Should companies be spying on their remote workers?

In the wake of the Coronavirus, managers are spying on their remote workers. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? How should companies manage their remote workers, especially if this is a new experience for them? Jim Stroud has a suggestion. Tune in to hear what it is. | Special thanks to Proactive Talent.

Links related to this podcast:

  • Covid-19: Bosses panic-buy spy software to keep tabs on remote workers | The Star Online https://buff.ly/2JkxYMH
  • Big Brother isn’t just watching: workplace surveillance can track your every move https://buff.ly/2yA6BeC
  • How IBM does the Results Oriented Work Environment (ROWE) | GovLoop https://buff.ly/2UL3fOf
  • ROWE on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROWE
  • Do Results-Only Workplaces Really Work? https://www.business.com/articles/do-results-only-workplaces-really-work/

Music in this podcast:

Green Tea by Smith The Mister https://smiththemister.bandcamp.com
Smith The Mister https://bit.ly/Smith-The-Mister-YT
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/smith-the-mister-green… Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/A7zatZLprhA

Where Silence Is Nonexistent by A Himitsu https://soundcloud.com/a-himitsu
Music by A Himitsu (https://youtube.com/channel/UCgFwu-j5…) Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/where-silence-is-nonex… Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/sXi_NANO3tA

Joakim Karud – Classic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVNLpO2Xnc4

Thumbnail illustration: VinnieNeuberg.com

How Pandemics Affect the World of Work

In this extended episode of “The Jim Stroud Podcast,” I examine previous pandemics and speculate on what we can expect to happen in the near future and beyond, as it relates to the world of work. I also make a few predictions concerning the world of work in general and recruiting specifically. Tune in for a very special episode.

Links related to this podcast:

Day After Day by Joakim Karud http://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud Music provided by Music for Creators https://youtu.be/FvOaTPNUQ0Y

dizzy by Joakim Karud
https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/xseXbA2N6D0

Chill Day by LAKEY INSPIRED https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b… Music provided by Music for Creators https://youtu.be/0WQBUiO1-SA

People by G I Z
https://soundcloud.com/djgiz Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b… Music provided by Music for Creators https://youtu.be/-Uq3xthl-nw

pennsylvania forecast by Muciojad https://soundcloud.com/muciojad Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b… Music provided by Music for Creators https://youtu.be/x-JTAT7ANVQ

Tough Love by Joakim Karud
http://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud Music provided by Music for Creators https://youtu.be/uyoTyxYFVkY

 

What’s next for remote working? Holograms!

Working from home has been a perk that many companies have offered their employees in response to growing demands for work-life balance. With the pandemic of the Coronavirus, remote working is becoming a standard way of work in the USA and around the world. It has me wondering, what will be the next phase in remote working? Well, I looked into it and I think its holograms. You remember that scene in Star Wars when Princess Leia sends a holographic message to Obi Wan Kenobi? We are closer to that being an everyday office reality than you might think.

♫Music By♫ ●DJ Quads – Dreams

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quads
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/djquads/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DjQuads
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/QuadsAKA

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, I’m Jim Stroud and this is my podcast, brought to you (in part) by Proactive Talent, a recruiting and employer brand consulting firm that will revolutionize the way you attract and hire top talent.

Working from home has been a perk that many companies have offered their employees in response to growing demands for work-life balance. With the pandemic of the Coronavirus, remote working is becoming a standard way of work in the USA and around the world. It has me wondering, what will be the next phase in remote working? Well, I looked into it and I think its holograms. You remember that scene in Star Wars when Princess Leia sends a holographic message to Obi Wan Kenobi? We are closer to that being an everyday office reality than you might think. I’ll explain after this.

The CoronaVirus has been declared a pandemic and in response, businesses have been asking their people to work from home, where possible.  As more and more people get used to remote working, I suspect it will prove challenging for them to return to a physical office every day. I think over time, perhaps in the next 5 years, businesses will turn to holograms more and more to not only conduct business but to manage their office as well.

There is a company called Meta that is making it their mission to make holograms routine in how we work and collaborate with one another in the workplace. If their vision becomes reality, remote workers could work on projects together and interact with one another as they would in a regular office but, without leaving their home.

I read about Meta from an article in the Economic Times. Here are a few quotes from that article.

One recent morning, Stephanie Rosenburg arrived at work to find her PC monitor had vanished. She looked around the office and saw that members of her team were wearing headsets with see-through visors and grabbing invisible objects with their hands. Rosenburg had just returned from vacation so it took her a few seconds to process what was happening before she clued in: “Oh,” she thought. “It’s my turn now.”

Rosenburg handles marketing for Meta, a San Francisco startup that makes augmented reality headsets that overlay holographic images on the real world. Users can manipulate 3-D models with their hands or browse web pages, send emails and write code from floating virtual screens. Her boss, Meta founder and Chief Executive Officer Meron Gribetz, is determined to end what he calls the “tyranny of the modern office” by replacing monitors, keyboards and eventually even cubicles with augmented reality. To get there, he’s using his own employees—including Rosenburg—as test subjects to help Meta figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Further down the article it reads…

Meta’s goal is to make its augmented reality technology a seamless extension of the real world—enabling people to interact with holograms much the way one interacts with real objects. Instead of clicking, dragging and pushing buttons, the technology lets users control 3-D content with their hands. Gribetz believes AR hardware will become quickly commoditized, so he’s focused on perfecting the software, taking inspiration from Apple’s intuitive user experience.

In his vision, office workers will huddle around holograms to collaborate on pretty much any kind of task. That means no computers, cubicles, regular desks, or chairs. Gribetz’s own office provides a glimpse of how a future workplace might look. He has a thin slab of wood at standing height as a desk. It’s just wide enough for the headset to rest on it. He plans to redesign the rest of Meta’s office in a similar way.

I think Meta’s vision is ambitious yet, not unobtainable; a few stars will definitely have to align perfectly. In some respects, they already are. The medical holography market is heating up. There is a rising demand for digital holography in the financial sector for security purposes. And there are holographic advances on the consumer side that are boosting market growth. For example, the Red Hydrogen One cellphone debuted in 2018 with a “holographic display” that projects 3D images that can be viewed without special glasses. (I’ve seen it and it is cool although a bit pricey, starting at $1200 dollars and up.) And of course, you have concerts featuring dead celebrities that have wowed crowds around the world. (TuPac Shakur, Michael Jackson and now – Whitney Houston).

So, you add all that up, holograms in healthcare, cybersecurity for the financial sector, cool mobile phones and concerts and you would think that Meta’s version of reality, people collaborating with one another with holograms is just an eventuality that will happen in less than the 5 years I predicted. Well, I’m not so sure. There are some factors in place slowing it down. I’ll talk about them after this.

The hologram market has a lot going for it. It also has a few stumbling blocks to overcome. For one, hologram projection under sunlight is not so good. That has to be fixed for sure, before it can go to the next level. Another hurdle is cost, producing holographic images ain’t cheap by any means. Finally, what I think is the biggest impediment to holograms going fully mainstream though, is 5G.

CBS News interviewed Ben Nunez, CEO of Evercoast about using 5G to make a lifelike hologram in minutes. This is what was said.

Again, all great, but what I take away from all that is how crucial 5G is. For those who don’t know, 5G operates on a much higher electromagnetic frequency spectrum than previous mobile networks. The wavelengths it sends out have a higher capacity but a shorter range, which means that large towers that serve dozens of square miles won’t be effective. To make the 5G network effective, “small cells” will have to be placed every few hundred feet.

Rather than large traditional towers, these small cells will rely on “poles” or even existing streetlights and utility poles. Because 5G small cells cover a much shorter distance, there will eventually have to be more of them — thus the demand for a tremendous number of freestanding poles. Also, each pole may only house technology for one mobile carrier. (So, Sprint will need its 5G cells in place, ATT will need its 5G cells in place and so on) As a result, the demand for poles could grow exponentially.

All that to say, for holograms to be routine in the workplace and for remote workers (in the USA), we are going to need at least a million new towers.  Is that impossible? No. In fact, it is very possible and that concerns me the most. When all of these 5G towers are built and they begin emitting all this radiation in closer proximity to us all, how will that effect our health? I have to wonder. Maybe I’ll do some research and discuss it on a future episode?

 

 

How will the corona virus affect the future of work?

The biggest news story in the world now, and in the foreseeable future, is the corona virus. Its not as big a threat as the FLU, but it is having a more severe effect in terms of public anxiety and business disruption. What will all of this mean for the future of work? I speculate. | Special thanks to ProactiveTalent.com.

Hi, I’m Jim Stroud and this is my podcast, brought to you (in part) by Proactive Talent, a recruiting and employer brand consulting firm that will revolutionize the way you attract and hire top talent.

The biggest news story in the world now, and in the foreseeable future, is the coronavirus. Its not as big a threat as the FLU, but it is having a more severe effect in terms of public anxiety and business disruption. What will all of this mean for the future of work? I speculate on that, after this word from Will Staney, Founder and CEO of Proactive Talent.

For all the attention that the Coronavirus is getting in the media, the FLU poses a much bigger threat, at least in terms of the health of the general public. Listen to this recent quote from USA TODAY.

There’s a deadly virus spreading from state to state. It preys on the most vulnerable, striking the sick and the old without mercy. In just the past few months, it has claimed the lives of at least 39 children. The virus is influenza, and it poses a far greater threat to Americans than the corona virus from China that has made headlines around the world.

“When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, there’s just no comparison,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Corona virus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison. The risk is trivial.”

To be sure, the coronavirus outbreak, which originated last month in the Chinese city of Wuhan, should be taken seriously. The virus can cause pneumonia and is blamed for more than 800 illnesses and 26 deaths. British researchers estimate the virus has infected 4,000 people. A second person in the U.S. who visited China has been diagnosed with the Wuhan virus, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. Public health workers are monitoring 63 additional patients from 22 states.

Influenza rarely gets this sort of attention, even though it kills more Americans each year than any other virus, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor of pediatrics, molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Influenza has already sickened at least 13 million Americans this winter, hospitalizing 120,000 and killing 6,600, according to the CDC. And flu season hasn’t even peaked. In a bad year, the flu kills up to 61,000 Americans. Worldwide, the flu causes up to 5 million cases of severe illness worldwide and kills up to 650,000 people every year, according to the World Health Organization.

And yet, Americans aren’t particularly concerned.

To be clear, no death is insignificant. But consider this, at the point of this recording, there have been 3,569 deaths in the world caused by the Corona Virus. And as I have already said, the FLU kills 650,000 people every year. Clearly, the FLU is the bigger threat to our health but thanks to public anxiety as fed by the news media, the Corona Virus is a bigger threat to our way of life.

According to Investopedia, Official estimates suggest Chinese exports amounted to $2.097 trillion in 2017. Since 2013, China has also become the largest trading nation in the world. (The United States previously held this position.)

China has many dominant industries that create products and materials for export. The most prominent amongst the finished products exported from China are electrical goods, data processing technologies, clothing, and other textiles, and optical and medical equipment. And here is a fun fact, 95 percent of all the antibiotics in America are manufactured in China. I repeat, 95 percent of all the antibiotics in America are manufactured in China. Let that sink in. Look, I’m all for global trade, in fact, I encourage it, but relying on one partner for 95% of all antibiotics. That’s a bit much.

I predict that once the Corona Virus hysteria has subsided and vaccines are in place, companies will begin to rethink their supply chains. I predict that President Trump will begin offering tax incentives and other goodies to bring manufacturing back to America on an unprecedented scale so we can reduce our dependency on China and any other country for that matter. Once that happens, there will trigger another boom in jobs that might shatter the already historically low unemployment records. I think automation will increase out of necessity and the companies that supply that technology will see their profits go through the roof.  And even with the help of robots and automation, they can only do so much and will eventually break down. So, I imagine there will be a boom in trade education – maybe things like, “robot repair” will be the hot new profession. As the need for such skills increase, look for “robot repair” to be taught in high schools the same way automotive tech was taught in an earlier generation.

But, I digress. The corona virus may trigger a new wave of manufacturing jobs and that’s at least something good that could come from this. However, its not the only prediction I have. I have at least, umm… 1 more. I’ll share it after this.

Before we get to the point of a manufacturing boom, or rather, an even bigger manufacturing boom as manufacturing jobs have grown at their fastest rate in 23 years (more or less), there is the in-between time, that point between now and when the even bigger-boom of manufacturing jobs happens. And during that time, I predict a subtle change in the job market. And when I say, subtle, I am being sarcastic.

People wanted telecommuting jobs before the corona virus hysteria. How much more do you think they want it now? If the corona virus hysteria continues for an extended period of time, I predict that some companies will take advantage by offering jobs that pay less but make higher demands on their workers. The argument that they will likely use is that the money they would have paid you is offset by the money you save working exclusively from home. And it won’t be a hard sale as some workers will graciously take a significant paycut to work exclusively from home. Listen to this clip from ABC news which reported on remote working in San Diego. {cite the cost savings from this clip}

So, let’s recap.

  • The corona virus is not as dangerous as the FLU in terms of health, but the public anxiety over it, makes it a threat to our way of life.
  • I predict that once the corona virus hysteria subsides, America will bring more manufacturing jobs home in order to reduce our dependency on China.
  • I predict trade schools will boom as well as high school programs teaching things like “robot repair.”
  • I predict that some companies will pay less and demand more from 100% remote workers and few will complain about it, especially during this period of corona virus hysteria.

And one last prediction, I predict that you will share this podcast with your network, on social media and ask them to subscribe to it. Time will tell, how accurate my predictions are.

###

Dawn by Sappheiros https://soundcloud.com/sappheirosmusic Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b… Music provided by Music for Creators https://youtu.be/GpPj4hRJGZk

Joakim Karud – Classic – https://buff.ly/38wmH6h

Computational Thinking? Its a thing…

Computational thinking is the edge you need to be competitive in business.  But what is it? Tune in to hear Jim Stroud explain what it is and explain its significance to not only business but future jobseekers as well.

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, I’m Jim Stroud and this is my podcast!

Think about a very difficult situation, no matter what it is. Maybe it’s a business issue, or some sort of personal dilemma, whatever it is, you feel frustrated because it’s just too hard to figure out. Well, maybe, just maybe, the answer to your problem is how you think about it. A problem-solving technique that is growing in popularity is something called – computational thinking. In a nutshell, it’s figuring out the answers to a problem the way a computer would. I’ll go deeper with that after this…

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Computers can be used to help solve problems. However, before a problem can be tackled, the problem itself – and the ways in which it could be solved – needs to be understood. Computational thinking helps with this. It allows us to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions. These solutions can then be presented in a way that a computer, a human, or both, can understand. At least, as described by the BBC.

Computational thinking itself is comprised of 3 steps: decomposition, abstraction and algorithmic thinking. Let me talk a bit first about decomposition. Or rather, let me quote the BBC as they describe it.

Decomposition involves breaking down a complex problem or system into smaller parts that are more manageable and easier to understand. The smaller parts can then be examined and solved, or designed individually, as they are simpler to work with.

If a problem is not decomposed, it is much harder to solve. Dealing with a complex problem is much more difficult than breaking a problem down into a number of smaller problems and solving each one, one at a time. Smaller problems are easier to understand and can be examined in more detail.

For example, suppose that a crime has been committed. Solving a crime can be a very complex problem as there are many things to consider.

A police officer would need to know the answer to a series of smaller problems:

  • what crime was committed
  • when the crime was committed
  • where the crime was committed
  • what evidence there is
  • if there were any witnesses
  • if there have recently been any similar crimes

The complex problem of the committed crime has now been broken down into simpler problems that can be examined individually, in detail. Once the individual information has been gathered and collated, the police officer may be able to solve the crime.

Step one in computational thinking is ‘decomposition.” The second step is “abstraction” which is the process of ignoring the non-essential details of a problem. From this, an idea of what is to be solved can be created. This idea is known as a ‘model’ and… Uh oh! I think I’m starting to lose some of you. Umm… let me show you an example of what I mean by abstraction.

Have you ever traveled on the New York City Subway? I have. The first few times it was intimidating because when you look at the map, its easy to be overwhelmed by all the places you could go by train and when you add bus routes to the mix, OMG! However, if I focus solely on going from Brooklyn to Manhattan, I can ignore all the other destination options on the map. Also, I don’t have to think about how many miles there are between subway stations, how many steps I must take from the train to the exit or, how deep underground the subway station is.  All that is irrelevant to my solving the problem so, I ignore all of that extra, unimportant information and focus solely on the subway route that will get me where I want to go.  Make sense? When I block out the information I don’t need and keep what I do, that’s abstraction.

Decomposition is breaking down a big problem into smaller solvable parts.

Abstraction is getting rid of the clutter and focusing on what matters.

The 3rd step in computational thinking is algorithmic thinking, which is basically creating a step-by-step action plan. If you have ever followed a recipe then, you understand how algorithms work. When following a recipe for example, at least as the original author intended, the desired outcome is expected. You beat so many eggs, add so much flour, bake for so long and badda-boom, badda-bing, something delicious comes out the oven. {See if you can find a sound effect for – Nailed it!}

Now, was my explanation of computational thinking simple enough to understand? Good! I’m glad you think so because you will have to master this way of thinking to stay competitive in business and the job market. More on that, after this.

Even if you cannot code a computer, being able to think through a problem with computational thinking will become more and more important as times progress. For example, if you are in talent acquisition, developing a candidate journey from discovering a job description all the way to hire, requires breaking it down to simple steps and putting it into algorithmic sequences that can be tracked and tweaked over time. If you are a retailer, designing a user journey requires the same type of insight. And if you are an employer, computational thinking will likely be at the core of most of your future jobs because as technology becomes more sophisticated and pervasive, you are going to need people who can routinely figure out complex problems.

And just in case you think computational thinking is just the latest buzzword floating on the internet, its not. Case in point

  • In the US, the National Research Council (a scientific think tank, created by President Woodrow Wilson), is ahead of the curve, working on CT for the past eight years.
  • The Carnegie-Mellon University has a Microsoft-sponsored Center for Computational Thinking to advance computing research and computational thinking to improve society.
  • The National University of Singapore has gone a step further and made CT compulsory, regardless of what course they are studying.

If you want to learn more about computational thinking and how it could be applied to business, maybe take an online course in it, check out ComputationalThinking.org. You’ll be glad you did.

MUSIC IN THIS PODCAST

► Music Credit: LAKEY INSPIRED Track Name: “Better Days” Music By: LAKEY INSPIRED @ https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired Original upload HERE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXLzv… Official “LAKEY INSPIRED” YouTube Channel HERE – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOmy… License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported “Share Alike” (CC BY-SA 3.0) License. Full License HERE – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/… Music promoted by NCM https://goo.gl/fh3rEJ

► Music Credit: LAKEY INSPIRED Track Name: “Blue Boi” Music By: LAKEY INSPIRED @

https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired Original upload HERE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAukv… Official “LAKEY INSPIRED” YouTube Channel HERE – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOmy… License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported “Share Alike” (CC BY-SA 3.0) License. Full License HERE – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/… Music promoted by NCM https://goo.gl/fh3rEJ