Remote Work Digest: July 19, 2017

The latest on all kinds of information, news, and resources that help you make working remotely better.


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5 Tips To Create An Employee-Friendly Office Space For More Productivity | Harshil Barot,

The common designs of offices today- – joining heaps of glass and chrome; dark, white, and dim; and stunning craftsmanship – make for ravishing photograph spreads. Nevertheless, they may not be the sort of condition where representatives feel the most casual and focused. Instead, use these five tips to create a welcoming space for your employees:

1. Try not to be reluctant to include personality
Try not to be reluctant to deck out the workplace with individual things, photos, craftsmanship, blurbs, dynamic stationery, indoor ball loops, interesting knickknacks, collectibles – anything that includes a touch of humor and liveliness and conveys the way of life of your group.

2. Go Green
Including a touch (or different touches) of nature to your office can keep it from seeming sterile and frosty. Plants, blossoms, a drinking fountain or even an aquarium would all be able to include a touch of nature and freshness to your office space.

3. Add Some Party Color
Many corporate workplaces are overwhelmingly dim, white or beige, so including some fun party favor ideas like adding sprinkles of color can brighten up the office, add identity and fresh air into the space. Another approach to animate your office space is to include a few varieties in surface – like finished cushions, upholstery, materials or mats.

4. Say No To Fluorescent Lighting
Despite the fact that this is functional, it’s certainly not stylishly engaging or even comfortable for humans. This lighting is brutal, and can make a work space feel excessively clerical. Adding modified lighting to a working environment is certain to make it feel cozier, more surrounding and all the more welcoming.

5. Flexible work space is important
Make your common space perform in multiple apps like you can remove conference hall by creating areas for sitting, and furnish them with funky coffee tables or sectional sofa. Also, you can start using desk-on-wheels so every time you require a bigger space for conference, you can make one.

6. Remember To Have Fun
Many businesses now look forward to set playful, fresh tones to motivate innovation. Try adding interesting art pieces, and more importantly, purely-for-fun elements like pool table, foosball, Ping-Pong, etc.

If your office space can be uplifting, inspiring and warm, then why settle for a full, lifeless cubicle? Try all the five tips and you’ll be able to create one amazing office for your workers. Good environment, happy employees!

How To Make Better To-Do Lists | Robin Camarote,

Lists are the most basic time-management tool we have. We all (obsessively) use them. They’re supposed to help us prioritize our work and avoid feeling overwhelmed. But rarely do the lists we make do either of those things.

So, what are we doing wrong? Do you:

Have multiple lists in multiple places?
Have dozens of items included–some that have taken up permanent residency?
Mix and match long-term and short-term items like “get a PhD” and “go to the car wash”?
Rarely actually consult your list once it’s made?
Start with the easy stuff?
Add more stuff in the morning, as you first read your email with a cup of coffee?
Tie your self-worth–or at least your view of whether it was a “good day”–to the number of cross outs?

Avoid these listing pitfalls by sticking with these four rules.

1. Pick one place for your list. Just one. There are many great list-making and time-management tools out there.
2. Write everything down. Once it’s on the list, you can relax a little.
3. Clear the clutter. It’s OK to have a handful of stretch items on your list, but if they’re hanging out more than a week, let them go. If you want to be able to come back to them, put a running list in a separate file on your computer. This can be a resource the next time you’re feeling stuck in a rut and need something new to do.
4. Organize your tasks. All of my thinking and writing tasks are together because they take more dedicated brain power, and I know the time of day that’s most conducive to making progress on these items.

Listing is a basic time and energy management tool, and one that I can’t live without. Lists help us get focused and organized–when used appropriately. They can also help build a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, when you’re actually checking things off your list. But when used improperly, lists can just lead to guilt and feeling overwhelmed.

Self-discipline comes when you have your list updated. Picking just three important things that tie directly to your goals or commitments each day is a great place to start.

3 Soft Skills to Consider for Improved Employee Return on Investment | Lynette Reed,

Soft skills can be just as important as the hard skills in your company’s return on investment. These three are in particular are vital.

Reinforcing and monitoring soft skill behaviors within the workplace supports a robust and cohesive environment that shows an increase in productivity, which ultimately increases your profits.

Here are three soft skills to consider for improved employee return on investment:

1. Supporting corporate culture
Companies with a durable set of words to determine the behavior of the company offer employees a strong sense of identity. You can identify potential fractures within the organizational design by gauging how well an employee’s behaviors match the words that define your company’s culture. If the company words are “helpful,” “efficient” and “friendly,” then employees can be measured by how well the behavior supports the culture. Terms such as “happy” would not work, as you cannot always control whether you are happy.

Take time to create a resilient culture with these behavior words so that your employees have a reliable measure of authenticity. Authentic companies minimize employee behaviors that are not in keeping with the culture. Supporting corporate culture reduces time spent on behaviors that distract from the underlying framework of the organization and encourages skillful and engaged employees.

2. Matching words and actions
You offer your company cohesion by matching words and action. Employees are accountable for their commitments to both the company culture and the work. Breaks in cohesion can occur both internally and external to the organization. Make sure that your employees’ words match actions when working with other team members and your customers. Building trust in your company creates a more resilient workplace that can better withstand challenges and conflicts.

3. Managing personal judgments
Judgment takes time and energy away from the company. Think about how many hours employees spend in a week talking about how badly someone did their work, or how someone was wrong for doing work a certain way. Keep employees focused on the work by reminding them that there is no good or bad, or wrong or right. Concentrate on overcoming challenges, and keep work moving in a forward momentum. Remind employees to find solutions and make plans to achieve goals even when difficulties occur or work is not correctly completed.

Fractures created by employees who struggle with these soft skills are time-consuming, disruptive, and distracting to your product and your goals. When you manage and maintain these soft skills, you offer your employees a durable framework that increases the return on investment for you and your organization.

6 Ways To Have Structure When You’re Working From Home | Prachi Gangwani,

Working from home also has a dark side. If you are the lucky one who doesn’t have to show up to an office in order to make money, you will know that establishing a routine and staying motivated are the challenges of this lifestyle. When there’s no set in-time or out-time, why should you wake up early and try to have a routine? At some point, everybody who works from home begins to lose motivation. You realize that you need some sort of structure, but how do you establish that when you don’t really have to?

That’s where these tips will help you…

1. Have a separate office space
Have a separate room, or a corner where you have a desk, your laptop and the stationery you need, to make an office. Do not make personal phone calls, or eat your meals at this spot. This is for work. When you want to do something other than work, move to a different spot in the house.

2. Wake up, and go to bed, at the same time every day
Contrary to what many people believe, having a routine doesn’t restrain us, it actually frees us. When the basics like waking up and going to sleep, our meals, shower time, etc, are in place, it reduces reasons to be stressed, and frees our mind to be productive.

3. Have fixed working hours
Fix the time you start working, and the time you stop working, and follow this religiously. There’s nothing that can’t wait till tomorrow.

4. Take frequent breaks
Research shows that we work better if we take breaks in between, rather than pulling 8 hours straight. So, every once in a while, get up from your desk, move a bit, and get yourself a cup of coffee.

5. Socialize
Stay in touch with your friends and family, and make sure you have at least one evening a week dedicated to socializing. Everything else is futile without a solid social circle.

6. Get out every single day
Go for a walk, go to the local grocer, maybe get your morning cup of coffee at a neighbourhood café, meet a friend for dinner, hit the gym. There are many reasons to step out of the house, and none why you shouldn’t.