Anywhere working promotes the idea of working flexibly and remotely, it really is based on common sense and that fact that we don’t need to be cooped up in an office in order to be productive. In fact it is very much the opposite, think how much time and money a person wastes traveling from meetings and lunch breaks back to the office?!?! Anywhere working are currently running a competition and you can find the details here and this is my entry!
I feel that anywhere working applies just as much to students as it does to working professionals, so I will be basing this blog on a student focus. I am 22 years old and I juggle a part time job, an internship and a master’s degree so I have no real ‘base’ as I am constantly doing different things in different places, however here are my tips on the best way to work efficiently and to work anywhere!
1. Internet: Whether I am submitting essays online, updating blogs or applying for jobs the internet is crucial for me and in todays society we don’t need to be in an office or at home to enjoy the benefits of the world wide web. I often go to cafes on my university campus and will do work there in between lectures, I often have 2 hour breaks in between classes so I use this productively. Iphone and Android users can download wifi apps to find the nearest place to them with free wifi – so no excuses! Additionaly, if some of your favourite hotspots do not have wifi then I would recommend buying a dongle as this will give you internet access on the go. I use my dongle on Wednesdays as this is day I have a 2 hour commute so rather than staring blankly out the window I can spend the time working… or facebooking!
2. Emails on the go: I recently synced my blackberry to my Hotmail account menaing that all emails come straight through to my phone, I really wish I had done this sooner as it really is useful. I don’t need to keep checking my inbox whenever I am on a computer as all emails come straight through to my handset. I find this comes in extra handy when I am bored waiting for a bus – it means I can get all important emails sent out before I have even left my road!
3. Skype: University work is plagued with dreaded group presentations which can throw a spanner in the works in terms of time schedules. Everyone is so busy it is often not realistic to have to all meet up in one certain location so I find that skype is the perfect remedy! You can host conference calls for free with anyone and anywhere in the world meaning there is less need for meeting up in person.
4. Dropbox: This is a free service that lets you bring your photos, documents and videos anywhere and share them easily. This is very useful as you can allow other people to access your work so handy for group work. Also it means you don’t need to keep emailing everything to yourself and print thousands of copies – environmentally friendly!
5. Diary: Keeping a diary helps you organise and plan your time effectively. I have a small pocket diary which can fit into my bag and I take everwhere with me! Also you can get an online diary which saves you having to carry one with you!
6. Tidy space tidy mind: Often fellow students say to me how they can never work from home and have to drag themselves to the library in order to get an assignment done… however for me, the library is a good 1 hour bus journey so in most cases I like to get my work done from home. My number one tip on this front is to always have a designated space for work. I clear the kitchen table and bring down my laptop and books and use it as my office, this means I don’t have the distractions of my TV, glossy magazines or bed! It really is important that your working area is uncluttered as mess can be very demotivating! The same applies to when working in bars and cafes, make sure you only take out what you need and that your working space isn’t covered in crisp packets and chocolate digestives!
So there you have it, my top 6 tips for working anywhere! I would also like to add that some people are initially daunted by the idea of working in cafes/bars and feel it would just end up costing more. However, I have found that many bars and restaurants offer lunch time specials making it cheaper to go and eat your lunch there than in a canteen! Also special offers are in an abundance, just last week I had a voucher for a free burger and chips in a Scream bar, this encouraged me to take my laptop and get some work done whilst enjoying free food!
I have written this whole article on the number 37 bus coming back from University, a real life example of how effective anywhere working is!