Join the Labs at The Westchester Digital Summit

Rye Labs is proud to be a partner in this year’s Westchester Digital Summit, the annual event produced by Silverback Social focused on the digital revolutionNamed by Forbes as one of the “must-attend marketing conferences for leaders in 2014,” the Summit offers entrepreneurs and innovators a full-day event of networking, learning, and empowering insights.

Discount Tickets for Labs Members & Friends

We’re offering our members and friends $100 off the ticketed price for one of the most important digital media conferences of the year.  Just click “enter promotional code” at the bottom right of this Registration Page and enter the word Serendipity to reduce the Full Program Entry & Attendance fee.

If you’re attending the conference and not yet a Labs member, be sure to come by the Serendipity Labs booth and we will give you a complimentary one-week membership card!

Westchester Digital Summit
Thursday, May 15, 2014
The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester
3 Renaissance Sq, White Plains

Sitting is the New Smoking

There’s the flexibility associated with where you can work, and then there’s the flexibility offered by the workplace itself. And that can have health consequences.

Many experts agree that sitting too much is hazardous for your health. To combat this problem, innovators have created various office furniture solutions that encourage people to stand more while on the job.

The most popular remedy is a standing desk. Many companies have created desks that are taller so users can stand and do their work rather than sitting. More recent versions actually feature adjustable heights instead of one standard size. That way you can sit for a couple hours, then stand for an hour.

Nevertheless, a great adjustable desk comes at a price. Many of the most revolutionary desks that transform from sitting level to standing start at around $4000.00. While these luxury desks could do a lot to improve your overall well-being, the tag is hefty enough that not all companies can afford them.  Additionally, most independent or work at home professionals can’t rationalize making this kind of investment.

Thankfully, innovators are beginning to release other options to compete with the top of the line transformational desk. For example, the Stand Desk reached its Kickstarter goal last week and starts at only $400.00. This desk adjusts automatically at the touch of a button and is made of either laminate or bamboo.

When converting to a sitting/standing regimen, many experts recommend purchasing an anti-fatigue mat. This is the most important accessory to go along with your new standing desk. Many new standing desk users complain of initial feet and back pain—which is what you bought the new desk to avoid right? Not to worry, there are many brands of anti-fatigue mats and levels of comfort to choose from. For users who work in an office with hard surface floors, this mat is a must to make your transition from sitting to standing.

To learn more about the dangers of sitting and the benefits of standing or walking, check out “Meetings: Walk Don’t Sit”.

“As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” — Norman Foster

In a workplace where things are changing faster than we can keep up, adaptability has become the most sought after asset not only within people, but also throughout concepts of design and structure.

Many professionals report that there’s nothing worse than spending weeks on a project to find out it’s completely irrelevant by the time it’s completed, but this happens in the workplace every day. But how is one to know the heights technology will reach, or more importantly, how society will perceive these changes?

Moreover, Norman Foster’s groundbreaking work in the architectural field can certainly teach us a lesson in innovation. He explains how important it is to look at the big picture. It’s not just about what you predict will happen tomorrow, two months from now or 30 years in the future. Considering the past is ultimately the key to planning for the future and more importantly, succeeding in the present.

If our goal is to make the workplace a more flexible and adaptive community, innovators must shake off the strict concepts of time and see beyond a single lens. What worked in the past, what is working now and what might make life easier in ten years?

The Latest Epidemic in Worker Productivity

One quarter of American workers now have some form of workplace flexibility. Unfortunately, their bodies aren’t as flexible as their work life.

It might have something to do with the way they sit… and the amount of time they spend sitting.

Recent studies have revealed that poor posture is leading to a steep decline in workplace productivity. Since many working Americans spend more than half their day at a desk, many of us are likely to develop health risks. Specifically, years of endless sitting can lead to organ damage, muscle degeneration, leg disorders, back problems and general fogginess.

Many people work on correcting posture when watching television or during other activities, but most don’t consider the effects of bad posture habits at the workplace. Showing up for 40 plus hours a week is usually enough obligation for most people to handle.

With that said, it’s not like innovators aren’t on a mission to solve this problem. Many products that include, but aren’t limited to, ergonomic chairs, desks and keyboards have emerged over the last decade. While these commodities are helpful, they’re not doing enough to erase the workplace posture epidemic.

One start up, Perfectore Corporate Wellness, created a system that aims to correct spinal alignment. While wearing the Posture Transformer, one can expect to achieve better posture, strengthen their core and relieve 70 pounds of pressure on their neck, back and joints. Not only can you wear this gear while sitting at the desk, it can be worn while walking around.

While the workplace has made leaps and bounds over the last 50 years, we’re yet to find a complete alternative to sitting at a desk. We can alleviate sedentary habits by taking a walk or utilizing a standing desk, but for most professionals, sitting at a desk takes up the majority of their day. Nevertheless, products like the Posture Transformer are paving the way to making sitting less hazardous.

Make sure you check out, “Meetings: Walk, Don’t Sit” for other ways to combat the dangers of habitual sitting.

“The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation — a force for construction and destruction.” — Jonathan Haidt

One of the greatest opportunities at the core of coworking is collaboration.

In 2005 Brad Neuberg created the San Francisco Coworking Space at the Spiral Muse feminist collective and coined the term “Coworking.” While the initiative took time to build a dedicated following, freelancers finally began to flock toward the opportunity to interact with others and avoid isolation. And since writers and tech professionals rely on inspiration to help stir new ideas, they came together to create a support system.

However, coworking has grown into an expansive industry that caters to many types of knowledge-based professionals on the go. One of the biggest advantages of coworking is the opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with the people around you. It’s not just about inspiration; it’s about solving problems with people who share the same hunger for answers and passion for success.

At Serendipity Labs, we cater to a wide range of professionals that extend far beyond freelancers. By offering conference rooms, private offices and even break rooms, our coworking spaces are perfect for anyone from the young writer to the successful on-the-go executive.

Check out our customized membership plans.


The Self-Driving Office of the Future

Ready for the commute to become an office?

According to the 2013 U.S. Census, 10.8 million people drive at least an hour on each leg of their commute. That’s a lot of wasted time—ten hours per week, 40 hours per month and a whopping 480 hours a year, to be exact. As the work force continues to evolve, many professionals are seeking ways to be more productive. Understandably, they want to gain recognition from their superiors while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. The key to achieving both is using your time wisely.

In what looks to be an effort to gain leadership visibility among broadly alternative workplace options like coworking, traditional office suite provider Regus has partnered with visionary mobility company Rinspeed  to profile a self-driving car that doubles as a mobile office.

The creators revealed the cutting edge XchangE at the Geneva Motor Show in March. With swiveling front seats, embedded flat screens and an espresso machine, the XchangE is by no means starved for attention. Literally, this is the car of every executive’s dreams.

The interior isn’t the only great feature this autonomous vehicle boasts; the exterior is sleek and sexy too. However, when self-driving cars hit mass production lines and become a reality, many of us won’t care what they look like on the outside because we’ll be soaking in the greatest luxury of all, productivity.

Attracting & Cultivating 21st Century Talent

A major new study from Deloitte on trends shaping human capital highlights workplace flexibility.

Over the years, companies have begun to realize that their total value isn’t found solely in the product or service they provide. Real capital and steady ROI is cultivated from within. As corporations begin to rely more and more on the quality and performance of their employees, the workplace has become an environment that leads to stress and sometimes failure instead of productivity and continued success.

In early March, Deloitte University released the results of a survey that interviewed more than 2,500 organizations in 90+ countries about potential challenges and opportunities for growth in 2014.

Overall, the Global Human Capital Trends 2014 study revealed, “Critical new skills are scarce—and their uneven distribution around the world is forcing companies to develop innovative new ways to find people, develop capabilities, and share expertise.” Specifically, researchers identified 12 trends that will drive the human capital agenda in coming years. Two of these trends focus on a more flexible, evolving workplace.


Meditation: Pressing the Reset Button May Be the Cure to Workplace Stress

We’re all searching for a way to recharge our minds and reduce stress at work—if not only to maintain our own sanity, to make our work week more productive.

For a while, many researchers thought power naps were the key to success. Many of us struggle to find that perfect amount of time that helps you feel refreshed, without awaking more tired than you were to begin with; not to mention finding a quiet spot free from typical office interruptions.

Aside from meditation is the need to practice mindfulness. Cultivating a mindful outlook does so much more than relieve stress; it helps you reassess and reiterate your personal ethics and goals. And when you think about it, those principals are what drive individuals to succeed and carry on.

If you’re having trouble convincing your boss to schedule time for meditation or reflection, remind them of your company’s mission and suggest taking time for all employees to contemplate what each of them can do to achieve it. That’s certainly one way to use your time wisely.

Meetings: Walk, Don’t Sit.

The number of hours you spend sitting each day is alarming, especially when compared with the time you spend exercising or sleeping.

Nilofer Merchant explains in her TED talk how she combats this sitting epidemic by combining exercise and work. You may be concerned about the exercise part, but not to worry, if you have two legs you can certainly take advantage of this technique. Really, it’s a no brainer. Merchant suggests taking a walk each time you conduct a one-on-one meeting. Many studies reveal how walking increases blood flow and oxygen levels, therefore, jump starting your brain.

Not only will your clients be impressed by your ideas, they will be thanking you for getting them out of their chairs and into the fresh air. Check out “Your Office May Be Killing You” for more ideas on how to banish sedentary work habits.

Epic Workplace Design

Workplace Wednesday: Epic Systems Corporation HQ Design

For a medical software developer, you may assume the office space wouldn’t be the most interesting or glamorous. However, Epic Systems Corporation boasts one of the most beautiful headquarters in the country. Tucked away in Verona, Wisconsin, their “Intergalactic Headquarters” spans 385 acres of land and offers 1.5 million square feet across five buildings.

Elements like the Indiana Jones themed hallway and the New York Subway car replica make this elaborate campus more unique and imaginative than its counterparts. Nevertheless, like many companies geared towards bringing in the innovative 20-somethings, they built the space around teamwork, and most importantly, having fun.

Speaking of fun, the Ultimate Frisbee field and hiking and biking trails attract a more active group of young professionals. Another great feature is the 700,000 square foot auditorium style Learning Center that seats 5,400 guests. If all of these features sound anything less than amazing, the onsite stream, or cavalry of horses may help meet your expectations.

See a photo set here.