Teleworking

  • Teleworking Here To Stay?

    March 13, 2013 - Leave a Comment

    A recent article in PCWorld highlights global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas' report on working situations.

    The article states, "In the United States, some 3.1 million people—not including the self-employed or unpaid volunteers—considered home to be their primary place of work in 2011, Challenger noted, citing data from the Telework Research Network. That figure is up 73 percent since 2005, but it's still just 2.5 percent of U.S. nonfarm payrolls."

    Continue reading

  • Wi-Ex Featured on Let's Talk Computers

    December 18, 2012 - Leave a Comment

    Frank Smith, director of sales at Wi-Ex, talks with Let's Talk Computers ® about the zBoost product line, how signals are boosted and the streamlined installation process Wi-Ex provides.  The interview also gives a peek inside how Wi-Ex was started and the market using the zBoost products most. Let's Talk Computers® ranks as one of the longest-running computer radio talk shows.  The show is broadcast via radio to stations across the United States and to colleges and universities everywhere.

    Continue reading

  • Happy Labor Day and a New Industrial Revolution

    September 2, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    It's only hours from Labor Day weekend and many are packing or finishing up their work "to do" list before beginning their long holiday weekend. Hopefully these next few days will be a small respite from the economy, hurricanes, power outages and the upcoming anniversary of 9/11.

    The History Channel reports that, Labor Day was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day is an annual celebration of workers and their achievements and originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.  As much as the American worker is struggling now, I don't think too many of us would want to turn back the clocks to 1894.

    I read an article this morning from The Atlantic about a new industrial revolution called the Freelance Surge. The article was written by by Sara Harowitz, the founder of Freelancers Union, a nonprofit organization representing the interests and concerns of the independent workforce. I found this article especially interesting when I realized that I am part of the Freelance Surge.

    Here's a small excerpt from the article and to read the entire article go to:

    The Freelance Surge Is the Industrial Revolution of Our Time

    By Sara Horowitz

    It's been called the Gig Economy, Freelance Nation, the Rise of the Creative Class, and the e-conomy, with the "e" standing for electronic, entrepreneurial, or perhaps eclectic. Everywhere we look, we can see the U.S. workforce undergoing a massive change. No longer do we work at the same company for 25 years, waiting for the gold watch, expecting the benefits and security that come with full-time employment. We're no longer simply lawyers, or photographers, or writers. Instead, we're part-time lawyers-cum- amateur photographers who write on the side.

    Today, careers consist of piecing together various types of work, juggling multiple clients, learning to be marketing and accounting experts, and creating offices in bedrooms/coffee shops/coworking spaces. Independent workers abound. We call them freelancers, contractors, sole proprietors, consultants, temps, and the self-employed.

    And, perhaps most surprisingly, many of them love it.

    This transition is nothing less than a revolution. We haven't seen a shift in the workforce this significant in almost 100 years when we transitioned from an agricultural to an industrial economy.

    If you are also part of the Freelance Surge, please tell us a little bit about your experience.  Do you love it? Do you have a home office or do you work out of a coffee shop? How many different jobs are you combining to create your Freelance Surge career?  It's a different world for sure, wonder what the workforce will look like in another 100 years.

    For full excerpt, visit: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/09/the-freelance-surge-is-the-industrial-revolution-of-our-time/244229/

  • Google+ Boom

    August 2, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    As a Senior at Kennesaw State University I am always looking at the new technology especially social media.  I am always looking for ways to integrate my social media with my studies.  Whether it be adding new friends from classes, getting homework, or even just answers to general questions from classmates when professors are unavailable.  I'm proud to say that I think I have discovered the best way for me as a student to integrate my social media and university requirements.  I have been exploring and learning about Google+. It seems to have taken the best of all social media’s and combined them into one. There are two aspects of Google+ that I use the most for University. They are Google+ Hangouts and Huddles. The hangouts are used through Google+ on your computer creating video conferencing/chat rooms and the Google+ Huddles are used through the mobile app creating group texting / chat rooms.

    Google+ Hangouts make virtual video conference and chat accessible for all. Every Google+ member is able to enter the Hangout even if their computer or laptop is not equipped with video or microphones. The members of the Hangout that do not have video or microphone can still see and hear the hangout and are able to participate by typing in the chat section of the hangout. This option has changed the need for group meetings. Every student understands the difficulty of finding a time that every member of your team or group can meet. Some student’s work, some don’t, someone may have class during a time no one else does, well the Google+ Hangouts make finding that time easier. It eliminates the need for everyone to drive to a location to meet. With the Hangouts we can all jump online from home or any other location.

    The Google+ Huddles also help ease the difficulty with group meetings/projects. The user on the mobile app is able to create a group like “school project” and invite the specific users into the Huddle. Whenever a new message is created all other members get a notification to their cell phones, similar to a SMS text, keeping all members current on the conversation involving the projects.
    I currently use a zBoost to guarantee that I always have signal for my phone and computer. The zBoost makes sure that I am always connected on my DroidX and my laptop aircard to participate in the Huddles. Because of the zBoost I know I will always be able to participate and complete my work.

  • PC World Shows You How to Work Outdoors

    July 12, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    While the Georgia heat has us all indoors, some of you may be looking for ways to take your work outside.

    PC World gives you some good tips on making the most of workout outdoors including boosting your signal with zBoost.

    How to Work Outdoors

    By Christopher NullPCWorld

    How to Work OutdoorsLaptops, tablets, and smartphones are supposed to make us mobile: Freed of cumbersome desktop technology, we can work anywhere we want. Why, then, don't you see legions of people at parks, beaches, or even sidewalk cafes typing away on their laptops? Mainly because they simply can't see their screens.

    It doesn't have to be this way. A little planning and know-how can get you ahead of the game when it comes to using your gadgetry outside. Whether you're reading ebooks on your iPhone or sneaking in a few work emails while the kids build a sand castle, here's how best to set yourself up to work alongside Mother Nature.

    Fall Into Shadow

    When working outdoors, shade is your friend. In fact, if you haven't prepared in advance for your outdoor adventure, it's pretty much all you've got. Your only hope to see anything on most LCD screens is to find some shade and dig deep into it.

    HoodmanThis portable, folding hood provides instant, deep shade.Anything can be used as shade in a pinch, from the obvious tree, umbrella, or side of a building to less evident objects, like a cast-off pizza box folded into a tent or, in a pinch, your own head. For head-shading, resist the urge to hold your laptop or mobile phone between you and the sun, thinking you'll block out the light like an eclipse: That simply won't work. Switch it around and put your head between the sun and the screen, so the shadow of your noggin falls on the display. This won't provide much shade, but, for limited use and with small screens like your phone, it will work well enough to at least read text.

    Get Shade Anywhere

    If working outside is going to be a regular thing for you, you might consider investing in a portable shade device that you can take with you as part of your travel kit. A company calledHoodman offers two clever covers that hook over your laptop's screen, shading it on all sides from sunlight while still giving you access to the keyboard. It looks a little strange--but no stranger than you will look working on your computer on the beach--and it works quite well. Best of all, the soft-sided shade collapses flat and stores easily in the included carrying case. Versions for Macs or PCs are available, both $40.

    Outdoor Out the Gate

    Fujitsu Stylistic Q550The field of outdoor-ready laptops is small, but it includes this Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 tablet.If you're a true outdoorsman, you may want to consider one of the small number of laptops that are available with so-called "indoor/outdoor" displays, designed for visibility inside or outside. When shopping, look for "I/O," "Outdoor View," or "Enhanced Outdoor" as part of the screen specs, or just ask--sometimes this key feature can be omitted completely from a list of a computer's specs.

    This technology has been especially popular with older-style tablet PCs as well as a few newer slate tablets. Some current devices that include the technology are the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550, the HP EliteBook 2760p, and most of the Panasonic Toughbookline.

    Compare and Contrast

    Using a high-contrast color scheme will improve your outdoor viewing experience, no matter how much shade you have, by turning your working experience into a black-and-white one that scrubs out many of the shades of gray (and splashes of color) to which office users are accustomed. The result is a stripped-down computing experience, but one that will make outdoor viewing considerably easier.

    Set contrast options in Windows 7.Windows’ high contrast themes aren’t the prettiest on the block, but they make outdoor operating easier.In Windows 7, open the Personalization Control Panel and scroll down a bit below the Aero Themes. You'll see the Basic and High Contrast Themes listed here. Experiment with the four high-contrast options to find the one that works the best for you--though adjusting to a white-on-black color scheme can be jarring and will take some acclimation time.

    Your LCD brightness should generally be set to the maximum available (though this will put more strain on your battery), and you might also consider increasing the text size by using the "Larger - 150%" setting on the home screen of the Display Control panel, to make things even easier to read.

    Get E-Inked

    Got a lot of reading to do but don't want to put it on paper? Electronic ink devices like Amazon's Kindle are perfect for this kind of work, since the reflective screen is designed to work without backlighting. The result: Text on a Kindle looks even better under bright light than in the dark.

    The newest Kindle can accept a wide variety of file formats, including Word, PDF, RTF, HTML, plain text, and various image formats for display on the device. Simply email the documents as attachments to the address noted on your Kindle's Settings page under "Device Email." Amazon offers copious additional details on the ins and outs of sending personal documents to your Kindle at this link. But remember that older Kindle models have different supported formats.

    Surf's Up, Sand's Out

    If your outdoor working adventure is taking you somewhere more exotic than the backyard, be sure to prepare for those twin menaces of all electronic devices, water and sand. Water is well understood as an electronic hazard, but sand can quickly brick anything with moving parts: A single grain of the stuff can kill your digital camera's zoom mechanism or prevent the shutter from opening and closing, not to mention scratching the screen of your tablet or laptop.

    Waterproof iPad case from TrendyDigitalBag your laptop, tablet, or cell phone with an instant waterproofing system like this one from Trendy Digital.Protection from the elements can be as simple as keeping your gadgets in a sealed Ziploc bag when they aren't in use, or as complicated as investing in a custom, ruggedized, waterproof case. A wide variety of cases for all manner of devices are available. You can check out brands like OtterBoxXGear, andTrendyDigital to get started.

    Now About That Web Connection...

    Seeing your screen is one thing. Getting online is another. In parks, on beaches, and even in backyards, getting a Wi-Fi or cellular signal can be a challenge. Short of petitioning your carrier to erect a cell phone tower closer to the waterfront, these tricks can increase your chances of getting a wireless signal from a remote location.

    Wi-Fi: If you're simply working in the backyard and are trying to access the Wi-Fi signal inside your house, you can accomplish this in a few ways. You can extend the signal outdoors by relocating your router near that side of the house or add a repeater to extend the signal outdoors. Aftermarket antennas can also be used with some routers to increase their signal strength, hopefully letting you reach your hammock in the gazebo with a Wi-Fi signal. If changing your router setup doesn't work, you can invest in a new Wi-Fi card for your laptop with an external, high-gain antenna, increasing your available range.

    WWAN: Again, if you're near home and outdoor cellular signal strength (either for voice or data usage) is no good, you can use a femtocell to boost the signal. Verizon's Wireless Network Extender and AT&T's MicroCell attach to your home broadband connection and act as a sort of mini tower. Femtocell range is typically under 150 feet, so locate the unit near the backyard.

    zBoostzBoost signal-boosting device.

    However, if you're in a public place and need a better signal, a few hacks can boost the number of bars you get on certain phones by one or two, although few of the hacks are very pretty. The website Wisebread experimented with an admittedly ugly wire-and-cans trick and claimed a three-bar improvement in a cellular signal. Rick Broida has some additional tips on the subject, including a discussion of zBoost, which is a more appropriate range-boosting solution for newer phones, MiFi units, and mobile hotspots--all of which increasingly lack the external antenna connector required for tricks like the cantenna described above.

    Don't Forget the Juice

    As a final consideration, remember that working outdoors usually means being disconnected from the grid, and since upping the contrast and other tweaks can drain your battery faster, you may find your laptop fading before your sunscreen does.

    The solution is simple, if on the expensive side: Upgrade to an extended-cell battery, using a "battery slice," which is a flat battery that locks onto the bottom of a laptop--or simply carry spare batteries with you to get considerably more running time when you're working remotely. For smaller devices such as cameras or dedicated voice recorders, rechargeable batteries generally provide more bang for the buck.

    More esoteric power solutions--like solar recharging systems--won't offer much help. Most of them just don't have the power required to provide much of a boost to anything beyond a cell phone or camera--and even then, their internal batteries will need to be charged before you head out.

    However, before draining your gadgets out in the wild, you can follow some proven tips to helpboost the battery life of your laptop and smartphone.

    Related Articles

    What gear and tricks do you use to work outside of the office? Please share your tips in the comments below. For more advice, see the following articles.

  • INC. Magazine: The World's Coolest Home Offices

    May 13, 2011 - Leave a Comment

     
    Creative Geometry
    Could you work in a stucco-and-wood-frame garage? Working a muted color palette and a floor plan that engages in some creative geometry, architect Philip Tusa transformed this storage area in upstate New York into a sophisticated library and home office.
     

     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Bookshelves to Die For
    Vertical bookshelves line the walls, and a diagonal staircase leads to a horizontal catwalk overhead. A white translucent pleated shade controls solar glare for the large work surface. The Hudson River Studio was built with a number of recycled materials.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    A Treehouse for One
    What nature lover (or child-at-heart entrepreneur) wouldn't want to set up a home office in a treehouse? Sure, this elevated lair in Los Angeles is tiny—170 square feet in all—but it's efficiently designed, and the deep-oiled cedar siding and mahogany windows are lovely.

     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Playful Yet Professional
    Rockefeller Partners Architects, Christopher Kempel, Rocky Rockefeller, and Brian Pera designed the Banyon Drive Treehouse, which sits 12-feet above the ground. And as for the tree, it is a sturdy pine.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Playing the Angles
    Utilizing the foundation and walls from an existing sunroom, this budget-minded Nashville home office rises on angle-bracket shapes. Translucent siding floods the space with warm light during the day, and transmits passive heating while maintaining privacy.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Bright Lights, Little Office
     In designing the Elkins Studio—part of a larger renovation project to the adjacent home—the architect, Ryan Thewes, was careful to create a design that would stand out, while also fitting comfortably in to the surrounding residential neighborhood.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • Mashable: 5 Simple Web Apps For Saving Time at Work

    April 15, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

    Much has been made of some excellent mobile and tablet apps that let users stay productive on the go. But let’s face it — the majority of your work is still done at your desk, and much of it, perhaps, in a web browser.

    And despite all your settings, apps and software, there are always those little pain points that cost you time and productivity. They’re not major issues, but little tasks that could be quicker and easier.

    Enter the humble web apps that, while overshadowed a bit by the smartphone revolution, are still the bread and butter bookmarks of daily workplace productivity.

    We’ve highlighted five free online tools that are simple, clean, and built to knock out those cumbersome work tasks, no downloads required.

    Got a few bookmarks that you can’t get through the work day without? Share the wealth in the comments.


    1. Zamzar


     

    There are few things more frustrating than receiving an important file that you can’t open. Zamzar is an online tool that can convert a wide range of file formats. Simply upload the file, choose the output format, enter an email address, and you’ll get a new version in your inbox.

    Converting text documents may not seem like an incalculable feat, but Zamzar can translate many audio and video formats as well. Handy!


    2. Ge.tt


     

    Email attachments can be cumbersome, especially with larger files. If you’re looking for a dead-simple way to share in the cloud (especially if you’re still lamenting the death of Drop.io), give Ge.tt a go.

    Two clicks will upload your images, docs, zip files, etc. and generate a tidy link that you can ping over to your coworkers. They can view certain files in their browser or download whatever they need from the package.

    Ge.tt storage is temporary (unless you create an account), so use it for quick transfers, not cloud archiving.


    3. Ninite


     

    Setting up a new PC is a surefire way to kill your day. Connecting the cables and transferring your data is only half the battle. Then you need to hunt down all the apps you use regularly.

    Ninite streamlines the process. Check off all the browsers, readers and media players you need on your new machine and download them all in one shot via an automated installer. Best of all, Ninite eliminates the extra “junk” (toolbars, add-ons) that sometimes come packaged with common applications.


    4. CopyPasteCharacter


     

    If you work on any legal, scientific, or multi-lingual documents throughout the day, you may have a need to add certain symbols to the text that are not immediately available on your keyboard.

    You could go into the special characters map in your word processor, or if you’re feeling particularly nerdy, memorize the Alt key codes that you need.

    But better yet, why not throw open a browser tab with CopyPasteCharacter.com and snag your symbols with one click? You can even copy the HTML values if you’re working in code.


    5. LucidChart


     

    Need a visual aide to get your point across? PowerPoint has its flaws, and Photoshop requires some requisite skills even if you’re just doing the basics.

    LucidChart, on the other hand, is a drag-and-drop way to create impressive flowcharts and diagrams right in your browser. Pop your shapes onto the graph, pull down some arrows, add descriptions, colors and titles, and you’ve got a professional diagram you’d be proud to show clients.

    A free LucidChart account allows two people to collaborate on a document, 25 MB of online storage, and a maximum of 60 objects per document. Inexpensive paid options offer more collaborative and storage features.

    There’s also a handy Chrome browser app.


    http://mashable.com/2011/04/15/simple-web-apps-productivity/

  • Mashable: Is Working From Home Becoming the Norm? [SURVEY]

    April 11, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    Working from home is becoming more common, more accepted by managers and more sought-after by employees than ever before, according to a survey conducted by Skype, one of the bastions of telecommuting technology.

    As someone who regularly works from home, I find this trend hardly surprising. But it’s not just bloggers, startup types and technophiles who are making pajamas the new “business casual.” Even seasoned executive types (like my own father, for example) are logging in remotely these days.

    The proliferation of online collaboration tools is one indicator that “WFH” (that’s short for “working from home,” my dad tells me) culture is blossoming. In fact, Skype and tools like it have pretty much made the necessity of a 9-to-5 physical presence behind a cubicle-bound desk obsolete.

    And video capabilities are a large part of those tools. Video conferencing and desktop video are two communication technologies Skype expects to see increase in usage most over a two-year period, followed by VoIP, room-based video, mobile phones and instant messaging.

    Given the widening availability, affordability and understanding of technologies such as VoIP and video, the time is right for remote working and working from home. According to Skype’s survey, which includes responses from 1,000 professionals at about 500 businesses of all sizes, flexibility on in-office presence is, indeed, becoming the norm.

    Around 62% of the companies surveyed already allow employees to work remotely. Of these companies, 34% of their workforce occasionally works remotely, and of that 34%, WFH-enabled employees say they spend around 40% of their work hours at home.

    Naturally, employees at WFH-friendly companies listed this area of flexibility high in their criteria for job satisfaction. But employers seemed to be fans of the WFH lifestyle, too. Of the respondents who were decision-makers and managers, 75% said working from home was becoming more acceptable, and 56% said workers-from-home were more productive.

    Take a look at Skype’s full report, and in the comments, let us know what your WFH options are like. Are you a couch-bound working warrior? Or are you fairly chained to your desk at the office?

    image courtesy of iStockphoto, Mari

    See the full article: http://mashable.com/2011/04/05/wfh-survey/

  • Wi-Ex Expands its Commercial, Corporate and Machine-to-Machine Solutions

    March 28, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    New zBoost Blog Provides Resource on Mobile Trends,
    Teleworking and zBoost's Business-Centric Solutions

    Wi-Ex showcased its commercial, corporate and machine-to-machine solutions  at CTIA Wireless in booth # 3059.  zBoost also launched its news zBoost Business Blog, "zBoost: Increasing Signal, Increasing Business."   The zBoost Business Blog (http://zboostworkforce.wordpress.com/) will provide a resource for businesses and today's mobile workforce to stay up-to-date on mobile trends, teleworking and zBoost's business-centric solutions.

    The zBoost line allows users to take full advantage of data, voice and Internet services on their iPhones, BlackBerry, DROID, connected devices, smartphones and other mobile devices including 3G high-speed data and video, instant messaging, pictures and more - at home, in their personal workspace or in a corporate office, both in the U.S. and abroad.

    According to IDC Technology Spotlight From Consumer-Centric to Business Essential: Extending Smartphone and Mobile Broadband Device Service into the Workplace, IDC #1073, January, 2011, "Used for years to improve sub-par cell service in homes, signal-boosting technology has come of age to provide increased signal strength throughout a business facility."

    "The expansion of our corporate, machine-to-machine and commercial solutions, are in direct response to our customers and the changes in the industry," said Lloyd R. Meese, CEO of Wi-Ex.  "The rapid adoption of smartphones including iPhones and BlackBerry, tablets and other connected devices has caused a shift in the way businesses operate.  From M2M applications to large commercial complexes to the rising number of teleworkers, the zBoost line provides a business-centric solution for improving poor in-door cell phone coverage."  

    The "zBoost: Increasing Signal, Increasing Business" Blog will focus on providing insight into the role of cell phones in today's business environment.  With increases in gas prices and the flexibility smartphones provide corporate America, the zBoost Business Blog will feature a monthly Teleworking Tuesdays and provide tips, testimonials and insight for teleworkers. In addition, the blog will provide a resource for the latest mobile trends and information on zBoost products and solutions.

  • CNN Money: "Gas prices: 'Most expensive February ever'"

    March 2, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    As gas prices soar, zBoost Keeps Teleworkers Connected - No More Dropped Calls or Slow Data!

    Teleworking has become an even more logical choice for companies, employees and communities with the recent increase in gas prices. Cell phones are essential communication tools for teleworkers and when they don't get signal, it makes work even more work.

    CNN Money reported that "The national average price for a gallon of regular gas rose 5.9 cents to $3.287, motorist group AAA said Friday. That marks the third day in a row that prices have risen, and brings the national average to the highest level since October 2008."

    To read the full article, click here.

Items 1 to 10 of 39 total

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4