We are witnessing a massive social change. A growing number of Americans are working from home. Whether they are self-employed entrepreneurs or non-self employed workers, studies demonstrate a rising increase in this work option. According to Global Workplace Analytics, from 2005-2012 the population telecommuting grew 29.4%.
Long gone are the days of in-person meetings or editing documents via emails and faxes. The rise of mobile apps has brought the opportunity to have almost everything you need to successfully do your job in your pocket.
The digital nomad lifestyle is used to describe individuals who work remotely from homes, coffee shops, and libraries or even open spaces (like the beach), providing the chance of productivity sans being chained to an office desk. While studies highlight the record proportion of people that are working from home in the US as well as other countries all over they world, they also highlight the need to adopt modern management practices to raise both productivity and profitability.
So how can you achieve this and what tools can help you (and your virtual team) to stay focused, organized and on task? Taking advantage of tools can help you maximize their productivity and increase their freedom. Here are a few examples:
The cloud. Providers such as Dropbox and Google Drive give you the convenience of real-time collaboration while accessing important files. You can connect your key documents on the go from a simple app installed on your phone, or from any device that has an Internet connection. As a precaution, remember that a backup is always necessary.
Chat and video conferencing apps. Sitting in a room full of people is no longer the only option with new tools designed for virtual team communication. There are many competing platforms such as Slack, Google Hangouts and Skype. They have given people the opportunity to stay connected and organized from multiple locations, anywhere in the world while avoiding superfluous emails.
Project management services. Virtually managing multiple projects, whether on your own or with a team, can be a piece of cake with the help of apps like Asana or Trello. These tools let you keep track of any updates and pending tasks, keeping everyone in the loop.
These are only a few examples of apps and services that can work for you. They have the power to increase your freedom but also turn you into a slave. Modern technology lets you take control of multiple aspects of your life in previously unthinkable ways. Using these advancements in your favor can open a new world of possibilities that could translate more flexibility in your professional life. While this choice of life might seem more suitable to those in creative and entrepreneurial fields, the truth is that almost anyone could use these.
The key to successfully taking advantage of online collaboration tools is being disciplined and also setting limits. Nevertheless, despite being accessible via clouds and chat providers does not mean that you also have to work 24/7. How can you leverage these kinds of apps into your balanced, nomadic work life?