Tag Archives: Workplace Happiness

3 Ways to boost your happiness and productivity during summertime

happiness_header
According to a worldwide Gallup study, only 13% of people are happily engaged at work. That leaves a whopping 87% of workers who aren’t happy or emotionally committed to their jobs. Surely with the summer season right around the corner and with vacations, beach breaks and sunny BBQ’s on the horizon, our happy vibes should permeate in the workplace?

There’s almost universal belief that you don’t have to be happy at work to succeed or be productive. But research by positive psychologists like Shawn Achor is turning this theory upside down, with academic studies showing that a positive mindset results in 31% higher levels of productivity. Happy, engaged people are better workers. FACT. They process information more effectively, think more creatively and make more accurate decisions. So, the best way to unleash your potential and that of your team is to first maximize your own happiness and wellbeing.

Being happy at work shouldn’t be a rarity. There are many ways you can enhance your good-time feeling at work. Here are just a few tips to put a smile on your face this summer season.

1. Get to know one another
make friends
No matter how much we might like to work alone, we humans are social creatures at heart. Liking your co-workers and enjoying their company is the cornerstone to creating a fun, trusting and cooperative workplace. In a job satisfaction survey by the Conference Board research group, ‘people at work’ is cited as a key determinant of job satisfaction, with 60.6% of workers saying it makes them happier in their vocation. A good friendship network acts as a worker support system and promotes an open environment for resource and idea sharing.

Encourage friendship-building in your team through off-site play days or social lunches. Make the most of the warm weather and take a walk outside with your colleagues, and use this as a chance to bond with each other over an ice cold lemonade. (Trust me, you’ll feel refreshed when you return to the office.) Continue to build friendly connections with one another and use the Comments and Messaging feature in DropTask to stay in touch and share helpful information, all to make that working day that little bit less stressful.

2. Always look for the good
chase small wins
Research by Harvard professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer reveals that one of the best ways to boost positive vibes while on the job is to make progress on meaningful work. Having a gigantic work goal ahead of you can feel overwhelming. But there are lots of small steps you can take each day or week to move you forward and increase your enjoyment on the journey. But when the view outside of the office window is teasing you, cracking on with work can sometimes take a backseat to daydreaming about summer plans.

Thinking positively and maintaining motivation are some of the key factors in maintaining happiness at work. While motivation pushes you forward to succeed, a positive frame of mind will help you to overcome obstacles that may stumble upon your path. Fuel your drive to keep moving forward and take a glance at your Completed Tasks. You’ll want to avoid spending too much time looking back, but you can review a library of all of your accomplishments which may just provide you with a boost of encouragement to keep going. Combined with a rush of feel-good hormones, you’ll be determined to get back to the work at hand which was pushed aside after the sun made its long awaited appearance.

3. Brighten up your workspace
Brighten up your workspace
Look at how your workspace is organized. Is it attractive and vibrant? Is it cluttered? Is it dull and drab? You’ll be surprised by how much your physical surroundings can affect you on a mental and emotional level. Take the outside for instance, studies show that warm weather not only boosts our creativity but makes our brain more mentally fit. Bring in the joyous feelings from outside and do some rejuvenating to get rid of the junk on your desk and purify your office space. Ditch messy paper to-do lists and notebook planners and consolidate all of your tasks into DropTask. As new-agey as this all sounds, the process of de-cluttering signals respect for your work environment and brings in a fresh, positive energy.

Quick tip – Research shows that colors not only affect our mood, but also have a profound impact on our productivity. Decorate your workspace with DropTask’s unique color palette to stimulate your creativity. Next, encourage your team to customize their workspace by adding Cover Images to tasks. With a tweak here and a splash of color there, it can do your mood the world of good.

Maintain your productivity and happiness this summer with DropTask. Sign up for free today: www.droptask.com/signup

How do you stay happy at work? Share your tips in the comments below and help others find something to smile about.

How to fall back in love with your work with DropTask

valentines
Research shows that 53% of US workers love their work, and happier workers are 12% more productive in the workplace. As a result, this leads to workers being healthier and more sociable within their job role. But, if only half of the population love their work then what’s happening to the other 47%? When it comes to how we feel about work, there are often three categories that workers fall under:

1. The ones that are totally devoted to what they do.
2. The ones who tolerate their job and are on a countdown until they’re reunited with the weekend.
3. The ones who are constantly searching for that one job that they can be passionate about.

If you’re reading this and you fall under number 2 or 3, it’s time to reevaluate. The workplace is where we spend most of our waking hours, so it’s crucial that we enjoy the time that we spend there.

Use DropTask to fall hopelessly back in love with your work and follow our simple steps to rekindle the spark that could make you a happier, healthier and more productive worker.

Revisit the first attraction
valentines-droptask-assign

‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’
Marc Anthony

Remember when you first started your current job? Just like in the initial stages of dating, you found each task and challenge placed in front of you exciting, and the thought of being granted responsibility made you weak at the knees. You’d even get up 2 hours earlier in the morning to prune and prepare for the day ahead. But now, three years down the line, rushing through the door is a frequent occurrence in your daily routine. When did things get so disorganized?

Take a step back to reflect on the positives in preparing for the day ahead, because the importance of daily and weekly planning plays a crucial part in how successful you are at work. Planning can reduce stress by a significant amount and gives you peace of mind that you have an action plan to work on. In DropTask, create Tasks for the priorities that need to be completed by the end of your day, and use the Assign feature to set that you’re accountable for their completion. Setting yourself up for the day ahead will not only increase your work ethic efficiency and drive you to hit specific goals, but it will also stand as a reminder of the bigger picture and why you fell head over heels with your job in the first place.

Enhance your relationships
valentines-droptask-commenting

‘Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress; working together is success.’
Henry Ford

Maybe the word ‘love’ is not often heard uttered in the kitchen or the atrium of your workplace, but it has one of the biggest impacts on workplace performance. If you love the company and the colleagues that you’re spending your days with, you’ll naturally become more engaged and passionate about what you’re doing. To enhance your happiness at work, Collaborate with all members of your team and make an effort to bond with one another – after all, you do spend most of your day with these people.

Ensure you set aside time for lunch each day, break away from the desk, and make an effort to chat with your colleagues. Bonding with colleagues enriches the working day and as a result, keeps us energized and eager to produce more work. Use the Messaging feature to arrange a lunchtime date and use this time to offload, let your guard down and talk about anything but work. The latter half of your day is critical to your workplace performance and leaves a lasting impression on how you’ll approach your tasks for the following day. You’ll quickly realize that by taking an extra few minutes to reconnect with colleagues, you’ll be refreshed when returning to your desk and prepped to tackle your to-dos head on. You’ll then be able to leave the office in good spirits knowing that you’ve been a productive member of the team who has helped to move the project nearer to its completion.

Progress in an environment that you adore
valentines-droptask-workflow

‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do.’
Steve Jobs

Your setting and workplace environment is a key factor in determining whether you’re going to be crazy in love with your work. Whether your preference is a quiet office or being in the center of a vibrant city, it’s important that your surroundings can nurture your growth and progression. If altering your work setting isn’t an option, take the opportunity to switch up your tasking environment. DropTask offers a visually engaging and refreshing approach to managing your day to day tasks and projects, and with notes, files and to-dos all in once place there’ll be no need to worry about falling back into old working habits because we’ll have you covered.

Having a visually appealing workspace with your tasks laid out in front of you will instantly uplift your mood, as you will be able to see who’s working on what, what’s in Progress and what has been Completed. With ‘Clean Desk Policies’ sweeping the nation, it’s said that employees who work at a clutter-free desk are more productive as it improves their efficiency when completing tasks. And as a result of boosting work-related performance, the ‘CDP’ also reduces work-related stress. Within DropTask, we’ve taken a similar approach with DropTask Workflow view that facilitates the flow of tasks as they progress effortlessly through stages within your project.  Tracking progress step-by-step is easy as each vertical swimlane can be divided into ‘to-do, doing and done’ sections, allowing you to keep a tight rein on your workload, so you can maintain focus on the to-dos that will contribute the most towards reaching your successful outcome.

Experiencing ups and downs with your job is completely normal, and in fact, is a continuous development point for maintaining a healthy relationship. Sometimes we just need a little perspective on how many hurdles we’ve overcome to get to where we are today. Dip into your Archived Projects to review your journey and the projects that you were first assigned to. Here, you’ll be able to reevaluate if there are any flaws in your path and feel optimistic about creating a positive and happy future ahead.

How do you get the most out of your working day? Let us know in the comments below.

Bring Thanksgiving to the workplace for stronger teams

Bring thanksgiving to the workplace for stronger teams

As Thanksgiving approaches, we look forward to gathering around the dinner table with our loved ones to be thankful for all the blessings of the past year. But the heartwarming tradition of Thanksgiving shouldn’t only be practiced at home with our spouses, children and special friends; it should also be celebrated with our “work families” – the co-workers and colleagues whose hard graft powers the engine of the business.

As an employer or manager, do you take time to say “thank you” and appreciate your team for going the extra mile for you?

As a team worker, do you express your gratitude to your colleagues and peers for their everyday input and support in your work life?

Don’t be a turkey, now’s the time to celebrate the teamwork that makes your success as a company possible. Encouraging an “attitude of gratitude” in the workplace is not only uplifting in the moment, but has a powerful ripple effect in building team morale, trust and productivity all year long.

So, how can we all be a little more thankful this holiday season? Here are some suggestions:

Chocolate cakes

1. Recognize with a prize

According to a survey by career community site Glassdoor, 81% of workers are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. And yet in the never-stand-still flurry of the modern work environment, good leaders will often take their team members for granted. A Gallup poll found that only one in three US workers could strongly agree that they had received recognition or praise from their supervisor in the last seven days. With Thanksgiving almost upon us, don’t miss this precious opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of your team. There are lots of simple (mostly budget-friendly) ways to show the people in your workplace that you really care:

  • Time off around Thanksgiving
  • A personalized thank you note, whether by email, card, letter or even video
  • Unexpected gifts such as a turkey, food hamper, grocery store/restaurant gift card or show tickets
  • A plaque, award or certificate of appreciation
  • Pre-Thanksgiving meal at work with all the trimmings
  • A day trip or outing
  • A monetary award such as a cash bonus or pay rise
  • The ability to work remotely in the run up to Thanksgiving
  • Meaningful career opportunities, training or coaching
  • Public praise and a handshake at a team meeting or company event
  • Highlighting someone’s performance in the company newsletter

Sincere expressions of gratitude like these aren’t difficult to organize, but are indispensable in making teams feel valued for their work. With a variety of Team Plans on offer, DropTask can help your colleagues pull together to achieve common goals and keep their eyes on the prize. People have greater options to work from home during the winter holidays while still collaborating in real-time, so no-one need ever miss out.
Thank you

2. Get specific by evaluating performance

To get better at saying thank you and giving rewards, you need to stay on top of people’s performance. A general pat on the back for effort is one thing, but recognition is best received when it’s specific. Rather than simply praising workers for a “good job”, highlight exactly what they’re doing right and how they’ve contributed to broader business objectives. This makes it clear what actions or behaviors you would love to see more of in the future and is one of the best ways to positively reinforce first class performance. Use DropTask to track individual and team performance on big or small projects. With the ability to Filter tasks by Assignee, Importance, Effort and Status, it’s easy to keep tabs on how workers and teams are getting on, and you’ll have no trouble finding the specifics to be thankful about.

Evaluate performance

3. Promote goodwill

Connect everyone to the spirit of Thanksgiving through different media. For instance, create a social network page, blog or bulletin board for folks to post things that they appreciate about each other. People should focus on what they are grateful for in their bosses, co-workers or teams – whether their strengths, the things they do or the times they’ve shared together during their work relationship. Showing gratitude to colleagues can build stronger bonds and spurs teams to get better results. Make a genuine effort to compliment your peers whenever you can. Thank them publicly for their help in a team meeting, bring them a tasty treat or drop them a quick message via DropTask so everyone involved in a task can see it. Better yet, extend your gratitude even further by sending a complimentary email to his or her boss. It only takes a few feel-good moments like this to establish a culture of appreciation and fellowship.


Your special Thanksgiving gift

As a thank you from us, we’re giving you and your team a whole year of DropTask for Business free* when you upgrade to any of our 2 year plans before this Friday 25th November 2016. Don’t miss out, redeem now.

From everyone here at DropTask, we wish you, your family and your entire team a very happy Thanksgiving!

Work-life balance and 5 ways you can achieve it

Work-life balance and 5 ways you can achieve it
Every business owner, professional or working parent out there knows what a struggle it can be to balance a heavy workload with a fulfilling personal life. Mastering the elusive ‘work-life balance’ can seem nigh on impossible when you’re taking tons of work home with you, cancelling social plans and answering emails at 11pm.

According to a global study by Ernst & Young, one-third of full-time workers say that maintaining a work-life balance has become tougher in the last five years. Longer work hours, lack of job security and new communication technologies make it increasingly difficult for people to leave work behind at the office, and the boundaries between home and work are blurring. But the stress that builds up from overwork and an ‘always on’ mentality can be costly, giving rise to health issues, relationship conflicts and disengagement. The need to unwind from the pressures of work, spend time with family and take care of your own wellbeing has never been more crucial. Indeed, getting the balance right can help you bring your best to all areas of your life.

Work-life balance varies from one individual to the next. Here are 5 tips to support you in finding the balance that’s right for you.

1. Work out your personal priorities

Work out your personal priorities

If you’ve been tipping over on the work side of the scale, then your private life is likely to have taken a hit lately. Take a good hard look at your priorities and consider how you can re-allocate time to the most precious things in your personal life, as well as your business. We all need personal goals to balance out our professional ambitions. To help you create space in your life for family, friends, rest and play, create a project in DropTask just as you would for a work-related goal, and manage it in the same way. Make yourself accountable by scheduling tasks for the next few weeks or months to pursue a hobby, attend your kid’s soccer match, go on a trip, volunteer or host a dinner party for friends. Focus on the people and things that are important to you so that your life reflects your priorities, not anyone else’s. We suggest aiming to give yourself something to look forward to at least twice a week, so you have an extra incentive to manage your time well. Don’t worry about trying to remember everything as DropTask will send you a Daily Summary Email to inform you on what you should be doing and when.

2. Learn to say “no”

Learn to say no
You’ll have an easier time sticking to your personal priorities if you learn the power of saying “no” once in a while. Trying to please everyone all the time is the short route to burnout, so it’s imperative to protect your time. You don’t have to volunteer for everything you’re asked to do. Get comfortable with setting boundaries and decline any energy-sapping requests, errands or meetings that fall outside of them. Have a chat with your manager or team to communicate your limits and agree on how you’ll work going forward – can you delegate or outsource any of your time-consuming but low-value jobs? Any feelings of guilt will soon melt away when you realise how much it can benefit your productivity and work-life balance. DropTask can help you with crafting and maintaining boundaries, allowing you to Assign Tasks to others and customize Notifications so that you don’t get overloaded.

3. Telecommute

Telecommute
If you have the option, consider working from home a few times a week. Freedom from the hellish commute and time-guzzling distractions of the office (impromptu meetings, interruptions by colleagues, and so on) means that your natural workflow can flourish unabated. As a result, you’ll gain much-needed extra time to take care of your personal responsibilities. With DropTask at your service, you no longer need to be sitting in the same office to share info, stay up-to-date on progress or give your full input on team projects. You can be just as productive and collaborative as your office-based colleagues, if not more, while lounging around in your pyjamas!

4. Unplug after hours

Unplug after hours
Here at DropTask, we love new technology. But there are occasions when even we admit you have to pull the plug on it. Checking your emails every 15 minutes when you’re supposed to be watching a movie with the kids doesn’t amount to true quality time and actually injects an element of stress into your evening. Try to completely ban work-related technology when you get home so that you can focus on your family, friends or yourself. Turn off your phone or screen your calls, letting them go to voicemail if they’re not urgent. Now relax and enjoy the moment.

5. Take care of the physical

Take care of the physical
No matter how jam-packed our schedule is, the one aspect we can’t ignore is our self-care. Block out a bit of personal time in your calendar to take a walk, meditate, eat a mindful lunch or do anything that will top up your tank. That way your health won’t get crowded out in favour of other more ‘urgent’ demands. Get out into the fresh air for an hour if you can, or head to the gym for a heart-pumping session. Can’t leave your desk? Then try some deep breathing exercises or stretches while sitting down (roll your neck and shoulders, flex your feet, stretch your arms), or do a 10-minute body-scan meditation. A little rejuvenation goes a long way in helping to bring more balance to your life.

Got any ideas for tip No. 6? What strategies do you rely on for creating a healthy work-life balance? Tell us in the comments below.