Every year, the Orlando Business Journal recognizes the top 100 privately held businesses by revenue based in Central Florida (Orange, Seminole, Osceola, or Lake Counties) in its annual Golden 100 list. The publication also puts out its Fast 50 list, which recognizes the 50 fastest-growing companies in Central Florida by revenue.
SRI is proud to announce that we’ve made both of these OBJ lists for 2020. In fact, SRI achieved its highest revenue and profit in our entire 28-year history!
This year has certainly been challenging for companies and workers alike, on a level most of us haven’t seen in our lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced consumer activity and yielded record numbers of layoffs, furloughs, and unemployment.
Needless to say, it’s been a busy time for the staffing and recruiting industry. In response to the pandemic, so many people have sought to find new jobs and pivot in their careers, while employers have been forced to reevaluate the way they do business.
Through it all, it’s been an honor to help those on both sides of the equation in these difficult times. It’s endlessly rewarding to match employers and workers in mutually beneficial ways that contribute to their success and satisfaction.
We’d like to thank all the employers, employees, and contractors who’ve trusted us to fill their positions with top talent or place them in a job where they can thrive! Stay safe and healthy, everyone!
Read more about the OBJ Golden 100 and see all the companies that made the list.
See the OBJ story about SRI, which includes an interview with our CEO Tamara Giaimo.
Working remotely comes easier to some than to others, and there are important considerations when deciding if you’re a good fit for a telecommuting position. Currently, however, many people are being thrust into remote work by the COVID-19 pandemic for the first time, and it looks like this will be the situation for at least a few months to come. This presents unfamiliar challenges, which is why we thought this a good time to share some tips for productively working from home.
Of course, different people have different work styles, different distractions at home, and even differing levels of susceptibility to those distractions. And so, everyone has to test out different tricks and routines to find those that are personally most helpful. But there are definitely tips for productively working from home that are widely applicable, and they’re a good place to start when trying to adapt to telecommuting.
So, whether you’re new to remote work due to changes forced on us by the COVID-19 virus, or you’ve taken on a remote position once the crisis has passed, use the following tips for productively working from home to make sure you stay on top of your workload and thrive in your position. Again, some may be unnecessary for you personally, but pick out the ideas that resonate most, or that address issues you’ve already been experiencing.
How to Stay Productive While Working Remotely
- Find a designated place to work in your home where you are best isolated from potentially distracting sounds and activity, and make sure everyone else in the house knows not to disturb you during work time. Also, think of where you situate yourself and how it will affect you; for example, do you function best in front of a window with sunlight streaming in, or are you prone to staring out it and getting lost in the view?
- Create a plan with your family if you have a spouse, partner, and/or kids at home with you. This might include things like a schedule of when each adult is on child-care duty, who’s making lunch for everyone, when you can and can’t be disturbed, whether you and your significant other can work in the same room together, and so on.
- Establish your schedule and stick to it. Be careful about getting sucked into work after your expected working hours. People can be especially prone to this when they’re eager to look like they’re on top of things because they’re working remotely. Log off, close the laptop, and do whatever it takes to create boundaries that prevent your work life from bleeding into your home life.
- Set timers so you know when it’s time to start and stop working. It’s easier to lose track of time without the cues around you that exist in the workplace. This includes timers that tell you when it’s time to have lunch or take breaks; see the next tip.
- Take breaks during the day. Working straight through the day without pause deprives you of chances to stretch, clear your head, and return to your tasks refreshed with more energy and renewed focus. Spend at least a few minutes out side here and there.
- Get dressed for work. Sure, working in your pajamas or underwear is the cliché about one of the best parts of working from home, but it prevents a lot of people from successfully getting into the right mindset. If you struggle to start working or to be productive and haven’t been getting dressed, give it a shot.
- Maintain a prioritized to-do list each day to help keep you on track and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
- Eat in the kitchen, not at your desk. It’s helpful to keep your work space dedicated to work. Plus, it’s easy to get distracted for an extended time if you’re sitting there using the internet recreationally or playing a game while you’re eating.
- Keep your desk and the surround area of your work space free of clutter.
- Keep online distractions like Facebook, Twitter, news pages, etc. closed while you’re working. These easily pull your attention away and suck up more time than you realize. There’s none of the inherent accountability at home that comes from possibly having co-workers or your boss seeing you off-task.
- Close your email and turn off your phone notifications and computer alerts while you need to focus.
- Rediscover the lost practice of making phone calls when you need to speak to someone. This is often more efficient than sending emails, texts, or other messages back and forth, and it keeps you from having to watch for notifications.
- Use a dedicated work-only browser if your usual browser has bookmarks, open tabs, notifications, add-ons, or other potential distractions.
- Don’t try watching TV while you’re working. If background music helps you work, go for it; if it’s distracting, keep it off even though you may be enjoying the freedom to blast it.
- Take good care of yourself and be attentive to your personal life once work time is over for the day.
High-performance teams drive business success. A group’s ability to innovate and achieve can greatly surpass that of the individual—but only when there’s genuine teamwork, unified understanding of the group’s goals, and synergy. And that’s where the following pointers for building successful teams in the workplace come in.
Don’t leave things to chance by randomly lumping people together, or by just picking out the first people you see from relevant departments. By being deliberate in the way you bring employees together to collaborate, you can design powerful teams and are taking an important step for building successful teams in the workplace.
Of course, there’s always some degree of unpredictability, and it’s important to closely monitor every team’s performance and progress. Be willing to rearrange as needed over time. If certain people just don’t work well together, or you find a team has some sort of imbalance in expertise, or you otherwise identify a shortcoming, be quick to adjust. This sort of flexibility is also a crucial aspect of building successful teams in the workplace for the long term.
How to Create High-Performance Teams
- Appoint someone with strong leadership skills to lead the team. It’s not always a manager or a longtime employee. And sometimes it may not even seem like an official leader is necessary. But every group needs someone to guide it, keep it on track, and make final decisions if it’s to function efficiently.
- Create a culture of teamwork and mutual respect. Encourage employees to share information, insights, and expertise. While some degree of competition can sometimes drive performance on an individual level, it’s generally not helpful at all in a team dynamic. Everyone on a team should be equally invested in everyone else’s performance and in achieving one unified result for the group.
- Assemble diverse teams. A well-rounded team includes a wide range of experiences, expertise, and viewpoints. This refers to all sorts of characteristics, such as people of different genders, ethnicities, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, years of experience in the field, areas of specialty, strengths, and so on.
- Establish ground rules. These can cover a lot of areas, such as when the group will meet, how meetings will be conducted, how everyone will communicate, how disagreements are handled,etc. Just remain open to changing the rules if they seem to hinder progress, or to creating new ones if it becomes clear they’re needed.
- Make sure the team always has a SMART goal. Everyone on the team must be striving toward the same ends. Guide efforts with specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) goals. Define them clearly and confirm that each person understands them.
- Clearly define everyone’s role in the group. Building successful teams in the workplace often means moving beyond each individual’s basic job description. Everyone should have a larger role in a group dynamic. Play to people’s strengths—including their character traits as well as their professional expertise.
- Encourage team members to get to know each other. Send them out to lunch together. Arrange team-building activities that aren’t totally lame. Have them take breaks together. Suggest they go to happy hour after work. They’ll do better together when they care about each other, understand each other’s needs and work styles, have some insights into where everyone else is coming from, and otherwise become connected.
- Establish a single method of communication. Provide communication apps or other software that the team can use to talk and track progress on each project. If individuals are emailing or texting each other individually, others may miss out on essential information or ideas. Keep communications centralized and easily accessible to everyone in the group.
- Incorporate regular feedback. This doesn’t only refer to constructive criticism and due praise from the team leader and from above. That’s crucial, but the group also needs to be able to openly discuss its progress, challenges, and concerns. Make sure there are scheduled times and a mechanism in place to allow for this.
- Offer incentives, praise, and rewards. Good work should always be positively reinforced. When a team performs well, make sure that every single member knows it, and knows that their individual contributions are recognized and appreciated. Praise and rewards should go out to team members individually and to the group as a whole.
We would like to ask our current and former employees to please take a few minutes to rate and write reviews of Software Resources, Inc. on Glassdoor and Indeed. These are the leading job search sites where people seeking employment opportunities read employee reviews of companies.
Employee reviews are an important form of social proof for the public, and they’re also an excellent way for us to gather feedback about our services. So, we hope you’ll contribute your input to our company listings on these job sites.
To leave reviews of Software Resources, Inc. on Glassdoor, go here for instructions; to write reviews on Indeed, go to our company page and click the “Write a review” button.
Thank you very much, we value every one of you and your opinions!
What you say in an interview and the body language you use are two essential parts of selling yourself to get the job. But what you don’t say can be just as important. Hiring managers are practiced at spotting red flags in the language candidates use and the sentiments they express. The following list of things you should never say in an interview include many of the most common such warnings that interviewees often let slip.
Avoid Saying These in a Job Interview
- Curse words. It should go without saying, but just in case: Don’t swear in an interview, or even use “lighter” terms that many people still consider crude.
- “What do you do here?” Interviewers want to see that you’ve already taken an interest in the company and done your research. Asking questions like this that demonstrate you’ve come to the meeting fairly clueless are one of the fastest ways to get ruled out for an opportunity.
- “I need the money.” It’s one of the worst possible answers to “Why do you want this job?” but you might be surprised how often people say it. Employers look for candidates who want to be with the company—not ones who are just desperate for income. This question comes up in almost every interview, so have a strong answer ready that demonstrates you understand what the job and the company are about, and that you’ll excel with enthusiasm.
- “I know I don’t have experience…” Sometimes you go for a job that’s a bit of a reach. But just because you don’t have experience in the industry or field, that doesn’t mean you don’t have relevant experience using skills you’ll need to succeed in the job. Find ways to frame what you have done to fit the demands of the position.
- “I hated my last job/boss.” While this is sometimes the case, you can’t say it. And rest assured, many interviewers try to bait you into ranting about previous positions or bosses. To a hiring manger, this indicates a strong negative streak, an inability to find positives in any situation, difficulty getting along with others, and a willingness to badmouth your employers.
- “What are the perks?” This sort of inquiry casts you as someone who’s just there for self-interest, rather than someone looking to enter into a mutually beneficial situation that allows you and the company to grow together.
- “When do I get a raise/promotion?” Similar to the previous entry, this focuses too much on what’s in it for you. It also comes across as entitlement, and that you may think you’re too good for the position/pay you’re applying to get. Beyond that, the interviewer will assume you won’t be content in the job you’re seeking at the moment.
- “I’m exhausted.” Whether in response to opening small talk, or as part of your discussion about where you are in your life, don’t make complaints like this. Always keep things positive, and don’t make yourself sound like a complainer, someone who doesn’t handle stress well, someone with an aversion to a lot of work, someone who often doesn’t feel well, etc.
- “I don’t know.” You may not have an answer ready to go for every question, and that’s OK. Interviewers are happy to see you pause and think to give a good response. They’re not so happy to see that you’re unwilling to even try.
- “I don’t have any questions.” Expect to be asked whether you have any questions at the end of the interview. And the correct answer is always yes. Otherwise, you seem uninterested in the job and the company. Go in prepared with some questions about how things work and how you’ll best be able to succeed; if they’re answered in the course of the interview, come up with at least one or two new ones.