Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/u282338868/domains/seotomarketing.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seofy-core/includes/framework/ReduxCore/inc/class.redux_filesystem.php on line 29
November 2022 - SEO TOP AGENCY

How digital bossware is changing the nature of work

As remote working becomes more common, especially among knowledge workers who sit at computers all day, companies are seeking new ways to keep track of these workers.

New technology, colloquially known as ‘bossware,’ allows supervisors to keep tabs on their workers, ensuring that they are putting in the required hours and remaining productive. However, many workers, as well as privacy and civil rights advocates, see bossware as invasive and unwarranted surveillance and have taken steps to thwart it.

With remote working on the rise, some employers have turned to hardware and software solutions to replace in-person supervisors. According to reporting in the Wall Street Journal, almost two-thirds of American companies with over 1000 employees have introduced some form of worker surveillance.

Common bossware options include keyloggers or mouse-tracking software that tracks when workers are active on their computers. Some employers also require webcams to be on during the day, or they monitor away status in chat apps. Others take regular remote screenshots of employee computer screens, monitor which applications and websites an employee uses, or track who workers contact via email or chat programs.

As the WSJ notes,

“This technological shift is particularly jarring for white-collar workers who have tended to have greater leeway in their work practices than blue-collar workers who have to punch time clocks.”

Making matters worse, most of the surveillance is run by artificial intelligence.

“Employers do have a legitimate interest in monitoring their employees’ work to ensure that they’re productive and efficient,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, tells Slate. However, it’s the AI ​​component that complicates matters and makes the data suspect. As Stanley notes, “AI logic can be opaque. So people are being judged by algorithms.” An AI system, in other words, might record that a worker is not currently typing, but it can’t characterize what that person might actually be doing. Maybe they’re doing research, answering a colleague’s question on Slack, or thinking up a solution to a problem, rather than goofing off. While humans can make these distinctions, AI systems cannot.

Furthermore, as a Microsoft spokesperson told the WSJ, online activity doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity and points out that “organizations should be careful about tracking the wrong kinds of things in order to assess employee performance.” The amount of time that workers spend in front of their computers, or the number of emails they send, does not correlate with their job performance.

Having said all that, it’s worth asking if remote worker productivity is even an issue. Forbes notes that the panic that stay-at-home workers would slack off appears to be unfounded. According to research conducted in 2020 by Mercer, an HR Benefits and Consulting firm, almost all (94%) of the almost 800 companies surveyed said that they did not see a reduction in productivity—or it had actually improved.

Source: mercer.us

Not only may remote worker surveillance be unnecessary, it may actually be counter-productive, leading to lower morale and higher turnover. Organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology claim that this kind of workplace spyware is invasive and unhealthy, leading to unnecessary fatigue and repetitive motion injuries.

The WSJ quotes two 2020 studies that pointed to the detrimental effects of workplace surveillance. In one survey of 2,100 call center workers, research determined that tracking employees led to lower job satisfaction, which in turn led to higher absenteeism and turnover. Meanwhile, in a survey of 2000 members of the UK’s Trade Union Council, more than half of the respondents stated that bossware systems had undermined the trust between workers and management.

Meanwhile, the US National Labor Review Board wants to review worker surveillance practices, claiming that they may be violating worker rights. Jennifer Abruzzo, general counsel at the NLRB, intends to urge the organization “to protect employees, to the greatest extent possible, from intrusive or abusive electronic monitoring and automated management practices.”

As she states in an October 2022 memo,

“Close, constant surveillance and management through electronic means threaten employees’ basic ability to exercise their rights.”

And the courts are starting to pay attention as well. A remote worker in the Netherlands refused to keep his webcam running. His company, the US-based IT company Chetu, fired him, but as the BBC reports, a Dutch court ruled that his rights had been violated and ordered the company to pay 75,000 euros.

Regardless of political and legal challenges, it seems workers may have the last laugh. Some are turning to hardware and software that helps evade some of the data captures. For example, entrepreneurs have designed creative solutions to some of the surveillance tactics, including fashioning automated mouse movers to mimic online activity. VICE describes how individuals have made primitive mouse movers from LEGOS while others are distributing software on USB drives that tell the computer that the mouse is moving. And as surveillance continues to expand, so too will worker responses to the problem.

What the future holds for these practices is anyone’s guess. Watch this space for more on the subject of remote worker surveillance and bossware, as it’s likely to become a bigger story in 2023.

Source link

Read More
wpadmin November 30, 2022 0 Comments

La Petite Alice: Kicking Back Against Fast Fashion

With our times becoming ever more precarious, it’s more of a responsibility than a mere decision to consider sustainable business practices. This is true in the fashion world, as it is anywhere else – solutions for minimizing waste need to be found.

Matthieu and Justina Soltysiak are well aware of this. They’re the couple behind La Petite Alice, a made-to-order lifestyle brand from Vilnius, Lithuania. In recent years, their business has grown from a couple of orders to more than 36,000 items made, thanks to multiple sales channels, their website being the main one.

Let’s look at how this entrepreneurial couple blended principles with a profit margin, how they found success on the web, and what their vision for the future is.

Early Beginnings

Matthieu and Justina are not your typical fashion brand owners. Neither has a background in sewing or clothing design. What they both have is a vision of how timeless fashion should look.

Children wearing La Petite Alice clothing.

The business started in 2016 when Justina was struggling to find organic, timeless clothing for her firstborn daughter. “I didn’t like what I could find in the shops, so I decided to create something myself and ordered the first article to be made for Alice. It was great, so I decided to share it with others on Instagram. Instantly, there was interest in the clothes. We didn’t have the goal to have a business – I named it La Petite Alice just for fun.”

Justina put the first item they had on Etsy, an online marketplace for arts and crafts. Someone in Japan bought it and ordered seven pieces. After a couple of years, with sales picking up at an increasing pace, the decision was made for La Petite Alice to go independent and launch a website.

With a background in digital marketing, Matthieu ran a small agency helping clients develop websites. He took on the new business as one of his clients. Soon enough, perfecting La Petite Alice’s online experience occupied almost all of his time, and there was no more reason to work with others. “My wife became my only customer,” says Matthieu.

Initially, the idea for the business was not necessarily motivated by profit. It was more about demonstrating what could be done with some ideas and pieces of linen. “I wanted to offer nice clothes you couldn’t find in shops,” says Justina. But the orders quickly flooded in, and production had to be scaled up.

Made-to-Order vs. Fast Fashion

The Soltysiaks were conscious of sticking to their principles from the beginning. They took a different – ​​made-to-order – approach to operating a clothing business, always keeping sustainability in mind.

Racks with La Petite Alice articles.

“We’ve never produced stocks – it’s not how we imagine the clothing industry should be,” says Matthieu. “We’re trying to get back to the old days when you’d go to a tailor and have a suit made to fit your measurements, something that would last for 10-15 years.”

Pulkit Gupta, La Petite Alice’s strategy and development analyst, notes that changing people’s mindsets about fashion is challenging. “For brands like Zara, it takes four weeks for clothes to appear in the shops – from the idea to the market. And for brands like Shein, it takes even less – only two weeks, which is crazy.”

La Petite Alice takes a more considered approach to clothing production. “We want to do as much as possible with every material, and everything is locally made. We are very proud of this,” notes Matthieu.

Taking Orders as They Come – the Benefits of an Online System

La Petite Alice streamlines processes by only making what is needed. Using an online system, the company can take orders as they come.

La Petite Alice fashion

The brand has also taken a clever approach to hiring a workforce. Instead of operating a factory, the company employs people such as stay-at-home mothers who can work from home if they so choose. “This way, they can bring back the income to their household,” says Matthieu. “We try to give a chance for people to work in good conditions – not in a factory, but safely at home.”

Creating clothing to order using a remote workforce might seem chaotic, but La Petite Alice has tried to simplify the process. In the past, orders would come via several different channels, and everything had to be managed on schedule.

They developed an order management system that centralizes the different ordering methods by optimizing the order-production-shipping process. To realize it, the developer needed a host with SSH access that would improve the speed of the website. That’s how La Petite Alice discovered Hostinger.

Joining Hostinger

Matthieu was primarily after compatibility with WordPress and WooCommerce. Hostinger offered just that. “I’m not an expert at optimizing a website so it would load very fast, so I was looking for a hosting provider that would contribute to speed and stability. Complete LiteSpeed ​​integration was a game-changer.”

Hostinger has given them the space to innovate and create solutions to issues they’ve identified. “We are trying to centralize orders from many different platforms,” ​​says Matthieu. “We don’t keep a stock and make clothing to order, so we needed to find a way to manage orders and production. The system we’ve developed on our website streamlines the process – maybe other companies could find it useful too!”

Matthieu confesses to initially not liking the Hostinger platform due to his unfamiliarity with the interface. “It wasn’t what I was used to, it was missing a few features. But I’ve come to love the simplicity of the WordPress dashboard — it displays important site aspects without needing to log in.”

He particularly appreciates the WordPress staging tool, which allows him to try out changes on the website before his customers see them. “It saves time, and I don’t have to create a subdomain to try out changes. This is useful”.

Struggles and Lessons

The road to success has not always been smooth for Matthieu and Justina. Despite tripling the revenue of La Petite Alice over the past five years, the war in Ukraine and COVID have significantly impacted sales. This, coupled with their made-to-order business model, has presented significant challenges.

For anyone looking to start a made-to-order business, Matthieu has some advice: take it slowly and be careful. “We burned out a couple of times by taking too many orders and being unable to produce on time,” he says. “We measure our success by increasing sales and, at the same time, by having adaptive resources and capacities to remain a made-to-order brand.”

La Petite Alice is looking to the future with enthusiasm. With an established team of five, the company has plans to introduce people to the concept of the brand and sell spare and unused clothes. “We don’t have plans to open a physical store; they’re so 2005!” jokes Matthieu. “Online shops are the future!”

“Life and a passion for beauty and art brought us here – what happens next is anyone’s guess!”

Source link

Read More
wpadmin November 30, 2022 0 Comments

Success stories: turning passions into paychecks

In these uncharted economic times, wouldn’t it be great if you had a way to make some extra cash — or walk away from that full-time ball and chain completely?

I’ve put my ear to the ground and been following some fascinating folks online who have ditched their 9-5 grind to make money online with their passion project. For some, it’s a lucrative side gig, while others have been able to turn their hobby into a full-time business.

Now it’s time to share the success stories and reveal the top cases I’ve uncovered online. So here they are… everyday people who have grown an original concept into a flourishing new career without a lot of training or investment.

plau button next to a ball

Bento box art

It all started with “Let’s make some lunch for my kids.”

Just for fun, Las Vegas mother of three Jessica Woo started posting videos on TikTok of bento box meals she packed for her kids. When one of those videos hit the big time, racking up millions of views overnight, she knew she had struck gold. Now she posts videos regularly, with creative presentations that turn humdrum kid meals into works of art. She features a variety of dishes from pasta to pancakes, and as a finishing touch, adds little inspirational notes for her kids.

Her TikTok channel now helps support her small business, a digital art studio called Booshkababe as well as a handmade accessories line called Love Juliet.

If you’re hungry for some food inspiration, check out Jessica Woo’s TikTok, and watch her

success story on YouTube.

What do you do for a living?

I can’t get enough of 20-something Daniel Macdonald (aka Daniel Mac). He’s a guy who boldly approaches strangers with fancy cars to ask a simple question, “what do you do for a living?” This creator’s enthusiasm for talking to strangers and learning about them is hard to beat. It’s also fun to learn what success looks like on the street, so to speak. He’s built his community of over 13 million people by being fearless and using his insatiable curiosity to find out more about people that the rest of us might aspire to become one day.

You definitely want to check out Daniel Mac’s TikTok to see who he talks to next, and you can fuel your own drive for success by reading his story on Creator Handbook.

Leave a positive mark on the world

Imagine making a video every day for 1000 days. That’s almost three years! But that’s exactly what Nuseir Yassin did. After quitting his job, he traveled the world making videos. At first, he funded it all out of his own pocket, but eventually, it caught the attention of a company that wanted to sponsor his videos. From there, he grew his Nas Daily brand (‘Nas’ is Arabic for ‘people’) into a huge international hit. With the mission of “Leave a positive mark on the world,” Nuseir now has offices in Dubai and Singapore for its two brands. Nas Academy and Nas Studios.

We know you’ll love to learn more about his success story, and for daily inspiration, be sure to visit his YouTube channel.

Color me… happy

Before she became the ‘Color Queen,’ Courtney Quinn wanted to work in corporate fashion. She started her blog Color Me Courtney to get attention — and then one day she nabbed her dream job at Coach. But that wasn’t enough for her. She kept building her brand, expanding her website and Instagram to be all about her “embracing my curls and curves, celebrating color in a city where everyone wears black, looking on the bright side, and being unapologetically myself.” I don’t know about you, but I’m hooked!

If you want to learn more about Courtney, she tells her story in Teen Vogue, and you can stop by her Insta anytime to see what she’s up to these days.

Fishing for trash and treasure

Back in 2011, Jake Koehler, also known as DALLMYD, started off with a small YouTube channel featuring two of his hobbies — gaming and fishing. On a whim, he started snorkeling and scuba diving in the Chattahoochee River in Georgia and posting videos he took with his GoPro. When he stumbled across an iPhone and then returned it to the owner, he realized he had struck gold. Over the past five years, Jake has become one of YouTube’s superstars, gathering over 13 million followers who eagerly join him on his dives for treasure — and all the trash he picks up along the way.

You can’t help but be swept up in Jake’s passion for cleaning the waterways and finding lost items.. Trust me, you’ll love following his adventures on YouTube, and you can read more about his backstory in Men’s Journal.

Source link

Read More
wpadmin November 28, 2022 0 Comments