Enhance Workplace Diversity by Doing These Three Things

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Workplace Diversity

By Dr. Steven Lindner

Diversity is a sensitive and often controversial topic, and employers take great strides to maintain and ensure a diverse workforce.

In fact, companies spend millions of dollars advertising job openings, recruiting job candidates from many different communities and backgrounds, and training and developing their workforces so they are diverse.

Yet real concerns remain about the disparity between majority and minorities, women and men, young and old, heterosexuals and homosexuals, the disabled, and those of particular religions and nationalities.

In my 20 years of experience supporting the hiring of many corporations in the U.S. and abroad, my company has always used an all-inclusive approach to recruit and qualify job candidates. Sourcing and selecting talent based on job-related qualifiers and merits is imperative.

In an effort to create “real equity” for job seekers, the U.K.’s Prime Minister David Cameron asked employers to hide applicants’ names on their initial job applications.

This move was aimed to help job seekers with ethnic or minority sounding names. But would hiding applicants’ names on résumés, colleges—and where they live—really curb employment discrimination?

In fact, candidates concerned about name discrimination often use aliases on their résumés.

Discriminatory claims often arise from the viewpoint of an individual that he or she was disadvantaged within an organization, and the burden of proof is on the employer to prove otherwise.

Being objectively diverse ensures compliance with standards and laws and helps employers defend themselves against discrimination claims.

Employers should be as transparent as possible in how and why decisions are made so employees have sufficient data to know they were not discriminated against.

However, this does not automatically ensure that employees and candidates will perceive a company as being diverse.

A new study examining diversity in the workforce, conducted by Dr. Bonnie Green of East Stroudsburg University, found that employees from underrepresented populations experience the work place differently than members of majority groups.

Those in the majority felt that their organizations were welcoming of diversity. However, most recently hired minority members expressed concerns of tokenism. They felt an expectation to “represent” their minority group and go “above and beyond” to prove themselves.

They also reported feeling more comfortable with people “like themselves.” Minorities who had these concerns typically left the employer within 24 months.

When it comes to subjective measures of diversity, being a minority inside an organization does not always mean minority outside of the organization. Individuals decide whether they are in the minority or majority largely based on the group they find themselves in.

So how can recruiters and HR professionals enhance workplace diversity?

*Act with inclusivity and equal opportunity for all job candidates and employees based on individuals’ merits, not demographics.

*Think beyond racial and ethnic differences. Equity for all includes men and women across sexual orientations, religious beliefs, disabilities and age groups.

Procter & Gamble, for instance, takes pride in being a leader in diverse talent development. The company’s mission statement emphasizes diversity: “Everyone valued. Everyone included. Everyone performing at their peak.”

Meanwhile, the firm, which employs more than 100,000 workers, has a board of directors that is 58 percent diverse and 41 percent women.

While I am in no way advocating hiring an unqualified person just to increase diversity within an organization, it is important to be cognizant of the benefits of a well-rounded workforce. After all, how will organizations develop collective intelligence if those behind the scenes all share common experiences and similar interests?

*Participate in opportunities to find commonalities

No matter how different we may appear, we all function similarly. When we bring people together casually to discuss everyday subjects, they realize how similar they actually are regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age.

For example, individuals who have dealt with a sick child or elderly parent can appreciate and have empathy for others who face similar situations. Shared experiences such as these lead to an understanding of the commonality we have as humans.

Establishing a diverse workforce is one of the biggest challenges for human resources professionals today. In a work world that is becoming increasingly more diverse, it is important to embrace each and every demographic.

Source: workplacediversitynetwork.com

About the Author:

Dr. Steven Lindner is the executive partner of The WorkPlace Group, a leading “think-tank” provider of talent acquisition and recruitment process outsourcing services helping employers find, screen, assess and onboard best talent. The WorkPlace Group has helped employers hire thousands of job seekers in 44 different countries. In doing so, hundreds of thousands of job seekers have been sourced, screened, assessed, and hired for clients ranging from small firms to Fortune 500 companies.

Ways to Stay Productive When You Work from Home

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Young latin woman working at home with laptop and documents

Globally, there has been 1.5 billion people who have been ordered to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many executives and managers are finding that managing remote workers blindly is is like conducting an orchestra without seeing or hearing the musicians. One company, TransparentBusiness, provides the solution that will allow a business to remain productive and profitable, while protecting their employees from the virus risks.

“Our TransparentBusiness platform, designated by Citigroup as the Top People Management Solution, makes remote work easy to monitor and coordinate, allowing many businesses to operate efficiently despite the shelter-at-home orders,” explains Alex Konanykhin, co-founder and chief executive officer of TransparentBusiness. “The goal is for companies to be able to allow their employees to work remotely, but yet still ensure they are being productive. That’s exactly what our collaboration software provides, giving business owners the peace of mind they need to give the green light to work from home.”

Employee engagement has been an issue with many companies, and the ability to work remotely is believed by some to be a solution to the problem. Employees who work remotely three or four days per week report that they feel the most engaged with their team.

In addition to improving employee engagement and providing a way to reduce the risks of spreading viruses, there are additional benefits to allowing employees to work remotely. These include improving employee retention rates, saving commute time, offering a better work-life balance, increased productivity, lower costs, and having access to a large pool of talent. Working remotely allows more flexibility, as well as prevents people from unnecessary distractions in the workplace.

While many companies are aware of some of the benefits of allowing their employees to work remotely, they are hesitant to allow it because they feel there is no accountability. That’s where TransparentBusiness comes in, providing the solution to that problem. TransparentBusiness offers a unique tool that will allow them to bridge the gap between working from home and still being a connected part of the team. The software offers such solutions as:

  • Being able to see all team members as they are working in real time. Employers don’t have to wonder if the employee is working or being productive, because the software will provide them with the immediate information they need.
  • Smart management and collaboration, providing an efficient way to collaborate and offer immediate feedback.
  • Increased productivity, ensuring that every billable minute is tracked, which helps to eliminate overbilling problems.
  • Performance monitoring that includes billing and cost data for the company or for a specific team or project that is being worked on.
  • Efficient communication capabilities, including multilevel chat options.
  • The ability to manage remote workers from one central location, while receiving all of the information that is needed to verify billable hours and productivity.

“TransparentBusiness is the ideal solution when having your employees work from home, or to make it easier and more cost-effective to work with freelancers,” added Silvina Moschini, co-founder and president of TransparentBusiness. “TransparentBusiness is a win-win solution for employees and employers.”

There are various ways that businesses can help employees stay productive when working from home. Some tips to help with that transition include:

  • Businesses can start the transition by identifying company goals and how they will be achieved. What is it they want their employees to accomplish while working from home?
  • Set the timeframes and deadlines that you want to have these items achieved in. Be realistic, especially since you are new to transitioning your workforce to working from home. The timelines can always be adjusted later.
  • Make the announcement to your employees that they will be transitioning to working from home. Share with them what the goals are, as well as the timeframe you have you settled upon.
  • Ensure you have the right software to help you make it a smooth transition, keep your employees working efficiently, and be able to track accountability. Opting for a software program such as TransparentBusiness will help improve task management, time management, team communication, productivity tracking, and more. TransparentBusiness has been designed to meet the needs of a remote workforce and increase productivity.
  • Know the difference in remote working tools, such as Zoom and GoToMeeting, DropBox and Google Docs, Skype and Whatsapp, and more. These remote working tools serve an important purpose and will make working from home easier and help keep people more efficient and productive.
  • Share with employees how they can be more productive working from home, by doing things such as setting regular hours, having a plan for the day, having a good location in the home where you can work from, and taking breaks when you need them.

One look at the data and trends and it is easy to see that working remotely is the future of how business will be conducted. It is estimated that two-thirds of employees around the world work remotely at least one day each week. In some countries, such as Switzerland, it’s estimated that 70% of the professionals work remotely at least one day per week. An estimated 53% of the workers there work remotely for half of the week. This is a trend that is taking place worldwide. It’s predicted that soon, half of the U.S. workforce will work remotely, at least part time.

TransparentBusiness has been expertly designed to cover all the bases and provide businesses with a unique solution to holding employees accountable who work remotely. The software is available for purchase through ADP, making it easy to streamline the process of adopting its use. It has also been designed with the same software as a business service model, making it easy to understand, efficient, and thorough, providing meaningful insight to business leaders worldwide.

Co-founded by Silvina Moschini and Alex Konanykhin, TransparentBusiness recently received a second round of funding, for a total amount raised of $6 million. Moschini was dubbed “Miss Internet” in 2003 by Fortune, and has made hundreds of appearances on major media outlets. Konanykhin has been referred to as the “Russian Bill Gates” and is also the founder if KMGi, an advertising company started in 1997 and known for innovation. For more information about TransparentBusiness, visit the site: https://transparentbusiness.com/.

About TransparentBusiness

TransparentBusiness is a unique solution for businesses, helping to provide them with the tool they need to allow their employees to work remotely. The software offers full transparency and real-time coordination, boosts productivity, and eliminates overbilling. For more information about the software, visit the site: https://transparentbusiness.com/.

 

Sources:
CNBC. 70% of people globally work remotely at least once a week. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/30/70-percent-of-people-globally-work-remotely-at-least-once-a-week-iwg-study.html

Forbes. 50% of the U.S. workforce will soon be remote. https://www.forbes.com/sites/samantharadocchia/2018/07/31/50-of-the-us-workforce-will-soon-be-remote-heres-how-founders-can-manage-flexible-working-styles/#5242d43c5767

Best Practices On Running Virtual Teams From Founder Of Company With 1,000 Remote Employees

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Back view of female employee talk with male businessman on webcam laptop conference, woman worker with man employer brainstorm on video call from home, online

There’s never been a time in our life when businesses couldn’t gather in their buildings and offices for work. While we’re finding ways to work virtually, leaders are still looking to understand how to run their businesses without the ability to meet in person. As we navigate this new norm, I want to help you by providing some tips on how to run your teams and businesses remotely.

I recently interviewed my friend Bryan Miles, Chairman & Co-Founder of BELAY – a leading virtual services company. While this time of operating remotely is new for many, it is business as usual for Bryan and his team of nearly 100 employees and 1,000+ virtual contractors who have been operating virtually for 10+ years.

Bryan shared with me how his company successfully operates remotely by offering tips on the best platforms and technology to use, adapting your leadership style, how to maintain collaboration and productivity, and how to offer grace and trust in a virtual environment.

Here are the 8 components of successful remote working I learned from Bryan:

1 – Have the Right Video Conferencing Tools

Bryan mentioned that businesses operating virtually must have trustworthy video conferencing tools. While there are many options on the market, such as Skype and Google Hangout, Zoom has taken the lead as the preferred system. Ensuring you have a dependable way to communicate when working remotely is the best way to maintain collaboration, trust, and productivity.

Tip: Use these video conferencing tools to continue or instate morning check-ins with your team or company. This will help you all feel more connected and get a closer look into each other’s personal lives, which will build strong bonds of trust between team members.

2 – Ensure You Have Solid Equipment

To maintain daily business operations while remote, it’s crucial to have a good computer, high-speed internet connection, a webcam, a good microphone, and any other necessities required to do your job and communicate with your boss and co-workers. This seems like a no-brainer, but these are often things we don’t think about until a remote situation arises. It’s important to make sure you have access to these necessities at all times.

3 – Maintain Your Routine

When you work from home, it’s easy to forget your normal routine. But the best way to show up for work, ready and prepared is to continue the same routine you would do on any working day. Whether that’s a morning quiet time, going on a walk before work, exercising at lunch, or prayer breaks throughout the day, be sure to keep that going. It’s also helpful to have a designated workspace. Ensuring you can work without the distraction of household responsibilities or family members will help your productivity throughout the day.

4 – Create Company-wide Guidelines

You don’t want to create a company policy just for the sake of having guidelines, but setting expectations in a remote environment helps people know where boundaries are and sets them up for success. It’s good for leadership to set expectations about when people should be online or how to best communicate under these unique circumstances.

Tip: One expectation that will help employees stay focused is to hold calls with mandatory video and audio access. Asking your team to share their workspace on video will ensure they’re actually attending the meeting, paying attention, and in a focused-environment.

5 – Ask Your Boss for Clear Expectations

Every boss is facing hard decisions right now, so have grace with your boss and do everything you can to support them. They will be adapting how they lead in this unprecedented time, so have understanding and patience as they navigate. Make sure to maintain open communication as you navigate this space together.

6 – Over-encourage Feedback and Communication

On Bryan’s team at BELAY, they use a “fist to five” system. When the team needs a quick read on how people are feeling about a topic, they ask participants to use their hand to put up a fist (a 0 on the comfort scale), or five fingers (a full-fledged approval) to show their acceptance. If most people are a five, you know things are going pretty well. Easy forms of feedback like this will help monitor morale even during periods of distance.

7 – Extend an Overabundance of Grace

This applies to your bosses, co-workers, and vendors. When remote, you don’t have body language to help communication, you can’t ask your office-mate for a quick favor, and it probably takes some adapting to work as efficiently as you were in your office. Giving people the benefit of the doubt in these situations will build strong bonds that will transcend this temporary time.

8 – Remember – Culture is Not an Office, it’s a Shared Vision

Bryan reminds us as business owners that it’s not your pool table in the office that creates your exceptional culture, it’s how you trust and treat your employees. While it’s easy for leaders to micromanage in times of uncertainty, try to allow your team space to prove their competence and drive. Give them the freedom to work creatively toward a united goal and vision, rather than creating a list of tasks for them to complete.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Career Opportunities

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Close up of woman using mobile phone

There are many nationwide companies hiring now for remote work and more. HISPANIC Network Magazine connects you with our Job Postings Board.

Click here to view the many current job openings for companies looking for candidates now.

7 Ways To Make Your Online Virtual Conference Successful

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Virtual conference with many laptops and technology background and assortment of images with people wearing headsets

The COVID-19 global pandemic has upended the conference and events industry. While some events have been canceled or postponed, others are being moved to an online, virtual setup in order to safeguard the health of attendees and presenters.

Virtual conference events aren’t new (indeed, some very large ones are held each year). However, they are unfamiliar to many meeting planners, and it’s important to understand that the keys to a successful virtual conference event are a bit different than those for a traditional live event. Keynote speakers need to recognize this, as well, since keynote programs that work well onstage might not translate well to an online format.

As a keynote speaker who’s headlined both live and virtual conference events for over a decade, here are 7 tips I’ve learned about how to make digital events successful, from large online gatherings to small eLearning sessions:

1. Use video if at all possible.

Even when delivered by the best speakers, it can be difficult to hold a virtual audience’s attention with a slide-based presentation, alone. Most webinar platforms support videoconferencing, and virtual conference speakers should absolutely make use of that capability. When your audience can see the speaker at a virtual event, it makes for a more engaging, more personalized attendee experience. If video is not available, then consider shortening the speaker sessions from a standard one-hour keynote to something more abbreviated, in an effort to maintain audience engagement throughout the entire presentation.

2. Carefully consider the best available audio option.

One surefire way to disengage a virtual audience is to subject them to poor audio quality. If they’re unable to hear the speakers clearly, they’ll tune them out (if not actually disconnect from the live feed). In contrast to a live event, with carefully controlled, professional A/V equipment – audio quality for a virtual session can be negatively impacted by a wide variety of factors: the quality of the speaker’s microphone, the platform used to capture the audio (landline phone, cell phone or VOIP), and network quality/connectivity (for cell and VOIP audio). The most reliable, high quality alternative is a landline phone – encourage your speakers to use that device, if at all possible. If a landline isn’t available, the second-best option will vary depending on the speaker’s equipment setup and connectivity. Test out those different options well before the event, and select the one that provides the best listening experience for the audience.

3. Make sure your speakers have customized their presentations for a virtual audience.

A speech that works well in a live venue may not translate perfectly to a virtual one. Speakers may not at first realize it, but gestures and other visual cues that they (sometimes unknowingly) use during a live speech won’t work in the virtual event. For this reason, speakers skilled in virtual events will utilize special materials for that delivery medium, such as a modified slide deck which helps convey information or emotion that wouldn’t otherwise be communicated effectively across a digital medium.

4. Keep the session interactive.

Depending on the size of the audience, the degree to which the virtual session can be made interactive will vary. Even large virtual conferences, however, can be made more interactive simply by using the audience polling features which are available in many online event platforms. Explain to the audience how to submit questions via the platform, and encourage them to do so, be it during a designated Q&A period at the end of the session, or during the program. Make sure speakers keep an eye on questions as they are submitted, so they can address some of them on the fly during their prepared remarks.

5. Do a comprehensive A/V check – and take it seriously.

Most speakers can do A/V checks at live events in their sleep, as it’s an exercise with which they are exceedingly familiar. That’s not the case with virtual events. Even if a speaker has done virtual sessions in the past, there’s no guarantee their next virtual event will use the same technology platform as their last. Great speakers leave nothing to chance when preparing for an event, and that approach is especially important with virtual sessions. Check everything in advance – audio/video quality, screen sharing, host-to-speaker private messaging, audience Q&A – and do it all with the same equipment and internet connection that the speaker will be using on event day.

6. Plan for technical issues.

Live events are conducted in well-controlled environments, where skilled A/V technicians are overseeing the entire endeavor. That’s not the case in a virtual conference event, where there are a host of potential breakpoints (network connectivity among them) that nobody has to even think about when putting on an in-person meeting. Develop contingency plans for whatever technical issues might crop up during the session. For example, if speakers are using slides, have them send their presentations to the event host in advance – so if the speaker loses connectivity, the host can at least step in and advance the slides for them.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

First Native American-Owned Film Studio Shoots Post-Civil War Drama

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Camel Rock Studios

Many people would be familiar with the idea of Native American-owned casinos—but what about movie studios? Last year, the Tesque Pueblo Tribe of New Mexico was looking to move out of their old casino building into a bigger space—and while in the process, they realized the 75,000-square-foot facility that they were leaving behind would make a perfect movie studio.

Thus was born the first ever Native American-owned production studio and location set in history: Camel Rock Studios—where the Tom Hanks post-Civil War drama News of the World was filmed.

Located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico, the beautiful plot of Tesque Pueblo land has now been the backdrop for over 20 films that needed its rolling desert hills, including Cowboy and The Man from Laramie.

The Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation has invested $50 million in expanding the facilities at Camel Rock Studios to include a movie ranch with standing sets, prop studios, a filming-equipped water tank, and 1,000 parking spots, which anyone who has been part of a movie production would agree is a huge plus.

“Casinos, inherently, if you take out all the games, are big empty spaces,” Timothy Brown president and CEO of the Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation told Variety. “So we had an events center that we did concerts in and large parties that was a big vacant space. Once we removed all the casino equipment and furniture from the casino area, that became another large vacant space, and then with any business we had an entire administrative area with cubicles and offices that became perfect for their offices to move in.”

Along with Hollywood’s enduring love of western films, Camel Rock and the Tesque Pueblo Nation are looking to take advantage of a filming boom in New Mexico, with recent successes behind shows like Breaking Bad luring more projects to the area.

“You don’t realize it but this area looks like a lot of places in the world…especially the Middle-East, with the mountains and how rugged it is,” Brown added, explaining the Tribe’s thinking.

Netflix even made Albuquerque its U.S. production hub, purchasing Albuquerque Studios as part of a plan to spend $100 million in filming and production for original material in the state over the next 10 years.

Continue on to The Good News Network to read the complete article.

4 Tips for People New to Working from Home

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Woman looking at computer while working remotely from home office

The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt throughout the U.S. right now and one of those is the fact that many people who previously commuted to an office are at least temporarily working from home, some for the first time. While this surge in work from home employees may only last for a relatively short time, I also wouldn’t be surprised if many new companies embrace the policy going forward. As someone who has worked from home exclusively for the last few years, I thought I would provide a few useful tips for people who are entering this new territory in their workplace culture and environment.

First off, let me say that I love working from home. It suits my work style, personality, and role with my company. It may be that your situation is very different in any of those areas or others. However, I think these strategies should be beneficial for just about anyone adapting to a remote work environment.

You Must Be Disciplined

This is the single most important part of being both happy and successful in a work from home situation. For many managers and companies, a hesitation they may have had around letting their team members work from home is the idea that they won’t actually work as much as at the office. This is certainly a fair point. Working from home naturally introduces a whole host of new distractions and situations that may pull employees away from their jobs.

One big key for new home-based workers is the ability to shift from home to work mode, while not actually leaving the house. The daily commute and office setting help people make this transition. But, if you work from home, your commute may simply involve getting out of bed and walking to your home office or kitchen table. The fact that you’re working in a place where you previously were able to decompress and get into personal mode may feel a bit strange initially. This is where discipline first comes in. You have to make the switch regardless and be able to stay focused during the day, when distractions like your TV, dog, kids, significant other, etc. are right there. This takes discipline and focus.

But, the flip side of this is that people who work from home can also fall into a situation where they are now at the ‘office’ all the time. It may suddenly become easier to work earlier and later every day. Your evening family time might now be pushed aside in order to finish up a project, answer emails, or otherwise stay caught up with work. You also may find that without the distraction of interacting with other team members or needing to leave the ‘office’ to get lunch, you spend much more time in front of your computer.

Neither situation (being easily distracted or working 24/7) will make your work from home situation successful in the short or long term. So, you need to find ways to stay focused while you’re ‘at work’ but also unplug after hours. Whether this means simply adopting the same work hours you had when you went to the office or setting an alarm for yourself in the morning and evening, find a way to keep some level of balance between your work and home life.

One challenge that many remote workers encounter is feeling disconnected from their company and co-workers and potentially even loneliness. You aren’t going to be able to walk over to a team member’s office (or vice versa) and have a quick chat about a work topic or even last night’s baseball game. This can be a real adjustment for even fairly introverted people and if you are more of an extrovert it really can be challenging.

While it isn’t a true substitute for in-person conversations, there are plenty of communication and collaboration tools that can help address feelings of disconnection. Platforms like Slack or similar chat-based systems can do a great job of keeping team members connected on work-related topics and also provide a social outlet for just catching up and chatting about personal topics. When it comes to projects, there are numerous tech platforms like Google Docs, Confluence, Hive, etc. that support collaboration on projects and documents. Hopefully, your company has already adopted many of these tools or will do so to better support remote team members. Make sure you are taking full advantage of them. While they aren’t a complete replacement for in-person contact, they can go a long way toward helping everyone feel more connected.

Set up an Office Space

This ties into being disciplined and it may or may not be as readily available to every home-based employee. One good way to help separate your work and home life is to set up a specific place in your home that will function as your dedicated workspace. The best-case scenario is likely a dedicated home office with a door you can close. This allows you to closely approximate your actual work environment, with a desk and other typical office supplies.

However, if you don’t have a spare room that you can use as a dedicated home office, look for another area of your house, apartment, etc. that can feel separate from the rest of the house. This isn’t to say you can’t have a laptop and work from the couch in your living room, but that is also an area that is likely to offer the most distractions during the day. It might be setting up a small desk in the corner of your bedroom, or setting up in the dining room that you don’t use very often. Whichever option you choose, try to set up a semi-permanent location that you can identify as your ‘office’ and it should help you maintain that separation from the rest of your home.

Embrace the Positives

While the last few points may have seemed to focus on the challenges of working from home, there are also plenty of benefits. As I mentioned previously, I absolutely love working from home and wouldn’t change it, even if there was an office for me to commute to each day. Here are just a few obvious benefits to keep in mind.

    1. No commute – Who enjoys commuting to an office every day? I know people who spend 1-2 or more hours per day in their cars just driving to and from work. You get to add all that time back into your day. This alone can be a life-changing experience for people making the shift to working from home.
    2. No dress code – Want to wear shorts and a t-shirt to work every day? Chances are you have that option when you work from home. Even if you need to jump on video calls during the day and need to look presentable, no one knows if you’re in shorts and flip flops out of view of your webcam. Take advantage of this benefit and be comfortable!
    3. You pick your office atmosphere – Like to crank up the music while you’re working? Want the heat turned up or down? Lights up or dimmer? Basically anything you can control in your home environment is now also under your control for your work environment.

There are tons of others that may apply to you as well. You might be able to throw in a load of laundry in the middle of the day, run to the grocery store over lunch, or take care of other quick household chores when you need a short break. All of these offer real benefits that aren’t available when you commute to an office.

Working from home isn’t for everyone and I’m sure many people who are required to work remotely in the upcoming weeks or months may find it not to their liking. They may breathe a big sigh of relief when they get to go back to their old working routine at the company office. But, I also bet there are a lot of people who will enjoy the experience and may just push their companies to let them continue working from home either permanently or at least more often than previously.

This article was written for Business 2 Community by Tom Wozniak.

Two Upcoming Webinars-Business Resource Group Leadership Development and the Impact of Supplier Diversity Outreach Activities

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NUDC Web Series

Join Us for Our FREE Webinars on 3/25 and 4/21!

MARCH:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Developing Business Resource Group Leadership

Kristine Maciolek Small, PPL Corporation and Deb Dagit, Deb Dagit Diversity

Business/Employee resource groups can be one of a company’s hidden treasures, helping to identify new sources for the talent pipeline, shining a spotlight on current and high potential leaders and creating a cross-functional multi-level team of advocates to help retain valued employees. BRGs are also a key component of a successful diversity and inclusion strategy, helping to improve culture, serving as advocates and allies for awareness and change.

Successful BRGs have effective leaders who know how to connect and collaborate with members, colleagues and more importantly, the company’s leadership.

Join Kristine Maciolek Small, PPL and Deb Dagit, Deb Dagit Diversity, to understand how leadership development opportunities for BRG leaders and members can improve professional skills and foster BRG collaboration across demographic and business lines, thereby increasing the effectiveness of not just the BRGs, but the enterprise. Register today!

This webinar will offer useful insights and ideas for BRG leaders and members, human resource professionals, business managers and both formal and informal executive sponsors.

APRIL

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Impact Analysis: Supplier Diversity Supporting Activities
How does data inform the impact of outreach activities to advance opportunities for diverse suppliers?

Jose Espinoza, CalWater
How do you prioritize activities? Why measure impact? What does impact look like? Join Jose Espinoza, as he reviews a data-driven program: the importance in measuring impact, top-five activities; he will share tips for supplier diversity managers, advocacy organizations, and diverse suppliers. He’ll conclude with how to implement a similar approach.

In addition to going beyond demonstrating diverse spend, this webinar will illustrate the importance of each step in the supplier diversity process including why it’s important to know where diverse suppliers are coming from, so you can identify barriers. More importantly, when you have current metrics on suppliers, those metrics can be used to encourage supplier diversity growth. Register today!

The webinars and the work of NUDC is made possible in part by grants from Academy Securities, ACT-1 Group, AG Tools, Alcoa Traffic Control, American Association of Blacks in Energy, American Water, Anonymous, Arnita Smith, Burns Environmental Services, Inc., C.L. King & Associates, California Water Association, Center for Energy Workforce Development, Conitsha Barnes, Connecticut Water, Consumers Energy, Damian Rivera, Diversity Comm, Donna Ruff, Dr. Alexander Washington, Duke Energy, Edison Electric Institute, Exelon Corporation, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Gunster, Heather McCreary, Hispanics in Energy, Jesse Castellanos, Liberty Power, Loop Capital, MFR Securities, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, New York Power Authority, NRG Energy, Osceola Consulting, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Penserra, Philadelphia Gas Works, PJM Interconnection, PPL, Ruben Strategy Group, S&H Metal & Fabricating Co. Inc., Salesforce, Sanjay Kucheria/Trinus, Southern California Edison Company, Southern California Gas Company, Southwest Gas, SouthWest Water Company, TAS Strategies, TechSoup, The Dowling-Woo Company, The ELITE SDVOB Network, Utility Workers Union of America, Yolanda Pollard; Support for the Diversity Toolkit also received from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity; the Supplier Diversity webinar series is sponsored in part bynerous support from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Internet companies won’t disconnect people for unpaid bills for 60 days, FCC says

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Latino family in kitchen on the computer

The Federal Communications Commission has won commitments from phone and broadband providers to support the swelling numbers of adults and children working and attending classes from home, respectively, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A group of broadband and telecommunications firms signed up to the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” which asks connectivity companies to postpone termination of services for the next 60 days on homes or small businesses because of an inability to pay bills because of the outbreak.

Among the companies to endorse the pledge are major and minor internet providers including AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Google Fiber, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile.

FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel asked the FCC to go farther by asking companies to also lift and eliminate data caps and overage charges, and get hospitals connected and make sure there are hot spots for loans to school children.

Internet service providers are beginning to advertise temporary discounts, including for students whose schools are closed because of the coronavirus.

Charter Communications said Friday it would offer free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who do not already have a broadband subscription. Cox Communications said it was offering one month free service to new customers of its low-income service beginning Monday, and increasing the service’s speed beginning Tuesday.

AT&T said Thursday it was waiving internet data overage fees for customers who did not already have unlimited home internet access. Comcast said it would give its Internet Essentials service away for free for 60 days. (Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)

The FCC said Friday that Chairman Ajit Pai was “calling on broadband and telephone service providers to promote the connectivity of Americans impacted by the disruptions caused by the #coronavirus pandemic.”

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How to Successfully Work Remotely

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Latina woman sitting at desk working At Home With Laptop Computer

Suddenly thrust into remote work? Here’s how to cope – and thrive – as a telecommuter.

The past decade has seen the rise of remote work or teleworking for a number of professions, but with the coronavirus outbreak, many people who might never have left the comforts of a traditional office are suddenly thrust into remote life.

A number of companies throughout the U.S., large and small, have either asked or mandated that employees work from home, and as the outbreak continues to spread, there’s no sign of that slowing down.

Massachusetts-based biotech firm Biogen has asked its 7,400 employees worldwide to work from home after employees tested positive for the coronavirus. In Indianapolis, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly requested that all its U.S.-based employees work from home and restricted all domestic travel. And in the tech hubs of the Bay Area and Seattle, several companies, including Twitter, Airbnb, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and more, have asked employees to stay away.

Those experienced in teleworking have greeted the news with a virtual shrug, while others are working to adjust to their new realities. Consider the following advice if you’re new to full-time telework:

    • Adjust quickly to working remotely.
    • Build solidarity with your remote team.
    • Get savvy and connected with technology.
    • Look at remote work as an opportunity.

Adjust Quickly to Working Remotely

To those who are working from home for the very first time, comedian and author Sara Benincasa, who wrote “Real Artists Have Day Jobs,” offers this sound advice via email: “Strap in. You’re about to get to know yourself a LOT better.”

“What I’ve found is that regardless of perceived social cache or any so-called cool factor, your work-from-home job can be dismal or pleasant. That’s because so much of the work-from-home experience depends on YOU,” Benincasa says. “When you work from home, you are your only in-person co-worker and supervisor.”

Benincasa recommends establishing a routine, creating a dedicated workspace and taking periodic breaks. “Do not overdo the caffeine. If you need to write down everything you eat and drink each day in order to keep your caffeine, sugar and alcohol intake low, do it,” she says.

“Also, don’t drink during work hours, please,” she adds.

Isha Kasliwal is a senior developer at Twitch, the video live-streaming service and Amazon subsidiary, based in San Francisco. She and her co-workers were asked to work from home if possible, for their own safety, at least through the end of March. While Twitch has long had a fairly flexible work-from-home policy, Kasliwal says the prolonged experience of remote work is something new for many of her colleagues.

“I’ve had to make adjustments with regards to how I get myself ready in the morning, still getting semi-dressed for the day and not staying in pajamas all day,” she says, “and making sure that I set some time to take a walk outside during the middle of the day so I get fresh air and can get some steps in.”

Kasliwal says she doesn’t mind working from home temporarily but is looking forward to getting back to the office when she and her colleagues are able.

“I’m actually enjoying working from home because I don’t have to deal with commute times, which is great,” Kasliwal says. “But I do miss seeing my co-workers and the Twitch kitchen, which is amazing.”

While it might seem foreign to those who work independently or remotely full time, some people do actually like going into an office and spending time with co-workers. Kelly Hoey, author of “Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships In a Hyper-Connected World,” says managing interpersonal relationships remotely can be an often-overlooked challenge in suddenly having to work from home.

Build Solidarity With Your Remote Team

“For managers, it’s important to keep some sort of routine for your team. There’s a structure to getting up, getting dressed and the community in the office. Some of your staffers might feel lost without it,” Hoey says. “If you usually have Monday meetings or Thursday lunches, for instance, try to arrange a video chat or brown-bag virtual gatherings. Check in with each other.”

She reminds managers to ask their employees if anything else has changed in their lives or routines due to the outbreak. For instance, if an employee’s child’s school is closed or if they’re suddenly caring for an elderly neighbor or relative, that might impact how and when they’re able to log in every day. And if a manager doesn’t ask, Hoey suggests employees communicate that information directly.

Hoey warns teams against simply using the same tools in the same way as they do in a traditional office setting. “If you’re using Slack or email in the office, many times you have that line of sight. You can look up and see if your colleague got your message, and if it came across the way you meant it,” she says. “Now that you’re remote, maybe now you leverage other, more personal technology – even hop on a call – to really connect.”

Get Savvy and Connected With Technology

And for all those conference calls and video chats that will suddenly be required? Hoey recommends setting up a dedicated video space with a neat background, good lighting and no distractions. After all, it might not just be fellow employees also in their pajamas on the other end of the call. Salespeople might need to speak with clients, managers might need to speak with board members and other stakeholders. Working from home is no excuse not to keep it professional. (At least from the blazer up!)

Continue on to U.S. News to read the complete article.

Men Design ‘Leather’ Material Out of Cactus—and It Could Replace the Need for Animals in Fashion Industry

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two men fashion designers looking at differnt fabric

Two men have succeeded in developing an alternative to animal leather made out of Mexican cactus—and it could save millions of animals worldwide.

Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez are responsible for creating their vegan fabric out of the nopal cactus. Although it took them two years of research and development to design the fabric, they perfected its manufacturing process in July and debuted it to the fashion world in Milan, Italy back in October 2019.

The entrepreneurs realized the environmental impact of animal leather after they both spent years working in the furniture, automotive, and fashion industries. Upon quitting their jobs, they co-founded Adriano Di Marti to design their innovative leather replacement.

Their patented “Desserto” fabric is made out of cactus leaves that are harvested sustainably every 6 to 8 months. The material is designed to breathe easily while still being durable and partially biodegradable.

In addition to the cactus-based material also requiring a minimal amount of water to develop, it is grown organically in the state of Zacatecas.

The material, which has been made available in a variety of colors using natural dyes, has now been used to make everything from bags and automotive seating to shoes and jackets.

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