Our future potential
Do crystal balls really work? Is it unwise to ignore the messages my tea leaves are sending me? Is it possible to know what the future will look like?
An individual’s future seems to be up for grabs by a gaggle of mystical methods. But the future of a country is, of course, an incredibly complex system of potentialities. We would need to hook our crystal balls up with an ace cloud computing service, or send those tea leaves through a powerful pattern recognition software. But to get a good idea of where America’s headed, we could also just, you know, take a look around.
Around the world
Indeed’s new report on trending jobs around the world is a great place to start. Job growth data is the pulse of a nation’s economy, and Indeed has gathered stats on the most popular searches in their jobs database worldwide.
Australia is searching overwhelmingly for nurses, indicating that their health care industry is on the rise. Germany is in desperate need of English translators as they grapple with a massive influx of global refugees. And Ireland is looking for . . . models. Yep, pretty faces and bodies are in high demand there: the future of the Irish economy is looking glamorous.
American’s top five
Most relevant to us here at the AG are the American job search rankings. If you’ve spent any significant amount of time on job boards in the past few months, you won’t see many surprises. Here are the top five American job searches of 2016, according to Indeed:
- Ruby Developer (up a whopping 656.1 percent)
- User Interface Designer (up 557.2 percent)
- Devops Engineer (up 191 percent)
- Application Developer (close behind at 190.6 percent growth)
- Welder Fabricator (up 125.1 percent)
Breaking down the trends
One of these things is not like the other – let’s talk about number 5 first. The rise of “Welder Fabricator” searches is telling. This is a role that pays decently well and requires very little technical skill: just a high school diploma and some training. That means that someone who doesn’t want to enter themselves in the student loan Hunger Games can start earning good money soon after their high school graduation.
Similar positions may begin to see comparable growth as the cost of secondary education continues to rise exponentially.
And now, the bigger trend. Compared to other nations, Americans are searching for tech jobs at an explosive rate. Our country has struggled over the past few years with a skills gap as the economy’s fervor for tech overtook job seeker’s technical skills – but in 2016, it seems like that gap began to close. As Indeed notes, the growth in “Devops Engineer” searches is especially encouraging. Prior Indeed research has shown that that role has the second worst supply vs. demand imbalance, and was the third highest employer-sought role.
Unfogging the future
So, we have our tea leaves, and the crystal ball is unfogging. What do we see? Clearly, America is tech-crazy. But that’s nothing new – we’ve been bent on innovation and technical invention for decades, centuries.What’s new are the signs that our economy is catching up to itself, that businesses and potential employees are starting to match each other.Click To Tweet
This could mean, among other things, even more of that trusty innovation, even faster, even better.
This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution
(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.
The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.
Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.
There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.
Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.
Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.
Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.
“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”
For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.
Ford adopts flexible working from home schedule for over 30k employees
(BUSINESS NEWS) Ford Motor Co. is allowing employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic winds down. Is this the beginning of a trend for auto companies?
The pandemic has greatly transformed our lives. For the most part, learning is being conducted online. At one point, interacting with others was pretty much non-existent. Working in the office shifted significantly to working remotely, and it seems like working from home might not go away anytime soon.
As things slowly get back to a new “normal”, will things change again? Well, one thing is sure. Working from home will be a permanent thing for some people as more companies opt to continue letting people work remotely.
And, the most recent company on the list to do this is Ford Motor Co. Even after the pandemic winds down, Ford will allow more than 30,000 employees already working from home to continue doing so.
Last week, the automaker giant announced its “flexible hybrid model” schedule to its staff. The new schedule is set to start in the summer, and employees can choose to work remotely and come into the office for tasks that require face-to-face collaborations, such as meetings and group projects.
How much time an employee spends in the office will depend on their responsibilities, and flexible remote hours will need to be approved by an employee’s manager.
“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent — you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” David Dubensky, chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, told the Washington Post. “Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful. … It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”
Ford’s decision to implement a remote-office work model has to do in part with an employee survey conducted in June 2020. Results from the survey showed that 95% of employees wanted a hybrid schedule. Some employees even reported feeling more productive when working from home.
Ford is the first auto company to allow employees to work from home indefinitely, but it might not be the only one. According to the Post, Toyota and General Motors are looking at flexible options of their own.
Unify your remote team with these important conversations
(BUSINESS NEWS) More than a happy hour, consider having these poignant conversations to bring your remote team together like never before.
Cultivating a team dynamic is difficult enough without everyone’s Zoom feed freezing halfway through “happy” hour. You may not be able to bond over margaritas these days, but there are a few conversations you can have to make your team feel more supported—and more comfortable with communicating.
According to Forbes, the first conversation to have pertains to individual productivity. Ask your employees, quite simply, what their productivity indicators are. Since you can’t rely on popping into the office to see who is working on a project and who is beating their Snake score, knowing how your employees quantify productivity is the next-best thing. This may lead to a conversation about what you want to see in return, which is always helpful for your employees to know.
Another thing to discuss with your employees regards communication. Determining which avenues of communication are appropriate, which ones should be reserved for emergencies, and which ones are completely off the table is key. For example, you might find that most employees are comfortable texting each other while you prefer Slack or email updates. Setting that boundary ahead of time and making it “office” policy will help prevent strain down the road.
Finally, checking in with your employees about their expectations is also important. If you can discuss the sticky issue of who deals with what, whose job responsibilities overlap, and what each person is predominantly responsible for, you’ll negate a lot of stress later. Knowing exactly which of your employees specialize in specific areas is good for you, and it’s good for the team as a whole.
With these 3 discussions out of the way, you can turn your focus to more nebulous concepts, the first of which pertains to hiring. Loop your employees in and ask them how they would hire new talent during this time; what aspects would they look for, and how would they discern between candidates without being able to meet in-person? It may seem like a trivial conversation, but having it will serve to unify further your team—so it’s worth your time.
The last crucial conversation, per Forbes, is simple: Ask your employees what they would prioritize if they became CEOs tomorrow. There’s a lot of latitude for goofy responses here, but you’ll hear some really valuable—and potentially gut-wrenching—feedback you wouldn’t usually receive. It never hurts to know what your staff prioritize as idealists.
Unifying your staff can be difficult, but if you start with these conversations, you’ll be well on your way to a strong team during these trying times.
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