Who hasn't heard of working from home? This type of management is highly popular throughout the world. According to a study conducted by LBMG Worklab among 20 companies in France, there is an estimated 12% of teleworkers. More than 2 million employees have been promoting this method of working since 2006. Teleworking requires strong self-discipline and essential qualities. Let's focus on the advantages and disadvantages of this attractive corporate culture.
What are the origins of working from home?
Before highlighting the pros and cons of teleworking, let's take a look at the history of this work culture. Originally from the United States, teleworking refers to the practice of carrying out professional duties remotely, whether from home or a coworking space, as long as you have access to the Internet. The concept was first introduced in America in 1950 by mathematician Norbert Wiener, who reported the story of an architect who remotely supervised the construction of a building in the USA using data transmission. However, it was not until 2002 that millions of teleworkers started being hired in Europe.
Teleworking for a better lifestyle
Teleworking offers several benefits to both employees and employers. Teleworkers are known to experience less stress because they enjoy a more suitable environment, from a professional, family and personal perspective. There is no need to rush to catch the subway and get to the office because everything is done from home. With no commute, employees are more efficient and productive. Moreover, teleworking allows you to manage your daily life better. Indeed, thanks to higher flexibility, people dedicate more time to their families and hobbies. That enables them to lead a peaceful and stress-free lifestyle.
A Sense of Freedom
In addition to feeling zen, teleworking provides a real sense of freedom. Everything goes on smoothly as long as the work is done. Teleworkers can even treat themselves to one or two extra hours of sleep, before settling down in front of their personal computer for a pleasant day of work. In practical terms, employees demonstrate that they can be both autonomous and productive. What's more, they are not disturbed or distracted by coworkers. This isolated environment leads to high work performance and creates a real feeling of freedom without any excessive workload. Employees are free to determine their work schedule and set up their work plan.
A Corporate Culture Worth Promoting
Teleworkers are not the only ones to benefit from the advantages of outsourcing. Remote working represents a significant gain of money to employers. Allowing employees to work from home saves money to companies since there are no workspace rental, maintenance and transportation expenses. Productivity increases, while absenteeism drops drastically. Communication between colleagues becomes more efficient, and distractions such as phone calls and chatting disappear. In short, teleworking is a corporate culture worth embracing if you wish to save money.
Covid-19: What Is It All About?
The Covid-19 outbreak, which was declared on 29 December 2019 in the Chinese province of Wuhan, has ended up overwhelming the rest of the world, causing panic, anxiety, confusion and forcing hundreds of millions of people into confinement. This completely unpredictable and undetectable pandemic struck the Northern countries first before affecting the Southern hemisphere and establishing "globalized fear". It challenges our beliefs, creates a sense of helplessness and resignation, and questions the capacity of States to manage and overcome an unprecedented crisis.
The initial minimalist response of affected States has gradually intensified with the passing days and exponential increase in the number of victims. As for the national and international consequences of the outbreak, it is too early to assess them, given the uncertainties regarding its duration, seriousness and impact on the various sectors of economic and social life. However, a major recession is already inevitable, and the figures put forward by the World Bank (WB) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), amounting to thousands of millions of dollars, are alarming and likely to increase over the coming weeks and months. In the face of this pandemic, States and international organizations adopted measures that have gradually been reinforced as the virus' spread soared, and neighbouring countries were being affected.
COVID-19: A THREAT TO WORLD PEACE AND SECURITY?
The Coronavirus has left humankind helpless. States reacted to the disease without any coordination, and international organizations limited themselves to warning States and urging them to take the necessary measures to deal with the pandemic. While the UN Secretary-General was among the first to "declare war" on the virus, the Security Council was conspicuous by its absence. It should also be noted that it did previously adopt resolutions describing HIV and Ebola as threats to international peace and security. . This crisis is a reminder of the need for a globally coordinated response to global health crises.
The Day After:
Beyond financial, economic, and political consequences, the current crisis has marked the State's return as the provider of health, security and, at times, food, forcing citizens to comply with a strict form of containment and significant restriction of freedoms. It has simultaneously tested States' ability to deal with an invisible and devious enemy that has exposed the hidden weaknesses and limitations of even the most developed and best-equipped health systems around the world. In an effort to restore their authority and reputation, States will be inclined to withdraw and isolate, as well as question the orientation of their economic policy to minimize their vulnerability and ensure their self-sufficiency through relocation, control of their value chains and domestic investment.
Ironically, the crisis has also revealed the interdependence between States due to globalization and the need to reform mechanisms for greater fairness. Though some may question China's role in the spread of the virus, it did assert itself as a competent nation capable of containing the epidemic. What's more, it has even emerged as a world power, which will undoubtedly have a key role to play on the international scene in the years to come.. While it is agreed that there will be a before and after Covid-19 world, it is difficult to predict the direction and scope of the adjustments or changes that will gradually occur at the global governance level once the sequels of the pandemic subside. Will we shift to an enhanced and reorganized multilateral system to promote inclusiveness, solidarity, and equity, or will we give in to nationalist withdrawals that will only intensify the fractures between countries?
5G: Everything You Need to Know About Future Networks
Everybody's talking about 5G. An exciting and incredible technological future awaits us. However, it's hard to imagine what a 5G connected world will look like when 4G hasn't been deployed anywhere. To get a clearer picture, we tell you all about the future network.
5G: How It Works?
5G will be based partly on millimetre waves. The French army is currently using these radio waves, but they are expected to be redistributed to operators during an auction sale. In accordance with the regulations available on the ARCEP's website, a selection process for 3.4-3.8 GHz frequencies was also launched on December 31, 2019. Most operators will integrate their 4G and 5G networks to achieve the most seamless experience. In addition to increasing speed, 5G also aims at minimizing latency. Its infrastructure will require optic fibre networks and cache servers to be located within the closest range to users.
While a loss in the current network will have minimal impact, a future 5G outage could lead to a severe car accident. Because millions of connected objects are concentrated in a small area, outages will likely occur quickly in big cities. Several solutions are, therefore, being considered to address this problem. First of all, the small base stations discussed above. This is a straightforward operation: a large 5G antenna located far from the urban area distributes the signal to several smaller antennas in the city centre, as described above.
5G: Minimum latency
The main problem with 5G is latency: reducing it to less than a millisecond will fundamentally transform the way we use wireless. For example, a future wireless virtual reality headset that sends 4K images to each eye and provides a smooth and enjoyable experience. The delay makes navigation more responsive and helps to increase the bitrate.
Minimal power consumption:
Another challenge facing 5G is that it will need to connect all devices. Smartphones, PCs and a large number of low-power connection objects, which are continuously connected, require highly economical modules to limit excessive strain on the battery. The first batch of 5G, Qualcomm X50 and Balong 5000 modems has not yet achieved this goal. Like battery-powered weather stations, these components generate heat, which means that a lot of energy is wasted. That's the focus of the Research and Development team.
The agreement over 5G is also crucial:
The most significant feature of 5G is that it will put an end to net neutrality. Up to now, we could manage all applications equally over the network, whether we are connected to a smartphone, a tablet or a smartwatch. This will change with the advent of 5G as there will be a priority system, depending on the application. You won't have one, but several 5Gs. Each application will have to use the most appropriate radio frequency and protocol. For example, you don't need to connect to the fastest frequency if you are using a weather application.
The Internet of Things: A Booming Market
The Internet of things is a new terminology which you have probably heard in recent months. But do you know what it means? The Internet of Things connects billions of objects and people. It is now considered one of the most powerful tools for creating, modifying and sharing countless pieces of information. In fact, the Internet of Things aims at enabling the interaction among objects and between objects and people. It is expected to become the driving force behind radical change in everyday life by bringing new uses and services in the transport sector to the mainstream public. However, experts in the Internet of Things suggest that only 1% of its full potential is currently being exploited. Therefore, you can imagine it as the future Internet.
The Gartner Institute predicts more than 50 billion connected objects on the market by 2020. We are witnessing a digital revolution that will radically change our lifestyles.
For now, though, IoT is still very much about gadgetry, although it is bringing increasing value to consumers. In the B2B sector, the fields of application are growing fast and offer tremendous prospects, especially in building energy management, industry, agriculture, security, transport and health.
Although it is impossible to predict what the Internet of Things has in store for us, its popularization is underway!
How Does IoT Work?
The Internet of Things works mainly with sensors and connected objects placed in/on the physical infrastructure. These sensors will then transfer data via the wireless network of the IoT platform. This information can, therefore, be evaluated and improved to get the most out of it. The data management and viewing platforms are novel IoT solutions that enable local governments, companies and even users to analyze data and draw conclusions so as to adjust to practices and behaviour.
As you can see, the Internet of Things is closely related to connected objects because they can collect and send data via the Internet or other technological tools. Connected objects interact with the environment through sensors: temperature, speed, humidity, vibrations, etc.
Objects can be vehicles, industrial machines, or even car parks within the framework of the Internet of Things.
The Internet of Things uses data to create smart objects.
Data is the real gold mine of the Internet of Things, that is, as long as it is collected and converted into meaningful information. Raw data, temperature, vibration and humidity analysis are used to turn them into smart objects. In this regard, the connected objects are:
Instruments: they collect and integrate data in real-time
Interconnected: they share data with other information systems via a wireless network
Smart: They analyze and refine data to help users, businesses and institutions make decisions
What does Industry 4.0 Stand For?
Over the past few years, the media has covered many topics about the "Industry 4.0" transformation. However, many entrepreneurs do not really know what it means. In addition to the concepts people talk about, you should also be aware that the transition to Industry 4.0 can increase your productivity.
Industry 4.0 is the latest development in the manufacturing sector. Over the past 250 years, several industrial revolutions have changed the way goods are produced. Like the previous mechanization, electrification, automation and globalization, this "fourth industrial revolution" is expected to have a considerable impact on the way we manufacture and sell products.
Recent advances in technology have made digital technology more affordable, user-friendly and powerful than ever before.
Companies of all sizes now invest in these cost-effective technologies.
Moreover, several studies (including one conducted by BDC) have shown that the productivity gains achieved through Technology 4.0 will ultimately create such a significant advantage that companies that don't follow through will struggle to compete with other players.
What are the main applications of Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 applications are extremely diverse in terms of cost and complexity. Here are some examples of common applications that may be of interest to your company.
- Go paperless - Scan your business documents (work instructions, forms, purchase orders, packing slips, product specifications, etc.) to save time and money and reduce errors caused by incorrect or outdated data.
- Monitor and control machinery and equipment in real-time - Install wireless sensors on your machines and equipment to monitor production and collect data in real-time. This will allow you to accurately track your production, identify and correct problems, and make more informed strategic decisions. It's called the Industrial Internet of Things.
- Implement smart processes - Use machines that can analyze their own data to predict when maintenance is due; some can even schedule an appointment with a technician. Advanced control technologies assess production quality in real-time and act when defects require correction.
- Optimize processes - Scan data with advanced analytics software to determine the best production and maintenance scenarios, and use this data to improve productivity and maximize the use of your assets.
- Experiment with 3D printing - Use 3D printers to produce prototypes quickly, create complex shapes and highly customized products tailored to your customers' specifications.
- Connect your products to the Internet - Equip your products with sensors to monitor their use and notify your customers when it's time for maintenance or if you need to report potential problems. Smart products can also be used to add services based on usage, to shift to a business model that focuses on products as a service or to develop new and innovative solutions.
- Integrate computer networks - Use the Internet to connect with your customers, suppliers and business partners. You can use an extranet or an electronic data interchange (EDI) system for business-to-business (B2B) trade, and a transactional website for consumer trade.
How can companies benefit from Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 gives you the information you need to make the right decisions for your business. Digital technologies can help you optimize productivity, forecast cash flow and know when to source more supplies. They can even tell you who to send your marketing e-mails to.
Reduce operating costs:
The BDC survey revealed that 50% of digital technology adopters say it has helped reduce operating costs.
The study shows that these savings can be generated by:
- real-time production monitoring and quality control to reduce waste and remanufacturing;
- Preventive maintenance to avoid costly repairs and unplanned downtime;
- Increased automation to reduce labour costs and improve workflow;
- The use of 3D printers to speed up prototyping, lower design costs and speed up the launch of products on the market.
Gain a competitive advantage :
Digital technologies can help you gain an advantage in competitive markets and produce a significant impact on growth. For example, a food processing company that has granted a multinational retailer access to its systems can place orders from a secure platform and choose the warehouse from which to source its supplies. The logistics department then sends the product and invoices the customer. This fully automated process reduces paperwork, improves turnaround times and maximizes customer satisfaction.
By relying on digital technologies, companies can offer better services and are more competitive in the market.
Integrating digital technologies into your business may be time-consuming, but it may be worth it for companies that use data to make strategic decisions.
At first, entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed by all the data they receive and don't know where to begin.
Business owners can first define what data they need to collect and how often they need to review it.
Out-of-context information is useless, but do learn to analyze it properly so you can make the right decision.
If you don't have the right information, you will rely on your gut feeling to make decisions, but keep in mind that it is not always the best way to proceed.
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