Nine Strategies To Re-Engage At Work After A Vacation

by Jeremy Watkin

A vacation week marked on a calendar.My week off was fantastic—thanks for asking! 

If you’re like me, no matter how much you love your job, returning from vacation can be brutal. After a week on a beach somewhere, or in my case, the coastal redwoods of California, the last thing you want to do is return to the daily grind. Last night my eyes hurt from staring at a computer monitor for the first time in a week and I just wanted to crawl into a hole—or perhaps go back on vacation.

Enter the reality check. Assuming you’re like me and you enjoyed your job before you went on vacation, you may simply need a strategy for re-entering the workplace. As I reflected on my first day back, I came up with a list of strategies for future vacations.

  1. Take Time to Learn:  Read a book or do something inspiring while you are on vacation. Choose something that will get the creative juices flowing and help you do life and work better. I’m currently enthralled with the Steve Jobs biography.
  2. Enjoy Your Time Off:  Vacation is there for you to unplug, relax and get out of the routine. Take advantage of it and don’t feel guilty!
  3. Mark Your Next Vacation on the Calendar:  Begin planning your next vacation. Treat it as you would any goal that you strive towards.  Sometimes the lure of another trip on the horizon will serve as motivation.
  4. Make a To-do List:  Before returning to the office, make a short list of what you want to accomplish that first day back. Without a doubt, you will get hit with the unexpected on your return, but a list can keep you on track and help you feel like you accomplished something.
  5. Exercise:  Working out is a great way to reflect on your trip and prepare your mind for the coming week.
  6. Start with Relationships:  Arriving back at the office, take a few moments to catch up with your coworkers. You may find it energizing to know that you were missed and some will be genuinely interested in your trip.
  7. Ease into Your Inbox: Don’t try to conquer hundreds of emails in one day. Set aside an hour or two to work on it, and focus mostly on low-hanging fruit and any large issues that deserve immediate attention. The rest can wait for you to catch your breath.
  8. Don’t Expect to Get Caught Up Right Away: Don’t negate the good work you did de-stressing on your vacation. Set reasonable expectations and don’t heap a bunch of pressure on yourself to get everything done immediately.
  9. Plan Something Fun After Work: After that first day back to work, treat yourself to something fun. For me, it was coaching my son’s tee-ball game.

How do you return to work after a dream vacation? Leave us a comment with some of your own tips. As we approach the summer time, I wish you happy travels—and returns!

Phone.com University

Phone.com University – How to Access the Mobile Phone.com Website

by Derrick Arteus

If you have a non-iOS or Android smartphone, or you need an alternative to one of our available apps, the Phone.com mobile website is a great way to go.

On our mobile site you have access to similar features that we provide in our apps, including:

  • Checking your inbox for voicemail, SMS and faxes
  • Access to your address book and call logs
  • Placing a call using your phone.com number as the caller ID
  • Sending an SMS text message
  • Access to your conference bridge number

How to Access the Mobile Website

On your smartphone, open a web browser and go to www.m.phone.com. You will find yourself on the login page as shown below.

photo 1

The login screen asks for your Phone.com number, extension number and voicemail password. If you don’t know this information, here is a quick run-down on how to find it in your Phone.com account on a computer:

  • To find your Phone.com number, go to Configure and select Manage Numbers. Choose any of the Phone.com numbers listed on the Manage Numbers page.
  • To find your extension number, go to Configure and select Manage Users & Extensions. Decide which extension to use from this page.
  • To find your voicemail password, select the Edit box next to the extension you have chosen in the step above. On the Extension Settings page, scroll down to the Voicemail section and make note of the set of numbers in the Password field.

After entering the above information, tap Login to proceed. On the main login screen, tap Menu to access all of the features of the mobile website.

photo 2

That’s all it takes to access the Phone.com mobile website! See you next Monday for more Phone.com knowledge.

 

Curious About the Phone.com API?

by Phone.com

Are you a developer looking for a custom telephony solution?

Learn about the new Phone.com API in this 17-minute webinar by our API Product Manager Aaron Rosenthal. You’ll learn about the features supported by our API and ways you can integrate them into your business applications.

The webinar includes:

  • An introduction to the API
  • About the new Phone.com SMS API service
  • Creative ways to use SMS (text messaging) in your business
  • How to integrate SMS into other business applications
  • About the Phone.com API Beta program

If you are interested in participating in the Phone.com API Beta, please visit https://dev.phone.com to request an invitation.

View the Phone.com API Webinar slide deck (PDF)

NJ Startup Weekend – A Hackathon for Entrepreneurs

by Peter Hogan-De Paul

New Jersey Startup Weekend

While HackPrinceton was going on at the Princeton University campus, New Jersey hosted another large meetup for developing great ideas, the NJ Startup Weekend.

What Is Startup Weekend?

Part of a series powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, Startup Weekend focuses on entrepreneurs, developers and designers hacking together concepts for new products in under 72 hours! The goal is to come up with a complete proof of concept, with a simple working model for the product.

Startup Weekend

Last weekend’s event took place at the co-working space JuiceTank in Somerset, NJ, the perfect location for a large collaborative gathering like Startup Weekend. Open work areas, breakout rooms and personal workspaces abounded.

JuiceTank1

Everyone gathered Friday evening for an introduction and a couple of icebreakers, followed by the entrepreneurs presenting pitches for ideas to the group. Participants then voted on the concepts presented, and working teams formed around the different ideas.

Twenty teams were originally formed, but several merged due to lack of specific skills needed to get a concept off the ground. When the dust finally settled, the real fun began. Teams worked until JuiceTank closed both nights of the event, and many continued to work through the night outside of the venue.

JuiceTank2

Innovation Under Pressure 

A number of fantastic product ideas were pitched at Startup Weekend. Kwick was an application that used SMS messaging to facilitate financial transactions among users, similar to Venmo, but without the need for a smartphone application.

Plenty of Cats took a novel approach to helping animal shelters save cats by gamifying the process with their game “Meow or Hiss”, similar to Hot or Not. Using the Petfinder API, this group gained a lot of traction on Facebook over the weekend.

Winner! Winner!

The winners of the event, however, were clear favorites among everyone at the event!

The first spot went to Waddle, an app that integrates with social platforms, displaying a map of where the subscriber has traveled, based on posts to FourSquare, Facebook, Twitter and the like. By using date filtering to figure out when these events occur, the app lets users recall events by location, as opposed to having to sift through a timeline.

The second winner was Shop Smart, a tablet platform that can be mounted on shopping carts, providing consumers with their shopping lists as they travel through a store. Users can add items to their shopping lists before entering the store, and the same shopping list appears when they log in on the shopping-cart tablets. Location services in the store notify shoppers when they approach items they need and check the item off their lists by scanning the item using a barcode scanner attached to the device. In addition, the app could give users reminders about items they purchased before and may need to pick up, suggestions for recipes, and notifications of special promotions. This product really could revolutionize how consumers shop in supermarkets!

As winners, Waddle and Shop Smart will receive free co-working space at JuiceTank and were also made semi-finalists in the technology accelerator group TechLaunch. Both apps certainly promise to become much more with support from their teams and the generous support of sponsors.

Charging Station

Phone.com Supports Startup Weekend!

As a sponsor of the event, Phone.com offered both advice and support. Our popular device-charging station provided power for participants’ phones while they focused on honing their  concepts. I also threw my hat into the ring as a mentor for teams, to help with any unified communication questions or other technical questions team members may have had.

I strongly encourage anyone who has a  Startup Weekend going on in their area to participate and be inspired. Whether your team wins or loses, the relationships, ideas, skills and camaraderie built is well worth your time, sweat, and money. I’m looking forward to the next Startup Weekend myself, if only so that I can participate!

I’d also like to give a shout out to everyone who was involved in the sponsorship and organization of last weekend’s event, especially JuiceTank members Charlie Patel, Mason Carter, and Zion Kim. They and their team really delivered an excellent event in a wonderful space. Kudos to all!

Small Business, Global Presence. Yes, You Can!

by Adele Fredeluces

globalnumbersPhone.com makes it easy and affordable to support a business in several countries!

Need virtual numbers in different regions and the ability to call internationally? For Ofelos Media, a Phone.com client based in Cyprus, our phone service delivers all that and more!

Ofelos Media offers business and marketing services that help small companies expand and establish an online presence. Services include scanning and electronic archiving of documents, strategies for mobile and online marketing, and guidance on social media. Phone.com gives Ofelos Media the telephony resources to maintain their relationships with global clients, and enables them to operate economically.

While their main office is located in Cyprus, Ofelos Media has another office almost 2,000 miles away in Denmark, with each location using numbers local to those countries. “The features we love most about the [Phone.com] system is its ability to handle global numbers, which gives us a local presence in each country,” says Ofelos Media CEO Marianna Frangos.

At each office, Ofelos Customer Service Specialists also use Communicator, Phone.com’s soft-phone service, along with our iPhone app, so they don’t have to buy and maintain phone equipment. Frangos says that’s good business sense. “Communication is both effective and efficient … we have no upfront investment and no hardware to maintain, so we save time and money!”

As she does for Ofelos Media, Phone.com’s number specialist Jenny Dempsey can help you find the perfect local and global phone numbers for your business.  Marianna Frangos again: “Phone.com’s customer service is excellent! Jenny is always keen to help us with any problems that arise, and help walk us through Phone.com’s many features.”