Increase Office & Staff Morale in H2

Back in January, Ellyot spoke to Rombourne about increasing staff morale in the New Year. Given we’re now well underway with the second half of the year, we thought it’s a nice refresher to re-explore what factors influence this, as well as how to achieve higher productivity levels.

A great work-life balance, flexibility and appreciation from fellow workers are all contributing to happy and motivated employees. Status show happiness increases productivity by 12%.

Check out the article to learn more.

Remote & Mobile Working: Security Procedures for Out of Office

We spoke to CNS Group last week and were asked if security is an important issue for remote workers or digital nomads.

The reality is that for people working remotely, security is indeed a hot topic since being remote requires the use of so many different WiFis; and in that sense much more uncertainty than a closed internal network in a company office

You can read the full article here.

Google releases new app to aid remote working

hangouts-chat-hero

Google recently released their new messaging platform called “Google Hangouts Chat” which allows better collaboration between organization members.
Hangout chats support team chat rooms, threaded conversations and sophisticated searches that allow companies to manage their projects from one place.

Chat can be used to speed up the small tasks that can bog down a team working from different locations, such as searching for files or even things like booking conference rooms (amongst other very routine tasks). This is integrated into the G-suites productivity apps like Docs, Sheets, Drive, and Hangouts, all of which are great apps that can help remote working teams or individuals (such as those who use Ellyot) to collaborate effectively and achieve their goals!

These apps, including the new Hangout Chat, are great ways to keep productivity high when working remotely as they can allow for effective communication and help a team work in sync so that everyone is on the same page and can work together effectively.

You can check out more about the new Google Hangout Chats feature here.

 

 

6 more remote working tools to boost your productivity

eyJ4MSI6MCwieDIiOjM5OTYsInkxIjozNzEsInkyIjoyNjI0LCJ3IjozOTk2LCJoIjoyMjU0fQ==

A couple months ago we talked about some quick fixes to improve your productivity when working remotely.

We listened to your feedback and we’re delighted that you all found it super useful. So we’re back with 6 more recommendations of top tools to use…

I done this is a great productivity tool that helps you track progress over the day. It allows remote teams to work together in sync and know who’s accomplished what and where the team stands in getting towards their objectives. The tool gives you daily status updates, it lets you see what’s been done and what tasks your team can’t do (and why). If you are managing a team who are dispersed to various locations, this is one way to synthesise each member’s progress and keep everyone accountable and on track.

Hackpad is a collaboration tool by the creators of Dropbox- it allows you and your team to collaborate on text documents in real time, meaning you can create documents on the fly with your team, without the hassle of having to meet up and conduct multiple emails and phone calls to create one document. Think of Hackpad as your way to work together to create things seamlessly.  

Developed by Apple itself, Take a break please helps tackle the stresses of everyday life by helping us with our well-being. Sitting and working at your computer or laptop isn’t great for your eyes or back, or health in general and it’s recommended that you take short breaks every hour or so to give yourself some time to relax your eyes and give your lower back a rest. Not only is this app good for your physical health, it’s great for your mind- taking a break gives you the chance to step back from your work and take the time to look at things from a new angle. Some of the benefits include giving you increased mental ability and increased information retention.

Zoom is a communications tool. Similar to Google Hangouts but with a higher threshold limit for attendees, which means you can get more people in your meetings and get everyone up to speed quicker.

CodePen is a design and development tool where you can write up your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to share with remote team members and get them to review your code to give feedback in real time; it can be used to build your code with the team and test it too, again, all in real time. It is also a brilliant place to find some inspiration, at its heart it is a social development environment, helping the developers in your team collaborate as part of a larger community all working together to actively help each other test bugs, develop code and get on the right track to help you build your next great project.

Doodle, is a way to get your team together without having to call them individually, simply put Doodle is a poll that allows you to select a date or location to send to participants and get them to vote on their preferences. Think of doodle as your friend when it comes to collectively trying to organize anything with your team; this is a wonderful tool for those days working away from the office when you want a simple way to quickly get everyone’s answer to a question.

We’ve used these 6 tools to help us collaborate with our team, all of whom live and breathe the Ellyot ethos of working where you want when you want and how you want.

With our team dispersed between working in an art gallery, another working in a café and the third working from a co-working desk yesterday, these 6 tools (especially Doodle and I done this) gave us the opportunity to get in sync with each other, even though we were working in opposite ends of London.

Be sure to download Ellyot and along with these tools, you can crush your to-do list and be the most productive and efficient worker you can be.

 

Top 14 things to see & do in Seoul, South Korea

night-street-seoul-south-korea-shutterstock_578475466

The capital of South Korea, Seoul, has a fantastic mix of old and new, with great food and amazing sights across the city. The capital has a great many things to do, and today we take a look 14 great places to visit and see in Seoul.

1) Korea Furniture Museum: a bit of an unusual attraction to start, but this museum has over 2000 pieces of traditional furniture, which help you get a real sense of a traditional Korean lifestyle and culture. It’s a great way to spend some time looking at the Korea of old.

2) Insadong: This is a great insight into South Korean culture. The district is home to lots of shops, teahouses and market style booths. Along with this, is many great art galleries and restaurants, a place perfect to eat and drink to your hearts content, and pick up a few souvenirs along the way.

3) Bongeunsa: The temple of Gangnam is a calm place, right in the heart of the city; offering a beautiful and contrasting view between the traditional houses and the modern skyscrapers.

4) Gyeongbokgung Palace (GP): GP is the largest grand palace in Seoul and a must see. It’s a huge complex, and it’s a great idea to leave a few hours to explore the palace properly. Picturesque gardens surround the palace, intricate designs adorn it, and if you wear traditional Korean clothing, you get free entry.

5) Eating in the city: Korean food has seen a recent rise, so in typical fashion, eating in the city is a must do. The best thing to do is to wing it, that means walk around town and eat at wherever takes your fancy. The more locals you see at the restaurant, the better!

6) Jogyesa Temple: Amongst the skyscrapers in the city is this little Buddhist temple. Filled with artwork, statues and figurines, the temple is a spot of quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

7) Myeongdong: This is known as one of the best streets for shopping in Seoul. It’s a great spot for souvenir shopping and it’s a fantastic place to wonder with an open mind and wallet!

8) N Seoul Tower: If you want an aerial view of the city, then the N Seoul tower is where you want to go. Watching the city transform from the day into night is an amazing view, and one we definitely recommend. Book your spot before sunset to capture the transformation of the city!

9) Bukchon Hanok Village: BH Village is a traditional Korean village, and the perfect way to step back in time to a Korea centuries ago. You can look in the houses and pop into tea houses for traditional rice tea. There’s also a lot of cool shops in the area, and taking the time to weave in and out of the stores and houses is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city.

10) Changdeokgung Palace: The palace is a real must see in Seoul due to its history and heritage; so much so, that it’s been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, with elements dating back from the three kingdoms period (57BC to 668AD). When visiting, be sure to check out Huwon, the secret garden. This can only be seen via a tour that is pre-booked, but do leave plenty of time to explore the beautiful secret gardens after you visit the palace.

11) Hangang Park: Located by the banks of the Hangang River, the park has open pathways for visitors to bike along or simply stroll through. If you want a change of pace, or a spot to relax, Hangang Park is the place to head to.

12) Deoksugung Palace: Here is another one of the five grand palaces, and this was home to the Korean royal family until the colonisation of the country by the Japanese Empire. While a smaller palace than the others, Deoksugung Palace is open later than other palaces, and is worth an evening visit.

13) Hangang River: The River is lovely from its banks, and the best way to experience the river is via a boat cruise.

14) Everland: This is the largest theme park in Korea, it’s also one of the most visited in the world. However, don’t let the crowds deter you as Everland is a great way to spend a day in Seoul.

As you can see, Seoul offers so much to do and yet our list only scratches the surface of this modern, yet ancient city. The capital is a diverse place to visit, where a clash of old and new come together to create a uniquely Korean city, where skyscrapers neighbour Hanoks, and business suits mingle with traditional Hanboks.

To read more on what to do in Seoul, click here!

#StandForDiversity and Share your Story

40142240645_3fd74f9369_k

Over at the New York Times Magazine, ambivalence toward capital “D” diversity courses through Anna Holmes’ excellent essay “Has ‘Diversity’ Lost Its Meaning?” Holmes, the founding editor of Jezebel and now an executive at Fusion, notes that while corporate odes to “diversity” are de rigeur these days at places like SXSW and fancy media conferences, these lofty pronouncements often deflate back at the office. It’s easy to get execs to say workplace diversity is necessary, and much harder to find examples of success.

A big part of the problem, says Holmes, is that we keep throwing the word around without defining our terms. “Diversity” has great approval numbers, even as it’s kneecapped by its own nebulousness. Holmes quotes a venture capitalist whose company has had some challenges in this arena — accusations of gender-based harassment, an overwhelmingly white workforce — but said he remains “deeply committed to diversity,” right before quipping, “We have two new partners who are so diverse, I have a challenge pronouncing their names.”

The tech industry has come under fire a lot on this issue, but it’s hardly exclusive to Silicon Valley. Television writers rooms are notoriously monochromatic — a March report from the Writer’s Guild of America found that nearly 86 percent of the people working as TV writers were white. That number is even more glaring when you consider that the most dedicated consumers of the medium are black and brown. To move the needle, some networks have tried to pay executive TV producers to hire a “diverse” writer every season.

NPR’s Code Switch is comprised of a team of journalists who study race, ethnicity, and culture, the ways in which they play a role in our lives and communities, and how things are shifting. Lead blogger for the Code Switch team, Gene Demby examines what happens when diversity becomes nothing more than a corporate buzzword in this article on diversity in the workplace.

Three key points we like from ‘Diversity’ Is Rightly Criticized As An Empty Buzzword. So How Can We Make It Work?:

  • Diversity only can be productive when companies put thought into how to invite and control the resistance against accepted norms
  • Companies need to be prepared to deal with a hefty amount of skepticism when working toward creating more diverse workplaces
  • Companies need to support workers they hire when creating a more diverse workforce because they become representatives of diversity and shoulder much of the resistance and push back themselves.

At Ellyot, diversity is one of our core ethos and we’re currently underway with our campaign to #StandForDiversity.

Have you ever been discriminated in your workplace based on your gender, age, race, sexual orientation or anything else that has made you feel not quite right?

We want to hear from you. Head to ellyot.com/diversity to find out more or share your stories on Social Media with #StandForDiversity and call out those employers who have something to answer to!

 

 

Unexpected gastronomical city break in Saskatoon, Canada

173377_83_z

Canada isn’t always thought of as a destination for gastronomical pleasures. The country, also called ‘America Jr’ is best known for polite people, beavers and the exporter of Jim Carey. However, pull back the curtain, and it offers an amazing destination for city break style holidays. One of our top recommendations is Saskatoon. It’s a picturesque riverside city, with a ton to offer.

These ‘prairie provinces’ tend to get a bad rap, however there are little gems inside of Canada, with a vast array of activities to participate in, and these little provinces offer a unique Canadian experience.

Starting off this journey in the Delta Bessborough is probably the best way to start your trip, a hotel that is known as the ‘castle by the river’ and is surrounded by 5 acres of gardens. A central location to downtown Saskatoon, makes all the more appealing, and convenient.

Heading into the city you can find a huge array of innovative restaurants that rivals some of London’s best offerings. Local chefs, brewers and restaurants owners who are passionate about the food they put on the plate, so much so that it’s hard to choose where to eat.

But we here at Ellyot have put together a list of 16 ‘must try’ places to get you started on your Canadian trip of gastronomy.

  1.       Stick & Stones, is a modern Asian inspired restaurant which opened just last year. It offers Korean and Japanese style cuisine and offers an extensive sake list.
  2.      Poached Breakfast Bistro is a great little breakfast joint that offers an array of classic breakfast-brunch dishes to start your day the right way.
  3.       Calories is a chic bakery located in the city, offering a menu that respects the seasons and the environment.
  4.       Odd Couple, another Asian restaurant offers Chinese cuisine, in which the traditional and modern combine.
  5.       Little Grouse on the Prairie, is an authentic Italian restaurant offering prairie based ingredients in a casual and relaxed setting.
  6.       Drift Sidewalk Café – here is a café that offers all types of fare, from a crepe filled with eggs, feta and jalapeno avocado crème fraiche to sandwiches and teas.
  7.       Leyda’s is a whole food and gluten, nut free café with home cooked meals.
  8.       9 Mile Legacy Brewing is a microbrewery combining high quality and unique ingredients to produce an original drinking experience.
  9.       The Hollows offers contemporary food focused on the seasons, with local ingredients which are all sustainable. It’s a ‘quirky’ and ‘comfortable’ restaurant  and a must try.
  10.   Baba’s Homestyle Perogies is the best place to try authentic Ukrainian food. (Perogies are a type of dumpling made with unleavened dough).
  11.   Ayden Kitchen & Bar is the perfect place to try globally inspired food with amazing hand-crafted cocktails in a relaxed setting. It’s the perfect mix of comfort and warmth with every experience.
  12.   Park Café & Diner is a local greasy spoon, with home cooked comfort foods like French toast, hash browns and bacon and other diner classics, served in a retro 1950’s setting.
  13.   The Night Oven Bakery is the local bakery that crafts all their bread by hand. With a mill and brick oven, this place offers some of the best breads, pastries, scones and cakes in the city.
  14.   The Local Kitchen is a collaborative kitchen that brings participants together to cooks and create dishes. It provides the perfect place to learn some lessons from some of the top chefs in Saskatoon.
  15.   Lucky Bastard creates traditional spirits, with a large mix of artistic spirits, liqueurs and bitters.
  16.   Primal aims to provide Italian food and handmade pastas using local ingredients to create an innovative menu with dishes like fried bread, elk carpaccio with pickled walnuts and a popular dish of marrow bone luge.

Saskatoon is a city for real foodies, as you can see, but this list is just a fraction of the amazing eateries and artisan venues that the Canadian prairie has to offer!


For more tips on must have dishes at the restaurants, click on the link: https://www.lavenderandlovage.com/2017/08/savour-city-break-saskatoon-canada.html

10 ways to help Aleppo, Syria

Wright-Syria3Nearly every day we have seen the horrific pictures that come out of Aleppo, the besieged second city of war-torn Syria. Life has been tough for the inhabitants of the city, with the threat of shelling and atrocities committed by all sides of the civil war.


Below are 10 different charities, who are all doing amazing work to help alleviate some of the suffering that the people of Aleppo have been suffering. They all help to provide clothing, medicine food and shelter to the displaced in the city.


1)    British Red Cross: Teams are providing medical care and emergency services to help transport emergency cases to specialised facilities to get treatment.


2)    The White Helmets: This is a civil defence force that are known due to their distinctive white hats. They are a volunteer group who rescue people from destroyed buildings. Money donated to them will help pay for medical care for injured volunteers as well as supporting families of members who were KIA.


3)    Medecins sans Frontiers: MSF are helping to support 8 hospitals in the city, and are supporting more than 150 health centres across Syria, many in active war zone areas. While MSF can no longer access Aleppo they are still helping to support people.


4)    Preemptive Love Coalition: This a non-profit that tries to address the needs of displaced people, by giving them medical share, food and shelter etc. They’re already helping to feed more than 20,000 people just outside of Aleppo.


5)    Syria Relief: Here is another charity that is providing medical aid and mental health care to treat people who have been living in the war zone and have seen both physical and mental trauma.


6)    International Rescue Committee: IRC has been providing emergency relief and aid to the people of Aleppo since 2012. They support mobile clinics and give children education, amongst other things.


7)    Hand in Hand for Syria: This charity rakes aid to the people living under threat, and they also provide food, clothing along with medical aid too.


8)    Karam Foundation: This is a non-profit organisation that runs development projects and distributes aid within the city. They are currently providing emergency relief for schools inside Syria and supporting refugees who leave.


9)    Islamic Relief: IF has been working on the ground since the conflict began, and have helped more than 3 million people. They provide winter kits which help families survive the cold months.


10)    The Syrian American Med
ical Society: SAMS has already treated over 2.5 million people and are providing medical treatments for people in Syria and refugees in surrounding countries.


For more on how you can help and links to any of these great organisation, click here.

10 Quick fixes to improve productivity when working remotely

working-remotelyWorking remotely is amazing. Flexibility is a great thing, but working from home, or from venues can lead to procrastination…

However, if done correctly, working remotely can be a great way to be even more productive than working in a boring office, and here are 10 tools you can use to improve your productivity:

  1. Dropbox: Dropbox can keep all your files organised and in sync with colleagues and access all them anywhere and at any time.
  2. Trello: This is a great project management tool, which can help prioritise and streamline your work. And best of all, the basic version is free.
  3. Hootsuite: If social media is something you work with, Hootsuite will make your life easier by syncing your profiles and helping you schedule content.
  4. RescueTime: An app that tracks the time you spend on different apps and sites, and will make sure you stop your procrastination.
  5. Hemingway App: Tells you whether the text you’re writing is too complicated to read, it provides helpful suggestions and makes your writing short and concise.
  6. Workplace by Facebook: This is a new tool, to help teams share files through different communication channels.
  7. Slack: Our personal favourite here at Ellyot. Fantastic team communications platform where we use daily to text, call and file share with our teammates.
  8. Pocket: Helps you to save links, pictures and videos into one place, allowing you to keep things in one easy to access ‘pocket’.
  9. F.lux: This is a screen protection app to reduce blue light from your device, which actually hurts your eyes and can decrease your efficiency and productivity.
  10. Stayfocused: Web app that helps you to block different websites (like Facebook) to keep you focused.

These 10 tools are brilliant at keeping your focus on the task at hand. Working remotely is revolutionising the way we see the traditional office and our workplace. It’s a rewarding way to work, and apps like Ellyot give you the ability to work in loads of different, cool and amazing spaces to enrich your working experiences.

You can read more on these 10 tools here.

The Golden Trio: Potatoes, Bacon and Cheese

tartifletteIt’s cold, cloudy and raining (it is London after all), and out of the oven comes a tartiflette, golden on top and cheesy in the middle… A perfect dish to beat away those winter blues. A traditional tartiflette, made with a combination of reblochon cheese, bacon lardons, potatoes and onions. Originally hailing from the French region of Savoy, close to the Alps, it’s a hearty dish first seen in 1705.

The basic combination of cheese, potatoes and bacon makes it a timeless classic and a dish that not only offers a wow factor, but hits the spot in these cold days. You can customise whichever way you want (from vegetarian to even using sweet potatoes), it’s a dish to try.

While you may not be able to take a quick flight down to Savoy, you can bring a taste of the Alpine region home. Try the recipe today 😉