Quarter 1: How to Get Started

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Another different New Year has come but have your plans changed? For many people, personal life is, more or less, the same old thing, but for those more open-minded, there are new possibilities galore!

You must have noticed a rapid change of trends, particularly in the sphere of remote work. With many economies now striving to attract new business people to quickly cover up the pandemic losses, opportunities are as abundant as it gets!

Remote work, freelancing, digital nomadism… these are only some of the new opportunities, but you can also choose a fine mixture of them all and rely on hybrid work if that suits you better.

No matter your plans, you should shape clear ideas as now is, so to speak, the perfect moment to embrace the change and start living life the way you want to.

Without any doubt, the greatest benefit of the rise of the gig economy is the fact that the once helpless workforce now can choose among an offer so huge that there is a prospect for everyone.

So, what are your plans for Q1?

Here are some ideas, from big leaps to small, forgotten necessities.

Put Your Health First

First things first. Health undoubtedly must come first. If you’re feeling unwell, a stellar salary won’t help you much in the long run, so think about the modern challenges of our hectic times.

Stress and anxiety have become common among people of all ages and so have unhealthy habits. If you’re relying on fast food and unhealthy snacks, start with changing your habits. Put a bowl with fresh fruit on your desk and swap your snack with a banana. Soon enough, you’ll be able to see the difference, both in your body and in your psyche.

Next on, make sure to allocate proper time to your physical and mental health. Take any injury recovery seriously.

If you’re a freelancer or a digital nomad, consider a health savings account for medical emergencies, just in case.

Lastly, sit less, walk more, stretch your muscles regularly, and don’t skip regular breaks! It’s really not that difficult — you only need to get started, and the rest will follow soon.

Make a Point to Be More Sustainable

Whether you’re trying to recycle more or are taking a hard look at your everyday choices, the beginning of the year is an excellent time to look at how your choices are affecting the environment. You’ve probably heard the saying that every little bit helps, and it most certainly does. However, also make some big decisions, when faced with the opportunity. For example, are you thinking about buying a new car? With the federal incentives for EVs, there’s never been a better time to “drive green!”

Decide Exactly How You Will Work: Remote? Hybrid? Freelancer? Digital Nomad?

Everyone seems to be having a difficult time getting started at the first of the year, whether that be needing motivation or knowing how to get organized. It is only understandable, given that the slew of opportunities can make one’s head spin. The key is in focusing on your goals, as it has always been.

First of all, if you’re looking for something new, you should learn how to get a remote job and then consider streamlined tax filing if you’re planning to go one step beyond and become a digital nomad.

Keep in mind, however, that though digital nomadism may be alluring, it is not suitable for people without some savings and a steady client base. Which is to say, start building your portfolio and searching for reliable, recurring clients.

Freelancing (or remote work, for that matter) is not for everyone. Different people have different affinities, which is only to be expected, but the good news is that there are really different multiple work models suitable for literally everyone.

Consider hybrid work models. They basically fall into six vague categories, as follows:

·        Almost entirely off premises – mostly remote work with no office space

·        Almost entirely on premises – limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers

·        Partially remote work, large office space –  the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office

·        Partially remote work, multiple hubs – multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them

·        Multiple microhubs – management and employees are dispersed across small microhubs located in different cities and countries

·        Partially remote work, with flexible office space – no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)

Among all these possibilities, surely you’ll find at least one suitable to your taste?

Experimenting is also fine. Try a bit of this and that, pick the best mixture, then build from there.

Learn More Than You Did the Previous Year

For people working in remote teams, it goes without saying that cross-cultural training is a must. With more and more people turning to remote work, it is only to be expected that, sooner or later, you’ll be working with people from different corners of the world, all of which have their own cultures, beliefs and circumstances. Learn to work smoothly with all of them!

In fact, establishing a learning and development routine is crucial. With the whole world being competitors, it is only natural to keep learning and better opportunities will keep appearing. Start with free online courses, as they cost no money and can be accessed at your convenience. So, it would be a pity not to grab the opportunity.

Focus on More Convenient Financial Management

Managing finances is always a rather burning question for reasons we believe don’t need to be elaborated further. Consider mobile accounts, especially if you’re a freelancer or a digital nomad.

Now, this topic can be rather bothersome as there are many opportunities available, but make sure to compare offers and stay on top of developments as your future finances will depend on it. Don’t fall for unreasonable fees – there are so many alternatives out there. Take your time comparing offers and pick the best one(s).

Get More Organized Than EVER Before

Last but not least, stay organized. Admittedly, it’s easier said than done for many, but here’s a hint: employ operational excellence. These ideas can apply to any career, whether you are starting an online course or moving up the ladder of a corporation. It’s about a lot more than productivity.

Operational excellence is “a philosophy of the workplace where problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership results in the continuous improvement in an organization. The process involves focusing on the customers’ needs, keeping the employees positive and empowered, and continually improving the current activities in the workplace,” according to Business Dictionary.

Finally, stick to your resolutions. Eat good food, take regular breaks, pick your gigs, and enjoy life. No amount of money will help you if you’re unhappy, so keep looking for the best work model! Opportunities are just around the corner! Grab them!

How to Bring Sustainability to an Office Near You

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Going green is all the rage these days, and not without a good reason. An occasional glance through the window can tell you all you need to know about the perils of global warming and the overuse of the earth’s resources.

Not to dwell on the gloomy outlook of the topic, let’s see what can be done to address sustainability and create new, positive habits to benefit everyone.

Set Up Your Own Sustainability Team

It is only to be expected that not everyone is an expert in green technologies. That’s why setting up your own sustainability team is a great idea. The team can meet, and it will also help with team building.

You don’t necessarily have to start your efforts by looking into solar panels, but they are a great idea nevertheless. Some cities offer subsidies for going green, so start by looking up and comparing alternatives, before you begin dipping into your savings.

Other, smaller steps can be performed first. E.g., everyone can bring a mug from home and ditch the disposables. Let’s look into a couple of ideas below.

Really Ditch the Paper

Paper… it’s a word with many connotations, but of late, it seems to be the main culprit. The thing is, with the rise of innovative technologies and stellar digitalization, paper can be replaced in a good measure.

E.g., you can look up professional email programs that make the need to print out all emails redundant. Look for good visibility and filtering options and provide adequate training for the employees.

Next on, take printers out of individual offices. In that way, employees will think twice before printing something that absolutely doesn’t need to be printed out. Old habits die hard, after all.

Update to the Latest Equipment and Products

This is a bit more expensive, but it pays off in the long run. Energy-saving equipment and recycled products, to name a few benefits, can even help with lean manufacturing simply by allowing you to completely get rid of old equipment that is no longer needed.

It’s true that some equipment cannot be replaced, but there are methods to make them more eco-friendly all the same.

Take a look at some sustainable ideas:

  • Replace traditional printers with multifunction ones to eliminate the need to use multiple machines for multiple purposes. Choose the ones with energy-saving features for best results
  • Refill used ink and toner cartridges
  • Print on both sides of a sheet
  • Buy green office supplies whenever possible. E.g., staple-less staplers and pens that can be refilled
  • Use recycled paper
  • Use recycled plastic products when plastics cannot be replaced
  • Recycle used office supplies
  • Keep computers and monitors updated. Newer models are more energy-efficient than older ones
  • Turn off computers when they’re not in use
  • Replace standard bulbs with CFLs or LED bulbs (they use ca. 75% less energy than standard light bulbs!)
  • Paint the walls of the office in light colors so that less lighting is needed
  • Use cloth towels or hand dryers instead of paper towels
  • Only use eco-friendly cleaning products

Bring Plants Into the Office

Have you ever thought about bringing in a plant instead of that high-end table lamp? This is, actually, one of the easiest ways to go green and it will even make the office look more beautiful and pleasant to spend time in.

However, you should research which plants can thrive in office conditions and handle an occasionally forgetful employee. Some recommendations include devil’s ivy, snake plants, succulents, cacti, peace lily, jade plants, ZZ plants, and bamboos.

Keep Up With the Most Recent “Going Green” Trends  

Some businesses choose to invite an expert speaker to present eco-friendly ideas people may not be aware of. Workshops and courses are also an option. Pick the training methods suitable for your circumstances and go from there.

Set Specific Goals

Lastly, be sure to set realistic, achievable goals each month as your office becomes more and more sustainable. You can rely on OKR templates for the best results.

OKRs are “Objectives and Key Results” and deal with collaborative goal-setting that can help both teams and individuals to set ambitious but achievable goals with measurable results. OKRs serve to help you track progress, create alignment, and encourage engagement across the board.


Going green may be a long-term strategy, but everyone can start altering harmful habits and practices pretty much immediately. Just as you would begin to treat a health injury, you can also “treat” the symptoms of not having a sustainable office space. Turning off computers when they’re not in use and switching off lights when leaving the office should be pretty straightforward steps for everyone, though, right?

Start with small milestones and grow your strategy from there. Remember to rely on OKRs, as they will provide much-needed alignment. Overall, make learning a fun process everyone will enjoy and watch the results take shape gradually.

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