AVATAR Partners Debuts Avatar CONNECT AR Solution for Advanced, Easy-to-Use, Real-Time Virtual Workforce Collaboration

Avatar Connect

AVATAR Partners has introduced its new Avatar CONNECT solution. Avatar CONNECT is designed to deliver a highly user-friendly, robust and low-cost way to connect remote team members via real-time collaboration anywhere in the world and on any AR-enabled device.

Avatar CONNECT is a powerful AR-enabled remote workforce solution that dramatically improves design, field coordination, installation, project management, quality control and assurance, productivity, safety training, and maintenance for a wide range of applications across multiple markets.

“We are very excited about the opportunity that Avatar CONNECT can provide, especially in a time when working remotely is on the increase and effective support is a must for those frontline workers,” said AVATAR Partners CEO and Founder Marlo Brooke. “Our goal was to create a high-capability solution with the latest AR technology, in a form that takes minutes to set up and implement.”

Using mobile devices, on-premise team members can share real-time views of equipment and environments with up to 15 remote concurrent users in multiple locations. A unique 3D annotation feature enables teams and senior experts to virtually view and draw on objects in three dimensions using a tablet or remote PC to provide guidance for accomplishing a job right the first time.

Other features of Avatar CONNECT include:

  • Ready to use in minutes with no development or training required
  • AR combined with visual, audio and 3D annotation
  • Enterprise-ready, high-quality resolution
  • Support for unlimited concurrent sessions
  • Built-in privacy with sessions not recorded on any server anywhere
  • 3D spatial recognition to lock annotations on a target object while the user moves around a room or object
  • Resizable and rotatable arrows, indicators and drawing tools
  • User-controlled text entry anywhere on the screen for detailed information
  • User-controlled color variants
  • Photo capture to record relevant data for record-keeping and reuse with other users
  • Platform agnostic to run on iOS/OS, Android and Windows 10
  • Made and supported in the U.S.A.

Avatar CONNECT offers other noteworthy benefits including a multi-faceted “show me, tell me, guide me” approach to real-time AR that improves team performance while reducing delays and errors. In addition, with the increasing trend toward remote work, it can help eliminate travel costs and downtime.

Our Leadership Role in Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Diversity

By Mark Samuel

As the intensity of energy and protests following the unjust murder of George Floyd settles down, it’s important for business leaders to keep working toward diversity, inclusion, and equity within their organizations.

As business leaders we can make a positive impact in the movement to value, respect, and include all human beings, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, nationality, religion and any other form of prejudice. Some ways in which we can do this are:

1. Hiring, developing, and promoting a diverse staff in all levels of leadership.

2. Being mindful that we are offering the same mentoring, compensation, promotions, and bonuses to BIPOC individuals, women, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities based on merit and not on any other status.

3. Creating a safe space for minority employees to speak up about their goals, desires, concerns, and needs – especially unfair practices or treatment.

4. Holding employees and peers accountable if and when they perpetuate racist or gendered stereotypes, ideologies and assumptions with their words or actions.

5. Making sure we are providing the best quality service to a diverse customer base.

6. Engaging with supply chains that include fair representation of all diverse individuals.

7. Finding ways to donate to organizations that support BIPOC groups and individuals.

When it comes to Civil Rights and creating a country in which ALL people are valued, respected, and cared for equally, business leaders must be bold and have the courage to no longer accept moving from our current A State to an improved A State (A+ State). This is not enough! It’s time to be purpose-driven by creating a new B STATE (Breakthrough) change in the treatment of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, LGBTQ, woman, and any other group unfairly subjected to prejudice and bigotry. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

We invite you to create your own Picture of Success as a leader for inviting, welcoming, engaging, developing, and promoting Diversity and Inclusion to influence our teams, our corporations, and our government to truly become a united America. We all need to become the transformation we want for a more just, peaceful, and caring society. When we achieve this new Picture of Success, we all win. We have stronger companies, improved customer service, increased profitability, engaged employees with leaders at every level, and more caring communities.

Why We Need To Contextualize Flat Data In A Round World

Data

By Ike Kavas, Forbes Councils Member, Forbes Technology Council

For the last 2,000 years, we have known that the earth is round. Most notably, it was Aristotle who pronounced the earth was a sphere. Yet this idea was dismissed by many at first, with potentially a few deniers left that still believe the earth is flat.

You might say that there is a similar phenomenon happening in the business world. We have known for some time that semantic data — data with context, relationships and links — is far more insightful and knowledgeable than two-dimensional flat data. However, enterprises of all sizes continue to work with flat data, a system that is outdated and inefficient, and that slows down productivity.

What is flat data? Simply put, it is data that is stored in legacy silos. It can be structured or unstructured data. It is data that provides no context and gives only a narrow view of a broad, intertwined group of statistics, information and relationships.

The opposite of flat data is semantic data, also referred to as contextual data, which provides workers — both digital and human — with a 360-degree view of their data and the many factors and background of where that data came from. Semantic data is the deep understanding of multiple data points and their relationships to one another. Understanding the context of these pieces of data can lead to deeper insights through AI and machine learning. Businesses that want to remain competitive and boost productivity and efficiency need to take their flat data and transform it into contextual data.

For instance, let’s say you work at a bank, where your job is to process mortgage applications. This means sorting through stacks of “flat data” (e.g., bank statements, tax records, utility bills, pay stubs, etc.). Following this sorting, you then must correlate with the bank accounting system to check credit rating scores, conduct a background check and go through myriad other steps that require scores of data — sometimes up to 600 different documents — before the underwriter can determine whether the applicant is approved. All of this data may be linked in your head, but in your digital stack, it has no history, is not connected and has no correlation to any other data.

Today, technology has greatly advanced since the days of the flat world with flat data. In the case of our mortgage documents, the relationships between documents, from both internal and external sources, can now be linked and viewed in a comprehensive and effective way, without the flat data wall blocking and slowing you down. Knowledge graphics that use semantic data can visually represent your findings, offering business leaders a global, well-rounded perspective. This is what we call enriched data.

Accelerating process automation is the result of enriched, semantic data when it is applied and visualized. The result is a view of compiled context that users can access and that systems and digital workers have available in digital form. So, instead of reviewing the bank statements, tax records, etc., as separate “flat” documents, you can see them as one single digital entity. Instead of taking days or weeks to process a mortgage application, you could do it in a few minutes.

Full article here

Tompkins International Launches New Mobile App to Help Businesses Ensure Facility Safety & Compliance During COVID-19

COVID-19 has sent distribution and fulfillment operations into overdrive, as businesses strive to deliver on customer needs during the pandemic. With warehouses operating around the clock to meet growing demands, businesses need validation that all processes and procedures are being followed to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers.

To help businesses operate safely and effectively throughout COVID-19 and beyond, Tompkins International has launched SentryCheck. The easily configurable mobile application utilizes automated tools to ensure all facilities comply with their company’s COVID-19 procedures and can prompt users to perform time-sensitive tasks, record critical inputs, automatically send corrective action alerts and more. SentryCheck also offers complete data transparency with cloud reporting and dashboards, allowing compliance teams to monitor all facilities from a single view. Other features include:

  • Hourly, daily, weekly and monthly required tasks accessible from any iOS or Android device
  • Customizable task management checklists for any operational needs
  • Secure cloud-based storage of all task observations, activities and audit commentary
  • Corrective action alerts sent immediately via text or email
  • Photo, video and audio capture with notes for accurate recordkeeping

In addition to the new mobile app, Tompkins International also offers free digital resources to help businesses overcome operational challenges and deliver on customer demands during COVID-19. The company’s COVID-19 Resources hub includes educational and thought leadership content that focuses on the impacts of COVID-19, successful supply chain reinvention strategies and other related topics to help businesses flourish in these uncertain times.

Founded in 1975, Tompkins International is a global supply chain consulting and solutions firm dedicated to helping clients achieve supply chain excellence and profitable growth. By combining its decades of experience with best-in-breed services and technologies, Tompkins International delivers a true end-to-end supply chain solution, enabling clients to improve the customer experience and ensure long-term success. To learn more about Tompkins International, please visit www.tompkinsinc.com.

Summer Styling Made Easy: Wear What You Already Own

By Bree Jacoby

Bet you never thought you’d hear us say this, but… stop shopping! We’re all about reworking, restyling, and reimagining wardrobe pieces and love finding new and exciting ways to switch up our favorite looks. Keep reading for some of our tips on wearing one thing, two ways.

Of course, white button-ups are our go-to for the office, but they’re even cuter on the weekends. Pair your blouse with casual pants or a pair of denim shorts to dress down the look. You can also tie it in a knot or unbutton it for a more flowy vibe. You can even throw it on as a cover up at the beach. The possibilities are endless!

Few accessories are as versatile as simple, chic sneakers. The right pair can dress up a casual outfit, and dress down a more formal one. If you’re headed out to lunch, a trip to the farmers’ market, or a summer barbecue, throw on some sneakers with a pair of fitted shorts and a sleep button up. If you’re going between meetings or stopping by the office, dress down your typical suit-look by wearing sneakers instead of loafers. We know you’ll be the coolest guy at the office!

Scarves aren’t just a winter accessory! They’re the perfect addition for those breezy summer nights when you don’t want to bring a heavy jacket or sweater. They can also provide some much needed pops of colors or pattern to an otherwise plain outfit. And during the day? Wrap it around your waist for the perfect poolside sarong or beachy cover up.

You can never go wrong with a simple T. Whether you’re heading out to a lunch meeting or stopping by a friend’s house, a t-shirt is always the way to go. Pair it with a blazer to make it more work-appropriate, or with jeans or shorts for a more casual style.

Joggers might just be the most adaptable (and comfortable) item of clothing around. For relaxed WFH days or running errands, pair joggers with sneakers and a sweater for a chic, yet comfortable look. If you want to dress them up a little, ladies – add heels and a leather jacket, and guys – add some high-end sneakers and a button-up.

Using the Mindsets of Relationship Design to Show Up and Make a Difference in Times of Crisis

Design offers us tools we can use to prioritize, and strengthen, our relationships. If we look beyond each individual interaction, we can use design to support the connections between people, products, and brands. At Salesforce, we call this Relationship Design, a creative practice anyone can use to drive business and social value by building strong relationships with customers and community. We believe that these four key mindsets can help us build strong, valued relationships in our work and in our lives:

  • Compassion: Lead with personal connection, especially in areas where process could confine us
  • Courage: Push ourselves in ways that align with our values, even if they make us feel vulnerable
  • Intention: Plan with purpose, keeping in mind the ripple effects of our actions
  • Reciprocity: Exchange values in the service of growth and relationship longevity

The Power of Compassion

Compassion starts with an understanding of others and their perspectives. In these times, we’ve had to lean on our colleagues more than ever as we deal with space constraints, personal and family obligations, and shifting work priorities. The ordinary barriers of work culture are breaking down as we work from our homes and see into those of our colleagues. This growing understanding of who people are is leading to stronger and more personal relationships, and that’s not something that will disappear once we return to the office.

Opportunities for Trust

Change is accelerating, and there’s potential for our work to have a much bigger impact. Leaders have to entrust and empower their teams to make quick decisions, creating opportunities for trust. This has led to a flattening of the corporate hierarchy and a much more mobile workforce. It takes courage to make this level of risk-taking work — courage from leaders to entrust their teams with critical business moves, and courage from employees to challenge the status quo in service of greater impact.

Designing for a Better Healthcare System

Healthcare is, by nature, complex. Building a healthcare platform requires purposeful planning and the understanding that actions come with both foreseeable and unforeseeable ripple effects. When designing contact-tracing tools for work.com, Salesforce designers had to create an elastic system that could adapt to the needs of whatever community uses it. Setting out with a clear intention, and thinking through the intentions of your users, can help cut through some of the fog.

Reciprocity in a Connected System

Relationships thrive in an atmosphere of shared learning, mutual accountability, and openness. If there is anything these last months have shown us, it’s how interconnected we all are, and how much we must depend on one another. We wear masks when we leave our houses to protect not only ourselves, but the people around us. We’ve been forced to witness, and work to repair, the fraying social contract between individuals and our communities, employers and employees, governments and citizens — all of them mutually beneficial relationships that play a crucial role in fighting this pandemic.

New Challenges, New Mindsets

The current scenario is challenging us in ways that none of us was prepared for. It is also an opportunity for innovation and growth. To make something good from this tragedy, we need to sense and respond at speed, adapt, dare to take risks — and build it all on a foundation of trust. The new, more empowered, relationships that we develop are strengthened by compassion, courage, intention, and reciprocity. With that foundation, we can develop innovative products, services, and solutions that better understand and serve the users they are meant for.

Watch the full panel session here.

Read the full article here.

It’s Not Too Late to Plan for the Next Crisis

An employee is impacted by COVID-19, an executive is embroiled in a controversy that becomes public, or a product is deemed dangerous. While the list of potential crises organizations face is far too long to list, the need for crisis planning can be summed up in one word: urgent. In the current COVID-era when a crisis can literally mean life or death, it is imperative organizations consider the triggering events that may set off a crisis and how to respond. Here are four steps organizations can take in order to weather a crisis and emerge successfully.

Communicate the company’s priorities and philosophy to clients and customers now. Too many organizations are reactive; they only share information about changes they are making when they have to. The fallout from a crisis can be significantly mitigated if a company has a strong track record of proactively communicating about worker protections, giving back to the local community and its commitment to social causes.

Building affinity to an organization before a crisis strikes will help ensure that organizations

have a loyal base of customers, clients and allies that are at the ready to help out when needed.

Craft a multi-tiered crisis communications plan. Decision makers need to develop a crisis communication plan for different levels of calamity that identifies the authorized spokesperson(s) for each level and the corresponding level of communication (from a tweet to a fully deployed crisis response plan) both within and outside the organization. This is an essential component as either under or over responding to a crisis can fuel additional ramifications, such as being perceived as an apathetic organization which doesn’t care about its employees or others at risk. The crisis plan should involve operational response plans, internal and external communication protocols and a list of stakeholders (with updated contact information!).

Ensure there is a deep leadership bench that knows the crisis response plan and their roles. There needs to be a team in place that spans the breadth of the organization – operations, technology, public relations/marketing, human resources, legal and other departments as needed that are part of a crisis management team. It is also important to have an heir apparent that can quickly step in – especially an employee who is cross trained to perform multiple functions. My colleague at the Pepperdine Graziado Business School Dr. Kevin Groves‘ approach to succession planning encompasses not just the CEO, but the entire leadership pipeline. He says the idea is to “maintain stability in key leadership roles and to avoid the massive disruptions associated with unexpected retirements or exits.”

Conduct batting practice including mock media interviews. Don’t assume that having a plan and a designated crisis team is enough. The crisis communications team needs to have drills – actually go through the motions of what would happen during a crisis. The best laid crisis plan is one that is never needed. But as the COVID pandemic has demonstrated, organizations need to be able to pivot and communicate immediately; those that have allies, prepared leaders and an actionable multi-tiered plan will be very glad they put the time and resources into being prepared.

Stephen Rapier, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School specializing in crisis preparedness.

Survey Says: Majority of Americans Motivated to Save Post-COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has left people reeling world-wide. Many have lost jobs; others are furloughed indefinitely and still others are working from home while homeschooling children and/or caring for sick relatives.

But in the midst of this global pandemic, a majority of Americans became more motivated to save for their future according to a new survey of hourly workers conducted by DailyPay, Funding our Future and Edelman Financial Engines who collaborated on this survey. In fact, 51% of those polled said they are more likely to save for the future as opposed to 15% who stated they were less likely to save.

The pandemic illustrated how ill-prepared many Americans were in terms of their financial security and their ability to weather the crisis. Not only did the pandemic wreak havoc on people’s physical and mental health, job security and day-to-day living conditions, but it also had a significant impact on their financial health as well. In fact, 40% of respondents said they are worse off since the pandemic shut down most of the American economy in March. In addition, 50% of those polled say they are either “finding it difficult to get by” or are “just getting by.” Another 40% report they are having difficulty paying bills each month.

For those who had some savings, 57% had to dip into those savings to address the economic strains brought on by COVID-19. The commitment to save more, which was reflected in the survey, might help to soften the financial blow when, and if, the next crisis comes our way.

We all know that saving money is hard, especially during a global crisis. But this survey also found that 62% would save if there was an easier way to put money from their paycheck aside.

DailyPay has a SAVE experience that is part of the DailyPay PayEXTM platform that allows employees to do just that. Employees can save for free, in their own interest-bearing accounts, in three different ways, before payday. This makes it easy for them to get on board with saving for all sorts of things, other than the next crisis.

While the pandemic itself has wreaked havoc with so many people’s lives, the silver lining is the fact that it has also made so many people realize that they need to begin a savings program. Having money in savings to lean on when a crisis, or any emergency hits provides employees with a greater degree of financial stability that has previously been lacking. And financial stability and wellness has proven to ease anxiety as we all look forward to a brighter future.

Special Note from Hughes Marino Vice President Will Tober

Hughes Marino

With the last few months being a challenging time for all, we know corporate leaders are looking for real-time, digestible solutions they can put into practice immediately, especially in this new era when time and resources are precious. So as we went to work creating this Special Edition of Work+Space Magazine®, our sole focus was to bring you practical and tactical solutions in order to successfully navigate your real estate challenges and create a successful “new normal” for your team to thrive.

We knew we needed to get this helpful information out as part of our mission to help businesses navigate two of their highest priorities, their real estate obligations and their team, and we hope you find these articles valuable and easy to implement.

This issue is packed with articles and timely solutions geared toward helping businesses navigate the dilemmas that the pandemic has caused, from expert advice on lease restructuring savings, tips on subleasing excess space, modifying workspaces to meet new safety guidelines and creating safer environments, to ideas to welcome back your team and keep spirits high.

We are constantly publishing new articles and content to our website in hopes to help provide valuable solutions to companies and the community. From the benefits of tenant representation for business owners to all things commercial real estate, workplace and culture, our website is loaded with practical insights you can use today.

In the interest of keeping our clients and friends safe, we made the decision to switch this special edition issue to only a digital format, but will be mailing out our printed issues again when the time is right. If you would like to request digital issues only moving forward, let us know and we will be happy to make that change!

There is no workplace related need that we can’t help with. Click here to set up a complementary consultation for any one of the many workplace solutions you may benefit from, big or small. Many of these services are free to clients, so it’s worth taking the time to let us help you explore your options.

Wishing you and your team a safe and healthy summer and we look forward to the days when we can meet in person again soon.

B STATE Has Gone Virtual!

B-State

By Mark Samuel

There is even greater need now for building your leadership team based on your COVID-19 experience. Which of the following needs apply to your organization?

  • Align on new strategies
  • More effectively coordinate execution
  • Communicate more effectively with “one voice” fully aligned
  • Develop Recover Plans to quickly pivot your business as changes continue
  • Develop your leadership teams given the new business environment

Now you don’t have to be in the same room to get stellar results!

What We’ve Learned in the Past 2 Months (to our surprise):

  • You can develop intimate team relationships in a virtual Team Building format
  • You can build team awareness, teamwork, and collaboration in a virtual format
  • You don’t need social interaction, games, and dinners together to build a sense of trust, family, camaraderie, and unity

In fact, there are benefits and advantages to building a team virtually:

  • Now the time is spent on your team’s actual role, priorities, and execution getting cross-functional alignment and agreements on execution, not just strategy
  • The degree of open dialogue and sharing increases in a virtual format, without being dominated by strong personalities when in the same room
  • A virtual meeting format is more effective, less time consuming and can be adjusted to meet each person’s needs regardless of location
  • You naturally lower travel costs considerably by not having to pay for airlines, hotel rooms, and meals
  • Every team member is part of creating the documentation of agreements and commitments used, which enhances shared ownership and sustainable results

We are now offering Leadership Team Sessions virtually. In our first sessions, participants loved how it accelerated their implementation, developed the team, and established a bonding and trust between all of the participants beyond expectations.