One unnerving aspect of getting older is that life seems to speed up. Feeling that whoosh as time rushes past can be disheartening and may leave you wondering how to slow down time.
We’ve all got things to do. Tasks are a part of life — both at work and at home — and while to-do lists and day planners may work for some of us, they’re not a good fit for everyone, especially when it comes to managing tasks as part of a team.
Task management tools are everywhere these days, and they can be as simple as a pencil and notebook or as advanced as downloadable apps and project management software. There’s no shortage of options available to help you and your team work more efficiently and get more done, but the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming.
To make things simple, check out our top picks to find the productivity tool that’s the right fit for you as well as one that’ll help your team work together successfully.
Everyone is busy and everyone wants to do more, but we all only have the same 24 hours to split between work, sleep, and fun.
To meet this demand, an entire industry of productivity coaches, experts, and gurus have risen up to help us wring more time out of each day. Unfortunately, a good portion of these people are simply out to get your money. Since we all want to get more done, we’re all vulnerable to someone selling us a new solution.
To make it easier, we’ve gathered a list of 20 of the best productivity coaches and experts—people who are actually worth your hard-earned time. Your day is precious, so spend some of it finding out how to make the rest even more valuable. A small investment in new productivity techniques can pay off in massive returns over time.
Our relationships with customers are more complex than ever before.
Conversations start months before a purchase and continue for months afterwards. Our interactions span dozens of channels, from phone calls to email to live chat. Increasingly, customers have no single point of contact: marketers, sellers, developers, and support reps all influence our customer relationships.
In the Relationship Era, companies can no longer rely on all-in-one sales suites, and have to provide flexible technology that teams can leverage in any department: Marketing, Sales, Success, Operations, Finance, Creative, Account Management, and more. This has forced the need for every company to build their own relationship stack: a toolkit of specialized, best-in-class applications.
To help you get started on your own relationship stack, we’re showcasing 200 of the most customer-centric sales, marketing and operations products going — each designed to create truly remarkable customer experiences.Continue Reading
Remote work is growing fast in the United States.
According to a FlexJobs report, 3.9 million Americans work from home at least half the time, which represents a 115% increase from 2005. “Remote/work from home” was one of the most popular job-hunting search terms in the past year, and hiring managers predict that in the next 10 years, more than one-third of employees will be working remotely.
This growth isn’t a trend. Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work survey showed that 99% of respondents wanted to work remotely for the rest of their careers. When people get a taste of remote work, they don’t want to go back.
Work as we know it is changing.
And while most would agree that the trend is positive, there are plenty of growing pains associated with remote work, namely meetings. As offices change, communication is changing too.
For better or worse, meetings are a staple of nine-to-five life. But the traditional model doesn’t translate well in remote settings, where people are spread across time zones, coffee shops, and coworking spaces. Asynchronous communication is key to making a distributed team work. It’s time to rethink the way me meet.
We originally published this piece in 2017. Two years later, we added fresh advice for managers.
The modern workplace’s vogue is informal information exchange. We sit in open floor plan offices so that we can spontaneously collide, chat, and collaborate. An office setup for generating ideas can be fizzy and energizing, though when sparks aren’t flying, the colliding can be noisy and distracting.
Jeff Bezos takes a totally different approach to management at Amazon meetings — far from that madding crowd. He has a contrarian management technique that’s peculiarly old school — write it down.Forbes]
In senior executive meetings at Amazon, before any conversation or discussion begins, everyone sits for 30 minutes in total silence, carefully reading six-page printed memos. Reading together in the meeting guarantees everyone’s undivided attention to the issues at hand, but the real magic happens before the meeting ever starts. It happens when the author is writing the memo.
This piece was originally published in 2015. It has been updated with new data and advice for 2019.Image Source]
Here’s how the story usually goes. Sometime in the early 20th century, British explorer Ernest Shackleton needed to hire a crew for an upcoming expedition to the South Pole. So he placed a newspaper ad:
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in event of success.”
The copywriting — and its strong, direct language — has been printed, reprinted, and talked about for decades. It’s beautiful. Possibly the world’s greatest job ad.
Though his accomplishments went largely uncelebrated in the years after his death, Shackleton, in recent years, has become a revered leadership figure thanks to new literature on his life and career.
The Shackleton ad copy has taken on a life of its own, with hiring managers and entrepreneurs pointing to it as an example of how to lure exceptional people to your organization.
But there are two problems here. For one, the ad probably never existed. Even if it did, many people — it seems — are missing the point.
This post was originally published in 2014. It has been updated with new data and advice in 2019.
Think small and you will achieve big things. That’s the counterintuitive philosophy that nets Finnish game company Supercell revenues of millions of dollars a day.Giphy]
So really, how do you build a billion-dollar business by thinking small?
One key is the company’s pod team structure. Autonomous small teams, or “cells,” of four to six people position the company to be nimble and innovative. Similar modules — call them pods, squads, or startups within startups — are the basic components in many other nimble, growing companies, including Spotify and Automattic. The future, as Dave Gray argues in The Connected Company, is podular.
Still, small groups of people do not necessarily make a thriving business, as the fate of many a fledgling startup warns. What is it about the pod team structure that presents not just a viable alternative but the future of designing how we work together?
This post was originally published at the Zendesk Sell blog. It has been republished here with permission.
While many sales teams might think they’re productive, did you know that the average sales rep actually spends only 22% of their time actively selling?
To determine if your own sales team is productive, measure your productivity according to the definitions below: