Did you know that 43% of Americans spend at least some time working remotely? Remote work is a core part of many company’s flexible working initiatives and it comes with some great benefits: you have more control over your schedule, you avoid office politics, etc. And when you use remote workers for your organization you can cut some of your operating costs significantly.

But for your workday to run smoothly, you’ll need access to your files and documents wherever you are—and securely. With a file sharing solution, you can do business anywhere you have an internet connection without worrying about whether or not your files are safe.

Whether you are working remotely, or employ those that do, here’s how to leverage file sharing in a remote work environment.

Keep Work and Personal Separate

If you are a remote worker, chances are you use one computer for both work and play. And with constant access to your professional files, it can be difficult to stop yourself from working after hours or on the weekend when what you really need is to relax and refresh. File sharing can help you keep work at work (even if your work is located on the couch and your uniform is your pajamas).

Build a Strong Structure
With file sharing and having a good work-life balance, it comes down to your file structure. Treat yourself like a client and give yourself a separate folder for anything that isn’t related to work. This may seem obvious but some people just keep everything in one huge mess on their desktop, and that is hardly conducive to an efficient remote work atmosphere.

Compartamentalize Your Files, Not Your Emotions
Once your files are in your personal folder, it’s up to you how you want to organize them, though we never recommend file anarchy. If you keep your files separate, you can keep your mind separate, too and then you don’t accidentally send your client a personal art project that (for some reason) has a file name similar to their project.

Once you have your files nicely compartmentalized, you can give your clients their own portal so you don’t need to worry about them viewing your personal projects. You control what they do and don’t see.

Extra tip: if you’re having a particularly hard time turning off your work brain, you could even create two different users for yourself: You (Work) and You (Personal). Then adjust your own permissions so you can’t access your work files without switching users first.

Collaboration is Key

A remote working environment means that collaborating on a project isn’t as simple as popping your head over your cubicle for a quick question or booking your office’s conference room. But just because you can’t be in the same physical space as your coworkers or employees, doesn’t mean you have to work in isolation.

Using a file sharing solution simplifies collaboration on a document or project in a couple of ways. First of all, with a file sharing solution like SmartFile, you can have an unlimited amount of users so that whether you need the input of 1 or 100 coworkers or clients, you can give access to whoever needs to have it.

That is not to say that anyone who has access to the platform can see any file that lives there. You can set permission rules for those that are using the platform that are anywhere from simple to intricate.

These granular permissions are especially helpful if your business collaborates with contract workers or freelancers who you may only employ for a limited amount of time. When you hire them on you can give them access to only the projects they are currently working on and when they have finished simply retract the permission. This ensures that they have all the information they need to do their work, and you can be confident that you can have a clean break once they are finished working

If you have ever collaborated on a project then you understand the (sometimes endless) editing process of tweaking, adjusting, poking and prodding to make sure that the work is exactly as you (and everyone else involved) want it.

But have you ever begun editing a document and then get a bad feeling that something was missing? Only to you realize halfway through the process that you’ve been working off an old version. How frustrating!

A file sharing solution that comes with a file versioning feature lets you and your collaborators keep track of all of the versions of your files so that you don’t have to worry about needing to backtrack. What if your first idea really was the best one?

Time Management

If you’re working remotely, you don’t necessarily have to work normal hours. In fact, you may find that you are the most productive in the evening and decide to do your errands in the afternoon. But just like any worker, you need to be able to manage your time effectively so that your client or boss is happy with your work.

Perhaps you’re waiting on final approval from your manager before you hand it off to the client, or you need one final bit of information so you can finish. Whatever it is, with file sharing you don’t need to wait for confirmation. As soon as a file is uploaded you will get an email so that you can address it.

On the flip side, if you are the one using remote workers, it can be hard to keep things uniform. Outlining your preferred naming or file structure may slip your mind, and before you know it, your four freelancers are now using four different methods of organization, and you don’t recognize any of them.

With a file sharing solution like SmartFile, you don’t need to waste time looking for your important files ever again. You can utilize powerful advanced search options to search your content to help you find indexed content within your documents. Along with search, SmartFile also offers an instant filter feature that will narrow the narrow results through dates and file size.

Working remotely comes in all shapes and sizes: from part-time freelancing to working from home once a week to full-time remote work. However you utilize it, for yourself or your workers, you’ll want to make sure that make the most of it. Remote work has been shown to increase worker productivity, and a smart file sharing solution can help you be even more productive.

Let SmartFile help you make remote work run as smoothly as possible. Give SmartFile a try for free today — no credit card required!

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About John Hurley

I am the CEO and Co-Founder of SmartFile. My role is to find the right people and give them the right tools and resources needed to grow both professionally and personally.

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