I had the opportunity to review Out of Office by Simon Salt. I really enjoyed reading Out of Office because I was immediately able to relate to a lot of different scenarios in the book regarding working remotely. Out of Office covers the benefits and challenges that come with working out of the corporate office setting as well as experience you have working on the go and being able to stay organized while setting rules and boundaries. One thing that really stood out to me was that Simon states there is no real work life balance which would explain why I haven’t mastered or achieved this yet; however he states that there is work/life integration that actually works when you get the hang of it. I have to totally agree with Simon also on stating that when you work for an organization out of office, communication is essential. There is also a work style self-assessment that is available in chapter 1 so you can see if an out of office work style is right for you. I took the assessment and answered with mostly B’s meaning that I could probably make it work if I am willing to work on some of the areas that cause me most concern. If not, then I can probably do this for interim periods but, shouldn’t consider it a full time move.
I have always been in an office setting, working from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until recently, in January of this year with some restructuring of my company and half of my job being community cultivation; I became an out based employee. It does make sense being I’m in the field most of the time and someone that is required to be in the office all day gets my space. It was very hard for me to adjust at first because I felt like I had no home at the office. We do have a rotating office shared in between all out based employees on my team so that we can come into the office and have a space to work when necessary. We also have biweekly conference calls to go over updates and keep each other in the loop. We have monthly staff meetings in person at different locations to give us a change of scenery and we are a known for including and scheduling time to do service projects for an organization of choice. We also email and call each other on a fairly regular basis. I connect with my boss weekly by phone or in person to let her know what I’m working on, have a strategy session and get her assistance if I need it. I personally love working out of office because it allows me flexibility with my time.
I have my office set up in a corner of my bedroom because that’s where my desk fits perfectly. I also have an empty nest when my husband goes to work and the kids go off to school. There are days I work until 10:00 pm or later. As a matter of fact I was up past 1:00 am recently over the weekend trouble shooting an issue and didn’t sleep until it was resolved. One of my responsibilities is being supportive and I do weigh things by importance. I’m not usually up past 11:00 p.m. working but, this was an emergency. There are some days that I am disciplined and will look at my phone and email after hours and will wait to respond until the next business day, and then there are times that I use my judgment and if I need to resolve an issue no matter what the time is, I will do it. I also have a habit of drafting emails at night and sending them in the morning. Out of Office really made me look at days when I’m working from my headquarters, home, or even in a Starbucks. I’ve gotten used to working remotely and I do a lot of juggling but, there are days that my day will start later if I work later into the evening.
I also was able to relate to friends and family thinking that because I work from home I’m always available to them, um… NO! I’ve had to make it clear that even though I work from home it doesn’t mean I’m going to be available to play mom, housewife and membership director simultaneously. I have days set up that I do nothing but administrative duties and catch up on data entry, phone calls, emails and paperwork. I have others days that I work in the field when building community partnerships as well as being available to my administrative team in my dedicated territories that I cover. I was glad to see that many things that were mentioned in Out of Office I was able to come up with a strategy plan that may work out better for me in the future. Out of Office also lists many resources that are available to use when working out of office whether as a part of an organization or an entrepreneur. Technology really allows us to be accessible 24/7 and makes it convenient to be able to do a job remotely. I’ve had scheduled webinar trainings, conference calls and meetings online that I attend from the comfort of my home. My office has a desk, Lenovo Laptop, HP printer, fax and scanner (all in one), VPN (virtual private network) access, Wi-Fi, documents and office supplies. I’m able to function fully at home and even in the field.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Out of Office. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about working from home, work shifting, telecommuting or transitioning out of a corporate office setting. Simon Salt gives you a lot to think about to make an informed decision as to whether this is the right working situation for you. He also gives you resources, ideas, rules and guidelines to help you craft a positive out of office experience. I have grown to love working out of office because in the last few months I’ve been able to create a system that works for me and that’s all that matters! As long as I am comfortable and getting my work done successfully, it’s a win! Oh, and in case I didn’t mention it… I’m totally in love and passionate about my job! Visit the Out of Office Success website for more information and grab your own copy! I know you will enjoy it and take away some valuable gems like I did.