Remote Work Digest: January 24, 2023

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

How to Get Ahead in Your Career While Working From Home | Sean Mitchell,

Even if you love your job, there are several reasons you might want to advance your career: you want increased financial security, you’re motivated to take on more challenges, you want to make a greater impact in whatever field you’ve chosen, or you enjoy the recognition and respect that comes with professional advancement. Maybe all of the above.

Here are several ways to advance your career in a remote world.

1.Network via LinkedIn

According to a survey from LinkedIn, 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. While this may differ between industries, it suggests that networking activities, including setting up informational interviews (one of the overlooked steps in finding a new job), can be a great way to advance your career remotely. Before reaching out to people on LinkedIn, ensure your profile accurately represents your professional brand (consider these tips to create a strong profile).

2. Sign Up With Online Recruiter

As a job seeker, online recruiters can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. For instance, by signing up with an online recruiter like ZipRecruiter, you can not only apply for jobs from anywhere, but these services use algorithms and artificial intelligence to match you with job openings based on your skills and experience.

3. “Professionalize” Yourself Daily

There are several ways to stand out while working remotely. This includes everything from completing projects on time to attending company-sponsored events. If you expect to advance your career while working from home, you’ll need to make connections virtually, which means you’ll need to present the best version of yourself possible.

Don’t forget, your background matters. While there are some great backgrounds you can use for virtual meetings, avoid a digital background if you can, since real-time masking isn’t perfect. Consider positioning yourself in front of a bookshelf, some plants, or other items that aren’t too distracting.

4. Keep a Positive Attitude

Career-building efforts can be discouraging. They often require an inordinate amount of time, and the rewards can be difficult to see when progress is slow. For that reason, it’s important to practice self-care and not be too hard on yourself.

5. Upskill Using Online Resources

One of the best things you can do for your career is to build more skills. This is true if you’re young and just entering the job market, or if you’ve got a lot of experience but need to stay up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies.

Upskilling demonstrates to employers that you’re committed to professional development, and you have a desire to continuously learn and grow.

The upshot is that by completing online courses or certificates, you learn things that can help you do your job better, increase your chances of being eligible for a wider range of roles, and boost your confidence, which is a great quality to build when you’re in the process of upgrading your career.

Advancing Your Career While Working From Home

Working from home has many potential benefits, and the best part will depend on an individual’s circumstances and preferences. However, if you plan on advancing your career as a remote worker, you’ll have to take steps to ensure you reach your maximum potential.

Where Should You Have Meetings If You Work From Home? | Sarah Vulpio,

The ability to work from home seems like the ultimate setup, but then the time comes when you have to take a meeting. If you have kids or pets or live in a generally busy area, the odds of finding a quiet place to sit down for a video call are slim. Then there’s the issue of choosing an appropriate background, as you don’t want your boss and or fellow employees to see your messy home or family photos posted on the wall behind you. In order to keep the meeting professional, it’s important to designate a specific area when you work from home.

Don’t even think about staying in bed

Whatever you do, do not — we repeat, do not — take meetings from your bed. In fact, it’s unwise to do anything related to work from there, even checking your email. Not only does it look super unprofessional, but by staying in bed, you’re also way less motivated and much more likely to doze off. Additionally, taking meetings from the comfort of your mattress could ruin your sleep schedule, as your brain begins to equate lying in bed with working. It can affect even your posture, as your back isn’t receiving the proper support.

Create a home office space

The key to having a successful meeting while working from home is creating an office space free from distractions. Don’t worry if you don’t have a spare room to designate as an office; all you need is a spot in your apartment where you won’t be easily distracted. This space can help you focus better while working from home. Ideally, your background should be free from anything that would take the focus off of the meeting as well. It’s also crucial you find a spot that doesn’t throw off your work-life balance. This is any space you don’t want to associate with writing emails and sitting in meetings, such as the bedroom.

There are actually several benefits that come with keeping a separation between your work life and personal life. When you have a strong work-life balance, productivity rates generally increase, you’re less likely to call off, and, not to mention, it drastically enhances both your mental and physical health. It’s a win-win if you ask us.

5 Reasons to Fully Embrace Remote Work in 2023 | Carrie McKeegan,

While some of the world’s most well-known companies have recently begun to require their employees to return to the office, that doesn’t mean it’s time for your work-from-home team to throw in the towel. In fact, there are several compelling reasons why your team should go all-in on remote work in 2023.

1.Win the war for talent

With more employees looking for flexible work arrangements, offering remote work options can help your business stand out from the competition and attract the best candidates. Remote work also allows you to hire in any locale, scouting the best talent from around the country or even the globe.

2. Build a diverse workforce

By removing geographical limitations, remote work allows your business to tap into a naturally varied, global talent pool. The resulting diversity brings a wider range of perspectives and ideas to your team that boosts innovation and accelerates problem-solving. This can be especially beneficial for companies that operate in niche industries.

3. Make employers happier

Remote work can lead to increased job satisfaction and employee retention. Without the distractions of a traditional office environment, remote workers are often able to better balance their work and personal lives, which can lead to happier, more engaged employees.

4. Cut costs

Remote work saves your business money in the short and long term. With remote employees, you don’t have to worry about the costs associated with maintaining office space. While hybrid work models help with cost reduction, the biggest savings come when companies eliminate rent, utilities, and office supplies entirely.

5. Adapt to hit goals

When done right, remote work requires teams and their leaders to focus on results. With their eyes on the prize, remote teams become more agile. They quickly adapt to new opportunities and challenges and respond to changing market conditions to hit strategic goals. This flexibility can be especially beneficial for businesses that operate in fast-paced, rapidly changing industries.

Despite its numerous advantages, it’s important to keep in mind that remote work isn’t for all teams. Leaders will need to decide what’s best for their businesses. However, if remote work is a fit for your team, committing to the strategy fully can help you take advantage of its many benefits. From the ability to win the war for talent and build a diverse workforce to making employees happier and cutting costs, remote work can be a powerful tool for achieving long-term success.

8 Ways To Refresh Your Work-From-Home Space for the New Year | Sarah Lyon,

In the spirit of a January refresh, we’ve rounded up eight tips from the pros to help make your WFH space shine in 2023. With these home office ideas, we’re betting you’ll feel a little more excited to sit down and tackle everything on your to-do list this year.

Switch Up Your WFH Location

Maybe you’re in need of a change of scenery after literal years of working from the same spot. “Find an area with a beautiful view, great light, or terrific furniture,” advised professional organizer Heidi Solomon of POSH Boston. “Really think about what energizes you,” she added. “Create a space that makes your heart sing. You, and subsequently your work, will benefit.” Consider moving your desk from the bedroom into the living room or switching around your furniture arrangement to give your workspace some fresh perspective.

Make Use of Closed Storage

It’s time to stop letting your desk serve as a dropzone for clutter. So how do you ensure that your desktop doesn’t become overwhelmed with supplies? “Make use of available closet space or cabinet storage for non-essentials that shouldn’t be cluttering your workspace,” suggested Jen Van Buskirk of The Neat Boutique.

File Papers Like a Pro

Yes, you can file papers neatly without investing in a clunky filing cabinet. Although plenty of paperwork and projects are handled digitally these days, you’ll likely still want to keep some printed-out documents on hand. “Consider using bins on a bookshelf close to your desk to store active projects in,” Gilgrist advised. “Label a bin with the project name and bring the bin over to your desk when it’s time to work on the project.” Gilgrist also likes using hanging clipboards or letter trays for this purpose.

Have Fun With Color

“Don’t underestimate the importance of plant life and colors that speak to you to complete your space,” Van Buskirk said. Head to the plant store and pick up a new green friend to spruce up your desk. For some color, consider painting an accent wall in a peppy hue that can double as a chic Zoom background.

Grab Some Stylish Supplies

Pick out some office essentials that will get you excited to start the day: new pens, a personalized notebook, or a pretty mouse pad may help do the trick.

Focus on Fragrance

Grab a candle that helps you feel relaxed and energized and keep it on your desk. Lighting it each morning as you start the day will become a soothing ritual. This is something that definitely wouldn’t fly in an actual office building, so be sure to revel in this cozy WFH perk.

Fill a Drawer with Little Pick Me Ups

Maybe you’re tired of running downstairs to grab a granola bar at 3 pm every day or searching your apartment for gum after lunch. Why not dedicate one of your desk drawers to housing these essentials? Fill it with gum or mints, non-perishable snacks, lip balm, lotion, and other items you frequently reach for during the workday. These will really come in handy when busy days roll around!

Evaluate Your Lighting Situation

Remember that good lighting is key when working. If you need to spend some time searching online for a new lamp or pair of curtains, do it! You’ll thank yourself when you no longer have to squint at your screen or turn on an overhead light just to see what you’re working on.