7 Best Digital Tools to Keep Your Remote Team Connected

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In the past couple of months, remote work has been on the rise because of how the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to adapt to enable continuity of operations. This global health crisis has likewise led to organizations being accustomed to different schedules and habits that make remote work both manageable and productive. While this work arrangement can spur a great deal of difficulty at first, it also opens up an avenue for positive changes and increased collaboration among remote teams.

Now that you have adopted remote work policies and a remote workforce in place, how can you effectively communicate and collaborate with them especially during a crisis? Some challenges that remote work poses include time zones, technological differences, cultural differences, and language barriers, among others.

Apart from these unique threats, you also have all these common struggles associated with remote work to overcome:

Struggles of Remote Work - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: State of Remote Report, 2019

Managing a remote team is becoming the need of the hour. As a leader, it is your responsibility to set up the path for your team’s success. And these digital tools can significantly improve your remote work processes and help you stay on top of things while operating from your home office, a coworking space, or anywhere else in the world.

Slack - 7 Best Digital Tools to Keep Your Remote Team Connected - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Slack

For Quick Messaging and Chatting – Slack

Slack is a messaging remote work tool that helps in team communication, allowing you and your team to exchange ideas and give comments in real time. It has great team management features for planning, running projects, assigning teams, as well as playing games and activities. It is also an efficient platform for company-wide announcements and is available for both iOS and Android to give you complete functionality.

Other Best Features:

  • Different channels for multiple teams and projects
  • File sharing
  • Archived messages with a search feature
  • Third-party app integrations
  • Voice and video calls

Alternatives:

  • Google Hangout
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Skype
  • Flock
  • Wire
  • Mattermost

Zoom - 7 Best Digital Tools to Keep Your Remote Team Connected - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Zoom

For Video Conferencing – Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing and communication tool designed for remote teams, virtual business conferences, webinars, virtual meetings, and other corporate purposes. Many business leaders regard Zoom as one of the best remote collaboration tools because it replicates face-to-face interactions and in-office meetings. You can see how your team reacts to a suggestion or an idea. You can even share your screen with other team members for a collaborative discussion when you are presenting. This is an effective feature especially if you are teaching someone how to use a new app or you want to display a document for the team. If you are a digital product seller, you can easily show them a demo without having to guess their genuine reactions. No wonder Zoom is one of the top market winners during this COVID-19 crisis.

Other Best Features:

  • Join as a view-only attendee
  • Built-in security measures like password protection
  • Instant or scheduled meeting setups
  • Fullscreen and gallery view
  • Voice sharing

Alternatives:

  • Google Hangouts Meet
  • join.me
  • Cisco Webex Meetings
  • GoToMeeting
  • BlueJeans

Toggl - 7 Best Digital Tools to Keep Your Remote Team Connected - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Toggl

For Time Management – Toggl

Toggl is an easy-to-use time tracking app that can give you an overview of time spent on various tasks. It was designed to accurately track how long it takes to accomplish a project and was originally intended for freelancers to ensure accurate invoicing and fair payments. The app’s data visualizations can help you compare profits against time spent on tasks and labor costs, allowing you to see which projects and clients are most profitable. Toggl is web-based but also offers native apps for desktop, iOS, and Android that sync together in real time. Furthermore, the app can be used both online and offline for continued productivity.

Other Best Features:

  • Charts
  • Day-by-day breakdown
  • Full reports
  • One-click time tracking
  • Reports sharing

Alternatives:

  • DeskTime
  • Everhour
  • Paymo
  • FreshBooks
  • RescueTime
  • Hubstaff

Evernote - 7 Best Digital Tools to Keep Your Remote Team Connected - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Microsoft

For Project Management – Evernote

Evernote works on all platforms, including smartphones and tablets, which makes it an ideal project management tool for you and your remote team. Sync your notes and files with ease across all your devices. This app serves as your personal digital assistant, task organizer, to-do-list, and pocket notebook. It can help you focus on what really matters and give you access to information when you most need it.

Other Best Features:

  • Editorial content calendar
  • Faster image recognition
  • Mobile offline notes
  • Business card scanning
  • Presentation mode
  • PDF annotation

Alternatives:

  • Trello
  • Google Sheets/Excel
  • Basecamp
  • Asana

Google Drive - 7 Best Digital Tools to Keep Your Remote Team Connected - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: PCMag

For Cloud Storage and File Sharing – Google Drive

Imagine your Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and even images and videos in one convenient location that is accessible to your remote team—that is Google Drive for you. With this digital tool, your team members can also collaborate on a particular document, leave comments, and make real-time changes. You can grant other people access to certain files and allow them to view or make edits as you wish. Moreover, Google Drive comes with a free 15g storage space.

Other Best Features:

  • Convert PDF files to Docs
  • Scan documents
  • Filter searches
  • One-tap phone backup
  • Set up offline access

Alternatives:

  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive
  • pCloud
  • Sync
  • Canto

Zapier - 7 Best Digital Tools to Keep Your Remote Team Connected - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Zapier

For Workflow Automation – Zapier

Simply put, Zapier can automate almost any type of business process. This workflow automation software has the ability to share data with and connect to over 1,000 web apps such as Facebook, Google Drive, and Slack, among others. Just build a workflow in their editor, select the apps you want to integrate into your workflow, and then design it. Zapier lets you create what they call “Zaps,” which allow you to build entire workflows using over 500 integrations from document sharing and social media to project management and email marketing.

Other Best Features:

  • Connect over 1,500 apps
  • User-friendly workflow editor
  • Multi-step workflows and conditioning logic
  • Collaboration tools for teams and organizations

Alternatives:

  • Automate
  • Zoho Creator
  • Microsoft Flow
  • Integrify
  • KiSSFLOW

Dashlane - 7 Best Digital Tools to Keep Your Remote Team Connected - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Dashlane

For Password Management – Dashlane

Having several passwords can be challenging, but a structured and secure password management tool will bear the burden for you. With just a few clicks, Dashlane can remember your login details. It is encrypted and easy to use especially for first-time users. This tool also has the capability to store logins for up to 50 accounts in a secure vault with multi-factor authentication. Should you opt for Dashlane’s premium service, you can monitor the dark web for data breaches and receive personalized alerts if any of your personal information appears in stolen data.

Other Best Features:

  • Easy syncing between devices
  • Includes VPN
  • Secure document storage
  • Extension that supports Chrome, Firefox, and Safari

Alternatives:

  • LastPass
  • Keeper Password Manager
  • RoboForm
  • True Key
  • Enpass

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of businesses to enable remote work. This work arrangement can be challenging, especially when it is sudden and uncalled for. But with the right digital tools in place, you can maximize productivity and establish collaborative workflows among your team members, wherever they may be in the world.

5 Best Practices to Effectively Hold Virtual Meetings

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the way people work across the world, most businesses have adopted work-from-home policies as quickly and effectively as possible to allow for continuity of operations. During this difficult time, the challenge for employers is to help their teams adjust to this new reality while ensuring morale and productivity are affected as little as possible.

In reality, most organizations cannot just simply shift their in-office meeting structure to video conferencing and expect the same exact results. Thankfully, modern technology allows us to hold face-to-face meetings without having to be in the same location, let alone in the same room. Though there may be big differences between office-based and online meetings, becoming accustomed to this new paradigm is paramount to your business. Here are tips to help you put your best foot forward and ensure your virtual meetings run productively.

Choose the Right Meeting Tools

Picking the right tools for your virtual meetings can be daunting, what with the abundance of technology that makes the process faster, easier, and more collaborative. It is important to know the key functionality you will be needing for the meeting to be successful. Do you need to see your teammates’ reactions as you talk about your weekly tasks or achievements? Try a video conferencing software like Skype. Are you going to work on a file that should be accessible to and editable by others? Google Docs would be there perfect choice. Do you need everyone to watch a video or PowerPoint presentation in real time? Then a screen-sharing software like Zoom is a must.

Set an Agenda

If you want your virtual meetings to be successful, you need to plan your agenda prior to the meeting itself. The best remote meetings have an agenda set beforehand so attendees can come in knowing what they will be discussing. Expectations must also be set ahead of time. When leading a meeting, establish basic ground rules—ask attendees to join the call on time, close out email and other browsers during the meeting, as well as to always keep their video on and mute the audio when they are not speaking.

It is worth noting to include the following on your agenda:
  • Key talking points
  • Structure
  • Team members in attendance
  • Any relevant files or documents

Creating a clear agenda and a series of guidelines will help ensure that your team is on the same page before the virtual meeting takes place.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

Before starting the meeting, make sure that you have a quiet place so you can focus without any distractions. Check if your workstation is in tip-top shape and everything is organized—from documents you will be needing to how your home office looks in front of the camera. If your boss or teammate asks for a specific file or information that has a physical copy, you should be able to present it right away. You should also let your family members know that you are on a call and would appreciate extremely limited to no interruptions.

Practice Proper Virtual Meeting Etiquette

It can be easy to fall victim to some major meeting faux pas, but this can be avoided to keep your meetings efficient and professional. Online meetings are like a whole new ball game compared to office meetings because of our current situation, and let us assume this could be the new normal for the months or years to come. Keep in mind the following codes of conduct and behavior during the actual virtual meeting with your team:

  • Turn off all notifications and make sure your cell phone is on silent.
  • Make sure all team members are in a quiet area free from unnecessary distractions.
  • Give everyone a chance to speak and contribute.
  • Do not stare at your phone while other people are presenting.
  • Do not interrupt other people when they are speaking.
  • Do not work on other tasks, like checking email or other websites, during the virtual meeting.

Plain and simple, just practice common courtesy. People want to be heard, seen, and respected during an online meeting—just like they do everywhere else.

Keep Your Team Engaged

From setting an agenda to practicing proper etiquette, these important guidelines in getting a virtual meeting up and running would be useless if your team is not engaged. It is important to start the meeting with a casual conversation or an “ice breaker” to lighten up the mood. Catch up with your teammates especially in these trying times. Ask them about their families and how they get by every day. Showing them empathy and compassion makes them feel that they are cared for, which enables them to open up and be comfortable. Moreover, come up with several interactive online activities that are fun and engaging to avoid dull meetings. In virtual settings, you do not have that face-to-face interaction, so you have to work hard to gain their trust and build rapport.

 

Successfully holding a virtual meeting can feel overwhelming especially during this time, but it really does not have to be. When you follow these tips, it will not matter whether you are working with a team of five, or even more than ten, and even if they are miles away from where you are—you will have everything you need to be productive and to run online meetings smoothly as you would do in a regular office one.

7 Ways to Work From Home Efficiently During the COVID-19 Crisis

ARCH Ways to Work From Home Infographic - ARCH Offices - Blog

As the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a global health crisis, businesses across the world have been temporarily closing offices, prohibiting non-essential travel, and adopting work-from-home policies. Many situations such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters can disrupt people’s lives, mobility, and ability to get things done. With a remote access solution on hand for businesses, those working from home will be able to accomplish their tasks and collaborate with their teammates.

But how can you effectively deliver results if it is your first time to work away from the office? Here are optimal practices you can adopt to stay focused on the job and mentally healthy while working from home:

Establish Your Space

Setting up your personal workspace at home is crucial, especially if you share the house with a spouse, your children, or your siblings. Ideally, it should be in a quiet area with some privacy. A spare room can help reduce noise and avoid distractions from other people if you will be on the phone frequently. You might also need a dedicated space for your design or tech equipment, one that is separate from the rest of your other stuff. Place a filing cabinet beside your desk where you can store confidential files. If you have children or younger siblings, keeping important things within their reach could be a problem. Make sure to also keep your workstation clean and sanitized every now and then, if at all possible, twice a day.

Start Early and Track Everything

Research says that if you get up early, you will be more creative and efficient throughout the day. However, it is important to understand how your body clock works as it will help you find your most productive times, lowest energy dips during the day, and best hours for sleeping. If you are a morning person, you should set aside your morning hours for focused, uninterrupted work time. Furthermore, tracking time will also encourage you to break down your workday effectively, from the most important tasks to those you can accomplish later on. People working remotely are more likely to overwork than those in the office. By tracking time, you will be able to maintain regular work hours. Although you are working from home, there still comes a time when you have to call it a day and spend some time with your loved ones.

Pretend You Are Actually Going into the Office

Structure is important in adjusting to a new work environment. Beyond the essential tools required to accomplish your tasks, experts say that the most effective way to stay productive is to replicate your office environment at home. While it is necessary to create a sense of structure and social stimulation like that of your office environment, it is worth noting that you cannot entirely replicate your work model in the office. What could make you more efficient is preparing for work as if you are coming into the office. Set your alarm, drink your morning coffee, and wear nice clothes, even when you are just at home. That mindset can boost your productivity and help you create a positive outlook when working.

Prepare and Update Your To-Do List

It can be challenging to keep track of what you have to finish throughout your workday especially when you are working from the comfort of your home. It is easy to overlook tasks, priorities, and deadlines. When you create a to-do list, make sure you stick to it. After you complete a certain task, cross it off the list. Not only is this simple technique effective, it is also fulfilling as it helps you build momentum to power through the rest of the day. Get into the habit of using a planner to keep track of deadlines and meetings. In fact, there are different task management tools such as Zoho Projects and Trello that make working from home a cakewalk. By organizing your tasks, you can accomplish them one at a time and with a dedicated focus.

Apply the Pomodoro Technique

How the Pomodoro Technique works is surprisingly simple. Just list down a set of tasks and set a timer for 25 minutes per item. At the end of every 25 minutes, you take a quick break. Five to ten minutes should do. Once you have completed four of these blocks, or “pomodoros,” that is when you take a longer break. Somewhere around 20 minutes to a half hour works well. Repeat these series of 25-minute blocks throughout your workday, with short periods of time to eat or grab a snack. As the timer instills a sense of urgency, you will not feel like you have endless time to get things done, thus avoiding wasting precious hours on distractions. Because you know you only have 25 minutes, you strive to make as much progress on a task as possible.

Set Timeframes for Social Media Use

Unless your line of work highly involves social media, checking your accounts from time to time can be detrimental to the quality of your output. If you are not careful, you can easily get lost in your screen—tapping from app to app and scrolling through social feeds for a good two hours. The most sensible thing to do is to close your social media apps and limit checking to just twice during your entire working schedule. Many mobile apps now reveal to users how much time they spend in each app. The result is eye-opening, especially for casual social media users. Avoid mindless use of social media and you would be surprised how much you can accomplish. It would also be best to have a dedicated spot where you can store your smartphone, tablet, and other gadgets, at least for a while until you reach your targets for the day.

Eat Healthy Food

You do not want to overdo it with snacking, but you also do not want to starve yourself. Once you hit the ground running, it can be difficult to take a break just to grab something to eat. Nevertheless, it is necessary that you know your hunger signs and understand that not eating can affect your productivity and alertness. What you eat will impact your mood and energy level. It is also worth mentioning that balanced, nutritious food keeps us fuller longer and helps us concentrate better. Focus on protein, fiber, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies. Preparing your meals ahead of time, just like you would on days you go to the office, will make it easier to avoid noshing on whatever looks tastiest in the moment.

 

Working from home is full of temptation in the form of countless distractions. You have to fight off the effects of sitting too long in front of your laptop and wake up your brain if you are feeling a bit sluggish. Remote working is a double-edge sword—you get to work on your tasks comfortably, but it can be harder to maintain focus. While no boss or colleague is physically watching your every move while you are working, you have to do your part, perform at your best, and deliver awesome results at the end of the day. After all, not everyone has the luxury of staying home and making a living at the same time.

6 Romantic Restaurants in Makati That Are Perfect For Valentine’s Day

Makati is one of the busiest business districts in the metro. Restaurants can easily be crammed with famished people, particularly during special occasions. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you should have already booked a table by now if you are looking to dine in the country’s financial hub.

Aside from getting reservations, probably one of the hardest decisions to make and what you should consider a top priority is the restaurant in which you want to celebrate with your significant other. Since Makati is home to multinational corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses, it also provides an eclectic mix of restaurants that offer a wide array of cuisines. These can either be found in upscale shopping malls or the neighborhoods of Legazpi and Salcedo Village. Some may be a bit pricey, but you need not break the bank to pull off the most romantic date. Nevertheless, we have narrowed down the best ones to save you the trouble.

Blackbird

Located in the heart of Makati, Blackbird prides itself as a restaurant of simplicity and sophistication. Its high-end interiors, exceptional service, and East-meets-West dishes are what make it a perfect choice. Headed by Chef Colin Mackay of Sala Bistro and People’s Palace, Blackbird stands on the previous location of the Manila International Air Terminal that was built in 1937, thus the original structure becoming an inspiration behind the restaurant’s aviation-themed design. If it is possible, request for an al fresco table and dine amidst the greenery of the Ayala Triangle.

What hit the spot: The Blackbird Burger, Twice Cooked Beef Short Rib, Blackbird Fish Pie Salmon

Location: The Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati

Blackbird

© CNN Philippines

 

Romulo Café

If you and your partner are fascinated by historic memorabilia, old photos, and artifacts from the most iconic and influential Filipino families, then you should not miss this restaurant. Romulo Café got its name from the family patriarch, Carlos P. Romulo, who is seen as one of the most important figures in international relations for the country. Not only is it famous for its elegant interiors and delicious home-cooked dishes, its mini-museum also complements your Filipino dining experience, taking you to a trip down memory lane with the nostalgia it brings.

What hit the spot: Lola Virginia’s Chicken Relleno, Boneless Crispy Pata Binagoongan

Location: 148 Jupiter St. cor. Comet St., Bel-Air, Makati

Romulo Cafe

© Romulo Café

 

12/10

Craving delicious Japanese dishes and Instagrammable food presentations? If so, this izakaya-inspired restaurant can satisfy your palate and eyes at once. This drinking joint by Thea de Rivera and Gab Bustos features a customize-your-own degustation in which there is a multi-course meal served in small meticulously prepared portions for a richer dining experience.

What hit the spot: Tori Onigiri, Chicken Wing Karaage, Salmon Kushiyaki

Location: 7635 Guijo St., San Antonio Village, Makati

12/10

© Booky

 

Restoran Garuda

It all started with their love for food and the desire to bring authentic Indonesian cuisine to the Philippines. Brothers Ashwin and Kamlesh Budhrani realized the opportunity of spreading Indonesia’s flavors and spices to locals right when other Asian restaurants sprung to life in one of the busiest districts in the metro. Restoran Garuda has a laid back, modern vibe, with colorful murals painted on the walls that make up for an awesome selfie spot. Indonesian cuisine is best known for its mix of heat and spices that are found in every bite, thus making it a very interesting choice if you want to expand your palate.

What hit the spot: Beef Rendang, Chicken Satey Ayem, Pandan Cake

Location: G/F Beneficial Life Bldg., 166 Salcedo St., Legazpi Village, Makati

Restoran Garuda

© Spot.ph

 

Metronome

Considered by many as the best French restaurant in the country, Metronome was inspired by the guiding instrument used by a musician to practice with a pre-determined beat/minute. To cook the food with precision and tastiness, Chef Miko Calo uses French cooking techniques like her own version of a metronome. The interiors are a mix of Filipino wood and French colors, which kind of emit a warm, cozy ambiance. Metronome offers dishes with flavors that can overwhelm you with simplicity, and the way they present their food is very stylish, giving you the urge to not really munch on it.

What hit the spot: Foie Gras Tart, Spaghettini, Seared Duck Magret

Location: G/F The Grand Midori Makati, Bolanos St., Legazpi Village, Makati

Metronome

© Esquire Philippines

 

Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie

There is nothing more romantic than dining with your partner atop a towering structure with panoramic views of the Makati skyline. With its gastronomic delights and classic pastries, this rooftop restaurant offers quality dishes that will surely leave you wanting more. Whether you choose to eat al fresco or at the main dining area, you will be served only the best dishes that range from traditional European all the way to classic Filipino cuisine, all of which prepared over the watchful eye of the award-winning and the first Filipina pastry chef, Jessie Sincioco. Basking in the glows of the evening sunset while sharing a sumptuous meal with your other half complements the perfect ambiance of the restaurant. You can even cap off that romantic date with a glass of wine.

What hit the spot: Angus Beef Tenderloin, Lamb Chop with Adobo Sauce, Seabass with Goose Liver

Location: 34/F Citibank Tower, Paseo De Roxas, Salcedo Village, Makati

Top of the Citi

© Coconuts.co

 

When it comes to date nights, picking out the best restaurant puts you in a tough spot. There are places that offer different kinds of cuisines that cater to unique palates. Once you do, making a reservation is not even guaranteed. There is an overwhelming number of amazing dining spots in Makati alone, which makes it difficult for couples to select one where they can spend Valentine’s Day in. In the end, what really matters is knowing that you will have someone to celebrate this lovely occasion with. Spending quality time with your loved ones is the most important thing and you should cherish every moment together.

How to Brighten Up Your Office Space

Businesses need to do all they can to make the most of their workspaces. The office can be a stress-inducing place, especially when onboarding new employees. To avoid all the stress and chaos, it is important to focus on making your office run efficiently when easing into a new year. Whether you decide on making small or big changes to your office, rearranging or tossing unnecessary paperwork, you must plan to set aside time for brightening up your office space and making improvements. Having a chaotic office is only going to distract you and your colleagues. Employee environments can have a big impact on satisfaction as well as employee productivity. While enhancing your office space may not initially seem like it is worth the effort, you will realize how this investment can pay off in the long run. Here are some ways employees can appreciate their office more and run their areas more efficiently:

Declutter

Employees should aim to keep office spaces and communal areas clean. It is one thing to do a deep clean, but it takes a collective effort to keep them spotless throughout the year. It is a good idea to clear out all unnecessary belongings from communal spaces and desk drawers. As soon as things fall out of the process, it can be difficult to regain control over your work environment. If everyone does their part and leads by example, they will have an obligation to clean up and keep their space in mint condition. Depending on the office environment, managers should encourage everyone to do a deep clean every month or quarter. This will make coming to work every day more appealing and can prevent important documents from being misplaced.

Decorate With a Purpose

Businesses frequently have themes and color schemes throughout their offices. More often than not, offices will utilize colors that are included in their logo. Commercial design can frequently come off as cold and unwelcoming. Many companies will consult with an interior designer for office inspiration. It is also worth noting that one should not go overboard with regards to decorating offices. For example, if a logo involves a bright color, it might be best to include these colors as accent pieces. Think twice before placing blaring colors on desks. Doing so can distract the entire office. Sometimes, less is more. If you spend too much time decorating your workspace, it can take away from valuable work time.

Proper Lighting

Many outdated offices have similar lighting to old office buildings and hospitals. Offices can benefit from utilizing adequate lighting and changing up the lampshades. It is valuable to stick with a theme when changing the lighting. By sticking with the same theme, it can help add more flow to your office. Brightening your workplace will also make it more appealing to applicants and in-person client meetings.  Overhead lights along with computer screens can be extremely hard on the eyes. It can be fun to incorporate a funky lamp in social areas that can help people relax on intense workdays. The lighting can help draw people to certain areas and dress up the office.

Make It More Lovely

Offices should add subtle hints of green to their space. Be careful not to include fake plants, though. They only collect dust and have to be cleaned frequently. Fake plants filter the air the same way that real plants do, so it is much better to stick with the latter as this option is more beneficial to the health of the employees. Living plants placed in conference rooms, lounges, and personal offices can add more life to the entire workplace. A simple living wall design can be extremely welcoming in the entrance of an office as well.  

Collaborative Rooms

Recently, it has become popular to add glassed-in soundproof rooms at offices for meeting purposes. Depending on the office environment, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of having this type of conference rooms or not. While some people value their privacy and do not want to be seen or heard especially in important meetings, hence, the existence of private offices, it is fine with others as it could mean like transparency is a big deal in the workplace. Yes, it has its perks of being more collaborative, however, there should be a variation of meeting rooms that are more professional and have an appropriate amount of privacy. Lounges and common areas can be perked up as well for quick and not-so-formal meetings. A cozy couch and several bean bags would really help in terms of the employees’ relaxation and comfort.

The Importance of Outdoor Space

Many new offices are incorporating more outdoor areas to their space. These areas are a great perk to have when trying to attract top talent. People who are looking for a job might be easily enticed to businesses with high employee retention rates because of said benefit. Having an outdoor area might help candidates select a job that offers a positive company culture and environment. Many employees will be placed through intense workdays and will need an area where they can check out and have a moment away from their desks. They can be more productive if they allow themselves to step away from demanding projects every once in a while, thus brightening their attitude towards work. 

Get creative and have fun decorating your office!

 

Author Bio:

Carolyn Krokus is a contributor for 365 Business Tips and can be found enhancing event blogs by writing lively and relevant content. When she is not blogging, she can be found at the beach running, or nannying on the side.

 

Workplace Trends for Boosting Employee Engagement

Workplace trends are continuously evolving to cater to the needs of a younger technological workforce, as well as to improve employee engagement and retention. Cubicle walls that hinder communication and the sharing of ideas among teammates are finally going down. This radical change in work environments is seen as an opportunity to promote teamwork and tear down social barriers, so to speak. People now refuse to be constrained by congested stalls; they want to work in open workspaces where ideas can flow freely.

Employers, realizing this trend, embraced a workplace makeover accordingly, also taking into account the tight competition for top talent. The key now is to know which modern office design can stimulate collaboration and engage people. The following trends can help you decide on which designs and themes to put into effect in your next office space.

Health and Well-being

Needless to say, the environment we work in affects our health. The top priority of employers nowadays is the well-being of their employees, so they pull out all the stops to create a happy and healthy workplace. Apart from wellness programs aimed at fitness and diet, plants in the office are now an emerging trend as well. Other elements such as natural light and the use of natural colors and materials are also in the mix of things to improve health and productivity.

Well-being

Millennial-friendly

Millennials are currently dominating the workforce, and they are seeking workplaces that support their lifestyle. This includes roles with inspiring, cool, and fun facilities. Breakout rooms, recreational spaces, and even indoor gyms are just some of the hip and stylish amenities that entice job applicants. Modern furnishings and trendy interior designs, when combined with said amenities, can make all the difference in employee engagement and retention.

 

Flexible and Innovative

Flexible workspaces are one of the solutions to the dynamic challenges of the business world. Fully functioning serviced offices with minimal set-up or transformation time are a convenient and viable option for businesses with fast-paced environments. Adaptable workspaces make it easy to take on additional manpower and integrate new technology, increasing the longevity of workplace investments. What’s more, portable furniture and equipment enable a more vibrant and interactive setting.

Activity-based

Young and energetic talents thrive in social and collaborative environments. However, they still need private offices where they can work without any distractions. This is where serviced offices come in. They offer a mix of private, semi-private, and open workspaces that can accommodate teams of any size. Serviced offices define spaces for specific work styles and tasks. Think about meeting pods, communal tables, and brainstorming areas that can be used for different functions in a heartbeat. Hot desking, which is a growing trend in the co-working industry, is another way of knocking down restrictions to allow people to collaborate with other like-minded and talented individuals.

Integrating Technology

Technology and workplace design always go hand in hand. Technology has always been integral to the functionality of most offices that it affects almost every decision throughout the designing and building process. With it comes an increasingly diversified set of responsibilities for each employee, resulting in customized workspaces for each specific role. Flexibility must be planned into every workstation so that the office does not have to be revamped every time there is new equipment or hardware to be installed or there is a change in functional roles.

 

Still mulling it over? We can help you come up with a flexible workspace best suited for your team’s needs. Let them reach their fullest potential through the spaces we create. Send us an email at hello@archoffices.com for inquiries.

10 Gift Ideas Under 500 Pesos For Your Officemates This 2019

Check out these awesome gift ideas under P500 that your colleagues and boss will surely love!

 

Christmas carols playing on the radio, sparkling lights and lanterns left and right, puto bumbong and bibingka stalls on every street—yep, the holiday season is upon us once again!

With Christmas right around the corner, traffic is now getting worse by the day. But despite the larger crowds in shopping malls, Filipinos could not be more excited about shopping for gifts for their families, friends, and colleagues. For someone who spends almost the entire day at the office, it is exhausting to go straight to the mall without even planning on what you are going to buy and for whom. More often than not, less is more and even the cheapest gifts can hit the right note, especially if you know where to look for.

To ease your burden, here is a wide variety of gift ideas to choose from for your colleagues and boss:

For the Bookworm

They say books will become obsolete soon. But for book lovers, nothing will ever replace the smell of fresh paper and the feeling of lining up at the bookstore for a limited edition novel.

Gift Ideas:

All You Need is Less: Minimalist Living for Maximum Happiness book – P395

3rd World Traveler: A Guide To Fulfilling Your Travel Dreams On A Shoestring Budget – P315

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone 20th Edition – P479

 

For the Traveler

Finding the perfect present for your traveler colleague may not be easy, but you can opt for one of these for starters. These may come in handy even for everyday use.

Gift Ideas:

Tactics Ultra Dry Bag 2L – P350

Travel Manila Electronic Luggage Scale – P439

Penshoppe Toiletry Kit – P349

 

For the Comic Book / Superhero Fan

Whether your colleague loves drowning in the pages of a graphic novel or just enjoys keeping up with their favorite universe on-screen, they all have heroes and villains they just cannot get enough of. For that you can opt for these cool, storytelling-centric ideas to indulge their geeky obsessions.

Gift Ideas:

Avengers 4 End Game Hoodie Jacket – P318

Marvel Comics: Spider-man Adventures #1-4 – P400

Avengers Age of Ultron Thor Pocket Pop! Vinyl Figure Keychain – P295

 

For the Gym Rat

The gym buff at the office is always physically noticeable. You can always go for sporting gears and grooming supplies you think may benefit them. Luckily for you, the best gears and gadgets are wide ranging, giving you an array of amazing items to choose from.

Gift Ideas:

Boxing Kick Target Punch Pad Gym Exercise Shield – P392

AQ 1050 Basic Thigh Support Elastic – P199

Core Crossfit Speed Rope – P300

 

For the Basketball Aficionado

You can see this guy almost always sporting his favorite NBA player’s kicks and jersey during the company-wide team building or at a casual weekend shoot-around with your other colleagues. It is easy to spot what he likes—bear in mind the team he is supporting and the sport he is most engaged in.

Gift Ideas:

Spalding Jam Session Jr.  – P425

AQ Elastic Knee Support 1151 Black – P299

Nike Swish Headband – P395

 

For the Gamer

Squeezing in video game references or famous dialogues from their favorite PC or PS4 games is what your typical gamer colleague does best. Help them conquer the virtual world with new games, merch, and accessories!

Gift Ideas:

iPega PG-9123 Multi-Functional Game Grip – P449

Nintendo Switch Hori Push Card Case 6 Neon Red – P500

PS Vita Aluminum Hard Case PSV 2000 – P355

 

For the Fashionista

Shopping for your colleague who is all about that #OOTD? Looking for the perfect present for stylish women is no easy feat—but with these snazzy and pretty things, you can never go wrong.

Gift Ideas:

Sunnies Studios Glasses (Winona) – P499

Penshoppe Waist Pack – P399

Eve’s Chic Melissa Multi-Way Beach Dress – P500

 

For the Techie

From smart wearables you can strap to the body to gadgets you can use everyday at work, tech gifts are some of the most popular and sought-after presents out there. While technology is ever changing, you can help your colleague keep up with the latest industry trends.

Gift Ideas:

Gadget Organizer – P300

High capacity Romoss Powerbank 20000mah Fast Charging – P479

High-Tech Soft Silicon Lanyard for Cellphones – P151

 

For the Movie / TV Series Buff

The cinephile at the office is someone who quotes their favorite movie lines all the time and never shuts up about how a certain film’s sequel always ruins the first one. Remember: you can always do better than a movie ticket to the cinema.

Gift Ideas:

Money Heist Shirt – P280

Concept T-Shirts – P250-300

Harry Potter Pocket Watch – P159

 

For the Boss

Finding the perfect gift for your boss is like walking through a minefield. Do you go for something funny? Do you opt for a useful gadget or tech stuff? Or perhaps something personal? Consider something with a perfect hint of quality and individuality to let them know that you care.

Gift Ideas:

Jovan Musk Men Col 1Oz – P345

Jockey Men’s Elance Crew Neck Shirt – P245

Regatta Coastal Women – P395

 

Giving gifts is a way of showing your appreciation to others and letting them know that you care for them. While some people are not materialistic, the thought you put into finding the perfect gift for them might just make their Christmas even more meaningful. Happy holidays, everyone!

Give your business the perfect gift by renting a serviced office or renting a coworking spaceContact us now and we will help you get started!

 

 

Choosing the Right Office Space and Location for your Business

Office space and location are two aspects in the business that should not be overlooked.  Countless studies have proven that there is a correlation among the two components, business performance metrics, employee productivity, as well as your company culture and brand. Choosing the right office space and location for your business is another way of effectively communicating your culture to clients, investors, and future employees. Furthermore, your team is going to need a space where they can focus, collaborate, and learn.

The ideal office space and location speak volumes about the type of business you are running, so it is crucial to consider everything down to the very last detail as these will have a longstanding impact on your team and organization.

·        Reputation

        Having your office space in a location that has a sophisticated reputation can reflect on your business. If it is a neighborhood that has been seeing growth for the past few years, prospective clients may see your company in a more positive light, giving them a glimpse of your culture and setting crystal-clear expectations. 

·        Accessibility and Brand Visibility 

        The perfect location can attract new customers. How you are going to pick a building is critical, so is choosing the vicinity where it is situated. You also have to look out for major roads and infrastructures that surround your office as these are important factors that people consider. Being in a prominent position lets your target market know that you exist.

·        Room for Growth

        Every office space has a certain character, and each one can affect the way people perceive the culture that your company is upholding. Your space must be flexible and scalable in a way that will allow your team to discover areas where they can improve and create a positive impact on the business.

·        Convenience

        It is important to make sure that there is a large parking space within close proximity of the location you are choosing for other people to get to you with ease. With safe parking areas and not having to worry too much about security, your team can concentrate on their productivity and performance, and your clients can focus on their own business. Neighboring commercial businesses and restaurants can also help them worry less about other necessities.

·        Network Expansion

        Having a network of connected businesses could give your company access to a bigger talent pool, economies of scale, and more investors. Being situated in a region where other businesses thrive is an indicator that there are tons of opportunities for growth, attracting potential employees and customers alike.

·        Improved Employee and Client Retention

        Increasing efficiency in the workplace centers around the motivation and mindset of the employees, and a driving force that affects both is the kind of work environment that you foster. With the right office space, expect continued collaboration and productivity among your team members, as well as an influx of clients seeking a company that cultivates growth within the workplace.

Whether you need a desk, office suite, or entire HQ, our serviced offices in Makati are all designed for productivity and collaboration, and are ideal for both small and large groups, startups, client meetings, and the in-betweens. Let your team reach their fullest potential through the workspaces we create. Send us an email at hello@archoffices.com for inquiries and reservations.

 

8 Helpful Ways to Improve your Workplace Energy

You’ve been having a fierce staring game with your laptop for about 30 minutes now and neither seems to want to back down. All you hear in the background is the clickety-clack of your colleague’s keyboard and the never-ending ticking of the clock that says two in the afternoon. Your low energy makes you want to just lie in bed and binge your favorite series at home without a care in the world.

Sounds familiar? Don’t worry because everyone else has had the same experience at work.

We’ve all had sluggish and lazy moments in the office. More often than not, a temporary lull in energy levels could be an aftereffect of a heavy workload or a dip in your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. Once this hits you at a time when deadlines are just around the corner, you’ll have to brace yourself for that imminent yawn. And you wouldn’t want that to happen during a meeting with your boss.

So how can you best recover from energy lulls without having to resort to too much caffeine and sugary snacks? Better steer away from being at a low ebb at work as it can affect your productivity and output.

1. Enjoy the sunshine

When you’re working the early morning shift, it’s best to take advantage of the sunlight, receive its warmth, and bathe in its pleasant goodness. A two-minute walk around the block is always a great idea to relax your mind and unwind from work. Listen to your favorite mellow music and soak in the morning breeze. In a fast-paced environment, meditating is another important thing often passed up on. Deep breaths also help improve blood flow, develop a good posture, and detoxify the body.

2. Get your body moving

Get up every once in a while and stretch those muscles to keep your energy flowing throughout the day. If you can squeeze in a little workout and break a sweat during your free time, it can help you stay at peak performance until the end of the day. Exercising in the office isn’t an entirely new idea, but regular physical activities have such positive impact to employees as they provide an opportunity for them to connect beyond the workplace. A study also showed the benefits of exercising aren’t just physical; it also enhances mental abilities and develops creativity and focus.

3. Keep your desk organized

Your workplace is your personal space, and it sort of defines your personality. If it’s too cluttered and your stuff is in disarray, it’s likely that your mind is clouded as well. Pens, highlighters, and scissors should be in a pencil cup or any used cylindrical cup. Important files, sticky notes, stamps, and printer paper should be stored in a filing cabinet or a paper tray. Remember: clearing your desk can help you clear your mind. It can energize your entire system and give you a fresh perspective. Plants can also boost your productivity and well-being. Surround yourself with lush greenery and you will find yourself in a friendly, breathing environment conducive to a positive and revitalized workplace.

4. Check your to-do list

Always take a minute to prioritize your tasks. Stress leads to fatigue and even mental breakdown. Once you’re done with a certain project, tick it off your list. And you will feel a slight tingling sensation after that small achievement. Imagine being able to accomplish everything down to the last item on your list. Feels like you’re ready to do more, right?

5. Munch on healthy snacks

Sitting at your desk all day can already lead to weight gain and loss of muscle tone, so going for junk food isn’t really a great option. Eating healthy snacks not only balances out blood sugar, it also affects overall performance by providing the fuel needed to perform daily tasks. A combo of protein and carbs like yogurt with fruits and nuts is one example. Breakfast shouldn’t be taken for granted either. It kickstarts metabolism to help burn calories around the clock.

6. Share a laugh

Indeed, laughter is the best medicine—even to lack of energy. Its benefits extend to better mental health and a sign of healthier overall well-being. Apart from boosting the immune system, the act of laughing releases endorphins into the brain, providing happiness and an amplified sense of comfort. So don’t shy away from the occasional laugh with your colleagues. After all, it isn’t merely an escape from work, but a way to help you be more productive and cultivate a positive work environment.

7. Go for tea instead of coffee

Tea and coffee are perhaps two of the most well-liked beverages in the world, especially on rainy days. But how does one go about choosing which one to drink whenever their energy hits a low point? While coffee can improve short term reaction times and protect the liver against cancer, it can also cause tooth discoloration and decrease blood flow to the heart. Tea, on the other hand, contains fluoride which protects the teeth and can reduce risk of stroke, neurological disorders, and a heart attack.

8. Keep a positive attitude

At the end of the day, how you handle stress and lack of energy is what matters most. Feed your mind with positive thoughts and only then can you approach things with an optimistic standpoint full of endless possibilities. Celebrate small wins to improve morale and inspire creativity and you’ll be surprised how this can also significantly influence the people around you.

Arch Offices Set To Open New Office in Ayala Avenue, Makati

Arch Offices new haven for creativity, collaboration and innovation will soon open on December 1, 2017.

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