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    Whenever I ask my designers to develop some of my webpages (I like the idea of different designers developing different pages so that each page has its own style, like going through different rooms in a large and interesting house), generally I prefer to leave room for artistic expression, but in this case I like to mention to them my desire for light text on dark background. This is because my job requires that I stare at the computer monitor more than 8 hours a day, so over the years I have learned it is better to set up the colors in this way to make things more pleasant to the eyes. After all, the only reason why I could think why most people use black text on white background is because it is the default settings, because most people often do not think to change things otherwise, and because they are "brainwashed" from a lifetime of reading off paper. In publishing, it is expensive and impractical to print light text on dark background, where it is much cheaper to use dark or black ink on a bleached piece of paper. But there is no need to adhere to this when designing a webpage. After all, the whole spectrum of colors is readily available, and there is no cost whatsoever depending on the choice of colors or inserted pictures. Furthermore, I find using a dark background makes much more sense, considering the reduction in glare that it reduces. I find the glare of the monitor can often give me headaches. As everything becomes digitised and we increasingly find ourselves in front of the computer monitor --for work or for leisure-- it makes sense that all websites should be designed in this manner. Furthermore, I think that webpages can be considered like works of art and paintings, full of pictures and pleasing to look at.

    The reason why I explained myself on this page is because I would also like to iterate how unorthodox thinking can be a better way to manage things. There is no reason why we should all follow the status quo and do things like everyone else does, automatically assuming that this must be the best option, without even thinking about it. However I manage my various projects, in each case I am always thinking of the best strategy to take. It is natural for me to always seek out better ways to do something, while I am doing it. Call it multitasking of the brain. I once had a secretary and told her I would give her a bonus or a percentage of savings if she came up with better ways to manage her various tasks. During the entire year she worked there she did not come up with a single idea. One day she gave me two days notice because she received a better job offer and I was forced to do her job instead (it was the beginning of my operations). I found her work so tedious and boring but within two days I managed to create some scripts to automate virtually all of it. Since then I've had a policy of automating as many procedures as possible and never expect someone else to come up with ideas. I guess most people are happy to pound at the same nail while holding the same hammer, not ask questions, contentedly complete their day and then shuffle on home.

    Another issue which bothered me about her job was that I had to have an inhouse secretary there in the first place. Meaning it forced me to get up at a certain time and regiment my entire day, just so I could be in the office with the other staff. So while I created these scripts to automate all the tasks for the purpose of not having to hire an inhouse staff, I masterminded a virtual office, where project managers and translators could log in from the comfort of their own environment and perform the various tasks without forcing me to regiment my own lifestyle.

    This is just another example of how things can be done differently, with better results. The reasons why a virtual office is better are: 1) everyone has more freedom, they are happier with the work, can work more flexible hours, and possibly charge less because of this freedom (where they can spend more time with their families or work in their garden between shifts, for example); 2) they save two or more hours commuting to and from work, helping to save the environment in the process; 3) they reduce their stress level not having to force their way through traffic or public transportation, or to hustle about in a busy office all day with no opportunity to rest; 4) because they reduce their stress level, can rest when they choose, and do not have to spend their days in close proximity to others, they will get sick less often, increasing their productivity to this measure as well; and most importantly, 5) the different employees can be located on different time zones, working the hours of their choice, meaning the office can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without any need for expensive overtime or off hours pay. Not to mention that they do not have to live in a big and polluted city can work in a comfortable rural environment, where living is less expensive, and to this degree help save costs as well.

    All in all, this way of running things seems so much better, yet everyone goes on according to the status quo, without even thinking about other ways to manage on operations. The internet allows this, yet hardly anyone has jumped on board of this opportunity, rather shuffling to some downtown location, where rent is higher. With a virtual office, no rent is necessary, since everyone works from home or at their own location. In all facets of administrating a translation office, I have never seen one which would require the need of a centralised office with inhouse employees. A translation needs to be vetted and proofread? What is more efficient about telling someone in the office: "Hey, this file just came in, proofread it please" as opposed to emailing someone the file and asking them to do the same? Furthermore, I don't even need to ask anyone to do anything, because the virtual office is set up such that, as soon as a translated file is uploaded to the web, an automatic email is sent out informing all the others concerned, such that they can download the file, work on it, upload it, and the translation process continues on its own. All that is necessary is to set up each project according to a template, assign each task to set people, and the rest runs its due course automatically. Project managers can log in and view the progress of each project, download any file and communicate with any other person without the need for my involvement. And the virtual office can grow as large as necessary, whether to 10, 200 or even 2000 employees, requiring only more space on the computer, more use of the processor, and more internet band width. If the office gets large enough, it might require an additional computer, or dual processor, with a little more physical shelf space for another computer. Hardly the extra floor space required in a downtown office building.

    In this same creative and diverse manner might we manage our various translation projects. When I overlook how things are running, I always like to cast my gaze on the various tasks and think of ways how to improve and streamline an operation. Perhaps I might assign a particular development task to a programmer, or devise different ways to manage things. Other times I might propose suggestions to the customer concerning better ways how they might handle their needs. The point is diversity and creativity in order to find the best way how to achieve something.

    Therefore, if you came to these pages and found it a bit odd why so many of them are colored as they are (continually in development), this is my explanation and which also serves to show why we are a good choice for your translation needs. Just following the status quo can often be more expensive, less efficient and more bureaucratic.

    For the comfort of the touch and feel a customer may need when dealing with a provider, we have devised affiliate offices. A comfortable office space with a comfortable couch, perhaps a drinks menu, where the customer can bring their document and pick it up at a later time. The office personnel then scan/email that document to us, we manage that centrally through our virtual office, send it back to the office, where they print it out for the customer and deliver it to them with a bow and ribbon. But you can imagine that these extra facilities will require a markup on the translation cost. If you do not need this extra step but are happy dealing with us directly, and can scan/email the document yourself etc., we will be able to offer you our fully competitive price.


    Otherwise, if you'd like help streamlining your operations in the same way we have, this is something I very much enjoy doing.

     

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