for web conferencing, as this has added a new dimension to the services I’m able to offer. Most web conference providers have a range of facilities, such as recorded meetings and screen sharing, so they’re equally ideal for hosting tutorials and collaborating with team members and your colleagues.
Video Skype is now my preference for telephone calls. Having a Skype conversation where you can see who you are talking to, is the next best thing, when you don’t have face to face interaction with people during your working day.
It’s not called social for nothing. Social networking definitely has an important role to play when you work from home. It can be very lonely when you’re self-employed. Your online friends and colleagues might be the only people you can bat and ball with for a bit of banter.
It’s also important to build up a network of like-minded individuals you can call upon for help, if you’re feeling jaded or a tad uninspired. I make a point of connecting on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter at lunchtime and later in the evening. It’s a welcome reprieve to an otherwise, long, lonely day. A word of caution though, it’s easy to let the hours slip away from you if you’re not careful.
Co-working or ‘Popups’
The antidote to working all alone, is of course working along with others. There are a variety of options depending on your budget, from renting a co-working space, to Jelly Working, to something I enjoy with my friends from time to time, an informal popup.
All you need is a personal Wi-Fi (I have 3G wireless MiFi) a laptop friendly area such as a coffee shop or park, good cellular reception, and of course your friends and laptop.
Come springtime, I shall be venturing out again for a lovely breath of fresh air and friendly co-working.
How about you? What mobile working tips would you add?