Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

My Quora Answer: Do you believe an American’s life has become too overwhelmed by politics…? by Lynn Patra

In my previous post, I mentioned preferring to live and work at my current location (Redding, California) and being turned off at the prospect of living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. The reason for my preference is, having already sampled life in more metropolitan, urban regions of California firsthand (through work and school), I am sick and tired of the lack of self control, the deafening, pushy political activism, and the presumption that many have, while trying to force others (uninvited) to talk about politics, that everyone else shares the same opinions and values that you do.

As I state in my Quora answer below, this type of behavior, exemplified by denizens of those regions, extends to the online world, including sites where people are supposed to behave more professionally, like LinkedIn. So, in a way, there’s no getting away from the verbal diarrhea. However, I don’t want this to become a part of the work culture I join. The original Quora question I’m answering here is “Do you believe an American’s life has become too overwhelmed by politics, and therefore, they have a more divided country than when culture was more of a focus or even more mundane aspects of life?Read more of this post

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Back home after the Carr Fire

Well, I am home and, as it turned out, our home is fine. As I indicated in my previous post, I very much want to be a part of the Redding, California community and contribute to disaster relief and resettlement efforts. Having said that, I’ve been engaged in volunteer work.

I’m not sure how negatively a disaster of this scale will impact employment prospects here, however I’m still very much interested in finding employment in the Redding, California area (so that I can stay here). Yet, I know this sounds crazy to some people but no, I don’t want to live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area… and I can’t seem to say that often enough for all the incredulous people out there but I really don’t. My next post will make it more apparent why.

Here, I’ll leave my readers with images I’ve taken after the Carr Fire hit my area, along with a synopsis of the damage sustained, quoting from my Quora blog entry: Read more of this post

Big Data and the Psychologist’s Role on the Analytical Team [Infographic]

Having a strong interest in how psychologists are invaluable in various roles and industries, I found the following infographic which was submitted by Circa Interactive both interesting and informative. Why are psychologists valuable when it comes to analyzing big data? This infographic answers that very question with a prediction, description of how big data impacts psychology itself, explaining big data’s significance, and providing real world examples of the intersection between big data and psychology.

Via USC Dornsife Read more of this post

My Quora Answer: How has the Whiskeytown Carr fire in the Redding, California area impacted you?

Those of you who’re observant and have kept up with this blog for awhile might’ve noticed that I’ve removed a number of posts submitted by a third party with whom I was partnered with for a time. I’d intended to explain why these have disappeared and, further, why I reject certain content. However, this must wait for another time. I WILL explain the recent disappearance of content when I’m good and ready however.

For now though, I just want readers to know that my life has been a bit upended. Some of you may have heard about the Whiskeytown Carr fire going on in northern California. For safety reasons, I left the area and have been waiting to see how this disaster pans out – something I understand could take weeks. That, and I have some other related matters to sort out. So I’ll keep my own blogging light for awhile.

Here is my statement about this event in How has the Whiskeytown Carr fire in the Redding, California area impacted you? by Lynn Patra:

Like many others who were affected by this, I’ll be holding my breath for the rest of this week, at least, while awaiting final news about what’s happened to our home and the entire region. The fire doubled in size since last night to 80,906 acres now. See Live updates: Carr Fire tops 80,000 acres, threatens rural homes near Redding as temperatures ramp up. And I’ll admit that I’m at a loss for what to do next if there’s nothing to return to.

Household members have floated some alternative plans around. And I know many would think I’m insane not to embrace the prospect of moving south to the more metropolitan regions, which seem like paradise to so many. However, it is what it is with me.

I like the people and the community in the Redding area and, if given the chance – something to return to, I know they’ll need help rebuilding and getting people back to their feet again. And I’d want to be a part of that.

How Companies Can Achieve Cross-Functional Integration [Infographic]

Here is another informative infographic, submitted by Circa Interactive. This one explains various aspects of achieving cross-functional integration for companies: why cross-functional integration is necessary, how it can be helped along with information gathering, marketing benefits of cross-functional integration, obstacles to achieving it, and how it can be implemented.

Via Graduatedegrees.online.njit.edu:

A growing number of organizational management experts are promoting the use of cross-functional integration within corporations. Although choosing to adopt this form of hierarchy would require reorganizing and redistributing responsibilities, implementing cross-functional integration is an appropriate response to the increasing prevalence of big data and other recent trends.

Read more of this post

Top Business Management Models for Effective Management [Infographic]

The following infographic, submitted by Circa Interactive, summarizes elements of effective business management models. In terms of change management, for instance, check out what this infographic says about growth and change, the role of company culture, and barriers to change. This is followed by an informative overview of change management programs.

Via Graduatedegrees.online.njit.edu:

To run successful businesses, entrepreneurs must adopt new management strategies that promote staff retention, revenue generation, and workplace culture. This is in addition to exhorting rank-and-file staff to support change programs. Failing to do so can be costly for a business.

Read more of this post

Special Feature: 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients

The following thoughtful article for business owners covers recognizing the issue of over-servicing clients and steps you can take to address this problem. In 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients, Brenda Barron at Clicktime.com writes:

Over-servicing a client happens on many occasions. More often than not, we’re talking about a longtime client who’s become friendly with your company and occasionally asks for additional tasks to be completed. Other times it can be about keeping a valuable name brand happy and bending over backwards to keep them. Unfortunately, this is a drain on your company’s resources, and it could be forcing you to use far too many labor hours. In fact, several small tasks can turn into a significant amount of time if you’re not careful, and over-servicing costs can easily reach 500K/year.

That’s why it’s important to check to see if your firm is over-servicing any of your clients. After you’ve identified some of the clients with over-servicing problems, you can make the transition easier for your employees. No one wants to tell a friendly client that you can’t complete work for them, and sometimes it’s even harder to raise rates. But in order to keep your costs low, it must be done.

Read more at 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients

Special Feature: Why Every Office Should be a Home Office

Now here’s an interesting article about transforming your office into a home office. Ben Lempert’s article, Why Every Office Should be a Home Officeprovides various suggestions for making your office more comfortable, healthy, and conducive to focused work along with advocating for a results-oriented work environment. Take a look at this list and let me know what works for you!

Who doesn’t love a home office? You can show up to work in sweatpants, you can get your laundry done, and you can eat when and what you want. Honestly, it’s awesome.

There are plenty of articles out there telling you how to set up a home office to avoid distractions. But what happens when you have to work in — gulp — an actual office? You know, not at home?

My proposal: start thinking of every office as a “home office.” This means: make every office a place where you can be relaxed and productive, comfortable and focused.

How to do that? Here are some suggestions.

Read more at Why Every Office Should be a Home Office

Security Check: Are You Ready for a Cyber Attack? [Infographic]

Submitted by Tony Huynh at Siege Media

Edited by Lynn Patra

Doing business online has brought companies not only many opportunities but also many dangers. From attacks on Equifax to Instagram to even the IRS, cybercrime continues to threaten business information, company finances, online reputation, and relationships with customers. The growth in number and complexity of crimes means it’s no longer a matter of if your company will be attacked, but when.

As a small-business owner, you might think a cyber attack would never happen to you or, if it did, would have minimal consequences. Unfortunately, research shows that cyber attacks are a problem for small businesses too—last year alone, 61% of breaches impacted smaller businesses, costing them between $84,000 to $148,000 to rectify the situation. Financial damage is only one part of the equation, as companies also have to deal with the loss of information and trust with customers.

In this age, your organization’s success in the digital economy is tied to your cybersecurity practices. You need a sophisticated, layered strategy that is built into your company operations and takes preventative measures through your password practices, data protection, software, employee training, and compliance standards – all areas that are prone to a cyber attack entry.

Curious to see where your cybersecurity practices stand? Follow this infographic from Varonis to assess each step of your security and uncover any weak spots that need to be improved. Read more of this post

Special Feature: How to Find the Right Internship — and Make It Work for You

For those finishing up college and planning what to do next, this might be the article for you! In fact, if I had this knowledge way back when I was a college graduate, my life might’ve played out differently. So, I’m sharing this with you because this article, How to Find the Right Internship – and Make It Work for You, written by Clicktime.com administration is that invaluable.

You need experience to get a good job, but you need a job to get good experience. What’s a college student to do?

This is the dilemma of undergrads everywhere. Fortunately, there’s a solution: Internships.

According to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 95 percent of employers want to hire people with experience. This includes new college grads.

Since college students most likely do not have much in the way of real-world experience to offer an employer, an internship might be the best way to obtain that experience. So, think carefully before you take that summer position waiting tables, and consider an internship in the field you want to enter instead. (Especially one that pays a stipend!)

Once you’ve landed an internship, focus on getting it right. Success here can mean a reference, recommendation letter, or even a permanent job.

Read more at How to Find the Right Internship – and Make It Work for You

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