Office & Workplace
Do you ever find that your productivity in a coworking space is different to the level of productivity you have at home? Are you someone who can self-motivate when it comes to getting work done or are you easily distracted and find that you’re always running out of time when you’re working on different tasks?
Some people are more comfortable when they have people to interact with, while others thrive in a quieter environment. This can be challenging when people first start working in a coworking space as they try to strike a balance between getting to know their coworkers and keeping their productivity up. We’ve looked at podcasts that can help us with our productivity before, but we thought it was time to look at some of the apps that we can use to give our productivity a boost too. We’ve put together this post on some of our favourites that help us to maintain our productivity, regardless of our personal preferences for a noisy or quiet workspace.
Productivity and technology working together
Using technology to help us in our jobs isn’t a new thing, we’ve been using services like Outlook, Google Drive and Dropbox for quite a while and know just how useful they are. Whether it’s having access to large amounts of storage or easily sharing large files with colleagues they definitely help us to manage our communications and workload.
Industrial engineer Allen F. Morgenstern coined the saying “work smarter, not harder” in the 1930’s and it’s just as relevant today as it was then. As workspaces have moved forward, so too has the tech that is used in them. We're always looking for ways to help us work smarter and the following apps are sure to give everyone a boost in their productivity levels.
The best task centric apps to keep you on track
If you’ve found that your productivity dips when you have more people to interact with these are some of the best task orientated apps to keep you on track. If you have a small team working together in a coworking space or you split work between team members who work from home with those who work in an office, apps like Slack, Asana, and Trello are a great way to keep everyone in the loop with what’s going on. You can easily see what tasks have been allocated to each team member and where everyone is in the work process.
If you have lots of meetings and are constantly taking notes, a transcription service like Otter voice notes is a handy app that can take the hassle out of writing everything up after a lengthy meeting. The free version lets you transcribe 600 minutes a month for free and while no transcription service is perfect, we’re seen lots of praise for Otter in particular.
If you’re a freelancer or small company working with a range of clients, as many coworking professionals are, and you want to keep better track of your time, then a tracking tool like Toggl could be just what you need. You can easily set up projects and record how much time you spend them; this type of service is invaluable when it comes to working out time spent on each, and the billing associated with them too.
Keeping you safe and productive
When you work in a coworking space it’s likely that you’ll be using a shared wifi network so it’s important to take a minute to think about your online security. Obviously, you’ll want to be confident that your work is secure so keeping your laptop and phone password protected is important. Just as important is making sure that your online accounts are only accessible to you, and the people you choose to share them with. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have a multitude of accounts to keep track of, with the passwords that go with them. When it comes to productivity, how much time do we lose trying to remember login details, passwords, or what we’ve changed our passwords to? We can bet that almost everyone has had to do a password reset at some point and has experienced the frustration of doing so. Apps like LastPass are an excellent way to keep all of your passwords securely in one place, even better – they have desktop and mobile app synchronisation.
Apart from keeping you safe on the sites you use regularly it’s also worth considering how much time we waste on certain websites throughout the day. If you get easily distracted by social media, news sites or just constantly refresh pages on a given website then an app like SiteBlock could be really helpful to you. As the name implies, it allows you to block certain sites so that they can’t be accessed. You can do this just during working hours, or for set time periods when you need to keep focused on a given task.
Mindfulness and productivity in a coworking space
One of the things that can affect our productivity is if we aren’t feeling our best physically or mentally. Nobody creates their best work when they are running low on energy and practicing mindfulness has become increasingly popular as a way to help us manage the daily challenges of work and life. Aside from participating in workplace wellness programmes organised by your coworking space, there are great apps to help you with your mindfulness on your own too. One of our favourites is Headspace but there are lots to pick from.
If you struggle with the noise in a shared coworking space then Noisli could be just what you need. The app lets you pick a background noise to listen to, similar to a white noise machine but with a selection of soundscapes from wind and rain, to forest noises, to background chatter in café, a flickering fire, or waves lapping against the beach to choose from. You can pick the sounds that most appeal to you and help to improve your concentration.
Turning productivity into sustainability
If you’re someone who constantly checks their phone, we think Forest is an app that’s worth looking into. If you’re in any way competitive this is a fun app to help you beat the urge to pick up your device. Basically, you set a timer on your phone and plant a virtual tree, if you make it to the end of the timer without checking anything on your phone, the tree lives. While it sounds like a fun way to minimise the time you spend on your phone it has a real world benefit too, users can earn credits by not using their phones and plant real trees around the world with those credits. Forest work with the charity Trees For the Future, and to date, they’ve planted more than 430,000 trees.
We wrote earlier this year about some of the ways you can bring sustainability to your office and we’re always looking for ways to get people involved in caring about their environment. Why not encourage your coworkers, whether that’s your direct colleagues or people you share a coworking space with, to download the app and see how much difference you can make together? You’ll be increasing your productivity by using your phone less, helping the environment, and sharing something fun with your work community too. We think it’s a winner all round!
Optimising your devices to maximise your productivity
If downloading more apps doesn’t appeal to you, or your phone is constantly running out of storage space, there’s usually an existing device manager on your phone where you can monitor your daily and weekly screen usage. By enabling screen time in your settings, you can keep track of the amount of time you spend using, or being distracted by, your phone. You can see which apps you spend the most time on and set app limits if there are some that you’re not happy with. You might be surprised at what you find after monitoring your usage over a few days and can use this knowledge to improve your productivity.
In addition to learning which apps can help you to manage your productivity, we’ve looked at the science behind productivity before. You can check out that piece here and build up a rounded view of productivity that can help to help manage any challenges you might be experiencing. There’s sure to be something useful that can help you to make the most of your time in a coworking space.
If you're looking for a coworking space that’s been designed with productivity in mind why not arrange a tour in one of our Dublin, Belfast or Cork locations? We’d be happy to show you around and answer any questions you have about working from Glandore.