Category Archives: Business Growth

How to make flexible working work

Making flexible working work

Futurologists are forever trying to anticipate how today’s technologies will shape tomorrow’s working practices. Granted, we’re not at the point where our jobs have been taken over by robots with artificial intelligence, allowing us to enjoy a life of leisure, but communications platforms do allow us to interact and connect in ways we never thought possible. However, for many, the communications revolution hasn’t yet materialised into utopia.

Big presentation? Go from stressed to your best

Presenting to senior management remove stress

When you give an important presentation, without doubt one of your biggest hurdles is the stress or nerves you feel.

A little nervousness is a good thing because it keeps you on your A-game. But feeling too much of it comes across as discomfort, which makes your audience uneasy too, and hence they’ll be hesitant about your message. What’s more, intense nerves hinder your thinking, which makes it harder to convince people about your message.

You know what motivates your employees, don’t you?

Motivated employees

When a company values its employees and the staff are engaged and motivated, it creates a pretty special working environment that people want to be a part of.

The benefits of a motivated workforce are substantial and include increased productivity, better collaboration with colleagues, a higher quality of service to customers and lower levels of absenteeism and staff turnover.

Leadership: The key to inspiring others

Business leader inspiring others

When you type the phrase ‘inspiring leaders’ into Google, the results are most likely what you’d expect — images of Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. But have you ever stopped to consider why these usual suspects show up time and time again in conversations about inspiring leadership, and what they might have in common, in terms of the way they think, act and communicate?

The weekly round-up: Freelancing

Freelancing

The theme for this week is freelancing. While many of us enjoy the variety working from home, working from unfamiliar offices or even occasionally from our favourite local café, for some of us that comes as standard. The UK’s freelancers have been making a few headlines this week; here are some of the stories.

Let it snow – perhaps now is the time to test flexible working

Let it snow business as usual

Most of the country has been issued with a snow warning in anticipation of the arrival of the “Beast from the East” – a stretch of cold air heading our way from Siberia. How lovely.

Back in 2013, 77% of organisations were affected by severe weather. Yet despite it being acknowledged as one of the biggest threats to UK businesses, few are often prepared for the disruption it causes.

How can the UK’s politicians win the small business vote?

What do UK politicians need to do to win the SMB vote

With last week marking 100 days until the 2015 General Election on 7 May, the leaders of the major political parties are likely to make a renewed commitment to showing they are in touch with the issues facing Britain’s army of small-and-medium-business employees (who numbered over 15 million last year according to the FSB). So what are the big focus areas that our potential future leaders need to concentrate on to win these votes?

Why we need a management shift

Management shift

The media paints a fairly negative picture of the workplace. Wages are too low. There’s gender inequality. Work-life balance is a problem. Productivity or skills are poor. There are scandals of every variety and mistakes in mergers, outsourcing and financial trades. Today’s workers are frustrated, unproductive and miserable – or so you would think from the coverage.

Don’t take your company’s good reputation for granted

Building your reputation

Your company’s reputation is its most valuable non-tangible asset.

We work to make sure that in business we have a ‘good name’. Yet, like a character out of ‘Downton Abbey’ we know that society will shun us for the slightest misdemeanour… I don’t mean getting a house-maid pregnant or shooting a footman… that’s taking the whole ‘Downton’ thing a bit far… But if you have a reputation for poor customer service, or shoddy goods, or not delivering what you promise, whether B2B or B2C you will get, what the Dowager Countess would call (with a raised eyebrow and a slight tilt of the head) a ‘reputation’.