Two topics have each earned a lot of attention this year – working remotely, and company culture. However, there has not been enough attention paid to how these topics are so closely related.

Culture is the unity of beliefs, values and customs. We all want this dream team. But what do the best employees do? They leave. Why? They’re unhappy. However, too many articles point the finger in the wrong direction. They say it’s due to a lack of challenge. They say it’s because of bad management. They say it’s a lack of purpose.

Is it? For the average person, the truth is much less complicated.

No job is perfect. Most great employees may likely accept a lack of challenge, or having to answer to a bad manager, in exchange for a secure position, the right career trajectory and steady, decent compensation. People aren’t as daring and audacious as these articles would have us believe.

Most workers don’t feel entitled to perfection or the chance to change the world. However, we do feel entitled to logic. We need things to make sense.

It’s likely that many great employees quit because they’re literally sick and tired. It’s not the job – it’s travelling for hours, not getting enough sleep and not eating right. It’s missing their friends and family.

It’s anger. And we’re driven to quit by emotion.

Why do we finally quit? What pushes us over the edge? It’s that extra hour of sleep we can never get. It’s another stressed out traffic jam. It’s the awful weather. We quit when things no longer makes sense.

Great employees finally leave when the sacrifice is no longer worth it. At the same time, by offering the option to work remotely, businesses will decrease their turnover rate, retain more of their best and brightest employees and ultimately improve their company culture.

According to a recent World At Work survey, 64% of respondents said that remote working flexibility has had a positive or extremely positive impact on employee engagement, while 30% were neutral and only 6% said that it has a negative effect. At the same time, 77% of the “positive or extremely positive” respondents fall into the very low category of employee turnover (0-5%).

There’s a clear correlation between remote working, employee engagement and retention. Again, an exceptional company culture is not the result of interesting things. It’s the result of a team of outstanding employees. They stay because the sacrifice is now worth it. The balance now makes sense.

That’s why, at ShareDesk, we are such strong advocates for sharing flexible office space. Everybody wins. What do you think? Does working remotely improve company culture? Let us know your thoughts.

It’s a pretty safe bet that no one misses fixed offices. Rapid advances in mobile technologies has led to flexible work schedules, resulting in an entire generation of mobile workers. In this transition to a mobile way of work, the productivity tools found in traditional offices are being transformed into apps, platforms and software that will allow mobile professionals to conduct business effectively while on the road.

6 Tools for Mobile Workers_ShareDesk

 

Here are six useful productivity tools that will help mobile professional be more productive.

1. Creating documents on the run

When getting access to a laptop is not an option, CloudOn gives mobile professionals the power to generate Word, Excel and Powerpoint files right on their phones with direct integration using a range of cloud storage sites.

2. Taking notes on your cell phone

Mobile devices and keyboards don’t mix. Phones are made for voice to be the central interface that moves words between a brain and the screen. The classic Dragon Dictation is one of the original speech recognition softwares on the market that converts the user’s voice into words on the screen.

3. Finding a place to work 

There are times when everyone needs a productive place to get work done or touchdown for a meeting with clients and business partners. ShareDesk is the best way to find a productive workspace virtually anywhere. Mobile professionals can use ShareDesk to discover and book flexible workplaces in over 400 cities around the world.

4. Tracking travel expenses

Mobile means expenses. Concur allows mobile workers to book reservations in the app and record the expenses that can then be exported to accounting.

5. Remembering passwords

The central experience of being a mobile worker is not knowing where they will log in next. That means remembering countless passwords or using the same one everywhere, which is the exact opposite of security. LastPass stores and generates safe log ins that can go anywhere, even on mobile devices thanks to the cloud.

6. Coordinating projects

It’s hard to work on a project with someone who is based in another city, unless that person uses software like Nozbe. This organizational app syncs up teams and projects with relevant updates, goals and emails all in one place.

We’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about the implications of mobile workplace solutions on people, businesses, and the commercial real estate industry. We have met with many stakeholders- including enterprise companies, employees, freelancers and telecommuters, and commercial real estate firms- all offering their insights and experiences that related to trends in workplace mobility which helped us solidify our vision for the future of work. With ShareDesk Optix we aim to deliver an integrated approach to delivering workplace solutions to enterprise companies. In the previous blog we briefly talked about these high-level trends (excerpt below). In this post we’d like to define some of these stakeholders along with high-level implications- we’ll explore them in more detail in future posts.

“Over the last decade, technological advancements have minimized the need for employees to be as physically present in a traditional, fixed, office setting. At the heart of this change is the ubiquity of high-speed Internet access, mobile technologies and cloud-based collaboration tools. This is changing the nature of employee relationships and requires better technologies to create effective collaborations.”

Let’s take a look at how companies are managing their commercial offices today.  Keep in mind that the typical workplace utilization rate of a corporate desk or workspace is less than 50%, and to this day many employees sit in an office surrounded by empty cubicles, and experience the limitations of a fixed workplace. We should ask a simple question; isn’t real estate supposed to be an asset, an enabler of the business? Why has commercial office space, typically the 2nd highest operational expense on most companies’ balance sheets, become such a liability? Adding to the dilemma of underutilized space is the growing contingent of mobile workers, more companies leveraging project-based talent, and the globalization of business. This means that employees spend less time in fixed office cubicles, and more time with clients, and business partners in the field. They are connecting and collaborating with their colleagues where it is most suitable.

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Enterprise employees and mobile professionals have been tapping the benefits of mobile work most notably over the past decade- and today, almost 80% of US employees indicate a preference more flexible workplace options. Corporate executives have been measuring the implications of this shift and gained better understanding of the benefits of workplace mobility. What they’re seeing is that adopting a mobile workplace strategy benefits employees first, providing them with more control and flexibility and allowing them to be more productive with their time. They are seeing how employee satisfaction correlates with increased output and cost savings for the business.

Regardless of where an employee is located, the work they produce is what is most important not the office they work in; they are knowledge-based workers, not location-specific workers. So how are executives and managers thinking about facilitating environments that will enable their professionals to produce their best work? By providing the tools and resources required to allow the employees work where they need to, and where they are most productive. The best workplace is then one that revolves around the employee, and one that allows the employee to be agile and connected.

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Approximately 62% of companies have already adopted workplace mobility solutions with the bulk of the investment to come in the next twelve to twenty four months. This provides more flexibility for employees, around their schedules- whether it is scheduling a meeting with colleagues in their own company’s office facility or booking a conference room for a client meeting at a meeting facility, business center, or a coworking space nearby. Having the ability to connect and collaborate with colleagues flexibly and work-life balance. 

Corporate executives have seen that allowing employees the flexibility to work where they want does just that and allows businesses to realize significant savings as well. Companies like IBM, Best Buy, British Telecom, and Dow Chemical have seen teleworking and flexible workplace solutions leading to their employees being 35-40% more productive. Telus, a national Canadian telecommunications company is providing flexible workplace options to 30% of its 40,000 plus employees. IBM realized real estate costs of $50 million through implementing a mobile workplace strategy for over 100,000 employees.

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With ShareDesk Optix, enterprise companies will now have an integrated approach to tapping into the benefits of flexible work solutions. They are able to design and implement flexible work solutions and access over 1,500 locations around the world, and also access the tools to manage a mobile workplace strategy. Meaning more flexibility and productivity, and  more efficient utilization of companies’ commercial offices.

We’re excited to announce a new milestone. With a network of over 1,500 locations in 65 countries; ShareDesk is now the leading global platform for flexible workplaces. We want to thank you for your continued support!

Over the past year, we’ve focused on building a trusted platform for people to discover and share workplaces around the world. Looking ahead, we will continue building key tools to facilitate the productivity of both people and workplaces.

A new model of work has emerged, and we’re excited to be a part of it. Over the last decade, technological advancements have minimized the need for employees to be as physically present in a traditional, fixed, office setting. At the heart of this change is the ubiquity of high-speed Internet access, mobile technologies and cloud-based collaboration tools. This is changing the nature of employee relationships and requires better technologies to create effective collaborations.

At the heart of this shift is the nature of the workplace itself, from four office walls and cubicles, to the emergence of new flexible workplace models that allows employees to work from anywhere, anytime. The future of work and workplaces will be designed around the individual to allow more flexibility and productivity.

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We’re excited about the opportunity to help large organizations better access mobile workplace solutions. These solutions will help enterprise companies and millions of professionals gain more flexibility in how they access work and meeting spaces around the world. This brings us a step closer towards our vision of building a more flexible future for mobile workers!

ShareDesk launches out of Beta

Sharing, trading and barter are the backbones of commerce and although it’s hard to imagine, the idea of money as the only medium for transferring value is a rather new concept. The resurgence of these trends in the exchange of goods and services should come as no surprise then, the only difference being that we now call it something different, collaborative consumption.

The Internet has turned the world into a bazaar, where we can convert our excess capacity into cash on virtually everything we own, from old power tools to office space. We recently shared a video with some of the hard numbers in the sharing economy, such as:

  • Most of us have about $3,000 worth of unused items in our homes
  • 70% of people surveyed said they would rent out those items if they knew how
  • 4 out 10 say they would like to start their own business

 

Affordable office space is the first step in helping those kids, or entrepreneurs-to-be, start up their companies. At ShareDesk, we make it easy for companies to rent out their idle workspaces to mobile professionals. You can advertise your underused real estate or access a network of over 1,400 collaborative workplaces in 65 countries.

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If you are wondering why you would want to share something as private as a workspace, here are a few convincing financial incentives:

1. Lower expenses for mobile professionals – Real estate and hardware are often the largest expense items in a startup’s launch budget. Sharing office space means you could land your first client before signing your first office lease and that makes everyone, from the landlord to the investors, much more secure.

2. Professional environment for entrepreneurs – Many entrepreneurs end up doing their pre-launch work from home and in public spaces like coffee shops. A professional environment is much more efficient for getting your work done without distractions while it offers all the resources you need at your disposal.

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3. The incalculable boon of conversation – Analysts point to the aspect of networking in business incubators as one of their most powerful features. A gathering of people facing the same challenges and working in close contact is a recipe for brainstorming innovation. Many of those who have tried office sharing find that it operates like a mini-incubator, bringing you in close contact with other entrepreneurs in your area. Even if they aren’t in your industry, the networking effect has substantial and measurable practical value.

4. Culture – Perhaps the most significant effect of sharing office space is joining a culture that revolves around people and experiences. Working in flexible workplaces allows you to work in places where you find the best cultural fit. You can look beyond the physical characteristics of a workplace, and join a workplace based on industry relevance and cultural fit. It also opens a window for you to see how much your own unused capacity is worth as a new revenue source, such as renting out part of your apartment to Airbnb or helping people in your community with tasks and errands on TaskRabbit. This allows you to be part of a community of likeminded people, that connect and share and embark on new experiences.

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One thing is for certain, as more people take part in the sharing economy, the benefits will become clearer, and we will see ‘sharing’ as a powerful social and economic force. We are living in a different world now. We are connected more than ever thanks to mobile devices, and internet connectivity. You can exchange ideas, assets, and resources quickly, and at lower costs. On the same note, where we work makes a big difference on our productivity and lifestyle. We believe that the is a better way to work, a way that is more flexible and focused on the individual. We want to make work a better experience people by opening access to collaborative workplaces.

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The 2nd Global Sharing Day is taking place on June 2, 2013. This year’s theme will be food! Yes, food! There is way too much food being wasted every single day, while at the same time hundreds of millions of people do not have access to an adequate supply of food. We need a solution, a collective action to help make a positive impact and change to reduce waste and share food.

The 2012 Global Sharing Day reached more than 60 million people in over 147 countries around the world. This year’s projection looks even better as the organizers of the event partnered up with change-makers; The Big Lunch, MealSharing and StreetPin, along with an additional 184 partners to “bring you the BIGGEST sharing event yet”.

 

Do you want to take part? Here are some useful links:

If you are interested in joining the event here are some useful links you can check out:

More information on last year’s event:

Here’s a video from the past Global Sharing Day: Benita Matofska speaking at the Global Sharing Day Parliamentary reception on 14th November 2012

Hello world!

We have an exciting update for all of you sharing workplaces on ShareDesk! This update allows you to complete and edit your workplace listing in an easier, quicker and fun format.

We decided to move in this direction for two main reasons. First, in-page editing requires less clicking back-and-forth and effort which makes the experience of adding a new space more fluid

Second, it provides a better perspective of what the end result will look like and reduce the likeliness of missing information. As you work through updating your profile and workplace information, you will see appear as you go. This enables you to easily fix any obvious inconsistencies. Continue Reading…

Hello ShareDesk!

A quick announcement on a new notifications feature that we added to ShareDesk this week.

Improved Notifications & Alerts

As you may have noticed, the upper right corner of the screen has been redesigned to make room for our new notification system. This is created to alert you of all events and activities that happen on your ShareDesk account- such as messages, booking requests, product announcements and similar events. The system is configured to send you (if you have signed up to receive them) along with a notification that will appear in this area mentioned above.

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For hosts, new booking requests will automatically create an alert, marked by a highlighted small bell icon at the upper right corner of your account page. Similarly  when a booking requests is accepted or rejected, a notification will be created for the users as well. Please note that system notifications we send you regarding your account will appear in the same area. Finally, we have improved messaging system to create alerts in notification area, marked with a balloon icon. We are making some exciting improvements to the messaging and interactions functionalities to be more fluid and encourage community discussions.

Please note that each  alert is followed with an email notification which is sent to your user e-mail account. You can easily adjust your email settings to suit your preference. (e-mail settings can be changed in the Profile Page, under the “email settings” tab).

Coming Soon!

1. In-Page Editing

The old days of the back-end dashboards will soon come to an end, at least for ShareDesk! We’re making bold updates to ShareDesk’s “Manage Space” page to be more integrated and easier to complete.

With our updated dashboard you’ll be able to create and edit shared workspaces in a click-to-edit format. This means that you’ll be given a clean template of your space page that you can simply edit by clicking on the various sections, which prompt a pop-up module to input your information. This makes it easier and more efficient for you to work through creating a profile for your shared workplace and personal profile. You will then be able to see your progress and final result without having to browse back-and-forth or opening new windows.

(The screenshots below showcase an example of how you would edit workstations.)

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2. Community Reviews

Soon we will unveil our Community Reviews feature to help you better learn about your fellow coworkers and shared workplaces. Community Reviews will help facilitate a way to provide feedback and ensure accountability. Each time you rent a space or join a new community, you are able to share your experience. These experiences collectively help create a more informed community, and improve the experience for ShareDesk members.

These are just a few features that we have put into the pipeline based on our discussions and your feedback. Please continue to share your thoughts with us on these and future updates and let us know how we can make ShareDesk better.

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Some weeks ago we talked about how coworking was making our cities smarter. On the same degree, I think that the whole Collaborative Consumption movement will make the way we produce things much smarter than it currently is. Continue Reading…

Here’s an awesome video with some facts and numbers about the Sharing Economy.

Some of them are astonishing:

There are 1 billion cars in the world, and 740 milions of them is occupied by just 1 person.

Our houses are filled with $3000 worth of unused items on average: unsurprisingly 69% of the owners would share these items if they could make money out of it.

But most important, 8 out of 10 people says that:

“Sharing make us more happy!”

Continue Reading…