Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stretching & Cycling vs. Pizza & Booze for Start-ups

Sharing bikes to work, Milano
The core strength of every business and every tech start-up is the team on the ground doing the work. But who looks after the core strength of these very important people? Employers inevitably start rewarding a job well done by offering incentives like 'Pizza Friday' or after work 'winding-down' drinks. Although it is meant well, this makes it difficult for employees trying their best to stay healthy.

Long working hours and processed food takes its toll on every worker bee and the risk of ending up with an office filled with lethargic staff members becomes a worrying reality to every employer. The pizza and booze option may sound more attractive initially but the truth is that the productivity of an employee is more likely to increase with healthy lifestyle choices. Fast food and alcohol generally have the opposite effect.


The good news


Luckily, some employers, and indeed some governments, have seen the light and are getting the picture that happy, healthy employees are good for business, and for the economy. Online tech site VentureBeat has introduced HealthBeat, an annual healthcare conference with a focus on how technology can improve healthcare. At HealthBeat the latest trends are explored by the movers and shakers of the industry. This creates general awareness of the need for healthcare and increases the reach that pro-health programs achieve.


What are governments doing about it?


The English and Irish governments started an incentivised cycling scheme with two aims: to get workers more active and to reduce their carbon footprint. Cyclescheme makes bicycles available to workers at greatly discounted prices and offers the added incentive of subscribers paying less income tax. In other words, they get fit, save money, and do their bit to save the world.


Feel better at the office


Along with government fitness incentives like Cyclescheme, pioneering health solutions like the in-office wellness activities offered by the innovative company, Wellshift, may just be the future. Wellshift offers yoga classes, running groups, health seminars, stress management workshops and many more interesting and uplifting activities to office workers at health conscious companies. I guess Google had the right idea with providing gyms, swimming pools, ping pong and pool tables, and luckily other companies are starting to catch on the their progressive mind-frame.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office for Start-ups

So which one is better google docs or micrsoft office
So which one is better?

When choosing an office suite, should start-ups use Google Docs or Microsoft Office?

Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office for Start-ups

If you are part of the technorati, chances are that you have had a debate about Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office. Both are serious pieces of technology and although Google Docs is in its infancy in comparison to Microsoft Office, it has a few fantastic features. When selecting an office suite for a start-up, it all depends on what the business needs, and what the budget is like. These points of comparison are well worth considering.

What is so good about Google Docs?

How does Microsoft Office compete?

Google Docs is convenient. It is online, available to anybody with access to the Internet.
MS Office is not available online. It is a standalone application, available where it has been installed.
The excellent collaboration features in Google Docs makes it simple for multiple people to edit the same documents - even simultaneously.
Editing the same document is slightly more elaborate with MS Office. The document has to be saved from MS Office to the Microsoft online storage service called OneDrive and then invite other users to edit.
Google Docs has relatively basic features.
MS Office is a very advanced suite of software programs with many highly developed features.
Not that many companies and individuals are using Google Docs. That means that collaborating with parties outside the business have to convert Google Docs documents to MS Office documents and back again.
Microsoft is the world's biggest software maker and MS Office is one of the most popular products and therefore very widely used.
The Google Docs spreadsheet application is not as robust as Excel. For standard users it is generally sufficient but advanced Excel users may find it inadequate.
Microsoft Excel is robust and feature rich.
Google Docs has Google Forms. Users can create forms that are accessible by link or email. The answers are automatically saved and collated for users to see. Users can even automatically see the results in graph form.
The only way to create a form in MS Office is by creating a template in MS Office and locking it. Answers have to be manually collated.
Google Docs is free  
MS Office is not only not free, it is quite an expensive bit of kit.

So which one is better then?

Not all start-ups have the same needs.  If the business is going to be driven by pivot tables and fancy spreadsheets it would be best to fork out the license fees for MS Office. The same applies to businesses where documentation is to be regularly shared with companies and individuals that use MS Office only. Besides that, it has been going since 1988 so they've had a lot of time to smooth out the bugs. On the other hand, the fact that Google Docs is free should be enough for most start-ups to give it a trial. It might just be perfectly adequate and after all, it is free.