Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy Eating Habits

How to keep the body healthy in an intelligent way

There are many reasons that people need to understand healthy eating, but some of the more important knowledge of this has come from those in sports. Doctors like Jordan Sudberg have seen how eating correlates with how a body deals with injuries and pain when someone is hurt as an athlete. Developing healthy eating habits requires people knowing what their body needs and not which trendy diet is popular. Some people think because they are younger that they can eat anything, but the habits need to start early and be maintained. Here are some ideas of how to be better.

Cheat Days

One of the ways that many healthy people are able to cope with maintaining their diet is by having cheat days. Almost everyone has a food or more than one that they love that everyone knows is unhealthy. As many top athletes have shown, a person can have a cheat day when they splurge on these foods and still remain healthy. It is a reward for being healthy and is made easier if the person doing this works out to help their body. While there are healthy alternatives a person can eat through the week, treats help cravings.

Fad Diets

There are many fad diets that come and go that people have a tendency of thinking will help them with their body. Many times they do not have the nutrients that the body needs and will end up leaving people far less healthy than when they started. A steady path of healthy eating takes away the need from diets and allows people to live a full life with fewer concerns. Healthy habits are a daily thing, not a quick way to lose a little weight that could come back after it is done. Stay steady and never worry.

Needed Nutrients

The body requires certain nutrients for it to remain healthy, and a person needs to remember this when they eat. Many people forget about this when they switch to only eating certain foods. Anyone who wants to be healthy needs to remember that they need to have the right nutrients for their body when they are needing to heal, deal with pain, or just live life. When developing a sound lifestyle, see if there are any nutrients missing and make sure to start including food that provides it. Being healthy means being intelligent when planning every meal.
There are many doctors, such as Jordan Sudberg, that can back up every aspect of what was said here. A healthy life requires a person to know what is required to not worry that they may be missing something. The right amount of fluids will keep the body hydrated and keep the skin healthy. Potassium is necessary to keep a person from having joint issues, and that is provided in several foods. All of these needs to be known and maintained for a life that is full and active. Doctors can help shape what a person is doing for health.

Building Customer Loyalty

Building Customer Loyalty

Building Customer Loyalty

Building customer loyalty is a challenge for many businesses. It can be hard to get customers to come back for more, and it is even harder to make them feel like they belong when there are so many other options. But according to Alexander Djerassi, the key is in creating an atmosphere that makes people want to come back again and again. This blog post explains how one can create customer loyalty in business, according to insights by Djerassi.

Djerassi explains that businesses need to create a sense of community to keep customers coming back. This can be done by fostering a sense of belonging, providing opportunities for customers to connect, and being open to feedback. When customers feel like they’re part of a community, they’re more likely to stick around and recommend the business to others.

It is important to be receptive to feedback, even if the customer isn’t necessarily correct. Doing this will still make them feel like they’re being heard and can help resolve future issues. Additionally, businesses should encourage customers to connect. This can be done by providing a space for them to do so or by highlighting customer interactions on social media. When customers feel like they’re part of a community, they’re more likely to stay loyal to the business.

Alexander Djerassi also emphasizes the importance of creating an environment where people feel welcome. This could include hosting events at the business or offering some incentive for people to come back more than once. There are many ways businesses can foster a sense of community and connect with customers, so it’s important to try out different strategies and see what works best.

Customer loyalty is enhanced by appreciating them and communicating with them. Djerassi is onto something here, and it’s worth exploring how your business might be able to create a community around itself and keep customers coming back for more. Customers love feeling appreciated, and they love feeling like they belong. When businesses can create an atmosphere that makes people feel good, they’re more likely to stay loyal to that business for the long haul.

Having promotions and offers attracts and retains more customers. It is always good to have some strategies on how you can create customer loyalty. Promotions and offers are a great way of creating customer loyalty among your customers. Using these strategies is an excellent way to get more people into your business. Businesses should always come up with new ways to create customer loyalty, and having promotions and offers is one of the easiest things they can do. It’s also one of the most effective strategies for bringing in more customers, so it’s worth exploring if you want your business to continue growing.

People who work at a company are the most important assets to building loyalty. Many businesses keep this in mind when hiring their employees. To create an atmosphere where employees want to stay, employers should incentivize them with competitive salaries and paid time off.

Customers are retained through a sense of belonging, community, and a welcoming atmosphere. Businesses that can do this will be more successful in the long term.

Balancing Work and Family Life

Balancing Work and Family Life

Balancing Work and Family Life

Many working parents struggle every day and wonder how they manage their household, take care of their kids, and work. It seems like they have to please everyone. Father George Rutler stresses the importance of balancing work and family life. What do people do? How is the person expected to handle everything? These questions will be answered in this context.

Switch to a More Flexible Option

Switching to part-time work will allow more family time. For a family that cannot afford a drop in income, then they need to talk to their boss about switching their schedule to a more flexible one. For example, working from home would be a change in pace. People won’t miss out on family parties or any upcoming events starring their children.

Commit to More Family Events

Mark upcoming family events on the calendar. This way people know the dates they need off, and they can let their boss know. It’s important to have that time with family even if it’s doing things they don’t want to do. Committing to birthday parties, family reunions, or special occasion dinners will allow people to separate business from pleasure. Most employers will allow their employees to have that time off as long as they know well in advance.

Do Not Bring Work Everywhere You Go

Do not bring work to family gatherings or other events. People need to learn to put it away and go back to it later. They need to do whatever work they can before they have family obligations. People need to be sure they have time for themselves too and take a breather now and then. For the people that work outside the home, they shouldn’t bring their work home with them. Work should stay in the office.

Just Say No

Some people say yes to everything they’re asked to do, which means they don’t have time to finish their work. If they work from home, they may think it’s easy to say yes and go back to working later. If that happens, things never get accomplished and work gets pushed back. When that happens, people can get overwhelmed and stressed.

Quit Working Altogether

Many people find that quitting their jobs would make things easier because they can spend more time with their families. If the other parent in the household is working full time, then it can be done. People would have to cut back on their spending. It doesn’t have to be permanent; be a stay-at-home parent for a few years and see where it goes. If it doesn’t go over very well, then look for a new job with flexible hours.
Father George Rutler would suggest all working families follow these guidelines because living in a healthy environment is important. Working all the time leaves families feeling as though they are not important, and it becomes a stressful place instead of a happy place. These guidelines will help families learn to separate the two so they can live in a stress-free environment.

A Chat With the Author of A Plague of Flies

A Chat With the Author of A Plague of Flies

Award-winning YA author, Laurel Anne Hill returns with her latest historical fantasy, A Plague of Flies: Revolt of the Spirits,1846. Needless to say, it’s going to be an unforgettable adventure you don’t want to miss out on. Laurel explores her family history and finds a fantasy-filled story of a brave sixteen-year-old, Catalina. Read more about her experience and your soon-to-be-favorite book, A Plague of Flies.

Hi Laurel, you released your latest historical fantasy last month, A Plague of Flies: Revolt of the Spirits, 1846. Could you tell us about it? 

Available on Amazon

In 1846 Alta California, Catalina Delgado daydreams about her future: roping cattle, marrying Angelo Ortega, and raising children. But now, invaders from the United States—the Bear Flaggers—have declared war against Mexico, her country. Bear Flaggers have imprisoned one close friend of her family and murdered others. What fate might befall her parents, grandfather, and younger brothers? And what about her best friend, a Costanoan servant girl? How can Catalina, only sixteen, help protect all those she loves?

The spirits provide Catalina with answers, but not the ones she wants. Plus she fears the strange spirit man who rides a black Andalusian stallion through the sky. For the sake of all she holds dear, Catalina must risk her reputation as a chaste young woman, her future with Angelo, her life, and her very soul. When hopes and dreams clash with cold reality, Catalina finds the fortitude to accomplish what only she can do.

Why did you choose to write about 1846 Alta California?

At the time I made the choice, I still believed my paternal great-grandmother, Hipólita, had lived there during the 1840s. I thought my Mexican family had lost their land to the United States as a result of the Bear Flag Rebellion in 1846. Then I discovered they’d not come to California until the late 1850s or early 1860s. Once in California, they’d been taken advantage of in some other manner, possibly by one of the US railroads.

What is the one thing about Catalina Delgado that your readers are instantly going to fall in love with?  

Catalina, a young mestiza, has ideas of her own about her personal future, including who she wants to marry. Without sisters, she competes with her four younger brothers for approval. She is not afraid to ride astride (instead of sidesaddle) and can rope longhorns almost as well as her father’s vaqueros do. Regardless, Catalina remains closer to being a sixteen-year-old woman of her time than to becoming some bigger-than-life kick-ass heroine. She wishes to honor members of her family—even when she doesn’t agree with them—and her Catholic faith. Yet she finds herself questioning aspects of both her faith and her family. 

What can you share about the Spirit Man that your potential readers don’t know yet?  

Spirit Man is a complicated being, far more than just a scary character. He has taken the shape of others in the past, and presumably, will do so in the future. Spirit Man has the capacity to serve as a loyal friend or become a terrifying opponent. 

Is there a heart-warming review or comment you received for A Plague of Flies that you’d like to share with us?

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2021: In her second YA novel that’s set in a magical-realist 19th-century California, Hill gives readers a wonderfully imaginative, unsettling view of events leading up to the 1849 gold rush. Many narratives emphasize the excitement of this time and California’s newfound wealth, population growth, and influence, but this book foreshadows the disasters—starvation, slaughter, dispossession—inflicted on Indigenous people. It’s a theme that could become heavy-handed, but Catalina’s passionate teenage energy gives propulsion to the dramatic plot.

At what point during the research of A Plague of Flies did you have the sequence of the story plotted? 

Not until I finished the first draft, over ten years after starting my project. Please understand, however, that the hiatus between finishing the first half of draft number one and starting the second half amounted to five of those ten years. I wrote the second half of the initial draft in three months. 

What do you enjoy writing the most – historical fantasy or science fiction? Why? 

Historical fantasy. I love to delve into the history of a setting, and fantasy gives me a fair amount of freedom in world-building. Besides, I worked most of my adult life in the field of science or science technology. Although I write occasional science fiction or science horror stories, doing fantasy returns me to a special place I loved as a child.

Rapid Fire time. Answer the following questions with the first thing that comes to your mind. 

Laurel Anne Hill

A preferred writing snack:  

Morning: Coffee with caramel-flavored creamer.
Evening: A glass of wine.

What was the last soundtrack you heard?  

The opera, “Mefistofele” (by Boito), with Luciano Pavarotti singing the role of Faust.  “Mefistofele” is my go-to inspiration when I need “big sound” to deal with one hell of a challenge.  

Countryside or the beach:

These days, the countryside. For most of my life, the beach.

Tea or coffee: 

Coffee with caramel-flavored creamer.

Kittens or puppies:

Puppies. I love kittens, but cats interfere with my ability to breathe. (Ah-choo!)

Your biggest pet peeve is…:

Spam telephone calls.

Your favorite movie of all times:

The original “Star Wars!” 

Dames Handsome Brings You the Fairy Knights

Dames Handsome Brings You the Fairy Knights

If you’re a parent or teacher of middle graders, you’d know how challenging it is to get them to read. Equally difficult is finding books that can entertain and inspire kids to grow into empathetic human beings. We met with an author who writes stories that kids love reading to not only have fun but to learn from. Dames Handsome is a father, teacher, and excellent author of the most-loved book series, the Fairy Knights. Here’s Dame’s story in his own words.

Hi Dames, how does one come up with such a cool name as Dames Handsome?

From my students! Here in Korea teachers are addressed by their last name and then the word teacher. My actual last name sounds a lot like Handsome so they started to call me Handsome Teacher. And then the Dames part is an old high school nickname so when it came to me making my pen name I found that really it had already been made and it was just waiting for me to pull out and dust off to be made official.

Why did you decide to write children’s books? 

I didn’t haha. All of this started when I sat down with my wife and son to play a role-playing game that I’d made. It was an awesome time and afterward, I realized that I wanted to remember it all forever. So I wrote it all down. And then after it was down I decided to make a story out of it for my son. I adjusted this and that to make it into a real kids’ story. One that I also torqued to teach him a lesson, as all good kids stories do. I read it to him and he loved it. Then it sat on my computer for months. I shared it with some people here and there and they loved it as well. So, finally, I decided that I should “make it real” and publish it. And so it all began.

How did Fairy Knights come to life? 

When I asked my friend Warwick, who teaches people how to be Kindergarten Teachers, to read it and how much it would cost me for him to make a cover for me. He read it and got back to me and asked if he could make pictures for the inside as well. I really can’t imagine the series without him. Our partnership really makes these books snap and I’m so happy to be working together.

What are the unique “superpowers” each of the Fairy Knights possess?

I’ll start with everyone’s favorite, Hamster Rick. He’s a hamster pet that my son named after one of his teddy animals. But rather than being all fat and round like most hamsters, he is super strong and he is incredibly chiseled. A handsome hunk of hamster.

The viewpoint of the series so far has come from Ching Goo and his school’s specialty is changing shapes. Depending on how much Magic Mana he uses, he can become about anything he can imagine. And he has a few more magic tricks up his sleeve as well. He can make himself travel very quickly, he can become super strong, he can make people believe that he is famous, and he can be very lucky. He has to be careful, though, because all of those spells cost mana and if he runs out he can’t cast any more magic for the rest of the day.

And of course, we have Oma Bell, the responsible voice of reason. She is an arcane spellcaster which means she can do powerful spells if given enough time to cast them. But more often she uses her fairy dust to create small but immediate magical effects. She can fly and she also has a mean right hook so you don’t want to mess with her. She has some more spells as well that are more specialized. Her super-smart spell makes her twice as intelligent and she can use magic to become about the cutest kid you’ve ever seen or talked to.

How have Ching Goo, Oma Bell, and Hamster Rick grown from one book to another?

At the very start of the series, Ching and Oma were just besties who liked to hang out, and Rick was Ching’s familiar, an animal pet that bonds with their owner to become something very special. But by the time the fourth book has come, we see that Rick has become a full-fledged hero in his own right and is even enrolled at Boogie Elementary School. Oma and Ching have gone through a lot together and Ching has become more mature, responsible, and kind. He has overcome the fear of being no-good, the complexities of jealousy in friendship, and he has more realistic expectations of himself and his friends. He is no longer quite so silly and headstrong. And Oma has let herself loosen up a bit. She has learned that while her ideas and plans may be brilliant, they are always better as a team. It is actually a lot of fun to chart out their lives as they go from book to book, and yet a little sad at the same time because they grow alongside my son, and each little success and every little bit of maturation means he himself is getting that much older and wiser, and that much less of my little baby boy. 

Could you share one heart-warming comment you received from a reader recently?

A father told me that his daughter was all excited about the series and kept talking about how she was going to be super good so she could level up and be a hero. That really made me laugh and smile.

What is the one lesson you’d like your little readers to learn from the Fairy Knights books?

That it is okay and natural to feel anxious, scared, and not as good as the others. And that everyone else feels that same sense of doubt and unworthiness. It is a natural part of growing up and it is okay to feel it and to talk to people about it.

Rapid Fire time! Answer the following questions with the first thing that comes to your mind. 

Dames Handsome

Morning person or night owl

Night owl

Kindle or audiobook

Kindle

Panda or koala

Panda

A preferred writing snack

Sour gummies

Your favorite movie of all times

Free Guy

Do you still have your favorite book from childhood? 

I don’t but that’s because it wore through!

What’s next?

Warwick has told me that the next one needs to be something special and different. So we are working on an anthology of 5 stories told by different characters within the series. But that won’t be out until at least January due to the Holidays.

4 Products to Make With MultiCam Camo Fabric

4 Products to Make With MultiCam Camo Fabric

We all know that MultiCam Camo is an effective pattern for concealing Soldiers on the battlefield, but what can you make with it when you get home? MultiCam Camo is the pattern developed by Crye Precision in 2010 for use on uniforms for U.S. Army soldiers deployed to Afghanistan. As of June 2011, MultiCam has also been adopted by the USMC for some units deploying to Afghanistan.

Although it appears similar to other camouflage patterns, its distinctive arrangement of shapes and colors enables it to hide the wearer in a variety of different desert environments. MultiCam Camo isn’t just for uniforms though, it is available in fabric form! It can be used to make hats, fleece blankets, ties, bowties, wallets, and much more. The following are some examples of products that can be made using MultiCam fabric:

1- MultiCam Camo Hat

This is a great hat to make out of MultiCam camo fabric because it uses the whole camouflage pattern and looks cool. All you need is one yard of fabric, a sewing machine, and an iron. Supplies Needed: One yard of MultiCam camo fabric, a sewing machine, and an iron. First, cut your fabric into a square that measures 36 inches long by 36 inches wide, second, fold the square in half diagonally so that you have two triangles with points facing each other and sew up the side seams, next, turn your hat inside out and iron the two seams you just sewed. This will make them look nice and neat for when you sew up the top edge of your hat. Then, take your hat outside once again and fold the base of one side over so that it’s flush with the other side. Iron along the edge to make a sharp crease and pin the two edges together, and finally, sew up the top of your hat, reinforcing your seams at each end. This will keep your MultiCam Camo Hat looking nice for years to come!

2- MultiCam Camo Fleece Blanket:

This beautiful fleece blanket is soft to the touch and available in two different sizes, 50″ x 60″ or 60″ x 80″. It is machine washable and has a stitched edge with satin ribbon. Moreover, each blanket is equipped with a hang loop for easy display. The blanket is available in both solid MultiCam Camo, or in the MultiCam Black/White digital pattern.

3- MultiCam Camo Wallet:

This stylish wallet can be purchased in one of numerous different colors, including the MultiCam Black/White digital pattern. The wallet has a velcro closure, interior pockets and an outside pocket for your license or ID card. In addition, it has a chain for attaching to your belt or bag.

4- MultiCam Camo Ties

These beautiful ties are available in either the MultiCam Black/White digital pattern or MultiCam Camo. They are handmade and come in a variety of colors including black, pink, and blue. In addition to looking great with dress shirts, they work equally as well with casual attire. They come pre-tied to save time and have adjustable clips in the back. They are available in four different sizes, so finding the right size for you should be easy!

These are just a few of the products that can be made with MultiCam fabric, but the possibilities are endless. With the holidays right around the corner, MultiCam fabric would make a great gift for friends and family! Furthermore, many of the products listed above may be found in various colors, so you can find something for everyone on your list. Therefore, if you are looking for a great gift this holiday season; be sure to check out MultiCam fabric products!

Accessible Football Stadiums – How Accessible Are They Really?

Accessible Football Stadiums – How Accessible Are They Really?

If you’ve ever needed to use a wheelchair, then you’ve quickly learned how difficult it is when places aren’t accessible. Locations that have built facilities to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, can use and enjoy their facilities are unfortunately much rarer than they should be. Football is the number one sport in the UK, and it’s no surprise that a popular question is which football stadiums are accessible. If you’re looking for more information on the most accessible stadiums, keep reading to learn more.

Smaller is Better

I would have never guessed it, but the results are in and smaller stadiums actually are more accessible than the larger ones. The most accessible Premier League Stadium is Brighton and Hove Albion, followed by Southampton and Watford as reported in Age UK’s accessible premier league stadiums article. This is a real shame because the larger stadiums obviously cost more and can host larger matches but without accessibility features this isolates and excludes a large part of our population. 

Norwich City, Manchester United and Burnley stadiums are ranked as the least accessible, making it harder for their fans to get out there and support their teams. I was personally surprised to see the Manchester United Premier Stadium ranking slow, as it’s one of the most popular teams in the UK and has a following to match. Only 0.22% of seats in the Manchester United Stadium are wheelchair friendly.

Brighton and Hove Albion Stadium

Rated as the most accessible Premier League Stadium, Brighton and Hove Albion Stadium offers numerous services and features that makes it more inclusive. Here you’ll find specially designed entrances, lifts, toilets, ticket counters that are all accessible and allow wheelchair users to easily navigate these services. There are also specific wheelchair accessible viewing areas, ensuring that wheelchair users can comfortably see the match. 

There are services for hearing compromised individuals, such as assistive hearing systems and audio descriptive commentary to ensure that everyone can enjoy the matches here. For those of us who use animals to help us navigate the world, there’s even an assistive animal welcome. One of the features that made this stadium rank so high is the 220 wheelchair spaces in the stadium, the highest percentage of wheelchair spaces for the stadium size. This is a stadium that sets the standard in inclusion and accessibility, and it is my hope that in future the larger stadiums can improve their facilities to allow everyone to enjoy watching their favourite team. 

Many stadiums have a long way to go before they can be really considered accessible to all. Thankfully we have a few great stadiums who are paving the way and offering numerous facilities to help people of varied abilities enjoy the wonderful sport of football. 

7 Overlooked Tips to Get a Comfortable Home Office

7 Overlooked Tips to Get a Comfortable Home Office

Do you look forward to working in your home office every morning? Or do you find yourself watching the clock, waiting for the minute you get to retire to your favorite recliner and veg out with some YouTube videos?

You spend hours working, and your home office should be comfortable. If your comfort level is lacking, try these tips to kick it up a notch.

1. Get a bidet toilet seat for your bathroom

While you’re working from home, you’ll take several trips to the bathroom. Having a bidet will make those trips more comfortable. With a toilet seat bidet, you’ll feel refreshed and clean after every trip to the restroom.

The more relaxed and refreshed you feel throughout your day, the more productive you’ll be with your work.

2. Use a monitor stand

If you strain your neck by looking up or down, you could develop a painful, cumulative neck injury. A monitor stand will help you keep your neck in the right position while you work on the computer.

Some monitors are adjustable, but they don’t usually adjust high enough for people with a long torso. Adding an extra 6” or more to your monitor will protect your neck from unnecessary injury.

3. Get an adjustable stand/sit desk

Your desk is the most important part of your home office. If your desk isn’t comfortable and ergonomic, you’re going to feel the negative effects cumulatively over time.

Getting an adjustable stand/sit desk is the ideal solution. It’s not healthy to sit all day, but standing all day isn’t healthy, either. Being able to switch between standing and sitting will help you maintain your musculoskeletal health.

There are several types of adjustable desks:

  • Manual adjustable desks
  • Pneumatic adjustable desks
  • Electric adjustable desks

Pneumatic adjustable desks are ideal since they don’t depend on electricity. Manual desks are hard to adjust without removing everything from the desk first. At least with electric and pneumatic desks, you can leave everything on your desk as you raise and lower the height.

4. Put a comfy recliner in the corner

Sometimes you just need to walk away from the computer and take a small break. Maybe you need to close your eyes, kick back, and relax a little.

Relaxing for those short breaks will be easier with a comfortable recliner in the corner of your office. With the right recliner, you could even work from your laptop. Just make sure your recliner has proper back support.

5. Install warm, fuzzy carpet

Some people say you should always dress up for work and don’t wear your pajamas or house clothes. That’s sometimes true, but not always.

If you’ve ever worked in an office, have you ever wished you could kick off your shoes and dig your feet into the carpet? You can do that at home if you install a warm, fuzzy carpet under your desk.

Digging your feet into a fuzzy carpet will make you feel good and relaxed. You can also stick your feet in warm water, sand, or soil. However, a fuzzy carpet won’t require any cleanup.

6. Get an essential oil diffuser

Essential oils smell great, but they’re also therapeutic. They have long been used to influence a positive mood and relieve stress and anxiety.

Essential oils can help improve sleep, relieve headaches and pain, improve skin, and can help with digestion.

Although many people absorb diluted essential oils through the skin, you can also disburse the oil through a diffuser. Diffusers are better than just opening a bottle to inhale.

If you don’t have a diffuser or can’t get one for some reason, add a few drops of your desired essential oil to a bowl of hot water. Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl so the bowl is also under the towel. The steam will rise, allowing you to inhale the oil.

7. Install surround sound

Have you considered installing a surround sound system throughout your home? While it’s great to have speakers in all your rooms, you’ll thoroughly enjoy having surround sound in your office.

Imagine joining a video conference and hearing the other participants in surround sound. You’ll feel like you’re actually there. No matter how good your laptop or computer speakers are, nothing beats the quality of surround sound.

You deserve a comfortable office

You work hard enough already. Staying comfortable throughout your workday should be easy. Thankfully, if you follow these tips, you won’t have to spend a fortune to make your office comfortable.

Tips for Adopting a Remote Work Policy at Your Business

Tips for Adopting a Remote Work Policy at Your Business

If your business, like many others, has shifted from a physical office setup to a remote working setup over the past 18 months, then you’re almost certainly dealing with some of the benefits and consequences of this transition.

The question is, how can you enjoy more of the former without so many of the latter? And without hopelessly simplifying the challenge, it really comes down to one word: planning.

If you have the proper plan in place – ideally in the form of a remote work policy – you’ll get much better results.

The Biggest Challenges of Going Remote

There are obviously numerous perks to working remotely – both from an employee perspective and a management point of view. However, there are also plenty of challenges that must be addressed head-on. Common points of friction include:

  • Employee engagement. When working from home, employees experience a sort of monotony in their day-to-day schedules that isn’t as pronounced in the office. It’s easy for team members to get stuck in a boring routine that lacks excitement or diversity. (They wake up, walk down the hall to their home office, and spend the next eight to ten hours in the same 500 square feet.)
  • Team unity. It’s difficult for a team to truly bond when everyone is spread out across different locations. And unless your team already has the advantage of being closely connected, it can feel impossible to initiate team bonding and healthy relationships in a remote setting.
  • Accountability. It’s more challenging to hold individual employees accountable for their time and effort when you aren’t physically present. There are certainly ways to do it, but none of them are better than being able to drop into someone’s office and do a face-to-face check-in.
  • Security risks. Security is arguably the “silent” challenge of working remotely. Employees accessing sensitive company information on personal devices and unsecured networks (like public Wi-Fi) can be a recipe for disaster.

When you’re aware that these challenges exist, it’s much easier to proactively address them and neutralize their effects. But you have to plan ahead.

3 Tips for a Smooth Transition

Whether you’ve already moved to remote working and have been struggling for several months, or you’re just now transitioning in that direction, there are ways to make this a strength of your business. Here are several tips:

1. Get Clear on the Details

You can’t leave employees to figure things out on their own. Spell out the specifics of how you expect them to work in a remote setting; otherwise, they’ll each implement their own individual plans (leaving your business fragmented and confused).

“Employees should be provided with clear instructions about how their departments, and their respective roles within those departments, will conduct business in a remote setting,” Business.com suggests. “Keep in mind that while most remote occupations can be performed outside of a physical office, some roles may not work as seamlessly in virtual spaces.”

You’re not expected to write new policies in stone, but you should implement a clear and decisive approach. Should circumstances warrant a change, you can always tweak rules over time.

2. Prioritize Communication

Good communication is one of the keys to a smooth transition. And since employees are no longer able to walk down the hall and poke their heads into their coworkers’ offices, you need to use mediums that are fast and efficient.

SMS is one great option. More specifically, consider SMS software for internal communications. SMS enjoys 98 percent open rates (compared to a paltry 15 to 20 percent for emails). Not only that, but it takes the average person just 90 seconds to respond to an SMS (and 9 out of 10 text messages are read within 15 minutes or received).

3. Emphasize Engagement

Employee engagement is vital in a remote setting. Research shows that greater engagement is linked to enhanced productivity and more loyalty. Likewise, a lack of engagement leads to higher absenteeism, high turnover, and lower profitability. The tricky part is determining how to boost engagement.

There are hundreds of ways to boost engagement, but the challenge is figuring out which ones work for your unique dynamic.  One very simple suggestion is to encourage face-to-face conversations via Zoom. By getting on camera and engaging with your team, you get a chance to look people in the eye and build camaraderie (in spite of being physically distanced).

Put Your Team on the Right Path

With the right remote working policy, you can make this a much more productive transition. It won’t always be perfect, but the upside is there. Be diligent and gather as much feedback as you can. Over time, this might become one of the more important moves your business ever makes.

7 Easy Ideas for Saving Money in Your Monthly Budget

7 Easy Ideas for Saving Money in Your Monthly Budget

Are you struggling with cutting costs but are too overwhelmed to try? Here are 7 easy ways that can save you money each month.

1) Track Your Spending

It’s easy to lose track of where your money is going, so try tracking it every week for a month. By doing this, you can see what expenses are taking up all of your paycheck and which ones you don’t necessarily need! Within a few weeks, you will start to know where your money is going and how much is really necessary to spend every month. Remember that the key to saving money in your budget is to find a balance between what you need and what you want, so trying a few of these tips will help keep more cash in your wallet!

2) Use Public Transportation When Possible

Instead of spending money on gas and vehicle maintenance for short trips, try using public transportation. In many cities, this is an available service that only costs a few bucks to use each time you ride it. It may be slower than going by car, but the savings are worth it!

3) Stop Eating Out

Eating out is expensive, but it’s also unhealthy. Instead of going to restaurants each week, cook your own food at home. It costs less, and you know what is exactly in the meal you are eating. You can even save money by taking home leftovers for lunch the next day!

4) Make a Budget and Follow it

Making a budget is so important when you are trying to save money. If you don’t know exactly where your money is going, the chances of cutting costs in your monthly budget are very slim! Start taking an inventory of all expenses each month and include them in a spreadsheet. At the end of each week, take what’s leftover from your paycheck and divide it evenly among each expense. You can also try trimming down some things that aren’t as important to help decrease the amount of money you spend every month even further!

5) Control Your Impulses

Many people are addicts of impulse shopping, which is not good for your budget. Try to avoid shopping sprees whenever you can and stick to everyday basics that you need. Before making any purchase, ask yourself if the item is something that you need. If it’s not, then put it down! By so doing, you will help to control your impulses and save money.

6) Use Prepaid Phone Services

Most people don’t realize how much they are spending on their phones until they get a bill. Instead of paying outrageous prices each month, switch to prepaid mobile services. There are different companies to choose from who all offer different plans, so compare them before deciding which one to use!

7) Cut Back on Frivolous Spending

The easiest way to save money on a monthly budget is by cutting back on expenses that aren’t necessary to survive, like subscriptions, the latest fashion, numerous holidays, and entertainment. Try saving money by unsubscribing to magazines and newspapers you don’t read, don’t go out as often, and invite friends over for a night in. Cut down on shopping sprees and unnecessary entertainment costs to help save more every month!