Technology is a crucial element in our lives, with a predicted four trillion dollars being spent on technology within 2019 alone. Which is why it’s important to ensure that your money is being spent on the best tech accessories on the market. Which can become difficult considering the number of new products that seem to hit the market on a daily basis?

If you’re looking to enhance your tech game,  read on for our list of the best tech accessories to add to your cart today.

What to Look for in the Best Tech Accessories

Before shopping for your new toys, there are some important factors to consider before making your purchases.

Be on the lookout for gadgets that come with strong reviews, as well as warranty plans in case the device becomes damaged.  

You’ll also want to see if similar products can be purchased with the same quality from manufacturers that may not have the brand name power as more expensive options.

The Flexispot Bike Desk

In case you haven’t heard, sitting has basically become the new smoking. While technology has allowed us to work from practically anywhere in the world, it’s also increased the amount of time we spend sitting at desks and on the couch.

Use technology to enhance your health rather than hurt it with the flexispot bike desk. These desks can be found online for around $400 and can easily be assembled without taking up too much room in your office.

Uhoo Indoor Air Quality Sensor  

It’s easy to argue that this piece of tech is just as important as the air that you breathe. That’s because the Uhoo indoor air quality sensor is designed to analyze the quality of air within your home and office. This device easily connects to your Wi-Fi as well as additional smart devices to seamlessly communicate to you the quality of air in your space.

This is particularly valuable for those with little ones at home or those that are suffering from conditions like asthma, that need to ensure the quality of the air that they breathe.

Phonesoap Phone Sanitizer

Your phone goes everywhere with you, even in the public restroom. Chances are, however, your phone isn’t getting cleaned as often as it should be. In the event that you’re wiping it down to avoid any damage, you’re probably leaving on more germs than you’re aware of.

This simple product can help sanitize one of the dirtiest devices you can’t live without. Through the use of UV light, the phone sanitizer can sterilize a cell phone killing off 99.9% of bacteria in minutes.

It even comes with handy charging port so you can boost up your battery while getting your phone sparkly clean.

There are a number of tech advancements that are pushing individuals to say goodbye to their cable providers. Skylink TV antenna is one of them.

The compact TV antenna is set up within your home through an easy software installation that can also connect to your Wi-Fi network.

For just $31 you can view live broadcasted TV in HD without having to pay an extra dime. Combine this handy tool with your favorite Netflix and Hulu account, and you have everything your television needs.

Neato Botvac D7 Connected Robot Vacuum

While Robot vacuum technology has been around for years, chances are you’ve never seen it quite like this. The Neato botvac D7 connected Robot vacuum is not only incredibly lightweight and easy to function it also utilizes artificial intelligence to create a full-on map of your room. Cool, right?!

This means no more robot vacuums banging into walls or marking up your baseboards. It also means that the robot can cover more square footage getting an even deeper clean.

Eight Sleep Tracker

Sleep is one of the most important factors in your overall health. Not only can a lack of sleep slow down your cognitive processing, but it can also increase your chances of depression and weight gain. Which is why the eight sleep tracker is the perfect product to buy for yourself and for those that you love.

The sleep tracker works as part of your mattress cover and syncs with your smartphone to include full analytics data on how you sleep each night.

This device also analyzes your sleep patterns in order to make personalized suggestions on how to better enhance your quality of sleep. Which may come in handy when you spend too many nights staying up watching your Skylink TV.

The Apple Watch Series 4

What would a tech list be without a product from Apple? The Apple Watch series 4 is the newest Apple watch model that offers a number of new features including a longer-lasting battery, fall detection, and even a walkie-talkie, with Apple Watch bands.

If you’re not a fan of the traditional look of the Apple watch, you can always upgrade your style by purchasing one-size-fits-all strap for Apple watch collections.

The Tech News You Want and Need

Staying on top of your tech game means knowing about the best tech accessories from the moment they come out.  This requires finding the best source for technology updates and news.

For more information on the best technology in the market and any other developments within the gadget scene, check out our blog to stay in the loop. You’ll thank us when your friends are begging you to tell them where you found all of your futuristic gear.

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The Rise of Soft Skills in the Digital Age 1 - Florida Independent
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The Rise of Soft Skills in the Digital Age

I’m not going to waste your time talking about how ingrained technology is in all our lives. You may be reading this on your smartphone while killing time at work, where you stare at a separate screen for hours, only to drive home and turn on another screen to relax.

Or maybe you’re rewarding yourself with a little down time after seeing your Fitbit has recorded an extra 1,000 steps today.  Or your kid is using the computer, so you’re tethered to the wall by the tablet charging cable, looking for a well-written blog post.  Or maybe you’re not, but the point is that you could see yourself, or anyone, in that situation.

This obsession with technology has led to an explosion of never-conceived businesses and jobs. Social media, IT departments, software development, data security, the list goes on, and we’re only going to become more dependent as time goes on.

Organizations estimate that one-third of their human resources budgets are delegated for hiring IT talent; computer science majors experience a 76% increase in their salary in just the first three years. Clearly, the stats all say that hard tech skills are what job seekers should be focusing on. Except that’s not the whole story.

With connectivity comes complexity

As technology becomes more and more ingrained in our lives, so does its complexity.  No one outside of a calculus classroom carries a phone and a calculator. Some of us rarely turn on a PC anymore, since our smartphones are sufficient for quick browsing.  Our cars come enabled with Bluetooth.

Soon, every household appliance will be connected to a singular device, which we will also use to send messages, pay for groceries, tell our car where to take us, open our front door, monitor our daily steps, and automatically remind us of appointments- and it already does most of that.

But as the interconnectivity and complexity of technology rises, our ability to understand it decreases. We can’t keep up with the constant stream of our own inventions. While specialists might be able to fully utilize every software update, most of us can’t be bothered to learn all the nuances every time.

That’s why IT is such an emerging field, but even they won’t be able to keep up with the coming technological evolutions. As Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner, says, “Our best hope may be that computers eventually will become smart enough to maintain themselves.”

Importance of soft skills

Where does that leave business now? While you certainly can’t forego employees with the technical skills that you need, you need soft skills now more than ever. According to an Adecco Staffing survey, there are twice as many business executives concerned with the soft skill gap than those worried about hard skills.

Traits like communication and critical thinking are becoming more highly valued than straight computer skills. Some businesses that require their employees to have technical know-how, like engineering firms, have tried to ignore soft skills in favor of some desperately sought-after experience, but this is no longer possible.

In fact, it’s commercial acumen, communication skills, and adaptability that employers should be prioritizing. Adaptability is especially useful in a world where technology is constantly evolving, and, realistically, malfunctioning.  Sometimes things do not go to plan, and employees need to take that in stride.

Similarly, it won’t matter how well you understand CSS or can fix a pipe if no one can relate to you. Google provides consumers with ten options on just the first page, and they will reject your business if they can’t communicate with your employees.  Additionally, your business will also suffer if your employees can effectively communicate with each other.

Moving forward

It’s important to provide employees with both soft and hard skill training. This can be expensive and time-consuming, so you will have to strike a balance particular to you. If you work in an industry that the hard skills can be learned on the job or fairly quickly, make sure you’re searching for candidates with appropriate soft skills.

However, if your employees must have hard skills before they walk through the door, that doesn’t give you an excuse to ignore soft skills entirely. Offer soft skill training and assessments, because while soft skills are more difficult to measure, they are just as important.

That holds true even in this technological age. We may cling to our iEverythings, but only because they allow us to tap into humanity. Your business needs to utilize this underlying need.

People may pay for your product or service if you can deliver, but using the human element gives you that much more leverage.  In a world where your competitors are accessible at the click of a mouse, you’ll need all the soft skills you can get.

Author: Dayton socializes for a living and writes for fun. She will forever be a prisoner of her family’s business, doomed to inherit responsibility despite frequent existential protests. 

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why your website sucks
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6 Reasons Why Your Website Sucks (and What You Can Do About It)

Have you ever browsed the website of a big company like Dell or Samsung? Were you impressed with how easily you found what you were looking for, despite the all the complexity of their product lines? I guess you probably were. These websites are built to the highest of professional standards. And as a result, the user experience is seamless.

But all too often, startups fail to emulate the seamlessness generated by the big companies. What seems like it should be straightforward and easy turns out to be a lot more complicated than they imagined. Here are some of the reasons why your website sucks and what you can do about it.

1. Boring headlines

In a world that’s full of low brow content and click-bait, it can be hard for your business to compete. People will click on titles that they find the most titillating, rather than the most informative. Titles which aren’t attractive aren’t going to attract much attention on the internet. They might interest specialists, but not the general public.

Making the titles on your website sexier is an easy first step to making your site more attractive. The next step is to include interesting images and perhaps infographics to reel in even more people. Often it’s just about keeping up with what others in your industry are doing, just to enable you to compete.

2. No blog

If you’ve spent any time browsing the sites of smaller companies, you’ll have noticed a trend over the last few years. They all have blogs. No longer is blogging reserved for foodies and disgruntled youth. It’s a tool that practically everybody is using to drive traffic to their websites. But why?

It all comes down to content. First off, search engines love new content. In fact, they take it into consideration every time they calculate your site’s ranking.

But also, the people looking for your product will probably want to read more about it. That’s why you’ll often find blogs on the sites of companies that sell complex products.

Legal firms, for example, make a point of running blogs that explain how their processes work in layman’s terms. It’s all designed to be helpful, accessible content for potential customers.

3. No website marketing plan

Your website is like the display window at the front of a department store. It’s the public facing part of your business. And it’s got to look good. But all too often, startup websites aren’t fronts for their brands. They’re generic templates that look as if they’ve been thrown together in five minutes.

Building brand identity through your website is an essential part of building a successful business. Because it’s your website that the public and other businesses see, this is what defines you. That’s why it’s so important that it’s good.

Take a couple of hours thinking about exactly what information you want to communicate through your website. What should it be saying about your business? And are there any graphics or logos that you should include to make it consistent?

4. Being too modest

The internet is full of people unashamedly screaming out for attention. Sometimes what they have to offer is good. But most of the time, the content itself is far from ideal.

The problem for the startup, however, is being heard above the noise. This is challenging enough in itself. But often startups will be further hamstrung because they are too modest to seek publicity.

The key to generating interest in your website is to tell your story. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, of course. It just has to be the story about why your company is unique.

Customers are most interested in your story than you realise. Stories are what draws them into your firm’s brand. It’s what gives customers an affinity with you do. And it’s what gives them something to believe in.

If your startup is an ethical company, you can build this ethical aspect into your brand by telling a story. Perhaps you wanted to set up a chain of healthy, fast-food restaurants because you objected to what the big corporates were doing. This is the type of story that people can really get on board with. And it’s the sort of thing that will align them with your brand.

5. Failing to list on established sites

Even if you do everything right, your website may still get lost in among the billions of pages on the internet. That’s why it’s worth using more established sites to get a leg up.

The first thing that you can do is make comments on other sites. The goal here isn’t necessarily to build links. It’s to create engaging, helpful and meaningful content that will build reputation. As your name floats around the internet, this will divert more traffic to your website and help improve its visibility.

The second thing that you can do is write articles and try to get them published on other websites. This will mean that more people will come into contact with your message. And more potential customers are likely to want to know more about you by going to your website. Guest blogging is an excellent way to get your site known to another site’s audience.

The third thing that you can do is connecting your site through popular social media channels. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all being used right now by businesses to promote their websites and their content.

6. Failing to use pay-per-click advertising

In the early days, very few people will visit your site, if any. The majority of your business will be done through word of mouth and recommendations. But there are limits to that kind of growth in a digital economy. And that’s why pay-per-click advertising is so important.

Essentially, PPC funnels interested customers to your website, dramatically increasing traffic. PPC is moderately expensive for a startup. But it’s something that can be tapered down once you build your reputation and traffic increases naturally. Often PPC advertising pays for itself. Most small businesses will use something like Google Adwords.

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