The term modern workplace is frequently used once an organization introduces new products or software. However, transforming into a modern workplace requires much more than a new software package. An organization must evolve into a flexible environment that allows for continued communication and collaboration.

With new products, software, and practices being created and implemented daily, businesses need to adapt in order to remain innovative and competitive. In fact, according to several sources, these three workplace practices will become extinct in the very near future: (1) Email as a primary communication tool; (2) Traditional office spaces; and (3) The 9-to-5 schedule.

Organizations, both established and emerging, are working to create more modern environments for their staff that includes advanced communication and many other collaborative ways for employees and management to work. However, the modern workplace means far more than just modern tools for the staff. True modernization is having a fully collaborative workplace that’s integrated with technology in order to boost productivity.

Below are five characteristics that typically make up a modern workplace:

1. They Have a Mobile Workforce

Allowing employees to work remotely is a change that many businesses have already adopted. By 2020, mobile workers will account for nearly three-quarters (72.3%) of the U.S. workforce, according to a report from International Data Corporation (IDC). Most employees see the ability to work remotely as a huge benefit as it instantly introduces a more flexible work schedule. The ability to work remotely is a key aspect of the modern workplace for a few reasons. First, giving employees the option to work from a different location, such as their home, allows for a better work/life balance. They also don’t have to take as much time off from work  due to the added flexibility.

Second, new features make it easier to have your team spread out and still be in constant communication. Applications from Microsoft like Skype for Business and OneDrive allow for people to stay in touch easier. OneDrive is a cloud based storage system that users can upload files to and access from various locations. Documents you’re working on in your office computer can be accessed on your laptop at home as well. This makes getting information as immediate as possible, expanding your reach and ensuring increased productivity.

2. They Collaborate Effectively

What exactly does it mean to have a collaborative workplace? It means having all people and products working together to get more done in the most efficient way possible. 39% of employees surveyed in a recent study felt that people within their organizations did not collaborate enough, while 86% of executives and employees cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.

Office 365’s online services let teams share and edit documents, schedule meetings, and collaborate in real time. This gets rid of multiple versions of a document that needs to be combined. Applications like Microsoft Teams provide a central network for teams to work on projects together. Others like Basecamp cater to helping teams know who is working on what and how to collaborate effectively with the projects assigned. That’s the point of true collaboration: working together, seamlessly, to get the best for your business.

3. They are Smarter with their Data

Companies are collecting more data and information from customers than ever.  IDC reported that by 2020, 1.7 megabytes of data will be created every second, for every person on Earth. With the massive influx of data, companies are in need of a better place to store it. What better way than to get rid of physical servers and switch to the more secure option of the cloud. The cloud offers more value and is more economical than traditional, physical storage.

Microsoft Azure is an integrated collection of cloud services to help businesses move faster, achieve more, and save money. This data is valuable and sometimes sensitive or confidential. With quite a few major breaches this past year, businesses need to be sure they have the best protection in place. Like any system, there is threat of attack but Microsoft Azure has been tested by the Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR) and passed through three rounds of testing where many other companies stop after passing the first.

4. They Believe in Open Communication

A challenge many companies face while transitioning to a modern workplace is the idea of having decision makers separate from everyone else. Many new workers want to know what is going on within the company, like what decisions are being made and why. Open communication channels are a big step forward for companies.

Traditional email and the standard office meeting can only go so far. According to a survey conducted by Career Builder, 26% of employees think email is a major productivity killer, while 46% of employees rarely or never leave a meeting knowing what they’re supposed to do next. Group collaboration and social media tools may prove more beneficial. Yammer is a tool part of Office 365 that works as a private social media network for a business. It lets private groups be created and monitored by individuals or teams, such as an idea group run by one team where all can contribute. Modern workers want to feel valued at their companies, and they want their voices are being heard. Given that opportunity, employee loyalty and retention is certain to rise.

5. They Utilize Modern Tools

Tools are advancing at a rapid pace and your staff can benefit from being prepared on how to use the latest updates. Providing better tools and training leads to increased motivation, productivity, and engagement. More so, not using the most modern tools can keep your business from getting ahead. Imagine having a world full of smart phones, but your company still only had land lines. Whether it be tools or skills, it is important that your employees continue to grow and learn. Some organizations worry that investing in their employees will make it more likely for them to leave. According to the American Staffing Association, “68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy, while 55% of employees say they think they could advance professionally if they were offered greater training opportunities.” Employees want to feel valued and continually investing in their development benefits both the employee and the business.

Becoming a modern workplace is easier than you think. The best way to go about it is to invest in your employees and the technology they use. Simple adaptation can lead to bigger changes and better innovation for your business. Above all, having those two key pieces of staff and technology in top shape can help your business collaborate more. Which leads to more productivity in the long run.

Article from New Horizons

The verdict’s in: Your boss approved your request to work remotely full-time. Congratulations! 🎉You’re no longer tied to the geographical location of your office.

As someone who’s been working remotely full-time for over a year, I know and appreciate the many benefits of this lifestyle. I tend to keep the same working hours as my co-workers, but I still have so much more ownership over my time. I can work from wherever I want, and my commute is only seven seconds long (hello, home office)!

But one fact remains: I don’t see the people I work with every day. In fact, I’ve never even met some of them face-to-face. Our relationship exists purely on Slack and is built on a steady supply of GIFs.

Due to this lack of face time, I actually put a lot of effort into proving that working remotely doesn’t affect the quality or timeliness of my work. Because whether I like it or not, many people are skeptical about other people working remotely. Some even think it directly correlates with decreased productivity.

But that’s not the case. Remote work is so much more than the stereotype of Netflix binging and spending the whole day in pyjamas. It can be hard to go about your daily work routine knowing that these opinions exist. And if your company isn’t 100% remote, you’ll probably even have some of these remote work stereotypes left to fight within your own teams.

Based on my experience going from an in-office environment to a remote one, here are some quick and easy ways that you can be the remote employee your boss and teammates love to work with. Now let’s prove those doubters wrong 💪

Ramp Up The Communication

Here’s one fairly obvious fact: If you work far away from your office, you won’t see your co-workers (in-person, at least). I know, I know—duh! Stay with me.

Because you won’t physically be in the office, you’ll miss out on crucial in-person connections with your co-workers. Sure, this might not be the worst if your cubicle neighbor chews loudly.

But the thing is, you’re not just missing out on the watercooler chat as you pass each other in the kitchen or the awkward faces you make at your teammates during team meetings. (Those things are important in their own way, though.)

Your absence in the office means that you can’t quickly ask your deskmate how to do an Excel formula or run down the hall to consult with your supervisor about a tricky client email. It also means that you’re not there to answer others’ questions either.

When you don’t work in the same space with your colleagues every day, you need to ramp up communication. By a lot. Here are some tips for becoming the communication queen (or king!) on your team:

1.  Schedule Regular Meetings

If you and your boss don’t already have a regular check-in scheduled, get that on the calendar right away.

Whether it’s an hour every other week or a half hour every week, you need to set aside time so the two of you can touch base. And make sure to use this time wisely. Before each meeting, come prepared with updates on your work and any questions or concerns you might have.

If possible (i.e. if your employer provides the necessary equipment), turn it into a video chat. You and the others on your team will feel more connected if you see each other’s faces, which is always good for team morale.

Bonus tip: Schedule these types of check-ins every once in a while with the rest of your team to ensure they know what you’re doing, you know what they’re doing, and that you’re all on the same page. It’s also a great way to see if they need any help with projects (unless, of course, your plate is already too full). Many bosses are concerned about how a remote employee’s rapport will be with the rest of the team, so this is a good way to say, “Hey! I’m still here, and I’ve got your back.”

2. Be Incredibly Detailed

I am a big fan of over-communicating in general, and I truly believe that this is a rule all remote employees should swear by. Again, the inability to speak face-to-face on a consistent basis means there will be even more gaps in information sharing than may have existed before. That’s where persistent communication comes in.

Instead of writing: “Hey Ryan, here’s that report,” your notes to people should look more like:

“Hey Ryan,

Here’s the link to the product usage report I mentioned. Can you please check my numbers on Slide 5?  I want to make sure I grabbed the page number views from the right spot.

It’s due by tomorrow at 6 PM, so if you could have it back to me before noon tomorrow, that’d be great.

Thanks so much! I really appreciate it.


I’m not saying every single message needs to look like this. The goal here is to provide as much detail and context that’s needed so your teammate can respond with the right information you need to keep doing your job. Use your own discretion, but I always err on the side of caution (and over communication), even if it seems like overkill.

Email or chat are not the only places you should include detail. If you and your team use Trello, for example, you’ll want to provide all relevant pieces of information within each project card. This includes the most recent updates, a checklist, and any necessary files. Having all of the information in one place is really helpful for everyone (including yourself!).

Right now, in reference to this very article, I can go into Trello and find every detail about it—my original pitch, different phases of feedback from editors, due dates, the link to the working document, and more—all on one card. No one has to dig through email chains to figure out what’s going on, nor do I have to call my editor and say, “Wait, how long is this article supposed to be again?” Because I can see the word count right there, in the card.

And a chat tool like Slack, where you can create individual and group chats, comes in handy for filling in any blanks there may be, brainstorming your way through challenges, and providing real-time updates.

This type of communication (read: asynchronous) is vital for remote teams. When the whole team abides by it, it means that every single team member can stay in the know and will have everything they need to carry out their responsibilities, no matter where they log on from or what time zone they’re in.

3. Respond Promptly

No, I am not telling you to check your email every five minutes or even every hour.

Talk about a major productively killer, right? Nor am I saying every email requires a response—plenty can go without one, and everyone’s inbox will thank you.

But if someone messages you asking for something, you do need to respond within a reasonable time frame. Otherwise, your team is going to assume that you’ve gone silent and are skipping out on your responsibilities.

They’ll probably envision you lounging on the couch, munching away on Doritos, and binge watching reality TV. That’s not going to aid in changing their negative opinions of remote work!

For the times that you need to be laser-focused, activate the away or snooze functions on the office chat tool. If you’ll be out of the “office” even for one day (with your manager’s approval, of course), remind your team ahead of time and set up an automatic email reply and status in chat. You can even set up a shared team calendar to log vacation days and out of office statuses that everyone can access. That way, they won’t wonder why you haven’t answered them.

4. Provide Progress Updates Via Email, Slack, Or Trello

Because you won’t be in the office, your boss may be concerned that you won’t stay on task. And yes—I know. It’s just as easy to get distracted and hinder your productivity in the office. The alluring free snacks, the chatty deskmates, the ping pong table—oh my! When I worked in an office setting, I had at least four to five hour’s worth of co-worker coffee dates and “mid-day walks” scheduled each week!

So, yeah, being at the office actually hindered my productivity 🤭 Many believe working at home is way too distracting. Welp, that’s not true for me. Folding laundry or scrubbing dishes doesn’t tempt me because, uh, I never actually want to do those things.

You know what tempted me in the office, though?

Hiding away in my friend’s office to gab about non-work things and share snacks. Or grabbing a two-hour lunch to “discuss the state of the workplace.”

At home, those distractions don’t exist. My cats don’t talk back (why?!) and I don’t like their snacks. Bottom line: I get a lot more done in a lot less time. Shocking, I know!

But this sad truth remains: For some unknown reason lacking solid scientific evidence, people just assume that if they can’t see you, you’re not getting any work done.

To alleviate this potential concern, try sending your manager regular updates about your work. These could occur at the beginning of the week or the end of the week—just choose a day and stick with it. Here’s an example:

“Hi Lucy,

Here’s my weekly update. This week, I worked on:

    • The Product Usage Report for Cat Client—I have 8 of 10 slides complete and am just waiting on some data from Data Team to wrap it up.
    • The monthly feedback survey for Hamster Client—Complete. I sent it over today.

Next week, I’m going to tackle: 

    • Wrapping up the Cat Client report
    • Starting the monthly surveys for Fish and Bird.

Is there anything else you need me to work on next week?


Hold Yourself Accountable

This is a given. But I truly can’t stress this enough for remote employees —having no one watching over your shoulder can be good in a lot of ways, especially if you can’t stand micromanagers. But it also means you won’t have that built-in accountability that you get just by physically being around your team every day.

Missing a deadline when no one can see you is one thing. Having everyone stare at you in the conference room because you messed up is a whole different ball game.

It’s a lot easier to get distracted at home. Piles of laundry taunt me and resisting cuddling with my cats is near impossible. I am pretty much the sole person holding myself accountable day in and day out. You should always be an accountable human being, but trust me, the pressure really gets cranked up when you work remotely.

But guess what—I have even more good news for you! You may be the sole human in your workspace, but you don’t have to go at it alone. Trello can help.

You can create a card for each project you have and attach due dates to them. The due dates are color coded to indicate how soon they’re due (or how far they’re past due) and you can choose when you want to be reminded about them so you never miss a deadline. If you and your boss have that kind of working relationship, you can add them to your board so they can receive status updates automatically by subscribing to your updates. Pretty great, huh?

Remote Work Stereotypes, Be Gone

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a big fan of this lifestyle. And, honestly, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon (sorry, haters).

The percentage of people in the United States who work remotely full-time has increased 159% from 2017 to 2019. And some people even predict that remote work will soon be the new normal. It’s a cultural shift we all need to get used to because it’s here to stay (and the naysayers just need to get over it).

Despite its increasing popularity, though, it’s not an easy adjustment for everyone. These shifts don’t happen overnight, you know? And you can’t let your preferred lifestyle interfere with your team’s productivity or morale. You need to put a little bit more time and effort in to make communication and projects run smoothly.

Set regular check-ins with your supervisor and other colleagues you collaborate with. Add more detail into all modes of communications (with reason—no one cares that you’re taking a bathroom break). Be responsive, proactive, and reliable. If you do all these things, it’ll feel like you never left the office.

article from

In early 2017, Shelly Schneider accepted a new job at a large insurance company. With a desk surrounded by hundreds of coworkers, she expected to have a robust social experience at work.

As a small business owner or member of a startup team, your day is most likely a balancing act between working in your business and working on your business.

You want to work less and achieve more but there’s not enough time in the day—or week—to turn all of your brilliant ideas into actions.

So, how do you work less and achieve more in your business? A great place to start is automating sales, service, and marketing processes in order to help your team do more, faster.

Through the magic of automation, your small business team can transform into a productivity machine.

Here are seven easy automation ideas to get you started:

1. Auto-respond To Email Contact Requests

First impressions are crucial, especially as your business is growing and expanding in its market.

You don’t want to be known as the team that takes two weeks to respond to an email inquiry, especially from a potential new customer. Inbound leads are gold and you want them to shine from the first touchpoint until you can celebrate winning the deal.

Make a good first impression on prospects by using email automation to reply to their inquiries right away. Create a template that uses personal info captured by your Web-based contact form:

“Hi, [First Name],

Thank you for reaching out! We’re excited to hear from you. A member of our team will be in touch with you shortly regarding your inquiry.

Let us know if you have any questions in the meantime.”

The super-quick reply establishes a relationship with your new potential customers, and the automation can then assign follow-up to the right sales rep on your team.

You can also use the auto-reply feature built into Gmail, Outlook, and other email services to send replies to customer messages sent directly to your service dept, eg “”

Consider adding your brand’s personality to this auto-responder in order to set the tone of the conversation from the get-go. Do you use emojis on social media? Sprinkle them into your emails as well! ✨🤠🏓

2. Assign Inbound Leads To A Sales Representative

Speaking of assigning follow-ups, automation is the perfect way to keep leads moving through your sales funnel. Many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems feature integrated automation technology perfectly suited to this task. Expand on the tip above by creating a workflow to auto-assign leads to specific team members when they contact your business.

Enter the prospect’s contact information, along with any relevant notes, into your CRM, and use automated routing to get them to the right team member. If they contacted you via email, add an automated, “Thank you for contacting us!” reply to start your new customer relationship on the right foot.

Again, personalize these automated responses as much as possible to delight your prospects throughout their entire journey.

3. Turn Business Cards Into Relationships

Did your team make some great connections at a conference?

Take a few minutes to log your new contacts’ information in your CRM before you leave the show—or take a photo of each of the business cards and upload them to a lead card in the Trello app that’s linked to your CRM.

Then, use a marketing automation tool to schedule a campaign of follow-up emails to your contacts. You’ll be able to send automated emails on specific dates after the event and turn those business cards into active leads. 💼

4. Schedule Meetings Without The Back And Forth

Booking an appointment can sometimes feel like a game of ping pong, it usually takes a lot of back and forth, but with scheduling software, you can send your customer your availability in one email and have it automatically schedule a time that works for the both of you.

If the client or lead cancels, or you if are suddenly booked, the automation you set will update the calendar to reflect the availability of all.

5. Make It Easy For Clients To Ask For Help

Offering killer service is perhaps the best way to win new customers and keep loyal ones happy. Make it easy for customers to contact you when they need it most by including “Contact Us” links on all of your website pages and emails.

The trick is, when customers click the link, your customer service software routes the request to the right person on your team, reminding them to follow up. You can integrate this process into your CRM in order to open an official support case then send an automated follow-up email so the customer knows you’re on the case.

6. Use A Chat Box Or Bot

Chat boxes pick up where FAQs leave off, encouraging visitors to reach out to you immediately with questions about your offerings. That means you can start talking with them right away, cultivating them as a new lead.

While chat boxes require a person on your end to handle any inquiries that your shortcut answers don’t cover, chat bots offer full automation thanks to Artificial Intelligence. Chatbots require more time and effort to deploy and fine-tune than chat boxes. That said, this roundup of some of the most popular chat bot services is a good place to start if you’re interested in deploying your own bot.

7. Clean Up Your Email Lists

“The more, the merrier” doesn’t apply to email lists. At first, all of your subscribers wanted your emails. But over time, people change their minds. Paring your lists down can help you hone your marketing messages, and it’s just good karma to stop sending those unwanted emails. Because who doesn’t love getting closer to inbox zero?

Marketing automation software can help prune your lists. Leverage engagement metrics to identify subscribers who haven’t opened your messages in the past 120 days. Then schedule a series of three automated emails to those inactive subscribers asking, “Do you want to keep receiving my emails?” If they answer “yes,” the software will remove the “inactive” label. If they click “no” — or don’t open the messages at all — they’ll be unsubscribed.

Looking to get started with automation? Check out this blog post on automation with a small business CRM to help you on your path to productivity.

Article from

A doctor begins her day with a series of challenging patients. The first few have a mix of contradictory symptoms. Another hasn’t been responding to treatment. As the day wears on, the doctor begins to default to safer, easier solutions—perhaps without even noticing it.

Every time you get an alert, you make a micro-decision: read or ignore, act or delay, stay focused or shift your attention.

Instead of having all these tools fight for your attention, they can come and go gracefully, when you need them or when they’re relevant.

Working from home is one of the most popular trends changing the modern workplace. Since 2005, telecommuting in the U.S. has grown 80 percent, and now, 3.7 million employees, or 2.8 percent of the population, work from home.

It’s easy to see why telecommuting has become a workplace trend. Today’s employees appreciate the flexibility that comes with telecommuting and are more productive and less stressed when working from home. Like employees, employers also experience benefits when they implement telecommuting policies, namely cost savings.

Are you curious about how you could save? Here are three significant ways telecommuting helps companies save money.

Lower Overhead

The most obvious cost saving that results from telecommuting is reduced overhead. Companies that don’t have to pay for employees’ office space and supplies can save quite a bit in a year. One study showed that if a company allowed an employee to work from home just half of the time, it would save on average $11,000 per employee, and each employee would save between $2,000 and $7,000.

When added up across the country, that’s more than $700 billion in total national savings in a single year, and a greenhouse gas reduction of the entire state of New York — a big factor for some employers like Dell, Xerox and Aetna.

Case Study: Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems implemented a telecommuting policy in 2007. The policy has eliminated 7,700 “seats” in physical offices, saved the company more than $255 million over four years and continues to save the company $68 million annually. The company also has 115 flex offices around the world that employees can go to if they need to work in a physical office.

Increased Productivity

Employees’ productivity has been shown to increase drastically when they work from home. Home offices aren’t nearly as distracting, and telecommuters are less likely to be interrupted midflow by a colleague stopping by to chat, an intercom announcement or other workplace distraction. Working from home can also help minimize tardiness since employees don’t have to deal with uncontrollable traffic and commuting.

Employees who work from home are also less likely to use sick time. Since employers lose $1,800 per employee per year on unscheduled absences, that cost saving adds up quickly.

Case Study: American Express

American Express is a great example of a company seeing increased productivity from telecommuting. After implementing a telecommuting policy, the company performed research and found that its teleworkers took 26 percent more calls and increased their business output by 43 percent — nearly an additional half of an employee — than their coworkers who worked in a physical office.

Reduced Attrition

Telecommuting has shown to lead to improved employee satisfaction, which ultimately lowers attrition and saves the costs associated with recruiting, hiring and training new employees.

One study found that 46 percent of companies that allow telework say it has reduced attrition, and 95 percent say telework has a high impact on employee retention. Losing long-term employees can cost a company between $10,000 and $30,000 each, so keeping them on board longer can result in massive cost savings in the long term.

Case Study: CiscoSystems

CiscoSystems has had a work-from-home policy for the past decade. The company’s Internet Business Solutions Group director, Gordon Feller, said the real driver for the policy was to retain talent, increase happiness and improve productivity. The company has since cited telecommuting as a way to keep attrition costs low and estimates it saves $277 million each year in productivity gains.

Other Cost Savings

In addition to these three main cost reductions, telecommuting policies can save companies money in other ways, including:

  • Lower healthcare costs: Telecommuting is shown to help employees lead healthier lives. One study found that home workers reported 25 percent lower stress levels, made healthier eating decisions and experienced a better work-life balance. All of these factors help employees lead healthier lives, which can ultimately reduce their healthcare costs.
  • Lower travel costs: Companies that operate virtually can save on costly business travel trips. Because they’re already leveraging video chat and remote communications platforms for day-to-day operations, they can also leverage them to decrease employee travel and travel costs.
  • Improved customer service: Alpine Access saw its remote agents’ performance improve drastically after implementing a work-from-home policy. Agents closed 30 percent more sales than the year before, and customer complaints decreased by 90 percent. Keeping customers happy will encourage them to return, improving profits and reducing the cost of finding new customers.

The thought of saving significant costs may be enough for you to consider implementing a telecommunication policy. You might also be attracted to the thought of your employees being more satisfied, more productive and happier. These are all great benefits that can result from a work-from-home policy.

However, you should be sure to think holistically when considering a telecommuting policy. Telecommuting has its benefits and can lead to business growth but may not be right for all cultures, teams and workplaces. Be sure to sit down with your leadership team to consider the pros and cons of implementing one at your office before making a decision.

Article from Productive Leaders

Investec is introducing a new flexible leave system in South Africa: staff can choose to get unlimited vacation time.

The bank and asset manager is also adopting a more relaxed dress code.

“An organisation that is bound by policy that restricts and constrains people through time and dress is a very limiting environment,”  Lesley-Anne Gatter, head of Investec SA’s human resources, told Business Insider South Africa.

A growing number of large companies in the US, including General Electric and Dropbox, have moved to a flexible leave policy in recent months. It is seen as an attractive perk, and the prospect of unlimited holiday has excited many prospective employees.

But there are downsides. Nearly 30% of those with unlimited leave “always” work on vacation, a Business Insider US study found. That’s a far higher rate than those with more traditional vacation policies. Another survey showed that workers with unlimited leave tend to take less holiday than others.

Investec employees will get to choose whether they want to move to unlimited leave.

According to a Business Day article, those who do will be paid “according to their output”.

Investec believes this should prevent abuse of the system “as the conversation with any offenders will be about their performance rather than ‘why you didn’t come to work on Monday’.”

“The idea is to push even harder for high performance as people will have an incentive to finish their tasks quicker. But, above that, high bonuses will be paid for innovation and initiating things, as opposed to just completing tasks,” Business Day reports.

“The leave policy is less about time and more about how work is contracted, people’s roles and the clarity around their roles and deliverables,” Gatter told Business Insider.

“People are saying, in this day and age, give me my time back, give me control of my own time,” says Nicola Tager, head of careers at Investec SA. She believes the new unlimited leave system will result in an “out of the ordinary” experience for staff, and drive an “out of the ordinary” performance for clients and shareholders.

‘Dress for your day’

Investec’s new relaxed dress code will offer employees the freedom to choose their attire based on the tasks and meetings for the day. Gatter says this is a “dress-for-your-day” approach and not a “dress down” policy.

This means that employees can now show up in shorts and T-shirts, depending on who they are meeting during the day.

Article from Business Insider

You can learn a lot about the world by paying attention to trends in coding. Hot new tools in computer programming circles often illuminate what people care about and what businesses are investing in.

Trend data from this year suggest that building quickly reactive web pages and data science are increasingly important. Managing the differences between web browsers is less of an issue.

To understand this year’s coding trends, we examined the question-and-answer site Stack Overflow. It’s one of the world’s most visited websites, according Amazon’s Alexa rankings. Programmers use Stack Overflow when they are stumped. They post problems to the site and invite other programmers help them out by suggesting an answer. More than 6,000 questions have been posted per day in 2018, on average.

Users posting questions must categorize their query. For example, if it involves the JavaScript programming language, they’ll add a “JavaScript” tag. We explored the fastest-growing tags for questions posted from January to November 2018. The data reveal what programmers are using—or at least trying to use.

Vue.js is the hottest topic of 2018

Vue.js is a tool that makes websites run faster, by only reloading the parts of a page that need to be changed for the site to be reactive, rather than the whole site. Only a little more than 900 questions were asked about Vue.js in January, compared to about 1,600 in November. (We excluded tags with fewer than 0.5% of all the questions in November).

React.js,—the sixth fastest-growing tag on Stack Overflow—is a similar but more popular tool than Vue.js. The rise of React and Vue is a result of companies increasingly needing webpages that are fast and nimble, particularly companies that are selling products and don’t want to lose customers because their site is too slow.

DataFrame, Pandas, and Excel: The importance of data science

DataFrame and Pandas, the third and fourth fastest-growing tags, are coding tools for manipulating data. Two others—Python, the most popular coding language for data scientists, and TensorFlow, an application for doing machine learning—are among the top 11.

On the other hand, the second biggest faller is Excel-VBA—a tool for doing complicated analysis in Microsoft Excel. This is a sure sign that data scientists today are abandoning Excel for programming languages like Python and R that offer am easier environment for big data tasks.

Twitter Bootstrap was the coldest topic of 2018

The fastest-declining tag, with less than half as many questions in November as in January, was Twitter Bootstrap. One of the primary uses of that tool was that it makes website layout appear properly in different browsers. Historically, browsers sometimes interpreted code very differently, so tools to make sure they looked right on different browsers were necessary. Today, websites appear properly at different screen sizes and across different browsers, so tools like Twitter Bootstrap are not as useful.

Article from Quartz

Career advancement is a major factor in employee satisfaction. And while promotions have to be earned, employees shouldn’t linger too long at a company if they aren’t climbing the career ladder fast enough.

Early-career employees should aim to get a promotion around every three years, according to Ian Siegel, CEO of ZipRecruiter.

“If you aren’t moving up after three years, there is a problem,” he said.

Title changes tend to slow as you advance in your career, but you should continue to take on additional responsibilities and grow your skill set.

“Ask for what you want and negotiate for what you want,” said Kathy Caprino, a career and executive coach. “I don’t think it looks great if your title hasn’t changed for seven years.”

Make sure you’re really ready for a promotion

Don’t let your ego be the only reason you want a promotion.

Be sure to understand the additional responsibilities and expectations that will come with the job if you get promoted.

“I’ve had many people who thought they should be promoted and wanted to be promoted and then they got promoted — usually into a managerial position — and then say, ‘what the hell did I want this for?'” said Peggy Klaus, author of “Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It”.

Understand your company’s ecosystem

How your company is structured sets the pace of promotions.

Some companies have many positions and job titles, making promotions a common occurrence. Other businesses are more flat and have less layers of management, and therefore fewer positions to aspire to.

“Every organization is a living, breathing system — with its own rules and processes that govern how it functions and operates,” said Caprino. “Ask those who’ve worked there for years and have been successful to share with you the unspoken rules, as well as the stated guidelines.”

If you hear ‘no,’ ask for other things

If you are denied a title change, ask about other perks that could also increase your career growth and improve your work-life balance.

“Be specific what it is you want,” said Klaus.

Don’t be shy about asking for a more flexible work schedule, a pay raise or the opportunity to work in a different department or be trained on new skills.

Look good without a title change

Recruiters like to see growth on resumes and online profiles, but there are other ways to show advancement besides a change in title.

In the section where you outline your job responsibilities, detail any additional duties and projects you took on, and be specific with the results.

“Explain how your responsibilities have changed even if you held the same role,” said Joel Garfinkle, executive coach and author of “Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.” “Explain how you went from managing 50 people to 150 or a budget of $6 million to $12 million.”

Know when it’s time to go

If you’re working hard and exceeding your job duties and still getting passed over for a promotion, you could be leaving money on the table.

“The fastest way to increase your title and compensation is to change jobs … if that’s not happening internally,” said Siegel. “It used to be viewed as a negative if you were considered a job hopper, now it’s the norm.”

Sometimes the lack of promotion has nothing to do with your performance and there’s little you can do to fix the situation.

“If your boss is vague about what you need to do to get promoted, that is a sign you might not be getting promoted,” said Garfinkle.

And if your boss did set benchmarks, but then the goal posts keep changing — that’s also a red flag.

“If they do this and it becomes a pattern, that would be a big clue that they are never going to give this to me,” said Klaus.

The feeling of treading water at work can be detrimental to your productivity and damper your eagerness to continue to perform well.

“If your job has become easy and you aren’t getting promoted, it could signal that you need a bigger role or should look for other jobs,” said Siegel.

Article from CNN Business