The latest on all kinds of information, news, and resources that help you make working remotely better.
As we transition to a more digital, distributed, and data-driven world, the future of work will be built not by the largest companies in the world, but by the smallest. If the past decade in tech was defined by unicorns, here are five reasons why the next decade will be shaped by XSMBs.
1. Working a regular job is no longer a reliable way to create wealth – but starting your own business is
Corporate profit margins are near all-time highs. However, the riches are going disproportionately to executives in investors, pushing US income inequality to its highest level in 50 years, while technology is increasing business efficiency but displacing workers, causing wage growth to decouple from productivity. And that trend is only the beginning, as AI accelerates the replacement of workers.
2. Younger generations are more entrepreneurial, and entrepreneurs tend to be more politically active than their corporate counterparts
Freelancers in the US tend to more politically active than their corporate counterparts, and 72% claim they would cross party lines for candidates that support independent work. So it’s no surprise that policies designed to protect freelancers and XSMB owners are gaining momentum.
3. Minorities will soon the new majority, and they are leaning out of structures that aren’t built for them to succeed
As of the end of 2019, women make up the majority of US workforce. By some estimates, minorities will make up the majority of the American workforce by 2045. They already make up an increasing share of the millennial and Gen Z populations, suggesting their influence will only continue to grow in both the workplace and the consumer economy.
4. Automation hurts traditional workers while helping entrepreneurs and employees at XSMBs
Business owners and freelancers are already reaping the benefits of technology, as software has slowly dismantled the gatekeepers who previously prevented newsomers from competing with the established elite. Not long ago, post-secondary degrees in business, technology, or science were considered by many to be non-negotiables for gaining the credibility, confidence, and network to start a company. Today, you can find much of the same type of content in bootcamps, coding schools, online courses, or digital degrees.
5. We are redefining what success looks like
The lonely cubicle is being replaced with the freedom to work at our own pace, at our time choosing, in the space we desire. we are also seeing a reversal in the responsibilities of the boss and the individual. Your employer can’t provide you with a path to long-term stability, nor can they tell you how to create the most value in your role today (even if they wanted to).
Whether you are an investor, an employer or an employee, you should be paying attention to the rise of XSMBs. The mainstreaming of micro-entrepreneurship is already quietly changing how we work today, and it will define the workforce of the next generation.
People tend to choose this work model for various benefits, such as more flexible timetables, less stress, more time for loved ones, better health, etc. Still, there are plenty of things to watch out for, as most people make simple mistakes during and after the process of transitioning to the remote work lifestyle.
What to Bear in Mind Before Going Remote
Being a remote worker ultimately depends on your manager or boss. Thus, you should remember that it all starts with asking to telecommute. If you are not sure how to do it, read on.
You need to be fully prepared for such a conversation. No matter how successful you are, or how many people you have under you, take this conversation seriously—your superior must see that you have entertained this idea for some time now.
Some questions you can expect are:
- What makes you a good worker in comparison to others?
- How do you think other team members will be affected by your work model?
- Will this be a good example for others to follow?
- What makes your work position remote work worthy?
Once you have all those questions covered, you are ready to talk to your manager.
Put professional benefits first. Remote workers reap the benefits every day. They are often more likely to manipulate their schedule to balance both personal and professional life and usually have a more flexible approach to working hours.
Once you meet with your manager or boss, make sure to propose the following.
- Remote workers show an increased level of productivity
- When employees work remotely, they cut transportation costs, save money on office supplies, utilities, etc.
- Remote workers can work from anywhere. Therefore, if an employee wants to move elsewhere, the company will not suffer.
- Some people are more productive and stress-free when they work in the comfort of their own home.
Do not let the first “no” get the best of you. The first conversation of this type might just boil down to this word. If it does, take it slowly. Next time, suggest working remotely for a day each week. It will ease your superiors into this work model, and show them you are determined to get your way without being disrespectful.
Be honest with yourself and others. Ask yourself whether you will be equally or even more productivity once you leave the office. Take into account whether you need to talk face-to-face with your colleagues to be able to collaborate adequately, or virtual work spaces will suffice.
What Happens When You Become a Remote Worker?
You have to prove to your superiors and colleagues you can pursue everything you bargained for. Here are some tips on how to do it.
Do not overwork yourself to leave the impression that you are still doing your job. Avoid burnout at all costs by remaining connected to your virtual workspace and the people you previously shared the office with. Stay in touch daily, hold each other accountable, and try to be as available as you can for your colleagues. You will be seen as reliable, and in turn, you will feel much better.
Do not isolate yourself entirely. Working hours are long, and being isolated for such large chunks of time is unhealthy.
Stay true to your previously set goals, know what to expect, and use your redefined timetable your full advantage. Think about your personal goals and things you want to pursue as a remote worker.
Remember that you need to keep up with the times and that not all coworkers will always be available. Make sure you install relevant productivity apps that let you work and stay in touch with your colleagues.
Yes, there are several things to look out for before and after starting to work remotely. Most of them include your coworkers and superiors, which is why you need to work smart and be ready for collaboration.
Still, if you are confident that the remote work model is the right choice, you can prosper and break your everyday work routine. There is a lot to gain and not much to lose. Make time for self-reflection and give remote work a try.
Remote work is at an all-time high, unprecedented access to global talent, startup investment keeps increasing, paid advertising channels are becoming more effective, and the list goes on. To launch a profitable startup in 2020, you should get started. A lot can happen in twelve months. “When you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you,” Paulo Coelho.
The three steps below can be accomplished in six months even if you work on your startup part-time.
1. Scan Your Idea
The first step is to test your idea before moving forward and committing significant resources. Ask ten potential buyers about their needs and expectations. The goal is to uncover the urgency of a need for a better solution. Products that make things just a little better will make your goal of building a profitable business this year a lot harder. By the end of this phase, you should refine your idea by identifying a problem worth solving.
2. Scan It One More Time
Building a product will take time and money but sketching your idea is relatively quick and cheap. Run product designs by those first ten potential users and ten more. This simple test can help you avoid an expected bias from the first group while seeking everyone’s feedback and comments that will help you identify key product features.
The second thing you can do is offer your product for sale while rewarding the first buyers. Perhaps with a discounted yearly offer or even a lifetime offer for the first 50 buyers. This will not only provide you with a strong validation signal but also, help you fund the next stages of the business.
3. Build Your Product
If you’ve validated your idea through conversations, designs and resales, you’re more than half-way through building a profitable business this year because this year building a product is the easy part. If you know what to build, the right team will make it happen. In the meantime, your job is to get more of the people you interviewed excited and committed to the solution.
This is a quick road map for your path to launching your idea this year. If you don’t do it now, the path won’t change next year. It’s up to you!
Whether it’s looking after children, caring for a sick or elderly family member, having an injury or illness yourself, or simply wanting to embrace a more nomadic lifestyle, working from home is fast becoming a normal and acceptable way to earn a primary or secondary income.
1. Freelance Writer
There are dozens of ways to make money in writing, whether it’s blogging, ghostwriting, editing, or proofreading.
2. Graphic Designer
Whether it’s designing logos or company collateral, t-shirts or clothing, being a graphic designer from home allows you to work with multiple clients and on multiple projects at once, meaning your job is interesting.
3. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants need exceptional organizational and time management skills. Excellent communication skills are also a prerequisite. Being a virtual assistant from home means you’re not bound to one particular company or client as well, which can be a wonderful way to to ensure your job has variety.
4. Massage Therapist
Being a professional massage therapist may mean working for a company or another individual, but it can easily also mean working for yourself, which really is the beauty of the profession. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for a change, setting up a massage therapist business from home isn’t as hard as you may think.
5. Work Online
There are so many work-from-home options in the online world that it can be hard to keep up. Whether you’re a website developer, website tester or tech support, there’s a wealth of opportunity out there for those who are tech-savvy.
For web developers, you’ll help create or manage websites for other companies. Website testers are paid to test websites or mobile apps in their development stage to ensure all issues are ironed out before they go live. Tech support specialists are often hired by businesses to be on-call should their technology fail in-house. Often, you’ll enter their hardware or software remotely so you can sort out the problems, meaning you can be anywhere in the world and still be able to do your job.