Categories
Thoughts

COVID-19 and The Future of Work

If the Coronavirus pandemic has achieved anything, it is to show Canadians that working from home is possible and that it works. The 2 months+ pandemic made it possible to accurately measure the effectiveness of remote working on a large scale both in terms of savings and employee productivity.

Canadians experienced, in part due the “Flattening the Curve” strategy, the beauty of working from home. A “ big step for humanity” was taken when, many of us who had never experienced remote working before and had to deal with inflexible employers discovered that there was such a thing. This has forever changed the way work is done in the western world and it’s a good thing.

As things seems to be winding down, and as observed in a survey conducted by Citrix, more than three-quarters of Canadian IT leaders believe most workers will be reluctant to return to the office as it was.

More than 56% of Canadians said they would like to work remotely full time or several times a week post-COVID.

And they are not the only ones. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says company will embrace permanent remote work after lockdowns and would “aggressively open up remote hiring”, expecting that about half its workforce would work remotely over the next five to 10 years

Employees are not willing to return to the office as they knew it. They tasted remote work and realised the work could still be done.

So, what happens now?

Expect eCommerce and IT businesses to grow. and if you’re a business owner, consider remote IT Managed Services . Sure, as things get better, employees will and already are being asked to come back with caution and new measures such as ways to track employees “ distancing-compliance “ will be taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 but what we observed during this pandemic is that the Digital era is here, we’re not going back and digital transformation for smbes is no longer a “nice to have” but an imperative.

Categories
Digital Strategy

Shifting towards a mobile-first mindset: Building Responsive Websites

Mobile is the main platform for online activities these days and searches, online purchases are increasingly being done on your phones. For businesses, this means having to shift towards a mobile-first mindset and building applications that will help you achieve just that,

Need some statistics? Here are some

  • There are 5.11 billion unique mobile users in the world.
  • 95% of people in the U.S. own a mobile phone.
  • People spend more than 3.5 hours per day on their mobile devices.
  • 51% of shoppers have made an online purchase with a smartphone.
  • 93% of millennials have compared online deals using a smartphone.
  • Shoppers made 108% more purchases using apps than they did on the mobile web.
  • Mobile commerce sales will account for more than half of all e-commerce sales by 2021.

A mobile-first indexing initiative means that Google’s algorithms will primarily use the content on a mobile site in the following ways:

  • It will rank the pages of a site based on the content available on mobile.
  • The snippets that appear on search results will come from the mobile version of a website.
  • Google will use mobile content to make sense of structured data.

Building well designed responsive websites will help achieve that

Categories
Thoughts

Protests Won’t Help, Empowering and Promoting Black-Owned Businesses to Fight Systemic Racism Will.

As the United States, Canada and Europe continue to see large-scale protests against police brutality and systemic racism, it appears that bridging the racial divide gap will require significant actions and resolutions. Unfortunately, what we have seen so far are protests and strong calls for changes to the policing system in order to prevent loss of lives like that of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or the countless other Black folks who unjustly died.

Discrimation & Stigma

While these requests are legitimate and should absolutely be considered, they will not be very helpful in the long run. Indeed, the issue with systemic racism is that it is present at every level of the system. (Employment, Healthcare, Economy, Law ect,,), Everywhere they go, Black people experience the inconscient and very often times conscient bias towards their community. Stigma, Discrimination, Poor treatment and more

Black people are far more likely than any other group to be sick, unemployed, and mistreated in normal economic circumstances and especially during a pandemic such as COVID-19. A report made available by the US Federal Reserve, shows that more than half of companies that have black owners were turned down for loans, a rate twice as high as white business owners.

So far, black people protests are trending on social media and everyone seems interested. Canada’s Premier Justin Trudeau is taking a Knee, Governor Andrew Cuomo supports a bill to make reporting false crimes a hate crime when racial, ethic, sexual or certain other factors are involved , high profile companies such as Amazon are issuing statements about the ‘inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people’ and all-over the web, there are pushes to shop Black and providing more opportunities to platforms like Boutique Africaine and WeBuyBlack that collate Small businesses, Artisans and Designers into one centralized marketplace to help promote African Inspired and Black Creations.

All these initiatives are to be applauded but what happens when the hashtags stop trending, the protests stop attracting crowds, and the Facebook walls return to basketball, celebrity gossip and reality show comments? Many people fear that, after the media cycle of the George Floyd protests expire, worldwide interest in fixing a broken system will disappear as well. That is why long-lasting decisions must be taken when all eyes are on the Black community and when black people issues are gaining momentum.

Fixing the system

Fixing staggering unemployment rates. poverty, prejudice, and underinvestment in Black businesses, requires a concrete and immediate involvement of government agencies and banks to provide economic empowerment of the black community.

Providing Black business owners a short-term economic advantage and facilitating their delivery of services could help stem the massive economic breach caused by decades of step backs, injustices and help save the growing number of African American business that have to shutdown (more than 40 percent in the US ) as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

When you hear that even algorithms are bias  (a simple “poor people” keyword search in Google will prove my point) , one begins to realise that only deliberate actions towards increasing the proportion of Black-created businesses, products, hospitals or restaurants will help make a real change.

Black people are in dire need of a change for the better. Systematically encouraging the consumption of Black-created content and products, allowing Black businesses and Black entrepreneurs to get a competitive advantage in the market is by far the best way to assist this community.

There is also no compelling reason to believe that these adjustments would harm consumers. A recent Brookings study found that minority-owned businesses are rated just as highly on Yelp as white-owned businesses. However, these minority-owned businesses grow more slowly and gain less traction than their white-owned counterparts — resulting in an annual loss of $3.9 billion across all Black businesses.

Nothing can undo the losses of lives, past racial prejudice, or slavery but we can demand accountability and action, both from our political leaders and from big businesses who structure our economies. We can do our best to enforce an economic equality for back people — something that has been denied for far too long.