Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

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

27 Digital Signage Content Creation Tools

This article was originally published at Enplug.com

Get noticed with the right digital signage content creation tools

Digital signage content can help you get your message out, but it only has an impact on your business and team if it’s relevant and compelling. Luckily, turning your content strategy into memorable visuals that get noticed doesn’t have to cost a lot or take hours of time.

Want to know the secret to creating great content, even if you don’t have a graphic designer on staff? Use the right tools. That’s why our list of 27 digital signage content creation tools is a must-have for anyone managing screen content.

Types of Signage Content

You probably already have some of these content tools, but have never thought of using them for screen content. Others are free and low-cost applications that take the headache out of creating original content like videos, graphics, web pages, analytics and social media. And others help you repurpose the content you use elsewhere to share it in a screen-friendly format. Read more of this post

Why Use Route Optimization Software?

With route optimization software you’ll spend much less time planning – and the routes produced will be far superior to manually created routes.

For a mobile workforce, route optimization is the process of determining the most efficient routes, in terms of cost, resources and time. All other relevant factors such as order and driver restrictions, as well as the various workflows of a particular business are also factored in.

The aim is to maximize efficiency and fulfil more orders: getting to more addresses with fewer resources. This allows businesses to save time, costs and ultimately increase their revenue.

With route optimization software, your business will:

  • increase earnings by 10-30% simply by allowing you to complete more orders,
  • improve employee productivity and customer satisfaction,
  • cut operating costs and overtime by 30%.

Using a map, or any other manual means, to create optimized routes is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. As the number of drivers and orders increases, the complexity of the task of dividing up the work accurately and efficiently grows exponentially. 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. 

Read more of this post

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

Is Imposter Syndrome Costing You Your Dreams? [Infographic]

Do you ever get nervous when sitting in a meeting, or pitching your business to another investor after years of experience in the industry? Slight nerves are pretty normal, but if you’re feeling like you didn’t earn your spot on center stage during any meeting after years of experience, you may be suffering from the imposter syndrome. 

Turns out, even the highest of achievers, like Serena Williams and Tom Hanks, deal with the same extreme case of self-doubt.

The syndrome is reported to have, and continue, to affect 70 percent of millennials. This extreme self-doubt stops you from chasing after your goals and let you feel proud of those you’ve already nailed. But guess what? You aren’t crazy! You’re worthy of the achievements you have earned. You are worthy of your place no matter what stage of life, or your career, you are in. 

This syndrome may deter you from reaching your biggest career goals. If you think you may be dealing with imposter syndrome, Mint created an infographic explaining the different types, how each type may affect your finances, and tips to overcoming it. Push past your self-doubt and push past to conquer anything you put your mind to! Read more of this post

The Gig Economy for Businesses [Infographic]

It’s no secret that the modern workforce is changing. In an era where more value is being placed on workplace autonomy, flexibility and freedom, the gig economy is becoming the new normal. In fact, 36% of workers in the U.S. work in the gig economy (in some form or another). Spurred by technology, the gig economy has helped create a buyer’s market for many job seekers, offering businesses who utilize it’s services the agility businesses need to stay competitive.

It’s likely that you’ve heard of the gig economy as “side hustles” offered through on demand platforms like Uber, Amazon Flex and Postmates. However, the gig economy encompasses a broad range of workers, that are simply “independent.” This means that gig work is everything from rideshare and delivery services to freelance writers, designers, and other contractors.

In the gig economy, there are two sides: that of independent workers and that of businesses who utilize the services of independent workers. To help you better understand the history of the gig economy, how each side works best practices for businesses and independent workers. Startup insurance company, Embroker, put together this comprehensive guide that covers all facets.

For example, in their gig economy for businesses chapter, they cover best practices for startups and companies to best utilize the skills of independent workers. Some of these include:

  • Identifying your needs and skills gaps.
  • Developing a long-term strategy that lets you take advantage of on demand talent
  • Utilizing different platforms like Upwork, Freelancer and others to find experts that work best with your business
  • Different ways to efficiently operate with a blended workforce.

To learn more about these best practices and ways to implement them in your businesses, check out their full guide to the gig economy. Read more of this post

15 Surprisingly Hackable Things in Your Daily Life [Infographic]

Our technology has grown and evolved in such a short time that it’s almost impossible to remember a time before we were able to control our car from our phone. Although this interconnectedness of everything (called the Internet of things) has made our lives much more convenient, it also has left us vulnerable to cyber attacks on the most unlikely of items.

What’s the big deal if someone decides to hack your baby monitor? Well, if someone has access to one of your devices, they can leapfrog across all your connected items and eventually compromise your system.

Check out this infographic from BigRentz to check out the wildest ways the everyday items in your life can be hacked. Read more of this post

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