Business Travel Done Right For A Smart Work-Life Balance

Work Life Balance

18 May 2017

Business Travel Done Right For A Smart Work-Life Balance

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

A hectic business travel schedule that keeps an employee away from home causes a work-life imbalance and this has a significant impact on the productivity of the employee. Maintaining consistent performance for business travellers becomes demanding and stressful. Therefore, it’s important to plan your business travel effectively.

A study published by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and American Express Global Business Travel reveals that improving work-life balance is one of the top priorities of modern business travellers. Moreover, another report stated that 46% of managers have witnessed an increase in the number of enquiries about smart ways to enhance the work-life balance from frequent travellers.

Strike a smart work-life balance while travelling for work with these 6 tips:

  1. Confirm Meetings Before Leaving:

Confirm the date and time of meeting that you have mutually decided with your partners/clients/vendors before you prepare for your business trip. This reduces the possibility of a futile business trip and saves unnecessary business expenses. For today’s young workforce who are constantly running against time, time is the new currency.

  1. Select The Quickest Route:

Business Travel Done Right!

 Photo Courtesy: Pexels

As technology progresses, an increasing number of travellers are relying on digital technology to navigate with the help of GPS, find cabs, find alternate routes and more. As a smart traveller, compare between the available routes and opt for the quickest one and make travel plans accordingly. Traffic could make the shortest routes the longest, beware!

  1. Effective Planning and Flexible Working:

Returning home late from work does not necessarily mean you are working round-the-clock. Plan your workday judiciously. For instance, if you have a business meeting in the evening in another city and have a late night flight back home, you can enjoy your ‘me time’ in the morning, attend the business meeting at the agreed time and work on important tasks during your journey. It’s all about striking the right balance!

  1. Smart Time Management:

Why waste the time that you spend travelling for your business meetings when you can utilise it wisely? Think about the amount of time that we spend stuck at seemingly unending traffic jams, and listlessly observing people around us. Effective planning plays an important role in using time optimally to maximise work productivity. This way business travel, especially those that take up time during business work hours, does not prevent professionals from meeting crucial work deadlines.

  1. Embrace Digital Meetings:

Owing to digital advancements today, the world is digitally connected. Smart entrepreneurs must make the most of advancing technology and encourage digital meetings, which are not only convenient, but are also cost-effective.

Business Travel Done Right!

Photo Courtesy: Pexels

5 Work Practices that will Stay with Us Post COVID-19

Work Life Balance

27 July 2020

5 Work Practices that will Stay with Us Post COVID-19

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As the world order continues to change, pushing us to a whole new system of working, it has given rise to new trends and practices that will define the future of organizations. Employers will need to rethink operations with a new perspective, make it more purpose-driven, explore newer possibilities, and harness the potential of this new system to work and make it effective. From employee management to process planning, performance evaluation, and customer experience, major business functions are going to see a new day.

Some of the major long-term changes that are imminent are:

Being Digital-first

Businesses have been toying with the idea of transforming themselves to fit into the ever-expanding digital landscape. Now, it has become more of a need than a want. Particularly the customer-facing service industry has woken up to the critical benefits of being digital-first. By integrating cloud-based operations, process automation, machine learning, etc., businesses will not only improve their functions but will also manage their costs better, boost productivity, and balance human and tech resources.

Complete digitalization of day-to-day work practices will continue, whether it is in a physical or virtual office space. Daily functions like project management, customer/client interaction, evaluation, feedback, etc. will also see heavy usage of digital tools in the coming years.

Decentralized and distributed workforce

In the wake of the pandemic, businesses have learned that distributing your human resources will only make your business stronger. The virtual work environment will continue and provide more opportunities for temp roles, independent contractors, stay-at-home parents, etc., thus amplifying the culture of remote working. This will allow businesses to expand operations across geographies without any hefty establishment costs or entry barriers. Thus, the new workforce will be diverse in their skills and can support customer/client needs across different locations, eventually boosting production volumes.

Increased focus on employer branding

The new generation workforce seeks transparency, inclusivity, and security. And now more than ever due to a major health scare. Employees today want to be part of an organization that pays attention to their lives and not just job skills. Organizations which openly communicate about the physical and mental impact of the current situation will stand out to be the progressive ones. Focusing on establishing an employer brand that nurtures and nourishes its human resources, amid all odds, will also attract top talents when hiring and help retain them.

Transition from readiness to resistance

While operational efficiency is essential, resilience is needed to sustain the efficiency. And resilience comes from agility. As of today, companies that have made themselves adaptive to change are stronger than ever and are the ones who can thrive better in the future. The agility of business functions comes from cross-functional training and expanding skillsets of your workforce. There will be more emphasis on skill upgrade and flexible work practices so they can thrive despite disruptive scenarios.

Evolved work ethics

The pandemic has brought to light a lot of ethics concerns with respect to work practices, organizational decisions, and overall employer-employee experience. This has been a learning period for all, and organizations are now realizing its impact on the bottom line. In the coming time, we can expect to see more well-defined work ethics in terms of awareness and being proactive to health and safety, work-life balance, and improved organizational culture.

Some of these trends can be seen as an impact of current circumstances, while the others are only a step- up from earlier practices that were long due, only accelerated by the changing times. No matter what the cause, the effect will only be of an evolved work landscape.

How to keep your team connected when working remotely?

Work Life Balance

20 July 2020

How to keep your team connected when working remotely?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

In the wake of the global pandemic, many organizations are now working remotely from their homes. While the work environment has changed, the need to keep it running smoothly hasn’t. In fact, constant communication, especially within teams, has become more necessary than ever. Despite innovative tools and techniques, people still feel something is amiss in the new set up. Whether you are a seasoned remote worker or a WFH newbie, virtual team management could be a challenge and yet is vital to ensure that the new work setup is a success.

Here are a few tips to make your internal communication more effective and teams more collaborative.

Make the most of communication tools

While working from home, one of the major issues that both employers and employees face is staying connected constantly. Thanks to online communication tools that issue can be easily dealt with. As of today, almost every office operation can be managed using collaborative tools for project management, communication, meetings, and more. You might not have the flexibility to talk across your desks and get an instant response, but you can still recreate the same system using instant group messaging tools like Slack and Google Hangouts. To make the most of team meetings, use video calls and conferencing apps instead of audio-only options so you can maintain your original team environment.

Be responsive at all times

Whether you are a team lead or manager or just a team member, being responsive is vital to stay connected to your coworkers and ensure that work is flowing smoothly. However, since WFH keeps you away from a visible office environment, it can make you lax. To avoid that, be online at all times and respond to queries and approvals instantly, so your team knows you are around and available. It also helps in resolving issues and addressing problems without any time lapse.

Set meeting schedules

WFH or virtual office is still pretty new for a lot of people. To streamline the workday, it is important to set a schedule and maintain a routine, just like you would in a physical office space. If you used to have a daily team meeting at the start and end of the day, then continue to do so, only inform your team in advance and stick to the set times, unless, of course, there is an emergency.

Be proactive

Being proactive is the key to an organized work practice but more so when you are away from your team and other coworkers. When taking breaks, inform your team members, so everyone is aware and know when and when not to expect you. Encourage the same from other team members as well.

Be inclusive

Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. People might be working remotely, but they still have the need for socializing and sharing their day-to-day events. Encourage people to interact with their work buddies as much as possible. If feasible, plan group lunches on a video call and use the time to talk about things of common interest and bridge the gap that often comes with a virtual work environment. From problem-solving to brainstorming creative ideas, do it as a group, and bring the human touch to your team communication.

Making your team members feel connected and included at all times, especially in these challenging circumstances, would only ensure better coordination and thus higher productivity.

6 Must-Have Remote Work Tools to Help You Work Seamlessly from Home

Work Life Balance

24 June 2020

6 Must-Have Remote Work Tools to Help You Work Seamlessly from Home

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Although the idea of virtual office space and remote working is no unicorn in the professional landscape, the Coronavirus pandemic has pushed us to adopt this culture more widely and seriously. And now that it has become a norm, it’s important to master the practice and use the right tools to increase productivity and continue to work efficiently.

Here are some of the best remote work tools to have:

TeamViewer

If you need basic desktop access, this is the perfect tool to use. With instant file transfers, clipboard transfers, and video-enabled interactions, you can easily replace your physical office space. Maintain social distance and yet be present for your team. TeamViewer is available for Windows, OS X, iOS, Linux, and Android, and it is free for personal use.

Slack

Contrary to its name, this communication platform will never let you slack on your work updates. You can create workgroups, lock confidential messages, alter message retention for security, and integrate it with your Google Drive, Dropbox, and Mailchimp for instant file transfers and uploads. It also allows you to enable instant notifications on your email or phones while you are away from your work desk.

Zoom

Video conferencing is now made easy with apps like Zoom. It is best for teams that require frequent meetings. It’s an open-source app, available for all devices, so you don’t have to spend a dime. You can enable chats while conferencing and ensure 360-degree communication. Zoom meetings are now password protected, which makes it more secure than ever.

Drawpile whiteboard

Sometimes, while briefing, it is easier to draw it out than talk or write. Whether you miss scribbling notes in a meeting or pen down creative ideas, Drawpile lets you present your thoughts graphically. It also fulfils the need of a whiteboard in a meeting room. It’s real-time, allows collaboration from other connected users and is great for designers, planners, and work that requires artistic application/visual presentation.

Basecamp

Ever since it was launched, this web-based project management platform has been a go-to tool for people working virtually. With key features like task management, instant messaging, email, team collaboration, file sharing, message scheduling, creating reports and more, it makes your day to day office tasks easy and efficient. For an annual cost of $99, and available for unlimited users, Basecamp also makes it worth the investment.

Toggl

While instant communication and seamless project management are essential in a virtual workspace, it is also important to keep track of how everyone is utilizing the available time. Toggl works as a time tracker to assess the work hours spent and find out how productive you have been. It is great for time-bound projects, and it’s a free tool, available for all devices.

Whether you are working out of your home office space, or in a co-working space, these essential work tools and software will keep you connected to your teams and make your remote working as much effective as the physical one.