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Tag: tech start-up

Why you should use more emojis at work

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Emojis are an underrated communication tool. 

Everyone loves using emojis – we can’t be the only ones that go through all of them l whenever there’s an update, right? They’re fun, engaging and add emotion to the messages you send. 

Although most would use emojis in personal communications, it was commonly agreed that emoji use at work is ‘unprofessional’. However, with the landscape of work shifting towards hybrid/remote working models, digital communication tools like Slack popularised by the pandemic are likely to stay. As such, the use of emojis at work has become more common.

So, if you don’t already use emojis at work, here are the reasons why they’re actually beneficial to use: 

 

            1. Improves connection to colleagues

Emojis adds *extra spice* to the message you’re trying to convey.  

‘Text tone’ can be hard to decipher and can often lead to misunderstandings between colleagues. Using an emoji helps to convey what comes so naturally to us during in person conversations – vocal intonation, hand gestures, facial expressions etc. This helps us to stay connected and improve workplace relationships. 

 

 

            2. Communicate faster

Sometimes we just don’t have time to type it all out and some common workplace responses can be better communicated with just an emoji. It can also allow for communication of more nuanced feelings in fewer words, increasing efficiency. Here are some universally understood emoji responses in the workplace:

 

            3. They’re fun 

If the above wasn’t enough to convince you about the pros of using emojis at work, then just the fact that they’re fun to use might convince you. Just look at them – how can anyone not have fun using them? 🤭 Using emojis can set the mood of conversations whether that be to lighten it or to encourage productivity. 

Although there are some that can be misinterpreted in the workplace you may want to avoid… 

 

While they might not be for everyone, the use of emojis has now become just as integral to workplace communications/relationships as they have in our personal lives. Learning how to smartly utilise them for efficiency and inclusion is essential to improving workplace communication. 

How you can leverage technology to reduce pressure on customer support teams

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The demand for customer support has increased greatly over the years, putting pressure on companies to meet consumer demands. However, many businesses struggle to keep up due to lack of resources and evolving landscapes for customer support teams. 

In a survey carried out by Intercom [1], it was found that the top challenges faced by customer support teams are:

  1. Poor workflow efficiency
  2. Attracting and retaining quality staff
  3. Inefficient handling of customer queries

Support teams can leverage technological advances to optimise their way of working in order to adapt to growing demands. Here are a few ways you could utilise tech to alleviate the pressures your customer support teams face:

 

        1. Use a phone system that supports remote work 

Customer support teams have reduced in size due to the pandemic resulting in increased pressure on staff. Team leads have also faced difficulties attracting and retaining staff due to large scale burnout. 

To overcome this and adapt to the changing landscapes of work, support team leads should look into investing in phone systems that support remote working like Devyce. 

With the Teams Plan on Devyce, you can provide your employees with two numbers on their phones allowing them to work from anywhere meaning employees can prioritise their wellbeing. This will also enable hiring of talent remotely – an attraction point in hiring which could lead to increased retention of staff. 

 

        2. Use a phone system that facilitates call groups and forwarding

Customer expectations have grown and only 24% of support teams surveyed stated they were confident they could meet them [1]. Often customer queries can’t be answered by the first person they get in contact with. The biggest challenge here is transferring calls to the right person on the team in a timely manner.  

To improve the efficiency of your customer support service, look out for phone systems with features to aid your customer’s journey. For example, on Devyce’s Teams Plan you are able to set up an auto attendant which filters inbound calls to the relevant call groups, streamlining the workflow and minimising wait and transfer times. 

        3. Utilise CRM and analytic software with your phone system

Poor workflow management is a key reason for staff burn out. To optimise, team leads need to regularly revise operations by setting up and tracking call metrics. This is hard to do on traditional phone systems so companies should explore newer phone systems. At Devyce, we offer a Teams Management Portal – a platform to view call analytics, allowing optimisation of workflow to meet goals. 

The Teams Plan also offers integrations with CRM softwares like Hubspot so you can manage your customer’s journeys. Creating an integrated tech stack improves workflow efficiency as it reduces the need for switching between softwares and ensures all team members can quickly access relevant data to handle customer queries. 

 

Leveraging tech to optimise your support service strategy is the key difference between companies that exceed customer expectations and those that fall behind due to not having the infrastructure to handle the growing demands. Help your team flourish today by embracing innovative advances in technology with Devyce. 

 

References:

[1] https://www.intercom.com/resources/books/customer-support-trends-emea-2022

 

The Most Important Things Start-Ups Should Invest in Early

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When starting a business, you’ll undoubtedly have a million things to do, whether it be product development or fundraising. So, what do business owners need to prioritise for maximal growth? Truth is, there isn’t one area that should be prioritised more than another. This means it can get difficult to manage if internal processes aren’t optimised. 

 

Around 20% of businesses are dissolved in the first year according to research carried out by Fundsquire [1]. The reasons for startup failure could be one of many including: getting outcompeted, hiring the wrong people or burnout. 

To help better manage your business and avoid startup failure, owners should look to invest early into these things:

 

  1. Scalable Tech Solutions 

Whether it be long processes like data logging or physical equipment like work phones, there are almost definitely tech alternatives available that will make your life easier as a business owner. 

An example is Devyce – a modern business phone system.We provide you with two numbers on your phone through an app so you can affordably make business calls without having to commit to a lengthy contract with a phone provider. 

Devyce also offers a Teams Plan to provide your employees with business numbers and you have access to a Teams Management Portal where you can view call analytics and manage employee inbound/outbound calls. The Teams plan is scalable to your business needs and growth so it will save you money in the long run, allowing you to allocate more budgets to other departments such as Marketing. 

 

Check out our Teams Plan for your business here: 

 

  1. Marketing

So, getting Devyce has saved you a lot of money on the telecommunications side. Now what do you invest in? Marketing! 

Many businesses underrate the importance of marketing, especially in the early stages. An important component of marketing is customer relationship management. While many businesses’ marketing efforts are directed towards top of the funnel objectives and getting those sales, the actual relationship a business has with its customers is widely neglected. 

It can get difficult to stay on top of all your customers’ journeys without a system to collate all the information. To ensure you foster and maintain beneficial relationships with your customers, business owners should look to utilise CRM platforms like Hubspot. This will encourage more positive reviews to be generated for your business, further helping as 90% of consumers rely on reviews when making a purchase decision [2].  

You can also integrate your CRM system with Devyce to keep track of your client calls and the follow up! 

 

  1. Your Team

The people you choose to work with can be the make-or-break factor for your business. It’s important that you take the time to hire the right people to deliver on your long-term business goals. Not only will you need to hire the right people, but you will also need to invest time into their development as your business grows. 

However, the pandemic has changed the way we work, and many businesses need to hire remotely. This has many advantages for business owners including saving money due to lack of need for office space. Although, it can be challenging as business owners will need to find ways to seamlessly integrate new hires into the company from afar. 

Here’s how Devyce can help; our plans are easy to sign up to and within minutes you can assign business numbers to your employees. With Devyce your employees can work from anywhere in the world and the app is easily accessible on any smartphone – just download it from your app store! 

 

Find out how else your business can benefit from switching to Devyce here.

References:

[1] https://fundsquire.co.uk/startup-statistics/

[2] https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/online-review-stats/

The strain placed on businesses that provide a work phone

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It’s time to stop carrying two separate phones and avoid using your personal number at work. 

Did you know that issuing a work phone and allowing personal numbers to be used can place strain on three focal areas of your business, its economic prosperity, the environment, and your employee’s well-being. Here’s how…

 

  • The economic prosperity of your business

Giving out a work phone is uneconomical. Especially when the majority already have a perfectly usable phone that they can just simply port a new number into.

An iPhone’s price can range from £300-900, that’s a large expense for any business. Considering also that this investment may only last a few years due to the constant upgrades and technology advancements.

 

As we are slowly transitioning back to normal life after COVID-19, business travel will inevitably continue to increase, and that alongside BREXIT means one thing… increased roaming charges when you send your employees abroad! 

Productivity. A new buzzword. Productivity is vital for a company’s profitability and ultimately its long-term success. But how are businesses tracking your productivity on a personal device? The answer is that they are struggling, as 40% of managers struggle to monitor performance, placing strain on businesses [1]. But by porting a second number onto an existing device, using Devyce, you can improve your business’s productivity and communication through the management portal. The portal allows transparent reporting of your employee’s data, so you can get the most out of every employee and know when to reward them or promote those that are excelling. 

Teams Plan – Devyce 

  • Your Employees

Using a personal number at work is accentuating the ‘always on’ mentality because you can still receive calls ‘after-hours’ to your main phone number, meaning you are always on the clock. This leaves your employee’s work-life balance far from balanced. This can lead to an array of negative effects, highlighted in a US Research study that found receiving messages after working hours increases negative emotions, stress and insomnia [2]. As well as excessive smartphone use affects your cognitive and learning skills. Ultimately leading to employee ‘burnout’; a recent study found that 77% of American workers have experienced [3].

A solution: It has been found that using your personal phone, with a second number, can rebalance your work-life and relieve the above effects as it is easy to clearly differentiate between work and personal calls.

Do Not Disturb Feature

Without this clear differentiation, all calls look the same, whether a personal or a work-related call. This means you don’t always know how to respond when answering the phone, which can leave employees feeling that they’re always on.

  • The Environment

Sustainability is a fundamental area to consider in your business today due to its importance for investors, employees and consumers. However, smartphones are a large contributor to the carbon footprint and are killing the planet. 

Did you know that…

  • By 2040 it is predicted that smartphones will have the biggest carbon footprint in the tech industry [4].
  • Just one iPhone X alone creates 79kg of CO2 in its lifetime [5].

By removing the need for second devices, you can lower your carbon footprint, lower your expenses, retain happy and healthy employees and in turn impress your stakeholders!

 

References:

[1]

https://hbr.org/2020/07/remote-managers-are-having-trust-issues 

[2]

https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2020/06/28/turning-off-your-work-phone-and-emails-could-help-reduce-after-hours-work-stress-study.html

[3]

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/burnout-survey.html

[4]

https://www.irishnews.com/magazine/science/2018/03/02/news/how-our-smartphones-are-hurting-the-environment-1268849/ 

[5]

https://reboxed.co/blogs/outsidethebox/the-carbon-footprint-of-your-phone-and-how-you-can-reduce-it

Black History Month

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It’s October which marks Black History Month! A month that has been celebrated annually in the UK since 1987. This marks a time when we come together and acknowledge our diverse culture and celebrate the history and achievements of black heroes both past and present that have contributed to making our society a better place.

Black History Month originated from Carter G Woodson, who wanted to challenge the assumptions at the time that ‘the negro had no history’. This resulted in Carter founding the Association for the Study of Negro and History in 1915, which aimed to encourage research and protect and preserve black history and culture. However, the idea was first brought into the UK, in the 1980s by Akyaaba Addai Sebo to eradicate discrimination and promote the importance of equality across the UK [1].

In the US and Canada, black history month is in February, whilst in the UK and Ireland, we celebrate it in October. Why? This is because, Akyaaba Addai Sebo chose it, as it fell in line with the start of the academic year and therefore thought it would inspire young people. Alongside the fact, October is traditionally when African leaders unite and settle their differences, so it was chosen as a month to reconnect [1].

Being part of the tech industry, we undoubtedly recognise the multitude of black engineers and leaders that have pushed for change in the tech industry. As well as pushing technology forward through the invention of numerous products and features that have set the stage for technologies we still rely on today and inevitably will in our future. Here, we share three extraordinary examples of black pioneers that have made a large contribution to the tech industry.

 

  1. Firstly, we must obviously discuss the incredible legacy of Marain Croack. She is an inventor in the voice and data communication field [2] and is best known for envisioning and developing the technology that is responsible for Voice Over Internet Protocol. This invention has meant we can make calls over the internet instead of a phone line. Which Devyce know all about and have you to thank for contributing to an integral part of our business!
  2. John Henry Thompson, ‘the father of Lingo programming’ [3] invented Lingo, a scripting language that displays visuals in computer programmes. His programming language is embedded into Macromedia Director and popular Adobe Programmes [4]. Essentially, his work has helped combine the world of art and tech in video games, graphic design, web design and computer graphics today. Both designers and Adobe users should thank Thompson!
  3. Lastly, Kimberley Bryant, is an excellent modern-day example of an inspirational black leader that is making positive change in the tech world. Kimberley founded Black Girls CODE, whose mission is to help young women of colour get into the tech world by introducing them to numerous science and technology concepts. Currently, Black Girls CODE has reached 30,000 women and has taught over 50,000 hours [5]. It is clear that her actions have already helped so many young women. Her drive to change the narrative within the tech industry surrounding diversity in STEM, will undeniably have a positive impact on our future, as it will increase the number of female black, tech founders, entrepreneurs and leaders. 

    Of course, there are also many more inspirational leaders and influencers, and we encourage you to explore more! 

    You can also celebrate this month by:

  • Raising money for a charity that is dedicated to helping the lives of ethnic minorities.
  • Shopping from blacked owned businesses or supporting them in other ways by sharing them on social media platforms, with friends and family.

References: 

[1] https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/black-history-month-2022-uk-why-is-it-important-why-celebrated-in-october-a4250966.html 

[2] https://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/marian-croak#:~:text=Croak%20is%20a%20prolific%20inventor,computer%20or%20other%20digital%20device

[3] https://blog.adafruit.com/2015/02/26/john-henry-thompson-invented-lingo-programming-used-in-macromedia-director-and-shockwave-african-american-history-month-2015-blackhistorymonth/

[4] https://tisch.nyu.edu/itp/events/fall-2017/dice-with-john-henry-thompson#:~:text=John%20Thompson%20invented%20lingo%20programming,design%2C%20animation%2C%20and%20graphics.

Why you should apply to jobs even if you may not fully qualify for them

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The corporate job market is at an all-time high, with a record number of job openings. Specifically, the graduate job market is soaring. The number of vacancies has risen by 59% and is set to see an expected 7% salary rise, compared to the figures released in May last year [1].

Despite this boom, entry-level jobs used to be the leading pathway into the workplace for new graduates but now many require prior experience. This was highlighted in a 2021 study that found that 34% of graduate-level jobs and 24% of junior jobs in the UK require at least one year of work experience [2].

Scrolling through numerous job websites and spotting an Entry Level Job that seems interesting, is quickly scrolled past when the dreaded phrase ‘two years of experience required’ is read and this can be incredibly frustrating. This can often be the only element a candidate is missing. Yet, women hold back if they don’t meet 100% of the criteria, while men only apply if they meet at least 60% [3]. It is important to remember that no candidate can meet 100% of the criteria. As there is simply no such thing as a ‘perfect candidate’.

Often this requirement is merely just a guideline and not a necessity. Employers also use this to narrow down the applicant pool, to avoid them getting flooded with unqualified candidates that have absolutely no knowledge of the industry [4].

Don’t let this requirement limit you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are numerous real-life stories that support this advice, including a recent article written by Janet Phan and published in the Harvard Business Review sharing her story. She found a job outside of her expertise which required skills she did not have. Yet, she applied anyway. This resulted in her landing a job at a major tech company! So, her advice would be, apply! [5].

We’ve asked one of our interns, ‘Kate’ who is fresh out of university, about her experience and her advice/ tips. 

Kate:

Finding a job straight out of university is a difficult and daunting task. It is incredibly frustrating when you search for hours to find a job that interests you, and you see you need years of experience. Why would I have years of experience, I have just finished university. 

After speaking to friends, family and industry experts I have taken away 5 incredibly valuable pieces of advice when faced with this dilemma. Firstly, there are many ways to tweak your C.V to work around the requirement. 

  1. Holm in on your transferable skills. Speaking from experience, as someone who entered the job market with no industry experience. Using these transferable skills when writing your C.V or a covering letter is a great idea!

  2. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good covering letter. 

I managed to slip these transferable skills into my C.V by including details about my university projects or modules I completed. I tailored each one I sent, by including different keywords that were in the description of that particular job. 

  1. Read the job description!

  2. Prepare! If you do manage to get an interview, preparation is key! Make sure you have spent time researching the company, their values, their culture, what they do, and any of their recent projects. Prepare for any questions they may ask you, but try not to over prepare! Get a good balance, you want to be yourself and you don’t want to seem scripted or answer the wrong question because you heard what you had prepared for!
  3. Be confident and take risks. At the end of the day, what’s the worst that can happen? They say no. At least you tried. You didn’t lose anything.

 

OR take a step back. You don’t need to rush, try and get some experience, this is not only good for filling that ‘missing experience’ experience but can also help you find your niche! An internship is a great idea!

 

References:

[1]

https://www.cityam.com/uk-graduates-set-to-enter-strongest-job-market-in-years/

[2]

https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-acquisition/viral-post-asks-why-entry-level-jobs-require-years-of-experience

[3]

https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions-lodestone/body/pdf/Gender-Insights-Report.pdf

[4]

https://upjourney.com/why-do-entry-level-jobs-require-experience

[5]

https://hbr.org/2022/07/apply-to-a-job-even-if-you-dont-meet-all-criteria 

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