From Slump to Success: Staying Productive in the Summer

It’s officially summer, and that means temperatures are on the rise, out-of-office messages are popping up more frequently and the unfortunate trend of decreased productivity is about to set in across the northern hemisphere. If you’re hoping to prevent the summer slump from hitting your office, we’ve put together some tips to make the most out of the slower-paced season so you can maximize productivity while still enjoying a little downtime.

1. Be Proactive

Have an upcoming deadline or project that might need sign-offs and approvals? Be prepared to plan around out-of-office schedules and your colleagues’ vacation plans.

2. Plan Ahead

Speaking of vacation plans, make sure to share yours with your teammates so you don’t leave them in the lurch while you’re soaking up the sun. Creating a shared calendar for your team will help everyone keep track of when others are available or unavailable this summer. Don’t forget to schedule some time for yourself — a little R&R can do wonders for your productivity!

3. Keep Cool (But Not Too Cool)

Did you know that temperature plays a big role in your productivity? According to one study, the optimal climate for increased productivity is between 70 and 72 degrees. If you work in a shared space and can’t convince facilities to budge on the thermostat, bring in a desk fan or heater to keep you comfortable.

4. Stay Inspired

If the summer slump leaves you needing a little motivation, The Everygirl compiled a great playlist of inspiring TED talks sure to send your productivity into overdrive.

5. Resist the Urge to Slack

If you work in an industry where summer seasonality provides a little breathing room, take advantage! Get a jump on next quarter’s projections and budget, organize those storage closets, zero out that inbox or finally restructure the reports you haven’t had time to tackle. There is always work to be done and you’ll thank yourself in the fall when schedules get busier and deadlines seem to get shorter.

6. Be Flexible

Lifesize CEO Craig Malloy wrote an article for Fast Company last summer about the importance of remaining flexible in the summer months. As long as expectations are set, studies have shown that employees with modified work schedules (think summer Fridays) show increased productivity in the summers.

7. Test Out New Tools

Summer is a great time to trial run new tools you’ve been thinking about implementing. Whether it’s a note-taking tool or a video conferencing app, you probably have a little more time to test out a few options and see what features make sense for your team.

8. Learn How to Own Your Meetings

Maybe it’s the vacation-mode daydreams or just the heat melting our thought process, but meetings seem to be a little more distracted and fall off course more easily in summer. Keep yours on track with our How to Own Your Meetings Guide. We cover everything from agenda templates to finding the best time to meet for distributed teams.

Why Small Businesses and Startups Are Pioneering the Remote Working Revolution

The remote working revolution is in full swing and it’s showing no signs of stopping. The latest numbers reveal that 67% of companies now allow employees at least some time to work remotely from home. This is a trend that is not going to change anytime soon.

But small businesses and startups are the organizations that have pioneered this growth. Why has it happened and why is it going to continue long into the future?

It’s Cheaper

Small businesses and startups are notorious for not having the financial resources necessary to do what they want. With increasing real estate prices, it’s caused many smaller entities to seek alternatives. Working remotely negates the need for all the usual office facilities in the center of town.

Simply by opting for a remote working arrangement you can shave hundreds of dollars off your monthly expenses.

Getting Talent from Elsewhere

For many companies, remote working has presented an opportunity to manage talent that may not be available in the local community at the right price. Tech companies in San Francisco may have an ample amount of talent to take advantage of. However, a small tech company in the middle of rural Wyoming may struggle.

To get around a talent shortage, remote working comes in. It allows companies from anywhere to take advantage of top talent from all over the world. It’s not uncommon to have teams consisting entirely of people who have never met people in person. Furthermore, many small businesses and startup have used this to their advantage.

It’s What Employees Want

Corporations are notorious for not really caring what their employees want. If you work for Apple, you are working for one of the most well-known companies in the world. Should you decide to leave there will be hundreds of other people lining up to take your job. Large corporations can afford to disregard what their employees want.

But the new generation is coming of age and they are less likely to accept the traditional way of doing things than ever before. They are known for how likely they are to skip companies and switch to somewhere else if they don’t like the working arrangements, even if this happens to mean less money.

Small businesses and startups can’t afford to lose their employees. It causes far too much disruption and they are too reliant on their teams. Many companies haven’t survived simply because a team leader left when they weren’t happy with something.

Studies have shown that employees love remote working because it staves off stress and allows them more flexibility with their personal lives. As more and more people realize the benefits of remote working, they are going to demand it more and more from their employers.

Advancing Technology

One of the reasons why remote working has taken off now is because it didn’t stand a chance of taking off before. The technology wasn’t there to make it a reality. A phone call isn’t enough to trust a worker to leave the office and work from home.

But technology has come a long way in recent years. Gone are the days where you had to use multiple pieces of software to work from home. It’s now possible to use combined remote working platforms to collaborate, communicate, and stay on top of things.

And why are small businesses and startups more likely to start using this software?

It’s not expensive to pick up and use. There’s very little expense involved, and many of these software providers offer payment plans exclusively for small businesses and startups.

Customer Facing Environments are in Decline

Due to rising real estate prices and the increasing globalization of the web, the customer facing businesses are steadily dying out. Only bigger businesses are maintaining huge superstores in the real world. For startups and small businesses, it doesn’t make financial sense to run these operations.

It means that customer facing employee teams are also unnecessary. The fact is remote working simply makes sense for these businesses when most of their operations are in an online capacity.

Conclusion – Remote Working is Set to Continue

The future of remote working is bright because the tools that make remote working function correctly are only becoming more effective and more advanced. Small businesses and startups have been able to employ better talent and increase their bottom lines like never before due to this.

In your point of view, where is remote working heading and will you be utilizing it in your company anytime soon?

Lifesize Offers New Financially Backed Service Level Agreement (SLA) for Cloud-based Video Conferencing Services

AUSTIN, TEXAS, MAY 24, 2016 – AUSTIN, TEXAS (May 24, 2016) – Lifesize®, a global provider of award-winning audio, web and video conferencing technology, now offers customers a financially backed Service Level Agreement (SLA) supporting the reliability and availability of its cloud-based video service. The introduction of the SLA for Lifesize Extreme Support customers adds an important new element to the company’s award-winning customer service and support offering.

When communication and collaboration are mission-critical to business outcomes, the reliability and availability of collaboration services is critical. Slow, spotty or down services have tremendous impact on a business, leading to the potential loss of productivity and opportunity. Traditionally, cloud-based video conferencing vendors have shied away from owning accountability for their services, which leaves their customers at a massive disadvantage without many options for recourse. This SLA is one more way Lifesize is showing its dedication to and obsession with its customers’ success and happiness.

“Lifesize video conferencing is integral to our customers’ daily operations. They rely on us to help them get their business done, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” said Craig Malloy, CEO of Lifesize. “We’re putting skin in the game by making this promise, and showing our customers that we’re committed to their success.

The meaningful investments that we are making in our platform, along with the industry-leading performance, reliability, security and scalability we achieve through our partnership with SoftLayer®, an IBM Company, gives us extremely high confidence in our ability to deliver the best possible experience. We want our customers to see and share this confidence.”

Lifesize’s SLA guarantees 99.9 percent availability for its video conferencing customers with Extreme Support, subject to limited exceptions. Extreme Support – which offers 24/7/365 access to Lifesize’s award-winning support team as well as dedicated on-boarding and lifetime account management – is included with Lifesize’s Enterprise plans and available to Premium plan customers for a fee. This SLA covers the ability for customers to sign into and initiate a video call through the cloud-based service, and commits to less than 0.1 percent unplanned downtime per month. If Lifesize fails to deliver on this unparalleled level of service, the customer will be eligible to receive a 10 percent service credit of its monthly contract value toward its next annual subscription renewal. More information and specific limitations of the program are available here.

Lifesize’s video-based communication and collaboration technologies are unrivaled in meeting the intense demands of today’s enterprise, while remaining accessible to businesses of any size. Often, organizations work with five or more vendors to give employees the collaboration tools they need. Lifesize is the only company to bring together a radically simple audio, web and video conferencing service with award-winning HD camera systems and HD phones. And, the combination of features rolled into one app – including chat, instant and scheduled calling and recording – are intuitive and built to meet users’ needs.
Since the launch of Lifesize Cloud, the company has added more than 3,000 customer accounts –including Twilio©, Return Path© and Evolution Gaming©.

Additional Resources:

Please refer to the Lifesize Cloud Extreme Support Service Level Agreement for the official SLA and complete details.
Additional Information:

For more information about Lifesize, please visit www.lifesize.com
Experience Lifesize Cloud with the free 14-day Lifesize Cloud trial
Explore the Lifesize Collaboration and Productivity Guide
Like Lifesize on Facebook: facebook.com/lifesizeHD
Follow @lifesizeHD on Twitter
Join other customers for collaboration, advocacy and insights at community.lifesize.com

About Lifesize
At Lifesize, we understand the power of connecting people to make the workplace great. For more than a decade, Lifesize has been at the forefront of video collaboration, delivering high-quality solutions designed to bring people together. We combine a best-in-class, cloud-based video conferencing experience, with award-winning, easy-to-use devices that are designed for any conference room so you can connect to anyone, anywhere. It’s a meeting experience like no other. Our video conferencing solutions are designed for the demands of today’s modern enterprise, yet fully accessible to businesses of any size. For more information, visit www.lifesize.com or follow the company @LifesizeHD.

Lifesize and the Lifesize logo are trademarks of Lifesize, Inc. and may be registered. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.