business

Remote working: Will it be the New Norm?

Flexible work setups have often been the subject of debate — employees want the option to work away from the office at least some of the time, but many businesses value well-founded methods and processes. Will the world’s largest work from home experiment change that?

Enforced flexibility

A pandemic is one of the most socially, economically, and politically disruptive events that could ever happen. Infections and fatalities constantly increase, business operations are shut down, and scientists race against time to find a cure.

Companies lucky enough to remain operational still face a significant challenge: maintaining business continuity. For most, the simplest way to achieve this is by moving their business resources online and adopting an effective remote work strategy.

With resilience and careful decision-making — as well as the right tools and processes — you might just find your employees more productive, less stressed out by work, and expressive as ever.

A wealth of benefits

Remote work offers several benefits for both employees and employers. In addition to saving time and eradicating commute-related stress, remote work can improve employee productivity. A number of studies reveal that the freedom to create a comfortable environment and schedule encourages employees to perform at their best.

At the same time, employers benefit from reduced overhead expenses while also having access to a wider pool of applicants. Because workplace flexibility is among the top considerations of many young job seekers, remote work arrangements would be right up their alley.

Employers can also hire outside of reasonable commuting distance, as employees won’t have to report to the office as frequently, if not at all. What’s more, mandatory daily attendance is going out of fashion — more businesses are now prioritizing performance over hours clocked in. Many prefer focusing on the quality of outputs rather than just keeping people in the office from 9 to 5.

Businesses reap great rewards for recognizing performance instead of just presence. This approach makes for more engaged, efficient, and satisfied employees, consequently creating a healthy and progressive company culture.

Encouraging development

Many businesses believe that a traditional office setup helps bring about better relationships and collaborations. However, data actually points out that interpersonal behavior and communication — not solely proximity — are the key drivers of trust and teamwork.

Traditional work arrangements also make it easier for managers to look after their employees — it’s easy to see who is and isn’t at their workstation during office hours. However, mandating work hours and location makes sense only for time-sensitive and location-dependent jobs like retail, manual labor, and healthcare, where employees need to be physically present.

Meanwhile, for knowledge workers whose jobs involve non-routine problem solving, an office cube isn’t always the most conducive environment for devising solutions and innovations. Sometimes, the best and most unique ideas come from exposure to the surroundings, people, and events outside the confines of an office.

Embracing change

Being forced to adopt a work from home policy in the face of a global crisis isn’t an ideal circumstance to test the waters. Full-time remote work doesn’t and won’t work for all businesses. But this shouldn’t stop you from accomplishing projects and sustaining productivity and efficiency. Leverage your resources to help you weather the storm and emerge stronger than before.

Though we have yet to see if remote work is here to stay, it’s currently a nonnegotiable aspect of the corporate setup, and we should learn how to make the most out of it.

Having a strong strategy in place and the right tools and equipment are crucial to ensure effective communication, collaboration, and management. Our experts can help you configure the perfect remote working setup for your business. Call us today.

Tips and tricks for collecting customer data

Businesses have more access to customer data than ever before, and that trend will likely continue in the future. The insights you get from all that data are valuable. However, a lot of data is unnecessary or possibly even problematic. To ensure your insights are relevant and useful, you must have a well-defined data collection system in place.

Before we jump into our tips for data collection, we have to address the elephant in the room: customer privacy. Despite all the recent regulatory frameworks for protecting people’s private information, there are still a number of opportunities for you to collect data without running afoul of the law. However, honesty is the best business policy. Never ask for a customer’s personal information unless you are absolutely sure that they are aware of the exchange.

With that out of the way, let’s get to it!

1. Collect identifiers

Whether you’re creating an online survey or a signup form, collecting identifying information (i.e. names, date of birth, age, gender, address, etc.) is crucial. This information will form the foundation for future analysis and segmentation.

2. Track customer interactions

Next is to define important customer interactions. For example, if you own an online store, you need to know how your customers arrived at your site, the items they clicked on, items they added to their cart, and what they eventually purchased. Tracking each step of their journey — from learning about your business to becoming a customer — will give you insights into what your customers need and want.

3. Gather behavior-related data

Don’t focus solely on customers who made a purchase. Think about what other indicators produce meaningful data. In our online store example, you might want to track how many receive your email newsletter, how many pages they visited on your site, or how much time they spent on each page. Analyzing this information will help you determine which aspects of your efforts are most effective.

4. Automate data collection

When gathering customer data, you must minimize the risk of human error. The most effective strategy is to automate as much of the collection process as possible. Apps and tools such as online forms and optical character recognition systems feed information directly into your database and eliminate paper-centric processes that often lead to mistakes.

5. Integrate your systems

Redundancies and errors are also common when there are multiple databases managing the same information. You can prevent these issues by working with an IT provider to integrate all your apps, databases, and software solutions. This way, data collected in one database will be synced and consistent across other platforms, reducing manual data entry.

6. Consider who will view the reports

Inevitably, you’ll need to turn data into business intelligence reports. It’s a good idea to identify who will read your reports and highlight the most relevant insights. For instance, sales managers want to see quarterly sales figures, and human resources teams want to see labor costs compared to revenue. Using the right tools to generate these reports will save your team several hours of work.

7. Update data in real-time

It’s difficult to imagine any company in operation today that doesn’t need up-to-the-minute data accuracy. Business intelligence dashboards collect, organize, and filter data at the click of a button. This way, you’ll never have to wait a day or more to receive information that’s critical for a company decision.

Looking for technologies that can help you optimize data collection? Call our IT consultants today. We’ll recommend best-of-breed technologies that track the information you need to grow your business.

How to improve your online presence

The 21st century has ushered in a lot of technological advances and has given businesses new ways to reach customers. Using numerous platforms and tools, buyers can now interact with different companies and their products. To make a positive impression online, be sure to do these.

Be seen on search results

In his book on online reputation management, Tyler Collins, a digital marketing expert for Fortune 500 companies, mentions the importance of a company’s search results that appear after pressing enter. These results make up a company’s reputation online. 

If you want people to notice you, your organization should appear on the first 10 spots of the first page of the search results. That page should also have a variety of related content about your business like positive reviews, press releases, and customer testimonials that contribute to your credibility. 

Paint a clear picture of your brand

For entrepreneurs, it is best to establish a good online reputation before launching a business. Create a memorable brand, company name, and slogan to help your organization land on the top 10 search results. Thoroughly research potential brand names to ensure that the one you choose has no negative connotation. 

Get only the best

Employ the best people. Hire trustworthy key executives. Customers are not only interested in your products, but they also want to know the people behind them. Make sure that those leading the organization have a clean online reputation. 

To do this, create short biographies for each executive to help boost your company’s search results. Aim for positive media coverage whenever possible. Everything from blog posts to press releases and memorable quotes will enhance the company’s image. 

Don’t be shy to ask for help 

When the going gets rough, turn to specialists to maintain your company’s image. Remember that first impressions last, so investing in expert advice is vital in creating and maintaining your virtual image. 

We hope you find these four online reputation tips useful. If you need more information on creating a credible online image or want to learn how technology can create a strong online image, give us a call. Our experts are ready to assist you. 

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
how-facebook-news-feed

How Facebook’s News Feed tweaks affect you

Facebook’s newest action can mean bad news to businesses. The company had announced its decision to screen its News Feed to include less content from publishers and businesses and more from your loved ones. This comes after the allegations of how social media has unconsciously shaped people’s opinion and mental well-being.

Potential outcome for Facebook

One of the main sources of revenue for the social media giant is from its advertising program. But with the changes set to take place, there’s a high possibility that users will spend less time on its platform. This would mean comparatively less effective advertising than before, thus fewer advertisement signups from businesses.

While they do admit this move may potentially hurt profitability, Facebook hopes this change will improve user experience, which in the long-run may translate into higher profits.

Reason for News Feed change

Users enjoy learning about what’s happening in their social circles. Whether what’s shared is as mundane as what someone recently baked, or as momentous as a wedding, every day millions of users like and comment about each other’s lives. For this reason, Facebook has decided to spotlight images and videos that are more meaningful to people on a personal level. Such posts have greater power to deepen human bonds.

Weighing the pros and cons of the News Feed change

However, research has found that constant use of Facebook can cause people to feel alienated and inadequate, reducing people’s overall well-being in the long run. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, teenagers are especially liable to “Facebook depression,” as they constantly compare themselves with their peers.

On the other hand, several researchers believe that an individual’s personality has a greater impact on the type of response he or she will have. If you feel your life is very fulfilling, seeing your friend or family member having fun would make you happy. By contrast, if you’re unhappy or feeling insecure with life, seeing other people’s happier moments will depress you even more.

Effectiveness of change

It’s still too early to tell whether this move will change society for the better and, at the same time, salvage Facebook’s reputation of being a platform that helps people connect with each other. Only time will tell.

Besides Facebook, there are other online channels that can improve your business reputation. If you’re interested in building a stronger web presence, contact us today and we’ll help you get started.