Utilizing Software In Telehealth Counseling

Are you stuck at home? Not enough time to go out? These are problems that advancements in modern technology have taken steps toward solving. For example, mental health advocacies, merged with modern software development, have made counseling services even more accessible to all. 

Why Use Telehealth Counseling Software?

People tend to be skeptical about new medical practices, such as telehealth. But with advancements in information-communication technology, we have access to a lot more at our fingertips, including healthcare. In addition, studies show that telehealth consultations are effective, especially for outpatients who need counseling.

Safety From Common Communicable Diseases

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving your home isn’t advisable. The risk is higher when you need to go to the hospital or any healthcare facility. Even without the pandemic, people who are immunocompromised should minimize exposure to disease. Telehealth consultation is a safe option. It can help you protect yourself and your loved ones from common diseases.

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Convenient Delivery Of Services

You may feel too sick to move about or have health issues that prevent you from leaving your home. Telehealth lets you talk to your counselor from the comfort of your home. If you need urgent care, emergency telehealth is also a fast method of receiving medical attention.

Ease And Convenience For Both Counselors And Patients

With telehealth, you can get the services you need within the comforts of your home. For example, when you urgently need a doctor’s note or a written prescription, your counselor can easily send it over through telehealth software. With this ease and convenience, patients can put their time, effort, and attention into recovery.

Gone are the stressful trips to the hospital, long lines, and all the forms you need to fill out by hand. With telehealth counseling, your counselor can attend to you from the comfort and safety of your home.

Automated And Secure Documentation

Because of automated healthcare delivery in telehealth counseling, all records are now digital. There will be less paper waste, and your documents should be safely stored on a computer. These automated systems have backups and robust security protocols against data corruption and hacking.

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Features Of An Excellent Telehealth Counseling Software

All types of software have different features based on their intended use. For telehealth counseling, each application must maintain some key characteristics. This way, the quality of the telehealth system will be upheld and even improved. Here are a few notable features you need to look for in telehealth counseling software: 

Well-designed User Interface And Profile

Whether it is a website or a mobile app, good telehealth software must be simple and easy to understand. In addition, telehealth software needs to be designed with usability and accessibility in mind. There’s no point in having the technology if no one can use it.

Low Bandwidth Support

The purpose of telehealth counseling is to make healthcare accessible to more people. Unfortunately, the hat isn’t doable if your telehealth software can’t function when faced with low bandwidth or slow internet connections. Ideally, good telehealth software should function even under suboptimal conditions.

Location Services

Telehealth software lets patients consult their counselors even while at home. But sometimes, a patient may need the physical presence of a specialist. Using location services lets the counselor and patient coordinate where to find and receive in-person care.

Communication Methods Of Telehealth Consult

Telehealth counseling must be able to provide the same level of communication like face to face sessions. Telehealth software should allow for varied communication methods — video, audio, or even chat. The patient should be able to access the communication medium with which they are most comfortable.

It also helps to have easy file-sharing options for videos, photos, and audio recordings. If integrated into the application, the patient, doctor, or counselor could easily send additional information needed in the consultation session.

Privacy And Confidentiality of Electronic Records

One of the limits in telehealth counseling is the local legal restrictions concerning telehealth counseling. Patient privacy and confidentiality are standard in any healthcare setting, so telehealth software must maintain a secure line of data protection.

Patient Monitoring And Follow-up

One of the advantages of having electronic medical records is a smoother and more flexible workflow. Utilizing software means that information, communication, and services become more accessible to patients and healthcare professionals. A patient’s clinical records are conveniently available for reference. This smooth process allows better patient monitoring and follow-up.

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With a reduced amount of paperwork, your healthcare team can be more efficient and productive. In addition, the delivery of services is faster and more convenient through well-designed software. It also prevents the duplication of patient records when all user data is part of one platform.

The software may also include an integrated online pharmacy while keeping track of patient medications and prescriptions. It will be beneficial, especially for patients with special needs. They can have their medicines conveniently scheduled and delivered to their own home.

Convenient Payment Options

Telehealth service payments should be convenient to the user. Counseling applications are more user-friendly if it links to different payment modes.

A new portal to healthcare becomes is open to many through safe, secure, and reliable telehealth software. We are now moving towards a more cost-efficient and practical world with fewer limitations. Technology is now an integral tool for providing counseling services, especially during difficult times.

The Role Of Counselors In Dealing With Censorship In School

Many variables impact what children learn, especially within a school. Information of all kinds has become easily accessible to people — including children. However, there can still be complicated situations where children are deprived of their rights to comprehensive education.

Censorship primarily happens when the school removes or manipulates learning material. These are the materials chosen by authorities and parents deemed to be inappropriate for children. Some may include sex, nudity, and other themes that can be controversial for many people. 

But how exactly does it affect our children? And how do our school counselors deal with censorship? If there are restrictions in place, teachers and other staff may be forbidden to mention specific terms or show some materials. Yet, your counselor may be the answer in providing a complete and comprehensive education for your child’s needs.

Source: pixabay.com

The Effects Of School Censorship In Children

Children are susceptible to many types of abuse and violence.  As parents, you would want to protect your children from everything harmful in the world. Children should be safe, but they also need opportunities to learn. Censorship only leaves them with more questions and no answers.

Sexual Education

A child who has not received any sex education will not have any idea about birth control methods. They will also not have adequate knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases. As a result, they will have no idea how to keep themselves safe or choose a sexual partner. 

Without proper sexual education, these children can grow believing hearsay from sources that are not credible. Worse, they may get their initial knowledge from their peers and social groups.

Cultural And International Worldviews

Censorship in schools may also leave gaping holes in cultural and international worldviews. Not exposing children to diverse viewpoints is harmful to their education and development. For instance, if a child does not have literary sources about racial discrimination and abuse, they will not be aware of the struggles certain people face. These children will grow not understanding the implications of their rights and privileges. Censorship restricts a child’s ability to learn and grow.

Consider as well that children may find censored information without the guidance of an adult or counselor. Rather than try to hide information, it’s best to guide students through it. Teach them to navigate complex topics rather than hide from them.

Censorship closes off ideas, leaving children with narrow worldviews. There are plenty of differing viewpoints in the world — children with access to the internet will discover them, despite the best censors. Knowledge without guidance is dangerous to a child’s growth, possibly leading to mindsets prone to bigotry, discrimination, or worse.

Source: pixabay.com

How Counselors Deal With Censorship

Children deserve a good education. They must receive holistic learning about the different fields of knowledge. This is why school counselors occupy a critical role in supplementing your children’s education. They may provide answers to your children’s questions outside a regular classroom.

Providing Guidance And Support To Children

In dealing with censorship, the primary role of counselors is to help your children with their problems. Children and young adults both need guidance and support. As a result, they will tend not to talk about certain things they might perceive as taboo. These may include:

  • Student speech
  • Sexual practices
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual orientation
  • Bullying
  • Drug addiction
  • Racial discrimination
  • Mental health and suicide

School counselors help your children overcome difficulties relating to censorship. They provide a safe space for students to vent their grievances and issues in school. Moreso, they are tasked to uphold confidentiality and anonymity. Therefore, anything discussed during sessions should stay between your child and the counselor.

Teaching Inclusive And Comprehensive Materials

Aside from providing support and guidance, your counselor is also equipped to educate your children. Even if the school censors specific topics, they can be a great source of inclusive and comprehensive education. Depending on the restrictions of your child’s school, your counselor must provide adequate information about the issues they are facing.

It’s important to let students know that counseling is available, open, and inclusive of topics that need to be taught. For example, school counselors could organize programs to teach about complex topics like sexual education or mental health. However, it’s important to also listen to students and discuss issues they want to know about.

Counselors should also consider using technology to their advantage. Today, most students have easy access to the internet, and few do not have smartphones of some kind. It would help to make teaching materials easily accessible to them via the internet.

Source: pexels.com

Collaborating With Parents And Institutions

Most importantly, what your counselor can do to deal with censorship is involve parents and other institutions. Your counselor takes an active part in educating parents and the authorities about the negative implications of censorship, especially when it affects your child’s security and well-being.

Aside from your school, they can collaborate with progressive non-government organizations and government agencies. They can also be part of lobbying for the removal of certain restrictions in materials and topics. Counselors can be active advocates for your child’s rights for a comprehensive education.

Frequently Asked Questions About Morning Depression

I got diagnosed with childhood depression when both my parents died when I was only eight years old. I remembered not wanting to talk to anyone, not even my favorite aunt, who became my guardian. I did not want to eat unless I was either too hungry or almost force-fed. It was not that I felt angry with my parents for leaving me so soon; it was more because I wanted to be with them at once. The only way I assumed it could happen was if I did nothing with my life.

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Dark, right? That’s what I eventually thought, too. I did not know what depression meant at the time, but my aunt did, and she asked one of her close friends – a child psychologist – to pay me a visit at home. The first few times she would come, I recalled my aunt’s friend asking me to draw myself and talk about how I felt. Then, she ended up diagnosing me with childhood depression and helping me get through it with therapy.

I could affirm that the diagnosis changed my life. After that, I started going out of my room to play with my cousins and watch Disney movies with my aunt. I did not brood whenever I missed my parents. More importantly, I regained my appetite and looked forward to growing up. The last time I met my therapist was when my therapy ended at ten years old, and she told me I was already free from depression.

Living in a world of Coding

When I went to college, I found joy in learning how to code. I would get up every day, feeling excited for new coding techniques that I would learn. Some of my dormmates called me a dork because of that, but I did not mind. I was even proud of it. It meant that I excelled at something. Thus, no one was shocked when a tech company at Silicon Valley hired me on the spot during a university job fair.

For two years, I was blissful. I got to work with and learn from some coding experts; I became a part of an incredible team that came up with exciting ways to optimize our websites. Of course, I was well-paid, to the extent that I could pay my student loan, my aunt’s house mortgage, and my new condo near the workplace. Whenever I met my old college buddies, they would always tell me that my dorkiness served me well. It really did.

Then, Depression Crept Back In My Life

A part of the reason why I was always happy was that I could walk or ride my bicycle to school. With the proximity of my new condo to my workplace, I got to continue doing that. I loved the scenery; I loved waving at cars passing by. Unfortunately, when the COVID-19 pandemic happened, the company had to make us all work remotely, and I would wake up sadder than ever every day.

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What is the number 1 cause of depression? 

The environment is technically the #1 cause of depression. When you mix stressful events with traumatic experiences for a prolonged period, there is a high chance of getting depressed. The odds will not be in your favor either if your mother or father has previously been diagnosed with depression, given that it guarantees that you will develop the same disorder by 40%.

How do I stop waking up in a bad mood? 

If you want to stop waking up in a bad mood, you need to do the following:

  • Avoid trying to sweep your negative emotions under the rug. Doing so entails you are setting them aside, not getting rid of them. Instead, it would help if you let go of your anger or pour all your energy towards dancing, cleaning, or any activity that enables you to shake off your mood.
  • Ask yourself, “What makes me feel good?” It can be listening to music, talking to your friends, or cooking. Whatever it is, do it when you feel awful to counter it.
  • Eat healthily. No matter how much lousy your mood pushes you to stop eating or stick to junk foods in the morning, try to stay away from either.
  • Use a journal as a creative outlet, mostly if you cannot talk aloud regarding your feelings. It may or may not be read by anyone, depending on how comfortable you are to share your thoughts. What matters is that they are no longer in your head, causing you to be moody.
  • Ask yourself again, “What would an optimist do in this situation?” Optimistic people are known for finding a way out of their emotional issues instead of getting stuck. If your moodiness does not work, then perhaps cheerfulness will do the job.

Is being argumentative a symptom of depression? 

Technically, being argumentative is a sign of irritability. You tend to question what you see or hear when you feel wronged or believe it is wrong. Nevertheless, irritability is one of the many symptoms of depression, so they are somewhat related.

Why do I feel so bad when I wake up? 

When you wake up, you experience something that experts call sleep inertia. That’s when you are in between wakefulness and sleep, and you take things in slowly. Thus, if you wake up to loud noise, lots of movements, or anything out of the ordinary, you may not feel so good and become cranky.

What are the nine causes of depression? 

The nine causes of depression include:

  • Addiction
  • Family disputes
  • Genetics
  • Grief
  • Major life changes
  • Medications
  • Physical, mental, or emotional abuse
  • Social isolation
  • Stress 

Is school the cause of depression? 

It is challenging to say that school is the cause of depression for students or teachers. After all, other factors outside of school can cause it, such as family issues, peer pressure, and even divorce. Nevertheless, the school can be a significant factor that contributes to it.

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How do I stop being grumpy when tired? 

If you no longer want to feel grumpy when you are tired, you should try the following:

  • Find out what irritates you. Is it the excessive noise that the people around you are making? Is there a valid reason for what you feel? If you realize that you are overreacting, then you should try to breathe and calm down.
  • Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake. Many studies have deduced that easily irritable individuals are typically addicted to either or both.
  • Admit and accept every little thing that irritates you, no matter how embarrassing it may be. If you keep it under the wraps all the time, you may end up exploding one day.
  • Do physical activities to shake off your grumpiness. Things as simple as walking away or going for a run can do wonders to your mood, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  • Isolate yourself from others for a little while. Grumpiness causes you to say stuff that you can no longer take back, so it’s better if you say nothing at all.

Why do I wake up crying for no reason? 

When you wake up crying for no reason at all, it is most likely because of depression or anxiety. Some people who have been diagnosed with either mental disorder may understand this symptom. However, if you have never received a diagnosis and experience it, it may be the best time to see a psychiatrist or psychologist.

In other cases, crying is due to physical illnesses. That is especially true if you are a senior who deals with arthritis or, worse, dementia.

What causes morning anxiety? 

Morning anxiety is because of the high cortisol level that your brain produces as soon as you wake up. According to research, your stress level is highest at this point, considering you have not eaten anything yet or you have only had sweets and coffee in the morning. Both cases boost anxiety, so it is best to reduce your caffeine intake and eat healthy foods only.

How do I know if I’m bipolar? 

If you are bipolar, you may experience the following:

  • Excessive sleepiness or sleep deprivation
  • Impulsiveness
  • Too much or lack of energy
  • Feeling high or low

Why do I get mad instead of sad? 

Sadness is one of the primary feelings you experience when something does not go your way, along with fear, guilt, and anxiety. However, sadness turns into anger when you refuse to let the former emotion out or accept that you feel that way. The more sadness piles up in your system, the higher the chances are of you getting mad in the end.

Is anxiety a mental illness? 

Anxiety is not always considered a mental illness, especially if you rarely experience it for different reasons or deal with anxiety-inducing events. E.g., being in a stampede, getting mugged, etc. However, you may get diagnosed with anxiety when you become afraid of the same things repeatedly, to the extent that even thinking about them makes you fearful. 

Why am I still tired after sleeping? 

If you still feel tired after getting enough sleep at night, it may be because of the following:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Dehydration 
  • Depression
  • Physical illness (e.g., hypothyroidism)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
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How do I wake up happy? 

To increase your chances of waking up happily, you should do the following:

  • Make sure the curtains or blinds are open before going to bed. Doing so will guarantee that the bright morning sunlight hits you and slows down your brain’s melatonin production while increasing its adrenaline production. That may be the most natural way to wake up happily.
  • Try to get up 15 minutes before you are supposed to start getting ready for your day. It may sound pointless at first, especially if you want to get as much sleep as possible. However, being 15 minutes early entails that you have a few minutes to collect your thoughts in bed and avoid forgetting stuff when it is finally time to move.
  • Remember to stretch every limb before you even come to your senses. You may start by flexing your fingers first, then your wrists and arms before moving up to your shoulders. After that, you may wiggle your toes, extend your feet and ankles, and stretch your legs. Spending at least 15 seconds on every limb will undoubtedly get the blood flowing throughout your body.
  • Turn on your music player and listen to upbeat songs. You need not dance or sing along, even though that is recommendable. The idea is that listening to music helps you recall your creative thoughts from the previous night and figure out what productive things you must do during the day.
  • Accept that morning is not the best time to make decisions. As you know, that is a stressful activity, and you cannot have an excellent start if you stress yourself out too early. Instead, you should do your routine and leave the decision-making process at a later time.
  • Upgrade your coffee maker and get something that will start brewing at a specific time when you are supposed to get up. The reason is that the smell of freshly brewed coffee can stimulate your brain to function well, even if you have just awakened. Nevertheless, you should not drink too much caffeine.
  • Brush your teeth well at night. While not many people realize it, there are at least 300 bacteria that inhabit your mouth when you sleep – a few passes of the toothbrush will not reduce their numbers significantly. Please pay special attention to your tongue, too, and brush it for 60 seconds for best results.
  • Have a small amount of sugar – a teaspoon at most – in your body every morning. That is supposed to counter the anxiety symptoms that low blood sugar may induce and boost your memory throughout the day. Still, it is not an excuse to eat doughnuts or cookies or even a cake for breakfast because too much sugar can make you sluggish and unhappy.
  • Prepare your schedule the night before. Waking up with a sleep-addled brain means that your thoughts are scrambled, and there is nothing you can do about that. However, if you write down your entire plan for the day, you will feel relaxed in the morning.
  • Bond with your kids, spouse, parents, roommates, or at least pets before leaving the house. It seems easy for some people to forget to do this when they are late for work or school, but spending a few minutes with them can brighten up your day. 

Why am I tired during the day but not at night?

You tend to feel tired during the day but not at night because of circadian rhythm abnormalities. If you must know, the circadian rhythm is a biological process that dictates when a person sleeps or wakes up. In case this process gets disrupted by anything – loud external noises, medication, insomnia, etc. – your rhythm may turn upside down and cause daytime sleepiness.

Final Thoughts

My entire 2020 was quite awful, I must admit. I was in a dark phase; nothing seemed to bring me joy – not even coding. That scared me, considering that was technically my bread and butter. Hence, I reached out to my therapist more than a decade ago, and she helped me this time through online therapy. It opened my mind and heart to the reality that the pandemic was temporary – I would have to prepare for the wonderful mornings ahead of me.

Why Is Too Much Screen Time Bad For Mental Health?

Source: wikimedia.org

Do you know that screen time may also be a source of addiction for everyone, just like alcohol and drugs? Prolonged use of all sorts of medium such as TV, computer, and cellphones serve as a digital drug to your whole well-being. It’s not only detrimental to physical health but also mental health. Listed below are some of the reasons why. 

 

Isolation Leads To Depression, Anxiety, And Moodiness

 

Believe it or not, some individuals face the screen up to 18 to 20 hours a day. Often, this much screen time is not only limited to playing or scrolling social media feed and also includes productivity hours like working or studying. 

 

Given that you’re facing your screen for an extended period, there are chances that you’re isolated. Since you are preoccupied with gadgets, you tend to miss out on social interactions. You don’t get to spend time with your peers anymore. The absence of these physical and emotional connections with people might lead you to gradually develop sadness and moodiness. 

 

Some individuals might rebut that screen time won’t be as bad if you’re playing with other people together. After all, it’s as if you’re also interacting and developing your relationships with them, right? 

 

Surprisingly, the answer here is no. A lot of people mistakenly believe that interactive screen-time, which includes emailing, video calling, gaming, or any social media use, is better than passive screen time, such as watching a movie.

However, this is not the case. Studies revealed that interactive screen time has a larger chance of mood, sleep, and cognitive problems. It is because you’ll be more prone to compulsive and hyperarousal use. 

 

Dietary Problems

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There is also evidence that links too much screen time with a less healthy diet and lowers energy intake. For one, given that people get too consumed with the digital happenings, they fail to keep track of time, which eventually leads to missing meals throughout the day.

 

However, there are instances when they might intentionally miss meals to attend to what keeps them busy on their gadgets. Putting all of these missed meals together leads to numerous dietary problems. 

 

Given their abnormal eating habits, some people develop obesity or anorexia. These are two extreme body composition problems, but both lead to the same mental health result: loss of confidence. Once they lose their confidence, the tendency is that they will self-isolate and put pity on themselves. It starts the circle of isolation that will eventually lead to depression. 

 

Peer Pressure

 

Gaming and social media are avenues where users can have increased screen time conversations. It started before with the most prominent digital platforms from years ago, such as MySpace and Friendster. These corporate giants had a hold of the digital world back then but crashed upon the evolution of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

 

The reason that spearheaded the downfall of these giants was its lack of direct online interaction. With the birth of video chats, screen-sharing, and more, it improved the way we connect to one another. Aside from the increase in digital interaction, it also became a platform to showcase your lives to others. While it was initially entertaining for everyone, little do people know that there is a downside to this. Social media puts unnecessary and additional pressure on individuals because of what they see from others. 

 

The peer pressure you receive from all of these expectations only worsen your mental health. For one, the tendency is always to feel insecure. Even when your life is good as it is, you end up looking at your cup half-empty because you keep worrying about others’ opinions. Continually thinking about what others feel about you will only reveal all your insecurities. You’ll then be pressured to modify that imperfection just for the sake of your image. 

 

Daytime Tiredness

Source: wikimedia.org

 

Too much screen exposure may also disrupt your sleeping pattern. Even though it’s already in the middle of the night, your brain is still at its maximum function because of your online activities. If you have a hard time sleeping, there’s a substantial possibility that you’ll end up facing the screen again. 

 

It’s as if it’s a cycle. You can’t sleep because of your extended digital usage, but you use these devices to make you sleepy. It’s pretty endless. At the end of the day, you’ll have less time to sleep. 

 

You may end up waking up and yet feeling tired. Also, you might find yourself lacking the energy and the power to accomplish all of your tasks. At the same time, you’ll feel less focused. All of these things, if put together, will only negatively affect your mental health. 

 

With the realities we have now, it’s pretty challenging to stray away from the digital world. A lot of schools are transitioning to online schooling, while work has shifted to the work-from-home setup. Nevertheless, having too much screen time will only gradually destroy your mental health. The best way to go about these is to have rules that you strictly follow to ensure that you won’t be mentally affected. 

 

Lastly, consider having an occasional digital detox. Try to steer away from your screens during the weekend when there is no work or school. You can keep yourself busy by doing other activities such as cleaning the house, cooking, gardening, or other activities that you might enjoy.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Through Proximity Apps: How Do They Work?

 

Source: ft.com

 

The coronavirus outbreak has become a global health crisis that has threatened to eliminate millions of people and over-turn societies across the globe. However, history has revealed time and time again that exceptions there is always a solution to a problem, and these solutions usually outlast the crisis itself. With the emergence of digital defenses, proximity tracking apps might be the answer to the problem of breach of privacy and location tracking. App developers and the government, though, must consider the policy limitations on utilizing these apps. Finally, the decision to use them should come from the individual users who must learn what they can about the risks and boundaries of using these defenses.

How Proximity Apps Work

There are a variety of suggestions for using Bluetooth-based tracking apps, but at a more sophisticated level, they start with a similar style. This app boasts of a distinct identifier over Bluetooth that other phones near it can sense. To protect privacy, people suggest that users have each phone’s identifier regularly revolved to avoid third-party tracking. When two people using the app are near each other, the proximity app calculates the distance between each other through Bluetooth signal. If their distance from each other is less than six feet for a substantial amount of time, the apps exchange identifiers. It then logs the encounter with the different id. The app only needs to know if the users are substantially close together to develop a risk of infection.

When a user learns that he is infected with the coronavirus, other users can be warned of their risk of getting infected. This is where varied designs for the app differ. Some apps depend on one or more authorities that have restricted access to details about the users’ gadgets. Trace Together, for instance, created for the Singapore government, need all users to give out their contact details to the app admins. When a user is positive, the app uploads the names of all identifiers that it has encountered for the past two weeks. Other models depend on a database that does not keep the complete details about the user. For example, it’s not essential for an authority to store real contact details. Instead, infected users can give out their contact logs to a central database, not an app admin. It stores anonymous identifiers for those who could have been exposed to the virus. Thus, the gadgets of uninfected users can frequently ping the central authorities with their own ids. With these primary defenses in place, the app could efficiently protect user privacy.

 

Source: engineering.osu.edu

 

Conventional And Proximity App Contact Tracing

Conventional contact tracing is quite taxing but also more thorough in terms of information. Public health workers usually interview the individual infected with coronavirus to know more about him and the people that he has been in close contact with. They may ask his family members and others who may also have more information about the infected individual, like his co-workers. The health workers contact these people and treat them in case they need it. It is not easy to do this during a global crisis. Additionally, people don’t always remember everything entirely, so the answers may not be as accurate as they need to be.

A proximity app, on the other hand, is not an alternative for these interviews and direct approaches. It is impossible for the app to sufficiently help perform COVID-19 contact tracing during these challenging times, as community transmission is elevated, so much so that people are advised to shelter in place. Also, there is not enough testing to be able to track the virus completely. When the number of undiagnosed infectious individuals continually increases, the proximity app would most probably be incapable of warning everyone who is at risk.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

However, the proximity app can really be beneficial with contact tracing during this period, which we hope and pray will end soon, when the spread of the virus stops and when there is enough testing to diagnose the virus effectively.

Right now, we still are facing an unexpected pandemic. Thousands of people have died, and millions continue to shelter in place. There is presently no cure for it. This actually causes an urgency to create more proximity projects, but we must also keep in mind that this global crisis will end while these tracking technologies won’t. Proximity app developers then must make sure that they are creating a technology that will protect the privacy and freedom that we so value.

 

 

 

 

Plan Of Action For Office Workers To Cope With COVID-19

 

Source: pikist.com

When the current global outbreak began a few months ago, a lot of companies closed down their offices and implemented a work-from-home guideline for their employees. Schools continued the school year through online classes, and people had to adapt to physical distancing measures. The goal was and still is to take care of those who are working in the office setting – personnel an staff, vendors, and employees – and the areas that they are employed in. So almost all companies in the world are taking action today so that there will be no need for people to work in the offices and increase their risk of getting infected.

In addition, people worldwide utilize Google and their products and services, which is why there are a few employees assigned to work as a skeletal team in the office setting, as their roles can only be done onsite. Examples of these employees are those who must access data or content for customer security.

Below is a list of things that companies have been doing to reduce the need for their employees to work in offices while they make sure that their services proceed with usual operations.

Workflow Prioritization

So that not all of the support team members no longer need to work in their offices, those that are considered critical support work are prioritized. These include security concerns, account recovery, preventing scams, and incorrect ad placements.

Utilizing Remote System

This is what more than half of the world is currently doing so that if possible, everyone who can work in the comfort of their homes can do so. Companies provide their employees with a secure laptop and other equipment that make it convenient for them to do their jobs at home.

 

Source: flickr.com

Automation Increase

The use of humans in conjunction with machines has been present and rampant over the past years since the Internet has become a necessity. Thus, it is necessary to increase automation system reliance, especially during this pandemic, so that people will not have to go to the offices and still efficiently deliver their products and services while following community guidelines.

Shift Adjustments

To effectively practice social distancing, reducing the number of employees present in the offices at a given time, companies have changed the timing in their work shifts as well as the time between their shifts depending on the work required.

Covering The Workforce

This temporary setting due to the global crisis has caused companies large and small to make adjustments so that people still get to earn a living, and the economy can thrive despite the challenges posed on it. Vendors, employees, and other staff in the extended workforce who have dedicated their time and effort in making positive change possible are being compensated well. Most companies also created a COVID-19 fund so that employees who do not receive salaries will still receive compensation for their regular working hours even if they are not able to work in the office setting because they have shown potential coronavirus symptoms or if they are required for self-isolation. For those who are required to work in the offices at their respective shifts, strict hygiene and security guidelines have been implemented for their health and safety, including cleaning operations, physical distancing setup, and temperature checks.

 

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In these trying times, people need to be more informed and knowledgeable about the present situation and the future. Employees now are anxious about what might happen to them and to the companies that they are working in, and if there is still room for them when this pandemic will finally subside and be gone. Hopefully, these strategies that are being implemented, together with the guidelines required by the community, will keep the economy afloat while the world is adjusting to the changes that it has experienced because of the crisis and the changes that it will yet face.

 

 

 

Remote Access Desktop Software: Helping Increase Business Productivity

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Technological advancement is always complemented with the change, and this holds especially for the business world. Technology does transform the conventional procedures and allows for real business revolution. Remote access desktop software is not that new, and it’s being utilized in more creative ways to adapt to the modernization of organizational structures themselves in terms of customers, employees, and suppliers. Remote access has, in some ways, helped people compete with local and international innovations to their advantage.

So how does remote access technology help increase business productivity? Here are some examples.

Working Remotely. Nowadays, working from home is one of the best options to make, especially for busy moms and everyone millennials. There are just a lot more benefits that online contractors offer. Evidence-based studies have proven that over 75% of young professionals prefer telecommuting despite a pay-cut of 10%. This is because, according to most of them, they can work on their computer securely while connecting other large or small-scale businesses that they might have. Thus, they become more productive.

Utilizing The Help Desk. This is among the most popular benefits that remote access software can offer. The professional can directly link his computer to the computer of a client or business partner who needs his help troubleshooting technical problems. The Information Technology Help Desk, if you still don’t know how amazing it is, allows a professional to access the screen of the client or customer while he is at his home, office, or anywhere except beside his client. The need to travel barrier has been eliminated and has allowed a more real-time assistance experience.

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The most reliable remote access tool adapts to increasing pressures and loads placed on the IT desk, offering beneficial safety choices, particularly in complicated working environments. Options range from cloud-based versus direct connection; unattended versus attended access or ad-hoc assistance.

Expanding The Ecosystem. It used to be that large-scale companies have to hire thousands of employees spread out in different countries to provide technical support 24/7. Additionally, organizations need staff to manage customers and clients worldwide, and they need access to information about the business through digital resources, as it is important for companies to share up-to-date information with their suppliers. With the improvement in remote access software, the process has been tremendously streamlined and has become much simpler and more convenient. All parties can communicate any time in any part of the country with a lesser workforce based externally.

Remote Collaboration And Training. The challenge of today’s less office-based employees lies in training. They must be able to access reliable and high-quality software so that these remote workers will be efficiently trained through screen sharing plus other tools. With these, instructors and company experts can provide training at any time. This also enables the trainees to ask questions and get the assistance they need the quickest time possible. Remote access can be further utilized to train the virtual crew and share information and knowledge between divisions when needed.

Leaders from the different teams can connect with tools from their team members so they can keep track of very important projects and deadlines and mediate whenever necessary. With excellent techniques, using remote access technology successfully destroys departmental silos, consequently increasing business productivity and lessening costs.

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Conclusion

Not all types of business may utilize remote access software technology, but it can be beneficial for any big or small organization wanting to make work faster, more convenient, and ultimately productive.

 

 

 

Important Tools That Help Reduce Stress And Workload

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One of the most typical causes of stress in people is work-related. You can be a business executive or an employee, but the fact is that the workplace can breed lots of stress, and that is backed by evidence-based studies. Additionally, over 80% of workers are stressed with their jobs, according to the American Institute of Stress.

“It isn’t the work that leaves you unable to relax. It’s that you see the work as a threat. Stress is not a reaction to an event but rather to how you interpret the event,” says psychologist Allan R. Cohen, PsyD. 

Several factors can contribute to a stressful workplace condition. Often, it occurs because of the workload or responsibility. However, it can happen because we are unable to balance our professional and personal lives.

Contributors Of Workplace Stress

  • Too much working hours
  • Too little workload
  • Lack of communication between employees and employers
  • Poor working relationships
  • Lack of acknowledgment and reinforcement
  • Lack of resources or information

Rick Nauert, Ph.D. confirmed that “These work stressors, in turn, contribute to CVD risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.”

In addition, Dr. Peter Cotton, an organizational psychologist, agreed that “a negative vibe at work can lead to poor mental health outcomes, but proactive leadership can reduce the risks and create a more productive working environment.”

Perhaps what employers can do about this is to find ways and means to improve the comfort levels and the abilities of their employees. Provide them with reasonable deadlines and high quality but workable projects. These solutions may be difficult to do in hectic workplace conditions. But if we incorporate technology in the process, we can streamline the work and other aspects, including interpersonal relationships.

If stress starts taking up too much space in employees’ life, it would be beneficial to incorporate apps like BetterHelp into their organization. Providing them professional help through online counseling can ease the heavy burden of stress in their load.

Here’s a list of digital tools that will help reduce the pressure placed on the employees and successfully decrease stress and workload.

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Intranet Software. Poor working relationships can affect the workplace atmosphere and of course, productivity. Co-employees must establish good interpersonal relations, as it is one of the major solutions to improving collaboration and communication in the workplace. One way of solving this is through intranet software that can act as a central point of both communication and collaboration in a company.

Intranet creates a network of employees with similar ideas and goals, which are using project websites, blogs, and social chats. The employees can share their ideas on projects and workloads and ultimately accomplish common goals.

Document Handling System. A workplace operates through a set of data that contains things like receipts, project details, and other documents. If the system in the workplace is messy and disorganized, and the documents are not retrieved, it will destroy the flow of the system and therefore delay tasks and projects. That does bring tremendous stress not only to employees but also to the business owners themselves. This is exactly why a company will benefit from a dependable document handling system that can safely store office documents and effectively retrieve them for when necessary for collaboration and discussion. This is among the most important tools that can help organize company information and reduce stress and workload.

Performance Management System. This is a software tool that is used to communicate the goals of the company to the employees so that they can improve or polish their skills. Work conditions and situations can certainly affect employees’ psychological and mental well-being. If the workplace condition is healthy, then there are happier and more productive employees working towards success. But if it’s not, stress arises because of erratic work performances and lack of collaboration.

By using a reliable performance management system, the stability of employee tasks, comfort, and abilities. The system is capable of monitoring employee tasks so that the management is made aware of what an employee can and cannot do. If a worker lacks skills in specific aspects of the job, the management can provide further training or supervision to improve these skills. If and when an employee shows great work performance, the company provides proper incentives.

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Final Thoughts

Every workplace is required to effectively execute these systems to simplify the workload and comfort level of employees. When a job is simplified using these tools, a huge burden is taken off of their shoulders. This not only provides them with more comfort and motivation but also improves their performance. This might be the perfect time for you to improve your company productivity through these awesome software tools.

 

 

 

Software Help: Apps That Alleviate Stress And Anxiety

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If you think you’re the only one suffering from workplace stress, think again. You are only one among the thousands, according to the American Psychological Association. Stress levels in the workplace have been at their highest in the last ten years. Aside from political and social issues, a factor considered to contribute to this is the kind of jobs that they do in their workplace.

Sal Raichbach, PsyD, LCSW believes that mental health apps can possibly reach people who have not yet considered going to therapy. “Sadly, only a small percentage of people actively seek professional help for their mental health problems,” he says. “This could be for any number of reasons: they may not be physically able to leave their homes due to severe anxiety or lack of mobility, or they may not have the financial means.”

Stress from our jobs takes a toll on our entire lives, but at the same time, it costs a lot for businesses as well. It has been the cause of absenteeism and reduced productivity, which in turn have lost businesses and the economy, as a whole, some $300 million yearly. How can we decrease office stress? Online therapy apps like BetterHelp are a powerful tool that can provide employees the mental health support system they need. Many people are able to combat workplace stress by seeking expert counseling.

Here are other digital applications and tools that can help lessen stress and become more productive.

Apps And Tools For Workplace Stress Reduction

Focus@Will. It feels good to be fruitful in the things that we do. Studies have revealed that being acknowledged for one’s achievements is more important than money, according to employees. However, this doesn’t happen when the workplace is stressful and frustrating.

Focus@Will is beneficial for employees who are looking to improve productivity with the use of background music to keep them from being distracted by outside noise. Individuals who have tried this attest that they’ve been able to do more significant work and felt a sense of fulfillment after. The app also has a feature that enables one to measure his productivity.

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ActiveCollab. The creators of this app encourage you to stop using the old spreadsheets that offices use to monitor projects accomplished, among other things. ActiveCollab is a much better means to handle team efforts. It’s a project management software app that enables teams to get a top to bottom view of project deadlines, manage designated workloads, and accomplish set goals. It also improves communication between teams and team leaders.

Happify. This tool is for people who want to learn the skill of dealing with stress effectively – so it’s for all of us! Happify has been proven by evidence-based trials to assist users in understanding where their emotions are coming from. It effectively helps users turn their negative emotions into positive ones. It’s sort of a cognitive behavioral therapy technique made into a digital thing for more convenience. Apparently, more than 85% of Happify users have reported being happier after two months of using the app.

Dr. Cameron Sepah, a psychologist, says, “Digital therapeutics,” like these apps, are the future of mental healthcare because they are more easily scalable and accessible than traditional therapy.”

FocusWatch. Stress is aggravated when an employee has not had sufficient rest from too much work. It is healthy for employees, or anyone for that matter, to take meaningful breaks to regain mental and physical wellness. FocusWatch is a great tool that reminds users to take necessary breaks. It monitors the time that the user is at work and then signals the appropriate time to take a break and refresh.

Runtastic. Office stress may cause more stress when an employee goes home. As the stress accumulates, poor rest and sleep aggravate it, and so the vicious cycle goes on. But trying the Sleep Better with Runtastic app may help you tremendously. The app provides data on possible daily activities that you can choose from that may affect your rest and sleep. It monitors your activities and provides you the time to finish it and the time to take a rest.

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Bottom Line

“To protect our long-term health and well-being, we need to be able to unwind and recuperate after work,” said lead author Dr. Emily Collins from the University of Bath, who started the research while at UCL. “Our study suggests playing digital games can be an effective way to do this.”

In the long run, fighting and overcoming workplace stress involves not only preventing it but managing its symptoms as well. These software applications are a means of helping you find solutions to get rid of the stress that you are experiencing and finally opening doors to greater productivity and more happiness at home and in the workplace.