How to Make Your Morning Meetings More Productive For Everyone Involved

Have you ever woken up for your day at work and absolutely dreaded having to deliver the morning meeting? It’s usually a Monday, it’s usually raining, and for some reason this month, the heating hasn’t kicked in on time, so the boardroom is freezing cold. This type of start to the day is guaranteed to make your employees miserable, which means they do not want to sit in the morning meeting and listen to you talk about the week ahead. This is your chance to make the Monday morning team meeting so much more fun. Well, you can make it suck a little less and make it more bearable, anyway!

If you were a standup comedian, you’d know the importance of the first and last five minutes of any show. You cannot hope to engage your employees if you are bored by your own content and tone of voice, and getting them to interact in the meeting with you is difficult enough as it is! So, how can you engage your employees and get them leaving the meeting they’re dreading smiling instead?

Set An Example

If you walked into a boardroom and everyone had a sour look on their face, would you want to be there? Probably not. Start the meeting with pastries, offerings of hot coffee and be jovial in your demeanour. People find a bad mood infectious, but the same goes for a good mood.

They will be happy and at ease if you are. It’s so much easier to discuss the latest content curation platform you want to use when the team have had a pastry, a hot drink and a laugh first thing in the morning. You need to keep the energy of the room high, so don’t let the Monday morning misery from others affect you, either!

Connect With Everyone

This may seem a little daft, but talk to everyone about their weekend, get an anecdote or something funny they’ve seen while away from the office. If you start off with the agenda of the meeting you’re going to watch their eyes glaze over and it’s game over for their attention-span! Making an effort with your staff can make them feel appreciated, and everyone needs that on a Monday morning.

Start With Praise

Begin a meeting with praising those who have hit targets and deadlines. Hand out rewards and make the meeting a positive one. Recognition is so important when it comes to building good relationships with people and starting your week on rewards instead of failures can set the tone for the workplace. Buoyant staff often work harder, so make them fly.

End How You Begun

You started your meeting with energy and praise, so end it the same way. Never end a meeting on a sour note and thank your staff for their efforts. Acknowledge that meetings aren’t always the most fun way to spend time, but make them know you’re grateful for their attendance.

No one likes to attend a meeting and be lectured, so make sure your meeting style deviates from the norm. You’ll be thanked for it!

8 Apps to Turn You into a Productivity Machine

For the entrepreneur or small business owner looking to stay ahead of the curve and on top of every challenge, it’s essential to have the right sort of tools at hand to deal with every eventuality that might arise, and to aid performance wherever it can be aided.

In the 21st Century, many of those tools will be in the form of various types of software, with computer programs and web-based apps and services available for just about anything you could imagine, ranging from debt collection software, to programs which monitor the productivity of your employees during the working day.

Whatever the industry you work in, and whatever the structure of your business, you can be sure that there are apps to help you up your game to the next level.

Here are a few specific recommendations.

RescueTime for catching you red-handed when you procrastinate

RescueTime is arguably the most popular time management app out there, and for good reason. While many bits of software do a great job of allowing you to record timesheets or determine how long you’ve spent on a project, RescueTime goes behind your back and holds you accountable in ways that self-reporting tools seldom can.

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There are two key parts to the RescueTime system. The first is a desktop program which runs quietly and inoffensively in the background. The second, is the web-based app, which features your RescueTime dashboard and the assorted reports, settings, and tools that you’ll be using.

The desktop program records the time you spend in various programs, or visiting various websites. It then reports this back to the web service, which creates graphs for you, breaking down your recorded time that day, and categorises it into various productivity scores.

If you’re on Facebook, for example, that will be recorded as unproductive time. Microsoft Word, on the other hand, will be tracked as productive. Fortunately, in case the program has misjudged a site, or program, you can reclassify their productivity scores which will affect future records.

RescueTime also allows you to create “focused” blocks of time, by blocking sites and programs rated as “distracting”, for certain blocks of time.

Toggl for tracking your projects

Toggl is the king of manual project-focused timers, and does exactly what you’d want from a program with that kind of focus. With Toggl, you create different task entries (and can assign them to specific project categories) and simply click on the start button to begin timing.

Toggl will show you how much time you’ve spent in total on a given project or task — even if the total contributed minutes span days, weeks or months.

The program will also allow you to track how well your actual working time lines up with your estimates for a given project, by allowing you to set an estimated time, and budget, for each project.

Finally, Toggl also allows you to create straightforward, effective timesheets, to allow for easier invoicing for different projects.

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Time Doctor for nudging you to stay productive

While RescueTime keeps an eye on what you’re doing, in the background, and while Toggl allows you to focus on the total time you’ve spent on a given project over a particular span of time, Time Doctor’s focus is in forcing you to remain aware of how you’re spending your time, minute by minute, throughout the day.

The Time Doctor setup is quite straightforward. It includes a desktop program, where you enter various tasks (which can be grouped by project).

As you enter a task, a timer for it automatically begins. If you want to stop the timing, you have three options; click “pause”, which causes Time Doctor to start a separate “break” timer, switch to a different project, or click “finish work”, where Time Doctor stops recording any time.

Whenever you’re away from the computer but Time Doctor is left tracking a task, it’ll bring up a “were you on a break? Yes/No” pop-up when you return. And whenever you leave the timer on a “break” but are still active on the computer, it’ll periodically ask if you’ve returned to work yet.

StickK for holding you to your commitments

StickK is a web and app-based service designed specifically to hold you accountable to your pledges. The way it accomplishes this is by having you create “commitment contracts” and then pledge money to achieving them.

The system allows you to bring in “referees” — friends, colleagues, or family — to double-check that your reports are truthful. If they turn out not to be, or if you fail to report, your pledged money will be deducted.

Where does this money go, you ask? You can either nominate a friend to have it sent to, or a charity of your choice (from a pre-selected list), or an “anti-charity” (an organisation that you’d hate giving your money to. There’s a list to choose from.)

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Beeminder for building positive work habits

Having the right habits in place is one of the keys to productivity in work and in life. Beeminder is an accountability system aimed not at getting you to achieve a certain task by a certain date, but rather at developing the right habits and sticking with them on a day-to-day basis.

The way Beeminder achieves this is by having you pledge to do something “more” or “less”. You can set the specifics for each habit, including the number of units of that thing you’d like to do on a daily or weekly basis.

Beeminder then creates you a graph, with a carefully marked off section, known as the “yellow brick road”, which is the sweet spot you’ll want to stay in. If you fall below the yellow brick road, by not failing in your task for several days in a row, you get charged money.

Each time you fall below the yellow brick road from that point on, your financial pledges will grow in size.

Nozbe for keeping track of your projects and tasks

Tracking your time is all very well, but it’s even more essential to keep a list of the various tasks and projects you need to accomplish, and for that list to make sense to you, and allow for an effective, comfortable working situation.

Nozbe is one of the best of task manager services on the web, and it’s free. It uses the famous “Getting Things Done” method, pioneered by David Allen, and popular in boardrooms across the globe, as its template and goes from there.

With Nozbe, you enter in your tasks that later appear in an “inbox”. The goal is to empty your inbox fast, by assigning each task to a project. The tasks then group together into their project categories, and provide a clear picture of what you need to do before the project is complete.

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Remember the Milk helps you remember the milk and everything else

Even the most organised project management system can still fall apart if you forget to carry out your tasks when required. That’s where Remember the Milk comes into the picture.

Remember the Milk is a way of making sure that you don’t forget anything important, for any reason, at any time. It features a system for tracking tasks and their deadlines, and then setting email, pop-up, and even text message reminders when they’re due to be carried out.

Trello for team collaboration

Trello is a system which allows you to create workboards, where team members can sign in simultaneously, see, organise, and work on assorted tasks for various larger projects.

When you manage a team who might be working remotely, or on different shifts, having a tool like Trello is critical for effective collaboration, not to mention avoiding a situation where team members end up stepping on each other’s toes.

How to Personalise Your Work Space for Maximum Productivity

In business, we can find ourselves facing a wide range of different issues. From problematic clients to a lack of funds, issues can come and go, but some are always more frustrating than others. Because although issues can be a problem, when they’re relatively easy to solve or put right, you can easily forget about the stress they caused. And that’s not always the case with some of the more frustrating and frequent issues. Like productivity. Trying to increase productivity in the workplace is something that we all want to do, especially when you work from home. However, have you ever thought of turning to your workspace itself to help increase productivity?

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Keep Distractions to a Minimum

The first way that you’re going to be able to do this is to try to cut out distractions. Now, when you’re looking to particularly manipulate your workspace area to make this happen, you’re going to want to focus on the things you can control, and forget about the things you can’t.

Are your decor choices to distracting? Do you find yourself doing anything other than working? If so, you need to remove these distractions, or even think about relocating your office to ensure that you can keep your focus.

Use Motivational Decor

On the flip side, you should also think about the things that you can add in as well as take away. Because you can actually control and increase your productivity levels by bringing things into the space that keep you, or your team, motivated too.

Whether you work alone in a home office, or you have your own business and you want to keep your employees focused, bringing in motivation slogans can definitely help, as well as things like soothing and motivating music too.

Image Credit: Pexels

Read also: Three things to consider when creating the perfect workplace

Add in Essential Accessories

Then, there could be the other additions that ensure your work flow is clearer and more effective. When you work at home, you could use work trays on your desk to keep you on track. When you have a commercial space, you could have a safety swing gate to reduce error and accidents. Whatever it is, you need to think about the things you can bring in that will keep your production running smoothly.

Be Smart with Storage

Another thing that may be able to help you here, is storage. When your commercial or office space, is cluttered and unorganised, it can really affect your focus. But, by bringing in smart office design ideas and great commercial space storage procedures, you may find that you can increase your productivity and avoid downtime.

Use Visuals for Planning

And finally, you should also think about the other ways that you can bring visuals into your workspace to help with productivity. Sometimes, being able to see your work flow can help you to keep the pace up and stay on task. With schedules and incentives to keep you or your employees motivated, you should notice a huge difference in your productivity levels overall.

Can an Aesthetically-designed Office Boost Productivity?

When you start a business, it’s all about minimising your expenses and maximising your profits. It’s an easy concept to grasp when there are fewer variables to think about. For instance, if you operate an at-home business, then you really only need to worry about your products and services and how much time it takes to deliver them in relation to the money you receive. However, when you branch out and rent out an office or start working with professional clients, many more variables are introduced, which will change how you think about your business.

One of the many variables that you have to keep in mind is your office. Offices design has been said to boost productivity in your employees. In fact, some companies such as Google have quirky offices that put a heavy emphasis on design. While they don’t put form over function, they do spend a lot of time (and money!) on making their offices look better for the sake of boosting employee productivity. However, is this all just a social experiment, or does a pretty office actually improve how well your staff operates?

Image Credit: Pexels

The Connection Between Aesthetics and Productivity

Aesthetics play an important role in our lives. For example, colour psychology plays an important role in how supermarkets convince us to buy certain things, and advertising companies commonly use different shapes and colours to evoke certain feelings in people. This is nothing new and it’s simply how our brain works, so what about the link between aesthetics and productivity?

Well, it turns out that colours are impactful in more ways than just marketing. For instance, the colour green is said to represent positivity, harmony and balance. This is why you feel relaxed when you take long strolls through a forest, and it’s why natural spas use earthy colours such as green, brown and white. Since colours can play a huge role in making us feel a certain way, it most certainly can improve productivity, but what about shapes?

Read also: Three things to consider when creating the perfect workplace

Shapes, Lines, and Forms that Improve Productivity

There are many scientific studies that go into psychology and much of that trickles down into how we perceive the world. A very common example is when a worker is stuck in a cubicle. It’s cramped, they don’t get to see many different colours and they stare at their computer screen the entire day.

Compare that to an open floor plan with custom office furniture and it’s clear that there are immediate differences that stem from the shapes, lines and forms we use in the office. Furniture with curved edges often evoke a sense of futurism in people and if they see it in an office, they’ll immediately think that it’s a modern company.

These are just a few examples of how colours, shapes and lines can come together to create a pretty office that improves productivity. Of course, it’s not something a startup can afford on a budget, but it’s very clear that there is a direct link between how satisfied your employees are at work and the type of office you house them in.

4 Changes in Your Business Environment That Increase Productivity

Productivity is a keyword of the business world. Every business owner and manager look at strategies to transform the way they interact with their team to increase the overall productivity of the company. Some choose to track the current productivity, by comparing the working hours and the targets that employees need to meet. Others decide to encourage their staff by setting competitive targets.

Meeting the target means getting the reward, in most cases, whether it is a monetary reward or a public praise. But there are also significant changes that you can make to the business processes and structure. Your employees can only perform as well as their work environment allows. So let’s look at four methods to improve the work environment in the office.

1. Implement Collaborative Tools

You have surely heard of cloud computing, a way of keeping your work files and processes accessible online. Working with cloud tools enables your team to collaborate on a document or a project at the same time. However, as cloud tools exist online, they need to be secure to protect your data. It’s important to find a cloud service provider who can offer a professional hosting service: This will provide a security barrier against spyware and hackers. Dyrand is a name you want to remember if you are looking for an MS-compatible clouding system, as the company is a certified Microsoft Gold Host expert. With collaborative tools, the key is to find a provider you can trust so that your team can combine forces with worries!

2. Don’t Micro-Manage Your Staff

Are you one of these managers who needs to check every single step that your employees take? Beware, this is micromanagement, and it damages productivity. Indeed, by micromanaging your staff, you destroy their sense of initiative, their job satisfaction, and their trust in you. Gradually, employees lose interest and perform less. A management alternative is to discuss project approaches and ideas with your employees and to trust them to do the job you’ve hired them for.

3. Let Employees Manage Their Life

Employees value their work/life balance and resent working long hours when they could be with their family. Additionally, overtime work doesn’t improve productivity at all. When the natural fatigue kicks in, the productivity drops below its original level. Consequently, it’s important to look for ways to maximize a healthy work/life balance, with flexible or remote work solutions or a better-defined workload. Helping employees to be in control of their time boosts the overall productivity. After all, people are more likely to stay focus if they work short hours.

4. Don’t Blame Your Employees

Finally, you should refrain from blaming employees. Mistakes happen; even the best employee is only human. Putting the blame on them is not a constructive approach. First, it doesn’t solve the issue. Secondly, it places unnecessary pressure on your employees. Advising and designing an emergency plan to sort the issue out are signs of positive leadership. A good leader can earn the respect and trust of his and her employees. In the end, people are happy to make an extra effort for a good leader. They wouldn’t for someone who blames them for every mistake.  

4 Tips for the First-time Freelancer

As the world changes, so does the way we work. Professionals can now work from a palm-fringed beach in Sri Lanka or a skyscraper in Tokyo; you can run your business out of a Paris bistro and jet across the world, all while generating an income.

Freelancing is a growing industry for millennials (with 38% freelancing in the U.S.) and young professionals, both full-time and as a means of earning some extra money on the side (aka side hustle).

While freelancing often seems like the dream, and your friend on Instagram who travels the world by the seat of his or her laptop looks as though she is having the time of her life, there are a few things you need to consider before jumping in.

It’s not as easy as it may seem, but if you take good care of your finances, have a good business head and stick to some self-made rules, you have the potential to go far in the freelance world.

Taxes

As a freelancer, you are responsible for your own taxes. Your clients will not hold back a percentage of your payment to cover what you owe at the end of the year, so it will be up to you to set aside around 25–30% of your income yourself.

It is recommended that you put your taxes in a separate bank account which you cannot access so that when the time comes around to pay, you won’t need to worry. Make sure that you are on top of this and that you file your tax return on time.

Although you won’t get the likes of Antonio Horta Osorio (he’s a banker in the U.K.) knocking on your door, you could wind up with a hefty fine if you don’t meet the deadline.

Holiday pay? What holiday pay?

Holiday and statutory sick pay don’t really apply to freelancers, and it’s important to budget carefully so that if you do fall ill or want to take a couple of weeks away from your emails, you won’t be out of pocket or in trouble.

It is good practice to put away a portion of your monthly income for a rainy day (10 – 15% minimum), so that you and your family are covered in the event of sickness.

Time management

With no boss keeping tabs on you, it will be down to you to manage your time well and efficiently. Focus your working hours on when you are the most productive.

For example, if you are an early riser then start your day by cracking on when you wake up and finish early; if you like to lay in in the mornings, start later to allow for snoozing, but work later in the day.

Ultimately, as a freelancer, you have the flexibility to work as much or as little as you want but be sure to honour all contracts and meet deadlines.

Keep updated

As a freelancer, you won’t have anybody sending you on training courses or emailing industry news to your inbox every Thursday morning. It will be up to you to stay up-to-date with best practices and news within your industry! If you’re in graphic or web design, you can follow platforms like Fast Company, Virgin, Millo, The Futur, and others.

Defeat Downtime with These Tips

Downtime is a common problem in many workplaces, but a lot of business owners aren’t very practical in their approach to it. You need to tackle it from several avenues, considering all the things that lead to lost work time. Here’s a quick guide to alleviating this serious productivity problem!

Time tracking and task management

So how much downtime are you having to deal with in your office?

Many business owners know they have problems with downtime, but this is really nothing more that a recognition of a relatively vague problem. Do you keep track of that downtime? If you notice any, make a note of it. Record how long it lasted, as well as the cause. This gives you data that can help you prevent the problem.

Of course, if there’s been a malfunction then you need to make sure the resultant downtime isn’t really downtime at all. Sure, the main task may be blocked, but does this mean you should treat the downtime as an impromptu break? You shouldn’t waste work hours.

Keep employees focused; make sure there’s another task they can shift their time and energies towards. However, don’t just hand out arbitrary tasks.

A coffee machine

This may seem like an odd thing to bring up, but you’d be surprised just how important the provision of a quick coffee dose is when it comes to reducing downtime. Caffeine proves to be a powerful and efficient stimulant that increases energy and motor function.

Let’s face it — sometimes we just need some more coffee before we can face a particular problem to the best of our ability. That or our caffeine addictions start to scream, “MORE COFFEE!” at us so loudly that we can’t concentrate on anything else!

In an office without a coffee maker, this is what happens — employees head to the kitchen. They wait for the kettle to boil. Other employees walk in wanting coffee. The kettle has to be filled more than once and before you know it your employees start chatting. The water cooler break hasn’t even happened as yet!

Sure, these ‘mini-breaks’ can be useful for employee satisfaction, but they can end up being massive time-sinks. Consider getting a coffee maker installed.

An external level sensor switch can help prevent the fluid levels getting to ‘empty’ unexpectedly. With all of this mind, try to think of other time-saving resources for the kitchen.

Reliable problem-solvers

Many would say that the cause of most downtime in the workplace is human error. This could very well be true in certain production facilities, but this isn’t often the case in modern offices. Often, downtime is caused by technical problems.

Internet connection issues, hardware failures, unexpected mandatory updates (looking at you, Apple). If you want to make sure these problems are solved as quickly as possible, then make sure you’ve got a strong and reliable I.T. department!

Of course, what would be even better than fixing the problems? That’s right: if you were able to prevent the problems from ever occurring in the first place. One way of achieving this is to invest in better equipment, but even these need regular maintenance over time to prevent problems.

Better computers won’t help with most Internet issues, though. Make sure you’re working with a reliable ISP (Internet service provider) that can provide high-speed Internet.

Is Your Business Mobile Enough for the Modern World?

The amount of technological change that has occurred over the last ten to fifteen years is incredible. Perhaps the change that has had the greatest impact, but is often taken for granted, is the adoption of smartphones. Millions of us now carry a powerful computer around in our pockets, enabling us to shop, communicate, fight off boredom and much more at the touch of a button.

However, this added mobility is not just a consumer phenomenon. Businesses must also take note that the modern world is now a mobile one and adjust their practices accordingly. If you’re unsure of the best ways to embrace mobile technology, then here are a few suggestions.

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Image Credit: Pexels
Employee mobility

In the modern business world, it is quite likely that your staff will need to spend a lot of time away from their desks. They may need to travel to a client meeting, work from home, or go on an external training course. However, just because they are away from the office, this doesn’t mean you can afford for productivity levels to drop. Smartphones can be used to keep your employees contactable, via phone or email, and let them access bespoke business tools remotely. You may want to start your own Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to ensure mobile security issues are kept to a minimum.

However, making sure your business is more mobile doesn’t only relate to smartphones. Are you using cloud-based software that lets your employees access work tools from any device they choose? Employee mobility not only keeps productivity levels up, it also suits modern employees, many of whom prefer a more flexible approach to working hours.

Web design

As a consumer, how often do you look something up on your smartphone compared to a laptop or desktop PC? Chances are that, in many cases, your first interaction with a business or brand comes via your smartphone, which is why mobile web design is so important.

Most website visitors spend less than a minute on any given site, so you need to make sure your mobile site makes a good impression fast. If you don’t have the in-house skills to create an effective design, however, then an external agency might be just what you need. The Story Web Design and Marketing, for example, can provide responsive design that adapts to whatever device it’s being viewed on – desktop, tablet or mobile.

Apps

The app economy is huge and made up of useful tools for consumers and businesses alike. For the latter, launching your own mobile app could be what’s needed to help your organisation stand out from the crowd.

Retail firms can use apps to provide user-friendly online ordering, small businesses can use them to offer card payments via smartphones, and offices can embrace them to provide a quick way for their staff to collaborate on projects. Whatever industry your business is based in, there’s likely to be an app that can help in some way.

In the modern world, making sure that your business is mobile friendly is absolutely essential for success, whether you’re a sole trader or a multinational corporation.

Small Business, Big Profits: The Holy Trinity For Greater Success

Quick exercise: think of three successful entrepreneurs whose footsteps you’d like to follow.

It doesn’t really matter which three you picked. They all share a common theme: they all started from nothing. Those success stories shouldn’t just serve as your inspiration, though. They should also make you realise that you’ve no excuse for failure. Even as a small business, you are capable of achieving greatness.

So let’s dive into the business bible to take a closer look at the three key elements to drive your venture to the promised land. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started.

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Products & Services

The quality of your products isn’t the only key factor that will determine how well your business performs. Nevertheless, if you are lacking in this area of the operation, you cannot expect to see positive results. So the real question is what makes a winning product or service?

Competition in the modern business world is particularly fierce. Quite frankly, if yours are going to stand out from the crowd, they need to be unique. Following trends isn’t enough; you have to set them. Using Sir James Dyson as an example, producing something that blows minds is the only answer.

That sense of individuality won’t only help you establish your place in the market. Once you’ve cemented your place as the market leader, your competitors will be left to play catch up. From this position, you cannot fail.

Productivity

Business success essentially boils down to money. As such, it’s not all about creating great products. You also need to make the most of your resources, with time and money being the key ingredients. Being a small business will erect a few obstacles, but you can overcome them.

You only need to look at the stories of Mark Zuckerberg or Tom Anderson to see the benefits of resourcefulness in full flow. If you are operating from a small office, external IT support can save you space, time, and money. Likewise, outsourcing certain jobs can have a telling impact.

Efficiency is the target. Your job as an entrepreneur is to become a problem solver. Quite frankly, the method of achieving those goals isn’t important. As long as it’s the option that offers the fastest growth, it is the perfect answer.

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Customer Interactions

The importance of branding and marketing cannot be underestimated for a second. Take a Starbucks coffee as the perfect example, and it’s not hard to see that these factors influence everything. Creating a name that can be trusted can increase the sales price along with the sales volume. But it’s not all about the brand itself.

People buy from people, which is why you must invest in better interactions. Whether it’s human conversations or through social media, this will increase the trust. The added insight into the personalities behind your company can actively encourage increased sales.

Every successful brand you can think of has made customers believe that their lives will be improved by interacting with the brand. Achieve this golden reaction, and your dreams will become a reality in no time.

Are Homeworkers Making An Impact On Your Homelife?

Working from home is a dream I think we all aspire to at some point. Who doesn’t like the idea of getting out of bed, putting your dressing gown on and casually heading to the living room nice and warm to sit in front of your laptop to do some work for the day? It certainly beats the early morning commute in the rain! But is it as rosy (and cozy) existence as it sounds? There are boundless positives to working at home, but is it all cracked up to be? If you’re running a business that has homeworkers, or you’re thinking about ditching the premises to conserve costs, have a read of this before you tell everyone to “go home”!

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Image Credit: Pixabay
The Technical Impact

The question you need to ask yourself is, can you run a business from home with the same efficiency as in an office environment? You need to factor in things like logistics. This is where technology comes into play. With the internet, it is incredibly easy to send emails, IM’s, etc. In an office scenario, you would have the standard landlines, with a staff member quickly reachable at their extension. In a working from home situation, can you guarantee efficient contact?

Concerned business owners may wish to install a phone system like a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). It’s a way of being able to make phone calls via the internet. If you are looking for certain phone systems for your business, there are many services online, like VoiceOnyx business phone service. VoIP systems also provide mobile options. This gives remote workers access to a business’s phone system from their mobile device. So if you are contemplating the idea of running a business from home, you need to make sure that your colleagues are with the right tech. Or supply them with the tech, especially if one of the staff doesn’t have a mobile phone- it’s rare, but it happens!

When it comes to VoIP systems, if you are in an area with poor internet connectivity, this can cause frustration. Having poor phone reception is annoying at the best of times, so if you are reliant on constant phone contact, it may not be the best approach.

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Image Credit: Flickr
The Impact On Productivity

Working from home from the perspective of the business owner and the employee’s point of view are entirely different.

The employee could treat it as a working holiday lasting from Monday to Friday, and the boss will need to make sure the business is running smoothly. But the owner will also be busy with meetings and the like. In an office, there are people delegated to keep the organization running in the absence of a leader. Line managers, team leaders, whatever you want to call them. In a home working environment, that role is almost reduced to basic email contact.

So, how can productivity be tracked? Regular contact is one way. But making sure a back-office system is installed will be one way to “police” your staff.

Ultimately, when it comes to home working, the onus is on the worker to be productive. So, having self-reliant staff is a fundamental way of making a gamble like this payoff.