Tag Archives: Work Life balance

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  What was cutting edge 2 years ago is outdated now.  As the saying goes ‘if it in stock its out of date’.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.

How to Survive A Hangover at Work?

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street  we are in the heart of London’s thriving social scene, with Soho only a few steps away, trendy Mayfair behind the office and the City a short ride away on the train – seeing the end of day drinkers spilling onto the pavements is a daily event.

Many drink late into the night, wrapping up maybe some business deals or just enjoying colleagues outside of the working environment. But how many go into work hungover.

According to a daily mail report back in 2010, over half a million people are hungover at work each day , has the number increased in the past 9 years?

 

We have all been there, getting drunk on a school night but the question is how do you deal with a hangover the next day when you’re expected to be a functioning adult with responsibilities and a job to do? You could call in sick, but that doesn’t look great on your part, especially if your colleagues know you were out late (because perhaps they were with you at happy hour too), or your boss follows you on social media platforms or you could just do your best to pull yourself together and get yourself to the office.

The latter may seem near impossible but thousands of us have been there and done it, so fear not I have put together a guide for you for surviving your work day.

Tip No.1 – Survival of the commute

Ensure you bring a big bottle of water to hydrate you during your commute, especially if you take public transportation to work and make sure you have your headphones so you can listen to music, this can help distract you from feeling nauseas, in fact it is proven that listening to your favourite songs can help to relive that sick feeling and a number of studies claim that music can improve your mood, reduce stress and decrease anxiety all symptoms of which a hungover can provide you with!

If you drive to work you should reconsider and grab a taxi, the effects of alcohol the next day can weaken your cognition, which results in hungover/drunk driving this is illegal – so please grab a ride from a friend or family member, go on public transport or as mentioned take taxi this is so much safer and LEGAL.

Tip No.2 – Staying awake in that morning meeting

Right you’ve made it into the office – the lights are particularly bright this morning worsening your headache and everyone and everything seems nosier then usual and to make it worse you have a morning meeting to attend, you ask yourself how am I going to get through this?!

In a hungover state it is quite difficult to be positive but remember whether your hungover or not research suggests most people dread early morning meetings, so you are not alone. So, to get through this chore, stick it out find solace in knowing you’re not alone in wishing you were any place else where, bring your notepad and a pen to jot down notes that your hungover memory won’t remember.

Tip No.3 – Keep focused with food

 

OK, you’ve made it through the meeting but now you have another seven hours or so ahead of you. You need to eat a hearty breakfast to help get your brain back working so unfortunately a greasy fry up or McDonald’s is off the cards (sorry!). A few foods that can help that hangover:

1.Banana Smoothie/Fruit Smoothie/Vegetable Smoothie – packed with nutrients to help you feel replenished.

2.Bacon and Egg sandwich – a variation of a fry up – the bacon and eggs will help to kick start your metabolism for the day and the vitamin B in the bread will help to boost your energy, this will also fill you up.

3.So, we ruled out the McDonald’s breakfast, but I get it who wants to eat healthy when you’re hungover, a compromise on this is French toast with honey and any nutritious type of topping such as avocado/bacon etc. Did you know the honey helps to break down any alcohol left in your system and one study found that in 50 adults honey increased the rate of alcohol eliminate by up to 32.4 percent!

4.Make sure you are keeping yourself hydrated, drink water and lots of it.

Tip No.4 – Making it past lunch time

Congratulations you made it through the morning its now lunch time. Take yourself on a walk to get some fresh air, and make sure you have lunch.

Once again, you’re probably going to want to have an unhealthy lunch or even get to the point in your hangover where you feel like you can’t eat but eating your greens can really help replenish tons of nutrients, have a vitamin packed wrap or sandwich that is going to help fight your hangover. Include a fruit salad into your lunch, all fruit has a high-water content which will help re-hydrate your body (especially watermelon).

Finally – the home stretch  

Once lunch time is over you only have a few hours left of the day – however this may feel like the toughest time of the day to survive, your exhausted and just want your bed, you are also probably counting down the clock. Stop looking at clock it won’t make time go faster so make yourself a coffee and have a mid-afternoon snack with some sugar to help raise those energy levels.

Do what you can to remain productive but If you can’t focus on your work get on with some simple tasks such as tiding your desk/ responding to those emails that have been cluttering your inbox, occupy yourself with small jobs that will pass the time and make tomorrow easier for yourself otherwise by trying to proceed with high importance tasks in an unfocused state will risk your performance.

So in conclusion, as an employee think before your drink too much knowing you have work the next day, or make sure you use this survival guide to get through your hungover work day.

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?

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.