Archive for February, 2009

Flexibilism

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I don’t usually buy a newspaper at the weekend. I don’t have time to wade through them and there’s only really one story at the moment – the Economy.  However, the UK’s Guardian has a Work section which this weekend led with a piece “A new ‘ism” by Julia Hobsbawm:

The Work Foundation published a study, Productivity, Performance & People, which concluded that a motivated workforce working flexibly to suit employee and employer alike would deliver more for [...] businesses than a century of old-style, rigid hours.”

Now, this is acutely interesting to me.  Yuuguu doesn’t have an office. Having tried to balance work and family with jobs that didn’t even offer flexitime let alone the ability to work from home, I’ve found the change to a more flexible way of working a revelation.

But is this report simply about desperate measures needed to help your business survive an economic downturn? Is it saying employers would only provide more flexibility if they had no other choice?  No.  It was published five years ago.  If flexibility was a great motivator then – when bonuses and salary increases were easy to offer – surely it is an even more important idea now?

The piece goes on to suggest that a culture shift is still needed and – like all great ideas – this culture shift needs a name:

“This culture needs changing. I grew up with feminism as a given. Let’s have a new “ism” beginning with “f” which is much more relevant to working women and men today -”flexibilism“. By that I mean an attitude towards work which has trust at its centre – a trust that people will deliver if they are encouraged to work out what suits both their needs and their employers’ needs alike.”

In the days of the Industrial Revolution, mills and manufacturing, flexibilism was a pipe dream that made no sense. You worked where your machine was. In today’s service driven, internet enabled economies, your machine now works where you are. It’s just taking a little while for this fact to sink in.

You could save £billions, apparently

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

By not sitting by your log fire and watching the economy crash and burn. No, this is not a rant against the top bankers following yesterdays mea culpa – but something guaranteed an equally frosty reception. Snow. And apparently, says The Times, this snow will cost our economy: about three billion pounds so the estimate went.

Now, if you live in very chilly countries, like Iceland (sorry, banks again) or Alaska (whose governor’s name we now know) you’ll be fine with snow. It’s just pretty, fluffy, cold white stuff that doesn’t really seem to affect life too much. Snow chains on the 4 x 4 and away you go. Hard to see it raising an eyebrow, let alone costing the GDP of a small country.

Not so in good old Blighty. One inch of snow in 24 hours reduces us to our knees. Everything stops. Schools close. Public transport stops running. Offices empty faster than at 5.00pm on a friday. The strangest news I heard was that trains on the London Underground had been cancelled. You would think the clue was in the name: surely underground is a fairly snow-free place?

Anyway. When it snows, you don’t want to be part of that statistic: you don’t want it to be your business losing revenue.

There are plenty of ways of losing money if people cannot travel. Teams can be unable to meet up, so decisions are delayed and opportunities lost. Sales presentations get cancelled, giving a foothold to competitors or plain old buyer apathy. Staff cannot get together to collaborate in their project teams, meaning missed deadlines.

Whilst a few companies are set up for home based working, the greater number I’ve ever worked for were not. So something like snow stopping travel takes them completely by surprise. Equally, if you sat down and budgeted for this, it would not make any sense at all to invest heavily in home working technology ‘just in case’ it snowed.

Where I’ve found Yuuguu to be fantastic is that it’s free to get started and needs no pre-planning. You download it from our site, run the very easy installer – and you’re back on with your sales presentations or team work or whatever. It is pre-configured to go through most company firewalls, so you don’t even need to hassle the IT department.

So when it snows again, don’t stress about travel problems. Download Yuuguu – and just carry on, using just your laptop and home broadband connection.

And don’t let snow meltdown your revenues! (sorry, couldn’t resist. I’ll get my coat)

A big thank you: Yuuguu Plus subscriber number one!

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

It’s a great day here at Yuuguu: we’d like to give a big thank you to our very first subscriber to Yuuguu Plus!

We were especially pleased by when it happened. ‘Subscriber One’ signed up literally minutes after setting the new Yuuguu Plus service live. We’ve had more since then, but number one really is the start of a new era of Yuuguu.

We’ve always known that the free version of Yuuguu was popular. Our usage stats show it is getting more popular as time goes by. But there is something very special about someone having enough faith in us and our service to put their money where their mouth is. From all the team – our greatest thanks to you.

If we were a more traditional sort of company, we’d probably ship you some tacky gift like a pen or a mug with a cheesy slogan on it… but if you’re using Yuuguu, you’re probably forward thinking enough to not want one.

It seems a long time ago since Anish, Philip and Chris got fed up of having to rent meeting rooms just to work together, and decided to do something about it. Three years or so later, and Yuuguu is clearly helping the wave of next-generation businesses. It’s helping consultants consult, salespeople sell and remote helpdesks help. It’s enabling people who normally could not afford to work together to combine their ideas and create what only they can. It’s removing miscommunication. It’s enabling a whole different way of thinking about how business can start up and operate.

In fact, if you have the seed of an idea, and you know “just the person, but … they live so far away” then go on! Download Yuuguu today, and see if you can do your own bit of recession beating. You’ll never know until you give it a try. Using Yuuguu will cut your startup costs down to where there’s almost no risk …

We look forward to hearing more of your success stories about the things you bring into being using Yuuguu.

And we hope our low-cost service will enable you to do even more, and more easily, for a long time to come.

Thanks once again from all at Yuuguu!

Further chances of snow – costs more than you think!

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

With reports of snow increasing this week, i’m wondering what people would do if we had this for more than the 2 weeks maximum a year. But when it does happen i have to say it is a great feeling knowing that i only have to go to the home office and carry on my work in the same way as i would do by traveling to our central offices.

I also wonder what the cost is to companies who’s employees are late for work or even do not get there at all and are not set up to work from home. In this day and age your work should be so mobile that you can take it with you where ever you go. Organisations should be doing far more for parents who are rushing around in these conditions to get their children to school on time or having to nurse when they are sick which from my experience right now in time is an absolute cert for them to be ill when the elements are most against us.

One of my top tips that i bet is overlooked by a lot of small to medium sized companies is to have everyone working on a laptop each, not the usual office Dell desktop because they are less than £300 all in, but invest in a laptop and install with Yuuguu for free or a small paid for subscription for enhanced features and I bet that within a year the extra money spent on each machine would be peanuts compared to the cost of time saved for a whole number of reasons than just the snow.