Tag Archives: #business

Choosing the right subcontractor

Across every industry, getting the foundations right is core to successful results. When it comes to the construction and MEP sectors, there’s nothing more important than delivering your service and keeping clients happy.

Lately, as the economy has shifted and companies seek out ways to cut costs, more companies are scaling and reorganising their brand to be more cost-efficient.

One of the ways any trade business can scale back is through the use of subcontractors. Though subcontractors can be a great way to finish projects and grow your brand, it’s important you know how to engage in this process efficiently to obtain the same results.

Pre-screen subcontractors carefully

When you hire subcontractors in your business, you must decide on the best options possible. Vetting a new team of subcontractors will be vital. You don’t want to be left with an under qualified or unwilling workforce that can cost you more money and potentially damage your reputation in the long run.

Recommendations for selecting subcontractors include:

  • Follow up with previous clients and check their references
  • Compare multiple subcontractors before making a final decision
  • Look beyond costs to ensure that the subcontractors you select are keen, trained, available, highly qualified, and insured
  • Ensure that payments and fees are carefully discussed prior to signing a contract
  • Ensure the subcontractor or subcontractors have the same work ethic as you and your company

When you make a strong selection, you guarantee an easier job for yourself and a better business all around. Take your time to shop around for quality work.

Setting standards

Subcontractors represent you, your business, and your brand. As such, you must set the standards and expectations ahead of the project. When you write up a contract, you’ll have the opportunity to precisely detail what you expect from them.

A well-written contract will define the quality of work you require, and the process you expect. Some critical information you should establish with your subcontractors include:

  • General Responsibilities
  • Detailed deliverables including any deadlines
  • Scope of their services
  • Work restrictions and work hierarchies
  • Standards of quality
  • Any special requests from the client

Your values are important, and ensuring your subcontractor can match these will be critical for a successful project. Transparency and good communication go a long way.

Efficient project management

Your client has expectations, and your brand is on the line when you hire a third party to work for you. Often, you’ll have to restructure your company so that the line of reporting and escalation is more clear.

Subcontractors are hired to fulfil specific tasks and duties. As such, you’ll have to ensure constant communication to keep track of a project and follow its progress.

Some tips for project management when using subcontractors include:

  • Establish a direct line of communication
  • Set procedures for procuring materials
  • Explain safety concerns
  • Maintain progress reports
  • Set schedules and deadlines
  • Ask questions regularly
  • Team building exercises

Any time you work with a third party, you’ll want to push for a positive relationship between you, your company, the subcontractors, and the client.

Subcontractors should always place their focus on you. Planning accordingly will help you avoid any problems or disputes down the road.

By having a clear and well-written contract, you can address expectations from both ends and ensure you and the subcontractor are satisfied with the agreed upon terms.



How to keep team spirits up during times of uncertainty

How to keep team spirits up during times of uncertainty

With the pandemic finally easing up after more than two years, hope on the horizon looked closer than ever before.

Unfortunately, it seems we may be still in the eye of the storm. The ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe has affected the global economy across every industry, including the MEP sector

Now, with an economic recession around the corner, teams and businesses are reeling in the effects.

Team health is important so that a business can weather a crisis and overcome uncertainties. Here are a few ways to help keep your team spirits up and boost morale during unstable times. 

Transparency is key

As an efficient leader, you should encourage increased transparency and communication during any crisis.

Ensuring your team is always up-to-date on your company’s health will allow everyone to feel more at ease, even if this means disclosing poor results. Though your company may be facing difficulties like meeting payroll or submitting invoices, it’s important to adopt more transparent practices so that your team knows what’s going on. 

Transparency goes a long way. Not only will it increase your credibility as a leader, but open communication amongst employees will help your company work more efficiently. This can translate into better team-building and encourage others to find solutions in times of adversity.

Remind your team that despite any setbacks, things will be ok. 

Celebrate small wins

Instability can quickly translate into low morale across a company. As a leader, you can boost your team’s spirits by celebrating small achievements.

By showing increased gratitude towards your team, you can foster better optimism, enthusiasm, and motivation.

This may also mean taking some time away from the office or job site to decompress together. We all need a break sometimes. 

Stepping away to celebrate small wins is healthy and can encourage your team to meet future achievements and long-term goals – especially when faced with the shortcomings of a global crisis.

Empathy and team communication 

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to focus on what your team members need the most and remind them that you’re available to listen to their needs. Empathy means asking more questions and showing your team you care.

Depending on your work arrangements, you could schedule one-on-one meetings to build more trust and find out about what your team may be lacking. Increased communication is just one tool that can help show that you empathise with your employees.

Be available for your team when they need it the most.

Empower your team

During any difficult time, you should empower your team and get them more involved. Encouraging teams to engage in proactive work projects can lead to more positive mindsets and boost morale across a business.

Oftentimes, this empowerment can be as simple as giving people more responsibilities that allow them to contribute to the greater goals of your company. 

However you choose to do it, encouraging proactive habits can benefit everyone and increase team health. 

Teams should embrace these ongoing changes together, motivate each other, and adapt accordingly.


Automated customer service is here to stay, but what may the future hold?

Most of us know the drill these days; have a problem with a product and you call the company to sort it out. It sounds simple, but often, it can turn into a whole other issue. You’re sat on the phone for almost an hour, only to be so frustrated you’ll need another hour on the other side to calm down. More often than not, this stress is automated phone services that seem to act as impassable gatekeepers to actual humans.

Often if you do get through to a human, it’ll be them that get it in the neck. And no wonder – after hearing ‘Did you know you could look online?’ and ‘your call is important to us’ over and over again it’s unsurprising many customers feel fobbed off. Technology is meant to make things more convenient and more efficient, but often it has the opposite effect.

But this fact is nothing new. So what are companies doing actually to improve the situation? There’s no doubt that automated customer service is here to stay – but what does the future have in store?

It’s no secret customers are dissatisfied

In a recent survey of 220 US and UK-based companies conducted by the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), 90% said customer service was essential to their success. In an increasingly competitive environment, they know that it’s service that will be the key differentiator. Management consultants Bain & Company agree; they argue that investment in customer service is imperative and that customer service staff must be continuously upskilled.

There’s a shedload of data to support this idea and maximise return on investment. After all, good customer service is essential to keeping customers. It’s well known that it’s far cheaper to keep a customer than attract a new one (some say by as many as ten times), so good customer service makes the best business sense.

Remote working could get us back on track

Despite the prevalence of new customer service channels, the vast majority of customers would still rather speak to a human being. However, their confidence in human agents remains low. According to research, 90% report that they found people in call centres ineffective at dealing with issues.

However, remote working could turn the tides. The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that remote working was possible, if not preferable. Airtasker recently published statistics that suggest that remote workers are more productive due to the time saved commuting. Productive customer service agents are effective customer service agents, so perhaps the remotely staffed centre could see the dawn of a brave new world.

Personal service no longer has to be a luxury

Strategy consulting giants McKinsey calculated that personalised customer service could make marketing spend efficiency between 10 and 20% better. But now, personalised service needn’t only be the domain of one-on-one customer relationships for small firms, or indeed of data-driven behemoths. Now, Customer Data Platforms are more affordable than ever. SMEs can use these tools to quickly and seamless access customer accounts and track behaviour.

A blend of back to basics and new technology

It seems that the future of customer service may be more human. This is a silver lining brought by the pandemic, where remote customer service agents might be the key to getting us back on the phone with a human. However, further down the food chain, smaller businesses shouldn’t see this as a signal to abandon new technologies. Instead, they should leverage them to create that perfect balance – data-driven, with a human touch.



Some unique interview questions to find the best people (and keep them)

Every organisation is unique, so you want to find team members that are the right fit. Each business has its own company culture, team dynamics, and ways of doing things, so you want to find staff that will onboard fast, get on well, and play their part in steering the business towards success.

It goes without saying that the interview stage is a key moment to identify whether or not someone is going to be a good fit. Sure, we all know the old interview cliches: What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? And perhaps the biggest eye-roll of them all, why do you want to work here?

So how can you ask creative questions that give you a real insight into how someone will operate within your team? Here, we make a few suggestions.

Ideas for unusual interview questions

Before we share some ideas, it’s important to highlight how you should go about sprinkling in a few left-field questions. First, you shouldn’t blindside people if they’re expecting a more traditional format. Clearly introduce the “fun”, “creative” or “ice breaker” questions, so the candidate can mentally prepare.

Equally, these questions should always have a purpose. What are you testing for? Is it their people skills, their creativity, or other interests, or if you’re just trying to help them to relax? That way, you can make an objective evaluation instead of losing sight of why you’re taking this non-traditional approach in the first place.

Here are a few ideas, starting with the more conservative and moving into some more creative or surprising questions:

  • What inspired you to work in this industry?
  • Tell me about a time when a role or company felt like a bad fit for your personality.
  • How would you pitch this company to a friend?
  • If you were interviewing me for my job, what would you want to know about me?
  • How could AI change the industry? Do you think your job will exist in 10 years?
  • Would you rather commute to work on an elephant or a giraffe? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your preferred method of transportation?

The final question may seem absurd, but questions of this style are designed to check reasoning skills in situations outside of the norm – and of course, a sense of humour!

Getting the best talent and holding on to it

Identifying the best person for the job is one thing, but making sure they stay in the organisation is quite another. A creative interview format will help you identify quick-thinking, good-humoured and resourceful candidates, but how can you make sure they always do their best work? This is, in many ways, an impossible task; we all have our ups and downs, and can’t always perform at our peak.

This is why much like the interview itself, good management is all about empathy. During the interview, you’re trying to relate to the candidate and bring out the best in them, and you should maintain this throughout their tenure. This is something we reflected on in a previous article, so for more about empathy as an essential management skill, click here.

The days of paper might be over, but document management is going nowhere

Organisation is vital to every organisation – the clue is in the name, no? Proper document management is a crucial part of smooth day-to-day operations, especially in a complex business like construction. In scenarios where there are multiple stakeholders and systems involved, things can get sticky, and therefore, something as straightforward as managing paperwork needs special attention.

That said, gone are the days of tracking paper in filing cabinets. Now, mostly everything is digital – but occasionally, this can make things worse rather than better, with chaotic file names, formats and silos in cloud storage. Statistics suggest that while a professional might take 5-15% of their time reading information, they’ll spend 50% looking for it.

Choosing the right cloud service, and streamlining filing structures and naming systems can make document searching and sharing far more efficient. All it takes is designing and sharing a simple system and you can reap the following benefits both internally and externally.

Time is money

It’s a time-honoured saying; time is money. In the days of paper, management consulting giants PWC estimated that it cost businesses $20 in labour just to file a document, $120 to find it if it was misplaced, and $220 to reproduce something that is lost. In the days of digital, these costs may not be as eye-watering, but lost documents can still waste time – which is arguably a business’s most important resource.

The less time employees spend locating files, the more time they can spend on other things. By locating a file in a consistent, navigable file structure, files can be located in a matter of moments. Even better is creating a naming system to make files ultra-searchable, so staff can find files in a few keystrokes.

Improved communication

Streamlined searching means streamlined communication both internally and externally. One person can ask a question like, “what’s the timeline or budget for such and such?” and the other can answer in a matter of seconds. It reduces the need for face-to-face meetings as important project details are easy to locate and communicate. Using the cloud also lets employees access documents any time, anywhere, so these conversations can happen quickly even when staff are working offsite.

Better security

Digital document storage allows for better security and backup. Certainly, digital solutions are vulnerable to the same physical threats as paper – a fire could damage a hard drive just as badly as a filing cabinet – but the cloud, for example, adds an extra line of defence supported by a major tech company. Although not perfect, it would take a major, headline news-worthy event for Google, AWS or Azure to be seriously compromised.

It also enhances security at lower levels. Digital tools can allow you to password-protect sensitive information, allowing only certain individuals to view them. Digital solutions like those provided by Google also make information more traceable as you can view document history and see changes, as opposed to saved-over information being lost forever.

The bottom line? Going digital doesn’t mean you can drop the ball. Document management still requires care and attention to avoid wasted time, maximise efficiency, and keep critical information safe. If your system needs reviewing, do it now.

The perks and pitfalls of a hybrid working model

The COVID lockdowns completely changed our relationship with how we work. Remote working ushered in a new era for many organisations, many of which were surprised by its efficacy. Now, some are toying with moving to a hybrid model permanently. But what are the implications of this move?

If you’re not familiar with the term, hybrid working is when staff work partly from home and partly on-site. This arrangement gives employees greater flexibility; according to a recent Salesforce survey, at least 64% of workers would like to work from home occasionally. A further 37% said they would like to work remotely permanently.

So, if employees are so open to the idea, why aren’t we all packing up and moving to hybrid now? In reality, the issue is a little more complex, which we’ll discuss here.

Productivity vs. efficiency vs. attention

The hybrid model has the potential to redefine how we measure performance. Traditionally, employers wanted to keep an eye on their staff to guarantee the hours worked. Achievement was measured by hours put in, over and above everything. However, if a staff member is working from home, how can you ever really know?

This, instead, shifts the emphasis to results over hours spent at the desk. Many argue that this is a very positive development; staff are more motivated to do their best work as they know managers are concerned with the output, not how it’s achieved.

However, the hybrid model does have the potential to create an over politicised workforce. In a hybrid model, the office is likely to remain the nerve centre of the operation. Those that spend more time there are likely to get more attention and air time, while those at home get sidelined, no matter the quality of their work.

Reducing rents – but at what cost?

It’s a simple sum – fewer employees means you need less space. This could save companies a substantial amount in rent and supplies. It also works the other way; employees can work in more affordable locales away from city centres and spend less on commuting.

But what about the psychological cost of being away from your colleagues? Without the opportunity for so-called “water cooler moments” and face-to-face discussions, communication has become much more intentional. Sometimes, this can stymie ideas, slow down decision making, and even have a negative impact on employee mental health.

Where should your priorities lie?

The reason many people like working from home is it enables them to have a better work-life balance. Without the commute or fixed hours, workers have more time to spend with their families or do the things they love. This prioritisation of their needs will generally cultivate more positive feelings towards their bosses.

Employee prioritisation may sound nice, but is this really what a business should be focussing on right now? Cyber-attacks and data loss, for example, are more likely when communicating from changing locations. Companies need to have a carefully formulated cybersecurity plan to ensure safety or risk major financial or customer data-related blunders.

These are critical questions for modern business. It seems like the hybrid model is going to become an increasingly common arrangement, but companies need to consider how to make it work for them. With a clearer picture of some of the pros and cons, management can think about how to start planning.



Face-to-face events are officially back! 

After all the postponed events that punctuated the pandemic, we’re thrilled to see real, in person events making a comeback.  For a while, the future of the events industry looked pretty bleak and many questioned if they would return at all.  However, in true human spirit, the people have spoken, and it would seem agreed, that face-to-face cannot be replaced. 

Among other high profile events,  the National Construction Expo in Milton Keynes returns this week with a packed programme. With satellite events covering topics from Lean construction, to materials innovation, and green and smart technologies, it’s set to be a fascinating day. 

As construction professionals, we’re delighted that exhibitions are back in-person. We think that meeting clients, collaborators and suppliers is key to building strong relationships, so we’re looking forward to getting back to face-to-face events. But why is human interaction so important, particularly in a business like construction? Could we not just do everything from the comfort of our home offices? According to psychologists, this is far from the case – here’s why.

Face-to-face is always preferred

According to a study by the Harvard Review, 95% of people say face-to-face meetings are key to building and maintaining long-term business relationships. During the pandemic, a study by communications consultancy APCO Worldwide, reported that 83% of workers in the United States said they missed attending face-to-face meetings and conventions.

Clients and collaborators connections are stronger in person. This is because in someone’s physical presence, you’re better able to read their body language, facial expressions and hand gestures. Things can often be clunky over video call, so face-to-face interactions enable you to properly read the room.

Business experts allege that this natural instinct towards face-to-face is because meeting people in person demonstrates you value both their time and money. If you go to the effort to show up, it shows that you’re committed to meeting their needs and providing the best possible service. 

Getting emotional – in the business sense

Showing that you value the client’s time nurtures a more emotional relationship between the two parties. Experts estimate that customers with an emotional attachment to a brand have a Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) three times higher than those that don’t. They’re also 71% more likely to recommend a service or product, which is 26% above the average.

It goes without saying that face-to-face meetings better cultivate the intimacy that leads to a more emotional relationship. Humans are naturally social animals and body language is important to us, particularly eye contact. According to scientific research, people are more likely to trust someone if they make direct eye contact.

A lot is lost on the Zoom screen, with eye contact being the main thing that suffers. We’ve all been there; the speaker is looking at the person’s image on their screen not into their eyes. Considering the importance of eye contact and trust, it’s essential that managers understand that we can’t go 100% virtual all the time.

See you soon?

In a sector as collaborative as construction, building strong relationships is crucial. Productive and trusting working relationships are essential to successful projects, so as far as we’re concerned, it’s a relief to be going back to some good old-fashioned in-person networking. We can’t wait to get back to meeting clients and colleagues from the construction industry at various events scheduled throughout the year and we hope to see you at some of them.

Keep up to date with DJHC events and find out where we’re going to be by giving us a follow.



Could holograms be the video calling of the future?

Around-the-clock Zoom calls have been a hallmark of the pandemic. Many of us are feeling jaded by screen time and some of the clunkier aspects of video calling – poor connections, talking over each other, and the lack of body language. These are important social queues and often, are make or break for professional relationships.

However, it seems like remote working is here to stay. Even after returning to the office, many companies have discovered the benefits of some type of remote work, whether it be to save money or access previously out-of-reach talent across. Therefore, HR managers from every sector are thinking about how technology could enhance working relationships across locations and time zones.

Now, one particular space-age solution has come to the fore. Remember the scene in Star Wars where R2D2 beams a holographic Princess Leia? Yes, companies are looking at hologram video calling – and this reality may be closer than we think.

From seamless video calling to bringing back the dead

Los Angeles-based startup PROTO has developed a booth, approximately the size of a phonebox, as a solution to some of the more impersonal aspects of work-from-home life. This tool is designed to facilitate real-time holographic video conferencing, with life-size representations of the participants. The booth uses a stretched transparent LCD 4K screen embedded into a lightbox to help create the impression of 3D depth inside the space. The person whose likeness is projected records their footage in front of the screen via a webcam.

“Holoportation” was developed by the firm’s founder, David Nussbaum, who previously created a hologram of rapper Tupac Shakur for a major concert. The firm has said the technology could facilitate “free-flowing conversations” between people thousands of miles apart. However, this comes at a price; the booths start at about £45,000 for the machines. This rises to £64,000 for an AI-programmed add-on called StoryFile, which archives hologram recordings so users can interact with late relatives or even historical figures.

Heather Smith, who leads the StoryFile project, said: “It allows you to look at an individual, feel as if they’re there, feel their presence, see their body language, see all the non-verbal cues and feel as if you’ve actually talked to that individual.”

How soon will this technology be widely available?

Right now, the £45,000 price tag is far out of reach for the average business or private individual. Many will also question the necessity of a life size figure; surely the booths would take up far too much space to become a commonplace feature in any workplace. However, in response, PROTO is planning a smaller desktop version of the device, which could resemble a high-res version of the Princess Leia hologram we referenced earlier.

So will holograms replace Zoom calls in the coming years? Unless the price and practicality of this technology fall dramatically, it’s unlikely. But that said, these sorts of advances are just over the horizon and we may very well be surprised at how quickly they arrive.



How can we preserve “water cooler moments” when face-to-face isn’t possible?

Most restrictions have now been lifted in the UK but many companies are still choosing to hold onto flexible or working from home options.  There are a variety of reasons why. Some businesses have found that it’s more efficient for them to run without the need for property to pay rent or rising energy bills. Across the country there is still an air of uncertainty with regards to virus transmission and many employees have now become so used to working from home that the thought of going back into the office can cause health problems.

That being said, some of the world’s biggest businesses, including banks stated that they want their employees back in the office back in February. Goldman Sachs, for example announced that they want to put an end to all remote work, while JPMorgan has also expressed their desire to get people back at their desks.

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive officer of JPMorgan, said that working from home “does not work for younger people, it doesn’t work for those who want to hustle, [and] it doesn’t work in terms of spontaneous idea generation.” These spontaneous ideas – sparked by conversations by the watercooler or in the breakroom – are the lifeblood of a dynamic company.

But over the past two years, hybrid or remote working has become a more common business model so what can we do to preserve these “watercooler moments” when face-to-face isn’t possible?

Is productivity really all that counts?

Although these chance encounters were certainly lost during the pandemic, remote working hasn’t caused a fall in productivity. Despite the anxieties of many bosses in the first round of lockdowns, many saw a rise in productivity. This is now well-reported; according to statistics published by Stanford University of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home actually increased productivity by 13%.

But work isn’t just about productivity. Ultimately, we’re social animals and it can affect our performance and overall happiness in the long term. A study of UK workers by Indeed reported that 73% of employees miss socialising in person and 46% of respondents specifically said they missed the work-related side conversations that happen in the office. These unofficial encounters are fertile ground for ideas and knowledge sharing, so we need to think about how they can be maintained.

Going beyond the Zoom happy hour

Much like lockdown productivity stats, advice pieces about how to maintain a social workplace online are now all too common. However, many of us are now a little jaded by the suggestion of a Zoom happy hour – which often just ends in an awkward live stream of people sipping from beer bottles.

Thankfully, more well-thought-through ideas are starting to emerge. One school of thought is that these unstructured moments are, in fact, about structure. Chance encounters happen in the office when you’re getting set up, making an afternoon snack, or debriefing after a meeting. Therefore, being aware of everyone’s schedules is important to make time for each other.

The next step is actually nurturing relationships. Group calls can be clunky; there’s lag, people talking over each other, “you’re on mute” and so forth. Scheduling time to do one-on-one calls creates more meaningful, easier interactions. You can schedule these while doing the more menial tasks that are an inevitable part of the working day, like doing the washing up. If you struggle with conversation topics, activities like online gaming or a virtual book club are good ice breakers.

Despite the protests of some business leaders, it seems that remote working will be here to stay, at least for some businesses, whether compelled by the pandemic or not. It’s important to be creative and nurture these chance encounters to preserve the dynamism of workplaces and boost morale – or else we may see those productivity stats slip.



Does happiness give you the edge professionally?

Why do so many of us equate happiness with success? This is the subject of a (frankly hilarious) TED talk by psychologist Shawn Achor, that makes the astute assessment that as long as we do this, we’ll never be satisfied. Effectively, it’s because we keep moving the goalposts. If you get an amazing job, you’ll want an even better one. If you’re promoted, you want to move up again, and so on.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the problem is, it’s unlikely to make you happy. However, the reality is that happy people are more motivated and productive. This touches on issues we’ve discussed in previous articles; for example, the notion that an understanding boss is a better manager. Often, positivity breeds productivity and happy staff are a more effective team. 

Therefore, happiness and success have a connection, but perhaps we need to reorient our perspective in order to maximise this effect. This is what Shawn calls the “happiness advantage”.

The moving goal post phenomenon

Today’s mindset is that we should be a human doing, not a human being. Persistence, tenacity and motivation are the keys to success and as long as we’re doing things, we’ll succeed. But the problem with this philosophy is that success is a constantly evolving idea, not a set goal. Therefore, the goalposts are always moving and we’re never really satisfied. 

Shawn uses an example. He applied to Harvard on a dare, and to his surprise, got in. Once he was there, he felt overwhelmed by the sense of privilege to have been accepted to such a prestigious school. However, he noticed a phenomenon around him; his fellow students also felt privileged to begin with, thus soon wore off. Instead, they were overwhelmed by the pressure to get good grades, graduate with the highest possible honours, and get the best possible job. Before they knew it, they were very stressed and certainly not happy.

So, we assume that success is the key to happiness. But our perceptions of success are always changing, so we can never reach happiness. This, Shawn says, is a problem – because happiness precedes success. In his experience, he estimates that 75% of professional successes are dictated by your optimism, social support, and your ability to see stress as a challenge, not a threat. This is because happy people are productive people – his analysis suggests that ​​your brain at “positive” is 31% more productive. Herein lies the happiness advantage.

Boosting the positive to be more productive  

Shawn goes on to explain that there are simple things you can do to flip your perception of happiness and success, and gain the happiness advantage. He suggests spending two minutes a day for three weeks thinking about optimism and success. Every day, write down three new things you are grateful for. After a while, the effects will be long term.

This is something we can do personally; but, as mentioned, optimism is also about social support. As leaders, we can do more to support our teams and make them happier. This links back to our discussion about empathy in the workplace. If we can be more encouraging, empathetic and supportive of our teams, we can gain the happiness advantage for everyone – and reap the benefits in regard to productivity.