Ideas in Motion

Managing Remote Work

Nov 13, 2020 6:15:00 AM / by

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Working from home has become a popular option for many Americans. About 43% of workers regularly telework at least part of the time. An additional 25 – 30% of employees have had to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are obvious benefits to working from home. One of those is increased productivity. A recent study found that remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than their office-based peers, resulting in more than three additional work weeks annually. Telework also reduces or eliminates commuting time and associated expenses. It also can allow workers more flexibility throughout the day, possibly fewer distractions, and a healthier lifestyle. In this article, we take a closer look at how employees who are new to teleworking can adapt to this working model, as well as how managers can make sure that their employees’ work stays on track.

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Working from Home and Mental Health

Nov 12, 2020 6:45:00 AM / by

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Working from home has become a popular option for many Americans. About 43% of workers regularly telework at least part of the time. An additional 25 – 30% of employees have had to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are obvious benefits to working from home. One of those is increased productivity. A recent study found that remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than their office-based peers, resulting in more than three additional work weeks annually. Telework also cuts or eliminates commuting time and associated expenses. It also can allow workers more flexibility throughout the day, possibly fewer distractions, and a healthier lifestyle. However, there are some potentially serious side effects on employees’ mental health.

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Trade Shows Are Going Virtual This Year. Here's Why You Should Join Them

Nov 11, 2020 7:00:00 AM / by

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Whether it is CES or AAPEX, setting up a booth at a trade fair has long been a great way to advertise to a target market and create awareness about your company. But as in-person meetings become untenable amid this pandemic, the physical activities we know and look forward to are shifting online for the near future.

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New IBM Innovation Could Help Identify Fake Parts in Your Supply Chain

Nov 10, 2020 6:00:00 AM / by

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To make an iPhone, Apple fetches parts from 43 different countries across the globe. This demonstrates the extraordinarily complex and far-reaching supply chain needed to manufacture the world's most iconic phone. Such a complex web of suppliers is not out of the ordinary for most of the world's products.  

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Engineering from Home? Here's How to Stay Productive While Working Remotely

Nov 9, 2020 12:51:24 PM / by

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As the initial COVID-19 stress subsides and working from home slowly becomes more familiar, it seems like a good time for engineers to begin to refine these new routines and ensure that we all continue doing our best work.

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New Modular Nuclear Reactor Design Receives Federal Approval

Oct 30, 2020 3:42:25 PM / by

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U.S. officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have accepted a proposal for a small commercial nuclear reactor for the first time. According to Scientific American, the small modular reactor (SMR) will be built by NuScale Power and is the first of its kind in the U.S.

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The Use and Abuse of Facial Recognition Data

Oct 27, 2020 9:05:10 PM / by

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In 1962, when Woodrow Wilson Bledsoe created a measuring system to identify faces, he may not have realized how widespread facial recognition would eventually become.  

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Tracking Wildfire Smoke

Oct 23, 2020 12:30:48 PM / by

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The continuing emergency in the western U.S. are a reminder to everyone just how unpredictable and devastating wildfires can be. Large fires can cause $1B or more in property damage in addition to the cost of firefighters and equipment. This year, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy reports that as of October 6, 2020, there are about 22,000 firefighters and support personnel assigned to 69 wildfires (39 of which are large and uncontained) in the west that have burned over 4.6 million acres. Added to previous fires this year that were put out, there have been 45,196 wildfires that have burned 7,928,100 acres in 11 states, including fires in 4 parks under the control of the National Park Service and others under the control of the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The current fires in California have burned over 4M acres, destroyed 9,200 structures and claimed 31 lives. More acreage burned as a result of the current California fires than in the last 3 years combined, and more than any other year on record according to CalFire.

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Lessons from the Pandemic: Manufacturing that should be Reshored to the U.S.

Oct 20, 2020 2:11:00 PM / by

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Among others lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that there are weaknesses in the U.S, supply chain. As a nation, we have become sorely dependent on foreign sources for medical device components and other vital medical supplies. A significant problem with this is that foreign powers can leverage our dependence during an emergency. This frightening possibility signals that some manufacturing be brought back to the U.S.

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Will Atmospheric Manipulation Save or Destroy the Planet?

Oct 19, 2020 2:10:00 PM / by

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Atmospheric manipulation (also known as “solar radiation management” or SRM) involves reflecting sunlight to reduce global warming. The reflectivity of a surface is known as albedo. A highly reflective surface has a high albedo and reflects a lot of solar radiation back into the atmosphere, while a surface with a low albedo absorbs little of the sun’s radiation, thus absorbing it. A good example of the reflection versus absorption concept is the choice of clothes to wear. Light colors reflect more of the sun’s rays, while dark clothing absorbs more. This is why people tend to avoid dark colors in very hot weather. Ice has a high albedo. It reflects most solar radiation back into the atmosphere. This helps to keep ice cold. As surface temperatures increase due to rising water temperatures, though, icebergs in the sea are melting. Fewer iceberg mean more of the ocean’s surface is exposed to sunlight. Since liquid water has a lower albedo than ice, more sunlight is absorbed, thus raising the temperature of the water even more. This, in turn, causes more ice loss in a cycle of global warming. In this article, we will consider SRM projects designed to reflect sunlight to reduce global warming and assess the feasibility and potential dangers of these methods.

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