Category Archive: Productivity

Focusing on Your Employees’ Mental Health Can Increase Productivity

~by Rachelle Wilber~

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If an employee broke his or her hand or suffered a serious open wound, you would want to make sure that he or she was treated right away. This is because an injured worker is one who won’t be as much value to the company. The same is true of a worker who may be battling a mental health issue. Addressing and resolving the issue as soon as possible can help that person get back to peak productivity.

employees' mental health

Mental Health Affects Focus

An individual who is dealing with a mental health issue might be more focused on outside distractions instead of the work that he or she is paid to do. In addition to getting less done each shift, he/she may pose a danger to others. This is because a distracted person may be more likely to forget to turn a machine off or forget to clean a work area that has been contaminated with chemicals. In such a scenario, you may have to spend more time tending to the injured worker or making a work area safe for use again.

Those With Mental Health Issues May Feel Unvalued

If a worker is depressed or is suffering from symptoms of depression, he or she may not feel valued at work. This may occur even if that person has been recently recognized for his or her contributions or is otherwise liked and respected at work. When an individual doesn’t feel cared for or respected, he/she may stop working as hard or may not show up for work at all. The result could be a larger workload for everyone who does show up to work each day. Over time, they may suffer from burnout and experience symptoms of depression themselves. Therefore, it is in the best interests of an employer to deal with a worker’s mental health issues before they have a negative effect on morale within the entire company.

employees' mental healthTaking Care of Employees Can Increase Loyalty

Let’s say that one of your workers was charged with DWI because he or she tried to drive home after spending all night at the bar. By showing your support for that worker, he/she may come to see you as an ally in the legal and personal battles that he/she may have to face in the future. Recommend that they talk with a DWI attorney to help them through the situation. Voicing and showing support for a worker going through a hard time may provide enough hope for that person to turn his or her life around. If successful, that person may then tell others about the employer that doesn’t give up on people when they have challenges in their lives. That message could boost morale within the workplace and make your people work harder for you.

Some Employees Are Unaware of Their Mental Health

In some schools of thought, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health issue that may cause problems for both children and adults. However, that doesn’t mean that a person with this condition is a bad person or a bad worker. It just means that he or she was either never diagnosed with the condition or didn’t know that an adult could suffer from it. In some cases, a single pill a day or other modifications can turn an employee who was once thought to be unreliable into an asset for the business.

Today, a progressive employer is one that addresses both the mental and physical health issues that its people may deal with. Spending time and money on mental health issues may increase productivity as well as reduce violent outbursts or other dangerous situations that your workers may be exposed to.


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Rachelle WilberMeet the Author: Rachelle Wilber

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.

Follow Rachelle here:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/employees-mental-health-increase-productivity/

3 Strategies to Help Reduce Stress So You Can Work Efficiently

~by Emma Sturgis~

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reduce stressThe phone call with the cranky client. The lunch meeting that goes until four. The last-minute project that gets dumped on your desk before the weekend. All these situations and more represent just some of the stresses you’re likely to feel at work. Unfortunately, it’s usually not possible to work without at least some stress getting you down. However, it doesn’t have to knock you out.

Here are 3 tips that will help you reduce stress, relax and work more efficiently.

1. Be Sure to Unplug

While it’s tempting to just eat lunch at your desk or to skip that workout after work, you shouldn’t. Finding ways to exercise and move around may help break up your day, give you time to take a break from stressful tasks, and lower your stress levels. If you have time, take a run at lunch or catch that spin class at your local gym after work.

Or if you want a more low-key way to spend your down time, take up yoga, meditation or even adult coloring books. These activities get your mind off of your work stresses and on to more pleasant things. Many of them you can even do while you’re at work. Don’t discount how much a 5-minute walk or a few minutes spent coloring can brighten your day and relieve your stress.

2. Eat Right

You probably got tired of your mom telling you to eat your vegetables when you were a kid, but mom was right. Sound nutrition does more than just build the body. It helps us combat stress and helps to rebuild your cells. Cellular health determines how we handle stress, how fast our body repairs itself after illness, and how well we perform when we’re working at peak level.

Your cells rely on redox signaling to work correctly. If you’re feeling run-down, chances are very good that you’ve been heading toward a crash for a while. Supplements that rejuvenate redox signaling get your cells back up to par. In the process, you’ll be better able to manage your stress levels at work and at home.

3. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

reduce stressCaffeine can jazz you up when you need it. It can also make it nearly impossible for you to keep your stress levels down when you’re already stressed. Consuming caffeine may help you stay awake, but it also leads to crashes later that may mess with your body’s natural relaxation schedule. If you notice that your stress levels at work go up instead of down after that cup of coffee, it might be best to reduce your caffeine intake or eliminate it all together.

That said, you’ll want to reduce your caffeine intake gradually, or you may end up with side effects like headaches. You could try switching to beverage options that are lower in caffeine and gradually wean yourself off of them. You’ll also want to read the labels on your meds, as some automatically include a small dose of caffeine. Finally, make a note of any symptoms like headaches or nausea. You may be trying to reduce your caffeine intake too quickly. Slow and steady wins the race in this case.

Last Thoughts On Reducing Stress At Work

Stress can be a real brain zapper. It also breaks down your body, making you susceptible to illness. Learning to manage stress is the key. That said, many jobs are inherently stressful, which means that your stress levels will remain high. Taking steps like practicing meditation, eating right, and reducing your caffeine intake will help you manage your stress levels. The best chance you have to combat stress is to be aware of its triggers and come up with a plan ahead of time to alleviate it before your body breaks down.


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Emma SturgisMeet the Author: Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing. Say “hi” on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/strategies-reduce-stress-work-efficiently/

4 Great Team Building Activities to Help Your Business Operations

~by Brooke Chaplan~

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If not approached with caution and with a sober mindset, the benefits of team building activities become non-existent. Being one of the most important investments an organization can make for its workers, team building must be fun and adventurous. It should be something that your employees look forward to.

team building activities

If you are planning a team building retreat for your employees, you may want to borrow these four fantastic and engaging group team building ideas.

Scavenger Hunt

Divide the team into two or more groups. Using a pen and paper, develop a list of amusing tasks for each group to perform, such as shopping for particular items in a specified store, locating and taking a picture of a given building, and so on. Attach a deadline to the list of tasks that must be completed, and reward the fastest group. The scavenger hunt is a team bonding exercise good for breaking up office cliques. It encourages employees to work with people from other departments and teams.

The Barter Puzzle

This fun and exciting group game demands the availability of four small groups or more with an equal number of members. There should be enough jigsaw puzzles for all the groups. All the jigsaw puzzles must have the same level of difficulty. The first group to finish the puzzle wins, but the real challenge is in finding missing jigsaw pieces that are mixed in the jigsaw puzzles of other groups. Group members must devise a way of getting those missing parts whether by barter or espionage. It’s important that teams work together and make decisions together throughout. The Barter Puzzle instills problem-solving and leadership skills in your workers.

Human Knot

team building activitiesHuman Knot accommodates groups of 8-20 people, and no tools are required. Ask the members of the team to stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. Instruct them to stretch their right arms and grab a random hand of someone from across. Instruct them to do the same using their left hands. Without releasing their hands, ask them to untangle the knot of arms – within a stipulated timeline. If you have a large team, separate them into small groups of no less than eight people each, and make them compete. Good communication and teamwork are critical success elements in an organization. This group activity comes in handy for developing these traits and showing employees how much they can achieve within a short amount of time if they successfully handle a task or project together.

Escape Room

A growing trend in group and team building activities is the Escape Room. These rooms are complex puzzles that require everyone to contribute and look at things from different perspectives to reach a common goal. Ranging from small to large groups, there are sizes and difficulty levels for any size team. Facilities like Houdini’s Room Escape even have different themes and special accommodations specifically for team building. As Escape Rooms become more popular you’re bound to find one in your area to try out.

Effective team building can be extremely beneficial to both the employees and the company. It offers a great channel for mitigating conflicts, building trust, encouraging smooth communication, and increasing collaboration. It helps employees become more actively engaged, which enhances not only organizational performance but also the company culture.


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Brooke ChaplanMeet the Author: Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/team-building-activities-help-business-operations/

10 Powerful Tools for Managing Your Online Business

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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There are a ton of great tools out there to manage your online business. Finding the right ones can be a great exercise in fun — and frustration. There are so many new products and tools coming out every week; the hardest thing is not jumping from one tool to the next as shiny object syndrome hits.

There will always be great new tools coming out, but these are some we use in our business that we find very helpful.

1. Ontraport.  We use Ontraport for a lot of functions in our business. We use it to manage our email list, opt-ins, email autoresponders, affiliate programs, online course delivery, auto-billing, and more. It’s not the least expensive tool out there for managing your emails, but it is quite possibly the best kept secret. It is insanely powerful, and it offers a ton of value for the price. If you are looking at creating landing pages, opt-ins, emails, affiliate programs, and any of those types of programs, Ontraport is rock-solid.

Ontraport can even be integrated with your website to manage your pop-ups on your website. That means all of your opt-ins and pop-ups on the website can be managed from Ontraport, and your management of your business becomes much simpler.

2. Social Quant.  I use Social Quant heavily to help manage my Twitter accounts. It is one of the reasons that I’ve been able to add 16,000 new followers to my Twitter account in one year. The tool searches for people who match keywords you specify. It then follows them. If they follow you back, then they are active users and Social Quant keeps them. If they don’t follow you back in a few days, it releases them and moves onto another round. The cool thing is that Social Quant is helping me connect with legitimate businesses and helping me get in front of people without me having to do all of the legwork myself.

managing your online business3. Crowdfire.  Crowdfire allows you to message people who have followed you on Twitter and ask them to read a post on your blog or get your free download. Yes, it’s corny. Some people hate these types of auto-message tools, but the reality is that they do work, and they work really well. Most people only have about 200 followers on Twitter, so those of us in the business get a lot more messages than your average bear.  

4. MeetEdgar.  What I love about MeetEdgar is that it is super, super simple to use, and it allows me to reuse content on social media. That is especially powerful on Twitter, as the half-life of a tweet is just a few minutes. By being able to reuse the content we have created and sourced, we are able to make our work go much farther. It means I’m able to post around 60X/day on Twitter and increase my reach while growing my following. I can also pull in content from other blogs and sources so that I have more depth with the content I’m posting. That means better results too. The only downsides are the cost, at over $60 a month, and the fact that MeetEdgar doesn’t support every platform.

5. Buffer.  I love Buffer because it’s super inexpensive and allows me to manage a ton of accounts for my clients. I can even re-buffer the posts and add those to the queue. It doesn’t allow for automatic reuse of posts, like MeetEdgar, but it does allow me to manually re-add items back into the queue. It supports nearly every platform out there, including Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Facebook, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Business Pages, and Twitter. They keep adding new features, and it is a tremendous tool for helping manage your business.

6. Google Docs.  I love Google Docs for managing non-confidential documents. That means that my assistant and I can pass information back and forth and keep it in a central repository. Since it allows multiple people to edit a document at the same time, and you don’t end up with versioning issues, it can be a fantastic tool for collaborations. 

7. Microsoft Office 365.  The cool thing about this is that you can buy one license, and install Microsoft Office on up to 6 machines. If you have kids and other family members, you can get your docs on pretty much everyone’s machines. If you have a very small company, this works too. Since Office is one of the de-facto standards for managing a business, this is a great way to get valuable software for everyone.

8. Acuity.  Acuity allows me to manage my calendar — and it integrates with Google calendars. I can take payments for individual sessions or for classes, and they recently added the ability to accept recurring payments. You can block off your available times, with or without buffers. Then you can give people a link to your calendar so they can schedule a time that works for both of you. This avoids the back and forth that frequently occurs.

9. Canva.  If you want to create fun graphics for your social media, website, etc, one of the easiest ways to do it is through Canva. They offer a TON of free options for graphics, fonts, illustrations, and more to help you get your point across for your business. I use them to create hundreds of memes. I also use them to create custom graphics for my clients.

10. Dropbox.  I love using Dropbox for storing pictures that I can then share with clients and access from multiple computers. I like how it shows up as a folder on my computer and is super easy to use. You get one free Gigabyte of storage for each new person you bring in. It’s fairly inexpensive to use and works well for your business.

There are hundreds of great tools and apps out there that can help you with your business. Choosing the tools that make the most sense for you can be the hardest part. That, and not jumping from one platform to the next all the time.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/powerful-tools-managing-your-online-business/

The Right Office Decor Can Inspire Productivity

~by Alex Williams~

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We are not fully aware of just how much our working environment can affect our productivity. We usually notice things that annoy us and believe that they are the reason. But even some seemingly meaningless things can lower our productivity. Whether you work from home or in an office, you need to have an environment that will keep you focused and relaxed. In order to create such perfect surroundings, you should consider adjusting a few things.

productivity

Proper Lighting

Proper lighting can help you focus better. However, when there’s even the smallest thing wrong with it, you may get distracted more easily. If the lighting is bad, it can cause eyestrain, headaches, fatigue and make you feel annoyed or depressed. To improve the lighting in your office, bring your own lamp that fits your needs and creates a better working environment. For a home office, you should let in as much natural light as possible, and use various lamps in different places to make sure that every corner is well lit.

Comfortable Chair

The most common reason for low productivity is the very thing you sit on. If the chair doesn’t support your back properly, you’re bound to have issues with it. Such pain and discomfort can significantly affect your productivity. That is why you need to find an ergonomic chair to provide you with the proper support for your entire body. Additionally, you should be able to adjust the height of it so that your feet can rest comfortably on the floor. If your chair provides enough support and lets you find a comfortable position, it will only motivate you to work harder and better.

Adjustable Desk

Is it even possible to have an office without a desk? No, of course not. Your desk should be functional and provide you with enough space. However, your ordinary desk might not be as comfortable as you would like it to be, so consider updating your office a bit. Opt for desks that are adjustable to various heights. There are various standing desks you can choose from, and you can easily match their design and material with any office. Plus, since they are completely adjustable, they allow you to stretch your legs and straighten your back without having to stop working.

Motivating Colors

productivityThe colors in your office affect your mood and brain functions. They can evoke both emotional and physical responses, so choose colors that have positive effects on your productivity. For example, blue and green are said to create a soothing atmosphere and encourage productivity. However, you have to keep in mind that too much of such colors can also disturb you on many levels. Therefore, paint your office in such hues, but try to create some sort of a contrast with neutral shades, such as white or beige. Also, you can introduce another colour through some details and ornaments, or you can create an accent wall behind you which will emphasize your design.

Scents

The scents in your office matter just as much as its visual atmosphere. Our sense of smell can drastically affect our mood and productivity, which is why you should aim at introducing calming scents wherever you can. You can easily create a pleasant atmosphere by adding a few scented candles or oils and arranging them into glass jars around the office. The most powerful and encouraging scents are pine, cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, and citrus. Each of these scents can lift your spirits, improve your mood and increase productivity. Not only that, but they will transform the office into a better place and elevate its design.

Personal Touch

Keep the things you like on your desk and shelves no matter what they are. If you need more office supplies, don’t hesitate to get them because they will contribute to your organization and productivity. Get items you like such as colorful sticky notes, fancy pens, funky pencil holders, or any other item you wish to have. Also, photos of your family, friends, pets, or anything else that reminds you of happy moments, will help you focus better and lower your stress levels.

We all need something to push us forward from time to time. However, that nudge shouldn’t be something that irritates us, but rather something that will motivate and calm us.


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Alex WilliamsMeet the Author: Alex Williams

Alex was born and raised in beautiful Sydney. She is a journalism graduate and a rookie blogger. A regular contributor at BizzMark Blog, Alex showcases her expertise and gains recognition and a wider audience by blogging on numerous other blog sites.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/right-office-decor-inspire-productivity/