Remote Work Digest: April 29, 2022

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

Stay Safe While Working From Home: A Helpful Checklist | Southermaylandchronicle.com

Remote workers should know to reap the benefits and avoid common pitfalls – or worse-case scenarios. To help, here’s a health and safety checklist for working from home.

Workstation setup for your health

Common musculoskeletal injuries for remote workers – joint and muscle pain – are no joke and often happen because of poor posture at the workstation. Also, an issue such as an eyestrain can have a domino effect, leading to additional problems like headaches, dry eyes and souble vision.

Chair

Sitting in an uncomfortable chair without proper back and elbow support can lead to spine-related problems in the long run.

  • Has an adjustable seat pan to ensure your elbows can stay at a 90-degree angle when typing.
  • Rounded or ‘waterfall’ seat pan that doesn’t cut circulation at the knees.
  • Five-leg base that’s sturdy
  • Tilt the seat back, or lower lumbar support to fit into the curve of your lower back.
  • Adjust the headrest to keep your head in a neutral, upright position.

Desk

Desk height and desk space can also influence the positioning of your body. Long-term, this can lead to musculoskeletal issues that could impact your quality of life.

  • Desk height allows for 90-degree elbow angle
  • Has depth that allows monitor positioning for visual comfort
  • Keep frequently used items within reach, especially landline phones.
  • Has enough leg space that allows leg movement and the ability to keep your feet flat on the ground.

Monitor/Mouse/Keyboard

The position of your mouse, keyboard, and monitor affect your posture, which can lead to back, neck, and shoulder issues.

  • A mouse is right next to the keyboard
  • Keyboard height allows wrists and hands to be in alignment
  • Monitor(s) is facing you directly to avoid twisting your neck
  • Position the monitor where there is no glare
  • Adjust monitor height and depth for visual comfort

Safety practices to avoid hazards

Your teleworking setup can be potentially hazardous if you’re not aware. Risk management is a key factor. Review this checklist to ensure you avoid a slip and fall or fire.

Fire

Things around your workspace and home office can act as an accelerant for a fire. Make sure to take precautions measures such as below.

  • You have a working smoke detector nearby
  • A fire extinguisher is readily available
  • Portable heaters are away from flammable materials
  • You have a plan in case of a fire

Electrical

Anytime you’re working around electricity, it’s important to ensure that you won’t be injured by shock. These tips are also related to fire prevention.

  • All electrical equipment is connected to a surge protector
  • Your cords and panels are in good condition with no exposed wiring
  • The household electrical system can handle your office equipment
  • You turn off all equipment when not in use

Environment

Creating a safe environment helps to protect you from a slip and fall. Poor ventilation and temperature control can also lead to increased symptoms due to dust and allergies.

  • The area around your workstation is clear of trip hazards
  • Flooring is in good condition to prevent tripping on loose carpet or tile
  • You have good ventilation and temperature control in your work area
  • There’s adequate lighting to reveal any potential hazards

Security practices to keep data safe

Keeping data safe — whether personal or company — when working from home is a top priority. Follow this checklist to ensure you don’t fall victim to identity theft or cause network security issues at work.

Virus

Protecting your computer from viruses and other malware is a key issue for many remote workers that can compromise both security and productivity.

  • Install and update your antivirus software
  • Never click emails from unknown senders on your personal or professional inbox
  • Enable real-time protection within your antivirus software
  • Antivirus software should perform quick scans on reboots and when opening attachments and a deep scan every twelve hours

Information

Personal and corporate data theft costs individuals and companies billions of dollars every year.

  • Don’t forward work emails to your personal account
  • Use a reliable VPN like Surfshark to encrypt data sent and received
  • Unless approved, avoid printing work content at home
  • Use cloud storage and backup your data on the regular

Wi-Fi

Many internet users often think their home Wi-Fi is safe and secure. But in fact, it’s often one of the most vulnerable network security areas exploited by hackers.

  • Choose an inconspicuous Wi-Fi name that doesn’t draw attention
  • Create a unique, long password with at least 16 characters that includes numbers, capitals, and symbols
  • Change your password quarterly. This is also good practice for your computer login credentials.
  • Enable WPA2 network encryption, and use software that detects who is on your network with alerts

Best practices for your health

Now you have a solid workspace, a safe working area, and a secure network. Read on to check that you’re following the best practices for your physical and mental health when working at home.

Working Best Practices

Remote workers often know to exercise and take mental health breaks. But during working hours, there are also things you can do to protect your health.

  • Take a break from screen watching and typing every 30 minutes
  • Use your hand to hold your phone or use a headset
  • Keep your wrists upright when typing and don’t use a support block
  • Monitor your seated posture when working and sit up straight

Physical Activities

Our bodies are not meant to stay in one position for hours at a time. These activities will help keep your body in working shape for the rest of your career.

  • Incorporate outdoor activity and exercise into your day
  • If you receive work packages at home, be sure to use a trolly or other lifting mechanism to help with heavy items.
  • Take stretching breaks throughout the day
  • Rotate head neck and shoulders periodically at your desk

Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental health issues can impact our focus and productivity, so it’s better to prevent rather than cure them.

  • Establish work hours and boundaries with your partner, children, or roommates
  • Create a pleasant working environment with music and/or scented candles.
  • Minimize distractions in your working area
  • Schedule regular meetings with managers and co-workers to create positive working relationships

Summary

The working environment is changing across the nation. If you’re one of the many employees who work from home, be aware injuries, cyber threats, and other dangers can occur.

With this checklist, you should be able to implement solid ergonomic practices, safety precautions, and network security protocols that will protect your physical and mental health.

6 effective ways to onboard new employees remotely | Coann Labitoria, Hcamag.com

A company does not become an expert on virtual onboarding in an instant. It takes a lot of trial and error, research, and practice to find the right employee onboarding program that fits the company culture of the company and its workforce.Below are some basic tips employers can try to successfully onboard remote workers:

1. Help the new employee set up their workspaces

Compared to onsite employees who have a designated workspace ready for them since day one, a remote worker is left on their own to set up the equipment, workspace, and systems needed for their new job.

One way to make the remote onboarding process easier is for employers to go ahead and help employees set up the needed applications before they even ask for assistance. Shipping the required equipment and providing clear and detailed steps on setting up the equipment, installing, and logging in on the needed applications and software days before their official first day on the job allows them to get a head start on their onboarding process.

2. Provide them a welcome kit or package

Nothing feels more welcoming than receiving a little token of appreciation from your employer in the form of a welcome package or a gift basket. Companies should consider giving out welcome packages to make employees feel included in the organization’s community. The contents of the welcome package could be anywhere from office items like a company mouse pad or an office mug to random tokens such as a company jacket or a small tote bag. 

3. It is crucial to introduce new employees to the team

It is crucial for employees to connect and get along with their co-workers, especially their teammates. When an employee has an open communication with their managers and co-workers, their productivity, employee engagement, and trust increases. Employers could set up virtual first-day lunch meetings with the new employee’s team members to create new work connections and for the new employee to feel a part of the team.

4. Build a buddy system for your new employees

Usually, hiring managers onboard a group of new employees at a time in a bid to be more efficient with the virtual onboarding experience. Throughout the onboarding process, the new employees will rely on each other for help and support as they adjust to the company culture. Creating a buddy system between the new employees allows them to feel more comfortable exploring the company’s work system. 

5. Designate a culture buddy for the new employees

Aside from cultivating a buddy system for new employees, employers could also assign a culture buddy that has been with the company for a while to a new employee. Having a culture buddy allows the new employee to freely explore the company’s culture with the guidance of a current employee.

6. Provide list of stakeholders in the company

HR leaders should provide a list of the company’s key stakeholders to the new employees during their remote onboarding. The list should include the stakeholders that the employee will most likely interact with frequently, the role of each stakeholder, and a brief description of the stakeholder’s position. This allows new employees to understand the company’s operations more and how they fit in with the company’s success. 

Employers need to take the time to observe the effects of their programs and approach – like their virtual onboarding process – on their employees and make the necessary changes to improve the process. Having an open line of communication between employers, managers, and employees is important in making sure employees feel included and important, all the while ensuring their work productivity and quality are high.

8 Remote Work Security Mistakes You Should Avoid | Lando Loic, Makeuseof.com

To mitigate the security vulnerabilities associated with remote work, you need to be aware of common mistakes to avoid and take steps to protect yourself. Let’s dive right in:

  1. Using the Same Password for Multiple Accounts

While having one password for all your accounts is convenient, using the same password for multiple accounts is a significant no-no. you shouldn’t even attempt to use the same pattern while changing a few characters here and there.

If cybercriminals gain access to one of our accounts, you have made it easy for them to break into your other accounts. We bet you have a ton of different passwords to keep track of, and it’s obvious you can’t memorize all of them, but that’s what password managers are for.

  •  Not Encrypting Your Files

One important measure you can take to protect your files is encrypting them. Encrypting your data makes it unreadable to unauthorized individuals. You can use encryption tools like AxCrypt to protect your local files.

  • Failing to Update Your Software

Procrastinating on updating your software leaves you vulnerable to security threats. Cybercriminals are always looking for loopholes in software that they can exploit. This is why software companies release updates frequently to patch up these vulnerabilities.

So, one of the biggest security mistakes you can make is failing to respond to those updates, be it for your operating system, or other applications. That said, when you receive a notification to update your software or system, do it as soon as possible. If you must postpone because you can’t stop the work you are doing at that time, schedule a time for the update and stick to it or set a reminder, so you don’t forget.

  • Not Backing Up Your Data

Although we never hope for the worst, things can go wrong, and they often do. When it comes to remote work, this could be anything from your cat knocking over your laptop to a ransomware attack.

This is why you should prepare for unforeseen circumstances by backing up your data. There are two main ways to do this. You could either use an external hard drive or backup your data to the cloud. If you choose to go with an external hard drive, make sure you keep it in a safe place.

  • Clicking on Links from Unknown Sources

That harmless ad might not be as harmless as you thought. Phishing attacks are on the rise, and cybercriminals are better at making fake emails and links look authentic. They mask emails to make them look like they are coming from a legitimate source, such as your bank or a company you do business with.

This is why you should avoid clicking on links from unknown or even known sources that look suspicious. If you have doubts about the source of an email or link, contact the company it claims to be from to verify its authenticity.

  • Not Using Two-Factor Authentication

Securing your accounts using strong passwords is good practice, but you can take it a step further by using two-factor authentication (2FA).

  • Using Public Wi-Fi

Working from public Wi-Fi hotspots comes with its own set of risks. These networks are usually unsecured because anyone can access them, exposing you to cyberattacks.

Whenever you feel like working in a public place, use a VPN to encrypt your connection and protect your data, or use your phone’s Hotspot feature to create a more secure Wi-Fi network.

  • Not Reading App Permission Lists

When you install an application on your device, it will usually ask for specific permissions, such as access to your camera, microphone, or location. It’s important to take a moment to read these lists to understand what an app will have access to on your device. After all, why would your wallpaper app need access to your microphone?

You can follow these tips to create a more secure remote work environment. But, keep in mind that cybercriminals are constantly adapting, so it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest security threats.

Top 7 Career-Boosting Tips for New Developers in 2022 | Geektime.com

This article features seven essential hacks for junior engineers to create the foundation for a successful and sustainable software development career. The tips will help developers fast-track their careers, make an immediate impact, and stand out so they get noticed by companies seeking skilled and motivated developers.

1.Build your LinkedIn profile

Visibility is key, and LinkedIn is the place to be today. Make sure your online presence is maximized with an active and updated profile. Comment on company updates, participate in group discussions and try to get recommendations from CTOs or team leads you may have engaged with previously. 

2. Participate in dev events and meetups

Once you have established a digital presence on LinkedIn, you need to connect the dots by participating in events, lectures, and conferences. The software engineering space is constantly evolving, and you want to stay in the loop. Being an active participant in developer get-togethers will boost your networking and allow you to stay ahead of the curve.

3. Establish your presence on GitHub

Try to beef up your resume and make a good case by contributing to an open-source project on this dev-centric platform. Practicing with Git and GitHub is a valuable skill you will need to demonstrate sooner than later.

4. Freelance away

It doesn’t matter if you are unemployed or working your first job as a QA professional or junior developer. You’ll want to start freelancing as soon as possible– some great freelancer platforms are Upstack, Upwork, Toptal, and Gun.io. You can also practice new languages and prepare for future challenges.

5. Join dev communities

Get exposed to training opportunities and gain exclusive access to job openings that may not be floated on mainstream channels. Subscribe to newsletters, track industry news via relevant subreddits, and spend time on StackOverflow – a community with almost 5 million developers. It’s worth every minute of your time.

6. Start interviewing even before you’re ready

The reasoning behind this is simple: You need to familiarize yourself with the screening process, learn how to follow up with potential employers, and create a professional identity that works (literally). This is a huge confidence-boosting hack that will also help you in the short and long run.

7. Compromise on Salary Packages

The software developer space rewards experience and demonstrated value like any other industry. Be prepared to earn less in your first couple of jobs. Prioritize landing in companies with fast-paced environments, healthy corporate cultures, and cutting-edge technologies. 

The Bottom Line

Demand for developers is growing, but so are the expectations. You have to demonstrate value instantly and keep growing as a professional to make your mark. Diversify your skillset and learn multiple programming languages to bring more value to the table. Always remember – becoming a successful software developer is a marathon, not a sprint (pun intended).

Remote Work Digest: March 29, 2022

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

You want to work remotely. Your boss wants you back in person. Here’s how to negotiate | Jane Their, Fortune.com

It’s a source of friction at workplaces nationwide now that the pandemic is receding: The boss wants everyone back in the office, but the workers are just fine at home.

Because of work-at-home benefits like more family time, more sleep (on account of no commute) and better work-life balance, many employees are staunchly against reverting to old ways.

If you’re being pressured to return, and don’t want to, there’s hope. You can frame your argument for staying at home — at least a few days a week — as a win-win, according to Shannan Monson, a women’s leadership expert and serial entrepreneur who outlined a four-step approach to that conversation with your boss.

Step #1: Determine what’s best for you

Before you go to your boss, define your goals. What would make you happy? Working two or three days from home or working remotely full-time? 

At heart, this is a negotiation, Monson says. “You’ll probably meet somewhere in the middle, but you have to remember you have the power, and you’re in control of what you say yes or no to.”

Monsoon recommends practicing the conversation in advance to ensure you sound level-headed and clear. “The worst thing they can do is say no,” she adds. “You won’t be fired for wanting more.”

Step #2: List all your wins

Before the conversation, compile all your achievements over the past two years of lockdown, and highlight the wins you can take credit for. Bosses tend to have short memories — don’t hesitate to remind them of your successes, she says.

In this way, the work-from-home negotiation resembles the conversation you’d have when asking for a raise. 

“You want to be the most prepared person in the room,” she says. Plus, you have leverage. “You’re not asking to work from home so much as asking to continue being your most productive self.”

Step #3: Request the meeting

Once the talking points are in order, it’s time to get the meeting on the books. Monson recommends opening with a line like “Hey, I’m excited to be coming back to work. I’d like to discuss what that looks like.”

Acknowledge, outright, the discomfort your boss may be feeling. “Say, ‘I know there’s been a lot of uncertainty around what returning to work might look like. I want to discuss how I can keep bringing my best work and productivity to the team,’” she recommends. Then launch into your ideas, pitching them as net positives.

Step #4: Pitch the idea

How do you convince your boss that working remotely would be good for your company? By presenting evidence. 

Monson recommends a script like: “Based on the work I have been able to do from home in the past two years, and what I’ve accomplished, I’d like to continue doing so. Here’s evidence that that would be good for the company too.”

Most important, Monson adds, is for employees to not be scared, and to recognize how much power they currently hold. “The entire workforce is facing a massive labor shortage, and it’s really hard and expensive to hire and train talent right now,” she says. “Don’t go in with a fear of getting fired. Your boss knows you’re valuable, so don’t you forget it.”  

Remote work isn’t enough: 5 tips for the future of flexibility at work | Keren Rubin, Enterprisersproject.com

No longer is remote work seen as a perk – it’s now a common offering that’s here to stay. To compete for talent, companies need to focus on being “people-first.” This means providing employees with the flexibility they need, and merely offering remote work will no longer cut it.

5 tips for work flexibility

1.Create a remote work guide

Consider creating a remote work training program for new employees that outlines remote work expectations, including company hours and a flexible schedule policy. By establishing clear parameters, employees have the opportunity to work as they please within those boundaries.

2.Encourage time blocks

As a fully remote manager, I encourage my teams to block time on their calendars throughout the day to ensure they have time to step away, have lunch, or walk the dog. Working from home doesn’t mean employees can’t take breaks.

3.Establish meeting-free times

Meeting-free time is a simple concept, but implementing it takes careful planning. While meeting-free days are most successful when the entire company can adopt them, implementing them on a team-by-team basis can also be impactful.

4.Create opportunities for mobility

The ongoing technology worker shortage presents new opportunities for companies to fill vacant roles internally. Many organizations are now looking to remove the high (and sometimes unrealistic) barriers to entry for certain roles to increase the talent pool. If you take this approach, clearly outline roles and responsibilities for all roles and be transparent with employees about how they can reach the next level. When roles are clearly written out, it’s easier to evaluate how well your existing talent might fit with internal opportunities. It also gives your employees a goal to work toward.

5.Focus on continuous learning

Continuous learning empowers a flexible workplace. Consider providing sessions hosted by outside experts or internal executives on topics such as eliminating bias, improving team communication, and best practices for leading virtual teams. These will help “normalize” flexible work and equip your workforce with new tools for long-term success.

Why Flexible Work Boosts Employee Productivity | Carline Castrillon, Forbes.com

Flexible work helps attract top talent, but it also makes employees more productive. In the Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey, 43% of respondents said that flexible working hours helped them achieve more productivity, and 30% of those surveyed said that less or no time commuting allowed them to be more productive. Here are some reasons why flexible work boosts employee productivity.

Flexible work allows employees to work more

Flexible work arrangements allow employees to work more during the hours they are most productive. In a survey conducted by Airtasker, remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year, than office workers. And on those days, they were more productive. While office employees reported an average of 37 minutes each workday not getting work done, remote employees only lost 27 minutes of each workday to distractions.

Flexible work reduces turnover

Allowing employees to work flexible schedules can help retain valuable staff. Without a doubt, flexibility is one of the most important perks workers want from their employers. In fact, a Flexjobs survey found that 80% of respondents said they’d be more loyal to their employer if they provided flexible working arrangements, and 52% said they’d already tried to negotiate flexible work with their current employer. When your workforce is engaged, they spend more time on their work and less time looking for new opportunities.

Flexibility increases engagement

According to a Gallup study, flexible work also drives employee engagement. Engaged employees are more enthusiastic, energetic and have better physical health. And, as decades of Gallup research shows, when employees are engaged, their performance soars. In addition, highly engaged workplaces claim numerous benefits like 40% fewer quality defects, 41% lower absenteeism and 21% higher profitability.

Flexible work allows for better work-life balance

Statistics around the effects of work-life balance on productivity show that companies can double employee output by embracing flexibility. Flexible work gives workers the autonomy to create a schedule that benefits their physical and mental health. That could mean going to a yoga class, spending time with family or going to the gym. With more control over their time, they have a greater sense of freedom to complete work tasks and still take care of their own personal responsibilities.

5 Tips to Boost Employee Productivity | Todd Smekens, Muncievoice.com

Follow these tips, and you’ll see a big improvement in the quality of work and productivity of your team.

Provide training

Invest in regular training sessions, whether that means bringing in an outside expert or simply having someone on your team who is responsible for providing training on a regular basis. And don’t forget about ongoing training. As your business changes and grows, so too should your employees’ understanding of how it works.

Regular training will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them. It will also help you to identify any areas where employees are struggling and need additional support.

Give feedback often

Giving feedback is essential if you want to improve employee productivity. But it’s not enough to simply point out when someone has made a mistake. You also need to explain why it was a mistake and how they can avoid making the same error in the future.

Constructive feedback will help your employees understand their errors. It will also give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes. It’s important to be clear, specific, and objective when giving feedback. This will give your employees precisely what they need to work on. 

Offer incentives

Offering incentives is a great way to motivate your employees to do their best work and avoid making mistakes. If you know that there’s a financial reward for doing a good job, you’re more likely to be careful and double-check your work before handing it in.

Set clear expectations

Be specific about the standards you expect your employees to meet, and make sure they understand what will happen if they don’t meet those standards. This will help to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and that mistakes are less likely to be made.

Encourage a culture of learning

Encouraging a culture of learning will help your employees to understand that mistakes are part of the process and that they can learn from them. Encourage your employees to ask questions, share their ideas, and experiment with new things. Encouraging a culture of learning will help your employees to feel more comfortable making mistakes. It will also help you to identify any areas where employees are struggling and need additional support.

In conclusion, following these tips will help you to get your employees to make fewer mistakes. By providing training, giving feedback, and offering incentives, you can motivate your employees to do their best work and avoid making costly mistakes. Invest in your team’s development, and you’ll see a big return on investment for your business.

Remote Work Digest: February 26, 2022

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

Five Ways to Improve Employee Morale with One-on-One Connection | Lydia Vargo, Forbes.com

Because of the pandemic and the switch to remote-first work, managers are finding it increasingly difficult to connect with their employees in meaningful ways. This may cause feelings of isolation, dissatisfaction and low morale, which in turn can lead to poor performance. 

As a leader, you need to invest in your people, which includes treating them like the unique humans they are. With regular one-on-one interaction, you can improve employee morale, productivity and retention all in one. Follow these five tips to improve employee loyalty performance through the power of one-on-one connections.

1.Be Personable

If you want to connect with employees, you need to be approachable. Kick things off by sharing a little about yourself. Be conscious of not oversharing and causing discomfort, but giving some insight into your life and personality can bridge a gap and begin a healthy rapport. Perhaps it’s as simple as placing photos of your kids on the wall behind your desk or sharing what you did last weekend. It doesn’t take much, but a little goes a long way.

2. Connect with Multimedia

Email is okay, but your team is probably sick of answering emails — and their inboxes are full, anyway. Instead, connect with your team through richer media like: 

• A Discord server for audio-only chats. 

• Voice memos, so people can listen to your voice. 

• Vidyard recordings that show your screen and your face.

3. Hone Your EQ

If you want to foster healthy one-on-one connections, you need to boost your EQ as a leader. It might sound like common sense, but how you approach one-on-one conversations can have a big effect on employee morale. 

That means following best practices like: 

Using positive phrasing: Remote employees can’t see your face or hear your voice, so they have to read into every little interaction. Frame things positively and over-communicate so employees know you’re trying to foster a warm, congenial relationship. 

Avoiding micromanaging: Employees will dread talking to you if a one-on-one becomes a forum for critique. Micromanaging lowers morale and makes your team feel on edge and not trusted to do their jobs — not to mention less productive!

Keeping appointments: Life happens, but if you frequently reschedule chats with an employee, they’re going to think you don’t care. Try not to reschedule or cancel one-on-ones if at all possible. 

4. Listen

Give employees your undivided attention when you speak to them. Let them do most of the talking and practice active listening. After all, communication goes well beyond the words that you speak — body language and tone are key to being understood and bridging gaps.

5. Schedule Fun Social Connections

If you allow employees to bond with you in a lower-stakes environment, they’re going to feel more connected and loyal in their careers. With professional boundaries top of mind, it is healthy for your team to blow off a little steam together. Never underestimate the power of non-work-related conversations and activities! 

The Bottom Line

It’s hard to think about retention when you’re dealing with the here and now, but the connection still needs to be a priority if you want to retain your employees. Follow these five tips to foster closer relationships with your team and boost morale, productivity and retention all at the same time.

Top 10 Best Freelance Platform and Marketplace in 2022 | Nishi, Inventiva.co.in

The following are the best free marketplaces and websites for those looking to work as freelancers from home in 2022:

1.Upwork

Upwork used to be known as oDesk but has grown into one of the best places to find freelancers in any field. With over 12M freelancers and around 5M clients registered, it is the largest freelance platform in the world. 

Here, you can find freelancers and projects related to just about any expertise. Despite its user-friendly nature, the website would require you to fill out an application that would be approved or rejected according to the current need for your skills.

2. Fiverr

With over 250 categories of professional services, it connects freelancers and businesses on a digital level. Clients can search for freelancers on this website and give them the project, and Freelancers can post what they are willing to offer.

3. Freelancer

Small businesses looking for website development, logo design, writing and marketing help can find talent and help on this website. Many people are interested in working with big-name companies like Intel, Microsoft, and Boeing on their client list. 

You can sign up with freelancers quickly since their website is very user-friendly. Upload your previous work samples, bid on work, and communicate with the hiring managers. Besides not having to pay a penny to register, you won’t have to pass any interviews or tests

4. Guru

Companies can find freelancers from all over the world through this freelance marketplace. Thanks to their straightforward hiring process, clients can hire freelancers quickly and easily. Even though the website is new, its user base has already reached 1,500,000 million. 

The number of completed jobs keeps growing by the day, and they have now completed more than a million jobs. Making a profile with them is pretty easy; all you need to do is create your profile, and you are ready to go. Various profiles post jobs every day, and there is a lot of competition.

5. People Per Hour

This is one of the biggest and most popular freelance marketplaces because you can find freelance services in audio, video, web development, web design, mobile development, social media, and much more. More than 1 million businesses have earned more than £130 million on this platform. 

The primary goal of the company is to associate customers with suitable candidates. It is unique that they have personally selected every person you work with; consequently, they employ quality people and provide quality work.

6. Toptal

One of the best places to start looking for freelancers when you need top-quality freelancers. Thousands of applications arrive every day, but only a few are accepted due to their rigorous application process. A company can use it to hire from the top tier of top-tier freelancers.

7. FlexJobs

Since it offers on-site jobs, remote work, freelance opportunities, and flexible schedules, it is primarily a platform for flexible employment. They hire freelancers from more than 40,000 companies, and you can select one according to your skills and interests. To find quality job postings, you would have to sift through a lot of trash.

8. 99designs

An attractive logo can draw a lot of attention from consumers, so it is crucial to hire an experienced designer to create this logo for you. 99designs has a reputation for quality and design, so that you can trust their work.

9. SimplyHired

There are freelance jobs in almost all fields on this marketplace, perfect for people looking for part-time employment. This website has the advantage of not charging people for posting jobs, which explains why there are so many job openings there.

As a freelancer, you can upload your resume and get your profile up and running very quickly. Afterwards, you will also be able to view freelance jobs in your local area. As well as seeing a list of top salaries, the site provides a salary estimate tool. 

10. Aquent

Job opportunities are mainly related to marketing, technology, and creative careers. Due to the quality of the work and the incredible talent of Aquent, they have won numerous awards. The company generally accepts candidates with more than two years of experience, though fresh graduates are also welcome to explore their positions.

22 Ways to Be a Little Bit Happier Every Day in 2022 | Integrisok.com

Here are some of our favorite tips to help boost happiness.

Help someone else. Turns out the human brain is wired for altruism. We’re taught from childhood that it is better to give than to receive, and there’s lots of evidence to suggest it’s true. We can now see, thanks to MRI technology, that the act of giving to others lights up the same parts of our brains as do food or sex.

Experiences are more important than possessions. New shoes may make us smile initially, but the happiness they bring fades quickly. The joy we feel when we focus on experiences is longer-lived in part because they foster in us a greater sense of vitality. We also often share experiences with others, which generates happiness.

Practice gratitude. Try this: each day for ten weeks, keep a gratitude journal. Write down three things you are grateful for each day. In an experiment at the University of California, Davis, three groups of volunteers kept journals. One group wrote about life events, another wrote about hassles in their lives and the third wrote about what they were grateful for. At the end, the gratitude group reported feeling more optimistic and satisfied with their lives.

Learn. Conquering new concepts or ideas helps build confidence and pride. US NEWS tells us that “education has been widely documented by researchers as the single variable tied most directly to improved health and longevity. And when people are intensely engaged in doing and learning new things, their well-being and happiness can blossom.”

Get more sleep. Seven to nine hours a night is the gold standard. Good sleep is crucial to having active, happy days. If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, it’s worth talking to your doctor.

Get older. One of the biggest perks of having a few decades in the rear-view mirror is that our happiness tends to increase as we age. Multiple studies indicate that as we age, we become happier and more satisfied with life. It may be a matter of having more perspective, but whatever it is, we’ll take it.

Smile. We know. Being told to smile can be annoying, so we are merely making a suggestion. BECAUSE… practicing ‘real’ smiles, AKA smiles that include your eyes, is a proven way to feel less distress in a distressing situation. In the word of psychology, this is called the facial feedback hypothesis, which suggests that our emotional experience is partly influenced by our facial movements. It’s a mind-body connection.

Dark chocolate. The darker the better. It’s science! Chocolate is a mood booster because eating it causes the release of endorphins in the brain. It also contains chemicals known to lift our mood such as phenylethylamine (a natural antidepressant) and tryptophan, which is linked to the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that produces feeling of happiness.  

Wake up earlier. First, make sure you’re sleeping seven to nine hours a night. Next, build a pleasant morning buffer into your day. You should enjoy your mornings, which is hard to do if you’re running around trying to get out the door. An extra half an hour (or even 15 minutes) will give you some space and you’ll notice a shift in attitude right away. 

Manage your stress. Get better at time management if you’ve got too much on your plate. Something as simple as a to-do list can give you a sense of control and order, and let’s face it, it feels so good to cross things off the list. 

Tidy up. When we think of self-care, cleaning house doesn’t often make the list but it should. In 2016, a study out of the University of New Mexico found that clutter directly interfered with folks’ ability to feel pleasure in a room. On the flip side, a clean, organized space can increase productivity, boost confidence and imbue its occupants with a sense of control, accomplishment and clarity. 

Start a meditation practice. It’s easier than you think. Mindful.org suggests getting started this way:

  • Find place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.
  • Choose a short time, such as five or 10 minutes.
  • Make sure you are stable and in a position you can stay in for a while.
  • Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out.
  • Notice when your mind has wandered and simply return your attention to the breath.
  • Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back. 
  • When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions.
  • That’s it! That’s the practice. 

Put down your phone. Unless you’re keeping an online gratitude journal, that is. If you find yourself scrolling through social media, stop. A 2017 article in Forbes (and many subsequent studies) indicate that the more we use social media, the less happy we are. In fact, social media is known to increase anxiety, loneliness and depression.

Take a walk. A walk is good for your mood, your mind and your body. Tie your laces and go!

Avoid gossip. Fact: gossip may feel good in the moment, but really it causes stress. It’s not helpful and it immerses both the teller and the listener in negativity. 

Don’t drink too much. When it’s been a rough day, an alcoholic beverage of choice can sound like just the ticket. Alcohol blunts our feelings, so if we feel bad it will make us feel less bad  –  BUT – it can also crank up feelings of anger and depression or make you feel aggressive.  

Look at the stars. Researchers have found that there is a link between experiencing a sense of awe with feeling greater satisfaction and less stress.

Don’t believe everything you think. In other words, challenge negative thoughts. Here’s a technique: write down your negative thought. Maybe it’s something like “I am having problems at school/work. I don’t think I’m very smart.” Next, challenge that thought. Is there any evidence behind it? Am I misinterpreting the situation? What would someone else think if I told them my thoughts?

Read a story of adventure. Turns out you can reap the benefits of an awe-inspiring experience, like stargazing, by reading about one. Pick up a copy of “Moby Dick,” by Herman Melville; “The Call of the Wild,” by Jack London; or “Wild,” by Cheryl Strayed. 

Hang out with happy people. Motivational coaches will tell you that you are an amalgam of the top five percent of the people you spend the most time with. Makes sense to hang with the happy crowd, then, doesn’t it?

Be your own best friend. Treat yourself like you would a dear friend. When you’re feeling sad or negative, ask yourself what advice you’d give a friend feeling the same way. 

Breathe. Controlled breathing is an ancient practice and science is beginning to understand that its benefits are real. Do it any time you need or want to: take a deep breath. Pause. Exhale slowly as you count to five. Repeat four more times. This low-key practice can help reduce feelings of anxiety, depression and more.

9 emerging tech trends IT leaders need to watch | Stephanie Overby, Enterprisersproject.com

Following are some of the new technologies and capabilities with broad applications across companies and sectors for 2022 and beyond.

1.Hybrid workplace enablement tools

Nearly all technology leaders (97%) surveyed by IEEE agree that their team is working more closely than ever before with human resources leaders to implement workplace technologies and apps for office check-in, space usage data and analytics, COVID and health protocols, employee productivity, engagement, and mental health. 

2. Cloud simplification technologies

Looking forward, IT leaders will be looking at cloud-native technologies and platforms to take full advantage of cloud’s core capabilities for greater innovation at speed and scale. Gartner predicts that cloud-native platforms will serve as the foundation for more than 95 percent of new digital initiatives by 2025 (up from 30 percent of workloads in 2021).

3. Cloud control planes

The combination of accelerated cloud adoption and the digitally distributed workforce and enterprise has created some big ol’ surfaces for cyber attacks. As a result, CIOs are rethinking how they protect their organizations in this new normal.

4. Smart space technology

This will be augmented with smart space technologies that help in building intelligent physical spaces, such as manufacturing plants, retail stores, and sports stadiums. IEEE found that 82 percent of surveyed IT leaders agree that implementing smart building technologies that benefit sustainability, decarbonization and energy savings has become a top priority.

5. Automating automation

Many organizations found themselves digitizing and automating critical customer-facing applications in the early days of the pandemic. What they need to do now is create roadmaps for automating more of the business processes for greater efficiency and resiliency in the long term.

6. Collaborative data platforms

Organizations applying insights from data belonging to their partners or suppliers have twice the market capitalization, according to an early 2021 study published by Capgemini. Secure, real-time cloud-based data exchanges, along with solution providers that enable collaboration based on data without the actual sharing of the granular data itself, are key enabling technologies here.

7. Blockchain applications

The enterprise use cases for open-source distributed database and ledger technology are becoming clearer. The four most important uses cases cited by IT leaders surveyed by IEEE will be secure machine-to-machine interaction in the Internet of Things, shipment tracing and contactless digital transactions, keeping health and medical records secure in the cloud, and securing connecting parties within a specified ecosystem.

8. Generative AI

The world is abuzz with the promise of generative AI from natural-language generation models that can write computer code to algorithms that produce deepfakes.

It’s not all hype. There are some meaty enterprise applications for generative AI, which is far more dynamic than the machine learning currently being used in most organizations.

9. Next-generation EDR

As ransomware continues to rile organizations, next-generation endpoint detection and response (EDR) is emerging as a key cybersecurity capability for the next normal, providing increased visibility into threats with machine learning detection for faster response.

Remote Work Digest: January 28, 2022

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

Is Remote Work Working? 7 Insights Into the Future of Remote Work | Ravepubs.com

What researchers have learned through studying trends and reactions about remote work may surprise you. Read on for some of the top insights into the future of remote work and how your business can adapt accordingly.

1.The percentage of people working remotely is only expected to increase

The trend of people working outside of the office setting is expected to continue. Forbes recently highlighted a survey that found that working remotely was expected to double in 2021. Looking further into the future, it’s predicted that 70% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2025.

2. Some industries have better potential for future remote work than others

Industries that have the least potential to integrate remote work into their future are ones that rely on physical care, labor, or the operation of machinery, like a construction worker or a dialysis nurse, and tasks that rely on collaboration and have a greater impact on success when done in person, like an elementary school teacher. Overall, however, the sectors that have the most potential for remote work are concentrated with workers with college degrees or higher.

3. Productivity doesn’t have to suffer when working remotely

How to monitor and improve productivity when working remotely has been a large area of concern for managers and other business leaders who were thrown into the work-from-home waters headfirst. The data now proves it – we can work remotely without losing productivity. In fact, many people report feeling more productive when working outside of the office, and employers report feeling more confident in staff productivity as the popularity of remote work increases.

4. A remote work plane requires frequent, robust communication

According to McKinsey and Company, the lack of communication around future of work planning is a high source of anxiety for over half or remote workers, leading to lower levels of employee satisfaction and productivity, adding that businesses who have clearly articulated policies around their future of work plans have noticed employee productivity and well-being on the rise. Even if the future is uncertain or policies are undecided, employees expect to be kept abreast of updates.

5. A remote work place requires a different type of performance management

Forbes predicts that “rethinking how goals are set and identifying key performance metrics will be critical to managing remote workers in the new normal”. Employee well-being and engagement will be essential factors when it comes to delivering high-quality work performances. Part of that can be achieved through thoughtful digital planning.

6. A hybrid work model may be the way to go

Simply speaking, a hybrid work model combines remote working with time in the office. Target, Ford, Microsoft, and Amazon have all announced plans to implement a hybrid work model in the future. A hybrid model may offer the best of both worlds – it can mean lower business costs for the company while still keeping its employees happy, healthy, and motivated. As with any remote work, however, staff are at risk of burnout, so companies need to take care that their digital communication plans are just as solid as if their business were fully remote.

7. Digital investment is critical to the future success of remote work

Because productivity is the key to the future of remote work, businesses need to invest in digital solutions that allow staff to work and collaborate efficiently. Nothing brings productivity to a screeching halt faster than slow networks, insufficient software, or cumbersome hardware.

3 Ways to Stay Family-Focused in the Face of a Demanding Career | Martin Rowinski, Entrepreneur.com

Who you are in business is an important aspect of who you are as a whole person, but it’s not the only or most important one. For maximum growth, fun and success in your career, family and individual life, a healthy balance of all three is essential. When you dedicate focused time to each, you prevent burnout, better regulate emotional responses and build and maintain strong relationships.

Here’s how I do it.

1.Keep things separate

I use “boxes” to organize my schedule — one for my entrepreneurial life, one for family and another just for me, and any events scheduled into each day go into one or another. In doing this, I set limits on where I want my focus to go at any given time so that it stays where it belongs.

Scheduling in these boxes also makes sure events don’t overlap. A bad day at work needs to stay in its box, and so off the soccer field when I coach (which goes into the family box: time dedicated to my kids and the team). 

2. Manage one thing at a time

It’s important to be upfront with everyone involved about what time is dedicated to which box, and stick to it. Being an entrepreneur is not a 9-to-5, clock-in and clock-out life, after all: It could easily take all your time and creativity if you let it. At a certain executive level, and definitely as an entrepreneur, free time never happens unless you make it happen.

3. A break can be the best medicine

Burnout among entrepreneurs is wildly common, and so breaks are vital self-care needed to inspire energy and creativity. Plus, I come up with some of the best ideas or savviest moves while on vacation — relaxed and away from the office environment. When you allow yourself a total change from the demand to be creative, you leave room inside yourself to do just that.

The busy life of business pulls you in many different directions, but defining and committing to your personal and business missions separately and in a balanced way lets you handle it exponentially better. Strong family connections can give you emotional stability when business gets hectic, and prioritizing personal time forces you to take a break from an often exhausting work schedule. Balancing these elements teaches you to be more present, nurture stronger relationships and to see the bigger picture. The joy you feel with your family revitalizes a passion for business and prioritizing each element of your life allows for the greatest levels of success in each.

Energize Your Team for Better Productivity with these 5 Activities | Pratik Dholakiya, Smallbiztrends.com

Companies with worn-out employees encounter a myriad of obstacles. They have high absenteeism rates, high employee churn, less production, or low-quality output.

However, with a highly energetic and productive team, you can put in more work into your marketing and sales initiatives, fulfill more orders, and have a positive work culture, which lowers employee churn.

Productivity Activities for your Business

1.Run games or contests

You’d be surprised how organizing games and contests can do wonders to reduce your team’s stress levels. Games are a great breather for employees, especially when they’re reaching the point of getting burned out.

2. Conduct community service

It’s not uncommon for people who do volunteer work to gain better social and relationship skills. They can learn more about themselves and their peers — helping your company cultivate a more cohesive team with a high level of self-awareness.

If your team is well bonded, they can work better. The work environment becomes conducive to teamwork and removes needless, destructive drama.

3. Invite motivational speakers

Even though your employees are just sitting and listening to the inspiring message of the speakers, the experience can be life-changing for them.

Just a single statement can turn your lifeless, demotivated employees into workhorses that produce double or triple of what they are currently producing.

4. Conduct financial literacy training

Helping your employees manage their finances better will improve their energy levels. When they aren’t burdened financially, they are less stressed and have more energy to deal with their tasks.

Before you put together a training program, run surveys or polls to know which finance topics your employees are more interested to learn. Some might be more interested in how to save, others about how to pay debt, while others might be into investing.

5. Do a fitness challenge

The healthier a person, the more focused and energetic they are to deal with their to-dos. In short, they’ll be more productive.

That’s why holding a fitness challenge can do wonders for your team’s energy and productivity levels.

The healthier the employees in your company, the more energetic and productive they become. This puts your company in a better position to create amazing products, market your services, and provide better customer support — all of which ultimately help to skyrocket your revenue.

8 Effective Strategies to Develop (and Keep) Your Employees | Td.org

Here are eight strategies you can implement to build a culture in which employees feel engaged, motivated, and driven to succeed and grow alongside your business:

  1. Treat employees with respect. Show employees that you respect and value what they bring to your organization. This motivates them to be as invested in your company’s success as you are.
  2. Ask for feedback. Ask employees why they work at your company and if they feel any improvements could be made. This not only promotes trust; it also gives you the specific information you need to make things right.
  3. Provide mentorship. Mentor your employees regularly to build trust. Having a mentor helps them envision a path to success within your organization.
  4. Play fair. Being fair is an essential quality for managers. Showing favoritism or playing office politics has a negative impact on the team.
  5. Have their back. Stand up for your employees whenever the need arises. When employees know they have your support, they learn to trust.
  6. Show recognition. Recognition of good work boots morale and encourages productivity.
  7. Provide opportunities for growth. Be sure to provide training activities for employees. Giving employees new skills makes them feel valued and helps you assess their strengths and skills gaps for future development.
  8. Give them a platform. Empower employees to present their current projects, performance, or other activities. Taking credit in this way increases their confidence, improves their sense of role ownerships, and boosts productivity.

The eight strategies above are just a small number of initiatives organizations can take to generate a positive and productive work environment.

Remote Work Digest: November 28, 2021

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

Struggling with Time Management? Try These Six Surefire Strategies | John Rampton, Forbes.com

Get a handle on the minutes that make up your day and you’ll improve how you manage your time. Try one or all of these six surefire strategies to get more done in less time than ever before.

1. Commit to single-tasking.

Multitasking has been overused and overhyped and is, quite frankly, counterproductive. Many of us cannot function at a high level while doing multiple things at once. 

2. Use time blocking to your advantage.

Divide your day into distinct blocks of time. Answer your email in two 20-minute chunks, say one at midday and one at EOD. Set aside an hour to complete that entire slide deck instead of leaving it two-thirds finished before heading out for a client meeting. Speaking of meetings, try to cluster them together rather than sprinkling them throughout the day. Time blocking reduces the interruptions and mental adjustments that keep you from doing focused, productive work. 

3. Deploy the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is an amped-up version of time blocking. Avid users commit to doing 25 minutes of concentrated work on a single task. Once the time allotment is up, they take a five-minute break. After four rounds of this, they take a 15- to 20-minute break to fully recharge. This approach simulates a time crunch, which prompts your brain to really zero in on a task and execute it. 

4. Schedule movement breaks

Our bodies simply weren’t made to sit in an office chair for eight or more hours a day. Give your muscles the movement they crave by allowing yourself scheduled breaks throughout the day. They’ll help you make better use of your on-task time.

5. Try task batching

The mindset you need for schmoozing a prospective client is different from the one you need to crunch month-end numbers. By batching tasks that require similar skills or mental processes together, you can accomplish them more quickly and efficiently. 

6. Fuel yourself for success

Fuel yourself throughout the day with foods that make you feel good, allow you to focus and gives you sustained energy. While it can be tempting, especially on a busy morning, resist the urge to subsist solely on coffee. After all, what good is adding in productivity tactics when your body is too tired to put in the work? Fuel your body right, and it will serve you well.

Start wrangling your time.

The time management tactics above will only make you more productive if you’re focusing on the right tasks to begin with. So, prioritize and develop a plan of attack for your workload. Identify key milestones and can’t-miss deadlines using your calendar or project management tool

5 best ways to get and stay organized for the New Year | Theapopkavoice.com

If organization isn’t your superpower, don’t despair. Nail these five organization tips in the New Year and you’ll be golden, no matter where you’re headed.

1.Write it down

Getting organized means being able to prioritize. A planner that can contain everything you need to put in it will help you organize your life, from important birthdays and appointments to business meetings or exams. 

Pro tip: Build in reminders well ahead of important due dates. For example, if you have a presentation due Friday, enter a reminder to “start presentation” Monday. Estimate how much time you’ll need to complete the task completed — with a little cushion built in.

2. Give everything a designated home

If every morning you try to get out the door on time but can’t find your keys, give them a permanent home. The same is true for schedules, deadlines, files, folders, etc. 

Pro tip: Keep your laptop desktop as organized as your planner. Create files to group docs that belong together, then you’ll be able to find them at a moment’s notice.

3. Make priorities when you set deadlines

When you have a plan with deadlines and tasks right at your fingertips, it’s easier to use your time efficiently. Organized people make the most of every minute, and it shows. It’s not enough just to meet deadlines; the work must also be done well. 

Pro tip: Highlight or color code high-priority items on your planner, so you’ll know to put those items first.

4. Don’t procrastinate

Don’t be that person who waits until the last minute to do something, then does it halfway or poorly. 

Pro tip: Build in extra time each day to review your planner and play catch-up. 

5. Declutter, declutter, declutter

It takes only a short time to go through your office, desk or room to know what’s important and what isn’t. Keep only what you need and get rid of the rest. Don’t be afraid to declutter and reorganize continuously and consistently. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by keeping your space clutter-free.

Pro tip: Set a regular end-of-day or first-thing-in-the-morning declutter break for 15 minutes. Your future self will thank you!

Proven ways to improve employee productivity | Gilaherald.com

As a manager, you want to keep your employees focused and motivated enough that they can produce the best possible results for your business.

Here are some tips on how to improve your employees’ productivity:

Set clear goals and expectations

Setting clear goals and expectations is a great way to improve employee productivity. It includes creating SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-sensitive) goals with each team member. Setting clear goals allows your employees to understand what is expected of them. It also allows them to focus on completing tasks rather than questioning their duties every step of the way. 

Encouraging communication

The key here is an open dialogue between your team members and your managers. A lack of communication can lead to miscommunications, misunderstandings as well as low morale among employees. When they feel like their voices are heard and taken seriously, it makes them more productive because they have a sense of empowerment that leads to higher productivity levels.

Providing the right tools for the job

It encourages employees to spend more time doing their work instead of wasting it on figuring out how they can get things done correctly. It includes equipping your team members with technology, such as an efficient computer system or software. 

Track performance

You can also track your employees’ productivity by keeping records of how much time they spend working. It is a great way to identify who in your workforce needs additional training or development, which helps improve their overall performance regarding the work they do each day. 

Allow flexible schedules for employees

Offering flexible work schedules is another way that you can improve employee productivity. Offering telecommuting options allows your team members to work from home on occasion, which will enable them to focus on their job without outside distractions or interruptions. It also helps reduce commute times and stress among employees because it reduces the number of hours sitting in traffic. It also allows them to spend more time with their families and not be away from home for so long, improving morale among your team members.

Show appreciation for a job well done

Not only it helps improve employee productivity, but it also shows your team members that you value them as a crucial part of the company’s success. One way of showing this appreciation is by offering bonuses or additional paid time off on top of what they already receive from your company.

Employee training

Employee training is another way to improve productivity at work. It includes offering a comprehensive orientation program for new team members, as well as ongoing employee development programs that help your workforce stay up-to-date with the latest technology and skills needed in today’s world.

Minimize meeting times

You should only use meetings to handle issues impacting your company’s productivity levels or solving problems together with employees. If you have any other meetings planned, then it becomes more difficult for employees to focus on the day-to-day tasks they need to complete for your organization to run smoothly and without hiccups along the way.

Creating a more positive environment

Creating a more positive environment with a well-rounded fitness program that allows team members to take care of their health and reduce stress can help improve employee productivity by making them more efficient when performing specific job duties.

Improving employee productivity is a crucial part of any business’ success. Employing training programs, tracking performance levels, and managing meeting times are proven ways to improve your workforce’s output regarding what they do each day at work.

15 flexible jobs for people who don’t want to give up remote work | Madison Hoff, Businessinsider.com

HireAHelper published a list of remote jobs that are great for those who often move. Here are 15 top jobs for those who want to work remotely and move around a lot.

15. Advertising sales agents

Median annual wage in 2020: $54,940

Remote work take-up: 51%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 10%

14. Financial examiners

Median annual wage in 2020: $81,430

Remote work take-up: 72%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 11%

13. Urban and regional planners

Median annual wage in 2020: $75,950

Remote work take-up: 68%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 10%

12. Computer network support specialists

Median annual wage in 2020: $65,450

Remote work take-up: 52%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 10%

11. Management analysts

Median annual wage in 2020: $87,660

Remote work take-up: 56%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 10%

10.Speech-language pathologists

Median annual wage in 2020: $80,480

Remote work take-up: 39%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 10%

9. Environmental scientists and specialists

Median annual wage in 2020: $73,230

Remote work take-up: 59%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 10%

8.Civil engineers

Median annual wage in 2020: $88,570

Remote work take-up: 44%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 9%

7.Credit analysts

Median annual wage in 2020: $74,970

Remote work take-up: 61%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 11%

6.Financial analysts

Median annual wage in 2020: $83,660

Remote work take-up: 68%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 11%

5.Public relations specialists

Median annual wage in 2020: $62,810

Remote work take-up: 65%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 10%

4. College professors

Median annual wage in 2020: $90,400*

Remote work take-up: 61%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 11%

3. Advertising and promotions managers

Median annual wage in 2020: $133,460

Remote work take-up: 51%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 12%

2. Computer hardware engineers

Median annual wage in 2020: $119,560

Remote work take-up: 57%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 12%

1.Software Developers

Median annual wage in 2020: $110,140

Remote work take-up: 71%

Percent of people in this occupation who moved in the last year and stayed in the job: 13%

Remote Work Digest: October 30, 2021

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

Six Ways Business Leaders Can Reclaim Their Time | Ian Tomline, Forbes Communications Council, Forbes.com

They say the only thing you can’t buy is time, and the more of your life you spend in the business world, the more that indisputable truth resonates. You should ignore the activities that make you feel busy and focus on the ones that contribute to the big picture.

Make Decisions About Time

Think back on your last week and what you spent your time on. (Maybe even check your schedule to recap what was in it.) You’ll probably be able to mark up all those things you did that were what I call “hygiene” activities — the things you do to tread water without drowning in emails and paperwork.

Prioritizing Time

Browse through social media articles on leadership and management and you won’t miss the fact that many successful people are clearly better at prioritizing time than the rest of us.

Tools Of The “Prioritize Me” Trade

Make Time for Deep, Focused Thinking Early in Your Day

As the first task on your list, you should think really hard about what you’re trying to get out of the day and how to clear your schedule of other activities that will prevent you from investing time in what really matters.

Write and Manage Lists (Efficiently)

Give your brain a chance and make a list. You should get good at writing task lists and crossing them off as you go.

Learn How to Say No and Get Brutal About Protecting Your Time

If you’re going to maximize the time in your day, you will need to get selfish with your time and consider every request that places demand on it.

Get Ahead with Meetings

You should be particularly brutal with meetings. I think the best strategy is to:

Deeply qualify whether any meeting requires your presence.

Book meetings for no longer than 30 minutes while spacing meetings apart by 30 minutes just in case. This approach ensures you have “buffer time” if you need it.

Think Back on Your Past Week

A good way to test your time management performance is to look in the rearview mirror every now and then to see how you’re doing.

Forgive Your Self Breaks

The time you spend thinking about something else or nothing much at all could be the moment when you come up with your next big idea.

So, put your feet up and let yourself off every now and then – it could be good for business.

Remote work is here to stay: The benefits are just too good to overlook | Larry Alton, Theamericangenius.com

Remote work has been rising in popularity in the past several years. Especially following the COVID-19 global pandemic, more companies saw significant benefits for both their business and their staff that went beyond the realm of finances by allowing remote labor.

If you remain on the fence about allowing your employees to work remotely, or are considering a career shift yourself, take a look at the top four benefits of working remotely, which may sway your decision.

Better Overall Quality of Life

Happy employees mean healthier employees, which can save your outfit money in the form of healthcare costs and lost productivity. But we will get further into the cost-saving benefits a little further on.

If you’re a remote worker, you should see yourself becoming significantly more productive. But why would this be the case if you don’t have a manager over your shoulder watching your every move?

It’s true that when employees have a greater sense of independence, they also experience a significant sense of trust on the part of their employers and managers. This is one of the huge benefits of working remotely because it has a trickle-down effect on the quality and overall production of people’s work.

Can Work Anywhere with Internet

You have the ability to work anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the Internet. If you love to travel, this is a chance to spend time in various places around the globe while continuing to meet your deadlines.

Set Your Own Hours

In some cases, with remote businesses, you have the freedom to set your own hours. Content writers, for instance, tend to enjoy more flexibility with regard to when they work because a lot of what they produce is project-based rather than tied to a nine-to-five schedule.

Saves Everyone Time and Money

Businesses save costs in terms of not having to pay for a physical space, utilities, Internet, and other expenses. This allows you, as the owner, to spend more of your income on providing quality software and benefits for your employees so your operation runs more smoothly and efficiently.

These benefits of working remotely only skim the surface. There are also sustainability factors such as removing cars from the roads and streets, because people don’t have to travel to and from an office; or employees missing fewer workdays since they have the ability and freedom to clock in from home.

Weigh the pros and cons as to whether remote work is right for you as a business owner or online professional. You might be surprised to find that working from home for more than the duration of the pandemic is worthwhile and could have long-lasting benefits.

5 Hacks to Maximize Work Productivity at Home | Kimberly Wilson, Essence.com

Looking to supercharge your productivity? Easier said than done, right? Here are a few tips to help you maximize your productivity while at home.

Plan your day ahead.

Because of all the competing demands trying to navigate home, social and work life, it’s imperative to spend time prioritizing what needs to get done.

Meal prep.

Meal prepping can save you a lot of time and hassle in your week, plus it helps to boost productivity levels. Not to mention, a well-thought-out meal plan can help you improve your diet quality or reach a specific health goal while saving you time and money along the way.

Set a schedule, and stick to it.

Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance.

Focus on three big tasks a day.

I once took a leadership training that emphasized the importance of tackling little rocks vs big rocks. The big rocks are the larger tasks that take up the most time, and are critical to your success, while the little rocks are the day-to-day tasks such as emails, meetings, etc. While both are extremely important, it’s easy to get caught up in the inevitable day-to-day emergencies, but it’s important to remember your larger goals. One of the best ways I do this is by focusing on getting three big tasks done every day.

Practice self-care.

Your mental state plays a huge role in how productive you are on a day-to-day basis. No matter how free your schedule is, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it’s like still not going to get done – or well, at least. And self-care doesn’t just mean massages and bubble baths. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes to meditate, or ensuring you’re getting enough sleep each night.

These 10 well-known companies offer fully remote or hybrid work arrangements | Coann Labitoria, Hcamag.com

Fully remote companies are organizations that do not have physical offices for their employees to work out of. Instead, all work is done completely online – which means employees can accomplish tasks, have meetings, and attend events from anywhere with a stable and fast internet connection, such as co-working spaces, coffee shops, and home offices.

Meanwhile, partially remote companies or hybrid companies have staggered arrangements that see employees working remotely some days in the week and at a physical office on others. The hybrid model is more common than fully remote companies because it’s easier to implement and requires less investment in new equipment and infrastructure.

Well-known companies with fully remote or hybrid work setups

1. Apple

Apple is a multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, online services, and computer software. The company is the world’s largest technology company by revenue and has been the world’s most valuable company since January 2021.

The tech giant announced in June 2021 that employees are expected to work in the office three times a week with the option to work from home twice a week starting September – a date that was postponed to January 2022 due to the sudden surge of Delta variant cases.

2. Microsoft

Microsoft is a multinational technology company that manufactures and develops computer software, consumer electronics, and personal computers.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company adopted a hybrid work model that allows employees to work from anywhere for 50% of their work week, with the option to go 100% remote with management approval. The company even released a guide to hybrid work that outlines its approach, such as updating conference rooms, hiring across geographies, and tightening online security.

3. Shopify

Canada-based Shopify is a multinational firm that offers a cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses. The platform is used to set up, design, and manage stores across multiple sales channels such as web, mobile, social media, brick-and-mortar spots, and pop-up shops.

Shopify’s CEO Tobi Lutke tweeted in May 2020 that the company will be “digital by default,” taking on a remote-first hybrid setup. Lutke added that most employees will permanently work remotely post-pandemic. When available, employees can work in the company’s offices in Canada and Ireland.

4. Slack

Slack develops real-time collaboration applications that provide messaging, video and voice calls, integrated file sharing, and other services to organizations across the globe.

The Silicon Valley firm announced in June 2020 that they would offer its current employees the option to work from home on a permanent basis while keeping the offices open in some form. The company will also open most of its upcoming new roles to remote candidates, and indicated that it is moving towards a more asynchronous work pace by encouraging employees to work hours that make sense for them.

5. Spotify

Spotify is a digital music streaming service that allows subscribers to search and discover music, build personal playlists, and allows artists to post tracks.

The company has taken a hybrid approach for its workforce, allowing employees to work from anywhere across the globe. Spotify also provides a company-paid co-working space if an employee chooses to work in an office but does not live near an existing Spotify location. The firm also announced that it would continue to pay at San Francisco or New York salary rates, based on the type of job.

6. Twitter

Twitter is a social networking and news platform that enables users to send and read short messages known as “tweets” through web and mobile apps.

Twitter was one of the first companies to announce allowing employees who wish to work from home to do so permanently, as long as their role enables them to. The company offers a hybrid remote work setup with offices in San Francisco, New York, and nine other cities across the US available for employees who choose to work on-site.

7. Upwork

Upwork operates the world’s largest freelance marketplace platform. It allows businesses to connect with professionals specializing in numerous skills such as writing, web and mobile development, customer service, and marketing.

Upwork CEO Hayden Brown tweeted in May 2020 that the company is permanently adopting a remote-first hybrid work model. They continue to operate two office spaces located in Chicago and San Francisco for its employees who opt to work on-site.

8. Quora

Quora is a question-and-answer social media platform created, edited, and organized by its community of users.

Adam D’Angelo, co-founder and CEO of Quora, announced in June 2020 that the company would take on a remote-first hybrid work setup after most of its employees opted not to return to the office post-pandemic.

9. Pinterest

Pinterest operates a pinboard-style social networking site where users can create, manage, and share theme-based image collections based on events, interests, and hobbies.

In 2020, Pinterest announced they would follow a remote-first hybrid work model after stating the company will not be expecting employees to return to the office due to the pandemic. Subsequently, the company paid US$89.5 million to cancel a large lease on its San Francisco office. The company is also looking into hiring talent across the globe who were previously excluded due to geography. Pinterest still manages physical offices in eight US cities.

10. LinkedIn

Linkedin is a professional networking site which allows online members to create, manage, and share their professional identities, find career opportunities, and be able to connect with likeminded individuals.

The pros and cons of a fully remote or hybrid company

Perhaps the biggest benefit of remote work to employers is the opportunity to tap into a wider talent pool by allowing them to hire skilled applicants from anywhere in the world. Employers can now find the right applicant for any given position regardless of their location.

Hiring remote workers can also reduce an organization’s operating cost, especially in areas such as office rents and supplies.

Remote work can also present some challenges for employers, such issues of employee disengagement. Having all communications online means that managers also need to be more proactive in setting clear goals for deliverables, as well as overcome challenges in tracking work progress and resolving work-related conflicts.

Despite these issues, fully remote and hybrid arrangements are well on their way to becoming the new normal, with more organizations expected to adopt similar setups as the pandemic winds down.

Remote Work Digest: September 29, 2021

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

The right flexible work approach can benefit everyone | Bob Helbig, Energage, Ajc.com

Today, companies are reaping the benefits of workplace flexibility, including greater employee satisfaction, retention and productivity.

Flex work makes it easier for employees to achieve a better work-life balance. Workplace flexibility practices aren’t limited to working from home. Other examples include flexible work schedules, compressed workweeks and job sharing. Companies benefit when employees are able to deliver their personal best.

Here are a few essential recommendations to consider when adopting workplace flexibility best practices.

Setting Expectations

The key to managing flexible working arrangements is to set clear expectations. Be sure to communicate clear deadlines, collaboration expectations and measures of success.

Communication

Communication is one of the characteristics of good management. Find convenient meeting times so everyone can participate in communication efforts. Identify which of the many messaging, video conference and file-sharing platforms support the best communication methods for your organization, and use them in unison.

Encourage Flexibility in All Aspects

Companies need to encourage their employees to think creatively and work with managers and teammates to find an arrangement that supports workplace flexibility for everyone. The workplace must also consider barriers that prohibit a flexible approach, from family care to technology.

Focus on Measuring Outcomes

While it may seem counterintuitive, giving employees greater control over how they work can ultimately lead to greater productivity. An outcome focus also gives employees a clear understanding of performance expectations and the metrics that will measure their work.

Accountability

Personal accountability plays a vital role in shaping best practices for flexible workplaces. Employees should understand they will be held accountable for the results of their work and productivity, even if they are working from home.

Companies that offer different types of flexibility in the workplace stand out as employers of choice with forward-thinking approaches that focus on the changing needs of their employees. Flexibility is appealing to current employees as well as top talent in search of a work-life balance. Employees will be more productive and committed to your organization.

5 ways to use décor to enhance your work-from-home life | Ismat Tahseen, Timesofindia.indiatimes.com

From handy work spaces that have makeshift desks to choosing a quiet spot as your nook and placing plants around for some zen, there’s a lot that folks are doing to create their work nooks. Here are a few other décor ideas that can build a beautiful home-work environment.

Make it vibrant

Dull grey or pastel green adds a to a relaxed ambience in the bedroom, but it won’t foster a charged-up energy to a work area. How about painting one wall in a bright shade of yellow or green, to do so?

Fun lighting

Place around a set of vintage bottles filled with micro led party lights. Stick a few berries into it for that rustic look. Add a potpourri bowl to the table as well.

Go minimal

The less clutter the better, is the mantra here. Avoid sticky posted notes popping up on tables, strewn paper and a bunch of files around which hamper your focus.

Try and sit where you get enough natural light

Health experts advocate the importance of getting enough sunlight, which gives the daily dose of vitamin D. Sunlight boosts productivity, it is serotonin-producing, said to boost bone health and lead to better immune function.

Use the principle of Hygge

The Danish lifestyle principle of Hygge is something else you can try. It’s about warmth and cosiness using colour and textures. Get a pretty rug, maybe a cushion or two, place a motivational message on the wall as well as a few clay planters, all of which add to a feeling of peace and happiness.

The Impact of Remote Work on Climate Change | Emagazine.com

The gradual migration from corporate to remote work has varying effects on climate change. Here’s some of the pros and cons of remote work.

The Positive Effects of Remote Work on Climate Change

Significant Drop in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

According to The Natural Conservancy, the average American produces sixteen tons of greenhouse gas annually. Greenhouse gases have very harmful effects on the environment and the population at large. They cause extreme shifts in weather patterns resulting in drought, floods, and even tsunamis.

Furthermore, they contribute to an increase in wildfires and smog. Smog has been linked to respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders and even lung cancer.

By telecommuting, you reduce your carbon footprint, thereby minimizing your environmental impact and supporting the human race as a whole.

Reduced Paper Usage

Telecommuting embraces a more digital approach where workers use applications and software to record, store and share information. By embracing note-taking programs and cloud storage software, remote workers reduce their paper usage, reducing their carbon footprint.

Improved Air Quality

Remote working means fewer people are on the roads. As already mentioned, the transport sector is among the number one producers of greenhouse gases. When people work from home, it means less fossil fuel combustion and better air quality.

Less Plastic Usage

Plastic is a non-biodegradable substance and takes hundreds of years to disintegrate. Due to its long life span, it can present challenges for us and future generations. Working from home helps cut back on plastic use as it allows you to use reusable cups, bowls and cutlery, instead of relying on single-use plastic foodware.

Reduced Power Consumption

By working from home, you help reduce the extremely high electric bills and reduce the energy burden of society.

The Downsides of Remote Working

Only Partial Carbon Footprint Reduction

Hybrid work, a form of remote work where employees combine working from home with working at the office, doesn’t fully eliminate the need to commute nor the energy consumption habits of office buildings. While alternating between the office and remote working may go some way to reducing your carbon footprint, it stops short of having a sizeable impact on it.

Energy Consumption

Does working from home really help cut back on energy consumption? Thanks to the ever-evolving tech industry, more and more people are embracing technology to simplify their lives.

Virtual work is a great example. Instead of driving or taking the bus to work to attend meetings or get work done, we use video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Skype. We now email whenever we need to pass official communication. All these devices use electricity.

Remote Working is a Net Positive for Climate Change

Remote working is a crucial player in helping fight climate change. By working from home, you help:

  • Reduce greenhouse emissions
  • Improve air quality
  • Decrease single-plastic use
  • Reduce paper consumption

Even though some models of remote working, specifically hybrid work, encourage commuting, thereby maintaining certain greenhouse emission levels, remote work continues to make great strides in reducing environmental degradation and helping manage climate change.

How to increase employee productivity in the workplace | Cyprus-mail.com

Keeping your employees happy is a must as it will boost their engagement and interaction at work. Some simple techniques that can boost employee productivity that can bring about some surprising results.

Seven ways to boost employee productivity effectively in the workplace

Communication

Establishing strong communication is one of the first changes you can integrate into your business. When assigning responsibility roles to the members of your company, ensure that there is no confusion or misunderstanding in the job expectations. 

Setting up communication protocols will establish clear performance goals which will allow your employees to understand their job descriptions better.

Technology upgrade

As a company, you must learn to invest in the right tools as it improves productivity and also saves time in getting a task done. Some really simple tools can bring about big changes in office productivity and efficiency.

Reduce meaningless meetings

Some meetings lead to unproductive discussions that can cost time and energy which could have been sent in an email. By reducing meaningless meetings or restricting meetings to 15-20 minutes can improve productivity at work.

Keep goals clear and focused

Employees who understand the value, mission, and expectations of the company clearly are compelled to accomplish their given tasks efficiently.

Before you assign any work to an employee, ask yourself if that particular employee will be able to achieve the task at hand. Regular interactions with your employees will help you understand them better and appreciate a job well done. 

Encourage self-care

Encouraging employees to take care of themselves is vital as it not only keeps them physically and mentally healthy but also improves productivity. 

As a company, you should offer health insurance for your employees as it will help them take advantage of the health benefits. Sometimes the workload or work pressure can be quite stressful. 

As a business owner, you can offer time management and stress relief programmes so that employees can learn some useful self-care techniques. 

Improve Office Conditions

Investing in good lighting, comfortable chairs, high-quality tables, air conditioning, soundproof walls, etc can help boost employee productivity. 

Delegate responsibility

Allowing them to take on tasks by themselves will boost their morale and gain leadership experience. If you are constantly breathing down their necks, it will impact the performance and growth of your company. 

Final thoughts

Keep in mind that you must learn to focus on quality more than quantity, so make sure that you create realistic and achievable goals for your employees.

Since many businesses are allowing their employees to come back to work, getting vaccinated has been many people’s concern. Here are some ethical questions that have been raised regarding the COVID-19 vaccines.

Remote Work Digest: August 31, 2021

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

How to Improve the Efficiency Of Your Small Business: 6 Tips | Yucatan Times, Theyucatantimes.com

Growing your business will largely depend on how efficient you run it and what is certain is that it won’t happen overnight. Though some companies will experience faster growth than others, improving your business is primarily a matter of time. There are many things you need to do to improve the efficiency of your business for it to grow, including: 

Review Existing Processes

The first and foremost thing you have to do to improve your business’s efficiency is to evaluate the existing process. To make anything better, you first have to assess its current state. By reviewing the existing processes of your business, you can get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. 

Understand Your Customers

A vital thing you have to do to improve the efficiency of your business is to understand your customers. They are the backbone of every small business and will help you grow even in difficult times.

One of the best ways to reduce the inefficiencies in your business is to embrace feedback. Collect information from your employees and customers through research and surveys and find ways to improve your business efficiency.

Use Technology

One of the best tools to use to improve the efficiency of your business in the modern age is technology. If you embrace technology, you can dramatically improve business efficiency and have great results.

Automation of business processes has become incredibly popular in the recent past, and it will continue to do so. The greatest benefit automation offers to small businesses is eradicating menial, time-consuming tasks from your staff so they can focus on higher priority tasks.

Consider Outsourcing Your Payroll

Managing payroll is a time-consuming task that burdens most HR departments or payroll offices. It can make business processes very inefficient, negatively affecting employees, which further increases inefficiency.

Companies that outsource their payroll can free their employees for much more critical work. The increase in efficiency should also increase profitability and employee satisfaction. 

Get Funding

All small businesses need access to capital for them to grow and improve their business processes. Investing in technology, collecting and receiving customer feedback, among other activities, will require finances.

Therefore, you should figure out a way for your business to obtain some financing which can be difficult for small businesses. Loans are one way for small businesses to get funding for their endeavors.

Set Realistic Goals

The goals you set for your business should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Moreover, it would be best to give your business ample time to incorporate the necessary changes and then review their effects in six months to a year.

It would be best if you did not let change management become more important than improving efficiency. If you correctly set goals, improving the efficiency of various business processes will take a functional and stable approach. 

In conclusion, improving the efficiency of your business is a challenging undertaking. The six tips above will be of tremendous help. They will help your business become more efficient without compromising other essential elements.

Work From Home Set Up Ideas: 5 Easy Tips For Any Space, Floridanewstimes.com

Establishing a work-from-home location that’s practical, pleasant (and relaxing!), and at the same time feasible should be among the first things on your to-do list.

And, because we’re all hoping to prevent traveling to the supermarket, and many establishments are presently shut, you would like to construct this temporary workspace out of items you already have at home. The good news is that if you become imaginative, you will probably already have everything you need.

Get the correct equipment.

Before we set up ideas for a remote office, we need to understand what the required equipment is for such a place to work.

Listed below are the basic requirements of any workspace that is required daily to work professionally.

  • A desk for all your things.
  • A chair to support you.
  • A strong Wifi connection for proper functioning.
  • Proper and adequate lighting to not put any stress on your eyes.
  • A calendar to mark the important dates and timeline.
  • A to-do list so you can keep track of all your activities and pending work that you need to pay attention to and complete.
  • Plants and other things brighten the room and calm you to give you the inspiration to work better.

To succeed in working independently and designing your own schedule, you’ll need motivation, strategy, and support from your manager and organization. The atmosphere has a tremendous impact on people who are looking to effortlessly convert to telecommuting.

Decorate your wall with canvas prints

It becomes easier for visual learners to work efficiently and effectively and at the same time increase their productivity. It also helps in increasing the level of focus while working and increasing creativity at the same time.

Walls with chalkboards for artistic remote working

For individuals who desire to live on the go, contemporary work from anywhere lifestyle offers some inventive alternatives. An extremely creative and innovative idea for artistic workers is to make use of walls with chalkboards. This does not require a lot of space at all and, at the same time is very easy to set up. Moreover, it is an extremely useful thing for workers who need to constantly chalk out ideas or do calculations frequently.

Try to get hold of a desk with storage

The best idea for creating an office at home with minimal space is to try to incorporate a desk that has multiple storage spaces to make optimum utilization of free space. This would help when the space is compact and needs to be utilized. If you do not possess space for a filing cabinet or a cupboard, try getting a table with some built space to keep all of your essentials hidden.

Working office under the stairs

This creative office is capable of including a storage area, a table and workstation, and sometimes even houseplants if a little greenery is the magic recipe in your personalized learning pot. This innovative room, which would be around 18 square feet in size, would incorporate everything required to work from home by incorporating built-in bookcases and also a tiny desk chair. This is the idea you most definitely need to create an efficient home office with very little space that you can set up yourself.

Conclusion

More worldwide workers are functioning from anyplace than ever before in the post-COVID-19 era. Gone are the days of mandatory on-site work and strict daily commuting. However, one reality about modern work stays constant: having a dedicated location where you can concentrate, work quickly, and be creative without distractions is critical.

How to improve employee productivity and well-being | Bmmagazine.co.uk

Employees form the backbone of every organization; they are integral for success, so how do you improve their productivity?

First, you should try to improve their well-being and happiness at work. Research has consistently shown that workers who feel acknowledged and appreciated at work perform better than unhappy employees. To help improve employee productivity and performance, here are some of the most effective tips:

Recognize Employee Achievements

Recognizing employee achievements is one of the best ways to increase employee well-being and happiness. Whether you applaud an employee’s recent hard work on a project or how they helped another coworker, any recognition can go a long way to making employees feel more appreciated and satisfied at work.

Encourage Employees to Take Care of Their Physical Health

Physical health plays a huge role in mental health and overall well-being. Management should encourage employees to take care of themselves by routinely going on walks and eating healthy foods.

Provide Mental Health Resources

Offering mental health services from Human Resources or an external mental health agency is crucial for preventing employee burnout or depression. Mental health “sick days” have also been effective at lowering worker stress and anxiety. Management should encourage employees to seek out help if needed and promote awareness of mental illnesses and burnout.

Reward Employees with Fun Outings

Employee performance is often increased if fun rewards or outings are offered for good performance. Some ideas include having a company-provided lunch once a week, going out for group dinner or drinks after a big sale or project, or getting breakfast for workers in the morning. These activities are also great for building teamwork and collaboration between coworkers, which in turn can improve productivity and project success. 

Conclusion

By simply acknowledging helpful or hard-working employees, promoting positive physical and mental health habits, and offering incentives such as group meals can help employees feel more motivated to go the extra mile at work.

The 4 essential skills to include on your resume to find remote work in 2021 | Cristina Fernandez Esteban and Qayyah Moynihan, Businessinsider.com

These are the top four skillsets Infoempleo says you should include if you’re looking for a job while working from home.

Digital and programming skills

With a growing number of companies moving towards remote working or hybrid working models, it’s crucial to have an understanding of digital tools and programs needed for remote work.

Social network skills

Being able to navigate and manage social networks is a professional skill that has been growing in demand for some time, but demand has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic.

Tech skills

Tech skills in fields like robotics, augmented reality, the internet of things, or AI can be invaluable to companies in the context of the changes brought about by the pandemic.

Soft skills

Self-discipline, communication skills, and initiative are generally considered to be very sought-after traits but are particularly so if you’re looking to work from home.

These skills are even more essential now that, often, your colleagues and those to whom you report are at a physical distance. 

As a result, you need to make it clear on your resume that you’re able to put these skills and qualities to use.

Remote Work Digest: June 30, 2021

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

How to become a digital nomad: Pros, cons, and common jobs | Flex Jobs Editors, Theladders.com

Telecommuter. Remote worker. There are quite a few names that describe people who work from home. And more recently, there’s another one: digital nomad.

Digital nomads are people who work virtually, and often from various locations, even around the world. 

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad lives a nomadic lifestyle, moving from location to location and staying connected digitally. Digital nomads use technology and communication tools to complete work remotely in order to travel the country or the world.

Digital nomad vs. location independent

A digital nomad with a remote job is a location-independent worker, but they travel nearly full-time. They have possibly sold their home and live fully on the go.

A location-independent worker typically has a home base but may pick up and travel for a couple of weeks. Their job does not tie them to a specific city, state, or country, but they likely live in one place.

How do you become a digital nomad?

Determine if it’s a good fit

Before you dive in head-first, it’s a good idea to poke around and figure out what it’s really like to be a digital nomad. As romantic as working while traveling may sound, the reality is that combining career and global travel isn’t for everyone.

Figure out your budget

Whether you’ll have a full-time job or freelance gigs, determine how being a digital nomad will add expenses to your budget and if the money you’re bringing in each month is enough.

Decide on a destination(s)

Figure out your priorities (seeing a certain amount of countries, getting a change of scenery, learning a new language, etc.) and research the best locations for your needs and goals.

If you feel a bit intimidated by traveling and working at the same time, you could also do a test run and join a co-working space, or try an organized coworkation—a coworking retreat for digital nomads—for a few weeks and set your sails then. Working from your laptop every day isn’t for everyone!

Spruce up your skills

You’ll need to make sure that you have the necessary skills in order to work from any location successfully, such as being able to manage your workload, meet your deadlines, and still work well with your colleagues, even if they’re thousands of miles away.

Research the work-from-anywhere job market

When you conduct your job search for flexible work you can do from anywhere, keep an eye out for companies that have demonstrated their commitment to supporting true work-from-anywhere jobs.

Pros and Cons of Being a Digital Nomad

Pro: Exposure to different cultural experiences. You should know from the outset whether you enjoy being exposed to all sorts of cultural norms, foods, work attitudes, and other parameters.

Pro: A more simplified lifestyle. Traveling to new cities and countries means you’ll be limited in what you can bring with you. Many digital nomads sell their homes and many of their possessions in order to live a simpler life and travel more easily.

Pro: Less stressful work environment. Studies have shown that remote workers are more productive. Focused, uninterrupted time can allow you to complete your work faster.

Con: Loneliness. Just as with other at-home employees, digital nomadic workers may find themselves grappling with isolation, but their attempts at connecting to colleagues may be even more extreme. 

Con: Time zone issues. Time zone differences might require you to work at night or in the early morning. It could mean your 3 p.m. deadline or meeting is actually in the middle of the night if you’re in a different country than your employer. Have a clear understanding of how different time zones affect when and how you meet your work obligations, and how to set boundaries with co-workers or clients.

Con: Internet/connection problems. Plan for internet access problems and have lots of backups

Common Jobs for Digital Nomads

A digital nomad job can be an avenue to help you see the world, without short-changing your career aspirations. If your current employer won’t allow you to work remotely, finding a work-from-anywhere job will be your best bet. 

Writer/Editor

Writing and editing jobs are perfect to do on the road. They can be found abundantly as freelance gigs or part-time or full-time roles. Many digital nomads even run their own blogs detailing their traveling adventures.

Project Manager

Project managers who work remotely need to be adept that staying on top of communication with clients and coworkers.

Online Teacher/Tutor

Virtual teachers and tutors may work with students individually or in a class setting. Some roles may require you to set specific meeting times, but others may allow you to log on when you’re available.

Social Media Manager

Many digital nomads have a robust social media presence where they share photos and updates of their adventures. This could parlay well into a social media career.

Customer Service Rep

While some customer service roles may require a quiet space to make phone calls, many are entirely web- and email-based.

Web Designer

Creativity can spike while you’re traveling. Use it to work as a web designer. This role will create web designs and mockups, and you’ll likely need JavaScript, HTML, and CSS experience.

Using FlexJobs for Your Digital Nomad Lifestyle

FlexJobs is a great resource for a digital nomad adventure. Our job listings are updated daily with many remote jobs you can take with you on the road. We verify every job and company on our site to ensure you spend less time worrying about scams, and more time finding work that fits your life. Our positions span more than 50 career categories and range from freelance to full-time, and many options in between.

10 Effective Methods for Measuring Employee Happiness | The Young Entrepreneur Council, Smallbiztrends.com

The more satisfied employees are, the more likely they’ll stay with the company long term and the higher their productivity will be. But how can you know if your staff is enjoying their work, especially when they may not feel comfortable expressing their true feelings with their superiors?

To help, 10 small business experts from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) answered the following question:

“What’s one effective method small business leaders can use to gauge the happiness and fulfillment of their employees? Why is this so important to do regularly?”

Here are some of the top strategies they recommend.

1. Ask Them in a Safe Environment

“Keep it simple and just ask. Create a safe environment for team members to give you feedback at any time. You’ll be amazed at what they bring you, how much personal responsibility they hold for the business’s success and how quickly the team will grow. Stop treating employees like subordinates; they’re your team members and you’re the coach.” ~ Steven Knight, Mosaic Home Services Ltd.

2. Be Authentic While Interacting with Them

“Speak to them authentically. The problem is that an environment that encourages forced answers is one in which it’s hard to gauge happiness. When a boss is accepting and authentic with their staff, the staff will feel the ability to communicate authentically as well.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

3. Measure Productivity and Well-Being Twice a Year

“Small employers need to act like large employers when it comes to measuring the productivity and well-being of their workforce. Productivity and well-being build a resilient, engaged and hard-working workforce and help to attract and retain your top talent. Measuring these factors twice a year is easy for any leader to do.” ~ Tom Finn, LeggUP Inc.

4. Conduct Regular Check-Ins

“Relationship-building and fostering a culture that encourages both feedback and open dialogue are key. We sometimes swap out weekly team calls for all-team check-ins where each member of the team is given the space to share how they’re really doing, personally and professionally. No one is compelled to share, but most often do. It’s a good way to get a quick temperature check on where folks are at.” ~ Danielle Allen, Building Impact

5. Examine Initiative and Innovation Levels

“Gauge the level of initiative in your organization. If your employees are spearheading new projects, adding new elements to their positions and finding new solutions for problems, then you have a winning company culture. If they’re only doing what they’re told, then you have a stale environment without any creative energy. That’s a major momentum killer. So, encourage innovation and initiative.” ~ Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets

6. Look at How Often They Are Tardy

“It may sound simple, but keeping an eye on employee tardiness can give you real insight into how employees feel about their work. Being late for work can signify many things, but if it’s consistent, then the employee may be struggling with their work-life balance. This in and of itself can imply that they are not happy in their work.” ~ Ismael Wrixen, FE International

7. Look for Consistency in Performance and Attitude

“You can ask all the questions you want, but an unhappy employee won’t tell you the truth anyway. Actions speak louder than words and so the best way to really know if an employee is still happy with you is by checking how consistent an employee’s performance, attendance and attitude are. This acts as a check and balance for you and your employee to both improve for the better.” ~ Daisy Jing, Banish

8. Provide a Feedback Box for Anonymous Opinions

“Small business leaders can gauge their employees’ happiness and fulfillment by creating a feedback box, which gives the team the option to remain anonymous and give more transparent feedback about what improvements can be made. It’s crucial to regularly receive feedback so you’re aware of what happens behind the scenes and can make well-informed decisions moving forward.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

9. Give Periodic Employee Surveys

“Every quarter, year or month send out a quick questionnaire or survey to track and trend employee satisfaction. A great question to ask in your assessment is how likely they are to tell their friends and family to work at the company. This is a quick way to determine whether they are happy at work and proud to be your company’s employee.” ~ Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

10. Assign a New Task and Examine Their Response

“Periodically ask an employee to do something for you that would require a bit more effort on top of their day-to-day tasks. If your request is met with enthusiasm, you have a happy employee who is motivated to grow with your company. If you are met with resentment, that employee is most likely not happy or fulfilled. This is a good exercise to gauge fulfillment and motivation in your teams.” ~ Matthew Capala, Alphametic

How to enhance the work from home experience? | Dr. Tim Sandle, Digitaljournal.com

While some wrestle with the ‘work from home’ vs. ‘back to the office’ debate, for many others working at home remains a necessity. For those undertaking remote work, how can the experience be strengthened, especially when it comes to mental health issues?

With mental health and home working, feeling stress, boredom, anxiety and uncertainty is often a normal set of feelings. When these are prolonged and unwavering, problems develop.

What are some tips to help enhance your work from home experience? Dr. Teralyn Sell, psychotherapist explains to Digital Journal about how working from home impacts mental health in different ways for people.

Tip #1: Set apart your workspace

It is imperative that your workspace not stare at you every day and night. Even if you don’t have a dedicated office space, use a corner of your room and put a divider screen around your workspace when you are not working. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a workable statement here.

Tip #2: Create boundaries and stick to them

While working from home we have a tendency to work longer hours than when we are in the office. This is good for your business, but bad for work and life balance. Create office hours for yourself and stick to them.

Tip #3: Create a transition time

Though the traffic during commute times was terrible, the commute itself allowed us to transition between work and home. However, when you work from home, there isn’t much transition there. In order to shake off the workday a transition is important. Perhaps it’s as simple as closing up your office and taking a few minutes to meditate or even just breathe.


7 Cybersecurity Tips For Working Remote | Catherine, Newsanyway.com

As remote working relies primarily on the Internet and devices, it’s not safe from cybercrimes either. Regardless, if you’re working from home or outside the company and want to stay safe online, this article can help. Below, we’ll discuss seven cybersecurity tips for remote workers; please read on.

  1. Switch to cloud applications

Contrary to common beliefs, while cloud applications run over the Internet, in most cases, they’re much safer than native and local ones. Why? Unlike installed programs on a personal computer, a cloud app runs on a remote server. Moreover, remote servers used by cloud apps are more private, use strong encryption, and are harder to infiltrate.

  • Get a VPN

If unfamiliar, a VPN or Virtual Private Network is a secure server where a request from a computer will go first instead of directly to a website server. As a result, the connection is more secure as it masks the user’s IP address or location and encrypts data packets. Aside from accessing region-locked content and avoiding censorship, it’s also beneficial for the corporate side.

  • Use a password manager

Since the early days, email, username, and password have been the primary ways to identify an account. Today, with countless websites, apps, and services, it has gotten quite challenging to remember login credentials. Consequently, reusing passwords became a common practice among individuals.

A password manager can help one secure multiple logins. With only a single master password, a user can generate strong entropy passwords, store and sync them across devices.

  • Try an email search and reverse phone lookup tool

Though it’s easy to ignore strangers, workers typically need to entertain anyone trying to do business with the company regardless of who they are.

Luckily, there are ways to review a caller or sender’s identity and intent before opening a message, transacting, or following any links.

One way to do this is by using Spokeoan email and phone number search tool. Using Spokeo‘s reverse number lookup tool and email search feature, one could learn a stranger’s name, address, social profiles, and even past criminal records. This way, it’s easier to avoid scams and phishing techniques that hackers use.

  • Be careful with public Wi-Fi networks

As a safe practice, it’s best only to use the Wi-Fi connection at home, especially when doing work-related tasks. Additionally, using firewall and security tools helps protect the house network from intruders. Lastly, if necessary, using a portable Wi-Fi device or enabling the phone hotspot will do the job when working outside.

  • Employ two-factor authentication (2FA)

2FA or two-factor authentication is the act of sending a code through email, phone number or using an authenticator app to unlock an account after typing the password. With this method, even if a hacker manages to learn the username or password, it’s still hard to proceed as the login form requires a unique code after that.

  • Ensure backups

Ensuring backups is a practice that can save one from potential data loss after a breach or hack. In the digital world, there is a thing called the “3-2-1 Backup Rule”.

According to the rule, one should have at least three (3) copies of a file, two (2) backup devices (like a computer and a drive), and one (1) remote drive (cloud storage). This way, it’s almost impossible to experience data loss in normal circumstances.

Prioritize Safety When Remote Working

Apart from ensuring the quality of output, work, and service, prioritizing cybersecurity is also essential when working remotely. As almost everyone is using computers and communicating through the Internet, safety is more critical than ever as criminals can now do things anywhere and anonymously.

Remote Work Digest: April 29, 2021

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

Remote work meeting overload: 10 ways to ease your team’s pain | Stephanie Overby, Enterprisersproject.com

Now is the time to get serious about improving your meeting culture. Elizabeth Freedman, executive advisor and head of consulting at executive coaching and assessment firm Bates Communications (recently acquired by global strategy consultancy BTS), says, “One of the most important things that leaders can do right now that would have a significant, powerful, and positive impact on the company is to have fewer, better meetings – more than any other corporate initiative push for growth, or effort to reduce costs.”

Poor or excessive virtual meetings drain an organization’s energy, engagement, and expenses. Here’s what you can do about them in 2021:

1. Conduct a meeting audit

Make a list of all the meetings you currently lead or attend and eliminate those that are low value.

Not sure where to start? Freedman suggests pulling up your calendar and asking questions. Are there any meetings that can be killed without further discussion? Would there be consequences if you stopped attending the meeting? How would meeting attendees evaluate its effectiveness? Can you describe the purpose of the meeting in one sentence? Do attendees prepare for the meeting?

2. Don’t substitute a meeting for connection

“My key recommendation is businesses should train managers and employees that meetings are not a substitute for informal office chats or a water cooler,” says Cynthia Watson (formerly Spraggs), CEO of Vitira and book author. “Businesses need to introduce collaboration workspaces where informal updates can occur 24-7, synchronously, and asynchronously.”

3. Go back to basics

Consider each meeting’s purpose, necessary attendees, and length before considering setting it up. Then choose the right platform for the purpose. “Failure to consider these factors contribute to energy-sapping meetings, be they in person or online,” says Axelrod. 

4. Send agendas ahead of time

“People do not want to be caught off-guard or appear to be stupid during a meeting,” says Axelrod. “Having meeting materials ahead of time increases certainty, which in turn reduces meeting stress.”

5. Embrace meeting excellence

“High-performing teams create guidelines for how they will engage with each other during meetings – from defining a meeting purpose, to making decisions, to handling conflict, to preparing for meetings,” says Freedman. “The best teams we’ve worked with don’t leave good meetings up to chance or assume people will just automatically know what to do. They take the time to get very concrete and specific about defining the relevant behaviors, processes, or actions that will create meeting success.”

6. Incorporate breaks

Taking frequent breaks allows time for the brain to go idle, which increases the possibility that insights will occur.

7. Normalize turning off the camera

Sure, face time is important, but allowing employees to dial in can reduce the pressure to “look good” on-screen and thereby relieve associated tension.

8. Inject some humanity

This is particularly important when real social interaction is at a minimum. “Some of our clients start their meetings with a quick round of weekend updates. Others start their meetings with questions like: What would you like people to know about you that they wouldn’t know by looking at you?” says Axelrod. “These questions build connections between people, which in turn makes the work go smoothly.”

9. Assign rotating roles

This can increase engagement and also improve outcomes. Some roles to consider, says Freedman: notetaker, meeting facilitator, timekeeper, and devil’s advocate (someone appointed to deliberately challenge or present an opposing view to an idea).

10. Try to establish meeting-free days

If that’s not possible, cut meeting times in half or reduce their frequency. “At a minimum, better manage meeting time itself,” advises Freedman.

How to Ask Your Boss To Work From Home Permanently | Julia Wuench, Forbes.com

If you want to continue working remotely but aren’t sure how to approach the conversation with your boss, implement the below suggestions. The goal is to engage in a productive dialogue with your boss that supports your goal of a more permanent work-from-home arrangement while also expressing its immense benefits to your employer.

1. First, schedule a call with your boss. Make the goals of the call clear up front: Send them a formal written request in advance to continue working remotely instead of returning to the office.

Within your request, illustrate your reasoning for permanent remote working and explain how working from home permanently will benefit your employer. Some examples could include:

  • Detail your productivity on specific work from home projects
  • Suggest the ability to use fewer PTO or sick days because you’re able to work through mild illnesses, be home for sick children, etc.
  • Highlight your faster turnaround times due to increased focus outside of typical office distractions.
  • Cite your past/current availability and flexibility both inside and outside of traditional office hours.
  • Illustrate the recently enhanced team creativity, streamlined project functionality and stronger working relationships gained through new collaboration and communication tools.
  • Express your commitment to upholding your work contribution and quality while simultaneously gaining the capability to address out-of-work circumstances.

2. Next, propose a potential work schedule and communication cadence to put your employer at ease, set expectations and create a visual of how working remotely can function successfully.

  • Determine how many days you’d like to work remotely.
  • Volunteer to make office visits as needed for in-person meetings, gatherings, events, etc.
  • Commit to maintaining outstanding communication to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Reassure your availability during work hours through phone, email, text and chat with collaboration tools.
  • Plan to announce your daily arrival and departure everyday as you did your office.
  • Dial into all meetings and use video whenever possible.

Lastly, express your gratitude for your employer’s consideration of remote work; it is a privilege, not a right.  If your employer is uncertain, suggest a trial period to see how remote work affects your performance and team collaboration.

5 Ways Lean Teams Can Work Smarter and Get More Done | Peter Daisyme, Entrepreneur.com

Entrepreneurs are obsessed with productivity, and for good reason. Most startups work with small teams on short timelines, which means they need every member contributing at their highest level.

Here are five proven ways to make your team more productive and efficient.

1.Set achievable goals and benchmarks

The best goals are SMART — specific, measurable, actionable, results-oriented and time-bound. They should be challenging but still achievable. If goals are too big or too long-term to feel achievable, break them down into smaller short-term goals. It can also be helpful to track your team’s progress visually and celebrate important benchmarks.

2. Automate routine tasks

Whenever you’re trying to get more done with a small team, one of the fastest ways you can boost productivity is through automation. According to a McKinsey report, 45% of all work activities can be automated using existing technology. You can automate tasks in HR, marketing, sales — the sky’s the limit — but it’s best to start with tasks that consume a lot of resources. 

3. Allow team members to design their own workdays

Research shows that employees who have the freedom to set their own schedule put in an additional 7.4 hours per week. Additionally, 73% of people who engage in “windowed work” report greater productivity. Essentially, these workers break up their day into “windows” of work time and personal time. These windows can change to accommodate meetings, errands and childcare around blocks of focused work.

4. Keep meetings to a bare minimum

The average employee attends eight meetings per week, with more senior employees attending up to 17 meetings. But it’s not just the time lost to the meetings themselves that impact productivity. Poor scheduling wreaks havoc on critical thinking and your team’s ability to engage in deep work. This is why some of the brightest minds have ruthless tactics for avoiding wasteful meetings.

5. Use project-management software to keep everyone on the same page

The best way to keep track of projects and tasks is project management software, especially if your team is dispersed. This ensures your team stays on top of goals without duplicating work and keeps important tasks from falling through the cracks. 

Small teams can be incredibly powerful, but only when each individual is firing on all cylinders. Micromanaging your employees goes against the principles of building a lean team, and it can lead to disengagement that erodes productivity. It’s far better to make changes through scheduling, automation, and workflow optimization to free up your team to do their very best work.

5 mindful ways to enjoy work from home | Deblina Chatterjae, Pinkvilla.com

Mindfulness productivity is the ability to be in sync with inner feelings and emotions. Garima Juneja, Psuchologist, founder of Lightroom Therapy and Counselling, talks about 5 mindful ways to work from home.

Kick start your day on a good note

We all like to dive directly into the pool of our phone into social media waking up every morning letting ourselves drench in the excessive useless information. This clutters our minds and makes us anxious or sad or cranky. This is certainly not a good way to start our day.

Create a mindful workspace

External environment clearly has a significant impact on setting the tone for our internal well-being. Creating a clean workspace undoubtedly works wonders for internal calmness.

One thing at a time

Concentrating on one thing or task at a time is always more beneficial. It improves your work quality and keeps you away from overthinking.     

Go slow

Eat slow, work slow, listen attentively. Doing everything slowly provides the edge of micromanagement and increases proficiency. And most importantly, working in a slow pace makes you enjoy every moment of work and life.

Love yourself

Shower yourself with love. Meditate and work out daily. These will help in the release of endorphins which is a hormone responsible for your happiness. Spend time with your loved ones. Take breaks as they enthuse you with fresh energy to bounce back. Resting at the end of the day is pivotal. Fill in the gratitude and accomplishment journal. Pat yourself on your back, give yourself that pep talk.