To my mind remote working is about more than just geographic location. It isn’t simply a professional office at home. That risks losing many of the amazing benefits of remote working, which includes matching the working space to the task.

I have been remote working for over 25 years so have had a host of different set-ups. The core has been the usual office set-up where I have spent a good few hours every day.

Nevertheless, there are times where I need different spaces to help with different activities. These include creative spaces like hammocks and going to the beach. In this way, I can be much more productive and creative than in mono-space mode.

As remote workers, we get to play with our workspaces in ways we cannot in traditional offices.

It is important that this isn’t forgotten in the clamour to establish remote working as a ‘serious’ alternative to the corporate office. This may be tied with the traditional view that adults are serious people doing serious work. In this view, there is little space for bringing playfulness – even about our environment – into our working day.

We also probably need a broader discussion around metrics and productivity so we can get away from the input model (hours spent) to an output model (what is accomplished). This is overdue anyway because of the changing nature of knowledge work and all the more so in a remote working context.

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Before any task or activity ask yourself –

  • What do I need to accomplish this task?
  • What environment would best serve me?