Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Observations

Time Tracking—Best Practices and Mistakes to Avoid

At first glance, tracking employee time seems pretty straightforward. Your employees simply denote the hours they were at work on a timesheet, or punch a time clock and turn their time cards in at the end of the week or month. What could go wrong? 

As it turns out, a lot. The ability to accurately track employee hours is one of the most important tasks a business undertakes. Timesheets and time cards provide invaluable data to your business regarding how efficiently you use employee time, your labor costs, and areas for productivity improvement. 

For big and small businesses alike, finding ways to make your time tracking both easier for employees and managers is essential to improving margins, accurately bidding projects, and ultimately running a more successful company. 

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How Delivery Planning Can Grow Your Business in 2020

What Is Delivery Planning?

Delivery planning is the practice of planning out routes and logistics to deliver products. Companies that deliver products such as pizzas, flowers, and water all use delivery planning to get their products into the hands of customers.

 

The four factors of successful delivery planning

 

There are four factors you should consider when assessing your delivery operations. A well-executed delivery plan will excel in each of the following areas: Read more of this post

Can I Afford to Move Out? [Flowchart]

As you may be starting to grow up and toying with the idea of moving out on your own, there may be some things to consider. Especially if you’ve already started stockpiling your savings for future apartment investments, you may be already working towards these. For instance, creating and setting a budget can help you get in the flow of being held responsible for bills and practice accountability. 

Even though getting your first place can sound more than enticing, you may not be able to go back if things go sour. If you end up getting a lease outside of a month to month contract, you could be there anywhere from three months or longer. Needless to say, living on your own can sometimes feel overwhelming. You may be looking through Pinterest at all the beautiful apartment designs, yet if you don’t have the savings saved up, you may not be able to get exactly everything you want. 

If you’ve been wanting to move out for a while, you may have already accumulated a decent savings account. To get a better sense of where you’re at working up towards this next stage of your life, follow Mint’s flowchart

Now, if you passed the test and are ready to take things to the next level. Print out the moving checklist to ensure you and your budget are on the right track to success. 

Lastly, cheers to you, your new apartment, or your savings account that’s helping you work towards this big move!  Read more of this post

What Is Outbound Logistics and Why Is It So Important to Modern Business?

What is Outbound Logistics? 

Outbound logistics is a term for the processes of storing, moving and distributing goods. It includes all systems that help prepare an order and get it to the end customer. 

The different stages are warehousing and storage, distribution, transportation, and last-mile delivery.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the individual areas of outbound logistics:

 

1. Warehousing and storage

To meet demand as you make continued sales, you need to keep a surplus of products in storage. In January 2020, US companies had, on average, a ratio of 1.39 inventory to monthly sales.

The goal of warehousing is to keep products safe and readily available while awaiting purchase. You can store products in your own warehouse or one that is owned by a third-party logistics provider. 

2. Inventory management 

Inventory management involves picking, packing, and storing your goods in the right place. Many warehouses have inventory management systems to help with this. Read more of this post

On the Clock: A Pocket Guide to Time Clock Rounding

 

On the Clock: A Pocket Guide to Time Clock Rounding
Image Source

 

Back in the day when handling payroll was pretty much a pen-and-paper process, employers would use rounding to account for odd minutes and seconds outside the regular work schedule. Time clock rounding helped streamline calculating wages and save chunks of time in the process. 

 

But does it still make sense today?

What Is Time Clock Rounding?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all employers are required to track and store employee time records completely and accurately. This can be done either by asking employees to write their hours down, using regular time clocks or through time-tracking software.

 

“So, what does time clock rounding mean?”

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Forward and Backward Scheduling: Definitions, and How You Can Use Them to Compete

Missed deadlines mean lost customers.

This is true whether you’re shipping products, performing installations, or delivering food. Imagine you run a cable company. You have a customer that rearranged their day and stayed home from work to let your installation specialist in during a 4 hour service window. If your worker shows up late, you’re probably going to lose that customer (and likely get a bad review). Fortunately, there are two proven strategies that can help you stay on top of deadlines, increase customer satisfaction, and earn repeat sales: backward scheduling and forward scheduling.

 

What Is Forward and Backward Scheduling?

Forward scheduling and backward scheduling are planning strategies. Both methods are useful for strategic planning at all levels of complexity. Whether you’re mapping delivery routes for multiple drivers or scheduling maintenance appointments for service teams, you can benefit from using one or both of these strategies. Read more of this post

5 Types of Corporate Culture: Which One Is Your Company?

This article was originally published at Enplug.com

Culture affects every aspect of your company, from the public’s perception of your brand to your employees’ job satisfaction to your bottom line. Because there’s so much at stake, it’s important that your corporate culture is adaptable and open to improvement – which starts with being able to articulate just what kind of culture your company has.

While no two cultures are exactly alike (the nuances are too great!), there are defining characteristics that tend to place organizational cultures into one of five categories, or types, which we’ve outlined below. Often, the industry of a company will dictate its culture to some degree, but that doesn’t mean your culture can’t be changed. Thankfully, culture is not static, but rather evolving.

So which of these five corporate culture types sums up your company best? Or do you have some elements of each? While no one culture is the best or worst of the bunch – each has its pros and cons – there’s something to learn from companies that fall under any of these categories. Read more of this post

Online Food Delivery on the Rise

Currently the traditional model of delivery, where a customer contacts a local restaurant directly, still accounts for nearly 90% of all delivery orders, with ⅔ of those being ordered by phone. However as technology has shown in many other commercial markets, the ability and desire to purchase or order anything online is growing quickly.

Recently the worldwide market for food delivery has been estimated to be worth over $87 billion, which is around only 1% of the total food market, and 4% of food sales by restaurants or fast-food chains. Americans themselves are expected to spend over $12.5 billion a year by 2019 on delivery food. With the estimated growth the by around 3.5% per year for the next 5 years, many companies and startups are trying to get their piece of the pie.

Companies like Deliveroo, UberEats, and Eat24 have slowly grown to become the middle-man between the customer and restaurants throughout many cities in North America and the UK. The concept is to basically offer as large a choice of restaurants as possible based on your address. Two models of this concept have been developed that both involve dealing with numerous restaurants but handle the delivery of food completely different. One model is operated by aggregators. These aggregators take orders online or via app, and pass the order along to each individual restaurant who then handles delivery themselves. The other model can be defined as “new delivery,” which is a concept that requires the company taking the orders to also control the logistics and delivery. Read more of this post

What Are the Sunday Scaries? (+ How to Combat Them!) – Infographic

Lazy Sundays are a thing of the past. With the rise of hustle culture, the gig economy and workplace apps like Slack and email downloaded to our phones, the pressure to work beyond the typical 9-5 can seem insurmountable –– and that bleeds into the weekend.

The unfortunate reality is that many professionals spend Sunday playing catch-up on household chores and worrying about the workweek ahead. This anxiety, nicknamed the “Sunday Scaries,” has been reported in 80% of professionals

Sunday Scaries mostly manifest as anxiety, but those affected have also reported insomnia and depression, with these feelings increasing throughout the day and peaking in the evening. 

But, luckily, the Sunday Scaries aren’t indestructible. By being mindful of our life choices and adopting some helpful habits (journaling, exercising and socializing included), we can help ease this Sunday anxiety and go into the workweek relaxed and motivated. 

This infographic from Bestow provides a jumping off point for how to identify and combat the Sunday Scaries. 

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Creative Advice From 11 of the World’s Greatest Architects [Infographic]

The combination of art and functionality that architecture displays is a direct reflection of the complexity of the field. From sketching schematic designs to determining a building’s spatial form, architects have a diverse and challenging profession. People that have been successful in the specific role require patience, diligence, and originality; these are all qualities that anyone in the creative industry might aspire to learn more about. To help creatives of all kinds learn from architects, here’s a list of expert advice from famous architects across the globe.

With jobs that require creativity and juggling various projects, it’s normal to have days where you don’t feel your creative juices flowing. A common piece of advice circulating the quotes was to write out your ideas and stick to them, regardless of external influences. While others may try to set a limit on the endless possibilities that you can achieve, that shouldn’t be the path you take for yourself. With this idea in mind, here are some of the notable architects mentioned along with the advice they offer.

  1. Frank Lloyd Wright shared that no matter how big or small the project is, your work is important.

  2. Sharon Davis explained that her creative journey was risky and different, but in the end, that aspect could’ve been the reason for its success.

  3. Alberto Campo Baeza focused on the entirety of the project instead of the little mistakes throughout.

  4. Zaha Hadid believed that thinking outside of the box without following the guidelines sometimes is necessary in a creative world.

  5. David Chipperfield stated that if you delegate a large portion of time on something, it’ll result in success no matter what.

Just like all other forms of art, architects have designed pieces that help establish cultural trends from around the globe. Specifically, architects create buildings and landscapes that millions of people see or enter every day. Whether you are creative at work or at home, there is an appreciation for art in all forms and the innovation behind the projects. The quotes below from the well-known architects can serve as inspiration for your next creative endeavor. Read more of this post

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