Archive for the 'General Interest' Category

Office Talk: Why Is Teamwork Always A Battle?

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Teamwork is a core principle of a successful business. Without it, there is no cohesion, and the processes fall flat very quickly. The unfortunate thing is teamwork often fails, and it’s up to the boss to find a solution. As a leader, you need to prove to your staff why it’s essential for them to take one for the team.

To do it, it’s vital that you understand the reasons why teamwork isn’t a walk in the park. Only then can you start troubleshooting from the hip. Here are the basics to keep in mind.

No Leadership

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the lack of unity in the workplace might be your fault. A leader that isn’t able to bring everyone together is a liability, and it might be time to take a long look in the mirror. If you don’t set expectations and clear goals, the office won’t get the scale of the task, and you’ll have a workplace full of individuals. Of course, no one will understand that they are supposed to work as a team if you don’t communicate it correctly. Before you start pointing the finger at others, you should analyse whether you’re setting the right example.

Disruptive People

People don’t work well together because some of them are drama queens. One tiny thing goes wrong, and they throw their toys out of the pram. It’s like working with a baby, and nobody is going to team up with a child. Even if they did, their immaturity would torpedo the partnership within minutes. Give them a chance to reform themselves, yet don’t offer them countless opportunities. If they prove they can’t be trusted, separate them from the group and look to move them on ASAP.

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Politics

Teamwork is hard to cultivate because of office politics. If it happens in a disciplined organisation such as the Armed Forces, it’s going to rear its head in your office. How does the army deal with the pog military versus the grunts? The answer is easy: it makes everyone get their hands dirty. By making all of your employees participate in the menial tasks, no one will feel marginalised. Sure, they’ll hate it, but you need to teach them it’s for the greater good. Also, team bonding exercises can be effective. Taking time to get to know one another is a useful way to see someone as they are instead of the image they project.

Dual Credit

A business is a competitive environment where people are looking to stand out from the crowd. Those that know they won’t get the credit they deserve won’t team up with anyone. Why should they when their rival receives a pat on the back? A quick and easy fix is to hand out credit to everyone involved in the process. Then, co-workers know their contribution will get recognised and they won’t be as loathe working together.

Teamwork goes against human nature, which is why you must work hard to change your employees’ habits.

How To Improve Your Productivity At Work

In order for you to get anything done while you are at work, you need to find out what you can do to improve your productivity. While this can sometimes depend on the person, there are a few overarching tips that will help you achieve this, and this article will outline what these are below.

Understand what is required from you

Do you know what is expected of you during your work hours? You need to know what tasks you are required to complete in the first place. If you are unsure about your role, then you will no doubt feel lost when you are at work. Small Business can help you understand what the goals of the organization are and particularly, what your role and tasks are. This will help you stay on track, and at the end of the day, motivated.

Take a break

You aren’t a robot, and that is why it’s essential that you take breaks during your work hours. In particular, you should:

1.   Step away from your computer

When you stare at your computer screen for hours on end, it’s no wonder that your eyes will start to glaze over the words that you are reading. A solution to this is stepping away from your laptop for a while. It is the most beneficial way to get your productivity back on track.

2.   Try playing an online game

Alternatively, your eyes might not be tired, but your brain can no longer focus on a particular task. During these moments, you should consider what your options are for playing an online game. There are so many to choose from across different genres; you are bound to find at least one that will pique your interest on a 10 or 15-minute break.

For example, some people may opt to try online sports bets as their game of choice, as you also have the possibility to win some money in the process. Of course, you can also lose money, and this is all for fun, so you shouldn’t be spending a fortune on this endeavor. Still, you can try your luck on sport betting through Unibet.

Set deadlines for yourself

To keep yourself on track, it’s important that you start tasks in advance and that you set deadlines for yourself. All successful entrepreneurs set deadlines, and even if you aren’t the company owner or in a leadership role, you should take note of habits that help others to excel during work hours.

Stop multitasking

Although you might tell yourself that you can focus on a number of different tasks at once, you should stop multitasking. This will only cause chaos and disarray, and instead of completing one project, you will have a number of tasks that are all started, but none of which are done.

It is thanks to productivity that your day passes more quickly. If you find yourself constantly distracted during work hours, then you should re-evaluate your daily habits, and think about what you can do to change them so that you stay motivated.

Let Your Dreams Take Flight

Do you count the hours down until you finally shut down that screen and head home for the day? Has cubicle life finally become too much for you? You’re facing a choice that so many of us have to make: carry on doing the same old tasks, day in and day out with nothing really to show for it except a paycheck at the end of the month, or decide on shaking things up, stepping away from what you know and starting all over again.

The choice really is yours and although it seems daunting and you might feel too old to start from scratch, consider what’s at stake. Will you grow more and more frustrated at the job you’re in which could quite easily to depression and anxiety or will you take a chance and find a new niche that might just turn into the job of your dreams.

Let’s look at some ways you might make the latter of these two options happen in this short article.

Time to Train

You probably haven’t set foot inside a university for some time and quite honestly maybe you feel too old to start back in education again. Now is the time to swallow those fears and maybe that pride and see where retraining might lead you.

If you’re in a position to start a full-time course then check you have the right access in the form of previous qualifications, otherwise you may need to start with an access course or retake some previous exams to get on the right path. From teacher training to flight school, you’ll find a course that leads you towards the job of your dreams.

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Study In Your Own Time

It might be that you need to carry on working while you’re studying, in which case you have two other options.

The first is evening classes at a school near you. This will demand a commitment from you and your family support to make sure that you make it each week and carry out the course to its conclusion. There will probably be homework and seminars to attend but a weekly course will likely be wrapped up in two if not one academic year.

Another alternative is a distance learning course. Often easier as you can fit it in around your free time. You may have to invest some longer hours in getting the assignments done and once in a while you may need to attend an out of town seminar but for the most part you’re studying on your timetable.

These courses do take a little longer to complete so a first degree may take you up to seven years, if you’re studying part-time, though sooner if you can work through modules more quickly.

Don’t delay, get yourself on a career path that moves you out and away from a job you hate and on into a future where you can be happy and see progression. Studying unlocks that possibility to find your ideal course and start hitting those books.

What Does It Take to Start Your Own Online Classes?

If you’ve got a passion that you want to share, then educating others is often a fantastic way to spread it around. This is because the internet gives everyone a platform to share their knowledge with the world. Whether it’s through YouTube, Facebook or even just insightful Twitter messages, there are actually plenty of ways to get your voice heard and your passions into the world.

But what does it take to start educating others and start your own classes? Here are some of the crucial things to think about:

Make sure there is at least some demand for your skills

Teaching people general skills like cooking, web design and sewing can be great because it has a lot of general use and is very popular. However, highly specific topics can be more difficult to advertise and it’s best to choose something that appeals to a wider audience.

A platform to start your classes

Influencers are perfectly capable of starting their own site to host their classes, but lesser-known educators and people just starting out will need to rely on learning platforms to host their classes. By using these platforms and branching out with social media, you have a much better chance of growing your career as an online educator.

Have the right tools available

Another concern that you need to think about is having the right tools available. If you’re recording video lessons then this will include a camera, however, if you’re only doing text-based courses then a learning management system can help you achieve your goals. Below, we’ve included a short infographic on the many systems available to help you.


Infographic by: The Best User-Friendly Learning Management Systems

Reasons To Use Renewable Energy

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Renewable energy is the future. It is incredibly crucial for us as people to make an effort to understand how our planet works and how we can make an effort to have better habits. Our energy is something which a lot of us don’t think about day to day and we don’t consider where comes from.

The most commonly used energy is still gas Oil and petrol and these all are fossil fuels which can have a bigger impact on the planet than we think. Today we are going to go through some of the reasons why you should consider switching to a renewable energy source this year instead of fossil fuels.

You can be paid for it

No matter whether you are trying to power your home or your office, you will want to make sure that it is powered by the best types of energy. Solar power is one of the most popular ways to power a home or office is and it is something which you can be paid for. When you choose to power your home or office with solar panels you can be paid by the government for the pleasure!

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

There is no reason for us to use fossil fuels any more when there are tonnes of ways to power our homes and cities without emissions. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 are emitted by fossil fuels and they pierce holes in our Ozone layer which can damage the planet and cause the sun to warm our planet more than it would have before. Fossil fuels are not good for our planet so it can be a much better option for you to use fuel such as solar panels or wind instead.

The seas can power us

The beauty of a lot of renewable energy sources we have is that they don’t cost a thing. The whole idea of renewable energy is to power our planet with the resources we already have on it. The tides and seas are determined by the moon and the motion of water moving can be used to power hydroelectric motors and power homes. We can benefit therefore from power coming straight from the sea.

Create jobs

With the issues we face in the economy today, it is a good idea for us to open new power plants and renewable energy stations to create jobs for people. The job market can be a dog eat dog world so being able to diversify the energy we used can create many jobs for people.

Diverse options

The beauty of powering our planet with more renewable energy sources is the fact that you can power the house with the sun, water, wind and more. There are so many natural resources we have on the planet which can be used without causing damage and it means that energy won’t be fought over in the same way, and therefore will be cheaper to pay for overall. It is a win win situation!

Three Ways To Become A More Authentic Leader

 

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Moving into a position of senior leadership is a unique challenge for most. And whether you have achieved that status gradually, through hard work and moving slowly up the corporate ladder, or you decided to start up your own business and were catapulted into being a leader almost overnight, the challenge can be equally tough. You may have been a master of whatever skill you needed vocationally, but becoming a leader requires a whole different set of functions – ones that you may never have received any formal training at all. The task before you is fluid and challenging – you must earn the respect of employees, suppliers, business partners and financers and be able to share your vision in a way that rings true.

Being Your True Self

The key to it all is authenticity. If you’re feeling full of doubt about your leadership abilities, concentrate on the fact that by being your true self, you are more likely to win respect and support and find your motivation, even if not everyone likes you. A lot of new leaders, feeling lost, try to imitate the leadership styles of others – bosses they have worked under, or public figures that they know of. But you don’t need to change who you are, and this approach will often ring hollow with those looking up to you. Don’t fall prey to imposter syndrome – aim to become an amped-up version of yourself instead.

Understand What You Bring To The Table

Too often in business, we erroneously subscribe to a homogenous culture in which we all try to be the same and smooth off our edges in order to fit in. But it turns out, diversity in a business is a true strength – bringing more perspectives and minds to the problem, and letting you pick up on things you may have otherwise missed. Analyse your own unique skills and work out exactly what you contribute – a structure like Myers-Briggs can be really useful for helping you to work this out. It gives you a framework to operate in, and lead your organization in a way that lets you still feel like yourself. Going to a retreat like the ones HCC run can also help by giving you time out from the rush of day-to-day problems and competing priorities to work out what you can really contribute back in the office.

Find Your Leadership Style

There is no single right way to be a leader – it’s about working out your own style – comprised of your character, strengths, personal vision and weaknesses. Knowing what you aren’t great at is even more important – this allows you to work on any shortcomings with training and mentorship, or to hire in experts who are very strong in the qualities you lack. Be very aware of your own personality type and how it fits in – you don’t have to be a banner waving extrovert to become a leader. In fact, an observant, intuitive introverted leader can be extremely good at connecting with others on a more intimate level.

Can You Run A Care Home?

If you want to turn your entrepreneurial skills to something that helps people, there are a lot of kinds of business you can think about running in order to do just that. One which is absolutely worth considering on this front is that of running a care home, which is  particularly good way of using your time and energy, and something which you will find is incredibly rewarding too. A care home is something that a local area always needs, and if you can provide such a service you should find that it really makes a huge difference to how you feel about what you are doing with your business. In this article, we are going to look at what you might need to consider to ensure that you are running a care home as well as possible.

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Staff Are Everything

It is hugely important, for a business such as this, that you manage to get hold of staff who are really top quality, as it is the quality of the staff that is going to determine the level of care that your clients receive, and that of course is going to be your main benchmark along the way of determining how well you are doing at providing a service. So you need to spend some time finding the best possible care staff you can, and making sure that they are likely to be the kind of people who will genuinely bring a lot of care and attention to what they are doing in the role. The thing with caregivers jobs is that they will generally attract this kind of person, but you still need to make sure that you are thoroughly vetting people and that you only go for the absolute best of all.

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Keeping On Track

It is important when you look after people in any kind of professional setting that you are kept accountable, otherwise you never know what kind of experiences people might have under your care which you didn’t really plan for. By ensuring that you are being kept accountable, you will be able to officially know that you are looking after people, and that they are getting the kind of care they really need and deserve. There is always going to be some legal guidelines which you need to work in here, so that is one part of this – but it’s also important to think about self-auditing by your own processes, to ensure that you are doing what you set out to do with regards to your level of care.

People Before Profit

You might well be making a profit from this venture, and there is nothing wrong with that in itself, but you need to make sure that you are going to always put people before profit. It is, after all, a care business, and the whole point is to make sure that you are caring for people. If you fail in this, then you might as well be doing something else with your time and energy. So make sure that you are always putting people before profit, and you should find it makes a huge difference.

Freelancers: Think Of Yourself As A Business

If you are just starting out in the world of freelancing, you will need to make sure that you are approaching it in the right way. No matter what it is that you are actually freelancing in – whether it’s writing, editing, design, photography, or whatever – you are going to have to think of yourself as a one-person business, for the simple fact that you are. There is an important shift that happens once you start to think of yourself as a business, and it means that you take yourself more seriously and start to engage with your work in a much more professional way. This is bound to lead to more success – so what do you need to think about to ensure that you are really thinking of yourself as a one-person business?

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Tax

One of the major ways in which you are absolutely a business on your own is when it comes to the tax you need to pay. You are going to have to keep records of everything that you make, and everything you spend for your work, and you will have to submit this information once a year to the government. You will then receive a bill for the tax you owe, which must be paid in full by the due date. This is such an important thing – if you fail to do it, you will of course struggle to keep within the law, and you’ll find that you can’t run away from the taxman for that long, so it is not worth trying. The more seriously you take tax, the better off you will be in the long run, so make sure that you are aware of that.

Marketing

Just as you need to pay tax like a business, you also need to market yourself like a business too. In many ways, this is one of the most important things that you will need to focus on at all, and you are going to need to make sure that you are happy to work out how to market yourself in the best possible way in order to achieve success. One of the first things you will need is a personal website in order to showcase your skills. That is going to require a wide set of skills, ranging from knowing how to build a site to hosting it well and finding a good alternative to WeTransfer Plus so that you can upload information securely and quickly. You’ll also need to market yourself through word of mouth, so get talking about yourself as soon as you can.

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Planning

You would not start a business without planning it out as much as possible, and you should make sure to apply this same approach to your own one-person business too. You need to spend some time planning out what you hope for the future and how you are going to be a success – and the more that you do that, the more likely it is that you will be able to succeed as a freelancer.

5 Improvements to Make To Your Business Office

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If you own your own business with office space, you will know how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of the renovations and redesigns. As your business grows, both your team and your office will grow with you and because of that, you’re going to constantly need to be renovating the space you own. Whilst it may seem tiring and pointless, constant renovations means that things are going well and are definitely something you should be proud of. With that in mind, here are 5 improvements to make to your office as your business grows:

  • Redecorate The Office To Encourage Creativity

One of the best things you can do for your office is to redecorate in a way that encourages creativity. Well-designed offices are important for a business that is focussed one inspiring its employees to create, so ensuring you have a space that people can feel comfortable and energised in is important. The best way to ensure you’re inspiring people is to ask them what they want from their office, giving them as much input as you possibly can.

For inspiration when it comes to inspiring and creative offices, you can visit this site here.

  • Create A Space For People To Relax And Have Downtime

As well as creating an office space that allows people to create, you also need to create a space where people can relax and have the downtime they need. Whilst you should already be encouraging regular breaks throughout the workday, having a space that is dedicated to relaxation will definitely help. Not only that, but it will give your employees a sense of importance and belonging.

  • Redo The Flooring, Walls Or Windows

If you’re struggling to keep up with all of the repairs that come with maintaining a business office, you may want to start with the basics – the flooring, walls or windows. Whilst these may be the most expensive to fix, ensuring they are always in a safe condition for your employees is vital. For more information when it comes to repairing your flooring, you can visit Epoxy Flooring here.

  • Ensure The Exterior Is Just As Well Kept As The Interior

Although not all businesses will own the exterior of their office, it’s important you’re doing everything you can to ensure it is as well-kept as the interior. If you’re renting from an office hire company and you notice an issue with your office’s exterior, you may want to contact your landlord or landlady directly. Not only will they be able to answer any concerns you have, but they’ll also be able to fix the issue.

  • Update All Of The Office Furniture

Finally, if you’re on a budget but you want to have your office feeling brand new again, you may want to consider updating all of the office furniture. Whilst this may take some time to order in, it will definitely be worth the wait.

Are you looking for ways to improve your business office? What can you do to give it a new and updated look? Let me know in the comments section below.

Reduce Your Business Costs Without Harming Safety or Quality

Any business person worth their salt will know that the lower they can get the financial outgoings of their business, the more they will reap in profit. Of course, reducing business costs isn’t always as straightforward as many people think, because you also have to ensure safe working practices, and quality too. Luckily, you can get some help with this task in the post below. Read on to find out more.

 

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Slash your utility bill

One viable way that you can reduce your business cost without suffering from issues with safety or quality is to get your utility bills as low as possible. The great thing about this option is that because the market is flooded with so many providers it doesn’t take a lot of work to find one that will offer you a better deal.

In fact, there are even websites devoted to comparing not only the cost but the services you can expect from such providers. Something that means there really is no excuse to be paying over the odds your business utilities.

Make money back by renting out your space

Another way that you can reduce business costs without hurting the quality of your product is to rent out unused space or equipment to other business, thus gaining some of the original cost of these things back.

Of course, if you are to have people that are not employed and trained by your business in your work area, it is vital that they are adequately inducted when it comes to safety protocol. Otherwise, you could end up causing a problem rather than gaining a benefit here.

Invest in essential equipment

Next, if you are looking to reduce your business costs over the long term, it is well worth investing in the essential equipment that your business needs rather than leasing it or using items at another site.

The reason being that while you may have to outlay in the short term, the cumulative effect of time and effort saved over the long term can really add up.

Of course, before you purchase a vital piece of equipment like a forklift, photocopier, or even a laser cutter, it is essential that you do some thorough research to decide which item and brand will be right for you. Luckily, there are things like these laser cutter reviews on Youtube that can help you. Especially as they are made by companies that are likely to be like your own.

Market your business for free (or at least very little)

Lastly, when it comes to saving money, it’s always worth taking a look at your marketing budget to see if any savings can be made there as they are unlikely to affect the quality of your product or the safety of your operation.

In fact, while it’s crucial to get your company name and message out there, there are a great many free and low costs way of doing this.

Just make sure you assign these tasks to a creative member of your team as you will want to make sure that your marketing is high quality too, even if it is low cost! Otherwise, you may not be able to move enough product, and so the saving you make may not be worth it overall.