Tips to Motivate Your Office

Motivation-Clip-Art1

We’re snug in the winter doldrums, struggling with short days, low light, and bitter cold. Even lower than the temperatures or the light are employees’ sense of motivation. Around this time of year, employees need a little extra boost in their morale to keep up productivity. Here are a few ideas to keep everyone positive and working as hard as ever!

Keep the office environment friendly.

This is a wide net we’re casting, so let’s break it down. Having a “friendly” work environment means more than just saying “Good morning” to your co-workers (although that’s very important for building rapport) or generally being polite. It means creating a workplace that’s comfortable for people where they don’t feel stressed or depressed. Because you’re working with individuals, everyone is going to have their triggers, but in general, it’s a good idea to keep the following in mind:

1. Keep the temperature comfortable. When it’s too hot or too cold, people have a hard time focusing on their work. Imagine trying to get something done when the  person next to you is sweating up a storm, or trying to focus on a project when you can’t feel your fingers.

2. Humans are like houseplants: they thrive in  natural light. Weird, but true! Most Americans spend a large portion of their lives working in an office space with little opportunity to spend time outside. That sort of monotony can be very discouraging. If your office has windows, try to configure the office so that your employees sit near them so they can get a little light or a view outside. Having a chance to glimpse a bit of sky or see some sunlight is motivating to everyone!

However, if your office doesn’t have windows, try to change out those buzzing fluorescent lights with low-wattage ones that are easier on the eyes. Installing some low-maintenance plants like ferns also give the feeling of being outdoors and in the sun. It’s a mind-hack you can use to your advantage!

3. While we’re on the topic of using your space wisely, assess the layout of the office. Does it feel open and spacious or are employees crammed in together like so many sardines? Try to create a lot of open space and eliminate visual barriers like cubicle walls so employees can see each other. They’ll have that visual connection with team members and will make them feel more united.

4. Have a coffee or tea corner. Bring in some healthy snacks once in a while. Since employees spend so much time at work, they may as well feel comfortable there. Rather than having to go out to get that 2 o’clock caffeine fix, it’d be far easier (and cheaper for the employee) to walk to the kitchenette and quickly make a cup of joe.

Encourage your team!

Office environments are the most motivating and positive when everyone is on the same page. When everyone feels connected and valued, individuals are more excited about voicing opinions and staying involved with the business. Here are a few ways to keep everyone happy:

1. Utilize wall space for employees. This can be a bulletin board to track progress or keep everyone up to date on what the company is doing. It can be a place for employees to put up cards, notes, seasonal greetings, announcements to other staff members, etc. Let them contribute.

2. Incentivize! Make the workplace interactive by offering incentives for high performance. And this is where you can get truly creative. Think outside the monetary-prize-box. It could be concert tickets or getting the supervisor to finally shave his beard. Everyone has to be there, anyway; it might as well be a fun (yet productive) place to be!

3. Give shout-outs to individuals. If someone closes a crucial deal or nets a new profit for the company, be outspoken about it and lavish genuine praise on that person. Everyone will recognize that effort does reap benefits and will be more motivated to receive some praise of their own.

Set a good example.

Everyone is familiar with the adage, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” It’s a tried and true saying that goes unutilized in offices with low morale. Here are a few tips for sweetening the deal around your office.

1. Don’t reprimand publicly. If you need to, it’s best to privately arrange a meeting with someone who needs to be reprimanded. Rather than confronting them in front of the other employees and “making an example” of someone, be professional and discreet. They will only resent you for embarrassing them openly.

2. Get to know everyone. Set aside some time to catch up with employees. Show them that you care about what’s going on in their lives, or encourage whatever they do in their free time. Showing an active interest in the lives of people around you makes people want to share more of themselves with you. Working with someone who is charming and caring motivates others to work harder and get into that person’s good graces.

3. Foster autonomy. By letting employees decide what extra tasks they take on and with whom, a good workplace motivates employees to sharpen their skills and take pride in what they contribute.

You can cheer and praise until you’re blue in the face, but true motivation comes from employees are are genuinely happy to be at work and that all starts with the people on top. So let’s hang in there and keep the spirits high!

Fiber Optic Fun Facts!

You’ve seen the commercials and heard the pitches, but what exactly makes fiber optics so special? What does all that “high speed” and “#1 in the nation” talk mean? We’ve broken it down for you here. Prepare to have your mind blown!

1. Fios is 15x faster than cable television or internet. In layman’s terms, that’s the speed difference between a cheetah and a manatee. A cheetah can sustain a sprint at 69 mph while the fastest a manatee can swim is a sluggish 4.6 mph. No contest.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-cheetah-running-acinonyx-jubatus-south-africa-image29434738

7636814558_4ba465359d_o2. A 2013 survey revealed that 18 million homes had been installed with fiber optic cables covering areas in Texas, Florida, California the mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast. To put that into perspective, imagine taking 18 million $1 bills to represent each home. Stack them on top of each other and that stack will be roughly 5,994 feet high — assuming these are crisp, lovely new bills and not the bills wadded up in your car’s glove box. stack-of-money

That’s the equivalent of five Chrysler Buildings standing on top of each other!

94684-050-6F71D15A

3. In 2011, 19.2 million miles of Fios cable were installed in America. That’s enough cable to circumnavigate the globe a whopping 772 times! “Wrap” your head around that one!

th

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Let’s Make a Deal…Like Chimpanzees!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Keep up the good work and stay savvy with another Ted Talk.

“When two people are trying to make a deal — whether they’re competing or cooperating — what’s really going on inside their brains? Behavioral economist Colin Camerer shows research that reveals how badly we predict what others are thinking. Bonus: He presents an unexpected study that shows chimpanzees might just be better at it.” Ted.com

The Good, the Bad, and the Guerrilla

Guerrillas are taking over. No, not the big, hairy mammals: guerrilla advertisers. Guerrilla marketing and advertising has taken off in the past few years, but what is it? No doubt you’d know it when you see it. Guerrilla advertising is a strategy that is low-cost, creative, and above all, unconventional!

The name comes from a war term meaning an irregular tactic used by individuals or small groups that often involved surprise attacks. The marketing industry has since taken the term to new heights by not attacking target audiences physically, but psychologically. Buying air time or ad space for your company is expensive, so guerrilla tactics are developed by small business looking to spare their bottom line. Key elements of guerrilla marketing are high-energy and imagination! It has to make an impact and leave an impression on the masses. And these days, people are as distractable as Labrador Retrievers with a tennis ball. The best way to win their attention?

Be the tennis ball.

Guerrilla marketing needs to shock or appeal to a person’s sensibilities, making it memorable and personal. They should feel like the target of the campaign. They should know that you are talking to them.

Drew Neisser, CEO of Renegade Marketing, says that guerrilla marketing needs to be “newsworthy” and that it’s a “state of mind” more than a statement in itself. Brett Zaccardi of “Street Attack” claims the best tactics are “unauthorized.”

But there are certain DO’s and DON’T's of guerrilla marketing to keep in mind. It’s alright to challenge your target audience, like what security company 3M did with a five foot high wall of impenetrable security glass. $500 in real money was installed between two panes of glass and installed on a city sidewalk. 3M challenged pedestrians to break the glass to win the money inside! They also took care to install a security guard by the display to not only incite challengers but to discourage people from using more than their hands and feet. With the combination of a cash prize and the legal permission to break something, people were drawn to the challenge and impressed by 3M’s proven product.

guerrilla-marketing-3m-security-glass-money

A good example of a bad campaign idea was Vodafone’s infamous “Streaker” episode. Vodafone hired two men to streak through an Australian rugby match wearing naught but the Vodafone logo painted on their backs.

While daring, a good guerrilla campaign shouldn’t get the target audience in trouble with the law and definitely shouldn’t seek to make anyone uncomfortable or angry. The streakers were slapped (not literally!) with a fine and rugby fans were very upset over the incident. The teams were also, reputedly, distracted enough to miss important plays. While Vodafone certainly won the free advertising, they loss respect.

Another major DON’T of guerrilla marketing is Don’t be Something You’re Not! Keep your target audience, your team and your mission in mind. If you’re a Fortune 500 company, don’t advertise yourself as a down-home-mom-and-pop shop. If you’re a grassroots organization, don’t alienate your target by making lofty and bourgeois demands of them.

Successful guerrilla campaigns use what they have at their disposal including stairs, escalators, the ground, and trees! Calgary Farmer’s Market hung ripe red apples from trees with stickers on the apples advertising the market’s dates, times, and locations. Cheap advertising for the market, and free apples for the target consumers!

guerrilla-marketing-calgary-farmers-market-apples

In the bottom left corner of the picture below, Folgers used giant stickers and manhole covers to advertise their coffee, knowing full well that most people tend to look down while walking on the sidewalk.

guerrilla-marketing-manhole-ads

HBO knows that shock value is attention-grabbing (have you seen the shows they air?) and they used this knowledge to their advantage with this campaign for hit series, “The Sopranos.”

guerrilla-marketing-sopranos

Guerrilla ads make you look twice and whip out your camera phone. They stand out from the rest of the ad space that surrounds them. When consumers see something truly guerrilla, they share it! Who wouldn’t want that kind of loyalty?

Fiber Optic Fun Facts

Happy Fiber Optic Friday! Feast your eyes on these five fun facts!

front-fiber-facts

1. Fiber optic fibers use light. If you didn’t know that by now, welcome to the party! On a more serious note, because fiber optic cables emit less heat than electric ones, there’s less chance of a fire in buildings that use fiber optics. Home electric fires are also, sadly, incredibly common, especially these days when entire houses are plugged in and running lights, TVs, kitchen appliances and everything else under the sun! Electric cables can be rendered useless if even a portion of the cable overheats and melts. The signal is disrupted and the energy can’t be used. It’s garbage…dangerous garbage! Not so with fiber optics!

2. Fiber optic fibers are thinner than ever! Yes, it seems even science and technology adhere to New Year Resolutions with the same determination as any of us. And thinner and sleeker means faster and better. Fiber optic cables are thinner than a human hair! Unlike bulky and limited copper wires, data that’s transmitted through lightweight and flexible material can move faster and more fibers can fit into one insulator pipes. That means more data for less cost for both the company and the customer!

3. Fiber optic fibers are incredibly lightweight. How lightweight, you ask? NASA uses fiber optic wiring and cables on their shuttles and rockets to decrease payload and therefore cost of fuel to launch a heavier, metal-wired electrical wiring. Better, stronger, faster, higher!..as in to Mars higher. Another benefit of lightweight materials like fiber optics is the laborers who install and transport the wiring are at a reduced risk of injury. That means a company does not have to worry about additional padded charges from insurance companies that are looking to make a buck on claims of strain from moving heavy objects and the liability therein. The cost of those claims then trickle down to the consumer! You’re already paying for your own insurance: thanks to widespread fiber optic use, you don’t have to pay for anyone else!

4. Fiber optic fibers love the planet. While not sentient, fiber optic technology is one of the “greenest” out there. It takes a lot more energy to send a sustained electric signal across a plane than it does a single flash of light. In this day and age where consumption has to be kept to a minimum, lower energy output and consumption means a smaller carbon footprint on the environment.

5. Fiber optic fibers shake it off, shake it off! Because fiber optic cables don’t transmit electricity but rather light, they don’t degrade over time like wire cables. They’re not affected by water, wind, ice, or extreme heat! They’re not immune to damage, but they can take a lot more abuse. They’ll take what you can throw at them and do it for longer, again incurring less cost on the company and the consumer.

At the end of the day, fiber optics are amazing!

1 34 35 36 37 38 52