Category Archives: Business

The Importance of A Well Designed Office

By Kathryn Morris, Lifestyle Blogger

If you work in an office environment, you probably spend upward of eight hours every day sitting in front of a monitor gnawing away at tasks. Besides the physical strain to your back and neck muscles (from sitting in the same position for hours), office work can also be very mentally draining. In fact, without the right office layout, every new working day can leave you feeling more mentally drained than the previous one. A well-designed office, on the other hand can have a significant positive impact on your productivity as well as that of your employees.

A good office layout which provides your employees with quick and easy access to everything they require makes them more efficient and productive since time is not wasted on procuring these office resources. Making the office space comfortable and visually appealing can also increase the morale of your employees and make them more motivated at work. It goes without saying that motivated employees perform better at work than those lacking in it. Furthermore, if your business frequently receives visits from clients, a well-designed office will make a strong impression on them and may even motivate them to refer your business to potential clients.

There are a good number of ways in which you can spruce up your office. However, the work can be very time consuming so you may need to hire specialist interior designers to achieve best results in a shorter timeline. Here are a few ways you can improve the design and efficiency of your office space.

Creative Use Of Colour

With the right colour-scheme combinations you can greatly enhance the design of your office space without spending too much. For best results, cover all the walls with the same colour of paint or if you’re feeling particularly daring and experimental you can have a contrasting colour on one of the walls to accent the others. Bright colours work best for office walls since they give off an inspirational, cheery vibe which will energize and motivate your employees.

Comfortable Office Furniture

Even for the most motivated employee, uncomfortable chairs and desks put a strain on their muscles which is very difficult to ignore and may actually hinder their performance in the office. When purchasing office furniture, invest in sturdy chairs with good back support and comfortable seats and arm rests. If they are adjustable, even better. A rule of thumb for office desks is that they should be big enough to hold your employees’ work stations and small enough to fit in the office without taking up all the space. Also, consider working with bold colours for the office furniture, as this will add to the contrast and make them stand out.

Add Plants To The Office Interior Décor

Most people already grow plants at home for aesthetic value. You can likewise add some colourful potted plants in the office to improve the ambience and give your employees and visiting clients a homely feel in the office. If your office is located in a place where natural light cannot properly reach plants to allow them to grow properly, you can instead work with artificial plants which will achieve more or less the same results.
Fertile Frog office

De-clutter

Untidy offices are often one of the biggest hindrance to performance and creativity for most employees. Ideas don’t flow naturally when one has a huge pile of clutter on their work station and around their desk. Ensure all your office works stations are tidied up and all pieces of unusable paper and other clutter are disposed of. You can also digitize all your storage of files in order to be more efficient on space and reduce office clutter.

Having a well-designed office space that puts these ideas in practice will greatly increase your employees’ performance which will translate into results for your business. Try them out today to maximize the potential of your office space.
By Kathryn Morris, Lifestyle Blogger

4 Reasons Why Health and Safety Training Is Key to a High-Performing Office Environment

Trust, communication, and respect are essential to a healthy workplace. For these to exist, all levels of the organization need to understand the characteristics that ensure this and commit to an ongoing effort to make it a reality.

If your goal is a superior, high-performance office environment that is focused on and dedicated to continuous improvement of your workforce, you need to implement a health and safety training program.

While you know that fulfilling your company’s health and safety obligations is a legal requirement, here are four additional advantages of health and safety training that explain why it’s key to a high-performing office environment.

1. It informs workers and managers about workplace hazards.

Health and safety training is an essential tool for informing workers and managers about workplace hazards so they can work more securely and be more productive.

Exceptional health and safety training provides workers, employers, managers, and supervisors with:

  • The knowledge and skills that are needed for work to be performed safely and to avoid the creation of hazards that could place workers or customers at risk.
  • Awareness and understanding of any potential workplace hazards and a transparent process for identifying, reporting and controlling them.
  • Specialized training for businesses where work involves unique hazards.

 

2. It can be specialized, as well as bring teams together.

One of the benefits of taking a NEBOSH course is that health and safety training can be specialized depending on the roles assigned to employers or individual managers, supervisors, and workers.

For example, employers, managers, and supervisors may require additional training to ensure that they can fulfill their roles and provide leadership, direction, and resources for the safety and health program. Workers assigned specific tasks in a workplace may need training to ensure their full participation in those functions.

Knowing that co-workers are adequately equipped to deal with workplace hazards creates a secure bond between employees.

3. It enables workers to be more productive.

A surefire sign that employees feel comfortable and safe in their high-performing work environment is when they have a commitment to excellence that rivals the CEO’s.

In your office environment, you most likely have workers who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk on their computer. Due to this, there is a high chance that they will begin to experience back, hand or wrist ache.

There is also a high likelihood that they will refrain from raising it as an issue and instead will choose to suffer in silence, albeit working slower than usual. They may even take an increased number of unofficial breaks to deal with the pain.

However, a manager who is well-trained in health and safety can perform a thorough health and safety audit to check for these types of occurrences. Once you’ve identified the specific problems in your office environment, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that your employees are protected from these types of injuries, and that you have implemented the resources they require to be as productive as possible.

Employees may also consider online learning or classroom learning, a setup that will allow them to invest in their healthy and safety education without hindering their productivity.

4. It provides legal protection against damages.

With or without a formal policy, as a company, you must take reasonable steps to care for the health of your staff.

If, as a business owner, you are proven to have been negligent in safeguarding your employees against accident or illness, you can be held personally responsible, which may lead to fines or even imprisonment. For this reason, implementing the appropriate health and safety training and techniques will assure that your firm is documenting and investigating any minor incidents, thus reducing the chance of injury and subsequent claims.

In addition to informing workers and managers about workplace hazards and thus enabling them to be more productive, an additional benefit of health and safety training is that it provides employees with a deeper understanding of the safety and health program itself so that they can contribute to its development and implementation.

The time and attention you pay to health and safety training will reap your business the high-performance status of a superior workforce. This is the performance that will enable your organization to achieve its dreams and goals.

AUTHOR BIO:  Dave Newgass is the owner and Managing Director of Wise Global Training Ltd. Born and raised in a small California coastal fishing town but now living in the United Kingdom, Dave’s goal is to ensure that clients are not only happy with the IOSH and NEBOSH online courses they purchase from Wise Global Training Ltd., but are also happy with the total experience as a whole.

Using E-Learning in Employee Training (infographic)

Many people will be familiar with the long, boring day sat in a room listening to an instructor speak about how you can improve at your job. At the best of times, these days are tedious, but the reality is they are also not very productive at all. This infographic from One Productions takes you through how much more effective e-learning can be in employee training and outlines why traditional employee training is so ineffective.

After a long day of training, the average employee forgets 65% of the material covered just 7 days later and this figure jumps to 90% after 6 months. The problem with these training sessions is that when they’re done, they’re really done. There is no way for employees to really follow-up if they’re confused about an area. Sure, they could ask their boss, but many employees wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that.

The e-learning industry has grown 900% since the year 2000 and it’s easy to understand why we’ve seen such growth. Think about it from your own perspective. Would you rather be lectured at for an entire day or learn at your own pace with a collection of training videos. Videos allow you to learn at whenever is convenient on any device. If you don’t understand something in the videos, have a look back over it at a time of need rather than it being forced down your throat.

For employers, it’s important to put effort into making these videos. Don’t slack of on production quality just because it’s being circulated internally. Produce them as if the content were being used for your customers. A poor-quality video will make employees less attentive to the content.

Check out the full infographic for more information and remember that 40% of poorly trained employees leave a job within one year. Consider using e-learning to ensure this doesn’t happen.

 

Business Cards: What You Need to Know

Are business cards still worthwhile? According to this infographic from Colourfast they are still highly effective in the business world. The essential message is that no business card is better than a bad business card as 72% of people judge a company or person on the quality of their business card. Remember that business cards are not expensive so it’s the one area where you really shouldn’t be watching the pennies.

Make sure all of the crucial elements are included in it and take the time to make sure the card is absolutely perfect before committing to the final design. One point where people have different opinions is if you should add a photo to your business card. Many believe you should add it as people will remember faces and not cards. This may be a slightly industry dependent but it is certainly something worth considering.

Another thing to remember about business cards is that you don’t need to give them to absolutely everyone but you should be prepared. Just because you printed a thousand business cards the week before a conference, doesn’t mean they need to be given to every Tom, Dick and Harry you meet. A good rule of thumb is to give a business card to anyone with whom you shake hands as this is generally a good indicator as to whether you’ve made a real connection.

Having said that, no matter where you are you should also have a few business cards in your wallet. Not all business occurs at conferences and who’s to say who you’ll meet in the grocery store or while on vacation.

The infographic below takes you through the subtle differences in business etiquette you need to be aware of, especially if you’re doing business in different parts of the world such as Japan or China.

what you need to know about business cards

Starting Your Own Business After a Career Setback: Why the Decision is a Great Idea and How to Get Started

By Larry Mager

Common career setbacks include being fired or laid off, being demoted, being stagnant (no way to move up in current position or career), or becoming bored with your current position or career. Any of these situations can cause you to feel upset, angry, or full of self-doubt. Instead of moping about, focus on moving forward and consider making a change. While you can dive back into the same career in which you’ve been working, you can also take a leap and start your own business.

Coming Up with a Business Idea

Coming up with a business idea

Many successful entrepreneurs found a way to turn a hobby, side job, or passion into a career.

One of the most important (if not the most important) decisions involved in starting a business is coming up with a business idea and choosing the type of business to run. There are several ways you can come up with a business idea. For example, think of your biggest frustration and find a solution for it. You can also think bigger and try to imagine what the world’s biggest challenge will be in 15 years.

On the flipside, people who offer career advice often say to find something you enjoy doing and something that you’re good at doing. Your business is much more likely to succeed if you follow this advice. Think about what gives you fulfillment and satisfaction. Many successful entrepreneurs found a way to turn a hobby, side job, or passion into a career. Find a way to monetize what you love. For example, if you love dogs, start a dog walking business.

Don’t give up hope if your first brainstorming attempt yields no results. You may have to try several times. Sometimes you need a spark in creativity. Try to take a vacation or just take a day to do something new like hiking on a new trail or attending an art show. These new experiences can spark new ideas.

Planning and Financing

Now that you have your idea in place, you need to create a well-written business plan, which will serve as a guide through each stage of starting and managing your business. Think of it as a manual for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Business plans are also important because they show investors and potential business partners why they should believe in your ideas.

When you start a business, it comes at a price. While many entrepreneurs put their own money into starting their business, they also typically need financial assistance. Although hard to obtain, you can get a commercial loan through a bank or a small business loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternative lender. If you require a large amount of funding up front, you may want to consider an investor or a crowdfunding campaign.

Handling Legalities

Handling the legalities is critical. You must register with the government to become incorporated and trademark your company’s name, and you’ll need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. Some businesses may also require federal or state licenses and permits in order to operate. Also, before you open your doors, you should purchase insurance for your business. “Dealing with incidents like property damage, theft or even a customer lawsuit can be costly, and you need to be sure that you’re properly protected,” says Business News Daily.

You’ll also need to build up your brand and get people intrigued about your product or service before you open your doors. For starters, create a logo so people can easily identify your brand. Social media is a vital promotional tool that can spread the word about your new business. Use it to offer coupons and discounts to your first customers, to share your story, to draw people to your site, and more. Be sure to keep social media pages up to date with relevant and interesting content about your business and industry.

Starting your own business requires a lot of time, effort, and hard work. But putting in the time to properly prepare helps increase your chance of success, and once you’ve experienced the rewards of being your own boss, you’ll see the effort was well worth it. Take your career setback and turn into a positive by becoming an entrepreneur.

Author Bio:  Larry Mager created ReadyBrain.net to help give people the mental workout they need to have a healthy brain.