6 Signs That the Future of Work Is Here Today

This article is originally posted on Gigster.com

“A great overview by Gigster CEO Chris Keene on how the gig economy is transforming work in the enterprise by making it more customer-centric and high performance. Don’t miss the stories of companies actually doing this.”  Dion Hintchcliffe, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

As software continues to eat the world, companies must find ways to build more innovative teams. For these companies, The Future of Work is here today. How companies reshape the way they engage digital talent will have a huge impact on their ability to innovate. Here are six ways digital leaders are creating The Future of Work now.

  1. Remote workers and work from home teams are the new normal

The best talent is not always located where you are. Even within a company, silos can prevent the right people from working on the most critical innovation projects. Making it possible for team members to work remotely is the only way to liberate talent across the company. This is also the only way to source critical skill gaps that are not available inside the company, like AI/ML engineers. Supporting distributed teams calls for adopting a common set of processes and collaboration tools, including Slack, Github and Jira.

  1. Hybrid teams beat monoculture teams

Innovation requires a diverse mix of talent. The most innovative teams blend in-house employees who have industry context with expert global talent who have advanced technical skills. This is the opposite of the traditional systems integration model that outsources innovation. Hybrid teams also have the value of helping companies build in-house skills by working side by side with expert freelance talent. 

  1. Elastic Staffing beats fixed staffing

Many companies adopt agile team processes but staff teams inefficiently — they follow a fixed staffing model that allocates each role as a full-time position for the duration of a project.  This is only half agile. Because it makes experimentation too expensive to try, and reduces employee mobility and satisfaction. Compare this to Elastic Staffing, which allocates resources based on the workload for each project phase. For example, developers can join a project after the detailed design is complete, and technical architects may only be needed part time. Elastic Staffing can reduce the total hours to deliver innovative products by over 50%. 

  1. Employees want to be treated more like freelancers

Top employees want the freedom and flexibility to choose how they work and what they work on. This doesn’t have to require radical organizational changes. For example, applying the Google 20% rule, where workers can choose their own projects 20% of the time, can boost morale and build skills. This lets more senior employees peer review deliverables from other projects to reduce risk. It also helps more junior employees grow by being exposed to new business and technology challenges.

  1. Freelancers want to be treated more like employees

Top freelancers want stability and work benefits without sacrificing their flexibility. Companies that learn how to work effectively with freelancers will have their pick of the best global talent. This includes setting up projects for success with distributed teams, incorporating advanced technologies, and providing predictability for freelancers that helps them  plan effectively. In California, laws like AB5 are beginning to mandate providing more benefits for freelance workers, and putting them more on par with the benefits that full-time employees receive.

  1. Automated team and talent assessments are here

Technology will ultimately reshape jobs, but today, technology is reshaping talent ratings. Every collaborative tool – from Slack, to Jira, to Github – has open APIs that can automatically collect data about the productivity and quality of work being produced by people and teams. Tools like Pinpoint can collect this data. Applying analytics to this data enables the creation of “karma scores” by person and by team, to provide objective and trusted evaluation of skills.

Examples of The Future of Work today

A global telco created hybrid teams that mix in-house staff with top global experts to accelerate their machine learning and predictive analytics initiatives. They manage these distributed teams following Silicon Valley best practices and have been able to deliver new applications that leverage AI up to twice as fast as traditional in-house development teams.

One of the world’s largest digital agencies created an entirely new digital transformation business unit using hybrid teams that blend employees and global freelance talent. This approach enabled them to onboard over 100 engineers in less than six months, with minimal recruiting costs.

Summary

The Future of Work describes a cultural shift that companies must adopt to grow their innovation capacity. The pace of those changes is accelerating as more companies adopt new work from home rules that support remote workers. Companies that embrace a Silicon Valley-style culture of innovation can become more customer-centered, more able to tap new talent pools, and to dramatically reduce risk.

Author Bio: Chris Keene

As CEO, Chris drives Gigster’s vision to de-risk digital innovation. Chris was previously VP Cloud for VMware, where he led the $400 million Pivotal spinout. Chris also founded and took public Persistence Software (NASDAQ:PRSW)

4 Tools You Need To Work Remotely

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Working from home comes with its own numerous challenges. What this means is that you will need a set of unique tools specially designed to tackle the challenges of working from home. As more and more people are being ‘forced’ to work from home as a result of the current state of affairs, remote working seems to be the new norm. So, in this article, we take a look at some of the essential tools you will need to make working from home less stressful. 

1. Reliable internet service

Working from home is hardly possible without any source of reliable internet service. If you are already used to working from home, then the chances are that you already have a workstation at home with a stable internet connection. But if you work with a team, then everyone else on the team should have, for good measure, a secure internet connection. There are several kinds of portable internet devices that you can easily use to connect to the internet on-the-go. There are also other types of devices that require a cable connection. Depending on the kind of work you are into, any of the tools is okay to have. However, it is best to have multiple options available, just in case one option is not available.

2. Cloud-based learning management system (LMS)

Working from home should not mean that you cannot train your team or take up training courses from your employer to help build capacity. This is where cloud-based or online learning management systems come in. With several types of online management systems available to choose from, these business must-haves are helping to make online training as easy as they can be. These platforms make it possible to plan, create, and schedule training courses and materials and make them available to all target workers. It matters little whether you are tech-savvy or not; these platforms come with user-friendly interfaces that are easy to navigate. Cloud-based LMS have racked up loads of positive reviews, and you can check out Mindflash LMS Reviews, for example. 

3. Project management software

You can still take on those work projects that come with a vast number of tasks from the comfort of your home. With various types of project management software to choose from, you can handle even the duties that come with complex time management requirements. When picking out the right project management software, it is important to opt for software that is easy to navigate and helps to accomplish work projects as efficiently as possible. It should also be able to help you monitor the costs of projects as well as their progress.

4. Video conferencing software

Distance does not mean you cannot have those important business or staff meetings. Video call apps and software have made it possible to have that important facetime with your colleagues or clients. Popular apps such as Zoom and Skype come with other features that offer clarity and allow you to perform different functions while having the video call. Plus, most video conferencing apps are mobile-compatible and can be used even while on-the-go.

How You Can Adapt Your Home For Remote Working

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Many of us have been working from home for longer than we expected due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And, it may be something that is asked of us for quite some time, especially if you are able to complete your work duties from home. If it’s not something that you have done regularly in the past, you probably don’t have a dedicated workspace, let alone a separate office. Now that we may be working from home for longer, it could be the time to think about getting ourselves work-from-home ready.

You will find, having a dedicated workspace at the top of most working from home lists. Which is fine if you have somewhere that could be used as a home office, but not so great if you have a large family taking up space in your home, or live in a small one bed flat or studio. 

This is when you should be thinking creatively about the space that you can use, and consider what space you may need to complete your work throughout the day. 

Think About How You Use Your Space 

You should consider who needs to work as it could be that you, your partner, and grown-up kids could all need space to work. Think about who else is also using the home at the same time. Do you maybe need space for the kids to play or home school too? 

Look around your home and think about how each space is utilized. Could they be adapted in any way? Could you create zones with the use of a divider or bookshelf? 

Some people have temporarily moved kids into the same room so they can create a home office, although it may be less than ideal in their eyes, being able to complete your home at work in a quiet space has become a priority. This is a good option if you want to maintain the family zones in places like the living and enable your children to still have a space to relax and play during the day. 

Using A Small Space 

There are some really clever ways that you can adopt a small area to becoming a dedicated work zone. From using spaces under the stairs, in walk-in wardrobes, or even large hallways to using initiative furniture like at Civic Australia. There are certainly many ways you can fit a working space into even the smallest of homes. 

If you don’t have to space for a large desk, then a side or console table could be adapted to create a smaller working zone. If you’re choosing this option then it’s best to find somewhere to store any paperwork, files, stationery, etc and only pull them out when you need them. 

Create A Space You Like 

It has been difficult for many people to get used to working from home and with so many other things now predominantly at home like spending time in the garden at a weekend or homeschooling the kids at the same time as working, it has put a lot of stress on to people to feel like they need to be perfect and fit everything in. Creating a space that you really like and feel comfortable to work in can help to make your working day a little more positive. 

These three tips should be able to help you adapt your home for remote working. Is there anything that you have done to create a working zone in your home? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Make Your Home Office More Productive, With These Essentials

Wouldn’t it be incredible on the off chance that you could complete the entirety of your work from the solace of your own home?

Telecommuting is a perfect method to have the opportunity to be your chief. All things considered, setting up a home office requires a huge change in case you’re accustomed to working in a proper office setting. It takes a touch of arranging and a touch of exertion to ensure this space augments your proficiency and efficiency. So without beating about the bush, let’s take a peek at the essentials that can make your home office increasingly effective and productive.

The right lighting

No matter where your home office is located, lighting is the most significant part of the room. You’ll need to make a warm, welcoming space, so consolidating savvy utilitarian lighting with great assignment lighting will be required.

Natural light in the workplace has been demonstrated to have incredible medical advantages like improved rest, physical action, and personal satisfaction. The impact of characteristic light on your temperament and mentality is wonderful. Particularly in the present lockdown, when such a large number of people are telecommuting, it’s imperative to keep your invulnerable framework solid.

Plants, art, and aromas

If you need the full environment of an animating office, consider getting a few houseplants, putting resources into craftsmanship on your dividers, and in any event, utilizing incense or fundamental oils to diffuse fragrances in your work environment. These boosts can assist you with deduction of all the more innovation and diminish pressure.

A second monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse

On the off chance that you work off a laptop, having a second monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse can be a distinct advantage for your home office arrangement.

It permits you to use a PC to represent the ergonomic advantages and just causes your at-home work arrangement to feel and work like a genuine workstation you may have at the workplace. Or if nothing else, come nearer to what you have at the workplace.

A reliable backup source of power

Your home office should similarly have two or three combinations of fortification if things turn out seriously. Nobody can tell when your place may lose power. So it’s fundamental to have a power source arranged, for example, a generator, if something turns out badly. You can view a large variety of generators in physical as well as online stores, so it’s imperative to choose one that matches your requirements. Having a generator will make sure your tasks go on without any interruptions. Also, it will provide you with peace of mind as you won’t have to worry about the power blackouts.

WiFi – Speed up your home Internet connection

When telecommuting, odds are that you’ll depend vigorously on your web association. For ideal arrangement, it merits putting resources into a quality home WiFi modem and switch. It will empower you to work all the more adequately and viably with no interference.

Surge power strip with USB

You’d be amazed how rapidly your work from home arrangement develops. As you become increasingly agreeable and keep on tinkering with the design, you’ll keep on including new apparatuses. Normally, huge numbers of those tech devices are going to need to get their capacity from someplace.

Electrical extensions are an unquestionable requirement to have an expansion to your work from a home office. For included genuine feelings of serenity, ensure you get one with flood insurance. This will assist keep with fueling at a protected level when you have a few gadgets connected.

A comfortable chair

It doesn’t make a difference in case you’re at your office work area or at home, an agreeable seat with quality ergonomics is fundamental. Great stance and solace can help keep you concentrated on your jobs that need to be done rather than the torment in your lower back. While internet shopping is incredible for some things, a quality seat is something you should try out face to face.

Temperature controls

You likely as of now can control the essential temperature of your home. Yet, if your office is in a territory, similar to a storm cellar or highest floor, that will, in general, be more sultry or colder than the remainder of your home, you’ll despite everything need to remain agreeable. Attempt a space radiator or fan if you find that the temperature is somewhat off somehow.

There will unquestionably be different things you’ll require in your home office, contingent upon the kind of work you do and how much space you have accessible. Be that as it may, you’ll be headed to making a smoothed out and effective home office on the off chance that you utilize this list to begin pondering the basics.

4 Ways Technology Is Constantly Taking Business To The Next Level

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As time moves on, business owners and leaders are continually looking for ways to outdo their competitors. They’re always looking to outshine and find a way of evolving. Many different techniques and strategies have been invented and will continue to be brought into the world. Nothing has come close, and nothing will probably ever come close to that of our technological advances, though. Since automated, electrical pieces of machinery and software have entered humanity, businesses have been able to behave, process, and grow like never before – and this kind of thing will continue to advance as the years go by. 

Businesses that are just starting up benefit from the use of technology, and so too do businesses that have been at the top of the tree for decades – there’s no exclusivity or special places reserved for anyone in particular. The new tech obviously helps out due to its speed and consistency – the lack of human error being present is also a massive bonus. But how does it help out specifically? Well, here are four points for you to digest right now:

Performance Analysis 

With all the different software and various add-ons we have at our disposal, we can perfectly identify what plays out well and what performs horrendously, in order to figure out how to proceed. This can be used for selling products and for analyzing social media marketing strategies. 

Analyzing how everything goes has always been a major part of growing a business, but these kinds of programs make everything so much quicker, more detailed, and easier to do. 

It Can Predict And Project Future Happenings 

Artificial intelligence has become such that it’s able to take past and present records, and learn how certain patterns develop. It’s also able to project how the future may pan out statistically based on past behaviors. Also, if data is needed in order to complete certain AI projects, a synthetic data generator can be used to fabricate simulated pieces of information. This can help out in areas such as the financial world by allowing data scientists to continue their work when they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

Remote Work 

Fewer people are working on their business premises these days. A lot is done from home – and not just because of the current virus epidemic we’re facing. Technology is now allowing us to work from remote locations, which can make work more convenient and suitable for everyone involved. The likes of virtual assistants and outsourced work can be sorted out quickly, too.  

Constant Communication

When you’re looking to get in touch with someone, and it seems like you’ll never be able to get a hold of them, it can be very frustrating. Whether you’re looking for a new employee, a service technician, or a new, exciting business contact, you’re going to want to speak with them ASAP. Modern technology has made it so that it’s nigh-on impossible to go off the radar. Conference calls are fantastic alternatives to meetings when people are working away from the office.

What To Think About As You Get Started Working From Home

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Working from home is becoming more common these days. You may find yourself in this position for a variety of reasons. For example, it may be that you’re ready to branch off and start your own business and be your own boss.

Be aware that there’s a lot to think about as you get started working from home and are beginning to set up your office space. It can be confusing and overwhelming to think about all that you need to do to ensure success. Take it one task and day at a time and remind yourself of all the benefits that come from working from home whenever you’re feeling frustrated or defeated.

Operating Your Office

You’ll want to think about where to set up your office space in your home and how it’s going to operate. For instance, you’ll need to be answering the phone, checking emails from clients, and have a way to send and receive mail. In this case, you may want to check out the option to configure virtual addresses for your business so you can get mail for your company. It’s a wise idea to invest in these types of services that are going to help you operate as a professional business and take some tasks off your plate.

Your Schedule

Think about your daily schedule and what type of structure you want to have when working from home. It may be tempting to sleep in or not get dressed, but these actions may cause you to feel less motivated over time. Therefore, consider waking up early, working out, having a cup of coffee and showering to help you feel alive and have some energy. Create a working schedule like you would if you were at a physical office to help you stay on track. It’s in your best interest to schedule breaks for yourself and times when you leave the house.

Staying Connected

It’s easy to get caught up in your own world when you work from home. Therefore, think about how you’re going to stay connected to others when you’re working remotely. There are many ways to do so these days, including via phone, email, and videoconference. It may be that you need to check in with employees regularly, meet with clients, and have a mentor who you like to discuss business topics with frequently. Make these meetings possible by taking advantage of all the capabilities that technology has to offer.

How to be Productive

If you want to be successful working from home, then you need to find ways to be and stay productive. It may mean turning off your phone or email for a while or having a quiet office space where you can work and shut the door. It’s also a wise idea to put off any house chores or tasks until you finish your work assignments for the day. Monitor how much time you’re spending on your phone or social media and do your best to cut back so you can focus on your work to-dos.

Fun Ways To Build Employee Morale

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The world has gone a little topsy turvy, and we are all acutely aware of the state of things outside our front door. Your employees are currently working from home to keep your business going, and you are all trying to keep up morale – and it’s not going well. 

So, rather than focus on all the panic and fright in the world, why not think about the ways that you can get your business moving and employees feeling motivated once more? There will be a day the lockdowns are lifted, and quarantine is over, and that day needs to be met with something fun. Your staff are counting on you to still be there for them when this pandemic is over. With that in mind, you should take a look at our list of fun ways you can all enjoy spending time together once life goes back to normal.

  • Host A Sports Day

The idealists in all of us are hopeful of summer back to normal. Walks on the beach, pub gardens and BBQs are just a part of it. Every business should celebrate resuming regular activity with a fun day, and that can include a company sports day! Check out the personalized boards at Cornholeworldwide.com and brand a corn hole board with your business brand and set up a range of mini sports to enjoy. A sports day is a great way to get the whole office laughing and relaxed in each other’s company once more.

  • A Pot-Luck Picnic

When the sun is shining, it’s an excellent idea to kick off the “back to work” feeling with something delicious, and that means food! Ask everyone to bring in a dish they cook (yes, cook) and have an outdoor picnic. If you don’t have an outdoor space by your office, head to the nearest park and bring blankets for all. Make sure people know that they don’t have to wear work clothes: it wouldn’t be the most comfortable for all.

  • Go For A Walk

Some business activities don’t need to be on site. You could get everyone together and arrange a hike! There are always challenges that can be done for charity, and it’s a great way to raise morale, get everyone moving and change the scenery. You’ve all been cooped up at home; a pleasant walk somewhere countrified is always going to add a little wind to your sails!

  • Dinner & Drinks

The very first day that you arrange to get back to the office is going to be a little disjointed. People won’t have seen each other for months on end, so a celebration is needed! Get the gang together and go for a meal (on the company, of course) and make sure to go somewhere with round tables so you can all see each other. Discuss how you are all feeling about the months that have just passed and let everyone air out their relief that it’s all over!

You need to get your staff happy – and now you know how to do it.

Working From Home? The Tips To Make The Most Of It

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Many people are facing the prospect of working from home, and some may have had an ambition to work from home and make it their reality. However, working from home is harder than you may think. When it comes to working from home, it isn’t all about sitting in bed and working in your pajamas, that is the dream, but you also need to ensure that you are productive. This is where you can be distracted and find it hard to distinguish between working and home life. With that in mind, here are some of the things that could help you to work from home and make the most of it.

Have a decent working area 

One of the first things you may need to do is think about a working area when it comes to your productivity. Of course, you can work from your sofa or your bed, and that can be very convenient, but it can also be extremely helpful to have a desk or an area that is specifically for your work. This is a great way to help you to distinguish between when you are working and when you can walk away from your work and enjoy your home life. 

Try different time management hacks

Time may seem like an endless amount when you work from home, you can start at any time of the day and night and make more use of the hours in the day. So figuring out when you are most productive is crucial. You might also want to think about things such as time management hacks so you can make the most of the working time you have. It could be that you want to blink certain tasks together, or work in snippets of minutes or hours so that you can minimize the distraction during those periods. There are some great tips online to help you find the right sort of time management techniques that will work for you. 

Make sure you take into account tax and costs

There will always be costs to consider when it comes to working from home, very much the same as when you work in an office or a different environment. This could be things such as tax, where companies like Tri-merit.com could help. It might be that you need to consider costs such as the internet as well as materials that you need. It might work out more cost effective to work from home, especially when starting your own business. 

Structure and plan your day 

Finally, it is a great idea to help you work from home if you structure and plan your day. Many people benefit from a routine, and a structure at home can help you to stay more in tune with when you are working and when you can enjoy your home life and separate the two. This is when time management can help when it comes to figuring out the best way to structure your day. 

Let’s hope these tips help you when it comes to working from home.

How To Make Remote Working Work For Your Business

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Remote working is something that is definitely worth doing when it comes to your business. There might be times where staff need to work from home, including yourself, and not having the resources available to do so can make things difficult. Here are some tips to make remote working work for your business.

Get The Right Outsourced IT Help

Outsourcing can be a fantastic way of helping your business improve your IT services overall. A lot of companies have difficulty in their organizations due to the IT services they have been slow in their response to help employees, and that can put a business behind in terms of ongoing projects or simply getting work done efficiently. With that in mind, remote working needs to have a strong IT support behind it in order to work properly. So outsourcing your needs with strategic technology consulting might be needed. The right IT assistance is definitely going to help to make sure that everything continues to tick along as normal and hopefully, with as little disruption as possible. Outsourcing is also a great way to save money when you’re a small business, and your funds are perhaps limited to what you can afford when it comes to staffing.

Provide Staff With Quality Laptops

When it comes to working from home, you can’t expect your staff to work on crap laptops or electronic devices that are slow to load and continue to be a nuisance. If you allow that to happen, then you’re likely to see a lot less productivity as a result of that. For remote working, make sure you have a budget whereby you can invest your money into some good, quality laptops, rather than ones that are just cheap at the time and don’t last as long. That’s only going to waste your money as a business, and that’s not something you want.

Make Sure Security Is Tight

Security is part and parcel of working from home because your staff’s security in terms of it’s WIFI, might not be as strong as the protection you have in your workplace. Therefore, it’s important to have a good security software actually installed on the laptop or device itself in order to protect it. If you don’t, then that could create risks to your computer but also any data and files that this particular staff member might have access too. So it’s good to make sure that even if they’re working remotely, they’re still secure when it comes to security.

Roll It On A Trial Basis For Selected Few

Remote working doesn’t need to be given to everyone, especially if you’ve not done it before. Look at which staff members would benefit from it and start rolling it out as and when you can. By trialing it, you know whether this is something that will work for your business or not.

Doing remote working can be highly beneficial, so use these tips to help introduce remote working so that it works for your business.

Clean Office Space, Clean Mind

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Running a business from your home can be challenging. Working at home often means you’re tackling a lot of distractions, so you need to make sure your home office is as distraction-free as possible. For many people, a clean office space can help you to focus more. A clean workspace makes for a clean mind. Here’s how you can do it.

Keep It Clean and Ventilated

Keeping the home office clean is a good way to concentrate. A dirty office can lower the air quality in the room, and breathing in poor quality air can cause you to lose your ability to concentrate. Clean your office regularly. If it needs a deep clean, a floor scrubber can help. Keep the space well ventilated too to get in fresh air to help you focus. Open a window, or buy a fan to keep stale air moving and the air quality high. 

Clear Your Desk

Keep your desk clutter-free so you don’t get distracted by visual mess or trying to rearrange your desk. Get a set of desk drawers so you can put things away but keep them close by for when you need them. Only keep things you need out on your desk. A desk tidy is a useful place to keep pens and other bits of stationery, like post-it notes and paperclips. Get in the habit of tidying your desk at the end of the day to reset it and get it back to a clear space ready for work in the morning. 

Make It Relaxing

Working at home can make it hard to unwind and disconnect from work at the end of the workday. For that reason, it’s important to practice self-care to keep your stress levels under control. Make your office somewhere that is relaxing to be to help you stay calm. Decorating the office in relaxing colors, like blues, can really help. Add some plants to the room. Succulents are good for on your desk, as they’re easy to keep alive with minimal care. Plants release oxygen into the room which can help you to relax and feel more focussed. 

Other tricks to make the space more relaxing is to take advantage of having an office at home, rather than a traditional office. Bring in relaxing elements you couldn’t have in a normal office, like scented candles. Play soft music that you find focussing, as this can aid concentration and block out noise from elsewhere in the house. 

Make your home office a place that you like being and a place where you can concentrate and focus easily and avoid distractions. With the right workspace, you will be better able to work, making your home business more successful, with less pressure on you. Working at home can be a challenge, but is also a privilege as you have lots more options to personalize your space in a way that helps you to work to the best of your ability, in a space you love.