4 Ways to Work Remotely Without Working from Home
When you’re trying to help your employees be more innovative, getting them to leave their office and do their work somewhere else might not be the first idea that comes to mind. But that’s exactly what Yann Toutant recommends, and with good reason — it works. Yann explains, “Having the same habits every day is the enemy of creativity. Remote working breaks the pattern.”
Yann is the CEO of the Netherlands branch of Econocom, a digital services agency, and the president of the French Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands. But it’s his expertise and passion for remote work that got me into a conversation with him, which you can listen to here. He described the details behind what he calls a “ladder of options” for working remotely that I found fascinating, each step a little bolder than the last. Try each for a few days or weeks every month and see if your creativity doesn’t improve:
Rung #1 – Work from anywhere inside the office, other than your normal desk.
This is basically having open spaces or hot desking. Let people sit wherever they want and let that change on a daily basis. Shaking them out of their routine prompts more creative thinking. Warning: you need to go fully digital to make this work.
Rung #2 – Work at one of your customers’, suppliers’, or partners’ offices
Ask permission to use space where your business partners work. You’ll naturally develop better relationships with them and learn more about what their needs, capabilities, and culture are.
Rung #3 – Use a co-working space close to where you live.
Instead of driving across town to work every day, find a shared workspace office to rent near where you live. Don’t waste time commuting, but don’t stay home either. You’ll find new people to learn from and be inspired by.
Rung #4 – Work abroad.
Next time you go on vacation, stay an extra week or two and work from there. You probably picked a fun, relaxing, inspiring place to vacation, right? Get more benefit from that choice by staying a few extra days and working from there. That beachfront cottage is probably more inspiring than your cubicle.
Rung #5 – There is no rung 5. I expected Yann to tell me that the last step is to actually start working from home. But he didn’t. Home is a place you spend time every day. It’s probably no more inspiring to your creativity than your regular office. It’s also probably the hardest to get your boss to agree to. Stick to the other 4 rungs.
Have you tried any of these four? Let us know how it went in the comments below.
Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author of the books Lead with a Story, Sell with a Story, and Parenting with a Story.