Saturday, 11 July 2015

Top 5 Reasons Why Companies Fail at Collaboration

Collaboration at workplaces are trending these days. However, without the right approach, even the most experienced managers and leaders fail at it.

So, what are the top 5 reasons why companies fail at collaboration?

1. Lack of clarity 

You may have the best of the best talent at your workplace, but if you using multiple sources to communicate and manage them, will hamper communication and coordination within the organization. Not having a single access for communication and discussions,  automatically opens the room for mis-communications, which is one of the main root cause to fail at workplace collaboration. 

2. Lack of support capabilities

Having a bunch of people working on a same goal, you need to ensure they are able to access each other, anytime they need. Considering traditional approach, employees have to coordinate via emails and phone calls to get solutions. You cannot rely on this practice, when you need instant solutions- as emails may be left unread for hours, while phone calls may not go through, or even not answered when needed the most. This is another important reason why companies fall at collaboration.

3. Lack of resources

Team that works together, will need proper planning or forethought. Unable to do, will create confusions among team members and keep them stranded for long hours with no proper solution. Therefore, regular briefing and training sessions with team members becomes very important to make end-goals meet, without which they’ll find it difficult to do their job right.

4. Lack of task distribution

Not being able to identify correct skill-set and randomly assigning tasks, hinders collaboration at workplace. For instance, the senior designer at your workplace is busy working on some important tasks, but at the same time, one of your clients request for an immediate website logo change from that same designer. Now, unable to instantly check on other designer’s availability, you directly assign the tasks to a new hire and later you realize the quality of work differs. This is like adding fire to the wood. Therefore, not having clear insights on who is doing what, automatically results to lack of collaboration at workplace.

5. Lack of task insights

Last, but one of the most important reason why companies fail at collaboration, is lack of task insights. Simply hiring an experienced staff is not enough, instead having a system that would allow you to track their task status and performance will help you make profitable decisions. This means you can offer valuable resources to those less performing ones as well as continue motivating good performers. Without having a real-time tasks tracker, companies cannot collaborate well. 

So, how can meet the above expectations to practice a healthy collaboration at your workplace?
Cloud-based collaboration tool, is the answer! Such tools will help provide you features to accommodate all above reasons in the most simplest way, allowing you to make more with less.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

How mobile usage has changed in the corporate world?

According to an analysis by StatCounter (an independent website analytics company), the use of mobile devices to access the Internet has increased by 67% worldwide between the years 2013-2014. The site also mentioned that mobile internet usage is doubling year on year.

With the above facts, mobile has revolutionized the world- that it has not only brought a change in our personal life, but in the professional world too. For many executives- rarely in the office, getting work done on their mobile (smartphones), is becoming an increasingly large presence in the corporate world.


Revolution of mobile usage in the corporate world

Before the advent of smartphones, people used their mobiles only to make calls or send messages, if they wanted to communicate with each other. This quite often resulted to delays and were costly in most of the cases, as they could not access their emails over their phone. However, with the evolution of smartphones- Blackberry was the first brand that revolutionized corporate communication by allowing executives round-the-clock access to their email. This introduction was no doubt helpful, but again, there were more chances of scenarios where the email was either not accessed in time, or was automatically directed into the spam area. As time passed, smartphones got even smarter that encouraged developers to come up with innovative mobile apps that not only allowed flexibility, but also increase productivity when working. One such innovative solution- a cloud-based team collaboration mobile app! Looking at the historical information, such tools offer more accuracy and flexibility in corporate communication and collaboration.

Let me tell you how?

Instantly connect with each other

Working together on specific tasks or assignments, executives quite often need to bump into each other for assistance. And, with an increasing popularity of smart phones and real-time communication tool, executives can now easily access and communicate with any member of the team from the place they are, using their mobile device. Allowing an ability to immediately coordinate with team members- mobile is allowing a lot more flexibility, with collaboration apps that attempt to clone the advanced functionality people are used to on PCs.

Receive alerts about their tasks

The traditional way to assign tasks is by sending emails individually to each executive. However, the major drawback of this practice- executives are not known about their tasks until they actually log in their email account and open the email. This automatically causes delay that hampers productivity at workplaces, especially when working remotely. A mobile-friendly team collaboration tool allow executives with notifications for every assignments, that becomes crucial to meet end-goals, in time. Whether you are within the organization or on a site visit, executive are now receiving alerts about their tasks over their phone. Apart from helping organizations to increase executive’s efficiency, mobile eliminates the risk of missing on those important tasks that are time-consuming.

Engage in discussions anywhere, anytime

An ability to discuss with any member on-the-go, is the key to gaining instant solutions. Hence, allowing executives to engage in discussions even when away from the work area, will help organizations gain valuable solutions quickly. Mobile allows them to do so! Without having worrying about reaching out the correct skill set at the correct, mobile is helping organizations and ability to create, invite members, and participate in discussions, all from their own convenience.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Top 5 tricks to make your office a happier place

The major impact on an organization’s success depends on the ability of employees to meet goals in time. Thus, there is a need to keep your employees motivated and encouraged while at work. 

But are you using the right ways to do so? Here are five tricks that will help you make your office a happier place.

  • Show growth opportunities 

    Allowing interesting growth opportunities to your employees will benefit both, you as well as your employees. Knowing there are opportunities for advancements within the organization will encourage them to prosper and always perform well, while your organization is growing.

  • Motivate with frequent performance perks   

    You need to encourage your employees every now-and-then as that will make them feel noticed and appreciated. Monetary benefits can be a real booster and will always keep your employees attitude positive towards work, increasing productivity for your organization. For instance,motivating your sales department with frequent performance perks will ensure them that their hard work and effort will not go unnoticed.  

  • Don't block social networking sites, but keep a track on its usage  

    Modern employees like to be connected always, therefore restricting them from doing so, will no doubt eliminate distraction at work, however at the same time it will make even the most interesting job look monotonous. Allowing employees to surf their favorite sites over the web, will act as stress-buster and ensure they get back to work with a fresh mind. While you entertain this facility, you even need to monitor them to avoid misuse or excessive use of it.   
  • Offer reasonable compensation

    Working with modern employees, you need to be flexible to ensure productivity levels are maintained. There are many employees who like work-from-home flexibility to match convenience during awkward scenarios. Attaining the urgency of an employee, will increase their attachment for the organization, considering it to be their second home.  

  •  Ability to easily connect with co-workers  

    Creating a dead-air environment at workplace will reduce employee’s enthusiasm day-by-day. Allowing them an ability to connect with any member of the team will encourage them to reach out anyone to obtain solution and be on track. Unable to communicate with a member of the team instantly will make them feel helpless and they begin to lose focus from the main goal.

Cloud-based collaboration systems are making workplaces even more engaging and interesting which can exact fit modern employee's way of working. Adopting one of these will bring all your employees under one roof, from where they can easily start discussions or have fun.     

Wrapping up  

In the end, following the above tips and distributing employee’s satisfaction surveys at intervals will give you an ability to optimize your tricks to keep your office happy place, always.  

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

How Transparency At Workplace Can Increase Team's Productivity?

Do you often feel that you are out of loop with employees at work? This maybe due to many reasons that can include lack of trust and respect between your colleagues and you, or lack of communication between you and your employees. Whatever is the reason, with no transparency at your workplace, you’ll likely miss out on opportunities to improve your employees skill sets and take on interesting projects, despite their dedication and performance.

In this article, we will discuss on ways that will help you gain transparency and increase team productivity at work.

Tip 1

Have an instant chat solution

One of the major reasons that leads to lack of transparency at workplace, is not having a proper communication tool in place. Without a communication tool, you are unable to co-ordinate with your employees, and your employees live in their own pace. Adopting a web-based chat solution will keep you and your team members connected, always!

Best Practice  
Investing in an instant chat solution will allow you instantly co-ordinate with any member of the team, that can help you track performance, discuss about important issues, or come up with valuable solutions in tricky situations. Offering an ability to quickly reach-out any member of the team, will encourage them to bump into each other, as much as they need to. 

Tip 2


Organize regular meetings

You may have employees who are introverts or have a fear to speak-up, just because they are not known to you and other members of the team. But, at the same time it becomes important you help them gain confidence so that they contribute their skilled knowledge, whenever required the most. Organizing regular meetings will encourage every employee to open-up with each other face-to-face.

Best Practice
Creating an agenda and gathering team members at one place at regular intervals, will develop a strong professional as well as casual environment at workplace. This preparation will get you know your employees better day-by-day, making it easy for you to distribute workloads and optimize resource to improve productivity.

Tip 3

Reinforce guidelines , same for all!

When you gather a team for performing a tasks, it's crucial that you have certain ground-rules and handover a copy for reference to each member of the team, beforehand. By reinforcing guidelines, same for all, will eliminate unnecessary confusion and increase transparency at work.

Best practice
You can add a clause, all task team members have the responsibility to proactively notify you about tasks, tasks status, duration (or any other needed changes to the plan) and confront issues directly and promptly. By encouraging your team members to provide daily reports will help you increase transparency, as well as you can immediately take measures to increase productivity, whenever needed.

Tip 4 


Adopt a centralized team collaboration system

In today’s modern workplace, technology allows you an ability to hire and work with employees from across the globe. However, involving different systems to manage team can create confusions and delay in tasks. Adopting a centralized team collaboration system, apart from it’s other benefits, you can also perform the above three tips.

Best Practice
Workhive, a simplest team collaboration offers a perfect solution to manage work within and outside the organization across multiple teams and groups, all from one single place. From adding team members, to co-ordinating with them in real-time, sharing files, to getting notified about important updates, this tool allows features for a hassle-free collaboration. Workhive also offers native apps for Androidand iOS, helping you to communicate on-the-go. This way, having a real-time team management solution in place will never make you feel that you are out of loop with employees at work.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

How to communicate with your team better while traveling

Before the advent of Internet, the old business landscape mostly had team members assembled within individual companies. Project managers and employees would work together within the four wall of the physical business location to complete a projects.   

Today, it's the way around! Technology has advanced so much, that even when you are traveling abroad for business purpose - it is still possible to communicate with team members efficiently.   

Below are 5 actionable steps you can take, as a business owner or as a project manager, to communicate with team members better while traveling. 

- Be available always  

When working with team members within the walls of the physical location, it becomes easy to stop by any of your employees desks to assist, comment on their work, or call them into the meeting room, allowing quick conversation. However, when your are traveling communicating with team members can be a hassle, when performed over the phone or by emails. And, as a project manager, it becomes really important you adopt cloud-based technology that allows you to communicate with team members immediately whenever they need you.     

- Utilize multiple communication tools 

Tools like "emails" and "phones"are the most common communication source used by project managers while traveling. However, they cannot always be a reliable tool, if you looking for quick and safe communication with team members. Emails can be left unread for days, while phone calls can prove to be expensive, especially when you are traveling abroad. Instead of relying only on emails and phones calls, adopting "virtual meeting platforms" will help you communicate with you team even more better, no matter which part of the globe your are traveling.   

- Tag only those who are needed 

While traveling, you would like to deal with less of confusions to avoid delay in projects. In most cases, it seen that project managers usually sends an email in common to all members of the team. This was done to make sure, that in case if the concerned person does not open the email, he/she could be informed by any other member of the team to perform the tasks. However, most of times, this method created confusions which automatically lead to delay in projects. Today, there are many cloud-based team collaboration tools that keeps you away from such ugly scenarios. Adopt one, and simply tag only those who are needed using a "#", who will then be immediately notified for the same on-the-go. This way, you not only streamline team communication but also eliminate confusions which becomes hard to handle, especially when you are traveling.  

- Always interact with team members in real-time 

While traveling, it becomes tiring and confusing to switch over multiple emails when you need to assist your team member, when they need you. And, referring to the first point, "You always need to be there" for your team. Eliminate the hassle of logging into different emails accounts and assist your employees from wherever you are by adopting a real-time communication system. This will help you not only save and secure all communications but also makes it easy and quick to assist your team members from any corner of the world you travel. 

- Invest in a team collaboration system 

Building a good team and ensuring effective communication becomes very important for any project manager. And, for those project managers who frequently travel around the world, yet need to manage a team - adopting a team collaboration system will be an ideal choice. Workhive - an easiest project management and team collaboration system allow project managers to perform the above four tasks in few clicks of the mouse. Allowing you to manage and access any of the team members over the cloud, Workhive can be an ideal team management solution when your are traveling.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Open-plan Office: Pros & Cons

Known to many, but for those who are new to the term "Open- plan office," it means the design for any office plan that makes use of a large, open space minimizing the need to building distinct rooms known as private cabins or private offices.

There has always been an argument, whether open-plan offices will make for the best work environment or reduce productivity. If you are one of them who is confused, whether to adopt this design for your office or not? Below are the pros and cons of open-plan offices that will help you decide what’s best for your company.


From staff point of view

1- Easy to interact  

With an open-floor at large and with no physical obstacles, makes it easy and quick for employees to interact with each other, while at work. This can include eye-to-eye contact and sign communications too, from a distance. The floor, if divided, includes movable elements which can be customized as per business needs.

2- Advise/assistance on-the-go  

With no walls or physical barrier across the floor, an open-floor plan makes it easy for employees to bounce ideas around and get help from relevant departments on-the-go. This means employees can call out each other for advice or assistance without having to knock on the doors.

3- Call for discussions

In an open-plan office, interactions are more easy and casual than a closed-office plan where most of the employees have a separate cabinet. Having an informal work environment, you can call for discussions anytime, especially when there is an important announcement or message that you would like to convey.

From business point of view

1- Flexibility  

Adopting an open-plan office for running your business, you don't need to squeeze employees, or build small, congested cabins to accommodate employees forcibly like that seen in many  closed-office structure. You can accommodate few or many employees in a single room at large, as well as divide the floor into customizable partitions, if required.  

2- Reduce cost  

Having a closed-office plan design will incur you hundreds of dollars, even if you plan to shift a wall slightly to different angle that you wish. Also, if you business flourishes in a short span of time, you'll have to invest in a new office place that can allow you accommodate more employees to manage your business growth. An open-plan office will be the cheapest solution when it comes to renovations and accommodation for new employees.

3- Best use of resources
Not only an open-plan office will be cost-effective when it comes to renovations and space required to accommodate new employees, it also becomes less costly to heat or cool an entire floor rather than multiple cabinets.  Also, it saves the cost behind printers, scanners and photocopiers as it becomes easier to share and use them in one room.  


From staff point of view

1 - Noisy atmosphere  

An open-office plan creates a free and informal environment. This means the high level of interactions between employees can be a major issue. Apart from the staff’s voice, you'll continuously experience the disturbance of phone calls, keyboards, and other resources than you use in the office.

2 - Health issues  

There are many health issues that spread easily, therefore any outbreaks of flu can result to many of the employees catching the same disease. This will result to a high productivity loss as most of them will be on an off from work.

3 - Internal conflicts  

An open-plan office no doubt encourages an informal environment, but there are chance when an introvert employee can be overpowered by obstreperous employees. This creates a  mix feeling amongst the shy employees to have their own workspace, just because they won't to be away from those ugly internal conflicts.  

From business point of view

1 - No confidentiality  

The level of privacy is very less, equivalent to negligible in an open-plan office as there are no partitions or walls on the floor at large. This means sensitive material/information are hard to keep confidential. This includes private calls, emails, messages over chat and much more.

2 - Hampers productivity
The open-plan office may offer employees a free environment to work, but at the same time the noise and distraction caused amongst them can lead to decreased productivity.

To end with, from one side an open-plan office creates a refreshing environment, but on the other side the chances of decreased productivity increases. Currently, this type of design is trending in the market, however still not rated as the most ideal office solution. With the above pros and cons, you can decide whether to introduce an open-plan office design to your office, or not.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Working from Home: Do's and Don'ts

Of late, more and more people are running their business from home. Apart from being your own boss, this kind of business allows lot more of advantages - cost being the major one. However, working from home appeals to many people - there are pitfalls that can hamper performance which automatically hits the bottom line of the business.

Those pitfalls are just common sense, but in most cases what seems like a common sense is realized only after it has happened.

If you are looking for some valuable tips about telecommuting, continue reading the article.

Firstly some do's

-  Dedicated workspace

Working from home, no doubt allows you act as per your choice. But, performing your business tasks in an unorganized way will hamper your progress and potentiality that you can achieve performing in a disciplined way. Consider a fixed place, dedicated table and chair, to-do lists, calendars, and filing systems to keep yourself organized. This will help you execute business tasks systematically.

- Attire

Working from home, no doubt gives you the freedom of working in an attire that you wish, however this is one of the major reason that hampers your work. Working in the same attire that you wear during night will keep you in the same (lazy) mood which directly affects your potential towards work, and in the worst case- you may doze off anytime. Ensure you resume to work in an appropriate attire -not necessary to be in your formals, but at least get off your nightwear and wear something fresh that will get you in a lively mood and you can perform business tasks efficiently.

- Fixed routine

If you think, being at home gives you a freedom to start work the moment you wake up, then you are doing it in a wrong way. This will keep you in a different rhythm everyday which will automatically lead to a bad performance in your work. Instead, dedicate regular working hours, it doesn't have to be a 9-5 job (mostly preferable) but it can be based on the hours that is preferable to you. Ensure you follow the same regularly to make the most within those hours.

- Regular breaks and a day off

Obviously no one has an ability to work constantly during the working hours, but if you are doing so (maybe when project deadlines are nearing) avoid it. This will not only reduce your potentiality but also likings for your work, which will automatically hamper the success of your business in long run.  Decide sufficient break-time for your lunch and additionally take a 3-5 minute break for exercise (stretching of your body) every hour. This will ensure proper blood circulation as well as keep you enthusiastic throughout your working hours. Also, it is very important to take a day off (depending on your business) during the week.  

- Let others know about your work schedule

If you are the only one at home, then you may have friends and relatives who can pop in anytime. Similarly, if you have a family - they can approach you for some or the other work. It’s your duty to avoid such scenarios during working hours, as this spoils the rhythm and may slow you down in performing business tasks. Inform your close ones about your working hours so that they don't arrive when you are really engrossed in performing your business tasks.

- Back-up plan

There are many other factors that, even if you wish, cannot have a control on them. Faulty internet connection, power cut, system crash, etc. are some of the interference that you need to have a backup for. As known to all "Time is money," therefore in any such scenarios instead of putting a stop to your work until resolved, it becomes important you plan a backup workplace in mind, like a cafe, library etc. This will keep you work going on and keep money flowing in.

- Consider an app

If you are working with a single client, or you have many to work with, it becomes easier to manage them with an app in place. Workhive can help you collaborate multiple client's projects as well as offer tools to manage them efficiently. You can keep a track of all your files as well as allow real-time communication, which means in case of scheduling conflict or cannot meet deadlines, you can communicate with employees (if any) and clients in advance to ensure your tasks are completed on time.

Now some don'ts

- Surfing social sites/shopping online

Most of your work will be performed online, but that doesn't mean you use social networking sites or shop online. Remember, working from home can produce a potential outcome, but getting tempted to such distractions will affect it badly. Make sure you are focused during working hours to make the most out of it.

- Household activities

Before you start your work, take time to assure all major household works are done. Because, performing household activities during work hours will force you to stretch beyond regular hours in order to complete your business tasks. And, forcing oneself to work beyond regular working hours can prove to be bad for health and business too.

- Personal calls

Cellphone is another major cause of distraction, therefore make sure you determine not to use your phone while working - until and unless it's an emergency. And, emergency does not rise up everyday. Be firm to this point, as it will save you loads of time and keep you focused to perform tasks enthusiastically.

- Cozy sitting arrangement

Your home may have the most luxurious sitting arrangement, but when it comes to work you'll have to sacrifice it in order to perform business tasks dedicatedly. Make sure you avoid sitting on cushioned sofas, bean bags, etc. This will make you lethargic and decrease the rhythm in your workplace.

- Noisy surroundings

You are engrossed in your work, but the members of your family may be chilling either watching televisions, cooking, chatting, laughing, etc. Such distractions should not reach you while you are working. This will take you off track and it becomes very difficult to get into the same track once lost. Therefore, ensure you avoid working close to noisy areas in your home to gain more focus and enthusiasm in completing your business tasks.

Wrapping up

Whether you telecommunicate for one day in a week or 6 days in a week, the above tips will bring in more self-discipline, motivation and productive when working from home.