Work smarter, achieve more

Uprise Festival


Goldfish’s founder and CEO recently spoke at the UPRISE Festival in Dublin. UPRISE is not your normal tech event, it has been styled on the theme of an outdoor music festival, with DJs, a laidback bean-bag-approach to business and picnic tables for exhibitors instead of stands. It was great to be at such a quirky tech event and we even took a Lotus Exige sports with us that we sponsor; it went down a treat (you can see it here).

At Goldfish we help companies work smarter, so Gordon was asked to speak on the panel Work Smart, Achieve More’. He talked about how to be more productive, work more efficiently, reduce risk and ultimately build a more successful company.

The outdated work practices a lot of organisations have hit home to us recently when Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland. At Goldfish we remained fully operational throughout Ophelia, with zero downtime; our operations were unaffected by the storm. That’s because we run a fully-cloud based company. We are not tied to our office. All our staff need in order to be able to work, is a laptop and access to the internet.

This meant that when Ophelia hit we were still able to provide all our services, including our contact centre. Staff simply worked from home, making and receiving calls on their office direct lines and were able to access all the same services as if they were in the office.

The same was true of most of our customers, whom simply redirected their office phones or accessed them remotely. It’s surprising to see in 2017 how many organisations were affected and struggled to cope with the disruption caused by Ophelia. It is a huge  cost to businesses and the economy, but it doesn’t have to be if companies simply work smarter.

Gordon O'Neill Uprise Festival

For edited footage of the panel discussion CLICK HERE. Below are Gordon’s tips on how to work smarter and achieve more:

Cloud everything

These days your tech, software and anything your use at work should be in The Cloud. It not only reduces risk, but also means you are mobile. The flexibility provided by mobility is key; you should be able to work from anywhere in the world. Think Cloud and think it loud.
Integrate and automate everything

Integrate and automate everything

This frees up time and reduces stress. Automate, sales, invoicing, admin – everything. If you start doing new things, then always be thinking about whether there is a better or quicker way to do it.

Go Paperless

Going paperless saves time, money and reduces waste. All notes from meetings etc should be typed directly into a service such as or Dropboxpaper.

Find an ‘Edge’

Find an  ‘edge’ over your competitors. Do things which are ‘firsts’. Be unique. And, try as much new technology as possible and keep what works. Test crazy ideas, they sometimes they work.

Create a Culture

It’s 2017, every company is different, so create your own unique culture. Unique cultures stand out. Be the followed, not the follower. Staff turnover is one of the most damaging aspects to a business, so treat your people like adults and they’ll respond like adults. A happy office is productive office. It is also more creative.

Sack Your Suits

We recently ran a charity campaign called ‘Sack The Suit’ because we believe suits are a uniform that are no longer needed in 2017. Formal business attire strangles creativity, so sack your suits.

Think Dogs

Let yourself go to the dogs, by which we mean have a dog-friendly office. Dogs have been proven to reduce stress, so let staff bring them to work. They have a great calming effect in the office – you can’t argue with someone when there is a dog pawing at your for affection.

Get Creative

Know how to fuel your creative side – we all have a creative side, you just need to know how to tap into it. This generally doesn’t happen in an office. Your are at your most creative when you are relaxed. This is why ideas come to you on the treadmill or in the bath

Don’t sweat the small stuff

You can easily waste a lot of time getting bogged down debating the small stuff, which is a drain on time. Instead concentrate on the big issues that are going to generate revenue.

80/20 everything

This was traditionally only applied to customer revenue, but it can also be applied to marketing and work practices, such as meetings. The 20% makes up for the rest. Only do the important stuff.

Customers are Kings

Look after your customers and they will look after you. Give added value where possible and it will buy you goodwill – they will remember it. Listen to them, ask them what they need and produce what they ask for. Then innovate products alongside your customers and their changing working practices – this where we got the idea for our new cloud phone.

Know Your Time Killers

These are things that drain your time and resources. They might be tasks, software, email Facebook or even people. Know them, control them, avoid them.

Don’t work for free

Learn when to spot tyre-kickers or people who may be trying to get free advice or services. If you are going to meet new people then have a purpose; try to only meet if you know it is going to be beneficial.  If you end up with a tyre-kicker then have an excuse to leave ready.

Don’t Commute

If possible, work near home. Commuting is another time-killer so don’t waste time commuting; it will affect your productivity and health. There can also be other benefits of being based locally, where  you can make more of an impact and stand out more. There is also less competition for local grants, such as from Local Enterprise Offices.