Work Life

Pros and Cons of Fitness Trackers for Employees

May 26, 2019

As good as prompting workers to pay attention to their health might sound, though, providing wearable devices might spark concerns around privacy and preferential treatment.

According to a study by the JAMA Network, it may yield little to no actual benefits to employees. The study examined the experience of 33,000 workers at BJ’s Wholesale Club over the course of a year and a half. It found that, while workers had higher levels of physical activity or exercise and paid closer attention to their weight, there were no significant changes in things like their blood pressure or sugar levels, and no reduction in the company’s healthcare costs, which is often a major motivation in implementing health and fitness programs.

A health and wellness program like company-provided activity trackers often has a long list of pros and cons. Business News Daily spoke to health professionals and business experts to see what benefits and negative effects wearable fitness trackers could bring to your business.  

Pros of fitness trackers in the workforce

“Employee fitness incentive programs can result in reduced absenteeism, greater worker productivity and lower employee turnover,” said Alfred Poor, Ph.D., editor of Health Tech Insider. “All of these factors can result in real bottom-line financial savings for employers.”

In addition to increasing employee engagement, implementing an activity tracker program can create a culture of gamification in the workplace, which has been proven to increase morale, focus and drive for a given task. Gamification makes the mundane fun and provides social support, which increases a participant’s chances of maintaining their progress.

“Many organizations find that offering wearable fitness trackers that have shareable data encourages teams to work together to reach not only corporate goals but also [personal] fitness goals,” said Jared Weitz, CEO and founder of United Capital Source. “This …

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5 Reasons Remote Teams Are More Engaged Than Office Workers

May 15, 2019

But what about for businesses? In an effort to retain talent, attract candidates and stand out in today’s tight labor market, more organizations than ever are allowing members of their teams to work from home some or all of the time. In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the pattern will continue, with 73% of all teams having remote workers by 2028.

What’s less clear is the impact of these arrangements on organizations’ bottom lines. Do remote environments impact worker productivity? Is it possible to nurture both flexibility and increased engagement within your organization?

The short answer: yes. Remote workers regularly meet and exceed objectives, identify new processes, and contribute to company culture just as much as anyone in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting. In fact, they tend to accomplish more. According to a two-year study by Stanford University, remote workers are, on average…

  • 13.5% more productive than their office-based counterparts,

  • 9% more engaged in their jobs, and

  • 50% less likely to quit    

This may seem counterintuitive, but the stereotypical image of a virtual worker – someone sitting around in their pajamas, prone to distractions, and in desperate need of a shower – has little basis in reality. Instead, imagine a diverse community of empowered, autonomous, and entrepreneurially-minded professionals.

Consider a few reasons why remote, at-home working arrangements increase team engagement – and, by extension, organizational productivity:

1. A remote workforce is a more inclusive, higher-quality workforce

Common human resources wisdom states that engagement starts with recruitment. To maximize job satisfaction (and therefore, job performance) you need to hire the most qualified, relevant candidates. Unfortunately, businesses are frequently limited by their local talent pools.

Call center positions, for example, are typically entry-level jobs with high rates of turnover. It’s not that employers don’t care, …

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Will Four-Day Work Weeks Boost Employee Productivity?

May 14, 2019

While more time at home and more productive hours when clocked in sounds great to employers and employees, I can tell you firsthand as the CEO of a highly successful company that has won awards for its workplace environment that a four-day workweek is not required to motivate employees. In fact, employee motivation has nothing to do with how many days a person works in a week.

Give employees more schedule flexibility

I grant my employees the same autonomy that I have as a CEO, to come and go as needed, and because of that, I hold them to a higher standard. Through my work and leadership experience, I discovered that when I empower my employees to be the CEO of their own responsibilities, they are far more motivated, and we see incredible results. Such a position obviously comes with more freedom than the typical title, but it also raises the bar of expectations.

To achieve trust and mutual respect, employees are expected to make their own schedules. It is my belief that if I do not have to account for all of my hours worked or dentist appointments kept, then neither do my employees. This attitude actualizes the expectation for each worker to be CEO of his or her own responsibilities. But not every individual who submits an application wants to meet this standard. I look for certain traits in employees and am committed to developing those leadership qualities, if present.

Let employees be their own personal CEO

To succeed as CEOs of their own responsibilities, employees must be determined self-starters. The strength of their work ethic lies in how they go above and beyond to accomplish the initial goals laid out for them without a higher up peering over their shoulder at every turn. As CEO, I do …

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Want to Host Better Meetings? Follow These 9 Tips

May 7, 2019

When your listeners don’t participate, you’re left not knowing what their needs are, or if they have questions. You aren’t sure if they understand, let alone agree with your points. The bottom line is that you lack the influence needed to move people to act. As a result, you tend to continue talking without pauses so you can avoid the awkward silence. You may even talk faster to get through the meeting more quickly. You also might assume no one is speaking up because they agree and fully understand your message.

When you host a meeting, you are fighting a battle of distraction and fatigue. Employees spend anywhere from one-third to half of their workday in meetings. Such meeting fatigue makes it challenging to get and keep everyone’s attention. Add technological distractions such as smartphones and email, and the challenge is even greater. 

You can host a productive meeting and influence others to act upon what you have to say by following these nine steps:

1. Set up the session.

As you begin each meeting, explain to your listeners that you wish to honor their time and therefore will move through the material quickly. Share that you will stop to ask questions throughout to ensure they are receiving value from your time together.

2. Make your sentences short and concise.

It’s hard to follow someone who is vague or rambles when speaking. Make your points and set goals with clear statements that are brief and direct. Avoid using clichés and non-words that take away from your message.

3. Pause to let your message resonate.

Some believe silence is awkward, but it is quite effective when used in conjunction with a strong point. Taking a moment to pause allows your listeners to think about what you just said. It gives them …

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13 Apps to Conquer Your Business To-Do List

May 5, 2019

With the right task management system, however, you can see all your projects in one place, stay organized and set you and your team up for success. From a basic calendar system to the most comprehensive project tracking tool, and everything in between, the choices for task management systems seems almost endless. How do you know which system is best for you and your business?

To help you decide, we asked the experts at YEC to share the task management system that’s helped keep their companies on the path to success. These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Outlook

I prefer to use Outlook to manage my tasks. I spend a lot of my day using Outlook as my email software and find it more efficient to use one program, rather than having to juggle across multiple platforms. Additionally, Outlook can easily be accessed from the cloud and my mobile devices. Also, it has great features for automatic reminders with a lot of customizable options. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

2. Noto

Like many people, I see my inbox as a to-do list. This sounds crazy, but my number one way to improve my task-management flow is with an app called Noto that lets me instantly email myself notes, reminders or anything else that I need to take care of. You have to try it to truly understand the power and value of the tool. – Ryan D. Matzner, Fueled

3. Trello

I love how easy it is for me to organize and share Trello

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