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How to Manage A Hybrid Workforce

How to Manage A Hybrid Workforce

Last March, the majority of companies were forced into supporting a remote workforce because of the pandemic. Fast forward to today, and things are finally turning a corner for the better. As we continue to enter this new normal, many employers are supporting both a remote and an on-site team to optimize production and adhere to essential safety protocols. If your team is struggling to handle this new transition, here are a few tips on how to effectively manage a hybrid workforce.

Set clear expectations

With a split team, it is essential to establish clear expectations for both remote workers and your on-site staff. With a hybrid team, it can be more challenging to communicate and frequently check in to see how things are going. If expectations for your staff are clear and effectively communicated, it will be easier to hold everyone accountable. If you set expectations, your team will better understand what you are expecting from them, and thus, there will be less confusion and disparities amongst your team.

Clear communication is essential

When it comes to managing a hybrid workforce, you must facilitate clear communication. With your team in different regions and possibly in different time zones, communication can get messy. As a result, your company should invest in communication technologies such as Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. These communication tools will help enable solid communication and ensure your team is always on the same page. These tools will make it easier to check in with your staff, conduct regular meetings, and share project timelines.

Be flexible and open-minded

If you are managing a hybrid workforce, you must be flexible and open-minded. Your workers in the office will have a little more structure and rigidity. However, your staff working from home will have different distractions; they will be managing their personal and work lives simultaneously and maybe working nontraditional hours. If you plan on this hybrid team being successful, you must practice patience and understand that flexibility is key. Your remote staff may have to step away from their computers for a few minutes to tend to their kids or pets. Being flexible will help your team from reaching burnout and ultimately make them more productive.

Watch for signs of burnout

If part of your hybrid workforce has been working remotely for a while, they may be inching closer to burnout. Your in-office staff likely has more structure, and it’s easier to leave work at work. However, for your remote staff, it’s easy for the lines between work and home to get blurry. As the leader of your team, you should be looking for signs of burnout. Lack of motivation, late-night emails, employees who are always online, and less-than-perfect performance are all signs an employee may be on the verge of burnout. The expectations you set for your team will help mitigate this, but that may not be enough.

Encourage your team to share how they feel, regularly check in with them one-on-one to see how they manage this newer working environment, and listen to their concerns. Also, urge your staff to use their time off, especially those who are remote. It can be easy to let those vacation days stack up while working from home. Stepping away from work is essential to your team’s mental health and performance, and leaders must support that.

Emphasize cybersecurity best practices

Cyberattacks are on the rise for your employees that are working remotely. Your team is accessing company documents, systems, and other valuable information on personal internet connections. As a result, it is vital to establish IT best practices. It’s a good idea to regularly send emails with your company’s IT policies and procedures to reduce your risk of these attacks. Keeping your staff, and ultimately, your company secure from the additional working-from-home vulnerabilities will help your team remain safe and secure.

Managing a hybrid workforce is not an easy feat, but if you follow these guidelines, you are on your way to a more productive, happier team.

How to Overcome Job Search Burnout

How to Overcome Job Search Burnout

There are thousands of articles online discussing employee burnout during the pandemic. The average American is working longer hours, and the lines between work and home are getting blurry. Although many people are feeling the pain of working from home, not enough people are talking about job search burnout. As of the February 2021 Jobs Report, there are still over 10 million unemployed persons due to the coronavirus outbreak. If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, here are three ways to overcome job search burnout.

Create a realistic routine or schedule

Many people make the mistake of treating a job search like a full-time job. You wake up, spend all day searching the web and connecting with people online, and rarely give yourself a break. Avoiding this strategy is the easiest way to overcome job search burnout. Instead of staring at your computer all day, create job search alerts on your go-to job boards. Many job search sites (like JSG’s Talent Network) allow you to create notifications when a new job matches your skills and career goals. Say goodbye to strained eyes and hello to a refreshed optimism for your job search!

Creating a routine or schedule is good, but don’t let it turn into a 9 to 5 job. You want to give your best self to your job search to have more success, and ultimately, secure a new job opportunity.

Be more selective

It’s true what they say – less is more. If you want to avoid job search burnout, you must be more selective with your applications. If you are sitting there and applying for every single job that you stumble upon, you are setting yourself up for failure. Before applying for any job, you should carefully review the job description, visit the company website, and spend some time to see if this position and company is a good fit for you. If you use the “spray and pray” method, you will not receive very many interview requests. It’s better to focus your efforts on applying for jobs that better fit your professional experiences.

Also, if you are more selective with your search, you will have more time to tailor your resume. If you fail to customize your resume for every application, your resume will get caught up in an ATS, and a hiring manager may never see your resume. Tailoring your resume will make you stand out to hiring managers, beat the resume bots, and improve your response rate.

Expand your job search

The last way you can mitigate job search burnout is to expand your search. Job seekers often get stuck in the cycle of searching for new opportunities in the same field or industry. However, this may be a bad strategy as some sectors are performing better than others as we edge closer to the end of the pandemic. If the virus impacted your current industry particularly hard, you may want to expand your search to another field. You can take your experiences and transferrable skills you have worked so hard to hone and enter a new career path. According to LinkedIn’s latest Workforce Confidence index, women are much more likely to switch industries or functions. 82% of unemployed women are willing to pivot their careers and go into another field of work, while 58% are also willing to start their own line of work.

Are you looking for more job-search advice?

These are three new strategies you can implement today to overcome job search burnout. If you are looking for more job search resources, visit our Candidate Resources for tips, tricks, and strategies to elevate your search.

How to Evaluate A Job Offer in 2021

How to Evaluate A Job Offer in 2021

Receiving a job offer is one of the most exciting feelings imaginable, especially if you have been unemployed for an extensive amount of time. However, before you sign your name on the dotted line, you must review the offer; this is a major decision, and you must understand if this is a good fit. Here are three aspects to consider when you evaluate a job offer in 2021.

Compensation and Perks

Reviewing the salary of the position will always be crucial. However, there are other compensation offerings and perks to consider while you evaluate a job offer in 2021. It’s essential to review the salary, commission structure, bonuses, and other items that affect your income. You must also take a look at the benefits package to ensure this is a position that can support your retirement goals and medical needs. Don’t jump to signing the offer letter before you review the entire compensation package. If the numbers are not precisely where they should be, prepare to negotiate. Do some research on the compensation of other professionals with similar experience in your location. Working from home may impact salaries in the future, so be sure you are satisfied with the compensation before accepting the position.

Flexibility

If the pandemic has taught us anything is that flexibility is vital for both employers and workers. It is essential to understand what kind of flexibility the employer offers while you evaluate a job offer. After the virus is in the rearview mirror, will this employer return to its old, rigid ways? Or are they committing to being innovative, open-minded, and adaptable? For example, are you going to have the option to work remotely periodically or have a hybrid schedule where you work both from the office and home? These are questions that you will want to answer before signing your offer letter. It is important for your future employer to offer flexibility when needed to take care of you and your family.

DEI Initiatives

When we were in a candidate-driven market a couple of years ago, many job seekers were searching for a job with the right “culture fit.” However, finding a company with a good culture isn’t everything. When evaluating a job offer this year, take a good look at the company’s diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives. But how can you analyze a company’s DEI initiatives without being part of the team yet?

First of all, the best way to understand an employer’s DEI programs is to ask about them in your interview. Ask the hiring manager to elaborate on them and provide examples of how the company supports them. Additionally, you can do some research online to understand them better. Review the company’s core values, mission statement, and online reviews from past and current employees. You can also see what people are saying about them on social media. DEI will be an essential item to consider with any future company, and you want to ensure it’s a priority for your prospective employer.

Need more job search advice?

If you are searching for more job-search advice, you’ve come to the right place! Review our candidate resources for more helpful advice on how to secure the job you deserve.

4 Items to Improve Your Work from Home Experience

4 Items to Improve Your Work from Home Experience

It’s been roughly a year since millions of people worldwide made the transition to working from home. If you are working remotely for the foreseeable future, it may be time to reassess your home “office” setup. If you are looking to improve your work from home experience this year, here are four items that may help.

A second monitor

Do you have a second monitor while working from the office but not at your home? If you don’t have the luxury of working with a second screen, it’s time to request one. Whether that’s asking your supervisor if you can grab yours from your office or asking your IT team to send you one, having a second monitor is a massive productivity boost. Instead of using a tiny 15′ (or smaller) laptop screen, secure a second monitor to view multiple windows, applications, and other documents side by side. Say goodbye to switching back and forth between windows all day! Plus, a second screen can streamline your communications by having your Zoom, Slack, or Teams app open on one screen while looking at your other.

Blue light-filtering glasses

If you are like most people throughout the pandemic, your screen time has massively increased. Workers across the globe are reporting an average workday of 2.5 hours longer while working from home. The result of extended screen time can be eye strain. And according to a report by Eyesafe Nielsen, the average screen time per person rose 60%, to more than 13 hours a day, in March 2020. When you stare at a screen longer, you are blinking less, which can harm your vision. To counter this, invest in some blue light-filtering glasses. These glasses (which don’t require a prescription) can help filter out the harmful blue light emitted from screens. It’s essentially a nighttime mode on your phone for your eyeballs. Using a pair of these glasses can help your eyes feel less fatigued and are a must to improve your work from home experience. Plus, they are pretty affordable!

A furry coworker

If you are missing your coworkers a little too much, you can always adopt a furry one! Pet adoptions have exploded over the last 12 months. In fact, Animal Shelter Count tracks shelter adoptions across the nation with over 500 rescue organizations. They recorded 26,000 more pet adoptions in 2020 than the year prior – a 15% increase. Having pets can help keep you company, boost your mood, and make you more active. Sometimes we all need a nudge to step away from our computer for a few minutes, and a furry coworker can be very convincing!

Meal prep services

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after working all day from home is cook. Currently, it’s more challenging to go grocery shopping or go out to eat (depending on where you live). An easy way to spice up your lunches or dinners is meal prep services. There are many options available, like Blue Apron, Home Chef, and HelloFresh that offer tasty and healthy meal prep services. You can customize them for your house’s meal planning needs and can cancel anytime you want. If you are looking to spice up your meals and sick of thinking about what to cook every night, give one of these tasty services a try!

These are just a few items to consider adding to improve your work from home experience. If you are interested in reading more career or work from home advice, visit our blog!

How To Combat Work From Home Burnout

How To Combat Work From Home Burnout

This month marks one year from when the pandemic transformed every facet of our work and home lives. Many of you have now been working from home for 12 months with no end in sight. It’s very likely you’re experiencing “work from home burnout.” Being cooped up in one building for all of your personal and work time can start to wear on you. Symptoms of burnout include lack of energy or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s career, and reduced professional efficacy. Sound familiar? If so, here are three ways you can combat work from home burnout and get back on track!

Take A Day (Or Two) Off

Even if you have nowhere to go, use up those vacation days! Plan a fun day away from your laptop and zoom meetings, whether you escape to an Airbnb or just a different room of your house. Just because vacations are looking a bit different these days doesn’t mean they aren’t good for our mental health!

Get Outside

Now that it’s March, we’re getting subtle hints of good weather. There’s no better time to make a commitment to yourself to get outside at least once a day. We recommend even going as far as blocking time off on your calendar to ensure you stick to this one. Take 10 minutes to walk around the block, clean up the yard, or start work on a garden. Engaging in physical activity and soaking up some vitamin D will do wonders for your productivity and attitude!

Block Off Time For “Passion Projects”

We all have day-to-day tasks that are mundane and uninspiring. Instead of letting these responsibilities drive your workday, schedule some time for your “passion projects.” We love to kick off the day with these motivating ventures, so block off an hour first thing in the morning. This will get you excited to start each day, and you’ll feel productive right off the bat.

Overall, the best thing you can do to avoid work from home burnout is to listen to your intuition. Take breaks when you need them, make time for things that excite you, and communicate with your supervisor and peers. And don’t just stop here; for more workplace advice, check out our blog!

3 Tips to Boost Your Time Management During the Holiday Season

3 Tips to Boost Your Time Management During the Holiday Season

During the chaotic last two months of the year, time management becomes one of our biggest challenges. With end-of-the-year projects, budgets, and the holidays, this time of year can really be stressful. Add a pandemic in the mix, and things get a whole lot more interesting. If you are struggling to stay focused during this time of the year, here are three tips to boost your time management during the holidays.

Make a list (and check it twice)

We have published numerous articles about utilizing lists to help you stay on track, and that is because it works. Write down all of your weekly tasks or break them down into daily accomplishments, if that works better for you. Write these tasks down and cross them off once you’ve completed them. Nothing feels more satisfying than checking off something from your to-do list! The holidays are hectic, and making lists can help mitigate some stress and improve your time management.

Eliminate distractions

The holidays create a lot of distractions: shopping, family get-togethers, and everything in between. This year might look different for most, but that doesn’t mean there are no distractions. Many of you are still working remotely, which creates a whole new field of possible distractions. Maybe it’s your kids finishing off the year with distanced learning, your partner or roommate bugging you all day, or even your pets; working from home creates a bunch of distractions.

This year, to boost your time management during the holiday season, try and eliminate some of these distractions. Turn off the Christmas movies, put on some headphones, lock yourself in another room … whatever it is that you have to do to be more productive. By removing some of these distractions, you can improve your time management and start crossing some tasks off that list!

Don’t be afraid to delegate or ask for help

People often struggle to delegate, especially right now. Many workers feel obligated to be connected 24/7 to prove that they are still working hard, even from their own homes. As a result, this might prevent you from delegating tasks to your team or even asking for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your team or boss if you need assistance. It’s better to ask for help on a project or delegate a task to a team member then be late on an assignment. Leveraging your team for support is one of the easiest ways to boost your time management this time of year.

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.