Category Archives: Clients

Technology and Remote Work: 5 Programs that Will Improve Remote Productivity

Technology has created opportunities that few people could’ve imagined just a decade ago. From social media to FaceTime, there are countless ways that people can connect instantly without having to leave their homes, making remote work more and more popular. Remote employees want fast and fluid technologies that can link them with in-office coworkers as seamlessly as possible. To increase employee engagement and performance management, consider the following list of some of the most competitive tech solutions available. 

Fuze: Video Conferencing Technology

Unifying voice, video, and messaging into one application, Fuze increases the efficiency of communication and drives workforce productivity. It can allow employees to work anywhere, anytime, on any device. This program is equally useful for small and large businesses, and it has data protection to ensure the safety of all company communications. It is even free for meetings of groups less than 25 people. However, it doesn’t send reminder emails to participants before meetings, so that will have to be done manually.  

Slack: Group Chatting Technology

As an alternative to email, companies are turning to apps like Slack to message large groups. This can be helpful when collaborating on projects and presentations. Instead of searching through email chains to find dates and information, they are all contained in one channel that participants can create. Slack also has customizable notification settings and works across desktops and mobile devices. The only catch is that the free version has limited storage. 

Glint: Employee Engagement Monitoring Technology

Designed to help employers measure employee engagement levels, Glint is a great tool to continuously survey employee satisfaction and involvement at work. Instead of annual feedback sessions, Glint collects data on an ongoing basis through regular employee and manager evaluations. With continuous data analysis, it can help larger organizations predict risks and identify opportunities for heightened engagement. Unfortunately, this program may not be as useful for smaller organizations because it works by compiling data across many employees to show trends. 

Dropbox: File Storage and Sharing Technology

With unlimited file space for just $20/month, Dropbox is another service that is hard to beat for remote workers and the business as a whole. This shared storage site makes it possible for employers and employees to access files from anywhere at any time. It also has features like file recovery and version history, password protected links, live support, and administrative roles to secure documents.  

Teamwork: Project Management Technology

Assisting teams with project management, Teamwork can help to finish projects efficiently and on-time. With countless features like to-do lists, built-in calendars, task management, commenting, activity tracking, and chatting, Teamwork is becoming widely used by businesses. Although the interface is complex, it’s one of the top workplace tools on the market. 

When technology supports workers in smart ways, they can be more productive and innovative. If you are drawn to explore technologies and solutions that allow you to collaborate effectively and connect more deeply, no matter what continent you’re working from, consider applying to one of our remote opportunities or explore our advanced services.

Boss Time Management: How to Protect Your Time as a Leader

Every leader knows what it’s like — you finally sit down at your desk to tackle some paperwork or get organized for the coming week, and almost immediately you hear a knock on your door or see a head peep inside of your office. When serving as the team leader, office manager, or anyone who supervises others, it is common to feel starved for time to finish your own tasks. Having to constantly juggle many different projects and people at once, effective leaders must put their time management skills into play in order to accomplish their goals. Below, you’ll find four simple steps that can really help you in mastering your organization and save time in your overflowing schedule.  

Get Your Inbox Organized. 

It may seem like a low-level priority but organizing your email can save you time and energy. Gaining the ability to quickly send a message to multiple contacts, search for important emails or attachments, and file messages by sender or content will cut back a lot of time spent in your inbox. If you’re constantly checking your email to try to communicate with your team, you’re taking attention away from other necessary office tasks. Instead, organize your inbox, and reprioritize checking your email 2-3 times a day. You’ll thank yourself! 

Schedule Most Things…But Not Everything. 

It is often encouraged to plan each part of your day. This can be tempting, as it feels logical to know how and where to spend your time. Before doing this, think about how much of your day is reactive. More specifically, how much of your day is absorbed by issues and events that arise on the day and need immediate attention? Typically, it’s more than you may think. By engaging in the discipline of only planning highly prioritized parts of your day and leaving approximately 50% of it unplanned for necessary reaction, you are building a more sustainable schedule. 

Add More Time to Remain Realistic. 

Sometimes, when asked, “When can you have this to me by?” we respond habitually instead of realistically. It can be instinctive to give the soonest possible deadline for projects and reports, wanting to please clients and peers. However, days spent as a leader require a large chunk of time to be dedicated to unanticipated situations. Try to find extra space to build in reactive time by pushing deadlines out a day or two, or even a week depending on the size of the project. Doing this is often met with the response, “That’s fine, thanks.”  

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. 

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything, and it is important to trust your team and their abilities. In other words, know when to be hands-off, and know when to delegate tasks. To save yourself time and empower your employees, it is crucial to know when to pass tasks to those who have the skills and knowledge necessary to complete projects that you may not need to be an integral part of. Focus on a few of the things that you do best, and delegate the rest. 

Ask For Help.

Even the best of leaders may feel overwhelmed and need to ask for assistance. When you can’t do it all by yourself, CSG is here to help. Reach out to our team to learn about how we can offer talented consultants and customized functional services for all of your biopharma needs, or download our Customized Functional Services Information Sheet.

For more tips on how to improve productivity and time management throughout the day, review our article Goal Setting: How to Have a More Productive Workday.

Goal Setting: How to Have a More Productive Workday

Whether you’re a corporate leader or a remote worker who makes their own schedule, it can be difficult to remain productive and finish a day’s work by a reasonable hour. No matter how much you enjoy your job, it is a common problem to feel burnt out or have moments of distraction during the workday. However, these problems could potentially be fixed with just a few adjustments to behaviors and habits: 

  1. Start Your Day with a Complex Task
    Although it has been said that the hardest part of any project is getting started, it is also known that your attention span and motivation levels are the highest at the beginning of a workday. With that in mind, block out some time at the start of the day to make progress on a difficult task while your mental energy is more powerful. 
  2. Take Several Short Breaks
    It is easy to get caught up in your work and forget to take a break, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed with projects and deadlines. However, working long hours without stopping can lead to poor performance. Instead, take a walk for a few minutes every hour or have a short conversation with a colleague to reset your attention span, sharpen your focus, and improve your mood. 
  3. Don’t Use the Internet Unless You Need It
    With the strong presence of social media in society, opening your browser or using your phone at work can become a huge distraction and slow down productivity. Rather than getting online, tuck your phone away and use the programs that are on your computer to avoid logging into social networks and becoming less productive. 
  4. Don’t Eat Lunch at Your Desk
    Eating lunch at your desk can seem like a good choice when trying to multitask and meet deadlines. Unfortunately, this is not the case and can be counterproductive. Eating lunch away from your desk will result in a better outlook on the rest of the day, and it gives you the opportunity to relax and hang out with coworkers or take a moment of alone time.  
  5. Pace Yourself
    If your day is not well-planned, a significant amount of your time may end up being wasted. Use the first part of your day to get organized and review your goals and schedule. Try to work ahead and anticipate set-backs. Consider how much time projects and tasks have taken you in the past and determine how you can break them into smaller parts. Figuring out what you must do, when you can do it, and how long it will take is a huge step towards productivity. 

Plan your workdays purposefully to remain productive, and reach out to your CSG Recruiter in times of stress or need. We go to great lengths to understand each of your short and long-term goals and want to work with you to improve your strengths and tackle any challenges that arise.

Body Language Mistakes You Might Be Making At Work

Communication isn’t just verbal. During conversation, you may be saying very few words but giving off dozens of non-verbal cues and hints. These cues are just as important as your words, however, and may be crucial to your interactions and success at work. Even though you are meeting deadlines and are dedicated to your job, it may be your actions that are separating you from your next promotion. Below are some of the most common body language mistakes that you could be making without even noticing that you make them: 

Fidgeting 

One of the most distracting body language mistakes made in the workplace, fidgeting may be anything from playing with your pen, twirling your hair, or tapping your feet. These habits can make your colleagues think that you aren’t completely tuned into the conversation, and they can distract others that are. Instead, try to channel your energy into making eye-contact, keeping your hands visible, and sitting up straight to better engage in conversation. 

Bad Posture 

Slouching at your desk is easy after long hours at work, but it can also convey that you aren’t as put-together as you’d like to be. Even worse, it might make you seem negative or bored at work, telling your colleagues and bosses that you aren’t excited to be there. If you find yourself slouching often, use your desk chair to your advantage by sitting as far back as possible and using the back rest as support. This will align you with your chair and keep you from exhibiting bad posture. 

Crossing Your Arms 

Even if crossing your arms has nothing to do with the person you’re speaking to, it might make them feel that you are being closed off in the conversation. Separating yourself in this way can convey that you aren’t engaged or aren’t friendly, which will make your colleagues feel less comfortable when talking to you. To avoid this, try to keep your hands by your side and orient your body towards the person you’re talking with to show openness and engagement. 

Lack of Eye Contact 

Not making eye contact with others at work tells them that you’re too busy to converse with them or are not interested in talking. Additionally, looking at the floor or tilting your face downward can show that you are insecure. If it is your phone that keeps you from making eye contact, put it away. Instead, try to smile and look people in their eyes when passing them in the halls or holding conversation. 

Being Overly Casual 

In today’s world, businesses are becoming more casual and adopting modern values that encourage comfort and happiness. With this, comes more casual dress and attitudes at work. However, people often take this a little too far and end up walking down the office halls like they’re in their own homes. Remember to carry yourself with confidence and poise around the office. 

If you’re unsure of other body language mistakes you may be making, ask peers for feedback. Another helpful tactic is to identify someone you admire at work and take note of their habits. Above all else, be aware of how you are presenting yourself in the workplace, as this can be vital in your success. 

Quiz — What’s Your Communication Style?

Each of us has a set of general behavior patterns. These patterns express themselves in our personalities and in the way we communicate with others. Sometimes, it can be hard to work alongside those who do not share our same behavior patterns and communication preferences. If we can identify how we communicate with others, it makes us aware of how we are perceived and can make it easier for us to work with people who are different from us. We can then avoid unproductive behavior and learn how to control our communications in the workplace and in life.

Take the quiz below to learn about your communication style and understand communication preferences different from your own. Select the words and phrases that best fit how you communicate with co-workers, bosses, and peers. There are no right or wrong answers, so answer honestly.

1. When I talk to others, I like to…
a. get straight to the point
b. talk
c. share only what I want other people to know
d. include a lot of details

2. My communication is directed toward…
a. getting results and answers
b. being friendly with peers
c. cooperating with others
d. precision

3. I like communication that is…
a. straightforward and blunt
b. positive and happy
c. calm and relaxed
d. logical and relevant

4. Sometimes I may be…
a. blunt
b. very subjective in my descriptions
c. slow to share information
d. strict in my interpretations

5. I have been accused of…
a. not listening or paying attention to others
b. talking too much or taking over the conversation
c. procrastinating
d. being tentative or slow in conversation

6. When I am in a discussion, others…
a. know where I stand and what I believe
b. know I am enthusiastic and positive
c. know I don’t like to be surprised
d. know I desire information and facts

7. My greatest weakness in communicating is…
a. reacting too quickly
b. speaking without preparation
c. my desire for personal attention
d. my need for all of the details

 8. I don’t like conversations that…
a. I can’t control
b. don’t accept my viewpoint
c. are not cooperative and collaborative
d. create stress or drama

9. I like conversations that are…
a. stimulating and interesting
b. optimistic and positive
c. sincere and genuine
d. controlled and logical

10. I feel best when I am…
a. telling others what to do
b. smooth and poised
c. listening to other people
d. following a plan

MOSTLY A’s — DIRECT
When communicating, you like to feel that you are in charge. You like difficult assignments, a challenge, and quick results. You can be very decisive in your conversations and are not afraid to take action. You may need to improve your communication because you tend to be too brief, which sometimes comes across as blunt or may make you a poor listener. You are driven by independence, power, and quick results.

MOSTLY B’s — TALKATIVE
When communicating, you like to persuade others. You like to be popular, successful, and positive. You may need to improve your communication because you tend to speak without preparation, oversell ideas, and give more information than necessary. You are driven by influence, acceptance, and public recognition.

MOSTLY C’s — SINCERE
When communicating, you like sincere and genuine conversations. You like to be a member of a group. You need stability, appreciation, and time to adjust to ideas. You typically do not tell all of the information that you know. You may need to improve your communication because you tend to need too much personal attention, respond slowly, and are turned off by an aggression. You are driven by feeling needed and like to be asked, not told, what to do.

MOSTLY D’s — ORGANIZED
When communicating, you like to be thorough. You like low-risk situations, cooperation, organization, and following rules. You are logical in your conversations. You may need to improve your communication because you tend to be excessively detailed and are slow to trust. You are driven by cooperative relationships, long explanations, and clarity.

Conference Tips You Can’t Skip: How to Make the Most of Your Experience

You’re attending an industry conference. What should you expect? 

If you’re a frequent conference attendee, you may already have your own list of trials, errors, and ways to make the most of your experience (if so, we’d love to hear your stories and tips in the comments). If not, don’t fret. We’ve collected a list of conference and networking tips from a variety of our CSG team members that should help you do it right. 

First impressions are lasting impressions. Practice your introduction, smile, be confident, and keep it real. Your positive energy and authenticity will be more memorable than your words.” – Ernest Jones, Talent Acquisition Specialist 

Talk to people you don’t already know. These things are all about networking, so make it a point to sit next to people you haven’t met before.” – Jason DeGroff, Vice President of Operations 

Build strong relationships. Get to know the short-term and long-term goals of the people you’re networking with, while also getting to know them on a personal level. You never know what you’ll have in common!” – Sarah Keiser, Talent Acquisition Specialist 

Use moderation in all ways. Whether it be in conversational details, drinks, your introduction pitch, etc., less can always be more in these situations.” – Cassie Hauser, Talent Acquisition Specialist 

Insert yourself into a conversation that has already started. Many people attend conferences in groups or have colleagues that they already know going in. Break out from your group and insert yourself into another cohort that isn’t your own. Although this can be awkward at first, it can maximize your networking experience because you are meeting several people in one interaction and diversifying your experience.” – Maryssa Kuchta, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Take value away from every interaction you have. There are a ton of people that attend these conferences. Go out of your way to introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Each person could be your next peer, boss, etc. Listen to what the other person is saying and be engaged. Don’t just shake a hand and walk away; learn something new about that person.” – Justin Filipowski, Business Development Manager 

Wear comfortable shoes. You’re likely to be walking throughout the day and standing around speaking with people. Not to mention if a session is full and there aren’t any seats left…looks like you’ll be standing!” – Jessica Hymes, Talent Acquisition Specialist

It’s one thing to leave with a stack of business cards and notes, but it’s another to walk away with new and meaningful connections to industry professionals and peers. Keep these tips in the back of your mind during each interaction and conference event, and you’ll be sure to have a great experience. 

If you need more coaching before heading to your next industry conference, reach out to a CSG professional today!

The Space Between Staffing and Outsourcing

Staff augmentation and the CRO model have long been the only choices when biotech companies need to look beyond their full-time staff to get work done.  Each of these two models still have their inherent value propositions but a 20-year career in the staffing and services industry has revealed many lessons learned. Most notably is the realization that often customer needs are best met with a customized solution in which stakeholder-ship is carefully calibrated for the unique goals and challenges at hand.

Staff augmentation is typically sought after for its ease of engagement and flexibility while the true outsource is best when you need the tools, thought leadership and skin in the game to achieve the outcomes you seek.  A trend with key sponsors is the call for engagement models that allow them to maintain control of project direction while still getting a solution that has defined accountability to business outcomes.

Many sponsors have invested heavily in tools, SOP’s and now organizational standards for development and data management.  This reality reduces their dependency on fully outsourcing a project to a CRO that brings these tools to the table. The preference is shifting towards finding specialized partners to do work inside their established environments to avoid rifts with organizational standards as well as the challenges and costs associated with accessing outsourced trial data.

Sponsors often have the thought leadership in house and primarily need resources to execute established project plans.  The staff augmentation model that was so widely used is now governed by strict tenure rules to mitigate co-employment risks presenting a significant challenge to multi-year efforts.

The most progressive leaders in biopharma are calling for solutions that start with a partner’s ability to deliver highly skilled teams but they require more than the traditional staff augmentation model can offer.   The perfect space between staff augmentation and full service outsourcing must be determined at a project level so that the sponsor receives a service framework in which their chosen partner is accountable to the outcome without sacrificing the control and flexibility the sponsor desires. Full outsourcing drives up costs as the partner brings with it more tools, resources and overhead than necessary to achieve project goals.  Conversely, when relying only on resourcing, the burden of project execution lies solely on internal resources. When the service attributes and measurements are developed for the unique needs of the project, no more and no less, the customer achieves an optimal value proposition.

For examples of how Clinical Solutions Group can customize solutions using our six key service tenants check out this interactive element  on our website

FSP vs. Full Outsourcing: Today’s Model for Today’s Challenges

Functional service provider (FSP) partnerships have gained popularity in recent years because of their potential to increase efficiency and flexibility in outsourcing without compromising quality. Well-defined services within the scope of a clinical trial project or program, such as Biostatistics, SAS Programming, and Data Management, are good candidates for FSP outsourcing. By outsourcing individual functional services, client companies gain freedom and are able to retain more control than they likely have in a traditional preferred provider relationship or when outsourcing an entire study.
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