Three Things That Make Remote Work An Exceptional Choice

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We are living in a time where the traditional working methods are consistently being challenged. For some people, they challenge this by changing the times that their working day begins and ends in their company. Others choose to adopt a four-day week policy, with paid long weekends. Companies are finally clicking that the way their staff work is going to define how well they do. It’s a simple solution: happy staff equals high levels of productivity which equals more profit. If all a company have to do is make their employees happy, you’d think that more people would be working on doing this. Barriers between managers and underlings (well, staff!) are being broken down and people are working better when they are treated like equals in the workplace. Trust is what makes companies successful, and one of the ways that many are requesting to work nowadays is from home. With the right amount of trust between manager and employee, there can be magic made.

People want freedom from the suit-wearing nine-to-five model of work and they’re getting it. As more companies realise that the attracting of top talent means relaxing with the working day, more is getting done and said talent is being retained. There are obvious advantages for the company, too, because you no longer have an office to pay for and very little in the way of overheads compared to needing to have an office for over twenty people working for you. Long commutes get ditched and this makes everyone happier, less stressed. Parents who are trying to find a balance between family time and work are more relaxed and taking less time off work, which then leads to higher productivity and more families staying together. Do you really need any more benefits listed for you? At this point, I hope not!

The bottom line is that allowing for remote work can be revolutionary for your business. Hopping on board with this idea is going to transform the way in which you do business. Remote working is more than just employee satisfaction, though. There has to be trust between employers and their staff and as with any model of working, remote work has its challenges. Here are some of them:

Technology

We have unrivalled access to technology now compared to thirty years ago, but when you’re having staff working from home, you need to be ensuring that your company software can manage the workload remotely from multiple computers in multiple locations. Agile testing metrics can help here, as you can catch bugs and issues with your software before your remote workers are affected. You also need to have security software of the best quality. Everything being remote makes the technical side of things harder, as people aren’t in house to see what the issues are. Internet outages and technology hiccups are common, but they are annoying! Always ensure your staff have a back-up laptop or plan to keep working, especially if there are deadlines to be met.

Communication

You may not have an office, but Skype training on the ways to communicate while working remotely is so important. Many companies have online platforms like Trello to work with so that project work and information can be shared. There are also community chats like Google Hangouts and work sharing programmes that can be used so that teams can stay teams – even when they’re not elbow to elbow. Remote work requires extra communication and you shouldn’t discount the need for a friendly emoji when things feel tense.

Lack Of Interaction

Being able to interpret how people will feel working remotely is difficult. Without the social camaraderie of the office, people can get pretty lonely! You can help your staff to nip cabin fever in the bud by making suggestions to work from cafes, the park – as long as they have an internet connection, they can work from anywhere. You could also put together socials for local staff so that they’re not alone. Weekly video meetings so you can use a voice and not type a message can also help.

Remote working is the future of most modern businesses now. It’s becoming more and more popular, and people are requesting the flexibility that remotely working can bring them. Do thorough research for your business before you agree to it, though, because you want to ensure that you’ve made the right choices for your staff, not the wrong ones. Do your homework and roll it out gently; you’ll see the positive difference it could make.

How To Make Good Money From Home

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We are constantly trying to think of new ways that we can earn more money, because as much as we may not want to admit it, it’s what the world revolves around. If you want to live a life without ever having to worry about being able to afford things, or feeling guilting because you know you don’t have that kind of money to spend freely, then you’re just going to have to make a darn good income that provides you with that financial freedom that everyone strives for. Yes, it’s easier said than done, because if it were that simple then everyone would already be a millionaire and the whole dynamics of the world would change.

There are many different ventures that you can go down that have the possibility of making you money, but before you get to that stage, it starts very young. Working hard in school and getting the good grades will definitely make life a little easier for you once you reach a certain age. Having said that, if you didn’t do too well in school, you shouldn’t let that hold you back either because it isn’t all about what grades you have, but it does help boost you a little further.

A lot of it comes down to the type of person you are. If you have goals and ambition and dreams, as well as being a hard worker with drive and discipline, then you’re already halfway there. Let’s face it, you could have all the best credentials you could wish for, but if you lack passion and determination you will find yourself stuck in front of many obstacles that you aren’t equipped to tackle.

When looking for a job, a lot of people will find it rather appealing to the idea of working from home. They assume that it will be easy as you can just sit back on your sofa with your feet up, a cup of coffee in hand, and the work will just come to you. But this isn’t how it works at all. If anything, working from home is even harder than working in an office with other individuals because you don’t have that stimulation of targets being forced into you because you’re alone at home, and so you have to try and do that all by yourself, but there are so many other distractions around you like the tv and the food, that it can be very hard to keep work as your only focus. This is why it isn’t for everyone, and you have to be a certain type of person to manage these conditions. Self-motivation is the absolute key, and if you haven’t got that, then remote work just isn’t going to be for you.

Now you know what it requires, you can think about the different options of work you have.

Here are just a few to give you some ideas.

Become a blogger

Starting up as a blogger is pretty easy, the hard part is getting an audience and making money. It’s even harder nowadays because there are already so many bloggers out there that are doing really well, so it’s more of a challenge to find a gap that you can fill. You can talk about anything you wish, but the more areas you cover, the more opportunities you make for yourself to create a decent income. There are many ways, both big and small. You can earn a few extra bucks here and there by allowing adverts to be shown on your site. The better money is by offering your writing services to promote brands and companies that are out there. So for example, if you were writing about the hottest new fashions trends and have a very influential say with a big following behind you, then a clothing brand may contact you and ask you to mention them, essentially sending people their way.

Become a trader

Trading is essentially a buying and selling process of finances such as stocks and bonds. You can do as much or as little as you wish, and the outcome will always vary, this is why if you’re just starting out, it may not be the best thing to rely on as sometimes you may lose a lot and not make any money for a while, but once you get the hang of it, you could really create yourself an income that gives you a lot of freedom. You will need to do as much research as you can before you start to dabble in this industry, as it can be a very confusing place to begin with. There are many sites and companies out there like emini futures that will give you some great tips and advice that will increase your chances of success quicker. Absorb in as much information as you can like a sponge, and the benefits will soon pay off, both figuratively and metaphorically.

Become a seller   

With sites like eBay and Amazon, as well as all the different platforms on social media, it has never been easier to sell things, be it your clothes, your electronics, or even things that you have created, like art or furniture. If you’re a creative one of sorts and love to make beauty out of your craft, then why not make money from your talent and skill? It can be a little scary at first because you’re putting yourself out there, but you may be surprised at how people react to what you do. It will be slow in the beginning, but you can use the likes of social media to accumulate a following. The more people that begin watching what you do and appreciating it – the more chance you have of making sales. It’s like climbing up a ladder, and the higher you go, the more opportunities you’re going to have because people are really listening and watching you thrive.

Now you have a few ideas, get thinking about what skills you have and what you are able to offer.

Cutting Costs When You Work from Home

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When we make the decision to work from home, one thing that we often forget to consider is the how this will affect our household bills. Sure, we’ll save money on a uniform and the commute to work. But, you’ll be at home, all of the time. You’ll spend more on food and drinks as you eat at home more. You’ll be using your own electricity to power computers and other tech. In the winter, you’ll need to heat your home for longer periods, so that you are able to work in comfort. If you hold meetings at home, or invite clients, customers and suppliers into your house you may even have to spend more on cleaning supplies or staff to keep it looking its best. While you may be able to claim some of these costs back as tax-deductible expenses, it’s probably fair to say your costs will still be higher than you are used to.

But, just like there are ways to save money on traveling to and eating at work, there are ways to save money on running your household when you are working from it. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Heating

Over winter time, heating our home is essential. Especially if you work in it during the day. You shouldn’t have to try and type with freezing fingers or go out to meet clients as your house is too cold. But, you won’t want to spend too much either.

Firstly, look at how you work. Can you stick to one room during the day to reduce heating needs? Make sure you are wrapped up warm and have plenty of hot drinks. You can also use a hot water bottle and add a draught excluder to keep cooler air out of your workspace.

Then, look at how you heat your home. Gas Oil is often much cheaper to use as the tax is lower, just make sure your boiler is able to use it to heat your home. Generally, over the winter time, you might find it cheaper to keep your heating on all of the time, with the thermostat at a steady temperature, than turning it on and off all of the time. Consider adding a smart meter to monitor your usage.

Food

In theory, eating at home should be much cheaper than buying lunches at work every day. But, this isn’t always the case. When you are at home, with no set break times, it can be tempting to graze all day. Many home workers find this leads to greater food bills and weight gain. Try preparing lunches and snacks in advance and sticking to a food plan, to help you avoid overeating and cut your food bills.

Electricity

Electricity is probably the one thing that you can’t work without. But, try to when you can. Switch off when you aren’t working or working on paper. Use energy saving bulbs and try to get the most out of your laptop batteries. If you’ve got solar panels, and free electricity during daylight hours, make sure you use that time to charge and get more done.

Daysleeper Or Night Owl…Can You Run A 24/7 Business From Home?

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When you are running a business from the comfort of your home office, the temptation can be to put 110% into your business 110% of the time. And while the demand for 24/7 services is very much part and parcel of the world we live in, is it realistic for you to take on this mammoth task when it’s just you?

How Can You Cope?

The fact is if you are running a business where you have contact with customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you fully intend to embody this approach, it’s impossible for you to keep up this pretense. While at the very beginning, you can feel stretched to your limits, once the business gains traction, you can begin to outsource certain tasks to freelancers. This is a very precarious path, especially if you are looking to make the most of talent across the world to communicate your multicultural approach to customer service. Because you may be lacking in finances, you have to make the most of the talent you can afford, such as via freelancer websites. While this approach can be effective, you need to be aware, especially when communicating yourself, that the language barrier doesn’t cause issues not just in relation to the people who hire, but the customers also. To make things a bit smoother, you may want to utilize a translation service. Many organizations, such as Lighthouse Translations, can work with you to communicate your tone of voice that doesn’t make it seem like your work has been fed into google translate! Although this can be a very tempting option in which to cut corners, you are going to, very likely, come across as amateurish.

Why Organization Is The Key

It is a very difficult thing to get right, because you are, in essence, spreading yourself over so many different time zones. If you are at the point where it’s just you, you have to have your processes as tightly wound as possible. Make the most of calendar programs, but also, when it comes to the marketing, there are so many social media tools that could help to keep your business advertising ticking over. Hootsuite is one of the most common examples. Rest assured, if you don’t have everything nailed down with spikes, you won’t keep on top of everything.

You Have To Set A Limit

And if you are making the most of freelancers, and outsourcing certain processes to make life easier for you, but you still find you are struggling with the weight of the work, it’s time to set a limit, for the benefit of your frame of mind. It’s unhealthy to answer emails at 3 in the morning, no matter how much time you think you’ll save yourself in the day. By setting yourself a strict working regime you can get that work-life balance down.

Make no bones about it, a 24/7 business requires a 24/7 mindset. And it’s impossible for you to think that you can do it all by yourself. No matter how little you have in the way of finances, you still need to make the most of the right talent, so your business can spread itself across different time zones.

Spurring You On To Work: The Functions Of The Right Home Office

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For every person attempting to fix their work-life balance, inevitably, the topic of working from home comes to mind. Working from home provides so many different benefits for each and every one of us, not just because we get to spend more time with our loved ones; it has been shown to have a positive impact on our frame of mind. A major reduction in commuting time is one of the more obvious positives, but, in order to do this effectively, you need to have a few things in place to make the office productive, and as conducive to a working environment as possible. What do you need?

A Space Far Away From Any “Traffic”

It’s all well and good having a place to work from home, but if you’re not going to get any work done, because of the amount of foot traffic going through your house, you are not going to view this as a working environment. Make sure you have a room that’s far away from any signs of life. If this isn’t possible, it’s time to put some ground rules in place. While it’s all very good you working at home, you still need to treat it as if it is a workplace, and that is the only way you will get anything done.

Just The Right Amount Of Distraction

You want to be focused on your work, but also, you need to be suitably enthused. While there are little productivity methods, like the Pomodoro technique, you need to ensure that you’ve got enough stimuli around you to keep you inspired. Working by a window can at least give your eyes a break from the mundanity of the computer screen, or setting up an office space with glass doors can prove useful in terms of a sense of transparency, but you have to be sure that it’s not going to distract you too much. For something like glass doors, branding window films can provide a nice aesthetic to your interior glass, reminding you that you can do what you want in your own home office environment. You don’t have to stick to the rules and regulations of the office you tend to go to. So, as long as it doesn’t distract you too much, you can put up paintings, pictures, or any designs that will aid your productivity.

Keep It Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable

Comfort at home is an overwhelming positive when you decide to work where you live, but it can’t be too comfortable, otherwise, you won’t have any productive days. This is why it’s a good idea to separate the office from the rest of the house, and treat it like it is a place to work, rather than a place to relax. But when you are working at home, you still need adequate downtime, in which case, comfortable furnishings like an ergonomic chair, can provide that little bit of comfort, but not too much of it.

It’s very difficult to be productive when you’re at home, and while setting up an office is the first step, you need to make sure that it doesn’t cross over into the rest of your home. You need that balance between productive and relaxed, so start to think about what spurs you on to work.

How To Make Your Work From Home Business More Professional

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Running a business from home is a luxury that many are taking to because of the convenience of the job. Being able to work your own hours and at your own pace is something that many people long for, especially if you have other commitments in your life like young children or elderly parents to care for. The only problem with running a business from home is that you can struggle to come across as a legitimate and professional business. However, there are some great ways to make sure that this is no longer a problem. Check it out:

Create a kick ass website

One thing that all great and successful businesses have in common is a website that shows how professional they really are. Invest in a web design company that can create the perfect look for your website. Remember to make it so that your website is easy to navigate around. Having a website that’s too complicated will turn potential customers away and straight towards your nearest competitor. Making sure that your contact details are easily found is also essential so that your interested clients can quickly and easily get in touch if they want your services. Don’t forget to include a price list so people know what they are letting themselves in for!

Have a logo designed

A mistake that many people who run their business from home make is not having a logo for their business made. Having a logo defines your business and imprints your name into people’s minds. Come up with a clean and simple logo design for your business so that you can begin showing it off on social media, your website, and also any paper documents that you send out to clients. Remember to make sure that the colours match the theme of your website, or vice versa with your website matching the colours of your logo.

Invest in a virtual office

One of the biggest problems of running a business from home is having to put your address out there for everyone to see. For obvious reasons, this can lead to trouble further down the line. It also doesn’t look very professional. Rather than giving yourself the hassle of having a disgruntled customer turning up at your door, invest in a virtual office. This will give you a permanent business address for your post and phone calls, and all will be forwarded to your home address. Privacy for you and your home, and professionalism for your business!

Have business cards made

Finally, it’s likely that you will have events to attend at some point during your business life. Whether it’s a networking event or you’re trying to promote your business, having business cards handy to give out will help you grow your business no end. They also add a sense of professionalism and trust; meaning more clients for your business!

Apply these tips to your home business and see the difference it makes becoming more professional!

How to Go Green in Your Home Office

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If you have a home business or are looking to get into having a home office, then you are in the prime position to start going green. There are hundreds of things you can do to make your office more environmentally friendly.

Some of these are common sense, and others are quick tips to help you tackle going green a little easier.

Turn off your computer totally when not in use. There is no need to put it in sleep mode or rest. Just save everything properly and turn it off.

Update you stand-by settings and set the times for the standby mode to kick in within about 30 minutes of you not using your computer (during working hours).

Make sure all of you electrically equipment is up-to-date. While you might think ‘it works perfectly well, so there is no need to replace’ and there is some truth in that, the newer technology is much eco-friendlier, simply by being more energy efficient.

Use a scheme to recycle your old computers, rather than just get rid of them.

Replace all of your bulbs with LEDs wherever possible, they use around 75% less energy than standard light bulbs. And, last longer too, saving money in the long term.

Rather than have darker décor and use a lot of lighting to lift it, swap for some whiter – lighter walls. It reflects light better and will be well lit for longer during the day – meaning you’ll be reaching for the light switch less.

Whenever possible, refrain from printing – however, if you do need to print something, switch to recycled paper and use both sides. Again, newer printers will have this option, so it is worth the upgrade.

Aim to get a printer with an eco-mode.

Recycle your used printer and toner cartridges.

If you find yourself either grabbing bottled water on the way to the office or stocking up on bottled water then switch to something like a 30 oz yeti rambler, they keep drinks cooler for longer, and you won’t be trucking through so much one-use plastic.

When picking office supplies, try and get things like staple-less staplers and pens that can be refilled rather than just thrown away.

Try and find a program that recycles anything in your office that you notice you use a lot of.

Add some plants to your office space, not only does it do wonders for your productivity, but they also do their own air recycling. Keeping your office air cleaner and better for you.

Add a note to the bottom of your emails with a friendly reminder that unless it is essential not to print the email.

Where possible, ensure that if you are buying anything, you look for an eco-friendly brand or one that specializes in recycled materials.

You can even swap out your current cleaning products to ones that are less damaging to the environment.

Going green is natural if you tackle it bit by bit!

Running A Business From Home Is Easier Than Ever Before!

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Many people these days find themselves totally dissatisfied with the standard model of employment, that’s hardly anything new. After all, the standard work-a-day world has had a reputation for sucking the life out of people for as long as it’s existed. For decades, people have dreamt of throwing off the shackles of their employer and striking out on their own. People have always wanted to start their own businesses and take charge of their lives. The big difference now is that it’s something that many people are actually able to do. It truly has never been easier to start your own business. One of the major things that have lowered the barrier to entry when it comes to business is that people are, more than ever, are able to run their businesses from the comfort of their own homes. Where you once might have needed a dedicated office space in order to get your startup off the ground, now you really only need the drive, the time and the inclination. Here are a few reasons why it’s never been easier to run a business from home.

Cloud storage

Running a business comes with the need for a pretty hefty amount of storage. This used to mean purely physical storage but over time that was replaced by digital storage. While digital storage definitely takes up less space than physical storage, not many people have the room (or budget) for a large series of servers to store all of their files and information. This is where cloud storage comes in. Cloud storage is essentially a huge network of online servers that allows you to safely and securely store your data. This means that your files and information are always available without taking up huge amounts of room on your personal servers. Not only does this save you huge amounts of space but will also prevent your servers from slowing down due to the massive drain from trying to accommodate all of that storage.

Virtual office

While a virtual office might sound like something from the future, it is in fact very real and extremely useful. One of the biggest roadblocks that a lot of startups face, especially ones run from home, is that they find it difficult to make customers, clients and investors take them seriously. A lot of people will see that a business is run from home and automatically assume that whoever is running that business is doing it as a hobby and perhaps not really that interested in it. This leads them to assume they won’t get the same level of service that they would expect from a more established company. Services like yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk allow you to present your business in a way that seems far more established. Virtual offices can also include telephone and email services that will make sure that no matter how you are being contacted, your business always seems professional and legitimate.

Of course, none of this means that running your own business is suddenly something easy that everyone in the world can do at the drop of a hat. But it does mean that you don’t have to spend your life stuck in the standard work situation, slowly losing any spark of passions or drive that you once had. Instead, the modern world has allowed people to take control of their lives and their businesses.

So You Want to Run Your Business Remotely?

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Running a business remotely is becoming more popular, especially for new start-ups and the self-employed. The advances in technology of recent years have made this possible and it is a trend that is likely to continue to grow. Then as the business grows and you need workers to help you, is it possible to still run the business remotely?

Embrace Technology

One of the biggest worries for any employer in this situation is if the employees are working the hours and completing the tasks they should be. That need not be a concern anymore. As long as everyone concerned has a good Internet connection and the right software, you will always be aware of these things. Using a cloud-based time and attendance system is a good way to achieve this. You can also set up alerts so that is someone does not sign in when you expect them to, you will be notified.

Keep In Touch With Your Employees

Studies have shown that a digital workplace can empower the digital worker and make them more productive, as long as they have the support they need.  Always keep in touch with the staff, and be there to communicate with them if they encounter a problem. Be vigilant with checking email and voicemails so that you do not miss a message from them, as from their point of view it can be very frustrating if they feel they are being ignored.

Because you are running the business remotely, does not mean the staff is not working together in one place. If you have a workplace for your workers, make sure you visit sometimes so that they are aware that you are always around.

Keeping in touch with your employees will help to keep them motivated and will encourage a team spirit. A base camp for project collaboration is a good idea, and use things such as Skype for face-to-face chats.

Interact With Your Customers

Communicating is one of the most important aspects of running a business remotely, and you should endeavor to do this with your customers as well as your employees. Interacting with them on social media, or replying to emails they send is always crucial as it makes the customer feel they matter, and helps to build trust in your brand.

Employ The Right People

This can be easier said than done because until they have actually worked for a while you will not really know how good they are at their job. When hiring new employees try to opt for people who you think will understand the demands of your business, who are honest and enthusiastic and who will support you as a remote manager.

Just a few years ago the possibility of running your entire business operation remotely was far less of an option, and would even be considered impossible by some, because of all the challenges involved. Now it is so much simpler to do, which is why so many business owners and managers are choosing this way.

Building a Flexible Workplace for the Future

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With all the advances in technology of recent years, employers and businesses need to be more flexible than ever. New innovations will continue to appear, and if companies cannot cope with them, they will soon fall by the wayside as their competitors take things on board.

Flexible Buildings

Flexible buildings are usually of a modular design that makes it not too difficult to adapt or move to another location. They are designed for multi-use applications and to make relocation as stress-free as possible. If you need to move your business to a new place, just think how much easier that will be if you can take your physical building with you, and be inconvenienced for a very short time.

You may not have heard of this sort of building before, but industries and governments in over 100 countries use them all the time, as the need for flexible buildings is far greater than many people think.

Flexible Hours

One of the things that technology has done is to make working remotely very much easier. Now when there are school vacations, or a child is sick perhaps, the parent is still able to work, but from home. Flexible hours have been in use in some businesses for quite some time, but in the past it has meant still going to the workplace for the same number of hours, just at various times.

Now that is not so much of a problem. With digital devices where people can talk face to face if the need arises and meetings that can be held with participants in different locations, flexible hours have taken on a whole new meaning.

Flexible Work Practices

It makes sense that is someone is particularly good at a specific job they do it all the time. The problem comes when that person is taken ill or goes on holiday, what if no one else knows how to do it?

These days, savvy bosses are not letting this happen. They are introducing flexible work practices where workers get to do various jobs, not just their own. This can be very advantageous when something unexpected happens that creates a situation where someone else needs to take over a job, even on a short-term basis.

Flexible Staff

It is not just employers that need to embrace flexible buildings, like the ones at https://calhounsuperstructure.com/q, flexible hours and flexible work practices. The employees of the business need to as well. It is not much use an employer putting all these things in place if the employees are not backing them. Of course, these things are in the interest of the staff, so it should not really be a problem. All good bosses realize that a happy workforce is more productive, and will do all they can to keep them that way.

The workforce needs to realize that these measures are not put in place so they can sneak time off, but to help them manage a work to life balance. If the business starts to suffer because they take advantage, the employer will soon stop trying to be so helpful.