Office Design for Improving Productivity

Sometimes, adding chalkboards and whiteboards can seem handy, but there is more than you can do to improve your office space. Here are just a few office design tips to help improve your overall productivity.

1. Idea Storage

One of the worst things that can happen for creative people is that they have a great idea but do not have anywhere to write it down, and they lose it. There is also the chance that you will end up doing a huge amount of research on a topic that you are not going to use. Whiteboards and notebooks are a great option for writing your ideas down, so you can continue to work on your main task for the day.

2. Remove the Clutter

It is important that you are regularly cleaning your office. Clutter comes from your creative mind working, but it can make focusing and getting your work done difficult. You should make sure that you have enough storage for all your items and that you have access to your most used objects.

3. Bring in Some Nature

We are biological creatures, so we should be spending some amount of time outside every single day. However, being inside all the time has a huge effect on our work. While it would be nice to spend a lot of time outside, for most jobs, this is not really possible. If you cannot take your work outside, why not bring nature to you? Try opening the shades and letting fresh air. This could help you feel more energized and help you get more done. Plants can also be a great option to add to your office, you just have to remember to water it.

4. Table and Chairs

We have all experienced having to sit at a table and having to consistently having to readjust to be comfortable, so we could focus on our work. This is why you should take the time to find a desk and chair that both fits your body and the way that you sit. This can take some adjusting to if you are working on an office where you do not have control over when items are ordered. If you are working at home, try to sit in chairs that you are thinking about buying for around 30 minutes to find out if they are comfortable for you.

Human Resource Practices

What we have in the prevailing marketplace in today’s economy is the effort that has been made by some well-recognized companies, among them, the Fortune 500 companies based in the United States, who have come to take note of the contribution of their human resource department towards the success of their organizations, SHRM. This has led to the creation of human resource practices by HR department, that motivate its members to continuously being proactive in looking at the business organization, as it engages its employees to determine how they can be supported in strengthening the company’s strategic policies.

A business organization’s human resource practices coupled with its policies are very important in the creation and maintenance of a work culture that is meant to reward, support and then create the expectation for the employees to be consistent in the performance of their work and provision of services. The ultimate goal is the achievement of an optimum customer satisfaction, which at the end leads to a satisfactory financial outcome that create a tremendous success for the company involved, SHRM.

Human resource professionals have been traditionally aligned with administration and finance, tasked with paperwork and far removed from where decisions are made in C-suite level leaders. It has been acknowledged in today’s organizations the value of employees as a key resource, therefore are embracing HR as a key strategic partner with organizational leaders. The new role being given to HR is behind the drive to have companies invest more in advanced technologies that will enable them to manage the workforce, in order to allow HR to spend more time in making valuable contributions.

It has been found based on an audit of Fortune 500 companies that having an HR executive officer among the company’s executive leaderships lead to high performance. In the audit, it was made clear the impact of having Chief HR Officer in the C-suite, which is that the companies with CHRO are averaging 105 percent more profit than their industry peers that do not have one.

Having a chief human resource officer at the C-suite conference table means that the person with the title is able to bring to the table issues affecting the HR department that could not have been possible were the person not there. So the CHRO presence is able to make the argument of the impact of having human resource on the company’s bottom line, the value it brings to the company’s strategic decision making process, and also the need for the company to create HR that is high performance and is involve in the learning and development of its employees, and also the need for an effective technological solutions.

According to some of the Fortune 500 companies audited, the CHRO in those companies embraced the use of customer analysis, proactive talent management as human resource practices. Some of the human resource practices policies enacted that directly lead to high performance in those companies include the exposure of HR risks, like the need to retain key talent in the company’s annual reports and instituting the continuous review of goals and performance throughout the year, particularly:

When the company involve identify risks in their annual reports, the company performs better when compare with peers that do not identify risk in their key financial and market metrics like return on assets (55%), operating profit (by 95%) and earning per share (by 54%).

The organizations that review its employees performance throughout the year are likely to continuously meet its quarterly financial expectation, and show a better average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) when they are compared to their peers that only review performance on an annual basis.

Organizations that have a higher part of its goals aligned and completed does better than its industry peers in key financial metrics, such as quarterly financial estimates, operating profit, earning per share, and price-earnings ratio.

Having a CHRO has proven to have a link to a company’s bottom line, demonstrating the vital correlation between effective talent management and business performance. There are many companies that are very successful in today’s marketplace because they have been able to institutionalized human resource practices platform that put forward an advanced, connected HCM solutions that manage an entire employee life cycle; starting from recruitment to retirement- taking the role from being transnational to strategic, also predictive.

The Ultimate Strategy For International Air Freight Shipping

Gone are the days when physical boundaries and geographical locations created barriers. It’s the age of innovative transportation where businesses have the opportunity to reach out to potential consumers. Whether it’s a bulky electronics item or documents, you can opt for air-freight shipping solutions and get them delivered to exact locations. If you are running a business, all you need to do is develop a unique strategy for such transportation. That will help you send all the products to their desired addresses.

Identifying your needs

Do you know what are the prime requisites involved in International Air Freight Shipping? If you don’t, it is the high time to develop crystal clear ideas of the process. While looking for these services, make sure you know your needs and understand your requirements. It’s highly imperative to comprehend the technicalities as that is the key to executing critical operations.

Things to note

Before devising the strategies and implementing them, make sure you take note of the crucial factors involved in these projects. What’s your requirement in an overseas transportation project? Here are some of the factors that matter a lot when you plan to associate with the best International Air Freight Shipping service providers:

Services and solutions

Does your chosen partner offer 24*7 support assistance? Overseas shipping and deliveries require profound attention, care, and professional handling. You must take a look at the services offered by the top companies before finalizing the associations!

Cargo deliveries

Your cargo should reach on time as that will prove your service excellence. Timely cargo deliveries are of paramount significance for a company and it instills trust and reliability to a great extent. When it boils down to executing cargo transportations, make sure your chosen partners have the right resources in place.

Cost factors

Choosing the top companies can be affordable too. Most of the people think that partnering with a reputed freight shipping firm can be expensive, but that’s not the truth. It’s imperative to check the service costs and their solutions. That will give you a complete idea of their services.

Finding the leaders

Always look for the top service providers, as they always come up with a host of solutions for clients. Check their experience, market reputation, and several other factors that make them the true leaders. The best companies will have services for one and all. That’s what makes them the pioneers.

Factors to consider

If you are planning to get in touch with leaders, here are some of the factors to care about:

Experience: Always get in touch with experienced companies as they have in-depth knowledge of the market.

Expertise: Professional expertise is of huge importance and you shouldn’t compromise in this regard. Check whether your chosen partners are aware of the technicalities.

Services: When the international shipping, you should opt for the perfect solutions. Know about the services offered by the chosen companies and then take the final decision.

Parting thoughts

Once you analyze these aspects, you will surely get in touch with the top shipping and transportation partners.

Best Expense Management Solution By Thinking Outside The Box

This is how not to handle expense management in your business. Whilst a substantial part of managing expenses can be compartmentalized into how people make claims, and how those claims are processed, there are times when you’d benefit from thinking outside the box.

To illustrate the point, I’m going to look at telephones, the way your business uses them, and the way changing that can be part of an expense management strategy. Many years ago, in another life, I asked a senior manager how much he spent on line rental and calls for the fax machines in his business. He didn’t know, and asked his secretary to being in the relevant invoices.

She appeared carrying two large ring binders. Looking at them, he asked her for just the fax machine invoices. She pointed at the binders. “Those are the fax machine invoices,” she said.

He had no idea at the scale of the costs involved, and we immediately set about reducing them. And there’s the lesson: Show me any cost you’re not controlling, and I’ll show you an unnecessary expense.

Of course, fax machines are consigned to history with quill pens and carbon paper, but let’s stick with telephones; we still use those. Here are some areas in which you might be spending too much for mobiles, (and here’s the important part) without being aware of it.

1. Data roaming: Set up a company policy that it should be turned off except for short periods to allow emails to be delivered or sent, rather than being on 24/7. Data roaming charges can be high, and can mount significantly if you have a large number of employees travelling

2. Use one company: Don’t have a series of providers. Restricting services to just one allows you to negotiate better deals for new handsets and connectivity

3. Go for VOIP: For office phones there are lots of ways to use the internet to make calls, giving the traditional desktop phone a new lease of life. VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and means there’s no need to have a traditional phone contract, so long as you have good broadband connectivity. Providers of phone systems like this will usually deal with you on a rolling monthly contract, and their systems are extremely, so you can add or subtract handsets almost at will.

4. Be careful with perks. If employees are able to use company phones for personal use (and we’re back to mobiles here), then that permission should be restricted. OK, make short personal calls, but talking for hours to an aunt in Australia, or streaming a box set to a hotel room in Berlin could soon set you back a considerable – and unwelcome – amount.

5. Don’t leave legacies. When an employee leaves the company, make sure to cancel or transfer their part of the phone number, and don’t toss the handset into the back of a drawer. Re-use it, or send it for recycling _ once you’ve cleared any company data from it.

More than just number reduction

Consider the benefits that come alongside mobile phone use, and blurring the distinction between company and private life. When you’ve automated your expenses by implementing a solution based on business expense management software using an app, everyone’s going to need a phone so they can use your system.

Allowing an employee to make personal calls, to that agreed cost limit, might have a payback in loyalty. It might mean they’re more amenable to taking a work-related call out of hours, as part of a bit of give and take – but make sure that you track the benefit so that all the necessary tax is paid. There’s no future in saving money by cheating the taxman.

Applying this kind of thinking to all aspects of your business can make a significant difference to your bottom line, and be a useful ally to your business expense management software.

How To Develop A Business Strategy For Your Home Business

It has been found that tested theories and frameworks still form the foundation when developing a strategy for your business. To develop the right strategy for your business you need to do the following things:

Identify a product or service to sell

This is the first step in developing your business strategy. You need to remember that there are thousands of products and services that you can sell; however, for you to compete effectively with other businesses, you should ensure that your product is unique and better than other products in the market.

You need to think for you to come up with a good choice. To be successful in your efforts, you should go for products that you like and you enjoy selling. It’s recommended that you choose a product that you are able to visualize yourself selling it.

Experts recommend that you should be able to see yourself selling the product or service for the next five or 10 years.

For you to settle on the product or service, you should ensure that there is real demand for the product or service at the price that you are interested in charging.

You should also ensure that the demand is high enough for you to make a profit. The demand should be concentrated such that you are able to advertise, sell, and deliver the product at a reasonable expense.

Identify your customers

There is no way your business will be successful if it does not have customers; therefore, you should ensure that you identify the customers who will buy your product or service.

The right customers should have the ability of buying the product at the price that you will be selling at. This means that you should be able to tell whether you will be targeting the poor, middle class, or the rich.

You also need to ensure that the product is valuable to the customer. Here you need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see whether the product will be of value to you.

Identify how the product will be sold

Once you have identified the right product and the right customers, you should determine how you will sell the product.

You can decide to sell the product by yourself or you can hire other people to do it for you. You also need to determine how you will promote your product or service. Here you can promote using word of mouth, or other ways such as TV, radio, or social media.

Catering To A Wide Range Of Industries

The company that is engaged in the manufacture of precision turned parts produce the parts with diameters in the range 2mm – 35mm. The parts are made out of different materials such as stainless steel, mild steel, aluminium, brass, bronze and plastic. These companies ensure the best quality products and they offer to supply custom parts against orders placed by the customers. They follow strict procedural norms at all stages of the production to inspect the quality of the product. They manufacture automotive components, components for house appliances, fittings, connectors, etc. They make use of the latest technology to ensure the supply of high quality products on time at reasonable prices. They would have employed highly qualified and experienced engineers and skilled craftsmen who are committed to cater to the needs of each and every customer. The production team has the expertise to develop the final product right from the basic concept. In order to make quality products in the most cost-effective way, the company works with their customers also.

The customer service team of the company that manufactures precision turned parts coordinates with every individual customer to know their requirements and assures to meet their requirements in the most cost-effective ways. The management of the company is committed to provide 100% safety and the best working conditions to all the employees. They provide the most advanced manufacturing facilities. They follow a healthy procedure for the manufacture which is smoke-free as well as non-hazardous. Some of them are committed to implement and adhere to ‘Green’ practices. Materials like oil, metal parts and minerals are recycled. The company entrusts various other processes related to their production such as plating, grinding and heat treatment with sub-contractors who assure quality and the best customer service. They have a very efficient system to monitor the shipping of finished goods and also they closely monitor the inventory levels.

The aluminium components manufactured by the company are used for numerous applications owing to its strength, light weight and elasticity. The aluminium components are also known for their conductivity and resistance to corrosion. The components made from various grades of brass and copper are used in various applications including plumbing and sub sea operations. The stainless steel parts are used by various industries like Oil and Gas, Petrochemicals, medical and surgical instruments and brewing. The plastic components manufactured by these companies are used for many industrial applications. The various types of industries that are served by these companies include Oil, Chemicals, Energy, Locomotives, Automotive, Electronics, environmental engineering, Marine, Food and Beverage, Defense, Medical devices, Scientific research equipment, pumps, valves and many others.

Things To Know About The Decision Making Process

Meetings are a crucial part of any business to make sure that all business operations are running smoothly. The decision-making process matters most when it comes to discussing issues that surrounds your venture. It is true that groups are oftentimes being dominated by an individual in order to agree on a certain course of action. By using a structured process of discussing issues, meetings can become more efficient and the group’s performance can be enhanced.

Some Basic Processes That A Chairperson Or Members Can Facilitate

Brainstorming – This process will generate a lot of spontaneous and diverse ideas within a short time frame. Some of the rules that you must adhere to when using this process will include no criticism on any point, everyone must participate, and the ideas must be recorded until they are exhausted. All the ideas are recorded on a board so that everyone can see it. After the brainstorming, the list will be screened and points would be clarified. All the members will then choose their 5 priority items and decide on a course of action.

Prioritizing Technique – Every participant will think of ideas or perhaps solutions that are written on a chart or board. It is from these ideas that the group will develop different options or solutions. In order to arrive at the option which the majority supports, participants may be asked to rank the options by using a scale of 1-5, where 5 points represents their 1st choice, 4 the 2nd, and so on. The desired option is the one which accumulates the highest total score. Apart from giving points or ranking the options, another way of determining which option does the majority supports is by giving every individual 5 sticky dots and have them place the dots beside the option they want. They can actually select 5 individual options or perhaps place multiple dots on the option they really prefer. The course of action will be determined by the option having the greatest number of dots.

SWOT Analysis – This process will determine the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats of a certain situation. This analysis will greatly help the group in determining the right direction.

Force Field Analysis – This process is a great way of graphically showing the forces which drive for changes or perhaps forces that restrain changes in relation to a certain situation.

These are the different decision-making processes that businesses use in order to come up with the best option when dealing with a certain issue. Apart from knowing these processes, another important thing to consider in order to ensure a successful meeting is to set-up a work-efficient meeting or virtual room.

How Is Your Worksite Wellness Program Addressing The Biopsychosocial Nature Of Health? (Are You?)

Health is a complex concept. And you do want to understand how to best address it, correct?

I have previously written that health and wellness are two clearly different concepts. As a result, I see the work-site wellness programs of today as not really being wellness programs at all, but really being employee health status management programs. If you accept this premise, this means that as a work site wellness professional you should have a clear understanding about the nature of health. Do you think you do?

Health, like wellness, can have many different definitions. Again, like wellness, there appears to be agreement around the idea that health is a complex concept which has several different determinants. The determinants of health can be classified into several broad categories: policy making, social factors, health services, individual behavior and biology and genetics. Health is often referred to as being a complex bio psycho-social concept.

Breaking the term bio psycho-social down into its component parts suggests the term consists of three major components: biological, psychological and social. So how do these component parts each contribute to an individual’s health?

Biological – The biological and genetic or physical (physiological) determinants of health, as well as individual behaviors, are generally the focus of most work site wellness programs today. Programming often takes the form of health risk identification and measurement (commonly called risk reduction) and disease or condition management strategies. These speak to the biology and genetics of health.

Two common measurement tools used in work site wellness programs today are health risk assessments and bio-metric screenings which are designed to measure and categorize health risks and basic biological body measures respectively. The basic biological measures serve as markers for an individual’s health status. Ideally, these measures should be within what has been determined to be a normal clinical range.

Psychological – It is now generally accepted that our brain and our body in separable. There is an undeniable connection between the mind and the body. While the exact mechanism may not yet be clearly understood, there is agreement cognition, thoughts, attitude and feelings influence our health. Our thoughts and feelings do have a physical impact on our body. They influence our nervous system, our immune system, our hormone system and subsequently our health.

Disease states are strongly influenced both in onset and duration by the way we think and behave. Our emotional responses result in hormone releases which in turn affect our health. It is clear that how a person feels, or their psychological states including a sense of energy, vigor, durability, hardiness, resilience, optimism, high life satisfaction and positive emotions all reflect the psychological connection to physical health, thereby representing the psychological component in bio psycho-social.

Social – The person – environment fit is reflective of the social component in bio psycho-social. The social determinants of health typically refer to the social environment and the physical environment, which are not controllable by the individual, but affect the individual’s environment and health.

Social determinants are complex, integrated, and overlapping social structures and economic systems linked to a lack of opportunity and to a lack of resources to protect, improve, and maintain health. Environmental factors, such as housing conditions, living conditions, social networks, and social support are also key drivers.

Examples of social determinants include:

• Availability of resources to meet daily needs, such as educational and job opportunities, living wages, or healthy food

• Social norms and attitudes

• Exposure to crime, violence, and social disorder

• Socioeconomic conditions, such as poverty

• Social support and social interactions

Social support, social interactions and friendships have been determined by researchers to provide many benefits. They influence many major aspects of our life. They also provide many beneficial life enhancing roles. Social support is critical. In fact, a lack of friends can be deadly.

We lean on social support, social interactions and friendships for:

• Intellectual stimulation

• Emotional support

• Fun activities

• Support for making behavior changes

The skills necessary for making good social support, interactions and friendship are also the skills necessary for success in life. Social support, social interactions and friendships are also great wellness tools for the work-site wellness professional to tap into.

How is your work-site wellness program addressing each component of the bio psycho-social nature of health?

How to Reply to a Freelance Writing Gig Ad

If you search online every day, you will find hundreds of ads seeking a freelance writer. Along with these hundreds of ads, come many people wanting the gig. There could be hundreds of applicants that want to work the gig, but the person looking only needs one person. This is why it’s important to stand out when you reply to an ad.

When you reply to an ad, make sure you give the person exactly what he is looking for. If the ad says it wants your resume, samples, and a cover letter, make sure you send all three of them. If you don’t follow the directions, you have a pretty good chance of not getting the gig.

When sending your resume, make sure most people won’t have trouble opening it. Send it as a Word document or in text form. You don’t need it to be fancy. You need it to give information about your knowledge and skills.

The samples you provide should be some of your best work. It should also be relevant to the topic you’ll be writing on for the gig. People want to know how well you can write for them, and the only way to show them that is to give them a sample of that writing.

The cover letter is probably the hardest part. You should never copy and paste your cover letter. It should always be unique to the gig you’re applying to. You should start with something intriguing about yourself. You can then go into the reasons you are perfect for this gig. Don’t make it too long because people won’t read it all. You need to state what’s important and end it with a polite conclusion, which is usually information about how you can be contacted.

Always Be Professional

Don’t take shortcuts because the only person you’ll be hurting is yourself. The first impression you give people looking for a freelance writer is through an email. It could be your only shot at getting the gig, so put your best forward first.

When you receive a reply, don’t get lazy. Respond with the same professionalism as you did with the first email. People can turn you away at any time, so don’t risk it by not responding to their emails with the information they need to make a final decision.

Now that you have this information, go out there and start to apply to freelance writing gigs. Before you know it, you’ll have plenty of work coming in to bring in a decent income.

What You Can Learn From My Summer Vacation

‘Remember in our youth the standard return-to-school “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay? This summer has given me several lessons that have value for you today.

The story begins with a local police officer knocking on my door at 9:00 one night, asking me about my brother, Billy. Of course, you know what happens next–I find out that Billy died in a motorcycle accident a few hours earlier. He was 57, divorced, with no children. He was a floor layer, a regular ordinary guy. Like you and your team members.

First lesson: we are in a business of relationships. Don’t let corporate purchasing and hard bid tactics make you forget this. While price is part of the purchase consideration, the quality of your work and the relationships you foster with your clients, customers, and co-workers are paramount. I first realized this as word about Billy spread through the grapevine and I received numerous calls, emails, and cards of condolence from across the country. These were unexpected and much appreciated.

I saw it again at his wake. Having worked his trade in the New York area for over 30 years, my brother was well-known. On that Memorial Day weekend, we were visited by many of his associates. Not just tile guys, but the Foreman from the Laborers, and a superintendent from a General Contractor, to name a few. There were even guys who had worked with our father in the business-and some even remembered when I had helped out on a few jobs, way back when! Connections between people-that’s what it’s about.

Next lesson: how is your health? Construction is hard work, yeah. But it isn’t a substitute for quality exercise and eating. Billy wasn’t in bad shape, but he wasn’t in good shape, either. He loved to eat; cooking was his hobby. He didn’t exercise. And he had coronary artery disease. In fact, he may have had a health crisis that triggered the crash. We don’t know for sure. But we do know that he was not taking care of himself and now, he’s gone. Are you taking care of yourself? (If not for yourself, then for those who love you.)

“Divorced with no kids” sounds like an easy estate to deal with, right? Well, it would be if

  1. there had been a will (there wasn’t)
  2. there had been up-to-date beneficiaries on his life insurance policy (his ex-wife is still listed, although that wasn’t his wish; he just “never got around to” changing beneficiaries even though they’d been divorced for several years), and
  3. all his records had been kept in one place (not even close).

Looking through files and folders is never easy, but having to weed through pay stubs from 1986 makes the process even harder. I realized that my finances and directives are in a similar state of disorganization. I am currently creating what I call the Red Envelope, where all of that information is being placed to make the process easier for whoever needs to deal with it. We need to do this for the benefit of those around us. If you are a business owner or the head of a household, this becomes even more important.

By now, you may be fed up with my personal ramblings. But remember what my brother did for a living. He was a regular guy, he was just like you and the guys who work for you and with you. I am hoping you can learn from him so your team is better off.