Being agile in your work environment is no different, whether you are in an office or working remotely from home. A perfect example, is happening in real life to me, this week. After taking a long weekend to spend time with family in our Nation's Capital, we returned home to news of a death in our family. After talking it out, we decided that driving was the best option. Although lengthy, the cost of the last minute flight was simply too much.
I had planned on working from my desk at home or even walking over to the nearest Starbucks, where I know the corner is quiet, and the internet is reliable. Now I am subject to unknown conditions when I arrive at the hotel and particularly unsure of what my schedule will look like for the rest of the week. Will I need to take more time off from work or can I manage to be present, both in terms of family and work? As of late, I've become pretty good at expecting the unexpected and working through it. However, sometimes, I push the limit of what's acceptable.
Here are some things to remember when your work environment isn't what you planned:
Always have a backup - Don't leave yourself with merely one option. If you think you can have a call in a quiet location at an unfamiliar place but aren't sure when guests may arrive, make sure your car is also nearby, it works as a great last-minute spot to find quiet and get the job done.
Never rely on just wifi - In most cases for general computing needs, a generic internet connection will be just fine. But if you're working on a more vital task, say a presentation or a conference bridge, always have a mobile hotspot ready. If you have a modern smartphone, you already have this feature. 90% of the time, the internet connection from your phone will be 10-20x faster than some public wifi connections, especially in hotels or coffee shops. Plus, public wifi connections are known to be insecure and leaves your connect open to malicious actors.
Get a good headset - Noise canceling headphones are a great way to create your own private office no matter where you are. These types of headphones will help you focus and get the job done.
Don't be afraid to reschedule & always use a planner - If it's an informal meeting, don't hesitate to pick a time that's better for you. Most people would do this regardless of where they were working that day anyhow, especially if they were "swamped" with tasks to complete. My favorite planner was created by CNCPTS. It’s a weekly planner and notebook designed for business.
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