Remote Working for a week at Kubix Digital - a MUST Read for all Digital Nomads of the Future
In times where everyone is talking about “Millenials at Work”, “Future Working Environments” & “Digital Nomads”, we at Kubix Digital wanted to test how it goes having a full week where everybody works remote - so, the office doors are locked basically.
Those of you who know us, is familiar with the fact that we already allow a flexible work environment and are open to change.
Before we rolled out our remote week experiment, we chose a week with low client interactions such as meetings, calls & emails, and decided on the last week of August - which was, in addition to the summer holiday season, already a short week due to another public holiday.
We send out an email to our team with useful tips, tricks and important information that you can find below.
How to Prepare for Working Remote
- If you have a hangout, connect with a good internet connection, where it’s quiet and if you want, use a headset.
- In this week communication is key; so keep everyone posted, follow your tasks on Asana, enter tasks at Asana, update the calendar, etc.
- Have an area at home which is your work area - this way it’s easier to get into the “work mode”.
- Feel free to meet with your teammates anywhere you feel comfortable working.
- Please continue to hold internal team meetings for our clients that are scheduled in the calendar.
Best Working Practices While Remote Working
- Remote working means flexible working. You don’t need to be sitting at home from 9 - 6, but please be always available for your team over the phone, Slack, etc. Try to find your most efficient working hours, consider working in the evening or early in the morning if it’s more efficient for you.
- Answer your Slack messages, emails, and so on as quickly as possible so that other team members don’t have to wait for you on continuing their tasks.
- As this week might be low workload in terms of client communication, we highly encourage you to do your tasks you where postponing, like account optimizations, client strategy planning, potential client research, writing a blog post, reading an important article in your bookmarks, taking all your AdWords certifications and so on. But please let us know on what you will work that week so that we can set priorities.
We also found this great article on remote working tips & tricks, that we shared with everybody.
Also very important is the next part:
SECURITY - How to Securely Work Remote
There are a couple of things you should consider and be aware of when you are working remotely.
1. Wifi hotspots and public Wifi’s are not safe
This is a general thing, not a remote working specific thing; public Wifi’s are not safe. They can be easily hacked and even a noob-hacker can packet sniff your internet connection. They might intercept and listen to your internet packets. Starbucks, Caffe Nero, public or municipality free wifi (metro, bus stations), etc. are easy prey for hackers.
If you really want to work in a public cafe, just choose one that is not so crowded.
Be cautious to make banking or commerce activity in these areas.
It's better to connect to wifi that is not open to the public (like requiring SMS or email registration) rather than connecting to 'only for customers' wifi's (getting specific wifi password from baristas).
If you are connected, please continue below suggestions.
2. Disable any sharing and airdrop.
Mac owners, please close System Preferences > Sharing > … any Sharing box should not be selected - Please close airdrop share!
3. When you leave your notebook, close it.
If you need to leave your notebook to make sure it is closed and requires a password for unlocking.
Pretty obvious, but also make sure to keep your notebook safe for any regular thief. If you have an Apple ID and use your work notebook as your own Apple device, you may activate your iCloud and open Find my Mac for these kinds of thefts.
4. Watch out for screen sniffers
In a public place, look for an area where your screen is not easily be seen by screen sniffers. They might not necessarily be evil but it’s better not to show them how much a client is spending with us. You get the idea.
After all preparations where done and questions were answered, we were ready and set to go.
As we as Kubix Digital are also focusing on strengthening our business operations in Berlin this year, we had Holly& Şafak working from Berlin that week. Also in Europe was our lovely Jolien working from Holland, plus 3 team members working from coastal areas of Turkey, and the rest preferred to work from home or from cafes in Istanbul. Overall, we were spread all over the globe and in short, it was a unique experience.
After our remote week trial we all reunited in the office and we REALLY, REALLY missed each other’s company.
I want to share with you below the Pros and Cons that we collected and also some funny stories that we experienced during this remote week.
What Are The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Working Remote?
Let's first start with the
PROs of Remote Working
- Saving time & money. As most of us were in Istanbul, we enjoyed that we didn’t have to commute to work and lost meaningless time while on the road. Also, a plus for some was the fact that they saved money on parking, lunches etc.
- More sleep. Who wouldn’t like that? This way it was better to focus and mental energy.
- Less distraction (for some working remote meant more distraction, but more on that later)
- Being flexible in where to work. Ability to lay down and relax after a long time sitting, working outside in the garden, at the pool, etc. just anywhere.
- Being flexible in when to work. Some woke up very early and got things done better in those hours, others had to make bigger breaks during the day and shifted to late night hours.
- Increased concentration & productivity. Most of us noticed that their working days were much longer once they started focusing and enjoyed their surrounding. This just proves what we read in this article before that really remote workers tend to work longer hours
- Working in PJs & no need to put on makeup etc. - That was my favorite for sure and being able to swim in the sea anytime. That really helped in the heat!
- Improved self-confidence. Being able planning your tasks yourself and have the same work discipline also at home gave some team members more self-confidence.
- Just a good feeling! Even though we were all at different locations, we were able to stay connected over hangouts and slack and were able to work effectively & efficiently.
CONs of Remote Working
- Missing the office & colleagues. It was weird not physically being together. Even with all the advancements in collaboration, there is still no environment as perfect for collaboration as physically. We found it hard to collaboratively brainstorm on projects for example. Also, of course, we missed our TGIFs and just random coffee talks.
- Missing the office comfort. Here at Kubix Digital’s office, we all have a second screen, which we all missed not having at home. Also, having coffee ready all the time, a comfortable chair and table where things that some of us missed
- Distractions. Working from a cafe or a public space can cause lots of distractions. So you better check out the place where you want to work from to avoid that upfront. For some of us there were not so many distractions, but most struggled with people at home, kids at home, or as someone was newly married, the need for decorating the new house was seducing. As for me, my 4-year-old daughter was so happy to see me all the time that she couldn’t leave me alone in the room and even though there were the beach, sea and her friends, she preferred to sit with me at 45 degrees in the house and play there. So, that was a challenge!
- Time management. If you are a procrastinator and tend to have trouble with prioritizing your work, remote working will be a tough cookie for you as there is no one to tell you to finish this first, then let's start with this. With remote working, daily and weekly task planning and finding your most efficient hours are even more important.
- Technical problems. If you have internet connection problems, slow internet or even some power outage you can be in trouble and that will cause you stress. On the very first day of our remote week, one of our teammates had exactly that problem. She was at a place where sometimes the electricity can be gone. Sounds weird to you? Well, we have that sometimes in Turkey. So our colleague felt really really bad to miss the team kick-off meeting that we postponed it to a later hour so that she as well could attend. Now we are laughing about this, but she was close to tears that day.
As a result of this experience we decided to continue with our semi-flex remote system for the time being and keeping it simple with KRW (Kubix-Remote-Wednesday), which will give everybody the chance to work from anywhere they want, being able to work on their own time management skills and focus on work they can do better on their own - like writing blog post (like I do right now on my remote day), keeping themselves up-to-date, working on strategy presentations and so forth.
So, we at Kubix Digital are ready for the "Future Employees". You might have came across this infographic before, but we thought it's worth sharing here again:
If you have any thoughts on this or want to share your experiences on flexible working, let us know in the comments part. We are looking forward to reading those.
Until then: Keep smiling and keep working from wherever you are!
Bonus Gif - Enjoy :)
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