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.
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 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 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.
A 2019 survey by Gartner revealed that just 13% of employees are satisfied at work. Fortunately, a 2022 survey by Willis Towers Watson found that 90% of employers plan to put employee experience at the top of their agenda.
If you’re a business owner thinking about renting desks for your team, here are two reasons you should consider a coworking space membership without delay.
A sense of belonging
Our sense of belonging is vital for our well-being. These groups could be our peers, sports teams, religious groups, or coworkers. The latter is essential when it comes to the employee experience, and it’s something you don’t get proper when you work from home every day.
Belonging is about more than holding Zoom meetings.
A coworking space is where remote employees can visit to reconnect with colleagues after periods of working from home. It also allows employees to build relationships and social groups with other people who use the space.
Coworking spaces can improve people’s well-being
Our work lives can significantly impact our sense of well-being, which is why it’s so crucial for employers to create workplace environments that prioritize well-being and work-life balance.
Employers need to be flexible to achieve a work-life balance, and coworking spaces can meet this need. For example, employers can pay for only the desks they need at any time accommodating a hybrid working schedule. Options tend to be super flexible, and companies can take on more or less space when needed.
Spacious breakout areas, adaptable desks, and areas that cater to different working styles can help maintain a high level of productivity.
If you are looking for a shared office solution for your coworking needs consider Work Webb. We have two locations and a variety of options to choose from. Call us to schedule a tour and read what our happy clients have to say about our services.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This year employees expect to have more flexible work options, and one option is a hybrid work schedule. A hybrid work schedule includes having employees work from home remotely, in the office exclusively, or a mix of both in-house and remote. Hybrid work uses digital tools to support interaction between in-person and remote participants, and these tools must facilitate participation, collaboration, and communication to be successful. Here are some benefits of implementing a hybrid work schedule for your employees:
A hybrid work schedule can offer flexibility and empower employees to utilize their strengths, boosting productivity.
Boost employee satisfaction and culture
The attractiveness of hybrid work is employees choose when and where to work. This allows employees to focus on getting work done peacefully and without being disturbed or distracted.
Better work relationships
Virtual meetings can play too significant a role in hybrid work. Providing a mix of in-person and virtual meetings tailored to team members’ habits and needs will build better working relationships.
Improved mental health
Fully remote work reduces human interaction, adversely affecting your employees’ mental state and it’s essential to create opportunities that optimize communication and foster mental well-being. The work-life fit is a vital aspect of any healthy working environment. And hybrid work enables each employee to fit their work and life together in a way that works for them.
The hybrid work model has the potential to take your organization to a new level of productivity. Finding a shared office solution in your area can assist you in finding the perfect temporary office space for your hybrid work needs. Call us today for more information or schedule a tour at one of our locations.
During the coronavirus outbreak, many organizations have asked employees to work remotely and for some companies, virtual working is now commonplace. So for those new to remote working, we want to share some tips on making it work.
Virtual working can be a big transition, so cut yourself some slack. You might have feelings of being lonely, isolated, stressed, frustrated, anxious, unmotivated, or relieved, relaxed, energized, or productive. However you feel is OK, so don’t beat yourself up.
Take scheduled breaks
Walk around while chatting on the phone and make sure to take a lunch break away from your email. Breaking up the day enables you to refresh and increase your productivity when you return to your work.
Protect your time
Many managers’ concern about their virtual employees is that they are just doing laundry and bingeing Netflix. When in reality – the opposite is usually true — people tend to work more virtually because it’s harder to “leave” work. Set “in office” hours and communicate these with both colleagues and family.
Protect your workspace
If you utilize your home for your office, talk to family members or roommates about the hours you work virtually and the ground rules during those hours. Of course, we also recommend finding a shared office solution near you to rent a desk for the days you need to focus. Having an alternative workspace is critical to being consistently productive.
Create a system for sharing documents
Consider Google Docs, Box, or Dropbox to share files. This will ensure the correct version of a document is worked on and shared.
Work Webb can help virtual workers in Daytona Beach and Melbourne, Florida, stay focused, productive, and happy. Both locations are near restaurants for breaks and have a wide selection of options to fit most needs. Visit our website to read what our happy clients say and call us to schedule a tour.
When companies worldwide sent their employees home to work virtually due to COVID-19, remote work had a big moment. What became apparent was that employees could be productive and focused when not in the office—in many cases, even more so. As a result, employers everywhere began to understand that remote work works.
Here are some benefits to working remotely:
Better Work-Life Balance
Remote jobs come with adaptable schedules, which means that workers can start and end their day as they choose, as long as their work is complete.
Companies —like Twitter, Square, Shopify, and Facebook, to name just a few—have seen long-term costs savings by having employees working remotely.
Increased Productivity and Performance
Remote working usually leads to fewer interruptions, fewer office politics, a quieter noise level, and fewer meetings. Fewer distractions lead to increased productivity—a massive benefit for both employees and employers alike.
A Happier, Healthier Work Life
Remote, flexible workers tend to be happier and more loyal employees, in part because it has been shown to lower stress, provide more time for hobbies and interests, and improve personal relationships, among other things.
A shared office solution like Work Webb has helped several companies adapt to working remotely. We have a variety of options to choose from that fit most needs. Call us today to schedule a tour and answer any questions. Visit our website to see what our happy tenants have to say about our services.
It is essential to choose the right office chair so you can be productive while supporting your back. A good chair is critical if you pull long hours at your desk. Here are some features you should look for when you purchase an office chair.
Your office chair needs to adjust to your height, so when seated, your thighs are horizontal to the floor so look for a pneumatic adjustment lever to let you bring the seat higher up or lower.
You should be able to position your backrest in a way that suits your needs. A locking mechanism that holds a backrest in place is suitable not suddenly to tilt backward.
Choose an office chair shaped to match the natural contour of your spine. Make sure the chair you choose supports your lower back that your back is slightly arched so that you don’t slump as the day goes on.
Get a Chair the Correct Size
The office chair seat should let you sit comfortably. Look for a wider seat if you are taller and a shallower one if not so tall. Choose a chair where you sit with your back against the backrest and have approximately 2-4 inches between the back of your knees and the chair seat.
Choose Breathable Material and Sufficient Padding
Breathable material is more comfortable when sitting for long periods. The padding should be comfortable to sit on, and it is best to avoid a seat that is too soft or too hard. A hard surface will be painful after a couple of hours, and a soft one will not offer enough support.
An office chair with armrests reduces the strain off your neck and shoulders. Choose an office chair where the armrests are adjustable to let you position them to allow your arms to rest while making you less likely to slouch.
Make sure you can reach all adjustment controls from a seated position to choose the right office chair because it is easier to get the height and tilt just right if you are already sitting.
Here at Work Webb, our directories contain some talented professionals, and we are starting a blog series to highlight them. Our inaugural post is about Shawn E. Brown Insurance.
Shawn E. Brown Insurance is an Independent Insurance Brokerage servicing all of Florida, with satellite offices in Melbourne and Daytona Beach’s beautiful downtown district. They work with over 40 insurance carriers, offering services for Health Insurance, Medicare Advantage and Supplement Plans, Life Insurance, Group Health Insurance, Vision, and Dental Plans. There is never a consultation fee; their services are zero cost to their clients.
Shawn grew up in Detroit, Michigan, until he was thirteen years old when he moved to Port Orange, Florida. A fun fact about Shawn is he is afraid of heights but loves to SkyDrive, and we admire that he can overcome his fears to enjoy such daredevil sports. Speaking of sports – he may not currently live in Detroit, but he loves their sports. However, his passion extends past sports and Michigan football to include his family, clients, and agency.
Shawn was referred to Work Webb about seven years ago by a friend. “Work Webb has been a consistent and enjoyable experience ever since,” exclaims Shawn. “My clients, staff, and I appreciate the partnership.”
Shawn, we thank you for choosing Work Webb for your office needs and volunteering to be our first featured tenant in our new blog series. To learn more about Shawn E. Brown Insurance, you can call them at 386-866-1090 or visit their website.
Temporary office space may seem like something your business will never need when your office is all set up and running smoothly. But a simple issue like the AC breaking in the dead of summer in Florida will completely unravel productivity. Not all of your employees may have a productive workspace in their home, and utilizing a temporary office solution like Work Webb can help solve unplanned disruptions for your business.
Here are some examples of when your business may need Work Webb services:
- Your business is in-between leases.
- You have outgrown your office.
- Need space for seasonal employees.
- The current office is under construction or needs repairs.
- Need a digital office while traveling.
- A scalable office option for your start-up.
- Relocating your offices and need a place to get your business started.
- Need a conference room for a meeting with important clients or investors.
- Your current office is flooded, too hot, without power, or any other issue that makes it unusable – but your business needs to stay productive to meet a deadline.
We could go on and list all the scenarios we have heard from clients, but you get the picture – temporary office solutions like Work Webb can help your business when you need it. We have flexible options to fit most budgets and two locations – Daytona Beach and Melbourne. Call today before a crisis, schedule a tour of our offices, and make us part of your “what if” productivity plan.
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.
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.
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:
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.
When looking for office space, confusion often arises between “coworking” and “shared office solution” space, and this is because the two terms are similar in meaning. Many believe these two words describe the same working environment. The answer is both “Yes” and “No,” and here is why in our opinion: these words represent a way one can “interact” with an office—confused yet? Here is our explanation between a coworking space and a shared office solution.
What Is a Shared Office Solution?
Shared Office Solution is defined online as “A concept that allows companies who own or manage an office, that have redundant office space to share or rent the workstations or self-contained units to smaller companies looking for flexible workspace.” Meaning, individual offices are rented by various tenants, and the common areas of the office, receptionist, coffee station, copying machine, etc., are shared by all occupants.
What Is Coworking?
A Google search of coworking provides this explanation, “the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.” A coworking environment is an ample open space with open desks and tables where individuals can work and interact with others. Picture a cubical office space with the dividers removed.
Can Office Sharing and Coworking Exist Together?
The exciting thing about a shared office solution vs. coworking — and one of the factors that contribute to the confusion surrounding it all — is that the two work arrangements can exist together in the same space, and they do at Work Webb.
Work Webb provides both shared office solutions and coworking options to their tenants. We have separate office spaces in varying sizes for our clients on a virtual, part-time, and full-time basis, as well as a large coworking space. Most options come with the use of physical address, directory listing, and mail service, as well as office amenities like a coffee station, kitchen area, and receptionist on staff. We have two great locations conveniently located in Daytona Beach and Melbourne, Florida. Whether you are visiting the area and need a professional space to work while on vacation or live here and need an affordable and professional office for your business, Work Webb has a option. For more information, please visit our website or contact us to book a tour.
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.
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.
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.
As many employees continue to work from home, remote work can be filled with challenges. Even though the working-from-home routine is not new to society, some managers are still struggling to support remote employees. There are some relatively quick and inexpensive things that managers can do to help their employees. Here are some actions that you can take today to assist your remote team:
Many successful remote managers hold a daily call with their employees. The calls must be regular and predictable, and that they are a conference in which employees know that they can consult with you and that they will be heard.
Use various communication technology options
Email alone is insufficient. Remote workers benefit from having options such as video conferencing, which gives participants many visual cues that they would have if they were face-to-face. Investing in a channel-based messaging platform, like Slack or Microsoft Teams, is a good option for shorter or more urgent matters that can arise during the workday. Utilizing another platform will also ensure that messages do not get lost in an overload email inbox.
Establish rules for communication
Set expectations for the frequency, means, and ideal timing of communication for your teams. For example, do not use videoconference for every communication. Establish rules for when to use email versus other forms of communication and lead by example by following these rules.
Provide remote social interaction opportunities
A manager must structure ways to interact socially with their team while working remotely. The easiest way to establish some necessary social interaction is to leave some time at the beginning of team calls for non-work items.
Managers can implement these tools quickly to support remote employees better for the new year. With this support, employees are more likely to take up the call with a renewed sense of direction.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
As a manager, a lot of what you have learned doesn’t necessarily come from any books; it is based on hands-on experience. Even with that in mind, we find ourselves in unprecedented times managing our staff during a pandemic. While there is no guide or handbook on how to do this effectively, you will need to create a process for everyone to succeed personally and professionally. You may be wondering how to motivate your teams when working remotely. Here are some ways that have been proven to be successful.
Define clear expectations and establish ground rules.
Use Asana, Trello, or some system, so every employee knows exactly what is expected of them, and what deliverables are needed from them. Setting specific times for assignments ie for the next day, week, and month improves productivity. Many individuals thrive when they are given a deadline. Deadlines prevent the possibility of procrastinating assignments and projects. Continuing, ensure your staff has a clear understanding of all the projects they are ultimately responsible for and where to go when they need assistance.
Check with your staff regularly! At the early stages of a new project or client, checking in lets them know you are supportive of their success. Knowing they are being supported and you can provide guidance and/or extra assistance puts their mind at ease.
Create a social space for a team to get to know each other.
Losing the “watercooler” atmosphere that only an in-person work environment can produce can significantly decrease work satisfaction. Factor in 5-10 minutes at the start of your team meetings and ask people how they are. You may also encourage staff to collaborate with their colleagues. Collaboration on projects improves the working relationships of the staff.
Be flexible about working hours.
Working remotely can be married pretty well with flexible working.
A study from Stanford University shows, staff who set their working hours were found to work longer and be happier about their work. Six months ago, this would seem to be an impossible task to pull off, but here we are. If it is possible, consider offering some flexibility if the work gets done regardless.
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:
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.
As many are starting to return physically to work, here are some guidelines and rules of thumb for your workplace sanitary measures.
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.
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 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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