Category Archives: work space

Deciding The Right Coworking Space

5 Tips In Deciding The Right Coworking Space

For various businesses choosing the right office space can make all the difference in not just building your business but also in forming a strong team and developing the right work culture that can boost productivity. It can be a daunting task, from figuring out the budget to location to negotiating the space and rent. Today, with the rise of start ups and entrepreneurial drive, plenty of coworking spaces have come up to meet this demand. However, not all the space can provide what you’re looking for. Smartworks has been around for a while and along the way, we have picked some key pointers when discussing our space with potential members. Here are 5 tips in deciding the right coworking space for your business, team, brand and budget.

1. Location Counts

As a business owner or running an enterprise, you want to be accessible to both your employees and clients. This mean, finding a location which is accessible by both private transport and near enough to public transports such as bus, trains, metro, cabs. Also, one can do a KYC based on your clientele, by knowing your client’s location. If you cannot be on the same street, at least choose to be in the same neighbourhood or area. By this, you will not only be close to other industry leaders but also potential new talents.

2. Space For Success

This is where your knowledge about your team comes to play. Figure out how your team prefers to work – a designated space or hot desking? Do they need a space to beat their stress? From a team level to an individual, choosing the right space can help in boosting performance. Plan and be realistic on the number of seats required, any additional furnishing needed and being able to prioritise between access to space, natural lighting, break out rooms.

3. Impressions Matter

Making the first impression on your clients (existing or potential) makes a big difference. Therefore, the type of space your business chooses to work out from will also play a big role. Maybe you are an existing enterprise which is growing, your clients might expect your business to be working out from a classy high rise space rather than a loft. These days, it is preferable to work in an agile workspace which reflects your brand and culture without having to re-do a space on your own.

4. Additional Space

Everyone likes to take a break from their hectic schedule. Once you have figured out the above points, it is best to visit the site and find out what additional amenities are being provided from the space. Is there a café for your team to get their caffeine fix? Are there plenty of meeting rooms for that important meet with your client? Being part of a community, one needs to also determine spaces that allows for hosting events such as networking sessions.

5. Figure The Budget

After considering all of the above, the final deal will be based on the agreed rental agreement. As an owner of an enterprise, you need to think beyond the short-term and determine if the space you have chosen will be suitable when you grow further. Negotiating the right price which includes flexible workspace, IT service and interior designer in one monthly fee would go a long way in saving time and money which can be invested towards your business.

To sum up, the location and ease of access for your team and clients, an agile space that reflects the best of your enterprise and business, space for your team members and clients to collaborate and network and making the right impression within budget are some of the tips in deciding the right coworking space. There are many players in the market but very few that can actually deliver to your business persona.


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10 Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance

10 Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance

As life goes on under the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have to factor in a lot of new realities. This also means having to maintain a work-life balance for employees when it comes to working from home. Did you know, according to a recent survey, 62% of employees are connected to their work every week! Many do not even believe in having some personal time and a healthy work routine. This in the long run will affect their productivity and increase burn-out rates for businesses.

The erosion of work-life balance can be blamed for many factors, avoidable and unavoidable, such as long hours or urgent deadlines. However, it is also more complex than that, for productivity should also be factored in. Productivity can only be achieved if employees are motivated and satisfied with their job. Factors that can help in improving productivity can be the type of peers/colleagues, work environment, and meeting their basic requirements.

When it comes to the work environment, the traditional silo workspace is increasingly being replaced by open desks and collaborative space. Coworking space like Smartworks goes beyond and provides for an agile workspace that reflects the company and its people.

Here are 10 Tips to Improve Work Life Balance:

1. Prioritise Most Important Task First

For any work, it is important to make a list of your task load and then prioritise them from the importance. Some can be urgent and those need to be tackled first too. Making a priority list will help in knowing the amount of work and the actual time it will take. This will ensure you can schedule your work time accordingly.

2. Learn To Say No

Often, one gets bogged by too much work. Is it possible that you have taken tasks that belong to some other department just because you wished your superiors? For a new employee this can be tricky, however, no matter how much experience you have, learn to say no to work that does not belong to you. There’s no need to take extra work when you are already inundated with your own. Only when you have some free time should you check up on your colleagues to assist them in their tasks.

3. Take Your Designated Breaks

It is quite easy to lose yourself in your work. But do not become a person who ‘forgets’ or skips their lunch break. Replenishing your body with sustenance is required to make you productive. Skipping lunch and taking up unhealthy eating habits will have a long term effect on your health. Take the time to replenish your body with food and drinks.

4. Be Part Of A Community

Working in an office environment doesn’t mean to be sitting at your desk the entire day. Many companies work out from coworking space and one should take advantage to interact with the diversity of people. Being part of a community, hobby, or career networking, helps in uplifting the mood and boosting productivity.

5. Keep Multi-Tasking To A Minimum

Multi-tasking is both a boon and a bane. Some can do it efficiently, some cannot. However, the majority of corporate leaders agree, multi-tasking often reduces productivity as it stretches our focus and multiple works can be distracting thereby affecting the simplest of tasks. Focus on one thing and get it done quickly and move to the next task.

6. Face-time

Spend some time in direct interaction with your boss or team. As a junior hire, one can schedule weekly or daily interaction with your boss, alternatively, if you’re a team leader set some time for your team. In both instances, it helps in giving and receiving feedback, set up the journey for the week which helps improve the work-life balance.

7. Unplug

Self-care is critical in being successful in your work. Unplug from your mobile and desktop, take at least half-hour or an hour for yourself. This helps in not only resting your mind but also recharging yourself. Make up for the lost time by fully focusing at your tasks at hand. Utilise this short break for self-improvement.

8. Pick Up A Hobby

Picking up a hobby outside of work can help improve your body and mind. Hit the gym or take up trekking. Various researches have shown that people who take leisure time helps them become a better leader.

9. Seek Assistant

If your work is becoming tiresome and making your unproductive, there’s nothing wrong in seeking assistance or help from your boss or colleagues. Sometimes work pressure can spill over your personal life but taking positive action by reaching out and talking about your feelings can help alleviate unwanted stress.

10. Change Is Good

This point is not about changing your job, rather, changing your daily routine. Ask yourself what changes can help improve your work-life balance. Can you purchase groceries over the weekend or online? Can a client meeting be scheduled when there’s less traffic on the road? Build systems within your day to help you become more productive and maintain the work-life balance.

Working in any corporate space can be tiring and stressful, however, work-life balance can be maintained and it all depends on the individual. Taking necessary proactive steps and measures can help a person improve their confidence, maintain work during office hours and be able to provide the necessary time for the family, be it helping around the house or assisting in their kid’s homework. Work-life balance is important from the business perspective to boost an employee’s morale and productivity.


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Workforce Trends That Increased Growth of Coworking Space

The coworking sector has been experiencing massive growth and challenging the traditional workspace ecosystem. The factors contributing to this disruption would be their expansive geographical footprint, flexibility and affordability. According to a CBRE survey, the coworking industry is expected to grow by 3X by 2022, changing the dynamics of the workspace and modifying the future of work.

While shared office spaces allow companies and large enterprises eradicate their expenses on capex, they, in turn provide a collaborative work environment for the employees. Some of the workforce trends that have fueled the growth of coworking are:

The Rise of the Startup Culture

The sudden spurt of the startup culture and the rising spirit of entrepreneurism has led to the growth of coworking space over the last decade. With everyone aspiring to be their ‘own boss’ and start their own line of business and services, the demand for professional and affordable office spaces hiked exponentially. Coworking spaces are completely fit-out ready to move-in office spaces that welcome independent entrepreneurs with both small as well as large teams to collaborate and work in a tech-enabled and a nurturing workspace.

The growing demand for tech-enabled workspaces

The millennial workforce of today aspires to work in a tech-enabled work environment which maximizes their productivity. Most coworking spaces provide impeccable tech support, combined with advanced security devices, hi-speed internet, IoT-powered conference rooms which help enterprises reduce energy wastage while providing employees an office space which helps them work efficiently without any tech failures.

Flexible workspaces

Most traditional office spaces have a pre-determined office layout and standardized amenities, which is not in sync with the needs of the modern workforce. Most flexible workspace providers allow companies to configure spaces in accordance to their brand ethos and values. They can easily modify a workspace according to the needs of the employees, this flexibility of workspace design allows employees to work in an environment most suited with their work demands. This instills a greater sense of belongingness in employees and enables them to work in a space they are comfortable in.

Workspace Amenities

Employees spend at least 7 to 10 hours of their day at work and they desire to work in a nurturing workplace which offers them immense amenities for a perfect work-life balance. Coworking spaces have a variety of amenities in their facilities including gyms and sports arena, creche and breakout zones, collaboration rooms and sleeping pods, to give employees enough space and flexibility to choose when they want to work and when they want to relax.

Enhanced collaboration and networking opportunities

The employees of today demand a collaborative workspace with ample of networking opportunities and keeps them in sync with their fields. Coworking spaces are not only managed office spaces but they are also preferred due to their community. Mostly professionals from different companies and walks of life work out of these coworking spaces, forming a larger community. This provides ample of opportunities for interchange of ideas, mentoring and networking as well as chances of learning from each other or effective skill development.

Employee Engagement activities

Coworking spaces are popularly known for the splendid events and workshops they organize to keep their members and employees motivated and engaged. These events bring people together and allows them to connect, share ideas and have fun. The events range from corporate grooming sessions, upskilling workshops, sports competitions, events around art, dance, music or many more. Such fun gatherings help companies to keep employees satisfied and motivated.

The emergence of ‘work near home’ phenomenon

According to a Harvard report, about 75% employees prefer living close to their workplaces as it makes the commute shorter and allows them to save a lot of time. This rise of ‘work near home’ phenomenon has forced companies to explore the option of allowing employees to work out of their nearest coworking spaces as they offer a tech-enabled working environment as well as have the necessary office infrastructure for maximizing productivity.

While employees prefer coworking spaces because of the abundance of networking opportunities, companies prefer co-working spaces due to the tech-enabled working environment and real-estate efficiency. Every coworking space has its own vibe and fervor, aims at creating a collaborative work environment for all.


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Boost Your Productivity With These Desk Essentials

Boost Your Productivity With These Desk Essentials

As people start heading back to work with various lockdown restrictions easing, settling in to your office desk might take some time. After all, most of us were getting used to working from home. At home, you are surrounded by our personal collections and ambience. Your office set up at home is a reflection of your personality yet keeping it professional for your official tasks. At work, you might need to update certain aspects of your desk. Your work desk often plays a vital role in streamlining your thoughts, inspiring you to get through a deadline, and assist in reflecting on your tasks and checklists.

So how can one go about personalising their desk while keeping it professional? Here are 10 tips to guide you through:

1. Computer Stand

Often known as a monitor stand, these humble platforms keep you focused on your task, literally! These stands come with placeholders to elevate the laptop screen to your preferred level. Some of them even come with additional storage space which can help manage any desk clutter.

2. Calendar

Even in the age of smartphones, desk calendars are a practical accessory. Some of these items come with inspiring quotes or photo collections that are visually appealing. One can even get them personalised.

3. Desk Organiser

As the saying goes, a table is a reflection of your mind. A messy desk may not necessarily mean your work is not up to the mark. However, desk organiser can make your life a lot easier and ensure everything you need is accessible. In any given day, while dealing with tight deadlines and work pressure, it’s always a pleasant surprise to find all your essential documents and stationeries in their designated compartments, right where you kept them.

4. Cutlery Set

In this new normal of post COVID-19, it becomes imperative to carry your own cutleries. Everyone needs to eat and when working from a coworking space, often there might not be enough cutlery to choose from. This not only delays your lunch time, it is also frustrating and eats up your break time. Having your own set of cutleries will save both time and effort.

5. Cable Organizer

In this era of technology, getting jumbled in a tangle of cables can be quite vexing and annoying. Most of our devices need to be plugged in for use. A series of cables from various devices will end up getting entangled and separating these can be quite tedious. One can avoid this mess by purchasing an attachable cable organiser which allows you to place a chord within a designated space. It not only looks professional, but it also keeps your cable safe from undue damage.

6. Sticky-Notes

As a professional, you will not sit at your desk all the time. You might be needed to attend a meeting at another place. Consider this, while you’re gone, an important work comes along but there is no way to communicate this to you. A sticky note comes in handy for your colleagues to leave a message on your desk. Alternatively, these sticky notes can also be used for additional notes in your diary or notebook. Colourful sticky notes can be used to denote the priority of work and tasks.

7. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Another aspect of working from office space is getting used to the background noise. It can be your work colleagues discussing work or events of the day, however, it can be distracting. Investing in pair of solid noise-cancelling headphones can drown this background chatter and allow you to get on with your work. Plus, one can listen to their favorite tune which can improve productivity too.

8. Stationary Set

Every professional must invest in good notebooks and pens. A great stationary set will keep one running for few months without having to worry about running out of pages or pen. It makes life easy during a client meeting to quickly jotting down some pointers. A luxurious looking notebook and pen set might even set the right tone for your meeting and leave a stylish impression on your prospects.

9. Personalised Mugs

It is an accepted part of the professional culture to conduct ‘water cooler’ conversations. It is also a known behaviour for everyone to take a tea/coffee break from time to time. Having your own personal mug can set your mood right too. Such item gives a sense of freedom to express oneself. A personal or personalised mug gives a sense of individuality and can boost confidence, thereby improving your productivity.

10. Plants and Succulents

Greenery is great for the eyes. An office environment is often filled with pressure and stress. Having a plant or a succulent on your desk can help in reducing stress, is great for the eyes to relax (the colour green reduces eye strain) and a plethora of such plants even helps in freshening up the air inside the workspace.

Working from an office space need not be boring or dull. It is an accepted part of work culture everywhere for employees to spruce up their work desk according to their own style and preference. The above points are a basic guide to how one can improve their work-life, enjoy their work, and yet feel relaxed and comfortable in that environment.


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Effective Ways to Manage Re-entry of Employees Post Covid-19

Effective Ways of Managing Re-Entry of Employees

As the world nears an unlock, organizations plan to resume operations and intend to bring employees back to work in a staggered manner. While workspace design considerations and logistics planning take precedence, addressing employee re-entry anxieties will also be of paramount importance.

According to a Weber Shandwick and KRC research about 45% employees fear returning to work before it’s safe, owing to the ongoing situation. Managing the mental and emotional health of employees becomes critical for addressing the overall wellbeing of the organization. While workforce re-entry is the need of the hour, managers must alleviate workspace anxiety to maximize productivity and curb disengagement of employees. Here are some ways of managing re-entry anxiety of employees :

Communicate Consistently

Employees should be consistently briefed about workspace policies and safety measures to remove any ambiguity and instill confidence. Regular updates and clarifying doubts can initiate a two-way dialogue between the management and the employees, making the transition as smooth as possible. Keeping the employees in the loop can help them understand the impact of the pandemic on the company and pave ways to determine and address any grievances.

Train the managers to support the employees

As Managers are an important link between the management and the employees, they shoulder greater responsibility to ensure employees have a smooth transition into the new normal. Managers should be trained and familiarized with the key triggers of stress and emotional distress as they will play a crucial role in determining employee wellbeing. They can hold team meetings and one-to-one meetings with employees to solve ambiguities and resolve issues and questions real-time. Some support groups and networks can also be formulated to help employees reconnect virtually and overcome apprehensions together. This practice can help lower employee anxieties and enable them to adapt with the new procedures connected with the re-entry phase.

Work flexibilities

While the lockdown has been a great push to implement work-from-home policies, nothing replaces the human connection and the joys of achieving goals together. Most employees complained experiencing insecurities and anxieties while working remotely which hampered their productivity and motivation to work. As companies world-over eye workspace resumption, employees should be allowed to make the re-entry leap in a staggered manner. It is imperative to reevaluate workplace policies and decide the immediacy at which the functions should resume work. While some companies are choosing to work on alternate days, others are looking at rotational shifts, each company should suit their business requirements and decipher a suitable model, keeping in mind employee safety and government guidelines.

Introduce Employee Engagement Programs

Having employees work on projects together or crowdsourcing ideas from different teams is an effective way to keep employees engaged and motivated to stay committed to their goals. Employee engagement plans can be an integrated learning and development program or a photography contest or even a fitness contest among teams. Such employee engagement programs help boost employee morale and help them feel connected and keep them happier.

Focus on team building

Maximizing collaboration and using team building exercises is an effective way of anxiety management. Every team is facing some or the other challenges, when people collaborate to achieve common goals, stress can be eliminated, and goals can be efficiently achieved. Team building is a steppingstone towards building a strong culture in the organization and effectively resolving conflicts. After all, shared experiences can help members feel connected and engaged.

One-on-one feedback sessions

Many employees are likely to experience a high level of anxiety owing to the dearth of feedback from their managers. Regular one-on-one feedback sessions between superiors and subordinates is an effective mechanism to reduce stress. It assures employees that they are on the right track and enables them to overcome their shortcomings on the go. Such light- hearted feedback sessions help employees stay focused towards their goal and eliminates anxiety.

While companies are innovating newer methods for keeping employees physically safe by using social distancing markups, contactless technology integration at workplace, installing automatic sanitizer dispensers among other measures, they should also pay a close attention towards the psychological health and wellbeing of the employees. Adapting to the ‘new normal’ upon workplace resumption can be an overwhelming experience for employees but with proper communication and cooperation, it is easy to overcome the re-entry anxiety.


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Work From Home

Work From Home: 6 Reasons Why It Is Not For Everyone

With the rising cases of the COVID-19 pandemic, it made sense for businesses to adapt and adopt work from home policy to safeguard their workforce without hurting the business. It not only helped in flattening the curve, but also ensured some aspects of the economy, both at home and aboard, kept going. One the benefits of this new normal was the flexibility it offered, improved productivity, increased time management and gave freedom for work and life balance.

However, remote networking for work was already happening around the world. With France implementing strict office hour rules, Scandinavian countries experimenting with 4-days work week, the current pandemic put such efforts in the forefront. Over the last 10 years in the US, there has been 91% increase in remote working, representing 3.4% national workforce. Use of technology has also increased during this time, but there has now come a sense that an indefinite work from home set up may not be feasible in the long-run.

Under the new normal for businesses, along with maintaining social and physical distancing, it is now the right time to revaluate office hours with possible rotation in the form of working from home and from the office space. However, sticking to just working from home may not be productive. Here are 6 points for the value employees place on working from an office space for the company and the culture:

Lack of Human Connection Can Be Detrimental

Work from home has enabled technology to come to the rescue, from video calls to hosting webinars as events. However, according to a report by Virgin, 84% employees prefer in-person meeting and it makes sense. When interacting with a client, a video call may not attract the finer body language that one can notice while dealing with them face-to-face. Plus being in an office space allows for the flow of ideas and creativity, improves social skills with fellow colleagues and get tasks done quickly.

Time Management Becomes Difficult

Human beings are used to routines. The current scenario has displaced that sense of routine and replaced it with a new style of working. However, in the long run, employees might have high burn out rates if they do not address working hours according to their normal day. Being in an office environment, one is able to make sense of time, be punctual and leave for home at their designated hour. WFH disrupts that process, while a highly energised employee might log in much before business hours, that same employee may end up working much late into the evening. Such action on a regular basis will not only affect his/her downtime but also productivity.

Home and Professional Imbalance

One of the benefits of working from home is the sense of work life balance. However, during the lockdown it was observed that in many cases, this sense of balance was short-lived. The distraction of working from home is real and can impede the productivity of an employee. From washing dishes to attending to laundry, looking after children, plus working on a presentation for a client pitch can bog down an employee. Even with lockdown being lifted and kids going to school, other household duties can affect the focus and input needed for a successful outcome for any businesses.

Technology Is Not Always Friendly

Every office or workplace today is technologically enabled to assist and ease businesses and employees in conducting their duties and performance. Often many such operations have specialised software and products that can be used from a workplace. Such limitations can pose a problem for individuals to work from home. As everything is available in the office, chances are even a simple tool such as a printer may not be available at home (plus not to mention the costs of purchasing paper and inks). In some areas, issues relating to electricity and internet connection can also pose problems in the long run for employees to work efficiently.

Office Culture Is Important For Growth

As stated before, remote workplace can often be a lonely experience. The novelty of working from home wears off after a while and it starts to affect productivity and the business. Workplace culture becomes an important aspect of dealing with stress and anxiety, it allows for people to collaborate, network and grow themselves. The ability to learn new concepts and upskilling gets restricted.

With the lockdown being eased across many parts of the world, businesses still need to adopt to the new normal, ensure worker safety and maintaining physical distancing till a cure for COVID-19 is found. This is also a great time to experiment with workplace settings and work environment. However, restricting your employees to working from home on an indefinite period might stagnate their growth which can affect business output.


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smartworks Mobile App

SmartEdge- Our Online Events Platform

As the world struggles to find an equilibrium amidst the ongoing Covid-19 situation, employees world over brace themselves to adapt to ‘the new normal’ of workplace resumption- maintaining physical distancing and prioritizing personal hygiene and personal space.

Coworking space providers, hosting these companies have sprung into action and put in place all the global best practices within their premises while ensuring prescribed social distancing measures and staggered seating arrangements are followed. Alongside the battle with the pandemic, most employees are battling dreariness and anxieties, owing to the uncertainty. Human connection and regular collaboration have become more critical than ever in determining employee productivity and wellbeing. Most large enterprises and businesses are looking for swift measures to help employees cope with the ongoing situation.

In an attempt to help members uplift employee morale, Smartworks had launched ‘SmartEdge’, our online events platform with an exclusive range of events curated specially to engage and inspire. These events have been designed to enable people from different backgrounds, skillsets and walks of life to interact and share, discover and grow together.

Here’s a glimpse of the different webinars and workshops conducted by Smartworks:

Policy Making and Investment Workshops

Policy makers play a critical role in keeping employees engaged and motivated, our sessions on policy making and investment were conducted by industry leaders to share their valuable insights and tips on the same.

    – HR Policies and Legalities

  • This exclusive webinar was designed to help policymakers and HR professionals design a legal recourse and a wholesome employee engagement plan to keep employees motivated and productive while working from home.
    – Investing In Volatile Times

  • Amidst these times, financial literacy and saving for the future becomes imperative for long-term returns. This exclusive seminar brought industry experts on one single platform to help employees understand the basics of savings and investment.

Sessions on Health and Wellness

We know that this is an unreal situation, where everyone is struggling to find their equilibrium and peace of mind. Our focused sessions driven by health coaches and fitness trainers will help you relax and rejuvenate.

    – Hatha Yoga and Meditation

  • The Hatha Yoga and Meditation session in collaboration with SweatByShwetha, was a series of power-packed yoga poses and asanas designed to align your body, soothe your mind and spirit in preparation for meditation.
    – Power Yoga

  • This guided session by yoga masters was focused around teaching several energetic vinyasa-style yoga and bodily postures. Some of the key benefits of practicing this form of Yoga is to increase flexibility, focus on your body’s core and boost your immunity.
    – Embrace Your Emotional Quotient

  • Motivating the self to push our own boundaries and achieve the unattainable, requires immense time management and self-management skills. This session on emotional intelligence shares expert tips and methods of self-regulation and nurturing your existing social skills.

Creative Art Workshops

These recreational workshops were aimed at reducing stress and anxiety, while allowing people to take a deep dive in their creativity and showcase their innovative ideas.

    – Mandala Art

  • Drawing a mandala pattern is considered therapeutic and the entire experience will help you reduce stress and lower your blood pressure while promoting sleep and easing depression. This session was focused on teaching the basics of mandala art.
    – Newspaper Craft

  • To reminisce the excitement of making creative art from paper, a fun session on making newspaper craft was organized where people from different walks of life came together to draw and design interlocking patterns and take a break from their tedious routines.

Sessions Related to Smartworks’ Preventive Measures

Our team at Smartworks has been working relentlessly to provide a safe and hygienic work environment for all. Some sessions were specially curated to share a glimpse of our workspace preparedness measures.

    – Workplace Considerations for Business Resumption

  • This insightful session had Real estate experts from Keppel Land, who discussed workplace considerations and best practices from China and Singapore. Their outlook and viewpoint helped Smartworks design and implement global measures to safeguard the health and security of all upon business resumption post the lockdown.
    – Smartworks’ Preparedness and Response post Lockdown

  • This session was conducted to share an insight into Smartworks’ preparedness and preventive measures to make your workspaces safe and ready to use. The discussion addressed all the queries that members and employees had and helped in reassuring them.

Smartworks is driven to provide a safe and productive work environment for our members and employees. We will continue to implement all the global best practices and design employee engagement programs, to know more about our safety updates and upcoming events, visit-


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How companies can boost employee morale upon workplace resumption

It goes without saying that the current COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for all, be it the first-line responders such as our health professional to manufacturers and small businesses who depend on the daily transactions to keep themselves afloat. While employees were forced to adopt remote working options, many struggled with maintaining a healthy work-life balance and keep their spirits up. With the lockdown slowly easing and most of the employees gearing up to get back to work, there is a good chance that your employees would need an extra dose of motivation and positive vibe to help them adapt to the ‘new normal’.

A recent Gallup survey has shown that low morale can cost companies anywhere between $483 to $605 billion loss each year due to low productivity. It is a huge figure, one that cannot be ignored. Low morale has a direct effect on an employee’s productivity leading to low turnover, high rate of absenteeism, and general negativity. There is nothing wrong if a person feeling low sometimes, however, the management should indulge in a ‘pulse check’ with various departments and teams before it becomes an organisation-wide issue. With most employees struggling to find a balance and manage their anxieties, all employers must consider employee engagement programs to keep the employees focussed and in sync with the organisational goals.

Here are some ways to boost employee morale and improve business productivity in the long run:

1. Low Hanging Goals

Employees need a target as part of their daily motivation to work. Setting achievable low hanging fruits can improve their focus and help them boost their confidence once the said objectives are achieved. It puts them in a better mental frame, improves positivity, and gives a sense of accomplishment. Start from small and work their way to more challenging tasks. As managers, you will need to help them out of their low morale.

2. Encourage Employees to invest time in skill-building

Another method to boost employee morale is encouraging employees to take up a course and focus on skill-building. Taking a course just for half an hour a day in their spare time can help employees feel focussed and motivated. Such online courses need not necessarily interfere with their daily tasks. Most companies such as Google, Twitter, Unsplash encourage their employees to get some time off their daily routine and focus on skill-building workshops, courses, and projects.

3. Increase Lunch Time For Relaxed Team Building

Businesses have not stopped working, it has just slowed down in this current pandemic. Therefore, to beat any type of blues within your employees, consider extending the lunch break hour. For fear of being in the bad books of their bosses, 20% of employees skip lunch. This is not only bad to boost morale, it will also affect those employees with low energy, making them more stressed, cranky, and tired. Managers should take their teams for coffee and tea breaks as part of a healthy team-building exercise which has proven to have a significant impact on the team’s morale and positive outlook.

4. Celebrate Milestones

It is important to celebrate even the small milestones, appreciating the good never goes out of fashion. Employees need to be told that they are doing well and are on the right track. When an employee overperforms, let them know, as it helps to boost their morale and the recognition motivates them to go above and beyond their call of duty.

5. Crowdsource Ideas Within the Company

Instead of hiring an external agency for developing cost-cutting strategies or coming up with marketing plans, allocate an hour a week to crowdsource ideas from employees within the company. As the employees are aligned with the organisation’s goals and objectives, they will be able to ideate and come up with innovative ideas for the existing knots and problems. This will help keep the employees motivated, engaged, and valued.

These are some of the actionable strategies that can be implemented by any type of company in the current situation to keep the employees engaged and motivated. In these uncertain times, when people around the world are struggling to find their balance, focusing on team-building exercises while creating transparent workflows can help both employees and businesses to weather this storm together.


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COVID-19: Maintain Social Distance And Host A Virtual Conference

With crisis comes opportunities and 2020 has been a year where the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a spanner to the work for various industries and sectors of the economy. So much so, some of the world’s biggest conferences called off their events – from SXSW, a technology and music festival, to Google and Facebook calling off their annual developers conference.

However, many took up the challenge of hosting their events through virtual conferencing and brought communities together for it. This was not limited to tech events but also various music festivals were organised to raise donations for the frontline workers others affected by a coronavirus. Various broadcasting platforms such as Twitch, Zoom, and Google Meet became popular choices to host a virtual conference.

While hosting a virtual conference might seem daunting, it is one of the best ways in the current situation to connect with your industry members and sector. Here are some tips your business must consider to host a successful online conference and webinar:

1. Set The Right Theme

To host a meaningful online conference for a day or a week, it needs to have an overarching theme. A series of various sessions scheduled as is without any pretext or context will leave your attendees clueless, distracted, and directionless. A successful virtual meeting is one where all the topics, sessions, workshops are brought under one umbrella or theme which gives a context for the conference.

2. Live Sessions

Various platforms such as Facebook and Instagram provide live streaming options for users. Along with this, Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Team, and various other video hosting platforms allow for a live session to be conducted. Such live streaming makes a virtual conference more humanised and allows attendees to ask questions and queries. Thus, while your conference remains virtual, it allows your audience to participate and engage.

3. Make It Interactive

While hosting a virtual conference, it is important to keep it engaging. The best way to do it is by allowing and encouraging attendees to ask questions and conduct a live Q&A session. These can be done by means of online polls, conducting activities, and quizzes. Virtual sessions are mostly passive in nature and therefore, to conduct a successful one, organisers need to understand this nuance. Another way to keep it interactive is by letting your audience to submit suggestions or questions before a session is conducted and have it addressed towards the end. People asking questions in such a scenario are far more likely to be around to hear it answered.

4. Run A Demo Session

Conducting an online conference can be tricky. There can be many potential failure points and it is certain to hit some technical glitches while going live. Thus, to avoid any unmitigated risk, run a demo session with your speakers much in advance. Test your equipment and internet speeds, identify back up points in case of any failure, and plan for potential trouble.

5. Simple Is Best

Hosting a virtual conference is not exactly the same as a normal conference at a particular location. You will need to re-create and re-imagine your online sessions in a virtual manner and strip it down to the bare minimum. Keeping it simple will go a long way in making your online events a success. Use the popular streaming sites such as Facebook/Instagram Live, initiate a Twitter thread. Make it transparent and make it easy for your audiences to access the content for more reach and engagement.

6. Engage And Network!

While hosting an online conference can seem tedious, it still maintains getting almost the same traction and opportunities to network as at a physical conference. Video hosting platforms such as Zoom and the likes provide chat features which help in having a discussion between the host and participants, even during a session. Facebook and Instagram Live session encourages participants to comment as the session is being conducted, as well as allowing for a break out session, one-to-one conversations.

Conducting an online session and virtual conference brings in a new avenue of engagement and keeps your brand image alive with your audience. It also allows your business to create a series of video library which can be reused at a later stage. Apart from keeping your audience safe by keeping them social distanced with each other, virtual conferencing allows your audience to participate with experts from your industry and your brand too.


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Smartworks Preventive Measures for COVID-19

The Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it and put a sudden halt to all business activities and global economies, confining people to the four walls of their homes for the last few months. The coronavirus outbreak has proved to be a challenging antagonist for coworking spaces as most of them had to temporarily close their doors for their members to reassess their processes, re-evaluate their operations, develop frameworks for ensuring the health and safety of their members.

At Smartworks, your health and wellbeing is our utmost priority. As we continue to navigate through the situation, we have been deploying all the preventive measures as prescribed by the government for the safety of our members and employees.

Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitization Measures

Apart from our routine cleaning and regular sanitization of workspaces, we have proactively initiated weekly anti-bacterial fumigation and deep cleaning as a measure of added precaution.

1. Anti-Bacterial Fumigation:

The entire office space, including your workstations and the frequently touched areas, are regularly undergoing anti-bacterial treatment. This process is undertaken using an Ultra-Low Volume Sprayer Fogging Machine, with droplet /mist in the range of 5-50 micron with 1% Solution of Alpha Guard. This treatment is used in hospitals to minimize risk and is considered very effective to kill all germs, bacteria, and viruses on contact, establishing a personal safety zone.

2. Deep cleaning:

Deep cleaning is carried out under the guidance of experts covering every area in the office space such as staircase, lift lobby, parking area, rooftop, mechanical rooms, pantries, and machines.

3. Sanitization Tunnels:

We are in the process of installing sanitization tunnels in our facilities for a full-body disinfection using herbal citrus extracts and ionized solution. This disinfection process is safe, skin- friendly, chemical-free and very effective in killing germs and pathogens.

4. Atomizers:

We will be installing atomizers in every center to make our premises disinfected using the fogging mechanism.

5. Vehicle sanitization:

All vehicles entering the Smartworks premises will be disinfected using spray chemicals. While spraying would take care of the exteriors, we request vehicle owners to keep the interiors sanitized and cleaned regularly.

Measures to monitor indoor air quality:

We are following all the air purification measures as prescribed in the ISHRAE guidelines to maintain optimum indoor air quality inside our premises. Founded in 1981, ISHRAE is a group of eminent HVAC&R professionals that recommends air conditioning and ventilation guidelines for all workspaces and industries in India.

1. Air purification:

All the AHU/HVAC Equipment filters are being deep cleaned using R2, a green chemical. The process included the cleaning of AHU coils with pure water as well. We will also initiate a steam cleaning of indoor coils soon.

2. Hygrometers:

Hygrometers help in determining the humidity levels of the workplace and allows regulating the air quality within the recommended range of 40 to 70% as per the ISHRAE guidelines. Hygrometers will ensure the air is never too dry, or too humid, for bacteria to multiply.

Training of staff and appointment of security officers:

We have been continuously training and sensitizing our housekeeping staff and security personnel on the preventive measures and importance of social distancing. Our housekeeping and security staff is equipped with masks, gloves, and face shields to keep themselves and others protected.

We have appointed Security officers in all centres for the timely and planned execution of all preventive measures, to guide and ensure social distancing practices are followed by all inside the premises.

Measures to minimize touch inside the Smartworks facilities:

1. Sensor- Based Sanitizers:

We would be placing automatic sensor-based sanitizer dispensers at various common areas to minimize touch and maximize personal hygiene practices.

2. Foot Paddle door openers:

Our common area doors, such as the washrooms, meeting rooms, etc. will have foot paddles for contactless door opening.

3. Meeting Room bookings on the Smartworks app:

To minimize touch and maximize accessibility, we have enabled meeting room bookings through the Smartworks app.

4. Self-Declaration Forms:

Instead of pen-paper health declarations, we have enabled a self-declaration form on our Smartworks app. This form will capture the basic health information and is a proactive safety measure, to keep everyone in the premises safe.

Smartworks is driven to provide a safe and hygienic work environment for all. We will continue to implement all the global best practices and preventive measures, to know more about our coronavirus safety precautions and updates, visit-


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