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How to Run Great Business Meetings

August 29, 2016 Business, Productivity, Workplace

Skip the black hole of time suckage and make everyone happier.

Meetings are a great way for people to work together. They can also be a massive black hole, sucking time and the will to live from participants! You can easily avoid another black hole with this simple guide:

  1. Purpose

Start by working out if you actually need a meeting. Do you need to:

  • share information?
  • solve a problem?
  • gather information?
  • provide training?
  • make a decision?

Then you need a meeting!

  1. People

Next is your guest list – who really needs to attend? Limit your meeting to no more than 10 participants, and allow people to opt out if they believe they don’t need to be there. This way everyone who attends will be engaged and more productive.

  1. Presider

Are you going to be in charge of this meeting or do you need to assign someone else to facilitate? The presider should have ownership of the meeting and its overall outcome. This person has to create a welcoming environment, facilitate the meeting and activities, stick to the agenda, and may also be the ultimate decision-maker.

  1. Preparation

Being prepared before the meeting will help it to take a minimal amount of time. Set an agenda with assigned tasks to be completed before the meeting and distribute in advance. Have your participants bring solutions rather than problems to the meeting.

  1. Place

When you book your meeting room allow time to set-up and pack-up. On the day, set up your room to suit the needs of the meeting. You will need pens and notepads for each participant as well as plenty of post-it notes, marker pens, blu-tak, a flip-chart and whiteboard. Check that the projector is working and that your laptop connects. And don’t forget the snacks and drinks!

  1. Period

Nobody wants to spend more time than they have to in a meeting, so keep it short and sweet. Put a time limit on your meeting and stick to it. Short meetings force people to be concise and to work within the time constraints.

  1. Positive

Psychologists have proven that the way a meeting starts sets the overall tone for the meeting. To kick it off on a positive note try sharing a relevant anecdote or a successful outcome of the last meeting.

  1. Pit-Stops

We don’t need some expert to tell us that our attention-spans have shrunk, but the bad news is that most adults can only stay focused for 10 minutes!

Scheduling in regular breaks, ideally 2 minutes at the half-hour and 5 minutes at the hour, will boost engagement. For longer meetings you’ll also need to allow sufficient time for a proper lunch break.

  1. Participation

Another way to keep participants focused is to get them involved. One idea is to line the walls with different problems to solve, posed as “How can we…?” questions. Participants then walk around and use their post-it notes to add their suggestions.

  1. Post-Meeting

The end of the meeting isn’t the end. You’ve got three important things to do now. First, make sure everyone walks away with action items relevant to their expertise and a deadline for completion. Second, take photos of all your creative ideas and collate any notes by theme. And third, keep everyone up-to-date with the outcome of the meeting and any decisions that come from it. This will help them to feel like their time and input were valued.

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Take a Stand for Office Health

August 22, 2016 Productivity, Workplace

Did you know that health experts now recommend standing up to work rather than sitting down?

You’ll burn 480 calories a day without so much as a diet shake, it’s not nearly as silly as it sounds.

It’s not just the muffins in the tearoom making that muffin-top overhanging your pants. The evidence is mounting to link our sedentary workplaces and lifestyles with our growing waistlines. In fact the latest reports show that sitting for more than an hour actually shuts off our fat-burning enzymes!

As a nation of couch potatoes spending 80% of every day on our bottoms it’s time for Australian office workers to take a stand. Here’s our guide to improving health and wellbeing in your office with sit-stand desks:

Cost

Australian office workers sit at their desks for an average of 6.3 hours/day and health experts say that sitting for long periods of time like this actually switches off our metabolism! Even hitting the gym after work isn’t enough to combat the effects of sitting all day (reference). So sitting is making us fatter and Australia’s obesity epidemic already costs us $3.6 billion in lost workplace productivity, making it a no-brainer that we need to change the way we work. The cost might be a financial one for your boss, but ultimately you’ll pay with your health and weight.

Change

The recommendation is simply to sit less and stand more, ideally getting out of the chair at least once an hour. But how can we do that when our job calls for us to be stuck at a desk all day? That’s the beauty of sit-stand desks – the new revolution sweeping the office world. You get to decide which position to work in and when. You’ll probably find it easiest to sit when you need to concentrate, while standing is perfect for the simpler stuff like emailing and reading.

Choices

With the demand for sit-stand desks increasing there’s a growing variety of styles for all budgets. You can choose from affordable basic models all the way up to the luxury versions with a built-in touchscreen to preset your heights and a subtle reminder nudge to change positions.

Challenge

Sit-stand desk users find the biggest challenge comes when the novelty wears off, usually about a month in, with 70% returning to a fixed sitting position. You may feel a bit awkward standing up when others are seated, so you need to make a firm commitment and stick to it. 

Commitment

Now you’re thinking about all those other health commitments you haven’t been able to stick to, but like the wonder of the Fitbit, feeble willpower is no excuse thanks to the awesomeness of tech! Choosing an electric push button model will make it easy to convert positions and motivate you to make it part of your daily routine. 

Culture

Changing the culture of your workplace will also make a difference – getting sit-stand desks for everyone will normalise the concept and lead to better health and productivity for your whole office.

Calories

And best of all you’ll be burning calories! Standing triggers your body to breakdown fats and sugars leading to weight loss! Imagine burning the same amount of calories each day as a half-hour High Intensity Interval Training session without the sweat!

So the bottomline is that a sit-stand desk is better for your bottomline!

Health Risks Associated with Prolonged Sitting for Office Workers:

  • Certain Cancers
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Mental Health

Contact 1300 13 11 08 or sales@osa.com.au to arrange a demonstration or to place your order.

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A Breath of Fresh (Office) Air Doubles Brain Function

August 20, 2016 Productivity

Experts have shown that improving your office air quality will increase brain function, reduce multiple workplace health problems and boost productivity.

Imagine there was a treatment that would double your cognitive ability with no adverse side effects. Not only that, it could also reduce a whole range of health problems and make you more productive. Something so effective should be added to the water supply or pumped into the air we breathe. In fact, this magic bullet IS the air that we breathe. Not the stuffy, dirty, stale air in your office, but beautiful fresh, clean air.

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An Organised Desk Helps You Work Better

Productivity

By cleaning up your desk you’ll work better and be more productive.

Few things are worse in the office than the eyesore of a messy desk. It’s even more atrocious in an open-plan office where everyone is subjected to the ugliness and funky smells. You don’t mean to judge, but you just know that the staff member with the piles of paper and old coffee cups towering across their desk is perceived as the least productive. And what if that person is you? Arghhh – it’s time to do something and save your reputation before things get out of hand! With an organised desk you’ll work better and be more productive.

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