The agile way: working from home effectively
- 10 Oct 2018
One of the perks of freelancing is the flexibility of choosing where and when you work. Many freelancers opt to work from home – particularly if their work isn’t client-facing – because it saves money and travel time.
While this way of working may be convenient, it can be a challenge to stay focused and productive. Being agile is one of the key ways work-from-home freelancers can ensure they keep up with client deadlines and meet expectations.
Here are a few practical things you can do to make your approach that little bit more agile – so you can make sure you get everything you need done.
Create a good work environment
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to end up being unproductive when you work from home – unless you take steps to stay focused. One of the main things you can do is set up an office or workspace that is clearly separate from other parts of your house or room. This way you can minimise distractions and avoid being disturbed by family members or housemates. Make sure it is organised, clean, comfortable and equipped with everything you need to work well.
Manage your time well
If you are not used to setting your own deadlines, it can be easy to lose track of time and get carried away. To avoid this, find ways to manage your time and projects effectively. One key way of doing this is to break down your projects into yearly or monthly schedules – set yourself clear targets to keep you on track. Creating routines and processes will help you systemise your projects and keep you consistently productive. There are even apps and websites out there to help you create a routine that works for you.
If you want a project involving virtual team members or stakeholders to go smoothly, you will need effective communications. And even if you’re far apart there are still ways of maintaining good quality communications – particularly by providing regular updates by email or phone. This should involve asking plenty of questions, confirming details and ensuring everyone is always on the same page and on-track for their deadlines. Tools like Slack, Google Docs and Google Sheets can also make collaboration a lot easier.
If you are in a virtual team or have to work remotely with other team members in various locations, you might be interested in the award-winning training provider QA’s course, ‘Leading Virtual Teams’. QA also offer Agile and Scrum courses, as well as training in IT, software development and project management. IPSE Members can access a discount of up to 45 per cent on these courses.
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