3 Solutions For Innovation And Sustainability In the Workplace

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Innovation and sustainability are more than just buzz words. They are the way of the future, and not just for business. As technology advances and we look for long term viable solutions, we are being introduced to a wealth of possibility unlike anything we’ve seen before, particularly as far as software and computing goes.

Wanting to provide an innovative and future forward solution for clients is often what draws people towards a software solution like aXcelerate RTO Software

Find out more below about how you can start developing a culture of innovation and sustainability in your workplace – and it might be cheaper than you think to implement.

1. Cloud Computing

In this day and age, people move between their desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile multiple times in a day. Businesses have multiple offices spread across cities, states and even the whole world. Previously, logging onto a server has been a cumbersome process, particularly for those needing remote access. Cloud computing has changed that by offering a web based data storage solution that is accessible from any device, anywhere. Whether you go for one of the more basic offerings like Drop Box or take out a powerful hosted solution, cloud computing is definitely the way of the future and something that you should start thinking about sooner rather than later.

2. Subscription Based Software

Previously, businesses have been slow to take up the latest version of software and computer applications because of the exorbitant start-up costs associated with fitting the whole organisation out with the latest technology. Often you’ve just invested in what used to be the most up to date solution and suddenly a new release is announced or comes out less than twelve months later. New options for web based downloads and monthly subscriptions guaranteeing access to the latest release software have been real game changers. It is often a more affordable solution, and payable either by annual fee or monthly direct debt. Everything from the latest Microsoft Office applications to powerful design tools like the Adobe Creative Suite are all available on a subscription basis.

3. Video Conferencing

Skype and other face to face video call options like Apple’s Facetime have revolutionised the traditional business meeting concept and opened new opportunities for global collaboration without the need to travel long distances or deal with at times patchy international connections. Even a cross town meeting can significantly impact on your usable work time in the day by the time you factor in travel and preparation time.

You may be wondering where the sustainability comes in to these solutions. While it is often associated with environmental benefits (and there are definitely some ‘green’ wins in reducing the amount of IT hardware and travel that the average business can rack up in a year), businesses looking for sustainable solutions need to focus on cost effective, viable and long term benefits when making decisions. Paying tens of thousands of dollars every year or two to stay up to date with the latest software is neither viable nor sustainable for the bottom line long term and being able to work with people in another country may help businesses to grow beyond what they previously thought possible. These solutions are going to be the way of the future, so it is definitely beneficial to start giving them serious thought and consideration now.

What is the most innovative thing that your company has done?

Cutthroat professional life in Washington, D.C.

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Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Netflix scored big this year with its new, original TV drama “House of Cards,” depicting life in Washington D.C. Needless to say, the cutthroat nature of life in our nation’s capital takes center stage, as most of the characters will do anything to advance their careers and influence in the city. Yes, it’s fiction, and some of the stories are a bit far-fetched, but a recent book called “This Town” by New York Times Magazine writer Mark Leibovich portrays DC as a craven town where everyone is just focused on getting ahead. You can get some of the story in his latest article titled “How to Win in Washington.”

It’s not that Washington hasn’t forever been populated by high-reaching fireballs. But an economic and information boom in recent years has transformed the city in ways that go well beyond the standard profile of dysfunction. To say that today’s Washington is too partisan and out of touch is to miss a much more important truth — that rather than being hopelessly divided, it is hopelessly interconnected. It misses the degree to which New Media has both democratized the political conversation and accentuated Washington’s myopic, self-loving tendencies. And it misses, most of all, how an operator like Kurt Bardella can land in a culture of beautifully busy people and, by trading on all the self-interest and egomania that knows no political affiliation, rewrite the story of his own life.

So read the entire article and the book and check out the show before you venture off to DC. This way you’ll have some idea of what you’re getting into.

But keep in mind that you’ll be one of many if you venture off there. DC is booming and life there was detailed in an article last year in time called “Bubble of the Potomac.” The author explains how a new affluence is flooding DC and likes to refer to it at über-Washington, working off the name of the popular Uber limousine app that is so popular in the city. This affluence, along with the natural political power base, has helped amplify the competitive climate described above. The article describes some of the realities in the city:

- there are two government contractors for every government worker. Yes, people are getting wealthy on government contracts.

- Washington is filled with young people. That’s always been true but seems even more true today. That culture is definitely affecting the nightlife and the city in general.

- Thursday night wheels up parties at Happy Hour are huge.

- Much of this is fed by the intern culture, which starts with free internships during college, then paid internships or entry-level jobs, and then it goes from there.

For may this will seem exciting. For others not so much. It’s another example of where you need to have your eyes wide open before making a decision.

Unassigned desks and new trends in company offices

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The world is changing as more workers prefer to be mobile, and companies are adjusting by radically changing the layout of office workplaces.

More companies are shedding square feet by shifting workers into unassigned desks. Being untethered suits increasingly mobile employees, but it can be a hard sell for people who feel like they’re losing status or privacy. For employers, the rationale is simple: saving money, attracting young employees and popping personal bubbles to push collaboration.

Nowhere is that more evident than the Ernst & Young Tower in downtown Cleveland, the city’s first new multitenant high-rise building since 1991.

Accounting firm Ernst & Young, which moved into the tower last month, placed more than 60 percent of its employees into a “hoteling” pool — a group that flits in and out of the office and uses an online system to reserve desks. Even the partners share offices.

The cost savings and improved flexibility are huge advantages with this movement, though it will be interesting to see over time how these changes affect worker productivity, recruiting and retention. One aspect that seems cool is the ability to reserve spots electronically. This can also apply to premium conference rooms, or just hanging out and using the room when it isn’t reserved for specific business.

Jobless rate falls

Stocks jumped on this news as the report was expected to be bad. Again, the Labor Deportment made significant upward revisions to reports from previous months.

Overall the unemployment rate is at a 4-year low of 7.5%. Of course there’s a long way to go but at least we’re making some steady progress.

Are you an ideal employee?

It’s a fair question, whether you’re looking for a job or you’re settled in with a job.

This articles describes 15 traits of the ideal employee. It’s a great list for prospective employers as they evaluate job candidates, but it’s also a great checklist for those of us looking for a job. What can we do to add more value to our company? Here are the first two items on the list:

1. Action-oriented – Hire employees who take action and take chances. While chances may lead to failure, they will more often lead to success and mold confidence while generating new ideas. Stagnant employees won’t make your company money; action-oriented employees will.

2. Intelligent – Intelligence is not the only thing, but it’s a strong foundation for success. While there are many variables you can be flexible on when hiring, intelligence is a must or you’re going to be spending an abundance of time proofing work, micromanaging and dealing with heightened stress levels.

The term “problem solver” isn’t on this list, though many of the attributes point to this quality. It’s important to be able to identify problems, but the best employees will help you solve them and also take the initiative where appropriate.

As you look for a new job and prepare for interviews, keep this list in mind.

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