A Critical Piece Of The Machine Economy: The People

Over the shoulder view of young Asian businesswoman using AI assistant on smartphone

70% of GDP growth in the global economy between now and 2030 will be driven by the machines, according to PwC. This is a near $7 trillion dollar contribution to U.S. GDP based around the combined production from artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and embedded devices. This is the rise of a new machine economy.

For those not familiar with the machine economy, it’s where the smart, connected, autonomous, and economically independent machines or devices carry out the necessary activities of production, distribution, and operations with little or no human intervention. The development of this economy is how Industry 4.0 becomes a reality.

Visionary leaders will implement new technologies and combine them with capital investments in ways that help them grow, expand, diversify, and actually improve lives. These machine economy leaders will operate in a new intelligent systems world in thousands of companies that will drive new economic models globally.

Sounds good so far, but all of that autonomous machinery isn’t going to build and operate itself.

Not enough people to do the work

While most people would agree that manufacturing is an important part of our economy, they aren’t recommending their children pursue that line of work. It’s expected that 4.6 million manufacturing jobs created between now and 2028 will go unfilled. Key drivers for this change include the fact that 10,000 baby boomers retire every day without people to replace them.

The workforce is quickly losing the second-largest age group, and millennials (the largest group) have so far not been attracted to manufacturing jobs at large. Instead they tend to be drawn toward technology, engineering, finance. The underlying issue may be one of perception, as the future of manufacturing will in fact include a much higher degree of technology, engineering, and finance in order to function.

Different skills are needed

Manufacturing jobs are changing. The number of purely manual, repetitive tasks are shrinking as technology advances to handle those jobs with robots and automation. Fifty percent of manufacturers have already adopted some form of automation, and now they need people with critical thinking, programming, and digital skills. Tomorrow’s jobs have titles such as Digital Twin Engineer, Robot Teaming Coordinator, Drone Data Coordinator, Smart Scheduler, Factory Manager, Safety Supervisor, and so on.

The shifts in productivity are happening so quickly, humans can’t keep up with them

An unskilled position can be filled relatively quickly as the prerequisite qualifications are limited. It typically takes months to fill a skilled position, and in most cases much longer for an individual to develop the requisite skills before they even think to apply. One alternative is to lower requirements in terms of education, skill, and experience in order to get someone new in the position, but then companies have to absorb the entire expense of training them.

Meanwhile there is increased pressure to utilize existing people’s and teams’ times and skills as much as possible, which can lead to burnout. This is a tenuous cycle that needs to be fortified by making sure our workforce has the skills training they need, when and where they need it.

In order to thrive in the machine economy, we need to invest significantly in people as well as in infrastructure. Focusing purely on infrastructure might lead to short-term and maybe mid-term profits, but ultimately it is not sustainable, and everyone loses. One can’t simply say, “We couldn’t fill the positions,” while there are people who need work.

Level-up our workforce

The human capacity to learn is basically limitless when individuals are motivated and have access to something to learn. There are several ways to tap into that capacity. First, we need to capture the knowledge and experience of the employees we have, so that those relevant skills can be passed on to the next wave of workers. We also need to ensure relevant training is available for people at every level of the company so that new people get up to speed and tenured employees don’t get left behind.

While some technologies need to be learned on the job, there is a level of foundational skill to understand in the machine economy, in addition to the technical and vocational skills required within a given field. An investment in, and possibly partnerships with, local schools could be a wise move for many companies. Lastly, while college is a great path for many people, it’s not the only form of higher education. Investments in vocational training and apprenticeship programs will be critical for our society to thrive in the machine economy.

Just as workers need to rethink and develop new skills, employers need to rethink and develop new ways of nurturing and attracting talent. To fully realize the promise of the machine economy, it is incumbent upon us to ensure people have access to the training and the tools they need in order to not only be successful but thrive. After all, what’s the point of all this technology if it doesn’t make life better for everyone?

PRESIDENT AND CEO

With more than 25 years of experience driving digital innovation and growth at technology companies, Kevin Dallas is responsible for all aspects of the Wind River business globally. He joined Wind River from Microsoft, where he most recently served as the corporate vice president for cloud and AI business development. At Microsoft, he led a team creating partnerships that enable the digital transformation of customers and partners across a range of industries including: connected/autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT, discrete manufacturing, retail, financial services, media and entertainment, and healthcare.

Prior to joining Microsoft in 1996, he held roles at NVIDIA Corporation and National Semiconductor (now Texas Instruments Inc.) in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East in roles that included microprocessor design, systems engineering, product management, and end-to-end business leadership. He currently serves as a director on the board of Align Technology, Inc. He holds a B.S.c. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

Source: A Critical Piece Of The Machine Economy: The People

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Critics:

Digital economy refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies, although we increasingly perceive this as conducting business through markets based on the internet and the World Wide Web. The digital economy is also referred to as the Internet Economy, New Economy, or Web Economy.

Increasingly, the digital economy is intertwined with the traditional economy, making a clear delineation harder. It results from billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data, and processes. It is based on the interconnectedness of people, organizations, and machines that results from the Internet, mobile technology and the internet of things (IoT).

Digital economy is underpinned by the spread of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) across all business sectors to enhance its productivity.Digital transformation of the economy is undermining conventional notions about how businesses are structured, how consumers obtain services, informations and goods and how states need to adapt to these new regulatory challenges.

Intensification of the global competition for human resources

Digital platforms rely on ‘deep learning‘ to scale up their algorithm’s capacity. The human-powered content labeling industry is constantly growing as companies seek to harness data for AI training. These practices have raised concerns concerning the low-income revenue and health-related issues of these independent workers. For instance, digital companies such as Facebook or YouTube use ‘content monitor’-contractors who work as outside monitors hired by a professional services company subcontractor- to monitor social media to remove any inappropriate content.

Thus, the job consists of watching and listening to disturbing posts that can be violent or sexual. In January 2020, through its subcontractor services society, Facebook and YouTube have asked the ‘content moderators’ to sign a PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) disclosure after alleged cases of mental disorders witnessed on workers.

See also

References

5 Myths About Flexible Work

Flexibility might be great in theory, but it just doesn’t work for us. We have literally heard this statement hundreds of times over the years. It doesn’t matter what industry we’re talking about — whether it’s tech, government, finance, healthcare, or small business, we’ve heard it. There’s always someone who works from the premise that “there’s no way flexible work policies can work in our organization.”

In reality, flexible work policies can work in any industry. The last twelve months of the pandemic have proven this. In fact, a recent Harvard Business School Online study showed that most professionals have excelled in their jobs while working from home, and 81% either don’t want to go back to the office or would choose a hybrid schedule post-pandemic. It’s important to recognize, however, that flexibility doesn’t always look the same — one size definitely does not fit all.

The Myth of the Five C’s

You may be wondering, “If you can recruit the best candidates, increase your retention rates, improve your profits, and advance innovation by incorporating a relatively simple and inexpensive initiative, then why haven’t more organizations developed flex policies?” This question will be even harder for organizations to ignore after we’ve experienced such a critical test case during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Insight Center Collection

Building Tomorrow’s Workforce

How the best companies identify and manage talent. We believe fear has created stumbling blocks for many organizations when it comes to flexibility. Companies either become frozen by fear or they become focused by fear. It is focus that can help companies pivot during challenging times. In the years that we’ve been working with companies on flexibility, we’ve heard countless excuses and myths for why they have not implemented a flex policy. In fact, the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance has boiled these myths down to the fear of losing the 5 C’s:
  1. Loss of control
  2. Loss of culture
  3. Loss of collaboration
  4. Loss of contribution
  5. Loss of connection

Addressing the Fears

Myth #1: Loss of Control

Executives are often worried that they’ll open Pandora’s box and set a dangerous precedent if they allow some employees to work flexibly. They worry that if they let a few employees work from home, then the office will always be empty and no one will be working. The answer to this is structure and clarity. We can virtually guarantee that any organization that correctly designs and implements their flexibility policy will not lose anything.

To maintain control and smooth operation of your organization, it’s imperative that you set standards and clearly communicate them. Organizations should provide clear guidelines on the types of flexibility offered (for example, remote work, reduced hours, asynchronous schedules, job sharing and/or compressed work weeks) and create a centralized approval process for flexibility to ensure that the system is equitable. It is also helpful to have a calendar system for tracking when and where each team member is working.

You must also commit to training everyone on these standards — from those working a flexible schedule, to those supervising them, to all other coworkers. Education and training will help your team avoid “flex stigma,” where employees are disadvantaged or viewed as less committed due to their flexibility. Training can also help organizations to ensure that successful systems and structures that support flexibility are maintained.

Myth #2: Loss of Culture

While you may not see every employee every day, and you may not be able to have lunch with people every day, culture does not have to suffer with a flexible work initiative. However, it is essential that teams meet either in person or via video conference on a regular basis. At the Alliance, we recommend that companies and firms first define what culture means to their individual organization and then determine how they might maintain this culture in a hybrid or virtual environment.

Many organizations with whom we’ve worked reported that they found creative ways to maintain culture during months of remote working during the pandemic. Many Alliance members organized social functions like virtual exercise classes, cooking classes, happy hours, and team-building exercises to maintain community. Additionally, it’s important to take advantage of the days when everyone is physically present to develop relationships, participate in events, and spend one-to-one time with colleagues.

Myth # 3: Loss of Collaboration

As long as teams that are working a flexible schedule commit to regular meetings and consistent communication, then collaboration will not be compromised. It’s important for all team members to maintain contact (even if it’s online), keep tabs on all projects, and be responsive to emails and phone calls. We always recommend that remote teams also meet in person occasionally to maintain personal contact and relationships.

For collaboration to be successful, remote employees must not be held to a higher standard that those working in the office. Additionally, technology should be used to enhance collaboration. For example, when companies are bringing teams together for brainstorming sessions, virtual breakout rooms can facilitate small group collaboration and help to ensure that all voices are heard. Some organizational leaders have also incorporated regular virtual office hours for unscheduled feedback and informal collaboration.

Myth #4: Loss of Contribution

We have often heard leaders say: “If employees are not physically at their desks in the office, then how will we know that they’re actually working?” But with endless distractions available on computers these days (from online shopping, to Instagram, to Facebook, etc.) you really don’t know what your employees are doing at their desks, even if they are in the office.

In fact, they could be searching for a new job (that offers flexibility!) right before your eyes. It’s important to clearly communicate what is expected of each individual and trust that they will complete the job within the expected timeframe. All employees should be evaluated on the quality of their work and their ability to meet clearly defined performance objectives, rather than on time spent in the office.

Myth #5: Loss of Connection

Technology now enables people to connect at any time of the day in almost any locationMeetings can be held through a myriad of video conferencing applications. Additionally, calendar-sharing apps can help to coordinate team schedules and assist with knowing the availability of team members. Even networking events can now be done virtually. For example, one of our team members created a system for scheduling informal virtual coffee chats between partners and associates to maintain opportunities for networking and mentoring during the pandemic.

It’s important to know what your employees and stakeholders prefer in terms of in-person, hybrid, or virtual-only connection. In a recent survey conducted by BNI of over 2,300 people from around the world, the networking organization asked the participants if they would like their meetings to be: 1) in-person only, 2) online only, or 3) a blend of online and in-person meetings.

One third of the participants surveyed said that they wanted to go back completely to in-person meetings. However, 16% wanted to stick with online meetings only, and almost 51% of the survey respondents were in favor of a blend of meeting both in-person and online. This is a substantial transition from the organizational practice prior to the pandemic, with a full two-thirds of the organization saying that they would prefer some aspect of online meetings to be the norm in the future.

A recent 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey found that almost half of the CEOs of major corporations around the world do not expect to see a return to “normal” this year. Perhaps a silver lining of the pandemic will be that corporate leaders have overcome their fears of the 5C’s and will now understand how flexibility can benefit their recruitment and retention efforts — not to mention productivity and profitability.

By:Manar Morales & Ivan Misner

Source: 5 Myths About Flexible Work

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Critics:

A flexible work arrangement (FWA) empowers an employee to choose what time they begin to work, where to work, and when they will stop work. The idea is to help manage work-life balance and benefits of FWA can include reduced employee stress and increased overall job satisfaction. On the contrary, some refrain from using their FWA as they fear the lack of visibility can negatively affect their career.

Overall, this type of arrangement has a positive effect on incompatible work/family responsibilities, which can be seen as work affecting family responsibilities or family affecting work responsibilities. FWA is also helpful to those who have a medical condition or an intensive care-giving responsibility, where without FWA, part-time work would be the only option.

Types of flexible work arrangements

References

How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

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Digital will separate the winners from the laggards in the hypercompetitive, post-pandemic business landscape, says Ben Pring, Managing Director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. We undertook a global, multi-industry study to understand how businesses are preparing for this future and here’s what we found.

COVID-19 changed digital from a nice-to-have adjunct to a must-have tool at the core of the enterprise. The pandemic forced businesses to reassess how they strategize and execute their digital ambitions in a world that has migrated online, possibly for good in many areas. Those that did not prioritize digital prior to the pandemic found that procrastination was no longer an option — the digital landscape is hypercompetitive.

The Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally to understand how they are putting digital to use and what they hope to achieve in the coming years.

The CFoW found that digital technologies are key to success in the coming years and uncovered six key steps that all organizations can take to more fruitfully apply to gear-up for the fast unfolding digital future:

  • Scrutinize everything because it’s going to change. From how and where employees work, to how customers are engaged, and which products and services are now viable as customer needs and behaviors evolve rapidly.
  • Make technology a partner in work. Innovations in AI, blockchain, natural language processing, IoT and 5G communications are ushering in decades of change ahead and will drive new levels of functionality and performance.
  • Build new workflows to reach new performance thresholds. The most predictable, rote and repetitive activities need to be handed off to software, while humans specialize in using judgment, creativity and language.
  • Make digital competency the prime competency for everyone. No matter what type of work needs to be done, it must have a digital component. Levels of digital literacy need to be built out even among non-technologists, including specialized skills.
  • Begin a skills renaissance. Digital skills such as big data specialists, process automation experts, security analysts, etc. aren’t easy to acquire. To overcome skills shortages, organizations will need to work harder to retain and engage workers.
  • Employees want jobs, but they also want meaning from jobs. How can businesses use intelligent algorithms to take increasing proportions of tasks off workers’ plates, allowing them to spend their time creating value? This search for meaning stretches beyond the individual tasks of the job to what the organization itself stands for.

Here are a few key findings from our research:

Redesigning the workplace is just the beginning: The virus will force enterprises to ask more strategic questions.

A mesh of machine emerges: While IoT is beginning to take hold, few respondents have piloted 5G projects. But over time , the mesh of machines created by IoT and 5G will serve as the foundation for news levels of functionality and possibility.

The 3As-AI , automation and analytics are the engines of digitization: To make the future of work happen, the 3As are emerging as a sophisticated and complex set of tools more deeply embedded in processes.

To learn more, read our whitepaper “The Work Ahead: Digital First (to Last)” or see the full Work Ahead study series.

Ben Pring leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and is a coauthor of the books Monster: A Tough Love Letter On Taming The Machines That Rule Our Jobs, Lives, and Future, What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business. In 2018, he was a Bilderberg Meeting participant. He previously spent 15 years with Gartner as a senior industry analyst, researching and advising on areas such as cloud computing and global sourcing. He can be reached at Benjamin.Pring@cognizant.com

Source: How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

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Critics:

Digitalization  is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.

One aspect of digital transformation is the concept of ‘going paperless‘ or reaching a ‘digital business maturity’ affecting both individual businesses and whole segments of society, such as government,mass communications,art, health care, and science.

Digital transformation is not proceeding at the same pace everywhere. According to the McKinsey Global Institute‘s 2016 Industry Digitization Index, Europe is currently operating at 12% of its digital potential, while the United States is operating at 18%. Within Europe, Germany operates at 10% of its digital potential, while the United Kingdom is almost on par with the United States at 17%.

One example of digital transformation is the use of cloud computing. This reduces reliance on user-owned hardware and increases reliance on subscription-based cloud services. Some of these digital solutions enhance capabilities of traditional software products (e.g. Microsoft Office compared to Office 365) while others are entirely cloud based (e.g. Google Docs).

As the companies providing the services are guaranteed of regular (usually monthly) recurring revenue from subscriptions, they are able to finance ongoing development with reduced risk (historically most software companies derived the majority of their revenue from users upgrading, and had to invest upfront in developing sufficient new features and benefits to encourage users to upgrade), and delivering more frequent updates often using forms of agile software development internally. This subscription model also reduces software piracy, which is a major benefit to the vendor.

Unlike digitization, digitalization is the ‘organizational process’ or ‘business process’ of the technologically-induced change within industries, organizations, markets and branches. Digitalization of manufacturing industries has enabled new production processes and much of the phenomena today known as the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, machine to machine communication, artificial intelligence and machine vision.

Digitalization of business and organizations has induced new business models (such as freemium), new eGovernment services, electronic payment, office automation and paperless office processes, using technologies such as smart phones, web applications, cloud services, electronic identification, blockchain, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies, and also business intelligence using Big Data. Digitalization of education has induced e-learning and Mooc courses.

See also

 

How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

Digital will separate the winners from the laggards in the hypercompetitive, post-pandemic business landscape, says Ben Pring, Managing Director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. We undertook a global, multi-industry study to understand how businesses are preparing for this future and here’s what we found.

COVID-19 changed digital from a nice-to-have adjunct to a must-have tool at the core of the enterprise. The pandemic forced businesses to reassess how they strategize and execute their digital ambitions in a world that has migrated online, possibly for good in many areas. Those that did not prioritize digital prior to the pandemic found that procrastination was no longer an option — the digital landscape is hypercompetitive.

The Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally to understand how they are putting digital to use and what they hope to achieve in the coming years. The CFoW found that digital technologies are key to success in the coming years and uncovered six key steps that all organizations can take to more fruitfully apply to gear-up for the fast unfolding digital future:

  • Scrutinize everything because it’s going to change. From how and where employees work, to how customers are engaged, and which products and services are now viable as customer needs and behaviors evolve rapidly.
  • Make technology a partner in work. Innovations in AI, blockchain, natural language processing, IoT and 5G communications are ushering in decades of change ahead and will drive new levels of functionality and performance.
  • Build new workflows to reach new performance thresholds. The most predictable, rote and repetitive activities need to be handed off to software, while humans specialize in using judgment, creativity and language.
  • Make digital competency the prime competency for everyone. No matter what type of work needs to be done, it must have a digital component. Levels of digital literacy need to be built out even among non-technologists, including specialized skills.
  • Begin a skills renaissance. Digital skills such as big data specialists, process automation experts, security analysts, etc. aren’t easy to acquire. To overcome skills shortages, organizations will need to work harder to retain and engage workers.
  • Employees want jobs, but they also want meaning from jobs. How can businesses use intelligent algorithms to take increasing proportions of tasks off workers’ plates, allowing them to spend their time creating value? This search for meaning stretches beyond the individual tasks of the job to what the organization itself stands for.…Read More……

Ben Pring leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and is a coauthor of the books Monster: A Tough Love Letter On Taming The Machines That Rule Our Jobs, Lives, and Future, What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business. In 2018, he was a Bilderberg Meeting participant. He previously spent 15 years with Gartner as a senior industry analyst, researching and advising on areas such as cloud computing and global sourcing. He can be reached at Benjamin.Pring@cognizant.com.

Source: How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

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Critics:

One of the biggest misconceptions about digital transformation is that it is all about technological change. With companies feeling an urgent need to transform digitally, technology is considered to be the panacea for business problems and a way to speed up transformation.

But while technology is an important part of digital transformation, it can only deliver benefits if it is procured as part of a wider plan.

The issue is that those making the decisions to implement technology for the sake of technology may be focusing on the process of changing their business, rather than targeting their ultimate goals.

In fact, the majority (71 per cent) of IT leaders say their business is so fixated on digital transformation that the projects may not deliver tangible benefits, according to 2019 research from database company Couchbase.

Caroline Carruthers, former chief data officer at Network Rail and Lowell, believes that understanding the problems the business is trying to solve or the value it is aiming to generate is crucial.

“Otherwise, how do we know we’re not cutting a square hole [with technology] rather than a circular one? People hear buzzwords and want a quick fix; it’s engrained that we want things faster, while advances in consumer technology have meant people expect the same from business technology. However, the problems are far more complex,” she says.

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As online brokerages suffer a shortage of human resources, kabu.com Securities “hires” AI

Merging JUKI production facilities with Hitachi’s operation know-how to bring advances to MONOZUKURI workplaces

Robot Trains: How Hitachi Rail Tech Enabled Global First in Heavy Freight Rail Automation

How Hitachi’s Durable Medium is Supporting a Paperless Future

AI Captain: The future of Ship Navigation

People Still Power Manufacturing

Artificial Intelligence & Happiness

You’re Still Doing Remote Work All Wrong

March 18, 2005, I cleaned out my desk at Registered Rep. magazine, the financial publication I was (I can admit it now) a rather terrible business reporter for, and left a job I’d held for two years. I didn’t leave on bad terms. I liked all my co-workers and there were no sour feelings, but I also didn’t have another job set up.

I just knew I wasn’t a very good business reporter, my boss agreed with me, and thus we went our separate ways. I turned in my key card, filled out some paperwork with HR, and hit the Irish pub across the street for a round of goodbye beers. I wasn’t sure what I’d do next. Maybe try freelancing for a while?

And that, friends, was the last day I worked in an office. Six months later, I founded the sports website Deadspin out of my apartment, and I’ve been working at home as a writer ever since. It has been so long since I worked in an office that my non-office work life is now old enough to drive. Considering every story I’ve read about in-person office life in the last 16 years has been about all the terrible things you’re doing to each other in cubicle-land, it does not seem that I am missing out on much.

What I discovered upon leaving office life was how much more immediately productive I became when I no longer had to commute back and forth every day, when no one ever came by my desk to interrupt me just as I’d really start to hit my groove, when I didn’t feel like my boss would come up and start breathing down my neck at any given moment.

To be sure, working from home isn’t for everybody, but it clearly worked for me: I can’t imagine working any other way now. I certainly didn’t get it right the first year, but I have developed all sorts of lifehacks and shortcuts to maximize my efficiency and sustain a comfortable work-life balance. I’m good at this.

I’ve watched during the past year as you have broken every cardinal work-at-home rule that I’ve honed to a science over the last 16 years.

But then the pandemic hit, and suddenly, many of you were working at home, too. And you, no offense, are terrible at working remotely. You’re all rookies, and you keep making rookie mistakes. I’ve watched during the past year as you have broken every cardinal work-at-home rule that I’ve honed to a science over the last 16 years; it’s a little like watching a toddler try to use a chainsaw. And now the whole world’s a bloody mess.

With the accelerated vaccine rollout and large swaths of the workforce likely returning to the office at some point this year, we’re (hopefully) going to be returning to some semblance of normal — or at the very least a New Normal. But there are still going to be hundreds of thousands of people working from home that previously weren’t before the pandemic. You all need to step up your remote work game and get a lot better at this or risk taking the rest of us down with you. To that end, here are five unbreakable rules, if you’re going to commit to remote working for the long haul.

  1. Do not just wear your pajamas all day. I’m not saying you have to put on a suit and tie like you’re working at a bank or something. (But also it wouldn’t hurt?) Your mind, body, and soul can’t help but not take anything you’re doing all that seriously if you’re still wearing your bedclothes all day. You obviously don’t have to be formal, but you have to set very clear boundaries for “work time” and “off time,” and a great way to do that is to dress accordingly. I recommend, at a minimum, workout clothes, which at least hint to your mind, body, and soul that you should be doing something right now. Changing your clothes before you sit down to work tricks you into believing your surroundings have changed. And tricking yourself that you’re under more scrutiny than you actually are is a key part of working from home. It is truly shocking how many people tell me that they just wear pajamas all day when they’re working at home. No wonder you’re not getting anything done.
  2. Conversely, do not forget that you are also in your home. Whenever someone who has always worked in an office finds out I’ve worked out of home for so long, they always say something like, “I don’t know how you do it. Don’t you just want to go lie down rather than work?” But in practice, it’s the opposite problem: When your home is your office, that means you are in your office all the time. After all, there is always some work to do, and if you are not careful, you will just spend all your waking hours doing it. And we have enough of a national issue with workaholism and burnout as is. The problem is not remembering your home is your office; the problem is remembering that it is not just your office. During the pandemic, it is increasingly obvious that some of you are just sitting at your desk every hour of the day… and nowhere else in your home or apartment. It’s your living area. Live in it.
  3. Limit how much time you spend on social media. This is just a good life tip in general, but the problem with being at your computer all day — particularly when we’re all in the middle of a global pandemic — is that you can get sucked into a doomscrolling black hole. (And after all: That’s supposed to be what lying in bed and not sleeping is for!) Social media is making us all crazy anyway, but when you combine it with cabin fever, you get, well, you get the total madness we’ve all been experiencing over the past year. I recommend the Freedom app, which will block whatever sites you want it to, for as long as you want it to. You’ll be surprised how much happier and productive you are.
  4. Set a clear schedule with set parameters. This goes hand in hand with Rule №2, but you have to make yourself, every day set a time that you stop working, no matter what. (You know: like a job.) I recommend thinking of the day not in terms of hours, but in terms of tasks. Make a list at the beginning of the day. If you get all the tasks done before your set hour, great: You get time to go read a book, play a video game, or put your pajamas back on. But no matter what: Don’t go past that set time, or add to your lists of tasks. Otherwise, you just won’t stop.
  5. Go outside. This is vital, even in a pandemic. (Especially in a pandemic.) People that work from home constantly have to remember that, in spite of all immediately available evidence in front of their face, there is in fact a whole big world just beyond their doorstep. Go see it. Your home, your computer, and your work will be waiting for you right where you left it. And who knows? You might even find work a little easier to crack into upon your return.

Seriously, you all need to head back into the office; I can see how this is making you all nuts. But in case we’re all still stuck, sans office, for a little while longer, you can start by finessing these five unbreakable rules for working at home. For your sake. For mine. For everybody’s. You can thank me later.

Will Leitch

 

By: Will Leitch

Source: Americans Need to Go Back to the Office | Index

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For anyone that works, commuting might just be the worst part of the day. So with WFH and less time commuting, could we see a drastic change in the cities we live in? #WFH #FutureOfWork #BloombergQuicktake ——– Like this video? Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/Bloomberg?sub_… Become a Quicktake Member for exclusive perks: http://www.youtube.com/bloomberg/join QuickTake Originals is Bloomberg’s official premium video channel. We bring you insights and analysis from business, science, and technology experts who are shaping our future. We’re home to Hello World, Giant Leap, Storylines, and the series powering CityLab, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Green, and much more.
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How To Successfully Navigate The Technical & Management Challenges Of A Remote Workforce

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely has become the new normal for many professionals. The workplace has shifted from open floor plans to kitchen tables; video calls have replaced meetings in conference rooms, and dressing in sweats has become our business casual uniform of choice.

TechRepublic Premium recently surveyed 847 professionals and asked them questions pertaining to working remotely to see where businesses got it right–and wrong.

The survey asked the following questions:

  • How many days do you currently work remotely (at home or at a non-company- owned location) during a normal five-day workweek?
  • How would you describe your company’s execution of its current remote work approach?
  • What safety protocols has your company implemented for the office?
  • What has your company done well as part of its remote work approach?
  • What has your company done poorly as part of its remote work approach?
  • What types of platforms have you depended on the most for remote work?
  • How have you changed your connectivity to make working from home possible?

As a result of COVID-19, a majority (61%) of businesses have gone out of their way to make remote work possible for most employees. According to respondents, 78% indicated that they are working from home five days a week. Five percent work remotely for either four or three days a week, 4% work remotely two days a week, and 2% of respondents work remotely one day a week. Only 6% said they do not work remotely; of those respondents, 61% would work remotely, if given the opportunity.

The majority (96%) of respondents said their company either very successfully or successfully executed its remote work approach. Some of the top ways employers are making it easier for employees to work remotely is by providing conferencing tools (81%), computer hardware (74%), and connectivity tools such as VPN or cellular devices (73%).

This is a good thing since 80% of respondents reported depending on video conferencing platforms (such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams) for remote work. Cloud-based office suites for collaboration (such as Google Workspace or Office 365) are necessary for 63% of respondents to work remotely, and for 57%, VPN is essential.

Cloud storage followed as a necessity for 46% of respondents, and then respondents listed team tools (such as Slack) at 33%. Fewer respondents require project management tools (13%), private cloud solutions (7%), and team management tools (5%).

Where employers fall short, according to respondents, is supplying hardware (56%) and providing equipment to help employees create an effective remote workspace (52%). In addition, 37% of respondents reported that their company is doing a poor job with their remote work approach with video conferencing tools, virtual collaboration tools, manager training, and HR resources.

Interestingly, 75% of respondents reported not needing to change their connectivity to make working from home possible. However, 7% of respondents have added a mesh network or purchased a Wi-FI hotspot to use as a backup, and 5% either switched providers or replaced consumer-grade network hardware with something more secure.

Source: Research: How to successfully navigate the technical and management challenges of a remote workforce – TechRepublic

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Out Of Office: What The Homeworking Revolution Means For Our Cities

Susanna* has spent most of lockdown in back-to-back Zoom meetings. It is a major change for the senior banker, who used to commute to London from her home in rural Lincolnshire and regularly travelled across the country to meet business customers face to face.

The 55-year-old does not miss the 5.30am alarms or spending three nights a week away from her husband and son. And she appreciates the way the bank’s management has banned calls between noon and 1pm – now dubbed “golden hour” – and cuts video meetings off after 50 minutes to give staff a brief buffer. But working from home has felt relentless, and after nearly a year she is longing to return to some sort of normality.

Following the pandemic, Susanna is hoping for a middle ground where she can experience the buzz of central London and cross-country travel, while enjoying the extra downtime remote working permits. Her ideal scenario would be to meet her team of six just once a month in the office, and she would not be afraid to challenge bosses if they asked for more.

“Why would we need to do that,” she said, “with everything that we’ve proved over the past year in terms of how we’re able to conduct our business, and do it much quicker?”

Susanna is not alone in her desire for more flexibility in her post-pandemic life. Indeed many analysts believe a shift to remote working was already under way, with coronavirus accelerating it by around a decade.

Seven in 10 UK employees who have been working remotely during Covid-19 told a survey by Boston Consulting Group that they felt as productive at home as in the workplace. More than half (53%) of workers said they would prefer a hybrid model in future, splitting their time equally between their desk and a remote location.

Boris Johnson provided little new guidance on managing the return to workplaces last Monday when he presented his roadmap out of lockdown, promising only to review the advice on working from home by late June. Most social restrictions are expected to be relaxed in midsummer, but businesses are not anticipating a large-scale recolonisation of offices before September, provided coronavirus case rates continue to decline.

By then, office-based workers will have spent almost 18 months away from the watercooler, and few expect work to return to the way it was.Some of the largest firms in the financial sector, for decades a bastion of an office-based corporate culture, seem ready to rethink the way things are done. They are also seizing the opportunity to cut costs by reducing the amount of office space they use.

Banking group HSBC revealed last week that it was taking advantage of the booming popularity of home working by cutting its global office space by 40%. Its floor-space footprint looks set to shrink in London: the lender said it was committed to its headquarters in the Canary Wharf financial district, but may not renew leases for other sites in the capital.

Competitor Lloyds followed with an announcement that it would slash its own desk numbers by a fifth over the next two years, following staff requests for home working to be made permanent.The issue of remote working has divided opinion within the financial sector, however, with the chief executive of Goldman Sachs calling the trend an aberration.

Although the US bank has operated successfully while its staff remained at home, David Solomon said this did not represent “a new normal” because firms like Goldman Sachs required face-to-face contact to foster innovation and collaboration, and to train and guide the next generation.

It may be younger members of staff, including millennials, who demand flexibility from their employers, including those in the financial sector, said Anita Rai, head of employment at law firm JMW. “As a business you have to make yourself attractive,” she said, “and that is the challenge for some of these financial institutions which are saying they are not really fans of agile working, because a lot of the generation coming through will be more resistant to that.”

Most firms are expected to embrace a hybrid model, which will be more difficult to implement and manage than having the entire workforce either at home or in the office.

“It’s going to be very difficult if we have a complete free-for-all,” said Nick South, expert on the future of work at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). “You have to think about people’s families and needs, people’s preferences, the practicalities, the guardrails you want to provide. There is quite a co-ordination job needed to make this work, and that’s before you think what tech do we need where, and how we will redesign our space.”

Another banker, Belinda*, is among those hoping to continue working remotely for at least half the week, from her home office in rural Devon. The mother-of-one, who is in her 40s, appreciates being able to spend time with her son as soon as she closes her laptop.

Her life before the pandemic consisted of commuting to various city-centre offices run by her employer, a high-street lender.

“I have been really impressed with how productive we can be without being together in a building,” she said. “But there are times, if I’m really honest, that I miss doing some creative thinking together.”

New ways of working will make new demands of managers and human resources teams, according to psychologist Prof Cary Cooper of Alliance Manchester Business School, who is also president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

“You have to have line managers who can manage people, who can tolerate ambiguity,” Cooper said. “They will need social and interpersonal skills, to recognise when people aren’t coping well because they are working too much from home. But all this is doable.”

During the pandemic, UK office workers have adopted remote working more readily than their European counterparts, according to several surveys from US bank Morgan Stanley’s Alphawise research unit. British employees also intend to request more days at home in future than those in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

It is not entirely clear why this should be, though the length of the average commute in the UK, especially in south-east England, could be a deciding factor, as well as the hours worked in the UK, which has a longer average working week than most European countries.

The shift in the world of work will have lasting consequences, not just for organisations and their staff, but also for our city centres and the service businesses – including sandwich shops, coffee stands and dry cleaners – which before Covid relied on steady footfall from office workers.

Those businesses may find town centres less attractive in future, said Catherine McGuinness, chair of policy and resources at the Corporation of London, the governing body of the Square Mile.

“We are pretty confident about people wanting to keep their big headquarters,” she said. “I worry what this means for the smaller supporting businesses. We may see a shakeout from the centre to the areas where people are basing themselves for the other days. It’s inevitable, I suppose.”

* Names have been changed

Remote possibilities for big tech

The speed with which Silicon Valley embraced Covid-enforced working from home as a permanent cultural shift made what is a challenging transition for many businesses look easy. In February last year, weeks before coronavirus had achieved official pandemic status and ahead of government-mandated emptying of offices, companies from Google to Twitter had told their employees to stay at home.

As restrictions stretched into months, the need to adapt sparked a remote-working arms race between the digital giants, underpinned by the notion that more flexible employers are better employers.

For tech companies with existing resilient, internet-based working practices in place, and employees familiar with chat groups and video calls, the initial switch was frictionless. In May, with most traditional companies still grappling with the logistics of remote working, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, proclaimed that employees would be allowed to work from home “forever” if they wished. Google and Facebook have followed, announcing a permanent extension to their remote-working policies.

But while tech firms have been quick to adapt to a decentralised, distributed model, the shift has proved a surprising cultural upheaval.

“[Tech companies] weren’t as far ahead as you might think with remote working before,” says Joseph Evans of UK-based Enders Analysis. “They had that image, but expectations at these companies, particularly in head office, were the same as in other sectors – to be present in the office. The pandemic changed that, and unquestionably companies such as Facebook have embraced the change.”

Now that vaccinations look likely to allow a return to offices later this year, Silicon Valley companies are looking at “hybrid” models. Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is developing a model where staff work three days in the office for “collaboration” and two days from home. “No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid workforce model,” Pichai said in an email to staff in December. “It will be interesting to try.”

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has said the pandemic is fuelling a geographical diversification away from Silicon Valley, with about half the company’s workforce probably working remotely over the next five to 10 years. “We are going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale,” he said.

But the flexibility does not stretch as far as some may wish. Alphabet’s model would require employees to live within commuting distance, and a fully remote option is reportedly off the table. And while the Facebook and Twitter plans open huge opportunities for those living outside Silicon Valley, the companies have said employees who choose to relocate to cheaper areas will take a pay cut. The moves have sparked a wider debate on localised pay rates across cities and regions.

“All the tech companies have gone on a back and forth journey regarding remote working,” says Evans. “They are settling on the idea that it has worked better than hoped, but that fully distributed teams on a permanent basis isn’t an optimum situation.

“There will be substantial remote working – Facebook in particular is excited about hiring from anywhere in the country, anywhere in the world – but none of them will be 100% any time soon.” Mark Sweney

By: and

Source: Out of office: what the homeworking revolution means for our cities | Working from home | The Guardian

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The Four Hidden Dangers Of Long-Term Remote Work (That Almost Nobody’s Talking About Yet)

Working from home during lockdown

OK, so we’ve got this remote work thing down pat, right? Technically, yes. We’re Zoom or Microsoft Teams wizards, we’re used to (and actually good at) dealing with transmission delays and frozen screens, and we’re adjusting to time zone warp: being in New Jersey but on a call at 11:30 PM with your late-working California team. They’re all eating take-out dinners during the call (cute) and all you’d like to do is get to sleep because you have a 5:30 AM call with London tomorrow – and you’re one of the presenters, no less.

But that’s life these days and it’s all cool, right? Not so fast.

The part of the iceberg we can see

In this writer’s judgment, discussions about the pros and cons of remote work have lacked depth, and have been based, mostly, on our knee-jerk reactions to the events and developments of a mere eleven months. Consequently, we’ve also given short shrift to the long view. We’ve done well, all in all, playing the cards we were dealt, but this is a longer game. Discussions about technology and scheduling, although compelling, are surface issues; they’re the 10 percent of the iceberg we can see.

How we solve problems

Business is one gigantic, never-ending experiment in solving problems or – for a more positive spin – seizing opportunities. They’re one and the same, as problems are nothing more than opportunities poorly dressed. How, though, do we actually solve problems?

According to extensive structured research projects by University of Illinois at Chicago’s Associate Professor Emeritus of Managerial Studies Dr. Robert Cooke, a renowned expert in organizational culture and CEO of Chicago-based Human Synergistics International, virtual teams do not perform as well as face-to-face teams in solving problems.

Cooke explains that we use two processes: the rational and the interpersonal. Although we saw “heroic problem solving early in the pandemic,” as Cooke observed, virtuality “is not an automatic solution to either rational or interpersonal problem solving.” Data indicated that when it comes to depending on remote work, some groups just got it and some just didn’t, making adaptability an issue.

Cooke’s model of organizational culture reveals three types of behavior, whether individual, team, or organization: aggressive/defensive (marked by internal competitiveness, power grabbing, and opposition), passive/defensive (including avoidance, need for approval, and conventional thinking), and constructive (achievement orientation, encouragement, and affiliation). Among other observations, the distance of virtuality makes it easier to extend the two non-constructive cultures’ behavioral norms.

In short, says Cooke, “We’re seeing the electronic disintegration of the interpersonal process.” There’s danger number one.

What makes for a good job? Design!

Just as there’s a world of difference between the instructional design of in-person or distance learning, there is as great a difference in designing on-site or virtual jobs. We’ve long since learned that we can’t take a traditional classroom course (or degree, for that matter), plop it on a server, and expect the same result. Same challenge with designing jobs.

Job design considers technical and organizational requirements as well as social and personal requirements of the worker. Dr. Cooke referred to Hackman and Oldham’s job characteristic theory (1976) stating that work should engender three critical psychological states in individuals: deriving meaning, feeling responsibility for outcomes, and understanding the results of their work.

As a result, the theory proposes, employees’ intrinsic motivation will be enhanced, job satisfaction will grow, quality of work will improve, and turnover will fall. This is not to say that successful job design is possible only in in-person settings. It does, though, point forcefully to the difference in design and the perils of not dealing with that difference.

There’s danger number two.

Mental and physical health issues

           Two mental health counselors and one medical doctor (all of whom requested anonymity due to sensitive, private nature of their work) agree that long-term virtual work could have multiple deleterious health effects on anyone. Apparently, says one, “We’re already seeing too much of it to ignore.”

On the mental health side, feelings of isolation lead to depression. Being alone day after day tends to intensify the feeling of aloneness, while in a constructive in-person environment, there could well be a support structure in place. Stigma-free organizations could decide to create a mental health counselor position, perhaps.

Regarding physical health, problems like eye strain (eight, ten hours a day on the screen), poor posture while sitting too long, inactivity, and proximity to the refrigerator and snack drawer (really!) are more than theoretical threats.

There’s danger number three.

Stop thinking? Or stop and think?

Chris Brune, retired knowledge manager and business researcher, offers this observation: “When something becomes possible, it becomes expected.”

And there’s danger number four.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

With 50 years’ experience in diversified international business, I am a well-established, prolific journalist, having authored nearly 2,000 articles on job market, workplace, and leadership issues since 2003. I founded my executive career coaching practice, Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group in 1997, serving thousands of individual and corporate clients across 25 industries in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. I have worked for two global office electronics giants, held a directorship in a French-led global affiliate network, and began two start-ups. At Fairleigh Dickinson University I taught leadership courses (MBA, MAS) for 15 years, was Executive-in-Residence in the Center for Healthcare Management Studies, and co-founded the Institute for Life Sciences Leadership.

Source: The Four Hidden Dangers Of Long-Term Remote Work (That Almost Nobody’s Talking About Yet)

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For anyone that works, commuting might just be the worst part of the day. So with WFH and less time commuting, could we see a drastic change in the cities we live in? #WFH #FutureOfWork #BloombergQuicktake ——– Like this video? Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/Bloomberg?sub_…
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Making a Success of Remote Working for the Long Term

During the spring wave of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, almost half of all employees in the UK were working from home at least some of the time. Whilst this was, of course, a scary time for everyone, there was also a sense of banding together, battening down the hatches and maybe even a little excitement at being able to work from home for the first time. Many adapted well to this strange new set-up. Kitchen tables became digital business hubs and spare bedrooms make-shift Zoom boardrooms.  

But that was nearly 10 months ago, and the short-term shift to remote working has gradually become a more permanent, fundamental change in the way we work. And many are now realising the potential pitfalls.  

Driven partly by the resurgence of the virus following the summer, and also by shifting attitudes of employers who are now realising they can trust their people to get the job done and remain productive without their watchful eye, remote working is here to stay in some capacity. A recently released survey from KPMG showed how 68 percent of CEOs plan on downsizing their offices to reflect this shift, and it seems that what was the most popular employee benefit of the last decade has been fast-tracked some 20 years in the space of 10 months. 

That’s all well and good for those who have adjusted well or have properties large enough to accommodate a home office. But not everyone wants to be working from home. Some miss the buzz of the office and the social aspect of a workplace. Others may miss the ‘me time’ that a commute afforded them. Indeed, many new members of the work-from-home community may have contributed to the startling increase in divorce rates and break-ups.

 Maybe that open-plan family room wasn’t such a good idea after all. Regardless of which camp you’re in, remote working in some form is here to stay. So how can you make a success of it? Here are some pointers from someone who’s been a member of the work-from-home clan for more than two years now. 

Create a dedicated space. 

The biggest change that new work-from-homers will need to make as a short-term solution shifts into a permanent new reality is creating a space in their home that’s sole purpose is work.  

Kitchen tables, the sofa or cluttered box room just won’t cut it anymore. Even for organisations that switch to a 3-2-2 model or a variation of it (that’s three days in the office, two working remotely and two days off at the weekend), it’d be a struggle in terms of professional mindset to move from office to sofa and maintain the same attitude, output and productivity. 

A dedicated space helps create a more seamless transition between workplace and home working. It will induce a professional mindset when you enter and aid focus. This dedicated space should ideally be cut off in some way from distractions and general home noises.  

I don’t think I would have been nearly as productive over the last two years if every morning was a trip to the kitchen to turn the laptop on and there I stayed until 6 p.m. That close a proximity to the fridge certainly wouldn’t have helped things either! 

Play around with the ambience.  

One of the big benefits that many would have enjoyed when starting their first few remote workdays is having total control over the office environment. Radio station? Pick your favourite. Too warm? No need to negotiate opening a window with an always-cold coworker.  

For long-term remote working, it’s good to play around with the ambience of your home office to find what works best.  

As an example, I always find talk radio is a great backing track for the morning rush to clear the inbox and check on campaigns. But the post-lunch lull requires a lively Spotify playlist at full blast to maintain productivity.  

Others find that certain tasks, such as a blog or technical writing, can be easier to focus on with softer background noise such as rain sounds or even a YouTube video of general office background noise (I kid you not, and I’ve tried it, and it does work on occasion). 

Have a play around with lighting too. Natural light is always best for alertness and attention, whilst for those who like to work into the evenings, softer lamp light may be less harsh.  

Finally, have a think about the temperature of your room. Whilst it’s very tempting to create a snug office that’s always warm, research has found that we tend to lose focus and productivity in rooms that are too warm. After all, if you’re a bit tired after a long drive, you don’t whack the heating on – you open the window for some fresh air.  

Force yourself to stay connected.

Remote working presents a challenge to both extroverts and introverts.  

For the former, not being surrounded by co-workers, a lack of “real” conversations or office socialising are a real problem when it comes to working from home. They thrive on these interactions and, as such, working alone at home can become frustrating and isolating.  

On the flip side, for introverts who likely gravitate toward remote working more naturally, there is a danger of slipping into a mindset that starts to resent or even fear the Zoom or MS Teams call sound after a few hours of peace. For the more introverted, the office forced social interactions. Remote working can quickly see you start to actively avoid the group chats and digital socials.  

Whichever camp you may be in – and it can be a bit of both depending on your mood and how fatigued you are – forcing yourself to stay connected is critical for long-term remote working. 

And force yourself to stop working, too. 

This is probably the biggest problem for the WFH community. For a workforce that was increasingly becoming an ‘always-on’ workforce, working from home has exacerbated the problem – especially when the makeshift workspace was the kitchen table or living room armchair.  

But it’s critical for the long-term success of remote working to force yourself to STOP. If your organisation has still enforced a 9-5 or equivalent working hours – just work those hours then shut up shop for the day. If your employers are really forward-thinking and allow for both remote working and flexible hours too, then make sure you’re pacing yourself too.  

recent survey from The Office Group found that working longer hours was the biggest contributor to burnt-out millennials, alongside the inability to separate work and personal life.  

Remember, you’re no good to anyone if you burn out from overworking. And it’s detrimental to your physical and mental health. So take a break, try to switch off when your day is done and resist the late-night email check.  

The best ways I’ve found to deal with this is actually leaving the house when a particular working shift is done, either to walk the dog or a trip to the shop. It breaks the work mindset and helps you to switch off. Give it a try!  

By: Arthur Wilson Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Modus Create, Inc.

Modus Project Manager Samantha Park sits down with Co-Founder Jay Garcia to discuss how remote life differs at Modus from other organizations, share some of their techniques to make remote work easier, and talk about some of the challenges they’ve experienced working in a non-traditional environment. Ms. Park elaborates on the flexibility and independence that remote work provides, and discusses the expectation and reality of remote work, how to create a work-life balance, and tips for staying focused and on track. Modus is always on the lookout for people who want to work in an environment where they are challenged to grow and do great things with awesome people. Think you have what it takes to work with us? Check out our open positions at https://moduscreate.com/careers​ Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and turn on notifications! https://mdus.co/subscribe​ Sam on Social Media: Twitter – https://twitter.com/sparkps126​ LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/samantham…​ Blog – https://moduscreate.com/blog​ Timestamps: 0:24​ – Working remotely at Modus 0:50​ – Going fully-remote for the first time 1:38​ – Dealing with loneliness 2:08​ – Expectation vs. reality of remote work 2:33​ – Drawing a boundary between work and life 3:29​ – The flexibility of remote work 4:14​ – Building an office space at home 5:16​ – Leading Modus while remote Modus Create is a disruptive consulting firm based on the model of an open-source team dedicated to making the best software on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it. Together with our customers, we build products that empower people with breakthrough services and experience. Modus is always on the lookout for people who want to work in an environment where they are challenged to grow and do great things with awesome people. Think you have what it takes to work with us? Check us out at https://moduscreate.com/careers#workfromhome#remotework#employeeinterview#workculture#collaboration#collaborationtools#creativethinking

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5 Tips For Working From Home During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Written By Chase Williams

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.

1. Communication

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.

  • Secure messaging

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.

  • Secure email

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.

  • Collaboration software

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.

Read more ….. 5 Tips for Working from Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

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