If employees can remain productive for extended periods of time, their business tends to enjoy rapid growth. Unfortunately, this high level of productivity is not always sustainable, and it eventually slows for a variety of reasons. However, if you can make sure your employees are comfortable, then they will be more likely to maintain a manageable level of productivity.
We’ve all heard stories about facial recognition software that misses dark-skinned persons or Robo-loan officers that refuse to lend to certain populations. According to a growing body of evidence, algorithms designed by non-representative groups have resulted in AI that exacerbates the inequalities that already exist in our society. This algorithmic discrimination of data literacy concern is expected to intensify as more organizations rely on data and AI.
Employees all over the world got their first taste of remote work throughout the pandemic, and ever since there has been some controversy between employees and their employers who want them to return to the office for a traditional workday. A new survey showcases that half of employees would rather quit than deal with an employer who insists on in-person work in the office environment.
The many different types of departments within business, including sales, human resources, customer service, IT, accounting, and management, all have remained relatively compartmentalized throughout the years. While they might work together to fulfill various tasks, they operate (for the most part) independent of one another. How long will this remain the case, though? Let’s go about a thought experiment and look toward a future where departments are a thing of the past.
The Google My Business tool has given business owners a great way to manage their online presence for years now, and while it has gone through several changes over this time, Google has one last adjustment in store for the application. There will no longer be a Google My Business service; rather, business owners will have access to a web-based Google Business Profile at some point in 2022.
Isn’t it incredible how some people can build bad habits over the span of several years, then break them and replace them with better ones? It might look like it’s easy, but the reality of the matter is that building bad habits and replacing them is an incredibly difficult and time-consuming process. The brain literally undergoes physical changes during this process, and it’s all thanks to a neuroscientific principle called neuroplasticity.
It’s good to go about your business with an abundance of caution, but sometimes this abundance of caution can lead people to see threats where they simply do not exist. In cybersecurity, this is actually quite easy to see happening, as cybersecurity is such a multi-faceted topic. But how much do these false-positive security reports wind up costing organizations?
Reducing Hardware Costs Anyone that has purchased a server knows how expensive it is to purchase, set up, run, and support. With hosted VoIP, your business gets a powerful business phone system without having to go through the headaches and expense associated with installing new phone lines. Anyone who has ever run telephone wire from a distribution hub through the walls of a building knows that it can be quite tedious. The costs of setting up your own telephone system, even for a smaller PBX deployment, are substantial. With hosted VoIP, the capital investment is transformed immediately into an operational expense once you choose to make the switch. By utilizing your company’s existing broadband connection, hosted VoIP costs less and offers more than traditional telephone systems. For the business, one of the largest expenses for any telephone system is the minutes the phone is being used. Every traditional phone system carries costs for long distance. It’s unavoidable. Many times, the zones are very confusing and calls you wouldn’t expect to be made at premium rates, are. Even if you find ways to control your costs, your business is limited. By eliminating the recurring expense of long distance, VoIP is able to present more predictable service fees. Additionally, when you consider the costs that go into adding a line to your business and the costs associated with employee mobility, the flexibility and scalability of a hosted VoIP platform can reduce cost expansively. Mobility & Options The most valuable part of a hosted VoIP platform for the end-user is the ability for them to take their phone number with them wherever they go. With the soft phone feature, their smartphone becomes a work phone. This provides a level of mobility that every business should try to embrace in today’s digitally-heavy environment. Additionally, a hosted VoIP platform can offer a lot of additional features such as video conferencing, text and instant messaging integrations, and many more. The more features that a hosted VoIP platform can provide a small to medium-sized business, the more value they will get out of the platform. If you would like more information about VoIP or if you would like to know how SRS Networks can help you with your business’ communications, call us today at (831) 758-3636.
The Impact of Remote Work There have been plenty of positive effects brought on by the implementation of remote work policies for businesses to only embrace it further. A recent study by Intermedia surveyed the owners of 250 businesses and revealed a telling selection of these effects, including: Increases in employee availability in 19 percent of these businesses Increased job satisfaction—15 percent—and life satisfaction—seven percent—alike Decreased overhead costs Improved employee attitudes Reduced work-related stress Increased engagement Out of these businesses, 85 percent had primarily functioned in a centralized office space, but with remote work exploding in prevalence as social distancing has been adopted, that number has gone down to 26 percent. Simultaneously, video conferencing increased in use by 27 percent, from a rate of 57 percent to 84 percent. This only makes sense, as businesses must continue their operations to remain open. If remote work is the only way to do this without jeopardizing the health and safety of their employees, clients, and customers, the smart play is to embrace remote operations. Will Remote Work Last Longer than the Pandemic? Admittedly, it can be hard to even think about the time after the current health crisis is over, as so much has changed in the relatively short time we’ve all been living this new normal. We don’t think that remote operations will go away, though. Consider the list of benefits that businesses reported seeing. The biggest concern that many of these businesses had was the matter of engagement: how could they attract and convert clients when face-to-face conversions were once their de facto strategy? However, these concerns were not fueled due to any influence by technology restrictions, as the explosion in conferencing we discussed above goes to show. As a result, we can confidently conclude that many businesses won’t shift away from remote operations when they are no longer required for survival. The benefits—increased team satisfaction and at least the same levels of productivity—are just too good to pass up. SRS Networks can help you embrace the remote capabilities that can help your business survive these challenges, along with many other IT tools and resources. Give us a call at (831) 758-3636 to learn more about what we can do for your business technology.
Spotting Burnout in Remote Employees As you would imagine, burnout in the home is remarkably like burnout in the office. The big difference is that there is no longer an office to leave workplace stress behind in. Furthermore, many people can’t help but see the inherent hypocrisy of the situation. Many people have pushed for the capability to work remotely in the past, only to be rebuffed, so now being required to do so can be frustrating. To be clear, these employees aren’t frustrated that they are still able to work, but some of the other impacts of this situation have caused no small amount of friction. For instance, many of the people who were furloughed because of recent events may have been paid as much as four times the amounts that those still working 40-hour weeks. While there’s little that most business owners can do about this, it has caused some negative feelings. These feelings could easily bleed into the work that your staff is doing. Another common factor that contributes to burnout is the loss of any separation between the responsibilities of work and of personal life. Your employees are still human beings, so the idea of not having any break between working from home and working on their home life can be frustrating. Without any downtime to spend recuperating and processing what has been accomplished, it can be hard to see these accomplishments. This is what makes our first tip so important: Establish Boundaries Working remotely doesn’t mean that your work hours change, you should just be working in a different location. Therefore, you need to be vigilant about how long you are working. While it is admirable to want to put in the extra hours, it is ultimately better for your performance (and your business’ budget) to stick to the schedule you would normally keep and spend your personal time taking care of personal things. Working from home also brings with it a new set of potential distractions to draw you away from your work. The people you live with can inadvertently cause a strain on your focus, as can any pets you may keep. Certain temptations are also present in the home that wouldn’t be found in the office, such as streaming services or social media. Establishing a space in your home that is dedicated to work can help you to focus better, especially by assisting you with our next tip. Minimize Distractions We’ve established that the home has plenty of stimuli that can draw your attention away from your tasks and responsibilities. A dedicated workspace helps to minimize these distractions, which in turn allows you to be more productive and reduces your temptation to work longer hours, diminishing the feeling of working all the time. Of course, the expectations that others have of us (or rather, that we think others have of us) can often contribute to the burned-out feelings that so many get. It is important that everyone on your team is able to keep the following in mind: while working from home isn’t the ideal situation for everyone, recent events made it the only feasible means of keeping the business open and operational. A little bit of stress now can help lead to a better future, with a job at a business […]