Hiring someone to work for you off-site means you don’t have the luxury of meeting them or training them in person. And because of that, there are some things you should know to help make the working relationship more successful from the start.
Ask how they manage working independently? What other jobs have they had working virtually for someone? What mistakes did they make? What did they learn? Ask them about their organization skills and how they organize their day? What motivates them? What distracts them? Also be sure to talk to their references to get a feel for how they viewed the quality of their work.
Before you hire virtual help, be clear about what you want done, how and when you want it done. The more clear you can be and the more meticulous your instructions, the better opportunity your new hire has of understanding and succeeding at this new role. If applicable, ask for samples of previous work.
For the first month or two, plan to check in regularly about progress and questions. You should be able to tell pretty quickly if the work is being done correctly. If not, determine what changes need to be made. Set parameters, guidelines and/or deadlines that need to be met.
Set up ways to monitor their progress going forward. You may want them to copy you on emails if they are responding on behalf of your business or send weekly reports of tasks completed so that you can check them initially to make sure the job is being done correctly and has been understood. If applicable, use collaboration tools such as Slack, Basecamp, Asana or Trello so that you can monitor, collaborate and train as needed.
Progress checks and regular communication are the main keys to success once you’ve hired your virtual professional. Follow these tips and your chances of success will skyrocket!
If you are looking for a virtual professional, be sure to check out the awesome talent on HireMyMom.com.
As a work from home employee, most (if not all) of your work is done on your computer. This is great, since you can take your work with you, but it can also get cluttered - and fast! When downloading files, graphics and anything else you need for work, your computer can start to look stressful.
Keeping your computer organized not only helps your productivity, but it keeps your machine running efficiently.
A clean computer isn’t just for looks! When you need to locate certain files, staying organized is number one. Folders are a great way to do this, and it can be a helpful system to stay on track.
Create large folders that are more general in nature, followed by sub folders that can narrow down your search. This allows you to find everything so easily, upping productivity and eliminating frustration.
Once you no longer need a file, delete it! We often keep files for days on our desktops. This leads to clutter, stress, and simple disorganization.
Take 5-10 minutes at the end of your day to delete everything that’s no longer needed. Once your folders and files are set up correctly, you can easily slide each file into the appropriate folder. This allows you to start the next work day with a clean workspace!
Make a schedule for computer organization. Beyond the 5-10 minute daily cleanup, set aside some time each week to look into your folders and clear out any old files. These take up valuable space on your computer, bogging it down and making it harder to run.
Additionally, you may want to change up your folder or file names, or simply label them in a different way that will work better for you. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re setting aside some time to make these changes on a consistent basis, instead of becoming overwhelmed when it’s ignored for months.
Lastly, make it a habit of cleaning your computer. There are several programs out there for Macs or PCs that will sweep away old files, or help you to find large file that you no longer need. This will keep your computer running smoothly and free from clutter!
Although we created all of those great folders in tip number one, it won’t be as helpful if your file names are still disorganized.
When you search your computer for a specific file, you need to be able to find it! Make sure you’re taking the time to label your files everyday, and label them in a way that you will remember. It can help to include the client name, task name, the date, and/or the purpose of the file.
We hear a lot about meal planning, but how can you do it in a way that keeps to your budget? Food can be expensive, and it helps to have a few money-saving tips before going shopping.
Read along for some of our tips for meal planning on a budget.
The best thing you can do to save money is to plan. Map out each night with what you plan to make, and this will keep you on track. Purchase a wall or refrigerator calendar and simply note each meal at the beginning of the week. A bonus to this is that it can also keep you on a healthy eating schedule! When your food is planned, purchased and ready to go, you’re less likely to veer off of your plan.
Fruit and vegetables that are in season are typically less expensive, as they’re easier for the stores to get. Grocery stores have to pay more to import items that aren’t local.
To top it all off, seasonal fruits and veggies simply taste better!
By doing a simple Google search, you can find recipes that are inexpensive to make. Certain blogs are even dedicated to budget eating, so it’s not difficult to find those options. Many times, these recipes will give you a price per recipe or price per serving, which really allows you to budget accurately.
These days, inexpensive doesn’t mean unhealthy either. There are plenty of options that incorporate fruits and veggies in a budget-friendly way, such as using frozen options. They still pack a nutritional punch while being less expensive than the fresh varieties.
Even though you might schedule out your perfect week of recipes and meal planning, don’t forget about other types of eating!
You might have dinner plans with a friend, a late meeting that will provide food, or simply the desire to have takeout once in a while. To save money, factor this in! You can eliminate a few grocery store dollars when you remember that you’ll have food elsewhere.
Additionally, determine what’s reasonable for you and/or your family. If you eat larger portions, make sure to include that. If you’re often throwing food away or simply eating for one, reduce the recipe.
It’s important to really take the time to lay out your week, meal plan around this, and choose foods that are friendly to your budget. If you stick to a routine like this, you should see a major difference in your food spending!
Writing is an important part of marketing and advertising these days. Even if you aren’t doing either of these things, you might still have a personal (or business) blog, or simply want to improve your writing skills. Whatever your reason for writing, we can always improve!
If you’ve ever wanted to expand upon your writing skills for personal or professional reasons, read along for some of our top tips.
If you want to improve your writing, you have to practice! This can begin with reading others’ writing - blogs, newspapers, books and magazines, to name a few, and going from there.
It might be helpful to start your own personal blog, or a blog based on your current industry. If you don’t feel ready to publish for the world to see, write on your own time. You can create your own daily journal, or write a short story that’s updated on a weekly basis.
The more you write, the more comfortable you become. Once you’re comfortable writing, you can work to improve sentence structure, grammatical errors, and flow.
When we write our own pieces, it’s hard to disconnect. Ask a friend or family member to review your writing for errors, flow, and any other suggestions.
They can also let you know if you need to be more concise! Sometimes we get on a roll with writing, and we tend to get a bit too wordy.
To find your own style, begin by writing in a variety of ways. From standard AP style to casual blogs, it all requires some different perspectives. If you really want to improve in general, try to incorporate them all.
From here, you can discover what you like best! Discover your own style. Is it more conversational in nature? Do you enjoy technical writing? You might stumble upon a skill or career that you never knew you had!
The best writing and presentations includes telling stories. People want to relate to you, so it’s important that you incorporate details that allow them to do that. Stories are always more interesting and give your audience something to relate to.
Whether you’re writing a more “dry” piece or writing for an entertainment magazine, short stories are intriguing. You can write about the subject(s), something that happened to you, or a story from history that supports your premise.
Writing doesn’t have to be scary, nor do you have to be a professional to get started! You can create a free blog on sites such as Wordpress, and it takes almost nothing to get started - just some time.
If you have a message or story to share with the world, put yourself out there on a regular basis. This can only improve your writing, as well as keep you writing on a consistent basis.
When you write often and always look for improvement, you’re well on your way to developing more skill and accuracy as a writer!
We all know that there are several benefits of working from home - no commute, more flexibility, and less stress. But there are lesser known benefits that aren’t discussed as often!
Check out this week’s blog for some of the unique benefits of being a work from home employee.
When you work from home, you have access to your home! This is obvious, but it’s a great thing because it allows you to get some things done around the house, which helps you keep up with the housework and reduce stress.
When you set aside a few of your breaks for light housework everyday, you get more time with your family and friends in the evenings. If you go to a traditional office, you don’t have this benefit, so it’s something that can easily be worked into your day. Of course, working from home is still working, so keep these cleaning breaks to 5-10 minutes at a time.
As a work from home employee, you can take breaks or really work from anywhere! From lunch breaks to trips away, you can work from any location with internet access.
If you have the opportunity to tag along on your spouse’s work trip, you can come along! When they’re working, you can get your work done too, then enjoy time together in the evenings. It’s very freeing to have your whole work life attached to your laptop, allowing you the freedom to travel and set up shop all over.
According to Fundera.com, “86% of employees say they’re most productive when they work alone - devoid of distractions like inefficient meetings, office gossip, or loud office spaces.” Of course, you can occasionally meet up with friends to work at a coffee shop together, but this study shows that most people are more productive outside of a traditional office.
You’re more free to work through workday interruptions, distractions, and so on. You can set your own schedule and often don’t have as many spontaneous meetings and office drop-ins. When you work from home, meetings are typically planned ahead since everyone is on a different scheduled, and they’re also usually shorter and completed over phone or Skype.
As we mentioned in a few of the benefits above, working from home just gives you more time with family and friends. You can typically stop working a bit early if you want, and if your work is complete, it’s not a big deal. This opens you up to attend more functions, be there for people more often, and simply not be restricted by a rigid office work schedule. If work is complete, you’re usually good to go!
Family also includes pets! Those who work from home are able to spend their day with their furry family members too, strengthening those bonds as well. You can also save money by not having to hire a dog walker or have someone let your dog out during the day! Pets are great stress reducers as well, so being around them all day can be a calming presence.
Working from home has numerous benefits, from stress reduction to more productivity. Beyond the obvious benefits, you’re able to get more accomplished, work anywhere, and spend more time with those you love.
Worldwide101 is a premium subscription staffing company that connects busy founders, entrepreneurs and executives with experienced remote staff seeking flexible and remote work. Our experienced team members get to continue their careers on their own terms (our team is made of marketers, designers, accountants, project managers, as well as moms, dads, military spouses, expats and general flexibility seekers!), and our clients--mainly small businesses and entrepreneurs--get access to top talent on a fractional basis to help grow their business.
I founded Worldwide101 in 2012 with the idea that I wanted to start a business I would want to work for. I wanted to continue to work in a rewarding environment but also have the freedom to work outside of the traditional 9-5. I decided that there must be others who aspire for the same!
At the same time, the business owner or executive may not feel ready to take on a permanent employee. Also, they may not feel they have the time or resources to go through an extensive hiring process, or maybe they live in an area where it’s difficult to find experienced talent, or that they don’t want someone full or even part-time. Those are all good reasons to look at using a remote staffing firm such as ours. We can listen to the client’s needs, suggest an experienced staff member for the job, (our client and team both meet first and agree to work together) and then we manage all the backend personnel matters, all for a simple monthly subscription fee.
We’ve hired several candidates from HireMyMom, it’s been a great recruiting tool for us!
Our top tip is to be specific with the requirements you’re seeking and be diligent in following those requirements when selecting candidates. Worldwide101 has a very competitive and selective hiring process, and are constantly seeking exceptional people for our team. We’ve found that being selective pays off, though, both in our team’s satisfaction and our clients’.
A lot of our team members are working parents, and they are incredible in their organization and time management skills! Most of them left the corporate 9-to-5 world because they wanted more flexibility for their families. We appreciate that HireMyMom.com connects working parents with resources to find flexible and remote jobs so that they can do their most important job (parenting) along with moving their careers forward and contributing to their family’s income.
Fitness should be a crucial part of our lives - it keeps us healthy and active. When you work from home, you may not have time or want the expense of an intricate gym routine. The good news is - you don’t need to let those challenges hold you back!
Read along for some of our best, simplest tips to stay fit when you work from home.
One of the major benefits of working from home is that your breaks can take place in your house! You have access to house chores, possibly a family dog, a side job, and much more. While this can also make focusing a challenge, it can also hold many benefits, especially when it comes to sneaking in fitness.
Use a few of your breaks during the day to do a short workout. You can even schedule these around meals and other breaks, and they don’t need to last long at all. It’s even better to get up and move throughout the day, as we all know how bad sitting is for our health.
Working out for an hour is not necessary, unless you truly want to. Choose a reasonable amount of time and don’t make it overwhelming, especially in the beginning.
If you decide to use your breaks, maybe start by dedicating three, 5-minute breaks to do some type of fitness moves. When it’s a doable amount of time, you’re much more likely to stick to it in the long term.
You don’t need to run out and buy anything fancy! Chances are, you have exactly what you need, or can get a few small, inexpensive items to start.
Most of us have some kind of fitness selection of gym equipment, machines, or dumbbells. If you don’t have these things, you can start with bodyweight strength exercises or simply use the road for running. If you don’t know what type of moves to do, you can access tons of free fitness content on YouTube. You can search by length time, type of workout, etc. For example, 5-10-15+ minute workouts that feature High Intensity Interval Training Cardio, light weight training, Tabata intervals, and so on.
Fitness is great to share with others. This is a great time to get out of the house - walk with friends, join a gym or exercise class, or join a running club.
When you work out with others, you come to depend on each other, which keeps you consistent and motivated.
In the end, consistency is key with fitness. If you don’t stick with it, you won’t reap the results that come from a regular workout routine. Start with 10 minutes per day and go from there. You can simply walk or lift some light dumbbells if you’re a beginner, or find a way to make fitness social.
Set a specific number of workouts to aim for each week and start with at least 2-3. Once you begin to feel better, sleep better, and generally improve your health, you’ll want to stick with your new, healthy habit!
With September here and Labor Day behind us, we’re officially started into the fall season. It’s a time where work and school pick up again, and we move away from the lazy days of summer.
While we’re getting back into our routines and potentially a more challenging workload, it can be a great time for a refresh as we enter this new season. Read along for some of our best tips to refresh your body and mind before we move further into fall.
Learning is always a new and challenging way to reboot yourself. Whether your interests lie in fitness or cooking, or potentially computer programming or writing, find something that will take you out of your comfort zone. Often times mixing things up allows us to feel more inspired in our daily life, whether that be personal or professional.
You can find classes that are offered locally through your library or community center, or search websites such as Udemy for online classes that you can take from the comfort of your home.
A wardrobe update does not have to be expensive! You can visit a local thrift shop for new style choices, or find a nice vintage shop that offers unique, inexpensive goods. Additionally, you can search sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, or Mercari. While you’re doing this, you can also go through your current clothing and figure out what need to go. Especially since we’re through with summer, those clothes can be packed away, sold or donated.
Do you have several pieces that you haven’t worn in a year? Have a few articles of clothing that you just don’t like? Take an honest look around and pitch what you don’t need. Whether you sell, donate or give away older items, you’ll feel lighter by clearing the clutter!
When you’re looking for a change or refresh in your life, doing good for others can be a great starting point. Not only does it make you feel great, it helps others in need.
Look around your community for who needs help, or search your own heart for which causes call to you the most. Are you an animal lover? Volunteer for a few hours at the local shelter each week. Love kids? Find a library in search of readers. You can even plan a service day with your friends or family members - clean up a park, build something useful for the community, or hand out food to the homeless.
Making time and space for others is very important and always needed, and don’t underestimate the meaning and fulfillment that it will bring to your own life as well.
While we’re in the mode of restarting and refreshing, it’s important to put a plan into place. We’re headed into the busiest time of the year - school is back, work is busier, and the holidays will be here before we know it. Making a plan will keep yourself and your family sane!
Take a look at where you’re spending your time now, what’s coming up ahead, and how you can plan now so things don’t get too crazy down the road.
Start with a nice planner or online calendar program - make completing the days part of your daily life. Get into the habit of time management and calendar planning, as it will make you feel more calm and in control of your schedule. Additionally, it’s just a great habit that will carry you further in your personal and professional life.
We typically see one type of resume in the job hunting world - white paper, black font, and probably not much (if any) color.
While this is the standard and will work for its intended purpose, it often doesn’t have a lot of personality. Certain jobs require more formality, so the standard is your best option, but for those jobs that ask for creativity in the job description, or simply demand something unique - add some personality!
Here are some of our favorite ways to do just that:
Change the design: Most resumes follow the same standard layout, but they don’t have to! You could put your document into unique, colorful sections, or simply add blocks of color for each section heading.
Add some color: Color is just more fun to look at! If you’re keeping it conservative, simply add color to your name at the top so it stands out. Or, you could really go all out and do your whole resume in one color. Of course, ensure that this is still easily readable, and also send over a copy that doesn’t include so much color in case they’d like to print it.
Be conversational: Formal language has its place, but it’s not always in a resume. You can still talk in a conversational way that uses layman’s terms. Be sure to include all relevant data and qualitative data, but present it more casually. For something extra fun, you can even include charts or graphs with your numerical data!
Make it fit: Are you interviewing for a position at an art gallery? You could change your resume to look like an easel, or feature a paint palette in a way that’s relevant. You can always tailor your actual resume to the job position in a memorable way.
Add something unexpected: Most hiring managers are used the same old thing. Surprise them! Add a creative drawing or graphic, use a custom font, or simply present it in a unique way.
Try a different format: Resumes don’t always have to be on paper! You can try a video or slideshow resume. Of course, make sure this is okay with the hiring manager, and possibly leave these for the job positions that say they’re actively seeking something different in your application.
Add a photo: It can be nice to put a face to a name. In some cases, you might want to include your photo. You could also include a photo of something you accomplished, whether it was a build in your job work, or an event photo from something you planned.
Include what’s needed: No matter how you choose to add personality to your resume, it’s important that it still includes important information. Be sure you’re not leaving out any important and relevant job positions, accomplishments, or education. At the end of the day, that will still be the most important part!
Your cover letter is often the first thing that a potential employer will read from you, so it’s a very important document! Of course, your resume will be crucial since it lists all of your experience and accomplishments, but your cover letter is a place to add personality and make a case for your hiring.
Read along for some of our best advice for a cover letter that stands out.
When you start your letter, it’s best to restate the position and company which you’re applying for. This ensures that it goes to the right place, and states again what you’re seeking.
In addition to restating the position and company, it’s helpful to restate some of the key qualities that the employer is seeking, especially those that match you very well. Be sure to make the connection between the job posting and yourself as a great fit.
Cover letters don’t necessarily have to be boring! Especially if the job is more “informal,” use it as a place to add your personality. It can be a bit conversational in nature, while still adhering to solid grammar. Adapt the cover letter to match you, as well as the position. If it’s a very prestigious job that requires a strong vocabulary and a lot of formality, it may be best to stick to the basics.
As with most things in your job application, do your best to keep it to one page. All the information you should need should fit on one page:
Restate the position and employer where you hope to be hired.
Include some qualities from the job posting that fit your personality and work experience.
Use bullets for stand out job experience and highlights that make you a great fit.
End with a request for further contact and an interview, as well as a note that your resume is attached and your recommendations are available upon request.
When you go to write your bullet points, be as specific as you can! It’s great to say, for example, that you planned an event that’s relevant to the position. It’s even better to write that you planned an event with a $250,000 budget for 500 attendees that resulted in $400,000 being raised for a charity. Using specific facts, figures and numbers helps to drive home your point even more, and it shows that you have the detail on your accomplishments.
Your cover letter should be personable, short, and include reasons why you are the best possible fit for this job position. Tailor each and every letter to each specific job posting with the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to a more successful hiring process.