Once upon a time, sitting at your desk liking and swiping was a good way to annoy your boss. Most companies saw social media use as a distraction or a risk to be managed, and many banned Facebook and Twitter from their networks. Yet today, some of the world’s biggest employers are doing the opposite: coaxing and cajoling workers to sign up to a new form of social media designed for workplace. Among the first was Yammer, a Facebook clone for companies and teams launched in 2008 and bought by Microsoft in 2012. Then there was Slack, the quirky office chat app which spread like wildfire through the tech industry, roughly doubling its revenue each year. Microsoft responded by launching Teams, a collaboration and chat tool tied in to Microsoft Office which now has 200,000 firms on board. Even Google Plus, which is being shut down for consumers, will persist as an enterprise product. After a long stagnation, “enterprise social networking” seems to be gaining pace. Yet … [Read more...] about Social networks at work: democratic or dangerous?
Self-driving taxis could be on London’s streets in three years’ time under plans announced by Addison Lee, the private-hire taxi business, and Oxbotica, an autonomous vehicle software company. The pair have agreed a strategic alliance to provide ride-sharing services in the capital. They will also look at the potential for corporate and airport shuttle transport, as well as campus-based services. The two companies will create detailed digital maps of more than 250,000 miles of London’s public roads that record the position of every kerb, road sign, landmark and traffic light in preparation for the deployment of autonomous cars. It comes as research claims three quarters of the public fear autonomous cars on UK roads, with 76pc saying lack of vehicle control is their biggest worry and 60pc afraid that self-driving vehicles could be hacked by criminals, according to MoneySuperMarket. Graeme Smith, chief executive of Oxbotica, called the partnership … [Read more...] about Addison Lee plans to put self-driving cabs on London’s streets by 2021
Retail buyers who have late-in-the-day meetings at the offices of youth fashion brand, Hype, will get a lot more than the traditional stale croissant and lukewarm coffee, because its owners have a more exciting ritual. "There's a bar upstairs, so we all do a shot," says Liam Green, founder and creative director. "Or two," he jokes, adding that it's not a scheme to loosen up clients and make them more likely to buy. "We do get to serious business, but it's more personal and familiar; people will have spent five or six meetings that day looking at spreadsheets, so we make it fun." Doing things a bit differently was how Hype started in 2011, when Green and business partner, Bav Samani, entered a design competition run by a printing company on Facebook. The prize was 100 free T-shirts adorned with the winning look, which they won with a defaced black-and-white portrait of Albert Einstein sporting a nose ring, tattoos and giant earrings. The duo met when Green was a 17-year-old … [Read more...] about ‘We do a lot of business through WhatsApp’
It's not enough for some companies to say that they sell sandwiches; instead, they have to describe being "hunger satisfaction service providers" or something equally obtuse. It's not good for business, says Ally Maughan of the HR consultancy, People Puzzles. "Using jargon can be a sign that you don't understand what you're selling, which means a weaker sales pitch," she says, after an event about the topic at entrepreneur networking group, The Supper Club. "If clients are bamboozled, they might think that they're buying something that you don't do or can't deliver." HR departments often find it difficult to justify themselves commercially, which is perhaps why they have become so jargon-heavy, she thinks. "The longer the words, the more impressive the function." But People Puzzles shuns that thinking. "I came up with a way to explain strategic HR in five words: leading, culture, skills, process and keeping, instead of retention," says Ms Maughan. As a result, people understand … [Read more...] about Drop the jargon to convince clients that you mean business
The modern day Women’s Institute meets on Skype and does not sing Jerusalem at every meeting - but is increasingly concerned that social media is making people more lonely, the new head of the organisation says. Lynne Stubbings, 68, who first joined the WI in 1979 and held various positions before being elected chairman last year, has seen the 103 year-old WI come to terms with the 21st century. Nowadays members meet on Skype – and contrary to popular belief – Hubert Parry’s patriotic anthem “Jerusalem” is not sung at every monthly meeting of the country’s 6,300 branches. In her first interview since she was elected chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Mrs Stubbings says: “Not every WI sings Jerusalem at the start of the meeting. Some WIs do, interestingly a lot of the younger WIs do and think it is great to sing Jerusalem at the start of the meeting. “Probably back in 1920-something - when it was … [Read more...] about Modern Women’s Institute meets on Skype and doesn’t have to sing Jerusalem, reveals national chair