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How to Avoid Distractions When Working Remotely

The option for remote working promised us more freedom and greater productivity. Yet, what many didn’t realize is that working from home (or elsewhere outside the office) requires new ways of working.

While there are many distractions at the office, there is also an equal number outside it. And there’s no one to catch you staring at your phone, browsing the internet, or giving in to other distractions.

Do you find yourself fighting an uphill distraction battle? Use these tips to avoid distractions wherever you work now.

Four Ways To Focus When Working Remotely

Use Background Noise

Many of us long to work in a quiet space when in a busy office, but working in a quiet room can make you hyper-aware of distractions.

You may find it easier to focus by using background noise to simulate the outside world or increase your focus. Music or the radio can do the trick for some, but you may also find it smart to try options like Brain.FM, which drives your brain to focus on the task at hand. 

Even background noise like a video of coffee shop background noise on YouTube or from Coffivity could get the creative juices flowing.

Find a Rhythm for New Modes of Work

Whether you now work from home, a co-working space, or your car while running errands, your workflow will differ compared to the office. For many people, sitting down for three solid hours of uninterrupted work is not a possibility outside the confines of HQ. If that’s you, don’t try to force it.

If you have the flexibility, try a new rhythm for work. You might change the hours you work during the day, break the day up into chunks, or even reduce your daily hours and spread them over the whole week.

Play around and find what works for you.

Stand Up and Take Breaks

You stare at your screen blankly and then give up and divert yourself away from the task at hand in favor of reading the news, responding to messages, or online shopping. All of a sudden, six hours have passed, and you still can’t get back to work.

In 2020, a study found that 95% of employees no longer take as many breaks, despite having more freedom when working from home.

Make it a point to stand up and take a short break. Set a timer or use a method like the Pomodoro technique. Taking more breaks leaves you feeling refreshed and helps you avoid distractions.

Turn on Anti-Distraction Mode on Your Phone

Do you ever pick up your phone and find 20 minutes passed without you noticing? Without anyone to stop you, it’s easy to find yourself scrolling through Twitter for hours on end.

Anti-distraction mode helps protect you from notifications, and for most, it’s built right into your phone. If you need an extra hand, try an app like Freedom or RescueTime to lock you out of the biggest time-sucks on your phone.

Remote work is here to stay, but you may need to find new productivity hacks that reflect your new environment.

Trouble Finding Work Remotely? RightStone can help!

Are you looking for your next remote role? Get in touch to learn more about the jobs coming up in 2021.


Show Up Prepared – What Questions You Should Ask at Your Interview

“Do you have any questions for us?”

It’s the one question you know will come your way at the end of every interview, but it’s one many candidates struggle to answer.

There’s a strategy for nailing down the questions you should ask at your interview, and you can break it down into two parts. Keep reading to look like a well-prepared professional at your next interview.

Three Tips for Asking Better Questions at Your Job Interview

Ask Questions About the Company

You want to know what you’re walking into on your first day in a new office. So, questions about the organizational strategy and culture a great place to start.

Ask questions about your first 30, 90, and 365 days in the new role. A few basic questions to ask include:

  • What support is available to new hires?
  • How do performance review processes work? How often do they happen?
  • What three words would you see to describe the company culture?
  • Where do you see the company in five years?
  • What does the typical career path look like?

Do some research before the interview to make your questions as specific as possible. Use the company website, LinkedIn, and any press available to generate more targeted questions.

Ask Questions about the Role

Once you choose the most relevant questions about the company, start thinking more about the role itself. In many ways, these are the most important questions because they give you and the hiring manager an indication of the scenario the new hire will enter.

A few questions to ask about the role include:

  • Is the role new?
  • If it’s not new, who occupied it before now?
  • What is the top priority for the role?
  • What is the team like?
  • What kind of personalities exists on the team?
  • What times of the year are the busiest?

 

Why ask these questions? They will help you identify why the role exists, how it supports the organizational strategy, and whether it is the kind of space you want to enter. The answers to these questions will also help you negotiate a salary that you believe aligns with the position’s true responsibilities.

Write Down 3 Questions Before Your Interview

Asking questions at your interview doesn’t just make you look prepared. It also empowers you to negotiate the rest of the hiring process with a deft hand.

If you find it difficult to remember a list of questions, narrow your choices down to only three of the most important things you want to know about the job or company. Then, compare the answers between interviews to make a more strategic decision.

Need Help Finding a Job? We Can Help!

Are you looking for your next role in 2021? RightStone can help match you with the perfect employer — no questions asked. Get in touch to learn more about the RightStone 360 process.


Redeeming a Bad Hire – What to Do When You Hire the Wrong Person

As HR professionals, you look for the holy grail in candidates: the candidate with the right background and who will also fit naturally into the company’s culture. 

To get there, you’ll sort through candidates with the experience but who won’t thrive at the company and those candidates who will win over all their colleagues but don’t have the skills needed to fulfill the organizational strategy.

Every hiring manager will hire the wrong person at some point. It’s what you do after you realize your mistake that counts.

Three Tips for Redeeming A Bad Hire

Don’t Fire Them Just Yet

The simplest solution to a poorly-performing new hire is to fire the employee. While simple, it’s rarely the right choice.

If your hire fits into the company culture and is a competent worker, then it’s a much better use of your resources to figure out how to support that employee. You might invest in upskilling, further education, or even transitioning them to a different role or team. But it’s rarely prudent to sever the relationship. With a little thought, they can repay the investment and be a real benefit to the company.

In the event the employee is tough to redeem both culturally and professionally, then it may be smart to part ways.

Trust your gut and once you make a decision, act on it.

Work with the New Hire to Play to Their Strengths

When you decide to transition the new employee, it’s important to work with them. If they aren’t a fit for their current role, then they probably know it.

Now is the time to decide whether to invest in their current role or transition them to a role where they will add more value. You can’t do this without working directly with the hire.

Talk to the new employee about what they think their strengths and weaknesses are. They may be able for their role with some skill development. Or you may find their woes are the result of a missed step in onboarding.

Use this knowledge to help the employee embrace their strengths.

Rethink Your Recruitment Process

Everyone makes a bad hire at least once, but if you find yourself in the position repeatedly, then there’s likely something awry in your hiring process.

Reassess everything from the job description to the onboarding process to look for weaknesses. Ask company leadership and direct managers for their input in the process. If you still face a loss, get outside help.

Looking for Help Finding the Right Candidate? Contact Us!

Are you struggling to place the right candidate? Let RightStone help. Our RightStone 360 process uses quality control checks at every part of the engagement to place qualified consultants with the right role every time.


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