7 Reasons to Encourage Your Employees to Volunteer – Tejesh Kodali

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No matter the size of your company or how many employees you have, it’s important to encourage those employees to volunteer. Studies have shown that employees feel happier working for a company that encourages giving back and takes steps to make that possible for employees. Simply offering a day or two of volunteer time-off for employees can go a long way and get across the point that the business prioritizes philanthropy. Here are just a few of the many reasons that you should encourage your employees to volunteer or create opportunities for them yourself.

Happier employees

By encouraging your employees to volunteer in different capacities, you’ll have happier employees. Through volunteering, employees will feel like they’re working toward a greater purpose and feel satisfied with what they’re doing. It’s proven that giving back makes people happier; encourage your employees to have this feeling.

Reduced turnover

If employees feel happier as they’re volunteering and connect that feeling to their workplace encouraging them giving back, you’ll have lower turnover rates. Employees who feel that they’re working toward the bigger picture with their company and are doing good together will be less likely to leave that business.

Improve the community

When you’re looking for volunteer opportunities to point employees to, look around the local community. You’ll find there are plenty of ways your business and employees can give back. By focusing on the community your company is in, you’ll have a chance to improve the local community.

Develop your brand

As your employees go out into the community and find ways they can give back, it helps develop your business’s brand. People will recognize you as a company that wants to give back and looks for ways to do so.

Healthier employees

It’s been proven that volunteering makes you healthier. Helping others lowers stress levels, leads to fewer heart issues, and generally improves well-being. By encouraging employees to volunteer, they’ll end up being healthier, which means they miss less work, have to rely on healthcare less, and feel better overall.

New skills

By encouraging employees to volunteer, particularly in areas where they can use skills related to their careers, they’ll find ways to develop new skills. As your employees gain more skills, they can use these in their current jobs to be more efficient, informed, and successful.

Attract great employees

Finally, as the business develops a reputation for caring about giving back, you’ll begin to attract great potential employees. Many people, especially in younger generations, want to work for a business that possesses values they agree with. Being able to demonstrate how your company gives back to others helps achieve this goal.

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How to Get More Women to Pursue a Career in Tech – Tejesh Kodali

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It’s no secret that people today live in a technology-driven world. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is where it’s at in the job market and preparing for its growing demand is key.

According to most tech experts, in just a few years, more than half of the available jobs will be found in the STEM industry, and a large chunk of the rest will require employees to have some type of STEM knowledge. That is why it is essential that young girls be exposed to STEM at an early age, so that they gain an interest in the accelerating field and possibly pursue a tech career.

It’s all about leveling the playing field and beginning with programming. Many girls often feel intimidated by STEM subjects, knowing that the boys seem to have an upper hand on the courses because of their expected early exposure to computer science by coding.

It’s an ugly stereotype that seems to persist; boys are naturally better at tech stuff. Girls become afraid to pursue the field and many stop being interested when they get a B or less on a test because they believe it means they aren’t cut out for the field. Building a female student’s confidence is one way to tackle the issue.

Middle school teacher Angie Schiavoni believes that young girls need to grow up coding and view it as a cool and exciting skill. Getting them psyched about computer science at the high school age is too late, she says. Kids are like sponges, and the earlier they can learn about a subject, the better, Schiavoni has found. Creating a website and using HTML is one of her approaches that she has labeled Code Ed.

The successful program teaches underserved middle schoolers how to connect to the tech world. By building their own websites, these young female students become excited learning how to add images with anchored text, using links or choosing YouTube videos to place on their sites. Even if their websites are all about Justin Bieber, a fan favorite, the pupils are absorbing valuable lessons in programming.

Code Ed isn’t the only program out there aimed at young girls and teens to spark STEM interest. Microsoft, for instance, has a popular national course called Digigirlz that is available for high school level students. The program offers workshops in coding fundamentals and creating websites.

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6 Ways to Create a Budget that Works – Tejesh Kodali

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No matter where you are in your life or what financial stability you have, a budget is invaluable. You never know what life will throw at you, so it’s vital to be prepared. Being aware of how much money you’re spending each month and being able to work toward tangible financial goals helps you better manage your money now and also prepare yourself for the future. Follow these tips to create a budget that actually works and helps you keep your finances in order.

Track your expenses

The first step to take is to figure out just how much you spend. Take a few weeks or a month or two and track your expenses. Figure out what consistent payments you’re making and where you’re spending money on something you don’t necessarily need. Once you have an idea of your expenses, you can see where you can cut back or where you can spend a little bit more.

Be honest with yourself

Taking a frank look at how much money you spend each month can be stressful, especially if you know that you overspend on something you don’t need, such as clothing or going out to restaurants and bars. Think about how much money you’re bringing in each month and then make sure you aren’t spending more than that amount.

Automate as much as possible

If you have monthly payments, like rent, a car loan, or debt from college, automate those payments each month. You can also automate credit card payments and other recurring expenses. This way, you pay off those obligations first and avoid overspending and not having enough money to pay for what you really need.

Make some goals

If you want your budget to succeed, you need to make concrete goals. Determine how much money you can spend each month in a variety of categories. Account for every last dollar you’ll be receiving so you can avoid overspending. Try to take into account anything you might need to spend money on, such as a medical issue, purchasing gifts for a holiday, or something for your house.

Find out what works for you

There are different ways you can keep track of your budget, so find out which way works best for you. You may prefer using an app on your phone, tracking everything in a spreadsheet, or physically writing your budget and expenses down. You might also find that a combination of a variety of these options works best for you; whatever helps you stick to your budget, use that method!

Reevaluate

Every so often, take time to reevaluate your budget. You may have underestimated how much you spend in one area or you might pay off a loan and have extra money to spend. Every six months or so, sit down and see how you’ve been spending your money and if you need to make any changes.

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3 Perks of Learning to Code – Tejesh Kodali

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If you’ve ever wanted to learn to code, there’s no better time than now. The world is becoming increasingly more digital and those that aren’t able to keep up with these newest trends are bound to fall behind the curve. Learning coding can help you in a variety of different ways. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should take the plunge, consider these substantive advantages that a coding education can offer you.

Bolster your professional value

We’ll get to the advantages that come from becoming a professional coder below, but understanding the fundamentals of programming languages can help increase your appeal to employers even if you don’t call yourself a programmer. Whether it’s knowing how to put together a website or understanding how to manipulate tables in SQL, there are a number of valuable proficiencies that can help you stand apart from the competition. Understanding what various languages do and how they can be leveraged in your current job can provide you with some guidance on where to take your education.

Coders are in high demand

Occupations centered around coding are booming and they don’t show any signs of slowing in the future. The need for programming jobs is growing at double the pace of the rest of the job market overall and faster than the market average. Those with the experience can benefit greatly from the fact that demand is higher than supply. Many entry level positions offer salaries of nearly $90,000 and more experienced coders can command six digit salaries. That level of demand – combined with the versatility of a coding job – allows those with the experience to work from home in either a salaried or freelance capacity.

Coding jobs circumvent automation

There are a lot of concerns about robots taking human jobs and those concerns aren’t unwarranted. However, coders are largely immune to that risk. That’s because even the most basic robots need coders to program them and make sure that they’re able to complete their tasks. As more sophisticated robots enter the workforce and place humans out of jobs, there’s still going to be a demand for coders with the talent and expertise to make sure they work properly. While AI and machine learning are accomplishing many of these tasks themselves, they’re largely a supplement to human coders rather than a meaningful replacement.

5 Ways to Improve Your Company Website – Tejesh Kodali

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Successfully owning and running a business requires meticulous planning. Having a website for your business is one of the ways you can utilize to increase your chances of success. Running your company’s website requires proper planning including optimizing your user’s experience. Here are some of the ways on how you can improve your website’s user experience.

Optimize your site’s speed

The loading speed of your website is a major factor that can either encourage or discourage internet users. To optimize the speed of your website across all internet access platforms such as desktop and mobile phones, you should minimize, as much as possible, plugins that generally slow down the site. Other web content such as video and graphics can also slow down a site and thus should be minimally used.

Reinvent the call to action button

If your website targets inviting readers to take certain action through a call-to-action, you should think outside the box on how you can creatively incorporate the button. One of the ways you can reinvent the call-to-action button is by making it more attractive as well as using an emotional connection that helps the reader to desire to take action.

Work well on your hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are highly essential in helping boost the reliability and credibility of your website in reference to other sites. If you intend to optimize your web content, hyperlinks come in handy. When using hyperlinks, however, it is crucial to differentiate the hyperlink content in a way that is attractive and inviting to the reader. Using differentiation tools such as bolding and aligning or italicizing the hyperlinked phrases or words helps create visual attention to the reader.

Creating emphasis on key content

When composing your web content, you should endeavor to be precise and short, depending on the attention you need to achieve and the message to be put across. Key text containing important information that you target your readers to take note of should be differentiated accordingly by the use of tools such as bullet points and bolding of the text. Bulleted content is easy to remember.

Be consistent in your text

Consistency in a website is highly important as it creates a sense of uniformity and identity to the eyes of the reader. To create consistent text, you should use a uniform font style with variations including bolding of texts and variation of font size to create emphasis on headings and subheadings. Titles can be created in a different font style and font size.

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4 Benefits of Taking a Break from Technology – Tejesh Kodali

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Technology is an essential part of today’s lifestyle. It’s used to connect with friends and family across the world, pay bills, and provides plenty of entertainment. Most people feel lost if they don’t have their smartphone, tablet, or computer. Being able to access anything at the touch of a button is a luxury that most have grown accustomed to in their daily lives. However, these devices can easily hamper interpersonal skills and cause antisocial behaviors. While it’s great to have technology, it can also be bad depending on how you use it. Here are five reasons why taking a break from technology every now and again is necessary.

Develop more profound relationships

People are constantly checking email, text messages, and social media posts. Because a phone is ever present, they become an addiction. Being buried in a cell phone can be very annoying to others. Put the phone away and use the art of good, old-fashioned conversation. When physical interaction occurs, people develop deeper relationships. Texting and social media connections are surface level and can lead to isolation from others.

Have more time

Electronic devices are big time wasters. The average person spends over eight hours on technological devices, which is more time than most people sleep. It’s easy to see how these devices take a huge chunk of one’s time. Think of all the things that could be done if the phones and tablets were put away for a few hours. Set some firm limits and stick with them. Consider downloading an app that tells you how much time you spend on your phone and on what apps so you have a better idea of where you can cut back. Many will be surprised how much more they can accomplish when they don’t have their head buried in their phone.

Improve your outlook on life

Social media creates a false sense of reality. People post pictures that are airbrushed and put stories that only portray their family in the best light. Many people feel frustrated because they don’t measure up to friends and family they see online. By taking a break from technology, many can reconnect with their inner self and what’s important. Most of the stuff online is fabricated to make someone else feel better anyway.

Reduce daily stressors

People have no way to escape their job. The phone is always ringing, texts are pouring in, and emails from the boss can be received at 2 am. All this constant action can be very stressful. There needs to be some time for peace. No one wants to deal with office troubles at all hours of the day or night. To leave work at work, try switching off devices at a particular time, or just leave them at the office.

Breaking bad habits is not going to happen overnight. However, taking a break from technology can help those who are overstressed, and lack depth to their relationships, to improve.

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5 Ways Tech Can Be Used in Schools

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There have been huge advances in technology in recent years. Technology has begun influencing nearly every aspect of our lives and education is no exception. Children are growing up with technology and becoming much more tech literate than many older generations. Since technology has saturated every industry, it’s vital that students learn how to use technology to the best of their abilities. That means it’s up to educators to find ways to integrate technology into schools for the benefit of their students.

Gather feedback

A great way to get students comfortable with using technology while also improving your teaching methods is through gathering their feedback using technology. You can set up a survey form students can fill out online. If your students are older, you can incorporate social media profiles, such as Twitter, as well. You can create a hashtag unique to your class.

Let students be creative

Your students are going to frequently use technology in their daily lives, so they’ll know the basics of navigating the software and hardware that you’re using. Give your students the chance to explore software programs on school computers or online resources and use those to be more creative. Encourage them to create videos and presentations on a specific topic in class or even a podcast type project that can educate the rest of the class about something related to class.

Make it fun

Students are more eager to learn when they’re enjoying doing so. With technology, there’s an endless amount of resources you can use to make learning more enjoyable for your students. You can use sites to set up quiz games in a jeopardy format or find fun videos your students would enjoy. You can also encourage students to work on projects in groups and come up with fun ideas for their projects.

Educate on technology

While your students will know the basics of using common types of technology and resources online, there are also plenty of ways you can educate them further about tech. As you’re using technology in collaboration with your lessons, incorporate knowledge on how to use higher level technology, such as recording and editing equipment or minor coding and design tips. You could help a student discover a passion that they may want to one day turn into a career.

Create a class webpage

It’s fairly easy to create a webpage for your class. You can make this page public or password protected so that only your students can access it. Create a forum page where students can have class discussions, post questions about homework, or share their answers to questions. A class website makes it easier for students to work together and share ideas, all on a medium you can monitor.

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