22 February 2019

Do Your Office Hours Affect Your Productivity

Do Your Office Hours Affect Your Productivity?

Whether you’re arriving at your desk hours early or burning the midnight oil at your shared office space in Shoreditch, how much of an impact are your office hours having on your productivity?

Do Longer Hours Make for Better Work?

When it comes to our working lives, there’s a tendency to assume that the longer the hours, the better the results. Whether it’s due to raised expectations, a rapidly approaching deadline or simply your own personal inclination to go above and beyond, many of us have found ourselves staying longer, arriving earlier or powering through lunch breaks without stopping.

In fact, there’s evidence that long, irregular working hours and stressful conditions are harmful not only to employee health and wellbeing, but company output as well. Tired, stressed and overworked employees are unlikely to be producing the very best work that they are capable of, no matter how late into the night they’re working, or no matter how many lunch breaks they’re skipping.

Overworking on one project or task can also take valuable attention and working time away from others – stress and burnout now account for around 40% of our sick days.

Employees and staff can both help to reduce the impact of workplace stress – thereby improving productivity – in a number of ways. Employers should be emphasising the importance of taking breaks and focusing on wellbeing, while staff themselves should make sure they’re sticking as closely as possible to regular working hours.

Now that the impact of working hours on productivity are recognised, an increasing number of employees are also experimenting with new approaches to their working weeks.

What is the Future of the Working Week?

Allowing employees to adopt flexible working hours is hardly a new development, but companies are becoming much more receptive to the idea. Whereas previously the practice was often limited to specific cases, such as to accommodate childcare, more and more businesses are letting their staff work for the hours that suit them – providing it does not inconvenience other staff.

This is also closely related to the rise of remote working, as technology has made it easier for staff to collaborate and communication regardless of whether they’re at home, on the train or in the office.

A growing number of companies are going even further. In 2014, Richard Branson’s announcement that he was offering his staff an unlimited holiday allowance was met with scepticism, but since then the idea has grown in popularity. Start-ups including JustPark and Songkick have both adopted the practice, and even claimed that it has improved their output and employee productivity.

Not every business will be able to offer unlimited holiday or a four-day working week, but there is a growing awareness and understanding of the fact that, when it comes to office hours, there’s more than one way of working. Longer hours don’t necessarily result in more productive employees, and finding the right balance that allows people to work in their own way can have real long-term benefits.

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14 February 2019

Meet the Professional – Max Saville, NDLDN

This month for our ‘Meet the Professional’ series, we spoke with Max Saville, New Homes Director of NDLDN. Based on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, NDLDN are a bespoke, independent property agency. Combining the hands-on approach usually associated with family businesses and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the East London property market, NDLDN are passionate about what they do.

We sat down with Max to find out more about what drives him in his career.

How did you get your start in your career?

One day I came across an advert in a South London local paper for an Acorn Estate Agents recruitment evening. I went along and ended up arranging a week-long trial, with no pay – three days later I’d been offered a role as a Lettings Negotiator. The rest, as they say, is history.

What are the first three things you do when you get to the office in the morning?

I put BBC News on, make myself porridge and coffee, and respond to my emails. Once I’ve done those three things I’m set for the day.

What is your favourite thing about what you do?

Negotiating, without a doubt – I love the buzz of finalising a deal.

What is your least favourite thing?

Paperwork – but then I’ve never met anyone who enjoys that part!

Where do you work: rented space, serviced office, owned office, co-working space etc? Why?

We rent an office on Great Eastern Street. A high street shop front was very important to us – to make the business a familiar presence that really stands out to people as they pass by.

How important is office environment to you?

Very – especially when you regularly have clients coming into your office, like we do. The atmosphere of your workplace is a key part of creating the right impression of the business.

Do you prefer open plan or individual offices? Why?

Open plan – it allows the whole team to communicate and interact, which is especially important in the property industry.

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

Before I went along to the recruitment evening, I had signed up to join the RAF – so I suppose I’d be there.

What keeps you awake at night?

At the moment, my new-born daughter!

What piece of advice would you give to someone starting in the business?

Live, breathe and eat property. You know that saying, ‘knowledge is power’? Well in this industry, it really is. If someone knows the London property market in more depth than you do, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge.

Did you have a mentor?

I did indeed, my Dad. I worked with him for a few weeks when I left school, and he instilled pretty much my entire work ethic during that short time. I’ve lived by it ever since.

Is there a motto or quote that you live by?

Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.

If you were a superhero, what power would you have and why?

To fly – I love discovering new places!

To find out more about NDLDN, take a look at their website. ‘Meet the Professional’ is a regular series on the Proper Office blog, where we chat to interesting people from the Shoreditch and Putney areas, and beyond – make sure to check the blog regularly for new post and interviews.

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8 February 2019

The Importance of Inclusion and Diversity in the Workplace

Finding a new person to join any team can be a challenge. From deciding if they have the proper experience to figuring out if they’ll be the right fit for the team, there are a lot of factors to consider. One that can be overlooked, but is of the utmost importance, is diversity and the importance of having a well-represented organisation.

When thinking of diversity in the workplace, it can be easy to pigeonhole the understanding of the term, to simply mean an employee’s ethnicity, however, diversity includes a variety of characteristics including religious and political beliefs, gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation and geographic location.1 With a diverse workforce must come an inclusive workplace, which is why the two terms go hand in hand. And while diversity and inclusion are always stressed, it is important to understand why.

Diversity = Better performance as a team

Some impressive statistics reinforce that having a diverse team will lead to better performance at a company. In a study analysing 200 teams across different companies, it was found that the diverse teams outperformed individuals 87% of the time and that these teams benefited from an improvement on decision making 60% of the time.2

To bring new ideas to the table

It’s common sense that a diverse group of people would generate an abundance of different ideas as they come from different backgrounds and ways of life – however, for this to happen, it is important that there is a work culture that embraces creativity, known as a culture of sharing knowledge.3 A community that truly fosters diversity and new ideas is a co-working or serviced office space. Putney is home to Proper Office, a serviced office space which also have offices in Shoreditch, where diversity and inclusion is encouraged through social events at their managed offices, bringing together a wide variety of individuals.

Your company’s image

To begin with, in the UK, larger organisations are required to publicly disclose their gender pay gap – therefore it is in a company’s best interest to have proper diversity and inclusion polices in place.4 It also looks better for a company to have a diverse team and the executive teams in place to enforce them – take Netflix who hired a Vice President for Inclusion Strategy and Uber who recently hired a Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer, both respected and successful brands. 5

Retain Talent

By 2020, millennials are forecasted to make up 35% of the global workforce and it is these same millennials who are concerned about diversity and inclusion policies and consider them when deciding where to work.6 Therefore, it is important to factor this when seeking new employees as you could lose out on quality employees if you don’t have the right policies in place.

Whether you work at company’s headquarters’ or in serviced offices, London is a cultural melting pot with individuals from all different walks of life. This is why successful companies ensure they have a diversity and inclusion plan in place as it can only benefit an organisation, not hinder it.







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7 February 2019

The Ins and Outs of Putney: February

Putney is reputed as ‘one of London’s most pleasant suburbs,’ and it really does have something for everyone. With our new serviced office space, Putney now has a growing number of start-ups and freelancers working in the area.

For February, we found the best places for you to enjoy just a short walk away from our serviced office spaces in Putney.

Where to eat…

Nothing says Valentine’s day quite like treating someone to breakfast in bed, and at the Brew Café in Putney you can enjoy the experience without having to do any cooking yourself. Lining the café’s cosy terrace are an even cosier series of beds available for hire – and as a Valentine’s day treat, each booking includes a bottle of Champagne to go with their usual brunch menu. You can find it on Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1JP.

Or, if you’re not feeling particularly lovestruck, consider getting a group together after work to pop along to Popeseye on Upper Richmond Road. Don’t expect fancy starters or sides – this old-school steakhouse specialises in no-nonsense, great quality steaks, plus a highly recommended wine list to toast away the end of Dry January…

Where to go for a drink…

And speaking of the end of Dry January, what better way to celebrate than with a nostalgia trip right back to childhood? The Toy Shop on Putney High Street is a quirky bar with a self-explanatory theme – the colours are bright, the walls are textured like a child’s board game, and the cocktail menu includes specialities like the Play-Doh milk punch (although fortunately there’s no actual Play-Doh in the recipe). Reasonably priced and centrally located, this is an ideal location for groups and casual after-work drinks.

Everything else…

Putney institution The Half Moon is one of the area’s most popular watering holes, but it’s equally as committed to keeping people entertained in its other identity as a vibrant and diverse music venue. The pub hosts regular music nights on almost every night of the week, making it an ideal, informal place to kick back and relax after a hard day of work.

Or, if you’re in the mood for soaking up some of the area’s history, take a short walk over the river to explore Fulham Palace, one of London’s historic houses and a Grade I listed building. Admission to the palace and its surrounding grounds is free every day, and can be accessed from Fulham Palace Road, just across Putney Bridge.

If you’re looking for a small office for rent, Putney could be a great place to develop your business in the new year. Why not check out our offices and see which ones suit your company’s needs?

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7 February 2019

The Ins and Outs of Shoreditch – February

The Ins and Outs of Shoreditch – February

With the new year well underway, there’s also a new wealth of opportunities for places to eat, drink and be merry – all within walking distance of our serviced office space in Shoreditch.

Where to eat…

If you’re looking to impress a date over dinner this Valentine’s day, hotel and member’s club The Curtain is pulling out all the stops with a six-course tasting menu in their rooftop restaurant Lido – or the more casual Red Rooster, where you can take in some live music over sharing dishes. Find them both at 45 Curtain Road, London, EC2a 3PT.

Or, if you’re not planning on breaking out the love hearts and just fancy a bite to eat  with friends, then consider heading to BunBunBun – one of many Vietnamese restaurant’s to be found along the ‘Pho Mile’ on Kingsland Road, but undoubtedly one of the best. The clue is very much in the name with this one – it specialises in Vietnamese delicacy Bun cha, but you’ll almost certainly be able to find something for everyone.

Where to grab a drink…

Dry January is officially over! Congrats to everyone who made it all the way through, now get yourself to one of Shoreditch’s many bars or pubs to celebrate…

If you fancy taking in a spectacular view of London and the Shoreditch area over an after-work tipple, Shoreditch institution the Ace Hotel runs Night Light every Friday – a chance for an exclusive number of visitors to take in views of the city from the private hotel bar. It’s right at the end of the week, so why not treat yourself – TGFF, after all.

Everything else…

Looking to catch a film, exhibit or performance after work? Near our serviced office, Shoreditch is home to Rich Mix, an independent, all-purpose, cultural hub with three cinema screens, exhibition and performance spaces, along with a café and bar. Visit their website to find out what they have on, or pop along to 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6LA, to have a look for yourself.

Plus, Proper Office’s Yoga teacher Letizia will be helping you to stretch away those January cobwebs. She’ll be running intermediate level classes every Tuesday from 6-7, plus beginner sessions on a bi-weekly Thursday basis. This class can be joined anytime, so just send us an email at enquiry@properoffice.com to find out more and book yourself a place.

As London’s startup and small business centre, Shoreditch has no shortage of places to eat, drink and hang out – check the Proper Office blog regularly for our monthly recommendations.

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