All posts tagged “Company”

Roots’ Customizable Varsity Jackets: Classic winter wear with a personal touch from a family-owned company

Roots' Customizable Varsity Jackets

For over 40 years, family-owned Canadian apparel and accessories brand Roots has produced top quality, hand-crafted apparel and accessories with comfort in mind. Now, they’re letting customers voice their own aesthetic choices with a customizable……

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Cool Hunting

Why Your Company Should Embrace The Four-Day Workweek

The talk about a four-day workweek has been around for awhile, but lately more and more companies are adopting it and bloggers worldwide are talking about it. Working just 4 days and having 3 days off is heaven for employees but not so much for employers who aren’t (yet) well acquainted with the benefits.

Efficiency should not be equated with number of hours or days worked, they are not the same, but in today’s trend almost everyone believes this to be true.

In this article, we will talk about how a four-day workweek is the best schedule for creative and knowledge-centric firms. The standard work hours is 8 hours daily or 40 hours per week for a full-time job. With a four-day workweek, the setup can be either a 32-hour workweek or 10-hour daily for 4 days. We’ll take a look at just what this means.

Less Time to Work Means Less Time to Waste

The more hours there are for work, the more people find ways to distract themselves because they desire change from their routine. It doesn’t necessarily mean more time for efficient work. In fact, forcing more working hours onto creative and knowledge workers has a detrimental effect.

You see, creativity and critical thinking can’t be forced. They both thrive in freedom. Freedom in the sense that they are not robots meant to work 8-12 hours a day for 5 days. It might sound counterintuitive to say that in order to have quality work and in order to squeeze every second of every working moment for maximum efficiency, employees should spend less time at work.

In fact, this is what Jason Fried did on 37Signals, now known as Basecamp. According to him, “Better work gets done in four days than in five.” He said that during our school days, we were given a summer vacation from school and that time off from school was tremendously helpful in breaking the monotony. But as we grow older and life becomes more serious, these breaks shorten. Some even go for years without having a real vacation.

When people have more time to work, they inadvertently try to fill every possible hour. In between they are looking for ways to distract themselves from the desolation of a monotonous work environment. Having a shorter workweek might just do the trick of increasing productivity, since there’s less time to fool around.

Here’s the kicker, officials in Sweden have been working on a 6-hour work day in the hopes of helping workers increase their happiness, productivity, and ultimately be more healthy.

More Personal Time Means a Happier Work Environment

Suppose you are a web designer and your employer told you to design five unique landing pages within the week. Sounds like an easy job especially if you enjoy designing. If you are skilled and experienced enough, you can definitely pull this off. You might even work overtime just to please your employer.

But no matter how skilled and experienced you are, if this goes on for several weeks to months, you’ll just feel all spent and be mentally exhausted, right? People don’t want to spend the majority of their lives at work.

The current setup of many companies is to give their employees both one or two days off and a lot of overtime during workweeks. This leaves employees to just spend their free time at home, catching up on their sleep. In western culture, this is seen as a positive thing, being a workaholic. However, in many South-East Asian countries, working overtime suggests employees aren’t efficient enough to finish their work on time.

Can you imagine employees being happy under this setup, where they only have one or two days to rest and not enough time for family, friends, and for themselves?

Let’s take a peek at how happiness and more free time work in a grander scale. Countries who work shorter hours are the happiest and their economies are doing just fine. Take for example; Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Sweden. According to the World Happiness Report 2013, these countries were the top 5 in terms of highest levels of happiness.

The report shows that one major benefit of being happy is that people become more productive. Other major benefits include people living longer lives and low crime rates due to people being generally good.

Coincidentally, these countries have the shortest work hours per week in a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2013. The Netherlands’ average hours per week is 29, the shortest in the world for full-time salaried workers. This is followed closely by Denmark (33), Norway (33) Switzerland (35), and Sweden (36). The Swedes work 143 hours less than Americans per year.

Great Work Satisfaction Means Longer Work and Talent Retention

Why do you think people change companies or careers? It’s not because they just feel like doing so. It’s because they’re not satisfied with their work. Most of us have been there. Why did you leave your previous job? Probably because the salary is too low or the work setting is terrible, but often times for most people it’s because a better opportunity presented itself elsewhere.

The World Happiness Report 2013 published a study that strengthens the idea that the happier people are at their workplace, the more they tend to cooperate and help improve the entirety of their work.

If you own a company with a high turnover rate of employees, you might want to consider investigating your employees’ key motivators. Usually these motivators are: security, recognition, purpose, and freedom. If you want to seriously understand what motivates others, a great starting point is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Give people these four key motivators and they will be happy, and in turn they will work with you for as long as you satisfy them.

A four-day workweek also solves the issue of a high turnover rate too. Happy employees usually find their purpose easily and will do their best to perform well. In turn, they might just get recognized for their outstanding work which leads to job security. And finally, they will have more time for themselves.

Another thing is that great talent will gravitate towards you. Adding an extra day of freedom can go a long way for many people. And if your goal is to attract great talent, a four-day workweek is probably one of the best deals out there (especially now that it’s popularity is still rising).

Conclusion

If you are thinking of starting your own company or doing freelance work, don’t forget to consider the benefits of having a four-day workweek. I know that 5 days is the most popular, followed by 6 working days, but don’t forget about what motivates you as well as your employees.

Most people’s motivation boils down to freedom. Some people work in order to have money whilst others want to save enough money to live a particular lifestyle. Regardless of what it is, the appeal of a four-day workweek is something that can act as a big motivator.





hongkiat.com

Whistle, a ‘Fitbit for dogs,’ acquires pet-tracking company Tagg

In the past few years, we’ve seen the emergence of two big ideas when it comes to pet tech: the ability to monitor your pet’s fitness levels and the ability track lost pets. Now, those two ideas are merging. Whistle, a Fitbit-like gadget that charts a dog’s physical activity, announced today it has acquired the GPS-enabled pet tracker Tagg.

The merging of the two companies is the first step towards giving pet owners all the information they need in a single app. “We’ve been really focused on providing solutions for pet owners and veterinarians,” Ben Jacobs, CEO and co-founder of Whistle said in a phone call to The Verge. The company plans to build several “on-collar devices that track everything you want to know about your dog.”

Jacobs…

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The Verge – All Posts

Uber admits it’s a taxi company in quest to restore services in India

Uber says it is resuming operations in New Delhi a month after it was banned following the alleged rape of a passenger by one of its drivers. The mobile car-hailing service has applied for taxi license in the city — an unprecedented move as it usually claims to only be a technology company “connecting riders to drivers,” rather than a full-blown taxi firm.

Uber’s fine print states it is “not a transportation carrier.”

This distinction has been at the heart of numerous protests against Uber, with traditional taxi firms arguing that it allows the San Francisco-based company to avoid costly regulatory hurdles such as vehicle and background checks. The company itself states in a section at the bottom of its websites labeled “The Fine…

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The Verge – All Posts

Wolf Camp Studios, Orange County: OC-based production company Foxes and Wolves lures local talent into its lair with a hybrid studio and bar space

Wolf Camp Studios, Orange County

by Kohl Crecelius

Ryan Haack and Aaron Shintaku (the creative duo behind Foxes and Wolves, an Orange County, CA-based photo and video production agency) are kept busy with their own projects, but couldn’t deny seeing a particular growing need within……

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Cool Hunting

Almost every single Xbox executive we profiled in this video last year has left the company

Boyd Multerer, the genius Microsoft engineer who founded Xbox Live, helped build the Xbox 360, and led the development of the three-operating-systems-in-one Xbox One platform, announced on Twitter today that he’s left Microsoft to pursue new opportunities. Multerer has been on leave since the Xbox One launched; he and his wife Keri launched the interactive erotica site Silkwords back in Februrary, and now he says he’s focusing on other new startup ideas.

But more importantly, Multerer’s departure means that almost every single person on the Xbox One team we profiled last November when that console…

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The Verge – All Posts

Microsoft’s former Internet Explorer chief has left the company

Dean Hachamovitch — the man who oversaw the development of Internet Explorer for ten years — has left Microsoft. Hacahmovitch announced the news in a short blog post, in which he said he was “ready to enjoy a different point of view on both tech and life,” 24 years after he joined Microsoft. In an interview with GeekWire, Hachamovitch said that the company “really has changed a lot” since he joined in 1990, and that he was “overdue a change.”

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The Verge – All Posts

Cool Hunting Video: S. B. Foot Tanning Company: One of the last major American tanneries has been producing high-quality hides for over 100 years

Cool Hunting Video: S. B. Foot Tanning Company

Last year, our friends at Red Wing Shoes invited us out to explore their factory in Minnesota. And, right next door to Red Wing is S.B. Foot Tanning Company. Established in 1872 by the Foot family, the business was eventually purchased by Red Wing……

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Cool Hunting

La Marzocco Home: The Italian espresso machine company now offers their GS3 professional-grade model for home use

La Marzocco Home

Making your own espresso just got serious: Florence-based La Marzocco has recently made their professional-grade espresso machines (previously only available for commercial use) for the home. La Marzocco Home offers customizable GS3 espresso machines……

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Cool Hunting Video: Thornwillow Press: From papermaking to printing and publishing, this upstate NY-based company does it all while keeping modern technology at arm’s length

Cool Hunting Video: Thornwillow Press

When upstate in Newburgh, NY recently, we visited Thornwillow Press headquarters. Founder Luke Ives Pontifell (who started the company in 1985 as a labor of love) guided us through his diverse collection of printing processes and presses, as well……

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Cool Hunting