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Category: Work

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.

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!

Is Your Business Going to Fail? Find out Here

Why do a lot of small companies fail? Most small businesses fail in their first five years. It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned professional or whether you are just starting out because statistics like this can be scary to say the least. If you want to make sure that your company is not one of them, then this guide will help you.

You’re Not Planning Enough

The reason why a lot of brand-new companies fail is because they do not plan enough. What sounds like a good idea, may not fare well in reality. This doesn’t mean that you need to ignore your passion, but it does mean that you need to do some more research and planning. A business plan essentially forces you to define your unique value proposition. You need to know what differentiates you from your competition and you also need to know if there is anything that you can do to try and understand your customer base. If you can do this well, then you may be able to avoid business failure.

Source: Pexels (CC0 License)

Failure to Understand Consumer Behavior

We live in a very connected age. They say that the customer is always right, and this is now more true than ever. Today, consumers expect all brick and mortar companies to accept credit cards, and even Apple Pay. Even if you have a tiny operation, this is still expected of you. If you are not able to deliver this, then you may find that your customers have something bad to say about you. If you want to avoid this, then you need to try and monitor feedback. You also need to encourage and then engage in conversations with your customers. If you can do this, then you will soon find that you can come out on top.

Not Using Social Media

Every social media platform out there, including Instagram, Pinterest and even Tiktok are all great tools for you to be using. They also give you the chance to listen to your customers as well. Push notifications are great as they alert you when your business is being talked about. This will help you to engage with your customers far more than you realize and it will also help you to improve your customer service dramatically. If you are not using social media, then you may find that your business growth comes to an abrupt halt.

Reviews

Yelp is one of the go-to destinations when people want to find out about local businesses. If you go on there yourself, you will soon be able to find out what people are saying about you, and you can also find out if there is a specific problem that they have with your company. Everything is Googled in this day and age, and your reviews will probably be the first thing that your customers notice.  If you know that you have a lot of bad reviews about your company, then it is a good idea for you to try and hire Guaranteed Removals so that you can get them wiped.

4 Ways You Didn’t Know To Make Your Business Secure

Security is a massive concern for many business owners. For this reason, it’s not surprising that there are so many misconceptions about how to keep your company safe. So, this post will give you four steps that you can take today to create an environment where security is always top of mind. Whether you’re just starting or have been in business for years, these tips will help put your worries at ease!

Use a Safe Network Provider

One of the best ways to ensure that your business is secure and not easily hacked into by cyber-criminals is to use secure network software. The best you should use is TNSR pfSense, a high-performing software.  This will ensure that you have an encrypted connection between each device on the network, which means that it would be much more difficult for someone trying to steal information from the workstations or servers. 

A safe network provider will also help you comply with laws and regulations to ensure that your business is operating in the best possible way.

Always Issues NDAs for All Projects

NDAs refer to Non-Disclosure Agreements. These are contracts that protect your business by keeping all of the information you’ve shared with another party confidential and vice versa. 

There’s no better way to build trust than knowing both parties will hold up their ends of the confidentiality agreement.

Issuing  NDAs for new projects is a must.

It’s best to build NDAs into your standard contracts, too. That way, both parties will have cover at all times, and you don’t have to worry about creating them from scratch each time you strike up a new business relationship.

This will save you not only time but money in the long run as well! 

Invest in Business Insurance

One of the most important things you can do to protect your business is make sure it has an insurance cover. There are several types of coverage that could be valuable for protecting your business, including equipment breakdown and property damage. No matter what kind of small business you run, insure yourself against everything from natural disasters like fires or floods to malicious data breaches. 

In addition, consider business interruption coverage as well. Even if your office isn’t physically damaged, the combination of lost income and restoration costs can be devastating for any small business owner who didn’t plan. 

Be sure to look into policies from more than one carrier so you know what’s available in terms of protections and coverage limits. 

Plan on How To Mitigate Risks

Your business is always facing risks. However, you can take steps to mitigate the risk of data breaches by planning on how your organization will recover from an attack or breach. This includes analyzing security measures and protocols currently in place and what needs doing if they fail. 

Also, use modern means to store and transfer data, so you reduce the risk of losing data or sharing it with the wrong parties.

You also need a backup plan for worst-case scenarios, such as losing customer information or having hackers successfully plant malware onto servers. With these plans in place, you won’t have to scramble when disaster strikes and will know exactly who should do what to get back up and running again.

Conclusion

In conclusion,  there are many ways you can make your business secure. You just have to take the time and effort to do so.

8 Strategies That Successful E-Commerce Start-Ups Swear By

How can you win in the e-commerce space? It’s a question that many budding entrepreneurs find themselves asking every year. It’s so crowded, and yet there’s so much opportunity.

In this post, we provide some answers. If you’re struggling to make it work in the sector, check out this advice. It could be the best thing you read all day. 

Build Better Supplier Relationships

Many new e-commerce entrepreneurs treat suppliers as they would any other service: badly. 

But that’s not a good approach. Unlike a regular store or consumer brand, you’re totally reliant on your suppliers. If they don’t deliver, you don’t get paid. 

Building better supplier relationships is one of the best ways to make your startup stand out from the competition. If you can work with a supplier as if they are part of your business, you can often dramatically improve the outcomes at your business. You’ll find that people are able to communicate with each other better, lead times become shorter and you never find yourself in a position where you’re out of stock. 

Keep Your Site Updated

In 2021, an e-commerce strategy focused on tech is the best route available. You want to use technology to drive your business forward in ways that your competitors aren’t. 

Start by developing your website. Implement innovative user experience options, such as one-click purchases and recommended products. Also, begin accepting alternative currencies, such as bitcoin and Ethereum. Explore every avenue to improve customer services. 

Focus On Niche Products

Don’t try to stock everything. Instead, focus on niche markets. Make customers believe that they can get things from you that they can’t get anywhere else. 

Many successful e-commerce companies follow this strategy. They look at the market as it is right now and ask whether they could improve a niche. They then focus on that area, finding ways to provide customers with better value, encouraging them to avoid shopping with big brands, such as Amazon. 

Add A Mobile App

Don’t neglect to add a mobile app. Most consumers don’t use mobile browsers to access e-commerce websites. Instead they download apps so that they can shop natively. 

Apps can improve the customer experience tremendously. Having a mobile app streamlines purchasing and makes it easier for you to curate the customer experience. It also gets rid of annoying browser bloat which can make the experience of your site less enjoyable. 

Publicize Product Reviews And Ratings

Users who arrive at your store want to know whether their purchases will be any good. They are much less likely to buy if there is no social proof from other users. That’s why brands like Amazon put so much effort into making reviews and rating public. They help sell products. 

Reviews’ biggest impact is on conversion rates. Some estimates suggest that simply adding trusted reviews to the product screen increases the conversion rate between three and four times. 

Add Videos

In the past, e-commerce sites were just big platforms where companies would post links to products in their warehouse with some accompanying pictures. There is nothing wrong with that approach, but everyone is doing it. Thus, if you want to stand out, you have to try something different

A good way to do this is to add videos to all your product pages. These allow you to convey more information than you could in simple product descriptions. They are also great from a user-engagement perspective. Many times, customers prefer to watch a sales rep using a product instead of reading a simple description about it. 

Make Your Site More Responsive

Today’s consumers want responsive e-commerce sites more than anything else. If they find your site slow, they will quickly move over to a competitor. 

But how do you make your site more responsive? It turns out that there are several ways of doing it. 

Perhaps the best way is to follow Google’s AMP program. This is a set of tools that adjusts multiple aspects of your site, making it respond faster. You can also do things like increase server bandwidth or change your web host. 

Allow Users To Save Their Carts

Users aren’t always able to finish their purchases in a single session. That’s why many e-commerce brands now offer them the ability to save their carts. This feature allows customers to return to their carts if something interrupts them. It is a great strategy for boosting conversions. 

In summary, winning in the e-commerce game is tricky. But with the right approach it is possible. The rules of the game are changing, and companies need to keep up.