Connect with us

Business

An emoji 😃 is worth a thousand words — and it makes work more pleasant and productive

Avatar photo

Published

on

An emoji 😃 is worth a thousand words — and it makes work more pleasant and productive

Five billion emojis were sent every day in 2020 on a handful of social networks, and that number will only grow. Decades into a rise in popularity, the word itself can still sound frivolous.

But emoji hold tremendous value, especially in today’s distributed workforce — in efficiency, expression, meaning and connection — and it isn’t just a passing trend.

Emoji is a Japanese term meaning “picture character”, and its history can be traced back to the late 1800s when an American humour magazine used typographical characters to convey a range of emotions. Over a century removed from their humble beginnings, emojis have evolved beyond light relief, becoming a key part of the way we communicate socially. But its applications in professional communication are even more compelling, especially as we move beyond the archaic 9-to-5, office-based, top-down attendance model to a more distributed, remote, productive, metric-based way of measuring productivity. 

With the rise of the digital HQ and almost 80 per cent of employees favouring flexibility in where they work, the connection has never been more important. We know that channel-based messaging is less siloed than email, but it provides deeper connection and is more efficient, effective, transparent, scalable, secure, and integrated. It’s the hub of digital HQs worldwide, with as many as 300,000 Slack messages sent every second. Emoji can help convey reactions to these messages by carrying a range of emotions — much more efficiently and often more effective than a formal response, where words can sometimes fail and take too much time. Furthermore, a new generation of employees has grown up with emojis as part of their communication portfolio. The emerging minds you want to welcome into your company have grown up fluent in emojis. 

At Slack, more than 50 million custom emojis have been created by individual companies. This number is growing — with this growth comes the need for etiquette guidelines and suggested use cases. The most common way emoji can be used to drive efficiency is through reactions — or “reacjis”. In Australia, the number of reactions made on Slack has increased by 61% over the last year. They can be posted to any message and provide more efficient workflows, reducing the need for time-consuming back-and-forths, showing: 

  • You’re taking a look at something with the ‘eyes’ emoji
  • A task has been completed with a ‘tick’ emoji 
  • Yes or no with a thumbs up or a thumbs down 
  • To select a preference from a list, for example, by using a number ‘one’ emoji when choosing from options for a preferred meeting time 

Emoji also play an important role in showing status when using Slack — when someone is on a lunch break, commuting, slow to respond etc. They can increase the “psychological safety” of the workplace, enabling everyone to work in a more trusted environment. 

At global online design platform Canva, which has been using Slack since 2016, emoji helps its people – nicknamed ‘Canvanauts’ and distributed across Australia, the Philippines, China and the United States – make channel-based messaging more expressive and productive. Ranked as one of Australia’s best places to work, Canva uses Slack to bring its supportive, diverse and unapologetically quirky company culture to life. Adding an emoji reaction to a message posted by a colleague not only provides an immediate way for Canvanauts to indicate who’s doing what but also allows them to give all-important kudos to colleagues exhibiting the company’s core values, such as ‘Make complex things simple’.   

Language and human communication are always evolving. Just as the tools we use to connect are transforming, so must how we communicate within them. Adopting emojis in the workplace helps make work more fun, enjoyable, efficient and especially human. With the right guardrails, they can impact company culture by promoting positive feedback and engagement in a way that words often can’t. Personalities can shine in a way that can be very difficult for some people or more challenging across physical divides.

It’s often underestimated and perhaps easily dismissed, but we’ve seen that it’s part of a more fundamental move toward a happier, more engaging world of work. Emoji are over a century old, but they’re an essential part of the future of work.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

Keep up to date with our stories on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Read More

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Business

At collapsed Baltimore bridge, focus shifts to the weighty job of removing the massive structure

Avatar photo

Published

on

At collapsed Baltimore bridge, focus shifts to the weighty job of removing the massive structure

BALTIMORE (AP) — Teams of engineers worked Saturday on the intricate process of cutting and lifting the first section of twisted steel from the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, which crumpled into the Patapsco River this week after a massive cargo ship crashed into one of its supports.

Sparks could be seen flying from a section of bent and crumpled steel in the afternoon, and video released by officials in the evening showed demolition crews using a cutting torch to slice through the thick beams. The joint incident command said in a statement that the work was being done on the top of the north side of the collapsed structure.

Crews were carefully measuring and cutting the steel from the broken bridge before attaching straps so it can be lifted onto a barge and floated away, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said.

Seven floating cranes — including a massive one capable of lifting 1,000 tons — 10 tugboats, nine barges, eight salvage vessels and five Coast Guard boats were on site in the water southeast of Baltimore.

Each movement affects what happens next and ultimately how long it will take to remove all the debris and reopen the ship channel and the blocked Port of Baltimore, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

“I cannot stress enough how important today and the first movement of this bridge and of the wreckage is. This is going to be a remarkably complicated process,” Moore said.

Undeterred by the chilly morning weather, longtime Baltimore resident Randy Lichtenberg and others took cellphone photos or just quietly looked at the broken pieces of the bridge, which including its steel trusses weigh as much as 4,000 tons.

“I wouldn’t want to be in that water. It’s got to be cold. It’s a tough job,” Lichtenberg said from a spot on the river called Sparrows Point.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

The shock of waking up Tuesday morning to video of what he called an iconic part of the Baltimore skyline falling into the water has given way to sadness.

“It never hits you that quickly. It’s just unbelievable,” Lichtenberg said.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

One of the first goals for crews on the water is to get a smaller auxiliary ship channel open so tugboats and other small barges can move freely. Crews also want to stabilize the site so divers can resume searching for four missing workers who are presumed dead.

Two other workers were rescued from the water in the hours following the bridge collapse, and the bodies of two more were recovered from a pickup truck that fell and was submerged in the river. They had been filling potholes on the bridge and while police were able to stop vehicle traffic after the ship called in a mayday, they could not get to the construction workers, who were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The crew of the cargo ship Dali, which is managed by Synergy Marine Group, remained on board with the debris from the bridge around it, and were safe and were being interviewed. They are keeping the ship running as they will be needed to get it out of the channel once more debris has been removed.

The vessel is owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd. and was chartered by Danish shipping giant Maersk.

The collision and collapse appeared to be an accident that came after the ship lost power. Federal and state investigators are still trying to determine why.

Assuaging concern about possible pollution from the crash, Adam Ortiz, the Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, said there was no indication in the water of active releases from the ship or materials hazardous to human health.

REBUILDING

Officials are also trying to figure out how to handle the economic impact of a closed port and the severing of a major highway link. The bridge was completed in 1977 and carried Interstate 695 around southeast Baltimore.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

Maryland transportation officials are planning to rebuild the bridge, promising to consider innovative designs or building materials to hopefully shorten a project that could take years.

President Joe Biden’s administration has approved $60 million in immediate aid and promised the federal government will pay the full cost to rebuild.

Ship traffic at the Port of Baltimore remains suspended, but the Maryland Port Administration said trucks were still being processed at marine terminals.

The loss of a road that carried 30,000 vehicles a day and the port disruption will affect not only thousands of dockworkers and commuters, but also U.S. consumers, who are likely to feel the impact of shipping delays. The port handles more cars and more farm equipment than any other U.S. facility.

___

Collins reported from Columbia, South Carolina. Associated Press writers Sarah Brumfield in Washington, D.C.; Kristin M. Hall in Nashville, Tennessee; Adrian Sainz in Memphis, Tennessee; and Lisa Baumann in Bellingham, Washington, contributed.

Read More

Continue Reading

Austin Local News

The Texas attorney general is investigating a key Boeing supplier and asking about diversity

Avatar photo

Published

on

The Texas attorney general is investigating a key Boeing supplier and asking about diversity

DALLAS (AP) — The Texas attorney general has opened an investigation into a key Boeing supplier that is already facing scrutiny from federal regulators over quality of parts that it provides to the aircraft maker.

The office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said it began looking into Spirit AeroSystems because of “apparent manufacturing defects” in parts that “have led to numerous concerning or dangerous incidents.”

In a statement Friday, a Spirit spokesman said, “While we do not comment on investigations, Spirit is wholly focused on providing the highest quality products to all our customers, to include the Boeing Company.”

Paxton asked the Wichita, Kansas-based supplier to turn over documents produced since the start of 2022 about communication with investors and Boeing about flaws in parts and corrective steps the company took.

The request goes into detail in seeking internal discussions around Spirit’s efforts to create a diverse workforce “and whether those commitments are unlawful or are compromising the company’s manufacturing processes.” Paxton asked for a breakdown of Spirit’s workforce by race, sexual orientation and other factors, and whether the makeup has changed over time.

Since a Spirit-made door-plug panel blew off an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max in January, some conservatives have tried to link aviation safety to diversity at manufacturers.

Paxton is a conservative Republican who this week agreed to pay $271,000 in restitution to victims and take 15 hours of training in legal ethics to settle felony charges of securities fraud. Paxton did not admit wrongdoing in the 9-year-old case.

The Federal Aviation Administration launched an investigation into Boeing Spirit after the Alaska Airlines incident. An FAA audit of manufacturing procedures in Spirit’s factory gave the company failing grades in seven of 13 areas.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

Boeing is in talks to buy back Spirit, which it spun off nearly 20 years ago, as part of a plan to tighten oversight of manufacturing in its supply chain.

Read More

Continue Reading

Business

Boeing plane found to have missing panel after flight from California to southern Oregon

Avatar photo

Published

on

Boeing plane found to have missing panel after flight from California to southern Oregon

By CLAIRE RUSH and LISA BAUMANN

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A post-flight inspection revealed a missing panel on an older Boeing 737-800 that had just arrived at its destination in southern Oregon on Friday after flying from San Francisco, officials said, the latest in a series of recent incidents involving aircraft manufactured by the company.

United Flight 433 left San Francisco at 10:20 a.m. and landed at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport in Medford shortly before noon, according to FlightAware. The airport’s director, Amber Judd, said the plane landed safely without incident and the external panel was discovered missing during a post-flight inspection. No injuries were reported.

The airport paused operations to check the runway and airfield for debris, Judd said, and none was found.

Judd said she believed the United ground crew or pilots doing a routine inspection before the next flight were the ones who noticed the missing panel.

A United Airlines spokesperson said via email that the flight was carrying 139 passengers and six crew members, and no emergency was declared because there was no indication of the damage during the flight.

 

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

The Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center is pictured in Medford, Ore., on Jan. 4, 2024. The first lawsuit filed Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, brought amid reports that a nurse at the southern Oregon hospital replaced intravenous fentanyl drips with tap water seeks up to $11.5 million on behalf of the estate of a 65-year-old man who died. (Janet Eastman/The Oregonian/The Oregonian via AP)

 

“After the aircraft was parked at the gate, it was discovered to be missing an external panel,” the United spokesperson said. “We’ll conduct a thorough examination of the plane and perform all the needed repairs before it returns to service. We’ll also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred.”

The Federal Aviation Administration also said it would investigate.

The missing panel was on the underside of the aircraft where the wing meets the body and just next to the landing gear, United said.

The plane made its first flight in April 1998 and was delivered to Continental Airlines in December of that year, according to the FAA. United Airlines has operated it since Nov. 30, 2011. It is a 737-824, part of the 737-800 series that was a precursor to the Max.

Boeing said, also via email, that it would defer comment to United about the carrier’s fleet and operations.

In January a panel that plugged a space left for an extra emergency door blew off a Boeing Max 9 jet in midair just minutes after an Alaska Airlines flight took off from Portland, leaving a gaping hole and forcing pilots to make an emergency landing. There were no serious injuries.

The door plug was eventually found in the backyard of a high school physics teacher in southwest Portland, along with other debris from the flight scattered nearby. The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation.

On March 6, fumes detected in the cabin of a Boeing 737-800 Alaska Airlines flight destined for Phoenix caused pilots to head back to the Portland airport.

Advertisement
Submit your 2022 Austin Neighborhood Feedback

The Port of Portland said passengers and crew noticed the fumes and the flight landed safely. Seven people including passengers and crew requested medical evaluations, but no one was hospitalized, officials said.

___

Baumann reported from Bellingham, Washington.

Read More

Continue Reading