As the whole world confronts the Coronavirus pandemic with an unseen shutdown, it’s time we remind ourselves of some basic truths.
First, isolated at home with our families - away from public gatherings in the name of social distancing - we’re reminded that the community is what matters.
Second, we are all in this together. Shared sacrifice to solve a common problem, consistent with our values is what makes us socially responsible.
With that in mind, now is the time to stay inside as much as possible and do our part to flatten the curve. Not only for the safety and well-being of our loved ones but also for all those people still carrying on with their duties out there on the frontline of the outbreak.
Yet it’s equally important to give ourselves a break from the news. All we need is a good distraction. Here are some suggestions to ease the stress of isolation and make the whole experience much less painful for everyone.
Listen to Some High-Quality Tech Podcasts and Follow Useful YouTube Channels
Listening to some of the inspiring tech podcasts might be the quickest way to boost your motivation. Here are a few of the super-interesting podcasts that IoT experts can’t get enough of.
1. WolkAbout YouTube Channel
When embarking on your digital journey, a good IoT platform can also ease some of the heavy liftings. WolkAbout YouTube Channel offers a comprehensive collection of digital solutions powered by WolkAbout and lets you get some hands-on experience through a series of instructional videos. Stay up-to-date on the latest that WolkAbout has to offer by subscribing to their channel.
2. First Things First
On your digitalisation journey, not every project is going to be a success. The First Things First podcast sheds light onto some of the most learnable tales of failure. The engaging, enlightening and embarrassing stories of digital implementations by IoT experts make for perfect inspiration when being locked down in your house all day.
3.The Momenta Partners Podcast
To stay up to date with the latest industry trends, you need to stream the Momenta Partners podcast. The discussions cover everything from blockchain technology and clean energy to IoT-AI integrations and security. Plus, it hosts intriguing guests including CEOs, decision-makers, analysts and engineers who share their views on a range of topics from a variety of industry-leading sectors.
4. Industrial IoT Spotlight
As an industry-trusted digital transformation partner, we are interested in hearing any podcast which focuses on IIoT. The best thing about Industrial IoT Spotlight is that each of its episodes, which last for around 30 minutes, reviews a different use case. If you want to learn how digitalisation can be leveraged for a variety of specific purposes, this is the show you need to delve in.
5. Stacey on IoT
If you want to learn everything from smart home innovations to hardware development platforms, deep dive into a well-known source of inside knowledge - Stacey Higginbotham’s Internet of Things Podcast. Its amazing hosts with impressive tech credentials will keep you awake and help you develop a more comprehensive outlook on digital technologies.
6. The IoT for All Podcast
If you are just entering the world of digital and looking for a good starting point, IoT for All podcast will provide you with all the bits and pieces on how to leverage IoT to reach success on your digital journey. It touches on a number of critical topics related to scaling projects and provisioning mission-critical systems to the implementation of specific IoT technologies and tracking ROI. The best part: the podcast lets you easily jump to the juiciest bits.
7. Digital Mindfulness Show
Digital Mindfulness Show speaks to those who wish to know more about digital ethics and learn all the steps of responsible innovation. This podcast also spends time on current areas of focus such as digital transformation, digital wellness and technology design, allowing you to listen to the experts in the field and learn how to be more digitally mindful.
Deep Dive into Mindblowing IoT Blogs
There’s no better way to stay distracted in these harsh times than chew on some good read. There are far too many resources to list here, but the following six blogs are your must-bookmark sites and an ideal way to plumb the depths of the world of digital.
1. WolkAbout Blog
For the latest modern thinking on digitising industry, WolkAbout blog is an excellent source on which you can count. It offers insightful pieces based on professional experience and in-depth industry knowledge. You can read about everything digital, from current innovations in the IoT landscape to WolkAbout IoT Platform updates and tech insights. It’s a real treasure trove of Industrial IoT content and ideal for anyone learning the steps of the digital transformation journey.
2. Hackster’s Blog
Do you have an IoT project in mind and need some help to develop it? Hackster’s blog gives you the latest news on IoT projects worldwide and an opportunity to learn how to design, create and program Internet-connected hardware. By bringing together a network of close to 200,000 engineers, makers, hackers and partners, Hackster blog supports the creation of technologies that make an impact. And, while you’re there check out some of our team’s projects. It’s a great way to keep your mind and hands busy at the comfort of your home.
3. IoT for All
Certainly, one of the most thought-provoking blogs is IoT for All. This leading technology media platform is dedicated to providing the highest-quality content and news regarding the Internet of Things and related disciplines. Through topics covering everything from business models in the age of IoT to industrial augmented reality, IoT for All gives you all the resources you need to create cutting edge-services for future generations. Being aware of the stellar job this blog does, we like to contribute with some of our best articles and increase awareness of the technologies shaping our lives.
4. IoT Tech Expo World Series
Eager to find more about what the future of IoT looks like? Well, then IoT Tech Expo World Series blog is a great place to go. Yes, it focuses on the latest IoT and industry insights and provides a clear view of current trends in industrial IoT, smart cities, smart healthcare, specific digital technologies and many more.
5. IIoT World
Feeling blue? Don’t be because there is an IIoT World, another amazing resource for research-driven digital blogs. It is specifically designed to connect the SMARTS: industrial technology, manufacturing, sensors, and CXO decision-makers. It combines journalistic coverage with data analysis to expose the stories, trends, players and innovations that shape IIoT. There is a little bit of something here for anyone (and, expertly researched also).
With their mission to “build the next generation of tech media companies focused on providing relevant information in a way that favours readers’ productivity instead of page views and time-on-site”, ReadWrite is another blog you should have on your priority list. Want to dive in cutting-edge-IoT-focused content devoted to topics like automotive innovations, industrial IoT, AR and VR? ReadWrite got it covered.
7. Connected World
What’s hot in the IoT World? Connected World blog is there to help you discover top-quality content to enhance your knowledge of digital applications in manufacturing and society. It asks the right questions and provides meaningful, useful and insightful answers while focusing on the facts from the experts’ perspective.
Listen to What IoT Influencers Have to Say
Whether you like it or not, this is the age of influencers, and IoT is no exception. Luckily, many publicly acclaimed digital experts are more than willing to share their extensive knowledge and help you on your digital transformation journey. Here are some of the influencers worthy of a subscription.
1. Chuck Martin
With more than two decades of experience, Chuck Martin discusses the emergence and the future of IoT. He offers a unique perspective on the digital disruptions introduced by the Internet of Things to the world of an everyday consumer. He has been featured on the New York Times Business Bestseller List. Also, listening to his podcasts, such as “The Voice of the Internet of Things” is an excellent way to find out what your competitors are up to as his guests are mostly executives in leading IoT enterprises.
2. Sarah-Jayne Gratton
Sara-Jayne Gratton’s in-depth knowledge of emerging technologies combined with the experience in the world of educational psychology and theatre gives her an edge that serves brands well. She works closely with the Siemens influencer community, and she is also a Huawei Key Leader. She is also well-known for her book “Zero to 100,000” - a bestseller guiding readers through the basics of using social media to establish a highly engaging brand presence.
3. Carolina Rudinschi
A co-founder of the above mentioned IIoT World digital media outlet and the author of the book on digital media, Carolina Rudinschi, is another engagement guru whose work you should follow. One of the reasons why she stands out is the fact that she established big-brand authority. She has worked as an analyst for some of the most prominent players on the IoT market.
4. Ronald van Loon
Another rich resource for companies exploring novel IoT applications is Ronald van Loon. His passionate interest and unique knowledge of data let him share invaluable insight into how different industries can best use connected computing to improve companies’ operation. To read more about what relevant explainers on leveraging Big Data and digital technologies have to say, check out Ronald’s blog.
5. Lucian Forgoros
Being on the front-lines of software and automation since the late 1990s, Lucian eagerly plunges into technical details. From software licensing to the fundamentals of the MQTT messaging protocol, Lucian is passionate about sharing his thoughts on a plethora of topics. You can also see some of his work published on top-level blogs like IIoT World.
6. Chelsea L. Andrews
As a prominent IoT influencer, Chelsea L. Andrews is a founding member of the non-profit Developers Alliance, and a co-founder of TechMode, a company that specialises in B2B marketing with a focus on tech events. Being a genuine pro, she keeps up with the pace of the evolving IoT scene and is always ready to share some of her engagement tips that should help companies cut through the noise.
Do the Remote Work the Right Way
Finally, we still need to work, don’t we? In the wake of the crisis, companies all over the world have rolled out mandatory remote work. But it is not all sunshine and yoga pants! Whether you are a working-from-home veteran or a newbie in this field, here are a few useful tips on how to stay productive even when that seems to be a mission impossible. The goal is “being your best remote self”.
1. Level up the Communication
“Out of sight, out of mind” can be a real challenge for remote workers. Most of us are used to face-to-face communication, which is not the case when in isolation. To maintain regular and efficient communication with your co-workers, try to make it as “richer” and instant as possible. Communicate more frequently than usual, with less one-on-one chats, so everyone is on the same page, written and verbal. And make sure to share all the context of said meetings in a written format. The easiest way to do it is by using a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers like Slack (for written communication) and Google Meet or Zoom (for meetings).
2. Keep Spirits Up
Prolonged isolation could also potentially impact on morale and productivity. Constantly communicating with your colleagues is crucial to keep your spirits high. Make sure you have as much online interaction with your colleagues as possible, even if it means grabbing a coffee and having a quick online chat. It would be great to organise virtual pizza parties or remote happy hours where people dial in and share a cocktail on Slack or Google Meet.
3. Create a Space to Disconnect
When working in the real world, we easily find ways to disconnect. Spending time with family or going out for a drink with friends help us recharge our batteries for the next day. After the pandemic, most of us joined the virtual world of remote working where disconnecting can be really tricky. One way to calm your mind is to practice meditation sessions and enjoy the silence. If you are not a fan, a good book or a tv show will do.
4. Continue Driving Team Culture
With so many of us switching to remote working, maintaining a company culture might be challenging. But, regardless of the current circumstances, it’s best to keep building team culture even when you need to build it apart. Celebrate birthdays, jump into a team meeting just to say “Surprise!” or fire up some GIFs. Give praise for goals reached and projects completed on a public channel. Encourage your colleagues to share their ideas and virtually connect. Building a team culture when you are not physically in the same office as your teammates might be a strain, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
5. Treat It Like an Office Job
Even though the comfort of your home might seem appealing at first, make sure not to forget that you are still at your job. So instead of spending the entire day in pyjamas with your laptop on your lap (which will make you less productive), create a home office that resembles a traditional one and sit in the upright chair. It’s important to designate and optimise a workspace that is not your kitchen counter or living room couch. This also serves as the signal to the others at your home that you are “at work”.
6. Set Clear Boundaries with Your Family
To avoid being distracted by the family members all the time, you need to explain the situation and let them know when you are in “do not disturb mode”. Whether you will put a sign on the door with a thumbs up, thumbs down, or find some other technique, everything is acceptable as long as it brings good results. The door that closes is about making sure you’re creating the mental space to focus. At the end of the day, close the door and leave the work “at work”.
Together We Stay Strong
Here at WolkAbout, staying at home is the new black. We keep on working remotely because it is important for our future, our colleagues, our partners and clients, and all of those who rely on us. We will do our best to support and take care of each other on heavy workloads, maybe even learn some new skills. There is no time like the present to focus on teamwork, collaboration and mutual empathy.
Yet, this is also a chance for each of us to play for the millions around the world, especially the ones that are putting their lives at stake.
So, stay at home, read a book or two, dive into blogs, listen to some fantastic podcasts, connect with influencers, spend time with your family, spend some time with your thoughts, make plans for the future. The list is endless.
Now it’s the time for us to be resilient and prepared for the challenges that await us in the following weeks and months.
Stay healthy and strong!
Sending a virtual hug,