The Busy Professional’s Guide to Gifting for Secret Santa

Work Life Balance

19 December 2019

The Busy Professional’s Guide to Gifting for Secret Santa

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As far as popular holiday traditions go, the Secret Santa would have to be among the last few surviving ones. Yet, in the midst of finishing the end-of-year reports and fighting winter blues, the pressure of Secret Santa gifting at work can be rather distressing. So, here’s our guide to help you find the right gift for the right person.

But first things first, have you ever wondered where Secret Santa originated from? Larry Stewart, an American who anonymously handed out cash to the less-fortunate during Christmas received the nickname of ‘Kansas City’s Secret Santa’. And it is this legacy of anonymous gift giving which continues on as the Secret Santa tradition practised the world over.

Whether you love it or hate it, Secret Santa at office is a good way to end the year, offering everyone something fun to look forward to. Are you ready to navigate the sometimes tricky gift-giving process at the workplace?

For the Boss

Nothing evokes warmth like a DIY gift. Set aside your boardroom differences and gift your boss something that is thoughtful and handmade. Whether it is painting, carpentry, or baking that you count among your many skills, roll up your sleeves and make something from scratch. More than the price of the gift, it is the thought behind it that counts, they say. Gratitude on your mind? No? Well, in that case, you can just pick up a gift voucher!

For the Frenemy

It’s all about appearances in this case. And everyone loves to look good – whether they care to admit it or not. So, how about gifting a face mask to your frenemy? It’s like killing two birds with one stone. On the one hand, it says you care enough to pamper them. It also says that you’re shrewd enough to know when they’re putting their best ‘face’ forward. The market is flooded with options for both men and women.

For the New Recruit

Want to make the new employee feel welcome and at home? How about tickets to a show, an exhibition, or even coffee as the ‘+1’ option? This could give you a chance to hang out, chat and bond. Even if your giftee doesn’t choose you to go with, it will still provide you with enough material for a follow-up conversation.

For the Work Buddy

This is, perhaps, the easiest and least stressful of the lot. You know him or her best, so this should be no challenge. In fact, you can afford to exercise your creativity here – a seemingly innocuous inside joke, possibly – without the worry of causing offence. Or else, how about an office aromatherapy kit? It’s an almost instant stress buster. Everyone on the floor benefits, plus you get brownie points for the ‘inclusive’ thoughtfulness.

For the Intern

Just because he/she is not a permanent member of the company yet, there’s no reason to make them feel left out. Right? Usually fresh out of college and raring to go, interns are a joy to gift to. You can encourage their enthusiasm and creativity with personalised notebooks, cute sticky notes or funky USB drives. Customised laptop stickers and souvenirs are good gifting options too.

For the Opposite Sex

If you feel like you are treading on a pretty slippery surface, we suggest you proceed with care. It is better to avoid any controversial gifts. In other words, no clothes, colognes, diet charts, or prank gifts. Instead find out if they enjoy tea or coffee more, and gift them their favorite brew. Best to keep it simple.

The not-so-secret rules to Secret Santa

While it may not be possible to please everyone, it is just as easy to offend anyone. Therefore it is important to make sure that you are not hurting anyone’s religious, political or personal sentiments with your choice of gifts.

Secret Santa isn’t just about the presents. It is a great way to bond with your colleagues in a more meaningful way. You could use this opportunity to show your appreciation. It’s about spending quality time with your co-workers, de-stressing at the office, and celebrating the end of the year on a positive note. Wish you a Merry Christmas!

How Co-working Spaces Promote Perfect Harmony in Work-life Balance?

Work Life Balance

31 March 2020

How Co-working Spaces Promote Perfect Harmony in Work-life Balance?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The co-working concept is advancing on a rising trajectory, not just because of the significant economic benefits but for the perfect work-life balance, these emerging ecosystems bring.  As per The Economic Times, by 2020, 13+ million people in India will be working from co-sharing spaces, making India the second-largest market globally for flexible workspaces. Such strong growth progression is enabled by the changing demands of the workforce that aspires for workplaces which stimulate passion, fuel productivity and breed on creativity, and simultaneously promote individualist growth and an optimal work-life balance. This is the core ethos of Awfis; we believe in creating aesthetically designed spaces that enable a healthy, harmonious work and life relationship.

Here is how co-working spaces contribute towards work-life balance goal:

Promote Flexibility: Today, employees prefer flexible working hours and a schedule contrived to suit their preferences. In a co-sharing environment, flexibility is the foundation. These spaces are enabling employees to manage work per choice and maintain equilibrium. They can manage some late hours on a free day and ensure an easy schedule on a demanding day, etc.

Build a Community: The most real advantage of a co-working office is community working. These centres are designed such that they offer balanced privacy while allowing for harmonious social unwinding outside the working environment and conversations, which do not invariably veer towards work. Moreover, a shared space offers elevated work experience by promoting co-existence, collaboration and growth of one another.

Encourage Learning: A flexible working space discourages unhealthy competition and promotes learning. They embrace cooperation, providing an opportunistic window for employees to interact, brainstorm and grow beyond defined horizons. These spaces breed creativity, subdue stringent hierarchies and endorse cross-functional working. This healthy learning environment lays the foundations for better productivity and happier lives instead of detrimental competition.

Improve Motivation: A sharing ecosystem allows all hierarchies, including young talent, veterans, leaders, etc. to interact under one roof. More so, it enables healthy competition and innovation outside the organisation, which reflects on the overall motivation of employees, easing the brunt of hierarchy, monotony and isolation. As per a survey, 84% of respondents said they feel more encouraged and motivated since working in a co-sharing environment. Also, 83% of people reported that their sense of isolation was decreasing.

Enhance Positivity, Free Communication: Unlike the generality of offices that house single organisations and function as silos, co-working offices, on the contrary, are like a collaborative commune of large, small and individual players. Such conditions enhance positivity, promote symbiotic relationships, augment recognition, amplify communication, and allow new perspectives to penetrate. This positivity and social uplift impacts employee motivation and endorses favourable lives.

Decompress: The co-working system pushes boundaries, allowing people to see the world that exists beyond their defined spheres. Vibrancy and diversity create free thinkers, helping people ease in and decompress from the work pressure. Moreover, such offices frequently host engaging activities that provide some downtime for employees to rejuvenate.

Conclusion

“You will never feel truly satisfied with work until you are satisfied by life.” This is the mantra guiding the co-working notion. Awfis believes in creating exemplary designed, futuristic workspaces that promote balanced interactions, diversity and flourishing communities – to provide the desired work-life balance.

7 simple hacks to make ‘Work from Home’ more productive

Work Life Balance

19 March 2020

7 simple hacks to make ‘Work from Home’ more productive

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

We’re all in a unique situation with unprecedented number of people working from home instead of going to their office, coworking space, or even the nearby café. WFH (Work from Home) comes with its fair share of benefits and distractions. So, while you’re saving on commute time, you’re also struggling with following a routine. Fret not, because we’ve listed 7 simple hacks you can start doing right now to make WFH work for you.

1. Create a workspace: Maybe you have a study table or a makeshift arrangement on the bed. Either way, make the space your ‘workspace’ and as distraction-free as possible. Keep your desk essentials handy – pen, paper, water bottle. If possible, place a frame or mug of a motivational and inspiring quote in this workspace too.

2. Dress up: Home is already a comfort zone but there is something to be said for being a tad too comfortable. You need to give yourself mental cues that you’re in work mode so dress the part. And once you’re done for the day, you can, and must change into your wind-down PJs. Btw, dressing up doesn’t only mean wearing a shirt with shorts. It goes all the way. Yes, including shoes.

3. Make a to-do list: It’s easy to procrastinate especially when there are so many cat videos out there you could be watching without the boss walking in on you. However, a to-do list will help you structure your day and give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of it. And still leave you some time to watch those videos!

4. Check in daily: The reason coworking spaces are so much in demand is because they encourage collaboration and networking. There’s no reason why you can’t collaborate with your teams virtually. With multiple collaborative apps, and video conferencing facilities at your disposal, there could be a daily team huddle to brainstorm, follow-up and connect. Daily interactions also help in team bonding which we all know is crucial for delivering results.

5. Follow ‘SEE’ to a T: SEE is an acronym for Sleep, Eat, Exercise – the three things you need to ensure you’re getting enough of. Ideally, sleep and wake up at the same time every day and try to get 7-8 hours of quality rest. Schedule time to eat healthy nutritious food and make time to exercise even if it’s playing your favorite songs and dancing in the living room.

6. Take a break: The longer you work from home, the more important it is to take time out to connect with friends and family so that you’re not isolated. Even during work hours, take a break and call up an old friend, play with your dog or have an unofficial chat with a colleague. Think of it like the chai breaks in your office space. After all, all work and no chai makes Jack a dull guy.

7. Get a hobby: Make optimum use of the time you’re saving on commuting. This is the best time to learn new things, pick up hobbies you didn’t have time for or upskill for your current job profile by joining an online course. It’s rare to find extra time, so make the most of this unexpected opportunity.

From kids unexpectedly appearing when you’re on a video call to pets vying for attention; working from home has many interesting moments. Attuning the mind, being open to new methods and using some quality hacks are all it takes to bring together the best of both worlds.

10 desk essentials that make our workday better

Work Life Balance

06 March 2020

10 desk essentials that make our workday better

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As Monday knocks your door, you know it’s going to be another work-filled week, teeming with deadlines and KRAs. Although you might be a superhero in getting your tasks complete, all the while managing the day’s requirement efficiently, there’s always a scope to expand that competence. Yes, by streamlining work, you might think. Yet, that doesn’t come as easy as you think it might- you certainly need extra help! Have you paid attention to your desk? It can be a deal-maker for a lot of your daily work activities, with the right kind of accessories. In fact, it is these little “personal army of assistance” that can aid you in streamlining your work, greatly. Confused on what exactly do you need for your desk? Here is a checklist of things that would help you greatly:

  1. Desk Organizer 

It’s essential to have a nifty desk organizer, because more often than not, your desk would be a labyrinth that needs to have some sort of semblance. Organizers come with neat compartments to arrange your stuff into order.

  1. Monitor Stand 

A monitor stand, complete with various nooks and crannies, solve your elevation problem. Now, you can see your preferred level, as well as gain extra storage space, for all the little things that are still in disarray.

  1. Dispensable/Silicone Cutlery

Eating is a very important part of your work, especially when it is a sharedesk, but cutlery issues may bog your productivity. Not anymore, with a set of dispensable or silicone cutlery to save your time and effort to go and run for them.

  1. Beautiful Calendar 

While it is the generation of modern amenities, your desk will always require a beautiful calendar. This handy accessory doesn’t just beautify your table, it also acts as a reminder and helps you keep track of your important events/activities/tasks.

  1. Cable Organizer

Most of your day-to-day tasks involve a lot of engagement with digital devices and naturally, separating the jumble of cords attached to them takes up a great chunk of your time. Not anymore- keep an attachable cord organizer on your workspace and maintain your cords in their designated spaces with ease.

  1. Sticky-Notes

Work can come at any time and yet, you cannot be stuck to your desk 24×7. A set of sticky-notes can help you in this scenario, while also being a handy source of reminder for you and people visiting your co-working desk.

  1. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

With all that yapping and cross-conversations, bringing concentration into your work becomes a really big task. Invest in a pair of great noise-cancelling headphones that have good overall sound, and can drown the constant chatter.

  1. Pen and Notebook set

Be it any profession, having a notebook is of utmost importance. Invest in a luxurious yet functional pen-dairy set, so that jotting down notes doesn’t seem like a huge downer- plus you’d be setting off a stylish impression.

  1. Computer Glasses

With growing hours spent in front of any digital device, your eyes are the ones to bear the brunt of deterioration. Invest in a great pair of blue light–blocking computer glasses for reducing digital eye strain.

  1. A plant

It’s important to take an environmentally conscious step towards the future- especially keeping the current context of resources in mind. The best way would be to nurture a plant at your co-working desk, to convey a striking message as well as helping you gain a patient demeanour towards day-to-day activity.

Here you have it- a list of office essentials that would make your work more synchronised and hassle-free! Time to head for that office-essentials shopping today!