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Year: 2021

Let’s Talk About Remote Tech Freelancing

Let’s give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. The pandemic, despite all the horrors it has caused around the world, has helped normalize remote work. While more and more businesses are encouraging their teams to head back to the physical office, technical professionals are now surfing the remote wave. 

Are technical professions ever going back to the office? Everything seems to imply that being remote has unique advantages that no office can match. Additionally, more and more professionals are seizing the opportunity to transform their careers. Remote work gives them the chance to control their professional path and establish themselves as renowned and desirable experts. Remote freelancing, contracting, and employment are the way forward for tech jobs. Here’s why:

Because you can actually learn by doing

Technical skills evolve rapidly as tech environment, equipment, and language develop. Working remotely enables professionals not only to keep up with the pace of change but also to hone their skills through practice in the safety and privacy of their homes. With a variety of tools available online, such as secure cloud developer environment solutions and step-by-step video tutorials, knowledgeable technicians can brush up their skills and improve their profiles. On the other hand, working in an office provides less access to digital solutions as the work environment tends to be much more controlled. 

Because you can show off your skills to your audience

What’s the best way of anchoring new knowledge into your mind? Psychologists claim that sharing your knowledge with others switches your position from a learner to a teacher. Being able to explain what you know reinforces your skillset. While options are limited in the workplace, a remote working environment enables individuals to build an online presence. The options are infinite, from starting a blog to sharing video tutorials on Youtube or stories on Instagram; creating your little corner on the Internet lets you boost your skills. Whether you wish to use your presence as a pendant to your CV when applying to a new position or as a marketing tool to attract new freelancing gigs, maximizing digital visibility is a must. 

Because you can become an expert

Technical skills are highly desirable. Businesses are keen to test applicants and contractors with random and arbitrary exercises. Unfortunately, tech exercises can lead to unusual results as they are often designed and assessed by a non-expert recruiting agent. To boost their chances of being noticed, a remote tech professional can create an expert profile. Using your expertise to stand out in a crowd can prevent unnecessary, time-demanding, and ineffective tests. You can demonstrate your expertise online using specialist knowledge. Creating an expert blog can be hard work, but the reward is worth it. Your articles will need to be highly detailed and bring something new to the topic. 

However, you can also join tech forums and answer burning questions and troubleshooting problems to showcase your experience. Troubleshooting other users’ issues highlight your knowledge as it means you can apply your skills to a specific and unique project. Compared to tutorial material, which tends to be generic and high level, troubleshooting content is more likely to get noticed in your industry. 

Because every business is remote

The good news about remote work is that more and more tech companies are embracing the trend. For a tech professional, wanting to work from home is not an oddity anymore. Whether you wish to work as an independent freelancer or as an employee, remote working can remain a valuable option. Recent experiences have demonstrated that working from home can significantly improve productivity and quality of life. Tech workers have adjusted their work routine to the new environment, focusing on avoiding harmful pitfalls that could affect productivity and concentration. Besides, businesses can take responsibility for creating healthy work environments even with remote employees. Once the company supports the team with adequate equipment and dedicated interactions, remote workers can thrive and grow. The real question that is left to ask is: Why hasn’t every business embraced the advantages of a virtual office? 

Because you don’t have to take risks

For tech experts, working from home offers a unique risk management approach. Indeed, more often than not, when a professional wants to control their workplace, they need to create their own venture. Yet, launching a business can be tricky as risks of failure are high. Yet, the nature of technical skills provides a different choice. As more and more companies outsource their tech services to contractors or work with remote teams, experts can benefit from the safety of a permanent position with all the comfort and independence of the home office. 

Technical professionals are among the first to enjoy the advantage of a safe remote position. They can use their remote environment to build up their skills and expertise, reach out to businesses all around the world, and even secure employment without leaving their homes. If you are looking for a professional reconversion, tech skills are the way to go.

Curating A Home Office For Your Professional, Freelance Work

The recent pandemic has brought the needs of working professionals to the forefront, where remote work is now considered more of a potential consideration that many are hoping to adopt as normal. Yet it’s also true that many professionals have been curating a home office environment for some time, working as a freelancer or consultant for a wide array of possible industries.

In this light, investing in your home office or studio for your professional, freelance work is an essential measure worth considering. But how should you cultivate this space? How should you prioritize the installations necessary for your particular line of work? And how can you make this environment worth spending time in for hours each day, to the point where even the most work-focused professional will not denigrate their health thanks to shrewd investment?

In this post, we’ll leverage a few tidbits of advice that can help you make the most of this situation. No matter if you hope to become an online influencer, see your creative work get noticed, or become an in-demand industry veteran, this advice should help you curate those tools that will help you achieve:

Consider Your Particular Discipline

Depending on what kind of work you do, the home office you may need could vastly differ in s cope and design. For instance, implementing a larger office space with a U-shaped desk with space for mixers, decks and production equipment could be key. Consider how this will be placed near power sockets, and how much room you have to navigate the space. Consider if you need a standing desk or not. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and retrofit the room to your standards. Also, keep in mind what additional concessions you may need to make investment-wise. An extra power adapter or two could help you out of a jam.

Lighting & Acoustics

Someone who makes video content may need to implement key lighting, while someone else may need to implement sound-protective foam to prevent the rebound of plosive sounds around the space, eliminating echo entirely. Your lighting may also dictate how strained your eyes become if reading and writing text all day. Make sure to reinforce these essential elements depending on your needs and working comfort requirements. It will make a big difference. Additionally, it can help you achieve the idiosyncratic design choices you need to remain more productive.

It’s All About The Furniture

Just because you’re not at the office doesn’t mean you should accept your health any less, or that your home furniture should be cheap and tattered. Investing in a great ergonomic chair with adjustable lumbar support and arm rests can be key. IKEA provide excellent budget options for this, while more expensive brands like Steelcase and Hermann Miller provide the platinum standard. Between those two price points, looking for an ergonomic chair on sites like Reddit and comparing price points/YouTube reviews can help you find what you really need. Stay away from branded ‘gaming chairs,’ as they are usually made cheaply and without sturdy materials.
With this advice, we hope you can continue to curate the best home office for your professional freelance work.

Does Your Office Design Contractor Owe You A Refund?

When you thought you were going to design your very office headquarters, a poor job was not what you had in mind. You wanted an office that was modern, intriguing and allowed employees to have their own space but also to congregate and have flowing conversations to solve issues in their respective projects. But something went wrong. When you thought your office was finished, there were a few problems here and there. Maybe the wiring was falling from the ceilings, the lighting was not that powerful, and the air flow left a lot to be desired. Maybe the windows are too small or the design is incorrect. And to top it off, you can’t find the contractor who did all this.

Can you salvage it?

Don’t panic, all might not be lost. You may still be able to fix the office. Can you replace a few things that would solve the issues? Maybe you need to look at getting more powerful bulbs instead of changing the lighting as a whole. You could possibly change a few of the windows or just the panes to give you more natural light in the office. There must be some way that the office can be salvaged. You can also call in another contractor to see if they can help you with ideas and some fixes here and there. 

Reach out

Okay so you can’t fix the issue, it’s best to contact the contractor and ask for a refund. But before you do, make sure you have the evidence to prove your point. You could link photos you take of the office to wording in the contract. If one of the stipulations in the contract was to have natural light in abundance in the office and instead, during midday when the sun is highest it still looks dark, then take a photo of this and highly the wording in the particular clause of the contract where this is mentioned. Make your point with evidence, quotes and infer to verbal conversations.

They go on the run

Did you think they were just going to roll over? Some contractors do not want to play ball, even if it means you leave bad reviews on rating websites which could hurt their future chances of business. So use a collection agency software where you can find data to any files or folders that were shared with the contractor. You never know they might try to clean a file to then say that a certain obligation wasn’t mentioned. They may be going under a different name now, so you want to find this out too. Use the right-party feature which will locate the correct person or business that you are after. 

It’s going to be another pain in the backside to find the contractor who left your office in a poor state. But, it’s going to be worth it, if it means you can salvage some of your funds back and start working on the fixes at no extra cost.

5 Ways To Keep Your Business Safe

As an entrepreneur, you’ll have put lots of your time and dedication into your business. When you’ve worked hard to grow your company, you’ll want to keep it safe and secure. Small businesses face many different threats, from cyber crime to insurance issues. To protect your company, take on board these five key areas. 

1 . Online security 

To keep your company safe it’s vital to deploy online security systems. You’ll need to have both antivirus and anti-malware software to protect your devices. Businesses should also implement a multi-factor authentication system, to protect their online network. An MFA system asks users to provide several methods of authentication before they are granted access to the network. Other suitable online security measures for businesses include:

  • Use password manager systems.
  • Deploy mobile device management systems.
  • Update all of your apps and software systems regularly.
  • Train all staff to understand cyber security measures.

2. Physical security

Unless you’re a fully remote business you’ll also need to protect your physical property. There are plenty of ways that you can ensure the security of your brick and mortar business, such as:

  • Use advanced alarm systems to protect the building.
  • Deploy smart CCTV systems with connections to the authorities.
  • Hire security guards to protect the property and check who can access the building.
  • Debrief staff on security measures, including closing windows and locking up properly before they leave.
  • Use secure safes or avoid keeping cash and valuables in the building overnight.

3. Protect your reputation

Keeping your business safe is about more than just security. It’s about future-proofing your company and protecting yourself from financial losses. Unless you look after the reputation of your company, you’ll lose customers and lose money. To look after your reputation you’ll need to work with a talented PR company or invest in reputation management services. Both services can help you to uphold your company image using a combination or media tactics, social listening, review acquisition, and more.

4. Inspect your building 

If you want to keep your premises safe it’s important to inspect your building regularly. You should have an electrician take a look at your property at least every 2-3 years. With the help of thermal imaging cameras and other equipment, your electrician can inspect the electrical components of your property, ensuring that everything is safe. Thermal imaging cameras are useful for various applications, including the dtnvs night vision goggles used by police officers and the military.

5. The right insurance 

Without the right insurance, you could land yourself in legal trouble. The first step is to research specific business insurance options according to your industry and needs. A few types of business insurance you might need include general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, product liability insurance, or cyber security insurance.
Using these five steps you’ll ensure that your company is secure, and avoids potential damages. Key focus points like these will ensure that your company remains future-proof. With the right business tips you’ll help your company to thrive and grow.

De-Stress Your Business Dealings: 5 Ways To Make It All Easier

There are countless perks to owning your business. But despite the fact that you get to see your plans come to fruition, there’s a lot more under the surface that can threaten to overwhelm you. Running a company means that you will inevitably be hit by setbacks, but the key is how you handle these setbacks. So, when there are bouts of workplace stress, what can you do to ensure that you don’t buckle under the pressure? 

Be Organized

This is one of the simplest things that makes a massive difference. If you are organized, you are going to have far better control over the situation. Whether this is by having an appointment reminder app that keeps everything in one handy place or having a personal assistant organize everything for you, organization is going to stop you from feeling like everything is running away with you. When we are organized, we can get more done, but more importantly, we’re not going to feel as stressed. 

Identify Your Stressors

We’re all different, and when we are experiencing workplace stress, it can be from a very specific source, but also, we have to recognize that when there are certain problems in business, we problem-solve these things effectively. It’s not easy to identify sources of stress, especially amongst the chaos. But taking a step back to look at key business problems will make a massive difference to how you can solve them now and tackle these issues if they arise in the future. 

Problem-solving is such a vital skill, but we also need to look at the things that stress us out outside of the working environment. Because if we are glued to our business, we might find that there are external sources that cause stress. And tackling these is just as important. Because if we have family and loved ones at home, we have to focus on them as well, which is crucial for the next point. 

Having a Solid Balance

It’s always about having that work-life balance in the correct ratio. When we do not have a balance in life, we are going to feel overwhelmed by the workload. It’s easy to say that you should stop as soon as you leave the office or turn the computer off, but it’s not as simple as that. We live in an age where our phone is constantly pinging, and we feel that we have just got to get ahead of the game. But this is why you need to tackle the most important tasks at the beginning of your workday. 

Sometimes, we can find that after lunchtime we are lacking motivation. While partly this is due to the fact that we consume a lot of carbohydrates at lunch, if we are focused and tackle the biggest tasks first thing in the morning, and leave the afternoon for small admin-based tasks, it doesn’t just mean that we’ve completed the most important things at the beginning of the day, but by the time that we finish these boring tasks we are ready to shut the computer off. So if you really want to get that balance in life, it’s about making sure that you have the motivation to leave work as well! 

Use the Tools That Help You Work Effectively

We now have so many tools at our disposal. While we can easily refer to tools like Slack and Evernote to make life easier in a work sense, there are also tools that can help you to be more productive in other, less obvious ways. If you find yourself easily distracted, it’s important to eliminate this. And so you will need to find the right tools that help you focus. 

This is where something like binaural beats can be very effective. If you want to focus better, there are tools like My Noise, which play binaural beats, and can help you to focus on tasks, especially when you have that lack of motivation. You should also think about other ways to improve your focus outside of work, and these can be things like exercising, learning skills, and reading in general. But also think about your attitude to your workload. 

You can accomplish the most important tasks early in the day but also think about productivity tools like the Pomodoro method. This is something that many organizations use and is a great way to build in breaks. It is so important to have break times, and we may feel that if “we snooze, we lose,” breaks can improve our productivity. Taking breaks can prevent decision fatigue, boost your productivity and creativity, and restore your motivation for long-term goals.

Say “No”

If you are looking to make your business a success, you might think you have to utilize every single opportunity that comes to you. However, this is not conducive to a long-term business strategy. You might think that you need to utilize every tool at your disposal to boost your business and stop it failing, but one of the biggest obstacles to your sense of stress is being a people pleaser. 

Learning to say “no” is an important skill for any business person to learn and it will make you feel like you’ve done the right thing. Many freelancers suffer from this inability to say “no” because they think it will cause long-term repercussions. But saying “yes” to everything is going to increase your stress. You are going to burn out, and this will impact your business in the long term.

If you want to make a business effective, but also ensure your life is easier, remember that stress doesn’t have to be your default setting. There are so many ways to strengthen a company but if you think that being on call 24/7 is going to work wonders for the business in the long run, it will only demotivate and demoralize you in the meantime. Therefore, you will start to resent your business. Instead, work on making life easier and it will make running a business better, and more importantly, more fun!

Why Time Is Of The Essence In Security Matters

Keeping your home safe is the priority of every homeowner. However, when it comes to safety, you need to understand what you are up against. A lot of households use deterrents such as stickers warning against the dog or the CCTV camera. Do these work in the long term? Inexperienced burglars may be fooled by the presence of a warning sticker, even if you have no guard dog or security camera. However, seasoned criminals take their time to observe and understand your routines. You can bet that they will soon find out about your imaginary dog and learn to ignore the warning notes. 

Real security systems and tips are essential to protect your loved ones and your belongings. The average burglar needs less than a minute to find access to your home. It takes about 10 minutes for them to get in, find your valuables, and exit the house. Therefore, you need to make time a priority.

Real-time CCTV & sensor

It’s a no-brainer. If you’re going to keep burglars away, you need a real CCTV system. Stickers warning about the imaginary security camera are unlikely to deter anyone for long. There are many types of CCTV systems. But experts recommend a solution that can in real-time monitor sensors and make all data — sensor-related and visual information — accessible to the relevant authorities and users. Some security systems can struggle with real-time information transmission; that’s precisely why you want to invest in a CCTV solution with a MicroATX motherboard — a clever piece of tech that enables data transfer and reading at the time of happening. Paired with sensors, you can make sure you know about suspicious broken glass or motion in and around the house when you’re away. 

Picking a lock is a sport

You may not realize it, but most burglars can follow existing tutorials to learn their lock-picking skills. Indeed, locksport is a real activity that consists in picking a lock in the shortest amount of time. For professional lock manufacturers, it can be an insightful activity, revealing the weaknesses of their products and providing improvement tips. However, it also means that burglars can find access to lock-picking information too. It’s no wonder they need under 60 seconds to get inside your home! 

Would a smart lock stop unwanted intruders? Smart locks are tricky to disable mechanically, unlike traditional locks. A burglar would need to hack into your lock using computing knowledge, which can take longer. 

Make no mistakes

More often than not, a burglar doesn’t even need special skills to find their way into your home. Many former criminals warn homeowners against the risks of leaving their garage unlocked. Additionally, your backyard can become the perfect starting place. Families that choose to leave the backdoor open so the pets can come and go freely in and outside the garden could expose themselves to high risks. Lock all your doors and windows; you’d be surprised how quickly someone can gain access to your property then. 

Burglars are fast. They understand that they only have a limited time to get in and out of properties. As a result, the more time-consuming you make it for them to break in, the less likely they are to target your home.