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Tag Archives: Physical exercise

The Office Of The Future

FE_DA_100318_FutureOffice_OpenAs technology advances, attitudes and ways of working shift over time, our perception of the modern office changes accordingly, too.  But what does the future hold for the typical office environment and what can we expect to find?  Read on for an insight.

Open spaces

In the future, office environments will be more focused on creating open spaces for their workers.  An open environment is thought to be better for allowing people to commune, share ideas, let communication flow easier and foster feedback.

There will be less emphasis on people having their own desk areas that they sit at solidly for eight hours.  Instead, workers will move to different hubs or zones within the office to complete specific tasks.

Managers will also need to show a more visible presence on the work floor, with the days of bosses being segregated into their own office areas diminishing over time.

Technology and equipment

With strides in technology, the office of the future will be less reliant on some of the bulky, cumbersome pieces of machinery that has served them in the past.  Equipment to help workers do their jobs will become smaller and more efficient.

Modular Smartphones could replace computers and tablets, and there will be greater emphasis on using mobile equipment on the go.  Virtual keyboards that fit onto any surface will make working anywhere much easier.  Cloud services will mean more workers can edit or comment on information at the same time.

Workers will be able to keep their technology skills updated with the increase in e-learning services.

Pressure to reduce our carbon footprint and conserve energy will see offices striving to achieve a paperless environment, as well as using apps and devices to monitor or control energy usage.

Flexibility

Flexibility in the workplace will become the norm and accepted way of working for the office of the future.  On the one hand, this means workers will increasingly be able to dictate the hours and environment where they work to fit in with their lifestyle.  Changes in technology will make this much easier to happen.  Workers will also have much more say in what they get involved with and how they manage projects, rather than being reliant on guidance from hierarchical superiors.

On the other hand, flexibility in the workplace will mean a less rigid and structured environment.  Workplaces will become more fluid, to meet the ever changing demands of the business.  Pop up work environments will become more commonplace, with workspace design focusing more on adaptability.

Health and safety

The office of the future will be more health and safety focused, with specific emphasis on the individual.  As more and more employers recognise the necessity for good ergonomic office furniture to boost productivity, there will be a shift towards providing an environment that nourishes the worker.  Health-conscious designs of office furniture will promote physical activity in the workplace, reducing the reliance on a sedentary environment.  Treadmill workstations and using exercise balls to sit on instead of the office chair will become the norm.

Written by Crispin who enjoys keeping up with the latest technology and this post is a prediction. Written for Automatic Access.

 

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4 of the Best Ice-Breaking, Team Building and Problem Solving Activities

 

To some employees the words ‘team-building activities’ can bring on a sense of dread. When organised properly, with the good of the employees as a central focus, these days can be a great way to build a good team at work and get to know your peers in a different context.

Here I will suggest a few ideas that can make your team building day a beneficial one, not just one of the dozens they’ve attended before.

To keep your group engaged you need activities that really require thinking and active discussions between team members.

Ideally, for half a day, you’d have 2 ice-breakers, one team-building, and one problem solving activity. So here are the four best activities to provide you with an ideal agenda for a team building session.

Icebreaking

  1. Two Truths and a Lie

This is a great ice-breaking exercise for groups who aren’t familiar with each other – so ideal for conferences.

Simply get each team member to write down two truths and a lie about themselves, and then share the 3 statements with each other. The aim of the game is to work out which statement is false, whilst learning a bit about everyone in the group – but only reveal the false statement once everyone has taken a guess!

2. The Classification Game

This is a great game to break the ice both in situations where participants know each other well, and where they don’t know each other at all.

Break the team down into small groups, and give them 10 minutes to find out all they can about each other. Then ask every group to come up with three “categories” that describe each person within the team – without being negative, discriminatory or prejudicial – for example, someone could be a “sci-fi fan”, a “toffee popcorn lover”, and a “Twitter addict”. This shows how every person has more to them than meets the eye, and gets everyone to open up.

Team Building

3. The Shipwrecked Game

This exercise gets down to the nitty gritty of team-building – it gets people to voice their opinions, argue their points and come to compromises.

Split your group up into teams of 4-10. Give the teams the scenario that they are about to be shipwrecked on a desert island, and can chose 10 items to take with them. Give them a time limit of 15 minutes, and let them debate!

Problem Solving

4. Toxic Waste Dump

This activity takes a little setting up, but is ideal for really getting people to work together to problem solve.

You will need a bucket filled with water or tennis balls (I would recommend only using water outside), a larger bucket, 8 x 2.5m lengths of cord, 1 x 4m length of rope and a bungee cord loop.

Place the bucket in the middle of the room, and map out a circle around it with the rope, and place the larger bucket about 3m away from the circle. The bucket with balls/water represents a container of “toxic waste” and the circle around it represents the “contamination zone”.

The aim of the game is for the team to move the toxic waste into the larger “toxic waste neutralising” bucket within 30 minutes – but only using the 8 cords and the bungee loop. If they enter the contamination zone they will suffer severe injury, and if they spill the contents of the bucket, or do not complete the task, the world will be destroyed!

These exercises are actually a really great way to get to know your team, build trust between you and establish a working bond. When organising one of these events, plan ahead.

Planning a team building session isn’t easy – you’ll need to make sure you’ve sorted your meeting room hire, and you’ll need around four main activities, and no one wants to be the person who suggests, for the hundredth time, to do the Trust Lean!

Any team building fails you would like to share?

James Duval is blogging genius with a flair for IT, business and education. He blogs for Keele Conference.

 

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Reduce Stress Levels at Work and Unlock Employee Potential

Experts agree that work related stress is detrimental to an individual’s health and in turn, unhealthy workers can negatively affect the productivity of a company. Thus it is in the best interest of employers to implement creative and sustainable solutions to reduce stress at work. Not only will it ensure that workers are healthy and performing to the best of their abilities, but boost staff morale as well. Unfortunately the weak economic climate has meant that more companies have had to lay off staff, creating more pressure with an even larger workload on existing employees. There are a few simple and cost-effective methods that can be implemented by employers to reduce stress and anxiety at work. If well-executed in a genuine manner, these methods could actively engage employees, improve their health in the workplace and reduce stress-related illnesses and absenteeism.

Understanding Stress to Reduce Stress

First of all, it is important to understand that there are two types of work related stress. The first is a physical stress on the body, which is common in office jobs where people are given too many tasks to complete in a short space of time. The second type of stress occurs when an employee feels like their hard work is going unnoticed; they feel unappreciated and isolated from the workplace and peers. This kind of situation often leads to feelings of apathy. Both forms of stress result in the release of two kinds of hormones, namely adrenaline and cortisol. A body with hormones out of balance experiences unnecessary strain on the cardiovascular system, leading to common illnesses such as cold and flu to more serious conditions like heart disease.

How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety at Work

As an employer or manager, it is vitally important to acknowledge that everyone feels pressure and stress at certain times. Do not treat employees like cogs in the machine; if you notice that an individual is stressed take them aside and address the issue. If you recognise the human needs of a worker you are starting a process of instilling a feeling of self-worth and appreciation, which is the first step to reducing stress at work. It is also important that you acknowledge workers for any extra work or for work that they have excelled in. This positive reception will motivate them and make their tasks feel worthwhile. The workplace must provide avenues for upskilling and career advancements. Employers who feel as if they are stuck in a dead end will feel uninspired or even apathetic. Thus a simple and effective way to reduce stress at work is to encourage workers to inquire about career advancement and further training.

It is important that no single person feels alienated from the team. Regular team meetings that discuss any stress related issues should be held, were individuals can discuss techniques to reduce stress in the workplace as a group. This will create feelings of trust and encourage team building. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress levels. Organise team building activities that involve light physical exercise, like walking or hiking. However, be careful not to isolate individuals who cannot fully participate in physical activities. Finally, a top tip to reduce stress is to introduce indoor plants to the office. Studies have shown that natural foliage can alleviate stress and anxiety.

Penny Munroe is an avid writer in business and office tips, from sourcing the best executive suites to starting up a business in the serviced offices UAE offer.

 

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