5 tools for working remotely
TOOLS FOR WORKING REMOTELY (Part 1)

Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goals.

 –Mario Andretti

Dealing with a global pandemic also means that we all must learn to adapt to the changes around us and make the best of things. Government issued lockdowns and curfews have led many companies to switch to remote working to ensure that work still gets done. Luckily there many tools available to ease the transition from the office environment to working remotely. Find out about these handy tools in this blog post.

  1. SKYPE FOR BUSSINESS

Skype for Business is a trusted enterprise solution designed by Microsoft to enable efficient communication in companies and connects employers, employees and customers effectively around the globe. It combines phone calls, video conferences and messaging services into one entity to increase efficiency and promote business growth.[1]

Some of its features include:[2]

  • HD video streaming
  • High level security through data encryption to protect valuable company data
  • Video conference options that can accommodate up to 250 meeting attendees

A major advantage of this software is that it does away with travel and communication costs with its video conference option. Additionally, the software is secure, very user friendly and portable – it can be accessed on many devices as long as a Wi-Fi connection is available.[3]

  1. EVERNOTE

Evernote is a free app for your smartphone and computer that stores everything you could possibly imagine losing track of – a boarding pass, receipt or article you want to read. You can create a to do list, or even a simple typed note. The app works brilliantly, keeping everything synchronised between your computer, smartphone, or tablet. The app is also ideal for managing projects and productivity.[4]

For companies, Evernote Business is available and allows teammates or members of a company to access, upload, share and edit notes from any device. This app is especially resourceful for those who are working remotely because it automatically syncs up with all your devices when you add or upload new content. This means that you are not limited or tied to just one machine.[5]

  1. GOOGLE DRIVE

It goes without saying that running a company results in the generation and collection of large amounts of data. Therefore, companies need a safe and reliable place to store all this data – in comes Google Drive.

Google Drive is a cloud-based software application that lets you create, store, and share documents and data from around the world in one place. This is ideal for companies as it enables teams to access files from anywhere as long as they are connected to the internet. Additionally, it is possible to edit documents and get replies and feedback and therefore increasing collaborative productivity. It is also protected by SSL encryption that operates on both Gmail and other Google services so you can rest assured that your valuable data is safe.[6]

  1. HUBSTAFF

As an employer, when making the transition to remote working, you’ll want software that can keep track of employee’s work hours, progress and productivity as easily as it’s done in the office.  Hubstaff is a time tracking and work management app built to help teams make the most out of their time, build trust, and provide accountability. 

Once the app is running, it monitors which websites and applications your team is viewing, their screen activity, and how much time they spend at their desktop. It then gathers all this data and creates individual reports for all your employees. Your team members can also track how much time they spent on a particular task or project.[7]

  1. HEADSPACE

When working from home it can sometimes be difficult to disconnect after a long day of meetings and work tasks. Headspace is a meditation and healthy living app that aims to reduce stress, improve mindfulness, and save remote workers from burn-out. It’s important to step away, especially when working from home.

Studies have shown that taking time to practice stillness and meditate using the Headspace app can increase focus by 13%. Meditation also promotes increased awareness, clarity, compassion, and a sense of calmness.[8]

The right remote work tools will make you and your remote colleagues more productive. They’ll also allow you to experience the human connection of office work, while preserving your freedom to work from home. For any companies making the transition to working remotely, try out these efficient tools to ensure success.

Found this helpful? Try this: Working from home: How to do it successfully

If you’re a manager/business owner check this out: How to manage remote employees: best practices

As Usual, The Manpower Company (TMC) is here to support you and your business through this unprecedented time. With innovative consultancy, guiding you is what we’re here for. Let us know what you need in the comments below or email: info@tmc.ke

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/definition/Skype-for-Business

[2] https://www.nimble.com/blog/skype-for-business/

[3] http://www.freedomcomms.com/blog-post/skype-for-business-advantages-and-disadvantages/

[4] https://lifehacker.com/whats-all-the-fuss-about-evernote-should-i-be-using-it-5964285

[5] https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-evernote-3485736

[6] https://www.goskills.com/Office-Productivity/Articles/Google-Drive-features-review

[7] https://hubstaff.com/faq

[8] https://www.headspace.com/meditation/benefits

How to hire
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A JOB CANDIDATE

When it comes to building a company or organisation, finding and hiring the right employees is the most important factor in ensuring success. In the world of business; the best team always wins. No matter what happens to the market place, the economy or even the product, the thriving team will always find new solutions and innovative ways to deal with these changes. Here’s what you should look for to hire the absolute best:

  1. LIKE-MINDED INDIVIDUALS

“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.” – Henry David Thoreau.

When hiring, it is important to look for like-minded people who are long-term thinkers and have an entrepreneurial spirit. Seek out people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and put in the hours because they genuinely want to build something they take pride in. Hiring employees with the same interests means that they will take pride in the company and want to see it succeed.

If you find someone who’s actively looking for a job and/or is particularly excited about working for you or your company, pay attention. Give special consideration to the applicant who is a fan of your products or raves about your industry reputation. Employees who actively target the places they want to work will bring a passion to the job far beyond those simply interested in collecting a paycheck.[1]

  1. DRIVE AND PURPOSE

Purpose-driven employees are people who are not only committed to their company’s goals by giving their best each day, but are also intrinsically motivated because they believe that their job matters. They are constantly seeking opportunities to grow, while creating meaningful relationships with clients, colleagues, and customers. Hiring purpose-driven employees will result in increased productivity, higher retention rates, and more effective collaboration with other employees.[2]

People need to fully commit to the final goal. Along the way there will be tons of obstacles and unexpected resistance. There will be tasks outside of one’s skillset and tasks nobody knows how to do. Purpose driven people will do whatever it takes to finish a project with passion, resilience and resourcefulness. Experience is important, but a positive, ambitious person will bring new energy to your company.

  1. COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Communicating is more than just talking; it’s about connecting with people. It is important to look for a person who is articulate and can get their thoughts across in a respectful and coherent manner. This skill has always been and will always be important. It’s the core of any business. If someone can’t communicate their thoughts properly they will are likely to face problems in future.

 Being able to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients or partners is a characteristic of top employees. Gauge your applicant’s communication skills via email, on the phone and in person (both verbally and through body language). Good communicators not only get their points across well, but also are careful to listen and follow directions. Lean toward candidates with open and engaging communication styles, and who ask questions and welcome feedback.[3]

Additionally, good listening skills are also part of good communication. In fact they are arguably the most important aspect in communication. Good listeners are relationship builders. If someone tends to interrupt or talk over others in an interview situation, they will probably do the same thing with your customers.

  1. TEAMWORK

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”— Henry Ford

Plenty of companies have teams. It is not only essential to perform well as individuals but also as a member of the team. Performing well in a team requires patience, tolerance, and good social skills. Team efforts are associated with many advantages: work gets done faster and efficiently, employee relationships improve, and members of the team learn from each other’s characters, feedback and contributions to the team.[4]

In effect, teamwork is important and essential in order to accomplish the overall objectives and goals of an organisation. When looking for future employees, seek out those who are passionate about working with others and have good social skills. When recruiting, ask yourself; Are you going to enjoy working with this individual everyday?  Are your employees going to enjoy working with this individual?

And remember, all great people and great achievements are the product of some great collaborations, some great team efforts.

  1. CREATIVITY

An individual fulfilling the job description is likely to be competent. But there is no guarantee that they will be creative.

Companies that want to create long-term success are constantly evolving and need innovative thinkers to remain competitive. Creative employees are the ones who are constantly generating and implementing new ideas. They also have the ability to develop on existing ideas thus further adding value to your organisation.

If you want to find and hire exceptionally creative people, you need to find people with diversity in their backgrounds. This is not only a sign of creativity, but it also indicates a wealth of experience and knowledge. More so than the person who has followed a clearly defined career path.

It’s hard to find buried treasure without a map. It’s difficult to win a scavenger hunt unless you have clues. And it’s impossible to hire the right people unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Apply these tips and you’ll have an easier time finding the right employees. When you find yourself needing to skip the migraine of recruiting, turn to the experts. At The Manpower Company, we have dedicated staff and systems to meet your employer needs. Running an organisation is hard enough as it is, we do our job so you can do yours. Get in touch now and find the talent you need.


Mshimba Michelle

[1] https://www.inc.com/diane-gottsman/9-distinctive-traits-to-look-for-in-a-new-hire.html

[2] https://sustainablebrands.com/read/marketing-and-comms/purpose-driven-employees-are-your-strongest-brand-ambassadors

[3] https://www.hrdirectapps.com/blog/finding-qualified-job-candidates/

[4] https://www.cleverism.com/20-top-qualities-determine-great-employee/

How to Fix your Companies Talent Problem
HOW TO FIX YOUR COMPANY’S TALENT PROBLEM
What is a healthy and productive workforce worth to you?

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established organisation we all undoubtedly share one particular challenge – growing the right team. Beyond question this gets trickier the more niche your market. While you may have all the dedication and get all the results, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. To remedy the lack of talent more and more companies are turning to remote workers aka telecommuters.

Economic strategy or workplace fad?

In all likelihood you’ve encountered countless trends, fads and instant-result solutions to your problems. Some overpromised their results, others flat out failed and maybe one actually worked. With the seismic growth of the Internet, pandemic prevention, congestion relief and even more factors, talk of remote work is growing. As Laurel Farrer, CEO of Distribute Consulting asks – is this particular trend economically justified or is it our evolving workforce craving modern convenience?[1] Well you know what they say, when in doubt – look at the numbers.

Sourcing information from Global Research Powerhouses – Stanford University, Gallup and Harvard University. Here’s what we found:

  1. Retention

In a survey, 54% of employees said they would switch to a job that offered them more flexibility. While, a further 54% said they were actively searching.[2] Further, an experiment conducted by Stanford, found that the attrition rate in employees who took up the opportunity to work from home more than halved compared to their office counterparts[3].

  1. Productivity

Remote workers are an average 20 -30% more productive than their office counterparts[4] and, another study revealed work output also increased 4.4% in teleworkers[5].

  1. Engagement

Gallup found 51% of the workforce was not engaged and this translated to a loss for companies[6]. Whereas remote workers had a greater return on engagement with a 41% reduction in absenteeism. Engaged workers produce 40% lower quality defects, 21% higher profitability and of course a 24-59% lower turnover[7].

  1. Performance

Remote workers showed a 13% performance increase in another study by Harvard. They attributed this increase to a reduction in break time and sick days in addition to a more comfortable work environment.[8]

  1. Profitability

The Chinese travel agency in a study, reported saving an average of $2,000 dollars a year per employee working remotely as a result of productivity boost and reduction in office space[9]. Further, Harvard noted that the average worker was willing to accept 8% less pay for the option to work from home and there is an effective increase in real salary without cost to the organisation –thanks to saving on commutes.

  1. Plenty of Fish

Lastly, remote workers offer you unflinching access to the best, qualified candidates in your market. Numbers are on your side and your options are limitless when hiring. You’d be fishing where the fish are.

Work place flexibility is no doubt a critical topic in the future of work, and employers who fail to consider it will renege on its benefit. If you believe remote work could be a key ingredient in your brand’s sustainability, you must invest in its development as a resource.

At The Manpower Company we dare to innovate, pioneer and evolve in the world of work. Outsourcing Human resources, relieves businesses of human resource management responsibilities thus allowing you to focus on what you do best. After all, isn’t it worth getting it right the first time?

What are your thoughts on workplace flexibility?

Follow us on Facebook at ‘TMC Kenya” for even more tips and tricks.

See you on Thursday for our next post.


[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurelfarrer/2020/02/12/top-5-benefits-of-remote-work-for-companies/#39d4b95216c8

[2] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/238085/state-american-workplace-report-2017.aspx (pg. 169)

[3] https://nbloom.people.stanford.edu/sites/g/files/sbiybj4746/f/wfh.pdf (pg 1)

[4] https://nbloom.people.stanford.edu/sites/g/files/sbiybj4746/f/wfh.pdf (Pg 172)

[5] https://hbr.org/2019/08/is-it-time-to-let-employees-work-from-anywhere

[6] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/238085/state-american-workplace-report-2017.aspx

(Page 61)

[7] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/238085/state-american-workplace-report-2017.aspx (page 68)

[8] https://hbr.org/2019/08/is-it-time-to-let-employees-work-from-anywhere

[9] https://nbloom.people.stanford.edu/sites/g/files/sbiybj4746/f/wfh.pdf (Page 170)

title - why human resource is the ultimate resource
WHY HUMAN RESOURCE IS THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE

Today’s world is seemingly rife with entrepreneurial minds looking for the fastest route to a million – competition is everywhere. Monetising your own services, hobbies and talents is so common. It’s easy to forget the value other people can bring you. Fact – Healthy, educated and motivated people develop resources per their requirements i.e. only people can give value to anything by making it useful. Here’s three reasons human resource is the ultimate resource:

Team, Product, Success – In that order:

Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have created success by cultivating a working environment with three key ingredients – qualified staff, resources and the freedom to create. Alongside genuine innovation, more companies would approach the phenomenal success created by ‘the big three’ if more directors built the ‘right’ teams to research and experiment, and afforded them the freedom to find the “golden angle”.

In an unprecedented experiment, Microsoft Japan tested out a four day work week and the results were what you would expect. Employees were happier, meetings more efficient and productivity rose a staggering 40%. While you may not have the significant resources Microsoft does, the principle remains the same – we are all people and should be treated as such. Benefit packages, paid time off and open door policies are a myriad of ways your human resources department can boost creativity and productivity in your employees.[1]

Invest in them and they’ll invest in you.

Brilliance attracts brilliance:

You might find yourself asking – What if I invest in my employees and they leave? Consider the alternative – What if you don’t and they stay? People coming and going is as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. It’s a reality you’ll continually have to accept, regardless of ‘who’ you are. The only thing worse than a valuable employee leaving is paying for an unproductive, uncreative and uninspired employee. It is your duty as an employer to create the best environment for your employees to flourish. Do that and your company will attract the brightest minds without much effort while happy customers sing praises of your excellent products and services.

Diversify your team, Diversify your portfolio:

Conglomerates have proven time and time again that diversified investments are a sure way of making money in what can be risky and unpredictable industries. Think Louis Vuitton, Moët and Hennessy (LVMH) who’s reach spans massive fashion houses like Fenty, Bulgari and Dior to renowned distilleries like Moët and Hennessy![2]

Organisations should openly embrace ‘business diversity’ because people are creative! Encourage them to experiment, fail and learn. If the result is that a company will produce multiple concepts and products isn’t it worth it to find a team capable of doing just that from the very beginning? [3]

Now that you realise all you have to gain by recruiting and training the best, you’re wondering – What now? While we still maintain that the best environments attract the best employees, sometimes you need a head start. We strive to deliver the most innovative human resource solutions to add value to our customers. Whether you have a position that needs filling or a team you would like to invest in, here at The Manpower Company, we believe in people.

Follow us on Facebook at “TMC Kenya” for even more insights.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/04/microsoft-japan-four-day-work-week-productivity

[2] https://www.lvmh.com/

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2015/10/08/4-reasons-to-invest-in-people-not-companies/#7e95d7e247cb

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