3 Types of Utilities You Want to Schedule Regular Maintenance on for Your Business

Maintaining your business property requires regular attention throughout the year. While you may take numerous and regular steps to avoid serious repair issues and to promote the quality of your workplace, you may be overlooking the importance of utility maintenance. Your business likely relies heavily on access to electricity, water, and even gas, and these utilities require periodic maintenance in order to keep them functioning well in the years to come. A closer look reveals why these maintenance services are essential.

Electricity Service

If you do not think about calling an electrician unless an issue arises, you are not alone. However, electrical system maintenance should not be overlooked. This type of maintenance work may involve testing the existing system and identifying problem areas that require attention. Through electrical work, serious repair issues may be thwarted. Keep in mind that these issues may otherwise result in accessibility issues or even electrical fires in some instances when they are not identified and repaired as soon as possible.

Water Service

Regardless of the type of business that you run, the ability to access fresh water and to dispose of wastewater efficiently is essential. Any water service issues may result in water damage, sewer damage, an interruption of business activities and more. This type of maintenance service may include looking for small and hidden leaks, repairing minor issues that may be easy to overlook, clearing drains and pipes and completing other similar tasks.

Gas Service

While some commercial properties do not use gas, many properties do have a gas line running through the ground and leading into the structure. Gas lines may run through the building’s walls to a heating system, a water heater, a commercial kitchen, and other areas. Gas maintenance service usually includes an inspection of the main gas line and other gas pipes as well as all connections to identify leaks. Even a minor gas leak can have dangerous consequences and should be fixed immediately.

Some issues with utilities may be easy to identify, but others may remain hidden from the property owner or tenant for weeks or months. Many issues with utilities may result in significant property damage and even physical harm to you, your employees and your customers. If you have not serviced your utilities recently, now is the ideal time to schedule maintenance. Remember to add this type of property maintenance to your annual schedule so that you do not overlook it in the future.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

Smart Space Management: Transform Your Home into a Proper Working Environment

Home trumps work any day of the week. So, logically a home office has more benefits than any other working environment. There is no commuting, no boss watching your every move, and balancing professional and private life is a breeze. Setting up an office at home may seem difficult, but with careful planning and research, you can save up money, increase productivity, and in the long run, be much happier with your job.

Things to Consider

When deciding the place of your future home office there are a couple of things worth considering. The space needs to be isolated from the rest of the home, and generally in a less active part of the house. This will significantly minimize distractions, since you want to focus on your job, and separate home and work hours. Also, your personal requirements and affiliations, as well as the nature of your work will guide the decision making process. So, creating a workshop next to the dining room, probably wouldn’t be the best solution, or having the office next to the laundry room.

Setting up Shop

Conserve space by changing the purpose of less frequently used rooms in the house and turn them into your home office. Storage rooms like the attic, basement, and garage can be easily transformed into a spacious, insulated working environment. Another way to go is to make a dual-purpose room. An extra guest room, and even the dining room are great due to their infrequent use. And by making small adjustments to the furniture, like adding pull-out couch, or getting a larger dining room table, you can have re-furbish the room to accommodate all your needs. Also, it is possible to find appropriate appliances online, like small fridge, which can complete the office design.

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Office Comfort

Comfort is the main idea behind a stay-at-home office. Consider that you might put in long hours in front of the desk, so buy a chair that is enjoyable, but also drives you to work. Depending on the work, a desk should inspire and be able to handle all the tools of your trade (computer, printer, books, paper, etc.). Apart from being comfortable, your furniture should also be ergonomic. The chair should support your back, and have enough height, so your arms are parallel to the desk. And by borrowing, buying secondhand or re-purposing furniture, you can cut costs and invest in other aspects of your business.

feng shui office desk Luxury Ways To Feng Shui Your Desk

Light up Work

Your office should also have plenty of light. A well-lit room will make for an efficient working environment that is motivational, but also healthy. Utilize natural light sources as much as possible, whenever possible. By positioning the desk next to the window, so that the light hits you from the right-hand side, you will get the greatest amount of light, decrease shadows on your work area, and tone down outside distractions. Although natural light is great, it is in short supply. Although many rooms have an overhead light, a desk lamp should be an essential at your work station. Combining it with other light sources will mean that your work space is always well-lit and you don’t exert your eyes.

Break Time

Depending on space, create a relaxing comfy zone within the office. This will enable you to think, research, read, and plan, when you are not actively working. The corner will also provide a great break area. Get yourself a comfy armchair, or a couch, and soft rug will feel great on your feet when you take your shoes off. You should also include a lamp and a coffee table for those serene coffee breaks.

Office Storage

Storage is an issue with any office, so be sure to get creative and organized. Big stacks of paper, files, and office supplies, are not very inspirational, and the best way to removed them from sight is to put them into a closet. Another great trick to minimize office clutter is to store the non-essentials in a different room, such as a basement. On the other hand, keep the essential documents near you, by putting up shelves and storing them there.

In the end, the home office tops a regular cubical any day, so make it an enjoyable and motivational working area. And if you do it right, you will save money and nerves, manage your own hours, and ultimately be your own boss, working from the comfort of your own home.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

 

 

What Is Slowing Down Productivity In Your Business?

So, here’s the thing. If you aren’t getting through your working day effectively, with tasks still remaining at the close of your business hours, then there may be an issue around productivity. This isn’t too much of a problem if those tasks aren’t a priority, but if deadlines aren’t being met, if targets aren’t being reached, and if you have a mounting workload piling up on your desk at the start of each day, then you and your business will have problems.

In short, productivity is key, and you need to figure out what may be slowing down your working day. Where do we start?

First of all, let’s consider your office space. If the area is cluttered, if you struggle to find what you need when you need it, and if there are other issues – lack of storage being one – then you won’t work efficiently. You need to make the most of your office space, and the ideas we presented to you here, design-and-storage-tips-to-make-the-most-of-your-small-office/ may be just what you need to improve matters.

Another issue is your workflow management. You may have too much work to do. You may get bogged down with tasks that take you away from the important things you need to focus your time on. And you may be working on areas of your business that you aren’t fully equipped to manage. Therefore, you need to find ways to manage the work you have to do each day, speeding up processes and alleviating your burdens. There are a number of ways you can manage this. You can take on less work for starters, even if you do have to disappoint a client occasionally. You’re only human after all, and you can’t do everything. You might also automate your business processes, using the software tools presented to you here, bpmonline.com/l/bpm/definition/business-process-automation to free up your time to concentrate your efforts elsewhere. And you might consider outsourcing, handing over the jobs that take up too much of your time over to people who may be able to do them better than you.

Then think about your work ethic. Could you be the problem? Is productivity at a minimum because of your behaviour? You may be taking one too many breaks. You may be spending more time in front of your smartphone screen instead of your computer screen. You may spend more time making ‘to do’ lists than actually doing any of the tasks on them. You may be doing any number of things that are slowing down your productivity at work. The productivity tools listed here, iqvis.com/blog/6-productivity-tools-apps may be just what you need to get you back on track.

Finally, perhaps you are just tired. If you have worked long hours, if you do have too much work to do, and if you’re not spending enough time in rest, then you are going to get exhausted. Once your body and mind feel the effects of exhaustion, you are going to work slower. Give yourself a break once in a while, follow our tips to alleviate your workload, and make sure you get plenty of sleep to give you time to fully energise yourself, both physically and mentally.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Design and Storage Tips to Make the Most of Your Small Office

Working in a small office doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort and space. If you organize everything according to your needs, you’ll be able to achieve all your tasks easily. The true secret behind being successful in a small office is in using every corner you have – by giving every inch a purpose, you can transform even the smallest office into a proper work area. It will provide you with enough storage space and different zones for every part of the working process. Keep in mind that most startups were created and ran from crowded rooms or basements, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same.

The color psychology

Even though you may think that plain white walls are the best solution, there’s more to that than you think. You’d be surprised with the effect that green and blue have when it comes to productivity and efficiency. These two restful colors can really boost the creativity in the office and help you tackle more tasks.

You should avoid white, beige, purple and gray because they can seriously affect your mood and even create some gloomy feelings. During working hours, you don’t want anything less than full productivity, which is why you should stay away from bright colors because they have a tendency of being disruptive.

Choose the furniture wisely

Every piece of furniture needs to be carefully picked because you’ll have no room to spare. For starters, you’ll need some comfortable office chairs and practical desks. Apart from that, if you work with clients, you’ll need an additional seating area for meetings. To avoid crowding up the space, just add two additional chairs to your desk and you’ll be able to work and have a meeting at the same time.

Working with tight space means you need to be creative when it comes to furniture, so foldable desks are all right, while those large L-shaped ones are definitely not. You don’t have room for huge furniture and everything needs to have a real purpose, not just an aesthetical one.

Think about storage

The best way to be sure you’ve utilized all the space you have is by thinking beyond the common storage space options. Many people use vertical spaces for additional storage units, and this can be a solution for small offices. Besides giving you more space to work with, these units can be a great way of keeping items close to your reach. Apart from that, you can always use your desk and add additional drawers around it which will come in handy for all your documents.

You can also use storage units to fill in the empty space beneath the window, behind the door or underneath a coffee table. It goes without saying that decluttering goes hand in hand with creating designated storage spaces. You need to throw away everything you don’t plan on using and make room for the things you’ll actually need.

Get organized

Keeping everything organized starts from your desk, and it needs to be impeccable! Create different zones to be able to keep track of every step of your working process instead of feeling lost. If you’re dealing with lots of papers, use binders to keep them separate and all in one place.

It’s inevitable to always struggle with the lack of space, so try to use the additional seating area to make phone calls, drink coffee or schedule meetings. That way, you won’t be distracted from the actual work and will always know where everything is. Also, use modern technology, start going paperless and stop piling up so many documents – maybe you don’t really need them at all and you just waste time and space on storing them.

Small spaces can be turned into the most functional and inspiring offices if you use a little bit of imagination. You don’t need a large office to be productive and finish all your tasks on time when you can do the same in a much smaller space. Being a successful entrepreneur is more than having a cool office – it’s all about finding the strength and willingness to work in any kind of conditions. Only the people who manage that end up running the most successful businesses.

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

Improving Employee Morale: 5 Reasons to Throw a Fancy Company Party

You have been wanting to get your employees into the company spirit. You know that a festive occasion can be good for company morale. However, just throwing a huge company party for no reason may seem a bit odd to everyone involved. But, if you had a solid purpose behind doing so, it might really prove to be a wonderful way to get company morale looking up again. The following are five awesome reasons for throwing a fancy company party.

Getting Your Employees Acquainted

In large companies, it can be difficult to know who all your coworkers are. Throwing a fancy company party is one way to make it possible for your employees to have the chance to mingle and in some cases, meet for the first time. This can even give some employees a chance to learn how to work better together.

Honoring Important Accomplishments

Sometimes a major company win is worth celebrating. It is a time when you can throw a fancy party in honor of the achievements your company has made. Plus, it can be a nice way to reward the hard work that your employees are doing for your company.

A Merger

If your company is merging with another company, a fancy party might be a great way to bring the employees of two companies together for a smoother transition. Sometimes a function like this can help everyone to figure out where things stand as executives from both companies make their intentions for moving forward clearly understood. This is also a great time to unveil new project ideas and product releases that will be possible because of a merger, and it can be a good time to address how the acquiring company will deal with sustaining employee benefits.

The Holidays

Sometimes it is best to have a fancy party, complete with an experience company providing corporate catering, to keep people feeling up-beat during the holiday season. Especially when it comes to older workers in the company that may not have many relatives left, a company-wide function can be the next best thing for these employees. This can help them feel less lonely during the holiday season—especially when it is a company function in the Big Apple.

A Big Retirement

When you want to honor a visionary or beloved company leader, as they step down from their post, a company-wide party is a nice way to send such an individual off into retirement. It gives their fellow workers a great way to remember them before they go. It is also an event that can mark the beginning of a new chapter in a company’s efforts to move forward.

There are many great reasons to throw a party to improve employee morale. While it can be a great time for employees to let their hair down a little and feel relaxed, it can also be a good time to muster the troops to prepare them for bigger and better things to come. Of course, your employees will appreciate being pampered with a taste of living large on the company dime even if it is but for a short time.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

The Impact of the Office Layout on Productivity

Noise can be a serious distraction and have a negative effect on your productivity and desire to work, and one of the reasons why most offices are loud is the lack of privacy. However, the fact is that most people function better when they can focus on their own work. It may sound strange, but the office layout should be executed in a certain way in order to boost the creativity and the positive workflow between employees. Here are a few easy tricks that could help you take your office to a new level when it comes to efficiency and work ethic.

The open-space concept

This is the most popular setup at the moment, both at big corporations and small startups. It became popular in the IT industry and, soon enough, everyone else joined the movement. The main reason why this type of office functions well is that everyone is close to each other and it’s much easier to work that way. It welcomes collaboration and allows you to work individually and as a part of a team.

The employees will communicate better without physical barriers between them, so the open layout has a positive effect on the socialization between them as well. One of its negative sides, though, is that those who like privacy and work better when they’re alone might struggle with too many people crammed together.

The cubicles

This type of workspace is probably the least favorite option, but not everyone thinks it’s so bad. Sure, cubicles can feel tiny and claustrophobic, but they also provide the right amount of privacy and modify the space between employees, giving everyone a chance to work in a quiet and peaceful environment. Apart from that, there’s no chance important documents are going to get lost in a cubicle since it’s so small!

However, dividing your employees this way creates a certain barrier between them and it leads to bad relations and a lack of communication. It can also cause bad collaboration and some business projects could suffer as a result. Be careful with the number of things you include in this small space because it can get crowded in a second with all the documents spread around the table.

How to optimize the space

Whether you work in an open-space office or a cubicle, your desk needs to be impeccable and organized to perfection. The first thing you need is a system for filing documents and enough storage for such a system to work, so you’ll always know where everything is.

To be able to organize your desk, use a variety of affordable office supplies and find the best option for keeping track of your tasks. Create a planner and stick to your duties, and that will help you finish your job on time, but don’t forget to leave an extra day, just in case you run into a problem. Finally, add some personal items to create a more pleasant workspace area and these will also inspire you to be more productive.

A lounge area

Every office needs a space where employees can relax and take a break from their hard work. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and even a simple seating area with a coffee machine and some bean bags will be just fine. Even though it seems that having a space like this is a distraction, the truth is quite the contrary – some companies even like to add games to their lounge, giving everyone a chance to release the negative energy while playing games rather than feeling stressed out.

There’s also a possibility of creating a themed lounge by combining everything the employees enjoy: a small gym, an arcade heaven and a chill zone with some peaceful music. Nowadays, there’s a rising trend that includes meditation break rooms which are a great way to take a step back and breathe when things get too hectic.

The office layout surely plays a significant role in the company results and how the employees feel when coming to work. You can’t choose the type of office you’ll work in, but you can definitely make the most of the one that’s assigned to you – at least until you reach that corner office you’re striving for!

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

The Importance of Creating Healthy and Positive Work Environment for More Productive Employees

Productivity at work is affected by many factors. One of the main factors has everything to do with the way employees perceive their work environment. Therefore, it’s essential that you make sure that the space people work at as well as the way they communicate with each other is positive and encouraging. This is nothing new in the world of productivity, and there are plenty of tips that you can utilize for your own office space.

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The office should be clutter-free

In general, you should encourage your employees to keep their own desk clutter-free by making sure that the whole office space is clean and organized. This doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any sign of personality anywhere – quite the contrary. But, it’s essential that there are not too many distractions at work. Moreover, an organized office means that your employees can freely move around without feeling trapped and pressured. Just like clutter and mess, a poorly utilized layout can cause mental pressure and decrease productivity levels. With that being said, make sure that everyone can get up from their desk, move around and properly communicate with each other.

Lighting and air quality

It’s essential that the lighting in the office is pleasant for the eyes. Obviously, natural light is the best option, so do your best to utilize it to the fullest. However, artificial lighting is also crucial for the productivity at work. In that respect, opt for full-spectrum lighting that actually feels pleasant on the eyes. Just like lighting, the air quality plays an important role in office productivity. For starters, a proper ventilation system is a must. One of the best tricks, however, is to enrich your space with plants. Plants are known to boost productivity and reduce stress, but they also clean the air effectively. You may want to look into the possibility of installing a green wall, as this is definitely the best way to bring nature into the office, as well as engage your employees more.

Make sure that everyone is comfortable

If your employees have to sit at a desk for the most part of the work day, it’s paramount that you ensure their comfort – and health. Basically, do your best to find ergonomic furniture that will adjust properly to the individual using the furniture. Chairs with proper support for the back and arms, as well as sturdy desks of proper heights will minimize the neck and back pain, allowing your employees to be more productive. Moreover, don’t hesitate to add some other comfy features to the office, such as a yoga ball and other comfy furniture for the break area. This will also encourage your staff to get together and spend time with each other during the break more.

Let the design of your office boost employee bonds

When you make sure that your office is designed with productivity in mind, you’ll literally create a chance for your employees to bond and connect more. This will also improve their team work and overall professional content, which obviously leads to a productivity boost and better performance. Aside from the previously mentioned tips, you may think about promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle at work as well, organizing interesting team building events, providing proper credit, rewards and bonuses, allowing pets in the office, and many other things that seem like a good fit for your office space, your team and the productivity goals you wish to achieve as a modern business.

Work and life balance is a must

Don’t spoil your beautifully designed office by overloading your employees with work. Productive design won’t work if people feel constantly stressed and overworked. What you can do, however, is promote work and personal life balance. This can be done in many ways. One possibility is to allow your employees to get to work a bit later on Monday and leave a bit earlier on Friday. On the other hand, you may allow employees to work from home for one day in the week, if that suits them. Most importantly, divide the work properly, so that you actually strengthen the teams and get more work done instead of pushing people to the point of burning out.

Employees represent your brand, and when they are happy, you can bet that your brand is going to get heard of one way or another. For starters, happy employees will constantly perform well and connect with the company’s business success goals. What’s more, positive word-of-mouth is also going to do your brand a lot of good. Therefore, don’t hesitate to make the most out of your office space and provide your staff with productivity boosters that will make them truly happy to work for you and move your business forward.


Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”