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It’s Time to Shorten the Workweek

The U.S. government began tracking workers’ hours in 1890. At that time, the average full-time manufacturer employee put in a staggering 100 hours a week!

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For many people today, especially those who have salaried positions or are in management, the 40-hour workweek is an elusive myth. Unpaid overtime is common, and today’s technology gives employers easy access to employees at all hours. This blurs the line between work and home life.

This is being played out now with many white collar jobs forced to work from home due to Covid-19. Between worker furloughs and layoffs, those still employed are shouldering the load to keep businesses functioning. And many jobs that continue to be eliminated due to this historic economic crash are unlikely to return .

How we got to the 5-day, 40-hour workweek

It was a long fight and drawn-out fight that got us to where we are today. In 1866, the new National Labor Union was the first to push Congress to pass a law mandating the eight-hour workday. Although it failed and the union dissolved, other groups picked up the banner.

In 1867, Illinois passed it into law, but employers refused to follow it. This led to a huge strike in Chicago that became known as “May Day.” On each May Day thereafter, more strikes and demonstrations took place in support of the shortened workweek.

Two years later, President Ulysses S. Grant issued a proclamation that included instituting an eight-hour workday for government workers. Private-sector workers, especially manufacturing employees who put in long hours, began pushing their employers to adopt it.

Employers, workers and government tussled over the issue for decades and pressure slowly mounted. A 44-hour workweek act was passed in 1938. Then, in October 1940, the Fair Labor Standards Act went into effect mandating 40 hours as the standard workweek.

Four-day workweek vs. decrease in hours

The Covid-19 crisis has many Americans questioning the country’s obsessive work culture—and they want change. According to The Harris Poll, four out of every five workers support switching to a four-day workweek. However, you’d still be working 40 hours.

It sounds good when there are enough jobs to support it—but what if there isn’t? A better step, which will be needed in the coming years, is to decrease what a full-time, standard job means.

Automation and AI will eliminate the need for many jobs

The biggest question the government will face in the coming decades is a permanent reduction in human workforce need. The Brookings Institute released a 2019 study citing that more 109 million jobs are at risk for high or medium exposure to automation by 2030.

This doesn’t mean all of the impacted jobs will cease to exist. However, as more and more automation is brought on, the logical conclusion is less human labor will be needed.

It’s also important to note this study was done prior to the current economic crash. Thanks to Covid-19, which has gutted huge swaths of the economy, automation will likely come much faster than companies, and certainly the Federal Government, has planned.

It took well over a century to get to today’s standard 5-day, 40-hour workweek. We won’t have that luxury this time around. Technology will replace many repetitive and mundane job functions, and then move onto the jobs themselves. The U.S. will need to shift to less hours per worker to keep everyone employed and money moving throughout the economy.

Business efficiency and progress won’t be stopped. And why would we? If we can create a new work culture that is healthier and more balanced, while getting everyone back to work, it’s time to get moving.

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Business

5 ways the Russian-Ukrainian War is Impacting Software Development Outsourcing

The Ukrainian-Russian conflict is having a ripple effect on the software development outsourcing industry. Here are 5 ways the war is impacting software development outsourcing.

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Outsouring software development to Ukraine

Outsourcing software development has become a popular way for businesses to get their products or services to market quickly and at a lower cost. However, the Russian-Ukrainian war is having a major impact on the once-booming tech outsourcing industry of the region. Here are 5 ways the war is impacting software development outsourcing: 

Businesses are hesitant to outsource to Russia or Ukraine

With the Russia-Ukraine war raging, businesses are understandably hesitant to outsource any work to companies based in these countries. The political instability in the region makes it a risky place to do business, and there is no telling how the situation could escalate in the future. Many countries and business interests are also cutting business ties with Russia. This will unlikely change for the foreseeable future as Russian war atrocities mount and the present regime remains in power.

There is a shortage of workers in both countries as people flee conflict zones 

The conflict in Ukraine has led to a mass exodus of people from the country, with over 5 million people fleeing since the start of the war. This has resulted in a shortage of workers available to do software development work. It has also driven up wages for those who are still in the country and available to work.

Companies are understandably relocating their operations out of the region, which further limits available developer resources.

Quality of work may be impacted as developers are working under more stressful conditions 

The ongoing conflict in the region is no doubt having a negative impact on the mental health of workers in Ukraine and the region. This, in turn, could lead to a lower quality of work as developers are working under more stressful conditions. 

Project deadlines may be impacted as companies struggle to get work done in the midst of the chaos. These risks are pushing clients to look elsewhere for development services while the conflict ensues.

There is an increased demand for IT professionals in other countries, such as Poland 

The Russian-Ukrainian war is having a major impact on neighboring countries, as well as a corresponding increase in wages. Due to the risks associated with outsourcing to the region, businesses are increasingly looking to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, or to Asia, for resources. This has led to an increase in demand for IT professionals, which is showing no signs of decreasing in the short term.

As Outsourcing Options Tighten, Costs are Rising

Outsourcing software development services to the Ukraine and Russia was once a popular option for Western businesses looking to save on costs. However, with the current conflict between the two nations disrupting business activity in the region, many companies are now moving their operations elsewhere and building resiliency plans. 

The instability in eastern Europe is causing wages to rise and businesses are becoming more risk-averse, both of which are making it difficult for Ukrainian, as well other regional service providers to remain competitive. If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to outsourcing software development services, it’s time to consider India or China.

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Business

What Are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Ever heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the various altcoins? There’s a new cryptocurrency type on the block and it’s called a Non-Fungible Token or NFT for short.

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What Are Non-fungible Tokens

Ever heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and the thousands of altcoins that make up the cryptocurrency world? Well, there’s a new kid on the block and it’s called NFT or short for Non-Fungible Tokens. If you’ve been following the cryptocurrency space in the last few months you know what I’m talking about. For the uninitiated, get ready to be rocked.

What Is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)? 

Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are cryptographic assets on blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency. This differs from fungible tokens like cryptocurrencies, which are identical to each other and, therefore, can be used as a medium for commercial transactions.

Source: https://www.investopedia.com/non-fungible-tokens-nft-5115211

How Are NFTs Used?

The distinct construction of each NFT has the potential for several use cases. For example, they are an ideal vehicle to digitally represent physical assets like real estate and artwork. Because they are based on blockchains, NFTs can also be used to remove intermediaries and connect artists with audiences or for identity management. NFTs can remove intermediaries, simplify transactions, and create new markets.

In fact, in the last several months there have been several large art sales happening with the most expensive (at the time of this post) being the Beeple sale of $69 million. Yes, you read that right. As crazy as that might sound, the NFT marketplace is booming with some crazy digital art sales.  Here are 11 of the highest NFT sales.

As NFTs gain in popularity, so are the amount of NFT marketplaces growing in numbers. According to the guys at Influencer Marketing Hub, these are the top 10 Marketplaces for buying and selling non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs):

NFTs in a Nutshell

What you need to know about NFTs

Source: https://www.investopedia.com/non-fungible-tokens-nft-5115211

If you’re an artist or a digital media creator it wouldn’t hurt to try your hand at selling some of your artwork on one of the many NFT marketplaces. Who knows, maybe it just might be a life-changing experience with life-changing rewards.

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Business

Using Fiverr to Generate Over $300k

There are a growing number of people using Fiverr to generate over $300k per year doing what they love almost anywhere in the world. Learn How.

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Making $300k per year with Fiverr

Nowadays there is no shortage of ways to make money at home with the skills you already have or new skills you can acquire in a short amount of time. One of the biggest platforms fueling the freelance economy is Fiverr. In fact, there are a growing number of people using Fiverr to generate over $300k per year doing what they love almost anywhere in the world.

So what exactly is this Fiverr we speak of? Fiverr is one of the world’s largest marketplaces where freelancers can provide digital services to consumers and businesses alike. The price of services freelancers provide varies from $5 to $10,000 with the ability to upsell faster turnaround time and better quality services. At any given point, their databases contain millions of gigs freelancers can secure to earn as much income as they can handle. 

Alex Fasulo $300 Fiverr Freelancer

The guys over at The Iced Coffee Hour interviewed Alex Fasulo , a Fiverr freelancer making over $300k per year off Fiverr gigs. Check out the interview above.

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