How Boston Consulting Group’s vision of a ‘bionic workplace’ can help companies build a seamless and resilient hybrid model

microsoft middle east remote work
The “bionic company” combines tech with the “flexibility, adaptability, and comprehensive experience of humans” to create a “superhuman enterprise.”

  • BCG’s “The Bionic Company” envisions a workplace where tech combines with human adaptability.
  • It’s one model for the future of the post-pandemic company considering going hybrid or fully remote.
  • It involves tech being a main focus, bucking traditional leadership, and giving employees autonomy.
  • This article is part of a series called “Future of Work,” which examines how business leaders are rethinking the workplace.

With the Biden administration setting a goal of 70% of US adults having at least one vaccine shot by July 4, business owners and employers are now anticipating a return to the workplace in some form.

As much as dealing with the pandemic itself was a completely new challenge, envisioning the shape of the workplace in its aftermath has become a discipline all its own.

Brandy Aven, associate professor of organizational theory, strategy, and entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, told Insider that companies are not going to be able to take a one-size-fits-all approach.

Brandy Aven
Brandy Aven.

“Leadership should consider each worker’s situation and circumstances in as nuanced a way as possible rather than try to generate a uniform or blanket policy,” she said. “Similarly, the motivation and rationale for bringing workers back to the office should also be carefully considered and discussed with your workforce.”

Aven’s recommendation for companies includes a “collective dialogue” to generate solutions.

“In general, I would first aim to get individual feelings in a manner that will allow as many people to share their concerns and situations – for example, a survey or one-on-ones,” Aven said. An online forum or discussion board are other options.

This is one path forward in what consultant Paula Rizzo, author of two books on organization, labels as “an opportunity to not go back to the way things were.”

Paula Rizzo
Paula Rizzo.

“None of us are the same. Now people have this new sort of freedom from working remotely, and now everything is changing again,” she told Insider. How companies handle this change, Rizzo added, will determine how successful they are at retaining their employees.

“We’ve got a challenge where when we come back into the world of mixing virtual and physical interaction again, companies really need to think about how they make it the best of both of those experiences,” Rich Hutchinson, managing director and senior partner and social impact practice leader at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), said. “I really believe that people thrive on engagement and seeing other people, but the flip side is that there are huge benefits in being more productive in what you’re doing, but also spending more time with your family or being more flexible with where you are.”

Rich Hutchinson
Rich Hutchinson.

Hutchinson was one of the authors of a recent BCG report envisioning the future of the workplace entitled “The Bionic Company.” In it, the consulting group envisions a workplace where technology combines with the “flexibility, adaptability, and comprehensive experience of humans” to create a “superhuman enterprise.”

This breaks down into several actionable steps that all businesses should keep in mind.

Make technology a priority

First, companies must work to integrate the technology they’ve leveraged during the pandemic into their regular workflow, and evaluate how those processes can be further deployed as workers return to the workplace.

“How will the core processes of the business evolve?” and “How will humans and technology create a more efficient process?” are the key questions leaders should be asking, Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson gave an example of outcomes he’s seen these questions produce in action at a leading retailer. The company “built an algorithm to choose fashions for the next season. The algorithm improved on human choices alone,” he said. “But the best results were achieved when human recommendations were both inputs to an improved algorithm and also experts audited the outcomes. It’s an example of leveraging the power of humans and technology together.”

Becoming a “bionic company” isn’t just for large enterprises, either.

“The trick for small companies and entrepreneurs is to think about their processes in this bionic or digital mindset from the beginning, or adopt them in order of the ones where they think they’ll get the biggest bang for the buck,” Hutchinson said. “But because you’re small, I actually think you can build in a lot of the agile organizational mindset or the technology mindset pretty easily,” he added.

Buck the traditional leadership model and remain transparent

The next consideration is how leadership functions as you come back to work after the pandemic.

In the bionic workplace, it differs from the traditional top-down model, Hutchinson said. In traditional leadership, direction comes from the top and flows down to employees without much input or room for questioning, whereas in bionic leadership, it’s team-based, where the teams build products or drive outcomes and are charged with accomplishing their missions on their own.

“Leadership becomes much more about how I structure my teams, what are they working on, what’s the mission, do I have the right composition of talent on those teams, can I help remove roadblocks from them along the way, and if the project just isn’t working, do I shut it down and redeploy that talent onto other teams that have better uses?” Hutchinson said. “It’s basically how do you set up the teams, charge them with the mission, remove the roadblocks, and let them go, rather than managing a team and sort of orchestrating its activities in a very controlled manner.”

Keeping workers motivated throughout the changes that encompass a return to the workplace is another critical consideration, Hutchinson said. He said that taking the time to explain how the changes are going to be beneficial not just for the company, not just for the customer, but also for the workers, is key to their success. Having reached an unprecedented level of transparency during the pandemic, there’s no going backward.

For example, many companies that are digital natives use agile staffing processes to supplement their core employee base. Hutchinson said that handled properly, employees don’t see this as a threat.

“Employees are restaffed to other work that is now higher value. They see that making the company efficient through technology helps it win,” he said. “Growth creates opportunities for the employee. And agile staffing makes work more interesting rather than stagnant.”

That type of communication is common among companies that originated during the digital age, Hutchinson said.

“One of the things the digital natives have done really well is helping people understand that if we can grow and become more efficient and leverage these techniques into a more bionic operating model, that actually creates more opportunity for all of us, and our sincere goal is to help people find new roles and grow,” he said. “So I think there’s a large part of it that’s down to how the company executes it and helps people see the positives in their journey.”

Give employees an opportunity to structure their days

As business owners start pondering how to move forward, employees’ views will be central to considerations, Hutchinson said. He predicts that more autonomy in the workplace is almost unavoidable.

Employees “sharing what worked and what didn’t – and what they are looking for in a job moving forward – both will shape how employers structure jobs post-pandemic,” Hutchinson said. “For some, the pandemic has meant they needed to and could work in a more independent manner. Where this worked, I think employees will push hard for it to stick.”

Rizzo also believes that employees should get a head start on showing employers what they want and need by planning out what they’d like their work model to look like.

“We have an advantage because we know it’s coming,” she said. “We were all blindsided when remote work became full time, now you have some perspective – use it! Make a list of what you’re better suited to do at home and what works better in the office as you design your hybrid work model. It’s a good time to craft your days in a particular way that will make you more efficient, no matter where you are.”

Hutchinson identified less management, or the feeling of less management, as a benefit of the bionic workplace as well.

“They find that they’re operating more agile, which can be really energizing because it doesn’t feel as managed, it feels much more self-directed and they’re much more empowered,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A guide to cloud computing, the multibillion-dollar industry that powers your favorite apps

man using phone and several computer screen desktop laptop
Cloud computing transmits data to your computer via the internet, rather than letting you download it permanently.

  • Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services over the internet.
  • Cloud computing can include online data storage, writing apps, media streaming, and more.
  • Popular apps like Spotify, Netflix, and DropBox all run using cloud computing.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You may have heard of “the cloud” countless times, but only have a general idea what it means. Cloud computing is the delivery of “on-demand” computing services – whether it’s storage, software, processing power, or other resources – over the internet. You typically pay as you go, billed only for the resources you use or the storage amount you’re subscribed to.

Though cloud computing isn’t an especially new innovation (it’s been around for decades), it’s become increasingly important to the most popular apps around today.

What to know about cloud computing

Types of cloud computing

The term “cloud computing” masks a lot of complexity. Where is the server? “In the cloud” – most users generally don’t need to know more than that.

The name obscures the fact that there are several different kinds of cloud computing architectures.

  • Public cloud: Perhaps the most common kind of cloud computing architecture, a public cloud is owned and operated by a third party and makes its resources available to customers, generally on a subscription basis. Every common commercial cloud service you know, from Dropbox to Microsoft Azure, is on a public cloud.
    Dropbox app
    Dropbox uses the cloud to store your data and back up your files.

  • Private cloud: The only difference between a public and private cloud is who owns and operates it. A private cloud is generally owned by a single business or organization and is used exclusively by that entity. It’s a private network that reserves all of its resources for the business, but is still accessed remotely rather than in data centers on site.
  • Hybrid cloud: A hybrid cloud combines public and private clouds in a way that data, software, and other resources can flow seamlessly between them. It allows for more flexibility, generally by letting public clouds meet shortfalls in computing requirements when the private cloud is fully saturated.

Types of cloud applications

Not only are there distinctions between the architecture of cloud services, but there are some key differences in the kind of applications that cloud computing is used for.

Cloud computing services tend to fall into one of three main categories, and you can read more about this in our guide to cloud applications.

  • Software as a service (SaaS): This is often the simplest kind of cloud computing platform to understand; with SaaS, the cloud computing operator offers software (running on the SaaS operator’s computing hardware) you can access remotely. Microsoft 365 is a common example of SaaS.
GettyImages 854090620
The Microsoft 365 subscription service is a cloud-based SaaS platform.

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): In this case, a third party provides the computing hardware to run your software. For example, a software developer might rent space on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) server instead of owning and maintaining a large server locally.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS): Slightly different from IaaS, PaaS includes the hardware, operating system, and middleware needed to host the software you want to run in the cloud. Google’s App Engine is an example of PaaS.

Common uses for cloud computing

While cloud computing was a novelty in years past, the proliferation of online services, web apps, broadband, massive commercial data centers, and other technologies have made cloud computing a core part of today’s technological landscape. Here are some of the most common applications for cloud computing today.

  • Data storage: It’s common today to rely on cloud storage for data storage, backup, and recovery solutions. Not only is data backed up to the cloud, but the cloud is commonly an extension of local storage as well.
  • Software-on-demand: Many businesses and individuals now rent software using SaaS rather than purchasing it outright – like Microsoft 365 and Google Docs.
  • Streaming audio and video: Services from Spotify to Netflix to HBO Max are all examples of streaming services that operate from the cloud. They’ve essentially replaced local media playback, making the cloud an integral part of most people’s daily life.
Netflix
When you watch something on Netflix, you’re accessing content from the cloud.

  • Analyzing business data: Many businesses now store their critical business data in the cloud. They then use cloud services to analyze that data for business intelligence solutions.

The advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing

While cloud computing has become a critical part of the modern computing landscape, it’s not without its disadvantages.

For example, despite the appeal of “renting” rather than “buying,” cloud computing isn’t necessarily cheaper. Long-term, it can be more cost-effective to own and operate your own computing resources, especially if you need those resources indefinitely. If the company hosting your cloud computing service of choice shuts down, you could lose all your data.

Additionally, there are security concerns. If a third party is hosting your data, it’s a potential risk vector for hackers and corporate espionage.

Companies may also want to own their own computing resources as a way to differentiate their capabilities. If you are using the same third-party services as the competition, for example, it’s difficult to offer capabilities that are better than, or even different than what they offer.

On the other hand, cloud computing is popular today because it still offers significant advantages over local computing. It’s less costly, at least in the short term, compared to owning your own servers.

It also allows for greater mobility and portability of your data – it’s already in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. And it moves responsibility for factors like security and disaster recovery to a third party that theoretically has that expertise.

Here’s how much storage is available on your Google Drive, and how to upgrade to Google One for more storage spaceHow to manage your iCloud storage on a Mac computer and buy additional gigabytesA beginner’s guide to broadband internet, the most popular type of internet in the USA guide to proxy servers, the computer systems that relay information between users and networks, and how they can disguise users’ online presence

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to change your IP address to troubleshoot your internet connection or protect your privacy

woman on laptop
You can change your IP address to troubleshoot internet access issues.

  • You can change your local IP address from the network settings controls menu on a PC, Mac, or phone.
  • Your public IP address can be changed by resetting your router or connecting to a VPN.
  • You might need to change your IP address for technical or security reasons.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Your computer, like every device that connects to the internet, has an IP (Internet Protocol) address. It’s a series of numbers interspersed with decimal points (for example, “198.169.0.101”), and acts like a home address that identifies where other devices can find your computer.

Related Article Module: ‘What is my IP?’: Here’s what an IP address does, and how to find yours

It’s rare that you need to know your computer’s IP address, but should you need it, it’s easy to find (for details, see our articles on how to find the IP address for Windows or the IP address on a Mac).

Here’s everything to know about changing both your local and public IP addresses.

How to change your public IP address

No matter what kind of computer you have – Windows or Mac – it’s pretty easy to change your public IP address.

Your public IP address is usually set by your internet service provider (ISP), and you can’t choose it yourself. However, you can “coax” it to change in any of several different ways:

  • Change your network or location: Your public IP address will change based on where and how you connect to the internet. If you have a phone with LTE, for example, turning off Wi-Fi so it uses that LTE signal will compel it to use a different IP address. You can also connect to a different Wi-Fi network.
  • Reboot your internet modem: When you reboot the modem (turn it off, wait two to three minutes, then turn it back on) it’ll refresh all the IP addresses on the network.
  • Connect with a VPN: A VPN (Virtual Private Network) hides your public IP address, and connects you to a server in a different location with a different IP address. When you use a VPN, you don’t get to choose the IP address directly, but you can usually choose what geographic region you want to appear to come from, which will determine what IP addresses the VPN software will use to identify you.

If all else fails, contact your ISP and ask them to change your IP address. They might not be able to do it, but there’s no harm in asking.

How to change your local IP address in Windows

1. Click the Start button and then click “Settings.”

2. Click “Network & Internet.”

IP 1
You can change your local IP address in Settings.

3. In the navigation pane on the left, click “Wi-Fi” and then click the name of your Wi-Fi network. If you’re connected with an Ethernet cable, select “Ethernet.”

IP 2
Select your network to change the IP address.

4. On the details page for your Wi-Fi network, scroll down to the IP settings section and click “Edit.” With Ethernet, click “Properties.”

5. Finally, in the Edit IP settings dialog box, click “Automatic (DHCP)” and choose “Manual.” Then turn on IPv4 by swiping the button to the right and enter the details of the new IP address. Click “Save.”

IP 3
Change the IP setting from automatic to manual.

How to change your local IP address on a Mac

1. In the Apple menu, click “System Preferences.”

2. Click “Network.”

IP 4
Open the network settings in System Preferences.

3. In the pane on the left, select the network you’re connected to, and then click “Advanced” at the bottom right of the window.

IP 5
After selecting your network, go to the Advanced settings.

4. Click the “TCP/IP” tab at the top.

5. In the Configure using IPv4 section, click “Using DHCP” and then choose “Manually.”

IP 6
You need to switch from DHCP (which is the automatic mode) to select the IP address manually.

6. Finally, enter the details of the new IP address. Click “OK.”

How to change the local IP address on a mobile device

Like any internet-connected device, your phone has its own IP address. If you have a compelling reason to, you can change your IP address for your phone as well.

For both iPhone and Android, you can customize the IP address from the Wi-Fi settings page. For step-by-step details on how to do this, see our articles “How to change the IP address on your iPhone” and “How to change the IP address on an Android phone.”

internet router modem cell phone laptop hands
Your phone’s internet works just the same as your laptop’s.

How to find the IP address of your internet router using a Mac, PC, iPhone, or AndroidWhat you can do with an IP address, and how to protect yours from hackersHow to find your Xbox One’s IP address or set up a static IP address on the consoleHow to find your Roku device’s IP address in 3 different ways

Read the original article on Business Insider

6 ways to figure out if your side hustle idea will be a quick failure or a long-term success

side hustle video influencer young entrepreneur
The more you can understand what your audience needs from you, the more you can build something of long-lasting value.

The number one thing I love to do in my free time is brainstorm new business ideas. I find it fun thinking about problems and solutions in the form of innovative, unique, and interesting side hustles. My friends know this about me and at some point, at every dinner or phone call, I ask them if they want to chat about random ideas and see if any of them have potential for success.

While coming up with a long list of business ideas is easy, spending the quality time to check and see if these ideas can actually turn into something requires a series of practical steps.

If you’re collecting business ideas wondering which could turn into long term success and which are doomed for quick failure, here are six ways you can put your idea to the test before investing money into getting a business up and running.

1. Get the idea in front of an audience

Side hustles are created for people to help solve a problem they have in their life. Even if you think your idea is brilliant, it can’t be validated until it’s in front of a group of people, who are your ideal target audience, to see what their response is.

For example, if you’re thinking of starting a career coaching service for women in their 30s who want to make a career transition to another industry, find 10 to 15 people who meet this criteria and spend 30 minutes to an hour understanding their perspective, what kind of coaching they’d like, and how they feel about your idea.

If you are thinking of creating a modern stress ball for those who work in high-energy and fast-paced careers, first spend time chatting with this audience to see if this is something they’d use and then create a test product for them to try out before you build the real thing.

This data will help you pivot or change the purpose of your business. The more you can understand what your audience needs from you, the more you can build something of long-lasting value.

jen glantz
Jen Glantz.

2. Have a pulse on industry trends

It’s common for entrepreneurs to start side hustles in industries they aren’t too familiar with. Sometimes being new can allow you to see what problems no other company has ever tried to solve. Spend time keeping a pulse on trends, projections, and innovations happening within a certain space.

An easy way to help you do this is by setting free Google alerts for topics and keywords within an industry so that you can review daily updates about what’s happening. You can also read industry blogs, listen to podcasts, and attend conferences, all before actually starting and launching your product or service.

What you learn will help you brainstorm ways to make your side hustle stand out and be practical to the ever-changing needs of your customer base.

3. Understand your competitors

Before getting too deep into planning your idea, look into better understanding your competitors. Map out their business plan, identify what they’ve done in the past that’s worked well for them and what has failed, and see what opportunities they haven’t even tried yet.

Once you know the performance of at least three to five competitors, you can really understand how your side hustle can fit into the overall landscape of the industry and potentially service customers in a new or different way.

Look into the marketing of these companies (check out their website and sign up for their emails) and use analysis tools like Rival IQ for help on how your competitors are performing on social media platforms.

4. Eyeball your business plan

A great step to take to really see if an idea has what it takes to grow into a success business is to write out a full and formal plan. Once you can identify how the business will grow and scale, what kind of budget you’ll need, and what the overall solutions are to the problems you’re solving for your audience, you’ll be able to have a blueprint for next steps.

Print out a free business plan like this one and see how much of it you can fill out. Over time, consult with mentors and other experts in your industry to expand on your business plan and see if your idea has legs or is just a decent idea.

5. Chat with a handful of mentors

Side hustle ideas should be shared. The more people with business and industry knowledge you share your ideas, the more you can refine your purpose and product based on their expertise.

Join communities where these experts might be (Facebook groups or conferences) and ask if they will meet with you for 15 to 20 minutes, and come prepared with questions catered to their insights and experience.

6. Be willing to pivot, pause, and plan

A lot of successful businesses started out as something completely different than what they are now. Take Amazon, for example, which started off as an online book seller and has now turned into a platform for buying everything you could possibly need and getting it sent to your doorstep quickly.

If you notice you’re hanging onto an idea that’s not getting a good response from your target audience or industry experts, understand that if you don’t pause, pivot, and re-plan, you might not find the success you’re looking for.

Be willing, as a new entrepreneur, to bend your idea from its original state. Following these steps will help you get clarity on whether or not an idea is worth pursuing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

5 working moms on what they really want this Mother’s Day, from quality alone time to family-friendlier employers

Lekeshia Angelique
Lekeshia Angelique and family.

  • The pandemic has created even more challenges for many already over-burdened working moms.
  • Author Melissa Petro spoke with five working mothers to ask what they really want for Mother’s Day this year.
  • From a better work-life balance to more quality time with their kids, here’s what they asked for.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

If you Google “Mother’s Day gift idea,” you’ll be inundated with tacky jewelry, personalized trinkets, and sugary treats. It’s a sad compensation for the relentless stress that comes with mothering. And this past year has been particularly exhausting.

Even before the pandemic, working while parenting was a challenge, especially for mothers. Post-pandemic, the struggle remains. To give just an idea, my husband and I spent last weekend in tears, struggling with the fact that New York City is reopening and he is being called back into the office, separating him from his children and forcing me to reduce my already limited work hours and parent our two toddlers alone.

Forget bubble bath and breakfast in bed; this Mother’s Day, I want quality, affordable childcare to compensate for the options permanently lost due to the pandemic. I want return-to-work programs to reintroduce those of us who’ve fallen out of the workplace, and family friendlier employers that put an end to secret parenting once and for all.

On Mother’s Day – and every day – I want recognition for the incalculable value of our unpaid, invisible labor, including the mental load that weighs disproportionately on moms.

While I’m always appreciative of a homemade card, a little common courtesy is the gift that keeps giving. To my husband: Put your bowl in the dishwasher. Pick your damp towel off the bed. To his employer: Please don’t make him come back into the office when this doesn’t work for our family – especially considering studies have found employees are actually more productive when you let them work from home.

I spoke with five working moms who got real about what they’ve been through this past year, and what they’re truly hoping for this Mother’s Day.

‘Leave me alone’

Shoshana Fain
Shoshana Fain and family.

People are realizing during the pandemic that health is more important than everything. Moms reach a point where they’re doing everything for everyone else and neglecting their own self care. But at the end of the day, no one’s happy when mom’s skipping meals or forgetting to properly hydrate.

After giving birth in May, I struggled with my weight and gestational diabetes. Even though I had a newborn to care for, I started prioritizing myself and lost 50 pounds with the help of a coach. I was so inspired that I started coaching others.

For Mother’s Day, I want to lock myself in my room for the day and only be interrupted with deliveries of snuggles and coffee. I feel like it sounds horrible, but the thought of ignoring my family and just staying in my bed for as long as I want would be bliss.

– Shoshana Fain, 34, Chicago, IL, health transformation coach, married with 3 boys ages 11 months, 4, and 5

‘I need a real vacation’

Lekeshia Angelique
Lekeshia Angelique and family.

Last March, I quit my full-time job as an HR specialist to start my own business. I run workshops and mentor staff at all levels, teaching people about unconscious bias, microaggressions and other barriers to inclusion and diversity. When it comes to things like race, gender, sexuality, and other individual differences, people are overwhelmed and afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. That’s where I come in.

Being an advocate for change and a minority during this year’s social justice movements and in the midst of a pandemic was simultaneously exciting and terrifying. It brought on a lot of new feelings that were felt by the entire family. But we thrived.

For Mother’s Day, I’d love a vacation out of the country. I haven’t traveled since the pandemic began, and Greece has been on my vision board since forever. The blue roofs, beaches, and cuisine make it the ultimate relaxation destination. I’m ready for a well-earned break.

– Lekeshia Angelique, 39, Clarksville, TN, diversity coach and consultant, engaged with five kids ages 9, 9, 19, 19 and 23

‘A little kindness would be nice’

Cat and her son.
Cat and her son.

I’ve loved working in politics news the past three years. It’s felt like a public service more than ever. This past year especially, I poured my efforts into getting it right and amplifying a diverse group of wise and credible voices. My son splits time between me and his father, so my parenting is 24/3.5. I love that I’ve gotten the intense time with him this past year – we’re closer than ever – but I hate how often my attention is divided when we’re together. I’m always at the mercy of my work phone.

For Mother’s Day, I want my son to make me a card, which is a painful challenge for single parents; who’s going to oversee such a thing? I confess that I want flowers. I want the day off, but I work on Sundays. I want democracy and kindness. I want forgiveness to be cool. People can be really mean and unforgiving – especially on social media. I want to never see the Michael Jackson eating popcorn meme ever again.

– Cat, 38, New York City, journalist, divorced with one son, age 5

‘I want a better work-life balance’

Nicole Phillips
Nicole Phillips and her daughter.

Trying to work from home with a two-year-old and no childcare was not easy. Sticking my daughter in front of a screen and depriving her of the attention and social interaction she was begging for – I felt like such a bad parent at times. And at work, everything felt like an emergency. I was giving 100% at everything, but constantly falling short.

When I was let go in February 2021, I was shattered. I realized that as much as I’d loved my work, it wasn’t worth my sanity. I found a job freelancing in my field, plus size fashion.

My wish for Mother’s Day is simple: I don’t want to go back to what life was pre-pandemic.

I miss being in the office, and collaborating in-person with my coworkers, but I don’t miss the expectations put upon me – and that I put on myself. I don’t want to sit in a car for three hours a day battling traffic and then missing dinner or bath time. From now on, I want to define my work schedule. I’d also love for all our laundry to be done.

– Nicole Phillips, 37, Los Angeles, CA, freelance writer, married with one daughter, age 3

‘I need quality – not quantity – time with my child’

Lydia Elle
Lydia Elle.

The hardest part about working and parenting this last year was throwing out the idea of what I thought everything should look like and becoming compassionate with myself about what life actually was and who I was in it. I was not prepared for a racial and health pandemic that forced me to become so much for my daughter. I had to be OK with not always being OK, and create a space that freed my daughter to admit when she was struggling so we could process through our feelings together instead of getting stuck in them.

For Mother’s Day, it would be glorious if I had some quality time with my daughter. A night or two somewhere close by for us to reflect and have fun together – and maybe a little time for me to just be, and sleep.

– Lydia Elle, 40, Southern California, self-employed, single with one daughter age 11

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to record your screen on a Mac computer with the Screenshot Toolbar or QuickTime Player

woman using laptop and cell phone at home working
It’s easy to screen record on any Mac.

  • To screen record on Mac, use the Screenshot Toolbar or QuickTime Player.
  • If you have a new Mac, you can screen record on the Screenshot Toolbar with a keyboard shortcut.
  • QuickTime Player is great for older macOS versions, and screen records just as easily.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Say you want to capture something on your Mac screen – but a screenshot just won’t do it.

That’s when screen recordings come in handy. You can record a video of your Mac’s screen using either the Screenshot Toolbar tool, or the QuickTime Player app, both of which come pre-installed on your Mac.

How to screen record on a Mac using the Screenshot Toolbar

Again, remember that this method is only available if you’re running macOS Mojave or newer. If you’re not sure what version of macOS you have, read our article on how to check your macOS version and install any needed updates.

Once you’re ready to record:

1. Press Command + Shift + 5 on your keyboard to open the Screenshot Toolbar.

A toolbar with a number of icons and options will appear at the bottom of the screen. You’re looking for the icons that have the record symbol (a solid circle) over them. One will record a video of your entire screen, and the other will let you select a specific section of the screen to record.

how to screen record on mac 1
The two options in the middle of this toolbar will let you screen record.

2. Pick which recording type you want – and if you picked “Record Selected Portion,” highlight the part of your screen that you want to film – and then click “Record.” If you want to cancel a screen recording before it begins, press the Esc key.

3. Your screen recording will start immediately, and capture everything on your screen (or in the selected section) and any audio playing. When you’re done, click the stop button in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

By default, your screen recordings will be saved to the desktop as .mov files. You can change this by opening the Screenshot Toolbar and clicking “Options” – see below for more details.

How to screen record on a Mac using QuickTime Player

This is the method you’ll want to use if you’re running an older version of macOS. If you go through these steps while running macOS Mojave or newer, it’ll just lead you back to the Screenshot Toolbar.

1. Open the QuickTime Player app on your Mac. You can find it in your Applications folder, or by searching for it.

2. Click “File” in the menu bar at the top of your screen.

3. Click “New Screen Recording” and wait for a dark gray recording window to appear.

Screen record Mac 3
Select the “New Screen Recording” option.

4. Click the red record button, then click anywhere on the screen to start a fullscreen recording, or drag your mouse to record only a specific section.

You can also click the arrow next to the record button to choose whether or not to enable the microphone, and if you’d like your mouse clicks to be highlighted.

macos high sierra quicktime screen recording
QuickTime will give you less options, but still lets you narrate the recording.

5. When you’re finished recording, click the stop button in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Once you stop recording, your new video will open in QuickTime automatically. From here, you can watch, edit, and share it.

How to record the screen on your iPhone, and find or edit your screen recordingsHow to clear the cache on your Mac computer to make it run more efficientlyHow to take a screenshot on a Mac computer in four different waysHow to record your screen on a Windows 10 computer and capture your computer’s audio along with it

Read the original article on Business Insider

What is Wi-Fi 6E? The lastest and fastest form of Wi-Fi connection, explained

wi-fi symbol icon art
Wi-Fi 6E is an advanced form of Wi-Fi.

  • Wi-Fi 6E is the latest type of Wi-Fi connection, and you’ll need a compatible router and devices to take full advantage of it.
  • Wi-Fi 6E builds on the transfer speed and bandwidth of the existing Wi-Fi 6 standard through the addition of a 6 GHz wireless band.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Wi-Fi has been around for almost two decades now, and every few years, there’s an advancement that makes the technology faster and more powerful.

The most recent of these advancements is Wi-Fi 6E. Broadcasting on a 6GHz band – more powerful than the standard 5GHz and 2GHz – Wi-Fi 6E will make room for increased online traffic and also generate an estimated $183 billion in revenue in the US over five years, according to the W-Fi Alliance.

What is Wi-Fi 6E?

Wi-Fi 6E expands on the existing Wi-Fi 6 standard by adding a 6 GHz wireless band. Access to that new band offers an additional 1,200 MHz of bandwidth over the 500 MHz offered by 5 GHz.

The 6 GHz band supports up to 14 80 MHz channels, or seven 160 MHz channels. It also supports nearly twice as many high-bandwidth (80 GHz, 160 MHz) channels as 5 GHz, making more bandwidth available for 4K and 8K streaming, virtual reality gaming, and high-definition video conferencing. This means more devices can connect to available Wi-Fi channels without stealing bandwidth from one another.

laptops coffee shop
Wi-Fi 6E will let more devices connect at once without losing speed.

Wi-FI 6E is also more secure than its predecessors due to the mandatory inclusion of Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3), making it tougher to hack networks.

Advantages of Wi-FI 6E

Coinciding with the bandwidth and security advantages detailed above, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi 6E task group, the 6 GHz band in Wi-Fi 6E will help users access the internet in crowded places like sports arenas, business complexes, and apartment buildings.

Essentially, you won’t be competing for bandwidth with people in close proximity to you, which includes anyone you live with.

Disadvantages of Wi-FI 6E

But Wi-Fi 6E isn’t without its downsides. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is that it’ll require users to have an upgraded and potentially more expensive router. To take full advantage of it, users will need to own devices that are capable of accessing its 6 GHz band, which not many devices are able to do currently.

Additionally, due to the spectrum’s shorter wavelengths than previous Wi-Fi standards, its reach won’t extend as far and it may have a hard time passing through physical barriers, so you’ll likely need to use Wi-Fi extenders or repeaters in your home or building.

Wi-Fi extender

How to get Wi-Fi 6E

Wi-Fi 6E is now available, and you can find routers that support it from brands including Netgear, Asus, Cisco, and TP-Link. Wi-Fi 6E routers support all devices that are compatible with Wi-Fi 6, which include phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 (and later Galaxy models); the iPhone 11, 12, and SE models; and certain laptops, with the notable exception of MacBooks.

Related Article Module: The best WiFi routers in 2021

However, all Wi-Fi 6E routers are also backward compatible with previous Wi-Fi standards. This means that a Wi-Fi 6E router still supports older devices which can’t necessarily take advantage of the added high-speed 6 GHz band.

All of that said, the rollout of Wi-Fi 6E as a commonplace standard is going to take a while. So don’t worry about your current router becoming obsolete tomorrow.

A guide to VoIP, the technology that lets you make voice calls over the internetA guide to network security keys, the password for your Wi-Fi networkWhat is a mobile hotspot? How to connect your devices to your phone’s LTE-supported Wi-Fi signalWhat is Wi-Fi calling? Everything you need to know about making calls using Wi-Fi instead of a cellular connection

Read the original article on Business Insider

The founder of $5 billion healthy snack company Kind on how to build a culture of empathy without losing your competitive edge

Daniel Lubetzky Headshot 1
Daniel Lubetzky.

  • Daniel Lubetzky is founder and executive chairman of Kind snacks and a “Shark Tank” guest judge.
  • He recommended leaders incorporate kindness into their cultures as it helped him find success.
  • To build an empathetic culture, define and implement your “how” and encourage honest feedback.
  • This article is part of a series called “Secrets of Success,” which examines specific leadership tips from prominent business leaders.

Daniel Lubetzky, founder and executive chairman of snack company Kind, guest judge on “Shark Tank,” and founder of multiple foundations and nonprofits, grew up with empathy in his blood.

The child of a Holocaust survivor and Jewish immigrant to Mexico, his parents taught him the importance of deeply caring about other people and finding common ground in order to avoid hatred and division.

While these types of childhood lessons don’t always translate into great business advice, Lubetzky has always been adamant about instilling empathy into the companies he builds.

His team culture emphasizes kindness over competition, and he believes this approach actually helps his companies outperform – and based on Kind’s recent $5 billion acquisition, this softer approach hasn’t stopped them from succeeding.

Here are a few of the ways Lubetzky recommends other leaders start to bring more kindness into their cultures – without needing to completely overhaul their approach or lose their competitive edge.

Focus on the ‘how’ as much as the ‘what’

Setting aggressive goals is a part of any competitive business strategy.

But Lubetzky thinks too many business leaders overlook an important aspect of this kind of planning – how you want to go about achieving those goals. “Where you’re heading is very important, but how you get there, how you’re approaching every day, is as important as anything,” Lubetzky told Insider.

In an end-of-year letter to employees, Lubetzky shared some examples of what this looks like day-to-day on his team: “The way we work – the way we welcome hearty debate and disagreement, because we know it makes our ideas better and stronger; the way we respectfully listen to one another, try to see one another’s points of view, and assume positive intent; the way we practice integrity across all of our decisions and refuse to cut corners or accept false compromises; the way we push ourselves to achieve excellence but not at the expense of practicing kindness in every small action; the way we take initiative and responsibility for what we do – is what fills me with pride.”

Defining and implementing the “how” of your business can take many approaches, but Lubetzky swears by a simple set of core values that can guide team behaviors and decision-making. Perhaps more importantly, this can also help ensure you’re hiring the right people to keep this empathetic culture strong.

For instance, two of Kind’s values are “kind yet hungry,” which helps them look for teammates who will balance a drive to achieve with integrity and respect.

They can also guide what behaviors you choose to incentivize and celebrate. “We have an annual tradition called ‘Kindos of the Year,’ when we recognize those team members who have gone above and beyond to live out the kind values and champion them within the organization,” Lubetzky said. “Kindos is just as high an honor, if not more so, than meeting an important sales goal or other business objective.”

Be kind, not just nice, and encourage honest feedback

Lubetzky said there’s an important distinction to keep in mind when building a more empathetic team culture: that true kindness is different than just being nice, and while one will create a more competitive team, the other may weaken it.

“You can be nice and not criticize and be polite,” he said. “I’ve seen it so many times with companies I admire where nobody will tell the CEO or founder something they need to hear because they don’t want to be the one to disagree. That’s the moment when mediocrity is going to start seeping into the consciousness of that company.”

Instead of just being passively nice, you should be aiming for an active empathy, where your teammates have plenty of opportunity to get to know each other and connect – which ultimately leads to an organization where people are comfortable giving hard but important feedback.

“Kindness requires honest feedback and honest feedback requires strength, and that strength is much better achieved when you have a culture where people trust each other and know that they mean well toward one another,” Lubetzky said.

This deep trust built off connection and empathy is why he and former Kind president John Leahy worked so well together, despite rarely seeing eye to eye. “Because we knew we shared a goal to strengthen Kind, we never tried to one-up one another or put the other person down,” he said. “We were able to have constructive back-and-forths knowing there never was a different agenda or underlying issue masked as something else.”

Start small and build empathy into the everyday

Lubetzky said an intent to improve is the best way to start integrating empathy into your workplace. “If you’re asking how to create a more empathetic workplace, you’re already way ahead of everybody else,” he said.

Then, think of small ways you can model the behaviors you want to see, such as taking a moment to ask a colleague how they’re doing, giving a more junior person the floor, or celebrating a small win a teammate had. “We all are a product of all those little interactions with every person, and that’s what counts the most,” he said.

Also look for ways to build more opportunities for empathetic connection. This doesn’t have to be anything revolutionary: Lubetzky suggests things like team events that give everyone a chance to meet or slightly less efficient meetings that allow time for casual connection. “All of our leadership team is encouraged to do 15-minute connects every month or so where they check in with everyone on the team on a personal level,” Lubetzky said.

Finally, as you’re going through this process, be empathetic and forgiving with yourself, understanding that it’s not easy to build this kind of culture and you’re sure to make mistakes along the way. “I don’t have all the answers and I don’t always behave the way I’d like to,” Lubetzky said. “But it’s the commitment to try to improve that really matters.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to add audio to a Google Slides presentation from Google Drive or Spotify

giving a presentation to coworkers
Google Slides makes it easy to add audio to your presentations.

  • To add audio to Google Slides, insert an MP3 or WAV file directly from Google Drive.
  • You can also insert a link to play music from Spotify, though this method is more cumbersome.
  • If you want to add video to Google Slides, you can also embed a YouTube video.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Slideshows can either be exciting and engaging, or the most boring part of the workday. One way to avoid the latter experience is to add audio or music into your Google Slides presentation.

You can add audio into Google Slides directly from your Google Drive, or you can add a link to a Spotify track – here’s how to do both.

How to add audio to Google Slides

1. Upload the audio file in either MP3 or WAV format to your Google Drive.

2. Open your Google Slides presentation and go to the slide you want to add audio to. Click “Insert” in the toolbar at the top of the Slides screen.

Google Slides Insert
Click the “Insert” tab at the top.

3. In the “Insert” drop-down, select “Audio.”

Google Slides insert Audio
Select “Audio” in the “Insert” drop-down.

4. In the “Insert audio” pop-up, you can search for your audio file in “My Drive,” “Shared drives,” “Shared with me,” or “Recent.” You can also type the name of your audio file in the search bar.

Insert slide page
Find the audio file you want to include from your Google Drive.

5. Click the file you want to add, and hit “Select.”

6. Your audio file will now appear in your slide as a small sound icon. To resize the icon, click on it and drag one of its corners outward or inward.

When you click the icon or hover your mouse over it, a playback bar will appear where you can pause, play, or fast-forward the audio.

Google Slides playback
You can use the playback bar to play, pause, and skip ahead.

When you click on the icon, a sidebar menu will appear on the right side of the slide – here, you can customize a number of sound and design elements like audio playback, reflection, shadow, color, and more.

Google Slides sidebar menu
On the left side, you can customize your audio.

How to add music to Google Slides with Spotify

1. Open the Spotify Web Player or desktop app, and find the right track.

2. Click the ellipsis icon next to the song, album, or playlist you want, and in the pop-up, go to “Share” and click “Copy Song Link.”

slides8
Click “Copy song link” in the “Share” menu.

3. Open your Google Slides presentation and go to the first slide you want the music to play under.

4. Select a bit of text (or an image) on the slide, click “Insert link” and paste in your Spotify link.

slides10
After clicking “Insert” and “Audio,” paste your Spotify link and click “Apply.”

5. On the day of your presentation, make sure that you log into the browser version of Spotify. While you’re giving the presentation, you’ll need to click the link, which will open Spotify in a new browser window. You’ll still need to click play on the song in the Spotify window before returning to your Google Slides presentation.

How to print Google Slides from your preferred browser on a computerHow to change the background on your Google Slides presentationHow to add a timer to your Google Slides presentation by inserting a videoHow to add a GIF to Google Slides using a URL

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to rent books on Amazon and return or extend them

student using laptop with textbooks and guitar in bedroom
Instead of buying all your textbooks, you can save money by renting them on Amazon.

  • Amazon book rentals are easy to make, extend, and return using the Amazon Rentals website.
  • To return Amazon rental books, you can drop them off at a parcel service like UPS or an Amazon pick-up location.
  • You don’t have to pay more shipping to return Amazon book rentals and you can return multiple books in the same box.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you’re looking to save money on a school textbook you don’t need to own, renting that book from Amazon could be the ideal way to go. It’s easy to order, extend, and return book rentals on Amazon, though you’ll need to return or extend your rentals on time to avoid fees.

The e-commerce giant automatically checks the shipping status of a rental item you’ve requested to return, and returning items to a local Amazon Pickup location will result in the item being marked as “returned” in your account a little faster than with other carriers like UPS.

Here’s how you can order, extend, and return book rentals on the Amazon website.

How to rent books on Amazon

1. Go to the Amazon Rentals website.

2. Search for a book by entering its ISBN, title, or author in the text box at the center of the page.

Amazon book rental homepage
Enter the book info and click “Go.”

3. Find and select a book from the search results page. On the product detail page, click the circular “Rent” button, if it’s not selected already.

Amazon rentals product details page
Make sure the “Rent” button is selected.

4. Be sure to note the due date of the rental, and click “Add to Cart.”

Amazon rentals product details page
Check that the due date works for you and hit “Add to Cart.”

5. On the next page, click “Proceed to checkout.”

Amazon rentals order summary page
At the top of the page, click “Proceed to checkout.”

6. Follow the on-screen prompts to sign into your account, enter your payment information, and complete your order.

How to extend a book rental on Amazon

1. Go to the Manage Your Rentals page on the Amazon website.

2. Under “Open Rentals,” find and select the rental you want to extend.

3. Choose a new rental extension period.

4. Click “Extend Rental,” and then “Place Your Order” to complete the process.

How to return Amazon rental books

1. Go to the Manage Your Rentals page on the Amazon website.

2. Click the “Return rental” button next to the item you wish to return.

Amazon manage your rentals page
Click “Return rental.”

3. You’ll be prompted to select a drop-off location. You can choose to take the rental to an Amazon Pickup location or to a parcel service such as UPS.

4. Print the pre-paid shipping label and packing slip provided. If you’re unable to print at the time you request the return, the label can be emailed to you for printing later.

5. Box up your rental. Be sure to include the packing slip inside the box.

6. Affix the pre-paid shipping label to the outside of the box.

7. Drop off the package at the location you chose in Step 3.

Tips and tricks for Amazon book rentals

To make sure your Amazon book rental and return goes smoothly, follow these tips:

  • Mail your return on or before the “return by” date. The “return by” date on your rental is the final date you must drop off your return package to be shipped before you are charged late fees. It is not the date Amazon needs to receive the package by.
  • Get a receipt from the return carrier. If you leave your return with a carrier like UPS, be sure to request a receipt. You may need a receipt if there’s a delay in the time your item is reported as “in-transit.” Amazon may automatically extend your rental if it’s not listed as “in-transit” by the carrier.
  • Contact Amazon if you’re overcharged. Contact Amazon’s customer service as soon as you see a charge you don’t owe. Amazon customer service is very good about checking the shipping status and refunding such extensions, should they occur.
  • Ship your returns in one box. You can send multiple items in the same box as long as the Amazon-provided packing slip lists each book you’re returning.
  • Don’t worry about returning your textbooks before final exams. The return date for most semester rentals should give you plenty of time to ship the books after final exams. It’s best to ship them back as soon as possible to ensure each is returned in time and to avoid extra charges.
  • Return your books in the box they were delivered in. It’s a good idea to keep the original box your books were delivered in so you can reuse it when it’s time to return. You already know they all fit and you won’t have to track down another box.

How to rent videos on Amazon Prime Video even if you aren’t a Prime subscriber, or cancel mistaken rentalsHow to return an item on Amazon, whether you purchased it yourself or received it as a giftHow to list and sell your books on AmazonHow to easily reorder items you’ve bought on Amazon in 2 ways

Read the original article on Business Insider