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Reasons Why Your Business Should Go Wireless

imagesWith the economic climate the way that it is today it may seem that the only way to be sure of your job security is to run your own business. After all, if you are your own boss then you cannot get fired. However, the big problem with this is that this is becoming a common ethos for thousands of Brits to live by which means that there is an ever increasing competition in all legs of the world of business.

Nevertheless, if you have the prior knowledge of the business world required to set yourself apart from your competitors then there is still a good chance that you can go from strength to strength and thrive in this economic situation that Britain currently finds itself in.

Keep up with the times

One of the most integral things to the success of any business is to make sure that you keep up with the times. Technologies and services are forever changing and for your business to have any chance of maintaining any sort of positive development then it is vital that you utilise these adaptations for the benefit of your business.

The latest decision that many businesses are facing at the moment is whether or not to make the most of wireless technology to bring your business into the 21st century. This is a very big step to make and a decision that could eventually make or break your company. The first thing that you need to consider is whether you can afford to invest what it will take to install the required technology in the first place. It is no secret that wireless technology does not come cheap but the potential savings and profits that it will set you up for, for the future cannot be denied.

It is obvious that wireless technology will increase your mobility but it is easy to underestimate how much difference this can make. It means that any workforce that you have will have more time to work and will no longer have the excuse of not having access to the company’s communications.

Greater access to information

Wireless technology means that access to vital information for your business is no longer restricted to wired ports. This means that productivity will improve dramatically no matter what your business is. It means that whether you work in a large office or have a warehouse stocking your products you will be able to keep communication at its peak or you will be able to keep on top of orders and inventories wherever you may be at that particular moment.

The key to good business is great customer service, no matter who your customers are. Whether you are directly customer facing in sales or services or whether you supply to those who directly face the public the key is to keep them happy and to never keep them waiting. Wireless technology means that you can provide your customers and your clients with the exact information that they need with no waiting. It is easy to believe that your business is going strong as it is but if you invest in wireless technology the likelihood is you will never look back.

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Guest post contributed by Simon Hardman, Simon is an avid techy by night, and business consultant by day. Simon understands how business life is changing, both politically and technologically and blogs regularly to help people understand it further. Simon regularly works closely with BT Shop to help business understand the more technological side of business.

 

 
 

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Workplace Health And Demographics – Managing The Mix

officeNew times ahead: emerging workforce

During the years after the war, there was an increase in the number of babies born in the UK, hence the term ‘baby boom’. But populations rise and fall, and so do the demographics therein. Due to a fall in the number of births, the age of the country’s people as a whole is set to rise.

This increase in the number of older people brings with it a number of challenges in terms of public spending and already the default retirement age of 65 had been abolished. Those who can afford to can still retire whenever they like, of course, but it is envisaged that in the future people will work for a longer period of their life than they had previously.

And according to an ICM poll that was commissioned a couple of years ago, less than a third of the workforce has made ‘adequate’ provision for retirement, which suggests that the majority of people could be working beyond the age of 65.

Implications for business

The Equality Act of 2010 makes it clear that employees can’t be discriminated against because of the age they happen to be. Which in turn means that organisations will increasingly require to have policies in place to prevent it occurring in the areas of recruitment, pay, training and so on.

From a health perspective, it’s obviously the case that older employees will have different needs and requirements. According to the UK Government’s Health & Safety Executive there are differing patterns of absence between younger and older employees in general – older people having fewer instances of sick leave, but the absences being for a longer period of time.

One important factor for health is that – as we all know – healthy lifestyles mean better health overall in the long run. So encouraging a set of conditions that mean the young workforce of today have healthy habits will have a positive effect on the future of their health.

The holistic approach – managing the age mix

Regardless of what average age the workforce eventually becomes, there is likely to be increasing focus on health and wellbeing – since both of these now look unarguably to have positive effects on productivity.

Continually improving things like job design, mental health promotion, working practices and so on, should mean the health of the workforce will undoubtedly benefit. Group health insurance  is likely to become more often included as part of the employee benefits package, especially as when the population ages more strain is widely predicted to be put on the health service.

Technology in terms of medical procedures, treatments and diagnostics will likely also have an effect on the workforce – and in the last two decades sickness absence has decreased to a remarkable extent. If this trend continues, then the chances are that some of the health issues that can affect older employees will be lessened in effect.

Human longevity is on the increase. And as the island communities of Okinawa in Japan and Ikaria in Greece have shown us, people can live healthy and productive lives to an age that far surpasses even the life expectancy of previous generations.

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About the author: health blogger J. Jones writes on workplace wellbeing for a number of blogs, add her to your circles on Google+.

 

 

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How To Make Your Company One Of The Best Places To Work

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Without a doubt, for a business to stay successful for the long run, it must have quality employees who work hard. When a company does not strive to keep the best employees, the business will in time, fail. Now, many businesses, in a bid to save money, do not heed this advice and the company suffers tremendously. Fortunately, when following these five tips, a company can make their organization one of the best places in their industry to work.

Open door policy with management: Now, in many large, old, companies, one cannot directly approach upper management without going through a lot of hoops. This can be detrimental to the relationship between people in the business and make people hate coming to work. To encourage the sharing of ideas and plans, a company must foster an open door policy for all employees. With this strategy, workers will love coming to the office, and the company can increase profitability by sharing and coming up with new strategies and ideas for the business.

Training and education: When most people land a job, they do not expect to stay at the same place for four decades. In the past this was the case, but now, people like to move across the country and even across the globe to find new work. Retaining top employees is a big concern for businesses and one way to do it is to offer plenty of resources for training. When employees can learn new skills and obtain more education, they will enjoy their work environment and likely stay longer. Furthermore, when an employee receives more education, he or she will be a valuable asset to the company. In fact, when landing a job after college, many do not care about their salary as much as they do about their future schooling opportunities.

Work remotely: Being able to work remotely can be a great perk for many employees. Now, when allowing workers to complete tasks from home or other locations, a company must set some rules. However, when one follows all the rules, the company can improve relations with the worker and get the same finished product. Remember, there are plenty of people who want to spend more time with their families or work from home some days so they can skip the commute. When managed well, an employee will work just as hard and will love their job, although Yahoo and Best Buy might disagree.

Benefits: When looking at job opportunities, many realize how important it is to have solid benefits more than having a high salary. When a company offers a nice 401k and plenty of sick and vacation days, they will likely come to work with energy and feeling happy. Furthermore, a smart and savvy entrepreneur should provide full health benefits to all employees as they will appreciate the gesture and will not head to another company to obtain healthcare. Remember, with solid benefits, a worker may be willing to accept a much lower wage when he or she loves the company they work with.

Promoting Within: When an organization passes up on current staff members and looks for outsiders to fill positions, the employees are likely to get upset and may head to the competition. For this reason, a smart company should always try to promote talent from within. By holding an internal job fair or having a job board, the company can keep talent and fill positions that would otherwise be difficult to fill. With this method of promotion, the company will save a lot of time and money and will get more out of their current employees who want to work hard and rise to the top.

When taking the time to hire the right employees, a business will succeed. Without a doubt, when looking at the top companies in the United States and around the world, one will notice that they all hire and retain the top talent in their fields. Remember, a company is only as good is its employees.

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Alexander J. is a writer who loves doing research on a wide variety of topics, such as business, finance and technology. Writing keeps his mind sharp and allows him to continue learning new things every day.

 

 

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What To Consider When Purchasing Your Office Furniture

Selecting new furniture for your office may not be the toughest task on your long list of things to do, but if you think it’s just a case of ordering the first things you come across that seem to fit the bill; you may be missing a trick. The furniture in an office can have a big impact on the way that everyone works and the wrong kind of equipment could cause problems in the future.

So whether you’re refurbishing your office or just looking for a few items that will improve your working environment; what should you be thinking about?

Comfort

Comfort should be high up on the list when purchasing any type of furniture and it is no different in the office environment. The last thing you want is for your workers to be complaining that they are not comfortable as this could possibly lead to health issues in the future and may mean people are off work for some time.

You also need to think about your clients and the fact that they could possibly be using the furniture at some point. If they end up sitting on an uncomfortable chair then it could reflect badly on your company and it may even put them off doing business with you.

It’s not just chairs that need to be comfortable either. Things like desks and tables still need to be ergonomic so that they are easy to use.

Productivity –

You may not think it but office furniture can have a great impact on the productivity of your staff. Not just because uncomfortable furniture will mean they are less likely to be able to concentrate but there are also issues of practicality. Will chairs with wheels on mean that your staff are constantly fidgeting or will it mean they can communicate better with people from other areas of the office?

It’s also important to think about productivity when selecting storage options. If it’s easy to store things and access them when needed then less time will be wasted searching through cupboards and cabinets to find what you are looking for.

The Growth Of Your Business

You may only have a few employees working for you at the moment but it is important to think about how you are going to grow as a business when conducting your office refit or refurbishment. It may work out cheaper to buy desks and chairs in bulk now rather than just buying a few for now and then purchasing them singularly as and when more people join the company.

You should also think about how technology is going to affect your working environment in the future. Things change quickly in the technology world and so you may need to make arrangements for future develops. For example, will you be incorporating video conferencing in the future? Thinking ahead will mean you are better prepared for your company’s impending expansion.

Space Planning –

How you arrange your office can have a big impact on the general atmosphere and productivity of the workplace. Therefore when you are choosing pieces of office furniture you should be aware of exactly how much free space you have and exactly where things will be going when they arrive. Over filling your office with equipment could lead to a crammed working environment which will not prove fruitful at all.

Cleanliness –

Hygiene is important in any workplace and so you need to take into account the type of material your furniture is made from. Something that shows stains and that isn’t easy to clean may not be the best choice in an environment where cleanliness is a priority.

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Chris Mayhew works within an office environment and understands how important furniture can be to the dynamics of a workplace. He would recommend that anyone looking to fit out their office visits the Premier Office Solutions website.

 

 

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How To Impress Clients With An Up-To-Date Office Workspace

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Image by blupics

First impressions are everything.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
And so on…

These well-known adages reinforce the importance of creating a positive image of yourself (and business) right from the off. In an increasingly competitive market, you must look as professional as possible to secure business deals – remember: there will always be another company ready to take on a deal you can’t clinch. Transforming your office into a stylish, tidy, and polished space can improve important client relationships no end.

Read on to discover what improvements you can make to your office today and identify just how they can benefit your business.

Your Office as a Reflection of your Mind and Capabilities

Ever heard that saying that a tidy office equals a tidy mind? Walking into a well-organised and professional space is without a doubt the best first impression you can have of a potential business contact. Knowing that you’re capable of maintaining order in your surroundings creates a sense of responsibility and can go some way to reassuring a client you are reliable and will get the job done.

What Do Your Design Choices Say About You?

In terms of the décor, it’s said that less is always more. However, having blank walls with no personality can look very bland and corporate, even suggesting you lack imaginative flair. Conversely, extreme decorations or gaudy colour schemes aren’t going to work in your favour or create a relaxing business environment. Creating a balance of professionalism and creativity could just manage to seal the deal – bear that in mind when choosing your new office scheme.

Show Your Client Just What You Can Do

Having a well-kept workspace is all well and good, but often clients will want proof of your achievements before they contemplate doing business with you. Having displays of your work in your office not only demonstrates your capabilities, but also shows that you take a sense of pride in meeting customers’ needs and expectations – it goes without saying that this can only promote your business image.

Taking (Tolerable) Pride in Your Achievements

Showcasing any awards or accolades you have received over the years is also a good way of reinforcing a sense of trust and professionalism. That said, there is a fine line between being proud of your achievements in a positive sense and being slightly too cocky or distastefully arrogant. Being confident is in no way a negative trait but displaying accolades in such a fashion that you seem a tad showy is not going to reassure a prospective client that you will be easy to work with.

Create the Perfect Business Conference Room

Calm and professional discussions should always be the aim of a meeting; therefore it is essential to incorporate a quiet place for negotiations in your office. Trying to talk business in a hectic environment with employees running here, there, and everywhere is hardly the polished impression you wish to create. Similarly, there should be minimal distractions so that the focus of your potential client remains on you and the task in hand.

Not only can the perfect office space improve client relations but it also provides you with a clutter-free area in which to work in a calm environment – ideal when those everyday stresses start to get you down.

Organise your office and improve your chances of success – what are you waiting for?

Have you noticed that an impressive office has helped with client relations? Would you agree that a tidy workplace is so vital? Share your comments and opinions below!

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  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Jade is an enthusiastic freelance blogger who enjoys writing on topics including travel, languages and the world around her. She writes for Applied Workplace.

 

 

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10 Ways To Make A Creative Workspace

downton_abbey_3_300x225Research suggests that you will spend almost 12 years of your life in the workplace. Nothing could be worse than spending those long yeas chained to a boring desk in dull and bleak environment, without anything to inspire you or to inject a little enthusiasm. This is why more and more businesses are shifting towards a modern business model that creates luxurious creative workspaces, with the aim of generating a more relaxing atmosphere for their employees.

Open up your business

Many people wrongly take the view that creativity is solely for the more artistic industries, yet creativity is simply problem solving and can be applied to any business. However, it’s not just a case of making your business environments look creative, your business must also support a creative concept of being open. Open means accepting ideas no matter how ridiculous or outlandish they may seem, there is no such thing as a bad idea, just one that hasn’t had the opportunity to fully develop. Using an open culture allows you to find out what your employees are thinking and to explore ground that you may never have dared to tread. Open is also about removing barriers at all levels and not just removing tangible partitions, but also about eliminating ego’s and hierarchy to build approachable relationships with all staff regardless of their role.

Build your creative workspace

To get you underway in creating your open culture, here are 5 creative changes you can make to your physical working environment.

Theme your space

Themed workspaces are very popular and can be as simple or extravagant as you like Lenstore.co.uk have opted for a Victorian styleDownton Abbey’ theme, incorporating a Georgian fireplace and seven piece dining table.

Location

With many companies trying to push locations to the extreme, businesses are no longer fixed between four walls but extending to boats, buses and purpose built outdoor spaces.

Somewhere to get comfy

Whether its bean bags, deck chairs or hammocks, having somewhere to get comfortable and relax is very important. These comfort zones can be used to chill out and unwind or as Idea spaces to energize the creative process.

Unusual decor

No creative space would be complete without a random piece of decor. Some offices opt for strangely decorated animals such as ‘spider cow’ that resides at What if? Innovations. Others such choose to play with the concept of perspective, enlarging or shrinking objects, such as the giant Rubik’s cube that has crashed its way through the office ceiling at the BJL agency.

Bold and bright

Last but not least is the appliance of colour, and plenty of it. There is no reason why any workplace should be a cold and bland environment. You can add colour through plants, feature walls with murals, or even to the furniture. Why not have a bright red office chair or a funky green desk to brighten the place up.

Once you have your new bright and trendy office space with an open culture, you’ll find that employee morale and productivity will take care of themselves. Simply by maintaining a fresh and clutter free environment, you can create a workspace which will benefit everyone involved with your business.

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Adam Wray is a regular blogger and entrepreneur, when he’s away from his computer he enjoys visiting the galleries of London.

 

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Can Your Business Compete Without ‘Follow The Sun’ Support?

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Any successful businessman will know the pains of seeing your vision, being fully confident of its success but simply not having the workforce and the man hours to see it through to fruition in the timescale that you are wanting it completed in.

Time

We all know the old saying, ‘time is money’, and like most quotes that include the word money in it, this is never more appropriate than when it is used in relation to business. Time is one of the key factors in the success of a business, along with a strong workforce and a successful idea.

Markets these days come and go like the tides and if your dilly dallying leads to missing that window of opportunity in which your business would have thrived it is an incredibly difficult thing to recover from; both physically and emotionally.

How ‘follow the sun’ can help

As a way of combating this problem big businesses now often utilise what is a relatively new concept that can make all the difference in the speed of a business’s development and thus its success in the market place. The concept is known as ‘follow the sun’, something that sounds a lot more fairy tale and magical than it actually shapes up to be. It is a fantastic idea all the same.

‘Follow the sun’ ensures that no time is wasted in the setting up and development of a business by utilising two teams who work together in cahoots. Rather than have them competing against each other to ensure maximum productivity, as is a technique used by a lot of businesses. The idea is to place one on one side of the world and the other on the other. For example, one team works on the west coast of America and the other is based in India.

This allows the team in America to work a normal day time shift but instead of allowing productivity to lay dormant overnight they pass on the workload to their colleagues on the other side of the world. This means that work will be done in the sun non-stop and at double the pace.

Now, it is fair to say that this is an incredibly strong idea for a business model, a truth that is mirrored by the amount of companies who are now deciding to utilise it and it does leave companies who are unable to fund or organise the logistics of such an enormous operation in a bit of a pickle.

The introduction of ‘follow the sun’ has made things more difficult for the smaller up and coming businesses of the world but that is just the world of business. Throughout history there have been inventions and developments that have shaped the face of business, but this is where businessmen really earn their crust.

Conclusion

Businesses can keep up and compete without ‘follow the sun’ it just requires them to think on their feet, use their initiative and do what they do best to keep up with the competition. ‘Follow the sun’ is less of a threat and more of an inspiration.

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Guest post contributed by Simon Hardman, a business consultant who regualrly works with small businesses who are looking to expand and grow their overall work force. Simon regularly recommends ‘follow the sun’ support to help stabilise companies in this uncertain time of expansion, using companies such as Moneypenny to act as remote business departments.

 

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