An Interview with Emma Heuston, Author of ‘The Tracksuit Economy’

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This week we had the pleasure of chatting to Emma Heuston from New South Wales, Australia.

She is a smart-worker, entrepreneur and author of The Tracksuit Economy: How to work productively and effectively from home.

 

What excites you most about smart-working/remote-working? 

The fact I can work from wherever I want.   This means I have the can work from home, travel or use co-working spaces like Ellyot along the way.

As technology improves smart working will only become more exciting with many opportunities to network and share the collective energy of co-working spaces while maintaining autonomy over my work.

I touch on the benefits in my book, The Tracksuit Economy – how to work productively and effectively from home”.

 

What do you think will be the key trends in this new work/lifestyle?

The smart working/ remote working lifestyle is poised to explode in a big way.

The cost of living in all major cities is increasing, meaning the cost of buying or renting housing is slowly getting out of reach.  Additionally, the minimalism and slow movements have people aiming for a slower and more relaxed lifestyle.  A pressure cooker of events leading to working hubs, flexible or remote work.

I predict that in the coming 5 years, organisations will also come to see that they can save money by hot-desking and having their workers work at least some of the time remotely or from co-working spaces.  This is the subject for my next book, so if you have any thoughts on this matter, please drop me a line!

 

What difficulties have you had to overcome, especially not seeing colleagues face to face?

The big difficulty is isolation from my team and the greater potential for misunderstanding without dealing with a colleague face to face.

I have managed to turn this into a blessing by becoming more productive and worker smarter rather than harder while working on my communication skills to ensure they are clearer then if I was seeing someone face to face.

 

What tools do you use to manage smart-working?

A great internet connection and wi-fi is essential, as is up to date technology.

The other weapons in my secret arsenal of smart working are an up to date diary where I have scheduled absolutely everything and a to do list.  Without both of these things, I would be lost and far less organised!

 

What do you think of Ellyot?

I love the diversity of choice offered by Ellyot and applaud the quality of the places offered.  In particular the fact that some places offer additional features like showers is a bonus, it allows the users of the work spaces to better manage their days.

It is also great that Ellyot, a start up itself, is catering for the start up and freelance workers by providing a community space. Finally the #StandForDiversity message is powerful and a great message to be getting out there.

The only issue I see is that Ellyot hasn’t yet expanded to Australia as yet. I would like to see services like this available globally.

 

Emma Heuston is a commercial lawyer and busy parent with a writing hustle on the side. She successfully balances these three vocations while working remotely from the far-northern coast of New South Wales. Passionate about re-framing the way we work, Emma believes professionals of the future will wear tracksuits and enjoy a more flexible way of life. She is a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly 2018 Partner of the Year Awards (Commercial), a Practice Leader at LegalVision, a legal research author for LexisNexis and has been published in Child Magazine and online at Kidspot, Essential Baby, Flying Solo and Business Woman Media. ‘The Tracksuit Economy’ is her first book and is available for purchase across Amazon UK and Amazon Australia.

 

 

Brexit, One Year to Go & Still Clueless

March 29 marks one year to go until the UK leaves the European Union. To mark the occasion, we’re looking in-depth at how Brits – and Europeans – look for Brexit using Google Search.

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Top questions in 2018 so far, included;

  1. What is Brexit?
  2. When is Brexit?
  3. Will Brexit happen?
  4. How many people voted for Brexit?

The above questions are EXTREMELY ALARMING. The number one question goes to show that Brexit should not have been a referendum at all.

Now that it’s too late to reverse the damage, let’s hope people wake up & start asking the real questions.

How will it impact all of us and diversity in our world?

Time will tell.

Black Mirror: Can Bots Help Us Deal with Grief?

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If you ever had the chance to watch Black Mirror, you’d know that the premise of this Netflix original series is to showcase the wonders and dangers of Technology.

In the real world, people are experimenting with griefbotsMuhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, principal data scientist at KenSci, is often the center of attention when the topic of griefbots comes up.

He created a chat-style program that allows him to have conversations with a simulation of his father, who passed away a few years ago.

Muhammad’s experiences bring into stark relief the pain that loss can bring, and he has publicly taken up the cause of trying to spark conversations about the benefits and dilemmas involved with creating simulations of the deceased. Read Muhammad’s reflections in “How the Dearly Departed Could Come Back to Life — Digitally” and “After Death: Big Data and the Promise of Resurrection by Proxy.”

(Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad (Sonu) chatting with a simulation of his father, Abu Jani.)

It’s hard not to be moved by the exchange between Abu Jani (which means “dear father” in Urdu) and Sonu (one of Muhammad’s nicknames). The dadbot does what dads do best: remind their kids to take care of themselves.

The question posed here is really, how far is too far? And does a griefbot truly help us cope with loss or does it hold us back from moving on?

We’ll love to hear your thoughts.

Google releases new app to aid remote working

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Google recently released their new messaging platform called “Google Hangouts Chat” which allows better collaboration between organization members.
Hangout chats support team chat rooms, threaded conversations and sophisticated searches that allow companies to manage their projects from one place.

Chat can be used to speed up the small tasks that can bog down a team working from different locations, such as searching for files or even things like booking conference rooms (amongst other very routine tasks). This is integrated into the G-suites productivity apps like Docs, Sheets, Drive, and Hangouts, all of which are great apps that can help remote working teams or individuals (such as those who use Ellyot) to collaborate effectively and achieve their goals!

These apps, including the new Hangout Chat, are great ways to keep productivity high when working remotely as they can allow for effective communication and help a team work in sync so that everyone is on the same page and can work together effectively.

You can check out more about the new Google Hangout Chats feature here.

 

 

6 more remote working tools to boost your productivity

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A couple months ago we talked about some quick fixes to improve your productivity when working remotely.

We listened to your feedback and we’re delighted that you all found it super useful. So we’re back with 6 more recommendations of top tools to use…

I done this is a great productivity tool that helps you track progress over the day. It allows remote teams to work together in sync and know who’s accomplished what and where the team stands in getting towards their objectives. The tool gives you daily status updates, it lets you see what’s been done and what tasks your team can’t do (and why). If you are managing a team who are dispersed to various locations, this is one way to synthesise each member’s progress and keep everyone accountable and on track.

Hackpad is a collaboration tool by the creators of Dropbox- it allows you and your team to collaborate on text documents in real time, meaning you can create documents on the fly with your team, without the hassle of having to meet up and conduct multiple emails and phone calls to create one document. Think of Hackpad as your way to work together to create things seamlessly.  

Developed by Apple itself, Take a break please helps tackle the stresses of everyday life by helping us with our well-being. Sitting and working at your computer or laptop isn’t great for your eyes or back, or health in general and it’s recommended that you take short breaks every hour or so to give yourself some time to relax your eyes and give your lower back a rest. Not only is this app good for your physical health, it’s great for your mind- taking a break gives you the chance to step back from your work and take the time to look at things from a new angle. Some of the benefits include giving you increased mental ability and increased information retention.

Zoom is a communications tool. Similar to Google Hangouts but with a higher threshold limit for attendees, which means you can get more people in your meetings and get everyone up to speed quicker.

CodePen is a design and development tool where you can write up your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to share with remote team members and get them to review your code to give feedback in real time; it can be used to build your code with the team and test it too, again, all in real time. It is also a brilliant place to find some inspiration, at its heart it is a social development environment, helping the developers in your team collaborate as part of a larger community all working together to actively help each other test bugs, develop code and get on the right track to help you build your next great project.

Doodle, is a way to get your team together without having to call them individually, simply put Doodle is a poll that allows you to select a date or location to send to participants and get them to vote on their preferences. Think of doodle as your friend when it comes to collectively trying to organize anything with your team; this is a wonderful tool for those days working away from the office when you want a simple way to quickly get everyone’s answer to a question.

We’ve used these 6 tools to help us collaborate with our team, all of whom live and breathe the Ellyot ethos of working where you want when you want and how you want.

With our team dispersed between working in an art gallery, another working in a café and the third working from a co-working desk yesterday, these 6 tools (especially Doodle and I done this) gave us the opportunity to get in sync with each other, even though we were working in opposite ends of London.

Be sure to download Ellyot and along with these tools, you can crush your to-do list and be the most productive and efficient worker you can be.

 

Top 14 things to see & do in Seoul, South Korea

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The capital of South Korea, Seoul, has a fantastic mix of old and new, with great food and amazing sights across the city. The capital has a great many things to do, and today we take a look 14 great places to visit and see in Seoul.

1) Korea Furniture Museum: a bit of an unusual attraction to start, but this museum has over 2000 pieces of traditional furniture, which help you get a real sense of a traditional Korean lifestyle and culture. It’s a great way to spend some time looking at the Korea of old.

2) Insadong: This is a great insight into South Korean culture. The district is home to lots of shops, teahouses and market style booths. Along with this, is many great art galleries and restaurants, a place perfect to eat and drink to your hearts content, and pick up a few souvenirs along the way.

3) Bongeunsa: The temple of Gangnam is a calm place, right in the heart of the city; offering a beautiful and contrasting view between the traditional houses and the modern skyscrapers.

4) Gyeongbokgung Palace (GP): GP is the largest grand palace in Seoul and a must see. It’s a huge complex, and it’s a great idea to leave a few hours to explore the palace properly. Picturesque gardens surround the palace, intricate designs adorn it, and if you wear traditional Korean clothing, you get free entry.

5) Eating in the city: Korean food has seen a recent rise, so in typical fashion, eating in the city is a must do. The best thing to do is to wing it, that means walk around town and eat at wherever takes your fancy. The more locals you see at the restaurant, the better!

6) Jogyesa Temple: Amongst the skyscrapers in the city is this little Buddhist temple. Filled with artwork, statues and figurines, the temple is a spot of quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

7) Myeongdong: This is known as one of the best streets for shopping in Seoul. It’s a great spot for souvenir shopping and it’s a fantastic place to wonder with an open mind and wallet!

8) N Seoul Tower: If you want an aerial view of the city, then the N Seoul tower is where you want to go. Watching the city transform from the day into night is an amazing view, and one we definitely recommend. Book your spot before sunset to capture the transformation of the city!

9) Bukchon Hanok Village: BH Village is a traditional Korean village, and the perfect way to step back in time to a Korea centuries ago. You can look in the houses and pop into tea houses for traditional rice tea. There’s also a lot of cool shops in the area, and taking the time to weave in and out of the stores and houses is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city.

10) Changdeokgung Palace: The palace is a real must see in Seoul due to its history and heritage; so much so, that it’s been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, with elements dating back from the three kingdoms period (57BC to 668AD). When visiting, be sure to check out Huwon, the secret garden. This can only be seen via a tour that is pre-booked, but do leave plenty of time to explore the beautiful secret gardens after you visit the palace.

11) Hangang Park: Located by the banks of the Hangang River, the park has open pathways for visitors to bike along or simply stroll through. If you want a change of pace, or a spot to relax, Hangang Park is the place to head to.

12) Deoksugung Palace: Here is another one of the five grand palaces, and this was home to the Korean royal family until the colonisation of the country by the Japanese Empire. While a smaller palace than the others, Deoksugung Palace is open later than other palaces, and is worth an evening visit.

13) Hangang River: The River is lovely from its banks, and the best way to experience the river is via a boat cruise.

14) Everland: This is the largest theme park in Korea, it’s also one of the most visited in the world. However, don’t let the crowds deter you as Everland is a great way to spend a day in Seoul.

As you can see, Seoul offers so much to do and yet our list only scratches the surface of this modern, yet ancient city. The capital is a diverse place to visit, where a clash of old and new come together to create a uniquely Korean city, where skyscrapers neighbour Hanoks, and business suits mingle with traditional Hanboks.

To read more on what to do in Seoul, click here!

Apple Goes Back to School

Apple has gone back to school with their new iPad that looks to utilize features that make it kid-friendly, in order to fight off strong competition from Google Chromebook.
The new iPad will feature a 9.7 inch iPad with a pencil/stylus support and it will offer 200GB of free iCloud storage for people using it within the schooling system.

While your average consumer will pay $329 for the new tablet, schools will get it for $299 and a $10 discount on the very pricey stylus (which costs $99).
This launch comes just one day after Google launched their new Chromebook Tab 10, which costs $329 and has an integrated stylus. The Chromebooks have recently found huge success within the USA education system as the company has marketed the educators with cloud software that is easy to use.

Alongside this, Apple showed off their new software upgrades which included an augmented reality app and a free app that will take on Googles “classroom platform”, called “Schoolwork”- which is designed to allow teachers to hand out homework to students and to track to their work online.

The iPad is available in 25 countries and goes on sale this week!

For more about the Apple product event, read on here.

Unexpected gastronomical city break in Saskatoon, Canada

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Canada isn’t always thought of as a destination for gastronomical pleasures. The country, also called ‘America Jr’ is best known for polite people, beavers and the exporter of Jim Carey. However, pull back the curtain, and it offers an amazing destination for city break style holidays. One of our top recommendations is Saskatoon. It’s a picturesque riverside city, with a ton to offer.

These ‘prairie provinces’ tend to get a bad rap, however there are little gems inside of Canada, with a vast array of activities to participate in, and these little provinces offer a unique Canadian experience.

Starting off this journey in the Delta Bessborough is probably the best way to start your trip, a hotel that is known as the ‘castle by the river’ and is surrounded by 5 acres of gardens. A central location to downtown Saskatoon, makes all the more appealing, and convenient.

Heading into the city you can find a huge array of innovative restaurants that rivals some of London’s best offerings. Local chefs, brewers and restaurants owners who are passionate about the food they put on the plate, so much so that it’s hard to choose where to eat.

But we here at Ellyot have put together a list of 16 ‘must try’ places to get you started on your Canadian trip of gastronomy.

  1.       Stick & Stones, is a modern Asian inspired restaurant which opened just last year. It offers Korean and Japanese style cuisine and offers an extensive sake list.
  2.      Poached Breakfast Bistro is a great little breakfast joint that offers an array of classic breakfast-brunch dishes to start your day the right way.
  3.       Calories is a chic bakery located in the city, offering a menu that respects the seasons and the environment.
  4.       Odd Couple, another Asian restaurant offers Chinese cuisine, in which the traditional and modern combine.
  5.       Little Grouse on the Prairie, is an authentic Italian restaurant offering prairie based ingredients in a casual and relaxed setting.
  6.       Drift Sidewalk Café – here is a café that offers all types of fare, from a crepe filled with eggs, feta and jalapeno avocado crème fraiche to sandwiches and teas.
  7.       Leyda’s is a whole food and gluten, nut free café with home cooked meals.
  8.       9 Mile Legacy Brewing is a microbrewery combining high quality and unique ingredients to produce an original drinking experience.
  9.       The Hollows offers contemporary food focused on the seasons, with local ingredients which are all sustainable. It’s a ‘quirky’ and ‘comfortable’ restaurant  and a must try.
  10.   Baba’s Homestyle Perogies is the best place to try authentic Ukrainian food. (Perogies are a type of dumpling made with unleavened dough).
  11.   Ayden Kitchen & Bar is the perfect place to try globally inspired food with amazing hand-crafted cocktails in a relaxed setting. It’s the perfect mix of comfort and warmth with every experience.
  12.   Park Café & Diner is a local greasy spoon, with home cooked comfort foods like French toast, hash browns and bacon and other diner classics, served in a retro 1950’s setting.
  13.   The Night Oven Bakery is the local bakery that crafts all their bread by hand. With a mill and brick oven, this place offers some of the best breads, pastries, scones and cakes in the city.
  14.   The Local Kitchen is a collaborative kitchen that brings participants together to cooks and create dishes. It provides the perfect place to learn some lessons from some of the top chefs in Saskatoon.
  15.   Lucky Bastard creates traditional spirits, with a large mix of artistic spirits, liqueurs and bitters.
  16.   Primal aims to provide Italian food and handmade pastas using local ingredients to create an innovative menu with dishes like fried bread, elk carpaccio with pickled walnuts and a popular dish of marrow bone luge.

Saskatoon is a city for real foodies, as you can see, but this list is just a fraction of the amazing eateries and artisan venues that the Canadian prairie has to offer!


For more tips on must have dishes at the restaurants, click on the link: https://www.lavenderandlovage.com/2017/08/savour-city-break-saskatoon-canada.html

Could you be the next European Design Awards winner?

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The EDA (European Design Awards), which has been running for 10 years, has begun to attract entries from over 34 countries now. The awards ceremony annually awards European designers for outstanding work in the design and communications space.

Last year saw Porto, a city which has had a flourishing graphic design culture for many years, and has survived a lot of political and economic upheaval since 2008. The city contains outstanding design schools like Esad, which also seen high calibre lecturers like Joost Grootens make appearance there. Along with this, Porto also has several medium-sized practices, including R2 a studio specialising in ‘graphic identity, editorial and environmental design’ and also Studio Andrew Howard another graphic design studio, all of which work across a variety of sectors.

From a design point of view, Porto contains many beautiful buildings making it the perfect venue for the EDA. Examples of this are the Porto cathedral, which dates back to 1146, the Edificio Vodafone and even the city hall, among many other classic and modern buildings that populate the city.

Back to the EDA, the gold award winners included a fish paste packaging designed by ‘Bedow’, a Swedish studio, ‘Creature of Habit’ by Netherlands based, ‘Ambassadors’ and the ‘Wales Nation Brand: Cymru Wales Sans’ by UK based ‘Smorgasbord’.

Attendees also saw the first sight of a new exhibition named ‘Design by Porto, Porto by Design’ which officially opened later in May 2017.

The exhibit featured 40 projects by 28 different students made for the City council in Porto over a span of four years. Collaborators on the project included R2, White Studio and Esad, along with many other graphic design studios.

To read more about the exhibition and the European design awards, check out: http://www.eyemagazine.com/blog/post/porto-reporto

Trump Tech meeting

161214150919-trump-tech-summit-meeting-group-780x439When Trump was on his way to his inauguration, he decided to make have audience with some of the biggest tech firms in the world. At the table was Trump, Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Tim Cook (Apple) and Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity) amongst many other leviathans.

And for many this was actually a good thing, having more stable entrepreneurs and innovators looking to influence him; because anything that moves him away from his normal behaviour and ‘Trump-isms’ would be seen as a great thing.

Secondly having leaders interested in ways to improve the country and seeking answers to solve problems, can only help the situation and with the fact that Trump is seemingly influenced by everyone in close proximity, having these tech CEO’s would be a great way to influence policy for the better.

However, today’s article pointed out just one small problem that Trumps meeting with these leaders had…..20% of the attendees in that meeting were Trumps! Most countries in the world have problems with nepotism though Trump who is unlike most sound leaders, decided that having his family in the meeting was the way forward.

For a man who defied all expectations and even what is regarded as proper presidential behaviour, he still hasn’t found a way to separate himself from his business interests, and with his children in the meeting, it only goes to prove that Trump is about as fit to run the country as his to be trusted with a mobile phone.

Along with this, the new president, who can’t resist tweeting, decided to bully companies like Boeing and Carrier, once again helping everyone see how presidential he was and sadly still is.

The remaining 3 years are going to be fun!

If you still want more on Trump and the meeting, you can read more here