Although there are many sufferings that the Corona pandemic has brought us, the crisis also brings opportunities. As an example, we report on how telework is now becoming increasingly acceptable in Hong Kong.
In addition, our article about working remotely will help those who are seeking to start their new chapter of a career in the territory, and our pleasant interview with Jasmin who is a Hong Kong-based freelance copywriter will answer questions about how it feels to be a freelancer on her own.
Moreover, our freelancer article will be about a freelance search engine optimiser which will explain how you can test your website to be found well on Google in Hong Kong. At the end, we have our freelancer joke of the month which is about a team member who has his own idea of working from home.
Despite the Corona crisis, I wish you a lot of fun reading and of course, as always, success in business!
Teleworking has become inevitable as a result of the corona pandemic. The current Gartner study showed that three-quarters of all CFOs expect that at least 5 percent of previously on-site employees will continue to telework permanently after COVID-19.
After initial doubts about teleworking, companies noticed that this new form of work will continue to remain in the long term. McKinsey mentions the example of a pharmaceutical company with more than 10,000 sales representatives: In February, it switched from on-site work to practically 100 percent remote working. When the Corona restrictions come to an end in Hong Kong, one might expect remote working to disappear again.
However, the company is planning to introduce new models in order to take advantage of the newly developed online capabilities of its field staff. These models include a 30 percent online work model with only 70 percent on-site work on a permanent basis.
Many employees learned to telework in the first phase of the crisis either by trial and error or by resorting to spontaneous training methods. On the other hand, for those who have completed their advanced training, teleworking can become a permanent task. For example, sales teams can use video conferencing to effectively manage customer relationships in remote locations.
Organizations are now increasingly developing their employee´s online skills as executives now systematically search for the best ways to digitally manage teams. This transition is often smoother and easier for long-standing employees who have built relationships and understood their role than for new employees who have yet to get to know the company without informal office interactions.
Additional collaboration tools and new work culture will be available when companies return to 'normal working practices'. Individual companies are already creating new collaboration locations in suburban centres and downsizing their central offices to reduce commuting times for employees. As entrepreneurs seek remote working skills such as the ability to self-motivate and strong time management, recruitment processes are also being affected at the same time.
The current challenges will make employees think about whether they want to work from home in the future. According to Gartner´s research, up to 80 percent of the employees also want to work from home.
In Hong Kong, prior to 2019, it was very uncommon for employees to work from home. Geographically, Hong Kong is relatively small and the commute to work for the majority of its employees is less than one hour. However, the protests in Hong Kong and the Coronavirus have changed the way employees work. Even though the third wave has mostly elapsed, people are still worried and this resulted in many employers instructing their employees to work from home although the fourth wave has not arrived yet. Although many workers can fulfil their contractual obligations at home, employers must ensure that they continue to meet their legal requirements and provide adequate support for employees who have moved from working at the office to working at home.
In addition to that, according to the statistics of the Census and Statistics Department, the number of unemployed people increased by around 5,800 from 242,500 in May 2020 to 248,300 in June. Over the same period, the number of underemployed people also increased by around 13,200 from 136,000 to 149,200. It can be seen that the numbers of unemployed people are increasing. This is thought to be largely due to the protests and the Coronavirus. Because of these reasons, for those who are working from the office and, therefore, thinking about quitting their job, we have prepared some suggestions which will help them find new opportunities and enable them to work from home.
1) Do your research, limit the companies known for having a remote workforce:
It is important to find a company that embraces flexible working as its own culture. Many companies, especially the companies in the tech sector, offer remote working opportunities. It is also important to understand what type of remote opportunities companies offer because the teams can be described in two names which are partially and fully distributed, remote teams. In fully distributed remote teams, nobody works in the office. On the other hand, in partially distributed teams, some work fully remotely and some work from the office.
2) Add “remote position” to your keyword section:
If a remote position is important to you, you should include the phrase “remote position” in your keyword list no matter which website you are using. Social media can be a very powerful tool for searching. You can also search the keyword on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You might not know what kind of interesting ads you will run across.
Sometimes, companies prefer not to advertise a new job opening and instead, they share new updates or posts via their online channels. You should be on alert in case of any openings. Sometimes, a person can notify only his/her own network about an opening and this person can be someone from your network. Alerting your professional network is always a good idea if you are determined to start as a remote worker.
After all, companies are increasingly expanding their views on which positions can be remote.
Seeking a remote position adds complexity to your job search, but with some strategy, it is doable and can be highly rewarding.
We are happy to share the details of the conversation between us and Jasmin who is a Hong Kong-based freelance copywriter. Jasmin is experienced in writing and distributing press releases, writing branded editorials, email newsletters and website content, planning and executing public relations and social media campaigns across Hong Kong, Greater China, and beyond. She loves working with clients to nail down their brand voice and craft messages that cut through the noise.
Last month, she gave an interview to Freelancing.HK-News. You will find the details of this interview below:
1) Tell us about yourself; how did your freelancing journey start?
I started freelancing last year after the company I worked at closed down. Instead of jumping straight into a full-time job hunt, I wanted to see what it would be like to work as a freelancer. My first official freelance gig was copyediting and proofreading for Freelancing.hk actually!
2) What is your favourite part of freelancing?
My favourite part of freelancing is being able to take charge of my own career. Now that I work for myself, I get very excited about every small achievement. And at the end of every project, it is incredibly fulfilling to know that I was the one who found the client, completed the deliverables, and earned the income through my own skills.
3) What is the biggest insight/lesson you have learned so far?
The biggest lesson I´ve learned so far is learning how to price my services. At the beginning, I would offer discounted rates because I wanted to build a portfolio and gain some traction. But now, I have learned how important it is to charge what I am worth - ´good´ clients would recognize my skills and be willing to pay for it.
4) What keeps you motivated?
I am naturally quite a motivated person already but if I need help staying on track with deadlines, I find it useful to plan the day ahead. In the morning, I write out a list of tasks that need doing. And as the day goes on, I have the added satisfaction of striking completed tasks off my list!
5) What was your most funny/remarkable project?
I did have one potential client looking for marketing support who asked me to explain (in detail) what an Instagram profile is and how tagging accounts work. It can be easy to forget that not everyone grew up with social media!
6) Do you have any advice or insight for people considering starting to work as a freelancer?
Do not be afraid to get out there and network! Taking time to network at events with potential clients is a game-changer, especially in the early stages of your freelance career.
Registered service providers can present themselves with a short article in the Zealancer-News. In this issue, we present you a freelancer who specialises in online marketing, content marketing and SEO.
People spend more time online than ever before. According to a survey by the National Statistics Office, they are mostly looking for products and services. For you, this means that your prospects are looking for you online. But do they find you?
The entries are mostly done via search engines, like Google in online searches. If you are not found there, you leave the business to your competitors. Therefore: Become visible online with search engine optimisation!
As a copywriter specialised in SEO:
1) I can analyse your website and define technical and content-related measures to improve your search engine ranking.
2) I can create texts for you that will inspire your readers and search engines alike.
I would be happy to carry out an initial SEO analysis of your website for you - without obligation and free of charge. Talk to me!
The project manager asked the team member: 'Why did you come to work that late?'
Team member answers 'Yesterday, you told me that I should read the newspaper at home'.
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