Category Archives: Productivity

Does listening to music affect your productivity? [Infographic]

Listening to music at work productivity

If you’re in an open-plan office, then you might listen to music in a bid to drown out the conversations that are surrounding you.

Gossip and general chit-chat about the most random things that you wouldn’t normally talk about (but for some reason in the office seem like the most interesting topics ever), are great from time-to-time, but some days you just need to get your head down and finish that task you were supposed to complete yesterday.

How to engage your Gen Y staff

Engaging GenY staff

By 2025, it’s predicted that Gen Y will make up 75% of the workforce.

This reality is enough to fill many managers with fear and trepidation. Perhaps this is no surprise, with all the hype that surrounds Gen Y in the workforce: from self-centered and entitled to optimists with a genuine desire to help others, this generation has been branded with a staggering number of stereotypes.

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.

Could you join the #noemail movement?

The no email movement

It’s tempting, I have to admit! A life without email would undoubtedly make a huge difference to my productivity. Throughout my career, the roles and positions I’ve held have always been heavily reliant on email, and although it’s been essential for communications, in many ways, it has also been a big distraction. Despite best efforts to restrict email related tasks to particular times of day, the reality is that people often expect faster response times. When an important email comes through which needs urgent attention, it can be tricky to ignore. But this can really disrupt the creative process and work flow.

Walk and talk: The benefits of a walking meeting

Walking Meeting

Meetings. They are a necessary part of business life. Sometimes they are wonderful – productive and even enjoyable. But we’ve probably all sat through other types of meetings – the ones that are unproductive, tiresome and agonisingly long. Unfortunately, we all need meetings. We need them for updating people, brainstorming options, exploring and agreeing decisions. We need them with individuals to update each other, to mentor or coach, to chew over a problem, or to support people with their personal development.

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.

Become a note-taking pro: Tips for taking better meeting notes

Taking meeting notes

Ever sat down at your desk following a long, complicated meeting and looked at either a messy, incomprehensible scrawl of notes or a worryingly blank page where today’s meeting notes should have been? Fear not – many of us struggle for ways to take accurate notes in meetings that both enable us to follow up on our actions afterwards and make sure we and our team are up to speed before the next meeting. So what are some ways we can make sure our note-taking skills get better?

Peek inside 7 of the coolest offices on earth

Citrix Rayleigh Office

Google
There is only one place to begin a round-up of the coolest offices in the world: Google’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California. People find Google’s HQ so comfortable, that a number of employees decided to make the ‘Googleplex’ campus their permanent address for more than a year. With perks like free meals, nap chairs, haircuts and a laundrette, it’s easy to see why they thought they’d save on rent and other personal costs for a while.

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.

3 ways to breathe life into weekly meetings

Online Meeting or Face to face meeting

What’s more fun than a weekly meeting? Pretty much anything. Each week, you and your co-workers go down the same list of initiatives, in that same dry tone. Perhaps it’s just inevitable that weekly meetings become predictable, repetitive and sleep-inducing. Seriously, if you suffer from insomnia, just attend one bad weekly meeting and you’ll be cured.

How to avoid digital overload in an iEverything world

Digital overload

Living in the digital age is a double-edged sword: The tools available to us can be wonderful servants, but they can also be terrible masters.

An avalanche of emails, texts and social media alerts threaten productivity in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. The challenge for us, then, is to use this technology to boost our productivity while still fending off distractions.

How could a four-day week change your life?

4 day working week

So many of us talk of working a four-day week, but is it just wishful thinking, or could it truly be a reality one day? Countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark are closest to achieving this dream, so what’s the possibility of other countries including the UK following suit?

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5 ways to start as we mean to go on in 2015

2015 goals

Many of us like to make New Year’s resolutions, such as keeping on top of our ‘to do’ lists, but very often they fall by the wayside when our old habits begin to creep back in. How lovely would it be if we could rewire our brains to a new, productive and efficient way of working, so that we can truly take control over the way we work, rather than letting our work take control of us?

The weekly round-up: Top workplace habit tips and stories

Organised desk

Are you thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions yet? This week’s round-up might be a good place to start; here are some recent stories about good and bad workplace habits to adopt to help make your day more productive and your work mindset better.

10 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Productivity

How To Break Your Bad Work Habits

Six Healthy And Easy Ways To Boost Your Productivity At Work

How To Work Toward Healthier Habits

Vital business lessons The Apprentice taught us this year

The Apprentice What We've Learnt

We’re getting closer to finding out who will be named this year’s winner of the prestigious partnership with Lord Sugar himself, and we think this might just have been the best season of The Apprentice yet. There’ve been the usual personality clashes, the hilarious soundbites and the fist-bitingly awful gaffes, but that’s precisely what makes the programme such an addictive watch.

Is this the perfect desk layout?

Is this the perfect desk?

For many of us, the humble desk is where we spend the majority of our days. So isn’t it time we made it a happier place to spend our time?

We’ve conducted a little research to help you make your little corner of the office (home or otherwise) a more pleasant place to be, and think that the perfect desk comprises the following things:

Pointless meetings – and how to avoid them

Avoid pointless meetings

“Meetings are a great way to fill my working day,” said nobody, ever.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a quick catch-up with a colleague or a regular team get-together – a meeting should serve a purpose and have at least a bare minimum agenda (and no, three bullets two minutes before the meeting do not qualify as an agenda). Otherwise the meeting is really just a waste of time that could be better spent getting on with “real” work, or even doing non work-related stuff.

12 world records you can break in your lunch hour

record attempt at lunch

When was the last time you did something different at lunch?

Instead of sitting at your desk and working through yet another lunch hour, why not try and break a world record? Apparently it’s possible. Check out this infographic from the team over at Chair Office and try spicing up your lunch break with a few record breaking attempts (and if you’re successful, please let us know!).