Issue #4, Volume 1
December 23, 2020
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Work From Home is Not the Right Model
According to Harvard Business School professor and remote work expert Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, “work from home is not the right model, even if it was a pandemic-induced short-term requirement. The new employment normal needs to be work-from-anywhere.”
It’s astonishing that we’ve gone from work-from-home as an unattainable goal for most workers, to work-from-anywhere being touted as the new normal. It’s even more astonishing that we’ve done it in less than a year.
Here’s the summary article: The biggest work from home mistakes: Harvard Business School remote expert
And here’s the original, from Harvard Business Review: Our Work-From-Anywhere Future. Here Choudhury makes the point that the work-from-home movement was born from another global challenge, the pains of the oil shortage resulting from OPEC’s withholding of supplies starting in 1973.
Those policies allowed people to eschew physical offices in favor of their homes, coworking spaces, or other community locations, such as coffee shops and public libraries, for occasional days, on a regular part-time basis, or full-time, with the expectation that they would come into the office periodically. Workers. . . saved time by commuting less and tended to take fewer sick days.
Another article in The Observer talks about the new work-from-anywhere status quo. What’s fascinating is that it was barely on the radar for most workers just a few months ago. According to the article:
During the pandemic, working from home has become the new status quo for many former office workers. People have spent weeks at a time working from their cramped apartments in expensive cities and enjoying none of their location benefits. Sure, some folks have already left the cities for more suburban or rural lifestyles. But work from home is only the beginning of this disruption. Soon, work from home will become work from anywhere.
They point out that the frontrunners in this trend have been digital nomads. “Until recently,” they state, “most of these travelers had a legitimacy problem.”
Now, with a dozen-plus countries offering digital nomad visas and several European countries offering freelancer visas, that’s not so true any more. In fact, they’re predicting there will be a billion digital nomads within 15 years.
Life in 2025: Digital Nomads Will Change Travel and Work Forever
I’m seeing it firsthand.
After creating a work-anywhere life out of necessity 10 years ago, I now have two family members who are taking advantage of new nomad visas and going abroad. My son is heading to the Caribbean (Antigua), and my granddaughter to Tblisi in the Republic of Georgia.
Choosing a Name for Your Business
While it may be true that a rose would still smell delightful if it were called a mugwump, choosing a name for your business is important. It becomes part of the business’ identity and branding.
Many freelancers and solopreneurs simply use their own name and add “Copywriter” or “Designer” after it, and that’s fine if you want a business that’s closely identified with you personally. There are lots of good reasons for doing that.
There are also a bunch of good reasons for giving your business its own name, not the least of which is that it becomes easier to sell later on if you choose to do that.
However, Stacey Freed recently asked whether naming your freelance business can raise your income. It’s a good question. . .
If you do decide to name your business, here are some helpful tips to help you select a name that will best represent your brand and resonate with your clients.
What if your business is a blog?
ProBlogger Darren Rouse discusses the pros and cons of branding your blog with either your own name or a business name.
If you’d rather do a deeper dive, check out the book, Brand New Name: A Proven, Step-By-Step Process to Create an Unforgettable Brand Name.
Do You Want to Freelance?
Are you a freelancer? Do you want to be?
Back in 2010, I hung out my virtual shingle with virtually no preparation. I absolutely don’t recommend doing it this way. Here’s what happened, and how to avoid my mistakes. . .
I’ve spent a good part of my life as a freelancer of one sort or another.
I was a freelance writer for several newspapers and magazines. Then I ran a business for a while where I combined writing with design, creating newsletters, brochures, and such-like. This was back in the pre-internet days.
When the internet came along, I added web design to my portfolio.
Most recently, I was catapulted back into freelance writing – against my will at the time – when the economy melted down in 2009.
I had a job I thought was safe. I had chosen to go to work for someone else because, after years of self employment, I’d gotten tired of feeling like I had to constantly be selling myself. I wanted a break.
Fortunately — although I didn’t think so at the time — it didn’t work out that way.
Speaking of Freelancing. . .
When I launched my freelance business, I loved the thought of controlling my own schedule. Nobody to tell me what time to start, what time to finish, when to take breaks. . .
Initially, though, the reality was I started as soon as I stumbled out of bed, and finished when my husband started grumbling at me. Breaks? Food? What’s that?
It’s a common problem for those of us who work from home. Without the signals that come from a commute and the people around us, we either stay glued to the work, or we flip-flop around wondering what we should be doing.
That’s probably why Diana Shi listed “take strategic pauses” as the first item in Your Ultimate Guide to working from home productively, and “give yourself permission to log off” as the last. (The advice in between is pretty good, too.)
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