Tag Archive | "work from home"

Contractors…SNOW Your Rights

The last few years have seen winters in the UK remain unusually snow free, but this year it looks like the snow is here for a while.

Which brings us to an important point…what rights do contractors have when it comes to taking days off from their place of employment if it snows? Obviously if you are one of those contractors who work from home then this doesn’t apply to you, but everyone else, read on…

One possible option an employer might put into action when snow is covering our nations roads is to ask contractors to do some work from home, or even make up the time later. However, it’s worth noting this must be specified in your contract, and if it’s not then you can refuse.

What if you want to go into your place of work but the workplace is actually closed, are you supposed to not get paid? The answer to that one is NO, because legally any employer cannot deduct pay if you can’t work due to the workplace being closed.

This type of situation is the perfect opportunity for contractors to put their feet up and relax for a change, safe in the knowledge they are still getting paid for a day lounging around at home. No need to venture out of the house if you ask me, just watch some TV or read a book.

The workplace being closed due to snow might not be enough to keep you away though, as the law does state that employers can demand you work from another suitable location if they get it ready in time.

Many times, when snow hits the ground in the UK then schools everywhere close down for a day or two, or even more if the teachers have anything to do with it no doubt.

When this happens, some contractors are confused about whether or not it gives them the right to also take the day off because they don’t have anyone to look after their kids.

In this type of situation an employer will usually allow time away from the workplace, although they might want you to work from home or make up the time at a later date for any work you miss.

Sometimes a disagreement happens between contractors and their employers about what should happen during times of snow. If this happens and you can’t come to an agreement then it’s possible to contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, or Acas as they are also known.

Although snow can be a disruption for contractors around the country my advice is to enjoy it while it’s here.

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Factory Workers, The New Work From Home Contractors…

Working from home has typically been the domain of so called white collar workers such as IT professionals. Not for long it seems.

Blue collar workers as they are known, such as factory workers could very soon find themselves sitting on the couch with their white collar brothers and sisters. The reason? Robots and Virtual Reality.

That’s right. If you thought robots would be taking over the factory jobs then you might want to think again. Sure, they are going to be on the production line doing the actual work, but it is still going to be humans controlling them…for now anyway.

A Virtual Reality headset is currently in production that would allow your typical factory worker to put it on in the morning, just like they were putting on their uniform, and then see everything the robot is looking at on the production line.

The factory worker contractor would then have the ability to control the robot from the comfort of their own home. If the television is on in the background it doesn’t matter, as long as the robot gets the job done.

I’m sure these Virtual Reality workers will even be able to control when the robots go for a tea break or even a quick snooze. Just don’t let the factory foreman find them or they could find themselves down the robot job centre.

Recent statistics show that when humans and robots work together in a factory setting through the power of Virtual Reality then tasks are done 57% faster than when humans or robots work on their own. Also, it was found that robots are 95% better at grasping objects when they have a human controlling them.

Even better, these robots can be controlled from hundreds of miles away by a Virtual Reality contractor, which means that you could potentially have a home worker in Glasgow controlling a robot worker in London.

It’s even possible that we could start to see international partnerships forming, where humans and robots from different countries pair up to work together

So do you even have to be an experienced factory worker to get into this whole Virtual Reality thing anyway? Apparently not, as research shows that the best candidates for the job are…video gamers.

The job advert could very well read – “work from home video gamers needed, to put on Virtual Reality headsets to control robot factory workers.”

I’m sure the advert would get a lot of replies, especially if the pay was good and you could do everything from the comfort of your sofa.

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Research Shows Self Employed Work 10 Hours Less

If you thought working for an employer was the best option then it’s time to reconsider, as new research shows self employed people work 10 hours less a week.

Not only that, but the research also shows that they make £5000 more per year than the average salary, bringing in £33,000 a year compared to £27,000.

This includes umbrella contractors of course, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit as I’m always hearing stories of people who quit their job to become self employed and are now making more money working for themselves.

These statistics were all taken from the “definite study of the self employed” where 5,010 people in the UK were surveyed. Of those asked, 67% commented they were now better off financially now than when working for a boss, with 65% saying they now have more time to do the activities they want.

I’m sure they do, because when you think about it, if self employed people work 10 hours less a week, then based on a 5 day working week that is an extra 2 hours a day. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s much better to be spending time with family and friends rather than sitting at an office desk or being in traffic on the way home.

It’s also worth noting that many self employed people do work from home, or are at least based from home. This means that the commute is often no longer there, which means the time you save from working for yourself might even be more than 10 hours a week.

So why are more people than ever before starting to look at becoming self employed? When asked in the survey, 77% said they wanted more control of their work day, while 65% said the thought of being their own boss was something they liked.

Interestingly, 47% mentioned that lack of workplace politics was a motivating factor. This is something that I hear a lot, as it seems that many companies are now more like a high school drama than a place of work.

It’s much better to work on your own in my opinion, although this isn’t something that appeals to everyone. Some people would prefer to have the office politics I guess, and if that is your thing then becoming self employed might not be for you.

Although the research does show that self employed people work, on average, 10 hours less a work than people who have a job, don’t forget that it is not always like this at first. When you start working for yourself you might have to work more hours, so make sure you are aware of that.

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50% of UK Contractors are too Busy to Exercise

While being self employed no doubt gives you more freedom, it seems that half of UK contractors can’t find the time to hit their local gym.

This survey was conducted with the aim of discovering just exactly how self employed people are spending their time, and although it’s encouraging that at least 50% are doing some form of exercise on a regular basis, it’s no doubt a cause for concern that so many people are still not getting active.

The exact figure was 46% that didn’t exercise according to the survey, with 48% of women claiming they struggled to find the time, while 43% of men said the same.

In my opinion I think that just about everybody out there would benefit from doing some form of regular exercise, even if it’s just an hour or two on the exercise bike every week.

I think there is a big misconception that you need to spend a lot of money on joining a fancy gym and then start working out for 2 hours every day.

Sure, there are some people who enjoy doing that, and if you really get into the fitness lifestyle then it can be enjoyable, but for the vast majority of the population even a small amount of effort will do them good.

This comes at a time when we are facing more obesity in the UK than ever before, and one of the main reasons for this is simply because people are not getting enough activity.

Many contractors, and self employed people in general, often spend most of their day sitting at a desk, and then at the end of a working day go to sit on the couch and watch some TV.

I’m not going to say it’s easy to start exercising on a regular basis, because once you get into a routine then you typically want to keep on following it, even when logically you realise something needs to change.

What you must understand is that small changes should be the main focus at first. For example, just go for 1 exercise session a week, and then determine you are going to stick with it. After a while you can then move up to more sessions, but for now the main priority is to start making a change.

This all assumes that you actually want to make a change of course. For some people, maybe they just don’t want to exercise on a regular basis, at the of the day it’s all about what you want to do.

However, if you are part of the 50% of contractors that don’t currently exercise but you either want to or need to, then my advise is just get started, even if it’s just a minimal amount of effort at first. The most important thing is you take action and be consistent.

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Minimum of £67,000 Would get Contractors to Quit

What would it get you to quit the contracting lifestyle and back into employment? A new survey found that an offer of at least £67,000 a year would do it.

For many people though, not even an offer of two or three times that amount would get them to give up on being their own boss and going to work for someone else.

When you consider that the average salary in the UK is £27,000, it just goes to show you that contractors really enjoy what they do, and it isn’t just about the money.

There are many contracting professionals that earn more than £67k a year of course, such as the ex Google employee who gave up a cushy 6 figure salary to start working for himself…and now he makes more and has more free time.

I think that is what it all comes down to at the end of the day…having more free time and doing what you want and when you want.

People that are employed and working in an office all day can’t do that, but when your office is your kitchen table and you don’t have to get out of bed until 9am, then for most self employed people even £67,000 wouldn’t be enough to get them to start commuting to work again every day.

It’s what I keep telling people all the time…most contractors really value their time and doing the things they enjoy like going to the being with family, gym, sports, travel, and hobbies. When you are self employed then you set your work around these kind of activities, rather than the other way round.

In a different survey where employed people were surveyed, 42% said they would like to start their own business or become a contracting professional within the next 5 years. This doesn’t surprise me at all, and it just goes to show how the dream of becoming your own boss is now becoming a reality for millions of UK residents.

Some experts are even saying that 50% of the UK workforce will be self employed within 10 years. You know, I think that is a bit optimistic, but the fact is that more people than ever before are deciding to go it alone…whether it be as a contractor, freelancer, gig worker or by starting a business, so I could certainly imagine a time where half of the workers are self employed.

For now though, to those of you who are self employed enjoy your more free time and less hours working, but if you did receive an offer for £67,000 tomorrow then it would certainly be a nice choice to have, although for the majority of you I think I know what the answer would be.

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Working from home worth a pay cut, contractors say

To hell with getting a pay raise – many Brits say they would rather just be able to work at home in peace and quiet, a new research study says.

And it’s not just a few blokes and birds who share this sentiment, either. Sure there’s always those misanthropes and introverts who like to live a live of solitude – and become a freelancer or an umbrella company contractor in order to manage that – but this new survey says that more than seven million workers in the UK would take the opportunity to work from home over earning a higher salary.

Seems almost unreal, doesn’t it? I guess it goes to show you just how important that work-life balance is to Brits in the workforce. Honestly, some two out of every three survey respondents to the survey said they were much more productive when they could simply work from home, far from any distractions. Further, 64 per cent of workers said that being able to leave off going to the office made it easier for them to build their day around their own personal needs.

These figures, which were gathered by the University of Sheffield in conjunction with a major comparison website, aren’t anything to sneeze at if you ask me. Older workers over the age of 45 were overwhelmingly in favour of getting out of the office and staying out, as 73 per cent of those in that age demographic said they felt much more motivated when they were free of a traditional working environment. Compare that to just the 30 per cent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 who felt the same and it’s obvious that age and experience trump youthful exuberance more than twice over.

Between being less stressed using a home office (65 per cent) and feeling generally happier safe at home away from yammering bosses and insipid co-workers (77 per cent), it seems that over-45s are absolutely sick and tired of working in office settings. Honestly can you blame them? Office work is truly a special type of hell best reserved for those who have done horrid things in their lives, like rape, murder and voting UKIP. If I was stuck in an office and I had the opportunity to work from home I would take it – even if it meant taking a massive pay cut. If that’s the price of not having to see my bastard co-workers every day, I’d gladly pay.

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