An office, workshop, or studio environment is crucial to the happiness and productivity of those who work there. Dull, tired, and uninspiring interiors can lead to a lack of enthusiasm and motivation from staff members, and work will inevitably suffer in quality and quantity. Therefore, if the productivity within your team seems to be less than expected, it could be time to take a look at their office surroundings. It’s always a great time to freshen-up a workspace, and there are an array of ways to improve things, whatever your time and budget might be. Giving your business environment some care and attention will ensure that productivity gets a much-needed boost, and your staff can begin to thrive. The following are some ideas, advice, and inspiration, for those looking to improve their company’s space.
If your members of staff feel comfortable and content, it’s more likely that they’ll be able to concentrate on their work. Comfort comes in many forms; everything from temperature, light levels, to the softness of where they sit, should all factor-in to updating the environment. Improvements don’t have to be too challenging either; whether you look into portable air conditioner rental for better temperature control, or you simply let more natural light into the space, the difference will make a positive impact straight away. Think about updating any tired old office chairs, and giving everyone more desk space; these immediate changes around them could be an affordable way to let them know you care, and increase the momentum at work. Be sure to replace any headache-inflicting bulbs straight away, and take pride in each area of the space.
Even though you don’t want your office space to be just like a home environment; it’s always worth investing in some interior decor and accessories to lift a room. Plants are excellent way to add a pop of fresh color, and will help to circulate the oxygen, so why not place some small ones on desks, and larger ones on the floor. Encourage employees to bring in photos and mementos that they love; you don’t want to over-clutter the environment, but, personal touches will add to the comfort and inspiration factor. Artwork, interesting books and magazines, and inspiring quotes are all great, inexpensive ways to enhance a room. You want the workplace to be a breath of fresh air every time your staff walk in, so they start their working day with a smile and feeling motivated.
Tidying-Up The Details
Sometimes, a work environment doesn’t need very much doing to it at all; it can just feel drab and tired. Therefore, it might be the case the paintwork and broken fixtures and fittings need to be addressed, to give the interior a quick boost, and get it looking like new. Take a notebook and pen as you walk around each area of your business environment, and ask your staff for their input on how they feel things could improve; you’ll start building more momentum and productivity the second you mention that improvements are on the way.
The arts are a big part of life, and they always have been. In the modern day and age, they’ve gone from being canvas based and oil paints squeezed out on your tray to being digital based with many mediums instantly at your disposal. And knowing how to use a program like that offers these pursuits is a skill in itself.
If you’re someone who loves graphic design, then it’s time to make sure your love for the art takes you a little further this year. After all, you’ve been working at this discipline for a long time now, and you want to start building something for your career out of it, so let’s make sure you’ve got some tips and tricks on your side. You’ve got some good ideas stored in the drawing pad, and you’ve got a backlog of designs and friendly commissions to prove your worth – let’s put them to good use.
If you’re someone with an eye for business, and you’re willing to understand how the taxes work, make sure you set up shop this year. Even if you don’t have a bona fide business yet, you can still run a market for your work out of previously established platforms – Ebay, Etsy etc.
Once you open a shop with one of these sites, you’ll find it much easier to open up a site of your own. And to make sure the products you have to sell bring in good reviews, make sure they’re produced via quality methods. Get some of your projects pasted on the back of phone cases. Put printing services to good use by offering posters and vinyl prints. Try something more experimental, by opening up a fabrics range: cushion covers and tote bags are always popular options for people to purchase.
Maybe You Just Want a Portfolio
If you’re out to make your name as a graphic designer, a portfolio is a necessity. It’s going to make sure you have an online platform crafted perfectly and personally to you and your art, and it’s going to be the one stop shop to witness the skill on offer for anyone who’s looking for a talented individual to commission. What could be more useful than that?
So make sure you’re putting a portfolio together, as it’s a professional move that can work to make you passive network contacts and income. Even if you don’t own the domain name of your choice right now, you can still come up with a relevant URL that tops Google’s search algorithm. Get to grips with the code of the website, which should be well contained in the CMS you’re using, and then pick and choose what projects you want to show off. And make sure you advertise your contact details as well: name, email address, phone number etc. Let your work speak for itself, and then offer up your availability on a platter.
This is the year to make money off of your passion.
While we all know how playing a sport has an abundance of health benefits, did you know that there are plenty of benefits by just watching sports? Now, this doesn’t give you permission to get rid of your workout routine, but amazingly, there are plenty of ways that sitting on the couch watching your favorite team can benefit all walks of life.
It’s A Way To Keep Your Mind Racing
Whether you are obsessed with the mechanics of Formula 1, or you want to learn how to bet on NFL games, sports can help you to use different parts of your brain. If you are constantly talking with your friends about how a certain play was completely wrong or you’re trying to predict the next team line-up, it can focus your brain (probably) far better than your job would!
It Can Make Us Happier
The great thing about sports is that if you have a love of it, it’s a great way for you to exercise your brain. If we learn things that we don’t want to learn, it becomes more of a task to retain the information, so by analyzing a sport, it gives us that focus, but also meaning. It’s been shown that being attached to your team can make you feel less depressed than others who don’t care about sports at all. And yes, you can be upset if your team loses, but if you pick a losing team and they surprise you one season, this can feel like all your Christmases come at once, in an emotional sense.
It’s Great For Your Social Skills
Maybe you work a job where you are by yourself, or you don’t have the opportunity to spend time with your friends as much anymore. While your partner may consider it to be pointless, you could argue that you are improving your health by watching a game with your buddies. In fact, sport has become one of the best ways to integrate socially. Watching sport has become a social experience and even if you watch just the big games, it gives you the perfect opportunity to host a social event.
It’s Great For Self-Esteem
In so many ways, cheering your team on is quite a tribal thing. If your country wins a major tournament, this self-esteem boost can last for weeks afterward. You can feel a sense of accomplishment even though all you did was cheer your team on! But this is something that needs to be spoken of when it comes to sports. Some people look at sports as a waste of time. And while it’s easy to see why it has this reputation, we have to remember that sports are a great way to improve us socially, but it can also give us inspiration. Maybe the physique of a football player can inspire us to head back to the gym. And while watching sports has gained a reputation as being the pastime of guys with beer bellies, it can still be a positive thing. So if you’ve got a partner that doesn’t understand it at all, tell them you are improving your health!
Car owners often want the performance of their cars to be better than when they came off the production line and some of them spend small fortunes making this happen. This is nothing new; it has been going on for decades and in some places meeting are held for them all to show off their improvements.
However, there are some mods that will just improve the look of the car and other that will make it perform better.
If you want your car to handle well, a good set of tires should be the first thing you spend any money on. No amount of power will be any good if your tires will not grip the road. You should also monitor the pressure of your tires. Having them at the correct pressure not only makes your car safer to drive, but it will also improve the way your car handles.
Good quality spark plugs can make a difference to the performance of your car. They will provide better combustion, which translates into more power as well as better fuel economy.
Whenever you are buying parts or accessories you should always purchase them from a reputable dealer such as Automotive Stuff. There are lots of fake items on the market, and then even the spark plugs would be a waste of your dollars.
The ECU in your car controls the mix of fuel and air. It is set at the factory at a level to maximize efficiency and power. The problem is that the factory settings are well below your engines true capacity, mainly as a safety net.
Reprogramming the ECU can unlock a huge amount of extra performance and sometimes leads to better fuel efficiency too.
The easier it is for your car to ‘breathe’ the better it will run. The cold-air intake frees up the flow of air to your engine, which helps to keep it cooler. This translates into better performance, as engines love cold air.
The exhaust system is a crucial part of the air, fuel and, spark equation. The freer flowing the air is through the exhaust the better your car will perform. There are many different exhaust systems on the market, and some drivers are considering the way they look as well as how good they are. You just have to be aware that if you fit an aftermarket exhaust on a fairly new car, you could make your warranty void.
If you are going to make your car go faster, it needs to be able to stop faster too. There are brakes especially designed for performance cars. Some have hard ceramic brake pads, and there are slotted or drilled rotors for less brake fade. You can buy braided steel brake lines that can deliver more hydraulic pressure to the calipers, and wheel cylinders or oversize rotors that will slow you down even quicker. You just have to make sure that the brakes are up to the job once you have improved your car’s performance.
When running a construction company, ensuring that your plant machinery is in good working order is arguably the most important aspect of your business. If your machinery is struggling, then your business will struggle – the matter truly is that black and white.
In order to avoid business issues, you may find it beneficial to employ a constant focus on establishing and maintaining a few “good practice” rules in regards to the management of your machinery – and here are a few inclusions you may find particularly beneficial.
It would be fair to say that the construction industry cannot survive without good maintenance of all machinery. No matter how good a machine is when it rolls off the production line, the heavy duty work it will complete means that further refinements and improvements will need to be made to ensure each machine works exactly as it should.
So, what constitutes “good maintenance”? Skilled staff who can complete all maintenance works to the highest possible standard, of course. However, even the best workers cannot conduct maintenance effectively without a detailed maintenance schedule to adhere to. As a result, you will thus need to develop a comprehensive, detailed maintenance schedule that allows for the quick identification of any immediate issues, and thus allows for repairs to be arranged before the problem becomes critical.
In addition to the maintenance schedule itself, it is particularly worth noting the importance of keeping good records of all maintenance work that has been performed. Good record keeping helps you to keep track of not only the work that has been completed, but also make notes regarding work that may be necessary in future. Many problems noted during maintenance checks are not necessarily serious in the moment, but they will be after a few more months of use; good records ensure that these issues are then followed up on at the right time.
Build relationships that allow for quick repairs
A robust maintenance schedule should mean that your business can identify machines that are in need of repair, which is hugely important, but is just the starting point: you’ll then have to actually arrange the repair. Unfortunately, facing the possibility of repairs is hugely concerning for most construction business owners. Repairs mean that the machine in question is essentially unusable for a period of time, which can be potentially harmful to the business’ ability to operate as it normally would.
To avoid this issue, and get your machines back up and running as quickly as possible, seek to develop relationships with reliable, reputable companies who can conduct repair work or supply parts quickly and efficiently, every time. By developing long-term relationships with a service center for off highway drivetrain systems or a specialist in plant transmissions, you’re all the more likely to be able to secure the parts you need, and have the necessary repair completed, in the shortest possible time. As a result of building these relationships, no breakdown will feel like a disaster – as you’ll already know exactly who to call for assistance – and you can thus embark on the repair process immediately, confident of a quick, efficient turnaround.
Do all you can to protect your machinery when not in use
Perfect clear blue skies, moderate temperatures, and next to no wind are the perfect conditions for construction machinery; unfortunately, these perfect conditions tend to be relatively few and far between.
It is worth noting that all forms of weather outside of what would be considered ‘perfect’ conditions can be problematic, be that extreme heat, extreme cold, or – and particularly if operating cranes – high winds. As you cannot directly control these elements, you will instead primarily have to focus on information-gathering and adapting to specific circumstances.
To do so, it’s first helpful to check the monthly forecast during a project – up to one week ahead should be fairly reliable. If you note any problems on the horizon, plan for these as soon as possible, activating contingency scenarios that will allow you to keep working. However, the forecast alone cannot tell you everything you need to know; you’ll also need to check the weather every day and be willing to make adjustments – and perhaps even postpone work for the day – if you note any issues that were not originally forecast.
Protect vehicles when not in use
When not working, your machines need to be stored in a clean, dry, and dust-free environment in order to prevent deterioration and protect sensitive internal components. Furthermore, you will also need to ensure your storage facility has adequate safety measures in place – such as security cameras and, for high-value equipment, guards – in order to prevent theft.
While it is important to establish good storage on your premises, the nature of construction work often means that you will not always be able to use your own storage. If you are working on a site many miles from your location, then it can be next to impossible to return to your base every night. Doing so would be costly in terms of fuel, but it is also something of a logistical nightmare, and could lead to machine operators having to leave the site earlier than preferred in order to return the machine within their shift. As a result, you – like many other construction business owners – will have relatively little choice than to leave your machinery at the site overnight.
In such a scenario, all you can realistically do is seek to protect machinery as well as possible given the circumstances. Always try to ensure that they are stored at a locked, secure site, and use covers – where possible – to reduce potential damage from the elements. Admittedly, these measures are not ideal, but they will at least offer a measure of protection that you can benefit from in extremis.
Finally, an often-overlooked element of good machinery practice is the people who operate the machines – your workers. A good machine operator is worth their weight in gold, utilizing their expertise, knowledge, and skill to ensure that the machine works as it should and is protected throughout each project.
As a result, it is good practice to ensure that your recruitment strategy in regards to machine operators is incredibly robust. Qualifications on a resumé are all well and good, but what you need to know is how someone performs on the job, so offering trial periods to a number of potential candidates is definitely an option worth exploring. By offering a trial rather than a full contract upfront, you have the opportunity to assess the operator’s skills and ensure you are happy to leave them in charge of your valuable equipment.
In addition to being cautious in regard to who you hire on a personal basis, it is also worth thinking about how you retain staff members who have performed well. As you are undoubtedly aware, skills shortages abound in the construction industry, which means that most qualified, experienced workers can essentially have their pick of jobs. Due to this, you may want to consider offering employee perks and loyalty bonuses to encourage workers you have come to trust to remain with your company for the long-term.
When you run a construction business, the management of your machinery is critical to your ability to operate your business. By developing good machinery practice – inspired by the ideas as presented above – you can look forward to a bright future, free of machinery-related hassles, and thus all the more likely to enjoy success.