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Sony launches PC gaming gear, expanding beyond PlayStation

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Sony is entering the gaming peripherals market
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Japan’s Sony is launching a new brand that will offer PC gaming gear, the company announced Wednesday, as it aims to expand beyond its flagship PlayStation console. 

The move comes as Sony looks to compete for a share of the gaming peripherals market, valued at $3.88 billion globally in 2019 according to Grand View Research.

The first offerings from the new Inzone brand, targeted primarily at PC gamers, will be three wireless headsets and two monitors, the priciest of which will retail for a suggested $899.99 in the United States.

“The market has been expanding with a higher interest in gaming with the spread of esports tournaments and the advancement of gaming entertainment,” said Yukihiro Kitajima, head of Sony’s game business and marketing office, in a statement.

Sony is a relative latecomer to the segment, with rival Microsoft already well established in computers and peripherals.

The timing may be linked to production issues faced by Sony and other console manufacturers, who are struggling to meet demand because of pandemic-led supply chain issues and a global chip shortage.

“Considering the short supply of PS5 (PlayStation 5) and soaring game development costs, the PC gaming market is becoming critical for Sony in order to show stable profit to investors,” Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Toyo Securities, told Bloomberg.

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100 least popular jobs in America

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Stacker searched for the least popular jobs in America. It found them in Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
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Pinpointing which jobs are the country’s least popular can tell you something about the direction an economy is going.

That’s because industries that once thrived might have lost ground to technological or other advances and have few job openings. Others with many opportunities for employment might be growing.

Of course, jobs can be unpopular or uncommon for many reasons. On the TV show “Dirty Jobs,” host Mike Rowe is seen farming deer for urine and relocating beavers—clearly, employment that’s not for everyone.

Other jobs might require years of education or training or be limited to certain geographical areas.

Stacker ranked the 100 least popular jobs in America, based on their total employment and using May 2022 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Only detailed job categories were included in the analysis. Every position’s number of total workers in the United States is listed alongside its average annual wage and average hourly wage.

Read on to see if you hold one of the least popular jobs in the country.

A woman pulls out documents in a file cabinet.

Stokkete // Shutterstock

#100. Archivists

– Total nationwide employment: 7,230
– Median hourly wage: $28.19
– Median annual wage: $58,640

Heavy machinery workers in a discussion.

Kzenon // Shutterstock

#99. Helpers–extraction workers

– Total nationwide employment: 6,910
– Median hourly wage: $20.73
– Median annual wage: $43,110

A worker uses a welding torch on a piece of metal.

Glen Jones // Shutterstock

#98. Layout workers, metal and plastic

– Total nationwide employment: 6,890
– Median hourly wage: $28.01
– Median annual wage: $58,260

Railroad workers check the track for repairs.

APChanel // Shutterstock

#97. Signal and track switch repairers

– Total nationwide employment: 6,880
– Median hourly wage: $39.09
– Median annual wage: $81,300

Two colleagues look at a statistical analysis.

Golubovy // Shutterstock

#96. Statistical assistants

– Total nationwide employment: 6,710
– Median hourly wage: $23.50
– Median annual wage: $48,880

A worker dyes some fabric blue.

Brian Goodman // Shutterstock

#95. Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders

– Total nationwide employment: 6,640
– Median hourly wage: $15.71
– Median annual wage: $32,680

A man on a treadmill is monitored by a doctor.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#94. Exercise physiologists

– Total nationwide employment: 6,580
– Median hourly wage: $24.69
– Median annual wage: $51,350

A woman at a desk works on a computer.

GOLFX // Shutterstock

#93. Desktop publishers

– Total nationwide employment: 6,560
– Median hourly wage: $23.04
– Median annual wage: $47,910

A California Fish & Wildlife badge on the side of a car.

ZikG // Shutterstock

#92. Fish and game wardens

– Total nationwide employment: 6,530
– Median hourly wage: $28.61
– Median annual wage: $59,500

Workers bore a hole in a metal piece.

Pixel B // Shutterstock

#91. Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

– Total nationwide employment: 6,470
– Median hourly wage: $20.41
– Median annual wage: $42,450

Two men work on an architectural model of a house.

Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#89. Architecture teachers, postsecondary

– Total nationwide employment: 6,420
– Median hourly wage: Not available
– Median annual wage: $93,220

A technician works on a furnace blower fan.

Canva

#89. Cooling and freezing equipment operators and tenders

– Total nationwide employment: 6,420
– Median hourly wage: $20.62
– Median annual wage: $42,890

A man uses a tool to tune a piano.

Canva

#88. Musical instrument repairers and tuners

– Total nationwide employment: 6,330
– Median hourly wage: $18.34
– Median annual wage: $38,150

A patient waits for a dental procedure.

Canva

#87. Orthodontists

– Total nationwide employment: 6,310
– Median hourly wage: $83.83
– Median annual wage: $174,360

Workers at an oil drilling site.

LaKirr // Shutterstock

#86. Extraction workers, all other

– Total nationwide employment: 6,290
– Median hourly wage: $24.81
– Median annual wage: $51,600

A hydrologist takes a water sample.

Patrizio Martorana // Shutterstock

#85. Hydrologists

– Total nationwide employment: 6,270
– Median hourly wage: $41.34
– Median annual wage: $85,990

A farm worker checks on cows eating food.

Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#84. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

– Total nationwide employment: 6,250
– Median hourly wage: $36.42
– Median annual wage: $75,760

Researchers examine a tide pool.

I. Noyan Yilmaz // // Shutterstock

#83. Environmental science teachers, postsecondary

– Total nationwide employment: 6,240
– Median hourly wage: Not available
– Median annual wage: $83,040

An agricultural worker in a wheat field.

Canva

#82. Agricultural workers, all other

– Total nationwide employment: 6,100
– Median hourly wage: $17.17
– Median annual wage: $35,720

A forest worker looks at a tree while holding a chainsaw.

Canva

#81. Forest and conservation workers

– Total nationwide employment: 6,080
– Median hourly wage: $15.51
– Median annual wage: $32,270

Molten metal being poured into a casting.

Max Mark Agnor // Shutterstock

#80. Pourers and casters, metal

– Total nationwide employment: 6,070
– Median hourly wage: $21.67
– Median annual wage: $45,070

A worker getting gear checked for radioactivity.

Krysja // Shutterstock

#79. Nuclear technicians

– Total nationwide employment: 5,880
– Median hourly wage: $48.28
– Median annual wage: $100,420

Workers installing clay tiles on a roof.

Canva

#78. Helpers–roofers

– Total nationwide employment: 5,790
– Median hourly wage: $17.80
– Median annual wage: $37,020

Colorful costumes on hangars.

Linda Zupanc // Shutterstock

#77. Costume attendants

– Total nationwide employment: 5,730
– Median hourly wage: $23.30
– Median annual wage: $48,470

Three people on large stairway outside a building.

Desizned // Shutterstock

#76. Political scientists

– Total nationwide employment: 5,660
– Median hourly wage: $61.55
– Median annual wage: $128,020

A DJ uses a digital turntable.

viktoriia varvashchenko // Shutterstock

#75. Disc jockeys, except radio

– Total nationwide employment: 5,640
– Median hourly wage: $21.34
– Median annual wage: Not available

A woman with a headset in front of a computer.

Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#74. Nuclear power reactor operators

– Total nationwide employment: 5,450
– Median hourly wage: $55.71
– Median annual wage: $115,870

A ballet instructor works with students.

Canva

#73. Choreographers

– Total nationwide employment: 5,400
– Median hourly wage: $24.52
– Median annual wage: $50,990

Photography equipment on a wood table.

Canva

#72. Photographic process workers and processing machine operators

– Total nationwide employment: 5,380
– Median hourly wage: $17.44
– Median annual wage: $36,280

A woman sharpens a tool.

Canva

#71. Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners

– Total nationwide employment: 5,320
– Median hourly wage: $20.16
– Median annual wage: $41,940

A patient in a chair getting dental work.

Canva

#70. Dentists, all other specialists

– Total nationwide employment: 5,250
– Median hourly wage: $102.28
– Median annual wage: $212,740

A wheel loader works in a mine.

Canva

#69. Loading and moving machine operators, underground mining

– Total nationwide employment: 5,210
– Median hourly wage: $30.73
– Median annual wage: $63,920

A proofreader works on documents.

Canva

#68. Proofreaders and copy markers

– Total nationwide employment: 5,120
– Median hourly wage: $21.83
– Median annual wage: $45,410

A woman writes in a notebook.

Canva

#67. Correspondence clerks

– Total nationwide employment: 4,970
– Median hourly wage: $18.61
– Median annual wage: $38,700

A teacher helps a student with a laptop.

Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#65. Anthropology and archeology teachers, postsecondary

– Total nationwide employment: 4,930
– Median hourly wage: Not available
– Median annual wage: $85,000

A man gives a ticket to an entertainment attendant.

ALPA PROD // Shutterstock

#65. Entertainment attendants and related workers, all other

– Total nationwide employment: 4,930
– Median hourly wage: $13.11
– Median annual wage: $27,260

A view of the casino floor at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

HannaTor // Shutterstock

#64. Gambling managers

– Total nationwide employment: 4,800
– Median hourly wage: $38.80
– Median annual wage: $80,710

A craft artist works on a piece of jewelry.

Robilad Co // Shutterstock

#63. Craft artists

– Total nationwide employment: 4,760
– Median hourly wage: $18.34
– Median annual wage: $38,150

Part of a building is imploded by explosives.

Fortish // Shutterstock

#62. Explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters

– Total nationwide employment: 4,710
– Median hourly wage: $27.24
– Median annual wage: $56,670

A logging worker cuts up a tree.

Yulyazolotko // Shutterstock

#61. Fallers

– Total nationwide employment: 4,530
– Median hourly wage: $23.64
– Median annual wage: $49,160

A librarian helps a customer.

Canva

#60. Library science teachers, postsecondary

– Total nationwide employment: 4,330
– Median hourly wage: Not available
– Median annual wage: $76,370

An oral surgeon works on a patient.

Canva

#59. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

– Total nationwide employment: 4,290
– Median hourly wage: #
– Median annual wage: #

A sander being used on a wood floor.

Canva

#58. Floor sanders and finishers

– Total nationwide employment: 4,270
– Median hourly wage: $22.14
– Median annual wage: $46,060

A woman on a headset talking with a customer.

Canva

#57. Telephone operators

– Total nationwide employment: 4,030
– Median hourly wage: $18.43
– Median annual wage: $38,330

A casket sits with flowers on it.

NKM999 // Shutterstock

#55. Embalmers

– Total nationwide employment: 3,950
– Median hourly wage: $23.99
– Median annual wage: $49,910

A log grader at work in a log yard.

TFoxFoto // Shutterstock

#55. Log graders and scalers

– Total nationwide employment: 3,950
– Median hourly wage: $20.37
– Median annual wage: $42,370

A rock splitter works at a quarry.

Canva

#54. Rock splitters, quarry

– Total nationwide employment: 3,910
– Median hourly wage: $22.12
– Median annual wage: $46,010

A commercial diver works on a project.

Aniwat phromrungsee // Shutterstock

#53. Commercial divers

– Total nationwide employment: 3,860
– Median hourly wage: $32.84
– Median annual wage: $68,300

A woman works on a math problem.

Erickson Stock // Shutterstock

#52. Mathematical science occupations, all other

– Total nationwide employment: 3,840
– Median hourly wage: $34.47
– Median annual wage: $71,700

A gas compressor operator checks the system.

Canva

#51. Gas compressor and gas pumping station operators

– Total nationwide employment: 3,740
– Median hourly wage: $28.84
– Median annual wage: $59,990

A therapy aid works with a child.

Canva

#50. Occupational therapy aides

– Total nationwide employment: 3,710
– Median hourly wage: $17.82
– Median annual wage: $37,060

A marine worker looks through binoculars.

Denys Yelmanov // Shutterstock

#49. Bridge and lock tenders

– Total nationwide employment: 3,690
– Median hourly wage: $22.73
– Median annual wage: $47,280

A flat bed hauler carries a manufactured home.

indykb // Shutterstock

#48. Manufactured building and mobile home installers

– Total nationwide employment: 3,630
– Median hourly wage: $17.70
– Median annual wage: $36,820

A pile of logs await processing.

Canva

#47. Logging workers, all other

– Total nationwide employment: 3,490
– Median hourly wage: $22.65
– Median annual wage: $47,110

A piece of fabric being sewed by hand.

Canva

#46. Sewers, hand

– Total nationwide employment: 3,440
– Median hourly wage: $15.16
– Median annual wage: $31,530

A parked transit police vehicle.

JL IMAGES // Shutterstock

#45. Transit and railroad police

– Total nationwide employment: 3,370
– Median hourly wage: $33.25
– Median annual wage: $69,150

Two people discuss a model of a car.

Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#44. Model makers, metal and plastic

– Total nationwide employment: 3,350
– Median hourly wage: $27.70
– Median annual wage: $57,620

A geography teacher points to Africa on a map.

GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#43. Geography teachers, postsecondary

– Total nationwide employment: 3,340
– Median hourly wage: Not available
– Median annual wage: $81,920

A heavy machine drives a pile at a construction site.

Canva

#42. Pile driver operators

– Total nationwide employment: 3,290
– Median hourly wage: $30.92
– Median annual wage: $64,310

A fertility doctor consults with a couple.

Canva

#41. Genetic counselors

– Total nationwide employment: 3,220
– Median hourly wage: $43.26
– Median annual wage: $89,990

A dosimetrist gives radiation treatment to a patient.

Mark_Kostich // Shutterstock

#40. Medical dosimetrists

– Total nationwide employment: 3,190
– Median hourly wage: $62.01
– Median annual wage: $128,970

A woman with a laptop sits in front of a bookcase.

Agenturfotografin // Shutterstock

#39. Historians

– Total nationwide employment: 3,120
– Median hourly wage: $31.03
– Median annual wage: $64,540

A motorboat operator steers his watercraft.

Dmitry Dven // Shutterstock

#38. Motorboat operators

– Total nationwide employment: 3,110
– Median hourly wage: $19.92
– Median annual wage: $41,430

An apparel patternmaker measures some fabric.

Sergii Kovalov // Shutterstock

#37. Fabric and apparel patternmakers

– Total nationwide employment: 3,070
– Median hourly wage: $29.00
– Median annual wage: $60,320

An overhead view of a professional meeting.

Canva

#36. Sociologists

– Total nationwide employment: 2,980
– Median hourly wage: $47.40
– Median annual wage: $98,590

A makeup artist gets a performer ready.

Kokulina // Shutterstock

#35. Makeup artists, theatrical and performance

– Total nationwide employment: 2,970
– Median hourly wage: $46.33
– Median annual wage: $96,370

A worker repairs a shoe.

Olaf Speier // Shutterstock

#34. Shoe machine operators and tenders

– Total nationwide employment: 2,960
– Median hourly wage: $15.89
– Median annual wage: $33,060

Decorative urns sit on display.

SimonTheSorcerer // Shutterstock

#33. Crematory operators

– Total nationwide employment: 2,930
– Median hourly wage: $19.40
– Median annual wage: $40,360

A hydrologic technician writes in a notebook.

Photodiem // Shutterstock

#32. Hydrologic technicians

– Total nationwide employment: 2,920
– Median hourly wage: $28.06
– Median annual wage: $58,360

A rail worker walks on rail station platform.

APChanel // Shutterstock

#31. Rail yard engineers, dinkey operators, and hostlers

– Total nationwide employment: 2,680
– Median hourly wage: $27.09
– Median annual wage: $56,340

Farmers in a conversation near some cows.

Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#30. Animal scientists

– Total nationwide employment: 2,520
– Median hourly wage: $33.36
– Median annual wage: $69,390

A worker guides a hoist and winch operator.

Canva

#29. Hoist and winch operators

– Total nationwide employment: 2,440
– Median hourly wage: $28.34
– Median annual wage: $58,950

A man teaches a class with students.

Canva

#28. Family and consumer sciences teachers, postsecondary

– Total nationwide employment: 2,420
– Median hourly wage: Not available
– Median annual wage: $76,440

Workers clear limbs and debris in the forest.

NancyS // Shutterstock

#27. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists

– Total nationwide employment: 2,290
– Median hourly wage: $23.13
– Median annual wage: $48,110

Workers operate heavy machinery in a mine.

Peruphotart // Shutterstock

#26. Underground mining machine operators, all other

– Total nationwide employment: 2,270
– Median hourly wage: $30.86
– Median annual wage: $64,180

A worker fixes a stretch of rail.

Canva

#25. Rail transportation workers, all other

– Total nationwide employment: 2,240
– Median hourly wage: $20.33
– Median annual wage: $42,280

A worker pours molten metal into a cast.

Funtay // Shutterstock

#24. Patternmakers, metal and plastic

– Total nationwide employment: 2,230
– Median hourly wage: $26.43
– Median annual wage: $54,970

Two men hanging wallpaper.

Canva

#23. Paperhangers

– Total nationwide employment: 2,220
– Median hourly wage: $21.60
– Median annual wage: $44,930

A man sets up a high-powered telescope.

abriendomundo // Shutterstock

#22. Astronomers

– Total nationwide employment: 2,160
– Median hourly wage: $61.70
– Median annual wage: $128,330

A worker repairs a digital camera.

Sergey Ryzhov // Shutterstock

#21. Camera and photographic equipment repairers

– Total nationwide employment: 2,120
– Median hourly wage: $21.18
– Median annual wage: $44,060

Parts of a math problem appear on a piece of paper.

Kenishirotie //Shutterstock

#19. Mathematicians

– Total nationwide employment: 2,070
– Median hourly wage: $53.90
– Median annual wage: $112,110

A model with a hat poses for a photo.

Canva

#19. Models

– Total nationwide employment: 2,070
– Median hourly wage: $20.73
– Median annual wage: $43,130

A projectionist at work in a theater.

Canva

#18. Motion picture projectionists

– Total nationwide employment: 1,900
– Median hourly wage: $16.04
– Median annual wage: $33,360

A wristwatch being fixed.

Canva

#17. Watch and clock repairers

– Total nationwide employment: 1,880
– Median hourly wage: $23.25
– Median annual wage: $48,370

A heavy machine attaches large bolts the ceiling of a mine.

Causeway // Shutterstock

#16. Roof bolters, mining

– Total nationwide employment: 1,700
– Median hourly wage: $28.95
– Median annual wage: $60,210

An agricultural worker checks soil makeup.

Budimir Jevtic // Shutterstock

#15. Agricultural engineers

– Total nationwide employment: 1,500
– Median hourly wage: $40.03
– Median annual wage: $83,260

Workers polish a floor.

Bannafarsai_Stock // Shutterstock

#14. Terrazzo workers and finishers

– Total nationwide employment: 1,460
– Median hourly wage: $25.16
– Median annual wage: $52,330

A man looks at a rock in a desolate landscape.

Adwo // Shutterstock

#13. Geographers

– Total nationwide employment: 1,360
– Median hourly wage: $42.74
– Median annual wage: $88,900

Workers listen to a coworker at a meeting.

fizkes // Shutterstock

#12. Industrial-organizational psychologists

– Total nationwide employment: 1,280
– Median hourly wage: $66.96
– Median annual wage: $139,280

Students examine soil and plant life.

Robert Kneschke // Shutterstock

#10. Forestry and conservation science teachers, postsecondary

– Total nationwide employment: 1,270
– Median hourly wage: Not available
– Median annual wage: $96,500

A worker feeds milk to a baby goat.

goodluz // Shutterstock

#10. Animal breeders

– Total nationwide employment: 1,270
– Median hourly wage: $21.79
– Median annual wage: $45,320

A woman with a headset sits in front of a computer.

Canva

#9. Communications equipment operators, all other

– Total nationwide employment: 1,240
– Median hourly wage: $22.20
– Median annual wage: $46,180

Heavy machinery doing dredging work in a river.

motodan // Shutterstock

#8. Dredge operators

– Total nationwide employment: 940
– Median hourly wage: $22.64
– Median annual wage: $47,090

A pediatric surgeon at work.

beerkoff // Shutterstock

#7. Pediatric surgeons

– Total nationwide employment: 780
– Median hourly wage: #
– Median annual wage: #

A worker makes a model out of wood.

Canva

#6. Model makers, wood

– Total nationwide employment: 720
– Median hourly wage: $22.57
– Median annual wage: $46,940

A chef prepares a dish to serve.

carlesmiro // Shutterstock

#5. Cooks, private household

– Total nationwide employment: 610
– Median hourly wage: $18.54
– Median annual wage: $38,570

Heated refractory material at foundry.

Canva

#4. Refractory materials repairers, except brick masons

– Total nationwide employment: 580
– Median hourly wage: $24.30
– Median annual wage: $50,550

Farm laborers working in a field.

Canva

#3. Farm labor contractors

– Total nationwide employment: 550
– Median hourly wage: $23.72
– Median annual wage: $49,330

A man assembles a timing device.

PRESSLAB // Shutterstock

#2. Timing device assemblers and adjusters

– Total nationwide employment: 370
– Median hourly wage: $20.33
– Median annual wage: $42,290

A worker makes a measurement on a piece of wood.

Dusan Petkovic // Shutterstock

#1. Patternmakers, wood

– Total nationwide employment: 330
– Median hourly wage: $21.29
– Median annual wage: $44,290

 

Data reporting by Paxtyn Merten. Story editing by Jeff Inglis. Copy editing by Robert Wickwire. 

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How to build company culture in a scale-up

Culture is no small thing, and according to Virtual Gurus founder and CEO Bobbie Racette, communication — and even getting uncomfortable — is key.

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Bobbie Racette
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Anyone can type out a vision, mission statement, and outline some core values. But Bobbie Racette, the founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus, took things one step further: she made sure it was posted at the entrance to the company’s office with messages of inclusion and acceptance. 

She says those messages are a central part of the company culture, which she sees as a shared belief in acceptance that unites the approximately 50 people working in the company’s headquarters.

But even with such a visible statement, she struggled to maintain a company-wide focus as the start-up grew and expanded. 

“Even though the pandemic was still 300 percent, year over growth, we broke internally,” said Racette. “Because our culture was just a mess.”

For Racette, it required her to realize she couldn’t just instill that culture and stress its importance to her leadership team, hoping it would trickle down. She couldn’t just put it on a wall. She had to model those beliefs and bring them directly to all of her employees. 

And she had to listen. 

So, what really is culture?

The struggle of building and maintaining culture through rapid growth isn’t rare. The start-up world is littered with companies that lost their way. 

Culture is no small thing. It’s the foundation of a business and helps guide decisions — from the big to the mundane. If the focus is sharp and the will is there, it will help guide who is hired and how they fit into the larger team. 

It’s not about what the office looks like, or free lunches and abundant snacks — the sort of perk-heavy, laid-back office that has come to be associated with tech startups. The atmosphere of a place is not the core of what it means to work there.

Finding and nurturing that core is particularly important for Racette and Virtual Gurus, which provides companies with remote workers on everything from social media to accounting, and focuses on providing employment for underrepresented communities. 

“I realized I had to pull back some of the perks and then push the values and I had to essentially retrain everybody to think, ‘wait, if I’m gonna get the perks, I gotta live with the mission, vision, and values, not the other way around,’” said Racette.

The culture she wanted at the company prioritizes inclusiveness, but also innovation, agility, and positivity. Racette realized it was critical to screen out those who didn’t buy in or could be toxic to the kind of workplace she needed for her company. 

Virtual Gurus’ purpose, goal, mission, and values

“I truly believe that in order to get comfortable, you have to get uncomfortable first. So our entire company had to go through an uncomfortable moment,” she said.

And those values she’s so determined to nurture are personal and hard-earned. 

“I have lived through the barriers of being an Indigenous woman, a queer Indigenous woman, who has tattoos and… can’t get a job,” she said at the recent mesh conference in Calgary. 

How do you maintain culture through growth or scale-up?

When Racette started the company in 2016, maintaining that culture was easy.

She was the only employee. 

Then came funding rounds and growth. More employees in the office, but also more and more virtual assistants — over 1,000 at last count — spread across North America. 

“You can run a company all day long, but when you’re scaling, you have to pivot left, right, and center all the time,” Racette told mesh conference attendees.

“And so when you pivot, you have to take your whole company and pivot with you, and when you’re doing that you have to keep the culture during that.”

Screening out those elements toxic to the culture at Virtual Gurus was an important step. Research has shown that toxic culture is a big driver of what’s been dubbed “the Great Resignation.”

Racette also followed the advice from organizations and other businesses when it comes to managing growth and culture — from hiring to setting targets and ensuring she is accountable for both change and cultural stability. 

Communication, she said in a recent interview, was key. 

“I send out weekly CEO updates by email, and then we’ll have all-hands meetings twice a month, and I host those,” said Racette. “So I’m very communicative about why and how the culture is changing.”

Central to that communication is allowing staff to offer feedback, listening closely to what they’re saying — and not being afraid of criticism. She now does what she calls a daily “lion hunt,” going through the office and checking in with employees.

She also says there has been an increased focus on all of the virtual assistants who form the backbone of the company, but who can’t be there in person for her walks around the office. The company has created a virtual hub to maintain those connections, providing incentives and perks, while also emphasizing the importance of the company values and mission. 

“We don’t just treat them like a number,” Racette said. 

But like those words written at the entrance to the company office, it takes more than spelling it out and carrying on. 

“You can talk about it all day long, it’s actioning it,” said Racette. “And that’s one thing I’ve noticed with us is we were talking about the culture, but we weren’t actually actioning it.”

And, of course, incentives work too. Racette says employee bonuses worth four to eight percent of their salary now hinge on whether they follow the company values.

How has work culture changed over time?

Contemporary workplaces, and certainly startups, are a different beast than the offices of old. They are nimble and often more flexible. And unlike many formal offices, there’s no dress code at Virtual Gurus.

But it’s also about how company’s measure and value work — something that can have a profound impact on culture. 

“I think it’s changed from being activity and action-driven to being more outcomes-focused,” said Racette. 

At her office, employees aren’t judged for showing up late, or engaging in more activities that don’t necessarily lead to the right kind of results. If it takes five hours for someone to do all their work, then so be it. 

Racette wants her staff to be accepting of those around them, and to be adaptable in the face of constant change. In order to get there, it only makes sense to put that same faith in her employees, leading down to nurture that all-important culture. 

“You can’t fix your culture or have a good culture unless people have a psychologically safe space to work,” she said.

Stepping off an elevator and seeing a wall plastered with good intentions is one thing, but walking into an office where employees are all committed to goals based on those shared values is another, more successful thing altogether. 

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Rising costs, work-life balance among top mental health stressors for Canadian entrepreneurs

A look at BDC’s latest survey results on mental health challenges for Canadian entrepreneurs.

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Have you recently gone into business for yourself? BDC’s latest survey indicates a higher likelihood of you facing some mental health challenges. 

And you’re more likely to seek professional help if you’re a: 

  • Women
  • Younger business owner
  • Business owner with 20+ employees
  • Business owner in the arts, entertainment, and recreation fields
  • Startup business owner

While men and older business owners were less likely to seek professional health, that doesn’t necessarily equal fewer mental health challenges. 

Indeed, BDC’s latest survey on 1,500 Canadian SME business owners and mental health illuminates a concerning 45% increase in Canadian business owners facing mental health challenges (compared to 38% last year). 

Here are some more highlights from the report: 

More Canadian entrepreneurs feel tired and depressed, with fewer seeking help

The survey responses show that 67% of entrepreneurs felt tired and low-energy at least once a week. Similarly, nearly 50% felt depressed and like they didn’t accomplish everything they would have liked to. 

“Entrepreneurs often comment that it feels lonely at the top and rarely speak candidly about organizational and personal challenges,” said Hassel Aviles, co-founder of Not 9 to 5. 

While certain groups are more likely to seek support than others, the survey still only shows about a third (35%) of respondents actually sought mental health support. 

And the hesitation isn’t a matter of pride. The top barrier to seeking help was the high costs of mental health services, with uncertainty and discomfort discussing things following close behind. 

“I currently pay out-of-pocket for a private therapist,” said one anonymous survey respondent. “I am very grateful for that, and I click with my therapist well, but it typically costs me $200- $400 per month. This is a hard expense to tend to in the current economic situation.”

Inflation and work-life balance are top stressors

The survey showed that 54% of entrepreneurs cited inflation and work-life balance as top stressors. The two go hand-in-hand, since rising costs fuel longer hours to make ends meet. Notably, work-life balance was a more sought-after support to mitigate the stress, followed by better access to mental health resources. 

“Inflation rates and other factors are affecting their businesses in ways that are harder to control, leaving many entrepreneurs resorting to working even longer hours just to stay afloat,” said Annie Marsolais, CMO at BDC. 

Small business owners are just as mentally strained as medium business owners

You might assume these findings apply more to “bigger” business owners with 20+ employees. But the survey profile indicates that 88% of respondents have under 20 employees, with 56% having under five employees. 

“As individuals, we can’t control the rates of inflation and the stress it may cause,” said Aviles. “But we can learn to manage our reactions to that stress. Learning how to do this is an opportunity to create separation between who we are and the work we do, which is healthy, and supports the work-life balance entrepreneurs are seeking to achieve.”

Read BDC’s full survey results

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