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How Freelancers Can Stay Positive During the Coronavirus Crisis

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There is hardly an industry or a world country that hasn’t been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. What started as a medical crisis soon turned into an economic disaster. As people were instructed to stay at home and distance socially, workers lost their jobs, so now there are millions of people on the brink of survival.

Freelancers were hit especially hard because they didn’t have a huge corporation to stand behind them. In order to stay in business, us freelancer have to stay positive and come up with innovative ways to revive our business when the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.

It’s OK to accept help

Humans tend to be overly proud sometimes, refusing to accept help from anyone. However, the situation of the global economy is such that you cannot stay afloat financially unless you accept and even seek out a helping hand. If your friends, family, and business partners are offering short-term loans, don’t hesitate to take them.

Furthermore, explore what banks have to offer and find out if the national or regional government is offering subsidies for people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The interest rates of coronavirus-related grants and loans are symbolic, so they’ll help you stay liquid without incurring too much debt.

Staying positive all the way

The less work you have on your hands because of the coronavirus crisis, the more free time you have. In fact, you might have the most free time you have had in years. Don’t let this time go to waste, as you need to stay productive, even if you’re not profitable.

The worst thing you can do is lament over your faith, as billions of people are affected by the pandemic. On the contrary, take up guitar lessons, practice your driving skill, or attend an online seminar; whatever will make you a better person and a professional when the outbreak is over. Staying positive all the way is among the top priorities for every employed person, not only freelancers.

Staying in touch

Although it is true that social distancing can significantly reduce the spread of the virus, this doesn’t mean that you should withdraw from social life altogether. It is not necessary for two people to physically meet o stay in touch, especially now when there is a myriad of online communication channels. In fact, you can conduct business operations through video conferencing without the need for any downloads or plugins for all users.

When it comes to your personal life, now that everyone is staying at home is the right time to send them a message or pick up the phone and call them. As people across the globe are learning to take things slowly, you can use this opportunity for networking and getting ready for post-pandemic life.

The time to revise your contracts

If you’ve had a lot of clients and sent and received a lot of payments during the previous years, then you probably haven’t had the time to revise your contract policies. Taking the time to amend them now will help you stay (financially) safe in the future.

The biggest alteration you need to make is the stage of the project you get paid, i.e. when do you receive the money. Ideally, you should receive the payment before the project start but getting the payment half-way through is still a good option.

The worst-case scenario is that you get paid after the job is done, which puts you at great risk. Freelancers don’t have tons of cash to go about, so you need a constant influx of dollar bills.

Now is the time to be innovative

It might not seem like a good idea at first but now that’s you have fewer clients and less work at hand is the ideal time to innovate. A good industrial mechanic will tell you that they overhaul machinery when it stops working, so the same principle can easily be applied to your freelancing career.

The lockdown is the best time to test an app or extend the array of services or goods you offer. Like we’ve stated earlier, you can use this time to educate yourself as well through learning new skills online. This of this effort as a spiteful personal countermeasure against the havoc the coronavirus has wreaked in the global economy.

Don’t cancel everything; put in on hold

The reason why people lose their jobs is that clients have ceased all work. The same thing is happening to freelancers worldwide but instead of indolently accepting cancellations from clients, try to place them on hold.

If you “park,” a project, it will be easier to restart it once the outbreak loses momentum. A cancelled job means that you have to start the whole process all over again and that’s only if the client doesn’t hire a different freelancer.

Remodel your offer

Finally, you should rethink your offer and try to stay in the business despite the lockdown and cancelled deals. Yes, we are referring to going online. If you’re a schoolteacher, then you can offer online classes to your students, both group and individual ones.

Remodelling your offer involves additional market research to estimate what has changed. We guarantee you that the need for your goods and services is still there but the format has changed completely. Brick and mortar stores going online is the best example of businesses adjusting to the new reality.

Times are hard for freelancers but staying positive about future prospects is the only guarantee you will stay afloat. From accepting help to rethinking your business model there are numerous ways to proactively approach the coronavirus crisis and its consequences.

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Importance of the role of HRs in the success of Startups

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Importance of the role of HRs in the success of Startups

We’re living in an unprecedented age of startups. 

With globalization, Startups have managed to taste success like never before. This has encouraged young talents to take a jump in the Startup pool.

However, 90% of startups fail within the first year. The ones that succeed have several things going in their favor and having a functional HR department is on the top things in that list. 

Why is HR so important?

There’s one big reason: Startups require energetic employees that can get results and solve challenges. Whether it’s finding these people or building a culture so they feel motivated to stay, HR plays the most important role in making it happen. 

Without HR you won’t have the right people. And without that, you won’t have your startup. 

The role of Human Resource in startups 

It’s about maximizing the potential of every employee. Below are some of the important roles of HR that keep your startup running smoothly and efficiently. 

Allows a startup to hire the best talent     

Everyone wants problem-solving folks on their team. When hiring, a startup not only has to compete with other startups but also cash-rich MNCs. HR can correctly analyze the hiring needs and create a brand image that will attract the right talent. It is a critical element, especially for startups looking to hire a diverse workforce.  

Helps in maintaining and retaining the talent   

The startup world is fragile. Most employees are looking for a stable opportunity and it is the reason a lot of them leave once they find that somewhere else. It’s easier to emotionally connect employees with the company values with a structured HR department and top management, which motivates them to stay longer. 

Helps in maintaining the CULTURE 

People love startup culture as it provides a lot of freedom and a platform for people to create their own set of processes. Progressive startups focus on the results rather than what the employees are wearing, where they are working from, and what’s their schedule. Offering people ownership and responsibility yields better results in the longer term. This culture of driving new initiatives and setting CORE values is built by the HR team. 

Helps in building the structure and improving the policies 

During the initial phase, most startups follow a flat structure without any hierarchies. As a startup starts growing, things scale up quickly. Especially if the number of employees starts growing over 50, then it’s better to build different structural hierarchies for different teams.   

For example, the Marketing team initially had 2 employees and they reported to the CEO. Now, 3 new people have joined and it’s not possible for the CEO to check-in on all of them. So, the 3 new-joiners can report to the initial 2 employees who then report to the CEO on behalf of the team.   

Any startup will fall apart if they don’t build a support system. Both management and HR are responsible for passively instilling this set of policies and hierarchies in the entire organization. 

Helps in learning and development of employees 

The culture at startups is such that employees are full of energy and enthusiasm. But this spark in employees will die if there is no continuous learning available for them. 

During a transition from START-up to SCALE-up, the employees must bring their A-game to work. That’s possible with effective employee engagement and the development of the workforce.  

HRs, with the heap of learning and development initiatives, will help you do exactly that. 
 

This is how you develop a structured HR department 

  1. Hire better: If you don’t hire the right HR people, don’t expect them to hire the best talent for your startup. 
  2. Encourage accountability: When you give HRs the control, they’ll feel responsible and inspired to check-in on everyone.  
  3. Offer trust: Don’t make HRs go round-round for permission on the small issues. Offer them trust and let them handle things.  
  4. Invest in technology: A modern HRMS helps HRs streamline functions and provide a uniform experience to every single person at the company. 

Finally… 

As startups evolve and continue to grow rapidly, a lot of elements will play a significant role in their journey towards success. HR as a function is one of the key elements that’ll help organizations create a culture of empathy and give them an edge over others. 

Now that you’re aware of the importance of HR in startups, set a plan for your HR department and grow like never before. 

About the Author:

Dheeraj Kumar Pandey
Dheeraj is an HR Advisor and stands at the forefront when it comes to helping Business Owners and HR Heads to overcome Tech challenges in People process. He has spent his last 10 years playing a vital role in assisting Startups, SMEs and Enterprise organizations to harness HR technology for maximizing people’s potential, performance to drive business outcomes. Dheeraj has used Keka as the platform of choice in helping 5300+ HR professionals at over 3000 organisations.

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WannaCry Ransomware – How to Avoid It?

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WannaCry Ransomware - How to Avoid It?

The malevolent ransomware called “WannaCry” hit organizations both vast and small globally in 2017. Over 200,000 frameworks were infected. This vast scope of infection affected organizations, governments, and surprisingly forced trauma centres to shut down.

WannaCry is a tool focusing on Windows OS where programmers assume responsibility for a PC, lock it, and hold clients’ information prisoner with no chance of recovering the files until a cryptocurrency ransom has been made.

This Windows OS security imperfection was initially exploited by the National Security Agency (NSA), then it was leaked, thereby permitting programmers to utilize the defect. A new IBM study approximates a 6,000% surge in ransomware assaults.

With ransomware assaults on the ascent, the Internet Society (ISOC) found that many people are unprepared to manage ransomware. However, you can avert this when you install an antivirus like Bitdefender or use a firewall. This article will look into how you avoid WannaCry and the updated versions of this ransomware tool.

Tips on How to Avoid the WannaCry Ransomware Tool

Ensure That Your Windows OS Is Always Up-To-Date

In case you’re using a modernized version of Microsoft OS, including Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, and you’ve remained up-to-date on your framework refreshes, you shouldn’t be susceptible to the present recapitulation of the WannaCry tool.

Due to the WannaCry ransomware tool’s surge, Microsoft gave uncommon patches on the more seasoned versions of Windows it presently doesn’t support to secure them against this malware. This includes Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP, among others.

Put in A Devoted Ransomware Blocker

Try not to assume that your present antivirus utility offers insurance against ransomware, mainly if it’s an obsolete rendition. A significant number of the enormous antivirus suites didn’t add ransomware jamming until recently.

Not certain you’re secured? Go to your utility configurations and check whether there’s any indication of ransomware. Or then again, search online for your utility tool’s particular version and check whether it’s listed among the highlights.

On the off chance that it’s not, or you’re almost certain you don’t have any sort of protection past your fixed form of Windows, introduce a devoted antimalware tool. Some of the free options include Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware and Cybereason Ransom free.

Scan Your Emails and Mail Service Regularly

IT specialist organizations report that 46% of the ransomware assaults they noticed were brought about by phishing tricks or emails, as indicated by research from Datto. Try not to open mails from individuals you don’t know without checking them first for malware.

Gmail has an implicit malware checker that will caution you before you open a dubious email. Numerous antimalware programming projects have email checking capacities. Some top-notch tools include Kaspersky and Norton Anti-virus.

Regardless of whether an email looks genuine, be cautious. Do not tap on a link within an email from somebody you don’t know. On the off chance that the mail is from a bank or of a service that you buy into, make a point to browse the email address cautiously.

Ensure That Your Passwords Are Airtight

Passcodes are a hassle, yet they are a critical way to stop programmers who could introduce ransomware tools like WannaCry and Petya. Ensure your passcodes are impermeable along these lines empowering them to secure your information in a superior manner.

Likewise, changing your passcodes regularly and entirely every couple of months will help keep the hackers speculating hence guaranteeing that your information is a lot more secure.

Back-Up All the Data in Your PC and Smartphone

In case you’re similar to most individuals, you’ve presumably heard this previously and disregarded it. With the low cost of external hard disks, free cloud services, and the simplicity of doing these backups, there’s no reason for not having either of the two.

Week by week, reinforcements could be needed for a great many people and can save you a load of cash demanded by hackers when they taint your system with a ransomware tool such as Petya WannaCry.

Do Not Be Relaxed About Your Information’s Security on Social Media

The best safeguard is to have an incredible offense with regards to forestalling ransomware assaults. Your offense can begin with your online media accounts. Ensure your profiles are private and can only be seen by individuals you know.

Try not to share an excessive amount of individual data, particularly in your biography. It’s simple for hackers to deduce your current location, device IP address, and more from sites such as Facebook, and Twitter consequently empowering them to dispatch a ransomware assault on your gadget.

Final Thought

All in all, the guidelines we have illustrated above can offer the first line of protection against the WannaCry ransomware tool. Nevertheless, all businesses and individuals are susceptible to a breach; therefore, it is always crucial to ensure you stay up-to-date on current threats and how to best deal with them.

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A brief guide for North America Shipping

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A brief guide for North America Shipping

Shipping from Canada to the US can be a fairly daunting process as a lot of paperwork is involved in it. It is indisputable that international shipping to North America has grown significantly with the passage of time and is continuing to flourish. Whether you are shipping from Canada to the US, or you are shipping to Mexico or any other location within North America, you definitely need the right shipping services, to manage the costs effectively. It is advised that you get your quotes from different North America shipping services before you hire one. A little research will help you make the right pick. 

Things to Consider while shipping from Canada to the US:

If you are shipping between Canada and the United States, then there are some key elements that must be considered. You will require the following as they are mandatory:

  • Consider the documentation that is required for all the parcels that have to be shipped to the United States. 
  • Consider the shipping options that you have access to. 
  • Look into how valuation will have an impact on online and clearance orders that will be shipped to the US. 
  • Always request an economy rate for heavier parcels that have to be shipped from Canada to the US. 

Prohibited or Restricted Products:

There are some products that are restricted for shipment from Canada to the United States. It is important to know about them as you don’t want to be involved in any legal matters. If you hire a professional and well-reputed shipping service, they will definitely educate you about the restricted products beforehand. 

This will vary from shipper to shipper. Some shippers might ship these products for you but make sure that it is safe to do so. 

 the following items are prohibited to ship from Canada to the US (do check with your shipper): 

  • Weapons (you will require a special license for it)
  • Tobacco products 
  • Medications 
  • Animal products or animals
  • Seeds
  • Money
  • Lottery tickets 
  • Alcoholic beverages 
  • Batteries
  • Certain types of toys 
  • Illegal substances 

Can you ship gift baskets from Canada to the US?

The pandemic has limited human interactions and the festivities are incomplete without gifts from our loved ones. The only option that people have now, is to ship their presents through cargo. With limitations on some products, can one ship gift baskets from Canada to the US? Well, you can but whilst keeping some certain things in your mind. 

  • Make sure that there is no alcohol in the basket. 
  • The shipment must be addressed to one individual only, otherwise FDA won’t approve it. 
  • If you ship a basket from a company, it won’t be considered a personal shipment. Thus, keep it in mind and make sure it is addressed from and to one individual only. 
  • You will have to provide a list of all the items present in the gift basket along with description. 

Customs while shipping within North America:

Whether you are shipping to North America or places within North America, it is important that you pay attention to the custom’s documentation. A detailed description is required of each item that is involved in the basket is crucial along with a local contact number of the recipient. 

CONCLUSION

Research for the best North America shipping services if you have to send items within North America or to it. A well-reputed company follows all the guidelines and provides the best shipping services to you as well. Thus, keep it in mind that your cargo delivery is highly reliant on the shipping service you opt for. 

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