How Co-working Spaces Could Benefit From the COVID-19

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Co-working Spaces|HOW CO-WORKING SPACES COULD BENEFIT FROM THE COVID-19The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the global economy into recession. Economists across the world are predicting the worst economic recession in history, as countries struggle to contain the deadly virus. GDPs are plummeting, and unemployment rates are rising worldwide.

Businesses, from large corporations and MNCs to small companies and startups, are forced to make significant operational and structural changes. Many organizations have embraced the work-at-home model, as offices are the top contenders for spreading the virus. People are focused on avoiding activity or place that encourages social interaction.

It brings us to an important question: Can co-working spaces still survive when social distancing is mandatory?

It most certainly can. Even though co-working spaces are currently facing reductions in revenues and memberships, they have an enormous potential to benefit. Economists and experts observe that a recession and the work-at-home situation can open up new opportunities for co-working spaces. Currently, co-working spaces are empty, and many have shut down due to a lack of demand. But this situation is expected to reverse as people thrive in social settings and seek out co-working situations.

In this article, we will discuss the potential benefits co-working spaces can draw from the ongoing pandemic and recession.

Here, take a look at these points:

1. WORK FROM HOME CULTURE

In the wake of the pandemic, administrations and businesses are fighting uncertainty, which has given rise to the work-from-home model. It is an attractive and feasible solution to maintain operations and productivity in the immediate future. Twitter, amongst other corporations, is allowing its employees to work-from-home permanently.

Apple and Facebook have also extended their work-from-home operations until 2021. The demand for co-working spaces in Australia is also increasing as remote workers need a professional environment. Organizations and professionals are increasingly embracing teleworking, and co-working spaces play an instrumental role in this transition towards remote working.

They provide remote workers with an organized and systematized space where they can operate and network within the industry.

2. DE-DENSIFYING OFFICES

De-densification is instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition out of the crisis and towards recovery. Organizations are likely to explore practical solutions to de-densify their offices and operations to future disruptions and safeguard their employees. Major corporations and companies are already taking measures to relocate their employees and operations to co-working spaces.

As the economy moves towards recovery, the trend of de-densification and relocation to co-working spaces also expected to increase. Businesses are likely to position their employees across multiple co-working spaces to reduce their expenses and avoid over-densification. Corporations have realized the benefits and cost reductions of remote working, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.

Remote working and co-working spaces go hand-in-hand because professionals need a supportive and facilitative environment. Many small businesses and startups that forced to shut down can also rely on co-working spaces. They can position their operations temporarily to save money and recover from the recession.

Many professionals are just getting comfortable with remote work. They realize the comforts and flexibility associated with working at home. However, eventually, millions of work-at-home professionals will seek to escape their home environment and work from a different environment. They will be attracted to co-working spaces where they can practice social distancing without being confined to their home environment.

3. LIFELINE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Co-working spaces are not only crucial for freelancers and teleworkers. They are an essential lifeline for small businesses, startup entrepreneurs, and self-employed professionals. They serve as a supportive environment that offers structured discipline for coordination and allows greater affordability.

Countless entrepreneurs are unable to rent office spaces and rely on co-working environments to sustain operations and enhance productivity. Co-working spaces can play an instrumental role in coordinating resources and offering community support to small businesses. They can aid small business owners in exploring grants and governmental schemes.

Co-working spaces can also function as a bridge between local business networks and small businesses. They can provide them enhanced access to government schemes, grants, and local organizations dedicated to relief. Co-working spaces ideally positioned to coordinate the relief resources offered by various local funds and organizations.

They can utilize their peripheral connections and positioning to aid freelancers, remote workers, and small businesses.

4. COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Co-working spaces create a community where remote workers and small business owners can cultivate trust, grow, and build relationships. They are dynamic economic engines that fuel the financial stability and market presence of millions of professionals. Co-working spaces create employment opportunities; they allow businesses to save money and raise equity capital.

Once the COVID-19 crisis boils over, federal and local leaders will work towards creating jobs and restoring office spaces. Co-working spaces will play an instrumental role in recovering the corporate community. Community dimension is significant for allowing a smooth recovery, and co-working spaces will aid in restoring the balance.

The recession has hit hardest on small businesses and startups, and co-working spaces will facilitate restoration. They will help entrepreneurs and professionals regain their stability by offering social networks and industry connections.

It is essential to understand that return to normalcy after the lockdown won’t be easy. Many businesses won’t be able to reopen, and countless entrepreneurs will struggle to raise capital and cover losses. Community support and strength will be crucial in rebuilding networks, reconnecting with associates, and restoring the economy.

Co-working spaces are community hubs that offer support and create a facilitative environment. They will be instrumental in rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic and transitioning towards normalcy.

CONCLUSION

Presently, all businesses are navigating through uncertain times with depleted revenues and increasing losses. The global industry has embraced numerous adjustments and extensive restructuring to cope with the crisis. Co-working spaces are a vital ingredient in this restructuring as they will facilitate local economies and act as community hubs.

Co-working spaces are local economic engines that support remote professionals and entrepreneurs, and their significance is likely to increase. They will play an instrumental role in recovery and rebound, as businesses work towards restoration and growth.

8 Software Platforms To Improve Productivity

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Improve Productivity|8 Software Platforms To Improve ProductivityYour business relies on maximum productivity at every level, whether it’s planning your marketing campaigns or improving your customer service. To support productivity and keep on growing what you need are the right tools.

1 . Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is a top marketing solution, designed to help you deliver highly effective campaigns. Using Infusionsoft you can automate and improve your marketing, ensuring consistency and high levels of quality. The platform offers solutions for CRM, marketing automation and e-commerce. There are plenty of features to boost your productivity levels including sales reports, opportunity management, social sharing and inbuilt metadata. Infusionsoft also provides referral program management, and lead scoring.

2. LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner fuses collaboration software with amazing project management features. There are features for project managers, and separate features for marketing professionals and development teams. LiquidPlanner is adaptive depending on your needs. With this software you can take advantage of time tracking features, manage clients and resources, and create risk assessment roadmaps. Liquidplanner permits you to share data with your staff, partners and suppliers. Some of the best features of LiquidPlanner include baseline view and project analytics.

3. Zoho Cliq

Zoho Cliq provides video, voice and instant messaging options so your teams can collaborate better. With Zoho Cliq it’s possible to operate multiple channels, simultaneously. It’s simple to separate important posts from long threads with a setting called ‘fork’. You don’t need to waste time attaching files, just use the drag and drop function to transfer files via the chat window. Zoho Cliq can be integrated with Zoho Business, along with a few other useful integrations. With Zoho Cliq you can access features such as SSL encryption, task bot automation, and slash commands.

4. Periscope Data

With this powerful analytics platform you can visualize, report and analyze your data. The platform has an easy-to-use interface, complete with query tools. Using Periscope you can transform complex analysis into a simple task. The software saves you time, and improves the collection and cleansing of data. You don’t need to mess around with lots of code, Periscope makes it easy to conduct simple calculations, and arrive at insights faster.

5. Hubstaff

Hubstaff is a fantastic time tracking platform, helping you to create reports, send invoices, and track time. The software permits you to oversee scheduling and track staff activity. Hubstaff allows staff to monitor the time they are spending on various projects. With this data you’ll gain productivity insights. When you’re running a business it’s vital to make the best use of all your time, and with Hubstaff, you’ll make that task considerably easier.

6 . Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a powerful cloud platform, offering businesses the best solutions in storage, cybersecurity, networking and more. The platform offers cloud-scale analytics, helping companies turn data into valuable insights. There are robust disaster recovery and backup features, meaning you’ll have a cost-efficient way to minimize disruption. Need a digital marketing solution? With Microsoft Azure you can create high-performing campaigns and deliver them on a mass scale. Microsoft Azure Service Providers can help you to make the most of this software. To access all of the benefits it’s important to learn how to use and manage the software.

7. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a fantastic website optimization platform, allowing you to gain insights about customer behavior. With the heat mapping features you can see how you customers behave on your site, and which parts of your website get the most attention. Some of the great features of Crazy Egg include conversion rate optimization, A/B testing, analytics, CRM, scroll map tools and a simple set up. Converting more consumers is one of the most important end goals, and with this software you can gain the knowledge you need to improve your campaigns. Improving your user experience is the best way to convert leads.

8. Sendible

Sendible is a platform designed for social monitoring, analytics and audience engagement. Using Sendible you can track ROI from the dashboard, providing you with a clear picture of your successes. The software helps you to automate your marketing and drive leads, plus there are some great CRM tools. With Sendible you can manage clients, schedule posts, build your brand, and improve customer engagement.

Boosting productivity relies upon creating the right environment so that creativity and innovation can thrive. It can be helpful to ask your team for feedback about how to improve productivity. With the insights of your team and these powerful tools you’ll improve the efficiency of your business operations.

3 Important Tactics to Boost Morale of Healthcare Workers

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |boost morale |3 Important Tactics to Boost Morale of Healthcare WorkersThere are over 6,100 hospitals in the United States. The people who work at these hospitals are responsible for providing top-notch medical care to sick individuals regardless of what time of day it is. As time goes by, healthcare workers can get overwhelmed and overworked.

If you are the manager of a healthcare facility, one of your main concerns should be to boost morale. Learning how to boost morale at work is more complicated than you probably realize.

Are you looking for ways to keep your healthcare workers happy and motivated? If so, check out these great tips below.

1. Recognizing the Signs of Employee Burnout

Perhaps the biggest problem you will face as the manager of a healthcare facility is employee burnout. Healthcare employees work long and irregular hours, which puts them at a higher risk of getting burnt out. It is your job as a healthcare facility manager to recognize the signs of employee burnout and taking steps to prevent it.

If you see that an employee is down and always tired, take some time to speak with them. Making sure their mental health is not being affected by their stressful work environment is imperative.

Ignoring the signs of possible employee burn out can result in lots of problems. The last thing you want is for a valued employee to quit due to being overworked. This is why taking steps to prevent employee burn out is so essential.

2. Team Building Activities Are Important

The key to creating a great work environment is placing a priority on team building. If everyone works together in your healthcare facility, you can avoid issues with high employee turnover rates and out of control stress levels. Scheduling routine team building is crucial when trying to keep morale levels high.

Taking your team to volunteer in the community is a wonderful way to put things into perspective. Helping out people in need is a great way to show your team how valuable they are to the community.

You also need to schedule routine meetings to let employees vent any problems or frustrations they may be dealing with. Once you hear the problems your workers are dealing with, you need to show them you are passionate about finding solutions. Doing this will allow you to create valuable and lasting relationships with your healthcare workers.

3. Show Your Employees You See Their Hard Work

Healthcare employees work extremely hard to provide care to sick patients. As the manager of a healthcare facility, you need to work on showing your team you see their hard work. Establishing an employee recognition program can do wonders for morale levels.
Giving hard-working employees awards, cash prizes or a free lunch is imperative when trying to keep them happy. The money and time invested in these employee rewards will pay off considering the increased morale they will produce.

Working Hard to Boost Morale

As you can see, there are a number of ways to boost morale. Keeping healthcare workers loyal and productive is possible with the right approach.

Are you looking for more employee management tips? If so, check out more of the blogs on our website.

Collaboration Tools Could Save Your Business Money And Improve Morale

Rarely does a technology come along that provides nothing but benefits. But that’s precisely what collaboration tools seem to offer. These smart apps allow colleagues to work more efficiently and become happier at the same time.

Collaboration tools have become front-page news during the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses need quality solutions they can use to keep remote colleagues connected.

What Are Collaboration Tools?

Collaboration tools are essentially anything that makes it easier for people to work as a team. They facilitate the exchange of information and offer features that allow multiple people to work on projects simultaneously, even if they occupy remote locations.

Some collaboration tools offer messaging and real-time chat facilities. Others provide colleagues with the ability to edit documents or designs in concert with other people, dramatically boosting output.

Practically every collaboration tool depends on the cloud. Most are software-as-a-service. The business pays a monthly premium for a certain number of accounts, and then colleagues enjoy the proceeds.

Collaboration tools are easy to roll out. You don’t actually need a considerable amount of in-house expertise to get them up and running. If you have an MSP, they can take care of the process for you. And if you don’t, you simply download the relevant client, and the vendor will do most of the rest of the work for you.

What Are The Benefits Of Collaboration Tools?

We’ve alluded to the benefits of collaboration tools already in the above discussion. But it’s worth reiterating them here, to make it clear.

  • Better communication. With so many workers absent from the office, communication has become a sticking point for many firms. Keeping information flowing is a big challenge and one that they’re finding increasingly difficult. Collaboration software can fully reverse this situation and improve overall data fluidity in your organization compared to your regular setup. One colleague can start a project in the morning, and then another can finish it later in the day.
  • Keep track of current versions. What’s more, you can avoid ridiculous renaming of documents, like “final version 3.” The software just updates your work in the cloud, providing everyone with the latest version, plus a history of all revisions.
  • Keep people connected. Everyone wants to feel like they’re a part of the office, even if they’re not there. They don’t want to feel like they’re part of the “out-group” and that people at HQ are somehow more important. Collaboration tools can stop this process in its track, allowing everyone to make valuable contributions to the work of the firm.

You should note that the collaboration tools also differ, depending on the underlying hardware. The difference between consumer and business Microsoft Surface devices is that the latter makes it much easier for colleagues to communicate with each other. Sharing options are better, as is the support for the collaboration tools themselves.

Collaboration tools in the cloud also allow you to cut down on the admin cost of administering your documents and systems. You no longer have to keep folders full of drafts of work, just in case you have to revert to a previous version. Instead, the cloud provides all that functionality natively. It’s almost magical.

Increase Your Profits

So what’s the effect of all of this on profitability? Quite large, as it turns out.

According to research, only around 14 percent of all emails actually have anything to do with getting work done. However, workers spend roughly half their day responding to emails, meaning that they have a massive effect on overall productivity.

Collaboration tools help to put an end to this endless back-and-forth. Colleagues know that if they want to check something, they can do it in real-time through the app, instead of sending an electronic letter to their colleagues.

Universal search facilities also help to improve the situation. If a worker is trying to find something, all they do is type a query into search. There’s no need to ask colleagues for further information.

More Security

Online collaboration tools are also incredibly secure. Servers in a secure farm somewhere hold and back up all the information. It’s never going to be perfect, but it’s much better than keeping all your data locally.

Cloud collaboration tool providers regularly scan for security threats and keep your products updated to the latest version. In general, the risks of a breach are low.

To conclude, individuals can make a big difference in your business, but teams are even more potent. If you can bring people together, your company will thrive.

Can We Make Remote Work Work Long-Term?

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Remote Work|Can We Make Remote Work Work Long-Term?Lots of people who are newly working at home would like to keep it that way. In fact, a worldwide survey of 500 employees conducted by OTRS Group revealed that the vast majority of those surveyed (80 percent) enjoy working from home, even though 68 percent said working from home was new to them.

Companies are interested too. Leaders are seeing an uptick in productivity. And, in some parts of the world, new laws are even being proposed that could establish home office options as an employee right.

If this work style continues, what do leaders need to focus on to ensure long-term success? Tools and culture.

Remote IT Solutions

One tricky thing is that employees in their own home do not have onsite IT support. So if technical problems occur, a loss of productivity can quickly result without a remote help desk option.

The following will offer employees the best possible remote help desk solution:

  1. Analyze employee needs. How quickly do they need support? When can they help themselves?
  2. Define support processes and procedures. Design these in accordance with ITIL®.
  3. Evaluate help desk solutions. Find a cloud-based solution that includes notifications, multiple channels, SLAs, a self-service portal and an API for integrating with other systems.
  4. Consider security. Help desk security functions and processes should always play a major role in the selection of your system.
  5. Customize the selected solution. Now, take time to align your new system with user requirements and the previously defined processes.
  6. Provide training. When ready, have extensive communication and training for the help desk team and end users.

The ideal help desk should not only ensure that problems are solved quickly, but should also support employees in the home office so that they can efficiently use their time.

Remote Teamwork Solutions

With general technical problems handled, tools must also be implemented to support teams in communicating, planning and moving tasks between one another. The lack of this type of tool is a key concern expressed by those who have recently shifted to the home office environment.

In fact, in the referenced study, of those who had been struggling to work from home:

  • 15 percent were challenged by not knowing what their teammates were working on,
  • 14 percent had a hard time measuring team results, and
  • 13 percent had difficulty keeping track of their own tasks.

For nearly half the people, facilitating work is difficult when people aren’t routinely chatting about it in an office setting. Remote work software can be used to help add structure to communication and tasks in order to avoid these difficulties. Remote work solutions should bring together all information that teams need to get their jobs done, such as tasks, calendars, contact information, business process automation and reporting.

By using one tool to centrally manage all of these, both employees and leaders have an up-to-date, clear understanding of what the current work is, how to get it done, and when issues are creeping up.

Corporate Culture Supports Remote Employees

However, tools can’t solve all of the problems. While there are many advantages to working from home, those making the change may long for the benefits of working in a traditional office. Respondents shared that they missed seeing their colleagues and that they feel “stuck” in one place for too long.

In order for the positives of working remotely to last long-term, management teams need to think about how to counteract these losses by:

  • Encouraging conversation about change. Change is hard, so provide outlets for employees to discuss this and share what has been working well.
  • Hosting virtual offsites. Plan time for employees to come together and talk about key topics, much like you would do in a traditional offsite. Be sure to have an agenda, include breaks, keep sessions to 90 minutes and have options for socializing.
  • Creating a virtual coffee break. Give people a chance to chat about non-work topics or play games together. What could bring people together for a reason other than talking about tasks?
  • Deploying a chat tool. Offer a tool that lets people ask quick questions, share fun information or talk about personal topics. It helps promote that “around the water cooler” feeling.
  • Hosting a non-work contest. For instance, give people a reason to break free of their homes by holding a fitness contest. Or, try a virtual company-wide 5k. Contests give people an outlet for being engaged socially with colleagues.
  • Defining and following processes. Processes help people know what is expected when, and reduces worry about doing the right thing. Plus, they keep work flowing smoothly when time zones make it hard for everyone to be online at the same time.

While the Corona crisis has been a challenge for businesses and employees alike, it has also opened the door to expanding remote work opportunities. The study shows significant benefits to working from home, from saving commute time to spending more time with loved ones. But to maintain the current situation, leaders should be investing in tools and creating shifts in their corporate culture to keep productivity and employee satisfaction high long-term.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Sabine RiedelSabine Riedel is a member of the Management Board of OTRS AG. With her expertise in the areas of corporate development and leadership communication, she is responsible for the development and expansion of international HR strategy and the conception and implementation of measures to implement the company-wide corporate culture.