Remote Work Digest: JULY 13, 2015

The latest on all kinds of information, news and resources that help you make working remotely better.

Image from Tassuru.com

Image from Tassuru.com

3 Things You Must Know If You Work From Home | MoneySmart.sg

Working from home can be hellish sometimes, unlike in the office, slacking off can result in some major guilt and self-loathing. If you work from home or have a flexible schedule, here are a couple of things to do according to Joanne Poh.

Schedule Ruthlessly

Draw up a timetable and schedule every darn thing. Neglect to do that and a simple task can take the entire day, thanks to lack of urgency and discipline.

Eliminate time wasters and distractions

If you want to be efficient, eliminate as many distractions as you can. Disconnecting from the internet whenever you don’t need it and silencing your smart phone might be essential.

Master your energy cycles

Once you’re left to your own devices, it becomes crucial to understand and master your energy cycles. Know your energy peaks and troughs, schedule mundane tasks like replying to emails or doing admin to times when your energy is low.

7 Tips to Help you Stay Healthy while Working from Home | India.com

Struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle while working from home is definitely a big challenge. When you can get away with moving very little and is very close to the snack cabinet, it can be incredibly difficult to keep up with healthy habits.

Here are Zara Husaini‘s simple tricks that can help you stay in top shape – no daily commute required.

1. Try to eat at home as often as possible
One of the biggest advantages of working from home involves being able to whip up a healthy meal in the middle of the day. Take advantage of this and your body will thank you.

2. Prepare your meals ahead of time
Always keep a healthy meal in your fridge and have it ready to go for the next day’s lunch. You will be less tempted to grab something from your local fast food joint if your food is already prepared.

3. Give yourself breaks
Taking at least one break a day to get your blood flowing and clear your mind will always make your days feel less stressful.

4. Schedule weekly trips to the grocery store
Choose one day a week to hit the grocery store and stick to it like it’s a business meeting. When your home office is full of healthy snacks, it’s much easier to reach for something nutritious when you get hungry.

5. Schedule a walk every day
Even if you don’t have the time to workout, starting each day with a 20 minute walk is a great way to jump start your mind and body.

6. Set alarms for activity breaks
Hold yourself your accountable to this healthy lifestyle by programming alerts to regular activity intervals. It may not seem like much at first, but it will make a big difference if you do it consistently.

7. Embrace midday workouts
Take advantage of your flexible schedule and break up your day with a trip to the gym.

Don’t do your laundry: How to be an effective work-from-home employee | Financial Post

Working from home is both a blessing and a challenge. You may be thrilled about the “freedom” of setting your own hours, but any work-from-home veteran will tell you that it requires a lot of discipline. According to Megan Santos of Jobpostings.ca, the key to success is emulating an in-office workday.

Establish a home office

Working from home shouldn’t mean curling up on the couch with your laptop. Whether it’s in a spare room or the corner of your kitchen, setting up a home office in a place that offers less distraction is a must.

Set firm office hours

Draw a line between work and your responsibilities at home. The best way to achieve this is by setting office hours. If you have a family at home with you during the day, make sure they recognize and respect your work hours.

Resist the urge to dress down

Dressing up can help you mentally transition from a homebody to an employee. While your colleagues won’t be around to evaluate your wardrobe choices, you should do your best to look the part of a productive and gainfully employed individual.

How to find an IT job with better work-life balance | Mashable

If you’re searching for a new IT job, here are some of Tim Cannon’s specifications to look for to find more balance between your work and personal life.

Flexible Options

Flexible options range from part-time telecommuting, full-time telecommuting, flexible start times and more. The key is finding an option that fits your lifestyle and will actually offer more balance between work and personal time.

Emphasis on teamwork

Achieving work-life balance is nearly impossible if you’re not supported by a solid team. Team dynamics are difficult to judge from the outside, but asking questions about the balance between individual work and teamwork during the interview process can give you an insight.

Fewer devices

Using multiple devices can not only lead to overworking habits, but can also create the expectation from your employer that you are always outside of normal working hours. In an interview, ask how many personal devices employees typically use on the go and out of the office. Fewer devices will most likely mean better balance.

When in doubt, ask

If you do meet any team members or those in similar positions during the interview, don’t be afraid to ask them about the work life balance of the job. If you’re uncomfortable discussing balance in front of your potential boss, connect with them on LinkedIn.

9 Ways Freelances Can Get Paid on Time and Avoid Deadbeat Clients | Entrepreneur

Cash flow management for freelancers is more than just finding clever ways to save money personally and professionally. Here is what Peter Daisyme learned about getting paid as a freelance accountant and small business owner for 15 years:

1. Be known as a professional
Prove to clients that you are a true professional worth hiring by always being polite, exceeding goals on time, sharing reviews and showcasing your portfolio on your website.

2. Do some homework on prospective clients.
When you are approached by a client, you should do a little research. Check online for any red flags from your fellow freelancers. If you know that the client could become a potential headache, when why would you want to take a chance with them?

3. Be flexible with your rates.
You deserve to get paid for what you’re worth. If you want to attract clients, you might want to be flexible with your rates especially when you’re just starting out, since this will add to your experience and maybe earn you some referrals.

4. Bill up front
Don’t think it’s rude or unprofessional to bill up front. It’s not only a common practice, it also ensures that you get paid for your services and keep the cash flowing in.

5. Make it easy for clients to pay you.
Whether it’s accepting eChecks, credit/debit cards or setting up a PayPal account, you need to make it easy for your clients to pay you. Most invoicing software allows you to select your preferred method(s) of payment, so a client should be able to pay your invoice with just one click of a button.

6. Invoice promptly.
Instead of waiting every month to get paid, you should either bill weekly or immediately following the completion of a job. This not only keeps a positive cash flow, it also prevents you forgetting to send out the bill.

7. Never work until you’re paid
Instead of spending time tracking down clients and asking why their invoice is overdue, you could be working on other projects for the clients who are paying you. If you send out an invoice and it hasn’t been paid on the agreed upon date, then stop working for that client until the invoice is paid.

8. Have it in writing.
A contract protects both parties, since it should prevent either party from pulling a fast one. Contracts also specify the terms and conditions of the project which include everything from expectations to terms of payment.

9. Call in the Calvary.
What happens when a client still hasn’t paid an invoice? If you have an assistant or colleague who is more assertive than you, have them handle outstanding invoices.

If you want to get paid on-time make sure you communicate frequently with your client, set clear expectations and that you’ve properly invoiced them.

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