I will be working from home this holiday season

An extract from a blog I found on the web and Visiple´s comments below - Please enjoy the read!

The holidays are right around the corner, which means we can expect more than 75% of employees to work from home, based on a study last year. While working from home during the holiday season offers flexibility for employees to enjoy time with their families, it has the potential to severely hinder productivity, especially if the right technology, as well as checks-and-balances, are not in place.

Visiple´s take is that you hire adults and give them responsibilities. Employees are not more effective if you have to hire someone to police them. For Visiple it is about trust and we trust our employees and believe most trust theirs so that worries about productivity is a moot point.

From security protocols to policies that lay out expectations for employees who are using the work-from-home benefits, there are a number of factors that must be considered to ensure a smooth holiday season. Collaboration is already one of the biggest challenges facing organizations, remote working aside. Thirty-two percent of employees have avoided sharing a document with a colleague because it would “take too long to find,” Igloo found. These struggles are amplified when employees are using personal devices that may not have full, IT-sanctioned, access to all corporate document stores, which remote workers are more likely to do.

Visiple´s take is that this can be an issue for some but most companies that are current and up to speed with the great tech tools that are out there have access to all they need. Not being able to find a document (to share) is moreso due to lack of structure in the individual employees daily routines and documentation management and not because they work from home.

In order to avoid the holiday chaos brought on by the increase of work-from-homers, there are steps organizations can take to avoid the top issues that stem from remote work.

Better Collaboration Between Teams Begins with a Policy

Without the option to walk over to a co-worker’s desk or turn your chair around, collaborating isn’t as simple - especially during the holidays when time between client calls and emails might be spent baking cookies or wrapping presents.

First and foremost, it’s imperative companies have policies around expectations for working-from-home. Is it enough for employees to log on to check emails every hour or so, or are they expected to be working as they would in the office? Once a clear guideline is set, employees can establish best practices within their departments and teams for navigating collaboration. For example, co-workers expected to check emails every few hours might set a schedule with their manager and teammates so communications aren’t missed. With a clear schedule, coworkers can touch base directly every few hours and provide updates regarding ongoing projects and other work items.

Employees also need to establish the most effective means of communication for remote collaboration. While one co-worker might operate best via video chat or phone calls, another might prefer instant messaging, and another, email. Implementing a digital workplace solution that can integrate your business’ variety of tech stacks and communication tools provides employees with a one-stop-shop for their communication preferences.

Visiple´s take is yes… some “guidelines” but not necessary to demand emails are checked each hour or so. This is trust and common sense.

Improved Document Security

According to a study by SpringCM, 34% of organizations share contracts over email. A separate study by Swichfast found 20% of SMB leaders have fallen victim to a phishing scam. With email being one of the most misused tools for collaboration, a digital workplace offers employees with a more protected, centralized platform for sharing documents. With a single, non-email solution for communication and collaboration, employees are less at risk for falling victim to phishing scams and other email attacks. Documents and communication shared through a purpose-built digital destination designed to facilitate communication and collaboration are more secure, maintain complete audit trails, and can easily be accessed regardless of an employee’s location.

Increased Productivity

There are an abundance of applications available to today’s workforce that are geared toward productivity, however, studies have shown that app fatigue is slowing workers down. Productivity is especially hindered during the holiday season when coworkers are out of the office and the distractions of last-minute holiday shopping and activities are at an all-time high.

Tech solutions that provide task lists and notifications when a project is assigned can keep employees organized and accountable for their work, which improves productivity. Between days out of the office, these tools help ensure employees stay on top of their work by easily tracking and managing their assignment and resources all from a central digital location.

As businesses work to navigate the ins-and-outs of the chaotic holiday season, ensuring simple collaboration and communication are key to maintaining optimal productivity. By establishing policies and creating a central digital destination for communication and knowledge sharing, organizations can mitigate the common challenges of a remote workforce. Opportunities to work from home are important for employee morale, and ultimately retention, so by improving the WFH process, businesses and their employees alike can have a happy holiday season.

Visiple take - the short term cost can be a long term gain. Afford some flexibility and your employees will flower and become more loyal more productive employees. If our team members have a free minute or so we encourage them to handle the day to day challenges life throws at them. To simply force them handle this after hours does not make a good team member but one that will leave as soon as something better comes along. Have a nice holiday season everyone!

Visiple Can Help Students Make Much-Needed Extra Cash

Visiple Can Help Students Make Much-Needed Extra Cash

Visiple Can Help Students Make Much-Needed Extra Cash

College is a time when you need money but often struggle to make it. For many students, trying to work a standard, full-time job into their daily lives is prohibitively difficult. Class schedules change frequently, and many employers, even part-time employers, are not very flexible with work schedules.

On top of that, working at a business probably means you need to cover the expenses involved in maintaining a vehicle. Car insurance, registration, and gas are all big monthly expenses. Thankfully, you can use Visiple video chat services to work from home or even your dorm room with the internet you already have. Getting a little creative could help you develop ways to make money in between classes while you go to school.

Use video calls for English language tutoring

English language skills are highly in demand around the world. Some people pay off their student loans by traveling abroad and teaching English in another country after they graduate. However, you don't have to wait for graduation to start using your native language for profit. There are many companies that offer online tutoring services for students who want to learn English.

You can work with one of these companies or just advertise yourself online. You may be able to make quite a bit more per hour tutoring online than you would make working at a physical job. More importantly, you won't incur any of the expenses associated with renting a facility or traveling, and you'll meet new and interesting people all over the world.

Offer academic support or other skills to remote clients

If you're a student, that means you already have a relatively strong knowledge base and a desire to improve yourself. You probably learn new things all the time. Why don't you put that knowledge to use for your benefit? Offering online tutoring in subjects where you excel can be a great way to make money. You don't even have to visit the other students in person. That means you could offer support to a student with a similar major at a college across the country.

If tutoring doesn't seem quite your speed, there are still plenty of other options. Perhaps you have a hobby you particularly enjoy. The truth is that any skill or knowledge you have is theoretically marketable to someone else. Sharing that information through video calls is a great way to ensure not only that the other party understands but also develop a relationship with that client. Seeing their teacher face to face makes the experience much more significance to the other party and can make it easier for you to build up a real base of clients.

Alternative ways to earn money

If you aren't much of a teacher, there are still other options. You could participate in online research panels that require face-to-face input. If you're handy with tarot cards, you can offer readings for a fee. There's no real limit to how you can monetize your time online via Visiple, other than your creativity.

There are many people who think that video chat is just for keeping in touch with friends. However, Visiple video chat provides infinite possibilities for creative people looking for income. If you haven't already done so, getting yourself familiar with video chat software could be the first step toward building a stream of income as a student.

Give Visiple a Free Try - No Credit Card, No Obligation

Remote Work: Building your dynamic workforce

Remote Work: Building your dynamic workforce

Found this great article on raconteur.com that we thought you would appreciate!

 

"Work isn’t a place you go - it’s a thing you do. So says Peter Hogg, UK cities director at Arcadis, and his opinion is backed up by a slew of recent surveys into the link between flexible working and productivity.

According to one, conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management, 65 per cent of UK managers feel flexible working helps commitment and motivation, with 82 per cent believing it improved productivity. So why aren’t more organisations embracing flexible and remote working?

One answer is that they simply do not have to. Until 2014, remote working was only available to those who had caring responsibilities and although a universal right to ask is now in place, establishing it as a “request” merely gives organisations the opportunity to say “no”. For any firm which believes that real work can only be done at the office, there is still a list of eight official reasons why an employer can deny a request for flexible working.

The Dynamic Workforce report, however, makes it clear that there is very little excuse for inadequate technology to be one of those reasons. Future-facing companies could, in theory, already make use of augmented reality (AR), 3D printing and smart home hubs to make working remotely just as - if not more - productive as working in the office. For those business leaders who fail to see how any of these tools can apply to their own workforce, we invite you to put on your AR glasses and take a tour of your potential home office in 2028.

Back in 2018 and broadband speed in the average UK home has increased by 3.6 times since 2012 and a flight of tools have come about to make communication and collaboration easier than ever.

An omnichannel approach to communication means that remote workers can be integrated into daily company life, while also maintaining the flexibility they need. Unifying voice channels, email and video conferencing under one key strategy makes collaboration simple, with tools like instant messaging helping replicate the social contact which makes work enjoyable.

And herein lies another reason why business leaders might be reticent to applying blanket flexible working policies: workforce integration. Even if you can trust that your remote workers are working, how can you ensure that they are considered part of the team? A recent survey by Powwownow found that 56 per cent of employees feel that this is an area where their managers need particular training.

This is just one of the many ways in which larger organisations can learn from smaller, more agile ones. Others include learning when to switch off, making sure you are equipped with the tools of the future, and - where possible - borrowing from radically different business models. For the full list of lessons, collated from the advice of dozens of business experts, plus much more on the positives and pitfalls of flexible working, download the Dynamic Workforce report and bring your business into the future.

This is a summary of The Dynamic Workforce report which can be downloaded in full here.  "

Being agile and listening to your employees needs concerning their work to life balance requirements is critical in having a dynamic, productive and happy workforce. All too often employees feel taking a home office day the boss does not trust them, they feel obligated to talk down home office when at the office explaining what they did in their day to day. 

Use channels like Slack.com for updates and checkins/checkout. Look we are all adults it is more than time to embrace the technology that is now everywhere.

 

 

Time Management When Working Remotely

A great article from Rick Goodman on time management and working remotely. 

 

Thanks to modern communication technology, most of us aren’t nearly as office-bound as we used to be. We can get our work done from practically anywhere—the basement, the living room, a favorite coffee shop, a quiet park bench, even an airport terminal. And sometimes, that change of scenery can be really energizing.

Yet, there are some risks. Just because you can work remotely doesn’t mean it’s easy to stay on task. And that raises the question: What can you do to stay motivated and productive, even when you’re working in a new space?

Recommended for You

Webcast, August 9th: Improving B2B Paid Marketing Campaign Effectiveness Through Pipeline Measurement

Staying on Task While Working Remotely

  1. Plan for anything. It helps to be well-organized, ready and able to get some work done in almost any circumstance. Keep a running list of tasks you can work on while you’re getting that coffee or waiting for your flight. Make sure it includes both some longer tasks and some shorter ones, in case you just have a few minutes to kill. And, have some tasks ready to work on even if you don’t have a good Internet connection—e.g., some files already downloaded and ready to go.
  2. Have your devices ready. A simple, practical, and incredibly important point: You don’t want to waste your work time looking for an outlet or a plug. If you know you’ll be working outside later, make sure your phone and computer are fully charged now.
  3. Get comfortable. You won’t get much done if you keep thinking about your back pain or your weird posture. Find a place where you can feel comfy, and just focus on getting work done. Consider both the furniture you’re sitting on but also sunlight/glare, which can really be distracting and annoying.
  4. Avoid task switching. Some call it “multi-tasking”—but we all know that’s baloney! Trying to do a bunch of different things at once is a bad idea, whether you’re in your office or in a Starbucks. Stick to one thing at a time. Do good work, then move on!
  5. Make time to check in. A final tip: Even when working remotely, make sure you check in with your boss and/or employees. Remind yourself that you’re on the clock, and remind your colleagues that you’re hard at work.


Read more at https://www.business2community.com/strategy/time-management-and-remote-work-spaces-how-do-you-stay-on-task-02097820

The Least Likely Innovation Hub: Connecticut

The Least Likely Innovation Hub: Connecticut

Connecticut as an Innovation Hub?

A great article from earlier this year. Add to the fact that InfoSys the Indian tech giant, 7 seas and now CVS are adding feet on the street by the thousands and Connecticut may just have found its niche in tech.  


Happy Summer!

Happy Summer!

Happy Summer to everyone and thank you for a great start to 2018! We are biting our nails in nervous excitement as we test our next generation of services out that we will show off later this Summer to  a few of our customers! 

Enjoy your remote working and remember to check out your local co-working space, tech incubator and start-up scene as there are so many great new "things" being developed and this can provide all of us a better place to live and work!

Happy Summer!

Back to the Future; Apple and Goldman Sachs Entering The Card Business

The world is turning upside down or is it? Interesting enough that Apple the company build on user experience and the iCloud is now moving to plastic. Is this back to the future?

Goldman Sachs and Apple are preparing to launch a joint credit card, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The planned card would carry the Apple Pay brand and could launch early next year, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The iPhone maker will replace its longstanding rewards-card partnership with Barclays, the report added.

Goldman Sachs, Apple and Barclays all declined comment.

The news comes as Apple sharpens its focus on its services business that includes the App Store, mobile payments and music streaming. The unit’s revenue grew 31 percent to more than $9 billion in the three months ended March 31.

Goldman has been looking to expand its consumer banking business to offset weakness at its trading unit. Last year, the Wall Street bank’s executives laid out a goal to generate $5 billion in revenue from new sources, including consumer banking.

In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in talks with Goldman to offer financing to shoppers buying Apple products, including iPhones.

New companies have entered the payments space. We all know of Stripe and Paypal but now up and comers like Auka.io create a cost effective highly intelligent white lable service that a bank and now with PSD2 (opening APIs for 3rd party access to offer banking/payment services) will find very attractive instead of developing their own digital payment solution. 

Interesting marriage...to say the least.