“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” -Richard Branson
I know most of us have a 9 to 5 job and probably cannot subscribe to this kind of lifestyle but I must say that I am a strong advocate for remote working. Just to be clear, remote working or as some call it, telework is being able to work from any location [mostly home] and maintaining communication with the company you work for.
Many of us come from the traditional work setting which involves moving to a physical location with a regulated time frame. That’s what we call Work. It’s what many of us know.
So it was unusual for me to work for a company like The Cobalt Partners that permits remote working. I also know that I thrive the best, working in an environment with people who are lively and fun to be around. But after two years in, I have come to realize that working remotely has its perks and can be beneficial to a healthy lifestyle!
It spikes creativity; Going to the same place every day can be a drag especially if you are a creative person. Sometimes a change of scenery maybe just what you need to get the creative juices flowing. Working remotely allows you to work anywhere as long as your job requires being online and staying communicative. Try a cafe, a library, an outdoor park or your front yard if you can. You never know when you will have your Newton moment!
You have more control: As much as I love to have the chatter and the cheer, we all know that can be a big distraction if you are really on a roll and you need the focus. We all can relate to the tapping from behind, or someone asking you for help when you’re in the middle of something, or unplanned meetings you have to be at. These are time wasters. They have a tremendous impact on your productivity. Thankfully at Cobalt, we use team management tools like Slack and Asana to track work progress and maintain communication. All I need is a computer, a phone, and a dependable WIFI. I am good to go!
Higher productivity: There’s something about being away from the workplace that makes me more attentive to what’s actually happening at work. I am more responsive and more engaged with the team when i am working remotely. Because the truth is, real work gets done in short bouts of productivity and time. We do not really use a full 8 hours to get work done. Most people do their best work the first hours of the morning and can’t really function after midday. So why waste all that time sitting in Accra traffic, when i can wake up, brush my teeth and do my best work?
Remote working is also great for people who work more than one job or work part-time. Although it will require detailed structure around your time and schedule, you can certainly attend to all your gigs because you have the freedom to move around while getting work done.
It’s a great fit for stay-at-home wives and mothers: Working remotely is heaven to nursing mothers or housewives. Being a full-time parent doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your career dreams. Being able to work from home allows people in this category the freedom and flexibility to do just that.
It reduces cost with EVERYTHING: And I am talking about transportation, food, and yes, time. Traffic in this country drives me insane. If you have ever seen the look on people’s faces as they move in the traffic jam, you will notice a disturbing futility and tiredness about them. Our generation is driven by entrepreneurship and the need to stay motivated. People want to do more; be more impactful. Those after-5 dreams won’t happen in traffic.That economic breakthrough won’t happen if we keep working systems that dowse the innovation and creativity of the millennial.
Like I said before, this is not for everybody. There are some industries that cannot align with this. I, however, hope Ghanaian companies will explore more avenues and systems that enable remote working. When structures are put right, companies won’t fear that their employees won’t be accountable. It will certainly spur creativity and innovation if there were more recreational centers and public places to make this possible. When , the team is happy, you will have happier clients, I assure you.
If you’re looking for great places to spend the day while working, I will bring you just that in the next post!
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