3 Actions to Take Following an Injury

Unfortunately, unless you live in a giant bubble, injuries are just a part of life. Sometimes, these injuries are very obvious and need medical attention immediately. Other times, it may be a strained back that gets worse as the weeks and months go by. Many injuries will heal on their own, while others require surgery or intensive rehab services. 

While every injury is unique and will have its own recovery, there are some basic precautions and steps that everyone should take to make sure that the injury gets taken care of the correct and safe way. 

1. Take Notes

In a worst case scenario, an injury leads to long term medical visits and expenses. Oftentimes, these injuries don’t come from a drastic injury, but rather something as simple as a strained back, a rolled ankle, or a fall that seems to be something to brush off. 

When this kind of injury happens, take note of it. If it is work related, take a picture. It may not seem like much, but if you later need to apply for worker’s compensation or file a personal injury lawsuit, having that evidence is going to help your case and your attorney to help settle for the most money possible. 

Also, write down with a date what happened. If the pain continues to get worse, take note of that. If nothing else, it will help you when describing your situation to the doctor. 

2. Keep Moving (if possible)

Many injuries, especially around joints, leave the injured wanting to sit down, lay down, or just relax. While of course in serious situations this does need to happen, oftentimes, the best thing to do is to continue to move. 

If you’ve ever watched a football game, you’ve probably seen injured players hop onto a stationary bike. This is because the muscles and joints are already loose and forcing them to a quick stop can actually stiffen up those muscles and joints and lead to a much tougher recovery. 

The best kind of movement is non-bearing or non-balanced movement, or in other words, not putting 100% of the body’s weight where it hurts. Gradually doing this will oftentimes heal the issue, and if not, will at least make the recovery time much faster and easier. 

3. Check for Other Injuries

In some countries, a common practice for administering shots is to slap the arm or leg before injecting the needle in. While questionable and odd, the purpose makes sense. The sting of the slap makes it so that the shot feels relatively painless. Trading pain for pain is weird, but again the concept and execution works well. 

What does this have to do with injuries? Sometimes when an injury occurs, all of the person’s focus is on what hurts the most. For example, if hit by a car, the first injury that may get noticed is a broken arm or dislocated ribs, and for good reason. What may not get looked at is the pulled muscle in the shoulder that down the road won’t allow for heavy lifting. 

Having a full exam and focusing on everything that is not the way that it was before the injury is crucial. Again, if needing to file for a personal injury case or trying to get a claim from the insurance, having note and documentation of these scenarios will help out immensely. 

If all of these steps are taken, it is much more likely that following the short term effects of an injury, there will be a quick, full recovery. 

From Ancient to Modern Fireplaces: What You Need to Know

The fireplace was a must in early America. As the center of the house, it provided heat, housed numerous fires for cooking and baking, and served as the core of family gatherings. In the 1600s and early 1700s, the typical fireplace was a walk-in: a broad, deep, open break, generally with only the shortest view of a robe, or no cloak at all. Usually, the firebox was wider than it was long, especially in the homes of Dutch colonizers.

Fireplaces in English homes were smaller and more efficient. In New England and the Mid-Atlantic, colonial houses had central chimneys with numerous grooves, so that fires could be lit in two or more rooms on each floor. The central stone or brick mass also tended to keep the heat, keeping the house warmer in general. In the South, fire hearths were placed on the far reaches of the house to reduce the amount of heat, keeping the house cooler in summer.

In the early 19th century, around 1795, Mr. Benjamin Thompson, named Count Rumford, began fiddling with the firebox project. The result of his efforts is the basis for all open fire hearths today. Taller than it is wide and smaller and shallower than old styles, the Rumford fire hearth has sharp angles on both sides. The clever design throws more radiant heat into a room than its predecessors. Another key element is its narrow throat, which depletes both smoke and air at a higher speed, acting as a control against backdrafts.

The Georgian Era ( 1714-1837)

The fireplaces from this period were of large size and were usually designed a full focal point of the room. This view was achieved using cast iron grates and large fire baskets to create large openings for the chimney. These were accompanied by uncomplicatedly designed hardwood circles and marble chimneys. 

The Victorian Era (1837-1901)

This period is divided into the early and mid-Victorian fireplaces and the late Victorian fireplaces. Early and mid-Victorian chimneys are usually very decorated with uncomplicated designs focusing somewhat on a more floreal model in casting. This design has proven to become very popular in the fireplaces of modern-day reproduction, while they take their inspiration from these original antique chimney designs.

Art Nouveau (1880-1914)

This era in the history of design is such an important step and by many people, it is classified as the bridge between the historicalism of neo-classicalism and modernism. 

Our ancient cast iron fireplaces and ancient fire circles are a tribute to this era in time. We have professionally restored them to such a standard as to compliment this revolutionary movement in the history of design, and we take great pride in showing the work of these great designers in its truest form.

The Edwardian Era (1900-1920)

During the Edwardian era, another style became known as art and style crafts, which was mainly focused on using local materials for the fireplace and bringing them home.  The theme for art and art style was always natural and materials were locally sourced, where possible. A range of materials were used during this period, including mainly cast iron, bricks, and tiles, and in some of the higher-market houses, made to measure beaten copper hearths were a popular design.

While the overall shape of the modern fireplace has not changed much over time, the dimensions, uses and design options for today’s fireplaces are more diverse and creative than ever imagined. In the end, though, a couple of things remain constant. The unmistakable ability of a fireplace to provide warmth, comfort, and relaxation to those of us who love to sit in front of a crackling, enchanting fire and relax.

4 Interesting Facts to Know About Personal Injury Lawyers

4 Interesting Facts to Know About Personal Injury Lawyers

If you’ve ever been in a car accident or dealt with legal paperwork during a tough time, you know how hard it is to manage the legal process. That’s why there are personal injury lawyers who protect your rights in any scenario. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, this article will explain what this team of professionals does to help you.

Who is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in providing legal representation to plaintiffs who have allegedly been hurt or injured (physically or psychologically) as a result of some form of carelessness or negligence on the part of another individual, organization, or entity.

“Personal injury attorneys specialize in an area known as tort law,” legal journalist Sally Kane writes. “This covers private or civil wrongs or injuries, including defamation and actions for bad faith breach of contract. The main goal of tort law is to make the injured party whole again and to discourage others from committing the same offense.”

Personal injury lawyers can work on a variety of cases, but some of the most common ones include auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, animal bite injuries, bicycle accidents, boating accidents, defective products, medical malpractice birthing injuries, nursing home abuse, and construction accidents.

4 Interesting Facts

You’ve seen commercials on TV and probably driven past their billboards, but if you’ve never personally worked with a personal injury lawyer, you might not know much about them. Here are several interesting facts:

1. The Personal Injury Law Industry is Big

According to TechTimes, there are approximately 800,000 to 1.2 million lawyers in the United States. Of those, somewhere between 93,000 to 135,000 are personal injury lawyers. In other words, more than 10 percent of attorneys practice personal injury law.

One of the reasons for the size of this industry is the growing demand for this sort of representation. There are an estimated 400,000 personal injury cases each year (not even including the millions of injuries stemming from car accidents). And even though just a small fraction of them (roughly 4 percent) ever go to trial, skilled attorneys are usually needed to ensure plaintiffs get the right settlements outside of court.

2. Personal Injury Lawyers Don’t Get Paid Unless You Do

One of the most interesting things about working with a personal injury attorney is that you don’t owe them a dime unless they help you recover money as part of your claim.

Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means their fee is contingent/dependent on them being able to secure a settlement or positive verdict in your case. If they’re unable to, you don’t owe them anything for their time. If they do help you recover money, they generally charge a fee somewhere in the neighborhood of 33 percent.

3. Good Personal Injury Lawyers Are Worth Every Penny

Don’t underestimate the importance of hiring a good personal injury lawyer. While they might charge what you consider to be a steep fee when winning a case, the reality is that they bring a ton of value to the table that you simply wouldn’t have if you were representing yourself.

A good personal injury lawyer is worth every penny they charge. Take the Matthews Injury Law team as an example. They’ve recently helped a client get a $60 million verdict for a car accident and $11 million for a wrongful death case. They’ve also helped settle cases with insurance companies for $5.4 million (motorcycle accident) and $4 million (auto accident). These are figures that individuals wouldn’t be able to sniff if it weren’t for experienced legal counsel.

4. Most Personal Injury Cases Don’t Go to Trial

Did you know that just four to five percent of personal injury cases ever go to trial? That means roughly 95 percent of all cases are settled outside of court. This makes personal injury lawyers some of the best and most skilled negotiators in the world. They’re able to go toe-to-toe with greedy insurance companies who have thousands of employees on the payroll and extract six-, seven-, eight-, and even nine-figure sums on behalf of their clients.

Putting it All Together

Next time you see a personal injury advertisement – or the next time you need a personal injury attorney to represent you in a case – remember that there’s more to them than initially meets the eye!

Real Estate Agents: 5 Secrets to Help You Grow Your Business

Real Estate Agents: 5 Secrets to Help You Grow Your Business

The real estate industry is one of the most crowded industries, with millions of active real estate licensees across the U.S. This can make it challenging to grow your business. However, the good news is that growth is always within your reach. You can implement strategies to grow your real estate business actively.

Keep the following tips in mind as you begin your journey to taking your real estate business to the next level.

Be more purposeful

You need an approach that can help you identify clients and valuable networks. Start by attending workshops and events organized by leading personalities in the real estate industry. As you walk into these workshops and events, you should be prepared to network with people who can steer your business in the right direction. Whether you need a mentor or clients, a good network will have you covered.

Networking is more valuable and beneficial when you focus on connecting with people within your industry and building diverse and successful relationships. That is how you will find people who can help you grow your business.

Take accreditation exams

The key to building a successful business is to become the most qualified in the industry. Continuous education and certification make your business look more credible and professional, attracting more clients. You must take all the tests required by the state laws when running a real estate business.

Fortunately, most of these exams don’t take long and qualify you to work as an independent realtor in the industry. Once you get your real estate license, you can create a section within your business website displaying your qualifications for clients to see. It will improve your credibility and expand your reach.

Focus on professional growth

The real estate industry is competitive now more than ever, especially with the advancement in technology and the internet. The sector is more demanding, with clients looking for the best in the business. One of the best ways to improve your chances is through continuous professional growth.

Getting certified is a major step for everyone looking to expand and grow their real estate business. You can explore different ways to get a real estate license online to make your business certified. Accordingly, you can grow professionally by enhancing your customer experience or creating a professional business website. Either way, you should look to improve your professionalism and become more competitive and attract more clients.

Improve your time management

You cannot grow your business if you constantly strive to complete your tasks and get to the end of your to-do list. Instead of playing catch up with everything, you should focus on managing your time well. Create a schedule and stick to it.

Alternatively, the best way to manage time is by limiting distractions—mute your notifications when working to avoid those unnecessary email pop-ups. Lastly, learn to use technology to handle repetitive tasks and save time.

Improve customer experience

An important factor that determines how you attract new clients and retain existing ones is customer experience and your relationship with clients. Efficient communication can be one of the most appealing ways to enhance the experience. Always stay in touch with your clients and help them make the best decisions when buying homes. You can also create feedback and response centers to help anyone making inquiries get the best and most timely solutions.

The Bottom line

Growing your real estate business requires the drive to go the extra mile. Since the market is already saturated, you should execute every action with growth in your mind. You may need to be more patient before you can see some changes.

Follow these tips, and you will be headed in the right direction.

Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime? Here’s Exactly What to Do

Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime? Here’s Exactly What to Do

Crime has long plagued on humanity. Wether through shootings, or street fights, or any other act of graphic violence for that matter, it’s not unusual to stumble on grizzly videos online. Crime news websites such as Hoodsite and USACRIME which post torture and gore videos are just a harsh reality check of the evil world we live in.

But no matter how gut wrenching or upsetting some of these real death videos might be, there are a few things more harrowing and enraging than a few gruesome clips. And one of those things is being falsely accused of a sex crime. This one lie has the potential to wreck the rest of your life and flip your reputation upside down. So if you’re facing false accusations, you have to act quickly and firmly.

Understand the Severity of the Allegations

When someone is accused of a crime that they did not commit, the first reaction is usually one of confusion and anger. Then, as those initial emotions die down, there’s typically a moment of relief where people think to themselves, “I didn’t do it, so there’s no way they’ll actually find me guilty. I’ll just let the process unfold and the truth will come out. Innocent until proven guilty, right?”

Here’s the thing: Sometimes that works, but oftentimes it doesn’t. Just because you’re innocent, doesn’t mean the truth will always come out. The old adage of innocent until proven guilty rarely seems to apply in sex crime cases. The mere mention of a sex crime allegation seems to cloud the public opinion (and may even filter into a courtroom where the jury sits).

Let’s be clear about one thing: Allegations of sexual abuse or sexual assault (or anything in between) are extremely serious and can’t be ignored or downplayed. The consequences for your crime will depend on the severity and the jurisdiction you’re in.

However, in many states, even a third-degree sexual offense can carry as much as 10 years in prison. You have to treat the allegations/charges against you with the seriousness that they deserve and be extremely proactive.

Select the Right Attorney for Your Case

How can you be proactive in your defense against these ridiculous allegations? Don’t run to social media and post a 10-minute video proclaiming your innocence. And certainly don’t drive to the accuser’s house and have a “clear the air” meeting. Both of these things will hurt far more than help.

The best thing you can do is hire a sex crimes defense attorney. You don’t want just any attorney. You need someone who is experienced in defending cases just like yours. Your reputation and freedom are on the line. Hire the person who can prove your innocence and help you move on with your life.

Build an Arsenal of Evidence

Cases of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or rape can be long and drawn out. These things don’t get resolved overnight, nor will they be settled in a few weeks. In all likelihood, you’re looking at a battle that will take months or years to resolve. The sooner you can build up an arsenal of evidence to support your innocence, the better the outcome will be for you.

No evidence is too silly to record. Text messages, phone logs, surveillance tapes, witness statements, character references, clothing, physical belongings – keep track of anything and everything you possibly can. (Better yet, let your attorney know so that they can go through the proper process of documenting this evidence.)

As you’re building your arsenal of evidence, you should also start compiling a war chest. A long and drawn-out case can be expensive. Good attorneys aren’t cheap and you’ll need to be prepared to pay accordingly. Speak with your lawyer about their fees and the payment schedule. If necessary, look into legal defense financing options.

Remain Silent and Keep Your Emotions in Check

Sitting still while people slander your good name in the media and your community is one of the most difficult things you can do. You’ll feel angry and frustrated. You might even feel like you’re being weak and passive. But the truth is that remaining silent is the best thing you can do. Lashing out or saying too much will only hurt your case. Let your attorney steer the ship and determine action.

On a related note, it’s imperative that you keep your emotions in check. Anger, frustration, and resentment are normal things to feel in a situation such as this. It’s for this reason that you should get off social media and only communicate with people who are supportive of you.

Patiently Wait for the Truth to Surface

If you do a good job of staying calm and proactively handing your defense off to your attorney, you should be able to prove your innocence and move on with your life. The key is to act swiftly and work with a good attorney who knows how to find flaws in false allegations.

Patience might not be the most exciting virtue, but it’s certainly one of the most important in a situation like this.

Why Hardcover Books Are Still So Loved

Why Hardcover Books Are Still So Loved

Today, readers have so many more options for how they may consume reading material than we used to. Whether you’re interested in a book or a magazine, you can read it in print, read it online, or listen to a dramatic reading through your favorite podcast app.

You can browse massive libraries of digital collections and probably buy a digital copy of your favorite book for just a few bucks. Why then, are publishers still bothering to print hardcover books?

Hardcovers are bulky and expensive compared to digital options and paperbacks, but they continue to sell. Why is that? There are several potential explanations.

Tangibility

For starters, books remain preferable to digital copies for many readers because of their physicality. Their appeal lies in:

  • The feel. Some people just like the feeling of holding a book in their hands. Touching a sheet of paper and physically turning it is a rewarding sensory experience, and the smell of a new book isn’t something you can replicate with a digital device – at least not yet. Readers who appreciate the sensual experience of reading will continue to rely on hardcovers almost exclusively.
  • The look. Some people like the look and image of hardcover books, so they prefer them for their collection. If you have a large bookshelf with hundreds of copies of your favorite novels and reference materials, you’ll want all of them to look as prominent and elegant as possible. Hardcover books tend to have a thicker spine, which creates a more impressive visual presentation on a shelf. They’re also more likely to exist in a standardized format.
  • Eye strain. Screens are largely unavoidable in modern society, but if you stare at them too much, you could end up with major problems on the basis of eye strain. Computer vision syndrome is a growing problem among people who have to stare at screens for their job, so individuals who want to avoid such an outcome typically prefer to pick up physical copies of books when they can.
  • Memory. Studies show that people remember more when they absorb information on paper, rather than a screen. There are many possible explanations for this, including the distraction of ads and other web design elements that can interfere with user attention. In any case, most people find they retain more of the content when they carry a hardcover book in their hands.

The Old Stigma of Paperbacks

It’s also worth noting that when paperbacks first appeared on the market, they came with a stigma. They were a cheaper and more portable option for millions, and allowed readers to travel with the book in a pocket and read it on the go.

Because the books were cheaper to produce and to buy, they were regarded as inferior in other ways. Some people also criticized them for falling apart too easily.

Hardly anyone looks down on paperbacks in the same way anymore, but vestigial attitudes persist. Hardcovers seem more dignified and respectable than paperbacks, as well as electrical impulses on a screen.

Durability

There’s no question that hardcover books are more durable than their paper counterparts. The cover itself is able to withstand a much higher level of abuse. The pages are bound in a more secure way, so you can read the book hundreds of times without worrying about the pages falling out.

If the volume stands on your shelves for many years, it should remain in better condition if it has a cloth binding. Thus, hardcover books can survive for multiple generations, and therefore work much better as collectibles and family heirlooms.

Profitability for Companies

Hardcover books also stay in circulation in part because they’re so profitable. Companies can print hardcover books for as little as a few dollars per unit, but sell them for $30 or more. Because there’s often a hungry audience of loyal readers eager to enjoy the latest release, the first wave of buyers is often willing to shell out more for a hardcover as well.

On top of that, rolling out a hardcover release, followed by a paperback release six months to a year later enables publishing companies to capitalize on at least two release events (and two largely differing audiences). Thanks to the extra money realized by hardcover edition sales, publishers are incentivized to keep the format around.

The Only Downsides

Despite all of the above, hardcover books aren’t perfect. They’re heavy. They’re bulky and more difficult to transport. They’re also more expensive than their paperback counterparts, since they’re sold for several times the price.

Despite their drawbacks, hardcover books retain a number of undeniable strengths. Because of those, hardcover books will likely remain part of the publication and distribution cycle for decades to come, if not indefinitely.

Not everyone prefers the durable and demanding reading experience of hardcover books, but that hasn’t appeared to dampen hardcover sales.

5 Ways you Can Keep Fit Even When You Have a Busy Lifestyle

Maintaining an active lifestyle is vital and should be one of your priorities. However, many people have a hard time creating time for workouts. To be successful in your job, you must take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Remember that ignoring physical exercise can result in various health issues and restrict your mobility.  However, with a bit of creativity, you can keep fit, improve your productivity, and keep your job, regardless of your mobility level.

Have a Fitness Plan

Having a fitness plan will benefit you if you love a schedule and like to know what you are doing and when you will be doing it. Also, a fitness plan will be beneficial if you are always busy. Therefore, plan for every day to help you concentrate more on exercising. And because you are trying to fit a workout routine into your busy life, always remember to be flexible because anything can come up at work, and you might have to skip your session.

Early Morning Workout

One of the effects of having a schedule is that you can quickly identify if you need to add more time. One way to solve that is by waking up in the morning and exercising before beginning your day. This can be a circuit session with weights or even a quick run. Working out in the morning can be a great vitality booster and allow you to begin your day healthily.

On the other hand, you can create time at the end of your day. And if you are one of the people who love going to the gym after work, consider modifying your evening plans to accommodate that.

Change your Commute

What mode of transport do you use to get to work? If it is a car or public transportation, you can transform it into a fitness session. Depending on how far your workstation is from your home, you can put your essentials in a bag and run from home to work. Remember that running or even walking is not just a workout activity; it is also a form of transportation.

Alternatively, you can switch your commute and cycle to work if you don’t like running. Using the time you would have been sitting in a car or bus is the most effective way of creating time for a workout that you thought you didn’t have.

Workout During your Lunch Break

If you feel that transforming your commute into exercise or working out early in the morning is not an option for you, how about working out during your lunch break?  So, instead of grabbing your lunch and sitting down, carry gym gear and head to the gym. You also don’t necessarily need to go to the gym during lunch to keep fit. You can do anything that will keep you moving, for instance, you can play badminton, squash or go swimming. And to improve your workout performance, consider using CBD products. Studies show that CBD can help relieve pain, help you sleep better, and improve muscle recovery, all of which contribute to better performance. Don’t worry if you don’t have a shower at your workplace; you can always head to a nearby leisure center and take a shower before heading back to work.

Workout at Home

Today, there are many resources you can use to exercise in the comfort of your home. Many videos and online programs offer comprehensive guidance and tips on the type of workout. Fitness TV channels provide a wide range of exercises and home gym equipment, making it easy for you to organize your time and effort.

Bottom Line

With a demanding work and busy life in general, making your health a priority might be challenging. However, maintaining a healthy life doesn’t have to be complicated, and keeping your physical and mental wellbeing can be very easy. The above tips can help you get started.

Don’t Like Confrontation? 4 Situations Not to Ignore

Don’t Like Confrontation? 4 Situations Not to Ignore

Avoiding confrontation is the best way to keep the peace when you want to maintain a relationship more than you care about being right. This approach makes sense when you’re having a disagreement with a friend, but it’s not always the best approach in every situation.

If you don’t like confrontation, that’s understandable. However, it’s worth reconsidering your position when faced with the following situations.

1. You’ve been injured in a truck accident

After being injured by a commercial truck or semi-tractor trailer, you’re going to have extensive medical bills on top of physical pain. Depending on your injuries, you may need to take time off work, or you might not be able to return at all.

When the truck driver is at fault, it’s in your best interest to hold them accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. The consequences of letting this situation go are immense.

Unless you’re exceptionally rich, you won’t be able to pay your medical bills. While you’re off work, your household bills will pile up and you might be forced into bankruptcy.

Not wanting to deal with confrontation is understandable, but after a truck accident injury, the damage will be ongoing if you don’t seek compensation.

2. You’re being stalked

On social media, tons of people talk about “being stalked” by people who send them unwanted direct messages, but that’s not actually stalking. Being genuinely stalked is a frightening experience.

You can easily ignore unwanted messages. However, if someone is calling you, driving by your house, or following you around town, your life could be in danger.

No matter how much you want to believe your stalker is annoying, but ultimately harmless, don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. Most stalkers are attempting to gain control or create a sense of terror in their victims.

You don’t have to confront your stalker directly, but you should tell someone what’s happening. Make sure your friends and family know who’s stalking you so they can keep an eye out. Also, file a police report as quickly as possible. Your stalker won’t necessarily be arrested on the spot, but it’s wise to create a paper trail to establish a record.

3. Someone has threatened your life

Anytime another person threatens your life, take it seriously. You have no way to know if they’re being serious or just blowing off steam, and it’s not your responsibility to guess. If you don’t act on a threat to your life, that person might actually be planning to follow through.

The problem with threats is that most people brush them off and don’t take them seriously. Ignoring threats has enabled many people to carry out plans of murder, including mass shooters who often make threats that go ignored.

Don’t let it slide if someone threatens your life or threatens to hurt you in any way. Like a stalker, you don’t have to confront the person who made the threats directly. You can file a police report and be on alert for any further alarming behavior.

4. Someone is taking financial advantage of you

When someone is exploiting you for money, that’s a serious problem. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or a family member – your hard-earned money doesn’t belong to anyone you don’t want to share it with.

If you’re being financially exploited, stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone take advantage of you. If you have to confront someone you care about, you can do it in a polite, calm manner without being accusatory. However, don’t be soft. Just be direct.

For example, if you’ve been financially supporting someone sleeping on your couch for the last six months, give them a deadline for getting a job to contribute to the household. Once you give them a deadline, hold them to it and don’t make any exceptions. If they refuse to contribute financially, give them a formal eviction notice and file a lawsuit with the court if that’s what it takes.

If someone is taking advantage of you financially, they aren’t a true friend, and they aren’t someone you need in your life, so don’t worry about losing them. However, if you really care about the person and you want to support them, be tough now and support them once they’re no longer able to exploit you.

Avoiding confrontation can be a good a strategy

Ultimately, avoiding confrontation when you’re being taken advantage of is a bad idea. However, if you can escape harm by avoiding confrontation in the moment, then it can be a good strategy. The key is recognizing when it serves you and when it doesn’t.

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.