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Archive for October, 2013

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2013 Leave a comment

A Day In The Life Of The Internet

October 22, 2013 Leave a comment

About 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 1.5 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.

Seven Great Business Reason to Say NO!

October 15, 2013 Leave a comment

An article from Inc.com discusses how everyone wants to hear ‘Yes!’ but sometimes ‘No!’ is the answer that’s best. Business is filled with opportunities, and it’s nice when you can say yes to customers, employees and vendors. But there are absolutely times when saying yes will lead to difficulty or even disaster. Here are seven scenarios where no is the only way to go. Some may seem obvious, but I have often witnessed smart people get themselves in trouble by thinking they will somehow work everything out. Don’t put yourself in a bad position unnecessarily. Recognize these 7 scenarios and just say No!

1.  Say NO! When No One Is Ready

Many people say yes to a boss or customer request when the pieces of the puzzle aren’t in place. Great work requires preparation. Great teams require alignment. If your team isn’t prepared or aligned, agreeing to take on difficult initiatives is a disaster waiting to happen. Young companies often try to speed forward before their organizational structure or business model is ready. They instead end up burning investor money while killing dreams and reputations. Say No! so you can get everything and everyone on board and ready. Then you can say yes with confidence.

2. Say NO! When It’s Not a Fit

Salespeople and entrepreneurs alike tend to see the potential in everything and everybody. But a ton of time is wasted on prospects who are never going to be customers, never going to invest, or never going to be amazing employees. Instead of looking for all the reasons why things will work out, save time by focusing on the reasons they won’t. Even if you say No!, you can always revisit the opportunity if compatibility improves.

3. Say NO! When You’re Overloaded

Some people are afraid to say No! even when they have too much on their plates. They think it’s necessary to respond positively all the time to avoid disappointing others. Then they let things fall through the cracks, get sick or have a breakdown. In this case, an impossible yes causes far more frustration then just saying No! in the first place. Have a realistic sense of your capacity and don’t go past your limit.

4.  Say NO! When It’s Unrealistic

You can’t assume that every request has been thought through in detail. Often people ask for what they want with little or no consideration of what’s involved for delivery. I never subscribe to the “customer is always right” theory. As a consultant, I wonder, if they are always right, why would they want to pay me? Be the expert when someone asks for something. If you don’t know how it works, do your homework and say yes only when you know it can really happen. Otherwise, keep that “maybe” handy.

5. Say NO! When You Have to Go Backwards

It’s hard enough to move steadily toward your goals without having to regain lost ground. When approached with an opportunity that doesn’t obviously propel you forward, ask yourself: “Why am I even interested in this?”  You may be surprised to find there is simply no justification for saying yes. When that happens, loudly declare No! and move on to opportunities that better align with your goals.

6.  Say NO! When It’s Unprofitable

You are in business for many reasons, but nearly everyone–founders and employees alike–is in it to profit. Not all profit is related to money, although young entrepreneurs should take note that consistent monetary profit does help your sustainability and your valuation. Sometimes a transaction can pay off in connections, exposure, learning, satisfaction or, yes, money. But when a transaction does nothing to better the people involved, then the word No! should be used. The key is to make sure everyone in the company can understand, recognize and justify a profitable deal. That requires openness and education, so get to work.

7.  Say NO! When You Can’t Meet Expectations

People are often optimistic about how quickly and how well they can get things done. Combine that hopefulness with the desire to please a customer, and you are left over-promising and under-delivering. Save yourself the mea culpa and say No! to what you know you can not do. Be accountable and manage expectations. Whatever you do, don’t say yes to get the deal signed if you’re assuming that, once the prospects are in the door, they’ll have to adapt to your change in quality, timing or price. After they realize what’s happened, few will come back to say yes and do business with liars.

About 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 1.5 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 Perfect Workspace According to Science

An interesting article from 99u discussing how to organize and optimize your workspace in the most beneficial ways possible. When it comes to building your workspace you can aim for the trendy look and flick through some interior design mags, or you can let science guide the way. Based on recent psychology and neuroscience findings, here are some simple and effective steps you can take once to improve your productivity for years:

Take ownership of your workspace 

The simple act of making your own decisions about how to organize your workspace has an empowering effect and has been linked with improved productivity.

Craig Knight, Director of the Identity Realization workplace consultancy, showed this in a 2010 study with Alex Haslam involving 47 office workers in London. Those workers given the opportunity to arrange a small office with as many or few plants and pictures as they wanted were up to 32 percent more productive than others not given this control. They also identified more with their employer, a sign of increased commitment to the team effort and increased efficiency.

If you are an office manager this suggests you should give your staff as much input into the design of their office and immediate workspace as possible. Many companies even give their employees a small amount of money to furnish their space. Alternatively, if you’re a creative in an open-plan office, try to find ways to make your mark on your immediate environment. Even the simple use of a pin-board to post your own pictures and messages could help you feel that the space is yours with consequent benefits for your work.

Choose rounded furniture and arrange it wisely

If you have the luxury of designing your own workspace, consider choosing a layout and furniture that is curved and rounded rather than sharp and straight-edged. Creating this environment has been linked with positive emotions, which is known to be beneficial for creativity and productivity (added bonus: there’s also less chance of knocking an elbow or knee on a sharp corner).

In a 2011 study, hundreds of undergrads looked at computer-generated pictures of room interiors and rated those filled with curvilinear (rounded), as opposed to rectilinear, furniture as more pleasing and inviting. Another study out this year found that people rated curvy, rounded environments as more beautiful than straight-edged rectilinear environments and that the rounded spaces triggered more activity in brain regions associated with reward and aesthetic appreciation.

This contrast between straight edges and curves also extends to the way we arrange our furniture. Apparently, King Arthur was on to something: sitting in circles provokes a collective mindset, whereas sitting in straight lines triggers feelings of individuality – something worth thinking about at your next meeting if you want to encourage team cohesion.

Take advantage of color, light and space

Choosing the right color and lighting scheme for your office is one of the simplest ways your environment can enhance your performance. Different colors and light levels have different psychological effects, so the ideal situation is to install a lighting system that allows you to alter the hue and brightness of your room to suit the kind of work that you’re engaged in.

For instance, exposure to both blue and green has been shown to enhance performance on tasks that require generating new ideas. However, the color red has been linked with superior performance on tasks involving attention to detail. Another study out this year showed that a dimmer environment fostered superior creativity in terms of idea generation, probably because it encourages a feeling of freedom. On the other hand, brighter light levels were more conducive to analytical and evaluative thinking.

Not as easy to modify, but ceiling height has also been shown to have psychological effects. A 2007 study found that a higher ceiling was associated with feelings of freedom, together with a more abstract and relational thinking style that helped participants see the commonalities between objects and concepts.

Make use of plants and windows

If you only do one thing to optimize your workspace, invest in a green plant or two. Research has repeatedly shown that the presence of office plants has a range of benefits including helping workers recover from demanding activities and lowering stress levels. As a bonus, there’s also evidence that plants can reduce office pollution levels.

Another feature of an optimized office is a window with a view, preferably of a natural landscape. This is because a glance at the hills or a lake recharges your mind. Obviously a view of nature isn’t possible for many people who work in cities, but even in an urban situation, a view of trees or intricate architecture have both been linked with restorative benefits. If you can’t negotiate a desk with a view, another plan is to choose an office in your building that’s the shortest stroll from an urban park. A visit here will revitalize your mind and compensate for your lack of a view.

The benefits of a messy desk

There’s a lot of pressure these days to be organized. How are you supposed to get your work done if you can’t even find a clear space on your desk to roll a mouse or place a plant? But new research suggests Einstein may have been onto something when he opined: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Kathleen Vohs and her colleagues at the University of Minnesota found that participants tested in a messy room at a desk covered with paper came up with more imaginative uses for a ping pong ball than participants tested in a tidy room. This matches the views of consultant Craig Knight who has argued against the modern trend for “lean” workspaces. “We don’t understand psychologically why putting someone in an impoverished space should work, when it doesn’t work for any other animal on the planet,” he said recently.

It also fits with the advice from Eric Abrahamson – co-author of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder – who says people with highly ordered desks often struggle to find things because their filing systems are so complicated. He also points out a key advantage to a mess – you can find things in it that you didn’t expect. Discovering that ground-breaking idea you scribbled on a piece of paper two years ago could be just the spark to get your next project off the ground.

It’s easy to neglect the importance of your workspace, especially if you’re under pressure of deadlines and not so into interior design. But hopefully this review has convinced you that the spaces we occupy really can affect us psychologically. It’s vital that you choose an office space that you feel happy and comfortable in. If your freedom is restricted, shape the space as much as you can to make it your own. Get your surroundings in order and the rest is sure to follow.

About 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 1.5 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.

Do You BYOD To The Office?

A recent article from Steelcase discusses the pros and cons of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work. The workplace is changing; employees are no longer tied to their desks or offices. As the trend of remote and mobile working continues to grow, it’s important for organizations to allow their employees to make personalized choices about the technology they use in remote and mobile settings. That’s why BYOD  has become an essential element in how we work.

On the positive side, BYOD can encourage teamwork and collaboration activities, which are often spontaneous in current work settings. Having personal devices handy makes it easier for employees to share information, call up documents on demand, and make changes to documents on the fly. It is also important for employees to be comfortable with the technology they are using in order to reach their full potential as a worker.

This growing trend doesn’t come without its challenges. For example, there’s a greater range of devices with a greater range of applications and content sharing approaches. This has led to more security and compatibility issues and overall governance for the IT support professionals. From the employees’ perspective, there is also a perception that if they have 24/7 connection to work through these devices, they must answer when a call or email comes through. This has even sparked lawsuits over the value of employees’ time.

Despite these potential pitfalls, BYOD is a great tool for companies who want to motivate their employee base, promote collaboration among teams, and offer flexible work strategies, especially for top performers. Additionally, companies can put in place smart and strategic guidelines to help mitigate these risks.

At Steelcase, we’ve seen great success with our BYOD program. We’ve approached our BYOD program as voluntary, meaning employees can choose to use the BYOD program and receive a stipend but buy their own handset hardware, or they can choose to have a standardized hardware device that’s company issued. In our Americas region, almost half of the mobile phone users have chosen the BYOD program. They’re enthusiastic about choosing their own technology for mobile phones.

Additionally, almost all of the people choosing the BYOD program select SmartPhones as their technology of choice. Frequent travelers consistently comment how much productive they can be with a SmartPhone as they travel.

In an ideal setting, people in the workplace have choice and control when it comes to the technology that they use and therefore want to purchase their own technology, perhaps partly from a personal technology budget provided by their employer and partly from their own pocket. It’s important that organizations adapt to these trends and insure that personal technology seamlessly integrates with corporate business systems and networks. This will be a substantial challenge for global IT organizations to face.

 

About 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 1.5 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.