The world of business isn’t what is it used to be. Before the global move online, the line between work and play was clear. For the most part, work stayed at work and home remained at home. But increasingly these worlds are merging. We answer work emails between courses at the family dinner table and communicate with friends on social media at the office.

In theory technological advances and modern conveniences should be freeing up time but an article in The Economist explores the issue of why, despite modern conveniences, everyone seems so busy? In a fascinating account of how individualistic societies engrain a ‘time-is-money-mindset’, the article highlights why people value their time more than ever before so often feel rushed to get the most out of each moment. When people are constantly evaluating if they are making the most of their time in the world, how do employers ensure that employees feel that their time with a company is well spent?

 

Keeping employees motivated

Employee retention and motivation has long been proven to have a major effect on a company’s bottom line. Keeping employees motivated is vital to a strong business. Employees need to be shown that they are valued and this happens through encouragement, praise, up-skilling, creating space for growth, rewards and perks like quality coffee at the office or the opportunity for international travel or a business conference abroad.

Fulfilling Social Needs

The social aspects of work shouldn’t be underestimated. In a blog post on human capital the connection between motivation and neuroscience is explored. The post outlines David Rock’s SCARF model which suggests that “a job should not be viewed as a business transaction – do the work and get paid – but rather as a part of a social system in which the brain is rewarded (or punished based on how well the business environment is meeting an employee’s need for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness.” Rock urges businesses to “appeal to the social aspect of the brain to develop a sense of affiliation.” This will ultimately enhance teamwork, a sense of belonging, and the inspiration to share knowledge.

 

Dynamic businesses are moving out of the boardroom

Research conducted at Stanford and highlighted by Quartz shows that “meetings held without chairs are not only just as effective as sit-down meetings, they’re signifoicantly shorter.” But some of the most effective and profitable businesses in the world are not only taking away the chairs, they’re also taking away the boardroom.

Richard Branson famously likes to host his dynamic meetings or a business conference in exotic locations, sometimes shipping his team to private islands. Branson believes that “getting out of the boardroom is a good way to encourage a bit of creativity.”

“Screw business meetings as usual”

In Branson’s top 6 tips to screw business meetings as usual  he also advises against PowerPoint presentations that merely repeat what you’re saying. If you want to keep delegates attention, encourage speakers to use images and entertaining videos, or better yet show them the real thing, instead of telling them about the inspiration to be found in nature, show it to them – host a presentation on a white sand beach looking out at a sparkling ocean, while delegates sip on cocktails filled with maraschino cherries and mini umbrellas. Get business conference delegates thinking about what customers want by giving them what they want.

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