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How to Set Up an Office in the Garden or Backyard to Maintain Your Sanity

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If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space where you live, setting up shop in the garden or backyard can make working from home more bearable. You can top up your daily dose of vitamin D, get closer to the natural (or urban) world around you, escape from the rest of the family, and get all your work done all at…

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Source: https://gizmodo.com/how-to-set-up-an-office-in-the-garden-or-backyard-to-ma-1843463249
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The Article Was Written/Published By: David Nield

The best video games to play during lockdown, from Animal Crossing to The Sims 4

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Louis Chilton picks 17 of the best games to help keep you entertained while self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/games/feature/video-games-best-self-isolating-play-animal-crossing-death-stranding-last-of-us-a9424936.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Louis Chilton

Many tech workers won’t be going back to the office

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Tech companies are gaming out how to bring employees back to the office, but many are expecting a new normal in which a significant portion of their workers stay home for good.

Why it matters: Some tech firms may find they are just as productive with a remote workforce. But a shift away from in-office work will have profound impacts on everything from the commercial real estate market to the vast number of support jobs that were built around serving Silicon Valley’s sprawling campuses.


Driving the news:

  • Twitter told workers that they can work from home permanently if they want.
  • Others haven’t gone that far, but many tech companies have acknowledged publicly or privately that they don’t expect most workers to return to the office this year.
  • On a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday evening, the CEOs of Box, Okta, PagerDuty and Twilio all expressed a sense that they will end up with more remote workers permanently, even after the pandemic ends.

Some companies were headed toward more remote staff even before the coronavirus crisis.

  • “We were already trying to reduce our dependency on the Bay Area because of competition for talent and cost of doing business here,” said PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had announced in January, when COVID-19’s impact remained a distant threat, that Twitter was moving toward a remote-first workplace.

Others found themselves having to quickly switch gears.

  • Box CEO Aaron Levie said that he used to like to manage by walking around the office, but has found other benefits from a remote workforce.
  • Remote meetings have been a decent substitute for talking in person, connecting Levie to workers in Australia, Japan and England all on the same day, with no need to travel.

Between the lines: Embracing remote work has a number of benefits for companies beyond just the costs of hiring and retaining workers.

  • Many tech companies have built up a massive army of contractors and vendors to support their workers, including food service, shuttle bus drivers and janitorial staff. Even a partial shift away from the office would likely add up to significant savings over time for the firms — although fewer jobs for those support workers.
  • For workers, meanwhile, the ability to work remotely means more than just cutting down a commute. It also means the ability to live wherever they want, rather than being tied to the Bay Area or another tech hub, like Austin, New York or Boston. Considering the high cost of real estate and other expenses in the Bay Area, that could lead to a significant exodus, though people have long predicted “peak Silicon Valley” — and long been wrong.

Yes, but: Some companies have invested significantly in their campuses and have a vested interest in maintaining an office culture.

  • Apple is the poster child for this. It spent a fortune on its Apple Park HQ and likes its products designed behind closed (and locked) doors.
  • Bloomberg recently reported Apple is making plans for some office workers to return this summer.

The big picture: Companies’ stances will range from Twitter’s “stay home forever if you want” to Apple’s “can’t wait for you to come back in.” Software companies are likely to have an easier time than hardware producers relying on a largely distributed workforce.

What’s next: Not all the changes we are seeing as a response to the coronavirus will be permanent. Some jobs that are being done remotely at the moment, including many roles in sales and support, will require more travel once shelter-in-place rules ease.

  • “We are going to have to feel our way around this,” said Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora, a subscription management company. “I don’t think we know the end game.”

Source: https://www.axios.com/tech-work-from-home-remote-coronavirus-83658822-1cd8-4fbf-91f6-a2ee14401730.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Ina Fried

US video game sales have record quarter, as consumers stay at home

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New numbers from NPD confirm what we’ve known for a while: the first quarter of 2020 was a very good one for gaming companies. The new report notes that sales hit a record $10.86 billion in the States between January and March of this year, marking a 9% increase over a year prior. $9.58 billion of that figure was from video game content.

The primary driver is, you guessed it, COVID-19. As stay at home orders have been enacted on the federal and state levels, people are coping with the on-going daily horror that is life in 2020 by playing video games. Lots and lots of video games.

Here’s NPD’s Mat Piscatella further confirming our suspicions, “Video Games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time. As people have stayed at home more, they’ve utilized gaming not only as a diversion and an escape, but also as a means of staying connected with family and friends. Whether it was on console or mobile, PC or virtual reality, gaming experienced play and sales growth during the first quarter.”

According to NPD’s Q1 2020 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report, overall total industry consumer spending on #videogaming in the U.S. reached a record $10.86 billion in the first quarter of 2020 (Jan. – Mar.), an increase of 9 percent compared to the same time period last year.

— NPD Games (@npdgames) May 15, 2020

That last bit is, in part, key to many consumers’ choice of game titles. As already noted by the firm, Animal Crossing: New Horizons had its own record setting first quarter. That, in turn, helped drive Switch sales, in spite of Nintendo’s well documented supply issues. The title arrived just in the nick of time for stay at home orders in the U.S., delivering a kind of front-facing social experience that much of the competition lacks. Also, turnips.

Matter of fact, the Switch’s success actually helped supplement losses of other platforms. Microsoft and Sony will no doubt make up gains at the end of the year with their next gen consoles. For now, however, many consumers are likely holding out until their holiday arrives to invest in Xbox or Playstation hardware, in spite of the pandemic. The U.S.’s soaring unemployment rate no doubt also had an impact on the industry’s bottom line.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/15/us-video-game-sales-have-record-quarter-as-consumers-stay-at-home/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Brian Heater