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Are You Ready To Switch To A Remote Work Model?

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Remote Work Model|Are You Ready To Switch To A Remote Work Model?Are you thinking about switching your business to a remote model? If so, then you need to make sure that your company is ready for this change. There are definitely challenges that lie ahead here. Despite the benefits of saving money, you could face problems with productivity, connectivity and even the perception of your company. So, how can you ensure that your business is ready for this change? Here are some of the possibilities worth exploring.

Get The Right Software

First, you should ensure that you have the right software in place. There are lots of different types of software that could benefit you when you are setting up your company for remote work. For instance, you might want to explore screen tracking technology. This means that you can easily check whether your team members are reaching the right level of productivity and staying on target through the business day. You could even set up a shared platform. This will allow you to check the progress of your clients in real time and provide updates where necessary.

Use A Cloud Server

Next, you should think about investing in a cloud server solution. With a cloud server, you can make sure that you are able to gain access to any data from anywhere in the world. This means that there will be no limits on where you can hire team members. For instance, you might want to think about hiring team members on an international basis. With a cloud server, this is a possibility. A cloud server provides other benefits too. It helps increase your turnaround time and this is guaranteed to impress your clients.

Hire The Best Team

Next, you need to make sure that you are hiring the right team to make this transition easier. To do this, you need to understand the new work culture that is based around the remote model. If you explore sites such as Reworked, you will find that there are plenty of articles and editorials based around the concept of working from home along with the perspectives of team members. This will help ensure that you are approaching the hiring process the right way.

Focus On The Perception

Finally, you need to make sure that you are focusing on the perception of your business and how changing your model can impact your company. It could alter the perception that clients and potential employees could have of your company. One of the ways that you can fix this is by starting a brand new marketing campaign. Let clients know what is happening and that it won’t impact the quality of your output. At the same time, you should be prepared to answer any questions or queries current or new team members have about the model.

We hope this helps you understand some of the key steps that you can take to switch to a remote business model. If you explore the right options here, you can guarantee that this change is a great success for your business and does provide the benefits that you need.

Designing a Home Office That Aids Your Professional Development

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article |Home Office|Designing a Home Office That Aids Your Professional DevelopmentOver the past year, many professionals within business, management, and analytics – and, indeed, across many other sectors, too – have found themselves working from home on a more regular basis. This has led to a huge shift in the ways in which staff are able to communicate and interact with one another, in addition to affecting the very nature of their work.

Inquiring about an aspect of a document you’re uncertain about, querying decisions, and monitoring the effectiveness of staff have all been rendered much more difficult, while working from home has become the norm.

This new way of working limits human-to-human interaction, making it difficult to observe and question exemplary staff to help your own development, and making feedback a much lengthier process. However, as remote working seems to be becoming the norm in large corporations such as Spotify and BP – at least for part of the working week – it makes sense to start considering the ways in which working from home can help aid your development.

In this article, we discuss office set-ups and designs that are conducive to focused work patterns and that can help enhance your professional development even while you’re not sat in the office.

Finding the Perfect Spot

Many workers underestimate the benefits of a designated space within the home that is entirely dedicated to the production of work. The key is identifying a space within your home that has a surface you can work at (preferably a desk or a table), lots of natural light, is not affected by noise as much as other areas of the house, and that has all the equipment you will need. Ideally, the room you choose requires a door that you can close, to avoid interruptions from pets or children when on conference calls, and block out any distracting noises throughout the day.

A Comfortable Space

While you obviously would prefer to avoid creating a space that is too comfortable and disrupts your working frame of mind, you also need an area that doesn’t distract you from your focus – heightened feelings of discomfort can prevent you from concentrating as effectively as you would otherwise.

A key element of this is the maintenance of the room temperature. Too cold, and your digits will stiffen and your brain will work slower, slowing your progress down and inhibiting your thinking and problem-solving skills; too hot, and you’ll become lethargic and spend a vast proportion of your time trying to cool yourself down. Investing in a variable heating center for your home office could make all the difference! Refurbished PTACs from ptac4less.com/ are perfect for room renovations or additions. They allow you to control the temperature of your working space to make it optimal for you.

Additionally, investing in ergonomically designed seating will do wonders for your posture, enabling you to sit in an upright position comfortably and type at the same time, while cushioning your lower back. Combined with a raised, padded mousepad and a screen that can be adjusted for your comfort, this will allow you to focus entirely on your work output.

Maintaining Calm

An often-underestimated aspect of a home office is the requirement for calm. Busy rooms with lots of visual and auditory distractions can cause sensory overload and make it more difficult to focus on your work. A room painted in neutral colors is preferable, as busy patterns and bright, popping colors again can disrupt your thinking process and add to feelings of stress. Instead, it would be beneficial to invest in calming artwork, depicting soft seaside or country scenes, or paintings with soft blues and greens. This also means that you have a professional-looking space for those inevitable Zoom meetings and conferences!

If you are the type of person that benefits from music when working, curating a playlist of instrumental music and themes is generally best. Studies have demonstrated in the past that classical music is particularly conducive to focus and concentration.

Keeping plants and fish has also been suggested as a way of invoking calm in a space; creating your own aquarium (well-researched, of course) would not only add to a relaxing yet focused atmosphere, but they also provide a calming visual that you can use to stimulate ideas and configure solutions.

Many believe that working from home has negatively impacted the professional development of staff, particularly those transferring from other sectors or who are just starting out in their career. However, there are ways of designing your home office set up in such a way that you are not only able to complete your work effectively, but that enables you to flourish.

Seven Top Tips for Working Remotely

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Working Remotely|Seven Top Tips for Working RemotelyIn the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more companies are allowing their employees to work remotely. This may be the case in your business, given the difficulties many are still having with workers in the office. Whether you are an employee who has recently been working from home or a CEO/HR manager wondering the best way to set up your remote employees, this guide has the ultimate overview for making remote work a success. Read on for seven top tips.

Use a Remote Hosted Desktop

A hosted desktop is a form of cloud technology that allows you to run office systems that usually play on a desktop while using a virtual machine. This is especially useful when you are on the go, as it means that you can log into these systems from just a phone or a tablet, meaning that you no longer have to say: “I’ll check this when I’m back on my computer.” By doing this, you are then able to access your business from anywhere in the world. If you are interested in using a hosted desktop, Evolvit offers a great system.

Invest in a Dongle

To make sure that you always stay connected to the internet, no matter whether you are on the go in a country with poor connectivity, sitting in a cafe with poor and risky Wi-Fi, or your home internet cuts out; it makes sense to invest in a dongle. These are USB devices that you can plug into your computer that allow you to have 4G (or more recently, 5G) access to the internet. You can use them as you would a phone, with a monthly deal that can be offered at a highly reasonable price.

Use a VPN

To make sure that the connection you have back to the office is secure, meaning that no one can hack into what your company owns, it is essential to use a secure virtual private network that encrypts your IP address. This should be downloaded in collaboration with a firewall that allows for simple communication between devices as well as containing the necessary security protocols to make sure that the system is less vulnerable to data breaches. A VPN is also a great way to keep connected to the country you usually operate from if you travel abroad because a lot of online offerings can be restricted by their location, especially in China.

Set Weekly or Daily Video Meetings

Just because you or your employees are working remotely, this doesn’t mean that you have to lose control of what people are working on. That’s why it makes sense to make use of videoconferencing software, which has risen in popularity due to the coronavirus pandemic, in order to keep in touch with everyone. For good practices, depending on the size of the company and its current needs, you can set either a weekly meeting or daily meetings via video call to replicate an in-office feel.

Invest in Cloud Services

To make sure that everyone is on the same page when working with systems that require a lot of data exchange, it makes sense to have strong cloud services that allow you to see who is working on what and when. This way, data sharing becomes extremely easy no matter where in the world employees are logging in from. There are a variety of different cloud services available online that can be used to facilitate this easily.

Use Project Management Systems

In connection with a data transfer system, it also makes sense to invest in project management software. This is so you can keep track on who is working on a particular project as well as realize ways to assign work and make sure that everyone meets their respective deadlines. Find a solution that works well with your team and allows everybody involved in your business the ability to keep on top of their respective workloads.

Set Yourself a Schedule

While in-office work can be dictated by constant negotiation between members of the team as they talk through everything that they need to do, this type of workflow can be rather different when working remotely, even with the aid of chat management software (something that you should definitely download). That’s why it’s highly important to set yourself a schedule to make sure that everybody in the office has an idea of what they should be working on, and to signal to others your daily tasks and your expected time of meeting them. If you are the CEO, these can be implemented with the help of tracking tools that ensure that everyone in the office is meeting their deadlines and there is no cyber-loafing in the virtual office.

Stepping Up Your Business In 2021

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business in 2021|5 Lead Generation Tips for 2021Working for yourself can often be the dream life for many. It can give you that flexibility of finding the right balance between working and home life, and give you the opportunity to work in a field that you are passionate about. Not many people love their jobs, but people who work for themselves often say that they do. It can take a while to build up a business yourself. A lot of people do it while working in full-time jobs, or even attempt to start a business from nothing and turn it into something during their spare time on very little money.

The last few months have seen many people decide on starting a business. Having had time during the lockdowns to think about what they wanted to do, and in some cases start a business with the global pandemic directly in mind. No matter when you have decided to do it, you no doubt want to make some improvements where you can. But, once you do take that plunge and you have an established business you can look at ways to step it up a notch. 2020 may have been a strange year, but that doesn’t mean this year has to be the same, and you could make some improvements to your business in order to step things up. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you.

Outsourcing instead of hiring

One of the first things you could consider doing would be to outsource certain aspects of your business. Logically, this can actually be a great money saver for you as it saves you hiring someone specific and having the outlay of a consistent wage. Outsourcing means that you have someone doing that role for you as and when you need it most. The hours that suit your business as well as the budget you have to spend on it. Things it could work for include IT, accounting, social media management and website development. Leaving you free to focus on the things that you could make the most difference with. Outsourcing can be a great way to push your business forward and focus on some of the things that you could do to improve business in the areas where you can make the most difference.

Are company vehicles the right choice?

Many businesses move on to think about logistical needs, and company vehicles can often solve this problem for you. This might be for yourself or your staff members. There are many different funding and fleet management options that you could consider, and fleet finance can often be a great choice to consider. There are some other benefits to company vehicles including the advertising opportunity. Having a vehicle sign written with your company details means that every time it is out on the road or parked up, you are advertising your business. Of course, the downside is the additional business cost, but you need to weigh the benefits to work out if this is the right choice to make.

Thriving at home

Right now there is no choice but to work from home, but this could be a big money saver right now while you have no choice. Using your business as a purely online venture will help you to keep your costs down and make some big savings this year. As there is no other way to operate for your business, you know that you don’t have any worries of competitors doing things differently. So this could be a great way to give you a level playing field with businesses and allow your business to grow in a different way. If you are having to work from home make sure you create a dedicated working area. This could be something that you have in a corner of your home, or you may want to look at turning a room into an office. This might need to happen if you have stock that you need to store or if you have a lot of packing that you need to do to send items.

Moving from home into a business a premises

You may think that moving to a business from home is actually going to be a real expensive thing to do. At home, you have very little overheads to think of, but you are limited in what you can do. Sometimes spending more can bring you greater benefits. This could include a shop to sell from or a premises in which you can meet potential customers and clients. Meaning more business could be done in the future. It may seem like this is a tall order right now with many shops and establishments closed for face to face business, but it is certainly something that you can aim for in the future.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business in 2021|5 Lead Generation Tips for 2021Making more of free advertising options

Do you really take advantage of free advertising options? The main one being social media? The chances are you are probably not doing it as well as you could be. There may be times that you are not posting as consistently. Or it could be that you are just not making great content. Now is the time to stop and reevaluate your social media marketing and make some changes. Try different things, look at ways to include a bit of personality. Don’t always think that a sales approach is the right approach, you will want to engage with your audience. This is where some of the best accounts do the best when it comes to social media and advertising in a different way.

Place a focus on your marketing

You also need to take some time to think about focusing on your marketing plan and strategy. Marketing isn’t just about social media, it is about advertising in general and all of the options that you have available to you. This is where you could use the help of the best digital marketing company in your area. They can help you come up with a plan to make the most of the marketing opportunities for your business. A strategy can help you to understand what is needed and also enable you to focus on making the best changes to your business in order to reach new customers and expand on your business where possible. A marketing professional could help you to make sure you understand what your niche is and take advantage of it.

Focusing on your local community

Many people are changing the way that they shop. This is such a good thing for small businesses. A lot of people like the idea of supporting local and small businesses, and so now is the best time to start making a name for yourself locally. There are some easy ways to be known. You could get involved in community events, such as sponsoring them, or being part of them with a pop-up shop. You can advertise locally in small magazines or on local Facebook pages. Even just talking to shop owners and chatting in the community can help build your profile. During the pandemic there was such a huge focus on helping small businesses to thrive under the current circumstances that they faced. Advertising locally can help you to build on that and to make more of the business potential that you have. Shopping locally and supporting small businesses is something that many people feel strongly about, so enabling that customer base to see who you are and what you are all about could help your business to thrive in a different way.

Is expansion on the cards?

Finally, are you thinking about expanding your business? It may often be seen as a big expense, but expanding your range and also looking at ways to reach out for more potential customers will see you benefit in the way of profits. The new year is the ideal time to start thinking about this, and some of the ways that you could do it. It could be something you have already started to work on, or you may want to put the plans in place to make it a reality. Maybe it is franchising your business or selling the business plan and potential that your business has. It could be looking at expanding your products or the services that you offer or heading in a different direction when it comes to the niche that you are in and what you can do for your customers. There is so much potential for expansion for businesses these days, so definitely don’t feel like you are restricted right now. It might just mean looking at another avenue to explore.

Starting a business is always going to be scary, and even doing it while the world faced a global pandemic may have felt crazy at the time. But now that we are in a fresh new year you can take advantage of that new found motivation to take things up a notch. Let’s hope these tips help you to step up your business.

Helpful Tips To Make Shipping Orders From Your at-Home Business Easier

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |At-Home Business|Helpful Tips To Make Shipping Orders From Your at-Home Business EasierRunning a home business is challenging enough as it is, but when you have to ship physical products around the world from your own home, it can further complicate things and create a surprising number of problems. So to give you a hand, we’ve put together some helpful tips that will assist you in shipping orders from your at-home business.

Stock up on wholesale mailing and packaging goods

First, make sure you stock up on different mailing and packaging goods at home. The last thing you want to do is buy single boxes or small quantities of packaging materials. It’s expensive and you’ll save a lot of money buying bulk bubble mailers and other mailing goods. This is a great way to cut costs, but it also means you’re less likely to run out at an inopportune time.

But try out different varieties before you buy in bulk

There are also lots of different mailing goods available, such as different kinds of boxes and packaging materials. If you want to protect the stuff you’re sending, make sure you try different kinds of packaging goods first before you commit to a bulk purchase.

Use the smallest packaging possible to save on costs

A little tip to help you save on packaging costs is to get the smallest boxes possible that can contain your items yet also offer enough protection to ensure they don’t get damaged in transit. The goal here is to go for a size that is small enough so that you don’t pay extra shipping costs on a large box. This can be difficult if you send a variety of products, so it’s not a tip that every business can use.

Ensure your items are packed safely with plenty of protection

We’ve briefly mentioned protective materials already but we believe that it deserves a more detailed description. Packaging materials come in many different shapes, sizes and materials. The key here is to ensure that it’s economical, not troublesome for the buyer (such as loose foam or packaging that makes a mess), and can potentially be reused if the buyer was to send their own items in the future.

Find the cheapest and most reliable postage services

A great way to trim shipping costs is to look for cheap and reliable postage services. Yes, they do exist, and it’s important that you get a quote from a variety of different shipping companies to see who you can work with. This isn’t an easy or short process, but the idea is to find a reliable shipping company that you can create a working relationship with so you can start doing bulk deliveries which cut down the cost of shipping.

Decide what extras you’re going to include

Lastly, decide beforehand what kind of extras you’ll include with each order. Just sending your customer’s items is fine, but adding a flyer, business card, or even little goodies such as stickers can be a great personalized addition that sets you apart from the competition.