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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.