TED’s Mandatory Vacations Makes Downtime Part of Office Culture

vacation
© Kurhan – Fotolia

There are a few times in the year in which productivity dwindles. The holiday season is the most obvious, but many workplaces will shut its doors for the week. Summer months, specifically July and August, have a similar productivity decline. Perhaps most of us have yet to move on from our school days, in which our summers were spent riding bikes and playing sports until the sun went down. Whatever the reason may be, productivity dwindles during the summer and most employers don’t do much to encourage a little downtime during this period.

TED, on the other hand, is one of few that forces their employees to take a two-week summer vacation. Since the nonprofit has turned into a media giant in its own right, it requires that workers are always “on” to constantly update their website. So, employees will keep going unless they are forced to stop.

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Stress Expert Jan Bruce Talks Overworking vs. Hard Work [Interview]

jan bruce interview

Many people, too many people, believe that working hard equates to working more, to longer hours, and a complete lack of a personal life. This doesn’t have to be the case — people can be ambitious while maintaining work-life alignment with the help of productivity tools and knowledge which allow people to get more done in smaller amounts of time.

Stress expert Jan Bruce, co-founder of meQuilibrium, says this is exactly what leads to overworked employees, which thus leads to higher levels of stress (which, in itself, comes with a long list of health issues). Bruce says there are two ways to overcome overworked employees — a change of policy from managers and an overall change in culture from leaders. She talks to us about balancing stress and how both employers and employees can change to combat burnout.

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Vetter the Online Suggestion Box Ensures Employees are Heard [Interview]

vetter interview

A major cause for disruption in employee happiness tends to be caused by a lack of communication between management and employees, and workers feeling as though they are disengaged and uninvolved in the way the company is run. To help companies of all sizes ensure employees’ voices are heard, Vetter has designed an online suggestion box.

The online application allows employees to submit their ideas. Others within the company can then login and rate and comment on submissions (which show up as anonymous during this process). Anything with a rating of two stars or higher is vetted. Management can then sort through vetted ideas and get a better understanding of what changes employees might want to make. Employers can also use Vetter to launch Idea Challenges, which alerts employees when the company is seeking out a creative solution to a specific problem.

Co-founder of Vetter Duncan Murtagh, spoke to us about how the online suggestion box can contribute to the overall productivity of a company, and he even shared some of his own productivity secrets. 

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10 Ways to Increase Workplace Productivity

boosting productivity
© Minerva Studio – Fotolia.com

For an entire workplace to be collectively productive, it requires a few key changes from management. This can include everything from benefits to office design and the use of mobile technology. Elizabeth Dukes is the co-author of Wide Open Workspace, where she looks at how the workspace has changed over time and offers tips to managers on how to increase productivity in the modern-day office. Check out the below tips on increasing workplace productivity from Dukes herself. 

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Do You Work for a Crazy Entrepreneur? Meet REBEL, Your Secret Weapon for Sanity and Productivity

Anyone who works closely for an entrepreneur knows that nobody really gets our jobs.

After all, who would ever want to work crazy hours, under extreme pressure and tight deadlines, for visionaries who are focused on big, bold and seemingly crazy ideas? :)

Most people run away from this type of work, citing every reason in the book.

“It’s too stressful.”
“I won’t ever have a life outside of work.”
“Too many projects and competing deadlines.”
“I’ll just find a normal corporate job.”

Rebels thrive in this environment. We crave innovation and exponential progress. We refuel from the energy generated by sharing new ideas, taking on big challenges and hanging out with inspiring people.

Rebels break stereotypes. We create even better ways to facilitate high performance in ourselves and our teams, because when you work in an environment where anything is possible, suddenly every problem has a solution. (Even crazy work hours!)

For me, and rockstars in roles similar to mine, that solution is REBEL, the Ridiculously Efficient Big Efficiency Library.

Learn More About REBEL
REBEL is more than a constantly-updated database of my best productivity stuff, like tools, checklists, templates, interviews, best practices, and app reviews.

REBEL is a community of the most effective entrepreneurial staff on the planet.

After all, Rebels can understand and appreciate the true nature of our work — and why we’re so intent on getting even better at what we do.

When we’re productive, our entrepreneurs can achieve their objectives. When we’re ridiculously efficient, our entrepreneurs can achieve their dreams.

Imagine how you’d feel if you were part of a community that could actually give useful answers, backed with expertise, to questions like this?

  • We’re 48 hours from launch, and my entrepreneur just completely changed our strategy. How can I find someone who can change all these automated sequences overnight?
  • My entrepreneur calls me with work tasks well into the evening, and it’s taking a toll on my family life. How can I make it all work?
  • My entrepreneur needs me to make dinner reservations in Tokyo for right after his flight lands. How do I pick a place? He has some unusual dietary restrictions.
  • Our sales manager keeps complaining to me about her commissions, and it’s really demotivating. How can I support her without getting angry?
  • I get mountains of email every day. How can I stay on top of it but still get things done?

You deserve this kind of support, both in and out of work.

Become a Rebel