Friday, July 31, 2015
How productive do you believe you are in your eight-hour workday? There may be a few ways to define the answer:
Semi-productive: you’re halfway there but you still slack occasionally.
Mediocre: you don’t really try, but somehow you get things done.
Top-level: you like to keep yourself super busy.
Well, no matter which one you most identify with, the truth is that you could probably be doing better.
Eight hours a day at an office desk is not the definition of productivity. You can thank the British Industrial Revolution for it. They worked out that this allotted time would yield higher outputs within a fixed schedule for factory workers. This may have worked in the 1800s, but today it has become an outdated logic which needs to be reworked.
Podio has broken it down in this infographic. They explain how squeezing as many hours as possible into one workday to be “productive” can be counterintuitive. In the end, everything depends less on time and more on your focus, motivation, and overall well-being — all of which link directly to your energy levels.
“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” — Francine Jay
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Check out this video of school children in Japan cleaning their school. This practice continues into the office also with most companies in Japan. Office workers in Japan have many differences from North American companies as noted in this interesting article.
Building a great corporate culture of respect and camaraderie may just start with enrolling staff to help clean the offices together.
Modern living has made life easier in a number of significant ways, with plumbing and electricity topping the list. As a society we've become accustomed to things working with a press of a button or turn of a handle, but that doesn't mean basic necessities cannot be improved upon.
Coffee--a well-known necessity of life--may be plentiful and readily available, but many would consider that to be just a start. Improving upon the accessibility of coffee is the Scanomat TopBrewer.
At first glance the spigot may elicit a question about why a water faucet would be mounted in that particular place--especially without a sink to go with it--but then upon further examination, the device would be revealed to be not a water faucet, but a coffee faucet. Finally, we can all stop acting like heathens and enjoy coffee the way it was meant to be enjoyed--like it poured forth from some eternal spring.
The undercounter installation hides a multitude of components that allow for a variety of coffee drinks to be made on demand, including espresso drinks, thanks to its capability to store and froth milk. Beans are ground and utilized according to what drink is selected (from either the touch-screen interface or a compatible phone or tablet) and then delivered via the faucet for exceptionally fast beverage service. While user intervention is required to refill the beans and/or milk supply, the automated cleaning cycle is certainly a step into the future. And nothing against running water or light bulbs, but coffee on demand and self-cleaning? Now that's true progress.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
So, which is more interesting: A vintage 1964 Porsche or a new Honda Civic?
Which is a better car?
If we think hard about the definition of 'better', it's pretty clear that on almost every measurable performance metric, the Honda is a far better car. More reliable. A better value. Able to drive faster, longer, in more conditions. Better mileage. Safer. And on and on.
So why do people pay more, talk more, gawk more at the other car?
Scarcity isn't the only reason. It turns out that perfection is sort of boring.
Airbnb isn't as 'perfect' as staying at the Hyatt (more variability, more ups and some downs) but it's certainly more interesting...
When a product or service benchmarks quality and can honestly say, "we're reliably boring," it might grow in sales, but it will eventually fade in interest, because the people at the edges, the people who care, are drawn to idiosyncrasy, to the unpredictable, the tweakable, the things that might not work.
A post from Seth Godin: Idiosyncratic
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Here’s the problem: Although anyone who sends you a mail is told not to expect a reply until you get back, they probably still expect an answer at that point. This is fundamentally unfair.
You’re away from work. As part of your contract with the company, you have some time off and yet some of the work from your vacation time is thereby shifted into your post-vacation work days.
And I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a company that plans for their employees to have extra time after a vacation to deal with the emails that came in during the vacation. Therefore this becomes extra work you have to do on top of your regular tasks.
One consequence of this is that many people end up checking their emails and responding to them during their holidays, which is also unfair. You’re entitled to time away from work. That’s what a holiday is.
One of the most insidious effects of this is that taking longer stretches of time away from the office is punished immediately upon return, because your inbox will be full to overflowing. I haven’t seen any research on this, but I could easily imagine that this would subconsciously discourage people from taking time off or at the very least increase stress around any time off.
What can we do about it? This policy from Daimler http://time.com/3116424/daimler-vacation-email-out-of-office/ is the solution:
The car and truck maker has implemented a new program that allows employees to set their email software to automatically delete incoming emails while they are on vacation.Brilliant. Now you can go on vacation knowing that when you come back, your inbox will contain the same number of emails as when you left.
When an email is sent, the program, which is called “Mail on Holiday,” issues a reply to the sender that the person is out of the office and that the email will be deleted, while also offering the contact information of another employee for pressing matters.
I think this is the perfect solution and I would love to see more companies adopt it. Maybe this is something unions could work for in the 21st century.
Do you have a vacation auto reply? Do you check and reply to emails during your vacation or handle them all when you’re back? If you go on vacation for 2 weeks, how many mails are going to be in your inbox when you get back? How much time will it take you to deal with them and how do you plan for it?
Thank you Alexander Kjerulf for this post first seen on http://positivesharing.com/