Category Archives: Work Life balance

Your 2019 New Year’s Resolution Guide

Welcome back to reality! Everyone at Hold Everything the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street hopes you had a great Christmas and New Year.

 

For many our New Year’s Resolutions have been put into play and by centering our resolutions on our career goals is a brilliant and positive way to start 2019. 

To help you achieve and hit your targets we have put together some helpful tips and pointers to ensure this is your best year yet.

  1. Be More Efficient-
    This one seems obvious at first. But of course working more efficiently will help you to achieve your goals at work but working with efficacy involves more than simply working quickly.

Plan out your day, set specific targets and deadlines per task, prioritise your work, and learn to delegate- all of these will help improve the way you work.

  1. Spend Less Time On Routine Tasks-

You can often spend as much as half of your workday on unproductive tasks such as routine email communication.  How about trying a new time management strategy like batching and see how it affects your productivity (in a good way). A helpful tip, when working with others instead of long, time-consuming emails how about a quick video chat or phone call.

  1. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone-
    Really make a conscious effort to push yourself professionally this year. By pushing yourself this could range from speaking to your boss or manager about taking on more responsibility, to making the decision to leave your current role and search for something more challenging.

Do something your future self will thank you for!

  1. Carry On Learning-

An article in Forbes says it’s more important than ever to keep learning at work. This is because chances are that in the future you’ll need to know about new technology and different skills to continue to meet your career goals.

To obtain new skills you can take short courses or even learn from your colleagues who possess the knowledge you’d like to have.

  1. Look After Yourself-
    This is one of the main things we all neglect, while we dish out advice to others and between our work, home and social responsibilities we forget to look after ourselves. Be mindful of your mental state and maintaining your health and energy levels by keeping a regular sleeping pattern and eating well.
    You can try practicing good sleep patterns by switching off your laptop/tablet etc at least 45 minutes before bedtime. You’ll sleep better for it!
  2. Be Known- Raise Your Profile-
    Never underestimate the power of networking, it can be daunting especially if you are new to it but If you’re working in an industry that has lots of events, try to attend as many of them as possible and have a conversation with at least two people you don’t know. You never know who you will meet!
    Your online presence is also very important, ensure you are active on LinkedIn or Twitter (depending on your industry). Being well connected makes you an asset to employers, and shows that you are interested and engaged with your industry.
  3. Utilising Your Talents-

Your career progression is all about your professional development. Look out for courses/seminars that will enable you to advance and improve your professional skills. You could be unsure of what your skills are…try asking a friend, or a colleague that you have a bond with to list 5 things that they think you do well. This will give you a little confident boost in the right direction.

  1. Set Your Own Assessment –
    Majority of companies will hold assessments or employee reviews to evaluate progress and set new goals for the next few months. But if you have a resolution that you are serious about sticking to, schedule an “assessment” with yourself. Set yourself a time and date to sit down and evaluate the progress you have made so far and identify the key objectives of the next few months. By doing this it establishes a sense of accountability, which is important for self-motivation and discipline.
  2. Step AWAY From The Screen-

The screen means your computer, your phone, your tablet, your laptop even your TV. Take a step back from technology; take yourself on a 5 minute walk to get some fresh air. Not only does this let your brain switch off from your work world but allows you some space to breathe and relax.

  1. HAVE FUN!!-
    The number 1 rule, do not forget to have fun and make sure you’re happy. Try not to get so bogged down in making plans and setting goals that you forget to enjoy yourself along the way!

 

What happens if you don’t have a work-related New Year’s Resolution?

Then that is absolutely fine, but it’s a good idea to have something to work towards and an image of what you want to achieve as goals are KEY to building a successful career- just remember regardless of what success means to you (it could mean making lots of money or maybe getting home with enough time to spend with your family)!

Good luck for 2019.

 

The Work-Life Balance

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, we assist many clients in their work-life balance planning, by providing a business support network, whether its phone answering  when they’re in meetings or away to us being able to accept packages that otherwise would have been missed.

So how hard is it to get that perfect work-life balance?

Being a professional you may find it hard to strike that balance between your career and personal life. Without having a healthy balance between both worlds problems could occur where your work can become uninspiring. Therefore working from home can be a great solution to this issue; you have the ability to get your work done, while being available for family commitments and your own personal chores. But you do need to consider the practicalities of working from home before deciding if it is right for you.

With your office at home, but a Regent Street Virtual office address that will impress your clients, there are still things to consider.

Flexibility advantages

While working in an office environment, it’s not always easy to take time off for personal/family duties, but if you do opt to work from home you can be a lot more flexible with your diary as ultimately you control it. In many jobs as long as the work is completed by the deadline it’s up to you how and when you do it so by working from home you can fit the work in around a schedule that’s best for you.

No more emails

Earlier this year, a report circulated that a French law banned employees from checking work emails after 6pm (this wasn’t true). But it’s a good idea to start to set yourself some rules to help achieve a work-life balance, as mentioned above about the flexibility of working from home, some are just not able to do this so why not say to yourself when you come home at night, this is your personal time, try and limit your email checking and take a step back from working after work.

Time Blocking

Being in charge of your own time can be a big bonus, but this doesn’t work for everyone. Some get easily distracted in their home environment and find it more difficult to stick to self- imposed deadlines. If you are a remote worker you do need to be efficient with your time – for example if you know you only have an hour blocked out, then focus on the task in hand and stick to the timing. Don’t try and finish just one more email if your time is up, stick to your plan which should allow you to produce your best work instead of rushing to fit it all in.

One of Hold Everything’s long standing Virtual office client, who works from home told us “I get dressed everyday as if I was going to my office, I leave the house, walk about for 15 minutes and then arrive back at my home, I have taken the time to get into the attitude & belief that I am work for the day in my office and am ready to work hard as being at home it’s too easy to sit in a tracksuit and be distracted, however, if I am needed by anyone at least I don’t have that commute back”.

In conclusion – stepping away every day with enough time to do other things than work helps you clear your head, gain perspective and bring your best to all areas of your life.  So before you ditch the idea of an office desk for the home dining room table, ask the question, will I be more effective working from home?

Networking – Love it? Hate it? Have to do it?

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, networking through a number of different networking organisations was paramount to our business progression.

Having been a member of two of the UK’s most visited networking organisations, eventually  Hold Everything’s, Director Richard Cooper set up a Central London Group with one of the organisations having bi weekly meetings at All Bar One in Regent Street.

 

So Why Is Networking Such An Essential & How Can Networking Benefit You?

By attending Business networking meetings it allows professionals from diverse industries to come together to share their valuable knowledge and surround themselves with positive uplifting people that can help grow their business. It’s an opportunity to showcase their expertise within their industry, build new connections and raise their own profile among other professionals. It’s also a time to offer advice and relate with one another on the hardships experienced.

-‘One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.’ – As said by Lewis Howes taken from www.brainyquote.com/topics/networking

‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’- This statement can be taken as a negative and a positive.  But for certain it is true in business, as having a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when needed is a major advantage. By building your network it provides you with a little black book of connections that can help open the door to connect with others. This can result in many opportunities for you, for example it can lead to joint ventures and client leads along with many other opportunities that all point to increased business results, which really is the main aim of the game.

Our Tips At Networking

Everyone has a different style but here are a few tips we benefited from;

  • Perfect your pitch- Knowing what to say is imperative, getting your message over quickly and in a way that is remembered.
  • Using a visual aid-We used a coffee cup as a way of making other members consider how our costs compare – our services are less than a cup of coffee a day from the main coffee chains.
  • Always follow up on leads- At one group Richard Cooper attended he referred himself to the groups Private Dentist for future dental care. The dentist never called, he lost three patients and probably a lot of money.

Value Of Business Networking

So how can you value business networking?

This can be by a ROI, it can be by connections made, it can be by repeat business, for everyone the way of valuing whether the time spent getting up early and venturing to meetings is different.

Hold Everything have maintained many relationships, many years after memberships have expired and one of those whom the company has stayed in touch with is Neil Giller, Managing Area Director in Notts & Lincs for BNI.

Neil advised us on the following statistic relating to BNI as a whole.

‘BNI is the most successful business networking referral organisation in the world. We have over 12,500 members in the UK and Ireland alone, passing over 676,000 referrals worth over £520 million every year! It is quite literally the best way to build a better business.’

So after reading our outlook on business networking, do you think it is worth pursing?

Staff Perks – Is Your Company Providing?

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, staff perks are considered part of what keeps a team together.

Having previously worked for many companies where little was offered, Richard Cooper feels his team are an integral part of the actual company and thus ensuing his staff are well looked after as extremely important.

Apart from your salary (as an obvious answer), what motivates you in your job role? 79% of employers believe that offering benefits to employees is an important factor when wanting to attract the right talent, and create the culture of a great workplace, which leads to a massive 78% of workers who are then likely remain with their employer because of the benefits they have to offer.

As an employer a main focus lies within your staff retention and their loyalty towards you and the company. You want to create a work environment in which your employees want to work for you and you must understand what motivates them. To do this employee perks are offered.

Offices such as Google offer sleep pods, company showers, meal and laundry facilities, but of course you need to stick within your own budget for your staff perks. There are plenty of options for you to choose from. Have a look at our list below of our favorite for staff perks:

  • Coffee run – We are not saying every day but a few times a week a staff coffee run is a nice way to break up the morning and bring your team together. Plus as previously blogged (https://www.hold-everything.com/reasons-coffee-can-improve-work-day/) Coffee improves your day so the boss buying ultimately gets more out of the staff.
  • Flexible working hours- Employees like to be trusted to move their working hours around in a way that suits their lifestyles. E.g. parents can be home in time for the school runs. Flexible working hours do not encore any extra cost.
  • Bring your dog to work day- At Hold Everything we have two furry companions. They come into the office and love a stroll down Regent Street lapping up all the attention. Not only has it been scientifically proven that dogs can help improve our health and well being but they can even IMPROVE our productivity at work! If you are serious about having an office pet you should go to the The National Pet Show, it is being exhibited at NEC, Birmingham 3-4th November www.thenationalpetshow.com
  • Staff lunches – Monthly team lunches are a great way to gather your peers and sit down together, because who can say no to a free lunch? Plus it’s great for team building.
  • Free drinks & snacks – Is it extremely important your employees stay hydrated during the day – Not only does this improve productivity but it is essential that tea/coffee/drinks/snacks are on offer, making it a more of a comfortable work environment for everybody and creates a more relaxed ‘at home’ atmosphere.
  • Birthday off work – This is a great perk to have. Bit annoying if your birthday falls on the weekend though. It lets your employees know that you value them and yes, they are off for the day, but it is their birthday let them celebrate without a hundred LinkedIn Happy Birthday messages disturbing their inbox. Plus, there will be birthday cake in the office the day after.
  • Cash plans – If your staff need Physiotherapy or dental work, a simple cash plan would be an added bonus for them to recover costs for them. David Levy of Private Medical Health says “For as little as £10.00 a month you can support your staff with this type of plan”

There are many company perks and companies such as Perkbox which gives staff access to an unbeatable range of benefits – as they say on their website “It’s all about the workplace experience”.

Your staff are essentially what hold the company together, you have taken the time to invest in them, training them, included them in decision making and if they are happy and motivated at work the outcome in their productivity is proven in the results.

Lunch at the Desk and Onboarding Strategy.

Over the past 2 weeks we have been looking at various aspects of office life in our weekly news report on our YouTube channel.  It led me to thinking about how the results of different surveys could in some way be connected in the way human resources function in small businesses today.   In a video report the other week we looked at poor practices in ‘Onboarding’ for new employees.   Onboarding is the process of getting new hires adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. It is the process through which new hires learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviours required to function effectively within an organisation.

Studies have indicated that many companies fail at the very first step in onboarding process by not following up after the job offer has been made and accepted.   The jobs market is quite competitive at the moment so if a company does manage to find the talent they need and spend time and money doing so they should make the new sign up feel a part of the company culture as quickly as possible.  Often this does not happen and HR departments sit hopefully waiting for the new employee to turn up on the day specified without any problems at all.  Then they are shocked to find that he/she has been pilfered away by a competitor before they even arrive for their first morning.    Even if the employee does turn up, many companies make a hash of the whole integration procedure leaving the employee feeling unwanted/neglected or just downright confused over their role in the organisation.  This can waste a lot of money and put the HR department back to square one.

This brings me to my second point which we outline in our latest news report.   Here we look at a survey where more than half UK employees remain stuck at their desks through the lunch hour.  Some of them, certainly, are enjoying social media or reading the news but the majority are simply working when they should be stretching their legs and getting nourishing food to activate their brains for the second half of the day.

You only have to contrast this with way companies such as Google or Facebook treat their employees.   You can see the sorts of companies that top the list in Glassdoors list of best companies to work for.  Google, Facebook, Anglian Water etc.. you can be certain that thesae companies are absolutely brilliant at onboarding new recruits and making them feel at home from the moment the job offer is accepted.  Google is famous for its great catering and recreation facilities – this is a business strategy designed to entice and retain worthwhile talent.  Whilst it is not always possible for a small company to provide ‘Google’ style facilities I am certain that a small move in this direction could pay enormous dividends in staff loyalty and efficiency.