How Office Environment Influences Productivity and Collaboration

Office environment

A certain portion of productivity and collaboration comes from within the stellar team members you hire for the job. If you have budding, innovative minds who are eager to work together to move mountains for your business, you’ve already won half the battle. The only thing you should be concerned about is whether or not their office environment is actually stifling their abilities. After all, if you put an astronaut in a lawyer’s seat, would she know what she was doing?

If you want to make the most out of your workplace talent, you need to set the proper stage they’ll need to perform. A few small changes can make a world of difference in enhancing everyone’s ability to work to the fullest extent.

Space to Move

Your employees might spend a significant amount of time sitting around their computers, or even emailing each other. When they’re doing this, the need to have enough space to set up and work on what they’re working on. It’s hard to get much done when you’re bumping elbows with your coworker every time you try to hit “send.”

Even strictly virtual work requires more space than most people may realize. Some work requires a bubble of silence to concentrate on, and when employees can’t get that, they wind up sending out messages full of typos and incomplete thoughts. If everyone is too close together, it might be time to check out Gumtree for a larger office building. Growth tends to happen quicker than we may think, and you might have packed too many people into a small space.

Different Zones

Coming together is just as important as working separately. The whole group needs to be able to sit at the same table in order to discuss and plan an upcoming project. Some of that work is meant to be done within the group, but other small tasks may require privacy. If everyone else needs to be quiet so one person can make a phone call, this is a sign that you don’t have enough designated zones for specific kinds of work.

Make sure you have enough quiet places where your team members can make phone calls or sit down with clients to go over personal information. Attempting to do these things in a team setting is overwhelming, and not much will get done. Everyone needs a little corner to handle these quiet tasks before they can come back and share what they’ve learned with the group.

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Transfer of Business: How to Make Your Team Stay Productive

Team stay productive

When things feel up in the air, it’s hard for employees to stay grounded. If your business is changing ownership, the staff might feel uncertain about their futures. Their concerns will change, and they’ll view their careers from a different perspective. Until the change has been completed, the days will need to go on the same way they always have. Keeping things flowing means changing the way collaboration works under these new circumstances.

Know What Needs to Be Done

When new owners come in, old long term goals or policies might change. Think about what needs to get done in the moment. No one can work together productively if they feel as though what they’re working towards is useless. What does your team definitely need to accomplish before the transfer? What long term projects can be scrapped to accommodate current priorities? Make sure everyone is on the same page as far as what is most important at this time.

Take it Out of the Office

Whether you’re selling a brick and mortar office business or selling a website, the people who aren’t sticking around for the new owners are going to be working in a new environment soon. Staying in the office might be a little uncomfortable or downright upsetting to the people who aren’t happy about what’s going on. Encourage your team to collaborate in new environments. Let them work at a coffee shop or in a public park. The change of scenery will take their minds off of a big change they may not be happy about. Allowing them to work remotely from home is also a valuable alterative.

Don’t Stop Team Building

People value the relationships they build at work. If you know your deal will be completed in 90 days, you shouldn’t stop team building activities for that time. They’re still going to be working together. You need your team to feel strong and focused. Transfer of business can be demoralizing if you let regular day to day activities fall apart. Ownership may change, but in-office relationships can remain the same throughout the process.

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Easy Rules Of Time Management Between Study And Social Life

Time management

Student life can feel chaotic at the best of times, so it’s no wonder that you’re finding it hard to manage your time. With so much going on, how do you manage to do it all? These easy rules show you that there is a way to get the most out of the college experience while keeping your grades up, too.

Track your time

Everyone can manage to get good grades and be social, they just need to manage their time effectively. If you think you need some help, start with tracking your time. This means spending a week marking off the activity you’re doing every 15 minutes, either in a notebook or on your phone. After a week, you’ll be able to see how much time you’re devoting to each activity, and where you need to start making changes.

Set a schedule

Now you know where you need to be spending your time, so make yourself a schedule. A day planner or a large wall calendar can work well for this. Mark off any important dates, such as exams or quizzes. Then, create your schedule around these. You want to make sure you’re marking out enough time for studying but ensure you get rest periods, too.

Set realistic goals

Now, you’ll need some goals to work towards. What do you really want to get out of school? write down all the things you want to achieve. Now, set some goals that are realistic. To be realistic, a goal needs to be attainable, and possible within the school year. ‘Spend x amount of hours a week studying’ is a better goal than ‘Study as much as possible’, for example.

Make the most of your break times

Despite everything you may already believe, social media platforms, such as Facebook, are the tools of the Internet. There are multiple ways you can use these tools to effectively manage your time. If you’re on a break from work, reply to messages from your friends, planning a time you could meet up after your studying is done, or watch a funny video whilst having a break from your textbooks. This way you can maintain a social life whilst studying.

Pay attention to your environment

When you begin studying, find a place that’s quiet and free from distractions. The library could be a good spot or a quiet room in your house. Wherever you choose to study, make it a habit. That way, your mind will associate the area with getting down to work.

Carry ‘pocket work’

Student and website admin Sarah B. Debellis from Best Australian Writers says, ‘Pocket work is anything that you can handle when you have a spare moment. As a student, it can mean reading a chapter from an assigned text, or reviewing your marks from a previous assignment.’ If you have this work with you, you can make the most of any spare moment to get some studying done. Why waste that time stood in line or on the bus, when you could get ahead?

Recognise that procrastination is self-defeating

Every student is familiar with the concept of procrastination. It’s easy to put jobs off for later, and not think about it. However, to truly master time management, you need to recognise that procrastination is really self-defeating. You get a break in the short-term, but the work will still be waiting for you, and you’ll have less time to complete it in.

Give yourself a break

Having said this though, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a break. In fact, it’s better to give yourself regular breaks or your studying won’t be effective. The key is to schedule them in and stick to the time allotted. Around 5-10 minutes break per hour of studying is usually the best ratio, so give it a try.

Reward yourself for sticking to schedule

It’s easier to stick to your time management schedule when you have something to look forward to. Create rewards that will incentivize you to get on with your work. This can be anything from a candy bar if you finish this evening’s studying, to a theme park trip if you pass your exams.

Break projects down

If your work seems too big and overwhelming to deal with, don’t worry. You can make it easier by breaking the whole project down. Create smaller tasks that will help you towards completing the bigger one, and complete them one by one. This way, you’ll see the results much more quickly, and be less tempted to procrastinate.

With these tips, you can get the most out of your day, and balance your studying and social life. Give them a try for yourself.


11 diverse perspectives for finding happiness at workplace and achieving more

Finding happiness in hard work

Finding happiness at work is the secret towards achieving more and being more productive at work. The following perspectives explores 11 different ways for being happy at our workplaces.


1. If you want to achieve, find happiness.

According to Elyse Gorman from the “Mind body green” magazine, happy people realize that life changes quickly and big transformation is possible. They see when they follow their passions, circumstances, right people and right opportunities appear in their life. They need not know all the steps. They just have a clear vision of the end result, they want to achieve and keep taking steps in that direction .

When you are positive, finding happiness is easy and effortless. your brain is happier and works more successfully and it allows you to focus on the task at hand. If we can raise somebody’s positiveness in the present it increases creativity, intelligence and more energy. Research shows that it results in 31 % more productivity and results in more positive business outcomes.


2.Have a strong support network.

Have a support network
Have a support network

People who have achieved usually have a strong support network.  Having a support network is a way to be happy and finding happiness. They are typically givers who extend help towards their families and friends. They also have diverse interests and are open to new learning and possibilities. They are open, curious and experience life to the fullest.


3. Live in the moment – What did you achieve and enjoy today

Live in the moment to be happy
Live in the moment

Living in the moment is a way to be happy. “Achievement” and “enjoyment” are at the core of Work life balance. Both are like two sides of the same coin.

We all know what “achievement” means. For some it is “getting a better job or income” and for some others it is making enough money to settle down” and yet for some it is just “doing a good job today”. But then, in spite of the achievement many of us want to be happy but we are not happy.

It is the enjoyment part that needs to be understood little more. Enjoyment doesn’t mean happiness alone or the “Laughs” It also means sense of satisfaction, pride, celebration, love and well being. These are the joys of living in everyday life.

In a half-awake condition we would say that, I want to enjoy and achieve today. That’s a good start. If we start achieving and enjoying every day of our life, for the rest of our lives, then that’s something. We would have had a pretty good life, having achieved and enjoyed in all the important areas of our life and the balance and value we always desired to be happy and for finding happiness in life and at work.

So ask today, what did I achieve and enjoy today? These are simple concepts but if we follow and implement them for ourselves, for our family and work, it would be a wonderful life lived.


4.Support and value diversity – How women can achieve equality in the workplace and be happy.

Women's equality
Women’s equality

Annie Marie Slaughter, is a respected American foreign policy expert, who has written a recent book “Unfinished business, women, men work family”. Ms. Slaughter has become a household name in America on how “Women can raise both healthy families and lead a high profile career.

Women need to embrace the concept of masculinity. Even when their men earn less than them or do household chores and take care of children. And yet be sexy and attractive.  Once they embrace this, they can expect to have equality at the workplace. Fair enough

This is a brief from the article which appeared in the Economist, Juggling mums and Halo dads, Oct 10th, 2015.


5. Overcome your fears and be approachable.

Human speech is the most complex form of communication. We have so many ways to express ideas, feelings. Thoughts, intents, love, desire etc. When you can’t open up to people, they may think that you are unapproachable. Sometimes there is this danger of isolation. Every living being on the planet communicates in some form or the other. Some people have the fear of expressing themselves and sometimes it is hardest thing to do.

Here are some ways, you can follow to overcome these fears and become more approachable while expressing yourself and of course to be happy.

1. Do not fear people’s judgment: Do not fear what other people think about you. Your imagination will create far worst scenarios.

  1. Reading a lot: Reading will help you learn how other people express themselves. Notice the word usage, diction, flow, voice and tone.
  2. Write something on your own: Start by writing on anything. Write letters. Writing organizes your thoughts and sets focus and direction.
  3. Willingness to listen: listen to people’s conversations. Express maturely with thoughtfulness and consideration
  4. Asking questions: Asking questions, is a great way for starting the conversation and expressing yourself.

The ways above will naturally make you to be happy and for finding happiness at work and in life.

Excerpts from ” How to express yourself to others” By Greg S Baker.


6. Have an effective work-life balance to be happy

According to a report from Telegraph, 60 % of families are putting extra unpaid work just to get their job done. This results in a combination of work pressure, jobs growing too large to be done during normal “work hours” and company culture. Survey found that 58 % say “staying late” is the only way to get the job done. Fathers are more likely to work longer hours than mothers.

There is a move in Sweden to introduce 6 hour a day to increase productivity. In Finland, no-body schedules a meeting after 16.30. Because, everybody understands that we need to go home and be with our families.

A dad’s challenge too

Fortune, recently reported that Half of MBA’s plan to prioritize their families over their careers. And yet 42% of male MBA’s feared that keeping balance in their lives would derail their career ambitions.

Just like public opinion, many employer policies have also failed to recognize the shifts in pysche of working dads. “Boss expects no change in working patterns as a result of they becoming parents”. Working part time is also looked down upon, acccording to Boston college centre for work and family.

Excerpts from Fortune, You’re not alone, Paul Ryan. Work-life balance is a dad issue, Kristen Bellstrom


7.  Make time and add value for career development and advancement

Sip a cup of coffee. It is a big question we all like to ask ourselves and that too when it concerns our career development and advancement. Our actions make a lot of impact in our workplace, whether we know it or not. These actions need to be measurable and should have valuable outcomes in order for people to take notice and for you to be happy. The more value we contribute, the more they will acknowledge and reward you in return with salary hikes, promotion and job security and the more we will achieve at our workplaces and be happy. This is universal.

While our job description is a list of tasks, how we achieve these tasks through our actions for a more measurable and valuable outcome matters. Our actions on these tasks influences the amount and the degree of value we contribute to the organization.

The following list highlights the ways in which we can add value to our organization and for you to be happy and for finding happiness at workplace.
1. Saving money.
2. Making money.
3. Improving the efficiency and doing things the right way.
4. Making corrective action and preventive action of existing and future problems.

Even as we take up every task from your objectives or job description, we can ask, how I can add value to this task. We can make compelling case from all our achievements and can even include it the next resume. This makes a superior investment and who wouldn’t want to hire such a candidate or give a salary hike.


8. Be a great partner at home to be happy

Breakfast at home
Cooking at home

“You have to be a ruthless prioritizer” for Work life balance says Brady Stewart, vice president of global E-commerce operations for Levi Strauss & Company.

Brady balances work and life and talks about the live pressing problems of managing her Husband ‘s breakfast office meeting,  her own office conference calls during breakfast, the dogs barking and feeding her son in the midst.  In all this, she has to plan for the evening dinner as well.

It is time squeeze to be a great partner, professional, be in shape and be great at marriage.

We need to fix our priorities to be happy and for finding happiness. Her priorities shape up in this order.

  1. Kids
  2. Relationship
  3. Careers
  4. Staying in shape
  5. Social life

This is an excerpt from the article “Work life balance poses challenges regardless of wealth” which appeared in The New York times


9. Look good and feel good for being happy – even the bald ones

Firstly, one needs to embrace the bald look. Going bald is a close investigation in contrasts and it steadily grows on a man. When you are balding, one of the redefining styles is that you should start growing your hair on your beard, for we know the fact that male pattern baldness does not affect the beard. It actually makes the person look younger.

You can even try the “buzz cut” look. The “Buzz cut”  works because it camouflages the thinning hair on the top and make you look neat and rounded. Sport a stubble beard along with it. Another one is the “Military crew cut”. It is a great style actually. It creates an illusion of having full hair for the onlooker.

Celebrities like Sean Connery, who is famously known for portraying the character of James bond has carried the bald look with panache and redefined it in many ways and so was Hollywood actor Bruce wills who often sports a beard to compensate his shining pate.

Some might think that growing a beard over a bald head will add years to their look and they might look aged but actually, it gives a balanced look. There are a number of things that men can do to embrace it and for finding happiness. One needs to take care of the dressing as well. Wear a dress that goes with the shape of the head. Regularly shampoo the head well and apply a moisturizer. You are all set for the look you deserve at work. One of the important things for finding happiness at work.


10. Know what you have to do next at work

Have you figured out the ingredients that make up your dish   (In other words, your mission or what you want to do in your next job). One of those things that comes to us is that your background might be anything, if you have a purpose and a mission, then connecting those threads become easier. It’s like figuring out the ingredients that you make up your dish (your purpose). It could be even your next job for that matter. A sure way to be happy and for finding happiness.

You need to observe and notice that a lot of transference of skills happen. For example, I might have been a global program manager, an IT consultant, a sales man, a waiter and a burger maker at a restaurant.

Each of these roles create different perceptions about me. Let us say for example, if my mission is to “Help people flourish”. Then I have to bring all the roles into context understand how each of the skills, roles, strengths and values will help me do it or “How to go about it” to “Help people flourish”.


11. Manage conflict at work and at home for finding happiness.

The Gita, How to be happy
The Gita, How to be Happy

The teachings of “The Gita” for career success

Mahatma Gandhi referred to “The Gita” as his spiritual dictionary. There is so much to learn from the “700 verses” of The Gita, a narrative dialogue that happens between Lord Sri Krishna and Arjuna in Hinduism. The teachings emphasizes that all wars start in the minds of people and we need to subdue that mind to attain clarity. The teachings have valuable lessons on managing conflict and how we maintain our relationships in life and at work for career success and most importantly for finding happiness.

Firstly, we need to embrace and accommodate each others shortcoming and flaws to maintain happy and friendly relationships. It is with this element of positiveness that there is a realization that we human beings possess qualities, which are sometimes liked by others and sometimes they are not. We need to embrace this fact of life that we are not liked by everybody all the time. We also need to understand that we will have to be more accommodating with those people, whose qualities we dislike the most.

We cannot build an expectation that for us to be happy, people need to change around us. If we cannot change a person, we have to accept the person as he is. The same expectation is there as well with the people whom we meet, who expects that we change for them. Naturally, a conflict emanates and there is a hindrance to duty.

The relationships we have with people at workplace are far more important for our career success. When the conflict at hand is over a minor matter, then we make an honest and sincere attempt to find merit in the other person’s argument and make him or her succeed. True collaboration comes when we help the other person succeed. When that happens, then in all humbleness it is our success as well.

In all circumstances, have a suitable response which is flexible enough to maintain friendly relationships at the workplace for career success.


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Accepting responsibility at work and in life

Accept responsibility

Accepting responsibility at work and in life.


When you want to succeed at work and in life, you need to develop the capacity to be yourself. Very often when things go wrong, we have the tendency to put the blame on others.

Actually, accepting responsibility does not mean putting the blame on ourselves. Accepting responsibility lies in the fact that you are taking ownership of your problem.

You are assessing the situation and identifying the areas where improvements need to done so as to make effective changes within your life and at work. By accepting responsibility and making things right, you are sure to get a better outcome when you do the same thing again, without putting the blame on others.


Accepting responsibility, wholeheartedly
Accepting responsibility wholeheartedly

Realizing it and accepting it wholeheartedly

We need to realize that we are responsible for our own success in the work place. We need to accept the fact that whatever you are and whatever you want to be, is entirely in your hands. Only when you accept it wholeheartedly, you will be able to get rid of the bad habit of putting the blame on others.

When certain things have not happened in your career or certain promotions have not come in at the right time, it is easy to put the onus on others. But if you examine closely you always had the choice, to own up and do the right things that are required.

You alone are responsible for your own state of affairs and being happy or unhappy.

The day when you realize this, it will be a new beginning for you towards your journey of accepting responsibility at work and in life.


Accepting responsibility
Do not find excuse for failures

Do not find an excuse for your failures

A good thing to always remember is that we are here in the organization to perform our duty and we are being paid for it.

Many a times it happens that we just want to create an excuse for our failures. We just don’t want to fail in the eyes of others and often cite reasons to pass the blame on to them.

However, if we accept the responsibility and complete our tasks, we will be in more control of ourselves and we would start achieving what we wanted to do in our professional lives. We just need to accept the assignments and perform them willingly, happily and enthusiastically.

It boils down to say that you just take the idea and run with it rather than be told what to do with it and put them into practice.

Top performers when they see the job that needs doing, they just go ahead and perform it.

The difference between the top performers and those who accomplish little lies in the fact that top performers assume to choose responsibility.


Maturing emotionally
Maturing emotionally

Maturing emotionally

Another aspect of people who accept responsibility is that they mature emotionally. One important aspect is to remain positive and accept failures and learn from them. It is the expression of adulthood.

You also know that things can be done differently and there are other alternatives. Accepting responsibility also means to take help from others. It is good to seek feedback in areas where we need improvement and have a support network.

You will not feel threatened when you find that others in your team have a better solution than yours. You happily accept it and run with it. The more a person accepts responsibility and initiates actions the more he grows into greater levels of autonomy.

Having accomplished simple things, the person wants to achieve difficult work challenges worthy of his or her talents. Success builds on success.


Talk to your Manager with a development action plan

Accepting responsibility also means that you have a plan to implement the much needed changes which can bring improvements into your current situation or work projects.

Have a monthly feedback session with your manager and discuss with him or her that you want to take up additional projects.

Before approaching, make sure you are up to date on your current projects. Accept the feedback from your manager with a positive attitude and discuss ways with him or her on how you can improve.

Discuss your career goals with your manager and how your career goals are aligned with the objectives of the company.

Follow up with your manager with a development action plan on how you want to implement the changes for your improvement areas.

Develop an action plan by identifying the changes that need to be brought in for your developmental areas. Have a workable timeline which covers both, on the job learning as well as classroom learning.


Accepting responsibility
Valuable lessons from experience

Learning valuable lessons through experience

Another useful outcome of accepting responsibility is that it teaches us valuable lessons through experience. From experience we learn what kind of actions produce fruitful consequences.

It only comes through experience and cannot be taught in a classroom. As you take in more responsibility, you become more secure more confident and start taking risks and initiatives. This makes the person evolve to become a more confident self starter without close supervision.

Sometimes we learn a lot through failure and we clearly understand what went wrong. Accepting responsibility also means sharing the lessons learned with others at work so that they can take up effective action.

Seek out areas where the company needs help and volunteer. Taking part in the company’s extracurricular activities shows you are proactive and willing to contribute meaningfully for your organization as well as for your own growth.

Become an expert in your area of expertise and master your craft.


Finally, accepting responsibility is a choice you make for yourself autonomously. It empowers you and gets you nearer to your goals at work as well in life.

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Good read on the same topic from Responsibility and blame are two different things, Psychology today.

Also read, Cultural diversity in the workplace


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