Remote Work Digest: October 28, 2021

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

Five Steps Companies Can Take To Navigate The Shift To Remote and Hybrid Work | Dana Brownlee, Forbes.com

It should shock no one that McKinsey and Lean In’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report finds that most professional women prefer hybrid and remote work. Indeed, the benefits of ditching the traditional office setting are hard to deny—decreased commute time, fewer microaggressions, additional flexibility and time with family and, for many, increased productivity. The findings from their survey of more than 40,000 employees found that women who had this type of flexibility were not just happier but also less likely to leave their workplace, particularly women with disabilities.

While most organizations are by now well aware of soaring employee interest in continued work-from-home flexibility, many have struggled to balance its popularity with mundane operational needs and leadership preferences. The report’s findings fortunately offer five clear steps that companies can take to navigate this shift to remote and hybrid work. “For companies that are transitioning to remote and hybrid work, it’s critical to ensure that these new modes of working work for everyone,” the report explains. “This will require a mindset shift. It’s not enough to tweak old policies and practices; companies need to fundamentally rethink how work is done.”

1.Clearly communicate plans and guidelines for flexible work

Not surprisingly, communication in many ways is a vital part of the process—not just explaining the nuts and bolts of new policies and procedures but also clarifying “the why” behind key decisions. “It’s important to share guidelines about who can work remotely and why, so people don’t feel they’re being treated unfairly. It’s also important that companies provide clear guidelines to help employees navigate the day-to-day complexities of remote and hybrid work; for example, establishing specific windows during which meetings can be scheduled and employees in different time zones are expected to be available.”

2. Gather regular feedback from employees

Half of communication is listening—at least it should be—so it’s important to commit to full communication by not just announcing decisions but also gathering feedback from employees on a regular basis. Simply announcing a new process or policy without hearing from staff and incorporating their feedback won’t yield optimal, sustainable results.

3. Invest in fostering employee connectedness

While remote work offers distinct individual benefits, it can also create challenges for cultivating and maintaining team intimacy and connection. Team connection builds trust which in turn propels innovation, productivity and morale so organizations seeking to embrace long term remote work should also commit to taking proactive steps to cultivate a sense of team even when that team may not be physically collocated. “Making creative use of technology to facilitate watercooler-style interactions and team celebrations in a virtual work environment is a good start,” the report suggests.

4. Be purposeful about in-person work

“Employee expectations for in-person work are changing—in particular, many employees don’t want to come into the office to do work they can just as easily do at home,” the study finds. “In light of this, many companies are starting to refocus in-person work on activities that take advantage of being together, such as high-level planning, learning and development training, and bursts of heavy collaboration.”

5. Make sure the playing field is level

Hybrid teams can easily create a hierarchy of sorts in terms of information access, visibility or face time with senior leaders and key influencers, so it’s important for organizations to proactively work to neutralize potential disparities and cultivate a work environment that is fair, equitable and inclusive. “It’s important that remote and hybrid employees get the same support and opportunities as on-site employees,” the study asserts. “People managers play a central role here, and many could benefit from additional training on how to foster remote and hybrid employees’ career development and minimize flexibility stigma. Equal access to mentorship and sponsorship are also key, yet less than half of companies offer virtual mentorship and sponsorship programs.” The study also warns against remote employees being disadvantaged during the performance evaluation process. To support diverse work approaches organizations should make a concerted effort to emphasize results over process.

Increasingly, organizations are embracing hybrid working to maximize flexibility and hopefully productivity and team morale as well. McKinsey and Lean In’s Women in the Workplace 2022 Report reminds us that women are increasingly demanding and expecting more. Hybrid working—considered innovative and leading edge in the past—is increasingly becoming an organizational expectation. In many ways the pressure is on for organizations to pivot and reimagine the future of work in a way that is both engaging and satisfying for all.

Working From Home? Weave Exercise Breaks into Your Schedule | Tapinto.net

Between work, school, parenting, chores, a social life, and volunteer obligations, your day is suddenly too full to exercise. To think, we believed getting some of those commuter hours back would uncomplicate our lives! As we normalize this more extensive “life at home,” make sure that you don’t forgo some movement. Exercise can energize your body, sharpen your mind, and break up the monotony of your day. And you don’t need to devote an entire hour-long session to enjoy the benefits. 

Weave exercise into your day

Carving out multiple 10-to-20-minute exercise breaks is far easier than stepping away from your computer for a full hour. You’ll find that your motivation to complete a 15-minute circuit is higher than gearing up for that hour at the gym. Examine your workday and decide where you can structure three exercise blocks. Ideally, you’d have one in the morning, one midday, and one in the afternoon or evening. You can even multitask while exercising. Hop on that conference call while you sit on the bike, fold laundry while you stretch – be creative!

What kind of exercise is best?

When you only have 15 minutes to work out, how should you spend your time? While these short bursts aren’t great for building endurance, they are ideal for completing intense cardio or strength exercises. That time frame is also enough for meditation and stretching. Breaking a sweat in short increments allows you to bring your maximum energy level to each session rather than stalling out at the end of an extended set.

Physical Health Benefits

The top benefit of many short exercise sessions is the increased probability of completion and consistency. This method allows you to get that recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise that doctors agree is crucial for lasting physical health.

Mental Health and Cognitive Benefits

Research shows that physical activity (in this case, even as short as 15 minutes) enhances cognitive processing immediately. This finding means that a short break on the bike or yoga mat can improve your work performance when you head back to the desk. And when it comes to mental health? A short workout breaks from the stresses of emails, calls, and deadlines and gives you room to recharge. Similarly, completing a 20-minute routine can give you a sense of accomplishment, improving your mood heading into the rest of your day.

With ingenuity, it should be easy to find several short sessions each day for exercise as you work from home. Your body (and mind!) will thank you.

Get the tech you need for a positive work-from-home experience | Whitney Shakespear Henry, Deseret.com

Working from home is becoming more popular as people seek ways to save money or improve their work-life balance. But it can be tricky to stay connected and productive when you’re not in the office. Here are seven tips and tools to help you stay connected and productive while working remotely.

1.Make sure you have a good internet connection

One of the very first tips for working from home is to have a good internet connection. You can get away with cheap internet and a spotty connection when you don’t spend much time at your house. But a reliable and fast internet connection is essential once you’ve moved to remote work.

2.Get a good headset or speakerphone for talking to clients and colleagues

If you’re working remotely, you must have an excellent way to communicate with clients and colleagues. A headset or speakerphone is an essential piece of equipment needed to work from home. A good headset should offer clear audio quality, especially if you’re making a lot of calls or video conferencing.

3.Invest in a good-quality webcam

Another essential piece of technology for remote workers is a quality webcam. If you’re doing video calls, you want to ensure that the other person can see you clearly. A good webcam will make a big difference in the quality of your calls.

4.Get an ergonomic chair and desk if you’ll be working from home for extended periods

An ergonomic chair is one of the best office chairs you could get for long hours of at-home work. And one of the best desk investments? A standing desk.

An ergonomic chair is a chair that has been designed to support the natural curvature of the spine, which can help to reduce fatigue and discomfort. Ergonomic chairs are usually more expensive than traditional office chairs, but they may be worth it if you have long working hours.

5.Stay organized with a planner or calendar

When working from home, it’s easy to let things slide and forget about deadlines. That’s why it’s important to stay organized with a planner or calendar. This will help you track what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

6.Drink plenty of water and take regular breaks to eat healthy snacks

One of my last tips for working from home is to ensure you take care of yourself. It’s easy to get lost in your work and forget to drink water or take breaks to eat. But if you’re not taking care of your body, it will eventually catch up with you.

Here’s How Not to Get Fired When You’re Working from Home | Angela Johnson, Yahoo.com

You may not be holding down two full-time jobs, but you should know that your company is tracking when and how you work – even when you’re not in the office. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while you work.

Don’t Be Slow With Your Response

If it takes you hours to respond to work emails, you’d better have a good explanation. Employers know that meetings and other important projects may inhibit your ability to communicate quickly. But if they notice that you’re never available, it may send up a red flag that something else is going on.

Watch What You Search

Nine times out of 10, your boss is probably doing a little online shopping during work hours too. But if something goes down, you don’t want to have anything come up in your Internet search history that can be used against you, including your personal social media accounts. So whether you’re planning your summer vacation or looking for new dining room furniture, it’s probably best to do that on your personal computer on your own time.

Don’t Use Email or Business Messaging Apps to Bash Your Boss

Hopefully, you already know this, but in case you don’t, I have to tell you. Please, oh please don’t type anything in Slack or email that you don’t want your boss to know. Employers can access communication from Teams, Slack and other messaging apps, if necessary.

Even if your company isn’t keeping track of every keystroke, it’s best to be clear on their communication policy, so you know exactly what’s ok and what’s not before it’s too late. Don’t sign any agreements without reading them carefully. And if you’re using a work-issued computer, you should know that pretty much everything is fair game.

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Remote Work Digest: September 29, 2022

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

11 Tips to Being More Productive and Efficient in the Short and Long Term | Jill Duffy, Pcmag.com

Protect your most productive hours, curb distractions before they start, and master the art of efficiency with these pointers.

1.Track Your Time

There are three primary methods for tracking time, and I’ll summarize them in a moment. But before that, you have to know that time tracking doesn’t have to be accurate to the minute. Just watch roughly when you start and stop work, when you take breaks, your meal times, how long you spend on household work versus leisure time, and so forth.

The three primary methods for time tracking are:

  • time estimates
  • time logs
  • and automated apps.

Time estimates use a look-back method. When you’re at the end of the week, you think back to what you did and estimate how much time each activity took. Then you classify and tally up those hours however it makes sense to you.

Keeping a time log, the second method, is more accurate. You fill out a daily time sheet that shows 15-minute or 30-minute increments. So from 8:00–8:30 a.m., what were you doing, roughly? It’s best to fill in your time log throughout the day as you go, though you can also do it at the end of the day. You decide how best to classify the time and add it up however it makes the most sense to you.

The last method, using automated apps, is most accurate, but these apps are limited in what they capture. For example, they’re excellent at capturing how you spend your time on a computer, but not everywhere else. If you’re only concerned with your productivity while in front of a computer, then these apps are incredibly useful.

2. Keep a To-Do List

Write a to-do list, and learn some tips for how to make a good, productive to-do list. Make each entry concrete and actionable. Only write down things that will be done on a specific day, not tasks that take several days to complete. When your list looks too ambitious for the current day, keep the most important tasks and push everything else to another day. Don’t try to take on too much at once.

3. Review Your Calendar and To-Do List First Thing

Look over your calendar and to-do list first thing every morning. Try to make it a habit by doing it at the same time you do some other habit, such as sitting down with a first cup of coffee or right before you log into your work email.

4. Protect Your Most Productive Hours

For most people, the most productive part of the day is in the morning—not immediately after you wake up, but usually before lunchtime. Use those hours for the work that matters most! Don’t schedule meetings then. Don’t check email. Don’t catch up on social media. Conversely, if you’re a night owl, protect your late hours the same way. Then put your butt in the chair.

5. Check In With Yourself Regularly

“Am I doing what I said I would do today?” Productive people check in with themselves regularly. That’s how they stay on track.

6. Think in Terms of Tomatoes

Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a productivity trick that has you work diligently and uninterrupted for about 25 minutes (called a work session), then take a short break of about 3 to 5 minutes. You repeat the cycle and after 4 cycles, you take a longer break. The name comes from Francesco Cirillo who wrote a book called The Pomodoro Technique where he explains how he uses a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato to time his work sessions and breaks; pomodoro is Italian for tomato.

7. Proactively Curb Distractions

If you know that you’re easily distracted by websites, whether it’s social media or news, you can proactively block yourself from accessing them when you’re trying to be productive.

8. Force Yourself to Take Breaks

Taking breaks is like sleeping; you’re not productive while doing either one, but both are crucial to staying productive in the long term. If you work too long without appropriate breaks, you burn out sooner or risk hurting yourself and you end up way less productive overall.

9. Move More for Your Productivity and Creativity

Some breaks should be short so you can get back into the groove of working quickly. But at least one break per day should involve getting out of your chair and moving for a while. Prolonged sitting is bad for both your productivity and your physical health. Walking is the simplest option for most people, though if you can’t walk, any low-impact physical activity that you can sustain for about 20 minutes should do.

10. Reward Yourself for Completing Tasks

When you finish on time or early, reward yourself. Buy a coffee. Tweet your success. Doodle. Message a friend. Or just savor the moment. You have an opportunity to create a habit here of rewarding good behavior. That’s positive reinforcement. You’ll see better results in the long term if you reward yourself for a job well done rather than punishing yourself with new (and unscheduled) work.

11. Save Time for Sleep and Slack

Sleep. Sleep well. Sleep enough. No one is at their most productive or efficient when sleep-deprived.

Lastly, remember to always put self-care before productivity. You can’t do anything for anyone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself first!

How To Manage Your Virtual Teams Effectively By Overcoming The Challenges | Sweety, Dailybayonet.com

The challenges of managing virtual teams can vary from company to company, depending on the team structure, project type, and company culture.  The virtual office benefits both the employees and the employers. Still, there are a few maintenance issues faced by businesses that need to be solved for steady business growth and to avoid bigger problems.

Use An Effective Collaboration Platform That Overcomes The Difficulty Communicating Across Teams

Communication issues can be overcome using an effective collaboration platform. There are many tools out there that promise better communication. However, virtual teams need something that is not only reliable but also effective to bring people together and organize team projects. Mostly, virtual teams rely solely on email to communicate, share documents, and conduct one-on-one meetings. Use a platform that allows teams to video chat, group video calls, and even employee time zones, so remote workers can easily see where their colleagues are.

Building Strong Team Relationships By Allocating More Time To Team Building Practices

The ability to establish lasting relationships with coworkers and other team members presents another problem for virtual teams. Employees in an office set talk throughout lunch breaks, over coffee, and at their desks. However, quick chats are a little more challenging for remote workers to have. The motivation of a team and their general well-being inside the organization are impacted when they feel alienated and lonely. Small conversation may appear insignificant, yet it has a major impact on the emotions of your teams. Allotting some extra time during weekly virtual team meetings for workers can cheer them up and talk about their personal life.

Raising Productivity Levels By Using Effective Tips and Hacks

Productivity is an integral part of the remote work environment. It keeps the team members secure from getting distracted by other tasks or other things. Maintaining Productivity is often considered one of the most detrimental issues virtual teams face. Most employees find working from home to be more productive than working in the office.

Managing Tasks and Project Remotely by Tracking and Reducing Team Workloads

If you’re having trouble getting a team to complete a task, it’s a good idea to stop and reassess who’s assigned the task. In most cases, the bottleneck is caused by one employee being overworked and another having less work to do. Try team management tools that let you assign tasks, break projects down into smaller milestones, set priorities, and get an overall overview of the entire project. Tools need to be able to keep teams connected, manage tasks, and track everyone’s progress. Empower your team with the tools to manage workloads and know exactly what they need to complete their projects.

Virtual offices have made the businesses more flexible in terms of working hours and employment. And as the number of employees working from home increases, leaders need to keep their teams productive and focus on their jobs. The problems of the remote team must be resolved in advance so you will have a motivated, happy workforce that knows how to communicate and use the resources needed to succeed.

7 Signs You Should Transition From Full-Time to Part-Time Work | Cynthia Measom, Finance.yahoo.com

Working a full-time job eats up 40 hours of your week, or more if you work overtime. Unfortunately, if your job is not ideal, those 40 hours could feel much longer and take a toll on both your mental and physical health.

Here are seven signs you should transition from full-time work to part-time work.

You’re Having Health Issues

“Listen to your body; if you are chronically fatigued, your health is declining, and your body feels like it is breaking down, this is your biggest clue that you should slow down,” said Paul French. managing director at Intrinsic Search.

You Have a Lack of Motivation

“Dwindling motivation to do anything work-related is not a sign that you are lazy; it could be that you are overworked and overwhelmed, and it is time to slow down,” said French.

You Don’t Have Time to Take a Lunch Break

“Some jobs are so demanding that they don’t allow time for employees to take necessary lunch breaks,” said Brian Jones, MEd, LMHC. “This can happen even if the employer is technically meeting legal requirements. You might be constantly receiving messages or requests from coworkers during your break, or having meetings scheduled over your lunch break.”

You’re Exhausted at Day’s End, but Can’t Sleep

“Another sign of working too much is not having enough energy to make dinner at the end of the day, while also being unable to relax and get a good night’s sleep,” said Jones. “Without these basic building blocks making up a person’s daily routine, it can be difficult to improve time management anywhere else.”

Your Work is Affecting Your Mood

“You might also find that work is affecting your mood,” said Jones. “Perhaps you’re more irritable, anxious or depressed than you used to be. While mood changes can be due to a variety of factors, working too much can be a big one.”

Your Boundaries Are Blurred

“Even when you tell yourself you’re done working for the day, you’re still checking emails as you get into bed. Maybe you’re taking your work laptop with you on vacation. If there’s no clear boundary between your work life and your personal life, then this could have a negative impact on your personal relationships. You might notice that you prioritize work obligations over spending time with family and friends.”

You Can’t Stop Thinking About Work

“Finally, one other thing to consider is whether you’re able to turn off your work brain.” said Jones. “Even if you are spending time with loved ones, are you really present with them, or are you thinking about problems at the job? Maybe you’re always stressed about your next presentation or concerned about a problematic customer.”

Pros of Transitioning from Full-Time to Part-Time

  • You can have more time to spend with family and friends.
  • You can engage more with hobbies. If your job itself doesn’t provide the type of fulfillment you want in your life, maybe having time for hobbies will provide the balance you need.
  • There may be physical health benefits. Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which puts the body into a fight-or-flight state.
  • You may be able to follow a more regular meal and sleep schedule.
  • You might come into contact with a more authentic version of yourself, outside of your identity at work.

Cons of Transitioning from Full-Time Work to Part-Time

  • You might lose key benefits like health insurance or paid family and medical leave, depending on where you live and how many hours you work.
  • While you can have more time for hobbies, you might not have as much money to fund those hobbies. The same goes for going out with friends or family.
  • For some people, reducing work hours might be a way of running from their problems. This may be a way of giving into their anxiety and discomfort at work, rather than pushing themselves to expand their comfort zones.
  • You might also not find a more fulfilling life outside of work. It may take some extra effort to make sure that you’re still using your time in a fulfilling manner.

8 Tips to Balance Your Full-Time Job with a Side Hustle | Rebecca Lake, Moneytalknews.com

There’s no magic bullet for how to balance your full-time job with a side hustle. It takes planning and patience to make it all work.

But whether you’re spending a few hours a day on your side hustle or just a few hours a week, these strategies can help you find a happy medium between working for your boss and trying to become your own boss in your spare time.

1.Pick a side hustle you’re passionate about

If your goal for starting a side hustle is to eventually turn it into a business, think about what you could see yourself doing for the long term. Consider your passions and use those to generate side hustle ideas so you’re doing something you love. That way, having a full-time job and side hustle feels less like having two jobs.

2. Set clear boundaries

Being an entrepreneur with a full-time job means you only have so much time. You need to be clear about what you are and aren’t willing to sacrifice, said Andrew Chen, a product manager at Google who has three side hustles, including running the personal finance website Hack Your Wealth.

3. Have a schedule

Having a set schedule for working on your side gig can help with maximizing your productivity. If you don’t follow a schedule, try keeping a time log for a week to see where your time goes each day. Then, figure out where you can carve out extra time for your hustle.

4. Take advantage of small pockets of time

One misconception about how to balance your full-time job with a side hustle is thinking you can only work on either one in big blocks of time. Albert Lee, a doctor who works 50 to 55 hours a week and also runs the home improvement website Home Living Lab, said how you use small moments of downtime can be just as important.

5. Eliminate distractions

One of the biggest struggles with how to balance your full-time job with a side hustle is making the most of the time you have available for your side gig.

Brendan Heffernan, owner of Dunk or Three, has a 45-hour full-time job working with high school students and a lucrative part-time freelance writing and editing gig. Since he’s also a parent, he maximizes his side hustle hours by eliminating distractions as much as possible.

6. Take care of your health

It’s tempting to work long hours to grow your side hustle, but consider what the trade-off may be health-wise. If you’re tired, that can hurt your productivity at work, potentially endangering your day job. And once you get home from work, you may have zero energy to focus on your hustle.

7. Put side hustle tasks on autopilot

If your side hustle is website or blog-based, you could try using similar automation tools or so that you don’t have to be as hands-on with your business. You can also use automation to manage other parts of your life so you have more time to focus on your side gig.

For instance, you could set up automatic bill payments so you don’t have to worry about due dates. Budgeting apps can help with tracking your spending automatically, taking the hassle out of doing it manually.

8. Remember your why

If you’ve lost sight of your why, take time to remind yourself what your goals for side hustling were when you started. Whether it’s getting out of debt, creating financial security for your family, or being able to walk away from your day job one day, use your goals as an anchor for staying grounded and focused.

Remote Work Digest: August 30, 2022

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

10 Time Management Tips For A Working Mom | Women Fitness Magazine, Womenfitnessmag.com

Time management is a big concern for working mothers, considering job demands can vary daily, and children’s needs evolve as they grow. Besides, we must manage our growth as we work towards realizing personal ambitions. You may not avoid chaos, but with these life-changing time management tips for a working mom, you can learn to optimize your time both at work and home and live life to the fullest. Without wasting more time, let’s dive right into it.

Use A Planning System

Having a great planner ensures you get what needs to be done at the right time. But this point is only true if you use it. You may be shocked to hear many moms have great systems collecting dust on their smartphones or bookshelves. No shame: many successful moms use notebooks, paper calendars, and journals every day. This list is in addition to digital calendars, spreadsheets, and Google docs they rely on. Use these tools to record what you need to do and be realistic.

Make Lists

As a busy mom, it is easy to forget what you need to do and spend so much mental energy trying to keep track of everything. You can make lists for just about everything.

Get Enough Sleep

When you take care of your kids, you compromise on the healthy eight hours of sleep that your body needs to function properly. The negative effects take a toll on your health when the deprivation continues for a long time. You begin to experience stress, anxiety, and irritability. However. You can adopt an effective routine to catch up on those lost hours of sleep to rejuvenate yourself.

Use Essays for Sale

As a working mom, you probably feel like you have deadlines dropped left, right, and center. Perhaps you have an argumentative essay, a lab report, a discussion post, a dissertation, or a cover letter to write, all due in a few days. How on earth can you do it, attend to your child and still show up for work? Fear not; online essays for sale carry the load for you so you can attend to your family and job by lifting the extra weight off your shoulders.

Learn to Delegate

Whether it is about hiring someone for domestic help or any other kind of work, figure out the tasks that don’t require your attention. It is worth the investment once you take those tasks off your to-do list. Another option is to use online services, such as custom writing services, as much as possible. We understand that it’s tempting to solely cover all household chores to ensure everything is done right and quickly. Break those chores into simple tasks and reward people for doing them.

Maintain Work-Life Boundaries

As a working mom, find a workable strategy of family-friendly work hours with your employer, such as declining work emails or calls after your shift is over. Set a clear boundary between home and personal life.

Automate Everything You Can

Effective time management for working moms entails putting everything you can on an automatic mode. Simplify what you do so you can do it less often. In today’s world, you can do so many things with less time and energy than in the past.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has proven benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. It eradicates your stress, decreases chronic pain, controls your blood pressure, enhances sleep, and boosts your heart health. It also enhances your mental health by helping you deal with anxiety, depression, and interpersonal conflicts in a healthy manner. You don’t need to convince yourself why it’s important to maintain good health as a working mom. You need it; and your kids need it.

Let Go of Perfection

The perfection concept doesn’t exist in motherhood. There’s an illusion about a perfect mother. But in reality, no one is perfect at motherhood. Imperfection is part of the adventure. If you get bogged down and frustrated by seeing perfect mothers out and about, it is time to reset your expectations. Muting or unfollowing triggering social media accounts is a great place to start filtering out expectations versus reality.

Multitask for Optimal Time Management

The key is to mix tasks that don’t require too much mental energy with fun tasks that you might not otherwise find time for. Do you like listening to audiobooks while doing chores? Just make sure you have fun while doing your family chores.

Conclusion

Moms, we hope the above tips will help you manage your schedule like you never could. They are easy, effective, and customized for working mothers who selflessly work around the clock to bring up healthy and happy humans. You deserve appreciation and acknowledgement for all that you do. There’s no one like you!

Emerging Trends of Remote Work in 2022 | Foreignpolicyi.org

Remote working is a benefit offered only to a select few, but it is now the standard for most organizations. As Covid rates and regulations relax, it becomes evident that remote employment was more than simply a band-aid solution to a problem. 

RemoteHub worldwide today expect to be able to work from anywhere, at any time, for at least part of the workweek.

People empowerment is essential:

While most people think of employee empowerment as something done for a team on-site, it is an even more significant aspect in remote work. It’s ideal for a team distributed across geographical areas because it’s less on a top-down leadership approach. By utilizing HR to supply what remote workers require, the firm uses a department historically tasked with supporting the workforce and provides them with additional tools to do so.

Opportunities for Remote Networking:

Professionals may now network across countries and throughout the world thanks to remote work. Working from home has reduced the first discomfort of interacting with someone. Working from home also makes networking simpler since you can interact with experts you would not have encountered if you worked on-site or in the office. 

Without intervention, DE & I scores will deteriorate:

According to research, people in remote jobs or on a hybrid schedule perform at the same level as in the office. On the other hand, managers feel that employees who work from the office perform better and are more likely to be promoted than those who work from home. This erroneous impression is perpetuated by high-profile leaders publicly declaring that hybrid and remote workers underperform. 

Cybersecurity grabs the spotlight:

Remote security is much more vital since online work-related infractions cost an additional $1.07 million. Cybersecurity providers will advertise more remote work solutions in 2022 to address this issue. Similarly, corporations increase spending on endpoint security solutions and zero-trust cloud infrastructures. 

Boosts productivity:

Fewer interruptions get attributed to increased productivity by 68 percent of people on average. Think again if you believed working from home would lead to additional distractions. It appears that the contrary is true. When asked why they were more productive, 68 percent of respondents in a recent poll said it was because they had fewer interruptions.

Virtual Interviews Are Increasingly Popular:

Companies have started employing virtual technology to conduct job interviews since the outbreak began. A recent poll found that 86% of employers had resorted to virtual hiring because of pandemic issues. However, the transition to virtual recruiting and interviewing does not appear to be a disincentive. Indeed, many CEOs are said to be pleased with the remote recruiting procedure. Some have even maintained the success level of pre-pandemic interviews.

Working from home versus higher salary:

Employees have such a strong affinity for working from home that 71% of employees polled in the Everywhere Workplace research stated they would choose remote work over Telecommuting. According to the report, avoiding traveling time, a better work-life balance, and lower expenditures are the top reasons employees identify remote work, even if it means passing up a promotion or higher pay.

More liberty at work:

Employees seek more freedom while employers struggle to develop procedures for remote work. After experiencing the benefits of a location-independent lifestyle, many people do not want to return to the workplace, at least not in the typical 9-to-5 paradigm. 

Employee Benefits Reevaluation:

To weather the volatile era of The Big Resignation, firms’ Employee Value Proposition will change to more comprehensive benefits focusing on what is vital for their employees in 2022. There’s a lot to enjoy about a coffee maker at your workplace, from employee mental health programs to save on significant supplies to amusing onboarding packages to give your new arrivals wherever they are.

Getting ready for post-pandemic office work:

Over time businesses in all geographies and industries can continue to benefit from remote workforce trends; however, you must also be prepared to do some office work in the post-pandemic period. According to a few research, some employees anticipate returning to typical office work following the epidemic. Choosing a significantly smaller office space to accommodate certain employees can be highly cost-effective and beneficial to firms in this situation.

8 Best Freelance Websites for Online Work (2022) | Harsh Sharma, Techdator.net

Several sites offer a platform to connect freelancers with their clients. We have prepared a list of some of the best freelancing websites on the internet. If you are also a novice independent professional and want to try your luck in freelancing, refer to these freelancing websites. 

1.Upwork

It is one of the most widely preferred freelancing websites for independent workers. Numerous works are posted on the site to make it easy for freelancers to get something. The site has posts from both big and small companies.

2. Fiverr

This is another fantastic site to get quick freelancing work. The site offers lots of features to its users. For example, you can set your starting price, packages, and add-ons on the site. You can also offer sample work for reference.

3. Freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is one of the oldest sites for getting contractual workers online. The site is arguably the first to introduce online freelancing to the world. Freelancer.com has works for web designers, social media experts, marketing specialists, etc. In addition, it conducts several programs for the welfare of its users.

4. Toptal

It is an employee-specific site that helps small businesses get their hands into top freelance specialists worldwide. Toptal helps you to get your work done dexterously on a low budget. You don’t have to worry about the quality of the work as freelancers working here are screened regularly.

5. Designhill

This unique freelancing site incorporates several creative ways to allot work to freelancers. For instance, one can conduct a contest to scout the best employee they need. Employers can also get an overview of the work they will be doing.

6. Behance

It is another freelance website that has worked in several fields to offer its users. Some of its work categories include animation, web development, content creation, etc. Behance asks its freelancers to submit a copy of their work as a Portfolio.

7. Linkedin

LinkedIn is a multi-purpose website for any type of job online. A LinkedIn user’s main focus must be building networks rather than directly jumping into searching for jobs. Later, you can send your portfolios to potential clients to get referrals and work.

8. Guru

Many freelancers have a common problem with their work: they get cheated several times by fraud clients. Guru will be a perfect site to safeguard your interest if you are among them. the site is skeptical about the payment process of the users.

18 essential tips for working at home | Amy McCarthy, Yardbaker.com

Whether you’ve only been working from home for the past couple of years or are a longtime remote worker, pretty much everyone could stand to make some improvements to their work-from-home set-up.

Set working hours and stick to them

Establish your working hours and stick to them, or you’ll end up working far longer hours than you should. 

…and turn off your notifications when you’re not working

Turn off notifications for email and chat apps on your phone, and make sure that folks on your team know who they can contact in an emergency outside of your established working hours.

Consider putting on real pants

For many people, getting into the habit of getting up and getting dressed for the day makes it easier to get the job done. 

Make sure your team knows your working hours and availability

If you’re trying to avoid off-hours pings, keep your calendar updated so that everyone you work with knows when you’re going to be around. 

Go for daily walks

Make it a priority to take a short walk, even just 15 minutes a day is helpful, in the outdoors to get your blood flowing and take a quick break away from work. 

Create a comfortable workspace

If you’re stuck at the kitchen table, invest in equipment like laptop risers and a supportive chair to make your workspace a little cozier. Decorative elements and plants are also an excellent touch.

Invest in the right equipment for your job

If you’re going to be working at home long-term, it’s essential that you obtain good-quality equipment needed to do your job.

…and a really comfortable chair

It’s worth investing in the best chair you can afford if only to prevent you from having terrible back pain after sitting in one of your kitchen chairs for hours. Pro-tip: secondhand shops and sites like Facebook marketplace are often replete with good-quality used office chairs that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of retail.

Consider an adjustable standing desk

Health experts generally agree that sitting all day isn’t great for the body, and a new generation of adjustable standing desks makes it easy to get a little more standing time into your day. 

Take a real lunch break

So many people eat lunch at their desks, and that’s one of those little things that add up to total burnout over time. Take 30 minutes — or an hour, if you’re able — each day for an actual lunch that isn’t eaten in front of your laptop.

Invest in noise-cancelling headphones to cut out distractions

Whether it’s a noisy neighbor or your spouse who is also working from home, cutting out distractions can be tough. Noise-canceling headphones can be a huge help, even if you don’t use them to play music. 

Don’t work in bed

As tempting as it might be to take emails from bed in the morning, don’t do it. It’s a good way to end up with sore muscles that may interfere with your sleep. 

Set limits on social media scrolling

Everyone gets distracted on social media at work, but when you’re at home and there’s no boss looking over your shoulder, it’s easy to get lost browsing comment threads for hours. Consider using an app like StayFocusd to limit your time on websites like Facebook and Instagram, and keep your phone out of reach unless you absolutely need it. 

Use a planner or productivity software to stay organized

Self-directed work is a challenge for even the most organized folks, which is why there are tons of organizational tools that exist to solve that problem. 

Take breaks

Most office workers get to take breaks, but work-from-home folks often forget that they’re entitled to step away from the keyboard from time to time. Pencil a 15-minute break into your calendar in the morning and afternoon and use that time to go for a walk, zone out, or enjoy a snack before getting back to work. 

Keep your workspace clutter-free

If your workspace is cluttered and messy, you might feel like it’s tough to get things done. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to clean up your desk and organize your stuff for an easy start the next morning. 

Work outside occasionally for a change of pace

Bored of working in your office? Switch it up! Head to a park if the weather is nice, or take advantage of the free WiFi at a nearby coffee shop for a few hours to get a nice change of pace. 

Listen to music you love

As long as you’re not on client calls or Zoom meetings, play your favorite tunes to energize you in the morning, or consider lo-fi beats for those times when you really need to concentrate. 

Remote Work Digest: July 28, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Have an agenda

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

3. Start on time, end on time

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

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

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

5. Have a plan of action, accountability and deadlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Avoid the bed and sofa

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

2. Sit in a chair

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

3. Use support if needed

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

4. Stand & walk

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

5. Use reminders

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

6. Try stretching

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

7. Use your eyes not your neck

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

8. Drink more water

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

9. Watch your legs

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

10. Keep your computer at eye-level

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

11. Sit closer to the table

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

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

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

Fiverr

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

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

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

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

Upwork

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

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

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

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

Challenges Employers Might Face: Needs a bigger budget.

Guru

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

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

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

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

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

Freelancer

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

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

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

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

People Per Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.Have a Place to Land

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

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

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

2. Shut the Door

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

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

3. Keep a Schedule

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

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

Remote Work Digest: June 28, 2022

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

7 Unique and Niche Job Boards to Find the Perfect Workplace for You | Mihir Patkar, Makeuseof.com

Recently, there has been a rise in niche job boards that list select jobs from companies with specific purposes or work cultures that appeal to particular candidates.

Some cater to companies making a social impact, while others focus on diverse and inclusive work cultures. Also, you’ll find jobs where you can work anonymously in a remote location or jobs where the company is willing to relocate you to a new country. Check these out; you might just find the job of your dreams.

1.Anon Friendly (Web): Job Board to Work Under a Pseudonym

Anon Friendly is a job board for listings where you can work without revealing your true identity. Most of these jobs are remote, naturally, but there is a wide variety in the nature of the task, from engineering to community managers. The interface is pretty simple and normal, and the site is pretty new, so there aren’t a vast number of listings right now. But it’s a great start nonetheless.

2. Sustainable Development Goals (Web): Find Jobs That Make a Social Impact

The jobs are broken into several categories you can filter, such as clean energy, gender equality, climate action, zero hunger, no poverty, clean water, peace and justice, and many more. Pick what you want, and you can further search within those filters. For example, you can filter the list to find only remote jobs or be open to on-site jobs. SDG is straightforward to use, and you can also sign up for a newsletter to get alerts for jobs in your preferred niche.

3. GoodJobs (Web): Engineering Jobs to Make the World Better

It’s a pretty simple site, with the only option being to filter the job board by remote and non-remote jobs. As an aggregator, the listings link to one of the best job posting sites where the original requirement was listed. And don’t buy into the header that says these jobs concentrate on climate change and food insecurity; there are a variety of social impact causes listed on GoodJobs.

4. Remotewide (Web): Remote Jobs with Same Salaries Regardless of Location

Remotewide is a job board that collects listings for the latter. All jobs on the site are for remote work only and promise location-independent pay. Do note that companies might still require you to be based in the US or Europe, but that is usually more about the organizational structure and tax implications.

5. 4 Day Week (Web): Find Jobs for 4-Day Work Weeks

4 Day Week curates only 4-day work week jobs to give you more personal time. The jobs are divided into four categories: engineer, data and analytics, product and UX, and marketing. You can filter the jobs by adding your current location (North America, South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe) and searching for designations. You can also filter by hours worked (over 30 or under 30) and whether you want a remote or hybrid remote job.

6. Relocate.me (Web): Find a Job That Helps You Move to a New Country

Several companies will offer to pay your relocation expenses if you want to move to a different country to seek a job. Relocate.me shows job listings for such work opportunities in various tech fields.

The jobs listed are mainly for developers or engineers, but you will sometimes find opportunities for UX design and other tech-related fields. You can filter the list by countries, including Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Japan, Spain, The Netherlands, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Singapore, Sweden, the UK, and the USA.

7. EqualOpportunity.Work (Web): Jobs at Companies Pushing Diversity and Inclusivity

There is a growing trend of companies noting in their hiring posts that they celebrate diverse workplaces and believe in equal opportunity. If these are essential parameters in the work culture you are looking for, EqualOpportunity.Work will show job listings only from such firms.

Judge a Job Board by Recent Postings

With the number of different and niche job boards to go through, how do you decide which ones you should rely on? A good thumb rule is to see how many recent job postings the board has. Companies typically post jobs across several of these boards, so you don’t want to waste your time applying to a listing that has already been filled. And a job board that posts new job ads usually also prunes filled vacancies.

15 Best Work-From-Home Jobs for Retirees | Michael Keenan, Finance.yahoo.com

Whether you need the money to make ends meet or are just figuring out what to do in retirement, there are options, especially work you can do from your own home.

Virtual Assistant

You don’t have to come into the office to help busy people with their smaller tasks anymore. Instead, add it to the list of jobs you can do from home and still manage to make good money. To work as a virtual assistant, you need good communication skills, a computer, a phone and internet access. Some companies prefer you have a bachelor’s degree as well. Your hours depend on the role you take on.

Customer Service Representative

You can find a new career at 50 working from home as a customer representative. Instead of having a centralized call center, some companies opt to allow their representatives to work from home. The company saves on overhead, and you save on your commute time to and from work.

Transcriber

You can get paid to transcribe audio files to Word documents thanks to this job done in the comfort of your home. To work as a transcriptionist, you need to be very detail-oriented and accurate with punctuation, grammar and spelling. In addition, you might need industry experience or manuals to make sure you know specific terminology.

Car Rental Sales Representative

If you can sell a customer on a rental car over the phone, you could land a job with Enterprise as a reservation sales representative. The car rental company does provide some work-from-home opportunities where you could expect to earn $21 per hour on average.

Create and Sell Crafts

Gone are the days when you needed to have a storefront and lots of capital to interact with potential customers. With the power of the internet, you can open your own business with just $100. For example, you can start an online craft store. You can make, sell and ship all your products under your own roof.

Business Consultant

Just because you’ve retired from your main career doesn’t mean you no longer have any valuable business knowledge. You can put that knowledge to work starting your own business consulting company from your den. Your experience and know-how, accumulated over decades during your working years, can prove invaluable for business owners who want to get ahead.

Taking Care of Pets

If you like animals, consider starting a pet sitting business from your own home. You can start from scratch or use an online platform like Rover, where you can post your profile. Of course, Rover checks all applications first. Once you’re on board, you can advertise your services and set your own prices and availability.

Online Tutor

If you enjoy working with students, consider online tutoring as a good job for senior citizens. You can connect with students across the country and teach the subjects you’re passionate about. Plus, as an independent contractor, you can pick and choose which students you want to tutor.

Virtual Juror

Lawyers do lots of research before going to trial, including trying to figure out how potential jurors would feel if they were presented with the case. To get those opinions, they hire people to serve as pretend jurors for their cases so they can gauge whether they are likely to win, and how much a jury might award their clients in damages.

Graphic Designer

Working as a graphic designer makes the list of jobs for people over 50 because you can easily do it from home. If you have a computer and graphic design software, you can create logos and images for companies and organizations.

Internet Search Engine Rater

If you thought surfing the web was a complete waste of time, you’re in for a surprise. Some companies, including Lionbridge, will hire you to evaluate websites and search engine results. To qualify, you need access to a computer and internet connection. Positions are typically part-time and pay hourly.

Editor

You can make a second career out of editing other people’s work before it gets published. Companies like Cactus Global hire people to work from home as full-time editors. The requirements vary depending on what category of writing you want to edit.

Translator

If you are bilingual or fluent in multiple languages, add translator to the list of jobs for retirees. You’ll need to demonstrate your fluency, such as by passing a proficiency test. If you prefer to work on your own schedule, sign up with a company like VerbalizeIt, where you can opt-in to translation jobs that suit your preferences and get paid per job.

Insurance Claims Adjuster

If you have previous experience working in insurance adjusting, you could parlay that experience into a full-time job that you can do from your house. For example, a Cottingham and Butler Claims Services job posting sought senior workers comp claims adjusters with prior experience. Workers receive an allowance to pay for their home offices, equipment and tech support, plus covered business expenses.

Fundraiser

The last option on the list of best jobs for retirees is working in development and fundraising for a nonprofit. Some nonprofits allow their fundraising directors to work remotely as long as they can accomplish all the job duties.

Four Key Strategies for a Successful Asynchronous Remote Work | Umme Sutarwala, Enterprisetalk.com

Working asynchronously isn’t just for totally remote teams; hybrid and office-first teams can benefit greatly from it as well. Here are four suggestions for businesses to help their staff take advantage of asynchronous work.

Plan ahead of time and properly manage time

While asynchronous work offers more freedom, individuals must still manage their time wisely. IT leaders should schedule time for asynchronous work in the same way that they schedule synchronous time for meetings. IT executives must foster a culture in which asynchronous work is valued similarly to synchronous meetings so that synchronous meetings do not necessarily take precedence.

Keep a record of everything

Documentation is essential when quick communication is not available. Asynchronous learning is significantly more accessible when data is stored in a single hub, especially for new recruits. IT leaders should ensure that their corporate and team values, as well as rules, processes, and guidelines, are documented. They should also record and take notes at meetings so that those who are unable to attend may still engage and act.

Create a feedback and recognition culture

When companies work asynchronously, it’s easy to neglect recognition. To make the most of face-to-face interaction, IT leaders can include recognition procedures in their synchronous meetings and catch-ups. If meetings are not possible, IT leaders should utilize systems that automatically seek input so that managers may give staff praise and constructive criticism in an asynchronous way.

To socialize, sync up

Working asynchronously may be forlorn; therefore, IT leaders should make time for social events on a regular basis. If the teams are dispersed, they can participate in several virtual activities and events. While regular in-person social activities may be impossible, IT directors may host a company-wide get-together once a year to introduce employees, bond, and strengthen relationships.

Signs You’re Not a Good Fit for Remote Work | Chris Odogwu, Makeuseof.com

Almost everyone nowadays wants to do remote work. However, remote work isn’t for everyone. Here are some signs that you’re not suited for remote work.

1.Lack of Self-Motivation

Self-motivation is an essential trait of an effective and result-oriented remote worker. Since you are operating from a place of comfort with little to no direct physical contact with management and your colleagues, you need to stay motivated to work and express efficient initiatives in the delivery of your official task(s).

2. You Aren’t Tech Savvy

Since you execute remote work online, you must be hands-on with the latest communication technology. It’s not enough to know this in theory. You must have an in-depth knowledge of the practical use of both hardware devices and gadgets, as well as software applications (web and mobile), while being at the top of technological trends as they emerge.

3. You Don’t Communicate Effectively

Remote work thrives on effective communication; it keeps the workflow running smoothly. So, if you have a problem with communicating, remote work isn’t ideal for you. You can’t carry out objectives towards the achievement of organizational goals in isolation as a remote worker—you need to communicate.

4. You Are Highly Prone to Distraction

Even though remote working is outside the confines of the formal office space, all remote tasks, duties, and obligations must be carried out with utmost concentration. You need to avoid distractions and focus on your work while working remotely. You can employ measures like putting your phone in airplane mode while you work.

5. You Lack Time Management Skills

Remote work often creates an illusion of having all the time in the world. Since you don’t have anyone breathing down your neck and you are in the comfort of your home, it might feel like you have time in your hands. However, the clock continues to tick. Before you know it, the day is far spent, and you haven’t accomplished much work.

6. You Are a People Person

Remote work requires you to work in isolation. If you are a people person, you must be a social bird that struggles to work in isolation without any form of physical interaction. And that’s because you perform better with people around you.

7. You Thrive in a Team Environment

A healthy social life allows you to interact, mingle and be in tune with reality away from the virtual world. Having a social life reduces your chances of being mentally stressed, overwhelmed, and depressed.

8. You Can’t Work Independently

A remote worker must be independent-minded in executing their duties while being open to suggestions. You should be discerning enough to trust your intuition and personal decisions while carrying out organizational tasks.

Remote Work Is Not for Everyone

Remote work is changing the dynamics of work. You don’t have to be in a physical office to work as an employee of an organization. As long as you deliver on your responsibilities, it doesn’t matter where you are working from. However, it’s not ideal for everyone.

The most efficient remote workers are mentally and emotionally sound for a remote job. If you aren’t in the right frame of mind, you’ll lack the motivation to work at all, let alone excel at work.

Remote Work Digest: May 30, 2022

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

11 Ways To Increase Productivity While Minimizing Stress | Forbes Coaches Council, Forbes.com

11 members of Forbes Coaches Council discuss how to achieve this “impossible dream”.

1.Create A Detailed Schedule

Everybody has the same amount of time, but it’s how you manage your time that matters. The best thing a client can do is create a schedule. That schedule should be their boss and every single day they should do exactly what the schedule tells them to do. They have to be very detailed because time management matters the most. – Ryan StewmanBreak Free Academy

2.Balance Work And Personal Goals

Balancing work and personal goals is important to remain productive. Increasing productivity requires taking a break from tasks, focusing instead on what is motivating you to achieve your outcomes. Inward reflection through journaling is helpful when recognizing the triggers that may be causing you to become overwhelmed. A conversation with a mentor is also effective for objective clarity and insight. – Reena Khullar SharmaAgilis Executive Consulting

3.Blend Work And Life Responsibilities

Balancing work and personal goals is important to remain productive. Increasing productivity requires taking a break from tasks, focusing instead on what is motivating you to achieve your outcomes. Inward reflection through journaling is helpful when recognizing the triggers that may be causing you to become overwhelmed. A conversation with a mentor is also effective for objective clarity and insight. – Reena Khullar SharmaAgilis Executive Consulting

4.Schedule Time To Rest And Recharge

Productivity is all about focus and energy. If either one is low due to being overworked or overwhelmed, it will ultimately affect the results. I would recommend the client schedule time in their week to recharge by doing things they enjoy, as this has been shown to boost energy. I would also get them to work in time slots with time in between for rest to ensure focus doesn’t dip. – Othman AbdulrasheedBusiness Leadership Consulting

5.Start Each Day With 15 Minutes Alone

Overwhelm and stress take over when we aren’t focused on the truly important things. We become stressed when we allow people and daily crises to distract us. I recommend clients start each day spending 15 minutes alone before responding to emails or calls. They should identify three things that must be accomplished that day to ensure key priorities to move forward, and then allow space for interruptions that deserve attention. – Christine GrimmAria Consulting International

6.Experiment With Faith And Creativity

The first step is always cultivating faith that it’s possible to shift your situation. Many of us never make it past that first step. The more we cling to the idea that we are a victim of our own situation — even our own success — the less able we are to act with faith and creativity to experiment with new structures in working, including boundaries, focus on priorities, saying “no,” etc. – Tevis TrowerBalance Integration Corporation

7.Practice Time Management Techniques

Try time management techniques like prioritization and saying “yes, but not now.” Manage time by date to avoid crushing yourself with commitments. Automate or delegate everything you can, and meditate or exercise first thing in the morning to enhance focus. Change meeting times from 60 to 55 minutes and from 30 to 25 minutes, and do more standing meetings internally (even remotely) to keep them short. – Jennifer WilsonConvergenceCoaching, LLC

8.Apply Creative Procrastination

Apply creative procrastination by focusing on the 20% of activities that give you 80% of the value. Then, procrastinate on the rest. Also, block at least 24 hours a week for your most important client — yourself! And stay away from work. You will be a lot more productive and a lot more clear about what needs to be done, what can be avoided or what should be delegated after that. – Masha MalkaThe One Minute Coach Corp.

9.Focus On Just Thing At A Time

People must remember they can only do one thing at a time. I find stress comes from trying to multitask rather than completing something first and then moving on to another issue. Sometimes there are emergencies, but most often competing tasks can be managed in their own time and not overlap current objectives. – John LoweTy Boyd, Inc.

10.Operate From Your Strengths, Sweet Spot

Operate from your sweet spot. Particularly when facing stress and adversity, you should try to identify what special skills and talents you have that are relevant to the circumstances and operate from that place. By using your strengths, your confidence will go up, your stress will subside, your productivity will increase and you will ease into the challenge. – Agata Dulnik, Ph.D.Global Leadership Experts

11.Get Grounded In Reality And The Now

The most important action for this client is to get grounded in reality and the now. We are really good at “creating a mountain out of a molehill,” to quote my mom. Savagely reduce the to-do list. Last week, a client complained about their to-do list, which had 14 projects on it. In reality, five of those projects were done and four hadn’t kicked off yet, cutting the list from 14 to five. – Pamela ScottMentorLoft

6 Office Design Trends That Truly Boost Employee Productivity | GN Feature Story, Gineersnow.com

While efficiency and productivity are two words that are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Efficiency is a metric that states the amount of output per input. In other words, how much work we get done for each hour we work. Productivity, on the other hand, is a metric that states the amount of output per unit of input. In other words, how much work we get done for each hour we work. This is where office design can truly make a difference. The following are some of the most important office design trends that help to boost productivity.

Flexible space

In this kind of office, it is not uncommon to see people working in a comfortable lounge area, at a standing desk, or in a private cubicle. The ability to choose where to work improves employee productivity because it makes them more motivated. It also allows them to work better in teams because they don’t feel like they have to be in the same area all the time. The ability to choose where to work is also good for employee satisfaction and retention.

A blend of semi-private, private, and open workspaces

Trends in office design are constantly changing, especially when it comes to the way companies treat their employees. As offices are becoming more and more open, the need for privacy is still big. Thus, more and more companies are beginning to use “semi-private” and “private” spaces to cater to the needs of their employees. In fact, a study by Deskmag shows that private, semi-private, and open spaces all contribute to an increased level of employee productivity. Quoting the study: “Private space or semi-private space can be designed to optimize focused work, while open space can be designed to promote collaboration.”

Basic care and nurturing tools

If you’re looking at ways to improve productivity in the office, the first thing you need to do is make the office one that fosters a sense of comfort, connection, and care. The best offices have a few elements of care and nurturing that make it a place for people to come together and be happy to be there.

A safe and healthy workplace design

Building a safe and healthy workplace design should be one of the first things that you do when you start a new business. As a matter of fact, as you’re designing your office, you should keep in mind that employees’ health is directly related to their productivity. For example, one recent study showed that workers exposed to natural light reported less tiredness and were more productive. Creating proper workstation setups with ergonomic seating and standard desk height are other examples of how making your office design more healthy can increase productivity.

More lighting

One of the most important things to pay attention to in your office is lighting. Lighting is not just about creating a good environment but also about increasing productivity. Employees are more productive when they are more comfortable.

Noise masking

One of the most common things we see in offices is noise. Noise, even when it is not a disruptive amount, can be a barrier to productivity. The right office design can help to keep your employees focused and feeling at their creative best with noise masking.

Maintaining A Healthy Company Culture Remotely | Ginni Saraswati, Forbes.com

Company culture is an essential aspect of any organization. In fact, it’s really what breeds success, speed and retention of some of the best talent. But not every company has a culture that supports its employees and contractors well. A positive company culture can be challenging to maintain when there is no central, in-person office environment. Yet investing in how to build and maintain a company culture is one of the most effective components to the company’s success, whether you’re in-person, remote or hybrid.

How a company approaches maintaining a healthy company culture involves several factors. Here are five ways companies can prioritize their company culture even as their team members work from home.

1.Open Communication and Transparency

Leadership should continue to communicate company goals, successes, opportunities and problems with their remote workforce. Leadership can achieve open communication through weekly meetings, an active Slack channel or even in-person, all-hands meetings if that is an option. The important thing is building a connection outside of the formalities.

2.Trust Your Employees and Avoid Micromanagement

Having a remote workforce requires leadership to trust their employees. When it comes to new hires, I like to put all of my trust and faith in them to allow room for the new hire to show up exactly as they intend to. This quickly helps establish how long their tenure will be at the organization. And, if the pandemic taught us anything, it was that companies could still be very productive even if their employees were working from home.

3.Work/Life Balance

Most employees agree that a healthy work/life balance is important to maintain, especially when working remotely. Companies can bolster that balance in a remote work environment by giving employees benefits like generous PTO, reasonable work schedules and the means to prioritize self-care.

4.Onboarding and Supporting Professional Growth

If a remote worker’s onboarding process is confusing, unorganized or doesn’t fall within the job description that they were initially sold on when they were hired, retaining that employee will be difficult. A solid, organized and welcoming onboarding process is necessary to introduce new employees to the company culture and ensure that the people you are bringing in are the right fit.

5.Keep Things Fun

These may sound like buzz words, but a focus on fun can be a boon to healthy company culture. Playing games during company meetings designed to get to know more about our remote co-workers is a great way to break the monotony of staid company meetings. If remote workers live within the same city, organizing happy hours or dinners can give those employees a way to socialize while also giving them something to look forward to.

Remote work is here to stay for the long run. Building a robust remote team takes dedication to the company mission and realizing that healthy company culture is paramount to employee happiness and retention.

Hybrid work: 4 ways to strengthen teams and boost productivity | Patrick Morley, Enterprisersproject.com

As companies shift to hybrid work, we need to redefine teamwork to ensure every employee is happy and productive, whether they’re in the office or remote. Here are four ways to promote better teamwork in a hybrid world.

1.Design your office to make remote workers feel included

Redesigning meeting rooms and boardrooms to make remote workers feel like they’re part of the group can go a long way toward promoting inclusion. Maybe that means investing in higher-quality microphones so remote workers can hear the conversation more succinctly or installing better cameras from higher vantage points so they can get a clearer sense of who’s speaking. Some offices even feature large screens in their conference rooms to display remote participants better.

2.Set up regular ‘meet-and-greets’ for employees

The shift to hybrid work offers a golden opportunity to build camaraderie among your employees through carefully curated meet-and-greets. It may not be as organic as engaging in person on the first day of work, but setting up allotted times for individuals to meet each other one-on-one can help foster that community feeling.

Arrange schedules for employees to meet in person when possible – but if one employee is in the office and the other happens to be working remotely, that can work too. These sessions are intended to encourage colleagues to form relationships with each other. This helps everyone feel more invested in the team and their collective goals.

3.Place more value on the well-being of your employees

Conduct regular well-being sessions with your employees and ask questions that go beyond “Is everything OK?” Consider the following examples:

  • What do you need from me and the business to enable you to work effectively?
  • Has anything changed from when we last spoke about the support we provide? Is your home working environment still sufficient?
  • Which recent company announcements or changes do you have questions about or would like me to clarify?

Ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes-or-no response. Be on the lookout for changes in a person’s body language or mood. Just like at the beginning of the pandemic, this will likely take some time and require patience from everyone. Stick with it, and you’ll get there.

4.Make it fun for everyone

Company pizza parties, happy hours, attending sporting events together – these are all on the table again. Just make sure that you’re considering everyone.

It may be difficult for remote employees to attend these events, so find ways to make everyone feel involved. For example, we recently hosted a wine-tasting event. Because some employees couldn’t attend in person, we set up a video call and shipped them the same wines we had so they could participate from their homes.

Creating a sense of teamwork and camaraderie can be difficult when everyone works remotely. It will be equally challenging as more businesses go hybrid. But every challenge presents new opportunities, and leaders who proactively and intentionally connect their employees will find success in building teams.

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.