How Augmented And Virtual Reality Will Change The Way We Work

Virtual reality is certainly coming on leaps and bounds nowadays we might not yet have the futuristic virtual reality environments you see in science fiction epics but we might be seeing their origins. For a long time, virtual reality was pretty much just a dream and seen as a work of fiction but that’s no longer the case.

Groups and tech developers have worked on developing virtual reality for a number of years but it never really caught on or was very limited, I am guessing most people don’t know that a virtual reality headset was created in 1994! But while attempts where made it wasn’t until earlier this decade that more and more people took notice of virtual reality and its benefits.

But virtual reality alone isn’t the only technology that’s seen a rise in popularity, augmented reality has been on the rise for some time. It might not have the instant name recognition of virtual reality but it’s still been hugely popular. If you’ve ever played Pokémon Go then you’ve seen augmented reality in action well unless you have used the pokemon go gps spoof android hack.

It follows the same principles as virtual reality but isn’t the same thing and it’s actually been around much longer than virtual reality technology as. Augmented reality is used in gaming already and we aren’t just talking about Pokémon Go or other similar smartphone apps. The original Nintendo 3DS released in early 2011 featured an augmented reality function as well.

It’s Not All Video Games

But while augmented reality and virtual reality have seen huge support in the gaming industry it’s important to remember that that’s not all they have to offer. Both augmented and virtual reality have been adopted by a number of different industries to great effect. Movie studios have been able to utilise virtual reality to create more immersive trailers.

For example, the 2017 horror blockbuster IT had a virtual reality trailer created that gave the movie huge promotion, Apple also recently revealed that their two latest iPhone models the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, both have augmented reality features. The iPhone X took this a step further by using augmented reality as a security feature.

It works by scanning your face and then unlocking the phone once it detects you, a more sophisticated version of previous model’s thumbprint scanner. Video games might be what most people think of when they think about applications for augmented and virtual reality but they can be used in many settings for a wide range of different things.

Virtual Reality In The Workforce 

If there’s one place virtual reality has made some big waves it’s in the workforce of today’s world! Industries of all kinds have been adopting virtual and augmented reality to great effect and are continuing to further develop new and exciting ways to use it.

From training methods for a wide range of different professions, from salesmen to doctors virtual reality is being introduced into many different industries.  There’s also the increasing educational potential virtual reality offers it’s changing the way the whole world goes about work.

This isn’t just affecting tech orientated jobs like video game designers or developers either, it’s got the potential to change pretty much everything. This might sound a little farfetched but the untapped potential is there and we have to remember virtual reality is still in the early days of development. Let’s take a look at few ways virtual reality could literally the change the way we go about our work.

HR Meets VR

Human resources are a common fixture of many business networks and anyone who’s ever worked in HR or dealt with them will know that their procedures and practices can be a little difficult to deal with. Virtual reality provides a wealth of services to a business and with it, the HR department can so much more.

It can help with recruitment by allowing potential employees to get a much more immersive experience of their role. There’s also huge potential when it comes to employee training and not just in virtual workshops either.

For example, the National Football League (NFL) uses virtual reality to train employees about the importance of diversity. Other companies across all kinds of industries from NASA to the American retail giant Walmart use virtual reality in their employee training as well.

Business Collaboration

Teamwork is the key to success in almost any business but sometimes you’ll need to collaborative and work with people across long distances. For times like this, you have email, Skype, and the good old-fashioned telephone call.

And while these can do the job they do have their drawbacks but with virtual reality, you can work with people closely, it will feel just like you’re in the same room with them. This will be sure to create better results and the good news is that the technology is available right now.

Virtual reality meeting rooms are already fixtures of big businesses and they’re already benefiting from them. And in time the technology behind them will only improve. The ability to collaborate with people from all around the world is made easy and simple with virtual reality.

Product Development

Product development is essential for businesses of all kinds whether you’re building tables, telephones or cars. But building and developing these prototypes is long and expensive work but with virtual reality, it becomes much faster and allows you to build much more efficient and high-quality products.

With virtual reality, you can test products in a wide range of scenarios to see how they work, depending on the product you want to test you could skip the prototype stage altogether and simply use virtual ones. After all, with virtual reality, you can make virtual products quickly and easily and carry out any tests you need.

American vehicle manufacturer Ford already uses virtual reality to build and test prototypes for their new cars and it even uses the Oculus Rift to do it! So, the technology is already being utilised by big-name businesses.

Virtual reality gives designers more freedom and makes developing new products a faster more efficient process. There’s still a lot of great things to come with virtual reality but in the workplace, it’s already doing amazing things.

Making Money Using the Internet

Making money online can seem like the dream job to many, but people are often scared to take the plunge as they are unsure of what opportunities are available. While we need to be cautious when treading the Internet for work, the truth is that the web offers a slew of different money-making opportunities.

There’s no get-rich-quick scheme that will have millions rolling into your account in days, but with the right amount of focus and hard work, you’d be surprised at the how much of a money spinner the Internet can be.

Start Your Own E-commerce Store

Do you create your own dresses? Or maybe you make amazing t-shirt designs? While opening a store in the real world can be a costly venture, the online equivalent is much easier and more cost-effective.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any website design knowledge, there are plenty of solutions available that make the setting up of an e-commerce store a straightforward endeavour. One of the more popular solutions is Shopify, a platform that allows those with items to sell to set up their own branded store using the software available. You can also get eCom success academy here which is a great tutorial for all levels!

Marketing is also relatively simple. Just ensure that you carry out some keyword research as to what potential customers are searching for, and craft your web content to offer answers to any questions online users may be asking.

Social media also offers a series of marketing avenues that can be tailored towards a set demographic, meaning that only the people they that matter are being notified about your store.

Become a Freelance Writer

Do you have a deep-seated interest in a particular subject? Or maybe you can write about a series of subjects with very little effort? If this is the case, then why not put those skills to some good use and make some money in the process.

Depending on where you look online, the premise of becoming a freelance writer can be a somewhat daunting one, and can put some people off. Like any industry, making it as a freelance writer can take a lot of hard work, not to mention some tenacity.

However, making use of freelance sites such as PeoplePerHour and Freelancer allows you to showcase your portfolio and make bids for some work. The beginning will often be very slow, but hang on in there and you’ll find that you soon gain traction in the writing world.

Start a Blog

While this is similar to the aforementioned writing service, running your own blog means that you’re getting as much value from your content as is possible. However, for a blog to be popular, it’s vital that the content contained within it offers value to the reader, or you could find that the blog doesn’t have the desired traction, be it among readers, or among search engines.

The great thing about the Internet, is that it caters to all tastes and interests, so there really is no shortage of subjects. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t carry out some research beforehand.

For example, if you were looking to start a movie review blog, then it would be a good idea of what kind of movies online users are looking for. This ensures that you are crafting content that will appeal to the masses.

Sharing content couldn’t be any easier either. As well as leveraging the power of social media, you can also make use of sites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon to introduce your work to new readers.

Create Your Own Apps

Creating an app can often come with a sense of dread, as many will assume that there has to be a series of technical wizardry involved. While the creation of app can include a lot of factors, done in the right way, it’s a relatively straightforward process.

Firstly, you need to consider the kind of app you want to create. If you’re looking to offer an app that offers information and content, then you will probably find that there are several solutions available online that can help create simple apps, with some using your current website as a basis.

Of course, you may want to create an app that’s a little more in-depth. An example of this could be a game, or a dating app such as Tinder. If you’re able to create such an app yourself, then this would be the first port-of-call. However, if you feel you don’t have the skill set, then you may need to outsource the job.

This will probably incur some expense, which is why it’s important you look at how you will monetise the app. Will you rely on ad revenue, or will you be making a one-off charge for the app? There is also the possibility that you will want to use microtransactions.

Knowing which avenue to go down can be confusing, but there are some things you can do to make the process a little easier.

The first consideration would be to think what you would expect from the app. Would you pay for the app, or would you prefer a free trial beforehand? You should then look at other similar apps, and see how they are monetised, and read the feedback left by users. From here, you can garner as to whether certain ad placements are annoying users, giving you more to work with when creating your app.

From time to time, you will find that there are some job listings that allow you to work from home. While these are suitable for some, being able to create your own online service gives you more opportunities for growth, as well as several avenues to promote your product. As advised, there’s no get-rich-quick scheme that truly ever works, but hard work and perseverance remain as rewarding as they’ve ever been, especially in the online world.

Understanding and Handling All Areas of WordPress Support

WordPress support is a multi-faceted undertaking which can demand many hours of dedicated service. From backend management such as site security and database optimisation to more familiar tasks such as the filtering of comments, approving posts and maintaining regular backups, WordPress support spans all avenues. Given the vast amount of time and knowledge that it takes to maintain a WordPress site, it is often better to resort to a managed WordPress solution whereby a company with specialized staff manages each aspect of your site. To help you make an informed decision, we shall supply you an overview of what is needed in terms of WP management.

Theme Support & Plugins

Page load time needs to be kept as low as possible. This makes it essential for us to have a site which is both well-configured and free from conflicts. There is a huge amount of plugins and themes available, alongside the option of having your site custom-designed. Despite out-of-the-box cross-compatibility getting better and better, issues always creep through. Firstly, it is highly recommended that you allow a seasoned developer to configure any new WordPress site. Make certain that he or she optimises all pages for page load time, while ensuring that the entire setup is free from conflicts. Professional themes, generally those a bit higher priced, have excellent support. Make sure that you find a theme that stays up to date and is well-supported, while the same goes for all plugins.

Security Support for WordPress

While each WordPress site has countless options available to take care of security, it is still best to manually lock down every component of your server that is in use. In many cases it is far better to make slight changes to the code of your site, instead of implementing a new plugin for every aspect of security. Uptime is imperative and changes to your security configuration often come with unforeseen consequences. Rather than taking the risk, it is better to employ the services of a dedicated WP management consultant, as this will ensure that your site stays up throughout the entire process.

WordPress Support Management

If you manage any form of an online community, or have a product of any sort, then you may also need to maintain a support section. Attending to your customers or users can demand dedicated staffing, while the support desk plugin for WordPress itself may need maintenance and support of its own. WordPress management is made easy through many ticketing, forum and help desk plugins, however ensuring that this is secure and free from glitches will take trial and error, or the help of a dedicated support service. WordPress support plugins are in abundance, which often makes picking the perfect configuration for your site troublesome. WP management services will allow you to specify the look and capabilities needed, while the setup and implementation is delegated to another. This is far easier than carrying out the entire configuration yourself.

WordPress Backups

Maintaining an easy-to-restore backup of your last working configuration is essential. Managed WordPress support services ensures that your site is always backed up. Many providers give you off-site backups with massive storage limits and up to thirty-days or more of incremental backups. The convenience that comes with such a comprehensive backup plan is unparalleled, putting your mind at complete ease, should any WordPress support issues arise. Restoring from a backup is also easier said than done, if you aren’t a technical user. WP management comes with the advantage of having your entire site’s restoration ready at the drop of a hat, your uptime is guaranteed no matter what.

Troubleshooting & Live Support

If you opt for any type of WP management, then make sure that you consider going with a solution which offers live support. This often makes for the easiest way to troubleshoot any issues with third-party domains, networks or services, while resolving scripts, plugins and compatibility issues are also made just as easy. The added convenience of knowing that there is someone to attend to your query personally should not go overlooked. Many WordPress support issues are best explained or demonstrated to have them understood and addressed, which makes live support near essential for hassle-free maintenance and repairs.

Advanced Support

Without advanced competency in WordPress support, many issues will go overlooked. Problems with server-side issues require a thorough understanding of networking, hardware and technology, while deciphering the server logs themselves takes a good amount of know-how. Security monitoring, as before-mentioned, is not just a matter of watching a plugin, while platform-related performance issues are addressable only by qualified technicians. If you need complete security and total performance optimisation, then WP management is a must.

Performance Optimisations for WordPress

Every WordPress site needs to have both server-side and on-page optimisation carried out in order to grant the best experience and page load-times. A slow site deters users from the get-go. Studies show that each user expects a page to open within two seconds on average, while for every second longer you are upping the chance of adding yet another measure to your rising bounce rate. When it comes to online purchases, speed is even more imperative. Most shoppers will refrain from making a purchase completely if your site is too slow. WP management ensures that every aspect of your site is tweaked for speed. Don’t run the risk of losing business through losing the attention of your browsers simply due to a slow, under-optimized site.

Scalability and WP Management

We are all hoping for our businesses to grow at a rapid rate, however once growth does skyrocket the need for a scalable server and hosting solution becomes extremely important. From storage limits to bandwidth constraints, the demand on your host will without-a-doubt rise over time. By procuring a good provider of WP management services, you can guarantee scalability from the start. Always evaluate your options and ensure that incremental upgrades are available for when you need them.

As the demand on your hardware, bandwidth and technology increases, so does the price. An incremental upgrade solution ensures that you have an affordable means to meet the demand of your users. For any form of WordPress support that you are considering, ensure that it has provision for the long-term growth of your site. The last thing that you need is switching to a new support service, rather than sticking with someone that knows your backend in its entirety.

How to stay productive and motivated while working from home

When you work from home one of the biggest issues that you can face is making sure that you feel motivated to finish everything that needs doing. As you are only relying on yourself, this means that being productive is all the harder.

The good news is that there are some great ways that you can try your best to remain productive, even when you are working from home, and here some of them are.

Have your own work space

You really cannot underestimate how important it is to have a space in your home that you equate to working. This doesn’t necessarily need to be an entire home office, perhaps it can just be a particular corner of the room, or even the dining room table. The thing to remember is that as soon as you find that space, make sure that it is where you carry on working.

Invest in other ways to keep an eye on your family

If you are trying to balance working from home with looking after your kids, then it can be hard to do both. If your little one is napping however, and you can get some work done then this is a great opportunity. You can invest in a wireless video camera that is designed to be taken with you, giving you the ability to check in on your baby whilst you are busy working away in another room.

Get dressed and ready to go

Finding it hard to get motivated when working from home? Are you sat around in your PJs? If you are then your mind is definitely going to be set into weekend mode, and this needs changing. Behave just as you would as if you were heading to work, shower, have breakfast and get dressed. You could even go for a walk around the block, anything that gets you ready to face the work that you need to do that day.

Have plenty of communication tools

One of the hardest things about working at home is that you don’t get the chance to interact with your colleagues and be social. This can lead you to feel a bit demotivated and not really wanting to work. Rather than worrying about being all alone, why not make sure that you have plenty of other communication tools to hand? This can come in the form of email, instant messaging systems and skype. Any way that you can make sure that there is someone to sound off with or just bounce some ideas off of.

Minimise your distractions

Distractions are one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to working at home, and unfortunately these can come in a variety of forms. Try to keep away from social media, unless it is for work and turn off any notifications that are not related to work that you need to do. Also try and explain to your family and friends that whilst you may be at home, you do need to focus on the work that you need to do.

Plan your lunches

When you work in an office you are much more likely to find yourself reminded that you need a snack or lunch. Particularly by your colleagues, when you work from home you are less likely to think about things like breaks. Not eating properly, or having time away from your laptop can leave you demotivated or lethargic. So it is important to plain in your lunches, not only the time, but also what you are going to have. Try and pick healthy, light meals that are going to fill you up and leave you feeling ready to face the afternoon.

Remember that it is not always 9-5

The beauty of working from home is that you are in charge of the working hours that you keep. This means that there is no such thing as 9-5. Sure you are much more likely to work when the kids are out of the house, but if you are really stuck for time and need to get things finished, then this can be done in the evening, or perhaps by getting up early the next morning.

Give yourself a pep talk

Working in an office usually means that you are going to start your day with a huddle, meeting or team brief. If you struggle to focus on what you are going to achieve that day, why not implement this at home? It may sound (and feel) silly giving yourself a pep talk before you start the day, but it can really work wonders. It helps you to focus on what you need to get done that day and sets you up for a busy and productive working day.

Have some background noise

Some people work better in the quiet, but others find this can be the biggest distraction of all. A good idea is to have the radio on in the background. Find music that you enjoy listening too, but that isn’t going to have you jumping around on your seat, and you may find that you can focus on even those dull tasks with ease.

So, there you have it, whether you go for a wireless video camera, make sure that you are dressed and ready to go or simply have a work space to call your own, all of these things can make sure that you are productive, no matter where you work and no matter what tasks you need to do.

Working from home doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, if you try some of these top tips then you may find that it is a lot easier than you think to be productive.

What Does the Modern Work Space Consist Of?

There was once a time where the office was a somewhat sterile and bland affair. The premises would be often be furnished with standard furnishings and the whole setup could be seen as a little claustrophobic. However, like many aspects of the 21st century, how we layout our office has gone through something of a transformation, but does it make any difference when it comes to productivity?

Office design trends can be easily dismissed as a millennial’s pipe dream, but the truth is that there are many innovations that have become the norm in the way we work today. The best comparison that can be made is the introduction of smartphones. Before we had access to what is essentially a mini-computer, we would have to make do with limited functionality. Sure, we made do with what was available, but it’s only when the smartphone dominated the marketplace that many of us wondered how we managed without them.

The same can be said for modern office space. It can be seen as a little off-the-wall and gimmicky, but once the benefits start kicking in, people soon have a different outlook overall. But what severe changes in the way we work has such a positive impact, especially when it comes to some of the most recognised tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Breaking the Mould

When it comes to changing the pace of how we work, credit must be given to the millennials. Not that there was anything wrong with plans installed by both the baby boomer and generation x era, but it’s only of late where the more conventional office design outlay has been turned on its head.

While there was a time when privacy was the most important aspect of a working environment, today’s working arena evokes a more collaborative environment. This means that a more spacious office space is desired, with less constricting cubicles. This is often done with the clever use of glass, which while still allowing for moments of privacy, ensures that the atmosphere is less claustrophobic.

It’s not only the outlay of an office that has been given a makeover, but also the colours used within the décor. Gone and the cold and isolated colours of yesteryear and instead are more bold and inspiring colours that look to boost productivity and boost our mood making for a more proactive workplace, Facebook is one of the many technology companies that makes use of modern office outlays, and its last quarterly report for 2017 shows a $9.3 billion profit, a testament that confirms changes isn’t always a bad thing.

Furnishing the Future

To be able to work, we simply need a desk and chair, right? Well yes, but there is so much more to a work area. More and more companies have realised that offering employees a more tailored workspace that reflects their personality is able to offer more positive results. Even freelancers have jumped on the furnishing bandwagon, making their workplace something they look forward to visiting.

In hindsight, the changes make sense. Many of us spend a vast amount of time at our desk, probably longer than we spend at home, so working at a desk that does little to carry our identity can be counter-productive.

There is so much traction when it comes to mirroring our personality in the workplace that there have been companies created that look to offer that dream work environment. Perch is a company that showcases office furniture and furnishing to give customers a truly bespoke office that conforms to their personality.

Even the way we use a desk has changed. While a standing desk can’t be used by everyone, there have already yielded several benefits when it comes to productivity, as well as having a series of health benefits to boot.

Technology Isn’t a Distraction

For many years, technology has been assumed to be an evasive force within the workplace. Many companies have been worried that the introduction of the Internet makes for more procrastination, and giving employees access to their smartphones and tablets is just asking for trouble.

However, the perks of technology have slowly risen to the surface, and more and more and companies are welcoming multitudes of technology with open arms with many companies using all the latest hardware and software such as Microsoft office for Mac. Working hasn’t become any easier, in fact many of us are working harder than we ever done, but thanks to modern technology, we can at least make a large chunk of our work more manageable and professional.

There’s also the fact that many of us work in different locations to that of our peers. Working on a project would have often involved a lot of phone calls and emails, but it’s a different story in the modern age. There is a slew of software that makes conversing in different locations a real-time event. This means that there is very little hesitation when it comes to making developments, which in turns makes more use of the time modern wokplace

It’s not all work and no play either. Having downtime is important for even the most hardworking, as we simply burn out, but a cup of vending machine coffee in an empty room no longer cuts the ice. As such, more companies are realising the benefits of introducing technology into the break room, so it’s not uncommon for someone to unleash frustrations on Call of Duty before returning to pitch some more brilliant ideas.

The modern office can be hard to stomach if you’re used to something a little more conventional, but there’s no denying that it can yield several benefits, for both the employee and the business.

Building a Business Website from Scratch

For many, the starting of a business can be a busy time. So busy in fact, that the building of a website can often take a back seat when it comes to priorities. However, the presence of a business online can be one of its most important factors, as it had the potential to be one of the main sales funnels for a business.

Knowing we need a website is one thing, but how do we go about creating one? Like many things in life, there are a plethora of options available, so we need to make some considerations.

Designing the Website

The design of your website will depend on the nature of your business. If your business offers goods via mail order then it’s likely you will need some form of storefront. Those offering videography services will often look at a website design that is able to promote their portfolio and testimonials. 

Having an idea of what kind of design you want for your website beforehand means that the whole design process is a more straightforward affair. If you’re having some difficulty in deciding on a layout, then why not look at some other websites within your niche? However, you should only use such websites for inspiration, as outright copying could cause some legal issues.

Once you have a design in mind, there are many options available to you. You may want to build the website yourself, and this is certainly possible thanks to the many DIY tools online. What’s more, these tools offer an easy-to-use interface that can help you design professional-looking websites within minutes, However, some may find that DIY software is a little limited for their needs.

Another option is to use a content management system such as WordPress to create your website. Not only are you able to update content with a few clicks, but you also have access to a multitude of templates. What’s more, if a certain template needs some aesthetic or layout changes, you can normally find someone to make the amendments for a small fee.

Then there’s the option of employing the services of a web designer, which can be beneficial for many. However, it’s important that we don’t use the fee charged as a guide alone. There are many different solutions available, and it’s about finding the best value as opposed to the best price. As such, it can be advisable to read some reviews and ask to see some example of work carried out in the past. IT stands to reason that the more work you need, the more expensive it will be.

Registering a Domain Name

There can be many rules associated with domain name registration depending on who you speak to. Some will say choose a domain that contains keywords, whereas others swear by used domains. Such advice is often based on old SEO techniques that don’t really hold much weight anymore. The only thing you should be trying to do is ensuring your domain name is the same as that of your business.

In some instances, a business will look at what domain names are available before deciding what to call their business. Ensuring the domain name is the same as your business name makes for a more uniformed online presence, and ensures there’s no confusion caused to potential customers.

Choose Your Own Web Hosting

There are several services online that give you free web space, mostly in the form of a blog, but this comes with its own limitations. Opting for the services of a web hosting provider ensures that we have a more reliable website that’s not prone to going offline. If you want to find one of the best providers then check out this list

Options are often quite cost-effective, depending on your options. For example, if you’re willing to share bandwidth with other websites, then you’ll be paying less than you would if you decided to opt for your own server.

What’s more, you will normally have a point-of-contact should there be any issues with your hosting, which is vital if you’re hosting a business online.

With so many hosting providers it can be difficult to decide which one to go with, however these guys did a good job ranking the best hosts.

Structuring the Content

One of the most important aspects of any website is the content. You can have the best-looking website in the world, but it would gain much traction if it doesn’t have the right kind of content to support it.

While you should look to include keywords within your content, you shouldn’t do it so much so they looked forced. This can be a red flag to search engines who could assume that you’re looking to manipulate the algorithm.

What kind of tone the content should take really depends on the business itself. Those offering legal services would probably want to aim for something professional, whereas those in the fashion industry can adopt a more laid back approach.

If the content fits in with the context of the keywords used, and looks to offer visitors value, there’s no reason as to why you should receive any adverse rankings due to your content.

Promoting the Website 

The are many ways of promoting your website, depending on how quickly you’re looking for results. If you’re looking to get visits straight away, then you will need to invest in some form of advertising. One of the most popular methods of marketing is a pay-per-click campaign, where you pay for each visit you get from an ad placed within a search engine. You can tailor your ad to reach the targeted demographic, so it can be very rewarding. However, you need to ensure that your site has a clear call-to-action and can be navigated easily, otherwise your marketing budget could be going to waste.

If you’re happy to let your site grow organically, then you can ensure that you are carrying out the right kind of search engine optimisation. This includes well-written content, clear contact details and an optimised site that can be viewed on different devices. While there are no shortcuts when it comes to SEO, carrying out the task in the right way will allows your site to mature and develop and before long, you’ll find that your website is being ranked as one with authority.

A website can make all the difference as to whether our business is a success or not. A website in the modern age can essentially be an extension of the business, so if things aren’t up to scratch, consumers could assume that the business isn’t either. That’s not to say that things never go wrong, but rectifying these mistakes sooner rather than later means less repercussions in relation to turnover and maintaining an active online audience.