Viewing posts categorised under: Health and wellbeing

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work from home, and for many, this has been a positive experience. There are many pros to working from home, including increased productivity, reduced stress, and improved work-life balance. However, there are also some cons to working from home, such as isolation, distractions, and a lack of social interaction.

Pros of Working From Home

  • Increased productivity: Studies have shown that people who work from home are often more productive than those who work in an office. This is because they have fewer distractions and can work in a more comfortable environment. A study by Stanford University found that people who worked from home were 13% more productive than those who worked in an office.
  • Reduced stress: Commuting to and from work can be a major source of stress. Working from home eliminates this stress and can lead to a more relaxed and productive work environment. A study by the University of California, Irvine found that people who worked from home had lower levels of stress and anxiety than those who worked in an office.
  • Improved work-life balance: Working from home allows people to have more control over their work-life balance. They can choose to work when they are most productive and take breaks when they need them. This can lead to a healthier and happier work-life balance. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that employees who worked from home were more likely to report being satisfied with their work-life balance.

Cons of Working From Home

  • Isolation: Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation. People who work from home may miss out on the social interaction and camaraderie that comes with working in an office. A study by the University of Melbourne found that people who worked from home were more likely to report feeling isolated and lonely than those who worked in an office.
  • Distractions: Working from home can be more distracting than working in an office. There are many things that can distract people from their work, such as family members, pets, and television. A study by the University of Texas at Austin found that people who worked from home were more likely to be interrupted than those who worked in an office.
  • Lack of social interaction: Working from home can lead to a lack of social interaction. People who work from home may miss out on opportunities to network and socialize with their colleagues. A study by the University of Warwick found that people who worked from home were less likely to report having close friends at work.


There are both pros and cons to working from home. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to work from home is a personal one. Some people find that the pros outweigh the cons, while others find the opposite. If you are considering working from home, it is important to weigh the factors carefully and make the decision that is best for you.

The Future of Work

The future of work is not about working from home or working in the office. It’s about working in a way that allows you to be your best self. If you are more productive and creative when you work from home, then you should work from home. If you are more productive and creative when you work in the office, then you should work in the office.

The key is to find a way to work that allows us to be our best selves. We can work from home, in the office, or a hybrid of both.

The important thing is to find what works for us and not be afraid to experiment. The future of work is about finding what works best for each individual.

This quote from Simon Sinek is a reminder that the way we work is changing. In the past, we were either required to work in an office or at home. But now, thanks to technology, we have the freedom to choose how we work. We can work from home, in the office, or a hybrid of both.

The key is to find a way to work that allows us to be our best selves. If we are more productive and creative when we work from home, then we should work from home. If we are more productive and creative when we work in the office, then we should work in the office.

The important thing is to find what works for us and not be afraid to experiment. The future of work is about finding what works best for each individual.

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Opportunities for collaboration and networking 

When employees are physically present in the same location, they have more opportunities for impromptu conversations, informal discussions, and networking, which can lead to greater visibility and access to important projects or career advancement opportunities. Remote workers, on the other hand, may miss out on such opportunities due to their physical absence, resulting in reduced visibility and potential exclusion from key discussions or decisions. 

Access to information and resources 

In a physical office, employees may have access to informal channels of communication and information, such as office gossip or hallway conversations, which can provide valuable insights or updates about work-related matters. Remote workers may not have the same level of access to such informal channels, leading to potential information gaps and feeling left out of important conversations or decisions.   

Perceived productivity and commitment 

Workplace proximity bias can also impact how remote workers are perceived in terms of their productivity and commitment. Remote workers may be viewed as less productive or less committed compared to their in-office counterparts, simply because they are not physically present in the office, even if they are delivering the same level of output or even more. This can result in unfair evaluations or biased perceptions about remote workers, leading to reduced opportunities for advancement or rewards. 

Inclusion and team dynamics  

In-office employees may form stronger social connections and bonds through regular face-to-face interactions, which can contribute to a sense of camaraderie and inclusion within the team. Remote workers may feel left out of such social interactions and team dynamics, leading to feelings of isolation or exclusion, which can negatively impact their job satisfaction, engagement, and overall well-being. 

Decision-making and visibility 

Workplace proximity bias can also affect remote workers' visibility in decision-making processes. In informal office settings, important decisions may be made in impromptu meetings or discussions that remote workers may not have access to, resulting in reduced participation and influence in decision-making. This can lead to a lack of recognition for remote workers' contributions and ideas, and they may feel overlooked or undervalued. 

How Does This Cause Stress At Home?

Workplace proximity bias can contribute to increased stress among remote workers in several ways: 

Feeling excluded or isolated  

Remote workers who experience workplace proximity bias may feel excluded or isolated from the team or office culture, which can result in increased stress. Human beings are social creatures, and a sense of belonging and inclusion is important for overall well-being. When remote workers feel left out or disconnected from their in-office counterparts, it can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and heightened stress levels. 

Fear of missing out (FOMO) 

Workplace proximity bias can also create a fear of missing out (FOMO) among remote workers. They may worry that important information or opportunities are being shared in informal office settings from which they are excluded, leading to a sense of anxiety or FOMO. This fear of missing out on critical updates or opportunities can contribute to increased stress as remote workers strive to stay informed and remain relevant despite not being physically present in the office. 

Pressure to prove productivity  

Workplace proximity bias may lead to remote workers feeling pressure to prove their productivity and commitment constantly. As remote workers may be perceived as less productive or less committed due to their physical absence from the office, they may feel the need to constantly demonstrate their value through increased work output or responsiveness. This pressure to prove productivity can result in heightened stress levels as remote workers may feel the need to constantly justify their remote work arrangement and prove themselves in comparison to their in-office counterparts. 

Limited support or resources 

Remote workers may face challenges in accessing support or resources due to workplace proximity bias. In-office employees may have easier access to colleagues, managers, or resources, while remote workers may face additional barriers, such as time zone differences, lack of immediate access to support, or delays in receiving necessary resources. This can create additional stress for remote workers as they navigate these challenges and try to meet their work responsibilities without the same level of support as their in-office counterparts. 

Unclear expectations 

Workplace proximity bias may also contribute to unclear expectations for remote workers. If remote workers are not included in informal office discussions or decisions, they may receive incomplete or ambiguous information about their roles, responsibilities, or expectations. This lack of clarity can result in increased stress as remote workers try to navigate their work without a clear understanding of what is expected of them, leading to a heightened sense of uncertainty and anxiety. 

Stress at home or at work, what can we do?

Overall, workplace proximity bias can have negative effects on remote workers, leading to reduced opportunities. Employers and managers should be aware of this bias and take steps to ensure fair treatment and equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of their physical location. This can include providing remote workers with regular opportunities for engagement, visibility, and inclusion, and evaluating their performance based on objective criteria rather than physical presence.   If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy these from the archives: 10 Ways to Improve Your Workplace For Employees To Reduce Stress And Increase Happiness Stress Nerves and Anxiety: How To Manage Them Before Your Next Interview

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Stress isn’t an individual problem. High turnover and increased absences cost businesses money. Employee retention is important for success – as an employer, you cannot afford to overlook stress and mental health of your employees. This month, stress awareness month, we have been talking about the causes of workplace stress and how to manage it. Today we turn the focus around to employers and look at how they can better look after their employees' well-being at work, specifically with regard to stress.   Read on for more ways to reduce stress for your employees and increase happiness and productivity.  

10 Ways To Reduce Stress In The Workplace

Reduce Stress With Better Communication

  1. Set clear expectations and goals. This will help provide employees with a sense of direction and purpose. Unclear expectations or excessive workload can lead to stress and burnout. Employers can also work with employees to set realistic goals and provide feedback and support to help them achieve those goals.
  2. Lead by example. Consider how you can model healthy work habits, managing your own stress effectively. When leaders prioritize their own well-being and manage stress in a positive way, it sets an example for employees and promotes a healthy work culture. 

Make These Environmental Changes To Reduce Stress

3. Create a supportive work environment by promoting open communication, providing resources for stress management, and encouraging work-life balance. Prioritising employee well-being and promotes a culture of support. 4. Employers can create opportunities for employees to connect with their colleagues, build relationships, and foster a sense of community at work. This can be achieved through team-building activities, social events, or collaborative projects. Social connections can help employees feel supported and reduce workplace stress. Increased remote working can make this more challenging. Managers can help with this by investing in internal messaging tools or  setting up a virtual 'water cooler' space for  people to connect and chat about non-work things. 5. Employers should encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the day and utilize their paid time off to recharge and relax. Taking breaks and time off can help employees manage stress, prevent burnout, and improve overall well-being.  6. Employers can offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options, flexible work hours, or compressed work weeks, to help employees manage their personal and professional responsibilities more effectively, reducing stress related to work-life balance.  7. Promoting a healthy work-life balance, such as avoiding after-hours emails or limiting work-related tasks during weekends or vacations can help employees maintain a healthy balance. This helps with reducing stress related to work overload.  For more about the importance of a work life balance check out How To Maintain Your Work-Life Balance and Feel Good About It.

Provide Adequate Resources

8. Provide resources for mental health support. For example, employers can offer access to mental health resources, to provide employees with confidential support for managing stress or other mental health concerns.  9. Providing training and development opportunities can help employees build their skills and confidence in their roles. This can reduce stress related to feeling overwhelmed or under-skilled at work.  10.Stress management programs such as mindfulness sessions, yoga classes, or other relaxation techniques can help employees manage stress effectively. These programs can be offered during work hours or as part of wellness initiatives. 

Reducing Stress Is A Win Win

There are many ways employers can  better look after their employees' well-being at work. Start by reviewing what you currently have on offer, and asking employees what they would find helpful. By creating a supportive work environment, offering adequate resources, providing flexibility and training opportunities and  encouraging breaks , social connections and time off, employers can help employees manage stress effectively and improve overall well-being in the workplace.  For more articles head to our blog. Don't forget to let us know what you do to help improve wellbeing in your workplace!

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No matter how old you are, managing stress levels before an interview can be challenging. Keeping with the theme of stress awareness month, this article will look at what we mean when we talk about stress, nerves, and anxiety and how to manage your concerns before your next interview.  

What Is The Difference Between Nerves and Anxiety?

Nerves and anxiety are related concepts, but they have some differences. 


Being nervous is usually experiencing heightened tension or apprehension, often associated with a specific event or situation. It's a normal physiological response to stress, such as before an important exam, a job interview, or a public speaking engagement. Symptoms of being nervous include increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, and other physical symptoms. It also be accompanied by feelings of uneasiness or butterflies in the stomach. 


On the other hand, anxiety is a broader and more generalized state of uneasiness or worry that is not always tied to a specific event or situation. Anxiety can be persistent and may not necessarily have a clear trigger. It is often characterized by excessive or exaggerated worry about various aspects of life, such as work, relationships, health, or the future. Anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms similar to nerves, but it can also affect a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviour.  In summary, while nerves typically refer to a temporary state of heightened tension in response to a specific event, anxiety is a more pervasive and generalized state of uneasiness or worry that may not always have a clear cause. Anxiety can also be chronic and may require professional help to manage, while nerves are often temporary and may resolve once the triggering event has passed.   

How Should I Manage Stress and Anxiety Before A Job Interview?

Managing anxiety before a job interview can be challenging, but there are several strategies that may help you cope with it. Here are some tips: 
  • Being well-prepared for the job interview can help reduce anxiety. Research the company, review the job description, and practice your responses to common interview questions. Being well-prepared can increase your confidence and reduce uncertainty. 
  • Deep breathing and relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or meditation, can help calm your body and mind. Take slow, deep breaths and focus on relaxing your muscles to help reduce physical tension and anxiety. 
  • Anxiety is often fuelled by negative thoughts or worries. Challenge and reframe negative thoughts that may be contributing to your anxiety. Ask yourself if they are based on facts or assumptions and try to view the situation in a more balanced and realistic way. 
  • Visualize yourself succeeding in the job interview. Imagine yourself feeling confident, answering questions effectively, and engaging positively with the interviewer. Visualization can help boost your confidence and reduce anxiety. 
  • Taking care of your physical and mental well-being can help reduce anxiety. Get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, engage in regular exercise, and engage in activities that you enjoy. Taking care of yourself can help you manage stress and anxiety more effectively. 
  • Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or mentor about your anxiety. Simply expressing your feelings can help relieve some of the pressure. They may also provide you with encouragement and support. 
  • Grounding techniques can help bring your focus to the present moment and reduce anxiety. Examples include focusing on your senses (e.g., feeling the texture of an object, listening to the sounds around you), or engaging in activities that require concentration (e.g., counting backwards, solving a puzzle). 
  • If your anxiety is persistent and interfering with your daily life, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor. They can provide you with effective strategies for managing anxiety and help you develop coping skills tailored to your needs. 

Is Anxiety The Same As Stress?

While anxiety and stress share similarities, they are not exactly the same. Anxiety is a state of uneasiness, worry, or fear about future events or situations, while stress is the body's response to demands or pressures placed upon it. While stress can trigger anxiety, anxiety can also occur without a specific external stressor.  Stress is a natural physiological response that can be triggered by various situations, such as work deadlines, financial pressures, relationship issues, or major life changes. It can manifest in physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms, such as increased heart rate, tension, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and changes in sleep patterns.  Anxiety may not always have a clear trigger, and it can persist even when there is no immediate or obvious stressor present.  While some level of stress can be normal and even beneficial in certain situations, chronic or prolonged stress can have negative effects on physical and mental health. Anxiety, similarly, can interfere with a person's daily life, relationships, and well-being if it becomes excessive or persistent.  It's worth noting that stress and anxiety can often coexist and exacerbate each other. Chronic stress can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders, and anxiety can also trigger stress responses in the body. However, they are distinct concepts, and understanding the differences between them can be helpful in managing and addressing them effectively. Seeking support from a healthcare professional, such as a therapist or counsellor, can be beneficial if you are experiencing persistent stress or anxiety.   

We Are Living In Stressful Times

It is no secret that times are pretty tough for a lot of people at the moment. If you are job seeking it is hard work out there! If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy these from our archive: How Do We Manage Work Related Stress In 2023? How To Handle Difficult Conversations With Your Boss And never forget, if you are feeling stressed or your anxiety is affecting your ability to get on with your usual activities, reach out. Here are some helpful resources:  NHS Anxiety Stress Management   Mind 

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April is stress awareness month.  Since 1992 this month has been held to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern-day stress epidemic. 40 years on, and stress and poor mental health are the biggest public health challenges that we’re facing. The continuing separation of mental health and physical health but the reality is they are two sides of the same coin.  Stress affects the body in many ways. From physical problems, like heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues, immune system challenges, etc to more serious mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.  First, we will take a look at what causes stress at work, then look at some ways to manage it.  

What Causes Stress At Work?

There are many factors that can cause stress at work. The challenge face by colleagues and bosses is that everyone experiences it in different ways. The six main areas that contribute to work-related stress are: control, support, role, change, relationships and demands. For example, workers who feel they don't have control over the way they do their work or don't feel they receive enough information and support can experience stress. Similarly, too much demand, lack of understanding about their role or trouble with relationships at work can also be factors. The variety of contributing factors and the response of each individual can lead to symptoms and behaviour manifesting in very different ways. For more advice on how to recognise stress in the workplace, you can head to the Stress UK website A man standing by pile of cardboard boxes. Each box has a word printed on it. Stress, problems, anxiety, deadline, work, break up. The man has his arms raised as if he is about to push the pile of boxes over

How Can You Manage Stress?

Managing stress at work is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, improving productivity, and enhancing overall job satisfaction. Here are some strategies that can help: 
  • Prioritise and Organise: Organise your tasks according to their importance and urgency. This will help you focus on the tasks that need your immediate attention and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by a long to-do list. 
  • Take Breaks: Take regular breaks throughout the day to give your mind and body a chance to rest and recharge. This can help you stay focused and productive throughout the day. 
  • Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a technique that involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts and emotions. This can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being. 
  • Seek Support: If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't hesitate to seek support from your colleagues, manager, or a mental health professional. Sometimes talking about your stress can help you feel better and find solutions to the challenges you're facing. 
  • Take time off: It's important to take time off, even when working from home. Use your vacation time to take a break from work and recharge. 
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve your overall health. It can also help you clear your mind and stay focused on your tasks. 

What Are The Unique Stressors Faced By Remote Workers

Working from home can bring a unique set of stressors, such as difficulty separating work and personal life, feeling isolated, and increased distractions. Practicing mindfulness, taking breaks and generally looking after yourself still apply but here are some strategies that can help you manage stress when you work from home: 
  • Set boundaries: Create clear boundaries between work and personal time. Establish a designated workspace, set a schedule, and communicate your availability to colleagues. 
  • Stay connected: Stay connected with colleagues, friends, and family through virtual communication tools. This can help reduce feelings of isolation and increase social support. 
  • Practice self-care: Take care of your physical and mental health by getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating healthy. This can help you build resilience and better cope with stress. 
  • Limit distractions: Identify and limit distractions that can interfere with your productivity, such as social media or household chores. 

Stress Can Be Eased With Self Care

Remember that everyone's experience with working from home is unique, so it's essential to experiment and find what works best for you. By practicing these strategies, you can manage stress and thrive while working from home.  It takes time and practice to develop effective stress management strategies that work for you. Start with small steps and be patient with yourself as you navigate the ups and downs of work stress.  Look after yourself – we all need to think more about self–care. Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you feel too stressed.  The most crucial thing you can do when you are stressed or anxious is to make sure you are continuing to look after yourself. Make time to relax when you need to and learn to say no to requests that are too much for you.  If you enjoyed this article you might enjoy these from our archive: How To Handle Difficult Conversations With Your Boss As A Remote Worker New Job Anxiety: How To Have A Great First Day    

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The shift from office-based to hybrid and remote work during and after the pandemic has had an adverse effect on workplace relationships. Those managers who were really great at communication in the office might not be as good now their teams are not working together all the time. Remote communications and successful team collaboration require different management styles and responses from all parties. The remote work environment overall needs to be more structured to ensure workers feel supported, and in general, tough conversations can be avoided if regular comms are managed proactively. In December 2021, 54% of professionals said the pandemic had a negative impact on their relationships, and we are still seeing evidence of this. Having difficult conversations with superiors or colleagues has always been hard.  It relies on a solid foundation of trust and regular communication. Fully remote work is impacting how we establish these relationships in the first place. Consider workers who have only come on board as remote workers and so may not have had the chance to meet their co-workers at all.  Remote working means red flags can be easily missed. For example, poor communication with colleagues or customers can go unnoticed for longer - especially if someone has only come on board recently as a remote worker. Having difficult conversations is essential for maintaining a healthy working relationship and achieving your goals.  Here are our top tips for approaching difficult conversations at work when you work remotely.

Top Tips For Handling Difficult Conversations With Your Boss

 #1 Prepare How and What You Want To Say

Before you initiate the conversation, make sure you have thought through the issue, identified your concerns, and prepared to articulate them clearly and succinctly. You may also want to consider the possible reactions your boss might have and prepare responses to address those reactions. Consider the other person's perspective and ask for feedback from someone who is not involved in the discussion to see what they think  

#2 Think Carefully About The Time and Place

If you can have the conversation face to face, do! This is not always a) possible or b) suitable if you have never met face to face, for example. But being able to read someone's body language is very important and can help make difficult conversations easier!   Try to choose a time when your boss is not too busy or stressed. If you know there is a big event or meeting ongoing for example. Agree a location where you can have an open and honest conversation without interruptions or distractions. Work together to select a time when both you and the other person are likely to be in the right frame of mind. 

#3 Focus on The Issue

Separate the person from the issue. It can be easy to get worked up and emotional - especially when you are remote working and perhaps don't have anyone to vent to.  Stick to the topic at hand and avoid bringing up past issues or unrelated topics. Be specific about the issue and avoid making generalisations or assumptions. 

#4 Be Clear And Concise When Having Difficult Conversations

Without the benefit of body language, your actual language becomes even more crucial. When discussing your concerns, use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. For example, instead of saying "You never listen to me," say "I feel like my opinions are not being heard." Be clear and concise. Stick to the facts and avoid using emotional language. Be direct and specific about the issue you want to address. 

#5 Listen Actively

Allow your boss to express their thoughts and feelings and listen actively to what they have to say. Active listening is a great skill to learn and practice.  Listen without judgement and avoid interrupting. Maintain eye contact. If you are having your difficult conversation online, make sure you look directly into the camera regularly. You still need to look at the other persons face, as you need to try and read and respond to non-verbal cues but by regularly glancing into the camera, it mimics direct eye contact.  Try to understand their perspective and look for common ground. Repeat back what they have said to show that you have heard and understood them. 

#6 Be Open To Solutions

Instead of just highlighting the problem, offer potential solutions to the issue and be open to compromise. You can also ask your boss for their input on finding a resolution. Collaborate with the other person to find a solution that works for both of you. 

Difficult Conversations Are Normal (But Can Be Avoided)

After the conversation, follow up with your boss to ensure that the issue is being addressed and that you are both on the same page. Check in regularly to show that you are committed to resolving the issue.  Remember that having difficult conversations with your boss is a normal part of the workplace, and it can lead to positive outcomes for both you and your organization. By preparing, choosing the right time and place, focusing on the issue, using "I" statements, listening actively, proposing solutions, and following up, you can have a productive conversation with your boss.  Forbes has a great article for managers looking for helpful advice on difficult remote conversations. If you enjoyed this post, you can read more on our blog.

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As we near the end of the year, we wanted to reflect on some of the most popular topics covered in the blog.  From tips on how to get a job in digital marketing as a graduate  to re-entering the workforce after taking time away to be a parent, we have tried to cover relevant topics for recruiters and jobseekers alike. Read on for a roundup of Dotgap's 2022 digital marketing blog. 

The Recession, Cost Of Living Crisis and Digital Marketing

The economic climate has presented many challenges over the last few years. Businesses have had to adjust their strategies to accommodate changes in consumer behaviour and the availability of resources. People are likely to be more cautious with their spending during a recession so it is important to emphasise value over price. Companies must reduce costs while still achieving measurable results from their marketing efforts. Considering how the current climate will impact the marketing industry we can surmise businesses need to be mindful of budgets while maximising technologies that can help reach their target audience.  This includes leveraging social media platforms to build relationships with potential customers, as well as utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure they're visible in online searches.  This can also be a difficult time to be looking for a job, raising questions about the impact on remote and flexible working arrangements.

Changing Jobs For Your Career

Changing jobs can be a daunting and even confusing process. It can be especially difficult to know whether you should stay or go when you are thinking about the bigger picture in your digital marketing career.  The first step is to assess your current situation and make sure you are making an informed decision. Consider your current job, the new job you are considering, and the implications of a switch in terms of salary, hours, and benefits. Once you are confident that the change is the right move for you, it is time to start the job search.  Research potential employers and the job market, and make sure to update your resume and cover letter. Reach out to former colleagues and contacts to see if they have any job leads you may be interested in. You may also want to consider networking with professionals in your field in order to get your name out there.  Once you are ready to apply for jobs, make sure you take the time to tailor your resume and cover letter for each job you apply to. After you submit your applications, it is important to follow up with employers, either through email or phone calls, in order to make sure they have your application and understand your skillset. If you are looking to relocate, make sure you take extra consideration. The last step is to prepare for the job interview. This means researching the company, its products, and its mission statement. Make sure to practice answers to common interview questions, and dress professionally. Finally, make sure to be yourself and be prepared to discuss why you are the right fit for the position. 

Diversity in Digital Marketing Recruitment

Diversity, equity and inclusion have been buzzwords for the last few years now. But what does it actually mean in practice for businesses and candidates? There are lots of benefits for organizations to embrace diversity in the workforce, including but not limited to a wider talent pool and better representation. The recruitment process should be designed to ensure diverse representation. This means that the recruitment process should not be biased towards any particular group, and should avoid making assumptions based on gender, race, religion, or other characteristics. Digital marketing companies should strive to create an inclusive recruitment process. That means it is free from any kind of discrimination. A diverse set of applicants should be encouraged to apply, and the criteria for selection should be based solely on the skills, qualifications, and experience of the applicant.  Is digital marketing diverse enough? There is still a lot of work to be done and it is an ongoing task but there have been great advances in recent years. Constant review and evaluation is vital for continued development.

Mental Health At Work

Mental health is an important part of overall physical health and wellness. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked, and many people struggle with mental health issues in the workplace. Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health and seeking help can help ensure that everyone is able to stay healthy and productive. There are a number of steps employers can take to create a healthy and supportive workplace. These include providing mental health awareness training, setting up an anonymous reporting system, and making sure to provide employees with regular breaks and vacation time. The increase in remote and flexible work has brought many benefits for people. But the blurred lines between home and office can make keeping a work life balance tricky. Employers should ensure that they are providing necessary resources and support to employees who may be struggling with mental health issues. This includes providing access to mental health professionals or offering flexible working hours. By taking these steps, employers can create a workplace that is open to discussion about mental health and supportive of employees who may be struggling. This can help ensure that everyone is able to stay healthy and productive in their work.  

Digital Marketing Job Search In 2023

We started the year with tips on writing your CV in 2022 and many of these tips remain relevant. Automation remains one of the key trends in digital marketing recruitment. Automation tools can be used to streamline processes such as job postings, CV sorting, and candidate outreach. This can help businesses save time, money, and resources, and make their recruitment process more efficient.  You need to optimise your CV for these tools too. Social recruiting is a growing trend in digital marketing recruitment. This involves using social media to find and engage with potential candidates. Companies can use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to post job openings. They are increasingly using them to engage with potential candidates, and build their employer brand.  Candidate, be aware of your presence online with a social media audit and make sure you are making use of platforms such as LinkedIn to bolster your credibility.  

Empty asphalt road and New year 2023 concept. Driving on an empty road to Goals 2023 with sunset.

Looking Ahead: Digital Marketing 2023

Digital marketing recruitment is changing, and it's important for businesses to stay on top of the latest trends. As a jobseeker it is important for you to be aware of these trends too so you can review your career progression plans and continue to grow in the workplace.  Dotgap is committed to keeping media professionals in their industry. Head to our website for the latest vacancies. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas                        

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New job anxiety is very common. In the media agency and digital marketing industries, you might find new jobs and roles that are thrust upon you regularly.  If you are feeling anxious about your first day at a new job, you are not alone! It is totally natural and valid to feel this way. There are many reasons to feel anxious about a new job and these might not always be clear, or the same, for everyone.   Your anxiety symptoms can be managed using these three simple tips. But, please remember, if your symptoms persist or are causing you problems daily, and affecting the way you usually live your life you should seek further assistance

Preparation Can Really Ease New Job Anxiety

A new job can mean a new commute, or a new schedule. Remote work means there is often one less thing to worry about if you suffer from anxiety- no getting lost on your way to the office! It can mean a total change to your current schedule though which can exacerbate new job anxiety. So, what can you do. Make an effort to prepare everything you need for the morning, the night before. Prepare lunch and your outfit, tidy your desk. If you are leaving for your job, place your packed bag by the door. Small steps like this put you in control and free up your time in the morning helping you keep a clear head and feel confident. First day nerves can increase you feelings of imposter syndrome and make you feel insecure. When your first day nerves get the better of you it is easy to lose sight of why you are there. The first thing to remember, is that you have beaten the competition to this job. You have been given it for a reason! Before you start, take some time to go over the job description and remind yourself why you want it, and what your responsibilities are. Keeping this sense of purpose will help guide you through your first day and remind you what to expect. So, take some time out beforehand to go over the job description for your new role, and remind yourself of your responsibilities. That way you’ll be able to go in with a real sense of purpose, not to mention know what to expect as the weeks progress. Focussing on the day-to-day aspects of the job role can help distract you from your nerves.

Don't Expect To Know Everything

You have already showcased your skills at interview. They have reviewed your experiences and qualification and you have been selected for the job. Do not feel as though you need to know everything right away. Your employer will expect you to ask questions and be unsure of things at this stage... it is your first day after all! Key skills in digital media jobs include willingness to learn and communication so utilise these skills in your interactions throughout your first day and the weeks to come. Minor errors are part of the learning process, just make sure you take accountability for your actions and learn from any mistakes. Hiding things or trying to pass blame is unprofessional. Remember: You've passed the biggest test already! Keep reminding yourself of this and stay calm and confident.  

Deep Breathing For Anxiety

Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps calm and relax you. It is the opposite to your body's 'fight or flight' response. When anxiety or overwhelm get too much, your brain is trying to protect you and the subsequent overthinking is trying to prepare you for what might be about to happen. If you feel panicky before or during your first day, try switching to deep breathing for a few minutes to help activate the relaxation response. Try this short exercise now and see how it makes you feel: Sit still and upright. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Breathe in long and slow for four counts, paying attention to the belly expanding, then breathe out for a count of six, feeling the air leave your lungs and deflating your belly fully.

Use Resources To Help Your Anxiety

When you work in digital marketing, you are often required to wear many hats. This can add to your new job anxiety. Make use of any resources your company can offer, communicate if you are overloaded and don't be afraid to ask for help. When you have a lot of different responsibilities and tasks on the go, a 'brain dump' is a great exercise to clear you head before getting on with your number one task. Simply write down everything running though your head (it doesn't have to look nice or be grammatically correct). This allows to you make a note of anything you may need to come back to, allowing your mind to focus. Good luck in your new job! If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these posts on the Dotgap blog: How To Interview Well: Top 5 Dos and Don'ts  7 Tips For A Successful Day At Your New Graduate Job If you find anxiety impacts the way you see yourself, others, and your world, it may be a good idea to find a mental health professional to talk with. 

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The Bank of England has predicted the UK will enter into recession in the last quarter of 2022. Limited spending leads to little economic growth and unfortunately, recruitment is an area which will feel this hit sooner and harder than other industries. In spite of this, the world keeps turning and recruitment is still necessary during a recession. Even though candidates are likely to be more reluctant to leave their current jobs, plenty of candidates will still be graduating from university and looking for work. Some workers will be faced with the reality of redundancy or reduced hours. Recession recruitment then will play an important role in many lives. So, what can you do to navigate the recession as a jobseeker? When there is an economic recession, finding a job can be a challenge. Successfully securing a new job requires patience, determination and the willingness to adapt to new working conditions and processes. Learning how to find a job during an economic downturn can help you navigate any potential challenges with patience and expertise. In this article, we discuss what a recession is, explore how to find a job during a recession and review some tips to help you during your job search.   

Update Your CV To Stay Ahead In A Recession

The most important thing you need to do, you can do right now. Updating your CV should be part of your job search anyway, even in a booming economy there is fierce competition in the digital marketing industry. To elevate your chances of getting noticed, you need to update your CV and establish your personal brand. You should clearly and effectively communicate your knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences to your potential employers. Focus on your skills. When job opportunities are limited, the competition becomes even more fierce so it is important that you put together a strong cover letter to accompany your CV. This will help differentiate your application from other candidates. Your CV should demonstrate your work history, skills and any relevant achievements. For graduates with limited work experience, check out our previous blog post on how to demonstrate your value to potential employers. You can include any technical skills such as computer programs or any additional languages you speak. Just make sure you would be comfortable speaking those languages in the workplace!  

What Areas Of Media Remain Lucrative in A Recession?

If your chosen career or industry does not thrive during a recession, you might need to consider looking for work elsewhere. Temporary jobs or those with transferrable skills to your dream career can help you gain valuable experience and build your CV for future job seeking. Some industries which tend to be recession-proof include education and law.   Luckily, there are areas of the media industry which are proven to be recession-proof. Performance media offers the lowest risk return on media investment and so it is the safest form of advertising there is. Anyone with a website offering can justify highly quantifiable expenditure through performance media channels. We have already talked about the following areas being among the most in-demand marketing roles this year: 
  • PPC Search 
  • Paid Social Media 
  • Programmatic 
While temporary jobs only last for a specific amount of time and may only include limited job responsibilities, performing well at a temporary job can help you expand your professional network, which may assist you in eventually finding full-time work in your desired role.  

Level Up To Keep Up

In the highly competitive digital marketing and ad agency industries, you may find you have access to a wider range of jobs when you learn new skills. You can find many free resources online including podcasts which discuss the skills you are interested in learning. Spend some time determining if you need to brush up on certain skills to make yourself more marketable - it might be a brand-new skill or something you haven't utilized in some time.  Review job descriptions for jobs in your field and industry, keep up to date with new technologies and trends and you can make yourself a more employable candidate both in the short term and when the economy picks up. Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning and Google Analytics are all great resources.  

Networking (Always Networking!)

We've said it before, and we'll say it again! Networking is such a powerful tool. Seek out like-minded professionals and research events, both in-person and virtually. LinkedIn and Facebook both host professional groups and the opportunity to comment and engage with people in your industry and beyond. You can make use of both personal and professional social media to signal that you're open to new work opportunities. make sure you perform a social media audit to make sure you are putting out the best image you can.  Connecting with and contacting people within your professional or personal networks is helpful when there is a recession as they may know about job opportunities that are not advertised online. Step outside your comfort zone and make yourself visible. If there is a thread, share relevant information as well as your own personal experiences and expertise. You never know where what doors that engagement may open up in your professional career. 

Act Now To Get Ahead

There is no time like the present. For more helpful articles like this one, head to the Dotgap blog: Upskilling And Why Is It Important For Me Why Is LinkedIn The Ultimate Career Tool Dotgap breaks the traditional digital recruitment agency mould and have a more thoughtful, considerate approach. We know the industry because we have all worked there ourselves. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.    

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In honour of World Mental Health Awareness Day on the 10th October, this week's blog post will consider how to evaluate your work-life balance and offer some ideas on how to improve your sense of well-being. Work-life balance has been a subject of discussion for decades but it has become much more so following the pandemic lockdowns and subsequent shift in remote /hybrid working not only in digital industries but beyond. During the lockdown, many of us experienced more time at home with remote working and the many benefits of this such as no commuting and being able to spend more time with family. Many companies have kept this freedom with remote working and hybrid working options but what does this mean for our work-life balance? Even though we are a couple of years into this shift, it can be difficult to adjust. Working from home can make it difficult to set boundaries and it can become easy to normalise working long hours or being under extreme stress. Our assumptions around work and what is expected of us easily become deep-rooted unless we take a step back and review our situation

How To Self-Check Your Work-Life Balance

Perhaps you've gotten used to feeling a certain way, or maybe you feel as though something is off. This is normal. Media careers are notoriously difficult to keep and set boundaries in due to the nature of the work and company cultures. Here are three steps you can take to evaluate how you are doing in your work-life balance:
  1. Stop and step back. We usually wait until a big life event, such as a loss or birth before letting ourselves reflect on our lives. However, it is important to consider how you are feeling and what might be causing it. For example, is there something making you feel stressed or causing you unhappiness? What are you prioritising and what are you missing out on? Figuring out and being aware of your feelings can help you work out what changes you need to make.
  2. Weigh it up. Once you know what is wrong you can think about your priorities and what needs to change. A good example of this is to work out whether needing to work on weekends is worth losing out on your free time and social life. Or, is working long hours worth losing out on family time?
  3. What are the alternatives? Is there anything that you can do within your working routine to adjust to your new priorities?

What Can You Do To Improve Your Work-Life Balance

If you work from home, a great first step you can take is to make sure you take a phone break. there are plenty of mental health benefits to limiting your exposure to the blue screen light last thing at night and first thing in the morning. In regards to maintaining a better work-life balance, taking time away from your phone will help you draw a line between work and home.   Try to work smarter by prioritising and try to avoid getting caught up in unproductive tasks and distractions. A good way to do this is to set time limits to spend on tasks and take regular breaks. This is particularly hard when you are working from home but try taking at least half an hour for lunch and get away from your desk if possible. Visit the gov.uk website for information on your legal break requirements.   If you can, consider keeping track of your working hours over the course of a week or a month to give you a better idea of how long you are actually working. Make sure you factor in time spent outside of your normal working hours where you might be worrying or thinking about work. This will be a good indicator of work-related stress. Keep track of your working hours over weeks or months rather than days. This will give you a better picture of your work-life balance.    Finally, always talk to someone if the expectations and demands of work are too much. Your manager and employer need to know where the pressures lie in order to address them. 

What Can Your Workplace Do?

It isn't just your responsibility to find a balance. Your workplace and employer play a role too and have certain responsibilities to look after your well-being. They should ask their employees about this and be responsive to ideas that could improve the work-life balance of you and your colleagues. It is down to you to communicate your needs if you are under too much pressure.    A good employer will foster a culture of openness and train managers to spot signs of stress. It is becoming more and more expected now that people should have flexible and remote working options wherever possible and provide the infrastructure to make this workable for all parties.   They should increase support for parents and carers so they can continue working and also allow for the use of relevant support services or counselling during work hours as they would for medical appointments.   And finally, just as you should step back and review your situation every so often, so too should your employer, taking time to regularly review your situation and workload with you to make sure it is achievable.

Work-Life-Balance Is A Cycle

Maintaining your work-life balance requires regular check-ins and effort from employees and employers. Work-related stress can seriously affect your ability to perform well in your role and can have a serious impact on your mental health.  Make sure you know what you are entitled to and communicate with your managers.   For more tips on working from home, check out 7 Simple Tips To Tackle Working From Home on the NHS Website.   Mental Health.org have some great tips on how to reduce stress.   If you are struggling with any mental health issues please seek help from friends, family or the NHS urgent care helpline.

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We would love to hear from you if you are either looking for a new job in the digital media industry or if you are looking to find talent and hire people from the digital media industry.

We work mainly with media agencies, advertisers, media owners, marketing agencies. technology companies and creative agencies.

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