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Being a successful freelancer is a confidence booster, but some people ask me, "are you actually getting paid to write?" My eyebrows cave in, and I realize at times that even though there are successful freelancers out there on YouTube and television, many still believe that the writer's life is simply a hobby that brings minimal success. The truth is, if you do things in a certain way, you can travel the world, collaborate with C-suite professionals on projects, and help others during your career.
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For our COO Erik Church, it's a five-hour flight. He lives in Toronto and works in Vancouver, putting 2,000 miles between home and the office. From his perspective, his flights offer him a rare luxury he'd never find at the office: 10 hours a week of focused work, free from interruption. He believes anyone can do the same.
Of all the things the Internet has done for society, changing the image of the workplace is one of the most exciting. Canadian businesses are embracing the idea of remote (telecommuting or mobile) workers, due to increasing evidence of the many benefits of a flexible workforce.
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It also makes for happier employees.
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Mobile computing devices including the standby chargers, which provide life support to battery-starved smartphones or tablets, are adding pounds to the bags dangling from our aching shoulders. For the sake of our shoulders and spine, we need fewer and lighter devices.
One of the best decisions I made was when I stopped commuting six months ago. I now work much closer to home at a flexible worksplace. I get to drop my kids off at school. My morning stress has decreased significantly and I start my days off much happier than I ever did when I had to commute. I believe it's time for businesses to consider if it's truly necessary for people to commute in rush-hour traffic every day to get to work.
I'm forced to admit that Marissa Mayer's decision to make employers work in office makes good sense, especially given that she is dealing with an under-performing workforce and low employee morale. If Mayer's two main tasks are to rebuild the culture of the organization and to increase revenues, getting employees back together in one space is a good start. That said, there is little doubt that flexible work arrangements and family friendly employment structures are crucial for the success of modern organizations. The challenge for employers is to find a way to offer family friendly work structures that are also good for business.
All too often, I think we get caught up in details of success that don't actually mean much to moms. I care far less about having a smartphone than I do about the option of using that smartphone to work from home when one of my kids is sick. It's an extra step, but an important one.