One of Jo’s favourite productivity hacks
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We at Pointer Remote Roles truly believe that remote working is the way of the future and with more and more companies looking towards managing virtual workforces, this can only be a good thing. For those new to remote working, it can take some adjustments to finetune the most effective ways of working from home or in a co-working space.

We decided to do a quick poll around the virtual Pointer office to uncover the best tricks for keeping a lid on procrastination. This week Jo Palmer aka fearless leader of Pointer Remote Roles kicks off with her favourite time-saving hack. (PS, that is not Jo sitting on the floor in her bedroom, Jo doesn't wear neck scarves.)

 

It’s pretty easy when you are working from home and sitting at your computer for most of the day to end up with multiple tabs open and the temptation to check emails/socials can be hugely appealing, but I know from experience that distraction is not great for the mental bandwidth.

For me, The Pomodoro Technique, developed by developer, entrepreneur, and author Francesco Cirillo has been one of my favourite tools as I find chunking off blocks of time and powering through work in 25-minute bursts to be pretty useful. Plus, it helps you stay on top of deadlines and after 25 minutes of solid work you get to reward yourself with a 5-minute break.  Productivity guru Tim Ferriss Commit likens the action to a sprint (using a timer) for just 25 minutes and says that by working in “chunks”, you can better prioritise and be realistic about what you can actually fit in a day.
— Jo Palmer - Founder of Pointer

 

How it works:

Start by creating a to-do list and then allocate each task to a "Pomodoro”

- Choose a task to be accomplished.

- Set the Pomodoro timer to 25 minutes

- Power through the task until the Pomodoro rings

- Take a 5-minute break break

- Every 4 Pomodoros take a more extended break

 

Some of the gang at Pointer Remote like to use a manual timer, and Cirillo himself says winding one up "confirms your determination to work".

This video captures it perfectly!

https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique

If you don’t like the idea of a manual timer try the desktop app: https://pomodoro-tracker.com/

 

Jo Palmer
We talk shop with Fleur Anderson from Rural Business Collective
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If you've been keeping a close eye on Pointer over the last twelve months, then you would be familiar with the name Fleur Anderson. Fleur hails from Theodore in central QLD and is the Founder of Rural Business Collective.

Rural Business Collective is Australia’s leading network for rural and remote business builders and entrepreneurs.

Its the place where business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs with a love for rural and remote Australia meet, celebrate, grow and connect.
— Fleur - Founder Rural Business Collective

You may have heard Fleur interview Pointer's Founder Jo, a few months back (listen here if you missed it) and when Jo was in Dalby, QLD earlier this month, she caught up with Fleur and returned the favour! Jo and Fleur discussed how Pointer has given RBC the opportunity to engage with professionals all over Australia.

Jo Palmer
"Let's make it work, baby”
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"Let's make it work, baby”, is not only the response that every career-focussed pregnant woman, remote worker or dad seeking paternity leave wants to hear from their employer but it’s also the title of flexible workplace relations campaigner and Melbourne based lawyer, Catherine Brooks new book out in May.

This week we chat with Catherine Brooks, Principal and Workplace relations specialist at Melbourne based law firm Moores about remote and flexible employment trends, breaking down traditional attitudes of employers, tips for broaching your boss and much more. 

How do you see the attitude towards work changing?

Many of my friends tell me that now they're returning to work after the second bout of parental leave, things have definitely shifted in relation to an acceptance of flexible work arrangements. As an employment lawyer, I'm also seeing a shift in how employers are responding to people (of both genders) wanting to work flexibly. With progressive employers focussing more on output, as opposed to input, we are seeing less of a push back when it comes to working from home or working out of normal 9-5 hours. Also - the more an employee can develop and build trust with their employer (that the work will be done) the easier it is for employees to get flexible work arrangements approved.


What are your top tips on how to break down the attitude amongst some companies that flexible work only benefits the employee? Can you provide examples of how it can benefit the broader organisation?

Offering flexible working arrangements means that employers can tap into a much broader and skilled resource pool. Many parents (mostly women) are out there looking for flexible work options and they're highly skilled and experienced, but they won't apply for the traditional office bound roles. If an employer is willing to consider all applicants and all options when it comes to how a role is performed, they're much more likely to gain top class employees.

Also, employees provided with flexible work options are much more likely to remain loyal and committed to a company. If a parent feels safe and supported by the leadership team, they will be unlikely to take that call from a recruiter.

Seeking flexible or remote working options can often mean giving something up, usually in the form of a pay cut or career advancement. Do you think it is possible to keep a career on track and find the flexibility you need, or do you always need to give something up?

You can definitely keep your career on track AND get flexible or remote working arrangements if you're prepared to be creative in your thinking and strategic about your decision making. Sure, you may feel like accepting a flexible working role means that you're taking a bit of a side-step in your trajectory, but if it means that you can stay in the job market and be a parent or carer this will benefit your superannuation, your earning capability and future promotion opportunities.

Why do you think some companies are hesitant to offer flexible work arrangements?

It's just the fear of the unknown. The (incorrect) belief that you have to have bums on seats to get work done. It takes a trailblazer to show the way and prove that it can be done. That can be tough for the trailblazer but oh so worth it if it's a success. Getting flexible work arrangements right also takes a commitment to trial and error. When I returned to work I had to try half a dozen different arrangements before I found the right option for my family, our clients and the team. It meant having honest discussions, being flexible in our approach and having supportive bosses willing to try different options. This kind of process takes time but my employer has won in the end as I'm loyal to them, committed to my client work and now able to support others wanting to work flexibly (both within and external to our firm).  

Do you have advice for employees who wish to broach management about their options?

I have so much advice on this topic that I actually wrote a book about flexible work arrangements and how to negotiate options to suit all parties. It's called "Let's make it work, baby!" as I really believe that if employees are equipped to open up the flexible work discussion with their employer then they're much more likely to get a successful result. Two tips that I go through in a lot of detail in my book are to always keep in touch during your parental leave. It's important that you keep abreast of any changes in the workplace and make it well known that you're returning post parental leave (even if you're not sure - better to secure your seat at the table). This will also help you start the discussions about how you're going to return and in what capacity (part-time, starting off doing some hours at home, etc). Secondly, don't be rigid in your approach when you request flexible work arrangements. Put a range of options on the table and be prepared to try out a number of options to see what suits both your interests but also the operational requirements of the company. It's a two way street and it may be in your financial interest to give a less preferred option a go rather than just saying no and resigning. Be upfront about what you'd prefer, but give your employer the ability to feel like they have choice and control - it will make the negotiation process just that - a negotiation rather than just a yes or no proposition.  

You have long been an advocate for the flexible working model. What changes have you seen in how companies view and offer flexibility and remote working opportunities?
 
When I was a young lawyer just starting out in the industry I was fortunate enough to work with a number of women working flexibly. They worked hard to put in place systems and processes to ensure that the work got done but that they could be home at night to see their children. I saw first hand that you could have both a great career and be an involved parent, but it takes a supportive workplace environment (both employer and colleagues) to make it work. What we now need to see is more men being given the opportunity to work flexibly. A CEO said to me recently "it won't be until I'm job sharing with a male that we'll know flexible work is truly entrenched as the norm". I know that my partner, who worked part-time alongside me and was a stay at home dad for a period of time, found it isolating and tough being the minority.  If companies can encourage men to be a part of the flexible work discussion even before they've become a parent then we may start seeing more men choose to spend some time at home or opting to work flexibly.  

What are some of the trends you’re seeing in remote and flexible employment?

Companies that focus on output, instead of input, are embracing flexible employment for all its benefits. We're also seeing a rise in corporates and not-for-profits offering school holiday programs to help parents stay in the workplace during these periods whilst still being able to provide activities and care for children in a cost-effective way.

What advice would you offer to more traditional companies, struggling with the concept of creating a more flexible work environment?

Try it out! Engage the help of a human resource consultant to set up mechanisms that enable people to work flexibly. Start small by giving people the ability to work from home, or out of normal hours, and measure output and productivity to determine success. Hire leaders that are willing to embrace flexible work and have them leave loudly when they're going home to attend an afternoon soccer event, or school concert. Leading from the top down and demonstrating that flexible work and productivity can work hand in hand is a good starting place.

Millennials are going to make up 75% of the workforce in five years. This is great for millennials but what about the Gen X’s or the working mums who have problems finding flexible work options?
 
Gen X's or working mums will vote with their feet and choose workplaces that are innovative and creative when it comes to working hours and productivity. Millennials don't differentiate between work and personal life - their whole world is about having a great career that sits alongside a wonderful life. As they demand flexible work options, Gen X's will benefit from a shift in the old method of working. Also - as the baby boomers transition down to retirement they too will see the benefits of flexible work arrangements. A whole new working era is just kicking off and the smart employers will embrace this as an opportunity - and benefit from getting the best and most loyal talent.
 

To find out more about Catherine's work or to purchase a copy of her book, please head over to https://www.catherinebrooks.community

Georgie Scott
Rural Linkups - WIN News
Wagga based businesswomen, Jo Palmer, is proving that moving out of the city doesn’t need to be career suicide. She’s set up a recruitment website match making people who need to work remotely with businesses that don’t mind whether your office is in Pitt Street or Pulletop.
— Olivia Calver - WIN News

Some fantastic coverage last week on WIN News and it couldn’t have been more perfectly timed as Pointer also launched our rebranded website that very day! Don’t you just love it when the stars align?

It was also great to see a real-life example of what a remote worker looks like. Nicole Davis, whose husband is in the Air Force is an accountant and despite moving every three years has successfully maintained her portfolio of clients.

Which leads me to my next point, that while startups have wholeheartedly embraced the remote work model, more and more traditional companies are recognising the benefits. Among the largest industries adopting work practices online are the accounting and legal industries. In fact, a regional accounting firm has advertised four roles with Pointer in the past six months. Although one of these roles was for a Chartered Accountant, they also advertised for a HR Manager, Social Media and Marketing Manager as well as an Executive Assistant.

At Pointer we also walk the talk. We have harnessed some amazing employees for ourselves and our team is now scattered throughout NSW and the Northern Territory. Disrupting the traditional hiring methods is what we do best.  If you are a small to medium businesses located anywhere in Australia and are looking to hire, chat to us about our vast database of professionals ranging from chartered accountants, copywriters, project managers, executive assistants, bookkeepers, solicitors, web designers, graphic designers and more. 

#flexiblework #remotework #flexcareers #escapetheraterace

Jo Palmer
We have rebranded!
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It’s all happening at Pointer! We are super excited to announce we have a fresh, new look at Pointer Remote Roles to celebrate our one year anniversary as a fully-fledged job matching agency. With an incredibly successful twelve months behind us, we can officially say that Pointer has progressed from being a baby startup to a company that is able to allocate the time and resources to ensuring our brand aesthetic matches our vision, professionalism and ethos.

The talented team at Sunday Collective were given the briefest of briefs from us at Pointer and they completely knocked it out of the park. Massive shout out to one of the most talented design agencies in Australia, who just happen to be based in downtown Wagga. With clients ranging from Schwarzkopf, Deux ex Machina and Vittoria, Scott and Michelle are an extraordinary local talent (and clients of Pointer!).

The Pointer Remote team is made up of unique, inspiring individuals that are scattered all over the country. Their collaboration and enthusiasm for our new look has been a fantastic example of the amazing culture that we have created regardless of where we are working from. 

If you would like to get our team on the case to find you your next remote employee, feel free to enquire further here. 

We hope you love our new look as much as we do! While you're here, why don't you sign up for our new monthly newsletter? We will be hitting go on our first newsletter next week so click here to sign up.

 

Jo Palmer
Happy birthday to us!
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Musings on Pointer Remote’s first 12 months and several thank you’s to those who have cheered me on from the sidelines... Stay with me as I acknowledge the key players in Remote’s journey!

Today is my business baby’s first birthday. What a whirlwind the last twelve months have been, and an opportune moment to pause and reflect on Pointer Remote Role’s start-up journey to date. I am currently some 3.5000 kilometres from my Wagga office as I pen this blog post between sessions at the amazing Partners in Grain WA, Inspire Summit in Fremantle, WA. Forever working remotely!

Regardless of my physical location, or perhaps because of it, I feel it is important to take stock and acknowledge how far, in such a short period, that the remote work model has progressed in Australia. With major metro’s bursting at the seams and technology no longer a limiting factor, remote working in Australia has moved beyond concept and is now a reality for an increasing number of progressive firms, regardless of size. In tandem, there is a vast and growing network of highly qualified remote professionals and executives located around the country. As attitudes shift and businesses become increasingly flexible, I realised there was the need for a platform that could efficiently partner organisations with the incredible talent that resides not just in the cities but also throughout rural and regional Australia. Our mission has been to create a seamless solution so that distance is never a barrier to employing the best practitioners in the marketplace.  

I am proud to say that in  the last twelve months, we have placed accountants, graphic designers, executive assistants, marketing managers and HR consultants to name a few. I want to take this opportunity to thank our early adopters. The businesses and the candidates who put their trust in me and the concept, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Where to from here? There are around 900,000 small to medium-sized businesses in Australia. Pointer’s goal is to enable access to the experienced, knowledgeable and talented professionals that will allow these businesses to grow, regardless of where their business is located.

And finally, it would be utterly reticent of me not to acknowledge friends, family, and colleagues who have helped this pearl of an idea transform into the company that it is today. I promise this won’t be drawn out Academy Awards speech. However, I feel it would be remiss not to acknowledge the key people who have cheered this business on from the get-go.

Alice, my best mate, you are present ALL the time. You check in. You look after my kids. You are an all-round legend, and I couldn't do this without you. To Sally Armstrong, my Agri Alliance gal pal, without your support in allowing my head to go in two directions at all times, Pointer would never have made it to our first birthday.  My cheerleader Belinda Allitt. Without this power house's gentle shove, my eyes would never have been opened to the crazy world that is Startup Land. And, of course, the reigning duo of all things startup, Di Somerville, and Simone Eyles; you were straight shooters from the day we met, and your wise counsel has helped me immeasurably in navigating this non-linear, parallel universe. My business group, CheckPoint. You guys are a powerhouse of knowledge and experience and I am so thrilled that you have been the whip crackers behind this business. My parents, my sister and my gorgeous girls, Matilda and Anthea. Your patience and flexibility doesn't go unnoticed. Whenever I feel like I am absent or not doing the 'mother' thing properly, I think back to the time I heard Matilda (aged 4) tell someone that one day she is going to be the boss like mum, and I can keep on keeping on.

In an incredibly short time, I have also built the most fantastic team around me who have become my sounding boards, my confidantes and perfectly represent that demographic of professional superstars that successfully navigate careers despite living some 500km from an office high-rise. This crew has allowed me to build a company that practices what it preaches, they work remotely, flexibly and to the highest of standards. Jess Schiller, my trusty sidekick, has been there from the very early days helping from her property in Hay, and she has been instrumental from an operational perspective. Ange MacAlpine, who works from her desk in The Marra and is the first point of contact for every candidate who registers with Pointer, she is the poster girl for remote work, even while living in the middle of nowhere and enduring the daily battles of pregnancy! Georgie Robertson, the PR queen who moved from Scone and almost literally fell in my lap, I could not be more excited to have her on-side as she helps drive Pointer forward. And Sarah Houston, our newest recruit whom we brought on board with us while she was in Japan is on a mission to engage, inspire and bring more companies on board as she continues her nomadic way across Northern Australia over the next few years, we are thrilled to have you with us.

And lucky last, in true Oscars style, my husband Hugh. Without whom, our candidates and employers would never have been able to experience the benefits that our job matching agency provides. Your continuing support allows this incredible company to not only exist but to grow. And you are very much the reason that our trajectory is on the up.

And as a birthday present to ourselves, we have had the legends from Sunday Collective give Pointer a makeover. New branding is coming the remote world's way in the coming weeks!

Jo Palmer
Escape the rat race!

Are you on the hunt for an amazing role that will allow you to escape the rat race that is the daily commute?

We are looking for a lawyer to join a progressive firm that combines specialist focus and top-tier expertise. They have a genuinely strategic, practical and commercial approach to delivering exceptional value to their clients, and they are looking for a remote lawyer to join their team.

To be successful, you will have at least 5 to 9 years post admission experience in either employment law with a strong focus on employment relations or have worked within a large firm in litigation or commercial law.

#remotework #livingthedream #workfromhome #flexcareers

Don't be these guys

Not a lawyer, but want to #escapetheratrace? Head to www.pointerremoteroles.com.au and register. We have a host of other amazing remote roles, so what are you waiting for?

Jo Palmer
HR Professionals! Have we got an awesome short term contract for you?!

A Chartered Accounting firm has given their HR Coordinator a break, to take off for a well deserved overseas holiday! We are on the hunt to fill that role with an experienced HR Coordinator so that she can enjoy her holiday, knowing the firm is in safe hands.

Is this you? Or someone you know? Register with Pointer today and get yourself a sweet remote role!

Jo Palmer
New year. New job.

Happy 2018 from the team at Pointer. We are hitting the ground running this year with an exciting role with a progressive veterinary business, with a number of clinics across NSW and QLD.

Head to our registration page to register!

Jo Palmer
Check out this remote role... Grant Writer

Are you feeling completely unproductive at work? Is your mind already on holidays? Well, at Pointer, we are all about working from anywhere, so life is a holiday! Ok. A slight exaggeration. But remote work is THE best!

We are currently on the hunt for an experienced Grant Writer! Got experience? Got good Internet and phone service? Want an awesome, part time gig? Look no further! Head to our register page! 

Jo Palmer
How remote work is increasing productivity and levelling the playing field - Startup Daily
 Photo credit - Startup Daily

Photo credit - Startup Daily

Woo hoo to Startup Daily for this cracker of an article on the real wins with remote work! Lets be honest, it always makes an article that much better, when it mentions the crew here at Pointer. Read the article here

As technology has developed, however, employers have come to accept that the nature of work is now increasingly mobile and that deals can be closed on the road, at a café, or while working from home; according to a 2015 report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), around 3.5 million Australians now work from home on a regular basis
— Australian Bureau of Statistics – Characteristics of Employment
Jo Palmer
Brain explosion after a day at Google HQ!
 Cheesy selfies with the Head of Small Business at Google Australia, John Ball

Cheesy selfies with the Head of Small Business at Google Australia, John Ball

How spoilt am I? Thanks to the Regional Australia Institute, I got to spend the day with nine other amazing, regionally based businesses at the Google HQ in Sydney, as part of their Regional Online Heroes competition. Not only did we get to check out the amazing building that Google calls home, (there are scooters to cruise around the office on if you can't be bothered walking!) but we had Google Australia's big wigs come and deposit an extraordinary amount of info into my brain.

Edwina Sharrock from Birth Beat and I were nearly blown into Sydney Harbour while chatting to Prime7 - click here to see our gorgeous, wind swept interview!

Added bonus, I got to cruise Sydney Harbour with Jane Cay from Birdsnest and Claire Dunne from Graziher while knocking back some champagne ice blocks. Tough Friday.

If you are in business regionally, seriously, apply for this next year! 

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Jo Palmer
Marketing and Content Manager

A progressive national company is looking to add a confident, assertive professional to their team. They require a Marketing and Content Manager with experience in the following areas:

Marketing advice
- strategy
- Print/advertising/social marketing
- Position in market

Social media management

Run social media channels and platforms

- Proactively monitoring advertising spend and posts/analytics

Feedback with recommendations to improve marketing reach and strategy

 

Sound like you or someone you know?

Head to our Register page to make it happen!

Jo Palmer
Public Practice Accountants, we can't get enough of you!

We are looking for Accountants with Public Practice experience. We have a number of roles with a number of firms. Part time or full time but all from wherever you'd like to work!

You will work closely with teams who already have some remote employees and with established and diverse client bases in a variety of industries.  Your responsibilities will include the preparation of financial statements, income tax returns, management reports, tax research and advisory work.  You must have solid business services and tax experience with a variety of clients and have exceptional communication skills.  

Sound like you? Head to our Register page to throw your hat in the ring!

Jo Palmer
Farm Table reaping the benefits of a remote team

Getting the best team together, regardless of where they live

When Founder of the Farm Table,  Airlie Trescowthick, engaged Pointer to help her build a team of qualified professionals to carry out a number of roles within her business, we were able to connect her with a huge range of talent. What we didn't know we would get out of it, was an amazing insight into our own candidates through the Farm Table's Facebook page

Pointer has provided me with the opportunity to access and engage talent that was physically unavailable to me and that has been critical to get my business off the ground. I have been overwhelmed with the quality of professionals and the amazing skill set they possess. When looking to expand your business or for project based work, I highly recommend considering Pointer as a point of access to these professionals.
— Airlie Trescowthick - Founder of Farm Table

The Farm Table has been profiling the amazing team they have built and for us here at Pointer, it has been a complete buzz to have an employer showcasing their employees so proudly!

To read more about the amazing candidates that have joined the Farm Table click here

 Dannielle Kirkwood (the one in the hat!) - one of our talented professionals

Dannielle Kirkwood (the one in the hat!) - one of our talented professionals

Jo Palmer
Team Woman Australia - If you can't see it
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Kylee Fitzpatrick caught up with Pointer to chat about 'where it all began'!

You can read the full article here

Business owner and mother of two, Jo Palmer has dedicated her life to Regional Australia and advocating for professionals who are disadvantaged by the availability of professional roles due to their physical location.

Jo’s commitment to mobilising business in Regional Australia started in 2013 when she set up a comprehensive learning and tutoring business that went on to operate in three regional towns in southern NSW.
— Kylee Fitzpatrick, Team Woman Australia

 

 

 

Jo Palmer
Check out this remote role!

We are on the hunt for an amazing Office Manager for a progressive and fast growing company. And yes, you can live anywhere!

Keen? Get in touch!

Jo Palmer