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Read Now: OKRs: Get Started With This Guide for Beginners – 101 Latest News



OKRs: Get Started With This Guide for Beginners

#OKRs #Started #Guide #Beginners

Objective and key results (OKRs) is a goal-setting framework that has grown in popularity over the past decade, and is now the most popular goal-setting method for many hypergrowth startups.

But with so many goal-setting frameworks around, what makes OKRs stand out, and why do companies like Google and LinkedIn attribute their success to OKRs? 

What makes OKR different is that they drive focus, alignment, visibility, and accountability in execution, which helps fast-growing companies execute fast as they scale, and it helps in building an outcome-focused culture.

Here’s a deeper dive into OKRs and how to get started with them.

What are OKRs?

OKRs help you set challenging and ambitious goals with measurable key results. They can help establish corporate, team, and individual goals.

In combination with your company strategy, OKRs track progress. They ensure all your team members are aligned on critical goals and meet expectations.


Objectives determine what you’re trying to achieve. They should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). An objective is the desired business outcome, so it needs to be inspirational, specific, action-oriented, and aligned with your company strategies.

EXAMPLE: An objective could be “Bring SEO to top 3 channels of revenue generation by end of quarter 2”

Key results

These ascertain how you want to measure progress. You must complete a few milestones to achieve your goals, and key results identify the specific actions to take to achieve these goals. Key results are always quantifiable and time specific, yet realistic and empirical.


Initiatives are actionable and time-bound endeavors to achieve your objectives and key results. They tell you what exactly you need to do to achieve your OKRs. Basically, OKRs are your roadmap to what you want to achieve, and initiatives are what you will have to do to walk through the road map.

History of OKRs

In 1954, Peter Drucker introduced the concept of Management by Objectives (MBO) in his book The Practice of Management. Andrew Grove, the co-founder of Intel, was inspired by this concept and came up with the OKR framework in 1970.

In 1974, John Doerr learned about the concept while working at Intel and introduced OKRs to Google in 1999. Since then, OKRs have been adopted by many organizations worldwide, such as Google, Spotify, LinkedIn, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Accenture, Dropbox, Oracle, Deloitte, Bills & Melinda Gates Foundation, Twitter, and Airbnb.

5 superpowers of OKRs

With the right strategic focus, your business can achieve great results. Seventy-six percent of successful companies confirmed that their focus is always on a limited set of strategic initiatives to achieve goals. 

OKRs, formed in conjunction with your strategic priorities, keep your teams focused on what matters, saving you time and money wasted on distractions.


Highly aligned companies have 58% faster revenue growth and are 72% more profitable compared to misaligned companies.

OKRs are formed considering the dependencies and alignment between teams. They align with the overall business goals and can help drive your organization’s strategic and cross-functional alignment.


OKRs stimulate a results-oriented mindset in your teams, allowing them to work autonomously and take ownership of the results they achieve. This makes your teams self-motivated and engaged to do their best without micromanagement.


Tracking metrics quantify success and hold employees accountable. They offer you the space to recognize and work on deficits, celebrate victories, and promote strengths. Besides, who doesn’t want to know if they’re succeeding or stuck?

OKRs are measurable and can therefore be tracked and monitored. They’re transparent and make everyone’s performance public, keeping your teams accountable yet involved.


To determine how far your teams can go, you need to experiment and push their boundaries – and OKRs do that for you.

With stretched goals, OKRs lead to innovations. They encourage setting ambitious goals. Stretched OKRs are still goals and should be realistic for your teams to achieve.

Types of OKRs

There are two main types of OKRs. First is committed OKRs, which help you set objectives you can achieve, and the second is aspirational OKRs which help you set objectives that you aspire to achieve. 

There is a third type of OKR, which is known as learning OKRs. These help you to keep a tab on new skill sets you need to learn for your professional and personal development.

Aspirational OKRs

Aspirational OKRs, also known as stretched goals or “moonshots”, are goals with a 70% achievement target. Your teams are unlikely to fully achieve these goals as they’re ambitious and visionary and have no specific or well-defined way of accomplishment. They’re also referred to as 10x goals.

“If you set a crazy, ambitious goal and miss it, you’ll still achieve something remarkable.”

Larry Page
Co-founder of Google

Example of an aspirational OKR

An example of aspirational OKRs for a food brand might look something like this:

  • O: Capture the Canadian food market
    • KR1: Onboard 80% of customers to overthrow the competition by the end of Q2.
    • KR2: Open two new stores in Canada by this quarter.
    • KR3: Achieve a 60% sales rate in Canada this quarter.

Committed OKRs

Committed OKRs are goal-setting commitments usually met with a 100% target. For committed OKRs, your teams have a specific plan of action on how they will approach the goals. Your teams need to adjust their resources and schedules to achieve their goals within the set timeframe.

Example of a committed OKR

An example of committed OKRs from a grocery brand might look something like this:

  • O: Expand business to Canada
    • KR1: Open two new stores in Canada by the end of this quarter.
    • KR2: Achieve a 10% revenue rate in Canada this quarter.
    • KR3: Reach at least 10,000 customers in Canada.

Learning OKRs

These OKRs shift your team’s focus from what they want to achieve quarterly to what they want to learn quarterly. These types of OKRs are used in cases where the goal is not defined.

Let’s say your teams have a great idea, but you’re not sure about the results. Learning OKRs can be your weapon. They provide you with the knowledge to move forward with the idea and formulate OKRs for the next quarter. Learning OKRs leaves room for experimentation and exploring new possibilities and aspects.

Example of a learning OKR

Here’s an example of learning OKRs.

  • O: Get in-depth knowledge of OKRs
    • KR1: Attend at least two OKR training sessions by the end of this quarter
    • KR2: Interact with one OKR expert every week


OKRs and key performance indicators (KPIs) are both goal-setting methods that may look similar on the surface, but differ in several ways.

  • OKRs enable you to set ambitious goals and achieve them with the right plan of action. KPIs measure the quantity or quality of activities, such as results that are already in progress.
  • OKRs are action-oriented, while KPIs are result-oriented. 
  • OKRs can be set at different levels but ultimately relate to the company’s goals and strategies. KPIs are initiated for specific projects to scale or improve them.
  • OKRs are adjustable and may be modified from time to time, according to business and market needs. KPIs don’t change often.

Simply put, OKRs are best for you if you want to improve the overall performance of your business or plan to scale. On the other hand, KPIs work best when you want to improve the performance of your team, a specific product, or a project.

How to write OKRs for your business

Writing OKRs may be a daunting task if you are doing it for the first time. You have to write and rewrite until you pen down the OKRs that work best for your business. Here are nine key steps to writing and rolling out OKRs in your organization.

  1. Start with understanding the goals and needs of your company. Understand your needs and create goals accordingly. Having a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve as an organization will help your teams form their OKRs around these visions. 
  2. Choose the tool that will work best for you. The right tools will help you to brainstorm, design, align, and track your OKRs across all levels of the organization. Whether you are working with remote or in-office employees, tools can make your OKR functioning smooth and hassle-free.
  3. Communicate across the organization. Your teams will never achieve what you want them to do if you fail to communicate your expectations clearly. Likewise, a good communication loop is required to help each team member know what they are supposed to do within a fixed time frame.
  4. Develop the objective statements. Before you set about a journey, you need to decide where you want to go. Objectives are your destination when it comes to the OKR journey. So set a defined, ambitious objective statement before deciding on your roadmap to reaching the goals.
  5. Define the key results. Key results are the path that will lead you to your destination (AKA the objectives). Set measurable key results, but remember there will always be many ways to reach a destination – the trick is to choose the ones that suit your functioning and purpose.
  6. Map out the initiatives. After deciding the road to take, you will have to choose which vehicle will take you to your destination in the shortest possible time. Initiatives are the vehicles to reach your objectives and put the key results into action.
  7. Track your OKRs consistently. OKRs will only work when tracked and measured consistently. Leverage the selected tools for the purpose.
  8. Follow up and review. Check in with your teams and review their OKRs. Find out what worked and what didn’t to point out the areas of improvement. 
  9. Recognize, reward, and celebrate wins. Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate and recognize the hard work of your teams. Without them, the objectives wouldn’t have become a reality for your organization. Reward them for their contribution.

You can also find many good examples of functional OKRs and take inspiration to create your own.

How to write objectives

The objective is something you aspire to achieve. In terms of OKRs, it is called the North Star. So to write a good objective, pause and identify your business’s North Star. 

Below are a few questions you should ask yourself before finalizing your objectives.

  • Does it align with the company’s vision and mission? Imagine what will happen if you want to go to London and board a flight that’s heading towards China. Now calculate the time, effort, and money wasted, along with the consequences. Not aligning objectives with your company vision and goals will result in a similar fashion.
  • Is it meaningful? You need to write objectives that can help you achieve company goals. It must clearly define whether it is outcome-based or output-based. 
  • Is it inspiring? OKRs are meant to be ambitious to inspire you to step ahead of your pre-defined comfort zone. The set objectives thus should inspire your teams to experiment and be creative. 
  • Does it clearly define the goal? A meaningful objective will convey itself in clear and precise words. There shouldn’t be any superfluous or vague statements.
  • Is it time-specific? OKRs are meant to be achieved within a short period of time and are usually set quarterly. To cater to this need, your objectives need to be time-specific. It has to be a goal that can be achieved within a set period of time.

How to write key results

Once your objectives are set, the next step would be to decide what your key results should be.

Key results will be the outcomes you will require to reach your objective. In other words, KRs will be the roadmap for your objectives. 

Below are a few questions to ask yourself while writing your key results.

  • Is it quantifiable? Key results should include numbers instead of binary results. They should indicate the milestones you want to achieve. For example, your key result would say “hire 3 content writers within 2 weeks”, rather than just “hire new content writers”. 
  • Is it measurable and time-bound? Make sure that your key results are put in measurable terms. It should indicate a measurable aim to be achieved before the deadline.
  • Is it aspirational? Avoid sandbagging. Set ambitious targets instead of falling prey to under-promising.
  • Is it achievable and realistic? Aspirational doesn’t mean unrealistic or unachievable goals. So make sure your key results are inspirational but are not impossible to achieve.
  • Is it specific? Use specific numbers, measures, and precise terms while writing key results. It must avoid ambiguity.

Implementing OKRs

Once you are done writing the OKRs, the next process of implementing them begins. Here are a few tips for you to successfully implement OKRs at your organization and turn your dreams into reality.

  1. Make yourself familiar with the OKR framework and how it’s going to help your organization. Don’t rely on secondary sources only. Do your research and talk to industry experts if required. Evaluate the changes you want in your organizational performance and whether the framework can help you initiate those changes.
  2. Get all your team members across all departments to understand OKRs and ‘what’s in it’ for them. This will help your team members better adopt and adapt to the changes that the OKR framework will bring to the overall function of your organization.
  3. Inspire your teams with success stories of great companies who have reached new heights with OKRs. Help them understand why it worked for these companies and why it should work at your organization. 
  4. Decide your OKR approach and framework. Every company or startup has different requirements and goals. They have their unique ways of functioning. Choose your OKR approach and framework as per your organizational needs, instead of blindly following the footsteps of another successful organization.
  5. Define your company’s vision and mission. As already mentioned, you need to have a clear company vision to help your teams decide on their priorities and set OKRs accordingly.
  6. Set an OKR rhythm. Establishing a rhythm can help you achieve smooth OKR functioning at your organization. Set your OKR rhythm that best suits your pace to accelerate organizational performance.
  7. Write the OKRs at different levels of your organization. Setting company-level OKRs won’t be enough if you are a large organization functioning across multiple departments and levels. To make OKRs work best for your organization, set OKRs at different levels of the organization, like company-level OKRs, department-level OKRs, team-level OKRs, and individual OKRs. 
  8. Run a pilot OKR if you are rolling them out for the first time. The first time can be scary. There might be doubts about how far the framework will work for your teams. It’s more about experimenting, hence why industry experts usually prescribe piloting OKRs with one or two teams to start, and then eventually expand.
  9. Align your OKRs with company strategy and vision. Maintain this alignment not only while writing company-level OKRs, but across all levels of the organization.
  10. Evaluate, monitor, and track the progress constantly. Evaluate the strengths and drawbacks, monitor how far the goals have been achieved, and track the progress in quantifiable terms. You can utilize tools for the purpose as well.
  11. Iterate for the next cycle. Use all the experiences and learning your teams have gathered and repeat the cycle in the next quarter. Exclude the flaws and highlight the strength while planning OKRs for the next cycle.

OKR tracking

To make OKRs effective, you will have to track your progress regularly. This will help you spot the obstructions and weak points to avoid achieving better outcomes. It’s essential to keep your employees aligned and help them stay on the same page.

Weekly and monthly OKR check-ins

These check-ins will help you monitor the progress of the key results, find obstacles (if there are any), learn from your mistakes, and employ the lessons learned to make OKRs more effective.

Integrate OKRs with 1:1s

This will help you track individual and team performance. It will also enhance employee model accountability and engagement.

Implement OKR scoring

OKR scoring is a measurement of whether key results are achieved. It also helps you track how far they have been achieved. You can score OKRs on a scale of 0.0 to 1.1.

OKR tools

There are many free and paid OKR tools available on the market. You can even use pen and paper for writing and tracking your OKRs.

However, manual OKR tracking can be exhausting. An OKR software can give you a central space where all the work and progress can be documented. It not only tracks everyone, but also makes metrics easily accessible.

Pen and paper

If you are a small company of 3-4 employees, a pen and a paper are all you need to write and track your OKRs. You can consider printing the sheets later and pasting them all over the walls so that your team stays driven and focused on their priorities.

Google Sheets

Google Sheets are easy to use and maintain. They can be shared with everyone and thus makes the OKR progress tracking more transparent. 

OKRs are evolving in nature. Google Sheets let you change and edit your OKRs transparently when required. For example, any changes made by the sales team in their OKRs in the Team tab will get displayed in the Dashboard tab. You can also add OKR cycle-related information.

OKR software

OKR software makes tracking OKR progress at all levels (company, departmental, team, and individual) more effective, easy, and error-free. It helps you better support your teams and keeps them aligned. 

OKR software ensures that you provide all the resources your teams need for OKR matters and holds up your performance management system.

Many OKR software options are available in the market. You might feel overwhelmed while choosing the one best for you. To make the process easy for you, here’s a list of features you should be looking for in your OKR software.

The use of OKR software is becoming increasingly popular among organizations that use OKRs for goal setting. When it comes to aligning teams and tracking their performance, a dedicated OKR tool can be very useful. 

Features to look for in an OKR software

With so many choices available, it’s important to choose the right one. Below are some pointers you should consider before choosing an OKR software.

  • Simple interface
  • Allow review and feedback
  • Align and cascade OKR
  • Reports and analytics
  • Follow-up and check-ins
  • Allows transparency
  • Goal mapping
  • Customizable
  • OKR dashboard
  • Option to comment

OKR and performance appraisal 

OKR is a management tool. You shouldn’t mix OKRs with performance appraisals. Performance appraisal is related to an employee’s ability to perform and the related compensation. 

While OKRs are about setting goals and determining a clear path to achieve the desired outcome. It’s wrong to use OKRs for performance appraisals (PA) because OKRs don’t include daily tasks done by employees. It can be part of the PA process, but not the wholesale criteria of doing PA.

In addition, when OKRs are linked with PA, it can hamper your entire OKR framework. Because when employees won’t be able to achieve the set OKRs (which is not uncommon as OKRs are mostly aspirational), they will get demotivated and feel less engaged. It may also result in employee burnout. 

In other cases, you might find employees setting low OKRs, which can be easily achieved. As a result, OKRs will simply lose their significance.

  • Setting easy goals: OKRs are meant to encourage, inspire, and stretch your team’s limits. When you set easy goals, OKRs lose their significance, and you will not get the expected growth.
  • Setting a goal that is far from achieving: OKRs encourage you to set ambitious goals. But don’t confuse ambitious goals with impractical ones – a common OKR mistake that can ruin your business. Your OKRs always have to be practical, realistic, and achievable.
  • Lack of data-driven goals: Your OKRs should not be vague or ambiguous. They shouldn’t be just qualitative, but quantifiable, as well.
  • Lack of clarity about the goals: OKRs can’t bring the desired results if you are not sure about what you want to achieve in the first place.
  • Benching OKRs as criteria of performance management: As discussed above, OKRs and performance management should run parallel but never intersect. Never commit the mistake of using OKRs as benchmarks for performance evaluation.
  • Implementing OKRs at once for the entire organization: It ‘might’ work for some people, but what if it doesn’t work for you? Your teams will be left demotivated about the entire OKR process on top of wasted time, resources, and money. It’s always better to run an OKR pilot before expanding it to the entire organization.
  • Set and forget the OKRs: OKRs must be checked, monitored, and tracked regularly to get the most out of them. If you set and forget, the entire system will fall, and everything will have to be rebuilt again.
  • Setting too many objectives: Too many objectives distract and confuse your teams, shifting the focus from what’s most important and making OKRs lose their essence.


If you ask someone to sum it up and tell you why you should go for it right now, you won’t get a one-liner answer.  

Although the framework is pretty simple, as you have already read, OKRs stand out from other goal-setting frameworks for several reasons, including their:

  • Scalability
  • Applicability to different settings and business dynamics
  • Effectiveness
  • Elastic nature
  • Quantifiable essence 

OKRs are not a silver bullet, but if implemented correctly, they can help your organization achieve hypergrowth through the five superpowers. OKRs can help you strengthen the foundation of your organization and increase your operational excellence.

Now that you’re an OKR wiz, it’s time to help your marketing team accomplish targets that align with business goals. Learn how to assign KPIs to marketing objectives


Read Now: Get the Most Out of Remote Meetings and Avoid Meeting Burn Out – 101 Latest News



Get the Most Out of Remote Meetings and Avoid Meeting Burn Out

#Remote #Meetings #Avoid #Meeting #Burn

Virtual meetings aren’t too bad at the start of the day, but when they keep racking up throughout the day, it can make things difficult for employees. Mental fog, mental fatigue, and lack of creativity and focus are all too common, partly due to too many online meetings. Thankfully, there are ways employees and managers can get more out of their remote meetings and avoid long-term meeting burnout.

Get the Most Out of Remote Meetings

Tip 1: Prepare and Present Correctly

Nothing is worse than a meeting that could be fantastic and end up boring and unproductive. People aren’t focused, participation is low, and the presenter must repeat themselves multiple times. Make sure that the small stuff is taken care of; share the right link on the team’s online calendar and ensure that everyone at least knows about the meeting. Managers can easily send out a reminder via Slack or other communication methods to inform team members that the meeting will start in an hour.

Regarding presentation, managers, and employees can ensure that audience members are mentally present by prioritizing audience engagement. For those leading or facilitating the meeting, asking questions to specific individuals can be powerful. Consider asking team members if they can participate in a small way during the meeting. Even though they may only speak for a minute or two, it can keep them engaged before and after their comments and thus more attentive throughout the meeting.

Another small change presenters and facilitators can make are pacing themselves for the benefit of the group. When presenters speak a million miles a minute, it can make it more difficult for team members to understand them and, thus, more likely for them to tune out. After meetings, presenters can also message team members individually and get their feedback on the overall points of the meeting.

Team members vary in preference and engagement levels, so getting your team’s feedback will help you become a better presenter for your team.

Tip #2: Get Rid of Distractions.

More than 50% of individuals perform other non-productive tasks during meetings, such as checking emails and looking at their phones. Around 40% Browse Social Media, with some surfing the internet and others daydreaming. In a remote setting, you can’t fully control what your employees do, and it’s tough to tell when a team member is looking at something else on the internet. In fact, some employees admit to playing video games during meetings. To combat this, try to cultivate a culture that prioritizes meetings. Encourage team members to engage in a “ceremonial closing of tabs” when joining the meeting.

Tip #3: Be Selective About Meetings

Meetings aren’t always necessary, and sometimes organizations will schedule team meetings that could really be an email or even a Slack message. A Harvard Research Study found that roughly 70% of meetings prevent employees from engaging in productive work. The study also found that employee productivity increased by 71% when the number of meetings held was reduced by 40%.

HBR recommends that managers scale back meetings by being more selective about meetings. They recommend only “holding meetings when absolutely necessary. That typically includes to review work that’s occurred (what worked or didn’t and why), to clarify and validate something(policies, team goals, etc.)” or to “distribute work appropriately among your team.”

Even when meetings are needed, be sure to invite only the team members that are absolutely necessary to the meeting and to the goal that the team is shooting for. HBR also recommends that managers can encourage team members to flag or cancel meetings if those meetings aren’t a great use of their time.

Owl Labs created a list of questions for managers or anyone that could call the need for a meeting. The first question they recommend is to ask if the matter is urgent or time-sensitive. If the matter is urgent and important, consider first messaging team members on Slack if you don’t necessarily need their input. If there is an issue that absolutely requires input from other team members, it would be best to call a meeting with everyone,

Tip #4: Keep Meetings Short

Shorter meetings help employees be more productive overall, but how can managers keep meetings shorter? As discussed above, limiting the number of team members or individuals in the meeting can be beneficial, especially for keeping meetings shorter. Another strategy managers can take is to assign meeting roles for various team members.

Managers can also consider cutting the time of meetings and fitting the content they need into the time set. For example, cut hour-long meetings to just 45 minutes or 30-minute meetings to just 15 minutes.

Tip 5: Refresh Your Mind.

Inhale, exhale and return your attention to your physical and mental health. Guided breathing methods are now accessible online, enabling users to take a break between meetings and even during sessions. Additionally, to help you feel more at ease, consider surrounding your desk with something small to help you relax. This may be something as small as a houseplant or a picture of your significant other, but it can make a big difference.

Lastly, a great way to refresh your mind is by getting outside. Getting some fresh air and sunlight on your skin can help people be a bit more alert overall and refreshed when they return to their desks. This can be just sitting on the front porch for a bit, hanging out in the backyard, or going through a stroll in the neighborhood. Walks don’t have to be long to be effective either; 15 minutes can be enough to get employees rolling again.

Tip 6: Create an A rea Just for Meetings

When working remotely, setting up a specialized meeting space has numerous noteworthy advantages. It improves professionalism and productivity in the first place. Setting up a more formal and concentrated environment is facilitated by having a location set aside expressly for meetings. Participants can actively participate in talks more successfully, improving communication and decision-making by removing distractions and providing a professional setting.

Second, a designated meeting space can significantly raise the standard of online interactions. It enables people to arrange the ideal lighting, placement, and audio gear to guarantee effective communication. Participants can communicate non-verbal cues more effectively during meetings if sufficient lighting and the right camera angles improve understanding and engagement. Furthermore, enhancing audio quality with noise-canceling technology or soundproofing techniques helps to reduce background noise and guarantees that participants can clearly hear one another.

Specific meeting space also promotes work-life harmony. Drawing lines between work and personal life is simpler when meetings occur in a defined location. People can psychologically switch between their professional and personal roles by physically entering and exiting the meeting location. This division lessens the propensity to be in a work mindset all the time and enables more focus and presence during meetings, which increases productivity and enhances general well-being.

Tip 7: Avoiding Meeting Burnout is a Team Effort

It takes a collaborative effort to prevent meeting burnout rather than just being an individual responsibility. Teams should collaborate to design procedures that reduce burnout and foster a healthy work environment by acknowledging the cumulative impact of meetings on team members’ productivity and well-being.

First and foremost, a team’s ability to communicate and work together effectively is crucial. The frequency, length, and purpose of meetings, as well as other preferences, should be openly discussed by team members. Teams can decrease the overall number of meetings and ensure that only important subjects are covered by deciding whether each meeting is necessary collaboratively. This prevents wasting time, which leads to burnout.

Groups can actively encourage effective meeting procedures. Each meeting entails establishing clear objectives, agendas, and outputs that can be implemented. By adopting these guidelines, team members may stay on task and productive during meetings, reducing time lost on side topics or pointless conversations. Meetings can be run more effectively by promoting the use of technologies and tools that simplify communication, including collaboration platforms or shared documents.

Teams might also take a flexible stance when it comes to meetings. Team members can use asynchronous communication channels for non-urgent talks, such as email or project management software because they know that not all discussions require synchronous communication. Teams may lessen the overall strain of meetings and give people more control over their calendars by embracing flexibility and enabling people to manage their time well.

Tip 8: Change your diet

Keeping a balanced diet is essential for preventing fatigue from virtual meetings. Proper eating promotes general health and gives you the vigor and concentration you need to get through long sessions. Here are four ways that a balanced diet might help prevent burnout in the workplace.

First, eating foods that are high in nutrients helps maintain cognitive function and brain health. Your body will get vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants if you choose a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats. Thanks to these nutrients, you can stay focused and involved during virtual meetings, which also help with memory and concentration, lowering your risk of burnout.

A balanced diet also contributes to sustaining energy levels throughout the day by helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Lean proteins and complex carbs from whole grains, legumes, and veggies can give you a continuous energy supply. This lessens the mental tiredness brought on by burnout by preventing energy crashes and assisting you in maintaining focus and productivity throughout back-to-back sessions.

Image Credit: Pexels; CorronBro; Thank You!

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Read Now: Is a biometric time clock right for your small business? – 101 Latest News



Is a biometric time clock right for your small business?

#biometric #time #clock #small #business

Managing your team’s working hours can often feel like a demanding task that requires constant attention. If you’re seeking a more effective way to track employee hours and reduce unnecessary labor expenses, a biometric time clock could be the solution you’ve been seeking.

 As with any important business decision, you’ve got to do your research. This is particularly true for biometric time clocks. Biometric time clocks aren’t for everyone—they’re bit controversial and even illegal in some states. So, let’s do a deep dive into the pros, cons, and legal considerations to determine whether this innovative approach is right for your business.

 Don’t worry: if you live in a state that has banned biometric time clocks, we’ll also introduce alternative options that offer similar benefits without compromising privacy. Let’s get to it!

What is a biometric time clock?

A biometric time clock is a small business time clock solution that utilizes unique body measurements to identify employees as they clock in and out.

These types of biometric time clock systems typically use fingerprints, hand geometry, facial recognition, or iris scans to identify individual employees.

Biometric time clocks are more than just fingerprint time clocks

Although biometric time clocks may seem like a futuristic way to clock in and out for a shift, businesses used this technology as early as the 90s. In the 40 years since then, biometric time clock technology has expanded to include different biometric identifiers. Today, businesses can choose to use their employees’ unique fingerprints, palms, facial features, or irises for accurate time clock identification.

1. Biometric fingerprint time clocks

As the name suggests, biometric fingerprint time clocks use fingerprints to ensure the correct employees are clocking in for their shifts. To clock in, employees simply place their index finger or thumb on a fingerprint reader. Then, the biometric system identifies the employee by matching the scanned fingerprint to its database of stored images.  

Although fingerprint time clocks are relatively straightforward to use, they aren’t exactly foolproof. In fact, a recent study found that the scanners sometimes produced false matches when employees had wet or dirty fingers. Even hand lotions and sanitizers were found to degrade fingerprint quality, leading to identification errors and complicating the clock in process—the opposite of what you’re looking for.

2. Biometric palm time clocks

Much like fingerprint time clocks, palm time clocks use a biometric scanner to identify the unique patterns and geometry of each employee’s palm. To ensure proper placement, most systems have a template indicating where your employees should place their hands.

Once scanned, the system compares the unique palm pattern to its database of employee biometrics. Barring any errors, it’s then able to identify the individual employee and check them in for their shift.

3. Biometric facial recognition time clocks

Unlike fingerprint time clocks, facial recognition is touchless. This made the technology an increasingly popular option during the pandemic. To clock in, an employee simply stands in front of the clock while it scans their face. The facial recognition software then analyzes the unique features of each employee’s face, such as the distance between their eyes or the length of their forehead.

From there, the system scans its database to identify the employee and allows them to clock in for their shift. Some of these systems are able to work using just parts of the face—ideal if your team wears masks, like in the healthcare or veterinary industry. However, some of these systems do require the full face. Make sure you know what your needs would be when looking into this option.

4. Biometric iris time clocks 

Iris time clocks operate much like biometric facial recognition systems. To clock in, employees’ eyes are scanned using infrared technology. This illuminates the eye and identifies unique patterns on the iris.  

To get an accurate reading, employees need to stand relatively close to the scanner and remove their glasses to avoid reflections. It’s also worth noting that long eyelashes, contact lenses, and even unusual eye colors can prevent these machines from working properly.

Are biometric time clocks legal?

The short answer is, it depends. While employers have always required personal information, such as social security numbers to pay their employees, biometric data is a bit more controversial. As a result, many states are passing laws to restrict the use of biometric time clocks and protect employee privacy.

According to the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), New York has already banned employers from requiring fingerprint scans. And Oregon has banned facial recognition scans entirely.

Since these laws vary from state to state, you’ll need to check your state and local labor laws to determine the legalities of biometric time clocks in your area. Even if your state doesn’t currently have biometric-specific laws in place, they might in the future. You can check pending laws via the BIPA tracker to ensure your plans to implement biometric time clocks won’t be affected in the future.

Complying with legal requirements

Once you’ve established whether you can legally use a biometric time clock, you’ll need to establish a comprehensive compliance policy. This should include details such as:

  • The type of biometric data you’ll be collecting from your employees
  • How you plan to collect the data
  • How long you’ll store the data
  • The reason for collecting the data
  • How you plan to keep the data you collect secure

To safeguard your business from potential fines and lawsuits, you’ll need to provide the details of this compliance policy to your staff and get everyone’s written consent. Once your paperwork is in place, you can legally implement a biometric time clock system. But you’ll need to continually protect and monitor your employees’ biometric data to stay compliant with biometric workplace laws. This includes encrypting and restricting access to your server and destroying data as employees resign.

It’s also important to stay up to date with federal and state laws, as recent lawsuits against companies like Pret a Manger and Walmart are prompting many states to alter their legislation.

The bottom line? Do your research before moving forward with a biometric time clock. If you’re worried about breaking any rules, consider opting for a cloud-based time clock like Homebase instead.

Note: This isn’t legal advice. If you plan to implement a biometric time clock, consult a lawyer.

Is a biometric time clock right for my small business?

Assuming your state allows it, deciding whether a biometric time clock is a personal decision that warrants careful consideration. So, let’s dive into the pros and cons to help you determine whether it’s the right choice for your employees and business.

1. Pro: Eliminate buddy punching

Buddy punching is without a doubt one of the biggest reasons small businesses implement biometric time clocks. For those who haven’t heard the term before, buddy punching is when one team member clocks in for another before they’ve actually arrived for their shift. This is particularly easy to do using traditional time punch cards, physical key cards, or even personal codes. It’s a form of time theft that can easily cost your business money. Since biometric time clocks use data that’s unique to each employee, they need to physically be there to check in, which eliminates the possibility of buddy punching.

While this practice may seem relatively harmless, buddy punching for a single employee that’s consistently late can wind up costing you over a thousand dollars a year. And that’s just for one employee. If your team has a habit of buddy punching it can cost you much more. Biometric time clocks prevent this from happening, meaning you’re not paying for labor that wasn’t performed.

Now, if biometric time clocks are prohibited in your area, you can still avoid buddy punching with the right software. With Homebase’s time clock app, your employees check in with the app, which uses geo-fencing to confirm their location. The app also prevents early clock-ins, tracks breaks, and automatically alerts you to late arrivals to reduce labor leakage.  

2. Pro: Streamline clocking in and out

With biometric time clocks, your employees don’t need to remember a key card or fob to clock in for their shift. Since their biometric data is part of their physical bodies, they always have the information needed to clock in. This eliminates those frantic pre-shift searches for missing employee cards and allows managers to focus on tasks beyond assisting their team with clocking in and out, or reissuing punch cards.

However, since the modern employee is rarely without their mobile phone, cloud-based time clocks are an equally viable option. Homebase’s time clock app allows your team to clock in directly in the app, eliminating the need for timecards, fingerprints, or any additional training.

3. Pro: Improve security

​​When biometric time clocks are used to control access to your business, they can also improve security. Unlike key cards or fobs, biometric metrics can’t be stolen or lost. This eliminates the risk of someone using a lost or stolen key card to access, damage, or even rob your business.

However, it’s important to note that not all biometric time clocks provide this feature. Even those that do can’t protect your business from human errors like leaving doors unlocked. So, whether you utilize a biometric time clock or not, you should always have additional security measures in place to safeguard against human error.

4. Con: Privacy and legality concerns

​​Understandably, privacy concerns are the biggest drawback of using biometric clocks. Whether you’re using fingerprints, palms, faces, or irises to identify your employees, you’re storing extremely personal information. Unlike passwords that can be changed, this kind of data can’t be altered. So, if this information is leaked or stolen, the damage is permanent and can’t be undone.

The controversy surrounding biometric data collection has intensified, as identity thieves and hackers increasingly seek out this type of information to gain access to sensitive information. As a result, states like New York, Oregon, Illinois, and Washington have already established laws restricting or banning biometric time clocks. In these states, employers can face fines of up to $5,000 per employee for deliberately violating these laws.

Currently, White Castle is in a massive lawsuit for allegedly scanning the fingerprints of nearly 10,000 employees without their consent. If the fast-food chain is found guilty of intentionally collecting this information without consent, it could face billions of dollars in fines.

Although biometric data can save you thousands in lost wages, violating these laws (whether intentionally or not) can cost you much more. So, be sure to seek legal guidance and take the necessary steps to protect your employees’ personal data.

5. Con: False matches

Although biometric time clocks are meant to make clocking in and out simpler and more secure, the technology isn’t foolproof. Recent studies have found that fingerprint scanners can produce false matches if an employee’s hands are cold, damp, hot, or dirty. Hand sanitizer can also impede results, which can present issues for restaurant and hospital staff that must maintain high standards of hygiene throughout their shifts.

 Facial and iris biometric scanners can also fail to accurately identify employees with long eyelashes, contact lenses, and unusual eye colors. Reflections and poor lighting can aggravate these issues and lead to inaccurate results.

6. Con: ​​Accessibility challenges

​​As we just mentioned, clocking in with a biometric time clock isn’t always as straightforward as it may seem. Unfortunately, those with disabilities may find it even harder to adopt these technologies as they’re not entirely inclusive. For example, most facial recognition and iris scanners are installed too high for wheelchair users to access. 

It can also be difficult for individuals with visual impairments to see where to place their hands or stand for an accurate scan. Implementing new systems without accessibility in mind can affect the perceived inclusivity of your business and cause undue stress for those who struggle to use it.

 It’s also worth noting that businesses in the United States are required by law to provide an accessible alternative for employees with disabilities. So, not only does this require an additional investment in a secondary time clock, but you’ll also have the added task of integrating it with your payroll system.

Are there viable alternatives to biometric time clocks?

If you’re intrigued by the benefits of biometric time clocks but find the potential legal implications concerning, an online time clock app might be better suited for your business. These innovative apps offer all the features of biometric time clocks and more, without the need to navigate complex data privacy regulations.

 So, what exactly is an online time clock app? An online time clock app is a digital tool that allows employees to easily clock in and out of their shifts from their personal devices.

Using Homebase for time tracking

 With the Homebase app, employees can clock in using their smartphones once they arrive at work. The app uses geo-fencing technology to confirm their location, prevent early clock-ins, and ensure accurate time tracking. It also tracks breaks and even sends alerts about late arrivals, helping you minimize labor leakage and stay on top of attendance.

 Since your employees use their own devices to clock in, online time clock apps eliminate buddy punching much like biometric time clocks do. However, unlike biometric scanners that are subject to location-dependent privacy laws, Homebase complies with existing (and pending) legislation nationwide. This ensures your business won’t be on the hook for a second system should biometric data collection laws change in your area.

 What’s more, the app is free for unlimited employees, saving you the expenses associated with traditional biometric solutions, which can cost up to $500.  And because Homebase is app-based, any repairs or maintenance are automatically included in routine updates.

 While selecting the right time clock solution for your business will ultimately depend on your unique circumstances, an online time clock app like Homebase provides all the benefits of biometric time clocks without the added complexities of ongoing legality concerns.

Get a free time clock that frees up your time. Track hours. Prep for payroll. Control labor costs. All with our free time clock. Try Homebase time clock

Biometric time clock FAQs 

What are biometric time clocks?

A biometric time clock is a small business time clock solution that utilizes unique body measurements to identify employees as they clock in and out.

Also known as hand scanner time clocks, fingerprint time clocks, hand-punch time clocks, or biometric hand-punch devices, these types of systems most often use fingerprints or hand geometry to recognize each employee and track and manage their time.

What are the 4 types of biometric time clocks?

The four types of biometric time clocks are fingerprint time clocks, palm time clocks, facial recognition time clocks, and iris time clocks. Fingerprint and palm time clocks scan the fingerprints and palms of your employees to accurately identify and clock them in for each shift. Facial and iris time clocks work in a similar fashion. Using touchless infrared technology, these time clocks identify (and clock in) employees based on their unique facial and iris measurements.  

Are biometric time clocks legal in America?

Biometric time clocks are legal in some parts of the United States. Since laws vary by state, you’ll need to check your state and local labor laws to determine the legalities of biometric time clocks in your area. 

What are alternatives to biometric time clocks?

There are several alternatives to biometric time clocks, like traditional time punch cards and physical key cards. However, cloud-based time clock apps are the most comparable alternative. Similar to biometric time clocks, Homebase’s time clock app accurately and securely tracks your team’s hours. Unlike biometric clocks, Homebase eliminates the need to keep up with evolving compliance and privacy laws. It’s a cost-effective, reliable long-term option.

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Read Now: All the Nvidia news announced by Jensen Huang at Computex – 101 Latest News



All the Nvidia news announced by Jensen Huang at Computex

#Nvidia #news #announced #Jensen #Huang #Computex

Jensen Huang wants to bring generative AI to every data center, the Nvidia co-founder and CEO said during Computex in Taipei today. During the speech, Huang’s first public speech in almost four years he said, he made a slew of announcements, including chip release dates, its DGX GH200 super computer  and partnerships with major companies. Here’s all the news from the two-hour-long keynote.

  1. Nvidia’s GForce RTX 4080 Ti GPU for gamers is now in full production and being produced in “large quantities” with partners in Taiwan.

2. Huang announced the Nvidia Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) for Games, an customizable AI model foundry service with pre-trained models for game developers. It will give NPCs more character through AI-powered language interactions.

3. Nvidia Cuda computing model now serves four million developers and more than 3,000 applications. Cuda seen 40 million downloads, including 25 million just last year alone.

4. Full volume production of GPU server HGX H100 has begun and is being manufactured by “companies all over Taiwan,” Huang said. He added it is the world’s first computer that has a transformer engine in it.

5. Huang referred to Nvidia’s 2019 acquisition of supercomputer chipmaker Mellanox for $6.9 billion as “one of the greatest strategic decisions” it has ever made.

6. Production of the next generation of Hopper GPUs will start in August 2024, exactly two years after the first generation started manufacture.

7. Nvidia’s GH200 Grace Hopper is now in full production. The superchip boosts 4 PetaFIOPS TE, 72 Arm CPUs connected by chip-to-chip link, 96GB HBM3 and 576 GPU memory. Huang described as the world’s first accelerated computing processor that also has a giant memory: “this is a computer, not a chip.” It is designed for high-resilience data center applications.

8. If the Grace Hopper’s memory is not enough, Nvidia has the solution—the DGX GH200. It’s made by first connecting eight Grace Hoppers togethers with three NVLINK Switches, then connecting the pods together at 900GB together. Then finally, 32 are joined together, with another layer of switches, to connect a total of 256 Grace Hopper chips. The resulting ExaFLOPS Transformer Engine has 144 TB GPU memory and functions as a giant GPU. Huang said the Grace Hopper is so fast it can run the 5G stack in software. Google Cloud, Meta and Microsoft will be the first companies to have access to the DGX GH200 and will perform research into its capabilities.

9. Nvidia and SoftBank have entered into a partnership to introduce the Grace Hopper superchip into SoftBank’s new distributed data centers in Japan. They will be able to host generative AI and wireless applications in a multi-tenant common server platform, reducing costs and energy.

10. The SoftBank-Nvidia partnership will be based on Nvidia MGX reference architecture, which is currently being used in partnership with companies in Taiwan. It gives system manufacturers a modular reference architecture to help them build more than 100 server variations for AI, accelerated computing and omniverse uses. Companies in the partnership include ASRock Rack, Asus, Gigabyte, Pegatron, QCT and Supermicro.

11. Huang announced the Spectrum-X accelerated networking platform to increase the speed of Ethernet-based clouds. It includes the Spectrum 4 switch, which has 128 ports of 400GB per second and 51.2T per second. The switch is designed to enable a new type of Ethernet, Huang said, and was designed end-to-end to do adaptive routing, isolate performance and do in-fabric computing. It also includes the Bluefield 3 Smart Nic, which connects to the Spectrum 4 switch to perform congestion control.

12. WPP, the largest ad agency in the world, has partnered with Nvidia to develop a content engine based on Nvidia Omniverse. It will be capable of producing photos and video content to be used in advertising.

13. Robot platform Nvidia Isaac ARM is now available for anyone who wants to build robots, and is full-stack, from chips to sensors. Isaac ARM starts with a chip called Nova Orin and is the first robotics full-reference stack, said Huang.

Thanks in large to its importance in AI computing, Nvidia’s stock has soared over the past year, and it is currently has a market valuation of about $960 billion, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world (only Apple, Microsoft, Saudi Aramco, Alphabet and Amazon are ranked higher).

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