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: 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: December 30, 2021

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

How to Ask to Work Remotely Full Time | Robin Madell, Money.usnews.com

Asking your company to work remotely – particularly full time – can be nerve-wrecking. Not only is it challenging to understand exactly how to tell your boss you want to work remotely, but there’s also the worry that your request to work from home full time might be turned down.

Craft Your Personal

You’ll need to work steps into your proposal that will convince your boss that you’re work-from-home worthy, reveal evidence of why working from home works for you, and show you care about team connections, communications and contacts.

Prove You Can Get the Job Done

To prove that you are work-from-home worthy, gather tangible, data-driven evidence that shows your results and your value. If you’ve made yourself indispensable to your team and company where you work now and can show proof of that in your proposal, this will help justify that you are ready and responsible enough to be entrusted with full-time remote work.

Compile Evidence of How and Why Remote Work Works

Despite how common and popular remote work has become, some bosses and employers still prefer to have everyone in the office, so proving how and why virtual work helps teams and companies thrive can help break through that mindset and gain strength for your work-from-home proposal.

Care About Team Connections and Contact

If your boss has concerns about you working from home full time, it likely traces back to a worry that you’ll be harder to communicate with when you’re working off-site. Your proposal should thus address exactly how you plan to stay in close touch with your colleagues, foster team connections and maintain regular contact for collaboration when needed.

Carefully Consider the Answer You Hear

Even with a solid remote work proposal, it’s possible that your manager won’t want you to work from home – at least not full time. If your boss offers a hybrid model that allows you to work remotely some of the time, consider whether this setup will get you close enough to your goals.

Many more companies offer the opportunity for remote work today, so it’s more possible than ever to find a full-time, work-from-home job. If your remote work proposal is rejected or modified, think about whether you want to accept the compromise – or whether a full-time, work-from-home arrangement is important enough for you to seek another position.

Are Your Employees Happy with the Support You Provide? | Saurabh Kumar, Entrepreneur.com

Employees are the building blocks of an organization, and their contributions to a company’s growth are invaluable. Just like you cater to your customers by providing them with personalized customer support, it is equally important to understand the needs of your employees and resolve their issues. Ensure you are always there for your employees whenever they need you and provide them with a friendly workplace. Employee engagement and productivity are directly connected to the support you provide to them. 

Does conducting employee satisfaction surveys matter?

Here are some of the reasons why an organization needs to conduct regular employee satisfaction surveys:

1.Making unsatisfied workers productive

Employee satisfaction surveys help you identify the employees who are not satisfied working in your organization. Once they are identified, managers can understand their issues, resolve them, and increase their productivity while ensuring they are more engaged.

2. Preventing a toxic environment

Taking regular surveys and working on the findings prevents a toxic environment. Disgruntled employees lead to increased turnover and reduced productivity.

3. Increasing employee retention

Without conducting employee satisfaction surveys, you will not understand how your employees genuinely feel about working in your organization.

4. Improved customer relations

When employees are engaged and motivated, they build healthy and lasting relationships with your customers.

Essential questions to include in employee satisfaction surveys

Here are some of the most important questions that you should include in your employee satisfaction surveys to reach conclusive findings:

1.Do you feel connected to your peers

Workers spend a large part of their day interacting with each other. If they do not feel connected to their peers, it will affect their overall work experience.

2. Do you like the company’s culture?

Your employees must be in tune with your company’s culture. If they have issues with your culture, talk about it with them and work to find a solution.

3. Do you think the organization is open to change?

In the age of digitization, organizations need to be dynamic and implement flexible approaches to work. If your employees feel the company follows stringent rules that curb their free will, it affects their performance.

4. How seriously do the managers take your feedback?

This question helps you ascertain how well the management responds to the feedback provided by your employees and how valued your employees feel.

5. Do you feel that your efforts are recognized enough?

Management should acknowledge and show appreciation for efforts put in by employees. If employees feel managers do not value their contributions, productivity and engagement will take a hit.

6. Do your managers keep you updated about company news on a timely basis?

When your employees are regularly updated about important company news, they feel valued. Conversely, if they feel kept in the dark because of inadequate communication, they may feel like they don’t matter.

Effective ways to keep your employees happy

Here are some of the most critical ways in which you can keep your employees happy with seamless support provided to them:

1. Implementing Conversational AI

Modern help desks use conversational AI to facilitate seamless interactions between your employees and AI chatbots. Implementing this technology makes it easier for your employees to obtain personalized primary support without relying on support agents every time.

2. Automating the ticketing system

Traditional service desks often make the ticketing process tedious and complicated. By implementing a modern employee service desk, you can automate the entire ticketing system. These platforms allow your employees to create support tickets simply by initiating a chat with virtual assistants.

3. Integrating your employee help desk with a collaborative platform

You can leverage the support provided to your employees by integrating your help desk with your collaborative platform. Doing so would provide your employees and HR managers with a centralized platform to interact with each other.

4. Easy communication of employee benefits

Instead of reaching out to the HR managers to obtain every tiny detail about employee benefits, try automating communication of these benefits. Modern HR help desks allow your employees to get all relevant information about their benefits by chatting with virtual assistants.

The final word

Addressing the issues faced by your employees would help you leverage engagement and productivity. First, however, remember that it all starts by asking your employees if they are happy with their support. You’ll be surprised by what they are willing to share!

Having Trouble Embracing Remote Work? You Need To Overcome These 3 Limiting Beliefs | Larry English, Forbes.com

Companies that embrace the new world of work are reaping the benefits. For instance, they’re able to attract a significantly larger talent pool. A recent report found that employers that fail to offer remote work will be passed over by 58% of candidates.

“Why are some organizations wildly successful? It’s not by doing the same things they’ve been doing for the last few decades,” says Amy Lescke-Kahle, vice president of performance acceleration at The Marcus Buckingham Company, an ADP Company. “It’s because they’ve acknowledged and adjusted to the changes to work, the world and the market.”

Shed These 3 Little Beliefs To Finally Embrace Remote Work

To move forward, these leaders need to reexamine their beliefs around work and how they measure employees. Some of the most pervasive myths or limiting beliefs that need busting include:

Myth 1: Employees Need Babysitting

The best thing you can do in a remote setting is to simply trust your people. Yet many leaders are going in the opposite direction, using tracking software to keep an eye on employee activities. The 2021 ADP Research Institute People at Work report found that 62% of workers say they’re being more closely monitored than ever before.

Myth 2: In-Person Collaboration Is Always the Most Effective

Studies have shown that the traditional approach to collaboration—with people gathered in the same room—isn’t always the most effective method for generating good ideas. A few people end up dominating the conversation, leaving introverts and junior team members behind. In fact, a concept called Bartleby’s Law says that meetings waste 80% of the time for 80% of attendees.

Asynchronous communication and collaboration, necessary elements of remote work success, help solve this problem. When collaboration doesn’t always happen in person (or over videoconference), you remove the on-the-fly pressure and end up getting more input from more people.

Myth 3: Remote Work Just Adds Another Layer of Organizational Complexity

Reimagining work offers an opportunity to rethink all our systems—many of which are more complex than necessary, wasting time and causing major employee heartburn, Leschke-Kahle points out. Instead of making things more complicated, leaders should use the shift to remote work to streamline and simplify.

“We’ve so over-engineered the world of work with policies and processes that are not necessary in a grown-up version of work,” Leschke-Kahle says. “Simplification must be a big piece of what we do next.”

Welcome To The Great Work Experiment

Change can be scary, but as Leschke-Kahle points out, work is an easy, relatively low-risk place to test new practices. “This is really the great work experiment, and we should be digging into what works and what doesn’t. If you’re slow and hesitant to change, both your employees and your business are going to end up suffering, because the market will pass you by.”

6 Time Management Techniques To Utilize In The Forthcoming Year | Steve Johnson, Newsakmi.com

We all know how chaotic things can get at work: constant changes, slipping deadlines, and a to-do list that seems never-ending. Especially now that the year is coming to an end, many people claim that their New Year (business) resolution is “managing time better” or “becoming more efficient.” But is that possible, or will better time management become another New Year resolution that never came to be? Fortunately, you can enter the year more relaxed, as this article includes 6 effective time management techniques that will help you always be on schedule from now on.

1.Make Your To-Do List

This is the most important step, and yet many people skip it. There’s no reason to go into the office and take each day as it comes. Instead, start by gathering the notes that are stuck on your computer, the scribbles in your notebook, and your mental notes, and make a checklist of all your tasks. Having everything in one place helps you create a daily to-do list that gets you easily through the day. 

2. Prioritize Your Tasks

Try to delegate or eliminate unimportant and non-urgent tasks, and bring important and urgent ones to the top of your list. Important tasks that don’t require your immediate attention should become part of a long-term plan. 

3. Invest In Time Tracking

If lack of time management techniques is a company-wide problem, you should consider utilizing time tracking software. That would allow you to see when your employees clock in and out and how much time they’re spending on specific tasks. It could be that inconsistencies in attendance or excessive time being spent on unimportant tasks are to blame for your missed deadlines. 

4. Resist The Urge to Multitask

Trying to take on multiple tasks at once, or constantly switching from one task to another can be time-consuming and detrimental to your productivity. Instead, you should focus on the task at hand and try to block any distractions. Taking on tasks one-by-one can also help you get through seemingly endless to-do lists without getting overwhelmed and stressed out.

5. Set SMART Goals

As you set your goals for this year’s resolutions, you might want to keep this acronym in mind. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented. These are the characteristics all your goals should have if you’re hoping to achieve them within the accepted time limits.

6. Learn To Say No

The final and very important time management technique we’re sharing with you is learning to say no. It might seem hard for you, but you should know that you can’t successfully manage your time at work if you don’t say no once in a while. When someone comes to you with a request, pause for a beat. If you have some free time, by all means, help them. However, in case you’re truly swamped and have to neglect your own tasks to accommodate them, don’t hesitate to politely decline. 

Conclusion

If your New Year resolution is to become more productive, efficient, and better at managing your time, you should consider the time management techniques we shared in this article. Follow them and organize your time to become less stressed and more successful.

Remote Work Digest: September 29, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Setting Expectations

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

Communication

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

Encourage Flexibility in All Aspects

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

Focus on Measuring Outcomes

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

Accountability

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

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

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

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

Make it vibrant

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

Fun lighting

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

Go minimal

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

Try and sit where you get enough natural light

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

Use the principle of Hygge

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

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

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

The Positive Effects of Remote Work on Climate Change

Significant Drop in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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

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

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

Reduced Paper Usage

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

Improved Air Quality

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

Less Plastic Usage

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

Reduced Power Consumption

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

The Downsides of Remote Working

Only Partial Carbon Footprint Reduction

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

Energy Consumption

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

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

Remote Working is a Net Positive for Climate Change

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

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

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

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

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

Seven ways to boost employee productivity effectively in the workplace

Communication

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

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

Technology upgrade

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

Reduce meaningless meetings

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

Keep goals clear and focused

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

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

Encourage self-care

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

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

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

Improve Office Conditions

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

Delegate responsibility

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

Final thoughts

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

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

Remote Work Digest: August 31, 2021

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

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

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

Review Existing Processes

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

Understand Your Customers

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

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

Use Technology

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

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

Consider Outsourcing Your Payroll

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

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

Get Funding

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

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

Set Realistic Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get the correct equipment.

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

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

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

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

Decorate your wall with canvas prints

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

Walls with chalkboards for artistic remote working

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

Try to get hold of a desk with storage

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

Working office under the stairs

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Recognize Employee Achievements

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

Encourage Employees to Take Care of Their Physical Health

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

Provide Mental Health Resources

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

Reward Employees with Fun Outings

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Digital and programming skills

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

Social network skills

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

Tech skills

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

Soft skills

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

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

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

Remote Work Digest: August 2, 2021

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

How Leaders Can Maintain Efficiency During Difficult Times | Josee Larocque Patton, Forbes.com

In the years to come, there will likely be studies on how the past 16 months have changed the business world, whether it’s for better or worse. Since the future of business is unknown, it is up to leaders to continue to create the best employee experience they can. Leaders are just like everyone else – they can excel, they can make mistakes and they, too, need guidance to stay abreast of trends.

Here’s what leaders can do to help themselves while supporting others:

1.You don’t have to know everything.

Showing vulnerability is actually a good thing. If you want to be a progressive, fair and equitable business, then 100% honesty is the way to go. Not everyone will like it; however, I truly believe they will respect you for it and that is what matters.

No matter who we work with — peers, subordinates, clients — we all want to feel we are being treated with respect. There really is no substitute for this. Own the fact that you do not know everything but will do your best to help.

2. Work on your time management.

Time management is about prioritizing how much time you are willing to give to tasks or even social events.

Leaders need to have good time management to be able to teach their team about efficiency. One of the worst mistakes a leader can make is to not use their time effectively. I have heard many times how people feel there are too many meetings, too many calls, meetings to discuss the agenda of meetings, etc.

3. Offer clear direction.

Over the years, I have adapted the “interpret after me” mechanism. If I am sharing something with a client or direct report, I ask them to reiterate what I am sharing with them in their own words to be sure they understand the task/message. Or, for example, if you are sending out a company-wide message, always ensure it could be read and understood by a 5-year-old. This is not to dimmish anyone’s intellectual abilities, but drafting a simple message is a great way to feel confident that everyone will understand what you are trying to share no matter their age, language ability, etc.

These are just a few suggestions of what leaders can do to help get through unchartered territory. There is no doubt that we all want to do what is best for the company we work for as well as the employees who are part of our team. But when we are unfamiliar with what comes next, we can only do our best to help navigate the future. The three tips above are transferrable to any organization, any industry and are relevant no matter the situation. 

As leaders, it is important to know that our role is to set others up for success and, by doing so, we get to be teachers and learners at the same time.

How Technology Can Boost Your Business Productivity | Analyticsinsight.net

In the business world, technology has revolutionized almost all industries and became a lifeline for several companies. Nowadays, businesses are always on the lookout for innovations that can enhance their efficiency. Here are some notable ways how technology can significantly affect the productivity of your business.

Connect employees

Technology helps companies ensure that everyone remains connected. You can now hold virtual meetings through the use of video conferencing tools such as Google Meet, Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, and Cisco Webex. Messaging applications also allows your employees to efficiently communicate with one another, improving business communication and employee productivity. With the help of technology, you can efficiently expand your workforce in a more cost-effective way. 

Improve collaboration

Technology redefined how employees collaborate. If you want your employees to have a certain degree of autonomy in handling their tasks, there are several web-based project management tools that you can utilize such as Basecamp and Zoho Projects. Additionally, your managers can proficiently coordinate with their teams and oversee their tasks without the need for face-to-face meetings. 

Enhances customer service

Innovations such as chatbots and artificial intelligence can efficiently manage customer transactions, enhancing the overall customer experience. These tools are also more cost-effective in the long run.

Strengthens marketing

With the help of digital marketing, you can now reach a more comprehensive network and target a more diverse clientele. To drive more traffic to your business, you can leverage on social media, as it is a proven effective marketing tool. Aside from social media, establishing a website, utilizing search engine optimization, and using data analytics can also further boost your business productivity and yield stronger results.

Reduce business expenditures

Since employees are working at home or remotely, companies can save on overhead costs. As a business owner, you have the option to move your operations and scrap the need for a physical office. Doing so can give you a lot of savings while ensuring that your employees are safe. Aside from saving money for the overhead expenses, you also don’t need to spend on expensive office furniture and equipment. 

Facilitates continuous employee education

An online learning management system can enhance your staff’s knowledge and expertise, which can heighten their engagement and retention. By continuously providing skill development training to your employees, it will make them more appreciative of their work, making them productive and motivated to stay in your company. 

Simplifies planning and time management

Utilizing time trackers or scheduling applications can help them accomplish their tasks within their deadlines. You can also keep track of their progress, which will motivate them to be more conscious of how they manage their time. 

Easy access to data

Having instant access to information will save your company valuable time. Investing in cloud computing or in a database system that enables your employees to have immediate access to their business files can help increase your business productivity. Your employees can exchange and retrieve sensitive documents eliminating the need for them to waste countless hours going through manual storage. These data management platforms also have security measures that can mitigate the chances of a cyber breach.

Technology has undoubtedly changed how companies do their businesses. Investing in the right technological innovations can help you improve your business productivity and boost your chances of success.

Best freelance websites 2021: Find jobs & remote work | Lena Borrelli, Zdnet.com

Today, there are many job websites that claim to help you find immediate employment, but the freelance gig industry is a world of its own. As a freelancer, your needs are far different from the average commuter and salaried employee, which is why a specialized freelance job website can better suit your needs.

Though seemingly similar, these services are much different from one another, not only in available jobs but also your membership structure. Pricing can include whatever charges and finder’s fees come with using a third-party provider of this nature. Accessibility and job quality can also vary based on the freelance website you choose. 

To help, we have compiled the five best freelance websites to find work in 2021. This is how they compare.

Upwork

For the new freelancer

Upwork is great for jobs both domestic and international. You can make a free profile to advertise your skills, and then you can either wait for jobs to find you, or you can take a more proactive stance to find and apply to jobs yourself. Upwork uses a currency called Connects that allows you to apply to jobs. Connects are refreshed on a monthly basis, and up to 200 can roll over each month. 

There are two plans that you can choose from. The Basic Freelancer plan is standard, or you can opt for the Freelancer Plus at a monthly subscription rate of $14.99 per month. With the Freelancer Plus, you receive a total of 80 Connects per month, plus a customized profile URL, confidential earnings reporting, and competitor insights when bidding on a job.

Fiverr

For the gig freelancer

Fiverr advertises that it has been used by over “11 million satisfied businesses” for freelance projects. It has an impressive client roster that includes notable companies like Facebook, Netflix, and Google. Through the Fiverr business plan, entire teams can use the platform to connect with freelancers who have proven business experience.

For freelancers, there are over 200 different categories with gig work and ongoing projects. It services a host of different professionals, such as graphic designers, developers, writers, musicians, social media marketers, and voiceover artists. To help out, there is also 24/7 customer support.

Freelancer

For the international freelancer

Based in Australia, Freelancer is a popular global platform for freelancers the world over to connect with employers. Employers hire for specific projects, choosing from a pool of more than 50 million freelancers possessing over 1,800 different skills. Freelancers bid on the projects they want and then wait for an approval or denial. 

Similar to Upwork, projects are either hourly or fixed-price. Payments are secured by the Milestone Payments System, so you do not have to worry about whether a client can pay. Payments are also available in 39 currencies, and there is 24/7 customer support if you have any issues. Freelancer takes a 10% fee for projects and contests and 20% off services.

Toptal

For the discriminating freelancer

Exclusivity is the name of the game with Toptal. The company has made a name for itself in hiring just 3% of freelance talent. The platform connects employers with specific freelance professionals, including software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers. 

However, you have to apply and be approved before you can officially join. After approval, recruiters and industry experts help filter the applicant pool and pair freelancers with jobs. Hiring usually happens within 48 hours. 

LinkedIn

For the professional job seeker

LinkedIn is a great resource for the job-seeking professional. There is a strong emphasis on networking, and using your family, friends, and colleagues to build a professional network, collect references, and build recommendations. It is also known for excellent job opportunities for both corporate jobs and freelance positions, especially in copywriting, graphic design, and translation.

What is a freelance job website?

A freelance website is a service that links job seekers with employers. Users are able to advertise services, post jobs, interact, and complete work all within the service platform.

How does a freelance job website work?

Every service has different requirements to get started, but typically, you begin by creating an account. There will likely be terms and conditions that you must agree to before you can begin searching for work or advertising your services.

How much does it cost to use a freelance job website?

The cost to use a freelance job website depends on which service you use. It is common for freelance websites to take a commission off your earnings, but this percentage can vary. 

Which is the right freelance job website for you?

These are some factors to consider when choosing the best freelance website to find work:

Fees and penalties: The amount that a platform charges is important to consider when choosing a freelance site for work.

Payment: Some services may pay right away, while others may pay in milestones or require a waiting period.

Ease of use: Accessibility is important in a job website because you are likely to spend a lot of time on the platform. 

Membership requirements: While some sites help brand-new freelancers get started, a la Freelancer, others like Toptal have strict requirements and search for more experienced workers.

Customer support: If you hit a snag while racing to meet a deadline, you may need customer support to help out. That is why you should consider what types of customer support are available through your chosen site to help out during the hours you need it most.

Terms and conditions: All services will have their terms and conditions available for review, and you want to be sure that you agree to these terms before you accept any jobs and complete any work on the platform.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

Although these services did not make our top five list for 2021, they still may be worth your consideration based on your needs:

  • Craigslist: This is an email-based platform that allows users to post and apply to jobs via email.
  • FlexJobs: This membership-based service features handpicked jobs based on your skills and preferences.
  • TaskRabbit: This is a great option for the everyday person looking to make money off traditional gigs like shopping, errands, yard work, and home services.

Be sure to carefully explore your options and review the terms so you can find the best freelance website to get you back to work in 2021.

The Top 3 Soft Skills Of The Pandemic And How To Cultivate Them | Amy Blaschka, Forbes.com

According to Prudential’s latest Pulse of the American Worker survey, the top three soft skills workers gained last year include adaptability, problem-solving, and time management; here’s how to cultivate them in a post-pandemic world:

  1. Adaptability

In the business world, change happens—and not just during a pandemic. Between mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and management changes, those who remain flexible hold the key to career success. Maintaining the ability to adapt your thinking and actions to handle unforeseen circumstances can help position you as an indispensable member of the team who can roll with the punches.

To build your adaptability:

  • Challenge yourself to consider new possibilities instead of falling back on “because we’ve always done it this way” thinking.
  • Offer up alternative solutions, even—and especially— when initial ideas are turned down.
  • Keep calm and confident under pressure when faced with unexpected challenges and changing circumstances.
  • Move away from a one-size-fits-all mentality when managing your team, and instead, ask each person their goals and how you can best support them.
  • Look for opportunities to stretch yourself and showcase your adaptability by volunteering for new assignments and proactively increasing your skillset and knowledge base.
  • 2. Problem-solving

Problem-solving skills help you solve issues quickly and effectively and often use the additional soft skills of awareness, creativity, innovation, curiosity, and grit to be most effective.

To hone your problem-solving:

  • Use awareness to identify and anticipate issues. When you pay attention, you’ll notice details other people miss.
  • Change your mindset to see problems as hidden opportunities.
  • Employ creativity to come up with solutions. Creativity is the ability to perceive the world in new ways, find hidden patterns, make connections between seemingly disparate things, and generate innovative solutions.
  • When you implement and evaluate solutions (especially new ones), don’t get discouraged if they fall short. Use grit to determine what worked and what could be improved, and then make tweaks to keep going and find a way to solve the problem.
  • 3. Time management

Your ability to prioritize and focus your attention to tackle work projects is crucial. How and with whom you spend your time and your productivity while doing so demonstrate your focus and commitment to what—and who—matters most.

To master time management:

  • Learn to say no to things that don’t support your short- or long-term goals. 
  • Realize that not all tasks are created equal. Do, decide, delegate or delete tasks based on their urgency and importance.
  • Batch routine tasks (like responding to emails) by carving out specific times in the day for it—and let others know to call you if something is really important.
  • Eliminate distractions by turning off notifications, putting your phone on airplane mode, and closing your door.
  • Establish (and maintain) boundaries. You are not obligated to be on 24/7, so limit your availability. 
  • Embrace mono-tasking to make progress on one thing at a time.
  • Work with your own circadian rhythms, doing your most important work during your peak time, whenever that is.
  • Don’t forget to build in breaks to rest and recharge so you can tackle another day.

Remote Work Digest: June 30, 2021

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

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

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

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

What is a digital nomad?

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

Digital nomad vs. location independent

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

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

How do you become a digital nomad?

Determine if it’s a good fit

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

Figure out your budget

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

Decide on a destination(s)

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

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

Spruce up your skills

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

Research the work-from-anywhere job market

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

Pros and Cons of Being a Digital Nomad

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Jobs for Digital Nomads

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

Writer/Editor

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

Project Manager

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

Online Teacher/Tutor

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

Social Media Manager

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

Customer Service Rep

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

Web Designer

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

Using FlexJobs for Your Digital Nomad Lifestyle

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some of the top strategies they recommend.

1. Ask Them in a Safe Environment

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

2. Be Authentic While Interacting with Them

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

3. Measure Productivity and Well-Being Twice a Year

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

4. Conduct Regular Check-Ins

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

5. Examine Initiative and Innovation Levels

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

6. Look at How Often They Are Tardy

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

7. Look for Consistency in Performance and Attitude

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

8. Provide a Feedback Box for Anonymous Opinions

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

9. Give Periodic Employee Surveys

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

10. Assign a New Task and Examine Their Response

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #1: Set apart your workspace

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

Tip #2: Create boundaries and stick to them

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

Tip #3: Create a transition time

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


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

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

  1. Switch to cloud applications

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

  • Get a VPN

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

  • Use a password manager

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

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

  • Try an email search and reverse phone lookup tool

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

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

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

  • Be careful with public Wi-Fi networks

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

  • Employ two-factor authentication (2FA)

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

  • Ensure backups

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

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

Prioritize Safety When Remote Working

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

Remote Work Digest: May 29, 2021

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

5 Strategies to Boost Employee and Client Retention | Matt Goebel, Mytotalretail.com

It’s critical for retailers to understand that what’s happening on the inside of an organization is often felt on the outside by its customers. Luckily, there are a few workplace management strategies that retailers can integrate into their operations to help boost employee and client retention:

1. Prioritize Open, Two-Way Team Communication

Effective communication helps retailers identify workplace issues and gaps in employee engagement or performance, gauge team and customer satisfaction, and more. One way to support two-way communication is to provide an easy-to-use, one-stop platform that eliminates confusion and operational errors that stem from juggling too many touchpoints.

2. Centralize Workplace Operations

One study found that 40 percent of workers said they left a company because they lacked access to state-of-the-art digital tools. In addition, 45 percent of employers complain that outdated technology keeps them from being productive.

3. Establish Clearly Defined Team Roles and Responsibilities

This helps employees understand how the quality of their efforts feed into the overall success of the company. Employees crave meaning and ownership in their work with 49 percent of employees stating that they would trade a portion of their salary to continue in their role with an added sense of purpose. When a team is striving toward a common goal, productivity spikes, improving customer satisfaction.

4. Re-evaluate and Modernize Employee Training

Proper training takes education and experience, that’s why for long term results, employee training should be continuous. Using a performance and assessment based training program that provides employees with feedback and rewards for skill development is a great step to producing desired workplace outcomes.

5. Foster a Positive Workplace Culture That Thrives on Teamwork – Not Competition

A strong workplace culture can directly impact employee productivity, making positive culture a key factor for business success. In order to build a positive culture, management must offer opportunities for employees to engage with their leaders and peers.

Addressing major pain points like employee and customer retention in retail can seem daunting, but taking the time to evaluate your operations strategies is the first step. Building a more positive and employee centric workplace will help you retain top talent and in turn, retain your customer base.

Why prioritizing employee wellness is more important now than ever | Anjan Pathnak, Yourstory.com

Employee wellbeing is not limited to physical health; various other factors determine an individual’s overall functioning. Employee health and wellbeing have always been a priority for employers as they boost employee productivity, reduce burnout, improve workplace culture, and offer many other benefits.

The use of technology and AI to derive the appropriate wellbeing solution for the organization will ultimately help revive employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction.

Here are effective steps to address employee wellness:

Encourage communication

This will make them feel included and help them deal with stress, personal or professional. You also need to make sure that they receive the correct information on time.

Recognize their efforts

Appreciate and reward them for their hard work and dedication. Recognizing employees for their work will boost their confidence and fuel productivity. This enhances working relationships and workplace culture

Be a good listener

If you let your employees speak up about their challenges and struggles, and empathise with them, it will create employee trust. They will feel valued and may also feel little less burdened by life.

Introduce wellness challenges

Wellness challenges will help employees remain intellectually and socially motivated. You can try workouts, cooking, online games, learning, or writing challenges that will boost morale and motivate teamwork.

Ensure financial wellness

Finance is one of the significant stressors today. Employers must ensure their employees’ financial wellness, especially during the time of COVID-19. Financial literacy is a must-know subject and you must keep employees aware or wise financial practices.

Host informal online sessions

Keeping your employees entertained during these tough times can be a stress buster for them. It also nurtures the connection among team members.

Reward your employees

Special incentives always contribute to a better workplace with an agile workforce. Employee rewards and recognition are the buzzwords in the human resource management space and the most substantial for employee engagement.

Host online sessions

Creating awareness on mental health issues is very vital now. When the leaders can build trust among their employees and encourage them to share their issues, whether or not they share, they feel a little relieved to realize having a shoulder.

Wellness is a broad term with multiple dimensions. Employee wellness programmes are vital to attract top talent, keep them happy, and decrease employee turnover and absenteeism.

A healthy organization starts with healthy employees; it safeguards company culture. Thus, prioritizing employee wellness is crucial for growth and development.

5 Things to Know about Your Remote Workforce | Barbara Weltman, Smallbiztrends.com

Now that the economy is opening up, businesses are deciding whether to retain remote work arrangements. A PwC survey found that 55% of employees expect to continue working from home even after the pandemic passes. In making the decision, employers should keep the following factors in mind.

1. Productivity may be better

Many companies are concerned about whether employees who work from home are as productive as those who work at company headquarters, offices, or other locations. A 2-year study by Great Place to Work reported that most employees working remotely said they were at least or even more productive.

2. Tax issues become very complex

If all employees live within the same state where the business is located, then permitting remote work arrangements does not impact payroll and income taxes. However, if employees live in a state that’s different from that of the employer, taxes get complicated. ADP has an extensive article explaining the complexity of this problem. 

3. Workers’ comp may need to be expanded

A remote work arrangement raises 2 issues for workers’ compensation:Whether an employer needs coverage in more than one state. Usually, a claim depends on the state in which the injury occurs. If the company is in one state and the employee is working from home in another state, the company may need coverage in both states (i.e., “extraterritorial coverage”).

Whether a worker’s injury at home is covered. Workers’ comp covers liability for injuries sustained by an employee in his or her own home if it’s considered to “arise out of and in the course of employment.”

4. OSHA isn’t a problem

The DOL said its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have any regulations regarding telework in home offices.  The agency issued a directive in 2000 stating that it would not inspect employees’ home offices, would not hold employers liable for employees’ home offices, and did not expect employers to inspect the home offices of their employees.

5. Cybersecurity is a big concern

Employers allowing remote work arrangements to continue should adopt policies to protect company data. This could include, for example, providing employees with devices to be used only on company business, educating employees about best practices for security, and helping them secure their networks.

It’s not going to be easy for all small businesses to decide on whether and to what extent they permit remote work arrangements. Many employees like this option and it may be an important way to attract and retain good workers in a tough labor market. If you decide to allow employees to work from home some or all of the time, be sure you address various issues to protect you and your employees.

9 Ways Your Company Can Save Money With Telecommuting | Recentlyhear.com

Whether you are an employer looking to save money and become more environmentally responsible or an employee who would rather skip the commute and work out of their house, there are many reasons to turn employees into telecommuters.

Here are 9 ways your company can save money with telecommuting:

1. Reduce the Rent – Fewer employees in the office means less office space needed. Down size the office and save on rent.

2. Lower Utility Bills – Less employees in the office and smaller digs translates to lower utility bills.

3. Purchase Less Furniture – With employees supplying their own office furniture at home, the company does not need to supply desks for them in the office. If you already own desks and chairs that will no longer be needed, sell or donate them.

4. Lower Insurance Premiums – Smaller office space and less furniture should lower your insurance premiums.

5. Fewer Sick Days – Someone that is feeling sick but still able to drag themselves out of bed can work even if they need to visit the bathroom 12 times during the day. What’s more, sick employees will not be spreading their germs to everyone else.

6. Flexible Work Hours/Working Part Time – When employees do not have to drive 30 minutes to and from work, they are generally more willing to work part time hours. Do not pay for a full 40-hour week if the job can be done with less.

7. Save on Office Supplies – With more employees working at home and less in the office, office supplies will not be so rapidly consumed.

8. All Employees Are More Productive – Let’s accept that when you have several employees working near each other, they find ways to distract each other from their job. Some isolation can lead to better focus and more productivity.

9. Less Overhead – Your overhead will be dramatically less when you start saving money on rent, utility bills, furniture, insurance, sick days and paid hours. With less overhead, it will be easier to generate a profit.

Remote Work Digest: April 29, 2021

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

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

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

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

1. Conduct a meeting audit

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

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

2. Don’t substitute a meeting for connection

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

3. Go back to basics

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

4. Send agendas ahead of time

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

5. Embrace meeting excellence

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

6. Incorporate breaks

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

7. Normalize turning off the camera

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

8. Inject some humanity

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

9. Assign rotating roles

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

10. Try to establish meeting-free days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.Set achievable goals and benchmarks

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

2. Automate routine tasks

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

3. Allow team members to design their own workdays

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

4. Keep meetings to a bare minimum

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kick start your day on a good note

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

Create a mindful workspace

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

One thing at a time

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

Go slow

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

Love yourself

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

Remote Work Digest: March 30, 2021

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

Start fresh or anew: Remote work is available to entry-level job seekers | N.F. Mendoza, Techrepublic.com

The job market appears to be improving, and many companies are moving to either permanent remote/hybrid workplaces. Job seekers without much experience now have the option to secure jobs that don’t require going into the office.

Entry-level job openings are available in nearly every job category, according to Remote.co’s list of jobs, which listed in alphabetical order, positions that meet the following criteria:

  • Fully remote/work-from-home jobs
  • Entry-level career level (0-2 years of experience required)
  • Active as of March 25, 2021

It’s no surprise that for the best jobs on the market, competition is fierce. Because tech work can be found in pretty much every industry, it opens up the possibilities further.    

Remote.co’s career expert Brie Reynolds outlined four key strategies to help job applicants stand out.

  1. Discuss your skills that prove you’ll be a competent remote worker. “Include the specific skulls that make you a good remote worker, such as written and verbal communication, independent worker, organized and productive, great time and task manager and having a growth mindset are all good ones,” Reynolds said.
  2. If you’ve already worked remotely, highlight that info. Any position in which you’ve worked at a distance from your coworkers, across time zones or physical distances counts.
  3. One application does not fit all. Customize your resume for each remote job application. “You don’t have to rewrite the whole resume, but you should absolutely spend time making sure your document is keyword-rich in at least those top two sections, summary and key skills, using the same language from the job description.”
  4. Expect to be asked “Why do you want to work remotely?” Talk about how “you’re better able to focus, or you’re not worrying about catching a train home” or battling traffic at the end of the day or because you plan for a home office space that energizes and focuses you on your work. “Don’t discuss the personal benefits because employers already assume these things like getting more time back in your day and having better work-life balance.”

Guide to protecting the business when staff are working from home | Nicki Robson, Thehrdirector.com

With many companies planning to introduce software to monitor staff productivity remotely, HR experts have highlighted top steps to protect business owners when staff are working from home.

Here are the steps you can take to protect your business when staff are working from home:

1. Provide key training around the GDPR legislation

It is a key requirement for all business to train their staff on GDPR legislation. Ensure that you are providing adequate training for your team and have a data protection policy in place.

2. Sharpen management skills

Implementing good management practices that employers can follow while staff are working from home can increase staff efficiency and trust without the need for micromanagement and productivity monitoring software.

3. Strengthen communication

Make sure your business has robust communication mechanisms in place to keep employee/employer relationships strong.

4. Offer technology training

Provide employees with the opportunity to take up technology training or computer refresher courses. Once staff members are aware of how to use their technology, they will also be less likely to accidentally breach data protection laws while remote working.

It is important that you comply with data protection legislation and have adequate policies and procedures in place.

5 most common mistakes project managers make |Angela Scott-Briggs, Techbullion.com

Too often we forget how much of a difference this can make in delivering a project on time. Thus, instead of stressing about the outside factors, you should first take a look inside your own company and review how things are done. A faulty process will cause you to miss a lot more deadlines than any other factor.

To help you get started, here are the 5 most common mistakes project managers make. Correct them and you will be on your way to a more efficient timely process.

1.Lack of direction

One of the most common reasons for missing deadlines is ineffectiveness. Instead of working on a project, teams and companies lose a lot of time in trying to determine what should be done next. Thus, wasting valuable time and resources on something that should already have been done.

2. Lack of information

Similar to not knowing what should be done next, teams can also struggle to deliver work on time if they are unsure of what the task is. While it is clear to the manager what each work item entails, this information is often lost in the communication and thus time is spent on clarification.

3. Lack of visualization

Another big mistake when we talk about meeting deadlines is not visualizing your process and monitoring the flow of tasks. To make sure everything is going according to plan, it is important to track progress and identify which blockers can affect your timeline.

4. Lack of employee engagement

Employee engagement is a crucial part of any project’s success. A motivated team will deliver better results faster, while those with less incentive will be more prone to missing deadlines. But how can you engage your team without punishing them about a missed deadline? Try to involve them in the decision-making process.

5. Lack of actionable decisions

Lastly, one more mistake that causes your team to miss deadlines is too many report meetings and too few decisions. Surely, meetings are important to get in touch with your team and find solutions to issues, but too often this time is used to only report on status. In such cases, everyone simply presents what they are doing at the moment and which issues they may be facing, but no actionable decisions are discussed. Leaving the person in trouble with no help.

To make sure your meetings are about troubleshooting and helping your team, use your project management tools to track progress and evaluate project status. This way, you will not need to spend time learning what everyone is doing at the moment, and can instead discuss solutions for issues or improvements to your process. Time is the most valuable resource of any project, so make sure you spend it wisely.

How to Improve Your Work-From-Home Experience (Even After Months of Doing It) | Lucas Miller, Entrepreneur.com

In a January 2021 survey from PWC83% of employers felt that their company’s adaptation to virtual work has been successful. Also noteworthy: 55% of employees said they would prefer to work remotely three or more days per week even after pandemic concerns have completely subsided.

Of course, some people would love to return to a normal office environment, but find that corporate policies are keeping them at home a while longer. Still others are enjoying the remote-work lifestyle, but find it could use some improvements. Here are a few ways to enhance your experience.

Set clear boundaries

When you work in the same place that you live, it’s all too easy for the boundaries between work and home life to blur. This is a problem that goes both ways. If you are answering work-related messages at the dinner table, your family won’t be too thrilled with you. On the other hand, if you allow your family to constantly interrupt you throughout the day, your productivity will go down and you’ll need to work longer hours to get everything done.

Schedule regular breaks

Taking a short break every hour will actually make you more productive, not less. Breaks help you avoid decision fatigue and stay motivated to complete the task at hand. By refreshing your mind with a short break, you can also improve creative thinking.

So, if you’ve gotten into the rut of trying to get everything done all at once so you can be done with your current task before your kids need you again, call a mental mulligan. Set an alarm for each hour if needed, but don’t neglect your breaks.

Clean up your workspace

If you’ve been working from home for several months, chances are you’ve allowed a fair amount of clutter to accumulate in your workspace. However, as Joel Falconer explains for Lifehack, “Even if you are anti-minimalist, you should declutter. We’re defining clutter here as distracting material, including mess. Nothing is worse for your mental state than living and operating in a mess. Expect lethargy and crankiness and a particular level of apathy towards your state of affairs. Anything you don’t use on a daily basis should be put away, and anything you don’t use should be thrown straight in the bin.”

There is no denying that while working from home can be convenient for many, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. By taking these steps to improve your work environment, you will be able to better enjoy your day-to-day routine, while still remaining productive.