Turning the Pandemic Into an Opportunity for Remote Work

Turning the Pandemic Into an Opportunity for Remote Work

The World Economic Forum is holding the Jobs Reset Summit for four days this week (20—23 October 2020). Each day will have a different theme: day 1 will tackle economic, growth, revival and transformation; day 2 will be about work, wages and job creation; day 3 will focus on education, skills and lifelong learning; day 4 will discuss equity, inclusion and social justice.

In time for the summit, Saadia Zahidi, the World Economic Forum’s Managing Director and Head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society, said that this event is an effort to leverage the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis. She believes that we can turn the pandemic into an opportunity for more work.

Effect of the pandemic

The pandemic has disrupted everything this year including global economies, world markets, and jobs. It is believed that the need for digital transformation and tech adoption will continue to increase. As the industries adapt and evolve, we would see that the changes are not only on the working setup from office to remote, but also with the nature of the tasks.

A lot of employees around the world have been displaced due to the combined effects of the health crisis, its repercussions on the economy, and the continuing rise of technology. Because of this, available job opportunities are not that many compared to the pre-pandemic times.

The future of work

The challenge now is how we can turn this disruption around and make it into something positive for workers. Though job opportunities will come from business decisions, it is still up to the employees if they want to prepare themselves for the future of work.

According to Zahidi, there is a need for reskilling and upskilling especially during this time of lockdowns and displacements. Reskilling involves training on an entirely new set of skills for a different role. Upskilling, on the other hand, means improving on the existing skills and deepening knowledge or abilities within the area of expertise for a similar role.

A study of the World Economic Forum suggests that by 2025, humans and tech will share tasks. In preparation for this, most companies and businesses believe that their current employees need reskilling and upskilling. But no matter the need for upgrading skills, the top priority right now is to understand the changes in the working environment. As mentioned earlier, the nature of the task itself will change. Currently, there are already obvious changes in how we do things or what we call as the new normal.

Final thoughts

The biggest upskilling or reskilling that employees need first is for remote work. This is especially necessary for those who are used to office-based jobs. The sudden mandatory work-from-home setup at the start of the year due to the lockdowns are not enough to introduce employees to this new working environment. They still need the proper training, reskilling for the use of remote work tools, and upskilling for their current tasks to match the needs of the new normal.

Watch the sessions we selected for you on the Future of Work from the World Economic Forum’s Jobs Reset Summit 2020.

4 Steps to Prepare for a Digitally-Ready Remote Team

4 Steps to Prepare for a Digitally-Ready Remote Team

We are now in the third quarter of 2020. So far, it has been a rollercoaster ride for companies and businesses worldwide who were forced to abruptly adapt a work-from-home setup to follow quarantine protocols. While some have already been freelancing and working remotely, there are those who still have no idea how to transition to this new normal. Their digital transformation may have been affected by the pandemic as well.

Here are the steps on how you can prepare or make sure that you have a digitally-ready remote team that can continue with business as usual despite the current crisis.

1. Rethink the workforce

At a time like this, think about the most crucial roles you need. You might only be needing freelancers, project-based employees, or consultants. The pandemic has taught companies and businesses about the importance of a blended workforce for a remote team where they strategically have a mix of full-time workers for long-term tasks, and freelancers or project-based employees for other tasks. This formation of a team increases the operational flexibility and agility while keeping up with the digital needs of today’s world.

2. Redesign work styles

As what we saw in the past 6 months, a drastic change happened to the office environment brought about by the pandemic. Work styles shifted from in-person to purely virtual. The challenge has been to maintain effective communication with the team even through video conferencing platforms. Superiors and managers will have to change how they lead in terms of having flexible and autonomous subordinates. Note how freelancers have built the foundation of trust just by means of online communication. The key to this fruitful virtual collaboration is having clear goals and objectives. Teach your remote team about the importance of being proactive and transparent while making use of online tools for work.

The changes in the working environment and work style also affected how we see the importance of skills. Right now, soft skills are what you should be aiming for and improving. Since you are preparing to work remotely, skills in communication and collaboration will come in handy. The versatility of being able to transition smoothly from office work to remote work is something that we should adapt to. Let go of what you have been used to in the office. Adjust to the needs of a virtual and remote collaboration with the team.

3. Develop agility

Of course, you cannot adjust and adapt if you are not agile. If you want to be digitally-ready, your team should be able to handle abrupt changes. In these times of uncertainty, we’ll never know what’s coming for us. Agility, flexibility, and the willingness to learn should already be embedded in our core. There are a lot of challenges and risks when it comes to creating a remote team. Instead of being afraid of changes, why not embrace them, stay curious, and have the initiative to explore on your own.

One way to know if a person is agile if he or she is comfortable with change and ready to adapt. Your team should learn how to handle the uncertainties of remote working and just keep on improving their skills even without the physical presence of colleagues. Embracing the new normal is already displaying agility in itself.

4. Continue learning

What is noticeable with freelancers is that they keep on developing their skills and widening their knowledge. In this way, they could provide all-around services for their teams. For remote workers aiming to be digitally-ready, technical skills are also something that you can explore. You can provide yourself or your team with access to online courses, mentoring, coaching, and interactive learning. To prepare for a digitally-ready team, you can learn more about online collaboration and productivity tools that you can use when you work remotely. As they say, learning never stops. The best way is to learn from each other as you all go through the journey of embracing the new normal and the future of work.

Final Thoughts

In order to prepare for a digitally-ready team, it is important to assess each member. Knowing their skills, whether technical or soft skills, can help a lot in determining what else you need to focus on and improve. Building a digitally-ready remote team is not a one man’s job. It is a collaborative effort into creating a team that is individually ready.

The new normal sets new standards for working. If one is not agile enough or flexible enough to adjust and adapt, the company or business will not be able to keep up with the rest of the world. Even though going digital means doing things virtually and online, the human touch through communication and our emotional intelligence will never be more superior than any technology.

On A Roll: Presenting The New Digiters

On A Roll: Presenting The New Digiters

After weeks of deliberation and preparation, the new Digiters have finally arrived. Despite the current global situation, we have proven to be unstoppable. We only compete with ourselves and improvement is our way to go. The Digiters are on a roll! 

We’re constantly evolving

The Digiters came to life around four years ago. Since then, the business model has continued to evolve to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the digital industry. This year, as an effect of the coronavirus pandemic, we are matching our services to the new normal. We are ready to face the post-COVID-19 world.

What’s new

In this latest version of the Digiters, it’s not only the website that has been revamped. The business model changed, and so did our mission, vision, and values. We are sharing our renewed purpose and that is to go digital but still be human.

People might wonder how we are going to make digital more human. The answer is simple. We do things digitally but ensure that our efforts are transformed into something that we can give back to others, specifically to less fortunate children.

You can visit our Giveback page to know more.

Driving change by working together

The Digiters are your extended team of creative and digital masters, always reliable and ready to take on your projects to help achieve your goals. We aim to provide high quality, yet affordable services delivered on time. Through our collaboration, we will be able to help save the lives of one million children which will be taken from a percentage of our profits. 

What you can expect

In the coming months, the world will definitely undergo a transformation. Lifestyles will change, work scenarios will be modified, the economy will gradually open, and people will live differently. As business industries redefine their old ways, the Digiters will be on standby for what is to come.

We are ready to provide services in web and mobile, graphics and design, digital marketing, and IT and customer service. By hiring a Digiter, you are not only keeping up with the changes in the digital era, but you also become involved in our humanitarian efforts by helping less fortunate children. Our social responsibility remains superior to what it means to become digital. It’s all about being human.

Preparing to Work Remotely: Lessons from the Digiters

Preparing to Work Remotely: Lessons from the Digiters

Having face-to-face collaboration and office setup will always be better for businesses and companies in terms of productivity. It has been the status quo for employers and employees working together. Clocking in and out, sitting on a desk from 9 to 5 with immediate superiors doing rounds from time to time, recognition and promotion for a job well done, pulling teams to a meeting… These are just some of the things office workers have been used to since time immemorial.

Although most studies suggest that 2020 will be the year of gradually embracing remote work, the whole world did not anticipate that there would be a need for everyone to work remotely from the comfort of their own homes as early as the first quarter of the year.

With the World Health Organization’s recent declaration of the coronavirus as a global pandemic, we all wonder how a company can adapt to a remote setup, especially knowing its importance to ensure continuous productivity and business operations. It’s not just the need to adapt but the need to succeed that is crucial. Sure, people will eventually get used to working outside of the office. But how will success be measured and achieved?

Transitioning from an office environment to remote working doesn’t happen overnight. There is a need to restructure processes and to change the culture itself. But with the current crisis in global health and the urgency of working from home, companies and businesses need to act quickly for their employees to adjust.

For us, the Digiters, performance and output have been our key focus regardless of the physical or virtual presence. We are a team of digital masters from around the world who bring value to organisations by offering our tech, creative and marketing expertise. So how do we reach our expected result and achieve success even if we are countries and time zones apart?

The top secret is proper communication. Effective and ongoing communication is crucial to our work and is an integral part of our business. Other secrets include maximising the use of technology as work tools, sharing the same level of passion in our own fields and merging our individual uniqueness into one culture. Knowing that we can rely on each other all the time is already an accomplishment. There is no such thing as barriers or borders. We are digital masters but we make sure we don’t lose our human touch. As we always say, #GoDigitalBeHuman.

Being a growing group of purely remote workers makes it easy for us to continue with our operations even in the midst of a pandemic. All we have to do now is to make sure we stay healthy in the comfort of our own workstations.

We have been operating with this setup for three years now. Yes, things were not easy at the beginning but we are growing and learning from trial and error. Our objective is to create an environment where we can all bring out our natural best wherever we are. So part of our mission is to help introduce this possibility, where a business or company can operate successfully even if the team members are not physically together in one room.

To help you prepare to start working remotely, here are some of our key learnings while running a digital-first, global team:

Trust each other

All team members should learn the importance of trust. If they are used to seeing each other and watching how they complete their tasks in real time, it’s time to put trust and have faith that everything will fall into place and succeed. This will only be possible through proper planning, project management and constant communication.

Discipline yourself

You can gain trust from your remote team by having self-discipline. Even if you are not working in an office, practicing proper etiquette such as reporting to work on time or submitting deliverables before the deadline goes a long way. When you are highly disciplined, you are capable of making logical decisions and finishing tasks right away. There is no room for procrastination.

Set goals and expectations

Working remotely where no one can see you does not mean you are free to do nothing. It also doesn’t mean you can escape your job. It is important to have goals and daily tasks so that everyone is clear on what output to produce. Always remember that you still need to accomplish something even when you are not in the office.

Embrace flexibility

One of the perks of working remotely is having the flexibility in terms of time. This can also be applied in the choice of what productivity tools to use. Make sure you all collaborate only on the platforms you need such as video conferencing, virtual office, messaging apps, cloud-based file repository and task management tools.

Be passionate

Of course, working remotely will not work well if there is no passion. You have to love what you’re doing or else, you might have the tendency to disregard productivity altogether and eventually achieve nothing at the end of the day. Without passion, there is no focus. An employee who is used to an office environment might suffer from lack of enthusiasm when working remotely and end up being a couch potato at home.

Learned a thing or two? With all things considered, how prepared are you to work remotely? Share your experiences with us!

Goodbye and Thank You, Kobe: The Ultimate Lesson I Learned From The Legend

Goodbye and Thank You, Kobe: The Ultimate Lesson I Learned From The Legend

“The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win.” — Kobe Bryant

It is with great sadness that I learned about the untimely passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in an helicopter crash. My deepest condolences go out to the family and fans they left behind. I also express my heartfelt sympathy to the families of the other passengers.

Kobe will truly be missed. Kobe Bryant was an inspiration for an entire generation of fans, not only because of his amazing accomplishments and stats such as being an 18-time All-Star, his 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, or the basketball player to win an Oscar, but mostly because of his competitiveness and his willingness to give all he had during his games.

For me, he is more than just a basketball star. He is a role model. His attitude showcased in his Mamba Mentality is something I looked up to.

Kobe showed that when you find your passion, you will never have to work again. When asked his experience in his rookie year in the NBA, Kobe said he was surprised at the low level of commitment of a few of the experienced players then. Because of this, he tried putting in many hours each day practicing his craft and training at the gym. He discovered hard work. At a young age, Kobe had already found his passion in basketball and all he did for the love of the sport was pure enjoyment to him, rather than feeling like work.

Kobe’s work ethic over the last 20 years as a professional basketball player has been nothing but phenomenal. He would always be one of the earliest at work in the facility, always working on improving some aspect of his game, always on “attack mode”. It’s his “mamba mentality” that drove him to go the extra mile in order to be the best. Even during his off-season workout, he would spend 2 hours running, 2 hours on basketball, and 2 hours weightlifting.

Kobe always had a whole-hearted commitment to improve and be better. Throughout the years, he had shown a transition of style of play, approach and intensity. This comes from adaptability and his relentless search for perfection in his game. Even his colleagues noticed this. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade recounted a hilarious story to ESPN’s Michael Wallace about the 2008 Olympics. They said Kobe was up at the crack of dawn working out while everyone was sleeping.

When Kobe Bryant retired his two numbers, 8 and 24, he addressed his daughters in his emotional speech.

“You guys know that if you do the work, you work hard enough, dreams come true. You know that, we all know that. But hopefully what you get from tonight is that those times when you get up early and you work hard; those times when you stay up late and you work hard; those times when you feel like working — you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself — but you do it anyway. This is actually the dream. That’s the dream. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. And if you guys can understand that, then I am doing my job as a father.”

So what’s the ultimate lesson? Work hard, be willing to go the extra mile and enjoy the journey.

Why is this lesson so important? It does not only apply to Kobe and his basketball career. This is for all of us, whatever we are doing in life. They say hard work pays off. It’s true, but it’s not just working hard, it’s also thinking about what lies ahead. There is always a positive end goal, the main reason why we work hard in the first place. It depends on our view of success and how we understand its true value. Because it is with hard work that we learn to trust and respect the process. We begin to develop good qualities such as patience and discipline.

It’s called hard work because it is never easy. It entails a series of trials and errors, failures and sacrifices, sweat and tears, fears and insecurities. As we go on we build our confidence, self-esteem, determination and hopefulness. With perseverance, we could get the best results as we aim towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

As life goes on, let’s not forget the inspiration and the legacy that Kobe Bryant gave to an entire generation: believe in yourself, work hard, and never let negative chatter slow you down but rather use it as motivation to move forward and improve your craft.

What else has he taught you about life, career, and everything in between? What does his legacy mean to you? How did he influence or inspire you?

Goodbye and thank you, Kobe. You’ll forever be missed!

5 Steps in Building Your Personal Brand and Why it Matters

5 Steps in Building Your Personal Brand and Why it Matters

You might be asking yourself, why in the world would you make your own personal brand. At this point in time, when we are living in the digital era, building your personal brand has never been more important. Everyone wants to be known for something. That is what you will showcase by having your own branding. Your personal brand is who you are, what you stand for, the values that matter to you and how you express those values. It mainly revolves on how you want to present yourself to the rest of the world.

Is personal branding important?

Yes, having a personal brand is important for the sake of achieving professional success, whether you are an ordinary individual, an entrepreneur or a freelancer. Gone are the days where only big corporations and large-scale businesses can have a brand. Everyone can have their own personal brand. People will connect to their fellow people and trust them entirely, especially now that you can reach out to anyone in any part of the planet through the use of digital technology.

Creating your own personal brand is not as easy as 1, 2, 3, where you just think of a name, a logo or a slogan. It takes a lot of work so you have to be prepared to immerse yourself in this world of personal branding. Are you ready? Here are some of the steps that you can start with.

1. Discover your life-long passion and what you want to do for a living

Dig deep and find out who you really are. What are your skills and credentials? What are your passions and interests? What are your core values and beliefs? Conduct an interview with yourself. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? What would you consider your calling? What could be your own unique selling proposition or USP? What will make you stand out? Start by listing down all the things that you love to do and determine the ultimate one that you want to earn from. You have to stay committed and be consistent with this decision. Aim to be the best in your chosen field.

2. Find your platform

After discovering what you want to do, find a platform that will best cater to your needs. Let your voice be heard and your presence felt. Would you rather produce video content for YouTube or IGTV? Do you want to infiltrate the trending topics on Twitter? Do you want to build a social page on Facebook instead? Or better yet, do you want to keep things more professional on LinkedIn? Use the platform that suits your interest where you are sure to create content for. Of course, you are free to use them all as you go along but you have to secure consistent usernames, URLs, and profile. In this way, you can establish the same look and be recognizable online.

3. Network and collaborate

As you start to build your own personal brand, it is important to grow your professional circle. Connect with like-minded people and industry thought leaders. Get to know those who are already experts in your field. You can probably find a mentor or collaborators that you can work with. Make sure they see the worth in connecting with you. Build meaningful relationships with those who can help you and those you can help. The more connections you make, the more your personal brand will be recognized. In the long run, this is also a chance for you to reach out to potential clients and increase your following.

4. Create your website and mailing list

As soon as you have built your social media following and have introduced yourself to your network as a notable expert in your field, it is time to lead them to a website. There are a lot of beginner-friendly DIY websites where you can start with, or you can choose to invest on your own domain already. The difference with social profiles is that by having a website, you can give it your all. Attract people on social media but lead them to your website where everything is there. To provide added value to their time and effort, personalized content and special offers by making use of a mailing list. This is also a way to generate leads through email.

5. Launch your own products and services

There will come a time when you need to finally launch your own products or services. Aside from the monetary reward, it is your credibility and expertise that you are working on increasing here. You have put yourself out there in the digital world, and now you have to level up by embracing your full potential. You can share your knowledge and help others. This will not only make a mark in the industry, you also become an authority in your chosen field. In turn, this leads to another cycle of constantly increasing your social media following, network, and website traffic.

Key takeaway

There are a lot of other ways you can build your own personal brand. You just have to know where to start and why it matters to you in the first place. At the end of the day, it will be good for you, for your entrepreneurial spirit, and for your long-term career. Begin with these steps and experience the effects not just in terms of branding, but also of how well you know yourself and how you present the real “you” to others.

Have you created your own personal brand? How was your experience? Did you follow the same steps as above or did you have a different guide? If you haven’t built your own personal brand, these simple guidelines will surely make you want to start creating.

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