Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Alternatives to the 9-to-5 Job

Special Feature: Why Every Office Should be a Home Office

Now here’s an interesting article about transforming your office into a home office. Ben Lempert’s article, Why Every Office Should be a Home Officeprovides various suggestions for making your office more comfortable, healthy, and conducive to focused work along with advocating for a results-oriented work environment. Take a look at this list and let me know what works for you!

Who doesn’t love a home office? You can show up to work in sweatpants, you can get your laundry done, and you can eat when and what you want. Honestly, it’s awesome.

There are plenty of articles out there telling you how to set up a home office to avoid distractions. But what happens when you have to work in — gulp — an actual office? You know, not at home?

My proposal: start thinking of every office as a “home office.” This means: make every office a place where you can be relaxed and productive, comfortable and focused.

How to do that? Here are some suggestions.

Read more at Why Every Office Should be a Home Office

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Special Feature – Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well

Here is another upbeat, optimist article on working remotely by Michelle Kiss at Clicktime.com. In this article, she provides valuable some tips for surmounting common problems regarding remote team performance (communication, accountability, etc.) and social cohesion. In Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well, she writes:

Remote teams are the future. Heck, remote teams are the present! Thanks to a host of factors — improved technology, the high cost of rent, a more globalized workforce — more and more companies are choosing a remote model.

Going remotely can pay plenty of dividends. It lets you hire the best employees, without being bound by geography, it significantly cuts down overhead, it helps employees maintain a healthier work-life balance (no commuting time!). When done well, it can respect employees’ time and boost their effort.

But it also poses some potential problems. Here are some crucial steps you can take to avoid them.

Read more at Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well

How to Sell on Amazon [Infographic]

Submitted by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment

Making extra money online and escaping the nine to five grind often becomes possible when you set up a stream of passive income to supplement your regular income. A great way to do this is to sell products on Amazon.

While it can seem daunting at first, it’s best to remember that the people who sell you products on Amazon are largely normal folks. Anyone can sell on Amazon. All they have to do is choose the right product, set up a profile, and find a fulfillment provider.

Red Stag Fulfillment put together a complete guide to selling on Amazon, but for those who are looking for an overview of the process, this is a good place to start.

Getting Set Up on Amazon – First Steps

Read more of this post

Special Feature: Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home by Michelle Kiss

Early this year I mentioned that I won’t be authoring any more posts about working remotely myself. I still welcome content submissions on this topic however. That said, the following content on advantages and disadvantages of working from home was submitted by Arabella Ignacio from Clicktime.com. I believe the author made wonderful points and agree with the takeaway message to know yourself. In Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home, Michelle Kiss writes:

Let’s be real, no matter where you’re working from, you’re still doing just that: working.

So, should you work from home or work from the office? It honestly comes down to what environment you’ll be most effective in. (And how nice your home office is.)

One person’s productivity booster can be another’s distracting disaster.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the classic benefits that working from home!

Read more at Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home

How to Become a Self-Publisher [Infographic]

Are you interested in self-publishing? Recently, this visually stunning infographic came to my attention. And it provides a lot of useful information, addressing issues such as challenges to overcome as well as benefits and key aspects of self-publishing. According to Moneypod:

Self-publishing is becoming an increasingly popular method for budding authors to get their publications noticed, especially if their writings have been rejected by publishers in the past. However, it can be a tough start to your career and can take time to perfect.

If you’re an aspiring author, take a look and see if the following information helps with your planning.

Read more of this post

A Personal Note & Sober View of Online Business Headaches: Reputation Management & Cybersecurity

The benefits of online businesses have always been clear to me (e.g., the freedom and flexibility, the broad reach to potential faraway customers, etc.). However, recently I noted some massive issues online business owners face – reputation management and cybersecurity.

Internet mobs can destroy someone’s livelihood for years, and an unpopular or misconstrued Tweet (along with bad luck perhaps) can spark their wrath. Such missteps are related to innumerable topics – too many to list. So, I’ll visit the issue of bringing up politics in professional communications for business owners (but much applies to job seekers and employees alike) as I’ve previously discussed it from another angle.

Reputation management: Politics

Business owners must be wary of expressing political views in ways that don’t mesh with their customer base. I don’t know how often cases like this happen but one of my survey respondents wrote that merely unveiling your political affiliation can alienate customers: Read more of this post

Special Feature: Advanced Tactics for Highly Collaborative, Remote Teams by Breanden Beneschott – Co-founder / COO at TOPTAL

In a time where ideas and statements are often repeated over and over again, even as they relate to innovative ideas like remote work, I’m delighted to present Breanden Beneschott’s surprising and refreshing psychological insights on improving remote teams members’ communication. This exciting article will help you see obstacles and solutions differently as well as how possible remote work arrangements really are.

At Toptal, nothing about remote work is controversial. Over the last four years, we’ve lived and worked remotely in more than 30 countries. We’ve been running a 100% remote, 90-person strong, venture-funded company that grows hundreds of percent year over year—almost entirely from our laptops, phones, and tablets. Working remotely is a productive and efficient reality that we evangelize to our clients, while practicing what we preach. Hiring remotely removes the constraints of geolimiting and makes it possible to build the best team, regardless of whether members are across the Bay or around the world.

But it turns out some very smart people don’t agree with me. Recently, a post by Paul Graham and a subsequent response by Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg sparked a huge debate about remote work. I circulated Matt’s post to my team, because I think it simply and concisely says what we’ve been broadcasting for years: hire the world’s best talent, regardless of where they live, and everyone wins.

You’re probably already familiar with the textbook cases of successful remote teams such as 37Signals, Automattic, GitHub, and many more, but consider some not-so-obvious examples of times when office-dwellers work from afar:

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Announcement: Due to great alignment in interests, Irene Papuc from Toptal has been invited to feature articles on remote work, business, and other related topics on my blog. So I’d like to introduce her to my readers now and welcome her. By the way, I’ll be posting more in the near future as well. More on this later!

Are Remote Workers Happier Than Office Employees? [Infographic]

TINYpulse’s survey research report, What Leaders Need to Know About Remote Workers: Surprising Differences in Workplace Happiness & Relationships, states:

Today’s workplace is a global one, with companies and even teams that stretch across geographical boundaries. Distance is no longer a barrier to collaboration, thanks to technologies that allow for instantaneous communication across state and country borders. The idea of supervising and working with employees you rarely meet in person — if at all — is more and more commonplace.

So what’re some benefits of having a remote workforce? This stunning infographic answers this question. It also summarizes 509 remote workers’ description of themselves and their work experience and, finally, shows how they stack up against office workers. Who are these remote workers and why do they work remotely? Find out below! Read more of this post

Working Remotely – Jack’s Journey Out of the Office [Infographic]

For those who’ve missed my posts on working remotely, this attractive infographic sums up the downsides of working in a traditional office and upsides of working in a location independent manner. Several interesting facts are strewn throughout this story. For instance, “80 million (50% of the workforce) U.S. employees hold a job that is compatible with working remotely at least part time” and “80-90% of U.S. workers say they would like to work from home at least part of the time.” Read more of this post

5 Challenges Users Experience in Online Collaboration [Infographic]

If you haven’t yet read the Flipside Workspace versus Videoconferencing report, this infographic beautifully illustrates some of the main findings of the pilot study. Read on to learn about other possible implications related to the online collaboration tools of interest as well. Finally, give Flipside Workspace a try by visiting http://www.flipsideworkspace.com/. I look forward to your questions and comments!

View the infographic in full at Duncan-Coleverria, Inc.

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