• News: Lookseecity reduces carbon emissions

    News: Lookseecity reduces carbon emissions

     

     

    Virtual Look-See visits reduce carbon emissions.

     

    We've often talked about how Look-See visits can be made more efficient by combining them with a virtual tour. We've also highlighted how much money can be saved by switching to virtual tours and reducing or eliminating entirely Look-See visits. But we haven't paid much attention to the reduction of carbon emissions that can be achieved by cutting back on these expensive, time consuming visits.

    So we did some calculations with the help of ClimateCare - an organisation that has been trying to tackle climate change since 1997. ClimateCare happens to be based just down the road from us in Oxford, UK and using their Carbon Calculator we estimated how much carbon an individual emits on a typical Look-See visit. The findings illustrate how useful virtual tours like LookseeCity can be in reducing a carbon footprint, without the need for offsetting - while also saving costs.

    Here are four examples for a 5 night trip for a single person:

    Examples of CO2 Emissions for LookSee trips.

    LONDON – SINGAPORE  tonnes of CO2e
    Flight Economy (return)  13.04
    Flight Business (return)  37.82
    Hotel Standard (5 nights) 1.46
    Hotel Luxury (5 nights)      2.30
    Taxi 100 km (25 journeys)  0.38
    Totals  
    Standard/Economy  14.88
    Business/Luxury    40.5
    CHICAGO – RIYADH (SAUDI ARABIA)  
    Flight Economy (return)  13.46
    Flight Business (return)  39.02
    Hotel Standard (5 nights) 1.51
    Hotel Luxury (5 nights)      2.37
    Taxi 100 km (25 journeys)  0.38
    Totals  
    Standard/Economy  15.35
    Business/Luxury    41.77
    NEW YORK – HONG KONG  
    Flight Economy (return)  15.54
    Flight Business (return)  45.08
    Hotel Standard (5 nights) 1.59
    Hotel Luxury (5 nights)      2.48
    Taxi 100 km (25 journeys)  0.38
    Totals  
    Standard/Economy  17.32
    Business/Luxury    47.94 
    ATLANTA – JOHANNESBURG     
    Flight Economy (return)  8.14
    Flight Business (return) 23.6
    Hotel Standard (5 nights) 0.80
    Hotel Luxury (5 nights)  1.24
    Taxi 100 km (25 journeys) 0.38
    Totals  
    Standard/Economy 9.32
    Business/Luxury    25.22

     

    Source: ClimateCare Carbon Calculator. https://www.climatecare.org/calculator                                                                          

  • News: Getting real with Virtual Relocation

    News: Getting real with Virtual Relocation

     

    Getting real with Virtual Relocation

    The idea of virtual relocation has been around longer than Covid-19. Growing businesses in a global marketplace needed a new way of contacting and working with overseas offices. Phone calls weren’t enough for full-time employees to operate remotely, and frequent long haul flights or relocation proved expensive. Virtual relocation was the answer. Technology such as Zoom or Skype, helped multiple people to work together from opposite sides of the globe. Online work storage, such as Google Drive, enabled colleagues to share and edit information effectively as a team. When Covid-19 hit, many businesses were already using remote employees and were prepared. For others, it took time to adapt to a virtual company as a reliance on office life had developed. Virtual relocation was becoming more popular, and more companies than ever were forced to see the benefits of this new version of relocation. But what impact does it have on the people who work in such a remote fashion? By James Belcher.


    From face to face to Zoom calling


    When new technology became available, the idea of expensive relocation diminished in importance as if it was more of an option rather than a necessity. Now entire teams are trained online, having never met the manager training them in person. Even though this saves a lot of money, it dramatically changes the way we are used to working.
    For many years working in close functioning teams has been the way business was done. It has not only been useful in the workplace but also creates a positive social environment. Employees often become close friends with their teammates, boosting brainstorming and innovation, and this is where the cracks in virtual relocation begin to arise. We usually prefer working with people and interacting face to face. Not being able to see your team leaders in person creates large divisions in the effectiveness of the team and the relationship the team members have with each other. Particularly between those working as virtual employees and those working locally in the office.


    The social issue


    When we talk to each other, we don’t just communicate with our voices. Vast parts of human communication come from expressions in our face and body. Yes, Skype and Zoom conquered much of this problem with efficient video calling but talking to someone on Zoom and talking to them face to face is a very different experience. Most of us have experienced this difference during the Covid-19 lockdown. I can say for sure that seeing friends and family on Zoom did not compensate for actually interacting with those people. The way we interact is vital in a work environment, especially when forming relationships with people is a priority.


    Don’t miss the hidden costs


    The low cost of virtual relocation is what makes it such an attractive option when managing an international business. Computer equipment such as software and perhaps a boosted internet connection are probably the most expensive parts of virtual relocation. There are, however, non-monetary costs that affect the employee. Lifestyle changes are a considerable cost to the employee. They range from working a different time of day to suffering mental health problems because of a lack of human interaction. As with the advance of all communications technology, the person taking part in virtual relocation could now be available 24/7. This increased workload may have a personal cost to the employee and in turn, the company, with more sick days taken and a lack of productivity.


    Culture clash


    The culture of the company often derives from its home country. For example, American companies are often known for their harsh, results-driven work ethic. In contrast, Japanese organisations have a reputation for an appreciation of politeness and etiquette. So take an American working for an American company virtually relocating to an office in Japan. They will be familiar with some of the American cultures of the business, but may not be familiar with the office culture in Japan.
    It is more challenging for an employee, virtually relocating to pick up and adapt to the cultures of a different country. The reason for this is because they don’t spend their out of office time immersed in that culture. If the employee were relocated in the original sense, they would be fully immersed in the new culture.


    A taxing conundrum


    One issue that has come into the discussion regarding virtual relocation is about payment and tax. If you have a full-time employee working from America for a Japanese business, which country’s tax laws does that employee obey? Is that single employee acting as an American office of the Japanese corporation and therefore abiding by American law? Or does the fact that he is remotely working from America in a Japanese office mean he should stick to Japanese law? Currently, you abide by the laws of the country in which you work. However, more businesses are suffering from the cost of employing remote workers from countries with high taxes or living costs.


    Making virtual as real as possible


    Virtual relocation is not a simple matter of setting up a Zoom account, and you’re done. As I have shown the modern convention of virtual relocation is not as easy as it appears. There are many factors to take into account when virtually relocating. The primary concern is the cost to the employee and their ability to work effectively.
    Currently, the most used tool is video calling, and even though it is good to see the other person, nothing can replace an in-person meeting. However, we must look towards the future, and the possibilities technology could bring us. As we have seen during Covid-19, we have been forced to embrace technology, and acclimatise to a world in a pandemic. Being relocated virtually could work well in the future, with more advanced technology like live-streaming VR, 360 degrees streaming and 5G. These are just some of the ideas Lookseecity is exploring to make virtual relocation a more reliable form of working. One great example is Lookseecity's new service to make it easier for Virtual Assignees to get to know their team, even if they don't meet them in person. Take a look at our Virtual Onboarding.

  • News: VR Virtual Work

    News: VR Virtual Work

     

     

    The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our world. An online way of living, that was predicted to happen in the future, is happening right now. It did not take long for people to realise the advantages of online shopping when supermarkets had shortages during lockdown. Many people found that their favourite high street shops were just as good if not better online. But it was not only the consumers that changed the way they operated. The way we work needed to change as well. As James Belcher has been finding out.


    Virtual working

    Businesses all over the world have been looking for a solution to the lockdown restrictions. A big part of the answer has been working from home, using the internet. The idea that working from home could be as productive as working from an office was often ignored in the past and employers shied away from using the available technology. However, in the pandemic, that same technology went from being a “nice to have” add-on, to a vital tool for the survival of the business. How would meetings be held? How would teams communicate their ideas effectively? Suddenly the video conferencing tools supplied by the likes of Zoom, Skype and Google became essential and old barriers to technology had to be brushed aside.
    The further we get into the pandemic the more obvious it is that working in a virtual world is not only possible, but also effective. It is a way of working that large businesses can accommodate, not just freelancers or tech start-ups. Many businesses were saved by the virtual workplace revolution. However, it is only now that organisations are beginning to really see the future possibilities of modern virtual working.

     

    Lookseecity, modernising the virtual workplace

    Lookseecity focuses on the possibilities of virtual working and how it can be advanced. One of the areas Lookseecity has already begun to develop is Virtual Reality. As a technology VR has a huge amount of potential and is continually advancing. For example, 78% of Americans are familiar with VR (Source: Greenlight Insights, GlobalWebIndex) and the worldwide AR and VR market size is forecast to grow 7.7X between 2018 and 2022 (Source: Statista, Greenlight Insights).

    Many believe that VR is an expensive tool, not vital to today’s workplace. This may have been the case five years ago but with the development of such systems as Vive and Oculus, VR systems will be far more affordable and at the heart of virtual working. Lookseecity is now exploring Live Streaming for VR and discovering how widely the technology can be used. Live Streaming is the engine for interaction on the internet that is mainly confined to niche markets such as online gaming. But, when combined with VR, Live Streaming has the potential to significantly enhance our experience. Making Zoom seem like a flickering black and white TV in comparison.

     

    VR live streaming

    Lookseecity has been working on the idea of live streaming VR. With Covid-19 looming over businesses all over the world there needs to be a better way of connecting than Zoom. Why? Because even though Zoom has served us well during covid-19 it has not given us the experience of being in the same place as the other person. You can’t look around at their surroundings or take in their environment as if you were there. You can’t get a true impression of physical objects, materials or environments. With VR that is possible.
    Imagine this situation, you have a new factory opening in Japan. But unfortunately, your own country is in lockdown, restricting movement to work and making a flight to Japan difficult. So instead you use live stream VR. At your end of the connection you would be wearing a VR headset in the comfy surroundings of your own home. At the factory end in Japan a guide would be taking you around with a 360 camera either mounted on their head, using a rig, or on a selfie-stick at head height. Using 5G all the data from the cameras would be sent to the VR headset live and there you have it, a completely live tour of a factory in one hundred percent virtual reality thousands of miles away. The future virtual workplace is not just at home. It is everywhere and anywhere.
    The main thing holding this technology back is the speed of current wifi connections. That is why the development of safe to use 5G networks is vital. For example, the new Oculus Quest 2 has the power at a very affordable price, Lookseecity is developing the technology, it is just a matter of waiting for the internet to catch up with our demanding virtual culture.

     

    Lookseecity’s current VR products

    Currently Lookseecity has developed an app that combines a recorded 360 degree VR environment with 2D inserts and interaction. This technology is ready to go, and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Lookseecity can develop a guide to suit your needs using a mix of videos, games and exploring a virtual world.
    The creator of Lookseecity Jon Devitt said, “Nothing replaces the potency of face-to-face human interaction, but as we’ve learnt over the last few months that isn’t always possible. There is an increasingly important role for technology to replicate the interaction we once took for granted. VR/AR is best we’ve come up with so far – it maximizes the use of our senses. It is, as the name suggests, as near to reality as we can get.” Learn more about the app.
    The idea of the virtual workplace is epitomised by VR and the modernisation of the ‘office’. For many companies, the office desk is becoming a thing of the past. Employees work from their own homes in a more independent way than ever giving a greater work life balance as well as increasing productivity. The idea of virtual working is no longer somewhere in the future, it is happening right now and Lookseecity is leading the way. What do you want to explore?

  • News: Three new guides

    News: Three new guides

     

     

    Two brand new guides and one major update have been completed. Bangalore, India's tech capital, will be first, followed by Abu Dhabi and then a complete re-film of Dubai. These will be the first guides to feature Virtual Reality tours - more news on this ground breaking experience, coming soon. 

  • News: Lookseecity in the news

    News: Lookseecity in the news

     

    From your foreign correspondent.

    A full page article in the British monthly magazine - the Oldie.

     

     Lookseecity Oldie Article comp

  • News: Rave reviews for new Shanghai Guide

    News: Rave reviews for new Shanghai Guide

     

    First reactions to the new Shanghai guide:

     

    "Wow!! This is so fabulous! The quality and the research, you really think of everything. It is so well done. I love it! Such fun."

    Christie Caldwell, Senior Consultant with Aperian Global.

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    "We all agree that it looks fantastic. Congratulations on a major achievement."

    Managing Partner, leading China relocation company.

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    "I enjoyed it as I am not as familiar with the city myself, I could view it from client’s perspective. Very useful!"

    Relocation client manager - Beijing.

  • News: China guides in production

    News: China guides in production

     

    Three new city guides are now in production. After a month of filming in China, scores of videos are being edited to create our latest guides to Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. For an early preview email us now. 

  • News: New Lookseecity Launched

    News: New Lookseecity Launched

     

    Lookseecity is re-born with a transformed look, new and updated content, better quality videos and a responsive design. Now you can see your favourite Lookseecity guide on every device from Smart Phones and Tablets to Desktop Computers and Widescreen TVs. The new Lookseecity also offers a wealth of opportunities to customise the guides for business users.  See our Customised Guides for more details.

  • News: Lookseeschools launched

    News: Lookseeschools launched

     

    April 2014: A major new video website has been launched by Lookseecity - Lookseeschools. Developed in collaboration with the education advisory company TIEC, Lookseeschools offers video tours and advice for anyone wanting to place their children in the best UK schools. The new venture is a continuation of the successful formula pioneered by Lookseecity and has been described as "incredibly informative."

    Visit Lookseeschools 

  • News: Oxford University Press films Lookseecity

    News: Oxford University Press films Lookseecity

     

    May/2014 International publisher, the Oxford University Press, has made a programme about Lookseecity for it's foreign language market. As an example of entrepreneurial innovation.  

  • News: Bespoke Singapore guide for multinational mining company

    News: Bespoke Singapore guide for multinational mining company

     

    One of the world's largest mining and natural resource companies has subscribed to a customised version of our Singapore guide.

    To assist with a major relocation of staff to Singapore we filmed several new sections to our guide for the client. We added some specific schools and neighbourhood tours and a video guide to the company's new office and the area around it. Staff already in the city were able to do video tours giving tips and advice on moving to Singapore.  

    Update: 2015, The company continues to use their bespoke guide for in coming staff.

  • News: Another bespoke guide for a major diplomatic mission

    News: Another bespoke guide for a major diplomatic mission

     

    One of the largest Embassy's in London has subscribed to their own version of our London guide. The guide was customised to fit the client's requirements including the filming of several new videos and neighbourhood guides. The client added their own videos on pages we created especially for their 200 subscribers.

    Update: 2015 - We have  now updated and renewed this guide for the last four years.  

  • News: US Mission Geneva bespoke guide

    News: US Mission Geneva bespoke guide

     

    The US Mission in Geneva has subscribed to a bespoke version of our Geneva guide. The guide has been specially tailored to their needs and they have added their own video content. The collaboration was described as "a smashing success".

    Update: 2015 We have renewed this contract on an annal basis for the last five years. 

  • News: Runner-up in FEM awards

    News: Runner-up in FEM awards

     

    2010. Lookseecity is runner-up in the Forum for Expatriate Management EMMA's. The Most Innovative Use of Technology in Global Mobility. 

    The award is open to both service providers and corporate HR teams that "innovatively use technology or have an innovative product or service that brings benefit to the assignee and/or the business. The service had to demonstrate, a key need/needs within the global mobility market, comprehensive functionality, user-friendly, value for money to clients, customers or the business and includes detailed metrics or client/assignee feedback to back up statements made."

  • News: Short listed for Re:locate Awards

    News: Short listed for Re:locate Awards

     

    2010/11 Lookseecity was short listed for the best use of technology in relocation in Re:locate Magazine awards. 

    "This award recognises the effective and innovative use of technology by a relocation organisation or HR team to bring about business and employee benefits, or the provider of an innovative product or service using technology within the relocation context."