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How to Keep Your Office Polite Even When Your Opinions are Radically Different

These are tough times. A pandemic is upon us; social issues are dividing us; and partisan politics is inescapable. Chances are that opinions on some of these problems may differ, extensively, within your workplace. Does that mean you can never have a casual lunch with colleagues in the break room again? Must we always avoid those who don’t share our perspectives to keep the peace?

Fortunately, the answer is no. If you’re willing to take the lead and model some patience, tolerance, and empathy, you could broker a successful and lasting truce among the people at your job. Here are a few suggestions to maintain a happier and more harmonious atmosphere when you’re on the clock.

Employ the “tell me more” technique

In Kelly Corrigan’s memoir, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say, she suggests those three words to not only encourage the people in your life to open up, but to also give yourself the opportunity to listen. If someone brings up an upcoming election or a controversial article she read at the lunch table, instead of automatically shutting it down to prevent conflict or biting our tongues to avoid disagreement, we could just say “tell me more”.

It may be hard at first, especially if the person who is speaking is negative or irritable, but those simple words can really soften people up. Everyone likes to be heard; everyone appreciates respect. Prompting others to “tell me more” doesn’t mean you have to listen to a three-hour soliloquy; it just means that you’re willing to hear them out and that you’re interested.

When discussing differing opinions, find at least one thing to agree with

what do you do if you have a disagreement with someone at work

One of my pals at work is the polar opposite of me politically. The two of us have no problem discussing any topics, however, because we both know that nothing is all black or all white. We respect each other as intelligent, well informed people and often find ourselves saying things like, “well I’ll grant you that” or “that’s certainly true.” When practicing the “tell me more” technique, you can probably find at least one tiny thing your speaker says on which you could comment positively.

Is the topic climate change? Perhaps you could offer something as simple as, “Well the weather has been crazy this year.” Arguing about an election? Try offering, “It just seems like everyone running has something wrong with them.” Such statements, though not exactly worthy of a Nobel peace prize, are nonetheless bridges to those around us. Keep them generic, simple, and true and they’ll have remarkable results.

Model how to communicate and disagree professionally

People who work together usually mind their manners quite well when they are involved in their everyday tasks or teams. They are busy; there may be quotas; time is money. If you want to have friendly conversations with your coworkers at break or over lunch, you need to interact with consistent professionalism throughout the day. Show them how you can communicate a difference of opinion without judgment or rancor. Be aware of your tone. Assume the best about someone who might be making a mistake.

Instead of, “You’re doing that wrong,” try “We’ve found it usually works better like this.” Know that most people are just like you: doing their best and, sometimes, having a bad day or experiencing personal distractions that make their work a little less than optimal. When people know you are sensible and even-keeled they frequently offer you the same treatment. Such behavior is much more likely to extend to down time when it’s practiced all the time

Have a go-to phrase that changes the subject

Even when polarizing events aren’t in the news, conversations among coworkers can sometimes get heated. It may be a project that’s not going well or someone who is not pulling his weight. Whatever it is, however, people get ticked off about it. This is when investing in getting to know your colleagues pays off. In my work place we have numerous older employees who have grandchildren. Whenever words get raw in the break room, I just throw in something like, “So, Chris, how are those grandkids!” or “John, isn’t your daughter-in-law pregnant again?”

If you don’t know your coworkers very well, you could use another statement that is suitably neutral like, “Thank God the weekend’s coming up!” (even if it’s only Monday.) Or tap into everyone’s love of sports, “How ‘bout them Knicks?” The idea is to have some kind of bait ready; anything that will turn the conversation in a better direction. Others will almost always appreciate it and follow your lead.

Don’t be afraid to close down a conversation or excuse yourself assertively

disagree with someone at work

This goes along with (4) above. I’ve used my safe phrases (yes, I have several) numerous times early in conversations just to avoid the possibility that things might go south. There are certain people among my colleagues who just can’t resist the opportunity to bust one another’s chops and I refuse to be in the middle of that. Sometimes, however, the best played safe phrases fail.

When that happens I have literally said to people, “Hey, guys, it’s time to get back to work.” Or “Let’s not do this.” Pair those remarks with getting up to leave and throw in something like, “Hey, Bill, can you help me with something in my office?” Those tactics always work for me. If you’re not confident enough to execute them, however, simply excuse yourself. Don’t run away, but make sure people know you’re leaving. A simple and straightforward “I’m going to go” is enough. No one is allowed to intimidate or frighten you.

Over my numerous careers I have always found that everyone appreciates good manners, even the most curmudgeonly. You don’t have to be fake or a doormat to get along with your colleagues. You do, however, need to be aware that you’re not the only one on the job. That means you need to offer some consideration for others and not just vent about everything or everyone who irritates you. Practicing some patience and being polite is guaranteed to improve your productivity and work experience, whether in the break room or the board room. You will almost certainly find it does the same thing for everyone else.

The post How to Keep Your Office Polite Even When Your Opinions are Radically Different appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Tools to Help Your Employees Work from Home

Working from home has become the new normal, but it’s something that not all businesses and individuals can immediately jump into. There are things to consider, such as new technology and employees used to working on site.

The transition can take time if your company is not prepared for it. Sometimes, situations like this cause confusion and uncertainty among the workforce. However, technology is always one step ahead, so there’s no need to worry.

There are numerous tools available online, both free and paid. These make the process more convenient for you and your employees.

Whatever it is you need, there’s almost always a tool available for it, like video conferencing tools, audio tools, productivity tools, and even project management templates.

Choosing one from the many is challenging, so it’s vital first to find out your choices. Here are some tools to help your employees make working from home more comfortable.

Tools for Productivity

productivity tools for remote work

One of the things businesses worry about when working from home is employees’ productivity, and several tools can help with this.

● Google Online Suite

If your employees use Microsoft Office for many of their tasks, Google Online Suite is what your business needs. It’s Office’s online version, and it has Google Drive, Forms, Sheets, Calendar, Docs, Hangouts (now Google Meet), Slides, and Gmail. It has everything your employees need to be productive.

Google Online suite also makes it easy for teams to communicate, share, and collaborate.

● Trello

Teams tend to achieve more when using a collaborative task management tool like Trello. With its easy-to-use dashboard, monitoring your employees and their progress is simple. There’s an editorial calendar that shows what all the tasks teams are working on – writing, designing, editing, and publishing.

● ProofHub

ProofHub allows you and your teams to work together in one central place. Its main difference from some of the other project management tools is that you and your employees can also communicate and collaborate with clients.

Communication Tools

Most work from home tools have communication components, but using a tool intended solely for communication is essential. Here are some choices to consider.

● Skype

There are now numerous communication tools available online, but Skype is still popular and used by many businesses. It’s highly functional and equipped with a variety of features that help make communication convenient between teams and individuals.

Aside from chat and video conference functions, Skype also works efficiently for online interviews and meetings. Sending photos, videos, and files are likewise easy.

● Intercom

Intercom is another online messaging tool for you and your employees. It’s not as popular as Skype, but it’s just as useful. It’s not only for communications; it’s also an app for customer acquisition. Your employees get to answer clients’ queries, work on email campaigns, and perform various functions.

Video Conferencing

video conference tools for remote work

Video conferencing tools are different from chat or communication tools because they allow you to perform tasks you usually do when you’re in a meeting or conference with your employees. Here are some choices to consider.

● Zoom

Zoom is probably the most-used video conferencing tool nowadays. It’s simple to use and comes with features that make an online call look like it’s happening inside the conference room.

There are two ways to use Zoom – for free with no time limit but with only 100 participants, or paid with unlimited time and up to 1,000 individuals. It has tons of features like scheduling calls/conferences, text chat, recording conferences, and sending individual private messages.

Zoom also allows users to share their screens, either a part of it or the whole screen.

Even if you or your employees have internet connection problems, Zoom will keep working, albeit at a reduced quality.

Zoom is compatible with iOS, Android, macOS, Web, and Windows devices.

● Google Meet

The best reason for using Google Meet is your free access to and use of Google apps such as Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Classroom, Slides, and Gmail. Likewise, you can schedule video conferences ahead of time and mark them on Google Calendar.

Google Meet is available for free or for a fee. Some of its most exciting features include live stream support, real-time captions, 250 participants at once, call recording and mic muting. It’s also easy to share your screen whether you want the participants to see your entire desktop, one window, or a tab.

Social Media Management

Social media plays a significant role in ensuring business success. There are several tools to choose from.

● Hootsuite

Hootsuite is probably the most popular among all social media management tools. Its features include content management, filtering social conversations, analytics, and reports. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most social media networks. Hootsuite is also easy to understand and use.

● Buffer

Buffer is an intuitive social media management tool used by reputable businesses, individuals, agencies, and brands. It’s perfect for collaboration, engagement, publishing, and analytics.

Helping your employees transition to working from home is not a walk in the park, but using the right tools helps make the process easier. Spend some time studying which options are best for your business before settling for one or two (or more).

The post Tools to Help Your Employees Work from Home appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

LinkedIn Dos and Don’ts: LinkedIn’s Best Practices

LinkedIn is the largest online professional networking platform. It’s only wise to make use of it the right way. If someone is only using it as an online resume, then they are missing out on a lot of opportunities.

LinkedIn not only help to recruit people faster, but it also helps professionals increase their network faster. Some common mistakes can prevent LinkedIn users from utilizing LinkedIn’s benefits. Avoid these mistakes to avail its many advantages.

Creating a LinkedIn Profile and Disappearing

creating linkedin profile

One of the biggest mistakes for those who want to expand their network is not even using LinkedIn. Many users sign up for LinkedIn to have an online resume, and right after, they become inactive. Some users only visit their profile once a month or very occasionally.

If you’re barely active, it is likely to lose many opportunities to connect with industry leaders, recruiting agencies, and hiring managers.

By being active on LinkedIn and optimizing profile, you can attract more referrals, build stronger network, and get more opportunities.

Having a Bland Profile

Creating a profile is not enough. When optimizing LinkedIn profile, take opportunities to reveal your personal brand: skills, specialities, etc. Using the default headline given by LinkedIn and only listing your most recent position, title and company information will reduce the chances of your profile to appear in the LinkedIn search results. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile entails more of the basics, such as adding relevant keywords and coming up with an engrossing headline.

Also consider that when creating a LinkedIn profile, it should be visible. It is obvious that some details can be kept hidden from public, but it is not advisable to hide everything. This will defy the purpose of creating a profile in the first place. Motivating every LinkedIn and other users to be in your network before they visit your profile is an amazing idea to grow your network.

You want to help the recruiters to understand that you are the right candidate for them. That is why the Headline, Current Experience and Details, Summary, Past Experience, and Educational Qualification sections should be visible to the public. Otherwise, it is likely that hiring managers will move on to other LinkedIn candidates with more optimized profiles.

Sharing Posts/Photos that Aren’t Career-Related

using linkedin

LinkedIn, by first interpretation, is a social networking site. But it is quite different from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For these social networking sites, the primary focus is to connect with friends and socialize. In LinkedIn, the main goal is the same: to connect with social users – only the environment will be more professional.

Therefore, LinkedIn is not the site to share images of your food or pets. It is a network of business professionals who exist to keep up with industry trends and updates. Use LinkedIn to learn more about professional skills and grow your network.

Do not use your LinkedIn news feeds like other social network (Facebook or Twitter). LinkedIn is to attract more professional audience for your business. Its primary goal is to grow professionally. Therefore, business audience will not prefer to view images, videos, and posts that are not relevant to them.

Not Following LinkedIn Etiquette

Even though the objective is to make the most out of LinkedIn, it never means you should send invitations to everyone. By doing so, your account may get labelled as spam. Instead, only try to connect with LinkedIn users who will also mutually get advantages. A good rule of thumb is to send a connect request to the people who you already know or those who are more likely to accept it.

LinkedIn users should make some of the first connections with the family members, friends, and friends of family, previous and current co-workers, managers, classmates, and colleagues before sending to prospects and customers.

Sending invitations to everyone on LinkedIn and not keeping in mind mutual benefits will not help in adding value to your social or business network.

Another common LinkedIn etiquette is not to complain about your boss or a leader at your workplace. LinkedIn is not the place to comment on your workplace.

Thus, these are the simple yet common mistake that many LinkedIn users make. You may want to refrain from doing them to get the most value out of the LinkedIn platform. If LinkedIn is used properly, a user can open up a world of new opportunities.

The post LinkedIn Dos and Don’ts: LinkedIn’s Best Practices appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Handle Burnout And Toxic Stress In The Workplace

Whenever you’re stressed, your cortisol levels, which is also known as the stress hormone, increase 2-5x from their normal state. However, not all stress is equal. Humans can experience two types of stress: short-term or chronic. The difference?

One has a clear endpoint while the other never ends. An instance of short-term stress would be worrying about meeting a deadline. Why? A deadline is a tangible goal with a clear endpoint, ultimately challenging your cortisol to excel toward it.

On the other hand, chronic stress is permanent, and will eventually rewire your brain. Your brain is in survival mode when you’re under chronic stress, causing you to focus less on higher-order tasks which provides no outlet for your increased cortisol. Overall, stress in the workplace can go on to make you feel burned out.

What Is Burnout?

work stress burnout

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies burnout to be a consequential syndrome caused by workplace stress, with symptoms of feeling exhausted, being mentally detached, and having poor performance. Interestingly enough, 51% of the American workforce have felt burned out more than once and 57% say stress generates feelings of being paralyzed.

Meanwhile, 43% of employees are invigorated by stress, which may be why 64% of U.S. workers feel stressed or frustrated while at work at least once or more on a weekly basis. Moreover, 77% of American professionals and 84% of millennials have felt burned out at least once. What are the causes?

In the U.K., employees have many theories that create a recipe for office stress. 44% report high-pressure environments contribute to their work-related stress, 38% say it’s due to a lack of support from management, and 30% say their leadership’s unrealistic expectations are what stresses them out.

In addition to those, 1 in 3 U.K. employees say technology is to blame. 45% say technology increases their workload, 33% say it gives them tighter deadlines, and 29% say it makes them feel socially isolated.

Technology is a double-edged sword, though, as mindful use of it can decrease your workload. Tech that helps you work smarter, not harder, such as messaging bots, Grammarly, Slack, and more can decrease your workload and, subsequently, your stress.

How To Cope With Workplace Stress

burnout and work stress

Although it has somehow become normal for stress to exist in our places of employment, it is survivable. In fact, burnout is best treated by making simple lifestyle changes.

Take it from Jacky Francis Walker, a psychotherapist and the man behind The Burnout Bible, who once said, “Someone on the brink will probably begin to feel emotionally numbed or mentally distant. Like they don’t have the capacity to engage as much in the ordinary things of life.” Saying this, here is how you can spot the signs of impending burnout, and what you can do to steer clear of stress.

The biggest red flag you’re on the road to experiencing burnout is that you have this unshakeable feeling your work quality is diminishing, and that you’re not showing your full potential. The first thing you should do in this case is to get to the root of the problem. As a tip: overwhelming time constraints, working for a company whose values are misaligned from yours, and oppressive work environments are often to blame for burnouts.

Furthermore, it’s important you establish a routine and prioritize each day you have on the clock. Having a routine that’s predictable can help you so that when stress does strike, it’s still manageable. Creating a list of tasks is also a great way to prioritize the things you need to accomplish on your day-to-day. 

By doing this, you know what to expect when you go to work as unpredictability can often cause you stress. In your lists, strive to have a semblance of balance that’s long-term rather than trying to cram everything into a single day’s work.

Bea Arthur, who is another psychotherapist and the Founder of The Difference, once said, “You know what is urgent in your life, like seeing your family and friends more… Even if the work is still there when you get back from vacation, you’ll come back better.” Keep this in mind as you reorient your workflow to preserve your mental state.

Lastly, here’s what you can do to reduce your stress hormones. You should work these tips into your daily routine as this is the best approach to staying stress-free long-term.

51% of Americans deal with burnout by talking to friends or family. In other words, socializing is among the best ways to reduce your cortisol levels since isolation will only increase your stress hormones. Sleeping is also important. Stress causes trouble sleeping and that, in turn, leads to stress — which is why 50% of Americans fight burnout with sleep.

On the other hand, 44% of Americans use exercise to combat their burnout and stress. By engaging in physical activity, you can reduce your cortisol levels. Similarly, any form of meditation or conscious breathing will help to slow down your heart rate and decrease the negative effects of cortisol. 30% of Americans fight burnout through regular meditation.

Most importantly, seek help whenever you’re feeling stressed — in the office or out. Support increases your resiliency toward stress; and the earlier you seek help, the more likely it is you’ll be able to avoid the complications it brings.

See Also: How to Relax After A Stressful Day At Work

Contrary to the norm, burnout isn’t inevitable. Read more below for more on chronic stress in the workplace.

Burnout and Toxic Stress
Source: Online PhD Degrees

The post How To Handle Burnout And Toxic Stress In The Workplace appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Using Machine Learning and AI for Productivity In The Workplace

For the majority of us, AI is something only seen in sci-fi films. However, in the last few years, it’s ended up being much more accessible to us, specifically in business.

With technological innovation advancing at breakneck speed, there are now a variety of ways that AI can be utilized to enhance your productivity. Improving procedures such as recruitment, administration, and information analysis, smart software can be an indispensable asset as far as running a business goes.

Will AI substitute human workers?

In short, no — it does have limitations.

While it might be a concern, what we’re in fact seeing today is the opportunity to improve efficiency. It’s a chance to better manage a workforce. Essentially, it allows you to get a better grip of the daily operations of your business.

If anything, it’s making business a lot more human by offering breathing space and reducing stress. It enhances the mental health and well-being of your workforce as a result.

Just 23% of organizations are believed to have incorporated AI into their processes according to Forbes. But, come the next 5 years, the AI market is anticipated to grow by 50%. Despite organization size, it can be used. There are a number of ways that you can use AI for productivity.

How can Artificial Intelligence benefit you?

Using AI for recruitment

ai productivity

One crucial area of your business where AI can be implemented is the recruitment procedure. When your company is ready to employ, you need to be able to produce the best pool of candidates as rapidly as possible.

Utilizing recruitment firms for pre-screening isn’t unusual. However, it can be expensive. Also, it’s unlikely to use the exact same thorough, personalized analysis that an AI program would.

Recruitment agents are profit-driven, too. They are likely to tip the scale in their favor when the time comes to present a candidate to you. This isn’t something AI does.

Tools such as Pymetrics use a series of “ethical AI games” to evaluate a candidate’s cognitive and emotional characteristics. It can also match the outcome against existing workers who perform well. This gives you a customized image of where a candidate may fit within your business.

By putting these steps in motion, it’s said that it can take 75% less time to employ somebody and boost retention rates by as much as 50%.

Give AI the long, uninteresting tasks

There are specific jobs that nobody likes doing, but need doing regardless. This is where AI can be of real benefit in terms of productivity.

While some may worry this is where they’ll lose their job to a machine, it’s anticipated that there will actually be net positive job growth into the 2030s. This is when the labor force transitions into higher skilled roles.

Reasons to use AI for certain functions

Speed of execution – AI systems can make countless decisions all at once, unlike a human.

Less biased – It’s hard not to cast some sort of judgement or prejudice as a human. This isn’t a trait AI is capable of, therefore any decision it makes is totally fact-based.

No saturation point – AI will never ever stress out or need breaks, meaning the overall time taken to perform a task is substantially decreased.

Accuracy – No human indicates there’s no human error.

Boredom – Often, errors occur through boredom, it can be hard to stay focused on a long, complicated task. This isn’t the case for a smart machine.

What tasks might you turn over to AI?

We’re not in any way suggesting you make team members surplus to requirements in favour of AI. Hoowever, there are roles that can definitely take advantage of harmonizing their efforts.

Here are four job roles where AI can help lighten the load:

Data Analyzing

With a need to collect and evaluate huge quantities of data to find patterns and opportunities, many companies will turn to a Data Analyst to help them stay ahead of the game. With the development of social networks and eCommerce as a whole, there’s been a 344% increase in demand for information researchers since the early 2010s. However, with a typical wage of $130,000, that’s not always going to be within every business’ budget.

AI tools such as Deloitte’s LaborWise can provide managers with analytics to recognize high-cost locations, roadblocks and even supply information about which departments are overworked or understaffed.

Demand Forecasting

Using artificial intelligence tools, you can evaluate mathematical models relevant to your organization. They can help forecast changes in demand, avoid supply interruptions, and properly prepare for when a new item launches. According to consultancy company McKinsey, this can minimize supply chain errors through miscalculations by approximately 50%.

See Also: Can AI Streamline Your Supply Chain And Save Your Business?

Administration

chatbots

Once again, we’re not suggesting AI can replace all human elements of the role. However, it can definitely make things easier.

Here are a few tools that can be specifically useful for simplifying your administration processes:

X.ai – Connecting all of your calendars, the AI algorithms will instantly coordinate the best times to arrange meetings, whether internally or when meeting with clients.

Otter.ai – Almost like an AI PA system that takes minutes, Otter can develop rich notes from meetings, interviews and other crucial voice conversations– ensuring absolutely nothing is missed out on and all points are covered.

Spoke – Essentially an HR service desk, it can respond to questions about basically anything HR-related, including requests for annual leave and internal processes. If it can’t help, it will direct the query to a suitable person within the group.

Skype Translator – If you need a conversation translating, it can do so in near real-time. This makes interactions with any foreign market completely possible.

MobileMonkey – You can train a chatbot like MobileMonkey to respond to frequently asked questions on your website. If it can’t address the needs of the end user, the chat will be directed to a human. Using chatbots can considerably minimize the number of customer queries that come through by phone or email, and 80% of sales and marketing leaders state they already utilize chatbot software or plan to by the end of 2020.

Marketing

If there’s one area that’s really beginning to embrace artificial intelligence, it’s marketing, particularly digital. With Google’s application of machine learning algorithms such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) for SEO and Smart Bidding for paid marketing, how the industry works is now very much tailored to favour AI and automation.

Advances in AI and software intelligence is enabling businesses to personalize their products and services better. This results in a more customized approach to how they market themselves to consumers. A recent research piece by Accenture suggests that customers are reacting well to this, with 83% of consumers in the US and UK willing to trust retailers with their data in order to receive more tailored, appropriate outcomes.

This willingness from consumers is encouraging and 64% of B2B online marketers consider AI to be an important part of their sales and marketing strategy.

See Also: How Artificial Intelligence Will Dominate the Future of E-commerce

Learning with AI

Beyond the recruitment process, you can utilize AI to train staff. This can be especially beneficial when working with a number of new starters. If your organization has a particular way of managing certain jobs, AI can make sure that training is consistent and thorough. There are a few AI tools that can be used for on-site training. Here are two examples that are worth checking out:

Training tools such as Chorus can analyse sales calls as they happen, offering real-time tips to sales representatives as required. This suggests there ought to be little need to shadow a new starter and the sales representative is able to learn at their own pace and experience the training “on the job”.

A similar tool called Cogito can produce real-time suggestions while someone is making a sales call but focuses more on mindfulness and their approach. For instance, when learning something new like telesales, it’s rather easy to quicken your conversation due to nerves — this tool can remind you to take a breather and slow down.

The Future of AI

As it stands, the implementation of AI into our everyday working life seems inescapable, whether we like it or not. As a growing number of organizations welcome more innovation and automation, to try and prevent it could mean you’re left out of the game.

Those that have actually integrated AI into their workflow strategy are seeing the rewards when it comes to speed, efficiency, and precision. This is despite worries that it could indicate an end to human jobs. 

At the heart of the matter, those jobs that were traditionally lengthy, resource-intensive or laborious, are now being transformed into higher-skilled, more proficient roles.

The post Using Machine Learning and AI for Productivity In The Workplace appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Work Productivity Tips and Tricks You Should Adopt at Work Today

There are only two ways to increase the output of your work. It’s either you put in an extra number of hours or find smart work productivity tips to working hard.

Productivity and Motivation

You are more productive when you feel motivated.

Researchers Katherine L. Milkman, Julia A. Minson, and Kevin G. M. Volpp conducted a study. It involved 226 students categorized into three groups. These were the students who were having trouble going to the gym as often as they would have liked to.

Groups were:

  1. Group One got an iPod with popular audiobooks downloaded. They received it as a 10-week loan and were allowed to only listen to it while in the gym.
  2. Group Two got the audiobooks for free. Also, they could download these to their personal iPods. They were allowed to listen to the audiobooks in the gym or anywhere else, as well.
  3. Group Three was called the control group. This group got a gift certificate and were encouraged to go to the gym more often.

The study concluded that group one were the most motivated. Restricting access to their tempting desire gave them a 22% boost as compared to other groups. 62 students even agreed to keep the iPods.

The results show that reward-based tasks keep you focused on the end results. Just don’t let yourself have the reward until the task is completed. If you are doing something you love and you are good at it, your productivity will boost exponentially.

Another research from Gallup studied Americans’ happiness and energy levels based on people working on something they are good at. The research showed that people feel more enthusiastic when they know what they are doing. It lifts the confidence in their work.

The study showed that people reported fewer cases of worry, stress, sadness or anger in performing tasks that they do on a daily basis; working on the tasks they are experts in.

This leads to a positive mood and better work output. So if you are wondering about how to be productive at work, then find or create your ‘signature strengths’!

Below are 10 work productivity tips to help you achieve the best of your time.

Set deadlines to decide how long you’ll work on each task

Research suggests that only about 17% of people can exactly estimate the time required for their tasks. Setting up deadlines forces you to push yourself and consider what it will take to achieve your goal.

In order to achieve a deadline, you might even pull all-nighters to complete your tasks on time. But you might have trouble in assigning the amount of time required by each task. Psychologists refer to this as the ‘planning fallacy’. We are often too ambitious and don’t usually think about the challenges along the way.

Make a checklist for objectives every day

Since you have your deadlines set, it helps you prioritize your workflow. Make a list of important objectives that absolutely need to be accomplished during your day. These objectives will help you move your projects and goals forward. Prioritize and get started by making a checklist.

List the top 3 objectives for every day. This will maintain your focus on the most important things to do. Research by Kenneth McGraw explained that the biggest hurdle to success is often just getting started. When working on large projects, we often procrastinate because we visualize the worst parts of it.

So, just sub-divide your tasks, get them done in a streamline and cut them off the checklist!

Practice meditation for work

work productivity tips meditation

Meditation is one thing that the most successful people around the world have in common. It is not just for monks and hippies anymore. It has been scientifically proven that meditation increases your concentration power, removes distractions, and ultimately increases your productivity.

Instead of paying for classes, meditation apps offer you the same level of therapy at the comfort of your smartphone. They might be effective in helping you become mindful and more productive at work.

Take breaks regularly

Regular breaks can essentially help you improve concentration. Professionals might find it hard to fit exercise into their chaotic schedules, but taking out time for exercise actually increases mental capabilities.

Once your brain is working on its full capacity, you make smarter decisions and achieve goals faster than ever.

Do not waste your breaks. Schedule short breaks to maintain the same level of performance. Instead of wasting time on unnecessary things during your break, check your emails. You will get some work done and it won’t be heavy on your mind.

Use the “two-minute rule”

Procrastination kills productivity. You would always see the worst things that could happen during the task and not do it. Instead of ranting about it, you should sub-divide your tasks and get going.

Instead of looking for motivation, just start working. Eventually, you will work your way out.

Steve Olenski, an entrepreneur, mentions adapting the “two-minute rule”. If you have a task that you can finish within two minutes, do it right away. It helps you make the most out of small breaks you have during your time at work.

Getting the task done right away will actually take less time since you won’t have to get back to it later. He proved that applying this rule has helped him be successful in his field.

Work in intervals of 90 minutes

Avoid the lure of hyper-productivity and quit multi-tasking.

You may think multi-tasking gets most of your work done in one go, but the reality is just its opposite. Research proves that instead of increasing efficiency, it’s just a waste of time and productivity.

In fact, you will feel busier, but get less work done if you multitask.

Turn off notifications

You would be doing your work peacefully with concentration and your phone buzzes all of a sudden. So you spend the next hour on the phone scrolling through Facebook.

Relatable?

Been there, done that.

It is believed that procrastination develops through society. With social media being our constant source of approval, one cannot resist checking their phone every five minutes.

During work hours, you should turn off your notifications. Instead, spend this time checking email and important messages only. Hence, you’re still doing something productive.
Just put it on silence and give yourself a deadline. You would not check it until you complete this specific task you’re doing. There you go!

See Also: One Simple Trick to Get Rid of the #1 Workplace Productivity Killer

Use apps that increase productivity

Using productivity apps can be a smarter alternative to working hard to get the task done. Not only does it save time but it also reduces the effort to plan out an efficient schedule for the day. Luckily when technology is stapled to our hands, there are various apps available to help improve our productivity.

Apps like Dropbox can store files on the cloud, which can be shared via a link. Trello, Zoom, etc. can be used for online team collaboration. Toggl can be used for time-tracking while Any.do and Todoist are for making a to-do list for the day. A tonne of similar task-specific apps are available, which promise to boost your efficiency.

See Also: Top 8 Apps for Productivity to Help You With Your Daily Tasks

Minimize interruptions

work productivity tip

Other than distractions from your social media apps, there are many other ways to get interrupted at the workplace. Chit-chat and socializing in the workplace is good, but it’s counter-productive when it turns into unwated, irrelevant gossip.

Even brief interruptions can make you lose motivation and produce a change in work patterns. This ultimately leads to an exponential loss in productivity.

To minimize interruptions, you must set office hours, keep your door closed, or work from home when there’s a crucial task to handle. To fulfil time-sensitive tasks, resist the temptation of putting in longer hours or add into your already-full calendar. Instead, figure out the ways you can work smarter, not harder.

Refuse to attend unnecessary meetings

Do you ever come out of a meeting that felt too unnecessary and wondered you could get so many things done in that time? Meetings can consume a lot of time, and this time can be used to do something useful.

Holding a meeting is not as easy as it sounds. From setting the agenda, inviting participants, ensuring participation, meetings do become quite frustrating at times.

The solution? Just don’t arrange meetings, unless absolutely necessary. Sort out discussions that include information sharing, and get them done via team chat app, phone call, video conferencing, or an email.

Conclusion

Applying even one of the mentioned tips will help you become more productive and satisfied with your work. Every minute you save is a minute gained. Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California found out that people who note down their goals are 39.5 percent more likely to achieve them.

Whether you make a checklist using an app like Todoist, or schedule meetings on an app like Zoom, you must always be consistent in managing your time. These tools can help, but are not the determining factor of your success. Productivity is determined by your mindset and the environment that lets you thrive.

Time management is all you can control in your life, so you must turn it around for good. Consistently following these work productivity tips will save your time, which you can invest in doing other important things. You should go out, eat healthy, drink water and have a positive attitude to succeed.

The post 10 Work Productivity Tips and Tricks You Should Adopt at Work Today appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Surprising Benefits of Bringing Dogs In The Workplace

Thanks to the evolution of global office culture, managers and business owners have started to go against the norm and adopt non-traditional office policies. Aside from providing flextime benefits and the option to work remotely, more offices are starting to see the value of allowing dogs in the workplace.

Whether it’s for your staff or team leads, bringing your dogs to work can be beneficial in several ways. Aside from helping them get through tough bouts of work, dogs have the power to boost employee engagement and even inspire productivity.

If you want to switch up your company’s performance or help maintain the well-being of your staff, you should definitely consider this option.

Not convinced yet?

Take a look at these five surprising benefits of bringing your dogs in your workplace!

Encourages communication

Dogs can be an excellent icebreaker especially for your newcomers or shy employees. Pets are generally a common interest. Since they bring a friendlier vibe to the office, they unconsciously encourage your staff to talk to one another.

Since communication plays a big part in getting tasks and projects done, dogs can provide opportunities for casual conversations. This can significantly improve team communication and cooperation in the long run.

Boost employee morale

Hectic deadlines, demanding clients, and the happenings of everyday life can sometimes get the best of anyone. When mid-day blues strike, your employees may feel very drained and have a hard time getting back on track. Luckily, a dog’s presence can be enough to help everyone get through that hump.

Dogs are an instant mood booster and can help your employees recharge. Giving the office canine a belly scratch can feel like a breath of fresh air. It’s a lot more effective than gripping a random stress ball or fidget toy. By improving the quality of their breaks, it’ll be easier for them to gather themselves and get back on track.

See Also: 7 Ways Pets Affect Emotional and Physical Health

Promotes a healthy lifestyle

having dog in the workplace

Staying fit inside the workplace can be a challenge for many. The average employee spends around 45 hours a week inside the office and most of the time, they’re just glued to their desks. To make matters worse, their tight schedules may prevent them from following a consistent workout routine.

Other than helping you manage your mood and stress, letting pets in the office can actually pave the way for a healthier lifestyle. Taking a dog to work means waking up early.

Since owners have more things to prepare in the morning, they need to follow a consistent bedtime routine to make sure that they get enough hours of sleep. Once they get to the office, they need to take their pets outside for potty breaks regularly. It’s a simple but very effective way that dogs help you maintain your health by getting up and moving.

Improves employee retention

If you want to improve your retention rates, you need to keep your employees happy. To do this successfully, you need to help them fulfill their needs in and out of the office. For instance, an employee may be living alone with a dog, and there may be cases when the pet may require supervision.

Given this situation, having a dog-friendly policy can really lighten the load on their shoulders. By helping them take care of matters outside their personal life even within the confines of the workplace, they’re more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs and stay.

Win the recruitment race

bringing dogs in the workplace

From a managerial perspective, allowing dogs in the workplace can give your company an edge in the recruitment race. A dog-friendly workspace is often very happy.

The policies you’ve implemented and the benefits provided are significant, but nothing can attract your prospects better than being in a fun environment filled with friendly employees and fluffy cuteness. In the end, allowing pets in the office will definitely increase your chances of acquiring top-tier talent.

Back in the day, having pets in the office was nothing but a dream. However, advances in technology and cultural shift have made transforming a boring office into a flexible workspace a lot easier than you think.

Instead of investing in expensive pieces of furniture, buying the latest coffee machine or adopting unfeasible policies, something as simple as bringing pets in the office can change your whole office completely.

Other than changing the atmosphere of your workspace, it can pave the way for improved individual and team performance, better working relationships, and the development of your company culture.

The post 5 Surprising Benefits of Bringing Dogs In The Workplace appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Ways to Encourage More Women Into Your Workforce

Female participation in the labor market across the globe is declining. According to a World Bank research report, the women’s labor force participation rate is 48.5%, whereas the rate for men is 75% in 2018.

In this article, I will deliberate upon ways to minimize this gender gap and sexism in the workplace by allowing more female employees to join the workforce.

Offer flexible working hours

By allowing flexible working hours to women, companies can help them maintain a work-life balance and enjoy a fulfilling career. In a global culture that is rapidly becoming 24/7, this initiative will result in better well-being, reduced absenteeism, and enhanced productivity.

Remote working, a form of flexible working schedule, is also gaining momentum. It has grown 140% since 2005.

It is interesting to note that women have more leadership roles in remote companies as compared to traditional brick and mortar ones. According to a study conducted by Remote.co, 28% of remote companies have women CEO and presidents.

Eradicate sexism in the workplace

female in the workplace

Sexism in the workplace (both overt and subtle) is the most blatant irritant for female employees. From sexist remarks to workplace sexual harassment and gender bias, obnoxious sexism takes a toll on female workers’ retention.

According to PewResearch.Org, 42% of working women in the USA say they have faced job discrimination because of their gender.

It is, therefore, vital to create zero tolerance for any type of gender discrimination and sexism within the organization. Promote this as one of the most positive attributes of your company’s culture and that will surely result in the female talent pool and higher women workforce retention.

Provide a clear path to advancement

If you claim to be a company that offers equal opportunities for both sexes, it should be reflected in your career development policy with a good number of female employees working in senior management positions and leadership roles. On this front, the corporate sector has still to do a lot.

The following stats from McKinsey & Company 2018 report about women in the workplace depict a sad picture.

  • 29% of women believe their gender will be an obstacle to advancement.
  • A quarter of women (unlike only 8% of men) believe that their gender has actually played a role in missing out on a raise or promotion.
  • Men hold 62% of managerial positions whereas women hold only 38% and it gets worse higher up. (Women are just 22% of C-suite executives).

The companies should have strengths of both the genders by putting women at its executive boards. Susan Lucas Conwell, the Global CEO at Great Place to Work® say that women tend to lead from an interactive and cooperative style, bringing different perspectives based on a different set of life experiences. This broadens the executive board’s insight and making it more agile.

See Also: Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace

Make sure the women are paid fairly

A discriminatory salary structure that results in lower pay to women for the same task performed by their male counterparts is downright obstructive. It’s a waste of talent and skills from equally capable women with such an unjust system. The salary structure for female employees must be competitive and based on performance.

Have a hiring model that engages female talent

Your hiring methodology should never send negative signals for women applicants. If you are conducting an informative session about your company to prospective female employees, you need to consider following points seriously:

  • The session should be led by both women and men. More importantly, women should not be appearing in supportive roles only, such as welcoming participants on the entrance or distributing brochures and leaflets.
  • Try to include women speakers in the panel of speakers, explaining the core functions of your business.
  • Don’t project images with only men as active players like soldiers, technicians, pilots, etc. The women will be less engaged with these types of presentations.

Hiring good female talent is like fishing. If you can’t fish, it is not the fish to be blamed but your lack of good technique.

Avoid gendered job description

Women perceive a job from the language used to describe it. If you want to establish a more gender-balanced workforce then try to avoid using male-oriented titles like “Super Hero” or “Rock Star”. Instead, use descriptive titles that sound neutral .i.e. Project Manager, Developer, etc.

A Hewlett Packard report reveals that women apply only if they meet 100% of the job requirements. Men, on the other hand, apply when they meet only 60% of the qualifications.

The companies should therefore only include must-have requirements rather than too many nice-to-have requirements.

Hunt female talent through colleges and professional organizations

Every organization wants the best of the talents. In this pursuit, the best female talent can be hunted at professional organizations and colleges. A Harvard and Tel Aviv University studies revealed that companies that recruited from targeted women’s colleges managed to increase their number of women managers by 10% within 5 years. This targeted hunt will provide you the high performers.

Does your business name need to be changed?

This question is more pertinent to startups.

The mistakes when naming a business startup often hinder its growth, let alone annoy prospective employees. Take Reebok’s women’s running shoes brand ”Incubus”, for instance.

It failed miserably because, in mythology, Incubus is a devil that rapes women in their sleep. Hence, it is crucial for startups to revisit their name. If it has an obscene or negative connotation in some other culture, change it before your operation and hiring process begins.

Arrange mentoring for female employees

sexism workplace

The mentoring must be made a priority if your company wants to attract more women applicants, as well as to retain them after being hired. Assign some senior managers and executives to conduct grooming sessions at lunches and breakfasts.

During these sessions, women should be encouraged to ask questions about personal and career-related issues. The mentors will then provide guidance about best management practices and developing the necessary skills to perform a job.

Provide the right information

More often, one-size-fits-all information about the job does not work. HR needs to provide other information points to attract female applications. For example, informing about the proportion of female employees is helpful to show that diversity is encouraged in your company. Also, it influences how women employees rate the company in terms of the work environment. This micro-targeting will result in better response from female job seekers.

The post 10 Ways to Encourage More Women Into Your Workforce appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Companies Should Handle Office Romance

We spend more of our waking day at work than anywhere else. Throughout our careers, we come across many new faces and form strong connections with those we work with.

Spending so much time with the same people leads us to build strong friendships and for some, more than that. Office supply company Viking has conducted research to find out how common romance in the workplace is and what effect it has on those who have been involved with someone at their office.

Is Office Romance Becoming More Popular?

to deal with office romance

From a single kiss to marriage, 5,000 workers across Europe were quizzed on their experience of office romance. In the UK, over two-thirds (68%) said they have been involved in an office romance. This shows how common it is in the workplace.

Of the 68% who said they have experienced office romance, 20% were lucky enough to say it ended in marriage or a civil partnership. With so many people finding that someone special in the office, it’s important employers address this to ensure the best outcome for employees and the business.

Viking’s research shows a rise in office romance among the younger generation. 24% of 25 to 34-year-old employees said they have had or are in a long-term relationship with a colleague. That’s compared to 12% of over 65s. Over half (53%) of the same age group also said they would consider a romantic relationship with a colleague in the future. This makes it even more important that businesses know how to deal with office romance.

The Effects of Office Romance In the Workplace

To shine some light on the effects office romance can have on employees during work hours, Viking questioned those who had dated a colleague about how this impacted office life.

There were some positive responses. However, those who have been in a relationship in the workplace voiced mainly negative opinions on how they felt the relationship affected their time at work.

A full list of the positive and negative effects of romance on workers is included below:

Increases productivity & creativity – 11%
Decreases productivity & creativity – 37%

Reduces stress levels – 17%
Increases stress levels – 21%

Positive impact on wellbeing – 22%
Negative impact on wellbeing – 20%

Boosts work motivation – 12%
Reduces work motivation – 7%

Improves focus – 5%
Is distracting – 26%

Positive effect on your career – 6%
Negative effect on your career – 16%

As you can see, people had different opinions on whether office relationships have a positive or negative effect on those involved.

But the two most popular responses were that office romance decreases productivity (37%) and can be distracting (24%).

How to Deal With Office Romance

To limit any negative effects on the workplace from office romances, below are some guidelines managers and HR departments can follow.

Train Management on Office Romance

It can be as simple as creating an environment where employees are comfortable openly discussing office romance.

42% of UK workers said the worst thing about their relationship with a colleague was being the subject of gossip. A further third (33%) felt they needed to keep it from HR.

If employees are familiar with office romance and feel confident approaching their peers or managers to discuss their relationship, there is less risk of it being either a secret or a subject of gossip.

To help encourage an environment where business can operate as usual around the natural social relationships formed between colleagues, providing training to managers and HR on office romance is advisable.

Relationships are likely to be stressful when it influences employee’s ability to do their job. If managers are aware and have the correct training, then they can help employees remain professional and leave the personal things at home.

As shown by Viking’s study, relationships can improve well-being and boost motivation. It’s important for employers to ensure they don’t decrease productivity and cause distractions.

Introduce a Romance Policy

A vital part of communicating when it comes to office romance is having a policy that clarifies the companies’ attitudes toward internal relationships. As mentioned before, it wouldn’t benefit employees or the business to forbid employees from engaging in relationships.

However, setting out a romance policy can help protect the business against potential HR issues. It can also help outline the conduct expected from those in a relationship.

This is something that needs addressing by companies around the UK as just 33% of employees are aware of their employer’s policy on office romance. If employees understand how they’re expected to behave, it will stop their relationship from impacting their work life and those around them.

Without a policy, behavior in the office when involved in a relationship is left to the judgment of employees. This could lead to distractions and unwanted arguments. The differing opinions on what’s acceptable could cause friction between employees.

A fair office romance policy is the obvious solution. It’s down to you to include what you feel will best benefit the business.

dealing with office romance

Keep Your Door Open

Office romance can harm employees’ ability to do their job. This is why it’s important that it doesn’t slide under the carpet.

Giving time to employees who want to discuss confidential subjects is important. It gives you a clear understanding of the happenings in your team. Turning a blind eye won’t solve anything. Relationships can turn sour and you should be on the lookout to protect your employees and the business.

An office romance that isn’t going so well is far more likely to lead to the negative impacts highlighted earlier on. Showing you understand and doing what you can to support employees if needed will build trust and help maintain productivity.

This handy guide on how to deal with office romance will help you keep your employees happy while taking care of your business’ interest. People spend more time at work than anywhere else and see no one more than their co-workers.

Therefore, romance is expected in the workplace. Finding ways to increase the positives and decrease the negatives caused is the secret to success for businesses around the UK.

See Also: Redefining Office Culture To Boost Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

The post How Companies Should Handle Office Romance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Essential Tips On How to Manage Work Emails Without Losing Productivity

Did you know that an average professional receives close to 121 emails a day? Now if this is the number of emails an average professional receives, what about your work email? Hundreds of emails, right?

So how do you manage your work email with the huge number of emails coming to your inbox every day?

Chances are that you spend almost an hour or even half a day managing your work email. But look, it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this article, we are going to share with you some essential tips on how to manage work emails.

Designate Time to Process Your Mail Each Day

Here is the thing:

Your work email is perhaps the busiest mail you deal with every day. This means you have to check your mail multiple times daily.

However, while you will need to throw your eyes to see the latest email in your inbox, you should designate time to process emails received every day. If you decide to process your emails as soon as they come into your inbox, you will spend more time in your mail than at work.

The best thing to do is to decide whether to process your mail as soon you get into your office or before you leave the office.

And as you set aside time to process your emails, make sure you deal with the most important emails first. The idea is to avoid spending too much time managing your work email and less time doing what you are supposed to accomplish for the day.

See Also: Why You Shouldn’t Check Email in the Morning And What To Do Instead

Delete Unimportant Emails

Truth be told, not all emails you receive are worth reading or opening. Once you open your email, check the subject line or the sender.

If it’s a promotional email, a friend inviting you to a party that you don’t have the time to attend to or just junk mail, just hit the DELETE button.

You can simplify things by selecting all the unimportant or irrelevant emails and deleting them at once. Once you empty unimportant emails from your inbox, you will be able to see the important ones much faster.

Also, if there are emails that have been in your inbox for a long time, chances are that even the sender has forgotten that they sent you an email, just delete.

And if you notice an unfamiliar email, report it as spam. You can also archive emails which you think you will need later.

Understand that Not All Emails You Receive are Worth Your Replies

Look, some emails you receive aren’t worth your time to reply to. In fact, not replying to an email is a reply. They say “silence is an answer” and it applies here as well.

Just imagine how many emails you receive in your work email and the time it would take you to reply to each one. That would mean every day goes wasted because even though some of the emails you receive are about work, you still have other things to do.

Besides, if you decide to reply to every email, you will end up drained out by the end of the day.

Just don’t stress yourself and stop spending too much time replying to every email you receive. Choose those that need your reply and ignore the rest. After all, if someone really needs your reply, they will follow up. If not, why bother yourself too much?

Group Your Emails into Labels, Folders, and Categories

how to manage work email

If you are using Gmail, you can group your emails into folders and labels. The same way applies if you are using Outlook.

At the left sidebar menu in your inbox, there is an option to “create a new label”. Every label you create forms a folder where you can group your emails. Name the folder according to the content of the email so that the next time you want to retrieve the email, you don’t scratch your head trying to figure out where you sent it to.

Gmail even allows you to give your labels different colors.

Create a Reply by “Specific Date” Folder

If you have emails that you must reply to, then you can group them into a reply by “specific date” folder. The specific date is the date when you will have the time to reply to the emails or the time when the sender needs your replies.

You could designate around two days or three to reply to emails. This will relieve you from the stress of replying to every email you receive as soon as it gets into your inbox.

Read Worthy Emails

As mentioned earlier, not all emails in your inbox are worth reading. Some are for promotional purposes and some are just junk. If you decide to open every email and read it, then you will waste a lot of time you could have used to do other productive things.

Just read what’s relevant at the moment and archive what you think is relevant but not at the moment.

Apply the 1-Minute Rule

Some emails don’t take more than 1 minute to reply to. Just reply to these emails immediately to avoid letting them sit in your inbox for so long. The more they pile up, the more you will spend time replying to them.

Just make sure you don’t take more than one minute replying to such emails. This way, you will clear the huge batch of emails faster.

Limit the Time You Spend in Your Mail Inbox

manage work emails

Aside from following the 1-minute rule when replying to emails, you also need to limit the time you spend in your mail inbox.

First of all, gauge yourself to know the time you spend reading an email and replying to it. Once you know this, try to find how you can reduce the time spent as much as you can.
Well, some emails you receive are way too long, but you can just scan through and then process them within a short time.

If you are required to reply to such emails, follow the 1-minute rule and archive it if you are planning to reply later.

Ideally, you want to minimize the time you spent in your mail inbox as much as you can.

Designate Time to Declutter Your Inbox

You must have set time for general cleaning at your house where you stop everything you are doing and get to cleaning work. The same applies to your work email.

The good thing about your work email is that you don’t have to spend the whole day doing it. Cleaning your inbox can take a few minutes but you must set aside time for it. Otherwise, you may not get the time to do it.

Turn off Email Notifications

Understandably, you don’t want to miss that important reply from a client or business associate. However, a study has shown that once you have been disrupted by an email notification, you can take about 23 minutes to get your mind back to the task you were working on. Just imagine how much time you can waste if you get hundreds of notifications every day.

Invest In Email Management Tools

Inbox clutter can be demotivating and can ruin your productivity. Besides, as you work on limiting the time you spend in your inbox, you also need to avoid affecting your communication with clients, business associates, co-workers, etc.

The good thing is that there are effective email management tools out there. You can use them to take out the hectic work out of your hands.

Here are a few of the best email management tools we can recommend:

Boomerang

Similar to the Mailbox’s snooze feature, Boomerang is a powerful tool that will help you write good emails, schedule meetings with a single email, schedule emails to be sent later, get notified when emails you sent have been read or not so that you can send follow-ups.
The good thing is that you can download Boomerang on your Android device and manage your inbox from your mobile device even when you are out of office.

Sortd

Sortd is also another powerful tool designed for Gmail users. With this tool, you can organize your inbox in a way that you don’t lose important emails.

The good thing about Sortd is that it allows you to sort emails by lists. For instance, you can sort emails by reply later, to-dos, follow-ups, etc. You can try the tool with the free plan before you upgrade to the premium plan.

Batched Inbox

In case you don’t want to receive new emails within a specified time, Batched Inbox is the best email management tool for that purpose. This tool works for Gmail users and the good thing about it is that it suspends all your incoming emails until the time when you need them in your inbox.

This means that you can specify your new emails to come in only in the evening when you are done with work. This way, you can get the time to process the emails you already have rather than being interrupted by new emails.

The Email Game

The Email Game is a sister tool to Boomerang since the two are from the same developers.
Once you receive an email, you have multiple options. You may want to reply immediately, reply later, or just skip. This tool does it the way you want.

Choose What Works For You

Honestly, there is no one best way to manage your work email. A trick might work for someone and not work for you.

Managing emails is a habit that you develop over time. Just choose what works for you and give the habit time to develop.

The post Essential Tips On How to Manage Work Emails Without Losing Productivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Reinventing the Office Experience: How Office Design Has Changed

As technological innovations continue to change the nature of work, business owners and professionals work on creating a space that encourages productivity and business prosperity. To this day, many businesses continue to experiment and push the limits on what a productive office design should be like.

But where can success be found?

As the old saying goes, those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

We are led to believe that workspaces aren’t always like this: rows of cubicles or desks containing computers connected in an open space. However, the open office setups and co-working spaces aren’t as new as we think.

The Evolution and History of Office Design

office design history

In the 1950s, open offices were at the height of popularity. It’s attributed to “management experts” like Frederick Taylor who provided insights to companies from the late 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

However, despite initial intentions to create a workspace that promotes collaboration and exchange of ideas, these office spaces only served to fit as many employees possible. This layout, with its shared long tables filled at max capacity, was reminiscent of factory lines. It made it easier to see who was doing their job and who was slacking.

From this, German professionals began experimenting with office design. They came up with the first flexible office layout. The result was Bürolandschaft or “Office Landscape”, which allowed for accommodating privacy and solo work. It was flexible enough for collaboration. While this movement did not quite take off, cubicles were created to try to capture this duality of space.

Unfortunately, this gave rise to the “cube farm” phenomenon in the 1970s. It featured rows upon rows of identical cubicles, defeating the purpose of its flexibility. However, this privacy allowed employees to express themselves and personalize their workspace. It was also in this period that computers started seeing use in the workplace, taking up roomfuls of space.

See Also: One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How Office Space Caters To Each Stage Of A Business Journey

Adapting to Technology

Technology further pushed the changes in office design, as the workforce move from the large and clunky computers of the 1980s to cellular phones in the 1990s and accessible internet connection of 2000s.

The employees’ means of working became more compact. It gave way to the shift from bulky equipment housed in equally cumbersome office spaces to open and co-working offices with more ergonomic features. The 2000s were also a time when home offices became feasible. As long as you had a stable internet connection, you can get work done. It gave back the sense of flexibility and mobility to workers.

At the forefront of this decade, tech offices are redefining workspaces by putting the employee’s well-being at the core of their changes. Remote work and home-based jobs have taken off, given that tasks can be completed through laptops and digital collaboration tools.

Tech giants, like Google and Apple, have designed their offices to allow employees to engage in non-work activities. It helps improve their work-life balance. The open office plan, on the other hand, affects productivity positively.

Tailor-fitting the Workspace Based on Your Employees’ Needs

office design

Companies are more informed now. They now know that the key to making office spaces effective is identifying what is needed from a workspace.

An ideal workspace prioritizes opportunities for workers to connect and collaborate. It strikes a balance between open collaboration and privacy and stimulates creative thinking. These ideals should be grounded in the reality of the space: size, the overall flow of the design, energy consumption, brand image, and, most importantly, company culture.

A common error is to simply copy an office design without taking into consideration your company’s unique culture and needs. It’s a costly renovation that’s just not worth it. When executed correctly, a modern ideal workspace can make all the difference in attracting potential employees. It can help in keeping existing ones around, too.

Your business stands to see an increase in wellness, productivity, reinforcement of company culture and values, more flexible working options, a chance for employees to interact and build relationships, and a good impression on possible clients and business partners.

At the end of the day, while tech continues to drive the changes we make to our working spaces, we need to remember what these changes should really be about. We need to learn more about the history of office design.

Any great space is a waste if the interests of your employees, and to an extent, your business, is not aligned with it.

See Also: 10 Things That Are Essential For A Great Office Environment

The post Reinventing the Office Experience: How Office Design Has Changed appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Top Reasons Why Employees Leave Their Jobs

People quit their jobs for a lot of reasons. They may do it because they are relocating to a new place or they simply want to change careers.

According to a Mercer study, a whopping one-third of all the new employees plan on just quitting their job in the next 12 months. This is a huge number and is astronomically way higher than our parents’ or grandparents’ time. The culture, work environment, relationship with co-workers all affect why you do not want to pursue that job anymore.

To sum it up, here are the top reasons why employees leave their jobs.

No Work-Life Balance

According to a Washington Post contributor, she knew she would quit the job and two months later, she left it.

But what drove people to resign from their positions?

It is because they have no work-life balance. When you have your family responsibilities and you want to keep doing the job, then you need to have some work-life balance. Without it, everything spirals and you have no option but to prioritize your responsibilities over your job.

Too Much Work Pressure Or No Work

reasons why employees leave their jobs

A lot of employees keep quitting their jobs because there is so much pressure at work or there is no work at all. Thus, the level of capability and productivity can fluctuate. Before you know it, you’re already planning to quit.

It is just tougher to go forward when you hit a roadblock. You can’t do anything but experience burnout. Going through ultimate boredom or an extremely toxic environment can be enough to make you quit.

No Promotion for a Long Time

One of the main reasons why people quit is when they do not have any mobility upward.

When there are no opportunities for growth or advancement into higher-paying positions, some people do not find any point in staying and working for a company any longer.

Poor Management at Work

When you are working in a coveted project in a company, you need to have a great manager who is excellent in communications. Managers need to be an expert in communication and also interpersonal skills.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of managers out there who aren’t trained enough to solve managerial level problems. No explicit communication and lots of expectations can leave both the employee and employer unhappy with how things shape up in the work environment.

Toxic Environment at Work

When you are looking at how not to lose good employees as an employer, maybe you need to check the kind of environment you are building up for the employees. The situation becomes too toxic when there are:

  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Too much of office gossip
  • No positive encouragement from the team leads
  • Recognition-grabbing co-workers who haven’t put enough hard work

These things can make good employees stop caring. They leave to find a better place to grow and work. Hence, as an employer, try to make the environment much more positive and have a few flexible options without being too penalized.

Improper System of Rewards

If you have done the management program, you know that employees look for some motivation to work productively. This is why there should be paid holiday leaves, raises or bonuses.

When you notice that employees are leaving in waves, then check up on the reward system you have in place. Perhaps one of the main reasons  why employees quit their job is because there isn’t enough motivation to make them work in a way that is effective and productive.

Benefits that Don’t Benefit!

top reason why employees leave their jobs

If you are offering stingy benefits to bloat the package, then it won’t help. Employees know what they deserve, like the right health insurance, generous sick days, flexible hours of work, and maternity and paternity paid leave.

See Also: Preventing Employee Turnover With Better Benefits

Change in Career Goals and Growth

One of the reasons why great employees quit is because they have to change their career goals. If they find that one career is not fulfilling, they will look for other opportunities.

There are different ways you can convince them to stay and that is to help them improve their skills. This works well in high-performing individuals.

Conclusion

These are the top reasons why employees leave their jobs. As the famous billionaire said, if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys. As an employer, try and improve your relationship with your employees. Remember to support and respect their needs and work.

Reward and give recognition to the ones who perform well or take a day out with all of them to enjoy!

See Also: Redefining Office Culture To Boost Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

The post The Top Reasons Why Employees Leave Their Jobs appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Deal With Employee Resistance During Agile Implementation

The modern workplace is a combination of people from different generations who have varying workplace ideals. Some people prefer to strongly believe that the traditional method is the best way to work. The younger generation, meanwhile, mostly believes in a flexible work environment that is more inclined towards ‘agile’.

With vast differences in the way of working between individuals, it can be a tough problem to introduce the agile way of working. Before we talk about employee resistance in the workforce to become agile, let’s see how agile benefits the organization.

How Agile Triumphs Over Traditional Way of Working

employee resistance workplace

The traditional team typically consists of a manager under whom you can see different employees with numerous roles like Java developers, analysts, testers, etc. The functioning of this traditional team will follow the hierarchical approach, where the manager sits at the center and has total control of the whole operations.

On the other hand, agile teams are self-managed, where cross-functional working among different teams is the key. Instead of a single person sitting at the top and giving out orders or supervising the work, the team players also take part equally in the decision-making process. They decide who the best fit for the role is and determine the tasks everyone needs to play.

In the end, everyone is involved in the project as a whole instead of just having a partial vision of the project from their working scope. This also improves the accountability of the team members. It will motivate them to get involved better in the project and improve their performance, as well as the project results.

The Need for a Flexible Workforce

According to the workplace trends prediction by Dan Schawbel in Forbes in 2017, he pointed out that there is going to be a high demand for a flexible work environment and that the organizations will face pressure from the young employees to embrace flexibility.
Also, he pointed out the flexibility is the top employee benefit over healthcare in the years 2015 and 2016, but only one-third of the organizations are implementing it seriously. Further, the organizations that do focus on agile systems do so to align their working to match the customer needs.

The reason for some organizations that don’t enforce an agile way of working can be due to the traditional mindset of top management. However, one of the most common reasons is the fear of resistance among employees.

Employee Resistance towards an Agile Approach

While implementing agile in a workforce, things don’t go as planned. Some may face unexpected resistance from certain sections of employees, which could affect the performance at the initial stages. There can be clashes, miscommunications, and issues between employees due to the resistance from some.

This behavior is mainly due to the employee’s misinformed notions about agile practices. The employees may have difficulty in accepting the new changes in the working systems when they don’t understand how they can be benefited from it. For some who are familiar with the same system, it can be difficult to come out from the years of familiar working methods and embrace the new system of agile.

However, such resistance from employees doesn’t mean the end of agile. With a few help from the top management, the employees can be convinced to look at all the advantages agile brings.

Here are a few ideas to overcome employee resistance and bring a coordinated agile way of working in the organization.

• Anticipate and Manage Resistance Before It Crops Up

When you break the news about the changes in working methods, you’ll have an idea of the people who will oppose them the most. There can be a few who are on the fence – not very happy about the change but open to accepting it. But the few who are steadfast against the agile implementation may easily turn those people, too.

To avoid the increased resistance, talk with the managers and identify the few people who are totally against the opposition and address the issue with them first. When you can neutralize these few instances, then you can minimize and manage the resistance from other employees easily.

• Avoid Overnight Transformation

Understandably, you want to incorporate the agile systems as soon as you can. But, asking the employees to wake up one day and suddenly start working the agile way isn’t going to work.

It is necessary to incorporate the agile processes incrementally. Start slow and ask the employees to make a few changes. Once they become familiar with it, proceed to the next level. Break down the agile implementations into different phases and gradually ease the employees into it. This will give them a practical idea of how much an agile system helps them to complete their work efficiently. It’s one way to lessen employee resistance, too.

• Be Open to Address Questions

Employees will have many questions in their minds about how this implementation could influence their work life. It is the responsibility of the organization to answer the questions in the best possible and convincing way. It is their duty to encourage more employees to be open towards agile.

You can have an open session with the employees. Let everyone have their chance to ask questions or even just to talk about how they feel. This is a crucial primary step to show the employees how much you care about them and make them understand that the first people who would benefit from the new system is them – the employees.
If you have any people in the organization who have previously worked in the agile environment, you can also encourage them to talk about its advantages and let the employees see how it can impact their work life.

• Address the Gaps in Technology

You need to provide the employees with the required technologies if you expect them to stick to agile. The agile system depends a lot on the flexibility of the employees to work from anywhere they want and includes the freelance workforce, too. When your technology doesn’t support your intentions, then the employees will crawl back to the only other working system – the traditional way.

When you have decided to implement agile, it is vital to do property research and analysis on the technologies your organization has and the additional ones it may need. You can either slowly start including some before you implement agile or break the news of agile with the good news of the beneficial technologies.

• Include Routine Checks and Weekly Assistance

employee workplace resistance

Not all employees can understand the essence of agile easily. They may get some doubts once they start working. Therefore, there should be someone in the organization they can talk to and clear their doubts.

After implementing agile, make sure to include routine checks to see if everyone is working properly. The checks should also identify employees who are struggling to change their way of working. Offer them unlimited assistance until they are entirely comfortable to work with the agile system.

There are no do-overs when it comes to agile implementation. When you do it, make sure that you are doing it right. Employee resistance is a part of any change. Making the employees see the new system’s advantages lies with the organization. If that’s done successfully, then the agile processes can revolutionize the organizational performance.

See Also: Redefining Office Culture To Boost Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

The post How to Deal With Employee Resistance During Agile Implementation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Identify A Narcissist At Work: Nailing Down The Key Factors

Crossing paths with a narcissist is not rare. In the USA alone, 6% of the general population has been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That is not a small number. Now apply the same number to the estimated population of the world and you have 450,000,000 people having the disorder.

So, tell me, how common would it be to encounter a narcissistic coworker? Quite common, no?

Dealing with a narcissistic individual at work can be mentally taxing. It will begin to take a toll on you alone since the mental condition of the narcissist will never waver.

However, knowing who the narcissist is at your workplace involves a lot more than your gut feeling and the uneasiness you feel when being around them. Since identifying a narcissistic coworker can be a real ordeal, here are some signs you can look out for.

They are control freaks

Pathological narcissists crave control. They would never let go of a situation where their ‘leadership’ tendencies are compromised. Such individuals are prone to controlling and leading operations, especially when they know they will be in the spotlight.

And no, it is not always your manager. Hunting for a narcissist using this trait can be confusing. However, know that there is a difference between leading and dominating. Once you know how to differentiate between the two, you will know who is a narcissist and who isn’t.

They love to blame

the narcissistic coworker

They are never wrong. When narcissists are called out for their noxious attitude, they tend to shift the blame to the offending party.

To them, life works like the UNO reverse card. Whenever they are stuck facing a situation where they have to face criticism, they start playing the blame game. They would come up with the most ridiculous of excuses to prove they aren’t wrong.

If a co-worker gives them negative feedback or criticizes them, they believe they are entitled to lash out and blame them for feedback, not themselves. That’s because they can never be held accountable for their actions.

Toxicity surrounds them

Passing judgmental remarks, throwing tantrums, and ridiculing others in the workplace — for what? Only to hide their measly self-conscious selves. But they don’t showcase what lies at their core.

They indulge in criticism and personal attacks to hide their own insecurities. It only creates a toxic environment for the entire workplace.

If you see a narcissistic co-worker trying to put you down and shoving their ego in your face, you should not give in but stand strong against their toxic nature. The moment you give in to their emotional attacks and threats, you will forever stay a victim of their abuse.

See Also: 5 Really Useful Tips For Dealing With Toxic Bosses At Work

They exploit and take advantage of you

It is common for a child to toss away the toys he gets bored of. But for a grown-up working in a prestige organization to do the same? How would it feel?

Well, narcissists will only approach and befriend you if they seek some sort of benefit from you. Soon, they will set you aside or just walk over your good deeds. They only ask for help because they have an ulterior motive.

Once you are of no use to them, you will be treated like a nobody despite your help and care for them. Narcissists never feel guilty to behave as they do and there is no possibility for them to feel bad about it.

The world revolves around them

a narcissistic coworker

It’s all about them. The pleasure of narcissistic people lie in their need to enjoy talking only about themselves. That satiates their narcissistic tendencies. Your opinions and contribution at work won’t matter.

Bombarding others with their achievements and disregarding what others have to share is a common trait as well. If you think your coworker is not giving you enough space and suffocates you during meetings, then you are likely working with a narcissistic coworker.

When they feel someone is more vocal and interesting than they are, they will sever ties immediately. Only they are meant to be in the spotlight and nobody else matters.

Do these red flags ring a bell and seem a lot similar to your situation at work? Now that you are well aware of their narcissistic traits, you will know how to ignore them and pave a separate path. Always remember, never feed a narcissist’s ego.

The post How To Identify A Narcissist At Work: Nailing Down The Key Factors appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Best Cities for Coworking You Need to Check Out

There was a time when going to work meant returning to your same office cubicle Monday to Friday. Fortunately, those days are long gone!

With the ever-growing digital revolution, a new type of worker has emerged. Digital nomads are able to work from anywhere they want as long as they have an internet connection. This has called for the creation of more coworking spaces around the world.

But what exactly is a coworking space?

It’s a shared office environment which is home to internet access and the latest technology. It allows workers to go about their business on a more flexible basis. This also means they can join coworking spaces anywhere around the world. This growing tribe of professionals has seen ultra-modern and cool coworking spaces popping up across the globe.

So, whether you’re a digital nomad, a small startup or you’re considering trying out a more flexible office arrangement, here’s our list of 11 of the best cities for coworking across the world.

London

cities best for coworking

First on the list is London. England’s capital offers coworking spaces as trendy and diverse as the people who live there. With over 30 spaces already in operation, over 50,000 digital savvy professionals across the world are benefiting from this network.

What’s more, shared workspaces in the city offer all the cool amenities you’d expect, from VR studios to mediation yurts. You can look forward to going into the office every day.

Berlin

Germany’s capital is well-recognized as a tech-savvy business hub. It’s therefore unsurprising that this entrepreneurial city has made it on this list of the best cities for coworking.

Filled with beautiful and minimalist coworking spaces for creative professionals, the city was once home to huge brands like SoundCloud and Siemens. These offices allow for ultimate flexibility and collaboration. From Agora Collective to Factory Berlin, these spaces feature relaxing gardens and trendy cafes.

New York

This list wouldn’t be complete without adding New York into the mix. After all, the city boasts in excess of 200 coworking spaces and is an extremely popular city for businesses and ambitious professionals.

Because of the sheer amount of workspaces, there really is something for everyone. Whether you want to work with a wide community that has space all over the world or you’d prefer to work in a small select group, you’re sure to find something to suit your working style and needs.

See Also: 7 Surprising Benefits of Coworking Spaces

Barcelona

Barcelona is considered to be one of the biggest business hubs in the world and a popular place for professional dealings — not to mention it’s a beautiful and vibrant city. This is why it is home to a number of great coworking spaces. These spaces offer the latest technology, cafes, relaxation areas and some even have in-house lawyers offering legal advice to those who choose to work there.

Singapore

cities for coworking

Singapore is currently the number one technological hub of Asia. This makes it an extremely popular destination for digital nomads and aspiring professionals.

Right now, there are at least 24 coworking spaces in the city, though this number is growing all the time. And as with everything in Singapore, you can expect some real glamour and awe when you enter these working areas. Some of them are providing their own pool, spa and even serving oysters for lunch!

Paris

Paris has always been a city of sophistication and innovation. This translates into a vibrant hub of small businesses and exciting creatives. In recent years, a number of coworking spaces have popped up across the city, welcoming professionals from all over the world.

In true Parisian style, there is even a ‘Makers Space’ including laser cutters, 3D printers and food labs, so amateurs from every profession have somewhere to get started.

San Francisco

San Francisco was once referred to as the start-up king of America. This is unsurprising, given that it is home to Silicon Valley. With over 75 coworking spaces already in operation, some beautifully situated along the bay, the city is a hub for budding entrepreneurs and those looking to kickstart their business.

Bangalore

Moving over to India, Bangalore is one of the nation’s busiest cities and a huge technological hub. Perfect for digital nomads from India and from around the world, spaces like the Cowork Cafe make it easy for young professionals to learn, grow, and work closely with one another. In fact, it has been said that the average age of the professionals using these coworking spaces is just 26.

Toronto

best city for coworking

Toronto is very similar to New York when it comes to coworking spaces. It encourages collaboration and innovation across businesses and industries.

However, one of the best things about the city is that you can rent these spaces for relatively cheap prices. What’s more, these trendy spaces come with all the latest amenities and even some added perks.

Lisbon

Along with its great coworking spaces, Lisbon has also made it on to our list thanks to its ‘Lisbon Challenge’ program aimed at supporting and encouraging startups in the city. This vibrant hub is full of creatives all looking to turn their ideas into reality.

There are a range of coworking spaces throughout Lisbon which feature stunning views, full flexibility, beautiful gardens and even the ability to take your dog to work with you every day.

Brussels

Finally, the last wonderful city on our list has got a bit of a bad rep in recent years, being tarnished with a bureaucratic brush. But Brussels isn’t just the political hub of Europe, it’s a very forward-thinking and innovative place for young professionals and upcoming businesses.

In order to accommodate the creatives that use these coworking spaces, these offices offer features like unlimited coffee, organic vegetable gardens, ping pong tables, and even one space which is open 24 hours for complete flexibility.

See Also: How to Increase Your Productivity in a Coworking Space

The post The Best Cities for Coworking You Need to Check Out appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Prepare for An Office Move: Top Tips You Should Know

Moving premises is an issue that’s likely to come up for most business owners at some point. Although it can be stressful, it’s not something you need to be afraid of.

If you’re moving offices, this is normally something to celebrate. It’s a sign of growth, expansion, and being on a positive path. This is particularly true if you have to move offices to accommodate more staff and clients. An office move makes sense financially and logistically, too.

To help business owners who are experiencing an imminent move, WD Storage made this really helpful infographic on how and when to move offices smoothly. They’ve included some statistics you’ve probably never seen before and offer up some pearls of office relocation wisdom that you may not have considered previously.

There’s one serious downside to moving offices that can’t be ignored, and that’s the stress of it all. It’s likely to have a very detrimental effect on the workload and stress levels of pretty much everyone in the office. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize this stress and make the move happy and prosperous for your business and staff.

When Should You Move Office?

office move

You may toy with the idea of moving offices at various points, but not actually explore it in detail. So, when do you give that idea a serious thought?

  • At the end of your lease
  • When you have available budget to cover all the costs
  • When your business is in a good financial situation
  • At the quietest time of the year for you
  • When you’re expecting to reach or go over your workplace capacity in the next five years

If you’re able to combine several or even all these elements into your moving plan, things will definitely be easier for you. If there are big projects or busy times on the horizon, it may not be the best time to move. Also, be confident that your business is financially sound enough to absorb the cost (the average UK cost of an office move is £40k!).

Don’t just include quoted costs in your planning. Have budget set aside for any unexpected costs, too.

How to Choose a New Office

Moving to a new office will require you to consider and make allowances for a lot of moving parts. The first thing you should do is communicate the plan with your staff as early and as comprehensively as possible. If people know about it early, they can get used to the idea of change and figure out whether they’re going to come along for the ride.

Another thing you have to consider is your current staff. Communicating with your team will give you some idea on areas where people won’t follow you. It will also help you to understand what your team wants from the new office.

Surveys have found that 45% of employees want green space at their place of work, even if it’s just to look at from their window. 40% felt like there weren’t enough informal ‘breakout’ areas in their office. 51% want a place where they can get away from their desk.

Ask your staff what they want from the new office. You will never, ever be able to please everybody. Some people won’t be happy with the move (generally a minority) but mostly, people will be excited for a change. It’s your job to make sure they’re excited about it. It’s also up to you to figure out what to prioritize.

When it comes to size, you should have around 95 square feet for each person. Think ahead about whether your office is future-proofed as well.

Can you see yourself employing more staff in the future? Will your new office have space to accommodate new hires/products/equipment?

Physical location is important, too. If your new office more than doubles everyone’s commute, for example, or is impossible to reach by public transport, you may lose staff in the process. While more remote offices tend to be cheaper, you could pay a price in struggling to attract people to work there.

Think about your clients, too. Will a remote location be conducive to attracting new clients? And if the only way to get to you is to drive, is there enough parking for both staff and clients?

Consider local amenities. Are there places to eat nearby? A shop? A gym? A park?

There are ways in which you don’t have to move to a new office that’s super high-spec to gain some pretty amazing perks. Simply move to an area which has better amenities.

Having restaurants nearby is great for client relationships and your staff. A nearby gym can promote and facilitate a healthy lifestyle. Nearby parks, greens or commons give your staff a place to go to and stroll around. These places will allow them to stretch their legs and clear their mind, fostering a more peaceful and productive work environment.

And of course, make sure your office is accessible. If you have staff with disabilities or who are in advanced age, that is essential. If not, you should still do so anyway. Prospective clients and staff may have those needs. Be thankful that you don’t and provide for those who do.

How to Prepare for An Office Move

prepare for an office move

As mentioned previously, no matter the circumstances, moving offices is going to get stressful for lots of people. 31% of business owners said that moving premises is the most stressful thing they could undertake.

Here are some tips you can take to reduce that stress to a minimum:

Delegate

Don’t take on the workload yourself. The amount of planning, administration, and work that needs to be done is too big for one pair of hands. Designate a project team made up of various highly organised members and let them handle the different aspects of the move.

Let the creative types handle the new office design. Allow the most analytical to handle all the processes.

Do you have an office or facilities manager? This is a great task for them. As your office manager, they’re going to need to have a deep and thorough understanding of the new premises.

You have a team of paid staff. Why not use them?

Delegation will make things easier. It gives more people ownership in the move, making them more enthusiastic and invested in it.

Planning

If you plan everything absolutely meticulously, then you’re giving yourself the best chance of relocation success. There is no such things as over-planning with this. The more rigorous you are in your planning, the more impervious to unexpected bumps in the road you will be.

Planning well will minimize any unexpected tragedies, anyway. From the timescale to where the new furniture is going, get everything planned and visualized.

Budgeting

Decide on and manage a budget for the move. This is going to be a hard thing to do but bear in mind that the average office move costs around £40,000. This should come under your planning, but you’ll need to create a mighty spreadsheet or equivalent for this.

Set yourself a budget target and track how you actually get on with it. That way, you can see how close you are to your budget in real time.

Auditing

An office move is a really good time to review and audit your business in terms of supplies, furniture, and equipment.

Is it worth lugging all those old PCs and musty chairs into your spangly new office? Or is time to invest in something new?

You can also use this time to think about your suppliers in terms of equipment and your utilities.

Communication

We’ve already advised it, but communication at all stages of the move is super important. From your staff to clients to suppliers, let everyone that needs to know what your plans are.

Most importantly, you need to be communicative with your staff. Listen to their wants and needs with regards the move and do your best to try and meet those. You won’t please everybody, but you can give it a good go!

If you’re thinking about an office move for your business, then congratulations! That means things are probably going well. And while moving will be stressful, it is possible to mitigate the stress with plenty of communication, careful organization, and stringent planning. Good luck!

See Also: How to Keep Business Data Secure When Transitioning to a New Office?

The post How to Prepare for An Office Move: Top Tips You Should Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Essential Tips on How to Overcome Burnout in the Workplace

The modern working life is a complicated entity, with as many people thriving as there are those who struggle to get through their daily routine. Whether you’re the former or the latter, the fact is that everyone is susceptible to falling victim to workplace burnout. Learning how to overcome burnout is what sets people apart and falling victim to burnout can easily cause someone to leave a job in some cases.

As such, understanding the root cause and the ways in which to battle workplace burnout are two things which go hand in hand.

How to Tell You’re Suffering

The first step to recovering from burnout is to understand and recognize that you are suffering from it. Although you can’t technically diagnose it, knowing yourself and how you function in the work environment can help you.

Sometimes, burnout can be very subtle, even subtle enough to fool yourself into thinking you’re fine. Ultimately, the biggest indicator of workplace burnout is the consistent dread that comes from being at work. It’s usually paired with apathy as to whether or not you achieve anything in the process of working.

Dread and apathy are the biggest clues that burnout is occurring, so don’t simply ignore them.

Understand Why

The source of burnout can vary massively from person to person. The fact is that one person could experience burnout from too much pressure while another may experience it due to lack of important things to do.

Either type of burnout is valid and the more important part is learning to recognize how the burnout happened in the first place. Once you diagnose its cause, you can start to treat the symptoms and hopefully lead yourself to the cure.

If you can’t find the source of your burnout, then recovering from it can be almost impossible. As with anything, treating the disease at the source is the most effective road to recovery.

Organize Your Time

to overcome burnout

Do you dread going to work every day? Is the idea of getting up in the morning tiring? Is there just too much work to do and not enough time to do it?

Chances are you’re suffering from an organizational problem. After all, the more organized your day becomes, the better you will start to feel about the work ahead of you. You will be able to manage each day a little bit easier.

Learn to Say No

“No” is a powerful word. It can be seen as a negative factor but overall, it can actually be a positive force in your daily working life. After all, too much work and stress can fall on your shoulders, thanks to saying yes far too much.

Saying no can help alleviate the pressure ever so slightly or completely, depending on your current coping methods. For example, if you’re not coping, then saying no can be a massive help to your everyday life.

Having no time for yourself and feeling worn down by both work and your personal life can be overwhelming. This is where learning to say no can become so important. Say no to the extra work, the after-work activity, and giving up your all-important ‘me time’.

Invest in it and you’ll be surprised by how much better you start to feel over a short period of time.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Sleep More, Work Less

Sleep isn’t a cure-all, but you might be surprised as to the number of ways sleep can work to improve your life or conditions you may be suffering from. One of the easiest ways to exasperate your feeling of burnout is to add a constant sense of fatigue to your daily life.

Tiredness can make work harder to cope with, which leaves you feeling sluggish and makes everything you do in a day harder to achieve. Practicing a good sleep routine is important to alleviate burnout and improve your general health.

And if you have a habit of taking your work home with you, just stop. The fastest way to exhaust yourself is to work throughout the day and then continue when you get home. You need to give yourself a time of day to switch off and relax.

Eat Well and Exercise

overcome burnout

Eating well and exercising should be a simple part of everyday life, but it can also help you recover from everyday burnout and weariness. It gives you something to do every day, which isn’t thinking about your work-related concerns and complications.

Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle can help spill over a new level of positivity into your work life as well. So ensuring that this is the case can be vitally important, especially when you want to try and help yourself recover from burnout. Take healthy lunches to work, exercise before you get into the office everyday, and make sure that you are working toward more positivity in your everyday life.

As a whole, working to recover from burnout can be just as tough as all the things that got you into a burned-out stage in the first place. But, you can’t live your life falling into the same routine that’s causing you a tremendous amount of stress.

Work at giving yourself time and take back control over the factors that caused the burnout. Those are the first things you need to do if you want to know how to overcome burnout.

See Also: How To Avoid Burnout At Your Job

The post 5 Essential Tips on How to Overcome Burnout in the Workplace appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Awesome Ways to Effectively Manage Your Stress on Weekdays

Stress is a silent killer and if you’re not doing well in coping with stress at work, it can spell problems for you.

Stress can strike anyone, even the most optimistic and energetic of people.

Your boss or teacher might not help as they keep pushing you to hit your goals. The next thing you know, you’ve lost your focus, energy, and confidence. You start going home late with stoop shoulders and a heavy feeling.

Then, you start seeking sweet treats to lift your mood.

Studies show that stress is one of the leading causes of chronic health conditions. Heart disease, accelerated aging, and diabetes are linked to stress. And if you’re not careful, this can lead to depression, too.

Yes, stress is inevitable. But there are many ways to manage it effectively on a daily basis.
Here are the best ones to help you start coping with stress at work.

Identify the nature or cause of your stress

To start coping with stress at work, you need to be more self-aware. Every time you are stressed out, step back and find out what’s really dragging you down.

In the workplace, stress can be due to the fear of being laid off. It can be due to an overwhelming workload or because of the leadership or management style of your boss.

At school, stress can be due to project deadlines, an unfavorable environment, and teaching style. Stress could also be due to financial and time constraints. It can also happen after a recent loss of a loved one.

To handle these situations, it’s best to talk to experts.

Control yourself. Eliminate your triggers to avoid feeling negative.

Allocate time for your hobbies, exercise, and social life

Set aside a couple of hours to hit the gym, do some painting (or writing), and commit to other hobbies. Choose who to hang out with. And, if possible, talk to an expert to get the social and emotional support you need to stay positive.

Coping with stress at work starts with your mornings

When you wake up early, you sleep early. This is especially true if you’re productive throughout the day and be more tired at the end of it.

It’s also the best time to apply Tony Robbins’ 15 Minutes of Fulfillment wherein you allocate the first 15 minutes of your day doing positive visualization. You may extend the 15 minutes to 30 minutes or an hour if possible.

Mel Robbins also promotes the 5-Second Rule that helps you avoid pushing your alarm clock’s snooze button. These principles can help you get on your feet fast and ready to take the day.

The secret to waking up and starting a great day really lies in your bedtime routine. Before you sleep, spend some time to pray, meditate, and write a one-liner gratitude journal. It also helps to plan, organize, and prioritize your to-do list for the next day before you sleep.

Choose your breaks strategically

Taking a break just because your friend invites you for a short cigarette or coffee break isn’t a good idea. Stopping in the middle of a task can disrupt your flow. When you get back to work, you won’t be as focused as before.

Learn to say no.

You can use the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time. This technique allows you to transition from work-mode to relax-mode without compromising your productivity.

See Also: Hack the Pomodoro Technique to Boost Your Productivity

Don’t compromise your sleeping patterns and your healthy diet

It’s easy to fall into the trap of hanging out with friends for too long after work to ease your stress. But remember, the best way to ease your stress is to get adequate sleep.

Eating sweets may seem to alleviate stress, but indulging on sweet treats after work and at night can increase your insulin levels. The next thing you know, you’re having trouble sleeping.

Instead of sweets, eat foods that will help you fall asleep faster. A dinner consisting of almonds, turkey, walnuts, fatty fish, and kiwi is best. You can pair this up with chamomile tea, tart cherry juice or passionflower tea.

Take advantage of online time management, productivity tools, and stress management apps

A plethora of apps and tools are now available to help enhance productivity. These can help you get more things done in a day. Specifically, you may get started with the following:

Pomodoro Timer– to allocate time for work and rest

Pocket, Wunderlist, Trello – to create and organize tasks

Pocket Yoga – to meditate and exercise on the go

Spotify, Deezer – to listen to your choice of soothing, stress-relieving, or inspiring music or audio

Don’t forget to equip your web browser with a plug-in that limits your use of social media and other non-work related websites.

Be consistent and be patient with yourself

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

You have to understand that handling stress is a skill that needs to be developed with consistency and commitment. If you think you failed today, plan and commit to doing better tomorrow!

Doing this helps you avoid the feeling of being stuck with self-blame and self-pity which also causes stress.

The reality is this:

Stress is as constant as change in the world. So don’t feel helpless and depressed when you’re experiencing it. This is normal and everyone has their own kind of stress.

You just have to know how to start coping with stress at work. And for that, what you need to do is to commit to following the tips above to fight stress and live a happier and longer life.

The post 7 Awesome Ways to Effectively Manage Your Stress on Weekdays appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Avoidable Workplace Safety Mistakes

Let’s accept it. Not all businesses are serious about their workplace safety.

Some of them leave the safety on the mercy of a few fire extinguishers and a couple of warning signs here and there. Some of them don’t bother if the chemicals are stored near their MCB box or employees go through a wet floor. Unfortunately, they only realize the importance of workplace safety when a serious accident occurs.

Why wait for something unpleasant to happen?

Create a secure and positive work environment by avoiding common safety mistakes in the workplace given below.

Failing to Use a Ladder Properly

common safety mistake

According to one report, 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries every year. Even worse, over 400 people lost their lives as they succumbed to those injuries.

Tiny ladder-related mistakes can lead to serious injuries. For example, some use unsteady ladders that can easily slide out while a person is on it. Leaning from the ladders is another mistake that can affect their balance. Using other objects like chairs, stools or scaffolding as a ladder is not safe, either.

Not Getting the Machine Inspected

If you are like most business owners, you are likely to skip an inspection if a machine is working fine.

Well, this can be problematic down the road.

You never know when an underlying fault can lead to damage or harm the operator. Therefore, make sure to get your machinery inspected on time.

Timely and proper inspections make sure that your machines are running correctly and won’t pose risk. With regular inspection, your equipment stays in top shape and won’t cause a halt due to breakdown.

Not Keeping the Facility Clean and Organized

Make sure to keep your facility clean and organized. Otherwise, a huge stack of waste or debris can lead to a fire outbreak if they come into contact with a spark or inflammable material.

Moreover, an unclean work environment is an ideal breeding ground for various bacteria and germs, thereby affecting the health of your workforce. By practicing proper work hygiene, you can prevent the growth of harmful viruses and bacteria, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment.

It goes without saying that having clean premises will also improve your business image.

Inappropriate Storage of Chemicals

Your workers are also prone to risks when they come into contact with harmful chemicals or toxic substance like gasoline, paint, and insulation. Here is how you can minimize the risks associated with them.

  • Keep the areas ventilated.
  • Make sure your employees wear protective gears like gloves and masks while using chemicals.
  • Tell your employees to seek treatment if they experience itchiness or not feel well after using the chemicals.
  • Store the chemicals away from any equipment and electrical short circuit board.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to store them.

Not Performing a Safety Risk Assessment

Let’s admit it.

We are often so used to our work environment that we forget about our safety. In fact, we take it for granted. We assume that we are aware of the risks as well as the ways to deal with them.

That’s not the right approach.

You need to assess the risk factors present in your workplace. For example, you never know when an overheated system can turn into a hazard or when a slippery floor can injure someone.

Therefore, you should perform a safety risk assessment of your workplace frequently. A health and workplace safety professional can help you with this task. They can assess your workplace for risks and help you deal with them.

Electrical Hazards

common safety mistakes electrical hazard

No matter how upscale and sophisticated work environment you have, you are not immune to electrical hazards. Electrical hazards are one of the major causes of workplace fatalities, even in developed nations like the US.

Power fluctuations can also affect the equipment in your workplace. A big power surge can damage your machinery, while an unexpected power outage can lead to loss of work.

Here are the tips to avoid electrical hazards taking place at your organizations.

  • Make sure to power off the device before repairing it.
  • Update your equipment as old equipment may have frayed wires or worn out segments.
  • Avoid stuffing outlets with too many equipment and tools. Avoid plugin more than high wattage equipment at a time.
  • Unplug equipment when not in use to save energy as well as minimize the risk of fire or shock.
  • Get your electrical cords inspected once a month to make sure that they are not cracked or damaged.
  • Don’t run the wires through high traffic areas like carpets or doorways.
  • The repairs and installation should be done by a licensed electrician.
  • All the equipment should be certified.

Not Wearing Protective Gear

One of the major causes of workplace accidents is not wearing protective gears like gloves and helmets.

Also known as Personal Protective Equipment, protecting gear protects workers against several risks on the job. These hazard risks can be anything from falling debris, wet floors, electrical sparks, and poisonous gases. For example, wearing hard hats provide protection to the workers against head injuries or shocks caused by falling objects.

These protective gears generally include items like eye protection, high visibility clothing, safety footwear, helmets and respiratory protective equipment like a mask.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why Wearing Safety Boots at the Workplace is Crucial

Not Having the Safety Signs

Many employees don’t bother if they walk on a wet floor. Some don’t realize that the lift is out of order until it halts in the middle. Some may not be able to find the emergency exit door when a fire breaks out.

This is why safety signs are used to help workers identify the risks. They warn the employees about potential dangers. For example, the sign of a wet floor will warn them to avoid the pathway so that they don’t get injured.

Some of the common workplace safety signs are prohibition signs, mandatory signs, warning signs, fire safety signs, danger signs, general information signs, and emergency signs.

These are the workplace safety mistakes you can avoid to keep your employees and infrastructure safe and sound. What do you think? Please drop your opinions to the comment box given below!

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Tips For Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes

If you are a company that requires employees to drive as part of their job, you need to establish a fleet safety program. Automobile accidents occur every five seconds with death and injuries as part of the mix. As an employer, you cannot be too careful when it comes to safety and liability. Most fleet accidents are caused by driver error and are preventable.

These tips will help you avoid motor vehicle crashes and keep your employees safe.

Tip 1 – Set up a Safe Driver Program

A joint effort by the NETS, NHTSA and OSHA designed to reduce motor vehicle accidents suggest that employers set up a safe driver program. They even offer a brochure to help you set one up.

OSHA explains that “your program should work to keep the driver and those with whom he/she shares the road safely. And, if necessary, the program must work to change driver attitudes, improve behavior, and increase skills to build a “be safe” culture. By instructing your employees in basic safe driving practices and then rewarding safety-conscious behavior, you can help your employees and their families avoid tragedy.”

Tip 2 – Written Policies and Procedures

Make sure your employee handbook includes detailed information on safety rules and procedures that employees must implement in their jobs. Have them sign an agreement to these terms to make sure they read and understand them.

Tip 3 – Ongoing Safety Training

Motor vehicle safety is not a one-off but an ongoing conversation with employees. Upper management needs to be on-board and committed to long-term safety and results. Hold regular training sessions with updated information on safety issues, proper use of seatbelts, fatigue, and drug and alcohol use when driving. Remember not all employees are the same. Some will need extra training and one-on-one instruction.

Tip 4 – Driver Screening

One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to screen potential employees, review their driving record, and hire only individuals with a clean and safe driving record. The Department of Motor Vehicles can provide driving records to employers.

Tip 5 – Vehicle Maintenance

vehicle maintenance

Just as important as your drivers, it is critical to keep your machinery in good working order. Make sure you have a plan for regular maintenance and safety inspections of all your vehicles. The NHTSA offers lists of the safest and most reliable cars to include in your fleet. Consider technological upgrades to your vehicles to help drivers be safe and more accountable for their driving behavior.

Tip 6 – Rewards/Disciplinary Action

Have not only a disciplinary action plan for employees who incur infractions (even minor traffic tickets or minor scrapes) but also a rewards program for those employees who display exemplary driving records while in your employ. Ask for employee feedback, so everyone is on the same page. Drivers can be your eyes and ears and bring up issues you didn’t even know about.

Tip 7 – Regulatory Compliance

employee background

Make sure you comply with all local, state and federal driving and road safety rules. If one of your employees is in an accident, report it to the police and follow insurance guidelines as well. Consult the agencies below to familiarize yourself with the laws and compliance regulations that you need to be aware of:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)
  • National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Employment Standards Administration (ESA)

Work-related crashes impact both the employer and employee in financial and psychological ways. Implement a robust program to avoid these issues and keep everyone safer and your bottom line healthy.

See Also: Personal Injury Claims After A Car Accident

The post Tips For Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work Remotely

You’re a 9-to-5 desk jockey chained to your cube.

The ambient chatter of your co-workers has burned into your earholes.

The worst part?

You can do your job from anywhere and be more productive.

Instead, you have to wake up at 6 am. It feels akin to crossing the Sahara desert with no camel.

Take heart and put your party pants on because you’re about to start working from a hammock and enjoy the blue sky.

Here’s what you can do when asking your boss to work from home.

Make Sure You’re a Top Performer

top performer

A whopping 56% of jobs in the US are compatible with remote work.

Yours might be one of them. But before you ask your boss to work remotely, your performance needs to be topnotch.

Chances are, your boss’ management style—we’ll call her Nicole—is based on Andrew Grove’s Task Relevant Maturity (TRM) concept.

I know, the name does not roll off the tongue but the idea behind it makes perfect sense.

Nicole is either hands-off or on depending on your performance:

If you do the job like Elon Musk, you can gallivant all around the globe. But if you’re more like Frodo with his arm broken, you’d better stick to the office like glue.

How do you know if you’re a top performer?

Your recent performance reviews shine green and your boss regularly takes his hat off to your achievements. Your work is in concert with peers.

All boxes ticked?

Crack on.

Decide What You Bring To The Table

You want to work from home in your pajamas but you need a better excuse. Your boss needs to know what’s in it for her.

So, come up with a list of perks Nicole will get when you’re away.

Here are a few examples if you’re a writer:

  • I’ll be able to output more articles a week for the company blog because of fewer distractions.
  • I will be able to start work earlier because I can avoid the commute.
  • I’ll be fully available in Slack and Skype whenever the team needs me and I can come to the office anytime.

Once you can show Nicole you’re better off working remotely, you’ll enter the digital nomad lifestyle with no hassle.

Have the Conversation

convince the boss

You’re killing it in your job and you can take your efficiency to the next level if you work remotely.

Now, it’s game time.

Shoot an email to Nicole. It’ll give her time to reflect on your request.

Here’s what you can write:

Spotlight your successes

Example: My last performance reviews were positive and I feel I’m doing a pretty good job. Two of my latest articles are ranking number one in SERP and they both have been shared by 100+ users.

Emphasize the benefit for the company

Example: If I could work from home, I’d be able to produce more articles because I’ll have far fewer distractions than I do in the office. On top of that, I could start my day at 8 AM because I won’t have to commute.

Address potential concerns

Example: Even though I won’t be physically present in the office, I’ll be available via Slack and Skype. If you want me to attend a meeting, I can come to the office anytime during the day.

Pro tip: If a home office is uncommon in your company/team, ask for small trial runs. If things work out, you’ll be able to up your remote days.

Once you prove you’d better off working from home, consider your request approved.

See Also: 8 Ways To Set Up An Awesome Home Office

What Do You Think?

How would you approach the talk with the boss?

Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

The post How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work Remotely appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About AI Taking Your Job – Yet

As automation and artificial intelligence sweep through business, predictions for this amazing tech keep changing. Thanks to serious advances in this technology, some managers are looking at a high risk of losing their jobs to automation. But before you imagine your boss as a robot in a suit and tie, understanding the limitations of AI can help you prepare for our eventual future.

AI at Work: What AI Can Do Versus What AI Can’t Do

No matter how high tech automation may be, it can’t do the whole job on its own. Just last year in 2018, Amazon was forced to scrap a state-of-the-art hiring algorithm.

The reason?

Blatant sexism and discrimination in the resumes it favored. Developed in an effort to avoid the intentional and unintentional bias of hiring managers, the system itself began picking up on those bad habits through the data it was fed.

In the already male-dominated industry, the decade’s worth of resumes it reviewed to learn how to identify good candidates for successful hires were, not surprisingly, mostly male applicants.

The results lead to the opposite effect of intentions as the computer began filtering out female applicants and listings of women colleges.

Sure, screening algorithms like this work on the surface level — this means analyzing data, sorting through piles of resumes, and picking out the “best fit” for a position. But, the hiring part is a whole other ball game. More than half of small businesses use tech to help with the hiring process. They rely on it to pick up the slack so human managers can focus on the important parts.

However, machines can’t get a personal feel for an applicant. They can’t predict how well they will fit in with the culture of the workplace. Simply, they can’t make those intuitive decisions. Those are best left to talented hiring experts.

So don’t worry, your next interview is unlikely to involve a robot in a suit, at least for the foreseeable future. Management roles with the highest risk of falling to computerization include:

  • Payroll and benefits, 96%
  • Property and real estate, 81%
  • Administrative services, 73%
  • Transportation management, 59%

See Also: How Artificial Intelligence Will Dominate the Future of E-commerce

Bias In, Bias Out, And Other AI Limitations

artificial intelligence at work

Let’s not get too carried away, however.

If there’s anything you should learn from Amazon’s unfortunate hiring algorithm trial, it’s that placing too much trust and responsibilities in machines can be an algorithm for disaster. Understanding equally the capabilities and limitations is essential to finding the right kind of tech for any business’ needs.

Generally speaking, the drawbacks of AI in business point in the direction of human skills and emotional intelligence. Screening algorithms, like behavioral assessments, may pinpoint the best candidates out of a large data pool. However, it can’t point out which candidates will personally mesh with a team.

AI may analyze data in a way that identifies broken systems or unproductive workers and even suggest changes, but it will always overlook moral, ethical, and emotional factors. Customer service AI algorithms can quickly answer FAQs, direct questions from customers to the proper parties, and use past data to suggest solutions. However, they are unable to build relationships with clients which may be detrimental to customer retention and satisfaction.

How Can AI Streamline Your Business?

So, you may already be considering the idea of stronger and more powerful automation support for your business. What’s the next step?

Nearly one in five businesses reject the notion of new tech, considering it not worth the hassle of implementation or cost. Meanwhile, more than four in five believe that if they found the right kind of tech, their business could benefit from it.

Find the right tech with a quick look under the hood, so to speak. Are there any daily tasks that disrupt valuable work?

  • What responsibilities get downgraded or even ignored when urgent matters crop up?
  • What daily tasks demand too much time and attention from managers?
  • And what would be the ideal main purpose of new tech: mobile access, time-saving options, automation?

The common theme of AI support is obvious and smart business leaders will see a clear takeaway. It’s to utilize tech to the highest potential in data management so that human managers can lead their team more effectively.

Office AI is coming and it’s coming fast and the best and brightest of this tech could be at your very own fingertips. Ready to give your managers some brand new tools?

Take a look at this infographic for more on how to find the right tech for your business, whether or not AI replaces your manager.
Can AI Replace Your Manager?
Source: MBA Central

The post Why You Shouldn’t Worry About AI Taking Your Job – Yet appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Top 7 Ways To Achieve Legendary Level of Leadership

You must’ve had the pleasure of leading a team or a small group of people at some point in your life. Be it a project or a small campaign, you know how difficult it sometimes get to keep all of your team members on the same page and make them working toward your (common) goal.

Human history is filled with so many great leaders who made the whole world follow them without being distracted or having double thoughts. So, how did those people achieve that legendary level of leadership?

Here are 7 tips on how to improve leadership skills:

Connection

Being a leader, you definitely want your team to understand you better. But don’t you think that you need to understand your team members first?

The key to being a good leader is how good can he or she connects with his or her people.

Yes, your team members are your people. They should be as close to you as your family and similarly, you should be as close to them as their families. You need to know them (not just their names and bio), understand them, and connect with them.

Start talking to your team members or followers more often. Talk about not just about future goals and work-related stuff but also about personal things. Make them feel that you are a friend to them instead of a person who orders them. Share your personal stories first so that they can be more comfortable talking to you. Have fun with them.

Once they start feeling that you’re fun like their friends and caring like their families, you’ll see the difference in their way of working. They’ll start putting their faith in you. They will see you as a leader instead of a boss.

Motivation

Working continuously toward a common goal is what you and your team should be thinking and doing — always. But constantly doing so creates exhaustion due to our limited mental and physical capabilities.

This exhaustion later leads to a decreased level of morale and lack of motivation toward work. Now, it is your job to boost your people’s morale and their level of motivation.

Delivering motivational speeches frequently during meetings is one of the best ways to cheer up your people. If some individual is feeling hopeless, then you have to talk to that person individually instead of calling a team meeting.

For more information on how to deliver a killer speech, you can check this article by John Corcoran on Dumb Little Man.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Teamwork

As they say, “With great power comes greater responsibility!”

Being a leader, you might have a very diverse group of people who are very different from each other. This diversity is good for the exposure and scope of your team as it can bring new ideas as well as creative insights.

However, this diversity also creates conflicts when two or more people don’t agree with each other or their beliefs clash on some topic.

In that case, you need to come up with a solution on how to create harmony in your team while avoiding conflicts. It can be achieved by taking those people for a coffee or dinner to talk things out.

If your people can become friends, they’ll be better at working together. So, you need to introduce this friendship to your team members as it encourages solid teamwork.

Be more active in case a new member joins your team. It can be hard for a newbie to find his place in the team as well as in the social sphere. Introduce your newest member to the team and make him feel good by proudly announcing his achievement among your team members.

You need to keep checking the cohesiveness in your team as it is highly fragile. One conflict or misunderstanding might lead to a collapse.

Greater Goal

greater goal

To keep everyone on the same page, you need to keep reminding them about the greater goal. It is okay if everyone in your team works for their own progress and success. But you need to tell them how important achieving your common goal is.

Connect your goal to a greater good. Shout proudly in your speeches or casual talks that achieving this goal will be crucial for the development of society and also beneficial for mankind.

Hearing this will definitely make your whole team proud of themselves. It is necessary for their self-esteem as it’ll increase their scope of thinking. Knowing that they are working for something bigger will give them the boost they need.

Be Loud and Clear

You know that they don’t call the lion ‘the king of the jungle’ for nothing.

You are their leader and you have the responsibility for everything. So, you need to be loud whether it be a motivational speech or a regular talk with your team member.

You cannot afford to stumble while talking. You need to keep a lion-like image among your team. They should look up to you whenever they need any help.

You should also be clear and straightforward. It is your team so you better clearly assign work and give tasks to your people. Since you’ll be responsible for anything good or bad that happens to your team, better be loud and clear always.

Always Be Humble

Being loud and clear doesn’t give you the right to be rude or arrogant even for once. It simply is unacceptable. The moment you start behaving negatively, you’ll be dragging the entire team down.

Even when your team members are not so humble to you all the time, you need to act in such a way.

Being humble shows a positive attitude. Plus, it encourages your people to practice humility as well.

I understand that you are also a human being who has emotions. Yes, you can be angry but you need to control your negative emotions.

Control your anger by using specific techniques, like counting 1 to 10 in your head. Now, once you have enough self-control, try to be humble as much as possible.

See Also: The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence For A Leader

End on A Good Note

leadership skill

If you’ve ever delivered a speech or did a presentation, you’ll know how crucial it is to end things on a good note.

Just think of someone who is delivering a motivational speech to a crowd and suddenly says ‘Thank you’!

Ending your talks or speech is as important as any other steps of being a leader. You can include any inside jokes which only you and your team can understand. It’ll help ease up any awkward situation and introduce subtle humor.

You can also include any quotes by famous personalities, such as the one below:

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope” – Martin Luther King Jr.

What do you think a leader requires to be legendary? Leave in comments down below.

The post Top 7 Ways To Achieve Legendary Level of Leadership appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Reasons a Messy Desk Is Not Good For Your Productivity

Do you feel stressed or distracted as soon as you get to work? Here’s one cause you may not have considered: not having a clean desk at work

Sure, you’ve probably heard things like “yeah, my desk is messy, but so was Einstein’s”. This idea that having a cluttered desk is a good thing has become much more common in the last few years. But alas, that doesn’t make it right and we’re going to do a bit of debunking.

Here are 5 reasons why a cluttered desk isn’t better:

messy desk

It Creates Stress

When you start the day feeling like you’re behind, that can be deeply discouraging. That’s exactly what happens (even subconsciously) when you’ve got unsorted piles all over your workspace.

It’s Distracting

A mess can stop your flow. If you find your eyes drifting to the odds and ends strewn around your desk, those moments are lost time. More importantly, it’s an interruption. This can be particularly counterproductive when you’re “in-the-zone” and cranking out fast, quality work.

It’s Unhealthy

The average office keyboard has roughly 7,500 bacteria on it. Taking care of yourself includes taking care of your work surfaces. An uncleaned desk can have a real impact on how often you’re sick or not feeling well.

It Can Undermine Your Reputation

According to Adecco, a majority of Americans (57%) admit they judge co-workers by how clean or dirty they keep their workspaces.

If you work in an office or shared space, your desk will impact how your colleagues and superiors see you. A messy or disorganized desk can be interpreted as a sign you are disorganized and inefficient in your work. That’s not the type of image any of us want.

It Reduces Self Confidence

In addition to affecting the way others see you, a messy desk can impact how you see yourself. Don’t miss the importance of this. Having confidence can have a profound impact on how you present yourself and pursue your work. A clean desk at work is a very simple step that can have a variety of benefits in your professional life.

Now that we’ve established the negative effects of a messy desk, let’s do something about it. Here are 4 things you can start today to get your desk in order:

organized desk

1. Create a Cleaning Habit

Even 15 minutes/week makes a huge difference. I like to do this on Friday afternoons. It gives me a sense of resolution and paves the way for a positive start on Monday morning. If you want to go bigger, decluttering at the end of each workday can be a great cadence.

2. Purge Based on Frequency

If you don’t use it every week, store it or throw it away. If you use it every week, put it in an easily accessible bin/shelf/drawer. In case you use it daily (or hourly), keep it within reach. The idea is to strategically place files, tools, and materials based on how often you use them.

3. Create a Clear Filing System

This applies to paper files and digital files. The amount of time we waste trying to find stuff is outrageous. Take an hour to establish a clear system. This will save you hours (even weeks) in the long run.

4. Splurge on Organization Tools

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your desk is to add something to it. That may be a bit counter-intuitive but adding something like a shelf or desk cover can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your workspace.

That’s it, now do it! Add a block to your calendar or planner and transform your workspace into a well-oiled machine.

The post 5 Reasons a Messy Desk Is Not Good For Your Productivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Productivity Secrets Top-Level CEOs Would Rather Keep to Themselves

Ice freezing offices. Social media. YouTube. Fantasy football leagues. There is one thing all of them have in common – they are all primary suspects for causing your productivity at work to plummet. Even the top-level CEOs fall under temptation to watch the latest cat video uploaded on YouTube. The difference is, they found a way to overcome these bad habits with some simple hacks and tricks.

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” –Paul J. Meyer.

Your environment cannot always be controlled, but you can control what you get accomplished. In addition to that, you can always learn from others, mimic their behavior, and discover how they get things done more efficiently. Certainly, there are some easy ways to accomplish more, like turning off your smartphone or blocking access to YouTube.

However, these are all small things that wouldn’t get you far enough. There are far better ways to become the best version of yourself at work. And the best thing is that you can learn these productivity skills by following the good examples of some of the world’s most successful people.

Below are some productivity secrets top-level CEOs swear on.

Develop the growth mindset

You should never be satisfied with where you and your company are right now. You should know that there is always room for improvement in every area. There is always a better and faster way of doing something.

Elon Musk once said: “You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.”

And that is growth mindset at its finest.

This skill separates successful people from everyone else.

When your mind is trained in such a way, you know that anything is achievable as long as you put enough effort into it. And if by any means you fail, don’t take it too personally. Instead, approach the problem from a different angle until you get it right.

Use technology for productivity, not for the distraction

use technology

We bet that now you are saying: “What are they talking about? In the beginning, they said that technology is credited the most for all the distractions at work.”

Well, yes and no.

Technology can be of great help and top-level CEOs know that. There are plenty of mobile apps that can make their lives a lot easier and stress-free, especially for the ones who travel a lot. Business apps allow them to stay productive and work from wherever they are. They can basically bring their whole offices with them through a device that fits perfectly into their pockets.

Therefore, we decided to share with you one very interesting interactive infographic created by the people from Cometdocs. It will show you what mobile apps can completely and effortlessly replace traditional office equipment. Just click on the blue dots in order to find out what mobile app replaces the selected office element.

See Also: 5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018

Schedule your day around when your brain is at its finest

What we mean by this is you should schedule your day around when your brain is at the peak of its power. Postpone all brainless and unimportant activities until it is fatigued.

First of all, there is one question you have to give a precise answer to: “When is my brain at its peak power?”

Let’s say it is from 7 to 11 a.m.

During that period, you should only focus on your most challenging tasks. Your schedule should be blocked off so you could have as little distractions as possible.

What about after 11 a.m.?

Well, continue with your everyday work, respond to emails, do those charts or call people back.

Basically, your mornings or whenever your concentration is at its best should be kept for important stuff and that time should be non-negotiable. Only afterward should you start dealing with your everyday work.

By following this little hack, you will achieve in 6 months what other people wouldn’t achieve in 2 years!

Set limits for everything, meetings, emails, tasks, you name it

set limits

There is no time for wasting time – see what we did there?

Previously, we talked about how you should plan your day around according to your level of concentration. And now, we will let you know how you should manage your everyday work aside from those prime time hours.

Top level CEOs know how to make the most out of every minute and that is easily achievable by limiting your everyday tasks.

For example, you could limit your meetings to 1 hour, 20 minutes for presentation and 40 minutes for the discussion. Nothing less and nothing more.

Or you could set the limit for the length of the emails you send. That way, you could respond to every work-related email you get and save time because you are keeping the responses short. Basically, every task can be limited in some way and you should definitely take advantage of it.

Replace “but” with “and”

Whenever you say “but” in a conversation, you are indicating that everything that you said before the “but” is not relevant. People are subconsciously trained to immediately forget everything you said before the “but”.

For example, someone may say: “I completely agree with everything you said and did, BUT here is what I think.” Have you felt it? Like your brain is preparing to fight.

Replacing “but” with “and” completely changes the tonality and dynamic of communication and this really works. People feel more appreciated and are likely to be open-minded to new ideas and suggestions when you approach them this way. Try it the next time you want to suggest something, you won’t regret it.

Final thoughts

You may try all of these productivity secrets at once or one tip at the time. The case is, all of the top level CEOs focus on doing several things really well each day rather than doing a hundred things poorly.

We truly hope you enjoyed reading this article and we would love to hear about the hacks you use to stay productive in the comments below.

The post Productivity Secrets Top-Level CEOs Would Rather Keep to Themselves appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Golden Rules for Successful Project Management You Need to Know

Project management is pretty straightforward – you find the requirements, create a realistic plan, assign the right people on the job, set a deadline, and most importantly, get work done. However, when it comes to the real world, project management is never that easy. The situation often gets too complicated and the team gets confused managing multiple tasks at once. As a result, deadlines are missed and the project faces absolute failure.

So, what can you do to make a project successful? How do you ensure that your project gets completed on time and on budget? Where can you start mastering how to manage a project so that it becomes successful?

Well, it’s your lucky day. Here are a few golden rules that you can use to guarantee your project’s success.

Ensure you have a detailed project scope

The scope of a project comprises of the complete project details ― key milestones, deliverables, deadlines, the overall budget, and more. Now, before a project starts, it is extremely important that you and your team have access to the detailed project scope. If something is missing, don’t hesitate to ask your client or stakeholder to provide the necessary information.

Create a flexible strategy

create flexible strategy

When it comes to project management, you never make assumptions. In order to ensure the success of a project, you need to have a plan for everything. Furthermore, it is also important that you are able to mold your plans and strategies according to the evolving needs of your project. Basically, make sure you are prepared for every situation.

Have the right team

A major factor that decides the fate of a project is the kind of talent you have on your team. That’s why it is important that you hire the right kind of people. Make sure that their skills and expertise are a perfect match for your project and its requirements. Also, don’t involve too many employees. Limit the size of your team to perform more productively.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Set clear roles and responsibilities

set roles and responsibilities

When many people are working on the same project and deadline, confusion and conflicts may happen. This is why it is important that a project manager clearly defines everyone’s roles and responsibilities at the start of a project. Consider using project management and task management tools for this purpose. These tools can make it easier for you to make each team member understand what is expected of them and what tasks they are responsible for.

See Also: Avoid Decision Fatigue: Learn The Steps for Effective Delegation

Never micromanage

If you want to see your projects succeed, you will have to let your team members make their own decisions whenever needed. Don’t over-control or micromanage your projects. Give your team some space and empower them to bring the best results.

Celebrate

Last but not the least, make it a habit to recognize and reward people for their great work. This is a great way to keep everyone motivated and track overall team productivity from time to time.

Managing and delivering projects is a stressful job. However, it won’t be challenging if you keep the above rules in mind. Try to follow them as closely as possible and you’ll soon know how to manage a project successfully.

If you have a rule that helps you manage things better at work, share it with us in the comments below.

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Data Security Tips for the Remote Workforce

As technology advances at a rapid pace, hackers and cybercriminals are finding it easier to hack into a company’s system to steal data. According to the SMB cybersecurity report, almost 43% of all small businesses in the United States suffered through a data breach and were victims of cybercrime in 2016.

Therefore, it is important for you to develop and implement the best cyber data security tips to prevent such attacks from taking place.

What Are the Threats?

Data Loss and Device Failure

Forgetting to back up your data and not updating your device on a regular basis can cause huge problems. You could lose data due to human error, experience file corruption or even overheating of your device. This makes it important that you keep a backup of your data in your Cloud accounts so you can easily access the information that you need.

Stolen Devices

Another threat that can harm your business operations is when your device gets stolen and the criminals get access to your company’s information. People often steal devices in order to sell them for cash.

Cybercrime

cyber crime

Cybercrime is a virtual crime which happens online. It includes stealing of personal and financial information.

There are rules and laws that are created to stop such illegal activities. Whenever you see any illegal activity on online platforms, you should report it to the authorities right away.

How Can You Enhance the Security for Remote Employees?

Create Backups and Recovery Plans

Having backups and recovery plans are the best strategies you can implement. You should also have regularly scheduled system cleanings and updates to maintain the security of your company’s system.

Backing up information is extremely important because it helps restore the original data in case you lose your device or it gets compromised by hackers or intruders.

Spread Knowledge

The rules and regulations regarding security tend to change quite frequently because technology is advancing. This is why you need to update your security strategies to cope with the changing threats.

You need to research threats that can be harmful to your company so that you can educate your workforce for more effective security. Your employees play a vital role in the security of your company. They have crucial information, which can be extremely dangerous if leaked outside.

Update your employees regularly and get them the latest tools to fight the threats and defend against the attacks.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

In order to enhance the security of your company, you should use a Two-Factor Authentication as it makes it more difficult for hackers to operate. The Two-Factor Authentication system will lock your account and require a password along with a code to unlock it. This is a strong type of system that keeps unauthorized people away from your accounts.

Update Your Software Automatically

When running a business, you need to update it on a regular basis. Waiting for an installation of the latest update is not an option. You need to have the latest version installed to serve your customers.

In addition to this, the latest versions allow for better performance because they include solutions that weren’t available previously.

Use VPN for Secure Networks

There are many employers that offer remote employees access to the secure network so that they can work without any obstacles. An encrypted connection will allow employees to safely and securely browse the internet while preventing third party interception.

Off-site employees should never use open or public Wi-Fi connections. They might get intercepted by hackers and the company information can get leaked. Employees should be provided a VPN so that they can easily work in a safe environment with no issues.

See Also: How to Set Up a VPN

Security Protocol and Access Controls

You should keep a constant check on the security protocol and access controls of your network because employees might not be using the information correctly. You need to keep an eye on the information that’s flowing in and out of your company in order to check for fraudulent activities.

Protect Smart Devices

protect smart devices

You should protect the mobile devices of your organization at all times. This is to prevent unauthorized access to confidential information.

You can do that with strong passwords, photo recognition, thumb impressions, and pattern unlocking systems. In addition to those, you can use a two-factor authentication to enhance the security of your devices.

See Also: 8 Easy Steps To Your Browser Security And Privacy

Security is of utmost importance and should not be taken for granted. You cannot compromise your organization’s security because hackers and cybercriminals are always looking for opportunities to hack into your system. That is why you need to implement these data security tips and strategies to ensure a safe working environment.

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5 Really Useful Tips For Dealing With Toxic Bosses At Work

According to a Gallup research, 75% of employees in the U.S. leave managers and not companies. That isn’t surprising because while poor pay structures, stagnant jobs, and stunted growth are some reasons people quit jobs, dealing with a toxic and condescending boss at work can get extremely challenging.

Considering you spend more than half of your day at your workplace, having a toxic boss not only hinders productivity but is also detrimental to your mental well-being.

To help you out, here are some of the most useful tips for dealing with toxic bosses.

Do your job well

one on one meetings

Be observant and keep a check on all the things that irk your boss and you’ll surely find a pattern. Do your job to the best of your ability and make conscious efforts to refrain from giving your boss any reason to point fingers at you.

The best way to stay out of trouble is to effectively communicate with your boss. Make sure you give timely updates, have a solution-driven approach, and don’t shy away from asking questions.

See Also: The Importance of Meeting the Boss Regularly

Respond professionally

Thanks to a difficult boss, you might often find yourself at the receiving end of numerous insults and unreasonable outbursts. However, shouting back is the worst way to deal with it. While you may have the urge to argue, remember that it never ends well and only makes matters worse.

In the middle of an outburst, if you start getting anxious, take a minute to calm down and approach the situation with maturity and grace. It’s always safe to remain calm and respond in a professional manner rather than losing your cool.

Take the learnings

When you stop complaining about your boss’ difficult behavior, you realize that even this unpleasant situation has a silver lining. Apart from learning how NOT to be, there is a lot more you learn by dealing with a toxic boss.

Bad bosses help you toughen up and become more resilient. If taken in the right spirit, they can motivate you to do better and perform well under pressure. While it is easier said than done, these are essential soft skills that can take you a long way in the corporate world.

See Also: 9 Traits of a Great Leader

Think long-term

deal with toxic boss

Amid all the workplace drama, it is natural to forget the bigger picture and lose focus on your job. Yes, your boss makes coming to work a nightmare, but nothing is worth running your career over.

Bosses are transient and should not drive you to take decisions that can prove to be detrimental to your career. Keep your eyes on the end goal and don’t let everyday office politics deter you from reaching your destination. Once you are out of this situation, you will be glad you were patient enough to not derail.

Don’t take it personally

Last but not the least, do not let your boss’ behavior affect your self-esteem and confidence. Their behavior is a result of their own shortcomings and what they say in a fit of anger certainly does not define you.

The best way to deal with your boss’ undue criticism is to be emotionally detached. Form a strong support system at work with whom you can discuss your workplace frustrations. The last thing you want is to take the negativity at work back home and have it ruin your personal life.

Everyone comes across bad bosses at some point in their lives. You can either spend your time whining and let their behavior demotivate you or deal with it maturely and take it in your stride.

While these tips will help you deal with your toxic boss, remember to speak up and escalate matters if your boss’ behavior is getting out of hand. If you ever find yourself to be a victim of verbal abuses, racial discrimination or sexual harassment, you should immediately report it to the human resources department because you have all the rights to.

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One Simple Trick to Get Rid of the #1 Workplace Productivity Killer

Coworkers, emails, phone calls, customers or clients…. The amount of things that can distract us from our responsibilities in a work day is enormous. Normally, we don’t resist these distractions and we end up switching over to them because want to.

This kind of multi-tasking kills our ability to be productive.

Scientific studies have shown that we lose 40% of our time due to switching between tasks. That means that we’re losing 16 hours of our work week by multitasking alone.

The #1 offender that gets us off track?

Mobile phones in the workplace.

Why are mobile phones so good at getting us off track?

There’s actually a simple explanation and it has to do with the way our brains work.

It’s called the Triune Brain Theory.

If you’ve never heard of the Triune Brain Theory, here’s the short version:

The Triune Brain Theory is a model for how the brain works as proposed by Dr. Paul MacLean. Our brain is actually made up of three brains which evolved on top of each other: the physical brain, the emotional brain, and the thinking brain.

triune brain theory
Via slideplayer.com

The physical brain controls all of our physical needs such as safety and security, hunger, sex, and shelter. The emotional brain controls all of our emotions and emotional needs such as happiness, sadness, relationship, and connection with others. The thinking brain controls all of our complex thinking skills such as language, abstract thought, and planning.

The strongest is the physical brain, followed by the emotional brain, then by the thinking brain. These brains all want different things and have their own unique ways to get them.

In order to get rid of distractions, we have to learn to manage our physical brain.

The physical brain loves immediate, physical gratification and wants it ALL the time. It also pulls our emotional brain in to help it in this task. When it fails to get its needs, it dumps us with negative emotions.

For example, our physical brain loves looking at our phone. Scientists discovered that when we look at our phones, we get a hit of dopamine: the chemical that makes us happy.

In this article, researchers connected electrodes to Anderson Cooper from CNN and measured his heart rate and perspiration. When he couldn’t check his phone every time a notification alert occurred, he showed the same withdrawal symptoms that you see from an addict.

The Solution

In order to overcome this addiction and take your productivity back, you have to put your phone in a place where it’s accessible if you really need it, but not so easily accessible that you’ll reach for it in the case of a distraction.

My recommendation is a lock with a timer.

With this, you can lock your phone away for a set time and work uninterrupted.

locked box

Try this: Get a small box that can be used with a lock. Get your timed lock and set the time length for 45 minutes and work. Make sure your phone is on silent and vibration is turned off.

When you get your phone back, go nuts for 15 minutes. Be as impulsive as you want. Get on Facebook, start reading the news, start scrolling through Instagram or text/call your friends. Doing this will get rid of the biggest work distraction out there and allow you to focus and work uninterrupted.

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Bringing Work And Life Back Into Balance In The United States

Knowing how to achieve work-life balance isn’t always easy. We live in an age where technology blurs the line between our hours at work and at home.

In fact, 40% of Americans think that it’s perfectly fine to answer work emails at the dinner table if it’s “urgent”.

Now, the only problem with that is your boss might have a different definition of urgent than you do.

Achieving work-life balance isn’t about being rigid and inflexible with your 40-hour workweek. It’s simply knowing how to set boundaries so your work won’t end up ruining your life.

America Kind Of Sucks At Work/Life Balance

The United States sits at the 30th spot (out of 38 countries) when it comes to work/life balance. Nearly 12% of our workers are working more than 50 hours a week, compared to The Netherlands, which only has 0.5%.

People in The Netherlands spend 16 hours each day working on leisure and personal care. In comparison, people in the United States only spend a little over 11.

The average workday in the United States is also creeping up, logging in at 8.15 hours a day for full-time employees.

Because of that, nearly 60% of Americans say that technology has ruined the modern family dinner because bosses expect answers at any hour.

Other complaints American workers have include:

  • 60% bad or overbearing bosses
  • 39% work beyond normal working hours
  • 39% experience inflexible work schedules or inadequate off time
  • 31% struggle with incompetent coworkers
  • 30% endure long commutes

commute from work

Working Too Much Can Burn You

You need that time away from your job to rest, spend time with friends and family, and just generally recharge your batteries. When things get out of whack, you suffer not only at work but also in your life at home.

Those with poor work and life balance report missing important family events or even ruining family time by being distracted or unavailable. They also tend to lose focus even when they are physically present.

At work, you can lose productivity, too. You’ll feel fatigued and even experience poor morale and high turnover rates.

In the end, people who don’t figure out how to balance work life and home life could end up with higher blood pressure, a coronary heart disease, anxiety, depression, and even hormonal changes.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

How Can You Regain Your Balance?

work life balance

All that technology that is preventing you from separating your work life from your home life can actually be helpful in regaining your balance in life. Many American workers report that remote work, flexible scheduling, and paid time off can help restore that balance.

You can do that with the following:

  • Negotiate for a flexible schedule. Nothing makes your job worse than having to choose between being there for major family events and paying your mortgage.
  • Utilize that technology to work remotely from time to time. Being in an office is a great way to keep office stress at bay but sometimes, being able to cut out your commute and channel that time into other things can be a great way to restore balance to your life.
  • Draw lines in the sand. It prevents you from being called into meetings when you need to rest and relax during those times.

See Also: 5 Ways to Balance Work and Family Time Even if You’re a Workaholic

How Other Countries Beat Us To The Punch

In The Netherlands, there is paid vacation and maternity and paternity leave. People have a legal right to decrease their hours without having to worry about losing their jobs.

In Denmark, workers get to choose whether to work from home and when to start their workday. There is a minimum of 5 weeks of paid vacation for all workers, too.

We have a long way to go to get to that and it starts with redefining work in America. Learn more about restoring work/life balance from this infographic!

Work-Life Balance

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The Truth About What Makes A Great Leader

Leaders are essential to any group or organization. They are the people that guide, control, and manage others so that they can be more productive and efficient in meeting their goals.

However, not all leaders are great ones. Some of them are just wearing the title and don’t live up to their position.

If you’re curious to know what makes a great leader, here are some points to highlight their traits.

“Good leaders tell you what to do while great leaders make you realize what needs to be done”.

great leader

Good leaders have ideas that can only alter what’s within their area while great leaders have ideas that can change the way things are done around the globe. The scale of their ideas is what sets apart greatness from merely being good.

Game-changers and out-of-the-box thinkers are great leaders because they have the power of changing the way people think. They can call their fellow people to action and steer them towards change. An organization that has great leaders with the right mindset will be able to continue growing and evolving.

A magnetic personality is what makes a great leader. Their passion and drive are visible in everything they do. Their shoulders aren’t slouched and there is a zeal that drives them to inspire the people close to them.

“Good leaders say. Great leaders show.”

great leader observation

Great leaders make people observe them. They know that people learn and adapt their behaviors through observation. So, they set examples of effective work culture, communication, and work ethics to influence everyone around them.

Great leaders believe in actions and in inspiring others. They believe that every person has an innate quality of greatness within them and they strive to bring that out.

A good leader will not improve you as a person as much as a great leader will. He can only tell you what should be done in your workplace but he rarely follows his own words.

Good leaders can make you feel good but great leaders can make you feel great about yourself. You will literally see yourself evolving into a better professional when you are under the guidance of a great leader.

“Good leaders cover their weaknesses while great ones work on them”

A good leader will try and cover his weaknesses with tons of excuses. He will make excuses so that he can avoid doing a job he’s weak at. This trait gets communicated to everyone, building a negative vibe.

A great leader, on the other hand, will realize his weaknesses and will try hard to overcome them, even if that involves learning from his subordinates. Great leaders, after all, have no ego when it comes to learning.

Their only goal is to make his employees and the organization better. Everything else is secondary to them.

Great leaders work so hard on their weaknesses to turn them around into their strengths.

See Also: The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence For A Leader

Good leaders aren’t motivators! They can show you the direction but they won’t fuel you up for the journey.

Great leaders will fill you with the thrill of embarking upon something new and will see to it that you stay motivated throughout.

Good leaders become bosses but great leaders become friends. A good leader will only remain your boss and will stay within his professional boundaries. A great leader befriends everyone in his team and doubles as a mentor to everyone.

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The 3 Types of People That Ruin Meetings

Aah, the office meeting. While there are many grievances in the average workplace, none is quite as loathsome as having an unproductive meeting. And yet, we still spend around 31 hours a month doing it. If you’re in the upper management, you can expect to spend 50% of your time in meetings. While some meetings- like brainstorms and quarterly reviews- are justified, many are just awful time-suckers that yield no productive results. So, what makes these meetings unproductive and so terrible? Check out these 3 types of people you should never invite to your meetings.

Naked Ned

Remember the parable about the Emperor with no clothes? Fast forward him into the 21st century, arm him with an excel spreadsheet, and get ready to have the worst meeting of your life. The naked Emperor may have a position of authority but he actually spends his time doing very little. To compensate for this, he hides behind an incomprehensible spreadsheet and spends several hours every week explaining it to the team. But, is there an explanation? Never! Instead, the naked emperor weaves together buzzwords and gibberish sounds so that nobody really understands what’s happening. He tries so hard to hide the fact that he is actually spending that six-figure salary going through Pinterest.

How To Defeat: Ask direct questions and don’t let the Emperor’s words fool you. What is that spreadsheet for? What is the ROI? What is the objective? Keep drilling until you get clear answers in English. When the Emperor inevitably trips up and makes a fool of himself, hopefully, he’ll decide that dragging everyone into a pointless meeting isn’t the best way to disguise his laziness.

Sad Sally

Sad Sally is supposed to be breaking down the budget but she’s just breaking down. Before your coffee cools, Sally has already shared with the meeting that she’s recently gone through a break-up, she’s about to get evicted or her car got a flat tire this morning. While sharing personal information with colleagues can often be a bonding experience, the Monday round-table isn’t the best time and place to do it.

How To Defeat: Create a meeting agenda and write down who gets to speak about which topic. If Sally starts veering off course in the next meeting, gently remind her to stick to the agenda.

Angry Amber

In every business, things go wrong. A team failure is hard for everyone but the only thing worse than making a mistake is being publicly raked over the coals for it. A good leader will learn from that mistake and create a plan to avoid it from happening again. A bad leader will drag everyone into a meeting to scream and throw things at them. Worse than general yelling is when a boss decides to single out one employee and scream at him in front of the entire team. That is not leadership but harassment. Generally speaking, there are two types of screaming bosses. The first one is emotionally unstable and cracks under pressure. The second one enjoys belittling people to make himself feel bigger. While neither are fun, the first boss is likely to return to normal once the crisis is over while the second type remains a toxic bully.

How To Defeat: Dealing with a toxic boss isn’t easy for anyone. You can say nothing and wait for the storm to pass, attempt to talk it out, speak to HR, or jump ship.

See Also: 3 Easy Ways To Stay Positive When Dealing With A Difficult Boss

Does This Really Need A Meeting?

The best way to make meetings better? Only host them when they’re very necessary. While a Naked Ned, Sad Sally, or Angry Amber might be too tone-deaf to realize that everyone hates their meetings, you can be a better colleague by refusing to engage in unproductive meetings.

See Also: How To Make Meetings More Effective

Not sure if you should host that meeting? The following infographic, courtesy of Fundera, has a handy flowchart to help you decide, along with key facts about the true cost of unproductive meetings.does this really need a meeting

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The Importance of Meeting The Boss Regularly

Everyone knows that effective communication is absolutely necessary to make a relationship successful. Marriages fail every day due to a breakdown in communication between spouses. Professional relationships in the workplace fail for the same reason.

Misunderstandings and differences of opinion can turn into distrust between an employee and the boss. Once that happens, the workflow gets disrupted and the success of the business gets compromised. To prevent any of those things from happening, both parties need to recognize the importance of meetings.

When Meeting Regularly with the Boss is Not an Option

For a lot of employees, having a one-on-one meeting with their boss may not always be possible. This can be due to their demanding schedules and other specific deadlines that they have to meet. For some employees who are located in another office or work site, meeting with their boss regularly isn’t a practical option.

Despite those conditions, meeting with the boss should still be a priority. It’s one of the most effective means for keeping the boss updated.

If you’re one of those employees who work far from the main office or your boss is frequently away, you can turn to technology. The internet provides a lot of means to have a meeting even if the parties are not physically together. You can use your computer or your mobile phone to communicate with your boss regularly.

Things to Communicate to Your Boss

one on one meetings

To keep the boss in the loop of how things are progressing in an organization, it is advisable to keep the lines of communication open on a regular basis. One way to accomplish this is to have a regular or weekly meeting with the boss.

Some of the things to be discussed at the meeting would be:

Status of projects

It is always important to keep the boss updated on the progress of his projects. Provide regular updates and be prepared to have a full report instead of waiting to be asked for it.

Goals and objectives

The boss will want to know how well you are keeping up with your team’s goals and objectives. Meeting with the boss on a regular basis will keep him/her updated on how things are progressing and what goals and objectives are yet to be met. While written reports outline the details of your progress, being able to discuss and explain the report is much more effective.

Personal goals

A good boss will want to keep employees motivated. Therefore, he/she will want to know more about the goals or personal ambitions of the employees. These things are best discussed in a one-on-one meeting.

Ongoing issues

Most bosses prefer hearing about issues as they happen and what is being done to address them. A regular meeting with the boss can provide the necessary updates regarding those issues.

Projection of possible issues down the road

Since no boss likes being caught off-guard with bad news, your boss will want to know any potential challenges that could pop up in the near future. So, regularly communicate any negative issues concerning his employees and what things can be done to address them.

Responses to last meetings

It sounds like common sense, but employees often get so wrapped up in their day-to-day issues that they forget to address issues that were discussed at their last meeting with the boss.

Read your notes and review them from time to time. This way, you’ll have an answer to your boss in case he asks related questions on your next meeting.

Wants and needs

The boss will not know what tools, resources or training you need to be successful unless you tell him. He’ll likely assume that all is well unless he hears otherwise. If you have any request or demand, don’t hesitate to communicate it during the meeting.

Updates on schedule for upcoming vacations

It is prudent to always compare schedules with the boss to know when the boss will be going on vacation and when an employee will be out of the office as well.

Input for strategic plan of the organization

Meeting with the boss can be a great opportunity to share thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in the workplace. It’s also a good chance to alert the boss about the things that can hinder the business’ success. Honest, frank discussions where ideas can be exchanged between the boss and the employees can help in the achievement of the organization’s goals.

Building Trust

meeting importance

Regular meetings establish trust, mutual respect, and care. And the more often these meetings occur, the less anxiety employees will have when sharing honest information concerning the boss and the business. The boss, on the other hand, will find it easier to rely on his employees, knowing that they are doing their best in their job.

See Also: How To Make Meetings More Effective

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3 Top Job Industries That Are Flying Under Your Radar

When your job search feels stalled, it’s time to make a change to your strategy. So many top job industries are emerging, providing opportunities for you to pursue one of your passions.

Your job search strategy should have more structure than just randomly sending your documents to dozens of job openings every week. Reflect on what industries align with your interests and focus on those.

Let’s take a look at the most exciting job industries you can start with.

Outdoor Recreation

outdoor recreation

More people are spending time and money on experiencing the great outdoors. In fact, according to an April 2017 report from the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation industry creates $887 billion in consumer spending and employs 7.6 million Americans.

If you love taking hikes, camping, and seeking adventures in your local parks, this is the perfect industry for you. There are several awesome companies to choose from.

For example, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is perfect if you’re into outdoor gear. They continue to be recognized as a top employer. Every year since 1998, they earned a spot in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, which is based on anonymous employee feedback.

Additionally, they ranked second in Glassdoor’s 2016 list for Top 20 Employer Benefits and Perks. Employees enjoy discounts, retirement plans, community involvement, two days of additional PTO for outside activities, healthcare, and a positive culture that shares a passion for the outdoors.

To make the most of your job search, learn how to show your enthusiasm to potential employers. Niche industries are especially competitive because there are fewer opportunities and a lot of passionate people who want to work there.

Just this year, my company, JobsInSports, conducted a survey of employers. They said one of the best ways you can express enthusiasm for your industry is by writing a tailored cover letter. Also, one in four employers says sharing industry experience during your interview is crucial to demonstrating enthusiasm.

To put it simply, gain experience as you look for jobs within a niche industry like outdoor recreation. Search for internships and volunteer opportunities if you’re struggling to get entry-level work. As you work, think about how you are going to write about your learning experiences and how you can share them in your cover letter.

See Also: 5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out

Sports

The world of sports is huge and it’s only going to get bigger. According to a 2016 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the sports industry will be valued at $75 billion by 2020.

However, this doesn’t just include the major sports, like football, baseball, and basketball. Soccer is becoming more popular in North America and esports shows no signs of slowing. In fact, a 2017 report from Newzoo found that there are 191 million esports enthusiasts worldwide and just the esports industry alone generated $696 million in revenue.

The best part about the sports industry is that you have plenty of opportunities within each sport. Depending on your interests, you can find the perfect employer.

For soccer fans, look at MLS. Baseball enthusiasts thrive when they work in MLB. For those interested in sports media, ESPN still stands as one of the best employers.

Another exciting world within the industry is sports technology. Companies like Hudl and SeatGeek are among the best employers. They offer exciting growth opportunities and great benefits.

The best way to stand out in sports involves two key factors: networking and building an online presence.

Employers noted that the top ways candidates stand out to them include joining professional organizations, commenting on industry discussion boards, sharing industry content through social media, and engaging with relevant industry groups through networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.

When you meet people and publicly engage with sports groups online, potential employers will see you’re passionate. They will also see what your expertise is if you’re sharing ideas and starting discussions.

Wellness

spa and wellness

The wellness industry includes nutrition, alternative medicine, beauty products, the spa industry, fitness, and wellness tourism. With more people interested in self-care, this industry is booming.

As a 2017 report from The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) found, the U.S. generates $202.2 billion of the annual $563.2 billion global market. In other words, there are several opportunities awaiting you.

Our survey found that employers think the most important aspects you should know about a potential employer are core values, the vision, their products/services, and their mission statement. When you want to work for wellness companies, start researching them.

See Also: 5 Best Ways to Use Technology To Land Your Dream Job

Not only will you gain a clear understanding of their role in the market, but you’ll also see how you align with their culture and how you can provide value to their mission. Then, you can tailor your resume and cover letter to clearly indicate why you’re the best fit for them.

How are you focusing your job search strategy in niche industries?

The post 3 Top Job Industries That Are Flying Under Your Radar appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Facebook’s Workplace, now at 30,000 orgs, adds Chat desktop apps and group video chat

 It’s been once year since Workplace, Facebook’s social network designed specifically for businesses and other organizations, came out of beta to take on the likes of Slack, Atlassian, Microsoft and others in the world of enterprise collaboration. Now, with 30,000 organizations using Workplace across some 1 million groups (more than double the figures Facebook published April)… Read More

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Facebook’s Workplace is turning into a serious Slack competitor

TwitterFacebook

Facebook may be the last company you’d ever expect to make software for serious businesses, but the social network is quickly proving the haters wrong.

A year after officially launching Workplace, the business-focused version of Facebook, the service now counts more than 30,000 businesses and organizations using the software, Facebook announced Thursday. 

That group, more than double what Workplace claimed six months ago, includes names like Starbucks, Spotify, Lyft, and Walmart.

Though not as huge as some of its biggest competitors — less than a year in Microsoft Teams counts more than 125,000 organizations — the growth is impressive, considering that it wasn’t that long ago that the idea of Facebook launching professional software seemed like more of a joke than anything else. Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Workplace, Apps And Software, and Social Media Companies

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Why Volunteering Is Important In Getting Your First Job

If you are a college graduate and still don’t have enough experience, volunteering can be a great start for your future career. It can show your strongest sides and develop your skills. These may be useful depending on the field of work you want to be in.

Just spend some time analyzing your interests, hobbies, and previous experience to select the most interesting area. After that, you can go ahead, make new connections and discover all the benefits the volunteering world has to offer!

Benefits of Volunteering

volunteering work

If you are still doubtful whether volunteering can actually help you to promote yourself, here are the three main reasons why you should definitely give some free time to non-profit organizations and devote yourself to a bigger cause:

  • It will show your interests. It is quite easy to get lost in a boring and academic resume, providing brief information on your college achievements. Volunteering experience may add colors to your CV and make your individuality much brighter.
  • Present yourself in the best way. You will be able to show your strongest sides and concentrate on the key features, which will help you stand out from the rest.
  • It will help you to promote your soft and hard skills. It is not surprising that volunteering work is so popular as it allows students to gain and develop transferable skills applicable to any career. Such skills include teamwork, leadership, and much more.

However, if you still don’t have volunteering experience, you can always contact your local student organizations or various volunteering websites to choose a project. Usually, such companies are always searching for volunteers, so you will easily find a project that will fit your tastes and preferences.

See Also: The Power of Volunteering

Spheres to Choose from

Before you apply for any volunteering project, you need to make sure you know what area to choose. Try to make a list of things that interest you the most and imagine yourself being a part of such a project. You can also contact local organizations or volunteers to find out more about the activities they perform.

If you still don’t know what area to choose, try to answer the following questions:

  • Do you like working with children? If you love children and want to become a teacher one day, it will be a great option to work in a camp, various church or school groups and so on. It will show your potential employer that you are well-organized and can engage a large group of people.
  • Do you like movies? Then you can assist with various tasks behind cameras and work on behind-the-scenes projects.
  • Do you like working with animals? There are always many stray animals and organizations which require help and attention. You can contact zoos, shelters or clinics to offer your help. It may be a bit messy, so you need to be ready to get your hands dirty.

animal rescue volunteer

  • Do you want to learn more about medicine? If you like helping others and are compassionate enough, there is always a huge number of projects which help ill and elderly people. You can play various games or simply talk to them, feed and do simple tasks at hospitals.

Useful Tips

If you are planning to do volunteering work, there are a few tips which may greatly help you to achieve all of your goals and obtain your first job:

  • Stay tuned. It is important to build relationships and stay connected with people even if you leave the project. The whole point of volunteering is creating networks and engaging everyone to achieve bigger goals. Don’t neglect personal meetings, phone calls, various events and lectures to exchange experience and make useful contacts.
  • Learn more about the company. It is always important to possess as much information as possible to be able to understand the goals and missions of the organization. That is why you need to spend some time researching and analyzing information before having your first interview. It will be useful to learn about the organizational structure and the culture of the company.
  • Be passionate. If you want to do volunteering simply to attract attention and get your first job, you will most likely fail. Be sincere and find a project which will get you involved.
  • Think about the skills you can use. If you find your place, it will be much easier to move along the career ladder and show your potential to the fullest. Spend some time to make a list of things you can do better than others and choose a sphere that can reveal your strongest sides.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

The post Why Volunteering Is Important In Getting Your First Job appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents

Many of us think that safe and proper cleaning of blood spills is as simple as taking a mop and a bucket of water mixed with bleach. But to tell you a fact, there is no simple thing about a blood cleanup.

Aside from the fact that it can be potentially infectious, blood is hard to clean because of its ability to attach tightly to the fabric and penetrate into porous materials. As such, a stain might look clean but has dangerous bacteria just beneath the surface.

The harm caused by blood led the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to publish the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. The BPS is a set of guidelines that aims to protect workers against health hazards made by bloodborne pathogens.

OSHA Standard

The Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requires employers to comply with OSHA’s guidelines and encourages them to create an Exposure Control Plans if it is highly likely that workers and employees will have contact with blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids in the performance of their work duties.

Even though most workers and employees, such as those working in banks and financial institutions, do not perform duties in which there is an anticipation of contact with blood, employers should have the appropriate knowledge in case of bloody accidents.

In the guidelines, OSHA also demands employers to provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection.

Employers should implement the use of universal precautions, treating all blood, bodily fluids, and items contaminated with blood as potentially infected with HIV, HBV, and other pathogens. Vaccinations for hepatitis B should also be available within ten days of initial work exposure.

blood contamination

Employers Imperative

If you own a particular business, it is imperative that you follow the guidelines and regulations made by OSHA concerning biohazard waste. One way of being a good citizen is to comply with government regulations that put importance on the health and safety of everyone.

Materials Needed to Manage Minor Spills

Before you start the process of blood cleanup, you will need these materials:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Registered disinfectant product that has a broad spectrum pathogen elimination
  • Biohazard bags
  • Biohazard labels
  • Brush and dustpan or forceps/tongs
  • Leak-proof sharps containers
  • And disinfectant wipes

biohazard suit

Here’s how to clean a blood spill on a surface:

Equip

It is necessary that you equip yourself with the proper protective materials, such as gloves, gowns, masks, and protective eyewear to protect yourself from any splashing. Be sure that your protective wear fits comfortably and does not have any holes so that no pathogens can penetrate your body.

Remove

Use your available materials, such as a brush and dustpan or forceps and tongs, to remove sharp shards of broken glasses that could cut through your protective gear. Then, place each piece into a leak-proof sharps container and do not remove them with your hands.

First Cleaning

Cover the blood spill with cloth towels to absorb as much blood as possible. Keep in mind that the disinfectant will not work if the blood still covers the surface. Then, throw the towels in a biohazard bag.

Second Cleaning

Before you proceed with the second cleaning, make sure that there is proper ventilation in the room where the spill happens. Then, you can pour the disinfectant onto the surface and let it absorb for ten minutes. After that, scrub from the outside toward the center of the spill area with cloth towels. Again, discard the towels into a biohazard bag after the second cleaning.

Third Cleaning

Again, place some more towels and put disinfectant onto the surface of the spill. Then, put the towels in a biohazard bag and leave the surface to dry.

Dispose

Same as with the towels, you should dispose your protective equipment into a biohazard bag. Seal the bag and put it into a second container then label it. Call your local health department for proper disposal.

Decontaminate

You should use a registered disinfectant to decontaminate any reusable materials, such as brooms, dustpans, and buckets. Then, scrub the equipment and rinse it with water.

Check

Final checking is essential for you to be sure that your body is not contaminated. Check if there’s any drop of blood splashed onto your shirt or your feet.

Wash Hands

Wash your hands thoroughly with water and disinfectant soap. You can also use disinfectant wipes.

Report

It is crucial that you fill out an incident report. Do this following any cleanup.

Takeaway

It is vital that you know how to clean blood spill in your workplace. It is one way of maintaining the health and safety of the workers and employees in your area. This guide can help you with that.

The post How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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What Every Bossy Person Should Really Know

Are you in the habit of bossing or ordering the people in your life around?

You know, instead of asking them to do something and having them consent and agree to do it, you give them commands which you expect will be followed immediately and without protest?

“Do this.”

“Do that.”

“Don’t do that.”

If you do, have you ever considered how it affects other people?

Have you ever stopped to question how they’re really responding to your commands inside their heads? Have you ever wondered what they truly think of you?

Most people will just comply when they’re ordered around, especially if it’s from someone who has some authority over them- like a parent, boss or significant other.

Before moving forward, let me ask you another question:

Are you the type of person who wants to win the respect of the people you interact and deal with?

Because I can guarantee you that if you boss and order people around, you’re working against yourself and you’re actually losing their respect. In fact, there’s a good chance they secretly despise you for it.

Of course, they’ll never show it to your face. They’ll just complain and gripe about you behind your back. They’ll revel in their contempt and resentment for you with others who feel the same way. They will criticize you and make jokes at your expense whenever you’re not around.

These are things you’ll probably never see, but I can guarantee you that they’re happening.

The Problem With Bossy People

We all hate being told what to do. We like to be in control of our lives and be able to make our own decisions.

When others make decisions for us and “force” us to comply, we try our best to look extremely well on the surface. What we feel inside, however, is a very different story. As we carry out the tasks, we generate resentment and even anger towards bossy people.

Now, ask yourself this question.

What’s more important to you:

Having certain tasks you delegate carried out or establishing and retaining the respect of others?

I reckon they’re both important, but here’s the thing:

When you order others around, you may successfully get the task accomplished, but you lose their respect. They will not willingly follow you. Though they may carry out the order, they will do it begrudgingly and they’ll look at you with disdain.

See Also: 3 Easy Ways To Stay Positive When Dealing With A Difficult Boss

Is there a better way?

Certainly, there’s a way for you to delegate tasks and have them carried out without jeopardizing the respect people have for you.

It revolves around the issue of consent.

When we boss people around by giving them orders, we strip away their consent to carry out the activity. They feel that they have to do it because they have no other option.

So, what you want to do is have them carry out the task while taking their consent into consideration. You should aim to have the task accomplished without undermining their dignity and pride in the process.

How do you do that?

There are two great ways. Let’s check them out.

Ask people to do what you want

be a good boss

Don’t boss or order people to do it. You ask them.

The simple phrase you need to remember is this:

“Would you…”.

Then, insert your wish. For example:

“Would you take out the trash?”

“Would you wash the dishes?”

With this approach, you can show respect for other people’s free will. You can let them retain their sense of dignity and you won’t make them feel like servants or slaves. More importantly, you don’t come up as an all-powerful master.

People who realize that you’re respecting their power to make their own decisions will be more willing to carry out your tasks. They will do it happily and with respect for you for not abusing your authority.

Make your wishes known to people

nice boss

The phrase to remember is this:

“I’d like you to…”.

Then, insert the activity. For example:

“I’d like you to clean up your mess.”

“I want you to help me out with some cleaning.”

Same as with the first approach, this won’t make you look like you’re forcing them to sacrifice their dignity and sense of self-respect by bending to the wishes of a “master”. Instead, this can get your tasks completed while maintaining the respect of everyone around you.

If you want to be a great leader, you need to know how to appeal to the consent of your followers. You shouldn’t force them to comply with your wishes just because of your position.

See Also: 7 Awesome Things that Very Inspiring Bosses Do

The post What Every Bossy Person Should Really Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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4 Types Of Stress At Work And How To Deal With Them

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Work is meaningful and essential. Work is a part of life. It’s utilizing our talents in order to get something in return. It is a give-and-take process that benefits both parties for the betterment of society.

Through work, you get to feed yourself and your family, pay the bills and get to buy your wants and needs. It is a comfort to the people who have it because it is the answer to their needs.

Unfortunately, not all jobs fit everyone. Some are unfortunate to land a job they dislike while others simply fall out of love from their jobs. This makes it harder for them to work efficiently.

The Common Factor That Makes People Hate Their Jobs

There are a lot of factors that make people hate their jobs.

For some people, it’s the imbalance in their work and personal life. For others, it’s the overwhelming workload and the toxic people they need to work with. The list can get long but one thing is present in all these factors- stress.

Stress is the body’s natural response to pressure or danger around you. It produces hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, that activates the ‘flight-or-fight’ response of your body. Every day, we encounter stress. However, too much stress can have negative effects on your health.

Here are the common types of stress at work and how to manage them.

Time Stress

time stress

This is the most common type of stress at work. You usually experience this when you think there’s not enough time for you to finish a task. Panic sets in and you struggle to finish as many things as you can. You rush until you get burned out, do all of them half-way or, worse, not get any work done at all.

How To Manage Time Stress

When facing time stress, it is important to manage your time and get your priorities straight. Filter your tasks so you can easily see which ones you need to do first. You can use the Eisenhower matrix for this.

Here’s how:

Do First. Tasks in this category should be your first priority. Anything that is placed here should be done as soon as you’re able and not later than the day after tomorrow.

Schedule. This could be important tasks but are not so urgent. These kinds of tasks are either important scheduled meetings or an article with a set deadline.

Delegate. Tasks in this section are not important but still urgent. It could be a follow-up call to a client or a request for your presence for a presentation. These can be transferable to people you can trust, though.

Don’t do. Tasks in this category are neither important nor urgent. You can either do it when you have nothing else to do or not do it at all.

You can use this method if you like prioritizing things the traditional way. However, with today’s technology, you can use apps like Evernote and Toggl to boost your productivity and manage your ideas and time easily.

Anticipatory Stress

anticipatory stress

This stress is associated with the feeling of anticipating the future a little too much. You anticipate so much that uncertainties of what could happen in the future overwhelm you.

Here’s How To Deal With Anticipatory Stress

Be Positive. The best way to deal with anticipatory stress is to not let fear get the best of you. Positive visualization of outcomes helps by cutting off the negative stream of thinking. Meditation and calming yourself down can also help you from stressing yourself out.

Be Prepared. Face the unknown and tackle it head on by visualizing both the best and worst case scenario. If you think that something is going to go bad in the near future, be prepared and formulate back-up plans that you can use.

Be Brave. Anticipatory stress is mostly caused by the thought of failure. In order to combat failure, prepare yourself by visualizing possible obstacles in your path. Take those obstacles as challenges and see failure as a chance to learn and grow.

Situational Stress

situational stress

Situational stress happens when everything starts to go out of your control. It appears suddenly and you will have no clue on what to do. It is the time when you think that everything is going smoothly but suddenly, in a blink of an eye, everything goes downhill.

It could be a time when conflict suddenly erupted near you and you are caught in the middle of it. Or it could be the time where your boss suddenly mocked you in front of many co-workers.

Getting Over Situational Stress

Everyone reacts to situational stress differently. You can act out based on your behavior or on how your automatic response work in specific situations. In a sudden eruption of conflict, you either join the conflict or back away.

Be Self-Aware. The most important point is to be self-aware in whatever you will be doing. Being aware of yourself, your actions and with everything around you, will help you think of a solution despite the stress you are under.

Be Calm. Keep hold of your cool and use your head instead of your temper or emotions. Keeping calm lets you assess the situation before doing something that can negatively affect you, your reputation or your job.

Be Patient. Be patient by hearing each side of the conflict before deciding how to solve it. Meet them halfway in order to come up with a peaceful end to it. If you are dealing with situational stress with your boss, hear him out before reacting.

Encounter Stress

encounter stress

This stress involves the feeling of being overwhelmed by meeting new or too many people. All of us can be overwhelmed by a lot of people, whether we are introverts or extroverts.

It might be because you don’t like them or they don’t like you, but you have to interact with them. It might also mean that it’s the first time you’ll meet them and you worry about how they will react or how they will perceive you.

Handling Your Encounter Stress

Practice People Skills. In order to be able to manage a lot of people well, practice or even perfect your people skills. Be confident with interacting with them, so that you can take control of the situation. You’ll be calmer knowing that you can handle any problem that can arise.

Be Emphatic. Empathy is understanding another person from their point of view. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will make you understand them deeper and feel what they are feeling without judging them. It’ll avoid possible conflict and strengthen relationship bonds at the same time.

Breathe. Whenever stressed, it is important to breathe. Deep breathing has the ability to reduce stress in the body. This signals the brain to calm down and the brain sends the message all over the body.

Other Stress Management Techniques

Write. Studies show that writing about your feelings or anything that makes you happy reduces stress. Take time, relax and write anything you can think of.

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier

It is very important for you to be able to take care of your well-being in order to continue doing what you love and sharing what you can do to everyone. Equipping yourself with a healthy body, engaging mind and a positive attitude will make you go a long, long way.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

 

The post 4 Types Of Stress At Work And How To Deal With Them appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Increase Your Productivity in a Coworking Space

Public coworking spaces and shared office spaces have become increasingly popular in the last decade. In fact, in over six years, the number of shared office spaces available has jumped from 1,130 to 13,800 — a leap of 12,670 spaces.

This popularity is due to the undeniable benefits of shared working spaces, especially for freelancers and independent contractors. Factors such as energy level, professional ambiance and mingling lend a hand to the success of this office style. However, like working anywhere, shared spaces have their own unique downsides. Sensory overload, random uncontrollable noise and self-management can decrease your work productivity.

Here are a few tips to making this public space work for you!

Invest in Headphones

coworking space productivity

Open work spaces come with a lot of noise. Even with the best efforts to keep quiet, keyboard strokes, coffee sips, small chatter, conference calls and more can quickly become a nuisance.

The solution? Headphones.

Using a personalized music playlist or listening to your favorite podcast is proven to be effective in enhancing your focus. However, make sure to cater to your work. If you’re writing, music is usually a better choice than a podcast as it provides too much word input. But, if you’re designing web platforms, a podcast you enjoy will keep your brain busy while you’re completing tedious tasks.

If music in your ear isn’t your jam (pun intended), consider complete silence with a high-quality pair of noise-canceling headphones. Covering up with a pair of these will block out the chitter chatter and clickety clicks, so you can focus on your workload in peace and quiet.

See Also: This Type Of Music Can Increase Your Productivity

Create Your ‘Office’

cowork space

Much like audio chaos, visual noise is worth reducing for increased productivity. Avoid having anything chaotic or messy within your sight to help maintain focus. Items like trash bins, cluttered tables, washroom hallways and even busy streets are distracting.

Try facing towards a view with simple, clean lines. It can be a garden window or a wall. It seems boring, but Zen tradition suggests this is a great way to stay on task. If possible, include daylight near your workspace. Increased light exposure is proven to improve sleep habits and therefore increase productivity.

Having a plant nearby can also relax the body and foster creativity. If the space doesn’t have plants, consider commuting with your own or bringing a few to leave in the space. Of course, make sure to talk to the owner of the workspace first to ensure that your greenery doesn’t get tossed out at the end of the day.

If your line of work involves a high level of creativity, you may choose to face the excitement head on and use it as your muse. The saying “to each his own” is appropriate for visual decluttering.

See Also: 7 Surprising Benefits of Coworking Spaces

Prioritize Your Time

Most people (64%) who use coworking spaces are better able to meet their deadlines. Time management plays a large role in their ability to do so. To become one of the 64%, it’s suggested that you mute all unimportant notifications. Little beeps for unimportant tasks will take your focus away from larger, more important jobs.

Next, studies show that in order to produce the highest quality of work in the shortest amount of time, people should work intensely for 52 minutes, then take a 17-minute break.

The trick? Staying off of social media, text messaging and the like. Instead, use your break to take a refreshing walk or mingle within the office space. Not only will this help you refocus, but networking never hurts!

Scheduling your own hours is a huge perk that comes along with this style of working. However, if you aren’t disciplined with your time, it’s easy to start working in overdrive. Keeping set hours helps you stay on track, sets the pace for your day and for your potential clients and assures you do not overwork yourself.

One of the reasons shared working spaces are successful is the fact that they provide a structured space to work that is not home. Use this to your advantage and keep work and home time separate.

In addition to these three focus points, maintaining a work-life harmony and keeping procrastination tendencies under control are also important to increasing your productivity in a shared work environment. Once your space is perfected, you will reap the benefits of joining a coworking habitat, including an improved home life, a potential increase in income and added professional flexibility.

Share our awesome infographic on Tips For Getting Work Done.

 

The post How to Increase Your Productivity in a Coworking Space appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out

You know what they say—applying for a job is a job in itself. Albeit a little negative, the saying is correct—it does take a lot of energy and effort to search and apply for jobs. In this day and age, it’s likely that you will be submitting at least 20 or more applications in an average job search. And when each job requires your resume, an online application (complete with questionnaire), plus a stellar cover letter that’s tailored to each and every job listing, it’s easy to see why the process gets exhausting.

Although it might be tempting to just write a generic cover letter for each of these job listings, you could be sabotaging your job search. The average number of people who apply for one position is around 118. So, how do you put your name at the top of the stack out of the dozens of people applying for a job? Although there’s no surefire trick that will help get you each and every job, having well-written and tailored job materials will always increase your chances of getting a call back for an interview.

So, what are the key components of a cover letter and what should you say in them? How exactly do you write a great cover letter?

Here are a few tips on writing an effective cover letter that will help you land your dream job.

What Does a Good Cover Letter Consist Of?

A good cover letter will accomplish the following four things:

1. Have correct formatting.
2. Tell your prospective employer who you are.
3. Tell your prospective employer why you’re qualified for this job.
4. Tell your prospective employer why you’re more qualified than other applicants.

See Also: 16 Worst Resume Mistakes

Now that we know what the components are, let’s break down each section.

Get in Cover Letter Formation

First things first, you have to make sure that your cover letter format is correct. You will need to have your name and contact information in a centered header at the top. The first line will be the date you’re writing the cover letter and will be left-aligned. Underneath your date, you will put a space, and then you will address the person you are writing the letter to (the person listed in the job ad) and put their position name if known, company, and address.

See the example below.

In addition to your name and your prospective employer’s name being correctly formatted, you also want to be sure to keep your cover letter all on one page. If your prospective employer sees more than one page, it’s likely they are not going to read it. So, even if you really want to mention that you won the sixth-grade science fair, you probably won’t have the space to do so. Be sure to sign your letter with a “Sincerely,” add a space below, and then put your first and last name.

Tell Them Who You Are

Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to your prospective employer, and, if you’re lucky enough to get the job, then this will be the introduction to people you could potentially work with for years. You definitely want to make a good first impression, and to make a good first impression you need to properly introduce yourself. In the first paragraph of your cover letter, say your first and last name and write exactly what position you are applying for (there could be several positions open in the company).

After that, you will want to give the employer your “elevator speech” on paper. The HR team or the hiring manager will be blazing through these cover letters to see whom they can eliminate right away so it’s crucial to stick to the important facts quickly. Say why you’re qualified for the job right away. Name your years of relevant experience, your string of internships, or anything else that is relevant. Be brief and professional. You want to be as succinct as possible.

Write Why You Are Qualified

cover letter

After you’ve introduced yourself, the next one to two paragraphs are going to be about why you’re qualified for this position in particular.

It may be uncomfortable, but this is your time to brag. You don’t want to come off as too much, however. For example, something like this would be fine: “I believe that my experience working on several different types of publications, experience editing in both AP and Chicago Manual of Style, and my ability to collaborate with writers make me qualified for this copyediting position.” But something like this might come off as too braggadocious: “I believe I would be able to enter your position with relatively no training as I have already mastered everything that was listed in your qualifications on the job ad.”

If you can also put your achievements in quantitative terms, do so. An example would be: “As Sales Manager in X Company, I was able to raise our annual profits by a total of 20% for 2016.”

Key tip: Use language directly from the job ad in your cover letter. If the job description says that you must be an expert in using Specific Program XYZ, then specifically state that you are an expert in using Specific Program XYZ.

Write Why You’re Most Qualified

So, you’ve already established that you’re qualified for the position. Now is the time that you need to write about why you’re more qualified than anyone else.

Why would you be good to work with? Have you never missed a deadline on your own account? Do you go above and beyond? Are you always the first one at the office? What is it about you that sticks out above all the rest? Write that in a short paragraph and then you’re ready to close it out.

At the end of your cover letter, you will need to add just a sentence that says something along the lines of, “If you have any questions about my work history or would like any more information, please contact me at _____. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

And then you write a signature and you’re ready to send that letter off.

Be Sure to Proofread

resume proofreading

Lastly—and this can’t be overstated—it’s so important to have someone give your cover letter a read and ensure that it is 100% grammatically correct and doesn’t contain any spelling errors. It’s really difficult to catch your own errors, and you don’t want to re-read it after you hit send and discover that you misspelled something in the job title or accidentally wrote the name of the wrong company.

Do yourself a favor and have a trusted family member or friend read over your letter, or consider hiring the services of a professional editor to do the job.

Writing cover letters takes a lot of time and effort, but once you get that call that says you got the job, you will be glad you took the time to do it correctly.

See Also: What I Learned From Reading 1,000 Resumes

 

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Integrating User Experience Design and Internet Marketing Successfully

There was a time when having a website was the new thing in marketing. In 2010, there were just 255 million websites worldwide. That number nearly quadrupled to 966 million in just six years.

As a marketing professional, this trend tells me two things: websites are a major factor in strategy planning and websites have to deliver more in order to rise above the crowd.

At first glance, you might say that I have only to worry about the first and leave the second to website designers. However, website designers tend to focus more on how a website looks than how it works and that can be problematic for marketers when the website design has a negative impact on the user experience or UX.

As Steve Jobs said, “Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But, of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” That is exactly what it means to have a website with good user experience or UX.

A Marketing Approach to Your Site’s UX design

The UX was not always a big issue, which is why there is a divide between marketing and website design. People, back in the day, were more patient and willing to overlook a cumbersome website if they could get otherwise inaccessible information.

That is no longer the case today.

Now, users have higher expectations when it comes to website performance. Since they have a wider option of obtaining what they want from other sources, they are more likely to leave a site if it has a negative UX design.

The factors that influence website UX include accessibility (loading speed, working links), usability (navigation), findability (SEO), value (content relevance and credibility) and desirability (design and layout). When a website lacks one or more feature, it results in a negative UX.

How does this impact on marketing?

Well, consider that the average user in 2017 will wait only a few seconds for a page to load and about 80% of users are less likely to use a website with poor UX. This means fewer conversions and that’s not good from a marketing perspective.

Marketing and UX Pairing

The question then is how marketing can improve the UX. The answer is simple: the two sides have to work as a team.

Sales and marketing professionals routinely deal directly with people, unlike website designers. As such, they have an in-depth knowledge of what people want and need when they visit a particular site.

For example, if you sell clothes online, the people that go to your site need to buy clothes. How can you provide them with a solution to their problem? The answer is to make it easy for them to find what they want.

Marketing professionals can provide valuable insight into buying behavior and psychology, which may not make much sense to web designers. On the other hand, marketers have no idea of the principles behind website design. They may know how to sell but not how to present it to the user effectively.

In other words, marketing and UX design have to forge a working relationship. Below are some brilliant ways marketing and UX design can boost your site’s conversion rate together.

Coordinate marketing efforts

marketing campaign

One of the biggest challenges for many companies today is coordinating different marketing campaigns to benefit the company as a whole. One study shows that nearly two-thirds of companies identify marketing silos as a barrier to communications, productive and effective execution of a cohesive marketing strategy.

Collaboration with the UX design team can break down these silos and improve communications because it establishes a common ground to work on. Working with the UX design team makes any breakdown in communications among marketing glaringly apparent, so it necessitates agreement among them on major goals. When there is a cohesive message and approach, the UX design team can produce a better website. It’s a win-win situation.

Carry out user testing

Marketers may know people but, ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. UX design teams have access to information that reveals how users actually interact with the website through user testing tools. These provide valuable insights to marketers about what the users want so they can refine their marketing campaigns and maximize conversion.

This, in turn, will guide marketers on what they need the UX design team to fix on the website so that they can improve and create the ideal UX. This entails a certain measure of trial and error but it is a very effective method of designing the perfect website in the long term.

designing the perfect website

Unify campaigns across different channels

Websites often serve as the anchor for campaigns and the average company uses about eight different channels for their marketing efforts. While marketing strategies for each channel optimize user response, they don’t necessarily dovetail neatly into your conversion funnel.

You need to make sure your email campaign is in line with your mobile app so that they end up generating leads or sales for your company. The best way to do this is to design your website to be the pivot or hub for different channels so most of your leads can conveniently navigate across channels.

Actionable plans

Now that you know how marketing and UX can work and complement each other, your next step is to take action. Here’s how to do that:

Do initial research

Designing a site for a kick-ass UX all begins with gathering information about your user. You need to find out who they are, what they care about and where they come from. You also need to know how they spend their time before you can even think about your site design. Learning about your target audience is essential for success in developing your website UX. After all, it is the user experience.

Monitor users

Your initial user research will give you a good idea of how to design your website. However, until you take it out for a test drive, it is just an idea. Once your site goes up, you should monitor how users are actually interacting with your site and use tools to monitor and analyze their behavior.

Before you do that, take note of your own expectations on user behavior to serve as a benchmark for future observations. This will prevent you from “hindsight bias” and help you figure out gaps in your user research.

Do a survey

According to TermLife2Go, after you have observed your users and identified certain behaviors you want to understand, do a survey to get the answers from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Most of e-commerce websites are doing actionable plans to enhance users shopping experience. They send specific questions to ask why users bought an item or why they clicked on a certain option. Your intention is not to be nosy, but to increase your understanding of how your users think. That way, you can improve the website UX as well as your marketing campaigns.

Conclusion

A marketing approach to website UX is simply about integrating two important elements of your conversion funnel. If you can manage to do this successfully, it will maximize your marketing efforts to an incredible degree.

See Also: The 5 Internet Marketing Trends That Will Dominate in 2017

 

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3 Steps to Getting That BIG Raise at Work

One of the most important components of achieving long-term financial well-being is increasing your income. In most instances, this will come in the form of raises to your salary. As you gain more experience and rise up the ranks, you’ll receive compensation adjustments.

But, do you know exactly how to get a raise?

In this article, we’ll discuss how to craft a compelling ASK which you can use to maximize your salary increase. This past year I used these techniques to increase my base salary by 10%!

Look at your work situation objectively

work evaluation

To start the process, you’ll first need to sit down and objectively look at your work situation. Have you been over-delivering on your project requirements? Have you been showcasing your leadership ability?

Sit down and write a list of 5-10 things that you’ve done to add significant value to your organization. If you can’t come up with at least a few things that you’ve done to add value, you may not be ready to ask for a raise.

If this is the case, don’t be discouraged. Use the situation as a motivator to improve yourself. Reach out to your boss and ask for feedback on what you can do to improve. Once you determine your areas for improvement, begin working towards your action items. Once you come up with 5 -10 talking points, it’s time to begin crafting your compelling ASK.

Crafting your ASK

You’ve done all the hard work of delivering results, now it’s time to talk about them. When developing your ASK, it’s important to determine how much of a raise you’d like.

Do you want a 5% raise? A 10% raise?

Be sure to research what an average raise for your position looks like and determine how much you deserve based on your performance. You’ll need to be prepared to justify this amount to your employer when you’re at the negotiation table.

Next, you’ll want to begin structuring your ASK appropriately. Start by thanking your boss for his/her time and express your appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of a great organization. This will help diffuse the situation and give you an extra positive boost when you begin your negotiation.

Next, you’ll want to highlight the 5-10 items on your list that have added value to the organization. It’s extremely important that you express the VALUE you’ve provided because, in the end, that’s what your employer cares about. Use metrics and other supporting data to solidify your case.

Once you’ve explained your positive results, close out by asking your employer for your determined percentage raise. Below, I’ve given an example of what a good ASK would look like:

“Over the past 6 months, my team and I have successfully delivered on project x & y, increasing revenue by $100,000 as well as reducing customer service average wait time by 3 minutes. I plan to continue to set the bar high for myself and my team so that we can continue delivering more results like these to the organization. As a result, I feel that my compensation should be adjusted by x% to reflect my performance”.

Practice your ASK in front of people to get comfortable delivering your request. This will most likely feel awkward at first, but practice can help you gain the confidence you’ll need to deliver. Now that you’ve crafted and practiced your compelling ASK, it’s time to set up a review meeting with your employer.

The Negotiation

raise negotiation

Now that you’ve crafted a compelling ASK and practiced delivering it, it’s time to begin your negotiation. Reach out to your employer and request a time to speak with him/her. If you already have a pre-set evaluation meeting, mark it in your calendar.

On the day of the negotiation, show up dressed to impress and ready to kick some butt. When your meeting time finally arrives, thank your employer for meeting with you and sit down to begin your discussion. During the discussion, remember to highlight the VALUE that you’ve created for the organization and focus on the key metrics that you’ve delivered. Once you’ve given your pitch, ASK your employer for your desired raise.

From there, your boss will either accept or reject your proposal. If he/she accepts your proposal, congratulations! You worked hard and deserve every penny of your raise. If your boss rejects your proposal, ask if you could substitute some of your proposed extra yearly compensation with other forms of compensation, such as year-end bonuses, stock options or more vacation time.

Many employers are more lenient with this form of compensation and it may be a great option for you. If your boss still rejects the proposal, ask them if there is anything else you need to do to be considered for a raise in the future. When your boss provides you with feedback, take that feedback and implement it into your plan of attack right away. Once you’ve completed the desired items outlined in your discussion, re-engage the raise conversation.

Bringing it all together

As a high performer and excellent contributor to your organization, you deserve to be compensated fairly for your contributions. Preparing for this important interaction with your employer will not only help you achieve better results in the present, but it can also have a massive impact on your long-term financial well-being.

See Also: How Social Niceties Can Ruin Your Chances Of Getting A Promotion At Work

Pro-tip: Book Recommendation

A good book to read in this scenario is “The Greatest Salesmen in the World” by Og Mandino. Mr. Mandino delivers key selling success strategies through a parable set in ancient Babylon.

I found the timeless lessons he discussed in this book extremely compelling and I enjoyed the story he illustrated to frame these lessons. Learning the soft skills taught in this classic book will surely be of benefit to you in many life and work situations.the greatest salesman in the world

Do you have any stories or experiences of asking for a raise? Do you have any beneficial tips or strategies that you’ve utilized in a wage negotiation? I’d love to hear from you.

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How And Why To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence

Parents and educators have done a serious disservice to many people by leading them to believe that IQ is everything and that your grades actually matter once you are out of school. Learning is good and getting good grades can certainly open a lot of doors, but your IQ is basically set for life in childhood. So, if you are going to depend on that for the rest of your life, it will just be a losing game for you.

There is good news, though.

Your emotional quotient, or EQ, can be developed throughout your life and can have a greater impact on your career success than anything else. How to work emotional intelligence? Read on.

What Is EQ?

Your emotional quotient, like your IQ, is a measurement of your emotional intelligence. The more you develop different areas of your emotional intelligence, the higher your EQ climbs.

These are things like:

Social skills – How well do you interact with people and get along with your coworkers?

Empathy – Can you put yourself in other people’s shoes to really understand their point of view? Are you in the habit of doing this regularly?

Motivation – Are you passionate about your work or your hobby? Are you motivated by money and power?

Self-regulation – Are you able to accept things that are out of your control and think before you act?

Self-awareness – Are you aware of your own personal strengths and weaknesses? Can you acknowledge these and admit your mistakes?

How Are EQ And IQ Different?

Your IQ is consistent throughout your entire life. It basically measures your ability to learn. There are no major differences between men and women.

Your EQ, on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with a little effort on your part. There may be some differences between men and women in general, but it is unclear whether they are biologically or socially driven.

Typically, 70% of the time, a person of average intelligence will outperform someone with high intelligence and EQ is likely the reason behind that.

Some Of The Most Successful People Have High EQs

oprah winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is so well known for her emotional intelligence that it has its own name: Oprahfication. She has used her ability to get people to open up to build a television empire.

Matt Damon has also used his emotional intelligence to build and maintain relationships with fellow actors as well as to launch the H2O Africa Foundation. Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi once wrote to the parents of 29 of her employees to tell them they had raised good kids.

Emotional intelligence traits like these have allowed each of these people to accelerate their professional lives much more than if they were completely reliant on IQ.

Why Work On Emotional Intelligence?

People with high levels of emotional intelligence earn on average of $29,000 more per year than those with low levels of emotional intelligence. In fact, for every point your EQ rises, you can expect to earn an average of $1300 more a year. The majority of top job performers have high emotional quotients. Clearly, increasing your emotional quotient is something you can’t afford not to do.

See Also: The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence For A Leader

How Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

There’s no one way to improve your EQ and there’s no magic class or text you can take. It comes from hard work and perseverance. You will have to do some hard work and some introspection.

Here are some of the things you can start on:

Practice empathy – Putting yourself in another person’s shoes is something you have to consciously do. It won’t come naturally at first but once you do it enough, it will become second nature.

See Also: How To Develop Empathy By Understanding Subjective Hardship

Admit your own faults – Know your limits and admit to them. If someone else is better at something than you are, acknowledge it!

Listen – Don’t shut someone down because you think you know more than he does. Listen and try to understand where the other person is coming from.

Deal with your stress in a positive way – If you notice it building, take up yoga or meditation to keep it under control.

yoga mental health

Give honest feedback nicely – Sometimes, tough things need to be said. Learn how to do it in a constructive way.

Look at failure as an opportunity to learn

Check out this infographic to learn more about emotional intelligence.

Source

 

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Five Career Killers Every Professional Should Be Aware Of

Hard work is, without a doubt, an indispensable factor in the ladder of success. Without it, there is not much that can be accomplished.

Working hard with sincerity and integrity is sure to take an individual’s career a long way. Unfortunately, there are instances where hard-working individuals can lose their fight and succumb to the various obstacles along the way. These obstacles may look like subtle and honest mistakes on the surface but, in reality, they usually have very serious repercussions.

You don’t need to do something dramatic to be kicked out of your job. In some cases, various honest and subtle mistakes can be enough to end your career.

Here are 5 career killers:

Hard work

signs of overworking

“When you’re a hard worker, the only person that can come in the way of your success is you!“

Everything in this world has its own pros and cons. We’re all aware of the merits of hard work but, like all other things, it can be dangerous too.

It’s a scientific fact that people who usually work hard are differently wired than people who don’t. In the prefrontal cortex of the brain, there’s an enzyme called catechol-O-methyltransferase or COMT. The function of this enzyme is to balance out the dopamine levels in the brain.

Now, there are two types of COMT, a fast acting one and a slow acting one. The slow acting one clears up the excessive dopamine five times slower than the fast acting one and is usually found in hard working people. This makes the hard workers prone to anxiety, stress and over-thinking. These things can negatively affect their performance under stressful situations.

People who work hard tend to focus more on the ‘working’ aspect of the job rather than the ‘result’ aspect of it. They come early to office only to be the last person to leave. They work hard but aren’t able to churn out desirable results because they direct their energies in the wrong direction. These people get so involved with working that succeeding in the work takes the backseat. This has turned out to be a big career killer because, at the end of the day, a good result is all that matters.

See Also: 7 Signs Of Overworking (And What To Do About Them)

Resting on the laurels

“Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.”

Now, it’s an understood fact that with hard work comes success and with success comes glory. But, it is also true that basking in that glory for too long is a sure shot career killer.

Resting on one’s laurels is a common mistake most people make. They get too attached to the pride and glory a particular task provided them and just can’t seem to move on from it.

Working hard for a task is important but it is equally important to get over it once it’s done. We’ve often heard that such-and-such fell because they let the success get over their heads. This is, in fact, a real practical problem that professionals face which can end up ruining their careers.

Complacency

“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”

Complacency is almost like the evil twin of the previous flaw. Being self-satisfied is, perhaps, the biggest hindrance to personal growth. Hardworking people have the tendency to feel self-satisfied, if not pushed hard enough.

When a professional works hard and gets his due success, he is appreciated for his work. This appreciation leads to a sense of smug self-satisfaction which makes him complacent. If they are under-appreciated, they lose the motivation to carry on further. It’s a strange paradox.

Anyhow, this complacency is another legit career killer. The trick here is to not be too attached with work and the outcomes of it. You have to know how to keep working and learning without getting stuck at a single point.

Promising big things

“Rarely promise, but, if lawful, constantly perform.”

Remember hard workers being differently wired than the rest? That strange little chemical responsible for the dopamine balance has another role to play in the career-killing behavior of professionals. Quite a mischievous role biochemistry plays in this whole thing!

So, what happens is, this excessive dopamine makes hard workers much more charged than the rest. While being assigned tasks, they (in their charged up zone) end up promising big things to their senior officials. They have the belief that they can actually deliver without realizing the unreasonable nature of their claims.

When they aren’t able to deliver the promises, it ends up pissing their seniors off. Even though they might have done a good job, their broken promises put them in the negative light.

Sucking up to the boss

sucking up to the boss

“Suck up to your boss if you’re not good at what you do!”

One who is good at what one does will only focus on his work, not on other means to climb the success ladder. This is one of the most obvious and common mistakes people make in order to become successful in their careers and it ironically ends up sabotaging them.

There is no other thing that can place a particular individual in a more negative light than sucking up to their senior officials. It’s just plain wrong and immoral! Most people confuse it with people managing and playing politics smartly when they’re two polar opposites. There is no way one can sugar coat this truth. Sucking up is sucking up.

See Also: Smart Ways to Navigate Office Politics and Emerge as a Winner

Working hard is not a sure shot formula to success. In fact, there is no formula to success. It’s just a mix of complicated elements, characteristics and biochemistry! Just make sure you don’t make these general mistakes. Work hard, keep an eye on your results, and keep growing. It might just help you succeed!

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Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace

“In corporate America, women fall behind early and continue to lose ground with every step,” begins the 2016 Women in the Workplace Study.

It’s not hard to believe, considering that only 17% of startups have a female founder. There are multiple factors holding women back from succeeding in the workplace. The study continues to note that women often miss out on vital interactions with members of management, stifling their ability to climb the corporate ladder from the get-go.

The more interactions missed, the shorter the ladder becomes over time. This creates a cumulative effect that becomes impossible to make up for later in life. What can be done to ensure that everyone has an equal shot at success? How do you boost the success of women in the workplace?

When Sheryl Sandberg wrote “Lean In” four years ago, her stated goal was to have half of businesses run by women and half of homes run by men. “In terms of women in leadership roles, we are not better off,” Sandberg said in a USA Today interview earlier this year.

She continued by noting that women comprise less than 6% of the Fortune 500 CEO in the United States. There are fewer countries in the world run by women today than there were when her book was first published. In the United States, she notes, there is only a tiny percentage more women in Congress. There has not been, she points out, much appreciable forward movement in women in leadership roles worldwide despite the efforts of a veritable army of women leaning in.

Along with the launch of her book, Sandberg also launched a nationwide campaign urging women to form “Lean-In Circles” in order to support and encourage each other throughout different stages in their careers. These groups provide mentorship and camaraderie for women who might not be getting such in the workplace.

According to Leanin.org, the most important steps for managers to close the gender gap in the workplace include:

Challenge The Likeability Penalty

Oftentimes, women are punished for being “bossy” or “shrill” in the workplace just for doing their jobs. It’s important to ask yourself if you would react the same way if you were talking to a man.

Evaluate Performance Fairly

Try to measure performance objectively and look for opportunities to make decisions in a gender-blind manner.

Give Women Credit

If you see a man take credit for a woman’s work, speak up.

Get The Most Out Of Meetings

Be on the lookout for women who are being kept in the background in meetings and encourage them to take part.

Share Office Housework

If there are tasks, like making coffee or emptying garbage, that need to be done, be sure they aren’t just automatically falling to female employees.

Make Work Work For Parents

Support working parents any way you can. Make sure they know they are part of the team. Don’t make assumptions about work-travel and work-life balance without checking with parents about their needs.

Make Negotiating A Norm

Women are less likely to negotiate and may need encouragement to do so.

Support Mentorship and Sponsorship

Mentoring can help women succeed from both sides—leadership as well as personal development. Having a program in place can foster a sense of purpose from within your organization.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

woman at work

In addition to these steps, there are many habits women can employ to propel themselves forward in the workplace. Overcoming adversity is necessary for many women. Oprah overcame an impoverished childhood and J.K. Rowling overcame being a single mother on welfare.

See Also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before Becoming Millionaires

Everyone can benefit from writing down goals. Dolly Parton has been known to not only write out her goals but also to go about her life as though she had already achieved them.

Taking time to rest and recuperate is crucial. Many women burn the candle at both ends thanks to an imbalance in work and home life. If you are one of these women, meditating or just enjoying a few minutes of quiet time can really make a difference.

Finding balance is the key. There will be compromises as the world changes, so tempering expectations and making the most of even the smallest of victories is going to make you happier in the long run. Learn more about the habits of highly successful women from this infographic.

Source

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How To Deal With People: Little-Known Secrets To Make People Like You

“The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you” – Rumi

When I was younger, I often questioned why people did not treat me nicely. I would doubt why they did not communicate with me, even though I was such an interesting and well-versed person.

Probably, I thought, because they are not at my level of education and are just interested in simple things.

Later on, I wondered why men aren’t courting me or showing signs of attention, even though I always acted as a very nice and loving person and tried to always look good. Later, in business, I was also perplexed why clients were not choosing me among others. That is even though I always communicated professionally and did my best to understand their needs.

In situations like these, I was tempted to think that the people around me were wrong, that they did not understand the depth of my nature, the value of my presence or the accuracy of my offers. Though, while such thoughts helped me to feel better, they did not make the people around me nicer.

Until one day, I realized the secret which fixed all the “wrong” people and made them very “right”.

The secret is very simple:

I am responsible for everything that is happening in my life. I am responsible for creating the way other people treat me. And I came to realize that the way I acted in the past, even though it seemed right for me, was not a “winning strategy”. It was simply not the right way!

Here are some of the things that helped me learn how to deal with people.

I thought that being smart was cool

I was always smart and the people around me just didn’t have the opportunity to show they were actually smart, too. The lesson for me was to learn how to be “unsmart” or “foolish”.

I learned to show my vulnerability, ask for advice and reach out for help and support as often as I could. Being able to be smart and unsmart at the same time is such a beautiful combination. It allows me to pour my knowledge when others need it or to empty myself for receiving new knowledge when I need it.

I was always loving

love yourself

What was I doing wrong by being loving? What could be better and more desired by men than that? Why were men still treating me bad?

For sure, something was wrong with them. At least, that’s what I thought to myself. Mistake!

Intelligence is a lot like love. If you are always full of it, then the people around you wouldn’t have a chance to add to it and this makes them very confused. The real winning strategy here is to be attentive whether the love you give is accepted and well perceived.

If you come to the point when you give so much out of your full heart but you receive no response, then it’s a clear indicator to switch off your flow.

For example, every time you think of sending another love message to your partner, send it to yourself and show love to yourself. Every time you want to suggest something fun and entertaining, suggest it to yourself and do this exclusively for yourself.

Do not be afraid to lose your partners. It is just not possible to not love a person who loves and respects herself/himself. The quality of your partners will go up.

Start with making small experiments with this new strategy. Building up this balance between loving your partner and loving yourself is a jewel addition that can promote self-development. I guarantee you will love the effects.

I was so professional

being professional

Why would people not want to work with me? Again, it is not about me being cool, but about how they feel next to me. I realized my strong stand made them feel threatened, low and tightened. I also realized that professional business is not only about the uniqueness and greatness of my product, but about whether people feel comfortable, appreciated, respected, fulfilled and honored next to me.

I learned that maximizing professionalism and maximizing empathy and care go hand in hand.

This is how I approach “inconvenient” people now:

  • When someone is too aggressive – I know they want my modesty.
  • When someone is too manipulative – I know they need my sincerity.
  • If someone is too smart – I know they ask for my appreciation.
  • When someone is too stupid – I know they need my faith.
  • If someone is too untidy – I know they are thirsty for my inspiration.
  • If someone is too depressed – I know they want my naivety.
  • When someone is too negative – I know they need my love.
  • When someone is too egoistic – I know they ask for my vulnerability.

See Also: How To Develop Empathy By Understanding Subjective Hardship

Conclusion

The bottom line is simple:

I came to realize that those people who seemed nasty or “bad” to me came to my life as teachers.

They taught me things I once considered wrong or inappropriate. However, looking more deeply into the issue, I found some brilliant lessons that helped me learn to love myself as well as others. Those lessons helped me give freedom to others and to set the rules, to know how to let go and to appreciate what I have. I also learned to keep my mind flexible and open.

I understood that when I got irritated about someone, that was exactly the opportunity for me to identify and correct my rigid beliefs. Enlightening these “gray” areas of my mind helped me to gain more clarity about all the situations of my life and to become much happier and reasonable.

When life teaches you through other people, do your best to understand the lessons it presents and work on achieving that perfect balance in your personality. Thank these people for making you more aware, skilled, and happy.

People are not bad. All people are, in fact, good. Each of us is born from a divine sparkle and everyone has some goodness. You just have to know how to deal with people and how to bring out the best in them.

See Also: 12 Stressful Things To Let Go Of If You Want To Live A Calm Life

The post How To Deal With People: Little-Known Secrets To Make People Like You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Questions To Ask Your Commercial Agent When Leasing Office Space

When it comes to renting office space, you can never be too careful when signing a lease. Failure to do your due diligence can lead to problems. For instance, the wrong space can hurt your business if it’s difficult for your clients to access your building or if you don’t have the amenities they require.

To minimize the chances of these and other disasters occurring, consider taking benefits from professional property management and asking your commercial property managing agent the following questions:

What happens if the space isn’t ready by the expected move-in date?

Unless your office is ready, you can’t be sure that there won’t be any more problems. To avoid last minute problems, you should double check if your lease is clear about what can happen if your office space isn’t ready by the move-in date.

Read the fine print carefully. Watch out for any clauses that say your landlord can place you in a different office space within the building if your designated area is not yet ready by your moving in date. Being forced to occupy a temporary space will only magnify the costs and other issues associated with moving.

Does the lease come with an option to renew?

After your lease expires, the landlord is under no legal obligation to offer the same space to you – unless there’s a renewal clause in your lease. This guarantees that you will have first dibs on the space when the lease expires.

Will the landlord take on the cost of changes (like new carpet, special electrical needs, etc)?

new carpet

You will probably want to modify and update your new office space to meet your business’ specific requirements. In most cases, you will be responsible for these costs. But, there are some landlords who are willing to amortize the costs over the term of the lease so make sure to ask.

See Also: How Often Does A Landlord Have To Replace Carpet Or Repaint In Rental Unit?

How much traffic does the area get?

office space traffic

Is your building in a central location that’s close to train stations and airports to accommodate heavy business travelers or out of town clients? Depending on your business type, this may help determine the amount of traffic that you will receive. The agent should have information about community demographics, car counts and other essential statistics available.

Do you have “right of first refusal” if the space next to yours becomes vacant?

There are some instances when a tenant is faced with unexpected growth and, when that happens, there are some landlords that will move you to a larger space with no penalty. If there is a “right to refusal” clause in your lease, it will ensure that you get first dibs if any adjacent spaces become vacant.

Is it possible to secure a non-compete clause so that a competitor cannot open up shop in your center or building?

When renting office space, it’s a good idea to consider your business’ security first. Having a competitor in close distance can spell disaster for your business so check if there are zoning laws in place to protect your company. You can try to include a clause in the contract that forbids your landlord from leasing nearby office space to direct competitors. 

Is it possible to enter into a CAM Stop Lease?

A lot of leases today are triple net. For example, you’ll be responsible for paying the rent as well as a share of the property taxes and CAM fees for the property.

A Cam Stop Lease will ensure that you are only responsible for the increase in property taxes and CAM fees above your initial base year. You may also want to ask for a cap on the CAM so that it won’t increase by more than a certain percentage.

What happens if a major system (like electrical, plumbing, or HVAC) fails?

Agreements about repairs and renovations should be in writing and, in the best case scenario, come complete with a detailed floor plan and a cost estimate from a reputable contractor. But, it’s important to note that this standard is different from property to property.

Who is responsible for insurance?

When signing a lease for an office space, we tend to skip over insurance. And, as a result, a lot of buildings, especially those with several tenants, are coverable by insurance policies that are inadequate in some respects and overlap in others. Thus, if a major disaster occurs, like a fire, it can take years for the various insurance companies involved to check out the claims and decide where coverage begins and ends.

Will the office space meet your technology needs?

Most commercial properties offer tenants networking options like T1s, fiber, DSL and Cable. If your business will require a ton of bandwidth to successfully operate, make sure that the property has the infrastructure to support your needs.

Moving to a new commercial space can be a hassle. But, if you ask your commercial agent the aforementioned questions, it can take a lot of the headache out of the process. Good luck!

See Also: One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How Office Space Caters To Each Stage Of A Business Journey

 

The post 10 Questions To Ask Your Commercial Agent When Leasing Office Space appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Taking Ownership: Are You Taking Full Responsibility For Your Life?

One thing I’ve always been very keen on is talking about taking ownership of things. I don’t mean physical things. I mean ownership of what you’re doing and who you’re being. It’s about being responsible for yourself and your life.

As someone who’s both been an employee and an employer, I know that the team members that are valuable to the company are the ones who take full and total responsibility for what’s happening around them. The ones who whine and point their fingers at everyone else are — let’s face it — hard work.

We’ve all experienced it.

We go into a shop or restaurant and the person who’s supposed to be serving us couldn’t give a hoot about what we want or make sure we leave the place as happy and satisfied customers. They make us fully aware that we’re an irritation and that we’re asking too much.

Then you go to a different shop and the person assisting you there makes all the difference. You’ll go back there because of the service and because you feel valued. The person who served you took complete ownership & responsibility for ensuring that you have a wonderful experience. He took it upon himself to give you a great experience.

I could, quite happily, go on for hours about this subject and I hope it’s something I drummed into my kids. This is how I see it:

Whatever you’re doing, you take FULL and COMPLETE responsibility for making sure that whatever is supposed to happen does happen, in a way that leaves everyone involved feeling great.

It doesn’t matter if your boss is an idiot or your colleagues are lazy and have a bad attitude. The only thing that matters is that YOU give it your all and that YOU make sure that you’ve done everything in your power to generate that outcome.

In other words, take full ownership of what’s happening around you and take complete responsibility for the outcomes. Not blame, but responsibility. They’re two completely different things.

See Also: Why Criticizing Others Won’t Get Them to Change … and What Will!

What do I mean by taking responsibility?

taking responsibility

Now, it’s really easy to look at this from the perspective of the job we’re in.

If you look around, you’ll see that almost every problem that you encounter in the workplace is potentially caused by your failure and your co-worker’s failure to not take ownership. This can manifest in many different ways, such as:

  • Having a bad attitude
  • Not wanting to be there
  • Someone who doesn’t care
  • Having a goal that isn’t in alignment with the company
  • Someone who likes to bitch and moan
  • Someone who is only on the lookout for themselves

There are lots of ways these things can show. In certain instances, they can come out very subtle.

Now, take a look at your life. Are you taking full, 100% responsibility for your life?

Be honest and consider these things:

  • In which areas of your life does your attitude stink?
  • Which areas look exactly as you want them to?
  • Do you live how you want to live?
  • Which areas of your life inspire and motivate you?
  • Which areas downright suck?
  • Do you go to bed at night completely satisfied with your day?
  • Do you show up exactly how you want to show up for everyone in your life?
  • Are you the person you want to be?
  • Do you do the things you want to do?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of those things or if there are areas which stink or suck, then you’re not taking ownership of your life. And there are a lot more questions I could ask, so don’t go thinking that because I haven’t asked a specific question, you’re off the hook.

You’re not and you’re not being fully responsible. It’s as simple as that.

This is not a blame game

This isn’t blaming and I’m not suggesting that anyone is ever going to be perfect. This is about constantly moving towards your true purpose in life. It’s about trying to get in alignment with who you really are.

Do you see the difference?

Blame is bad and just wrong. It stops you dead in your tracks.

Taking responsibility means you know where you’re going and if you’re not there yet, you just have to keep moving forward.

Let’s go back to employees who take ownership for a minute. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you know who among your colleagues is great to work with and who isn’t. In other words, you know who takes responsibility for their job and who doesn’t.

Take that analogy and think about it in terms of your life.

If that person who takes responsibility makes such a difference to their workmates and their customers, what kind of a difference do you think it will make if you apply the same level of responsibility to yourself and your life?

See Also: 11 Ways To Pick Yourself Up And Bounce Back After Failure

How would your life be different if you took full, complete, 100% responsibility for it?

work responsibility

What kind of difference would it make to the people around you? What would you do differently?

Who would you make sure you showed up as? Would you experience your life differently? Would it feel different?

What if your real job in life, the one that you absolutely MUST take complete responsibility for and ownership of, was to show up as who you really are? To just be 100% fully you?

The universe put you here for a reason. If you want to reflect that reason, you’d better be fully responsible for showing up EXACTLY as the universe designed you.

What do you need to do to take ownership of your life?

 

The post Taking Ownership: Are You Taking Full Responsibility For Your Life? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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