62% of Information Workers Already Work Remotely
Some of Forrester’s recommendations for building a strategy for a remote, connected workplace include:
Adopting a mobile-first mindset when planning new content and collaboration tools.
Streamline devices employees use by letting them use their personal devices for work.
Consider how the mobile workforce affects facilities and travel budgets.
Create mobile usecases based on workers’ responsibilities.
Tap power users for pilot programs.
“Typical Box users--some of whom will attend its BoxWorks customer conference this week in San Francisco--log in from six or more places (home, work, the coffee shop down the street, and so on), using three devices on average. Using Box, they are able to streamline access to their work documents and projects no matter what device they're on, or where they're using it--all securely. ”—Box CEO Aaron Levie Will Liberate You From Your Desk
Tweetie Girl Tip #30: Helping others is a waste of time
Helping people. It sounds easy enough, humanistic enough. Helping people is something we all think we do, but the reality is, helping someone other than yourself can sometimes become time consuming, redundant and counterproductive. Finding a balance between helping people and helping yourself can actually be empowering for all parties involved.When it comes to managing a team of remote workers, providing the right resources means that your team members are better able to help themselves. Being an editor, I often get requests from new writers to critique their work. Instead of developing their own voice, they strive to “make their boss happy” by asking for input. In most cases, this is a necessary process when a new writer is acclimating to a new publication and working environment. But if no progress is made, regularly asking for help is like constantly holding a magnifying glass to your shortcomings. It’s a shift of responsibility to the helper, instead of the one being helped.
It’s an important lesson for the self-employed as well. CD Baby founder Derek Sivers learned this the hard way. As CD Baby began to grow, Sivers realized that he’d need to delegate more tasks to his team. Turning his team into a proactive powerhouse, however, meant helping his workers to help themselves. Teach them the process, show them the reasons behind your decisions, and empower them to act autonomously and on your behalf. As Sivers says,
“I had to make myself un-necessary to the running of my company.
The next day, as soon as I walked in the door, someone asked, “Derek, someone whose CDs we received yesterday has now changed his mind and wants his CDs shipped back. We’ve already done the work, but he’s asking if we can refund his set-up fee since he was never live on the site.”
This time, instead of just answering the question, I called everyone together for a minute.
I repeated the situation and the question for everyone.
I answered the question, but more importantly, I explained the thought process and philosophy behind my answer.”
Providing the right resources to others is a great place to start—they’ll be able to refer back to these resources instead of coming back to you. Here are some tools I use:
Jot notes, create documents and packets that you can give out at any time, and as often as necessary. Google Docs are also collaborative, so others can add to your growing notes and resources. And since documents created here are saved in the cloud, any updates you make are visible to those you’ve shared with. It’s a living document that grows along with your ever-changing needs.
Services like Springpad and Evernote let you build collections of resources, and this can be done passively as you come across websites and articles you find helpful. With a bookmarking site, these saved items are auto-organized, so your packet-building process is a lot easier for you, and is even searchable. Dictionary.com
This resource site packs a great deal of information for a most basic form of human communication—our language. I recommend my writers sign up for “word of the day” emails, which provides the definition of a new word daily, along with examples of how that word can be used, and its history. This example is a bit more specific to my line of work, but many resource sites offer similar newsletters or blogs that make it simple for anyone to regularly improve and continue their education on a given topic.
Hiring On Craigslist Is Great–If You’re A Masochist
If you’ve done any hiring at all in the past few years, this will be a familiar scene: you open up your laptop one morning to find 4.86 x 10^9 responses to your Craigslist ad. As you begin to read through your stuffed-to-the-breaking-point inbox with bloodshot eyes, you notice a few patterns. Maybe twenty percent of your respondents don’t even include a résumé, and the emails say only “I wud love 2 work 4 U, check out my rockin’ blog, bro.” Twelve percent are actually applications for a dog-washing position in Des Moines–these people haven’t even read your ad. A full five percent of the replies were written by escapees from maximum-security mental institutions–and you suspect that they have written these emails with their feet. The remaining 63% have absolutely zero relevant experience.
The problem here is not so much that there’s no talent out there; it’s that you’ve run your ad in the wrong place. If you’re hiring remote support staff, for example, CL might be a good fit. But if you’re recruiting your new CFO? Posting an ad for that position on Craigslist is like trying to buy a wedding ring at Wal-Mart.
Before you write your ad, take a minute to think about the audience you’re hoping to reach. A big part of the stuffed-inbox problem is that thousands of job seekers are out there applying for jobs almost automatically.Identify Your Target
The fact of the matter is that Craigslist may not be the best venue for all types of hiring. Because the audience is so general, Craigslist tends to work best if the open position is entry level–or even if it’s a temporary, contracted trial. If you’re hiring for a job in a specific discipline, there are more specific tools out there which will help you target your posts at the right people. If you want to hire a creative professional, like a designer, go to where the designers are. You’re going to find a generally more qualified pool of talent at, say, Creative Circle or Creativeheads.net than at Craigslist. Do your homework here and your inbox won’t regret it.Take Aim
Once you’ve found your target, aim squarely at the bullseye and fire. If the skill / experience requirements you list in your ad are overly broad, you’re going to get responses from an overly broad segment of the talent pool. Be as specific as possible about what you need, and you’ll get replies from better, more qualified applicants.Filter From The Get-Go
Previously, we’ve looked at ways in which you can sort through the responses to your ad. But you’ll find that a lot of later headache can be obviated by taking a few steps to ensure that your respondents are both keenly interested and qualified, not just firing off another email.
- Ask for something specific–like a word or phrase–in the subject line of respondents’ emails. This will cut down on “spam” responses significantly, because it ensures that candidates are at least attentive enough to detail that they’re actually reading your ad.
- Require action. Another way to determine an applicant’s level of interest might be to ask that they install a browser extension, or that they read some text on the Web and then answer a question. The specifics can be tailored to your situation, but the idea is to run a quick test of engagement.
- Include a quick cultural test. For example: ask your applicants a silly question like what their favorite color is, and why. Then you can potentially make quick judgments based on how they respond. If it’s immediately apparent that an applicant for a creative position hasn’t responded creatively, you can probably move on to the next email.
- Consider filtering email responses by domain. If you’re hiring an executive, a harvard.edu address is probably going to be one you’ll want to look at first. Likewise, think about looking at emails from stanford.edu first if you’re hiring engineers. We don’t recommend limiting your focus to a single domain, but it’s a good way to get started.
Just remember that your ad ought to be targeted at the right sets of eyeballs. Tailor your ad to the situation appropriately, and then ensure that your applicants are truly both interested and motivated. Then you can spend your time trying to find the best candidate, rather than simply attempting to organize hundreds of emails you don’t want to read.
“The cloud brings your phone calls and number wherever you are”—
In the Bay Area today, many employees commuting from the East Bay into San Francisco were stranded in the East Bay once a fire near a central BART station shut down the line completely for most of Thursday morning and afternoon. Hundreds packed themselves into their carpools and buses, but many others avoided the rush and madness of crossing the Bay Bridge and opted to work from home or a cafe.
On a day like this, wouldn’t it be nice if your calls could be temporarily forwarded to your mobile or home phone? And if you could control and edit your phone system to do this without having to wait in the queue of your office’s one IT guy? Your personal cell phone number is a bit too private and holding a call over Skype can be a bit unprofessional.
With 2600hz, having your work calls forwarded to another number is very simple. All it requires is a quick change in the user portal. Regardless of whether you’re the administrator or just the user of the account, you will be given the options in the user portal to edit your personal information pertaining to voicemail to email, and call forwarding.
Here’s the call flow of a very small shop. Let’s say Molly is the user who had to work remotely today due to the BART shutdown.
If Molly wanted all her work calls to be forwarded to her cell phone today, all she would have to do is go to the user portal. Once she found her information (individual users would only be able to see their account, and no one else’s), she could click on Advanced.
Under the advanced tab, she can see all the extra options and nitty gritty details of how she can control and manage her account. Here, she can edit anything ranging from voicemail to email to call forwarding.
Note: This is an account administrator’s view of Molly’s account. Molly would have access to a much simpler version, the User Portal.
Once she clicks on the Call Forwarding tab, she simply checks the box to enable it and then add the number of the phone at which she will be accessible during the day. Calls are forwarded immediately after enabling (and saving!) the call forwarding option. At the end of the work day, she would simply go back into the user portal and undo the call forwarding rules to have her desk phone back to normal tomorrow when she’s back in the office. All her callers and customers would have no idea that she was answering from a separate location.
With cloud services like Evernote bringing your text files everywhere and email being accessible anywhere, shouldn’t your phone number (and the calls being routed to that number) be accessible for you wherever you are? We think so.
To sign up for an account, visit apps.2600hz.com.