Becoming a Servant Leader

Rocket IT

I was once told that the way to know if you’re a leader is to look behind you and see who’s following. If no one’s there, then you aren’t a leader. We all want to be leaders, but few are willing to put in the time, work, and humility to become a leader worth following.

The concept of servant leadership has been around for thousands of years but the term was coined in the essay “The Servant as Leader” by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970. Robert defined servant-leader as follows:

“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first […]
“The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant – first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?”

Leading another person should not be taken lightly. Leading others is not about you; it’s about the impact that you have on others. Simon Sinek would say that “it’s not about being in charge; it’s about those that are in your charge.” We can do so much more together than we can ever do separately. At Rocket IT, we believe the true leaders are ones that know and understand the people they are leading and can help them see where they need to go.

I started at Rocket IT 5 years ago at the most entry-level position at that time, Field Support Technician. After a year in this role and exemplifying the values of the company, I was promoted up to the second tier of support and began taking on a leadership role, investing in those technicians following after me. After two years in this role, I promoted to the top tier escalation role, continuing to be a team lead and beginning to take on the role of transforming the culture at Rocket IT.

It was at this time that our CEO and founder Matt Hyatt allowed me to be a part of an Executive core group put on by GiANT Worldwide consisting of many leaders from different companies from all over the world. GiANT Worldwide is all about helping people become leaders worth following. It was at GiANT Worldwide XCore that I began to better understand myself, understand those who were in my charge and really learn how to lead, and it was there that I truly learned how to be a servant leader.

I recently completed leading a year-long leadership course in the office that we called “Rocket IT Core.” When you learn something that is so life changing, you can’t help but talk about it to everyone. It’s like the old joke: “How do you know if someone does CrossFit? They tell you about it.” I am so blessed that I could bring this material back to my team. It inspired me to write and share about my experience as well as talk about why I feel that servant leadership is so important in the workplace today.



About the Author

Steve Hopkins is a Support Professional and Team Lead at Rocket IT.  He is a lifetime learner and loves to invest in others. He believes that people are blessed to be a blessing. Steve and his bride have grown their family of 3 to a family of 8 through adoption.







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Entrepreneurship, Leadership

What is a Business Continuity Plan, and Why Do I Need One?

Rocket IT

Between natural catastrophes, unfortunate accidents, and cybersecurity threats, it’s not a question of if something will happen to your organization, but when.

Does your organization have a business continuity plan in place? Do you know how your team will respond?

A business continuity plan is a documented strategy outlining the steps and processes to ensure your business operations continue to run should disaster strike. In case of significant data loss or even loss of leadership, this plan gives your organization the support and tools it needs to recover.

How do you know if you need one?

If you have a business, then you need a business continuity plan. When calamity hits, you don’t want to scramble around trying to decide how to handle it. The more time you spend choosing an action path and reacting, the more downtime your organization is going to have. And with the average cost for end-user productivity downtime at over $740k in 2016 (and rising), the less downtime you have, the better.[i]

Who needs to be involved?

Typically, your leadership team, IT, and head of Accounting/HR should be included in the creation and execution of your business continuity plan. Their roles need to be defined in the documentation of the plan so everyone knows who the point person is on each task. This way your team won’t be stumped on who should be doing what and who has the authority to approve decisions.

You should also clearly define who has final authority should you or others not be available and able to carry out a leadership role. In some cases, this may mean that you need to legally name someone who can make important choices in your absence.

Do I need to test it?

Yes. You need to test it. You’re not going to be simulate perfectly an unexpected event (thus is the nature of unexpected events), but you can make sure your team is familiar with it and there aren’t any preventable kinks in the process.

Think about it this way – If you built an emergency bunker (not that you should need one for your business continuity plan!), you would want to test that your ventilation sources were functioning properly and any radio equipment you had functioned while the bunker was sealed. Testing your plan won’t go exactly the same way as it will in true action, but you’ll see what parts work well and what others need some improvement.

Should anything happen to your organization’s data, systems, or even to a member of its leadership, a business continuity and disaster recovery plan will help ensure that the organization will be able to recuperate and continue thriving, enabling you to build a legacy to last.

If you’d like strategic insight on security vulnerabilities and expert advice on how to build your own business continuity plan, contact us. We’d love to help you.


[i] http://files.server-rack-online.com/2016-Cost-of-Data-Center-Outages.pdf


About the Author-

Eric Henderson is Rocket IT’s virtual Chief Information Officer. He is also the tallest person at Rocket IT (by a fraction of an inch).


The average cost of unplanned downtime per minute in 2016 was nearly $9,000 per incident.

Your organization doesn’t have to eat the cost of dead time. Download our free whitepaper now to learn five easy steps you can take to capture dead time.






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Seven Leadership Books to Read Before Making Your NYE Resolution

Rocket IT

The end of the year is rapidly approaching. Before you start making your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017, check out a few of these leadership and personal development books that have been highly recommended by the team members here at Rocket IT. Not only do we hope you’ll get some ideas on setting great goals for yourself in the new year, we also hope some of these books will help you develop the habits and mindset to reach and keep those resolutions.



Five Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead by Jeremie Kubichek and Steve Cockram

Five Voices comes highly recommended by Matt Hyatt, the Founder and CEO of Rocket IT himself. A staple in the office, this book is checked out of the Rocket IT library by employees more often than it is sitting on the shelves. Matt says this is his favorite book on leadership development.

Steve Hopkins, Rocket IT Escalation Engineer and Core Group Leader, says this book helps you discover your leadership book, coaches you on developing your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses, and equips you to communicate effectively with your team and employees no matter what their communication style is.




The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews

Also recommended by Matt, The Traveler’s Gift is a fictionalized story focused on nonfictional themes. This book focuses on the key decisions that are essential for personal success.




Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright

Highly recommended by Darnell Clarke, a Field Support Technician at Rocket IT, Tribal Leadership focuses on how leaders can utilize their unique “tribe” and develop the strengths of their team and culture.

“Tribal Leadership teaches you how to identify the current culture of one’s team, employees, and company, all considered a ‘tribe’ in the book.  Each tribe is currently in one of five stages.  This book shows how you can redefine your tribe and make them more efficient and effective by ‘leveling up’ or raise your tribe to the next stage,” says Darnell.




The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell

John Maxwell is heavily featured in the Rocket IT library. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth is the personal favorite of Billy Chea, Rocket IT Remote Support Technician, who owns an autographed copy.

“Probably my favorite book I’ve read this year. Mainly because it got me to focus on my life. The main thing I took away from this book was that I should push myself to be better and do things I normally wouldn’t,” says Billy.

His two favorite quotes from the book?

“There is definitely a direct connection between finding your passion and reaching your potential.”

“Most of the accomplishments I’ve achieved in life, I began to attempt before I was really read.”




Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

Eric Henderson, Rocket IT’s Virtual CIO, found Leaders Eat Last particularly impactful. This book focuses on how to create an environment that fosters trust and collaboration.

“I love books that tie evolutionary psychology into present-day guidance,” says Eric. “This book offers guidance on tribal thinking, helping employees feel safe, and how we got where we are now.”



The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

If you’re focused more on how to keep your New Year’s Resolution, then check out The Power of Habit. Another recommendation from Eric, this book helps you understand how habits work so that you can use that knowledge to create new ones.

“A recent study from Stanford determined that as much of 40% of our actions happen due to largely unconscious habits.  This book guides you on how to shape and improve that time,” Eric says.




Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter

Written by executive coach and best-selling author Marshall Goldsmith, Triggers is highly anecdotal and focuses on understanding your reactions to your environment and gives you tools to help you develop new habits to reach your professional and personal goals without letting environmental triggers knock you off track.

This book is a personal favorite of Jacque McFadden, the Marketing Specialist at Rocket IT. “The idea behind Triggers is that there will always be environmental triggers outside of your control that will make you want to react poorly or go off track from your goals. This book gives you the tools to recognize those triggers and adapt your reactions to them. I really enjoyed the anecdotes and became invested in the outcome of each of them.”




About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. While a large portion of her job focuses on the more traditional side of marketing, she is also responsible for finding great new employees. Jacque is originally from Indiana. 


1200x627- vCIOHave you found that you need the expertise of a Chief Information Officer to help you make strategic decisions on how to leverage technology to meet your unique business goals, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring a full-time executive to fill that need? Learn about our virtual CIO services.



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Leadership, Teamwork

A Glance at Glance Gwinnett

Rocket IT

I grew up in Gwinnett County and, aside from a 5-year collegiate stint in Athens, have lived here my whole life. However, only recently did I firmly put down roots by buying a house in my hometown. This process left me with a craving to find out more about this community, as I suspected I didn’t know nearly enough about my home. If you live, work, or play in Gwinnett and are searching for the same, I’ve found a path to it through Glance Gwinnett, a program that is essentially a hands-on, behind-the-scenes tour of Gwinnett County.

So why am I so strongly recommending it to everyone I know?

  1. If you’ve heard of the Leadership Gwinnett program, you might be hesitant to invest yourself in a 9-month program. Glance Gwinnett is two-and-a-half days, but make no mistake, it is packed full of activity and learning to remain a true preview of the longer signature program. It is also a chance to see this learning style in action before deciding to invest in Leadership Gwinnett, which comes at a higher cost. Another key difference is that anyone can go through Glance Gwinnett, while Leadership Gwinnett is application-based.

  2. I was given a glimpse into so many areas of the county, including Gwinnett’s history, levels of city/county government, arts & entertainment, economic development, education, healthcare, and nonprofit work. This is the part that feels like you’re drinking from a firehose, and it’s fantastic. I’ve never felt more well-acquainted with my community.

  3. I’m a big fan of people’s stories, and Glance Gwinnett offers a chance to hear stories from Gwinnettians such as Wayne Hill (former County Commissioner, no doubt you’ve heard of him), Louise Radloff (District 5 Representative), Dr. Kevin Tashlein (Strategy and Performance Officer for GCPS), Jay Dennard (COO of Gwinnett Medical Center), and Chief Magistrate Judge Kristina Blum. Not only did these folks share personal stories, but they shared insight into the many moving parts of the county.

  4. The last day is entirely focused on leadership in action, and I was challenged to think about all I learned and how to put it into practice by getting involved. Each of us came up with a commitment we would make as a step toward becoming leaders in our community, with our 32 peers in our class joining us as accountability partners to help cheer us on in our endeavors.

Glance Gwinnett offers all of this and more, with the added bonus of meeting new people and building relationships… All in your own backyard. These new people and this new knowledge left me feeling more fulfilled than I have felt in a few years. The program is called a “Glance” because it is a brief snapshot of the longer involvement in Leadership Gwinnett and the purpose is to leave you wanting more. I can assure you the very minute our class graduated from Glance Gwinnett, I wanted more.

cg-libraryAbout the Author – 

Caitlin Purcell is a rescue advocate, and she resides in Gwinnett County with her husband and their rescue baby, a pitbull named Hammer. Caitlin is the Sales Coordinator at Rocket IT. 


o365-ctaJumping into Office 365 is not as daunting as you think.

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Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Why We Focus on Hiring People Who Are Good with People

Rocket IT

When you hire, you don’t just look for that one candidate who will be the “Right Now” fit. You don’t want the minimum of a warm body at a desk; you’re looking for the right qualified, enthusiastic individual who is ready and excited to contribute to the team. But finding that right candidate goes beyond experience and what they have on their resume. At Rocket IT, when we recruit for new employees, we place a high priority on finding people who are good with other people, no matter what role we’re looking to fill.

Why is this so important to us and many other companies?

Many of you are probably familiar with the BBC show “The IT Crowd” and their iconic “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” catchphrase repeated throughout each episode and often said the minute one of their characters picked up a phone.

Even more of you may be familiar with the stereotype of the IT person who prefers to sit alone in a dark office and who huffs impatiently when you don’t immediately step out of their way to fix your computer.

That’s not how anyone should do things, especially not the person coming to you when you’re already frustrated. When your devices aren’t working, you can’t receive emails, or your network is down, the last thing you need or want is someone talking down to you. As evidenced by much of the backlash against companies recently, great customer service is enough to make or break a consumer decision.

You need someone who will make your clients feel like not only are their problems being heard, but that you care about fixing any issues and setting things right. Clients want to know that you are on their side first.

But great customer service isn’t the sole reason for hiring employees with soft skills.

In addition to how employees interact with clients, companies are starting to take a very close look at how employees interact with each other. Today’s workforce wants a company culture and environment in which they enjoy being. As an employer, if you want rock star candidates, you have to be sure the environment you and your team create is one that others will thrive in as well.

This is why we also screen for how well people interact with their teammates. There are some candidates who are friendly and engaging, but if they believe they know the best way, and aren’t open to listening to others on their team, then their “my way or the highway” attitude will make them nearly impossible to train and very difficult to work with.

So how do you screen for this beyond your interview questions?

Introduce your candidates to the office, if it’s possible. Take them around and let them shake hands with the team. Also include the key employees who will be working closely with whomever is hired in the hiring team, and listen to how they feel about the idea of working with that candidate.

The best candidates highly value their relationships with both clients and coworkers. Those who speak poorly at length about their current employer and team might be likely to do the same to your team. Pay attention to what they say about their past supervisors and colleagues.

Another great indicator is how they act when they think you aren’t looking. How do they interact with your receptionist? When they answer the phone, are they friendly? When you ask them how they’re doing, do they ask you how you are in return?

It can be these little things that make working with someone a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Try some of these tactics. You’d be pleasantly surprised at what a difference having people who are great with other people can make for your organization.




About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. While a large portion of her job focuses on the more traditional side of marketing, she is also responsible for finding great new employees. Jacque is originally from Indiana. 


1200x627- vCIOHave you found that you need the expertise of a Chief Information Officer to help you make strategic decisions on how to leverage technology to meet your unique business goals, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring a full-time executive to fill that need? Learn about our virtual CIO services.



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Why You Should Start a Core Group in Your Office

Rocket IT

Have you ever wondered why you do the things that you do? Have you ever wondered why you respond the way you do?  Have you ever wondered why your spouse or kids are the way that they are? Have you ever wondered why you get along with some people at work and have a hard time communicating with others? Have you ever walked around with food in your teeth only to get to the end of the day and no one told you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe it is time to get the answers. At least to most of them, if not the last one. You might be on your own with that one.

Two years ago, I went through a year-long training called the GiANT Worldwide Executive Core. The purpose of this training is to develop leaders worth following. They instilled in me that the more you know yourself, the more you can lead yourself.  This training allowed me to connect with other leaders from other companies walking along this journey of introspection and answering the question of “what is it like to be on the other side of me?”

This journey was an incredible experience for me, and I use the knowledge and tools on a daily basis. There was no way that I could not bring this back to my team.

If you think about it, we are all evangelists. An evangelist is a person who is an advocate for something. How many friends have told you a story about a Yeti cooler, how they put ice in it, and 3 years later, it was still there?  You may have heard about essentials oils – there are many who advocate for its benefits. I just recently purchased a Hobie Kayak, and I have told everybody how this is the best kayak ever made.

We really talk about the products and things we love. If I read a book that is life changing, I tell others to read it.  That is why I started a Core group at Rocket IT.

The information and tools in this program are priceless.  So what does this group look like? I first looked throughout the organization and determined who could make the most impact and who are the next leaders. Once the group was established, we agreed to meet twice a month for year going through the same training that I went through with GiANT Worldwide Executive Core. We all agreed that whatever was said in the group would stay in the group and that we would all fight for each other’s highest good.

We have completed 6 sessions so far. I am really enjoying the talks and feel that we have grown closer together as a team and are changing the culture of Rocket IT.



About the Author – 

Steve Hopkins is a Support Professional and Team Lead at Rocket IT. Steve and his wife are growing their family through adoption. They have already adopted two sons. 


1200x627- vCIOHave you found that you need the expertise of a Chief Information Officer to help you make strategic decisions on how to leverage technology to meet your unique business goals, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring a full-time executive to fill that need? Learn about our virtual CIO services.




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Press Releases

Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute Kicks Off Fall Class

Rocket IT

YP Leadership Institute helps shape the local leaders of the future.

(GWINNETT METRO ATLANTA NEWS) – July 13 – Gwinnett Young Professionals is pleased to announce its latest Leadership Institute class, which kicked off Tuesday, July 12. The Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute is designed to be an interactive exploration of personal leadership development. Active learning on the part of each individual is an essential component of this valuable experience and it involves more than just attending the Leadership Institute – it also requires participants to engage in critical reflection of readings and discussions, formulate individual perspectives on the issues raised in the Institute and actively participate in the exchange of ideas with other young professionals.

“By 2020, millennials will comprise 50 percent of the United States workforce,” said Sean George, manager of membership services at the Gwinnett Chamber and Gwinnett Young Professionals program manager. “To accommodate this workforce shift, the Leadership Institute was created.”

In partnership with Georgia Gwinnett College as well as supporting partner Porter Keadle Moore, the program features monthly gatherings and lectures at various locations around Gwinnett County and will conclude with a commencement ceremony in December.

“Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute was a very well planned and insightful six-month experience,” said Tabitha Spillers, Finance Manager with Precision Planning, Inc., and Spring 2016 graduate. “Through open dialogue of leadership theories, I learned how to effectively apply my skills to grow as a leader and manager. I am thankful for the new friendships and business connections gained, whom I can continue to learn from and lean on throughout my career.”


To register or for more information, visit gwinnettyoungprofessionals.com.


The Fall 2016 Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute class:

Instructor: Dr. Jim Fatzinger, Georgia Gwinnett College


Amanda Fischer, Georgia Gwinnett College

Anna Diez, Mitsubishi Electric Classic

Atiya Crockett, Georgia Gwinnett College

Bo Mann, Smith & Howard

Cally D’Angelo, Gwinnett Chamber

Casey Mashburn, Rhodes, Young, Black, & Duncan

Evan Pohl, Forge-Rx & CrossFit Winder

Fariha Hassan, AdEdge Water Technologies

Isabella Kissoon, Quantum National Bank

Jacque McFadden, Rocket IT

Jake Pond, AdEdge Water Technologies

Jay Patel, Emory HealthCare

Jeneeve Cooke, Republic Services, Inc.

Katrina Sharpe, Infinite Energy Center

Kent Snyder, Precision Planning, Inc.

Liz Kesler, MD Logic, Inc.

Madison Navarro, City of Sugar Hill

Mark Zielinski, GDP Technologies

Michelle Juda, Infinite Energy Center

Nadine Creutz-Adams, Porter Keadle Moore

Richard Cavagnaro, AdEdge Water Technologies

Skip Hulsey, Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners

Torrez Wilson, Georgia Gwinnett College

Trey Beasley, Marlow’s Tavern

Will Corbin, City of Duluth



Sean George | 678.584.2252 | sgeorge@gwinnettchamber.org



Traci Strom | 678.584.2267 | traci@gwinnettchamber.org

Stephanie Hannum | 678.584.2266 | shannum@gwinnettchamber.org


This press release was originally posted on the Gwinnett Chamber website





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The Power of Recognition

Rocket IT

We’ve talked before on this blog about the importance of personal touch. You can make these connections in many different ways- inviting someone for coffee, having lunch with a friend, etc.. But few methods are more powerful than simple recognition.

A recent Entrepreneur.Com article cited lack of recognition as the Number Two reason good employees leave a company.[i] It’s a simple thing, but it often goes overlooked. Ranked higher than leaving due to the lack of challenges and development, acknowledgement of employee contribution clearly needs to take more precedence in companies.

How can you do this easily? Let your employees know you appreciate how hard they’re working when they report to you during a project. Or, when you see them in your next one-on-one meeting, tell them what a great job they’re doing. You’d be surprised how much a pat on the back means to your employees!

And the recognition doesn’t just have to be up to the Executive suite. At Rocket IT, we set aside time during every all-staff meeting to publicly acknowledge our colleagues for their contributions. You’re not required to recognize anyone- this is on a voluntary basis- so it means even more when someone recognizes you during the meeting. Praise often crosses departmental lines. Our Service Team has been known to give kudos to Sales, and vice versa.

This is also an additional opportunity for executives and managers to laud employee contributions when the team is all in one place. It’s good to recognize excelling employees publicly as well as privately.

You don’t have to wait for your team members to meet with you either. Often, Matt Hyatt, Rocket IT’s CEO, will come over to someone’s desk to let them know he thinks they’re doing a great job. A little praise at the right time or a thank you for their work can go a long way in letting employees know how appreciated they are.

Recognition is such a simple thing, but we should never forget how incredibly powerful it can be.


[i] http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249903


JMAbout the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. She graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and returned to Georgia after spending a year in Austin, TX. 


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Best Practices, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Teamwork

Attracting and Retaining Employees: Offering the Right Benefits

Rocket IT

In a growing discussion of company culture and employee engagement, today’s top talent is looking at benefits as clear differentiators.  Studies and news
articles alike are discussing the tight rope walk of work/life balance.  Mobile technology is creating a connectivity that extends beyond the walls of the office and blurring these lines.  Much of the work force is fighting to succeed and grow in their careers only to find that it is coming at a cost in their homes.

How do companies continue to be competitive, yet establish benefits that keep the workforce balanced and thriving?

The most extravagant versions of this include Google’s onsite daycare for employees, free lunch and carwashes.  Netflix has done away with official work hours altogether, choosing to focus solely on productivity.  Zappos gives employees $50 to freely gift to other co-workers.  Boston Beer Co. has a monthly cake-and-beer party along with 2 free cases of beer to take home each month.  SendGrid goes a little further by having a fully stocked beer fridge in the break room to complement the unlimited free Chipotle for employees.  Southwest Airlines gives free unlimited flights to employees, spouses and partners, including 4 free “buddy” tickets per month.  The list goes on.

So how does this work for a company who doesn’t have a 7 figure budget for employee benefits and perks?

You start with high impact, low cost benefits.  Almost every survey done in the past decade has shown that benefits and enjoying work have ranked as more important than income in choosing or staying at a job.  This means that if you are having a hard time attracting or keeping top talent, it likely has little to do with their direct financial compensation.  As long as you are paying industry standard pay, your benefits become the most important asset you have.

I want to take a deep dive into just one possible benefit that has high impact for everyone, one that we’ve mentioned before on this blog- working from home.  According to the Harvard Business Review article “To Raise Productivity, Let More Employees Work from Home” by Nicholas Bloom, working from home actually increases productivity.  According to Bloom’s survey of Chinese travel website, Ctrip, “… we found that people working from home completed 13.5% more calls than the staff in the office did-meaning that Ctrip got almost an extra workday a week out of them.”[i]  It goes on to talk about workplace distractions and employees working longer hours from home due to the lack of a commute.  A quick Google search of “employee productivity working from home” will reveal a barrage of articles citing different studies that support this practice’s value.

What value does working from home have to the employee?  Let’s say we have someone that works 20 miles from home, driving a car that gets 20 mpg at a gas price of $2.69 per gallon.  It’s a true cost of $6.73 a day, $33.63 a week and $134.50 a month just to drive into work.  This doesn’t include the wear and tear on the car.  Let’s also look at the time-cost of traveling into work every day.  What if we started to look at an employee’s time from when they stepped out of their house to the time they return home?  Someone who makes $40,000 a year, spends 35 minutes one way driving to work and works 40 hours a week, would take about a $5,000 pay cut.  Instead of making $19.23 an hour, the additional time in the car would decrease the hourly pay to $16.87.

While it’s not time to empty the offices and cancel your lease, it is time to start small. As long as your team has the necessary technology to perform their duties at home, begin with employees that are meeting performance goals and have them take a work from home day once a week.  Dip your toe in and see how your team responds.  It could be one of many benefits employees seek that make them feel engaged and valued.


[i] https://hbr.org/2014/01/to-raise-productivity-let-more-employees-work-from-home


Peter WyngaardAbout the Author-

Peter Wyngaard is in New Business Development at Rocket IT. He also owns a photo booth company in Richmond, VA, and he typically participates in about 3 mud runs each year.



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Best Practices, Leadership

The Judgement Hypocrisy: Judging Others by Action and Yourself by Intention

Rocket IT

My natural state is to judge myself on my intentions, even while judging others on their actions.

I doubt I am alone in this struggle. By allowing this thought process to govern us, we abdicate responsibility for our own missteps while blaming others for the slightest error, thinking “I would have done it better.”

Here is an example: While on the road, I am convinced I’m a great driver surrounded by folks who just don’t get it. If I fail to see the person in the lane next to me and try to change lanes, it’s because they are hanging out in my blind spot, not because I didn’t take the time to look thoroughly. If I have to pass someone in the fast lane, it’s not because I’m speeding… They clearly don’t know the rules of the road. If someone brakes right when the light turns yellow rather than getting through the light, they are obviously incompetent. If I see someone blatantly texting while driving down the road, they are irresponsible; however, when I do it, it’s because it is really important!

With forethought, we can change this default condition to a healthier one where we judge ourselves on our actions and others on their intentions.

Using this thought process, we consider decisions more carefully and freely accept responsibility for the consequences. We also seek to understand the actions of others more deeply, knowing that they usually believe they are “in the right” like we do ourselves, even when we are unhappy, offended, or even wounded by them. We can then seek to build a bridge to them rather than a wall between us. We might even open the opportunity to positively impact their life!

Taking us back to the driving example, what if we simply smile and wave as we get cut off, honked at, or tailgated? If we understand that the person we want to see as rude or inept might be rushing to the hospital, coming home from a funeral, thinking about how they just got chewed out by their boss, or worried about how they are going to pay for their kids’ braces, it becomes easier to take this position. At best, this attitude may bright someone else’s day as we let them in our lane, and at worst, it keeps them from stealing our joy even if they still shoot us an ugly look.

While we’re at it, let’s see our actions through the eyes of others. If you’re the one rushing to the hospital or stressing about braces, check yourself before taking it out on the driver to your left or the cashier working the drive-thru. They have their own issues, and there’s no need to add yourself as that “crazy driver” or “rude customer” to their list of reasons why life is hard.

Give it a shot. Judge yourself on your actions. Try to imagine the best possible intentions of others. You’ve got nothing to lose except gritted teeth and worn out brakes.



RBAbout the Author-

Ryan Bonilla is very active both professionally and personally in the Gwinnett community. He is a Gwinnett Chamber ambassador as well as serving on several committees and boards related to leadership and education. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Sugar Hill, GA.




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