Uber Works Wants to Disrupt The On-demand Staffing Business

Uber Works Wants to Disrupt The On-demand Staffing Business

Uber doesn’t always have an easy time doing business. But instead of just relying on its rideshare platform, it’s diversifying its services to provide a lot more earning opportunities for the company and for its drivers. One of these initiatives is the new Uber Works, which the company is testing right now.

What’s Uber Works?

This is an on-demand staffing business, much like the original Uber template is an on-demand rideshare business. This service enables its client businesses to hire various workers for short-term duties. If there’s a special event or a corporate function then Uber Works allows these companies to hire waiters and security guards for the duration.

It’s still a new initiative that Uber is exploring, and it may not turn into a business at all. But it has been tested in LA, and now trials are being held for Uber Works in Chicago.

Other Uber Ideas

Uber Works isn’t the only new way for the company to earn income.

  • Uber Eats is perhaps the most notable new service offered by the company, as it provides its drivers with a new food-delivery service. It’s a service that’s now available in 250 cities all over the world, and it has managed to generate $6 billion in total bookings for the last year.
  • Uber has a trucking division called Uber Freight, which matches available truckers to companies that need its goods to be transported. This division now has a new service called Powerloop. This time, it rents out physical equipment like tractor trailers to the drivers who need them.
  • They’ve added bikes and electric scooters to the Uber apt this year.
  • They’re planning to add the option for all-electric short-range aircraft in the future.
  • Uber is also working on self-driving technology.

Uber as the Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

It’s no secret that Uber has been facing a lot of criticism for the last few years. Critics have long harped on how it denies its drivers benefits like a minimum wage and health benefits. Its global expansion has slowed down, and it has been disastrous in Russia and China. Even its research on self-driving technology has taken a beating in the public eye when one of their test cars had an accident that killed a pedestrian.

Yet the valuation for Uber has now grown to $70 billion. Some even think that it can reach a total value of $120 billion when it’s time for the company to go public. Those $120 billion valuations would be more than the combined company value total of the Big 3 automakers. To see just how Uber has grown, note that its supposed rival Lyft is also planning an initial public offering but experts believe that it will end up with just a valuation of $15 billion.

Much of the Uber renaissance is due to the diversification of its efforts. Uber Eats in itself is already worth $20 billion. It’s trying to do another Amazon path to success, and Amazon started with just books. Will Uber achieve the same level of success? Stay tuned!

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

6 Things Employers Need to Know About Mental Health at Work

6 Things Employers Need to Know About Mental Health at Work

Mental health in the workplace is a touchy subject even though it shouldn’t be. If you’re quite clueless about the basics, here are six things that you should know about it.

How many years has it been since the World Health Organization declared that mental health problems are classified as serious illnesses? It has been a while, for sure, but it can’t be denied that the diseases under this category still carry a stigma. People who are diagnosed with such are still treated with doubt and suspicion as if their health problem is not as bad as other ailments.

While there have certainly been some improvements over the past decade when it comes to treating mental illness, we’re far from handling it properly. A lot of people are working hard to change this but if not everyone is willing to make an effort, we’ll still have to wait a long time for things to change.

Mental Health in the Workplace

It’s no secret that the workplace can be the most nerve-racking places for people with mental illness. They can be too competitive, too alienating, too unwelcoming. Because of this, a lot of talent and potential are wasted.

If you don’t want your workplace to experience the same thing, you should work on educating your people about mental health. Handling these diseases properly start from understanding the condition and their sufferers better, so it’s always a good idea to start there.

As there’s just so much to learn about this problem, it’s best to start small. We won’t talk about the technicalities of mental health as that might prove to be too complicated for some. Here are six of the most basic things that you should know about mental health, however:

1. Mental illness is present in every workplace

One of the most important things that everyone should know about mental health issues is that they come in different forms. They do not manifest in the same way in every sufferer because there are so many different mental health problems that plague the general populace. This is why even if it doesn’t look like it, it’s highly likely that you have an employee or co-w0rker that is suffering from one right now.

Mental illness has a lot of faces so it’s not the easiest thing to detect. However, it is said that 1 out of 5 Americans is diagnosed with a mental illness yearly. Because it’s just like physical health where you get sick from time to time, people can also get a mental illness on occasions.

What you should note, however, is that 1 in 25 of them suffer from a severe case. Most people won’t be able to tell even if they’re working desk neighbors is one of them. As some mental illnesses are not always debilitating, most sufferers pass off like their normal selves even if they’re not 100% there.

However, just like physical ailments, it can be just as costly to businesses. Some experts estimate that mental illnesses cause losses that amount to a staggering $193.2 billion in earnings yearly so it’s important for enterprises to address the issue head-on.

2. Employees with mental illnesses are protected by the law

There are a few things that employers should and shouldn’t do with their employees that are diagnosed with mental health conditions. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers should:

  • provide the necessary accommodations for employees with mental health conditions; and
  • not fire, force them to stop working or deny promotions based on mental health.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness also says that employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when dealing with a mental health crisis. While the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act makes sure that health insurance policies provide similar coverage to mental health conditions just like they do with physical health conditions.

3. Talking about mental health in the workplace would be beneficial for everyone

Mental health concerns are always some of the biggest elephants in the room, especially in workplaces. This is why creating spaces to talk about them would be a good idea for employers. This will help you educate your team about the issue at hand.

It can also be a positive thing for your employees who are suffering from a mental illness. Activities of this kind will provide support to your team members which is exactly what they need during such tough times.

With the help of the right organizations and experts, you can create a friendlier working environment for those who are struggling with their mental health condition. Open conversations between the employee and management is also a great thing to have.

4. Employees have access to assistance programs

It’s not common knowledge that there are employee assistance programs (EAP) for mental health issues. These are usually available in the form of hotlines for employees to call whenever they need support for their mental health condition.

The best part? The sessions are kept confidential. Employers will not be informed so you can be confident that their condition will not have an effect on their employment.

5. Mental health conditions are mostly treatable

As mentioned above, some mental illnesses can come and go just like physical ailments. Not a lot of people know this for a fact so it’s important to spread the word.

Even severe cases of chronic mental illnesses are largely treatable. With the right resources and ample support, it can certainly be done.

6. Employers and colleagues can make a huge difference in one’s struggle with their mental health condition

Employers can certainly take the right measures in supporting their employees with mental illnesses. For one, they can educate their employers about mental health and even train them how to react to emergencies. Corporate seminars on this topic are offered by various institutions so there won’t be a problem in finding resources for such.

With the right information, colleagues can then provide good support for those with mental health conditions. As they spend a third of their days together, colleagues tend to develop a certain bond and mutual trust. They can then use this to provide excellent support to each other in times of crisis. So if a workplace is well-versed in mental health issues, it won’t be difficult for them to provide support to a co-worker that is struggling with one.

Mental health shouldn’t stay as a touchy subject in workplaces if you want your business to progress. As there are tons of ways how to handle this topic, employers should make an effort to address this pressing concern.

Check out these mental health apps

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

Nominations Open for New Book to Highlight Top Players in Los Angeles’ Startup Scene

LA Startups - StartupGuide.com

Entrepreneurs, investors, colleges, accelerators, coworking spaces and experts can now be nominated to be featured in Startup Guide Los Angeles, the first-ever entrepreneurial handbook dedicated to Los Angeles’ startup scene. Based on traditional guidebooks that can be carried around everywhere, Startup Guide books help entrepreneurs navigate different startup hubs across the globe and are now in 20 different cities across the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, including London, New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Stockholm.

To ensure an accurate and trustworthy guide, the book is co-created with the local startup community. From Dec. 6 – 18, 2018, anyone in the community can contribute by nominating candidates they’d like to see in the book here.

After the nominations period, the local advisory board – consisting of key players in the local startup community – votes for the final selection so there is a balanced representation of industries and startup stories in the book.

Founded in 2014 by Sissel Hansen, Startup Guide is a creative content and publishing company that produces guidebooks and tools to help people turn their startup ideas into a reality. The idea behind the Startup Guide books originally came to Hansen when she moved from Copenhagen to Berlin to start a business and discovered how difficult it was to find useful information and local advice about the process. Despite being rejected by multiple investors, she bootstrapped the project and launched the first Startup Guide book in Berlin in 2014 – and it sold out in less than 48 hours.

For Startup Guide Los Angeles, Startup Guide has partnered with The L.A. Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, who will be the main project facilitator and supporter, while the main sponsor for the project is SAP Next-Gen, a global, purpose-driven innovation university, and community.

The Startup Guide Los Angeles book is set to be released in July 2019. To save 20% on the book before the launch date, pre-order it now.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

5 Best Ways to Motivate Your Employees in 2019

5 Effective Ways to Motivate Your Employees in 2019

Every entrepreneur should know just how crucial motivation is in the success of their business. This inner drive can easily push your business to reach new heights as it’s the very key to productivity.

While you might have all the reasons in the world to work hard for your business, your team members might not be in the same boat as you. Your employees can be motivated by lots of things to do well in their jobs but there are instances that they lose sight of what drives them. This can then cause some lagging in your venture’s progress.

Effective Techniques to Motivate Your Employees

What can you do when you hit a snag like this? The first thing would be to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Try to determine whether you’re providing an ideal work environment for your workers.

It is said that it’s all about balance if you want to stay motivated.

Just think about it: lots of leaders and entrepreneurs get to enjoy a good balance between work and rest because they have already achieved a certain amount of success. The relative freedom that comes with success is pretty much a reward for the hard work required for the achievement.

As a result, you’re freed to focus on other things and even relax a bit since you don’t have to do everything anymore. This gives you ample free time to balance work and play to help you stay leveled and in good shape to focus with work the next day.

Not all workplaces offer the same thing to all of its employees and it can kill their motivation and hurt their productivity. So how do you remedy such an issue? Here are five ways that you can try:

1. Offer a salary increase

If your employee has consistently worked hard to provide great results for your company, then, rewarding them with an increase in salary would be the best way to keep them motivated. This is the most popular form of expressing your appreciation for their efforts.

By providing a slight increase in their salary, they’ll know that their hard work is not in vain. They’ll feel fully acknowledged for persevering to achieve and exceed company goals.

As a lot of experts say, your best investment is your people, so you should look at this technique as another solid investment for your business. With a group of highly motivated and highly productive people, you can be sure that your business will move forward.

2. Incentivize regularly

Can’t afford to increase your team’s salary just yet? Then incentivizing achievements could be a great alternative. This doesn’t have to come in monetary form all the time, though. Sometimes you can just host a fun activity or a celebration instead. It can also come in the form of vacation days and even small gifts.

The best time to incentivize your crew is when they successfully achieved something as a team. If it’s not exactly a major feat, hosting a celebration of sorts would be a good way to express your appreciation for their hard work. You can take the whole team out for dinner, drinks, or even an actual vacation. You can decide depending on what their accomplishments are.

Small incentives can also be great motivators. Some companies like to give out gifts to their top performers from time to time so you can also do that if your business requires individual work.

Giving your team ample time off can also be a good way to keep them in high spirits. This will help them achieve a healthy work-life balance, so you should also look closely into this kind of incentive.

3. Be expressive in your appreciation

Commending your team members when they did a good job is possibly the simplest way to keep your people motivated. It’s also one of the most overlooked techniques, so as a team leader, you should keep this trick in mind.

The most effective way to execute this trick is by having one-on-ones with your team members after they performed well. Doing this can easily validate their hard work which can work wonders on their mood and how they look at their job. These talks can also help you establish a better connection with your employees and improve your professional relationship so it’s a win for everyone.

4. Offer free food

If your operations allow it, why not offer free food as well? It’s proven that free food can lighten the mood in any setting, so it would be a great idea to add it to your workplace.

Being well-fed while taking on important challenges can really help boost a person’s mood. It can make your team feel like they’re being cared for. It can also provide some financial ease since they don’t have to spend money to fill their stomachs.

5. Create learning opportunities

Aside from accomplishing tasks and getting recognized for it, it’s also important to make your team realize that they’re not headed towards a dead-end. They shouldn’t feel like they’re stuck or that their careers are headed nowhere. This will make them lose all of their motivation and it will be tough to gain them back again.

Countering this shouldn’t be a tricky thing to do. You can always find ways to show them the bigger picture that they’re a part of. Your employees can surely see how the business is progressing thanks to their hard work.

Aside from this, you should also create opportunities for their growth. This is the very reason why companies send their top people to seminars and training. These can better hone their skills and teach them new skills that can be beneficial for the business.

Promotions are also essential. Even in smaller businesses, it could help if you can increase the responsibilities tasked on your top performers. This will not just make them feel rewarded for their hard work but it can also help them move ahead in their professional life.

Motivating your employees may be tricky but it’s highly necessary if you want your business to succeed. All of your efforts will prove to be well worth it in the end if you do manage to motivate your employees as it can lead to productivity and low turnover numbers.

Here are a few other ideas

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

PledgeLA to Boost Diversity and Inclusion in The Los Angeles Tech Community

PledgeLA to Boost Diversity and Inclusion in The Los Angeles Tech Community

As the tech sector in LA grows due to the saturation of the tech industry in the San Francisco area, the same problems in Silicon Valley are now coming up. There’s a growing tension between the upstarts of the tech industry and the regular folks in the community surrounding this IT boom.

According to critics, what will follow in LA will be what happened in San Francisco if there’s nothing done about it. Regular people and longtime residents will feel alienated and looked down upon. They will feel like they’re being forced out by the higher rents and costs of homes as well as the prices of regular consumer goods.

That’s why more than 80 entrepreneurs and tech investors are joining Mayor Eric Garcetti and the non-profit Annenberg Foundation to launch PledgeLA. This is the LA tech community initiative that seeks to avoid what happened in San Francisco and to the people there who felt disenfranchised by the growing tech boom.

PledgeLA Features

Features of the initiative include the following:

  • More opportunities will be provided for everyone, regardless of race, background, or gender. So even non-white women who grew up poor should have the same opportunities as the white guys who grew up rich.
  • Those who signed to the PledgeLA agreement will track civic participation and diversity data each year. That data will be made public so that people will know if a tech company is made up of exclusively white males from the Ivy Leagues and other top schools.
  • Startups and funds will report on the composition of their workforce noting various factors. This won’t be just noting age, gender, and race. It will also note socioeconomic origin, educational attainment, and even sexual orientation to see if there’s bias against hiring members of the LGBT community. Other factors will include the status in regards to disabilities, immigration, and military service veteran. Even the tenure at a firm will be noted.
  • The signatories also will come up with a proper code of conduct centered on diversity and inclusion, and diversity will be practiced in corporate hiring.

Good Business Sense

While many who signed PledgeLA did so out of a sense of moral and ethical rightness, it also makes good business sense to emphasize diversity on corporate hiring practices. A Diverse workgroup brings different points of views when it comes to making decisions. It helps with networking for sources of talent, and the diverse work group can help build a diverse consumer base as well.

LA has now become one of the top 5 US destinations for technology investment and it’s now one of the top tech hubs in the country. The top 100 tech companies in LA and Orange County has reported a 24% increase in employment within the last year.

There are a still a few notable holdouts to PledgeLA, however. Tesla and SpaceX have not yet signed on, and nor has Snap. But LA is an inherently diverse area, and such a diversity must be maintained in the tech workplace as well.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

Karlie Kloss Teaching Code to Teenage Girls

Karlie Kloss Teaching Code to Teenage Girls

If you’ve followed fashion over the last decade, then you’re familiar with the Karlie Kloss name. She’s the gorgeous model who’s actually been around for the last 11 years or so. She’s BFFs with the likes of Taylor Swift and Serena Williams. Her boyfriend is Joshua Kushner, who happens to be the younger brother of Ivanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner.

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So how can a fashion model suddenly teach doing to teens? Actually, it’s all because of the people she met while working in fashion.

Learning the Language

As a model, her work often had her meeting various Silicon Valley entrepreneurs at parties. It didn’t take her long to realize that these were the people whose technology was suddenly changing how society worked.

Karlie wanted to learn what they knew, so she learned. She went to a 2-week class at the Flatiron School, which is a renowned coding boot camp in lower Manhattan. That’s where she learned how to use the Ruby program to build web apps. It’s wasn’t all that hard for her, because prior to her modeling career she excelled as a student in subjects like math and science.

A year after that, she began her own coding scholarship program at the Flatiron School. This program grew to 50 camps in up to 25 cities. This summer, a thousand girls in those camps can learn various coding skills such as basic HTML/CSS, Ruby, and JavaScript. They can get into virtual reality programs, gaming platforms, and even artificial intelligence.

Networking and Connections

Part of her professional life as a model was meeting people from many other industries in various parts of the world. It just so happens that Karlie Kloss also met Kevin Systrom, who founded Instagram. Kloss was fascinated by how such a platform can touch the lives of hundreds of millions of people, and she wanted to understand that skill set and language. It was this meeting that gave her the nudge to go to the Flatiron School.

Her friendship with Serena Williams also includes sitting together on the board of Oath. This is the Verizon subsidiary that owns AOL, Yahoo, and other digital content brands.

Her beau’s career is also separate from the political industry in which Jared Kushner is a part of. Joshua is a venture capitalist, and he also helped found the health insurance start-up Oscar Health.

Kode with Klossy

Karlie Kloss isn’t just a model. She also runs Klossy, which is a philanthropic organization also involved with both fashion and multimedia. She runs this group out of her home in Lafayette Street in SoHo.

In 2015, she started Koding with Klossy as a coding camp for teenage girls. It’s to counterbalance the fact that most coding camps are predominantly peopled by boys and men. In such an all-girls environment, teenage girls tend to feel safer and more comfortable.

The results have been very encouraging. One camper had been accepted to Princeton University, where she will major in computer science. Another had completed a computer science internship at Microsoft, while another girl had just finished an internship at Viacom and will now pursue her activist goals with the help of coding.

In the end, it’s not farfetched to realize that pretty models and girls can learn how to code. The fact that some people judge due to gender is actually one of the first misconceptions that must be put to rest, sooner or later. Karlie Kloss is doing just that.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.