An analytical tool used by retailers, webmasters and football (soccer) clubs may help us configure our office spaces for added employee efficiently. The proof is right there in the red, yellow, green and blue hues.
If you’re a football fan, you’re probably familiar with heat maps. They’re splashy TV graphics that show where on the field players spend their time. They’re also powerful analytical tools to help webmasters optimize a site depending on how people’s eyes scan it or guide retail planners on where to place promotions around the store floor.
As useful as heat maps are to coaches and shopkeepers, they may be equally important to our organizations.
In knowledge work, being productive is all about making the right decision and then taking effective action. Here are nine tricks for improving productivity through better concentration, collaboration.
You’ll never guess one reason U.S. President Barack Obama cites for why he’s so productive at work.
Forget about ancient monuments, modern superhighways or space exploration. The world’s most impressive collaborative effort is right at your fingertips. Find out what it is and why it’s revolutionizing how we share information and solve problems.
“What is the greatest collaborative effort in history?”
It sounded like a simple question. But for a few moments, it had most of us in the “New Ways of Working” team stumped.
As we went around the room, most cited one historic achievement or another: The pyramids. The London Underground. Space travel.
As we got near the end, the youngest on our team, sitting quietly in the corner, spoke up. Continue reading →
Cross-cultural teams offer outstanding new perspectives and fresh insights – as long as you avoid the pitfalls. Here’s how to avoid embarrassment in a cross-cultural environment and how to recover if you make a blunder.
My first experience with my employer was a memorable one, to say the least.
I had just been hired and was anticipating my first videoconference with my boss. Even as a German who would be working for a Danish company, I hadn’t given much thought to any cultural differences between us.
Having prepared all morning, I positioned myself behind my desk and initiated the call – I couldn’t believe my ears. Continue reading →
The words still ring in my ears. They came from my childhood football coach as he desperately tried to get a group of oblivious youngsters to watch where the ball was being played—and be ready to receive it.
I got thinking about Coach’s words while reading some interesting research about interruptions in today’s open offices. In a nutshell, scientists can’t seem to agree on whether interruptions are good for our productivity or bad. Others weigh in with a qualified “it depends,” based on the context. Continue reading →
Maybe they aren’t able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, but knowledge workers are the real-life superheroes in our organizations. Let’s go behind the mask and see what makes them so indispensable to our success.
What’s the most important position in your organization? Easy, right? The CEO. Or CFO. Or maybe chief product engineer.
They’re all critical, I’ll admit. But in my book, the heroes of every organization are its knowledge workers.
They’re the essence of our organizations. They do the heavy lifting that keeps the products flowing, customers happy, financials in order, patents in force and a whole lot more. Or as the old saying goes, they “keep the trains running on time.” Continue reading →
Our organizations are awash in information. But it seems as though we’re just filing it away – instead of using it to create and share knowledge.
I just took a long, accidental stroll down memory lane, courtesy of one of my company’s file servers.
Let me explain. I needed a very specific report and accessed one of our internal systems to locate it. After a few minutes of searching, I was certain I’d found the report… until I discovered another, different version of it. And then another. And yet another.
After an hour of looking, I gave up. I never found what I needed.
All of which led me to a realization: We obviously do a great job of churning out information in our organizations, but are we creating knowledge? Continue reading →
How you “nudge” people into using technology that will make your company – and employees – more productive.
It’s the business case of the century: implementing Unified Communication & Collaboration solutions that make it possible for employees to communicate, share ideas, and work from anywhere. From one day to the next, all of your employees are accessible and fully “operational,” freeing up time and offering opportunities to boost productivity, innovation, and value creation.
It’s the perfect match.
The money side is exceptionally encouraging as well. According to studies from Cisco, Avaya, and the like, payback periods are less than a year, return on investments are higher than 100 percent in a few years, and 74 percent of companies report an additional $5,000 or more in extra sales per month per sales agent. It’s a sure home run. Continue reading →
by Holger Reisinger, Meetings are the killer of modern work life. Fortunately there is a better way. We should only meet twice a year and really get to the bottom of things – and then let the specialists take care of the rest.
Several years ago, I visited a Danish company who wanted to eliminate the insane amount of time they wasted for meetings – a pain point that many other organizations experience. Already, they created some strong points of view around better time management and prominently displayed advice through posters on meeting room walls. These were all standard best practices: start on time, prepare an agenda and follow it, stop discussions when they are not leading somewhere, make sure you agree on your conclusions, etc.
Unfortunately, good advice is not always followed and the campaign didn’t work very well..
We’ve spent plenty of time discussing collaboration in today’s workplace. But how will workers collaborate in the years and decades ahead? Join me as we dust off our crystal ball and peer into the future.
It’s no secret that we as business professionals collaborate today in ways we never dreamed of just five or 10 years ago.