Telework’s Secret: Freedom, VPN Eek Out More Labor

Guest Column, Security, Technology, Telework & Virtual Officing
March 25th, 2020 No Comments »

Image Courtesy FentressI was talking to a client recently who was sharing details about her new work-at-home telework experience. She’s a long-time, corporate employee accustomed to an hour’s commute to work each way each day. Now that she’s working from home,?she finds she’s ready for her day each morning about the same time as when she’d be leaving for the office.

Only, she faces no commute.?So she’s at her desk around 8 am. Her lunches now are quicker than the hour-long lunch she’d normally take with coworkers. And her day now ends about the same time as she’d get home from the office, or about 7:30 pm.

Where are those two to three hours each day going? Straight into the employers’ time clock. And researchers have discovered, she’s not alone.

We’re gonna let you in on something. It’s considered one of the best-kept secrets among telework managers: Their employees will work longer hours than they do in the corporate office.

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Guest Tips for Homeworking with Kids in the Corona Age

Guest Column, Home Office Parenting, Telework & Virtual Officing
March 24th, 2020 No Comments »

Teleworking with kids underfoot has become a global phenomenon. In this guest column, psychotherapist?Noel McDermott?reminds us that under normal circumstances if your staff were working from home, as an employer or HR Manager you wouldn’t be getting involved in how they are doing in their other job – as parents. But these are anything but normal times, these are corona times and the rules have changed.

Staff are working from home under extraordinary circumstances with fears and pressures including having their kids to care of while working for you. Their children themselves are worried and confused and need extra help and support. Kids have overnight lost their freedom, their friends, their structure and daily activities. Your staff may well be caught like a deer in the headlights. Below, McDermott offers?advice?HR managers can pass onto staff?to help them become resourceful adults up to the challenges life throws at them.

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Guest Post: 5 Tips to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

Guest Column, Security
May 28th, 2011 2 Comments »

Whether you’re a general consumer or a home-business owner using social media from your home office, privacy issues on Facebook have lately become a huge concern. Most folks don’t realize a few easy tweaks to your account can significantly reduce threats both obvious and not-so-obvious.

Marc Itzkowitz, senior director of Product Marketing for, offers this guest post on the good and a bad use of Facebook. While it and other social media offers fun for millions, it also offers a new and efficient method for the wrong folks find out much more about you than they should.

Facebook provides ways to reduce these threats — they’re not so easy to find or understand. To make sure that Facebook does not present a “Clear and Present Danger” to your personal privacy, address these five key vulnerabilities:

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Finding Trustworthy Employees for Your Home and Home Office

Guest Column, Security
May 25th, 2011 No Comments »

Many home-based businesses operate on a shoe-string budget — often to their detriment. They could use an extra set of hands. But in many cities and municipalities, code prohibits non-relative employees. In those places where non-relatives are allowed to work in a home office, the owners are rightfully suspicious or downright concerned about inviting ‘strangers’ into the home.

Horror stories tell of hired help stealing from homeowners — or providing valuable information to associates, including property layout, security alarm codes, and residents’ schedules.

Considering hiring business employees or domestic help for cleaning, cooking, or childcare services? Then a proper and thorough background check is vital to helping ensure a safe and secure home.? This guest post discusses five steps to follow:

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Work from Home Write-Offs: 5 Ways to Trim the Tax Bill For At-Home Businesses

Guest Column, Law / Tax & Zoning, Legal & Accounting
May 21st, 2011 No Comments »

Millions of Americans operate businesses from the comfort of their homes. For many, the benefits of working from home relate more to lifestyle than money. However, many people already working from a home office — even as a teleworker — overlook the potential tax benefits that come from working at home.

The following post from mortgage researcher Phil Green highlights five of the most prominent potential tax deductions for individuals working out of their homes (it is not from; any information or inaccuracies provided are the responsibility of the author).

One keen bit of advice from Phil: In considering these or any possible tax benefits, consult with a tax professional. Tax laws are complex, as there are often exceptions to the exceptions to the rule. And tax regulations change all the time. Getting a professional to advise you on how these deductions can help minimize your tax liability is imperative.

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Four Common Insurance, Legal Questions for Small Business, Home Office

Guest Column, Legal & Accounting
April 11th, 2011 No Comments »

Launching a small or home-based business can be daunting. Even opening a home office for a teleworker can present challenges. Small business owners often struggle because the demands of running the company often leave little time to focus on other important aspects that can affect the financial well-being of the business and its owner, including insurance, compensation, benefits and retirement planning. Engaging advisors, even at this earliest stage, may help you avoid liability and financial struggles later on.

Below are four questions to ask your advisors; look for more conversation starters at The Hartford.

– What type of insurance do I need as an emerging business? Business owners often tell us their decision to buy insurance came when they realized they had created something worth protecting. An insurance agent who works with small businesses can help you identify your needs.

Think about what you want to protect. Health insurance is important, and protection for equipment or property is obvious, but how about loss of income? Business income coverage provides funds to help the business continue as it recovers from a loss.

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10 Tips to Start and Run Your Small or Home Business

Create & Run Your Biz, Guest Column
November 18th, 2010 1 Comment »

Entrepreneur and small business advisor?Dawn Lambros is asked constantly by all kinds of people, “what are the steps to starting a successful business?” Her reply: The steps are not as hard as you may think.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, but you’re just not sure of what you need to do, try following these 10 steps. If followed properly, they’re guaranteed to put you on the road to success!

1. Create a Life Plan: What do you want to be, do have when you grow up? While this may sound condescending, it’s not meant to be that way! If you want to start a business, make sure your heart is in it. It should be something you feel happy doing. Once you find that desired business, create a life plan around it (not to be confused with a business plan).

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Bring Value: Be the Jack (Bauer) of Your Small / Home Business

Guest Column, Solo Business Strategies
September 2nd, 2010 1 Comment »

Adam Singer with The Future Buzz has a great take on the place and power of the non-conformist and provocateur in the business world. His subject: The fictional character Jack Bauer of?24. Bauer was a hard-headed, take-no-prisoners and indispensable an agent for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU).? He ignored orders.? He went off protocol.? That didn’t matter, he was critical to the success of the agency and the safety of the country as a whole within the context of the show.

You should seek to be equally valuable to your organization and your industry – that is, if you want to have the same impact in the real world as Jack does fictionally.? But while his character and actions are fiction, his personality and actions hold key lessons if you’re serious about changing the world around you.

How can you be the Jack Bauer of your company? Read More »

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