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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!

work from home

How to Work from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Have you found yourself suddenly working from home due to the Coronavirus outbreak? If so, you’re definitely not alone! In fact, I am actually writing this blog from the comfort of my home. It can be quite the adjustment if this is the first time you have had this opportunity. Some people may flourish in this situation, while others may struggle to build a healthy work-life balance from their own homes. If the COVID-19 virus has you working from home, here are a few tips to ensure your spirits and productivity stay up.

Dress for success

Many people want to just roll out of bed, grab their laptop, and sit on the couch in their PJs. But according to a study from Northwestern University, workers perform tasks better when wearing an outfit that has more “symbolic meaning.” It’s kind of like the expression “look good, feel good.” Dressing for success changes your mindset, and thus, will allow you to be more productive and accomplish tasks more efficiently. It will also save you from rushing to make yourself look presentable when you have an unexpected video meeting. Thus, it’s important to get up, shower, and get ready for the day as you would any other.

Setting boundaries and creating a schedule

One of the biggest mistakes newbies make when working from home is not sticking to a schedule. It’s essential to create a schedule and stick to it, just like you would at the office. Wake up at the same time every day, take a lunch break, and create a to-do list. This will help you build healthy work from home habits and improve your productivity. There are a lot of distractions at work: kids, pets, neighbors, laundry… the list goes on and on. But by creating structure in your day and a list of tasks that you need to accomplish, you will be able to make the most out of your day.

Don’t forget to remove yourself from work

It’s essential to create a healthy work-life balance when working from home. When you have your laptop and phone notifications buzzing all day, it can be challenging to remove yourself from work, even when you’re in the comfort of your home. That is why it’s a good idea to create a working station in your home. Whether that’s your dining room table or a home office, it’s key to create an organized space for yourself; a place that all you do is work there. Essentially, by creating a workplace in your home, you will be able to detach yourself from your work and avoid the work from home burnout.

Set yourself up for success

These are just a few tips to help you succeed while working from home. It can be challenging to focus on your work while quarantining yourself, but if you follow these easy steps, you will be on your way to success. Good luck, and stay safe!

How To Hire Remote Employees

How To Hire Remote Employees

Did you know that 50% of employees worldwide work outside of their main office for at least 2.5 days a week? And companies are reaping the benefits. 85% of business leaders have expressed that flexible working has made their business more productive, and 67% even think that flexibility can improve productivity by at least a fifth. If your team has yet to add remote workers, now is a great time to do it!

Expand your search

Hiring remote employees allows you to expand your net for finding talent significantly. Consider this when posting your job listing, and don’t limit it to only specific areas. Some of the most talented candidates may live in remote areas or even overseas. This is where partnering with a recruiting firm can come in handy, as we have connections with candidates worldwide.

Look for key skills

Any successful remote employee needs to excel at a few key skills. These include great communication, exceptional organization, and reliable accountability. To assess a candidate’s mastery in these three areas, be sure to ask lots of behavioral questions during the interview process. Additionally, remote employees MUST be tech-savvy. Without an in-person support team to troubleshoot, they will need to be comfortable with all sorts of different technology ranging from reporting software to video conferencing.

Be upfront about expectations

The stipulations around every single remote position are different. Throughout the hiring process, starting with the job listing, be clear about what you expect from remote employees. Explain how they will be evaluated, and how their position measures success. It’s essential that you follow through on these expectations throughout the hiring process, and as soon as your new employee is on board.

Consider hiring contract

If you’re still a little wary about hiring remote employees, consider starting with a contractor. You can always offer a contractor a permanent position down the road (contract-to-hire); often referred to as the “try before you buy” method.

Flexible working is the future. If your company is curious about how you can hire more remote employees, or simply need help discovering the talent you need; talk to one of our experienced recruiters today.

20 Things To Change At Work In 2020

20 Things To Change At Work In 2020

The new year is here, and it’s an excellent time for a fresh start at work. Whether it’s developing healthy habits or improving productivity, the new year is a great time to make a change at work. Start with making these 20 changes at work to help you achieve success in 2020. 

1. Set goals 

There’s no better time to set ambitious goals than a new year! And by reading this, you’re off to a great start. Our goal with this list is to provide you with some inspiration for setting milestones you’d like to achieve in 2020. 

2. Achieve a better work-life balance 

Work-life balance is one of the hottest topics in the working world today. This year, try to strike a balance between the two! See if your employer is open to flexible working hours or occasionally working remotely. If nothing else, leave work at the office and be fully present when you’re at home. 

3. Improve Your Focus 

The number one thing you can do to improve your focus is cut down on distractions. Put your phone down and focus on the tasks at hand. You would be amazed at how your productivity will increase

4. Change Your Attitude 

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart 

5. Try something new 

2020 will provide plenty of opportunities for you to get out of your comfort zone. Volunteer for a new responsibility at work, pick up an unfamiliar hobby, or approach an old issue in a new way. 

6. Find your motivation 

What motivates you to get up in the morning? Once you understand your motives, your passion will start to shine through your work, and everything will have more meaning. 

7. Self-educate 

We are huge proponents or self-education. With the number of resources available to you today, there are endless opportunities to learn something new. Start by reading at least one industry-related article per day. 

8. Jump at new opportunities 

Whether you’re offered a new project, a raise, or even a new job, this year, we encourage you to say yes to whatever opportunities come your way. 

9. Take on a new skill 

You can acquire a skill directly related to your job, or branch out to learn something completely new that you’ve always wondered about or been interested in. Could a lean Six Sigma course add value to your title? Have you always wanted to try your hand at Photoshop? Employers value people who go out and actively develop their professional skills. 

10. Help others 

At work and in your personal life, it’s always a good idea to pay it forward. If you see a coworker struggling to meet a deadline, offer to jump in and help.  

11. Create relationships 

At work, we can often get stuck in a rut of only socializing with those we work closely with. This year, go out on a limb and get to know others in your office. Introduce yourself to the Accounting team, or get coffee with the IT department. You might be surprised about the things you’ll learn and the relationships you’ll build.  

12. Increase productivity 

Examine your day-to-day routines. We guarantee there are ways you can streamline your processes. Make a change at work by eliminating time-consuming meetings or implement a “power hour” in which you put your nose to the grindstone and get as much done as possible with no interruptions. 

13. Prioritize 

As you set new goals for 2020, be sure to prioritize them as you go. Give each goal a deadline and even incorporate mini-milestones throughout. That way, you’ll always have direction and know what needs the most attention when. 

14. Establish a routine 

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell 

15. Get moving 

According to a large-scale study, getting outside lowers anxiety and depression and boosts your mood and well-being. Among numerous other health benefits, a little exposure to natural light will help you feel more relaxed throughout the day.  

16. Get organized 

Organization leads to huge boosts in productivity, so clear off that desk, clean up your inbox, and organize every file. Your future self will thank you. 

17. Build your network 

LinkedIn is a great place to start building your network. Reach out to people in your field, alumni from your University, or someone you’ve always admired. 

18. Recognize your accomplishments 

There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a pat on the back every once in a while! Take a moment to reflect on everything you accomplished in the last year. 

19. Analyze your progress 

After implementing a few of these changes at work, how do you feel? Analyze how each step has affected you and how you work. 

20. Think about what’s next 

If you’ve worked your way through this list, made changes at work, and still feel that something is lacking in your professional life, it may be time for a new position. In today’s candidate-driven market, there are hundreds of companies out there looking for employees just like you. Partner with a recruiter from Johnson Service Group to discover what opportunity awaits you in 2020!

talent in this candidate-driven market

What Today’s Talent Really Wants

talent in this candidate-driven market

In today’s candidate-driven market, the competition for top talent is fierce. When a professional candidate puts the feelers out for jobs, they’re often receiving multiple offers in a matter of weeks. As a result, companies are finding themselves laying out more robust offers than ever before. When thinking about your recruiting strategy, be sure to push the boundaries of “standard” job offerings by incorporating some of the following elements:

Work-Life Balance

You may think “work-life balance” refers strictly to flexible working schedules and environments when in reality, it’s so much more. Candidates are on the hunt for positions that complement their personal lives in a sustainable way. Think outside the box for perks such as gym memberships, childcare, and opportunities for training and education.

Strong Leadership

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “people leave managers, not jobs.” This rings especially true now that candidates have more career opportunities available to them. In a candidate-driven market, constant change is inevitable. Top talent is seeking out leaders that will challenge yet support them while navigating uncharted waters.

Commitment To Technology

Technology is advancing so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up. However, organizations must commit to making strides in technology or talent will be drawn elsewhere. Focus your efforts on things that will make your employees’ every day easier. Consider HR software, computers, mobile devices, and CRMs.

Opportunities For Advancement

Of course, employees want the opportunity to climb the ladder. Moreover, have you considered the skills and traits they’ll need when they reach their goals? Providing proper training for leadership makes all the difference in your company from the top-down. When you have leaders that are committed to your team AND possess rockstar management skills, you’ll strengthen your department from the inside-out.

A Sense Of Purpose

Last, but certainly not least, candidates are moving on to opportunities that give them a sense of purpose. This can be a result of their job function or even a simple sense of belonging to a great team. When employees are emotionally invested in their job, it shows in both their performance and the atmosphere. And it will really show during interviews as your best team members share their infectious passion with impressionable candidates.

We know how tough it can be to compete in a tight labor market. Partnering with a professional staffing firm will give your organization the extra boost it needs to secure the best candidates. Contact us today and let’s find you the candidates your team needs!

happiness

3 Ways to Be Happier at Work

happiness

Although the majority of Americans (51%) report that they are satisfied with their jobs, what does that mean for the other 49%? Considering that employee happiness can be tied directly to employee productivity, the quality of our work is affected by how you feel on any given day. This can become even more problematic during the winter months when Seasonal Depression is at its highest, and our jobs are especially demanding with the start of a new year. So, what can you do at work to be happier and as a result, more productive?

Start the Day Off Right

How you start your day matters. In this study, researchers observed the moods and productivity of customer service representatives. Those who had positive interactions with customers were in better spirits in the morning and went on to champion more productive days. So, do whatever you need to do before work to get yourself in this mindset. For some, it may be eating a full, nutritious breakfast. It is hard to stay focused if your stomach won’t stop growling.

For others, it may be taking a walk before work, or even walking for your commute to the office. Studies have shown that as little as 20 minutes of walking can leave you with a greater sense of positivity and energy. This may even lead to a happier start to your day and more productivity in the office. Even an act as simple as listening to your favorite music while enjoying a cup of coffee can shift your mood into a happier, more productive place.

Begin your day with whatever works for you, and get your mind right. The day infinitely times harder when you show up to work with a sense of dread, rather than a smile.

Minimize Controllable Stresses

Stress is one thing that can bury a person’s happiness, which in turn, shrinks productivity. Stress is a normal part of life and experienced by everyone; however, some have a better handle on stress-management than others. If you are stressed out before you even sit down at your desk, you are setting yourself up for a miserable day. We control the things we can control. If you are consistently late to work, consider leaving about ten to fifteen minutes earlier. This extra time will ease your mind of tardiness as a result of unexpected delays along your commute, like traffic.

If you manage others, check-in with them in the mornings so you know exactly what they are doing. If you don’t, you may spend part of your day concerned with what others should be working on. Put this out of your mind by communicating early, so you can focus on your tasks for the day.

Take Care of Yourself

This one sounds so obvious but is often the most neglected by professionals of any field. We all tend to get caught up in our work. Often this is because we are proud of what we do, we want to be successful, it’s busy, or you may be short-staffed. Whatever the reason, failure to take care of your personal needs will undoubtedly decrease your happiness and likely your productivity.

You are a person, not a machine. People need exercise, healthy foods, socialization, relationships, and sleep to reach their maximum potential. The time demanded of these things is often sacrificed in favor of more time in the office, working on the weekends, or company travel. However, failure to address your basic needs will lead to more stress and feeling burnt out of your job.

Why Job Hopping Isn’t as Bad as People Think

job hopping

The stereotypes of job hopping include people who are only out for the money, lack reliability and think they’re better than they are. Well, that’s normally what you hear, right? The thing is though, this normally isn’t the case.

Most people are wanting to find a job and company they’d love to stay with. It’s not always about making more money or moving around every chance you get. So here are some reasons why job hopping isn’t as bad as people think.

Help People Grow Their Expertise

When people move to a different company, they take skills from their previous position, but they also learn new ones. It’s one of the fastest ways for an employee to grow their portfolio, knowledge, and experience. It helps them hone their skills but also learn new ways of approaching projects, people, and different tasks.

As someone grows in their career, it’s important to make moves to other companies. This helps them move forward and climb up the ladder of command. Fearing leaving a job that doesn’t give you that same opportunity is only holding great employees back from achieving a management position and great pay raises.

Know What They Want from a Job and Company

The one thing job hoppers understand is what works and what doesn’t when it comes to a well-run company. They know what they want in a manager as well as the type of environment they work best in. When they are looking for a move, it’s to find an even better company as well as a chance to move up and gain more responsibility.

You’re always told your first job won’t be your last but when it comes to jobs you shouldn’t be staying with a company or position you’re not happy with. So, before thinking people are just job hopping for selfish and money-driven reasons, remember, chasing happiness in a position is also a big reason why people are doing it now.

Find Their Passion

With job hopping people are searching for that one position that makes all their work experience and passion click. When you find that position, you do everything in your power to keep it because happiness at work turns into happiness at home. Passion at your job should be everyone’s goal and if that means job hopping until they find that position, that should be okay.

More Money

And of course, when changing companies and positions, you’re likely to get a higher pay raise! And so yes, job hoppers may be seen as money hungry but it’s just a part of the process. When it comes to finding a new job, everyone is hoping for a little more money and when you have the experience, that’s what you get paid off of.

And who is going to say no to an average 10% – 20% salary increase when you find a new job? Exactly!

When it comes to being a “job hopper” just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. If you’re wanting to move up, be happier, gain more responsibility, or find a better company fit, then it may be time to find a new job. And as we all know, today’s job market is the perfect time to do it!

Appreciate your job

How Millennials are Benefiting Our Corporate Culture

Millennials

Born between the years of 1981 – 1996, Millennials are probably the most talked about generation. Well, in a more stereotypical way. But, they are adding some great benefits to our corporate culture that you may not know about.

Work-Life Balance

Millennials are adamant about having a life outside of work. And compared to generations past, they are willing to take pay cuts for it. But with this must have, they are also helping every other employee enjoy the perks. They’re also getting more flexibility in the work environment and more time off to spend with their family and friends.

The emphasis on a good work-life balance to Millennials probably comes from them watching their parents. They saw them sacrifice family time in return for career advancement. Which they don’t necessarily see as a bad thing… It just makes them realize what they want to prioritize, which is family time over work advancement or more money.

They Value Company Culture

Almost anyone you ask would say having a good company culture helps them feel appreciated, important, and that they are making a difference. But each generation is different on how highly they weigh culture fit when accepting a job offer. But, Millennials rate this as one of the most important things to them when searching for new opportunities.

On average, they are willing to take a $7,600 cut in salary, each year, to work in an environment that fits well with their morals and makes them excited to go to work. This may seem like a crazy pay cut, but it’s one of the huge reasons why Millennials, you could say, are improving the corporate culture.

They are emphasizing the need for good morals, ethics, and community outreach. Which, with the current job market we’re in, is putting companies in the hot seat, not candidates searching for jobs.

Millennials Want Feedback and Growth

Millennials want recognition, but not without putting in the work. They are changing the way managers and owners communicate with their employees by pushing them to give more feedback and acknowledgment. This may come from the want/need to be recognized. Although, it is affecting the corporate world in a manner that helps everyone know what they can improve on or what they are doing well at. It helps employees feel more appreciated by the company they are working for.

Overall, the largest generation is making big impacts on our corporate world, in a way that is benefiting everyone else positively. They are helping put a priority on a great work environment and reminding us to focus on our lives outside of work. So even though we know the millennials for all of the stereotypes, we also know them to be improving our ever-changing work culture too.

 

work-life balance

W is for Work-Life Balance: How to Maintain A Life Away From the Office

work-life balance

It’s difficult to manage the responsibilities that come with being an adult. Especially if you have a family. Devoting time to your job is important, but so is your friends, hobbies, social life, and most importantly, yourself.

Attempting to balance all of these things can be stressful and may even affect your job performance. Here are a few tips to successfully manage your work-life balance.

Make time for yourself

It is essential to set some “me time” aside for yourself. Whether it’s just an hour or an entire evening, having some time to yourself is crucial to reducing your stress level.

Try blocking out some time for yourself every evening, say 8-9 PM where you do something you enjoy. Go to the gym for a quick workout, go for a walk with your dog, read one of your favorite books, or simply just watch your favorite guilty pleasure show on Netflix.

Establishing Scheduling downtime for yourself will help take your mind off your work and spend a few moments of time doing something you enjoy.

Be productive on your lunch break

Instead of scrolling through Instagram for an hour, try accomplishing a couple tasks during your lunch break. Have some errands to run? Need to head over to the post office or go grocery shopping? Finish some of these errands during your lunch hour!

You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done during your lunch break. Personally, I go home every day for lunch and do a few things around the house. If I can unload the dishwasher or fold a load of laundry, that’s one less chore I have to worry about after a long day at work.

I understand not everyone has this luxury. You may only have a half-hour lunch break or maybe you live too far from work. However, if you can accomplish even one errand or task during your break, you will have more free time after work to relax and unwind.

Unplug from work

This is essential for a healthy work-life balance. No matter if you’re an executive or a worker bee, it is important to mentally and physically separate yourself from work. This has been increasingly difficult with today’s technology.

However, unplugging from work is a great way to improve your work-life balance. There is no need to respond to non-critical. I understand the pressure you sometimes feel to pick up the phone and respond that these types of emails.

But do these emails really warrant an instant response? Probably not. If this is the case, it is perfectly acceptable to ignore your email and spend your evening with your family or doing something to relax after a busy day.

By instantly responding to every single email you receive, your co-workers will come to expect a quick response from you, even on your vacation. Do yourself a favor and put off those messages that are not urgent.

Use your vacation time

Many workers in our country are “too busy” or “can’t afford” to take time off. Many organizations also make it difficult for employees to use their vacation time that they have worked hard to earn.

In fact, a survey from Glassdoor revealed that only 23% of employees actually use all of their eligible vacation time. And what’s even more shocking is only about 54 percent of Americans use half of their earned time off.

Employees receive vacation and sick time for a reason: to take a step back from work to refresh yourself and relax from the daily stresses your job generates. By using your time off, you will come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to get some work done!

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance Before the Holidays

4 Simple Ways To Improve Your Work-Life Balance Before The Holidays

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance Before the Holidays

Fall is upon us and winter is slowly creeping up. Snow is in the forecast, darkness comes sooner, and temperatures have definitely begun to plummet.

It can be hard to find the motivation to do anything fun and exciting when you aren’t at work during this time of year – which would not be ideal for your work-life balance. I mean, after all, leaving the office when its fully night outside takes some getting used to, especially when the holidays aren’t quite here yet.

However, it is vital that you still find time to maintain a good work-life balance. Sure, you may not be able to go for a bike ride or a nice mid-evening run, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to clear your mind from your work. We here at JSG know a thing or two about this topic, and we’re definitely here to help.

Perfect Those Family Recipes

The holidays are looming, but they aren’t pressing. Take advantage of this by perfecting those family recipes! Whether it’s your Mom’s stuffing or your Great Aunt’s peppermint bark, use the next few weeks to do a little cooking. Not only will this help you gain popularity within your family circle in the coming months, but it’ll also provide a nice (and delicious) way for you to separate your work from your personal life.

Want to try some new recipes? Check out JSG’s favorite family’s recipes!

Unwind with the TV

Sit down, relax, and grab some hot chocolate as you snuggle up with your favorite blanket. Turn on the TV to one of the primetime comedies, or to a sporting event of your choice. With new seasons of popular TV shows and exciting football, basketball, or hockey games every night, your mind is sure to be cleared after a long day at work.

Perfect your holiday playlist

This is my personal favorite thing to do during this time of year. Not only does it give me an excuse to listen to my favorite Christmas jams, but it also clears my mind of any stresses I have. If you really want to have fun with it, research your favorite artist and “Christmas.” More often than not, you’ll be surprised by the Christmas covers your favorite singers have done. Turn it up, sing it loud, and let your mind take a break from the fast-tempo that is the fourth quarter.

Get your shopping done early

Let’s be real. We all have those years where the holidays sneak up on us and we just don’t know when we’ll find the time to buy all of those presents. Don’t let this year be that year! When you get home from work change into comfy clothes, get in the car, and head over to your go-to retail store. More and more retailers are starting their sales early, so you can snag some great deals during the month of November. Get a head start on your list and beat the December crowds! You’ll have such a blast getting lost in your shopping that you’ll end up feeling happier, which will, in turn, have a positive impact on your work life.

There they are. Nothing too crazy to get you out of the pre-holiday slump. Pick any of these and work away at them this week. Not only will it get you excited and ready for the holidays, but it’ll also help you improve your productivity at work.