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How to Change Your Picture on Zoom

If there is a winner throughout the COVID pandemic, video conferencing tool Zoom must be a worthy contender. This company has boomed over the last few months and has seen a massive surge in profits compared to only a year ago. There is a lot you can do to personalise your Zoom experience, right from changing the video conference icons, to changing the backdrop of your picture.

Steps to Change Your Zoom Photo

You can change or add a profile picture on Zoom very easily. First launch the Zoom application and then click on your icon that has your initials under the heading Change My Picture.

Once the Zoom web portal is launched in your browser you can log in and view your profile. The existing video conferencing icons are just grey shaded outlines so click on change under your icon. You can then upload your desired picture as a replacement.  Adjust the position if necessary and then click save.

Now when you initiate a Zoom meeting or when you are invited to attend a Zoom meeting, your profile picture will automatically stand out among the other video conferencing icons.

Change Your Zoom Background

You can also change your backdrop by creating a virtual background picture. This is great if you want to maintain privacy but may not be suitable for all occasions.

First sign into your Zoom account and then click on Settings. There is an option that gives you a wide choice of virtual backgrounds or you can also choose your own from your own images.

Using your own image is not quite as easy as you may have to resize it so using the Zoom stock images is undoubtedly the easiest option and there are some great choices too. If you fancy calling from the edge of space, the desert or from a well-known landmark, such as the Taj Mahal, you can do it very easily.

Click on Add Image and save. Now you will be video conferencing from apparently anywhere in the world. This option is extremely quick and easy to do and can be cancelled by simply clicking on NONE in the virtual background settings.

For most people Zoom is providing a means of keeping in touch with friends and family. However this video conferencing tool was designed primarily for business use and it is hard to remember that only a few months ago most of us had never heard of it.

Once the COVID crisis has passed, it seems likely that Zoom will continue to shine so updating your profile and video conferencing icons is a good idea for the future.

It seems likely that a lot of businesses will be using Zoom more than ever so you could find that interviews and other important events will be carried out on Zoom in the future. This means it is important to consider your profile picture as a smart career move, although maybe you should leave the outer space backdrop for your friends.

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Networking Ideas for Small Groups during the COVID-19 Quarantine

According to so-called networking experts, there are three “Ps” that are important in any sort of networking, and these are people, people, and more people.  Although this type of categorization is just plain annoying, there is of course truth in it.  So when it comes to thinking up networking ideas for small groups it is important to remember that behind every event, it is the people that matter more than the content of the meeting. Whatever activity you choose is likely ok as long as everyone is engaged with it.

What is Networking?

Networking is all about making and maintaining relationships, and in this time of social isolation it is important to have social interaction whether in a work based scenario or amongst friends.  We have all been forced into Zoom calls and lengthy video chats, and it can be difficult to cope with if everyone just sits there and stares at the screen.  Yet something too complicated does not always suit the online format.

If you are working from home and running an online work meeting or seminar, you should always start with an icebreaker. Ask each participant their name and how they are feeling before moving onto the work part of the meeting and that way everyone will feel engaged. This sounds good sense and good manners because it is only polite to introduce people and to put them at their ease.

According to so-called experts in this, you can try asking more off the wall interesting questions too such as  “What is the one thing you are secretly pleased that you don’t have to do now that you are socially distancing?” Or apparently even annoying questions such as, “What will I eat today?” or similar.

In all honesty, asking a work colleague what anybody should eat sounds like a special kind of hell, but one small consolation must be that at least with an online work meeting, you don’t actually have to remain in the same room as these peers.

More Tips

Once the meeting is up and running, you can increase the misery by insisting that everyone takes part in group activities. These would be fun amongst friends but not always appropriate for work colleagues.

One example of networking ideas for small groups that we found described as a fun and playful icebreaker for Zoom is called Sketch Your Neighbour. You draw the person in the next Zoom box to you and then show the picture to the group.

Networking ideas for small groups do not have to be work related. Many small friendship groups and families have taken to online quizzing, like a duck to water. Having virtual drinks together – recreating the bar or pub atmosphere from your own home can be fun. And don’t forget the ever popular Zoom Kitchen Disco. It might seem weird to dance about in your kitchen in front of a panel of faces, but when we all look back to 2020 and the COVID crisis, this is exactly the type of activity we will remember.

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Tips for Working Remotely

Working remotely can bring many challenges, especially when you are not used to it.  Many people struggle with maintaining a healthy work life balance when working from home, because the distinctions between the working day and home life can become increasingly blurred.

For the employer it is only good news. It seems we work for far longer and far harder when we work remotely,  so although it is unlikely to negatively impact our job, the downside is that many people report increased stress levels and other mental and physical health problems when working from home. 

Tips for Working Remotely

  • Keep to regular hours. These do not have to be the same as your office hours, but if you set regular hours you will be less tempted to work for longer than usual and be able to switch off once your working day is over.
  • Set up a designated work office to avoid distractions. That way, you can be out of reach of other commitments and unlikely to start domestic chores while you are in work mode. Moving a desk into the spare room or your shed for example is a great way to separate work from home.
  • Take regular breaks. Setting a timer can help you do this and you can use the time to take a work, stretch, meditate or whatever helps your stress levels decompress.
  • Avoid distractions of texts, phone calls or social media messages.  Deal with these once you have finished your work, or you will find that your time is eaten up during the day.

As well as taking these steps to manage your workload from home, you should not neglect your workplace environment. As well as ensuring that you have the correct office furniture or at least a table and chair at the correct height, you can customise your workplace by bringing aromatherapy into your daily life in order to keep you calm and focused.

Try Aromatherapy to Relax in Your Home Office

Aura Cacia is a U.S. company that provides a range of professional grade health supplements and essential oils that are proven to reduce stress and to increase a calming atmosphere. Aura Cacia also produces an aromatherapy USB diffuser which plugs into a computer port and uses a quiet fan to diffuse essential oils. 

Essential oils are a fantastic way of creating a fresh and calming atmosphere that will help you keep your stress levels down and your productivity levels up. Choose energizing light fragrances for the working day such as cedar wood, various mint fragrances, lemongrass, or tea tree oil rather than heavier night time essential oils such as patchouli.

Aura Cacia provides a range of quality essential oils, and there is also a company called Aetos that provide a great selection too. We particularly liked eucalyptus and grapefruit, two essential oils with an energising yet calming effect.

Both these brands are compatible for use in the Aura Cacia diffuser.

Working remotely can be a great experience if you handle it correctly. And you will  find that once you have found the right fragrance for your workspace, it will not only help you remain calm and focus, it will help you to manage your work-life balance if you can smell the difference!

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Using Online Communities for Small Business Networking

No small business survives on its own. In order to succeed, they need support and advice from time to time. Using online communities for small business networking can increase your business’s chance for success and for growth.

Here are some ways online communities can help small business networking efforts.

5 Pros to Small Businesses Networking

Access to Helpful Information

Online business communities offer a wealth of information that can be beneficial to small businesses and small business owners. Many of these communities have a resource center where you can find information on marketing, strategies for growth, building a website, and other relevant information.

In addition, there is usually a means for small business owners and managers to communicate with one another and discuss challenges with their businesses, brainstorm solutions, and offer one another advice and encouragement.

Great Support

Everyone needs support and a large part of small business networking is getting the support you need to take your business to the next level. Online communities can give small businesses the support and advice they need to take their business to the next level.

Online communities often have forums, and online discussions that you can take part in giving you the ability to ask questions of people who have been where you want to be. Having support can help you stay the course and achieve your business goals. In addition, it often helps simply knowing that someone understands what you are going through.

Free Online Tools to Use

Online communities also make great marketing tools. While you should never join an online business community in the hope of finding potential clients or customers, there is always the possibility that someone who belongs to a community could have need of your goods and services. So you should make sure when you join an online community that you make a solid profile and take part in the forums and discussions.

A Chance to Build Working Relationships

Online communities are great networking resources since you have the opportunity to build relationships and add people to your business network. Networking allows you to generate business leads over a period of time.

You will also meet some amazing people and may be able to join with one or two of them for a joint venture or may be able to work out a way to cross recommend your business.

Choosing the Right Online Communities

There are a number of different online communities for small businesses so it is important that you choose the right online communities for your small business networking. Look for communities that have similar or related businesses to your business as part of the community. You also want a community with active members that really participate in the forums and discussions. Unless the members of the online community are active, you will simply be wasting your time joining.

Once you join the online community make sure that you become an active member so that you are giving the same benefits to others that you are receiving.

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Super Networking Strategies For Your Career

Career networking is an art that can be acquired through practice and commitment. Here are some super networking strategies that can help you achieve everything you want in your career.

4 Super Networking Tips

Take the Time to Learn Different Networking Techniques

One of the best super networking strategies for your career is to simply take the time to learn different networking techniques. You can do this by attending different networking events (as many as possible). By attending such events, you will be able observe how various people network. You can learn a lot by watching others network and observing what techniques they use and the ones that tend to be most successful.

In addition, by attending these events you will meet a number of interesting people, some who may become part of the network either now or in the future.

Work on Becoming a Naturally Nice Person and Treat with Everyone with Respect

No matter what your career path, you are going to meet a lot of people, many of which you may not feel can be helpful to your career. However, you never know what the future holds, so it is best to treat everyone you meet with genuine respect and niceness because you never know who can help you in your career down the road.

When you treat people with the same respect you would want, you create a positive lasting impression in the people you may work with even for a short period of time. You need to build your professional credibility person by person.

Become a Giver

Many people build their network based on who they think can help them to get ahead. However, this super networking strategy is to view networking like any other relationship, understanding that it is truly a give and take relationship. You want to become a giver among your network, giving of your time, your advice, referrals, and recommendations. After all, you are bound to hear about jobs that are not right for your career path, but can help others in your network. Telling those people about possible jobs and even giving them a referral – on LinkedIn, for example – is one of the best ways to build a strong network whose members are open to helping one another.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Another super networking strategy is to keep the lines of communication open with every member of your network. Make time to meet members of your network face to face periodically, and in between those meetings keep touch by touch by phone or email.

During communication with members of your network, don’t focus solely on business, but let those in your network see that you care about them as people. Ask about their families, special events in their life, and share snippets of yours. Listen more than you talk and be ready to offer help when needed.

By practicing these super networking strategies, you will find that you are building a stronger network that will help you to meet your short-term and long-term goals.

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Expert Innovation Roundtables Will Inspire Business Leaders

Expert innovation roundtables were started to help ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in innovation. In order to accomplish that goal, these roundtables bring together experts in a wide variety of business industries in order to seek new ways to encourage established corporations to open up to the idea of innovation as a part of their usual policies.

Why Talk About Innovation?

One idea that has sprung up from these roundtable discussions is the idea that established corporations join forces with new innovative and agile startups in order to bring fresh product and business ideas.

The main focus of these discussions have focused on the idea that corporate innovation labs need to provide the right type of incentives for start ups to want to join forces with your corporation. This means offering these start ups support for their innovative ideas, their processes, and in some cases even financial support.

While corporations need to provide support to startup companies, they also need to allow the startup to have enough autonomy to be innovative. Applying the same rules to their innovation labs and startup companies as they do to their day-to-day corporate business is simply not going to work. 

These innovative roundtables have brought forth the idea that corporations need to quit viewing innovation as disruptive to their business and begin to accept the idea that in order to achieve big innovation ideas, corporations need to invest time and allow for experimentation and failure in order to reach the peak of innovative successes.

The Future of Innovation

The upcoming areas of innovation that corporations need to focus on are in the fields of artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and health care. These are the fields where real innovation is needed and where innovative startup companies are focusing their energies. These are the fields that will contribute to the biggest technology changes in the future.

In order to make innovation a priority, these roundtable discussions need to continue in order to encourage corporations to relax some of their rules in certain situations in order to fully be able to create an atmosphere where innovative ideas are valued and innovation can flourish. The need to continue to push the envelope and embrace those startup companies that have young out-of-the-box thinkers who are willing to take the risks that are necessary to develop the latest innovation that will keep the U.S. leading the way not only in business, but in the fields of technology, medicine, and beyond.

It is only through being able to embrace new ideas and those people who have those ideas that this country can continue to be a leading influence in the development of new technologies that will help people live better and more successful lives. Continuing innovation roundtables will help provide great ideas to businesses on how to attract the very best of the more innovative start up companies to move these corporations and the world forward.

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Is Google Fiber Still a Thing?

Google Fiber was first launched in 2010 and at its inception promised to drastically speed up internet access across the United States. At one time, Google Fiber seemed to be the greatest broadband provider to hit the internet. So what happened?

Limited Availability

In 2017 and 2018, Google Fiber ran into difficulties and realized that bringing their broadband to every home and business was simply not possible.

However, in the locations where Google Fiber is present, it continually outperforms other broadband providers speeding up Internet access for their customers beyond what other providers can provide. While Google Fiber is still around and going strong in some locations, it failed to deliver on its early promise to bring high speed internet access to every home and business, and today it only provides services to select areas.

So not everyone can get access to Google Fiber. However, in the areas that Google Fiber does serve it provides fast excellent internet services for a fair and reasonable price.

Fiber that DOES Work

Although Google Fiber may not have lived up to its initial promise, Fiber Plex certainly does.

Of course, unlike Google Fiber Fiber Plex is not a broadband provider, but is actually a fiber supplement from Douglas Laboratories.

Fiber Plex is a natural fiber supplement that contains soluble fiber that works as a natural laxative, helping to prevent constipation and supply you with fiber that may be missing in your diet.

Another great working fiber supplement is Integrative Therapeutics Fiber Formula by Integrative Therapeutics. This fiber formula does not contain clay and is designed to cleanse your system of toxins and help to keep you regular.

Although at first glance these fiber supplements and Google Fiber have nothing in common, you can actually make some positive comparisons between Google Fiber and these fiber supplements.

The Link Between the Two

  • Just as Google is considered to be a high quality company, so are Douglas Laboratories and Integrative Therapeutics.
  • These supplements are geared to the needs of their customers, and Google Fiber also puts their customers as their prime consideration.
  • While fiber supplements help your body to perform better, Google Fiber helps improve internet performance.

In today’s world, when so many products and services fail to provide the quality that customers want and deserve, it is good to know that there are companies out there who go out of their way to provide their customers with the kind of quality that they deserve and need. Both Douglas Laboratories and Integrative Therapeutics are such companies, and so is Google Fiber.

While Google Fiber didn’t turn into the giant broadband provider the country was expecting, it does deliver excellent services to the areas it covers. And since no one can predict the future, we may still one day see Google Fiber being an option for every home and business in the country. In the meantime, those areas that do have Google Fiber are glad that speedy internet access is available to meet their needs.

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Apple iPhone Tips: How Do I Remove Apps from Siri Suggestions?

Every iPhone user – even those using iOS 12 – has the opportunity to enjoy helpful services from Siri, a virtual voice assistant that is available on all Apple products. Siri can help you with a lot of things and help you enjoy your iPhone more. The voice-controlled virtual assistant can answer questions, provide suggestions, set reminders, and perform a whole lot of other functions.

Not everyone uses Siri, though, as some people may decide to disable it. But, once you choose to use this virtual assistant, it continuously makes helpful suggestions for you. It analyzes how you use the apps and suggests you remove those that are unnecessary. However, getting continuous suggestions to remove an app you do not want to may begin to bother you. At such point, all you want to do is shut Siri up from suggesting that you remove an app.

If Siri’s suggestion about removing an app is beginning to bother you, you may want to stop or restrict this activity to align with your preferences. Here are a few tricks you can use to disable apps from Siri suggestions.

How to Remove Apps from Siri Suggestions

Customize Your Siri App Suggestions

Go to Settings, scroll to Siri’s Search button, and tap it. Scroll down till you see a list of apps that show up in the Siri Suggestions. These are the apps Siri has access to. Disable an individual app to prevent it from showing up in Siri Search, Look Up, and Keyboard.

When you click an app you want to remove from Siri’s suggestions, it takes you to the next screen where you will see Search & Suggestions. Tap the button opposite it to stop getting suggestions about it from Siri. A disabled app stops coming up in Siri search. For example, if you disable Files app, it will no longer show in a search or anywhere else.

Turn Off Siri App Suggestions

Go to Settings, scroll down to Siri’s Search button, and tap it. There are three options under Siri suggestions, and you need to turn them all off. The options are Suggestions in Search, Suggestions in Look Up, and Suggestions on Lock Screen. These options may be two (Search and Look Up) on other devices depending on other settings. Tap on the green buttons opposite the options to turn them off. This will disable Siri from suggesting apps for removal.

Disable Siri Suggestions Widget

You can as well decide to disable the Siri Suggestions widget on your phone to be free from app removal suggestions. From the Home Screen, swipe to the right to access your Today View screen. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Edit. You will see a list of your widgets appear.

Then locate the Siri widget and tap the red minus button beside it, after which a Remove button shows on the right. Tap this button to remove Siri Suggestions widget. Tap Done at the top right corner to save the changes. Do not forget to tap the Done button, as your changes won’t reflect if you don’t.

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How to Find Work from Home Call Representative Jobs

Call centre representative jobs are flexible jobs you can do anywhere. You do not have to be restricted to an office space to do your job effectively. Companies are now beginning to recognize the benefits of home call representatives and are looking to employ more people to do the job. It shouldn’t be difficult to land a home call representative job, as both employee and business owners enjoy the benefits alike.

The emergence of more e-commerce stores calls for the need for all-round-the-clock representation, by phone and via online chat, which has opened more opportunities for call representative and live chat e-commerce jobs, as customers now want to get their questions answered quickly and their opinions attended to without leaving their homes.

These remote workers perform equal tasks as those in an office setting. They take orders and sell for online retail businesses, handle e-commerce live chat conversations, provide technical support, and make reservations and all necessary services in their job description.

If you are looking to be a work from home call representative, here are some helpful tips to help you land a job.

How to Get Work from Home Call Representative Jobs

Start by Writing a Great Cover Letter

Work from home call representative or e-commerce live chat jobs do not require specific prior education or experience, but you are required to have basic interpersonal skills. Write a cover letter selling your best skills, including calmness, patience, great communication skills, emotional intelligence, speech proficiency, and multitasking. A cover letter with these skills can capture the attention of this type of employer.

You Must Have a Friendly Tone and Personality

You will be talking and chatting with people, so you need to develop a friendly tone and personality. E-commerce businesses only want to hire personable representatives that can give hope to a frustrated customer by being friendly and light-hearted while maintaining the brand’s personality and upselling their products.

Be Available

Availability is an important requirement for anyone who wants to land a work from home call representative or e-commerce live chat job. Call centers are open 24/7, so tell your potential employer the schedule you can manage.

To enhance your chance of getting picked by an employer, you must be responsive. Don’t leave your messages for long hours unattended. It only shows the character you will put on while on your job.

Search for Opportunities

Almost any online business or e-commerce store has a call center, so you should invest time in searching for opportunities in companies that make use of call centers. Call centers are common to retail businesses and e-commerce stores where you are required to take orders, manage deliveries and returns, make reservations, and more. Check for a job listing on the company’s website or use a job board website like Monster or Indeed.

Research and Get First-hand Information About the Company

Call center representative jobs and e-commerce live chat jobs require smart individuals. Act smart by learning about the company before getting face to face or holding a phone conversation with them. Learn about the products they sell and the services they offer to show how much you are interested in working with them. They want someone knowledgeable, so be prepared to show them that much.

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Best Innovation Investment Opportunities

Twenty-first-century investors have the best innovation investment opportunities, and we currently live in the most innovative era ever witnessed. Technology has gone mainstream, and we have a hub of connectivity that has opened us to the world of innovation. There have never been more impressionable innovation investment opportunities than we have in this century.

The smartest move any individual investor or CIO can make is to try to be more futuristic about tech. Think of the ability of this innovation in years to come and what problems it could solve. Meanwhile, innovation investment doesn’t always mean money investment, as innovation processes may require money, time and human resources, and more. There are lots of innovations out there, but only a few are worth putting your money into. Keep reading to find out more.

3 Innovation Investment Opportunities

E-cigarette

Vaping has become a major trend today. The number is rapidly increasing, making it a smart innovation investment you can put your money on. The last few years have witnessed a rapid rise in the number of people who constantly use vapes and other e-cigarette items. According to the BBC, the number of vapes increased from 7 million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018, and it’s still on the rise. Euromonitor has estimated the number of adults who vape to reach 51 million by 2021. The e-cigarette market is growing and expanding. Vapers in France, the U.S., and the United Kingdom spent over $10 billion on e-cigarette products and smokeless tobacco in 2018.

Stores all over the world are flooding their shelves with vapes and e-cigarette accessories. Vape flavors have taken over the cloud of smoke that you’d find almost everywhere some years back. There is a raging success in this market as it has a large fan base. However, recent news claims have made it clear that e-cigarettes are dangerous to your health. So opt to invest in e-cigarette and vaping companies that only sell natural products, such as CBD vape oil.

Smart Home Solutions

Things have gotten a lot smarter these days. Technology has upgraded into giving us seamless living experience in our homes and now; there are smart home solutions that combine technologies including temperature and humidity regulator, smart TV, smart doorbells, smart alarm system, and surveillance cameras in your home. Homeowners can easily navigate internet-connected devices to enable remote management and monitoring of all appliances and systems in their homes.

There is a high revenue in the smart home market. The revenue amounts to $90,968 million in 2020. Revenue is expected to show a 15% annual growth rate, which by 2024 will amount to a market volume of $158,876 million. Investing in one of the smart home top companies is a great innovation investment opportunity right now and, in the future, to come.

Software

It doesn’t seem like we can accomplish anything without the right software. Software has been an excellent choice of investment. It cuts across every firm, so an investment in a software or software company right now is one of the biggest opportunities you can take.

Companies use software to report and manage data, manage portfolios, handle accounting, model financials, and many more. Hospitals use software to keep patients and staff information. Individuals also use software. The software business is flourishing, and it is impressively easy to grab opportunities and make an entrance into the software market.

Which innovation investment opportunity will you pursue?