Is it difficult to focus in workspace?

Workplace cubicles are fading into the past; no longer do they box in our creativity or compartmentalized freedom. Now-a-days we have the opportunity to work more closely with our peers. The knowledge-sharing economy has upended our traditional offices in major ways. Open floor plans, long shared tables and interactive tech tools are some of the most common features in work environments.

The coworking model is meant to foster collaboration, engage learning and promote an active work culture. The trend is so popular that some startups even focus their business model on utilizing restaurants as coworking hubs during off hours.

Yet, coworking spaces come with their fair share of distractions. Several minutes of uninterrupted work time can be hard to come by, especially when you’re constantly overhearing brainstorming sessions.

While open office spaces may nurture collaboration, a solution for better concentration from group activities may rely on collaboration itself. As concentration is greatly intertwined with privacy and performance, this solution focuses on three key components: office structure, individual tactics and group mentality.

Doorways to distraction

Collaborative office spaces aren’t going away anytime soon. Today, nearly 70 percent of companies feature open concept offices. But, the new office design hasn’t gone without its fair share of critics. Esrlier this year reports suggested that workers are 15 percent less productive and have immense trouble concentrating in open working environment.

It was found that 50 percent of people in open office floor plans were dissatisfied with their sound privacy.

Other studies consistently demonstrate that over half of non-executive workers report feeling less satisfied and less productive in open space offices.

In a recent survey, 58 percent of high-performing employees reported needing more privacy for problem-solving. 54 percent found their environments too distracting. It’s no wonder the open office is getting a negative rapport.

Our sensitivity is not in vain either. Research demonstrates that a ringing phone can damage productivity, but small vibrations from tech devices significantly tax our brains. More worryingly, evidence shows that the mere presence of a phone weakens our concentration.

Even with so many resources available today that can help us focus, organic and traditional principles that center around workers’ individual mindsets and a business’s operational structure may be the true solution:

Managerial and organizational strategies

One big step for better employee concentration at work is to improve managerial and organizational strategies. Part of a manager’s responsibility is to help facilitate productive interaction, which can often mean facilitating periods of concentration. Managers can help organize office rules with five key steps:

Create designated quiet areas. Even if there is limited space, creating small areas with available resources can help promote concentration in immediate environments. According to author and productivity consultant Laura Stack, using a free conference room or offering a makeshift library where your coworkers can retreat in lieu of remote work can help preserve their privacy.

Schedule quiet times. Specifying quiet times can help individuals do their work during the day. Each week, designate a few quiet hours, when employees are encouraged to work individually. Focus on establishing a schedule at least twice a week for two to three hours in the morning or afternoon. Afterwards, employees can collaborate as needed.

Encourage busy signals. A “busy” symbol will notify coworkers not to disturb the worker during optimal moments of concentration.
Batch communications. Too many emails and demands from higher-ups create frustration and constant interruptions for workers. Good managers should consider batch updates and information in one email or quick meeting so that workers and managers are clearly communicating with each other, which ultimately help save time and any confusion about work activities.

Personal strategies

On a personal level, there are many ways to help embrace better concentration. Headphones are just the first step. Specific strategies depend on the type of task, the worker’s mood, how they learn and individual personalities. For example, researcher Susan Cain’s recently discovered that people who more readily identify as introverted are more sensitive to stimuli in their immediate environments.

But, according to Harvard Business Review (HBR) research, humans employ several privacy strategies consciously and subconsciously to help control the intake of stimulation and information during the workday, which aid in concentration.

Shielding is a conscious privacy tactic that allows people to gain more privacy and control over their projects by maneuvering to enclosed locations. We use it all the time when take a phone call out of the office so we might not be overheard. According to HBR, developing a walking plan may help you concentrate and solve problems away from a distracting office. Also, you should try sitting in areas where you can’t see coworkers approaching.
There is also a psychological tactic, called “intentional shielding,” which allows workers to guard their own judgment by protecting their individual thoughts to develop ideas rather than sharing them outright in brainstorming sessions at the risk of peer pressure.
Seclusion is about purposefully separating from a group, allowing workers the time to reboot and concentrate. The action is frequently chosen when workers have the opportunity to use spare rooms or other closed spaces for visual or acoustical privacy to focus on a project.
Anonymity is a purposeful tactic that is often used by workers that often allows them to concentrate in the middle of a crowd of strangers. Because they are anonymous, they can choose when and how to concentrate. They might set up in a crowded cafe or airport. Interestingly, research published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that working in environments with moderate levels of ambient noise can improve performance on creative tasks. Ambient activity and noise can be a strategic motivator for work when individuals choose to inhabit anonymous roles, where people are less likely to distract them directly.

Group strategies

As a strategic process, collaboration demands both individual and group effort. Private time for focus is needed to generate ideas, process information and formulate strategies. Workers can then come together as a group to further develop a shared vision. Then, private time is further needed to focus individual tasks for the plan. If it’s an especially demanding project, workers emphasize time periods of private work to think and recharge their thoughts.

Concentration is work in itself. But, all’s not lost on the concentration front. Coworking spaces can provide a sense of job control, allowing employees to change their workstation, when they work and who they associate with.

Call it concentration organization or a redefining of privacy at work, but each worker will have a share in the workload of consolidating private time for better concentration. Everyone can benefit from a balancing the personal and team-oriented goals in the office. Maybe you will be able to manage those annoying emails from people a bit more easily.

What should you see at different stages of your career

In today’s world of dynamic career opportunities what is it that a job seeker should know. People now a days start working in their 20s and most of the people keep working through their 60s and 70s. The various stages of their career involved are:

20’s

This is the beginning of career cycle of a person. Being young and high in energy it involves a lot of long working hours. Since experience is less the energy to learn is more, they can afford to work longer working hours and take risks of jumping from job to job. If chosen wisely it can work in their benifit only. Key to success is save more and focus on growing.

30’s

This is when experience start building up and skills and knowledge improve. This calls for better opportunity coming your way. If you happen to have good networking skills it definitely pays. Make the maximum of it as by the end of 30’s responsibilities start building up.

40’s

This is the best time of career since good amount of skills and experience puts us at the peak of our career graph. This is also the time when responsibilities build up like marriage, children, mortgage, depending parents etc. This is the time when we slow down and start sticking to a reasonably decent job with good benefits and is dependable enough.

50’s

This is the time when reaching peak and not letting oneself being outdated are very close to each other. Upgrading oneself with the newer skills are very important since it adds value when compared to the younger generation employees. The networking takes a back seat by this time so improved networking is also key to being considered for great hires. Having a great social presence on LinkedIn also keeps you on the upper chart.

60’s and 70’s

The time when a lot of people are afraid of not having work and becoming dependent on kids. For those who are more keen to work at this age their skill and experience are asset to consultancies hence they should choose to become a consultant. If made maximum of opportunities we can accumulate enough wealth to plan retirement and enjoy your hobbies and holidays.

At any stage in life if chosen wisely you can make maximum of opportunity coming your way.

Professional look makes a difference

Knowledge is the our base to build our career and this the reason for us to choose a particular course to enter into a particular stream. You must have heard from elders saying first impression is the last impression. In todays world we do believe in this in a little modified way, make your first impression a long lasting impression, and let the impression last day after day. The importance of dressing for the occasion in a particular way has always exhisted. We dress differently for evening, for ceremonies, for Sundays. Similarly it is simple yet very important to focus on how and what should be worn in professional environment. We all must be having peers whose way of dressing is always admired by others. It’s a good thing to make some changes in our wardrobe to look professional and make yourself ready to be the face of the organisation.

Let us go through certain simple tips about the ‘dos and don’ts’of professional dressing:

  1. While choosing your office wear for both men and women, pastle colours and white are always a yes, dark and bold colours are no no.

  2. Material to be chosen for professional dress up must have either cotton or silk. For men cotton for material of shirt and wool or mixed wool for suits is usually a choice.

  3. You must know, not to have more than seven focal points for women and eleven focal points for men. The focal points include the button and work on cloths worn, accessories worn along with them and hairstyles other than open hair.

  4. Use nude make up with milder shades of blush and keep eyes simple with thin liners or just nicely put mascara.

  5. Shade of lipstick should always be nude, dull pink, mat red or rust and simpler hairstyles.

  6. Hair should be trimmed in three weeks to give neat and tidy look.

  7. If hairs are highlighted, subtle shades should be chosen not the wild teenager reflections.

  8. When choosing stripes men should choose pin stripes and checkered print should always be avoided for professional look.

  9. While choosing footwear fancy and sparkling ones should be avoided by us and men should choose black and brown which can be teamed up with all the colours. Also shoes are to be chosen over other forms of footwear by men.

  10. Saturday dressing or friday dressing could be chosen wisely with smart casual unless the dress code of office is formal.

  11. Wear a good mild perfume.

Taking care of simple things could make us look more professional and it definitely helps boost confidence levels. Don’t forget to wear the smile as it’s the best asset we have.

Changing the way you think might result in finding solutions in a better way

Ever thought how interesting any subject could be for you with a different point of view? You must be thinking what am I talking about? Just think about it from your childhood to the day you start calling yourself an authority to decide for yourself how you have been looking at things. The perception is all about that. For a three year old mickey mouse is the best thing in this world. Growing up to a five year old micky mouse is simply funny. As an eight year old mickey mouse must have lost its charm but won’t like sharing it with others. As a twelve year old not even aware that a toy like mickey mouse exists. We perceive things differently at different stages of our life. At times when we are stuck in some problem or looking for solutions this is what helps us best. Just try changing angle of your puzzle and may be really quickly you are able to solve it. Many-a-times, when we look at a problem it makes our mind puzzled. We look at a lot of the things surrounding it and loose our focus on it. This makes it seem really big and then we start thinking there is no way out of this. The situation becomes worsened if you are an introvert. You must have heard this wise saying that we should share our problems with others, may be the right perspective may come from someone. The stress in office environment often builds up because of the corporate culture not promoting bonding over tea or coffee as good practice for the industry. The result being youngsters now-a-days require psychologist support lots of times to deal with stressful situations. It is good to encourage building coffee or tea groups in offices as an open culture and employees should be encouraged to share their experiences about dealing with situations for the benefit of everyone. This may also help in building better bond amongst the group and decreasing stress thereby improving overall culture of the organisation. Afterall healthy mind are more productive for corporate and for society.

Understanding mortgage terms better to save money

Getting a mortgage can be a very confusing process. There is a lot of paperwork to sign, documents to read and procedures to be followed, except they don’t require that much paperwork. Although getting a loan can be a confusing process, there are three terms that every mortgage holder should know to better understand what he or she is getting into.

Before getting into loan, knowing just a few facts will help you immensely in understanding what type of commitment you are getting into.

The first term you should understand is, amazingly, the word “term”. Term refers to the length of loan you are taking out – or the amount of time you are making payments.

Many loans have term between ten and thirty years. The longer the tenure, typically the lower your monthly payment will be (and the more interest the mortgage company makes). Generally speaking, you should go for the shortest term you can comfortably afford – you’ll save potentially tens of thousands (and in some cases potentially over a hundred thousand) in interest by keeping the length of the loan as short as you can.

Next, understand the interest rate on your loan and how it is calculated. The interest rate refers to the amount of interest charges you will pay for the money you are borrowing, expressed as a decimal – such as 8.5 or 9.25. Is it fixed or flexible? In other words, is it the same through the life of the loan or it changes at specified periods in time. Most home buyers should try and stay clear of flexible rate loans even though they can look better up front. They can often reset to higher interest rates and come back to bite you if you aren’t ready for a jump in your monthly payments.

Finally, understand what closing costs are and how they are going to affect your purchase price. Often times, you are going to be responsible for coming up with these closing costs out of your own pocket. Closing consists of processing foreclosure, if there is a fee they can think of it will usually fall under the term closing costs. Be a smart and savvy consumer, if you see a fee that you don’t understand or doesn’t seem right – speak up. Some mortgage lenders try to sneak in any fee they can think of to make a little extra profit.

Understanding these three terms can help make you a more informed home buyer and help you find the loan that is right for you. As with any product, it is important to shop around for a loan when you are considering buying a house. Even a small change in the interest rate between two lenders can often amount to thousands of rupee in savings. Don’t be afraid to comparison shop – it’s your money after all!