Monday, 29 October 2012

Are you less likely to be promoted if you work from home?

When working from home, do you constantly feel under pressure to prove to your boss you are working? 

My guess is that the answer will be a resounding ‘yes’ for most people. 

So the next question I would like to ask is:

Why do employees feel under pressure to prove to their boss they are working when working from home?

Perhaps the answer can be found in the Economist’s recent article ‘Working from home; out of sight, out of mind’.  This article states that people who work from home are less likely to be promoted, regardless of quality of work.   Yes, you could be working your socks off at home whilst your colleague in the office gets the promotion you have been working so hard for and, to make matters worse, the standard of your colleagues work is poor in comparison to your own work.

Is the answer to stop working from home?

No, I don’t think this is the way forward.  Of course it is important to point out that this will not apply to all employers but for those who are feeling a bit guilty about this, perhaps it is time to rethink your approach to working from home.

Remember there can be many benefits to working from home

To name a few:

·         No stress caused by a difficult commute.
·         No meetings or distractions from colleagues.
·         Fewer interruptions. 
·         Improved work-life balance.

These benefits alone will improve motivation which in turn will produce better quality of work, meaning happier employees and improved business productivity. 

It’s a win-win situation!  

Is it now time employers recognise that working from home can be as productive, if not more productive, than working in the office?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The job you really want to do!

Are you an accountant, a lawyer, a teacher, an artist, an engineer, a doctor, an events manager, an officer......?
Whatever you do, how often to you think about the reasons for your chosen career path?
Why do you go to work?   
1.     Money – You need to make a living. 
2.     Habit – You’ve attended school, college or university and now you have a job – that’s what we are meant to do, isn’t it? 
3.     Passion – I love what I do.
Which category best describes the reason for your chosen career?
I am sure many of you reading this chose 1 or 2 but how many of you wished you had chosen number 3, passion.
We all want to fulfil our passion in life for passion is what gives us drive and makes us happy.  It gives us energy to live life to the full.
I have worked with many people who are determined to find their dream career which will fulfil their passion.  It may involve a career change or having a look at career progression and with a bit of determination and work they do achieve their dream job.  This could be you too!
I know it can be challenging so take one step at a time. 
Perhaps the first best step is to change.  This could be through changing your way of thinking or a more practical step such as talking to people about your interests and talents to enable you to begin exploring your career options.
Wouldn’t you love to be able to truthfully say this to people?
‘I love what I do’


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Perfectionism and Stress – A hot topic for lawyers

“I find my job as a lawyer stressful.  Perfection is expected at all times and I find this pressure difficult to manage.”
In June last year I wrote a blog titled, ‘What impact does perfectionism have on a lawyer’s career?’.  Interestingly, this has been one of the most popular blogs I have published.  It is even more popular than topics such as Are you a lawyer considering a career change? or How transferrable skills help lawyers change career.
In my experience of coaching lawyers, the demand for perfectionism is becoming a big issue for many people and a significant contributor to workplace stress.  In the world of law, every detail has to be accurate and each action taken has to be precise. I am sure many of you are even finding yourself reading this with a critical eye.  Are there any spelling mistakes?  Are there any grammatical errors?
According to the 2011 CIPD/Simplyhealth absence report, stress is now the biggest cause of long-term absence from work and so if you are a perfectionist and suffering from stress, is it time to start searching for strategies to help relieve this stress?   
Here are a few tips to help:
1.     Don’t waste time punishing yourself when you make a mistake.  Learn from it and move on.  You will be far more productive and your performance at work will improve.
2.     If you are required to rectify an error, first go for a short walk allowing yourself time to be in the best frame of mind before approaching this task. Once you are feeling more positive, focus on the solution rather than the problem.
3.     Set yourself realistic standards.  If you are always striving for 100% perfection, you will spend the majority of your time feeling dissatisfied.  Perfection may be expected of you but is it really possible?
4.     Be flexible in your approach to work.  If your working methods make you stressed, try a different approach.   Remind yourself that if you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same result.
5.     If you are stuck for further ideas, consider if there is anyone else you trust who may be experiencing the same issue and ask how they are dealing with it. 
...and a final point....always remember...
If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.
(Jack Dixon)