Friday, November 20, 2015

Make Your Office Greener

By John Stone

21st century will surely be remembered for raising the ecological awareness of the entire global populace, because in the last couple of decades we’ve inflicted substantial damage to our planet and such effects simply have to be reversed. So where do you start? The ‘act locally, think globally’ principle is always a good practice. However, we humans tend to degrade our environment and over-exploit our resources because we consider that to be “a good business”. So, let’s see how we can implement change in our offices in order to make our workplaces and work ethics greener and suited for sustainability. 

Start from the staff

The first order of business should be to focus on the people that work with you (a real leader knows that your employees work with you, not for you). All of you together are a team who have to acknowledge and embrace your differences, but you also have to have a uniformed mind-set in certain aspects. One of those aspects is in fact the behavior on how to perceive and put to practice the ecological standards. The necessity of recycling should be deeply considered, finding greener forms of transportation, too; and if your employees also adapt their personal life habits to this policy, than positive local change is imminent. 

Energy consumption

If you learn how to save on energy consumption, it will definitely go a long way for the environment as well as your wallet. Energy-reliant businesses have to simply replace some of the office appliances with the ones that don’t drain too much electricity and water. An office is usually stacked with papers, so there’s bound to be a printer around, but if you use printers which use ink cartridges, instead of ones which use laser technology, you will instantly be able to tell the economic difference. Remember, once you find means to preserve energy, you will also be cutting down your costs as a result. 

Heating and lighting

It’s the same as home improvement, if you want to deal with heating properly, you need to install a good insulation to keep the cold air away. It will most definitely help you save money on a yearly basis. Less electricity will be used and less fossil fuels will be burned, too, so it is clear why this change is so beneficial for the green cause. Also, change your light bulbs into energy efficient ones, like the green LED light bulbs, install double-glazing windows and remember that natural illumination by daylight has no alternative, so aim to have a large amount of windows to light the place up evenly. 

Use less paper, please

We all know that production of paper requires a lot of energy, water and trees. Technology has allowed us to reduce the use of paper, since everything is digitalized nowadays, but despite such advancements, a lot of offices often use and discard more than it is needed. Recycling is crucial here and knowing when paper usage is absolutely necessary. If we spend less and accordingly, systematically planted trees for paper production will have more time to grow sturdy, the quality will be enhanced and there will certainly be circumstances where those tree plantations will be repurposed and left to flourish. 


The main goal to ecological sustainability is to leave behind sufficient renewable resources for the future generations to come. In this case, we were discussing offices and how they can improve their green standards, because they too are not exempt from this noble policy and methods of change are proven to make a positive difference. All that is left for us is to implement those methods and adapt our budgets

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Top 5 Home Security Tips


A burglar is not someone who is really brainy to find ways and tricks to break in your house. He just looks some of your carelessness towards your home’ security and takes advantage of that to enter in your home. Although there are many security advices you will come across on the web, through your closed ones but most of them either you ignore or forget to follow.

Therefore, we have come up with this post that gives you simple yet tricky ways to befool the burglar.


You might have installed high-tech security systems at your place but still your house was easily targeted. You know why? Because you are still inclined to careless habits like leaving the garage door open which provides an easy way for the burglar to break in your house.

Read on to know the ways you can increase security of your homes and prevent break-ins.

1.   Efficient Alarm System
An alarm system is as important as a telephone, electricity and water supply in your place. It is a basic way to protect your home from unwanted intruder and burglars. They can send an immediate alert to emergency authorities of the danger and immediate action can be taken. Most intruders run away after seeing an alarm system in the house.

2.   Make your home look occupied
Always make sure that your house appears to be occupied even while you are away at your work. Professional burglars leave no chance to break into an empty house. If you are away on a long vacation then don’t leave any sign that there is no one inside it. You can make use of automatic timers to turn lights on and off while you’re away. You should also ask your newspaper vendor to not to deliver the daily till you are not back.

3.   Install deadbolt locks
Make sure all the exterior doors of your house have deadbolt locks with at least 1 inch thickness. Although they will cost you more than spring latch locks but they are much stronger and reliable in terms of protection. When you get deadbolts installed, check that the locksmith leaves a gap between the door and its frame because this can make it easier for the burglar to pry the door apart. You can add strength to your doors by adding plywood or a piece of sheet metal.

4.   Don’t leave the keys under the doormat
Many homeowners have this habit of leaving the key under the doormat or inside the mailbox while leaving the house. But this is an easy target by many burglars and thus never ever leaves your house keys here in the future. You can instead warp it in a foil and hide it in a secret place where no one except your family members can find it.

5.   Install high security windows
Like doors windows are also at a target of burglars who often enter into homes through windows. You can consult a locksmith to install locks at windows and burglar-resistant glass. Look for window options that are difficult to break in. For example: instead of choosing a large glass pain, you can install multiple small panes of glass.

About The Author:

Cameron Gibbs is an Author and Business associate for Diamond Lock and Security – an Australia based locksmith service provider. He has a great technical knowledge in the field of security solutions for homes and businesses.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Keeping the Telecommuter on Task

By Philip Piletic
It is an exciting prospect to work from home. The advantage of not needing to race out the door to fight morning traffic would tempt anyone stuck in the daily grind. The savings in gas alone translates to a wage increase for many employees. There is no need to take a shower or even change out of those silky blue boxers. The living room, with the nice fluffy couch and wall-mounted television, makes for the perfect home office. All that's missing is a freezer filled with microwaveable delights. While the thought of living the telecommuter life seems like such a wonderful job opportunity, the trouble is in convincing the boss that the idea is sound. Many managers and company owners still hesitate to trust their employees with work-at-home positions; however, with the right checks and balances, adding a telecommuter work program may prove to enhance employee performance.

Some Hidden Benefits

One of the great things about telecommuters is that they do not take up any additional office space. Immediately, it is easy to see how a healthy telecommuter program could save companies huge in office space rental costs.

According to this source, 37% of IT professionals would take a 10 percent decrease in wages in exchange for the opportunity to work from home. During flu season, a telecommuter is less likely to transmit or receive a flu bug anywhere near the office. This means this type of worker is at less of a risk of missing work. Sure, sometimes you might miss chatting with your colleagues, but this way you can also easily escape the annoying ones and focus on your task without disruptions of the noisy office. Since they work at home anyway, feeling too sick to come in is not much of an excuse for avoiding doing their work. 

In addition, telecommuters have an incentive to stay on top of their work. They know that to slack off could force them to lose their coveted, flexible job opportunity. This gives the powers that be a lot of leverage with subordinates who choose to telecommute. On the other side, it’s also fair to invest in your work-from-home employees. 

One thing you need to be certain of as an employer, is that your workers will be self-sufficient when left to work from home. For this reason, it makes sense to give them all the tools needed in order to stay connected with them, such as smartphone, laptop, access to company’s Cloud and similar. Also, huge percent of the work will probably be done using computer, internet and other modern tech, and for this reason it’s better if one is confident in his abilities rather than spending half a day trying to figure out a solution to a simple problem with his PC. Company paid IT courses are often a good investment in their workforce, and obtaining a certificate like Microsoft MCTS is a useful addition to any resume.

The Ground Rules

In order for a company to maintain a healthy telecommuter program, there must be a few pointed ground rules for employees to abide by.

      A telecommuter would need to be easily reachable during normal working hours.

      A boss or manager would need to be able to check up on the employee throughout the work day to obtain a proper sense of the work being performed or the progress being made with tasks.

      Deadlines would have to be consistently met in a timely manner to ensure that performance is not slacking.

      An employee would need to sign and agree contractually to an acceptance of disciplinary actions for failing to comply with work-at-home policies and procedures.

With the proper ground rules and communication protocols in place, this provides managers, supervisors and company owners with additional leverage to maintain control over their work-at-home employees. In some ways, this improves communication to such a point that telecommuters work out better than in-house employees.

Keeping an Eye on Telecommuters

If a company is supplying the smartphones, tablets, and computers being used in telecommuter-based operations, then these devices should have compliance measures built in for monitoring employee activities. If a telecommuter has not touched their company issued devices all day, this could alert a manager to contact an off-site employee to determine what they are really doing on company time. According to Business Insider, it is a good idea to require work-at-home employees to use an instant message service to give further indication that they are near their computer working. If a manager is ever in doubt, simply message for detailed progress and force accountability by making them explain their accomplishments. Asking them to send over copies of what they have accomplished, to confirm they are being honest, helps to keep work-at-home employees on their toes as well. Since many telecommuting jobs are team oriented, failure of one employee to consistently receive what they need from another worker is a key sign that something is amiss with an off-site employees rate of performance.


Although it is possible for telecommuters to cheat the system and slack off at home, modern technology makes it equally possible to monitor work-at-home employee activities more closely than in years past. From communication protocols to software that checks up automatically on progress being achieved, bosses, managers and supervisors will be able to keep telecommuting employees under their thumb with increased precision.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Perks of Being Self-employed

Entrepreneurship is living the few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. As pleasing as it sounds it actually is the best option when you are tired of working faithfully 8 hours a day, sitting in the same cubicle, working your ass off to build someone else’s dream. You might have vision that can be a pipe dream or an idea worth taking a risk for. Usually people just work hard so that they are not fired and in return are paid just not to quit. But is that actually how we want to spend the rest of our lives?
Truth is self employment can give you a lifestyle you dream for and even better. Let me tell you why you should let go off your “so called” secure job and take a leap of faith onto that rocky road of being an entrepreneur.

First thing first

As soon as you quit your job and become self-employed you become your own boss. Well yes this is nothing you didn’t already know, but at the same time the most important advantage of being self employed. Being your own boss means having the luxury of doing what you want and picking up who and what to work for.

You also have the flexibility of deciding your working hours and you can even work from the comfort of your home. Plus you’ll have freedom, job security and nobody can fire you. Not to worry about layoffs during recession is another merit. If we analyze the small business listings of Australia we can see the shift in pop culture as there are more people who are self employed in Australia than are members of trade unions just because self-employment offers more job security.

Empowering you…

The moment you start living your dreams, without thinking what you will get out of it, but still choosing to go for it because that is all you want to do you will feel a sense of empowerment. When you choose to be self-employed chances are you’ll be following your dreams and doing what you love to do. It can be incredibly rewarding when you start making money out of your newly started small business, not only in economic terms but also by building up your confidence. Thanks to it your skills will improve and you’ll be able to manage your work with great ease.


Since our childhood we are conditioned to study hard and score well so that we can grab a good job and make our careers. Fair enough! But nobody ever tells you what next after getting a job. Lemme tell you, you’ll be working on somebody else’s terms and conditions, giving up your freedom to be their slaves. You will have to think twice before taking a day off and will have to work harder to please your boss for promotions and much more. Amidst this endless hustle, self-employment will give you the freedom of working for yourself at your own will. You can take your own decisions without the fear of a disapproving boss. Plus you can work as little or as long as you want. You will be credited for your work and your efforts will be recognized not only by your clients but strangers as well.
It just keeps multiplying…

The benefits of being self-employed just keeps piling up with time. You may have to work hard for longer hours in the beginning and yes there are financial risks that can’t be denied in starting a new business, but it all pays off when your business starts to grow and you have financial freedom and time freedom as well. Studies have suggested that those who are self-employed earn 45% more as compared to those who are conventionally employed.

Open-Ended Career Growth

In a job you have lesser opportunity to grow and get promoted to remunerative positions. You have to perform tasks in exchange of a pre-decided salary which is unlikely to change substantially.  On the flip side, you have unlimited growth options and your income is decided only by your skill and will power if you are self-employed. If you are working independently you have a greater degree of spontaneity which tends to increase enthusiasm for work because of financial independence. You can explore the market and expand your horizons all to your heart’s content as you will be meeting other business owners and managers. This also tends to provide more abundant networking opportunities and growth possibilities.

You can actually make it big…
One of the perks of starting your own small business is that you have the power to make it big. Just like all big businesses started from scratch who knows, what you are building right now might turn into in the next few years. You will be the sole beneficiary of all the hard work you put in. Once your business starts to flourish you can hire employees to work for you, reducing your working hours and multiplying your income. For example, there has been a debate in the past few years regarding the increase in rate of self employment due to the development of new technologies Uber, job networking, and crowd-sourced funding. If we see the list of small businesses in Australia some of the small companies have actually grown to compete with giants like Facebook and Google. So if you can work hard for long hours, tolerate risk and stress, cope well with failure then self-employment can really take you to new heights.
In a job we are usually working to build a dream of our employers which can be really disheartening that the benefit from all our hard work is reaped by others and we just get a very small fraction of it. When your business has grown into a successful venture and is flourishing day by day you will find all your goals, ambitions and dreams coming true. Every successful step you take in your business will motivate you to work even harder. This continuous progress will give you tremendous satisfaction. The best part is you will be building your own dream and not somebody else’s.
You decide when to retire

Unlike conventional jobs if you are self-employed you get to decide when to retire. It can be as early as 30 years of age or as late as 70 years. It’s all up to you. Self- employment helps you choose the best possible opportunity for the type of money you want, funding an early retirement. With the tremendous growth opportunities of 21 st century you can expand your small business into a big business house. After all, self-employment is all about your will and proficiency. 

I admit that in reality self-employment may not be as liberating as it seemed on paper because when you start, you are bound to work harder and for longer hours. You may even consider quitting everything when the stress of everyday life sets in. But at the end it’s the decision you make. Work hard now and enjoy the rest of your life or just keep working. It’s your call.

Guest Author: Ella Rich

This post is written by Ella Rich. She is an advertising expert, who is keen on learning and sharing her knowledge about listing of small businesses in Australia and Internet marketing. You can connect with her on

Monday, October 12, 2015

10 Tips To Help You Develop Proper Leadership Skills

By John Stone
The most important traits of a successful leader are intelligence, assertiveness, conscientiousness and adaptability. A leader must motivate and inspire, be energetic, enthusiastic and positive. They are there to help each employee individually to reach his or her full potential. Easier said than done, being a good leader is difficult. But if you run your own business, than you have no other choice but to try and upgrade your leadership skill set, for the better of your employees and company. Here are some tips and reminders you should always have in mind.

Finding or developing your own leadership style requires you to define where you are the strongest, and where you need actual improvement. You can read about major leadership styles and, according to them, get an idea of how you lead. When you determine the areas that need improvement, start looking for a way to improve and polish up your leadership abilities.

Besides telling, you also need to show and be an example. Exemplify the behavior that you encourage - be professional and always on time, treat everyone with mannerliness, and once you have set the tone – everyone will follow it.

It is the essential linking element in any kind of interpersonal relationship. Show concern and care for the members of your staff and maintain one-on-one communication with each one of them. Make your employees feel like they are an important part of your team (which they are). They would, thus, feel that they are able to contribute to your business and receive recognitions for it. Communication is a two-way channel – always make sure that you are understood, but also listen.

Recognition and Rewards
Make sure that your employees’ effort does not go unnoticed. Offer effective recognition and rewards in order to boost their self-confidence, sense of worth and to make them feel appreciated. Your employees will feel happier and motivated if they get rewarded for strong efforts.

Creativity Boost
Encourage your staff’s creativity. They need to express themselves, and one way to do this is to challenge them. Give them different, unusual assignments, have them stretching their limits and they, as you too, will see what they are actually capable of achieving. It is called intellectual stimulation, and is perhaps the most important aspect of an employee's job satisfaction.

When you are passionate about the business, your employees would be to by looking up to you as their leader. Express the enthusiasm, care about other peoples’ progress and show your appreciation of it.

Keep them productive. Do not waste time on micromanaging if you trust your team to do their job well. Make sure that everybody knows their role and position, and everything will run smoothly.

A leader should also be firm, and let know the employees that there are limits that you are not to cross. Let them know what you would and would not tolerate. By drawing a line somewhere, you can save the staff members a lot of frustration. There are various leadership training programs you can enlist into that could help you with your leadership skills.

Emotional Awareness
Business or other kind, a relationship is a relationship, and you need your emotional intelligence to make these relationships last. Think with your head, but also listen to your heart. Balance the rational and emotional, and be a leader who is a successful businessman, but also a human being.

Stay Open To New Ideas

Always look how to improve your leadership skills, and try new things. You have to learn, develop and upgrade constantly. That is what separates good leaders from inefficient ones. Master new skills, absorb fresh info and stay open to new ways and ideas.