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Meet the chameleon worker

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Businesses are being forced to change and adapt in this ever changing environment, which has led to a new worker – the chameleon who can change, learn new skills in a short space of time and seamlessly move from assignment to assignment, says HEIDI DUVENAGE, head of Sage Talent Solutions.

As businesses are being forced to change, become more agile and disruptive to remain competitive, the pressure on employees to adapt is increasing.

The rapid way in which technology has changed and the inability, as well as resistance from employees to keep up, is leaving organisations in a digital wasteland.

This is costing them profits, market share and is leaving them battling to survive.

According to the 2016 Accenture Technology Vision Survey, a new type of worker has entered the marketplace.  This new type of worker, the chameleon, can adapt to change, learn new skills in a short space of time and seamlessly move from assignment to assignment. They are contributing to a new trend that Accenture refers to as the ‘liquid workforce’.

In the same study, in which 3 100 executives were interviewed, 80% said that within the next three years, the ‘chameleon worker’ will be their most valued workers. It’s their proficiency with digital technology and their ability to embrace change that makes these new employees a valued asset.

Additional advantages of this workforce include their willingness to work as part of a team, openness to new training and a constantly evolving skill set.

However, to attract, and more importantly, retain these new agile workers, businesses need to create an environment in which they can flourish.

The first and most important step is to move away from rigid business structures and create an environment where the chameleon workforce can achieve the change that they were brought in for. Human Resources departments will need to play a part in this change by moving away from people management and rather embracing the concept of ‘orchestrating talent’ to optimise an organisation’s output.

The largest employee input of 2015 is the introduction of millennials. These digital natives are increasingly becoming the largest sector of the workforce and businesses need to change to be able to engage with them differently.

In addition, rather than seeing themselves merely as ‘employees’ in the traditional sense, these employees see themselves as ‘customers’ of a business – and expect the management style and internal technology processes to reflect this. Systems such as HR and Payroll solutions, as well as business management solutions, need to be intuitive and offer the same user experience that employees get from the platforms they use in their personal lives.

‘Chameleons’ also have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Skills development is of the utmost importance to them. They look for employers who provide consistent online learning experiences, access to courses and information that can help them rapidly learn new skills.

At Sage, we believe that genuine innovation requires diversity of thought. We are creating a culture in our business where the very best talent is hired, nurtured and supported. Changing the way we do business enables us to leapfrog into the future.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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