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How the digital economy can create added value

How the digital economy can create added value

It takes a few taps on your smartphone to order lunch, request a ride or pay a bill. Without these digital tools and technologies, there would be few ways that we would be able to efficiently work, learn, shop and have fun.

The coronavirus pandemic has given rise to the digital economy, and businesses are leveraging technology to create value for consumers and employees.

The e-commerce boom

Self-isolation, lockdown restrictions and the closure of non-essential retailer outlets have changed the way we shop, to the point where it has triggered a sudden increase in online shopping activity in recent months. So much so that online shopping transactions surged as much as 60% during Black Friday 2020, compared to Black Friday the previous year.

Hordes of brick-and-mortar shoppers have been forced to migrate online to do their shopping or face winding queues and increased exposure to coronavirus infection. Those who have been bitten by the online shopping bug or at least supplemented their shopping activity with e-commerce, are taking advantage of same-day delivery, click-and-collect facilities and other value-added services. 

‘’Hey Jude experienced a sharp increase in Black Friday/Weekend and Cyber Monday requests, assisting users with finding the best deals and facilitating the entire purchasing process through a single point of contact – the Hey Jude app,’’ says Cleonè Bakker, Head of Commercial at Hey Jude.

Work vs personal time

The more the lines between work and personal life are distorted, the more on-site employees and people working remotely will have less time to do the things they love or value. Everyday activities like preparing dinner, physical exercise and family time are already difficult to get to in a day’s work, let alone juggling virtual meetings, remote learning, paying utility bills or renewing one’s driver’s licence.

‘’Digital technologies like Hey Jude – the world’s first human-powered digital assistant for busy people – are simplifying the lives of people by providing them with solutions to the challenges they face during these protracted periods of lockdown,’’ says Bakker.

The power of online platforms

Digital platforms are being leveraged to reach audiences, enhance offerings and cash-in on the potential of recurring revenues. Global giants, education institutions, celebs and influencers alike are connecting with online audiences on channels like Instagram Live and Facebook Watch to provide personal, meaningful content based on unique tastes, keeping users engaged and giving them something to come back for more.

‘’We’re seeing more requests for online fitness classes, webinars and virtual concerts as restrictions on physical gatherings and live events persist. Users can access highly customised content on-demand and in their own time, in the comfort and safety of their homes,’’ says Bakker.

Digitisation of healthcare

Advancements in digital technology are democratising healthcare and enabling medical professionals to diagnose and give advice to patients remotely, eliminating the need for physical consultations.

‘’Due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the mental and physical health on employees, we’re seeing more organisations turn to digital technology to facilitate healthcare and wellbeing programmes for employees and their families. We’re also seeing more users interested in the possibility of accessing GPs, councillors and psychiatrists virtually,’’ says Bakker.

In a time when people have less control over their lives than before, business leaders should utilise the benefits of digital technology to create value for customers and employees now and beyond the pandemic.

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Gearing up for 2021

Gearing up for 2021: Implementing the right processes for retaining and attracting talent

Few would have predicted that the first year of the third decade of the millennium would be turned on its head by a global pandemic. What was to be ‘twenty plenty’ became an anomaly with events that went beyond the realm of normal expectations and changed the way we work, live and play.

Most people have put 2020 behind them and set their sights on 2021. The main objective: not to get caught off guard again. Preparedness for the future has never been as high on the agenda for both individual and business. Be it upskilling to side-step redundancy and remain relevant, embracing technology and investing in digital transformation, and pivoting to turn profits, employees and employers have their work cut out for them in ensuring they are prepared for what lies ahead in 2021.

Productivity and performance

It’s safe to say that the new norm has created a working world where remote-based teams can coordinate efforts to successfully run a business. But success comes down to how well employees are equipped and supported by their employers in terms of remote working. According to the Remote Working in South Africa 2020 Report, only 23.5% of companies had a detailed strategy in place for remote working prior to lockdown. What’s worse, 60.5% of South African businesses do not have a clear stance yet on whether they will allow continued remote working in future. This leaves a lot to be desired about corporate South Africa’s appetite for supporting employees’ desires for working from home.

“Employees’ lives will be no less complicated than they were during the hard lockdown. Individuals will increasingly look to their employers to equip them with the latest technology, tools and training so that they can be at the top of their game, day in and out. Not only will they expect to be empowered to get the job done, but also in their personal lives,” says Shabadh Mathura, Head of New Business at Hey Jude.

The flexible options offered by Hey Jude, a human-powered digital assistant, add value to the lives of employees and their families. The combination of essential solutions and humans in the loop – such as expert assistants, concierge drivers and qualified teachers – enables Hey Jude to solve what’s important to users and keeps them connected during the lockdown and beyond.

Employee health and wellness

The health and well-being of employees is critical to business success. The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone from CEO to general workers, with financial uncertainty, childcare and schooling challenges, and concerns related to family health and wellbeing among the major stressors.

“During the hard lockdown, we were receiving daily requests like getting medication delivered and finding suppliers of PPE equipment. But as the lockdown continued, we saw more health and wellness type requests come in, such as assisting with finding online workouts, arranging motivational speakers for webinars, and suggesting the best sleep apps,” says Mathura.

“Organisations need to implement processes that address mental health in the workplace, provide emotional support and encourage healthy lifestyles,” says Mathura. “With Hey Jude, employers can offer employees a direct line to experts for advice and support. If an employee is suffering from anxiety, they can be connected with a counsellor, or if they are battling to make ends meet, they can talk to a financial advisor to better manage their money, or even use Dial-A-Teacher for assistance with home-schooling,” Mathura goes on to say.

Attracting and retaining talent

The lockdown has given many employees time to consider their purpose in life and whether their career or the organisation for which they work is sustainable. Come 2021, employees and job candidates are likely to judge organisations based on its contribution to society, the environment and sustainability, and the satisfaction of their people rather than profitability.  

“The role of HR will be integral in retaining and attracting talent. Leaders must empower HR executives to create and maintain a working environment and corporate culture that looks after the well-being of employees and cultivates purposeful work and productivity,” says Mathura.  

“HR professionals should also be prepared and equipped to go fully virtual in terms of hiring candidates. We’re seeing more businesses looking at training technologies for onboarding employees remotely and enhancing this with digital assistants to walk employees through processes and be on standby to offer advice,” says Mathura.

By embracing and implementing technologies like Hey Jude now, businesses can better prepare and position themselves in 2021 to attract and retain talent and ultimately remain relevant in a post-COVID world.

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10 things to tick off this summer

The countdown to the festive season has begun! With so much to do in such little time, our Judes thought it would be beneficial to round up the top 10 tasks to help you get things sorted this summer and make it a December to remember.

1. Get your kids through exams

Whether your child needs assistance with exam preparation or just needs some career guidance, Hey Jude is here to help. We’ll put your kids in touch with qualified teachers to help gear them up with revision, past exam papers, study tips and any other exam-related questions.

2. Go on holiday

Summer isn’t cancelled after all! Time to take a break and go on holiday because you’ve earned it. Just mention a destination and Hey Jude will help you find suitable and comfy accommodation, at rates that meet your budget. We’ll also arrange affordable flights to get you there and car hire to get you around town.  

3. Get your ride ready

Before you hit the road this festive season, ensure that your vehicle undergoes all the necessary safety checks and balances. Hey Jude will assist you with best prices on tyres, including fitment, balancing and wheel alignment, as well as arranging a service at a time that suits you.

4. Wrap up your festive shopping

Looking for something special for that special someone or just want to treat yourself to something nice? Get your shopping out the way by sending your Jude your festive shopping wish list, and we’ll track down top deals and specials and arrange delivery to your door.

5. Beef up security

December is known as a time when criminals target vacant homes and loaded wallets. It’s called silly season for a reason, so be prepared for the worst. Speak to Hey Jude about your security requirements. 

6. Get outdoors

Going on leave and have zero plans? Make the most of your time off by exploring new places and going on new adventures. Reach out to your Jude about exciting outdoor activities and experiences near you, and we’ll be sure to make your December one to remember.

7. Get DIY tasks done and dusted

Get those lifelong projects off the ground and overdue DIY tasks done and dusted. Whether it’s finding specific supplies to mount that mirror or a specialist to install a canopy on your 4×4, we’re here to raise your DIY game by putting you in touch with the experts. 

8. Relax for real

Keep calm and kick back. Whether it’s enjoying a delicious meal with your family or revitalising mind, body and soul at a spa, just tell us where and when and we’ll make it happen.

9. Gear up for 2021

Want to get a head start before the new year arrives? Get geared now so that you’re ready to conquer 2021. Thinking about changing careers or insurance

9. Gear up for 2021

Want to get a head start before the new year arrives? Get geared now so that you’re ready to conquer 2021. Thinking about changing careers or insurance providers? Want to kick-start your 2021 fitness goals? Hey Jude is here to help you get it all done.

10. Download Hey Jude

If 2020 was anything to go by, the one thing that you’ll need going into 2021 is a tool to help simplify your life. Hey Jude is the world’s first human-powered digital assistance service that saves you time and money by helping you to get things done. Download the Hey Jude app by visiting the App Store or Google Play Store.

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Turning Black Friday flings into long, fruitful customer relationships

It’s that time of the year when arguably the world’s biggest retail shopping spree of the year takes off: Black Friday. Over the years, the one-day-only event has morphed into a weekend special and soon-to-be bumper month-long shopping bonanza.   

From a retail and e-commerce standpoint, cashing in on consumer appetite to splash out on big deals just before the festive season makes total business sense. In 2019, seemingly cash-strapped South Africans spent R6 billion on Black Friday – a whopping 33% year-on-year growth from 2018 – while Cyber Monday garnered a 42% growth in online transactions in the same year, ending on a total of 249 908 (up from 176 595 in 2018).

These are the type of figures that business bigwigs get excited about – all that’s needed is to jump on the Black Friday bandwagon, brandish a selection of specials in front of shopaholics and credit-fuelled customers and you could be laughing all the way to the bank. Overheads, staff overtime and website downtime may go through the roof, but making a quick buck is all worth it, right?

Wrong. Here’s why Black Friday is not all that it’s hyped up to be:

When Black Friday comes around, a business’s worst customers become their most prized customers virtually overnight. Businesses tend to invest heavily in low-value customers, with the hopes that doing so will rake in sales volumes equal to or exceeding those of high-value customers. The reality is that instead of enjoying ongoing relationships with loyal customers who make multiple purchases throughout the year, year-on-year, businesses ride their luck on low-margin purchases made by shoppers who are likely to go for specials and only shop again this time next year.

Consumer behaviour today is very different from when Black Friday first became a thing. People are more conscious about consumption – they’re basing their buying decisions on whether a brand and its offering align with their lifestyles, and are equally focused on the value they get out of a product and service. If a consumer feels that their needs are being satisfied and their well-being is being looked after 24/7/365, they won’t feel the urge to spend unnecessarily on things they don’t actually need, on a once-off shopping event.

So, how does a business go from ‘weekend special’ to ‘lifetime provider’ in the eyes of the consumer? When you anticipate customers’ needs by offering unique benefits and unrivalled customer service, not only are you adding value to their lives beyond transactions, but you are also building solid customer relationships and brand affinity that go beyond once-off purchases.  

See more in our ‘All-year-round vs Black Friday’ infographic below

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Does digital assistance make insurance relevant beyond loss coverage?

In an era of digitisation and disruption, one aspect where most insurers come up short is providing real value beyond the insurance policy.

Traditionally, insurers and brokers have (and continue to) only really engage with policyholders when it comes to policy renewals, claims and premium increases. Of course, leaders in insurance have raised the game by offering incentivised programmes that reward policyholders for driving well and not claiming. Others have supplemented customer service by developing platforms that enable policyholders to manage profiles, submit claims, get quotes online, and assess and update their policies. Some have gone as far as rewarding policyholders with cash back, and of course there is the basic hygiene factors to all policies that cover road and home assistance.

This is all great, but in a world where individual customisation and consumers want to be treated as individuals, with highly personal and customised content, insurers need to take value-added services to the next level if they want to future-proof their businesses. With lockdown restrictions seemingly here to stay, consumers are weighing up their options and fixed insurance policies are high on the ‘things-I-can-do-without-right-now lists, especially if they are spending more time at home and travelling less. If an insurance policy no longer aligns to one’s lifestyle, what is the point of paying a monthly premium for it?

Innovations and disruptions like flexible, on-demand insurance that can be switched on and off with the swipe of a smartphone, are changing the way we think about and use insurance. But as efficient as these customisable insurance solutions may be, they leave much to be desired in terms of tethering the disconnect between insurer and policyholder. The question begs, what if an insurance provider could fully immerse itself in a policyholder’s everyday life by providing them with more than just an insurance product?

What if a policyholder who is in the market for a new vehicle, could reach out to an on-demand broker or insurer in an app to assist them in finding the right car at the right price? Or if a policyholder is prompted in-app by a broker in their pocket to get their gutters cleaned before the rainy season approaches, with the option of getting a service provider to get it done for them?

A digital assistant platform that uses AI and real humans can be used as a tool to connect a policyholder’s world. Insurers can connect insurable assets to policyholders and their insurance policies and engage them on policy-related services when and where they need it. For the policyholder, being able to rely on their insurer for around-the-clock advice and assistance, would mean less hassle to get prerequisites sorted and their stuff covered. With Hey Jude, policyholders can be assisted with claims by helping them source replacements at the best price, saving them valuable time and money. Policyholders can be connected to brokers 24/7 and can enjoy the benefits of thousands of suppliers and service providers, even when not claiming. Most importantly, Hey Jude helps policyholders delegate the less valuable tasks in their lives so that they have more time to focus on the important things. For the insurer, adding value to the lives of policyholders beyond the policy not only makes the process of adding insurable assets to policies more efficient, but it also makes the business relevant beyond product or service.

Signing up for a product poorly understood and perceived as a grudge purchase by the layman during a complicated and challenging time, might seem inconceivable for most consumers. If innovations like on-demand insurance can give consumers the power to choose cover when and as they need it, then aligning lifestyles to cover and augmenting that with on-demand assistance could be the answer to insurance becoming essential, if not indispensable to consumers.

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Hey Jude Covid Care Package

PWA Solution

Hey Jude has identified a rapid, cost-effective way to roll out the Hey Jude platform worldwide. The Hey Jude COVID Care Package comprises a powerful employee value proposition that adds value to the lives of employees and their families, by providing them with vital assistance tools through an easily accessible and user-friendly Progressive Web App (PWA).

Why the COVID Care Package?

The COVID Care Package caters for the needs of both organisations and employees facing unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID-19 crisis.

The programme is designed to boost the HR mandate of increasing morale and productivity of employees, bolster talent attraction and retention, and promote company cultures that care for the well-being of employees, beyond the pay cheque.

Adopting this short-term solution enables businesses to address the immediate needs of employees and keep them engaged, while also ensuring the business remains relevant and reduces expenditure.

How it works

  • The Hey Jude COVID Care Package is a six month programme
  • Hey Jude harnesses the power of people and technology to provide businesses with Intelligence Augmentation – a better, smarter and more cost-effective way to engage with employees

What you get

Services/products:

  1. Bespoke Hey Jude digital personal assistant (Progressive Web App)
  2. Grocery coupons:
    1. Dis-Chem and Shoprite Checkers coupons valued up to R5 000 per employee, per month
    1. Airtime discounts
  3. Discounted rates on fibre connectivity products
  4. Financial assistance for employees under financial strain
  5. Access to Hello Teacher – a tutor service for learners in Grade 1 to 12 for all major subjects in the South African syllabus, in all 11 official languages

Add-ons:

  • Monthly PowerBI reporting
  • Standard marketing pack
  • Informational web page on the campaign

Reporting

Hey Jude provides analytic solutions for clients to gain deeper insights into understanding employee behavior. We use Power BI – a programme that transforms company data into rich visuals in a single dashboard – so that you can get a comprehensive perspective on what matters most to your business and its employees.

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What is a PWA and how will it transform the digital world?

What if we said that there’s a hybridised version of an app and a website rolled into one easily accessible and user-friendly digital platform? Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) offer the best of both worlds and Hey Jude is launching its very own PWA in the form of a COVID Care Package.

What is a PWA?

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website that is developed with techniques that enhance the mobile experience, compared to a typical mobile-optimised site.

PWAs harness the features and capabilities of a mobile application and a website to create quick, reliable and engaging interactions with users. In its intended form, a PWA should be indistinguishable from a typical mobile app, but with the benefit of being multi-platform and deployable without it living on an app store.

How are PWAs relevant in South Africa?

Many South Africans do not have access to Wi-Fi or fibre and cannot afford mobile data, so downloading an app is simply not an option. Users also want instant gratification, so if browsing speeds are slow, they will simply lose patience and navigate to another website.

Since the majority of internet consumption happens on mobile phones, the optimisation of the mobile user experience is essential. PWAs tick this box – and trumping their technological counterparts in some aspects – as they are more accessible to the average user, and offer faster and more reliable browsing experiences.

Not only are PWAs more feasible in providing the best possible user experience from a time and cost point of view (compared to digital native apps), they are also an optimal way of connecting and engaging with customers or employees.

What is the Hey Jude PWA?

Hey Jude has rolled out a PWA version of its award-winning digital platform, catering for the needs of both employee and organisation in the current COVID-19 world.

The COVID Care Package is a six-month programme that comprises a powerful employee value proposition that adds value to the lives of employees and their families, by providing them with vital assistance tools through an easily accessible and user-friendly PWA.

Adopting this cost-effective, short-term solution enables businesses to address the immediate needs of employees and keep them engaged, while also ensuring the business remains relevant and reduces expenditure. The PWA can be fully customised to a business’s unique requirements or integrated into existing systems, platforms or apps through various methods, including API and mobile SDKs.

For more information about integrating The COVID Care Package into your business, visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Harnessing the power of data to improve customer experiences

The more connected a person feels with a brand, the more likely they are to do business with it. Such connections are driven by the ability of a business to understand exactly what its customers want or the type of experiences they’re after. 

Customers are smarter than ever. They are hyperconnected across an array of channels –both digital and non-digital – and their expectations have changed to such an extent, that personalised experiences are valued higher than a need or want of a particular product or service. In the post-pandemic, ‘new normal’ world, the pressure is on for businesses to deliver on and exceed such expectations.  

To keep up with constantly changing technology and customer expectations, businesses must harness the power of data to connect their entire supply chain and place customers at the centre of it. Having data on-tap gives business deeper insights into customers, and are equipped to provide seamless interactions across multiple channels and platforms. 

But data is useless unless you know how to use it to best serve your customers.  

At Hey Jude, we know our users are worried about wasted time, concerned about quality versus cost of work, and are anxious to offload tasks to others. Data integrated in a connected ecosystem results in the reduction of inefficiencies and complications associated with having too many moving parts. 

The subscription economy is characterised by consumers that expect customisation, with meaningful value and exactly when they need it. Hey Jude can analyse personal preferences such as tastes and style, as well as personal requirements like diet, location, price, to deliver a personal, meaningful experience. But this data only completes a portion of the value – knowing when to access it, and how to use it, is key to the user journey. 

The breadth and depth of our data – in a single and unified repository – makes Hey Jude relevant, resulting in value created for our users and corporate clients. The client is catapulted into a trust relationship with their customers by providing real, personal and relevant engagement in all areas of their lives. We are able to use this data for larger data-science and machine learning projects. We aggregate and interrogate data and use play books and protocols to guide members on the best solutions, and we do this only when it is absolutely relevant to them. 

Integrating data into your business process through solutions like Hey Jude, enables you to make smarter decisions and become more proactive about your employees’ and customers’ needs. This, in turn, creates long-lasting, positive experiences and results in satisfied customers and increased productivity among employees. 

For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Six ways Hey Jude can bolster your business

Harnessing the strengths and capabilities of strategic partners is a catalyst for enhanced customer experiences. In a highly competitive business environment, value-aligned partnerships that focus on collective objectives are fundamental to ensuring business success.

Integrating Hey Jude’s human-powered digital assistant platform into your business enables the following benefits:

Increased relevance and market share

Hey Jude is a platform for businesses to offer solutions that make the lives of employees and customers, as well as other partners, in your ecosystem simple. This means that, because your business is valued for initiatives beyond your traditional offering, customers become more receptive to your marketing, and you earn greater relevance and share of market.

Connecting your value chain

The Hey Jude platform enables you to streamline communication between your employees, customers and suppliers. Integrating a single human and AI managed platform that “connects the dots”, allows for organisational silos to be broken down and for better and faster fulfilment of business tasks. 

Improved productivity

Judes get things done quicker than what employees can do themselves. They’re basically an extra pair of hands and brains that enable an employee to focus on work without having to worry about personal tasks. No longer does a team member need to step out just to get their driver’s licence renewed, if their trusty Jude is online and at their service to handle it on their behalf.

Streamlining communication

More people are relying on digital assistance services to cut out time-consuming admin like sourcing suppliers, sourcing information, and booking appointments. But, because Hey Jude is manned by smart people who speak to members on a personal level, they solve what’s important to members in a specific moment. If an executive is running behind schedule for an important business meeting, for instance, one voice note to their Jude is all it takes to inform attendees about the delay or getting the whole thing rearranged.   

Gain deeper insights into your customers

With rich customer data, you gain deeper insights into the life of each customer, enabling you to ultimately provide a better service. Through artificial intelligence, Hey Jude can analyse member requests and data for interests, sentiment, emotion and opinion, and then build individual customer profiles that enables everyone from your salesforce to accounts to offer an even better personalised service. 

Enhanced service offering 

By providing your customers solutions that anticipate their needs – such as in-app payments – as opposed to merely offering voice search capabilities, your business becomes valued, trusted and indispensable. By integrating Hey Jude into your business, not only will your customers save time, money and effort, but an enhanced experience will deepen emotional connections and entrench your brand in their lives.

For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Mental health: How HR executives can be proactive in the workplace

Before the coronavirus was even a blip on the world’s radar, working from home was considered a perk, one that was used sparingly in South Africa. Today, it’s the norm, with dining room tables converted to work desks and kids and pets regularly interrupting business meetings with colleagues.  

Remote working is necessary to enable many businesses to carry on operating, while simultaneously protecting the health of their employees. But there’s a significant difference between choosing to work remotely on the odd occasion and it being a directive from the government, with no tangible end in sight. 

Physical distancing is obligatory during this pandemic, however, it raises very real and unavoidable challenges for those working from home. Aside from the obvious like connectivity issues, technology hiccups and distractions (The garden service mowing the lawn, washing that needs to be hung up, home schooling kids – take your pick!), there are also emotional and mental considerations. 

“There’s never been a more important time for businesses to keep staff motivated and mentally connected,” says Adrian Zanetti, general manager at Hey Jude, the world’s first human-powered digital assistant. “And during this period of physical distancing, it’s access to technology that’s really enabling organisations to look after the wellbeing and morale of their employees.” 

At its core, Hey Jude is a service that gets things done. By relieving some of the mental strain these daily tasks can have, Hey Jude helps members live life a little better each time they use the service. However, Hey Jude’s pièce de résistance, is its team of human “Judes”, who man the service, providing just that human interaction that employees need. Not only are they helping employees get tasks done, but they also provide a welcome link to an outside world.  

“Our Judes handle a vast array of lifestyle tasks every day, and these can range from finding a supplier of contact lenses to getting medication delivered. But the longer the lockdown lasts, the more we’re seeing requests for things like finding motivational speakers, arranging parenting skills webinars and suggesting the best sleep apps. Whatever the task our Judes perform, our corporate clients see the value as it enables them to positively impact the lives of their employees. And, because it easily integrates into existing employee wellness programmes, HR executives can use the service to ensure that their employees are connected and supported while working from home,” says Zanetti.

For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.