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Relocating During the Pandemic

Relocating During the Pandemic Can Hurt Your Wallet

Back in July, we wrote an article speculating how remote work will affect salaries. We discussed how relocating during the pandemic to the suburbs or more rural locations could potentially impact your salary while working remotely. Software company VMware is one of the first real indicators of this phenomenon. A new report from Bloomberg reveals that they are allowing some of their staff to work from home permanently. However, there is a catch: if they relocate from their headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, they must accept a pay reduction to compensate for a lower cost of living. So, how will relocating during the pandemic hurt your wallet?

How much will a relocation affect your salary?

In this same report from Bloomberg, they spoke to anonymous workers from VMware. They reported that if they were to leave from Silicon Valley to Denver, they would take an 18% salary cut. And if they just moved to nearby San Diego or LA, their annual salary would take an 8% hit. And although the cost of living in these locations is cheaper, those are considerable decreases in an employee’s annual salary.

Other companies, mostly large tech firms, are considering similar approaches to relocations for remote employees. Twitter is considering a “competitive” approach to localizing compensation, while Facebook blatantly said it might cut their employees’ salaries, depending on where they relocate.

Other companies are taking a different approach

Another report indicates that Stripe, a financial services and software company, is handling remote relocations a little differently. It is rumored that Stripe is offering a $20,000 “relocation” bonus for those relocating from the Bay Area, NY, or Seattle, but is requiring a pay decrease up to 10%. This seems like a more promising approach to receiving a pay cut due to a cheaper cost of living.

There may be other relocation agreements with workers and their employers; however, we may start to see salaries decrease in bigger markets as a result.

What will be the long-term effect?

So, this begs the question: what will the long-term effect be of remote workers relocating? Would you take a pay cut to move to another location with a better cost of living and a smaller population? If you are considering relocating to a cheaper area or to one less densely populated to avoid the virus, here are some of the best places to restart your career after the pandemic.

If You Want A Work From Home Job, Master These 5 Skills

If You Want A Work From Home Job, Master These 5 Skills

In today’s climate, millions of people around the world are working from home. Additionally, more companies are hiring remote positions than ever before. This is excellent news if you are a job seeker looking for a little flexibility. However, it is important to note that hiring managers are looking for very specific things when hiring remote workers. According to Yunita Ong, an Editor at LinkedIn Asia, these are the five skills you need to master to snag a work from home job.

Time Management

When you work from home, you are often charged with managing your own schedule. Hiring managers will want to know that you can take a task list, prioritize it, and accomplish everything within deadlines. To draw attention to your time management skills, highlight them on your resume. Include time-specific accomplishments and even detail project timelines.

Tech & Data Mastery

Working remotely can be akin to working on a deserted island at times. You do not have a mentor over your shoulder, walking you through new technologies or an on-site IT team to help you when something goes awry. Advanced knowledge of popular professional technology such as Microsoft 365, databases, and the internet will definitely give you a leg up for a work from home job. Put a spotlight on these skills by listing your proficiency on your resume. You can even include a specific list of relevant skills, covering your experience with any technology listed in the job description.

Adaptability

If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s the value of being adaptable. In today’s world, circumstances can change in an instant. Hiring managers want to know that you can think on your feet, adapt to ever-changing environments, and pivot when needed. To show your adaptability, tell a story in your cover letter or interview. Discuss a time when something didn’t go as planned and how you handled it. This will demonstrate your ability to adapt, no matter the situation.

The Ability to Balance

Having your home and office in the same space creates a battle for your attention. Many managers are still hesitant to let their employees work from home, with concerns about their dedication and ability to balance at the forefront. They expect that you can accomplish just as much at home as you would in the office. (And in some cases, even more!) It can be hard to highlight this skill without prior remote work experience, but you can establish boundaries as early as the interview. Ask about the work from home culture so you can have a clear understanding of expectations.

Remote Work Experience

Hands down, the most valuable thing you can bring to the table as a candidate vying for a remote job is previous experience working remotely. Even if it was just temporary during the stay at home orders, having worked from home in the past gives you an upper hand. It means you know typical work from home etiquette, and you’ll most likely be a master at the other four essential skills.

Are you looking for a remote job? Explore our open positions here!

4 Easy Ways To Set Work From Home Boundaries

4 Easy Ways To Set Work From Home Boundaries

Now that so many professionals are working from home for the inevitable future, it’s essential to draw boundaries. Just because your home and workspaces are now the same, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have clear boundaries between the two. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, over 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home. In order to avoid this burnout, you must draw a line between your work duties and home sanctuary. Keep reading for four easy ways to set work from home boundaries to keep your productivity and relaxation at a maximum.

Create A Schedule

The best way to set boundaries for yourself is to create a strict schedule. More importantly, stick to it! We recommend actually scheduling your breaks to ensure that you step away from work consistently. You can even go as far as setting an alarm to signify the end of the workday. This will really help you avoid burnout by drawing a line in the sand between work and home life.

Establish A Defined Workspace

It can be tempting to lounge on the couch all day when you work from home. However, that does blur the line a bit between your two worlds. Not only can it affect your productivity for work, but it can also make you feel obligated to work when you should be relaxing. Choose a designated spot in your home, whether it’s a spare bedroom, a corner of your kitchen table, or even an impromptu card table. Then, use that space for work and only work!

Turn Off Notifications

Most professionals don’t need to be available 24/7. So, when you’re off the clock, make sure to turn off the notifications on your phone! This doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally check email in case an emergency pops up, but it will avoid messages from night owl coworkers disrupting your personal time.

Get Outside

During your scheduled breaks, or even if you just get overwhelmed during the workday, step outside! Take a few moments to soak in the sun, get some fresh air, and clear your mind. You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel after just a quick jaunt outside.

When you work from home, it’s in everyone’s best interest for your to establish clear boundaries. Ultimately, it will boost your productivity, allow you to stay on top of your home life, and help you avoid burnout. Looking for more work from home tips? Explore our collection of articles!

Take PTO During the Pandemic

Why You Should Take PTO During the Pandemic

Have you taken any vacation or PTO during the pandemic? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by JSG indicates that 66% of people haven’t taken any time off throughout the pandemic. It can be challenging to justify taking time off with everything going on in the world right now – tight on funds, unemployment, difficulties traveling, limited activities available, etc. However, forgoing your vacation time starts to take a significant toll on your work productivity and happiness. Despite the virus, here is why you should take PTO during the pandemic.

The side effects of not taking PTO right now

It can be discouraging to take PTO given our current global pandemic. However, there are so many side effects of not utilizing your PTO, especially if you are working remotely. In fact, professionals working from home have an average workday that is 48.5 minutes longer than those working from the office. When working from home, the lines between work and home are easily blurred, making it difficult for you to unplug from your job. As a result, employee burnout is at an all-time high.

To mitigate this, you should be utilizing some of those PTO days that you have worked hard to earn. Even if it’s just a day or two, utilizing your vacation days will help lower stress, improve mental health, boost productivity, and increase job satisfaction. Harvard Business Review found that employees that use at least ten vacation days each year are 30% more likely to receive a raise. Plus, those who take regular vacations have higher job satisfaction. Obviously, this is easier said than done for many workers. Sometimes you feel that you have too much work to take time off, or maybe your manager is very approachable when it’s time to request some PTO days. Regardless of your situation, it is crucial for your health and quality of work to take time off, especially with all the extra stressors in each of our lives.

What can you do with those PTO days right now?

Besides financial reasons, the biggest excuse for not using some of those PTO days is the lack of activities to do right now. Sure, you may not be able to book a 7-day trip to Maui during the pandemic safely, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your time off to unplug from work and relax.

You don’t have to have an elaborate plan to enjoy some time away from work. You can go on a camping trip, go for a hike, take a day-trip to the lake, go for a long drive, or even just take a day off to do some yard work around the house. Whatever you decide to do, plan it in advance. It will give you something to look forward to and help you keep that motivation up!

Just be sure to unplug from work. Set an out of office message for your email and try not to check your phone. You will return with a better attitude, less stress, and a boost in motivation.

jobs with the fastest-growing demand

August Jobs with the Fastest-Growing Demand

As the country continues to recover, jobs are starting to return faster than many economists projected. The Labor Department reported a gain of 1.8 million jobs last month and an unemployment rate of 10.2%, a decline in 0.9%. However, some jobs are growing much faster than others. Last month, there was a significant spike in essential worker hiring. Nurses, drivers, cooks, and stock clerks were some of the most in-demand jobs in July. This month is another story with a tremendous surge in advisory and sales jobs, according to a recent LinkedIn report. Here is a brief breakdown of August’s jobs with the fastest-growing demand.

Jobs with fastest-growing demand

The pandemic has brutally impacted both the healthcare industry and the economy. As a result, the hiring needs for these areas have changed over the last five months. The growth of advisory and assistant-level positions has exploded over the past month. According to LinkedIn, below are the jobs with the fastest growing demand based on month-over-month (from June to July) changes in job postings:

  1. Tax Specialist
  2. Financial Advisor
  3. Customer Assistant
  4. Training Supervisor
  5. Patient Care Assistant
  6. Restaurant Worker
  7. Patient Service Representative
  8. Technical Program Manager
  9. Salesforce Developer
  10. Javascript Developer

Some of the positions listed above are probably not a surprise to anyone. People worldwide are looking for financial help during this crisis, so a surge in tax specialists and financial advisors makes sense. And patient care assistants and patient service reps will be in high demand for months to come.

Remote work hiring

However, with hundreds of companies still supporting remote work, the fastest-growing demand for work from home positions looks much different. Here are the top ten remote jobs:

  1. Sales Development Rep
  2. Sales Director
  3. Back End Developer
  4. Product Manager
  5. Sales Manager
  6. Project Manager
  7. Account Manager
  8. Marketing Manager
  9. Clinical Research Associate
  10. Software Engineer

Three of the top five remote jobs listed above are sales roles, and a couple of these roles are related to software development. This trend will be exciting to watch as remote work becomes even more normalized in the near future.

Are you looking to pivot your career?

So, here is a very brief overview of August’s jobs with the fastest-growing demand. But, there are dozens of other jobs that are also in high demand. If you are looking to pivot your career in a new direction, now is a great opportunity! Check out our job board for hundreds of exciting job openings with clients excited to have someone like you join their team.

3 Ways Companies Can Offer Flexibility For Employees

3 Ways Companies Can Offer Flexibility For Employees

As states across the country start to establish plans for fall education, many companies are finding themselves needing to adapt. As such, you need to offer options and provide flexibility for employees. Everyone is juggling work, assisting their kids with home learning, and following appropriate social distancing guidelines. Here are three ways you can accommodate your team member’s needs while still allowing for maximum productivity.

Implement Work From Home Flexibility

Dozens of major companies have announced that employees won’t be going back into the office until at least 2021, including Scotiabank, Google, and Indeed. Others like Facebook, Slack, and Zillow have communicated that employees don’t ever have to come back to the office in the same capacity. Due to ever-changing lockdowns and changes to the school system, many companies are forced to come to terms with a new future of work. Whether you offer full-time work from home options or flexible workweeks, your employees need it now more than ever. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained in a memo to employees, “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

Expand Your PTO Policies

The pandemic has changed how we think about PTO. Former policies consisting of five days of sick time will not fly moving forward when the minimum quarantine time for Coronavirus is 14 days. Provide clear communication about new sick policies to your team often. Make sure they understand proper protocols if they do need to quarantine or take time off to recover.

Establish boundaries

Recent research shows that since the beginning of the pandemic, the average workday has lasted 48.5 minutes longer. Your employees are feeling the pressure of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and increased childcare demands. By setting clear boundaries (everyone logs off at 5 pm, no matter what), you can help your team avoid burnout.

By offering flexibility for employees, you demonstrate your investment in the team. Interested in more management and hiring tips? Explore our client resources!

Remote Work Affect Salaries

Will Remote Work Affect Salaries?

There is no disputing the coronavirus’ impact on the economy and labor market. Economists, healthcare professionals, and others have speculated about the lasting effects of this pandemic. However, one thing that is certain is that millions of workers worldwide have been working from home (WFH) since mid-March. With confirmed cases surpassing 4 million in the U.S. this week, working remote might be a permanent transition. So, how will this shift to remote work affect salaries? It’s a little early to tell, but here is what may happen if this trend continues.

WFH workers are relocating

According to a recent study from Pew Research Center, nearly a fifth of U.S. adults has moved due to COVID-19 or know someone who did. The survey found that 37% of those ages 18 to 29 say they moved, someone moved into their home, or know someone who moved because of the outbreak. Many of these young professionals are relocating away from big cities, such as New York City, and escaping to less populated locations, such as the Midwest. These rural locations offer quiet, wide-open spaces and an affordable cost of living. But will your employer continue to pay your massive big-city salary in cheaper rural areas? Are employers going to start cutting wages for workers that move to regions with a more reasonable cost of living?

The price of the big cities

Living in big metropolitan areas definitely have their appeal – more culture, restaurants, activities, nightlife, and of course, larger salaries. According to a recent study, employers in America’s costliest cities pay at least 40% more for white-collar jobs than the average wage in other regions of the country. For example, a graphic designer makes an average of $31.67 an hour in the top 15 biggest cities versus an average hourly wage of $21.09 in all other regions. Yet, according to the report, “When firms in the highest-priced cities hired workers living in cheaper towns, they tended to pay almost 19% more than the person would earn locally.”

To break this down, workers make more in larger cities, regardless of whether they work locally or remotely. However, that salary range is still enormous. Using the pay scale for a graphic designer, a professional in that field would make 19% more working remotely for a company in a big city. That’s a little more than $4 more an hour, which is a much lower wage than the local workers of big cities making over $10 more an hour.

How will remote work affect wages?

This begs the question: will employers begin to change wages for remote workers to reflect their employees’ cost of living? Facebook is already moving its hiring efforts to focus on remote work to lower its payroll costs. Will other large companies follow through? More professionals working from home may reduce or even fix the insane pay disparity our country faces in some areas. As a result, professionals may consider moving out of expensive cities like NYC and moving to locations with a better quality of life, affordable rents, and overall better happiness ratings.

Time will tell how this virus will ultimately impact our wages across the country. Still, it is worth considering if you are currently working remotely and considering a move to a different region.

How remote work might impact your salary

6 Tips For Starting A New Job Remotely

6 Tips For Starting A New Job Remotely

In today’s climate – many employees are finding themselves starting a new job under unusual circumstances. Many companies are still working from home, including new hires.  It is intimidating, to say the least, as this is completely new territory for both managers and employees! If you have recently been hired and are now prepping for your first remote day, follow this guide to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Set Up Your Workspace

If you’re relatively new to working from home, you need to set the stage. It won’t suffice long-term to lounge on the couch while you work! Make sure you have a separate area designated only for work, even if it’s temporarily a card table set up in the corner of the living room. Gather all of your supplies – laptop, monitor, charging cords, wireless mouse, pen, notebook, etc. Give everything it’s own spot prior to your first day to set yourself up for success.

Clarify Expectations

You need to clarify expectations early and often. It should be one of the first things you discuss with your supervisor, and you should also check in frequently throughout your first few weeks of working. Here are just a few of the things you need to clearly understand:

  • Am I allowed to work a flexible schedule, or do I need to be online and available at certain times?
  • What are my priorities?
  • When I have downtime, what should I be working on?
  • What is the work from home dress code? If we have a team Zoom call, am I expected to dress in business casual?
  • Who are the team members I can reach out to when I need help?

Take Notes

When working from home, you are on a bit of an island. If you forget something that someone went over with you, it’s not as easy as turning to them or walking down the hallway to ask them to give you a reminder. So, every time you meet with someone or attend a training, take notes! Even if you need someone to repeat themselves, have them do so in the moment. They will definitely understand!

Build Relationships With Other Team Members

When you are starting a new job remotely, you miss out on the social setting of an office. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other members of the team and strike up a conversation. See if you can even schedule one-on-ones with people you will work with frequently. Then, you’ll have time to learn more about what they do, how long they’ve worked there, and how you can best work together.

Seek Out Opportunities To Go The Extra Mile

It can be difficult to set yourself apart when working in a remote position. You don’t see as many opportunities to jump in and offer services or ask someone “how can I help?” However, the opportunity is still there, you just have to proactively find it! Instead of jumping on Facebook during a lull in your workday, message a coworker and ask if there’s anything you can do to help them out. Frequently check in with your supervisor to see if there are projects you can assist with that may not be a part of your job description.

Establish Work-Life Boundaries

While we’ve listed this one last, it may be the most important. Did you know that a recent poll found that over half of people working remotely are experiencing burnout and overwork? That’s why it’s essential to establish boundaries first thing. Schedule in breaks throughout your day. (Yes, even if it means blocking out time on your calendar.) Get up and walk around frequently, and try to enjoy some time outside if you can!

Starting a new job remotely can be intimidating. You may have more questions than answers, but hopefully, our tips gave you a good baseline to establish the confidence you need to rock your first day! Interested in more tips on remote work? Head over to the JSG Blog!

Video: 6 tips for starting a new remote job

post-pandemic company

How to Make Your Post-Pandemic Company Better Than Before

COVID-19 has been a very tricky time for companies around the world to navigate. Businesses needed to do things they have never done before, like work from home, attend video conference calls, and experience a lapse in breakroom donuts. As we strive into the future together, we cannot revert to the same ways; let COVID-19 be an opportunity for a better, brighter future for your company. Here are five things your organization can do to make your post-pandemic company even better than before.

Increased Flexibility

COVID-19 has shown us the importance of workplace flexibility, and now, it is no longer a benefit, but an expectation from employers. In a survey from Zenefits, they found that 77% of workers have flexibility as a top priority in their job search, which means offering a flexible workplace will be crucial to hiring great talent. The transition to a more flexible working environment must happen quickly because about 30% percent of workers have left jobs due to their lack of flexibility. 

So, the spectrum of flexibility will vary from team to team. Still, you can offer flexibility with better PTO policies, WFH benefits, and empathy for sick employees – because if this pandemic taught us anything, it is to stay home when you feel sick! 

Enhanced Digitization

The quickness of the pandemic pushed workers around the world to dial in on their digital skills. Suddenly, workers needed to establish a WFH office to maintain a “normal” workday. For a boost in efficiency, we expect an increase in video conferences and other technologies to make your workforce more agile. Make the necessary investments in the technology your post-pandemic company needs to keep the ball rolling and your team more productive.

An Overload of Sanitizer

Once everyone returns to the office, workplace hygiene will be at an all-time high. Employees washing their hands and sanitizing throughout the day will become habitual, and honestly, completely necessary. An overload of hand sanitizer and other cleaning routines should be encouraged to ensure the safety of all employees.

Clear Expectations

Transitioning into a post-pandemic world will have its own set of challenges. It is different than it was previously, and you need to lay out clear expectations for what you want from your employees. Clear communication and building trust with your team will be essential as we start to return to work.

Laid-Back Dress Code

Professional outfits hit the back burner while WFH parents had to work from home and watch their children. As we transition to a new normal, there’s a trend toward casual dressing. If appropriate, relax your dress code protocol to make your team feel a little more comfortable as they return.

So, let’s reimagine your post-pandemic company: more flexible, caring, and safe. Relax the strict workplace rules that have been around for decades and offer your employees a workplace experience that they won’t want to leave.

support your remote workers

How to Support Your Remote Workers

The majority of states have finally started reducing restrictions imposed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, millions of workers across the country are still hard at work from their homes. With a large chunk (if not your whole team) working remotely, it’s not easy to offer the same support as you can in the office. Here are a few ways you can support your remote workers.

Set expectations

It’s imperative to set expectations from the very beginning with your entire team. Establish guidelines for everyone and make them crystal clear. Put them in writing and send them to your staff. Setting boundaries and expectations are essential, and doing it early on will reinforce good habits from the get-go. However, please don’t go overboard or it might seem like you don’t trust your staff. Remember, your employees are adults, not children. Guidelines are good for everyone when they are not overbearing.

Build loyalty

Building loyalty and trust in each of your relationships is vital during these challenging times. Now is not the time to micromanage your staff. If you trusted them in the office, you should be able to trust them while working remotely. Trust builds loyalty, and loyalty goes a long way, especially during these uncharted waters. Hold regular meetings, regular check-ins, and be encouraging. Trust us; it will go a long way and support your remote workers.

Take care of each individual

Make sure you take care of each staff member. Not everyone is in the same situation right now. Some are handling the pandemic better than others and have fewer responsibilities at home. Some workers are balancing childcare, schooling, and work, while others may have a partner that is currently unemployed. As a result, ensure each team member is doing well, both mentally and physically.

Also, not everyone has the same work-from-home setting. Make sure each employee is taken care of with their home “office” goes. Some of your employees may need a desk, a new office chair, a second monitor, or other items to make their working hours a little more productive and comfortable. Taking care of your employees during these challenging times will help build much-needed morale.

Emphasize accomplishments not hours

Don’t emphasize the actual hours worked of each employee. Instead, focus on accomplishments. Some of your workers might be flourishing with their new working environment. But on the other hand, some of your staff members may struggle a little more. A recent report illustrated that 54% of workers are more productive at home. That’s great for both workers and employers! However, employees working from home will work an average of 1.4 more days’ worth of hours each month. That translates to 16.8 more days a year. As a result, your team can easily get burnt out as the boundaries of work and home often become blurry. Thus, support your remote workers by focusing on accomplishments, not actual hours worked.

Interested in more management and hiring tips? Explore our client resources for all the information you need!