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Some of Tenfour’s most experienced creatives thrive on working away from the office. Senior copywriter Charlie expounds the virtues of staying in control, remotely, while still keeping connected to the team.

Who needs remote control, from the Civic Hall?
Push a button, activate, you gotta work an’ you’re late

The prophetic words of a young, angry Joe Strummer. I gotta work, and sometimes I gotta work late. But I need, nay, love remote control. Pack the kids off to daycare, brew up the tea, grab the laptop and I’m up and running. Push a button. Activate.

I’m all for the face-to-face interaction and creative vibe that a bustling office brings, but the freedom that working from home gives me is often perfect for copywriting work – headphones on, brief on one screen, background materials on the other, and no distractions bar the occasional Skype message from colleagues. Instant messaging is to Tenfour as punctuation is to sentences – it binds us together when we’re not all at the office, and helps us refine our work to get the right message across. We use it to bounce copy ideas off each other, get help with tricky grammar conundrums, and share tools and news that bring us fresh inspiration. Without it, working remotely wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable or productive.

If I’m stuck in a bind, having a brain fart, or being mocked by the blinking cursor, I’m immediately up from the desk and outside. Perhaps I’ll indulge in a bit of vacuuming, maybe take the garbage out. Free your mind and your assets will follow. The early part of the day is my most creative period, so the home office is the perfect place to get the best out of myself. I’m not giving up my time to traffic jams, and I’m not getting friendly with someone’s armpit in a cramped train carriage. I’m being productive, on my own terms and in the comfort of my own home.

One is the loneliest number, sang Three Dog Night. And yes, it can be a problem – holed up for days immersed in brochure or PowerPoint copy can drive you a little crazy. I confess that I’ve grown beards and acquired questionable personal hygiene on occasions. A visit to the office to see some familiar faces and shoot the breeze works wonders, and I do this regularly. We simultaneously work as a powerful team and as autonomous creatives.

So as I crank up the music and settle back for another day with little more than a glowing screen and a stained tea mug for company, I’m reminded that for me and many others like me, a little bit of remote control works like a charm. I also know that it doesn’t work unless you know that the rest of your team is there for you whenever you need them – the whole is most definitely greater than the sum of its parts.