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Business

Vaping at Work: Advice for Employers

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In the last few years, there has been a huge rise in the number of people using e-cigarettes. Some of these people have replaced smoking tobacco with vaping, whilst others simply enjoy vaping and do it as studies show that it is a healthier option than smoking.

Difficult Decision to Make

Due to the fact that this creates water vapour from e-liquids, available from places like VIP, instead of harmful smoke, it has meant that employers have had to think about their approach. Whilst it seems to be healthier, it can still be anti-social and there has not been enough research carried out to truly know the effects. Employers will need to decide on their approach to e-cigarettes as they fall outside of the scope of smoke-free legislation.

Vaping in the Workplace

Some employers will happily let their employees use their e-cigarettes in the workplace as they support their efforts to stop smoking, but this can be problematic because it could be irritating to those around them plus some employees may argue that cigarettes should be allowed too. If you decide to ban the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace, this could make it difficult for somebody to quit cigarettes and particularly if they have to use the outside smoking areas to vape.

Enforcing Rules

As you can clearly see, it is a difficult decision to make and ultimately it will come down to your own preference. It is important to encourage employees to stop smoking  as they will need support if they are to succeed. One possible solution is to introduce an area that is separate from those smoking where employees can vape. In this case, you will need to make it clear in the rules that all employees maintain the same amount of break time as colleagues who do not smoke and those that smoke so that it is fair. Any employee, whether a smoker, non-smoker or e-cigarette user, who takes excessive breaks will face disciplinary action, as well as those that smoke or use an e-cigarette in a prohibited area.

The rise of e-cigarettes has made it challenging for employers to come up with a fair solution for their employees. Whilst the use of an e-cigarette should be encouraged as it is healthier than smoking, it can still be problematic as you must also consider your employees that smoke and those that do not. Ultimately, it will come down to your own personal preference but it is important that the rules and regulation are clear to all.

Ways to Deal with Escalating Fights at Work Over Disagreements on Marketing Ideas

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You want a marketing team that is passionate and creative. You need to come up with novel ideas all the time if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. In the age of social media, things that are fresh today are not relevant the next day. The good thing with highly qualified employees working in your marketing department is that they will not settle for anything that they consider mediocre.

On the downside, they could feel too passionate about their ideas and end up fighting against one another until they prove that they have a better idea. As the team leader or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that any disagreements do not escalate. It is excellent to have a healthy debate, but it is counterproductive if people start taking things personally. These tips will help during those instances.

Set clear rules

Before you start brainstorming or discussing the next marketing plan, you need to make it clear that you appreciate the exchange of ideas and healthy debate. However, you cannot allow everyone to take things personally. You can also set rules on how to resolve disagreements. You can tell your employees that you will have the final say. You can also vote within the team to determine what the rest think about it. The rules need to be clear enough so that no one will feel terrible if they did not get what they hoped for.

Let others talk 

If the fight starts to escalate, you can tell both parties that you heard their thoughts and you appreciate what they have in mind. Since they already had their turn, it is time for others to speak. They could further debate the same issue, or they could also come up with new ideas that could be better alternatives than the plans presented by the two employees who are fighting. Everyone could also have a better perspective after listening to other people’s thoughts.

Call a private meeting with the parties involved 

You can pull out the opposing parties during the meeting. It is unhealthy to continue in the same environment when there is too much tension. Besides, nothing will come out of a shouting match. If both sides are ready to calm down and head back to the meeting, they could. They can decide to talk to each other without someone else listening, or they could proceed with the meeting while brushing aside their emotions for a later conversation. The only thing to avoid is cancelling the meeting because emotions are running high since it could become the norm and it makes the team unproductive.

Do not join the fight

Even if you believe one side over the other, you need to stay neutral. You are the leader, and everyone looks up to you for calmness and clarity of thought. If you jump into the battle and choose a side, it could hurt your reputation as a leader.

When the discussion is about banner printing and many ideas are coming out, it is a great thing. Turn these ideas into real plans that are enticing to a lot of people.

 

20 curiosities of Google you surely do not know

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1. Its name is the result of an error of the term googol which is the name given to 10 to 100. in reference to the large amount of information they wanted indexed. Indeed, the buzzword in question, googol, also has a history. American mathematician Edward Kasner asked his 9 year old nephew to invent a number and that was what the child told him.

2. Its extreme simplicity is because its founders wanted to upload quickly. Then they realized that people have loved to press “Enter” and see results appearing immediately.

3. In the beginning, many people thought that the site was not fully charged because it was so simple. That was not common in those days. They sorted ths by adding information on Copyright in the footer.

Google
Google

4. The button “I’m Feeling Lucky” makes you lose many millions of dollars in advertising to Google as it takes you directly to a web. However, it remains secure because founders keep making a more acceptable form.

5. Google has registered other domains with a similar name so if someone is wrong to write such as gogle.com and gooogle.com, it redirects to google.

6. Its slogan used to be Do not Be Evil.

7. Google is commissioned to do “caches” of the mainstream media preventing its collapseand many searches to the latest were redirected.

8. Google owns the domain 466453.com

9. In Google uses the rule 20/5 for their projects. If at least 20% of users need a function then it is included. Also if at least 5% need a function it is implemented in advanced preferences.

10. Gmail was in test period 2 and half years. They concluded that there were 6 types of users and based on that developed the application options.

11. Nobody knows exactly where are their datacenters.

Google curiosities
Google curiosities

12. In the past it was called BackRub.

13. Google was called Mom of the intranet, technical documentation and information with its more than 16,000 employees.

14. Their employees have available to 20% of their time to think about new projects.

15. The company has a rule about food. No employee can be more than 100 feet from it.

16. For some movies like “Lord of the Rings ” or “Transformers” the company reserved several cinemas exclusively for their employees and guests.

17. Google also had a beta version for a while.

18. They charged a $100,000 check on behalf of Google Inc. when it did not even exist. They had found it effective to do so.

19. GooglePlex is the name of their offices.

20. It was officially founded on September 7, 1998, so today it’s 10 years old.

How to use the Internet to promote your business

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If you own a business and want to expand in your area, but you can’t afford to start a marketing campaign, you can take advantage of the many free or low-cost Internet tools. Almost everyone who owns a business is now online and can enjoy the convenience and ease in which people can purchase things on their site it or learn more about their business through direct connection. Give your customers what they want by having a good web presence.

You have to be there
You have to be there

Tools of advertising your business through the internet

Create or redesign your website

You can either create your own website or redesign the one you already have. In case you are one of the few who doesn’t have one yet, you should seek professional help and make one right away. Having a website can easily fit on a low budget, since it is really cheap. Most importantly, your website should have easy navigation menu, provide useful and interesting information and be free from unnecessary or useless things. Avoid anything that could make a client get bored. Ideally, seek advice from a web designer before proceeding.

That is NOT a website, so ask for pro help
That is NOT a website, so ask for pro help

It is worth investing in a professional, because you mustn’t forget that this is the image of the company, which indeed will be publicly live. So mistakes can cost you immeasurably in loss of customers due to the shoddy construction of your website.

Useful tips to make your business more known through its website

  • Apart from information about your business and your sales through the e-shop, what else can you offer? Consider adding articles, personal stories about the personal and corporate events, useful information about your products or services in a How to… style etc. The more content you have, the more your customers will visit your website.
  • Enter the name of your website in many web directories. You can search the internet for free web directories and find several links to sites where you can advertise.

    Make your site enjoyable and user-friendly
    Make your site enjoyable and user-friendly

Pay per click advs – a great advertising way

The online advertising through search engines (eg. Google) has great range and is the way in which many websites can grow or even survive. You can set a price you’re willing to pay each time someone clicks on an ad you have. You must pay for this, when someone clicks on your ad so if no one clicks on your ad, you don’t have to pay anything. Don’t worry, it is not permanent and you cancel or restart them anytime.

By +Nikos Kontorigas

3 Steps to Succeed as a Social Entrepreneur

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In recent years, social entrepreneurship has become a familiar term, a business model that not only aims to build a profitable business to the owner but also inspires to change the lives of people entrenched in poverty. And with more millennials taking charge, this can be achieved. But what does one need to do to become an agent of social change? 

Write a Business Plan

What does a business plan of a social entrepreneur cover? Apart from a typical business plan that discusses about what product is being offered and its vision for the future, it includes the social problem it aims to solve, how it will be addressed and what makes the organisation qualified to do so. And just like any ordinary company, it should include information about the management team, a marketing plan, funding and financial forecasts. business-1297332_640

Aim on Customer Experience

There are three types of customers. First is the person who also aims to make a change by sharing or giving to others without expecting in return. The next is the traditional buyer who wants your product. And the last is the beneficiary of your cause. While they know what they want, you, as the social entrepreneur should ensure you deliver good quality product or service. Come up with deals that will benefit both your consumer and your organisation to thrive in the industry. 

business-idea-660085_640

Train Your People

It is also important to equip the members of your team with management and leadership skill to ensure your organisation realises its vision. Most businesses fail because of poor time management, lack of training for the staff as well as poor management skills. So, what type of coaching do businesses and social enterprises need? You can offer mentorship and work with training experts.

Now that you have the 3 important steps to being a successful social entrepreneur, your next step is to execute them. Deliver what you intend to give and make a difference.

 

5 industries that have moved online in the last decade

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In the last decade there have been more developments in technology than there have been for the whole previous century. The internet has opened so many opportunities for people and it’s evolving constantly. Thanks to this rapid improvement many businesses and industries that were once strictly physical, are now moving their business online. Here are 5 of them that moved online in that last decade.

Travel

People used to go to travel agency offices to talk with agents and plan their trip. This rarely happens anymore as all travel agencies and trip planning has moved online. Now all people need to do is visit sites like Expedia and Airbnb and they can arrange everything from there. They can even talk with agents through the internet and social media, making planning trips easier than ever.

Entertainment

When it comes to entertainment the first things that come to mind are games, movies and partying. The internet has truly changed these things. Online games are now what everyone plays. Nowadays people also prefer to watch Netflix from home rather than go to a cinema. Even high stakes games such as Roulette or Slots which were once only available in physical casinos have now moved online to real money casino sites like Casino.com, giving birth to some of the most entertaining ways to play from home.

Music

People used to buy CDs and then share them with their friends and listen to them on their CD players. Nowadays all of that has moved online with the rise of services such as iTunes, Spotify and many others, making music not only easily available, but also in great variety and at very reasonable prices. The conveniences they offer have made many forget of the days when the industry depended on physical sales.

Retail

This is probably one of the industries that is hardest to believe it was ever any different. Online shopping has become such a basic but important part of our lives that it´s hard to imagine a time when people would only get their clothes, gifts and even food by visiting the physical store. Of course it still happens but everyday more and more people are shopping online because it´s so much more convenient. With item deliveries and shipping also improving, this industry is at an all-time high.

Telecommunications

Remember the time people used to phone each other and the time that having a home phone landline was crucial? Feels like forever ago but now people depend mostly on the internet for communications. That’s why services such as Skype has become so popular. VOIP technology has changed how we think of telecommunications and this has made the industry move towards a strictly online model.

The 5 industries mentioned above are just few of the many that are slowly but surely moving towards the online space.

What professions will obliterate because of robots

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It is an invisible force, listening to many names and terms like automation, artificial intelligence, technology, innovation and get ready for the best, the most favorite of all robots! Any term or word you choose, you will definitely have heard it used to describe incitement progress and job losses in almost all business areas for centuries. And the situation does not seem to be unstoppable. According to a new study published recently in the Economist and which was signed by Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, in one to two decades, almost half the jobs in the U.S. will have become automated.

Robot
Robot

Robotic hands are definitely stronger and tireless than the workers on the production line and assembly of a plant. The last 30 or so years, however, the various softwares that have been developed through advances in technology have resulted in robots and machines to overcome and bypass a specific area of ​​work : one in which employed workers in skills, with an average salary mainly in manufacturing or administrative field in an office, or service.

Robot
Robot

In fact, as the Frey and Osborne said, the next wave of progress in computers, will continue to shred human labor, where it is already doing, construction, logistics, retail and transport. The more, the remaining jobs in the factories, is very likely to disappear in the coming decades, they write in their study. At risk are even cashiers, employees bank tellers, librarians, etc. On the other side, the professions that do not seem to be at risk both from automation are the health workers and firefighters who are part of the civil protection, as well as those who hold managerial positions in various departments.

Robot
Robot

By Nicole P.

4 Ways Technology is Changing the Modern Classroom

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When people say that new technology affects every aspect of modern life, they really mean it. From the boardroom to the dining room, new tech constantly changes how people handle everyday issues. Unsurprisingly, then, technology has had a big impact on modern education.

What’s more, new tech will continue to reshape the way we think about academic policies well into the future. Here are four ways that new tech is currently altering how teachers and students interact:

Remote Capabilities

Thanks to the rise of video platforms like Skype, teachers can remotely engage with other educators from around the globe. Not only does this allow teachers to compare their lesson strategies with other professionals, but it also enables progressive educators to plan collaborative projects between multiple classes. So, for instance, students in Greece could theoretically share presentations with students from Minnesota who are covering the same material. Lastly, innovations like Skype also make it much easier for adult students and educators to touch base and hold discussions on a regular basis.

Video Demonstrations

No two people learn in the same manner or at the same rate. And while reading comprehension and retention is still a vital skill, the abundance of educational videos offer both students and teachers a valuable resource. These videos can be used to supplement lectures or reading material, or they can constitute an entire lesson plan on their own. Videos are an extremely engaging medium, and many young students prefer consuming information through visual content.

Tech Literacy

It’s imperative for teachers at all levels to ensure that their students are exposed to important tech developments and understand how to use basic software programs. However, just what “basic programs” means could dramatically change in the not-so-distant future. It’s entirely possible that elementary-school teachers may one day instruct their students how to create a website from scratch!

Physical Tech Tools

Educators should never underestimate the positive impact physical tech appliances can deliver. A new smartboard or classroom microphone, for instance, could dramatically increase student engagement. Plus, gadgets like these also make it easier for educators to encourage collaboration and participation.

The Bottom Line

It’s worth remembering that though technology may change the way teachers implement certain techniques, the crux of student-teacher interactions will likely remain the same for many years to come. And simply put, the best tech advancements make it easier for students to engage with the material. The good news is, as innovative tech becomes more widespread and applicable, teachers will have greater access to it.

How to save money on business’s energy bills

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If you run a business then saving energy is not only vital for your bottom line, but also important for the environment and helping reduce the cost of climate change.

It can also be very financially beneficial to go green with government legislation rewarding lower emissions. Here are some tips on how to cut your businesses’ energy costs.

Turn Off Lights

Sounds obvious, but not as obvious as it might seem. According to new research as many as 9/10 people have admitted to leaving lights on at work once they have left the room.

To remind your staff and co-workers to turn the lights off once they have left the room, think about installing signs next to light switches in conference rooms to turn out lights.

You should also consider motion-activated lights in little-used hallways or common areas that will turn off after a period of time and turn on only when someone enters the space.

Switch Suppliers

Switching electricity suppliers is an opportunity for your business to reduce costs by choosing a better contract.

Utilitywise are impartial, independent and transparent consultant for your commercial electricity, gas and water needs.

They can help you to get you the most suitable and best business electricity prices in the UK, from most of commercial electricity suppliers from the UK energy market.

Utilitywise compare different tariffs from different suppliers, so there’s no need for you to spend time calling each supplier one by one.

They’ll help you find the right business electricity contract for your business, which could make a big difference to your bottom line.

Move IT to the Cloud

Consider getting rid of your computer servers, and instead going with cloud-based systems. Cut out running multiple servers and having to cool hot data centres and just move most of your workload to a cloud system.

According to one survey in 2010, a small business with 100 users could cut its carbon footprint and energy costs by 90% by moving to the cloud. On top of that, more employees could telecommute.

There may be multiple reasons to move or not move to the cloud. But when evaluating that move, be sure to consider the energy impact as one factor.

So, by following these simple tips you can save your business up to thousands of pounds a year and also do your bit in the fight against climate change.