Category Archives: Productivity

The Future of Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces have transformed the way we work today. It provides flexibility, takes care of the basic amenities such as desk space, electricity, internet connection and all a person has to do is pay for their space at a reasonable price. Unlike the traditional set up with direct to asset purchase and bearing all the overheads that came with it.

It is estimated by the end of the year, there will be over 26,000 coworking space globally. Furthermore, 10% of office spaces are occupied by coworking and are expected to rise to approximately 25% in the next few years.

Plus, the working population today likes to perform to their own timing and there is one crowd in particular that prefers a coworking environment.

According to Forbes, millennials are especially fond of coworking spaces for a few reasons, namely, affordability and not having to worry about the overheads.

However, as the workforce changes, coworking space also needs to evolve itself to remain relevant to the dynamic, new working-age population. Here are some ways, the future of coworking spaces can shape the new-age of work:

Revamp Workplace Strategy

Be it a coworking workplace or an enterprise, the people managing these organisations need to understand the mindset of Gen Z, who are the future of the workforce. Millennials will soon become the new elders and will more likely stick with their existing business. Gen Z, on the other hand, seeks experiences and a better work-life balance.

Collaborative Working Environment

Every professional these days seeks to work in a place that has a conducive work environment with enhanced collaboration and accessibility. This means less silo departments and more collaborative spaces with an employee-centric workplace.

As the way work changes, coworking space should be able to physically change as well. A coworking space that is more collaborative, offering wellness programming or a robust and dynamic design plan that puts employee needs first, without sacrificing productivity, will help companies easily align with the younger generation of workers seeking long-term careers.

Amenities

Most coworking space providers offer a huge gamut of services to their partner companies like crèche facilities, locker rooms, courier services, cafeteria, gaming zones, and gym facilities among others. These amenities help in assisting employees by making all the essentials, available at the click of a button.

Going The Extra Mile

For the younger generation, talking about inclusivity and sustainability is not enough. A business needs to showcase that they can walk the talk.

According to Cushman & Wakefield, 29 percent of millennials rank environmental concerns as their top priority. Whereas, Gen Z has the highest level of social awareness, and that is reflected in their employment choices. Corporate social responsibility, alongside flexibility, is perhaps the leading competitive recruitment strategy moving into the next decade.

Workspace design and setup

A cubicle is a thing of the past and Gen Z will most likely not join a company that still has this type of setup. Soft furnishings that can be changed with the needs of the office and through subscription services are more popular than ever and for good reason. A coworking space that gives people the power to make their own space will be more successful in retaining talent. Business-wise it makes sense as there will be less waste and consumption which allows for more flexibility to create the workspace of the future. Telephone booths, hot desking, an open workspace set-up are here to stay for the long run.

Recreational Events and Corporate Training Workshops

Employees look forward to work in a collaborative workplace with engaging recreational activities. Most coworking spaces have dedicated activity rooms and recreational areas within their campus to help companies keep their employees motivated and engaged.

Some coworking spaces also arrange weekly events like coffee painting, karaoke, Zumba fitness, baking sessions, etc to help employees rewind and relax. Off late, most coworking space providers have started arranging corporate training workshops in the office premises to help employees revamp their existing knowledge and skills.

Such networking opportunities and exposure helps in keeping the employees motivated and increases their productivity.

Coworking spaces need to understand the demands of the modern workforce and continuously innovate to provide state-of-the-art workspaces, adept with all the latest technology, amenities and recreational activities. By providing employees a flexible workplace and a collaborative environment will not only help them learn new skills and grow, but also help companies to grow and retain talent. The future of coworking spaces rests on their relevancy and adaption to the needs of the modern workforce.

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Top 10 Tips on Managing a Team in Coworking Spaces

The days of occupying an entire building by a single company or organisation has undergone a huge paradigm shift with the rise of multi-utility spaces and with it there is a need to manage the team in coworking spaces effectively.

Thus, when it comes to a fully functional coworking environment, as a manager it is important to keep your team motivated and your members inspired. Some of the best coworking space has a well-designed layout, updated communication tools, multi-purpose and dedicated rooms for meetings and conferences, and accessible cafeteria. But to make this all happen, you cannot overlook the people who help you every day. After all, you need them to keep your office space functional and operational.

Here are the top 10 tips for management of team in coworking spaces:

Team Building Exercise

You will be working with a variety of people with different skill sets. Plus they will require to be hands-on in assisting you in managing the coworking space. Chances are this can lead to some form of detrimental productivity from your workforce. Thus, you will need to create some team building exercises to raise the productivity of your team and ensure they feel being part of a work culture.

Fostering Culture

Though it is important to have diversity in your team, it is also important to have some workplace culture. This can help in building your brand and also making your team feel part of a team. Fostering a culture can also be extended to the members where they know the calibre of the people who are running the place and they too are inspired to maintain that professional expectation from themselves. It works both ways.

Sharing Ideas

A great coworking environment is open and receptive to leveraging the benefits of being a community space. This is a good way to find innovative solutions and introducing new ideas to the workspace by your team and members utilising the space. As a manager, you can further enhance the work environment by tagging some of your team members with new people to share new ideas. Also encouraging someone to lead with their idea gives a sense of ownership that can have a positive drive to others.

Encourage Member Engagements

Following from the above point, it is important to have a feedback channel open for members to contribute towards making your coworking space more productive and streamlined. These feedbacks can be about the daily operations, housekeeping, to technical services. As manager of the coworking space, you can take the additional step to cater towards member engagement by social activities and games.

Utilise Digital Tools

Digital tools have become an indispensable part of daily communication. It is efficient and effective. Investing in such tools and platforms can help your team communicate with each other in a more efficient manner. Some digital tools can also assist in the dissemination of updates such as a newsletter, CRM software, or even a simple CMS platform. Furthermore, you can encourage your team to share and collaborate by means of using online platforms for ideation and discussion.

Disturbances and Disruptions

The concept of a coworking space is open and collaborative with different work cultures merging into a single entity. This blurring of space can lead to frequent interruptions and disruptions to the normal flow of the daily work. To address this occupational noise, certain rules and provisions must be arranged for your team members ensuring that work gets done along with addressing member queries and issues.

Brand Awareness

A brand is more than a logo. It highlights your company’s character, it builds a persona. Promoting your brand within your workplace will constantly remind your team members about your organisation’s identity and the values it stands for. This will generate a sense of identity and your workforce will feel a part of the team. This can be done by branding your logo on various stationary that can be handed out to your team and members using the space.

Counselling

No matter where you and your team works, stress will be a normal part of the day. However, some may find it difficult to cope with additional stress. This may be due to work or personal pressures or even both. It is important to notify your team that help is available where they can avail of a counselling session to improve their mental well being. It can also be encouraged for your team to attend some daily sessions even if they are fine, as it will only improve their mindset.

Privacy

As part of the team-building exercise, it is also important to know that some will be more responsive to individual talks. This means, as a manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that whatever is communicated or discussed between you and your team member, it will remain private and confidential.

Transparency & Set Timelines

With everything going on, ensure there is transparency in your work. As a manager, everyone will be looking up to you as a leader and therefore you need to adhere to not just the work hours but also lead by example. If a work timeline is set for everyone, the manager is also expected to meet their deadlines too. This encourages others to follow suit and will lead to improved productivity within your team.

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Tips to Get Back to Work After COVID-19 Lockdown

As the cases of the COVID-19 pandemic flatten, it is time for businesses and various organisations to start summoning their employees back to the office. Maintaining a healthy work environment will be a key element in ensuring your business can rise from the sudden break and sustain itself in the long run.

It is also imperative your employees do not feel overwhelmed when they return to the office. After all, they have to re-adjust to working from their desks and office space. The lockdown hasn’t been easy on anyone and it is important for companies to make their employees feel valued and welcome at work. Therefore, a smart business would have taken ample measures to ensure that their workforce is motivated and driven to take on their work with full enthusiasm and vigor as before.

Here are some tips to get back to work after COVID-19 to get your team up and improve productivity in the workplace:

1.Plan The Settling In

With the lockdown easing up, many businesses have already put in place safety measures to protect their company and employees. Social distancing has to be maintained with desks and work stations kept at a distance of at least 6 feet from each other. 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.Rotation Of Duties

The impact of the coronavirus will be here for a while. This means, businesses can no more function as before but take in the new reality in place, the ‘new normal’. This means, where is a space crunch, managers will need to organise a shift based or rotational work policy where a part of the team will function from office and the rest from home. This way, the spread can be minimised and ensure the safety of everyone.

3.Sanitise Your Workplace

With everything going on to ensure employee satisfaction and expectation, businesses will need to fumigate and sanitise the workplace on a regular basis. 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.

4.Sensitise Your Team

Remember, not all your employees will feel safe to return to work. Those who do turn up might feel a bit overwhelmed by overthinking the situation. Some might be in denial and proceed without care. All these signs must be taken up at a regular safe space talk/meet individually and assure them of the situation. Highlight the work environment is being sanitised daily, assure them they are taken care of, and create a sense of belonging by acknowledging their fears and concerns. Create a stress-busting activity where they can talk about their feelings, without fear of judgement. Let this activity be non-work related as well.

5.Maintain Social Distancing

While it is important to ensure your employees remain productive, post lockdown, you will have to ensure social distancing is being maintained as part of the ‘new normal’ in running a business. The lockdown may have ended but the disease still remains, therefore, till the time there is no advisory from medical authorities, social distancing amongst the employees has to be maintained. This also includes taking breaks and going for lunches. Stagger your employees for their break, space out the dining area, and ensure food is being handled with protective masks and gloves.

The above are some of the quick measures that can be undertaken by various businesses for the safety and security of their employees. It is important to assure employees that the work environment is safe and hygienic while at the same time acknowledge their fears. Ensuring productivity from employees can occur only when they are settled and feel secure coming to the office every day and businesses must accept the new normal and disseminate the information to their employees and keep them updated with their workplace wellness and readiness measures.

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5 Must Read Books For Entrepreneurs Recommended By Billionaires

We recently published a few articles on how billionaires across the globe stay productive through the day and what all aspiring founders and working professionals can learn from them. When studying the habits of these successful people, we came across one thing they all had in common: They are well-read.

Successful entrepreneurs are at their best when they squeeze in some meaningful time to read in their busy schedule. Sure you can’t read 50 books a year as Bill Gates does, but you can certainly grab a copy of any book from this handpicked list, recommended by successful people before the year ends.

These books have just the right balance of facts and stories, inspiration and actions that will make you look at things with a new-found perspective.     

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras

Recommended by: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Naukri’s Founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani

Bezos once said in an interview that he usually buys around ten books a month.  Aside from sci-fi novels, one of the entrepreneurial books which soon became his favourite was ‘Built to Last’ by Jim Collins. Similarly, for Bikhchandani, CEO of India’s largest job portal site, Naukri.com, Built to Last has been an inspiration to create the business he has today.    

The New York Times bestseller, Built to Last, is filled with hundreds of real-life examples and frameworks to help entrepreneurs of all levels build a prosperous organisation. The authors draw upon a six-year research project examining the common practices of the most outstanding companies such as Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Motorola, Procter & Gamble, Merck, Nordstrom, Sony, Disney, Marriott, and Walmart.

It must be worth a read if it helped Bezos become one of the richest people in the world!

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Recommended by: Tesla’s Elon Musk

Authored by PayPal’s co-founder, Zero to one is THE book for entrepreneurs, innovators and doers.  

The book explores how companies can better predict the future and take action to ensure that their startup is a success. It forces the aspiring entrepreneurs to think ‘what valuable company is no one building’ and if the company they are thinking of will show a diminishing rate of return or higher rate of returns.

The book also has four interesting rules that are common in every ‘zero to one’ idea.  In Musk’s words, “Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and ‘Zero to One’ shows how!”

Business Adventures by John Brooks

Recommended by: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet

When Bill Gates first met Warren Buffet, he asked for a business book recommendation. Without a doubt, Buffet recommended his favourite book, “Business Adventures,” by John Brooks.

Compiled in 1962, the book has used 12 stories from the world of wall street to describe the success and failures of businesses during that era, which stands true even today. Unlike various business books, you won’t find any listicles in Brook’s book. The book consists of long articles that frame an issue, explore it in-depth, introduce a few compelling characters, and show how things went for them.  

Although the 12 tales date back to the early days of wall street, it remains to be the best books for entrepreneurs as the rules for running a strong business and creating value haven’t changed much at all.

Autobiography of Yogi by Hindu guru Paramahansa Yogananda

Recommended by: Apple’s Steve Jobs, Games2Win’s Alok Kejriwal

During Steve Jobs memorial service in October 2011, each attendee received a brown box as a farewell gift. Inside the box was a copy of “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Hindu guru Paramahansa Yogananda.

This acclaimed autobiography presents a fascinating portrait of one of the great spiritual figures of our time. The book is a beautifully written account of an exceptional life and a profound introduction to the ancient science of Yoga and its time-honoured tradition of meditation.

Instead of business, numbers, and profits, the book emphasises the importance of ‘Self-realization.’ Translated into more than twenty languages, it’s a modern spiritual classic and must-read book for entrepreneurs who deal with stress, confusion, and aloofness on a daily basis.  

Gandhi: An Autobiography by Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

Recommended by: Apple’s Tim Cook, Former USA President Barack Obama

First published in installments in the late 1920s, the book recounts the life of Mahatma Gandhi, as well as how he developed the concept of civil disobedience.

While for Obama this book is his most famous forever favourites, Cook got interested in the book when he visited a museum during his trip to India.

According to Cook, this book has helped him to grow Apple’s business. Another business executive who’s a fan of Gandhi’s autobiography is Siemens India CEO, Sunil Mathur. Mathur said that the book had inspired him “to run a value-based business that is sustainable.”

No matter how crazy the schedule, one can always find time to delve into the depths of a good book.  Do drop in a comment here after you read any one of these. Or just tell us about any books for entrepreneurs that have had the most profound effect on your thinking.  

Happy reading!

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Save Space With A Phone Booth & Improve Productivity

When it comes to finding the best coworking space, chances are you’re simply not looking for a space to work but also a space that provides privacy.

Often, shared office spaces are a bit distracting which can hamper productivity and worsen your employee experience. In the US alone, over 70% of workspaces are currently have an open space design. The idea behind the open design was to encourage more collaboration by improving transparency but in reality, it has the opposite effect.

In the dearth of privacy, employees tend to avoid interaction with each other, spend more time working from home or off-site locations, and lock themselves off with headphones to appear less approachable.

Reworking an entire site just to improve employee satisfaction can be expensive, and it takes time to plan and execute. Moving back to traditional cubicles, which have long been considered too static and inflexible to adapt to changing business needs, isn’t an appealing option either. This is why, agile coworking spaces need to think out of the box and get in the box. We are talking about bringing back the old classic: Phone Booth. And the first image that pops up in the mind is the red London phone booth.

However, unlike the actual phone booth, these compact space with its four-walled-glass panel, makes for a perfect one-on-one meeting room for a confidential web call, as a normal conference room that can hold four people and above is a waste of space for just one person. The modern-day phone booth is a sleek, reimagined version that fits comfortably within modern workspace design, adding a much-needed element of flexibility.

Many enterprises look for an agile coworking space that caters to their brand guidelines and reflects their brand ethos and a phone booth is a good example to showcase to them. Phone booths can act as a miniature conference room and even a social room for a short break.

A recent article on BBC has shown that teams across all industries who use phone booth-like structures have a greater sense of control over their work environment. A phone booth acts as a private space too which thereby increases employee socialisation as they get a space to themselves when needed, putting an end to wearing a headphone to avoid conversations with coworkers.

A coworking space is not just renting an office space. Businesses are shifting to flexible workspace and furniture as a service makes or breaks a deal. Phone booths as a workspace can be cost-effective, easy to assemble and almost visible in many coworking spaces across the world.

In today’s talent-driven market, being empowered to make decisions about how and when we work is more valued than ever. Plus, the Millennial workforce is dynamic, accustomed to change, and prefers when a workspace can keep pace with a fast-paced market.

Modern enterprises must seek to make their employees more empowered and engaged, along with delivering some sense of privacy that will encourage staff productivity.

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Benefits of a biophilic office design

Our work environment impacts our mood, performance, and productivity. Amidst our busy lives within the four walls of the skyscrapers, we barely get any time to connect with nature. With millions of digital distractions and deadline pressures, we are restricted to our cubicles and are pushed into a ‘nature deficit’.

More and more companies are moving towards open office spaces to enable people to easily connect and enjoy the restorative effects of nature. Over the past few years, there has been a burgeoning demand for biophilic office design. Coworking space providers are constantly innovating and designing workspaces with elements that help us feel closer to nature – with a mix of natural elegant colours and patterns, indoor plants and even plant walls. Most of the shared coworking space providers are encouraging green elements to keep employees rejuvenated and maintain a positive vibe. We spend most of our time either commuting to work or chasing deadlines, which is why, Smartworks coworking spaces in India have offices that focus on providing modern workspaces that focus on employee’s productivity and wellness.

Here are three reasons why modern offices need to reconnect with nature:

1) Maximised Productivity:

A recent UK study on the relative benefits of green versus lean office space showed that offices with natural light and greenery witnessed a 15% rise in productivity over a period of three months in comparison to those working within the walls of their cubicle. Natural light can help improve employee wellbeing by boosting the creation of melatonin, which enhances the energy levels of individuals. Most coworking spaces have open workspace areas for maximised collaboration and recreational zones, where employees can relax and rewind.

2) Physical Health:

Coworking spaces are now introducing plants, living green walls into the office floor to improve the air quality as these plants help absorb pollutants, toxins and airborne bacteria. Apart from improved air quality, the presence of plants in the office space reduces stress by half and helps in keeping the employees relaxed. Research by the US Joint Commission claimed that employees who had a window or a plant on their desk had a huge impact on sickness and absence rates.

3) Mental Wellbeing:

Most employees across the world spend at least 90% of their working hours, inside their cabins or at their desks, which increases their stress levels by a whopping 75%. Gensler’s study proves that the proximity to nature helps in fostering a positive outlook by lowering stress and hypertension. Access to natural light and wooden furniture is the easiest way of creating a harmonious work ambience.

The millennial workforce of today aspires to work in a vibrant office space with a modern biophilic office design which engenders a sense of belonging. Some agile office space providers are constantly helping enterprises redesign their workspaces to make them more employee-friendly and personal-with plants, sunlight and vibrant décor, workstations feel more relatable at a sensory level. With the boundaries of work and personal life constantly diminishing, it is the responsibility of the companies/enterprises to adapt to the idea of wellness by providing a nurturing work environment.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264395358_The_Relative_Benefits_of_Green_Versus_Lean_Office_Space_Three_Field_Experiments

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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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Reasons to Assure Why Coworking Spaces are a Good Investment Option

Let’s face it, opting for a coworking space is not only cost-effective but also improves enterprise interactions with potential new business. It provides a professional space and reduces any unnecessary overheads. Coworking Spaces are a Good Investment Option as most of them are located near public transport and parking zones for easy accessibility. Apart from flexible and managed workspaces, most of the agile workspace providers offer a huge gamut of amenities like gaming zones, anger management rooms, theatres, and basketball/badminton courts for recreational and relaxation.

Office space Flexibility:

According to a prominent real-estate survey, about 80% of employees claimed that they are the most productive when they switch places while working. Workspace flexibility has become a priority among most of the working professionals around the globe. Most of the flexible and managed space providers allow ample mobility within the office spaces apart from the dedicated desks and chairs, like standing desks, phone booths, beanbags, etc. Coworking spaces have a lot to offer to professionals who don’t restrict to the 9 to 5 working hours as most they are operational 24×7 for providing maximized work flexibility.

Convenient and Accessible:

Whether you work in the set 9 to 5 schedule or you follow your own work timings, your office space should be easily accessible for you to work. Most coworking space providers have 24×7 operations throughout the year to ensure that people can work according to their convenience, anytime. Such flexible work timings help professionals to work according to their comfort and maintain a pragmatic work-life balance.

More collaboration opportunities:

Nobody likes to work in isolation. Working out of a shared office space where you are surrounded with goal-oriented and high-achieving individuals, maximizes your productivity and keeps you updated with your industry peers. Surrounding yourself with positive and driven individuals will also boost your confidence. Shared office spaces have dedicated recreational areas and meeting rooms, where people from different walks of life can come together to brainstorm and network. Coworking spaces provide a huge gamut of networking opportunities, opening gateways to inspiration and providing maximised opportunities for collaboration and alliances.

Fitness and wellbeing initiatives:

Everyone is concerned about fitness and healthy living. About 71% of working professionals have admitted to following a strict work-out and fitness regime. Keeping this in mind, most of the coworking spaces have started including sports, fitness and wellness centres within the office premises to provide people the comfort of exercising as per their convenience. Such amenities help in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Focus on Work-life balance:

Workspaces are a crucial factor in shaping lifestyles. The working millennial of today aspires to achieve a perfect work-life balance, with workspace proximity, a healthy working environment with like-minded people, all additional amenities under one roof. Most of the coworking spaces are coming up with smart solutions like daycare services, laundry services, and grocery services among others for the convenience of the employees.

With an increased focus on employee well-being and maintaining a perfect work-life balance, coworking spaces are Good Investment Option and emerging as a convenient one-stop solution for corporates and large enterprises.

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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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Chapter 3: 4 Home Productivity Hacks by Celebrities like Richard Branson

In our last productivity chapter, we elaborated on hacks that can make your productivity at work go from a dull zero to an exhilarating 100. While there is still an ample amount of advice available on the internet for work, very few foci on the homefront.

Most of us associate productivity with things we do at work and fail to understand that productivity at work is directly proportional to productivity at home. The way we start our day or actions that we take back home, augment our productivity and allow us to make most of our day.

Keeping this in mind, we did some hard work for you and dove into the daily lives of successful people to understand what keeps them going. Here are four actionable takeaways that you can start immediately to make a difference in your daily life.

Have a morning ritual
How many of you snooze the alarm until you have no choice but to quickly shower, race out the door, and grab some (unhealthy) breakfast on the way to work? We see a lot of heads nodding.

A productive day undoubtedly starts with a productive morning. Having the first 30-60 minutes of your day to yourself is a highly effective yet most understated productivity hack. These first few minutes of the day not only give you a great head start but also allow you to invest in your body and mind.

In fact, a lot of millionaires of our generation have their own version of morning rituals. Where Richard Branson (Founder of the Virgin Group) swims around his island and play tennis before sitting down for a healthy breakfast, Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter & Square) wakes up at 5.30 to meditate, followed by a 6-mile jog, Indra Nooyi, on the other hand, wakes up as early as 4 am and reaches office no later than 7 am.

So the first step to being productive at home begins with finding your version of ‘morning time’ and sticking to it.

To-do list to the rescue
The way you structure your day can either hurt or help your productivity. When you know exactly what you need to do and get done, you can then hit the ground running the first thing when you start your day.

You save time without having to think or organize your day because you already know what to do. But unfortunately, most people get to the office at the very last minute and then spend their time thinking about what to do. And that’s where a ‘to-do list’ comes into the picture.

Just like a morning ritual, it is also a productivity hack that contributes to many people’s successes, including Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX) and Nathan Blecharczyk (billionaire, and co-founder of Airbnb). In fact, some successful people go the extra mile and give each day a job or theme. This means that they devote certain days of their work to different types of work. For example, on Mondays, they would focus on meetings, Tuesdays for product development, Wednesdays for marketing and so-on.

Simply put, start your day with an agenda and a plan ahead because people who fail to plan for their day, eventually become a part of other people’s plans.

Accomplish something beyond work
A healthy work-life balance is not only about succeeding at work or earning a certain digit figure. It’s about having a sense of accomplishment, both at work and at home. Make room for things that can fit into your overall vision for work and life.

It could be as simple as reading a book you’ve always wanted to, watching a long DIY video, being more involved in your kids’ football, dance or drama practices or doing something long-planned as learning a guitar or any new language.

All you have to do and decide is that ‘one thing’ that always takes a back seat and you will definitely see a change.

Make it home for dinner (Always!)
There is always more to be done, more that should be done, and more that can be done. But work shouldn’t stop you from spending time with your family, and most importantly yourself.

And making it home in time for dinner is a productivity hack that makes you realize that there will always be more to do at work, you just need to decide when to take a hard stop intentionally. Just remember that spending time with your family and taking time at night to rest and recharge is always a wise decision.

Bonus Tip
By now, we’re guessing that our tips are being put to action. So, try and keep things as simple as possible. If you are writing down your to-do list, focus on things you intend to finish in maximum of 32 hours, starting a workout regime- start with 30 minutes a day, making room for things you always wanted to do- take baby steps and start with something simple. The idea is to find your inner peace, both at work and at home.

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