How Remote Work is Changing Home Safety

Two focuses of my blog are Technology and Workplace Discussions. The implementation of the technologies that we now have, have significantly changed the workplace so that remote working is increasingly the norm. The following contributed post is entitled, How Remote Work is Changing Home Safety.

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It’s official – we’re living in the age of the remote working shift. Admittedly, this change has been bubbling away under the business surface for a while now but, with many companies having to shut shop, more of us than ever have found ourselves in home offices overnight. And, according to around 74% of firms, this is a change that’s set to stay.

After all, remote workers are famously more productive, while a reduction in office hours can mean reduced costs in everything from bills through to rental costs. The only trouble is that, as the ways in which we use our homes change, so too do the security risks we face. While theft avoidance has always been a priority of sorts, the majority of us have been relatively relaxed with safety measures. Now, home safety becomes a must as thieves from all sides take advantage of this home office phenomenon.

Here, we’re going to look at what exactly those risks look like, and how you can protect against them.

Soaring cybersecurity breaches

Perhaps the most notable security change has occurred in the cyber-sphere, where there’s been a 400% increase in attacks over the last twelve months. This isn’t altogether surprising considering that businesses are operating almost solely online right now. With malware in the right places, hackers can quite literally access entire infrastructures.

The good news is that businesses are responding with in-house cybersecurity efforts including cloud computing and end-point networks. Still, there’s nothing to stop attackers accessing your personal network. Hence, now is the time to arm yourself, not only with knowledge but also that anti-virus software that you’ve never felt the need to get around to until now.

More valuables than ever before

Many of us also now have a whole lot more valuables at home. At the very least, we’ve had to bring work computers into home offices. Not to mention that our cars are sitting on the driveway for longer. All of this means that thieves are guaranteed to get away with more.

Now could, therefore, be the ideal time for increased home security. At the very least, CCTV alarm systems could keep your vehicles safe. Meanwhile, in-house protections like floor safes can ensure that no one gets away with your all-important work valuables. That way, you can save yourself money in replacements and lost working hours!

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The risk of complacency

Alongside these risks is one that proves equally problematic – complacency. After all, we’re each home a lot more now, and you may assume your presence alone is enough of a protection. Sadly, someone is home in around 266,560 of household burglaries. Separate home offices in the garden are especially problematic, as thieves who keep a close eye will be able to gain access the moment you head off for your lunch break.

To avoid this eventuality and the shock that it can bring, remember that you are not an island. Rather, you need security measures in place to keep you safe, even when your back is turned!

The Types Of Workplace Safety Gear You Should Invest In

Three focuses of my blog are Health/Wellness, Organizational/Management Discussions and Workplace Discussions. Depending on the type of workplace and organization you’re running, there may be safety considerations. As such a significant investment for your will be workplace safety gear. The following contributed post is entitled, The Types Of Workplace Safety Gear You Should Invest In.

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As an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of your team as best as possible. Amongst the different ways of doing this, making sure that they are equipped with gear that can protect them from a variety of health hazards found in the workplace is a crucial step. Here, we’re going to look at some of the different kinds of protective and safety gear, and why it’s so important.

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Safety from contact wounds
Perhaps the simplest kind of safety gear is that which protects from all manner of contact wounds, including impacts, lacerations, and the like. This includes things like helmets designed to prevent head injuries, safety goggles in environments where things might be likely to hit the worker’s eye, gloves if they are handling tools, and more. These are the most basic choices in preventing accidents in the workplace.

Protecting their hearing
While the contact injuries mentioned above might be the most dramatic and commonly thought of workplace health risks, they are far from the only one. For instance, many construction and industrial sites produce an unsafe level of noises that can cause pain and permanent hearing loss. To that end, equipment such as earplugs and earmuffs can protect their ears by effectively lowering the decibel level that they are exposed to, crucial for anyone using heavy machinery.

Staying visible
In many workplaces, lighting equipment will be used to make sure that employees have the visibility they need to work safely. However, if they are working outside of a controlled worksite, especially on the road, then they could be a greater risk of being involved in an accident. High visibility work gear is designed to make them reflect light more easily so that they can be better spotted by motorists and others outside of the traditional worksite environment.

Protection from the elements
The weather itself can be a severe health risk. If someone is exposed to the cold and the rain for extended periods of time, it can result in them becoming seriously sick. As such, foul weather gear is often designed to insulate them, offering some level of protection from the cold, while also keeping them rainproof. It’s crucial to keep this kind of gear at the ready for any workers who might have to spend a long time working in the outdoors.

Healthy respiration
There are a lot of workers who will spend time working with hazardous elements that, if not careful, they could end up breathing in. All manner of smokes, dust, powders and vapours can be a health risk. As such, dust masks and full-face masks may be necessary depending on the kind of particles they are likely to be in contact with. Some particles may be agitating to even be in contact with, not only to breathe, after all.

Take the time to seriously address the risks found in your workplace, determine which gear is best suited to help your employees mitigate them, and make sure you invest in keeping them well-stocked in it at all times.

Methods For Creating High-Impact Teams That Don’t Alienate Their Methods

Two focuses of my blog are Organizational/Management and Workplace Discussions. No matter what sector you’re in, a key to creating a high-impact teams is doing so in ways that don’t hurt the team members and ultimately alienating them. The following contributed post is entitled, Methods For Creating High-Impact Teams That Don’t Alienate Their Methods.

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When you’re part of a world-beating team, you remember the experience for life. There’s nothing quite like it. Things just get done and you wonder why it doesn’t happen in every organisation.

But what makes great teams happen? It’s a bit of a mystery.

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In many cases, high-impact teams happen by chance. They just emerge spontaneously when the people and conditions are right. Other times, they occur because senior management put the right incentives in place and hire the correct people for the job.

In many cases, high-impact teams are path-dependent. Small perturbations in the initial conditions carry through, and everything just seems to work from that point onwards.

Creating high-impact teams isn’t an exact science. It isn’t something you can just guarantee. But you can increase the likelihood that your team will cohere by following some best practices. Here’s how to create a high-impact team without alienating any of the members.

Inspire People, Don’t Drive Them

Inspiration is a far more potent force than driving people to excellence. It’s more relaxing too. As a leader, you want to avoid cracking the whip. Instead, you need to find ways to motivate people intrinsically. Ideally, you want them to work hard because they love the job itself.

You see this kind of attitude among employees at most top-tier organizations. The people working there don’t need bossy or authoritarian managers. They’re just happy to get on with the work for the sake of it. It’s motivating in and of itself because it is something that they believe in.

Deploy Sales Training

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Our educational system doesn’t teach people many important life skills, including the ability to sell. Colleges seem to ignore the fact that we live in a market economy where selling is important. Most people only find out that they need to sell once they leave.

Great teams need people with sales training. These colleagues understand how to communicate the needs of the team to management and customers. Their actions are what make the output of the team valuable. They’re an essential link in the chain.

Think about when you last worked in a high-performance team. There’s a good chance that there was at least one person who could communicate the value of the team to senior management or the public. Without that kind of communicator, the team can’t easily justify itself and, therefore, struggles to find direction.

Get People To Trust You

Trust can be a big issue in teams if colleagues believe that you have ulterior motives. The best way to build trust is to lay out everyone’s incentives on the table and not to hide anything. If you’re trying to create a great team because you want a bonus or promotion, say it. If you’re trying to get a group of people together to create an award-winning product to ensure the survival of the business, don’t keep it a secret. Remember, members of your organization are often far more socially aware than you expect. If they smell a rat, it’ll adversely affect their work.

How To Prepare For A Future Working From Home

Two focuses of my blog are Current Events and Career Discussions. The year of 2020 has forced a lot of changes on everyone and one of the biggest changes has been working from home. Even after Covid-19 subsides, working from home may become more permanent. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Prepare For A Future Working From Home.

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While you might have enjoyed working from home temporarily this year, are you prepared for a future of working from home? Who knows if life will ever go back to normal, and even if it is safe to return to work, your company may decide that it is going to be more beneficial to them financially to have everyone working from home for good now. If this is the case, are you prepared for this, and do you have everything you need?

A Decent Office Space
Working from the kitchen table may have been acceptable as a temporary measure when you didn’t know how long it would last, and everything was out of sync. But as life gets back to normal, then it’s time to look for a more permanent place to set up your office. You don’t even need a whole room to do this as you can create a great office space in the corner of a room or under the stairs if you have enough space. All you really need is a desk for your laptop and papers, some storage and some peace and quiet. Also, check there are enough electric outlets.

Technology
If it’s going to be a permanent way of working, your company is responsible for making sure that you have the right technology to do your job as best you can. You’ll need a good internet connection and access to everything you would have in your office. Having 5G would make working a lot easier too, and according to Vertical Consultants, telecommunication companies have not quite delivered as promised when it comes to 5G, so that doesn’t make it an easy option right now; however, is something that will be important in the future.

Security
Cybersecurity will need to be up to date, and again this will really be your company’s responsibility to make sure the equipment you’re using is safe. But when it comes to your home, you may need to make it even more secure than you would have done before. For example, if your job requires you to handle confidential documents, then you’ll need a safe place to keep them. It might even be worth looking at video door entry systems for your home too, which will not only reduce your distractions but also keep your information extra secure.

A good routine
Many people struggle with a good routine and motivation when working from home, but once you get used to it, it becomes the norm. It’s essential to have a structure to your day and treat it still as if you were going into work, so make sure you get up, shower, and get dressed (even if it’s into something comfy), have your breakfast, and then get to work. Also, make sure that you separate your work from your home life and home admin, and when it’s time to finish work, you switch off completely and enjoy your evening.

Tips For Working At Home When Running A Business

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. In today’s digital world, the tools exist to allow people to work from home. If you’re interested in starting a home-based business, this contributed post is entitled, Tips For Working At Home When Running A Business.

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With the global pandemic resulting in many people having to work from home, as an employer or indeed employee, it can be challenging. This is especially true if you are part of the new working from home economy. It requires a change of mindset, new habits to make it a success. Everyone will need to consider where to work from, what the boundaries are between home life and work life, and how it will impact upon family relationships.

Below are some tips on making working from home a success.

Set up a schedule
Try your best to set your working hours and stick to them. This is important if you have a family at home too. Although don’t be too rigid as working from home can also allow the most incredible flexibility, mostly if you have outsourced work and your colleague is in a different time zone.

Get your systems set up
To ensure you and your employees are able to communicate, access files, and schedule meetings, it’s important to get your systems set up. The integration between your office and home systems will be vital to a seamless operation. This will ensure you and any employees have the necessary equipment and access to continue with the job at hand. You may require additional support to achieve this, but it will be worth the investment.

Ensure your company is seen
Your customers will want reassurance that you are still open for business. This may involve working hard on your internet presence and working to ensure SEO is optimized for your online presence. Contact your customers and assure them you are open, ready for business, and continuing to work.

Socialize
Working from home can be a lonely experience for all involved. Schedule catch-ups with staff members. Set up meetings with clients via the vast array of online platforms. These will ensure you have a strong culture of staying in touch with employees and customers. This also helps nurture relationships meaning your employees and customers will feel valued.

Be positive
Not being in an office can be difficult. In all communication with your employees and customers, have a positive outlook. Also, ensure any written communication is clear and concise. Remember, you will have to communicate in writing more, so ensure you get across the right message in the tone that you want.

Finish your work-day on a good note
As noted above, about setting up a schedule to start your day, ending your day on a positive note and routine is also a great idea. Sign off with a message to your employees and go and do something you enjoy. Ask your employees to do the same.

These are just some tips to help you if you are working from home.
Above all, find out what works best for you and your employees. Remember, you are all in the same boat. Working together to achieve the goals of the company is what you want so getting their input at what works will be vital.

Tips To Keep Your Staff Safe In The Workplace

A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness and Organizational/Management Discussions. If you’re a business owner or in management, a key objective of yours should be to keep your employees and your workplace safe. The following contributed post is entitled, Tips To Keep Your Staff Safe In The Workplace.

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Your staff’s safety in the workplace should certainly be the main priority of yours. When it comes to your workplace, you have a responsibility to your employees in making sure that where they’re working is safe and isn’t going to bring or cause them harm in any way. With that said, here are some tips to keep your staff safe in the workplace.

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Put Safety Measures In Place

Safety measures are a great way of ensuring that your staff is being looked after and that there are precautions in place to help avoid injury altogether. This might be in the form of signs and warnings that are placed around the worksite or office, for example. You may want to introduce everyone that comes into the company with an office safety training pack or to have either your HR or operations manager train the staff member in the basics of keeping safe in the office. There are lots of different measures you can take to ensure that your staff is being looked after and it’s up to you as the employer to make sure that these expectations are being met at all times. If not, then you could be liable for legal cases where a staff member has been injured to a lack of safety precautions in place. That’s not a situation you should want to find yourself in.

Have The Right Protective Gear

The right protective gear is important when it comes to keeping safe, and with medical supplies being in demand at the moment due to COVID, this should be a reminder that our health is important. Look at what you might be lacking when it comes to protective gear not only for general work tasks but also those areas of the business where staff might be working with particular machinery that can also pose a danger.

Educate Your Employees

As much as you have a responsibility to your staff, they also have a responsibility for their own wellbeing and that of their colleagues. With that being said, it’s good if you can offer them any additional training that you think they might need when it comes to them staying safe within the workplace. There’s plenty of basic training courses that could be useful for them as well as common courses like First Aid Training, etc. It’s important you have some sort of budget when it comes to staff training.

Encourage Regular Breaks

Regular breaks are a must, and so it’s worth making sure each and every staff member is getting the breaks they need throughout the day. Be strict on ensuring they’re getting up from their desk and not spending their lunch breaks eating in front of their computer. Be the encouragement they need to take a proper break and to ensure regular breaks are also taken throughout the course of the working day.

Safety in the workplace is paramount, so be sure to check that every staff member is ok and that you’re doing all you can for their safety.

Planning A Safe Return To Work Amidst The Pandemic

A key focus of my blog is Organization/Management Discussions. Across the country, businesses and organizations of all kinds are pondering a return to workplaces. A part of the thought process is doing so as safely as possible. The following contributed post is entitled, Planning A Safe Return To Work Amidst The Pandemic.

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The reopening of businesses around the world after the COVID-19 lockdown has been much awaited by many, but there are many important precautions that you must take to ensure that you can keep yourself, your staff and your customers safe. Luckily it needn’t be as difficult as you might think to plan a safe return to work, as there are a few key areas in which you can focus your efforts to ensure every individual is out of harm’s way. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of today.

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Deep Cleaning

The first step that you must take when opening your business post pandemic involves a thorough deep clean. It’s absolutely vital that you can enlist the support of trusted decontamination services to create a clean and hygienic space in which the virus has no means to flourish. Deep cleaning involves the use of chemicals in order to kill bacteria, so this has to be carried out by an experienced specialist who knows exactly how to handle them. You’ll have ultimate peace of mind when heading back to work knowing that the entire place is spick and span, so it’s a worthwhile investment to undertake.

Social Distancing

Group work, crowded offices and many more socially diverse activities are now a thing of the past, as social distancing measures now require people to maintain a 1-2m distance between one another. This may mean that only a small percentage of your workforce is able to safely return to work, as you should remove furniture such as desks that are connected to be replaced with better suited socially distanced alternatives. It’s a good idea to utilise some kind of floor sticker system that signals to staff when and how to keep their distance, such as 2m markers in the lunch queue that encourage your team to stay safe and separate.

PPE

One recent focus of a risk reduced working environment is PPE. PPE, or personal protective equipment, involves any item that exists to help keep an individual safe. For example, disposable gloves that can be used once and thrown away, face masks for densely populated areas, or alternative face shields for those who find it difficult to breathe in such an accessory. Evidence points towards these PPE items being somewhat effective, so you may find it beneficial to implement these strategies. If you use a pair of disposable gloves or a disposable mask, then always ‘dispose’ of your item after one use. One use is the maximum that you can get from a ‘disposable’ item, and it can even put you in danger if you choose to use it again.

Planning the safest possible return to your workplace for you and your colleagues amidst the ever changing nature of the pandemic has never been so simple when you are able to utilise the top tips and tricks detailed above!

4 Financial Issues Today’s Youth

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Current Events. Even before Covid-19, the younger generations faced new challenges and a vastly different economic landscape in comparison to those the Baby Boomers and their predecessors. Many of the challenges involve finding work, and being competitive in today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Financial Issues Today’s Youth.

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Young people are facing numerous financial challenges today. Let’s explore some of the biggest issues that they will need to overcome.

Buying Property

The first major problem facing young people today is the challenge of buying property. It’s fair to say that buying your first home used to be a lot easier. Today, homes are more expensive and lenders are less likely to take a chance on someone that doesn’t have a healthy record when it comes to borrowing. Buyers are also going to have to spend some time exploring the market to find the right home for them. However, there are still some great opportunities out there including the houses from Cami Jones & Company.

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Saving A Pension

If it’s difficult for young people to buy property, it’s virtually impossible for them to save a pension. The only real way to do this is to ensure that you are building up your savings as much as possible each month. One of the options here would be to set up a second or third income. You can also think about focusing less on things that you enjoy such as holidays and meals out. However, many young individuals are left wondering about the point of this if they are constantly saving for tomorrow and not enjoying today. Ultimately, it’s going to be a balancing act and young people will constantly need to try and keep their finances healthy while also ensure that they are actually able to enjoy their life.

Gaining Job Security

A key issue for the next generation will be finding a job that provides security and stability. This is due to the fact that a lot of businesses are now establishing a model where they use freelancers. The benefit for businesses is obvious. With freelancers, business owners don’t have to worry about offering employees with expensive incentives. They can also dodge the issue of needing to provide redundancy settlement packages. Instead, employers are free to cut and hire employees as they like. By 2021, it’s expected that more than half of the American workforce will be freelancers. Hopefully, new laws and regulations will come in to protect these individuals. For now, though, young workers will need to learn how to survive on an income that is constantly in flux.

Paying Off Debts

Finally, one of the biggest challenges that are certainly impacting the youth of today is the issue of attempting to clear debts. Specifically, we need to think about the issue of student loans. Student loans can be hundreds of thousands of dollars, plummeting young individuals into high levels of debt before they ever have a chance to build up a solid career. If you are worried about this, then you can think about the support offered by the government. You should also be working to pay off your debt little by little each month. One of the ways you can do this is by setting up a direct debit to repay your debt and save as much money as you can, even as you are going through college.

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4 Things To Consider Before Accepting A Job Offer

Two focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and Professional Development/Skills. Not only is it important to make sure you’re qualified for a job in terms of your skills, but it’s also important to be able to assess whether or not a potential job is a good fit for you, assuming you’re not under immediate pressure to take it. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Things To Consider Before Accepting A Job Offer.

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Very often, the excitement of leaving a current job for a new one can cause you to overlook some necessary checks. Forgetting to review your offer could be a missed opportunity to make the best decision for your career and your future. A Gallup poll suggests that in the past year, over 20% of millennials already changed jobs. This same survey also shows that about 43% of the same category of people are already planning to leave current employment in less than three years. Whether or not you are a millennial, it’s crucial to consider these four essential points before accepting your next job offer.

1. Culture

Company culture determines whether or not you will be a good fit for the team or office. Factors such as language, values, company vision, systems, and beliefs, are good things to check out before accepting the offer. Fortunately, the internet makes it easier to do this background check as you consider making a move. The company’s social media platforms, website, and past projects are great places to start. If you know anybody who works for that particular company, ask them how fulfilling they find working there. You could also capitalize on the job interview to ask these crucial questions. Some companies have been sued for negligence and contributing to Mesothelioma (lung cancer) in employees. Because this medical condition resulted from chemical exposure, proven asbestos attorneys were in hot demand and still are. It is just an example of why you need to do your checks before joining any new company.

2. Expectations

Naturally, a manager already has a fair idea of what to expect in a potential employee. You have the right to ask what these expectations are and how they foresee this playing out at the workplace. However, your mission is not to use this feedback as a ploy to build a façade to get recruited, instead it is your opportunity to do a self-assessment to determine if you can deliver on the job. Remember that every company loves to be seen in a positive light and may overstretch their expectations. Be on the look-out for the interviewer’s body language to determine if they are being sincere or trying to sound politically correct in that situation.

3. The Salary, Bonus, and Employee Benefit Schemes

Often, people move from one job to another primarily for better remuneration and other attractive benefits. However, that should never be the main reason to jump ship to the next employer who offers an attractive package. Compare the provided salary with your job role and number of hours you are supposed to work – is it worth it? Also, enquire if the company offers incentives such as health insurance and retirement packages. Make a conscious effort to negotiate the terms without coming across as only being motivated by your wages.

4. The Commute to the New Workplace

Perhaps, your new job offer presented you with everything you ever desired in a career, except for one thing. The distance from your residence to the new office is unbearably far, and your daily commute will be anything but enjoyable. How do you come to terms with this challenge? Some organizations provide a bus to pick up employees from vantage points but are they close to you? Potential employees underestimate this issue and as a result it may create a lack of motivation in the long term. Your daily commute makes a tremendous difference to your job satisfaction.

The thrill of a new job always wanes after a few weeks, so you want to be sure that you have made the right choice accepting an offer. Be sure to consider all these key points before you go ahead and take the plunge.

Make Your Employees Happy With These Tips

Three focuses of my blog are Business/Entrepreneurship, Organizational and Management Discussions and Workplace Discussions. Regardless of the organization that you’re running, employee happiness is critical. Management should thus always consider this as it impacts overall productivity and recruitment of new talent. The following contributed post is entitled, Make Your Employees Happy With These Tips.

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There are so many things that you have to do as a business owner to keep you business afloat, but one of the most important of them all is keeping your staff happy. If you’re not looking after your people, then they aren’t able to look after your business. It works as a team when you hire staff; you support one another and you keep them in your thoughts when you are making plans to alter the business or improve things.

Making your employees happy has to be a priority for you. Get it right, and you get a great team of people who are happy to work for you for years. Do it wrong, and you will be revisiting your HR software to figure out who you can hire next! Happiness is important in the people who spend their time in your business doing everything possible to make ends meet. So, with that in mind, here are some of the best ways you can make your employees happy!

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  1. Plenty of money goes a long way and if you are offering an attractive salary, you’re going to claw in attractive talent to work for you. We’re not talking offering minimum wage: minimum wage may be legal, but it’s certainly not liveable! You need to think about what they need to survive and do more than that. These people spend upwards of eight hours a day in your business – make it worth it for them to be away from their families.
  2. Building a company culture that thrives on fun and happiness is so important. You want to make sure that you are able to make people feel relaxed and at ease when they spend time with your time. You need to do more than beanbags in the break room, too. Reflect the goals of your staff in what you can offer them, and help them with their positive work environment. Encourage people to work together and as a team – even with other departments! A collaborative working environment makes people feel trusting, builds good relationships and fosters a more positive working environment.
  3. Where you can, offer as many opportunities to develop your staff. Yes, you will likely lose them to other companies one day but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work with them on their goals while they are working with you. Training, education, formal degrees and more could change the way your staff work.
  4. Do what you can for the wellbeing of your staff. Things like fun days out, meals, company games night and more can foster a sense of fun in the workplace, and this can go a long way to enhancing the wellbeing of your staff. Another way to enhance their wellbeing is to ensure that your people have a good work-life balance. They need to feel empowered and trusted, and you can make that happen with flexible working and giving them the freedom to work remotely.

The happier your staff, the better they work – it’s a no brainer!