Remote Work Digest: November 26, 2019

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

How to Actually Practice Work-Life Integration | Jackie Moss, Thriveglobal.com

WorkSmarter

If you’re in a management role or if you own your own business, and you want to support your team and better practice work-life integration, here are a few tips for you.

Be mindful about your “tone from the top”

Being aware of how you communicate with your employees is crucial in maintaining a positive workplace. If you treat your employees with patience and kindness, that will be the tone of your workplace, and folks will enjoy their employment a lot more.

Prioritize you, and your employee’s health

Daily work stress mounts up over time and takes a toll on our health. By setting an example of going on vacation, your employees will feel comfortable doing the same. If no one on your team takes vacation, no one will feel comfortable going on vacation which results in a lot of tired, burnt out people who aren’t as productive and who aren’t enjoying coming to work.

Set expectations about emails

Be sure to set the expectation of when “on hours” and “off hours” are. My employees know that if I email them at 6 a.m., they’re not expected to email me back as soon as they wake up, they can email me when they get in the office. If you know that you’re going to be sending emails at odd hours, have a conversation with your employees beforehand setting expectations.

Be flexible

If you expect your employees to always be in the office from 9-5 (or longer hours), and always accessible via phone or email, you probably want to be more flexible. While I like my employees to be in the office because it’s more collaborative and easier to get things done quickly, if they need to work from home for a day, or need flexibility in their schedules because of appointments, I’m more than open to it. It’s important, and helps keep my employees happy, healthy and productive when they’re in the office!

Using these tips might seem simplistic , but, give them a try. They could help you and your employees more than you know.

50 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying as Much or a Lot More Than the Average American Salary | John Rampton, Msn.com

BBWHGz9
Whether that’s working remotely for a company or starting your own business, there’s no shoratge of work-from-home opportunites. Here are 50 optioms many which can generate annual earnings that equate to more than the average American salary.

  1. Affiliate Marketer

For those unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, it’s simply referral marketing where you can earn a commission. People love affiliate marketing because they can start earning money passively with few startup costs.

  1. Animator

Are you an artistic and creative individual who is able to create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games and other types of media? Then you can work at home as a freelance animator.

  1. Baker/Caterer/Chef

If you have a knack for baking or cooking, then turn your passions into a side business. You could start a catering business or become a personal chef. If you’re a baker, you could sell goods to friends, neighbors, online or at local farmer’s markets.

  1. Blogger

It could be as simple as you just writing about your favorite music or food, and eventually, you can start generating money from your site. Just keep in mind that you need to pay patient when it comes to cashing in on your blog.

  1. Bookkeeper

Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a CPA to start bookkeeping. Just sign up for a bookkeeping course at a community college or even online (such as this course from The Accounting Coach). Once you complete a course, you can start earning, and the median salary is reportedly $34,000.

  1. Child Caregiver

Whether if it’s just for a couple of hours or for the entire day, running a childcare business from your home can be lucrative. Just make sure that you obtain the correct licenses and permits.

  1. Clinical Resarch Coordinator

Clinical research coordinators help manage operations for clinical trials. You could make more than $48,000 with this job, and you don’t need a bachelor’s degree.

  1. Consulting

If you’re an accountant or lawyer, you can provide advice to small businesses for a pretty penny. You could also consult businesses on how to use a new software program or how to become more environmentally friendly.

  1. Customer Service Representative

Do you possess excellent communication skills? Do you also have a landline and reliable internet? Then you can earn between $8 and $15 per hour as a customer service representative.

  1. Data Entry

Inputting data for businesses isn’t the most of exciting of jobs. However, you don’t need any previous experience, and you can start at $10 per hour.

  1. Copy Writing

You can write copy for businesses from your home and, in some cases, earn up to six figures.

  1. E-commerce Store Owner

There are five types of e-commerce business models: dropshipping, wholesaling, manufacturing, white-labeling and subscriptions.

  1. Editing and Proofreading

Companies like Book in a Box pay around $20 per hour to editors, book jacket designers and proofreaders.

  1. Event Planner

Whether if it’s planning a wedding, birthday party or corporate event, people are looking for organized individuals to do most of the event planning for them.

  1. Film and Post Instructional Videos

Are you really good at something? Try creating a YouTube account and filming yourself instructing others on how to do what you’re skilled at.

  1. Grant Writer

Universities, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations often need to apply for grant money. Since these applications can be difficult to write, these businesses often turn to talented grant writers.

  1. Graphic Designer

Many businesses are in need of someone to design their logos, websites or visual ads. If you have a degree or certification in this area, you can make a comfortable salary annually (reportedly $45,000 and up).

  1. Handmade Crafter

Do you make handmade products like jewelry or furniture? If so, try setting up an Etsy shop and selling your handmade crafts online.

  1. Instructor

Whatever your knowledge or experience, some people will pay you to share that information with them, whether in person or online.

  1. Internet Security Specialist

Given the attention that online security has been receiving, this job is expected to grow steadily over the next several years.

  1. Online Juror

When attorneys prepare for a trial, they often seek feedback on their case. Depending on the mock jury website you choose, you can make between $5 to $150 for your opinion.

  1. Online Teacher

Are you a teacher who’s looking for a more flexible schedule? Then consider teaching via Skype or via a pre-recorded session through organizations like K12 and Connections Academy.

  1. Patent or Intellectual Property Lawyer

If this is your area of the law, you could reportedly make between $112 and $121 per hour.

  1. Peer-to-Peer Lender

Thanks to sites like Lending Club and Prosper, you can easily lend money to a business or individual. As an investor, you’d make money on the paid interest of the note.

  1. Pet Groomer

Do you love being around animals? Are you also patient enough to clean and style pets? If so, this could be a great home-based business.

  1. Photographer/Videographer

Even though everyone has a camera on their phone these days, there’s still a need for these types of professionals like for events like weddings.

  1. Product Reviewer

You can make a decent living (reportedly between $20,000 and $95,000) just by reviewing the products that you use daily.

  1. Programmer

If you’re interested, here’s a handy programmer guide to get you on your way.

  1. Realtor

While you can run a reality business from your home, as long as you have your state’s real estate license, you still need to show potential buyers the home. Thanks to technology, you can become a virtual realtor where you can show a property without having to be there in person.

  1. Renter

Do you have an extra bedroom? How about a car you don’t drive everyday? Are there household items laying around collecting dust? If so, try renting them out to people who could use them.

  1. Repairer

If you have a knack for fixing things, like bicycles, cars or computers, then consider launching your own repair business.

  1. Short Tasks

A short task is a job or assignment that can be completed quickly. Examples include writing a review, taking a survey, or watching a video. They may not pay much, but it’s a fast and easy way to make money from home.

  1. Social Media Manager

There are a lot of organizations who need someone to manage their social media accounts, and some may even want you to completely develop a social media strategy for them.

  1. Stylist

If you love fashion and want to work from home, then you can become an online stylist. Some reportedly make up to $15 an hour.

  1. Survey Taker

You can be paid between $1 and $50 each time you take an opinion poll, answer questions about your shopping habits or review a product.

  1. Tax Preparer

Even though this is a seasonal gig, you can make a salary of over $30,000. Don’t forget to register with the IRS before you start this home-based business.

  1. Become an Expert

A growing trend is hiring an expert versus hiring a large company to come in and help fix problems. One resource is Catalant, which hires out experts from $15 an hour to $280 an hour.

  1. Telephone Nurse

If you’re a registered nurse, then you could work for health insurers or health management companies like Humana, Aetna and UnitedHealth Group. They hire nurses remotely to handle case management, treatment authorization and patient education.

  1. Transcriber/Transcriptionist

This job essentially means listening to audio files, such as lectures or doctors’ medical dictations, and then typing out what you hear. It’s an entry-level gig that can pay up to $25 an hour.

  1. Translator

Start earning a living off of this skill by translating documents or becoming an interpreter.

  1. Travel Agent

Despite the fact that there are numerous travel sites that make planning a trip a breeze, it can still be time-consuming. What’s more, there may be certain travel conditions that you are not aware of. That’s why there’s still a market for travel agents to scour the web for the best deals, share advice or plan itineraries.

  1. Virtual Assistant

If you’re organized and can handle office duties like replying to emails, calendar management, entering data and assisting with social media, then this job is perfect for you.

  1. Virtual Public Relations Representative

Some small- to medium-sized businesses don’t have the budget for a dedicated chief marketing officer, a vice president of marketing or even a public relations firm. But they may have the funds to hire a virtual public relations representative to take care of duties like promoting a business or managing a crisis.

  1. Virtual Recruiter

This is pretty much the same position as an in-house recruiter except you get to work wherever you want. The other major difference is that you search the web to find the right employee for the right position. You’re also responsible for screening the applicant and being a part of the interviewing and negotiation process.

  1. Virtual Tutor

If you have extensive knowledge in a specific area, then you could earn between $12 to $35 per hour by tutoring students either over the phone or on Skype.

  1. Voice Acting

If you have a golden voice, you can make somewhere between $56 and $72 per hour.

  1. Web Developer

You could bring in between $55,000 and $175,000 per year building websites from scratch.

  1. Web Search Evaluator

In order to deliver the most accurate service to customers, search engines pay individuals to analyze search results.

  1. Website Tester

Businesses want to make sure that their websites are intuitive and easy to navigate. As such, they’ll assign instructions for people to follow to check out their site.

  1. Writing Gigs

There are thousands of writing gigs available that pay anywhere between $10 to $100 per hour.

How to Create a Green Office Space in Five Easy Steps | Staff Reporter, Latinpost.com

how-to-create-a-green-office-space-in-five-easy-steps

If you are considering making your office greener, here are five easy ways to do that.

  1. Create a Recycling Program

Most offices generate a lot of waste, particularly paper waste. You can create programs in your office that will recycle as much of these wastes as possible. For paper, you can put bins in areas of your office where everyone can easily access the bins. Used paper can be re-used for reprinting, taking down notes, or other purposes as long as they are not going to be used for printing important documents. You can also parternup with a local recycling firm and have the accumulated paper trash picked up.

  1. Get Indoor Plants

Offices that have plants report that employees have shown a 26% increase in employee productivity and well as a 30% decrease in sickness-related employee absences. What’s more, 6% of employees have even reported that they experienced better sleep quality.

  1. Cut Down on Single-Use Items

Encourage your employees to use reusable cups, plates, and utensils to reduce plastic waste in your office. If you have an employee break room, you can have your employees store their reusable items there safely. If you want to take it a step further, you can even encourage your employees to bring a bagged lunch from home! Using bagged lunches will further decrease the amount of plastic and paper waste that your office produces.

  1. Invest in Renewable Energy Sources

If you really want to make a statement with your green initiative in the office, you should consider switching to renewable energy sources. These days, there are so many affordable and accessible renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy. Wind energy is probably not a practical solution for most offices. However, you can switch to solar and replace the lights to reduce your energy need.

  1. Utilize Your Office’s Layout

If you don’t have the budget for major renovations, you can utilize the existing layout in your office. Open windows to allow natural light and fresh air inside as much as possible. You can also move large furniture away from the window so that they don’t block the heat and sunlight coming from the outside.

Using a thermostat to regulate heat is one of the biggest expenses during wintertime. Use thick curtains to block cold drafts from the outside, and you can also move large furniture toward the windows to preserve heat inside your office. You can also encourage your employees to wear thicker office wear so that you won’t need to rely on office heating too much.

9 time management skills to meet your goals | Kenneth Franks, Jotform.com

time-management-1559x500

In this post, we’re sharing nine of the most important time management skills you can use to organize your workday and improve your productivity.

  1. Prioritization

Lots of people recommend starting your day off with a to-do list. But our CEO, Aytekin Tank, suggests using the “hunter strategy” to get things done: Choose the one thing that must get done today, and do it.

  1. Organization

Staying organized is crucial for staying on track. This goes beyond having a tidy workspace. You should maintain a calendar with all of your deadlines. If you prefer the traditional pen and paper, then get a planner or journal. If you do better with digital tools, there are plenty of productivity and calendar apps available.

  1. Delegation

Delegating your workload is an important part of managing your time. This isn’t to say that you should pass off all of your work to an intern. Delegating means handing off the tasks that could more efficiently be done by someone else.

  1. Focus

Contrary to popular belief, research has proven that a singular focus is more effective than multitasking. When you multitask, you have to break the flow of what you’re working on to switch to a different task. Switching gears takes time.

  1. Learning to say no

Saying yes to anything and everything is a surefire way to kill your productivity. You don’t want to disappoint the person asking something of you, so you automatically say yes to the request — no matter the cost. Not only does this add to your busy schedule, but you’re likely to do a poor job on the task.

  1. Batching

Batching your tasks is an excellent way to stay focused. Instead of switching gears between unrelated tasks, you can lump similar tasks together and knock them out at once.

  1. Minimizing distractions

Whether they’re out of your control or you create them yourself, distractions can drain your time. Take a moment to think about what distracts you throughout the day. Then find ways to eliminate or reduce those distractions.

  1. Managing stress

Stress can quickly kill your productivity. The goal isn’t to pack as much as possible into a day but to manage your priorities effectively. It’s OK to give yourself a break. Outside of work, engage in activities that relax you, like meditating.

  1. Asking for help

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you find yourself struggling to comprehend a task or just need another hand.

You don’t have to change everything all at once. When you work on one skill at a time, you can see which levers impact your productivity the most.

Remote Work Digest: December 23, 2017

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

vero-remote-work-800

Image from Getvero.com

Working from home? Four excellent ways to make it count | Tania Ngima, Sde.co.ke 

The holidays are around the corner. Are you one of the few people going to be fortunate enough to be off work with no demands on your time?

The idea of no dress code, ad hoc meetings and the liberty of walking into the kitchen to fix a snack whenever the need arose seemed like a dream.

The reality, though, is a bit starker. Say you work from home and the usual interruption come knocking. A phone call from a family member – they have an emergency and need help.

Or a friend has a crisis at work and needs a listening ear and shoulder to cry on. If you’re working from the office, it is very easy to say no, albeit apologetically.

When working from home though, it is much harder because you, in reality, could drop what you’re working on and help. But the question is, should you?

Set work hours

Block up a chunk of time to focus on your work. A time that doesn’t allow for other activities.

Grace Saunders, a time management coach says blurring the lines between your work time and personal time is a dangerous precedent. Other research shows that the way the human brain is wired is that if you have work related tasks that need to be completed, especially those that have deadlines, they will be constantly taking up space in your consciousness.

Create structure

Structure your day for success. First, avoid meetings or conference calls during your most productive hours.Most of us know when our most high energy levels are. Use these to work on reports, do analysis and respond to the very important emails.

Disable the notification that comes with your emails and chat messages for this period of time. Become deliberate about what time you sit to work, when you take breaks and when you have lunch.

Set boundaries

Be clear that you’re not simply at home but that you have a task list and need to get work done by the time you knock off.

Stay out of sight for the whole time you are working so it is understood that you’re not game for a quick chat or to play, especially if you have kids.

Be responsive

Working from home may be seen as shirking work-related responsibility.

For this reason, you will need to be available for the conference calls or meetings you have committed to, as well as on email or for important phone calls.

If you do not, the out of sight out of mind adage may apply and lead to you being seen as a less than effective team player.

Yes, You Can Run a Successful Business with a Remote Workforce | Andre Lavoie, Business.com

Distributed teams are difficult to manage – especially with employees in different time zones. Also, collaborative projects and team-building exercises are tougher to accomplish with remote workers.

Even so, success is possible with teams distributed across the country, or globe. Here are three steps to achieve it.

1. Overcome a lack of trust

When you’re not able to physically see employees working, it’s easy to assume they’re slacking off. When you don’t get immediate responses to questions, you can’t tell if the message was received.

Overcome this challenge by encouraging brief but frequent check-ins throughout the day. These can be as simple as a brief status update. Even notice of snack breaks and the like will let you know that the employee is online and connected.

Investing in the right project management software can also help you overcome any trust issues. This software allows workers to see their own tasks and how their personal work factors into the overall project completion. Many platforms also allow you to leave notes and questions to promote frequent communication with employees.

2. Place a priority on communication

Beyond work conversation, it’s important to help remote workers feel connected on a personal level. Don’t overlook the importance of small talk. Online chat platforms allow employees to post thoughts and funny photos, and also notify fellow team members about brief interruptions (lunch breaks, dog walks).

While immediate feedback isn’t always possible with distributed teams, you can still schedule one-on-one project update sessions at least once a month. Connecting in this way creates a greater sense of belonging and loyalty.

3. Be creative with team-building opportunities

It’s difficult to get a distributed team in the same place at the same time. However, that doesn’t mean team building has to suffer. You just have to be creative to keep remote workers connected.

For instance, schedule virtual holiday functions or social video chats. It’s important for employees to see each other and interact on a personal level, rather than an atmosphere of strictly business all the time.

Other fun ways to stay connected include shared music channels and innovative challenges or games. This prompts conversation about preferences and encourages workers to let their guards down.

It’s possible to embrace the growing trend of remote work while still making productivity and inclusion priorities in your company. Through frequent communication and creating an atmosphere of camaraderie, your distributed workforce will feel connected to each other as if they were all in the same office.

Exactly How To Work From Home Without Losing Your Sanity | Christine Chen, Thriveglobal.com

A quick checklist of  things you’ll need before you see if you’re cut out for it.

1. Great Internet – When it comes to that all important video conference with the CEO on your first day working from home, you need your upload speed just as much as your download speed so pay attention to this. It’s worth paying that little extra for FTTC+ rather than scrimping on ADSL and hoping nobody ever calls you or needs you to do anything. You’re not hiding away; you’re boosting your productivity.

2. Space – Prepare yourself a comfortable workspace. This doesn’t have to be an office – though it could be. The dining table is not in use during the day or even your bedroom dressing table could be turned into your workspace with the right amount of tweaking.

3. Collaborative Tools – Something to keep you in touch with the people in the office effectively. This could be anything from Skype to Slack to WhatsApp. Your business needs to or already has made a decision to what they use for communications, this just needs to be extended outside of the office.

4. Cloud Storage – It’s no good being accessible if all your hard, collaborative work ends up stored on your laptop where nobody else can see it. Onedrive, Sharepoint, Dropbox and the likes provide the rest of your organisation access to work on the document you just slaved over all day and gives your boss a clear view of the amount of work you’re doing.

5. Breaks – Go out for lunch if you want to, pop to the gym, walk the dog. It’s just as important to balance your work / rest when you’re in your home workspace as it is when you’re in the office to avoid burnout.

6. Reliable Equipment – Finding the correct office headphones is one of the most significant things that every proficient businessman will need. Selecting the right headsets for desk phones that deliver clear audio and can be used lively is exceptionally essential if you want to uphold high standards and look professional. Selecting a headset for desk phone may appear like a straight forward procedure but with a number of varieties obtainable it can simply become an intimidating task.

7. Dog – Right, maybe not a dog but you will need something to keep you sane. There will be days where you don’t hear from anybody and are fully focused on completing that project with the tight deadline. This could be a really good Spotify playlist, the radio, your secret knitting hobby.

8. Cookery Skills – If you don’t want to be buying food when you’re working at home and know you’ll get fed up with beans on toast everyday then work on your cooking skills.

9. Windows – Imagine looking around in distraction as you remove your eyes from the screen and seeing nothing but walls, notepads and coffee cups. Fresh air and a little scenery go a long way.

10. The Right Company – The company you work for needs to trust that you can be left to your own devices (literally) and help you on that journey. The company you keep in your workstation is crucial. If the thought of making conversation with your parents all day is mind numbing then working at your parents’ house is not for you. Perhaps having your friend over from another company would get you through the day – you’ll find the perfect fit eventually.

How to Discourage Workaholism in Your Remote Workforce | Greg Kratz, Flexjobs.com

In order to avoid this problem, managers should take steps to actively discourage the development of workaholic tendencies among remote employees.

Here are a few suggestions to help discourage workaholism among your employees:

Set clear and reasonable expectations.

Talk to your remote employees about their goals and the company’s plans. Assign tasks and projects that will let them grow, develop, and stretch themselves, but that won’t require them to ignore their personal lives and focus only on work.

Establish regular working hours.

This may be tricky, since remote workers sometimes put in time outside of the normal 9-to-5. It can also be complicated if your virtual team is scattered across different time zones across the country or around the world. Despite the challenges, make the effort to clarify when you expect them to be “on” and available.

Communicate effectively and frequently.

Schedule regular one-on-one meetings via video conference, so you can both see and hear each other while you talk. Be available via email, instant messaging, and online portals, as well. Figure out how they prefer to communicate, and use that method most frequently.

You must be in close contact with them if you want to make sure they’re succeeding, but not tipping over into workaholism.

Build a support system.

Create online chat areas for your team and encourage office personnel to engage their remote coworkers in conversations. It may also help to bring those remote employees into the office for a week or two now and then, to further strengthen those bonds. Not only should this help virtual team members engage with others, but it also could give them friends who will help them fight against workaholic tendencies.

Encourage both short and long breaks from work.

With no external influences nearby, your remote workers may get so engrossed in a project that they work for hours without taking a break. Or, even worse, they may work for weeks and months without escaping for a few days of vacation. Again, this might seem good from a productivity standpoint, but the reality is that people need both short and long breaks from work to relax and recharge.

Offer wellness programs.

Make sure your remote employees can get equivalent benefits, whether that means membership to a local gym or counseling sessions with therapists near them. When you meet with your virtual team members, check that they know how to take advantage of those benefits, and encourage them to do so. Physical and emotional health will help them stave off workaholism.

Pay attention to warning signs.

Do your remote workers seem to be frustrated more frequently? Are they quick to anger, when they were always calm in the past? During your conversations, can you sense they are becoming disconnected from family or friends? Are they starting to turn in sloppy work or miss deadlines? Do they look tired when you’re communicating via video? If you notice any of these things, investigate. Ask about their work habits, and make sure they’re not overdoing it.

Remember that one of your responsibilities as a manager is to make sure all of your employees have the tools and assistance they need to be as productive and successful as possible. While you may think a short-term boost in productivity as the result of sliding into workaholic behaviors is a positive thing, it won’t last. By following these suggestions, you can help your remote workers avoid that problem and build healthy behaviors that will keep them engaged and effective over the long haul.