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How Technology Has Altered Your Work / Life Balance

If you work 48 weeks in the year and spend a conservative 5 hours per week commuting to and from work, you are spending 240 hours per year driving. This takes time away from family, hobbies, friends, and much more. How can technology be leveraged to gain that time back?

Up until last years, the only option for working was to physically go into an office to put in your 40-50 hours per week behind a stuffy desk surrounded by people you may or may not enjoy working with. As technology has evolved, so has the flexibility of whether you work at the office, at home, at the beach, or some other locale.

While technology does make it easier for employers to allow telecommuting, there is still a trust factor that comes into play. There are ways each employer can measure productivity differently, but some employers are simply more comfortable knowing for certain their employee is at their desk during a specified time every day. Another consideration for employers is the morale of employees that are not working from home while another is permitted that luxury. Should they have 1 happy employee and 10 disgruntled employees or 10 content employees and 1 disgruntled employee? Rather than examining the struggles for employers that are faced with this decision, lets examine the technologies that allow working from home to be a reality much more frequently than it was 20-30 years ago.

If an employer decides to allow telecommuting, there are several tools on the market that safeguard their investment.

· Worksnaps:

This tool allows an employee to monitor how productive the work-at-home employee has been through the day. There are less detailed tools available but this one does not leave a lot of room for a work around by the employee. Beyond monitoring the time spent in productive programs (Facebook not being one of them) the tool takes screenshots of the worker’s computer screen through the day to make sure the employee is productive while activity is showing on their computer. They will even count the number of mouse and keyboard clicks.

· Internet:

This is probably obvious but probably the most important tool. The internet allows you to communicate with members of your team, your company, and any outside clients. Many companies have web-based products that use for housing databases or other tools that are essential to job duties of their employees.

· Google docs:

This is free to anyone that has a Gmail account. It provides Microsoft based tools to people no matter where they are in the world. Google docs can be accessed to share documents whether for informational purposes or for each member of a team to edit the document. If you do not have Microsoft programs on your home computer, this is a great way to use them. They do not have the most current benefits of the current programs, but it will work in a pinch.

· Trello:

This is a popular tool that allows for project management across your team no matter everyone’s location. This can be used for individuals to organize to-do lists or monitor projects, so everyone knows where the team is at. The program permits you to break the project into segments that can be more closely observed as the project progresses.

· Zoho:

This is another project management tool, but it looks to have an abundance of features including overlapping features I’ve already discussed. There is the ability to monitor time spent on projects, offers charts and written documentation of the progress of the specific projects the team is working on, a calendar that the entire team can contribute to and view, document sharing capabilities, notes area for recording specific hurdles or bugs that need to be resolved. This is just the tip of the ice burg in terms of the capabilities of this tool. The cost is reliably inexpensive as well ranging from $ 0 for limited access to $ 100 / month / employee for all access.

· Yammer :

This is described as a Facebook for work. This platform allows an employer to send only relevant information to employees. Then employees can communicate within their specific teams to accomplish goals.

· Skype :

This is a free service that allows face-to-face communication between employees. The tool is internet based and allows you to bring multiple people into the conversation / collaboration.

· GoTo Meeting:

This is a great tool for webinars as it will allow you to broadcast to hundreds of people that join. In addition, for those that can not attend the meeting or want to watch the meeting for a second time the meetings can be recorded. You can share your screen with those that signed up for the meeting allowing for project collaboration or even training.

· Viewflux:

There are several sites geared towards designers, viewflux being one of them. These sites allow you to share your designs with a group of people. Those people can specify changes they want made by marking up the page. Have you ever wanted someone to change something about a graphic and you try to describe in some words and an arrow could describe? These sites make a world of difference for designers and their clients and team members.

· Dropbox:

If you have files larger than what can fit on the Google drive, dropbox is an option for a place to share files with your team. According to Dropbox, this is a secure way to share files.

· Nimble:

This is a great tool for sales people and people with large networks to stay organized. This tool combines your social media and email contacts into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. The tool even links conversations you’ve had with these contacts, so you can remember the contact in that specific context.

These are just a few of the tools that people can use when they work from home or even work in the office. The collaboration potential with the tools can simplify processes that are long overdue for change. In addition, the telecommuter can easily connect with and contribute to projects that are being working on in the office. Without these connections, the telecommuter could quickly be disregarded as part of the dynamic of the department that once worked with in person.

While some may argument that society is more disconnected from one another than ever before, consider that technology is not a hindrance to our efforts to communicate but rather an advantage. I would maintain that society is communicating more efficiently, more frequently, and more effectively than ever before because of technology.

Imagine being able to work from 7:00 to 4:00 and being able to start dinner at 4:05 rather than 5:05. Now you have time to patiently help the kids with their homework, easily pick up the kids from soccer practice, spend time focusing on your spouse. The pressure to get things done can decrease as the level of technology increases if we leverage the two. What would the ability to telecommute mean to your life? Do you do it currently? What have you found to be beneficial about it?

Source by Angela Steward

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Pros and Cons of Career Academies

Overview:

To address the high school drop out rate and improve the number of students graduating from high school, educators, policymakers and community business leaders are supporting the strategy of career academies in high schools. Career academies are not the latest fad; they have been around for at least forty years. Career academy experts know what works and what doesn’t. The Career Academy Toolkit is a book that describes the process of creating and establishing a career academy in great detail.

So what are the pros and cons of these career academies? Pros for career academies are that students have improved high school attendance, additional earned credits, higher grade point averages and graduation rates, and are more career and college ready. Cons include that career academies are more expensive to establish and implement, difficult to schedule, and require partnerships between education and the community. Let’s discuss each of these pros and cons in more detail.

Pros of Career Academies:

1. Improved High School Attendance: Because students elect to be in an academy, they are more apt to attend school. The more students stay in class, the more they are motivated to learn. The more motivated students are, they more they are engaged in learning. The more engaged students are, the more they learn. This, them, becomes a circle: the more they learn, the more they are motivated to learn more.

Motivation is one of the major keys to the success of academies. Academies do several motivation strategies, such as integration of the curriculum between both academic and technical courses. Now students not only learn the knowledge, but they have the opportunity to apply it. We, at Bright Futures Press, call this “Sticky Learning.” Because academies have partnerships between the academy and the community, students can then go into the “real world” to see how their learning truly fits there. This is exciting for students and reinforces the classroom learning.

2. Additional Earned Credits: Based on pro number one, students who stay in school tend to earn more high school credits and the more high school credits students earn; the more they are apt to graduate.

3. Higher Grade Point Averages: This brings us to pro number three. Students need credits to graduate and students who stay in school earn the credits to graduate. Students on the path to graduation have more self esteem and have improved motivation to learn more, which increases their grade point averages. Students who graduate from high school are generally encouraged to attend college or post-secondary learning.

4. More Career and College Ready: Students that feel they are college ready make an effort to attend college or receive post-secondary learning. Students who immediately go to work are more readily to receive company policy and any additional training that the company supplies.

Now let’s discuss the cons of career academies. There are three major cons to career academies. One is that they are more expensive to establish and implement. The second is that they are difficult to schedule, and lastly, they require partnerships between education and the community.

Cons of Career Academies:

1. More expensive to establish and implement: Because academies include a “real world” theme with community partners, this application of the learning process requires more money for student field trips and internships, plus monies to pay for teacher externships. Additional resources does not end there, funding is needed to pay for teacher time to collaborate in the curriculum development and time to collaborate with business partners and post-secondary learning institutions. And, all of this requires more professional development for the educators. True, careers academies are more expensive to operate, but the ROI (Return on Investment) is worth it (i.e. additional revenues from improved student attendance).

2. Difficult to schedule: Due to the curriculum integration, the student field trips and internships, teaching teaming activities, career academies are a nightmare to schedule. However, many career academies have overcome this obstacle and are willing to assist high schools who have decided to establish academies. Additional resources include career academy consultants who are experts in this field and will help schools for a fee. Because these experts save both time and money, they should be considered as a viable option.

3. Partnerships between education and the community: This is the trickiest of the three cons of career academies. Business and education speak different languages and there needs to be someone who can translate what each is saying. These partnerships require both a igniting and nurturing process. Establishing the partnership is more difficult that it seems. Most schools go for the “affair” over the “marriage.” They tend to ask for money (short-range goal) rather that the value the business can bring to the relationship like mentors, real-world site learning, etc., which is the “marriage.” Once the partnership has started, teachers need time to keep the relationship progressing, and time is something that more schools are not willing to pay for. The school that thinks the teacher will stop and visit the business on the way home from school (on the teacher’s own dime) is dooming the education/business relationship to failure.

Conclusion:

Career academies work! They require more time and resources in order to be successful, but they are well worth the effort. They are a time-tested strategy that results in more students who graduate on time ready both/or for a career or college.



Source by Sandra Mittelsteadt

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6 Tips to Use Job Boards For a Nursing Job Search

Are you looking for a nursing job? Given below are some tips to use this method to look for the jobs that you desire.

Search Aggregators

Before job aggregators, job boards had got a lot of problems. And one of the problems was that you could end up in a rabbit hole looking for different jobs on different sites. Nowadays, you can get everything in one place.

For instance, you can look for jobs indexed on Monster, HealthECareers, CareerBuilder, and HealthJobsNationwide, just to name a few. These platforms will save you plenty of time over the long haul.

Register on The Job Boards

Nowadays, the major of job boards let you upload resumes. So, we suggest that you sign up on these job boards. The jobs may be duplicated, but your efforts will not be duplicated.

Actually, job boards offer recruitment services through back-end apps. With their recruitment subscriptions, recruiters can look into their databases for potential candidates. Moreover, some apps provide sophisticated tools that assist recruiters in screening potential candidates.

Create a Job Search Email Address

You may get tons of spam emails when you sign up with different career services of job boards. Aside from this, your contact details may get sold again and again. In case of job boards, the moderators of job boards will not even let their customers access your information on the site. So, we suggest that you create a Gmail account in order to prevent unwanted emails from falling into your inbox.

Create a Job Search Telephone Number

Once you have created a Gmail account, you will be able to create a Google Voice account for free of charge. This service allows you to choose a phone number so you can forward the calls to your number. If you are unavailable, the caller will be able to leave their message on our phone. Moreover, Google Voice can transmit your message into text. If you set up your phone number, you will not receive unwanted calls or messages.

Check Craigslist

While Craigslist is old, many jobs still get posted on this site. As a matter of fact, this site offers cheaper rates compared to other job boards. Moreover, the site gets tons of traffic. This is the reason it has become a great means of job search for job seekers.

Check out the American Hospital Directory

This service contains lots of data and statistics on more than 6000 hospitals across the globe. Actually, they collect information from lots of private and public sources. Moreover, they charge their clients and the clients may include medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies for getting access to their content.

As a matter of fact, their service is ideal for nurseries that are looking for nursing jobs in local hospitals.

So, if you have been looking for a nursing job, we suggest that you check out the job boards given above. They will help you look for your desired jobs in the area.



Source by Shalini Madhav

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Work-Life Balance

He is always impeccably dressed with a cheerful smile on his face. He is always on time and excels in every assigned task. He is charming and funny. And you are yet to see him lose his cool. Let's get to know his secrets for mastering the elusive work-life balance. If you also want to follow the footprints, embrace these amazing changes to strike a work-life balance with ease-

Set priorities

Maintaining a perfect work-life balance is not a one day task. It is all about figuring out what you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be. The best way to find out them is to ask yourself "if you could focus only on one thing in life, what would it be?" The answer will become your top priority. Likewise define all your priorities depending upon their importance.

Monitor your time

Start tracking your time for some days. Find out how much time you spend on things that holds no importance to you? Or do not add up to your priorities? Wipe out all those unproductive activities from your life and focus on what matters to you.

Be fully present

Concentrate on one thing at a time and devote your full attention to the task at hand. If you are doing some work, put your heart and soul in it. When you are with friends and family, do not reach for your phone to check mails or meeting agenda.

Respect "me" time

Being loyal to your work is essential but taking your family for granted can not work in long run. Whether it's a one hour break time or a complete shutdown on weekends, make sure you unplug regularly.

Zoom in on your personal habits and lifestyle

You can never achieve work-life balance if you do not incorporate good sleeping patterns, healthy diet and work-out time into your life. Badminton, reading whatever it is, try to pursue a hobby. You can never imagine how content you would feel after taking it up.

Ask for help

Do not feel inhibited to ask for help. Whether it's your boss, college or family member, everyone needs help at some point of time. Rely on the support network to make sure you are not only the one who is running into the ground to deliver tasks.

Let bygones be bygones

Always remember the quote "To err is human". We all make mistakes. The best way is to start living the present and then gain a beautiful future. Stop ruminating on the past and move on to achieve better things in life.

It is OK to say "No"

You do not have to acquiesce every request that comes your way. Saying no is a skill that will help you live a happy and healthy life . If you have to do something putting your priorities at stake, do not take too much on your plate.

Evaluation is must

Although achieving work-life balance is a never ending process but it is crucial to keep a check on it. Set aside some time once in a month to ensure whether you are living a life you always wished for.



Source by Reshali Balasubramaniam

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Career Warfare – A Book Summary

It is a tough and competitive business environment you

live and it is getting more and more difficult to achieve

your goals. You have to stand out among your colleagues

and competitors. You have to work hard for career

advancement, and better compensation.

Whether you are a senior executive, an entrepreneur or

an employee, this book will show you the best way to

succeed, accomplish your personal and career goals,

outshine your competition and differentiate yourself

from the pack. David F. D’Alessandro shows you how to

stand out from the crowd by developing your own

“personal brand”; and provides valuable lessons in

the etiquette of reputation building.

What is Personal Brand?

You need to realize that success does not only come

from hard work and appropriately playing the part.

To be successful in business and in your career, you

must be able to distinguish yourself from the rest of

the pack – you need to develop, build and defend your

reputation.

Personal branding is a way you manage your career or

business. It is a way of communicating that makes you

different and special. By using these qualities you

can distinguish yourself from your peers so that you

can expand your success.

There are 10 rules you can follow for building a

successful personal brand and keeping it:

Rule 1: Try to Look Beyond Your Own Navel – The biggest

obstacle in building a positive personal brand is your

own ego. In order to develop an attractive personal

brand, you need to have self-respect and you need

to respect the people around you.

Rule 2: Like It or Not, Your Boss is the Coauthor of

Your Brand – You must realize and accept the fact that

early on in your career, your boss will reap most of

the rewards for ideas you give, money that you brought

in, etc. This is how the corporate world operates. Do

not fight the power structure. Instead learn how to

play and live by it.

Rule 3: Put Your Boss on the Couch – Not all bosses

will help you. It is best that you recognize what type

of personality your boss has so that you would realize

what advantages and disadvantages this person can

cause to your brand.

Rule 4: Learn Which One is the Pickle Fork – Good manners

are crucial in developing and enhancing your personal

brand. Manners are about consideration and respect,

knowledge and patience. Practice good business etiquette.

Rule 5: Kenny Rogers is Right – While it is important

for you to seize the opportunity to build your brand,

it is equally crucial to know what battles to take. Know

when to keep on fighting and when to move fold.

Rule 6: It’s Always Show Time – You must realize that

reputations are not usually made by big events –

sometimes it is those big events that smear your brand.

What builds your reputation is your day-to-day

behavior in the business setting, such as how you deal

with people, how you make decisions, your work habits,

etc.

Rule 7: Make the Right Enemies – The best personal brands

include courtesy, fairness, tolerance, self-respect and

having good and proper manners. However, a small amount

of ruthlessness is good for your brand. Your reputation

will not suffer much if you fight your enemies,

but it will suffer if you lose your self-respect.

Rule 8: Try Not To Be Swallowed By the Bubble – Once you

are successful in building your brand and is rising in the

ranks, do not lose sight of the forest. Do not be too

full of yourself that you will be swallowed by success.

It is bad for your humanity, and bad for your career.

Rule 9: The Higher You Fly, the More You Will Be Shot

At – Everybody makes mistakes. The higher you are in the

ladder of success, the more likely that your mistakes

will be highlighted. Accept the fact that bad press comes

with prominence in any field.

Rule 10: Everybody Coulda Been a Contender; Make Sure You

Stay One – Set yourself to be distinct from your peers.

Since you are constantly being compared to your peers,

don’t be afraid to offer something unique or distinctive.

Don’t give up easily. Don’t throw in the towel immediately

because of a setback or two. Learn from your mistakes and

turn it into an opportunity. Don’t lie, cheat or

steal. Be cautious of the reputation you are building.



Source by Regine Azurin