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Tips for Avoiding Distractions in the Home Office

Posted by Trish Lomonosov on Jun 28, 2018

Topics: Virtual Workforce, Home Office


By Trish Lomonosov, Senior Analyst/Planner

You’ve finally done it. After years of making the case that you could be just as productive – if not more so – from a home office, your boss has finally agreed. A great deal of your argument rested on the fact that there are fewer distractions in a home office. In a traditional office, a steady stream of coworkers stops in to chat every time a random thought pops into their head. Thoughts like, “Did you cry your eyes out during This is Us last night?” or “I hear polyester is coming back!” Your lunch buddies start tossing around the day’s options mid-morning. Salad? Sandwiches? Get crazy and eat sushi on a Tuesday? And then there are THE MEETINGS! Meetings that take place just because that’s what people who work in an office do. Whether it makes sense or not, they meet. Who needs all the distractions!??

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Home Office Design Tips from The Brady Bunch? Groovy!

Posted by Alison Jones on Apr 12, 2018

Topics: Home Office, home office design




By Alison Jones, Lead Consultant

My earliest memory of the home office comes from The Brady Bunch. Those of us old enough to remember this show (to be clear, I am barely old enough) will recall Mike Brady’s workspace nestled into a corner of the family’s den. A swing-arm lamp hovered over his drafting table, complete with architectural renderings and drawing implements. The den also included a love seat, fireplace, and leather club chairs. Now that’s my idea of a home office!

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What Remote Employees Can Do to Build Trust with Their Managers

Posted by Keith Fentress on Feb 22, 2018

Topics: Telework, remote manager, Telecommuting Policy, Home Office

By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

The foundation of any work relationship is trust. It used to be that your manager would give you assignments and, if you performed well, you would earn greater trust. Over time, you would be given more responsibility. This responsibility often came with more autonomy – the ability to make your own decisions about your work with less oversight. Gaining more autonomy has long been a key employee motivator. With the rise of remote work, autonomy takes on a whole new meaning. Instead of something that is earned through building trust, it now must be given automatically to remote employees.

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Confessions of a Home Office Worker's Daughter

Posted by Sierra Fentress on Feb 1, 2018

Topics: Virtual Workforce, Telecommuting Policy, Home Office


By Sierra Fentress, daughter of Keith Fentress (President, Fentress Inc.)

I was prompted to write this blog per my father’s request, and being a 17-year-old high school senior, I figure now is as good a time as ever to get published somewhere (even if it is only via my dad’s company blog). So, I am here to tell you all what you’ve clearly been dying to know: what is it like to be the child of a parent who works from home? I hope you enjoy.

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Flexible Workplaces – A Great Recruiting Tool

Posted by Donna Chaney on Jan 11, 2018

Topics: Flexible Workspace, Mobile Workforce Solutions, Telework, Telecommuting Policy, Home Office

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By Donna Chaney, Senior Consultant

Employee mobility, telework, and flexible workspaces have been on the rise for the past decade (at least), and for good reason. These arrangements offer many benefits – enhanced collaboration opportunities, easier interaction among co-workers and managers, reduced space and facility costs, and increased employee satisfaction and work-life balance. But another benefit of flexible work offices is one that may not be immediately obvious. The ability to accommodate a range of work options and styles is a powerful recruiting tool, especially with professionals who may value flexibility and innovative office spaces over traditional work benefits.

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Time Management in the Home Office: Three Mind Hacks

Posted by Alison Jones on Dec 28, 2017

Topics: Telework, Home Office


By Alison Jones, Lead Consultant

When people hear that I work from home, they often say, “I could never do that. I’d be so distracted by all the stuff I could be doing around the house.” Yes, there are distractions in the home office, just as there are in any office. My version of the overly chatty and disruptive cubicle-mate is the dog who occasionally needs a walk, or the child who bursts in the door after a long day at school eager to tell me about his math test… of course when I’m deep in thought. Distractions are a part of life. Learning how to deal with them – and how to manage time effectively – is the key to being successful in any office. Below are three mind tricks – no fancy scheduler required - to help you manage your time, no matter what office environment you work in.

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Saving the Planet, One Home Office at a Time

Posted by Trish Lomonosov on Dec 21, 2017

Topics: Mobile Workforce Solutions, Virtual Workforce, Home Office


By Trish Lomonosov, Senior Analyst / Planner

Global Warming. Carbon Footprint. Greenhouse Gases. These terms have sparked debate and become somewhat politicized in recent years. Regardless of whether you believe that significant damage can result from the earth’s warming or whether you remain skeptical, you still may have stopped to ask yourself what you can do to help the environment. Establishing an eco-friendly home office and adopting some simple, commonsense practices can have a positive impact on the sustainability of Mother Earth. Even if helping the environment is not the primary reason for establishing a home office, the eco-friendly benefits are certainly a plus.

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The Greatest Challenge in Managing Remote Employees: Inflexibility

Posted by Keith Fentress on Nov 30, 2017

Topics: Mobile Workforce Solutions, Virtual Workforce, remote manager, Home Office


By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

There are many challenges to remote work, including setting up boundaries between work and home life, having a dedicated office space, and helping employees feel connected to the organization. In this article, I propose what I see as the greatest challenge in managing remote employees – inflexibility. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge advocate of the home office and still dream of the day when telecommuting is the norm. But inflexibility is an issue I struggle with both in my own work habits and in managing a team of remote employees.

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Remote Workforce? 5 Disaster Recovery Steps to Take Now

Posted by Ron Seibel on Oct 26, 2017

Topics: Mobile Workforce Solutions, Remote IT Support, remote manager, Home Office

By Ron Seibel, IT Manager

In the literal wake of this summer’s string of natural disasters, including hurricanes and floods in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, as well as out-of-control wildfires in California, maintaining safeguards for your remote employees is critical. Even if none of your employees telework, you most likely have policies and protocols in place to protect your corporate data and office environment when potential disaster is impending. When you add remote employees to the mix, similar protocols should be developed and followed to ensure Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity (DR/BC) among your remote locations after the unthinkable happens.

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Is working from home killing your social life? 4 tips to stay engaged

Posted by Alison Jones on Oct 12, 2017

Topics: Virtual Workforce, Telework, Home Office


By Alison Jones, Lead Consultant

The other day, a colleague floated me an article about the Japanese concept of ikigai, which essentially translates into your “reason for being.” To achieve full ikigai, four parts of your life must align: your passion, your mission, your profession, and your vocation. When this happens, your life is lived with joy. The article goes on to talk about five areas of the world, sometimes referred to as Blue Zones, where people live the longest and seem to achieve ikigai. Okinawa and other longevity hotspots around the world have been identified as the Blue Zones. Studies show that one of the most important characteristics shared by these Blue Zones is a very high degree of social engagement.

As someone who has worked from a home office for 20 years, this got me thinking. Is working from a home office blocking my path to ikigai? Am I missing out on essential social interactions that could be happening every Monday through Friday from 9 to 5? And from a broader perspective, is the widespread use of the home office turning us into recluses who lack social skills, as we shave years off our lives?

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