Category Archives: Business

Combat Workplace Fatigue with Health Habits

When you’re tired at work, productivity levels tend to drop quickly. Lucky for you, there are ways to effectively fight back. This post highlights posture tips and office product trends to keep you ergonomically correct and refreshed. From sitting properly to taking short breaks, we’ve got you covered with the latest in ergonomic office wellness to combat our common enemy, fatigue.

Office comfort starts with good posture habits. Have you taken the time to analyze your seating position from the ground up? It only takes a minute! Don’t worry, we’ll help. First things first, check your feet placement.

If you’re using the base of your office chair as a foot rest, blood flow is restricted to the feet and fatigue will have a direct path into your work day. The solution is to keep your feet flat on the ground and facing forward. It’s simple, easy, and effective.

When computing at your desk, are you leaning forward and away from the back of your office chair to type? If so, you’re missing out on the key support need to fight fatigue. Keeping your back in contact with the chair at all times is a must. Stopping the urge to lurch forward might require adjusting the angle at which you sit by using the levers located underneath your chair.

Are you looking downward at your computer screen when operating at your workstation throughout the day? This puts a lot of strain on the neck and upper back. Thankfully, there’s a quick and free strategy that can get you over this common hurdle.

You’ll want to raise your monitors up to eye level. This can be done on the cheap with a shoe box or stack of books. If you want to invest in office ergonomics, an adjustable computer screen mounting system is the professional solution. We recommend those from reputable brands like ESI Ergonomic Solutions, Symmetry Office, and Mayline. They attach in minutes and provide exceptional versatility.

Workers often think that by doing less, fatigue will be easier to fight. This is not an effective strategy. Industry leading ergonomic brands have introduced adjustable sit to stand desks and surface attachments. They promote continuous movement in the workplace.

It’s smart to employ a sit to stand strategy that can be effectively used throughout your work day, especially if currently working 40 hours a week in a seated position. Studies have linked sitting for long period of time with cardiovascular issues, chronic conditions and even cancer. Once every hour, you need to stand up to stretch out those muscles. Doing so will make you feel refreshed as it gets the blood pumping. With a sit to stand station, you’ll be able to do just that without productivity levels dropping. Those considering the purchase of a sit to stand desktop riser like the 5100 model from OFM will notice the difference.

In truth, even with perfect posture and all the ergonomic gadgets you still need to take breaks from your office throughout the day. It’s a smart lifestyle strategy that is often considered an impossibility due to obligations of the job, but it shouldn’t be. Make it your wellness mission to get outside at least once a day for fresh air. Take a walk. Grab a water to stay hydrated. Spend a little time away from your workstation to keep fatigue at bay.

About the author:

Phillip Swindle is a furniture and design specialist with passion for creating innovative work environments built for productivity and healthy living. Phillip manages ecommerce blogs specializing in home and workplace office furniture where he regularly posts about office design trends. http://blog.officefurnituredeals.com/

Pros & Cons to choosing an essay writing service for catchy business speeches

By Emma Foster

Speaking in front of any group of people can be a very nerve-racking experience. The stakes are even higher when you are delivering a speech in front of your business associates. Even worse, if you are presenting a speech as part of a sales pitch.

In today`s fast-paced overworked world, having to prepare a speech besides all your usual daily tasks can seem near impossible. In times like these, you could reach out and seek help from professional essay writing services. Hiring one of these companies can have its benefits and pitfalls and this article will try to present both sides of the medal. Let`s look at all options so you can choose the best approach for your needs.

First, let`s explore the positives:

TIME MANAGEMENT

The most obvious benefit of using writing services is that you will have more time. You will be able to finish more work and increase your productivity in general. You can plan ahead knowing the exact date when you will have a finished speech at your disposal. Ability to manage your time is a huge asset when most people have hectic schedules where every minute counts.

BETTER FORM

You are not a professional writer and people working for these companies are. You can be the biggest expert in the world, but if you don`t create an engaging and interesting speech you won`t be able to transfer knowledge to your audience. In a sales pitch, if you are not clear and to the point, potential clients will get confused and you will most likely lose a good opportunity.  A writing service will produce a structured essay easy to convert into an amazing speech.

LEARNING CURVE

After using writing services a few times, you will become a better writer. You will see firsthand how the finished product should look. When the time comes that you need to present or write again, you will be able to do it much better and faster than before.

Now, let`s see the negatives:

LESS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT YOUR TOPIC

When preparing a speech, you are passively gaining new knowledge trough research. Even if you are an expert on the subject you are sure to learn some new information and expand your knowledge. When using a writing service, you get a finished product and your knowledge is limited. There is a possibility that you will get a question from one of the participants that you did not prepare for. Using a writing service will save you considerable time but you still need to learn the speech and prepare for all potential questions.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT WRITING SERVICE

There is a huge number of writing services companies available online today. Choosing the right one can be a time-consuming and tiresome task. Ideally, you will know someone who has already used a good one so you will be safe. More likely, you will need to conduct research and find one that best suits your requirements. Prices and quality vary, so if you know you will be using one, do the research beforehand and have one ready to go.

ESSAY VS SPEECH

Delivering a speechMost essay writing services target students as their key demographic. It will be extremely difficult to find a writing service that delivers speeches. The downside of hiring one is that you will not get a complete solution for your issue. You need to know that an essay and a speech are vastly different mediums. You need to customize any essays you buy into a great speech. Always keep in mind that a speech needs to be fast flowing and to the point. People are visual beings so be sure to enrich your speech with pictures, graphs or even short videos!

There you have it. Hiring an essay writing service can be very useful when you are in a tight spot for time or if you are not an expert on the matter.  The service will provide a quality speech full of useful information in a structured form that is easy to learn. However, be sure to research a bit more outside of the speech content to be fully prepared. Good luck in delivering your amazingly prepared, interesting and engaging speech!

Bio:  Emma Foster is a dedicated blogger on educational writing topics and essay writer. She works as a Literature Teacher at Texas A&M University-Commerce and knows about writing tendencies from the depth. Follow her on Twitter

 

 

 

Tips to Help Prevent Accidents at Work

In 2015, there were 5,000 deaths as a result of accidents in the workplace in the EU. In the United States alone there were a total of 4,836 fatal workplace injuries in 2015 and approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private
industry employers according to bls.gov.  It really is so sad that people who are at work, trying to earn a good honest living, end up getting injured or even losing their life. It is often through no fault of their own and caused by laziness from management when it comes to providing a safe environment to work.

Of course, you may be reading this from a comfortable desk and think you are completely safe. The first thought that often comes in our minds when we think about accidents at work are manual labor jobs. While some industries are definitely more dangerous to work for than others, following some safety accident prevention steps is always a good idea, no matter what profession you are in.  It is also vital that management implement regular safety checks, even in office jobs, as people are injured and killed in office jobs every year.

Check out this infographic below courtesy of Hussey Fraser for a complete overview of accidents at work and you’ll find some helpful tips for implementing safety in your workplace.  One useful tip is to ask your team for suggestions for improving workplace safety as some employees are more aware of different types of hazards than others, depending on what job they perform on a daily basis. Make sure your office procedures include formal policies and procedures for accident prevention as this helps when accidents occur, according to the infographic.

Don’t simply assume you’re safe at work and always notify management of any safety risks in your building.

Accidents at work

If You Care About Your Productivity, Stop Worrying About Timesheets

Guest Post by Marie Miguel

Obviously, no-one is going to argue that productivity is important. However, any word used as often can have subtle shades of meaning: do you track productivity by people arriving on time and spending as many hours as possible at their desks? By tasks completed, and if so how do you compare picking apples with juicing oranges? By which employees complain most often? Whatever system you’re using, you’ll eventually run up against an inescapable fact: labor does not equal results.

Productivity no longer means simply convincing people to work harder

Most productivity metrics break down at some point; you may be obsessing about the number of tickets closed per day while ignoring the actual level of customer satisfaction, or be encouraging sales staff to make a certain number of client calls per week regardless of whether these result in revenue. This isn’t to say that we should abandon measuring performance, whether of teams or individuals, but we should keep in mind that there are many different aspects to this. The employees who are apparently the laziest are often the most effective, but pushing them to work harder can often have a negative effect on their productivity by upsetting whatever “system” they’ve found to work best for them.

If you take the time to think about this issue and do a little reading, the first truth you’ll discover is that movement, while tiring people out and possibly looking quite impressive, isn’t always in the right direction. Much of this is simply caused by miscommunication, which will cause employees to prioritize the wrong things, or work on tasks that will soon be irrelevant. The second thing you’ll realize is that improving productivity, based solely on an arbitrary metric, is usually a mug’s game.

The contribution direct labor input makes to a product’s final cost, in many industries, is now lower than ever. On the other hand, factors that never enter into productivity calculations, such as employee retention – particularly of the most valuable, and therefore most mobile staff – and health-related absenteeism can have a critical impact on the bottom line. Increasing productivity no longer means simply convincing people to work harder.

Impact of Stress on Employee Productivity

If your focus is on company-wide, long term productivity, one of the first things to look at is the level of stress your employees are subjected to. At a most basic level, this affects their health, potentially leading to things like heart disease, diabetes and a variety of mental illnesses. This doesn’t mean just the occasional sick day being taken, but long term absences or even losing a critical contributor due to a chronic condition. Alternatively, they might simply leave because they’ve become fed up with the environment you offer.

Workers who are less stressed are less likely to procrastinate, more likely to take initiative and offer suggestions, and far less prone to start interpersonal conflicts out of feelings of frustration. Overly stressed employees, on the other hand, can end up feeling resentful towards their employer, unable to deal with criticism, paranoid about their job security, and unable to concentrate on their work due to mental and emotional exhaustion.

Given all of these negative effects, you’ll be glad to know that there are quite a few ways to reduce stress. Companies are increasingly offering benefits such as free cafeteria food, flexible working hours, free stress counseling and various types of assistance to parents – not only to attract the best talent or because they’re nice, but also to assist their employees in achieving a better work/life balance. Work is, after all, the primary cause of stress in the lives of most people; if you can get them to actually like coming in on a Monday morning, your productivity worries are likely to be a thing of the past.

Recent research from Sweden correlated the characteristics of different managers, as described by those working for them, with health problems employees suffered over a long period. Unlike surveys that simply ask people to describe their level of stress, this offers a completely objective metric suitable for statistical analysis. Surprisingly enough, it was found that working for a boss lacking certain abilities increased the chance of having a heart attack by a full 40%!

Even if an on-site massage therapist isn’t going to fit into your budget for this year, though, there are certain things you can do, starting today, that can enormously improve the level of comfort, commitment and job satisfaction in your workplace. As it turns out, managers who don’t shirk responsibility for making decisions, listen to those under them, communicate clearly and don’t act arbitrarily is one of the key determinants in creating a pleasant place to work in.

Unfortunately, there are no clear indications that a particular executive will be able to organize a team and its challenges so that this kind of environment is achieved, nor is there a cut-and-dried set of rules to follow when managing your own team. A completely unsympathetic despot of a boss can unintentionally cause those under him to feel appreciated and unworried if he sets clear goals at every level and treats all workers equally. By contrast, a very personable manager who relies on a few key people to transmit his directives to all employees, and convey information back to him in turn, can lead to a situation where no-one knows what’s expected of them or what their part of the big picture is. There are an infinite number of variations on these themes – most of us can probably identify a few, good and bad, from personal experience. It is highly recommended that every manager reads the article, and the seven key points at the end, found at the link above.

Author Bio:  Marie Miguel is an avid internet researcher. She is fueled by her determination to answer the many questions she hasn’t been able to find the answer to anywhere else. When she finds these answers she likes to spread the knowledge to others seeking help. She is always looking for outlets to share her information, therefore she occasionally has her content published on different websites and blogs. Even though she doesn’t run one for herself she loves contributing to others.

How to Format a Business Letter

Business letters are still important, even in our digital age, as they are used to document purchases, legal and insurance information, retirement awards, cover letters and many other business transactions that require formal delivery.  A properly formatted business letter contains several major parts which, when used properly, convey a level of formal professionalism required in business.

Most business letters are usually typed on company letterhead that already contains the company name, the address, website, telephone and fax information already pre-printed on the paper so there is usually no need to begin with the sender’s name and address in the top left of the letter.

Business Letter Formats

The two most commonly used letter formats are the block style and the modified block style.  The most popular style used in business today is the block style, shown below, where the entire letter is left justified and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs.

The other common letter style is the Modified Block Style where the Body of the letter and sender’s and recipient’s address are still left justified and single spaced, but the date and complimentary closing are centered.

Major Parts of a Business Letter

No matter which style of business letter style you choose, the major parts of a business letter are still the same.  They include the Date, Inside Address, Salutation, Body, Closing and Enclosures.  Sometimes the Typist Initials and optional Attachment and Copy notations are also included.

Major Parts of a Business Letter

Major parts of a business letter

Date Line:  If you are printing on company letterhead, letters usually start with the date as the date lets the receiver know when the letter was sent and is useful when referring back to it at a later date.  The date is typed 2 inches from the top of the paper which can be accomplished by tapping ENTER 5 times from the top of the document when using single line spacing in Word.

Inside Address:  This is the name and address of the person receiving the letter.  It is usually typed four lines below the date.

Salutation (also called greeting):  For formal business letters, the salutation or greeting should end with a colon.  The greeting usually begins with the word Dear followed by the name of person receiving the letter.  For example, Dear Ms. Brown.

Body:  The body of the letter is started two lines after the greeting.  The body is the main part of the letter and is usually at least two paragraphs in length.

Fonts:  In this example, our letter is typed using word’s default font, Calibri, in the New Blank document template.  The most common serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial in 10 or 12 point font size are often used in business correspondence.  Be sure not to use overly decorative or specialized fonts in business letters as they’re perceived as unprofessional and are more difficult to read.

Complimentary Closing:  Type the closing two lines after the ending of the body of the letter. The most common closing lines for general business purposes are Sincerely or Yours truly.

Signature Block:  Four lines after the closing, type the name of the signer.  This allows enough space for the signature.

Enclosure Notation: Sometimes typed as enclosure, Enc or Encl, and often accompanied by a number such as Enclosures (3). This indicates that additional information was enclosed with the letter and how many pieces were included.

Attachment Notation:  The attachment notation is optional and sometimes used instead of the enclosure notation.

Copy Notation and Typist Initials:  The copy notation is used if you need to send a copy to another person.  The typist’s initials are also optional and, if used, are keyed after the sender’s name.

Business Letter Example

Modified block style business letter

Modified block style business letter example

Examples of  Writing the Basic Business Letter and Business Letter Samples can be found at the OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Learn how to prepare and format common business documents in Word by taking the Word 2016 course officeskills.org.