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Two days ago, I had a really interesting conversation with a colleague of mine about company culture, and it got me thinking.
The discussion started with him asking me a question- "Do you think that all companies are like ours?" He was referring to the internal relationship that the employees here at Network Depot have with one another. Not to pull the curtain completely aside, I will let you know (for the sake of this blog post) that the internal company culture at Network Depot is one that is a great mixture of fun and productivity. We all work hard here, and we also like to have fun and joke around with one another.
I answered his question very simply- "Yes." But the truth is, whenever you are talking about company cultures, it is rarely simple.
Is it just me, or is the holiday shopping season getting a bit overloaded this year?
First, there's Black Friday, which apparently now starts at 8 PM on Thursday. Then there's Small Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday. And of course, everything is extended for a weekend or week-long sale. Basically, starting during Thanksgiving, you have all these retail stores telling you that you need to go and buy things, and they are giving you the incentives to do just that.
We all know about Black Friday, that day after Thanksgiving when you can get the most amazing deals of the year at retail stores. But, how many of you have ever heard of Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by American Express. It is a day where you are encouraged to "shop small"- visit your local retail stores and restaurants, and show your support for small businesses by shopping at them.
Network Depot is definitely a supporter of small businesses. Aside from the fact that our clients are all small and medium-sized businesses, we know just how important local shops are to their communities. In fact, during National Small Business Week we even wrote this blog post, "7 Things We Love About Small Businesses".
Now, we're not against all the wonderful deals you can get by shopping on Black Friday (that is, if you have the patience to brave the lines and the crowds), but we wanted to encourage you to get out on Saturday too, and to show your support for the small businesses in your neighborhood. So here are a few reasons why small businesses are so important:
Working from home is getting much more common these days. People enjoy the flexibility, they feel they have more time to be productive, and it helps employers cut down on costs. But, working from home does mean you need to be concerned about different things. One of the big worry points should be your internet connection and speed at your house.
Since working from home likely requires some type of connection, whether it involves remoting into your machine at work, or accessing your files through a cloud storage program, your internet is the major player in making it happen. So, if you have trouble with your internet at your house, working from home may not be a possibility for you.
Let's take a look at some of the reasons your internet connection at your house might be having trouble supporting you when you try to work from home:
There has been a lot of focus recently on all the trouble the new government healthcare website has been having. Since the first day it went live, there have been daily issues, and they don't seem to be getting fixed at a very fast pace.
Now, regardless of your personal political views, which I am definitely not going to touch on in this post, I would like to maybe try to look at this from a different perspective. In my opinion, the two biggest lessons that we can learn from this situation are:
Spend more time than you think you need on the preparation.
Have (and convey) realistic expectations.
Let's take a look at each one of these in turn.