Category Archives: Employee engagement

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!

 

 

6 Easy Ways to Keep Your Business Running More Efficiently

Messy Office DeskKeeping up in an increasingly competitive economy requires running your business as efficiently as possible. From the smallest sole proprietorships to massive multi-billion-dollar corporations, efficiency is a must. Believe it or not, it’s even more important for small- to medium-sized companies. Smaller businesses have fewer resources to fall back on than larger corporations, making efficiency in the workforce an absolute must.

Your company may be running smoothly, but there is likely room for improvement. Whether you find yourself running into setbacks that delay projects by a few days, you’re finding that your meetings are not productive and waste more time than they save or distractions are slowing down progress and driving up your expenses, there are several things that could be negatively impacting your company’s efficiency.

How can you correct these issues? Here are a few easy ways to keep your business running more efficiently.

Automate Anything You Can

Modern technology can save your business a lot of time and if you are not taking advantage of it, you are missing out. From sending pay stubs to employees to running backups to shipping receipts to vendors, there are several tasks that can be automated.

Once seen as a luxury, business automation has become a necessity in today’s competitive world. Automating monotonous tasks means that you–or your employees–can focus on tasks that require a human touch or more critical thinking than a program can perform.

Implementing automated processes sometimes comes at a steep price upfront, but the investment will pay off quickly. In the long run, business automation saves time and money while boosting efficiency.

Hold a Short Meeting Daily

Office Meeting

Monday morning meetings are a good way to start the week, but they shouldn’t be the only Ofimeeting for the entire week. Holding short, 10-minute meetings every day helps ensure that all employees are on the same page. Getting together daily keeps everyone up to speed on important company happenings and ensures that everyone knows exactly what they need to be doing.

That’s not the only benefit of a short, streamlined daily meeting, though.

Take a few minutes during each meeting to celebrate accomplishments, acknowledge achievements and praise employees for their good work. Make it known when someone goes the extra mile to improve the company or satisfy a customer. Doing so only takes a few seconds, but it goes a long way toward boosting morale and making workers feel appreciated. And happy employees who know they are appreciated work harder and more efficiently.

Increase Printing Efficiency

No matter what type of business you run, it is likely that you do a lot of printing. While it may not be something that you think about often, your printing process could be slowing down productivity and wasting money.

Choosing the right hardware helps you save money while improving efficiency. Choose printers that are appropriate for the size of your business and your printing needs. If you do a lot of printing, pay close attention to how many pages can be printed per minute.  If you primarily print text-based documents and you need to print several pages on a daily basis, laser printers could save you both time and money.

Prioritize black-and-white printing over color. Color toner and inkjet cartridges are more expensive than black. Printing in color also typically takes longer. Print most documents in monochrome and save your colored ink and toner for specific projects. If you have no need to print in color, a monochrome laser printer is an extremely affordable and efficient option.

Use Task Management Software

Emails and sticky notes on desks are not efficient methods of task management or collaboration. Task management software makes it much easier to assign projects and track progress. Projects can be broken down into individual tasks and assigned to the appropriate individuals. Task management software also allows teams to collaborate and work together in one space rather than going back and forth on email or leaving notes.

Using task management software also makes it easier to estimate how long various projects and tasks will take, simplifying the scheduling process. Programs like Asana, Trello and Wrike are flexible, affordable and make it much easier for everyone to work together.

Limit Interruptions

While it may be impossible to avoid all the distractions that tend to pop up on an hourly basis, there are steps you can take to limit interruptions. If work starts at 9 a.m., there is a staff meeting at 10 a.m., a client meeting at 11 a.m. and lunch at noon, your employees may find it nearly impossible to stay on track.

Rather than scheduling multiple meetings throughout the week, try to combine as many into one as possible. When multiple meetings are necessary, schedule them all on one day to ensure your employees have other days to work uninterrupted.

There are also tools to help you avoid distractions like email alerts, chat pop-ups and task management software notifications. Tools like Inbox Pause can be used to reduce email notifications, and a free app known as SelfControl can be used to block email, Web sites and distracting apps for set periods of time. Using these tools–or any of countless other options–helps limit interruptions and prevent distraction.

Encourage “Single-Tasking”

multi tasking office workerJust about everyone claims to be an amazing multitasker. As I’m writing this article, I have six tabs open on my Web browser and that is a pretty conservative number compared to most days. While we all think we are great at multitasking, we may not necessarily be as productive as we would be if we focused on just one thing at a time. Committing to “single-tasking” could actually make your business a lot more efficient.

Single-tasking allows you to complete projects faster. Focusing on one thing at a time also helps decrease stress and results in a greater sense of accomplishment when a task is completed. By working on just one task at a time until a project is complete is much more satisfying than chipping away at several tasks at once and feeling like nothing ever gets finished.

Making your business run more efficiently helps you save time and money while improving company morale and ensuring that you meet your goals. In today’s market, being efficient isn’t just beneficial; it’s essential. By implementing the simple tips listed above, you can help your business run smoother.

Is Office Space an Employee Benefit?

Office space is an Employee Benefit

Actually, yes. Your office space should be considered an employee benefit. To do so you need to make sure you have developed a good workplace strategy that will allow the office space to shine. Employees do take office space into consideration when deciding where to work. If you treat it like an employee benefit, your employees will be happier and more productive. Your office space is a major resource for your business. It does so much for you. It gives your employees a place to work, and to meet with customers, but really, it does so much more. Your office space has a huge impact on your employees and their work. What can you do to improve your office space for your employees?

Office Location

The first thing that you should consider is how close your office space is to your employees. If your office is far away from any large communities, your employees probably have to drive long distances, while if you’re in the middle of a city, it’s probably just a few minutes, or even a short walk. Long commutes will lead to tired employees, but a short commute every morning will give you energetic employees that are ready to work.

General feel and design

The general feel of the office is actually very important. In addition to being attractive to clients, your employees will greatly appreciate an office with a happy feel. They’ll show this, whether or not they realize it, through working harder and more efficiently, as well as a more positive attitude in general.

Since most office workers spend a considerable amount of time in the office, it is important that you a work environment where employees will be happy and productive.  With a little effort you can upgrade an existing office taking a few of these ideas to implementation.

Colors

The color scheme is more important than you might think.  Studies have shown that different colors can create different moods. As examples, various shades of blues have a more relaxing effect and makes workers more productive.  Green is easier on the eyes and make people feel healthier. There are lots of studies in this area you can investigate

Office Layout

The trend for many companies is in utilizing a more open office layout.  One of the most popular ideas is to have a few desks or tables located in the center of the office with quiet rooms located throughout the rest of the office.  Open floor plans seem to increase teamwork but can become distractions for some workers so having the quiet rooms is important.

Standing Opportunity

Sitting all day is not healthy. Employees who work in offices can often feel the negative effects of sitting all day.  Many offices today are providing opportunities to work while standing.  Adjustable desks that can accommodate workers different heights are popular. Some have even provided table in break rooms where people can stand and have their coffee.

Art

Art work selection can be tricky. It is important that any artwork put in an office be chosen carefully.  Many offices have success with featuring pictures of company events. Also pictures of nearby landmarks or places of notoriety are also effective.  In some cases many companies have benefited utilizing the services of an art consultant.

Floor Coverings

Choose floor coverings to improve the look of their office.  This is cost effective and can have a positive effect on the work environment. Many companies like to get as many employees as possible involved with the floor covering choices.

Add features

Make additions to your office for your employees. A good start is a quality coffee maker or small kitchen if you don’t already have one. Once you have the basics, start making your office unique. Make your break room special or add a gym or library. Adding features that employees can’t get anywhere else can do wonders for employee retention.

Looking for more ways to improve your office space, or a new space all together? Contact us. We can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Creating A Great Workplace For A Multigenerational Workforce

Helpful tips for a great workplaceToday’s office workplace is rapidly changing. Work is becoming more of what we do and less of where we are. What can you do to create a great workplace for your company? Here are several ideas that can help you.

First off, one of the tools being used in this change is that of office hoteling. It is where those who do not need a full time desk space simply login and reserve a space when needed, resulting in savings of up to 40% in real office space costs.

As the office space workplace goes more and more mobile, with employees working wherever is convenient, it becomes necessary to recruit and retain the most motivated employees. If workers are not self-motivated, the system can easily be abused. Today’s younger workforce, however, is used to and prefers the idea of being mobile. When pay is tied to performance, they can and will perform for your business and be happier while do it. They are also more focused on the work-life balance where this type of Officing strategy fits in well.

Once great part of the changing workplace is that, depending on the type of business you operate, hours can be flexible to accommodate the life-work balance necessary to keep the best employees happy. Many areas of business, for example office space, often lend themselves to hours outside the traditional 9-5 pattern. The flexible worker can maintain balance by planning errands such as auto service or simply relaxing over a long breakfast by simply notifying their employer that their day will have altered hours. That two hours spent in the evening doing revenue-generating work can be taken off during the day instead of being considered overtime.

Employees today move from job to job rapidly, each time moving up in salary and position. In order to keep the very best on your staff, you must be flexible with them as well as expecting them to be flexible with your needs. The increased work-life balance priority is related to shifts in workplace priorities since many workers will spend as much as 95% of their time away from the traditional office space.

Values sought by today’s worker in terms of work-life balance include respect and trust from the employer. Family concerns being respected by the boss is critical. They want some hours they can telework from home when needed or when desired and more control over their work schedule. Unless a company is willing to institute flexible work policies and programs, the brightest and best will move on to a company that better understands their wants and needs.

Assess what flexibility makes sense for your organization. Would an office hoteling reservation system allow you to reduce real estate footprint and help workers feel more empowered? Would accommodating telework from home when a child is sick or another emergency fit into your business? What other flexible options could you institute to keep your best employees happy and offer them a balance between family and life needs and employment requirements?

A properly planned office hoteling reservation system can save money and increase productivity. Contact us so we can get you started finding out how Office Hoteling might work for your company.

How Work Space Evolution Enhances Employee Performance

No matter what market your business serves, you know that profits are earned because of good, talented, employees working hard. Without these valued employees you would not have a thriving enterprise. And the better the team members perform the more your business will thrive.

So much of business performance today is knowledge-based work. People who have that knowledge and creativity are sought after by many companies and today’s workforce feel comfortable changing jobs several times in their career. This is so unlike our parents and grandparents where a person secured a job and stuck with that employer until they earned the gold watch at retirement.

Clearly, this means that those companies that are able to keep the talented knowledge employees happy will retain the talent longer than companies where employees do not feel valued, love their work and their work environments. When an organization can evolve to provide their team with practical options regarding where and sometimes even when work is performed, employees can choose work styles that best fit their personal needs.

One employee may work best in complete silence with no hustle and bustle around. That person may prefer to work from home, if the home office is quiet, several days per week and especially when performing more tedious tasks, coming into the office only as needed. This type of employee must be a self-starter who works well with little direction.

Another employee may thrive on the networking and sense of competition that the traditional office provides and prefer to come to the main office most days. These tend to be people who require a little more direction. While this employee will likely readily accept and implement technological advancements, they may be a bit hesitant when first making changes in processes to improve them.

Yet another type of employee may work best while on the move, working in third spaces such as cafes and internet hotspots while between meetings with clients. This type of working tends to be a real self-starter who has a strong dislike for the hassles of involved with reporting to a traditional office just for the sake of being seen. It is likely that this person will fully utilize each new technological development that makes their work faster and easier and embrace positive changes. This work style may involve some days spent at the office, some days where a few necessary minutes are spent at the office, and other days where all the day is spent working with clients or spots near the next client’s office.

An employer who can accommodate each of these types of employee will find it easier to retain talent and a high degree of production. When employees find they can work in whatever style suits them best for each specific goal or task, they are happier and feel empowered. Happy, empowered employees product more and stay with your company longer.

Six Factors That Can Help Turn Your Office Space Into a Great Workplace

Everyone wants a workplace that is wonderful but why is one workplace great while another is lacking? Is it the leased office space that makes a particular firm productive and profitable? Could it be the specific office furniture or location? None of these things alone make any workplace truly great.

A great workplace is not about the brand of computers, the prestige of the building’s address. Here are six factors that can work together to allow business owners to create an organization that excites employees, resulting in the reputation of being a great workplace.

  1. Replace Policies with Company Mission: Hiring, motivating and retaining top notch employees if not about policies; those are simply rules. Create a company mission and vision that the team believes in and supports. With passion for a mission based on the CEO’s vision, rather than a bunch of policy statements, cultivates a real team capable of leaping forward with ideas and innovations as well as loyalty and hard work.
  2. Nurture Collaboration: Never stifle team members’ desires to work together, carrying ideas from one area of the business into others. Create a workplace where each group or department is allowed to freely convey ideas to other organizational groups. The pay-off in productivity, amazing leaps forward and trained staff retention is incredible.
  3. Cultivate Agile Workspaces: Today’s office space is not the traditional cubicle or corner office. An office hoteling software application allows easy utilization of much smaller workspaces and allows each member of an organization to work in the style that is best for them. Technology allows the telecommuting or third place team members to only be physically in-office as needed. Work areas that provide desks or standing work counters allow team members to avoid the strain of sitting at a computer immobile for hours at a time. Staying in close contact does not have to mean being in the same conference room any longer. The office space of today is any area where business can conveniently and productively be conducted.
  4. Replace Ownership with Membership: Everyone employee is accountable to their customers and managers but in the past processes were “owned” by an employee, generating office stress and politics as power plays were often used to try to win the ownership role. Instead, remove the territorial nature of office spaces and encourage the concept of being privileged to be a member of a team or teams that create revenue and find ways for the company to save money. It becomes everyone’s process and fosters a sense of belonging and identity in the work environment.
  5. Create a Quality Experience for Employees: It is little surprise that employee retention is low in those workspaces that are dull and uninspiring. Create an office space that team members what to enter into and do work. Strive for a vibrant, magnetic space that draws people in during their in-office work time. This engages employees and they will look forward to the connected, exhilarated feeling obtained when they need to hotel an office space for an hour or a day.
  6. Stay on the Cutting Edge: Today’s fast paced, constantly changing economy allows those companies built on flexible office spaces with strong company values and loyalty to survive when others around them fall. As work methods, technological capabilities and mobile computing power speed along, use best practices to stay on the cutting edge. Remember that it’s the people who create value in a knowledge based company; an office is just a space that houses technology where people can come perform productive tasks.

These are some of the keys that can turn your office space into a great workplace for your employees, making them happier and more productive at the same time.

Four Generation Workplaces:
Why Different Management Styles are Necessary

For the first time in history, managers are faced with the requirements to effectively manage four different generations in the workplace. The future will likely continue to contain four generations even as those generations move along the timeline of life and business.

What Generations are Working Today?

According to the Age and Sex Composition, the generational breakdown of employees and managers today fall into these categories:

  1. Veterans born prior to 1946: This group makes up 2 percent of the workforce at the time of the census data collection and reporting in 2017.
  2. Baby Boomers born in the post-World War II years: This group is defined in the reports as those being born between 1946 and 1964 and make up 25  percent of the workforce.
  3. Generation X members, aka Gen Xers: are considered to be the segment born between 1965 and 1980 and make up 33 percent of the total workforce today and
  4. Millennial or Generation Y is the workforce members born after 1981 through present and total 40 percent of the total.

As time passes and the older generation disappear an additional, a younger generation will come of age so business will find it necessary to remain in touch with the remaining worker generations and develop ways to effectively work with the newer generations. Each generation has its own work style and lifestyle.  Managers need to understand what they need to do to encourage employee productivity. In the future and right now it is critical to learn to deal with the workers currently in the business world. This is crucial to producing profit and growth in any form of business.

Managing The High Maintenance Generation Y (Millennials)

The youngest group of employees in the workplace today is comprised of those born after 1981 and generally considered to be from before 2005s. This group is known as Generation Y or Millennials and they make up 40  percent of the total workforce according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The American Society of Training and Development reported that during the next 20 years, 76 million workers will retire while only 46 million workers will enter the workforce to replace them. Most of these 46 million workers will be Millennial generation workers. Just as the three older generations in today’s workforce, Gen Y workers have unique desires and needs that they expect from their manager and the business for which they work.

Generation Y employees will be crucial to business enterprises. They will certainly change the way business is conducted in many ways. But, in currently and in the immediate future these employees offer great challenges to management to ensure these workers integrate with the existing workforce with as little conflict as possible.

Among the positive traits brought to the workforce, one of the major benefits that Millennials bring t the workplace is their high degree of technological skills. These employees were practically born with a computer in front of them and are intrigues by each and every development in the work of Information Technology.

Millennials grew up with digital global communication capability at their fingertips. Information of all kinds is expected to be immediatly available on demand. They understand using virtual teams to solve problems and are extremely team oriented.

Millennials view the business work as a global workplace, viewing the entire world as potential sources of information, clients, and community. Millennials seek fast-track career positions, frequent positive feedback, the latest technology and challenging training opportunities. Their outspokenness brings them to challenge long outdated work policies and conventions, offering businesses to perform a check on the hypocrisies and shortcomings of today’s workplace. Ultimately, Gen Yers may well drive change for the better.

Much has been said and published about the negative points of Millennials. They tend to have a sense of entitlement and are outspoken. This group of workers does not take constructive criticism well and require more direction and feedback from superiors than previous generations. Fortune magazine stated in its May 28, 2007 edition that this group are “the most high-maintenance, yet potentially most high-performing generation in history because its members are entering the workplace with more information, greater technological skill and higher expectations of themselves and others than prior generations.”  Additionally, Time’s July 16, 2007 edition stated that members of Generation Y want the kind of life balance where every minute has meaning; they don’t want to be slaves to their jobs as they feel their Baby Boomer parents were and often still are. Millennials also want employers to be socially responsible causes and allow for volunteer commitments through the use of flex-time or compensation time. Flexibility in work hours is important to this group of workers.

Yes, this generation requires a great deal of management, but it is well worth the effort to recruit them into your business They are smart and have the drive and creative thinking to make a real different in the business world and in a company’s profitability.

It is clear that recruiting Generation Y members and adjusting to their wants and needs will prepare industry for the entry of the next generation, people that are expected to be even more technology oriented. While this generation does not even yet have a “name”, it won’t be long before they begin entering the workforce and seeking employment in your company.

By understanding the four major groups into today’s workforce and providing for each group’s needs, effective employees can find their jobs satisfying and are more likely to remain with your business. Each group brings many positive aspects, all of which can be used effectively to gain greater efficiency and streamline operations to ensure profitability.

Managing the Baby Boomer Generation

Baby Boomers are those born in the post World War II years, from 1946 through 1964. This group makes up 25 percent of the current workforce per the Age and Sex Composition. These workers bring unique work styles into the work environment and require different management styles on the part of superiors. Currently they hold the majority of leadership positions in the workplace.

Like the veterans born before 1946, this group did not group up with technology as part of their childhood. Even during most of their higher education, computers were huge things that read punched cards or difficult to program units that could do less than our phones do today. Baby Boomers are, however, excited by technology and find adapting easier than the older generation. Most Boomers reach out for training to incorporate the newest techniques into their skills.

Baby Boomers value respect for their long service, skills, knowledge and managers will find recognition for Boomer’s wisdom is a key to successful integration of these workers and managers into the profitable organization. Managers of Boomers should honor the history and memories brought into the work environment because past experiences can bring understanding to current situations, providing positive outcomes. When policies are placed in a historical perspective, employees can often understand and accept more easily.

Baby Boomers find recognition extremely important. Whether recognized personally or publically, motivate Boomers through recognizing their accomplishment and clearly expecting superior outcomes from their efforts will help ensure happy Boomers. Embrace their best ideas and implement those into processes and methods.

Boomers tend to have conflict between their desire to compete on an individual basis and their desire to be part of a team. Encourage these workers to focus on the team in the short-term as an effective means to bring personal recognition and success for themselves in the long term.

Boomers also find conflict with the generation born before 1946 because the older generation tends to feel entitlement to perks on the job. Boomers often have the false feeling that those employees have not paid the dues they have to gain their positions. They also tend to find conflict with the younger generations coming into the workplace with high levels of technical expertise and feel they are unfairly competing with this generation that they view as “coddled”. By placing Boomers in mentoring positions, managers can often mitigate these negative feelings and generate feelings of teamwork and workplace “families”.

Managing the Veteran Generation

There are two groups in the workforce today who were born before 1946. Veterans of the Second World War make up about 2% of the employees, including managers, comprising the current workforce. This workforce group, sometimes called the Silent Generation, Greatest Generation, or Paper Agers, requires special management considerations.

The workers in this group were largely not exposed to technology and computers until these methods became a necessary part of the employment. Often they feel that due to their impending retirement they should not be required to move into the computer age. Because the work methods used early in their career were low-tech yet workable, they want to continue to use printed paper trails and other more familiar methods that they are comfortable with. Yet, the work environment has moved into high-tech and these workers are forced to adapt. Technology is the major hurdle for the generation of workers born prior to 1946. This can cause conflict between the Silent Generation and those born into the age where technology was part of their lives from childhood onward.

Paper Agers often feel that any information not presented in hard copy has little meaning. They find it difficult to conform to the paperless workplace. Their strong work ethics and “get it done” attitudes can add strength to teams and tasks assigned to be worked alone. This group of workers has no room for failure and drive toward success. They strive to please superiors in all their efforts and they do fine ways to adjust to technology when presented with training opportunities.

Often, veterans born prior 1946 find themselves in management positions because they are long-term employees and tend to be upwardly mobile in the organization chart. Their structured backgrounds lead them to have strong respect for hierarchy.  They build strong relationships based on loyalty, structure and time. They work well in management positions because they have been long exposed to experiences where information was provided on a “need to know” basis. This makes them able to keep information to themselves where necessary and provide information to the right parties when necessary. Their frugal natures make them capable of adhering to both budget and schedule.

It can be very difficult at times for younger managers to relate to the workers from this era. Frustration arises when the high-tech manager has to deal with their lack of native technical expertise, but they can excel in technical positions when provided necessary training. The younger manager may have grown up with high-tech and resents the cost and time required to train these workers in technology. Yet, the long-term work experience and lessons learned gained from these workers can lead to creative ideas that generate greater profit for the organization. Therefore, younger managers should be trained to value these workers and utilize their skills while providing growth opportunities through technical training.

Final Words

As you can see, there are many factors involved in creating a great workplace. Hopefully we have given you some ideas you can work with to enhance your business.

If you are looking for the right office space to create your great workplace, we’d love to help. It is what we do on a daily basis through out the US and Canada. Give us a try. No cost and no obligation. Let us know what you are looking for and we will get right on it.

Do You Have a Great Workplace for Employees?

How good is your workplace?Everyone wants a workplace that is wonderful but why is one workplace great while another is lacking? Is it the leased office space that makes a particular firm productive and profitable? Could it be the specific office furniture or location? None of these things alone make any workplace truly great.

A great workplace is not about the brand of computers, the prestige of the building’s address. Here are six attributes that can work together to allow business owners to create an organization that excites employees, resulting in the reputation of being a great workplace.

6 Attributes of a Great Workplace

  1. Replace Policies with Company Mission: Hiring, motivating and retaining top notch employees if not about policies; those are simply rules. Create a company mission and vision that the team believes in and supports. With passion for a mission based on the CEO’s vision, rather than a bunch of policy statements, cultivates a real team capable of leaping forward with ideas and innovations as well as loyalty and hard work.
  2. Nurture Collaboration: Never stifle team members’ desires to work together, carrying ideas from one area of the business into others. Create a workplace where each group or department is allowed to freely convey ideas to other organizational groups. The pay-off in productivity, amazing leaps forward and trained staff retention is incredible.
  3. Cultivate an Agile Workplace: Today’s office space is not the traditional cubicle or corner office. An office hoteling software application allows easy utilization of much smaller workspaces and allows each member of an organization to work in the style that is best for them. Technology allows the telecommuting or third place team members to only be physically in-office as needed. Work areas that provide desks or standing work counters allow team members to avoid the strain of sitting at a computer immobile for hours at a time. Staying in close contact does not have to mean being in the same conference room any longer. The office space of today is any area where business can conveniently and productively be conducted.
  4. Replace Ownership with Membership: Everyone employee is accountable to their customers and managers but in the past processes were “owned” by an employee, generating office stress and politics as power plays were often used to try to win the ownership role. Instead, remove the territorial nature of office spaces and encourage the concept of being privileged to be a member of a team or teams that create revenue and find ways for the company to save money. It becomes everyone’s process and fosters a sense of belonging and identity in the work environment.
  5. Create a Quality Experience for Employees: It is little surprise that employee retention is low in those workplaces that are dull and uninspiring. Create an office space that team members what to enter into and do work. Strive for a vibrant, magnetic space that draws people in during their in-office work time. This engages employees and they will look forward to the connected, exhilarated feeling obtained when they need to hotel an office space for an hour or a day.
  6. Stay on the Cutting Edge: Today’s fast paced, constantly changing economy allows those companies built on flexible office spaces with strong company values and loyalty to survive,  while others around them fail. As work methods, technological capabilities and mobile computing power speed along, use best practices to stay on the cutting edge. Remember that it’s the people who create value in a knowledge based company; an office is just a space that houses technology where people can come perform productive tasks. .

These are some of the attributes that will help turn your office space into a great workplace for your employees; making them both happier and more productive at the same time.

Furthermore, INC.com reviewed the best in office amenities and policies that were covered in Inc. and on Inc.com.

Here are 10 Tips for Making Employees Love Their Workplace:

  1.        Stay Organized
  2.        Make it Comfortable
  3.        Give Everyone a Say
  4.        Consider Openness
  5.        Make the Workplace a Community
  6.        Focus on Utility
  7.        Make the Office Optional
  8.        Make Education a Priority
  9.        Consider Mixing Uses in a Great Space
  10.        Add Some Perks

Some interesting opinions that we found in Workplace Experience Group on LinkedIn.

One of the keys to a productive workforce is happy employees and a positive workplace not only helps productivity, but also reduces the number of employees leaving.

“Organizations of all types, large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit, from across the U.S. and Canada, are implementing programs and policies that foster employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance.”

http://www.phwa.org/ – American Psychological Association – Psychologically Healthy Workplaces

“We have been listening to employees and evaluating employers since 1980 in order to understand what makes a workplace great. We know that the foundation of every great workplace is trust between employees and management. Our employee survey, culture assessment tools, research, and advisory services have made us leaders in helping organizations build high-trust workplaces. “

http://www.greatplacetowork.com/ – Great Place To Work Institute

If you need help finding a great workplace for your business, we’d be happy to help. Let us know what you are looking for and we will get right to work. There is no cost to you for our services. It is FREE.

Coworking Perks People Love: Workplace Strategies to Improve Productivity

coworkingOne of the best things about having office space in a coworking environment is that it offers employees a chance to socialize and meet people beyond their own workplace. Happier employees are excited to come to work. Here are a few tips to keep your employees happy and help increase their productivity in at work.

Encourage Participation in Workplace Learning Activities.

Coworking spaces offer tenants opportunities like lunch and learns and happy hour discussions. These are “free” sessions for your employees to attend and broaden their knowledge of a particular subject. In some cases, these opportunities could help them do their own work and make them a more productive member of the team.

Participate in Workplace Social Activities.

If your coworking space does not already offer its tenants a chance to join a team like kickball or have regular ping pong tournaments, see if you can work with the managers to organize one. Exercise is a great mood lifter and helps the brain with memory and learning.

Suggest Working in Common Areas.

As human beings, we crave social interaction. Coworking spaces offer employees the chance to meet new people in the common areas or engage in discussions that aren’t related to work. Offering your employees a moment to step outside their everyday work routine provides time to recharge their batteries.

All of these strategies are inherent perks when you lease in a coworking environment. Look for these types of amenities when you look for new office space and your employees will appreciate it. Contact us for more information on how we can help find the right workplace for you and your company.

Boosting Workplace Inclusion with Human-Centric Design Strategies

Workplace Inclusion StrategiesUnlike many traditional office strategies, “human-centric” Workplace Inclusion Principles prioritize the unique needs of employees and offer empathetic ways to meet them.

Although human-centric office strategies often clash with archaic assumptions that the “management is always right,” human-centric principles provide innovative ways to unify entire work forces and foster inclusive atmospheres where every employee feels valued. Human-centric strategies actively combat pressing workplace issues such as:

  • Low employee retention rates
  • Declining workplace moral
  • Bullying and interpersonal conflicts
  • Lack of employee growth and promotion

Creating a human-centric office atmosphere is easier than many think.  By implementing key steps, we can quickly transform our office climate for the better.

Look for Common Issues

If one employee is struggling with a particular issue, at least several others are as well.  By actively observing employees and departments for similar employee challenges, we can identify worrisome patterns before they grow. Employee health, personality conflicts, and uncomfortable work spaces are among the most common office challenges. Gather information and discuss recurring issues with Human Resources.  The first step to resolving office issues is to quickly and thoroughly identify them. Above all, we must always share our concerns with our employees and colleagues; regularly ask for their input and opinion regarding what challenges they face each day at work.

Invite Brainstorming Sessions and Collaboration

After gathering information and outlining your office’s most pressing issues, invite your work force to “brainstorming sessions.” Host small-scale ones for each department or invite your employees in small, designated groups to ensure organization and minimize the possibility of drama or bullying.  Encourage everyone to take part in these sessions and set clear discussion parameters.  Discuss the issue thoroughly and welcome possible solutions from each attendee.  Although not every potential solution will be used, these problem-solving hubs ensure that employees feels their opinions and needs are valued.  Even after immediate issues are solved, continue the principle of these employee “town halls.” Regularly scheduled meetings keep everyone abreast of developing issues and ensure no one is neglected.

Invest in “Human-Friendly” Office Designs and Renovation

In addition to office communication and group problem-solving, take a close look at office lay-out and catalog the pros and cons associated with the furniture, aesthetic, and equipment.  What environment do  your employees work in?  Do they feel comfortable in their work space?  What office renovations would encourage greater productivity?  Does my office compromise work place health or employee morale in any way?  By asking these important questions, we can accurately judge how beneficial our office choices are for our staff.

If looking to make necessary improvements, always invest in ergonomic solutions that prioritize employee health and comfort.  Also, consider transforming your office lay-out with modern, “human-friendly” solutions such as communal office space, indoor greenery, movable walls, and natural lighting. By regularly updating office design to meet employee needs, we keep our work space atmosphere fresh and healthy for the future.

Although not every office implements human-centric principles, more and more corporate leaders are recognizing the benefits of this revolutionary office strategy. By proactively creating a more “employee-friendly” work atmosphere, businesses are inadvertently boosting their company’s productivity, moral, and long-range goals.

If you need office space to implement Workplace Inclusion Strategies, contact us today.

Millennials in the Workplace: How the New Majority of Workers Will Change Your Culture

Millennials in the workplace

Millennials in the Workplace means your office culture is about to change – dramatically. Today’s companies must prepare their office cultures for this influx of young workers. But how?

At one time, the baby boomer generation (born 1940s to 1960s) dominated the workplace, creating a culture of workers who stayed at the same company for decades. They worked hard, asked for little and sacrificed a lot to climb the ladder.

That was then. But this is now: The millennials or generation Y (born 1980s to 2000s) now represent a majority of the American workforce.

What Millennials in the Workplace Want

A new Gallup report reveals that most workers, many of whom are millennials, want their work to have meaning and purpose. This is especially true for gen Y. Despite their student loan debt, millennials are motivated by meaning as much as they are by money.

This means that to attract and retain millennials, it will become increasingly important for companies to show they care through community involvement and sponsorship of charitable causes.

Be a Company That Cares

Involve employees in charitable causes and ask them to volunteer for outreach programs. Partner with a cause that reflects your corporate values and let employees make charitable contributions through payroll deductions.

You can also find local opportunities for community service such as soup kitchens. Consider offering Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to employees who volunteer during work hours. Even if you only allow several hours a month, millennials will respond enthusiastically, engendering loyalty.

As you hire more millennials, you will find that their fresh perspective elevates the conversation inside your office culture, causing older workers and managers to rethink their own sense of meaning.

If you would like to find office space that can prepare your company for the new wave of Millennials in the Workplace, or if you have thoughts to share, contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Rethinking Preconceived Notions About Millennials in the Workplace

Millennials in the workplace

The Reality of Generational Issues in the Workplace

The issues associated with Millennials in the workplace can no longer be ignored. It’s true that Millennials now dominate the workforce. However, in an era where Baby Boomers are very reluctant to retire and where the neglected members of Generation X are still well within their prime years of employment, generational conflict is something that all employers have to consider. Employers will be more effective at resolving these issues if they are able to confront existing stereotypes about Millennials in particular.

Millennials in the Workplace and Career Advancement

It’s widely believed that Millennials are largely uninterested in putting in the time and effort that it takes to excel in a career. Some people attribute this to the idea that Millennials prioritize their family members over their jobs, in spite of the fact that Millennials are less likely to get married and have children than members of previous generations. Other people attribute this to generational differences in work ethic. Some people believe that Millennials have overly high expectations for their workplace environments.

In reality, Millennials have often been unable to start career paths of any kind. The entry-level job of old has been replaced by the unpaid internship. Millennials crushed under student loan debt have been forced to work for free. Unpaid internships have frequently not led to real jobs, and they have sometimes made Millennials less employable down the line. The Great Recession is over, but it was largely older workers that benefited from the subsequent improvements to the economy. The research has also failed to produce evidence that Millennials are different from anyone else in terms of work ethic.

Meeting the Expectations of Millennial Employees

If anything, the employers who are able to provide Millennials with benefits and consistent and adequate salaries will usually get workers who are extremely motivated. Millennials do not take any of this for granted, since they typically started their working lives without benefits of any kind or even modest salaries. Employers often don’t have to go out of their way to accommodate Millennial employees. They just have to make sure that Millennials get what previous generations took for granted.

In addition to coping with record-breaking levels of student loan debt, Millennials are dealing with higher living costs than previous generations. A salary that might have stretched far when the Baby Boomers or Generation X members were in their twenties and thirties might be insufficient in a world where even the cost of food is higher. Underemployment is a crisis for the Millennial generation, and employers who go against this trend will get eager Millennial candidates right away.

Generational Conflict and Sensitivity

Millennials are very aware of how they are perceived by some members of the Baby Boom and Generation X cohorts. Some employees from these cohorts are happy to share these views publicly in workplaces. Employers need to recognize that this is a source of workplace conflict. In some workplaces, sensitivity training regarding ageism might be necessary. Getting an office environment set up for Millennial workers in a world where they are the majority partly means understanding the realities of this generation’s struggles. It also means finding ways to avoiding escalating the generational conflicts that have been going on for years.

If you are looking for an office to accommodate all generations including Millennials in the Workplace, Contact us. We can Help!