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how to support your local community

How to Support Your Local Community

A strong community is one of the most important parts of a happy and healthy life. Supporting your local community is not only the right thing to do, it will also help you in the long run. A healthy and thriving community will pay dividends for its citizens. If you want to learn how to support your local community, there are a number of helpful tips that you can utilize.

Seven Tips For Boosting Company Morale

Seven Tips For Boosting Company Morale

Thanks to low company morale and a lack of employee engagement, burnout at work is all-too-common. Let’s take a look at some of the facts about the current state of employees’ mental health:

  • According to U.S. News, work is the second leading cause of stress among adults. The first is money.
  • “Job stress is tied to hypertension, obesity, and even depression. Any one of these factors makes life more difficult and can even increase your risk of death,” U.S. News continues.
  • Nearly half — or 44% of employees — confess they experience burnout at least “sometimes.”
  • Just about a quarter (23%) of workers say they feel burned out “very often” or “always,” according to a Gallup survey.
  • Stressed employees are “63% more likely to take a sick day,” and “2.6 times as likely to leave their current employer,” Gallup writes.
  • The top sources of workplace stress and work-related burnout are workloads, relationships, struggles with work-life balance, and a lack of job security.

These stats make it perfectly clear: many businesses have a company morale problem. Thankfully, there are several steps employers can take to reconnect with their employees, to motivate them, and to improve their overall job satisfaction. Learn how to boost company morale below.

Repair the Office

An office building that is clearly falling into disrepair can be a serious downer. Do not underestimate the impact of the immediate surroundings on your employees’ moods. Something as simple as making necessary repairs around the office can make an incredible difference.

Start with the big things. Think elevator repair and patching up any leaks in the roof. While you may think elevator repair is optional or even the butt of a joke (there is an entire episode of “The Office” devoted to a broken elevator, after all), it can be a serious problem for some of your employees. Some employees may be suffering from arthritis, hip pain, knee injuries, and other problems that make an out-of-order elevator a true concern. Invest in elevator repair to ensure the comfort of all employees.

Similarly, show your employees you appreciate them for coming into work during extreme weather, like nasty storms. Do that by taking steps to make the office a pleasant place to be. Take care of commercial roofing. If you have active leaks or water spots on the ceiling, call in roofing services to fix it. Purchase a generator and backup systems and utilities. That way, employees will be able to continue being productive and comfortable. Being in the dark, without heat, or without power can have a significant effect on employee performance.

If you are puzzled about how to boost company morale, do not overthink it. Simple adjustments around the office, like finally taking care of long-overdue repairs, can lift employees’ spirits and ultimately increase productivity.

Give the Office A Makeover

When it comes to learning how to boost company morale, take one thing to heart: the appearance of the office can absolutely have a direct impact on employee engagement, employees’ mood, and employees’ energy.

“Temperature, air quality, lighting and noise conditions in the office affect the work concentration and productivity,” Science Direct reveals. “Numerous studies have consistently demonstrated that characteristics of the physical office environment can have a significant effect on behavior, perceptions, and productivity of employees.”

It may seem like drab cubicles and a rug stained a permanent gray-brownish color from heavy foot traffic has little, if any, bearing on workers’ productivity. That simply is not true. These things, along with glaringly bright white florescent lighting, put more than a damper on employees’ spirits. In fact, these things can slow productivity and ultimately affect your bottom line.

To make the work environment more amenable to your employees, replace that decades-old carpet with chic, natural granite slabs. Switch to an open office layout with fewer cubicle walls (although keep in mind that most employees still prefer their own designated workspace). Take advantage of natural lighting whenever and wherever possible, and bring in some large plants to improve the air quality around the office.

Stop losing productive hours by investing in your company’s work environment.

Remember things that you cannot see still contribute to the work environment and, thus, employees’ well-being. For example, a quality coffee machine and a source of unlimited clean water go a long way toward boosting employee morale. Talk to a water filtration company about your options for crisp, clean water.

Listen To Employee Feedback

Chances are, your employees have opinions. Listen to them! Consider putting out a suggestion box or circulating semi-regular surveys to get feedback about what is and what isn’t working around the office. While some constructive criticisms may be unwelcome, others may give you valuable insight into how to boost company morale. Plus, the act of opening these things up for discussion is a great start. Employees appreciate open communication and these discussions begin to pave the way toward greater employee satisfaction.

What things are you likely to hear? Oftentimes, employee feedback runs the gamut. You may receive feedback about updating office equipment, providing more accommodations for employees, or even feedback about keeping essential medical supplies on-hand.

If your computers are so slow they slow down employees as they work, you are probably going to hear about it. Employees may suggest healthy or modern solutions to improve the office. They may ask for communal working spaces or even standing desks to curb health risks. “Those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking,” The Mayo Clinic writes. Others may request a first aid kit. A fully stocked first aid kit is not generally required for a standard office environment without extenuating circumstances or particular safety hazards. However, your employees may feel more comfortable knowing that you have one if they need it.

Chances are, you will find out your employees have a lot to say if you stop to listen to them. Reviewing feedback is a critical part of learning how to boost company morale.

Host Company-Sponsored Team Building Events

Do not overlook one of the most important aspects of the work environment: the people sitting at their desks or grabbing something off the printer. In order to grasp how to boost company morale, learn ways to improve employee relations. One strategy to nurture strong relationships between your employees is to host company team building events.

Choose any event that brings people together and makes sense in the context of your workplace culture. For example, if your workplace has a culture of high-achieving, stressed-out employees, a visit to indoor shooting ranges can be a great way to blow off some steam while still tapping into workers’ competitive spirits. If you wish to smooth the rough edges of an especially tense team of workers, try to avoid competitive activities. Instead, talk to snowmobile dealers about renting or purchasing snowmobiles and spend a day out on the trails, encouraging employees to bond over getting out of the office and being out in nature.

For a low-key team-building event, consider taking your employees out to a restaurant, catering a meal, throwing a happy hour, or bringing in breakfast for your employees to enjoy together.

Team building improves relationships. Those improved relationships ultimately lend themselves to better communication, greater problem-solving, and more creativity in the workplace.

Build A Healthy Employee Culture

Piggybacking off of team building events, you may also want to take a closer look at your workplace or employee culture. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), a study by the Karolinska Institute revealed “a strong link between leadership behavior and heart disease in employees. Stress-producing bosses are literally bad for the heart.” Take proactive steps to make certain that management and employees are working together to form a healthy work culture. Here are some things to consider:

  • Demonstrate empathy. One of the most important things for those in management to do is to exhibit kindness. “Leaders who demonstrate compassion toward employees foster individual and collective resilience in challenging times,” the HBR continues.
  • Encourage open communication. Your employees should not be afraid to talk to you or their fellow employees. Be open to talking about challenges and problems in a constructive and helpful manner and ask everyone else to do the same. Bouncing challenges off of others improves outcomes. Staying quiet stifles creativity and stymies productivity.
  • The exact nature of the work you do. Carefully think about what sort of products or services you sell, and try to establish an employee culture that reflects that. For example, Powersports dealerships may endeavor to create a culture that is fun, edgy, and competitive. A law firm, on the other hand, may aim to create a culture that is detail-oriented and focused on helping others while remaining appropriately professional.

One of the most critical steps when learning how to boost company morale is to pay close attention to your workplace culture. Objectively evaluate your current culture. If it falls short of your expectations, take steps to fix it.

Use A Few, Well-Selected Visual Aids

Another strategy on how to boost company morale and increase productivity involves using a few, well-selected visual aids.

Striking posters, charts, graphs, or print-outs reinforcing critical information breaks up the monotony of the office while also teaching your employees. For example, social media marketing can be a highly effective and highly effective medium. It is also one that comes along with a lot of potential foibles, faux pas, and honest mistakes. Post highly visible reminders about what is and isn’t acceptable. If cussing and posting about divisive politics is against company policy, post eye-catching materials making sure employees know it. If you have strategies for increasing customer engagement (hashtags, keywords, etc.), print visuals about these strategies, too.

Further, visuals can be a great way to keep employees engaged during meetings. Admit it. We could all use some pointers about how to boost company morale during long meetings or meetings that run over their allotted time. Using compelling visuals, like PowerPoint presentations, bulletin boards, graphs, and charts to keep employees’ attention.

Keep It Fun

One of the key ways to master the principles on how to boost company morale is not to take ourselves too seriously. Stress has a trickle-down effect. If bosses and upper management cannot have fun from time to time, chances are that your employees will not be able to either. You want your employees to be able to decompress somewhat at work. Contrary to long-held beliefs, employees are actually more productive when they are happier — when they have more mental space to devote to the project or task at hand.

Keep things around the office relatively lighthearted by decorating the office to reflect the season or to celebrate holidays. Of course (and as always!), use your discretion. During the holiday season, consider putting up decorations to celebrate all timely holidays or ask for employees’ feedback about decorations. If employees dislike certain decorations, ask which ones they would prefer instead.

Another tact is to decorate the office with eye-catching promotional materials leading up to company events, sales, or milestones. If you are having a company-wide contest or fundraiser, for example, use striking visuals to complement these events.

When learning how to boost company morale, keep it simple whenever possible. One of the simplest ways to lift spirits is to have a little fun. Decorate the office, be festive, and increase employee engagement in fundraisers with attractive visuals.

Do what you can to improve employee morale. Buoying spirits and fostering strong employee relationships come with significant rewards as does making the office a more comfortable and pleasant place to be. “People get sick less often, recover twice as fast from surgery, experience less depression, learn faster and remember longer, tolerate pain and discomfort better, display more mental acuity, and perform better on the job,” the HBR writes.

Keep your employees happy now — amid uncertainty and the global pandemic — and for months and years to come. Carefully review the items above and use these suggestions and the resources at your disposal to reduce employees’ stress at work, promote positivity, and, ultimately, to increase productivity.

Tips on How to File Bankruptcy for a Small Business

Tips on How to File Bankruptcy for a Small Business

Filing bankruptcy is scary and very stressful. There are enormous amounts of videos and tips out there on how to file for bankruptcy. Before you decide to make the move to file you will want to be sure that this is the right decision to make. Rest assured below are some tips on how and when it is time for you to start filing bankruptcy for a small business.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Data Center for Your Business

Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Data Center for Your Business

Choosing a data center is never easy. There are so many factors to consider. It can feel like such a headache after a while. Therefore, use these tips as a guide when selecting your candidates.

Why Are Data Centers Necessary?

We don’t keep our important documents in a cluttered filing cabinet anymore. Thankfully, technology has allowed us to evolve towards something greater. Think of a data center as one big filing cabinet that houses all of that important information you keep online — everything from vital records to music and TV shows. To put it into more specific terms, a data center allows for faster processing power. Given the fact that the human race is always hungry for knowledge and data, entities need large centers to process all of this power.

Basically, any entity that generates or takes advantage of easily accessible data needs data centers. These entities can include government agencies, educational bodies, telecommunications companies, financial institutions, retailers of all sizes, and the average person using Google and Facebook to connect with others. When fast and reliable access to data is lacking, this can signify an inability to provide vital services. Customers are also likely to feel unhappy, leading to a loss of revenue.

Points to Consider When Selecting a Data Center

Like when hiring an employee, hiring the right data center should be a huge topic of debate! Housing your data is no joke! You need to be working with a trustworthy center and built to suit your unique needs. Consider these next few factors when creating your list of potential candidates.

Consider the Location of Your Data Center

When first choosing a data center, consider the location first. Location is one of the most vital pieces of the puzzle, after all!

You want something nearby. It will be tempting to opt for a data center that is farther from your company. These are typically cheaper. However, your internet speeds will suffer.

For example, copper cables can lose their strength once they reach 330 feet. A fiber optic network has a better chance of keeping you connected. Fiber can nearly reach 25 miles before you’d notice slower networking speeds.

You should also consider going with a data center that is not located next to an area that is prone to natural disasters. If their center gets hit, your data could be lost forever. Don’t take that chance. Instead, try to find a center on a separate power grid and away from these potential risk factors.

Choosing a data center that is on a separate power grid also has this other great benefit— by using a data center on another power grid, your data will not be impacted at the same time the company’s office is. This limits the number of issues you’ll have to work through in the event of a major power outage in your area.

Lastly, you want to assure that the data center is easily accessible too. If your IT staff needs to perform upgrades or maintenance work, you won’t have to pay a travel fee or reimburse them for gas money.

Consider the Security

When choosing a data center, you also want to take note of their security. Cloud computing data centers should have physical security, as well as strong cyber security to guard your information from hackers online. The cost of a cyber attack can reach millions of dollars, so it’s best to be on your guard and ask plenty of questions regarding security.

Data centers must utilize specialty software and tech that protects your documents, files, and cloud storage. Furthermore, they should also have strong physical security. Your center should have proper locks on the doors.

A gated facility should also top your list when choosing a data center.

Surveillance cameras are a must. In case someone breaks into the data center, they’ll have proof to show authorities and can catch the criminal quickly. Depending on the size of the center you choose to work with, they should also have in-person security, watching and protecting the area 24/7.

Consider the Data Center’s Reputation With Past Clients

If you’re paying to store your data, ensure you’re working with a trustworthy company that puts your needs first. Don’t automatically sign up with the first company you see online, even if it offers Minecraft private server hosting.

Do the proper research. Check reviews online, or ask around for an in-person recommendation.

This is just one way you check to see how the data center truly treats their clients and customers.

What Type of Data Center Do You Need?

Data centers can be grouped into three different categories — according to who owns them and who is likely to use the center.

First up, we have exclusive data centers. These exclusive data centers are facilities that are entirely built, managed, operated, and maintained by the business for the optimal operation of its own IT gear and equipment. Some of these centers are well-known companies such as Facebook, Google, or Microsoft, while others are less public-facing big telecoms, insurance companies, or other service providers. Unless you own a big business like Google or Facebook, you probably won’t need this much data and storage, so let’s move on to the next data center that most smaller businesses are more familiar with.

Secondly, there are managed hosting providers — they may include services such as a Minecraft server hosting service. A third party manages these data centers on behalf of another business. However, the business itself does not own the data center or space within it. It’s more like a rental! Rather, the business borrows IT equipment instead of purchasing it or the space. Depending on your budget and unique IT needs, this type of data center arrangement may be perfect for you when choosing a data center.

Lastly, there are Colocation Data Centers. These data centers are usually huge facilities, built to accommodate various businesses within the same center. Unlike managed hosting providers, the business rents its own space within the data center and subsequently fills the space with its own computers and hard drives. Additionally, the center possibly uses equipment provided by the data center operator.

You have various options when choosing a data center. Ensure you’re working with the right business model, so you don’t go over budget, but also get your money’s worth.

The Benefits of Working With a Data Center

Now that you know how to spot the perfect data center for your business, it’s time to learn more about the great benefits of hiring data center services!

You Can Reduce Your IT Costs and Relocate Those Funds Elsewhere

Who doesn’t want to save money? This may not sound feasible when you’re hiring an entire data center to store your valuable digital information. However, this is, in fact, possible because you will not incur fixed costs when you make the switch. When you hire a data management company, you will incur certain variable costs, depending on what you use. This drastically lowers costs of data management, saving you more money as a business owner. Additionally, the total cost of labor will also diminish.

Why? Hiring an IT specialist is pretty pricy. If they are not well-trained already, you will have to pay to train them. This process is also quite expensive. The option of hiring data management services, instead of a single expert, therefore, helps to bring costs down.

You Will Reduce Your Risk of Hackers and Cyber Crime

Crime doesn’t just happen in real life — every day, various cybercrimes are committed on all corners of the web.

However, these risks, especially those related to compliance issues, data security, hacking, and government regulations, are easily avoidable. Thank the experts in IT! Choosing a data center well versed in data management signifies that the duty to guarantee compliance when necessary, data security, and regulations by the authorities are adhered to.

As such, you won’t risk breaching any rules. Furthermore, your data remains safe 24/7. However, this assurance and safety net is only possible if you seek IT solutions from reputable companies. As previously stated, always ask for references when choosing a data center.

You Can Place More Focus and Emphasis on the Business

What precisely does your firm do? You need to focus mainly on your business rather than data management in order to achieve those amazing goals for you and your company’s growth. Data management requires the use of resources and a lot of time on your part. It’s nearly impossible to learn everything about data management in a short amount of time, as it’s practically another language!

Trying to do this on your own will interfere with your core business model, which can ultimately affect productivity and allow the competition to overtake you. This reasoning is why it is a superb idea to hire a data management company to take care of data related matters while you focus on the day to day activities of your business. Focus on your company, and leave the technical side to the people who know the vast ins-and-outs of data — the data centers.

Increase Your Business’s Competitiveness and Stand Out in Your Niche

For any company to succeed in its core business, it must seek ways to improve efficiency and enhance competitiveness in any way it can.

This can include pouring more effort into its digital marketing. However, this can also include choosing a data center to work with.

In order for a company to succeed, it must spend most of its valuable resources on customer and employee satisfaction.

Also, to guarantee that the most time is allocated to the core business, non-core aspects of business such as data management and IT related functions should be outsourced by another company that thrives in that field.

Always Stay in the Know With the Company’s IT Related Issues

Data management companies are up to date on issues relating to technology enhancement and development. They constantly research ways to improve their data management skills. They also receive tips on data management from other vendors in case of any new technology updates or enhanced data security tips. They are implemented at the speed of light!

Also, remember that almost on a daily basis, there is a large risk of hackers and cyber-bugs threats. A good data management team or data center in your corner, however, keeps up to date on such issues and relevant action. Their number one plan is to ensure that your data remains safe.

Therefore, it is a good idea to ensure that a good data center is hired, so the company can focus more on tasks dedicated to the core business. This also ensures that your data is safe. Through data management service providers, a company can adopt the latest state of the art technology to improve overall efficiency and also beat out their hard competition.

It’s apparent that choosing a data center is the right move for everyone — whether you’re an employee or business owner.

Conclusion

In conclusion, data centers are valuable to anyone who needs extra storage — and they are especially valuable for small and corporate businesses who rely on the internet. If you fall into one of these categories, do not hesitate when choosing a data center. However, make a wiser decision by following these tips and tricks. Using this guide as a template, you should be able to create a strong business partnership with a well qualified and reliable data center.

This means faster connectivity, happier clients, and more revenue for your business.