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Transforming A Home Office Into A Shared Working Space: The Guide

Transforming A Home Office Into A Shared Working Space: The Guide

With the digital revolution, we have seen millions of people utilizing the internet to make a profit. If you are one of these lucky people, you would probably agree that setting up a home office is the way to go.

A dedicated space enables you to concentrate solely on the job, which increases your productivity. As time passes by and you’re doing work hard in your home, advancing your business further, you realize that the workload grows steadily. Gradually, it becomes too much to handle, and you have to call in someone to help.

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    With more people on a common goal, your best option is to expand your office to a shared working space. It is very gratifying to have all your employees in one place. You become a team, consulting and helping each other with every problem and having a few laughs along the way.

    The productivity goes up, and the communication gets better, and your team bonds and grows. This situation is much more preferable than collaborating through online platforms. It brings the office atmosphere to your home, but it requires some structural changes.

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    So, how do you do this? How will you effectively execute the transformation of this space? Here are some of the things that you should incorporate into your home to transform your home office into a fully functional shared working space.

    Working stations

    Since home offices are not too big in most cases, you will have to use the space efficiently. The foundation of the whole room is the workstation – a desk, a chair, and a computer.  More people will be working there, and you will need multiple stations, so opt for smaller desks. Small offices are easy to move and reorganize, and will also prevent you from piling up useless clutter because you won’t have the extra surface for it.

    shared working space

      Switch from a desktop PC to a laptop or all-in-one, because they require less space and cables. Comfy, ergonomic chairs are a must, but this you probably know. If you are short on socket plugs, just get a multi-socket extension cord. When positioning the workstation, it would be advisable that all of the workers face away from each other. Constantly having a person in your line of sight might distract you from the tasks and spark unnecessary blabber. Remember, productivity is the primary goal here.

      Chill out zone

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        To keep your sanity and health, occasional breaks are necessary and building a nice chill out zone is of great importance. The king of the modern day resting furniture is the sofa. Depending on the size of the room you can go with anything from a love seat to a corner sofa, you can’t go wrong with either of these. Lazy-bags are ideal for a moderate-sized space since they can be moved around quickly, and they provide comfortable resting ground.

        Another must-have is a side table for beverages because it is tiny, light, easy to put away, and you can even make one yourself. Throw in a ping-pong table to shake up your body after long hours of sitting. It takes minutes to set it up, and it is foldable and easily disposed of when you don’t need it anymore.

        Restroom

        You might wonder, why on Earth would I suggest this idea? Well, a bathroom is the most private area of a home, and it should remain exclusive to you and your family. Remember, a business space should have a professional feeling and has to stay separate from your personal living space. In addition, your co-workers don’t have to worry about bumping into your family members every time nature calls. To achieve this, you need to create a restroom. Nothing too fancy is required, a toilet and a bathroom sink. If you’re not good with pipes and drains, get a professional plumber to help you.

        office shared work space

          Besides installing some water pipes, separation walls will also be required, and building them is easier than you think. Let’s get down to the elements, and the first one is a quality toilet. Never skimp on a bathroom. A small sink with a quality faucet is necessary here, for the sake of general hygiene. Always keep a set of paper towels there, and a small bin.

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          Kitchen

          Unlike the restroom, the kitchen doesn’t need to be physically separated from the rest of the office. Let’s make it clear, when I say kitchen I mean focusing on the elementary things, the first one being the sink.  Since you already installed water pipes for the restroom, connect the sink & the faucet to them as well. People tend to wash hands in the kitchen often, so a quality sink & faucet is advisable.

          shared working space - kitchen

            The space under the sink is perfect for a trash bin. Second, you need a small counter or some active surface for food and drink preparation. For example, a folding table would be perfect because it is easy to put away once you’re done with it. Lastly, if you want a bit more luxury throw in a mini fridge in there, and if you are a coffee fan, place a nice coffee machine on top of the fridge. Of course, the latter two are not necessary, and if you’re short on room, it might be best to skip on these. Same goes with the water machine.

            What’s better than being your own boss?

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              It’s working in your place of course. As I’m sure you know, running a business can be tough, and it is truly a blessing to be able to do it from home. An office space is not to be taken likely, it can make you or break you, so be sure to optimize it according to yours and your coworkers’ needs.

              A good working environment will raise the team’s spirits and result in a pleasant atmosphere which will turn the business into pleasure and contentment. There are not many things in life better than that, and success usually follows.

              Do you have a home office? Do you plan to expand to shared working space? If you’ve considered creating it, now is a perfect time.

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              Dejan Kvrgic

              Blogger, Writer

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              Last Updated on January 6, 2021

              14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

              14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

              Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

              In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

              For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

              For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

              Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

              Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

              Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

              How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

              Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

              1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

              Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

              For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

              2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

              Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

              Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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              Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

              3. Create a System

              Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

              This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

              You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

              Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

              Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

              4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

              We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

              If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

              Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

              Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

              5. Use a Ratings Scale

              Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

              Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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              It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

              6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

              This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

              You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

              You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

              7. Offer Feedback Forms

              Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

              First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

              Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

              You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

              8. Track Cost Effectiveness

              This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

              Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

              Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

              9. Use Self-Evaluations

              Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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              Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

              10. Monitor Time Management

              This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

              Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                14. Use an External Evaluator

                Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                Final Thoughts

                These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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                Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

                Reference

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