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US Telework Week 2012
Written by RWorks
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 08:23


Here, at RWorks, we are all about making telework work! 

So we are very excited about this week being the second annual US National Telework Week, when agencies, organizations and individuals are encouraged to pledge that they will telework for the week, and experience for themselves the win-win situation that teleworking provides to both the employee, and the employer.

The week has been organized by the Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership, dedicated to promoting telework and it's benefits.

Over 63,900 people have pledged to telework this week, March 5th to 9th, 2012, which is staggeringly already over 150% of the Telework Week 2011 figure, when almost 40,000 pledges were made. During Telework week in February last year, those who pledged to telework for that one week, gained back 148,692 hours in their day, saved 3,764,001 miles in driving time, and $2,730,229 in commuting costs. With national gas prices reaching $3.72/gallon, there are real and immediate savings to be made by teleworking, so why not give your car and you wallet a break?

And it's not too late to pledge. It's free, and can be done very easily at http://teleworkexchange.com/teleworkweek/

In honor of Telework Week 2012, we here at RWorks are delighted to give you a 30-day free trial of RWorks, which could very well be the missing link in your Telework Programme management approach. RWorks is used to manage the dispersed team, big or small. Tasks are assigned to team members, and RWorks tracks productivity and progress on tasks when individuals indicate they are working. RWorks is intuitive, with all the benefits of cloud-based software. Take a look at a short demo of the RWorks system on http://www.rworks.com/index.php/demo

To register for your free trial of RWorks, simply go to http://www.rworks.com/, and use voucher code: teleworkweek2012

In today's economic climate, teleworking is a great way to cut operating costs for your department/business, without losing staff. Employers save by reducing workspace requirements in terms of real estate, lighting and heating, and indeed reap the benefits  in terms of increased productivity of employees. Why not try it out, and see how it works for your organization?


This article was written by Valerie Redmond, RWorks co-founder

Valerie can be contacted at vredmond@rworks.com




 
Are you Sitting next to the Office Psycho?
Written by RWorks
Thursday, 06 October 2011 10:33




Do you dislike the people you work with?

Do you find them lazy, selfish, devious or cruel?

Or do you just find them weird? (or smelly?)

If so, you are not alone.




In his book 'Inhuman Resources:A Guide To The Psychos, Misfits and Criminally Incompetent In Every Office', Stanford turns the spotlight on a variety of toxic types  you may find you have the displeasure of working with in your workplace, such as:

The "I hurry, therefore I am" person

The "I don't shower after a lunchtime jog" person

or The "How the hell did they get that job" person.

Michael Stanford believes his book may help reassure 'the nice people' in the office that 'the bullies, crazies and lazies are actually as bad as they seem'.In all, Stanford describes 39 different types of co-workers. Here are just a few:


1) The "I'm disappointed in you" person

"Those sorts of people like to patronise people who are younger, like to lecture them, and tell them you're doing it wrong" says Stanford.

"This type was inspired by a boss who took a paternal role with new starters, but seemed to enjoy putting them down at the same time.They actually do it for their own sake. I think it was like mental harassment, there was one point where I actually had to hide to avoid being mentored.He actually said 'Some day you might get to where I am', and I thought 'I don't actually want to be there!' "


2) The "I'm actually really nice" person

The author says that this is one of the most common office misfit, but also the most toxic. "That's the person who does something really nasty, like they'll send an email saying 'this person didn't do their job', and then they'll blind copy in all of senior management. Then in the next minute, they'll organise a gluten free cake for this person".


3) The "I know stuff before you do" person

According to Stanford, such people feed off misery, fear of job cuts, and love spreading bad news. "They kind of love the idea that things aren't working out, they love problems. They definitely thrive on a bad situation; they love the fact that they might know a little bit more than anyone else" he says.


4)The "Let's have a meeting before the meeting" person

This person thrives in big offices, where rather than actually working, they can spend their time going to meetings. "This sense of constantly reassuring themselves that it's good to get together.The language constantly annoys me with 'the next steps' and 'work-in-progress'. It actually reassures them things are happening, rather than letting people just go off and do the job. They would much rather spend time with a white board and progress sheets, rather than going off and doing the work."


5)The "I,I...I " person

Stanford says that such people step in at the last minute to swoop in, and claim all the credit for the work that's been done. These people are very quick to claim success, and distance themselves from any failure.

Look to your left, look to your right...what 'types' do you work with? And don't forget, that although you may not need a hard hat in your workplace, you often need a thick skin.


This article was written by Valerie Redmond, co-founder of RWorks, a cloud computing solution to manage dispersed PC-based teams.

Valerie can be contacted via vredmond@rworks.com, on via twitter @rworker





 
RWorks Productivity Tips, No. 21 - 30
Written by RWorks
Monday, 15 August 2011 13:27

We are all about productivity here at RWorks! The RWorks.com solution is dedicated to demonstrating, enabling and improving your productivity, and that of your team. To follow on from a previous article we published '20 Top Tips for Productivity', here are 10 more!


No. 21: Drowning in a sea of old papers? Check out a good secure scan and shred facility, eg datagroup.ie

No. 22: Insist on 'hard starts' and 'hard stops' for meetings, so everyone's time is respected and valued

No. 23: Reduce the number of emails sent within your organisation.Too many hours are lost checking,reading ,replying

No. 24: Make a ToDo List! Can't believe its taken to #24 to mention this one! Create an interactive one on rworks.com

No. 25: Get inspiration for other people's energy, especially for creative projects. Take your coffee break with a pal

No. 26: Take care of your physical well-being.Staying active will keep you healthy and ward off those aches and pains

No. 27: Empower employees/co-workers to skip occasional meetings in order to get a project done

No. 28: Open your office windows! Let all that fresh air in, it will invigorate you!

No. 29: Use RWorks! The RWorks Desktop Application gives you  a highly accurate (Second by second and in realtime) visual breakdown of how you've spent your day

No. 30: Don't skip breakfast,and think this saves you time.You'll lose out later in productivity and energy levels!


To join us in the discussion about all things productivity related, check us out on twitter @rworker

 
Take Time Off, Get More Done
Written by RWorks
Monday, 08 August 2011 10:30

I write a lot here on the RWorks blog about productivity, and ways to increase it. I run a productivity series on twitter. I write for the Top Tips for Working At Home series on the RWorks Facebook page. Productivity is key, and at RWorks we are all about that.

However, a core part of this is that I believe in being 'off' when I am off. I believe it is really important to turn off the PC (and the cellphone sometimes too!), and just 'be'- for me, it's being a mother, a wife, a friend, a person. And despite the pressures of business today, isn't it up to all of us as individuals to decide for ourselves how we are going to live our lives outside of work. And the work-life balance debate begins again.
That's a delicate balance. If we get it wrong by overworking and not taking enough time off, fatigue and burnout ensues. So, it's worth considering the different ways in which we can take a step back from work. That way, when we are working, we are focused, productive, and firing on all cylinders.


I feel we need breaks of short, medium and long durations. Each of these types of breaks offer different benefits.



The Short Break- The Evenings and Weekends Off


Taking the evenings and weekends off balances out the week. You can use that time to spend time with family and friends, get some exercise, get chores done, spend time on hobbies. This type of short break just allows you to re-group and re-gather in time for work the next day.



The Medium Length Break- The Vacation


Taking one or more full weeks totally off from work is so important to our health and well-being that it is enshrined into employment law in many (but not all) countries. Plan for it, save money for it, look forward to it. Live vicariously through other peoples vacation stories while waiting for your own to begin.
Take a look at Jonah Lehrer's great article on wired.com
www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/the-importance-of-vacation/
He writes that one of the great luxuries of the 21st century is vacation without email. He explains that "when we feel distant from our work- when it seems wonderfully far away- we are able to think about work in a new way. As a result, seemingly impossible problems- that challenge we've been struggling with for months- are suddenly solvable. We have the breakthrough while on break".

The Long Break- The Sabattical


This is the cream of the crop of breaks. While everyone aims for evening and weekends off, and the annual vacation, not many plan to take a sabattical.
I personally have first-hand experience of the benefits of this type of break. I took the best part of a year off in 1999/2000. I flew to New Delhi, India and backpacked the Himalayan foothills and the northern parts of India. I  learned how to meditate, lived on Tibetan and Indian food, mets lots of other travellers from places all over the world, travelled from place to place by camel, elephant, scooter and rickshaw, and met also lots of individuals and families native to the places I visited, including the Dalai Lama. It was a truly wonderful experience, I wrote a journal, read lots of books, and all in all got to know myself (and the direction I wanted my life to go in) a whole lot better.
A sabattical certainly enhances creativity and inspiration. Stefan Sagmeister takes one year off every seven years to pursue other things, and keep his work fresh and new. You can watch his engaging and entertaining presentation on:
www.managers.org.uk/practical-support/management-community/blogs/The-importance-of-time-off-056
Becoming recharged with energy and re-connecting with yourself will provide you with renewed enthusiasm and motivation for your work. Who knows what new projects and ideas you will come up with once you have had some time out to develop a new perspective.

Bio: Valerie Redmond is co-founder of RWorks. She writes a weekly blog on www.rworks.com about teleworking and productivity. She can be contacted via email on vredmond@rworks.com, or on twitter @rworker.....unless she's taking a nap (couldn't resist!)







 
20 Top Tips for Productivity
Written by RWorks
Thursday, 21 July 2011 12:06

 

 

 

Here at RWorks, it's all about productivity...how to measure productivity, how to enable it, how to increase it. We even run a series on twitter @rworker of Top Tips for Productivity.

Here's the first 20 of those tips:

 

 

RWorks Productivity Tip #1:

FOCUS PEOPLE! Ignore anything that is not important today.

 RWorks Productivity Tip #2: 

Appreciate The Sound of Silence (and I don't mean the Simon and Garfunkel song!) [See our Blog Article: http://www.rworks.com/index.php/blog/37-remote-working/104-clear-your-mind-with-the-sound-of-silence]

  RWorks Productivity Tip #3: 

 Ask for Help! In other words,collaborate in work with others! Your combined skill sets will get that job done.

 RWorks Productivity Tip #4:

Get on your feet and have that meeting standing UP! (scrum)

  RWorks Productivity Tip #5:

Take time to think about the purpose of upcoming meetings, and to clarify your questions beforehand.

 RWorks Productivity Tip #6:

 Watch Deadlines!RWorks provides an immediate view of all your tasks and if they will make that deadline (or if there is no chance they will!!)

 RWorks Productivity Tip #7:

Do your Worst First! Get your most dreaded task done first thing today, and then have a GREAT day!

 RWorks Productivity Tip #8:

 Is your desk a mess? Take a few minutes to clear your desk, it will clear your head.

 RWorks Productivity Tip #9:

Inbox Housekeeping -When receiving articles/ white papers requiring no action,file into a 'Read Later' folder.

 RWorks Productivity Tip #10:

Notepad is a great timesaver when copying and pasting items with different fonts.

 RWorks Productivity Tip #11:

 Never EVER (ever) check your emails first thing in the day.

  RWorks Productivity Tip #12:

The early bird catches the worm! Get out of bed in plenty of time to arrive at your desk relaxed and focused.

  RWorks Productivity Tip #13:

Water, water everywhere!....So, drink it! Aim for 2 litres a day to keep you alert and enthusiastic for your day!

  RWorks Productivity Tip #14:

What % of time are you productive? 40% or 85%? Productive time is time spent on assigned work. Use RWorks.com to get your %, updated in realtime!

 RWorks Productivity Tip #15:

For outstanding productivity,work in bursts!The length of burst varies for people,but we all have our optimum.

 RWorks Productivity Tip #16:

On Monday: The big challenge is making that shift from weekend to workday. Get your head around that, and you are on your way!

 RWorks Productivity Tip #17:

On Tuesday: Take a look at Stephen Coveys book "First Things First", which describes 4 quadrants where time is spent (Important,Urgent). Be very careful in the Quadrant of Deception,(interruptions, some meetings, some phonecalls), and avoid the Quadrant of Waste (trivia, busywork, junkmail).

 RWorks Productivity Tip #18:

On Wednesday: Review you deadlines now it's midway through the week, what are priority tasks?

RWorks Productivity Tip #19:

On Thursday, need a boost? Take a short break outside for a brisk walk in the fresh air.

 RWorks Productivity Tip #20:

On Friday: Congratulate Yourself on what you HAVE accomplished this week. Good job!

 

RWorks is a cloud computing solution for managing tasks and productivity, enabling teleworking and dispersed teams as well as in-house management.

This article was written by Valerie Redmond, RWorks co-founder, who can be contacted via vredmond@rworks.com, @rworker on twitter, or take a look at the RWorks Facebook page.

 

 

 

 
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