4 Common Business Meeting Mistakes to Avoid

Business meetings have a longstanding reputation for being unexciting. Sitcoms, films and even stock photo collections are filled with scenes of employees looking at the clock, rolling their eyes and falling asleep while the presenter seems to drone on interminably.

Though these staged “boring meetings” may be slightly exaggerated on camera, they’re not too far from the truth: A recent survey by enterprise intranet company Igloo Software found that about half of all employees find meetings to be unproductive. The most common meeting pet peeves reflect this sentiment, with unnecessary meetings (76 percent), meetings going off-topic (59 percent) and people repeating one another (58 percent) topping the list.

“There’s an interesting trend in the most popular pet peeves, and it’s that they all lead to inefficiency,” said Amanda Milligan, a spokeswoman for Igloo Software and project manager of the survey. “When people sense a meeting is lacking in productivity, they’re less likely to retain confidence it’s a good use of their time, and thus they disengage.”

It’s important for managers to evaluate how they’re conducting meetings — and how often — to see if it’s the best for their teams, Milligan said. If your employees don’t seem to get anything out of company

Is It Good for Business?

You don’t have to break the bank to get a great 2-in-1 laptop for work. Lenovo’s Yoga 700 is much more affordable than its more premium counterpart, the Yoga 900, although it’s also noticeably thicker and heavier. There’s still a lot to love about the Yoga 700, which starts at just $529 with a nice 14-inch display, fast performance and a sturdy, flexible design that lets you use the machine like an oversize tablet. But are there better options at this price point?
Design

The Yoga 700 is all business, with a black matte plastic lid and a matching keyboard deck made from black plastic. It’s a forgettable design, especially compared to the flashy Yoga 900. At least I like the look of the laptop’s silver hinges, and its gently rounded corner makes it easy for users to hang on to it.

And you’ll have little trouble lugging the Yoga 700 around, thanks to its relatively light weight and thin design. At 0.72 inches thick and weighing 3.5 lbs., it’s noticeably more portable than rival 14 inchers like the Acer Aspire R 14 (0.73 inches and 4 lbs.) and the Toshiba Satellite Radius 14 (0.86 inches and 4.5 lbs.). But while the

4 Ways to Break Through a Creative Slump

Authors call it “writer’s block,” but regardless of your profession, the problem is the same. You’re trying to get inspired, but you just feel as if you’re hitting a mental brick wall.

When your job requires constant creativity and innovation, a lull in creative thinking can mean lower productivity, work quality and output — a dangerous combination for professionals faced with tight deadlines from their bosses and clients. This external pressure may only worsen the situation, and lead to a vicious cycle of creative roadblocks.

You might not be able to avoid these slumps entirely, but there are things you can do to recharge your brain more quickly. Business leaders shared their tips for breaking through inspirational walls and jumpstarting your creativity. [What’s Your Most Productive Work Time? How to Find Out]
Change your environment

The verdict may still be out on the health effects of sitting at a desk all day, but one thing is certain: Remaining in the same exact spot for 8 or more hours per day can really stifle your creativity. If you’re feeling stuck, try a change of scenery.

“Creatives often need to physically move around, change spaces and divert their minds from the immediate task to help stimulate

What Gift? Most Leaving Co-Workers Off Holiday Shopping List

Compared to years past, there won’t be as much gift-giving around the office this holiday season, new research finds.

Fewer workers are planning to give holiday gifts to co-workers, bosses, direct reports and other colleagues this year, and those who are, are planning to spend less, according to a study from the staffing firm Spherion.

Specifically, only 31 percent of employees will give gifts to their co-workers at their level this year, down from 38 percent in 2014, while just 28 percent are planning to give gifts to their boss, which is down from 34 percent a year ago. Additionally, 19 percent of the workers surveyed will give gifts to other colleagues, a decline from 24 percent in 2014.

The research also found that only 17 percent of bosses plan to get their direct reports a holiday present this year, down slightly from last year’s 18 percent.

The pressure of having to buy something for everyone can be contributed to this year’s drop, with 41 percent of workers saying it’s just too much. [5 Unique Businesses That Make Gift Giving Easier ]

Even those who are planning to get co-workers and bosses holiday gifts won’t be going all out as they’ve done previously. The study

Choosing the Right App Maker For You

Looking for an app maker to build a mobile app for your business? Here are three important things you need to figure out:

1. Do you want to build the mobile app yourself?

2. What type of app does your business need?

3. What features does your app require?

In this guide, we will help you answer those questions, but if you already know what you need and just want to see our recommendations for the best app maker, visit our best picks page.

The first step in choosing a mobile app maker is deciding whether you want to build the app yourself or hire a professional developer. The decision essentially boils down to your skill level and how much you’re willing to spend.

The easiest, quickest and most affordable way to build a mobile app yourself is to use a DIY mobile app maker.
What is a DIY mobile app maker?

Small businesses can use a variety of online services to create mobile apps, without the costs associated with hiring a developer. These platforms provide you with the tools you need to create and publish mobile apps on your own — and they don’t require any tech skills.

The best part about DIY mobile app makers is