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How To Influence The Industry You’re In

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How To Influence The Industry You’re In

Anyone who desires to have a career that transcends a typical 9 to 5, more than likely desires to add value not only to their organization but also to their industry itself. But just how do you begin to influence an industry that has been around for years, that you’re new to, or trying to reposition your brand in?  I can remember being new to my career and new to my organization where my tenure, age, and experience seemed to be 15 – 20 years junior to everyone else’s. I would often times wake up thinking and enter meetings wondering, how will I be able to influence others today?

Whether your industry is small and easy to navigate or overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, here are 5 of the best ways you can learn to influence and benefit your industry:

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Identify what type of influence you want to have

Influence pic

    Leadership expert, John Maxwell, is famously quoted for stating that “Leadership is Influence–Nothing more, Nothing Less.”  So if influence is all about leadership, who are you leading?  What problem would you like to solve in your industry? What key message do you feel like is important for your industry peers to know about? And even more importantly, how can you add value to those you would like to impact?  Your influence will consistently grow the more you serve and add value to others at all levels, not just other influencers.

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    Establish yourself as a credible expert 

    Speaker giving presentation in lecture hall at university. Participants listening to lecture and making notes. Copy space for brand on white screen.
      Credible Expert

      Many people only take a semi-proactive approach to their career by at most attending industry conferences, local trainings, and online webinars. However if you really want to take your industry by storm don’t just attend the conferences,

      • Answer the call for speakers and submit a proposal to speak.
      • Start publishing articles in your industry’s publications, write white papers, and guest blog on reputable blogs.
      • Become a published author to get your message out to the masses.
      • Leverage resources where your peers and other key influencers are such as LinkedIn
      • Collaborate with other business and key influencers to make a bigger impact together

      No matter which route you take, whether you do some or all of the above, the only way you can tremendously influence others is through establishing your credibility!

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      Identify future trends and talk about what’s next

      Male sneakers on the asphalt road with yellow line and title Future. Step into the future.
        Identify Future Trends!

        The easiest thing for anyone to do is to talk about what’s wrong. Any expert can go in depth about problem number 1, 2, 3, or 4. Historical context is always great but I also remember hearing previous bosses say to the team, “don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution.” However, industry leaders create significant influence not just by studying the past, but by linking it to the right pro-active solutions. Pro-active solutions that can lead to disruptive innovation and change how an entire industry goes to business, like the invention and rapid growth of social media (no pressure). When looking to gain more influence in your industry be sure to answer questions for your peers like, what do they need to be preparing for? What’s changing in the near future? etc.

        Be Different

        Brand new color pencils right out of the box for school supplies.
          Be Different!

          Not only are others looking for pro-active solutions to age-old problems, they are also looking for innovative and unique perspectives that transform how they go to business – but being different can be tricky. For some it comes naturally in which most often that person is always comfortable in a healthy debate that challenges thought processes. For others, pushing the envelope and causing any level of discomfort brings heightened anxiety. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, influencing your industry tremendously doesn’t happen by sharing and repeating what others already know. It happens by someone like you sharing not only what they don’t know, but also what they need to hear! Where are you willing to show up and push the envelope?  In order for others to think differently, we have to challenge ourselves to show up differently.

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          Start where you are

          Young people working in the office
            Start where you are!

            Before you can influence an industry, make sure you are able to influence those that are closest to you first. What would your direct reports, peers, and boss say about you now? Would they consider you an influencer on your team? How about in the wider company? The desire to influence your industry is great, just make you are known for adding value and serving those in your own backyard first. The more you influence and serve those closest to you the easier it will be to assimilate into larger circles of influence!

            If you’re not sure where to start or how to expound upon your existing influence, start with #5 above, exactly where you are. The message you wish to share and multiply across your industry will first be developed in the trenches of the ones your work along side with the closest.

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            Published on September 21, 2021

            How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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            How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

            The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

            In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

            1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

            Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

            But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

            Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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            Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

            Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

            While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

            Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

            2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

            At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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            Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

            Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

            Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

            McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

            From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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            3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

            An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

            McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

            Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

            Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

            Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

            So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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            The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

            If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

            Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

            Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

            Reference

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