Working environments have changed. The 9-5 day born out of the early fifties is no longer so rigid or necessary. Technology has paved the way for the remote worker – those who do their job from a location other than an official company base.
I run noCRM.io, a company of 11 people split across three continents, five countries and eight cities. It started with a regular, office-based structure before moving to a remote company. There are many nuances involved in creating a remote startup but, if done correctly, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Here are some of the fundamentals of what we have learned during the transition from an office-based location to remote working:
1. Get Pro-Tech-ted
The primary enabler for a remote company is technology. Video Conferencing, collaborative cloud-based SaaS (software as a service), and other web-based tools have removed the importance of an official on-site premises. You can now conduct hours of video conferences around the world for free.
But which tech should you look to implement? The type of business must to be taken into account. Skype and Google Hangouts are the most used video-calling methods, while Slack is the go-to platform for messaging. When it comes to project management, Trello and Asana, two web-based tools, top the list for many.
Even social platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp can act as communication tools and are popular with some companies. The main aspect is to find solutions that work across the team, so everyone is happy to use them.
2. It’s Good to Talk
A crucial aspect of a successful remote startup is communication. There should be a centralized system in place where staff talk to each other. For some that consists of using emails, but the back and forth, along with multiple recipients, can make following trails confusing.
Some companies – especially tech-based ones – create their own internal communications systems for staff to communicate. For others, this is where free message software like Slack shows its worth.
Being remote can lend itself to going long hours without any interaction with peers. At the start of each day, we make sure each member of the company lists three objectives they’re working on for the day. They don’t have to be significant tasks, but it’s a way for everyone to feel included and keep up to date with assignments people are working on.
“Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
3. A Leap of Faith
Finding the right people to work remotely affords a greater opportunity to cherry pick the best talent from all over the world. The interviewing process should take place with an element of caution, however.
Building an understanding with job prospects is harder through video and phone calls. Applicants might have a great resume, but that is only one part of the process. Remote workers need to be competent self-starters.
Be even more thorough than usual when interviewing. Make sure every detail is covered, and no stones are left unturned. Explore the idea of having several video calls with the same candidate before making a final decision.
It’s impossible to be 100 percent sure about a hire even when interviews take place face to face. Nonetheless, remote interviews require a more rigorous process. If something doesn’t feel right, go with your instinct.
Putting more effort into the hiring process has better long-term effects. When you find remote staff that fit the bill, they will take up less of your time. Trust is vital. Once you have it, you can depend on them to use their own initiative.
4. Time Zone Tribulations
While having access to the best staff members from around the world is a bonus, time differences can be problematic. How much of an issue they cause comes down to the type of work your company does and where you are based.
For example, if you are in the US, hiring someone from Australia – where there can be a 16-hour time difference – might not be a good idea. Unless it’s a specific role where regular communication isn’t necessary.
Navigating such a substantial difference in time zones certainly isn’t impossible. But you should weigh up the quality of the candidate in comparison to how much live interaction there will be with them.
5. Let’s Get Physical
While there are many benefits of working remotely, it’s still good practice to get the whole team together at least once a year. An annual meet up (Workation) to talk about strategy and moving forward can re-energize the whole team.
Everybody has the chance to meet in person at least once, which is good for relationship building. Most companies conduct some form of team bonding, and this is a good way to get people together even with remote working as your core structure.
Of course, there are factors to take into consideration, like budgets and logistics. However, bringing the team together at least once a year can help add a new dynamic to the company.
6. Have the Options
Ok, so this isn’t imperative to running a remote startup, but sometimes it’s nice to divide your time between remote structures and an office environment. That doesn’t mean you have to take the plunge and hire a full-time office.
Startup platforms like TechHub have popped up across the globe to offer entrepreneurs a chance to work out of an office at reduced costs. There are usually several options available, including flexi deals that allow you to work out of their bases for a set amount of hours.
The working environments are shared with other like-minded CEOs and business owners. The chances for networking are high, and the atmosphere is a positive one to dip into if remote working is getting a little bit, well, remote.
“Effective networking isn’t a result of luck – it requires hard work and persistence.” – Lewis Howes
7. Setting Yourself Up for Success
Starting a business presents its fair share of obstacles — and creating a remote startup is no different. Working away from an office still isn’t considered ‘the norm’. But as technology continues to improve, the number of people employed from a location other than an office is likely to rise.
Having a process in place is vital to running a remote business. Work out the structures, set strategies for yourself and your staff, and have a viable way of communicating. Do those things, and it shouldn’t be too long before your remote setup is running smoothly.
Have you ever wanted to work remotely from around the world? If so, what would you do and from where would you work?
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners
Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.
Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
Remote Work + Education: 3 Tips for Students Who Want to Have It All
Probably one of the greatest changes for the last year is the shifting to distant learning and working. There are many advantages to the issue, like, not having to commute every day, staying at a cozy home for a whole day. It makes our lives easier in terms of saving time and energy.
If you’re a student, you don’t have to bust out your textbooks every time you go to university. Instead, you have everything close and on the tips of your fingers.
However, within all the positive moments of distance learning, it is highly challenging for many of us. At college or in the office, we have a schedule, a plan which we simply have to stick to.
There is also a boss or a teacher who gives us tasks, checks and monitors our performance.
Well, now, we are our own bosses and teachers and have to come up with the plan and track our tasks independently.
So, how to stay tuned and efficient if you work and study from home? How to get the most of it and not drown in the ocean of procrastination? In this article, you will find three tips to help you out!
Set Up Your Workspace
When many think of a distance learning or work, they imagine themselves wearing pajamas and lying on a couch all day with the laptop. No more dress code, make-up, early mornings, coworkers or group mates, paradise!
This is a common misconception of remote work. If you want to work and study from home, it is crucial to create a space where you would stay focused and productive.
Still, if you have had a hard day and feel like having rest on your comfy couch, but there are assignments to be done, leave your worries to professionals in paperwritingservice, just place an order and enjoy your day.
When we both work and study from home, we stay with all those household essentials and, at the same time, have to focus on tasks. That is why a perfect workspace has to be created. So how to reach this ideal atmosphere at home? Here’re some pro tips.
Separate Spaces for Everything
This is a common problem for many that they sleep and study at the same place. Our body is a smart mechanism, which gets used to conditions very quickly.
So, as you sleep in your bed, every time you lie on it, your body gets ready to relax and concentrate is the last thing it is ready for. This principle is applied to any other space in your house.
So, your workspace should be particularly aimed at learning or/and work. Every time you get there, your brain will be ready to do the job.
Get Rid of All Distractions
This is a very important step if you want to stay productive at home. Your home may be a dangerous space in terms of concentration. To make it easier, help your brain and get rid of everything that might attract your attention and ultimately prevent good performance.
Plan Your Day
Every morning when you wake up, you approximately know what the tasks for a day are. So, what’s the sense in planning a day if you already have it all in your head?
This is one more important concept that helps us have everything done on time. Planning a day saves you time and boosts motivation and disciplines.
Here’s how it is done:
- You write down a list of tasks that have to be done;
- Prioritize them from less important to more important;
- Hang this list somewhere, where you can always see it;
- Mark completed tasks.
When you mark the task as accomplished, you’ll get a sense of satisfaction, which may be compared to some sort of praise. There are many tools to write a to-do list from paper to online apps.
Dedicate Time for Yourself
When you work and study from home, there will be a risk of abandoning our personal time in favor of more important matters. This factor leads not only to great results but also a concept called burning out.
When people face it, they feel exhausted, demotivated, and apathetic. To avoid this, it is crucial to have time for things you enjoy. It may be a sport, hobby, listening to music, watching movies, seeing friends. Your brain has to relax and get positive emotions to be more efficient in the long run.
No matter if you want to work and study from home, these principles can be applied to any activity. To manage it all, just follow these basic rules, and you’ll see how your productivity boosts.
Good luck with all your endeavors!
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