How to lead a team during collaborative work

When you dive into what generates a successful business, the key element which reoccurs is team collaboration.

So, is team collaboration really the cornerstone of business success? and how can you ensure this is the case?

The answer is simple, yes team collaboration changes the dynamics of a business and ensures the best in the trade come together to generate fresh ideas at a quicker pace. To lead a team during collaboration you need to be the best leader possible, and this will motivate, inspire and create a high performing team.

Cocoon collaboration Pod

When looking at how you can guarantee you are on the right path to leading a high performing team there are 6 steps that should be in place throughout.

Step 1

When you find yourself at the start of team collaboration the very first thing you need to do is ensure everyone is on the same page. So, share the company mission and the team goals on the given project. Furthermore, you need to explain the purpose of the team coming together and what the end goal is.

Step 2

You need to make sure everyone goes away from the first meeting knowing exactly what is expected for both the group and individually. Each individual on the collaborate team should know their role, what they need to do, what is expected and by when, and the standard set for all work.

Step 3

You need to use your team to the best of the abilities. Highlight individual strengths and give them tasks in which they excel in. This will ensure they are motivated and engaged while also making them feel valued. Furthermore, this will ensure they bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the table to maximise the results of the project.

Step 4

Throughout a collaboration project you need to safeguard against individuals not communicating with one another and encourage them to speak up outside of team meetings. In order to do this, you need to use tech tools which enables everyone to communicate freely across the different departments. Additionally, you need a programme which all involved can monitor and edit progress, so everyone is always up to date with how the project is going.

Step 5

Throughout the course of team collaboration, it is vital to hold effective team meetings which stimulate productivity and refocuses all. During these meetings it is vital everyone has an input, discussing their work and how they are progressing. Additionally, these meetings provide the opportunity for all to come together, share their knowledge and insights and generate ideas together to showcase their creativity as a team.

Step 6

The last step is that of being honest and open with the team. Communicating during the course of the project is vital to be a successful leader. You need to be honest when problems arise and let the team help overcome issues. Furthermore, you need to communicate effectively if something is not working and needs changing, do this respectfully and offer support if needed. More importantly, you need to communicate when things have been successful and praise your team, so they do not leave meetings feeling deflated.

Collaboration seating and furniture

These 6 steps will help to create a successful collaboration team that thrive when working together. It is important to lead by example and maintain the standard set for everyone to follow and work to. Collaboration work needs to have a dynamic group of individuals who will all bring something to the table, but they also need a leader who will listen, share their knowledge and guide meetings to maximise the benefits of collaborating as a team, thus leading to greater business success.

[Infographic] 4 Benefits Of Using Standing Office Desks

The subject of 2020 so far is, should we be sitting or standing at our workstations?

With more research being uncovered regarding the dangers of office-based work and sitting for more than 8 hours a day, it is time to implement change?

Standing desks and adjustable height workstations have been welcomed to the market. The new range promotes and encourages standing whilst completing your daily tasks.

As with any new trend, it’s important to get a balance and this will vary from person to person. The height adjustable desks have been designed to switch between sitting and standing heights, supporting a healthy lifestyle with improved productivity.

If you’re new to the standing office desk trend, we’ve listed 4 benefits of why a standing desk could be right for you and your employees.

 

What Is Activity Based Working (ABW)?

Activity based working in the modern era.

When trying to bloom within to create a highly competitive business with a burning desire to be the best, how do you do this? In the modern era of office structures could Activity Based Working (ABW) simply be the best solution to take you to the top; to help you attract and retain the best talent in your industry; to improve performance, motivation and collaborative work.

What is ABW?

If you are finding yourself wondering about modernising your office environment, you might want to consider ABW. Before doing so you need have a level of awareness on what this entails, the benefits, the problems and solutions.

So, let us explain what ABW means for you. Merely, this is the proposition of opting to transform your office into multiple workstations. Ranging from open seating tables, bookable pods and meeting rooms, breakout areas, casual lounge spaces, booths and huddle spaces. This allows employees to select where to work dependent upon their work each given day.

What are the benefits of ABW?

When thinking about change it is always important to balance out the benefits against the problems that a motion to modernise may bring. Exploring these will be a key tool in establishing if this is a path you wish to pursue.

The first benefit would be how this can help enhance productivity and enjoyment. Each individual is able to schedule their work in a way that best suits what they need to do and who they need to do this with. ABW means they all have optimal options for their day whether it be to work independently or as a team to collaborate content or share group knowledge. Thus, creating a captivating, focused team. Therefore, with a workforce who are focused and enjoying their job comes increased productivity. Additionally, supporting collaborative work means people can collectively put their ideas together on a face-to-face basis.

Secondly, this enhances employees’ autonomy providing them with a level of empowerment over their work. Why you ask? This is due to individuals having the choice of work spaces rather than the same desk daily. In return this will accentuate work ethics and inspire people to work to their best abilities.

Balancing independent and collaborate work becomes effortless and eradicates the challenges of locating a space to work as a team. Juxtaposition to this, individual pods allow for time to work alone in private with ease.

Another advantage would be an increase in employee engagement and culture of connections as a direct result from creating an ABW structure. Employees are no longer tied down to a desk and interact with everyone.

The next benefit would be how ABW can guarantee office space is used more efficiently. Maximising the space can help you to employee further talented individuals without the need to relocate.

Lastly ABW can support the business in the attraction and retention of the best talent. Millenniums tend to shine towards such modern concepts due to the empowerment it provides. It can also be argued how ABW considers the employees well being and creates a sense of trust. Thus, attracting the talent you need to carry your business forward.  ­­­

What problems can arise with ABW? And what are the solutions to overcome them?

There will always be a need to consider the problems which may arise from using ABW. This will help decide whether ABW is still for your business.

The first problem to mention would be the excess noise which comes with this structure. This is easily resolved with the use of acoustic pods, screens and seating booths.

The second problem is it will be on a first come first serve when needing an area to work. However, the use of an electronic booking system with time slots ensure everyone is aware when an area such as a pod/booth is being used. Thus, minimising disruptions and safeguarding against any delays in employees’ meetings.

The third problem would link to the resistance to change. Some employees may not be happy with the idea of ABW and would rather they all have their own personal desk. Running meetings and training sessions to demonstrate the benefits would help them understand the change and why this would be valuable to the company and employees.

The last problem to mention would be the reduced space for storage of personal belongings. However, by providing lockers for people to use at their own choice would resolve such problem.

So, if the problems sound like something you can overcome then you can reap in the benefits ABW can bring. Create a detailed plan, speak to your current employees and take the opportunity.

acoustic pod

5 benefits of using an Acoustic Office Pod

There are many ways that you can improve your office space and working conditions within an office environment, one of them being to add an acoustic office pod. With multiple uses and reasons to have a pod installed it’s a great way to change your office design and welcome a vital feature.

Different pod sizes, shapes and finishes are available. The wide range of solutions enables you to select the right pod for your environment and ticks all the right boxes when it comes to your requirements.

If you haven’t made the decision already, we’ve listed 5 benefits of using an Acoustic Office Pod.

Acoustic Properties

One of the main benefits of an acoustic pod is the acoustic panels that are used. Each of the screens are made with acoustic foam and then upholstered with your choice of fabric. A combination of the fabric and acoustic foam creates a barrier, which helps with noise and distraction levels.

If you need a room with maximum privacy, using a double layer of foam will take the panels to the next level, creating an ultra-acoustic pod.

acoustic pod for 4 people

Bespoke and custom pods

It goes without saying that each working environment is different. From the head count, office shape, room size and individual requirement. The beauty of creating an office pod, is that it will be made to your specifications and brief. You will be able to choose your preferred height, size, configuration and colour options.

Making a pod from scratch presents you with an opportunity to transform your office space with a multi-functional room that can be used by everyone. Whether its for confidential chats, training or meetings, the pod introduces a new room tailored to your business needs.

Individual work pods

As each pod is made to order, you have the flexibility to work on a smaller scale too.

Rather than looking at a complete meeting pod, take a look at the options available for smaller working stations. Creating a smaller workstation allows you to offer desk privacy to just 1 person which can support productivity levels.

1 person acoustic work space.

Revamp your office

Many offices won’t be redecorated very often, which is understandable when it comes to the cost and time this consumes. Making minor changes to an office can change the office dynamic and uplift your old or tired office design.

You’ll be faced with an array of colourful high-quality fabrics to lightened and brighten your office space. Bringing a new lease of life to your place of work and creates a fantastic vision for guests and visitors.

Creates Privacy

Privacy is a luxury that comes with a pod for 1 or a full sized room. Adding acoustic screens or acoustic pod provides that barrier that is needed to create an area that is suitable for individual working, private conversations and any confidential meetings.

The acoustic foam used within the screens absorbs surrounding sound, locking your conversations within the designated area.

Creating a complete pod has the benefit of a lockable door to add another level of privacy if you require a section of the office to be secure.

Acoustic work pod for 2

Visit our full range of Acoustic Pods – Click Here

Office Personalities:- Which one are you?

As you look around your office, I can be more than certain that you have a whole host of personalities. Some that work and some that clash, but nevertheless personalities that need to be there to add diversity, create friendships and build your office workplace dynamic.

That being said, we have listed some of the office personalities you might find wondering around the work place as we speak. Have a read through our light-hearted list to see who you work with and which one you might be.

The Home Time Hero

You can’t deny this person the title. Isn’t it a dream leaving on time when you’ve had a busy day, to rush home and put your feet up?  The home time hero will be out the door on the dot, every night. You can choose to sit back and watch or join them to beat the traffic.

Alarm Clock

The Morning Person

The name says it all, this person either loves the morning or is just rather loud first thing. It’s quite possible they have had 3 coffees already or they might just be really happy to see you. That’s for you to decide.

The Cake Maker

Our personal favourite. The office cake maker has a special place in our hearts, they bring in homemade bakes and cakes and they always taste so good. No matter the day or if you’re counting the calories, there’s always space for a slice of cake.

The Pen Stealer

This is quite a broad category and from time to time you might be a pen thief yourself. But we have those colleagues who wonder over, use OUR pen and make a note and you know you’ll never see your favourite pen again.

Tip – Keep a drawer full of pens, just in case.

pens on desk

The Netflix Expert

Another great person to have in the office. You’ll never need to scroll through Netflix again, because this person has done it for you. They’ve watched the films and have some recommendations for you. So, all you have to do is sit back, watch and enjoy.

The Messy Desk

Our advice – don’t leave paper on the messy desk as chances are it will never be found again. This person will be known for a messy desk but will claim they can find everything and that it’s the perfect way to file. Who are we to argue their logic?

The Tea Extraordinaire

If you’re busy, having a bad day or just need a good cuppa, it’s important to call this person in to make you the best drink you’ve had all day. The right amount of milk and sugar to cheer you up and make the day that little bit better.

Cup of tea being poured

After reading our list – which one are you and who do you work with?

Are Open Plan Offices Still Popular? And 2019 office trends.

As with most things, style and office design can be down to preference. But with the office scene changing from year to year whilst following new trends, are open plan offices still popular?

An open plan office does what it says on the tin, the purpose is to create an open and light office. This could be for several reasons such as team communication, style preference and company guidelines. Walking into an open office can feel free and spacious, leaving everything open for viewing.

Taking away from the visuals and the overall feel of an open plan office, what is it like working in this environment? From the articles and research out there, it seems to be a split opinion, some vote for office partitions and the others love the open plan style.

On one hand an open office allows for easy communication between colleagues and gives you the opportunity to build strong working relationships. It’s seen as cost effective, as you don’t require any further furniture in the room other than the essentials to get your work done. Finally, moving the office around can be easier too, as there’s less to move to create the set up you desire.

But on the other hand, the open space is seen as distracting, as when speaking the voice will be projecting with no sound barrier and noise can be distracting for some. Little desk privacy is offered, so everything is out in the open to the whole office. And most importantly due to the noise and distraction comes low productivity, which of course isn’t ideal.

With the positives and negatives in mind, what other office designs are on trend in 2019?

Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is an extension of biophilia, which means to love nature. You might question how you can combine nature and office design, it’s easier than you think.

Biophilic design allows you to incorporate natural materials, natural lightening, plants and naturalistic accessories. Adding these natural components in to the office can help with stress and improve productivity.

Old AND new

‘Out with the old, and in with the new’ doesn’t quite apply for this. In 2019, we’re saying don’t discard your outdated or old furniture, merge the 2 together and embrace the history. This is a fantastic way to keep an eye on your budget as well as bringing a brand-new feel to your office space.

The Comfort

The type of office space that makes you feel right at home. Filled with soft furnishings, sofa’s, cushions and has a relaxed feeling which is ideal when we spend more time in our office/workplace than ever before. It’s also a great setting when you have clients visiting, as it will fill them with comfort and ease.

These are only a few of the 2019 trends that are out there, but these are our favourites. With design being diverse and personal, your office design options are never limited. Mix and match a trend to create something that works for YOU.

Office spaces

Whatever the office design you choose, it’ll be down to your own personal taste and what works for your business and colleagues. It’s the perfect way to bring out your personality and portray you and your company message through design. Subtle accessories can enhance the design you are hoping to achieve an office design made for you.

Let us know what your favourite office design of 2019 is and your thoughts on open plan office spaces.

Are you prepared for your upcoming exhibition?

Exhibition Stand at Tradeshow

The question of the day – Are you prepared for your upcoming exhibition?

An exhibition or event really gives you and your business the time to shine, it’s vital that you have everything in place to showcase yourself in the best possible light. Whilst preparation is a huge part of exhibiting, you may as well go overboard and ensure your design and plans are perfect.

The pressure when planning can build but at the end of the show, each exhibitor is looking for the same thing – new customers and new relationships.

To make sure you haven’t missed a thing, we’ve made a list of some things to think about to ensure you are prepared for your upcoming tradeshow, event or exhibition.

Build the stand

Take it from us, completing a dry run before the big day will be incredibly useful. There are several reasons why you should be building the stand before you attend the event: –

  • If the stand is new to you, it’s important to get your head around the technique needed to have a polished professional display. Doing a practice will allow you to understand how it connects and how to attach any graphics to create a seamless look.
  • The last thing you need is to get to the event and see the print is wrong or the stand isn’t the right size. Thoroughly checking over the text and print is also key.
  • Time is always of the essence. Time yourself to see how long it takes, this way you won’t be rushed or surprised with the time it takes to have your display looking perfect.

Promoting

You might be thinking – my stand will do the promoting. Which of course is correct, but you also need to consider the marketing of the event before you attend. Let your customers know your attending and invite them to come and visit your exhibition stand.

Social media, word of mouth and emails are great ways to get the word out there. All the platforms give the opportunity to promote where you will be, the event you are attending and why they should be coming to see you. What will your stand offer? Where will you be located? And finally, let them know you can’t wait to meet them.

Plan who will be attending

This is the time to pick carefully. The team you choose to attend the event will be representing the company. It’s crucial your team are well trained, understand your products or services and love speaking to people.

There’s a saying people buy from people, and we agree. An event gives you the floor to flaunt your product and gain interest with the end game of growing your business and building on your clients. Pick your exhibition team with care and ensure they will welcome guests to the stand, making them feel at ease and comfortable.

Double check your to-do list

It’s without a doubt that you will have a list as long as your arm (if not longer). An exhibition to-do list has many check boxes and will continue to grow as your requirements begin to build.

A to-do list is great, it provides a sense of organisation and gives a clear indication of what you have left to complete. However, we cannot stress enough that you must check, check and check again. You’re so busy, mistakes are easy to make and it’s crucial the day runs as smoothly as possible.

So, check through your list, make sure it is all completed and most importantly you haven’t missed anything off!

Travel

Only a minor thing and will only take 10 minutes or so. But make sure you know where you are going and the route you will take. Whether you plan to drive or take public transport, map out your journey with any stops, connections or alternations needed to make sure you arrive on time.

If you’re late this could eat into the time you require to build your display stand.

Exhibition Stand at Tradeshow

Changing your exhibition stand from old to bold.

How will you change your exhibition stand from old to bold? Adding, tweaking, styling and creativity is a great place to start.

With the exhibition season in full swing, you’ll be attending trade shows and events to promote your business and services. As you step around the exhibition hall, you’ll see extravagant stands, smaller spaces and quirky set ups.

All of which will pack a punch in their own way, just make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to wow your potential customers and make an impact.

It doesn’t matter if your stand is old or new, cost effective tweaks can be made to create a breath-taking stand to steal the show. Take full control of planning for this summer’s events and ramp up your creativity to get the result you desire.

We’re here to share some trade secrets, from tips, designs and stand creations. So, let us walk you through some options to transform, build and sculpt your dream stand.

 

Reuse Your Stand

Dig out your old stand and reuse it. You made an investment when you originally purchased the stand, so why not get the use out of it?

Replacing the printed graphics is a cost-effective way to give the illusion you have a new stand. Adding replacement graphics gives you the chance to rework your message, style and stand colours. Being sure to update any relevant business information, logos and addresses.

Bespoke it

If time and budget is on your side. The complete bespoke route is an amazing journey to take. This is where you sit down, make some drawings and really design what you want and make your vision a reality.

Allowing you to see no limitations and being as extravagant or as under stated as you so wish. You hold all the cards to create a unique and individual display.

 

2m x 4m Exhibition Bundle

Deluxe Upgrade Kits

Each of the Streamline and Pop Up Stands come supplied with a carry case. Enabling you to take the stands from venue to venue with no fuss. Don’t let the plain black fool you when it comes to the carry case, it can be more than just a case.

The deluxe kit consists of a printed graphic wrap and printed acrylic top. Both of which can be added to the carry case, transforming this into a branded podium/counter. If the lights are included, these are perfect to add to the main display.

Stand accessories

Adding new stand accessories is another way to bring changes to your overall stand look. Even if you’re using the same display stand, adding new accessories can rejuvenate your stand design and ensure you don’t look the same for each event.

Incorporating new print and artwork on to something as simple as a roller banner or printed plinth, could be just enough to make a difference.

 

 

Regardless of your budget or stand design, there’s always a way to add something new, change what you have and create a new display.

How to make an impact at an exhibition

The expectation of each exhibition you attend is to gain some return, hoping that you can welcome some new customers and start building new relationships.

How do you make that happen? It starts with your exhibition stand and what people can see, first impressions count and your stand design will be the first thing they notice. Taking the time to consider your stand layout, content and accessories will be worth your while as a well designed stand with some quirky features is sure to get you noticed.

Looks alone will not carry you through the event, so we’ve put a few pointers down on how to make an impact at your event this year. Some are subtle but can make all the difference to your stand performance.

Choose the right stand for your space

Seems like a simple thing, doesn’t it? But whilst using your stand space is great it’s important to not over crowd your stand space. This way your potential customers can admire and take in all of your stand and still have the room to move around and chat with you.

It’s also just as important to not under dress your stand, if you have a smaller space and feel worried about what to add, there are so many slimline and smaller print options which can still pack a punch.

 

Streamline Exhibition Stand - 2m x 3m Stand Space

 

Pictures speak a thousand words…

This couldn’t be more true. We’re using this term in reference to your artwork, your artwork is going to be printed on to the main feature in your space so it needs to be right. What show are you attending and why are you there? Ask yourself these questions and bare them in mind when putting your artwork together and portraying this message across to potential customers.­

 

Make your stand approachable

An approachable stand can be achieved in a number of ways, a warm presence and happy attendees is always a great start. Being approached by an up beat person who is ready to talk (without being pushy) works wonders on gaining interest in your stand and products. Even handing out leaflets and information on the edge of your stand is a subtle way to be approached and gives you an opening to strike up those all important conversations.

2m x 2m Pop Up Stand Bundle

 

Promote your attendance

If you have social media pages, websites and other channels to reach your current and new customers – use them wisely. Let them know you will be attending, this is a great opportunity to spread the word and take advantage of your online presence. Post the exhibition details, making it eye catching and interesting so more people are engaging and hopefully this could go to some way of boosting your stand visitors.

Don’t forget to get in touch with customer via email aswell, not everyone is online and you wouldn’t want anyone to miss out!

Keeping Cool & Calm in the Workplace

With deadlines, fast paced working environments and workloads which are hard to handle, it’s important to look after yourself. Keeping physically and mentally healthy plays a massive part in to how you perform at work as well as how you feel.

Ask yourself – do you try and De-stress? And if so, how do you do this?

There are various ways to introduce a sense of calm into your life, which helps battle the everyday pressure of a busy work and home life. Small changes to your routine will have a positive effect which in turn allow you to take on the day with a motivated and positive outlook.

 

Sip it up

Water can solve a lot of problems and quite rightly so as an adult body is made of up to 60% water. If more than half of us is water, it makes sense to keep ourselves hydrated. Understandable when we are not drinking, we do not function the same. 8 Glasses of water a day keep us focused and alert.

 

 

Exercise

We get it – it can be seen as a chore or a task we would rather not complete. But a quick bout of exercise, even a 10 minute lunch time stroll can get you the fresh air you need to lower your blood pressure. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown sweaty gym session, just small amounts each day.

 

Meditation

A simple way to ease the mind and lower your heart rate. With different apps and videos available to you, this option leaves your interpretation to meditation and relaxation wide open. Wind chimes, waves or a calm voice to bring you back down to earth in serene kind of way.

 

 

Working smarter, not harder

Don’t pile more on your to-do list when you may already be sinking. Complete a structured to-do list, thinking about jobs or tasks that need to be completed as a priority. Taking the time to plan your day can be used as a useful way of keeping track of where you need to be without the added pressure.

 

 

Switch it off!

We’re all guilty of it. Checking our messages, scrolling through social media, playing games and watching our favourite you tubers. But when do we think enough is enough? Being glued to our phones or trailing through months of pictures, happens to us all but I’s good to give our eyes and minds a rest from the social media world as well getting away from the bright back light.

Switch your phone off for an hour or so a day, giving you a bit of down time to enjoy!

 

Last but not least …. laugh until your hearts content.

What a lovely feeling! When you ‘re around people who make you happy, have a relatable humour and have the ability to make you laugh. These are the kind of people you need close by; laughing is fun and infectious and can instantly boost your mood making you feel great.

 

 

Visit the Rap Industries website for some stress free office solutions – Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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