Seven Habits to Increase Productivity 

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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Podcast Recommendations for the Work Commute

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Many companies have rolled out hybrid work strategies as part of the widespread ‘return to office’ taking place. While any degree of remote work would seem to lessen the strain on urban roadways and infrastructure, the data tells another story. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday have emerged as the most popular days for workers to commute to the office, which has driven congestion on those days back to pre-pandemic rates – sometimes even higher.

In the meantime, long commute times don’t have to be wasted. Bus, train, and car commuters can use their travel time to reflect, refocus, catch up on email to jumpstart the day, or even squeeze in some professional development. For those looking to hone their work skills, here are some of my favorite podcasts to make the most of my commute:

How to Be Awesome at Your Job

Each week, former consultant and professional coach Pete Mockaitis interviews high performers and business leaders about their proven strategies to boost productivity and maximize impact.

Optimal Living Daily

The team behind OLD finds and shares the latest expertise on both personal and professional development.

Ted Talks Daily

Journalist Elise Hu leads weekday discussions with thought leaders around the globe on new innovations across subjects and sectors.

The Moth

This long-running, beloved podcast brings listeners stories that celebrate diversity and the human experience.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Cresa website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

2022 Mobile Phone Statistics & Trends

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Office Plants: What are the Benefits?

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Here’s all you need to know about the benefits of plants, their potential impact on job performance, and some of the best office plants for sprucing up your workspace.

Benefits of Plants in the Office: Why Are Plants Good for the Office?

After more than two years of remote work, many employees would probably appreciate coming back to a homey atmosphere. This is where office plants come in, which are perfect for evoking a sense of calm and comfort and making a space feel more inviting. In fact, psychologists at the University of Surrey found that biophilic design (the use of natural elements indoors) can promote stress reduction and enhance overall mood.

That’s because looking at natural scenery activates the brain’s pleasure center, explains a study in the PLOS One Journal. According to the researchers, “Natural elements and sunlight exposure related positively to job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and negatively to depressed mood and anxiety.”

Just looking at a real plant, reveals the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health “can induce physiological relaxation and reduce stress, tension, and anxiety.”

Not only can office plants improve morale, but it also turns out they can have an impact on your organization’s bottom line: As research from the University of Exeter points out, enhancing a space with office plants can lead to 15 percent more productivity by boosting employees’ physical, cognitive, and emotional investment in their work.

What Are the Best Plants to Keep in Office?

Looking for good office plants? When picking a plant variety for the office, look for species that are: 

  • Low maintenance enough to thrive indoors with minimal access to direct sunlight
  • Mostly green — this color relieves stress and anxiety, whereas plants with red leaves or flowers can be draining to look at for long periods of time, note the University of Surrey researchers
  • Natural air purifiers — as plants that remove toxins from the atmosphere boost overall immune function, reports Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, which means less absenteeism

Best Office Plants

Here are the 10 best office plants to consider: 

  • Snake plant
  • Lucky bamboo
  • Zanzibar gem
  • Peace lily
  • Bird’s nest fern
  • Spider plant
  • Monstera
  • English ivy
  • Neon pothos
  • Jade plant

Caring for Office Plants

Fortunately, taking care of office plants like the ones listed above doesn’t have to require a huge time commitment. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind:

Don’t forget to “feed” your office plants. Plants don’t just need water — they also need key nutrients to thrive. Look for a plant food best suited to your species of plant and their stage of life and follow directions carefully on when to feed them — as it’s possible to both overfeed and underfeed plants. 

Know how much light is needed. All the plant varieties listed above can grow in a moderate to the low-light environment, but they’ll need at least some access to light to remain healthy. Natural light is the best option, so situate your plants close to a window, if possible, but a grow lamp with about a 4,000–6,000K bulb will work too. You may want to experiment with a few different locations around the office until you find just the right corner for your plants to soak in the light.

Strike the perfect watering balance. Some plants need water several times a week, while others only require it once or twice a month. Research the correct water frequency and amount for your species; too much water damages the root system, while not enough causes the leaves to wilt or droop. One way to find out if your plant needs water is to check the soil. If it’s damp, hold off on watering and allow the moisture to absorb entirely, but if it’s parched, this is a sign your plant could use some more H2O.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Quill.com website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Top Tips for Developing a Healthy Self-Esteem

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction, or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Five Ways Tech Might Change the Way We Work in 2023

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Here are five tech trends that Allwork.Space predicts will alter the future of work in 2023.  

1. Workplace tech will become more accessible  

Workplace tech will most likely become simpler to use and accessible for all and should be intuitive in the ways that it supports a team’s collaboration and work. 

Organizations are beginning to consider, more and more, how they can make work more accessible in a way that fosters productivity.  

Jeff Lowe, EVP, and HR Head at SMART Technologies shared his thoughts on tech in the new year.  

“Overall sentiment when considering workplace tech for 2023 should be how the three legs of the stool need to align: Facilities, HR, and Tech,” Lowe said. “It’s not just tech in isolation that’s going to solve anything. It’s how workplace design, flexible policies, and collaborative tech align that will define if the workplace tech provides value to remote, hybrid, and in-person workers.”   

Tech investment will increasingly be made with flexible policies in place, and companies should address what it looks like when colleagues come into the office and need spaces for collaborative, connected work.  

2. AI/automation will prove that it can make employees’ lives easier 

“As we head into 2023, we are seeing renewed efforts to provide an excellent employee experience, which includes access to technology that makes employees’ jobs easier,” Jennifer Kraszewski, Vice President of Human Resources at Paycom, told Allwork.Space. 

Artificial intelligence such as Siri and Alexa will become more common in the work sphere. Voice search technology has rapidly advanced in the last decade, and 41% of adults and 55% of teens now use voice search daily.  

This type of AI is faster than typing, and voice tech might make its way out of the home and into the workplace in 2023. 

“Greater integration with emerging technology will afford more automation and AI assistance that improves efficiencies, saves time, and reduces redundancy frustrations, creating better work-life harmony,” said Kayla Lebovitz, CEO, and Founder of Bundle Benefits.  

The technological revolution that is underway will continue to uproot how people work, showcasing more effective work options in the digital space.  

According to Lebovitz, the emerging technology convergence will deliver more opportunities to connect people remotely — with as much as a 40% increase in virtual collaboration and communication.   

“Technology trends for 2023 will be all about consolidating what we all learned during the pandemic, namely prioritizing technology solutions which not only engineer connections between employees in a remote-first world, but that also reduce the burden of unnecessary admin with automated workflows,” added Melinda Veeder, Chief People Officer of Xplor Technologies.   

3. Organizations will increasingly upskill their workforces with learning technology  

With the Great Resignation shifting into the Great Reshuffle and rattling the labor market, companies can’t afford to ignore the missed opportunity of upskilling. 

“Organizations must invest in learning technology as an essential retention strategy and prioritize making training and development an alluring part of the employee value proposition,” John Peebles, CEO of Administrate, told Allwork.Space. “Boosting employee retention rates will remain top of mind for business leaders, and a great way to accomplish this is by upskilling employees.” 

With the right learning technology, company leaders will be able to easily understand where the skill gaps exist within their organizations and provide tools and data to fill those lapses. The ability to rapidly identify these gaps and coordinate that with employee development is already happening in our current workforce.  

For example, over the next four years, PwC is committing $3 billion to upskilling. This will primarily be invested in training their workers, as well as in technologies for supporting clients and communities. 

4. Employers will utilize tech to show appreciation for their employees 

Employee appreciation is not only good for morale, but also for business. Employers are using technology to ensure employees feel seen, heard, and appreciated as many of them continue to work remotely. 

In 2023, virtual recognition alternatives will come in handy when managing remote or hybrid employees, especially since connectivity has historically been built through in-person relationships. 

Workplace recognition might become one of the top ways to curb “Quiet Quitting” and increase retention, and it can all be done virtually with the use of workplace technology. 

“Managers are desperate to improve employee satisfaction in the workplace, so through implementing appreciation initiatives (thank yous, work anniversaries, birthdays, and more) they can ultimately create a sense of belonging that is not only beneficial to an employee’s feeling of connection to the company but also imperative to employee retention,” said Aaron Rubens, Co-Founder, and CEO of Kudoboard.  

Some examples of this technology that is increasingly being utilized are Bonusly, an employee appreciation platform that helps employees give small bonuses to colleagues.

 Praise is most effective when it’s public, which is why so many employers use the team communications platform Slack to show employees that they appreciate their hard work, usually in channels especially for congratulating staff.    

5. Organizations will decide where they stand on the metaverse 

In 2022, the idea and popularity of the metaverse proliferated. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerburg said he wanted Meta to be used for virtual work meetings (among other things), but it’s unclear when this will come to fruition.    

Individuals, as well as organizations, invested billions into the metaverse…only for the hype to dramatically die down toward the middle-end of this year.  

Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, has said it will likely take 10-15 years before its investments fully pay off and the technology behind both the metaverse and its headsets reach their full potential.  

Tech-savvy organizations might not want to wait that long to implement the metaverse and VR into their workplaces, and 2023 will bear witness to how the metaverse will fare in terms of social popularity and utilization.  

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Allwork.Space website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

How to Hack Happiness Chemicals

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction, or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Prioritize Wellness with These Office Design Ideas

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While customer happiness is key to a successful business, the secret to a happy customer may be a happy employee. A 2019 Glassdoor study found that an increase in employees’ ratings of their experience working at a company corresponded with an even bigger increase in customer satisfaction. This trend was especially clear in industries where employees interact with customers.

Employee happiness is also associated with productivity. According to Gallup, employee burnout can lead to $322 billion in turnover and lost productivity costs. Hence, it’s crucial to take care of your employees.

One major aspect that can contribute to worker happiness is a sense of well-being in one’s workspace. The design of an office—from air quality and lighting to fitness opportunities and comfortable chairs—has a big impact on how employees rate their overall happiness with a company.

Include natural lighting

Employees who work in naturally lit office environments reported 63 percent fewer headaches, 56 percent less drowsiness, and 51 percent less eyestrain, according to a 2017 Cornell study. It’s not always possible to add a skylight or more windows to the office, but there are small steps you can take on almost any budget.

If your office environment already has windows, remove nearby furniture, thick curtains, or other items that may be blocking the light.

If you’re short on windows, invest in full-spectrum lighting. Full-spectrum lighting mimics the light spectrum of natural light. Have fluorescent lighting? Consider purchasing fluorescent light covers, which change fluorescent or LED lighting into natural light.

Improve air quality

Many new and renovated buildings have poor air quality. Breathing poor-quality air for eight hours a day influences your employees. It can result in sick days, allergies, and lower cognition. When air quality is improved, the cognitive functioning of adults can increase significantly, according to a 2021 Harvard University study.

One affordable way to increase air quality at home or at the shared office is to offer HEPA air purifiers for employees. Air purifiers remove bacteria and germs from the air, leading to healthier and happy employees. Want more information on air purifiers?

Create outdoor workspaces

If your office building has access to a rooftop garden or outdoor space, use it! Encourage employees to have meetings outdoors, congregate outdoors, or just take breaks outdoors. Not only does it help break up the day, access to nature is also linked to reduced anxiety, according to a 2021 study.

If your office doesn’t have access to nature onsite, think about whether your work model allows your employees flexibility in where they work. Can they work in their own garden or a nearby park? Can you build in breaks in your employees’ days, so they have time to step outside for a breath of fresh air or a quick walk?

Create indoor natural spaces

If you can’t create an outdoor patio or rooftop garden, consider bringing the outdoors in. Studies have found increased happiness and productivity when natural elements are brought indoors. Natural elements can be as simple as adding potted plants to the office. Or, go bigger with living walls, indoor water features, or even a fish tank.

Encourage exercise on the job

It’s tough to sit at a desk all day. Researchers have linked sedentary behavior with stress, anxiety, and depression. On the flip side, active employees may be more productive and in a better mood.

Exercise can be incorporated into the workday in a few different ways. Offer employees under-desk exercise equipment, like under-desk treadmills, ellipticals, or bikes. Or raise the bar even higher, and offer weekly yoga, meditation, or other wellness classes in the office or through virtual platforms.

Make your employees comfortable

Outdated chairs, desks that don’t adjust, clunky keyboards—any of these can lead to employee discomfort, strain, and loss of productivity. Investing in ergonomic furniture keeps employees more alert, engaged, and productive.

One ergonomic option that has been linked directly to health and productivity at work is active workstations, such as standing, cycling, or treadmill workstations. Research shows that each of these types of workstations has different benefits, including decreasing boredom and improvement in simple processing tasks.

Employee wellness is key to a happy customer. These design tips can help improve not only the quality of your employee work experience but the quality of your customer experience as well.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Quill website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction, or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

The Highest Grossing Movies of All-Time

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Lessons from Higher Education to Guide Office Design

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Organizations grappling with the future of work need to reimagine how they design, plan, and manage space. One place they can turn for unique insights on this is the experience of colleges and universities. The reason is simple: employees’ relationship with the physical workplace is starting to look more like students’ relationship with a campus in important ways related to the role of shared spaces for working and meeting.

What lessons can offices take from higher education?

Colleges and universities don’t always get space right, but their successes and challenges provide useful insight for organizations looking to learn. The factors to consider for effective office design are varied — the quality and quantity of spaces, scheduling, research and analytics, and worker flexibility — yet all important.

Below are questions and observations about these factors to help guide the design, planning, and management of office and coworking spaces.

Scheduling 

  • What will your policies and procedures be for booking space?
  • What will the split be between first-come, first-served spaces versus reservable spaces?
  • What mix of centrally available versus restricted spaces will you offer? The fewer restricted spaces there are, the more efficient your space utilization will be.
  • For spaces that are drop-in, will there be any effort to make vacancy information available in real-time?
  • Will scheduling be done centrally, self-service, or from some middle ground — e.g., a department can have one or two workers with authority to book spaces.
  • By whom or what system will workflow and approvals be managed? Who will handle complaints? They’ll roll in, don’t worry!

Research and analytics 

  • How will you measure supply versus demand? Will you resort to anecdotes and random observations? This has taken on added importance as the function of physical space is being reinvented.
  • Are you measuring usage patterns of existing spaces or researching the kinds of spaces that would best support organizational effectiveness? Are you gathering feedback from the right individuals?
  • Space that gets reserved is easier to assess than first-come, first-served space if the reservation system collects and organizes the data in a usable way. Reservation data aren’t perfect, but you might be surprised at the fascinating data dashboards that can be created from them.

Quality and Quantity of Facilities 

  • Do you have an enterprise-wide workspace strategy or a more scattershot approach? Higher education flirts with an enterprise-wide approach at times. A formal and holistic approach is more likely to occur in concert with campus master planning, space utilization studies, or capital planning, as institutional leaders work with outside consultants to gauge usage patterns and plan for future needs. Outside of the planning process, siloes often re-emerge. The library pays attention to the library, staff in charge of student centers gauge those spaces, etc. If a campus has bridge-builders or systems thinkers that are allowed to have influence, then facility management has a better chance of being integrative. Part of the issue is higher education’s decentralized admin structure. Be careful of similar forces in your workplace.
  • How will you balance convenience versus efficiency? Would you rather have a bit too much space or a higher risk of users not finding space? When is the cost of redundant space in multiple locations worth the reduced travel? What are your utilization targets?
  • What is your plan for flexing your space supply in the short and medium term? Higher education makes heavy use of long hours, such as all-night study during exams. This doesn’t seem plausible in most other sectors. Higher ed. also pulls other spaces into service, such as dining halls, during demand spikes. On campuses, students can squat in classrooms which — even if it’s not a formal strategy — is clearly a popular one. When it’s nice out, outdoor spaces also absorb demand. Flexible furniture is another way to adjust your supply of rooms.
  • If your spaces become more transient and public, have you considered safety and security measures, in terms of facility design and usage as well as awareness campaigns?

User flexibility  

Worker (or student) flexibility is an important piece of the facility puzzle. That is not a euphemism for having workers deal with the inconvenience. The sources of flexibility, in addition to individual adaptiveness, include the inherent flexibility of one’s job tasks and organizational policy regarding timing and location of work.

  • Do you know your employees’ flexibility, can you increase their flexibility, and can you capitalize on their flexibility? Higher education yields one crystal clear lesson: While students have time constraints such as classes, outside work, and caregiving, otherwise they have extreme amounts of flexibility in when, where, and how they work. Professors have little concern with when or where homework and outside-of-class projects get done. This considerably eases the demand for shared space in every way. Projects that require highly specialized facilities are one exception, but that’s the exception that proves the rule in that the required physical presence is highly intentional. One factor that permits such distributed decision-making is that student academic work involves a variety of tasks, including reading, studying, and taking notes. If there are constraints that require students to be on campus at certain times – perhaps due to a short break between classes – they can choose the task that aligns with the physical conditions, they will inhabit.
  • Do your team members need personalized spaces? Students generally do not. No framed pictures. No knickknacks. They travel light and use laptops and cloud storage. In the olden days, it was USB drives. Computing centers were part of the shared space mix previously but much less so at this point.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Work Design Magazine website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.