Category Archives: Business

It’s Really Means to Work Remotely

If you’ve ever been curious about working remotely, we’ve got you covered. Even if it’s not an option for you right now, it’s no doubt a growing trend that’s worth knowing more about. After all, your next position might give you the option to do it.

So, we’ve put together the best resources to get you up-to-date, and even better, how you might explore it and make it fit for you.

  1. Let’s start with the exciting part: Studies have shown that letting employees clock-in without going straight to the office raises productivity. (Harvard Business Review)
  2. And while it seems counterintuitive to bring your business responsibilities back home, there are actually a lot of great reasons why doing so makes sense. (Tech Republic)
  3. Want to see more tangible benefits of remote work? These three companieshave been making it an option for a long time. (Fortune)
  4. Want to try it for yourself? Here are some great guidelines for doing it without getting into hot water. (TIME)
  5. You can also learn from the pros: Read up on the habits of successful remote employees for ways to envision how this could apply to your own trade. (The Next Web)
  6. Can’t imagine this working for you right now? Well, you can still take a page out of remote workers’ books on structuring their days. (The Huffington Post)
  7. Or, if you’re ready to test it out, here’s how to convince your boss to let you give it a stab. (The Daily Muse)

The Company That Let You Work From Home

Not much of a cubicle person? Luckily for you, plenty of companies nowadays aren’t either—which is why they love giving their employees the option to work remotely, from home, or even away from their desks around the office.

So if you’re craving some space, here are eight companies you should definitely check out for flexible work schedules, remote work roles, plenty of paid time off, and a lot of legroom.

 

1. VMware

A leader in cloud infrastructure, business mobility, and virtualization software, VMware entered the tech industry in 1998—offering game-changing IT solutions and simplified automated delivery systems.

Ranked 21 on Forbes’ “Top 100 Companies for Remote Jobs” (and on the list in 2014, too!), VMware is dedicated to providing employees with relaxed work schedules. The company doesn’t track which employees choose to work remotely and when they decide to do so and offers unlimited vacation time, trusting staffers to take the appropriate amount of leisure time to unwind and recharge.

 

2. DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean is a simple cloud infrastructure provider built for developers—making it easy for them to rapidly deploy, resize, and scale their production environments.

At DigitalOcean, 40% of staff works remotely. Brian Knox, a software engineer, is one of them, and he loves that he can spend time with his family and still be so involved with the company. Because Brian works from home, his days often begin with early morning dog walks and dropping his kids off at school. Around 8 AM, Brian is able to return to his home office and answer emails and then embark on a full day of programming fully refreshed.

“We have a really great remote culture here at DigitalOcean,” he says.

Are You Thinking About Work

Whether you love your job or hate it, you probably think about work on your off hours at some point. You kick around a particularly perplexing problem or grouchy client. You ponder how to deal with your boss’ latest antics. You brainstorm about how you’re going to get the heck out of there.

But there’s definitely a point at which this moves from helpful to, well, not so much.

In my experience, that point is typically when you find yourself panicking in the middle of the night about what’s going on at the office, writing work to-dos on your grocery list, and receiving fewer and fewer calls from friends (because, um, all you do is talk about your job).

In other words, bringing too much work home—even if that work is just rolling around in your head—can quickly make you an anxious, sleep-deprived, pretty boring dinner guest (and, yes, I know this from experience).

I also know that telling yourself to “think about work less” doesn’t quite work, so I loved the tips that Fast Company recently offered for training your brain to leave work at work.

Here are a few of my favorites:

 

1. Create Transition Rituals

Your commute home is a physical act that separates you from the office, but try to add something mental to that activity, too. Laura Vanderkam, the article’s author, recommends “listening to or reading something light,” but I find jamming to your favorite tunes, playing a tough game on your phone, or calling a friend also does the trick. As Vanderkam recommends, “ask your family members (or friends or roommates) about their days, and challenge yourself to be a good listener. Focusing on other people and their needs is a great way to get out of your own head.”

 

2. Give Your Brain a Different Problem to Solve

If your mind is still spinning after leaving the office, channel that energy into something else. Wondering whether you should attend your cousin’s destination wedding? Trying to decide what color to paint the bathroom? Use the immediate post-work time to think about that. If you’re still getting distracted, hold yourself accountable: Ask a co-worker or friend for a problem to solve, then promise you’ll have some thoughts on it by the time you get home.

 

3. Give Yourself a “Worry Time”

This is probably one of the most helpful tips I’ve found, especially if I’m thinking about a particularly hairy problem: Schedule a later time to stress. Think, “I’ll respond to that email tomorrow morning over coffee, and I won’t think about it until then,” or “That awful meeting is set for Tuesday, so I’ll set aside two hours on Monday to prepare for (freak out about) it.” As Vanderkam puts it, “Often, your brain just needs to know that there’s a time for thinking about that issue—and now is not that time.”

Work From Home Guide

It’s happening. One friend after another is remarking on how he or she “worked from home” yesterday or is going to be “working remotely” on Wednesdays this summer. They claim they get so much done, and it’s a great way to mix up the office routine. Making calls is easier and so is zoning out on tasks that require a ton of focus and not a lot of distraction. Suddenly you wonder why you’re not doing this on occasion or even regularly. Wouldn’t your boss be all for it if she knew how much you’d accomplish? How insanely productive you’d be?

But how can you convince someone who thinks this is a foreign concept, best left for contract employees who don’t actually live in the same state as the company? It may not be easy, but with a little finesse and a proven track record, you can make it happen.

Depending on the type of person you’re dealing with and what his or her hesitations are, here are four ways to approach the often tricky subject.

 

If Your Boss Really, Really Likes Face-Time

You have your twice-weekly one-on-ones, and aside from that, your boss prefers striking up a face-to-face conversation to chatting over Slack or on Gchat. He even ignores your headphones when he’s got something to ask you. He values in-office time above all else, liking all team members present when they’re on the office clock. Working remotely isn’t something he cares to do, and so he can’t understand why you’d want to do it either. This type of manager is going to take some convincing, but it’s not a lost cause.

Because he likes in-person communication best, avoid emailing your request and instead initiate a face-to-face discussion. Say, “I wanted to run something by you. I wanted to see if you’d mind if I worked from home on occasion. Maybe every other Thursday to start and then if that goes well, on a weekly basis? I really value our chats about work projects throughout the day the day, so I’d make sure I’m still completely available—email, chat, phone. Let me know how that sounds and if we can test it out.”

By stating your availability and flexibility (starting out slow and then establishing a regular pattern once he sees how well it’s working out), you address his desire to get in touch with you at random and not just over email. It’s unlikely that he’ll start calling you every hour of every day that you work remotely, but giving him the options to get in touch however he prefers should at least put his mind at ease.

 

If Your Boss Is Suspicious

True story: I once had a colleague (not my boss, fortunately) who bluntly told me that she wouldn’t allow her reports to work from home because she didn’t “trust them.” She didn’t think they’d actually work. I shook my head and tried to convince her otherwise; they were adults, after all. Whatever assignments they had to complete, they’d get done—or face the consequences. How could she not realize this?

Unfortunately, I know she’s not the only person to harbor suspicions about what her employees might do should they be given a little freedom every now and again. If this sounds like your boss, you’re probably going to have to be explicit about what you intend to do while you’re at home. Assume that there’ll be lots of regrouping on the subject if it goes into effect. Send an email along these lines:

Hi [Name of Boss],

In the past when the subject of working for home has come up, I know you’ve expressed doubts about it working for your team. I want to do what I can to show you that working from home on occasion would actually enable me to be quite productive, in some ways, more so than being in the office. It’s not something I’d want to do often—I genuinely enjoy being in house—but it is an option that I’d like to take advantage of sometimes.

Flexible Schedules for Work

The 9-to-5 workday is losing its appeal, and it’s not difficult to imagine why. Night owls are rarely fully awake before 11 AM, and expecting a morning person to perform at 100% productivity in 4 PM meetings is just unrealistic.

Thankfully, more and more companies see the merits of offering flex work hours to keep employees healthy and happy. Need proof? Today, we bring you a series of jobs that let you make your own schedule.

 

1. Data Engineer

indico.io, Boston

Launched in 2013, indico is a powerful, comprehensive, and developer-friendly platform for building text and image machine learning software. The company’s on a mission to demystify data science and share the magic of machine learning. indico is currently looking for a scrappy developer who is comfortable with data preprocessing, data normalization, and data collection. indico gives its employees the freedom and flexibility to set their own individual work schedules, aiming to incorporate as many types of workers as possible.

 

2. Outfitter

Trumaker, San Francisco

Dedicated to designing made-to-measure menswear with a personal touch, Trumaker seeks to combine tradition with technology. The company is seeking Outfitters to work directly with customers to deliver the best in menswear. This job is perfect for fashion-savvy salespeople, style consultants, budding entrepreneurs, customer service fanatics, and “do-gooders.” Dividing their time between in-office meetings, customer visits, and work-from-home hours, Trumaker’s Outfitters are self-motivated and autonomous.

 

3. Matchmaker

Three Day Rule, Multiple Cities

Three Day Rule is helping people find love every day. The TDR team is made up of world-class matchmakers and dating experts who act as personal dating concierges—hand-selecting, vetting, and personally meeting every potential match before making formal introductions. While being a Matchmaker is definitely a full time job, you’ll hardly spend any of it in the office; Matchmakers spend their days hopping from coffee dates to events to meet new people, so you’ll get flexibility to decide when and where you work.