16 Must-Watch Videos For Insight Into Today’s Business Climate

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The areas underlining modern-day business and its culture are technology, start-up growth, leadership, productivity, innovative thinking, and flexible working.

They’re the base layer upon which much of today’s expertise – from digital marketing to IT – is built on. We scoured some of the best talks from 2 powerhouses of innovative thinking and creativity  TED and Unbound to uncover 16 must-watch videos for insight into today’s business climate. 

Why? To help navigate through a world of endless video content and information, because to see too much, is to see nothing at all. 

Data-Drive Technology

Talks on how much power data has on influencing our decisions and behaviour:

Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world

Tim Berners-Lee The Year Open Data Went Worldwide

Tricia Wang: The Human Insights Missing From Big Data

View our latest article on the latest insights and inventions in tech innovation here.

Tech For Good $ Tech For Transport

 Perspectives on Tech for Good and discussions concerning the data, electrification, automation, and the decrease of private vehicle ownership of the transport industry:

Unbound Festival London: Where Can Technology Take Healthcare?

Unbound Festival London: Will Tech Save The World?        

Unbound Festival London:  People, Places, Things: Making Cities Smarter with Innovation          

Tech Inventions

Food for thought by way of technological innovation, from today’s (approximately) 4 trillion pound global tech market:

At The Forefront Of Technology: Latest Inventions

For more technology, our article on the latest insights and inventions in tech innovation rounds up the latest from Unbound Festival 2019.

Startup-Up Growth & Leadership

Where are you looking to anticipate change? What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder networks? Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past? These are some of the questions Torres along with Semler, Simek, Nooriala and Wujec explore, as they pin down the characteristics that cause leaders to thrive, and various practices that enable people to reach their potential: 

Roselinde Torres: What it takes to be a great leader

Ricardo Semler: How To Run A Company With (Almost) No Rules

Simon Simek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Amir Nooriala: How To Build A Profitable Unicorn

Tom Wujec: Build A Tower, Build A Team[The Leadership Challenge]

Productivity & Innovative Thinking

In an increasingly data-driven world, how can we not only come up with good ideas, but ensure we’re in control of prioritising the execution of those ideas over temptation from consumerist algorithmic carrots? The below talks are insightful looks at mastering our thought processes:

Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From

Mark Adams: Enter The Cult of Extreme Productivity

View the latest articles on productivity and innovative thinking through Business Psychology At Unbound Festival: 3 Tips On How to Succeed,6 Apps That Make You More Productive, or 3 Ways To Streamline Your Work Day.

Flexible Working

The below looks at what environments outside the office and practices inside the office, are most conducive to producing people’s best work:

Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work

Read more about flexible working in the articles Top 5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Co-Working Space,  Business Culture: 3 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your TeamBusiness Culture: Two Common Misconceptions Preventing Business Growth

For more information on topics shaping our business landscape today, give The Value Of Good Contenta read or other articles such as The Top 6 Biggest Misconceptions About Networking.

Looking for business support on any of the above areas? Contact CoStart Up & Go’s HQ.

 

Top 5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Co-Working Space

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Co-working spaces are the modern-day equivalent to the traditional office, being set to occupy 7% of real estate in London in 2019, with its success lying in its variety.

Co-working is as ideal for a start-up looking for an office, as it is a freelancer looking for a workspace. It's flexible, facilitated and the poster boy of modern-day working. After all, it's supplying an already existent demand: with office-based flexible working on the increase, and the self-employed on track to take over the public sector for the very first time.

What was once a novel supplement to the traditional office, is now a full-blown credible alternative, encapsulated in a global market estimated at over 21 billion pounds. Offices, teams and freelancers co-working in a space conducive to maximum productivity and collaboration eliminate many of the downfalls of the 9 to 5 one-office-one-team model. So when it comes to choosing a space, what factors are most crucial to its suitability? Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a co-working space.

1.    Membership Types & Costs

The core membership types are:

Virtual membership: Some spaces do a virtual membership which gives you access to the wider co-working community and events. Perfect for very early stage start-ups.

Hot desk: Hot desks are part of the shared workspace and allow you to sit anywhere without having to plan ahead. A popular option among freelancers, part-timers or people needing somewhere to host casual client meetings.

Fixed desk: A dedicated, permanent desk that’s available to you 7 days a week. Choose a single space for yourself or several desks for your team.

Private office space: A dedicated private space for your team, which depending on size and co-working space, can house from 2 to 250 or more people. Private office spaces don’t incur the charges needed by traditional offices for supplying reliable internet, printers, furniture and cleaning, which can rack up to a hefty cost, or hefty saving, if you opt for co-working spaces.

2.    Location

Co-working spaces don’t just give flexibility within the space, but flexibility between several spaces, depending on your needs.

Fixed location: The rare opportunity to dictate where you work and the commute time and transport links involved, is a great way to be your own boss and free up time where's needed. Shortlist spaces within half an hour's commute away first.

Various locations: If you need to access multiple spaces around London, make sure you compare the set of locations among the other co-working spaces, as they differ wildly. 

3.    Sector Specific Spaces & Ways Of Working

Some co-working environments are geared towards different expertise and ways of working.

Sectors

With potential work relationships at stake, it’s important – whether you’re looking to network now or not – to know what expertise the space is geared towards. Co-working spaces by nature were designed to allow entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and innovation to interact and flourish; by putting in place certain design considerations and ways of working. 

People who work in these spaces work for a diverse melting pot of clients from up and across the food chain, but within these ecosystems, the co-working ethos tends to attract the creative and technology industries. Some spaces are equipped with more studios and worktables for more hands-on work, while others have more desk spaces.

Different fields of expertise also attract different workers with different requirements, so it’s important to be aware of the general majority of expertise so you can gage the networking potential. Although a co-working space doesn’t have to involve collaboration, if you see them and the people in it as a networking event, it can help keep your options specific and targeted, and the opportunity for business relationships to form in the future open. 

Ways of working

Different ways of working needed by yourself, a project, a team or sector, require different environments at different times, for example, large meeting spaces where interaction is key or quiet spaces where solitary thought and deep focus is key. Assessing what degree each co-working space has of these is integral.

4.    Facilities & Discounts

Co-working spaces have realised that if a space is going to become the go-to for people to work and network, five days a week, outside of the traditional office, then it needs to offer a lifestyle where productivity is made easy with certain facilities in place.

Facilities differ but they often include a variety of: fast Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, soundproof phone booths, quiet public workspaces, networking events, bike storage, 24-hour opening, changing rooms, showers, gym or reduced membership fees, gym classes, outdoor space (if you’re lucky: a roof terrace), a café, discounted breakfast and lunch, and bar. Make sure to enquire about the full range of facilities to compare with other spaces. 

5.    Viewings & The Feel Of A Space

No amount of e-brochure browsing can truly translate the feel of a place, especially when considering that co-working spaces now combine office, café and members club culture (with a touch of home comfort) into one indivisible whole. Arrange a viewing with a co-working space and they’ll give you a tour and often allow you to stay and work for the rest of the day. A few viewings down the line, and it’ll become clear what facilities and atmosphere you can and can’t live without. 

Co-working spaces are designed to equip the entrepreneurial minds of the future. Spaces are well crafted, vibrant and spacious. But with innovative pursuit, comes diverse thinking, and browsing the unique variations of each space is essential to securing an environment that’s conducive to your way of reaching maximum productivity.

If you’d like more help on finding a co-working space or directional advice for your start or scale-up, please get in touch.

The Value of Good Content for Business Growth

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The value of good content for business growth is clear when you consider that it generates 3 times as many leads as paid search marketing and is more cost-effective and quicker than traditional outbound marketing, tenfold.

The purpose of content as a marketing tool for businesses then is obvious – it attracts and converts leads, and by being effective in doing so, has become one of if not theleading marketing strategy for lead generation and conversion in the ever competitive digital age. So why is it so effective and how can you get it?

Editorial Content V Marketing Content 

Content today is no longer one entity, but 2 separate things existing in two different sectors entirely. Good content in publications such as magazines and journals is done for editorial purposes; good content on digital platforms like website blogs, e-newsletters and social media is done for marketing purposes. Both aim to drive sales, but indirectly (editorial) and directly (marketing). 

Inbound Marketing & Outbound Marketing 

Content marketing, also known as Inbound marketing, attracts leads through engaging content like videos, blog posts and e-newsletters, to name a few. The more traditional Outbound marketingoutwardly approaches potential leads through the likes of cold calling, trade shows and seminar series.

Inbound marketing is content that’s tailored and targeted to a specific target audience, which has been proven to yield significantly more leads at a fraction of the price. Outbound marketing, however, often has much less targeted methods therefore the costs to generate the same amount of leads is significantly higher and unsustainable in this age’s digital climate.

The Customer Life Cycle

Whether marketing Inbound or Outbound, approaches differ but the customer lifecycle stays the same: 

·     ATTRACT

·     ENGAGE

·     CONVERT

·     RETAIN

The Benefits of Quality Content

Good content, that is content that eventually generates high ROI and further sales, has a unique and identifiable voice across all promotable platforms, and explores subject matter the proposed target market would want to read, watch or listen to. The content life cycle if done successfully through content should yield the following benefits:

1.   Good content attracts an audience and builds brand awareness

Types of content such as blog posts are hugely effective ways to increase website traffic. A study found that the companies that issue 16+ blog posts per month achieved nearly 3.5 times more traffic than those who published 0-4 posts per month. Blogs and other types of content continue to generate traffic to a website and social media channels long after they’re published, so the more post, the bigger your potential lead pool gets.

2.   Good content builds brand perception: increasing the credibility and authority of your brand

High-quality content is often used to reinforce businesses as industry experts. The likes of white papers —an authoritative report or guide— is an example of formats used to promote trust and expertise through content. Good content also improves your SEO rankings and consequent public visibility, and by nature of content being extremely shareable, it’s a great way to become known to unexpected potential leads.

3.   Good content retains an audience through the engagement of interesting subject matter

Also content gives you more touchpoints with potential leads.

4.   Good content increases targeted, relevant leads 

Emphasising the impact content has on brand perception, is the Demand Gen Report of 2016 that found 47% of buyers view between 3 and 5 pieces of content before making the first point of contact with a sales associate. 

5.   Good content over time generates returns on investment and drives further sales.

How Do I Get Content Marketing? 

Content marketing is a 2-part process. First, a content marketing strategy is put in place that identifies your brand USP, target audience and digital distribution channels, then content creators produce content that builds to increase brand perception, audience engagement, website and social media traffic, and lead conversion.

For information on implementing a content strategy and creating content or improving the quality of existing content, visit here

 

 

Business Culture: Two Common Misconceptions Preventing Business Growth

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In many businesses, there are common misconceptions that represent less the business ethos itself, more the traditions businesses have simply become stuck in.

Misled assumptions about where, when and how people should work stifle companies’ ability to reach their actual potential, rather than their perceived potential, especially when rival businesses are now embracing new flexible ways of working. And with the current workplace looking young, bright and (no, not orange) flexible, it’s as prime time as any to set these misconceptions straight.

So here are two common misconceptions preventing businesses from their reaching their actual potential. 

1.   Team Happiness Doesn’t Influence Business Growth And Profit, Just Skills

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By nature of happiness being an emotion rather than a skill that can be measured or applied, it isn’t seen as a direct contributor to business success and therefore largely falls under businesses’ radar, in pursuit of skill-based goals. A business is the sum of its parts, and its constituent parts is the team. 

The happiness of the team therefore, is indispensable to achieving sustained optimal growth. Small increments of going the extra mile as a result of a team member feeling empowered, valued and trusted, are the seemingly small things that over time when multiplied by an entire team, can be the tangible difference between a business being successful, and a business that stands out above competitors. 

2.   The Environment Most Conducive To Productivity Is One Environment, And It’s An Office

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The environments most conducive to productivity have been left largely unexplored in the past under the overbearing weight of dated traditions and stigma around flexible working. What makes someone most productive, equates to anywhere and any time window that makes them most relaxed and focused. 

Depending on the individual and job role, this could be variations of home, a workspace, an office, starting early in the morning or late into the evening. The key misconception here is that there’s one environment most conducive to getting the job done, and that environment is an office to be in from 9 to 5 every day, every week, of every month. 

Once employers realise there are several efficient ways to get the job done outside of these confines, in ways that can not only benefit them by transforming business culture and growth, but the teamby instilling more trust, value and empowerment (A.K.A. happiness), progress can be exponential. 

The ratio of weight businesses apply to understanding how consumer attitudes and environments yield profit and growth, compared to the weight businesses apply to understanding how their team’s attitudes and environments yield profit and growth, is disproportionate and reflective only of their perceived potential, not actual potential, which this can enable.

For more posts on team productivity and business culture, keep in touch with our blog for regular posts on all things business.

In the meanwhile, view the latest article on Business Culture: 3 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your Team  

 

 

 

 

Business Culture: 3 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your Team

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Why is Google still one of the leading tech businesses in the world?

It’s not just due to their pioneering technology, but their business culture which creates environments conducive to creating innovating and pioneering technology.

Typical criteria of success among businesses tend to centre on skill sets, digital presence, marketing strategy, and streamlined financials. But what’s not taken into account as criteria for success, is team happiness.

And getting the best out of your team is directly related to how trusted, valued and empowered they feel.  

So what 3 ways can this be done?

The Hierarchy of Team Productivity

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How do you increase team trust, value & empowerment?

1.    Promote flexible work environments such as  ROWE stands for Results Only Work Environment, where as long as the results are reached, team members can work anywhere at any hours.

This independence and level of trust instils a sense of empowerment in that reassures not only ability but builds passion and willingness.

2.    Make sure you have a top-level resource devoted to business growth and development. Specialist business directional and development coaches are invaluable in gaging where a business is, the direction it needs to go, and how to get there in the most streamlined, leanest way possible.

If business development is managed with organisation, structured goals and specialist knowledge, this will filter through to the smooth running of day-to-day operations.

3.    As well as top-level business management, team management is crucial to avoiding overload, burnout and in time, staff turnover. A national survey from the Employment Engagement Series found that 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout accounts for 20-50% of annual workforce turnover. 

Knowing when to outsource extra resources is crucial to making your team feel valued and empowered instead of overworked and forgotten. Gaging when the resource-to-workload ratio is tipping and outsourcing before it negatively impacts the team's interest, motivation, and work delivery, will reap benefits that will generate sustained business growth. 

The importance of workforce retention and turnover reduction is clear and reinforced by a study from Future Workforce and Kronos that found that 87% of employers ranked improving retention as a critical priority matter.Howto retain workforces, while maximising team productivity and boosting business growth, is high on many agendas and the ways outlined above are examples of proven, practical and effective ways to do so.

For more information on team productivity and how it can impact business growth, visit Three major misconceptions preventing business growth

 

The Definitive Guide to Networking Part I: Top 6 Biggest Misconceptions

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Up to 85% of jobs are filled throughnetworking

The top 6 biggest misconceptions of its value therefore, lie in people’s perception of it

Networking for many, serves as a productive means to grow work opportunities and cement business relationships, but for a big portion it’s less an opportunity than an idea; straddled somewhere between a to-do list chore and a benefit with no tangible return.

This ambiguous area of modern business -similar to flexible work environmentsand digital workspaces- can ignite a sense of community in an industry known (and loved) for its independent freedom; or further solidify misled opinion.

So with clarity being key to realising the value of areas like these, here are the 6 biggest misconceptions about networking. 

1.     Networking is self-serving or selfish 

A networking event isn’t about milking a professional’s resources on a one-man goal to get work, it’s instead a mutually beneficial opportunity for two professionals with skills of comparable value, to meet and open a dialogue in pursuit of a long-term relationship resulting in work prospects.  

2.    Successful networking means immediate work 

Some networking can lead to a quick turn around, but much of it can often be long-term with relationships developing organically over time.

Often these types of relationships are the ones that yield the most pivotal and rewarding work; so remember to trust the process, keep the dialogue open and shift your focus from achieving quick results, to nurturing relationships that can open doors in the future.

3.    Networking events are large and daunting

There are many ways to make connections and strengthen your skills in ways that are productive for you. The variety of events include industry-specific talks watched by like-minded professionals, Linkedin group forums, happy hour meet-ups and creative Round Table events aimed at help creatives with queries and direction.

4.     To make networking a success you have to be an outgoing person

Networking is often seen as a by-product of an intrinsic outgoing character trait, but in reality, it's a skill that can be developed with practice and experience.

Once you’ve targeted your desired sector and found the type of event within that industry (as outlined in 3) that works for you, be clear on what you want to get out of it.

Are you looking to grow your clients or get a job? Form relationships or air some skill-specific questions? Having a clear agenda that you’re armed with when attending events, will enable you to target and hone your networking skills.  

5.    Focusing on your strongest, most apparent relationships is key to networking success

Focusing onyour strongest, most obvious relationships, such as professionals within your wider circles, leaves a mass of untapped potential work elsewhere.

Broaden your perception to extend to industries that are less apparent of needing your skillset, and you may be surprised at how much demand there is for your line of work.

Many unassuming sectors have a huge demand for skills but not the resource to accurately find them.

6.     Networking is purpose-built and targeted

Not only are 85% of jobs filled through networking, but a portion of this comes from no specific event in particular, instead, a disposition of being open-minded to opportunities.

Although one opportunity may not be exactly what you’re looking for, it will introduce you instantly to a wider circle of people, all with connections, contacts and fellow professionals working across multiple sectors.

Being open-minded to less apparently useful opportunities is crucial to growing a healthy diverse circle of contacts. 

The value of networking lies in the work, experience and relationships it can yield, proving it as indispensable

3 Ways To Be More Productive And Streamline Work

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The great thing in life is efficiency. If you amount to anything in the world, your time is valuable, your energy precious. They are your success capital, and you cannot afford to heedlessly throw them away or trifle with them.

–Dr. Orison Marden

Have you ever broke down the hours in a day and thought if you really needed to, how much you could get done in 16 hours?

Ways to be more productive and streamline work are high on any modern day business agenda.

The general 8-hour sleep, 8-hour work, 8-hour play routine varies from person to person, but one thing remains undisputed; a day accompanied by structure and deep work can achieve more than a frantically busy, fragmented one can in a week.

So what are the factors most conducive to maximising productivity? 

1.     Routine

Timings are everything. A start and finish time bookends each day to allow a window of complete focus, the same way it can allow a switch off when the day is finished. This relates more to freelance and flexible workplaces; but whatever the hours you work, make sure to pin down a start and finish time and stick to it militantly.

When a routine is so ingrained that it’s equivalent to going autopilot, it takes one less thought process from the day’s decisions; in turn minimising time on admin and maximising time spent on work.

2.     Structure

Being mindful of exactly what a day can fit in if you break it down incrementally, is quite eye-opening. There are many ways people can divide a day up, but whichever you adopt, it will dictate how you see your time and the opportunities available within it.

Writer and TED Speaker Tim Urban, breaks it down (minus 7-8 hours sleep) into 16-17 hours or 1,000 minutes, broken down into 100 10-minute blocks, which is what we get each day when we wake up.  

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Throughout that day we spend 10 minutes of our lives on each block, which when looked at as a whole, reveals interesting clues on how we use those 100 blocks we get each day, and how we can make our day more productive and streamlined.

 

“How many of them are put towards making your future better, and how many of them are just there to be enjoyed? How many of them are spent with other people, and how many are for time by yourself? How many are used to create something, and how many are used to consume something? How many of the blocks are focused on your body, how many on your mind, and how many on neither one in particular? Which are your favorite blocks of the day, and which are your least favorite?”

3. Streamlining

To increase efficiency and productivity(particularly after implementing an allotted window for deep work), all email notifications should be turned off, with emails only being checked twice a day at the likes of 11am and 4pm. The sporadic and spontaneous alert of email notifications not only interrupts your train of thought; but switches it completely off the task and onto the subject of the email, suspending any chance for deep work to enhance productivity.

Once notifications are off, it’s a good idea to set an auto-responder, saying something to the effect of, “Thanks for reaching out. I currently only check my emails at 11am and 4pm each day, to increase efficiency and productivity.

If you require assistance that cannot wait please get in touch on [YOUR PHONE NUMBER].” Being in control of incoming information this way, can structure and streamline your day in a way that enables deep work, not debilitates it. 

 

Efficiency when maximised, slots work into a finite window of confined, deep, productive focus, where a lot can get done in a shorter space of time. Optimum productivity needs practice, maintenance and work but when mastered over time, it can transform the way you approach your life and opportunities within it. 

 

We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we've established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.

–Earl Nightingale

Working Effectively Outside Of A Traditional Office Environment

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Being your own boss means being able to choose exactly when and where you work. That’s pretty awesome, right?

Working flexibly can be a huge help with achieving work/life balance and is practical from both a logistical and financial point of view. For example, you can join in the parents’ race at school sports day without taking a whole day off and save cash on office overhead and travel costs.

However, working outside of an office can be difficult at times. Home distractions can mean that you get less work done and procrastination may mean that even getting started is difficult. 

So how can you ‘work smarter’, i.e. stop procrastinating and achieve more? 

Well, it’s simply a question of creating structure and discipline for your work day. Once you get into your groove, you’ll wonder why you ever struggled with staying on-track. 

Read on for our 7 top tips to stay in control, keeping you productive and motivated, wherever and whenever you choose to work.

1. Get Up, Get Dressed & Get To Work!

Of course, you don’t have to get up at 6am (the benefit of having no commute is that you can have a little more sleep), however that doesn’t mean you can lie in until noon every day.

 Decide your working hours, then set a daily alarm that will give you enough time to get up, shower, dress, and make yourself a cuppa before you begin your working day. Some people find it helps to ‘dress’ for work (i.e. wear smart/’office’ clothes). I find I can concentrate better in comfortable joggers and a T shirt, but I do always change out of my pyjamas to switch into a ‘work’ mindset. Find what works for you but make sure you do something that signals your brain to be prepared for work. 

2. Choose The Most Productive Work Space For You

 Some people can work effectively from their sofa or kitchen table, others need a proper desk in a home office. You may choose to escape home distractions by working from your local library, or you might prefer the buzz of a nearby coffee shop. Experiment with different work spaces and decide what works best for you. Be aware that this might change, depending on what you want to achieve. For example, completing your tax return may require solitude and calm, whereas design inspiration might be enhanced by some fresh air (garden office, anyone?).

3. Prioritise Your Tasks

 At the start of your day (or perhaps the night before!), make a list of what you want to achieve. Order this list with the most critical task first and make this your priority. By working on your most important (and challenging) task first, you’re more likely to complete it and then feel motivated to continue with the less onerous ones!

 This time management technique of starting with your biggest, most important task is advocated by Brian Tracey

He dubs it ‘Eat That Frog’, which stems from a Mark Twain quote:


“If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.”

4. Minimise Distractions

You’ve already decided what is important and chosen to focus on that today, so don’t allow your phone, news sites, social media, chores, pets or anything else to distract you from that. This may mean closing the door to your workspace, complete with a large ‘do not disturb’ sign, switching your phone to silent, turning off social media alerts, or using a website blocker to help you stay focused.

5. Manage Your Time To Maximise Productivity

These tips will help you get even more done in less time:

Email can be a huge distraction (and the more you send, the more you receive!), so turn off email alerts, set time aside to check it and stick to that. For example, you might check email only first thing in the morning and again after lunch. 
If you find yourself writing a lengthy missive to someone via email, consider giving them a call or send a voice note instead.

‘Chunk’ your time to boost your productivity. You’ve already decided WHEN to check email, so go one step further and decide HOW LONG to spend on it. When this time runs out, STOP and go onto your next task. Do this with every task on your to do list. Breaking down your tasks into timed ‘chunks’ creates a sense of urgency and translates tasks into a series of ‘appointments’. And by limiting your time spent on each task, you naturally focus on the most urgent first. 

Try the ‘pomodoro’ time management technique. Essentially this means that you work on a specific task for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. After 4 of these 25 minute blocks, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes (you might use a timer app to help you with this). Pomodoro works well with time chunking. You can ‘chunk’ each task according to how many 25 minute blocks you want to dedicate to it. 
This technique forces you to focus on a task for a specific time, but the regular breaks prevent you from feeling stressed. 

6. Take Breaks

Regular breaks actually increase your productivity and help you stay motivated. Think of them as a mini reward for avoiding procrastination!  So, when that timer goes off to tell you that it’s break time, how do you spend it? 

Here’s a few ideas, but I’m sure you have others!

·      Read a book or magazine

·      Do some yoga

·      Go for a walk around the block

·      Make a cuppa

·      Meditate

·      Give your fur babies some love (is that just me?!)

Remember to get back to work once break time is over!

7. Stay Away From Lunchtime Drinking!

You wouldn’t drink in the office at lunchtime (unless you work in an advertising agency from the 1960s *ahem* Don Draper), but when you’re working from home it might be tempting to have a glass of wine with your lunch. That glass of wine might be a large one. And you might be tempted to top it up…

That’s a recipe for a fruitless afternoon.  Avoiding alcohol during your working day will make those Friday night G&Ts all the more enjoyable!

This post is brought to you by our client Watermark Homes, a property development company, based in Chislehurst, London, with a culture of flexible working. 


Watermark Homes creates beautiful, affordable homes for discerning homebuyers in South London and Kent.

Top 10 Must-Have Tools & Resources for Startups

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When you are ready to set up your startup, it can be a bit confusing to know which direction to take and what resources to invest in. This list below lets you know exactly where to start when looking for the best tools to run your business efficiently.

Take Charge of Your Accounts with Xero or Quickbooks

Keep up to date with all your banking and credit card transactions while managing your cashflow.

Send Proposals and Pitch Your Work with Proposify or Qwilr

Create easy to read proposals and streamline the pitch, quote and approval process. Replace presentations with sleek, customisable and interactive interfaces.

Maintain Customer Relationships with Hubspot

Organise, grow and track your customers with Hubspot CRM software while you manage your sales pipeline keeps the process effortless.

Research Your Competitors with Moz

Learn about how your competitors are gaining their inbound traffic and target areas where you can drive customers to your business.

Stay on top of Your Website Data and Traffic with Google Analytics

Measure your website performance to see how your content and marketing efforts are working and where customers are engaging with your brand.

Manage your Social Media with Hootsuite

Save time by using managing several social media accounts on one dashboard. Monitor your brand and check what’s trending in your industry.

Communicate across Multiple Teams & Departments with Slack

Communicate and message your team, send real-time updates, save files and develop a collaborative workspace with Slack, whether you are down the hall or across the globe.

Manage your Projects with Asana, Basecamp or Skwish

Whether you are a freelancer, a solo entrepreneur, or start-up, or a small team, these tools are perfect to manage tasks, create timelines for projects and to maintain transparency with clients or customers.

Stay Connected with your Customers with Mailchimp

Build an effective email strategy with your customers and clients by staying in touch with them and sending targeted campaigns to maintain your relationship.

Keep Your Documents Organised and Collaborate with Dropbox

Securely share files across teams or with clients and simplify the way you create, share and collaborate across devices.

Receive Access to Media Pitches and Get Direct Responses with HARO

Send your stories, press releases and important company updates to HARO and provide journalists with everything they need to cover your news which amplifies your message.

Outsource To Your Own Team All In One Place With CoStartup & Go

With the amount of freelancers growing how do you know which ones will actually be good and stick about? Remove the gamble of working flexibly by using CoStartup & Go and their experienced network who all seamlessly wok together on your startup, invested unmaking it a success.

Hire Great Talent with Workable

When you are ready to find permanent talent, use Workable to source, manage and track applicants in one space from over 14 different job boards.

Join a Coworking Space to Find Opportunities to Network

A coworking space is a fantastic tool to have to be able to network and creatively collaborate with other startups and small businesses. Alongside the routine networking events, the organic networking that naturally evolves is priceless and it doesn’t hurt that it creates a great space for productivity in your business. 

Some of our fave partners include:

The Office Group

BDC Works

Mainyard Studios

Boutique Coworking

Airspace

Interested in a FOC consultation on how we can help your startup?

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