The Benefits of Learning to Code – Even in Non-Tech Jobs

Why You Should Learn to Code - Barrister Executive Suites

Web development is a very hot industry today. The median salary for a software developer is almost $100,000. From 2014 – 2024, the employment of software developers is forecasted to increase 17%, way faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.  However, even if you don’t plan on pursuing a career in programming, learning to code can have plenty of great benefits to your career no matter what it is. Here are a few ways it does that.

It Increases your Versatility

Learning any new skill while currently in a job is a great way to get noticed by your superiors. So why not learn something that could be useful to almost any company? Knowing how to code greatly increases your versatility in your job and gives you a much wider scope of tasks that you could handle. It also shows that you’re willing to accept challenges and learn new things, which look great when being considered for a promotion

It Will Enhance Communication with Teammates

Learning to code is learning a new language. If you learn French, you gain the ability to communicate with many more people that you could when you only spoke English. The same logic applies to computer code. When you learn a new code you gain the ability to communicate better to the tech team at your company as well as anyone else in the industry. This will lead to increased efficiency in completing tasks as well as greater respect from other members of the organization.

It’s Great for the Entrepreneurial Mind

If you have an entrepreneurial mind and have dreams of starting your own business, learning to code is invaluable. Have an idea for a new app? It’s one thing to tell the idea to someone and have them make it for you hoping for the best, but it’s another to create a simple prototype, which will help you can gain better financial support and hire more qualified people.

Even if we’re not talking about the tech industry, any startup business is low on funds, so knowing how to code your own website is a huge plus.

It’s Brain-Training

Learning to code also acts as a brain trainer. With all of the logic involved in different coding languages, it helps to enhance your logical thinking skills, which is important both in the workplace and in everyday life.

Learn a New Way to Think

Learning to code takes discipline and logic. It can increase your problem-solving skills, since you have to provide information and actions to a computer in steps, much like you would when training or explaining it to a new hire. It can also help you to start seeing patterns and relationships, how one little variable can greatly change the outcome.

It Could be your Hidden Passion

So you learned to code because of, but not limited to, the first four reasons in this post. It turns out, however, that you absolutely love it. The great thing about the times we live in is that it is so easy to explore different skills to find what you are truly passionate about. So why not give coding a try? You could find your next passion, and as mentioned in the opening paragraph, make a lot of money doing it.

Announcing Our Newest San Diego Location Del Mar / Solana Beach – Preleasing NOW!

Barrister Suites Del Mar Solana Beach Coming Soon

We are pleased to announce the opening of our newest location at 445 Marine View Avenue, Del Mar, CA in The Timbers building. The iconic Class A office building is owned by Hankey Investment Corporation and will be the 4th location that Barrister operates in San Diego County, adding to our robust portfolio of over 28 locations in Southern California.

The Timbers building has breathtaking ocean views and an expansive window line which provides maximum natural light.  We’re currently in the process of constructing the suite to provide high end finishes with an open space concept design for a creative office atmosphere (pictures coming soon!).  On-site amenities include 24-hour security, outdoor atrium area surrounding a koi pond, and free covered parking.

Ron Azad, Executive V.P. of Asset Management and Development at Hankey Investment Company commented: “Our firm has invested over $1.5 million in building improvements since acquiring the asset nearly 2 years ago.  We are excited to have a Barrister suite in the building. We’re familiar with their exceptional reputation as an Executive Suite provider, and knew that their business model would make an ideal fit for our building, as well as the local business community.”

We are looking forward to serving the beach cities business community in the north county region of San Diego. Local professionals will benefit from this convenient location and the wide array of services that our suite provides. Be sure to check out our:

This location is an excellent solution for local professionals who are looking to work closer to home, minimize their overhead expense, and maximize their company’s image. “It’s a bright and vibrant office environment where clients have more time to be productive and focus on their core business, and enjoy being a part of our thriving tenant community” said Carrie Gates, Vice President of Leasing and Marketing for Barrister. “It’s a really great place to come and work every day”

Call today for more information! 1-800-576-0744

Dressing for Success: It’s All About the Context!

Business Dress Code

There was once a time when every professional, no matter his or her industry, put on a suit each morning.  Today, there are many interpretations of formal, business casual, smart casual, etc.  If you’re not aware of the environment you’re in it can be easy to look sloppy, and it can be equally easy to be over-dressed.

 

Dress Codes vs. Self-Expression

“Dress codes have most certainly relaxed over time, particularly since the introduction of ‘jeans Fridays’ and dot-com era casual attire,” says Judah Kurtz of BPI group, a human resources consulting firm in Chicago, Illinois. “What is considered ‘appropriate’ varies by company and culture, as well as what parts of the house are strictly internal versus client/public facing.”

“Dress code policies walk a fine line between portraying a professional image to clients and customers while allowing employees to be comfortable, engaged, and expressive,” said Kevin Sheridan, senior vice president of HR optimization at Avatar HR Solutions, also in Chicago.

While some have adopted casual dress code policies that allow for self-expressions, others believe it’s important to have dress codes with limitations of expressions.

Franki Brandt-Pethtel, the Director of Operations for Bond Jewelers in the Tampa Bay Area, thinks maintaining a proper dress code shows respect for your employer, clients and yourself.

“Would you purchase an expensive piece of fine jewelry from a woman with a green Mohawk and sleeve full of tats? That’s why I wear a suit to work every day. My personal expression can wait until my day off,” she said.

While it’s ultimately up to each organization’s culture to deem what is fit, various human resource professionals believe general dress guidelines are useful as they create some parameters and expectations around what is considered appropriate.  At the same time, allowing some freedom of individual expression can have positive impacts on company culture and employee satisfaction.

“You may be memorable, but make sure you are memorable for the right reasons,” said Kurtz. “Be yourself, but don’t let your appearance or behaviors detract from your selling points: your intelligence, accomplishments, strengths and experience.”

 

Business-Meetings

Before you decide on an outfit for any professional appointment, carefully consider your audience. If you’re meeting someone abroad, research what the locals wear for business meetings and dress accordingly. When meeting with a high-level executive, do your best to mirror what he or she will wear.

For men, putting your best look forward often comes down a clean, crisp look from head to toe. Svelte suit. Slick tie. Shined shoes. Spruced hair. For women, the same rules apply. An equally unfettered, conservative — basically safe — professional look is often the best choice for meetings, regardless of your gender. If you wear a skirt with your blazer and blouse instead of dress pants, double check that it’s not too short.

 

Tech start-ups

Startups are notoriously contrarian cultures; they are looking to change the status quo. Dressing in a suit represents the status quo, or at least, a caricature of it.

Silicon Valley has a peculiar and yet virulent bias against the suit. It’s even a euphemism for an overly conservative, corporate-buzzword-speaking, pointy-haired Dilbert boss. No one wants to work with an “empty suit”. Software engineers help strongly define the culture in Silicon Valley, and they overwhelmingly don’t wear suits, or in general they don’t want to work with people who do.

If you are meeting with a tech startup, business casual dress is often the way to go.

Source:  Entrepreneur.com

 

The Power of Power Couples

Power Couples

The Power of Power Couples

The term “power couple” usually evokes images of wealth, charisma, and glamour, but for many prominent professional couples, life in the dual-career lane can be anything but a smooth ride.

There are many challenges in maintaining a loving relationship and a chaos-free household when both partners work long hours and may often travel. Here are some of their road-tested ideas for making such relationships work:

Put the relationship first.

Marriages require a lot of care, feeding and attention, but, the relationship is unfortunately the thing that tends to get neglected first.  It’s important to be fully present for your spouse as much as possible. Steve Vassallo, a partner at Foundation Capital, uses a metaphor to make this point. “It’s like being in an airplane when the oxygen masks come down,” he says. “You’ve got to make sure that the relationship is healthy before you worry about other things.”

Define your roles.

As a management consultant for Strategy & (formerly Booz & Company), Alex Conrad spent a good deal of her career on the road, while her husband, Parker Conrad, co-founded companies in the Bay Area–most recently Zenefits, a free human-resources platform. Neither Alex nor Parker had much time to focus on home life. So they worked out an arrangement early on: She would handle the tasks that could be done remotely, like paying the bills; he would take care of anything that needed to be done in person. “Just being explicit in advance about what your roles are is really helpful,” Alex says.

Set your limits.

When Hagel was returning to her job at the Boston Consulting Group after earning her MBA in 2012, she knew that her spouse would be traveling a lot, “so one of my non-negotiables was that I didn’t want to be on the road all the time,” she recalls. Similarly, Eva Sage-Gavin turned down several lucrative job offers over the years so that her daughter, an only child, could grow up surrounded by uncles, aunts, and cousins in Northern California. “Without a doubt,” she says, “you’ve got to define what is important to you as a family, and you’ve got to stick to it.”

Outsource whatever you can.

The Vassallos experimented with a variety of caretaking arrangements for their three young children before settling on hiring a nanny who could also serve as a domestic executive assistant. “A big turning point for me was when I realized that it was as cost-effective to hire a nanny in the Bay Area as it is to have two kids in full-time daycare,” Trae says. Besides helping with the children, their nanny does the grocery shopping, child chauffeuring, and other routine errands. “By having logistical things taken care of on the home front, I feel like we’re able to spend real quality time with our kids,” she says.

Have realistic expectations.

People often think they know exactly what they want in a future spouse, including good looks, brains, earning power, and the disposition to be a good parent. But Dennis Gavin cautions against “over-optimization” in that department. “I guarantee there are a bunch of [men] in this room who say, ‘I really want to marry someone who is a brilliant [career person],’ but then when they get married, they also want their spouse to have kids and be a supermom,” he says. It’s critical for dual-career couples to have an open dialogue about their expectations before marriage.

Remember that the laundry really can wait.

Another strategy that is helpful is to lower your “Martha Stewart” standards. Perhaps it’s best to live in a small apartment that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. If the laundry isn’t folded promptly, remember it’s no big deal.

Keep rituals.

While they were dating and attending Stanford GSB, Lindsey Scrase and Theresa Hagel started taking long walks together in the campus foothills. The regular outings gave them the time and space to talk about big agenda issues in their lives–work-life balance, mental and physical health, finances, and relationships with family and friends–before they became problematic. Now married and living in San Francisco, they take walks in the city at least twice a month to check in with each other on the bigger issues.

 

Reference/Source: http://www.inc.com/stanford-business/how-power-couples-balance-work-and-family.html

Managing The Multi-Generational Office

For the first time in modern history, workplace demographics now span four generations!   Today we see 20-year-old new hires working side-by-side with colleagues who are older than they are by 50 years or more.

This rich mix of generations in the workforce is often attributed to labor shortages experienced in many industries along with the rising average age of retirement.  Boomers are also working beyond retirement.  One study finds that eight out of ten Baby Boomers expect to work at least part time in their so-called retirement years. [1] In the meantime, the number of Millennials entering the workforce is only growing!

Figure 1: From AARP:  Leading an Intergenerational Workforce, p. 8 at http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/money/employers/leading_multigenerational_workforce.pdf
Figure 1: From AARP: Leading an Intergenerational Workforce, p. 8 at http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/money/employers/leading_multigenerational_workforce.pdf

An intergenerational workplace must support real communication and understanding across all ages, and it must understand – and build upon – the unique values and strengths of each generation. Businesses that pay attention to intergenerational issues will see an impact on their bottom line in a number of areas including the following:


Communication:
The younger generation has grown up communicating in text messages, tweets, and instant messages. Baby boomers and older Gen Xers tend to prefer phone calls and emails. To further muddle the communication, different generations may use different abbreviations, informal language, and colloquialisms.

Everyone needs to make a concerted effort to communicate in the way each person prefers, especially leaders and employers. Face to face team building exercises and ice breakers may help to break down some of the barriers that can occur with digital communications. [3]

Corporate Culture: Educating employees on generational issues can boost understanding, respect and productivity. One example: younger generations may speak to their employers more casually, which may be interpreted by older generations as lacking respect.

Younger managers and workers may feel that time spent in the office is not as vital as your results and are more open to teleworking. Generation Y may value and expect a more healthy work-life balance, including the time to have a life outside of working. For leaders, it is best to approach the issue by allowing individuals to work in the style that’s best for them and acknowledge the efforts of each team member. [3]

Millennials are the fastest growing cohort, comprising 15 percent of the U.S. workforce.
By 2011, their participation will swell to 25 percent.[2] 

To recruit and retain them, organizations will need to understand and appeal to their perspectives, communication styles, and work ethic.

Recruitment: Recruitment messages geared to each generation will attract talent across the age spectrum.  Targeted recruitment of mature workers gives employers a competitive advantage in acquiring the right talent.  At the same time, knowing how to attract younger workers is crucial to ensuring future business success and leadership.

Also be aware of negative stereotypes. “Lazy”, “entitled”, and “tech obsessed”, are just a few of the terms that may come to mind when older workers think about millennials. Baby boomers may be perceived by their younger peers as stubborn, set in their ways, and difficult to train. Leaders can help the situation by looking for and intervening when there is misunderstanding and generational judgment.

Employee Engagement:  Managers who know what motivates employees of different generations are more effective in keeping them engaged.  Employee satisfaction is higher when they believe that career development opportunities are equal for all, regardless of age.

How Millennial Are You? Take this quiz to find out! 

Also be aware of negative stereotypes. “Lazy”, “entitled”, and “tech obsessed”, are just a few of the terms that may come to mind when older workers think about millennials. Baby boomers may be perceived by their younger peers as stubborn, set in their ways, and difficult to train. Leaders can help the situation by looking for and intervening when there is misunderstanding and generational judgment.

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Retention:  All generations want their contributions to be recognized. Rewards and recognition should reflect each group preferences and priorities. Employee benefits which are geared to the needs of different generations can build loyalty and retention.

Customer Service:  Each generation has unique service preferences. Businesses that understand and adapt to those preferences will attract and retain customers across the age spectrum.

While creating an inter-generational workspace may take more time, customization, and intentionality; there are several benefits to be gained by the whole organization when a multigenerational team works well together.

The team can attract and retain talented people of all ages.

  1. The team is more flexible.
  2. The team can gain and maintain greater market share because its members reflect a multi-generation market.
  3. Decisions are stronger because they’re broad-based with multiple perspectives.
  4. The team is more innovative and creative.
  5. The team can meet the needs of a diverse public and can relate more effectively

As employers strive to recruit and retain the best and the brightest, they should look to attract mature workers and young minds with fresh ideas.  Both are part of a crucial mix. Combined with recruitment practices, the right combination of policies and practices is also key to a productive, engaged, and “age-neutral” workforce.

If you’re looking for an office space that appeals to multiple generations be sure to explore our many Barrister Executive Suites Office Spaces available throughout Southern California. We offer traditional offices as well as virtual offices to meet your team’s diverse needs. Many of our offices are also located around cultural centers with restaurants, fitness centers, theaters and more to assist you with maintaining a work-life balance that’s right for you.

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Learn more about the multi-generational office at http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/money/employers/leading_multigenerational_workforce.pdf

 

[1]  AARP, Baby Boomers Envision Retirement II: Survey of Baby Boomers’ Expectations for Retirement (Washington, DC, September 2004), 24.

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics (see chart)

[3] Fallon, N. (2014, June 16). Tackling the Challenges of the Multigenerational Workforce. Retrieved from Business News Daily: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6609-multigenerational-workforce-challenges.html

The Power of the Receptionist!

If you ask someone to name the most important person in their business they’d likely name the CEO, a manager or the top sales representative.  But the most crucial person may actually be the person you wouldn’t expect:  your receptionist!

When clients or visitors enter your business for the first time, the person to greet them is typically not the CEO or sales manager. It is the receptionist.  This is the person who creates the first impression that a client or visitor has of your business and it’s essential to choose the right receptionist for your company’s image.

While many people view the role of the receptionist as minor, this couldn’t be farther from the truth! The role of the receptionist is vital to the smooth operation of any office. Duties often include: acting as an ambassador by welcoming people to your business, screening phone calls, and directing client traffic throughout the work day. Organizational skills are an intrinsic part of the receptionist’s job, as is diplomacy, proper etiquette, and good judgment. Good receptionists will create a welcoming atmosphere for your clients and visitors; they help to keep the staff organized; and they serve as an information center for clients, visitors, and employees.

 

A company’s CEO may set the tone for corporate culture and brand, but it’s the staff that reinforces it with the clients.  Effective company owners know that their customers’ experiences start with the person who answers the phone and greets people at the door.  The receptionist!

Some have suggested there is a trend towards the removal of the receptionist position altogether.  This trend – often seen within start-ups or technology companies –is often a result of financial restraints.  These companies believe a receptionist area is a poor use of real estate and/or they believe a receptionist salary can be better applied to a position they consider more important.  Some of these companies are using various technologies to greet their visitors and while these endeavors can be successful in certain industries, most companies eventually realize the need for a live receptionist.

At Barrister Executive Suites, we offer highly trained and professional receptionists and they are included as a part of our Full Time Office and Virtual Office programs.  Our hiring process for receptionists is very selective; the average length of time that a receptionist has been with us is 5 years!

Learn more about these Barrister Office Programs and discover the right space for you….at the right price…and with the right receptionist!

Virtual Offices and the Changing Landscape of Doing Business

A recent survey found that nearly 2 out of 3 large companies in the U.S. allow occasional telecommuting.  That number is nearly double what it was in 2005. Furthermore, 33% of employers allow for regular telecommuting, a third of all large companies! These numbers show an obvious trend towards virtual offices in the United States.

Barrister Suites Traditional VS Virtual Offices

A small number of businesses are doing away with the traditional office altogether, though this is much rarer. Relying on tools such as Dropbox and Slack, these companies consist mostly of tech companies like Mozilla, Basecamp, Upworthy, and Flexjobs. The list consists of 76 companies, up 50 from last year’s 26… a huge jump! Software startup NodeSource is a 100% virtual company, with no headquarters, and employees working from all over the world. They give their employees Airbnb stipends, and meet up once a year for an annual company retreat. CEO Joe McCann admits he has not met all of his employees in person, which he says is “super weird,” but points out that office communication is not what is used to be. Many people sit at their desks with their headphones on, and communication is done mostly by an instant messaging program… if the same thing can be done from home, then why not? McCann says, “There’s this … myth that you gotta put them in the same room, but they don’t even talk to each other in person.” He continues, saying he tells new employees “Your job is not important–your life is.”

His idea for a 100% virtual company stems from his own experience working abroad in 2010. Arrangements like this rely on trust and open communication. McCann is very pleased with the way things are going, stating “It’s self-elevating because they feel this level of responsibility and autonomy in their lives–the results have been outstanding. My concern is how does that scale. I don’t know. We’re learning as we grow, but that core philosophy, that your life is the most important thing, has worked tremendously well.”

While the companies who started the trend of working partially remote – or fully remote – were tech companies, this business model now works effectively for a variety of companies.  Barrister Executive Suites is a leader in virtual offices and we offer various programs to suit your company’s needs.   Each of our virtual office programs provides all the benefits of a physical office at a fraction of the cost, whether you need an office for a week while traveling, or a conference room for a day.  Learn more about our Barrister Executive Suites Virtual Offices Programs.

Tips to Improve Your Focus!

It’s an understatement to say that focusing on one thing at a time in the office can be difficult. But if you want to succeed at work – or in life – learning how to focus is essential!  It’s hard to do anything, let alone do anything well, if you can’t concentrate on it.

According to one Time Magazine article, nearly 50% of American employees say they work for only 15 minutes in the office before becoming distracted and 53% report wasting an hour or more a day because of disruptions. From constant noise to overflowing inboxes to feeling stressed or fatigued, almost anything can cause people to lose focus.

The good thing about focus is that it’s a skill you can learn and improve. It takes practice and experimenting with different methods, but you can improve your ability to focus!  Check out these 6 tips for keeping yourself on focus.

 

  1. Start Off the Day Right! – Your Mom was right!  You should start off each day with a good breakfast. That bowl of cereal or oatmeal may do more than jump start metabolism – studies have found that eating breakfast can actually improve attention and concentration.  Eating protein-rich food at breakfast can often reduce the distracting need for snacking later in the day.

Barrister Office Rentals in Southern California Breakfast Focus

 

  1. One Thing At a Time – Technology can be a blessing or a curse.  Every time something dings, beeps, or flashes, you’re no longer 100% focused on what you were doing. The next time you sit down to focus, turn off your notifications for Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram, Dropbox, etc. —that’s right, turn off every last one.  Keep in mind that your likes, comments, and email messages will all still be there when you’re ready to look.

 

  1. Clean Up Your Workspace – Post-Its notes, snacks, and even family photos can become a distraction. Clear off the workspace and only have what’s really needed (computer, notebook, water-bottle, etc.).  Reducing unnecessary clutter can help you to stay focused and in “in the zone!”

Barrister SoCal Office Space For Rent Cluttered Desk Focus

 

 

  1. Group Your Tasks Together – It has become the norm to have to wear multiple hats at the workplace.  Unfortunately it can take your brain 15 minutes or more to regain the same intense focus or flow as before the interruption. Every time you switch tasks, your brain needs at least that amount of time to get back into the work. If you switch tasks just four times in a morning, that’s an hour of total focus you’ve lost!  Stay focused by “batching” your tasks.  Batching builds off the idea of only working on one type of task at a given time. Instead of jumping from one project to another, do all your related tasks in one block of time.  By “batching” the work you have to accomplish, you reduce the need to constantly shift gears.

 

  1. Take a Break – This may seem counterproductive at first, but taking a break can help to increase focus.  As humans, our attention spans need variety, and we can’t always control our thoughts or motivations. No matter how motivated or focused you are, you can’t stay that way forever.  Studies have shown that you’re much more likely to get work done quickly and efficiently if you take some breaks away from your desk.  Do some stretches, daydream, or go for a walk.  Remember that some of our Barrister Executive Suite locations are close to the beach.  Take off your shoes, breath in the ocean air, and enjoy a break on the beach.

 

  1. Create Your Own Space – Some people can maintain focus around many people and considerable noises.  Other people – and certain types of tasks – require a space that is all your own.  Take advantage of the individual private offices offered by Barrister Suites and keep your focus on your work. 
Beverly Hills Office for Rent
Private offices in Beverly Hills, The Wells Fargo Bank Building

 

  1. Reward Yourself!  – Motivation is essential when attempting to maintain focus, and rewarding yourself for maintaining focus helps to build positive patterns.  Promise yourself a break if you spend 1 hour doing a task you find especially difficult.  Reward yourself for finishing your PowerPoint presentation by visiting the employee lounge or break room for your favorite snack.  Be creative with your rewards and watch your ability to focus grow!

Office Space Rentals Beverly Hills Break Cappucino