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NGIN Workplace by Joan De Haene - 6M ago

Personal time and work time used to be separate, but nowadays this idea seems obsolete. We answer emails at all hours, we work when commuting, we work when on vacation. It’s only fair that we also indulge in a little self-care when we are at work. For a lot of us, that means sitting in front of a desk. It’s quite comfortable, but there are little improvements that can be made. Keep on reading for some tips and tricks that will add to the 9-5 experience!

Your Workspace

This is not about where you fall on the spectrum of messy-tidy, but rather about sensory stimuli. Things like scents, sounds, amount of light, type of light, and so on, make a huge difference to your mood, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. This is why it’s important to focus on these little details, or as we call it, focus on self-care.

Music: Controlling what you hear is probably the easiest thing on this list. Invest in a pair of good headphones, and figure out your sound per your music preference. Classical music is a recommended option across the board. According to an article published in the Australian Journal of Medicine, listening to rock music as opposed to classical music lowers focus and increases the likelihood of making mistakes, whereas a study conducted in France found that students had better results when attending lectures with classical music playing in the background as opposed to no music.

Lighting: Changing the light around you is slightly more challenging, but achievable. For most people, a well-lit environment will be the better choice. Recent studies show that our bodies react differently to artificial and natural light. Specifically, being subjected to artificial light makes our cortisone levels drop throughout the day, which leaves us tired and drowsy at the end of the day, as opposed to people exposed to natural or good lighting conditions. In the absence of that, a lamp will work wonders to light up your space. Best part? It’s fairly easy to find an artificial light that imitates natural sunlight!

Scent: this is probably the trickiest one on the list. In a world with an overwhelming number of olfactory chemicals, we need to be cautious to not choose scents that will cause irritation to the people around us. However, there are smells that have certain universal effects. The key here is to pick something simple and not overwhelming. A good choice is a soothing lavender, or for the colder weather, peppermint, which will also help with congestion. The easiest way to introduce fragrances to your workspace is through a small diffuser, which will also accessorize your desk.

Your Body

Now that we have listed some tips to make the space around us more personal, it’s time to move on to some tips on how to stay healthier when working. As Juvenal said, “Mens sana in corpe sano“, which for you non-Latin speakers means “A healthy mind in a healthy body”!

Skin Care: This is the epitome of self-care. Keep an all-purpose moisturizer nearby –Aveeno, Kiss My Face, or Eucerin are frequently seen around our space here at NGIN Workplace. It’s always a good idea to have some help with keeping your hands, face, and wherever else needed soft and moisturized. According to dermatologists, prolonged exposure to air-conditioning has drying effects on our skin, since it’s air that lacks humidity. While we can’t avoid air-conditioning, we can certainly work around its negative effects!

Another great product to keep nearby is a face mist. Face mists are the equivalent of splashing cold water on your face, without the aftermath. Refreshing, cooling, and hydrating, it’s a great pick-me-up product to have nearby, as it helps not just your skin, but also wakes you up as only a fine, cool water mist can. Stick with safe choices like Avene, or go for a targeted one, specific to your skin’s needs.

Hydration: Drink water! Many of us are guilty of not drinking enough water, which causes fatigue, lack of concentration, and drowsiness. Keep your energy levels up with healthy snacking. Nuts, protein bars, or nut clusters are great sources of protein, on top of being tasty. For immediate energy aka sugar: fruit!

Details

A small grooming kit, because when working you can get distracted by the smallest things. For nit-pickers, even a small snag nail or stray hair can make you obsess over that little detail, disrupting your focus and workflow.  That’s why it’s a good idea to have at least a nail file/clipper and a pair of tweezers on hand. Our office likes to take it one step further – we keep things like stain remover pens, a needle & thread, and even a clothing iron! It’s all about being able to take care of little distracting details.

It’s easy to tweak your surroundings and make work time more comfortable. In return, this little investment will help you stay focused, and be more productive. We have tried and tested self-care methods like these in our offices at NGIN, so trust us. We know what we’re talking about!

By: Jetmira Allushi

The post Self-care: Office Style appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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Here at NGIN Workplace, our members are always hard at work trying to do their best to make their companies thrive. The coworking space allows for constant collaboration between companies. When entrepreneurs in a coworking space are not getting ideas from each other, they also turn to the best—those who have written their years of experience down in books. Below are some of the top-rated, successful, and thought-provoking books for entrepreneurs, all with the intention of helping them flourish.

Tools for Titans, Tim Ferriss

New York Times bestselling author Tim Ferris gives readers business tips to help expand their companies and make them more successful. Ferriss has interviewed the best of the best when it comes to the business world, and he turns the valuable information from these interviews into advice, guidelines, and life lessons.

Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is known for the success of his economic, thought-provoking books for entrepreneurs, and Outliers: The Story of Success is no different. In this book, Gladwell answers questions about what makes successful people successful and how to be the best in one’s field. He takes the reader along this intellectual journey to show them exactly what it takes to become the best.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant

Adam Grant inspires his readers to make the world a better place by utilizing their individuality. The book encourages people to challenge conformity and embrace what makes them different; how are we supposed to invent and create new things if we are stuck in the same mundane routines? Grant captures the realization of an idea with potential and tells how to implement such ideas.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build a Future, Peter Thiel & Blake Masters.

The main point made in this book is simply that the successful people of tomorrow are not competing in today’s marketplace, but are instead looking ahead. Having an optimistic and unique approach to the future can really help a business thrive. This has been a new way of thinking in the business world, and it has led to creative discoveries like coworking spaces.  Zero to One will leave readers asking new questions that will lead them on a path to success.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport

Not enough hours in the day? Focusing without distraction is the essential point in Newport’s book. He wants his readers to be able to improve their efficiency in a world full of emails and smartphones. Newport gives his readers guidelines to help them achieve maximum efficiency.

The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs, Kevin D. Johnson

This essential addition to books for entrepreneurs instills in its readers the highest level of performance by offering key lessons on strategy, finance, leadership and much more. The Entrepreneur Mind is an important resource filled with philosophies and habits to help captivate investors and improve businesses.

All In: 101 Real Life Business Lessons for Emerging Entrepreneurs, Bill Green

Green uses his 40-year business experience and shares his insights in this book, which is filled with all different tools to help people launch their businesses. From a small start-up to a large conglomeration, Green takes his readers every step of the way. His lessons in ideas, drive, and ambition will help anyone trying to be successful and happy.

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth, Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares

Using their own experiences, Weinberg and Mares provide insight for startups and instruct them on avoiding some crucial mistakes. The book focuses on building and keeping a customer base by boosting the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, improving search engine rankings, getting targeted media coverage, and much more.

Coworking: Building Community as a Space Catalyst, Angel Kwiatkowski & Beth Buczynski

In their book, Kwiatkowski and Buczynski invite readers to discover more about the benefits of coworking. They encourage more people to join the discussion of how coworking is changing the way we work. Coworking places like NGIN offer a community of people working in a collaborative and creative office space for everyone to thrive in. Throughout the book, Kwiatkowski and Buczynski answer coworking questions to promote the idea of a shared, synergetic working space.

The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Advantage, Daymond John

Shark Tank’s Daymond John lends a hand to people starting out in the business world by offering up advice and helping entrepreneurs grow and flourish. John points out that, unlike big companies, small startups are more resourceful. He uses his own experience, as well as experiences from those he’s helped, to show the reader that anyone can become a successful entrepreneur.

Don’t see your favorite on the list? Think I am missing one? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

The post Top Ten Books for Entrepreneurs appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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We can no longer call technology a useful tool.

Interning at NGIN, I’m surrounded by tech startups and businesses every day in Kendall Square—I know that technology is more like an extended brain than an extended limb. We are far past the days of technology making our daily lives more convenient. Technology is now necessary to function, and this is especially true for startups and businesses whose products and services wouldn’t exist without this technological necessity.

Most every startup or entrepreneur uses technology to better understand the markets they’re in, widen their presence, and connect with their audiences through social media. There are plenty of startups that aim specifically at helping other companies use technology to analyze and collect data on how effective their social media presence is. These analytics tell entrepreneurs what social media content audiences connect with most, when they connect with it, and how this all affects the business’s outreach. Our very own office houses one such company—Libring, which collects and analyzes ad engagement and revenue on apps and games.

Taking technology further: AI for Social Media

But there’s one startup that wants to take this technology further, allowing it control over what we post, when we post it, and how we communicate with audiences on social media. In an article this week, TechCrunch showcases startup PromoRepublic’s social media AI. The company is pushing a new AI, or Artificial Intelligence, which not only analyzes a startup’s social media presence, but uses it to determine what the company should post, when, how often, with what metadata, and on which platforms. The user simply must read and approve of the AI’s plans for a month in advance.

That means that for a whole month of content—a whole month of digital communication with customers, financers, peers, and competition—a computer is deciding and executing that communication. Sure, the user signs off on everything before it’s posted, but there are implications to this kind of social media presence.

AI for Social Media: Subtle Consequences

Using AI to run your business’s social media exchanges depersonalizes your business’s digital presence. Digital media, especially social media, has a tendency to seem separate from the daily personal interactions which we consider to be networking and creating relationships. But social media is essentially as important, if not more, as offline communication. If a computer is fostering this social media presence, and therefore the connections and customers gained from it, then the business owner has less of a direct hand in and less knowledge of engagement with the content and company.

Part of what makes this social media AI appealing is that social media for small businesses can be hard. And often, it is. Knowing whether your content is engaging your audience, what that content should even be to begin with, and the best timing to post are all daunting for those who don’t know much about producing social media content in an impactful way. AI for social media would take the stress out of this process for many. At the same time, content generated by a computer is less meaningful and personal than that created by a human being who works with the startup or business. People have intuitive knowledge, and can communicate what a business is about, its ideas, goals, and personality, in a way that a computer can’t.

Giving AI reign over your business’s social media also makes you more detached from the content posted. Increased detachment from posts and presence means the business owner starts caring less about the worth of content to human beings who are interacting with it on these platforms. Whether we realize it or not, most audiences can tell when there’s a lack of authenticity. This may be especially true with social media compared to other forms of communication, because in all of the authentic, real content posted by real people, that suggested and created by Artificial Intelligence can tend to stand out and stall out.

In the digital age we’re in, small business presence on social media is extremely important for exposure to audiences and peers in the market. Would AI for social media be able to create and maintain lasting, authentic business presence, professional and customer relationships, and intuitive, meaningful content the way a human being can? Those who run and work businesses know their integrity—what makes their company special. When it comes to fostering human connection and support, people are irreplaceable. So, yes, use AI to interpret your social media data and analyze what you’re doing well or badly. But don’t let it run your presence. Trust yourself, build your content, and most importantly, be genuine with your audiences.

How do you feel about AI for social media? What ways do you use social media to grow your business? Please leave a comment below! I’d love to get your insights.

By Brianna Rapoza, NGIN Workplace Intern

The post How AI for Social Media Hurts Your Digital Presence appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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One of the many beautiful things about coworking is the ample freedom it provides. No need to punch in or out, the ability to leave the space to take a walk, that comfortable couch in the corner for midday naps… the decisions are yours. Some find the freedom and culture of coworking to be a daunting change. Do you leave your quinoa bowl in the sink to soak for an hour after lunch? Will introducing yourself to the deskmate who listens to your favorite band be nice or a nuisance? Everyone has these questions, and we at NGIN have the answers. Here are five dos and don’ts to make the most out of coworking.

Don’t… have the messiest desk in the space

You’re probably in a beautiful coworking space with natural light, beautiful artwork, luscious plants, and modern furniture. A cluttered desk is an eyesore and a distraction to the rest of your coworkers! Leaving loose papers, trash, dishes, and other clutter out will make you look unprofessional and sloppy.

Beyond the unsettling visual, a messy workspace is detrimental to productivity. Having to shift an empty plate, a coffee cup lid, and last month’s memos just to get to that one report you need leads to stress and further disorganization. Start fresh and stay fresh; your brain and your coworkers will thank you for it.

Do… clean up after yourself

Make your desk area aesthetically pleasing and neat! This will give off a good first impression. Make sure to not only clean up your desk space, but also any other mess you make, such as coffee cups, dirty dishes, or paper scraps.

With little to no mess to distract you, your productivity will skyrocket, and so will your social capital! In any shared space, cleanliness is not only a courtesy, but a necessity. Everyone deserves a clean workspace, and coworkers are more likely to chat when they’re not distracted by what’s hiding your desk.

Don’t… isolate yourself

It’s not a bad idea to set up shop in a quiet corner or at an empty desk when you have a project to do, but be sure not to isolate yourself from your coworkers all day long. Even if you have a desk in the middle of the space, don’t be the person with headphones in, not speaking a word to anyone else. A coworking space is a unique opportunity to interact with other like-minded entrepreneurs and individuals. Of course you need to focus on your work, but don’t let that focus turn into isolation. Coworking is a great alternative to working from home, which can often lead to loneliness.

Do… be friendly and meet the community

If you’re going to be sharing a space with people, you might as well get to know them! Introduce yourself to the people around you on your first day in the space to establish contacts. Many coworking spaces host events to get the community together (you can find NGIN’s here). Don’t pass up the chance to make lasting connections–and maybe grab a post-lunch snack!

Don’t… be afraid of change

In your coworking space, you will encounter a variety of businesses and companies. Some will be brand new, and others will be veterans in their industry. You may be inspired by another company’s newest accomplishment, or given great advice by a coworker on a change you could make to better your business. If you’re set in your ways, playing it safe might seem like the better option. But you’ll never know what could have been unless you take the risk and go for it– you don’t want to see 10 years from now that someone else did what you were too afraid to do.

Do… be ready for growth

With entrepreneurs all around, you will probably feel the creative juices flowing more than usual. Embrace it! Write down every idea that comes to mind, ask coworkers for their opinions, and even collaborate with other companies in the space! Who knows, joining a coworking space might be the best thing your business could experience. 

Don’t… get the same lunch order delivered every day

While it can be extremely convenient to order Chipotle online or have GrubHub deliver to you daily, it’s too repetitive! This doesn’t give you a chance to get outside, stretch, or explore… it’ll only get you really familiar with the delivery person. Most coworking spaces are surrounded by local restaurants and places to get a quick bite. Try a new place, and you might find that it’s better than your usual.

Do… find local eats

One of the best ways to explore the area around your coworking space is to test out the restaurants! Ask coworkers who know the neighborhood for recommendations about the tastiest lunch specials. Leaving on your lunchbreak also lets you get familiar with the buildings, attractions, and streets your coworking space is near. Don’t be afraid to explore your tastebuds–and your new neighborhood!

Here in bustling Kendall Square, members love to grab lunch at Tatte Bakery and Cafe, Bon Me, Kendall Kitchen, and many more!

Don’t… just use your membership for a desk

Yes, your membership gets you a desk–which you probably spend most of your time at. But your membership is actually getting you so much more that you might not even know about. It’s worthwhile to ask your coworking space if they offer any perks to members to get the most bang for your buck. It also benefits you to take advantage of the various amenities in your coworking space, from coffee and snacks to standing desks and post-run showers.

Do… take full advantage of your space

So you find out your coworking business has perks such as discounted prices at restaurants, hotels, gyms, and more. Use these to the max! Try out that cycling place where you get 10% off a membership, or take a trip and stay at a hotel where you’ll get a discounted room. These perks are there for your enjoyment, so you should at least try them once! 

You wouldn’t believe all the perks NGIN members have. Check them out for yourself!

Whether you are at a coworking space for a few weeks or many years, you should always try to make the most out of your experience. We hope these tips will guide you to having a better coworking experience. Share this article with your friends and coworkers, as well as leave any dos and don’ts you abide by at coworking spaces in the comment section!

Brianna Rapoza & Madeline Veneziano, NGIN Interns

The post Top 5 Dos and Don’ts of Coworking appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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We can no longer call technology a useful tool.

Interning at NGIN, I’m surrounded by tech startups and businesses every day in Kendall Square—I know that technology is more like an extended brain than an extended limb. We are far past the days of technology making our daily lives more convenient. Technology is now necessary to function, and this is especially true for startups and businesses whose products and services wouldn’t exist without this technological necessity.

Most every startup or entrepreneur uses technology to better understand the markets they’re in, widen their presence, and connect with their audiences through social media. There are plenty of startups that aim specifically at helping other companies use technology to analyze and collect data on how effective their social media presence is. These analytics tell entrepreneurs what social media content audiences connect with most, when they connect with it, and how this all affects the business’s outreach. Our very own office houses one such company—Libring, which collects and analyzes ad engagement and revenue on apps and games.

Taking technology further: AI for Social Media

But there’s one startup that wants to take this technology further, allowing it control over what we post, when we post it, and how we communicate with audiences on social media. In an article this week, TechCrunch showcases startup PromoRepublic’s social media AI. The company is pushing a new AI, or Artificial Intelligence, which not only analyzes a startup’s social media presence, but uses it to determine what the company should post, when, how often, with what metadata, and on which platforms. The user simply must read and approve of the AI’s plans for a month in advance.

That means that for a whole month of content—a whole month of digital communication with customers, financers, peers, and competition—a computer is deciding and executing that communication. Sure, the user signs off on everything before it’s posted, but there are implications to this kind of social media presence.

AI for Social Media: Subtle Consequences

Using AI to run your business’s social media exchanges depersonalizes your business’s digital presence. Digital media, especially social media, has a tendency to seem separate from the daily personal interactions which we consider to be networking and creating relationships. But social media is essentially as important, if not more, as offline communication. If a computer is fostering this social media presence, and therefore the connections and customers gained from it, then the business owner has less of a direct hand in and less knowledge of engagement with the content and company.

Part of what makes this social media AI appealing is that social media for small businesses can be hard. And often, it is. Knowing whether your content is engaging your audience, what that content should even be to begin with, and the best timing to post are all daunting for those who don’t know much about producing social media content in an impactful way. AI for social media would take the stress out of this process for many. At the same time, content generated by a computer is less meaningful and personal than that created by a human being who works with the startup or business. People have intuitive knowledge, and can communicate what a business is about, its ideas, goals, and personality, in a way that a computer can’t.

Giving AI reign over your business’s social media also makes you more detached from the content posted. Increased detachment from posts and presence means the business owner starts caring less about the worth of content to human beings who are interacting with it on these platforms. Whether we realize it or not, most audiences can tell when there’s a lack of authenticity. This may be especially true with social media compared to other forms of communication, because in all of the authentic, real content posted by real people, that suggested and created by Artificial Intelligence can tend to stand out and stall out.

In the digital age we’re in, small business presence on social media is extremely important for exposure to audiences and peers in the market. Would AI for social media be able to create and maintain lasting, authentic business presence, professional and customer relationships, and intuitive, meaningful content the way a human being can? Those who run and work businesses know their integrity—what makes their company special. When it comes to fostering human connection and support, people are irreplaceable. So, yes, use AI to interpret your social media data and analyze what you’re doing well or badly. But don’t let it run your presence. Trust yourself, build your content, and most importantly, be genuine with your audiences.

How do you feel about AI for social media? What ways do you use social media to grow your business? Please leave a comment below! I’d love to get your insights.

By Brianna Rapoza, NGIN Workplace Intern

The post How AI for Social Media Hurts Your Digital Presence appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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With the average adult clocking in at almost 11 hours a day consuming media, it’s no surprise that the majority of that time includes looking at a screen. It usually begins first thing in the morning, when you roll over to reach for your smartphone on your nightstand. While eating breakfast, you turn on the television to catch up on the news. Work includes you sitting in front of a computer or monitor for the most part, with an occasional video conference call thrown in there. Once home, you use your smartwatch to monitor your workout. After a long day, you lay in bed reading some chapters from your E-reader. And there you have it—a full day spent looking at screens.

While this pattern is so natural for most of us, it has wildly unnatural effects on our health.  Two-thirds of American adults experience symptoms from too much screen time, and some suffer to the extreme when their pains become a diagnosis—Computer Vision Syndrome, or Digital Eye Strain. According to the American Optometric Association, the most common symptoms include eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. These can be caused by many factors impacting you while working on a screen, from the lighting in your office to the glare of your computer or even an improper viewing distance between your eyes and the screen. If none of these are the case, it could simply be because digital devices emit blue light, UV light, and glare, which can all irritate your eyes.

Now, I’m not saying to throw away every electronic device you have and avert your eyes from technology forever. But if you’re someone suffering from any of these symptoms (or want to avoid them in the future), there are ways you can give your eyes a break throughout the day. It’s hard for experts to put an hour-per-day limit on screen time since it is so often associated with work tasks, but as soon as you feel any eye strain, you should try to cut down and use these tips and tricks.  

The 20-20-20 rule

It’s simple and easy to follow. Take a 20 second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away. It can be a wall, window, or the coworker you think is super cute (as long as they don’t catch you staring). Though it may not seem like a lot of time, your eyes will thank you for taking periodic breaks and preventing eye strain.

Shade out the screen

If you want to look uber cool at work AND protect your eyes from the haters (aka screens) then try out glasses made specifically for this! With technology to reduce the blue light, UV light, and glare coming from your screens, brands such as Trust Optics are giving workers relief from eye strain without changing their habits.  

Power off (temporarily)

After 4 hours of working at a computer, going on your phone during your lunch break may not be the best decision. Bring a page-turning book or the latest gossip magazine to read. Play cards or a game with coworkers, or get a quick meditation session in! Your eyes will feel refreshed and alert going back for the second half of your day.

Pick and choose

Just like reaching for the chips when there’s fresh fruit in the fridge, you might feel guilty choosing screen time when you know it’s not the best for you. So make a healthier decision! Grab some friends, get some fresh air, and put the electronics away for the moment. You’ll have less distractions and less pressure on your eyes.

Get creative with tactics

Just because the keyboard was invented doesn’t mean you can’t use a good, old fashioned pen or pencil during your day. Take down notes from a meeting on a pad of paper, brainstorm with coworkers on a whiteboard, or bullet your company’s goals on IdeaPaint, dry-erase paint that you can find around NGIN’s walls!

Instead of erasing screens from daily life, let’s adapt to them. Your eyes will definitely thank you for taking proper care of them. If you try any of these suggestions, I’d love to hear how they worked out for you! Leave your results or any comments/suggestions below.

By Madeline Veneziano, NGIN Workplace Intern

The post Digital Eye Strain: Be Smarter About Your Screen Time appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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Last Friday, we at NGIN received a package in the mail. Inside, we were greeted by Fantastic Gymnastics, featuring Jim and a swinging bar. It was a game we had gotten for some light fun around the coworking space. The directions inside instructed us to put together Jim’s contraption, add batteries, and use the buttons to make Jim swing and release from his bar to land on one of the point categories. Sounds simple, right?

Well, not so much. The game for children “Ages 8+” had us flabbergasted and a bit frustrated from the very start. But for the innovators and thinkers in the NGIN community, this wasn’t such a bad thing—it was a chance to learn.

So, here are 5 things Fantastic Gymnastics taught us about teamwork and coworking.

1. Sometimes the simple answer is the right one

After putting the bar together, popping the batteries in, and snapping Jim onto the bar, we pushed the yellow button to swing his legs out and—nothing. Immediately, our hopes fell as we assumed the worst. The game was broken and we’d have to send it back.

But at the sound of our disappointment, another intern came over and asked what was wrong. When we heard the problem, he shrugged and said, “Did you try changing the batteries?”

Of course we hadn’t. They were new batteries. But, sure enough, when we exchanged them for different (but equally new) batteries, Jim’s legs started pumping. If we had stuck with our initial idea that the game didn’t work, we never would have had the chance to learn the next four lessons that Jim had to teach us.

2. There’s value in every coworker’s unique perspective

Once Jim was working, we tried launching him by swinging him back and forth a few times. But when we pressed the red button, he just kind of sat there. Very disappointing. Only after a few more coworkers came by the table did one person think to spin Jim all the way around the bar a few times before launching him toward the landing pad.

We all needed each other’s unique perspective to figure out the true mechanics of the game. With only one viewpoint, Jim would have been doomed to a life of endless swinging.

3. Walking away doesn’t mean giving up

We left Jim and his bar out in the coworking space for the day to give other coworkers the chance to try their skill. After fiddling with Jim’s contraption for a while, one coworker couldn’t get the hang of spinning and releasing the figure. He sighed and walked away—presumably to go back to his real work—but came back again about an hour later to try again. This time, it wasn’t long at all before he had built up a rhythm and launched Jim, smiling and nodding to himself as the red leotard-clad figure landed perfectly in the 50-point box.

For startups and entrepreneurs in the NGIN coworking space, giving up isn’t an option. Walking away means taking a step back, clearing your mind, and approaching a project with renewed energy—not backing down or accepting defeat.

4. A successful team builds on individual strengths

By about mid-afternoon, it seemed like break time for some of the coworkers, who we found gathered around Jim at the cafe’s central table. We interns took another shot at the game, and this tie we had the best team system.

While one of us was a pro at keeping the leg-kick-button rhythm going, another knew just when to push the release button to send Jim flying onto 100. And I noticed each of their skills and suggested they work together.

Each of us alone couldn’t perfect the moves, but all together we were guaranteed to stick.

5. We get by with a little help from our coworkers

By the end of the day, most everyone had taken a stab—or, more accurately, a forceful series of jabs—at Fantastic Gymnastics. We all sighed in annoyance, laughed at Jim’s flying figure, and triumphed at perfect landings. It wasn’t so much the points that mattered, but the teamwork we used to get Jim flipping. Here at NGIN, we know that working alone can only get you so far. But with a shared sense of purpose and a little help from each other, our coworking community is a perfect 10.

By Brianna Rapoza, NGIN Workplace Intern

The post 5 Coworking Lessons Learned from a Kids’ Game appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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Boston winters are tough, but I’d argue that summer is tougher—warm sun on your face, coastal breeze through your hair, and short sleeves taking the place of bulky winter gear. I know it might not seem tough—but walking through the front door of the office under these conditions can be a blow to company morale.

For an entrepreneur or startup, the resulting drop in productivity and focus—the dreaded summer slump—can be detrimental if left to build. And in a coworking space like NGIN, group mentality is everything. Summer slump sounds intimidating, but don’t lose hope just yet. There are plenty of ways to keep up coworking productivity during the hot summer months.

Here are five ways to subdue the slump at your startup this summer! 1.  Take advantage of connectivity

A lot of people harp on the distractive nature of technology, but it also has its advantages. With free, high-speed Wi-Fi and plenty of plug-and-play workspace, it’s easy to get up and move around the NGIN office. According to Forbes, studies show that increased movement in the workplace increases productivity, energy, and creative thinking.

From changing desks to sinking into a giant office beanbag, using a standing desk to taking a stroll around the work space, there are plenty of opportunities for movement around NGIN. Not only does a new perspective on the office foster a new perspective on a project, but changing locations also encourages coworker interactions that boost morale and renew energy.

2.  Get yourself moving

The Cambridge-Boston area only gets a couple of months of warm sunshine per year. Taking advantage of the weather to go for a quick run or walk decreases stress and clears your mind for more innovative thinking throughout the day. Take a stroll around NGIN’s neighborhood, get inspired by Tech Square and the energy of other thoughtful minds around you.

On the days when the heat is just too much to go out or the rain keeps you inside, just walking around the office to stretch your legs and your mind can boost your morale. And if that doesn’t cut it, take advantage of NGIN’s Member Perks and hit Turn Style Cycle, CW Taekwondo, or Cambridge Athletic Club, where NGIN members get free and discounted classes and memberships. And don’t worry—you can refresh and refocus with a quick shower at NGIN before popping back over to your workspace!

3.  Hydrate and fuel up

It’s nice to beat the heat in an air-conditioned office, but even the morning commute in the summer can sap your energy. Before starting any work, make sure to head over to NGIN’s open kitchen space and grab water—flat, sparkling, or flavored thanks to our Bevi machine—boost your energy with Scheckter’s Organic Energy drinks, or help yourself to some coffee or tea.

While you’re at it, grab some granola, fruit, yogurt, or cereal to keep your energy up and keep your mind focused. Staying hydrated and giving your body energy for the day is the first step toward happiness and success on a summer work day!

4.  Practice Mindfulness

When outdoor fun is calling and work starts getting to you, sometimes the only thing to do is take a step away from your desk and reflect a bit. Practicing mindfulness through meditation, yoga, and introspection helps clear the mind when struggling with a challenging task or when hitting a road block.

Mindfulness also means allowing yourself to relax—and even enjoy yourself—in your work space. Throughout the month, NGIN hosts various events in the office. These range from Beer Fridays to Smoothie Tuesdays, with everything from pancakes to wine and cheese in between. We also provide Show & Tells, during which various companies working and growing here at NGIN can share their projects and get feedback from their entrepreneurial community.

5.  Set doable daily goals

This may seem basic, and it is. But many people forget that there is only so much that can be done in one day—especially for entrepreneurs with amazing ideas! The execution takes time, and this can get overwhelming, especially during the summer when there seems to be so much to do at once.

Setting doable daily goals each morning not only increases morale, but it actually increases productivity, too. When you feel like you’ve accomplished something, no matter how small, bigger accomplishments seem that much more plausible.

So, despite the summer heat making coworkers feel sluggish, these are just a few simple ways to boost morale and increase coworking productivity. At NGIN, entrepreneurs connect and help each other grow and accomplish—and have a great time while they do it.

   By Brianna Rapoza, NGIN Workplace Intern

The post Coworking Productivity: Surpassing Summer Slump appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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There’s a popular saying: “Time flies when you’re having fun.” As I sit and stare at the calendar today I really do wonder where all of the time has gone. I fondly remember my interview for the internship and the confidence radiating within me as I exited the building onto the busy Cambridge streets as I realized that I was sure to have gotten it. It was my first internship, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been lead to believe that interning was boring; you were basically the ground floor in front of the first step on the corporate ladder. On my first day, those thoughts were dashed. I was treated like an equal. I was an equal who was still learning, but a new part of the NGIN team nevertheless. It didn’t take long for me to break the nervousness of a new job.

The biggest thing I’ve learned at NGIN is that the business world of America is changing; nobody wants to stay cooped up in a windowless cubicle for eight hours. Nobody wants to be subjected to small talk at the single water cooler surrounded by stuffy collars and 3 piece suits. People want the comfortable and the unexpected. They want fancy fruit waters and huge windows and the occasional “Why is everyone gathered in the kitchen?” feeling. The world of business is building itself on spontaneity. I’m glad that NGIN gave me the opportunity to see this transformation with my own eyes.

There will be many things that I will miss about NGIN. I will miss setting up for breakfast and getting members in the morning. Many of them I’ve gotten to know well, and I can’t wait for the day where I see their company in the news so I can say “I knew them!”. I’ve watched people come and go. I’ve seen offices empty, fill, and then empty again in my short time here. There have been good days and bad days, and days where I felt tempted to crash on one of our huge bean-bag chairs to sleep for a few hours. Looking back on this internship, there’s nothing I would have changed.

How do you measure the worth of an internship? Is it by how many networking connections that you have? Is it by how many printer jams you got unstuck? You could count it in morning cups of coffee, or in hours worked. In my case, you could even argue it could be the number of flyers made. In reality, you measure the worth of your internship by the memories, the resources, and the lessons you take away. They tell you when you first walk in the door at NGIN’s internship program is that the internship is what you make it. You can sit idly by and do your duties and go home, or you can go above and beyond. Even small things as helping the members with something trivially simple can be rewarding. It makes you feel like you’re a part of the team. You will get out what you put in; it’s as simple as that.

Overall, I’m going to miss NGIN. I’ll miss its members, its staff, its traditions and its events. I’m fortunate enough to have had this experience with NGIN. I’ll miss writing the newsletter and for the blog, and I’ll miss making the flyers for the members. This internship at NGIN has opened tons of doors for me, and I’ll never forget this experience. My time with NGIN has been amazing. Thank you, NGIN Workplace, for being my start.

Marissa Milkey

The post See You Later, NGIN: An Intern’s Goodbye appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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NGIN members have access to a ton of different perks and discounts, and the list keeps growing every day. Sometimes the best perks that NGIN can offer don’t come in the form of discount codes and special flyers. The best kept NGIN secrets come from the bigger picture. While our perks list may be large and sometimes difficult to keep track of, our best perks come to you the moment you become an NGIN member. Here are five perks you may not have known NGIN Workplace offers!

1 – Health. In our kitchen, you will find no lack for healthy snacks, fruits, and fresh water. On our perks website and around our office space, you will also find tons of discounts and offers for cycling, VIM, and tae kwon do classes to help keep yourself in shape. While a healthy mind starts with a healthy body, it’s important not to neglect your emotional wellbeing! At NGIN, we succeed when you succeed. When your community is there to celebrate your accomplishment, there is celebration for all. Enthusiasm and positivity is infectious, and when your happiness is shared with the community, it brings a whole new light into our space. Whether you’re training to run the Boston Marathon or whether you have just celebrated your first real success, your well-being takes priority in our workspace.

2 – Convenience. We are fortunate to live in one of the most accessible cities in the country by public transportation. NGIN’s location near beautiful Kendall Square located on Broadway is home to many biotech companies shaping the future of medicine and technology. NGIN’s large, open windows provide a glimpse into the bustling city below and let in the sights that the beautiful city of Cambridge offers. Included in your NGIN membership is access to our free shuttle to and from the Kendall/MIT station of the MBTA Red Line, which is the heartbeat of Boston’s transport system. If riding solo is more your style, you can book a pick up for a limousine or black car service from Logan Car Company. With the iconic Logan International Airport nearby, business trips to and from the office have never been more convenient. Our location makes it easy and painless to get to and from your work. The less hastle of a commute, the better the productivity!

3 – Fun. Did you know that we have an average of four community events a month? Sometimes it’s good to take a break from the stresses of entrepreneur life! Our monthly events include pancake brunches, wine and cheese nights, and birthday celebrations with cake and ice cream courtesy of the local J.P. Licks! While keeping yourself healthy should be of great importance, sometimes it’s good to treat yourself to something sweet (happiness = healthy mind!). At NGIN, we love engaging our community in fun opportunities wherever we can. To thank our members for being a part of our NGIN family, we hold frequent contests and raffles with a chance to win gift cards to local restaurants and eateries. In the last few months, we’ve given away gift cards to Bon Me, The Smokehouse Barbeque, and Kendall Kitchen. With so much opportunity for fun in the workplace, who knows what the next surprise around the corner is?

4 – Support. To be supported is one of the most crucial things in an entrepreneur’s career. It lights the way for people’s motivations and inspirations, and can be the turning point in someone’s professional career. When NGIN community members come together to support one another, amazing things happen. Our Lunch and Learn events are a great way to introduce yourself to the community and celebrate your accomplishments. Professional entrepreneurs take pride in seeing other succeed, and it motivates them to do well themselves. When our community works together, they network together. Networking expands your brand and your social skills and can lead to a higher rate of success. When NGIN community members succeed, we all succeed.

5 – Professionalism. At NGIN, we take pride in what we do. We are proud to offer our members everything they need to succeed, from meeting rooms to private phone booths. Our meeting rooms are equipped with the latest technology to help that meeting go right. Cleanliness and tidiness in our workspace is what makes NGIN one of the highest rated and reviewed coworking spaces. Our staff is always ready to help at a moment’s notice. From our workstations to our desks to our recreation area, we take pride in our space and how we keep them. That’s why our kitchen will always be stocked and our rooms will always be clean. NGIN constantly strives to provide the tools needed for your company’s success. We will always be there to be your company’s backbone, no matter what challenges you may face.

We here at NGIN are more than just a coworking space. We are a networking space. We are a company that strives for greatness with all of our members. From the moment our doors open till now, NGIN has prided itself on being a guiding light for entrepreneurs of the past, present, and future. While we focus on providing physical perks for our members, it’s imperative not to forget the perks included the moment you walk in the doors. These perks and many more can be found right here at 210 Broadway in Cambridge, at NGIN Workplace.

Written by: Marissa Milkey

The post 5 Perks You May Not Know NGIN Workplace Has appeared first on NGIN Workplace.

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