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Acing the game with 5 extraordinary coworking spaces in Bangalore, we strive at spreading our roots across the country. Strategizing our awesome ideas to make your area of work stand apart from the rest, we are on the path to be established as India’s largest agile workspace player. Trending on every social media channel via #CoWorkingBengaluru, our coworking spaces offers everything best no matter the team size. Check out our blog to learn more about Smartworks and how growing with us would be one of the wisest decisions of your work life. 

Best Expert Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce During Coronavirus Outbreak

Whether you are prepared or not, with this outbreak of Coronavirus, working from home has been thrust upon everyone and as a manager or a business owner, you will have to deal with this new work scenario and set up a remote workforce while the lockdown is in place.

The concept of work from home might be novel but it can add more stress than you already are facing with all the uncertainties due to this pandemic. This is why, your role becomes more important to maintain order and structure as people from your employees to clients will be looking at you for direction and guidance.

Here are some essential tips for managing remote workforce during the Coronavirus lockdown:

1. Keep Calm and Carry On

It is easy to get moody and feel discouraged with all that is going on around the world but you are the leader of a team of people. If they see you feeling low, they too will feel the same. While it is important to acknowledge the uncertain times due to coronavirus, it is essential you maintain your decorum and lead your remote workforce as you would during normal business hours. Accept the fact that your workforce will not be as responsive as they normally would. Be patient, respectful and try to avoid criticising them. Allow your workforce to settle in from their remote workplace. Remember, you are the leader so lead with example. Rest will all fall into place.

2. Do A Morning Video Meet Up

While you and your business deals with this current crisis, remember to set the agenda of your business with your team with a video conference. There are plenty of free channels and apps to use for this purpose. Conducting a morning video meeting will allow your remote workforce to interact, see and communicate with you and everyone in your team. It is a good team building exercise too. Your team members will know they are not alone in this situation.

3. Grab The Low Hanging Fruit

Try to approach your daily business in a new way. Your team is away due to the coronavirus lockdown, business flow is uncertain and not everything is going the right way. In such times, focus on achievable tasks. Targeting such low hanging fruits does three things to your team members: first, it puts them in a position where they know they can achieve some outcome. Secondly, it works as a positive direction, away from distressing thoughts. Lastly, it gives a sense of accomplishment.

4. Coffee Break

Often, working from home can be distracting with your team members carrying on their assigned tasks even after normal working hours. This can be due to several house work that may arise, especially for those with children and pets. It is therefore important to set aside some time for a group coffee break where you discuss non-work related issues. This can be sometime in the evening or first thing in morning. Approach this as you would in an office situation where team members take a short break or a water cooler talk.

5. Do A Daily Pep-Talk

These are uncertain times. Chances are there are many in your team who have never faced such a situation before or were too small to remember. As a manager or business owner, it is your role to step in and do a daily check up. This can be a simple hello to providing assurance to their fears. This is required during the initial stages of implementing remote work as most people are not keen for change.

These are some tips for managing remote workforce during a lockdown due to coronavirus. Your team members are the ones who are helping you keep your business afloat, so as a leader, it is imperative you can give them some of your time and calm their fears.

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Ways To Protect Your Business During Coronavirus Outbreak

With the increasing number of cases due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it is important for businesses of every kind to take stock of the situation and follow government advisory to minimise loss and ensure the safety of their employees.

COVID-19 has disrupted the normalcy of life across the world. There is panic everywhere: at home, in the market, at work, and for business owners it becomes even more important to assure their team of their company’s commitment of taking care of them in such trying situations. It could be a simple assurance of salaries paid on time to providing healthcare support for anyone affected.

Just as you are taking safety measures to ensure this disease stays away from you, your business also needs a safety check to beat this virus. Here are some ways to protect your Business during Coronavirus outbreak –

1. Formulate A Plan

Due to the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have already put in place safety measures to protect their company and employees. On the other hand, some are revamping their emergency plan to include this new pandemic for the future. If there is no emergency plan in place, this is a good time to make one for today and the future.

An emergency plan not only outlines the steps a company will take in such times but also the measures to be undertaken for the protection of employees and businesses. It becomes the guide to follow and must include information such as measures to protect employees, emergency contacts, business operations and any deliverable measures.

2. Establish Work From Home Procedure

In normal circumstances, the Work from Home step up would not be considered but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, these are not normal times. Depending on your industry and business profile, you can try this approach to ensure critical work gets done without having your employees to commute to work. Set some rules around this process such as logging in at the right time, breaks, communication set up, etc will give a sense of professionalism between your employees and clients. Setting up video conferencing and morning meetings will ensure the day’s workload is set up and achieved by the end of the day.

3. Keep Updating Managers & Employees

Nobody likes to be left out of communication, especially during these trying times. The situation is constantly evolving due to the spread of the Coronavirus and its impact on businesses. As a business owner, you will have to keep the channels of communication open and keep updating your managers about any latest development on COVID-19 and its implications. Check the news for any government advisories and regulations related to coronavirus and update your line managers accordingly.

In such times, always make it a point to issue a memo, email or voice note to your employees too. This will make them feel assured as well as reduce panic in their minds. Ensure your managers are also doing the same. This will ensure transparency and common messaging, thereby eliminating any doubts from the minds of your employees.

4. Sanitise Your Workplace

With everything going on to ensure employee satisfaction and expectation, do take the time to fumigate and sanitise your workplace. Depending on your industry and servicing, there might be some employees required to make their presence at work. Establish standard operating procedures for cleanliness and sanitisation. Ensure work desk and floors are cleaned with disinfectants, stock up on hand sanitizers, issue directives and print outs suggesting washing hand techniques and using soap, make sure sick employees stay at home.

These are some of the safe bet options to protect your Business during Coronavirus outbreak. Following the above tips, businesses can position themselves to weather the storm caused by Coronavirus and ensure employees and clients remain safe and healthy.

Smartworks is closely monitoring the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. We are proactively implementing all global and local government guidelines and carrying out all the preventive measures to maintain an infection-free work. Help One, Help All – Let’s fight this together!

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The Secret to Effective Networking in a Co-working Space

Every blog, article or any person who has experienced a co-working space talks about its countless benefits, one of them being- excellent networking. When people from different academic backgrounds and varied interests work together under the same roof, then there is bound to be some constructive communication. But, the question here is how to make these interactions effective and productive for your business. Here are four secrets that can transform the way you network in your co-working space.

Break the ice, start the conversation

A conversation that isn’t business-related is the best opportunity to connect. From a simple hello, a quick chat on a coffee run or a fun discussion at common events, coworking spaces provides a host of opportunities for you to network better. The focus should be on making connections and having a conversation, as compared to seeking an opportune moment to pitch your business.

Share ideas, opinions, and knowledge

Sharing information that can add value to someone else’s work or life will not only help a co-worker but also lead to future gains. Sharing does not involve giving away your trade secrets or your next business idea; it merely means imparting knowledge. A co-working space emanates of openness, innovation, and creativity. Using this to your advantage will put you on the receiving and giving the end of useful knowledge.

Let your passion speak for itself

When people say, ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’, they’re almost a hundred percent right. No amount of hard-selling can replace passion. If you’re passionate about what you do, it will automatically show in your work. Selling your product involves making your customers familiar with it and getting them to buy it. On the other hand, your passion sparks curiosity and helps you build relationships. In such a situation, your co-worker might not need your product. Once they see your passion and your friendly nature, they’ll feel a need to recommend you to others because they like you and want to be helpful.

Socialize, not just network

A great perk of a coworking space is the opportunity to attend various events. Shared cafeterias are also another added benefit. Such situations create a friendly environment, which becomes an ideal place to start building new connections. However, building connections shouldn’t be your only goal, rather socializing and getting to know your co-workers is equally essential to help your business grow. So, use events and cafeteria’s to your advantage and never hesitate to talk to other people. Places like these attract people who are open-minded and looking to build connections.

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7 Best Productivity Tips for Working From Home

With the outbreak of COVID-19, many companies are opting to choose the work from home strategy but they also need to ensure the best productivity tips for working from home are put in place in a bid to flatten the curve in stemming the spread of coronavirus and ensuring productivity and output remains ongoing.

Social distancing is one key element in stopping the spread of this disease. It basically defines being physically distant while maintaining social solidarity. While not everyone will be comfortable or used to working from home, there are some simple behavioural tips that can be applied in these trying times. Home, after all, is a personal space and filled with distractions from doing the dishes to laundry, taking care of a child or a pet, assisting in the house chores and the list can go on.

On the other hand, you might find yourself overworking. Since you’re in your home 24×7, you have carried on with your work without noticing the time and worked past your usual hours. Staying put indoors for long can also make you susceptible to cabin fever, without you even realising it!

However, much like everything, working from home is a challenge that everyone has to get used to. The key remains in maintaining your daily schedule much in the same way as you would when leaving for office. Avoid sleeping in, taking too long over breakfast, and mentally prepare yourself for a commute to work, even if it means stepping in the next room.

Everyone will function differently during this time but below are some tips that can help you along:

Tip 1: Set Boundaries

Set a concrete working hour, in much the same way as your normal office hours. This will help you prepare yourself in getting your work done. Make a checklist in the morning of your things to do. Set up online meetings and con-calls. Let your spouse and children know you’re at work and will able to attend to them after completing certain tasks.

Tip 2: Set Your Day Like Everyday

When you had to commute to work, you would wake up at a certain hour to reach work on time. Do not give up that habit. Set your alarm for the same time you would usually wake up, make a nice breakfast, and change into something comfortable – either work clothes or even a t-shirt and track pants – but get out of your nightgowns and pyjamas.

Tip 3: Commute Gets Interesting

As you’re now working from home, one would argue your commute doesn’t exist. This can create a complacent attitude which can result in you unable to switch your mind once work from home is no longer an option. Use the commute time for your own personal growth by reading a book or changing your timetable a bit for exercise and then changing for work and breakfast. This commute time is extra-time for you, so spend it wisely!

Tip 4: Create Space

Working from home brings its own set of challenges. As a professional, you will need to find a space within your home which is comfortable and distraction-free. If you’re used to the busy buzz of a noisy office, play music in the background or turn on the TV but at a comfortable volume. This will help you get into your work zone.

Tip 5: Balance House Chores

Remember the commute time which is now open for you to utilise? Use that time to finish off your laundry, washing dishes and undertaking various other house chores. Once your actual work time commences, you should be the focus on your professional work and get back to your personal chores at the end of business hours.

Tip 6: Arrange Morning Meetings

One of the best productivity tips for working from home is ensuring you can set your day’s task by holding a call or video conferencing with your teammates. This can also be done with your office buddies to get the work vibe flowing through you. A simple talk with others can be extremely healthy to start your day.

Tip 7: Don’t Become A Couch Potato

Keep moving as you would while being in office. Get up and move every 30 minutes. Stretch yourself or take a quick walk to the kitchen. Experts recommend to keep moving your body and not sit for too long.

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Modern Meeting Room Design Tips for Coworking Spaces

Meeting rooms are an integral part of office space, it constitutes at least a quarter of your workspace design. Prominent research has depicted that various teams spread across different sectors and organizations spend most of their working hours in a meeting room, ideating and brainstorming.

Meeting rooms are mostly the secluded part of your office space, where most of the action and implementation takes place. Meeting rooms in coworking spaces are known for their innovative design and tech-enabled environment, which supports innovation and aids productivity.

Even though meeting rooms are a crucial element of coworking space designs, they are the most ignored. Gone are the days of dull and dingy meeting rooms, everyone prefers a vibrant-looking meeting room, which has a positive impact on an employee’s mood and keeps them motivated to accomplish the goals on their to-do list. There are many factors which contribute in shaping the overall look and feel of a meeting room, which includes the kind of furniture and their placement, lights and acoustics, conferencing equipment and the room décor, these design factors are an integral factor in the success or failure of a meeting, for a meeting room is an important factor which helps form the first impression.

Here are a few tips to design meeting rooms for coworking spaces:

Chalk out your audience

Before setting out to design a meeting room, it is imperative to understand the likes and preferences of your target audience. The idea ‘one-size-fits-all’ is a notion of the past, it is important to understand that with the emergence of new-age professions, different kind of work demands a different workspace experience. For example, a radio artist or a VFX director would need a sound-proof room whereas a marketing team would need a collaborative space, different key aspects of the meeting room like the lighting, furniture or sound system have to be designed keeping in mind the preferences of customers.

Pro Tip:
Bifurcate your target audience in terms of their profession, team member count and preference, before drawing the meeting room design.

Technology and Connectivity

Technology failure is the most common problem faced by people while conducting a meeting. Technology is a key aspect of your, it can either make or break the deal. Everyone demands a tech-enabled meeting room which helps increase their productivity and maximize employee engagement. A state-of-the-art conference room with the latest amenities like high-speed wifi, projectors, and display systems, concierge services aids the overall experience of the employees.

Coworking spaces should also focus on devising an easy way of booking meeting rooms, most of the problems faced by clients while booking a meeting room in a coworking space is that of no-show bookings and multiple bookings, an efficient app can be designed to simplify the process of booking meeting rooms.

Pro Tip:
Meeting rooms can be equipped with IoT for easy operation and maximizing energy efficiency

Design and Aesthetics

Another common problem while designing meeting rooms is sticking to the old and outdated designs. Gone are the days of dull and dingy meeting rooms, everyone prefers a aesthetically designed meeting rooms, with ample of seating arrangements and adequate lighting. A well-ventilated meeting room, with comfortable furniture, can make all the difference.

Pro Tip:
Research the analytics and study the utilization of data before designing the meeting room.

Focus on the walls

The texture of the wall determines the vibe of the space while having a positive and serene effect on the mood of the individual. Walls that have pastel shades or vibrant designs have a calming effect and help combat a high-stress work environment. A graceful wall décor can, not just add colors but also complement the individual’s sense of purpose.

Pro Tip:
Exposed brick designs and vibrant wallpapers are an upcoming trend.

The three basic considerations while coming up with meeting room designs are- floor space, privacy, and technology integration because meeting rooms are the spaces where most of the productive interactions happen. It can have a positive impact on the way meetings are conducted and the direction they steer. An excellent meeting room design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also takes into consideration employee comfort.

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Types of co-workers post-Holi

How’s the thought of celebrating Holi in office space? Exciting !! Scrumptious Gujiya, colorful Gulal, and the cool summer breeze can only mean one thing- Holi! A festival where looking your worst marks a day well-spent and a festival well-celebrated. Holi can unite a nation known for its stupendous diversity with the power of simplicity. A simple touch of color followed by a sweet phrase- Bura Na Mano, Holi Hai- does the trick! While the festival is the epitome of fun, it’s the after-effects that are funnier. As you reminisce about yesterday’s celebrations and enjoy your long weekend, here is a list of your dear co-workers who you’ll definitely encounter on Monday morning-

1. The water advocate: This person informed the entire office about the hazards of water wastage, helped the HR send out emails, put up posters and sent WhatsApp forwards on office groups. The particular person- no matter what they claim- ended up playing with water and a bunch of other liquids (eggs, mud, the list is endless). Although they had the best intention at heart and an extremely valid point, in reality, it’s always hard to follow what you preach and expect that from others as well. Still, no harm in trying though?

2. The DIY granny: He/she arrives on Monday with clean, shining skin and a host of DIY(Do-It-Yourself) recipes to offer on Holi in Office space. They’re the King/Queen of DIY and will have the best advice to offer. From a hack passed on by their grandmother to a hack they discovered by experimenting- they know it all. Head to their seat if you’re still getting a mini heart-attack every time you see the red colored water while bathing!

3. The Holi horror victim: These tortured souls were scared before the festival and the after-effects have left them petrified. They’re the ones who view the Holi ground/garden as a battlefield and you, as a soldier armed with the most deadly weapon known to mankind-colors. You can spot them as the people who hid in the bathroom or didn’t move from their desks while everyone played Holi at work. Don’t confuse them with the DIY grannies. They both might be spotless, but one would offer you advice about banishing color from your skin and others about banishing Holi from your life!

4. The gujiya lover: The beautiful, golden dumpling filled with mouth-watering sweet Khoya is everyone’s Holi favorite. No one loves it more than ‘The ultimate gujiya lover’. If there is a gujiya within a ten-meter distance, they’ll find it and eat it. No gujiya box can hide from their sight.

5. The proud multi-colored enthusiast: These people are hard to miss. Be it before or after the festival, no matter how much you try; you cannot avoid them. They’re the ones who are the most enthusiastic about Holi in office space and spend the majority of their days leading up to the festival discussing the colors, location, plan-of-action and other things (which cannot be mentioned here) of their Holi party. Post-Holi they carry their color stains like triumphant soldiers who have returned from the battlefield. Every stain is like a scar which is then followed by a story. They played Holi with any substance imaginable and have no shame in narrating their story to anyone who’s willing to hear it. They and the Holi horror victims will never understand each other, and we’ll always spot the former trying to narrate their stories forcefully to the latter.

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4 Must-Read Tips for Better Work-Life Balance

For most of us, finding a work-life balance between the time spent on a demanding career and ever-so-important personal life is an ongoing challenge. Technology, with all its positive aspects, has added to the trouble by making working professionals accessible around the clock.

In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours a week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week as per a Harvard Business School survey.

In a scenario like this, achieving the elusive ‘work-life balance’ can often feel like an impossible feat. So, in today’s ‘do more with less’ competitive world, how can work for professional management careers and families? Here are some handy and easy-to-adopt tips to help you find the balance that’s just right for you:

 

Prioritize

This is the most important tip. It defines not only your day at work but also your life. So, simply start by identifying what and who is essential in your life and draw some firm boundaries to devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities.

This identification and boundaries will make it easier for you to see what needs to be trimmed from the busy schedule. If social media surfing sends you into a time-wasting spiral, try using some productivity software or just try devoting limited time to them each day.

Or if you feel that your time gets gobbled up, almost every day, by indulging in some less constructive conversations then find ways to excuse yourself and limit these interactions politely. In other words, try and focus on the people and activities that reward you the most.

 

Make quality time true quality time!

No matter what stage of your career you are at, it’s imperative to know when you should shut your phone off and enjoy the moment. This also holds relevance when you are at work, and personal issues throw you off balance. Try to live in the moment and make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, activities that will help you rewind and recharge.

While most people believe in making plans over the weekend, fit in a family or friends outing during the week. If you have plans with your families on your calendar, you’ll have something to look forward to and it will act as an extra incentive to manage your time well at work.

 

Exercise & meditate

No matter how busy our lives become, we make time for critical things in life. We eat, we sleep, we party and even watch Netflix. And yet exercise is often the first thing to go for a toss when our calendars fill up. But as per various research and experts, exercise is one of the effective stress busters for people looking to strike a healthy work-life balance.

It pumps ‘feel-good’ endorphins in your body, lifts your mood and even reflects positively in your office work. Therefore, start dedicating a few hours a week to ‘self-love’ in the form of yoga, exercise or meditation.

 

Start small

We’ve all at some point in time said to ourselves: I’m going to touch my target weight of 55 from 85 today. Will go for a run from zero miles a day to five miles a day. Spend all the weekends with family from none today. But do we really do that? Our obvious guess is no.

Therefore it’s important to start small. Start by 1 kg a week, one mile a day and one evening a week. In order to achieve the ideal work-life balance, start by taking some baby steps and experience some success and failures. Stand up again and build from there!

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Women’s Workplace Wishlist: Smartworks Edition

The more time we spend at our workplace, the more our desk, laptop, phone and a steaming hot beverage feel like family. In other words, our office becomes a ‘second home’ to us.

Now, if it’s a home, we’re bound to have some expectations, right?

While most offices are proactive when it comes to the needs of their female employees there are still some that lag behind.

Women are slowly overcoming years of prejudice to make an indelible impression on the corporate world, and attracting the right people to work for you is essential. Hiring and retaining trailblazing women employees is only possible if you make sure your company has what they’re looking for.

This doesn’t mean that women are seeking differential treatment. However, it is vital that organizations treat their female employees right, and take their perspective into account.

With this in mind, we have compiled a wishlist of #WhatWomenWant at their workplace.

  1. Job satisfaction
    If our day begins with a purpose, then it should end with the satisfaction of completing that mission. This becomes even more crucial when it comes to your job. Female employees feel it’s “critical” to find jobs that enable them to do what they do best. People who get a chance to use their abilities and knowledge are more likely to be satisfied and flourish at work. Businesses need to ensure that their staff, especially female employees, are placed in roles that harness the particular skillsets and capabilities of each individual. This approach helps foster a sense of purpose at work and keeps employees motivated.
  2. Work-life balance
    Whether an organization can offer an excellent work-life balance and personal well-being is another important consideration. The idea of work-life balance and well-being varies from one woman to another. Be it working mothers or women planning to start a family, an absence of a work-life balance can present a major problem. Women prefer working with employers who respect their ambition to rise to the top, without sacrificing every other aspect of their life. A company that encourages, supports and empowers women as ‘people’ rather than ‘workers’ is seen as a more favorable workplace.
  3. Equal pay
    Even after years of heated debates on the glaring disparity in incomes across the gender divide, there remains an unequal pay structure between men and women. According to a report published in ‘The Hindu’, men earned a median gross hourly salary of Rs. 288.68 per hour, while women received Rs. 207.85, or about 27% less than their male counterparts. The question here is: If women are working as much as men, and in the same field, then why the difference? While the answer is debatable, such a gap will only increase unless adequate action is taken to prevent it.
  4. Hygienic powder rooms
    Stepping into a dirty powder room is not just unsightly but highly unsanitary as well. Hygiene is a basic necessity and should be provided, irrespective of the place. That said, an unhygienic washroom can be expected in a public space, but certainly not in an upscale office space. A powder room with proper hygiene and amenities is a must-have.
  5. Transport Facilities
    Late nights or early mornings, work is work and can’t be stalled for anything. The question of safety is a pivotal concern, given the alarming rise in acts of sexual violence against women. To counter the threat, organizations not only need to beef up security but should also provide a trusted transport facility. A reliable pick up/drop service is also a great convenience for women employees who often have to juggle their work and home life. Such facilities not only make women feel safer but also allow them to concentrate on what matters: their work.

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5 Rights Every Employee Should Know – But They don’t!

In our last article, we shared some ‘in-office’ wisdom for employees standing at crossroads do’s & don’t’s in a professional setup. In this article, we would highlight some of the fundamental employee rights each employee is entitled to in India.

While individual companies have their own employee handbook, most of them miss educating their people about workplace rights.

In order to create and maintain a symbiotic relationship with a company’s biggest asset, its people, every employer must talk about these rights.

Below are a few-

1) Right to keep copies of documents you sign

How many of you remember that stack of papers you signed (without reading, of course) when you started your job?

Well, you may have agreed not to work for a competitor, not to communicate with clients and vendors of the company, or leave the company before completion of a year or two.

Whether you are leaving the company or plan to stick around for a while, get a copy of everything you sign. Having copies of these documents is your right.

It gives both parties a sense of security that both are fully aware of their obligations and have agreed to comply with the stated terms and conditions.

2) Right to complain or protest about work

Ever wonder why a plethora of strikes (READ Recent sanitation workers strike, DLF site strike et al.) in India aren’t stopped in one swoop?

Well, that’s because they are legally protected under The Factories Act, 1948.

The law says that every worker has the right to protest and object to working conditions. Does your company fail to provide decent working conditions to you and your colleagues? They may be breaking the law.

3) Equal pay for equal work

Also, a constitutional right, equal pay for equal work means every employer is liable to pay equal to men, women or even temporary staff performing same tasks or responsibilities.

Unfortunately, even after repeated focus on women empowerment and gender equality in public discourse, there’s still a considerable gap between men and women in pay scales.

For instance, a survey conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2017, point to the extreme levels of disparity in wages for women in India.

The study reflected that men earn more than their women counterparts for similar jobs. The gap in many cases was as staggering as 30 percent.

Nevertheless, as an employee, you must know that it’s your right under India’s “Equal Remuneration Act of 1976.”

4) Right against sexual harassment at workplace

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention) Act, 2013 mandates employers to protect their employees, especially women, at workplace against any incidence of sexual harassment.

In fact, as per the law, all incidents of sexual harassment – big or small – require employers or managers to respond quickly and appropriately.

So, next time if someone tries to cross the line, don’t hesitate from complaining because of his/her position in the company.

5) Gratuity

As you all might already know, Gratuity is a retirement benefit under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 paid to an employee at the time of retirement, termination, resignation or employee’s death.

As per the law, an organization with 10 or more employees is supposed to pay gratuity to workers who have worked for 12 months or more. It is the last drawn salary (sum of basic and dearness allowance) multiplied by the number of years of service.

In case the employer fails to provide gratuity, he/ she faces prison for a term not less than six months and not more than two years.

That’s all for today, folks! Keep following Smartworks for more exciting scoops about work and work life!

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Chapter 4: What Managers Can Do To Boost Employee Productivity

Improving employees’ productivity is like an overdue file that keeps making its presence felt at the manager’s desk. No matter how hard they try, there is always a clause or a page that remains incomplete.

Managers across every domain face similar problems when it comes to increasing employees’ productivity. There are reports that say employee productivity has grown by .3% a year over five years, from 2011 to 2016. The slim growth reveals that something needs to be done right by the firms and of course managers to get better at employee productivity.

There are a lot of tricks in the book but rummaging through them can be pretty time consuming and at times futile. To make every manager’s life easier and make every firm prosper, here are four practical ways to live by if you want to be a better leader at work and inspire your employees every day at the office:

Incentives: ‘one’ for ‘all’, not ‘all’ for ‘one’

One of the best ways to encourage employees to be more efficient is actually to give them a reason to do so. Recognizing your people for a job done well will not only make them feel appreciated, but also encourage them to continue increasing their productivity.

But there’s a natural tendency for management to focus most heavily on senior-level economic incentives. While this is understandable, it’s best not to neglect substantive incentives for lower-level employees.

While some may argue that it can be a costly affair, experts say that a carefully structured program with clearly defined revenue and/or earnings targets can work like a charm, both for an employee and manager.

Say it when you mean it and mean it when you say it OR Communicate Richly

Meaningful feedback is a foundational management skill that can have a significant impact on an employee’s productivity. Undeniably, feedback should not always be positive rather it should be encouraging. Managers and employees communicating effectively about the problems and improvements will create a holistic environment to work.

So, providing constructive feedback on a regular basis, be it encouragement for a job well done or advice on a presentation gone awry will make a massive difference to the productivity of a firm.

Value. Support. Recognize. (VSR)

Three words that can’t be stressed enough. It’s essential that every manager understands and abides by these words in their tenure.

A manager’s support in times of need won’t be forgotten. In fact, it builds employee goodwill and loyalty. A situation where an employee is valued and recognized for their work can have a positive impact on them as compared to the contrary situation.

That’s not saying that unwarranted praises will do the trick. Recognition at the right time (say for getting a client on board) is often a more powerful motivator than money. Value your employees, support them during rough times and recognize their hard work and achievements.

Make yourself a priority

Yes, you read that right. The best investment you will ever make as a manager is in yourself. In fact, this is a move that will put the aforementioned points into action.

Get enough sleep, use your time wisely and always surround yourself with people who share your values and push you to achieve. By doing things that will make you a better leader or a person will let you have more time to tend to the needs of your employees.

So, to say that increasing the productivity of a firm is just in the hands of a few individuals is incorrect. It’s an amalgamation of effort by everyone who is a part of the firm.

To know more about increasing the productivity of your firm, check out the previous chapters and get an insight into how highly productive and engaged employees can change the course of a company’s success.

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