Tag Archives: productivity

Let the productivity begin

Chapter 1: Let the Productivity begin!

What is productivity in Business?
By default reply: A twelve letter word most commonly used in HR presentations, manager meetings and self-help articles.

Reality: The state or quality of being productive.

To shed light on this straightforward yet mildly abstract concept, we decided to try an experiment at work. We went around the office and asked our colleagues, “What did you do today?” A majority of them replied, “ We were drowned in work and had a lot on our plate; back-to-back meetings, con-calls, presentations, the usual.”

You might relate to this or brush it off as a standard answer. In reality, such phrases tell us nothing about what was actually accomplished. If anything, it proves the point that being busy is often such a distraction that it obscures what we may have achieved. Here the curious case of ‘productivity’ unfurls.

Recent research by the leadership consulting firm Bain & Company concluded that biggies like Google, Apple, Netflix, et al. are 40% more productive than the average company. The data gathered from these large firms point to three components of human capital that impact productivity: energy, talent and time.

That said, the prime organizations are not only winning at productivity; instead, they organize their business processes and employees in such a way that their profit margins are 30%-50% higher than industry averages. So, what makes productivity different in such firms?

First, how they function and second, who makes them functional. In other words, the business processes and employees are an integral part of productivity. A harmonious and symbiotic relationship between the two can guarantee productivity.

When it comes to individual talent, focusing solely on emulating the habits of successful individuals will not assure productivity if it runs counter to how an organization gets work done. The goal is to focus on the collective instead of an individual.

Even Steve Jobs, most revered Player-Coach, believed that ‘focus’ preceded everything. Jobs elaborated on his belief at an off-site meeting with about 200 Yahoo executives. In the presentation, he explained how most companies make a list of 10 things they want to achieve in a year, but the smart ones reduce it to three or four items. Jobs, on the other hand, only focused on one thing his company could achieve in that year and allocate all resources to accomplishing that.

Productivity in its broadest sense will have different applications, yet its product will always remain the same; providing success to a company and its employees.

Lastly, inspiration is another critical aspect of productivity. The Bain & Company research even said that an ‘engaged’ employee is 44% more productive than a satisfied worker, but an employee who feels ‘inspired’ at work is nearly 125% more productive than a satisfied one.

To make this concept of productivity crystal clear, we’ll be coming up with a series of blogs, which will become a guide to increase productivity for your business and employees. Stay tuned.

Quick tip :
To maximize efficiency and productivity, start your day by asking yourself “What is the one thing that I can accomplish today which would give me immense satisfaction”.

Once you’ve figured that out, ensure you complete that task no matter what. This remarkably simple strategy will allow you to understand the concept of focus and convert it into a practical application.

productive office space

4 Unusual Productivity Hacks by 4 Billionaires

Besides their astronomical net worth, what do Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have in common? Some traits, habits, actions and Productivity hacks that have helped them become the success they are today.  

At times, your work life can get overwhelming. You have a thousand things to do: client meetings, internal reviews, sales and target presentations, etc., but what makes a real difference is how effectively you manage everything and succeed.

Although our last few blogs have focused on productivity hacks for office, home and managers, this particular blog features the unusual productivity hacks of four billionaires that can transform the way you work.    

Sack the sit-down meetings

Let’s start by stating the obvious- Meetings waste a lot of time. Agendas get forgotten, topics go amiss, and people get distracted. Barring a few circumstances, a normal meeting on a single topic or client shouldn’t last for more than 5-10 minutes. That’s precisely why the Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson prefers walking meetings.  

Richard feels that decisions get made pretty quickly if you stand up or walk during the meetings. Of course, you can’t walk around in a meeting that involves ten members, but you can stand, huddle and get the ball rolling. It’s also a great way to fit in a bit of exercise and stay focused on a busy day.  

Focus on ‘signal over nose’

As the CEO of three companies — Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink — Elon Musk has a lot of things to stay on top of things on a day to day basis. As per several reports, Musk’s jam-packed schedule often sees him darting back and forth between SpaceX’s LA headquarters and Tesla’s base in the Bay Area.

That’s why he starts his day with his most critical work, or in his own terms, things that send “signal over the nose”. For Musk, this means dealing with essential emails that he needs to address in order to unblock other people’s work and progress.

In addition to this, he also breaks his entire day into a series of five-minute slots, even eating his lunch in five minutes or less, usually during a meeting.

While dividing a day into five-minute slots might look difficult to execute, you can identify your most critical work and start your day by completing that.   

Fit in ‘do nothing’ time

Sometimes being too busy can get in the way of doing a business or a job well. How many of you reach a point in a day where you feel that your day is so packed with back-to-back meetings that there’s barely any time left to process what’s going on around you or just think? Almost every day, right? But fret not, even the most successful people in the world face the same issue.   

This is why, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, schedules “do nothing” time on his calendar. In fact, leaving gaps in his schedule is the “single most important productivity tool” he uses.

He creates 90 minutes and two hours buffers in his day where he keeps no meetings, no calls and no one can even disturb him during this time. This blank gray slot on his calendar gives him enough time to think and do his job well.

So, no matter how busy you are, try adding these buffers in your day. Use that buffer time to think big, catch up on the latest industry news, read things you were saving in your phone or iPad, or just take a walk. After all, there’s a big difference between being productive and being busy!

Seek negative feedback

As unusual as it sounds, incorporating and accepting negative feedback is an important part of Elon Musk’s work ethic.  

As per Musk, seeking negative feedback might be hurtful at first, but you normally end up getting a lot more out of it.

All you have to do is gather your team and solicit feedback about a particular product, feature, management style, business process, or anything that you are currently trying to improve. Ask them to give their honest feedback and make an effort to apply it.  

You can do the same exercise with your friends and family too. And while the negative feedback may be wrong, you know they are simply trying to help you, and it’s all in good spirit!

So, the next time you find yourself chronically short on time, try giving these five proven productivity hacks a try. You can even come up with a few experiments on your own. It may take some time to find the perfect formula, but the more you optimize your work schedule, the more productive and satisfied you’re going to be!

solving the snag samrtworks

Solving the Snag with Smartworks: Internet not found

Connectivity issues are a serial killer of productivity and the number one reason for wasted time. While we celebrate the demise of the sluggish dial-up, the supposed ‘high-speed’ internet is no less. Such a technical glitch becomes twofold at a workspace when you’re desperately trying to meet the deadline and your internet connection is taking its own sweet time. A recent survey by MonsterCloud concluded that of the 2,000 office employees it consulted, over 60 percent cited slow wifi or internet connection speed as their top IT pet peeve. Thus, confirming our argument that employees are extremely unhappy with the speed and performance of their internet connection.

Regular internet troubles can divide our attention between our actual job responsibilities and the technical support required to fix the issue. According to a report published in the leading UK daily, workers estimated technology problems meant losing 30 minutes of working time each day. Unfortunately, coworking spaces too fall prey to this issue. There are several reasons for this. First, placement of the Wi-Fi router can wreak havoc on the coworking space as every team will demand a place convenient to them. Second, sharing an internet router is impossible and will eventually lead to troubleshooting. Third, the type of material used in the construction of the workspace can affect the speed of the wireless connection. Lastly, some places do not offer internet connection at cost-effective prices.

At Smartworks, things are done differently as we know how crucial time and productivity are to your business. Smartworks provides a high-speed internet connection through LAN and Wi-Fi, to all our members. Keeping in mind the operational cost of businesses, we provide these services at nominal prices to give you a smooth experience at work. Also, our on-call tech support ensures no troubleshooting or technical glitches. In case our members experience such an issue the team resolves it at the earliest. As our core values include increasing productivity and working efficiently, we believe that valuable time should not be wasted on inconsequential issues like these. Instead, the business should channelize their energy into their work and leave the glitches to the experts.

 

Smartworks Hacks for Maximized Productivity

7 Smartworks Hacks for Maximized Productivity

Coworking is becoming a trend, and a lot of professionals are switching from traditional cubicles to inspiring coworking spaces. Taking that into consideration, coworking brands should ensure their spaces meet the corporate definition of ‘productive workplace’. Therefore, today, we have come up with 7 smart hacks to transform your coworking space for good; to ensure they speak of nothing but productivity.

1. Conducive location

Choosing the right location is of utmost importance. The idea behind using co-working space is to cut down the travel time and use it more effectively towards the growth of your member’s business.

In addition, central locations allow coworking spaces to offer easy accessibility to facility users and their clients. Therefore, make sure your coworking space is located centrally, easily accessible by all the potential customers.

2. Personalize your coworking workspace

The interiors have a lot to do with productivity. Author Julie Morgenstern says, “people need to build a visual cocoon for themselves”.

To understand the importance of interiors, take it as the central nervous system of your office. If it is in a good state, the positive vibes would affect morale, encourage good work ethics, and ensure the delivery of work. If mastered correctly, the interior of your coworking space can be a driving factor for the members’ business, pumping people with energy and boosting their productivity.

Hence, personalize your coworking space to make it look more inviting, more lively, and full of energy and enthusiasm.

3. Use the right furniture

When people opt for coworking spaces over the traditional workspaces, they are clearly in a mood to convert their time into profits. Taking that into consideration, the coworking spaces should take measures to ensure the desired outcomes are achievable. One way to get started is by using the right furniture which can ensure comfort for everyone. In addition, office furniture should foster the usage of the right postures, because it helps the members focus better, avoid health hazards and improve efficiency.

Use ergonomic furniture which is designed in accordance with corporate standards, and while taking ideal ergonomic conditions into consideration.

4. Make sure the vibe is right

The vibe at the workplace is the most underrated factor and the same applies to coworking spaces. The right vibe can fill people with positive energy which would automatically boost productivity. You can do that by working on two essential factors:-

  • Use the right lighting: The lighting affects mood and therefore, your productivity. Additionally, proper lighting is mandatory for proper visibility.
  • Set the temperature correctly: Whether too hot or too cold, the end result is a loss of productivity. Thus, set the temperature correctly; install efficient heat ventilation and air conditioning systems.

5. Encourage conversation for networking

Coworking spaces are filled with a mix of potential customers and growth partners. So, instead of letting the monotony of work hamper productivity, encourage people to indulge in conversation with others. Unless they talk to each other, they won’t get the opportunity to convert simple conversation into meaningful partnerships.

Coworking spaces are best known for networking opportunities, helping members share ideas and achieve their business goals by connecting with like-minded people.

6. Offer noise cancellation earphones

Noise is the chief complaint in most coworking spaces. Therefore, noise cancellation headphones are #1 recommendations for people who believe silence is their sound of productivity. Private cabins can too be a great way to ensure optimal productivity at coworking spaces.

7. Use technology to your advantage

Technology simplifies things and saves time i.e. boosts efficiency. Hence, at Smartworks, we believe a perfect synergy of inspiring infrastructure with smart, time-saving technology ensures that businesses work at their efficient best. Simple things such as apps that automate a lot of mundane tasks, cloud storage systems, etc. can save a lot of time, and maximize the efficiency of people.

Productivity is about finding the right balance between work and satisfaction, and the above-mentioned hacks can help you ensure that balance at your coworking space.