15 September

Improved Productivity: Making Your Workspace Work for You

Practically everyone in the working world is familiar with the concept of improved productivity. The phrase is tossed around by employers everywhere and is often considered one of the most coveted assets.

Whether you’re being encouraged by your boss to improve productivity in your work place, or you’re a self-employed entrepreneur looking for a productive boost, workplace productivity has likely entered your vernacular on more than a few occasions. So just how do you go about achieving this boost?

“Workplace productivity isn’t about getting from point A to point B in the fastest amount of time… Your personal workspace is one of the most overlooked factors that affect productivity,” explains Jamie Fertsch, Director and Co-Founder of XDesk, via an interview with BusinessNewsDaily.com.

Improved Productivity Starts in Your Workspace

Increasing your productivity is a much larger picture than simply churning out projects and tasks in shorter time. There are many factors involved in reaching optimal productiveness, and it’s easy to get stressed out trying to keep up if any of these factors are out of whack.

In fact, according to Fertsch, the first step in becoming more productive should lie within the spaces closest to you during working hours: your workspace. By tackling a few simple things within your work area, you can cut stressors and increase productivity simultaneously.

Staying Organized

It may seem like a no-brainer, but the most important step to streamlining your workspace is to stay organized. Keeping files in optimal order with clear labels will help save time and frustration when searching for items later.

Beyond the obvious filing, you’ll want to cut down on any unnecessary items within your space that take up room. A junk drawer or odd knick-knacks that cover your spaces or clutter your drawers can detract from potential workspace optimization. They also serve to add tension and crowd movement and free-thinking by adding stress.

Give Yourself Space

Once you’ve got your space optimally organized and decluttered, make sure you give yourself space as well. Sometimes when working, our minds can become too overloaded to efficiently finish a task or train of thought.

Fertsch recommends that you allow for ample break times and changes of pace. If you feel you’ve reached a wall, get up and take a breather. Go for a quick walk, spend 5 minutes outside or chatting with a coworker to reset your mind and then come back to your task to try again.

“Productivity is not directly correlated with time spent on a task… it’s important to make sure that you’re recalibrating and refueling every once and a while,” Fertsch explains.

Give Your Tech Items a Space

One of the greatest detractors of productivity is our beloved tech gadgets. The ping of a new email or ring of a new text message is often too powerful to ignore. While we understand there are times when we truly need to have up-to-the-minute notifications for things, let’s be honest, most times those items can stand to wait until we’re ready to answer them.

Designating a space in your work area to keep tech gadgets stored until you’re ready to check them can help increase productivity big time. Make sure the volume is off and place phones, tablets, smart watches, etc. in an area that’s out of view to keep you on track without unnecessary distractions.

Consider a New Workspace

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your productivity is a change of scenery. Coworking spaces offer a great way to maximize your space and get the most out of your work day. How?

Since coworking spaces offer a community setting with professionals from all walks of business, you’re essentially giving yourself a never-ending supply of networking and communication opportunities to bounce ideas off of during those productivity slumps.

Another bonus? Most coworking spaces offer a level of flexibility not seen by traditional workspaces, making it easy to come and go as you need in order to maximize that productivity!

 

1 September

The World’s Most Unique Coworking Spaces

When it comes to work spaces, most people think of the same basic essentials: desks, connectivity, technology, and room for meetings. While these things are certainly the core of any working space, many creators are taking inventiveness to a whole new level with some of the most unique coworking spaces around the world.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, coworking is one of the latest trends in the entrepreneurial world. By allowing individuals and small businesses of all kinds to co-work in a single space, these community work areas are gaining momentum all over the globe. The reason? They allow for an affordable and professional work space and an invaluable set of coworking mentors and essential networking.

That said, here are some of the world’s most unique coworking spaces that take this experience to a whole new level:

The Hub – Chiang Mai, Thailand

While you think of the basic essentials for a work space, there is nothing basic about The Hub coworking space in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Made entirely of repurposed shipping containers, The Hub has one of the most unique designs of any space around the world.

With out-of-the-box thinking and architectural design, The Hub is truly a unique working space atmosphere that is said to inspire creativity and productivity. The shipping containers allow for a resourceful use of existing elements, giving a green element to the coworking experience.

Village Underground – Lisbon, Portugal

Similar to The Hub, Village Underground in Lisbon, Portugal makes use of recycled shipping containers for coworking spaces. The repurposed containers give ample office spaces that are shared by creative entrepreneurs of all walks of life, but they aren’t the most unique aspect of this space.

In addition to the unusual office space design, Village Underground boasts even more architectural creativity. The space includes attached double-decker buses that have been transformed into an on-site café and restaurant as well as a recording studio for its audio artists.

Naplab – Bangkok, Thailand

If you’re the type who just needs a quiet space to work, then Naplab coworking spaces in Bangkok, Thailand may be perfect for you. Known for its quiet spaces, Naplab caters to entrepreneurs who need some serious focus time.

As the name suggests, this coworking spot includes a second level designated solely for – you guessed it – nap time. Yes, this space has individual bunks and pods where its members can retreat for a nap to recharge their minds on-site.

Dojo – Bali, Indonesia

If it’s a retreat you’re looking for, then you can’t go wrong with Dojo – the tropical coworking experience in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s most unique feature? Take your pick between the open-air conference areas, private poolside nooks or the mere one-minute walk to world famous Echo Beach.

In addition to the resort-like atmosphere for working spaces, Dojo also offers extended stay options. Yes, they have rooms you can rent for an overnight stay, making it a great place to plan a company retreat.

Coboat – Providence Mahe, Seychelles

Want to shuck the whole concept of an office in general? Coboat in Providence Mahe, Seychelles will definitely get you there! The concept? Coworkers can book their stay on the Coboat, sharing working space on an enormous catamaran as it sails around the globe.

All of the essential working space necessities are included (high-speed internet, tech gadgets, etc.), as well as ever-changing high-seas views. The concept allows coworkers to stay connected while simultaneously embarking on coastal adventures and truly fresh air thinking as they detach themselves from the mainland for weeks at a time.

1 July

The Coworking Movement: What Is It and Why It Might be Right for You

Whether you’re a small business owner or a freelancer, planning a start-up or self-employed, one of the most important decisions you’ll face is where to set up shop. You’ve likely considered the usuals: home office, rented storefronts or building spaces – but did you know there is another option? The coworking movement is trending today, and for good reason.

What Is the Coworking Movement

Coworking is a relatively new concept that’s quickly gaining ground in the U.S. and it’s easy to see why. With the options and flexibility of coworking spaces, they are a great fit for many different entrepreneurs. So just what is coworking?

According to CoworkingResources.org, “coworking is a shared office space where entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, and anyone else who wants access to a fully-equipped space can get a membership.”

In essence, coworking spaces are community offices that allow workers of all walks of entrepreneurship to come together. They are essentially a place to network and share ideas with others while still offering private work and meeting areas for an affordable membership fee.

Strong Growth Pattern

If you’re considering a coworking space, you’re not alone. Statistics have shown coworking spaces have a strong growth pattern, continuing to catch on across the globe. Harvard Business Review explains the new trend is due in large part to the many benefits associated with office sharing:

“…People who belong to (coworking spaces) report levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. This is at least a point higher than the average for employees who do their jobs in regular office spaces.”

With such a high number of employees reporting positive rankings for coworking, researchers wanted to take a closer look. What is it about coworking spaces that creates a highly satisfying work space?

A Networking Hotspot

Since coworking offers unique opportunities to network with others in various professions, the benefits are practically endless. In addition to the fully stocked office equipment coworkers have access to, networking with individuals with other entrepreneurial specialties can be exponentially advantageous.

“In a shared office space, there are usually dozens of other people – if not hundreds – occupying the same location as you, and those demographics will likely change every month. It’s a perfect place to meet new people in the professional world…” writes Forbes.com.

Beyond the Networking Opportunities

Outside of the networking opportunities, there are several other benefits reported by those who are already coworking members. Among the benefits, coworking spaces offer members:

  • Flexibility of membership (monthly, no long-term lease requirements)
  • Freedom (come and go as you please, no set hours or required schedule)
  • Less Pressure (no office politics or competitions with others as with a traditional office)
  • Community Support (get advice and ideas from a wider range of coworking community members)
  • Fantastic office spaces at budget-friendly prices

Above all, the coworking trend is catching on because it offers a unique and affordable office experience for those looking to get away from the traditional conformity. With the flexibility and networking opportunities associated with coworking, it’s no wonder coworking office spaces are increasing in popularity.

15 June

What to Consider When Shopping for Office Headquarters

If you’re shopping for a new office space, there are many things to consider beyond what is simply available. Since your office space is where you’ll do the bulk of your business dealings, it’s imperative that you find the right space for not just your business, but your budget and your future.

“An office environment reflects and reinforces a business’s core values, through the placement of different teams and functions and design elements that reflect culture, brand, and values,” explains Harvard Business Review (HBR.org).

While availability is certainly something to consider, it’s not as critical as you may believe. What is far more important to keep in mind is something HBR.org identifies as the “7 Attributes of Workspaces:”

1 – Location of Your Office Headquarters

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s crucial to choose a space that is central to your business needs and clients. Be sure to keep in mind how easy the space is to access by visiting customers and colleagues.

2 – Office Elements

You’ll need to take stock of any potential office headquarters’ spacial elements. What we mean is, how open is the location? Does it offer privacy where needed for meetings, and spaces that encourage comfort and productivity?

3 – Privacy Matters

Similar to the elements listed above, privacy is a key attribute to keep in mind. You’ll need to make sure the space offers elements such as private conference rooms, individual land lines for closed telephone meetings, and any other privacy options.

4 – Tech Tools

Since the bulk of business dealings today are handled digitally in one form or another, it’s crucial that your new office space is equipped with the necessary technology. Look for locations that can offer high-speed internet, Wi-Fi, and other integrated technology tools. There are many locations, such as coworking spaces, that offer all-inclusive bundles for office spaces that are ready-to-go and equipped with all the digital tools you’ll need.

5 – Networking Appeal

One simple element that many entrepreneurs overlook is the degree to which your space invites clients and colleagues to network together. In other words, does the space offer ample and inviting areas where you can comfortably carry on business with others in both a social and functional way?

6 – Focal Points

This may seem trivial, but focal points are a critical piece of any office environment. They are the elements within the space which draw you to them (and by extension, your clients). You’ll want to choose a space that has appealing aspects and a well-thought-out area for inviting and comfortable work areas.

7 – Available Space

Lastly, a space is only as valuable as its available work areas, so take stock of how much (and what kind of) space you need and compare that with potential headquarters. The area needs to have enough room for your daily functions (quiet space, communal areas, conference rooms), yet also allow for any future growth.

Overall Considerations

Once you have taken all of these elements into consideration, you can then compare your options with other aspects. Obviously, you’ll want to carefully consider your budget and individual business needs among other things. Overall, your office space will say a lot about your business in general, so consider all factors carefully before moving into your new space.

1 June

The Benefits of Coworking Office Spaces

Coworking office spaces have grown exponentially in popularity among entrepreneurs in recent years. In fact, communal work environments are predicted to average membership growth rate increases of nearly 25% over the next few years alone, according to the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC).

So why the sudden influx of memberships? Perhaps it’s the unique and diverse environments associated with coworking offices spaces. Or, perhaps, it’s one of the dozens of other benefits members list as appealing that is drawing new members in droves.

According to sources such as the Harvard Business Review and the Chicago Tribune, coworking office spaces have become wildly popular for numerous reasons. Members who participate in them state the coworking spaces allow them benefits that are unparalleled by any other means. Of the many benefits given, here are some of the most widely reported advantages coworking members reported:

The Coworking Savings

For starters, let’s be honest – when it comes to business, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. An office space option that allows you to cut costs while keeping a beautiful and functional work space is going to be high on the list for sure.

“If you lease your own office space, you’re responsible for paying for utilities, supplies and amenities. With shared offices, utilities such as water and Internet are included, as are other amenities including coffee and kitchen supplies. This reduces costs and some of the details you have to tackle day to day,” explains ChicagoTribune.com.

No More Office Politics

Another benefit, as researchers with Harvard Business discovered during a 2015 survey, is that coworking spaces have a noticeable lack of “office politics.” Since everyone who is involved in a shared office environment has a different area of expertise, there is no sense of competition among coworkers.

“Because there is little direct competition or internal politics, they don’t feel they have to put on a work persona to fit in,” Harvard Business Review reports. As a result, coworking space members tend to feel much more comfortable and focused on their own projects than they did in traditional office spaces.

Flexibility

Since shared office spaces usually offer monthly membership options, you have much more flexibility than you would with an office lease or mortgage. The monthly choices give members the ability to operate on an as-needed basis, as well as allowing them the flexibility of their own schedules as well. Coworker spaces are often open 24/7 for members to access whenever they want. This allows for a “come and go as you please” office environment, which is (understandably) highly appealing to members.

Community and Support

Finally, coworkers have noted that one of the biggest benefits to utilizing shared office spaces comes in the form of the community and support they gain while at work. Coworking spaces have members from all walks of business and experiences. This gives members a unique opportunity to socialize with others they may never have met before.

By extension, members are also entrenched in a pool of coworking specialties. This means that most will have a new set of coworkers that can offer on-demand help or advice with fresh perspectives every day. It also offers some fantastic networking opportunities.

The benefits of coworking seem to be never-ending if you have the opportunity to discuss experiences with someone who participates in a membership. One thing is for certain; the statistics clearly state that coworking offices are trending, and we’re beginning to see why!

10 May

Indiegrove Wins 2018 Coworker Members’ Choice Award!

Indiegrove wins 2018 Coworker Members’ Choice Award!

Jersey City, NJ (Thursday, May 10th 2018) — Indiegrove announced it has been recognized as the winner of the 2018 Coworker Members’ Choice Award for Jersey City. Members’ Choice award winners were determined based on the thousands of reviews, votes and opinions collected in a single year from coworking space members worldwide.

“Thank you to all of our members for voting, writing reviews and being part of our amazing community! We are truly honored and grateful. We are so proud of the diversity and vibrancy of our community.  We promise to continue to provide the services and support entrepreneurs and independent professionals need to be successful and will never stop improving and growing. We are committed to the long term success of our members, Jersey City and the larger economy,” said Zahra Amanpour, Founder of Indiegrove.

“Coworker is excited to announce the winners of the 2018 Members’ Choice Awards and celebrate the coworking spaces around the world that are making an impact in their community”, said Leanne Beesley, CEO of Coworker. “By putting a spotlight on coworking spaces that are providing a great environment and creating a community for their members, Coworker gives coworking spaces both large and small the ability to shine and attract new members.”

About Indiegrove

Entrepreneurs and independent professionals do not conform to one way of thinking, nor should the space they work in. Our workspace, meeting rooms and events are designed to provide you the environment you need to work harder and happier.

Indiegrove is committed to being a hub for entrepreneurship by advocating for entrepreneurs, supporting their businesses and connecting them with other like-minded people.  We provide the space and community they need to be successful.

22 March

Cashflow

Cashflow is the lifeline of your business.  It’s not just about what you bring in and what you take out.  But, most importantly, it’s about when you do it.  I use my cash flow statement to know exactly where I stand and decide the next step of growth for my business.  My cash flow projections are my peace of mind.  Read More

15 March

The Business Plan

I use my business plan every day.  It is a living document in my business.  It is a tool that helps me stay focused and make decisions, while considering the implications the decisions will have on other parts of the business.  A lot has changed since the first draft of my business plan, but it has remained a constant check and balance for me.  Read More

8 March

The Customer is Always Right (Sort Of)

It’s often said that the customer is always right.  I don’t know if I agree with that, but the customer is who will determine if you will make it or not.  You have to have customers to have a business.  Friends, fans, likes, followers are not the same thing as sales.  You have to find and interact with the people who can and will buy your product or service.  I spend a lot of my time getting to know my customers.  What they like, where they go, what they read, who they listen to, where they live, how much they make… All of these things help me anticipate their needs and create a relationship with them.  A good product is not enough anymore.  You have to figure out what makes you different and special to your customers.