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Category: Work

3 Refreshing Tips For Digital Nomads

Since the pandemic came and… stubbornly persisted, we’ve seen the rise of people who value more convenience in their work. Working from home, a local cafe, or even a bar can provide people with a sense of renewed focus mixed with a little personal leisure and convenience where appropriate. Thanks to a majority of serviced work being performed online these days, it seems that many jobs have at least some online component to think of.

As such “digital nomad-ism” has become a much more popular day-to-day and feasible working condition than expected. Some people regard it as a movement, for some, it’s just time they get away from the office. But if you’re on your travels while working, well, you have to come up with your own style of getting things done. Some people wake up in a hotel, will work solidly for six hours, and then enjoy the rest of their afternoon evenings. Some people party all day and work from their laptop all night.

If you feel that the digital nomad lifestyle is for you, then it’s important to consider some advice that actually owes its wisdom to skilled and proactive travellers. Without further ado, then, please consider the following advice:

Use & VPN/Secure Your Accounts

A VPN, known as a virtual private network, is software that encrypts your internet requests so that if your traffic is intercepted, it cannot be read. This can also encrypt it from your internet provider. This is important because when you’re traveling, it’s likely that you’ll connect to a range of public WiFi connections, from hotels to bars to libraries. Those with the technical skills may be able to read unsecured data and use it to steal your information or access your financial details. A cheap but paid-for subscription service is best. This will ensure your traffic stays as secure as possible, and saves you from potential fraud.

Alternate Your Travel Methods

Like anything in life, if you do something constantly and routinely, it may lose its vitality. This is why we don’t eat the same meal three times a day, and why even fun things, like riding roller coasters, can get old within a certain period of time. The same goes for hopping from place to place as a digital nomad. 

The best thing to do is to alternate your travel methods if you hope to make digital nomad-ism fun. Long-haul trains through certain countries, flights, hikes, and even boats with boat storage options can be exciting, and you’ll find more info here. Try hostels, hotels, AirBnB apartments, or stay with friends. Switch things up a little. It will help your lifestyle remain as vibrant as possible; and you’ll also be able to pursue many financial deals here, too.

Use Safety Apps

Safety is essential when you’re a digital nomad. When you travel so quick and so far, some may not know where you are. This is why it’s helpful to use apps that transmit your location to your loved ones, or set reminders for you to tell them. Alternatively, you can use apps like What3Words which actually provide exact accurate locations for where you are in the world based on a three-word grid system. This means you can easily show where you are to those you trust no matter what plans you’ve made that day. Safety is priceless.

With this advice, we hope you can nomad-it-up with enhanced security, fun and safety.

How To Be A Good Lab Manager

Whether you have recently been promoted to lab manager or the position is one you are considering, there is a good chance that the role will require skills that you haven’t thought about. A big part of the job is facilitating new discoveries and undertaking research, but the work doesn’t stop there. Take a look at these skills that make a successful lab manager.

Leadership

Being in a position of responsibility for your whole team can be daunting when you’re first promoted to the role of a lab leader, but when you break it down into consistent parts, it doesn’t need to be. 

Aim to make choices for the good of the whole team. A position of power means that the final decision sits with you so make sure your choices are made for the team and not the individual. 

Make confident choices. A lab manager needs to be willing and able to make critical decisions and inspire the team with logical judgments. 

Maintain enthusiasm and motivation in your team. Listen to your staff, make sure everyone is aware of goals and targets, and make sure employees are working together for the good of the lab. 

Communication

Formal and informal communication are both important for ensuring good team morale and a successful working atmosphere. Make sure you schedule in regular one-to-ones with your team so they can discuss any issues with you before they turn into problems. An approachable and understanding manager is often listed as one of the key factors in employee morale. If you’re looking for other ways to be a good boss, arrange informal meet-ups to allow colleagues to have fun together away from an often intense working environment. 

Managing Projects

A lab manager role has a lot of crossover with the role of a project manager. The completion of a project is a group effort, and often wouldn’t be possible without the rest of your team, but bringing together the many elements of a complex project will fall on the shoulders of the lab manager unless you use a management organization like MRIGlobal. Whether you’re setting timeframes, communicating goals to the rest of the project team or ensuring delivery, project coordination is the key to success. 

Managing Budgets

Government funding can be scarce and applying for grants and funding from different sources is important for a thriving lab. The future of the lab could be on the line without funding, so this is one of the most vital tasks a lab manager undertakes. There are lots of courses that can help you to improve your bid writing, or you could seek advice from senior staff who have more experience doing this. Don’t panic if you’re not good with words. There are agencies that specialize in grant writing or you could hire a bid writer. Spending in this area often has a great return on investment so consider delegating the task if you need to. 

Organizing Meetings

Making sure your meetings are worthwhile and productive can take a lot of work. Whether you are putting together agendas before the meeting, keeping the conversation on track during the meeting, or debriefing the team afterward, organizing meetings will take a lot of skill. Watch how others conduct meetings and work on the skills that you find the most effective in making meetings productive and useful to the entire team. 

Managing Conflicting Priorities

Financial constraints and other commitments often mean that it isn’t possible to prioritize research alone. An important skill for lab managers to have is the ability to juggle these conflicts, ensuring the best quality research while maximizing profit and keeping investors happy. Science is about discovery and innovation, but an effective manager needs to deliver these on time and within budget. 

Creative Problem Solving

As a lab manager, you will be required to think outside the box. By the time an issue comes to you, it is likely that all of the more obvious solutions have already been tried by the rest of your team. Whether it is solving a budget issue through imaginative workaround solutions or offering a fresh perspective on a project that has run out of steam, thinking outside the box is one of many skills you will need to use. Become a better creative problem solver by staying on top of industry news and advances in your field. With one eye on the bigger picture, you are more likely to spot innovative solutions and be in a position to put them into action.

It Pays To Invest In Your Look As A Freelancer

You would hope that your work would speak for itself and that it would be the sole proponent for whether or not you’re able to get clients on board. However, that simply isn’t true. Freelancers need to market themselves every bit as fiercely as entrepreneurs. That goes beyond your website, online marketing, and branding, however. Your appearance matters, as well. Here are a few ways you can ensure that you’re giving off the professionalism that people expect from you.

Dress appropriately for the situation

You might think that one of the benefits of working for yourself is that you get to dress however you like and that is true. When you’re working at home, who’s to say you can’t rock up in a robe and slippers? But when you’re meeting clients or those you’re looking to impress, then you have to ensure a professional dress sense, too. This doesn’t always mean a suit. Going with business casual to a lunch meeting isn’t going to spoil too many chances. But you want to make sure that your clothes fit and that they look like something a professional adult would be happy to wear.

Grooming is just as important

Throwing on a suit jacket isn’t going to be enough if you haven’t been grooming yourself to an eye-pleasing standard. The length and style of your hair are up to you, you just have to make sure that you have your barber tidy it up for you and take care of it with brushing, conditioner, and, when necessary, hair spray. Facial hair is important, too, you don’t want to show up with a patchy beard that makes it look like you just got out of bed. A good smile is vital, too. If you’ve been drinking a little too much coffee and not brushing enough, then you want to invest in a teeth whitening kit. Not only will it help you make a better impression but you can be a lot more confident in your presentation when you’re not feeling self-conscious about your hair or teeth.

Mind your posture

Body language can have a much greater impact on the impression that you leave on people than you might think. If you’re slouched over, shoulders dropped, and head low, it does not exactly make you look like a confident person, which means that it may be harder to put confidence in you. However, sitting straight up with your face straight ahead can make you look a little robotic, too. There are posture fixing apps that can help you correct your body language so that you look confident, calm, and collected, but without looking overly proud or stiff, too.

You don’t need to fit a specific mold to successfully look like a professional that people want to hire. What’s important is that you’re able to present yourself and that you clearly put effort into that presentation. People are shallow with those they don’t know personally. They will judge you at a glance, so it’s important to make sure that you’re judged well.

Keeping Your Business Relevant in a Competitive Market

When your business is operating in a competitive market, staying relevant is a challenge. It’s especially difficult when everything is moving quickly and you’re always at risk of falling behind your competitors. However, you don’t have to get left behind if you’re careful about how you grow your business. Staying up to date with what’s happening can help you to ensure your business remains relevant at all times and isn’t overtaken by both existing competitors and emerging brands. You need to stay on the ball if you want to avoid your business becoming irrelevant, so take a look at the following steps you should be taking.

Grow Your Business Faster

Everything can seem to grow at an extremely fast pace in business, especially in certain industries. Being able to keep your business growing and developing quickly is a must if you want to keep up. One of the things you can do is ensure your operations and development are working together. A DevOps consulting service like Continuum Innovations can help your organization to work quickly and develop faster. If you’re developing digital applications, products and services, you can do so faster with the right support and a clear plan for the future.

Know Your Competition

Understanding your competition is always important if you want to be able to keep your business relevant.

Luke Lee, the CEO of Palaleather, says that Market Research is one of the actions most startups or small business owners usually forgo because they could not readily see its relevance in the short term. In the long run, however, knowing your competition through effective market research allows business owners to compete and determine what makes them stand out among the rest.

How can you compete if you don’t know who you’re up against? You might research your competitors when you first set up your business, but that shouldn’t be the end of it. It’s also important to keep an eye on what your competition is doing so that you can respond in the right way. Are they doing something that you should be doing too? Is there a way you should be differentiating your business from theirs so you stand out?

Be Innovative

Innovation is key to keeping your business relevant. You need to be willing to keep your business moving and to look for new ways to do things. You’re not always going to be at the cutting edge and doing things that no one else is doing. But you can find plenty of ways to keep reaching out to your customers, offering more value from your products or services, and building your brand’s reputation and recognition. You can experiment and test out different things to see what works in different areas, from product development to marketing.

Attract the Best Talent

Having the right people working for your business is a must if you want to keep moving forward. You need the best talent working for you if you want people who are able to think innovatively and keep your business developing. Of course, if you’re looking for the right talent, you have to offer people attractive opportunities. Being a good employer is an essential part of making the right hires, so make sure you’re taking care of your employees if you want to attract the right people.

It’s vital to stay on top of your business development and what’s happening in your industry if you want to remain relevant and continue to compete.

18 Services You Can Outsource As An Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, your to-do list is always growing. You’re constantly thinking of new ideas to pursue and ways to grow your business. But there’s only so much you can do in a day. That’s where outsourcing comes in.

Outsourcing is the process of delegating tasks or projects to another person or company. It can be a great way to save time and focus on your core competencies.

There are many different services you can outsource as an entrepreneur. 

Here are 18 of the most popular:

1. Social media marketing

Social media marketing is a vital part of any modern marketing strategy. But it can be time-consuming to create and post regular content, monitor engagement, and track results.

Fortunately, there are plenty of social media marketing agencies and freelancers who can help take this burden off your hands.

2. SEO

If you want your website to rank high in search engine results, you need to invest in SEO (search engine optimization). But SEO is a complex and ever-changing field, so it’s not something you can do yourself unless you’re an expert.

There are many agencies and consultants who specialize in SEO and can help get your site to the top of the search results.

3. Web design and development

Creating a professional-looking website is essential for any business today. But if you don’t have experience with web design or development, it can be challenging to do it yourself.

There are many web design agencies and freelance developers who can create a custom website for your business.

4. Graphic design

Graphic design is another important element of any business’s marketing strategy. From creating logos and social media visuals to designing promotional materials, a professional graphic designer can help you make a great impression on your customers.

5. Content marketing

Creating high-quality content is essential for driving traffic to your website and engaging potential customers. But if you’re not a skilled writer or don’t have time to produce regular content, it’s worth outsourcing this task to a professional content marketer.

6. Email marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for staying in touch with your customers and promoting your products or services. But crafting effective email campaigns requires time and effort.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to handle your email marketing yourself, consider hiring a specialist.

7. Lead generation

Generating leads is essential for any business that wants to grow its customer base. There are many different strategies for generating leads, from online advertising to attending trade shows.

If you’re not sure how to generate leads effectively, consider outsourcing this task to a specialist.

8. Customer service

Providing excellent customer service is crucial for any business. But it can be time-consuming and expensive to do it yourself.

There are many companies that specialize in providing customer service support. They can handle everything from answering customer questions to resolving complaints.

9. Accounting and bookkeeping

Keeping track of your finances is essential for any business, but it’s not something you should do yourself if you’re not an expert.

There are many accounting and bookkeeping firms that can help you stay on top of your finances. They can also provide valuable insights into your financial situation.

10. IT support

If you have a computer or website, you need IT support. But dealing with technical issues can be time-consuming and frustrating. Fortunately, there are many IT support companies that can help resolve your technical problems quickly and efficiently. Having experts on hand to help with your IT needs can save you a lot of time and hassle.

11. Human resources

Managing employees is a complex and time-consuming task. If you’re not an expert in human resources, it’s worth outsourcing this function to a specialist. There are many companies that provide human resources support, from payroll to benefits administration.

12. Market research

If you want to make informed decisions about your business, you need to understand your market. Conducting market research can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it’s worth doing if you want to make the best decisions for your business. There are many companies that specialize in market research and can help you understand your target market.

13. Marketing

You could say that marketing is everything that we’ve talked about so far. But if you really want to grow your business, you need a comprehensive marketing strategy.

There are many marketing agencies that can help you develop and implement a successful marketing strategy.

14. Business consulting

If you’re not sure how to grow your business or take it to the next level, consider hiring a business consultant. A good business consultant can provide valuable insights and advice on how to improve your business. For example, click here for more info on the benefits.

15. Social media management

Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but it’s also time-consuming. If you’re not sure how to effectively use social media to promote your business, consider hiring a social media expert. Managing social media accounts can be a full-time job, so it’s worth outsourcing if you don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself.

16. Event planning

Organizing and hosting events can be a great way to promote your business. But it’s also a lot of work. If you’re not sure how to plan and execute a successful event, consider hiring an event planner.

17. Fundraising

If you’re looking to raise money for your business, you need to know how to solicit donations effectively. There are many fundraising firms that can help you reach your fundraising goals.

18. Public relations

If you want to generate positive publicity for your business, you need to have a good public relations strategy. There are many public relations firms that can help you develop and implement a successful PR campaign.

In Conclusion

Outsourcing is a great way to save time and money. But it’s important to choose the right tasks to outsource. Not all tasks are suitable for outsourcing; you might end up spending more money than you save. And some tasks are more complex than others and require a higher level of expertise.

When in doubt, always consult with a professional before making a decision. Do your research and carefully consider which tasks you can realistically outsource. Then, find a reputable company or freelancer who can do the job well.

Ways to Keep Your Employees Productive and Happy

Creating a positive workplace plays a crucial role in ensuring that your business is productive and efficient. Keeping your employees happy is a crucial part of this equation. Treating your team fairly, with respect, and showing them that they are appreciated is vital to retaining your staff and keeping them working as productively as possible. But, knowing how to keep your employees both productive and happy can be a significant challenge. Read on to find out how you can create a positive workplace with happy staff and reap the benefits of a productive team:

Improve the Work Environment

Improving your work environment can be a beneficial way to improve productivity. Making changes to your workplace so that it is equipped with everything your team members need to work efficiently is a great place to start. This can be achieved by checking that all the equipment is fit for purpose and functioning as it should. Having equipment that is not up to the task can make life frustrating for your team and often means it takes longer for them to complete each task than it should. So, ensuring that everything from the physical equipment to software systems and computers is working effectively will help your employees to perform at their best.

Tidying up your business premises and ensuring that it is clean and in a good state of repair will help your employees feel more positive about their work environment and better equipped to use their time productively.

Schedule Shifts Fairly

If there is one thing guaranteed to get your employees feeling unhappy, it is messing with this work schedule. Scheduling team members to work on days when they are supposed to be on leave or setting them shifts when they have already said they are unavailable for work will leave you with an unhappy workforce. Consistently putting the same employees on the shifts that no one wants to work, such as weekends and holidays, is also likely to create tension. It is essential to learn how to optimize workforce scheduling to prevent oversights in your shift allocation from causing upset and ensure fairness. Using workforce scheduling effectively will ensure that work hours are allocated fairly, oversights are avoided, and every shift runs efficiently.

Show Appreciation

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and your team is no exception. Ensuring that you provide your employees with positive feedback and thank them for their efforts will help them to feel valued. The more recognition your team receives for a job done well, the more likely they are to keep working productively.

Failing to provide recognition and never saying thank you to employees can have a significant impact on morale in the workplace, and in turn, this affects productivity levels. So, when it comes to keeping your employees happy, a simple thank you to acknowledge their efforts goes a long way. 

Provide Benefits

Following on from saying thank you and showing appreciation to your team members, it is also essential to provide employee benefits for your team. Offering a benefits package is an effective way to once again show your appreciation, but it is also a helpful way to help encourage staff loyalty and to reward team members based on their length of service. Many small businesses shy away from providing staff benefits to their teams as they believe they will be expensive. However, there is no need to create an extravagant benefits package, as most employees prefer simple perks. There are many meaningful benefits that you can provide that your team members will appreciate, and these will not cost you too much money. Simple benefits such as giving every employee the day off on their birthday and increasing annual leave days to reward length of service can be incredibly effective and help your team members to feel valued and rewarded for their hard work. Organizing additional treats, such as ordering breakfast for your team on a Friday morning after a successful week, is also a great way to keep everyone motivated and reward them for working hard.

Conclusion 
Employee morale is crucial and has far-reaching effects throughout your business. Many employers overlook the connection between happy staff and increased levels of productivity, and this can lead to disengaged employees and low output. But, keeping your employees happy with a centralized procurement process and making sure that they are productive does not need to be complicated. Going back to basics and providing your team with a fair working environment and acknowledging their efforts will create the perfect conditions for productivity.