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5 Workplace Trends That Are All About the Future

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5 Workplace Trends That Are All About the Future

Our workplaces have changed a lot over the past few decades. They’re always evolving, keeping pace with the latest technologies, large-scale social transformations, and new levels of human freedom. Sometimes these changes are quite slow, but there are moments in human history that can cause business owners, government officials, and other policy-makers to speed this process up.

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be a historical event of this kind. It has affected our workplaces dramatically. Now we’re all wondering which of these innovations are temporary and which ones are here to stay. In any event, employers have gained a new perspective they wouldn’t have developed otherwise, and they have more info to act upon and make decisions about this. Here are some of the most important trends we’re already seeing in our workplaces that are all about the future.

 Telecommuting

Surely the most obvious change we’ve experienced since the start of the epidemic is a huge increase in remote work. Of course, many companies started utilizing telecommuting a while ago, but many others first introduced it only recently as a response to social distancing measures.

So what are the consequences of this massive experiment? A lot of businesses have realized that they have increased productivity and/or cut expenses after most of their employees started working from home. Surely, this fact wasn’t unheard-of before the crisis, and giants like AT&T or Dell reported they had saved millions of dollars thanks to different telework initiatives. But only now it is becoming a fact wide-spread enough that we can expect it to cause changes on a global scale.

Moreover, remote work suits employees as well. As much as 91% of them say telecommuting is a good fit for them, and 37% would agree to receive a 10% pay cut in exchange for working from home. Also, the number of available different jobs that can easily be done from any spot on the planet is on the rise, so telecommuting seems like one of the trends that will only grow in popularity.

Emphasis on work-life balance

If we want to understand the workplace of the future, we need to recognize that the upcoming generations have different priorities. Chasing more and more money at whatever cost doesn’t seem too appealing to millennials and Generation Z. This should turn out to be beneficial for companies as well, as we can expect more productive workers once the stress levels start to fall. Namely, a staggering 60% of workers experience performance drops as a consequence of chronic work-related stress.

Of course, businesses will have to adapt to this reality. The best salaries are not sufficient to attract the best talent anymore. The new generation’s priority is to have the best possible balance between work and life and to have an opportunity to live their lives to the fullest. That’s why we’ll see companies investing a lot in employee experience. This includes providing some essentials such as sick leave or flexible hours, but also some apparently less important perks like cozy offices, game rooms, or creative team building ideas. Organizations will have to adapt their entire cultures to this new set of employee demands.

Some companies even allow power naps at work. It may sound silly, but it’s actually perfectly sensible given that the effects of sleep deprivation include lack of focus, poor memory, emotional stress, and erratic behavior. It seems that in the future, businesses will want their workers to be stress-free and well-rested so that they can truly excel at their jobs.

Flexibility

A certain amount of flexibility from both employers and employees is becoming a must for any successful company.  We’ve already seen that workers will expect less rigidity about when they will work and where they will work from. But we’ll also see executives expecting employees to show some adaptability.

Most businesses of the future will have their work processes and activities dictated by new technologies as well as their ever-changing markets. This means they’ll need some quick learners on the team, who should even be ready to unlearn some of the things they know in order to adjust to new circumstances.

Furthermore, the focus of employee training will be acquiring a wider set of skills and cross-functional knowledge that can prepare them to jump in new positions whenever necessary. In combination with increased talent mobility, this will allow companies to scale their business easily.

AI assistance

You don’t really have to be a prophet to anticipate artificial intelligence taking a large part in the workplace of the future. Up to 47 percent of US jobs might be at risk of being completely automated in the next 20 years.

This makes it even more important for workers in many branches to diversify their skills if they want to survive in the new, AI-driven reality. As Marc Andreessen, a famous American entrepreneur put it – in the future, there will be two types of jobs: people who tell computers what to do and people who are told what to do by computers.

AI already has a significant influence on the world of business today. Different AI-backed softwares help companies streamline workflows and increase productivity. They collect and interpret massive amounts of data that affect practically all important business decisions. And because they’re basically self-learning and self-teaching algorithms, they’ll only get better at it.

Fewer long-term commitments

We’ve already seen that new circumstances will lead to a lot more flexibility at work, in terms of talent mobility, diversification of skills, and roles and positions that are not as well-defined as in the old days. This will have another important consequence. It will inevitably lead to a less stable job market, which means fewer long-term contracts and more contingent workers.

And it’s already happening. More than 90 percent of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. The fact that there are more and more independent short-term projects and on-demand work has influenced a huge increase in the number of freelancers, and this increase won’t be stopping any time soon. Thirty-six percent of Americans are freelance workers, with this number predicted to hit the 50-percent mark as early as 2027.

Given the convenience of freelancing and the evolution of different platforms for freelancers, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. However, the gig economy has many downsides, and the never-ending uncertainty it entails can be stressful and overwhelming. Freelancing is a great path to take when it’s a matter of choice, but when it’s a matter of no choice, it can be difficult and distressing.

Conclusion

As always, the workplaces of the future will shape the workers of the future. These places will be exciting and unpredictable, but also vicious sometimes. And this job market will demand dynamic, agile, and versatile candidates that can adapt quickly and fit multiple different roles.

That is, if there are no major surprises in the forthcoming years. But we’ve seen we can’t take that for granted. We have no idea just how bad the consequences of the current epidemic-induced crisis could be, let alone predict what the decades ahead of us will look like. We can only be sure they won’t be boring.

Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.

Guest Post

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Data Center

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The Ultimate Guide to Building a Data Center

Industries increasingly rely on internet-connected services and devices, producing and accumulating enormous amounts of data along the way. With so many companies undergoing digital transformations, there is a greater demand for data centers to help manage, save and control that information, turning the market into a $21.9 billion industry. The time is right to build a data center you can rely on.

Experts are estimating an additional 20.6 zettabytes of global cloud data center traffic to accumulate each year. Therefore, now is the time to establish yourself as a leader in management by building a secure, effective facility.

Many businesses lack the space, resources or employees to create and maintain an on-site data center. Off-site facilities are the ideal solution. You can simplify your operations and focus resources on other areas while offering a facility with around-the-clock data security and expert guidance.

Building an effective data center starts with intentional design and preplanning to optimize equipment performance, minimize environmental impact, and implement virtual and physical security measures.

Here’s what you should know when it’s time to build a data center.

Know the Essential Components

Every data center should be reliable, scalable, sustainable and suitable, regardless of location or facility size. Ensuring these factors will result in an operation that works at peak efficiency.

  • Reliable: Companies rely on data centers for some of their most critical and sensitive information, making reliability essential. Your clients need to trust that their data is secure at your facility and that you’ve got more than one backup plan in case of an emergency or natural disaster.
  • Scalable: Your operations must adapt without downtime as your business grows and technology evolves. Implement scalable practices, policies and digital solutions from your initial launch date.
  • Sustainable: Most of today’s data center teams report increasing their use of renewable energy with active or soon-to-be-activated environmental initiatives. Sustainability doesn’t end with your facility’s construction and physical components — you should also take steps to minimize digital waste, such as reminding customers to perform regular data audits.
  • Suitable: Consider your unique data center’s needs, like your core mission or target industry niche. When planning construction location and materials, account for local environmental concerns, like operating in an area prone to hurricanes or wildfires.

Consider how these essential components factor into your initial and ongoing budget, including frequency of upgrades, security enhancements and green building initiatives.

Invest in Quality Hardware and Equipment

Quality equipment and hardware are essential for a reliable, scalable data center. Your facility will have unique needs based on your location, business goals, budget and size, but expect to invest in the following at a minimum:

  • Power supply: Your data center can connect to a local grid or its own, depending on area regulations and how much resources you can invest. You’ll also want to secure an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system, such as a backup generator.
  • Main distribution board (MDB): The MDB includes fuses, circuit boards, breakers and other electrical components that deliver critical power across the center.
  • Transformer: Transformer failure is a common cause of costly downtime. Low-quality transformers are more prone to overheating, resulting in potentially disastrous power outages and security vulnerabilities.
  • Cooling: Cooling is critical for maintaining a consistent temperature at your facility, keeping utility costs low and protecting electrical equipment and data from heat-related damage. Some options include HVAC units, chilled water systems, and hot and cold aisle containment. Promote better cooling during design by encouraging airflow with ventilation or raised floors.
  • IT infrastructure: IT infrastructure includes everything from networking gear to intricate hardware. An infrastructure management platform can help you oversee data security and overall system health.
  • Layout design: Employees won’t need to access every part of the facility each day, but poorly designed layouts can lead to workplace accidents, equipment malfunctions and other disasters. Consider equipment dimensions, interior and exterior environment, lighting and noise levels to develop a safe, easy-to-navigate facility. Things like cable management and server racks can help maintain organization.

Implement Robust Security

Data faces a near-endless number of threats in today’s world, ranging from careless employees to malicious cybercrimes. According to the 2021 State of the Data Center Report, center managers are most concerned about human threats and ransomware.

A data center is only as good as its security measures, including plans for prevention and remediation of all cyber, facility and environmental threats. It’s vital to keep information safe, which will build your reputation in the community.

Ransomware isn’t the only digital threat your facility will face. Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), phishing schemes, and gaps in software or application security are other risks. Anti-malware, threat isolation plans, comprehensive threat prevention, detection and management software, and regular employee training can help keep your data center secure.

Data attacks can also come from inside the facility itself, whether intentional or unintentional. Keep unauthorized users away from high-security areas with video surveillance, access keys or badges, sign-in protocols or on-site security staff.

Some threats come from the data center’s interior and exterior environments, especially if you’re building one in an area prone to natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires. Install fire suppression systems and moisture detectors to minimize fire- and flood-related damage. Avoid building in a flood zone and tailor construction designs to accommodate site-specific threats.

Have a Plan for Ongoing Maintenance

Building your data center is just the beginning of an ongoing commitment to creating a secure, effective, competitive solution for companies in your community.

Implement ongoing maintenance strategies to stay current on emerging cyberthreats, legal guidelines for data management and evolving technologies.

Have a daily management task list that includes cleaning, security checks, and equipment inspection to avoid malfunctions and overloads. Hold regular training sessions to keep your team informed of your data center’s policies and protocols for troubleshooting, threat escalation and critical inspection areas.

Build a Data Center You Can Rely On

As long as businesses generate information, there will always be a need for a well-conceived data center to help manage and store it. Careful planning will allow you to build a data center they feel confident relying on and investing in.

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Three major concerns regarding private cloud services implementation

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Three major concerns regarding private cloud services implementation

Private cloud services are preferred by organizations to ensure ease in access to servers, storage, security, and privacy. Software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are some of the major private cloud services offered to enterprises. With a surge in cloud implementation, the need for efficiency in operations, and ease in access requirements with virtual working models, private cloud services are increasingly availed. According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global private cloud services market is estimated to grow considerably in the coming years. The demand for different private cloud services will increase and various concerns related to their implementation will also surge.

Following are some of the concerns regarding the implementation of private cloud services.

Management of misconfigurations:

The usage of different private cloud services is increasing considerably and enterprises are implementing many services at the same time to ensure the productivity of their employees. Security teams will configure the services and offer access to specific services or functionality to certain employees. As there are hundreds and thousands of employees working in enterprises, it is difficult to keep track of configurations and permissions provided to them. Superhuman computing power is required, which is impossible for security teams. This may lead to permission gaps and inappropriate configurations. If user permissions and accesses are not provided correctly, there is room for data breach, leakage, or mismanagement. So, the deployment of configuration management systems is important while availing of private cloud services.

Data breach and leakage:

Though private cloud services can be implemented rapidly, have low upfront setup costs, and provide ease in upgrading, the data breach and leakage issues loom large over the implementation. Owing to unauthorized access, inappropriate configurations, and weak authentication methods, data can be exposed to third parties or unauthorized people. In addition, the number of cyberattacks is increasing day by day. These attacks are getting more sophisticated and rapid than before. This may lead to data breach or leakage, and result in fatal consequences in terms of finance and reputation. So, determining the security measures taken by the service provider and steps taken to mitigate the possible damage becomes a necessity. While deploying private cloud services, enterprises should have a clear idea about the strategies implemented to prevent data breach and leakage, procedures and policies followed, and backup systems in place.

Data storage location:

Knowing where the data is stored is essential for rapid implementation, security, and compliance. It is required to follow data compliance regulations and data usage standards of the region or country in which data is stored. If the data storage systems are not located at preferred locations, determine if you are getting the required speed and configurations. In addition, ensure that you are following the data regulations of the country. You need to ask the service provider about the exact locations and monitor whether all the data regulations are followed appropriately. Else, it may land you in legal trouble and cause financial or operational losses. In addition, users should also determine if the data servers in preferred locations go down, then what are the necessary steps taken to ensure continuity of business operations.

Among these major concerns, there are still a few concerns that remain to be addressed. Users need to determine if the private cloud service provider is backing up the data regularly on other servers. With uncertain situations such as insider threats and a rise in malicious attacks on servers, it is essential to have backups. Though there are huge benefits of implementing private cloud services, it is important to address some major concerns to ensure business continuity and seamless operations. Addressing these concerns on a timely basis will save huge costs and improve operational efficiency.

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Managing Money While Running a Business

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Managing Money While Running a Business

Running a business isn’t just a way to do something great for your future, but it’s also one of the most amazing ways to make a living in the modern world. This is especially true if you’re running a new business and don’t mind investing some time and energy into the process of figuring out what you’re going to do with your finances. This might sound like the most boring process in the world, but if you know what to do and who to turn to, managing your finances won’t be that hard. 

Use your savings

If you’re thrifty and don’t mind looking into the future while spending your own money, this is the right way to go. Saving money is a long and difficult process, no matter how old you are and where you live. But, if you’re committed and organized, doing that is quite possible. And once you’ve saved enough money, you can take the next step and use your money to finance your business or make it more lucrative than it was before. 

After that, you can decide what you’re going to do – take some of the earnings for yourself or you’re going to invest it back into your company once again. Each of these ideas is quite fine, but make sure you know what you’re about to do before you start making serious money because you’re going to need a proper long-term plan. 

Get some investors

Another great way to make your company more lucrative than before is to invite other people to invest some of their money into the process. These can be the people you know or strangers who might be interested in helping you make money because they believe in your idea and know that you’re going to help them get their money back after a while. 

These investors will help you build a support network that’s going to make your business sustainable and financially safe, and they’ll also inspire other people they know to join you as well. This will make your list of investors longer, and that’s always a good outcome for your business. However, the best thing about having lots of investors by your side is the fact that you won’t have to use your own money – instead, you’ll be able to protect your savings fund and keep all the money you make while running your company.

Talk to professionals

In the end, if nothing else seems to be working, you need to take the easiest road you can think of – talk to professionals who might offer you some help. These people have been helping business owners around the world juggle their private and professional finances, and that’s why they might be able to help you more than you can anticipate right now. From your bankers to your loan providers, these professionals will give you all the answers you’re looking for and help you understand that handling your own money is quite possible to do while managing your company’s money at the same time.

Still, if you notice that something might not be working for you, there’s another idea you should take into consideration – get a personal loan. This is the money you can always use for various reasons, from doing something great for yourself to taking your company to the next level, which is why a useful quick loan from Jacaranda Finance might be just the thing you’ve been looking for. These loans will help you on more levels than one, which is why using them to secure your private and professional finances is the riguseful loan from Jacaranda Financeht thing to do.

Don’t spend too much money if you don’t have to

In the end, managing your finances when running a business isn’t all about how you’re going to find the money you’re going to use, but how you’re going to spend it as well. This is something most business owners don’t think about too often because they’re always looking for ways to improve their companies and do as much as they can for their employees. That’s why they might be spending too much money on stuff that doesn’t deserve their money, and that’s the type of behavior that needs to stop immediately.

If you’re one of those business owners who might be interested in saving some money in the future, you need to look for effective and successful solutions that can make all the difference. Luckily, there are lots of ideas to choose from, so just find a few techniques that work for you the most and stay dedicated to your goals!

Managing your finances while running a company isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either, and you just have to stick to these simple solutions that can end up meaning quite a lot, protecting your money and helping you make more in the future!

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