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4 Common Mistakes Remote Workers Make

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Remote work is becoming common for freelancers and full-time employees alike. It is also becoming a cause of conflict in the workplace. Here are four common mistakes remote workers make and steps to take to avoid making them yourself.

Ignoring the Legal Issues

If you handle company data on your personal computer and there is a “data spill” with restricted information processed by your computer, will you have to have your personal computer wiped or private internet history reviewed by the company? If this isn’t acceptable, either use a company provided device when working from home or use a computer you would be able to work without if the company confiscates it for a digital brain wipe. Another issue you need to discuss is data retention policies, such as the need to document and store any messages you share with the company or customers. How does the company want you to back up these messages in the manner they are legally required to follow? If your device is bricked, will the company pay for an iPhone data recovery service to recover both personal and corporate data?

Never Disconnecting

Companies are embracing remote work when it results in 24x7x365 support, such as the ability for their best IT staff to work a 10 PM to midnight maintenance window from home and respond to problems on a Saturday afternoon. One of the biggest mistakes remote workers make is never disconnecting from work. Employers and customers will consider you always connected and reach out to you anytime they want to if you don’t set boundaries. A common problem is remote workers putting in more hours than when they worked in the office and having work interrupt family time and down time, increasing stress without resulting in higher pay. Make sure you disconnect from work, silencing the phone, sending emails and instant messages to a folder that you’ll read later. The word for people always on call is servant, not employee.

Relying Only on One Communication Channel

One major mistake remote workers make is relying on one communication channel. Baby Boomers tend to rely on phone calls with some email. The forty and fifty-something workers tend to rely on emails. Those in their twenties and thirties tend to rely on instant messaging and text messaging. This can result in segregation of communications, leaving out whole sections of a team because they don’t follow the conversation in that medium. Remember to shake things up and call a customer to discuss issues too complex for an email or send an instant message to IT for a quick issue instead of a longer email that may take them a few hours to check.

Forgetting a Backup Plan

Remote workers often fail to have a backup plan. What will you do if the power goes out in your apartment? Do you have a backup battery that would allow you to keep working for a few hours or at least a five-minute reserve from a UPS so you can save your work? Do you already know somewhere you could move in case your personal internet connection is down, whether a coworking space or the library?

Conclusion

Determine your legal obligations and risks before you start remote work. Disconnect from work even if connected to the internet personally to protect work-life balance. Don’t rely on a single communication channel and use the medium that works for that person and type of message. Have a backup plan in case utilities or internet goes out at home, but understand how the environment you relocate to impacts your work.

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How A Business Owner Can Get Out Of A Rut

Falling into a rut is never easy. It’s frustrating and disappointing for all of those involved. Being a business owner is a difficult job. The role’s stressful and often requires lots of hours and hard work for little reward, at least in the beginning. Getting stuck in your path is a tough pill to swallow.

There’s no right or wrong answer about what to do if this happens to you, however, there are options for getting out of it. You can't sit back and assume it’ll just go away. You need to have determination and perseverance to work through it. See how a business owner can get out of a rut.

Revisit Vision

Go back to why you started your business in the first place. Revisit your vision and motivation for kicking it off at the start. Let your mind wander back and find your passion again. You may need to dig deep, but it’s probably there. This’ll help you reset your mind to want to charge forward with inspiration. Finding the reason why once again will bring your mind to a good place and you’ll be able to focus on the future. Go back to your initial notes and business plan documents to help you recall. Doing this may trigger a happy memory and snap you out of your funk.

Exercise

It’s important you incorporate some movement into your day. Being an entrepreneur typically means you’re working and sitting a lot. You need your exercise to maintain high levels of energy and to feel mentally with it. Join a gym, run at lunch or participate in a new activity on the weekends. Do whatever it takes to make sure you get your daily exercise. It’ll benefit you in many ways and the time you spend exercising may lead you to answers you would have never thought of without the quiet time.

Explore New Ventures

Maybe it’s time for a change, and this is your sign. A great way to make a new start is in the screen printing and embroidery business. Owning a franchise means you’re the boss and can take your prior experience with you to start a brand new line of work as an entrepreneur. People use signs all of the time, so you won’t need to worry about if the need is there or not. Even the motion and action of researching and exploring new ideas will bring new life to your mind.

Talk & Share Ideas

Bounce ideas off of other people. Call up a friend or family member and tell them how you’re feeling. Talk to your leadership team at work and get a feel for how they think business is going. Open up and share your concerns and see if they can be worked out, so you feel good about your situation again. Talk and share ideas to get it off of your chest and let in new perspectives.

Conclusion

There’s no magic formula for turning your mindset around. You must explore yourself and seek the answers you need to find. These are ways a business owner can get out of a rut.  

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Desktops or Laptops: Which is Best for Content Creators?

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Content creators need a powerful, flexible computer with excellent memory, so they can continue to create high-quality copy time and time again. However, many are often torn between investing in a laptop or desktop. For this reason, we are comparing the benefits of both to help you identify the best solution for your needs.

Portability

A content creator often needs to choose between power and portability. Those looking for a flexible computer they can easily transport from A to B should consider a laptop. However, some options are lighter than others. For a lightweight, flexible laptop, consider a MacBook or Surface Pro. It is important to note, however, that not all desktops are immobile as you can easily move them from one desk to another with ease, but they are not ideal if you plan to work on your commute or plan to take the device to write content abroad.

Screen Size

As previously mentioned, laptops are designed for portability, which means their screen size is rather limited in comparison to desktop screens. If an 11” to 15” screen size sounds ideal, a laptop might be an ideal choice. However, if you require something bigger, consider a desktop as their screens can range up to 22 inches, which is ideal if you want to open windows side by side or have several applications open at one time. What’s more, a desktop also allows you the capability to use and enjoy dual monitors, so you can add an extra screen to work with to make content creation flow with ease.

Power

If computer memory, processors, local storage and graphics power is a must-have, you should look no further than a desktop for exceptional power. A laptop can often struggle to compete with a desktop when it comes to many specs, and can overheat when it finally reaches desktop performance. As a result, you can focus on creating high-quality content over worrying about your computer’s performance.

Replacement Parts

Desktops offer a little more flexibility when it comes to sourcing replacement parts in comparison to laptops. Unfortunately, an aging hard drive or cracked screen can often spell the end of a laptop. Whereas a desktop allows you to easily replace or upgrade a part without having to say goodbye to the whole computer. For instance, you can replace a monitor, keyboard or processor easily, and it will cost you considerably less than having to buy a new computer. However, it can be a little costlier to replace parts for certain premium desktops, such as the iMac.

Posture

Many content creators don’t consider their posture when choosing a computer. Yet, the device you choose will determine your health. It is recommended that computers are placed at eye level, which will prevent a user from hunching their back. A desktop is often the perfect pick, as you can sit on an ergonomic chair whilst using a monitor stand to provide the best eye-level, and a keyboard that promotes correct posture.

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4 Ways to Add the Personal Touch to your Business

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In business, it can be very tempting to focus on profits and company growth. When dealing with so many numbers, it is hard to remember that you are also dealing with people. However, in order for your business to succeed; remember you must! Some of the most successful businesses out there ensure that however big they grow, they do not forget the value of the personal touch. You may have heard the phrase: it’s not personal, it’s business, but for you, it must be both. Clients, employees, and even investors are repelled by the cold and the clinical. Instead, try to inject some warmth into your business. Below are 4 ways for you to do this.

Email

It is important to remember the value of creating an email list. This is a great way to ensure that you are consistently in contact with all of your clients. It will make sure that they don’t forget you and look elsewhere. It will also help to make sure that they feel valued and not as though you are only interested in them when they have money to spend. Not only this, but building an email list will give you an idea of how many people your company is able to reach. This will help you make targets for the future in regards to how many people you would like to be in contact with.

Create a database

Another way to keep track of your clients is by creating a database. This is standard practice for most businesses. However, you can take this a step further by adding a section for general notes. This will mean that everyone who has access to the database will be privy to important information regarding your clients. They will know if they have every made a complaint, a specific request, or a recommendation. Consequently, your employees will be able to demonstrate an awareness of the client’s specific needs if they are ever required to interact with them.

Stationary

Remember to take the time to personalize your stationary. Clients will certainly be impressed by the effort to add the personal touch to your documents. If you can’t even begin to imagine yourself knowing how to make a letterhead, then have no fear! You can do everything online, meaning it’s both easy and for free!

Live chat

Live chats are a great way to receive feedback from your clients. They are free to host and add that personal touch. Instead of sending out surveys or online forms, live chats ensure that your customers understand that they are really being listened to. If handled correctly, they can deal with any complaints or queries a lot more effectively than other methods of communication. Live chats can also be a great way for you to receive constructive criticism in relation to your business. Just imagine how impressed your clients will be if they see their advice being taken on board. Say they critique your logo and then you make the changes - the client who made that suggestion will immediately become invested in your company’s future.

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How to Encourage Donations on Giving Tuesday

Every non-profit has a mission to increase their donations and engagement. As Giving Tuesday offers a dedicated day to encourage charitable donations, there is no better time to aim to reach those goals. Read how to encourage donations on Giving Tuesday.

Create a Plan and Participate

Giving Tuesday launched in 2012 for the first time, raising a total of $12 million. Cut to 2016 and the global day raised more than $250 million. There is no reason why your non-profit can’t follow in other organization’s footsteps to encourage considerable donations. Create a strategy that incorporates email outreach, social media marketing and website messaging, which will help to attract charitable donations to your worthy cause.

Develop an Email Marketing Campaign

33% of online fundraising came from email; therefore, do not send a one size fits all message. Instead, segment and develop personalized email campaigns based on a subscriber’s past behavior. Campaign Monitor found that segmented campaigns can result in a 760% increase in email revenue.

Boost Awareness

The average Giving Tuesday donation is $137. To encourage people to make a similar donation to your organization, you must boost the awareness of Giving Tuesday. While 90% people are aware of Black Friday, only 18% are aware of Giving Tuesday. Encourage awareness of both the global day and your brand through powerful digital marketing campaigns, such as email outreach and social media.

Email is the best way to raise awareness, however, embed a video into your email and increase your open rates by up to 13%, and conversions by 21%. Read more facts and tips about Giving Tuesday in the linked infographic.

 

 

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