Author Archives: Julia Gifford

About Julia Gifford

Works at DeskTime, which makes time-tracking and productivity software.

10 of the scariest things a boss can say that are guaranteed to leave you shaking

Jack-o-lanterns, cotton cobwebs strewn across desks, office dress-up parties, punch with fake eyeballs floating in it, these are all staples of the typical Halloween office vibe. But none of these supposedly “scary” elements even compare to the terror that can be instilled by a boss, often with just a few words.

Here are some of the most terrifying things a boss can say, that are actually going to leave you fearful for your existence. The good news is, you don’t have to be helpless. Use this guide to prepare yourself for the worst, while making yourself a more valuable employee. 

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Motivating your employees – what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it

Employee motivation at the workplace seems to be a problem nowadays.

A study on employee engagement has found that 70% of employees are disengaged at work. For a manager whose success depends on the productivity of their employees, these statistics don’t exactly inspire confidence.

The chances are that your employees are counting down the minutes until they can shut down their computers and call it a day. That’s quite the opposite of the vision you have for dedicated, passionate employees who will stop at no ends to guarantee the success of your company.

Look:

Research from the University of California found that demotivated employees are 31% less productive, are 3x less creative and 87% more likely to quit than motivated employees.

And it gets worse:

It was calculated that every unmotivated employee costs the business an estimated $2246 a year. Now, imagine your company employs over hundred people, out of which 70% dislike their job… That’s a LOT of money they’re losing.

The question is: if 70% of all employees say they are disengaged and unmotivated at work, then what the heck are managers doing that terribly wrong?

Read more 6 min

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working overtime

Should I stay or should I go? – Tips on working overtime

It’s no great secret that the job market is more competitive now than it ever has been before.

Not only are there fewer jobs to go around, but there are more skilled workers with degrees, ambition, and experience waiting in the wings to take those jobs.

Many employees have started upping their game for promotional opportunities. Moreover, there is a need now to secure their current jobs in the face of budget cuts, and younger, more qualified competition. One method being employed is to put in extra hours at work.

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6 problematic employee situations and easy solutions [infographic]

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

The most important tasks for a company owner or manager are to make sure that work is getting done, and everyone is moving in the same direction.

Each employee is like a cog in a complex machinery, and everyone has to be doing their job to reach the common goal.

However, all too often, managers and owners alike run into the challenge of dealing with unmotivated employees not doing their jobs. That can range from not coming to work, taking leisurely lunch breaks, not clocking in or out, and ultimately, cheating the system.

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The secret of the 10% most productive people? Breaking!

Here at DeskTime, we did a study of the most productive employees to understand their habits and learn from them. Originally published on Daily Muse, the article took off and was republished by Mashable, Business Insider, Inc.com and Lifehacker. You have probably noticed it already, but here is the original and complete text of the study with even more useful tips to increase your productivity.

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Concept of employee engagement – why is it becoming subject to revision?

Employee engagement is an important factor in retaining top talent in your company’s
workforce. It is also important when it comes to recruiting skilled employees. The recent global recession had a negative impact on many businesses, with challenges when it came to human resources. Many companies were forced to downsize their staff. Now that the economy is recovering from the recession, businesses want to get back to “normal.” Research shows, however, that getting back to normal could be difficult.

Employee engamange

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Top 24 unproductive applications of 2014 and what that tells us

We recently pulled out the statistics of the most-used unproductive applications so far used in 2014. Some of the results are predictable, like social networks like Facebook and Youtube taking the top spots. Other results show us a change in working dynamic, for example, that Gmail is marked as a top unproductive app. Check out the rest:

Social media is dominating our work lives

Of the top 24 unproductive apps, 5 of those are social networking sites. Facebook, the undisputed leader of unproductive time spent at work, being by far the largest piece of the pie. Together, time spent on social networks accounts for about half of all of the unproductive time spent at work.

As social media takes an increasingly large role in our daily lives, it’s more relevant than ever that companies consider their policies on social media. One side of the debate maintains that time spent on social media is wasting company time, and therefore company money. Another side of the debate considers web surfing on social media as a necessary break throughout the day, saying that employees can’t be expected to be constantly engaged and productive for 8 hours straight.

It is not the presence of the technology itself that influences productivity but how it is used –Bulkey & Van Alstyne, 2004 

In this study by Bulkey and Van Atstyne, they conclude that using social media itself isn’t what’s unproductive, rather than the reasons for using it. For example, social media can be beneficial for sharing information, gathering knowledge, networking and communicating with customers.

Email is no longer considered productive

The fact that enough people have designated email as unproductive application is a telling sign. It used to be that being in your email was a symbol of productivity. And while it is a helpful tool for communication, and can at times be very productive, recent tendencies in the workplace are showing people’s addiction to email, constantly checking, etc.

However the latest productivity specialists suggest that constant email checking is a habit that decreases productivity, as it pulls you out of a certain task, and you’re not left with a long enough stretch of time to delve deeply into your work. A study by Altos Origin says 40% of employee time is spent working on internal emails alone. Productivity experts say that 80% of those emails are a waste of time, bringing no value to the company.

Suggestions and best case practices offer creating a habit to limit email checking time to a few times per day, and working on them in batch. Other suggestions suggest to avoid email first thing in the morning, and rather tackle the day’s most important task right off the bat.

Some research shows that those employees who use social media throughout the day produce the same amount of results as those who do not, due to the mental break that it allows, and the resulting spur of productivity that occurs from a rested mind.

Video-watching at work is a thing

According to a study, 64% of employees watch videos at work. Our collected data shows that within the top unproductive applications you’ll find Youtube, Netflix and Hulu. This brings video-watching at work to 23% of all wasted time.

Similar to the argument on social media usage, breaking and relaxation is a necessary part of the working day to rest the mind so that the employee is able to return to their work at a higher level of productivity.

Food for thought

The working climate around us is changing. It’s up to you how you manage your time and build habits. A manager or business owner will have to decide on the policy on social media, email communication and leisure time at work. Will it be

Employees want to have fun as well. Besides social media, top visited unproductive applications include sites that are just plain fun(ny), like 9gag, imgur, and even just a site to play puzzles and logic games. We can see that employees are looking for entertainment throughout the day.

5 Reasons to Have Fine Art in the Workplace

Guest post by Andre Smith

For years, millions of employees and customers across the nation have been consigned to working in drab, uninteresting offices with painfully bare walls. Fortunately, times are changing: business owners are beginning to realize the tremendous benefits to decorating their workplaces with fine art. Last year, a study from the British Council for Offices found that over 90% of employees believe that featuring art prominently in the workplace boosts overall productivity, while 86% of those surveyed explicitly agreed that art is “more relevant than ever” in today’s office environment. While the reasons to display artwork in the office are endless, today we will be focusing on just five, as follows.

office_pic

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