Work Environment

Best Practices for Handling Disengaged Employees

It’s important to properly oversee your workforce to ensure not only productivity, but also that they are simply happy. If you are feeling like there are some disengaged employees, read the guide below on how to best approach the situation.


Employee disengagement is a worryingly common issue. While no executive or manager would argue with the idea that there are bad apples in the workforce, the majority of professionals are people trying to do a good job – and many hires do very well in the first few weeks at a new position.


But that enthusiasm often dies down and, after a honeymoon period, many employees begin to distance themselves from the person they were on Day One and start to feel absent and “barely there.” A more complex issue than meets the eye, disengaged employees are estimated to be a problem for most businesses as surveys indicate that two-thirds of Americans are disengaged from their jobs.


Most of these disengaged workers simply come in, punch in, and leave to go home as soon as they can. They don’t do overtime willingly, they aren’t invested in the company, they don’t feel like they belong or have any reason to be loyal to their employers, and generally just fly under the radar.


Can disengaged employees be motivated to do better? Oftentimes, yes. But only if you understand why they’re disengaged, to begin with.


What Makes an Employee Feel Disengaged? 


A disengaged employee is a person who is bluntly unhappy with their job. They feel that they either:


a.) don’t fit in

b.) are undervalued or poorly managed

c.) feel cheated, or wronged by their employers, either directly or indirectly.


Disengaged employees can be recognized by the hallmark signs of professional stagnation, diminished output, and toxic behavior.


As with any relationship where one party is deeply unhappy, the root of the issue is often misunderstood or completely unknown to the other party. An important step in converting any disengaged employee back to an engaged one is communication – allow them to earnestly air their grievances and explain themselves, and their lack of motivation.


This is especially important if the person in question was once a promising and very enthusiastic hire. This is someone with tremendous potential and great initial energy – why did they stop bringing that energy to work with them?


Is It Your Fault or Theirs?


The blame game rarely leads to any sort of productive change at the office or elsewhere, but it bears mentioning that surveys found about 70 percent of cases of employee engagement were due to bad management. More often than not, it’s the manager’s fault.


But what do you do with that information? First, don’t allow yourself to jump to conclusions. There are still cases where employee engagement drops simply because the employee no longer feels they are a good fit for the company, and they’re looking for the right opportunity to afford themselves an amicable exit.


However, when it is a matter of poor management, finding ways to effectively measure why your workers feel disengaged will play a critical role in managing and eliminating the disengagement.



Workers Seek to Be Valued


A common grievance for many employees is that they no longer feel they have any reason to feel loyal to their company. We spend more time at work than we do with our family, on average, which often means that the office and one’s coworkers effectively must function as a second family away from home. A lack of social engagement, a poor or hostile company culture, or a woefully inefficient leadership style can all contribute to feeling disappointed in one’s workplace.


However, the most common grievance for many is a lack of opportunities for continued growth. Workers want to not only improve themselves and become more effective, more efficient, and more skilled, but they want to be more valuable – and they want that value to be recognized.


Many workers today seek to be a part of something greater, and while not every worker can make a serious impact on the course of a company, every worker does ultimately matter. And making sure they understand how they fit into it all and see how the fruits of their labor are leading to positive change can be a great motivator.


Communicate Often


Millennials (born in the 80s up until the mid-90s) make up most of the workforce in America since 2016, and only about 20 percent report being happy with the way their performance is being managed and reviewed.


While generational differences are often exaggerated for clickbait, some of the marked differences in the way millennials engage with their work versus previous generations are real. Chief among them is the need for constant feedback as a way to seek out improvement and better efficiency.


If you are in a managerial position and largely employ millennials, be sure to provide feedback on their performance more often. Be constructively critical, praise them when you feel it is deserved, and help them achieve their goal of becoming a better and more efficient worker.


Offer More Location Flexibility


Today’s workforce, more so than at any other point in modern history, craves the ability to choose where to work. With remote working options touting a long list of benefits for productivity and creativity, it’s easy to see why the trend of working from anywhere but the office has grown drastically in the last few years.


Easy telecommuting tools make this much more feasible than it had been even just a decade ago. Coworkers can communicate, see each other, and collaborate on projects almost seamlessly, even across thousands of miles of distance.


Workers today shop online, do their banking online, date online, consume entertainment online, and communicate with loved ones online. With the spread of COVID-19, the transition into an increasingly digital world has been accelerated for many.


Rather than see the ability to work remotely as a privilege, many feel that modern technology has arrived at a point where, for most, it should simply be the new normal. Furthermore, consider that a whopping 44 percent of workers would agree to take a 10 percent pay cut for the ability to work remotely.


This doesn’t need to mean “work from home forever,” mind you. Companies can utilize the growth of coworking to encourage workers to work from anywhere, based on what currently suits them and their tasks best. Whether that’s the main office, a coworking space, a cozy and quiet café, or the comfort of their home office.


You can improve worker engagement by showing that you trust your workers to remain productive and dedicated to their job without constant micromanaging or supervision (but with constant access to a myriad of tools for instant feedback and communication).


You Can’t Force Someone to Engage


While you can adopt a variety of strategies to improve employee engagement, there will always be hires who started out looking like the perfect pick but lose interest over time.


Employees and employers can part ways amicably when their goals no longer match up. When an employee feels they’ve outgrown their position and their employer cannot offer a better opportunity, there’s no shame in ending a working relationship and wishing them the best in their endeavors. Disengagement is not always caused by a poor work environment – sometimes, it’s just not the right fit.


Work Environment

7 Ways to Foster Creativity and Innovation (and Why You Need To)

Acknowledging the invaluable talent and qualities of your employees, which includes creativity and innovation, only brings greater success for everyone. Below explains why that is and the helpful ways to implement this healthy work environment.


Among the many qualities a company might seek in an employee, creativity and innovation rank among the vaguest. Yet once you understand the growth potential of working with someone who is flexible, forward-thinking, and built to think their way out of problems (rather than getting stuck on the limitations), you will quickly realize that these qualities are instrumental, especially to smaller organizations that need to quickly set themselves apart from the competition.


Yet in the wrong environment, creativity and innovation are swiftly stifled, and you’re left with talented workers who feel miserable and unable to live up to their fullest potential. By learning to harness and promote the creativity and innovation in each one of your best and brightest, you will be able to leverage an untapped resource of ideas for growth and development.


1. Offering Plenty of Space 


Both figuratively and literally, giving an employee space can make a huge difference, given you trust them enough to provide them with the freedom needed to innovate.


Furthermore, office space also makes a huge difference – we often think better on our feet and require visual stimulus to keep us thinking. A cramped office space is not conducive towards productive and useful ideas at work. Instead, it will often serve to bring morale down.


Make sure that your coworkers have the physical and mental space needed to bring to the table the results you expect. Rather than trying to micromanage their every move, give them the opportunity to prove their worth and give them the freedom to prove it in a way they’re best able to.

2. Through Light and Sound


Having enough space isn’t the only thing – you’ll want the right space, too. The way you design an office is about more than simple aesthetic appeal. While that’s important as well, office design can have an impact on worker productivity. More than just a matter of floor plans, the decorations, design philosophies, and even light sources that you decide to rely on can have an impact on how your coworkers think and feel.


You don’t have to go full hog on an expensive office of your own, if it isn’t going to be feasible for your operation. There are plenty of coworking spaces that specialize in boosting creativity and productivity by incorporating modern design philosophies and blending technology with nature, natural light, and a pleasing balance between ambience, silence, and excited chatter.


3. Promoting Individuality


Teamwork is important but be careful not to promote groupthink. An effective business is composed of a team that disagrees respectfully and promotes healthy arguments. There’s a fine line between giving everyone enough room to possess an ego of their own and letting those egos clash to the detriment of the company.


Everyone’s contribution gets a chance to shine, without shutting down ideas because “that’s not how we do things here”. Balancing on that line takes true leadership skill, but if you can find a way to promote individuality without letting petty bickering get in the way of progress, you have a recipe for success.


4. Work-From-Anywhere and Flexible Schedules


A flexible schedule is more than just a blind leap of faith. You can give your workers mandatory weekly hours but give them the freedom to come in when they need to (and still be reachable over mobile at certain hours of the day).


Better yet, adopting a remote work policy that gives your employees the opportunity to work from home, from a café, from a coworking space, or from the office (or anywhere else) not only gives them the ability to freely choose where to go for their own creativity needs, but also gives you the ability to expand your space virtually and leverage technology to build teams that don’t always need to work in the same physical space to get things done.



5. Encourage Breaks


Taking a break a few times a day is not the sign of a lazy employee. Breaks are necessary – the human mind can only concentrate on a single task for so long, and if we don’t take a few minutes to get up out of our chairs and do something else than stare at a monitor, we’ll quickly find ourselves depleted and out of ideas.


It’s also a good idea for your creative employees to find ways to disrupt their routine, try new ideas, apply new methods of work and productivity, and avoid becoming complacent in their roles (especially if you want to foster out-of-the-box thinking).


6. Prove That Ideas Are Heard


You need to encourage your employees to go out of their way to invest substantial effort into your business. Part of that is just being genuine – genuinely believing in what you do every day and investing yourself in your company and leadership.


But part of it is proving to your workers that their input is valued, especially when it’s lavishly crafted and carefully planned. Reward your workers when they come forth with good ideas.


7. Give Room for Failure


Every success begins as a potential failure. Even great ideas fail if they occur in the wrong moment or miss a single component. Avoid shooting everything down because it isn’t perfect, though, because it’s only through trying again and again with new ideas and different concepts that something finally sticks.


There’s an obvious limit to how long you can support an idea before you need to drop it. However, instead of saying “but…” to everything, take a page from improv comedy and start saying “yes, and…”.


The Challenges of Effective Leadership 

Creative and innovative minds within a team or business are only going to be as effective as those who are leading them. If you cannot translate and organize the ideas put forth by others, and follow up on them, you will not be able to utilize your team’s creativity. Similarly, not all ideas are appropriate ideas.


An idea can be good but mismatched to the current situation. You need to be able to filter through the input given by your team and determine which vision to adopt, what idea to observe and follow through with, and when to step your foot down. Unmitigated creativity and constant ideation are productive when a company has the resources needed to allow it, but when things are tight, you may have to step in and say no – and learn when to step back, and encourage continued innovation.


Work Environment

Conflict in the Workplace? Here’s 7 Ways to Resolve It

Conflict in the workplace heavily determines your work environment. When tackling conflict that is leading to a negative environment, there are 7 ways to resolve it.


Conflict is at the heart of a productive and healthy work environment. Conflict is also at the heart of a toxic work environment. The difference between the two is how conflict is identified, handled, and resolved.


When recognized and effectively dealt with, conflict is by far the most effective way for an organization to grow either by improving team cohesion, or by helping an individual improve. However, this same conflict can rot an organization out from the inside, if it’s ignored, allowed to fester, and turn into something unmanageable.


Competent managers and leaders must understand when to engage and address conflict in the workplace, and how to foster an environment that actively encourages healthy conflict, rather than trying to artificially maintain an image of harmony where none exists.


To address conflict and identify the best ways to deal with it, it’s important to distinguish between the different kinds of conflict in the workplace. Harvard argues that conflict is best split into three types:


      1. Task
      2. Relationship
      3. Value conflict


Types of Conflict in the Workplace

Each type is common within the workplace, and the three archetypes explain why we decide to engage with others, whether emotionally or respectfully.


– Task Conflict

Task conflict is best described by a disagreement on how to go about doing one’s work. Anything related to how business resources are spent – from manpower to hours, money, and physical resources – is task conflict.


In a task conflict, one party is in disagreement with another party due to either a personal matter (the second type of conflict) or a professional matter (feeling that resources are being spent inefficiently). The key to addressing this type of conflict is getting to the root of it.


      • Is there a personal cause, or is it a purely professional concern?
      • Is it valid, or rooted in a misunderstanding/lack of knowledge?


– Relationship Conflict

The second type is the relationship conflict. Relationship conflicts are arguably some of the most common, and are caused by personality differences, and disagreements. These workplace conflicts can arise due to incompatible working personalities, manipulative coworkers, or a bad gut feeling.


Sometimes, relationship conflicts are at the root of task conflicts. Ask employees to exercise empathy and try to resolve their own relationship issues together or let a manager act as a mediator.


– Value Conflict

The third type can be the most explosive, as it is the value conflict. Here, we find our beliefs and values challenged. These range from deep-seated cultural beliefs and traditions to moral values, political stances, and religious beliefs.


While these topics are a taboo at the workplace, certain coworker behavior or company policies may set off these beliefs and force some people to confront a choice between remaining professional or defending their values.


Here, employees should exercise mutual respect, and to avoid discriminatory or demonizing behavior, as well as to refrain from exercising judgment on one another for one’s beliefs, but to instead focus on one’s competence and personality.



Tackling Workplace Conflict

When tackling any kind of conflict in the workplace, it’s important to beware of the basics of conflict resolution:


1. Nip It in the Bud

Rule one is to develop a good nose for sniffing out workplace conflict and recognizing it quickly. Don’t let little comments or obvious hints and body language slide. When your gut or your perceptive skills tell you that something is going on at the office, bring it up. Question it. 


Let both parties air their grievances out properly and early, rather than letting it fester. Sometimes, one or the other party (or both) are extremely conflict averse yet are clearly in disagreement. By letting this drag on rather than pulling it out into the open, you’re risking their conflict exploding into something completely out of proportion.


2. Practice Empathy and Perspective

This is something you must do as a manager, and something you must preach as a leader. Empathy is an underrated business skill, in part because people misunderstand it as wanting to do right by everyone. Being empathic does not equate letting everyone trample over you.


You have a job to do, and sometimes, that job involves cutting people out of the company for the greater good of the organization. But in order to accurately determine where the issue originated and how to address it, you must pragmatically employ empathy and perspective to analyze a conflict calmly.


3. Compile and Stick to the Truth

When seeking to resolve a conflict that can ultimately only end up in reprimanding and punishing one party or another, it’s important to go on a hunt for any and all possible information. Blaming the wrong person for starting a fight can kill morale and cause you to lose more than just the confidence and faith of a single employee.


You need to be sure, and that means being diligent and careful. Always stick to the truth, even if it’s an uncomfortable one. Never, ever allow yourself to play favorites in a conflict.


4. Consider Third-Party Mediation

It’s genuinely difficult to be impartial at all times. Sometimes, you need someone else there to mediate conflict in the workplace – especially when you’re part of the conflict.


Third-party mediation can play an important role in some cases to help your team effectively navigate towards a healthy resolution, without forcing you to play multiple roles and give into your own biases.


5. It’s Okay to Have Different Opinions

You can just agree to disagree sometimes. But the key here is not to mute the conversation into oblivion or simply seek to bury the hatchet for the sake of stopping an argument, but to emphasize a stance of mutual respect based on competence, rather than chemistry or values.


You might not necessarily like what your coworker believes in or what they stand for, but they do a good job, work hard, play well with everyone, and it’s important to continue having a good working relationship together.


Possessing the maturity to do this can be hard sometimes, but this is a country where people are free to believe a great many things, and live their lives in a great many ways, and that means many of us must accept that the people we work with don’t always have the same views that we do.


6. Handle Conflict in Person 

Never try to handle conflict remotely, unless no alternative exists (and even then, at least opt for a face-to-face conference call). It’s important to send a clear message to all parties involved and the rest of the organization that your team takes these issues extremely seriously.


You must show that your team will address and resolve conflict immediately, in person, with full focus on finding the best resolution.


7. It’s About Workplace Performance 

Once again, focus on what’s relevant. A business exists to meet a demand, fulfill one’s employees, and produce something great, whether it’s a unique service or a product you and your team can be proud of.


When conflicts are running amok among you, the work suffers invariably, and performance drops quite significantly. Prioritize resolving conflicts in order to achieve what is most important: a strong, healthy business environment that continues to be a great place to come work at.



Conflict in the workplace is key to helping businesses flourish and provide excellent services and goods. While it is a leader’s job to lead the crew and navigate choppy waters, a good leader gives each and every member of their crew the opportunity and time to engage in a productive conflict, offer constructive criticism, regularly disagree (whenever valid), and put forth their own opinions to strive for a better product or service.


Work Environment

5 Simple Workplace Wellness Ideas to Try This Year

As workplace stress and burnout is on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important to encourage employees to care for their well-being; and now you can with these simple workplace wellness ideas.


It’s probably no secret that stress is a major killer, not only of people, but businesses. As stress is continuing to rise in offices throughout the country, causing sleepless nights, lowered productivity, poor turnover, and higher rates of stress-related illnesses, the government and businesses scramble to find ways to turn these numbers around.


Beyond stress, millions of Americans are suffering from conditions that are partly or largely caused by lifestyle choices, including:


      • Obesity
      • Cardiovascular disease
      • Hypertension
      • Stroke
      • Diabetes


Corporate workplace wellness initiatives have exploded in scope and popularity, with the apparent aim of improving worker health and productivity, while cutting down on immense healthcare costs. But surface-level methods like walking groups and a free gym membership likely aren’t cutting it, with research indicating that helping workers achieve wellness can be very difficult.


With both physical and mental health growing in relevance everywhere, there’s a greater understanding of what’s needed and what’s effective when trying to address employee concerns and reduce costs. More than ever, businesses are trying to improve workplace wellness to attract and keep their talent.


What Is Workplace Wellness?

Workplace wellness describes a number of different initiatives aimed at urging businesses to make contributions to their employees’ wellbeing, both to reduce total healthcare costs, and to help improve productivity and employee longevity. Some common workplace wellness initiatives include:


      • Fitness and weight trackers
      • Healthier snacks at the workplace
      • Subsidized gym memberships
      • Incentivized programs to get employees to become more physically active


It’s a massive multi-billion-dollar industry, with insurers offering great incentives to businesses to provide these benefits. However, it’s also an industry mired in some controversy, as certain businesses insist on tracking employees considerably, potentially violating their privacy, while others wonder if some of the measures taken under the name of worker wellness are truly voluntary.


Although research is limited in terms of both scope and time, preliminary results of the many initiatives companies have engaged in seem to suggest that the benefits of trying to help incentivize healthier living have been quite modest.


This doesn’t mean workplace wellness is a lost cause – in fact, some of the researchers argue that not enough is being done, and the focus is being put on specific physical metrics (like weight and activity) rather than the holistic picture of an employee’s wellness, which includes their social, emotional, and physical health.


Not everyone benefits from a walking club, a gym membership, or a step counter. Not everyone works better simply because they have lower blood pressure, and not everyone can be incentivized to drop bad habits and start working on themselves with simple financial incentives. This year, companies need a different, more comprehensive approach to workplace wellness if they want to help their employees improve.



A New Comprehensive Approach to Workplace Wellness

A holistic approach to workplace wellness demands that any changes made address not only a worker’s physical health, but their emotional health, social wellbeing, and intellectual needs.


Some potential changes include greater access to mental health resources, more insurance coverage for treatments for mental health conditions that are a problem among employees with poor health markers (like anxiety and depression), and time off for mental health problems.


Changes made to the office to help facilitate a more communal experience (while still providing space for focused work on the tasks at hand) can help with social wellbeing, especially if these communal spaces are built to emphasize collaboration and interaction. Coworking spaces often model this excellently, providing space for collaborative efforts and individual projects and meetings.


Intellectual needs improve through a workload that best takes advantage of a worker’s talents, and more opportunities to allow workers to train and learn tasks while on the job, allowing them to continue their education and work towards certain certifications or positions that interest them.


All of these changes need an individualized approach. With there being no one-size-fits-all, it helps to learn what each employee needs to perform better and take up healthier habits. This can be difficult across larger firms, but by breaking efforts up into individual departments, bigger companies can comprehensively gather data on what their employees’ needs are.


Through big data, companies can more intelligently select incentives that their employees are likely to respond to. Some other examples of workplace wellness in 2020 include:


1. Incorporate More Nature

The clean, structured design of an office can help facilitate focus, and it’s what we’re used to – but it’s far removed from how we once used to live. While it’s clear that industrialization comes with countless benefits, the eradication of nature can leave a serious impact on the psyche.


Making efforts to bring a little bit of nature back into the workplace can help improve physical and mental health. Certain changes, like adding more plants to the office, adding a simple indoor water fountain, or renovating to add more natural light to the office can help reduce markers of stress and anxiety.


Another idea is to incorporate team building activities in nature, to bring employees out into the wild every now and again.


2. Be Plant-Friendly 

Another way to bring a little extra nature into the workplace is to provide a room for employees to keep and care for their own plants, and nominally give them plants to care for. Plenty of succulents make for excellent beginner plants, including a wide variety of echeverias, haworthias, cacti, aloes, and sansevierias.


More than just providing a little color, caring for these plants can help in a similar way that caring for a pet does, without the myriad of potential issues associated with pet-friendly offices.



3. Work from a Coworking Space 

Whether through a work-from-anywhere policy, or as a way to save on office space, consider moving the business to a shared coworking space. 


Coworking spaces offer plenty of benefits in the way of productivity and collaboration, and the communal spirit of a coworking space can help reduce stress.


4. Keep the Kitchen Stocked

One way to keep your employees from snacking on junk food or going for a smoke break, especially if you’re incentivizing smoking cessation or healthier living, is to make sure that the kitchen is constantly stocked with various healthy food options, and that employees can feel free to use the company’s own cafeteria or kitchen for lunch.


No matter how healthy a snack is, it’s easy to have too much. Prioritize filling and nutrient-dense, calorie-low snacks, and serve protein-rich meals with plenty of fiber to discourage binge eating or excessive dieting. It’s not easy to live a healthy life and maintain a balanced diet these days. You can help employees by offering a discount on healthy meal delivery services.


5. Encourage Walking or Stretching Breaks 

One way to improve productivity is by helping employees make use of their time more effectively and fighting back against some of the side effects of leading mostly sedentary lives.


While sitting itself won’t cause chronic back pain, it can contribute to it, and it’s better to sit for shorter periods of time than a single long period. If your employees aren’t a fan of standing desks, instead encourage frequent stretching breaks, or quick walking breaks.


Final Thought

There’s a lot to consider when tackling a person’s wellbeing. Workplace wellness has to be more than just a few small policy changes, especially if we expect to revert habits that have lasted for decades and generations.


Work Environment

4 Employee Engagement Strategies to Know for Your Workspace

An astounding 85% of employees are not engaged in the workplace, and that can cost companies over $400 billion a year. Knowing these employee engagement strategies can improve morale, productivity, and profitability.


A happier employee is a better worker. There is plenty of data to support that assertation, yet there’s less data on how to make workers happy. An obvious answer would be money, but the truth is that it often isn’t quite that straightforward.


While money is a useful tool, it’s not actually the best motivator, and it certainly isn’t the key to employee happiness. Money can be a limiting factor if your employees aren’t getting enough of it, or if they’re being paid less than they feel they deserve – but throwing more money at well-paid workers does not make them more efficient, or more engaging.


To facilitate employee engagement strategies that actually work, it’s critical to identify what engagement actually means, and how to define it. This is especially important in shared office spaces, where it’s harder to identify with an employer or a company, and where finding and developing a cohesive bond between employer and employee is critical.


What is Employee Engagement?


Employee engagement is not job satisfaction. It is not work-life balance. It is not employee happiness.


Employee engagement is best described as the enthusiasm a worker shows for their work and contributions, and the organization or company they work for. Employee enthusiasm is being attentive at work, putting in extra time here and there to deliver a project early, brainstorming and showing initiative, and caring about the future of the company.


Engagement is when a worker works not only to further their own career path, but because they believe in their offer to the client or consumer, and because they feel their effort is worth something. An engaged employee is someone who can feel that their contribution is making a difference, someone who feels valued, someone who feels that they belong to something greater than just a job description.


It can be measured with a few simple questions, like:


      • Do you like your work?
      • Do you feel valuable to the organization?
      • Are you proud of your accomplishments at the company?
      • Do you feel that people listen to you?
      • Have you improved as a result of your time at this company?


Employee Engagement Strategies

An engaged employee will typically be a happier employee, and as a result, a more productive one. It’s clear that there are many factors influencing employee engagement, but it is ultimately a combination of two major underlying considerations:


      1. The personality of the employee and their synergy with the company culture.
      2. The way employees and workers integrate into their role at the company.


1. Improve the Role of the Workplace

Coworking spaces can be a great way to improve worker productivity through an open, cooperative environment that emphasizes a more casual and creative approach to work. But a shared workspace doesn’t guarantee a job well done, and it can make the bond between company and workers less tangible, and more difficult to define.


A shared workspace does not have a unique culture for each individual or group, but possesses a shared, general, and cooperative culture. This is the best kind of culture to have to help welcome newcomers and foster healthy relationships, but it doesn’t leave any room for the development of a unique company culture.


You need other ways to help your workers identify with their roles in the company and feel part of something bigger.



2. Understand Personality Differences

Some people are just more optimistic, more conscientious, and more loyal. They’re the ones most likely to show high engagement and identify more easily with their colleagues and workspace. They develop a stronger bond with those they work with and are easier to engage with.


Those with a more pessimistic attitude are less likely to feel positive about their work or their company and are less likely to display high levels of engagement.


It’s impossible to please everyone. You shouldn’t expect 100 percent engagement, but you can watch out for people who are generally more positive and glass-half-full during the hiring process.


3. Ask the Employees


Employee engagement strategies that work are more complex than just paying more. One of the best ways to figure out where to start is to ask your own people. Start a worker committee, remember that engagement begins with the employees, and ask them what it is they feel the company should be doing to improve its direction and provide a better service.


By turning around and asking your workers what they think, you’re giving them a chance to influence the course of the company and wield power. Suggestions are suggestions, not orders, but it can also be a good opportunity to collect great ideas.


4. Show that Work Is a Learning Opportunity


The opportunity to improve is something many workers relish, once a job fulfills the basic need of providing a livable income and a realistic future. It’s great for workers to know that they have places to go, but cerebral challenges and interesting situations at work can offer more than just recognition, but personal growth and achievement. Employee engagement strategies begin with the opportunity to become a better professional.


If you want an employee investment in their position at a company to be geniune, then you need to make them feel like the relationship they have with your company is not one-sided. Some workers feel like they give, give, and give, and receive nothing past the bare minimum (money).


A good salary is important, but key to helping someone feel like they’re in a healthy relationship with their employer is through opportunities that represent a chance to improve drastically.


Final Thoughts


Employee engagement strategies can be utilized from many different avenues, even in coworking spaces. Key to it all is remembering that employees want reasons to be proud of their work, and they need to tie those reasons to the company or space they work in.


If you can prove to your workers that they’re benefitting in more ways than one from working with you, they’ll be more engaged in their own work, and much more motivated to continue improving over the long term.

Work Environment

How to Harness Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

The ability to create and utilize emotional intelligence in the workplace is often overlooked in a business, however this skill is necessary for success and not only benefits employees, but the business and the bottom line as a whole.


Business is business, right? There’s nothing personal in it, and who cares if you get hurt? It’s a tough place, and a healthy, competitive environment pits people against one another in terms of pure competency. That’s what a meritocracy is all about, isn’t it?


While some might think so, anyone who has spent any amount of time in the workplace knows that there’s far more to being a good worker, leader, entrepreneur, or employee than simply doing your job, and doing it better than the other guy/gal. All business is ultimately a matter of:


      • Understanding interpersonal relationships
      • Negotiating agreements
      • Coming up with agreeable terms
      • Shaking hands on potentially life-changing (or very mundane) decisions


For workers and leaders alike, understanding one another and being good at communicating in an effective and productive way is critical. The ability to do so isn’t simply a matter of raw intellect, but of emotional intelligence.


What is Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?


Emotional intelligence in the workplace, often known as EQ (emotional quotient) due to its comparison with IQ (a controversial measure of intelligence), is not measure of how emotional someone is, but how they work with their own emotions and the emotions of others.


Emotional intelligence describes a high level of self-awareness, as well as an awareness of others. It describes empathy, self-control, and level-headed decision making. Someone who can be described as high-EQ is aware of how they feel, how others around them feel, and how individual decisions and various factors influence these feelings – and why they’re relevant.


Emotional intelligence in the workplace can be neatly divided into several aspects. These are:


      • Self-awareness
      • Empathy
      • Self-regulation
      • Motivation
      • People skills


The Connection Between EQ and Mental Health


Another hallmark of emotional intelligence is that it requires a healthy state of mind. In other words, it’s much harder to remain emotionally intelligent in the face of overwhelming stress, both internal and external. For example, it is harder to remain self-aware and impartial when negative thoughts are constantly applying pressure on your own self-esteem. It becomes harder to motivate oneself when depressed or anxious, whether as a result of overwhelming workloads or due to an underlying issue, such as a mental disorder.


This means emotional intelligence cannot be expected of workers who are not receiving enough support to be emotionally and mentally healthy. Equity is critical here – workers who struggle more with negative thoughts and have a harder time with maintaining a high level of emotional intelligence need greater support, whether through altered schedules or therapy. Mental illness can mean that a worker will require a greater number of resources to function well, but when given the proper support, they can be some of your most loyal, efficient, effective, and creative people.



What a Lack of Emotional Intelligence Can Do to the Workplace


We cannot ignore the role that feelings play in life, whether in our personal lives or in business. A high-stress, toxic environment with poor management will lead to burnout, high turnover rates, and poor performance.


Plenty of hot-headed business decisions and failures were the results of making a poor decision made due to being slighted by a rival or making a gut call rather than being calculated. When we aren’t in control of our emotions, or when we let our emotions and our ego run wild, we run the risk of piloting the ship straight into a craggy coastline.


That isn’t to say that the world’s most successful leaders and entrepreneurs are devoid of ego, or possess a perfect understanding of the human mind, let alone their own. However, knowing what makes people tick is a prerequisite for running a great business. You can’t sell to your customers without knowing what they want, especially what they don’t know they want.


You can’t keep workers happy and productive if you ignore their needs or mistreat them constantly. Without emotional intelligence in the workplace, it becomes infested with toxicity and betrayal. Without EQ, there’s a lack of trust between the employer and the employee, and a level of strife that renders all work tainted.


How to Harness EQ in a Company


EQ is relevant for workers and leaders alike. We cannot simply pretend that the personal and the professional are entirely separate. While we should strive to dictate and preserve boundaries, a mark of a high EQ would be to embrace and resolve issues that affect our performance and thinking, rather than ignoring them for the sake of keeping the personal out of the professional, or trying to ignore the toll of an excessively stressful work environment on our relationships and health.


There’s a value in this beyond making the workplace feel more welcoming and understanding of everyone’s struggles. Emotional intelligence in the workplace also describes one’s understanding of other people’s thoughts and emotions.


      • Leaders: this means knowing what motivates your workers, and what makes them tick.
      • Salespeople: it means knowing how to sell, and how to convince a customer to pay for a product or service.
      • Marketing people: it means understanding how to advertise something so successfully that people who might not have bought it otherwise, now feel compelled to do so.


Emotional intelligence allows you to appeal to something deeper and more ingrained than rationale. It’s the power behind rhetoric, propaganda, and good marketing. Beyond making the office a better place to work, good emotional intelligence is critical for running a great business and selling more products.


1. Encourage Honest Conversations


Trust is the foundation of interpersonal relationships. At work, it’s important to encourage honest conversations about matters of emotional and mental health, to promote a productive and healthy workplace. Workers should feel free to come forward with concerns and issues, from high workloads to issues with stress and problems at home that are bleeding into work.


While managers cannot be expected to fulfill every worker’s wishes, compromises can go a long way. An employer-employee relationship built upon trust and the understanding that good, quality work is compensated for through good pay and a flexible work environment that encourages good mental health can be very productive.


Outside of usual office setups, such as in coworking offices, it can be helpful to encourage coworkers to be social with one another, and setup special events throughout the year to prioritize getting to know one another and cooperate in teambuilding activities.


2. Set Boundaries


Listening to your emotions can potentially have a negative impact at work. Professionalism has its place, and there’s no room for being hurtful or antagonizing at the workplace. Such behavior, even if it’s cathartic, is not indicative of emotional intelligence. It’s also important to set personal boundaries to preserve a barrier between work and home, such as being unreachable at certain hours, or on certain days.


Boundaries help us tell others where we draw the line, and while boundaries are hard lines, they vary greatly between individuals. Understanding and respecting other people’s boundaries and clearly defining your own are critical components of emotional intelligence in the workplace.




Emotional intelligence is not only necessary or beneficial for employees, but for those in charge as well. This skill helps a business to run smoothly, while creating trust, improving morale, and creating a closer workplace environment. Taking the time to improve emotional intelligence throughout your office can go a long way.

Office Space

5 Modern Office Design Trends to Improve Employee Morale

Why have offices changed? Among other things, modern office design is setting itself apart from the traditional cubicle office because it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the old model has become ineffective, and a hindrance to productivity – particularly for today’s workforce.


But why? And why do modern concepts like collaborative spaces and flexible offices matter more today than before?


The answer is complex, but two factors that should be heavily considered are:


      • The internet
      • Economic instability


Both give us clues as to how to improve worker morale and boost productivity – and why these modern office design trends are integral in achieving this.


Why Flexibility is Key in Modern Office Design


A considerable chunk of today and tomorrow’s workforce grew up in a time when the most important technology of the century was making annual leaps in terms of connectivity and possibility.


Concepts like e-commerce and telecommunication existed mostly on paper only a few decades ago – today, they’re commonplace and virtually irreplaceable. We’ve gone from clunky and immovable workstations with barely more than a few megabytes of memory to thousands of times the same processing power within the palm of our hand.


Our idea of the modern office must adjust accordingly. There is no need to keep workers chained to inefficient cubicles and maintain a stifling work environment.


A design based around the same principles as the internet can not only improve productivity, but boost morale – people expect the following:


      • To be connected 24/7
      • The ability for collaborating and withdrawing to individual corners in a matter of seconds
      • Having the flexibility to work from anywhere in a varied and refreshing office space, rather than spending eight hours at a single desk


Today’s Workers are Worried and Stressed


The second factor also translates immediately into why a comforting design philosophy, high morale, and appropriately employee-centric company vision plays such a critical role in productivity.


The idea of the stable, safe job with benefits and a clear future is dead to many. Adults who are entering the workforce today vividly remember the lasting effects of the great recession and are aware of how the rise in a gig-based economy has led to an increased focus on providing transitory spaces and an emphasis on outsourced talent rather than investing heavily in in-house talent.


Many workers are paranoid that they simply won’t be with any one company for very long, and they are often uniquely aware of their own expendability, working hard to prune and perfect an ever-growing virtual portfolio and social presence, mixing their work life with their personal life online, and marketing a personal brand.


They understand the importance of the bottom line and have little faith in a company to prioritize their wellbeing. This is just one major factor that makes it hard for many to genuinely give a company their all – they don’t feel valued, and experience has taught them to expect little.


Why You Need to Care About Employee Morale


Happy workers are effective workers.


But to be happy, workers need to be positively motivated, and in a good mood. It doesn’t help to create an atmosphere of terror at the workplace, one where everyone is out to compete against one another. A productive workplace must provide collaborative opportunities for its workers, and it must motivate them through a potential long-term career.


There’s little value for workers in free training and experience when it is plain as day to them that they don’t have a future at any given firm. For startups, companies that give workers little control or insight over the future of the company gives them little reason to care about the work they do, and how it affects the business.


Most people say they care about money, but most people really care about more than just money. They yearn to be a part of something greater, and see their input translate directly into tangible results, not just in the form of a great paycheck, but something they can be proud of.


Design plays a critical role in motivating people to be more productive; it helps make them feel like they are a part of something important. Here are a few simple yet critical modern office design trends that cater to this shift.



1. Create Flexible Spaces


It’s clear that cubicles do much more harm than good. It’s simply not productive to stay stuck to a single spot for hours at a time for days, weeks, and months on end. Flexible office spaces eliminate static desks and workspaces, instead replacing them with common areas and shared spaces.


Need time alone to work on a project?

      • Go into a soundproof room or a meeting room and get to work.

Out of ideas?

      • Head to the break room for a while.

Just want to engage others and maybe work on a new project?

      • Find one of several different collaborative spaces and just listen in and engage.


Coworking or flexible spaces allow people to work on their own stations, or on their laptops, or their phones – alongside others, or alone, on a sofa, or by a window. It is the most popular modern office design trend that we are seeing.


2. Utilize Collaborative Furniture


Collaborative furniture is the exact opposite of a cubicle, tearing down the four gray walls and replacing them with scattered coffee tables, larger collaborative meeting tables, and sofas instead of single office chairs. Comfort over formality, and community over strict individuality.


Some key features to collaborative furniture include sockets and lightning options, adjustable heights, large interactive monitors to easily launch and present quick pitches and ideas, or just a whiteboard/blackboard and a few comfortable couches or bean bag chairs.


3. Make the Break Room Fun


Break rooms should be more than just a simple kitchen with a semi-functioning coffee machine. Rather than picking a boring stereotype, build a break room you and your employees would genuinely enjoy – one you can drop by in for a quick five-minute refresher, or a somewhat longer recharge.


It shouldn’t be a total game room – a workplace is ultimately still for work, and if an employee is having a day when just nothing is getting done, it might be more productive for them to take the day off and have a break at home – but the break room should still be something tailored specifically to your company.


4. Implement Biophilic Design


Less to do with flexibility, collaboration, and individual creativity, biophilic design simply aims to make the most of the aspects of the natural world that enhance our creativity and make us feel more at ease.


The calming effects of forests and other nature-filled spaces have been recorded in the past. Now, biophilic modern office design tries to incorporate this through more:


      • Natural light
      • Certain colors
      • Decors, materials, and furniture


The result is an interesting blend of modernity and nature. One that is meant to improve productivity by reducing unneeded stress.


5. It’s More Than Aesthetics 


Designing an office space is understanding that our environments shape us, both actively and passively. It’s not just surface-level stuff, with empty platitudes and color schemes pulled straight off a pop psych magazine.


An effective modern office design ultimately strives to get at the root of what makes employees and workers anxious. It then aims to eliminate these factors. From there, they can focus on doing what fulfills them and makes them proud of their hard work.



Common Questions About Modern Office Design

Why Have “Traditional Offices” Changed?

Modern office design sets itself apart as we see the traditional model has become ineffective. It is a hindrance to productivity, and lessens employee morale.

Why Is Employee Morale Important?

Happy workers are effective workers. Producing an office design that continually inspires, allows for collaboration, and motivates people leads to more productivity and success.

How Can You Improve Employee Morale with Office Design?

You can improve morale through design by: implementing flexible offices, utilizing collaborative furniture, creating a fun and creative break room, using biophilic design, and reducing worker anxiety through design.




Offices should aim to help workers feel comfortable in their downtime and motivated in their working time. They should be sterile or staid, but they shouldn’t simply be playful for no reason.

Implementing these modern office design trends properly means understanding what your workers need and working with professionals to fulfill those needs.


Read More:

7 Ways to Avoid Creating a Toxic Workplace Environment
Gig Economy


A persons own home is easily the best place where you would rather be at nearly all given times. Home helps you to relax, take things easy and just be yourself. You frame the rule of the game and you only, get to keep or break them. Life seems all set. No other place can provide the comfort and convenience that a home does. This is true, till you add another person to the equation or work requirements grow far more than your home can accommodate. In case of the latter, focusing on work becomes pivotal for the growth of the business, for it will set the tone for the future.

Working from home, is, in that respect, a little too comfortable. The environment and comfort of home can be counter-productive for all those who do not possess utmost self-control and concentration abilities, especially when there are other family members around (that can be very distracting). It is very casual, and not the place you’d have in mind to schedule a meeting with a potential client or a company employee.


For reasons mentioned, home may not be an ideal place for businesses and professionals who strive for fast growth. They need alternative options that are not too expensive, yet offer flexibility that a business requires. That is where shared office space or Coworking space come in. Some features of such offerings are listed below:

  1. An office at minimal cost:you need to have an office if you’re looking to build something big, for reasons including working, expansion, inviting clients et cetera. Investing in your own office, whether a purchase or a lease, can be a big ask, especially taking into consideration the first requirement – being economical. A shared office space or co-working space gives you the benefit of all office features, for a comparatively miniscule cost.
  2. Flexibility & easy hours: booking your office space can extremely easy, courtesy of online booking and mobile application. You can also control beforehand how long you’d like to stay in the office, and pay for it accordingly. You can book MONTHLY, DAILY OR HOURLY as per requirement. That way you can balance your time between the professional and personal realms of life.
  3. No distractions: here’s one huge selling point of shared or co-working space. They may be flexible and convenient, but that isn’t at the expense of professionalism. You can get some serious work done, in an environment meant to stimulate and boost productivity, and also retain vital privacy and discreetness.
  4. Expanding network:you are guaranteed to come across several people in the same boat as you are, and those people are the ones with whom you can discuss and debate new ideas, propose or enter into a collaboration, or, at the very least, expand your network with those who understand your needs, your ideas and your vision, having been there themselves.

If you are looking for a shared office space in Los Angeles, come join us here at The Collection! It ticks all the boxes and working there can have a positive impact on your business. Happy Coworking.

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