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Conference Calls, Couches & Keeping My Sanity: I Hate Working From Home

March 17th, 2020

Woman with brown shoulder-length hair holding her hands to her face as she works from home in front of a computer
Shot of a young woman looking stressed while using a laptop to work from home

There is an allure to working from home if you are an on-site employee.  Just once a week, it would be nice to skip the commute, work from bed, and play music while you type away.  If you regularly work from home, then you likely have a schedule, a set-up, and have chosen this type of work lifestyle.  You’re prepared and your daily life likely hasn’t changed too much. 

But for many, navigating the work-from-home model during the COVID-19 outbreak means a drastic adjustment to everyday life.  There are plenty of great tips and tricks to making your space work-friendly and keeping yourself focused.  But what happens when you hate working from home? What happens when you thrive on your office environment for conversation, motivation, and energy?

Particularly in this critical moment, work-from-home doesn’t mean work-from-anywhere — libraries, cafes, and public spaces are closed in many states and people are being strongly encouraged to isolate themselves.

As inherently social creatures (even introverts!), forced isolation can be tough. Spending a weekend binging your favorite show and never leaving your home is a choice. But somehow, when it’s forced, it’s no longer enjoyable.

So how do you get through the dread of working from home while everyone else is celebrating in their pajamas?

Take a Break

Sometimes lack of motivation is tough for newly minted work-from-home employees. But sometimes the opposite is true.  Overworking yourself to make the day go by faster — without taking your normal breaks can burn you out.  It’s far easier to leave a physical office at the end of the day and mentally shut down.

Being motivated and productive is great, but if you are going to be in a forced work-from-home environment for the foreseeable future, then scheduling breaks and a firm end-of-workday time, are critical.

Take a walk, bake, call your friends, check in on your parents, or catch up on your favorite drama.  Take a few moments to stop working and bring some normalcy back into your life.

Encourage Communication

It’s so easy to ask a question and collaborate when you’re in a shared office space.  “Have a minute? Can I run something by you?” – it seems trivial until you have to try to schedule a time to meet or need an answer ASAP.

If you have a team, or a close group of co-workers with whom you have regular contact, schedule a few five or ten-minute sessions every day to video conference with them. These are the people who make your in-office experience great.  It’s easy to chat via instant messaging, but socialization and communication needs aren’t always met this way.  Maybe it’s a laugh or a quick catch up to get you re-energized before the next big project.

Change it Up

Chances are, if your company has allowed (or mandated) work-from-home, then you have some flexibility in your schedule.  If you are in a position where you only need to be physically present during core hours or mandatory meetings, talk to your manager about working when you are most productive. Try to align your schedule with your natural cycle of productivity. Take advantage of your night-owl or early-bird tendencies.  You may find larger chunks of time during the day that you can focus on yourself, your family, or your home.

At the end of the day, for many, this mandated work-from-home model is short-term. For the weeks ahead, we can adjust, adapt and know that we are doing this for the greater good and to stop the spread of Coronavirus.  But it’s important to acknowledge that working from home is not for everyone. It isn’t always as simple as eating breakfast in bed, in your pajamas, and going about your day as if nothing has changed. 


Talener is committed to the safety and health of its employees, clients and candidates. All Talener offices are currently working from a work-from-home model. It is important that we are able to have a happy and healthy team who can continue to help candidates find jobs and help clients fulfill business needs during this unprecedented time. We thank you for all of your patience and for adapting your practices as we all navigate these changes.

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Posted in Talener Blog

Interviewing During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

March 6th, 2020

Planning for modified hiring processes, handshakes, and video conferences

Businesses and people across the country are preparing for a potential pandemic of COVID-19, the Novel Coronavirus.  But today, like any other day, millions of people woke up, got themselves ready, and made the commute to work. For the vast majority of employees who don’t work 100% remotely, physically coming into work is a reality, pandemic or not.

Employers are making business continuity plans, and major companies like Twitter and Ford are banning all non-essential travel.  Google and Facebook both canceled their developer conferences in the wake of the outbreak. Some have even restricted their own employees from offices until they complete a mandatory quarantine after traveling to high-risk areas for business or pleasure. 

But businesses must continue to operate. And part of operating means hiring new employees as business needs arise.  The use of phone interviews or video calls is widespread for early stages of the hiring process, but most companies require an in-person meeting at least once before extending an offer.

If you are working with a staffing agency like Talener, your representative is your advocate – especially if you have concerns or questions regarding on-site interviews. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get answers prior to going on-site. If companies have enacted work-from-home policies, ask how it affects your ability to interview as well as your potential start with the organization.

If you are working on your own, most hiring managers or HR will appreciate the heads up about any concerns you may have.

Travel

If you have traveled to a high-risk area recently, please be courteous to your interviewers and give them a heads up to confirm if they would like to re-schedule, conduct a video conference, or have you come into the office.  

Likewise, if you know that the company at which you are applying has international offices in high-risk areas and employees who travel frequently, you should ask the hiring manager or your staffing representative if they are taking any precautions with their own staff.

Sickness

Experiencing sever cold or flu-like symptoms before your interview?  It is in your best interest and the interviewers to give them as much notice as possible if you are feeling under the weather.  While canceling an interview is never ideal, providing as much notice as you can is always the right decision. 

This is particularly true if you have traveled to risk-areas or if you live in a densely populated area where you are in constant contact with people at shops, restaurants, or on public transportation.

Shaking Hands

It is OK to let your interviewer know that you are trying to follow universal precautions during the outbreak. If you’ve been on public transportation, take this approach, “I was just on the subway, could you point me to the restroom to wash my hands before we get started?”

If you are uncomfortable skipping the handshake, keep hand sanitizer with you or ask to use the restroom to wash your hands before you begin your interview.

Continuity Plans

Many companies have business continuity and disaster plans in place, particularly in densely populated areas or if they have employees that travel regularly.  During the interview, ask about work-from-home policies, policies on personal and work-sponsored travel, and expectations.

During this time, your Talener representatives are in constant contact with clients. They are learning about continuity plans as they emerge as well as making alternative arrangements if in-person interviews are not a viable option. If you have questions about a company with whom you are interviewing, use Talener as a resource.

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For more information about the Novel Coronvirus (COVID-19), the WHO, CDC, and National Institute of Health provide universal precautionary measures as well as information about the spread of the virus.

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Posted in FAQ, Talener Blog

Beyond the Hourly Rate: What to Consider When Determining Temp-to-Perm Pay

October 31st, 2019

Determining the rate for consultant work is not as simple as breaking down the annual salary for a permanent employee.  If you are looking at hiring highly skilled temp-to-perm staff as part of your team, consider the following before you set an hourly or daily rate.

Accept that you’re paying a premium. The first step in determining the rate is accepting that you’re likely going to pay a premium for the work, particularly in high-demand areas like technology. As the employer, you determine both the contract length and the job security for your contractor. Therefore, skilled & available contractors demand a premium for this lack of control over their job security.

What is your end goal? Are you looking for a seasoned consultant who might consider taking on a permanent position?  Or, is your goal to hire an employee who traditionally works permanent positions and is eager to make a temp job, permanent? Advertise your job in a way to attract the type of person that you are seeking.  Their background may determine how you approach your rate strategy.

Evaluate your past success with temp-to-perm employees. If you have used the temp-to-perm model before, take a closer look at your process.  How did it work out? Were there any surprises during the conversion process? Self-evaluation is a powerful tool to improve and streamline the contractor & temp-to-perm hiring process.

Consider the consultant’s added expenses. It’s easy to see your potential cost savings from contract employees in the form of expenses like health benefits or retirement contributions.  But your savings are costs that a contractor will likely still need to cover during their tenure with your organization.  

Acknowledge what the consultant is lacking.  Beyond the added expenses that a consultant will need to cover, it is also important to recognize that consultants will lack benefits and perks that permanent employees enjoy; paid vacation days, paid holidays, paid sick leave, employer contributions to retirement plans, equity, bonuses, etc.  

Your goal is to attract in-demand contract talent who can hit the ground running and solve your business needs now. Attracting this talent goes beyond an the hourly or daily rate. Experienced consultants who are experts in their fields are in high demand. Making a fair contract offer now will not only make the short-term contract look attractive in a competitive market, but it establishes a positive relationship if a permanent position is on the table after the contract.


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Posted in Talener Blog, Uncategorized

Talener Hires Paul Staffier, Business Development Manager in Boston

October 28th, 2019

October 21, 2019 – Boston, MA – Talener welcomes Paul Staffier to Talener Boston.  Paul joins Talener with significant staffing and business development experience. A graduate of UMass Amherst, Paul has spent the last twenty years in the recruitment & staffing industries.  His business development knowledge from working with high-growth firms and startups with be an asset to the Talener team. 

Paul’s background includes time at Monster.com, H3 & JobMagic where he excelled in account management, sales & business development positions.  Paul’s experience has led him to undertake a collaborative approach to developing strong relationships with clients; working on their behalf to find creative solutions to their business needs. 

“I have worked with Paul in multiple industries over the course of his career,” says Boston Director of Business Development, Jed Pillion, “He brings a lot of experience to Talener and I am looking forward to partnering up with him again.”

As the Business Development Manager, Paul will work closely with the team to nurture & foster business relationships within the Boston metro.  We are looking forward to having Paul’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive at Talener.


Started in 2007, Talener is a technology staffing practice headquartered in New York City. Talener matches top tech talent with leading organizations across industries in Boston, Chicago, New York City, & San Francisco Metros.

Posted in Uncategorized

Six Reasons to Hire Temp-to-Perm Employees

October 9th, 2019

Multiracial young creative people in modern office. Successful hipster team in coworking. Businesspeople walking in the corridor of an business center. Motion blur.

The perfect employee isn’t always standing on your doorstep waiting to apply for your job. Or, the right fit for your company might be missing a few ideal skills.  And sometimes, it isn’t about the employee at all. A project could terminate early or evolve into something that requires creating a permanent position.  Business needs change and temp-to-perm employees solve an immediate talent shortage that organizations face– while providing the opportunity to keep a long-term employee.

Should you hire a temp-to-perm employee?

Consider the following.

You need talent, fast. You can expedite the interview and on-boarding process by bringing on contract talent quickly.  You avoid the lengthy perm interview process as well as the possibility that the talent you want is scooped up by another company while you get through your standard interview process.

You want to try before you buy. Temp-to-perm gives both you and the employee the opportunity to see if the job is right for them.  The prospect for a long-term position is available, but neither side is obligated to extend past the initial contract period.  The contract portion of this model is defined and gives both parties an out.

Off boarding is easier.  The contract has a clear end date that both the company and employee have agreed to. Off boarding a contractor is faster and doesn’t come with the potential morale dip that permanent employees may feel if they were to lose a colleague hired into a permanent position.

Initial feelings on long-term fit aren’t critical. You need to create an immediate, temporary solution to a business problem.  You can hire someone with the right skills, even if you aren’t sure that they will be the right fit for a long-term position.  This gives you both the opportunity to try out the relationship through the contract.  You may be surprised about how well someone integrates into your team– especially if they didn’t initially feel like the right long-term hire.

Saving Equity. If you are looking to save equity that is typically offered to permanent employees, consider hiring a consultant and paying them a higher hourly rate.

The right culture fit. If you’ve found the right person to fit your position but they are light on a few skills that you’d ideally like in a permanent employee, this contract is an opportunity to see how they learn and develop their abilities.  The right employee who is equally as talented and motivated to learn can be critical to sustained success.


Looking for more resources to help with your job search? Contact Talener or check out some of our latest info on resume templates, offer rejection, and more!


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Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

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