Guest post by Andre Smith
For years, millions of employees and customers across the nation have been consigned to working in drab, uninteresting offices with painfully bare walls. Fortunately, times are changing: business owners are beginning to realize the tremendous benefits to decorating their workplaces with fine art. Last year, a study from the British Council for Offices found that over 90% of employees believe that featuring art prominently in the workplace boosts overall productivity, while 86% of those surveyed explicitly agreed that art is “more relevant than ever” in today’s office environment. While the reasons to display artwork in the office are endless, today we will be focusing on just five, as follows.
This is a guest post from Christopher Austin from PeopleInsight.co.uk
Several years of practice and research have been devoted to improving performance management in companies worldwide. However, the conventional understanding of the performance review process is inefficient in the eyes of employees, managers, CEOs and company owners. Studies have shown that annual reviews are not helping increase employee engagement and performance; what really makes employees happy is the day-to-day process of offering feedback, leveraging talent and communicating expectations.
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Because not all employees work the same hours every day of the work week. Now you can customize your employees’ timetable to reflect their actual working day, even if it changes every day.
What this really means:
You can now set a specific working time for any employee. Account admins and owners are able to set unique starting times and workday lengths to any individual employee. Whereas previously, it was only possible to set one working time for the entire company. This will lead to improved data accuracy in reports, with individual start times, employees working on later shifts aren’t marked as “late” simply because they begin work at a later time.
This is most beneficial for companies that have employees that work different shifts throughout the day
Setting up customized working time
Go to Settings -> Employees. Find the employee whose work time you would like to customise. Select “Edit”. The scroll down to the section “Customized Work Schedule” and choose “Edit”.
A new window will appear with a calendar, that will look like this:
This calendar will pop up, where you’ll be able to create a customised schedule
You’re able to change the working time for all days, or you can select, for example, every Friday of the month. Then you can alter the starting time and workday length for every day that you’ve selected.
Here you see every Friday has been selected. You can change working time for those, exclusively.
Make sure to hit “Save”!
Now account owners and administrators have it even easier – they can archive employees when there will be an extended period of absence, so that the company doesn’t have to pay for the employee while they’re away, and so that they don’t affect the company’s productivity statistics.
Archive employees when you know they’re coming back
Situations when you would wand to use the employee archiving function is when you have an employee that will have an extended period of absence, but you know that they’re coming back. Situations when you might want to archive an employee:
- the employee has gone on maternity or paternity leave
- the employee is going on a sabbatical
- the employee is a contractor who works with your company periodically, but not constantly
You don’t pay for archived employees
When an employee is archived, they’re no longer part of the amount of employees you’re paying for monthly. This way your company can avoid paying for inactive employees.
Archive employees to keep them out of your reports
The benefit of archiving employees (besides not having to pay for them) that you know won’t be showing up at work for a while, is that they won’t be constantly showing up in your reports as “absent”, and messing up your statistics. Their data will still show up in previous months when they had been active. At any point it’s possible to restore an archived employee. That can be done at the sample place the employee was archived – under “settings”->”employees”. Have any questions? Be sure to get in touch at email@example.com!
A common problem DeskTime users have is that when they put on “Private Time” mode (where no time is tracked or goes towards the working day), they forget to take it off. That lead to lots of time that was spent actually working was completely unaccounted for.
You will never have the problem of lost working time again, thanks to the new Private Time feature.
You will automatically be reminded in 15 minutes that you’re still in Private Time.
This will pop up on your screen
That way, if you’ve forgotten, you simply uncheck Private Time, and get back to tracking all the work you’re doing. If you’re still using Private Time and don’t want to track your time, you can simply ignore the reminder. You’ll get another one in 15 minutes, and every 15 minutes after that.
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It’s a new year, a time for looking back at your previous year, and looking ahead to the next. Here are three very simple resolutions that will keep productivity high in 2014.
1. Focus on the few vital tasks
Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle (a.k.a. the 80/20 rule)? It states that 80% of results come from 20% of the causes. This means that of all of your daily tasks, you will get 80% of your total daily results from those 20% of tasks.
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For many people, being productive is doing with a “Get Shit Done” mindset and attitude. And while it’s undeniable that work can only be done when a person is actually doing something, there’s a growing mountain of evidence that points towards breaks as an improving factor in an individual’s productivity. We’re going to look at this mountain and get to the bottom of why it seems that doing nothing is helping us do other stuff.
Not everyone can concentrate for 8 hours straight
Earn for every customer you send our way
We’ve launched an affiliate program that will let you make money for every client you send to us – simply sign up to become an affiliate parter, suggest DeskTime to others who might benefit from time tracking, and then watch as you make money.
The way it works
1. You create an account – you’ll be given several different links, each one is linked to your account. So we know if someone comes to our site from your link, then we know to credit you!
2. Share your links – send your links to people who you think might be interested. Or just put your links out into the internet! It’s up do you!
3. Earn money – you get notified when someone has registered to DeskTime from your links. Like every DeskTime user, they get a one month free trial to see if they like it. At the end of the month, if they decide to continue using DeskTime, then you begin to earn. You get 25% of the amount they pay, every month!
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Don’t make more work for yourself
Believe it or not, there are three easy steps you can do at the end of your workday to make make yourself more productive. All it takes is to take 20 minutes to prepare. Here’s what you’ll do:
1) Arrange for the next day
Place everything you need for the next place in the place you’ll need it. Things like pulling out the files you know you’ll have to work with, putting the things you won’t need farther away from yourself, and things you will need, closer.
2) Clean your desk
Start the day off with a clean slate. The less knick-knacks, memos, old bills, and stacks of paper will only serve as another possible distraction. Get rid of it. Or put it all in a box until you can deal with it – whatever works for you.
3) Write down the top 3 things that are a priority for you for the following day
And start off right away with those! Don’t even open your email, because we know what a bottomless pit of time-sucking that can be. The feeling of knocking-off a must-do priority item off your to-do list at the very beginning of the day will make sure that not only have you actually done something of value today, but the feeling of getting things done will be so exhilarating that you’ll gladly fling yourself into the next assignment.
Hit the ground running!
Office layout is the underestimated warrior of workplace productivity. It has the power to either stimulate or undermine the ability for an individual to work at their best. Rows of grey cubicles can stifle creativity, while an open-concept office can be an invitation to distractions. Though there’s no correct answer, the most recent trend is to work in an open-concept space. Here are some suggestions for maintaining productivity while working in an open-concept office.
Don Fornes, CEO of Software Advice, took his employee’s productivity into consideration when designing the layout of their new office. In a conversation we have with him, we found out some things they learned.
The open-plan layout at Software Advice
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