Posts tagged with "employee"

Why Tech Workers Are Leaving To Fight Climate Change

With the climate crisis rapidly worsening, many tech workers are recognizing they aren’t making any significant impact to better the world in their current roles, prompting them to leave the traditional tech sector to work for companies fighting the climate crisis. The tech industry is notorious for having one of the most lucrative job pools for its workers, though the majority of those jobs aren’t particularly glamorous, purpose-driven, fulfilling, or legacy-creating roles. In fact, some of the most common tech jobs consist of designing, engineering, and developing software such as mobile apps or operating systems, or assessing, analyzing, and evaluating data to help companies make better-informed decisions. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us several times over that people expect the businesses they work for (and buy from) to take a stance for things that matter to them. And while tech experts may not know much about public policy, legislation, or environmental science, they do know a lot about data. 

“It’s a data problem that we’re solving,” said Persefoni co-founder Kentaro Kawamori when approaching his business partner, James Newsome, about starting a SaaS to fight climate change, as reported by CNBC. A lot of tech workers in similar positions are feeling uncertainty regarding how to best make this career shift due to a lack of knowledge or experience around climate change. But their contribution to this work is not to be concerned with the science of climate change; it’s about managing and leveraging the data needed to navigate climate change.

Making The Shift

Dr. Soudip Roy Chowdhury, the CEO of Eugenie.ai, has witnessed this shift, as well, as more tech workers have looked to join companies with a mission that makes a positive impact on climate change. Dr. Chowdhury hired Narayanan Subramaniam as his CTO because of Narayanan’s dedication to living sustainably over the past 30 years, and because of how he could use his cloud-based technology expertise to impact climate change. 

Dr. Chowdhury cautions tech workers on their career move to the climate change industry. “While the industry needs more workers, you do need to be passionate about climate change and technology in order for it to be satisfying work,” he says. In fact, some tech workers have taken serious pay cuts from huge six-figure salaries to average $60,000 salaries. He also advises to look at what type of technology one wishes to be part of developing.

Climate tech, as a niche industry, has skyrocketed due to several recent changes. From 2020 to 2021, climate tech has seen an 80% increase in investment. The industry’s worth is now estimated at $56 billion, with energy and power companies having seen the most significant growth. When other industries climate tech touches are brought in — for example, transportation, agriculture, food, or logistics — the investment in climate technology increases to over $114 billion, with two-thirds of investments going into mobility and transportation.

Finding The Big Impact

Overall, there is no shortage of job opportunities in climate technology, and while a lot of workers seemed to have taken significant pay cuts, investments into the industry have boomed. The most important thing to know when considering a shift to climate tech, however, is whether or not one is truly passionate about the work involved in mitigating the global impact of climate change. Without that passion, as Dr. Chowdhury mentions, the work may not be enjoyable.

When it comes to companies making the most impact, the biggest thing Dr. Chowdhury says that needs to be considered is scalability. A wide variety of climate tech companies are working to analyze climate change and understand how it needs to be addressed, but the tech industry isn’t the only industry that’s been affected by climate change. “As a technologist, we need to start thinking about scale and how our technology can not only address specific problems for a few industries, but across all industries,” says Dr. Chowdhury. 

This is where using the notion of digitization will come into play. Dr. Chowdhury sees digitization and the innovative products it creates — such as the metaverse — as a prime opportunity for climate change and tech experts to collaborate and test out new, emerging technologies. With the metaverse, new technology being developed can be evaluated and tested to see the level of impact it will have in fighting climate change. And according to Dr. Chowdhury, Eugenie.ai is already accomplishing this.

“We are working on providing digital twin technology, where we help companies create a digital version of their processes and machines. This, of course, will help them to see how they can improve their output, but also how to follow certain process prescriptions,” says Dr. Chowdhury. These prescriptions are determined using simulations of data with a company’s past knowledge, combined with Eugenie.ai’s own research, as a blueprint. By following the prescription, companies can improve their sustainability KPIs, while maintaining operational throughput.

Dr. Chowdhury shares that his company is already partnering with some companies to test out this digital twin approach in the metaverse. “We have tested our digital twin today by applying it to some oil and gas mining companies. We’re helping them to reduce their production wastage by 2025 by focusing on fugitive emissions. The goal is to reduce their emissions close to 7-8% on a annual basis.”

A Glimpse Into Sustainable Business

Companies will now be able to more accurately estimate how their technologies will impact climate change upon launch. In turn, companies like Eugenie.ai can develop prescriptions that will rapidly accelerate the developmental stages industries will have to undergo when adopting new climate and sustainability technologies. With opportunities to develop life-changing climate technology becoming more available and in dire need, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of tech workers are looking to change careers and find more meaningful ways to utilize their expertise.

While many data scientists and software engineers are working at great companies at Google, Amazon, and other tech giants, not many of them can say they’re working on technology that will help to drastically shift the way other industries function. This isn’t to say that their jobs aren’t important; tech giants like Google and Amazon need to understand that tech is not entirely about understanding and optimizing consumerism. 

In fact, consumers are more likely to support sustainability efforts as long as they understand the methods and meaning behind them. However, it’s going to take more workers to leave their big salaries at Google to help the rest of us understand the data necessary to recognize the severity of our climate crisis.

Employee and employer strife HR guide via 360 MAGAZINE

How to Deal with Difficult Employers: A Guide

When you enter the workforce, the odds are that you will often come across people whom you don’t get along with. Sometimes, they will annoy you. Other times, you won’t agree with their opinions. And sometimes, you simply won’t like them.

This is a part of life. However, it does get a lot harder when you don’t get along with a difficult employer. If this is something you’re struggling with, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about four ways that you can deal with a difficult employer.

Take legal action

Sometimes, an employer may go too far. Instead of simply being difficult to get along with, they may do things that are illegal, such as harassing you or discriminating against you.

Employers cannot discriminate based on race, so if this is something that your employer is doing, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Taking legal action can be intimidating, but it’s often the only way of ensuring that your employer stops their harmful behavior. 

If you do decide to take legal action, you should consider getting a lawyer to help you.

Communicate

You’ve probably heard time and time again how important communication in the workplace is. While you may be sick of hearing it, it is true.

If you have an issue with your employer, you should consider communicating this issue to them. Of course, the way you do this is very important since you won’t want them to feel attacked. It may be the case that your employer isn’t even aware of what they are doing. 

You may feel like you have no idea where to start, so following these tips for workplace communication may help you.

Consider finding another job

If you simply don’t get along with your employer, you could always consider getting another job. This doesn’t have to be as drastic as it sounds – you can always ask to stay with the company, but just work in another division or on another team.

Or, if you wanted to, you could try to find another job entirely. It may seem extreme to quit your job just because you have a difficult employer, but if it’s affecting you a lot, it may be worth it. Of course, this is a serious decision, so you should think it through. If you need some tips for an effective job search, click here.

Try to ignore it

Finally, you could always just accept that you have a difficult employer, and do your best to not let it affect you too much by simply doing your best to ignore it. 

After all, you should only have to deal with them at work, so if you can find a way to cope with them for a few hours each day, it shouldn’t have a big impact on you. This is only true if you separate your work life from your personal life, however. It’s important to keep your personal life out of the office and vice versa if you want to live a balanced life.

Balance illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

3 Tips for Leaders

3 Tips for Leaders to Steady the Ship When Employees Lose Their Balance

Company leaders and managers have a big responsibility in overseeing employees. But they can’t see everything, and sometimes there’s more going on in a worker’s life than meets the eye.

Employee disengagement or burnout isn’t always apparent, and some employers may be in for a surprise if and when the COVID-19 pandemic winds down. One study shows that 57% of U.S. employees say they are burnt out, with many likely to leave their job after the pandemic is over. And a Gallup survey reveals that the percentage of engaged employees – those enthusiastic about their workplace – is under 40%.

What the numbers mean is leaders need to learn how to spot and help out-of-balance employees, says Mark McClain, CEO and co-founder of SailPoint and the ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People).

“One challenge leaders and managers routinely face is to recognize when the people around them – peers, colleagues, but especially subordinates – are out of balance or are heading in the wrong direction,” McClain says. “Beyond the potential impacts on their personal lives, you want to try to head off the negative effects such imbalances can have on their roles in the company.

“This may seem imposing, but you have to pay attention as a leader. No employee can run at a crazy pace forever, yet some companies let people run themselves right out of the building. Other workers who are disengaged can be harder to spot initially.”

McClain offers these tips for leaders to spot, address, and help out-of-balance employees:

  • Make work-life balance part of your culture. “You can expect much from your employees, but you don’t want them to fry themselves,” McClain says. “You don’t want them to harm their health, their family, or their relationships. If you have good people, ideally, you’ll grow them and help them work toward their vision of a healthy work-life balance. The sooner leaders confront imbalance in the equation, the more meat they put on the bones of company culture.”
  • Screen out for potential burnout. Some companies hire knowing they will overwork people or take advantage of their ambition to work extra hard and advance up the corporate ladder, McClain says. But that approach can lead to burnout and departure, which costs companies in terms of replacing them. “There are always going to be ultra-motivated climbers,” McClain says. “But exploiting them is beyond bad. Those who can’t stand it get out, and the HR departments plan on the fact that every four or five years, only 15 to 20 percent of those hires will be able to move up the ranks. These types of organizations instead should invest in pre-hiring assessments to screen out those who value a life outside of work. Doing so would save the companies money and turnover.”
  • Be a counselor. It’s not an invasion of privacy for a manager to show concern in an employee, McClain says, and probing is necessary to help the employee. “Like it or not,” he says, “being a counselor of sorts is part of managing people. Getting to know them as people, and their work styles, is what makes spotting imbalances possible. Its why good managers pull employees aside and say, ‘Hey, you’re here, but you’re not engaged. Is something going on?’ Managers who take that step are able to uncover issues and steer their employees to the help they need.”

“Many companies talk about caring for workers until they’re blue in the face,” McClain says. “But when you put in place the pieces to help them succeed, leaders walk the walk – and everybody wins.”

Employee Employment Rights in California

As an employer and employee, there are certain rights and laws that you should familiarize yourself with since these laws impact current, former, and future employees of a company. A lot of lawsuits that companies find themselves wrapped up in involve simple disputes that could have been avoided had everyone known and followed the laws. Both sides need to know the laws when it comes to employee rights and they are constantly changing and evolving to make it better for everyone involved. When employee rights are intentionally violated, one should seek out an employment lawyer

What Are Some of the Biggest Employee Employment Rights in California?

One of the biggest sections of the employee employment rights in the state of California has to do with discrimination. While discrimination is illegal at both the state and federal level, there’s still discrimination happening all over. Even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination illegal, it’s still a huge problem for companies as the rights evolve for certain groups.

  • It’s illegal for a company to discriminate against someone due to their gender or sex. A job applicant cannot be treated unfairly due to their gender identity. In California, this includes the transgender community. Both men and women also should be paid equally for equal work which was mandated in the Equal Pay Act.
  • You cannot be discriminated against for your nationality, race, and religion due to laws established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Civil Rights Act of 1965 makes it federally illegal for an employer to discriminate against anyone for these characteristics. An employer cannot hire, fire, discipline, demote, harass, or refuse to hire someone based on race, religion, color, or national origin.
  • An employee also has rights when it comes to disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act protects employees with those issues. Employers cannot discriminate against someone with a disability, which includes hiring, not hiring, firing, demoting, or reassigning someone. Reasonable accommodations are expected to be given by the employer, such as more breaks if the person is diabetic and needs medication or needs food. If the person is in a wheelchair, proper parking spaces and accommodations must be made free of charge to that employee.
  • It’s also illegal for an employer to discriminate based on age due to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. An employer cannot fire or refuse to hire someone due to them being over the age of 40. It’s illegal for any company to fire older employees just to bring in younger ones at much lower pay.

California Wage & Hour Employee Rights

It’s important to note that in California, the wage and hour laws are only applicable to those that are non-exempt. Meaning, if you’re not a full-time employee or you’re an independent contractor, the overtime and meal break laws will not apply. Exempt employees often include those in administrative, professional, and executive roles.

  • Employers are required to pay an employee the minimum wage which changes quite often. By the year 2022, California will make it required that companies provide a $15 an hour minimum wage.
  • You also have the right to receive overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours in one week or more than 8 hours in one day. An employer cannot try to get around these rules by demanding an employee work off the clock. If there are more than 12 hours of work in a day, then the employer has to pay double time.
  • Meal breaks must be given if an employee works for more than five hours in one day and the meal break must be 30 minutes or more. If an employee works over 10 hours in one day, then they will also get an additional meal break of 30 minutes. Rest periods are a right for all employees as well. It’s a right that those within the non-exempt category get at least one 10-minute break every four hours.

Termination & At-Will Laws

California law is that most employees work in an “at-will” category, meaning that an employee can fire you at any time for any reason. The employer doesn’t have to justify the firing but it cannot be termination based on retaliation or discrimination. An example of this would be if someone was fired after they filed a sexual harassment complaint against a co-worker. Being fired for filing that complaint would be illegal. If there was discrimination or retaliation at play in the firing, a wrongful termination lawsuit would be justified. For overtime and unpaid wages, consult with an unpaid and overtime lawyer.

Amazon Under Fire

By Eamonn Burke

The online shopping megacorp Amazon is under heavy criticism following an insensitive stunt on Juneteenth, the day that slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom.

Rather than honor this day with a paid day off, Amazon offered chicken and waffles to their employees in a Chicago warehouse yesterday. The senseless gesture was accompanied by a statement:

“We stand in solidarity honoring the black community by supporting local black businesses. We are happy to share an authentic meal crafted by Chicago’s Chicken + Waffles.”

The warehouse employees, a largely African American demographic, condemned the “celebration” as racist, and felt that it reinforced the very message that Amazon was seemingly denouncing. A spokesperson for Amazon claims that the intention was to support a local black-owned business.

“So much for supporting your Black/African American employees. Where’s the Solidarity in that?” said an employee. “We demand a paid holiday, not some damn chicken.”

This is part of a continuing criticism of Amazon for poorly treating warehouse workers and subduing their attempts to unionize. These motives were revealed in a shocking video intended for Whole Foods managers that leaked. In addition, a November petition that demanded better working conditions was signed by over 600 employees. The complaints constricted breaks, lack of transport assistance, and high risk of injury.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Why you need visibility into invoices

(and how AI can help you get it)

We’ve covered how having visibility into employee expense reports helps organizations catch errors, waste, and fraud, and streamline process so that employees get reimbursed faster. But there’s another area of business spend where visibility might be even more critical: invoices. 

Enterprise AP departments pay thousands of invoices every month. Overworked AP teams may be hard pressed to scrutinize every invoice manually for adherence to contract terms, pricing anomalies, gradual increases in invoice amounts, or patterns that could indicate fraud, such as repeated invoices that fall just below the PO limit. Even worse, criminals can exploit an AP department’s lack of bandwidth by sending invoices for products that were never delivered or services that were never rendered, sometimes from companies that don’t even exist. 

Of course, the vast majority of vendors are trustworthy and want to earn and retain their customers’ trust, but with humans in the payment processing equation, honest mistakes are bound to happen. 

The risk hiding in vendor invoices

We recently reviewed the aggregated, anonymized data from billions of audit transactions across hundreds of customer accounts in a variety of industries, and summarized the results in our quarterly report, The State of AI in Business Spend. We found that, for the average enterprise, invoices comprise 96% of their business spend. (In comparison, employee expenses for travel and entertainment (T&E) make up only 3.7% of spend). The average company processes 60,354 invoices every month, but only audits or reviews at most 10% of them, usually after payment. In other words, most companies only find mistakes after the money is out the door, when clawing it back is expensive and time consuming.

Our report also revealed that 4% of invoices could be considered high risk. These invoices generally fell into three main categories:

•Prices, discounts or terms didn’t match the contract. Procurement teams may work hard to negotiate great terms with vendors, but if AP doesn’t ensure that invoices reflect those terms, that effort is wasted.

•Vendors billed inflated prices compared to the market. Most AP teams don’t have time to see whether better rates are available elsewhere.

•Duplicates. We uncovered double billing that may or may not have been accidental, as well as amounts duplicated on expense reports. 

Why visibility into high-risk invoices is critical

We probably don’t have to work that hard to convince you that incorrect invoices hurt your bottom line. But you might be surprised at how small mistakes, intentional or not, can add up. 

For example, we’ve found that many invoices don’t align with the signed contract, and the most frequent error is net payment terms: A contract may list payment terms as Net 60, but the invoices list Net 15 or Net 30. This difference can have a huge impact on your cash flow…and even profit.

Duplicate charges or payments happen with surprising frequency. Often, after an invoice is held up, an employee may intervene and approve manual payment of the invoice, but when the system clears the hold, the invoice is paid again. Even if the vendor notifies you about the duplicate payment, the time and energy everyone will spend trying to fix the mistake could be better spent elsewhere. 

But it’s the big mistakes, like fraud and non-compliance, that can cost your organization not only money but something that’s hard to replace: its reputation. Invoice fraud is real, and even large companies fall victim to it: A Lithuanian man recently bilked Facebook and Google out of more than $100 million by impersonating a vendor with which the tech titans do business.

What’s more, our report found that for every 10,000 invoices, at least one contains a regulatory violation. For example, a regional sales director might funnel payments to a distributor for fake “logistics services” that are actually a bribe to a government official who influences reimbursement policy for your company’s product. In a real-life story that illustrates the potential consequences, a large multinational retailer will have to pay the U.S. government $282 million for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), in part because it failed to institute sufficient internal accounting controls related to third-party payments.

How AI can help

Given the value at risk, many enterprises are embracing AI as a way to get visibility into invoices—before they pay vendors—for errors, fraud, and out-of-compliance spend. Companies that use AI achieve 100% visibility into their invoices; companies that don’t use AI get at most 10% visibility.

AI extracts and analyzes key pieces of information on every invoice to catch duplicate charges, enforce payment terms, identify missing discounts, eliminate overcharges, catch suspicious activity, and flag compliance issues. This frees your AP team to focus on tasks that will add more value to your financial processes—and helps improve your bottom line by stopping unnecessary outflows. 

To understand the magnitude of the issue and see what 100% visibility into business spend means to you, download our latest research report, The State of AI in Business Spend. The findings focus on spend visibility, value at risk in invoices, insights on streamlining the spend audit process, recommendations for finance teams, and more.

Claire Chen is a Business Operations Analyst at AppZen, where she’s passionate about providing simple solutions for complicated data.

tech, computers, illustration, 360 MAGAZINE

How to Track Other’s Via WhatsApp Messages By Installing Spy Software?         

Tracking and spying on someone is creepy but it can be legally done. There is software available online which offers tracking as well as access to the messages on both Facebook or WhatsApp. Upon installation, one can track a device’s location, messages, calls and internet activities.

Spy through online spy software

If you notice your partner spending much more time than usual with their phone on texting and internet surfing; then find out the reason behind it. Various applications on android devices can help one locate someone’s password or track down messages.

Are you looking for tracking software? Check out spy my girlfriend and read text messages with SMS spy applications helps to catch your partner red-handed with the proof of cheating on you.  

Are you looking to get into your partner’s phone? With certain spying software, it is quite easy. If your partner is using an android or another smart device, in the majority of cases, your spy software will provide access to reach and read messages.

How to track SMS through spying software?

First, download/install the software onto the relevant device to gain access to their inbox and call logs. The software will run in the background unnoticed and it can be operated from a smartphone or computer.

It will provide the details on upcoming SMS, call history and their messenger inbox without any password requirement. You can customize the preferred features as per your requirement. In addition, the software will allow you to create a backup. So, if the other party deletes the SMS or calls log you still have proof.

In a relationship, trust is the foundation. Once damaged, it’s extremely difficult to rebuild. So, investing in a disloyal relationship is a waste of time. The earlier you find out, the faster it is to move on.

How does spy software help?

More than just a tool to combat infidelity, both parents/employers can track their kids/employees. A great way to keep an eye out on your children’s location at all times and monitor loss prevention.

Starbucks Anti-bias Training

Today, May 29th, Starbucks will be closing around 8,000 stores to train their employees on anti-bias after an incident in Philadelphia. The training will last for around two to three hours causing a loss in profit up to around $12 million dollars. For more information visit USA Today at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/05/29/starbucks-closure-racial-bias-training-tuesday/650316002/