Keeping Your Team In Form And Proactive

Coworkers at workstations in high tech office

However big or small a company is, it’s essential that all of the contributing parts work together smoothly as a whole. In order to hit targets and achieve goals, your team needs to consistently hit a certain expected level of productivity. When standards slip below that level, problems start to arise. Productivity and performance drop and the company as a whole suffers, which can ultimately lead to an end-of-year loss, redundancies and closures.

With this in mind, it’s important to keep your team operating at peak form and on its own initiative, adapting to new challenges and rising to meet situations as they come along. Even minor personal problems can affect staff morale, which in turn affects productivity. On the other hand, an employee may just need guidance to adjust wasteful working practices and up their game.

Issues that affect productivity

There’s an old saying that you should leave your problems at the door when you come to work, but the modern office manager knows that this isn’t always possible. There are many personal issues that will unavoidably impinge on concentration and focus at work. These could include relationship problems, money worries, depression, illness or drug and alcohol dependency.

team photo office

A good manager needs to take a proactive approach to solving these problems. The first step is regular one-to-one sessions with your staff. If their work is slipping, try to find out why and offer to help them rectify the problem, rather than issuing threats of demotion or dismissal. They may tell you their marriage is in trouble, or they’re worried about a sick relative, in which case it could be appropriate to offer counselling sessions.

Keeping the office healthy

Your office should be a healthy environment if you want the best for your staff. No one does their best work in a damp, stuffy or freezing cold room. Extra employment benefits could include gym membership or private healthcare insurance, and healthy eating should be encouraged, with regular lunch breaks rather than snacking in front of a computer.

Looking after your employees also means looking out for substance abuse issues. Let your staff feel they can talk to you, and if they admit to a problem with drink or drugs, try to help them get over it with counselling or rehab instead of immediately sacking them. Many won’t admit they have a problem, even to themselves. Mandatory drug testing can help these individuals and shouldn’t necessarily be seen as draconian. An oral fluid lab test is simple and effective and will bring any problems to light, which is the first step to dealing with them.

Setting goals

An incentive programme can encourage employees to take responsibility for their own productivity. Targets and goals should be appropriate to the individual. If the bar is set too high, the stress and worry of trying to meet it could cause an employee’s work to deteriorate still further. Set reachable goals and consider lowering them if necessary.

Keeping a team proactive involves earning their trust and helping them to help themselves. It’s better to put time and resources into helping them solve problems rather than having them waste time and lower collective morale. Set goals and expect high standards, but also help those who stumble along the way.

Mobile Phone Battery Technology Is Finally Catching Up

2 phones charging by wallsocket

It is amazing how much the capabilities of our mobile phones have progressed over the last few years. That said, those of us who are well into our second decade of using our mobile phones are pretty well unanimous in lamenting how the battery life of our devices has plummeted in inverse proportion to that rise in capabilities. Those of us who remember even earlier mobile phones will recall that those early phones that more closely resembled a brick than a telephone, and took up the greater part of a brief case, could only be relied upon to make a few calls before the battery was fully depleted, thus limiting the phone’s usefulness to the time its user was in a car. Since calling those earliest examples “mobile” is stretching the word’s meaning to the breaking point, we will skip past them and focus upon the truly mobile devices that came into widespread use in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Early models of truly mobile phones weren’t much smaller than an old-style land line handset, but still much smaller than those first so-called “mobile” devices, and could go for days at a time without us giving our battery a second thought. Yet today’s smartphone users would never consider going more than a day or two at most before plugging the phone into a charger. So what happened to cause battery life to improve so dramatically, then plummet again?

Old School Advantages

• Less energy-draining electronics – Older mobile phones were limited in what they could do, they could mainly send and receive calls, and store a limited number of contacts. The phones themselves transmitted analog signals that required only rudimentary and less energy-intensive circuitry than that which is found in more modern mobile phones.

• Size was not a critical marketing point at the time – Most users of early mobile phones carried their phones either in a satchel or a belt holster. Those who carried their phones in a jacket pocket accepted the ensuing bulges as an unavoidable effect. The notion of a mobile phone that could fit unobtrusively into one’s pocket was little more than users’ (and designers’) fantasies.

• User-replaceable batteries – The ability to swap batteries in our phones left us with the option of having a second, fully-charged battery at our disposal, and some mobile phones could be purchased with a charging cradle that allowed the user to simultaneously charge the phone and an extra battery.

• Higher-capacity batteries were available – Some users opted for replacing the phone’s original battery with one whose capacity far exceeded the one that came with their phones. Installing a higher-capacity (and therefore larger) battery often necessitated using a custom battery cover that provided the extra room necessitated by the new battery’s larger physical size, but this wasn’t of particular concern, since the demand for a truly small mobile phone lay sometime well into the future. Unthinkable as it seems today, many of us didn’t even think to bring along a charger when we went on holiday, knowing that with the higher-capacity or extra batteries, our phones would remain functional until well after our return.

Progress was inevitable, but slower in some areas than others


• Change from analog to digital standards – Although the American Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had released a portion of the radio transmission spectrum for use in mobile telephony in 1974, the first major breakthrough in technology in the UK was the 2007 initiative to switch from the earlier analog transmission frequencies to digital. This was beneficial primarily to carriers, since it significantly expanded the frequencies at which mobile phones could legally operate, facilitating a potential for quantum-level growth in the mobile phone market. The ensuing increase in processing power resulted in a modest increase in energy usage, even as the consolidation of components into microprocessors facilitated a drive to make the phones – and by extension, the batteries that powered them – smaller. The smaller batteries’ capacity was diminished in proportion to their reduced size, and the trend toward reduction in battery life was begun.

• Improvement in rechargeable battery technology – Batteries using the older Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cad) technology had a relatively short useful cycle life, and a “memory” effect that, to put it simply, tended to reduce the battery’s capacity to match its state when it was put on the charger. Deplete the battery to 50% on a regular basis, and its capacity would drop to 50% of design capacity. Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries don’t exhibit the memory effect, and can be more easily configured and shaped to fit the allocated space in the device. Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries, in particular the newer Lithium-Poly Ion, offer a significant increase in capacity for a given size over the NiMH, are lighter in weight, recharge in half the time, and have no memory effect.

• Smartphones became increasingly powerful and energy-hungry – A basic law of physics is that the more work something does, the more energy it will expend in the process. Modern smartphones’ computing capability exceeds that of early personal computers, all of which were chained to a desk or workstation. Despite ongoing advances in task performance efficiency, modern mobile phones will likely maintain their appetite for energy well into the foreseeable future.

Barring a significant breakthrough in battery technology, such as decreasing the production cost of hydrogen cell batteries, the best thing you can do to ensure that your next mobile phone offers acceptable battery life is to shop carefully, and select a phone that offers few energy-robbing features you don’t need, while offering the best possible battery life.

How Manufacturing Processes Are Revolutionising Our Technology

How Manufacturing Processes Are Revolutionising Our Technology

Every day we use appliances that we now take very much for granted. In a world obsessed with technology, we neglect to sit back and think about the production process behind it all. Finding out about these processes can be very interesting, because as the technology becomes more advanced, so do the manufacturing processes. The more we learn and progress, the more useful the products become, as illustrated by the last 50 years or so when the world has gone from on-street telephone boxes to smartphones.

The more advanced manufacturing processes increasingly involve the use of thermoplastics. They became popular in the middle of the 20th century when they replaced the use of metal in many products. These are not new materials as John and Isaiah Hyatt first invented plastic injection moulding in 1872. That is the process of moulding plastics into almost any shape. It was first used for making simple items, such as hair combs and buttons, but as the demand increased and the manufacturing process became more advanced, so did the technology. Plastic injection moulding began to be used for products such as toys, construction materials and medical equipment.

All the mouldings, whether for complex medical devices or children’s simple toys, are made in injection moulding machines where the raw material is placed within a metal mould. The process tends to create a product that is unlikely to waste material or even need finishing. There is a high production rate with the moulds because they require minimal manual intervention to operate. Once the equipment has been purchased, it can be used with minimal additional expense.

How Manufacturing Processes Are Revolutionising Our Technology 2

Manufacturers such as the IGE-XAO Group use only the best electrical cad software when designing products. By using such top electrical design software the quality and reliability of products is assured. These new technologies are now used extensively throughout the following industries:

  • Railways
  • Shipbuilding
  • Aerospace
  • Power generation & energy
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Equipment & machinery
  • Automation & plant

Most advanced companies now use lasers and computer controlled robotics in the course of manufacturing, and it is likely that 3D printing will play an increasingly important role in the years ahead.

It is fascinating to explore the manufacturing systems and processes that are involved in the manufacturing of many high-tech items now commonplace in our lives. We use many different types of such items each day, many of which are packed with the latest computer and engineering technology. Just think of cars with their computer control systems, GPS units and sophisticated audio facilities. Smartphones are also a modern day wonder that allow us to communicate across the world, browse the internet, listen to music and the news, check the weather forecast and look at current share price information. The manufacturing processes behind these items are largely unknown to the average consumer, and little thought is given to the systems that created the devices that everyone now finds so useful.

As the technological age becomes ever more advanced, the manufacturing processes are also advancing to bring the world newer and more exciting products.

Why Business Leaders Need To Be Ahead In The Business Field

Why Business Leaders Need To Be Ahead In The Business Field 1

Technology provides many benefits for companies and, as a result, has become an important part of the workplace. By having access to the latest technology, companies can develop in ways that they were unable to before. This is why it is important that business leaders are not just aware of the technology available to them, but also that they are up to date with the latest tech devices and trends.

The business world has become increasingly dependent on technology. With technology, there are fewer limitations and more possibilities, which means that companies can be provided with better solutions for improving their business and targeting more customers. With technology constantly being improved, consumers now expect businesses to be up to date so that they can be provided with a faster, more efficient service.

Business leaders need to be ahead of their game when it comes to technology and should look at a number of areas that may help them to improve their business. Advanced technology and the availability of online tools make it easier than ever for business leaders to promote their services. One example of areas that business leaders should explore is website design. There is now a wide range of web building tools that enable companies to build an online presence.

Why Business Leaders Need To Be Ahead In The Business Field 2

Apps and social media websites are also areas that business leaders should keep up to date with. More consumers are looking for easier ways to communicate with businesses, as well as simple, straightforward methods of buying products or services. Social media websites can help business leaders to build up relationships with their customers, whilst apps offer a faster way of accessing services and purchasing products. Business leaders can easily build up a positive online reputation and expand their customer base by setting up an online social profile and actively engaging with consumers.

Advanced technology also makes it easier for business leaders to communicate with colleagues, which can help to build up better relationships in the workplace and keep companies more organised. Video conferencing, for example, has become an important piece of technology in business, as it enables companies to easily arrange meetings and interact with each other without having to travel.

There are many business leaders who are ahead in the tech field. Fahad Al Rajaan’s Wikipedia shows how he has become a successful businessman. He has used social profiles and technology to reach the international world and to transform himself into an influential business leader. Other business leaders who are ahead in the tech world include Alisher Usmanov, who has invested in social media websites, and Ginni Rometty, who has contributed to many technological developments.

With more advanced technology becoming available, business leaders will need to be ahead in the tech world in order to keep their business up to date and meet consumer demands. Advanced tech devices and software provide more opportunities for business leaders and will continue to help the business world to grow.