Tag Archives: Virtual Office London

Can Mindfulness Be the Missing Ingredient in Your Business Plan?

We all feel stress at work and this can often be a good thing in pushing us forward, but constant stress can also drain your creative juices.  In this video we look at some tried and tested techniques for easing stress from your workplace and helping you boost your bottom line.   Practising meditation and mindfulness has never been easier with a large number of smartphone apps you can download and try out.  There are also many local groups of meditators that you could sign up with.

Enjoying time with family and friends is obviously a great way to shake off workplace anxieties and you should grab every opportunity to be with people who can nurture your life.  Nobody ends their life worrying about a sales target they didn’t reach or a product launch that was a few weeks late.  they are small problems in the greater picture.

One of the easiest ways to reduce your business stress is to ‘go virtual’ with a professionally run virtual office in one of London’s most prestigious areas – Regent Street, where all the big brands are like Apple corp who are our close neighbours.  We check and forward your business mail for you and answer and screen your business phone-calls so that wherever your business takes you you are always in touch with your clients.  So why not add our great business services into your stress reduction programme?

How to Make the Most of Your Morning Energy and Be More Productive.

Did you realise you could be letting the first few moments of your work day affect your productivity?  It’s true, research has shown that many of us tackle rhe wrong jobs in the morning and then run out of important energy later on in the day.  For example, many people avoid doing difficult and annoying tasks when they start their working day.  There is an old saying that you should ‘eat a frog to start your day’ in other words get the nasty stuff done when you have lots of morning energy.  Don’t waste your first 30 minutes reading all your email, just glance through and prioritise for later in the day.

Many of us think that it is time efficient to multi-task but recent research says this isn’t the case.  It is much better to start your working day on one important project rather than flit from one to another.  Importantly we should not let negativity spoil our super-productive mornings.  It is easily done, holding on to the previous night’s aggravations or a difficult start with the kids.  It doesn’t matter whether you work in an office or work remotely, you must still avoid becoming negative.

One of the worst energy draining things you can do is to schedule too many early morning meetings .  These are basically ‘low energy’ events that are best scheduled later in the day when you have used up your morning’s energy most efficiently.  And last but by no means least, try to get some natural daylight by sitting yourself near a window.  Oh, and finally, don’t overdo the coffee before 11am it’s not good for you.

8 Top Tips For Working With a Virtual Assistant

When you are used to running a busy virtual office in central London the concept of ‘being virtual’ is a very seductive one.  For many small businesses and start ups the natural progression from having virtual office is to have virtual assistants (VAs) scattered in low income countries.  Used correctly, this type of support staff can provide a big plus for your business and allow you to delegate many routine tasks such as research and data cleaning.

So how do you find a VA?   This is the easiest part as there are websites that let you find and employ a limitless number of experienced part time staff who will charge you an hourly rate way below their counterparts in the UK.  The easiest site to go looking on is Upwork which has a well organised sysstem for locating the part time staff of your dreams.   In a later blog post I will give tips on how to advertise for a vA and how to go through the virtual interview procedure with them.  In this short post I want to show you a video I made that sets out my top tips for working effectively with a VA based on the other side of the world.   In my experience the key to successfully dealing with virtual staff is to be friendly and considerate to them.   Just because they live far away and your contact is on skype or email you should be as polite as if they were in the next office.  The worst thing you can do is take a tone of ‘western superiority’ which will ensure you get the minimum return from your investment.   Treat them as you would any loyal office colleague and you will understand why virtual is best.

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.