Working From Home, Good or Bad?

It used to be the dream, a day or two a week working from home, avoiding commuting into the office and working from your sofa but, in reality, but it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be.

The idea is that you can get more done and be more productive without constant office interruptions, become truly independent and learn to harness self-motivation, discipline, focus and concentration. You can sleep more because your office is right in the next room and you have all day access to your own fridge.

On the other hand you might also feel isolated, cut off from your colleagues, at the mercy of technology issues and beset by well meaning friends and relatives who assume ‘’working from home’’ means skiving. It can be good for your waistline, mental health, marriage, productivity, finances and more, but the majority of household chores are likely to fall to you and you may suffer from cabin fever.

The simple truth is that working from home works wonderfully for some people in some professions, but it doesn’t suit everyone.

What do you think, is working from home for you, yes or no?

#TuesdayThoughts – Want to fine tune your interview preparation?

Don’t just research the organisation on its own, but the industry as a whole. This includes researching its competitors and any trends, including what categories they fall into. This is a useful way to show the interviewer that you have thought about the bigger picture.

Here are some of the ways to access this information …

  • Newsletters (sign up!) – This will give you more information about the company to mention in your interview to show that you’ve done your research and used your initiative. Go one step further and sign up for their competitors’ newsletters too, so you are really aware of what the industry is doing.
  • Newspaper and trade magazines – Check out the latest news, take overs, hires and developments and make sure you mention your wide knowledge into the interview conversation .
  • Phone and ask for info – This shows you’re using your initiative and not afraid to use the phone.
  • THOROUGHLY look at the company’s website – press releases on there are a really good way to see what they have been doing.
  • Ask around – Do you know someone who works/has worked for this specific company? If so, these are good people to ask to gain information on the inside track which may help, but be wary of being swayed by personal bias.

On the Couch With The Chairman: Attracting talent – how to do it when writing adverts?

Here’s a starter for 10 –

‘Two hands are a lot – we’re hiring data scientists, project managers, policy experts, assorted weirdos…’

Dominic Cummings is making a statement not only about the staff he wants but he’s telling us that he is not looking for a ‘type’. He goes on to say that SW1 needs, ‘True wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole..’

Of course his blog is not just about Dominic Cummings and 10 Downing Street, but it’s about attracting a different ‘type’- people out of the ordinary who would rarely look at working in government because they do not fit the profile of a Downing Street civil servant or researcher.

Of course, it’s bold copy, but then, when attracting talent, are we too conservative (small c!)? Let’s remind ourselves what David Ogilvy, the bard of advertising, tells us when writing advertisements:

  • When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it creative, I want you to find it so interesting that you want to buy the product.
  • On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
  • The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.

So, maybe 2020 should be the year to sharpen your ad copy!

Here’s Dominic Cummings blog:

So, what’s keeping you?


Job Hunting? You May Not Know That …

While a lot of people start looking for a new job in November and December, ahead of the new year rush, January is also one of the best months to search for a new position. There is a backlog of jobs from the end of the year that need to be filled, with the 7th January being the most popular day to apply.

Did you know that …

  • According to a recent article from Crunch, British workers are most likely to quit their jobs on 31st January, hanging on until the first payday after Christmas, with 46% saying that this was their main reason for waiting this long.
  • 75% of CV’s are rejected before they even reach the hiring manager. That’s why it’s so important that your CV is relevant and easy to skim. We bet you didn’t know that if you include a photo on your CV, there’s an 88% rejection rate and that 76% of CV’s are rejected because of unprofessional email addresses!
  • 54% of employers have rejected candidates based on their social media profile. Make sure yours is professional
  • 45% of job hunters utilise job boards but only 14.9% of company hires come from candidates found on job boards and 80% of jobs never get advertised, so you need to actually talk to people.
  • The typical length of a job search is 16.9 weeks and it takes an employer an average of 52 days to fill a job opening. Don’t be disheartened if it feels like the process is dragging on forever – it’s not just you.
  • The average length of an interview is 40 minutes and the average time it takes for a hiring manager to know if they will hire that candidate is 90 seconds.
  • 55% of interviewees get rejected for the way they acted, dressed or behaved; including lack of eye contact.
  • Companies prefer employed candidates. If you’ve had an extended period of employment, consider a voluntary or part time, casual role until you secure a full-time job.
  • More people are also now deciding to work for themselves – 18% starting their own business. “The number of British people working for themselves rose from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015 – an all-time high and an increase of more than 20%.” As well as this, 15.1% of the labour force were self employed in 2017 according to the Office for National Statistics.