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|March 30, 2016 ||
Vol. 46 No. 25
What if you could see the future? Would it affect the markets you plan to target? It certainly should! That's what GBA's Emerging Issues and Trends Committee is in business to help you with, but it's not the only source of assistance. Another is architecture giant Gensler, which has published its Design Forecast 2016, identifying 6 megatrends affecting all industry sectors and 30 sector trends. The six megatrends are technology based; e.g., "smarter" environments, human-connected urban living, and more focus on health and safety. Building Design and Construction reviewed Gensler's work and identified eight other important trends. More hospitals, with a new approach to design to support more doctor/patient collaboration. More schools, too, as the educational process becomes more of a "tailored" experience, created individually to accommodate a student's goals. Look for more design/build and P3, Gensler says, along with the development of "uburbs."
It's called INFRA, a nonviolent, first-person video game that requires the user to step into the role of an ordinary structural analyst who's having an extraordinary day. As the gamer, you will work with the camera around your neck to explore abandoned factories and tunnels and structurally unsound buildings in your city and its surroundings. Your objective: Track down those who have destroyed the city and save it before it's too late. Developed by a Finnish group, INFRA was inspired by a documentary about U.S. infrastructure and news about toxic tap water and unsafe roads. The game is still in development; Part 1 is available for $25.
|DR. ENGLISH: The Time Is Now
Useless words waste space and time...and worse. In particular, consider the word "currently." You hear it often in "All our lines are currently busy." "Currently" is useless, however, given that the tense of the verb — "are" is the present tense — tells us what time it is. After all, one would not say, "All our lines were currently busy." or "All our lines will be currently busy." The "worse" occurs when one says or writes, "I am currently employed by XYZ." "I am employed by XYZ" is much better because it not only eliminates a useless word, it eliminates a stigma; i.e., "I am currently employed by XYZ." conveys temporariness; i.e., implying, "I used to be employed by others and I'll probably be employed by others in the future, but right now, it's XYZ." Face it: Client representatives like dependability. They want to work with people who will meet their needs now and in the future. Drop "currently": It's worse than useless.
Business 2 Community
By the end of 2016, almost 200 million Americans will be using smart phones to communicate, watch videos, shop...and search for jobs. If your geoprofessional firm hasn't yet embraced mobile recruiting, start now. According to Glassdoor, about nine of every ten job seekers will search for a new job using mobile devices; more than four in ten will apply directly from their mobile device. Your firm needs to have a mobile recruiting strategy in place to attract "digitally mature" candidates. What should the strategy entail? Among other things:
Use social recruiting to advertise job openings and attract the right candidates quickly. You'll need to feature mobile-friendly content, which means mobile-optimized career pages and videos.
Create mobile-optimized career pages that display properly on mobile devices. Career sites that aren't mobile-friendly create a negative impression.
Accept mobile resumes or social job profiles. Research shows that 55% of candidates searching career sites from mobile devices want to upload a resume or apply with their LinkedIn profile.
Use video to highlight company culture. Talent Puzzle reports that including video with job postings can increase candidate applications by 34%.
Interview digitally. Candidates who apply via mobile can be turned off by the delays associated with now-antiquated interview processes. Enable recruiters to send candidates links to record video interviews on demand, so candidates can answer questions at their leisure.
Onboard digitally, too, so new employees don't waste time completing paperwork. Once a hiring decision is made and it's time for new employees to start, employers can send them to a link to a site where they can complete paperwork digitally, read policies and procedures, and familiarize themselves with the company.
Speaking with a physician by video chat may be off-putting for some, but continually more employers regard "telehealth" as an emerging healthcare solution. As 2014 ended, about 48% of employers offered some type of telehealth option; that number is expected to hit 74% at some point in 2016. Why the hike? One of the keys is better technology. "We all pretty much walk around with technology that can connect to the top experts in the world ... and with good resolution," said Gary Capistrant, senior director of public policy at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). Better tech has also helped telehealth vendors deal with legal issues in those states that require face-to-face interactions between physicians and patients for insurance coverage. Both employers and employees seem to like their new telehealth options. It's far more convenient and does not require taking time off to see a physician for relatively minor issues. The fact that it's being integrated into more health plans makes it even more cost-effective. Telehealth has also helped companies give employees access to specialists, therefore allowing workers to stay on the job longer.
If you haven’t signed up to attend GBA's upcoming Spring (Annual) Conference, now's the time! And while you're at it, mark your calendar for all the other outstanding GBA get-togethers on the horizon.
For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.
Just about every construction project in the world needs at least some geoprofessional services, some more so than others. In the "more-so" department, consider the growing opportunity presented by electric-transmission lines. One of these opportunity relates to transmission-line upgrades and replacements, given that most lines tend to be old and vulnerable to physical and cyber-attack. But also include the new lines that are needed, especially to accommodate the requirements of alternative-energy-source providers that have to get their power to their markets. Consider, in particular, Clean Line Energy Partners, which plans to spend $9 billion on power transmission across the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Southwest, including a proposed 720-mile, high-voltage, direct-current line awaiting U.S. Department of Energy approval. And that's only one of 11 projects proposed to open vast expanses for wind and solar farms. Interested? You probably should be!
You're at dinner in an upscale steak house. Red wine is called for and you scan the list, smiling nonchalantly while thinking hysterically to yourself, "Good grief, this stuff is expensive!" Should you shell out $150-$200 for a bottle of something you assume is good, given its price? Probably not, because high-end steak-house reds tend to be from recent vintages. Expensive wines get that way, in part, because they usually are long-lived and evolve in the bottle. Typically, however, they won't hit their stride for four or more years after the vintage date. Buy one before its time and you'll be wasting your money. So what should you buy? In many cases, one of the least expensive wines on the list will be the best, because, often, they're ready to drink the day you buy them and they taste just fine, thank you. This includes California wines (seldom Napa Valley, but Napa is far from the be-all and end-all), and especially wines from Spain and Argentina. If you have a reliable wine evaluator, like eRobertParker.com, you should be able to peruse the wine list and make some evaluations before you arrive at the restaurant.
Stifling work frustrations caused more than four of every ten (43%) American professionals to consider quitting their jobs last year, according to a Strayer University survey. Younger professionals (51% 18-34; 41% 35-54), those who make less than $50,000 annually (53%), and those who are not married (47%), and believe that their job is currently at a standstill (55%) were those most affected. One-third of respondents cited both limited advancement opportunity and inadequate pay as some of their biggest work-related frustrations. Seven of every ten respondents agreed that their workplace involves a lot of bureaucracy; 28% of the respondents said red-tape was a top frustration. Other reasons for frustration:
- no voice in decision-making (22%),
- lack of job security (18%),
- not being challenged/stimulated by work (17%), and
- lack of constructive feedback from their boss (14%).
| || 2015-2016 GBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS|
Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G., D.GE
(Underground Technology Group, LLC / Arlington, VA)
Laura R. Reinbold, P.E.
(Terracon / Nashville, TN)
Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G.
(Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. / Concord, NH)
Kenneth R. Johnston
(GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA)
Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)
Alex Sy, Ph.D., P. Eng.
(Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. / Vancouver, BC)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.ASTM
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063