3 Ted Talks That Will Change the Way You Think About Work

Sometimes we all need a little pick me up during the work week. What better way to reboot the mind and motivate ourselves to keep carrying on than a really good Ted Talk? Here are our favorite talks that will help change the way you think about stress and work.

Kelly McGonigal- How to Make Stress Your Friend

In her 2013 Ted Talk, Psychologist Kelly McGonigal challenges the idea that stress is the cause of all our problems by siting a study that illustrates stress is actually only harmful if you believe it is. In this study, participants who experienced stress, but didn’t believe it was harmful, had a lower risk of death than those with less stress.  According to McGonigal, “How you think and act can transform your experience of stress.” Instead of viewing signs of anxiety and stress as the body failing to cope, think of it as the body getting energized and rising to a challenge. Re-framing the way we perceive stress often results in a healthier stress response, or what McGonigal calls a “biology of courage.”

Stressed at work? Watch it here: 

Shawn Achor- The Happy Secret to Better Work

Psychologist Shawn Achor’s 2011 Ted Talk aims to reverse the status quo when it comes to our formula for happiness and success. According to Achor, “Success is predicted by optimism levels, social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of a threat.” Though we tend to think that working harder will give us more success and more success will make us happier, we are always changing the definition of success. “If happiness is on the opposite side of success,” says Achor, “your brain never gets there.” Instead, we should make use of what he calls the “happiness advantage.” When we’re happy, our brain performs better. This is because in addition to making us positive, dopamine also turns on all the learning centers in our brain. As a result, we’re often more productive when we’re happy and every single business outcome improves.

Interested in the happiness advantage? Watch here:

Theresa Glomb- Let’s Make Work Better

Organizational Psychologist Theresa Glomb’s Ted Talk addresses the negative conversation we so often have around work and offers advice on how we can take more power over our work lives. According to Glomb, the bad things that happen at work can have as much as 5 to 10 times the impact on our mood than the good things. To remedy this “asymmetry affect,” Glomb offers a few tricks to make us happier at work. Namely, work hard, have fun, choose kind and be present.

Looking for a fresh perspective at work? Watch here:

At Number8, we connect companies with IT talent and software developers that are fully trained in product development. By encouraging talent to come up with creative solutions, they remain motivated and positively contribute to a healthy company culture. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 give us a call at (502) 890-7665. 

How to Approach Project Management the Agile Way

An agile approach to project management has become prolific within many industries ranging from software development, construction and even marketing. Approaching a project the agile way ensures the product meets the client’s needs in a timely manner. The agile method also specifically makes room for improvements along the way rather than at the end when a lot of effort has already gone into the finished product. The result is often a shorter development cycle and quicker product release.  

However, an agile project manager’s duties differ from that of a traditional one’s. While the typical project manager is tasked with communication and quality control and manages the scope, cost, risk and personnel, many of these responsibilities are spread throughout the team in an agile workforce. 

Agile encourages team members to determine how to best achieve their tasks, report on their progress and determine their own schedule. Instead of a project manager, teams evaluate their own time and cost as they move through their work. Project goals are set by what is called a “product owner” and an agile project manager is referred to as a “scrum master.” 

The scrum master (or agile project manager) deals with problems as they arise and handles interruptions so his or her team can focus on the work at hand. This often comes in the form of facilitating meetings and discussions, removing progress blockers and setting priorities.

While traditional project management dictates a detailed master plan that must be followed, the agile way aims to determine the requirements as the project progresses. For this reason, an agile project manager tends to only be utilized in particularly larger complex projects. 

When approaching project management through the agile mindset, one must:

Be Flexible

Agile is built to incorporate regular feedback, updates and changes in requirements. While it’s important to understand the end goal and overall scope of a project from the start, an agile project has many cycles to it’s completion. Therefore, an agile project manager must be flexible enough to work with what is thrown their way rather than adhere to an unchangeable itinerary. 

Prioritize Client Satisfaction

At the end of the day, project management has always been done in the name of customer service. This is perhaps exemplified in the agile model as a project manager is in constant flux when it comes to meeting a client’s ever changing needs. It’s important therefore to remember that the end goal is to ultimately satisfy the client even if it’s at cost to the original plan.

Embrace Meetings

Coordinating with team members, stakeholders and clients still remains a large part of an agile project manager’s role. The agile methodology embraces daily meetings often called “scrums” where everyone participates in team transparency. During these scrums, everyone shares what they accomplished the day before as well as what they are working on that day. These are brief workflow updates and can even be done standing up. If not done in person, video conferences are another way of establishing accountability. 

Be Prepared to Problem Solve

Central to an agile project manager’s responsibilities is the ability to quickly adapt and correct course when need be. Continuous improvement ultimately saves valuable resources by reducing the risk of a larger scale failure in the end.

At Number8, we help project managers connect with highly trained and efficient IT support to help reach company goals. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at(502) 890-7665, or check out our information page!

10 Interesting Facts About Honduras

Home to one of our nearshore offices, Honduras is a popular spot for outsourcing software development. The country has recently become a more prominent member of the tech market through the support of local government and educational programs geared towards coding. As the second largest country in Central America, Honduras is full of history and agricultural significance.

Here are 10 Interesting Facts about Honduras:

1. The most populated Mayan city’s ruins are located in Honduras.

The ancient Mayan city of Copan is located in West Honduras and is known for its complex architecture and hieroglyphs. Copan was the center of Mayan civilization from the 5th to 9th century AD and as such marks an important historical site. Among the many significant structures still standing is a stairway that contains possibly the largest single text in the world still being deciphered.

2. Christopher Columbus both discovered the country and named it.

During his last trip through the Americas, Columbus found shelter in Honduras on July 30th of 1502. He is quoted as saying, “Thank God we’ve escaped these treacherous depths!” The country therefore is named for the deep water found off it’s coasts, as Honduras translates to literally mean “depths” in Spanish.

3. Honduras is home to the 2nd largest coral reef.

The Belize Barrier Reef is second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and can be found on the coast of the Honduran Bay Islands.

4. The country’s flag is known as a flag of countries.

While the two blue lines represent the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the stars in the middle are reminiscent of the flag of the Federal Republic of Central America. Each star represents a country from this federation including El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

5. They’ve banned smoking in the home.

In an effort to combat the harmful effects of smoking, the country’s tough anti-smoking law covers one’s own home if those residing in it wish for there to be no smoking allowed. Smoking is also banned in all schools, gas stations, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, buses, taxis, stadiums and cultural centers.

6. There are actually 2 capitals.

The country’s constitution recognizes both the city of Comayaguela and the city of Tegucigalpa as capitals.

7. Bats make up half of the country’s mammals.

While Honduras has a rich ecosystem of birds, flowering plants, tropical trees, deer and monkeys, there are 98 known species of bats.

8. Honduras was the first country to be described as the Banana Republic.

The American writer O. Henry referenced Honduras when he first coined the phrase that would come to represent an industry often exploited by countries around the world exporting the popular fruit.

9. It is 80% mountainous.

Despite having the second largest coral reef and stunning coastal views, mountains are actually the defining feature of Honduras.

10. Coffee is king.

In addition to bananas, coffee is the highest export in Honduras; making Honduras the biggest coffee producer in Central America.

At Number8, we connect companies with IT talent and software developers that are fully trained in product development. By encouraging talent to come up with creative solutions, they remain motivated and positively contribute to a healthy company culture. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page.