It’s always tricky to lure and keep talented software developers.And if they’re already part of your company, other employers will try to poach them.The perennial talent shortage in technology doesn’t help either:IT companies are always in flux when solving technology problems.Demand for specific IT skills change every few years.Because of this, last year’s sought-after skills might not be in vogue now.At Remote Workmate, we’re all about finding the best people and matching them with clients.Just divide your total number of leavers in a month by your average number of employees in a month.These days, the most effective way is via a pulse survey, which is a short survey sent out on a regular basis.Look at what people say in anonymous suggestion boxes (if you have one).Examine why people leaveSooner or later, your employees will leave.After all, people’s needs change.If you can keep your turnover at 10% (which is a good number to aim for) and your leavers are low performers, your company should do fine.Knowing this would help you address issues and persuade your superstars to stay.Here are a few ways you can get to the root of the problem:Run regular engagement interviews to find out your employees’ motivations and outlook.Have an external consultant do exit interviews.
Research also shows 43% of workers look for a new job in the next 12 months.It’s obvious that retention is more important than ever, and onboarding is a prime opportunity to win the hearts of new staff.If you don’t offer travel opportunities, don’t say that you do.Not only will you avoid over-promising but candidates will also make more informed decisions when accepting your offer.If you can afford it and if it’s part of the agreement, offer to pay for a computer or peripherals.Some companies also pay for the internet services of their staff and you may do the same.For home-based staff, you’ll have to mail them the goods but they’ll be grateful to you for it.
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Today is the fourth installment of the “Thank You, Workmate” initiative.For August, we recognize Louie, an outstanding Community Assistant for a U.S.-based homeowner association management company.For his client, Louie provides administrative support services which usually includes answering phone calls and emails to help customers with their concerns; documenting processes; preparing reports; and various other administrative ad-hoc tasks.Here’s what one of his clients had to say:Louie is a valued asset.His natural dedication, drive, and work ethic set a high bar for the rest of the team.He takes the initiative, performs at a high level, and leads by example.Louie is the performance standard for our organisation.He’s the first person to jump on a call, volunteer, and take other team members under his wing.
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It will take you a really long time and a large number of applications before you get a single response, and even more to finally get hired.Even with telecommuting on a rising trend, there are still not enough positions for everyone who are opting for a home-based career so competition is quite high.Not to mention some companies are only partly virtual so it’s easy to mistake their listings to be office-based.In a sense, seeking online work positions is much like looking for buried treasure—laborious.The good news is that, by changing the way you search and applying the following strategies, you will increase your chances of discovering remote roles perfect for you.Strategy #1: Keep It OrganisedThe process is daunting enough; you don’t need a messy checklist to add to your stress levels.Following this line of thought, it may be said that you’re six people away from landing that ideal gig.Browse through your Slack channels, Twitter connections, and Facebook friends for people worth strengthening a professional relationship with.How to contactCustomise your message according to your contact’s organization and position.Some of them are filled internally through promotions while others are handled through applicant tracking systems like Zoho Recruit.This is a problem for you as a job seeker because you will not be aware of them unless you are part of their existing candidate pool.Fortunately for you, Google has a search function that allows you to look up these secret opportunities.Next, filter the results to show only the most recent results, preferably those posted within the last month.Strategy #4: Be The FirstSometimes, recruiters can’t be bothered to check beyond the first few applicants.
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But this becomes a crucial mistake when price is your main driver and you automatically go for the applicant with the lowest rate.Here’s the problem: the cheapest option frequently comes at a price – lower quality.This is especially important for small companies with limited funds.But you need to keep this control in check; otherwise you’ll end up micromanaging, which is bad for business.Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t micromanage:It fosters a stressful work environment.It demotivates your employees, lowers their productivity, and pushes them to quit.It makes your employees more dependent on you.It’ll burn you out with all the work.It discourages innovation.Rather than obsessing over every detail of your employees’ work, make an effort to develop trust in your organisation.unscheduled breaks, sick days)You also need to consider several other factors such as:Your company’s seasonal peaks and valleysReady-to-serve time to ensure an employee is available so that customers won’t have to wait longIdle time while employees are ready to serveOutsourcing your core competency“Core competency” is your company’s defining strength.Your staff won’t dedicate the same amount of energy and determination as you do.Besides, you shouldn’t let someone else create your company’s core for you.But what if you’re passionate about a concept but don’t have the technical skills to carry it out?Have someone internally (like a co-founder or trusted employee) who can execute your vision and knows the process inside out.If you don’t, you might end up losing control of the business to someone who knows it better than you do.Not participating in recruitmentYes, delegating is key to growing your organisation.
As a result, some businesses still hesitate to take on work-from-home arrangements.Yes, even in today’s new normal.Most of the companies who prefer an office-based workforce are put off by this lack of managerial oversight.Separating the wheat from the chaff is only one of the many challenges one has to face in running a remote team.There’s a lot of conflicting information as to whether virtual professionals are worth hiring or not.Read on to learn what remote workers can deliver in terms of productivity.Better PerformanceThey tend to go above and beyond what’s expected of them by both their employer and clients.The most prominent study relevant to assessing the performance of online employees was conducted by Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom and Ctrip founder James Liang in 2012 to 2013.Over the course of 9 months, 16,000 Ctrip call centre agents were observed as to how they fared when working from home.The results showed that 13.5% saw an increase in performance, of which 9% were working more minutes per shift attributed to fewer breaks.Furthermore, 4% handled a higher number of calls per minute due to a quieter working environment and fewer distractions.Additional HoursRemote workers are often willing to work longer hours than they normally would to do more.Looking at data on a Remote Collaborative Worker Survey by CoSo Cloud unveils that 23% of employees are amenable to extending their work hours.Additionally, 52% are less likely to take time off even when they are not feeling well.Thanks to the flexibility offered by working from home, people are likely to spread their work throughout the day and log 4 more hours a week compared to their on site colleagues.A recent survey by Airtasker found that remote staff worked 1.4 days more each month compared to their office-based counterparts as well.Greater CollaborationRemote workers make the extra effort to communicate and connect with their team to achieve common goals.Leaders worry that subordinates won’t cooperate when they’re not speaking with each other in person.This helps them achieve better work-life balance and make them happier in their role.
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Remote work may be a relatively new concept but the nomadic lifestyle isn’t.We’ve since fallen into the proverbial rat race where we work at least 40 hours a week in the same place.Are you starting to feel stifled by this typical 9-to-5 routine within the four walls of an office?Perhaps you have the urge to go back to your migratory roots, even for a short while.Being a virtual professional will allow you to work almost anywhere, as long as you can connect to the internet.Perks of Being a Digital NomadApart from having the freedom to choose where to live and work, there are several other benefits of working on the go, such as:Learning new skills.Making friends from around the world.Achieving better work-life balance.Avoiding distractions common in an office.Forgoing formal dress codes.Skipping the traffic on the daily commute.Experiencing other cultures.Having lower stress levels.Working remotely is more than just sitting by the pool with your laptop though.It might provide a temporary means of escape from problems at home but remember that you can’t run away forever.When you keep moving from place to place, it’s harder to maintain relationships as well.Without them, you’ll be limited to local clients who won’t pay as much as international employers.
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Here are several cost-effective ways how.Review and streamline your processesMany companies strive to become lean and capable of responding rapidly to change, and with good reason: it reduces cost and enables them to do more with less.But no matter how agile your organisation becomes, it’ll inevitably add new layers or steps to adapt to circumstances.There are typically four steps in carrying this out:Map out individual processes from start to finish.For best results, draw up a visual representation of each process (e.g.sticky notes) to make it easier to analyse.Meet with stakeholders (including staff and customers), talk about why issues exist, and how to address them.Create an action plan while taking into account the issues raised.Make sure you set measurable and achievable goals that align with your company’s objectives.Determine how to integrate technology into your action plan.The technology should make your process more efficient.Ask for a bank analysis statementIt’s common for entrepreneurs to deposit business earnings in the bank, but many don’t know how much they’re actually spending in service fees every month.
What you actually have to do when “managing your time” is to manage yourself and how you approach everything you do.So here are 12 tips to better manage yourself as time passes.Schedule your day ahead of timeWaking up in the morning without having a written plan on what you need to do during that day will likely result in forgetting critical goals or handling more tasks than you can manage.An easy way to avoid this is by planning your day and every week ahead of time.Allot 30 minutes to organise the following week’s schedule at the end of each week, and take as little as 5 minutes in the evening to look at the next day’s schedule.This will help you become better organised.And while you’ll spend some time planning, you’ll save so much time while not having to eventually fix mistakes.Set goals and rewardsSetting your goals is key to planning your day because it helps help you stay on schedule.These can range from sweet treats or good meals, to short periods of watching videos or simply not doing anything.Prioritise your tasksSometimes, you can’t do everything (maybe you lack time).An effective way to do this is to manage your priorities by dividing them into four categories:Important and urgent – Tasks that need to be done right away.Important but not urgent – Tasks that appear important where you can decide when to do them, but not before the “important and urgent” category.Urgent but not important – Tasks that need to be done right away but when completed don’t have any lasting value.Not important and not urgent – These are usually leisure activities or things you don’t need to do (but probably want to do).Categorising your tasks will give you a better view on which to deal with first.Start with small tweaks in your scheduleYou don’t need to overhaul everything in your life immediately to better manage your time.Instead, take baby steps, like waking up 15 minutes earlier every morning and reducing your social media time by 15 minutes per day.Doing these two small tweaks will result in an extra 30 minutes, which you can devote to:Practicing a new skill.Reading a book.Exercising for better health and focus.It might not sound like much, but using this new-found 30 minutes per day will result in 2 hours and 10 minutes per week where you’re working on getting better.Establish clear deadlinesHow much time do you have to finish your responsibilities?Also try choosing what you’re going to eat in advance.One way to quickly narrow down your options is by having food-themed days.
One of your most crucial tasks as a leader is teaching your people to think and ask the right questions.Outlined below are what may be keeping you from reaching your goals and how to conquer them.Overcoming Common Delegation Barriers1 – A Desire to Perform Tasks PersonallyIn some cases, you might wish to complete all the responsibilities on your own as you may be in a better position to handle the work, time-wise or quality-wise.Also, you might just enjoy that specific job despite your already packed schedule.You’ll have time to do things that only a manager should do, like speaking with VIP clients.Besides that, you need to take a breather every now and again too, so leave what can be consigned to your team.2 – A High Level of InsecurityWhen you feel that your workers are more skilled than you are, you may sometimes avoid delegating.You might fear that your position will be in danger as your inabilities might be exposed.Besides, who wants to be compared with a staff member whose skill in a certain area outshines your own?Suggestion: Be Happy as a MentorRather than think of them as competition, treat them as a disciple.Remember that you’re on the same team and that you’re aiming for the same things.Raise them to become the best versions of themselves and consider it a victory when they do because it means you taught them well.3 – A Lack of Confidence in SubordinatesYou may not want to risk consigning crucial tasks because you don’t trust your team members to deliver.However, understand that humans tend to learn more when they make mistakes and have to find solutions to the problem by themselves.Don’t dump everything in their hands though, but do it slowly and start with the less critical tasks.4 – A Scarcity of Time to MentorBosses constantly look for ways on how to make the team more efficient at what they do because time is money.
You either:Dedicate more hours to your task; orWork smarter.To help you make the most of your time, we’re going to focus on the latter.Here are several resourceful ways you can increase your productivity.Write your tasks downThis sounds simple, but it does wonders for your output.Having a to-do list every day helps you get organised and enables you to see where your focus should go.And when you cross an item off the to-do list, you get a sense of accomplishment, motivating you to work on what’s next.The best time to write your to-do list is during the night before.This way, you won’t spend time in the morning trying to decide what task needs to be done first.Shorten your to-do listWhile putting together your to-do list, you’ll be tempted to add a lot of tasks that aren’t necessarily important, so make sure you don’t include everything.For best results, put your phone on silent, then place it in a drawer in another room.Don’t forget to ask your friends and family to avoid contacting you during your work hours – especially if you work from home.Track how much time you’re spending on tasksYou may think you know how much time you spend on tasks, but you’d be surprised.According to a 2013 time perception study, only 17% of people can accurately estimate the passage of time.Knowing how long you spend on daily activities (e.g.
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Many hiring managers see interviews as an opportunity to interact with applicants to determine their personality fit for the organisation.So, keep the pleasantries brief and get straight to the point.They need to be asked the right questionsVeer away from enquiries like, “Do you like to be the centre of attention?” which make it seem you view introversion as a negative trait and opt for something like, “Do you like to work independently?” instead.Doing so will enable you to draw out information that you really need about their character.They are likely to undersell themselvesYou’ll soon find that introverts aren’t the type to brag or oversell their skills and accomplishments.While they may not tell you everything you want to know about them, don’t mistake this as a lack of enthusiasm.What you need to do is redirect the questions so they will yield concrete examples about their experience.They may take longer to answerSomeone who’s introverted is going to reflect on your question and have to gather their thoughts before speaking up.You might find this off-putting, but they consider this as a way to respect your time as you won’t have to waste minutes analysing their words.They might appreciate a two-level approachWhile not all of them are, some introverted individuals are self-conscious and uncomfortable in showing their faces even if it’s through a video interview.Consider doing a voice-only call first until they become familiar with you.Schedule the video for next time when you really need to see their face while answering your questions.They are often misunderstoodEnsure that your mind is open when you’re speaking to introverts.They’re more than just their timidness or quietness.There’s something about remote conversations that tend to make them more withdrawn so be understanding regarding this.They appreciate any advance warningHelp them minimise the unknowns that can cause them undue stress.
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From a purely business and numbers point of view, using time-tracking software makes perfect sense.It records and monitors how you and your employees spend time on tasks/projects.And because time trackers monitor what everyone does all day, you enjoy a few tangible benefits – including the following:Advantages to time trackingSpots bottlenecks in processes – Time tracking would highlight impediments that your team encounters like time-consuming procedures or tedious tasks that can be automated.By finding where most of your unbilled hours are from, you can make better use of your time.Identifies distractions – Because you see where your time is spent, you can recognise the specific instances when your attention is diverted (e.g.unplanned tasks, social media), the amount of time you’re delayed, and work on minimising or avoiding these interruptions.Helps employees find their peak productivity levels – Time tracking can also help you and your employees determine the hours when you’re most focused and complete the most work.Time tracking enables this and leads to greater accountability among your team, giving them a sense of greater responsibility.Monitors productivity – In using time-tracking software, you can determine your team’s work capacity and manage their workload fluctuations, ensuring that they won’t get stalled with unproductive tasks.Downsides of time trackingHowever, when it comes to staff relations, the use of time-tracking software is a little murky thanks to several disadvantages.Hurts employee morale – When you track your employees’ activities, they’ll likely get the impression that you don’t trust them, and feel that they’re being spied on.If you don’t properly communicate why you’re monitoring their time and output, it can negatively affect their morale.May violate privacy – One concern surrounding time tracking is employee privacy, especially with screenshotting.
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It’s more important than ever to prepare for the screening phase then, especially the interview, which is high stakes for both the candidate and recruiter.Remember: Choosing the wrong person or missing out on the right one is going to cost your organisation.You don’t want to waste your resources in training someone up only to discover that their personality type or professionals skills aren’t suitable for the position.Hence, you don’t want to ask generalised questions that won’t illicit information crucial to assessing an applicant’s personality type.In other words, how you interview extroverts should be different from how you interview introverts.You must be wondering how you can do just that.Well, if you’re getting ready to interview an extroverted candidate for a remote job, here are some tips on how to go about it more effectively.Boost EnergyBy nature, extroverts are outgoing, friendly and talkative.Taking a 20-minute power nap is helpful for reducing stress too, so you’ll be able to greet the applicant with a smile than a cranky “good day”.Prepare QuestionsWhen you’re trying to fill a management or technical role, you likely have plenty of things you want to know related to job tasks.This means you have limited time to look into the personality of the applicant.Meaning, don’t make your conversation fall into a boring Q session.Check their resume or portfolio for interesting tidbits you may chat with them about, like being awarded Employee of the Month three times in a row.
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The “Thank You, Workmate” employee recognition initiative returns for its third straight month.Today, we recognize Pam, a General Administration Assistant, for her remarkable work.Employed by an Australia-based electrical services company, Pam provides administrative support services, which usually include email management, schedule management, call-taking, online research, and various other ad-hoc tasks.Her client had this to say:“Everything’s going great.I am very happy with Pam’s progress.She completes all the tasks that I request of her.”Based on her usual interactions with Pam, our customer success manager Mae has chimed in as well:“She is polite, quick to respond whenever I need info from her, and immediately takes action when asked to do so.”Congratulations to Pam for her outstanding performance!If you’re in need of a superstar virtual assistant like Pam, partner with Remote Workmate today.We handle all the heavy lifting for you, including onboarding and payroll.This means finding the ideal hire becomes so much easier.You can actually choose from our pool of top candidates right away.
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At the time of this writing, the global coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, leaving many companies with no other choice but to work from home.Shifting to a virtual arrangement may come easy for some yet poses a unique challenge for others, especially for managers who find themselves in uncharted territory.Certainly, the sudden change in dynamics is expected to affect productivity.Whether the impact will be positive or negative will depend largely on how the transition will be carried out.If done carelessly, chances are that your workers will become disengaged and discouraged.You might think that a remote team is easier to manage than a traditional one.A few are providing funds so the employee can buy a brand new unit too.If this is possible for your team and budget, why not consider it?Make communication easyA 2017 study by Harvard Business Review found that over 50% of virtual staff feel mistreated and left out.If you’re juggling different responsibilities at home like childcare and technology issues, the same may be said for them.Practice empathy as you’re not the only one who’s adjusting to the arrangement.
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According to a 2006 research by Duke University, approximately 45% of your everyday actions aren’t actual decisions but habits.This is why you must develop those habits that will be beneficial to you, especially at work.Adopting new good routines may seem overwhelming but possible.What you need to do first is understand how they are structured and leverage them to your advantage.What Are the Three Components of Habits?Duhigg explains that all habits are broken down into three components:The CueThis is the part of the loop wherein you’re pushed to take some sort of action through a sign in your external or internal environment.Being mindful in the creation of these routines ensures that they’re effective.In doing so, your habits will become useful tools for accomplishing goals.Examples include secluding yourself when sadness sets in, working out at the gym, consuming copious amounts of liquor, and watching television shows.As it satisfies a need or craving, your brain quickly learns to repeat activities that generate rewards.Rewards should be used to reinforce good routines that you enjoy.Also, rewards are not meant to be given a week or a month after doing the action as this will make you less motivated.
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As the initial smoke clears, many entrepreneurs are left uncertain what to do next.After all, how exactly can a company survive when its events/projects/earning opportunities are being discontinued – or worse, prohibited?Fortunately, there are ways to bolster your business during this challenging time.Possible non-essential expenses you can pause during the pandemic include:Office spaceLeased equipmentCapital improvement projectsTravelOn-demand softwareYour objective is to be as lean as possible during the lockdown.Pivot to onlineWith a few adjustments, most brick-and-mortar businesses can shift their sales strategy to online to minimise losses.Many struggle, others go into hibernation, while a select few thrive and gain market share while their rivals sleep.To get a better idea on how you can strengthen your own business, study those who are performing well and find out what they’re doing differently.But don’t just study any business; analyse your indirect and direct competitors.To minimise risk, you need strategies that you know would work on your own business as well.Consider how your customers are thinkingConservatively speaking, COVID-19 will likely be affecting your business until the end of 2020, or at least until vaccines are available.However, you’ll need to look beyond that timetable, particularly how the pandemic will influence how your customers will think mid- to long-term.For example, it’s possible that a larger percentage of consumers will shop online more frequently even after the lockdown – maybe because they’ve gotten used to it and would rather minimise risk by staying indoors.Perhaps this will permanently shift consumer preference to online shopping.If you run a brick-and-mortar store or bistro, how will this behaviour change affect your bottom line?
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Remote work – otherwise known as telecommuting or working from home – has been huge in 2020.Even before the coronavirus outbreak, working without having to commute to the office has been growing steadily since 2010.As reported by business software discovery platform GetApp, remote work rose by nearly 400% in the past 10 years.A study by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics found that remote work grew by 44% over the last 5 years, 91% over the last decade, and 159% over the last 12 years.Remote work is becoming so ubiquitous that it’s no longer just a trend; it’s here to stay.But despite the widespread acceptance of working from home, there are companies out there who still aren’t sold on the idea.Some may have trust issues, data security concerns, or simply just don’t know how telecommuting can work.To help allay those concerns, we run down the most common remote work myths and debunk each.Myth 1: Remote employees aren’t as productiveProductivity (or the lack of it) is quite possibly the biggest myth there is.Remote work skeptics assume that telecommuters just lounge around all day, play video games, or stream movies instead of actually working.That’s probably because remote employees aren’t physically seen by their co-workers and superiors, and receive no direct supervision to help keep them on track.The truth, however, is the opposite: various research – including a few listed below – have shown that remote employees are actually more productive:A Stanford University study found that “home working led to a 13% performance increase”.This was due to fewer breaks and sick days, and a quieter work environment.An Airtasker survey of 1,004 employees found that remote workers take 22 minutes a day for breaks (vs. 18 minutes for in-office workers).They also worked an average of 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year than those who worked in an office.In a FlexJobs 2018 survey, 65% of employees said they’re more productive when working in a home office because they dealt with fewer distractions and meetings to interrupt them.Myth 2: Remote employees are unhappyBecause humans are social beings, working at home in isolation can get a little lonely.
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The Cambridge Dictionary defines the “yes-man” as someone who agrees with everything that their leader or boss says in order to please them.While it’s nice to have an employee who’ll never refuse your requests, the person themselves may not be happy about it.They might start to resent you and become disengaged.Besides that, asking questions is a human trait essential to discovery and progress.You’re not getting any new input which is crucial to improving your operations and growing your business.You must also realise that not all your ideas are good, but you won’t know that when your workers keep endorsing them.You have to know the difference as you might end up with employees who always disagree with you.The Problem ChildThis is someone who’s saying “yes” but is actually thinking “no”.Often, they fall short of their commitments.The PushoverThis is a person who hasn’t realised that their insight is as important as their compliance.They tend to give their assent without thinking, which is a grave oversight.These two types act passively and would rather avoid a conversation—all the more a confrontation.
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Be it hungry kids, a new K-drama, a mountain of laundry, or your tantalizingly comfy bed, there are numerous things that may grind your productivity to a halt.It’s certainly hard to stay on top of your to-do list when you want to make the best of your life.Fortunately, we have some steps you can take to stay on track not only in your job but in your personal life too.Step 1 – Establish a routineFor instance, by setting your email management in the mornings and sales calls in the afternoons, you’ll have fewer choices to make when you start your day.This helps to reduce procrastination and decision fatigue.If you find loud alarms and notifications to be intrusive, set aside time earlier or later in the day to be in focus or Do Not Disturb mode.Don’t forget to insert sections in your schedule for taking your parents to the doctor and other errands.Step 3 – Break up your workflowSome people are able to sit down and concentrate on a project for hours on end.Others will run out of steam then begin browsing Facebook.Are you more of the former or latter?Arrange your timetable in a way that works for you while ensuring that you have breaks in between blocks.Step 4 – Clean up your workspaceWhen your desk is covered with books, sticky notes and your child’s artwork, you’re more than tempted to divide your attention among them.Take a few moments at the start or end of your day to clear up any clutter.This isn’t possible when you live in an apartment alone but is easily resolved when you join a coworking space.This will give you the chance to take to expand your network but you’ll also learn a few new things.Step 6 – Install a distraction blockerImagine that you’re Alice; the internet is the rabbit hole you’ll fall into when you get distracted by a single white rabbit.If you’re not good at stopping yourself from checking social media or surfing the web, try installing an internet blocking tool like Qustodio or StayFocusd which you can turn on or off at certain times.Step 7 – Set up a home officeInstead of working in your living room or bedroom, it’s best to designate an exclusive space for work, preferably someplace with a door to separate yourself from the rest of your home.Use this area only for working so it’s easier for you to log out mentally once your day is done.Step 8 – Keep fellow residents informedIt’s helpful to post a printed or written copy of your schedule on the door of your home office.
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A month’s worth of wages may not be enough to pay the doctor’s fees alone so you’re going to have to use up your savings, if you even have any.Be spared from the financial burden by informing yourself what the common hazards are and how to prevent them.This is because using a chair that lacks lumbar support will make you hunch over and affect your posture.According to an article from Harvard, prolonged sitting tightens the hamstrings and hip flexors, as well as stiffens the joints.Consider investing on an adjustable sit/stand desk to improve ergonomics in your home office.Eye StrainBeing location-independent may actually put you at greater risk of eye strain.Reduce the glare from sunlight by closing blinds and curtains.Environment-Caused IllnessesWorking in an office means your employer or manager has control over the physical environment.This ailment is known to get worse over time so early detection and treatment is important.Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may include weakness in the hand, loss of proprioception, tingling in the forearm up to the shoulder, and shock-like sensations in the fingers.These might start gradually but if they persist, consult a doctor.Tip: Practice measures for prevention such as performing conditioning exercises before and after repetitive activities like typing.
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Or perhaps you hired the first virtual assistant you found to help you with administrative tasks.It’s highly likely that your outcome wasn’t as good as you expected.The brew was terrible; worse still, the virtual assistant wasn’t that good, so you ended up wasting time and resources.Fortunately, there’s a way to avoid such consequences.As for recruitment, you need to add structure to your hiring process.What exactly is structured hiring?Structured hiring means your hiring process has defined steps from start to finish, ensuring that all candidates are objectively evaluated using data and evidence – in a manner that can be replicated for every applicant.The objective here is to get the best possible candidate each time, while reducing recruitment costs and time to hire.So how do you add structure your hiring process?Here are several suggestions how.Identify the steps in your hiring processWhile some hiring processes differ, they have commonalitiesThe hiring process starts when you decide that you need to fill a role in your company and ends when an applicant accepts your job offer.However, what happens throughout the recruitment process varies, depending on the organisation.But regardless of these differences, companies usually follow these steps when hiring:Planning – This step includes identifying your hiring needs, making the job description, and determining the recruitment budget.Talent search – This step involves identifying the right talent, motivating them to apply (e.g.For instance, senior leadership roles will involve several more tests and interviews (including behavioural interviews) than rank-and-file jobs.That being said, you shouldn’t go overboard when modifying your hiring process, like creating an entirely new procedure from the ground up.
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After all, it’s not just the hiring company that gets to choose.Make it text-based, like through online chat or SMS.Why?Qualified candidates miss out on a coveted job.Companies miss out on possibly great hires who failed the interview because they were anxious.Now consider how different an interview would be if it’s done over online chat or texting.Candidates won’t have to:Worry about their appearance.Rush and travel to the interview.Deal with little details that may intimidate them, like an unfriendly interviewer who speaks loudly or asks questions aggressively.Because the interview is conducted over online chat or text, the candidate a) gets to conceal their anxiety and b) benefits from having a little more time to think about and edit their answers.This arrangement, of course, doesn’t eliminate anxiety completely, but it certainly helps curb the stress to a more manageable level.Curtails implicit biasConcealing the candidate’s identity minimises implicit biasImplicit bias is defined as “attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner”.age, gender, appearance) are concealed.Here’s proof that anonymising works: blind auditions have helped orchestras eliminate bias against hiring women.By having musicians perform behind a screen, juries choose candidates purely by performance.Text-based interviews take out non-essential details and distill candidates to their experience and achievements, enabling you to focus on making unbiased decisions.
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You want to get the best outcomes without overwhelming your people so consider the following tips:Determine the capacity of your teamYou must understand what your remote workers are like and how much each of them can handle.Also, you must know what projects and tasks you have to take care of, including the specifics such as deadlines, scope, resources, and budget.This will help you gain a better understanding of workload capacity.Use a calendar or timeline to help employees visualise their workloads according to start and due dates.Make sure to match the assignment to the worker with the corresponding skill set and availability.Talk to your people as to how much extra load they can handle.Not only will this give them the opportunity to grow; they’ll also feel included and increase engagement.Develop skills wherever possibleAs mentioned above, try to align tasks according to the capabilities and development goals of each individual rather than solely on getting work done.This guarantees that they’re directing their energy and brainpower towards the right things.Inform your staff how the projects they’re assigned contribute towards the vision and mission of your business.Praise high-calibre output to level the playing field and set the bar high.Keep everyone up-to-dateThere’s a saying that goes: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.
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It’s easy to get complacent in a role that makes you feel comfortable, after all.Compensation, benefits, amenities—any or all of these can stop you from looking beyond your current position so you start putting down roots instead.Forcing yourself to continue working may get some results but will also put at lot of stress on your mind and body.Imagine how frustrating, boring, and tiresome that’s going to be in the years to come.It won’t be a surprise if you begin to experience signs of depression which will eventually manifest physically.Prevention is Better Than CureRather than worry about what you’re going to do if you feel stagnant in your remote job, it’s smarter to stop from reaching that point altogether.We’ve compiled a list of simple yet effective measures that’ll aid you in your efforts.Stay updated on the trendsYou’d be surprised how many things can happen in six or even three months.What used to be the most effective SEO strategy may no longer work thanks to the latest algorithm update, for instance.This makes it important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in your field.Not only will this help you compete with other virtual employees but also you will be able to keep your brain busy.Build up your networkJust because you work from home, doesn’t mean you have to live like a hermit.Check out online events where you can socialize with people who share similar interests or are in the same industry.Expose yourself to a diverse group where you can discuss challenges and issues in the workplace.
If you don’t, your startup won’t really grow sufficiently because every little thing has to go through you.Sure, you can also try other ways like:Putting in more hours, but you have only so much time and energy to do everything.Raising prices, but it’s usually contingent on market constraints.Why should you delegate?Handing off tasks to others can help you in several key ways:It lets you focus.Instead of working in the business (like a mere cog), delegating lets you focus on specific parts of your business that will result in long-term growth.It lets you think of great ideas.When you delegate, you authorise employees to perform a task without micromanaging them.Today, we go over ways how you can effectively delegate your startup’s processes so that you can scale it properly.Create and implement repeatable processesEffective delegation is all about creating repeatable processes, which can be assigned to others and performed without your involvement, while maintaining the same output quality and turnaround time.To make this happen, you need to:List down each step in the process.Identify the role responsible in each step.Determine the time frame and necessary resources.Establish how to measure the results.Set standards for maintaining a minimum level of performance.Document every step.Completing all these steps will allow entrepreneurs to shift from involving themselves in every process (which will make them the bottleneck) to just approving the final output.Identify the tasks you should delegateSince each startup and entrepreneur are different, we can’t just give you a list of processes to assign to someone else.Instead, you can use HBR’s six T’s to help you decide which to pass off:Tiny – small, seemingly trivial tasks that add up (e.g.
They may even start out strong in tackling their now longer to-do lists, but they may eventually run out of steam, especially if they’re overworked, which will make them unhappy.You’ll see more of your workers leaving your organisation before the month is over at that rate.As a leader, it’s part of your job to help your remote employees balance their workloads better.Results are important but you surely don’t want a burnt-out team in exchange.Discuss with them the tasks they need to complete for the week or month.With this, your team will feel confident that they’re focusing their time and efforts where they’re most needed.Establish transparent workflowsGet everyone on the same page by making processes transparent.It’s a waste of time if they have to ask around every time so set a flow they can follow.Plus, forget about multitasking and create sub-units instead.Find out why inefficiencies occur and redistribute the work evenly where necessary.Keep communication lines openWhen a worker has a manager who is willing to listen to their work-related concerns, they’re less likely to be burned out.This is why it is crucial for leaders to establish a relationship with their team where they’re comfortable enough to open up about current assignments.Not everyone is capable of voicing out their thoughts so provide avenues where they can give feedback anonymously.
If it were, then we wouldn’t need recruitment specialists because any random person can do the job effectively.To help give you direction in your recruitment campaigns, we’ve compiled quotes showcasing the wisdom of major business leaders who have repeatedly hired the right people to help their organisation succeed.Lee IacoccaCredit: The World of the Ford MustangKnown for being a straight talker, American car executive Lee Iacocca is considered as one of history’s greatest CEOs, and with good reason: he played a major role in the development of the Ford Mustang, and revitalised Chrysler during the 1980s.Iacocca had this to say about hiring:“I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.”Lee IacoccaIacocca looks to hire smart, talented people.He founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s, which today controls hundreds of companies in fields such as publishing, hotels, banking, motor sport, and even space travel.If there’s anyone who knows about hiring employees, it’s Branson – who affirms that bringing in the right people is a challenge.“Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions and a healthy dose of curiosity.By the time an adult looks for employment, their attitude and personality have already been developed.And yet, personality have a direct affect your team and company’s culture.Guy KawasakiCredit: VGrigas (WMF)Venture capitalist and marketing expert Guy Kawasaki learned a few things from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.If you start hiring B players, expect what Steve called “the bozo explosion” to happen in your organisation.”Guy KawasakiApparently, there are entrepreneurs and business leaders who fear hiring employees better than themselves.But if you want to grow your organisation, you need some humility and hire high performers who are better than you.For your business to stay relevant, you need people who can replace you.Otherwise, your business will experience what Steve Jobs calls “the bozo explosion”, which is a tendency of initially innovative companies to deteriorate into mediocrity.Jeff BezosCredit: U.S. Secretary of DefenseYou might already know who Jeff Bezos is: founder of online retailer Amazon, the first centibillionaire, and world’s richest person.It’s better to put in more time, effort, and resources in the search than deal with the damaging consequences later.Ben HorowitzSource: JD LasicaTechnology entrepreneur Ben Horowitz is one of the co-founders of Andreessen Horowitz, a California-based venture capital firm.
Trust isn’t an abstract concept.Covey in The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, trust increases speed and lowers business cost.Here’s proof:According to a 2002 Watson Wyatt study, high-trust organizations outperform low-trust organizations by 286% in total return to shareholders.A later 2007 Watson Wyatt study found that organisations where front-line employees trusted senior leadership had a 42% higher return on investment than low-trust businesses.The same principle applies to remote teams.The whole arrangement requires trust between everyone involved.Note, however, that you can’t force people to trust you.Introduce them to colleagues with similar responsibilities, hold regular video meetings to promote a sense of belonging, or whatever else is necessary to engage your remote team.Doing this establishes your concern for them.Talk about your employees’ abilitiesTake the time to know your team members’ best skills, and talk to them about how they can best apply these skills in their jobs.Showing your knowledge of their skills tells them that you:Know them individually.Value their contributions to the team and organisation.Are willing to help them use their skills in their jobs.You can demonstrate this knowledge by occasionally sending items to your team members which can help them in their roles (e.g.books) and explaining how the items pertain to their abilities.Here’s a little secret: it feels great to see that your leader is looking out for you.Continually provide feedbackOffering no feedback as a leader would likely lead to apprehension among your remote workers.Worse still, those who need to improve won’t.If you’re not saying anything about their work, they’ll wonder if you’re pleased or not.
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