There are a lot of valuable resources in your business. From your finances to equipment to your employees. However, there’s one resource which is just as important as others in your business – TIME. Time is basically the only resource in your entire business that, no matter what happens, you simply can never get back. For example, if you end up wasting money in your business then there us a chance that you might make it back again. If your equipment breaks, it can be replaced. Wasted time is gone no matter what you do. Because of this, you cannot underestimate how important it is to use your time wisely and efficiently. Here are a few tips to go about doing that so that you can make the most of the time that you have.
Almost every business nowadays is fully aware of the potential of social media, and how important it is to have a presence on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However as much as these platforms will let you publish content in the form of text or images, both of those don’t hold a candle to the performance of video content and the sheer reach and engagement it can provide.
That being said creating videos for social media can be a bit of a minefield – particularly for the uninitiated. Odds are you may even find that the videos you publish fail to reel in viewers, are rarely shared, and have a muted response in general. If you want to create better videos for a business social media presence, here are a few things that you should try:
Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. They’re often the first thing we touch when we wake up in the morning and the last thing we look at before going to sleep at night. With these devices playing such an important role in our lives, it makes sense for your workplace to create a cell phone policy. An effective cell phone policy should balance your business’s needs with the needs of all employees.
Smartphones and being contactable 24/7 means that the line between our work/life balance has become blurred. But are digital detoxes just a fad, or will they save your mental health?
The ‘always-on’ culture has been generating a lot of worry from researchers over the past decade. Starting when we’re teenagers, we grow up with our smartphone in our hands and checking it becomes as unconscious a response as taking a breath. A normal phone user touches their phone 2,167 times a day, while the top 10% of phone users click, tap or swipe on their phone 5,427 times a day, according to researcher Dscout.
The consequences of checking our phones too much are everything from repetitive strain injury (RSI), poor posture and eyesight problems to insomnia, depression and even the possibility of death. One in four traffic accidents are caused by people using their phones while driving, but that’s just one of the many ways in which your phone could be the death of you.
So what’s the answer? Do businesses just encourage employees to switch off and hope they stick to it? Or do we offer benefits so they detox on their holidays and encourage time away from their desks like hiking holidays or last-minute cruises to establish good habits? Digital detox holidays are becoming ever more popular, but should we be leaping on board this trend? We explore if and why taking time away from the internet could increase your work performance.
The job of companies has traditionally been to make sure that they protect their physical assets from damage. But thanks to the rise of technology, the value economy of “stuff” relative to data is declining. Tech millionaire and entrepreneur Jaron Lanier has made the observation and pointed out that the majority of people who are getting rich in the world of technology today, have a big computer nearby that stores a lot of data. Facebook, for instance, has a treasure trove of data relating to people’s preferences and their online behavior. Google has an even bigger one. And new upstarts, like Uber, are doing a similar sort of thing. They’re leveraging the power of their data to offer new levels of service to their customers.
A lot of businesses see the benefits of being close to data and how it is impacting the economy as a whole. Go back fifty years, and the biggest companies in the world were those that owned the most assets. General Electric, General Motors, Boeing, and Shell were all very valuable because they owned factories and oil rigs. These days, these companies aren’t worth as much as the big tech companies. Microsoft, for instance, has a valuation of more than $300 billion. Amazon, the online shopping giant, is even more valuable. And Google is approaching a market cap of more than a trillion dollars, which it will surely achieve if it continues to successfully develop and implement artificial intelligence technologies.
Doug Yakola has seen his fair share of companies in crisis during his time in business leadership. As the Chief Financial Officer of more than a dozen companies, he’s had several what he calls “boiled frog” moments. Companies, he says, are like frogs put in warm water that are slowly heated up. They often don’t realize that anything is wrong until the water’s boiling and it’s too late to escape. It isn’t necessarily down to bad management. It’s often just that the senior management team isn’t able to accept that the world has changed and moved on and their company hasn’t. The power of inertia can be strong in business.
Other companies get into a crisis by not focusing on the right data. They have the right idea, Yakola says, using data to help make decisions. But sometimes the data they are using is not useful when it comes to improving their revenue. Using the wrong data hamstrings companies and causes them to become less and less relevant to the needs of the market.
After having so many near misses himself, Yakola took a step back and asked how ailing companies can lead themselves out of a crisis. Here is some of his hard-won wisdom.
From the 1980s into the 1990s, a pair of data scientists, Geoff Hinton and Yann LeCun laid the foundations of artificial intelligence. They came up with the idea of a neural net, a kind of statistical tool that could be trained, rather than programmed. Because of its similarities to the human mind, they borrowed the term “neural” and used it as a metaphor.
The problem was that back in the 1980s, the idea wasn’t actually very useful. Neural nets require thousands, sometimes millions, of pieces of data to train. But because the internet was basically non-existent and sensors were expensive, there was hardly any data to actually feed these systems. Neural net technology was seen as interesting from a theoretical perspective, but the idea never took off, simply because the world wasn’t generating enough data to make it operational.