Tag Archives: London Address

Unexpected ‘Zoom Effects’ and Changes to Our Business Life.

work with zoom

If 2020 will be remembered for anything it will be for ‘Zoom’ and the way it moved our office lives online in one fell swoop.  For those of us who had been teetering on the edge of distance working and moving into a digital landscape, Zoom was the killer app that made it happen.  Our business life was reduced to being a thumbnail on a colleague’s laptop.  Suddenly everybody started panicking over their Zoom image.   Staff members were subjected to close facial inspection in a way that never happened in regular face to face office life.  People were ‘Zoom-shamed’ and the meme that circulated online was ‘Zoom, it’s YOU but ugly’.

This has, of course, led to a boost in enquiries for cosmetic adjustments, known as ‘Tweakments‘  which can allow you to present a more acceptable face to colleagues and, indeed, for online job interviews.

Yes, there’s a growing awareness that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing – well, at least, too many video calls. As a result, the number and length of video-based meetings will likely decline somewhat over time, but they aren’t going to disappear. They are starting to evolve, however, thanks to the immense competition among the different platforms and the critical factor that programmers who are creating these tools have to use them extensively as well. (That isn’t always the case with other applications.)

In addition to lots of new views of participants and content, we’ve started to see extremely practical benefits such as real-time audio transcription of the meeting – making it significantly easier and faster to confirm your notes, double-check what was said, or catch up on a meeting you may have missed.  The Zoom autosave and transcribe feature is extremely well crafted and you can download the transcript of your meeting minutes after the session closes.

zoom

As staff begin to return to work in dribs and drabs there will be the ‘shock of the new’ where your old workspace has changed quite dramatically into something quite unlike its pre-COVID form.  You will see plastic barriers, higher cube walls, rearranged environments and more.  Many will not want to return to embrace this ‘new normal’. Even more people may start to consider longer-term workplace alternatives – either permanent work-from-home arrangements (potentially even in other cities – as some have started to do) or a more nomadic type of work lifestyle, where people start working from a range of different locations including their homes, offices, coffee shops, and other places, just to bring a bit of variety to their everyday experience.  This is the world of the ‘virtual office’  with everything except key tasks being relocated away from the business HQ.   Your business phone line is answered in an office, your physical mail is received at an office, your courier can still be collected and delivered at a recognisable office suite but other workday functions can happen elsewhere at less cost and in more agreeable surroundings.

Software is developing quickly to meet these new challenges. Companies like Citrix are at the vanguard of change.  Their vice president Tim Minahan puts it every well when he said  “Work is no longer a place. It’s happening in kitchens and basements, in parks and on sidewalks and scaled back, socially distanced offices,”   Software such as Citrix Workspace™. The secure, intelligent, and high-performing digital workspace organizes, guides and automates everyday tasks to boost productivity and create a sense of personal accomplishment that fuels engagement and innovation – all while ensuring privacy and security.  If you combine this platform with a virtual office such as Hold Everything in central London you have a framework which is employee-friendly and future-proof.

 

 

Virtual Office? Yes, Our Moment Has Come.

virtual offiice concept

We have all heard the expression that ‘destiny can tap you on the shoulder’.  Well, here at Hold Everything virtual office we are feeling that tap right now.  If anything changes from our Corona Virus lockdown it will be the concept of what an office is and whether it needs to be an actual space we travel to every day often for several hours at a time.   Rod Liddle, the leading Sunday Times columnist has a fine knack for sensing trends, listen to what he has to say.. ‘

What on earth is the point of the office any more?

They had a use once, these desolate areas of parched pot plants and plywood cubicles, patrolled by willy-waving middle managers forever calling fatuous meetings, often involving PowerPoint presentations, in order to ameliorate their own crushing insecurities — but, surely, no longer.

If, instead of the elderly, we could pin the notice “do not resuscitate” on the door of almost every office in the land, we would be an immediately better, happier and more profitable place for big business, employees and society in general. There is almost no downside. Abolish the office, everybody gains.

virtual office at home

Liddle continues to make several important points:

Home-working (or co-working) employees are considerably more productive than those who work in the office.

An American workplace survey showed that the more workers were out of the office, the more innovative and successful the company.

A Swedish study suggested that people who commute more than 45 minutes a day each way were 40% more likely to divorce.

Liddle makes many other points in his diatribe against the traditional office environment, but he also makes a quite brilliant suggestion that the discarded office premises could be converted into dwellings to solve our burgeoning housing shortage.  He sees apartments coming out from old office space as the riverside landscape was transformed by warehouses becoming loft apartments.

Philip Johnston writing in the Telegraph sees the trend but feels the transformation depends on a robust internet structure.

Will home working prove to be a temporary expedient or will it usher in an entirely new way of working for millions, fulfilling the early promise offered by the internet? The arrival of 5G with its greater opportunities for streaming, video conferencing and the rest should make remote working much more feasible.”

vitual office in action

I believe  that we are well on the way to creating a sustainable digital structure that will allow companies to gradually abandon an expensive and utilised office space in a central location and move elegantly to distant working whilst keeping a traditional central business address with the facilities of a virtual office such as Hold Everything.   Imagine, you have an address for receiving your business mail which can be speedily forwarded to you wherever you are in the world. This address will be on London’s most well known road, Regent Street for as little as £24.00 a month, no more than a 2 minute stroll to Oxford Circus and near Apple & Hamley’s, so that you have a legitimate,  prestigious address.   The mail can also be opened and ‘actioned’ on your instructions by a skilled, discreet secretarial team.  Should you wish to actually meet a client at the office a luxurious boardroom awaits you at an hourly or daily rate.

Your central London landline rings, it is answered by a skilled receptionist and the call is either passed to you at your current location or a message is taken and transmitted on to you.   For years many businesses have been wondering about the reality and practicality of working remotely and abandoning paradigms from the 1980’s.  Now, at a stroke, Coronavirus has reset the business world. We know there can be no turning back.  A central London virtual office is your solution and we are there to fulfil our destiny.

How to Get New Hires Up and Running Smoothly.

recruitment and onboarding

onboarding staff

I am sure we all remember the first few days and weeks at a new job.  You wander in in the morning and you feel insecure and a bit lost.  Every company, however small, has its customs and its way of doing things.  Some of this might be detailed in bumf given you by human resources but a lot you have to learn ‘on the job’.  management consultants and business gurus have realised that if a new hire is ‘onboarded’ in a haphazard manner they are more likely to vanish quite quickly wasting all the time, money and energy to recruit them in the first place.  So it is obvious to pay attention to tips and tricks that help a new employee become part of the team and forge a long relationship with your company.

Visit the Local Cafe Nero Together

We live in a vibrant coffee culture and we are surrounded by chains of friendly, inviting coffee shops.  During a new hire’s first few weeks with your company,try to have them go for coffee with their new colleagues. This works especially well with SME’s, where relationships are vital. Relaxing with a coffee away from the office setting helps to take some stress off, letting a new employee chat freely and get to know your staff in a low-pressure setting.

Get the Team Together Early On.

Once a new employee has gone through standard  orientation sessions and completed obligatory paperwork you should sit them down with different teams so that each member can introduce themselves and explain how they contribute.  This is a handy strategy in organisations with inter-relating work groups.New employees can simultaneously know who is who and gain an understanding of how each group works internally, as well as the overall function of the business.

Break Bread and Do Some Small Talk

employees chat oiver lunch

 

Lunch can be a very bonding personnel experience.  Outside from the workplace a new employee can open up about their ideas and their aspirations.  Management can also gauge how staff are likely to operate together smoothly and maybe even iron out some possible problems areas before they arise.   In a sales environment where a new employee is going to be socialising with clients and prospects it is useful to check that they handle themselves comfortably in restaurant or bar environments.  Here at Hold Everything we deal a lot with sales people who are out on the road meeting customers and being the face of the company they represent.

Invest in Company Gifts

Give new employees something that they can associate with their new company, maybe some sort of gear or clothing that features company branding. If there’s a special laptop case or coffee mug that all employees use, make sure the new guy gets it. A cheap company ballpoint won’t cut the mustard.  you want something that they will be proud to use and display . You don’t need to go the whole hog and give a company branded Rolex like many Arab state  rulers do to their entourage but a mid-range company branded wallet would be perfect.

Introduce them to the ‘head honcho’

Onboarding should come from the top down.. Arrange for the CEO to meet with the new employee and welcome them personally to the company.  Then, when someone asks them if they ever met the boss they can answer in the affirmative and give a more positive spin to the corporation.

Give them some immediate goals

Don’t put off too long before letting recruits get started in their new jobs. Give new team members some actual projects to work on and targets to meet. It doesn’t matter if these are smaller projects or part of a training program, new recruits will feel more active and productive if they have something concrete to do from the first day. It will also let you evaluate a new hire early on so that you can make any necessary adjustments to their business skills and methods.

If you put some work into your onboarding process you will benefit by not losing valuable staff through neglect.   Being part of a team is very important to keeping staff working well within the family.  In towns like London where there is intense competition to recruit the best staff it is in your best interest to let them see they have a great future amongst a welcoming and helpful team.   This is even more important when staff are often working at distance for much of the time either at home or at a virtual office. So the start of their involvement with company is crucial.

 

 

Re-energise Your Small Business to Stop it Going ‘Stale’

Even the most exciting business idea can start to get a bit stale over the course of time so in this short article we will make suggestions to pump new energy into your creation.

It might sound obvious but technology is constantly advancing.  What was cutting edge 2 years ago is outdated now.  As the saying goes ‘if it in stock its out of date’. So, have a look at the computers you are using and see if you can buy a faster newer more efficient model, hopefully your software is cloud-based SAS which constantly updates.  If it is loaded on the machine itself check for latest versions.  New advances in tech can change the way you do things, usually for the better.  Maybe you have new staff who haven’t fully learnt to make the most of your software, so make them take time to do tutorials that come as standard with all software products.

Have a good ‘spring clean’ clear your desks and filing cabinets from dated or useless paperwork, use the paper shredder you bought but rarely used.  Be ruthless on clearing waste and give yourself a nice fresh work environment to recharge your creativity.  Choose a quiet moment and sit in your office chair and dream.  Dream big and visualise the path you need to take to fulfil your dreams.   Be realistic, set stages to your success that you can tick off as you accomplish them.

Maybe you realise that in order to reach your dreams more effectively you need to gain new skills.  To obtain a position of respect in your niche you might need to network more, maybe learn how to speak at conferences, perhaps promote your ideas via podcast.  these are skills you can learn and its worth doing it.  You must also learn how to delegate tasks, that is why you have a team.  You cannot do everything yourself, you are the creative spark in your business, let others get down and dirty with the fiddly admin and research.

So take a look at our video and gain insight into your personal business development.  Remember you can always talk with us at Hold Everything, we have decades of experience in helping a business grow and we can take a lot of the routine work off your shoulders.

Our Virtual Office News Report Hits a Milestone ’50’

We are very excited that our weekly news report on our Youtube channel has reached #50.  If you have yet to check it out then you should visit our channel

and bookmark it.  This week, for example, we are looking at an amazing new payday app called ‘Wagestream‘  which is backed by Bill gates and Jeff Bezos.  You might not be familiar with this app which is now being used by more than 115000 employees to plan their monthly spend without needing to plug financial holes with expensive payday loans.

Another item in our weekly round up looks at the enthusiasm in the UK for starting your own business.  We highlight the recent research from the Free Agent organisation.  The results show how young Brits are more entrepreneurial than ever with Generation Z full of hopes for their business future.  This is music to our ears since we do love helping young companies get started by providing a wonderful range of business services at our virtual Office’ here on Regent Street.   Having a prestigious but inexpensive central London base is so vital for a business start up  and Hold Everything has an enviable record in helping a vast range of businesses over the last 30 years.

Have a great week.