Selftest: Location Independent Working– Do You Have What It Takes?

by Thomas on March 30, 2011 · 0 comments

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Some of us are just not equipped for a life outside the office – whoever dreams of more than a 9-to-5 job and a mobile working place needs the right skills and abilities for it. Three of the most important competencies which you need for location independent working and three “not to be taken too seriously” tests which you can use to see if you possess these abilities are as follows:

Resilience

It does not matter if you want to combine your work with a world trip or adapt your working hours to suit the needs of your children: you will, in any case, experience a whole new dimension of stress. Resilience is thus key for coping with the adversity of location independent working.

Test: Take a bus ride full with school children in the morning and, if possible, pick out an uncomfortable standing space near the bus entrance door, then call a business partner and begin a serious discussion with them. Meanwhile, balance a small and heavy laptop bag on your right knee, whilst you make notes with your left hand (have this the other way round if you are left-handed).

Did you manage it? Congratulations! It takes more than a bus ride full of screaming and laughing children for you to lose your cool.

Flexibility

Time differences, atypical work conditions und unexpected difficulties: without the safety net of your superiors and colleagues means you will have to solve many problems independently. Alongside resilience, it wouldn’t hurt to be flexible. Whoever is able to react quickly in any unexpected situation clearly has an advantage for solving them. And whoever is used to working on the go is sure to experience many surprises…

Test: Pack up your laptop, a dice and some important paperwork. Go into a café which has WLAN, really small tables and too loud music. Once you found a table, try and finish your paperwork as well as updating your Facebook profile. Every 15 minutes you must throw the dice: when you throw an odd number disconnect the internet for 15 minutes, if you throw an even number you can carry on working. You will really start to get a feel for the game when you spill your coffee over your keyboard or you have to ask other guests to stop standing on your power cable.

Did you manage to finish your paperwork and is your laptop still intact? Good. Now delete all the work you achieved in this time from your hard drive; and if that did not annoy you then you are born Beyond-9to5-Material!

Discipline

Working on the beach, on the terrace, or in a café – sounds like paradise? Well, it is. For this reason it is important to have discipline and good time management when working at such locations, because working on the go should not be confused with vacation.

Test: On a hot summer’s day, take a trip to an outdoor swimming pool, lay your towel next to somebody who you find particularly attractive. Do not say one word or even look at this person. Meanwhile ask a friend to ring you every half an hour inviting you to join them for a nice cold beer. Say no everytime. Have you managed to last at least four hours and at the same time produce a decent piece of work? Congratulations! No Irish pub can keep you from success.

Have you tried out all tests and succeeded each time? Wonderful! You are the perfect specimen for working on the go!

Of course our tests are somewhat exaggerated, but location independent working can be demanding, so deciding whether to use the world as your office requires some consideration. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses is always an advantage before experimenting with location independent working.

Do you work on the go and if so, do you think any other competencies are important?

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