As telework continues for many U.S. workers, no sign of widespread ‘Zoom fatigue’

By Ruth Igielnik

The use of video calling or online conferencing services, like Zoom or Webex, is particularly common among those whose jobs can be done from home and who are, in fact, working from home all or most of the time. About two-thirds of these workers (66%) say they often use online conferencing services, compared with 49% of those who work from home sometimes and 35% who rarely or never do so. Workers who are new to teleworking during the pandemic are more likely than those who had already been teleworking before the COVID-19 outbreak to use videoconferencing: 77% of those who currently work from home all or most of the time – but rarely or never teleworked previously – say they use these services, compared with 48% who currently telework and did so before the pandemic.

Among those who have a job that can be done from home, men are more likely than women to say they use online conferencing software often (61% vs. 51%). There are also age differences: 59% of workers ages 18 to 49 who have jobs that can be done from home say they use these tools often, compared with 48% of similar workers 50 and older. College gra

duates with jobs that can be done from home (68%) are also much more likely than those without a four-year college degree (40%) to say they use online conferencing software often. These differences hold up when looking only at those who are working from home all or most of the time.

Among those who regularly use videoconferencing tools for work, most are not bothered by the amount of time spent on video calls. Roughly three-quarters of working adults who use online conferencing services often (74%) say they are fine with the amount of time they spend on video calls, while 26% say they are worn out by it.

A Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2020 – when 71% of those whose jobs can be done from home were teleworking all or most of the time – found that 37% of regular teleworkers who often used online conferencing said they were worn out by the amount of time spent on video calls, while 63% said they were fine with it.

In the more recent survey, there are demographic divides in the impact of frequently using these tools. Workers under 50 whose job can be done from home and who use videoconferencing platforms often are more likely than their counterparts ages 50 and older to feel worn out by the amount of time they spend on video calls (29% vs. 18%). Feeling worn out is also more prevalent among those with a bachelor’s degree or more education (31%) than among those with less education (15%).

Note: Here are the questions used for this analysis, along with responses, and its methodology.

3 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Their Social Presence

As a small business owner, your time is quite scarce. You need to do many things to keep a business running, and social media tends to take a back seat. Ignoring social media for a few days is quite right, but if you’re not careful, a few days can be weeks, then months. Next, you’ll know it’s been a year since you posted, and you’ll feel pretty defeated.

When you neglect to publish, you create a domain effect of despair that begins every time you look at your followers. And when you post, you don’t get any likes or comments, making you feel like you’re just posting empty content.

Well, you’re not alone.

Many companies fail to increase their social following or even reach their target audience. There could be many reasons for that, including a poor on-site engagement to social media absence. Your online store should be engaging and have features like displaying a WooCommerce thankyou page, smooth navigation, and a better product presentation.

Instead of spending more time and effort building your network, take a step back and analyze the exact areas where you may be mistaken. Like many business matters, it’s about setting priorities and working smarter, not harder.

We dive into three ways to help any small business improve its presence on social media and lay the foundation for a solid and inclusive community.

1. Choose the Right Platforms

Social media has grown exponentially since Facebook went public in 2012, with thousands of networks dedicated to everything from connecting old classmates to social activism.

So how do you choose the right one for each of these options? The advice of most experts is to follow the most popular ones, and selecting the right ones depends on your audience and your goals. 

FacebookFacebook is the largest platform and is ideal for businesses that want to generate leads and build relationships. If you’re a beginner to the network, learn how to advertise on Facebook.

The business networking platform can be used by both B2B and B2C companies to build trust, build authority and engage audiences.

With a state-of-the-art platform, it’s perfect for businesses with less than 50 employees and who need to keep up with time-sensitive information such as the latest news, announcements, and trendy topics.

Instagram was so successful that Facebook bought it in 2012, just 2 years after its launch. Behind this success is to stay true to the original purpose of allowing users to post photos and videos from their mobile phones. Creating Instagram stories (an idea stolen from Snapchat!) That contains content that expires in 24 hours has enabled it to garner nearly 1 billion global users.

A phenomenon in the social media world, TikTok is a force to be reckoned with when seeing rapid growth during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the first non-Facebook application to reach 3 billion installations due to its popularity among influencers and celebrities. In addition, the platform’s usability, the vast music catalog, and the unique filters attract younger people.

2. Be Human: Seek Relationships, Not Just Followers

That’s a big deal.

One of the worst mistakes you can make on social media is an ugly company without personality. In today’s age of transparency, people want to know more about your business.

Today, many brands are joking and not afraid to talk to their followers like they are to their friends. While brands have been criticized for appearing as robots, human presence on social media has become an expectation among many followers.

In the same way, showing the human side of your brand means showing the faces behind your social flows. Whether it’s office photos or pictures of your team in the wild, personalization with your followers will help you build a much-needed connection.

We can discuss all day whether or not your followers are a trivial measure. However, 100 followers who regularly interact with you and your content are far more valuable than 10,000 followers who ignore you.

It may be a cliché to say, but don’t leave “social” out of your presence on social media. The beauty of society is that you can instantly build relationships with your followers from almost anywhere.

3. Make a Commitment to Social Media 

Social media can be a real challenge. The best advice I can give you is to involve yourself and your staff in making social media a priority for you. Start planning: create a strategy and write it down. Be sure to use software to automate. See what your competitors are doing: How can you do better? Don’t be afraid to start.

  • Establish a goal 

Develop a social media strategy that matches your goals and set metrics for success. Don’t just jump on social media without a specific reason and goal you’re trying to achieve. Instead, think about how it can help with customer retention, brand awareness, lead generation, and sales, and then take action.

  • Automate your strategy 

There are several tools and resources to help marketers increase their presence on social media. Business owners can set aside a few hours at the beginning of the month to schedule posts throughout the month.

  • Establish an internal team 

You can create an easy strategy to manage social media if you have a small team. Switching responsibilities between team members every week can be a great way to keep your social media channels active and provide a fun challenge for team members. You only need to set your tone initially to be consistent across your channel.

  • Structure a content calendar 

Many agencies have not fully embraced the idea that social media is a separate service for digital marketing. An active community requires more than a poster here and there. Create a comprehensive calendar that maps what content is posted to when and on which channels, along with a copy on social media.

Final Thought

Communication is a two-way street for social media, so it’s vital to create meaningful and authentic customer opportunities to interact with you. As a small business owner, you want to show that you listen to your customers. 33% of consumers would contact the company via social media rather than by phone, opening more intimate and trustworthy conversations.

NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot July 2021

Record-breaking apartment rent growth and occupancy powered demand for multifamily talent in July. Nearly 38 percent of positions available in the real estate industry were in the apartment sector. Portland, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; Denver; Raleigh, N.C.; and Virginia Beach, Va.; led the nation with the highest concentration of job postings. This month’s edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot spotlights maintenance technician job openings.

Demand for maintenance technicians was approximately twice the U.S average in Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Nashville, Tenn.; and Virginia Beach, Va. The top specialized skills employers are seeking included plumbing, repair, HVAC, carpentry skills and painting.

Diversity and Inclusion is More Than an HR Initiative


Over the past several months, there have been many articles, forums, discussions, focus groups, and webinars on the need for more diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business. And while there have been many valuable points made and practices shared, there are three themes that have particularly stood out to me.
1. Diversity and Inclusion is not an HR initiative.
I really appreciate hearing the clear stance that diversity, equity, and inclusion is NOT simply an HR initiative. I absolutely agree that it’s not. It’s a company value that can only be successful when it begins with executive leadership, whether that means the owner, CEO, president, or leadership team – it starts squarely with them.
Based on a recent Swift Bunny Employee Engagement Study, out of the Top 10 things that matter most to employees, the 3 common topics that are shared between Corporate, Regional and On-Site employees are:

Senior management creates a positive work environment
I respect senior management
Senior management has communicated a clear vision for the company

How executive leadership talks to, talks about, includes, encourages, promotes, challenges, and values each employee is noticed and emulated. Diversity and inclusion begins with them. Human resources certainly manages many key aspects, but their work will never achieve real and enduring change without action from the top.
2. The Importance of a Diversity and Inclusion Employee Survey
I’ve been very impressed and heartened at the number of multifamily companies who are considering or have already rolled out a Diversity……

The Unexpected Connection Between Reputation and Key Control

Finger leaving review on smartphoneWe all know that reputation management is important for your multifamily community. As much as 98 percent of prospective residents look at reviews before leasing an apartment. If you were looking for a new place to call home, would you think twice about a specific community if you read the following 1-star reviews?

OUR IDENTITY WAS STOLEN. Great job for not safeguarding tenant credit information.
My apartment was entered at least 3 different times when I was not home and my front door left unlocked.
Key fob access inoperable during power outage on stairwell and possibly all building fob access doors (except individual units) (Service request took 6 months).

You have to admit that these reviews don’t make each property sound inviting. There’s an underlying lesson here: Reputation management starts offline — and a critical part of that has to do with having an effective key and access control policy. If you don’t take the right steps to control access to residents’ homes, you’re leaving them vulnerable to potential thefts and violent crimes and your property vulnerable to legal and reputation risks.
Here are three steps you can take to protect your residents and your reputation.
1.    Keep Accurate Access Logs
Whenever someone accesses a resident’s home, you need to have an accurate, verifiable record of it. This rule applies regardless of if your community uses traditional metal keys or smart locks — no exceptions.
If your key and access records are inaccurate or incomplete, it’ll be difficult, if not impossible, ……

How Crowdsourcing is Helping Apartment Operators

When people picture crowdsourcing in action, the apartment industry doesn’t typically come to mind.We’re more inclined to think of big consumer brands getting ideas from their customers and the general public. Like the popular LEGO Ideas platform, through which users can submit their suggestions for new LEGO sets.  Or Waze, which has allowed many of us to avoid traffic and find the best routes by sharing information instantaneously with one another. Another great crowdsourcing platform we use without thinking about it much is Wikipedia, which far outstripped Encyclopedia Britannica with wealth of information and data. These are but a few examples of platforms that used crowdsourcing to offer better, faster, more relevant data and information that we rely on daily basis. But the truth is, more and more apartment communities are embracing crowdsourcing in a very effective way: They’re using it to make their market surveys more efficient and more accurate than ever before.Old School Isn’t Cutting ItUndoubtedly, you are familiar with the old-school, traditional way apartment communities have gone about conducting market surveys of their competitive set. It’s unwieldy, time-consuming and, too often, results in inaccurate data.Onsite associates who are too busy to begin with have to spend hours making phone calls to competitive properties to collect data about asking rents, occupancy rates and concessions. Frequently, the person at the other property they need to talk to isn’t immediately available, necessitating rounds of phone tag. Many times, the overextended person at the other community never calls back.Adding to the difficulties is the fact……

Successfully Recruiting In The Current Job Market

The main challenges for recruiters and hiring managers are residing in answering these two questions:

How do I build a strong pipeline of qualified candidates?
What should I do to beat the competition and secure a great candidate?

Building a Great Candidate Pipeline
There are multiple ways to advertise your openings in this day and age. Indeed and networking referrals proved to bear the most fruits for me.

Job posting tip: a creative ad would attract more candidates than the cookie cutter type that mimics the job description.

Stay away from the overused buzz words when describing the qualities you are looking for in a candidate. My favorite one is “dynamic”. Reading Indeed ads, I get the feeling that I would get kicked towards the unemployment line unless I describe myself as being, well, dynamic.

Refresh your ads often. I recommend every 3 days if possible, but at least once a week. If the candidates are searching by the date posted, an old ad has way less chances to be seen than a newer one. I get most of my leads within the first 48-72 hours after placing the ad.

Another source of great candidates comes from employee or network referrals. Some of my best hires came from referrals.

Securing the Best Candidates
Most recruiter and hiring managers are discouraged by the numbers of job interview no shows.
Here are a few things to consider to help you improve your success rate.

20 Ways for Apartments to Compete In Today’s Markets

Apartment Marketing

Looking for quick, easy-to-understand ways to get and keep a competitive edge— in leasing, marketing and in property management.

1. Change your leasing strategies and incentives weekly. Many markets are fast-moving, and if we keep doing the same thing over and over, we’ll get the same results over and over.
2. Add an Uber drop off and pick up location in your community. A sign works as a new amenity. These suggested locations are meant to make pickups easier and faster for riders and drivers. Make this area comfortable by adding a seating area. When selecting the location consider if possible protection from snow and rain, easy to charge a phone and easy to access without going past the security gates.
3. Has your resident profile changed over the past 4 years? With all the new construction odds are likely that community profiles have changed. Has this information been reviewed? Has your website and models altered to reflect this new profile?
4. Create “star” apartments every week. If you have sure apartment floorplans that are harder to lease, offer an additional incentive for renting those apartments.

5. Create urgency among leasing staff. In some companies, regional managers make random, surprise calls to properties to give them unique, short-term incentives. For example, they might say, “Just for today, every lease signed, the leasing consultant will receive an additional $50.”

6. Change your prices every day. Break every occupancy and leasing report down by floorplan, and set prices and concessions according to floorplan availability.

7. Upgrade all associates’ computer skills. Everyone at every property should be able to use not only the property management software but also basic laptops slow down the amount of work that can be accomplished. Daily, I hear leasing teams complaining about the age of their technology tools.

8. Learn how to tell the truth effectively. Don’t over inflate your community or its amenities in your marketing campaigns—it will come back to bite you. Instead, focus on what really is unique about your apartments and community.

9. Offer multiple methods of paying rent. Give residents as many options as you possibly can—direct deposit, e-pay, credit cards, cell phone apps, etc. This will increase the likelihood of their paying on time.

10. Offer telephone incentives. Increase telephone-to-appointment conversion by allowing leasing professionals to dangle a carrot: “If you are able to come in today, I’ll take $50 off the application fee.”

11. Treat EVERY employee like a professional by providing personalized business cards. Giving service team members those standardized business cards that require them to write in their name sends a wrong message: You aren’t significant enough (or won’t be here long enough) to warrant your own personalized cards. Instead of doing this, why not be confident in your new hires—and express that confidence by printing up customized business cards.

12. If you have happy residents, by all means, put them on display. Create a book of testimonials and put it on display in your leasing center; highlight them on a “wall of fame;” use them in your advertising, etc.

13. Practice the Internet “Golden Hour” rule. Do your best to reply to Internet leads within one hour of receiving them. Remember that people use the Internet, in part, to get information quickly. The text is an essential part of the leasing process today. Does your team have a cell phone to send and receive texts? Don’t forget to place all call on Call forward to the main line.

14. Incorporate instant rewards into your mystery shopping program. Identify 6 to 8 items on which shoppers should critique onsite people—and have the shopper give the staff member an instant reward if he or she successfully covers those 6-8 things. This is a great morale booster!

15. Mechanize every process. Keep the property running smoothly and make sure nothing is overlooked by creating a book of checklists, by position, for every procedure.

16. Support pet projects. Allow staff members to pursue aspects of property management that interest them. Give them new responsibilities or even create new positions for them. It is not only empowering for the employee but also beneficial for the property.

17. Rethink your renewal strategies. Does it make sense to offer better deals to new residents than to existing ones? Or to provide leasing professionals higher incentives for new leases than for renewals? Now more than ever, it’s critical that we close the back door by treating our existing residents like the valuable assets they are.

18. Set realistic goals. Goals that are too big to be realistically achieved are demotivating. Break huge “wishful thinking” goals into smaller benchmarks that can actually be reached over time.

19. Get rid of “survival language.” Stop talking about “hanging on by the skin of your teeth” or “making it through the year.” Put the past in the past, focus on what you’ve done right, and move forward.

20. Embrace diversity in all its forms. Learn to make the most of the different life experiences, skills, and interests every employee brings to the workplace.