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How to work more effectively in 2015

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4th Feb 2015
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As February kicks in, Bostjan Bregar tells us how to work smarter without the need for any extra limbs.

The continual development of digital technology, coupled with the improving accessibility to it, means that companies of all sizes are now able to compete globally more than ever before. In such a competitive environment it is the smart businesses that are now recognising how building a team that is flexible, agile and responsive can give them a competitive advantage and allow them to respond to market opportunities quickly and service customers efficiently. Plus, a flexible organisational structure has the added benefit for a company that it can help to establish them as a desirable business to work for, helping to attract the best available talent.

While many businesses remain tied to rigid and inefficient working practices, forward-thinking organisations realise that the days of everyone needing to be sat down in the same room together to work as a team are long gone. Changing working practices can of course be difficult for established businesses, so how can experienced entrepreneurs embrace this new agile way of working, and make 2015 the year that they and their team start working more efficiently?

Here are some top tips to get you started:

Embrace the cloud

The cloud is all about accessibility, so moving your assets and conversations will automatically add flexibility to your company structure and enable your employees to work remotely. When workers aren’t office-bound they have the option to remove themselves from distractions to focus on getting the most critical tasks done. This also offers the added benefit that your team can save time, money and stress by cutting out commuting, and happy employees are proven to be more productive.

Reduce reliance on email

Email is technology that has actually changed very little in the 40 years since it was invented, but today it still takes up a huge part of many people’s working day. Unfortunately email is often used for purposes it wasn’t designed for and creates a big distraction from what is really important, but by embracing the cloud you can give people ways of communicating with co-workers that are more suited to real-time conversations, document sharing and collaborating on projects.

Encourage fun

It might sound counterintuitive, but fun is an invaluable ingredient of a productive working day. People need to feel free to express themselves and exert their personality to really feel part of a company’s culture, and in turn this helps make them feel comfortable and confident when it comes to sharing ideas and getting creative. Try to initiate activities that encourage a culture of collaboration and internal social communication, even if it is something as simple as an online space for team members to organise a pub crawl.

Focus on results

Many bosses are concerned that if they’re not keeping an eye on staff at all times, they lose an element of control. However, in order to achieve the best level of productivity you must put a degree of trust in your team and allow them freedom to work how they like – that may be early starts, late evening, in the office or working from home, as long as it is the way that enables them to produce their best work. The key is building a results-driven culture, and by focusing on results and contribution to wider company objectives rather than concentrating on the hours individuals put in, you’ll be on the road to success.

Conclusion

The underlying theme that links together all of the above tips is how putting the right infrastructure, culture and environment in place can give each individual the opportunity to thrive and be as productive as they can be. Embracing technology and removing distractions like constant interruptions from email and social media gives people chance to spend time on the tasks that really are most important in the bigger picture, and that is really what sets smart, agile businesses apart from the competition.

Bostjan Bregar is the co-founder and CEO of The 4th Office, a structured cloud workspace that enables teams to collaborate remotely. For further information or a free trial for your business go to www.4thoffice.com

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