The Freedom of Working Remotely
Working remotely offers a variety of advantages. No more rush hour commute. Plus, the traditional 9 to 5 is optional.
- You can work with clients around the globe.
- Co-workers can’t spontaneously interrupt you.
- You have the freedom to flex your schedule according to your work and life flow.
- Lower operating expenses. Your home office becomes a tax advantage which you can write off. Your commute is a one minute walk from your bedroom to your work space. Working in your yoga pants reduces your professional wardrobe.
Like anything, pros and cons exist. Some accounting professionals who start working remotely quickly realize it doesn’t fit their personality.
Whether you’re in an office cubicle, at home or on the other side of the world, your work doesn’t stop. Your productivity doesn’t need to suffer. No matter where in the world you may be, your clients expect you to maintain your deadlines and commitments.
If you’re working remotely, then minimize these productivity challenges.
- Distractions. Email notifications, text messages and social media disrupts your concentration. It takes about twenty minutes, if not more, to regain your flow of concentration. Make a habit of shutting down technology notifications. Especially when working on projects which demand intense concentration.
- Lack of Structure. You set your schedule. Are you disciplined enough to get to work even when no one is watching? Develop a plan that gives you some structure. Even if you’re someone who works organically, routine inspires productivity. If you’re not the only person in the house, then create some guidelines to reduce interruptions.
- Follow through. Remember to finish what you start. Find the right apps to manage and track your work. Many of my clients who work remotely added a virtual project manager to their team.
- No Prioritization. Poor planning leads to missed deadlines. As you know, procrastination adds stress. Working yourself to exhaustion sets you up for burnout.
- Multitasking. You start out doing everything in your accounting practice. Multitasking, however, isn’t the answer. Multi-tasking used to be something people bragged about. However, studies reveal that it actually slows you down. Your brain works more effectively when you focus on one task at a time.
- Non-Work Chores. Doing personal chores during your work time is a productivity killer. With that in mind, you would never leave the office to hang up your laundry. Save those chores for “after work” hours.
- Chasing squirrels. Surfing the internet can quickly turn minutes into hours. It’s easy for one link to lead to another. Set a timer when you’re researching on the internet.
- Wrong Set Up. Does your work space work for you? An uncomfortable work chair or slow internet connection affects your productivity. It’s difficult to spend long hours in a space which doesn’t suit you. One client originally set her work station in the living room. But family life interrupted her concentration, especially while working on complicated projects. She eventually turned a spare bedroom into her home office.
- Questions. Are you an accounting professional who misses shop-talk with co-workers about accounting procedures? Your associates are a valuable resource of knowledge. Replace the water cooler conversations with a remote network of accounting professionals.
Working remotely can lower your productivity. Awareness is the first step toward removing distractions.
Work Focus Solutions
A virtual accounting firm requires structure, initiative and discipline. You can set it up any way you choose. Would you prefer your entire firm to be virtual or only specific parts?
Most in-person activities can easily be accomplished virtually. As a result, client communications, team meetings, marketing, sales and daily responsibilities no longer need to be face-to-face.
Optimize Your Time
Organize your workflow to get the most out of your day. Here are some best practices for working remotely.
- Best time. Are you sharpest during early morning or late at night? These are your golden hours. Therefore, schedule time to work on your important projects during those hours. Save social media, email, or phone conversations for other parts of your day.
- Manage your calendar. Chunk similar tasks together. Schedule your meetings during a block of time. Avoid switching back and forth between meetings and tasks. Your brain is more effective when you group similar activities together.
- Schedule breaks. Step away from your desk every so often instead of pushing through projects. Unless you are in the zone take regular breaks. Work for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. Get up, move around, go outside. Then, start another work session.
- Build a team. High quality people around the globe now work remotely. Some of them may be a perfect match for your team. I connected an accounting professional whose business is based in the U.S., with an American CPA who lives in Israel. The time zone difference was an advantage. The Israeli CPA worked on client taxes while the U.S. business was closed for the night. This meant a faster turnaround time during tax season.
Conduct Quality Virtual Meetings
Hold virtual client meetings, even if they live in your region. This frees up time that would normally be spent commuting. The clients receive a link to meet virtually. The remote meeting allows for screen sharing and everything is automatically recorded.
Follow a few simple steps for highly effective virtual meetings.
- Prepare your technology. For a clear video call reduce the bandwidth. Close tabs or save them to quickly open later with an application like OneTab. If possible, hardwire your computer to your router for your wifi connection.
- Enhance the quality. An external video camera improves picture quality. Audio feedback is distracting. Also, the internal microphone on your computer picks up background noise. Avoid those annoyances by using your cell phone earbuds.
- Additional distractions. Minimize visual or noise distractions. Have a light in front of you to keep your face out of shadow. A small ring light fits your phone or your laptop. Also, improve camera focus by reducing back-light from windows by pulling drapes or shades or adjusting the angle of your computer.
- Agenda. People are busy. Therefore, create a meeting agenda and stick to it. Spend the first 3 minutes or so catching up. Then get to the point of the meeting.
Freedom to travel
Enjoy the freedom of a location independent accounting firm. Working effectively requires planning, prioritizing, and investing in your business.
It’s possible for you to work with clients while you’re anywhere in the world. And to expand your client base outside of your geographical location, working with clients around the world. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
It’s possible for you to work with clients while you’re anywhere in the world. And to expand your client base outside of your geographical location, working with clients around the world. Technology continues to improve productivity for accounting professionals who work virtually.
Are you ready to grow a highly profitable virtual accounting firm? Follow my step by step recommendations to earn more without being a slave to your firm. Claim your FREE RESOURCE NOW to double your income while working half the time.