As we get closer and closer to the end of summer, we’re starting to think about back to school and fall routines. While there’s still plenty of time for summer fun, it’s important to begin thinking about the transition into the school year. Read along for some tips to be prepared - mentally and physically - to get back into the groove!
By shopping for back to school items earlier than most, you can typically get in on the best sales. Better yet, you and your kids will have your pick of supplies. If you wait until late into August or after school begins, there’s usually not much to choose from. School supply lists can be long and specific, so be sure to pick things up early.
Summer is known for more relaxation and flexibility! Whether you’ve been more loosely scheduled with your work, or your kids are simply in “summer mode,” it’s a great time to prepare for the more strict school year.
You can start by setting earlier bedtimes, doing baths earlier in the evening, and so on. It’s important (and much more pleasant) to ease your kids back into their year, and this starts with their routine. You can start small: 10-30 minutes earlier every week until you’re back on school time. This will make mornings and bedtimes much easier when school begins!
Take a look at the upcoming year before it even gets started. As we’ve mentioned, things tend to change from flexible to more structured during the year, so it’s important to be ready. With activities, sports, and other programs being added into your schedule, you may have to rearrange some work or set up a carpool.
Start with a basic outline of your family’s days and go from there. If you need to shift work, add work, or find childcare, now is the time to begin thinking about it seriously.
While you’re setting up your schedule, also take some time to set some goals - for your family, career, fitness goals, and so on. This can even be a fun activity to do with your kids! Do they want to make a certain team? Try a specific class? Goals can help us get excited about the future, as well as motivate us for a great year ahead. Set some goals for the upcoming year, and check in with them as the weeks go on.
As summer winds down, soak up the final days of summer! Plan something fun or just enjoy having the kids home. Take some time for yourself if your work schedule allows, and take comfort in the fact that you’ve started planning for the upcoming school year.
Name: Kari Turbeville
Business Name: Studio Barn Creative LLC
I was rejected for the first job that I applied for on Hire My Mom. That, ultimately, ended up being the beginning of my success story. When I was rejected, I was crushed, but I emailed the employer thanking them for their time and asked that she keep me in mind for future projects. To my surprise, she did reach back out to me when her selected applicant went on vacation. After working with me for two weeks, she decided that she wanted to keep me on. That was almost five years ago and not only do I still work with/for her -- we have grown to become good friends.
I'm a creative and have in some way always offered my design services to others for more than 20 years. Because of Hire My Mom, however, and the job I secured through your group almost five years ago, I had a steady stream of income that allowed me to pour that money back into growing my business as a web designer/developer. My business is now an LLC, has a strong client base, and has grown enough in the last year that I am back on Hire My Mom. This time, I am positioned as an employer looking for help managing the growth of my own business. I am truly grateful for Hire My Mom and the blessings it has ushered into my life.
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Working from home is appealing to most - there’s the flexibility, lack of commute, and the ability to be more productive. While it’s typically a huge benefit to work from home, it’s important that you know what you’re doing ahead of time. It takes a specific type of person, personality, and lifestyle to enjoy and thrive in a home based position, so don’t enter hastily!
Read along for our best questions to ask yourself before taking the leap into a work from home job position.
Are you okay working independently? Yes, you will likely have a boss and other co-workers, but your actual work time is mostly completed alone. Some people do not have the personality for this, and would thrive much better in a traditional office environment.
Additionally, even if you don’t mind working alone - are you motivated while working by yourself? It might not be the social aspect of an office that you need, but rather the structure. Working from home requires you to structure your own time, and get things done without being managed in person, which can be a challenge for some employees.
If your home is full of distractions that can’t be managed - either by outside help, a new schedule, or your own mind, it might not be the best idea. If you don’t have any other option for your small children or pets, it can be challenging to complete work while caring for them.
Additionally, if you’re someone who can’t be home all day without cleaning, catching up on TV, or simply doing other things around the house, working from home might not be your best bet.
Work from home employees are still able to complete some housing tasks if they work it into their day, but the vast majority of them are very disciplined people who are able to ignore most home distractions.
Take a look at you and your family’s schedule(s) and see if your lifestyle makes sense for a home based job. You might find that you have a lot of flexibility and downtime already, and going to an office would make you feel more productive.
Additionally, you might be the kind of person who cannot stay in their house all day. Of course, some work from home employees do enjoy co-working spaces and coffee shops, but in general, most work out of the home. Use this time to really determine where you fall in this category, and make an honest decision about your work environment.
Which benefits of working from home are the most appealing to you? In some cases, you might find that you can get some of those benefits in a traditional office job.
For example, some office bosses allow a lot of flexibility - leaving early, free hours (as long as the work is done!), and much more. In other cases, there might be a closer office to the main headquarters that will allow you to save on a commute. Lastly, a lot of bosses are now more open to partial telecommuting, so you can consider that as well. Overall, if an office job sounds better besides a few points, see if you can negotiate on them.
Working from home is filled with benefits, but it’s not for everyone. Take some time to seriously reflect on what works best for you, your lifestyle, and your family.
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There are many tips out there on how to be an effective manager, but it goes to another level when you’re managing a remote team. Your workers are out of sight, and it’s very important that you manage them, hire the right people, and still stay sane in the process! Managing home based employees can be a challenge at first, but it will give you more flexibility and freedom if you master it.
Read along for some of our best tips for management of remote teams.
Since you can’t physically be with your employees, it can be tempting to micromanage every task, client, and project. But this goes against everything that work from home can be - flexible and less stressful.
You must start by trusting your employees, and that comes with hiring the right people. Hire those who know if they’re productive independently, and who never give you reason to question what they’re up to. With work from home jobs, it can be helpful to have a trial period of 30-60 days so you’re able to see this in real time.
Although your company is remote, it’s important to get together in person if and when you can. Whether it’s for a mini retreat, incentive trip, or convention that will build your knowledge, it’s helpful to get your team together.
When you get together in person, you get a chance to really connect. You build relationships, get to know each other, and discuss the business, which ultimately builds more bonds and solidifies trust. On top of this, it can be fun for a remote worker to get to meet their team in real life.
Don’t forget that they also don't get to see their co-workers very often, so you can bring this benefit to them and allow those relationships to strengthen as well. When a team is reliant and trusting among co-workers, everything runs more smoothly and more effectively.
There are many programs - free and paid - that allow you to more easily communicate with your team via video. You have the free options of FaceTime, Skype, and the free option of Zoom meetings. For paid options, you can utilize chat options such as Slack, Sococo, or any other online communication program that also features video.
Even if you don’t do video communication on a consistent basis, it can still be fun to do from time to time. When you aren’t using the video feature, be sure that you’re still communicating often. Group texts, client management systems, and Facebook chat are all great options.
While you shouldn’t be consistently micromanaging, keeping tabs on your team is still key. Ask for detailed timesheets if that’s helpful at first, or you can do daily summaries. Whatever you need to feel at ease, while still allowing your team some freedom, is very important.
You can also utilize tracking software and time management software, if your team should need that. Establish a solid process for reporting results and deliverables to the company and/or to your clients. At the end of the day, this is your business, and work still needs to be done.
Becoming a manager of remote teams is all about the balance! Take some time to figure out what you need to feel comfortable, while still giving your team trust and getting the work completed.