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Build Strong Relationships with your Remote Team

Remote employees are mentally and physically happier, which is part of the new normal. It gives employers more hiring options, and a company will have productive and satisfied staff if done correctly. For example, research from Owl Labs found that remote and hybrid employees were 22% happier than workers in an onsite office environment and stayed in their jobs longer.

However, there are still challenges when it comes to remote workers, and it can be challenging to maintain consistent communication with your team to combat the increased feelings of loneliness and isolation. Therefore, staying productive and boosting morale is essential to building strong work relationships.

Whether your team is entirely virtual or hybrid, and you want to build strong relationships with your team, staying connected is critical. These strategies will help.

Schedule virtual breaks

Employees working remotely still need breaks during the day. Let people know when you take your coffee break, and invite them to join you. Keep your virtual coffee break between 10 and 15 minutes and use small-group features like breakout rooms to encourage more discussion.

Create moments of connection

Before each work meeting, take a moment to check in with each employee. This practice became a routine during the pandemic and continuing to ask personal questions such as “How are you doing ?” can help build the healthy connections needed to combat feelings of isolation.

 Leverage visual collaboration software

Encouraging collaboration in the workplace is shown to increase productivity. According to a Stanford study, people who are encouraged to collaborate stick to a given task 64% longer than people who work alone. In addition, those same workers report higher engagement levels, less fatigue, and higher success rates. Visual collaboration software offers features that can imitate those used when working together in person. Collaboration can be achieved with technology, and every employee can contribute regardless of location.

Be proactive with status updates

You don’t want to be out of sight, out of mind when working remotely. Instead, take a proactive approach to schedule time with your manager—even if it’s just a 15- or 30-minute weekly call to check in.

Adapting to the new world of work can be challenging in many ways. But you can build strong relationships within your organization with a bit of ingenuity.

How to Create Better Work Experiences

The pandemic has transformed how we work and our expectations about work. There is a new awareness of how we work best— individually and collectively. This awareness is shaping new expectations about the physical workplace and how we manage its spaces. In addition, the new post-pandemic workplace must provide better work experiences and this means options.

Create places to work, reflect, and socialize in your office.

Rethink breakrooms and lobbies as places where employees can go to collaborate and even take a break from the screen. Telling your staff that they can take a break when needed and having space to do that will make them feel better about taking breaks when needed.

Revamp the Work Schedule.

Working from home is not for everyone, and by now, you can probably identify the workers that thrive in this setting and who do not. By revamping the work schedule to fit the individual needs of your staff, you will keep productivity and mental health positive. Hybrid is here to stay as well, so find a coworking space that has an option that fits your budget and schedule so your employees can work on their schedule when needed.

Being with other people is now an amenity.

As will all amenities, not everyone needs them to be productive. Coffee stations are critical to some employees, but not all. The same can be said for being with other people for work. With hybrid schedules, work from home, or a shared office solution, you can offer options to your staff to provide a better work experience where they individually thrive.
Post-pandemic is an excellent opportunity to create a new people-focused work experience that builds relationships and trust, fosters well-being, and promotes inclusion and equity. So hold a meeting with your team to get honest feedback on improving the work experience.

Remote vs. Hybrid Work: What is the difference?

Words matter, and when it comes to the words used to describe the changing landscape of work, they matter even more. Two words have been used since the pandemic, hybrid and remote. Although these words have been around for a while, they are now in our daily conversations. But do you know what they mean? Before COVID-19, the word hybrid was used to describe a car, not a work schedule, and remote working was not standard. So the purpose of this blog post is to explain the difference between the two, a little history on the evolution of work, how Work Webb can be used for both of these work schedules, and which option will dominate in the future of work.

Remote Work

Remote work is the practice of employees doing their jobs from a location other than a central office operated by the employer. Such locations could include an employee’s home, a co-working or other shared space, a private office, or any other place outside the traditional corporate office building or campus. Working from home is another phrase used interchangeably for this work schedule, and it has a long history that predates the invention of the internet.

Before the industrial revolution, skilled workers worked from home and sold goods. With the industrial revolution, there came a need for automation and factories. Then after World War 2, we saw the rise of the corporate headquarters, with cubicles and the invention of the eight-hour day. But the advancement of technology, specifically the creation of the internet and computer, remote working took centerstage.

Why is Remote Work Popular

Remote work has become increasingly popular because it benefits employers and employees. For example, remote workers tend to be more engaged and productive when working on their schedules. The graphic below shows the uptick for remote working as well hybrid.

Hybrid Work

Hybrid work is a flexible approach that allows employees to split their time between working in the office and working from home. Several factors are driving the move to the hybrid office, including the increasing popularity of hybrid work and the need for businesses to be more flexible and accommodating to employees. In short, you are in the office, collocated with colleges some days of the week, and working the rest remotely. This type of schedule will vary depending on the industry you work in and what is the most productive for you and your team.

What Will the Future of Work Look Like

Top executives believe Hybrid is the model that will dominate by 2024. In fact, a survey found that 81% of senior executives believe the future of work is a hybrid work model, with over 56% of work done outside of the office meaning remotely. So it looks like both of these options will be in the future.

How Work Webb Can Help

As mentioned in previous blog posts, working from home may not work for everyone. This is where a shared office solution, like Work Webb, comes into play. The option to drop in and get a desk for a day or rent a dedicated office is just two ways a co-working space can assist remote workers. Regarding a Hybrid work schedule, workers can rent our conference room by the hour or day to meet up as needed to collaborate, reducing travel costs for your company.

If you are looking for remote or hybrid office solutions in the Daytona Beach or Melbourne, Florida area, consider Work Webb. Visit our website to learn more and read what our Happy Clients say about our services.

Hybrid Office Evolution

The hybrid office is where employees have the option to work from home, in a remote location, or in the office. This option is becoming popular. It offers employees the flexibility to work from home when needed and the opportunity to collaborate with co-workers in the office. Several factors are driving the move to the hybrid office, including the increasing popularity of remote work and the need for businesses to be more flexible and accommodating to employees.

The Hybrid Office Started Before COVID

During the pandemic, employees worked from home. COVID did not start the work-from-home trend. In 2017, FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics reported that between 2005 and 2015, telecommuting half-time or more increased by 115%. The United States Census Bureau released this infographic in 2013. This graphic states that advances in technology contributed to the increase of remote workers and gave a breakdown of the industries of these home-based workers. Employers learned during the pandemic was remote workers performed as well as on-site employees. Staff now want to continue this work arrangement. Some employers are considering a hybrid work schedule to keep the employees happy.

Employees Have a New “Worth It” Equation

According to a study conducted by Microsoft COVID has reshaped the priorities of the workforce. This study reported that employees are prioritizing their health and wellbeing, acting on this concept. Fancy offices and free lunches are not the perks employees look for from a job any longer. Employees want a work-life balance – period. The best leaders will create a culture that embraces flexibility and prioritizes employee wellbeing.

The Big Compromise

Managers feel stuck between employee demands and leadership’s expectations on returning to the office full-time. A compromise will need to be made in some corporations. The younger generations are more opt to quit a job if they feel that their wellbeing is not as valued as their work performance, while older generations will be okay with the complete return to the office.
 
This is where the hybrid schedule comes into play. Having a flexible schedule might be the answer to making both managers and leadership happy. If employers use the right technology and communicate clearly, a hybrid environment can fit most needs. There is no one size fits all approach, but with co-working spaces set to double by 2023 most industries have the resources to create a productive work environment to meet their employees’ needs.
 
If you are looking for a shared office solution for your hybrid work schedule, or need a desk for the day as a remote worker to increase your productivity, consider Work Webb. We have two locations and a variety of options to suit most needs. Call us to schedule a tour.

The Best of Both Worlds: How to Create a Hybrid Work Environment

A hybrid work environment can offer the best of both worlds for employees – the flexibility to work from home when they need or want to, while still having the option to come into the office and collaborate with colleagues.” The hybrid work environment is becoming increasingly popular as more and more companies offer their employees the opportunity to work from home at least part of the time. Today, a majority of employees—some 81%—say they don’t want to return to the office or would prefer a hybrid-work scenario.

So how do you make a hybrid work environment work for you?

Set clear boundaries

Failing to draw a line dividing your work and home life can be detrimental to your mental and physical health, so set clear boundaries on what hours you are on the clock and stick to them. It is tempting to “check a few emails” when the office is just down the hall. But this type of practice can create terrible precedence that will negatively affect your mental health over time and will not establish a healthy hybrid work environment.

Create a flexible schedule

This one can get tricky, you want a flexible schedule, but your boss needs you at a meeting. So the best advice here is to make your schedule and stick to it as much as possible. For example, if Tuesdays seem to be a better time for most of your team to go into the office, then rearrange your schedule to provide consistent days where your attendance can be counted on for collaboration. 

Get the right equipment

The technology that enables remote work is another challenge; 90% experience issues when working from home.

 So make sure you have the right tools to work from home. The right tools mean a comfortable chair, desk, strong Wi-Fi signal, and a printer if needed. 

Work Webb can be your office away from the office and a temporary office while setting up your work environment at home. We provide all the technology needed to be connected to colleagues and have various options to choose from. Visit our website to see what our happy clients say and call us to book a tour. 

 

The Benefits of Having a Dedicated Desk

dedicated desk

The co-working space phenomenon has grown into an industry fast becoming a staple of the business landscape in a post-COVID world. Shared office solutions stimulate this business because the setup is the best of two worlds – the traditional office and remote working. The shared office space also offers professionals who like the co-working vibe but do not want to sacrifice their privacy with other options, namely dedicated desks.

A dedicated desk is a physical space within an office reserved for a specific person to use as their workspace. The desk is usually assigned to an individual rather than being shared by multiple people. The dedicated desk allows professionals a permanent space to work while also giving them additional advantages.

Here are several benefits of having a dedicated desk:

Increased Productivity

A dedicated desk can help increase your productivity as it provides you with a space that is specifically for you to use. This can help reduce distractions and help you focus on your work. Often, people feel comfortable in areas with a touch of personalization. Dedicated desks allow you to personalize your workspace and make you feel at home while working. The more comfortable people are in their personalized space, the more productive they will be.

Cost-Effective Option

It can be costly for companies to set up a separate space in the office for each employee. If employees have to pay for the area themselves, this can get pricey. For example, dedicated desks allow employees to have their own space while at the same time not breaking the bank.

Provides adaptability

The flexibility of the lease of a co-working space ensures that you can opt for a bigger space when business needs demand it. For instance, if traveling is included more in your job portfolio, the dedicated desks are a great idea. You don’t need an ample working space if you travel often.

As the office landscape continues to transform, more and more companies are migrating to co-working spaces, which offer privacy and teamwork. However, it would be best to consider getting a dedicated desk—it provides more privacy, better work management, and high productivity, which can be very beneficial to you and your business.

If you are looking for a dedicated desk in the Daytona Beach or Melbourne, Florida area, consider Work Webb. We have many options that can adapt to most business needs. Visit our website to learn more and read what our Happy Clients say about our services.

Organize your Work Environment for Improved Productivity

How you organize your work environment affects how your team behaves in that space, so strategically managing your office will help you create the company culture your team needs to hit their goals. Having a cluttered desk is not a sight that inspires one to have a productive day, much like waking up to a dirty kitchen. The appearance of clutter signals to your brain that there’s extra work to do before you can even start your daily tasks. When your brain feels overwhelmed by all this work, it triggers a stress response. Organizing your workspace reduces the frequency of that stress response, gives you a feeling of control and makes you more efficient.

You can take some easy organizational steps to quickly get ready for your day and not take up valuable work time.

Hide the Wires

organize your work environment

Let’s face it; the wires can get out of control with all of the monitors, computer towers, mice, laptops, phones, and chargers that adorn the typical office desk. Because reducing visual clutter helps minimize stress, hiding all these messy wires is essential. Roll up the slack in each cord and slap on a binder clip. This tip will quickly organize the cord maze under your desk.

Use Wall Space to Your Advantage

organize your work environment

Do you have free wall space near your desk? Don’t waste this valuable real estate. Instead, free up space on your desk by installing pegboards or wall shelves to sort mail, electronics, or office supplies. These times will still be handy and out of your way.

Organize your In-box

organize your work environment

Email consumes a lot of our time and can get overwhelming quickly. Think of your email as your digital desk and keep it organized as your physical workspace. Create folders in your email to sort your emails into easily digestible information like to-do lists and even prioritize them. Taking the time to unsubscribe to various marketing emails like newsletters that you no longer want to receive will also be a worthwhile spend of your time instead of deleting them because this will ultimately reduce the number of emails you have to deal with daily.

Declutter

First, look at your desk and throw away things you no longer need. That old grocery list, office depo receipt, or phone message should not be taking up space. Instead, get rid of the unnecessary paper from your workstation. Next, tackle the loose documents by using file folders. Bundle them according to topics that make sense to you and stack them. A pile of folders that look organized on a desk will look more pleasing than a pile of paper.

Implement a Workflow System

Pick a place on your desk as the “Things to Do” area and the file folder there. For example, folders with action items that must get done that day go on the right of your keyboard, and completed tasks go on the left. At the end of the day, the items on the left are removed from your workstation. This system will give you a sense of accomplishment, keep you on track to reduce the clutter on your desk, and organize your work environment.

How to Overcome the Challenges of Hybrid Work

While companies are preparing to bring their staff back into the office, some consider a hybrid work schedule as the new norm. This arrangement allows the employees to continue to work remotely while lowering the business’s overhead costs, but it does come with challenges. But how is this new schedule implemented at no expense to their employee experience?

The specifics must be planned out for your individual business needs, and if done correctly, a hybrid work schedule can be a win-win for everyone.

Here are a few common problems and solutions.

Misalignment between in-office and remote employees

Hybrid working can create a disconnect between employees working in the office and those not. One of the main appeals of hybrid is the balance between independence and collaboration, and you need to make sure your hybrid working arrangement encourages both.

One way to overcome this problem is to set specific days for in-office work and make those days focus on collaboration. In contrast, the days when everyone’s working from home are reserved for more independent work, which doesn’t require (as much) in-person interaction.

Office Costs

Depending on how your company intends to balance this new schedule, keeping a dedicated office could waste resources. With a hybrid work schedule, you will need some office space.

One of your best options is probably a coworking office space or another company to share it with.

Labor costs

It makes sense that remote employees aren’t entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses and should instead be compensated for using their own internet and electricity. But how do you balance that in a hybrid setting?
Offer the employees the choice and let them know of the tradeoffs and/or changes to their benefits in advance. They can then decide on what is best for them.

Managing the Employee Experience

A hybrid schedule is a big disrupter in traditional office settings. Company culture is experienced much differently for employees mainly working in the office versus those working remotely. This is especially relevant for new employees who need to get onboarded in a remote or hybrid setting.

Strive to keep the experience as balanced as possible and remember to offer everyone the choice. Plan company events with hybrid top of mind, potentially in combination with more in-person get-togethers, and ask other companies what they do on this issue.

Work Webb can assist you to implement a hybrid work schedule with its menu of options. We have two locations, Daytona Beach and Melbourne, Florida, with dedicated parking and conveniently located to restaurants. Read what our happy clients have to say about our services and call us to schedule a tour.

How to Organize Your Desk

Organize Your Desk

Your work environment is often a reflection of how you feel. Some people are more organized and have a more personal style while others are less. Your workstation needs to be set up to accommodate your needs and productivity best. It should also be comfortable and conducive to work.  If you find yourself overwhelmed by piles of paperwork and disorganized files, it’s time to take action. Here are some suggestions for how to organize your desk:

Prioritize your stuff

Your desktop is big enough to house all of the things that you probably don’t need. It’s time to get organized. Remove all the items from your desk at the beginning of your day and as you work, only bring up the things you need. This will tell you what is essential to keep on your desk to be more productive and efficient.

Go with the workflow

Many people have left-to-right tendencies when it comes to their work environment. This means that incoming items are on the left, while outgoing items are on the right. Creating a no-parking zone around your desk can help reduce stress levels.

Reduce visual clutter

The desktop may be orderly, but it can also be cluttered. If there are too many things to do, it can become a distraction. Organize your desk by removing notes from around your computer screen to create a clean view. Replace some to-do lists with an inspirational quote or a photo that brings you joy, so your desk has some work-life balance.

Go digital

If you haven’t migrated to digital productivity tools yet, then it’s time to get started. This will help you organize and communicate more effectively, and it will also give you the tools to monitor and manage your tasks.

Check under your desk

The cords and cables under your desk are not only a safety hazard; they can also damage your skin. Use Velcro wraps and cord tamers to prevent tangles and give your feet more room. If you have old boxes of files under your desk, go through them to see what you can discard.

Wipe it down

Get into the habit of regularly cleaning your work area. Doing so helps keep your office looking its best and create a healthy space to be productive.

For more office tips, sign up to receive future Water Cooler blogs emailed to you. If you are looking for a shared office solution in the Daytona Beach or Melbourne, Florida area, visit our website to see our options and call us to schedule a tour.

 

Location is Critical When Choosing an Office

location

The old saying, “It’s all about location, location, location,” is true and applies when looking for a flexible office space for your business needs. As we have discussed in previous blog posts, the options provided by the shared office solution need to fit your needs, but the location of the space is just as critical. We recommend taking the time to write down your “must-have” list of location requirements, then research to see what office space fits both your location requirements and your “must-have” office options.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started on your “Must Have List.”

Convenient

Your office location needs to close to what you need to conduct business. For example, if you need to be near the courthouse, it doesn’t’ make sense to rent a space across town away from the courts. On the other hand, you want to be located in an area convenient for your clients. But it is not all about your clients; consider the commute from your home and determine the maximum time you want to drive to work.

Dedicated Parking

Nothing is more frustrating than a client arriving at an office building for a meeting and then not finding parking. After the client drives around finding parking, they are frustrated and possibly late for the meeting setting a negative tone. Avoid this by choosing a shared office solution with plenty of decided parking, so this is not a problem.

Close to Restaurants

Grabbing a quick lunch is not possible if your office space is not near any restaurants, so make sure you consider this when choosing a office space.

Safe Area

Choosing a safe area seems obvious that it should not have to be listed, but what is safe for one person may not be the same for your clients. Visit the areas you are considering leasing space at various times of the day to ensure it is a safe area. Early morning meetings might happen, and if your office is a little sketchy before the sun comes up, clients will not feel comfortable or safe.

Nice view

This one is a little unfair because not every office is lucky enough to be in sunny Florida, but hey, we are, and it’s a plus that we can advertise gorgeous views from some of our office options. Nothing beats a great view from your desk and if this is important to you (like it is for us), add it to the list.

The location of your office needs to meet your professional and personal requirements. Create your list using these tips and take a tour of the facilities you are considering to see how many check off your requirements.  If you are looking for flexible office space in the Daytona Beach or Melbourne, Florida area, visit our website to see our options and location. Then call us to schedule a tour, and remember to bring your list.

A Shared Office Solution is an Excellent Idea for your Startup

startup

Most startups choose to run their business from home, but this arrangement may not be suitable. It can also be challenging to stay focused. There is a better option: using a shared office solution. A shared office solution space brings together remote workers, small business owners and staff, and freelancers in a shared work environment. The key benefit to these spaces is flexibility. Each space has a different layout, like an open office with lines of desks and breakout areas or a more enclosed setup (with private offices and meeting rooms). Shared office solution spaces are flexible in their pricing structure and commitment level. The majority will let you rent a space on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. If you don’t mind sharing a few office amenities with others, a shared office solution space could be a solid option for your business, and here are a few reasons why:

Improved Facilities

A coffee shop or your home office can present some challenges to professionalism—namely noise and non-business interruptions. Using a shared office solution will provide the space needed to concentrate with fewer distractions.

A Cost-Effective Solution

A traditional office space rental can be the solution your startup needs, but they generally require a long-term financial commitment. However, a shared office solution frees your startup to be flexible as it grows and changes. You can use the space as and when you need to on a day-to-day or month-to-month basis. You can also rent meeting rooms when you need to.

Options to Grow

Another benefit of a shared office solution space is that you can scale up as and when you need to.

Work Webb has two locations (Daytona Beach and Melbourne, Florida) with many options to choose from and meet most individuals’ needs looking for a shared office solution. Visit our website to see what our clients have to say, follow us on Facebook, and call us today to schedule a tour. We look forward to hearing from you and having you join the directory at one of our locations.

What to Look for in a Shared Office Solution

shared office solution

It’s been over a year since the massive wave of employees working from home.  Are you losing your focus and mind yet? The answer to this question from lots of individuals is a resounding YES!  People miss the socialization of talking to coworkers in person; the ritual of driving to work, listening to music, and working from home does not meet these needs. Your home may not have the space to provide a productive environment away from distractions, but fear not, there is an answer. That answer is a shared office solution like Work Webb.

A shared office solution can be the answer to your lonely working from home heart. But before you go and get yourself a membership, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure you find a shared office solution to meet your individual needs:

Location

As they say, it all about location, location, location, and this pertains to choosing the right shared office solution for your needs. Your temp office space should be centrally located around restaurants and public parking. If you need to be around restaurants, courthouses, or close to home, make sure you consider this before you select your shared office solution.

Community

Each shared work-space is unique, and so is its community. Are you a good fit for the community? Can you see yourself working around the people there? You should tour the space and even try it for a day before committing to a membership.

Budget

Find a space that has plans to fit your budget and individual needs. Will you go to the office every day or on an as-needed basis? If this is what you are looking for, make sure you find a place with this option.

Internet

Although we all think fast-internet is a given, it might not be, so you need to think about the service provider to make sure it will be enough to fit your needs.

Amenities

Do they offer coffee, tea, printing, meeting room usage, etc. Look at the perks they offer and decide whether it’s something you value.

Conference rooms

If you need to have access to a conference room, make sure your shared office solution has enough rooms.

Membership options

Your needs might change as time moves forward, so ensure the space is flexible enough to upgrade or downgrade your membership accordingly.

On-site manager

Is there someone in charge making sure that things run smoothly in the space? Having a staff member on-site may sound like a small thing, but it is critical if you run into problems.

Health & Safety Protocols

A work-space should make you feel healthier, not unhealthier. Make sure you ask about the health and safety protocols to make sure they fit your expectations.

Work Webb has two locations (Daytona Beach and Melbourne, Florida) with many options to choose from and meet most individuals’ needs looking for a shared office solution. Visit our website to see what our clients have to say, follow us on Facebook, and call us today to schedule a tour. We look forward to hearing from you and having you join the directory at one of our locations.

 

Things You Should Never Do in a Remote Meeting

Remote Meeting

The last decade has seen a slow and steady shift towards remote and flexible working, accelerated by the pandemic. The number of people working from home has reached unprecedented levels, and professionals have quickly adapted to this new way of operating. This includes a remote meeting with clients and co-workers among many other new ways of working.

Many have had to get learn new technologies, mainly using online and audio-conferencing calls as the primary tool for interacting with one another. This new tool has also meant learning a whole range of new behaviors and video meeting etiquette. There have been many funny videos and memes over the last year of remote workers going to the bathroom and getting caught not wearing pants. While these incidents make for great social media entertainment, it’s not what you want to happen during your professional meetings.

To make this easier, we have put together a list of six things you should never do in a remote meeting.

Wear pajamas

One of the most significant benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to get dressed up. Instead, you can throw your hair up in a messy bun and work in your pajamas if you want. But it would be best if you never showed up to a virtual remote meeting dressed like this.

Snack

It’s unlikely that you’d whip out a bag of chips when sitting in the boardroom, and the same rules apply when attending a virtual meeting.
The meeting will only go on for so long, so hold off. If you really must eat during the call, choose something quiet that isn’t distracting everyone involved.

Choose a busy or distracting location

Not everyone has the luxury of a home office; some may be working from their living room tables or bedrooms, but you still need to be cautious of your surroundings during a virtual meeting. Ensure you keep the area tidy and don’t sit in front of any distracting artwork or wallpapers. After all, you want all participants to be engaged in the meeting, not watching the TV behind you or staring at your ever-mounting pile of laundry.

Let your pets or family wander around freely

Similarly, you need to eliminate distractions for both you and other meeting participants, which means you can’t have your family, housemates, or pets just wandering around in the background. This can be very distracting and could draw attention away from the meeting at hand.

Speak over people

Last but not least, you need to make sure you’re not cutting anyone off when they’re speaking, which can be tricky if there’s a delay. Be sure that you leave a little pause before answering and don’t talk over other participants. Similarly, it’s best to avoid asking open-ended questions to everyone, especially during a meeting with numerous participants. Otherwise, you might find your co-workers are tripping over each other trying to answer, and it becomes confusing. Always be specific when addressing someone or asking them a question.

How to Up Your Productivity Game When Working from Home

working from home

 

Working from home has taught us a lot about structure, boundaries and self-discipline. If you have been asked to work remotely because of the pandemic, now that we are months in, hopefully, your routines are taking place, and you have made some progress in adjustment to very different work life. Now that you have the groove on, it is time to make a little deeper dive into the best way to be productive. There are many ways to increase levels of productivity but here are a few that we find most beneficial. 

 

Time Blocking

Many people like to time block their days, but it can also help to block your entire week. … One week is mostly dedicated to client work, and the next week is mainly dedicated to working on your own business (blog posts, marketing, finances, etc.). This can help you stay focused, so you do not have to switch from ‘client mode’ to ‘admin mode’ every day.

 

 

Take regular breaks throughout the day.

Set a Pomodoro timer to have regular breaks to practice awareness and be present. You need to create opportunities for space throughout the day proactively. You can try this meditation as a pause between work. 

 

 

Make sure you are ‘working from home’ not ‘living at work’ 

This article from Human Resources Director makes some great points about productivity though many of the challenges we’ve during this time, not so much physically draining, the most difficult to overcome have been psychological.

 

 

Goal Settings

It isn’t enough to just set a schedule; you need to set goals for what you will accomplish in that time. Perhaps, goal setting, whether short-term, mid-term, or long-term, is part of your work-at-home agreement with your employer already. However, if not, you should do it for yourself and make sure that it’s based on your values’ solid foundation.

Empathy and Leadership

Leadership

If nothing else, this time in our lives has taught us a lot about what matters most. After seven months of a pandemic state of our nation, change is something that is almost all we know. While some may adapt well to the ever-altering ways we live, work, interact, etc., some people have a very tough time acclimating to this “new normal” How does this affect your employees, and how can you make sure they continue to deliver ultimate production for you and their workspace? Leadership is one of the most important ways an authority figure can improve the working environment.

Be a flexible leader and thinker.

This is a unique time! “The way we have always done it” mindset and mentality are no longer options. What new practices or measures will work best for you and your teams that will ensure ultimate productivity? The answer may be very different than ever before. Engage with your employees, understand their circumstances, and figure out the best way to work together. If that means that a traditional workday just does not work for some, as long as the work is accomplished, give your staff a little grace to see if new flexibility will work.

Be Nosy.

A good leader is not best friends with their staff; we have read enough leadership books to understand that concept. But during this time, if you do not intricately know your staff, their family dynamic, and their work style…your production overall will suffer. A single mom with two children in two different stages of remote learning will have an extra layer of stress of what their day to day life looks like compared to an empty nester who has embraced this change as a chance to slow down with the ability to work harder than ever before. Be mindful of each of your employee’s circumstances and try to work with them to for the best chance of ultimate output for them, for you, and your company.

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Working with Distractions From Home

distractions from work

Working from home is interesting. The distractions can be overwhelming, and while some people just are not cut out to work remotely because of the COVID pandemic, that option may have been taken away from you. But how can you maintain your best productivity?

If you’re used to working in an office full of that noisy buzz working from home may feel a little quiet — too quiet, and if we are honest…a little depressing! Music and Podcasts to stay focused when you work may be an answer. If you are working at home with a significant other in the same situation or children who are remote learning, you may need a pair of headphones to ensure your concentration stays on your work.

To get a little scientific, studies have concluded that people who listen to music while working on repetitive tasks can perform the task faster while making fewer mistakes. This is because listening to music triggers the release of certain neurotransmitters that make you feel relaxed and happy: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. This may be the answer to keep your spirits up and your attention focused because the feel-good neurotransmitters improve your overall mood and give you more patience making for a better workday. This is also true when these tasks are challenging. If you are comfortable in motion, but the stakes are high, then music can help relieve additional pressures that might compromise the performance at hand. (Think, surgeons in surgery.)

One of the great things of controlling your at-home environment is that you have the power to put in place of what makes you happy in your space. So light that candle or turn on the diffuser, put on your favorite Pandora station in your headphones, and see your work life from home improve, maybe even thrive! The small things can make a big difference. 

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The Best Lighting Will Improve Productivity

best lighting

If you have been working remotely for a couple of months, some routine has set in with hope and luck. Maybe you realized that using the couch in a half horizontal position may not be the most productive way to manage your Zoom calls, and a setup somewhere in your house makes more sense. Now that you have your space let’s talk about the importance of installing the best lighting for your workspace. Before you needed a dedicated place to work, your house was lit for…well your house. Without proper workspace lighting, you’re more likely to experience eye strain, tiredness and even headaches. Plus, the best lighting makes a big difference in productivity, energy and overall mood. Here are some suggestions:

Daylight

Natural light is way easier (and the best lighting) on your eyes. If you’ve got a great view with little distractions, consider putting your desk right under the window. A space with a view will send your productivity full force in motion.

Old School Task Lights 

Whether it is a clip-on or a freestanding task light and desk lamps that have a flexible arm are great since you can adjust their height and angle to suit the task at hand. But if you use only this kind of selective lighting, you may acquire eyestrain quickly.

Bring in the Ambience

Eye strain is a serious problem, one that happens from intense use of your eyes–like staring at a computer monitor for eight long hours. Adding a little ambient light into the mix will help soften the harsh light that can come from just overhead or task lighting. By ambient lighting, we certainly do not mean to make it romantic…but do some research on the different light bulbs on the market like LED and softer wattage that will eliminate eye strain and give you extra relief on long busy days.

 

Sanitary Measures for Extraordinary Times.

Sanitary Measures

As many are starting to return physically to work, here are some guidelines and rules of thumb for your workplace sanitary measures.

Don’t wait.

Workplaces and spaces should be taking extra precautions now, not when illness strikes. The CDC recommends that employers implement sanitary measures and start doing these things now, as these measures can reduce working days lost due to sickness and stop or slow the spread of COVID-19 if it arrives at one of your workplaces.

Establish a cleaning routine.

Regularly, make sure to clean all frequently touched surfaces. This includes keyboards, remote controls, desks, countertops, and doorknobs. Using a disinfectant by its instructions will be the easiest way to ensure that the surface is cleaned effectively. See EPA’s 6 steps for Safe and Effective Disinfectant Use.

Be incredibly clear of the expectations of your employees and customers.

Transparency of your expectations when it comes to safety and sanitation is going to be imperative when you are back in some sort of open capacity. Make sure signage is prevalent of what you expect…masks? No masks? Six feet spacing signs are being sold everywhere; they can also be custom designed. Be sure to have sanitizer stations everywhere that make sense, at the very least, at the front when your customers or employees come in and at the register if applicable.

Have a sense of patience.

Remember, this is unchartered territory for absolutely everyone. Tensions are high, fear is present, and the ability to conduct business safely and sanitary lays in your hands.

Working from Home Without Losing Your Mind.

working from home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it has been said that working from home takes a special person, in this climate, the choice to work from home or not may have been taken away from you. We hear so much about pivoting and the new normal, but now that it has been a couple of months that has brought nothing but Ch ch ch changes, it is time to check in with you and your sanity. 

How are you adjusting? Here are a couple of tips!

Make a schedule, set your boundaries and plan for breaks each and every day.

Now more than ever, having a plan each day makes a difference in productivity. One of our favorite methods is the Pomodoro Technique. This helps you focus on working for a specific amount of time and then take a break. Use Pomodoro to work work work and then tale a break. You can use the Pomodoro Technique, in which you alternate 25-minute work sessions with 5-minute breaks, or set whatever intervals make sense for you. There is a start and a stop timer that keeps you on track.

Don’t let friends and family take advantage of your new status.

This is a big one. Mom will still call to see how you are doing, and your five-minute check-ins at the office will somehow mysteriously evolve into longer call times because of course, you are at home, are you really working? Silence your phone and try only to answer as if you were truly in an office setting. It may be hard for them to understand that your time is still not yours even if you are at home while working, but setting boundaries is most important.

Every day be sure to get some fresh air, dance it out, take a break! Promise this works!

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When Loved Ones Join You in Working from Home

working from home

 

When working from home or in a co-working space, there is a fair amount of adjustment to this new lifestyle. No time clocks to punch, no pants to necessarily wear, etc.. but what happens amid COVID19 when you now have a new coworker also known to you as your partner or spouse? Here are some tips to succeed at working from home with your spouse or partner:

 

 1. Arrange separate workspaces, preferably on different levels or areas of your home.

If you work for different companies and you don’t rely on each other’s work, prepare individual home offices in various areas of your home. This separation will ensure that you each have defined areas to concentrate on work.  

 

 2. Create individual office hours and respect them.

Decide what your joint workday/hours are and stick to them. The fewer interruptions you both have, the more likely you are to finish your workday on time. Should you both be juggling home, work, and children, consider interchanging your work hours, so there’s more coverage for chores and child care.

 

3. Avoid disturbing each other with non-work issues.

Just like you wouldn’t call your partner for every little thing during a workday, consider separating or discussing personal matters at only an established portion of the day. This habit will allow each of you to make the essential time for giving the other their devoted attention to any personal or non-work discussion without taking too much time out of the workday.

 

4. Focus on the upsides

Probably a weird thing to say, especially in this climate, but once you get into this new groove, there a couple of positive you can focus on. This new schedule is a unique opportunity to spend time with your partner or kids in a way you don’t usually get to do. It can also be quite fascinating to see your partner work, which is a side of them you probably don’t get to see.

 

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Five Ways to Improve Your Home Office

home office

Is your home prepared for you to work from a home office 40 hours a week? When you consider working from home, the space that you will occupy should be one of your first considerations. Making sure that you have a home office designed for functionality and efficiency is imperative for a successful career working from home. There are many ways to customize your office and make sure your working environment is perfect for you.

Here are five ways to improve your home office set-up:

Splurge on a Good Chair

The chair is the most overlooked piece of office furniture people need to work at home. Many people find themselves sitting in their chairs for hours at a time. In addition to incorporating Yoga into your workday, having a chair that fits your body correctly will have long-term benefits. There are many great ergonomic choices for office chairs. Preferences will vary, but the Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair remains the chair for any office.

Self-Storage

It cannot be stressed enough how important a good backup is for a telecommuter. From passwords to sensitive material, all of your work must be secure and accessible if something were to happen to your primary computer. With options of both cloud and physical storage units, telecommuters should employ at least one of these storage options to ensure they do not lose important information.

A Clear View

Whether you are working on a laptop or a desktop system, it is essential to have a screen that has clear resolution and is adequately large enough for the work you are performing. Many people work on multiple screens to ensure they can multitask and work efficiently. Being able to view numerous tabs simultaneously can make communicating with coworkers and working on projects a breeze.

Purchase a Headset

If you will be using your phone for any length of time from home, it is an excellent investment to have a headset that will allow you to type and talk at the same time. By not crimping your neck to the side for conference calls, work meetings, or talking with clients, a headset can make the difference between good and lousy office posture. There are great options for wired and wireless options and Bluetooth headsets at most major retailers.

Universal Power Source

What happens when you experience a power outage in the middle of a project? For many workers, it will destroy at least the project they were working on, and for others, it will ruin their computer. By investing in a universal power source, you can prevent brownouts from impacting your computer. With enough power to save your information and properly shut down your computer, a universal power source is an excellent investment for anyone working from home.

Personalizing your home office can be great fun, and having the independence to design your area is a huge benefit of working from home. You can surround yourself with the items and aesthetics that make you feel efficient and comfortable.

 

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Office Supplies Typically Provided to Remote Workers

What Office Supplies Employers Typically Provide to Remote Workers

If you’re curious about remote work, or ready to start a new remote job very soon, you may wonder about your office supplies. When you work in a traditional office space, your computer and all your supplies are typically provided to you right from the start. When you work from home, it can vary from employer to employer how your office equipment is supplied.

To help you out, we’re going over four of the most common office supplies typically provided to remote workers.

Allowance

Providing an allowance for technology is one option for remote worker office supplies. They allow employees a certain amount of money per quarter or per year to spend on whatever technology and equipment they may need to work remotely (think computers, wireless keyboards, and mice, computer chargers, printers, laptop stands, office chairs, monitors, etc.). Employees typically purchase the items themselves and submit receipts to their company for reimbursement.

BYOD

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. In this situation, employees do just that—they use their own computers and supplies for work. The benefit of this option is also that employees can use whatever devices they are most comfortable with, eliminating any learning curve if they’re familiar with PC, but the company wants them to use a Mac, for example.

Computer Only

Some employers supply just a computer to remote employees. In this situation, the computer is typically company property and has to be returned when an employee leaves the company. Sometimes companies have specific software programs that employees need to use, and having everyone on the same computer operating system can help. If employees need to access a company Intranet, it can be easier for the IT department to set this up on a company computer. Or perhaps the employer wants to have time tracking software installed on the computer as well.

A Complete Office

Some companies will provide everything a remote employee needs. They may send a computer, smartphone, printer, and more, depending on the needs of the job. This option usually helps companies feel secure knowing their remote worker has everything they need in their home office to perform the duties of their job successfully. Just like the previous scenario, this allows companies to install any required software on employee computers as well, ensuring employees are set up correctly from day one.

If you’re beginning your remote work journey, be sure you know the requirements of your employer. The interview process is a great time to ask how your potential company handles remote worker office supplies. That way, you’ll be ready and prepared to be a star employee from the start.

 

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How to Be A Great CoWorker Amid Difficult Personalities

how to be a great coworker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you work in the corporate world, rent a shared professional office space or work in your pajamas remotely, navigating different personalities can be tough. Of course, if you are the boss or in a management position, you can assist in some of these issues with team building and staff coaching, but what if you are an employee who can’t honestly tell Tammy where to go after she has yet again stolen your coffee creamer? 

 Some tips:

Be Flexible

Figure out how your coworkers thrive best in their environment. If you have a colleague who sends all calls to voicemail, email may be a better way to communicate with them. Take into consideration how your colleagues get in their zone and then try your best not to interrupt their productivity flow. Being flexible to others way of working will position you as a team player. 

 Choose your Battles

Time and sometimes money, and most definitely, productivity is the price you pay every time you choose to participate in a workplace conflict. Without a fluid office culture, work productivity can suffer. Decide what is most important are and let everything else go—even if you know you are in the right. Conflicts at work can cause additional stress and is in most cases avoidable. 

You are the Team, all of YOU(s)

 There is a reason why being a team player is one of the most common phrases in job descriptions. Even if you work best working in your own silo, remember to come back together and stay involved with your team keeping lines of communication wide open. Having ideas and being able to bounce issues, questions, brainstorms, etc. off one another creates a comfortable and collaborative work environment for everyone. At the end of the day, remember everyone on your team is (or should be) working towards the same goal and outcomes.

how to be a great coworker

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Staying Motivated When You Work Remotely

staying motivated when you work remotely

When you start working in conditions where pants and time clocks are optional, it is hard to stay motivated. There is no one looking over your shoulder and trailing off and going down a rabbit hole of Instagram feeds can happen in a matter of minutes. Although this is the actual joy of being self-employed (or a fortunate remote employee)-having no structure in place can be defeated as far as production is concerned.

Here are some tips to help stay focused on your work tasks at hand:

Get Up

Wake up early and “get to work” on time. You may be able to see your “office” from your bedroom, but you still need to make that transition. Make a point to be on time for “the man” which is you! Not being on time for yourself is a bad habit, and it is hard to take yourself and your work seriously. Routine is your best friend. At the same time, if you run on more cylinders in the afternoon-late evening, adjust your day overall accordingly. In both cases, consistency is vital.

Get Dressed

At some point, working from home in your pajamas will lose its luster not to mention that it is terribly demotivating. Take a shower,  brush your teeth, and start your day clean, fresh, and ready to go. You don’t have to put on your Sunday best, but wear something comfortable and functional that is uniform to YOU.

Get out of the house

While it’s good to stay focused, you are also allowed to take a break. You’re not under house arrest, and this isn’t a prison of your own making. You can and should leave those four walls for your own piece of mind.

Work from home but still crave an office like atmosphere? Consider Work Webb: we offer shared professional office solutions in Daytona Beach, and Melbourne, including virtual, part-time, and full-time shared or private office space.

 

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The Pros and Cons of Standing Office Desks

Have you heard of standing office desks? You may be surprised that this is a not a new trend! Popular Science, a magazine with roots much older than the Paris Review, first began writing about the virtues of standing desks for writers back in 1883. Once used only by eccentrics like Hemingway, Dickens, and Kierkegaard, this new way to work is now a once again trendy and office setting. Whether you choose to do it the Hemmingway way with and throw your writing machine on the nearest bookcase and get going or buy an actual standing desk, there are a few things to consider.

 

Did you know that the average office worker spends 5 hours and 41 minutes sitting each day at his or her desk? According to an article in The Smithsonian, the solution, experts say, is not to sit for six hours at work and then head to the gym afterward, because evidence suggests that the adverse effects of extended sitting cannot be countered by brief bouts of strenuous exercise. The answer is to incorporate standing, pacing and other forms of activity into your typical day—and standing at your desk for part of it may be the easiest way of doing so.

 

It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.

 

But could you do it? Switching from sitting all day to standing all day is a radical physical transition! Check out this article for more pros and cons of standing office desks!

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