Increase Your Legal Firm’s Productivity

Operating with optimum productivity is essential for any business but it’s particularly important within the legal sector. Law firms and departments are typically besieged with a variety of tasks, from client requests and court hearings to contract preparation and legal research. With so many areas to focus on, maintaining high levels of productivity can be challenging.

However, there are ways you can increase productivity within your legal firm, and, in doing so, you can increase profitability too. To find ways to ensure you’re functioning with peak efficiency, take a look at these sure-fire ways to boost your legal firm’s productivity…

Introduce flexible working

Giving your staff the option to work flexible hours can drastically improve their productivity, which will make your business far more efficient. Legal matters may sometimes require an urgent response and an influx of cases may mean that staff are required to work increased hours at certain peak times. With flexibility, staff can manage their own timetables and ensure that they facilitate effective case management.

In addition to this, flexible working may include remote working. Giving lawyers the opportunity to work from home ensures a greater level of efficiency, particularly in relation to time-sensitive matters. With many businesses already benefiting from flexible working, this is a fast and effective way to boost in-house productivity.

Provide the relevant tools

Your staff can only operate effectively and productively if they have the right tools at their disposal. Access to appropriate equipment is critical for every business but law firms and departments have specialist needs that must be met too. From matter management software and access to case law updates to collaboration suites and video conferencing, it’s vital your team have easy access to a wide range of tools. Fortunately, there are products and services dedicated to serving the legal industry, so you can find the right programs and software to ensure your staff can operate more productively.

Outsource certain tasks

Although some matters will need to be dealt with by your experienced in-house team, there are a considerable number of tasks that could be outsourced to other professionals. Depending on your in-house resources, you may choose to outsource the management of billable hours or document production, for example. With the ability to use dedicated legal support companies to provide these services, you can ensure that any tasks which are outsourced are completed in accordance with your in-house standards and the relevant legal requirements.

When you outsource key elements of your workflows, it gives your core staff more time to focus on more intricate matters. As such, you can save a considerable amount of time and reduce your costs, thus driving your productivity levels up and enhancing your profitability.

Becoming More Productive

Although there are many ways to increase your productivity, it’s important to make careful considerations before you decide which changes to implement. By taking a strategic approach, you can ensure that the new tools and processes you introduce work for your staff and your firm as a whole.

Why You Should Do Your Research Before Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery has become so popular today that it’s almost as common as going to the salon to get your nails done. However, it’s normality does not make it any less risky or something you should take lightly. It is still a big decision to have any procedure done are a lot of things you need to do and consider before you go under the knife – namely, do your research,

No matter how popular a procedure, all surgery has associated risks and complications, and choosing to have cosmetic surgery is no different. It is, therefore, vitally important that you do your research and ask the right questions. No matter how small or big or what the surgery is before you do anything, you should learn more about breast augmentation surgery or educate yourself on rhinoplasty.

Research the surgeon

This is the first bit of research you need to undertake, not only do you need to check the surgeon’s background and qualifications, but you should research their previous work and clients. Check for reviews and testimonials and generally find out as much information as you can about them.

Research the clinic

Depending on which country you’re in, again, you need to make sure that the clinic is registered with the relevant bodies and is legitimate. Look at their website and see if there are any testimonials from satisfied patients.

Ensure your consultation is with your surgeon

it is essential that you speak with your surgeon directly so you can tell them precisely what you are looking to achieve and then can explain the different treatment options, the pros, and cons of each, and recommend the most suitable.  Meeting the surgeon allows you to check whether they have experience doing the procedure you’re after. You can check how many procedures they have performed and what techniques they use. Ask to see photographs of the results achieved for previous patients.

Ask lots of questions.

During your consultation with the surgeon, make sure you understand exactly what results can be achieved and how long they will last. It is essential to ensure that the surgeon understands your expectations and concerns and that you understand any limitations associated with the procedure to prevent any disappointment. Make sure you understand the risks and complications related to the procedure so that you can make a fully informed decision and also find out what the side effects and recovery time and process will be.

Ask yourself some questions.

As well as finding out everything you can from the clinic and the surgeon, it’s also a good idea to ask yourself some questions. Find out why you want to change and why you want to have the procedure you’re considering? How long have you thought about this procedure? Why are you thinking about a procedure now? What triggered it? Are there other ways you can achieve the changes you want? Are you expecting the procedure to change my life as well as your appearance? Do you want the cosmetic procedure for yourself or to please someone else?

Are you expecting the procedure to improve your relationship, social skills, or job prospects? Can you afford the costs of the procedure and any future costs to maintain the effect?

Important Features To Include When Starting Your Own Medical Business

Whenever you gain the opportunity to create your very own medical business, there are so many different tasks and responsibilities that you must consider to ensure that your project can become a success. The healthcare industry is constantly adapting and evolving with so much investment into research, and there’s no time like the present to get involved and put your company on the map to attract paying customers. So, if you want to know more about which important features you must include in your medical business, then read on for some of the best tips and tricks that can aid you in getting started today!

Abiding By The Law

One of the most vital aspects of your medical business is the simple factor of staying wholly legal and lawful throughout your operations. Those without the relevant qualifications are simply not allowed to perform skilled tasks, as in some instances you may hold a life in your hands – unless you know exactly what you are doing, don’t do a thing. Whether you’re researching into new and exciting drugs that can help to heal or reduce symptoms of common illnesses, or carrying out some kind of surgery or operation on patients themselves, you must have the knowledge to get the job done to the very best standard possible. Always make yourself aware of the correct procedures to follow, and do not open the doors to your new medical business until you feel one hundred percent ready to do so.

Getting Prepared

Getting prepared for the opening of your new medical business can be heavily influenced by many different things, as it’s so easy for things to go so terribly wrong from such a small error. The first step in your preparation should be to seek out the correct materials and equipment that you require to complete your daily tasks, whether this means purchasing lots of surgical scalpels or doing some research with deuterium products to identify the best foundations on which you can start to build your company. There are so many areas to consider, from the technological aspect of needing computer systems and specialised medical equipment, to the very important step of understanding which level of hygiene is expected inside such a space. Unfortunately it can seem as though there is a whole lot to learn before you can open the doors to your new medical business, but each of these steps is just as important as the last, so pay attention to the smallest details and don’t skip over a single task no matter how irrelevant it may seem.

With any luck this guide has helped to uncover some of the most important and essential features that you must include inside your very own new medical business to make sure that you are your team can become as successful as possible, as it really couldn’t be easier to begin your quest to financial independence and rewarding employment today. Always make an effort to research which rules and regulations you must follow to stay lawful!

Expanding Your Business: 4 Things To Consider When Your Workforce Is Growing

Transitioning from a small business into a larger operation has lots of positives. Fundamentally, you can expand your customer base, increase the number of services you provide, hire specialist employees, and make bigger profits. However, there are also new legal, financial, and organisational considerations to take into account before you take this leap. If you’re not properly prepared for the expansion of your business, the process may be messy and certainly a little stressful.

So if you’re looking for some key advice on taking your small business to the next level, check out the pointers below.

Legal Considerations

Hiring employees (or operating with a larger workforce) comes with legal guidelines that you need to be in line with at all times. The law may vary in different states, and depending on how many people you are taking on, but more often than not there will be guidelines on hiring processes and equality, interview processes and training. So make sure you are up to date on all the latest legal obligations in your area, and plan your hiring process carefully.   

Resources And Equipment

It’s no use having a bigger workforce if they don’t have the equipment and resources to do their job well and – just as crucially – safely.

So make sure you can afford to invest in all the safety equipment needed to keep your new employees protected, as well as practical tools, specialist equipment and transport. All-in-all, these investments can amount to a major investment, especially when you take the new salaries into account too.

If buying new equipment outright is not an option, look into rentals. This is especially useful if you’re hiring seasonally, or for a few bigger contracts. Rather than splashing out on a new truck, try commercial truck rentals from Flex Fleet, for a more affordable, short-term alternative. You can find rental companies for most specialist equipment.

Management & Restructuring

In a small business, the business-owner and existing managers often take control of managing the team, training, dealing with admin and payroll. You’re essentially doing the job of multiple people until you can hire others to take the responsibility off your hands. However, when you expand your workforce, you will want to consider restructuring your management approach. You may need to hire additional managers, and set-up a separate training system to help newbies settle in.

Hidden Costs and Expenses 

Hiring new staff will help you generate a great profit in the long run. But the process of bringing new people into the team has a number of hidden costs that can amount to major expenses. In some cases, the costs may actually outway the benefits, so careful financial planning is necessary before you get started. To begin with, advertising for new employees costs money. It then takes time to read applications or conduct interviews, and then your new employer will need training. This all uses up time and resources that previously would have been making you money.

New salaries will also likely increase the tax your business pays, although there may be tax breaks and benefits to be found too. You may need more space, perhaps new office premises, equipment and transport vehicles. If your business has enough demand to warrant expansion, you very likely will have the resources to cover these costs if you plan carefully. But be sure to prepare yourself for these initial losses.

What Does Covid 19 Mean For The Travel Industry?

There are few industries which have (and will continue to be) hit by the coronavirus pandemic than travel. Due to quarantine restrictions, strict social distancing guidelines across the globe and all but essential businesses being closed- jetting off to sunnier climes and exploring new places simply isn’t possible for any of us. But what does it mean in the future, when we get our freedom back and our ability to travel? Read on to find out more.

Travel and tourism industries will be among the last to reopen

The technique that governments across the globe are using to manage the Covid-19 situation is by easing and tightening lockdown restrictions based on how well the health service is managing to cope. As cases and deaths fall, certain businesses and industries have been able to reopen (with restrictions) providing they’re conforming to guidelines. However, it’s generally accepted across the world that travel and tourism industries will be amongst the last to reopen. First there will be the gradual returning of schools, shops and other businesses which are deemed as more of a necessity. It makes sense of course, not only does preventing people from flying all over the world slow the spread, but realistically most people wouldn’t want to travel when there’s nothing open in their destination anyway. No one knows for sure when travel industries will begin to open and thrive again, but it certainly won’t be this summer. It’s looking unlikely that any of us will be getting a holiday this year!

There could be many more restrictions in place than we were previously used to

When things do reopen and we’re able to travel again, we won’t simply return to how things were before. As with everything, there’s going to be major changes in place and these will likely remain for the foreseeable future. This could involve taking temperatures or fast track testing with quarantine measures for those who test positive. No one knows exactly how things will work just yet, but we can definitely assume that major changes will occur as a result.

You might be entitled to compensation if you got ill while travelling

Just a few short months ago, coronavirus was still incredibly new and much of the world was still travelling and going about their daily lives. One of the biggest cases occurred with the  Costa Luminosa cruise ship , where passengers were forced to stay in ‘living hell’ in confined conditions. Once the ship docked, the nearly 10 hour flight lead to several passengers coughing constantly, some lost consciousness, and others had fevers so high that they had to be separated while on the flight. If you were on a flight, cruise ship or travelling at the start of the pandemic and were treated badly and got ill as a result, you might be entitled to some compensation.

Can Staring At Screens All Day Cause Headaches?

For whatever reason, you find yourself staring at screens all day long. Maybe it’s part of your job, or perhaps you just enjoy playing video games or watching TV. Either way, you might start to notice some regular headaches. Now, are these directly related to all that screen time? We know that staring at a screen is bad for your eyes, but will it cause headaches as well?

Let’s find out!

Computer vision

There’s a condition called computer vision, which stems from the way your eyes respond to screen time. They start to dry out, your vision gets blurry, and you struggle to focus your eyes properly. Over time, this can lead to permanent vision problems. However, one of the knock-on effects of this is that you develop headaches. It comes from the increased strain on your eyes, the bad vision – the symptoms basically combine to cause pain in and around your head/eyes.

You’ll know if you have this problem as closing your eyes and lying down helps a great deal. So, in answer to the original question, technically screens do cause headaches.

Will reducing my screen time get rid of headaches for good?

Possibly, it’s impossible to tell. While screens can cause headaches, they might not be the cause of yours. There are plenty of other things that can give you a sore head every day, such as:

Barometric pressure

This is basically the pressure in the air around us. Sharp changes in this pressure can trigger headaches in many people. You’ll know if you get these as your head always hurts when the weather drastically changes. Or, your headache feels like a build-up of pressure. In this case, staring at screens won’t change these headaches at all. Instead, you can measure barometric pressure to see if a headache is about to come on when you go outside. Then, you can take painkillers to prevent them.

Needing glasses

Similarly, if your eyesight is poor, and you don’t have glasses, then you can get headaches all the time. This is one of the most common causes of headaches and is often confused with excessive screen time. If you get headaches even when you don’t spend ages looking at screens, then it could be down to this. A telltale sign is if your vision is blurred or you find it hard to see things. Sort out your eyesight, and the headaches will leave.

Stress

Being under lots of stress can also cause headaches. Again, this can come about when you’re looking at a screen but not be directly related to the screen itself. For example, working all day at a computer can be stressful as you have clients complaining, loads of things to do, etc. So, it’s natural to develop a stress headache. Relieving your stress will make it go away – turning your screen off isn’t going to help.

In summary, staring at screens all day can cause headaches in some people. But, before you diagnose yourself, be aware there are other causes of headaches as well. So, figure out what’s causing yours if you want to find the best solution.

Things You Can Do To Fight Boredom In Quarantine

If you have been twiddling your thumbs for the last few weeks wondering how to best spend your days in isolation, allow us to lend a hand and a few ideas…

We all know that the novelty of being at home wears off pretty quickly, and finding fun things to do during our time at home can be a challenge. But today we are here to stave off the boredom and give you some real inspiration!

Play Games

There are plenty of fun games to play during isolation whether you opt for the fruit blast or monopoly with your family. Take a look at the PlayStation store and take advantage of free games and offers. On mobile you can try out games such as Mario Kart, Simpsons Tapped Out, and Pokemon Go!

Host a Quiz

If you want to organise a fun event for your family or friends this week, one thing you can try is hosting a quiz through Zoom. You can share your screen and create a PowerPoint with questions, picture rounds, and even play music through the computer for a music round! It will be a great way to bring the family together and you’ll have lots of fun coming up with questions for everyone.

Make Bread

Baking bread is the most satisfying thing in the world, and if you have never done it yourself now is the time to learn. Baking bread isn’t too hard, and as long as you can get hold of strong white bread flour and dry active yeast you’ll be able to make some amazing loaves and crusty rolls.

Pamper Yourself

It is super important now that you are in the house to make the most of self-care and use your time to look after your skin, hair, and even learn how to paint your own nails. If you are bored and in need of some TLC, create your own pamper routine and make yourself feel refreshed, renewed, and healthy!

Decorate

Now and again it is a good idea to decorate the house and rearrange the furniture to freshen up the space and make it feel renewed. Now that we are all stuck at home it is the perfect opportunity to decorate and do some of those niggling DIY jobs we’ve been putting off for some time. If you have a tin of paint sitting in the shed, get it out and freshen up the walls! Move the sofa and chairs around the room to create a new dynamic, and even create some art pieces and hang them on the wall. Get crafty and use what you have to make the house feel renewed and refreshed.

Have a Clear Out

Are you a serial hoarder? If so, now is the time to have a clear out of your things. From the pantry to the wardrobe, take the chance to get rid of things you no longer want or need and allow the house to feel fresh and spacious once more this spring!

Kill Your Company Costs The Right Way

Are you thinking about ways to cut the costs of your company? Here are some of the key details that you need to think about.

Get Quotes For Everything

The first step is to always make sure that you are price checking everything. This is true regardless of how small the product or service is that you are buying for your company. For instance, you might be thinking about utilizing a cloud server in your company. It’s important to explore managed cloud costs and look directly at quotes for a solution like this. Compare several companies before settling on the one that can deliver the right quality for the right price.

Remember, the most expensive service will not always be the best. As such, you don’t always have to spend the maximum amount to ensure that your business is going to stay out on top.

Go Green

Of course, if you are looking for a double win, then you can think about going green. Going green will help you save money. In fact, if you take the right steps here, then you could easily cut at least 25% off your total level of bills. So this could easily save you thousands through the year. You could even look at renewable energy, essentially setting up your own renewable energy source. We think you can agree that this would send a strong message that your business is looking towards the future and specifically working to help save the planet. Your customers are going to love this. Now, you might be worried about the cost but a change like this in your company would pay for itself in a matter of months.

Hire An Accountant

You definitely want to make sure that you are hiring an accountant in your company. A lot of business owners skip this step for a very simple reason. They believe it’s just one more paycheck that they have to cover. But this just isn’t the case. An accountant is far more valuable than most people realize. They can help you find money in your accounts that you didn’t know was there. They can guarantee that your business is on the right track and will be able to deliver the solution that you need. They can also help you at crucial points throughout the year such as when the taxman comes calling. This is when a lot of business owners can slip up because they might underpay on tax. If this builds for years, it can leave you with a rather nasty bill to pay.

Lose The Baggage

Finally, you need to make sure that your business is not dragging any dead weight. The weight in question is going to be different for every company. In some cases, this could be something to do with a group of employees who aren’t matching the targets. In others, it might be a whole section of the business that is simply not profitable. It is important to have KPIs in your business and ensure that you know whether you are on the right path.

Health Conditions You May Not Realize You Have

The COVID-19 pandemic has made everybody more health-conscious. Whether it’s wearing a mask or staying two meters away from strangers, people are very picky about what were regular interactions. And, you should be because coronavirus is a nasty disease that spreads quickly. However, there is a silver lining to the crisis – you will take stock of your mental and physical wellbeing. With more time on your hands, and the fact your health is a serious matter now, it’s essential to use your free time to spot the warning signs. Then, you can take action and safeguard your wellbeing for the long-term.

“Won’t I already know about illnesses I may have?” Usually, ailments make themselves apparent via common and persistent symptoms, yet some are confusing. Sometimes, the signs can be similar to less worrisome diseases, or you may assume you’re tired and need more sleep. With that in mind, you’ll find four conditions that you may not realize you have and how to diagnose them below.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is incredibly tricky to spot for one apparent reason – you’re asleep. Unless you have an out-of-body experience, you won’t be able to tell if you stop breathing during the night. And, fatigue is the main symptom, so it’s tempting to pass it off as not getting enough rest. Or, you may think you’re coming down with the flu or a common cold.

However, other signs include a sore, dry throat, a headache, and irritation. If you have all of these at once, the odds are high that your condition is more than the early onset of influenza. This is especially true if the issues reoccur every morning. Oh, and don’t forget about snoring. Speaking to a doctor should result in night testing, and allow you to sleep for eight hours without interruptions.

Your energy levels and mood will skyrocket as soon as you diagnose and treat sleep apnea.

Tinnitus

An estimated 13% of the population suffer from this ear condition, so why is it hard to spot? The answer is that there are varying degrees of it, which means you may have a slight ringing in your ears. Still, it goes in and out, and it’s not enough to cause you harm or annoyance, so it isn’t a problem. At least, that’s what you believe.

Unfortunately, tinnitus can do damage under the hood when you’re not looking. The worst case is that it permanently damages the cochlea and leads to hearing loss. Although there is no cure, there are tinnitus management treatments that will limit the damage. A sound machine is an excellent example as it emits a low sound that cancels out the noise. Or, in specific circumstances, you may require a hearing aid. But, it’s better than straining to listen because you’re too proud to admit that your hearing is impaired!

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is when a gland in your neck makes too much of a particular hormone. As a result, you may lose weight at a rapid rate or sweat profusely. If these don’t seem like harmful side-effects, you should see the impact they have on your brain. Hyperthyroidism leads to a buildup of stress in some cases and is a major factor in higher cases of anxiety.

Plus, losing weight is about doing it steadily so that it’s healthy. Shedding the pounds too quickly will leave your skin and body looking aged. Thankfully, an iodine pill can stop your thyroid from working overtime, as can beta-blockers. Surgery is a last resort if the condition persists. Alternatively, watch out for hypothyroidism, the opposite for hyperthyroidism, as it leads to hair loss and self-esteem problems.

Appendicitis

Although you will experience a sharp pain in your side, most people are used to discomfort. This is because a balanced diet is a thing of the past, and junk food encourages your body to produce gas. Yes, some people suffer from appendicitis without realizing it because they think it’s flatulence!

However, appendicitis isn’t a laughing matter as it can be fatal if it explodes before it’s been removed. The main sign to watch out for is intense pain that doesn’t go away, but you should be aware of vomiting, fever, and diarrhea, too. A diagnosis is tough without a physical exam because your doctor will feel the area for inflammation, yet it is possible. You need to schedule an online checkup and explain your symptoms in detail as they could be enough to set alarm bells ringing.

Now you know about these surprise conditions, you should be able to manage them during a lockdown.

The Driving Bad Habits You Need To Stop

If you’ve been driving for several years, you probably see yourself as being a good driver. But, over the years, we all pick up bad habits. Some may seem small; however, they can still be very dangerous. Often these habits form out of confidence or complacency. You may think that because you’ve driven in a certain way before without an accident, that you’re perfectly safe to carry on doing so. Often though, the reason that you’ve never been in an accident is down to pure chance. Are your driving habits putting you and other road users at risk? Do you need to review your driving?

Here are some bad habits that all drivers, whether new or experienced,  need to cut out.

Drink Driving

We should all know that drink can impair your ability to control your vehicle. However, even drinking a small amount of alcohol seriously reduces your ability to react to hazards quickly. Some drivers believe they can handle a couple of drinks and be able to drive. These drivers are putting the lives of other road users at risk. Even after having legal action taken against them, 50 to 75 percent of suspended drunk drivers will continue driving. If you are planning on driving, don’t drink. Leave your car at home, or take public transport if you decide to go somewhere for a drink.

Tiredness

If you’ve had a long day, or you’ve spent a lot of time behind the steering wheel of your car, then you could be setting yourself up for a serious accident if you carry on driving when you’re tired. You may feel that you need to get home as quickly as you can. However, you should make sure that you take breaks on your journey as often as possible. This will help to improve your concentration. If possible, open a window and get some fresh air. Have a cup of coffee. And, ultimately, if you’re too tired to drive, stop somewhere, and sleep.

Using Your Phone When Driving 

Be honest, how often do you use your phone when you’re driving? Many drivers will use their phones, believing that they’re still in control over their vehicles. Even looking away from the road for a split second or two may be all that it takes to miss seeing a hazard early enough to react to it. When you are driving your vehicle, you should not be reading or replying to messages. You should also not be using your handset to make calls. Not only are you breaking the law, but you’re also putting lives at risk. There is no phone call or message that could be so important that you’d put risk a serious accident to answer them.

Get used to using the AI and voice control functions on your phone and set it up to work through your car’s Bluetooth connector. Keep your phone in a cradle and make sure that you don’t touch it or look at it when you’re driving.

Three Practical Ways To Deal With Bad News

With the headlines taken over by relentless news items about the spread of coronavirus, it can be easy to feel like real life is suspended. And yet, life does go on – both good things and, unfortunately, worse ones. Learning how to cope with adversity and bad news and becoming more emotionally resilient are increasingly valuable skills. Covid-19 is having a huge impact on many lives as well, from being made redundant to the breakup of relationships and of course dealing with serious illness for those who contract the virus. It can feel quite overwhelming, but learning how to process bad news is something that will support your life both through the pandemic and after it.

Allow Your Negative Emotions To Surface

There’s nothing more toxic than pretending everything’s alright when it truly isn’t. When we get over the initial shock of receiving bad news, often our first response is to try and put a brave face on the situation, but this is rarely a healthy response in the medium to long term. Let yourself experience the emotions that come without putting a value on them. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry and anywhere in between when something happens out of the blue. Allowing yourself to feel and acknowledge this is extremely important. Studies have found that if we attempt to suppress our negative emotions, they are actually longer in duration.

Reframe Your Internal Dialogue

You cannot hope to control the things that happen to you in life, however much you want to. What you can control is your response to those events, and it’s this that can be incredibly character forming –  it’s the reason why you often hear survivors of terrible tragedies saying it made them who they are. There is always a way to reframe your thought process, from a negative internal dialogue that only makes the feelings worse, to something more positive. The secret is cognitive baby steps. Instead of trying to tell yourself the direct opposite – which rarely works as the brain won’t accept it – work on trying to find a replacement thought that is acceptable. So if you have experienced a job loss, instead of telling yourself everything is going to be alright, tell yourself ‘I will be okay for a couple of months looking for another job’.

Remind Yourself Of Overcoming Adversity

There will be times in your life before where you have encountered an adverse event and managed to move past it. Draw on those memories and remind yourself of your own strength. Find the professional support you need, whether that is a counselling session online or a car accident lawyer, and reach out to friends and family over the phone for their advice. It’s vital not to feel alone, and to remember that you can and will come through this situation with the right support. In the meantime, try to slow down –  if you are experiencing trouble, a mindfulness app can be a great help to calm you down and help to combat stress and anxiety.

Courses To Take Now That Could Prove Invaluable Post-Lockdown

Lockdown life is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Suddenly, we’ve gone from never spending enough time at home to spending ALL our time there. And, honestly, it isn’t quite the luxury we imagined. Like anything when it’s put upon us, we’re now clawing at the walls and begging for the chance to exercise just once a day. But, as the adjustment period comes to a somewhat belated end, some of us are managing to put this new normal to positive use.

Most notably, people seem to be embracing this opportunity to finally make the most of home learning. The courses available have increased ten-fold, while even online learning outlets that have always been around enjoy unprecedented signup rates.

Of course, the lessons you choose to take away from this period are entirely down to you, and there’s nothing wrong with courses that simply help you to switch off. It is worth noting, though, that with job safety so uncertain at the moment, you could also benefit from thinking about new skills that will undeniably come in handy post-pandemic, including –

Health and safety/first aid

Even when lockdowns end, governments worldwide are talking about new safety processes to help prevent a much-dreaded ‘second wave’ of infections. In the UK, for instance, they’re talking about new layout requirements in restaurants, while the US centers around phased reopenings. Either way, workplaces globally face brand new challenges to keep customers and employees safe. As such, the call for health and safety or first aid trained individuals is about to increase no end. Even better, these courses are openly available online and don’t tend to take much more than a few days to complete.

Public relations

Even with these new safety regulations, many businesses are worried how customer interest will look after lockdown. After all, customers will still likely show some hesitancy about heading out, meaning that already struggling businesses will face further setbacks. Hence why PR experts are liable to come into play. And, hence why you’d benefit from taking this chance to learn more about public relations right now. This way, you’ll be in the best position to help brands plan promotions, marketing, and more that helps them rebuild consumer attention when they need it most.

Accounting

It’s also vital not to underestimate how much accounting services will come into play for industries post-lockdown. After all, companies will have gone untold amounts of time with no revenue by this point, and bringing the right people on board to help them overcome that will be a priority. Whether you have some accounting experience or are starting from scratch, tackling a course in this area now means you’ll be at the forefront of that increased demand, and changing the face of businesses as we know them!

Lockdown is, undeniably, frustrating, but this time also brings a great deal of opportunities. While there’s no such thing as a wasted course, then, consider these fundamentals to get your foot in these soon-to-be-booming careers sooner rather than later.

Could Lockdown Be The Ideal Time To Break Free From A Career you Can’t Stand?

Lockdown has been an emotional rollercoaster for everyone. So much so that many of us are only now finding ourselves able to make some positive use of this time. For some, that means finally taking care of tasks around the house, or just getting dressed each morning (a considerable achievement.) For others, though, lockdown has led to larger life questions, especially where our careers are concerned.

After all, this is the longest period many of us have gone without work, and a shocking amount of us don’t even know if our jobs will be open when all this ends. As such, in a somewhat ironic and roundabout way, it’s just possible that lockdown will prove the ideal time to break your career chains at last. And, here are a few reasons why.

Some much-needed distance

Whether you’re working remotely or not working at all, lockdown has provided some much-needed distance from the workplace. This distance may well have surprising effects for many. On the one hand, not having to head to the workplace could reveal that you perhaps weren’t as happy there as you have thought. In extreme cases, time away from colleagues could even make you aware of harassments you overlooked at the time. Luckily, you have two years to file for issues like these, so you can still take action. And, of course, you can use this newfound awareness to push you towards finally finding a workplace where respect is a given.

Skills, skills, skills

It’s always tempting to stay in a job if your skillset is limited to that area. Let’s say your degree and all your training is in accounting. You’ll naturally feel reluctant to break away, especially given time limitations that stop you from training elsewhere. Lucky for you, even if you’re working remotely right now, you’ll have a load more time on your hands. That means you can finally develop the skills you need to break into the field you’ve been dreaming of. Whether you take online classes or sign up for a remote degree, this could see you enjoying the confidence, and the resume, you need to make a career move truly work for you.

Plenty of time to search

Job searching is always tricky when you’re still upholding another role, and can make choosing a career alternative seem impossible. After all, you barely have time to search, let alone consider interviews, etc. Luckily, time is something that lockdown has granted us in spades, meaning that you can get to this searching process without worry. Admittedly, jobs are few and far between right now. But, as lockdown restrictions start to ease, you may well find that positions begin to crop up that you could never have applied for previously.

It’s impossible to say there are any silver linings to our current position. It’s certainly difficult to feel any during our day-to-day. But, if you take anything out of this period, let it be a job that you can feel happy in at last!

Being Mindful Of Your Energy Usage: What To Think About

The energy bill can be one of those costly monthly direct debits that you feel you have no control over. That it leaves your account, your energy supply is there and that is the end of the matter. However, the energy bill can be reduced in a number of ways and often it starts with you being more proactive. With that in mind, here are some of the top tips to help you reduce your energy costs.

Switch off appliances

One of the first things that you could consider is switching off the appliances at the wall. This can be such a great way to save on electricity and energy in your home. Too often we just put things on standby, but those appliances are still using energy while in that mode. Switching them off at the mains, and even unplugging them is a small habit to get into that in time can make a big difference to reducing your energy costs. You might also need to know how well those appliances are working. It might be that they are not working as well as they should be. It might be time to finally fix your dryer, repair your washing machine, or ensure that the fridge is working as it should be. Before they end up costing you a fortune to replace and also in the energy that they are using.

Consider alternative heating options

The next thing to think about might be more specific to the winter months, but again it could really help you to save money. Many homes have a central heating system in place, but it can be counterproductive if radiators are in rooms that you may not be using. It could be better to consider alternative heating methods. There are many things you could consider but this could be a great way to save a little on those consistent energy bills by using alternative heating sources.

Switch energy provider

Another thing you can do to reduce your energy bills is to switch providers. This can be a great way to help you get a better deal and rate. Many think loyalty pays off, but in fact, many companies save their best rates and tariffs for new customers. Switching providers is easy to do, and it can be a great way to save some money on those monthly direct debits.

Change light bulbs in your home

Often it is the small things that cost the most, and your light bulbs may be shining away money just because they are not energy efficient ones. It might be time to think about switching the for efficient ones or LED’s which can last a lot longer. They may seem a little pricey, but overall the saving outweighs the cost.

Use your common sense

Finally, sometimes it is just worth using your common sense instead of using your energy supply. If you are cold, put on an extra layer of clothing or get a blanket. You could also consider things such as closing the curtains and blinds to avoid drafts getting in. Small things can help to improve your energy usage, and in time, make a big impact on your bills. What could you do differently instead of increasing the temperature in your home or turning on a heater?

Let’s hope this has given you some idea on how you can reduce your energy costs.

How The Pandemic Is Going To Change Our Health Interactions

Facing health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic is an eye-opening experience. We have always taken our doctors and nurses for granted and expected them to cure our ailments. However, never have we faced an epidemic that puts the healthcare workers’ lives at high risk. Governments all around the world have to agree: Health care systems are, unfortunately, underfunded. Many workers struggle to get sufficient protective equipment in the long term. Those who use protective masks have shared selfies of their bruised and tired faces on social media at the end of a long shift. The word heroes has now become a synonym for health care workers. Nobody can deny how hard our doctors and nurses are working to keep us safe and save lives in the current situation. As a result, it is fair to expect that our interactions with the healthcare community are going to be changed after the pandemic.

Doctors and nurses find new ways to get in touch

Face-to-face interactions are not always an option, as COVID-19 is demonstrating. As a result, many doctors and nurses have looked for alternatives to engage with their patients and maintain regular contact. Patients who require ventilation assistance can use a tablet to talk to their relatives safely, for instance. Many health care workers recommend virtual and digital appointments whenever possible. Consequently, the future of health care is going to embrace digital interactions. Using mobile devices and apps allow for patient engagement, and catch-ups, not only with doctors and nurses but also with family and friends for hospitalised individuals. Additionally, we can also expect wearable technology to make an appearance in the post-COVID world, reducing the need for physical interactions and checkups for chronic diseases, for instance.

Perhaps it’s time for health selfies

Selfies have always been a popular way of sharing exciting experiences. Are you visiting a new country? Selfie it is! Meeting friends for a casual meal? Take a picture to remember the occasion. While some influencers and social media addicts might be causing a selfie overload, we still cherish the joy of sharing meaningful events through pictures. As we find out more about the role of health care workers in the pandemic, the Marvel heroes of the past are being replaced by casual doctor selfies. Many countries plan for free accommodation, free meals, or even a round of applause for their healthcare workers. How are those signs of appreciation going to carry on after the pandemic crisis? Chances are that more and more patients will be tempted to take a selfie with their doctor at the end of an appointment. #MedicalSelfie

I can do this online

It is a wakeup call for many of us who value face-to-face meetings. The belief that your doctor has to see you is being questioned. Indeed, can doctors offer a diagnosis without meeting their patients? The answer is yes, to a certain extent. Indeed, common ailments and health complaints could be quickly diagnosed via a video chat with your doctor. You can seize the opportunity to receive a prescription quickly, and reduce the risk of infection for people in the waiting room. Flu, common cold, or even a stomach bug could be kept safely at home, using virtual diagnosis and prescription tools. As a result, patients can also reduce pressure on doctors.

COVID-19 is transforming our perception of the health care system. We can expect a digitised health care world to appear at the end of the pandemic. Is it for the better? Only time will tell!

Where in the World Would You Most Like to Live?

Moving house – it has a host of stressful associations, and yet also some really exciting ones. If you’re thinking of moving to live internationally, the world is quite literally your oyster. Yet with so many wonderful locations to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down your options and make a final decision. Of course, there are practical considerations such as language, living costs and work opportunities – but they’re not as fun to think about just yet! If you’re making the massive decision to relocate, the most important thing is finding somewhere you will be happy. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for the best places in the world to live, depending on what you are looking for!

Sun, Sea and Sand

For many, it’s the idea of a perfect life; that gorgeous little house a stone’s throw from a white sand beach, a sparkling sea, and a summer sun that lasts the whole year around. If this is your dream, then you’ll want to look somewhere like Australia for the perfect lifestyle. Most of Australia’s cities and towns are gathered around its huge coastline. They are all great places to live, but Grange Beach in Adelaide consistently comes up in lists of the best beaches in Australia, so this should be your first choice of places to look into!

Culture and Nightlife

If you are someone who likes excitement, being around people and constantly experiencing new things, then you are a city-liver through and through. A city such as London or New York would be perfect for you. There are enough theatres, cinemas, events, restaurants to keep you occupied for a thousand lifetimes. Of course, these destinations come with a price tag attached, and neither city is cheap. However, if this is your idea of the perfect lifestyle, then it’s a small price to pay to live your dream.

Adventure and Joy

Rafting down the river. Hunting in the forest. Hiking through the mountains. Returning to your home in the city to sit by the fireplace in the winter, or light a barbecue in the summer. If this sounds like heaven, then Canada is the place for you. Situated just north of the United States, Canada is a huge country with many different options for places to live. The Whitehorse real estate area is a great one to look into, as the city of Whitehorse is located in amongst some stunning scenery, with adventure right on your doorstep.

Mountains

After sunshine and sea, mountains are at the top of many peoples’ lists of dream locations where they’d like to live. Yet mountains are often inaccessible and difficult places to make a living – so where are the best places to go to get your mountain fix whilst living a comfortable life? Well, Scotland should be your first place to look. As it is a small country, many Scottish towns and cities are just an hour or two away from stunning mountain ranges, and if you’re after a quieter village life, you can get even closer. The only drawback to Scotland is the wet weather, and if you’re after sunnier climates, Aquitaine in the south of France has been widely celebrated for its stunning gorges and mountains.

Five Ways to Stop Your Dog Biting

Dogs are beautiful animals, but they still have sharp teeth! There’s still no reason to worry that your dog will bite someone though. Try this handy guide to make sure your dog doesn’t become a biter.

1. Start Your Dog’s Training Immediately

As soon as you bring a new dog home, set the rules as you mean to go on. Don’t allow them to bite or mouth anyone’s body parts or clothes. If you make it very clear from the start that they are not to use their mouth on human beings, they will be much less likely to bite later on. A rescue puppy nibbling your finger is one thing, but when that puppy is a large dog with weight and teeth behind it, they’re going to do some severe damage. If you’re adopting an adult dog, train them as you would a puppy — everything is new to them, especially you, so it’s an excellent opportunity to teach them what you expect from them.

2. Chew Train Them

It can help if your dog is appropriately chew trained, then they will have less inclination to bite. You could begin this process with bitter apple spray. Dogs hate the taste, and it teaches them to avoid licking or biting areas they consistently find it on. Make sure your dog has adequate chew toys or treats, and praise him when he chews them. If he chews something he shouldn’t, give him a firm, “No,” and swap the item for a chew or toy.

3. Keep Their Teeth Clean

This may sound odd, but a dog who has pain in his mouth is likely to bite something in an attempt to stop it hurting. Train your rescue dog to tolerate regular teeth-cleaning. When you go to the vet for annual health checks, always get your dog’s mouth checked out. Your vet will be able to advise on any further dental work needed, such as a professional clean under anesthetic.

4. Maintain Their Health and Happiness

Obvious to some, but unknown to others, your dog’s physical and mental health can be contributors to unwanted behaviors like inappropriate toileting, scratching furniture, or even biting. Get your dog checked out annually, or more often, is advised to by a vet. If your canine friend is acting out, always consider whether a medical issue is the real culprit. When your dog still passes a medical with flying colors, re-examine their lifestyle and their home. Has anything changed recently? Is something making them stressed, unhappy, or anxious? When you find out what it is, it should be easy to combat, but there are excellent dog behaviorists out there who can help you. At the bottom of many dog bite attack claims is an unhappy dog.

5. Neuter

Neutering your dog is one of the best ways to prevent aggression and over-excitement, in both males and females. Unneutered dogs are much more likely to bite.

If your dog is well-trained and kept happy and healthy, he should never bite anyone. Follow these five tips to ensure it stays that way.

Lockdown Opportunities: It’s Time To Purge Your Home of Irritation!

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have already made significant changes to the way you lead your life. It’s likely that you’re spending virtually all of your time at home. You’re probably grappling with the challenges of remaining productive amidst the various distractions of the home environment. Hopefully you’re using this as an opportunity to learn more, improve your skills and make significant changes to your life and career when the lockdown is lifted. Nonetheless, given that you’re temporarily grounded, now’s as good a time as any to address all the little niggles that have been bugging you around the house. All the things that prevent you from being less than delighted with the home you’ve made for yourself.

Here we’ll look at some irritations you can purge from your home during lockdown to be the happiest you’ve ever been between your four walls. Don’t look at the lockdown purely as a time of crisis. Look upon it as a time of opportunity. The home is where the heart is. Let’s get you heart healthy!

Declare war on waste

You don’t need the expense from wasted money adding to your troubles. So declare war on waste in your home. Rotate your refrigerator regularly to ensure that food doesn’t get wasted. Eliminate drafts with excluders for your doors and windows. You may even want to look into using a company like Plymouth Window Installation to replace your old inefficient windows. This may result in some upfront expense but can potentially save you over $400 a year on your heating / AC bills.

Fix those leaky taps

Leaky taps can be a source of real irritation, preventing you from being able to relax and slowly driving you up the wall. Not to mention driving up your water bill. However, there’s no need to bear the expense of calling out a plumber. A leaky tap can virtually always be fixed at home with a few rudimentary tools and a cheap washer. Here’s a useful video tutorial.

Banish clutter

Clutter is visually distracting and can prevent you from being able to relax after a stressful day of work. In fact, it can even add to your stress and have a surprising impact on your mental health. Think long and hard about what you want to keep on display and confine the rest to storage. You may be surprised how much more spacious and calm it makes your home look and feel.

Purge your workspace of distractions

With all that’s going on at the moment, the last thing you need is to have to content with workplace stress. But working in an environment that’s full of distractions can sap you of your productivity and add to your stress levels. Here are some ways you can purge your home workspace of distractions and irritation;

  • Keep your phone in your desk drawer (or better yet, in another room).
  • Consider soundproofing your home office.
  • Install distraction blocking software on your computer.
  • Remove loose papers from your desk or keep them in a desk tidy.
  • Add some houseplants to your office. They help to oxygenate your space and lend it a sense of calm and serenity.

With a little knowhow, your home can be made more relaxing and free of irritation and stress.