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Via Entrepreneur : 9 Productivity Mistakes You’re Making in the First 10 Minutes of Your Day (Infographic)

From setting goals to drinking coffee, these bad morning habits might surprise you.

There are a number of things you’re probably doing every morning that are actually hindering your productivity.

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you might be surprised to find out that drinking coffee between 8 and 10 a.m can make you more stressed throughout the day. That’s because caffeine early in the morning interferes with the time that the stress hormone, cortisol, is peaking in your body. It’s best to get your fix between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

When you get into the office and try to jump right into the top of your to-do list, you might find yourself confused and not very productive. When you don’t let your brain empty and refresh before starting a project or task, it loses a sense of control, becomes overwhelmed and ultimately, makes you less productive. Something else to avoid is checking email or social media right when you wake up. Typically, after checking your inbox, it takes a person at least 25 minutes to get back into a productive state. If you start your day off reading and responding to email after email, it will take you a long time to get back on track.

Another surprising mistake is setting self-imposed goals. Setting goals and deadlines for yourself might seem like an obvious productivity hack, but it turns out, that’s not the case. Instead, share your deadlines with others and you’ll feel more pressure and responsibility to get things done.

Check out resume.io’s infographic below for more productivity mistakes you’re likely making in the first 10 minutes of your day.

Via The Economic Times : Please don’t be mean: Compassion towards staff can boost workplace productivity

WASHINGTON D.C. – Here is a solid reason to be nice to your subordinates, turns out, showing compassion to your employees might actually lead to better productivity.

According to a latest research compassion to subordinates almost always pays off, especially when combined with the enforcement of clear goals and benchmarks.

Chou-Yu Tsai, one of the researchers said, “Being benevolent is important because it can change the perception your followers have of you. If you feel that your leader or boss actually cares about you, you may feel more serious about the work you do for them.”

To find out how both the presence and lack of benevolence affects the job performance of followers, the team of researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 members of the Taiwanese military and almost 200 adults working full-time in the United States, and looked at the subordinate performance that resulted from three different leadership styles:

Authoritarianism-dominant leadership: Leaders who assert absolute authority and control, focused mostly on completing tasks at all costs with little consideration of the well-being of subordinates.

Benevolence-dominant leadership: Leaders whose primary concern is the personal or familial well-being of subordinates. These leaders want followers to feel supported and have strong social ties.

Classical paternalistic leadership: A leadership style that combines both authoritarianism and benevolence, with a strong focus on both task completion and the well-being of subordinates.

The researchers found that authoritarianism-dominant leadership almost always had negative results on job performance, while benevolence-dominant leadership almost always had a positive impact on job performance. In other words, showing no compassion for your employees doesn’t bode well for their job performance, while showing compassion motivated them to be better workers.

They also found that classical paternalistic leadership, which combines both benevolence and authoritarianism, had just as strong an effect on subordinate performance as benevolent-dominant leadership. Tsai said the reason for this phenomenon may extend all the way back to childhood.

“The parent and child relationship is the first leader-follower relationship that people experience. It can become a bit of a prototype of what we expect out of leadership going forward, and the paternalistic leadership style kind of resembles that of a parent,” Tsai said.

“The findings imply that showing personal and familial support for employees is a critical part of the leader-follower relationship. While the importance of establishing structure and setting expectations is important for leaders, and arguably parents, help, and guidance from the leader in developing social ties and support networks for a follower can be a powerful factor in their job performance,” another researcher said.

Considering the difference in work cultures between U.S. employees and members of the Taiwanese military, researchers were surprised that the results were consistent across both groups.

“The consistency in the results suggest that the effectiveness of paternalistic leadership may be more broad-based than previously thought, and it may be all about how people respond to leaders and not about where they live or the type of work they do,” said Yammarino, another researcher.

Tsai said his main takeaway for managers is to put just as much or even more of an emphasis on the well-being of your employees as you do on hitting targets and goals.

“Subordinates and employees are not tools or machines that you can just use. They are human beings and deserve to be treated with respect,” said Tsai.

“Make sure you are focusing on their well-being and helping them find the support they need, while also being clear about what your expectations and priorities are. This is a work-based version of ‘tough love’ often seen in parent-child relationships.” Tsai added.

Via Human Resources Director : Is this the best strategy to boost workplace productivity?

Maintaining productivity in the modern workplace is a constant challenge. No matter how good our intentions, tools, systems or productivity strategies, most of us still struggle to stay on top of our commitments and priorities, according to Dermot Crowley, speaker, trainer and author of Smart Teams.

“Many organisations throw personal productivity training at the problem, and while this undoubtedly helps, people revert back to old habits easily and quickly,” said Crowley.

He added that to create a truly effective and sustained boost to your team’s productivity, you need to look at productivity from two angles.

“A performance motor racing team can increase the speed of their car in two ways. Build a bigger engine that delivers more thrust and power, or change the body shape to reduce resistance and drag,” said Crowley.

“Personal productivity training is like building a bigger engine. Reducing the productivity friction we all experience in the workplace is like reducing drag.”

Crowley added that we experience friction when we receive too many unnecessary emails, get pulled into too many ineffective meetings, or collaborate with others in an unproductive way.

“Our effectiveness as workers is greatly hindered by productivity friction, yet we have come to accept this as ‘just the way that it is’,” he said.

“But there are plenty of things that we can do that will not only improve our productivity, but also the productivity of those around us.”

Crowley recommends four strategies that you could implement with your team.

Reduce email noise

Many of us receive more than one hundred emails per day, but do not need to receive anywhere near that many to be effective in our roles. Overuse of CC and Reply All is overwhelming many workers. Talk to your team about your expectations about being copied on emails, or involved in email conversations. Email others in a mindful way, and expect the same from them. If you need to, set up rules to automatically delete or file less relevant emails. The key is to take control of your inbox – don’t let it control you.

Make projects visible

Many of us are not dedicated project managers, yet we are expected to manage a range of projects alongside our operational day to day work. Unfortunately these projects are often managed in an excel spreadsheet at best, or in our head at worst. To collaborate productively on this type of work we need to make these projects visible to ourselves as well as the wider team. By doing this we gain control of the work, and can plan the why, who, what and when of the work. There are now many simple web based tool available to make projects more visible like Trello, Asana or MS Planner.

Reduce unnecessary urgency

When is everything needed around here? Yesterday! I hear this all the time in my client companies. Everything feels urgent, but this urgency comes at a price. Pressure, stress, mistakes, rework. Much of this urgency is false, and not urgent at all. It often seems urgent because others have reactive workstyles where everything is left the last minute. Sometimes we do this to ourselves. Focus on prioritising by importance, not urgency for a week. See if this starts to shift what you work on as a team.

Have 100% less meetings

Yes, you read me right! 100% less. This is easy to achieve if you break it down into four easy targets. Schedule 25% fewer meetings in your week. Hold 25% shorter meetings. Invite 25% less participants to meetings. Finally, reduce wasted time in meetings by a further 25% by taking the time to plan the meeting with an agenda. Easy. Well, maybe not easy, but not that hard.

Via LiveMint : Enjoyable workplace spurs innovation, productivity: Mahindra Auto

Rajeshwar Tripathi, head of HR at Mahindra Auto, which is one of the top 10 workplaces according to Great Place to Work Institute, speaks about the firm’s people policy

Mahindra and Mahindra Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors, the flagship of the Mahindra Group, ranked 23rd in India’s Best Companies To Work For 2017 list compiled by the Great Place To Work Institute. In 2013 and 2015, it ranked third in the manufacturing and production industry list. Policies to ensure safety and improve productivity on the shop floor have helped build the company’s image as an employer of repute. Rajeshwar Tripathi, head of human resources at the firm, shares how the Mahindra Group’s Rise philosophy is incorporated in its people policies. Edited excerpts:

Why is it important for you to be a good workplace?

It helps us attract the right people from various industries, possessing different skill sets and having diverse backgrounds.

Secondly, to engage with our own people; this is very important because that’s when they give us their best. People must enjoy their workplace; it spurs innovation and productivity because people are a key differentiator. For example, if there were two companies with the same product and structure, people will make a difference at the individual and collective levels.

What is your recruitment process?

Various psychometric tools are used to indicate an individual’s alignment with Mahindra’s Rise philosophy, which is to drive change. Recently, more focus has been laid on an applicant’s learning agility because we live in an ever-changing world. How capable they are of changing themselves and driving change matters to us.

How would you ensure retention and motivation on the shop floor?

Retention should arise from an individual’s intrinsic desire to stay at the organization, which should arise directly from the work they do. Much effort has gone into the ambience, working conditions and policies of our plants. Work hours have been made flexible while some Saturdays are off as well. Wellness has been given a special focus with preventive health exams being conducted, in addition to nutritionists and clinical psychologists being present at our occupational health centres.

Our policies are becoming increasingly segmented and personalized since the needs of all groups, say age-wise, are not the same.

What have been some challenges in retaining talent?

Reskilling our people to suit evolving business models and strategies, especially in the past three years, has been a challenge. To avoid human obsolescence among the company, intensive workshops are conducted, thus making us an agile organization.

What is the role of the top management in forming people policies?

Policies emanate from the top management because they are a manifestation of organizational philosophy and culture. The top three drivers of our people policies are the values our organization wants to pursue, the purpose for our existence—the customer, and finally, our business strategy.


A couple of years ago, I was offered the position of the senior copywriter in a renowned ad agency. I believed that this very well could be my “dream” job. On my first day at the job, I was given a cramped and dingy cubicle in an office with no natural light. Anyone who has worked in a dingy cubicle will confirm how it makes them feel. Whenever I mentioned that the bad, fluorescent lighting and the isolating ambiance was taking away my concentration, motivation, and productivity, I was ignored.

I decided to stick with a year, instead of risking to appear like a job hopper on my resume. One of the biggest lessons I learned at the ad agency was how external stimuli can impact the way we think and behave, including our productive work habits.

According to Haworth’s research, companies need to provide different spaces to foster innovation at work. Offices tend to promote only one kind of work – they are either, open and collaborative, or they’re highly segmented. Modern workplace design is all about finding the right balance between these two types of spaces.


In a white paper titled Optimizing the Workplace for Innovation: Using brain Science for Smart Design, Haworth’s team looks at how modern workplace design can increase productivity.

In order to facilitate all four stages of cognition, a workplace must be designed to support all of the brain’s neural network. The salience network monitors external and internal stimuli and organizes priorities. The default network forms creative insight particularly when emotions and engagement are low. The executive control network develops innovative ideas in response to focus work.

Focus at work requires a controlled space, with physical barriers that provide refuge from external distractions. Abundant natural light is proven to improve focus, as is having control over lighting and temperature within the building.

Oftentimes, we need time to clear out the head. One cannot expect the brain to give that many ideas while doing routine work. For micro-breaks, companies must design a workplace where individuals can move freely for some time for restoration. The ideal restorative space can be informal with great visuals and objects for inspiration. Visual access to a green outdoor space is also beneficial.

An ideal workplace design is the one which enhances focus, restorative activities, and provides its employees the right tools for knowledge sharing. In addition to creating a workplace which enhances focus on concentration, one must also create a space which fosters creativity and knowledge sharing.

The white paper also advises that movement within the organization should be encouraged. This goes in two ways: one is across internal groups, and the other is with people external to the organization. The movement encourages interactions that foster knowledge sharing and learning with different groups of people.

This is not to say that a great office design is a solution to every problem in your office. But, a smart workplace design can enhance one’s company culture and foster optimal creative performance within the organization. When a great workplace culture and office design are misaligned, things start to get hazy. In order to support all sorts of personality types, it’s best to create a workplace that provides for all of these behaviors and ways of thinking.