The Essentials Before Heading Out Into The World Of Business On Your Own

By 2020, it is estimated that approximately 27 million Americans will leave the workforce in favor of self-employment, according to estimations in the 2018 FreshBooks report.

self-employment

The penchant for self-employment and entrepreneurial spirit that is alive in the country is not necessarily new information. The country ranked first on the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), and cities across America are quickly becoming hotbeds for business innovation and startups. With over 24 million Americans contemplating self-employment in 2019, one key consideration for them will be how they can best be prepared for this professional leap. Taking a few steps before starting your own business sets you up for success, and helps the incorporation period of your business run much more smoothly. It includes securing the right office space, a dedicated workforce and everything in between.

Define Your Target Market And Competition

Creating a customer profile helps you define who your potential customers will be so that you can personalize your communications, location and even packaging according to what they prefer or demand. To do this, you need to conduct thorough market research and seek information on competing businesses in the industry. Take note of current trends in the industry, such as social media communication and advertising trends or any new complimentary service being offered by other companies already operating in the market. Getting to know your competition means you can capitalize on their shortcomings, providing the customers with what they seek. It also helps you define your boundaries: do you have enough funds and human resources to fill the need uncovered by the market research? More importantly, how can you make your offering unique and notable?

Decide On Your Location – Brick And Mortar, Ecommerce Or Both?

Now that you know who and what you wish to be selling, it is time to answer the questions of where and how. The first question to address is whether you want to sell in-store or online or both. Thanks to technology and the embracing of the internet, most businesses now have an online presence in addition to their brick and mortar locations. When choosing a location, look at factors such as closeness to your target market, availability of your supply, and ease of distribution. Whether you intend to sell online or in-store will also determine the kind of premises you secure; whether it is intended for warehouse storage and distribution or customer browsing and storefront as well. OfficeFinder can help you find the right location.

Back Your Plans With The Funds

Once you have decided on the target market (who) and the good/services to be offered (what), it is time to answer the question of how. This is where financing comes in. To kick-start your plans for your own business, you will need some degree of startup capital for the purchase/leasing of business premises, stock, machinery and promotional activities. Around 77 percent of small business owners use their personal funds to start their business, while 16 percent rely on borrowing from friends or family members.

Alternatively, you can opt to apply for a bank loan or credit like 24 percent of other business owners do, according to GuidantFinancial. The average in business loans taken is USD$72,2771, with 23 percent of owners borrowing more than that. If you do intend on financing your business with the help of loans and other credit, you should also check your credit report to ensure it is in optimal shape. The credit report of business owners (particularly small business owners) is one of the go-to things lenders consider in your application, so now would be the perfect time to boost your score or address any discrepancies in your financial past. Find more information here.

Create A Mock-Up

If you’re going to apply for a business loan or secure investor backing, you will need to pitch your idea, and a mock-up can help you sell your vision. This means creating a business plan for your financing process, which should detail your product/service, your target market, and your plans to meet the needs of the said market. Plan execution will include a marketing and sales plan, along with financial projections of your revenue and costs and your projected cash flow. It is important that you pay particular attention to your cash flow, since lenders will be taking note of cash management strategies. Finally, to round out your business presentation, you can create a demo business website and sample business cards or adverts.

Making the decision to head into a self-employment business for yourself can be fraught with many decisions in the beginning. However, the trick is to approach it systematically and carefully taking into consideration the essential decisions before you kick-start your venture.

Standing Desks Health Benefits: Protecting Your Employees Health

Offering your employees standing desks can actually benefit the health of your employees. Here is some information about standing desks and employees health benefits.Standing desksAs their name suggests, standing desks are a type of desk that allows you to work standing up.

They can be raised and lowered as you see fit.

Standing desks are more than just a fad — they are a way to keep your employees engaged and healthy at work.

Standing throughout the workday provides a few substantial health benefits to you and your employees. Understanding the major standing desks health benefits can help you decide if you should invest in them for your office.

Here they are:

  • Weight Loss and Posture
  • The most obvious benefit of choosing a standing desk is that it helps burn more calories with very little extra effort on the part of your employees.
  • A recent study showed that working at a standing desk can burn an extra 1,000 calories per week.
  • Beyond the improved weight loss, standing for at least part of the day can help alleviate back pain.
  • Sitting in an office chair, especially if you are prone to slouching, can lead to back pain and problems like slipped disks.
  • Comfortable Fit for Your Employees

One of the best things about standing desks is that they can switch between sitting and standing.

This is a more inclusive work station since it can be easily adjusted to the height of each of your employees. It also means that people can sit down and take a load off if their knees or feet start to get sore.

You can shop these desks to either convert or replace your current desk so that your workspace stays the same despite being higher up.

They also help prevent people from banging their knees or being wedged into uncomfortable positions. It can help people keep their hands in proper position on their keyboards, which can help prevent carpal tunnel.

Better Mental Engagement

The fact that you can switch between standing and sitting with a standing desk also helps keep your employees engaged.

Allowing people to switch every hour or so can help people stay focused instead of dozing off at their keyboards.

A study found that high school students saw better test scores when they used standing desks because they were able to focus better and engage with their work.

However, the benefit of being engaged at work is not solely related to productivity.

Another study found that using a standing desk reduces feelings of fatigue and stress. This marks an improvement in the mental health of your employees and can help prevent both boredom and burnout.

These Standing Desks Health Benefits Make It Clear

To improve the overall health and happiness of your employees and keep their morale high throughout the workweek, a standing desk is a great solution.

You can easily retrofit your existing workspace to accommodate standing desks, reaping the benefits in no time at all.

On a personal note, my daughter, who works at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, swears by her standing desk. A great company who wants to ensure their employees health. Your company should follow their lead.

For more information like this, check out the rest of our blog. It’s chock-full of tips that you can use to keep your employees happy, healthy, and productive. And if you are looking for office space, we can help at no cost to you. Contact us today!

 

6 Jobs You Should NEVER Outsource

outsourcing meetingOutsourcing is one of the most popular trends today when it comes to company operations and productivity. As more advanced technologies are developed, businesses gain more avenues to outsource their services to other companies, most of which are located overseas. In fact, the need for particular responsibilities to be outsourced soared in the United States, reaching almost $76.9 billion in 2016.

Communication and project management between clients and outsourcing partners have also improved in recent years, allowing for a more seamless operation. Outsourcing is also becoming a great help even to smaller businesses. Some outsourcing companies are now even offering virtual offices to startups.

Here are some other popular benefits of outsourcing:

  • It can save resources. Outsourcing companies can provide the same expertise but with a fraction of the cost.
  • It offers flexibility to employees. In-house employees would have more time to focus on tasks and responsibilities that have a direct impact on how the company progresses.
  • It promotes efficiency at work. Both in-house and outsourced functions are done easily andpromptly.
  • It allows access to a diverse field of multinational, skilled talent. Outsourcing will enable companies to tap talents by working with people who specialize in specific tasks.

But with all of the advantages that outsourcing brings to the table, is it advisable to outsource everything? Here you’ll find that there are specific projects and campaigns that your company should take on and complete by yourself.

Not Just About Results

Sometimes, businesses outsource their tasks because they want to focus on getting things done. Though it’s certainly not a problem to be results-driven, it’s always a must to understand the whole process of the operation or project. That way, the companies’ in-house employees would become more skilled and experienced in handling similar tasks in the future.

Here are six jobs you definitely should not place on contractors:

  1. Executive and Administrative Leadership Roles – Never outsource roles that have a direct impact on the company’s path to success. The vision and objectives should come from its own executives. If there are people who know the basic principles that keep the business moving, then it should be these people.Most companies appear to have a good understanding of this, as 89% of companies do not plan to outsource any of their strategic planning and executive functions, while 80% are not outsourcing marketing-related responsibilities.
  2. Employee Training and Development – The company management should be the one responsible in training and advancing the skills of its employees. It’s not right to assign a third-party service provider to guide employees—you should have control over how you lead your members to become better professionals in the future.
  3. Termination Management – Similar to previous points, the on-site human resources department should be the one responsible for terminating and retaining employees. It should always be prepared to deliver both good and bad news to employees.
  4. Core Business Competencies – If your business is selling a particular product or service, then your team should have expert knowledge about them. Don’t expect an outsourcing company to be experts at what you sell or do because they focus mainly on their outsourcing skills.
  5. Risk Management and Problem Solving Tasks – The idea is not just to solve a particular problem or achieve a goal. The most critical factor in a growing company is gaining enough knowledge on how it’s done.When problems arise, it’s better to have your own team of problem solvers who can get the job done. The ability to solve problems also has another positive result—it prevents these issues from happening in the future.
  6. Company Financing – The finance department has the responsibility to decide how much budget is given to particular projects and departments. Financial decisions, investments, and other expenses should not be outsourced because in-house financial managers have a clearer picture of the status of the company.

Outsourcing is Here to Stay

Outsourcing is indeed becoming a staple portion of any successful company, and it’s happening outside the US. In the past, outsourcing partnerships materialized because of phone calls and meetings over coffee.

But today, any business can acquire outsourcing services through the Internet. They can draft contracts with foreign Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies without the need to actually see each other face-to-face.

There are a ton of options in outsourcing. The top two countries that offer outsourcing services worldwide are the Philippines and India. The Philippines currently employs more than a million employees in the BPO industry, and that’s expected to increase to 1.3 or 1.5 million professionals in the next three years. It is the top destination of voice BPO, while it is second to India in non-voice services.

Meanwhile, India holds more than 65% of all IT-related outsourced jobs worldwide. The country boasts high-level competency in computer-related responsibilities and specialization, as well as a good grasp of the English language.

Outsourcing and Automation

In the years to come, there will be more outsourcing options, one of which is automation. Some businesses are beginning to rely on AI and modern technology to automate specific procedures without the need for human intervention. Outsourcing to automation is also becoming popular nowadays, and interestingly, there are also tasks that should not be automated—but that’s a topic for another day.

 

How to Get the Most Out of Working from A Coworking Space

 

Get the Most Out of Working from A Coworking Space

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/paper-business-office-aerial-3211179/

Coworking is a situation whereby different self-employed persons or employees from different companies work remotely in a particular office or work environment. This enables the workers to share ideas and equipment in the office space. As with every other working environment, coworking space comes with its own challenges and setbacks, but with the right attitude and work culture, you can get the best out of working with various professionals in the same environment. Below are some tips to help you get the most out of working from a co-working space:

  1. Have A Good Rapport With Your Community Manager:

Although not mandatory, almost all coworking offices have a community Manager who oversees the smooth running of the workspace. If your workspace has one, he/she would most likely be the first person you would interact with while securing your workspace. It is important that you develop and maintain a good rapport with this person as your success in operating smoothly in the space is to some degree, dependent on your relationship with him/her. These community managers act as resource persons in the sense that they have adequate information as to who the residents of the space are, the best ways to get around bottlenecks that may arise, how to push your services to your desired clients, etc.

Make sure to ask questions whenever you are in doubt to help you speed up the process of adapting to your environment.

  1. Efficiency:

Efficiency has to do first of all with knowing what you are doing. It, however, it does not stop there. It also has to do with how well you organize your time to achieve maximum results in as little time as possible. To be efficient, you have to be disciplined and organized while being very skillful at what you do.  Develop a routine. Do the hard tasks first. Do not take your eyes off the job until you have finished. Be neat. Organize your files and documents properly. Do not be sloppy.

The importance of being efficient in a co-working environment cannot be over-emphasized as it helps not only your productivity but ensures that you are not a burden to other workers in your space.

  1. Choose the Best Corner Available:

Closely linked with efficiency, is the need to pick the best place available in order to shut out distractions and to keep you focused. Don’t just pick any space, ensure that you evaluate the environment well enough to be able to pick the one that is best adapted to your needs. For example, it is wiser to pick a space that gives you some level of privacy, that is close to the equipment shared and is far away from certain kinds of distractions. It would be wise also to factor in your personality and allergies while picking a space. For example, if you are one to catch a cold very easily, it is not advisable that you pick a space directly under the fan or air conditioning.

  1. Network:

While it is admirable to have a certain level of privacy in ensuring your productivity, it is key to also make sure that you do not operate in a solo manner. No one has made it alone. The importance of having a community around you should not be neglected. Among the other residents of your co-working space may be people with the skill sets or ideas and connections that you need to get to the next level. Make out time to know your coworkers and interact with them. It will help you a great deal.

  1. Involvement in Activities:

Very instrumental to networking is your involvement in Activities organized by the community. From more professional events like conferences and workshops to less formal ones like get-togethers and game shows, it is important that you register your presence there. Make contributions to whatever activities your community hosts. This ensures your visibility, enhances your interaction with your co-workers and helps a great deal in helping you achieve a sense of belonging.

  1. Be Proactive:

To make the best out of working from a co-working space, you should learn to take the initiative in certain instances. Thrive to not just be an added figure to the community but to also make very meaningful contributions to the welfare of the community in general. You can be proactive by sharing information to your co-workers in your area of expertise or initiating programs that would benefit others.

  1. Be a good team player:

It is necessary to make sure that you are totally invested in whatever task you set to do whether personally or collectively. While working with a team, make sure you’re an active member of that team and not just a passive one.

Looking for a coworking office space? We can help. We have thousands of options available. Check us out.

Small Business Tricks: Best Health Insurance Plans for Your Employees

Small businesses officially have more options for health insurance than ever before. In the past, health insurance has been costly for small businesses especially. This led to many businesses choosing to opt out of health insurance coverage altogether, leaving employees unprotected.

The good news is that times are changing. Health care is becoming easier for small businesses to navigate, and this is a benefit for both employees and companies. Employees today value health insurance over a lot of other benefits.

Today, 88% of employees consider the quality of health benefits important when choosing a job. If you want to stay competitive and attract top candidates, you need health benefits. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best health insurance plans for your employees and your business.

employee workstation

Image via Unsplash

Small Business Health Insurance Program

The first option is to get coverage through the Small Business Health Insurance Program (SHOP) marketplace. This is a marketplace for businesses that have under 50 full-time employees, and at least 70% of your employees need to enroll in the chosen plan.

Any small business that chooses this option has to pay a fixed premium for the policy, though a portion of these costs can be passed along to employees. Like most employer-sponsored plans, the employee will be responsible for copays and deductibles when seeking services.

Reimbursement Arrangement

A reimbursement arrangement is just what it sounds like. This option was created in 2016, and it’s officially known as the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA). With this program, businesses with under 50 employees can offer a monthly allowance of tax-free money.

Employees can use this money in a number of ways. They can purchase their own health insurance through a private insurer or the federal marketplace. They can pay out-of-pocket for health expenses. Basically, it allows a lot of employee and employer flexibility.

employees meeting

Image via Unsplash

Self-Funded Insurance

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to go through a third-party insurance provider. In these instances, the small business itself acts as the insurance provider. This means the small business pays for any health care claims with money that’s kept in a secure trust.

This might sound risky, but there are a lot of limitations in place to make this a much more formal, secure arrangement. Most businesses pair the fund with a stop-loss policy to ensure there’s not too much risk when paying employee claims.

Association Health Plans

A recent option that just became available for small businesses is access to association health plans (AHP). WIth an association health plan, small businesses can band together to purchase large-group coverage or self-insure. Generally, small businesses group by profession, geographic region, or industry.

These plans work similarly to a normal group policy, and they’re much more affordable. However, it’s important to note that these AHPs don’t need to cover the essential health benefits like Affordable Care Act compliant policies need to.

Supplemental Health Insurance

Finally, consider offering supplemental health insurance to your employees. Many people don’t realize that most traditional plans don’t offer coverage for “extras” like dental, vision, and so on. These are must-have services, so a bit of supplemental coverage goes a long way.

You can find supplemental health plans from most private insurance providers, and they’re very low in cost compared to traditional medical coverage. This is a great perk to offer employees that won’t break your budget. Find out more about vision insurance fast quotes at HealthMarkets.

How to Choose the Best Coverage

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to healthcare. As a small business, it’s up to you to understand your budget and employees’ needs. The right coverage is one that takes all of these things into account and makes you a competitive employer in your area.

It’s easy to overlook the importance of health insurance, but now’s the time to find the best option for your business. Are you ready to take this step to bring your business to the next level?

Understanding Your HVAC System to Ensure Comfort in Your Office

If you want to stay comfortable in your office, you should have the right HVAC system. Learn how to understand your HVAC system and remain comfy.

HVAC System Thermostat

The comfort level in your office space directly affects productivity. After all, nobody likes working all day in an office that’s either too hot or too cold.

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. These systems work to regulate the temperature in a building on a daily basis.

If you’ve moved into a new office building in your area, understanding your HVAC system is important if you want to keep things cozy. That’s why we’re going over the basics of how an HVAC system works.

The Heating System

HVAC heating systems can work in several different ways. Traditional systems include a furnace that heats the air and sends it through the ductwork of a building.

A furnace requires regular maintenance to ensure it can keep up with heating demands. If you live in a region that experiences long, cold winters, you’ll need to stay on top of tune-ups.

Some office buildings now use radiant floors. These systems work by heating pipes filled with water installed under the flooring. This provides a more energy-efficient solution and distributes heat evenly throughout the space.

The Air Conditioning System

A commercial air conditioner must be able to cool a large area filled with employees and office equipment, which both generate heat.

Office AC units get installed on the roof of the building. They work by cooling warm air outside and sending it into the building through ducts.

This outside air gets sent through a filter, which removes allergens and other pollutants. These systems require routine hvac service so the condenser and evaporator coils continue to cool the air.

Ventilation  

In order to regulate temperature and ensure healthy air quality, proper ventilation is required. Your HVAC system helps with this process.

By filtering the air sent into your building, your system improves ventilation and controls moisture levels. It can even help cut down on bad odors. This is why it’s so important to change your air filter regularly.

You may also want to have the ducts in your office checked and cleaned. This cuts down on air blockage and prevents dust from getting into the ventilation system. You can also help improve ventilation in your office by using ceiling or desk fans.

The Thermostat

Maintaining control of your office thermostat is crucial when keeping the space comfortable. Luckily, most modern thermostats are programmable and highly efficient.

It’s important your HVAC thermostat is in a place that doesn’t get unusually cool or hot. This will help with temperature regulation.

You should also schedule your thermostat so it’s not running overnight. This will help increase the lifespan of your HVAC unit and decrease your energy bills.

Understanding Your HVAC System for Maximum Comfort

Maintaining a comfortable office climate will make for a more pleasurable and productive work experience. Your HVAC system is an integral part of helping this happen.

By understanding your HVAC system, you’ll know how to use it better and when to have it serviced. This will result in a cozy office all year.

We hope you found this article informative. Feel free to check out our site for more information on office buildings and business tips.

 

Office Phones For Small Business: Tips When Buying

When it comes to office equipment and devices, office phone systems are critical. It’s crucial to choose the right office phone system, so your employees can interact easily without leaving their workstations, which maximizes productivity and traffic in your office space.

office phones

Below are some helpful tips when buying office phones for your small business:

 Consider Taking Certified VoIP Phones

Certified Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP business phones are ready-to-use because they are pre-configured. You can mix and match them with your other office phones, making it easier to optimize your business phone system. You can also use cell phones or landlines in addition to VoIP-compatible phones. With the best telecom plan, you can make calls from any device.

 Align the Office Phone Features to Your Needs

Even if you’re just a startup or small business, it pays investing in state-of-the-art office phones. However, you have to make sure that you select the best features that align with your needs. Take into account the scalability of your business or your business growth within two or more years. Do you see your small business growing soon? You don’t want to end up buying another set of office phones because you need additional features.

Here are the best features of modern office phones for small business:

  • Attendant: This is a virtual assistant that initially answers all incoming calls using a custom greeting. A caller may choose options for different departments, extensions, or prerecorded messages based on how you want to customize it. Small businesses benefit from using this feature because it eliminates the need to hire a receptionist, which is applicable if you’re renting a very small office.
  • Extensions: It’s important to have multiple extensions. In that way, calls will be routed to the right people. Find one with message extensions and mailbox only extensions. Calls between extensions are typically free, which can save you a lot of money with call charges.
  • Follow Me: Some office phone systems are more sophisticated. For instance, when you’re at your office desk, all calls will automatically route to your office phone. When you leave, all calls will automatically route to your smartphone. This feature is beneficial if you don’t want to miss important calls, most especially for start-up and small businesses.
  • Inbound Faxing: Receive faxes via a hosted PBX system and send it to the user via work email as a PDF attachment. With this feature, the server detects all inbound fax messages, and your phone number becomes your business fax number.
  • Conference: Choose an office phone system with reliable built-in conference features. It will allow you and other users to join in on an important conference call without the hassle of making arrangements in advance. Get to work with more of your employees without leaving their workstations, saving you time, money, and effort.
  • Call Recording: This is accomplished by just clicking your computer mouse, eliminating the need to set up the software to record calls. All recorded messages are stored for later retrieval.
  • Call Scheduling: This feature is sometimes called time-based routing. It allows managers and business owners to set specific call schedules or call routes at certain times, regardless if it is nighttime, weekends, or holidays.
  • Call Queue: It allows calls to wait until an available agent is ready to take the call. It’s like a waiting room wherein callers are put in a call queue.

Consider Your Office Space: Where to Set Up Your New Office Phones

Renting an office can be challenging, most especially if you need to expand your business. Sometimes, growing businesses need to find another location because of the growing number of employees and office equipment. Using the latest office phone systems eliminate the need for moving out and transferring into a wider and larger office. Of course, you have to consider a lot of things like the space to put in your office supplies, tools, and equipment. For a small business, you’ll find small and medium-sized office phone systems.

 Aside from taking into consideration the number of staff members you have with you, renting an office space would also require you to think of your future growth. Ask yourself if you would need a new office phone system to use like what other big businesses use, or settle for traditional landline phones.

Compare Prices

 Not all office phones are the same, so prices vary depending on the features you need. You can always check product review sites to compare prices and read what previous customers say about the product. Business phone systems either come as key systems, VoIP, or PBX systems. The price range is from $30 to $1,000 per extension.

 Check for the Service Warranty

As a small business owner, you want to focus on your business and dedicate less time servicing your office phones. That’s why you have to ask the manufacturer or seller about the warranties and guarantees involved in the purchase of office phones for your small business.

Conclusion

Why settle for less if your small business can be successful using more efficient and reliable phone systems? Your office phone system is a powerful tool because you use it to communicate with your customers, partners, investors, suppliers, and other significant people in your business. It’s only imperative to invest in high-quality business phone systems to ensure that you get the most out of your hard-earned money.

5 Tips on How to Choose a Conference Call Provider

Choosing the right conference call provider is crucial for fast and efficient business meetings. The wrong provider could slow productivity and make you look unprofessional.

Free conference call

Are you looking for your first conference call provider? Or searching for an upgrade to your current system?

Research shows that 45% of all workplace meetings happen via conference calls, so having the right system in place is really important.

The right system makes your employees more productive, efficient, and satisfied — while the wrong system is a frustrating waste of time for everyone.

Need help finding the right conference call system?

Keep reading.

  1. Know What’s Most Important to Your Employees

Your employees are the people who will use your conference call service the most, so getting their input is essential.

Features you consider important might not matter as much as you think, and your employees might have considerations that never even occurred to you.

For example, employees might be desperate for the ability to change PIN codes to make them easier to remember, while you might be worried about a video call feature they never use.

If you’re a large organization, send round an email asking for thoughts. For smaller businesses, pop into the office for a chat.

  1. Look for Extra Features Like Screen Sharing

Some conference call services are pretty bare-bones, which might be all you need.

However, if you want extra features like the ability to share screens, access calls from multiple devices, and make video calls, you’ll need to make sure that they’re included or available as extras.

You should also ask if any of these features come with additional costs, as they’re not always free.

  1. Ask About Personalization Options

Will your employees be able to set up account details that they can easily remember?

Or will every call be plagued by latecomers who ‘couldn’t remember the pin’?

The level of personalization offered by your provider can make a big difference to productivity, so get clear on what can be changed and what can’t — and how easy the process is.

  1. Get Details on Installation and Support

A good conference call provider won’t just get your system set up, they’ll also be around to provide ongoing support.

Most systems require some initial training for staff, followed by assistance as you all get to grips with things over the following months.

Ask what the ongoing support is like, as well as whether it costs extra or is included in your package.

  1. Assess Cost and Check for Hidden Charges

Conference call packages vary massively in price. Some include lots of special features as standard, while others charge for everything outside the basic offering.

You’ll need to know the fee per minute for calls, the cost for calls abroad, and the cost for having multiple users on one call.

Look closely through the contact to make sure you aren’t caught out by any large hidden charges.

If you’re struggling with finance, look online for the best free conference call providers and consider upgrading later.

Signs of a Good Conference Call Provider

A good conference call provider will clearly lay out all charges, explain how to personalize the system, and provide good ongoing support after installation.

Good providers will also include special features, like screen sharing.

Want to learn more about making your office run smoothly? Check out the latest articles right here on our OfficeFinder blog.

 

Improve Productivity! 8 Tips for Designing an Organized Office Space

Do you want a workplace that encourages your employees to be more productive? Here 8 creative tips for designing an organized office space.

office Productivity Tips

Do your employees have low productivity? Or do you believe that there’s still room to improve? Redesigning your office might be the key.

Office design affects the productivity level of employees. However, this doesn’t only pertain to the aesthetics of the office. If it looks good yet is disorganized, employees can still suffer from low productivity.

To produce more and better output, your employees need a good environment. You can provide this by having an organized office space with the following tips.

  1. Purging Junk and Files

The first step to organizing the workspace is purging all the unused equipment and old files. Throw out anything you or your employees don’t use anymore.

It could be a printer that’s always broken. You might as well throw it out to gain more space for other items — like a new printer that works.

The best way to go about this is to purge one area at a time. Take the time to go into your file room, too. Anything you can digitize, do it now so you can throw them out later.

There’s a way to keep the filing room neat and organized, but we’ll get to that later.

  1. More Defined Spaces, Less Open Space

The idea of an open working plan is to encourage collaboration and creativity. It became the mark of a modern office that breaks the traditional walls.

However, studies show it’s not bringing the results it’s meant to bring. The employees in this kind of workspace atmosphere have lower satisfaction and productivity.

Instead of going this route, create and define different spaces in your office. Allot a space for collaboration, and then design it in a way that will encourage that interaction. You can also use smaller spaces for individuals who need some quiet, or you may also give them a space for bonding.

If you’re concerned with going modern for your office design, having spaces without desks is a nice compromise.

  1. Optimizing the Office Layout

The next step for an organized office is a great floor plan. Employees should have easy access to all rooms and spaces. The more often they have to use a space, the closer it should be.

If it takes them 10 minutes to go to the bathroom because they have to pass by several rooms, that’s a bad layout. It decreases productivity because it wastes their time.

In shorter terms, your employees should not have to go through a maze to get to places.

  1. Considering the Equipment Placement

While figuring out a good layout for your office, think about the proximity of your equipment to your employees. Are they able to use the printer in only a few steps? What about the suppliers they use daily?

Keep these things in mind while designing your office, not only the rooms. Anything essential to their work should always be within reach.

As for the supplies, keep them well-organized but well within range, as well. Keep the papers close to the copying machines, for example. Likewise, the filing folders should be near the cabinets.

For things employees don’t use often, it’s okay to put these in a room or a cabinet farther from the desks.

  1. Creating Movement Opportunities

This might contradict the previous point, but this tip keeps your employees healthy and, by extension, productive.

It prevents them from being stagnant at their desk. Research suggests that for every 20 minutes you’re sitting, you must stand for 8 minutes and then move for 2 minutes.

In that regard, placing the machines far enough (but not too far) to get your employees moving will do the trick.

The five-minute trip to the bathroom, for example, can refresh their minds. This can help them overcome a wall and regain their momentum.

A short break spent in the water cooler has the same effect, and even the short walk to the filing room can do wonders.

  1. Creating an Organized Filing System

Speaking of files, it’s time you take a trip to your filing rooms and realize the chaos. It’s not unusual, but if you want more productive employees, don’t let them stress out over your filing system.

Reorganize the room to include more cabinets, shred the unimportant files, and develop a filing system that will ensure the files will be easy to locate afterward. Keep all your client files in one corner, for example, and then your employee files in the other.

Don’t forget to hold a meeting to teach your employees how to use the new system.

  1. Improving the Lighting

Natural light makes for a healthy work environment, and it may be the best perk you can give them. Having no access to natural light can make your employees gloomy, lacking motivation, and prone to illness.

Installing large windows to let as much light as possible is ideal. If your office can’t have windows, however, consider a smart lighting system.

This can sync with and mimic natural light outside. In particular, it mimics the color of natural light throughout the day. Daylight is bluish-white, while the afternoon light is more orange.

  1. Controlling the Noise Level

Noise has a lot of negative effects on your employees. Aside from less productivity, they also have lower job satisfaction and more stress. This may be one of the reasons why open floor plans aren’t successful.

For a positive work environment, control the noise using noise. You can hide speech, computer sounds, and more by distributing white noise through your speaker systems.

You can also reduce the noise levels by moving the machines creating a lot of noise. Printers and copiers should go where noise won’t be an issue. Having a separate room for them is ideal.

Get an Organized Office 

Having an organized office space will not only boost productivity. It will also boost your employees’ happiness. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact a professional office designer to help you with designing a good working space.

For more tips, feel free to check out more of our guides. You can discover more tips and tricks with our library of helpful posts today!

5 Things to Look for on the Resume of Potential Employees

Hiring takes time and money. You want to make the best choice the first time around. Here are five important things to look for on a resume.

Resume

We all know how important relevant work experience and education are on a professional resume. But as an employer, do you know what else to look for on job applications?

If you’re an employer, these are the things you should be looking for on a resume. If you’re job hunting, make sure you’ve included these necessary parts of every professional resume.

  1. A Professional and Clean Resume Appearance

Never underestimate the power of a visually pleasing resume. That doesn’t necessarily mean graphics and clip art.

A resume that is professionally formatted indicates computer skills, good visual taste, and attention to detail.

Potential employees can go here for a professional-looking, free template for resumes.

This also includes the candidate’s ability to be concise. If you’ve got more than 10 years of experience, there’s usually a lot of data you have to fit on one page. Look for a candidate who’s skilled at being clear and brief.

  1. Don’t Neglect the Grammar

You can learn a lot about a potential employee by their correct or incorrect use of grammar and spelling on a resume.

A simple run through an online spell checking software can illuminate spelling and grammar errors.

Your potential employees are the representatives of your company. And if they can’t manage to put forward a passable resume, then it’s likely their work will be the same.

  1. Filter Out the Fluff

It’s important to be able to cut through the fluff to understand the real substance of a resume.

While an extensive vocabulary indicates education, it can sometimes get in the way of understanding the bare bones of someone’s qualifications.

People without a lot of experience will go to great lengths to fluff up what they have. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Just don’t mistake fluff for industry experience.

  1. Red Flags

If your job position listing asks for references and the resume provided says “references available upon request” it is probably an indication that they’ve been fired or let go recently.

Employment gaps can be caused by various circumstances. Not all of them are bad reasons. But if you notice a space where the applicant wasn’t working, make sure you understand why before hiring.

If an employee ignores or doesn’t follow the directions on your application, it’s another red flag that they aren’t detail-oriented or attentive to authority.

  1. Values

How well could the applicant fit into the company culture? Most resumes provide an indication of the person’s strengths and personality traits.

Pay attention to how their values compare with yours and those of your company.

Don’t hesitate to search for social media accounts to get a better understanding of who they are as a person.

For hopeful employees that means you should make sure your social media accounts wouldn’t embarrass you.

You’re Hired!

Finding the right employee has so much to do with their resume. Don’t miss these important steps.

Once you have the right emplpoyees, contact us for more info on finding the right office space for your business needs!