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Is Your Business Still Using a Landline? Times Have Changed!

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Landlines have been seeing a decline in not only personal use but business use as well. This is due to many factors, including the ease and usefulness of a mobile phone, and also because of the flexibility in the workplace. Workers out at lunch do not want to miss an urgent call so that a work phone will be instituted on their behalf. As for workers who work from home or co-working spaces, a mobile phone line is necessary. Because of this, most offices have gotten rid of their landlines completely. Is Your Business Still Using a Landline? Times Have Changed!

Virtual Technologies Support Today’s Dynamic Businesses

still using a landline?
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Companies are created to grow and change, and it would be a hassle to move in mass amounts of wires every year when you could simply install a powerful WiFi network. Landlines also restrict businesses to one spot. Employees would not have the freedom to leave their desks while waiting for an urgent phone call. Mobile phones are incredibly useful for employees who do not work regular business hours and need more flexibility as well. One example is workers who need to contact international clients in different time zones.

Mobile phones have also increased the number of meetings done over FaceTime and Skype. Instead of having to travel to multiple businesses, you can meet with your colleagues face-to-face wherever you currently are. As long as you have WiFi, you are available. Video conferencing has now become the chosen way to host meetings for many businesses across the world.

Gaining More Flexibility and Freedom with a Virtual Phone System

While virtual phone providers can solve some of the problems associated with the landline, such as being restricted to one location, it can not solve all of them. With a mobile line, you can gain access to even more features with your virtual phone line such as SMS messaging. Most Americans, especially the younger generations, prefer text messages to phone calls. Most Millenials hate speaking on the phone and will ignore a phone call from a business. However, if they’re sent a text message, it’s likely they’ll respond or at least read the message and the information.

Are Business Landlines Common?

Landlines can still be found in many businesses, but those companies have been in business for several years when there were no other options. Many new companies are worried about alternative business developments such as access to bike racks, stocking healthy snacks, pet-friendly workplaces, and meditation rooms. These growing businesses aren’t interested in having a working landline. As landline numbers decrease in homes across the country, business landlines are corresponding accordingly.

If you’re still choosing a virtual phone system to use for your business or office, you can select between VoIP lines and a landline. VoIP, though, has a lower setup cost and much lower maintenance costs than landlines.

Advancing into the Future with VoIP

VoIP or internet calling uses the internet to place your phone calls. This system has been around for a long time, but only recently has VoIP become the best way to place calls. Because of consistent technological achievements over the years, WiFi connections have become very reliable.

If you’re still not convinced that you should ditch the landline, consider a few of these points:

  • VoIP offers many multimedia options, including video, unlike landlines, which only offers voice calling.
  • Your business can expand easier without the addition of multiple phone sets and installing wires.
  • Feature options are limited when choosing a landline, while VoIP comes with call waiting, call forwarding, and many others.
  • Cordless phone sets for landlines will not work during a power outage.
  • VoIP allows you to use mobile phones, landline phones, computers, laptops, and tablets to communicate.
  • You can port your numbers easily with VoIP and make calls from your mobile phone wherever you go.
  • VoIP has the benefit of rejecting anonymous callers, if you prefer.
  • Auto attendants, voicemail to email, and voicemail to text are all available with a VoIP connection.

Why Business Leaders Need to Focus on Sustainability Efforts

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It is one thing to acknowledge an issue and it is an entirely different thing to actually decide to do something about it and act on those plans. The conversation regarding building more sustainable and global businesses has gained a lot of momentum over the last decade. There is encouraging news regarding significant initiatives from various corners of the world. The bottom line is this: sustainability efforts should be on the agenda of every single business leader. Consumers increasingly expect business leaders to play their role in not only delivering economic growth, but also working to improve the lives of customers and employees while protecting the environment.

The Need for Sustainability Cannot Be Ignored Any Longer

Expressing intentions is no longer sufficient. Sustainability is becoming more important for companies across all sectors. It is a business approach to create long-term value by considering how a given organization operates in social, ecological, and economic environments. Developing and implementing these strategies are meant to foster a company’s longevity. This is why business leaders need to focus on sustainability efforts.

Additional Reasons Why Business Leaders Need to Focus on Sustainability Include:

  • Government Regulations: Federal, state and local governments are enacting additional regulations to protect the environment. Adopting sustainability efforts will help to ensure that your company will be able to meet the changing regulations in a timely manner
  • Public Relations: A growing number of consumers care about environmental issues. This sector of the population is investing in companies who are enacting sustainability policies.
  • Attracting Employees: Employees want to attach themselves to brands that care about the environment and social responsibility as a whole.
  • Increased Sales: Sustainability commitments are resulting in improved sales.
  • Attracting Investors: Like consumers, investors want to invest in a company that is socially responsible.
  • Feeding Creativity and Innovation: Challenging employees to come up with better ways to do things is inspiring.
  • Enhanced Productivity: Targeting one area with sustainability efforts may lead to improvement in other areas as well.
  • Reducing Risk: Reducing the risk of fines and lawsuits by being in compliance keeps costs down.
  • Brand Trust and Loyalty: Branding your company as one that is committed to sustainability efforts is a great way to gain consumer confidence, trust, and loyalty.
why should leaders focus on sustainability
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Sustainability is the Future

Companies are moving toward more sustainable practices by reducing waste, creating a greener supply chain, looking at water efficiency, optimizing material usage, increasing productivity, addressing labor conditions, setting targets on water replenishment, taking steps with regard to energy efficiency, and more.

Sustainability and Business

When examining why business leaders need to focus on sustainability, it is imperative to understand these efforts are good for the environment, for consumers, and for business. Any business leader that does not grasp this is taking the risk of being left behind the competition. There are other risks, such as promising and not delivering or addressing one issue without being solid on compliance with regard to sustainability in other areas. For business leaders to address sustainability appropriately, these risks should be assessed and plans should be in place to address these issues.

Related: Green Cloud Communications for Business

Improving Sustainability is a Work in Progress

Just like there is no “one solution” for every business model, there is no “one solution” across the board for implementing sustainability efforts in every business. The best course to take is in analyzing the ambitions and individual stakes of each company. A few steps management teams can take in improving sustainability efforts include:

  1.  Aligning the company strategy with sustainability efforts.
  2. Address compliance first (pollution and energy efficiency, human rights, labor responsibilities, regulations in waste management, etc.) before addressing competitive advantage.
  3. Develop proactive sustainability strategies rather than reactive ones. When looking at why business leaders need to focus on sustainability efforts, you should recognize the impact of sustainability and develop proactive strategies rather than waiting until there is a crisis (i.e. public anger for unfair labor practices) to implement such efforts.
  4. Transparency is key. An open environment in an organization leads to improved performance. This has been proven time and time again. The way to accomplish transparency is through open and clear communication with all stakeholders.

Putting Sustainability Plans into Action

In speeding up sustainability efforts, business leaders should focus on issues that are specific to your business. This includes building a clear business case for focusing on sustainability, reinventing your business model, and developing a compelling value-creating story for investors. This is especially helpful when presenting your case for focusing on sustainability. This is a major challenge, but it is also one that matters beyond individual organizations.

Looking at why business leaders need to focus on sustainability efforts is a critical first step, however, action is the next step that must be taken.

The Links Between the Economy and the Environment

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In November 2018, the current U.S. administration published a significant report detailing the advance of climate change. The news was bad and it also came with a price tag. The report detailed the damage that is being observed and the financial losses that are projected. In summary, the outcome is a result of what humans have constructed and are still constructing, which is not best suited for the world the way it is. As time goes on, the cost to live in this world could increase by hundreds of billions of dollars per year. The links between the economy and the environment are clearly shown.

The Evidence of Climate Change We’re Seeing Right Now

In recent years, thousands of Americans have died as a result of extreme weather events tied to climate change. This has included hurricanes, which have been fueled by very warm seas to other extremes, such as drought. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island said, “This report shows how climate change will affect every single one of our communities. The president says outrageous things like climate change is a hoax engineered by the Chinese and raking forests will prevent catastrophic wildfires, but serious consequences like collapsing coastal housing prices and trillions of dollars in stranded fossil fuel assets await us if we don’t act.”

Climate Change May Prove to be Financially Crippling

The United States National Climate assessments since 2000 have focused on showing the links between the economy and the environment and how much Americans stand to lose to climate change. The costs that are discussed include household expenses, the availability and price of food, energy, and other goods that people use on a daily basis in modern society.

These effects extend beyond the US. The report states, “The impacts of climate change, variability, and extreme events outside the United States are affecting and are virtually certain to increasingly affect U.S. trade and economy, including import and export prices and businesses with overseas operations and supply chains.” The report also states, “Now it’s seen much more as a societal or economic issue than a narrow environmental one.” And that is what it takes for many to gather the full scope of an issue… a clear, eye-opening breakdown of how something will affect them, the economy, and society as a whole.

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Dire Situations Ahead if Action Isn’t Taken

A section of the report analyzes the estimates of economic loss across the U.S. economy by sector. This section points to the fact that policy, as well as technological and behavioral changes that result in significantly lowering emissions, can cut the potential financial damage across many of these sectors by approximately 50 percent.

Even in a best-case situation, Americans will still have to pay tens of billions of dollars more per year to deal with the acceleration of climate change.

The climate change report goes on to show how climate change is putting different regions in the country in difficult financial situations:

In Pennsylvania, aging bridges may not fare well against more extreme storms, and water and wastewater systems need almost $30 billion in investment. In general, about 90 percent of the northeast is built on infrastructure poorly suited to adjust to rising seas. “Projected future costs are estimated to continue along a steep upward trend relative to what is being experienced today,” the report states. More than 60 percent of big southeastern cities see heat-wave trends above the national average, and three of them, Birmingham, Ala., New Orleans and Raleigh, N.C., are exceeding the rest of the country across all major heat-wave measures. Anchored by California’s clean-tech economy, the Southwest is seeing much of the nation’s new energy investment. Legacy power technologies, such as water-cooled power plants, will continue to work for decades, however, and will be less effective as temperatures make cooling sources too hot. Hot water could reduce efficiency of these power plants by 15 percent by 2050. In the Midwest, a major producer of corn and soybeans, increased temperatures, rainfall and humidity have eroded soil and allowed harmful pests and pathogens to thrive, according to the report. Rising growing-season temperatures in the region are projected to be the largest single factor contributing to declines of U.S. agriculture production.

Related: Learn How to Go Green with Cloud Communications

If the Environment Collapses, so Will the Economy

There are growing threats to supply chains, global trade, and the price of goods. Other international issues include humanitarian aid, national security, and what the report refers to as “transboundary resources,” which include water, fish, and minerals co-managed by neighboring countries. The link between the economy and the environment is clear and must be addressed immediately.

Though adaptation efforts are currently being put into effect at various levels across the nation, they are often minimal in comparison with the challenges we face. Acknowledging the connection between the economy and the environment and addressing the full range of climate change will require substantial change in business practices and procedures across all organizations and sectors. It also requires substantial change on the part of individuals, laws, and capital investment. The goal is not to adapt to a new normal that will essentially remain the same, but to prepare lives and infrastructure with a forward-looking mindset that takes into account the “now” and the “what’s to come.”

Paradoxes That are TRUE

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A paradox occurs when something seems as if it is impossible or contradictory, but proves itself time and time again to be true. The following paradoxes are things that we come across in everyday life, and therefore can help you to understand life a little bit better. With each paradox learned, a bit of wisdom is gained. Read on to find the truth in contradiction.

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1. The more failures you endure, the more likely you are to succeed

You’ve probably already heard several famous people quote this in one way or another. One of Thomas Edison’s teachers called him mentally “addled” and urged his mother to take him out of school. Luckily, Thomas Edison continued to make intellectual strides and brought us several important inventions (after multiple failures.) But it is true, without failure there is no room for improvement. The moment you stop trying is the moment you truly fail. If you never give up, you will always find at least some glimmer of success.

2. If you chase happiness, it will continue to elude you

The key to happiness lies in enjoying where you are now. If you are constantly telling yourself “once I have this I’ll be happy,” you will never be happy because there is always something out there to strive towards. Once you make a million dollars you’ll tell yourself now I need to find a mate and I’ll be happy, then once you find a mate, it becomes once I have children I will have fulfillment, etc… Find joy in your life right now.

3. What you dislike in others, is what you dislike in yourself

This can be a hard paradox to swallow but if you find yourself sneering at someone who embodies a trait that you dislike, think about what that trait may be manifesting as inside of you. If you judge others for their weight, whether you think they may be “too skinny” or “too fat,” perhaps you should take some time to examine your body image issues.

4. Those who have a hard time trusting often cannot be trusted themselves

People who have trust issues often hurt others to avoid getting hurt themselves. If this sounds like you, work on becoming more secure in yourself and your relationships.

5. The harder you try, the fewer people will be impressed

That’s not to say you shouldn’t strive to be the best student or the best worker, but when you are in company, it is better to be humble. Instead of trying to impress everyone with your resume, physical skills, or sense of humor, try adding a touch of modesty.

6. If you fear death, you won’t be able to enjoy life

Don’t spend your entire life avoiding risks. Taking risks is part of life, and if you shut yourself away from the world you may end up living a long time, but you won’t be having a good time.

7. Fears are meant to be faced

Fight or flight mode is ingrained into the center of our being, but if your fear can’t kill you, then you should try to face it. Instead of taking a shortcut down a dark alley alone, walk up to that cute girl you’ve been eyeing from afar and say hello. A great place to start is by being honest with your bosses, networking without fear, or taking an improv class. Stop letting fear hold you back from success.

8. The more knowledge you gain, the more you realize there is much left to learn

As we slowly become increasingly more aware of the world outside of our bubbles, the more we understand that we truly know very little. Would you be able to find your way around China without knowing the language? Could you argue an opinion on climate change? Do you know the proper procedure for recycling? The more we dive into knowledge, the broader our world becomes.

9. When a product is highly available, the less we appreciate it

Humans tend to believe that if something is in short supply, it is more valuable. Think of it like this, would you rather have toilet paper or a diamond? Just because something is more available does not mean it isn’t very important.

10. Having more choices brings less contentment

The more options available to you, the higher chance you have to be dissatisfied. This may be because there are pros and cons to each decision and you may feel that you’ve lost out because you’re constantly wondering if your choice was the best one.

Amazon H2Q Has Been Announced; What Does This Mean for the World?

After much anticipation, Amazon finally named its two new locations for the HQ2 project.

Amazon will be taking their business to both Arlington, Virginia and the borough of Queens in New York City. It has been predicted that these two new locations will bring around 25,000 new jobs to the cities. However, Virginia and New York aren’t the only two locations benefitting from Amazon’s expansion. Nashville, Tennessee has been chosen as the new location for a “center of excellence.”

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The Income and Jobs Outlook

All three locations will begin hiring in 2019, and there are plenty of incentives for all the jobs in each location. While Nashville offered up 102 million for its 5,000 jobs, Virginia upped the ante with $573 million in incentives. However, New York offered up an immense $1.5 billion in incentives, and as part of these incentives from each city, Amazon has agreed that the salary for these jobs will be an average of $150,000/year.

Amazon is also reciprocating with the other cities and even plans to fund a green space in New York and donate a site for either a primary or secondary school. Many of New York City and Virginia’s public officials have come forward to applaud the move by Amazon because they believe that thousands of new high-paying jobs will be beneficial to both cities.

Amazon decided to build the new HQ2 so that it would be able to tap into new job pools and continue to expand and develop. Going outside of its original headquarters in Seattle means that it no longer has to compete with other Seattle tech markets like Microsoft and Boeing for job candidates.

Amazon Aimed for the East Coast

The tech giant received 238 bids from the US, Canada, and Mexico, but had been longing after the east coast for quite a while. It came as no surprise that Amazon chose Arlington, Virginia as one of the new headquarters. When Amazon was originally narrowing down candidates, several were around the DC area. Interestingly, Jeff Bezos, the owner and CEO of Amazon purchased the largest home in Washington DC in 2016 for $23 million and spent an addition $12 million on renovations last year, so it comes as no surprise that this area was in major consideration.

Amazon had said initially that it would bring $5 billion to one primary site where it would then hire 50,000 people. Now, the two sites are being split up, and Amazon is spending 2.5 billion at each location. The size of this project has spurred some critics to call these two new sites simply regional offices instead of new headquarters like the original Seattle office which spans across 45 different buildings.

The Dark Side of Amazon’s Expansion

Despite its popularity with local politicians, who bombarded Amazon with incentives and other gifts, working-class citizens of both cities are expected to take a hit. Seattle was plagued by a surge in homelessness after the cost of living shot up due to tech giants monopolizing the town. Not only will the move bring new jobs, but it will also bring higher rent prices and more traffic. This may be the reason that Amazon decided to split its new headquarters between two cities, but the problems will remain. Industry critics have also called the announcing of an HQ2 a publicity stunt and a way to get incentives from several states. Because of the bids made by several cities and states, Amazon also gained a lot of valuable data and it will be able to use that data to gain an edge over their biggest competitors.

The two locations are drumming up questions, such as why two sites instead of one? HQ2 has initially been a plan for one site, but splitting up the areas might be easier on everyone involved. A 25,000 person site is easier to handle and create than one giant place that has to hold 50,000 people. Also, as previously mentioned, neither city will suffer the same amount of pitfalls with traffic and housing costs as Seattle did, although those two things aren’t entirely unavoidable. However it goes, things are definitely about to get interesting!