Category Archives: Tips & Hacks

Ever wondered what the four billionaires have that even earning so much wealth they still have the everyday motivation to work and their productivity graph never falls? All these wealthy people have some things in common that give them an everyday motivation to grow. Our recent blog post will give you a list of tips and hacks which if inculcated in your work schedule can produce unexpectedly positive results. So don’t forget to stop by!

10 Things to Consider While Furnishing your Office

First impressions matter- whether you like it or not, people often judge your office space on the basis of its appearance. The look and feel of your office space plays a crucial role in not just hiring and retaining employees but also in creating an excellent impression on your clients. According to an HBR study, your office décor determines about 25% of your employee engagement and productivity. As most employees spend at least 9 to 10 hours at work every day, it is the responsibility of the employers to provide them a comfortable and motivating work environment. Furnishing your office space can pose to be a tedious job as it requires considerable planning and investment.

Here are some things you should keep in mind while furnishing your workspace:

1. Plan The Space

Before you commencing purchasing and renovating your office space, make a plan. This should include the changes you wish to make and the estimated cost. Do you hire an interior designer or do it on your own? Does your office space come with a planner who can assist? Arranging your office space can be a time-consuming affair. You will also need to keep in mind the individual requirements of your employees along with keeping your office space accessible to everyone.

2. Make comfort your priority:

Let’s focus on the basics- desks and chairs. Desks and chairs are the most used pieces of furniture in every office, as everyone spends most of their time sitting on them. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, it is imperative to ensure that the desks and chairs you choose are comfortable and convenient. While choosing a desk, ensure that they are big enough to hold files, laptops, and stationery. The desks should be of a uniform and standard height to accommodate the nature of work and the person working on it. Choosing desks with drawers and lockers can be very convenient for employees as it helps them keep their personal belongings. However, while choosing a chair ensure that they are properly cushioned and comes with an armrest and a backrest.

3. Quality over price

Just as in your business, you work to deliver quality work for your clients, a similar expectation remains amongst your employee when it comes to their office space. A Good quality furnished office will last long even if it falls expensive in the short term. Think of purchasing quality furniture as an investment than an expense. A shoddy, poor quality desk, chair, or file cabinet will start falling apart within a short time of use. Office furniture is meant to withstand heavy-duty usage. If budget is an issue, consider purchasing second-hand yet quality furniture. The comfort of your employees should be of paramount importance.

4. Add a personal touch

A stylish office can send a strong and positive message to your employees and clients. But a truly captivating and stylish office goes about in visualising the company’s mission statement with its furnishings. Let your office reflect your personality. Allow your office space to reflect your values and vision with décor that accentuates on your philosophies. Bright, vibrant wall painting can be a welcoming presence. Portraits of people you admire, displaying artifacts and curios, personalised space for your employees gives a unique blend to the mundane office space that communicates the dynamic values of you and your business.

5. Strive to create a serene environment

An office is a hectic space brimming with energy and ideas. It can also be an overwhelming space for some of your team members. As an employer, it is your responsibility to create a calm environment. The office ambiance plays a very crucial impact on your employees. A cluttered, noisy space with bad lighting, bare walls, and no windows can be not only unproductive but also dull. Part of your office furnishing designs and it should include space to allow natural light, ventilation, a zone where your employees can de-stress. Keeping plants can also have a productive impact as it allows a sense of tranquillity along with beautifying the space.

6. Invest to keep things fun

Gone are the days when an office was all work and no play. Today, employees check out the office culture too before making a final call to work for your business. We are creatures of habit yet become easily bored with the mundane and monotonous work. Creating a space within your office where your employees can de-stress will enhance their productivity. Investing in ping-pong and pool tables, massage chairs, the gym can improve the motivation of your team.

7. Get tech support

As you’re improving the furnishings around your office, set up a meeting with your IT and engineering team to configure the plug points and jacks for your employees to maximise the utility of your office space. Consider where you will set up your office printer, wifi routers, projectors, and screens which can be accessed easily but at the same time not coming in anybody’s way.

8. Employee feedback

According to HBR, a workplace that included employees in the decision making of setting up their individual workspace reported having higher job satisfaction. Allowing your employees to set up their space with the type of furniture they want to create a shared floor space can have added benefit for your business with improved productivity and realising your brand culture.

9. Create open space

When creating your office space, keep in mind to leave some room to move. Use décor that enhances your office space. For instance, if you have a small office space, but wish to create rooms, use glass partitions instead of opaque curtains as it will create a visual breathing space. Also depending on your space, creating an outdoor open and green space goes a long way to de-stress your employees.

10. Space to grow

You will want your business to grow, and therefore, when furnishing your office space keep in mind about the future when you may have to increase your team size. Your office space might remain the same but you will need to create an environment that will allow you to add more furniture and furnishing with a growing business and employees.

Furnishing your office goes beyond buying furniture and filling up space. It is about creating an elegant and vibrant ambiance. The manner in which you furnish your office can embody your principles and personality. Keep it consistent, warm, and welcoming.

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10 Benefits of Coworking Spaces

The rise of coworking spaces is a good sign. It means many are opting to work from a professional space but avoid the overheads, are more willing to network and collaborate and many enterprises are now choosing to work from agile coworking space as it offers business space for rent which is cost-effective than holding an actual office space. Coworking space not only offers a place to work but also provides additional benefits which is exclusive for the members of that space. However, before renting office space from a coworking environment, figure out what exactly you are looking for. Distractions will be present but choosing the right set up will ease the journey and not affect the business environment.

Here are the top 10 benefits of coworking spaces:

Networking

Coworking space increases the chances of meeting like-minded people is a great incentive for your business development. You get to interact with people from various industries and sectors. It only fosters a sense of community, but interacting with high-performing individuals will also boost your own self-confidence along with opening doors for enhancing your service.

Professional Address

Coworking spaces are centrally located within a city, close enough to public transport and restaurants, and also convenient for members to work from. As a business owner, working from home or café might not send the right message to your prospective clients, thus, coworking space offers not only a professional space but also dedicated meeting rooms, cafeteria and coffee zones to help you network better.

Finding Your Spot

A shared space allows a person to move around the workspace to find the best areas for yourself. At different times of the day, your mood might be different and changing spots might improve your productivity. Experimenting with different corners at work, you will find the best spots for yourself. Coworking space is great for people who like to move around while working.

Great Offers and Discounts

Working from a shared office space has a variety of benefits. Such coworking spaces offer a lot of discounts to members. Stay updated with the latest offers make the best use of it. Such offers and discounts are provided to make a member’s life in the coworking space convenient and enhance the work-life balance.

Attend Events

A lot of coworking spaces go to great lengths by conducting events. Be an active participant to such events. It not only helps you learn new things but also provides the opportunity to meet and interact with new people. Events at co-sharing space is a great way to socialise and interact with fellow members which allow for future collaborations. This goes to the first point of networking; attending events opens networking channels and a window of opportunity for new ideas and new clients.

Improve Productivity

Around 68% of people find they can focus better while working in a coworking space. If you prefer to work out of office but yet in a professional zone, renting a business space from a coworking site will improve your focus level. Plus the additional benefits a coworking space provides will always outweigh the cost.

Flexibility

Coworking is about being flexible. Choose the day and time of your work and get there, it’s that simple! Renting office space from an agile workplace offers you the chance to take charge of your own day without the hassle of owning an office. It’s basically, one less key to worry about!

Reduce Operational Costs

For small business owners, having a dedicated private office space might seem costly but working within a coworking space, the benefit of using shared amenities outweighs the cost. Business owners can work within these spaces without having to worry about the overheads such as the internet, electricity, maintaining office equipments, replenishing cups, tea, and coffee to name a few.

Place To Learn

The working environments in a coworking office space allow for interactions with people with a different mindset, skills, and knowledge. This can improve a person’s outlook and provides a learning opportunity to either upskill themselves or improve their own productivity.

Mental Wellbeing

Working in a shared office space is a way to meet new people and increase your own network. This helps in avoiding loneliness, improving interpersonal skills, and many coworking spaces also offer various self-improving workshops which can help in boosting your productivity.

With all the benefits of using shared office space, many businesses are now turning to utilise such spaces. The hassle-free transaction of utilising such office space makes it a worthy investment for small to medium business owners. Other benefits such as open office space, networking with like-minded people, business opportunities are some factors that make this a worthy place to work out from.

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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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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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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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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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