technology at work
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

How Does Technology Affect the Work Environment?

Stop for a second and think about what the workplaces looked like only a decade ago. Then, compare them to what they look like today. Do you notice the tremendous changes the work concept has undergone in a span of a few years? It’s all thanks to technology. From the moment it emerged, it hasn’t stopped affecting, defining, shaping, or changing the work environment. As a matter of fact, it continues to do as we speak and it doesn’t seem as though the changes will stop any time soon. Here’s how technology affects the work environment in greater detail.

Work Ethics

Technology has enabled the staff to be available regardless of their location and time zone. The staff can email, message, or video call at any time thanks to a reliable and fast Internet connection. However, it affects the way employees work in at least two different ways. For example, technology has allowed employees to have greater flexibility regarding their work schedules and office time. On the other hand, work ethics will inevitably suffer. Owing to information overload and being connected 24/7, employees will become overwhelmed. In this case, maintaining their mental health, performance, and engagement will become the priority of most organizations. coffee cup labeled hustle

Office Culture

Young talented people and their requirements regarding technologies in the workplace are changing office culture in more than one way. One of their priorities when looking for a job is flexibility. They don’t want to be obliged to commute to the office every day. Since remote work is on a continuous rise thanks to modern technologies, companies will become more comfortable with managing remote teams. It can ultimately narrow down the gender gap and make workplaces more culturally diverse. However, offering flexibility won’t keep talent in the organization. Companies taking talent retention and attraction seriously have been looking for ways to technologically upgrade their workplaces too. As a result, the office culture is becoming more technologically advanced than ever before.

Communication

Millennials are the majority of today’s workforce. According to recent studies, over 90% of them stated modern technologies are one of the most important elements of every office. The technologies also refer to communication and collaboration tools which more than 78% believe make them more efficient in the workplace. Therefore, having a modern internal communication strategy in place is crucial for making the staff satisfied, productive, and engaged. Receiving notifications during working hours can distract employees and even make them commit mistakes. On the other hand, using smartphones and other mobile devices at work allows them to receive timely updates and work together using apps. Managers need to balance the two and an effective strategy can help them with that.  work laughter around computer technology

 Performance

The workforce is more efficient than it has ever been before. Thanks to technology, every business aspect has become faster. Product development, manufacturing, distribution, sales, and payments have all increased their speed and made the business operate faster too. Tools and platforms make jobs easier for employees and help them do it more efficiently too. Similarly, managers no longer have to deal with heavy workloads because they can delegate and track project progress in real-time. Also, employee performance among other aspects has finally become measurable. You can take a look at the data and find weaknesses in a few minutes, and make improvements. In the past, it could have taken you hours or days to speed up business processes.

Work-Life Balance

Technology doesn’t stop changing the work environments as we know them. Along with these changes, employees might start experiencing the downsides of having too many technologies in their workplace. We mentioned availability and information overload as one of the disadvantages. Struggling with work and life balance despite having flexible schedules could be another disadvantage. However, executives are aware of the most things employees struggle within technologically driven workplaces. They can use this awareness to leverage technologies to create healthier workplaces with less stress and higher satisfaction. This way, employees won’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll have enough time for their career development and family commitments. woman using technology with laptop

Automation and Digitalization

One of the greatest technological advancements in the workplace is automation. It allows managers and employees to complete their tasks with minimum intervention. As a result, they can tackle more demanding tasks and achieve essential objectives. Because of its benefits, automation has found its way in every industry, especially in digital marketing. Marketers finally have the chance to automate minor and repetitive tasks, such as scheduling posts on social media. It leaves them with plenty of time to dedicate themselves to customers, markets, campaigns, and strategies. Along with digitalization, they’re responsible for refining business models and making them and the workforce more efficient.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, changes are inevitable to work environments. To keep up with the times, they have to follow the trends, especially technological ones. The right tools can make the staff more efficient, communicative, and satisfied with their jobs and workplaces. Similarly, organizations can reach their goals faster ensuring their continuous growth and competitiveness in the market.

  • About the Author: Morgan Rose Elliott graduated marketing from The University of Sydney. Hobbies include yoga, reading, home renovation. A rookie blogger who loves writing about business and lifestyle equally. She is happily married, stay at home mother of three. Twitter account: https://twitter.com/MorganRoseElli1
Illustration of Big Data

Why You Need To Factor Big Data Into Your Website Marketing

Illustration for Big Data

In discussing how to build your website for growth in the past, we conveyed that your business’s website should always contribute to your marketing efforts. Whether you run a small clothing store or a major hotel chain, the website is the main way for potential customers to discover and learn about the business. The site affects how your target audience sees you, engages with you, and ultimately makes purchases.

Given the growing importance of strong websites today, it’s no longer enough anymore to hire web designers, as experienced as they might be. Today, more and more companies are also using big data to inform the design and functionality of their websites. But why is this necessary? And how can you factor big data into your website marketing?

Brand Positioning


Most marketing efforts go towards influencing people to associate the brand with specific attributes. This is why we connect the most recognizable brands in the world instantly and subconsciously to what they do: See an Apple logo, think devices; see a Nike swoosh, think apparel, and so on. But when you’re running a smaller business and you’re still fine-tuning your approach, you have to figure out how to position the brand to earn that kind of recognition. And today, that is best done by collecting data via market research. In this way, you can learn about the preferences of consumers, find out more about how your business is viewed, and design the brand accordingly.

Increased Engagement


It’s relatively easy to make a sale. However, most business owners will agree that in order to achieve true success, it’s necessary to develop steady relationships with loyal customers, and ultimately earn repeat sales. A person who visits the website regularly to check for sales or read blog posts is more valuable than a person who makes a purchase once and never comes back. Data comes into play through tools like heat maps, which highlight the areas where visitors’ cursors hover or click most frequently –– thus providing valuable information regarding what aspects of the website visitors find particularly interesting. This in turn allows designers to make related adjustments –– repositioning text, changing the types of images on display, re-ordering menus, and revamping SEO and content –– all to cater to the unspoken preferences of consumers and drive more engagement.

Staying Competitive


The use of tools like heat maps and A/B testing to improve websites is gradually becoming more widespread. This is connected to the more fundamental fact that more businesses of all kinds (and of all sizes) are specifically investing in data experts. The change is evidenced in the fact that jobs for people with educational experience in data science are growing at rates far exceeding the average, with companies snatching up experts who can apply the latest tools and methods to marketing efforts. Because of all of this, it has become essential to use big data purely for competitive reasons. If you are not boosting your website through the use of data, and your competitors are, you will fall behind, plain and simple.

More Sales


The objective of every website is to increase the chances of making a sale, whether we’re talking about consumers trying to find more information about a product, asking for a quote, or actually making a purchase. There are different factors that can influence all of this, like how easily people find what they're looking for, the time at which they are offered a discount or reward, which layout they prefer on the payment page, and even the message they receive after buying something. By testing different versions of each one of these variables through A/B testing and analyzing findings, you can make data-driven changes to directly incentivize sales.

Big data used to be associated primarily with massive industries and IT companies. Today, however, the use of big data has spread to smaller businesses of all kinds. Because of this change, it is essential to employ big data in your own website marketing. If you do so effectively, you’ll be able to reach more consumers and convert more of them into customers. 

Article written by Renee June Exclusively for Ez Information Management Website Development by ezinfomgmt.com

Image credit: Pixabay

Source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2019/09/09/08/23/internet-4463031_1280.jpg

 

5 of the Best Cities for Solopreneurs and Gig Economy Nomads

The rapid growth of remote work opportunities for solopreneurs and gig workers has reduced, if not eliminated, the need for many workers to be tied down to living in an area near their job. If you like the idea of being able to roam anywhere in the country and still have a source of income, consider exploring these five cities. Whatever city you chose, you can identify housing that falls within your price range by using online rental search apps, and inputting your desired price range into the search filter. This allows you to view only the rentals that fit within your budget. You can further narrow your search by specifying the number of bedrooms, pet-friendliness and other amenities you want.

 1. Seattle, Washington

Seattle is consistently listed in the top places in the U.S. to live. They have done more than any other city in the US in advocating for rideshare drivers, delivery drivers and other gig workers. The city created a minimum wage, paid sick leave and “safe time” protections for Covid-19 for the city’s gig workers. Seattle was also the first city to set up “hazard pay” for gig workers in 2020. The state of Washington has created unemployment benefits for Uber and Lyft drivers who also have protections from unfair termination and discrimination there.

2. Austin, Texas

Austin is the capital of the second largest state in the U.S. It is one of the hottest areas in the country for tech startups and entrepreneurs, which makes it particularly attractive to tech-minded solopreneurs. Austin isn't just a good place to work. It also has thriving art, music and cultural scenes. The city's unofficial motto of "Keep Austin Weird" is likely to appeal to many gig economy nomads. 

 The Texas Constitution doesn't allow state income taxes, so locating in Texas could save you some money come tax time. The cost of living is above the national average, and a one-bedroom apartment will cost over $1,000 a month in most locations, so Austin may be a better choice for established business owners and gig workers who make at least $90,000 per year than for people who are just getting started.

 3. Dallas, Texas

If you like the idea of living in Texas, but Austin isn't your style, consider Dallas. Dallas is located in the middle of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and is packed with a mix of huge corporations, universities and startups. There are plenty of economic opportunities in this diverse city. 

 The cost of living is just a bit above the national average in Dallas, making it a more affordable Texas location than Austin. However, a one-bedroom apartment will probably still cost you upwards of $1,000 a month.

 4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Transient lifestyles are the norm in Las Vegas, so you will fit right in as a gig economy nomad. There is plenty to see and do to keep you entertained and lots of employment opportunities in the tourism, entertainment and manufacturing industries. Nevada also lacks a state income tax. 

 The cost of living in Las Vegas is similar to Austin. Rent is slightly cheaper, but still above the $1,000 per month mark for a one-bedroom. Because Vegas is a tourist destination, there is almost always something going on and plenty of travel accommodations for when you are ready to wander off to your next city.

 5. Sacramento, California

According to research, about a third of the workforce in Sacramento is gig workers, so you will not be alone as a gig economy nomad there. Like most of California, Sacramento is not a cheap place to live, so you will need to do your research to find affordable housing. An average one-bedroom apartment rents for about $1,200 a month. 

 Finding the perfect place to live as a solopreneur or gig economy nomad can be a challenge. However, the nice thing about having a flexible job is that if you choose a city that doesn't work out, you can always go somewhere else.

Inventory Management
Inventory management for growing your business the healthy way

An Inventory Management Guide for Growing Your Business the Healthy Way

If you run an inventory-based business, few things are more important than managing your inventory! Whether you’re working with cycle inventory, raw materials, unfinished products, finished products, MRO goods, or any other type of inventory, it’s critical that you have a defined process in place and are using the right technology to stay a step ahead at all times.

 You don’t want to lose out on business by having too little inventory. You also don’t want to tie up cash flow and pay for unnecessary storage and tracking by overstocking items. The ultimate goal of inventory management is to always have the items you need.

 It’s a simple enough concept, but it’s not easy to pull off. In fact, inventory management can be quite difficult, which is why so many companies struggle with it and face severe consequences.

 Ez Information Management shares how to help your business create an inventory management plan that keeps your customers happy and boosts your bottom line.

 Categorize Inventory

 One of the first steps toward establishing effective inventory management practices is to prioritize your inventory by category. Separating your items via an ABC analysis is what most experts recommend. The reason why grouping your inventory is so important is that it will help you to know how frequently to order each item.

 With any business, you have items that sell quickly and often, which means they need to be replaced as such. Similarly, there are items that, while important to your business, simply cost you more money and take longer to sell. Label any high-ticket items as Group A and lower-cost items with a quick turnover as Group C. Group B should be reserved for items that come with a moderate price and that move at a moderate pace.

 Find Your 20%

 The 80/20 inventory rule states that about 20% of your stock is responsible for 80% of your profit. With that in mind, it’s critical to prioritize those items when managing your inventory. Study and track the lifecycle of each item, and monitor how many you sell on a weekly or monthly basis. The reason for making that 20% of your items top priority is simple: it’s where your business will make the most money.

 Track Your Inventory Diligently

 This is perhaps the part of inventory management that you’ve heard most about. And yet it’s where most businesses fail. Be diligent about tracking all the information and costs of every item that comes into your inventory. This includes keeping records of suppliers, barcode data, SKUs, lot numbers, and countries of origin. Tracking costs is important because scarcity, seasonality, and other factors can change those costs over time.

 Keeping track of your inventory is not something you want to do manually. Not only is that an outdated method, but it also takes way too much time and leaves you vulnerable to human error. There are many types of distribution software for businesses in the market today. Look for a system that will help you boost wholesale purchasing efficiency, streamline order management, and minimize pricing mishaps. If you run an eCommerce store, make sure your software offers an app that integrates with platforms like Amazon and Shopify. When using apps on your tablet or smartphone, it’s crucial that you have a device with the speed and power to effectively run your apps; it’s a good idea to shield your device with a protective covering as well.

 Incorporate Other Tech

 Along with distribution software, your company will likely benefit from using a variety of other technologies in your daily operations. The key is to find software that integrates with all of your other technology. If your systems don’t work well together, you won’t be able to reap all the benefits. For example, you might look into mobile scanners and POS systems, which can prove invaluable in helping you manage inventory, especially when all your software apps can communicate with each other.

 It’s also vital that you have a professional website for your business. Not only will it attract more customers to your company, but a well-designed site will make it easier to keep your sales and inventory organized. If you don’t have much experience in design or development, you might benefit from hiring professionals to handle all the tasks that come with managing and growing your website.

 Track All Sales

 It goes without saying that you should be totaling your sales and updating your inventory at the end of each day. But effective inventory management requires more than simply knowing how many of each item has sold. Dig deeper by analyzing the data of your sales.

 For example, are you dealing with any seasonal items? Is there a time of year when specific items sell quicker or more slowly? What about a particular day of the week? You want to maintain a big-picture perspective of your inventory as you make decisions going forward.

 Scrutinize Your Suppliers

 Deciding which suppliers to work with is critical to healthy inventory management. If a particular supplier is constantly sending you products late or sending the wrong products, it will make it next to impossible to manage your inventory effectively. That’s when it’s time to discuss the problem with the supplier. Hopefully, the supplier will make the necessary changes and become more reliable. If not, then you will need to consider finding another supplier.

 Perform Regular Audits

 Though incorporating software does wonders for simplifying the inventory management process, you still need to physically count every item you have on a regular basis. Depending on the size of your staff and the number of products you store, this might mean doing an audit every month, week, or day. Some companies even wait to conduct a comprehensive audit once a year. Just make sure you keep tabs on the products you have.

 Gauge Your Team

 Speaking of staff, do you have the right number of members on your team? If you’re finding it difficult to manage inventory while fulfilling all the other obligations in your daily operations, it might be time to start recruiting qualified workers. One possibility is to hire one or two people, or even an external group, to handle inventory management specifically. That way, you can ensure it’s taken care of without making the significant investment of hiring a lot of new employees.

Nail Down a Receiving Process

 Many companies fail to establish a consistent receiving process, which can cause serious problems with your inventory management. If each worker is processing incoming stock in their own way, it leaves too much room for error and confusion. Come up with an efficient system for receiving stock that every team member adheres to, and you’ll stand a much better chance of your numbers aligning with your purchase orders. Consider a process map that lays out the system from the first step all the way to the last. A process map template from Miro can help you put together a document your entire team can benefit from using.

 Take Care of Restocks

 Finally, consider assuming the responsibility of restocking yourself. Many vendors will offer to handle reorders for you, but this can lead to getting inventory that you don’t need. For one, vendors are coming at it with their own sales goals in mind. Also, they’re not working with the same information as you are; they don’t really know what items you need and don’t need. Check your inventory, and handle restocks in-house.

 If your goods-based business has any chance of growing the healthy way, you must prioritize inventory management. Consider the tips above as you navigate the challenges of implementing new technology and processes, and keep researching other ways you can set your operations up for success. In no time, you’ll know exactly what inventory you have at any given time and be prepared to order what you need!