The Workplace of the Future Is Here. Are You Ready?

We’re experiencing a fundamental shift in the way that we work. Times have changed and our approach to business and the workplace needs to change with it. Rapid advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to significantly disrupt labor markets, and will likely transform almost all occupations to some degree.

Workplace

This technological shift, along with globalization, social values, demographics, and the changing personal expectations of today’s workforce has had a tremendous impact on the business landscape, disrupting models and radically changing where, when, and how work is done. An ability to improve the effectiveness of the workforce, develop and move talent around the business, and manage human capital risks is crucial in the digital age. As a result, companies who want to grow and remain competitive need to focus on harnessing and adapting the talents of their workers, and their uniquely ‘human’ skills.

Navigating change: The Future of Work Is Here report

Much has been written about the future of work and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on the workforce. The scenario is often played out as if we, the human race, have no control over the outcome. But this is simply not true. The changes that we’re currently experiencing, including the shifting landscape as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, are ultimately driven by humans.

In light of this, GetSmarter, a 2U, Inc. brand, has produced ‘The Future of Work Is Here’ report with the aim to help professionals and organizations navigate this change. The research unpacks findings from over 106 countries and 8,000 respondents. With insights gathered from more than 100,000 students over the past 12 years, the report provides a deep understanding of how the workplace is changing as attitudes and values shift. It also explores the rise in remote work and what it means for the future.

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The 21st-century employer meets the 4IR

Humanity continues to embark on a period of unparalleled technological advancement, offering significant challenges and opportunities in the coming five, 10, and 20 years. According to Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, ‘’We are at the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Unlike the previous industrial revolutions­, the current one is not changing what we do, but rather, is changing us.’’

In the 4IR, lines between the physical, digital, and biological worlds are blurred. Owed to advances in AI, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and other technologies. The 4IR is paving the way for transformative changes in the way we live and work, radically disrupting almost every business sector. As AI and increased automation takes control of more repetitive tasks, the discovery of entirely new categories of jobs are emerging.

From an employer’s perspective, retention of skilled employees becomes increasingly important as a strategic priority. Organizations need to recognize their current employees’ strengths and focus on upskilling to fill skills gaps and remain agile in an ever-changing workplace. As highlighted in the report, HR professionals and talent managers have both turned to reskilling and upskilling their teams to respond to the significant changes catalyzed by the 4IR.

Anticipate the workplace of the future

Empowered by universal primary education, marked progress in adult literacy, improved healthcare, global access to social networks, and mobile money, the workplace is changing so fast that it’s hard for many organizations to keep up.

Digital technology has changed the way employees interact with each other and their employer: teams are more matrixed, more remote, and more flexible than ever. This has upended the traditional worker-manager relationship, and has reshaped how employers and employees see one another. We are also living longer and navigating change at a more rapid rate, which means that we will need to master a variety of skills to keep up with the evolving workplace.

Despite technology being the most radical driver of change, other global trends are proving to be just as impactful.

Other important factors that will shape the future workplace include:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion

In the age of intelligent technology, focusing on innate human needs is imperative to maintaining growth and remaining competitive. The demand for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is more than just another target to meet. Companies are called on to make meaningful cultural change in order to foster inclusivity.

There are many benefits to having multi-generational teams working together. Research shows that age diversity can improve cognitive performance, and can also lead to more creative thinking and innovation.7 By viewing age and generational differences as an opportunity, organizations can shift focus to the abilities, experiences, and knowledge of individuals, leading to innovation and productivity.

  • Freedom and flexibility

Previously, being able to work from home was rare and considered a ‘perk.’ As the population demographic and way of life changes, flexible and remote work is proliferating.9 Used to describe any role that breaks the traditional norm of a rigid 9-to-5, five-day week structure, flexibility offers more freedom over when, where, or how employees can fulfil their particular roles. Organizations are starting to recognize this and act on it – since 2016, there’s been a 78 percent increase in job posts that provide work flexibility.11

  • Agility to change management

To grow a suitable candidates pool and foster a workforce that is able to adapt to change and innovate, it’s critical for human resources (HR) and learning and development (L&D) professionals to prioritize a culture of continued learning in their organizations. This will not only allow them to remain agile in the face of disruption, but will also create a more engaged workforce that has the tools to drive innovation for the future. If employees are taught how to build a learning mindset, it will help prepare them for dealing with a constantly, even abruptly, changing environment.

  • Whose responsibility is continuous learning?

Most respondents agree that continued learning should be a joint responsibility between the business and the individual. Our survey found that employees feel individually accountable for continuous learning whereas talent management and HR view it as being more of a business or joint responsibility. This misalignment may mean that employees are unaware that their employer is willing to support them to learn. On the other hand, HR and talent management may view continuous learning as too important for business to have no responsibility for.

Related:- How to Become an Operations Manager

Discover the alternative workforce

According to research conducted by Upwork, nearly two-thirds of companies have remote workers, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic increasing this figure, with possible permanent effects.21 This has given rise to what can be known as the ‘alternative workforce’.

As defined in ‘The Future of Work Is Here’ report, a remote worker is someone who is employed by a company, but works outside of a traditional office environment. Post-COVID-19, GetSmarter predicts that companies will expand the acceptability of remote work, and will provide more choice and flexibility to full-time contract employees to work wherever they can get their best work done, including away from the office.

A gig worker, defined in the report as someone who works part-time, on contract, and has no long-term employer-employee relationship, could work anywhere from a local co-working space, a coffee shop, or in a city across the world. While this is becoming an increasingly attractive option for those looking for more flexibility, predicts that the rate at which remote work is adopted will outpace the rate at which companies adopt the gig economy, with only nine percent of HR and people managers indicating that they hire ‘giggers’ to fill skills gaps that exist within their teams and organizations.

How to Become an Operations Manager

To become an operations manager, you’ll need to gain on-the-job experience in business and administration-related fields, supplemented with a bachelor’s degree or similar in a relevant area of study. As a skilful jack of all trades, operations managers need to have holistic business skills, often obtained through an operations management course, as well as knowledge of multiple departments, in various functions, ensuring that each part seamlessly works together to produce a productive and profitable machine.

Manager

A recent PwC survey of 1,300 global CEOs reveals that 77 per cent of their main focus in driving revenue growth is to create operational efficiencies.1 As industries change and workforces become more complex, ensuring smooth processes is pivotal to business survival. This is where an operational manager, whose role is plan, direct, and coordinate the operations of organisations, comes in.

Accelerate your career

In today’s evolving business landscape, there’s a need for leaders with the core management skills and knowledge to analyse and make complex business decisions across all facets of an organisation. Whether technical or business-centred, online operations management courses ensure your skill set is kept up-to-date throughout your operations management career.

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Responsibilities for operations management

An operations manager carries a varied portfolio of responsibilities that differ depending on the company and the product or service they offer. Three areas where operations managers make an impact include:

Production management

  • Identifying operational inputs, processes, outputs and feedback by using transformation to improve the operational systems, processes, and policies in support of an organisation’s mission
  • Ensuring quality operations management in an organisation by finding the perfect processes for employees to get the work done

Financial management

  • Overseeing overall financial management, planning, systems and controls, and organising fiscal documents with the chief operations officer (COO)
  • Managing the impact that working capital, budgeting, financial statements and cost cutting has on the cash flow of an organisation

Resource management

  • Managing and increasing effectiveness and efficiency of the HR, IT and finance departments through improvements to each function, as well as coordination and communication between support and business functions
  • Creating an empowering work environment to maximise and align workforce efforts and overall team productivity

The expected salary

Using employment projection and salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Insider lists business operations specialists among the 30 high-paying jobs that are poised to enjoy healthy employment growth over the next decade.2 Operations management jobs are on the rise and you can fill the gap.

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Your career path – what’s next?

Using employment projection and salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Insider lists business operations specialists among the 30 high-paying jobs that are poised to enjoy healthy employment growth over the next decade.3 Operations management jobs are on the rise and you can fill the gap.

One of the perks of the operations management field is that there are jobs available in almost every industry. Whether it be retail or education, government institutions or manufacturing and service organisations, operations management is a sought-after skill set applicable to every organisation.

As more businesses expand globally, the demand for a strong operations management skill set will be needed in the following roles:

  • Facilities coordinator
  • Purchasing manager
  • Logistics analyst
  • Process engineer
  • Transportation manager
  • Customer service manager
  • Operations analyst
  • COO

In short, the workplace of the future means that the operations management profession is going to rise in demand in the fields of business. If you’re aspiring to a career in this industry, you’ll need to prove yourself by being a fast learner, digitally savvy, adaptable to the changing rules of the workplace, and highly motivated. You’ll also have to formalise your commitment to improving your skill set by investigating in operations management online courses in order to progress up the ladder.

After gaining experience as an operations manager, you’ll be able to advance in your career, eventually moving into the sought-after position of a COO, one of the highest-ranking executives in a company, who works alongside and reports to the chief executive officer (CEO).

Out of 400 managers questioned in a recent survey, 66 per cent ranked leadership as the most important skill to develop in their employees. Managing operations is a leadership role, and some people take to this part of the job more naturally than others. Over and above managing daily operations, you’ll need to communicate effectively in high-stress situations, and motivate teams towards achieving a shared goal. For businesses that want to survive, thrive, and excel, operational leadership is crucial.

8 Tips to Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market

In a competitive job market, every detail matters, from your cover letter to your post-interview thank you note. When you’re a single job seeker in a big crowd of applicants, any advantage you can take to stand out will help you land the job.

job market

When competition is steep, it’s harder to find a new employer — but that doesn’t mean landing your next job is impossible. Use the following tips as your guide for job search success in a competitive job market.

What is a competitive job market?

A competitive job market is a reference to the number of people applying for an open position. When lots of people are unemployed and all searching for a job at once and there are more job seekers than available positions to fill—that is a competitive job market.

8 ways to stand out in a competitive job market

The key to success in a competitive job market? You need to stand out from the competition. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you embark on your job search during this time.

1. Patience

When it comes to searching for a job, being patient is difficult — especially if you’re unemployed. But patience is especially important right now.

Chances are, it’s going to take longer than normal to get hired, so set your expectations accordingly and do what you can to not burn yourself out while searching for a job.

2. Polish your personal presentation

Now, perhaps more than ever, presenting yourself in a positive manner to potential employers is essential. No, that doesn’t only mean dressing appropriately for a video interview (though that is important). You also need to make sure your resume is in tip-top shape.

One of the most common resume mistakes is spelling and grammatical errors, which can be an immediate deal-breaker no matter how qualified you are for a job. Remember to give your resume a close edit, and have someone else review it. You can even take it to the next level and get a professional resume writer to take the reins.

Additionally, don’t let your communication skills slip when connecting with companies. For instance, your emails should be professional and free of typos. What may seem like a small error could turn a company away during this time of high competition.

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3. Impress in an interview

These days many companies are holding video job interviews. In these interviews, it can be difficult to show off your personality, enthusiasm, and potential. Here are a few tips to help you sell yourself:

  • Scout out the perfect location: Find a quiet and bright place you can set up, turn off all distractions, and use your video preview to test the lighting.
  • Dress for success: While you don’t have to wear a full-on pantsuit for a video interview, it is important to look polished. Dress like yourself, but opt for attire that’s clean, simple, and distraction-free.
  • Show your energy — but be authentic: Don’t go overboard with your eagerness; instead, be yourself and find opportunities to show your enthusiasm. For instance, give a warm welcome and show your gratitude at the beginning of the call.
  • Consider your nonverbal responses: Yes, the way you answer the interview questions is important, but when you’re interviewing virtually, eye contact is key. Smile and project your voice confidently.

Once your interview is over, don’t forget to send a follow-up thank you; a simple email could help you secure the job.

4. Touch up your online presence and personal brand

Since an employer may not be able to meet you in real life, they may be more prone to turn to Google to fill in any blanks. That’s why it’s so important to always keep an eye on your online self.

Start by doing a self-audit, which includes a quick Google search of your name to see what comes up.

LinkedIn will likely be one of the first Google results, so start there. Ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out with a professional photo, a catchy headline, and a powerful profile summary. You can also beef up your profile by asking connections to leave you a recommendation. Reach out to those you’ve worked closely with and offer to leave them a recommendation in exchange.

After you’ve tackled LinkedIn, take a look at your social media accounts, your personal blog, and any other profiles or websites that may pop up with your name.

5. Boost your network

Your personal brand, experience, and education all matter—but who you know could be the key to unlocking your next job opportunity.

One way to network without even leaving your home is virtual networking.

You can search for virtual networking events occurring within your industry and find online forums, free digital meetups (“Blockchain & Booze,” anyone?), and even virtual job fairs. Just search “virtual networking” and your industry and/or location, and see what’s going on.

You can also make new connections through LinkedIn, Twitter, and other forms of social media. Or, if you want to meet up with an existing connection, get creative and propose a virtual coffee date. Schedule a Zoom call, pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee, and catch up!

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6. Voluntary work and internships

Our career expert Amanda Augustine says, “You don’t have to be paid for work to put it on your resume”. You can use freelance work, voluntary work, volunteer experience or internships to round out your resume to stand out, and occupy your time if you’re unemployed.

7. Learn

Learning a new skill, language or earning a certification can help boost your resume to the top of the pile. There are seemingly endless options and opportunities for online learning—you don’t need to go back to school to sharpen your skills. Some of our favorite resources for online learning are below.

  • Resources for In-Demand Job Skills You Can Learn Online (2021)
  • Free Online Courses That’ll Help You Earn More
  • 7 Free Certification Courses to Enhance Your Resume

8. Be flexible

Many professionals spend years mapping out their careers, but during times like these, it’s imperative to be flexible. That doesn’t mean you have to change your entire career path, but take some time to assess your skills and think about other plans — even if just temporarily.

“Inventory your top skills, and then search for opportunities to leverage these in a different capacity,” writes Jeff Berger, founder of TopResume’s parent company, Talent Inc. “Leverage what you have been doing and pivot to where the current job openings are.”

You may not find your dream job right now, but it’s important to exercise patience, be flexible, and do what you can to stand out amid the competition during these times. As they say, “This too shall pass.”

Telegram Channel vs Group: Which One Should You Use

Telegram is a highly-lauded alternative to WhatsApp. If you’ve ever used it, you must have noticed in the app that it has Channels and Groups besides the usual one-to-one chats. What is a Channel in Telegram? How does it differ from a Telegram Group? You can find answers to such questions in this post.Telegram

You can use Telegram as a simple chat app, broadcasting tool, or a group interaction medium using Channels and Groups. Each feature has its advantages and disadvantages over the other. By the end of the post, you will be clear about the differences between Groups and Channels and you will know which one to create.

Let’s get started.

TELEGRAM CHANNEL VS GROUP: BASIC DIFFERENCE

Telegram Channel is quite similar to WhatsApp’s Broadcast feature to send one-way broadcast messages to the members, commonly known as subscribers. Only the admins can send messages in Telegram Channels. Other people cannot reply or send messages on the Channel.

On the contrary, Telegram Group is like any other chat group where people can send messages and interact. That said, the group admins get permissions to restrict messages from members, make the group public or private, make other members as Admins, etc.

Let’s put it in perspective with the help of WhatsApp. Telegram Groups are similar to WhatsApp Groups, where people can interact with each other. Similar, Telegram’s Channels are the power-charged versions of the WhatsApp Broadcast lists.

NUMBER OF MEMBERS AND SUBSCRIBERS

People who join a Telegram Group and Channels are referred to as members and subscribers, respectively. Groups can have up to 200,000 members. That said, Telegram Channels can have unlimited subscribers.

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WHO CAN SEE MEMBERS

In Groups, the members can check other members in the group. On the other hand, the Channel subscribers cannot see other participants. So, they do not know who else subscribed to the Channel. That said, you can always see the total number of members/subscribers in a particular channel or group.

In short, Channel protects the privacy of the subscribers since they can’t see each other. On the other hand, Channel allows its members to interact in the group or message each other privately.

VIEW COUNTER

Telegram Channels come with an interesting feature to track how many people viewed the messages. You will notice a tiny eye icon next to the messages, and it gets updated every time someone sees the message. View counter helps in getting better insight into how your Channel is performing. This feature isn’t available in Groups.

ADMIN RIGHTS

You can add more admins to help manage the Group or Channel. Fortunately, you can customize the admin privileges, such as enabling/disable adding members, changing info, etc., in both of them.

REMAIN ANONYMOUS

Typically, when the admin sends a message in a Channel, it is sent with the Channel’s name. On the other hand, Group messages have the admin’s actual name.

But you can reverse the scenario in both cases. You can enable admin signature in Channels where messages will have the admin’s name along with the Channel’s name. Similarly, you can hide the admin’s name in Groups and send messages with the Group’s name for each admin separately by changing admin rights.

TYPES OF GROUPS AND CHANNELS

You can create Public or Private Groups as well as Channels. In private channels or groups, you need to add members or they can join using an invite link. When it comes to public groups or channels, you can use Telegram’s built-in search to look for them. So anyone can search and join them.

CHAT HISTORY

When new subscribers join a Telegram Channel, they can see the entire message history right till the Channel’s creation day. While the same feature is available in Groups, it can be disabled if you don’t want new members to see older messages. You can do that by turning off the chat history feature in Group settings.

SEND SILENT MESSAGES

Telegram Channels offer yet another interesting feature in the form of silent messages. Basically, the Channel admins can send silent messages to the subscribers. Telegram will send the messages to the recipients, but they won’t receive any sound notification for that message. This feature comes in handy for sending late-night messages or non-urgent messages. To use this, just tap on the tiny bell icon next to the typing area in the Channel. This feature isn’t available in Groups.

Related:- The Surviving Power of an Intelligent Enterprise

HOW TO KNOW WHETHER YOU HAVE JOINED A GROUP OR CHANNEL

One of the easiest ways to identify a Group is to look for online text at the top. Basically, you can see the number of people that are online at the moment in any group. Alternatively, tap on the group name. If you see Members, then you have joined a Group.

OTHER SIMILAR FEATURES

Some other features that are available in both of them include Channel/Group description, pinned messages, ability to search, edit messages, etc.

CONVERT TELEGRAM CHANNEL TO GROUP AND VICE VERSA

You cannot directly convert a Channel to a Group or vice versa. However, you can use other workarounds to achieve the same. For instance, you can link a Group to a Channel. Anything that you post on a Channel will automatically be published to the linked Group. To do so, open the Channel settings and go to Discussion. Then either create a new Group or select an existing one. On the other hand, to convert a Group into a Channel, you will have to restrict others from sending messages in the Group by changing Group permissions. That way, only the admin can send messages in Groups.

WHICH ONE TO USE

Be it Groups or Channels, both of them are loaded with unique and interesting features. If you only want to broadcast messages without letting people interact, you should go with Channels. As mentioned, you can always link a group to discuss things if the need arises.

However, if multiple people’s conversation or interaction plays an important role, then Groups would be a better choice. You can always restrict it as per your need and convert it into a temporary Channel.

The Surviving Power of an Intelligent Enterprise

Due to the constant innovation happening across all industries, it is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to sustain themselves in the market. According to a survey conducted by Accenture, over 93% of executives believe that their organizations’ existence is in jeopardy, as it is becoming difficult to catch up with the demand of the dynamic marketplace.

Power

The current draconic times with regards to the economy brought up by the COVID-19 crisis are rendering the approach and business model of most organizations redundant. Therefore, it is imperative for CIOs to develop a cohesive model, like that of Intelligent Enterprises that will help to keep up with the rapidly changing business landscape. This will help them to successfully tackle the dynamic nature of the market and to circumvent its uncertainty.

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An intelligent enterprise can be best defined as an organization that is able to anticipate and adapt to the constantly changing marketplace, fulfill its customer expectations, stakeholder’s demands, and shows a sign of a strong ecosystem. Moreover, the organization would also have a flexible infrastructure that allows strong collaboration in a digital ecosystem, is progressive in self-management and its operating model – among other things.

The current unreliable marketplace, it is imperative for companies to strive towards being an Intelligent Enterprise, if they are to sustain and thrive. The good news is, it’s never too late to adapt.  Because, even though there are many companies that are able to scale their business in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, the actual number of these organizations is still very low.

Hence, below are a few steps CIO can take to reshape their organization into an intelligent enterprise:

Reshaping the Enterprise  agility

Organizations across all industries have reaped the benefits of agile operations. Having an agile operating model enables rapid responsiveness. It ensures that all the employees feel safe, connected and seen. It also ensures rapid responsiveness, and scalability – two features that are priceless during the current times.

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With the pandemic hovering over the business operations, organizations should set up crisis command centers that will help their employees, who are working remotely, to focus on critical business issues. This will help enterprises to endure the current crisis and will prepare them for future as well.

Reviewing End-to-End Value Chains

The pandemic has presented executives with an opportunity to rethink the customer behavior and their organization’s supply channels. As the business landscape is witnessing a massive shift, CIOs need to think about their sector, business partners, distribution channels, and integrated planning as well as forecasting capabilities. Furthermore, applying these practices to the enterprise’s technological infrastructure to evaluate and to increase its capacity, stability and security -can elevate the efficiency of the business operation.

Rethink the Way You Work

The current pandemic crisis has forced business leaders to take a closer look at the way they run their business operations. It has helped them to identify business-critical activities; which work requires proximity to products, customers, and partners.

Alongside these, the crisis has also revealed CIOs which of their business partners are resilient and are prepared to face a crisis. An Enterprise’s initiatives and responses during this economic crisis will redefine the speed at which it can innovate, pivot, invest and make informed decisions.

The crisis has shown that there’s nothing structured or certain about businesses and the marketplace. Hence, it is essential that organizations adopt an Intelligent Enterprise mindset that will enable them to transform business practices, operations, and systems. These will transform the organizations to be more agile and resilient and will pave the way for a sustainable future.

Protect Your Business from COVID-19 Phishing Scams

The list of states implementing stay-at-home orders continues to grow while the world scrambles to curb the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the number of employees working remotely has skyrocketed overnight. Unfortunately, COVID-19 phishing scams have also skyrocketed, with scammers taking advantage of relaxed security perimeters.

COVID

To protect the organization, businesses must implement additional security measures for the remote work environment. Employees working at home also need to take common-sense steps to work safely. And through it all, communication remains essential.

Examples of COVID-19 Phishing Scams

The most common COVID-19 phishing scams involve the tried and true method of spoofing authoritative sources. Frequently-spoofed organizations include the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the WHO (World Health Organization) and your own HR.

For example, an email supposedly from the CDC advises readers to click a link to check out new measures to protect businesses and their employees. Another purports to come from HR, with an attached flyer for readers to print and post. Unsuspecting employees can surrender their credentials in seconds, opening the door for hackers.

In another widely-used COVID-19 phishing scam, malicious websites and emails use a legitimate, interactive COVID dashboard from Johns Hopkins University to deploy malware. This scam combines accurate, real-time information with malicious code, allowing hackers to attack the system from outside the usual defense perimeter.

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Implement Multi-layered Security and Disaster Recovery

  • If you have not already implemented a reliable business continuity and disaster recovery plan, do so now.
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible.
  • Use encryption to protect sensitive data from interception.
  • Make use of Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) and geo-fencing to minimize the threat landscape.
  • If you have not already implemented a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system, do it now.

Tips for Employees Working Remotely

  • Close all non-essential applications and web browsers while working.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi connections.
  • Check computers and all mobile devices used for work. Install security patches as necessary for system software and other programs. Keep antivirus software up-to-date and scanning.
  • If you have not already done so, set up encryption for your laptop/tablet storage, and keep the encryption keys in a safe location.
  • If you work in a public area, do not leave devices unattended while working. Lock your computer when you step away.
  • Do not let your guard down. Cyber criminals get more sophisticated every day, and they have no problem taking advantage of crisis thinking. Practice common sense.

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Communication Checklist

  • Ensure that your employees know company procedures for handling security incidents.
  • Some employees have less of a comfort level with technology than others. Make sure they know who to call for help working safely.
  • Implement a reliable system to keep staff up-to-date. Email works. However, a communications platform like Microsoft Teams works more quickly and efficiently.
  • Add a caution message to the beginning of all external emails instructing your staff to verify important emails by calling the sender. This is particularly important for emails that instruct them to make a change or send funds somewhere.
  • Take the opportunity to remind employees about common-sense cyber security tips.

Enlist Help in Building Security for Uncertain Times

cut its teeth in crisis, opening in New Jersey less than one month before September 11, 2001. We have supported our customers through terror attacks, hurricanes, floods, ransomware and more. With deep expertise in enterprise security and crisis control, we will help you keep your vital information assets secure and available.

Prepare employees to work remotely

Small and mid-size business leaders need professional cyber security and guidance to keep employees working remotely productive. Click for a summary of remote work services provided by eMazzanti technologies.

7 Incredibly Simple Explainer Video Software for Beginners

There is an overwhelming demand for online videos these days, and this demand is going to surge quickly. The rise of the market is rapid, so much so that Cisco predicts around 82% of overall internet traffic to be video content.

Video

The growing popularity for online videos has increased the demand for explainer videos agencies, as well. The explainer videos can grab the attention of a cold audience and entice them to finish the video and take necessary actions after completing the video.

7 Appropriate Explainer Video Software for Beginners

There are tons of software on the market that allow you to create all sorts of explainer videos with various degrees of sophistication. However, your goal as a beginner is not to jump right ahead to creating a masterpiece. At first, try to come up with a decent explainer video with the use of beginner-friendly software.

Here are the seven explainer videos that can help you create decent explainer videos without breaking a sweat.

Moovly

Moovly brings you an easy solution that will allow you to create original explainer videos. You can get started right away with your explainer video production process by using the available royalty-free images, GIFs, audio files, and other high-quality media files.

The drag-and-drop tool enables you to select and organize the animated objects and texts as per your need. The properties section of Moovly will give you control of the audio for blending exciting music to your videos.

Moreover, you can also upload your animated GIFs, music files, and more if you want to add some originality in the video. Just use the available templates of Moovly and start producing fantastic explainer videos from today.

RawShorts

RawShorts is one of the most popular whiteboard explainer video software with an intuitive user interface that even a non-techy person can understand without any difficulty. There are mind-blowing templates inside of this software that you can use for your videos once you get access to it.

There is no risk whatsoever in giving this software a try, as it offers a free trial for anyone who wants to use it before spending a dime. Use its drag and drop feature and customize its templates, fonts, and other objects for instantly producing a video that will amaze your audience.

There is also an option of adding your custom texts, audio, and other media files as per your needs. It also has a transition effect for making your videos visually appealing. After you finish your video creation, you can start sharing it on various social media platforms and other sites.

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VideoScribe

The people looking for inexpensive yet powerful animation software to quickly come up with a decent video should strongly consider VideoScribe. You can upload and use your images, voice-overs, and other media files if you want to add it on your video.

Moreover, you also get instant access to its library of media files, containing thousands of audio and image files. Make use of its drag-and-drop feature and see how you can start creating fabulous videos without any animation skills.

You can work offline with VideoScribe. You can find a lot of sounds and visual props inside this software along with an ability to import fonts and soundtrack for producing original explainer videos.

PowToon

PowToon makes it easy to create explainer videos that are interesting and highly suitable for promoting various types of products and services. As a beginner, you will find numerous high-quality templates that you can edit it as per your need for creating spectacular videos.

This software is particularly useful if you are planning to create explainer videos for your digital products. The timeline feature of this application helps you edit videos quickly and gain control of the duration of the various parts of the video.

In addition to using its templates, you can insert your custom images and media files if you want to integrate it into the video. You can securely store the videos once you finish your project and edit it easily later.

Animaker

Animaker features unique animated libraries and video infographics that allow you, beginners, to come up with superb videos. It has an easy interface that is simple to use, which will enable you to utilize its features and create professional videos.

It has a variety of features like collaboration, text overlay, camera in/out, and so on. It also supports RTL language fonts. There are numerous charts, maps, objects, and more for making your video enjoyable. It is also possible to record your voice if you want to use it in your video.

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Biteable

Biteable is an explainer video software that boasts over 85,000 clips along with professional animation tools, making it one of the best animation software. There are plenty of professional templates that you can edit and customize as per your need for creating lively videos quickly.

It has an intuitive dashboard that lets you upload your media files without leaving the software. There is a library of media files that contains a lot of catchy tunes, images, and other media files that you can fit into your video. The good thing about Biteable is that you can start using this software without spending a single dollar.

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a fantastic tool that is great for beginners to use as their first Adobe software. It lets you create animations that stand out by without spending a lot of time learning the animation skills. There are plenty of images and icons that are available in the library that you can use for free.

Work with your team by using the invite feature. You can use its exclusive premium templates and then edit colors, fonts, and insert logo, as per your needs. After creating multiple explainer videos, you can manage everything from a single interface with Adobe Spark.

Wideo

Wideo is a web-based explainer video software that allows its users to produce and edit videos without any difficulty. You have an option to either create the whole video from scratch or use the existing templates. For those who want a completely original video, you can create videos from the beginning, and you will not lack any tools for bringing your imagination to reality.

If you want to create videos quickly, do not hesitate to use its templates and make your first video in a matter of a few minutes. There are video animation effects for grabbing users’ attention, split and merge feature to organize the video along with other advanced features.

Over to You

There are plenty of use cases of explainer videos, and if you can use it effectively, you are bound to get a tremendous outcome from your efforts. At first, your aim should be to create and publish videos regardless of the quality of your video.

Over the period, you will gradually improve your video quality and come up with top-notch videos. Try one beginner software at a time and also experiment with other pieces of software on the list to choose the best application for you as per the nature of your project. I hope you can now quickly end the dilemma regarding the selection of software.

Hyperlink InfoSystem is a Top App Developer!

Finding an app developer can be challenging — after all, there are more than 23 million software developers to choose from worldwide. To narrow that selection down, many people turn to India, where developers are known for offering high-quality yet cost-effective services.
App DeveloperBut with the fastest growing software developer base globally, there are still millions of developers to consider in India. How does anyone sort through all of these companies to find the right developer for them?

Luckily, you don’t have to look any further than Clutch, a B2B buying guide that collects market insights and unbiased reviews to help buyers navigate top services and solutions. What sets Clutch apart from other review platforms is that client feedback determines which service providers are considered the best. For that reason, we’re forever grateful to our amazing clients, as we’re a top app develop in India — out of 3,578 firms!
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We’ve collected more than 60 reviews and a nearly perfect 4.9/5.0-star rating. One of our more recent reviews came from a large telecommunications service provider, du. They approached us to build a mobile app for grocery store delivery. We began by fleshing out their idea and creating a thorough plan. We made sure to think through every possible scenario, such as if a customer decides to cancel their order after placing it. We then moved into the design phase; our team created a prototype and did a lot of collaborative UI/UX work. Then, we coded each page of the app into a central platform, and we tested the app for a couple of weeks before launching.
“I appreciate the quality and detail of their work across the board. They presented a solid project plan in the beginning and continued to handle the project professionally throughout.” — Owner, Supermarco Egypt

Another 5-star review came from CueRide, a ride-sharing platform that offers more unique features than other leaders in the space. CueRide needed a partner to help them build the driver and customer apps, as well as a panel for their web app, and Hyperlink InfoSystem fit the bill. We provided a turnkey solution and built both the driver and customer apps for iOS and Android. Our team also developed the platform’s custom source code and built out additional features, such as social media functions and a customer points system.
Although the app wasn’t done at the time of the review, the client is confident that the app will make waves in the rideshare industry.
“I feel like I have a million-dollar app, comparable to those of industry leaders. The deliverables will help me create a presence that makes us stand out in the space.” — President, CueRide
CueRide commends our organized, transparent, and responsive team. They were blown away that our project managers were able to seamlessly translate their vision to the developers working on the source code. They also called us “the most professional partner” they’ve ever hired. We look forward to seeing CueRide’s success!
We’re proud to report that our high ratings extend well beyond Clutch. The Manifest, a business blog and data platform, ranks us the #1 blockchain development company in India, while Visual Objects, a company portfolios and rankings site, names us a top mobile app developer in India.

A Complete Guide To Remote Team Hiring

The popularity of working remotely is increasing day by day. People of almost all professions around the world are giving importance to remote working. From flexible work schedules to the absence of daily commute, remote working has numerous perks. But remote employees are not the only ones getting benefits from this process. Companies that build remote teams have great benefits too than the ones that still continue keeping all their work in-house. Especially after many reputed organizations have adopted remote working and improving employee engagement and productivity, many small business owners have also started following the path.

remote team

In fact, according to statistics, around 83% of people worldwide work remotely, and 6% are small business owners.

But what does a remote team mean? Today’s post will give a detailed insight into hiring a remote team and its growing popularity among employers and employees. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the discussion. Let’s start by telling you what a remote team is and why companies are focusing on remote team building and management.

What Is the Remote Team?

A remote working team includes employees or contractors from different geographical locations, working for a company. Companies who hire remote workers give less importance to employees’ locations and put more focus on their skill set as well as the ability to work independently while managing communication and maintaining productivity for the long term.

But Why Are Companies Focusing on Creating a Remote Team?

Companies teaming up with remote workers can get great productivity benefits, sometimes more than from those who continue maintaining all work in -house. The major benefits for which nowadays, globally many companies are focusing on creating remote team are:

1 Cost-saving:

Hiring new employees and training them can take a huge toll on employers. Moreover, sometimes, sending them on paid vacation or training can cost a lot for companies. But by hiring a remote team or remote employees, companies can bring a significant difference in spending. They can save money in the recruitment and training process. Also, there will be no paid vacation.

2 Wide Access to Talent:

Companies that hire remote workers do not have to stick to the process of finding workers based on nearby locations. They have access to talented people from anywhere in the world. Therefore they can focus on picking the best one without thinking where that person is actually based on.

3 Work Availability Across Different Time Zones:

If a company hires remote workers from different places around the world, the employees work in different time zones. As a result, that company can have somebody available always to work or manage things while others are not awake. This way, workflow gets improved.

4 Improved Productivity & Efficiency:

74% of employees in the US confirmed that remote working is best for maintaining good work and personal life balance. In fact, 70% of them agree that working remotely reduces their stress level, enabling them to take leaves. Also, there’s no time wasted in daily commutes, thus they can get more work done than usual. So, it is vivid that remote working increases productivity and improves work efficiency, directly benefiting the companies.

5 Increased Employee Retention:

As remote working gives comfort and convenience to the employees, for companies, it becomes easier to retain good employees. Usually, replacing a good employee is always colossal. Recruiting a new one, giving training, and helping him or her to become the exact replacement is not a matter of joke. But by hiring remote workers or hiring a remote team, most companies often do not have to face such issues.

In a nutshell, focusing on remote working in today’s world is a wise decision to take for companies. Therefore, the number of companies opting for this option is increasing. Hiring a remote team has become a growing trend now.

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How Can Companies Adopt Remote Working – The New Trend?

If you want to adopt remote working in your business, the first and foremost thing you should remember is there are multiple challenges ahead. Only by using the right tools, and following the correct methods, you can get your remote team onboard successfully. Here are a few ways you can follow while adapting this new trend to your company:

  • Design Routined Activities

    Ensure all the members from your remote team participate in group calls, video conferences, or any other information-sharing activities on a daily or weekly basis. This will help in creating bonds between team members and helping them feel a part of your organization.

  • Maintain Work Calendar

    Maintaining a team calendar that tracks everyone’s work and availability helps in team synchronization.

  • Use the Right Tools

    Using the right tools for communicating, managing projects, tracking time, and sharing data is the key factor in managing a remote team.

  • Improve Communication

    If you are planning to hire remote workers, you must be prepared to use some advanced software and tools to have clear and smooth communication with your future workers.

    Managing a remote team successfully can give you great benefits in return. These advantages have already been discussed in the previous points. But there are some disadvantages too in remote working. Let’s have a look, what disadvantages your company may get by following a remote working trend.

Cons of Adopting Remote Working

  • Juggle Between Different Time Zones

    Remote hiring allows you to have access to a wide talent pool around the world. But sometimes, to manage work or conduct a live meeting with all your team members, you need to follow the time zone where your employees live, even though it is your bedtime.

  • Absence of Real-time Collaboration

    If most of your remote employees in the same teamwork from different time zones, sometimes you may find difficulty conducting meetings where all of the team members can contribute. This affects real-time collaboration.

  • Probability of Miscommunication

    In a company, miscommunication usually occurs due to a lack of understanding of each other in a specific way that leads to the progress and growth of the company. Facing challenges in communication is a common factor when companies start working with remote teams. And usually, the damage from such miscommunication can become more intense.

  • Lack of Trust Due to Limited Control Over Employees

    If you will not be able to monitor the day-to-day work of your employees, it leads to mismanagement and trusting issues. In a remote working environment, this challenge can be faced by companies that do not use project management and time tracking tools.

  • The Need for Various Tools, Techniques & Training

    To teach your remote employees about company culture, help them know each other, boost their productivity, improve their involvement, and promote business growth, you need to use the right tools. These tools help you manage remote teams seamlessly. Also, you should conduct training programs, introduce new wellness policies for them. Doing these adds extra cost to your yearly expenditure.

    Well, discussing the disadvantages of remote hiring does not mean I am here to discourage you from building a new remote team for your company. Working remote comes with many perks when you hire and manage with proper plans and strategies.

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The Checklist to Remember While Hiring a Remote Team for Your Company

Below are step-by-step methods discussed to help you manage the entire remote recruitment process seamlessly.

i Your Job Ad Should Define The Expectations & Responsibilities Thoroughly:

While hiring you should always create an accurate and engaging recruitment ad, especially when you are planning to hire remote workers. Make sure your ad has thorough outlines of job responsibilities and your expectations from the candidate. You can also mention how your company works well in a remote-friendly environment, whether you have a headquarter or a completely remote company. Required working hours can also be added. Moreover, you can consider taking your advertisement into video or adding a video to the job description as well. In such a video, you can include existing employees’ testimonials, share why they chose to work for your organization, and cherish it. Include glimpses into the perks an employee can get from your company. Add information about interesting projects employees can work on after being part of your company.

ii Source Candidates in a Structured Way:

As I mentioned earlier, hiring a remote team enables companies to get access to a wide talent pool; you should be proactive in finding the best talent that rightly fits your job requirement. You should consider remote team building by sourcing diverse candidates regardless of thinking about which places they are based on. Top 3  places where you can source candidates are:

iii Your website:

If you are giving a recruitment ad on your website, make sure you have a separate page for it. The page should include all the details of the job. Also, your website should have a good about us page, showing details about your organization’s culture, mission, and vision.

iv Social Media:

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter are great places where you can start sourcing candidates. Make sure your company or you as an individual has a strong social presence. This will help in building brand recognition. And eventually, you will get to drive the attention of talented people globally.

v Job Boards:

People who look for remote jobs, often browse some particular portals that advertise remote recruitments only. Also, there are some gender-specific job portals. So, other than posting your ads on reputed common job boards, you can try these portals as well to extend your search.

vi Maintain a Good Shortlisting Process:

Maintaining a seamless shortlisting process helps you manage the hiring process efficiently. Be clear about what qualities you want to see in your candidates. After that, identify how your existing or future remote setup will leave an impact on the candidates. You can even maintain a scorecard to assess and compare applicants easily. You can also conduct pre-employment evaluation tests to find out their technical expertise, cognitive capabilities, personality, and more. And finally, once you are done with shortlisting the candidates, proceed with the further interviews.

vii Check Your Candidate’s Core Competence:

As remote work comes with some lucrative perks, thus many people often take an interest in applying for such jobs. But only willingness doesn’t make a person fit for a remote job. Someone who is proactive, self-disciplined, and capable of managing his/her own psychology is often a good fit for a remote team. Also, the person should have analytical thinking ability and be suitable for your work culture. Above all, while interviewing, you need to talk about the pros and cons of remote working. The feedback you get about this topic from the candidates plays an important role in evaluating their competence during the hiring process.

viii Conduct Video Interview:

Conducting video interviews is the best way to hire a remote worker. It helps you get a complete picture of a candidate. Use multiple interviews, both one-way and two-way, in different stages of the whole process. One-way virtual interviews are like phone screening. On the other hand, a two-way interview can replace a face-to-face interview. Following these processes will help you evaluate the candidates’ communication skills.  Ask thoughtful consistent questions. To be extra careful, just check your internet connection before starting the process and keep a phone nearby as a backup plan in case the internet starts being unstable. There is various advanced software through which you can conduct a video interview.

ix Consider Organizing Online Tests:

This is an important step while hiring a remote team. A test, including questions that portray real-world situations, can help you assess candidates and build a remote team for your company in a much easier way. Create an assignment with a specific time limit. The assignment should be relevant to the candidate’s job responsibilities. Make sure you are responsive to any query of the candidate. Keep such an online test project as the final step after taking multiple interviews. Paying candidates for spending their time taking the test is also a good idea.

x Don’t Make Unnecessary Delays in Closing a Hire:

Once you make the final decision of hiring somebody, proceed with it quickly. Mostly good candidates often apply for multiple jobs, and when you are planning to hire them, they may already grab another offer too. Remember, the way you organize a hiring process leaves an impression on your applicants too. If you are not responsive or make delays in extending an offer, the candidate may possess a bad impression of your organization. And this especially is relatable when it comes to building a remote team when you will never wish a candidate to feel detached from a flow of undeviating communication.

In a nutshell, being able to hire people from anywhere in the world and create a team of people with diversity and excellent expertise is certainly a privilege. But it comes with challenges throughout the hiring process if you are unaware of the right tools and techniques. I hope the above discussion has enlightened you in some way about hiring a remote team.

Now, let’s come to the point of managing remote employees. Remote team management is not a matter of joke. You need to build a company culture with your team, maintain steady communication, handle conflicts, and manage growth effectively in order to successfully manage a remote team.

How To Manage Schedules For Remote Employees

The mobile workforce continues to grow with each passing day as companies employees move operations towards the cloud and to mobile apps across hundreds of devices. As companies hire more mobile workers, managing them can become a bit of a challenge, even for the most experienced management team.

employees

When it comes to managing the schedules of remote employees, companies need to define when employees are supposed to be on the clock.

Issues with Remote Employees

It’s nice to have remote employees on the payroll because you can hire the most talented people available for your open jobs without paying them to relocate. The downside to this is not seeing them face-to-face each day. Another downside is that they can pretty much pick their own schedule, within reason. But, will they truly work when they say they will? We aren’t saying that remote employees will take advantage of their situation, but it is a possibility every company must consider when hiring for such a role.

Use Video as Much as Possible

Video chat has become so popular these days with the advent of Skype and Facetime. There are plenty of options out there, including Facebook Live, for you to chat with or sent videos to others. As a manager, you need to use video as much as possible when managing remote employees. Connecting with your mobile employees via video lets them know you are concerned about how they are doing and also want to check in on their surroundings. If they are supposed to be working, but have a room full of people behind them on a video chat, it’s safe to say they might not be too focused.

Time & Attendance Systems

If your company employs a large number of remote employees, it is time to use time & attendance systems to track their hours on the clock. These systems help track PTO, FMLA and sick time, while also helping managers schedule thousands of employees at one shot without creating overlap. We will discuss some benefits of time & attendance systems so you can manage schedules of remote employees.

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Ability to Submit Availability

Absence management software makes it easy for your remote employees to submit their availability. They can load a calendar in a browser, insert which days they can work, and then you can populate the schedule based on the availability submitted by all the employees.

Prevent Overlap

These systems also make it nearly impossible to schedule multiple employees for the same time slot, especially if they are performing the same task. Preventing overlap in scheduling is an important feature every scheduling manager needs. Remote workers, especially if they are in different time zones, might need to work congruently on certain items. The system will allow you to schedule employees at the same time if you put in an administrative override.

Set Schedule Reminders

Once you have populated the schedule, you can set reminders for each employee. They can be sent out 24 hours in advance of a shift and as often as you’d like leading up to the scheduled shift. This makes it easier for remote employees to remember when they are scheduled to work, especially if they are a consultant or freelancer who might be working for other companies aside from yours.

Track Time Worked

Absence management systems can also track time worked and provide a comprehensive report for management and payroll when needed. If you need to check on the status of a remote employee, simply log into the system to see if he or she has clocked in lately. If not, you can broach the topic the next time you speak.

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Limit Hours

If you are worried that remote employees will try to bill for too many hours each pay period, you can put a limit on the hours they work right in the system. If they get to login and signup for open shifts, you can limit them based on number of shifts worked per week, per month or hours worked per week or month. This puts a stranglehold on payroll and you don’t need to constantly monitor the situation for abusers.

Shift Call Times

If your remote employees have to sit on conference calls multiple times per week, consider shifting call times if they are in different time zones. You don’t want to frustrate one group of remote employees to satisfy another due to difference in time. You don’t want to purposely inconvenience one group over another, but with remote employees, it’s bound to happen. If it happens often, change the call times routinely so everyone has to be inconvenienced at one time or another.

Remote employees have become a large part of the workforce in the United States over the past five years and the numbers continue to grow. Take the time to learn how to properly manage the schedules for remote employees to avoid running into any problems.

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