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Should You Be Friends With People At Work?

Are you the type of person who just goes to work to get the job done and nothing else? Do you look forward to a lonely lunch break? Being friends with co-workers isn’t a high priority for some people, but research is starting to show that it maybe should be. People who have friends at work tend to be happier while working, dread going to work less, and even have lower levels of stress!

There are four primary benefits that people get when they make friends at work:

1)      They are more productive.

Studies show that people who are grumpy and grouchy at work tend to stew in their negativity rather than try to get their work done in a timely fashion. Even just having one friend at work can change the overall focus that someone has! Not only can productivity improve, but so can the overall quality of the work being done as well.

2)      They are more engagement with their work projects.

People generally have to buy into what they’re doing in order to produce at the highest of qualities. With friends as co-workers, people are actually more invested in their job to do the best job possible. Part of this is because they don’t want to let down their friends with a poor performance, but much of it lies in the reduced levels of stress someone feels with friends at work. With friends at work, people are more content, know what’s expected of them, and work harder to meet those expectations.

3)      They are focused on the positive aspects of work more.

Misery loves company and people without friends at work get to swim in their negativity for hours upon hours every day. This gives them the ability to be very vocal with their negative views because they’ve sat at their desks throughout the day preparing their arguments. This allows them to be extremely vocal in their discontent, leading others to be discontent. With friends at work, there is the chance to vent frustrations without letting them cook into negativity stew.

4)      They have better communication.

Most people are less inclined to speak with someone if they don’t know them. It makes them feel uncomfortable to put themselves out there when there’s a need to communicate, so they shut down rather than say something. This hinders the whole workplace at times because of this social discomfort! With friends at work, it is much easier to communicate because you’re already communicating with the people who need the information you already have.

Could You Use Some Friends At Work?

No one is saying that you need to be a fully extroverted person who is the life of the office. Having a friend or two at the office, however, makes like a little bit easier because you’ve got companionship and joy even in difficult professional situations. If you’re looking for a way to improve your work and don’t have many friends in the office, then why not try to make a friend in the coming weeks? It could be your ticket to becoming a more productive you!

Using the Pomodoro Technique To Increase Productivity

 

It never fails that when you want to get something done right away, the phone will ring or an urgent e-mail will come through. Perhaps your computer is up and you’re multi-tasking new tweets, looking through your friend’s baby pictures, and trying to get some work done in-between all of that. With all of the alerts that today’s technology can sound, it’s no wonder it can be a struggle sometimes to get a specific project completed in a short amount of time!

This Is Where the Pomodoro Technique Can Help

If you’re having trouble focusing on getting a specific task done, then the Pomodoro technique can help you work on getting more work done… assuming you’ve turned off all of the distractions that can take you away from that work! Here’s how the Pomodoro Technique works:

  1. Pick the project that has the highest priority at this very moment.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  3. When the timer goes off, take a 5 minute break.
  4. Repeat the above steps three more times.
  5. Take a 25 minute break after 4 total 25 minute work cycles.
  6. Repeat the above steps until the project is completed.

Why use this method? Because it can be difficult to focus on the work we might need to do because we might not want to get it done. Rather than focus on a negative work experience, it is often easier to actually focus on focusing.

Why Use 25 Minute Cycles For Work?

The human attention span is wired to an average focusing session of about 25 minutes. When we go beyond this amount of time, the brain begins to shut down, wander, or focus on something else. By taking a 5 minute break, you are allowing your brain to reset itself to begin another focusing cycle. In those 5 minutes, you can do anything: check e-mails, update your social platforms, or simply sit back at your desk and kick your feet up. Just don’t work.

Too Much Activity Rewires the Brain… In a Bad Way

Why does it seem that attention spans are shorter than ever before? It’s possibly because the constant multi-tasking that we’re asked to do in today’s work and home environments is actually training the brain to focus for a shorter amount of time on a large amount of different things. That’s why some people flip between e-mails, then project work, then status updates, then phone calls, then project work, and so forth. Instead of getting one thing completely accomplished, you end up getting a few things kind of accomplished. Using the Pomodoro technique can help you start to reset your brain so that you can focus more on something that really doesn’t have a negative component to it.

Some Distractions Have To Be Negotiated

It can be impossible to remove distractions from certain work environments, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them bother you. If you have constant office talk around your work space, some headphones and a MP3 player could help remove them so you can then focus on using the Pomodoro technique. Using this technique might seem like a small change, but it could bring you some big results. Why not give it a try today?

Top 4 Ways to Create a Positive Work Environment

In any company or business, it is imperative that you create a positive work environment and instil it amongst your workers and employees.  By having one, you can build camaraderie and good working relationships among your employees, which in turn would help them become more productive and capable workers.  There are various ways in which business managers and leaders can adopt in setting up a positive working atmosphere within their workplaces and offices.  Four of them are included in this article.

1. Create an overall sense of trust.  Trust is the glue that binds people together; thus, it is an important ingredient that you must include if you aim to create a positive work environment.  It should be the leading principle that your employees and staff should always abide to and it should be the standard, which they can base all of their actions and decisions upon.  Show your staff that you can be relied upon in making important decisions and that you are ultimately accountable and responsible for your actions.  Unfortunately, trust does not develop overnight; it needs enough time for it to nurture and grow.  It is also easily damaged and can be irreparable once things get out of control.  However, if enough trust has been established between you and your employees and between them, it would be easier to resolve any issues and mend problems within and outside the company.

2. Communicate and talk to your workers in an honest and affirmative way.  If you want to create a positive work environment, you must show that each of your staff and employees are needed and that the company values them.  You can easily do this by giving time to your employees and letting them share to you any grievances or problems that they might have.  You need to show that you respect and trust each and every one that you meet and make an acquaintance with; this helps you foster enduring relationships that would prove to be beneficial to you personally and commercially.  Set up meetings and discussions with your staff and workers where they can speak out their thoughts and ideas candidly and properly.  Also, treat your workers and staff equally; do away with having favorites among your subordinates.

3. Believe in your employees’ potential for success.  If you expect someone will act in the manner that other people will expect of them, then that someone will do that action.  This principle is referred to as “The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy” and you can utilize it to bring about the best from your staff and employees.  Express your confidence in them and help them develop the level of self-confidence and competency that they need for them to improve upon and succeed in their work.  However, if you constantly nitpick on them and tell them how hopeless and unreliable they are, your employees will never perform the way that you expect them to.

4. Establish esprit de corps and camaraderie among your employees.  We humans are meant to be together; it is seldom that one considers himself better off without him having to interact and relate with his fellow man.  As a business leader and supervisor, it is your duty to create a positive work environment by uniting your employees into a cohesive and cooperative group.  This makes them always eager to work with the company by continuously contributing and putting their energies towards the overall success of the company.  To do this, you must always persuade your staff and workers that each one of them has a significant role to play in the company.  Let them cooperate and not compete with each other; let them work towards a common goal.  Again, an important aspect of esprit de corps is by elucidating and manifesting your willingness to communicate with each employee and staff that you have as well as talk to their families and loved ones.  Always be in a friendly, upbeat, and sunny mood; if you do have personal and family issues, never show them to your workers.  By seeing that you are always happy and that you are willing to reach out to them, they will learn to open up and build connections among themselves as well.  This fosters team spirit and team building which in turn will both greatly lend to the eventual success of your business or company.

The four tips that are listed above are just some of the ways in which you can create a positive work environment within your business.  Follow them and you can surely bring about an amenable and constructive workplace for your employees.

7 Ways To Be More Productive When Working From Home

More and more people are looking at working from home, with an estimated 10% of the working population already doing so. There are many people that thrive in that sort of working environment, but there are many more that can fall prey to the distractions that coming from working in the relative comfort of home. Being productive while working out of your home office doesn’t have to be that difficult, especially if you follow a few simple rules that will help you stay focused on the job at hand. Here are 7 that will help boost your productivity:

1. Set your hours- When you are in a traditional work environment, it’s a given that the work day will start and end at a specific time. That regular schedule creates a sense of order that allows you to focus on work during that period. It’s a good idea to set a work schedule when working at home. That doesn’t have to mean 9-5 every day, but it does mean that definite work times should be set that reflect other things that have to be taken care of outside the home.

2. Ask for peace and quiet - When family and friends hear that you are working from home they believe it gives them the right to call you or visit whenever they feel like it. You generally aren’t allowed to take personal calls at work, so set that rule at home. Make everyone aware of your work schedule and let them know that it’s not okay to call during those hours.

3. Create a work space - It can be tempting to set up you “office” on the couch in front of the television, but that is likely to just create a distraction. Set up a single room or dedicated space in your home where you can work in peace, free from outside distractions.

4. Create to-do lists – If your work day doesn’t have some sort of purpose, it becomes too easy to write it off altogether. Create a list of tasks that need to be done every day. A good time to do that might be near the end of the work day when you still have a clear idea of what is yet to be accomplished in the days ahead.

5. Take a break – Working at home often means being stuck in front of the computer from hours on end. If you were in an office environment you would be entitled to regular breaks, so make sure to take them at home. Give your eyes and brain a rest and you will end up being more productive over the long haul.

6. Get sociable – As great as it is to be your own boss, working at home can create some new problems, most notably lack of human interaction. Make sure to schedule some time with family, friends, and even clients. Rather than talking on the phone, invite a client to lunch to discuss a project that you are working on.

7. Close the office for the night – Working from home doesn’t mean that you have to work all the time. You have already created an office space in your home, so close it down when your schedule for the day ends.

5 Signs of a Great Employee

People who want to find work will equate to millions, but people who know how to value their jobs are much rarer. If you want to reduce your turnover rates, giving the best job incentives is just half the trick. The other half is finding people who deserve to receive the incentives your company is offering. When hiring employees, it would do you well to look for the five essential signs of great employees listed below.

Productivity

Don’t just consider the quantifiable aspect of employee productivity. You should also do what you can to find out how employees are making use of the occasional periods of downtime that will take place at work. Do they use it as an excuse to rest or do they at least make an effort to find far more effective uses for the hours they are receiving compensation for.

Initiative

The best employees don’t idly wait for orders. They can work with or without supervision because they know when to step up their game, put on the mantle of leadership, and take initiative when others are unwilling to do so.

Perhaps the simplest way to define initiative in employees is when they volunteer to take on tasks that they may not actually directly receive compensation or benefit for. They do so because they care about their work, and they equate the company’s success with their personal success as well.

Positive Attitude

No matter how cramped, dreary, or tedious a workplace is, it always becomes marginally more bearable when the people around you have a positive outlook on life. Optimism or a half-glass-full look at life is something you should also seriously look for in a prospective employee. Better things tend to happen when this type of person is around simply because they always believe things will get better. More importantly, they are willing to do their best to make things better as well.

Honesty and Integrity

The second most important quality to look for in a prospective employee is honesty or – more specifically – integrity. It is not just a matter of always telling the truth. Sometimes, people can be too blunt for their good. Other times, people can easily end up lying without even saying anything – such as when you lie by omission for instance.

Most types of problems that frequently erupt in the workplace are rooted in deception. A small, simple, white lie can easily balloon into an insurmountable challenge for the entire company. It’s important to look for honest employees with integrity because any kind of deception put up by your employees would eventually become a barrier to your company’s success.

Dependability

You need to look for dependable employees or those who are able and committed to maintaining a professional attitude when it comes to their work. More often than not, dependability can be seen in the small but important things that employers take for granted from their employees such as:

* Being always courteous and reasonable to deal with
* Arriving punctually at work and all work-related events
* Submitting work well ahead of deadlines

Lastly – showing a willingness to learn new things when a situation presents itself is extremely valuable and should never be taken for granted.

5 Tips for Working at Home

Since the computer revolution more and more people have started working from home either part-time or even full time.  Today millions of people work for companies large and small but do it from home instead of going into an office, and the perks (and problems) of this new way of working present unique challenges and open up interesting opportunities for many.

There are, to be sure, many benefits to working from home, including saving a lot of time that would otherwise be wasted commuting.  The cost of gas and car maintenance is another perk that people who work from home receive, as well as the reduction in stress that any commute invariably brings.

People who work from home also face numerous challenges, including concentrating on their work when there’s nobody to supervise them, being distracted by many other non-work tasks and being cut-off from their fellow employees. It takes a dedicated person to be able to successfully work from home, no doubt.

If you work from home or plan to start, here are 5 Tips that may help you to survive the change and flourish in your new work environment.

1) Set aside dedicated hours where you do nothing but your work, no matter what. Whether in the morning or late in the evening have these hours set aside to be ‘work time’ only.

2) Set up a work station that isn’t near the TV. Very important. The TV is the most distracting of all electronic devices.

3) If you have children set ground-rules for when they can and can’t interrupt you. This can be difficult if they’re very young but it’s essential.

4) Set small goals for yourself during the day and meet them. You’ll find that things get done easier and quicker.

5) Advise friends and family that you can’t be distracted when you’re working, and stick to it.  If you don’t, they won’t think it’s important and will distract you even worse than the kids.

Working from home can be very rewarding and satisfying but, as with anything in life, there are challenges that must be met and conquered. If you meet these challenges you will find success, keep your boss(es) happy, and be happy too, and anytime you can be happy at work is a good thing.

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