Andries Pretorius of One Step North challenges the Cognisess Team.

When we lose an hour of sleep for daylight saving there is a 23% spike in heart attacks. Workplace accidents increase, as does the suicide rate.

Ok Andries you have our attention.

The Cognisess team recently joined a two-part programme introduced to us by Andries Pretorius, former Welsh Rugby International – turned – Master of Business Psychology.

Founded on his experience and published research in professional sport, Andries and his team at One Step North https://www.1stepnorth.com/ offer a full range of bespoke training services to ‘unlock personal and team performance.’ 

He refers to ‘mental GOOD health’ and offers a number of insights and recommendations for promoting and preserving it. 

Great to see familiar faces smiling. Thanks for the element of humour One Step North.

What did he tell us?

In session 1 we are taken through the effects of hormones on our bodies, attitudes, function and performance:  Cortisol, Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin, Melatonin and Oxytocin.

Largely, the information he gave us was nothing we hadn’t read or heard before but his presentation certainly woke us up.  He cleverly illustrated how and why we react like we do to certain situations, under varying levels of stress.  He highlighted factors like caffeine intake vs hydration and the importance of eating something green for breakfast.  Did you realise that just 2% dehydration can affect concentrate … erm … what was I saying?  Gulp.

Session 2 focused on the importance of sleep for our physical and mental wellbeing.  Especially pertinent at present, whilst many of us are battling home school as well as work and increasingly working evenings and weekends.  It was quite a wake-up call, (excuse the pun), to many of us and enjoyable to spend time with colleagues discussing our wellbeing.

What was the feedback?

Feedback from the Cognisess team was excellent and we thank Andries for his time.  Many of our colleagues have taken onboard a number of his suggestions and the general feeling was of positivity for taking time out to think about ourselves.

What resonance with Cognisess?

One of the benefits of using the Cognisess platform is to enable potential.  Identifying, enabling and nurturing talent, whether existing or new must be a priority for every business.  People who feel valued, visible and recognised within an organisation, have better mental and physical health and are more productive.  Fact.  We are exploring ways in which we can work together with One Step North on our journey into a better workplace future.      

On a personal note, it struck me that much of this we consider in the wellbeing of our children … from diet and hydration, to exercise and even the importance of a bedtime routine and limited screen time.  I personally feel neglected … by myself.

I am definitely having a glass of water before my morning coffee now.  Baby steps.

Note:  Cognisess is also taking part in a study conducted by Thrive at Work West of England into mental good health in the workplace.  I look forward to telling you more as it unfolds.   

Adverse Impact and Hiring

What do we mean by Adverse Impact?

By Nick Jarman – Research Assistant at Cognisess

…Adverse Impact is most pertinent when it has a negative effect on candidates of a protected class, namely: Age, Disability, Gender, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Marital Status, Pregnancy/Maternity.”

Any candidate, for any role, within any organisation, could potentially be adversely impacted by the way they present themselves at each stage of the selection process.

This Adverse Impact is most pertinent when it has a negative effect on candidates of a protected class, namely: Age, Disability, Gender, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Marital Status, Pregnancy/Maternity.

Adverse Impact can be felt even during apparently neutral processes, a measure of indirect discrimination.

An important aspect of indirect discrimination is that it is often identified statistically. The intention to discriminate is irrelevant. The output of the selection process is the most important factor.

It is worth noting that a policy is not indirectly discriminatory if the action is objectively justified in the absence of a less disadvantageous method of producing the same measure.

Although Adverse Impact can be measured during each stage of a selection process, a general rule of thumb is that the hiring-rate of each minority group must be 80% of the hiring rate of the majority group within that company. For example, if males comprise the majority class within the organisation and 90 males are hired from a pool of 100 then the hiring rate from each other minority group must be at least 72%.

How can we mitigate Adverse Impact in our hiring process?

There are a few general ways in which Adverse Impact can be reduced during a selection process. For one, regular monitoring of pass rates at every stage of the selection process will allow apparently neutral policies to be statistically explored regularly and often. The result is a process within which any indirect discrimination can be detected and rectified before it causes Adverse Impact for any particular class of candidate.


Another method of reducing Adverse Impact in a selection process is by focusing specifically on job-relevant competencies. These might be identified as a result of rigorous job analysis based on the job description, or can be more generic competencies specified at the beginning of the hiring process. The result of a specific focus on job-relevant competencies is to judge every candidate on the exact same competencies, regardless of their personal characteristics, thus removing irrelevant stages.

Related to this is the use of standardised interview techniques. Rather than having a more free-flowing personal interview where the interviewer’s personality and individual interests may be a source of unconscious bias, the interview will contain set questions designed to measure aspects of the job-relevant competencies defined at the start of the hiring process. In addition, constant monitoring of any assessors used within the selection process will serve to identify any unconscious bias creeping into any decision making process before it becomes an Adverse Impact. It also informs the focus on ongoing assessor training.

A final way to help reduce Adverse Impact in a hiring process is to make use of a diverse panel of assessors. This serves a myriad of purposes, not least to help reduce any unconscious bias present within any individual assessor. Introducing a wider diversity of thought will also help reduce any naivety that might occur in establishing the selection process.

Request a demo to learn how Cognisess can address Adverse Impact in your hiring process. http://www.cognisess.com/request-demo

Contact Polly Hill to be kept up to date with Cognisess Insights. – polly@cognisess.com

How Cognisess can empower and reskill the post-pandemic workforce

The pandemic has radically changed the workplace. The way we work has been transformed and there’s been an inevitable surge of technology. For many years, we have discussed the fourth industrial revolution and AI’s impact in the workplace as a disruptive technology. A disruptive technology is when a technology completely transforms an established industry, examples of this include Uber and the smartphone. Machines and algorithms are expected to create 133 million new roles but will replace 75 million positions by 2022, according to the World Economic Forum

This disruptive technology will soon perform the many mundane tasks humans usually undertake. This will not only save time, but allow your employee’s focus to shift to more meaningful work. But in order to do this around 1.4 million employees will need to reskill by 2026. People are the heart of any organisation. Ensuring they have the skills to thrive will allow your business to the same. Many companies are beginning to do this, since the coronavirus outbreak 42% of businesses have increased their reskilling efforts. 

In this blog, we will explore how our platform can facilitate the reskilling process throughout your organisation. 

Assess your employee’s skills

To upskill your workforce you will need to identify their skillset. This will enable you to choose the most appropriate method of training. 

Cognisess has over 60 scientifically-backed assessments which cover hard skills, such as mental arithmetic and spelling, alongside soft skills like emotional intelligence. Soft skills are increasingly in demand due to the advances in technology, so it’s likely you’re aiming to develop this type of skill in your employees.

On the platform, you can select the assessments that are relevant to your upskilling programme.Following this, you can simply assign the assessments to hundreds of employees at once. 

Discover hidden talent

According to Mercer, 78% of employees say they are ready to reskill. The results of the assessments are not only beneficial to the organisation, but the individual. Each test result shows the employee’s skill level in comparison with the general Cognisess’ population. This experience allows the person and the business to have a better understanding of their abilities.

Additionally, their results may uncover hidden talents they didn’t even know they possessed. This may give them the confidence to thrive throughout the retraining process and move into a role they never expected to succeed in. For example, they may thrive in leadership, which LinkedIn identified this year as an in-demand skill. Discovering and investing in your current talent will also create engaged employees, who are more likely to stay at your organisation long term.

Evaluate the process 

It’s important to establish a dialogue with employees before, during and after the upskilling process. A simple method of undertaking this is through our survey tool. It can be stressful for employees to upskill, especially if they are juggling a busy workload, their survey feedback will allow you to adjust the programme so your people can thrive. You could also create a survey so that employees can share what they would like to train in. Not only does this give them a platform to voice their opinions, but also gives HR valuable insight and recommendations for future training. 

You can choose from our survey templates or create your own. The tool is simple and user friendly and allows you to send surveys to departments, individuals or the whole organisation instantly. 

Read more about our surveys here.

Upskilling your employees will ensure they’re ready for the future of work so your organisation can thrive. Our award-winning platform is ready to help you undertake this through our assessments and surveys. If you would like to find out more, please book a demo with our expert team today.

Virtual meeting platforms vs video interview tools: which is the best solution for you?

a virtual meeting platform

We live in a world where more and more companies are shifting their hiring processes online. 

To protect candidates and recruiters during this time, many companies are choosing to conduct their interviews virtually. But with so many different platforms, which one is the best for you? Some companies choose a virtual meeting platform such as Zoom, whilst others opt for a video interview tool. In this blog, we will discuss which one is the best solution for your organisation.  

Connection problems or pre-recorded answers

When you’re interviewing through a virtual meeting platform, Wi-Fi connection problems may affect the interview. This is frustrating for candidates, and it may affect the quality of their answers. They may be the best candidate for the job, but due to these issues the interviewer can’t properly assess them. Additionally, if the assessor is having connection problems, it can affect the candidate’s interview experience and their perception of the company. 

The Cognisess’ virtual video interview tool allows candidates to pre-record their answers. This will enable them to fully communicate their experience and expertise without lagging or breaking up. The assessor can also review their answers multiple times. On some virtual meeting platforms you can record your meeting. However, the quality may be affected if you did have connection problems in the session. Additionally, because it records the full discussion (not individual answers like on Cognisess Pro) you may spend a lot of time trying to find a particular section of the video. This time could be more valuably spent elsewhere. 

Extra tools to enhance your recruitment process

Our virtual interviewing tool not only helps you interview candidates efficiently, but also has an optional feature to enhance your decision making. 

Our DeepLearnTM  Video Analysis tool detects a candidate’s true emotion, instead of what they may like to present to an interview panel. This tool is particularly beneficial for sales positions where first impressions and body language is essential. Our Computer Vision technology can analyse from 27+ points on the face, searching for emotions such as positivity alongside other attributes relevant to the job frame by frame.  As a result, a business can identify top talent from their entire applicant pool. This feature is not present on virtual meeting platforms.

How can you reduce bias virtually? 

Every one of us carries a degree of unconscious bias. It’s the way our brains make quick judgements about people and situations without us even registering it. This is informed by our personal experiences, stereotypes and cultural context. Ultimately these inherent biases can impact decision-making in the hiring process. This can affect not only face to face interviews, but virtual interviews too. 

Being unconsciously biased is an inherent part of being human – even if we try to avoid it or correct ourselves. Once we realise we can be prone to unconscious bias despite our best efforts, we should be turning to AI as a helpful tool to help keep us compliant and open up the recruitment process. Applying our video analysis tool will generate objective data that can support better decision making. 

Learn more about biases here. 

An all in one platform 

If you choose a video interview tool that also has an inbuilt ATS and assessments like Cognisess Pro, you can conduct the whole recruitment process in one place. No need to remember numerous passwords or open multiple tabs on your computer. This is convenient as you can track the entire candidate journey and review their progress at each stage of the process to make an informed decision.


Virtual meeting platforms and video interview tools will both allow you to interview your candidates. However, video interview tools have added features that can enhance the hiring process by reducing bias, avoid connection problems and allow you to organise your whole recruitment process in one place. All these features can be found on Cognisess Pro. If you would like to explore these features for your virtual hiring process, book a demo with us.

Why virtual recruitment platforms are every company’s secret weapon right now

men looking at a virtual recruitment platform

The coronavirus has changed the way we work. But what is the best way to keep your recruitment process moving whilst ensuring you are still hiring the best candidates? 

At Cognisess we have spent a number of years building the best virtual recruitment platform possible. In fact, we have recently won an award for it. Below we explore how you can move your recruitment process online whilst also looking after your employees.

All of the tools featured in this blog exist on one platform, Cognisess Pro, which means you can do everything on one programme. There is no need to switch to another software to review a candidate’s results after sending out an employee feedback survey. Cognisess Pro can also be accessed anytime and anywhere, meaning your employees and applicants can access it from home. This allows them to give you feedback or apply for a job wherever they feel most comfortable during this time. 

Accurate and Engaging Online Assessments  

online recruitment assessment

Perhaps an assessment centre day may not be suitable or possible right now. Moving an assessment centre online has many benefits. It saves money and it can be completed any time or anywhere. This makes it more accessible to candidates who may have not been able to attend in person due to distance or money. 

Our award-winning online assessment tool has over 60 scientifically-backed games that are tailored to test the attributes that are important to the role you’re recruiting for. From emotional intelligence to mental arithmetic. Candidates typically find our assessments engaging and interesting, making your application process stand out. You can assign the assessments instantly to as many candidates as you want.  

Read about how IHG was able to eliminate the second day of their assessment centre due to our accurate assessments. This resulted in a 50% reduction in assessment centre time and cost.

Online interviews 

Currently, you may not feel safe meeting potential hires in person. Using an online video interview tool is a great replacement solution. It’s also a popular one too, according to the recruitment company Walters People, 67% of companies are now using video interviews to hire workers. 

Finding the right online video tool is important. Our virtual interviewing tool not only helps you interview candidates easily, but also has an optional feature to enhance your decision making. 

Our DeepLearnTM  Video Analysis tool detects a candidate’s true emotion, instead of what they may like to present to an interview panel. This tool is particularly beneficial for sales positions where first impressions and body language is important. Our Computer Vision technology can analyse from 27+ points on the face, searching for emotions such as positivity alongside other attributes relevant to the job frame by frame.  As a result, a business can identify top talent from their entire applicant pool and keep the recruitment process moving. 

Supporting employees 

This is a difficult time for many and some employees may feel disconnected from the company if they are working remotely. Our platform’s not only designed to recruit the best talent, but also support your employees. We have several surveys designed to help you understand your people including:

  • Employer response to COVID-19. This template is for employees and relates to Covid-19 and working in a different way. Sample questions include: What policies/aspects do you feel have worked during this time? And what level of flexibility is provided by your organisation when it comes to getting work done? 
  • Employee Surveys. Comprehensive employee surveys that deliver a thorough understanding of organisational culture, experience and engagement and links to business performance.
  • Daily Mood and Sleep. Daily monitoring of an employee’s mood and sleep, with an emphasis on Health and Wellbeing. You will be able to assess how your workforce is generally feeling, which can inform your general strategy moving forward. 

Create Strong Teams  

Virtual HR Platform

The people you work alongside can often affect your happiness or performance. By using our Team Fit tool you can check if each individual is in the right team. This feature collates and maps an individual’s assessment results via a user-friendly graph against the attributes of others in any defined team or group. The data is divided into two disciplines, social cohesion and cognitive fit. If an employee isn’t the right fit for a team, you can put their data into another group to predict if they would get on better in that team. 

Having a platform that allows you to recruit and check in with your employees is essential during this time. Book a demo today to explore the tools that will allow your company to thrive. 

How to create a fairer recruitment process for BAME applicants

black woman job interview

The recent Black Lives Matter movement has created an awareness of the prominent racial inequality globally. In fact, last year the Guardian reported that black Britons and those of South Asian origin faced shocking discrimination at levels unchanged since the 1960s.

Perhaps your company wants to support this movement by creating a fairer recruitment process. Currently, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) applicants face an uphill battle in the hiring process. Applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds have to send 80% more applications than a white British person before they get a positive response from a company; according to a study by the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Even if they progress onto an assessment centre or interview stage, black and ethnic minority candidates are 14% more likely to be rejected than white candidates. 

But why is this the case? 

Humans unconsciously process 11 million pieces of information per second. In order to manage this mass of data, our brains have had to adapt by creating ‘shortcuts’ to help us make decisions. Without this, we would be paralysed into making no decisions or just random ones. This is called cognitive bias.  Every one of us carries a degree of unconscious bias and is informed by our previous personal experiences, stereotypes and cultural context. 

Although we may not intentionally be applying bias, our brain automatically applies these ‘shortcuts’ to make decisions quickly. For example, Harvard Business School discovered employers aren’t prejudiced against women because of their gender, but because they have the perception that men perform better in certain tasks. Ultimately, these inherent biases can also impact decision-making for BAME candidates in the hiring process. 

How can you rectify this?

Unconscious bias is an inherent part of being human. Once we realise we can be prone to unconscious bias, despite our best efforts, we should be turning to AI as a helpful tool to help keep us compliant and open up the recruitment process.

Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, revealed to Information Age that “AI doesn’t have to understand its own unconscious bias, because it has none.” Because AI is objective it can assist you in identifying the strongest candidates. 

Learn more about unconscious bias here. 

Solution: Blind Recruitment 

Creating a fairer recruitment process is simpler than you think with an AI-driven recruitment platform such as Cognisess Pro. Our AI can assess and objectively identify the best candidate by purely focusing on skills and abilities. By combining this with blind recruitment you will create an overall fairer process. Information such as age, gender and race is hidden from assessors and is never taken into account for Cognisess assessments. These details may unconsciously influence a hiring decision. This is called ‘blind recruitment’ and focuses purely on the attributes that matter when hiring a candidate, for instance, emotional intelligence, task switching and resilience. This process provides decision-makers with an in-depth understanding of a candidate’s suitability for the role – regardless of background.

Taking the time to craft a fairer application process may also increase the number of diverse applicants who apply. Additionally, a diverse team has a variety of benefits. For example, it can equate to a more profitable company, a McKinsey report uncovered that “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

Cognisess Pro was recently awarded best AI product in HR by CogX. The platform is data-driven with 50 assessments to choose from measuring over 120 attributes. This range of data has been proven to assist companies like AB InBev and IHG  make better informed and fewer bias decisions about recruitment and assessments.  For example, hotel giant IHG has recently eliminated potential bias by 93.75% using Cognisess Pro, enabling a fairer and more accurate approach to talent management compared to their more traditional recruitment processes.

Although we can’t help our unconscious bias, we can use AI as a tool to help reduce these biases to strive for a fairer recruitment process. Schedule a free demo to find out more.  

Cognisess wins global award for AI in HR

We have been recognised as a global leader for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in HR by the CogX 2020 Awards. It celebrates the best emerging technologies in different sectors and industries, the CogX Awards handpicks winners from entrants from around the world. 

“We’ve experienced significant global expansion over the past year, both in terms of the number and scale of our clients, as well as the capabilities of our products. So it feels great to be recognised by the world-leading CogX awards, that especially focus on accelerating the ethical and safe adoption of AI.

AI is a rapidly evolving science with enormous potential, and our values are closely aligned with CogX when it comes to the responsible use of AI. Our goal is to democratise human capital and remove any bias from people management – helping businesses to identify, nurture and retain the best talent regardless of ethnicity, gender or social group”

Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess

The CogX award is symbolic of the major successes and developments we have experienced over the past year:

  • A growing relationship with InterContinental Hotels – with 5,656 hotels in nearly 100 countries – where employees will use the Cognisess platform for performance and talent management.
  • The global roll out of the Cognisess recruitment platform by AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, supporting tens of thousands of candidates to apply for roles at all levels.
  • Increased use of Yondur, a free careers and talent assessment app for job seekers, students and career movers, into new markets including Australia, Singapore and The Netherlands.
  • The translation of Cognisess assessments into 11 languages.
  • Advances in video analytics that read facial micro-expressions, irrespective of culture, to help recruiters make better informed and more accurate recruitment decisions.

The CogX Awards are judged by a panel of tech and global innovation experts from the Office of AI, University of Cambridge, PwC, Sodexo and others. Cognisess is joined on the list of this year’s winners by The Gates Foundation, King’s College, The Alan Turing Institute and the BBC.

Advice and tools to conduct successful video interviews

notepad and coffee to prepare for a video interview

The coronavirus is affecting the way we hire. Many HR recruiters are now working remotely and are reaping the benefits of video interviews. In fact, 67% of companies are now using video interviews to hire workers according to the recruitment company, Walters People. 

In this blog, we will explore how to successfully conduct a video interview and the differences between face to face and video interviews.  

How to set up a video interview

This interview may be a candidate’s first verbal interaction with your company. Here’s how to make a great first impression. 

Pick a suitable environment 

Select a room which will be quiet and free of disruptions. Once you find a place, look behind you, this is what the candidate will see during the interview, remove anything you wouldn’t want the candidate to see. 

Additionally, choose a place in the house where you have a strong internet connection. Lag, video freezes or the call dropping will disrupt the interview. 

Test your webcam and microphone

If your webcam isn’t built-in, place it on top of your screen so you’re eye level with the applicant. Most video call providers allow you to test your webcam before a call. In this mode, ensure that you can see your whole face and check if there is light obscuring it.

It’s also important to test the audio. If you wear headphones check if they have a microphone, otherwise the applicant won’t be able to hear you.

Why video interviews are different

Technical difficulties 

This study found that interviewees who have technical difficulties are often perceived poorly by the assessor. This means the best candidates may not get hired due to a bad internet signal. Instead, ask the candidates to record their answers to give everyone a fair chance and eliminate the possibility of a great answer being ruined by the call dropping.

 Lack of non-verbal communication 

Many interviewers may say they have a good gut instinct. Gut feeling is a great resource, but it is the imperfect and human equivalent of processing lots of data (such as the applicant’s body language and communication) and coming to a conclusion. However, a lot of these decision-making factors disappear in a video interview. 

Researchers at the George Washington University “analyzed 12 studies on technology and job interviews published between 2000 and 2007 and believe that the absence of body language, eye contact and rapport building in video interviews can hurt a person’s chance of landing the job.” For example, you may not be able to read someone’s body language if the screen only shows part of their face. 

This may seem problematic, but by using technology to enhance your decision making and assist you with these potential ‘blind spots’ will allow you to hire the most suitable candidates. 

The solution: Cognisess’ Video Analysis

By using our DeepLearnTM Video Analysis tool our technology will be able to detect a candidate’s true emotion, instead of what they may like to present to an interview panel.

Each candidate records themselves answering several key questions that have been set by the company. Our Computer Vision technology is then able to analyse from 27+ points on the face, searching for emotions such as positivity alongside other attributes relevant to the job frame by frame.

As Cognisess Pro isn’t human, so it has the capacity to be completely objective (read our blog on unconscious bias in humans here). As there isn’t any human involvement in the analysis process, it supports a less bias hiring decision. Our tool isn’t programmed to see race, age or gender – it is purely assessing what an applicant is non-verbally communicating. This becomes a vital tool when companies are pursuing policies of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

A sample of the emotions the tool can identify 

  • Confidence and control. When customers are interacting with your business, they want to talk to someone who is in control of a situation and confident in their abilities. You can now measure this before you hire an applicant.  
  • Positivity. An upbeat employee not only improves morale in the workplace but their positive nature will help them successfully communicate with clients. For example, if a client sees a sales executive who is sincerely positive about a product, they are more likely to buy it. 
  • Expressiveness.  Some people make everyone they talk to feel like they are being truly listened to. A high level of expression (within reason) is seen in western cultures as a sign of high levels of engagement in the subject of the conversation.
  • Resilience and grit. This allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere, despite rejection and a lack of noticeable process over a period of time. 

As a result, HR professionals can draw conclusions from their expertise and the data presented to them. They can listen to the content of the answer (verbal communication) as well as understanding how candidates are feeling (non-verbal communication). 

Technology can help us navigate through the rapidly changing world of work. Using our video analysis tool will allow you to hire confidently and remotely. Knowing that you’ve given every candidate a fair chance, whilst finding the best fit for your company. Book a free demo today to explore how you can enhance your video interview process. 

The new normal: How has the workplace changed?

computer in new work place

All around the globe the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away lives and jobs, damaged industries and enterprises, and turned the unimaginable into the usual. A return to normal, whenever it comes, will be a different normal. What we do right now will define the future, and yet making decisions and acting with assurance has never been more challenging.

Communication is key

Be aware that what leaders think they’re communicating isn’t always being perceived the way they intend. Research shows that 74% of executives say they are currently helping their employees learn to work in new ways, yet only a third of surveyed employees said the same: a 36-point gap. Moving forward, feedback loops need to be built into all interactions with employees.

Creating a feedback loop

Sustaining communication, collaboration, capabilities and culture in a virtual operating model is now the work of HR leaders. How are they shifting to a full “work-from-home” model that keeps the workforce engaged and productive, setting up virtual agents, keeping track of essential workers in the midst of a crisis, and standing up a robust online learning platform, all while simultaneously planning for re-entry and an unknown new normal?

In response to this, we have created survey templates so you can create this feedback loop. Example templates include quality of life, coping in a new world, leadership check in and working as a team. Alongside these sets of questions, you can add your own, allowing you to ask the questions that are valuable to your organisation. 

Smarter workforce planning

This rapid change means it’s now time to plan accordingly: 

Strategy and company policies that support remote and distributed work, with specific guidelines and rules in place.

• A culture that applies the underlying principles of agility across all aspects of the business, enabled by strong digital communication methods, tools, and ways of working.

An accelerated online, personalised skills and development strategy for employees to adapt to new needs and reshaped business. This can be successfully executed on our online platform, Cognisess Pro – find out more here.  

A renewed vision of talent sourcing, and how work gets done in a remote environment where all resources are now equidistant and accessible digitally. For example, job sharing, crowd-sourcing and distributed talent sourcing

The future is here. By planning and adapting with the current climate you can ensure your employees feel supported during these are uncertain times. Our expert team can assist you with this. Contact us today to discuss how our platform can be your solution.  

How to stay productive when working remotely

woman working remotely

The coronavirus outbreak has transformed the way we work. More employees than ever are working remotely. For some, it may be another challenge to navigate alongside the outbreak. In this blog, we will explore how to stay productive outside the office environment.

Get a consistently good night’s sleep 

A good night’s sleep is key to a productive day. This study found that U.S workers who sleep less compared to the rest of the workforce have “significantly worse productivity, performance, and safety outcomes”. They also estimated a $1,967 loss in productivity for each employee from their lack of sleep. However, if you are feeling particularly stressed about the lockdown it can be hard to fall asleep. This becomes a vicious cycle of needing sleep but not sleeping, causing you to become more tired and stressed. This limits how productive you can be throughout the working day. 

Creating a bedtime routine will help you sleep better. This includes avoiding electronic devices an hour before bed to meditate or read a book instead. The NHS website also advises keeping your bedroom as a place to only sleep in,  as there is “a strong association in people’s minds between sleep and the bedroom.”. If you are working in your room, move your desk to a different space to create the ideal environment to sleep in. 

Work with the right people

Perhaps you are a manager trying to not only manage your productivity, but your team’s too. It can be hard to feel united as a team when you are not in the same room. Team composition can greatly impact on performance. A Bandran Hall Group survey reported that 72% of all organisations viewed team performance as having a positive effect on overall productivity. Cognisess Team Fit can support managers with the evaluation of their teams. For instance, if a sales manager notices one of her teams are not working well together she can use Team Fit from the comfort of her own home to diagnose the imbalance and apply an informed solution.

Team Fit is a tool to help organisations create diverse and high performing teams. Learn more about Team Fit here. If the right people are working together you can ensure that they will be productive without a manager constantly checking in on their progress. 

Based on our analysis of self-reports from employees, teams that have gone through a guided Cognisess Team Fit exercise tend to communicate in a better and more constructive way.

Take a break 

Research conducted by the Draugiem Group found the employees who where the most productive didn’t work longer hours. They took regular breaks, for every 52 minutes they spent working they took a 17-minute break. These breaks were usually taken away from the computer, for instance, taking a walk, reading a book or talking to coworkers (not about work). 

This schedule can easily be performed at home. Taking regular breaks may make you feel more relaxed and in a positive frame of mind to tackle any tricky tasks.    

Although we are in the middle of a pandemic, working remotely doesn’t need to be a challenge. By getting enough sleep, working with the right people and establishing a routine where you take regular breaks will ensure that you are reaching your full potential. If you would like to discuss how our platform and expert team can help you during this challenging time, please contact us.