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The Essentials To a Healthy Workforce: The Overlooked Fundamentals

The Essentials To a Healthy Workforce: The Overlooked Fundamentals

The physical and psychological health of today’s workforce is endangered as workplace stress creates an even higher toll on employees overall well-being. Affecting productivity and driving up voluntary turnover, the phenomenon has cost US employers nearly $200 billion yearly in healthcare coverage. And as a response, several companies come up with their own solution to alleviate the pressing predicament. From encouraging sleep and meditation through nap pods down to healthy snack bars, quirky perks can be found in almost every modern workplace today.

Yet amidst all of the clout and other activity going on, we have easily overlooked the fundamental factor that contributes to workplace stress: work environment – starting with the work itself. For years, researchers have advertised the benefits of better work practices for performance and productivity, enumerating two critical contributors to employee engagement: job control and social support. Moreover, it helps further enhance health – potentially reducing healthcare costs.

Companies from almost any industry can make use of the aforementioned elements to promote physical and mental well-being without breaking the bank.

Job Control

Research dating back decades have revealed that the autonomy employees have over what they do and how they do it plays a significant role on their physical health. Recent studies have also indicated that having limited job control creates ill effects that extend beyond physiological well-being, it actually imposes burden on a person’s mental health. Organizations can prevent these dangers by creating positions or roles that have more fluidity and autonomy or by eradicating micromanagement.

Physical and Mental Health

British epidemiologist Michael Marmot and his team lead one of the most notable studies in the area popularly known as the Whitehall Studies. Together, they discovered that the higher an employee’s rank is, the lower their morality is to cardiovascular diseases. As it turns out, differences in job control correlating to job ranks is most accountable for the said phenomenon. Higher-ranked employees who enjoyed more autonomy over their jobs and had more discretion over what they do despite having greater demands.

Additional data connected work stress to the presence of metabolic syndromes – clusters of risk factors that predict the likelihood of getting heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Employees who go through chronic stress at work are more likely to experience metabolic syndromes compared to those who don’t undergo work stress.

A separate study have also discovered a correlation between measures of job control and healthy. People who had a higher level of power over task control in reorganization processes had less illness symptoms for 11 out of 12 health indicators, less absences and less experiences of depression.

Control Over Workforce Surroundings

Control over work is just one part of the broad – and growing – culture of autonomy. Architectural and design firm Gensler said in its 2013 Workplace Survey that another form of liberation that creates not just an increased happiness, but as well as elevated employee motivation and performance, is the power of choice over their surroundings. One example of this is Facebook’s headquarters; their employees can tailor the layout, height, and configuration of their desks based on their respective preferences. Teams can also create whatever plan best supports their project by moving their desks.

Admittedly this element isn’t easy to achieve but there are ways for companies to offer their employees a wider range of options like providing them with passes to coworking spaces. These unorthodox offices offer its member different work environments depending on their needs or personal preferences. It’s a cost-efficient way of giving your team more choices on how they work. They can share desks with other professionals or get a private office of their own.

With so much light being put on the health of one’s workforce, we’re easily distracted by what we think is important – forgetting that there are certain essentials needed to be covered first.

Talk to us today and we can help you elevate your teams overall well-being through autonomy.

Different Kinds of Workplaces: Determining The Best Environment For You

Different Kinds of Workplaces: Determining The Best Environment For You

Every one of us hopes to be part of a great company and wants to work in a high performing office environment. We all want to be at our best, to be with colleagues that doesn’t just challenge us but also help us grow while doing work that’s both financially rewarding and meaningful.

But success is subjective. There’s more than one kind of triumphant organization and more than one type of productive workplaces. What matters most at work is that the values that drive your employers are aligned with the values that motivate you. That the culture that defines the life within the company matches your personal style and that the people whom you work with pushes you to think, grow, and can even make you laugh.

Regardless of the industry or career path we’re taking, each one of us should reflect on the kind of environment that works best for us. Do we thrive on the adrenaline rush of competition, or do we prefer a more collaborative nature? Are we craving for individualistic achievements and personal recognition or do we celebrate collective success? Can we sacrifice our emotional and psychological well-being for financial rewards, or is doing something meaningful more important for us?

Harvard Business Review’s Bill Taylor tested out some of the world’s most creative, lively, and productive offices from varying fields. In his journey, he identified four types of workplaces and have come up with sixteen that can help professionals figure out what works best for them.

Granted there’s no right or wrong answers to these questions; there’s really no perfect place or environment for anyone. But it could help people find the best platform for them to do great work in.

One Big Community

This kind of workplace is one that radiates an all-for-one, one-for-all spirit that’s founded by trust, teamwork, and peer-to-peer loyalty. Of course, clients matter but this kind of office elevates the needs of their employees more. Their formula for success starts and ends with what’s right for their people.

Constellations

These are the kinds of organizations who are made up of competitive professionals whose basis of success comes from their personal goals. The ideology is sink-or-swim. And though it seems like quite a rough environment, it works for some organizations such as investment banks and hedge funds as well as law firms and tech titans. In workplaces such as this, individual achievements are what keeps the company afloat.

More Than A Company

In this kind of environment, workers worry less about their respective happiness or individual success and focus more on the collective impact they create. These workspaces carry a certain modest quality within them – a willingness to make sacrifices and go to extraordinary lengths to keep their promises to both their customers and partners. With a “mission first” spirit, their team does whatever it takes to get the job done. One good example of this is the United Services Automobile Association, the successful financial services exclusively serving both active and retired military members and their families. The organization has become a passion brand, known for its marvelous service, because their employees identify positively with soldiers and their families – putting their interests above their own. More than just another business, USAA stands for a cause.

Great Things in Small Packages

Certain individuals – whether motivated by a sense of mission or a quench for individual achievement – are at their best condition within environments that are easy to navigate, those that have few obstacles standing in between ideas and action, where urgency defines the pace of life.  Entrepreneurship guru Bo Burlingham’s business classic Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big captures the spirit of this kind of workplace perfectly, a space where human scale matters more over massive revenue and big market shares. In an ecosystem where smaller and smaller teams can achieve bigger and greater things, size matters – and small packages can bring great things.

Nothing else compares to doing work that matters, but it also means finding a company, organization, or team with a workplace that’s right for you; and that’s what coworking spaces aim to be.

The growing international movement hopes to give everyone a chance by providing them a wide variety of workspaces that would help them be better professionals and by surrounding them with like-minded colleagues who would bring out the best within themselves. From communal areas that encourage collaboration and help cultivate healthy networks to private offices that guarantee them acoustical focus, coworking spaces is a brilliant modern office that gives you different environments all in one place.

Talk to us today and we’ll help you pick out which is best for you and your team!

DongHyuk: Kpop Convention and Exhibit, Celebrating the Hallyu Wave

DongHyuk: Kpop Convention and Exhibit, Celebrating the Hallyu Wave

Sales Rain’s Mandaluyong site was flooded by Filipino K-Pop fans last Saturday, January 19, to showcase the Hallyu fever in the country and to celebrate South Korean boy band iKON member Donghyuk’s 23rd birthday.

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Sales Rain Presents U Empowerment: Going Up & Beyond Limits

Sales Rain Presents U Empowerment: Going Up & Beyond Limits

Sales Rain opens the year with a successful event held last Saturday, January 12, in its well-acclaimed Mandaluyong office.

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Sales Rain Ends 2018 with New Procurement in Bonifacio Global City

Sales Rain Ends 2018 with New Procurement in Bonifacio Global City

Sales Rain will soon open its very first office in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

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Sales Rain Announces its Second Ortigas Site at the One Corporate Center

Sales Rain Announces its 2nd Ortigas Site at the One Corporate Center

Ending the year of 2018 with a bang, Sales Rain proudly shares its acquisition of its second Ortigas site in the heart of Pasig CBD.

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Sales Rain Joins Football for Humanity Foundation at Dar Amanah

Sales Rain Joins Football for Humanity Foundation at Dar Amanah

As firm believers of sustainable environments creating a bright future for its inhabitants, Sales Rain have always hoped to provide the country’s young generation with an ecosystem that can give them a wonderful childhood; And over the years the company has teamed up with several schools and organizations across Luzon in helping kids from different cities and provinces have the kind of surrounding that they deserve.

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The Benefits of Rotating Office Seating Assignments

The Benefits of Rotating Office Seating Assignments

Whenever offices are reorganized, most workers view the process as nothing else but a nuisance interrupting their daily work and for what exactly? They’re not really sure. Design firms and experts have long discussed the benefits of changing up work environments, claiming that when people are able to circulate freely and had more opportunities to engage with different sets of coworkers, they become more communicative, collaborative, and creative.

Even world-famous managers believe so too; when Steve Jobs was designing the new headquarters for Pixar, he designated large central bathrooms in the building’s atrium, rendering employees to walk a couple of distances to use them creating unplanned “collisions” that would later on spark innovations. Several studies have backed it up but the financial return rate of such investment had been hard to prove – until recently.

A professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Sunkee Lee, came across a “natural experiment” within a large South Korean e-commerce company that was moving into a new office. In their old building, six Merchandising teams tasked with sourcing and marketing flash deals for various products were seated in one area while six other merchandising team sat in another, separated by a common entrance. And though the company wanted both groups to be in one location altogether, space constraints would render nine of them to be in one open area and three in another with a common entrance between them. Both areas are identical in terms of its decoration, lighting, equipment, distance between teams and their respective workstations, as well as proximity to management – there’s no denying that it was pretty similar with those of the old headquarters and employees had no choice where they would sit.

Lee looked at over 38, 435 deals done by 60 merchandisers over 200 days – 120 days before the big move and 80 days after – and found that those merchandisers in the area that contained more teams sourced over 25% more deals from new suppliers, on average, than all merchandisers had sourced before the reorganization. The thing was, the deals didn’t come from collaboration, they were a mark of change in the quality of the employees’ work. Lee identifies the change as a shift away from “exploitation” or the repetition of offers to “exploration” – the formulation of new ideas. More importantly, the daily deal revenue of each employee sitting with a previously unknown colleagues was 40% higher, on average, than that of their average prior to the move.

The aforementioned increase in creativity and the jump to exploratory ideas was statistically significant for those whose experience sourcing deals within the organization. They were above the median and had no social ties to most of the members of their new workspace. Lee explains that once a person learns enough about the area they specialize in, exposure to new peers would help them enhance their creativity. He adds that physical proximity promotes trust and the exchange of knowledge between new colleagues.

In addition to this, the change of surrounding seemed to boost the employees’ performance compared to the other switches the company has made. Moreover, the effect brought upon by the relocation was quick.

Sunkee Lee’s study is one of the first to use a before-and-after setup to examine how a change in a office seating arrangement affects individual innovation and sales performance. But it became part of a long line of research suggesting that where we seat can do significant effects on how they work together. Another prominent example of this is MIT professor Thomas Allen’s study on communication among engineer in the R&D facility of a multinational company during the 1970s. His finding, popularly known as the Allen curve, shows the dramatic drop in dialogues between employees who sit apart. Though most of the earlier research focused on businesses, the aforementioned phenomenon happens in other arenas too. A 2015 study said that members of the US Senate who will sit in close proximity with one another are likely to support each other’s legislation, regardless of their party affiliations.

And though majority of today’s organizations have left closed-door offices behind in exchange for open spaces for communal workspaces, few have gone as far as routinely changing office seating arrangements. Lee still suggests that such interventions is of big help to organizations who live by knowledge sharing and innovation.

And in any case you want some help in keeping things fresh, hit us up!

Five Design Elements That Enhance Productivity

Five Design Elements That Enhance Productivity

Today’s workers and employers have focused the majority of their energy in enhancing their productivity. Several articles and blog sites have discussed “productivity hacks” while some have busted out inspirational Q&A’s with top CEOs and entrepreneurs on how they stay efficient.

There’s even apps that guide you through “focused” meditation. But there are limits to what it can do in a place that is chaotic in itself.  As a result, designers have utilized the role of smart offices by using employee data to create work environments that enhance productivity.

JLL’s Workplace Strategy Practice Managing Director, Ed Nolan, said that the workplace is supposed be the physical manifestation of an organization’s culture and core values. He adds that by thoroughly understanding the correlation of human experience and real estate, companies can create innovative offices that drive productivity, experience and business value.

Experts suggest that the following five design elements that covers everything from concentration to wellness are exceedingly detrimental in boosting employee productivity.

• Amenities That Alleviate Life

Facilities that make life easier doesn’t necessarily have to be something as luxurious as a roof top pool. Something as simple as vending machines that carry healthy, energy-boosting snacks can enhance someone’s experience in navigating through their workday. It’s important that organizations make staying in the office more convenient by reducing an employee’s need to go out.

Companies with an older labor force can add onsite medical services, while the younger demographics with kids might appreciate onsite childcare better.

Giving employees access to free healthy food all day can help them stay flexible as they adjust their mealtimes with their workflow accordingly.

• Right Blend of Workspace Design Elements

The growing global movement of coworking spaces shed light on the advantages of open plan offices. But like the movement itself, the design has its critics – highlighting that the setup has no room for focused work.

In order for a company – or serviced office provider – to cater to the different needs of each professional, it’s important to carry a variation of workspaces. There should be enough room for team activities, casual lounges that cultivate collaborations as well as acoustical areas perfect for concentration.

• Natural Light and Clean Air

The architecture of an office building directly affects its cognitive functioning. Several studies have said that enhanced employee productivity, engagement and satisfaction is only a few of the benefits brought by big windows that allow natural in. Its infrastructure plays a clear role as well. Poor air quality can spread flu and colds.

• Quiet Place

Noise isn’t just any other disturbance; studies from the World Green Building Council says that it can lead to as much as a sixty-six percent productivity drop. Companies should provide options for improving acoustical focus like private offices and phone so booths so that it can help control conference call conversations with the addition of secured privacy.

• Embedded Technology

Today’s modern tools – with the help of the Internet – has made our office life significantly easier. The more organizations embed technology into their workplace, the more productive their people became.

But execution of effective design elements is the key to a successful collation. If the machine itself isn’t intuitive, employees’ valuable time can be wasted.

 

Honest workplace designs that reflect employees’ needs and concerns boosts engagement and productivity. Professionals put more value in organizations that genuinely show concern about them.

Learn more about offices that care and talk to us today!

Sales Rain Announces its Fourth Site in Eastwood City

Sales Rain Announces its Fourth Site in Eastwood City

Sales Rain’s IBM Plaza has proven itself to be versatile offices, thriving in the ever-changing nature of the workplace industry. Initially opening with over 421 seats within the 26th floor of IBM Plaza, the site has grown to feature three fully-owned floors.

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