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Gone are the days when work ended when the quitting whistle blew. Today, professionals are expected to write a report over the weekend, or join conference calls during the evening. These demands pose challenges for parents trying to care for their children, and for husbands and wives who want to be meaningfully involved in each other’s lives.
Doing work at home is undesirable because it can exacerbate what sociologists call “role conflict.” When you bring work home, your subconscious mind may be confused as to whether it should assume a work-oriented, cognitive role, or a completely different role more appropriate at home.
Sociologists believe that various habits at the start and the end of the work day, such as standard morning routines or evening commutes, help people mentally shift gears between these different roles. However, bringing work home muddles these daily transitions; the act of leaving the physical space of your office is much less effective at triggering the helpful subconscious changes in your mind.
So the best way to avoid the difficulty of bringing work home is to simply not do it. However, most of us live in the real world, in which professionals frequently need to do work-related tasks at home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of managers do some work at home on any given day.
If you have to bring work home, you can still try to take advantage of mental cues to separate home and work. Here are a few tips on how to implement this idea:
1. Create a Separate Physical Space
To make it easier for your mind to change roles when you want it to, do all of your work-from-home in a specific physical space. A fancy home office does the trick, but a desk in your bedroom works just as well. The key is that it needs to be a work space, not a shared work-family space such as the kitchen table. You want the act of leaving this work space to help cue your subconscious mind to transition to your family role.
2. Reserve Certain Times for Family
You should also reserve certain times for your family every day, barring only the most urgent of work crises. If certain times of the day are saved for family—and only for family—you will be better able to put work out of your mind and fully turn your attention to your family.
When my two children were young, I worked from home only after they went to sleep. When they became teenagers, I routinely finished up some work on weekend mornings, while they were sleeping in. But I always made sure that work didn’t encroach upon family dinners—that was my reserved time.
3. Be assertive with your boss
To maintain your reserved time, you need to be assertive with your boss. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries; make it crystal clear that you are not available, say, from 7pm to 9pm. During this time, shut off your cell phone and don’t look at your email.
To learn more about setting boundaries at work, read this fascinating bit of research describing how Episcopalian priests preserve their personal time. Even these priests don’t let themselves be on call 24×7
In short, it is difficult to give your family the attention they deserve when you bring work home. If you can leave work at the office, then that is by far the best solution. But if you have to finish up work at home in the evening, do so in a separate physical space, and reserve specific hours as family time.
Let’s face it: The traditional 9-to-5 work lifestyle is long gone.
For many of us, it’s not unusual to stay at the office until 7 or 8, or to burn the midnight oil working on a freelance gig, startup idea, or extra project to get ahead at work.
Even if your company promotes a healthy work-life balance, your workload may get out-of-control busy at some point and you’ll simply need to bring work home in the evenings or over the weekend. In fact, a recent study showed that 80% of Americans work after they leave the office. Now that your work truly can be accessed anywhere, at any time, it’s an entirely different way of working from what the norm was a decade ago.
This new reality of never truly being off the clock can send your stress levels off the charts if you let it. However, there are ways to make it less painful. It’s all about setting (and sticking to) boundaries so that when you do need to bring the work home, you can at least leave the stress back at the office.
Here are some tips for setting solid ground rules and promoting a healthy, low-stress mindset when you’re cranking on a project at home.
Create Some Space
Designate a workspace at home for those late nights. This can be anywhere you have access to a flat surface and adequate lighting that allows you to concentrate—a desk, your kitchen table, a reading chair, just not your bed! This helps your mind and body understand when you’re in working mode and allows you to more effectively transition to “home” mode when you’re done.
Know When to Call it a Day
Pick a non-negotiable time to put away all your work—and stick to it. For many people, 9 or 10 PM is a great cut off time to stow away all devices before bed. Whichever hour you settle on, it should allow you to transition into relaxation and get enough sleep so that you’re rested enough to be productive the next day. Before you go to sleep, carve out a short amount of time for yourself and read or watch a TV show to unwind and get your mind off the work and transition into relaxation.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Just as you and the people you live with have discussed logistics like who’s in charge of sending the rent check each month, it’s crucial to sort out your need for working from home as well. How quiet do you need your living space to be? Can you handle, “Hey, did you do the laundry?” or “Can you believe what my boyfriend said!?” interruptions? Having good, open communication with your roommates, significant other, or family around your work needs is key. After all, not only do you want to get your work done, you also want to be sure you’re keeping your home a happy place.
Stay Focused on Work
In addition to your workload, you probably also have a to-do list that includes going grocery shopping, washing the dishes, and doing laundry. And it’s probably making you sweat just thinking about how you’ll manage to get everything done. My advice: Compartmentalize. Prioritize the urgent to-do (your work project), and let yourself off the hook with the others. Ask your roommate or spouse to take care of the dishes tonight in exchange for you doing double duty next week—or better yet, treat yourself to Thai takeout tonight (hey, you legitimately don’t have time to cook!). If the laundry really can’t wait another day, drop it off for wash, dry, and fold. This way, you can focus completely on work without letting other to-dos go undone and make you crazy.
On a similar note, don’t try to fit in the fun stuff on an evening or weekend when you need to be working. If you’re trying to squeeze in writing a blog post during the commercial breaks of American Idol, chances are it won’t be that good, and you’ll end up spending more time on revising it later. Either commit to taking a break from work for some fun or getting everything done now so that you can enjoy yourself fully later.
Working after hours is one of those unfortunate facts of life, but you can create rituals and boundaries that enable you to do it in a healthy, productive way. Furthermore, establishing these boundaries will help you assert yourself anytime you’re being asked to do something you’re uncomfortable with—at work or elsewhere.
Photo of working from home courtesy of Shutterstock.
Melody Wilding is a writer, licensed social worker, and workplace success coach for sensitive high-achievers tired of getting in their own way. Her first book, Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work, is available now. For The Muse, she’s covered topics ranging from work relationships to mental health. Her writing has also appeared on Forbes, Business Insider, and Quartz, and her expertise and advice have been featured in The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, and NBC News. Named one of Business Insider’s “Most Innovative Coaches,” her clients include executives from companies such as Google, Citibank, and IBM. She also teaches human behavior at Hunter College.
How to combat feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
I want you to picture a cup. A clear glass cup perched on a smooth granite countertop.
Now that you have that image, I want you to imagine that someone is pouring cold Brita-filtered water–pristine and crisp–into that cup.
Just when you think that the glass can’t possibly get any fuller, I want you to visualize the slippery water spilling over the rim and splashing onto the counter.
That is your life right now.
That cup is your mental, physical, and emotional capacity. And that water is your emotional baggage–the overwhelming, heavy, and constant stream of affect that makes you feel overwhelmed.
The problem, and what’s making your life so difficult right now, is that you’re walking around each day with a full cup. Even the small things–your disobedient dog, the frustrating traffic–cause your glass to overflow.
You need to learn how to empty your cup.
We often walk around carrying our work with us, which makes it difficult to be fully present and engaged when it matters most–in the presence of our loved ones.
This elusive work-life balance is difficult to attain, especially when work is only one thumb swipe away.
The list below is a chance to break this habit. An opportunity for you to re-commit to setting boundaries that will ultimately help you live a happier, more fulfilling life. And before you dismiss these ideas, give them a try.
If you’re not trying to improve your habits, you’re settling for complacency.
Below are 12 simple ways to empty your cup by leaving work where it belongs–at work.
1. Practice breathing techniques when you feel overwhelmed (and during your commute).
Deepening and slowing the pace of your breathing sends relaxing messages to your body, which, in turn, helps slow your thoughts. While transitioning from work to home, take 5-10 minutes to focus on your breathing and improve your emotional state.
2. Create a ritual that marks the transition between work and personal life.
For some people, this means washing your hands. For others, it means burning sage and smudging. For others, it’s as simple as immediately changing out of work clothes and into something comfortable. Try a few different rituals to see which helps you the most.
3. Decompress by venting (for a set period of time) to your trusted friends.
Don’t overuse this method–your friends aren’t therapists. Set a time limit with yourself to complain and discuss the challenges you overcame during work. Venting can help you feel heard and release accumulated emotional residue.
4. Exercise to change your physical, mental, and emotional energy.
If you really need to reset your mind and body, try exercising. Putting your body in motion not only can help circulation and digestion, it can also release endorphins to dramatically improve your mood.
5. Create a visualization that shows you leaving work and emotional baggage behind.
Try a few visualization techniques to see what works for you. Some literally picture setting down baggage. Others picture being washed like they’re in a shower. Others imagine that they are breathing out black, negative energy and breathing in white, healing energy.
6. Distract yourself with social media, Netflix, and whatever else you need (in moderation).
Moderation is key. Recognize that scrolling through social media, playing videogames, and watching television are primarily forms of distraction. Use that as a tool when needed, and try to cut back when it’s not. Unknowingly practicing distraction makes your cup shallow.
7. Give yourself permission to cry–it’s a great way to release emotional energy.
So many of us are afraid to cry. We were told from young ages that it’s unacceptable to appear weak, or vulnerable, or were sent messages that our feelings didn’t matter. Your difficulty expressing and feeling your emotions prevents you from working through them. Open yourself up and release that energy.
8. Engage in regular counseling to increase your ability to feel all aspects of your experience.
One of the best (and only) ways to improve your self awareness is to engage in therapy. When you deepen your insight into your patterns and practice expressing your feelings more deeply, you have the ability to work through your shortcomings and overcome difficult circumstances.
9. Have a “Treat Yo Self Day”–you deserve a massage to unwind.
Parks and Recreation got it right. Treat your mind and body to a nice massage. Release those physical knots of tension so that you can feel more relaxed throughout the week.
10. Practice meditation on a regular basis–it’ll ground you in the present moment.
Feeling overwhelmed makes you want to dissociate and distract yourself from the present moment. Improving your ability to stay in the present moment deepens your cup and boosts your mental, physical, and emotional capacity.
11. Prioritize sleep each night so that your mind and body can recover.
Sleep is incredibly important–especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Make room in your schedule so that you can keep moving forward.
12. Read a book that brings you joy.
It’s easy to forget the feeling of excitement and joy that comes from connecting to things you value. Think about old parts of yourself–things that you wish were in your life right now–and then grab a book on that topic.
It’s important to bring some light and laughter into your life and combine that with peace and relaxation.
Leave work where it belongs. Empty your cup. And live a happier, more fulfilling life.
“Do you take work home with you?” is a tricky question you may get during your next job interview. It’s a good idea to think through your answer in advance. Get insights on why this question comes up during interviews, as well as tips for how to respond.
What the Interviewer Wants to Know
Employers ask this question for a variety of reasons. They might want to know that you are organized and can do all of your work in the allotted time. They also might want to make sure you maintain a decent work-life balance (which many employers believe will ultimately make you a happier, and thus better, employee).
However, some employers really are looking for people who make work the center of their lives, and want to assess just how dedicated to the job you will be. Even employers who do not expect in-depth work on projects after business hours may want employees to frequently check email from home. For some roles, a certain amount of after-hours work is built in. For instance, a social media manager for a late-night TV show may have to monitor online comments after business hours.
Answering this question, therefore, requires you to know a bit about the particular company and job.
How to Answer the Question
Before you answer, think about the company culture.
If you know the employer values work-life balance or time management skills, you will want to emphasize your ability to complete your work during work hours so that you can focus on family or other activities after work.
If the company requires employees to put in lots of extra hours and emphasizes the need for dedication and passion in the workplace, you may want to stress your willingness to bring projects home in order to ensure high-quality work.
If you aren’t sure of what the employer is looking for, the safest way to answer is to emphasize your organizational skills while also saying that, when necessary, you will take work home with you. Try not to be negative about bringing work home, since that may be something that is common at the company. However you respond, do be honest.
If you work remotely, the line between “work” and “home” can become frayed. If you’re interviewing for a remote job, keep in mind that interviewers may be concerned about burnout. Answers that show that you understand when to work late—and when to leave a task for the next day—may be helpful for these types of roles.
This question also provides you an opportunity to think about whether or not the job is the right fit for you.
Always remember, an interview is a two-way street. Just as the employer is finding out what you would be like as a worker, you’re discovering what it would like to work for the company. If the employer clearly wants you to take work home with you regularly, but you value your free time, you may want to consider not taking the job. Instead, look for jobs at companies that value work-life balance.
Examples of the Best Answers
Example Answer #1
When I need to, bringing work home with me is not a problem. I realize the importance of meeting deadlines and getting work done on time, and sometimes that requires extra hours in the office or at home.
Why It Works: This person demonstrates that they understand the importance of deadlines.
Example Answer #2
I am extremely organized and skilled at budgeting my time. When I begin a project, I create a timeline for myself that allows me to complete the assignment in a timely manner without taking my work home. However, I understand that sometimes timelines change or issues come up, and I am always willing to take work home with me when that happens.
Why It Works: This candidate uses the question to highlight an important skill. But they also show they’re flexible and will bring work home when it’s necessary.
Example Answer #3
When I begin a new project, I often choose to take work home with me in order to ensure that I complete the project for my client on time. However, maintaining regular time to spend with my family is very important to me, so I try to limit this to the early stages of projects and to urgent matters. I’m very aware of how speedily communications move in this industry. One email can be the difference between landing a pitch or having it go elsewhere. To that end, I try to be very responsive to email on my phone. I do a quick scan of my inbox several times a night when I’m home, and look at my email during my early morning workout, too. I always encourage my team to reach out with urgent matters.
Why It Works: This thoughtful response shows the candidate has assessed a work strategy that’s effective for their work-life balance, while having an awareness of the occasional need to prioritize working after hours or on weekends.
Tips for Giving the Best Response
- Research the company—and the role. Understanding the company’s expectations and needs will help you frame your response.
- Be honest. While you want to appeal to the interviewer, don’t do so at the expense of your own priorities. If you truly cannot—or do not want to—bring work home, give a response that makes that clear to the interviewer.
- Emphasize your time-management skills. A good tactic for dealing with this question is to focus on how you avoid situations where you need to work beyond business hours.
What Not to Say
- Don’t be too negative. Try not to be disparaging about taking work home. This could make you seem lazy or like you’re not a team player. Instead, put a focus on having boundaries in place for your work-life balance.
- Don’t be too vague. If you’re unsure of the company culture, you might want to opt for a middle road. That’s fine, but make sure your response isn’t so vague and generalized that the interviewer can’t get a sense of who you are. If you always check your email when you wake up (or if you never answer emails after 6 pm), it’s OK to own these traits.
Possible Follow-Up Questions
- How do you handle a heavy workload? – Best Answers
- How do you handle stress? – Best Answers
- How do you define success? – Best Answers
• As you frame your response, keep the company and role in mind. Some companies emphasize boundaries between work and home life, while others require employees to be on call.
• Be honest in your response—it’s not worth it to accept a job where people will expect you to work at home if you do not wish to do so.
• No matter how your respond, emphasizing your time management skills is a good idea.
Working From Home
The work-at-home life might seem like a unobtainable fantasy to those who thus far in their careers have found themselves tethered to a workplace. But with some creative thinking, self-reflection and hard work, it is not unobtainable at all if you make it a long-term goal.
If working from home is your goal, then in the short term you need to determine the steps to make it happen. Probably the very first step is consider if you have the personality to work at home. It’s not for everyone. See if you have these 5 essential qualities in a telecommuter.
If you think you do, then it’s time to look at how you could work at home, given career path you have follow thus far and the skills you have acquired along the way. Some people telecommute for an employer; others freelance as a consultant. Starting a home business is another possible path.
All of these possibilities have pros and cons. Read on to see how each might work for you.
Turn Your Current Job into a Telecommuting Job
The logical place to start with what you know best. Think about whether it is feasible turn your current job into a telecommuting position. The answer will depend on the type of work you do and your employer.
Reflect on your job description and consider whether these duties could be done at home. What are potential obstacles? Do you already do some work from home? How could you transition to doing more? Research your company’s policy on telecommuting and network with colleagues to see how much telecommuting happens at your company. Then, put together a telework proposal for your supervisor. See more on how to convince your boss to let you to telecommute.
Find a New Job
If the type of work you do can be done remotely, but either your boss or your company doesn’t look favorably on telecommuting, then it might be time to find a new job. When searching for a new work-at-home job, you can go through the same channels that you might go through to find an in-office job in your career, i.e. local job ads, job sites for your career field and social media. With any of these prospects, you will need to figure out the right way to ask if the position can be telecommuted.
However, in addition career-specific searches, try these 11 sites to find work from home job leads.
Another option, if the work you do can be telecommuted but you were not successful in convincing your company to let you do so, is to become a freelancer or consultant. Depending on your career field, you may be able to begin building a freelancing or consulting business while you are still employed. However, you will have to be careful not to create any conflicts of interest or violate any company policies.
The upside to beginning your consulting business while still working is that it eases the financial strain of the lack of cash flow that is typical for any new business. The downside is that you cannot tap into one of your most likely sources of work–your current employer and/or its clients. Your employer may have said no to you as an employee-telecommuter, but companies may have completely different policies when it comes to independent contractors.
See more on how to .
Start Your Own Business
Like freelancing, starting a home business may allow more flexibility in your schedule than traditional employment, but the start-up costs can be steep and the time before profitability long. That said, starting a home business is a way to strike out and do something completely new. A lack of certain credentials and/or education are not the restraints they might be in other fields. Choosing the right business, researching and creating a smart business plan and a lot of hard work are far more important to your success.
Home businesses run the gamut in terms of investments of time and money. There are ones with relatively small commitments for both, like direct selling products such as Avon. And then there are ones like starting a daycare, which could require remodeling of your house, or purchasing a franchise.
Start a New Career
What do you do when your current career doesn’t lend itself to telecommuting or you’ve grown tired of it, but you are not the entrepreneurial type? Consider a new career.Starting over can mean starting at the bottom, and that could mean a pay cut. However, if your most important priority is to gain the flexibility associated with working at home, then it might be worth it.
To minimize that potential pay cut, look for careers where the skills you picked up in your last job will be valued. At the same time spend some time evaluating what you actually enjoy doing. Start by browsing these 12 careers where you can telecommute to see if any might be a good fit.
Moonlight From Home
All of these ways to work at home will take time to implement (and some will require money too). If you aren’t quite ready to invest the time and money, consider just trying to pick up some extra cash from home.
On the other hand, if you are ready to make a change, sometimes it is just more practical to start slowly. Moonlighting from home can be a way to save a nest egg to start that home business or launch a freelancing career, so that you can work from home full-time someday.
Published: Oct 10, 2018 By Kevin Dickinson
After a day’s work, all you want to do is go home and relax—maybe play with your children or go out to catch up with friends—but your mind just won’t leave the office. You snap at your kids because you’re still fuming about that troublesome client, or you can’t focus on your friends because you keep thinking about that overdue project.
We hear you. Work consumes a significant part of the day, and it can be difficult to completely disengage. There’s always one more task to complete or issue left unresolved, and telling a meticulous person to just let it go is like telling a five-year-old not to pick at a scab. The impulse is far too great.
Need help leaving work at work? Consider the following tips.
Create An End-Of-Day Routine
Establish a system to wrap up the work day. Clean out your inbox, respond to instant messages, and straighten up your desk. Whatever it is you need to do to start the next day right, do it. When everything is done, say or do something that signifies you’re finished. Tell your coworkers goodbye, announce: “That’s a wrap,” or clear your hands over your desk like a blackjack dealer.
Stick to this routine every single day to make it habitual. This will tell your mind work is over and it can finally chill out.
Confine Work To Specific Times And Places
It can be tempting to bring your laptop home to try to get ahead for tomorrow. Resist the urge. By keeping your work at the office, you’ll train your brain to associate work with your desk and the rest of life with everywhere else.
Granted, you’ll sometimes need to take work home with you. To help your brain training stick, designate this work to an at-home office environment. Don’t take it to bed or sneak a peek at your email while out with friends and family.
Have a hard cutoff time for that work, too. Even if you’re working at home, give yourself at least two hours before bed to unwind. By then, you’re probably too tired to be productive anyway, so feel free to leave it until morning.
A major reason we take projects home is those unfinished tasks lingering in the back of our minds. Prevent this by staying focused at work and using good time-management skills. Set goals, plan out your day, limit multitasking, have a clean workspace, and prioritize your work by importance.
Will you complete all of your duties every day? Nope. But you’ll end the day confident that you’ll complete what needs doing tomorrow, making those unfinished responsibilities far less daunting.
Develop Good Smartphone Habits
It’s a technological marvel that people can contact you anytime from anywhere in the world. However, the mores of our always-on, always-connected society suggest you’re required to respond immediately. This makes it more difficult to fully disconnect from work than ever before.
You’ll need good smartphone habits. Let people know you’ll get back to them tomorrow, and eventually they’ll learn to keep communication to business hours. If that doesn’t work, set up your email and text with automatic replies ,and activate them during your off hours. If that doesn’t work, consider just turning the thing off.
Have Someone To Talk To
Your social network doesn’t have to be vast, but it should be solid. Having friends or family you enjoy spending time with will keep your mind in the present moment, not the past. You should also have someone you can talk to about the day’s difficulties and successes. Such a person will help you mentally unpack the work day, so you don’t have to carry it around.
Exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep are vital for keeping work at the office. A study out of the University of Central Florida showed employees who averaged more than 10,000 steps in a day were less likely to bring a bad day home with them.
The reason? People who are healthy are better able to self-regulate their emotions and manage their impulses. People who are sick or tired have difficulty doing both. Staying healthy physically is key to staying healthy mentally, and mental health is the best way to stay mindful on enjoying the present moment and not bringing your work home with you.
Working from home has been a pretty common practice over the past fifteen years or so. It has been accelerated hugely by the recent pandemic, of course. Those working from home have either found it amazing or found it a bit tedious – there hasn’t really been an in-between.
We all have to work. If we want success and we want the best out of this life, then we have to work hard. Life doesn’t have to be gruelling and we don’t have to put in the hardest shifts every single day, but we still have to remain consistent and get things done. If we can do this, then we’ll be okay throughout our years.
How To Make Your Working From Home Life Smoother
For those who feel as though working from home has been a bit of a struggle, there are so many ways you can make it smoother and more productive. It doesn’t have to be strenuous in any way. Whether you’re trying to meet blogging targets or you have a quote to fill from the company you’re working for, life can be simpler. Here are a few things you can do to make the working from home day a lot nicer on the body and mind:
Create A Genuine Plan For Most Things You Do
If you have a plan, it makes work so much easier. A lot of people who WFH tend to sit around for too long – this is especially bad if they’re self-employed. When you’re at work, you know what you have to do and you have people around you to hold you accountable. Make yourself accountable with a plan and an actual roadmap.
Avoid All Distractions Throughout Your Working Day
It’s so easy to become distracted at home because there are so many different distractions that you can face. Lock everything out of your workplace and make sure you are focusing on what’s at hand. If you feel as though the temptation is striking, you could perhaps have mini-breaks – as long as you’re getting things done.
Make Sure You’re Comfortable Where You’re Sitting
This is extremely important because even a small annoyance can ruin your entire way of working. Finding something to make the working day more bearable is essential. The right chair, desk, lighting, etc. will matter so much.
Enhance Your Working Area And Setup
Some people like a boring, plain setup. The majority, however, need to look at a workplace and genuinely feel as though they can get things done in them. Spruce it up. If you do this, then you’ll feel more productive. You’ll also feel as though you MUST get work done after all the work has gone into the actual setup.
Improve Your Digital Equipment And Hardware
If you’re working on a computer a lot of the time from home – which is more than likely – then things can get a little frustrating. This is especially so if you have lots to do and you have old, slow hardware. Even the keyboard can be frustrating if you want a smooth, relaxing session of writing. The likes of Durock v2 Stabilisers can solve this particular problem and make your work feel so smooth. The same can be said for the likes of slow internet or a laptop that has simply had its time and is coming to the end. Get yourself good stuff to work with and it’ll make life so much easier.
Keep Yourself Nourished And Energized
This is a simple point and not really related to work in general but more about general life. If you are hungry, thirsty, or too tired, then it’s going to make every single task feel so much worse. Even the most basic things can feel horrible when you have no energy. Look after yourself because it can seriously affect your work.
Remember Not To Take For Granted Your Situation
You’re in a situation where you don’t have to rush or dress in the perfect attire. You don’t have to panic about getting to work on time. You are at home and comfortable while you do what you have to do. Make sure that you remember this and think about those who are struggling to make it to their jobs. While it may not exactly be for you at times, it’s a pretty privileged position to be in.
Don’t Let Social Media Waste Your Time
In this day and age, it’s very easy to become sucked into something that can be counterproductive to your day. Scrolling on your phone is one thing that is destroying a lot of efficiencies. If you’re working on social media marketing, this can be something that can waste so much time. You might think you’re doing some work, but that one thing pops up – which then leads to another. Put your phone away and stick to the plans you have.
Make Sure You’re Doing Something You Actually Care About
This is quite a deep point, but it’s one that is very important. When you’re working from home – it’s typically on your own and you have nobody around you in the immediate vicinity. This means you will likely have time to think for yourself during the lull points – or when eating your lunch.
Don’t allow yourself to get bogged down or miserable. You also have to make sure you’re not overthinking the job you’re doing. There’s nothing worse than working towards something and being miserable while doing so. If you’re going to be isolated and away from everyone, make sure it’s worth your while and you’re not just doing a job you feel you have to do.
Keep In Constant Communication With Those You’re Working With
Finally, it can be very difficult to concentrate when you know it’s just you – isolated and nobody else around. Working from home allows peace, but it can be frustrating when you run into a little issue. You don’t want to spend all day staring at the same task and not knowing what to do. If you’re self-employed, then get in touch with contacts who can help you.
If you’re working from home as an employee, be sure to speak with your supervisor or any kind of leader. You may be alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it a lonely job. Communication is key to any kind of success, so make sure you aren’t completely left in the dark.
Working from home has made life easier for many people. But easier or more convenient working conditions shouldn’t come at a cost to workers; they should simply be a part of good corporate practice
‘A recent GoodHire study found that 61% of survey respondents would be willing to take a pay cut to maintain remote working status.’ Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA
‘A recent GoodHire study found that 61% of survey respondents would be willing to take a pay cut to maintain remote working status.’ Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA
A fter months of remote work, many Americans are less than thrilled at the prospect of returning to the office. Despite the efforts of many employers and government officials to bring people back into the physical workplace, the last thing many employees who are at home want to do is start commuting again.
What is surprising, though, is just how much some workers are willing to surrender to their employers in order to keep the remote work arrangement going. A recent GoodHire study found that 61% of survey respondents would be willing to take a pay cut to maintain remote working status. Seventy percent of those surveyed also said that they would forfeit benefits like health insurance, paid time off and retirement accounts in order to keep working remotely.
And this isn’t purely hypothetical. The risk of having to make that tough choice is very real, with companies like Google already threatening to cut workers’ pay by up to 25% should they choose to work from home permanently. Still, it’s not hard to see why some workers would be so desperate to keep working from home that they would consider an up to 50% pay cut in some cases.
Aside from reducing the risk of being exposed to Covid-19, remote work gives employees far more flexibility during their work day, a fact that has proven to have no bearing on their productivity. In fact, research has found that productivity is often higher when employees are permitted to work from home. Parents also save a ton of money on before- and after-school childcare, and can free themselves of sometimes long and grueling commutes.
For Black women, staying at home has meant a reprieve from some of the microaggressions that they would typically face in an in-person work environment. Other workers of color have also found it a welcome relief to not have to code-switch or keep up a performance of white-centric “professionalism”.
Aside from the fact that remote work simply makes workers’ lives easier, it seems like it’s just a more sensible alternative for most employers. Companies save serious money in overhead like office space and other administrative costs. And aside from being able to physically monitor their workers during work hours, is there any real reason why bosses have to hover over their employees day in and day out?
Thankfully, many workers are seeing this bigger picture, and choosing to do what’s best for them. According to the GoodHire study, 45% of Americans would either quit their job or immediately start a remote-work job-search if they were forced to return to their office full-time. And it’s already happening. Nearly 4 million Americans quit their jobs this past July, part of what some economists are calling the “Great Resignation”. For some workers, this mass exodus was brought on by the fact that the pandemic caused them to rethink their priorities, perhaps focusing on finding their “dream job” as opposed to the one that simply pays the bills. But for many others, the decision to leave came specifically because they were asked to come back into the office.
This is exactly the kind of defiant thinking that should be applied if workers are forced to decide between coming into the office and taking a pay cut. While I wouldn’t advocate quitting your job in these precarious times, employees should absolutely not take any kind of pay reduction or changes to their benefits package in order to be able to work from home.
From needing to have reliable internet connection, to providing your own supplies, to organizing and cleaning your own workplace, there is a lot that is required of a person who is working remotely.
And with women still responsible for the vast majority of unpaid domestic work worldwide, working from home has meant that they are doing even more parenting alongside work-related duties under the same roof. In one pandemic study, 80% of mothers who were spending more time at home with their kids reported that they are experiencing more stress during the pandemic, with 72% reporting increased anxiety. More than half reported that they are experiencing more frustrations with their kids. With this in mind, the obvious question is: why should women have to pay to do double the amount of work?
Working from home has made life easier for a lot of people. But easier or more convenient working conditions shouldn’t come at a cost to workers; they should simply be a part of good corporate practice.
Being properly organized and prepared for tests and exams can make all the difference to school performance. Effective studying starts with the right attitude—a positive outlook can shift studying from a punishment to an opportunity to learn.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when learning how to effectively study. Studying methods should be tailored to each student. Everyone has different abilities, so it is important to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. (Find out what type of learner you are and which study techniques will work best for you!)
For some students, studying and staying motivated comes easily — others may have to work a little bit harder.
What Is The Most Effective Way To Study?
Finding the best way to study is an ongoing process. It isn’t something that can be left to the night before the test. You should be constantly improving your study skills to better understand what works (and what doesn’t).
Learning how to study better helps avoid panic and frustration the next time a big test is coming up. After all, you are more likely to do well and be less stressed before a test when you have had time to properly review and practice the material!
Mastering effective study habits not only makes it easier to learn but will also help you get better grades in high school and post-secondary.
Discover the 12 secrets to studying effectively that will help you ace your next test.
How To Study Effectively
Carry a homework planner at all times. Entering homework, projects, tests and assignments as soon as they are assigned will make sure they aren’t forgotten about.
Pay attention in class
It’s important to concentrate and avoid distractions when the teacher is speaking. Practice active listening by concentrating on what’s being said and taking notes in your own words. This will help make sure you hear (and understand) what is being taught in class.
Steer clear of distractions
Distractions are everywhere—from cell phones to social media to friends. Be aware of what distracts you in class and know how to steer clear of these distractions. Avoid sitting next to friends if you know they will distract you. Turning off your cell phone will also help make sure you are paying attention to your teacher.
Make sure notes are complete
Writing clear and complete notes in class will help you process the information you are learning. These notes will also become study notes that can be reviewed before a test. Talk to friends or the teacher if you have missed a class to ensure your notes are complete.
Ask questions if you don’t understand
Raise your hand and ask questions if you don’t understand something. If you don’t feel comfortable asking in front of everyone, write yourself a reminder to talk to the teacher after class.
Make a study schedule/plan
When making a study schedule, look at your planner and think about what needs to be accomplished. Think about the types of questions that will be on the test and the topics that will be covered so you know what you should focus on. Set specific goals for each study session, like how many topics you will cover by the end of the session.
Start Studying More Effectively
Get more out of your study sessions with the complete study toolkit
including note taking templates, tips, and more.
Review notes from class every evening
After school, review and expand on the notes from class. Reviewing notes helps move material learned from short-term memory into long-term memory, which will help next time you have a big test.
Talk to teachers
Teachers are there to help you do your best. Talk to your teacher and ask for clarification or extra help if you need it before your test. Taking the initiative to ask for help goes a long way with teachers!
Designate a study area
The best study spot is one that is quiet, well-lit, and in a low-traffic area. Make sure there is a clear workspace to study and write on. Everyone’s needs are different, so it is important you find a spot that works for you.
Study in short bursts
For every 30 minutes you study, take a short 10-15 minute break to recharge. Short study sessions are more effective and help you make the most of your study time. Find out more about taking a study break that works.
Simplify study notes
Make studying less overwhelming by condensing notes from class. Underline or highlight key words. Create visual aids like charts, story webs, mind maps, or outlines to organize and simplify information and help you remember better.
Study with a group
Working with classmates encourages an interactive environment to keep you engaged. This gives you a chance to test your knowledge with others, quiz each other on the content, and help boost each other’s confidence.
Study Smart, Not Hard
Knowing how to study effectively is a skill that will benefit you for life. Developing effective study skills requires lots of time and patience. If you follow these tips you’ll be on your way to discovering which type of studying works best for you—so you can knock your next test out of the park!
Find more study tips by watching our video below
Need some extra help? Oxford Learning is here for you. Get more study tips and learning resources to help you succeed in school:
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Revive was created by LibreVR to play Rift games exclusive to Oculus Home on the HTC Vive.
Revive grabs function calls on their way to the Vive headset and detours them to the Rift. When you’re in your Vive looking at the SteamVR dashboard, you’ll notice a Revive button near the bottom. If you click on it, you can bring up your games in the Oculus Home library.
Before doing anything else, you need to download and install the Oculus app. There is an important process to follow so that you don’t get stuck in a setup loop that requires you to actually have a Rift available — if you have an Oculus Rift, you don’t have to worry as much.
1. Navigate to the Oculus app download page.
2. Click Download Oculus Software
3. Click Save File
5. Click Let’s Go
6. Click Agree
7. Click I Understand
8. Click Next
9. Click Install Now. The required files will now be downloaded
10. Click Next
11. Click Rift
12. Click Next
13. Click Next
14. Click Skip Setup
15. Click Skip Setup
Now that you have the Oculus app installed and set up properly, you need a game or two in your Oculus library.
1. Launch the Oculus app from your Start menu, desktop, or taskbar
2. Click a game you want to purchase and download
3. Click the blue button with a price tag on it
4. Click Add a credit or debit card or click Add your PayPal account. In my case I will add a credit.
5. Type in your information.
6. Click Save
7. Type your PIN
8. Click Purchase
9. Click Install. Your game will begin downloading
10. Click Library when the download is complete
11. Click Finish Install
12. Click Install to complete the installation process
Ensure you go to your library and complete the final two steps once the game has downloaded — if you don’t, the game won’t work with Revive.
Now that you have a game in the Oculus app that you want to play on Vive, it’s time to download and set up Revive.
1. Navigate to the Revive installer page on GitHub.
2. Click ReviveInstaller.exe
3. Click Save
4. Click I Agree
5. Click Next
6. Click Install
7. Click Close
8. Launch SteamVR from the Start menu, desktop, or taskbar. Revive will launch automatically alongside it.
9. Put on your Vive head-mounted display
10. Click the system button on the Vive controller. It is located just beneath the trackpad
11. Click Revive
12. Click an Oculus game you want to play on Vive
The Rift game will open and you can use your Vive to play.
If you can’t see the Revive button below your Vive dashboard when you’re wearing your Vive, take off the headset and follow these steps on your PC.
1. Click the dropdown arrow next to SteamVR
2. Click Settings
3. Click Applications
4. Click Revive Dashboard so that a checkmark appears
Some games that you haven’t downloaded through the Oculus app or through Steam, like the VR-compatible ARK: Survival Evolved, can still be used with Revive.
1. Right-click the Revive tray icon in the bottom-right corner of your taskbar
2. Click Inject
3. Click a standalone game. In this case, I don’t have any installed. Remember, this is only for VR games that were downloaded outside of Steam and the Oculus app.
Steam has a few games that are only available for Oculus Rift. If you want to play one of these games on your Vive after downloading, follow these steps.
1. Right-click the Revive tray icon in the bottom-right corner of your taskbar
2. Click Patch
3. Click a Steam game you want to play on Vive. In this case, I don’t have any installed. Remember, this is only for Oculus-exclusive games downloaded through Steam
When you download a new game through the Oculus app and attempt to launch it through Revive, you might see an error pop up that says Entitlement check failed. In this case, you must restart the Oculus Runtime service.
1. Right-click the Start button
2. Click Search
3. Type services
4. Click Services
5. Right-click Oculus VR Runtime Service
The LibreVR GitHub page contains a long compatibility list of Oculus games that is updated quite frequently. When attempting to get an Oculus Rift game working on your Vive, remember that Revive is a work in progress and won’t always provide a flawless result.
To calculate your monthly take-home salary, you just need some information about your tax situation and payroll deductions.
If you get a new job, knowing your salary is nice, but it’s not necessarily reflective of how much money you’re actually going to bring home. If you know your salary, exemptions, filing status, and other withholdings, you can figure out how much you’ll bring home per month.
First, figure out your after-tax income
Income taxes are much easier to figure out on an annual basis, so let’s start there. The amount of Federal income taxes withheld from your paycheck is based on three factors:
- Your salary (which determines your tax bracket)
- The number of exemptions you claimed on your W-4
- Your filing status (single, married filing jointly, etc.)
First, take your salary and subtract $4,000 for each exemption you claim, as well as your standard deduction amount, as indicated in the table below. Also remember to subtract any pre-tax contributions to retirement accounts you’ll be making.
Married filing jointly
Married filing separately
Head of household
This number is an estimate of your taxable income. From here, you can use the following tax table to figure out approximately how much Federal income tax will be withheld from your paycheck. (Note: I only included single and married filing jointly due to space constraints. You can find full tax tables here.)
If you are a single filer and your taxable income is.
Your Federal income tax will be.
If you are a married joint filer and your income is.
Your Federal income tax will be
10% of your taxable income
10% of your taxable income
$922.50 + 15% of the income over $9,225
$1,845 + 15% of the amount over $18,451
$5,156.25 + 25% of the income over $37,450
$74,901 to $151,200
$10,312.50 + 25% of the amount over $74,900
$90,751 to $189,300
$18,481.25 + 28% of the income over $90,750
$151,201 to $230,450
$29,387.50 + 28% of the amount over $151,200
$189,301 to $411,500
$46,075.25 + 33% of the income over $189,300
$230,451 to $411,500
$51,577.50 + 33% of the amount over $230,450
$411,500 to $413,200
$119,401.25 + 35% of the income over $411,500
$411,501 to $464,850
$111,324 + 35% of the amount over $411,500
$119,996.25 + 39.6% of the income over $413,201
$129,996.50 + 39.6% of the amount over $464,850
Take the amount of your tax and divide by 12 to determine how much will be withheld per month. Also calculate your state taxes, and any local taxes you may be subject to. Each state has a different tax rate (or none at all), and here’s a link from TaxFoundtation.org to help you find yours.
We’re not done with taxes quite yet. Social Security taxes will take 6.2% of up to $118,500 of your salary, and Medicare taxes will take another 1.45%, and is applied to your entire salary, no matter how much it is.
Then, figure out your other payroll deductions
From here, you’ll need to tally up the rest of your deductions, including (but not limited to):
- Your retirement contributions (usually a percentage of your monthly salary)
- Benefits (health/dental/vision insurance, life insurance, etc.)
- Union dues
- Any wage garnishments
Remember to figure all of these amounts on a monthly basis. Many health insurance premiums are quoted on a monthly basis, but it’s worth double-checking all of these amounts, and converting them to monthly figures, if necessary. For example, if you’re a teacher and pay union dues of $20 from each semi-monthly paycheck, be sure to use $40 when adding up your deductions.
Finally, subtract your taxes and deductions from your gross pay
The final step is to take your salary, divide it by 12, and then subtract all of your taxes and payroll deductions. The result of this calculation will be your monthly take-home pay.
If this calculation seems rather complicated, there are payroll calculators online, such as this one (link) that do the math for you. At least you now know where the number on your paycheck is coming from.
To illustrate this, let’s consider an example. Let’s say that you just got a new job with a starting salary of $60,000. For this calculation, we’ll assume you are single, and claim just one exemption. You have agreed to contribute 5% of your salary to your new employer’s 401(k) on a pre-tax basis. So your taxable income is:
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.
Windows 10 includes “Work Access” options, which you’ll find under Accounts in the Settings app. These are intended for people who need to connect to an employer or school’s infrastructure with their own devices. Work Access provides you access to the organization’s resources and gives the organization some control over your device.
These options may seem a bit complicated, but they’re really not. If you need to use Work Access, your organization will give you connection information and explain what you need to do to set things up and gain access to the organization’s resources.
What Are Work Access, Azure AD, and Device Management?
The “Work Access” options are intended for situations where you own your own computer and need to use it to access work or school resources. This is known as a “bring your own device,” or BYOD, scenario. The organization provides an account and various resources to you. These resources can include enterprise apps, certificates, and VPN profiles, for example. You give the organization some control over your device so it can be remotely managed and secured. How much control the organization exerts over your device is up to that specific organization and how its servers are configured.
This is an alternative to joining computers to a domain. Domain-joining is intended for devices an organization owns, while devices owned by employees or students should use Work Access options instead.
There are actually two Work Access options on this screen: Azure AD and Device Management.
- Azure AD: As Microsoft’s Azure documentation explains, Windows 10 allows you to add a “work or school account” to your computer, tablet, or phone. The device is then registered in the organization’s Azure AD server and can be automatically enrolled in a mobile device management system–or not. That part is up to the organization. Administrators can apply different, less-restrictive policies to these personally-owned devices than they would to fully domain-joined employer-owned devices. The account provides single sign-on to work resources and applications.
- Device Management: Azure AD can optionally enroll your device in an MDM, or mobile device management, server. However, you can also directly connect a Windows 10 device to a device management server. The organization that controls the server will then be able to collect information from your computer, control which apps are installed, restrict access to various settings, remotely wipe the device, and do other such things. Organizations also use MDM servers to remotely manage iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, so this allows Windows 10 devices to fit right in.
But you don’t really need to know all that if you need to use Work Access. Your organization will provide information about how to connect. After you connect, your organization can apply the company policies they prefer to your device. You can then access the organization’s resources.
How to Sign In to Azure AD
To sign in to an Azure Active Directory server, open the Settings app, select “Accounts,” select “Your Email and Accounts,” scroll down, and click “Add a Work or School Account” under Accounts Used By Other Apps.
You can also go to Settings > Accounts > Access work or school and click “Add a Work or School Account,” but you’ll just be taken to the Your Email and Accounts screen anyway.
Enter the email address provided by your organization and its password to connect with the Azure AD server. The organization will provide information about accessing any resources and explain what you need to do next.
The account you add will appear as a “Work or School Account” under Accounts Used By Other Apps at the bottom of the Settings > Accounts > Your Email and Accounts screen. You can click or tap the account and disconnectthe account from here, if you need to.
On the Azure AD side, your organization can view your connected device, provide resources to it, and apply policies.
How to Enroll in Mobile Device Management
You can also enroll your device in device management, also known as mobile device management or MDM, from here.
To do so, visit Settings > Accounts > Work Access, scroll down, and select “Enroll in to Device Management.”
Update: In most situations, you will just want to click the “Connect” button on the latest version of this interface. However, there is also an “Enroll only in device management” option under Related Settings.
You’ll be asked to provide the email address you need for the MDM server. You’ll also need to provide the server’s address if Windows can’t automatically discover it. Your organization will provide this server information to you if you need to connect.
Removing a Work or School Account
To remove an account, head to Settings > Accounts > Access work or school, click the account, and select “Disconnect.”
If that doesn’t work, we found another workaround that worked for us:
Head to Settings > Accounts > Your info, select “Sign in with a local account instead,” and follow the process to sign in to your PC with a local account instead of a Microsoft account. After logging back into your PC, head to Settings > Accounts > Access work or school, click the account, and try to remove it again. Once the work or school account is removed, you can head to Setttings > Accounts > Your Info and sign back in with a Microsoft account.
To join a traditional Windows domain instead, if your organization provides one, select “Join or leave an organization” under Related Settings at the bottom of the Work Access pane. You’ll be taken to the Settings > System > About pane where you can join your device to a either a domain your organization hosts or a Microsoft Azure AD domain.
March 18, 2021 | Microsoft News Center
By Guy Partridge
Security Technical specialist – Qatar
In light of current events, most organisations – whether in the public or private sector – have needed to rapidly adopt or expand home working. For some organisations, this has required the use of employee’s personal devices (bring your own device/BYOD policy).
In order to manage the risks associated with BYOD and align to a Zero Trust Architecture we have produced this guidance on how you can use Microsoft technologies to mitigate the risks associated with employee access to systems and services remotely through unmanaged devices.
Improve employee access
Specifically, we’re looking at how you can access Microsoft 365 services in a way that helps you meet your obligations and leverages our Zero Trust features and capabilities. This guidance doesn’t suggest a BYOD policy is a single, one-stop solution. It does, however, draw on the broad experience across the government industry and draws heavily on already existing zero trust best practices.
The controls described in this document aim to help you understand why the specific security controls are used. It also provides step-by-step configuration guidance which your IT team can use to quickly set up and manage access to your data from personal devices. This allows organisations to understand how the features and capabilities in Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Intune, and Microsoft 365 can be used as part of a zero trust architecture.
These factors all come together to ensure employees can securely access their work while keeping your organisation’s data secure on personal devices. It helps employees stay productive and collaborate together securely, no matter what device they are using.
Good, better, best blueprint for your BYOD policy
To support this effort, we’ve created a blueprint. This blueprint has been developed to support the use of BYOD scenarios where organisations are not able to provide corporate laptops or mobile devices.
The technical controls that are described in this document have been grouped into three categories, good, better, and best. The rationale for the groupings is described below:
- Forms the minimum level of configuration that all organisations should meet.
- Available with Microsoft 365 E3 license.
- Can be implemented using simple configuration tasks.
- Browser-based access for PC and Mac.
- Approved apps for mobile devices.
- MFA and Restricted Session Controls in Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
- Forms the level that organisations should aspire to.
- Available with Microsoft 365 E5.
- Might require more complex configuration tasks.
- More flexible and granular control of user policies, session controls using Microsoft Cloud app.
- Lower residual risk than Good pattern.
- Browser-based access for PC and Mac.
- Approved apps for Mobile Devices.
- Utilises Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) to provide a solution that matches as closely as possible the same experience of working in the office on corporate IT, from any device.
- With good management it significantly reduces the unmanaged surface by providing a virtualised corporate desktop for home workers, utilising their personal computing device.
- Lowest risk approach compared to Good and Better patterns.
So which BYOD policy route is right for you?
The decision flow above aims to help you determine which of the patterns you should use. For example, if an organisation has Microsoft 365 E5 licenses, then the control used in the Better or Best solutions will provide a lower residual risk and therefore should be used over the Good solution.
Reduce your risk security posture with BYOD
Having a strong BYOD policy aligned to zero trust improves barriers to work for your remote workforce. It also enables them to be able to connect, work, and meet together online no matter where they are, securely.
For your IT team, this guide provides thorough step-by-step instructions to set up BYOD controls while helping manage security. This means they can implement these controls across your digital estate quickly and remotely.
By using the guidance, you can enable your organisation to move to a lower risk security posture when utilising BYOD.
‘Where is my office anyway?’ As COVID recedes, remote workers prepare to head back
Heidi Brooks, senior lecturer in organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, points to the chair she discovered was missing from her office on campus. Then she remembered it’s been in her home office since she brought it home at the start of the pandemic. Valerie Small hide caption
Heidi Brooks, senior lecturer in organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, points to the chair she discovered was missing from her office on campus. Then she remembered it’s been in her home office since she brought it home at the start of the pandemic.
Heidi Brooks, a senior lecturer at the Yale School of Management, was thrilled last week to teach in person for the first time in two years.
But the trip to campus for the two hour class on everyday leadership ate up much of her day, and not because of her commute.
“I had to go to my office, I had to walk across campus. I had to figure out a parking situation. ‘Where is my office, anyway?'” she thought to herself.
And then upon arrival, the worst: Her office chair was missing. Who’d taken it?
It turns out — she had. It was sitting in her home office.
Are you over the pandemic? We want to hear about your worries or hopes
Long-delayed return-to-office plans are finally being implemented
According to a Gallup survey, 26% of full-time workers were still working exclusively from home as of December 2021.
Nearly two years into the pandemic, some of those workers are finally heading back in, at least a couple days a week. Companies whose earlier plans to bring workers back were thrown off by delta and omicron are now announcing new return-to-the-office dates. For example:
- Microsoft says it will fully reopen its facilities in Washington state and the San Francisco Bay Area on Feb. 28 and expects employees to “adopt the working preferences they’ve agreed upon with their managers” within 30 days.
- The Social Security Administration is aiming to reopen its customer service offices in early April.
- Ford says its campuses will welcome additional corporate team members back on-site in April.
- Wells Fargo has announced a flexible hybrid model starting March 14, with most employees coming in three days a week.
As companies look to bring remote workers back to the office, a writer asks: Why?
But the workplaces employees return to won’t be the same places they left two years ago, says Brooks, who also works as a consultant on workplace issues. Work flows have changed. Expectations have changed. Your team probably looks different from how it looked two years ago.
“What does it mean to be part of a team if I’ve never actually met them before? And what does it mean to actually have a shared experience?” she asks.
Wells Fargo announced that employees who have been working remotely for nearly two years will return to the office on March 14, 2022, on a flexible hybrid schedule. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption
Wells Fargo announced that employees who have been working remotely for nearly two years will return to the office on March 14, 2022, on a flexible hybrid schedule.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The return to the office means bringing back the commute and human interaction
For Lesley Gantt, who works in brand marketing for Wells Fargo, returning to the office means the return of a commute several times a week. But it’s a sacrifice she’s happy to make for what she will gain back: physically seeing people.
“You get in in the morning, and you grab your best friend at work and go have coffee and get ready for the day,” she says.
But from there, the day may look very different from the past. Wells Fargo employees will no longer have assigned desks. They’ve been replaced with “neighborhoods” of offices and desks with rotating residents, depending on who comes in on what days.
Architect behind Googleplex now says it’s ‘dangerous’ to work at such a posh office
“That’s going to be a huge learning curve, just getting used to that openness,” says Gantt.
Still, Gantt knows the transition will be easier for her than others. She doesn’t have children. She doesn’t have a pet at home who’s used to having her around all day. Her husband, who will continue to work from home, is excited to have the whole house to himself.
Moreover, during the pandemic, she moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Greenville, South Carolina, to be closer to her mother. It’s a five-minute drive from her new home to Wells Fargo’s Greenville offices.
She recognizes not everyone will have it so easy.
“It would be naive to to say everyone’s going to be excited,” says Gantt. “That’s the human nature. Nothing is 100%, everybody’s on board.”
She’s grateful that Wells Fargo, among many employers, is giving workers the flexibility to continue working remotely part-time.
The everyday office experience may feel unfamiliar
For many remote workers, productivity soared in the pandemic. People no longer had to spend the time getting to and from work or even to and from meetings.
“The pandemic just underscored that we basically could work all of the time,” says Brooks.
Productivity expectations may need to be reset as workers relearn how to do basic things, including interacting with one another.
Shots – Health News
If you’re finding this stage of the pandemic especially confusing, you’re not alone
“We have to remember how to go back to what we thought was our everyday experience, but it’s not feeling so familiar anymore,” Brooks says.
As workers transition back to the office, Brooks hopes companies will take the time to check in with workers periodically and to keep their well-being a top priority, even after the public health crisis is over.
“Now’s the perfect moment. We’re returning. We’re changing. We’re shifting. We’re hopefully learning,” says Brooks. “I think we might be able to return to a better office than we had before.”
What are the requirements for getting a work permit, also known as working papers, if you’re a minor (someone under the age of 18)? Working papers are legal documents that certify a minor can be employed. These papers are categorized into two types: employment certificates and age certificates.
What is a Work Permit?
There are two types of work permits for minors. If you need one to get hired will be determined by the law in your state. Employment certificates (example) include the minor’s age and proof of eligibility to work. An age certificate provides documentation that the minor meets the minimum age requirements to be hired.
Documentation requirements for the employment of minors are established by each state’s department of labor. You can find the details for your state on the Department of Labor’s Employment/Age Certificate chart.
There are no federal requirements that mandate minors get working papers before starting employment, but some states require them. If they are required in your state, you’ll need to provide them to an employer before you can start work.
Federal law does set guidelines for when minors can work, as well as for what jobs they can do. The rules vary based on the age of the minor and the job they would be working.
Review the minimum age requirements, how to get a work permit, where to get working papers, and what information you’ll need to provide to get certification to work.
What is the Minimum Age for Work?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that 14 is the minimum age for most (nonagricultural) work. Exceptions include jobs such as babysitting, chores, delivering newspapers, and a few others. The number of hours per week you can work is limited based on your age. Those hours vary based on school days, school weeks, and between June 1 and Labor Day.
The FLSA also bans minors from certain occupations considered hazardous, such as coal mining, using balers and compactors, roofing work, operating certain power-driving machines, and more.
Additionally, many states have their own child labor laws with higher minimum ages than the FLSA. In these cases, the higher minimum age always applies. Consult your state department of labor for more information about child labor laws in your area.
When You Need a Work Permit
Depending on where you live, you may need a work permit before you can start a job. Some states require work permits for those younger than 16, while others require them for anyone younger than 18. Some states don’t require them at all.
The best place to find out if you need working papers is your school guidance office or your state department of labor website.
If you need working papers, the counselors can either give you the form you will need to complete or tell you where to get it.
How to Get Working Papers
If you find out you need working papers, you may be able to get these from your school guidance office. You can also get them through your state department of labor by visiting the office, searching their website, or calling or emailing the office.
This list of State Labor Laws: Employment/Age Certificates explains whether or not your state requires certification and if you can get that certification from your school, your state department of labor, or both.
What Documentation is Required?
Requirements vary from state to state, but in general, here’s what you will need to get a work permit and to get it approved:
- Obtain working papers/certificate application from your school or state department of labor.
- Obtain a certificate of physical fitness from your doctor. You may need to have had a physical within the last year.
- Bring the completed application with proof of age (copy of birth certificate, a school record, school identification, driver’s license, or another document that lists your age) to either your school or state department of labor.
- A parent or guardian probably will need to accompany you to submit the papers and sign the application. They also may need to accompany you to obtain the papers.
- Each certificate varies, but generally, you will be asked to give information such as your full name, date of birth, grade completed, and your parents’/guardians’ names.
- Often, the certificate will expire after a certain period of time. Most are valid for about one year.
- If you misplace your working papers, you can request a duplicate copy from the office that issued it.
Tips for Working Minors
Before you start a job search, learn what you’ll need to do in order to be hired. If you prepare in advance, the hiring process will be easier and you’ll be able to start work sooner.
A home equity loan, also known as a second mortgage, enables you as a homeowner to borrow money by leveraging the equity in your home. The loan amount is dispersedВ in one lump sumВ and paid back in monthly installments. The loan is secured by your property and can be used to consolidate debt or pay for large expenses, such as home improvements, education or purchasing a vehicle. Both the interest rate and monthly payments are fixed, ensuring a predictable repayment schedule.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions.
Are there closing costs on a home equity loan?
Although some lenders charge fees for home equity loans, at U.S. Bank, there are no upfront fees or closing costs.
How much equity do you have in your home?
Your equity is the share of your home that you own versus what you owe on your mortgage. For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and you have a mortgage balance of $150,000, then you have equity of $150,000, or 50 percent.
How long do you have to repay a home equity loan?
YouвЂ™ll make fixed monthly payments until the loan is paid off. Most terms range from five to 20 years, but you can take as long as 30 years to pay back a home equity loan.
Can you sell your house if you have a home equity loan?
You donвЂ™t have to pay off your home equity loan or other liens to list your home for sale. At the saleвЂ™s closing, creditors holding liens on your homeвЂ™s title will be paid off from the proceeds of the sale.
Is the interest on a home equity loan tax deductible?
The interest cost on a home equity installment loan may be tax deductible, but it is always wise to check with your tax advisor for details.
- Apply Now
- Call 800-642-3547
- Request a call
- Chat with a banker
Compare rates and payments for a variety of home equity options.
At one point or another, you’re bound to run into this pesky issue: you can see an application open in the taskbar, but can’t see the window on your desktop. A number of things can cause this, such as disconnecting your laptop from a secondary display before dragging the windows back to the primary desktop. It can also occur when you open a program that alters your resolution, among a few others.
Restarting your PC may not be viable, because the inaccessible program window could contain unsaved data — not to mention that it’s never fun to reboot without a good reason. There are a couple of tricks to get your stray window back on screen.
For Windows 10
From the taskbar select the application you’re having problems with. The program’s window will be “active” but out of view for now.
Leverage Windows 10’s Snap Assist capabilities by using one of these two keyboard shortcuts:
- Snap a window left / right: Windows key + Arrow key left / right
- Snap a window to a quadrant: Windows key + Up or Down (after moving left or right)
You can also select a different application’s window, snap it left or right (first shortcut above), which will trigger Snap Assist’s app split screen view, letting you select a second window to be snapped on the second half of the screen. You can select the stray window there, and bring it back to life in two keystrokes.
As you can see on the screenshot below, I have snapped Opera browser on the right, and the rest of my open windows are shown on the left.
If that doesn’t work. Use the screen resolution trick:
Right-click on the desktop, choose “Display settings.” Scroll down to the resolution setting, and change your display’s resolution to a lower value temporarily. That will force a window rearrange and the lost window should be back on display. Before changing the resolution back to its previous setting, manipulate the window (maximize or resize), then go back to normal.
Get it back on Windows 7/8
Bring the troubled window to focus by clicking on it in the taskbar (or Alt+Tab). Now you can simply hold the Windows key on your keyboard and tap the arrow keys. With any luck, your missing window will snap back into view.
If that doesn’t work, you can use another keyboard trick: Select the application window by clicking on it in the taskbar, then tap Alt + Space, which will open a menu on the missing window. Obviously you won’t be able to see the menu, but can still interact with it. Tap “M” on your keyboard to select “Move” on the menu, and then use the keyboard arrow keys to reposition the window back to your desktop.
If all else fails, right-click on your taskbar and select “Cascade windows”.
For earlier versions of Windows (Vista, XP)
Right-click on the program in your taskbar and choose “Move”. Now use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the window. You can also right-click on your taskbar and choose “Cascade windows”, which will automatically stack your windows in an overlapping pile.
Have another method of bringing a lost window back into view? Share it in the comments.
This Work from Home Policy template can be tailored to your company’s needs and is designed as a starting point for establishing employment policies on working from home. This sample policy should be modified according to your company’s specific values. A Work from Home Policy may also be referred to as a Telecommuting Policy or Home-Based Work Policy.
Policy brief & purpose
We designed our work from home policy to make sure that working from home is beneficial to our employees and company.
This company work from home policy applies to all our employees who prefer working from home.
Are employees allowed to work from home?
Employees are allowed to work from home only if their job duties permit it. For example, people who are obliged to come in direct physical contact with customers are not eligible to telecommute under this policy. But, employees who carry out most of their work on a computer can occasionally work off-site.
Employees work from home or telecommute when they complete their work at a place located outside of our company’s premises. They may work from home:
- On certain days
- Everyday, dividing their schedule between being present at the office and working from a remote location.
Work from home arrangements can be occasional, temporary or permanent.
Reasons that could demand telecommuting include but are not limited to:
- Bad weather
- Medical reasons
- Work-life balance
- Overlong commute
DEI in the workplace is easy to support, but hard to implement.
How to determine whether an employee can work from home
We advise both employees and managers to consider these elements before asking/approving work from home:
- Is the employee eligible by nature of their job?
- Are there any cybersecurity and data privacy concerns?
- Will collaboration with the employee’s team become difficult?
- Do employees have the necessary equipment or software installed at home?
- What are the conditions of employees’ home or alternative place of work (noise, internet connection etc.)
Requesting Work from Home Procedure
When employees plan to work from home, this procedure must be followed:
- Employees file a request through email or a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) at least [two days] in advance.
- Their managers must approve their request considering all elements we mentioned above.
- If the work from home arrangement spans for more than a week, managers and team members should meet to discuss details and set specific goals, schedules and deadlines.
Employees who need to work from home for unforeseen reasons (e.g. illness or temporary difficult commute) should file their request as soon as possible, so managers can consider and approve it.
Time Zone difference
Sometimes, managers and their team members are in a different time zone. When employees need to work from home for unforeseen reasons, they may not be able to get their request approved in time. In this case, they may stay to work from home and notify the HR department. We advise employees to check in with their managers as soon as their manager clocks in.
Compensation and benefits
Usually, work from home arrangements don’t affect employees’ employment terms. If working from home has any effect on compensation and benefits, then HR is responsible to create a new contract.
Pros, Cons and Steps to Opening a Catering Business from Home
Do you enjoy cooking for others? Are you the go-to person to cook for family events and holidays? You can turn that passion into profits by starting a home-based catering business.
Overview of a Catering Service Business
While there is no surefire recipe for a successful home catering service business, a dash of culinary skills, determination, and grace under fire can go a long way. Catering businesses can be run from home full or part-time, and earn between $30,000 and $80,000 a year, according to Shmoop.
You can start small, catering events you can manage on your own or with a couple of helpers to see if a catering business is really something you want to pursue. Start-up costs depend much on how big you want to start, your state’s requirements for selling food made from home, and what you already own to help you get started. On average, you can expect to invest $10,000 to $50,000 to get started, according to Entrepreneur.com. But if you start with small events, you should be able to open your business for less.
Many catering start-ups succeed by conquering a niche; focusing on a particular food and/or certain kinds of events to keep overhead low and advertising focused. For instance, if you’re expertise is in kosher food, you’d focus on Jewish events such as Bar Mitzvah, and promote through Jewish publications and other sources Jewish people would read. Other niche markets include family reunions, business or non-profit parties and events, and weddings.
Pros and Cons of a Catering Service Home Business
It’s the perfect job for amateur chefs.
It provides opportunity to advertise on the job — potential customers are eating your food.
The top 50 US caterers generate less than 15% percent of the industry revenue, according to a Business Wire article, meaning there’s room for small operations.
You can start small and grow, or stay small.
You can start part-time, working only weekends, and then expand to full-time as you get clients.
A bad meal can generate bad word of mouth.
Clients might make unreasonable demands or be difficult to work with.
Mishandled food can guests sick, creating potential liability issues.
Catering businesses require a great deal of organization and planning skills, plus a commitment to being on time. People are expecting you to bring food and service it. You can’t not show up if you plan to have a successful business.
What You Need to Get Started in a Catering Service Home Business
Before you jump into a catering business, you should decide a few things:
- Will you focus on a specific type of food or event? For example, will you just do cocktail parties?
- Will you cook on the client’s premises or cook at home and deliver the meal? This could mean buying special equipment to keep the food warm or cold during transport.
- Does your state allow you to cater from home, and if so, do you need any special inspections or permits? Contact your state’s occupational licensing agency or health department to find out what you need to do to be approved to operate a home-based catering business.
Once you’ve determined the above, you should gather needed equipment and supplies. Most states that allow home-based catering have specific rules about food handling. For example, you may need to have a set of cooking utensils, pots, pans, servers, etc that are used for business only and not from your personal kitchen. The same may be true for food ingredients. In some cases, you might be required to have an entire separate kitchen.
How to Start a Home Based Catering Business
If you’re ready to start cooking, here are the steps to starting your home-based catering business.
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Emily Roberts. Â© The Balance 2019
- Decide what type of catering you want to do.
- Contact your state occupational licensing or health department to learn what permits you need and any laws you need to abide by.
- Set up your business structure. To protect your personal assets from the business, consider setting up a limited liability company. Or, if you’re working with someone else, set up a partnership. You’ll need to name your business before setting up your business structure and getting licenses.
- Contact your city or county about obtaining a business license and obtain liability insurance to protect your business if someone gets sick.
- Write a detailed business plan.
- Marketing plan and materials.
- Create your menu. You can make your life easier by having a set list of items from which clients can mix and match to create their event menu.
- Buy professional cookware, dishware, utensils and other food-preparation and serving tool.
- Contact vendors to obtain your food and supplies wholesale. Give them flyers so they can promote your business to their customers.
- Develop a system for collecting and responding to testimonials and referrals.
- Consider offering discounts for referrals.
Breasts can be pleasurable to play with for the one doing the playing and the breast-haver alike. Some people can even have orgasms from breast play alone. Others need breast play in combination with genital stimulation.
Here’s your field guide to the breast.
But first: Not everyone loves breast play
Like any other sexual act, consent is important when it comes to breast play. Keep in mind that some people may not want you to play with their breasts. For some people, it’s a matter of personal preference; for others, it’s a gender identity issue. Trans and genderqueer folks may not want their breasts touched.
You can and should as your partner directly what they feel comfortable with, or you can start slow by tracing your hand across their shoulders and collarbone area. If they tense up or move your hand away, move on to other parts of the body.
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Be sensitive to timing
Be aware that breast sensitivity can change throughout the month. There will probably be certain points during the menstrual cycle where they feel much more sensitive than usual. There may even be times when they are too sensitive for any sort of breast play. Don’t be surprised if your partner needs different things from you at different times.
Breasts also change a lot after a person has given birth and while breastfeeding. They may not want any breast contact for a while, or may need you to be much more gentle than usual.
No honking please
We’re all unique when it comes to how we like our bodies to be touched, but there are few sexual acts more universally despised than the breast honk. I have never met anyone who enjoyed having their breasts squeezed this way (especially not as sexual initiation ). Please don’t treat your partner’s breasts like old-fashioned horns.
The same goes with kneading. It just doesn’t feel good for most women. Remember Jon Hamm’s breast play move on Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids? If you haven’t seen it, it’s the perfect example of lackluster kneading. Don’t pull that move.
In general, breast sensitivity comes from the skin, not from the fat of the breast itself. So honking, kneading, and squeezing don’t typically feel as great as stroking and kissing. These moves also neglect the nipple, which tends to be the most sensitive part of the breast (more on this later).
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Work with clothing
You don’t need to be in a rush to unclothe your partner’s breasts. Breast play can feel pleasurable even through clothing, and it can also be a nice way to tease them. Rub their breasts over their shirt. To evoke a sense of teenage nostalgia, put your hands up their shirt and play with their breasts over the bra. Once you get their shirt off, touch the parts of the breasts that the bra doesn’t cover, gliding your fingertips along the top edge of the bra.
Take your time
Even once you’ve gotten your partner’s clothes off, you can still take your time teasing them. Spend some time tracing their collarbone with your finger, then kissing along it. Touch and kiss along the sides of the breasts, without going straight for the nipple.
Pay attention to the underboob and sideboob
Most people tend to squeeze the entire boob, or focus on just the nipple. That’s a shame, because the underboob and side boob can both be exquisitely sensitive. I’m talking about the areas where the breast meets the ribcage. As the names imply, the underboob is the lower part of the breast, and the sideboob is the outer edge (the side near the armpit).
This area tends to respond best to delicate touch. Very gently trace a fingertip along this sensitive curve. Start at the outer edge and slowly work your way around to the middle of the chest. You can also do this with your tongue, or with light kisses.
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All nipples are unique
Nipples are sort of like clitorises: some people can hardly stand direct contact, while others need very firm pressure. As with the clitoris, it’s best to err on the side of being too gentle, then work your way up to more pressure. Start off by lightly stroking the nipple and circling the areola (the flat section around the pointy nipple). If your partner pushes their body towards you or makes a lot of noise, try gradually increasing pressure. Or just ask, “Do you want more?”
If they wants more intensity, try gently pinching the nipples between your thumb and forefinger. Slowly increase the pressure, and ask them to tell you when it’s too much. Or you can try pulling on the nipples: Cup a breast in your hand and pull on the nipple with your thumb and forefinger, pulling the breast further away from the ribcage. You can also gently twist the nipples—but be careful with this move, as it’s pretty intense.
Get your mouth involved
Get your lips, tongue, and teeth involved as well as your hands. You can lick, suck, and nibble on the breasts. Try licking the curve from sideboob to underboob, or sucking or nibbling on the nipples. You can also get some temperature play involved by licking a breast then lightly blowing onto the moistened area.
If your partner likes a lot of pressure, try sucking and biting on their nipples. Again, start off gentle, and gradually increase the pressure until you find what works.
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Bring in the toys
You can use vibrators or feather ticklers to create new sensations on the breasts. Even running a silk tie or scarf over the breasts can feel great. If your partner likes more intense nipple play, you can buy nipple clamps or suckers. You can also try blindfolding your partner, and touching their breasts with different toys or materials. Not knowing what’s coming can be a wildly intense experience. Or try using use lube or massage oil to help your hands really slide around on their breasts.
Ask your partner to touch them
Another way you can learn what your partner likes is to ask them to touch their own breasts. This can be especially hot while you’re in the middle of another activity, like intercourse or fingering. Watch the specific ways your partner touches their own body, and try to get a sense of how much pressure is involved.
This article was originally published in 2017 and updated on Nov. 3, 2020 to incorporate gender neutral language and align the content with current Lifehacker style.
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She’s been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business. Read more.
The Quick Launch bar was introduced in Windows XP, and sat on the far left side of the Taskbar next to the Start button. It provided a quick and easy way to access programs and your desktop.
In Windows 7, the Quick Launch bar was removed from the Taskbar, but it’s still available in Windows 7, 8, and 10 if you know how to add it back. Why would you want the Quick Launch bar back when you can pin programs to the Taskbar? The Quick Launch bar also contains the Show Desktop feature, which is a more obvious place than that small rectangle on the far right side of the Taskbar (especially in Windows 8 and 10). Maybe you prefer to use a more old-school, ungrouped taskbar with shortcuts on the side. In any case, we’ll show you how to add the Quick Launch bar to the Taskbar in Windows 10, but this will also work in Windows 7 and 8.
To add the Quick Launch bar back to the Taskbar, right-click on an open area of the Taskbar, and go to Toolbars > New Toolbar.
Copy and paste the following path into the box at the top of the On the New Toolbar – Choose a folder dialog box and press Enter.
Then, click the “Select Folder” button.
You’ll see the Quick Launch toolbar on the Taskbar, but it’s on the right. The original Quick Launch bar was on the left next to the Start button, so we’ll move it to the left side of the Taskbar.
To move the Quick Launch bar, you’ll first need to unlock the Taskbar. To do this, right-click on an empty part of the Taskbar and select “Lock the taskbar” from the popup menu. When the Taskbar is unlocked, there is no check mark next to the option.
Click and drag the two vertical dotted lines on the left side of the Quick Launch bar to the left side of the Taskbar. You’ll find you can’t drag past the Windows Store, File Explorer, and Edge icons. But, if you want to get the Quick Launch bar right next to the Start button, we can solve that.
While the Taskbar is still unlocked, you’ll see two vertical dotted lines to the left of the Windows Store, File Explorer, and Edge icons. Click and drag those lines to the right of the Quick Launch bar. Now, the only icons between the Quick Launch bar and the Start button are the Cortana or Search icon and the Task View button. If you want the Quick Launch bar right next to the Start button, you can hide the Cortana icon and the Task View button.
The original Quick Launch bar had an icon and no text. There is no icon on this version of the Quick Launch bar, just the title “Quick Launch”, but you can hide the title if you want. To do that, right-click on the vertical dotted lines and select “Show title” to uncheck the option.
When the “Quick Launch” title is hidden, at least the first item on the Quick Launch menu displays on the Taskbar. You can move the vertical dotted lines to change the width of the Quick Launch bar on the Taskbar and show more than one item from the menu on the Taskbar. If you want to hide the Quick Launch title and show some items from the menu on the Taskbar, you might also want to remove the text from the items, so they will take up less space. To remove the text from the menu items, right-click again on the vertical dotted lines and select “Show Text” to uncheck the option.
Below is an example of the Quick Launch bar with no title and no text on the one item showing on the Taskbar.
Once you’ve set up the Quick Launch bar the way you want, lock the Taskbar again by right-clicking on any empty space on the Taskbar and selecting “Lock the taskbar” from the popup menu. When the Taskbar is locked, there is a check mark next to the “Lock the taskbar” option on the menu.
We decided to keep the “Quick Launch” title, and only have the Quick Launch bar be wide enough to show the title on the Taskbar. And, we hid the Cortana button and the Task View button, so the Quick Launch bar is right next to the Start button. Click the double-arrow button to access the Quick Launch menu.
If you decide you don’t want the Quick Launch bar on the Taskbar anymore, simply right-click on any empty space on the Taskbar and go to Toolbars > Quick Launch. The Quick Launch bar is removed from the Taskbar.
Note that when you remove the Quick Launch bar from the Taskbar, it’s also removed from the Toolbars submenu. If you want to add the Quick Launch bar to the Taskbar again, you will have to follow the steps in this article again.
First, reflect on what you want. Is there a job you covet or do you wish to create a new role? Do you want to move up—or might a lateral move interest you? Answering these questions helps you position your request. Second, build a case. Prepare a memo that outlines your strengths, recent successes, and impact. Next, talk to your boss and make your intentions clear. Beware that asking for a promotion is rarely a one and done discussion; rather, it’s a series of ongoing conversations. Your objective is to plant the seed and then nurture that seed over time. Finally, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get what you want right away. Continue to do good work and look for ways to elevate the level at which you operate.
Make your case, and then be patient.
Asking for a promotion can be nerve-wracking. But when you think you’re ready for the next step, it’s important to say so. How do you prepare for that conversation with your boss? What information should you have at the ready? And how exactly do you make your case?
What the Experts Say
“Asking for a promotion makes you feel vulnerable,” says Sabina Nawaz, the global CEO coach, leadership keynote speaker, and writer. “You’re not in control; you’re putting yourself in the hands of your manager to be judged — and you might be judged not worthy.” You may fret that you’ll be “bugging your boss” or come across as greedy and “self-serving.” But, to advance in your career, you’ll need to learn to advocate for yourself, says Joseph Weintraub, the founder and faculty director of the Babson Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program. “You can’t assume that the organization will take care of you just because you do a good job,” he says. “There is a degree of self-promotion that’s needed.” Put simply: “if don’t you ask, you don’t get.” Here are some pointers on how to make the request.
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The first step in the process, is to think through what you want, Weintraub says. “Do you want more power? More money? More managerial responsibility?” Is there already a position you covet, or do you wish to “create a new role”? Do you want to move up — or might a lateral move interest you? It’s also important to “think about your skill set and how it aligns with the objectives of the organization,” he says. This will help you position your promotion request in a way that connects to broader strategic goals.
Do some research.
It’s smart to gather outside intelligence too, says Nawaz. “The more senior you get, the more likely it is that your promotion is not the sole decision of your manager,” she notes. “Your manager’s peers have input as well.” She recommends, “soliciting feedback from a personal board of directors” on your strengths and weaknesses, and speaking to peers to try to “gauge your institutional reputation.” The past is precedent. Find out how others successfully pressed their cases for promotion. This might help you uncover effective strategies. Also ask your colleagues how they perceive your promotion readiness. Remember: when it comes to granting your request, “it’s not just the business results [that matter.] You have to be someone that people are willing to follow.”
Build your case.
Once you’ve clarified exactly what you’re looking for, build a compelling case for why you deserve to move up. This is particularly important if you’re asking to advance ahead of your organization’s promotion cycle. Be prepared for a “what-have-you done-for-me-lately mentality,” says Nawaz. She recommends preparing a one- or two-page memo that “clearly outlines your proven track record.” The memo’s bullet points ought to “provide concrete metrics of the impact you’ve had,” descriptions of “solutions you’ve delivered” and financial outcomes for which you’ve been responsible. It might also include “data from other divisions or consumer or employee surveys” that point to your success. “You’re trying to prove that you’re already working at the level you’re asking to be promoted to,” she says. Weintraub also recommends thinking about “who your successor might be” at this stage and figuring out how to champion that colleague. Show your manager that “you’re working hard to develop someone else,” he says. “This not only showcases your leadership capabilities; it will also relieve your boss to know that there is someone who can fill your shoes.”
There’s no perfect time to ask for a promotion, but you should be savvy about when you make the request, says Weintraub. Obviously, the week after a round of layoffs at the company or the day your team loses a key client aren’t ideal. Instead, ask “after something good has happened.” Perhaps you’ve just signed a major new deal or your company announced a solid earnings quarter. Nawaz agrees. “When there’s a lot of churn happening, it might be the best thing to jump in, roll up your sleeves, and simply do the work to stabilize the organization.” On the other hand, don’t be lulled into complacency. If your promotion will help the company achieve its objectives, you should press on.