With a global pandemic making its way through the population, countries around the world are closing their doors and suggesting companies switch to remote-work mode. This considered, you might quickly find yourself in a sticky situation: working from home.
To those unfamiliar, it may seem exciting or even daunting initially. However, once those chores, pets, and other attention-sucking things start stealing your focus, you could easily become overwhelmed
Here are some quick and easy tips to help you focus and make sure you keep working as normally as possible – for as long as it might be necessary.
The chances are that your colleagues are probably working from home, too (or will be soon). That means it’s no longer as easy as popping over to someone’s desk to ask a question, or having a quick chat by the watercooler.
You still need to communicate with other people – and surprise phone calls can be long and draining, not to mention inconvenient. Chat software provides an alternative yet solid, reliable solution. Whatever you choose, always make sure that you’re using secure tools for work.
Not all chat platforms are created equal. Avoid the distracting lure of Facebook and other social platforms, and stick to communicating with more secure options, such as Signal or Telegram.
Whether or not the government is tracking you, keeping your privacy when it comes to email messages is something you need to be thinking about. Tutatnota is an email platform with high-level encryption.
A great SaaS tool can be conducive to better workflow and communication across your organization as a whole. The most popular option by far is Slack, with alternatives such as Chanty and Fleep giving them a run for their money.
Video conferencing solutions
If you have a schedule filled with in-person meetings, video conferencing apps will quickly become your go-to solution. You can take advantage of Google Hangouts and Skype, which are more prevalent, but have relatively less functionality when compared to more modern competitors. There are more flexible options, including BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom, that include better features for co-working, internal teams, and access options.
The future of work is changing rapidly. Artificial intelligence is changing the workplace. Slowly it is displacing humans on manual tasks. More importantly, in the next decade, even some knowledge-based jobs will be replaced by innovation. This can leave people feeling unsettled. In today’s workplace, there’s a noticeable feeling of uncertainty. The reason for this unsettled feeling is that we are not all used to change.
Change is inherently scary.
The good news is that change truly makes us better in our life. It is an opportunity to grow and evolve. A lot of us, according to World Economic Forum, more than 30% of us will need to learn new skills so that we can get better jobs.
In 2018, 2019, many coding camps sprung up and everyone wanted to learn to code. According to coursereport, the bootcamp market grew by 49%. Artificial Intelligence is leading the new wave of innovations. People who are currently in jobs ripe for displacement are re-training themselves to become coders.
The truth is that not everyone can be coders and not everyone should be coders.
Programming is a job that requires abstract thinking, logical thinking, and attention to detail. For people who are not used to that mindset, simply learning to code using a book or a course won’t lead to a fulfilling career.
You want to retrain yourself on skills that align with your interests and passions.
In the age of emerging technology: artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality, and robotics, there are plenty of jobs that will require technical understanding but at the same time involve more human skills. These jobs won’t be replaced by technology any time soon.
As a part of retraining and re-skilling, how about thinking of the alignment of Ikigai. Ikigai is the Japanese concept of finding your reason for being. In the center of passion, mission, vocation, and profession is ikigai. It’s a purpose for living, and a reason for being. Many credits this concept as the blueprint for happiness.
Below image illustrates what it means to find happiness through Ikigai.
In the age of change in the workplace, it’s an opportunity to find your ikigai. Some of us are in jobs we currently love. What if these jobs are going to be replaced, too? That is okay. In the age of innovation, just like our jobs that are transformed, we can transform, too.
The question to ask yourself is: Can you revise your current profession, add, subtract, modify, to create a new job for yourself that will lead to Ikigai in the future of work.
Reliance on the status quo
In change, there’s almost a need to cling onto the status quo. According to psychologists, we have an inherent status quo bias that prevents us from being comfortable in change. Because uncertainty is uncomfortable, you tend to work harder at your current jobs.
But, what you need is to self-reflect on what your ideal profession should be in the future workplace. Through self-reflection, you can figure out an action plan for yourself.
In some ways, embracing new challenges is the cure for our collective future of work problems. Often, it’s not the new challenge that leads to the result of finding your ikigai. It’s the journey along the way that leads to other avenues of exploration that will lead to finding your ikigai.
The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.
Be prepared for a longer and more elaborate journey. The future is complex. The road is winding. Innovation does not happen overnight. Think in terms of years and plan accordingly.
Modifying the status quo
One of the best ways to ease yourself into the future workplace is to modify your existing status quo to integrate technology. Think of yourself as a self-sustaining company. If corporations are integrating technology to automate processes, how can you integrate technology into your life?
Many people learn to code to solve problems in their daily life. If you are an artist, how can you leverage new technology to display your artwork, generate your artwork, and sell your artwork to more customers? If you are a doctor, how can you leverage new technology to automate your workflows in a way that will allow you to focus on the patient? If you are a shop keeper, how can you leverage new technology to help you sell online to a wider customer base? If you are a marketing manager, have you thought about what it would be like to work with a team located across the world serving clients worldwide?
Modifying the status quo often leads us to new opportunities created. In surgery, new robotic technology is improving procedures every day and helping doctors to develop less invasive procedures. At the same time, there’s a new type of assistance required in these types of surgeries. Nurses and surgical assistants are learning to load equipment for the robots, monitor their activities while learning to adapt to this new working environment.
There will be manual work that will be completely replaced. But, at the same time, there will be many new industries and jobs opened. If you keep your eyes open while you try your hands at different types of new jobs, then you may find new jobs that are more fulfilling.
We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conumdrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.
If there’s an urgency, you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish. Your life may be re-energized because you are learning every day.
Evaluate and use all the skills that you have
Innovation is happening every day. Have you evaluated all the skills that you have? Skills that will not be easily replaced are emotional intelligence, creativity, communication, judgment, critical thinking, etc..
Create a worksheet for yourself where you list out all the skills that you have. Circle the ones that you think you are best at. Then, envision a job that will use all of your best skills.
According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of our children now entering primary school will hold jobs that don’t exist yet. According to McKinsey, by 2030, demand for jobs that require a higher level of cognitive skills such as emotional intelligence, creativity, communication, judgment and critical thinking will rise by 19% and in Europe by 14%.
With new technology, there’s also more of a need for new kinds of service jobs that use a combination of human skills in conjunction with technology skills. This type of service job will involve interacting with an AI-enabled system to come up with solutions.
Learn to be empowered by information and automation
One of the pitfalls of technological innovation is often that we are inundated by information and feel bogged down by automation. In your own daily life, are you using data and technology to help you to become more efficient? Are you learning to deal with a global workforce and a global clientele?
Many traders at investment banks are learning to code so that they can track market movements and build models that will work better.
Many marketing consultants are automating their marketing flow to manage the ever-increasing amounts of newsletters, press releases, and campaigns that they have to run. They are spending more time analyzing customer behavior from data generated by marketing software.
Many parents are hiring babysitters, tutors, and housekeepers to manage their family life better. Many of them are learning to work remotely freeing up time to spend with their children. Some of them are outsourcing parts of their current jobs by using Fiverr and Upwork so that they can also free up time to up-skill in their careers.
Create your own job if one doesn’t exist
If you are like me, you look at your list of skills that you are good at and you are not sure which subsets you want to pursue. You are not sure what job can best use your skills. Then, give yourself time to figure it out. There are many opportunities to find freelance work that will allow you to try out different career paths.
Often, hands-on experience is the best way to learn whether you truly enjoy a certain job. Many entrepreneurs try and fail at many businesses before succeeding in one. Keep trying to move your needle closer to the finish line. It’s almost a requirement to keep trying.
No one gets it right the first time.
As innovation dynamically grows in the marketplace, by trying to create your perfect job, you are also up-skilling your skillsets. You are going with the tide to figure out what job you will truly enjoy in the future workplace.
Future of work can be scary if you are not used to change. But, it’s even more scary if you don’t try. The solution is not to pigeon-hole yourself into jobs that may not fit you just because there are more jobs in that area. Instead, try to use all of your best skills to come up with a job that you are best suited for.
We tend to find reasons to blame others when our careers are not moving forward. Most of the time we don’t look critically at ourselves. It could be attributed to a bad boss, back-stabbing coworkers, bad luck or some sort of discrimination and prejudice.
These things, unfortunately, occur all too often in the workplace. Those are not the only reasons that hold you back. Sometimes you are your own worst enemy and do harm to your career development and advancement.
People have negative thoughts that play on endless loops. We experience feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Many of us have a fear of failure and are scared of the unknown. This prohibits us from taking action and moving forward in our careers.
To become successful, it’s important to counter these bad thoughts and feelings. You need to adopt a positive mindset which motivates you into action. Waiting, wanting and wishing for a miracle to happen is not a realistic plan. What’s required is a burning desire to achieve a desired goal, along with assertive actions.
We have all experienced difficult and and some traumatic events in our younger years. You may be thirty or fifty years old, but still view the world through the eyes of young, afraid kid who was bullied in school. These feelings are real, but you have to find a way to effectively deal with and rise above it. Incessantly reliving bad events from the past will inhibit you from living in the present. The constant negativity will eat-up your energy and restrain you from achieving great things.
To move forward with your career and succeed you must let go of the past. Stop reliving bad memories and quit being the victim. You can’t undo the past but you can build a bright new future. Forgive yourself and others so that you can move on with your life and career with a clean slate. Clear you mind to focus on the present moment and your goals for the future.
You may feel stuck in a rut but don’t know what to do next. Time goes by and you become increasingly frustrated. It’s easy to start getting resentful and angry at your situation. You will promise that a change will be made next week or after the New Year.
Stop saying it and start doing something positive. Take constructive steps to move forward. Keep in mind, an object in motion stays in motion. If you don’t move forward, you are falling behind. It’s too easy to become complacent and take the path of least resistance by staying in a bad situation.
It gets harder to change the longer you remain in a bad work relationship. Acknowledge your feelings and start taking proactive steps. Devise a plan to change your circumstances. Write down the ideas to keep yourself honest, then take proactive measures every day. Push forward even if you’re tired and don’t want to do it. By cultivating these habits you will build mental and emotional muscle. You will become stronger, more confident and feel better about yourself as you take charge of your life.
We teach our children that if they try hard enough they can become anything they desire. Somehow as we get older, we’re not so sure about this. As grown working adults we doubt our abilities. After some setbacks, we believe that great success is solely for other people and not us. You need to heed your parent’s advice. Use the unique skills, attributes and gifts that you possess and relentlessly build upon them to achieve want you want in your career and life.
To succeed you need to let-go of the past, ignore the negative voices in your head, take bold initiatives and don’t give-in to excuses.
I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.
Therein lies a major problem with scaling: It doesn’t just involve getting progressively bigger, like a blown-up balloon. Instead, its shape morphs as new needs arise, such as heightened employee responsibilities and changing customer expectations. And plenty of smart leaders ignore these red flags when they’re growing at breakneck speed.
What are some of those indicators of runaway growth? Team burnout might as well be a neon sign. Another problem is dwindling capital with no real profit sources in sight. Of course, unhappy customers are a sure side effect of unhinged expansion.
If you’re increasing revenue, you may be tempted to keep your foot on the pedal instead of tapping the brakes. Don’t halt your forward momentum, but remain open to addressing a few issues that will make scaling less challenging — and more rewarding — for all stakeholders.
Here are three ways you can help your office’s culture grow with the pace of your fast growing company:
1. Define and direct your team’s new cultural journey.
When you’re a 10-person shop, your culture may look and function like a big family. When you hit the 50- or 100-employee mark, complete with remote workers, you can’t sustain the same kind of atmosphere. That’s OK, but it means you need to rethink your team’s collective identity.
If you haven’t established your corporate purpose or vision, now’s the time. Choose a few main value points, and create robust statements around them. After you’ve run your ideas by trusted colleagues and tweaked them as necessary, release your vision so everyone’s on the same page.
Certainly, your culture will evolve as you get bigger. Google didn’t stay static; neither should your company. Nevertheless, establishing your corporate DNA before you get exceptionally large will help everyone remain true to your vision, even as changes naturally occur.
One of the biggest impacts I’ve seen on culture is to align everyone around shared values. The process of discussing the behaviors exhibiting each value has helped many of my clients create teams that work together toward a common goal.
2. Keep your head in the present moment.
Although you’ll need to project into the future, you can’t lose sight of your current growth stage. As a leader, your job is to be both a pragmatist and a visionary. Even as your world swirls with opportunities, you owe it to your workers to take the team’s capacity into account and establish a healthy baseline.
Are your people up to the challenges you’re about to face? Do they have the training and capabilities to handle emerging roles? Never make assumptions — they’ll always backfire. As you prepare for the next adventure, be open to upskilling staff and perhaps even shifting employees into different roles.
Experiment with new org charts, seeing which ones fit current and anticipated needs. Google’s Page quickly walked back his experiment in eliminating middle management, yet focusing on getting the right people in the right roles was crucial to Google’s success at that stage. Through trial and error, you can determine which employee, organization, revenue and profit restructures make the most sense to propel your business forward.
3. Discover and address operational bottlenecks.
When Page eliminated mid-level managers, he quickly realized that having one executive with 100 engineers reporting to him wouldn’t turn out well. Situations like that are bound to result in bottlenecks. Every fast-growing business experiences bottlenecks in areas like hiring, customer service and operations.
Some bottlenecks are relatively obvious, making them easier to fix. If an employee has so much paperwork to deal with that he’s become a living traffic jam, you need to streamline your processes — the problem is apparent, and you can intervene immediately.
Other issues may be buried deep within systems and supply chains, making them tough to pinpoint. For those situations, AI can provide critical insights. AI platforms can analyze thousands of data points at once, spotting problems that might take years to bubble to the surface.
You may or may not one day compete with the likes of Google. If you stick around, though, your organization will inevitably need to scale. The more you focus on thoughtfully navigating the experience, the better your outcome will be.
@Ade Oshineye presents from the Google Developers Summit on how you as a developer can grow with Google+, namely highlighting: Reach, user acquisiton and conversion, user engagement and retention, and finally, when needed, re-engagement. #developer#developers
In today’s digital world, many employees spend a large part of their days with their eyes glued to screens. While modern technology may offer many life and work-related benefits, it could also be negatively impacting our vision. High-energy visible (HEV) light, also known as “blue light,” is an intense light emitted by the sun, CFL and LED lighting, and the screens of electronic devices such as televisions, computers and smart phones. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about blue light though, so it’s important to separate the facts from fiction………