This research provides proven practices to encourage collaboration and allow remote working.
For application leaders responsible for enhancing employee effectiveness as part of digital workplace programs:
By 2020, organizations that support a choose-your-own-work-style culture will boost employee retention rates by more than 10%.
By 2021, the increase in the number of employees who prefer to work remotely will allow organizations to support 40% more workers in the same amount of space as they use today.
By 2020, 25% of organizations will have a catalog of smart workspaces maintained by IT, real estate and facilities management.
The kinds of workspaces an organization’s leadership provides its workers speak volumes about how much they value their employees. Numerous studies explore the relationship between the physical space and the employee experience. 1 They establish that employees who enjoy their physical work environments are more engaged, productive and happy. Nearly 7% of workers said that physical workspace would be a major factor in considering leaving for a position outside their current organization. 2 An engaged workforce is pivotal for a successful transformation to a digital business.
Gartner analysis of digital workplace initiatives in numerous organizations reflects the growing importance of workspaces in the digital workplace program (see “Global Digital Workplace Programs Exemplify Promise and Progress Worthy of Emulating”). Crafting digital workplaces that enhance employee effectiveness requires the collaborative efforts of IT, HR and real estate/facility management (RE/FM) leaders (see “Build Your ‘A Team’ to Lead Successful Digital Workplace Programs”). The digital workplace is intertwined with the physical workspace. Digital experiences are mediated through apps on devices, and devices are part of the physical workspace. Increasingly, their form and position in the physical workspace impact the employee experience.
Traditionally, both IT and RE/FM leaders focused on the legacy of the “one-size-fits-all” approach for both space and technology. The gray cubicle was standard issue regardless of the work people were doing. IT and RE/FM had separate budgets and were populated by people with very different skills.
Today, application leaders who understand the changing business context of “office space” are better able to respond to technology service demands — network access, mobile applications, digital signage and so on — while contributing to a more-engaging employee experience. Digital workers can literally work from any place and at any time. IT is the technology enabler; the RE/FM teams drive the design of the space. All are working toward a shared business outcome that cannot be realized unless they pursue it together.
Recognition is growing that application and RE/FM leaders jointly own the responsibility for combining the virtual and physical to create an environment where employees are excited to work (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Impacts and Top Recommendations for Application Leaders
Source: Gartner (December 2017)
Include Well-Designed Workspaces in Digital Workplace Programs to Attract Talent, Inspire Creativity and Increase Collaboration
Space design has a powerful impact on the people who occupy it. The physical attributes of space can encourage behaviors such as collaboration and creativity, or discourage them. Unfortunately, only 11% of respondents to the 2017 Gartner Digital Workplace Survey said they were completely satisfied with their workspace (the mean level of satisfaction was 5, where 1 = completely dissatisfied and 7 = completely satisfied — see Figure 2). The same survey reported that 38% of employees can choose from multiple workspaces when in the office, yet 29% cannot and wish they could. 2
Application leaders responsible for digital workplace programs (hereafter called “digital workplace leaders”) can address this deficit. They can create greater employee satisfaction by incorporating the principles of activity-based working (ABW) into their workspace design.
Figure 2. “How Satisfied Are You With the Physical Workspace Your Organization Provides You?”
Base: Work from office (n = 3,012)
Source: Gartner (December 2017)
The average age of an office building is 60 years. The private office has existed for more than 80 years, and the cubicle for more than 50 years. 3 ABW leaves these antiquated notions behind and instead provides people with a choice of work settings. With ABW, people do not have a permanently assigned space — they move throughout the office choosing whatever type of space fits what they are trying to do, as well as their personal preferences.
A well-designed ABW office provides a mix of “hot” (lots of activity) and “cold” (private) places. It is based on the principle that finding the right balance between public and private workspace best supports collaboration and personal productivity. Digital workplace leaders who begin work now to identify the work styles of their employees will be well-positioned to take advantage of this trend (see “Create a Catalog of Activity-Based Spaces in the Digital Workplace to Improve the Employee Experience”).
Gartner research indicates that IT most often leads digital workplace programs. 4 This is an opportune time to begin to work more closely with RE/FM leaders to create a shared charter for IT and RE/FM. In addition to planning investments, having a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach will support a vendor procurement process that addresses both technology and physical space challenges.
A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to a natural environment enhances productivity and improves employee well-being. 5 Biophilic design takes inspiration from nature, integrating natural light, materials and vegetation into the work environment for a positive effect on workers. For example, India-based JLL’s new office in Mumbai is “nature-aligned” with life-size trees and nature sounds at frequent intervals to de-stress the workforce. 6
Land Securities — one of largest commercial property development companies in the U.K. — redesigned its office space to allow employees and visitors to decide how, when and where they work depending on their requirements. The workspace has a combination of space types where people can work quietly or interact with others depending on what tasks they need to carry out during a typical work day. 7
Space planners can take care of human factors and design the appropriate layout, but the space cannot come alive without including the technologies (IT) and the policies and practices around usage (HR). The pieces must work together. Hence, it is the partnership between IT and RE/FM, along with support from HR, that ensures that IT provides the right technology fabric to support various kinds of space and activity. People’s preference is to consume these capabilities as a service — “space as a service.” Thinking in this way will allow planners to understand the utility (use cases and capabilities), warranty (SLAs) and costs (see “Introducing the Digital Workplace Strategic IT Services Portfolio”).
Smarter workspaces. Technology forces such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed reality (augmented reality/virtual reality [AR/VR]) are introducing a myriad of new possibilities for digital workplace leaders to create smart workspaces and, eventually, smart buildings. Seventy-two percent of respondents in the 2016 Gartner IoT Survey said they were implementing or had already implemented IoT-related technology. 8 Digital workplace leaders can facilitate integration of the information from such building and facilities technology into an exceptional employee experience. This information could include lighting systems, air conditioning, heating, air quality, occupancy and so on (see “Use the Internet of Things in Smart Buildings to Achieve Work-Life Ambience” and “Align Smart Workplace Efforts With Employee Needs for Knowledge-Based Work”).
Space-based technology requirements. Different types of meeting space have different IT requirements. There has been an explosion in new technologies targeted at everyday meeting rooms in offices. Analyze the various kinds of meeting space within the organization and equip them with the right technology (see “Select the Right Technology for Modern Meeting Rooms”).
Digital signage/screens. Offer digital signage as an element of digital workplace services. Embedding visual communication capabilities as part of a more modern, dynamic workplace can lead to better employee communication and experience.
Improve IT support/perception. Harness this initiative to introduce a visible presence for IT, such as walk-up service bars. Implementing a “genius bar” can make IT seem more approachable and responsive. Currently, employees feel that their IT groups are not very responsive. A walk-up service can elevate the relationship between employee and IT. Instead of leaving a problem with a technician, the employee is involved in the resolution, and so may be able to solve similar issues themselves next time. Canadian insurance company Manulife has set up a series of what it calls TechLounges in several divisions, starting in Toronto. These are drop-in technical support centers where end users can bring their laptops and other company-issued devices for upgrades and minor fixes. The TechLounges also help remote workers who might not know when they will be in the office for a training session or upgrade. 9
Unified communication needs. Since not everyone can always be in the office, interactions need to support remote participants. For IT, this means continued investment in technologies such as unified communications and collaboration (UCC) and group video, to support collaborative workspaces and facilitate collaboration with third-party partners and vendors. (See “IT Challenges to Planning the End User’s Physical Work and Collaboration Spaces” for additional IT service challenges emerging from the changes in office space.)
Integrated workplace management systems. Harness the partnership with RE/FM leaders to determine an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) vendor that meets the requirements for smart and cost-effective operation of the facilities (see “Market Guide for Integrated Workplace Management Systems”).
New procurement skills.Encourage new skills development by having IT leaders work with new types of vendors that they might not normally encounter, such as those for furniture, digital signage, architecture and design firms, IWMS, and resource scheduling.
Remote Working Trends and Accounting Rule Changes Increase the Need for Synergy Between Application and RE/FM Leaders
Two parallel trends are increasing the urgency for digital workplace leaders to join forces with RE/FM leaders to better manage office space in their organization:
The increase in remote working is a global phenomenon. Three out of 10 Americans spend at least 80% of their time working remotely. 10 In the U.K., 91% of firms have at least one employee working from home, and 19% of companies have over 50% of their employees working remotely. 11, 12 Figure 3 depicts the proportion of remote workers by country. 13
Figure 3. Remote Working Is a Global Phenomenon
Working remotely — sometimes referred to as teleworking or telecommuting — means employees are not working in a traditional corporate office. As shown in Figure 4, the preferences of various segments of workers indicate that workers want the flexibility to work from their choice of locations. They want to be productive regardless of whether they are working from a corporate office, at home or some other place. (For an explanation of the five worker segments — caretakers, pilots, engineers, mavericks, navigators — see “Understand Five Key Kinds of Workers to Energize Your Digital Workplace.”)
Figure 4. Five Worker Segments and Where They Prefer to Work
Source: Gartner (December 2017)
As interest in remote working increases, digital workplace leaders need to make sure that these nomadic employees can easily find and reserve the kind of workspace they require when they do go into the corporate office. Working with RE/FM colleagues, they can support a mobile workforce with a smaller real estate footprint and no loss of productivity.
As part of continually re-evaluating how space is used, RE/FM professionals are exploring more-dynamic subleasing arrangements for unused space. Use of shared workplace or co-working spaces, whereby companies rent office space on flexible terms (hourly, daily, monthly or yearly) directly from businesses with space to share, is increasing. By the end of 2017, nearly 1.2 million people worldwide will have worked in a co-working space. This phenomenon is not restricted to freelancers, individual business executives and fast-growing startups; it includes large enterprises such as AT&T, Tyco, Autodesk and Accenture.
FASB/IASB accounting changes to take effect on 1 January 2019 will radically change accounting for operating leases and affect almost every organization, especially those that lease real estate. These changes will effectively do away with the traditional off-balance sheet operating lease for terms longer than 12 months, and will require that they appear as liabilities on the balance sheet. Listed companies using IFRS (international) or GAAP (U.S.) accounting standards have around $3.3 trillion in lease commitments. Specific assets that will be most affected by these accounting changes include corporate real-estate holdings that are often financed via an off-balance-sheet operating lease (see “Beware the Effect of the Operating Lease’s Demise on Finance and Real Estate”).
While these reporting changes will not directly affect how business is conducted, the changes will impact how a company’s financial health appears on paper. As a company’s total cost of occupancy is typically its second-largest category of expense after the cost of labor, the impacts on financial results for many will be significant. Therefore, this accounting change serves as a catalyst for corporate RE leaders to urgently seek cost-saving opportunities and, in the long term, to revisit or even overhaul their RE management strategies.
RE/FM leaders are already making investments in technology to create smarter, more efficient buildings. Digital workplace leaders need to actively engage with them to ensure that the business outcomes that are fundamental to the RE/FM business case can be addressed with the communication infrastructure. Alignment can drive lower technology costs, lower technology risks, better agility to new hybrid projects and access for IT to new sources of data (see “Show the Value of OT and IT Alignment, and Realize Digital Business Results”).
Right technology and amount of remote work. Enabling remote work requires significant technological investment. For example, IT leaders will have to provide the right technology infrastructure from laptops with preconfigured VPN access to the internet backbone. It will also force IT leaders to reassess their mobile and endpoint strategies, the foundation for which must be the concept of unified workspaces. Technologies and services must securely deliver the right applications and data to the right user, on the right device, at the right time and location (see “Embrace Unified Workspaces to Deliver on Your Digital Workplace Vision”).
The increase in remote work might give the impression that the future of work is entirely remote, but that is far from true. Not every kind of work can be done remotely, hence it is not applicable to all organizations and job profiles. Respondents to a recent Gartner global survey indicated a wish to spend most of their work time in a corporate office. Remote work has both pros (productivity, reduction in real-estate expense) and cons (burnout, loneliness, lack of collaboration). Some companies, such as IBM and Yahoo, discourage remote working. IT and business leaders must determine how much remote working the firm can handle, as well as ensure that the culture and the technology infrastructure can support it. Digital workplace leaders who design practices that strike a balance between remote work and office work will enjoy the benefits of both.
Managing the workspace with mobile workers. When remote workers need to go to their corporate location, they must be able to find the resources that will enable them to be productive, such as a private workspace, a conference room, directions and even a parking space. Such situations surface the need for resource scheduling tools that will help remote workers to check availability and book these resources. IT needs to work with RE/FM leaders to determine their requirements and deploy resource scheduling tools that provide an optimal employee experience. Co-working spaces or shared spaces, where a number of companies coexist, clearly require technology that can efficiently schedule the shared resources and bill them accordingly (see “Market Guide for Resource Scheduling Applications”).
Data-based space planning. Leverage the utilization data from RE/FM tools such as IWMS and resource scheduling to design your future workplace. Buildings are no longer built to last for decades; they need to more flexible and adaptable. For example, Japanese imaging and electronics company Ricoh was able to create annual space savings of up to 50% by analyzing data from workspace occupancy sensors. The desk data captured indicated average desk utilization of below 30%, with busiest periods peaking at 51%. The data revealed that 58% of Ricoh’s desks were used under 20% of the time throughout the study. Many such insights on workspace allowed Ricoh to use its resources more efficiently.
Combined user segmentation modelling.It is becoming impractical for RE/FM and IT to address employee needs individually. As part of space utilization studies, RE/FM leaders are beginning to classify workers based on how often they are in the office and what they do when they are there. This is strikingly similar to the user segmentation used by IT organizations to plan for and control service provisioning (for example, who gets a laptop or a desktop and who is entitled to a company-provided mobile device). All organizations should have a single, evolving user segmentation model, developed and applied by all shared service organizations that contribute to the employee experience. This will avoid redundant employee surveys and focus groups whose data and learnings are collected and applied independently.
IT possesses a treasure trove of “digital bread crumbs,” such as usage of mobility and conferencing services as well as device assignment, to help inform user segmentation modeling. Vendors are emerging to operationalize these approaches (see end-user analytics in “IT Market Clock for Client Computing, 2015”). A simple model that quantifies this information is a good first step, but using techniques such as journey mapping and persona development will start to answer who is using which spaces and for what activities. Work done on the move requires IT to support a work context that follows the worker to any space. Understanding the activities being performed helps inform the space designer of the type of physical space needed to support.
Developing these competencies needs to be a shared activity of IT and HR with RE/FM. The employee experience is the cumulative effect of interactions with services provided by all the shared service organizations.
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.
Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on how to pack for remote work from your RV! In case you missed Part One, please click here!
Whether you’re looking to take a working vacation or set out on a lifetime adventure, working with a virtual office can allow you to collaborate with your team back at headquarters, coordinate with other remote team members, or submit work on your own based on what your employer needs. Last time we started with the laptop and them rolled on to your internet hotspot, a headset for phone calls, and a wireless mouse because touch-pads aren’t great for long-term use.
Let’s continue where we left off!
When you’re in the world – just you, your laptop, and maybe a companion – it’s important to have a plan along with a backup plan in case the first one falls through!
One of the best backup plans for mobile tech is a portable battery. If you’ve been RV adventuring for any length of time, you’re probably already at least passingly familiar with batteries. For this one, make sure to get something that can charge from the wall and has the right ports to recharge your laptop and phone. Ideally, this is a tool that can come with you if the RV goes in for repairs.
One of the greatest things that has happened in the last decade is consumer-sized and priced solar panels. Some portable battery models can more than happily connect to a mini solar panel and begin recharging off the endless power of the sun.
The great thing about the solar panel is that even if all your electronics died at once (laptop, hotspot, battery, etc) you can always refill the battery from sunlight then refill the others with the same method. The efficiency of this process will depend on the power generation capabilities of your panels and battery.
You may be happy with your laptop, and you should be, but it’s not perfect for everything. Checking instructions when doing roadside repairs, reading in bed, and taking pictures of the stars are all better done with a tablet. If your remote job sometimes results in presentations and social events, the tablet is also a superior device for note taking and presentations depending on whether or not you’re leading a meeting.
You never know when something might go just a little bit wrong. From a crack in your laptop case to swapping out the battery with something cooler, you can always be prepared with the right repair kit.
Laptops are made to be last while being hauled around, but they’re still machines and sometimes something comes loose. For the laptop, bring small screwdrivers, spare computer screws, a set of needle nose pliers, q-tips, Windex, and a razor blade. For the occasional sharp metal corner, bring clean gauze packets, rubbing alcohol, Neosporin, and band-aids.
Sometimes all your other technology and internet-based communication may fail and a perfectly normal cellphone will be the most useful tool. Minimal cell phone plans are quite affordable, so while you’re on the road, it’s always a good idea to have a real phone on you.
In fact, a phone with a real phone plan is currently the most reliable way to call 911 in an emergency, though VOIP and Skype can fill in almost everywhere else. Make sure to keep a cell phone with an active plan and it’s charger with you at all times, just in case.
The final question for remote work from your RV becomes where to put all the stuff you need to be an excellent professional on-the-go lifestylist. You need an incredibly sturdy and reliable laptop bag capable of carrying everything from your actual laptop down to the tiny repair kit in its own pocket. Many people also keep a backup pen and pad of paper along with things like minty gum, extra power cables, and perhaps even a comb.
Armed to the teeth with amazing tech, you are now ready to embark on an amazing sequence of adventures made possible through your internet lifestyle choices. Remote work from your RV is a great experience, especially when you never have to ‘go home’ because your virtual office is on the cloud.
For more great tips and tricks for remote work or to find the right virtual office solution for you, contact us today!
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!
As the digital age rolls smoothly into the mobile age, the ability to let employees work from home or out in the field is an incredible freedom for modern businesses and professionals alike. In fact, it’s so freeing that many companies don’t bother to lease a central office at all because even the business coordination team and top management can telecommute with ease. However, no matter how much fun running an almost purely remote business can be, the legal and functional idea of a business still includes a physical location and an address with a mailbox from which your business can be officially reached.
The good news is that you don’t have to blow your finely tuned budget on office space you’ll barely use due to the convenient existence of virtual offices. A virtual office is a commercial office that shares space between several remote companies. Not only does it provide an address and mailbox, but a virtual office can also give you a place to hold special meetings with clients and host large-team training sessions in the conference rooms.
The question is, which virtual office space is right for you? We have the best tips to help you pick the perfect virtual office space.
When you’re looking for a virtual office space, don’t assume that no one will visit the office just because your business is mostly remote. Clients may want to meet with you somewhere official and it’s not out of the question that you’ll want to call in current employees or new hires for onboarding and training. This means that you want your virtual office to be somewhere that’s easy for everyone to drive to in a relatively central and accessible location.
In fact, your employees might wind up coming in more often than you realize if your virtual office has a full suite of office techs like high-speed internet or enormous office printers capable of scanning and printing complex packets of paperwork. To ensure that your employees will have access to any office infrastructure they need on the rare occasion when all their resources aren’t at home, choose a virtual office that provides additional value through available tech.
Considering that it’s likely that you will be spending some time in the offices and conference rooms of your virtual office, you’ll want to actually visit and take a look at the facilities before you commit to an office space. Not only do you want nice spacious areas for training, you may also be looking for at least one private, elegantly decorated conference room that will be perfect for impressing clients who want to meet ‘in your office’.
Speaking of decor, how your virtual offices are decorated and the style they embody matters more than you may realize. Each company has a style and you should be looking for a virtual office space decorated in a way that suits your business and brand. If you’re a very serious business, look for serious, somber, and traditional decor to enhance that for visiting clients. If you’re more light-hearted and personable as a brand, you may want space that is more trendy or laid back.
Finally, there’s more to a virtual office space than even the mailbox, printers, or conference rooms. There’s also the perks they offer you and your employees for being valuable members and clients. Some virtual offices offer catered conferences and training sessions, some will help you with accounting, and some will even make and maintain a website for you! Check out the perks available at each virtual office you’re considering and see what works best for your company.
Choosing a virtual office is about more than just an address and a place to pick up your business mail. It’s a central location, a meeting place, and somewhere you can connect with other mostly remote businesses in your area.
For more information about finding the right virtual office for your business, please 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.