Blue Ocean Facilities Receives 2020 Best of Cincinnati Award

CINCINNATI January 10, 2020 – Blue Ocean Facilities has been selected for the 2020 Best of Cincinnati Award in the Space Planning category by the Cincinnati Award Program.

Under the Direction and Leadership of Ellyn Bain (27, Cincinnati), Blue Ocean Facilities has identified exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Cincinnati area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Cincinnati Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Cincinnati Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Cincinnati Award Program

The Cincinnati Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Cincinnati area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Cincinnati Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Cincinnati Award Program

CONTACT:
Cincinnati Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@2020townranking.org
URL: www.2020townranking.org

How Your Workspace is Affecting Your Productivity

Everyone wants to do well at their jobs, and the key aspect that everyone is talks about is productivity. This makes sense as it’s the most easily quantifiable value we can place on your work.

But unless your job is strictly task-based and routine, productivity can take on different forms. Problem solving approaches are as varied as personality types and its important to try and accommodate your team as much as possible to help them be their best.

In your attempts to help them succeed, you’ve taken them through training programs and ran through team-building exercises to try and single out special talents and abilities. But have you thought about the spaces that they work in? Our environments affect us in ways we don’t realize – while one person may thrive in a traditional office environment, another may find them tiresome or constraining. Whether this stems from personal preference or preconceived notions is up for debate depending on the person, the result is usually the same – they may get their work done, but they are unable to thrive.

Fortunately, this is a fairly easy issue to tackle. The key is to properly designate spaces for different methods of work and furnish them accordingly (don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be expensive). Here are a few ways to create spaces that can help bring out the best in your team:

Ergonomics

One of the most important but often overlooked factors is the ergonomics of the office space. From chairs to desks, keyboards, monitors – you name it – ergonomics affect our every action and can deeply affect our moods and mindsets on a subconscious level. Standing desks are a great investment as they provide relief from sitting all day, but comfortable office chairs and specially designed keyboards and mice can also provide much needed relief.

Breakout Spaces

A great breakout space is an informal area where people can relax a little from the tension of the main office areas. Allow your team to either relax for a little bit or use the space in fun ways that allow them to approach problems creatively. Consider providing a big whiteboard for people to have fun with and work out ideas with others!

Color affects us more than you might think

If you’ve seen offices working to implement bright colors into their spaces, there’s more behind it than simply trying to appear fun. Studies have shown that the colors of our environments can actually affect our productivity! Low-wavelength colors such as blue and green help improve efficiency and focus while mid-wavelength colors like yellow can create a sense of happiness. If you need a room to get your team psyched up, you could even use a high-wavelength color such as red that can boost energy!

As we learn more and more about ourselves as humans, we’re realizing that holistic approaches are so important to how we approach the world around us and the problems we look to solve. Where we work affects how we work, and successful teams take these factors into consideration when looking to increase productivity.

The Myth of Team Building

If you’ve noticed that your team is suffering from low morale or growing tensions, you’re first instinct is likely to hire a consulting firm that specializes in team building. The concept has been ingrained in corporate culture and you’ve likely encountered wonderful promises to get your team back in line after only a few hours of activities.

But the reality is, there are teams that dread the thought of team-building exercises. Many of them are geared towards athletic feats that have nothing to do with an office environment, or maybe they’re just uncomfortable (sharing personal secrets to “build trust” simply doesn’t work). Or maybe you have a group of introverts that don’t like being in the spotlight, so they spend the whole day nervous trying to avoid it.

So what can be done to build genuine relationships and resolve issues?

Reflect on your own leadership style

Sometimes a little introspection and readjustment could be all it takes. It’s easy to get into a stride as a leader and continue to do things that were successful before, but as situations and challenges change its necessary to take a step back occasionally and reassess.

Take time to evaluate your interactions with your team and, if your brave enough, allow them to challenge you by discussing their needs and issues with your leadership style directly. You’ll need to be able to distance yourself from the instinct to be defensive, but there’s a good chance you’ll gain useful insight.

Tackle the problem head-on

If there are growing tensions, it’s best to not dance around the subject. This is where team building exercises often fail – some might be a little helpful in talking about how to handle conflict, but they still don’t address the problem as if it will magically work itself out.

If the issue is between two people or a group, step in as a moderator and don’t be afraid to make a tough call. While you naturally want to make everyone happy, there are times when it just isn’t possible and middle ground isn’t achieved (for instance, if someone is frequently pushing boundaries). Be sure you aren’t playing favorites, either. Be sure to thoroughly hear out each side of the story and make sure they know you’re actually listening.

Take a break

Sometimes all it takes is to just get people out of the office and let them be themselves. It doesn’t need to be some grand adventure in hiking or water rafting – once again, the environment should be neutral to all personality types. Something as simple as a team picnic where they can invite family or friends could boost morale drastically. Just make sure to schedule it on a weekday – your team will more than likely be frustrated if you ask them to take a day of their weekend to attend what is still ultimately a work function.

Have you tried Blue Ocean? We offer ocean themed, bright sun-filled rooms that provide fun surroundings to instantly engage your team. All inclusive pricing, catering available plus on-site room coordinators mean we handle the details so you don’t have to!

Beat the Afternoon Slump!

We’ve all experienced it – that feeling of drowsiness that starts to creep in after lunch and you realize you still have half your day to go. What’s even worse is when you’ve hit a slump with your job and it starts to happen every day. Everyone always wants to perform their best, but sometimes our bodies work against that.

So, what can you do? Coffee is the go-to answer for many, but eventually your body adjusts to the caffeine and it takes more and more to even stave off headaches. Fortunately, there are other healthy and more effective methods to avoid the midday slump without resorting to sugary energy drinks.

1. Get moving

There are a couple of ways that moving around could help you out. First, a mid-day trip to the gym could benefit more than you realize. We’re not talking about a full-on routine, but many people enjoy engaging in some light aerobic exercise to get the blood pumping a bit and keep their body alert.

Changing locations can help reset your brain as well. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to take your work anywhere, we encourage you to take advantage of it. Take a trip to your local coffee shop or library, or even grab your laptop and simply change rooms. The fresh space can work to make you more alert instead of sitting in the same space all day.

2. Eyes feeling heavy? It could be your screen

This one can be a little more difficult for people whose jobs revolve around staring at a screen all day, but it turns out that eye-fatigue could be simulating sleepiness. We encourage frequent breaks from your screen to reduce the effects.

3. A healthy snack could do the trick

While you may not be hungry enough for a full meal, or if you’re cutting back for a diet, it’s still important to consider that you may not be getting enough calories to provide your body with the crucial energy it needs.

While we know that it’s tempting to make a quick trip to the snack machine, it’s entirely possible to have a satisfying snack that provides you with good nutrition while still tasting great. We recommend high-protein snacks such as nuts to stave off low energy. At Blue Ocean, we combine snacks with energy in mind. We offer a mixture of salty and sweet snacks like gourmet nuts, chocolate covered pretzels, Swedish fish, and other fun treats.

4. You may just need to switch focus

Our brains aren’t always capable of focusing on a singular task for hours on end. When we get bored, we start to get tired. While meeting deadlines is important, you could actually be working against yourself by keeping your nose to the grindstone.

If possible, plan your days to spread out time between different tasks. The new challenges each task brings will help keep your brain active and engaged, and you may find an increase in overall productivity!

5. Make sure to bring headphones

Noise-isolating headphones are fantastic for helping you hone in your focus. They create a barrier between you and the constant distractions of busy environments (especially if you like to work in coffee shops). But if you pick energetic music, you may find yourself becoming more energetic as well! Tastes obviously vary greatly from person to person, but it’s easier than ever to find music that will suit the situation and help reign you in for the task at hand.

At Blue Ocean, we’re dedicated to providing you with a creative space that helps your whole team beat the afternoon slump. We have natural-light filled rooms, lively décor and much more. Give us a call to learn more!

New to the organization? Here are some ways to take the lead.

When starting a leadership role with a new organization, earning trust and learning to communicate with a new group of people can be a daunting task. What may have worked well at your previous position may not work with a new group of people, and it’s important to adapt quickly to your new environment. Instead of rushing to make everyone work around your system as soon as you step in, we recommend the following tactics to earn the trust and respect of your new team.

Listen

While this is one of the most obvious answers, we can’t stress it enough. You were hired because of your potential and good performance, but the processes you developed aren’t guaranteed to work in a different environment. You should be as adaptable as you expect your team to be as you move forward, and that requires asking questions about how things are currently done and developing a plan that is custom fit for the needs and goals.

Share

It’s hard to expect your team to begin trusting you if you are emotionally distant. Talk to them about who you are and make yourself accessible as a person so they can relate to you as someone that isn’t just a hierarchal figure. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it’ll be to earn people’s trust.

Serve

A leader’s position isn’t simply to give orders in order to meet quotas and nothing more. The best leaders are revered because they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and work alongside their team, not above them. Look for ways you can raise moral by offering extra assistance with projects where you can and responding to concerns that you can fix.

The goal of a leader is to be relatable and accessible. Not only will your new team warm up to you much quicker and appreciate you, but positioning yourself this way will allow you to address your blind spots as well by allowing your team to be honest with problem areas. Consider taking the new team offsite to begin to form the relationship with you and the team. A creative offsite venue allows everyone to begin to gel as a team without the office constraints and interruptions. Check out our clients in action here.

Why Creative Spaces Matter

Why do people travel away from their offices for off-site meetings? Why don’t entrepreneurs trust the comfy aura of their homes for strategizing the launch of their new products?

It’s because the space around us has a colossal impact on our thought process. More than that, a new space gives us a break from the same-old four walls we see every day.

The impact of a new meeting space is particularly more when it is decked out creatively and artistically.

Here’s why we think a creative space can lead to a more productive and effective meeting:

Brings Out the Creativity in Everyone

Perhaps we are all guilty of blaming someone around us for being too unimaginative and mediocre. They are not to blame, but the space and the environment around us can make or break our creativity.

Like the renowned artist, John Paul once said, “You’re a lot more creative than you think.”

We are all creative in our own ways; we just need a small push to come forth.

A meeting held in a creative space can help you come up with a stack of fresh, innovative ideas.

Nostalgic Settings Trigger Child-Like Imagination

Some meeting rooms have vintage furniture, toys that used to be prevalent during the last century, or artwork that is reminiscent of the past.

The recollection of our childhood days can unconsciously rekindle our child-like imagination. It can take us to the days when we used to have a thriving imagination.

A Creative Space Incites the Senses

We have five senses, don’t we? Why not surround ourselves with a space that will engage all of them?

With all the five senses in high gear, imagine what our brain can do!

With the coffee brewing nearby, colorful décor surrounding us, unknown antiquities to inspect, perhaps a snack you’ve never tasted before, and music from the satellite radio, our senses are certain to come to life, and when they do, creativity abounds.

Blue Ocean Facilities offers the 3 unique meeting rooms to cater to your team needs. Give us a call for a tour or further info!

Combating Winter Office Blues

Every year leaders are confronted with the challenge of maintaining office moral in the winter season. Millions struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder every year, the short daylight hours affect sleep habits, and leaders should be aware that they are not exempt from struggling with these issues as well.

So what can you do to help both your team and yourself? We’ve got a few tips for you:

1. Improve the lighting of the office – One of the easiest ways to combat the winter office blues is to ensure that the space is well-lit. Investing in proper lighting helps to reverse the lack of sunshine. It’s also worth looking into lights that emit UV rays to simulate sunshine for an extra boost.

2. Encourage healthy eating – Encouraging your team to eat healthier on a more regular basis is always helpful, but it can have a big effect on your team during the winter months. Healthy eating encourages healthy sleep habits and helps to ward off depression, both of which are crucial during winter months.

3. Promote community with winter activities – Many people experience bouts of loneliness in the winter seasons, so it’s a good idea to get people away from their desks and communicating with each other. Make your team hot chocolate and s’mores or have fun games that bring everyone together.

4. Get out of the office for a day – Sometimes the best remedy is to change the environment, and it always helps if the environment is unique and creative. End of year and beginning of year meetings are always important, so give them an extra edge and your team a respite from the typical office environment with an off-site meeting space.

If you’re interested in a creative space near you, contact us at Blue Ocean Facilities today to schedule your meeting at 513-842-6323!

Benefits of Off-Site Meetings

Meetings are important for bringing people together to share ideas and relay information, but many organizations find themselves struggling to have truly effective meetings where their team members aren’t bored or distracted by everything else going on in the office. Off-site meetings aren’t necessarily a new idea to combat these issues, but many people assume that “off-site” means an expensive meeting space and sending members across the country for days. The truth is that off-site meeting spaces are becoming more and more common in your area, and it’s time to take advantage of the benefits.

Improve your relationships

You could have the best team members of their respective fields, but they’ll still be severely inhibited in what they can accomplish if their relationships with each other aren’t solid. Off-site meetings bring everyone into a new space that can facilitate new conversations and bring people together that may not have gotten off to a great start or don’t have many chances to build a working relationship while in the office.

Increase your productivity

It’s a fairly common understanding that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to step away from it for a bit and come back to it with a fresh mind. You may be surprised how much this applies to getting the whole team together in a new environment! Off-site meeting spaces can facilitate creative thinking by simply bringing people out of their comfort zones and ruts of their typical day-to-day.

Encourage communication

Sometimes our offices are inhibiting conversations in ways that we just can’t see. Physical space between coworkers can put up mental blocks, and many people prefer face-to-face communication. Off-site meeting spaces are often very open to walk around in, and since people don’t feel confined to their desks, they can simply walk over to a coworker they don’t speak to often. On top of building relationships as mentioned earlier, this can be a great facilitator for new ideas!

Improve moral

While you’re still getting together for the sake of business, your team is likely to see an off-site meeting as a mini retreat, especially when it’s a fun space. Most people love days where they can get out of the office, and they often result in your team coming back to the office refreshed and ready to get to work on the ideas facilitated by the brief but fun getaway.

If you’re interested in a local, affordable space that provides all of the amenities you’ll need along with a fun space, contact Blue Ocean today to book your meeting!

Benefits of Off-Site Meetings

Meetings are important for bringing people together to share ideas and relay information, but many organizations find themselves struggling to have truly effective meetings where their team members aren’t bored or distracted by everything else going on in the office. Off-site meetings aren’t necessarily a new idea to combat these issues, but many people assume that “off-site” means an expensive meeting space and sending members across the country for days. The truth is that off-site meeting spaces are becoming more and more common in your area, and it’s time to take advantage of the benefits.

Improve your relationships

You could have the best team members of their respective fields, but they’ll still be severely inhibited in what they can accomplish if their relationships with each other aren’t solid. Off-site meetings bring everyone into a new space that can facilitate new conversations and bring people together that may not have gotten off to a great start or don’t have many chances to build a working relationship while in the office.

Increase your productivity

It’s a fairly common understanding that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to step away from it for a bit and come back to it with a fresh mind. You may be surprised how much this applies to getting the whole team together in a new environment! Off-site meeting spaces can facilitate creative thinking by simply bringing people out of their comfort zones and ruts of their typical day-to-day.

Encourage communication

Sometimes our offices are inhibiting conversations in ways that we just can’t see. Physical space between coworkers can put up mental blocks, and many people prefer face-to-face communication. Off-site meeting spaces are often very open to walk around in, and since people don’t feel confined to their desks, they can simply walk over to a coworker they don’t speak to often. On top of building relationships as mentioned earlier, this can be a great facilitator for new ideas!

Improve moral

While you’re still getting together for the sake of business, your team is likely to see an off-site meeting as a mini retreat, especially when it’s a fun space. Most people love days where they can get out of the office, and they often result in your team coming back to the office refreshed and ready to get to work on the ideas facilitated by the brief but fun getaway.

If you’re interested in a local, affordable space that provides all of the amenities you’ll need along with a fun space, contact Blue Ocean today to book your meeting!

Communicate Smarter

Modern communication is instant and convenient – but if we’re not thoughtful about how we communicate, it can still be ineffective. Mindful communication practices are a must to stand out among the constant barrage of information, so here are three tips to help you improve your standards of communication:

1 – Listen to Your Team

Many leaders get in the habit of simply relaying information or giving instruction without receiving feedback from their team, which is not only frustrating to team members who have good ideas but only serves to hurt your organization in the long run. Take time to hear out team members and you may be surprised with the results.

2 – Use Visuals

We aren’t simply talking about text on PowerPoint presentations here (many people have started to inadvertently tune out whenever they see one). Humans are visual creatures so during presentations, it’s recommended that you utilize relevant, professional graphics to help reinforce what you’re talking about. Be careful to not overwhelm a single slide with too many graphics, though. We suggest a “Rule of 3” – no more than three lines of text or graphics per slide.

Visuals don’t always have to pertain to presentations, either. Get creative with your workspace and create simple visual reminders around the office that are unobtrusive an fun while still communicating your message.

3 – Change the environment

Sometimes it takes a change of environment to draw the attention of your team. You might assume that there could be a distracting “sensory overload” if you were to meet in a different or renovated space, but the opposite can happen if you’re in the same meeting space all the time. Something as simple as rearranging the meeting space in your office could help, or you could go even further and schedule meetings at an off-site meeting space. These spaces are great for getting those creative juices flowing for problem solving or those quarterly/annual meetings where you want to treat your members.

If you’re interested in an off-site meeting space with great amenities, free parking, and a great location, contact Blue Ocean Facilities today to plan your next meeting!

5 Redeeming Qualities of a Creative Leader

Leaders are not born leaders. They are normal people like me and you who decide at some point in their lives that they need to take the reins of their life in their own hands and do some extraordinary things. Making that decision sounds easy. But it’s actually not.

Living up to that decision requires a lot of courage. Not just courage but also creativity. Yes, you need creative ideas to come out as a leader who is different from the others we get to see normally. You need to power your creative intelligence to become a leader that stays ahead of other people and inspires them.

Here are five qualities that you need to develop in yourself if you want to lead the way in an exemplary manner.

1 – The Readiness to Change

A creative leader doesn’t shy away from thinking big. They never stop imagining bigger and better possibilities for people. This is not about adopting a change to stay relevant and updated. This is about envisioning a change, instigating it, and bringing a revolution that leaves other players in the game behind. It’s all about striving to achieve new ways of doing things.

2 – Listen to Your Intuition

One of the qualities of a creative leader is that they listen to their gut feeling. Not only do they take into their consideration what they know is right but also they tend to lean towards what they feel is right. This opens up a lot of opportunities for them to explore. In order to become a successful creative leader, you need to balance both logic and intuition in order to be able to solve problems in an effective way.

3 – Move Ahead Fast

Creative leaders know that perfectionism is impossible and it’s something that stands in the way of progression. Thus, creative leaders do not pay much attention to being perfect and concentrate on the more important thing, i.e. progress. The faster they move ahead, the greater their progress is.

4 – Build & Maintain Confidence

There’s always something remarkable about a confident person. Even if you don’t believe in everything that a confident person says, but you know that it’s a rare quality. Creative leaders need to cultivate confidence in them if they want to inspire people around them. If you don’t inspire those around you, no one would follow you. And that just means you’re not a very good leader.

5 – Do More Than What’s Expected of You

Creative leaders have infinite ideas. They create possibilities and set the path for others to follow them. That’s one of the qualities of creative leaders. They think original, and in the process, they end up delivering more than what was expected of them. Thus, in order to become a creative leader, start doing things that only you can do instead of doing things that everyone expects you to do.

Creative leaders don’t like the conventional ways of doing things. Doing something in the same way over and over again just affects their creativity. They like changing things around.

Blue Ocean Facilities gives a great chance to creative leaders to keep their creativity alive and ignite the same spark in their teams by conducting corporate meetings at offsite venues. It’s the first step towards coming up with new ideas and making better corporate decisions.

Looking for an off-site meeting space? Ensure you get the most bang for your buck!

With off-site meeting spaces becoming more popular, it can sometimes be difficult to decide on a space that will offer everything you need for a fair price. It’s easy to assume that most viable options are downtown, but at what cost?

When seeking an off-site meeting space, it’s important to consider what your money is actually paying for. If you opt for an inner-city location, a good portion of what you pay is going towards a higher rent cost, and that may or may not include sufficient parking for those attending.

Some spaces may also advertise appropriate amenities, but these are often at extra cost and few offer dedicated assistants included in the cost as well. Dedicated assistants are important for your meeting so that you can ensure that your space is properly set up to your needs as well as handling any urgent requests or necessities.

At Blue Ocean Facilities, our location in Blue Ash handles all of these concerns at an appropriate and affordable cost. Not only do you not have to be concerned with downtown traffic, but our large parking lot is entirely free to use and every meeting you book has its own dedicated assistant at no extra charge. If you’re interested in booking the best meeting possible at a great location and affordable price, contact us today online or at 513-842-6323!