For years, Millenials have been the butt of the joke—the slackers and the entitled basement-dwellers.
Law school prepares lawyers to practice law, but it often doesn't teach lawyers how to manage a firm. More importantly, it doesn't teach lawyers how to manage a profitable firm.
Design-wise, the modern office has undergone a seismic shift over the past generation.
Instead of cubicles and coveted corner offices, the modern workplace is an expanse of foosball tables, dogs, and mid-century-inspired desks stretched as far as the eye can see across wide-open spaces.
But beyond these radical design updates, the modern workplace has also evolved in a variety of other ways. From culture to technology, today we’re going to dive into how both the nature of work and how it’s being done has changed considerably in recent decades—and what you can do to keep up.
Inefficiency in the office causes more than just slow progress and wasted salary dollars.
Inefficiency directly impacts productivity, which is inextricably linked to the all-important element of employee morale.
When offices are inefficient and people feel they are unable to do good work for reasons that are beyond their control, it wears down their morale and, thus, their productivity. This hopelessness and inability to make an impact leads to worse and worse work—creating a dangerous, downward spiral that’s hard to break out of.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s the million-dollar question for consultants and professional service firms (PSFs) alike: How can we more easily maintain and increase our profit margins?
In the real word, generating profit takes a lot of time, investment, and practice. Increasing your margins isn’t always as simple as adding more clients, doubling your rate, or simply working more hours—there are nearly countless factors that go into improving profit margins for consulting services business.
A new era of productivity is emerging. It’s safe to say that the workplace you developed your skills in is not the same workplace you show up to everyday.
In the industrial economy of the past, model employees would work at capacity for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year—give or take some time for holidays.
That model may have worked when employees were considered nothing more than cogs in the machine—a means to a company’s ends.
We live in an age where there are hundreds, if not thousands of tools that can help streamline your meeting management.
And with new tools coming available all the time, you have to wonder why anyone is still scheduling and running meetings manually.
Here’s why: With so many tools available, it can be tough to cut through the noise and find the tools that are truly worth having — the ones that are so great, you’ll wonder how you ever managed meetings without them.
How often has this happened to you?
Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of effective communication tools for the workplace.
Let’s face it: Not every hour at work is created equal.
Client and case confidentiality is a key tenet of any law firm. The privilege of confidentiality fosters trust between attorneys and clients. Duties related to confidentiality, such as the attorney-client-privilege, assure clients are open and honest with their representation so lawyers can provide the best advice.
A lone guitar strums somewhere in the distance.
There’s a productivity predator just under the surface—and it’s costing businesses tens of thousands of dollars in useless real estate expenditures, wasted meeting downtime, and poisoned brand reputation.
It’s likely that you already interact with digital signage on a daily basis. From touch screen menu kiosks at fast food restaurants to arrival and departures displays at the airport, digital signs have slowly replaced analog signs in a wide variety of public and private spaces. While the change has been constant and subtle, the effects on connectivity and communication have major potential for companies looking to improve engagement and foster a better work environment.
Time is money at law firms. It’s that simple.
The billable hour is a major part of the language of the legal profession. Your profitability as a law firm depends on how well you manage those billable hours. There are a number of critical factors to explore when tackling how to best measure and manage billable hours.
The end goal, though, is always the same: law firm profitability.
In this day and age, meeting management software is not just a nice-to-have, but a must for enterprise organizations—especially those that are wasting time and money, eroding productivity, and damaging morale as they cobble together solutions or scrape by on old, overbuilt meeting programs.
Stop wasting valuable time planning, hosting, and attending inefficient and ineffective meetings. Instead, let’s take a minute to explore why meeting management matters, the business benefits of meeting software, and what to look for when it comes time to make this strategic investment in your future.
No two software acquisitions are ever the same. The industry matures, new technologies bloom, and an enterprise’s requirements and conditions continually evolve. A decade ago, the process of purchasing a new enterprise software solution was long and arduous. Implementation was complex and costs were often prohibitive. Training and onboarding employees was costly and time consuming. ROI was viewed as a long-term goal.
At their best, meetings can help your company progress, learn, grow, and collaborate better. At their worst, they’re an inefficient waste of time and a drain on company resources. So how can you make sure meeting culture veers towards the more positive possibilities while side-stepping the all-too-common pitfalls? The solution to better meetings can change depending on the size, culture, and type of company in question, but there are some simple ways to figure out what your company needs to move forward with meetings.
As an IT professional, no one knows the potentially enormous undertaking of a new technology implementation better than you do. Whether you have steered the ship through one before or you have heard battle stories from colleagues in the IT field, you know that a tremendous amount of the company’s time, resources, and good will rides on the success of this solution.
Chances are you already know that making a good first impression is important. Dressing up for job interviews, booking the board room for meetings with high profile clients, or carefully choosing your photo and bio for your LinkedIn page are all ways in which you might strive to make a good first impression – but when was the last time you thought about the way clients and visitors experience your office space? If visitor experience isn’t part of the discussion at your company, it’s time to bring it up. Office managers fulfill many roles, but one of the most vital is making sure the office is a professional and welcoming place for both longtime clients and first time visitors. if you’re looking to take a more active role in first impressions at your company, we’re here to help you get started.
We talk a lot about what it means to be modern workplace here at AskCody. We’re always taking a microscope to the latest office trends so we can figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what it would take to make something that doesn’t actually work. You follow?
There are plenty of movements in recent years that have totally flipped corporate culture on its head. I don’t need to tell you about the death of the cubicle farm or the rise of the WFH wave. But as we’ve written about before, what works for one company (or even one department), does not necessarily work for all.
The key is be able to respond intelligently and thoughtfully to the flexibility that today’s workforce craves without letting the office slide into a free-for-all of open spaces, zero privacy, and a frustrating search for open resources.
Hot desking has become a popular practice for growing companies as a way to save money, improve efficiency, and create a more agile work environment for their employees. Office space can be pricey, and in more traditional office models space is often under-utilized. Hot desking capitalizes on the growing agility in today’s workplace to help save companies money by moving away from the 1-to-1 seating model in the office. Rather than have assigned desks, employees operate out of an open workspace where they can reserve a desk for the day on-the-spot.
Today’s law firms have a problem. The technology that was developed to help firms better serve their clients actually has many attorneys feeling like they are treading water – and barely keeping their heads up. Attorneys are faced with increasing pressure to quickly adopt and master new tools to bill, work, and collaborate better and faster.
It’s hard to do anything faster when you’re flummoxed by the skills needed to reach the high bar of technological excellence. As law firms and legal departments continue to look to technology solutions to help their offices maximize efficiency, many attorneys feel that they are being left behind.
The nature of the modern workplace is rapidly changing. Where once static workstyles in traditional office environments were the norm, advancing technology and changing ideas about the nature of work and productivity are shifting the focus in today’s office space. Now more than ever team-based and collaborative cultures in spaces designed to enhance creativity are critical to business’s success.
When it first came on the market, the standing desk was supposed to revolutionize the health and productivity of office-based employee, yet many years into the trend the jury is still out on the actual extent of these health benefits. And while standing desks are already prevalent in startups, incubators, and shared workspaces, they have taken longer to trickle down into the more traditional office setting. As more and more corporate offices are updating their equipment, technology, and design to keep up employees happy and engaged, standing desks are starting to become more and more common. So what’s the verdict on the standing desk phenomenon, and are they worth the investment?
When you hear the words “modern office”, what do you think? Many people start talking about open concepts, ample natural lighting, and contemporary furniture. That’s all true. But today’s modern office is much more than the physical environment. Intelligent technologies are changing the way employees interact with and work within their offices. The modern office is a smart office.
Millennials catch a lot of flak these days for the way in which they are shaking up just about everything. They’ve killed diamonds, mayonnaise, golf, and department stores, just to name a few. They marry later and carry more debt than any other previous generation. But perhaps the biggest splash millennials are making is in the professional world. That’s because the changes they’re making will be felt for generations to come.
Office holiday parties have gotten a bad reputation for being stiff, forced, and uninspired, but your holiday party doesn’t have to be a dull affair. More and more companies, concerned with boosting employee experience, have stepped up their office holiday party game with on-trend attractions, interactive food, and top-notch cocktails.
If you’re feeling intimidated, don’t be. Throwing a good party doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. A few simple guidelines and suggestions, and a little out-of-the-box thinking can produce a party your employees will actually want to attend each year. Here are our top 8 tips for throwing a great party (and keeping the budget in check).
A well-functioning team is one of the great keys to success in any business environment. The right group of people working together can inspire, improve morale, and increase output by harnessing the power of collaboration. And while a great team working in their prime can accomplish just about anything, the unfortunate opposite is also true: a team without the right balance of skills and personalities can bring a project a grinding halt.
Your office is much more than a space for work. The interior your employees walk into every morning is the foundation for promoting efficiency and employee happiness.
You can hire a fancy office interior design company, pore over images of today’s trendiest offices, and dismantle every cubicle in site, but unless you have real insight into the way your office’s spaces are used, your efforts to create the spaces your employees actually need is just a guess.
As we all know too well, stress doesn’t just disappear when you leave the office for the day. Like email notifications on your phone, stress follows you home each day, affecting your personal relationships, as well as your mental and physical health. When left unacknowledged, stress can cause a bevy of health problems, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, hypertension, and even increase the likelihood of heart disease. While you can’t eradicate stress from your life or change your immediate circumstances at work, there are still things you can do to help alleviate the stress for both you and your employees.
Don’t underestimate digital transformation
Digital transformation is huge. Monumental. Pervading every corner of companies. Businesses are pouring trillions of dollars into it. But … what is it?
In many ways, it sounds like one more business buzzword we can add to the list along with phrases like “growth hacking,” “ideation,” and “corporate synergy.” That’s because digital transformation is big and amorphous, and means different things to different companies. But its significance should not be underestimated.
By now, we all know what constitutes acceptable office behavior. We try to be courteous of the people we spend so much time with five days a week. No one wants to be known as the guy who microwaves fish every day in the office kitchen or the woman who never cleans up after herself in shared spaces. But what about being known as the guy who always camps out in pre-booked conference rooms? Or the woman who can never get the A/V to work during meetings?
The definition of workplace security has expanded greatly in today’s digital age. Companies must not only consider employee, customer, and financial safety from external forces – fires, natural disasters, chemical spills and contamination, civil disturbances, terrorism – but also from internal forces – workplace violence, employee theft, intellectual property theft, and data theft.
There are many security risks that could happen within the walls of your office and systems. Your priority must be to provide a safe and secure work environment for your employees and visitors. By law, that means your company must provide an environment free of health and safety hazards, as well as psychological hazards.
You’ve probably heard the statistic: about 40% of the current workforce is already made up of freelancers, solopreneurs, or so-called “contingent” workers, and that number is growing. While it’s true that advances in technology and changes in the makeup of today’s workforce have led to new ideas about where and how work gets done, the modern office is far from dead.
Social attitudes about what constitutes meaningful work have evolved significantly over the last 10-20 years, including our goals for the modern workplace. Today, the focus has shifted toward workspaces that foster human interaction and collaboration.
The list of reasons to hire an office manager are almost as endless as the potential roles they can fill within your company. Search through job descriptions for the position and you’ll find a dizzying array of responsibilities outlined from operations and administrative duties to budgeting and billing. That’s because an office manager’s main job is to make the day-to-day operations of your business run smoothly, whatever that may mean for your company, and because of this the role is flexible enough to fulfill just about any needs you may have.
Everywhere you go, it seems that hot desking is the hot office spatial management technique. Corporate real estate prices are through the roof, and to add insult to injury, most expensive office spaces are under-utilized. Hot desking helps optimize those spaces and dollars by allowing multiple people to share the same workstation or desk at different times.
Ah, the business lunch. A staple of the corporate world, this pesky professional ritual can be fraught with questions of etiquette and social anxiety. What should be a simple act- grabbing a meal with a colleague, mentor, or potential client- can quickly become a landmine of faux pas that can majorly throw you off your game and thwart your professional intentions.
So what exactly are the rules for business lunching in 2018? We’ve got a few simple tips and guidelines to help you navigate the troubled waters of this corporate institution.
It’s no secret that the office landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Demographics of the workforce are changing, with more women and minorities currently advancing professionally than ever before, and more generations than ever are sharing the workplace as well. Meanwhile, rapidly advancing technology has shifted cultural attitudes about work and office design, as well as the expectations and priorities of both companies and their employees.
As George Bernard Shaw once famously said, “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Nowhere does this seem more applicable than when it comes to office jargon in the modern workplace.
External events are a great way to bring potential customers into your space and gain wider name recognition in your industry and community, but a poorly executed event can easily end in disaster if you’re not careful.
Fortunately, some thoughtful planning and a few basic guidelines can help ensure a successful gathering and prevent most major catastrophes. Whether it’s a meetup, a networking night, or a fundraiser with a 150-person guest list, we’ve got the six most important things to keep in mind when planning your next external event.
Most of us are already familiar with a hierarchical, or centralized organizational structure. From the government and military to large corporations, a centralized management system has long been the norm. However, more and more organizations of every size are starting to value more egalitarian organizational landscapes. As technology increases agility in day-to-day business operations, decisions need to be made with equal agility, and many are finding that it has become necessary to adapt.
I went to ILTACON 2018 to learn about what's important to legal IT, administration and support teams right now. They have some very complicated problems to solve this year. I also didn't expect to see a CIO dressed like Wario.
There’s the problem with many of today’s typical meeting invitations – they are boring. Meetings can occur with such frequency that meeting organizers can barely be bothered to bang out an agenda in the invite, let alone customize an invitation that truly makes your guests feel special. This is an easily avoided mistake.
Given the mobility and flexibility of today’s office workers, a new challenge has emerged for the modern workplace: the optimization of office space. Hot desks, office hoteling, and collaborative workstations have taken the place of the traditional office. As a result, companies must evolve their thinking of what an office even looks like. To do so accurately and effectively, they are turning to office sensors.
Today, more and more law firms are turning to cloud computing to help manage practical operations such as billing, compiling documents, preparing presentation materials, and case and file management.
The modern workplace can be a mix of offices and cubes, hot desks and hotels, or an open floor plan where the team is now called a pod. There is one constant across every possible office configuration: the modern office runs on coffee.
Here's a real-life story I wanted to share on a sunny Monday from Boston.
Andreas Baand Larsen, AskCody's Nordic Sales Manager, just shared with me a photo from Microsoft Inspire while he was literally stammering out "We…w..w….we… WE'RE ON THE BIG SCREEEN."
In a nutshell, the biggest difference is that Active Directory Server handles user management on-prem vs. Azure Active Directory handling user management in the Cloud.
Picture this: You prepared all week for an important meeting on Thursday afternoon. Clients have come in from out of town to attend. Partners from across the city will also be joining. In addition to the amount of time you’ve spent preparing the presentation, you spent hours searching for the right room to accommodate the number of people and technical needs, ordered catering so food arrives at the right time, and coordinated with the front desk staff each time there is a change to the guest list.
Boston-based law firm Burns & Levinson is comprised of 125 attorneys who focus on a number of core practices and specialties. The firm was founded in 1960 on the principle of being accessible and responsive to clients. This client-centric commitment to service means attorneys serve as advisors, legal counsel, and business strategists and are available to offer personal attention from senior partners on down.
As such, meetings at the firm are a near constant occurrence. Booking them, however, was a labor intensive and often frustrating experience. Employees lacked a system that organized meeting room bookings and kept everyone up to date, so they relied on Excel spreadsheets that were managed by office administrators.
Hospitals are places of healing and refuge. In today’s world, as the pace of modern medicine continuously accelerates, a hospital must consider other factors in addition to expert staffing and state-of-the-art tools. Hospitals and healthcare settings should pay particular attention to the complex environment surrounding their patients within their care.
Indeed, a growing body of research finds that a patient’s physical environment is instrumental in the overall healing process. A hospital’s environment affects patient stress, patient and staff safety, staff effectiveness, and quality of care.
Workers worldwide report that they spend more time preparing for meeting than they do attending them. So when you walk into that meeting room, you had better be ready.
Through a mix of existing and new features, we have you covered. We offer different settings that allow you to respond to GDPR requirements according to your needs and context. To make it easier to decide, here’s a short summary of actions to take.
In addition to features, functions, and results, Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the top considerations evaluators should be making when searching for the right enterprise software solution for their company. How quickly will the solution deliver the results that affect tangible savings? In other words, when will the software have paid for itself?
At AskCody, we look at ROI from not only a cost perspective, but a cultural one as well. Tristan Deschler, Customer Success Manager at AskCody, sat down to discuss what we mean when we talk about ROI and why it’s a critical component to the success of your meeting management solution.
Today, culture is so enmeshed with a company brand that it’s hard to discuss one without the other. It is what you stand for as a company leader and an organization as a whole. Beyond benefits and vacation time, company culture is an environment of support, transparency, and enthusiasm. And it cascades from the top. It’s a huge part of your role to set the tone for how employees feel, how they treat each other, and how they perform.
Your front desk staff wears many hats for your company. It could be argued that this position is one of the most varied, perceptive, and all-encompassing in the organization. Depending on the size of your company, this person serves the role of scheduler, office manager, travel agent, conflict negotiator, and meeting manager. From stocking office supplies and making copies to greeting visitors as the face of the company, they keep the flow of the office running smoothly.
There’s no question that the quality of catering can make or break a meeting. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on you as the canteen manager to ensure meals, snacks, and refreshments are delivered and presented without a hitch. A fed crowd is a happy crowd and a happy crowd is a productive crowd.
Your management supports and sustains the entire organization. Catering plays an important role of ensuring the corporate environment is a productive space. The food you provide is quite literally the lifeblood that keeps the ideas flowing, productivity high, and strategy moving forward for every meeting at your company.
Millennials have fully infiltrated the workforce and they’re changing it … for the better. Once seen as an entitled, overly coddled generation, employers have come to realize that in fact, this rising generation of workers and leaders is deeply committed, socially connected, and incredibly productive. Never before has a group of people been more inundated with technology throughout the entirety of their lives. As a result, they think differently and expect more.
Move over, Baby Boomers, the next generation of the workforce is here. And they’re demanding change.
As of 2017, Millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—make up the largest generation in the workforce. They’re bringing with them new talents, capabilities, and work ethics. They’re also bringing a number of expectations about the type of companies they want to work for, the offices they want to spend their time, and the style of working they want to execute.
Microsoft released Bookings in March 2017 and it has since proven itself as a great tool to structure and optimize room and resource booking. Work life will be much easier for both customers and employees with the flexibility, convenience, and control that is provided by Bookings. They can visit your unique and custom booking page whenever they want, book the room and services they need, get a confirmation email and calendar invitation, and if need be reschedule or cancel their appointments. For customers who prefer to book by calling you, simply enter their contact information and preferences in Bookings and let the system take care of confirmation and reminders.
Especially shared office spaces will benefit from the easy-to-access Bookings Page, where they can book meetings and services in shared calendars, without worrying about accidentally sharing sensitive information.
One of the most expensive necessities of running a business is the cost of office space. It’s also one of the most complicated to perfect. Too much space is a waste of money; too little is a problem for employees. In today’s evolving office environments, there are better ways to make use of the space you have, as long as you know where to focus.
But a comprehensive understanding of the use of your spaces can be a challenge in today’s modern office environment. As employees spend less time at their desks and more time in collaborative spaces on location or remote spaces somewhere else, it can be difficult to assess the room utilization reality. So besides taking a walk around your office and assessing the use of spaces bye eye, how can you truly measure the performance of your workplace utilization?
What are user personas?
Determining your company’s user personas—those distinct buckets of personalities and skill levels throughout the organization—is a necessary exercise for those looking to increase user adoption of a particular enterprise tool or strategy. Knowing the personas within your company and their competencies will not only help you chose the right software solution to meet your needs, but it will help shape corporate strategy from implementation and beyond.
Meetings: the necessary evil of every business. We need them, they’re not going anywhere, yet office employees site them as the number one waste of time throughout their week and biggest hindrance to productivity. Eliminating the many tedious tasks associated with every meeting—such as finding and booking rooms, reserving technology, ordering catering, and dealing with guests—is a first and tremendously important step in saving time, boosting productivity, and improving employee morale when it comes to meetings.
I think you’ll agree, we have a directional problem
Remember your first day of classes at university? You arrive on campus with your bag brimming with materials, excited for a fresh start. Your first class of the day is in the business building, room A311. When you enter the front door, you have no idea which way to turn. Students and administrators are rushing about you on their own way to their own destinations. You hesitantly turn down one hallway and find yourself in front of room D110. Does the D denote a wing of the building? Are you looking for a room on the first floor since you’re in an A or the third floor since it’s room 311? What does it all mean? Where are you supposed to go? The panic starts to rise as the clock ticks.
“Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” – Groucho Marx
What is a more valuable commodity than your time? Truly, there is never enough of it. That’s why when it comes to the time you spend at work, learning how to maximize the hours of your day is critical to success. Not only does good time management make you a more efficient and productive worker, but it enables you to better take advantage of the valuable time spent out of work as much as it allows you to maximize the time spent in work. This is a key component to a healthy modern workplace.
It and Facilities Management. There are no departments more critical to ensuring businesses stay humming every day. And perhaps, they’re the two most overlooked and underappreciated. We all know the stereotypes. IT stays locked in their dark server rooms until called out to help fix someone’s (probably stupid) technical problem. And facilities management might not even be considered until new hardware or services need to be installed or repaired.
The reality is, these two departments work to ensure every other department in the company has the tools and resources they need to do their jobs. Both departments have evolved to meet the needs of an increasingly complicated office ecosystem. To understand how both departments must work together to ensure overall operational success, let’s start with understanding what each department actually does.
Humans are a curious bunch. Throughout our storied history, we’ve often modeled our behavior off doctrines for decades, if not centuries, before questioning why or setting out to disprove them. These myths and superstitions have led to what today we would consider ridiculous behavior or foolish beliefs; like avoiding cracks in the sidewalk, not handling toads so as not to get warts, or imbibing in the hair of the dog (both literally to heal that dog bite or figuratively to heal that hangover).
Just as placing some hair of the dog that bit you into your dog bite (and cracking that beer first thing in the morning) isn’t going to cure your wound (or your pounding headache), there are a number of myths that pervade your office that may actually be doing more harm than good. Many of these office myths might make sense at first glance, but result in some surprising consequences that hamper productivity and employee morale.
Investing in new software is risky
Technology advances and changes at such a breathtaking pace these days it’s hard to keep up. Whether it be consumer electronics or enterprise software solutions, what is groundbreaking one moment seems woefully inadequate the next when a new version, product, or way of thinking emerges. Many companies invest years of time and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars into finding and implementing the perfect technological solution, only to find a different solution that better fits their needs is now available.
That’s why shopping for enterprise software can be such an overwhelming process. We’ve covered this topic here on the AskCody blog before because it’s an important one. We regularly hear from evaluators that knowing where to start is often the hardest part. That’s why it’s critical to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to confidently make decisions about the future of your business needs and the capabilities of the tools at your disposal.
Consider a slow but consistent faucet leak. You may barely notice the individual drips, but before you realize, you’re up to your ankles in water. Bad meeting culture proliferates a company much in the same way. Examined in individual pieces, bad habits around company meetings may not seem like that big of a deal. However, often, those bad habits create a snowball of more bad habits that, when added together, result in an entirely toxic meeting culture.
Is your company a breeding ground for bad meeting culture? Often, you might not even know it or know what to do about it. The result within the office is a lack of productivity, frustrated employees, and wasted resources.
Know the signs of a bad meeting culture and the steps you can take to eliminate them.
The meeting challenge
We say it so often it, it should be one of our taglines: without a meeting management solution, a one-hour meeting is never just a one-hour meeting. Meetings are a constant source of wasted resources and frustrated office workers. In fact, according to recent research, meetings are considered the No. 1 time-waster at the office.
Perhaps there is no more iconic picture of the modern office than of the wide open space, rows of desks arranged together, surrounded by fashionable Scandinavian furniture, hordes of millennials banging away at their keyboards wearing their high-end headphones. Large windows and all white everything keep the space light, airy, and up to the expected aesthetics of modern design. Maybe throw some plants in for good measure. While we’re at it, sprinkle in a couple well-behaved dogs, a work BFF, and a dozen flannel shirts and VOILA! You have the modern open office space.
As companies compete for the most talented employees, they have realized that it’s more important than ever for the physical office to reflect the modern culture of the company itself. That means the dreaded cubicle farm is a thing of the past. Companies are breaking down walls and opening doors in an attempt to foster conversation and creativity, enhance relationships, and promote transparency.
These days, every smart business has their eye to the future. Not just for goal-setting, benchmarking, and bottom-line growth, but for cultivating the type of office environment that serves as a lasting space for attracting top talent and allowing workers to flourish.
We’ve gone in depth with our own 10 steps to creating tomorrow’s future workplace today, which you can read about in one of our recent blog posts. With the right amount of planning that focuses around an understanding and appreciation of the way your employees work best, you don’t have to invest millions into creating the type of future workplace that rivals that of Google or Facebook. The future, after all, is all about people.
Shopping for any enterprise software solution can feel like a monumental task. Often, by the time it gets to the point where a company is willing to entertain the idea of software as a solution, there are so many problems stemming from a particular way of doing business that it’s hard to determine where to even begin. Add cost to the equation any new technology will likely be expensive and the pressure of finding the right solution is enough to make any evaluator go running for the hills.
The modern workplace of today bears little resemblance to the modern workplace of 50 years ago. Just think about the mid-day booze-swilling, male-dominated, Mad Man-era office setting compared to today’s increasingly diverse, kombucha-sipping, dog-friendly open spaces. Some changes have evolved slowly like workplace diversity and others have cropped up seemingly overnight like gourmet coffee bars and company kick ball leagues.
We’ve written a lot about the environment of today’s modern workplace, but as you strive to keep your company attractive and competitive today, it’s critical to plan for what’s going to make it shine in the future. The last thing you want to do is invest in a full-scale office remodel, only to find what you consider modern today is outdated thinking five years from now. Making those predictions may seem like an exercise in futility which office worker in the 1970s would dream that ping-pong tables would replace conference room tables and cubicles would relegated to the depths of office hell? That’s why we’ve put together a guide for planning for the office of the future.
Today's companies must think beyond just competitive salaries and generous benefits packages to attract top talent. The modern office environment has become the de facto face of the companies that workers are competing to enter. But businesses need more than modern furniture, open concepts, and cappuccino-slinging baristas to ensure the face of the modern company isn't just a facade.
Planning the perfect meeting is so much more than putting together a compelling PowerPoint presentation. Much of a meeting’s success has to do with not only the flow of the presentation itself, but also the care you put into creating a welcoming environment conducive to productivity for all of those involved. A professional mentor once told me that he never schedules meetings that would last longer than it takes a butt to fall asleep in a seat. I love that philosophy, but in today’s meeting-filled business world, it can often be unrealistic.
The best way, then, to keep the room’s attention high is to provide ample comfort options, besides the comfort level of the chairs themselves, of course. When it comes to keeping productivity high in lengthy meetings, there are two magic words you need to remember: “food” and “coffee.”
Meetings are taking place at your company every single day. Teleconferences, small group huddles, large brainstorming sessions, and formal meetings all require very different spaces and tools, and each carry great importance to the overall strategy and productivity of your business. To cater to each, your modern workplace might have various types and sizes of rooms with a number of technology options within, such as video conference tools, whiteboards, and projectors.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had insight, whenever and wherever you needed it, into how those spaces are used, by whom, and for how long? Or what about an understanding of the things your employees want to do, but can’t, because they can’t find the proper space to execute?
How often do you find yourself in front of another guest log book in a fancy office building lobby, hurriedly scribbling your name at the end of the a long list of names and times before you? Then you hand over your ID, have your photo taken, and wait as your visitor pass is printed out.
But wait, your host must have forgotten to add you to the day’s front desk visitor list because they can’t find you on the approved list. So you stand and wait while front desk security calls up to your host company.
Your meeting host is away from his desk, so you just have to sit tight until they can be tracked down. As the minutes tick by, you worry about the time cutting in to your meeting. If the meeting goes over, you’ll have to push back all of your afternoon appointments.
IoT: The buzzword of the decade.
After years of talk, the Internet of Things (IoT) is more pervasive than ever. It’s in our homes, our cars, and now our offices. And it’s going to continue to grow in ways we haven’t yet even imagined. You don’t have to look too far into the future to see the increasing prevalence of IoT throughout modern workplaces.
What does that mean for the modern office? How can data collected via IoT help employees improve productivity? Will it improve conveniences and employee satisfaction? How can we leverage IoT to get deeper insights into how the workplace is utilized?
Teams, the new hub for collaboration in the modern workplace, also works with AskCody
This year, Microsoft launched Microsoft Teams. A platform that's truly redefining teamwork and collaboration in the modern workplace, integrating all business critical tools into one shared platform, that all employees can access and use, with the same ease of use as Facebook Messenger, Slack or other conversational interfaces.
But, Teams is not just yet another Chat App. It's "Collaboration 2.0", and with the new announcement for this year's Ignite, Teams is going to have a significant impact on teamwork in the modern workplace going forward.
As Microsoft put it: "Microsoft Teams is now the hub for teamwork in Office 365. Going forward, Microsoft Teams becomes the core communication and collaboration client for Office 365".
Teams will, therefore, have a huge impact on how you book and schedule meetings.
When hiring a new employee, you search carefully for the right candidate who checks all the boxes from a skills, personality, and experience perspective. It’s important to find someone with the right tools for the job, who would fit in with the current team, and who will continue to help promote company culture. When you find the right person, it’s obvious.
The benefits of modern office design are proven and plentiful, but employees often lament about their lack of privacy and quiet spaces that are lacking in open office concepts. Learn why companies must look for ways to add privacy and quiet areas without reverting to the traditional office design and how they can do it.
Superhero. Police officer. Firefighter. Service member. Meeting room hero? If you're reading this blog post, your childhood dreams of heroism aren't as far off as you might think. Here are our three steps to becoming the hero of meetings by eliminating tediousness and boosting productivity for all.
What’s more personal than a name? We make painstaking efforts to find the perfect name for our children and pets. We obsess over celebrity baby names and chuckle over clever band names. Real estate developers invest millions of dollars to hire companies to create the perfect name for new condominiums and communities. In today’s fast-paced business world, some companies even live and die by their names. And there are some real doozies out there.
As a CIO, CTO, or Director of IT, balancing your company’s immediate needs with its long-term growth is paramount to success, but one of business’s greatest challenges. Complicated questions arise, such as whether you should invest aggressively in long-term initiatives or take a less expensive and more conservative approaches.
A common piece of this puzzle is the “build versus buy” question that many companies face when addressing their long-term software needs. In other words, does an out-of-the-box solution address all of your company’s unique needs, or do you need a customized solution that is designed specifically for your organization?
Today more and more companies compete for new employees, not only on salaries or benefits but in the work environment too, to make the employees shine giving them the ability to perform their A-game.
In this infographic, we give you an easy way to improve work environment and help your employees stay productive - even improve convenience and their happiness too.
An Activity-basedworkplace is an ever-changingenvironment
New and alternate approaches to workplaces are continually emerging. The latest growing trend is called Activity Based Working (ABW).
Activity Based Working aims to boost collaboration, productivity, and flexibility while reducing costs. It's a workplace strategy that provides people with a choice of settings for a variety of workplace activities. Rather than forcing individuals to undertake all their work at one setting, ABW allows people to physically locate themselves where it is most suitable for them to complete their job.
However, thanks to new technologies, you can now easily integrate meeting management software with workplace wayfinding to create an interactive tool for your employees to book meetings and find their way around the workplace quickly and efficiently. AskCody offers one of these solutions with AskCody WayFinder being integrated with Outlook, Office 365 or Google Calendar.
Here are six simple reasons why you should integrate your workplace wayfinding with your meeting management system.
Learn what wins, it will bring to your organization's productivity.
The Curse of the One-Hour Meeting
There’s no shortage of jokes about the futility of the average business meeting. Comic strips lament it. Television shows highlight its honor in the hierarchy of company doldrums. It’s possible there is a level of Dante’s Inferno devoted solely to business meetings.
Here's an elephant in the meeting room that no one ever discusses: Meetings are hugely expensive.
During the next meeting you attend, add up the hourly cost of every person in the conference room. Then imagine, that you're writing the check for that meeting. If the money came out of your pocket, would you have the meeting? Has the meeting been worth that amount? Who's going to pay for it? And would you have any meetings at all?
Then factor in the opportunity cost for what every person in the room could be achieving instead of listening to John from the Dev Team talk about groundbreaking innovations in a code update somewhere in the stack, or Suzy from HR having another of her monologs during the roundup.
Any meeting that won't directly generate revenue or cost savings, either in the form of a key decision or a concrete plan of action, is likely a complete waste of money.
And I would bet that a lot of people and organizations don't have a clue! One thing is the cost of all the resources and time spent on planning the meeting. Now, this is just about the meeting itself.
The following post is a guest post from RUMAS, a Danish office space design company.
This is how to design your meeting rooms to achieve more effective and creative meetings
You know how it goes. On Monday morning, the accounts department has appropriated the company meeting room. After lunch, the creative department needs it for great ideas and mock-ups. In the evening, there will be a board meeting – and already Tuesday morning there are job interviews. That’s how it is with meeting rooms. They keep having different events with different objectives – and that generates challenges and makes it hard to design the rooms so that they always match the different objectives. This is where you need to bring intelligent design into your solutions.
In our previous blog post about how to use meeting room statistics to design your future work space, you got an understanding of why it is crucial for you to know your work space: how do you utilize your resources? What are the preferred meeting room types in your organization? When is rush hour for meetings, and when are your meeting rooms occupied the least? All these questions and answers so that you can make rational and strategic choices about your company's resources, facilities in general, occupancy, utilization and so on. Choices based on data and not assumptions or guesses.
In AskCody we can help you get those data! By using our AskCody Insights module, we are providing you with valuable insights to your business.
If you haven't read our blog post about the importance of having meeting room statistics, I strongly advise you to do this first.
When you have finished reading it and you wonder "how is my organization utilizing its resources?" you should just keep on reading. In this, I will guide you through our Insights module, step by step and metric by metric: what are the different metrics and what do they tell about your business?
First off: for you to get...
You meet to share ideas, make some progress, gain some results, move forward, collaborate, learn, improve, grow. The is a reason that people end up in a ton of meetings every week in a professional context. It's simply the way modern organizations work these days. Therefore, meetings are an integral part of business life. Your workforce’s meetings are at the heart of your organization. They are where employees get together to collaborate and ultimately drive your company forward, possibly making them one of the most important aspects of your office environment.
In the modern days, with the help of vastly evolving technological development, people build information systems (IS) to ease and assist in execution of various daily tasks. It is not a secret that AskCody contributes to the pool of such information systems, and we are fierce in battling the challenges of everyday employee, manager, receptionist and many other crucial parts of the living and breathing organization. This battle is not easy and we would like to shed a light over some of these issues that we challenge ourselves to overcome.
AskCody joined Microsoft Build 2017 in downtown Seattle from May 10-12 to learn about the latest technologies and exciting plans on the horizon in Microsoft’s ecosystem. Microsoft Build is the holy grail for developers, filled with announcements on the newest product and feature releases across Microsoft’s various platforms, strong technical sessions on development tools and skill sets as well as opportunities to meet and learn from other in the industry.
Losing focus throughout your day can be deadly for your workplace productivity, and it destroys the workplace experience. Often, at AskCody, we talk about the "meeting room booking nightmare." Today, we'll be talking about another nightmare that happens at every single workplace over and over again. The famous "Tap on the shoulder" nightmare. In this post, we discuss the cost of that. Every day in the workplace, knowledge workers diverts their attention to interruptions and other distractions, thereby diminishing efficiency and productivity. At the same time, too many employees complain about the work environment due to that two out of three employees feel that their colleagues disturb too much.
In a Modern Workplace the only constant is change. So, how do you keep ahead of today’s activities, find your way to available meeting rooms, know if a huddle room is free or occupied, and make sure that guests and visitors can find their way to where you and your staff members are located for the day?
New and alternate approaches to workplaces are continually emerging. The latest growing trend is called “Activity-based Working” or “Modern Workplace”. Activity-based Working aim to boost collaboration, productivity and flexibility while reducing costs.
It’s Christmas! Again…
At this time of the year, the night before the night before Christmas, it’s time for reflection. Time to stop, take a minute, and think about the past year that’s almost over. Since the very beginning of AskCody 5 years ago it’s been a tradition for me to take some time to write a Christmas Greeting, so, of course, I will try, to sum up, what’s been going on this year.When I look back at the year, I always think about “time” as a funny thing… At one hand times fly so fast. You feel like it was just some months ago you kicked off a new year with a great plan to realize and a lot accomplish. On the other hand, it’s amazing how much you can achieve in one year's time. Particularly with a great team and some great people around you. About the last part, I will reflect on that later.
A new week, a new awesome partnership!
We’re excited to announce our partnership with ScreenCloud - a cloud-based digital signage app that helps businesses to send awesome content to screens. Digital signage is too complicated and expensive for many companies. ScreenCloud is on a mission to educate and empower these companies, to ensure that no screens are left blank, running out of date content or playing the TV news on mute.
The following post is a guest post from Airtame, the creators of wireless HDMI dongle that plugs into TVs and projectors. With Airtame plugged in, everyone can connect wirelessly using just an app from PC, Mac or Smartphone
Is this room taken? When is the next meeting? Who’s coming to this meeting?
If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because these are common questions during a day in almost any office. Everyone is struggling to keep the meeting room efficiency up.
Another efficiency area in offices is the misutilization of those dark, turned-off office screens that are hanging everywhere in offices.
In our view, AskCody has the answer for both challenges.
AskCody will be attending this years World Partner Conference - The largest event for Microsoft partners.
When it comes to meeting the right people in the right place, bigger is better. The Microsoft World Partner Conference (WPC) brings together over 15,000 attendees from around the globe for a week of networking and learning—all with the goal of increasing partner profitability and accelerating business growth.
This year, AskCody will be showcased in booth # 523 where we'll focus on our meeting room management solution for Office 365 and Outlook - The add-ins that simplify meeting scheduling and streamline conference room booking, eliminating a nightmarish aspect of day-do-day business that zaps productivity and wastes precious time.