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Tech Innovations That Also Cause Problems With Employees

Tech Solutions That Also Cause Problems When Managing Employees

 

Technology problems

Technology problems

In today’s business world, many managers are ready to embrace change and new ideas instead of being stuck in the ways of the past. Indeed, new technology can make it easier for managers to complete their tasks and stay on top of what their team is doing. Even though technology can help managers connect with their employees, it could have some drawbacks. Some managers find it difficult to keep up with changes in technology, while others believe it subjects them to information overload.

There are a few technology-related problems that managers will have to address if they want to manage their teams in a more efficient way. Here are the most common ones:

 

unplug from work

unplug from work

Difficulty Disconnecting From Work When the Day Is Over

Technology makes it a lot easier to access work-related information at any time and in any place. While this might be extremely useful in certain contexts, such as for employees that often take business trips, it can sometimes lead to problems. Some employees may have trouble not checking their work email when the day is done. This can lead them to feel overloaded.

Recent studies, such as one by Cornerstone OnDemand taken in September 2014, show that 68 percent of employees in the United States report work overload. Of those, 16 percent believe that their work overload is related to technology.

The solution would be to encourage employees to set their smartphones so they no longer send notifications about work emails after a certain time. Even though longer working hours may have the obvious result of more work getting done, a proper work-life balance is needed so that employees feel more satisfied with their jobs.

 

Team collaboration

Team collaboration

Team Cohesion Among Remote Workforces

Several offices have part of their workforce working from home while another part does their work in the office. One issue that could arise from this practice is that those who work in the office may have a preference for having work-related discussions done face-to-face, as opposed to by email or phone. This is confirmed by a Cornerstone OnDemand survey that shows 63 percent of employees prefer to have conversations in person.

Delegating and keeping track of work isn’t too difficult thanks to modern technology. Advanced project management software exists to ensure that remote staff members are doing their work smoothly. Various communications tools, such as Internet telephony, make it easy for workers to communicate among each other. But they simply cannot replace the value of face-to-face communication.

One way to help mitigate this problem would be to use video chat solutions like Google Hangouts to hold virtual meetings and let employees chat between each other. Doing so allows for more clear communication that feels more “real” than just a phone call, email or text chat. Simply seeing the other person can give the impression that the contact is more “human.”

 

Rapid changes in technology

Rapid changes in technology

Rapidly Changing and Evolving Technology

Technology such as wearable tech is getting increasingly popular among employees, especially those who feel that it will help them get the job done in a more efficient manner. This means that an increased amount of employees will be sporting the latest in tech gear.

The issue is that not every employee will be interested in getting an Apple Watch or upgrading their smartphone to the latest model the day it comes out. On the other hand, those who have a strong interest in technology will be happier in a workplace that embraces new technological solutions.

To approach this problem, managers need to understand that technology actually helps employees get the job done better. This doesn’t mean requiring your whole staff to get up to date with the latest gadgets just because they are “new.” You can talk to your employees to see what they have to say about the latest tech and how it will bring more value to the workplace. Doing so lets managers learn more about the newest technology, while finding ways that it can be applied to make the business better.

 

Employee engagement and morale

Employee engagement and morale

Employee Engagement Isn’t Always Very High

Despite the fact they have the latest tools at their disposal and perform up to standards, some employees leave managers feeling that they aren’t truly engaged in seeing their company succeed. This is an issue that can be solved thanks to technology.

Software tools such as SpeakUp can come in quite handy. They let employees share their suggestions with coworkers and managers a lot more easily. Others in the company can comment on the ideas and pitch in with solutions of their own.

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Article provided by NECHES FCU, with locations in Port Neches, Nederland, Beaumont, Lumberton and Bridge City.

Neches FCU is  a texas credit union and has an awesome team of professionals ready to deliver service all members. When their doors open at any of the several locations, our goal of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the driving force for every staff member. They are well-known for a personal, dynamic and fast-paced work atmosphere, providing a memorable service experience, and where clients are known by name.

Neches has approx. $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches Federal Credit Union is acknowledged by members and the business community as one of the best credit unions in texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!

 

Enhance Your Neuro-Ophthalmology Diagnostic Skills Using These 7 Tips

Improve Your Neuro-Ophthalmology Diagnostic Skill Level with These 7 Tips

 

neuro-opthalmic disorders

neuro-opthalmic disorders

Eye care providers of all subspecialties are in one way or the other bound to encounter patients suffering neuro-opthalmic disorders. Patients suffering from neuro-opthalmic disorders are more than likely to experience serious systemic morbidity, rapid loss of eye vision and other conditions that may prove difficult to establish. For these reasons, neuro-opthamology represents a huge challenge to many providers. Below are 7 proven practical techniques, eye care providers can institute to improve neuro-opthamology diagnostic.

 

Ishihara color plates

Ishihara color plates

Use Color Plates

Color-plate testing procedures such as Ishihara color plates are critical in monitoring and evaluating optic neuropathies and maculopathies, as well as in screening conditions such as simultagnosia. Simultanagnosia is a Visual processing impairment that is often marked by inability to simultaneously process multiple visual stimuli. The disorder is common in elderly patients suffering various visual complaints, even after undergoing normal structural eye exam and visual acuity tests.

Use appropriate neuroimaging

A recent study has shown that approximately 40% of all neuroimaging studies performed by academic neuro-opthamology clinics on patients suffering from visual disorders are ill-chosen. The most common mistakes include; failing to use contrast, ordering the wrong type of neuroimaging; for example, ordering Computed Tomography (CT) instead of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and performing incomplete neuroimaging. Insidious symptoms of Simultanagnosia are typically related to those of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases.

 

papilledema

papilledema

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Papilledema

Although most ambulating and coherent patient’s suffering from papilledema, rarely represent an emergency. Majority of patients with papilledema should undergo expedite outpatient work-up. The procedure begins with an MRI brain with an option of IV contrast. Patients who do not fit the typical pseudotumor celebri demographic such as overweight women or patient in reproductive age or those with hypercoagulable disorders or rapid onset symptoms should undergo Magnetic Resonance Venography (MRV).

 

An MRV will help rule out conditions such as venous sinus thrombosis that can be overlooked with an MRI brain scan. Non-emergent patients can be referred to the ER to test papilledema through suboptimal work-up. Critical symptoms or signs of papilledema that require immediate attention include; fever, severe rapid vision loss, changes in the mental status and signs of meningismus.

 

Giant Cell Arteritis

Giant Cell Arteritis

Use Fluorescein Angiography for GCA

Fluorescein is a powerful GCA diagnostic tool for ascertain the presence of Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA). The good thing is that most eye care providers understand the type of questions to ask and tests to draw from the lab. The tests include; C-reactive protein, complete blood count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Patients suffering from GCA related vision loss often suffer patchy choroid or delayed filling on the fluorescein. Choroidal filing time is described as the time it takes to fill the choroid from the initializing state, any timing that goes beyond 20 seconds is highly suggestive of GCA.

 

Giant Cell Arteritis 2

Giant Cell Arteritis 2

Questioning the GCA

It is always important to ask critical screening questions, when it comes to GCA. This is mostly because many cases of GCA are usually missed initially as a result of a sloppy or expedited practice history. Some of the pertinent questions include inquiring about recent cases or onset of temple tenderness, headaches, unintended weight loss, proximal muscle myalgias, jaw claudication, low-grade fevers and neck pain. Jaw jaundice is often considered the most specific symptom of GCA. This symptom should prompt immediate steroid treatment, as well as temporal biopsy to any patient who fits the GCA demographic.

 

oculi-strength testing

oculi-strength testing

Observe the Twitching of the Eyelid

If a patient’s eyelid cannot remain open or closed, an orbicularis oculi-strength testing is highly recommended. This is critical, especially if an ocular involvement via myasthenia gravis is suspected. Patients who have diplopia or intermittent ptosis with myasthenia gravis may exhibit symptoms such as severe weakness or fatigue of the orbicularis oculi muscles. These patients may not suspect or suggest orbicularis oculi weaknesses as a symptom; as such, it is critical for you to check for these symptoms routinely.

To perform this test, you can request the patient to close his or her eyes firmly. Then use your thumb and index finger to try to open the patient’s eyelids. The eyelids of a patient in myasthenics will open easily, while that of a normally patient will provide some resistance.

 

optic neuritis

optic neuritis

Be on the Lookout for Severe Optic Neuritis

Patients with conditions associated with multiple sclerosis such as Demyelinating Optic Neuritis (DON) normally experience painful sub-acute vision loss; however, the pain usually disappears within few months.

Patients with DON may also suffer severe vision loss, although this is rare as it affects less than 20 out of every 200 patients with this condition. Under severe cases, a patient may contract optic neuritis associated with neuromyelitis (NMO). NMO associated with optic myelitis neuritis is typically, painless, bilateral and more severe at the onset; the condition is also less responsive to steroids compared to DON. Visit our LiveJournal and let us know what your thoughts are on this subject.

Thanks for reading this article. Please share any ideas in the comments section below. For those managing a doctor’s office, and filing patient claims, JustCMS1500Forms.com is running a special on the cms 1500 version 02/12 at the moment. Personally, I prefer to purchase cms 1500 02/12 forms for my practice from a manufacture (like they are), instead of a re-seller who doesn’t guarantee their product. Even if you prefer using software to file your claims, they offer software for that as well.

Stay on the look-out for my next article!

Optimism Runs High as The Tax Season Starts

Tax Pros are Optimistic About the Current Season

According to the results of a recent survey, tax professionals in the United States are looking forward to brighter skies in 2015. In this survey, 300 accounting firms were contacted to inquire about their opinions about this year’s tax season. Opinions varied among respondents, the majority of those surveyed believed that the 2015 tax season will be equal to or better than the 2014 tax season.

Tax season

Tax season

2015 Tax Season Basics

Corporations and consumers are already making preparations for tax season, but official filing begins on January 20, 2015. There are no tax delays this year, and returns can be filed on paper and electronically. The opening filing date is 11 days sooner than last year and 10 days sooner than the opening date in 2013.

In addition, this year’s filing schedule is not tiered. That means that everyone will be able to start filing on January 20, not just those who meet specific qualifications. Although Congress initially gave the impression that tax extenders would not be renewed, all current provisions were maintained when these items were signed into law by President Obama on December 19.

 

opinions

opinions

General Opinions Regarding the 2015 Tax Season

According to the survey completed by Tax Pro Today and Accounting Today in October 2014, almost half, or 48 percent of tax professionals, believe that the 2015 tax season will be more profitable than the 2014 season. 32.2 percent, or one-third, believe that this season will be similar to the 2014 season without any major variations.

However, these positive feelings about 2015 are not uniform in all of the 300 firms surveyed. 19.7 percent of the firms, almost 20 percent, believe that the 2015 tax season will be worse than the 2014 season.

Work Conditions

Work Conditions

Work Conditions at Accounting Firms During Tax Season

In addition to asking accounting firms about their feelings and expectations regarding the upcoming tax season, the survey also inquired about the work conditions in their firms during this busy time of year.

Tax season invariably brings longer hours and potentially stressful work conditions for professionals, but firms handle the increased workload in a variety of different ways. One of the most popular ways of meeting higher demand during tax season is by adding Saturday hours.

Survey Results

Survey Results

According to the survey results:

–    45 percent of firms require employees to work every Saturday during tax season.
–    28 percent of firms require occasional Saturday work among employees.
–    27 percent of firms do not require employees to work on Saturdays as long as their work is completed during the week.

2015 Differences

Part of the reason for the varying opinions about this year’s tax season is the changes that will be implemented in 2015. Perhaps the biggest changes involve the Affordable Care Act.

Penalties

Penalties

Although this bill mainly focused on healthcare and assisting those who are currently uninsured or under-insured, it also has significant tax implications for 2015. Tax penalties for the uninsured have been put into place for individuals who do not comply with ACA regulations, so you cannot separate the Affordable Care Act from proper tax preparation. The penalty amounts will vary based on the number of insured parties in a person’s household and their total household income.

In addition, tax credits are available to those in certain income brackets who are paying for health insurance. Credits can only be used by those who do not have access to group healthcare plans through their employers.

Tax Fraud

Tax Fraud

Combating Tax Fraud

In an attempt to combat tax fraud, the IRS has also put into place new direct deposit limits for 2015. This policy went into effect at the beginning of this year, and it limits the number of direct deposits that can be deposited into the same bank account or pre-paid card to three.

After the limit of three direct deposits is reached, the taxpayer will receive a refund via paper check. Taxpayers will also receive a notice informing them that a paper check will be issued because the limit has been exceeded.

All tax returns are due by April 15, 2015, so it’s sure to be a busy four months for tax professionals across the country. However, tax season does not completely end at that point since extensions are available to individuals and corporations who request them and meet specific criteria. If you have to file 1099 online for several clients, you may want to consider using eFile4Biz.com. They do most of the heavy-lifting when it comes to the legwork involved with filing these documents. They let your do the e-file via their secure website platform, and they do all the tax form printing and delivery for you as well. Regardless of if you use them to efile 1099 forms for your clients, you may want to use them as a benchmark for how a trustworthy provider should serve you.  Their video is shown below.

Although the outcome of this year’s tax season is yet to be seen, many firms are planning to capitalize on these new opportunities and work to increase their shares of the tax preparation market.

If you have ideas on this topic to share, please visit our Newsvine page here and leave your comments or suggest some useful links to explore on this topic.