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Preparing Your Business for The Future of Remote Work

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When the pandemic struck in 2020, millions of people were forced to change their lives as they knew it, which included starting to work remotely. Now, several years beyond the beginning of the pandemic, some people still work from home on a daily basis. Industries like information technology, professional and business services, educational services, and wholesale trade especially still rely heavily on remote work opportunities. In fact, in 2023, approximately 40% of employees in the United States worked remotely at least once per week

Although these numbers are now shrinking as we move further into a post-pandemic world, there are still remote work opportunities in nearly every corner of the country at different companies. Especially in the northeast and in California, work from home roles still play an integral role in the economic state of that area. Even outside of the United States, other countries have found value in offering remote work, with over 30% of employees operating on a fully remote or hybrid schedule.

Although working from home has settled since the pandemic, the benefits that it presents for both employees and employers cannot be denied. There are a multitude of ways that both sides of businesses can grow using this model.

Having a team that works completely or partially remote benefits those employees in a multitude of ways. First, it completely eliminates the need for a commute, which can be time consuming and a hassle. Along with this, employees then save money on gas and other necessities such as food. They also will waste less time getting ready or lose sleep to a more rigid schedule. Overall, the flexibility of such a schedule cannot be beat. Many employees love this, as they can take back more of their day and can dedicate that extra time to the other important aspects of their lives. Whether this means spending more time on hobbies, with family, with friends, or participating in other extracurricular activities, working from home creates a schedule that better accommodates these needs. Working remotely can also allow for a more enjoyable and stress free workday with fewer meetings and more time to complete important work.

Not only do employees benefit from a remote work model, but their employers do as well. This may incentivize employers to offer this type of schedule. First, offering remote work reduces absenteeism in the workplace. When there is an expectation of always commuting to the office, many workers are more likely to call out sick or stay home for minor reasons. However, when given the opportunity to work from home, studies have found 56% fewer employee absences, and 50% fewer employee sick days taken. Schedules that incorporate remote work also boost productivity of workers, therefore increasing the success of the business. In fact, research has shown that since the normalization of remote work, businesses have seen nearly a 70% increase in productivity. Having a hybrid or fully remote schedule also can lower turnover, as employees are more satisfied with their work week. Reducing employee churn by 50%, remote work could be the key to retention. Finally, employers benefit from remote work because it saves money for the company. Hiring employees under the basis of a remote or hybrid schedule can reduce the cost per employee by anywhere between $20k to $37k annually.

Clearly, although we are no longer in an immediate pandemic-ridden state, the benefits of remote work in some capacity are undeniable. In fact, in 2023, nearly 100% of people say that they want to work remotely at least some or all of the time. This begs the question, what steps must be taken to make this a reality?

There are three main necessary components to keeping teams out of the office and able to work remotely. First, connectivity platforms must be up to date and reliable. The most common, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are what businesses currently rely on to get work done and hold meetings from home. Not only having these platforms, but also ensuring that they work properly help to keep employees connected, communicative, and productive no matter where they work from. Cybersecurity and IT tools but also be available. 

When a large portion of employees relies on technology to have a successful workday, protecting company equipment from digital threats is a must. The company IT team must be knowledgeable and prepared to fend off any intentional or unintentional hiccups. Finally, the most modern technology must be used to optimize the work experience for both employees and employers at all levels. Artificial intelligence is a resource that many modern companies are using to create schedules and accommodate employee needs. All of these strategies help to increase employee retention and to improve the overall state of the modern workplace.

Technology is not going anywhere, and the reliance on technology that we developed during the pandemic is also here to stay. Maintaining remote teams is a great way to adhere to the times and to prepare one’s business for the demands of the future.

return to office or work from home Source: Unrubble.com
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Destinations

Best Time to Vacation in Vietnam

Asia’s not so little secret, Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and cheap places to visit. There are definitely better seasons than others, so here is a simple guide to Vietnam.

 

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Asia’s not so little secret, Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and cheap places to visit. Land of exotic beaches, dense and plentiful jungles and vast vistas, Vietnam has it all. With good weather almost all year round, you can visit this Southeast Asian country anytime. Vietnam is a long country ranging from north to south, so the weather can be very different in separate sections. There are definitely better seasons than others, so here is a simple guide to Vietnam.

 

Winter

Visit in the winter to beat the incredible summer heat. Also, you want to check out the Vietnamese New Year, Tet, and the country’s biggest party. The best time to visit is the dry season, ranging from October to March. The wet season can be crazy with typhoons wreaking havoc.   The temps range from 60s to 70s (Fahrenheit) so its great for backpackers and explorers.

Central Vietnam is monsoon season until December, so steer clear until then. No one wants to be wet their entire vacation, unless you are snorkeling. The temperatures will drop into the 60s so make sure you have a light jacket. The warm weather is there by February, so pack a swimsuit.

The southern tip of Vietnam is beach central, so bring sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher. Temps down south will sour to the upper 80s in the winter.

 

Spring

 

March through April in the north is dry and cool, great for venturing into the vast rice patties. Lower humidity makes the jungles accessible..

Central Vietnam is rainy in the spring, so pack a jacket and good shoes. Keep the materials light, as it is humid in the central parts.

You will see locals wearing thin plastic ponchos, which are great. Pick one up for cheap and save you gear from being damp. Down South, the weather is perfect, beach babes galore and beach parties into the night.

Summer

 

Think humidity is fun, try summer in southern Vietnam. You will sweat through any article of clothing, so tank tops, shorts and flip-flops are recommended. May to June is the most consistent weather in the North and Central regions. Rains constantly up north, so steer clear and the central areas are dry as a bone. You can visit the amazing cave systems in this area. Home to the largest caves in the world. Spelunkers unite here to explore and team up for safety.

 

Fall

This is the perfect time to visit all parts of Vietnam. It’s not to dry and not to wet, you get a little of everything in the fall.

Check out the Mid-Autumn Festival where thousands of lanterns are released into the air and paper lions dance in the streets. Best time to eat traditional Vietnamese food is at this festival.. dates change every year so check that out when planning.

 

Vietnam has a little something for everyone. The weather changes a lot so map out your trip accordingly. The food is incredible, people are all so nice and the scenery is exquisite.

 

Photos courtesy of ap.org, beautiful, vivid, travel and living

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Guides

How To Bring Exposure To Your Corporate Travel Planning Business

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The travel industry was decimated during the pandemic but has since witnessed a resurgence. The importance of business travel is still present as big contracts negotiated in person make everyone more comfortable. A corporate travel planning business aims to make business travel seamless for its clients. The planning associated can include chartering a plane or even a boat for client entertainment. Certain corporations pull out all of the stops to enter into a mutually beneficial agreement with another corporate entity/individual. Exposure is an important part of any business and below will highlight how to gain exposure for your corporate travel planning business. 

Get Foot Traffic To Notice The Business 

Foot traffic noticing a business can be so important when it comes to organic leads. A Florida flag can be a nice addition that also attracts attention. An employee getting attention in front of the business is likely not the image a corporate travel planner wants to present. Location is likely not the most important aspect as digital marketing is very important and will be discussed below. Signage is also going to be very important when trying to get attention from foot traffic. 

Put A Large Investment In Digital Marketing 

Digital marketing is going to be the lifeblood of a number of travel-related businesses. Content marketing is so important when trying to offer an experience to a potential client. The truth is that corporate travel planning can be a headache and this is the pain point the business is trying to alleviate. Social media is essential as promotion without it costing anything is a huge advantage for any business with a limited marketing budget. Take the time to track everything related to digital marketing as you want to ensure the company is getting the best results for the investment. Simply creating generic content is not going to generate any traffic or leads. Generic content might help a bit with search engine rankings but a focus should be put on quality content. Generating multiple types of content and then tracking the return can help shape a content marketing strategy. 

Build Rapport With Clients

The number of professionals that get new jobs seemingly annually can be a great resource. A person that handled travel arrangements in the past likely will have this role at their new employer. A company might be known as the staple of convenience in a local area. Becoming the go-to travel planner for a specific industry can build a niche business that will be successful for years. Clients remember companies that took care of them during the pandemic as well. Solid refund policies and processes are not something that is lost on companies utilizing a corporate travel planner. 

Corporate travel planning can provide services to companies of all sizes. The relationships that are created between airlines and hotels can be worth their weight in gold. Exposure could be all a company needs to take sales to the next level. Offering premium services can be a perfect way to drive client retention which is important to any business.

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Guides

The Best Places to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in the USA

Flying in a hot air balloon is truly a magical experience that everyone should enjoy. Nestled safely in the wicker basket, floating gracefully hundreds of feet above the earth, the quietness is deafening and the views are spectacular. Hot air balloons use a heat source,…

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Flying in a hot air balloon is truly a magical experience that everyone should enjoy. Nestled safely in the wicker basket, floating gracefully hundreds of feet above the earth, the quietness is deafening and the views are spectacular. Hot air balloons use a heat source, usually a large torch to warm up the air inside the balloon and off you go.   The pilots masterfully use wind currents to move and change direction by altering elevations to find different flows.

It’s all pretty rudimentary and amazing at the same time, how these massive balloons and their pilots can navigate as well as they can. Without an actual motor, these pilots are so skilled it continuously amazes me.

If you are not a fan of heights then maybe this isn’t for you, but for us daredevils, it is the ultimate experience.

I compiled a list of some of the best hot air balloon organizations and businesses in the country, so float away friends and find your freedom hundreds of feet in the sky.

 rainbow ryders

Rainbow Ryders

Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque is home of the world famous Balloon Fiesta, a gathering of thousands of balloon enthusiasts every October. Rainbow Ryders is a FAA certified organization that operates 300 days a year and flies along the Rio Grande River. They have baskets that fit up to 12 people, so bring the whole family and experience the majesty of flight.

 lady hattan

Napa Valley Balloons

Napa Valley, CA

What better vantage point to soak in the magnificence that is the Napa Valley Wine region than with Napa Valley Balloons. Their beautiful balloons will drift above some of the world’s best vineyards and the guides will keep you informed the entire trip. Book an all day tour with them that includes wine tasting, guided bike tours and dinner at the acclaimed restaurant Etoile.

 arizona balloon safaris

Arizona Balloon Safaris

Cave Creek, AZ

Fly through the stunning Sonoran Desert just north of Phoenix. I would take the sunrise tour where the balloon flies just feet above the ground and you can see wildlife and the world famous Sonoran Cacti. Their balloons also get as high as 5,000 feet where you can see for miles and in the distance you can spot the Grand Canyon.

 country traveler

Vista Balloon Adventures

Newberg, OR

Located just a mere 40 miles outside of Portland, Vista Balloon will show you the splendor of the Willamette Valley and even give you a “splash and dash.” This is when they literally touch the basket down to the Willamette River for a quick second. Finish the tour with brunch and mimosas, a real hipster way to end anything.

 travel ur world

Asheville Hot Air Balloons

Asheville, NC

Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville is an artist community and the guided tours showcase the area’s gorgeousness.   The launching points change daily according to the wind and weather, so each tour is unique.  

balloons over letchworth 

Balloons Over Letchworth

Castile, NY

Float high above the Letchworth State Park and view over 20 wonderful waterfalls and humongous gorges that are over 600 feet. The Letchworth State Park is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East, so where better than up in a hot air balloon to see the majesty.   They operate tours from April to October, so catch a ride when you can.

 tahoe accomidations

Lake Tahoe Balloons

Lake Tahoe, CA

Lake Tahoe is one of America’s most beautiful places and the largest alpine lake in the country, so a balloon is perfect to check out the entire lake. Spend hours in the thin and crisp mountain air as you glide above the California and Nevada border. They fly every morning, so book a trip soon to soar with the birds and see the heavens while still on earth.

 

Hot air Balloons are a magical experience and I hope you get to enjoy it soon.

 

 

Photos courtesy of eskipaper, rainbowryders, ladyhattan, scottsdaletodo, countrytravelonline, travelurworld, balloonsoverletchworth, tahoe accomidations

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