Tuesday At 3pm, I’ll See You Then.

When is the best time to hold a meeting? Is the early morning sales meeting really productive?

So when is the ideal time to hold a meeting?

Forget about Friday afternoons. Don’t even bother with Monday morning. Try Tuesday at 3pm!

You may think that this time slot is just plucked out of the the air, but studies have actually been done on this topic and this is the golden egg of meeting times. (Appparently!)

Research done by WhenIsGood.net revealed that over 50% of respondents had a Tuesday at 3 pm time slot available for a meeting. In that same study, only 30% had a morning slot available. Interestingly, the same study done five years ago revealed almost the same results.

So why is Tuesday at 3pm the magic time slot?

One theory suggests that Tuesday is best because that is the furthest you can get from the deadlines at the end of the week, without bumping into the missed deadlines from the week before.

Or how about the fact that Tuesday reigns supreme for meetings because people will more often than not take a sneaky Monday or Friday off to create a long weekend and it is far enough away from the end of week productivity sliding scale.

On a more scientific level…..

Circadian rhythms are the physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle. These body rhythms have a dramatic effect on when we are most conducive to any form of concentration required for a productive meeting.

Everyday our bodies go through ebbs and flows in energy and behaviors. Early morning until midday are generally quite productive, but then our bodies quickly lose interest. This is an ideal opportunity to take time out and have lunch. Once we have had time to recuperate, mentally and physically, our bodies quickly attain the same levels of energy as experienced in the morning. So by about 3pm each day, we often find that we feel more productive and willing to engage again.

So why not meet in the morning? Generally speaking, most people like to be able to spend time on their own personal work and plan the rest of the day in the morning. If you do hold meetings first thing, you may run the risk of your attendees not engaging and their minds may be elsewhere.

So… lets meet, shall we say Tuesday 3pm?

Wilkin Group in Adelaide run a number of Business Centres, and have numerous meeting spaces for both existing and new clients.  Out of interest they have done some research regarding meeting times and outcomes.  Wilkin can be contacted on (08) 7071 7071, or info@wilkingroup.com.au  to find out more how they are able to meet your meeting room needs.

 

A Virtual Office Solution Creates TIME…. & EFFICIENCY !!

This Blog follows on from last week’s when we concluded that for many people WORKING FROM HOME SUCKS.  WE now look in more detail how working from home can … Work.

In this article the words ‘Virtual Office’ are used in the broadest sense, and relates to people working from home  …. or wherever, but linked to the business world through a Business Centre offering Virtual Office Solutions, such as a CBD address, phone answering and meeting room facilities to bring people together as the need arises.

When business calls for flexible work hours, virtual offices create an opportunity for people to work whenever they like from wherever they are.

Virtual Offices allow for reduced commute time, lower technology costs and lower overhead costs (with no lease to pay), which leads to increased productivity, lower overall costs and hence increased profitability.

Benefits for Everyone

Here are seven ways your employees, and your business, can benefit from a virtual office:

1. No commute time.

We’ve found the two or three hours every day that used to be spent getting ready for work and traveling to the office can now be spent as productive time.

2. Employees are easily more active.

Researchers at University of Sydney’s School of Public Health in Australia released a study that found sitting at your desk for more than 11 hours a day increased your risk of death in the next three years by more than 40 percent, regardless of other activity. Interestingly, people working with a virtual office concept naturally move around more as they’re not chained to a desk at an office every day.

3. Flexibility means using less leave days.

Want to have “donuts with dad” in your child’s school class? It’s not a big deal because you can make up the time later. Prefer to work out at lunchtime? No problem—you have a shower in your office now. With flexibility at work the urgent need for a leave day is eliminated.

4. Access to worldwide talent.

Gain a customer in Hong Kong and need someone to be there once a week? That’s no problem if you have a virtual office. Not being tied to just one location means a business can acquire a world-wide presence via a virtual network. Let technology be your slave, rather than the other way around.

5. Less overhead.

There’s no office lease, no utility payments, no furniture  and none of the associated costs that come with having a brick-and-mortar space. All that savings can not only be passed along to clients, or retained as extra profit. There is no limit to the speed that you can grow..

6. Save money on technology.

While BYOT (bring your own technology) started in the school system, it’s quickly made its way into the business world. By working remotely, employees can have the technology they prefer, and they’re responsible for upgrading it when it’s convenient for them. While there are a few cyber risk concerns with not having company-provided technology, that’s fairly easy to manage with a password tool, monitoring and employee training.

7. Productivity increases.

Because you go from monitoring when people arrive to work and when they leave to establishing specific goals, you’ll see an increase in productivity almost immediately. If employees meet or exceed their goals, they keep their jobs. If they don’t, you’ll quickly see that—and be able to weed them out—because no one is around to save them. Letting employees work remotely should also decrease turnover because people are generally happier to be able to do their jobs and not have to deal with the drama that comes along with putting a bunch of people in an office together.

While the virtual office doesn’t work for every business—many companies need people together in one location to get work accomplished—in those businesses where technology truly allows you to work from anywhere, a virtual office offers a strong alternative to a traditional office environment.

Don Will is the MD of Wilkin Group, which has a number of Business Centres which have offered Virtual Office Solutions for over a decade, and hence understands the changing nature of workspaces.

Wilkin Group can be contacted at info@wilkingroup.com.au or +618 7071 7071.

Working From Home Sucks

On the face of it, working from home seems like a great idea. No need to face traffic on the morning commute, no need to line up for an over-priced baguette at lunch and no boss looking over your shoulder as you try and clear your to do list during the afternoon. Technology and changing corporate perceptions have led to more people working from home and it looks like it’s a trend which is here to stay. However, as many home office warriors have discovered, working from your dining table may not be all it cracked up to be and isn’t the answer to all workplace issues that some would have you believe it is.

Your Kids Don’t Understand You’re Working

Even if you speak to your family and lay down the best plan for how you are going to work from home it can still be difficult to get the clear head space you need to be truly productive. As much as your family say they will respect the fact you need to work, they will always find it difficult to give you the actual space you need because they can physically see you all the time. The fact you are physically present, even if your mind is on the job, gives people the impression that you’re available to walk the dog, build a LEGO castle or whatever other job may spring to mind.

Distractions Everywhere You Turn

You won’t notice them when you are at home on weekends, but there are distractions at every turn when you are trying to get work done. That load of washing that needs to be hung out, the midday news on TV, checking the mail as soon as the  postman has been – they’re things which somehow become urgent when working from home. One of the underrated roles of an effective workspace is to put you in an environment which is conducive to actually getting things done – distraction free.

You Lack Real Interactions

Thanks to technology, working from home is no longer the sentence to solitary confinement it once was. Between talking on the phone, teleconferencing and interacting on social media you are able to keep in touch with your colleagues whenever you need to from home. However, even with all of this technology we all still need to have ‘real’ face to face interactions from time to time. Unless you fancy inviting co-workers over to share the couch, this is something working from home just can’t provide.

You Can’t Collaborate With Your Kids

As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one” and this is especially true when considering tough business issues. Unfortunately your 4 year old (if they’re anything like mine) is unlikely to come up with a new marketing idea or ways to improve your cashflow, so you need a resource which has a little more knowledge and experience. One of the perks of having a work environment where you have co-workers or other people around is that you always have a human knowledge bank at your disposal to assist when issues get a bit tricky. The human resource built into your work-space can also work for business development, as you never know who you might meet while making a coffee and what they might need that you can provide.

Do You Want To Meet At Your Kitchen Table?

 As I am sure you appreciate, perception is everything and a big part of setting the right image for your business is how you meet with people. Even though there are a multitude of different digital technologies which provide remote meeting options, face to face meetings are still a critical part of any business. You can’t exactly bring a new client to your kitchen table to sign a contract or hold a sales presentation in the rumpus room while the kids are at school – you need to be able to set the right image for your business and you need to have somewhere professional to meet people.

Don’t get me wrong, there are real benefits to working from home which can certainly offset some of the issues outlined above.

The good news is that there are also a range of solutions which can support home workers and assist to make it a viable way to work. From Virtual Offices to FlexiWork, Wilkin Group works with a number of clients who spend the majority of their time working ‘out of the office’ to fill the gaps and make working from home a joy rather than a chore. Check out the Wilkin Group at www.wilkingroup.com.au, or ring them on (08) 7071 7071

Avoiding The Afternoon Energy Cliff

We’ve all experienced the ‘Afternoon Energy Cliff’, when all of a sudden it feels like you have hit a brick wall and even the simplest work related task seems insurmountable. People generally fall off the cliff during the mid-afternoon, around 3pm, as the energy from their lunch meals wears off and they naturally start to fatigue as the day drags on. As Steven Covey put it so well with his ‘Sharpen the Saw’ analogy, rather than trying to battle through this state everyday, it is much more productive to make some small tweaks to your workday routine to renew and re-energise yourself in order to get the most out of the last few hours of the workday.

Take A Walk

To combat afternoon slumps in enthusiasm and focus, take a walk during your lunch hour. Studies have found that even a gentle stroll at lunchtime can boost people’s mood & ability to handle stress and heavy workloads in the afternoon. Beyond helping to clear headspace and getting some air into your lungs, walking also provides an opportunity to interact with co-workers in a social setting outside of the office environment – which can be beneficial in improving teamwork and collaboration. A walk can be just as productive when everything gets too much in the afternoon. As little as 10 minutes away from your desk, out in the sunshine and fresh air can set you up for the rest of the day.

Eat Right

During a busy workday, reaching for an unhealthy snack can appear to be the easiest option when your stomach starts to rumble. However, the fuel that you put into your body can have a huge impact on your afternoon productivity. Sugary soft drinks, sweet biscuits or a chocolate bar may give you a quick energy hit, but this will quickly wear off and you will be right back where you started soon after. By carefully selecting your afternoon snack you can give yourself the boost you need and the best chance to power through to the end of the day. Bananas, berries and nuts are great snack alternatives which can be just as convenient as their sugar laden cousins.

Schedule Work Around The Waves

Within each of our jobs, we have tasks which we really enjoy and energise us and those tasks which we need to complete but can we find real drag. How you schedule your daily tasks can have a huge impact on your energy levels. If you leave tasks which you consider to be mundane until the afternoon when your energy starts to flag, even the simplest task can seem all too hard. Alternatively, if you schedule something which you really enjoy for this time it can really assist to keep you engaged and on the ball. A little bit of planning at the start of the day can really help to match the timing of work with your energy cycles.

While none of these small tweaks appear groundbreaking, they can each make a huge difference to how you make it through the day. With a little bit of pre-planning you can avoid the Afternoon Energy Cliff and power through the day knocking things off your to do list.

What other tricks do you use to help fight through the afternoon as your energy starts to wane? Feel free to write a comment to share your tips.

When An Office Just Makes Sense

Most small/micro businesses will start from a home office or temporary office space due to the risks associated with getting a new business idea off the ground. This approach makes sense to manage the downside risk in case the business doesn’t take shape as expected. However, as I have outlined in a previous post there are certainly some limitations to working out of a workspace which is somewhat cobbled together. At some point, the benefits of having a workspace which frees you (and your team) up mentally to be as productive as possible far outweigh any risks involved. However, the $64,000 question is when should you make the jump to a dedicated office space for your business?

When The Team Grows

Managing a growing team from your home office can be a real challenge. Unless you live in a kid-free house with multiple spare bedrooms, it is unlikely that your home office will support any more than a single employee on a flexible basis. In this scenario, you also need to consider how comfortable you are having employees coming into your home and how comfortable an employee will be with this arrangement. The other option for a growing team is to have employees work from their own houses, but then you open up a range of issues involved with managing remote teams. A growing team needs cohesion in a central location which supports the way it works and can scale with its growth.

When The Distractions Become Too Much

Even if your business is still a ‘one man band’ the distractions associated with working from home can become overwhelming. In the home office distractions are everywhere – that load of washing that needs to be hung out, the midday news on TV, checking the mail as soon as the postman has been – they’re all things which somehow become urgent when working from home. One of the underrated roles of an effective workspace is to put you in an environment which is conducive to actually getting things done – distraction free.

How Do People See Your Business?

One of the most common catalysts for seeking a dedicated workspace presence is when a business needs to start portraying a more professional image to it’s clients. Whether it is the need to have a CBD address rather than using your PO Box as a business address or having access to meeting rooms for client meetings, there are a number of facets of a business’ operations can drive the need for an office space. How people perceive a business is critically important to its success and that alone can justify the move to a dedicated office space.

The Dollars Start Rolling In

The most common reason for starting or running a business from a home office is to manage the financial risk of things not going to plan and having obligations associated with a dedicated office space. Once the business reaches a point where it is financially stable, the benefits of having a dedicated office space for your business well and truly outweigh the cost of operating the space. However even as the business reaches this tipping point, there are options such as Virtual Office or Flexible WorkSpaces which can provide many of the benefits of a dedicated office space, without the cost. Selecting the right location will also enable you to grow without changing your address.

So as your firm grows it is more a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ an office space will be of benefit to the operations. Like so many things in life, it can seem like there is no ‘right time’ to make the jump into a dedicated office space, however if the move is managed correctly the benefits can be substantial, and almost instantaneous.

What were some of the things which you thought about when considering the move into an office space for your business?

When you are ready to have a chat regarding an office in the Adelaide CBD, give us a call on (08) 7071 7071.

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