2020: What we’ve learnt

This entry was posted in Articles, New Year, Working life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by Andres Herrera.

2020, the year the Covid-19 pandemic broke into our lives, was especially hard for most of us. It forced us to get used to a new reality in a matter of days. Some changes were already there but they got accelerated. The impact was felt in every sphere: mentally, physically, on the economy… and of course, on how we work.

Remote working

One of our guest writers remarked that 70% of UK workers will be working flexibly even after the Covid (‘Why the work from home revolution is coming’). More versatility, a better work-life balance, and, according to some studies, higher productivity are on the ‘pros’ side of this new experience.

Of course, not everything is positive. There is enough evidence to support that there is value in presential work: spontaneous, face-to-face exchange with colleagues makes collaboration easier, allows co-creation, and possibly results in a more integrated team. We still need to find a formula to combine the benefits without affecting the production of collective intelligence.

Time management

The future of smart working depends much on our individual capacity to adapt without affecting our efficiency or personal routine. According to one of our recent articles, we should ‘try to recreate the structure that comes with working onsite by limiting distractions and setting boundaries’ at home.

Recommendations for remote working efficiently and in a healthy way have filled newspaper pages, taken up our LinkedIn feed and thousands of Twitter threads. If you’re still struggling to adapt to it, here are a few tips.

Emerging jobs

The pandemic not only showed how valuable our healthcare system and professionals are. It also revealed a shortage of trained workers in this sector, especially nurses, doctors, and support workers. For those professionals and students who are still formulating their future, the Covid crisis has opened the potential for developing more meaningful and contributive careers for society.

As the distribution of goods has become increasingly important for the economy, the Logistics sector is creating jobs on a massive scale. But it is not limited to this: professionals in Education, Finance, IT, and Construction are also highly in demand.

New job search technologies

Recruitment also adapted and reshaped at a very fast rate. Companies accelerated the implementation of some emerging technologies to continue hiring despite all odds.

Video interviews have become the new norm throughout the entire hiring process. Evaluations, questionnaires, and even contracts are signed online. Paperwork became paperless.

Other tools being implemented, such as AI-powered software used by recruiters to manage their hiring process and chatbots that enable a fluid exchange between candidates and companies.

And as for job seekers, conducting a virtual job search is mandatory now. Fortunately, most candidates are already aware of search engines such as JobisJob to browse and apply in a fast and simple way.

There’s always hope

It has been a great opportunity to appreciate our own ability to adapt and to learn. We learnt how to work and live smarter, how resilient we are, and above all, we also learnt that physical distance is not a barrier to stay connected and accomplish things together.

Why the work from home revolution is coming

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , , , on by Andres Herrera.

We’re all aware by now that COVID-19 has sparked a surge in flexible working across the UK. This began out of necessity, as working from home was advised wherever possible, but Britain’s workers have continued to stay at home in large numbers even after lockdown.

Although there is likely to be more of a return to normal working patterns once the COVID-19 crisis has fully passed, once the genie has escaped the bottle it’s hard to put it back in fully. As a new study from Direct Line shows, HR directors are expecting that 70% of UK workers will be working flexibly in one form or another after COVID-19. Here’s why the work from home revolution is on the way.

Work from home means greater freedom

The clue is in the name: flexible working allows workers to have more flexibility and freedom in how they balance their home and work lives. Whether they choose to work from home for only a few days a week, or even the whole week, workers have the power to choose the working pattern that suits them best.

The benefits of this are clear: working parents will be able to pick their children up from school, or work from home when they’re ill, for example. On the other end of the spectrum, the ability to work flexibly can be incredibly important for those workers who may have caring responsibilities for elderly parents.

When working from home can improve work-life balance to such a significant degree, many workers will be asking why they should be made to revert back to the traditional 9-5 in the office.

Mental health benefits

Work-related mental health problems are sadly a big problem across the UK, and working from home can help to alleviate this. As well as the improved work-life balance we’ve already covered, working from home benefits mental health in other ways too. One of the biggest positive changes is less time spent traveling to and from work. The daily commute can be a punishing ordeal for many workers – a life spent leaving home in the early morning, and returning late at night, can quickly become very depressing. Workers who commute long hours during the week have little time for anything else in their lives, and the experience itself can be stressful. Spending hours each day in cramped train carriages or in traffic jams is far from ideal for a lot of people.

Working from home (with no commute to worry about) can also allow more time for exercise during the working day: in the morning, evening, or even in the afternoon to break up the day. It goes without saying, of course, that the physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise are significant.

The tip of the iceberg

These are only a few of the most obvious benefits of working from home. The liberation of workers’ lives from a rigid, all-consuming work timetable can be hugely beneficial in a number of different ways. They can spend more time with their family, or on rewarding hobbies and activities, and all of this has the potential to increase their wellbeing.

The benefits for employees are clear, and it’s easy to see why demand is increasing from their point of view. But employers are starting to see the benefits, too, and this is another reason why the work from home revolution is coming. Happy workers are productive workers, and there is evidence to suggest that working from home could actually boost productivity – and save employers a fortune in office rental costs at the same time.

Author: Eliie Hayes

3 Tips for Better Time Management Working from Home

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , , , , on by Andres Herrera.

According to statistics from LinkedIn, 82 percent of professionals would like to work from home one day a week or more, with 57 percent wanting to work from home three or more days.

COVID-19 has normalized remote work, and for many, it is more efficient. But there are some challenges that come with working remotely, not the least of which is time management.

Here are a few tips to make the most of your time when working from home:

Set Virtual Boundaries Between Work and Home

When working remotely, have a workspace away from the distractions of the rest of your home. Make sure you have everything you need to work within reach and good internet connectivity.

Try to stick to a set schedule. Allow for exceptions, of course, but try to guard against working around the clock. 

If possible, install Slack, Zoom, or whatever collaboration software your company uses, on your mobile phone. That way, even at the doctor’s office, you can respond to important messages, still be engaged, and get work done.

Turn off text messaging and personal email alerts while working remotely. They can distract you when working, and you want to make sure you stick with the schedule you set from beginning to end. Even if you only glance at these mini-interruptions or just delete spam emails as they come through, that time adds up. Before you know it, you may have wasted an hour.

When it comes to personal issues at home, spend your time and attention wisely. Focus on the big picture first, and you can worry about the details as time permits.

Of course, get your work done completely and on time.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

When you take a remote work job, you should adjust your expectations of yourself, your family, and the people you work with.

Your workday won’t look the same as it does in an office setting. Don’t necessarily expect lots of feedback, the way a boss might be able to provide onsite. If you self-evaluate, you won’t have to spend time waiting for feedback. 

Make sure you get enough sleep and eat right, and plan meal times so they don’t become another distraction.

Do larger tasks first unless you feel like you need a break to avoid burnout, in which case do small or easier tasks first or take a break before you dive into work. Do as much prep work as you can before you start a project. That way when you actually do it, things will go more efficiently. Avoid the trap of trying to multitask, and don’t procrastinate. Reach out for assistance as needed. You still have supervisors and colleagues as resources to offer guidance and advice even if you work remotely.

Learn patience, too. What seems like an emergency project may turn out to be something that can wait.

Embrace interruptions. Sometimes they’re just what you need to give yourself a mental time out.

Above all, always be mindful, relax and laugh often. Working from home doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Allow Yourself Flexibility

Use your own to-do lists or organizational tools that work for you in addition to whatever workflow software your company uses. Set project goals for yourself, and be prepared for the interruptions and realities of life, which will be a lot closer to you when you work remotely. 

Don’t bug your supervisors, but let them know if you’re swamped, and ask for extensions as needed.

When stressful projects are postponed or a personal emergency is settled, take the time to relish in the relief. Don’t just move on to the next thing. Internalize it and let it help you enjoy working remotely from a deep place. Time management should automatically become easier.

When you tackle a project at home, break large tasks down into small chunks (this is advice for any project).

Do each portion, and when you’ve finished a few, or feel yourself losing steam, give yourself a break.

When you’re ready to work again, move on to the next portion. Before you know it, you’ll be done.

In Closing

Working from home can be great. But you need strong time management skills. Try to recreate the structure that comes with working onsite by limiting distractions and setting boundaries. Take care of your mental health and use whatever resources you have available to make your workload manageable. 

Above all, enjoy the freedom and perks of working remotely, and consider these tips so you can manage your time successfully.

Author: Brad Wayland
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Brad is a business consultant and the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.

How to Combat the Post-Holiday Blues

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , , , on by Aina Ferretti.

Getting back to work after the holidays is not easy. Just the idea of returning to the usual routine can create a feeling of stress, sadness, irritability, or other mood swings. These are the first symptoms of the post-vacation syndrome, commonly known as post-holiday blues.

This syndrome is not officially recognized as an illness, but studies show that one in three people may suffer from it. In addition to psychological problems such as anxiety or lack of concentration, there are also physical symptoms such as sleep disorders, muscle aches, etc. This condition has been further aggravated this year by COVID-19 and the social isolation brought about by many of the consequent changes in our working conditions.

However, there is hope! Positive thinking, a positive attitude, and positive actions are great allies. Holidays give you the opportunity to relax and recharge your batteries. Use this energy to get back to work with a new, refreshed outlook.

post-holiday blues

5 tips on how to avoid or combat post-holiday blues

 

  1. Seek new goals. New challenges are great for renovating your enthusiasm!
  2. Get organized and schedule your week. You’ll feel more in control and this will reduce stress and contribute to your self-motivation.
  3. Practice sport. Stimulating the production of endorphins will help you feel good and keep the blues at bay.
  4. Watch your diet. Eat foods with serotonin such as oily fish, bananas, and tomatoes… This will help you to stay in a good mood. Avoid alcohol, as it increases feelings of sadness, and coffee, which intensifies anxiety.
  5. Smile! Spread your smile in the work environment. This will help increase your own productivity and the productivity of others.

Remember, the key to an energised and positive return after the holidays is your attitude and your outlook on things!

We hope these tips help you beat the blues!

Do leave a comment on how you dealt with the post-holiday experience. ;)

Techie Tips for Working from Home

This entry was posted in Articles, Working life and tagged , on by Lynn.

Updated March 17, 2020.

Now we all know that old stereotype, if you work from home you’re actually just going to be sat in PJs catching up on Netflix, or if you’re feeling really productive putting laundry on! However, with more and more companies now allowing employees to work from home and a growing number of freelancers it’s time to shake that stereotype and show that working from home can be just as productive, if not more productive than working in an office.

Techie tips for working from home

Read on to see our tips for effective working, no matter how often you work at home!

Don’t let a slow internet connection ruins your day


So if you’re a freelancer who always works at home, you decided against renting office space to save money, and you’ve managed to put up that IKEA flat pack desk. You know that if your internet is slow or drops out you can lose out on jobs – and you don’t want to do that! Plus you dread trying to have a video call with someone and the connection to keep dropping.

Our Tip: To make sure you’re at your productivity peak, you need fast, reliable broadband and fibre broadband is the best option for this. Once you’re connected you can work without worrying about pages freezing while loading and your call quality will be crystal clear (or if it’s not, at least you can blame their broadband)!

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