Here’s how you can work seamlessly in a virtual office!
If someone told you a decade ago that workplaces will soon go remote and give you a chance to work out of the comfort of your home or while on holiday, chances are you wouldn’t believe them.
Cut to 2018-19, and it is a reality. In today’s emerging work culture that promotes inclusive and flexible workspaces, landing on a full-time job and part of a virtual team isn’t that hard. Established corporates and even emerging start-ups are now bogged on remote working thanks to the many handy tools such as Hangouts and Slack at their disposals.
But why are these tools important discussion points today? We need to look at how poor connectivity and lack of time-tested methodologies and software programmes prevented most employers from taking the plunge earlier. And today, a going remote is a smart way to work, simply because tech advancements enable bringing together the large pool of talent available globally. The top benefits of the handy tools listed below include:
Companies can hire talent from across the globe
Reducing costs on workspaces and large offices
Virtual meetings that lead to quick decisions
Scheduling tools help save time
Saving on transport and fuel costs
We have the ever-reliable Google Hangouts and Skype for chatting, video calling and even document sharing. Slack and Workplace by Facebook are great for more real-time written communication and many now use getflow.com for management and screenhero.com (now built into Slack) for chatting and support. Another dependable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars are Zoom. Opt for iDoneThis to be in touch on-the-go and schedule your meetings well in advance. With tools like Hackpad, Asana, and Trello open to the whole team for collaboration and real-time discussions, companies ensure their employees are always looped in. Workflow management softwares by biggies like Zoho, Freshdesk, Nintex, and Hightail enable businesses to do away with inefficient work styles that pull them down with way too much paperwork, and instead, equip them with custom mobile apps and employee-management software packages. This not only helps improve decision-making but also allows for a more seamless workspace that can quickly adapt to changes.
May 18th, 2019, a Saturday well spent when four successful women from different fields of work shared their thoughts about issues related to work-life balance through a panel discussion titled, ‘Are We Truly Winning The Rat Race’? These women juggle between businesses, corporate or independent work life simultaneously balancing the art of relationships, family, and passions.
In today’s competitive world, successes, achievements, milestones, and rewards have become fundamental for survival. And balancing one’s personal and professional life in this fast-moving world is a challenge that we all face daily.
The event enlightened all the participants and encouraged them to rethink and redefine their outlook towards life and where true happiness lies. The most exciting part of the lively discussion was when the panelists spoke about:
Work culture in today’s environment
Striking a balance between personal and professional life
The stability offered by corporate life vs entrepreneurial ventures
Second careers, drawing inspirations to passion and hobbies
What is the #futureofworking rather future of being #beingproductive?
What does living life to the fullest mean and what is more important – wealth/ power/ self?
Is it possible to escape the rat race?
These are some critical points and questions which are ignored and remain unanswered. And that’s why the ensemble of all-women panelists covered these points and spoke about the importance of work-life balance and issues in today’s competitive world, be it for women or women.
A bit of research about work-life balance led me to some shocking facts:
Work-life balance statistics in India worst compared to neighboring countries
60% working Indians rate work-life balance from average to terrible (monster.com survey)
The interesting panel discussion led to further surprises like changes in the work culture with opportunities of flexi jobs, flexi hours, remote employment at all which surpass compensation, job satisfaction, and better work-life balance take precedence as key factors for jobs today.
In today’s world, flexibility at work is gaining importance. Office spaces are no longer geographically demarcated. With technology and conveniences knocking at our doors and the traffic havoc across different cities of the country, we are realizing that a 9:00 am to 6:00 pm jobs will soon become redundant. This also has a hind side, as in when does the ‘Me Time’ or ‘Family Time’ start or the freedom to ‘Turn Off’ from work; therefore, reiterating the ‘Priorities of Life’.
These insights made us understand and realize the priorities of both personal and professional life – what is important and when?
There is no special formula to hit the balance button. To create a balance is a unique art that one must set with his or her priorities for the moment and for the long run. As a person trying to balance both work and family, one needs to make sensible choices by being rational and leading content and happy life. That is when and where one would have that beautiful feeling of having achieved something in life and having won and rewarded for being true to one’s self.
Now that we made a beginning, it’s time to trust your instincts and follow your heart. Be the change you want to see!
Do drop in your views about our events. We love constructive feedback and dialogue!
For more such events CONTACT US . We will be happy to plan, organize, curate and co-partner with you.
With time there has been an evolution in people as well as their mindsets towards everything in life. We are now down to the millennial era where everyone wants everything to be done instantly and spontaneously. Spontaneity has become the need of the century with vast growth in technology as well as wide spread knowledge and acceptance. Through the course of time, we may not see Birlas or Ratan Tatas among these millennials. But that’s okay, because we have the future makers and the change bringers among us. When we are to look into the future makers of the country we need to look at their work culture. Does today’s work pattern really suiting the millennials? That’s the question we need to think about because today’s change bringers are tomorrow’s future makers.
A wise person once said, “See what everyone sees but think what nobody has ever thought”, and to facilitate that a working environment is quintessential for a world of constant change and revolution. One such revolutionary change that today’s work culture requires is brought to us by GoFloaters. With change makers, there isn’t a constant need to settle-in. They need flexibility and freedom to work their way. They need varieties and options because they sure aren’t a generation who are willing to compromise. The current work spaces haven’t taken that into account. But that is where Gofloaters comes into play. They design spaces for our future leaders.
Their main objective is to provide a platform for people’s dreams. Not so long ago, freelancers and start-up teams spent hours at a local coffee shop or cafe, brainstorming ideas or setting up meetings for their future company. GoFloaters, the early pioneers of the co-working industry saw the impact and importance of the freelance revolution, and recognized the need and opportunity to offer young entrepreneurs an inexpensive space to plan and build their new company. Gofloaters are shared plug-and-play workspaces for freelancers, independent consultants, startups, sales and enterprise teams. They provide workspaces at affordable rates. Be it working for hours or months, they provide you the perfect space. They have tie-ups with cafes, restaurants, luxury hotels and unused cabin spaces for meetings and conferences exclusively. Such cafes, restaurants and hotels rent out their places during their non-happening hours which create a quiet and calm atmosphere. Their prices are very affordable, ranging between Rs.25 and Rs.100. They also provide a 10% discount on food but there isn’t any compulsion to order food. With amenities like WiFi and AC in such places, it will be a felicitous option for work related meetings. They are known as ‘Uber for co-working spaces.’ In the best cases, co-working spaces offer community as well as reasonable and on-demand real estate. GoFloaters offers a set of services and educational experience that deliver real value. They’ve brought inchanges according to the current generation’s working style.
Wherever we are around the world, it is important to understand the importance to curate a collaborative and educational ecosystem and GoFloaters strongly believes and emphasises on the same. Go floaters grow when leaders are made. They will not settle until the hunger of these future makers is satisfied.
Currently GoFloaters are in Chennai, Bangalore and Coimbatore. Leaders all around the country need such a platform of motivation. In the stride towards their glory, they have step foot in Hyderabad. They’re known to have lot of scope when it comes to start-ups and incubators to accelerate such start-ups. NowFloats is one such start-up that has made its mark. They create websites for small businesses within 13 minutes. GoFloaters is launch on ____ in Hyderabad, the city of start-up hubs.
Our country needs many more future makers and Gofloaters will always be there to pave their way for a better space.
A startups journey is laden with many challenges and near-death moments. GoFloaters journey has been no different. When someone like YourStory comes along and says that “Hey you have an interesting story. We would like to cover it”, tears of joy are set off in motion! That is the feeling that I got when Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy offered to write about us. Here is an excerpt from the story.
Founded in November 2017, GoFloaters is currently bootstrapped, and plans to raise funds soon.
A former Director at Cognizant and the founder and CEO of fintech startup SMBSure, Shyam says that co-working spaces started out to provide affordable and decent workspaces for early-stage startups and freelancers, but now focus on corporates, making them unaffordable for freelancers.
As a result, there was a need for “shared plug-and-play workspaces for independent consultants, freelancers, etc., to work for a few hours a day a viable and cheaper option”.
Starting up with baby steps
The groundwork for GoFloaters was laid when Shyam was taking a course at Founders Institute. He shared this idea with fellow entrepreneurs and got a positive response. His mentor Sukumar Rajagopal, Cognizant’s former Chief Innovation Officer who is now the founder of Tiny Magiq, told him to test out the idea frugally.
Shyam began with a WhatsApp Business account, enrolling five neighbourhood cafes on Old Mahabalipuram Road – crowded by Chennai’s IT firms. He texted his friends about spaces available for Rs 25 per hour, along with services like free Wi-Fi, plugging source, and food at 10 percent discount (however, there “is no need to buy anything while you work”). A payment link was sent to the user once the booking was confirmed.
“These cafes are not crowded during weekdays and the owners were more than happy to let the space be used,” adds the founder, saying that it led to effective utilisation of real estate with a great ambience. He managed to get some 40 bookings in three months giving him the confidence to turn it into a viable business. He set up a website, and hired a person to liaise with clients and cafes, and handle bookings. The next step was to make an app where customers could find a suitable space. After a user selects a workspace, the business owner can confirm its availability on the app, and the customer can then make the payment. Voila! Your on-demand workspace is ready.
Within a few months of starting up, Srivatsan Padmanabhan, Shyam’s former colleague from Cognizant, joined GoFloaters as a co-founder with his experience in Toptal, a freelance talent search platform.
GoFloaters initially allowed clients to book a space for an hour at different rates – Rs 25, Rs 50 or Rs 100 – with a 10-20 percent discount on any food or refreshments.
“We signed up with Ramada Plaza, a five-star hotel in Guindy, to use their lounge for meetings,” says Shyam. Ramada offers the lounge for work or meetings for Rs 100 an hour.
The founder kept adding layers of service by including meeting spaces and shared offices. Soon, it was possible to work out of an unused cabin in a corporate office for a day or a month, or book conference halls for meetings with facilities like a projector, a white board, Wi-Fi, and refreshments.
“We have 90-plus partners for providing on-demand workspaces,” says Shyam.
Today, it has 60 spaces in Chennai, 31 in Bengaluru, and two in Coimbatore. The founder says GoFloaters plans to be operational in eight cities across India by the end of 2019, with an average of 100 partner spaces. Shyam claims the company records a 20 percent month-on-month growth.
Focus on freelancers
“Freelancing is slowly becoming mainstream in India. Millennials especially want the flexibility, independence, and freedom that comes with freelancing and are increasingly joining the bandwagon.”
It’s not just freelancers who are using on-demand workspaces. The founders tell us that a unani healer and an acupuncture specialist also use the app to book private cabins for patient consultations.
The company doesn’t just aggregate on-demand workspaces but also offers motivational content like videos featuring successful entrepreneurs, including a popular series where the founders share their experiences of building the startup. The GoFloaters blog has a series on how problems are typically solved by startups.
In a freelancer startup connect programme held offline, startups seeking freelancer services interact with GoFloaters’ users. Freelancers can also learn skills in GoFloaters “go seek sessions” in new areas like Blockchain and augmented reality (AR).
In India, there are several players in this space including WeWork, 91springboard, Awfis, Innov8, and more.
But GoFloaters sets itself apart from the many coworking options by putting the focus on freelancers. Srivatsan says,
“The flip side of being on your own is loneliness, lack of mentoring, networking, and a defined career path. That’s exactly what we at GoFloaters want to address by creating a vibrant network of freelancers, backed by mentors who can guide them along. Our vision is to be the incubator for freelancers and help build a strong ecosystem to support the tribe of freelancers in India.”
So, you want to become a freelancer- to strike out and to join the workforce of more than 150 million people who experience so much of ups and downs of contract work. Many of the people have the advantage of starting their freelance careers in an innovative technical world where freelancing pitfalls are few. Some of the tedious tasks like searching for clients, tracking hours, invoicing are streamlined by powerful tools. The evolution of tech tools now lets freelancers earn more than ever before. So, if you want to work smarter, try these top 10 freelance tools:
Weebly is one of the most important tools which is used by freelancers nowadays. It is a very popular platform to build beautiful websites in a very short span of time. You need to drag and drop things with no coding involved. It has a wide variety of themes to choose from, plus it also provides a platform which also involves SEO, email marketing, and an e-commerce website.
Being organized is one of the essential keys to the success of freelancers. You need a to-do list management which ensures that nothing gets left for a day. Wunderlist is used to do list trackers which can be sync with all the devices. The list can be set for actual reminders, or you can send them to other to collaborate. There is also an option to email Wunderlist reminders so that you can set list for yourself without risk of leaving any task.
You may be required to work on projects which require collaboration with other individuals as well. To be successful, it is important to communicate with others in real time and create a database of all important files. With the help of trello, the clients can easily track that what has to be done, what needs to be done and what are you doing now.
If you are in the field of digital marketing, then you need a reliable tool for sending successful emails marketing campaign. Mixmax is a highly reliable email marketing tool for creating emails that can easily integrate with Google, Inbox, and Salesforce. It also helps to track the behavior of the viewers and thus makes it a powerful tool for a freelancer.
This is a refreshed web-based and mobile friendly invoice and expense tracking software which is designed especially for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It is fully integrated with payment options, provide reports for profit and losses and is easy to use and customize. In a nutshell, Sighted offers everything you need.
One of the important aspects of freelancing is the ability to manage the communication with the client. Streak is a tool which can be used easily for client expectation management, lead tracking and project information management directly from Gmail inbox. This tool also offers customized solutions which also address business scale and requirements.
When freelancing, time is money and freelancers must need to track the amount of time they have to spend on every task. Moreover, sometimes freelancers get distracted due to the nature of their online work. Rescuetime helps freelancers by recording the amount of time they spent on work and other activities performed at the time of working. It also provides the detailed report of time spent on every website visited, which helps in time management throughout the day.
One of the most stressful parts of freelancing is to keep on the top of cashflow and plan the future projects. The cushion is a great tool for projecting future income, seeing where you have gaps in cash, and to manage projects to minimize overlapping.
Tagove is an innovative live Instant Messaging software which enables a freelancer to provide live video, chat and voice call support with the help of a browser. The tool also allows screen share facilities between both the remote devices, which makes it possible to collaborate on live projects and in real time without downloading any additional software. With a host of a latest innovative features and reliable video calling support, Tagove enables freelancers to provide extensive support to their clients whenever there is a requirement.
Toggl which is an alternative of RescueTime is a time tracking app which aims to help you in tracking time with a single click and to switch between different task easily and create reports so that you can get things done and make the time productive. This tool is available as a Chrome extension as well and can be easily installed in your browser for use.
You face multiple challenges while working on projects so you can find solutions with the help of these online tools and resources which allows you to achieve a higher level of efficiency. These tools, helps you to scale heights and become one of the highest paid freelancer.
GoFloaters was begun 3 months back with the vision of enabling future of work. We wanted to provide another alternative to startups and freelancers who were looking out for flexible and cheap office spaces. We saw that rental offices, business centers and co-working spaces worked only for the more affluent section of the population. We have just begun, yet I think we have hit a few milestones that I wanted to share.
We have just begun. So much more to be done!! A little secret that I want to let out is that we are planning to run a promotion for users who signup in April. We are giving away 8 hours at our GoFloaters spaces.
GoFloaters was born of my personal need to get a docking place to work for a few hours and then push off. I was meeting customers across the city and I had pockets of time where I did not have a place to go. These were productive hours that I did not want to spend commuting back to my office. There were other instances where I wanted to meet some of my mentors. I did not (still do not) have a great office to invite people over for a discussion or an interview. Where do I host such meetings?
There are only a few places in Chennai where you can “right royally” walk-in put your bag down, put your laptop on the table and start working. But these places are like guerrilla warfare grounds. You would assume that “all is well” till suddenly the menu card will “swissh” slide into your table. Your eyes are on your laptop screen. Then you look up to see a waiter dress impeccably with a apron on asking “What would you like to have sir?”. “I just want peace and I want you to not disturb me” should have been my reply but then you realize that you can just rub the chair there without ordering something. Sometimes when you are discussing with someone else or you are in a group, then if you say “One regular cappuccino” you get a quick question back “Sir, just one?” with a condescending look.
You then have co-working spaces and hot desks around town. Nothing wrong with them. They are here to solve a big problem that small teams or executives face. I did look at them, but one look at the price tag drove me away from them. I don’t need unlimited coffee, I don’t need printer access, I don’t need a receptionist and yes I don’t need mail and courier service. Thanks to the “Jio” effect nowadays I am not searching for those weak wifi hotpots. I am self-sufficient when it comes to packets of data that I need to send and receive on the internet. So no thank you for blazingly fast WiFi.
What are the options then that trickle through? 2 in the mind, 2 in the hand…. zilch. There were no options that I was left with. Either I had to buy a coffee or a shake that I did not want or I need to pay for services that I did not need.
This is how GoFloaters was born. Is it for everyone? No .. not at all. It is not for everyone and it does not address everyone’s need. GoFloaters is not for people who have a team and want to work with them, it is not for people who want the same chair, same table, same walls around them every day, it is not for people who need a place in the same (latitude,longitude) every day of the year. GoFloaters is for founders who have founded a company but they are still finding a team, it is for those who need a desk and a chair to work at something for a short period of time, it is for those who are on the move and need a place to dock themselves nearby, it is for those who want to have a meeting with someone at a place mutually convenient to both parties.
If you think you have a need that GoFloaters addresses then sign up for beta. If you are not the “type” but then you like the idea pass it on. I am no Aamir Khan to say “taste change karo” like he says in Secret Superstar.
Hi there. Excited to share the news that we have signed up with 12 space providers from all over Chennai. These spaces are spread across Chennai and we hope by the time we launch there would be at least one space within a distance of 3 kms near you. This is a tall ask but based on the excitement that we are getting from space owners to the kind of interest that we are getting from entrepreneurs like you we think we should be able to meet this target.
We are also working on bring some exciting offers for beta users of the platform. You never know that what kind of a surprise that we might throw you. These are exciting times for us. We would love you to be a part of this excitement. Please do sign up as a beta user here. We are limiting beta users to 100.
Heya !! We are excited. We are gearing up for our beta launch. If you are a resident of Chennai, India and would love to be a part of this beta launch, then do sign up as a beta user. We should have some interesting offers for our beta users.
We are also running a survey to capture your feedback. Kindly take 5 mins of your time to fill this simple survey. https://goo.gl/forms/HFEnawqquCpeHkaF2