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Category: Work

What Should Your Post-Pandemic Work Kit Include?

If you’ve been working from home since the start of the pandemic, you’re not on your own. Most businesses have embraced socially distant remote arrangements. It’s unlikely to change any time soon, even as vaccine rollouts encourage life to get back to normal. Virtual offices support productivity, creativity, and a healthy work/life balance, allowing both employees and employers to make work fit around their personal schedules. 

However, most professionals in the U.S. relocated at home over a year ago. It’s fair to say that it’s time to consider your work kit. Home office? Check! Some of the most frequently search terms on Google throughout 2020 focused on home office setup and improvement: 

L-shaped home office

Best standing desks for home office

Best desk chair for home office

Home office decor ideas

Ergonomic home office chair

So, it’s fair to say that most people already have designed the perfect workstation inside their homes. Whether you’ve converted the unused nook underneath the stairs or repurposed the spare bedroom, chances are you’ve arranged your ideal work-from-home space. As remote working positions are becoming a permanent feature in most companies, it’s time for businesses to introduce a work kit budget for their team. The work kit budget could enable teams to equip their home office with all the necessary tech and add-ons that are still missing. 

#1. A reliable laptop or computer

Admittedly, most employees already had a work laptop. However, if the business has recruited new team members since the start of the pandemic, it would be fair to provide them either with a work device or with a budget and a list of good laptops and computers, such as the Dell Vostro or some Lenovo models. For positions that are likely to remain permanently remote, office PCs can also be a fantastic alternative, especially for roles that require heavy designing or programming skills. Ideally, equipping your staff with a work laptop or PC will also reduce security risks and compatibility issues, as employees do not need to use their personal devices. 

#2. A secondary screen

Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of using more than one screen. However, the home office setting can benefit from the addition of a second monitor. Ideally, individuals who tend to focus on multiple things at the same time are likely to enjoy this setup. You will use two screens for checking data while you complete other tasks, comparing multiple documents or sets of data, compiling information, or centralizing your schedule and inbox on one screen while you carry on tasks on the other. It’s an option that is worth suggesting to your team. Everyone works differently; therefore, not every employee will find it helpful. But those who do should be able to upgrade their workstation accordingly. 

#3. A cup warmer coaster

The consumption of tea and coffee at home has reached new records during the pandemic. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to enjoy a warm drink while you’re working. More often than not, you can get distracted by a task. As a result, most people forget about their drink until it’s too late. By the time you’re ready to grab the cup and drink, the brew is already cold. 

While this might not sound like a major problem, in reality, it can have a significant impact on an individual’s productivity. Making a fresh cup of coffee or tea takes between 10 and 20 minutes, as most employees seize the opportunity to take a break at the same time. Unfortunately, when they don’t get around to drinking it, they are more likely to interrupt their day more frequently to refresh the drink. This can lead to frustration. Besides, caffeine helps keep your mind alert. Therefore, provide every worker a USB-pluggable cup warmer coaster can enhance comfort, reduce time loss, and boost productivity. 

#4. A piece of tranquillity

Working from home exposes individuals to high levels of noise pollution. Indeed, most workers live in an urban environment, which means they are likely to hear city sounds, such as traffic, construction sites, and even loud neighbors. Noise pollution can lead to high stress levels as it affects concentration and productivity. Therefore, it can be helpful to reach out to remote employees with noise-canceling solutions such as headphones. Some models can be plugged into the laptop and act as microphones and earphones during video calls too. 

#5. An air filter

How clean is your employees’ indoor air? The answer is: It’s impossible to know without a specialist tool. However, indoor air pollution is a reality that can affect everyone. Everyday items create toxic VOC emissions, whether cleaning products, paint on the wall, or synthetic material. Indoor pollution is responsible for premature death every year. As employees work remotely, providing a solution that can keep their workstation healthy and safe can be a game-changer. An air filter can help preserve their health and assist mental concentration. 

#6. A potted plant

Most office spaces tend to have potted plants. However, the same isn’t true in home offices. Office plants are not only an aesthetically pleasing addition to the decor. They can also significantly improve their work environment. The presence of greenery can reduce the risk of sick building syndrome. Potted plants are also proven to increase productivity by up to 15% and stimulate creative senses. It would make sense for employers to offer an office plant budget to their remote team. Alternatively, a plant is also a fantastic gift to send to newly hired talent to welcome them to the team.

#7. A selfie lamp

The selfie lamp is a ring of light that tends to be used by social media influencers to illuminate their faces for photo purposes. However, employees can also use the lamp during video calls. Indeed, not every home office environment is bright. When the room lacks a direct source of light, video calls can feel awkward as you don’t get to see the other person. Placing a selfie lamp next to the screen, out of the camera’s angle, can significantly improve call quality. 

In a remote environment, employers need to introduce a specialist budget to support home office setup. It is fair to say that design and tech choices that would be part of the typical office layout can be missed remotely. Therefore, an employer who goes above and beyond to promote a productive home office layout can help move the team forward. 

Playing the Pieces: 3 Approaches To Create Happier Employees

When you spend a lot of time thinking about what your business needs, your mind may very well go to the aesthetic components. For example, the marketing or improving the infrastructure. But when we ensure the business is well maintained from an outside perspective, we need to see what goes on behind closed doors. When we look at our employees, we must remember they are the progenitors of our success. They keep the engines running. So keeping our employees happy is not just about perks, but it’s about making sure that they are firing on all cylinders. How do we do this?

Look at When Employees Struggle

If employees struggle to work, it might be because of how the organization feels. It could be to a variety of shake-ups that make them feel that the ground is moving beneath their feet. We have to remember that, as employers, it’s crucial to keep the machine going. And while we employ a variety of techniques to help keep the business complying with the regulations, this can be at odds with the company culture. With every firing, there comes a lot of admin from the inside. And while in this respect, tools like an unemployment tracker work to maintain the inner workings, if employees struggle because you’ve constantly been letting people go left, right, and center, they may not feel they’re able to speak up. And when there are these deeply ingrained problems within a company, we got to work harder to keep them happy. While we can provide specific tools and tactics, ultimately, it’s the cultural component underneath it all that will help.

Keep Yourself Organized 

It is simple, but this is what will keep your employees believing in what you have to offer. When we run a company on a skeleton system, we need to incorporate organizational components to make everything ticking over. When we incorporate the right systems, like payroll software, or the aforementioned unemployment tracker, everything becomes crucial to help your employees recognize that they are at the forefront of your mind. Doing this, in combination with effective communication, shows them you have faith in their abilities, and they have faith in yours.

Focus on Holistic Approaches 

To work, everybody needs specific tools to function effectively. Some people are able to work under pressure, but others need an abundance of techniques and tactics. If we provide a variety of tools to help our employees work with an extra edge, they will benefit the business, but they will also benefit themselves. To do this, we need to provide a diverse range of techniques, so they can pick and choose the methods that suit them. For example, they may not be able to focus in an open-plan office environment. In which case, noise-canceling headphones could be the right tool.

If you want to keep your employees happy and the business productive, you need to consider a variety of tactics. If people are not comfortable working in this environment, we’ve got to address this as a priority. If we tackle these cracks, we could turn everything around.

How To Stay Focused While Studying Online

The internet is filled with tons of information, and there are so many things you can learn online from great study sites such as Udemy, Coursera, Alison, Khan Academy, and others. These sites often have excellent study material, whether you’re microlearning for training or taking a professional course. Online learning is convenient and often cheaper, but sometimes it isn’t easy to focus, reducing its effectiveness. In this article, you shall learn how to remain focused and study online effectively.

Avoid distractions

Studying on your own is great, but distractions will hinder your progress. As much as possible, when it is time to study online, do away with distractions. Aside from the distractions around you, such as noise and your phone, and other people, pay particular attention to online distractions such as pop-up ads, memes, and videos. If the need arises, you can install an app that will ensure that you cannot do anything else but focus on completing your online study.

Create a learning schedule

Creating a schedule will help you focus on your studies. Start by setting a time for logging in to study and then stick to that time. Whether it is every day or several times during the week, sticking to the same time will give a feel of routine, which can help you focus. You need to be self-disciplined if you want your online studies to be practical. If you have time for lectures, be sure to be settled at least fifteen minutes before it begins to make sure that everything you need to participate in the online class is functioning correctly.

Create a study space with a good internet connection

Studying online without an internet connection can be frustrating. You miss out on what is happening in real-time and lose the importance of what needs to be done. So, before you create a study space, be sure you choose a place with stable and good quality internet connectivity. Also, make sure the space is free from distractions and noise.

Set study goals for each session

On most online platforms for studies, you are allowed to choose the number of hours you want to use to complete a course. As such, each session has some goals or tasks attached. You also need to set study goals for each session personally. If your goal is to understand a concept, complete a task or pass a test, make sure that you have achieved that goal by the time you are done with the session. If necessary, you can create a personal study time aside from the online study time to complete your personal study goals for each session.

Take breaks

Uninterrupted learning is excellent, but it can also be unhealthy in some cases. Sitting behind the computer for long hours can harm your eyes and posture. Do well to take frequent breaks so that you can adequately assimilate learning material.

When learning, remember your underlying reason for doing so, and that will provide you with the needed motivation to get through each session. Always practice safe learning methods and avoid bad posture. Online learning is an excellent way for self-improvement, so take advantage and expand your knowledge.

How To Improve Your Brand New Home Office

So you figure you’re going to be working from home for a very long time and you decide to invest in a home office. Smart move, many people are doing the same and in fact, bosses are encouraging it. Apple is actually paying their employees, well it’s a grant, to build their own home office so they can work remotely far into the future. However, a home office is something unusual in the modern home. We normally don’t have such rooms in the contemporary world anymore. We’d much rather use the spare room for games or a chilling out at our personal bar. So you might be wondering now, how can you improve your home office to make it feel more like an office?

Invest in a chair

Do not bring up your dining chair! So many people don’t realize that creating a home office means you need to go all the way. You cannot do this halfway dude! So invest in a proper executive chair. It has to be comfy, so you can sit down for hours and not feel the need to get up and stretch your legs. Leather is great but modern fabrics that mix cotton and wool are also popular. Look for a chair that has armrests, so you can put your elbows somewhere and not feel like your shoulders are being dragged forward hour after hour. The executive chair should have a decent amount of padding too, so you feel fully supported both in your lumbar spine and in your hamstrings. 

Fast internet

Commercial internet providers are not the same as residential internet providers. They may be the same brand, sure, but they do not provide the same type of package. Commercial entities need very fast internet, with a huge bandwidth. This is because cloud storage systems and cloud software eats up a lot of internet. As you work from home, still using the same software that you had at work, you’ll find that you suffer slowdowns. Here is a switching broadband guide to help you choose your new internet provider that has shifted their structure for remote working customers. It lets you know what you can do, regarding your current contract obligations and if you can pull out.

Blue light vs natural light

Commercial buildings have huge windows so they can allow as much natural light in as possible. This helps employees to get their vitamin D, as well as see naturally. Blue light causing eye strain is a real concern for those that work from home. You may find that you cannot focus as well as you used to and that’s not always because of the room itself. You just need to open the curtains or draw up the blinds so nothing is impeding the sunlight from entering.

Your new home office will take time getting used to. But fear not, many people actually love their new professional workspace. After all, you are the designer so you can do anything you want with it.

Here’s How To Keep People Returning To Your Business

In business, it’s not enough to get a customer to buy once. Instead, you need to make sure that they keep buying from your business and that they are loyal to your brand. This naturally means that they need to be willing to explore your website multiple times. One quick search is never going to be enough. So, how can you keep your customers coming back for more? Well, there are a few possibilities that are worth exploring here.

Think About The User Experience

First you need to make sure that you are thinking about the user experience. In other words, you will have to check whether customers are enjoying visiting your site. User experience metrics and KPIs will help you get a handle on how you are performing here. If there are issues with these measures, then you’ll need to make improvements. Be aware that consumers can be very fickle and even the smallest thing could throw them off. That’s why A-B testing will be essential. With this testing you can change little details about your site and see if it improves things for your customers. 

Look At Remarketing

It could also be worth exploring remarketing. This can be useful if you think you missed a sale the first time a user visited your site. With remarketing a cookie will attach itself to the user’s web browser and follow them as they continue to search online. It will then show them ads of products or services that they were interested in when they were exploring your website. It’s a great way to tackle the problem of the abandoned shopping basket that plagues numerous businesses. 

Consider More Content

A big part of what keeps customers coming back to any website is value. You have to make sure that you are providing customers with the level of value that they expect from your business. Content is a great way to do this because it gives customers the information that they want or need. Content doesn’t have to be useful, it can be entertaining. You just need to make sure that it appeals to your specific target audience and makes them feel as though you are paying attention to their needs. 

If you are struggling to deliver enough content for your website, then you can think about hiring freelancers. You just need to make sure that they are following a brand style guide. You should also consider setting up a content publication schedule so there’s always something new on your website for your users. 

Make It Fast

Finally, you do need to ensure that your website is loading quickly. These days, customers aren’t interested in waiting around. If your page takes more than a few seconds to load, you can guarantee that they will go elsewhere. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can guarantee customers constantly return to your website. In doing so, you can make sure that you get the number of sales in your business that you need.

Take Care Of Your Screen Eyes

Eye health is so important. Most of us stare at screens for hours on end every single day. This can lead to eye fatigue which makes us feel tired, and adds to the sensations in our eyes, such as stinging, burning, itching or tiredness. If you wear glasses, you may have found that this helps but sometimes it doesn’t. You may need to get another eye test to ensure that you have the right lens. In addition to this, you should also consider looking at National Vision Administrators for choosing the best pair of glasses.

My eyes burn, why is this?

Burning eyes is a common problem that many ophthalmologists face. Many patients describe feeling blue in the eyes, a small bone or foreign body stuck in the eye cavity, a burning sensation in the eye, red eyes, sensitivity to touch and swelling. You may have read on the internet that screens can also cause this problem. There are several factors that can cause a burning sensation in the eye.

Dry eyes –  Dry eyes are caused by insufficient production of tears, or the tears are not of sufficient quality – they are watery and do not contain enough fat (referring to tears whose function is to moisten the eye and not to tears that fall as an expression of an emotional response).

Ocular Inflammation –  Inflammation can damage the conjunctiva and membrane that covers the eye and cause burning in the eyes. It is usually a viral infection but sometimes the source of the inflammation may be a bacterium. In this case the disease will be more severe and the treatment more intensive and may include antibiotics. 

Allergy – The  causes of many allergies – cat and dog fur, feathers, rashes, air pollution, exposure to chemicals and of course nutrition. An allergic reaction of the body may develop into eye inflammation.

Hormonal changes –  Pregnancy, adolescence, menopause or any other cause of changes in the level of estrogen and progesterone in the body can be manifested, among other things, in burns in the eyes.

Smoking –  Among the other harms of smoking to the body are also a number of eye problems, including stinging eyes. The body develops an allergic reaction to nicotine that is expressed in the same burn in the eye.

Contact lenses –  Prolonged use of contact lenses impairs the oxygen supply to the cornea and reduces its sensitivity, which lowers the amount of tears produced in the eyes – hence the burning in the eyes.
This is why it is important to get regular eye tests to ensure that you are doing all that you can to keep your eyes in their best health. Blurry eyes and tired eyes can lead to feeling anxious, exhausted, irritable and stressed. This is not good for our health. Therefore, take regular breaks, focus on objects in the distance in between looking on the screen and also bathe your eyes when possible. Resting your eyes is also important; and if you have had headaches because of blue light, you should consider looking at glasses to block this light out.