Work from Home Tips and Tricks for a Better Lifestyle & Success.
We can all still use some work-from-home tips and tricks despite the fact so many of us have been doing it since the beginning of the Covid pandemic.
It can still be challenging to do remote work, be productive, handle work life and family balance.
Here are tips and tricks to work from home as listed in Kerry Hannon’s 14th book “Great Pajama Jobs: Your Complete Guide to Working from Home”. Kerry and Paul Long (who has WFH for 30 years) discuss the methods and mindset you must have to succeed along with some very helpful tips.
Kerry also shares where the WFH jobs are and how to get them. Kerry Hannon is a leading authority and strategist on career transitions, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and retirement. She is an award-winning, best-selling author with 13 books and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, MarketWatch, Forbes, and NextAvenue. So if you’re doing a job search, looking to keep your job, thinking about the Gig Economy and being a freelancer, contractor, or doing a side hustle, this interview and Kerry’s book are a must.
Kerry Hannon: https://kerryhannon.com/
Get a copy of the book “Great Pajama Jobs: Your Complete Guide to Working from Home”: https://amzn.to/2L2vtzE
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Podcast Transcript for Work from Home Tips and Tricks
Paul Long: [00:00:07] Working from home is here to stay and it’s only going to grow more and it was already heading in this direction and cove. It’s been a great accelerator of it and you might be like, Hey, Paul Di and I’ve already been doing it. But I tell you what, you might not be doing it as successfully for both you and for your job and your efforts as you might. Once you hear from my guest, who is Kerry Hannon, who wrote Great Pajama Jobs, your complete guide to working from home and Kerry, by the way, is like a leading authority and strategist on career transitions, entrepreneurship, personal finance and retirement. She’s a frequent TV and radio commentator, a keynote speaker. She’s written best selling and award winning books 13 of them. I think this is her 14th. She’s a regular expert, columnist and contributor to The New York Times, MarketWatch, Forbes and Next Avenue. And her focus is largely on those of us who are older. So this is very tailored for us and and like I say, I’ve been doing work from home for 35 years and I learn stuff from this interview that I’ve since applied and has made me successful. So get out your pen and paper. Get ready to take notes. Kerry is going to give you some new ideas and some great insights.
Paul Long: [00:01:31] First of all, the fundamental premise of your book and your approach, and then we’ll go through the details.
Kerry Hannon: [00:01:37] Well, excellent, thank you so much for inviting me to to talk about it and great pajama jobs is is truly the global movement. And you know, Paul, even before the current situation where people were mandated to stay in place at home and work from home, which is a whole new universe for so many people. This was a global movement. More and more workers were were asking to be able to work remotely and workers of all ages. And in fact, for many companies, it became and has become an employee benefit. It is something that people are in their interview saying, Hey, you know, what flexibility can I have? So this is something that companies are starting to figure out. But in fact, there was this nervousness like because they like to control employers, like to control their workers. They want to make sure you’re not slacking off, that you’re really doing the job, that you’re not just, you know, giving half the time that they expect from you. So there was this element of trust and and workers really had to prove themselves over and over again. Now, today people are in this situation where they’re working from home offices, they’re working with their laptops on their ironing boards, they’re working all along with all kinds of different ways of trying to get the job done.
Kerry Hannon: [00:02:56] And guess what? They’re showing employers it can be done it. It is. They are productive. Their performance is up. In fact, productivity productivity increases when people are at home and have the flexibility, and we can talk about all the reasons why. But in this book, what I do is I talk about first what it is, what are some great work at home jobs right now? Today, a lot of jobs are working at home, but I do a whole smorgasbord of different jobs that really lend themselves to remote work. The second section of the book is I profile 40 employers who are awesome. About remote working, they absolutely have embraced this concept for years now and increasingly more, and the folks at Flex Jobs and Sarah Sutton, they keep a list of 100 top employers, and they even went back during the pandemic here to review who are the employers that are really actively recruiting work from home people and employees. And really, they help me put this list together, and I’m delighted to share it with my readers. And the last part of my book is Carrie’s workshop on how to get a great remote job in pajama job. And also how does how to be successful, not just how to get that job, but how to really succeed at it.
[00:04:21] Well, yes, a lot in there, and we’re going to go through those specifics in just a moment, both in terms of how to do it and where those jobs may lie. You know, full disclosure, I’ve done work from home for 30 years now. I love it. I prefer it. But as we’ll go through these things, I’ve had to learn some of what you’re going to go through the hard way. And in terms of businesses, one of my big clients in my content creation firm, Paul on productions about a year and a half ago, and they’re a major global company. They went to the work from home model, which was very fortunate for them now because a lot of people were already up to speed where people were working two or three days from home. However, they went through these challenges. So you’re going to really help us shortcut it. And I’ll also say I have a son in Shanghai who’s been having to do a lot of work from home, and he and his colleagues have found that, quite frankly, they get a lot more work done, so it can be very beneficial. And since the emphasis of pro boomer is mostly for the older worker who’s looking to find keep a job or get into the gig economy. This is an absolute must. I mean, to adapt to the new way of the world, you have to know this stuff. So let’s get to knowing the stuff. So long list of things here. Two of the things that screamed out at me that you go through in the book that are really important is, on the one hand, habits, which is discipline. And on the other hand, is ability, which is tech savvy. Go into the.
Kerry Hannon: [00:06:02] Yeah. You know, let’s start with with the with the easy one, which is yourself, OK? If you’re going to work from home, it requires quite a bit of discipline and you and we all say, Oh, no problem, I can do that. But really, you need to make, you know, make a true. Effort, because it requires it’s very easy to get distracted when you’re at home, it’s easy to, you know, get up and fold the laundry or go, you know, whatever it might be, answer the door and neighbors come over. I don’t know what it
[00:06:32] Is, and especially if you have kids, if you have kids. So I went through that.
Kerry Hannon: [00:06:36] There’s all kinds of distractions, so you need to be very disciplined about. This is my work time. This is how I’m doing it and set your office up accordingly so that you’ve been able to draw that boundary between your home life and your work life. And it’s a psychological shift as well. And so you get up and you approach your day as your work day. It’s OK to take it in blocks and get up and take a break, which you must do right. You absolutely need to do that. Don’t get sucked into being on your computer all the time, but you know, we had distractions in the office as well, where coworkers would pop by and so forth. So we’re kind of used to that. But I think it’s truly important to set have very disciplined time management habits and sticking to your there’s no excuse for being late to get on a Zoom conference call to being late with a project. There’s deadlines are essential and you have to prove to your employer that, yes, indeed you are right there and you’re there when they need you.
[00:07:38] Yeah. Oh, I’m sorry. Before you go to the second one, I’ll say that that’s something I had to learn, and I read some tips way back when and in the first place. I let my family know and I taught the kids. And this all started when actually before they were born, so that if that door was closed, unless it was an emergency, just consider me, not even home. And the second thing was was that yes, I got I got dressed up every morning and it was for me going down the stairs and this mindset of I was getting into my car and going into the office, and that really helped me a lot that actually helped me more than I did. And the other thing too is is some people say, work fifty five minutes and take a five minute break. And to this day, I have a list of things, list of ways of how I take that five minute break. And that really helps. That really helps, especially because I’m not the most patient person in the world.
Kerry Hannon: [00:08:36] Yeah, no, that’s brilliant. And you know, I joke, you know, the title of the book, the book being great pajama jobs. But in fact, like you just said, I do the same thing. I, you know, I might do early morning because I’m an early person at five thirty in the morning working in my PJs. But you know, when I’m when it’s time for really to get on board with having conferences with people, virtual conferences and Zoom meetings and so forth, Skyping and what have you? I make a point of, you know, preparing as if I was going into the office as well. I don’t put on all the jewelry, maybe or whatever it might be, but you know, I want to feel professional because it comes through in your voice. It comes your whole manner changes when you put that you switch to I’m at work mode.
[00:09:21] Yeah. And you know, in in here on March twenty 29th, you know, we’re seeing and the memes and the social media, things of people who weren’t wearing pants or things of that sort. And you know, I am wearing pants.
Kerry Hannon: [00:09:34] So why thank you?
[00:09:38] Yeah, but you’re right. You know, you feel it helps you feel the part. Ok, so the
Kerry Hannon: [00:09:44] The second piece of technology, right?
[00:09:47] Yeah. And the skills for it.
Kerry Hannon: [00:09:49] And here’s the thing. Older workers get the bad rap about not being up to speed with technology. It’s absolutely not necessarily true. And it’s particularly today, as we’ve seen everyone’s on Zoom, everyone’s embraced that. There’s no study that has shown me that we’re less capable of of of working with these tools. It’s getting familiar with them. It’s getting them downloaded on our computers, the app. So we have them at our disposal. It’s getting it set up. Yeah, there’s some steps we have to do, but once it’s set up, not a problem and it takes using, it’s repetition. You know, it’s it’s it’s not. Oh, I haven’t done a Zoom meeting before. Yeah, I’ve done like two today or whatever it might be, it’s it’s using the platform and getting comfortable. But there are ways definitely to get up to speed, and the apps themselves often have tutorials right on them that can help you do that background and understand that you can take, you know, LinkedIn has some wonderful courses that are free for remote working. Specifically, if you type in remote, it’ll come up in LinkedIn learning different ways and different tools to work with. So there and again, you can also take courses online. There’s YouTube always has great little tutorials on how to get work technology, but they’re not a lot of tools you really need. There’s a really a handful that are going to be helpful to you and your company if you’re. Working for full time for an employer very well, have they’ve come in and set your computer up for you? They have a tech desk that you can call for help. But it does certainly help that if you can troubleshoot a little bit yourself or you know somebody you can call like, I have a terrific niece who’s in her late twenties that I’m really stuck. I call her, you know, and and
[00:11:42] That’s and that’s OK. And I would also add, as you were probably about to, so forgive me for jumping the gun. But I’ve also found a lot of peripheral programs that have that are necessary. So I don’t work for a company. I’m a gig worker, a gig worker, being a freelancer contractor or self-employed or whatever. And so I have things such as Box, which is like Dropbox and we transfer because sometimes you have to send or receive big files or some people are on Google Docs and Google Calendar. And then there are these different applications that are out there for big teams to be a part of where everybody can post things and share things. But but you’re absolutely right. The fundamental success factor for all of these companies that make these apps is that they are easy to learn and easy to use. And once you do the tutorials, as you said, I’m sharing my experience. I do the tutorial for a few times. I do it. What about this? What about that? But after a while, it’s like doing an email. It’s easy.
Kerry Hannon: [00:12:51] Yeah, it becomes second nature. Now, I must add, it is important to have a good Wi-Fi connection, and so you may have to, and especially if you have other people in your home that are working on the computer, on their Wi-Fi. It can slow things down. So that’s going to take a little navigating. Make sure you get as close as you can to your router. Find a good way to set up so you can get a strong signal, and that’s going to be important. You may have to work with your provider on that, whatever’s going to be the best to get
[00:13:23] A higher package? Yeah, yeah.
Kerry Hannon: [00:13:25] But I honestly don’t shortchange that because connectivity is key and you’re going to be communicating a lot because I said there’s a nervousness. Still, although the genie is out of the bottle, employers know this. This is not going away. We’re not going to go back to how it was with everyone working in an office. Remote work is here to stay might just be a couple of days a week, but you’re going to see a lot more of this across the board so they know it can work now. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be able to get in touch with you quickly and have you respond quickly. So you don’t want to have these because you’re having shaky internet connections. So this is something to pay attention to
[00:14:06] This for want of a nail. The kingdom was lost if you don’t have good, if you don’t have good internet connection for for these meetings or for downloads and uploads, then nothing else matters. Good point.
Kerry Hannon: [00:14:17] Yeah, it’s.
[00:14:19] So. Let’s just almost kind of randomly go, so we’ve kind of talked about the technology and tech savvy, but let’s talk about something we’ve kind of touched on and that’s time management.
Kerry Hannon: [00:14:32] Yeah, you know, it’s so important, I know you have this issue, I definitely have this issue. I get sucked into my computer and it’s like a vacuum. I don’t even you lose track of time. You’re going, you’re working on several things at the same time. And when you’re when you are working remotely and you’re working from a home office, you don’t have those natural breaks in your day where people are stopping by your office to say, Hey, do you want to go grab a cup of coffee? Do you want to go to lunch? You don’t have a boss or supervisor saying, Hey, we’re having a meeting down the hall. So you do find yourself staring at a screen for it can be hours. That is not good. So you really need to find a way to get your time under control and set yourself some time boundaries. And I love what you said about setting breaks during your day, and you need to do that, set them periodically. For me, I make sure I take a break to walk my dog, and if I don’t automatically remember, she reminds me. So I think there are ways, ways we can do this. But time man management don’t get burned out. Don’t let yourself get burned out. Be really be conscious of this.
[00:15:45] Yeah, I find if I don’t take those breaks by mid-afternoon, I’m just like, you know, my my patience level, my attention span is just really decreased. But but I also plan for that. So for instance, I like I’m like you. I get up early in the morning. I have a morning routine, no electronics, meditation, yoga, that kind of thing. And then what I’ve been trying to do, and I’m not great at it yet, but I try doing chunk timing. So in other words, you know, for instance, obviously this was scheduled you and me, but I’ve got a chunk block of time in which I’m doing this task and then I’ve got a chunk block where it’s miscellaneous checking emails. I find that shutting off or quieting my phone and the emails when I have to be focused on something is always really helpful because we know how at the office somebody comes in interrupts us while we’re concentrating on something. They say a five minute interruption is the equivalent of in real time of 20 minute break. So some of those finding the right schedule for you and then constantly tweaking it and improving it is has made a difference for me and I’ve still got to get a lot better at it and I’ve been doing it for years.
Kerry Hannon: [00:16:59] Yeah, I think that’s a huge a huge tip and very good advice for people. I often in some employers may or may not want you to do this or it may. If you’re working in the gig economy, this is going to be helpful to you. But I tend to keep a file each at the, you know, at the end of each day or I’ll keep it running during the day. That reminds me of what project I’m working on at different time periods and if I have several, if I’m because I am a freelancer like you have a lot of different clients. So I say which client I’ve worked on this project this day or these hours. It helps me for my taxes to, you know, to, you know, then you can document what you’ve been doing and in fact, how you’ve been using your home office.
[00:17:42] All right. Full disclosure. We were talking about how important it is to have a great internet connection in one of us froze up and we both have good internet connections. So maybe look at your provider, do one of those free tests to see what your bandwidth is. So we were talking about, you know, scheduling the day and planning and things of that sort to to get you back on to that. I would say I know people and I do this to a degree to that Will will plan their chunk times of whatever they’re doing, and today they’ll put it in their electronic calendar just as if it was meetings at work. So the point is that you really have to stay on track, correct?
Kerry Hannon: [00:18:22] You really do. And depending on who who your client is or who your employer is, you need to have that conversation about what are the expectations? Are there certain set times that we’re going to have meetings every week or every day? Or do you want to check in often your manager wants to check in with you once a day. Just, Hey, how’s it going? Do you have any questions for me? What’s happening at the if you know, if everyone’s back in the office, what’s happening at the office? So you need to know to build that into your schedule as well and don’t make that sort of wing it. I would not wing those because being a successful remote worker or work from home, or it’s all about communication. So whether it’s virtual like you and I are talking or whether it’s by telephone, whatever it is, text or emails, you have got to communicate and it’s your job to do that.
[00:19:14] Yes, to that point, very, very good point. Two things. Number one, in terms of communication. What I found with some clients is that like in a project, there might be a period of time where we’re waiting for something or something’s not going on or it’s just us doing the work. I have found that providing regular updates to them helps them know that things are progressing because what I have found is that every now and then I get the call going. If they start going, Oh wait, I haven’t heard from Paul for a while. What’s going on? And they start freaking out. They start getting worried. And so those regular updates, hey, just want to let you know, progressing on this, doing this and everything. Speaks well of you and prevents that that freak out. The second point real quickly is managing expectations. So I know a lot of work from home. People have kids and therefore there are certain times of the day where they’ve got to go to school and pick the kids up, which is more than just picking them up, of course. So, so their employer knows that from three to four 15 every school day, they’re not available, but they’re getting their work done because that’s being communicated.
Kerry Hannon: [00:20:28] So a couple. And you could be caregiving for an aging relative as well and have that same time block that you need to set aside for personal issues and to get that into your day and your and your schedule so that everyone is it’s on the up and up. I think that’s very, very important. That’s a good point, Paul. It really does come down to everyone understanding and this is digressing slightly. But if you are in a situation where you, you know, you have a job and you want to have more remote time, more flexibility. One thing you can talk to your boss about or your manager. Most companies, even very. Until now, most people didn’t have a formal policy for remote workers now. But in essence, that’s going to change, right? I think that is definitely going to change. But companies that did have formal policies mostly left it up to the individual managers to decide whether their employees could be at home or remote workers or not. So you might negotiate with your now that it’s time to go back in. Everyone’s going all right. But you know what, really? Most Gallup did a survey recently that said that people who are working from home during this period of time when we’re at stay at home like something like two thirds of them want to stay working at home. So, you know, so in order to make that case to your boss, you might say, let’s try this out for three months and let’s see how it works.
Kerry Hannon: [00:21:56] And let’s have that conversation. How’s it working for you? How is it working for me? How can we make this dance really work for both of us? So that’s something to consider. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can also negotiate for a couple of days a week, but you might, because actually a lot of people and particularly workers, over 50, yes, we want that autonomy. And you ask someone what they love about their jobs. Usually at this age, what we’re looking for is believing in the mission of the company we work for or the nonprofit and a sense of autonomy that we are in control, that we’re grown ups and we can figure out how to use our time and get our work done and nobody looking over our shoulder. So having that autonomy is a really big deal. But we also risk isolation. So some of us do want to get back in the office occasionally. So you want to have face time, so build that into whatever remote work schedule you’re going to develop with your employer. You do want face time. It is important to show up for those important meetings or a celebration for somebody.
[00:23:00] Oh yeah, absolutely. And you’re right about the negotiation part, too, because whether it’s your company or a manager, you cannot assume that they know what they’re doing or that the company’s policy is, Oh, well, this is perfect giving that feedback of saying, here’s how this would work better or here’s what I need to be more effective at my job. It’s a malleable, ongoing evolutionary process. So very good point. Ok, so we’ve we’ve talked about. Discipline, tech savvy tech skills, communication, the technology, obviously time for yourself, wardrobe, work, schedule, boundaries.
Kerry Hannon: [00:23:44] I wanted to talk just for a second, a little bit about the self-care piece of that because it’s easy to get, as we talked about, sucked into working all the time, you know, and and employers calling you and sending you emails all hours of the day and texts and and if you’re on slack or whatever it is, there’s this message Zoom, you know, oh, you’re available. Twenty four seven now you’re not. But for the hours that you are, so you have to be clear about what your work hours are when we’re setting these boundaries. It’s not only with our, our families and our neighbors and our friends who want to call us, so we think we’re working at home. So we’re we’re free game, but it’s also the employers so that they know when they can reach you and when they can’t. Of course, you make exceptions for fast deadlines or something. That’s a last minute project. But you also in that self-care bucket of giving ourselves breaks during the day. I encourage first people eat with an eye to nutrition and energy because sometimes you get sloppy and you start eating really not good snacks or just, you know, grabbing a handful of M&Ms. I love M&Ms, mind you, but to get that burst of energy. But in fact, you know, it’s best to have a little, you know, some grapes or some raisins or oranges. I know we’re getting a little off track here, but
[00:25:01] No, this is important.
Kerry Hannon: [00:25:02] You’re right that what you eat is what how your brain works. So we need healthy brains and we need energy. So focus on what you’re eating and your nutrition so that you do have that energy and take that time in your day, as I do to walk my dog or whatever it is. You do the exercise and your meditation. You do Paul in the morning. Behold these self-care things into your day so that you are really, you know, running at your best. And the best thing that is going to make you a successful remote worker is your performance. That’s what your measurement is going to be.
[00:25:39] Yeah, really good points. And the fact that to that you’re at home. The demands and expectations of even the appearance of coming back from lunch in a big lunch, you might be bogged down in your mind because you’re digesting all this food, but you’re in front of a bunch of people. It’s different at home. I view the lunch hour as precious for me in first place. I’m, you know, I’ll eat half a sandwich or I’ll do a a healthy shake or something like that because I don’t want to get bogged down. I’m also a believer in the power nap, so I’ve actually programmed myself where I take a 20 minute nap after I have lunch, which to me is like hitting a reset button. I’m like some of the clearest I’ve been all day. And if I can do it, I’ll even just I’ll walk like the equivalent of two blocks outside. So your point? You’re outside and it gets my blood going and I sit down and I’m really ready to go if I have a big launch and just oh, and by the way, I put aside work for that period of time too. So it is a mental break as well.
Kerry Hannon: [00:26:42] Yeah, yeah, I love that. But again, and the other thing is what we talked about scheduling our work, you know, I’m doing this this. Don’t be afraid to take those breaks to meet with a colleague, four or a coworker or somebody who’s visiting from out of town, who or is in town to have that cup of coffee around the corner at the coffee shop or whatever you say, Oh, I’m too busy. I’ve got too much going on. I can’t do that, but we’re in our little isolated vacuums and sometimes you do need to hit that pause button and walk around the corner and meet with that person because I always say, Oh, I can’t do it, why did I agree to do that? But as soon as I do that, I come back and I’m like, Whoa, I’m so excited. I’ve done that. My brain’s going, I’m like, I’ve made this human, this human connection, and you can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of that. And that’s not so we’re missing that by not being in an office environment. So any of those little opportunities you can grab do do it. I really make the time to do that.
[00:27:41] Oh, really good point. In fact, you just made me realize that lately some of the calls that I’ve had with clients and colleagues. The first 10 15 minutes is what used to happen at the water cooler. We said, we’re just talking about our lives or did you read this or something like that? That’s actually a really good point. You know, making time and being free to have just that human engagement, which is messing with working from home. Let’s talk about. Now again, Kerry’s book, so much of Kerry’s work is geared toward boomers for lack of a better term. But this is geared for everyone. I mean, everything in this book for any age in the professional working world is good. Let’s talk about the type of jobs, and actually, I’m skewing in my mindset toward boomers and such. But we certainly know that employment and the job market and how we’re going to earn an income is is radically changing right now. It’s going to be significantly impacted in ways we can’t imagine for the near term and even the long term. So therefore, the skills are important, but also the opportunity of of. In the opportunities that include working from home, we’re going to be big, so you mentioned the types of jobs give us give us a sense of what kind of jobs can kind of embrace this new new normal.
Kerry Hannon: [00:29:06] Yeah. So so let’s be fair on this. This is a very somewhat elite group of workers who are going to benefit from this. These are white collar jobs. For the most part, we’re not. You’re not going to see a lot of caregivers. There’s a lot of jobs that really are retail workers and hospitality industry.
[00:29:29] Oh my
Kerry Hannon: [00:29:30] Gosh. These are not going to be. So they’re more white collar and creative jobs, right? But again, there’s a big smorgasbord of this thing from being someone who’s a transcriber, you know that you transcribe various audio recordings for four employers, a wide range of employers. You can be a translator, you can be a graphic designer in the financial field, financial planning
Kerry Hannon: [00:30:00] Tax preparer accountants in health care. Oh my gosh, have we not just realized how telehealth? Yes, telehealth is really going to have its day. So virtual lots of virtual medical jobs are going to be we’re going to see a boom in these kinds of positions.
[00:30:18] And plus the people who handle the business side of health care, too. So the accountants, the even salespeople, HR, so everything that any corporation would have
Kerry Hannon: [00:30:31] Absolutely any of these kinds of things. And with health care going back to that a little bit too, there’s quite a bit that can be done with medical coding and medical transcription and all throughout the health industry, there’s waves up in the insurance industry of reviewing policies and so forth. A lot of those jobs can be done. Customer service, of course, is a natural or tech support. These are all jobs, but you can also be, you know, an architect. You can be you can be a writer. You can. So I mean, there’s so many going down the road that that it’s hard to imagine new ones are being created all the time that can be done remotely. But a lot of these are going to be a skills based jobs that really you may need to ramp up some skills and certificates for, and there’s lots of great online education available. You don’t get master’s degrees for most of this, but you know, even career coaching, lots of career coaching is done virtually. You don’t have to sit down and meet with somebody in person. You can do it on the phone. You can do it like we’re talking right now. So you know, just using your imagination about ways you can do your job remotely. Fundraising Oh my gosh. Yes, sales and fundraising. Often you do need to meet with somebody. But this kind of meeting like we’re having Paul. Hey, that’s pretty good, too.
[00:31:57] Yeah, no, actually. Very, very good point. And so a lot of this moves us into the last topic that I wanted to cover with you on this and that and that is the gig economy which has been growing, which would seem that it’s on the verge of exploding, given this very thing that we’re talking about being able to work remotely and work from home. What what you would expect, but you don’t know yet that many companies are going to be reluctant to have the expenditures and other challenges or efforts that are required by onboarding somebody as a full time employee and the gig economy. My definition is basically people who are self-employed work on projects. They’re contract workers, freelancers, and they’re too. I characterize it. It’s two levels on one level. You have, for instance, the Uber driver. That’s a gig economy, but then you have the professional level, which is pretty much what we’ve been talking about here, where you’re providing. The same kind of professional services that there used to be a desk in cubicle four, but you’re doing it remotely. And by the way, I see this as a big thing for boomers because the numbers I’ve heard is that thirty five percent of the gig workers right now are baby boomers, and that number was expected to go up. Your book seems to me for people of all ages to be huge, to be able to get those gig jobs, what’s what’s your overall take both to the gig economy and and what what you’re offering with great pajama jobs?
Kerry Hannon: [00:33:31] Yeah. Well, thanks, Paul. See, this has been happening. This phenomena started a number of years ago as companies realize that they could, particularly with workers over 50, bring you back, bring you in on a contract basis, and that saves them paying you benefits and and office space. So they were already seeing the beauty of bringing on contract workers for four projects or even for a certain time period in these flexible kinds of positions, not just for over 50 workers, but for 20 somethings. I mean, and so people have begun to cobble together these patchwork quilt of jobs. So this has been going because from the employer standpoint, they’ve been trying to get lean and mean for a long time, and this was a great way for them. And this started way back in the recession in 08. I mean, this isn’t this is something that really has been gaining steam because the savings for a company of having somebody as a gig worker is huge. Having somebody, though, even as a an employer employee who works from home and as companies adapt to this new model is a huge cost savings as they’re going to find as we move forward in real estate costs, they’re going to be able to have a great environmental impact by by not only in their own footprint, but by people not commuting. I mean, think of the society, that’s the benefits we’re going to get from this. It’s fantastic. And for us, as as employees who are working from home, the costs of commuting and you know, that’s a huge savings. It’s not just saving on that cup of coffee or lunch out, it’s also on your gasoline and on your your wardrobe, even all kinds of time.
[00:35:19] The time gets eaten up in that community.
Kerry Hannon: [00:35:22] And and another benefit for someone, I’m jumping around a little bit here, but another benefit for workers who are over 50 with these remote jobs working from home is that some of us have reached the point and I have this issue. I have terrible night vision and if I were driving to work and I had to drive home late at night because I was stuck in later, even when the days are short, it was really a strain. And so being able to work from home takes away a lot of some of these, and I’m not trying to be ages. These are facts that it really, truly or if you have a long commute on a train into the office and you have to navigate up and down stairs and all kinds of things, or if you have a disability, oh my gosh. Having a growth in remote jobs is fantastic and being able to work from home on so many personal levels, as well as financial cost savings levels for the employee and the employer and makes you more productive. But back to the gig economy quickly, that has been growing. That’s not going away. Companies are going to continue, I think, pursuing more of these opportunities to have you in on a short term basis, mostly for this benefit issue. And that’s not necessarily a great thing for us, but for people like you and me. It’s kind of fun because I’m curious and I love how employers I love having lots of clients because the intellectual challenge just excites me. I like having the smorgasbord, makes me excited about my work.
[00:36:49] Yeah. And to further further, the benefits of being set up and prepared to work from home and especially in gig jobs and things of that sort. It does give, you know, for me, I started being a gig worker 30 years ago and I used to get a lot of pushback. Well, where is your building? Where is your staff? I used to say, Look, I’ve got the Flex. Two things one, you could never afford to hire me and you wouldn’t make sense to hire me. You just want to bring me in when you need these things done, which was great. Number two, where’s my staff? I hired freelancers because I characterized it. It was true. This was the dream team. I was hiring the right person for this specific project. Not just the person who I happen to have on staff. Those became assets for me and I can see those as being assets for the companies. The other thing and I will I will couch this by saying, I wonder. But I wonder if this is going to in some way, shape or form to some degree mitigate the ageism issue because, you know, I’ve been hearing more and more that sometimes the problems that companies have with bringing in older workers is certainly cost. It’s health care. It’s will they mix well with the group? And it’s also are they up to date? And you know, I’ve read anecdotally of so many HR people saying, Look, the problem was is that this person was just out of date with the times. Well, if you’re geared up, if you read Carrie’s book and get geared up in the technology and the habits and everything to succeed at that that does away with a lot of those issues, I got to wonder about that.
Kerry Hannon: [00:38:24] And it’s also the optics in the workplace of having someone with gray hair and working alongside somebody who is young and, you know, staring at their phone, you know, or whatever it is. I think there’s a sensibility that people when you’re working this way, when it’s not all like these virtual visual interactions, age is not top of mind. It’s performance.
[00:38:49] So it should be.
Kerry Hannon: [00:38:51] I know it’s like people judge a book by its cover. So I’m not. I’m not saying that it is right, but it’s just human nature. So if it’s not right in front of them, age becomes not as big an issue.
[00:39:05] So speaking of Judge, the book by a cover and this interview. The book is great pajama jobs, your complete guide to working from home. We’re recording this on March twenty nine. What’s the status of release and where I can get it?
Kerry Hannon: [00:39:22] Well, thank you so much. It’s up for pre-order right now on Amazon and other booksellers. Good reads, I think, and in the books, and it should be out, I believe the end of June, beginning of July. But. We’re trying to speed it up. Maybe the e-reader might be a little quicker, but luckily I’ve been able to jump in and smash it for our times so that it’s it’s relevant. But there’s great resources, really, really good resources of jobs to look at employers and you want to go to the employer website themselves to find out what kind of remote opportunities they might have and great job boards really dedicated to remote working like flex jobs and work at home vintage employees. I think it is Wave, which is awesome. They do a lot of banking and financial and insurance jobs that can be done from home aimed at workers over 50. So those are two big ones. But there’s lots of other sites that I mentioned in the book, so I encourage everyone to check it out.
[00:40:23] Yeah. And by the way, you raised a good point. There are a lot of wave, yes, in which what’s wonderful about them is it really works well for you because they help gear you up and make sure you’re aligned with what’s needed, technology wise and otherwise. And then therefore to for for the the business that’s doing the hiring, there’s that confidence level. So what’s cool about it is, is that we’re seeing these new approaches and new resources and companies out there that are adapting to the time that that we as workers can take advantage of.
Kerry Hannon: [00:40:57] Yeah. And we should say a caveat here. There are work at home scams, so you have to be very diligent and don’t just, you know, the sites that you and I just mentioned that the companies that post on these boards, they are rigorously vetted and that is important. You need to do your due diligence because there are some bad apples out there. So truthfully, be very careful about this approach to finding a work from home job.
[00:41:26] Excellent. Very, very good point. Because you’re right, wherever there’s a successful thing or training going on, they’re going to be the snakes in the grass that you’ve got to watch out for. Absolutely. Yes. Very outstanding.
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