You don’t have to look too far to find critics of the office cubicle: Google “cubicles are awful” and you’ll find hundreds of articles decrying these hated workspaces. And most of the data on work environments seems to support these claims. Cubicle-bound workers report exceptionally low levels of satisfaction with their work stations. They’re less productive than their peers in open-plan offices. Meanwhile, most cube workers get absolutely no daytime exposure to natural light, which wrecks sleeping patterns and skews cognitive ability.
Category Archives: Productivity
In 2016, the workplace underwent a dramatic change as 3.6m Baby Boomers retired, one-fourth of millennial workers rose up to take on management roles and Generation Z had just begun to enter the workforce. The demand for a more flexible work environment continued, along with the desire for greater autonomy and a healthier work-life balance.
Do you ever feel like you’re spinning plates, rapidly switching between one unfinished task to another, putting in a burst of effort to keep one task ‘spinning’, hoping that none of the other plates crash to the floor in the meantime? It’s an exhausting, stressful and ineffective way to work. Only when we’re able to prioritise and give our single, undivided attention to the task in hand can we keep focused and productive, and have the freedom to think creatively.
Our brains are designed to handle just one cognitive task at a time, but today’s hyper-connected culture combined with our assortment of tech devices creates the growing temptation to try and do several things at once. We might be working on an important presentation, but at the same time we will check our emails, hop onto Instagram, reply to a text message and also have our favourite Netflix series playing in the background. It’s this constant task-switching that neurologists say is having a detrimental effect on our productivity, as well as our wellbeing.
“Ah, Herr Lamont. Ja, vee had a room for you…”
As greetings go, this is not what you want to hear when arriving at a hotel in the middle of the night. It is certainly not what you want to hear after your flight has left late, arrived late, and missed a connection that meant renting a car to finish the journey.
This article is based on the webinar delivered by business consultant, author, futurist and speaker, Gihan Perera, which can be viewed here.
This article is based on the webinar delivered by psychologist, author and CEO of Equilibria Leadership Consulting, Dr. Nicole Lipkin, which can be viewed here.
December can be one of the most challenging months of the working year, and keeping employees engaged and focused on their work can be tricky. According to a recent study, two-thirds of employees will use paid time to do their online Christmas shopping at their desks, meaning that businesses could stand to lose hundreds of hours in productivity. There often ends up being fewer man hours to get the same volume of work accomplished, and for some, end-of-year targets need to be met and budgets and planning for the year ahead finalised. Juggling work with personal family commitments can create a number of pressures and distractions, and so it’s no wonder that during the festive season, employee morale and motivation can dip.
I’m aware there’s a certain irony in me writing this post, as I still have an awful lot to accomplish before Christmas! I’m sure it’s the case for many, and so before we get swept up in the usual Christmas panic, here are some ways in which we can maintain our normal pace of work, and focus on the things that really matter. Once we’ve cleared the decks, it will mean that we can leave the office with a clear conscience, switch-off from work and have a truly restful Christmas…
You’ll need yourself at your best if you want to succeed in any type of job. Of course, no one is born perfect, so you’ll have to go through some trial-and-error before you start noticing your mistakes and improving upon them. You shouldn’t feel discouraged because you made some mistakes; you should look at them as lessons for the future! Luckily, there are ways that you can improve yourself without having to learn through errors. Here are 10 practical and proven ways to improve yourself professionally!
For reasons that I’ve never been able to fathom, some companies just love to call meetings, for the most trivial to the obscure of reasons. I’ve even been known to receive an invite to a pre-meeting, to discuss what we will be talking about at the actual meeting! Very often these meetings, which lack any true purpose, generate very little in the way of action points and are promptly forgotten or sidetracked once everyone has left the room.
Maybe you’ve just enrolled in some extra coursework toward an advanced certification at your job. Or maybe you just need a distraction-free place at home to get some serious spread sheeting done. Whatever your reason for designing one, building a workspace that harnesses your wandering mind and boosts your productivity is key.
The open plan office was set up to encourage disclosure, discussion and debate. At the time it broke down traditional office hierarchies, sitting managers among the ‘workers’ and promoting a more flexible and democratic way of working. It saved companies money too, as the need to construct large, fancy offices for senior management was drastically reduced, as was the overall volume of office space needed.
The Christmas season gives many of us a chance to take a break from routine, spend time with the family and recharge our batteries. As January looms and the start of a new year is upon us, it’s an opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities and set goals for the year ahead. That sense of a fresh beginning and new challenges has never been lost on me, and now is a good time to be evaluating whether you’re consistently performing at your peak, or whether day-to-day distractions and the demands of others are too often getting in the way.
If your brainstorms aren’t producing the right ideas, it isn’t necessarily because your team is unimaginative. Some people are better-suited to lateral thinking than others, but certain conditions are more conducive to creativity than others. Moments of light-bulb inspiration are rarer than people like to think.
Are you the sort of person who bounces out of bed when the alarm goes off, excited to begin your day? Or maybe you’re a little more like me…hitting the snooze button, dashing around the house frantically trying to get everyone organised, running out the door, and needing a strong coffee before you can really get started with your day? Well at least that’s the way I used to be, but recently I’ve been working hard to become more of a morning person, and I’ve discovered some valuable lessons along the way.
Do you frequently have that realisation that it’s 10am already, but you haven’t really accomplished anything yet? You might have made a coffee, browsed through a couple of articles, jotted down a quick ‘to do’ list, had a chat with a colleague and responded to a few low priority emails…but really, in that first hour or so, you know you haven’t begun to tackle anything substantive.
When I began working from home 10 years ago, the lack of office distractions and my newfound freedom to focus on a piece of work for an extended length of time, was a revelation. It was a novelty that has never worn off, and I look back on my years of office-filled banter, sitting within a busy newsroom among journalists who were continually talking on the phone, and I wonder how I was ever able to get anything done!
People typically leave a company for one of three reasons. The first is that they don’t see themselves as a good fit for the business, or feel that their work matters. The second is that they haven’t forged close enough bonds with their co-workers, or established enough respect for them. But the third and most common reason is that they’re unhappy with their boss, which in up to 75% of cases is the single driving factor.
According to Google…yes! So much so, that its Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, are kitted out with high tech sleep pods, where employees can go to recharge their batteries. These EnergyPods are said to incorporate NASA science, enclosing the occupant within a private space which shuts out any external stimuli, and reclining them in the optimum resting position to provide maximum blood flow throughout their body. If that’s not enough, there’s a built-in Bose music system for those who like to drift off listening to something relaxing, and a timer system gently wakes the occupant using light and vibration when it is time to get up.
With the daily barrage of emails, talkative colleagues, and constant digital interruptions, the modern workplace costs individuals and companies a lot of time. In fact, the average British employee wastes 759 hours of work a year at work.
“You’re not watching with me.”
“I am! I can do both, I have to check something.”
“Then check and then we’ll watch the show.”
“It’s fine, just keep watching, I’m paying attention.”
“But it feels weird to watch alone while you’re doing something else.”
“It’s fine, I’m watching. Here, I’m putting it down, you happy?”
“Yes, thank you.”
“So catch me up.”
When Google has slides and Facebook has a 9-acre rooftop retreat, workspace design might seem intimidating. However, if you don’t have the budget of a tech giant to fancify your office, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Lilli Hender from workspace experts OfficeGenie.co.uk takes a look at a few of the best ways to upgrade your space.