Category Archive: Business Operations

Office Fit-out: The Stress-Free Way

~by Lillian Connors~

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If moving is one of the most stressful things in life, then fitting out your office space is right up there high on that list as well. Planning out the whole thing, taking into consideration your worker’s wishes, finding the right partner for the job, and then finally moving your business –- it all sounds like a real nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s a stress-free way to fit out your office and here’s how to do it.   

office fit-out

 

Get your research done

First things first –- find out what you want your new office space to be. Remember the reasons why you are moving from your current building, and come up with a list of things that you did or didn’t like before. Also, make sure you run a survey among your employees and include them in the process. What works in your workspace and what does not? How much technology do you want and how much do you actually need? Analyze your workflow and your team to see what exactly it is that you want.

Come up with a plan

Planning ahead of time is essential if you want your office fit-out to go as smooth as possible, especially if you don’t want your work to stop for more than a few days. This is particularly important when it comes to technicalities, such as the installation of phone lines, broadband, etc. You don’t want any surprises to happen after your move is complete, so make sure you keep everything under control.

Set up a budget

The most important thing to remember when setting up the budget for your office fit-out is that it’s a long-term investment. Once you do it, you’re probably good for a decade; so take that into account when figuring out how much you’ll spend. If you’re on a budget, see where you can save up. Of course, to get the numbers right, it’s essential to know exactly what you want. Get estimates for everything, even for the little things. Once again, you don’t want any surprise costs.

Find a reliable contractor

office fit-outFinding the right partner for this job might seem a bit overwhelming when you first start looking, but it’s essential to set up your standards and stick to them. Meet with your potential contractors, ask to see their previous projects, and test their knowledge on legal issues of the job. Also, look for a contractor that works with your preferred style. For example, if you’re into contemporary office interiors, then hiring someone who has creative designers on their team and enough experience in that field is likely to give stunning results, both functionally and visually.

Reuse or replace

Some of the furniture you had in your previous office space can be reused in your new setting; so make sure you take that into account. It will affect your budget, but make sure you make that decision early in the process because your designers need time to think of a way to make it fit into your new style. For example, you can reupholster your old office chairs which will give them a fresh look and save you some money.

Have a plan for temporary working

If you don’t want to make a break in your business while you’re moving, then coming up with a plan for your workers is a must. You’ll probably need a few days to have all the furniture arranged and technology installed; so it would be best to let your employees work remotely. Whether it is from their homes or in a temporary office –- that’s all up to you. Just make sure you have a plan for the worst-case scenario.

Double-check everything and, finally, after you move, make sure you run a full office review to iron out minor creases if needed. Give it time to see how it works and then correct if there’s something to correct. After you’ve done that, you can just relax and watch your business grow in your new space.


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Lillian ConnorsMeet the Author: Lillian Connors

As the Co-Editor of BizzMarkBlog, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale. 
You can check her out on LinkedIn.


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How to Make Your Business More Sustainable in 2017

~by Chloe Taylor~

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If you’ve been around the green business block over the past few years, you probably know that sustainable business operation entails low environmental impact, long-term utility savings and increased customer appeal. If your company hasn’t been a byword for eco-friendliness by now, however, 2017 is a good year to make some green changes. If you don’t know how to make your brand board the “environmentally safe” boat, here are a few smart and simple suggestions that will help you dial up your corporate game in line with hot and profitable green trends.

1. Office Appliances Gone Green

sustainable businessEnergy Star office appliances have been growing increasingly popular in the past few years, and for a reason. Although a tad costlier than non-energy efficient models, green office equipment is better for both the environment and your brand’s bottom line. When buying energy-saving technology for your office, check energy rating labels: more stars mean higher long-term energy savings.

2. Alternative Power Mode On

As global fuel supplies continue to dwindle, more and more brands are switching to alternative energy for an environmentally and financially viable change. For a clean and green power twist, go solar with your office power supply. The transition to solar energy will allow you to cut long-term electric bills, minimize your company’s ecological footprint, and perhaps even earn some cash by feeding surplus energy to the grid.

3. Go Paperless (or at Least PCW)

Many brands have gone paperless in the past couple of years, and you can make the switch, too. By replacing printed documents with digital data which you can store on a cloud service, you’ll drastically reduce the amount of paper waste and office storage space requirements while doing the environment a big favor. If you can’t go paperless in your workplace, you can at least switch to post-consumer waste paper which requires 45% less energy to produce and entails a waste footprint that’s 50% lower compared to that of standard paper.

4. Switch to Green Office Lights

Another simple way to up your brand’s green game in 2017 is to switch on energy-efficient light. Although slightly costlier compared to conventional incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED lights last a dozen times longer and use significantly less energy. If you don’t know which type of lighting will work best for your workplace, you can consult with an industrial lighting expert and inquire about the most cost-efficient option based on office size, budget, and lighting requirements.

5. Recycle, Repurpose, Repeat

If your brand is not recycling waste already, now is the perfect time to start doing so. In addition to paper, electrical waste can be taken to the local recycling plant to minimize your company’s impact on the environment. Also, you can repurpose or reuse hardware such as desks, shelving, chairs, and other furniture for an extra dose of environmental safety and productivity-conducive workplace décor. Bonus point: participation in the community recycling programs may earn you a few dozen new green-minded customers.

sustainable business

6. Eco-Friendly Side of Cleaning

Biodegradable cleaning supplies are safer for the employees, the environment and your brand’s bottom line. Swap commercial cleaning staples such as hand soap, dish liquid, glass cleaner, and bathroom cleaner which contain harmful chemicals with DIY counterparts: it will allow you to prevent toxic waste from getting into the drainage system and polluting water and soil while attracting eco-conscious consumers and reducing office maintenance costs at the same time.

7. Save Water, Don’t Flush Cash

Water scarcity has become a pressing environmental concern in most third-world countries and it may not be long before it comes knocking on your neighborhood’s doors. Fortunately, you can help save the planet by decking water outlets with water-efficient extras such as faucet aerators and low-flow toilets and shower heads. You should also inspect the waterways around the office and fix any leaks or damaged pipes: it’s only a matter of time before a minor hitch evolves into a serious and costly problem. If your office has a lawn or backyard, you should switch to drought-tolerant landscape design to minimize water waste through regular upkeep.

In the world of business as it stands today, sustainability, success and growth are synonymous with green office design. Are you ready to turn your corporate headquarters into a hotbed of comfort and peak profits? If your answer is ‘Yes’, don’t hesitate to put the tips above to use this year. It’ll help you improve brand image, reduce running costs and do good by Mother Nature. Good luck with your green business moves!


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Chloe Taylor

Chloe Taylor

Meet the Author: Chloe Taylor

Chloe is a young blogger and a huge fan of social media. She enjoys learning and writing about design, business, psychology, and productivity related topics. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. You can find Chloe on Facebook and Twitter.


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Green Business: Growing Trends to Follow in 2017

~by Stacey Cooper~

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It’s quite a tragedy knowing the fact that humanity has done its best to ruin our own natural habitat. When we almost reached a point of no return, people started to take notice of the damage we are doing to this planet. It seems that it takes a disaster of monumental proportions for humanity to reach a moment of clarity. The climate change has started to affect us all — hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, polar ice caps melting, some wildlife species at the brink of extinction or already extinct. All of these circumstances are a product of mankind’s recklessness.

green businessHowever, not all hope is lost. People are starting to notice how bad the situation really is, and how natural resources, renewable energy and green businesses can mend the problem. Luckily, people are becoming aware of these much-needed alternatives, so perhaps we might eventually make some positive changes.

Green Industry

Corporations and businesses that go green are bound to get positive feedback from viewers and customers alike. They have increased sales and better revenues, and they gain more loyal customers and a good reputation. Aside from obvious benefits, green businesses focus on delivering products and making profits while having minimal impact on the environment. They invest additional effort that the work being done minimizes the production of toxic waste and harmful chemicals, waste byproducts and excess materials. It doesn’t take much to go green, yet the benefits to business and the environment are greatly beneficial. It’s not just a trend to follow, but also a public service.

Green is also an Opportunity

Big companies and enterprises are taking notice of the green movement. They are starting to understand the importance of saving the planet and finding the potential investment to support their mission. Regardless of their agenda, now is a really good time for small businesses that are going green to find a suitable investor. Having an eco-friendly big-shot supporting you along the way will help you launch your business. Aside from publicity, having more funds to invest in your green business will be valuable. The year 2017 may as well be the turning point for the good of the environment.

Businesses that Go Green Will Reap the Profits

As mentioned, awareness is growing and consumers are more concerned about where the products come from. This will enable the marketers to show the customers the journey of the products using various advertising methods. Augmented reality can be of good service here, as you can, for example, show the buyers how fresh vegetables come from a farm to their plates. The greener the business is, the more customers it will attract — and we all know that more customers means more profits. There are quite a lot of things you can implement in your business to be greener or potentially more profitable.

The Power of the Sun

Solar power has a bright future indeed. Marching forward at a steady pace, solar power has the greatest potential when it comes to renewable energy. Sadly, mankind has not yet fully utilized the true potential of solar power. However, the value and necessity for renewable energy is growing rapidly. Today’s technology has allowed us to create the best solar panels there are. For small businesses, this is a great investment, and also a great opportunity to cut back on expenses for electric bills. Investing in solar panels can be a potentially lucrative venture. Installing a few in your home or business offices will help you save money. Even though a lot of people are still skeptical about solar power, it will be an interesting trend to keep an eye out for in 2017.

Starting a Green Business

green businessThis year will be a great year for startup businesses. With even more people on the lookout for green products and green ways of doing business, green-oriented startups will definitely flourish. For example, opening a restaurant that only serves customers fresh, organic fruits and vegetables or supplying a restaurant with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables would both make great business plans. As mentioned, 2017 will be a year that provides plenty of business ideas and opportunities.

Natural Resources

If we ignore politicians and scientists, who argue over whether global warming is real or not, and instead we look out the window or read the news — we will see that the consequences of climate change and global warming are real. The good news is that instead of waiting for the big-shots to decide, many companies are focusing on utilizing natural resources as renewable energy. This will most likely continue in the future. Wind parks, solar panel farms, and water and air purifiers are some of the available energy-saving resources for protecting the environment. There will be a lot of business opportunities in renewable energy agenda in the near future.

In retrospect, the green industry is on the rise, with people being more concerned about our planet. This will present opportunities for businesses to thrive and have a positive and beneficial impact on the environment.


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Stacey CooperMeet the Author: Stacey Cooper

Stacey Cooper is a business consultant and a contributor on bizzmarkblog.com. Through her work she tries to provide useful and interesting tips, and fresh news from the world of business, entrepreneurship and marketing.


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4 Unique Hurdles Small Healthcare Businesses Must Deal With

~by Dixie Somers~

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Small medical businesses have different challenges to overcome in comparison to larger health networks. In addition to providing quality care, they must overcome the kind of problems that small businesses face when competing with large companies.

Here is a look at some of the common issues that these providers deal with, along with some creative solutions.

small healthcare businesses1. Insurance Companies

Insurance can be a tricky thing to deal with when you are a health care provider. Typically, there is a trade-off when it comes to working with an insurance company. You are more likely to get customers, but you end up making less money from in-network patients due to the network deals that are made. Large health care companies compensate for this by playing the volume game. They see a lot of patients every day. Small companies can offer extra time with individual patients. Instead of a five- to 15-minute checkup that touches just on the absolute basics of health, patients are given 30 minutes to an hour to discuss their overall wellness and devise strategies to make it better. This also gives the doctor a better idea of a normal health baseline in their patients. This can translate into earlier diagnoses when serious diseases appear. These boutique doctors can often charge a bit more for this service, and their clients are grateful to pay it.

2. Testing Services

To provide adequate medical care, health care providers must have access to lab services. Blood tests, X-rays, and mammograms are just some of the services that are needed to give a diagnosis. Doctors must be able to provide these tests by either contracting with individual labs or by providing the staff and equipment themselves. Both can be complicated. Some groups of individual medical providers will cluster into medical parks to try and simplify this for patients. They remain independent businesses, but the distance between the doctor and the phlebotomist may be the same number of steps away as it would be inside a hospital.

3. Disposal

small healthcare businessesThe disposal of medical waste can be complicated and expensive. Many of the items that come from a doctor or dentist are considered to be bio-hazard waste. As such, it requires special disposal services, and legal, safe removal comes with associated fees. There are some ways to recoup some of these costs, however. One innovative way to do this is to work with a service to refine dental scrap. Dentists can use these services to get profit returned to them from old fillings that are removed. Many of these fillings are made from precious metals like gold, palladium and silver. These items can be extracted from pulled teeth, sanitized and melted down to return a profit to the dentist.

4. Versatility

Network health systems are able to offer a cornucopia of doctors with the benefit of receiving a single bill. They also allow you to enter all of your patient data one time only, regardless of specialty. This convenience can be difficult for small health practices to compete with. Because of this, many small medical practices don’t try. They focus instead on the things that can only be found in small practices. Their offices may look homey instead of clinical. The receptionists know your name and remember the names of your pets and children. They sponsor local little league and other sports, and then attend the games. This kind of connection is sorely missed by a large number of people, and it can be a highly successful strategy for small medical practices.

While big business has a lot to offer, there are a lot of ways in which small practices can do extremely well in a competitive marketplace. By being creative, resourceful, and patient and community focused, smaller health practices can carve out a boutique marketplace that offers consumers a great way to feel that their health needs are well cared for.


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Dixie SomersMeet the Author: Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.


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The Benefits of Having a Company Vehicle

~by Kara Masterson~

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Companies provide vehicles to their employees for a variety of reasons, none of which devalue the employee or their roles inside the business. The vehicles can consist of service vans, trucks or cars, depending on the nature of the business. When companies supply vehicles to their workers it is known as a fleet. The automotive fleet is owned by the business and operated for business purposes.

Many car dealerships have inventories of pre-owned automobiles that make excellent fleet vehicles. Buying or leasing a certain amount of vehicles for business purposes also offers huge savings to the company using the fleet cars.

company vehicle

The following is a list of the benefits of having a company vehicle. These benefits are realized either by the company, employee or both.

Allows for a Mobile Workforce

The degree of mobility for employees is beneficial for the customer. Services are rendered and equipment carried directly to the work site. In this way, employees are better able to conduct business. The opportunity to increase service areas and clientele is made possible with work vehicles.

Control of Company Image and Branding

A cohesive fleet of vehicles means that a company is better able to manage its image and branding. The look of employees working in the same make and model of automobile connotes a professional demeanor. Not to mention, employees are more likely to be receptive to having company logos on a work vehicle rather than their personal one.

Added Flexibility

Employees with children will have more options for transportation in their personal lives with an added car. Additionally, having a work vehicle ensures that all employees can make it to the office, especially if the work location proves to be difficult to reach.

company vehicleProvides the Ability to Use Specialized Vehicles

Here, specificity begets necessity. The more specialized the vehicle that the company needs – think delivery truck or service van – the more the case can be made for fleet vehicles. Employees might not choose a specialized option unless their work provides it for them.

Should You Incorporate Fleet Vehicles Into Your Workforce?

The answer to this question may lie in the size and purpose of your business. Larger corporations may be more likely to have the capital on hand to supply a fleet of vehicles for their employees. However, leasing vehicles is a viable option for smaller businesses. Another important consideration is the tax issues associated with having work vehicles.

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Explore the link in this article to learn more about work vehicles and the benefits they provide. If you are a business owner, then share your experiences with fleet vehicles. Did you go through a car dealership? Did you take advantage of an incentive program? Readers would like to know.


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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family.


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4 Potholes to Avoid on the Road to Business Success

~by Hannah Whittenly~

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business successRunning a successful business seems more and more difficult as the business world itself becomes an increasingly complex place to operate. While it is true that the way people do business today has changed radically, from even a few years ago, there are still ways a savvy entrepreneur can get a foothold in the market and ensure that their business will thrive despite all the modern obstacles to doing business.

Here are a few of the important potholes to avoid on the road to business success.

Do Not Forget to Adequately Fund Your Business

It is often said that it takes money to make money. The truth is that it takes lots of money to reap decent profits. Many entrepreneurs find themselves ill-prepared for the dangers funding deficiencies can cause to their business. For this reason, a business must be built on a solid foundation of capital funds. This will ensure that when a business is ready to grow or make a big move in the marketplace, the capital is there to drive the right plan of action that will best benefit a company’s bottom line. Unfortunately, a severe lack of funds is usually a sign that a business is dead in the water. Just know that there are a variety of methods a business can employ to obtain the funding it needs. From borrowing money from family and friends to selling stocks in the business, it is possible to raise enough capital to keep a business operational even through the tough times.

Being Out of Touch With Your Customer Base

From consumer feedback to great customer service, how a company chooses to interact with customers can often mean the difference between massive success and massive failure. This is another major area where businesses face difficulty, because they do not always know the best way to maintain a connection with their customer base. However, getting in touch with a company’s customer base will often require more in-depth research into the habits and the ways that customers access modern technology than a business has invested the time and resources towards. This is important since it exposes how to leverage all the available avenues for the best strategies to ensure your company is engaging customers on their level.

business successWhen Logistics Get out of Control

When you need product fast or need to make sure product will reach the right customer in a timely manner, there exists a wide variety of product suppliers and drop shippers who can help a business operate like a well-oiled machine. Fulfillment centers can help to ensure that companies they service turn over orders fast, and they should be able to provide real time tracking and reporting on anything from raw materials to finished products. When a company’s logistics are not running smoothly, this can and will often lead to many missed opportunities and lost profits along the way.

Not Outsourcing Where Needed

Outsourcing labor and tedious tasks to a third party company can massively improve the efficiency of a business’s daily operations. Because less of the heavy lifting on projects is being done in-house, a company that outsources will find it needs less staff and can get things done much faster. A business that fails to outsource where necessary will typically pay more to hire staff that cannot get nearly as much done for the low costs charged when hiring a third party provider. Often, keeping many of these tasks in-house leads to the need to spend more money than necessary on office space and is a mistake that should be avoided when possible.

While it is important to focus on the successful operations of a business, it is equally important to beware the many pitfalls that await a business in the marketplace. From technology-related business issues to employment standards, business’s today have to watch out for many unforeseen pitfalls as they strive to do it better than their competitors. For this reason it is essential for a business owner to keep their eyes open and be ready to face any challenges that stand to hinder how their business maintains its bottom line.


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Hannah WhittenlyMeet the Author: Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.


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4 Great Team Building Activities to Help Your Business Operations

~by Brooke Chaplan~

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If not approached with caution and with a sober mindset, the benefits of team building activities become non-existent. Being one of the most important investments an organization can make for its workers, team building must be fun and adventurous. It should be something that your employees look forward to.

team building activities

If you are planning a team building retreat for your employees, you may want to borrow these four fantastic and engaging group team building ideas.

Scavenger Hunt

Divide the team into two or more groups. Using a pen and paper, develop a list of amusing tasks for each group to perform, such as shopping for particular items in a specified store, locating and taking a picture of a given building, and so on. Attach a deadline to the list of tasks that must be completed, and reward the fastest group. The scavenger hunt is a team bonding exercise good for breaking up office cliques. It encourages employees to work with people from other departments and teams.

The Barter Puzzle

This fun and exciting group game demands the availability of four small groups or more with an equal number of members. There should be enough jigsaw puzzles for all the groups. All the jigsaw puzzles must have the same level of difficulty. The first group to finish the puzzle wins, but the real challenge is in finding missing jigsaw pieces that are mixed in the jigsaw puzzles of other groups. Group members must devise a way of getting those missing parts whether by barter or espionage. It’s important that teams work together and make decisions together throughout. The Barter Puzzle instills problem-solving and leadership skills in your workers.

Human Knot

team building activitiesHuman Knot accommodates groups of 8-20 people, and no tools are required. Ask the members of the team to stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. Instruct them to stretch their right arms and grab a random hand of someone from across. Instruct them to do the same using their left hands. Without releasing their hands, ask them to untangle the knot of arms – within a stipulated timeline. If you have a large team, separate them into small groups of no less than eight people each, and make them compete. Good communication and teamwork are critical success elements in an organization. This group activity comes in handy for developing these traits and showing employees how much they can achieve within a short amount of time if they successfully handle a task or project together.

Escape Room

A growing trend in group and team building activities is the Escape Room. These rooms are complex puzzles that require everyone to contribute and look at things from different perspectives to reach a common goal. Ranging from small to large groups, there are sizes and difficulty levels for any size team. Facilities like Houdini’s Room Escape even have different themes and special accommodations specifically for team building. As Escape Rooms become more popular you’re bound to find one in your area to try out.

Effective team building can be extremely beneficial to both the employees and the company. It offers a great channel for mitigating conflicts, building trust, encouraging smooth communication, and increasing collaboration. It helps employees become more actively engaged, which enhances not only organizational performance but also the company culture.


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Brooke ChaplanMeet the Author: Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.


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The Right Office Decor Can Inspire Productivity

~by Alex Williams~

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We are not fully aware of just how much our working environment can affect our productivity. We usually notice things that annoy us and believe that they are the reason. But even some seemingly meaningless things can lower our productivity. Whether you work from home or in an office, you need to have an environment that will keep you focused and relaxed. In order to create such perfect surroundings, you should consider adjusting a few things.

productivity

Proper Lighting

Proper lighting can help you focus better. However, when there’s even the smallest thing wrong with it, you may get distracted more easily. If the lighting is bad, it can cause eyestrain, headaches, fatigue and make you feel annoyed or depressed. To improve the lighting in your office, bring your own lamp that fits your needs and creates a better working environment. For a home office, you should let in as much natural light as possible, and use various lamps in different places to make sure that every corner is well lit.

Comfortable Chair

The most common reason for low productivity is the very thing you sit on. If the chair doesn’t support your back properly, you’re bound to have issues with it. Such pain and discomfort can significantly affect your productivity. That is why you need to find an ergonomic chair to provide you with the proper support for your entire body. Additionally, you should be able to adjust the height of it so that your feet can rest comfortably on the floor. If your chair provides enough support and lets you find a comfortable position, it will only motivate you to work harder and better.

Adjustable Desk

Is it even possible to have an office without a desk? No, of course not. Your desk should be functional and provide you with enough space. However, your ordinary desk might not be as comfortable as you would like it to be, so consider updating your office a bit. Opt for desks that are adjustable to various heights. There are various standing desks you can choose from, and you can easily match their design and material with any office. Plus, since they are completely adjustable, they allow you to stretch your legs and straighten your back without having to stop working.

Motivating Colors

productivityThe colors in your office affect your mood and brain functions. They can evoke both emotional and physical responses, so choose colors that have positive effects on your productivity. For example, blue and green are said to create a soothing atmosphere and encourage productivity. However, you have to keep in mind that too much of such colors can also disturb you on many levels. Therefore, paint your office in such hues, but try to create some sort of a contrast with neutral shades, such as white or beige. Also, you can introduce another colour through some details and ornaments, or you can create an accent wall behind you which will emphasize your design.

Scents

The scents in your office matter just as much as its visual atmosphere. Our sense of smell can drastically affect our mood and productivity, which is why you should aim at introducing calming scents wherever you can. You can easily create a pleasant atmosphere by adding a few scented candles or oils and arranging them into glass jars around the office. The most powerful and encouraging scents are pine, cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, and citrus. Each of these scents can lift your spirits, improve your mood and increase productivity. Not only that, but they will transform the office into a better place and elevate its design.

Personal Touch

Keep the things you like on your desk and shelves no matter what they are. If you need more office supplies, don’t hesitate to get them because they will contribute to your organization and productivity. Get items you like such as colorful sticky notes, fancy pens, funky pencil holders, or any other item you wish to have. Also, photos of your family, friends, pets, or anything else that reminds you of happy moments, will help you focus better and lower your stress levels.

We all need something to push us forward from time to time. However, that nudge shouldn’t be something that irritates us, but rather something that will motivate and calm us.


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Alex WilliamsMeet the Author: Alex Williams

Alex was born and raised in beautiful Sydney. She is a journalism graduate and a rookie blogger. A regular contributor at BizzMark Blog, Alex showcases her expertise and gains recognition and a wider audience by blogging on numerous other blog sites.


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What Makes a Working Environment Truly Safe?

~by Lillian Connors~

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No matter where you work, you might be exposed to some safety and health hazards. If you sit in an office, behind a computer, you are much less likely to be exposed to any negative elements, though it can’t be said that nothing could go wrong.

working environment

On the other hand, those operating heavy machinery or working in an unpredictable environment are much more prone to accidents. Since most accidents that occur could have been prevented, it’s of great importance to recognize potential risks and take necessary steps to avoid them.

Falls

Though it may seem surprising to many, falls are the most common type of work injuries. In order to minimize the risk of tripping and falling, make sure that walkways are free from clutter at all times. Rugs and thresholds are particularly dangerous in that respect, and so are tiled surfaces, which are quite slippery when wet.

Next, you should avoid standing on chairs, particularly rolling ones; use a stepladder instead. Finally, many falls occur at blind corners when two people don’t see each other coming until it’s too late. That’s why some companies have had convex mirrors installed at intersections.

Dangerous objects

Another potential danger is objects that could hit you. For example, overloaded cabinets or those with extended drawers are a great hazard. Similarly, it’s vital that heavy items are stored properly so that they can’t be knocked over. People may get seriously hurt from these types of accidents. It’s best to keep all heavy objects as close to the ground as possible and never exceed the load capacity of shelves.

Importance of ergonomics

Many injuries, particularly in offices, happen because of inappropriate posture or repetitive movements of employees. In order to prevent such injuries, managers need to consider individual cases and provide adjustable chairs, monitor stands and other equipment, so that each employee can arrange it in a way that they find most suitable.

If you think such investments are unnecessary, just consider how much you might end up paying after health claims from workers. Not only that, but you also have to incorporate the cost of replacing the absent worker, loss of production and similar problems.

Light

working environmentIt’s well known that staring at a computer monitor is not good for your eyes, but many people have to spend hours every day doing exactly that. In order to help them, designers or managers need to insist on having appropriate lights installed at each work unit, and no bright spot should be present in the employee’s line of vision to prevent serious damage to their eyesight.

Fire safety

There is probably no need to stress how dangerous fires are. What makes these matters worse is that a fire can be started in many different ways. Still, in most cases it can be easily prevented if everyone is aware of the potential hazards.

For example, damaged, ungrounded power cords are the most common cause of fire, which is why they need to be inspected regularly and thoroughly. Cords can also be overloaded, which is also potentially hazardous. Another potential danger are heaters, which might be located near combustible materials, or they might simply be tipped over.

All employees need to be aware of the location of reliable, tested fire-fighting units closest to their office so that they can use them should such a need arise. Fire sprinklers must not be blocked in any way, and there should be at least 50-60 cm of clear space below. Finally, escape routes need to be free from obstacles and clutter, while fire doors must not be held open by objects such as chairs or trashcans.

These are just some of the most important concerns that every manager and employee have to be aware of regarding safety at work. Just as with many other things in life, it’s always better to act preventively than to deal with consequences. The issue of people’s health must not be taken lightly, and all necessary steps need to be taken in order to prevent any harm that may occur at the workplace.


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Lillian ConnorsMeet the Author: Lillian Connors

As the Co-Editor of BizzMarkBlog, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale. 
You can check her out on LinkedIn.


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Access Points: Where is Your Company Weakest?

~by Eileen O’Shanassy~

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Every company has weak spots where criminals and competitors seek to gain access to sensitive information that can damage the company or the lives of one or more employees. Although many business owners and administrators know where to look for security problems, some are unaware of the following three weak access areas.

Reception Desk

weak access pointsReception is not secure simply because a receptionist can “see” who comes in and out of the building. Reception desks actually open a company up to a wide range of theft scenarios, including computer password and proprietary data theft. In many cases, the theft happens while a receptionist is distracted by a client, phone call or package delivery. To improve security, make certain that the reception desk features a high front counter that wraps in a U-shape around the desk to make it harder for people to see items on it and locked reception desk swing gates to prevent people from easily slipping behind it.

Employee Computers

Another weak spot involves multiple computer security issues. Many companies continue to use old computers and software that have outdated security on them. These computers do not have the most modern security tools needed to block hackers and data theft, including updated antivirus software and Wi-Fi security. There has also been a big surge of employee internet security problems in recent years. You should set up all computers to prevent employees from purposely or accidentally downloading software off the internet that has not been approved by the company. Also, check your employees’ social media accounts. Some employees might accidentally post proprietary or unannounced information to their accounts or content that can damage your company’s reputation, such as images of them committing illegal acts and negative statements about the company.

weak access pointsHealth Data 

If your Human Resources department stores hard copies of any health information about employees for insurance purposes on-site, then you have a huge potential identity theft weak spot in your company’s security. It is far easier for an identity thief to create a false identity when they have a lot of personal details to use, especially health details. Scan all this data and then store it electronically via one or more health data storage programs with EHR migration capabilities. As for the hard copies: Store them in a secure off-site location.

You do not need security expertise to detect and fix weak access points. You merely need to implement these and similar changes today, and then continue to watch out for security weaknesses going forward.


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Eileen O'ShanassyMeet the Author: Eileen O’Shanassy

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking and kayaking. Check her out on Twitter @eileenoshanassy.


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