Bridging employment gaps via remote work, the benefits of working from home when sick, and suggestions for mitigating loneliness while telecommuting are some of this week’s top remote work news stories.
Top Remote Work News Stories for August 30, 2019: Bridging Employment Gaps, Working from Home When Sick & More
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1. Bridging employment gaps via remote work is possible
Some parents take time away from their careers to raise children or care for elderly family members. When they are ready to re-enter the workforce after a career break, parents and caregivers should be mindful of family needs as well as professional goals. For Chicago Parent magazine, Megan Murray Elsener says parents should approach a return to work in the following ways:
- Figuring out what they love to do
- Creating a plan and a pitch for employers
- Redoing their resumés and online profiles
- Establishing boundaries between work and home
The key to a successful return to work is to determine a work style that provides the best balance between parents’ professional and personal lives. The flexibility of working from home is one option that not only affords parents long-term work-life balance solutions but also bridges employment gaps between full-time positions. Depending on their availability and needs, parents can work remotely to earn supplemental income via a part-time job or take on a temporary, freelance contract. Remote work also gives parents the flexibility to work from home full-time if and when they are ready.
2. Working from home when sick is better for employees and employers
In “Telecommuting When Sick Keeps the Office Working and Employees Happier” from VC Daily, author Allen B. outlines the benefits of working from home when sick—benefits that positively impact employers and employees alike. When employees are sick with routine and non-life-threatening illnesses, allowing them to work remotely reduces worker stress, prevents the spread of illness to on-site staff, and keeps business operations productive. The increased productivity of allowing employees to work remotely when sick could reduce some of the billions of dollars companies lose due to illness-related absences during flu season.
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3. Loneliness felt while working at home does not have to be permanent
Michael Stahl speaks openly for Mic about the slippery slope of becoming too reclusive while working from home, especially if the remote worker has anxiety or depression, which Stahl says he does. “Finding a balance between person-to-person interactivity and being able to work shirtless in the summer…is almost a job unto itself. But also a very important one,” writes Stahl.
To help lessen loneliness experienced by telecommuting professionals, Stahl proposes simple solutions like working from a café, attending mixers for freelancers and other home-based professionals, flexibly working on-site at a company office as needed, and becoming involved in virtual and/or local communities.
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4. It is time to talk about tough telecommuting realities
Remote work is a popular not perfect work model, writes Gwen Moran for Fast Company. In her examination of remote work pitfalls, Moran highlights critical challenges remote employees and contractors endure and overcome in order to enjoy the flexibility of the telecommuting lifestyle. Some of the harshest remote work realities for telecommuters include feelings that work is never done, that they are disconnected from their colleagues and companies, that they are excluded from key insights and developments like impromptu on-site meetings or conversations, and that they are lagging on their career paths.
When employers and employees share an open dialogue to work together to defuse these dilemmas, both sides are happier and more successful. Measures like hosting virtual department meetings and parties, outlining performance expectations, and closing information gaps through digital collaborative tools go a long way toward easing remote work tensions, building relationships, and creating a positive company culture.
5. Businesses can use digital nomads as brand ambassadors
The essence of the digital nomad lifestyle is one of freedom—freedom to continuously travel and work remotely. Since they are not rooted in a particular location, digital nomads are ideal brand ambassadors for businesses in need of promotion. And frankly, that is all of them.
Digital nomads can create brand awareness through strategies like posting travel pictures of themselves with company products, writing about businesses from a local’s perspective, sharing experiences learned while abroad, and recommending products and services to fellow travelers and acquaintances they meet on their journeys, according to Patti Podnar’s “Digital Nomads: An Untapped Army of Brand Ambassadors” for Business 2 Community.
Virtual Vocations in the News
Virtual Vocations CEO Laura Spawn is a contributor to Business.com. Recently, she provided advice on whether or not small business owners can take a worry-free vacation. Here is what Laura said about vacationing as a small business owner so that entrepreneurs can truly relax on occasion:
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