Working from home is a reality for a fast-growing portion of American workers. It can add flexibility, drive higher productivity and reduce company costs related to maintaining physical facilities. However, it also comes with challenges. A collaboration tool that integrates online presentations, video meetings and instant messaging can help address remote working woes.
Make Working from Home Productive and Liberating
(Family Features) Working from home is a reality for a fast-growing portion of American workers. It can add flexibility, drive higher productivity and reduce company costs related to maintaining physical facilities.
However, it also comes with challenges. If you have worked from home, you have most likely encountered issues collaborating and communicating with colleagues in multiple locations. While there are multiple technologies aimed at helping remote workers and increasing their productivity, they can at times thwart it.
All too familiar with productivity, remote working woes and how to address it, CyberLink created U, a collaboration tool that integrates online presentations, video meetings and instant messaging whether working remote or down the hall from one another.
“It’s a place to hold online meetings, have presentations and chat with your colleagues that doesn’t come with the messy installation fuss and technical errors associated with other options out there,” said Richard Carriere, CyberLink’s general manager and senior vice president of global marketing. “It brings the best of social media, such as emojis, ease of use and the flexibility to have impromptu interactions, to a business environment, in a unique way that heightens communication and collaboration across users.”
According to commissioned research by polling firm YouGov, nearly half (43 percent) of U.S. office workers think it’s harder for remote workers to be seen in the workplace than non-remote workers. Office workers think it’s twice as difficult, when working remotely, to make strong relationships with bosses and coworkers while collaborating effectively. In fact, 1 in 6 think remote workers are less valued by the company, more than 1 in 3 think remote workers miss out on office culture and 1 in 5 think they get promoted less often.
There are also technical difficulties workers can encounter when using the technology solutions of the past. Of office workers who said disruptions and working with a solution that’s incompatible with the demands of a remote workforce today had impacted their work, the most prominent included:
To help address these issues and others, all of U’s offerings create virtual counterparts to in-person scenarios, in turn allowing workplace culture, creativity and dialogue to resonate beyond the physical workplace and to all workers, despite location. Learn more at u.cyberlink.com .
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(BPT) - If you feel like you're working more, but getting less done, you're not alone. Employees are working an average of 44 hours per week, of which only 29 were considered to be productive, according to a new survey of 1,200 full time office workers.
The recent "Productivity in the Workplace" study commissioned by Fellowes found respondents feel the key to productivity is making adjustments within the existing workday versus working more hours. Chatty coworkers top the list of productivity killers, with unnecessary meetings, cell phone disruptions and problems with office equipment also on the list. Respondents identify productivity boosters as cutting back on meetings, having more quiet spaces to work, schedule flexibility and more up-to-date technology.
Laura Stack, also known as "The Productivity Pro," travels the country helping organizations of every size improve their employee and team productivity. She shares the following tips to help people make the most of their hours in the office so they can get back to business.
1. Give disruptions the boot. Resist the urge to constantly check email and turn off email notifications. Put your cell phone on airplane mode, instant messaging on Do Not Disturb, and let calls go to voice-mail.
2. Speak up. Need something new in the office to help your coworkers and you stay more productive? It never hurts to ask. Office equipment, like printers and shredders, are now being made with advanced technologies that can make your job easier and help you get back to work.
3. Cut down on meetings. Ask yourself if you really need to have a meeting. Can you cover agenda items via email? Cancel meetings if face time isn't imperative and give colleagues more time to get their jobs done. Also, try to schedule one day a week on your calendar that is meeting-free.
4. Don't multi-task, single-task. When you do have a meeting, make sure you are 100 percent focused. You don't want to miss crucial updates and next steps on projects, it will only hurt your productivity later on.
5. Practice "on, in, around, or shred." Eighty-eight percent of people use paper in the office. Keep items you work with daily on your desk, those you work with weekly in your desk drawers, and those you work with monthly around your desk, in archives, or filing cabin Use an automatic shredder for everything else, like Fellowes' line of AutoMax shredders, which shred up to 500 sheets of paper at a time with the simple touch of a button -which helps avoid disruptions.
6. Break it down. If you have trouble getting started with a big task, break it into smaller chunks. Ask yourself, "What is the next action step I need to take to see progress on this project?" Then set a timer, leap into action, and focus on the next step.
7. Vary activities. For mental and physical alertness, vary sitting activities with standing ones, mental activities with physical ones. It will help prevent fatigue and keep your efficiency high.
8. Put some fun into your work. Turn boring tasks into a game. Make a deal with yourself that when you complete the activity, you will do something fun afterward - like taking a walk or having a piece of chocolate. By creating internal enthusiasm, you can stay focused longer.
9. Change of scenery. Try to work in a different setting once a week. Whether you work from home, the library, or a nearby park, new surroundings can inspire ideas and give you the energy you need to tackle your to-do list.
To learn more about Laura Stack and the "Productivity in the Workplace" study, visit www.fellowes.com or www.TheProductivityPro.com.
(BPT) - Predicting the future can be a Herculean task in its own right, but when it comes to forecasting the growth of urban areas across the globe, research points strongly toward some new truths. One, urban areas will continue to grow. Two, with continued development of "smart' technologies for homes, businesses and entire cities, there is expected to be a significant impact on the employment landscape.
The boom of urban areas
Today, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, according to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations' estimates and projections data reported in the 2014 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects. And, that figure is only predicted to grow. In fact, experts estimate urban centers will be home to two-thirds or 66 percent of the world's population by 2050.
These same predictions also see more people flocking to larger cities. By today's estimates, there are 28 megacities - locales with populations of more than 10 million people - across the globe. However, that number is expected to jump to 41 megacities as early as 2030. And as these cities continue to grow, managing that growth effectively becomes even more important.
The growth of technology and the "Internet of Things"
As cities continue to grow, experts forecast they will face challenges. There will be the need for infrastructure improvements to meet the challenges in housing, transportation, energy and employment to continue functioning successfully. As well as the ability to anticipate and prepare for future job skills requirements. A key factor in addressing both of these dilemmas lies in the continued development of technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT), to help cities utilize resources more efficiently.
IoT can be integral in helping to maintain efficiency in these ever-growing cities by transforming the existing infrastructure into a giant interactive network to include everything from air quality, transportation and energy to communication systems.
Finding professionals to meet the challenges of change
To prepare for the new economy, students can learn through coding bootcamps like those offered by DeVry University. Over a 10-week course period, these bootcamps offer attendees coding skills education that can be applied in the growing IoT economy. They also prepare students for the marketplace by helping them create a portfolio, develop an interviewing strategy and fine tune their social media presence. Students can feel more empowered to face the challenges that are ahead.
"Innovative education is critical. To meet the needs and wants of today's students, and of employers looking for professionals with targeted skill sets, we continuously explore new ways to deliver relevant educational offerings," said Shantanu Bose, Ph.D., provost of
DeVry University. "Bootcamps are accelerated learning opportunities to augment current knowledge or immerse oneself into new disciplines in a matter of weeks or months. And like degree and certificate programs, bootcamps can be impressive additions to resumes when aligned with the chosen field."
(BPT) - When it comes to hiring and retaining employees, companies are always looking at new alternatives to build their staffs. However, new research shows that when it comes to attracting top talent, many professionals prefer a return to the basics, meaning stable employment with competitive base pay with traditional medical and retirement benefits are key.
The findings come from a recent survey conducted by the Career Advisory Board, which was established by DeVry University in 2010. The survey asked employees to offer their insight into what is most important for them when looking for the right workplace. Below are some of the most interesting findings.
Predictability over perks
Employees responded resoundingly that they wanted their work life to be more in line with those of the generations before. Eighty-one percent of survey respondents said they would like to work a single, full-time job as opposed to contract work or several smaller positions. This desire rang especially true with millennials as 91 percent of those surveyed agreed.
Respondents also preferred going to the office every day (22 percent) compared to working from remotely full-time (18 percent). Millennials, in particular, were more likely to seek a job where they had to be in the office each day (27 percent).
Stable jobs were valued by 84 percent of survey respondents, while only 16 percent said they preferred a job that may come with riskier employment opportunities.
Employers looking to stay the course
For employers looking to attract and retain top talent, they should focus on solidifying their existing benefits package. A competitive salary remained the most important benefit employees consider in an employer, but traditional offerings such as medical/dental coverage, paid time off and retirement plans were heavily favored over newer perks, including onsite food, wellness offerings and day care.
Employers also don't need to look at making dramatic changes to their existing organizational structure to attract employees. Thirty-six percent said they prefer working for a single manager, while 18 percent said they appreciated the opportunity to report to multiple managers. However, no matter how employers establish their hierarchy, they should always be looking for ways to give employees a chance to impact company decisions. Fifty-six percent said they prefer a job with "authority to make decisions that impact the entire organization," a sign employees care deeply about where they work and want to have a vital role in its growth.
Employees seizing what they want
For employees looking for new positions, the job market is healthier and those with the right skills and attributes will have their pick of positions. As we move further away from the recession years and the economy improves, those who can afford to take their time in their job search are most likely to find a position offering the things most important to them.
"The survey results show us that businesses today need to be good employers, offering stable employment with competitive base pay and traditional medical and retirement benefits," says Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. "The average American worker isn't necessarily looking for all the bells and whistles."
To learn more about the study, visit www.careeradvisoryboard.org.
With appointments and meetings to remember, tasks to complete and jobs to finish, life can get crazy in the business world. To help limit the stress and anxiety of everyday business life, here are a few “hacks” for you and your busy colleagues, including keeping a calendar, getting rest, utilizing technology and keeping a clean workspace.
Flexible Savings Accounts
Health Care Costs
Health Care Jobs
Health Savings Accounts
Work And Family
Work Life Balance