Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Office

Designer approved pen fits in any room

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment

Every desk has a coffee cup with a bunch of pens that ruin your carefully manicured decor. Wouldn't it be great if you could keep your pens readily availble and make them visually pleasant? Your prayers have been answered with these functional yet somewhat ZEN looking glade of grass pens (called Pooleaf). 

The pens comes in 3 beautiful shades of green. Each pen is $5 so be prepared to spend $70-$100 to make your grasspens to look like a nice bunch in that vase.

You can buy it now here.

Boston switches from Microsoft to Google services

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Google has been on the offensive trying to convince customers to move from Microsoft to it's cloud services. Over the year, we have heard many high profile switches and now the city of Boston is jumping ship (and taking its 20,000 users with it).
The city estimates that switching from Exchange to Google Gmail will save it $280,000 per year
It’s not just the gee whiz factor: It’s also a matter of money. It will cost Boston around $800,000 to move over to Gmail, Google Docs for word processing, and Google’s cloud service for storing documents. But by dropping some Microsoft products, the city government will save at least $280,000 a year.
Obviously Microsoft argues that Google isn't a solid competitor and that companies moving to Google may find the cloud environment limiting.
Report by the Boston Globe here.

Outlook coming to Surface RT

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

Like it or hate it, the Microsoft Surface RT tablet is an original creation forcing us to think differently about the tablet market. As good as some think it is, most users agree it is missing one main tool, Microsoft Outlook. It seems Microsoft may have heard your complaints and may be preparing to release Outlook for Surface RT (according to the Supersite for Windows). The article says a bug in the ARM chipset (the tablets brain) may have caused the delay in the release.

Obviously Microsoft is committed to the new tiles interface of Windows 8 / RT and is going to continue refining the user experience. Sales of the Surface RT have been soft but Outlook may be the driver that finally pushes it into the arms of waiting power-users and corporations.

 

Why working from home may harm your career

Management, OrganizationEdward KiledjianComment

When you hear about non-traditional work arrangements, you probably think about a hot tech startup where employees come to work on Segways wearing Hawaiian shirts but most companies now offer some type of non-traditional work arrangement. The most common is flex time and work from home. These arrangements benefit the employees & employer.

The employee gets a comfortable home work environment that is distraction free and saves dozens of travel hours. The employer gets a more productive employee and considerably reduced secondary costs (office, phone, internet, etc).

Although Work From Home is mutually beneficial, research has shown that it does have one major negative repercussion: a negative perception of those using these non-traditional arrangements (particularly Work from Home). It seems these employees aren’t given the same amount of credit as the traditional office bound employees. This seems to be a natural (sometimes unconscious) bias suspecting that employees who are not in the office are not working “as hard” or “as long”  as their traditional counterparts. 

A university study entitled “Why Showing Your Face Matters” found that employees working with non-traditional arrangements typically receive lower performance evaluations, smaller raises and fewer promotions than the office bound control group. These negative impacts exist even if the remote employees work harder and longer than the control.

If you are an employee working from home, there are steps you can take to improve your situation:

  • Stay In touch – Stay in constant communication with colleagues, customers and supervisors. Regularly email, Instant Message and call. By always staying available and in touch, people understand that you are “actually working”
  • Get face time – Make it a point to periodically come into the office and when there, use this time to meet with your boss and do visible work you can’t do from home.
  • Build alliances – Identify influential people (working from the office) that can help your cause by being supporters. Keep these people update about what you are working on. These people can be excellent references during peer reviews (for evaluations).
  • Prove your dedication – Work from home employees tend to start working earlier and finish later (since there is no commute time). Highlight this fact by sending emails or leaving voicemails during these extended periods. Think of these as tangible proof of your dedication.

As an organizational leader that has managed thousands of remote employees, I hope the above recommendations help you and your career. These are proven strategies that work and I recommend you take them seriously.

Office 2013 can only be installed on one machine

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

One of the major questions tech pundits were asking themselves when Office 2013 came out is “can the license be transferred to another PC?” Why would you want to transfer the license of a $150 software suite? A PC dies, you upgrade, it get’s stolen, etc.

Microsoft has now confirmed to Computerworld that Office 2013 software licenses will not be transferable and that it is only licensed to work on the first PC it is installed on. This is a bad policy for consumers buying the licensed legal copy and Microsoft hopes to entice you to move to their subscription based Office 365 offering instead of the traditional buy-once-use-for-3-year-software package.

Some people will pirate software even if it is cheap and affordable but many consumers do the right thing and buy legal licensed copies of their software. Unfortunately  anti-consumer policies like this may encourage good law abiding software users to seek alternatives and move to pirated versions.