Remote working – Is it right for your business?

Do you work from home? A cafe? A coworking space? Maybe you should – remote working is on trend. I mean, just look:

See? It’s never been more popular.

More and more businesses are offering the option to work from home, or work wherever you have a computer and internet access. It makes sense: if your job basically just requires a computer and an internet connection, what’s stopping you from taking that work wherever you feel like?

There’s obviously a minefield of potential issues with working from home. If you have kids or pets you might find them tugging at your heels for attention or barking through a conference call (note: if your child barks a lot maybe it’s time to sit them down for a chat). There are also various other temptations to distract you: radio, television, a lack of authoritative presence pressing you to get the hell on with it and stop reading Facebook.

But then is working in an office really going to be better? Many places opt for something open plan, which is a superb way to be constantly distracted by chatter and those quick informal questions people might fire at you. Oh, and meetings.

Evidence suggests that remote workers put in more hours and achieve higher levels of productivity. However, this increase in productivity is probably in line with those extra hours rather than because remote workers are inherently more prolific.

Mostly I think it’s down to how you want your people to work, and the kind of expertise you can find nearby. If you need to hire someone on a different landmass to get the job done, then you’re probably going to end up with remote workers generally. There are plenty of tips out there for those thinking about the logistics of such a decision.

Personally, I do think remote working is the future of any industry where you primarily only need a computer and an internet connection. Who doesn’t want to be able to solve problems for a client in Manchester while drinking a latte in San Francisco when working as a contractor for a company based in Copenhagen? Go mobile!

Who Do You Support?

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Supporting your community. Boosting the local economy. There are lots of high-minded reasons to buy from local businesses, but ultimately I do it because I get better service and meet interesting people who actually care about what they’re doing, rather than just trundling into work and waiting to go home. Plus, you just don’t get cool points for going to Starbucks. You don’t want people thinking you’re basic, do you?

Here are some places I like:

House Martin

House Martin is one of the best barbers in Glasgow. Bet you never thought you could have a relaxing experience with a razor at your throat, but the informal atmosphere, impeccable aesthetic, and expertise of the staff contribute to an experience that feels decadent but comes at an easily affordable price.

Plus they have a huge old bank vault through the back (pictured above), stocked with cigars and a full poker setup. So get over there, have a seat, have some coffee (did I mention their coffee is pretty great?), and get your beard done.

Coffee Chocolate and Tea

I used to think that CC&T was a well-kept secret until I found it mentioned in 2014’s Wallpaper Glasgow City Guide. Even so, it’s mercifully quiet. The house blend is superb and they’ll grind you a fresh bag to take home.

I have this theory about coffee places: you can either have great coffee or a decent seat. CC&T continues to prove this rule and thankfully falls into the former category. I think one day I’ll go get coffee from somewhere and they’ll just have these big pointy spikes for sitting on so you can slowly be impaled as you have the absolute best coffee of your life.

RHA 

I love my RHA headphones. I put a set through the wash and they continued to work fine though the sponge bits on the inside of the headphone fell out. I bought some noise-cancelling ones and they may be a fire hazard as I only noticed there was an alarm going off when I took them off to leave my desk.
They’re pretty, they’re solidly built, and they’re made in Glasgow. What more could you ask for?

Hanoi Bike Shop

Apparently Beyonce loves it (and by ‘loves it’ I mean ‘posted an Instagram picture of a wall outside it’), so that’s going to be enough for some people. This is our go-to place when visitors are in town and we need something different but also tasty. The experience is distinctive: you pick some small bits and pieces to share around the table and a bigger thing (usually pho) for yourself.
Situated on Ruthven Lane, it’s right beside Hillhead subway. No excuses if you’re in Glasgow.

Nord

Nord Fine Foods (previously Nord Kitchen) is an upcoming Scandinavian-themed food truck that will, with any luck, be servicing the Glasgow area in due course. Have a look at their example menu and tell me you don’t want something off that right now, damn it.

So what local businesses do you support, and what do you like about them?