10 Hacks to Make Working From Home With Kids Work (Huff Post)

Excerpt:

You won’t believe what people are doing to make working from home with kids work. Here’s a look at ten sometimes convenient, often free, mostly unconventional, and all real hacks currently used by real work-from-home parents:

    1. Swedish Meatball Mamas: Some parents are dropping their kids off at Ikea’s Småland to get free 1-hour childcare (for kids 4-10 year olds) while they crank out a power hour of work in the café.
  • It’s Fun To Work At The YMCA!: Nobody knows this better than parents taking advantage of Child Watch – the free 2-hour childcare program (for kids 6 mo – 7 years) offered by the YMCA – so they can get their work out (see what we did there?)
  • Circuit Potty Training: Why sweat it when you can head to the gym café and get that brief finished while someone watches your child for free (or for a very small fee) for up to 2 hours. With childcare for all ages often available at the gym, this is exactly what some parents are doing.

Read the full list here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-gore/10-hacks-to-make-working-_b_9511346.html

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5 ways to increase productivity if you work from home – from Huff Post

Working from home sounds like a dream job, but workplace productivity can pose a major issue for distributed teams. When the only commute you have is walking from your bed to your desk, minuscule distractions can easily multiply when working from the comfort of your home. After approximately four years of working primarily from my home office, here are five ways I’ve increased my work productivity.

Create a workspace.
Create a comfortable workstation. Early on I made the mistake of working from my bed and sofa. I was too comfortable and often got distracted by a nap in the middle of the day. However, the best way to get into the mindset of “going to work” is to create a workspace, and treat your time there as a day at the office. By putting a desk in your room, or transforming your dining room into an office, you’ve created your very own workspace. In addition, you should organize your files and eliminate any clutter from your space to increase productivity – something that I continue to struggle with.

Read the full story here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamilah-corbitt/5-ways-to-increase-produc_1_b_8875272.html

Stressed out woman in home office

Stressed out woman in home office

Top 5 things to sell at a flea market

The flea market business can be ideal for those who want to work from home.  You can spend the majority of your week at home preparing for the one or two days during the week that you have to man your stand at the flea market.  The challenge is finding the right product to sell.  What is it that people are looking for?  Here are our top 5:

  1. Toys.  Toys are a big item that people are looking for.  Collectors and the average public gravitate towards toys.  From Fisher-Price Little People to classic board games you can attract people to your stand if they know you have toys that they may be looking for.
  2. Sports Collectibles.  There are many people at the flea market selling sports memorabilia at flea markets – and there is a reason for that.  Collectors and fans will spend time at your stand and will keep coming back if you specialize in these products.
  3. Tools.  Tools are always popular.  Whether it is hand tools, garden tools, woodworking tools or others – you can’t miss with these items.
  4. Signs.  People love to decorate with signs.  They also love to give them as gifts. These signs could be vintage or they could be custom made.  Signs with religious sayings, signs about coffee, signs about friendship, signs about family, signs about sports, etc.
  5. Pets.  No, I am not talking about selling your animals at a flea market but rather selling pet goods.  Pet treats, pet bowls, pet tags, pet novelty items, etc.

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5 work at home jobs you can start in your garage.

Here are 5 great work from home job ideas that you can start today from your garage:

1. Lawn mower repair.  You can fix and maintain lawn mowers.  Sharpen blades, change oil, replace the spark plugs and more.  Most lawn mower repair is simple and easy to pick up.

2. Build Doll Houses.  Put together Doll House kits or, better yet, build them from scratch.  Almost every little girl desires a doll house.  There is always a market.  Sell them online, at flea markets or on Craigslist.

3. Refinish furniture.  You can refinish furniture in your garage.  Use liquid paint and varnish strippers, sanding tools and more to bring back the glory to old furniture.

4. Make garden decorations.  People love to purchase garden decorations such as whirligigs, birdhouses, garden signs and more.  You can create your own designs or purchase pre-cut kits and just assemble them.

5. Buy and sell Garden tools.  There is a good demand for used garden tools.  Watch Craigslist, area Yard Sales or local Auctions for deals and then resell them via Flea Markets or Craigslist.

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The Millennial Report: The Work from Home Generation – from The Var Guy

When it comes to finding the perfect job, there are three little words that can either drive a person to fits of joy or cause them to think twice about their decision. In case you hadn’t figured it out already, those words are “work from home.” At first, working from the comfort of your own home might seem like paradise, but the reality is that you can find yourself struggling to stick to a steady schedule and find it hard to motivate yourself when your bed and a cold beer are only just a few steps away.

As we move into a more mobile-centric world, more IT workers have the option of working from home (sometimes called telecommuting, back in the old days) because of the prevalence of network infrastructure virtualization and the growing use of virtual desktop infrastructure for graphics-intensive and video-centric work. And with the absolute dominance of smartphones, tablets and wearables in the workplace, it’s easier than ever to file your reports or close a sale from the comfort of your own home or even while on vacation.

Read the full report here:  http://thevarguy.com/my-world/060915/millennial-report-work-home-generation

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Nine (legitimate) ways to make money from home – Christian Science Monitor

Ads claiming to provide lucrative payment for easy or unspecified work are probably scams, but that doesn’t mean making money from home is impossible.

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Everyone’s seen them: the ALL CAPS comments at the bottom of news articles claiming to have the secret to making $500,000 per month from home, or the ads featuring a smiling woman and her laptop with the headline: Area Mom Making $5 Grand a Week From Home! Click Here to Learn Her Secret!

Sadly, most of these ads are nothing more than straight-up scams. Some are check-cashing schemes: a fraudulent company might send you a check, ask you to take out a portion of that money, then send the rest back pronto. When that check inevitably bounces, you’ll be on the hook for the money you took out AND the check bounce fee–ouch. Others claim to give you access to easy work at home jobs for a “small” registration fee (often a few hundred dollars!), and once you’ve paid up, they shut off all contact with you. For a comprehensive list of these kinds of scams, check out this 2010 ABC News article, orthis 2011 piece from Forbes, and if you think you’ve been scammed, here’s a post I wrote a while back on how to get your money back from your credit card company.

So yeah, most ads claiming to provide lucrative payment for easy or unspecified work are probably scams, but that doesn’t mean making money from home is impossible. In fact, in the internet age, it’s easier than ever to do so, if you know where to look. I did some research and talked to the personal finance experts here on the Brad’s Deals team, and came up with this list of nine legitimate ways you can make money from home.

1. Rent out your home for the weekend

Want to use your house or apartment to make money without having to lift a finger? Consider renting it out the next time you go on vacation. Vacation rental sites like VRBO and Airbnb have risen in popularity in the past few years, and it’s not hard to see why. Renting an apartment is often cheaper than staying in a hotel, and in addition to perks like having access to full, working kitchens and multiple bed and bathrooms, spending the weekend in a lived-in home is a much more immersive and authentic vacation experience.

Read the full article here:  http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0518/Nine-legitimate-ways-to-make-money-from-home

Want More Women Working in Tech? Let Them Stay Home

EVERYONE HAS THEIR theories about why there aren’t more women in technology. Some say it’s that women aren’t studying computer science and therefore aren’t applying for jobs in the field. Others say it’s due to a certain degree of bias in an industry where predominantly male leaders hire predominantly male employees because they see similarities between themselves and their hires.

But Katharine Zaleski and Milena Berry say there’s another reason, which is that tech companies aren’t giving women—particularly mothers—the flexibility they need to raise a family and pursue their careers at the same time. “There are two bad choices for women: go back to the office full-time or slowly lose your career because you can’t go back to the office full-time,” Zaleski, a former editor at The Huffington Post, explains.

Which is why the two working mothers decided to launch PowerToFly, a job site that connects women with employers who are willing to let them work remotely. The site launched in August, targeted primarily toward women in tech. Since then, it’s had tens of thousands of women across multiple industries register for the site and apply for jobs with nearly 700 big-name employers like Buzzfeed and Hearst. Just last week the company launched its own app, PowerToFly Connect, which serves as a sort of social network and news site for this new community of remote workers. “We launched strong with our job matching platform,” Berry, former CTO of a non-profit, says, “and now we’re creating a media platform around these issues for women.”

More Than A Hunch
The fact that employer flexibility plays an important role in the persistent gender gap is more than a hunch. There have been plenty of studies showing that despite their move into the workplace over the last several decades, women still feel more pressure than their male counterparts to step back from work once they have children. One 2013 study by the Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of women said being a working mother made it harder to advance their careers, compared to 16 percent of fathers. That same study showed that 42 percent of mothers had reduced their work hours to care for family, while just 28 percent of fathers said the same.

Meanwhile, a recent study out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on why women leave the tech field found that one third of women surveyed left to tend to their families “because companies weren’t flexible enough to accommodate work-life concerns.”

“The vast majority of women will become mothers and face the same choices we faced,” Zaleski says. “The amount of women in the workforce peaked in 1999, and that’s because there’s no third way. We see ourselves as creating that option.”

Struggling to Gain Traction
Of course, not all companies are willing to embrace remote employees, no matter what it could do for their diversity numbers. One highly publicized example is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s moratorium on working from home when she took the helm at the tech giant. When Mayer defended the new policy, following much controversy, she argued that people are “more collaborative and innovative when they’re together.”

According to Zaleski, this is not an unusual viewpoint for large tech companies, which is one reason why PowerToFly has struggled to gain traction among major tech employers. “They want to deal with the issues internally,” she says, referring to issues of diversity in tech. “They’re very focused on setting up committees and talking about the issues, but they’re also very committed to having everyone in the office.”

Still, she says those businesses that are signing up with PowerToFly are already beginning to see results. The company, which vets applicants on behalf of businesses, receives an average of 14 applications per position. While PowerToFly won’t share exactly how many people have landed jobs through the platform, they say they’ve connected BuzzFeed with 20 new hires and Hearst with 16. Meanwhile, PowerToFly has hired its own employees through the platform, growing its headcount to 35 women working in eight countries around the world.

For Zaleski and Berry, this platform is not just a way to get more women into work but a quick way for tech companies that care about the gender imbalance to make an immediate dent. “You hear these guys talk education, education, education,” she says. “Well, that’s 10 years out. Why not invest in the women who are here now?”

http://www.wired.com/2015/04/powertofly/

10 Jobs you can do from home – Huffington Post

Posted: Updated:

Whether you already work and want to make more money, or are retired and looking to supplement your income, there are jobs out there that fit the bill.

“Many people who are retirement age opt for ‘patchwork careers’—they piece together a variety of jobs they can do from home or on their own schedule,” says Christine Durst, a home-based career expert and co-founder of RatRaceRebellion.com. Here are some great make-extra-money suggestions.

Read the full article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/26/work-from-home-jobs-_n_6746568.html

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Lessons learned from 3 companies that have long embraced remote work

Remote work continues to trend upward, with 2014 posting a 26% increase in open remote job postings over 2013.

This post is in partnership with Entrepreneur. The article below was originally published at Entrepreneur.com.

Office worker using mouse & computer at work,, UK

By Sara Sutton Fell, Entrepreneur.com

Remote work continues to trend upward, with 2014 posting a 26 percent increase in open remote job postings over 2013 and 83 percent of hiring managers say telecommutingwill be “more prevalent in the next five years.” So, which companies currently lead this trend, and what can other companies learn from them as they ramp up remote hiring?

The annual Top 100 Companies to Watch for Remote Jobslist features companies that most recruit for remote, or work-from-home, jobs each year, based on an analysis of more than 30,000 companies. These 100 companies come from a variety of industries and recruit for an even wider variety of jobs. The American Heart Association, GE, Apple, Salesforce and Humana are just some of the well-known names.

I spoke with Kaplan, Aetna, and Intuit, three of 2015’s Top 100 companies, to learn about their remote hiring programs, the benefits and downsides of distributed teams, and best practices.

1. Kaplan leads work flexibility in the education industry.

Believing that people do their best work when they’re able to work flexibly, Kaplan allows about 85 percent of its workforce to work remotely, a move that has occurred in recent years. “Technology has enabled us not only to evolve our program offerings but our workforce as well,” says Lorin Thomas-Tavel, Chief Operating Officer of Kaplan Test Prep. Kaplan’s expanded remote hiring includes not only teachers and tutors, but also sales, operations, and business development.

According to Thomas-Tavel, remote work has allowed Kaplan to expand its talent pool, improve retention, increase productivity and reduce office space costs, which are invested in training and technology to improve client and employee experiences.

Kaplan looks for certain skills when hiring remote workers, stressing that, “those who are the most successful in remote roles are often strong communicators who understand the value of connection and shared ideas to drive innovation and results.” Quiet types and “lone wolf personalities” are less likely to thrive in a remote environment.

Communication is also important in cultivating a virtual culture. Says Thomas-Tavel, “The effective use of technology is critical, as technology platforms, channels and tools serve as the underpinning for enabling these connections.”

2. Aetna builds on 20 years of remote work practices.

As a retention tool, Aetna =”AET”] has used remote work, or telework, for 20 years. One of the key components to its success its executive-level support, says Susan Millerick, Director of Communications. Over 31 percent of its employees engage in telework, and it is embedded into Aetna’s HR policies and practices.

Additionally, Millerick says Aetna has “a strong process for determining which employees can telework successfully. The three main components include the actual job function (can the work be performed from home?), the individual’s capabilities and competencies, and strict security standards for home offices.”

Through telework, Aetna has seen benefits like saving between 15 percent and 25 percent of real estate and related costs, and largely reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Aetna’s teleworkers drive 65 million fewer miles per year, saving over two million gallons of gas, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 23,000 metric tons annually.

READ the full story here: http://fortune.com/2015/02/12/lessons-learned-from-3-companies-that-have-long-embraced-remote-work/