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Why Is Google Is Spending $1 Billion On Its Offices?…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By January 30, 2022No Comments

(This article originally appeared in Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 -Google is spending $1 billion on its offices. Didn’t it get the remote work memo?

Google announced recently that it plans to spend $1 billion on its central London office space. Google also anticipates an increase from 6,400 to 10,000 employees. According to the report, the new office will be designed to accommodate flexible and hybrid working preferences. This concept may be due to the fact that Google does not see it returning to a 9–5 in-office schedule like before the pandemic. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Contrary to all the work-from-home predictions, the office is not going away. And based on what I’m seeing from my client base the office real estate market will continue to grow significantly over the next few years. Yes, people will be working remotely more often. But every good company knows that it’s face-to-face time — in person — that spurs innovation and creates a positive culture. So before you go entirely virtual or cut back on your square footage, think again.

2 — Microsoft Teams now has more than 270 million monthly active users.

Microsoft shared this past week that it now has over 270 million monthly active users for Teams. That number is up from 250 million monthly users last July. Microsoft aims to grow Teams past its current business base by making additions for consumers. The tech giant added a Teams Chat button to the taskbar in Windows 11 in an effort to get more people to give Teams’ consumer features a try. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Think about this: Microsoft Teams was introduced in just 2017! What a great example of a company recognizing opportunity and pivoting. Of course, Microsoft had a few hundred million built-in Office users already so that gave them a pretty good start. Why this is important for your business is because if you have Office 365, which includes Teams, I’m betting you’re not using it to its full capabilities. Consider some training this year. Hire a Microsoft consultant. Take advantage of what you own.

3 -A record number of data breaches were reported in 2021, according to a new report.

A report released by the Identity Theft Resources Center found that 1,862 data breaches occurred last year. This number surpasses the total number of breaches in 2020, which was 1,108. It also broke the previous record of 1,506 breaches in 2017. Breaches involving sensitive information- including Social Security numbers — went up from 80 percent in 2020 to 83 percent last year. The same report also found that ransomware attacks doubled over the last two years. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

Like COVID, I believe that just about every business is going to suffer a data breach or malware attack in the not-so-distant future. This is something we have to expect and live with. Hire an IT firm to ensure that your users are trained, their devices are current and secure and your data is backed up. And re-visit your cyberinsurance.

4 — Shopify is pushing employees to take a personality test and post their results for coworkers to analyze. It’s a divisive practice that’s sweeping across boardrooms.

Shopify has started pushing its employees to take personality tests and then share their results to be analyzed by coworkers. (Source: Business Insider)

Why this is important for your business:

According to Business Insider, this practice is not unique to Shopify, as many companies across the U.S. have started to administer personality tests. Although there is a benefit to taking personality tests as a way to build camaraderie and sort out team dynamics, experts believe that relying too heavily on personality tests to categorize employees can actually hurt employee trust and negatively impact diversity.

5- Need an e-commerce makeover? A new SBA resource hub has free tools for you.

The Small Business Administration announced this past week a new initiative to help SMBs called the Small Business Digital Alliance. The new online initiative is aimed at providing small businesses with various free resources to help business leaders grow the e-commerce side of their business. The website will also keep small business owners updated regarding changes in policy and government resources. (Source: Inc.)

Why this is important for your business:

If your business has an ecommerce site then this resource looks important. Check it out.

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