How to Nail an Office Move with no Digital Disruptions

We spoke to Telco Solutions last week and were posed the question on how businesses can best deal with office moves without the disruptions.

The reality is that no businesses should ever suffer from this in this new day and age, as we have access to all the latest tools to assist us to always stay connected and productive.

For us, it’s about one single easy solution: book adhoc work spaces and work anywhere, anytime.

You can read our latest Ellyot POV here

French Nutella riot

5877d1f3dd08951e208b4ae2-750-563

Nutella – a gorgeous mix of hazelnuts, chocolate and milk; probably one of the most loved chocolate items on the planet and a favourite whether it’s mixed into milkshakes,  spread on pancakes or eaten by the spoonful.

It’s safe to say that people love the stuff and apparently in France, they are willing to riot and maim each other for it.

A flash sale of Nutella saw “Black Friday” style fighting and brawling within the aisles of Intermarche’ supermarkets across France, when they reduced the price from £3.90 to £1.20. In fact, one employee of the store was reported to have received a black eye in the mosh pit of customers.

It seems the French really do love the stuff as other reports claimed that, “A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, [sic] another had a bloody hand.” It seems that things got so bad, that police had to be involved with “Nutella rationing” occurring in some stores, limiting customers to 3 jars a person.

In some stores, 700 jars of the stuff were sold in 45 minutes, with the sale going back on over the weekend, although it may help France to take page out of England’s book and form some ques, the perfect way to stop the Nutella madness.

As Nutella’s official twitter, tweeted: “Keep Calm, World Nutella day is coming,” February 5th!

To check out the videos of the fighting madness: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nutella-70-discount-prompts-riots-across-france_uk_5a6aeeb2e4b06e25326655d7?1gr&utm_hp_ref=uk-homepage

The Pretty Reckless at the O2. From scepticism to sell outs

The pretty reckless (TPR) started in 2009, led by former Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen. “Raspy vocals that sound like she smokes a pack a day,” are ways to describe her unique voice, along with a rebellious, rock and roll on-stage presence.

Her bandmates, who are often overlooked are just as talented as the leading lady of the group and as a unit are quite possibly, one of the most exciting live bands you can see!

Part of the UK tour, the band performed at the O2 Forum in Kentish town, which meant that it would be one hell of a gig.

The night’s setlist was a mix of their newer and earlier material with tracks like ‘My Medicine’ and ‘living in the storm’ all being well received.

15 songs were sung all in all and with the final song (‘Take me down’), the crowd demanded an encore, chanting and clapping till TPR satiated the crowd, with a rendition of ‘Fucked up world’. With an impressive drum solo by Jamie Perkins, the TPR knew how to put on a show- with an adrenaline rush that screamed of rock.

For more on the night check out: http://mosh.hitthefloor.com/reviews/the-pretty-reckless-captivated-a-sold-out-o2-forum-live-review/

 

 

Alexa, help me work more efficiently…

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-5,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-ve

Alexa, what’s my schedule like for today? Alexa set a reminder for my 1800 meeting. Alexa, get me a promotion….?

Get used to saying Alexa a lot more in the future as Amazon recently launched their Alexa for business AI assistant. With the likes of Google and Microsoft hot on their heels, it’s safe to say that AI voice assistants may well be coming to an office near you.

AI is already revolutionizing the way we live and it’s even begun to creep into our workplace, even though this worries so many people – there is a silver lining. It is an effective management tool, with time a precious commodity, we can utilize systems like Alexa to do the jobs that waste small chunks of time, leaving us to contemplate bigger and better things. Think about all the times you waste looking for emails or trying to find a certain file,  Alexa can do that an instant, leaving you time to get on with the actual task at hand.

AI has a huge learning potential and it can use this to learn our habits and create a schedule around them; it can even profile us to help understand our strengths, weakness and create a statistical card, allowing us to manage people with ease. Now a manager can pick the right tasks for the people and the right mix of people in a team for a project, all using data which has been pooled and categorized by AI assistants.

These voice assistants can even help with clients and suppliers, meaning you can have an AI like Alexa to help research clients well in advance of meetings, allowing you to track their activities and see their likes and dislikes (are they people who just want the numbers, or prefer some creativity in a pitch), all of which can help allow workers to become more successful.

With all the upside, what are the downsides of integrating an AI assistant into your offices? For one, voice assistants work best when you say straight orders, barely recognizing the word please and thank you, which could lead to some bruised feelings when you interact with your co-workers in the same way.

The second problem with AI assistants is that no machine currently understands nuance, so words like urgent could be misinterpreted and in the process, you end up with the wrong tasks at the wrong time.

Privacy is a huge concern when utilizing AI within your company and using AI will need clear rules on how far you rummage into someone’s details. In this regard, AI can be dangerous and if used wrongly, it could be devastating both to personnel and to the company that employs it, however, if this process is regulated and clear boundaries defined, you can go some way to diminishing this problem.

Tools like Alexa and Google home are there for us to use, AI is a tool and it shouldn’t be feared, but used to help us humans spend more time on the big problems, allowing us to engage in problems that require our fullest attention. AI helps give us back our time and allows to us ponder because no matter what AI can do, it can’t replace human intuition in creating the next big idea.

For more on how Alexa can be used in the workplace 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.

#StandForDiversity and Share your Story

40142240645_3fd74f9369_k

Over at the New York Times Magazine, ambivalence toward capital “D” diversity courses through Anna Holmes’ excellent essay “Has ‘Diversity’ Lost Its Meaning?” Holmes, the founding editor of Jezebel and now an executive at Fusion, notes that while corporate odes to “diversity” are de rigeur these days at places like SXSW and fancy media conferences, these lofty pronouncements often deflate back at the office. It’s easy to get execs to say workplace diversity is necessary, and much harder to find examples of success.

A big part of the problem, says Holmes, is that we keep throwing the word around without defining our terms. “Diversity” has great approval numbers, even as it’s kneecapped by its own nebulousness. Holmes quotes a venture capitalist whose company has had some challenges in this arena — accusations of gender-based harassment, an overwhelmingly white workforce — but said he remains “deeply committed to diversity,” right before quipping, “We have two new partners who are so diverse, I have a challenge pronouncing their names.”

The tech industry has come under fire a lot on this issue, but it’s hardly exclusive to Silicon Valley. Television writers rooms are notoriously monochromatic — a March report from the Writer’s Guild of America found that nearly 86 percent of the people working as TV writers were white. That number is even more glaring when you consider that the most dedicated consumers of the medium are black and brown. To move the needle, some networks have tried to pay executive TV producers to hire a “diverse” writer every season.

NPR’s Code Switch is comprised of a team of journalists who study race, ethnicity, and culture, the ways in which they play a role in our lives and communities, and how things are shifting. Lead blogger for the Code Switch team, Gene Demby examines what happens when diversity becomes nothing more than a corporate buzzword in this article on diversity in the workplace.

Three key points we like from ‘Diversity’ Is Rightly Criticized As An Empty Buzzword. So How Can We Make It Work?:

  • Diversity only can be productive when companies put thought into how to invite and control the resistance against accepted norms
  • Companies need to be prepared to deal with a hefty amount of skepticism when working toward creating more diverse workplaces
  • Companies need to support workers they hire when creating a more diverse workforce because they become representatives of diversity and shoulder much of the resistance and push back themselves.

At Ellyot, diversity is one of our core ethos and we’re currently underway with our campaign to #StandForDiversity.

Have you ever been discriminated in your workplace based on your gender, age, race, sexual orientation or anything else that has made you feel not quite right?

We want to hear from you. Head to ellyot.com/diversity to find out more or share your stories on Social Media with #StandForDiversity and call out those employers who have something to answer to!

 

 

10 ways to help Aleppo, Syria

Wright-Syria3Nearly every day we have seen the horrific pictures that come out of Aleppo, the besieged second city of war-torn Syria. Life has been tough for the inhabitants of the city, with the threat of shelling and atrocities committed by all sides of the civil war.


Below are 10 different charities, who are all doing amazing work to help alleviate some of the suffering that the people of Aleppo have been suffering. They all help to provide clothing, medicine food and shelter to the displaced in the city.


1)    British Red Cross: Teams are providing medical care and emergency services to help transport emergency cases to specialised facilities to get treatment.


2)    The White Helmets: This is a civil defence force that are known due to their distinctive white hats. They are a volunteer group who rescue people from destroyed buildings. Money donated to them will help pay for medical care for injured volunteers as well as supporting families of members who were KIA.


3)    Medecins sans Frontiers: MSF are helping to support 8 hospitals in the city, and are supporting more than 150 health centres across Syria, many in active war zone areas. While MSF can no longer access Aleppo they are still helping to support people.


4)    Preemptive Love Coalition: This a non-profit that tries to address the needs of displaced people, by giving them medical share, food and shelter etc. They’re already helping to feed more than 20,000 people just outside of Aleppo.


5)    Syria Relief: Here is another charity that is providing medical aid and mental health care to treat people who have been living in the war zone and have seen both physical and mental trauma.


6)    International Rescue Committee: IRC has been providing emergency relief and aid to the people of Aleppo since 2012. They support mobile clinics and give children education, amongst other things.


7)    Hand in Hand for Syria: This charity rakes aid to the people living under threat, and they also provide food, clothing along with medical aid too.


8)    Karam Foundation: This is a non-profit organisation that runs development projects and distributes aid within the city. They are currently providing emergency relief for schools inside Syria and supporting refugees who leave.


9)    Islamic Relief: IF has been working on the ground since the conflict began, and have helped more than 3 million people. They provide winter kits which help families survive the cold months.


10)    The Syrian American Med
ical Society: SAMS has already treated over 2.5 million people and are providing medical treatments for people in Syria and refugees in surrounding countries.


For more on how you can help and links to any of these great organisation, click here.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Humbly Accepts Razzie Award

therockWith all the hype surrounding the Awards season, it’s easy to forget that there has been a slew of awful films that were released over 2017. One that got a lot of the critic’s hate was the Baywatch film starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.  The summer movie which also co-starred Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra, was seen as a pointless reboot of the late 90’s franchise; as mentioned critics completely panned the film, which led Dwayne Johnson to rant about how critics had got Baywatch wrong, and that fans, in fact, loved the film!

It turns out that he may have been onto something when he said that. Baywatch recently was awarded a Razzie in its own, new category called “So Rotten You Loved It,” and the film beat out the likes of the Mummy, The Emoji Movie, and Fifty Shades Darker to the top spot.

Graciously ‘The Rock’ accepted the award, thanking both the fans and critics in his “acceptance speech” which he posted on Instagram. He even went so far as to describe the category of his film as “the shit sandwich you have been eating is so bad that you eventually started to like it.

Other winners on the night included The Emoji Movie (Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst screen combo and Worst screenplay), The Mummy (worst actor), Daddy’s Home 2 (worst supporting actor) and Fifty Shades Darker (Worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel).

For more on the awards and Dwayne Johnson’s acceptance speech, check out: http://www.ladbible.com/entertainment/celebrity-film-and-tv-dwayne-the-rock-johnson-humbly-accepts-razzie-award-for-baywatch-20180305 

 

Banksy at the Barbican

banksy-basquiat-barbican-01-720x456Illusive artist Banksy has recently graced London with another 2 pieces of his famous stencil work, and both pieces appearing in Barbican, in central London. The first piece was called ‘Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump’ which shows a character and his dog, standing by two police officers.

This piece also coincided, and was inspired by the Jean-Michel Basquiat show ‘Boom For Real’ which opened a few days later in Barbican Centre. The character or ‘Boy’ was a representation of Basquiat. Later in an Instagram post accompanied with a picture of the artwork, Banksy wrote, ‘Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police – an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show.’

The second artwork which is smaller can be seen on the opposite side of the road. This one featured a stencilled queue of people waiting at a ticket booth, next to a Ferris wheel, with crowns (drawn in chalk), replacing the carriage seats on the fairground ride.

We think the secret identity of Banksy does more the half of the marketing to be honest… The artwork is borderline mediocre and almost repetitive. Let us know what you think about his latest piece. Comment below…

Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar win big at the Grammys & Kesha steals the show

Bruno-Mars

Sunday night saw the 2018 Grammys awards, with an emphasis on a more diverse group of artists being nominated for awards however, the night belonged to Bruno Mars, who picked up Record and Album of the year, and Kendrick Lamar, who picked up Best rap song and performance (amongst other awards).

Along with the awards was an array of live performances by artists. Kendrick Lamar opened up the awards with an iconic and electrifying performance which saw political undertones and an unconventional set- but one which had huge meaning behind it.

His set, which included songs like “LUST”, “DNA” and “HUMBLE”, were broken into verses with Dave Chappelle interrupting songs to say things like: “I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America, is being an honest black man in America. Sorry for the interruption. Please continue.” His performance blew many of the audience away however, with Bruno Mars winning in the major categories, the Grammys failure to reflect culture in America was called into question.

The big live performance of the night was the incredible and emotional Kesha performance, which brought the #MeToo movement to the Grammys with a powerful rendition of ‘Praying’.

Her performance, supported by an array of stars all dressed in white, was particularly poignant after her legal battle with former producer Lukasz Gottwald who was alleged to have sexually abused her (He denies these claims).

The 2018 Grammys, like so many events this past year, were marred with some controversy, especially with the failure to reflect culture in the USA. Even more explosive was the inclusion of Hillary Clinton reading ‘Fire and Fury’ which caused huge uproar amongst politicians.

However it also saw the big movements of 2017 gain momentum in the music industry and shift the focus onto women in the workplaces and their safety.

Stars wore white roses to symbolise solidarity and there was air of change at the awards, with a performance by U2 highlighting the immigration crisis in America and the set to commemorate those who died in the Las Vegas concert shooting and the Manchester Arena bombings, all having a sobering effect.

For more on the winners and the awards ceremony click here.