04 Oct 2022
A study by Steelcase, a furniture manufacturer, found that workers who spent more than 50 percent of their time working at home were 28 percent more productive than those who didn't have offices at home. But did you know that you can increase your productivity even more with the right and comfortable home office setup?
Having a dedicated space for work can help you focus on the task at hand and limit distractions from family members or pets. Your home office is a place for productivity; it's essential to ensure it's comfy! Here are some tips for upgrading your home office—and getting more done in less time.
The first step to upgrading your home office is to declutter. You don't need every piece of paper you ever received, every pen you collected, or every book published in the last ten years sitting on your desk. So get rid of things you don't need any more; if it's broken, toss them out. If something is expired, get rid of it. And if something hasn't seen action in months or years (or possibly decades), get rid of it!
You should also start with a blank slate when shopping for new furniture and accessories for your home office—don't just move items from one room to another without considering whether they fit into the new space! Remember: A fresh look can be achieved by simply changing up a few pieces around the house that may have become drab over time (think carpeting versus hardwood floors).
Designate a space
Designate a space where you can work. Ideally, this will be the quietest and least-distracting place in your house. It should be a place where you can concentrate and focus on getting work done.
If there's not enough room for an office in your home, don't worry! A spare bedroom or attic could work perfectly well as an office if it has the right amount of privacy and quiet. You might even have some unneeded furniture lying around (or dusty shelves) that could make great shelving units for storing your supplies!
Get functional furniture
Ensuring comfort in our space is essential, especially for us that work from home. You don't want to be hunched over a desk for hours or sit on hard chairs with no back support. An excellent place to start is getting ergonomic furniture—that is, furniture that helps you be more comfortable while working or relaxing.
If you're shopping for new pieces of functional furniture, look for items that have adjustable height and tilt functions: these can help reduce the strain on your body by allowing you to adjust the position of the chair or table according to how much time you spend sitting in it (or standing). Some examples include desks that have sliding blocks underneath so they can quickly move up and down along rails; desks with wheels attached so they can be moved around as needed; chairs with adjustable backs and armrests; tables with built-in cup holders; desks with drawers where pens/pencils/paperclips/etc. Can go, so they're not scattered across other surfaces (and tripped over), etc.!
Find a comfortable chair
The role of the chair is to provide support for your body. There are two crucial things that you want to consider when choosing a new chair:
- The height of your desk and chair should match. If it doesn't, you may need to use a footrest or stool to be comfortable during long sessions at your desk.
- Consider how long you plan on using the chair (e.g., will it have multiple users?). Investing in something more durable or expensive may be worthwhile if this is an ongoing purchase rather than just one-time use.
If possible, try out several different types of chairs before deciding on one that works best for your body type and preferences!
Invest in your desk
In your home office, you spend a lot of time sitting down. So it's crucial to invest in a good desk that is comfortable, ergonomic, and suitable for your needs. Look for a convenient surface desk so you have enough room to spread out all your office supplies, files, and papers. Consider whether you need the desk to be adjustable to accommodate different heights and sizes of people who will use it throughout the day. A great option would be easy to clean, too—you never know when kids will decide they want to draw on top of your workspace!
A portable standing desk is also an excellent investment if space isn't an issue (or if yours is limited). These convert into adjustable desks by raising or lowering down depending on what height works best for you at any given time. Many are even designed specifically with ergonomics in mind so that they're more comfortable than traditional ones—and can easily be moved around from room to room if needed!
Personalize your space, make it your own
It’s always fun adding a little uniqueness to your home office! For example, you can put a plant named after the character from your favorite TV show or a fun mug on your desk, or add a splash of color to increase your serotonin while working.
Just make sure you don’t put anything too distracting in your working space.
Improve Your Home Office Set-Up
Now that you've read our tips on upgrading your home office, it's time to start! Of course, you can do all of these things yourself (with some help from a friend, if necessary). And remember: investing in a comfortable workspace will make it easier to get work done.
06 Oct 2022
You've just finished a challenging project at work, and you're feeling exhausted. You've been working nonstop for months and want to take some time off, but you know that's not an option.
You'll have to push through it.
We've all been there. We work hard, we put in the hours, and sometimes we're left feeling like we don't deserve a break because our job is so important or urgent.
But one thing that's even more important than your career: is your health and well-being. Suppose you don't take care of yourself, your health will suffer. Unfortunately, so will your productivity at work, and nothing ruins productivity more than feeling burnt out. When you're overworked, lonely, or feel like you're not living up to your potential, it can be easy to get into a cycle of negative thoughts and emotions.
Remote working doesn't mean working all the time. You must take breaks and disconnect to stay healthy when you work from home, in a coffee shop, or anywhere else outside of an office.
Take a time out
Remote work can be a great way to have more control over your schedule, only if you know how to. It's easier to take breaks throughout the day. If you're feeling tired or stressed, you can take a nap or go for a walk around the street instead of getting nothing done at all. This will help keep you focused while working and make you a more productive remote worker and a happier person overall.
Asking for time off
Asking for time off can be a tricky thing to do, primarily when you work remotely. But it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips for how to ask your boss for time off:
- Be clear about what you need. Before asking for time off, ensure you know what you need and why it's essential. Let your boss know if something specific or urgent is going on in your life. If they ask why they should allow this request of yours (they probably will), have an answer ready!
- Make sure they understand how much work needs doing while away from the (virtual) office so they'll feel confident handing over responsibilities to someone else while they're gone. It's best if this person doesn't leave their desk unattended until another employee is ready to do the job accordingly. Otherwise, there could be chaos.
- If you can't work because of an extenuating circumstance, such as needing to take care of the pets during a family member's trip out of town, explain this to your boss. Hence, they are aware. Even if the situation is temporary, make sure it doesn't become permanent by informing people early on (such as HR). These extra precautions can help set up policies moving forward.
Remote doesn't mean alone
It's essential to have a work-life balance. You should be able to enjoy your free time and spend it with the ones you love. On the other hand, working from home can be isolating—especially if you don't have any coworkers nearby with whom you can connect over lunch or happy hour. To make your remote job more social, you can:
- Work out at a gym with friends who also work remotely.
- Take walks around town after dinner or before bedtime (or both!)
- Have dinner parties so you and your friends aren't sitting alone on their respective couches all night.
Work at the Right Company
Another essential thing is to work at a company whose culture supports your mental health and work-life balance. This could include paid time off (including sick days), flexible schedules, and telecommuting options. If you have kids or other family responsibilities, for example, having a flexible schedule can help ensure that you don't feel overwhelmed by work and can maintain healthy relationships outside of work.
In Spiky, we, directly and indirectly, support our teammates' well-being by offering them the freedom to choose any time they want. We respect our boundaries and support each other’s needs. All of those fundamental aspects of maintaining good mental health in the company!
05 Dec 2022
Remote working is a fantastic way to work, but it has challenges. Sometimes it is hard to get into the working mindset when you think you have all the time in the world. You might have some distractions when the world is at your fingertips (ahem, looking at your phones). Then, before you know it, you are delaying your tasks without an actual reason. That's what procrastination is.
We will give you some procrastination-fighting tips - so you can tackle your most dreaded tasks today!
First, put your phone on airplane mode
We know you want to scroll, but it is the worst way to spend your precious time working (unless scrolling on social media is your job). Airplane mode is an excellent option for those remote workers because it turns off all connections and notifications on your phone. Of course, you can still use the device for work purposes, but the temptation to check social media or play games will be restrained when you're in airplane mode. If you don't like airplane mode in general, you can use anti-procrastination apps like Forest.
Another tip, please also close that Facebook tab and Youtube tab. Think as if all social media is unreachable for a few hours. Your friend's avocado toast story can wait until you finish your task. Changing your mindset makes it easier to stay focused and get more done throughout the day instead of wasting time on empty things.
Set a schedule and stick to it
Setting a schedule for your day will help you accomplish more and be more productive.
A good schedule lets you plan how much time you want to spend on specific tasks. You then have the freedom to tackle those tasks in whatever order makes sense for your workflow.
It is beneficial to set mini goals and larger ones throughout each day. For example: "Today, I'm going to list people I need information from before I start working on this project." Or "Tomorrow morning before work, I will make my daily list of tasks." By breaking down large projects into smaller steps, we create a sense of accomplishment along the way, which helps us stay motivated when things get tricky!
Keep a calendar
While it might seem obvious, the best way to keep your day organized is to use a calendar. Whether you are using a paper calendar with a pen or using the calendar through your phone/computer doesn't matter. Write down everything you need to get done, so you can know when each task will take place and plan accordingly. If you need to send out invoices at the end of the month, mark a reminder on your calendar that says "send invoices" on that specific date. Or you can also set reminders and create focus times to keep organized and increase efficiency.
Writing down these goals helps prevent procrastination because it lets us know what we want from life and where we want our career paths headed. Getting into this mindset helps us feel more motivated when tackling complex tasks.
Start your most dreaded task first
Shocking news! Doing your most challenging task will indeed improve your productivity. Tackling the big rock in the room will help you develop a productive mindset and make staying focused on the job easier. We often avoid doing our most complex work because it seems like an impossible challenge that even Hercules could not complete in one sitting. It might seem counterintuitive, but if you tackle that big project first and get it out of the way as soon as possible, everything else will seem less daunting.
Multitasking is a myth. The scientific evidence shows that it's impossible to focus on two tasks simultaneously because our brain can only maintain one thought simultaneously. So, when we think we're multitasking, we rapidly switch from one task to another. Focusing on the task at hand is more challenging, so if you want to get things done quickly, take your time. If you try to do too many things at once, then none of them will get done correctly, and your productivity will suffer as a result.
So how do you stop multitasking? Create a list of things you need to do, go one by one, and then thank us later.
Stop trying to be perfect
Like Beyoncé said, "Perfection is a disease of a nation." The more you try to be perfect, the more likely you procrastinate. The thought of never being less-than-perfect will stop you from doing anything! If you can't do something perfectly, there's no reason to start.
This self-destructive way of thinking causes you to be overly critical of yourself. Because if you're trying to be perfect, then everything will always be wrong in your eyes. There's no reason to be critical or judgmental at the beginning. Commit, and perfect it later.
Ready to overcome it
Now is the time! Stop being easy prey to procrastination; we know it has a way of creeping into our lives. But we also know you can beat it! Pat yourself on the back because you've just taken a big step towards being safe from the claws of procrastination by reading this blog.
Sometimes it's bad luck, and sometimes just a series of unfortunate events. But we know that every salesperson dealt with slumps during their career. It can be hard to overcome, but it's not impossible.
Hold onto your salt shakers. For the sake of the 13th, we will give you tips to shake off those sales slumps!
Listen to the experiences of others.
- Always start with the most challenging task, right? Get advice from your boss and other senior leaders within the company. It's always nice to have a second opinion about the business. They might see something you still need to do, or they can help you develop a new game plan.
- Listen to your peers. If you see that other people are having success, it's essential to note down what they did. Did they follow a specific process? What kind of training did they receive or not receive? How did their sales numbers compare with others in their company or industry?
- Listen to customers! Ask them how they feel about using those products now and then how you could make their experiences better. This brings us to the topic of…
Maybe it's not your fault.
Good company image affects sales. No one would want to buy a product with a majority of bad reviews. In that case, don't feel down. Customers are not saying no to you; they are saying no to the product. Then it's time to work with your product and marketing teams.
After you fix the issue with your product, focus on finding ways to improve your business' image to attract more customers. It could mean changing your marketing strategy, improving your website/social media presence, and creating a better brand.
Take a few steps backward.
Let's say your product is almost perfect, and your reviews are flourishing. The only thing worse than being hit by bad luck is hitting "reset" mode and starting over again.
Use a systematic approach. We need to take a step back amid a sales slump and look at how it all came together. Focus on the positives first. Ask yourself and your sales team: what worked before? Then go to the next step; what didn't work before? What can we do differently this time around?
It's important to note that each slump is different and will require other tactics to get out of it. But for the starting point, analyze the problem and find out what's causing it.
Look for patterns in your sales data.
If you see a pattern in success and failure, it's time to make changes. For example: Are there any specific days or times of day when you receive more emails and calls than others? If so, consider adjusting your schedule accordingly so you're available during peak hours.
Are any customers not responding to your emails or calls because they need to see themselves as part of your target market? If so, it might be time for a shift in strategy here—maybe try sending out personalized emails or making frequent follow-up calls with those specific customers.
Adjust your methods
One of the most important things is to adjust your methods - again and again. Do A/B testing. Only try one thing at a time. Look at what's working for others, try something new or different, then move on to another idea until you find something that works best for your company or team.
Analyze your calls and get insights
The great news is you don't have to do it alone! Spiky can help you with all the above. We analyze your meetings and then give you deep metrics and actionable insights so you can understand what went wrong/right. It's as easy as pie. Check out more: Spiky product page
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
It sounds cliche, but as long as you believe in yourself and work hard, you will be successful. Remember, It's most breakout sales are not plain luck. Instead, they result from a well-planned strategy that started with a strong foundation. With this in mind, you should get back on track fairly quickly.
02 May 2023
Is there a correlation between your personality type and meeting analytics?
At Spiky, we provide a platform for evaluating various aspects of human communication, from voice and language to sentiment and emotion. Recently, we conducted a study to investigate whether there is a relationship between a person's personality traits and Spiky conversation metrics. To group personality types, we used a popular personality assessment tool based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) system, also known as 16 personalities. The traits were:
- Introversion vs. Extroversion (I/E)
- Intuition vs. Sensing (N/S)
- Thinking vs. Feeling (T/F)
- Judging vs. Perceiving (J/P)
For this study, we analyzed 53 celebrities' videos to see if there was a correlation between their personality traits and specific Spiky measurements. Stars included in our research were:
From 53 different celebrities' videos, we studied Spiky's measurements and personality traits. In addition, to examine whether there is a relationship between a given quality and a Spiky feature measurement, we investigated the feature's distribution concerning the characteristic.
To this end, we employed the Mann-Whitney-U test or t-test, depending on the results of the Shapiro-Wilk normality test. Assumptions included a feature measure for each celebrity being independent.
The results of this study suggest that there is a relationship between celebrities and;
- First trait ('Mind: Introverts (I) vs. Extraverts (E)') and their Neutral Voice Tone, Angry Voice Tone, Sad Voice Tone, and Contemplative Sentiment measurements.
- Second trait ('Energy: Intuitive (N) vs. Observant (S)') and their Angry Voice Tone, Negative (Language) measurements
- Third trait ('Nature: Thinking(T) vs. Feeling(F)') and their Contentment Sentiment measurements
- Fourth trait ('Tactics: Judging(J) vs. Prospecting(P)') and their Energetic Voice Tone measurements
We concluded that:
- Celebrities identified as Introverts(I) tend to have higher neutral and sad voice tones, contemplative sentiment scores, and less angry voice tones as opposed to those who are identified as Extraverts(E)
- Celebrities identified as Intuitive(N) tend to have higher displeased voice tone scores as opposed to those who are identified as Sensing(S)
- Celebrities identified as Feeling(F) tend to have higher contentment sentiment scores as opposed to those who are identified as Thinking(T)
- Celebrities identified as Judging (J) tend to have higher energetic voice tone scores than those identified as Prospecting(P).
These results suggest a strong correlation between personality traits and communication style. As a result, we can better understand and evaluate these communication patterns using Spiky, helping individuals and organizations reach their intended audiences more effectively.
In conclusion, our study highlights the importance of considering personality traits when analyzing communication styles. By considering these factors, we can gain deeper insights into the nuances of human communication and ultimately improve everyone's ability to connect with others.
24 Aug 2023
"First learn to stand, then learn to fly. Nature rule, Daniel-san, not mine." - Mr Miyagi, The Karate Kid (1984)
This timeless quote holds true in the realm of karate and offers valuable insights that can be applied to the sales world. Let’s explore how the timeless Karate Kid movie aligns with the principles of both karate and sales, illuminating the path to success in both arenas.
The art of fundamentals
Mr Miyagi's wisdom highlights the significance of mastering the basics before attempting advanced techniques. In karate, beginners learn foundational moves and stances to build a strong base for their practice. Similarly, in sales, understanding the fundamentals is essential. Mastering active listening, effective communication, and relationship-building forms the foundation for successful client interactions.
Embrace nature's timing
Nature operates on its own timetable. In karate, practitioners learn to harmonize with the energy flow, using the right timing to execute their moves. In sales, recognizing and respecting the natural rhythm of client interactions is crucial. Pushing too hard or rushing the process may lead to resistance, while patience and aligning with the client's pace can lead to more productive and successful outcomes.
The power of observation
In karate, understanding an opponent's movements and intentions is a key aspect of strategy. Mr Miyagi's teachings highlight the importance of keen observation and reading one's surroundings. Sales professionals can also benefit from this principle. Pay close attention to your client's verbal and non-verbal cues to better understand their needs and concerns. This keen observation allows you to tailor your approach and offer more personalized solutions.
Learning from the master
In "The Karate Kid," Daniel learns from the guidance of Mr. Miyagi, a seasoned karate master. In sales, seeking mentorship and learning from experienced professionals can also be invaluable. Embrace the wisdom of mentors, attend workshops, and invest in continuous learning to enhance your sales skills.
The power of "paint the fence" focus
Daniel-san's "Paint the Fence" training taught him the value of focus and consistency. In sales, apply the same principles to your daily tasks. Keep your focus sharp like a sword, and dedicate time to prospecting, follow-ups, and building connections. With the "Paint the Fence" focus, you'll be a sales force to be reckoned with.
The journey of growth
In both karate and sales, growth and improvement are ongoing processes. Progress is made by honing your skills through practice, experience, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Embrace each step of your journey, recognizing that growth is a natural process.
By embracing these principles from karate and applying them to your sales practice, you can find balance and success in your professional endeavours. Just as Daniel learns from Mr Miyagi, you, too, can learn from the wisdom of nature and apply it to elevate your sales game. And do you know what the nature of sales is? Spiky! No kidding. Just check our tagline. Or contact us so we can tell you about our sales master-making methods.
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