Remote Work Digest: July 28, 2022

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

5 Meeting Hacks To Boost Productivity | Vincent Tricarico, Entrepreneur.com

A 2019 report found that professionals spend two hours a week in meetings they believe are pointless, equating to a waste of over $541 billion in employee time. On top of that, almost 40% of professionals believe unnecessary meetings are the highest cost to their organization. That’s not to mention that many meetings are often severely structured, poorly timed and ineffectively run.

But productive meetings are crucial for businesses. Meetings should be where real work gets done that delivers a tangible result — such as a plan, a decision or a collective understanding of the work ahead.

Here are five tips for business leaders to run a productive meeting.

1.You’ve determined that you need a meeting, so what makes it effective?

Encourage participation and ask lots of questions. Each person in a meeting should participate in some way and be challenged to bring something of value to the discussion.

Pay attention to the folks who are not engaging. They could be communicating about their job satisfaction and whether they are even the right person for their position.

2. Have an agenda

An agenda is a critical yet often overlooked component of a successful meeting. Ideally, a recurring meeting has the same agenda to keep efficiency moving forward. You want the pre-work required for a meeting sent out ahead of time to give everyone a chance to review it before the meeting.

3. Start on time, end on time

Starting and ending on time is crucial to your team because it keeps everyone’s day on track. Plus, being mindful of start and stop times is a way to show your attendees that you respect and value their time. Starting and ending meetings at the designated time is crucial to communicating your care for your employees.

4. Equip the right people with the proper purpose at the right time

The time of day for your meeting depends on your team. A strong business leader knows how their team operates and when they function at their best. For example, I have found that the last week of each month is not a very good time to engage in brainstorming sessions because my employees are trying to hit month-end numbers.

5. Have a plan of action, accountability and deadlines

A meeting is not effective without action items and accountability. The meeting leader is responsible for assigning a diligent notetaker and holding the meeting participants accountable for the discussion’s action items and next steps.

If action items aren’t completed in a specific time, the leader has the right to question why and provide additional direction to complete it.

Companies and leaders that consistently do this will have productive meetings. Meetings at a set time and with a proper plan of action are crucial to communicating care to your employees and ensuring long-term productivity in your company.

Working From Home? 11 Tips On Maintaining Good Posture | Manya Singh, Ndtv.com

Working from home has become a common norm since the covid-19 pandemic. Working from home has many upsides. Unlike sitting at a desk and chair for long hours, one has the liberty to change positions. Sitting in one spot can affect our blood circulation and might even fasten ageing.

11 things to keep in mind if you want to improve posture while working from home:

1. Avoid the bed and sofa

Working from the bed or your sofa can seem like one of the benefits of working from home but that is incorrect. A not firm sitting area can poorly affect your posture.

2. Sit in a chair

A chair encourages a better sitting position. Sitting in a chair helps you sit upright. Sitting in a C position affects your posture and may even cause ankylosing spondylitis or other chronic diseases.

3. Use support if needed

If sitting upright in a chair seems difficult and you end up slouching, try using support. Adding a small cushion or folded towel behind your lower back can help improve your posture.

4. Stand & walk

Sitting for long hours, even at a comfortable desk is bad for you. Sitting for long hours as discussed, restricts proper blood circulation in the body. Try walking around the room once every hour.

5. Use reminders

This might seem extensive. However, bad posture can be extremely unhealthy and damaging to your body and health. Try keeping reminders for each other to help you check your posture.

6. Try stretching

Stretching is another great way to boost blood circulation and [promote better posture, both of which might be affected by sitting for long hours.

7. Use your eyes not your neck

This is another great way to avoid slouching. Instead of bending your neck down when needed, try to only use your eyes. This can also help reduce neck pain which is another common symptom of bad posture.

8. Drink more water

Drinking water throughout the day would take you to use the washroom more often. The need to use the washroom is one of the easiest and most unavoidable ways to ensure you get up and walk periodically.

9. Watch your legs

One of the main reasons you may be slouching can be the position of your legs. Floating legs result in slouching. Make sure you can rest your legs at a 90 degrees angle from your work chair.

10. Keep your computer at eye-level

Another reason for slouching is having to look down when working on your laptop. Make sure your computer or laptop rests at the same level as your eyes to avoid having to slouch when working on the screen.

11. Sit closer to the table

Sitting closer to the table does not mean closer to your screen. You are advised to pull your chair as close to your table as you can. However, push your laptop further away to avoid eye strain.

In conclusion, small changes in your home-work space can signify antsy improve your posture and long-term health. Bad posture from wrong sitting positions has been proven to cause long-term irreversible damage to our bodies and must not be ignored.

5 Effective Websites That Are Perfect For Your Startup | Omar Yousry, Scoopempire.com

Fiverr

With a wide selection of freelancers to choose from, employers can find the one that works best for them based on the presented price and experience portfolio to get the best quality on a project-based agreement. 

Payment is usually done ahead of time; however, the money doesn’t go through to the freelancer until the project ends and both parties have settled the transactions between them.

What Makes It Unique: A very large pool size, well known all over the world, and a ridiculously large number of fields to choose from.

Biggest Challenge: There might be scammers among the freelancers, make sure the person you select is trustworthy by checking their portfolio and reviews.

Upwork

Employers looking for freelancers can find them showing their average hourly rate, total earnings on the website, and job success rate making the process much easier. These differences are the most fundamental changes from Fiverr, though. Because in Fiverr, you pay for the project overall at an agreed price; however, on Upwork, things work differently.

On Upwork, employers can choose if the work they have is a one-time thing or an ongoing project, they can also pick how long they want to hire the freelancer for, ranging from less than a month up to six, and finally, they can select a freelancer based on the level of experience they need.

When it comes to payment, employers can also choose if they want to stick to an hourly rate or offer a fixed price, and after they’ve picked all these parameters, the freelancers willing to accept the employer’s offer can propose their services.

What Makes It Unique: Hosts a higher caliber of freelancers, which can be attractive to employers.

Challenges Employers Might Face: Needs a bigger budget.

Guru

Guru is another popular choice when it comes to looking for freelancers over the internet, as the website offers simple solutions and processes, including a filtration system where potential employers can find freelancers from certain countries if they want to.

Employers who have projects can look at the fields they need freelancers in, evaluate the quotes, review their portfolios and form a better idea of who to hire. After that, employers can contact the freelancer and finalize the details, such as the scope of work and the overall costs.

The website also helps by offering a way to hire more than one freelancer at once, where the employers can assign roles, manage the team, and keep track of their progress.

What Makes It Unique: Interesting team hiring system that makes a crew of experts easy to find.

Challenges Employers Might Face: Things can be muddled down and the pool of freelancers isn’t as large as the rest.

Freelancer

Freelancer shows candidates’ cost per hour, rate of jobs completed, reviews, number of times they’ve been rehired, punctuality with their work, a short bio, and a portfolio to get a better idea about their capabilities and work ethic. The website also shows verifications about the freelancer to calm employers’ minds and ensure that they wouldn’t get scammed, such as their email, identity, Facebook account, and mobile number.

All employers need to do is set the parameters of the project and receive bids from freelancers who are interested in performing the project. There’s also a live chat service available, where after the employer chooses the freelancer they’re working with, they can chat in real-time to get the job done correctly.

What Makes It Unique: Has a good interface, and finding freelancers for a project is simple and easy.

Challenges Employers Might Face: The number of fields that freelancers specialize in is a bit limited.

People Per Hour

People Per Hour has a total of nine main fields, including technology, design, writing, business, audio, social media, visuals editing, digital marketing, and marketing, each of which has subcategories, diversifying their freelancers’ pool.

The website has a couple of different ways employers can find the best freelancers for their work. Employers can either post a project providing details about what they want to be done on it, and the website will match the best freelancers for it; freelancers at this point will offer their proposals, and employers can make their selection.

What Makes It Unique: Employers can find a match for their projects easily thanks to the website’s AI system.

Challenges Employers Might Face: Even though the nine fields the website focuses on will have what most employers need, it’s still limiting if they’re looking for something specific.

3 Rules That Will Help You Be Even More Productive Working Remotely Than You Ever Were in the Office | Jason Aten, Inc.com

With an intentional effort, working remotely can help you be more productive, give you more control over how and where you work, and give you flexibility in your schedule. With that in mind, here are the three rules that can make working remotely even more productive than working in the office.

1.Have a Place to Land

One of the biggest benefits of working remotely is that you aren’t tied to a desk. You can work from, well, anywhere. That’s great when you need a change of scenery to inspire you — or if you just need to get away from all the distractions.

Of course, as great as that flexibility can be, if you’re going to work from home on a regular basis, you can’t always be bouncing between the couch or the kitchen table.

Even if you enjoy working in different environments, you need a place to land — away from the distractions of life.

2. Shut the Door

When you go into your office and shut the door, it signals to everyone (including yourself) that you’re working. That helps you focus on what you need to do without the many distractions that come from looking out into another room, where your kids might be watching Disney+.

It also signals to the people who might also be home with you that it’s not the best time to demand your attention. It’s not that you don’t love them. But if your door is open, there’s a good chance they’ll walk in and talk to you, or ask you to come and play. Those aren’t bad things, but there’s a time for everything. On the other hand, if they see the door is closed, it lets them know that you need some distraction-free time, but will be excited to play later.

3. Keep a Schedule

Finally, if you’re going to ask the people in your life not to interrupt you or distract you while you’re working, you owe it to them to have a schedule and keep it. At the end of the day, as much as possible, walk away from the work and engage with your family, your friends, or your pets — anything but work.

To help, I recommend you plan when to quit. At the beginning of the day, set out what it is you have to do, when you plan to do it, and when you plan to stop. I make a plan that no matter what is left on the to-do list, I’m going to stop working at a specific time each day.

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