Tag Archives: Work Life balance

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.

Worthy Recognition for London SME’s at Evening Standard Awards 2018.

I love it when small businesses get the recognition they deserve from major media outlets.  The London Evening Standard has always supported the Capital’s business community and with George Osborne at its helm it is certain to do so on a continuing basis.  Our latest weekly news report features the 2018 awards and the recognition given to Asif Qasim, a hospital consultant turned app developer.   Dr Qasim came up with the idea for Medshr which is a sort of social network for the medical community and allows doctors and researchers to share results and techniques across the globe.

We also concern ourselves with the continuing threat from cyber crime that affects all of us, both as businessmen and as online users.  At last the police are taking cyber crime more seriously and have set up Operation Cyber Griffin to target hackers in the Square Mile.  We read all the time about hackers and teams of criminals getting away with outrageous heists when people transfer money for house purchases into bogus accounts.  These are not ‘victimless crimes’ and we need a police force that is intellectually equipped to combat this trend.

We hope you check out our weekly news report that we have been running for 4 months now.  We try to give you snippets of business news that might have escaped your attention – the information overload is so overwhelming these days that we try to curate things you might find useful.

Do remember that we have more 30 years of experience in the London business sector and we can help and advice on everything concerning company registration and UK business regulations.  We work for a wide range of clients scattered across the UK and the rest of the Globe so most problems we have dealt with at one time or another.  This is what makes Hold Everything a personal servic e rather than just another business centre.

 

Its got to be PERFECT ……. a message from Richard Cooper

How do you run your business.  Is it PERFECT?   Many of us start a business with a vision of giving the customer better service, better value for money and the perfect client experience.

One challenge I have always faced is that no one is quite as passionate about my business and service as I am.  I’m not saying that my team aren’t amazing and efficient, but what I mean is that, I am a perfectionist.  I want to get it right every time. After all I am the business owner and the buck stops with me.  It has to therefore be perfect?  Right?

Something I am learning more and more as time goes on is that perfection doesn’t really exist.  That may sound a bold statement however, how many of us have actually reached “perfection”?  What is perfection?  And more importantly how do will instill this into our staff/colleagues and teams?   The answer is – “realistically”

SO:   Face facts: Your team/staff/clients/suppliers/contractors will NEVER feel as passionate about your business and therefore their levels of service won’t be to the same level as yours.  This DOESN’T mean excusing poor performance, attitude or behaviour.   Take a look at your clients.  Are they happy with the level of service that your team provide overall.  Are they treated professionally and are they valued?   If the answer is yes then work on developing your team, but not necessarily at trying to make them replicas of you.

Put processes in place:  If you couldn’t be in your business for 6 weeks – are there enough processes in place to get by without you in an emergency?  If the answer is no, then it’s time to start.  You never know what is around the corner.  If something meant you couldn’t be there for your clients, will someone else be there?  Again it’s not about a replica of YOU, its about meeting and exceeding your clients expectations.

I always felt that if I wasn’t involved in my business then it would crumble without me and all of my clients would leave.  I am learning that my clients want me to have a successful business and provide an effective service.  Having my skills and expertise at the healm is just an added bonus.

You don’t have to be perfect to win in business, you just have to be professional, consistent and have a great team around you.  Listen to your customers, ask them how they see your business.  Even if you think something could be ten times better, it may be just “perfect” for them.  Spend your time concentrating on being the owner and steering your company forward.

 

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1