The word “office” may conjure images of dreary cubicles and fluorescent lighting, or, if you’re lucky, a very funny TV show starring Steve Carell. But these days, an “office” usually means any environment to which people dedicate most of their business hours.
Of course, there’s been a surge in the debate recently over whether or not startups need office space at all — thanks to free wifi in most cafes, an uptick in remote work arrangements and the increase in other alternatives to working at a desk 9-to-5. And, naturally, the arrangement that works best for your business depends on a number of variables deserving careful consideration.
But for entrepreneurs fortunate enough to run a business that is growing and adding individuals to its team, the idea of an organized work space with dependable infrastructure and room to fit a budding workforce shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.
Here are nine reasons entrepreneurs should think carefully about providing an environment where their team — and their business — can thrive.
A company’s office space can be a clue to its stature; everything from its financial health to its work philosophy can find expression in the walls of its physical space. There’s a reason the most celebrated companies in the world are recognized for living in celebrated homes, too: Office space is one of the endemic ways a brand communicates its essence.
Among the audiences for that communication, perhaps the most important is the top talent these brands — especially those of growing startups — are trying to attract. The best and brightest want to know they’ll be working for a company that’s going to be around for a while.
They want to know that the physical space they’ll be working in is appealing and comfortable. After all, they’ll be spending a majority of their time there. And, clearly, they won’t get that impression if your company is one without any space at all.
Team-building is more than a lofty exercise; it can result in a supportive work environment, which is crucial to your team’s success. If you’re trying to build a top-notch sales organization or make sure your product and marketing are better integrated, what better way to foster that dynamic than with an environment where employees can socialize and support one other?
Socializing segues naturally from team-building. For some people, co-workers end up being close friends, even outside of the office. Any time you can help employees improve their social lives, you’re providing a holistic benefit that makes them happier — and by extension more productive — at work.
If you’re fond of meetings that start on time and run smoothly, you should seriously consider an organized work space for your startup. One of the biggest myths about startups and office space is that, thanks to video-conferencing tools like Skype, Google Hangout and Vidyo, you don’t really need to meet in person at all.
But varying degrees of network connectivity and the resulting latency issues, among other technical problems that can arise, often mean that 10 to 15 minutes elapses before everyone can simply hear and see each other. That won’t be a problem if everyone is in the same space.
Accountability issues happen all the time. Think about the yellow-orange “idle” or red “busy” icon next to a employee’s name on Google Chat. You open a chat with him or her anyway. No reply.
Is that person even there? Or sunbathing in the park? If everyone is at the office, the no-show problem lessens (somewhat). At the end of the day, though, your company is facing productivity and accountability issues. Your team is made up of people who have diverse interests and hobbies, and their ability to pursue them is a big part of what keeps them happy and productive
You just want to make sure they pursue them on their time, not yours. And, an office helps.
Another great reason to consider office space is if your investors advise you to. More comments from hands-on investors will help you account for all the factors you need to consider before deciding whether or not to move operations to an office.
Whether it’s for hosting a guest speaker series, running workshops or starting a mentorship program, a space you can call home allows you to facilitate and effectively market more professional-development opportunities.
When you show employees you’re willing to invest in their growth as people and professionals, that gesture goes a long way in keeping those employees satisfied and motivated to build their careers with you.
Research shows that a healthy team makes a productive team. As an employer, with an office, you can play a significant role in your team’s performance by making sure the pantry is stocked with healthy foods throughout the day.
In many cases, the food you provide employees may be healthier than what they stock at home. And, commuting to an office usually involves more physical exercise than pulling on a pair of sweatpants in the morning to work from home. Whether it’s climbing the stairs out of the train station, walking to and from the office or taking frequent breaks to re-up on water and walk around the work space, office life isn’t without its health benefits.
In every industry, exposure to different viewpoints, skill sets, levels of experience and personal histories (including race and gender) in the course of business is healthy. An office ensures that your team members are getting this exposure (assuming, of course, that you’re building a diverse team) in a collegial atmosphere.
Securing office space for your startup is by no means a light decision. It will represent one of your most significant expenses, and it typically requires a 3-to-5 year commitment. That can be a scary thought when you’re not entirely sure where your business is going to be in five years.
But you can always consult resources to help you determine your readiness for office space and determine what you need to know, to start looking.
What’s more, finding a home for your business can be a tremendous launching pad for your next phase of growth. Is it the right choice for you?
Adapted from: Forbes.com
The HR Council’s 2008 survey of employees from nonprofit organizations found that opportunities for career development and training were among the most significant contributing factors to employee’s job satisfaction. There is a link between job satisfaction and productivity. Economists at the University of Warwick found that happy workers experienced a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive.
In their attempt to help new and tenured employees develop the skills they need to be successful, many companies offer corporate learning opportunities. However, the tools that some companies currently use for this purpose are either “low tech” or “wrong tech.” By “low tech,” I am referring to materials such as printed articles and PowerPoint slide show presentations. By “wrong tech,” I am referring to technology that was designed for human resource applications rather than for innovative enterprise learning.
These approaches to traditional corporate learning are inadequate and difficult to use. According to a May 2016 report by McKinsey & Company, 40% of Chief Learning Officers believe that their corporate learning initiatives have been ineffective.
Technologies that are currently available on the market can address some of the deficiencies of the common “low tech” or “wrong tech” corporate learning systems and transform corporate learning. These corporate learning systems allow companies and corporate trainers to manage employee learning, create employee learning paths, and evaluate progress to learning goals.
The content of these learning technologies is increasingly based in the cloud, which makes it accessible across multiple devices and teaching environments and provides the opportunity for employers to make regular updates.
The need to modernize corporate learning is critical. The technological tools to do so are available and are more innovative than previous training tools. What are we waiting for?
It’s time for another meeting with your staff, and you want to be sure that you’re choosing the most effective space possible. Whether you’re a large business or a small one, sometimes that means taking your meetings offsite in order to increase their effectiveness. If you’ve been wondering about the benefits of offsite meetings, we here at WorkSocial can guarantee you’ll see their positives immediately.
Chances are, your employees start groaning the moment they walk into your conference room. Not only that, but in many cases, their brains may immediately turn off, leaving them disinterested in whatever else is going on in the room. They may retain little of what goes on in the meeting–and they certainly won’t be in the right mindset to give it their personal best!
The variety of remote office spaces from WorkSocial, on the other hand, can spice things up and lead to more productive employees who are better able to focus on the issue at hand. You’ll also find that hosting offsite meetings frees you up to expand your creative efforts so that you’re able to do things differently during the meeting and increase your employees’ response.
When you have your meeting in the same place every time, every meeting takes on the same level of significance. Employees may not even know whether or not they genuinely need to attend a meeting, much less whether or not the content is going to be important!
By moving the meeting offsite to one of WorkSocial’s remote office spaces, you show your employees that this one matters. They’re able to see that you have invested time and effort in the content of the meeting–and that means that they need to be ready to show up, get involved, and participate in the meeting.
Your employees do a great job of connecting with one another within the confines of your office–or do they? Effective teams feel a connection to one another that goes beyond the four walls of your office. Simple staff field trips can go a long way toward increasing the connection the members of your staff feel toward one another. Taking your trip the extra mile and holding your meetings offsite can increase that sense of connection.
When you have specific members of your company coming to remote office spaces for an offsite meeting, it increases their bond with one another and increases their ability to interact when they return to the office setting. this, in turn, boosts both morale and productivity. As an added bonus, offsite meetings decrease the potential for interruptions from individuals who aren’t involved in the meeting, which means that you’ll be able to connect with the issue at hand and focus more effectively.
Has your company expanded faster than your conference room can keep up? Chances are, there will be a point in your company’s growth cycle when you need to bring more people together than you’re able to easily put into a single meeting room. Instead of getting stuck cramming people into your room or holding more than on meeting to convey the same information, bring your entire team together in a remote office space from WorkSocial. Not only is it easier to maneuver when you have extra space, you’ll find that you’re better able to schedule meetings when you’re dealing with an off-site venue.
At WorkSocial, we provide remote office spaces that can include anywhere from 4-40 individuals, giving you plenty of freedom to hold the meetings you need in a space that will work more effectively for your company. If you’re ready to schedule your next offsite meetings at one of our locations, contact us today.
Entrepreneurship is an exciting journey to embark on that will lead to an autonomous lifestyle and unimaginable success. However, while entrepreneurship is one of the most desirable paths, there are certain aspects of entrepreneurship that are necessary in order to truly be successful at it. For this reason, we’re going to provide you with 6 human needs every entrepreneur must know.
As an entrepreneur, you are a leader, and a leader must know their vision and be ready to act accordingly. It is important to be certain about the path you are taking because you set the tone for your business. Your team will follow suit if they know that you believe in your vision wholeheartedly. Ultimately, nothing shows this best than have a productive workspace for you and your team. These are important decisions that an entrepreneur must continue to make for their business. For instance, if you notice that there is a knowledge gap among some of your employees, then providing training at a training venue for those individuals will not only help them do their job more efficiently, but help your business.
Just like certainty, entrepreneurs need to clear up uncertain about things pertaining to your business because everything will not always align with your vision. You have to clearly understand your vision and know what it takes to see that vision through. For instance, some companies do not require their employees to come to work every day. Instead, they can work more efficiently by conducting their work at home and checking in for scheduled meetings. As an entrepreneur, you may decide that your team works best utilizing a virtual office rather than coming in. Essentially, entrepreneurs must be strategic and think twice about the decisions they are making to ensure they are always benefiting their business.
Entrepreneurship is all about significance. Significant entrepreneurs attract the right audience and can command a room. Essentially, what makes an entrepreneur significant is how they perceive themselves. This directly translates to what they choose to invest in. If you don’t invest much into your business, then you can’t expect people to invest either. On the other hand, making investments in your business leads to optimum results. For example, having a dedicated working space communicates to your employees that your business is important. Ultimately, it sets the standard and gives your organization significance as a whole. Your team will be more willing to invest their time as a result.
It is important for entrepreneurs to be able to not only connect with their customers, but their team as well. After all, they are the individuals that are going to support you in taking your business to the next level. This is why office spaces are important. You need an area where you can meet and collaborate with your team to show that they are included in the decision making process.
Entrepreneurship requires growth. This is the only way to learn, improve, and take your business to the next level. As your business grows, you will find that you, along with your employees, will need to learn new things whether it be new technology or business processes. For this reason, training venues will be an integral part in ensuring you and your team can continue to keep up with the demands of the business.
No entrepreneur has become successful alone. However, they have received valued support to help make their business better. Contributions from others will help you get a different perspective on your business and will help bring fresh ideas that can improve your business drastically. Having a dedicated office space will allow you to collaborate with your team on the regular so that you can co-work and get the most out of the workday.
Worksocial is a company that is helping individuals connect, create, and grow. We help make it possible for entrepreneurs to excel and take their business to the next level. Ultimately, we have dedicated office spaces fit for any business. Whether you are looking to conduct meetings, train staff, or work on important projects, we have a space for you.
Our goal is to help entrepreneurs be professional, work more efficiently, and be successful. If you have any additional questions on the services we provide, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
The evidence is clear: nothing kills a meeting quite like monotony. According to Business News Daily, the number one offender is repetition, a special brand of monotony in which the person who has the floor gets lost in his or her own thoughts, repeating and rambling unchecked.
Repetitious, unprepared speakers are not the only aspects that contribute to a monotonous meeting, of course. Sometimes location plays a part. Without a change of venue, the mind can easily fall into unbreakable patterns that can severely cripple creativity.
That’s why nearly two-thirds of meeting planners say that meetings held outside the office are more productive! Let’s explore why.
While holding meetings back at the office is always an option, there are three good reasons to consider a change of pace for your next training program or team-building event.
First, there’s ample evidence that occasionally changing work-spaces can boost creative thinking. We see this concept play out especially well for freelancers and other professionals whose ability to complete their work is not tied to a particular location. Writers, software designers, musicians, and others will work from a remote location – a coffee shop one day, a sidewalk cafe the next, etc.
They find that switching up locations often helps them achieve more. Since people respond differently to different environments, the freedom to move around helps them find their creative sweet spot.
“The freedom to explore multiple offices can also afford workers the opportunity to discover which environment they feel most at home in–whether that be a fancy, bustling space near Times Square or a shabby-chic office in Brooklyn” (Quartz).
Shuttling your entire staff around on a daily or weekly basis is not feasible; however, occasionally hosting offsite meetings in a new space can prove beneficial. Members of your team may respond to new environments in creative and surprising ways. The best way to test this hypothesis is to get your team out of its rut and hold your next meeting at a remote location.
Another reason to consider hosting your meeting offsite is to cut down on possible distractions and to help your team understand the significance of the matter at hand.
When you are back in your daily work environment, your mind naturally turns to pressing tasks and daily operations. It’s easy to consider slipping out of the meeting to check something back at your desk or to send a quick e-mail. Though seemingly small distractions, these little tasks are of special concern if your meeting focuses on forward-looking goals and long-range planning because your day-to-day environment can be difficult to set aside in order to focus on tomorrow’s opportunities.
In a remote location, however, the mind can detach from daily cares and look toward the future.
The third reason to consider hosting meetings offsite is that doing so will fully free you to run your meeting and make deeper connections – both with your team and with the ideas you’re hoping to engage.
After all, if you host your meeting or conference yourself, you must attend to practical details, such as set-up, clean-up, and catering. You will need to arrive early and stay late. These tasks, while not arduous, will nevertheless split your focus. When you host offsite meetings, however, all you need to focus on is your team and its goals. That means all you have to do is show up and crush it.
Everything else is taken care of for you.
Perhaps you’ve already outgrown your current meeting space. Perhaps you’re looking to do so in the near future. Either way, we can help. We’re here to provide both for those who have already outgrown their current situations and for those who wish to foster such growth.
Either way, we’re here for you.
As hosts of the largest conference space in Jersey City, New Jersey, we are proud to support your business or industry with our premium training facilities. Capable of hosting groups anywhere from four people to forty, we are more than ready to host your next event. Our rooms are wired for advanced technologies, and we have catering options available as well.
All you have to do is show up.
If you have questions about our services, or if you would like to chat with us about partnering for your next offsite training program at a remote location, please feel free to contact us at any time.
We look forward to serving you.
Imagine how happy you could be if you were in control of your own life. What if you decided how productive you were, what time you went to work, and how much money you made? The truth is that you can. Many people have followed a life of entrepreneurship by leaving their normal 9-5 work lives to launch out on their own!
But what about the downside? What about all those businesses that fail? Don’t entrepreneurs struggle? Of course, we do!
But, honestly, it’s all about perspective. What some entrepreneurs call failure, others call learning. What some call struggle, others call growth. It all depends on how each person looks at it. The problem here is how we choose to consider the situation. Will we view things as obstacles or as opportunities? Because truthfully, many of the negatives about entrepreneurship can actually be positives with the right frame of mind.
Let’s explore the 3 most positive mind frames that lead new business starters into the true joys of entrepreneurship.
One of the most common issues entrepreneurs face is capital, especially startup capital. This frustrates some to the point of freezing them still. They feel they don’t have enough, so they either don’t start at all or start but then stop too soon.
Other entrepreneurs, however, view this differently. They see this as an opportunity. The solution is to become resourceful; these entrepreneurs come up with new ideas to raise funds, to get out and open doors in what appear to be closed hallways.
They sell things, learn to invest, rent out a room, something, anything.
This hidden joy of entrepreneurship is that they become stronger people. Added to their already developed set of skills is the newfound resourcefulness they’ve acquired along the way.
Another issue many entrepreneurs deal with is competition. As soon as they’ve developed their idea, the company across the street has done the same.
It’s almost like when you buy a new car. Before you had the black Toyota Avalon, nobody had one. Now that you’ve got yours, you see black Toyota Avalons everywhere!
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs give up in this situation. They feel as though someone else beat them to the punch, so they back away.
But not all of them.
Some entrepreneurs recognize this as an opportunity – the chance for innovation. Backing away from your idea when competitors mimic it is not the only option. Innovating the idea to become better than what you originally made it and what the competitor made it is also possible.
That’s when the joy of innovation comes in. The entrepreneurs who figure out how to make their idea better grow both themselves and their business.
And this results in massive satisfaction.
In addition to the first two opportunities, entrepreneurship often comes with a third challenge – having to do too much. Especially in the beginning, entrepreneurs feel as though they are doing too many things to scale the business.
It’s different than feeling overworked and under appreciated as is typical for an employee. The entrepreneur is generally happy to work long hours. The adrenaline and excitement that accompany a startup are usually enough to keep the person going.
The challenge arises when the entrepreneur knows the company needs to expand, but they can’t scale it because they handle too many of the responsibilities alone. They may be the company manager, accountant, human resource department, and customer service specialist – all at the same time.
Some entrepreneurs flatline at this point. They typically don’t quit if they’ve made it this far, but they generally stop growing as well. Then, the adrenaline fades from the initial startup and burnout begins.
Other entrepreneurs see this differently, however. They’ve heard about delegation. Many of them want to do it. The problem is that delegation is a skill., not a natural talent. And it isn’t exactly easy to learn.
But instead of freezing, some entrepreneurs view this as a chance to learn the joy of delegation. They begin to practice the skill. It’s hard at first. But they don’t give up. Then, they do it again. And again. Eventually, they get a good handle on it. Now, they aren’t wearing 7 different hats. They’re only wearing the one they’re supposed to wear – the delegator’s hat.
And that’s when the entrepreneur begins to truly experience the joy and satisfaction of a fully scaled company as the results of having learned the skill of delegation.
All in all, entrepreneurship is a rewarding experience. And yes, it has its difficulties. But the solution is to view those difficulties not as setbacks, but as setups – setups for growth and the joys that follow as a result.
And what separates the winners from the losers is the decision to enact this solution – to perceive the obstacles as actual opportunities instead. Where some see a lack of resources, others see the chance to become resourceful. Where some see difficult competitors, others see room for innovation. And where some see too many hats to wear, others see the prospect of delegation.
It’s all a matter of mindset.
And that is what makes the difference.
We invite you to contact us about how we can help you on your journey.
Did you know that 9 out of every 10 businesses that start fail within the first year? That is a staggering statistic that indicates the odds are against every entrepreneur. We don’t read about that much on the internet. When’s the last time you opened a blog that said: “guess what, if you’re an entrepreneur, the chances are that you will not succeed”? We don’t like to hear about that.
Instead, we want to hear about the 1 in 10 that make it. We like to listen to podcasts about Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos. But denying reality doesn’t exempt us from it. The key is not to hide and pretend that the odds are against us. The key is to find out what makes some entrepreneurs succeed while the majority of all the others fail.
Finding that formula will help to put us in the 10% success rate.
So what’s the secret? How do some entrepreneurs succeed against the odds?
There are in fact 2 key ingredients that determine why some entrepreneurs succeed. Without these 2 factors, one can easily fall into the 90% statistic of unsuccessful startups.
So what are the 2 things successful entrepreneurs have that the unsuccessful ones do not?
Let’s take a close look at each one together.
Conventional wisdom says to always have a plan B. And for successfully established companies, that is good, sound advice. But plan B is risk management. And risk management is counterintuitive to the entire entrepreneurial process. We aren’t advocating to throw common sense to the wind, but the fact is that if plan B is an option, then plan A does not have to work.
For example, the employee who quits and says, “If it doesn’t work I’d like to come back,” and then goes on to start his own business has done two things. The first is that he has made a wise choice in minimizing his risk of the entrepreneurial endeavor not succeeding. The second thing he has done is minimized the chances of the entrepreneurial endeavor succeeding at all.
The reason is that psychologically he knows it does not have to work. If it doesn’t, he can always go back to his former job. Again, that is wise risk management, but it is bad entrepreneurial launching.
As is the case in every financial endeavor, risk and reward have a direct relationship. Diversity in an ETF with stocks and bonds and you will get more consistent, lower returns. Drop all your money into a promising stock and get really rich or lose it all.
The same is true for successful entrepreneurs. If you have a bridge to cross in the event the business tanks, you will not have to succeed. If you burn the bridge, however, your business has to work. And that makes all the difference.
We’re not saying you need to quit your job in an unprofessional manner. But we are saying that you’ve got to burn the fields behind you and not look back.
In 1519, Hernan Cortes landed in Veracruz Mexico and conquered the land. Do you know how he did it? When he landed, he burned the ships that sailed him and his crew to Mexico. At that point, he had to conquer it. There was no other choice.
The same is true for all successful entrepreneurs.
If your business has to work, then the chances of it working greatly increase. If you have fall-back options, then you just might fall back.
“Let’s see if this will work,” is a terrible strategy. It is too flimsy. Successful entrepreneurs don’t say “if” – we make sure. A lot of this is mindset. The hard part is maintaining the decision to win when the evidence says you will lose.
When you launch your idea, you do so with a desire to win – to be successful. But what happens when venture capital investors decline your invitation to invest? What about when traffic doesn’t flock to your blog? How do you handle negative reviews and customer critiques?
What happens to many entrepreneurs is that their mindset (and thus, their game plan) shifts with the facts. When they started, they desired to win, but when the evidence started saying they were going to lose, they believed the facts.
At that point, their desire to win became a decision to lose. And from that point on, the rest is usually history (in a bad way).
What successful entrepreneurs do is launch with a desire to win. Then, when facts to the contrary start rolling in, we decide to win. We make the decision that we are going to win regardless of what the numbers are saying at the moment.
We will win. Period. This is a decision based on a mental state, not on the facts.
And it is this mental state that carries us over the hurdles, around the mountains, and through the tunnels.
We simply decide to win and refuse to accept any other possibility.
All in all, successful entrepreneurs don’t have it easy. It requires risks and a willingness to (not deny but to) overcome the facts.
We burn the bridges behind us and abandon any plan B, other options, or alternative routes. Our idea has to work.
And once we start making it work, we refuse to believe the overwhelming evidence that stacks against us. We decide that we will win no matter what.
And when launch with these two secrets in place, we end up in the category of the 10% of successful entrepreneurs who make their dreams come true.
We invite you to contact us about how we can be a part of your journey as a successful entrepreneur.
Your company has perhaps had to face some challenging facts recently: You need some fresh ideas, but don’t know where to turn to bring new perspectives. It’s certainly easy to become complacent when you’re so used to doing things the same for years. This is a big problem for a lot of companies who end up going into automatic pilot.
Forbes reported on the alarming nature of this a few years ago with two startling phrases:
“Leadership is in danger; Complacency is becoming the new normal.”
You simply can’t let this come about, even if it sneaks in under the radar for your employees. A solution might mean looking into a popular new concept: co-working spaces!
If you’re new to such a network, we can help at WorkSocial.
One thing perhaps feeding the lack of fresh ideas above is you’re allowing yourself or employees to work from home. While this can work for many to think more originally, it’s still going to mean one train of thought rather than from outsiders.
Also, it’s often noted that work from home still has too many temptations and distractions. It’s hard for someone to get disciplined on critical thinking if they have too many distractions from social media, TV, or countless other media options.
So what are the real benefits of joining a co-working space? It’s going to help you or an employee change your own perspectives on work value.
Think of a co-working network like the best intellectual drinking establishment. While you likely won’t sip cocktails together, you’ll at least be congregating in one collective place where you can gain insights from members making up numerous companies.
These members are going to have hundreds of years of collective experience! They’ll have just as many ventures or projects on their resumes! While you’ll have a mix of newer business experts and older, all of their opinions are going to matter when discussed as a group.
Much like a business conference, where you discuss the latest trends, a co-working network is your specialized group to turn to when you’re truly stuck on an original idea.
Once you meet, it’s not just a one-shot meeting and then breaking up. Co-working means an ongoing business relationship, as in working on one project together. Bringing these outsiders into your own project is going to mean superior networking like you can’t find anywhere else.
Now you can finally breathe new life into your company thanks to contributions from those who’ve seen it all. It could take just one idea from these co-workers to change your project into something beyond your initial expectations.
To make this collaboration work well, you’re going to need a lot of good digital tools to keep you continually communicated.
As The Balance notes, co-working spaces are best for entrepreneurs who need expertise from people already in the trenches on how to get a good idea going.
Since this may involve a freelance schedule, it opens a more flexible schedule to work in these co-working networks.
Millennials are a big part of this universe as more of them become entrepreneurs and take on self-employed careers.
According to Dropbox, the co-working market grew at a high rate up through 2017. Last year, there were 13,800 networks worldwide and 1,180,000 members globally.
At WorkSocial, we can help you join in and finally find a way for you to get away from complacency. With our co-working spaces, you can gain valuable insights from others your own employees couldn’t achieve to maintain your company mission.
Contact us to learn more about our business that also includes virtual offices, conference rooms, and training venues.
As the world adapts to the internet era, there are an increasing number of jobs that can be done completely remotely and sometimes with no physical office at all. This is because all the things that were once necessary about an office like inboxes and phone availability can now be accessed in a mobile workspace on almost any mobile device.
Whether you’ve started your own business or are working with an amazing company that allows remote work from anywhere, a high-quality virtual workspace that allows you to collaborate easily with co-workers can allow a savvy tech professional to do their job anywhere without affecting the quality of their work. With all this freedom, some people will happily stay at home in their pajamas and slippers while others will take their show on the road, able to go anywhere they please while still remaining a rock-star employee.
Of course, that work depends heavily on being well-equipped and finding the time to settle in and get some work done. If you’ve already got travel plans in place and you want to try remote work from your RV, here’s the ultimate packing list to make sure you’re on the ball and at work when needed no matter where you choose to take your internet lifestyle.
The star of your show and the center of your remote work – your laptop – is the number one most important thing that needs to come with you every time you travel. A fast, powerful laptop is the perfect center for any traveling office because you can take it with you and get work done even if the RV is in the shop.
Through the laptop, you’ll be staying in contact with your team and/or employers and contributing to the project remotely. It can only be assumed that your laptop will wind up with a lot of accessories from a convenient mouse to external hard drives.
There are many different hotspot devices and plans, and some are significantly better than others. That said, the hotspot will be your connection to the rest of the world. While your laptop may have WiFi, there’s not always going to be a high-quality wifi network nearby.
It’s important that you find a device with a reliable battery, strong signal, and fast network connection along with a plan that suits it well. Make sure to go for the highest possible data plan you can manage and don’t forget to read the reviews before buying. If you plan to work as remotely as possibly, pairing your hotspot with a signal booster is a very good idea.
Whether you’re running your own business or working remotely for someone else, there’s a good chance you’ll need to speak on the phone. Rather than diving for a device, try the convenience of a Bluetooth earpiece, now much smaller than the original fangs.
A hands-free and cordless headset is the perfect addition to a ‘remote work from your RV’ lifestyle because it allows you to stay connected with clients, friends, and relatives while you can still completely keep driving or working. Of course, if you prefer the smart home RV, you can hold your phone conversations through the hub instead.
Unless you’re one of the rare people overjoyed with the features, laptop touchpads are a nightmare. They’re very practical given how laptops are built, but you don’t have to lightly tap and drag your way around the screen if you don’t want to. Instead, get yourself a wireless mouse!
The signal-nubbin can be plugged into your laptop while the mouse itself gives you absolute control over your workflow and improve your own efficiency. Plus, they’re just plain more comfortable.
This is only the first half of our packing list for remote work from your RV! If you’re ready to hit the road with all the powers of a laptop and a virtual office, join us next time for the second half of our two-part article where we’ll cover batteries, solar, emergencies, and more.
For more information about remote work and the freedom of a virtual office, contact us today!
When people work for a company, they will give more effort when they feel a sense of autonomy and purpose within the organization. Leaders must give employees a degree of autonomy in their own jobs. Autonomy, or control over one’s work, enables employees to achieve their sense of purpose. Employees who determine their own tasks and visualize how those tasks will help their business unit or team reach its central goals exhibit higher levels of motivation and commitment, and thus they will work harder to achieve their performance objectives.
In this post, we describe 3 ways that leaders can bring more autonomy and purpose to an organization:
Give employees frequent opportunities to shape their own work environment. This means that you refrain from using micromanagement techniques and permit employees to work away from the central office.
It could be that you provide funds for them to work from a facility like WorkSocial, especially your employees with long commutes who want more time with their loved ones. Letting go some degree of control over your team’s work environment means that you must focus more on results. Give employees what they must achieve and a deadline for when their work must be completed. Let them enjoy autonomy as they organize each day and accomplish tasks in their preferred workspace.
This could be focusing your team on not only outperforming other teams, which is the feeling of winning, but it could also include encouraging each person to innovate.
For example, we like to believe that employees will best determine how to reorganize the steps in a shared work task while saving time and money. Tell your team members that you will give the winner a $100 gift card for reducing the number of signatures required to complete a sales transaction. Remind them that the new process may not include shortcuts that will lead to decreased accountability or undermine compliance with applicable governmental regulations.
This may be a stretch, but it’s like saying to yourself: “When I finish this report, I’m going to reward myself with a glass of wine in front of the fire.” In your body, not just your mind, you can imagine how the wine will produce that dopamine effect once you drink the tasty glass.
In a similar manner, you want employees to make a decision to work for expected rewards. Some team members have greater intrinsic motivation and others must work for an external stimulus-reward. Some workers crave the semblance of free-choice or the chance to select the activity they will work on each day. Other workers will spend as many hours as it takes to complete something because it interests them.
At WorkSocial, we’re passionate about creating a flexible environment where work teams, individuals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers can discover both autonomy and purpose. We do this by creating different common areas, shared workspaces, meeting rooms of assorted sizes, and individual workstations.
In this environment, you have all the tech conveniences you would find at the home office. In our location, you are free to be yourself and to tap into your creative brain. Our high-energy coworking dynamic also makes it easy to bounce ideas off friends and strangers as you work towards performance goals. This is also a great place to schedule your team to brainstorm and execute a new project. They just don’t get that same level of inspiration when they’re stuck in familiar surroundings!
For more details on coworking for greater individual autonomy and purpose, please contact us today.
If you’ve used Google enough, you know how much they’ve helped businesses big and small find ways to get ahead. Using Google Trends and other tools can essentially bring a mutualistic relationship where you’ll help your business while helping Google at the same time.
While their tools are myriad, one of the best out there is Google Trends, which many businesses use with their websites.
Those of you still wondering what your customers really want can take advantage of using Google Trends to give you some useful analytics. With analytics being the only way to understand your customers, Google takes things even further. It works in a particular way that digs a little deeper than typical analytic platforms.
A famous quote from Y-Combinator founder Paul Graham says “Make something people want.” This quote is well-known, though it’s often challenging to make it happen without having to almost read the mind of customers.
Maybe you can use some analytic programs on your website to see what kind of links visitors click on. It might also tell you other stats, even if it sometimes means sifting through hundreds of pages.
What you really need is something providing accurate insight into what your customers are searching for on your site. It’s here where Google Trends help immensely.
Using their platform, you’ll know exactly what your coveted demographic searches for every day.
Google makes their Google Trends site easy to use based merely on searching people’s interests. They aggregate keywords from the internet every hour and detect specific patterns in where they’re trending.
What’s most important is to take all keywords you’ve used on your website and type them into the Google Trends search box to see how popular they are. You might be surprised to learn many aren’t as popular as you thought!
To help your SEO, you’ll want to research keywords on Google Trends first related to your business. They make it simple to search keywords and show you what part of the world where it’s trending. To break it down further, you can choose what category the keywords fall under.
Despite providing deeper analytical insight, Google Trends is not the only story in how you can get analytics for your website. Other platforms like Queryly help you build an analytics platform if you can’t built it yourself.
Described as “a cloud platform that helps you understand your content”, Queryly makes user searching on your website a unique experience.
They’ll provide a self-service dashboard so users on your site can instantly search for content they want to see on your site. In many ways, it’s like having Google Trends embedded on your site since it instantly compiles your most popular keywords.
This works well when you have multiple categories in your particular industry. For instance, if you run a tax business, Queryly aggregates other keywords related to taxes like “property taxes” or “tax foreclosure.”
Using Queryly, you’ll know what your most loyal visitors search for on a regular basis. Obviously, this is invaluable information, though Queryly makes this known in real-time rather than making you wait to see the data.
Real-time analytics is the most important aspect of business today to stay competitive. Once you know what people prefer seeing on your site, you can adjust accordingly within hours to keep your website traffic at levels you’ve enjoyed.
By letting your employees use this tool, they’ll work collectively to make the above happen. However, what if your employees prefer working from home? Don’t worry – tools like Google Trends and Queryly can easily be used by your employees anywhere, anytime.
Contact us at WorkSocial to ask about our virtual offices, co-working opportunities, conference rooms, and training venues.
In this new age of digital, everything has changed – including the way we process the information. User engagement is what every company wants, but what is the best way to really accomplish this?
To really think about this question critically, we might need to go back in time a little (as counterintuitive as it might sound). Consider reading a newspaper and think about the last time you read one. Growing up, the newspaper was everyone’s main source, and it was read all the way from the first page to the last page. Your eyes would carefully scan through the pages, the size of half your desk really, to ensure that you did not miss the interesting stories. The analog age boasted a loyal audience, and it was for good reason.
The digital equivalent of this audience is a user who goes to the homepage of a news site. Their journey is a little more complicated now because they would need to scan the stories one by one on the homepage. Once they finish, they must repeat the same process by clicking through each category present in the navigation bar.
Unfortunately, that audience paradigm no longer exists and there is no starting from page one anymore. Users and audiences are likely finding content through social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, and no longer really peruse a website the way they would analog content.
These audiences are known as drive-by users and for good reason. They pop into your site quickly, and exit just as quickly – before your web analytics tools can really glean any valuable data. Before it even spots them, they have vanished and likely forever.
So what is that tangible step you can take to convince these users to slow down, step out of their digital vehicle and wander around a bit?
The simple answer: User engagement
There are many angles to consider when thinking about user engagement and how that will fit for your business model. You could do it by creating consistent, engaging, and interesting content or by developing a top-notch user experience.
However, both those methods require a significant amount of investment in both time and resources, so they are easier said than done. To really accomplish user engagement requires a great deal of upfront investment. There is, however, a shortcut.
A feasible shortcut to user engagement is to repurpose your older content and incorporate a “content recommendation” section to your website. This allows you to easily repurpose existing content as hooks that might interest users and allows them to find a related second, third, or even fourth story.
And if you are able to recommend the right content, and just the right stories, that is a great return on investment. Those drive-by users may remember your site and return voluntarily next time, through a proper channel such as your homepage.
In contrast to writing and UX enhancements, the content recommendation does not require any upfront investment. Instead, it will computer algorithms to automatically group together stories of similar subjects together – thereby doing a lot of the work for you.
Once a drive-by user reads an article on the site, they have already expressed an initial interest in your content and have shown you what drew them to your site. The logical next step is to show them other stories on that same subject or trip and keep their attention.
The recommendation algorithms consist of many different elements. It requires some math and various similarity algorithms that detect if two articles might be semantically related. Natural Language Process (NLP) technology is often to used to improve the relevance of recommendations.
Some of the best recommendation algorithms are provided by companies such as Queryly, which provides high-performance content recommendations for websites. Querlyly boasts an impressive roster of clients in the media space, and it powers recommendations for top sites including Post and Courier, Bankrate, and MIT Sloan Management Review.
The content recommendations work best when they are purely algorithmic and fully automated. For growing businesses, they are a great way to boost user engagement without needing too much an investment. With a single switch, you are able to greatly increase user acquisition. It is definitely worthwhile to research this topic and see if it could deliver the right results for your website.
Turning users into loyal audiences requires a fair amount of strategy and patience, but the rewards are definitely worth it. To learn more about business strategies, please do not hesitate to contact us or reach out here.