Increase Productivity at Work by Creating a Welcoming Atmosphere

Michael Brill, author of Using Office Design to Increase Productivity, estimates that improvements in the physical design of the workplace may result in a 5-10 percent increase in employee productivity. Most startups should have certain crucial design elements in common. These include employee lounge areas with cozy seating and colorful accents, snack-filled kitchens where employees can chat as they refuel and TV monitors used for everything from video-conferencing to gaming.

“The more comfortable our employees feel in the office environment, the more comfortable they are to speak up and share their opinions and insights with the team,” ZocDoc CFO Netta Samroengraja says.

Kitchen Area

A great lunch area is essential to pull people away from their desks. Get a little creative, and design a space that people will actually want to be in. Lunch is the perfect opportunity to bond with your coworkers and get to know someone you don’t know very well.

on-the-second-floor-we-found-a-fully-stocked-coke-fridge-providing-employees-with-free-beveragesAn office kitchen should have the essential space elements to build upon. Things like cabinets and storage, plenty of seating, and a table. Building a great kitchen environment should come before you start buying all of the stuff that goes into it like a fridge, coffee maker and a watercooler. You should encourage people to leave their computer monitors and spend time face to face with people in the break area.

Game Room/Yoga Room

Some days at work can be brutal, just ask any of your employees. Either a client is taking his mood out on you, you dropped the ball on a project or it’s just one of “those days.” When you’re in need of a quick break, having a Game Room is very handy. The Game Room is not just for large companies like Google but for any company that wants to boost staff morale, attract young and hip employees and create a fun, yet cool office environment. Having some simple games like DDR or even a dart board can be fun. You can also use that space as a yoga room to do yoga before or after work.

Conference Room

Capture

It’s important to have a comfortable conference room outfitted with large couches as well as wall-sized chalkboards and whiteboards for brainstorming. It is about creating comfortable and functional spaces that allow your creativity to flow. Don’t you feel more comfortable talking to someone while sitting on a couch? It makes you feel at ease, right? Sitting with your colleagues around a communal dining table feels like you are part of a team and gives you a sense of connection with the organization.

Motivational Posters

If you sit in an office or a workspace all day, it can be very difficult to stay motivated all the time. It’s very easy to get distracted and end up being lazy. Sometimes a brilliant way to keep motivated is to have things around you to keep you motivated. It can be people, reading an inspirational story or even a poster on your wall. Invest in a few motivational posters to keep you going throughout the day. Type in motivational posters on Pinterest for some great ideas!

There is, however, a fine line between a morale-boosting office perk and a misallocation of your startup’s precious funds. So, when you’re decorating that new exposed-brick loft space, go the more sensible route and avoid the extravagant accessories and get something your company will really benefit from. Does your startup’s office shine? Comment or share some pictures with us below!

Increase Your Work Productivity With Social Media

Some people might say that social media is a distraction from your work, but here at Dream System Solutions, we think that social media can be used to increase your productivity! Whether you’re looking for ways to efficiently collaborate with your employees, how to measure your online success or better marketing methods, there are so many different niches in social media that there seems to be a platform for anything you want to achieve. Here are a few suggestions of some of my favorite tools to use to help improve your productivity.

  • Yammer: Software that is used by more than 200,000 companies worldwide, including 85% of the Fortune 500, can’t be wrong. Think of Yammer as your own in-house social media network, which is available for your desktop and smartphone. No one likes sitting through meetings, so you can use Yammer to have conversations, group discussions, share files, give deadlines, ask for feedback and more. The chat feature is reminiscent of AOL chat, and Yammer even incorporates the use of hashtags. I once worked for a company in which you would “clock in” and “clock out” with the use of a hashtag in Yammer. All in all, it’s simple software to keep your office connected.
  • HipChat: If you’re looking for a different kind of in-house chatroom, HipChat is gaining traction as a contender to Yammer, being used by brands such as Pinterest, TED and Wired. In HipChat, you have all the features of group and individual messages, but you can also bring in guests. If you have a vendor your work with, simply add them to one of your message strings to keep them in the know. And everyone likes to have a little fun at work, so incorporate some of the 150 emoticons and memes available into your messages! The fact that the chat history is searchable is a big plus, too.
  • Nimble: Nimble pulls your contacts into one place so you can engage them across any channel, whether it be LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email or more. Through Nimble, you can connect not only your contacts, but also your calendars, emails and social communications, in addition to being able to listen and engage. What I like about Nimble is that all of your social media can be viewed through one screen. Instead of hopping from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, you can view all three in one place, which saves you time.
  • Glyder: Glyder was created with the small business owner in mind, allowing owners to communicate with their customers easily and quickly. Glyder can format your marketing message for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, text message, MailChimp and more, all from a free iPhone app. You simply choose a template, apply a style, add your message or offer and distribute it, which is great if you want to send something out spontaneously from an event or trade show. Ask for engagement, send out today’s special or simply say thank you with this easy app.
  • PitchEngine: If you want to get the word out about something, sometimes an email attachment just won’t do. PitchEngine makes it easy to create quick, engaging content for a sales flyer, press release or announcement that’s attractive and modern. You can share your “Pitch” with friends, customers and online influencers via social media and manage your account with multiple logins and an easy-to-use dashboard. If you want to gain traction with an announcement, it’s always good to create something eye-catching, new and different, which is what PitchEngine aims to do.

What social media tools do you like to use to help increase your productivity?