Monthly Archives: August 2013

The New Vacation: The Always-Connected Employee (and Why Employers Should Pay Attention)

Employees Working on VacationVacation is supposedly a time for relaxation and rejuvenation away from the office, but a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. employees suggests that we’re not feeling very good anymore when we unplug.

In fact, many of us are not unplugging from work while we’re away at all.

According to a new survey by networking company Pertino, nearly one half of Americans say they are less stressed on vacation when they are connected to the office. And so, nearly 60% of the polled employees confessed that they regularly work — check e-mail, take calls, etc. — while on vacation.

So, if this is the new normal in our mobile-connected world, let’s look at how Americans are staying in touch with the office this summer, and what that means for the business owners for whom they work.

Employee Vacations Have Changed

One reason that employees work from vacation is that mobile tech has made the office only a click or swipe away.

In fact, 36% of the employees polled said that the beach was their office while on vacation, thanks largely to the ever present smartphone and tablet. Combined, these devices account for 81% of the ways workers connect when it comes to putting in hours from their vacation spots.

And while many are working from the locations where they’re supposed to be relaxing, the numbers tip a bit in terms of who is doing all this extra-office labor.

  • 64% of the men polled said they logged in from vacation.
  • 57% of the women polled said that working from vacation was now a norm.

The Vacation Security Problem: Why Business Owners Should Care

One problem with all of this remote connectivity is not so much that business owners are against the productivity that it breeds, but it’s that the way these employees are logging on can pose a threat. Here’s what the survey revealed about that:

  • 32% of work-from-vacation employees are using unsanctioned or unsecured cloud-file sharing services to access business-related data.
  • 35% of the employees in the survey are simply taking their devices away, loaded with important business files.

Neither of these are scenarios that small-business owners or IT departments want to face.

Rule one, when it comes to vacationing employees and remote access: your business’s policy has to be that they only log in via networks that provide authentication and encryption of traffic over public Wi-Fi and the Internet.

The Healthy Employee: Division of Labor and Play

Beyond the potential of compromised data, another overarching problem of employees working from vacation is that, long-term, they’re courting burnout.

What to do? Encourage healthy vacation habits when it comes to working off the clock.

If it’s almost impossible for many employees, especially senior managers and IT pros, to completely unwind while away, then a key to getting relaxed can sometimes be to not unplug.

But vacationing employees should instead develop a schedule that segregates work and play times. Communicate this division of hours to your family and work associates, then keep to it. Set aside a designated time everyday to connect with office and then spend the rest of the time focused on fun in the sun.

 

Mozy Data Shuttle

 

Chirpify: A Social Media Wallet

Welcome to Mozy’s App Profile, where we introduce some of the new programs seeking the way we live and work. This week, Chirpify makes buying on social media easy.

The prestige of carrying cash is for the Baby Boomers generation. Credit cards are convenient for swiping inperson, but aren’t always the most seamless option while shopping online. And while PayPal is the most secure online payment form, the tool itself simply hasn’t kept up with the infrastructure of new social media.

A recent study by Experian indicates that Americans now spend an average of sixteen minutes per hour on social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Chirpify hopes to be the new way to click and buy on these platforms.

Chirpify has developed an integrated, in-stream technology that would enable users to buy, sell, raise money, or even donate simply. Unlike competitors Ribbon or Soldsie, with Chirpify, all users have to do to purchase an item is reply with “buy” or a “like,” and the funds are instantly withdrawn from your account (which can be linked to PayPal). There’s no email confirmation barrier or off-site voyages–it’s all streamlined.

The on-the-fly ease of Chirpify makes it an instant marriage for small business owners who actively market their products online. In fact, that’s how Chris Teso, the founder and CEO of Chirpify, found his inspiration to create the payment tool.

“The impetus for Chirpify came from spending many years in the advertising industry.,”said Teso, whose Oregon-based company currently employs just around a dozen people. “Working with big brands, I saw again and again that their advertising was limited to creating ‘awareness’ or ‘engagement’ — which they hoped would eventually lead to a conversion or transaction — but there was no way to connect the dots directly. I built Chirpify to give that advertising a way convert instantly, in the moment, wherever it lives.”

The approach is already being adopted by the billion-dollar sports and music industries.

Back in February, Tim McGraw, who has sold more than 40 million albums, began to integrate Chirpify technology onto his Facebook page to boost the sales of his latest release. To date, Chirpify has also partnered with Adidas, Green Day, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg. And the Portland Trailblazers, Timbers, and Thorns–all professional sports franchises in Chirpify’s hometown–also decided to utilize Chirpify to integrate an untapped medium to interact with fans. .

“The Portland Timbers and Thorns [for instance] have been offering their fans exclusive experiences via social channels — such as VIP passes to pre-game warm-ups and post-game autographs — using Chirpify as a direct social response platform,” Teso said. “It’s mainly a way for them to thank and reward their fans, but also to establish Facebook and Twitter as a two-way channels for more than just cheering on the team.”

Chirpify is free to use for buyers, but sellers incur slight fees. For the “basic” account, sellers incur a 5% (of the purchase) plus $.30 fee. The basic account also enables sellers to place their item or product on Chirpify’s “social storefront” web site.

If you plan on using Chirpify a little more often, the site offers an “Enterprise” account too. Enterprise sellers get a discounted 2.9% (plus $.30) fee, as well as a flurry of tools. These additional tools include promo/coupon codes, giveaways, e-commerce integration, umbrella accounts, priority support, real-time data, branded registration, account direction, and promoted listings.

With Chirpify adding upwards of 300 new users every day, and boasting a 5% conversion rate, the company is steadily building a new atmosphere of e-commerce. Assuming all the security intangibles are sorted out, it wouldn’t be surprising to witness a huge influx of clothes, electronics, and other big industries jumping on the Chirpify bandwagon to make online retail that much more seamless for prospective customers.

 

MozyHome Online Backup

 

Vote for Mozy – Small Business Influencer Awards

Small Business Influencer AwardsMozy’s MozyPro cloud backup service for business has been nominated for a 2013 Small Business Influencer award in the “Apps” category.

The 2013 Small Business Influencer Awards “honor companies, organizations, vendors, apps and people who have made a significant impact on the North American small business market.”

We need your help! Click here to cast your vote for MozyPro cloud backup in the Small Business Influencer awards. You can vote once every 24 hours between now and September 9, 2013, when the voting will close.

93% of all companies that suffer significant data loss close within 5 years. Traditional backup solutions can be expensive and take weeks to implement, leaving small businesses vulnerable to revenue and productivity loss. MozyPro was designed specifically for SMBs.

Over 100,000 businesses trust Mozy to back up their data. Many of these customers are small businesses who use MozyPro to ensure that their data is safe and secure and is being backed up on a regular basis. One of these businesses is Dr. Earl, a dentist in Las Vegas, Nevada. Learn more about Dr. Earl’s Mozy story in this video:
 

My name is Zac and I work for Mozy

Welcome back to our “My name is … and I work for Mozy” blog series. We started this series about six months ago in an effort to showcase some of the incredible talent that is housed under the Mozy umbrella. We’ve attempted to expand across all our functional areas to show you that Mozy has successfully managed to find the best-of-the-best in talent. And I, for one, am excited to have the opportunity to work with incredible people, day in and day out.

This month, we’d like you to meet Zac Paynter. Zac is one of our Financial Analysts and is part of the Finance Team at Mozy. He handles company headcount, analysis and budgeting for customer support, general/administrative and Research & Development. In addition, he also works on forecasting, cost analysis, monthly close procedures, and financial reporting. As you can see there is a lot that Zac does and we are grateful he found a few minutes to help us with this blog series. The world really needed to know about Zac…and no, you can’t have him!

My name is Zac and I work at Mozy

I define my workspace as …
My home away from home…after all, I spend most of my day here with people that are fun to be around. You could also call it my science lab where financial genius is born.

A device I can’t live without …
A basketball. Nobody said it had to be an electronic device…

When I arrive at work, I typically start off by …
Downing my protein drink, filling my water bottle, answering emails, and taking a deep breath as I prepare for another busy day.

My work routine is …
Changing day by day, but the same month to month. A week of closing the books, a week of reporting, a week of forecasting, and a week of catching up on everything else.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …
It helps me “get into the zone.” Sometimes it’s nice to shut out any outside distractions coming from extremely loud co-workers and turn up the productivity while enjoying movie scores from The Dark Knight, Inception, Gladiator, Transformers, Sherlock Holmes, and Dirty Dancing….wait… scratch that last one.
Author’s note: Zac is most likely referring to the Marketing team when he refers to “extremely loud co-workers” – he has the unfortunate luck of having been assigned to a cubicle right by us. I will, however, say that he can dish it as well as he can take it and we never get tired of giving him a hard time!

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …
Prepare for the worst and expect the best. Finance is very demanding but also extremely rewarding. On one hand, you come to know the business very well while on the other hand; you have constant deadlines that tend to raise stress levels. Keep that Ibuprofen close by. ☺

Outside of work, I am passionate about …
Family, friends, mountain biking, hiking, camping, pretty much every sport that doesn’t involve a racquet. I’m currently training for a half-marathon, the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay and the Spartan Beast this summer.

My eating habits are …
Sporadic to say the least – green smoothies, brown rice, and veggies one day to pizza and chicken wings the next. I’m a bit of a social eater.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …
Blake Griffin. Dude can jump! I’ve always wondered what it’s like up there. Plus those Kia commercials he’s in make me laugh pretty hard!

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …
Positive attitude, work ethic, spontaneity, sense of humor, and desire to learn.