Business Technology Emerging in 2020

Technology is constantly changing in the business world. Technology lends an advantage to businesses to help them to become more efficient, streamline tedious processes, and automate data. Learning how to take advantage of the latest tech can help your company become much more productive and reach a variety of customers. Here are a few examples of technology trends that will impact the business world in 2020.

 

#1 Reduction in Cumbersome Apps

Many companies are rife with legacy apps and technology that are difficult to use. These outdated apps slow employees down and limit productivity in the workplace. However, more companies are getting more serious about eliminating digital noise to help create a much more simple work environment that enables employees to perform at their very best.

 

#2 Flexible Work Schedule

The workplace is always evolving, as many companies are moving away from the traditional 9 to 5 work schedule. Remote work is becoming much more popular, which allows employees to work from any location outside of the office, whether it is at home or the local cafe. This flexible work schedule boosts employee morale and is a great way to attract the best job candidates.

 

#3 Artificial Intelligence & Bots

Artificial intelligence and the use of bots will continue to grow in popularity in 2020. Many businesses are taking advantage of this innovative technology by letting bots handle menial tasks, which enables employees to focus on more important tasks at work. AI will also continue to grow in prevalence in helping to complete a wide range of tasks in the workplace.

 

#4 Greater Use of the Hybrid Cloud

Many businesses will continue to take advantage of the hybrid cloud to help them reach their company goals. Cloud technology allows businesses to store large amounts of data on an offsite server while also giving employees the opportunity to access this information from any location. More companies will continue to use the hybrid cloud in 2020.

 

Technology is ever-changing, as businesses will continue to evolve throughout 2020. Flexible work schedules, artificial intelligence, and the hybrid cloud are only a few examples of the top business trends in the new year. Always keeping up to date with the latest tech will help companies reach their goals and become even more successful in today’s competitive workplace.

Originally published on ChartWestcott.com

Incorporating Philanthropy into Your Brand

Businesses and nonprofit organizations are now working closely together. Many companies strive to promote philanthropy in as many ways as they can. Employees are encouraged to volunteer on the side, entrepreneurs are hosting fundraisers and a lot of money is being raised as a result. There are numerous ways to incorporate philanthropy into the business’s brand.

 

Include Donation Options With Purchases

 

Every active consumer has noticed when an online or in-store purchase includes the option of donating to a select charity or nonprofit organization. Sometimes, there is a list of charities to choose from, but no customer is penalized for not donating.

In a store, a donation box should be placed on the checkout counter. Most donations are small and cost less than one-third of the total purchase. The low cost is intended to persuade many people to donate, which adds up the total collection cost.

 

Make Once-a-Year Donations

A business that is serious about philanthropy should make annual donations to their select charities. The timing of the donation is not as important as long as it’s done at least once a year. In April each year, they can expect to receive major tax deductions for their generous donations.

 

Include Charity Logos on the Website

Many businesses place the logos of their favorite charities and nonprofit organizations on their websites’ homepages. They want to tell every customer and partner about the causes they support. Tying the philanthropy’s brand into the company’s own brand shows how serious the business is about being humanitarian.

 

Promote Volunteering

If the business owner believes in a certain cause, he or she should get everyone else to believe in the same cause, too. The best way is to promote the act of volunteering. Employees should receive incentives for volunteering with certain charities, such as overtime pay or an increased number of sick or vacation days. Some businesses host fundraisers and other special events when they encourage everyone on staff to go out and volunteer.

 

Small businesses and corporations like to donate billions of dollars to charities each year. Philanthropy is nothing new, but the methods used to promote it have changed in recent years. Today, business owners are finding it easier to create a solid humanitarianism brand that everyone will love and support.

Originally published on ChartWestcott.net

Outsourcing Paralegal Help

As the manner in which the legal profession evolves, so do law firms in the way they conduct their business operations. These changes often reflect in the way technology is used to facilitate more efficient systems.

 

However, not all methods of improvement are technical. Freelance, remote, or temporary paralegals have stepped up to the plate and are giving lawyers and law firms another viable option.

 

Freelance paralegals have become an important part of the way the legal profession now conducts its business. Paralegals can be acquired fairly easily and quickly, and they fill in where and when needed. Thus, they are on-demand.

 

There are multiple advantages to outsourcing paralegal help. It offers the employer the ability to keep pace with the flow of work. There are many reasons why a law firm would need additional help at certain times. Perhaps, it’s tax season. Farmers may need help recruiting international labor during the growing season. Or, there could be a large, labor-intensive case that is going to court soon. Whatever the reason, remote paralegals are perfect to fill in the additional-help gap.

 

Then, there are the leaves of absence. Whether vacation, sick, maternal or a myriad of other reasons, experienced paralegals can assume the temporary roles and keep operations running.

 

Paralegals will not practice law. However, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, they can draft pleadings, correspondence, prepare other paperwork, e-file documents, interview witnesses, conduct research–which can take a considerable amount of time–and perform a host of other duties that attorneys assign to them. By delegating these tasks, attorneys can focus on their specific areas of law practice.

 

A huge benefit to the law firm or practice is the opportunity to minimize costs. While remote paralegals often earn less than attorneys, the services they provide are also billed to the client at a lower rate. Furthermore, employers do not have to pay payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, disability, health insurance, and other benefits full-time staff receive. In addition, some paralegals have their own offices so that there would be no need to make room in your current firm.

 

The skill level of the paralegal will vary; however, some are certified professionals with a degree in the field. There are legal staffing agencies that can supply vetted paralegals at the skill level law firms need.

 

Freelance paralegals are the trajectory of the present and the future. In today’s world of sophisticated technology that aids efficiency, hiring freelance paralegals is a smart business sense.

Originally published on ChartWestcott.org

Common Laws that Businesses Unintentionally Break

Regardless of the size of your business, it is very important to obey federal, state, and local laws when it comes to taxes, payroll, and other company expenses. Some business owners may unwittingly break the law when it comes to setting up or maintaining a business, so it’s important to seek the right advice to avoid litigation or fees down the line. Not only is it important to know where you stand when starting a business from scratch or taking ownership of an existing company, but it’s also equally necessary to monitor your region for any changes that might affect you. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, so a little research can go a long way.

Some mistakes are made regarding the different classifications of employees. A W2 employee is someone who is salaried. Companies withhold a certain dollar amount from their employees’ paychecks for Social Security and Medicare, and in return, the company pays payroll taxes to the government. Some businesses try to circumvent this by referring to some workers as independent contractors. The Department of Labor (DOL) is very picky when it comes to the use of contract workers, and harsh penalties can occur if any business abuses the system.

Another way that businesses might be unfairly treating employees in order to save money is by excluding people from receiving overtime pay. It’s not a justified excuse to say anyone is exempt from overtime because they are salaried employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides detailed fact sheets about which employees are eligible to receive overtime pay.  The only way to be exempt is to meet every one of the qualifications, such as managing at least two people, having the ability to hire and fire employees, being in a managerial position, to name a few.

Workers’ compensation laws are different in each state, depending on the size of the business, the type of injury, and the industry affiliation. It’s important to do your due diligence when forming your company to make sure you abide by your state’s laws.

Piece work is defined as any type of job that pays a worker a fixed rate for each unit of a product or service that is completed, regardless of how long it takes to finish. This means that a person’s hourly wage can fluctuate, depending on the volume of work completed. Some businesses have used this model to avoid having to pay their state’s minimum wage, which is unlawful.

This article was originally published on chartwestcott.org.

FITTING PHILANTHROPY INTO YOUR BUSINESS’S BUDGET

Philanthropy has become a big part of modern-day business. Nowadays, it’s no longer a major headline to hear how companies are trying to help the world. Tech giants like Google are able to elicit big change through their foundation, and pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer have similar initiatives in place, with a focus on worldwide healthcare availability. There are currently billions of dollars being allotted to philanthropic endeavors, but you don’t have to own a major corporation in order to do your part to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. The added bonus is the attention you’ll get – there’s a major consumer trend towards favoring companies that do good in society.

Sometimes it can be too taxing on a company’s bottom line to donate cash directly. In cases like this, it can be effective to donate goods or services instead. One way to make a difference is to get your employees involved. Even if you don’t have the resources of Google enabling you to send team members around the world, you can still encourage hands-on interaction within the local community.

Offer volunteer opportunities to your staff so they can get a deeper understanding of the concept of helping others. If you create work-related incentives such as paid volunteer days, you’re more likely to garner interest initially. In an ideal world, once people get a taste of charitable work they will seek out ways of helping on their own time while also recruiting others.

One way to encourage greater team interest is by making your employees a part of the process from the very beginning. Establish completely employee-run committees that put the power in the hands of the people who will be working alongside you. Pride of ownership will naturally fall into place.

Partnering with an organization that has a household name is another way of gaining interest and motivation among your staff, especially if it’s a cause that has affected many peoples’ lives. Start by sponsoring races or food drives to help a national cause and get your company name into the community. It’s good to be associated with large charitable campaigns.

Depending on your industry type, you can even come up with more creative ways to help out local charities. You might be able to offer pro bono services, or the use of company devices, offices or equipment. You might even be able to hand out free samples of some of your products.

This article was originally published on chartwestcott.net.