Personalize Your Home In 3 Easy Steps

When you move into a new property, it can be a very exciting time. After all, you now have a humble abode which you can personalize to make perfect for you. However, it’s harder than it looks to turn it into a home rather than a house. And to give it those personal touches which will ensure the previous homeowner’s style vanishes. Therefore, here are three easy steps to follow to personalize your home.

 

Add some photos to give it character

 

The first way you can make your house feel like home is by adding some pictures. After all, it leaves no question of who owns the house if the property is decorated with photos of your family and friends. And it can instantly feel more personal to you if you add pictures to those bare walls. Therefore, get some new frames for the wall colors and fill them with lovely pictures. Spread them out sparingly, so that you don’t overcrowd your wall. And remember if you have any favorite pieces of art, you can add these to your home too. After all, you will feel more at home with these pieces on your walls. And it will ensure people know that you live at the premises!

 

Give it some DIY charm

 

It’s also a good idea to personalize the home with some DIY features. After all, if everything looks professional, it can often make the home feel like it’s not lived in. And it can feel more like a show home, rather than a property that belongs to you! Therefore, it’s time to put your DIY hat on and give the property an overhaul. It might be that you paint wood furniture, so it’s more your style. For example, you could go for a different color or add a quirky design like flowers or hearts to make it more personal. Or you could even create some letters spelling your name which you can hang in the hallway. And you could even use some form of glue gun which you can get from companies like Glue Guns Direct, and then make something with this. In fact, there are a ton of craft project ideas from felt flowers to sisal coasters that you can make with a glue gun to give your home a touch of DIY charm!

Pexels

 

Choose colors which you love

 

It’s likely the new house has been left in a neutral state. After all, people tend to depersonalize their home by painting the walls neutral when it’s time to sell. But rather than sticking to those boring white or cream walls, it’s time to add some of your favorite colors to the home. For example, if you adore red, give your living room a touch of the color of love. Or if you love a calming blue, ensure your sleeping quarters are relaxing by switching to this color. As soon as you go for a paint style which is more personal to you, it will transform the home! And remember the same goes for wallpaper; opt for a design you love rather than what the previous owner had!

 

And once you have done the inside of the home, you can begin work on making your new garden totally you!

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Office Health Hurts

You may be doing your dream job. Using cutting edge software to solve all kinds of projects and issues, or maybe you are creating things on CAD. Whatever you are doing, if you are in an office all day there are going to be adverse effects on your health and well-being. There are some ways to get around these, you need to remember that your health is supremely important. You should always put it first. Above work, play and everything in between. If you don’t maintain your health you can get ill, which would force you to take even more time off work. These tips can show you the issues that can arise, whilst also giving some solutions. You may have already thought about some of these, but they can help. It’s an important issue, so try not to ignore it.

 

Joint Issues

 

When sat in a chair all day you can sometimes get all kinds of joint issues. The shoulders can become quite painful, and it feels like one more push of the keyboard can be total agony. Back issues also arise, you need to resolve back issues as soon as possible because they can soon make your life take a nasty downturn. Check out yorback.com or more information on the issue. A key here is chair quality and desk height. You need to make sure the chair is of a good quality. Ask your employer for a new one and if they don’t, do not be afraid to take it further. You need to assert yourself and ensure your health comes first. Usually a company would rather help you out and give you a better chair than let you suffer and as a result your productivity wane. But you’ll never know until you ask.

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Weight Issues

 

Being sat in a chair all day means that it is harder to keep the weight off. You burn no calories in the normal moving around or walking that you would in another job, so you need to take precautions. You can either train more in the week during your own time, which can be quite hard, or you can take it upon yourself to get more exercise in the working day. Think about taking the stairs instead of the lift. Stairs burn calories. Perhaps cycle to work instead of drive. Little changes like this can make you far fitter and stop you piling on the pounds.

 

Eye Issues

 

Some say that looking at a screen all day doesn’t make a difference to your eyesight, and while this is in part true, it can still affect your long site. Looking at something right in front of you all day ensures that your long sightedness suffers. The way to get around this is to make sure you take a break and look around from time to time. Keep your eyes fresh. Close them for a minute or so then open them again. You need to be careful by making sure you use the right glasses. If you need a new prescription then get one. Not using the right glasses can make any vision issues even worse than they already are.

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What Are The Key Assets For Juggling Home Life With A Home Business?

Running a small business operation from home has become a very popular avenue for entrepreneurs. Quite frankly, it isn’t hard to see the appeal. Not only is an opportunity to take control of your destiny, but it also enables startups to be launched on far smaller budgets. Moreover, you only need to spend five minutes online to find an array of success stories for continued inspiration.

 

But don’t be fooled into thinking the road to success will be smooth. You’ll inevitably encounter a number of difficult turns along the journey, not least when it comes to finding that balance between work and life.   

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Take note of the lessons below, however, and you should be just fine.

 

  • Create a designated workspace: An effective and lively home office isn’t only the hub of your entire business. It also distinguishes the difference between work and leisure. This can have a telling impact on your personal mentality and motivation. For parents, it also serves as a clear indicator to the kids. If you’re in the office, you’re in work mode. If you’re anywhere else, family time is on the agenda.
  • Utilize your time: When running a home business, it’s easy to believe that the pressure is off. However, the modern world of commerce evolves rapidly. Fail to use time effectively, and you’ll always be one step behind the crowd. Read Arcadier’s marketplace blog to stay ahead of the latest trends, and act upon that knowledge. Otherwise, you’ll find that your time is constantly spent playing catch up.
  • Build a team: Business never clocks off, but it’s important that you do. The best way to do this is to surround yourself with a winning team of remote-based employees. Not only will this increase the overall workflow, but playing to the strengths of each team member will generate far greater outcomes. Most importantly, knowing that your company is in safe hands will allow you to enjoy leisure time too.
  • Invest in the best technology: Whether your venture is a localized operation or a global service doesn’t matter, modern tech is key to your progress. Without the right facilities, progress will be hindered badly. Maintain the health of computers, and always use the best software and accessories for all operational features. The time and money saved will fire you to greater success while the lack of stress will benefit all aspects of your life. Ignoring this would be a major disservice to yourself.
  • Pay yourself: Everyone knows that you need to invest money in the business to help it grow. However, starting a company is meant to benefit your life rather than harm it. Read Entrepreneur’s guide to finding the right remuneration level, and it should encourage balance. Essentially, finance has a huge role to play for both the company and your personal lifestyle. Ignoring this element isn’t an option.

 

Getting those elements in place won’t guarantee success, but they will give your chances a serious boost. And when you do, you’ll be in a far better position to enjoy it. If that doesn’t inspire you to focus on those key aspects, what will?

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Turn Your Home Into A Castle – Literally

Castles were bulwarks of the medieval era, dominating the landscape wherever they were erected. In the middle ages, they were primarily designed to be battlements and to defend vast tracts of land, but they still doubled up as homes.

Pixabay

 

With the invention of the cannon, castles ceased being defensive installations, but they didn’t end there. In the eighteenth century, people looked back on the castles of the medieval period with a kind of romantic fondness. They loved the chivalry, the tales of Arthur and the majesty that battlements evoked. As a result, they began building their own mock castles – homes that included elements of castles like rounded towers but were still luxury living accommodation nonetheless.

 

Golden Fort

 

One example of a castle that was built for living was Golden Hill Fort. This fort was built on the Isle of Wight back in the 19th century to defend against a French invasion. The fort itself was never actually used in battle. More than a hundred years later, after the Second World War, Golden Hill was converted into a series of beautiful apartments. These apartments became holiday homes where people could enjoy all that the Isle had to offer.

 

When Golden Hill was first bought by Kevin Clarke and Sean Cousins, it was a shell of a building. They worked tirelessly with local planning officials to return the building to its original state. That meant extending the building and getting a roofer to extend the roof, and making sure all 22 chimneys were of uniform height. According to Kevin, the roof was made waterproof for the first time in over a hundred years.

 

Features

 

Now that the roof and the foundations are secure, Golden Hill Fort has been transformed with all manner of luxury conveniences. Guests enter the compound through a trick tunnel with electric gates at either end. When they’ve been through both gates, they enter the refurbished central courtyard, originally designed as a parade ground to muster the troops.

Wikimedia Commons

 

There’s also other mod-cons like CCTV, allowing all entrances to the castle to be monitored remotely. On the roof, guests can enjoy communal gardens and stunning views of the island and the sea all around.

 

Prices

 

Having your own castle is by no means cheap. The average unit, which is just 1,386 to 3,250 square feet will set you back more than $600,000 to $1,500,000. When you consider the types of properties you could get for a similar cost, that’s a lot. But it’s not often that you get to live in a gated community from the middle ages, complete with battlements that’ll keep the riffraff and the French at bay.

 

According to David Brock from the heritage foundation, converting industrial forts into modern homes is relatively easy. Thanks to their modern designs, they share a similar design language with modern homes. But converting castles with stone towers is a lot more difficult. If you want to do this type of thing, you’re better off doing it yourself.

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The Hidden Side Of Home Maintenance

When it comes to home maintenance, most homeowners think that it is about dragging a vacuum cleaner from a room to another. In truth, while keeping a clean house is essential – after all, nobody wants to live in a dusty and messy place – there is more to it to home maintenance than cleaning. Indeed, home maintenance relates to the ability to keep everything in your home and your community working at its best. From your pipes to your next door neighbor, home maintenance is an art that very few homeowners master. Here’s how to make your home safer and smarter for your family and your community.

The secrets of the perfect home maintenance

Maintain Regular Contact With Experts

There are a variety of structural systems and solutions to keep all modern facilities and appliances in your house: You have a water system, an electrical system, and an insulation solution to name only the most obvious. These are constantly used, every day all year long. While you would immediately notice if there were an issue, it’s best to organize regular checks with certified experts to spot problems before they occur. Consequently, you need to have the contact details of your local plumber, certified electrician, and insulation engineer. Additionally, you can also discuss preferred professionals with your home insurance and your local council to make sure that you haven’t missed any possibility.  

 

Maintain Your Household Budget

With every home, there is a household budget to manage. Let’s be honest from the start, the largest part of the budget tends to be dedicated to your energy bills – and your grocery, but this is the type of expenses that is easy to justify as it is visible. As much as you should keep a close eye on your overall consumption habits – and especially on bad habits that are expensive such as leaving phone chargers plugged in for example – you need to compare energy providers regularly. Indeed, when it comes to energy bills, loyalty to a provider is not synonymous with discounted price. Your provider can only offer the price that is has secured for itself.

 

Manage your budget

Maintain A Clear And Purposeful Structure

Another often forgotten dilemma of homeowners is the difficulty to keep a clear and purposeful decor inside. This is especially true for people who work from home as it can be difficult to create clear boundaries between the private and the professional space in the house. Additionally, by keeping the purpose of each room in mind, you will become able to declutter the house and remove anything that you don’t need. This helps to bring peacefulness into your home.

 

Maintain Your Neighborhood Relations

While you can choose our house, you can’t choose your neighbors. But it remains essential to maintain healthy relationships with your neighbors as much as possible. Often, all you need is to understand their background and react accordingly. Remember that communication is key, so do talk to your neighbors instead of judging them in silence. Additionally, there is also the matter of a healthy neighborhood to take into consideration. More and more communities are trying to develop a safe and environmentally friendly neighborhood by taking action to make it a better and more enjoyable space.

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House Move Disasters You Need to Avoid

Moving house is known to be one of the most difficult and more stressful things anyone can experience. If you want it to go well, you need to make sure that you avoid the disasters that often drag people in tears and have them regretting the whole thing. Read on to learn about some of the common disasters that you definitely need to avoid when you move house next.

 

Getting Burnt By All Those Minor Costs

 

There are so many small and hidden costs that have to be paid when you’re moving house. People often forget to think about these when they are going through the whole house move process. It’s something that you really can’t afford to ignore if you want to come out the other end of this whole process in a healthy financial shape. Many people get burnt by these costs, and they only realise it when they have the bill handed to them. So, do plenty of research and make yourself fully aware of what you’re getting into before you start the house move process.

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Telling Lies and Having Them Come Back to Haunt You

 

It’s so common for people to tell small lies when they are looking to sell their home. This might seem like a good idea because it gets the wheels on the process moving a little faster. But those little white lies can often come back to haunt you. That’s why honesty is always the best policy when you are trying to sell your home. It’s simply not worth considering the alternatives because things can go badly wrong when you lie. It’s an issue that’s discussed in this article. Your whole move could be sent crumbling to the ground if you’re not careful. I’m sure that’s not what you want to happen, so don’t let it.

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Not Getting Insurance for the Move

 

When you undertake the move, all of your possessions will have to be packed up in boxes and loaded into the back of a van. Then they will be driven to your new home and unloaded. There is always a chance that breakages might occur at some point along the way. When that happens, you want to have the right insurance to back you up. That way, any replacements or fixes that have to be carried out will be paid for by the insurance company. If this is something that you forget about, you will certainly regret it if and when something does get broken.

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Insisting on Going it Alone
Going it alone and not using an estate agent to help you with your home move might sound appealing. But in reality, it feels less like a liberation and more like a pretty terrible idea. If you insist on going it alone, you will have to take care of so many minor issues and problems that could arise. It can be a much better idea to get help from an estate agent who knows what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. Yes, it means spending money. But it could turn out to be money well-spent.

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How Anyone Can Protect Their Home Against Storms

When storm season is upon us, it’s natural to feel anxious for your family and your home. Protecting where you live from the inside out is important for peace of mind and also to minimize the risk of losing precious property. Whether it’s wind or water damage, there are steps anyone can take themselves to boost the integrity of their home.

What can I do about wind damage?

Image from Flickr

Wind damage can be a serious issue if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or even the occasional gale.

There are two main concerns with wind damage, which are flying debris and the wind itself. You can attach extra locks to doors and windows, especially deadbolts, to make sure they don’t blow open during storms and also cause roof damage due to wind pressure entering the house.

For roofs, you can purchase hurricane straps or screw-in clips to make it hug the foundations more closely. Also be sure to bond any loose tiles which can easily fly off when the wind hits.

Surrounding trees should also be regularly checked for dead branches and kept trimmed to keep the overall structure more solid and wind-resistant.

Finally, when you know a storm is coming, have a thorough check around the exterior of your property and bring in any lawn furniture, trash cans and other loose items. You’ll be doing your entire neighborhood a favor, because the less there is to potentially blow around, the less risk there is of any single home being damaged.

 

What about water damage?

Flood

Image from Flickr

 

This is the other main concern when storms hit, as damaged water mains and overflowing lakes, rivers and sewers are common during severe weather.

Even when it’s not stormy outside, it’s important to waterproof basements to be sure of avoiding mold and long-term water damage. An unprotected basement is pretty much dependent on luck to stay dry.

Any heavy rainfall or a lot of melting snow, such as in winter or spring, can be enough to flood a basement. Even in milder weather, gradual groundwater seepage can create a damp environment where mold can easily grow.

That’s not to mention the potential damage to your property due to water damage when floods happen. As basements are often used for storage of delicate assets including family photos, books and furniture, the effects of flooding can be devastating.

Self-applied sealants allow anyone to do their own basement waterproofing, even in old homes with lots of cracks and holes along the walls and floor. These do-it-yourself products are great for cheaply and quickly boosting protection from water damage at any time.

It’s also vital to ensure the seals around anywhere water is drawn in the house are regularly checked. Bathtubs and showers, faucets and toilets can all gradually seep water and then become a source of flooding if storm damage occurs. Having a pressure release valve installed in your water system can help avoid this.

Storm damage is a common problem in the United States, but there are steps any homeowner can take to minimize the risks themselves. As a bonus, insurance premiums are likely to fall when the house becomes safer!

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Stay Safe While Enjoying The Great Outdoors

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When the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to start enjoying the great outdoors again. Whether it’s hikes, dog walks or bike rides, if you have some gorgeous scenery nearby or don’t mind a drive to the country it’s a chance to get some light exercise and fresh air after being cooped up for most of the winter! However, there are a few safety precautions to bear in mind when you’re headed into the great outdoors. Here are some things to kit yourself out with before your next trip.

 

Bug Repellent

If you’re going to be walking around marshy or boggy areas, woods or in long grasses, then an insect repellent is a good idea. Midges, fire ants, ticks, and leeches can all bite and cause unwanted symptoms. Use common sense too, don’t walk through ants nests and generally keep an eye out for creepy crawlies when you’re out and about.

 

First Aid Kit

Hopefully, you’ll never need it-but if you do, you’ll be glad you brought it along. Some plasters in case you get a blister, antiseptic cream and wipes for bites and stings are useful for minor injuries. Some gauze and bandages to halt any bleeding and create a sling in case of any more serious injuries can be useful too. A small first aid kit containing a few essentials won’t weigh your backpack down too much.

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Sun Protection

Protecting yourself from the sun when you’re going to be outside all day is crucial. If there’s a bit of a breeze, you might not even realize you’re getting burned until it’s too late. Protect yourself with a sun lotion with a high SPF, being sure not to miss any areas such as your neck and the backs of your hands. Wearing light, long clothing items such as full-length sleeves and trousers is also useful (these are handy to stop bug bites too). Go with a breathable material like cotton, so you don’t feel too warm. A hat to protect your head and shade your face and some sunglasses to protect your eyes are also important.

 

Suitable Footwear

When you’re out in the great outdoors doing a lot of walking, you need the right footwear. Sturdy walking boots that comfortably support your feet and provide good grip on the different types of terrain. A good trick is to wear two pairs of socks in your walking boots, one thick and one thin. That way the layers rub together as you walk, rather than the boots rubbing against your feet.

 

Compass and Paper Map

Mobile phones have GPS and maps on them these days, but what if you go somewhere where there’s no signal? To prevent you from getting lost, these essentials will allow you to work out where you are and where you need to go. From a safety point of view, making sure you keep some charge in your mobile phone is useful too. If you wanted to get away from technology, just switch it off and keep it in your bag.


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Kick Asphalt: Teach Your Kids About The Dangers Of Driving

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Cars are not toys. They can be fun, enjoyable and smile-encouraging, but they are not toys. That is a lesson we all got taught, and a lesson we will all have to teach our children. However, that can be easier said than done.

 

Driving is the very skill all teenage children dream of acquiring and all parents hate thinking about, which is entirely normal. Your child is excited by the new prospects of freedom and independence and you are terrified by the dangers of the road, and rightly so. Luckily, your worries don’t have to be kept as worries, because there are things you can do to better prepare your teenager for the road and ways you can teach them to be that much safer.

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Be The Example You Should Be

Whether your kid wants to admit it or not, you are their biggest hero. You are their inspiration. As such, they naturally mimic almost everything you do, and driving is no different. That means safe driving starts with you. It is a responsibility you need to uphold. If there is something you wouldn’t want your child to do, then it is imperative you don’t do it yourself because bad habits die hard. That means driving well within the speed limits, checking your mirrors, wearing your seatbelt and keeping a safe distance. It also means no texting while at the wheel, no ignoring signs and no speeding.

 

Teach them About The Costs

Chances are you are going to pay most of the costs of the car whether you like it or not, but you should set a time limit on that generosity so that they spend their first year on the road conscious of money. This will give you a good chance to explain how costs can be kept down. As such,  show them how much their current insurance premium is on moneyexpert.com and then show them how much they could save after just one year of safe driving. Teach them about the diesel versus petrol, and about car tax, and how accelerating fast and braking hard can waste fuel. If they know these things will help them save their own pennies then they will listen for sure.

 

Help Them With An Emergency Kit

Cars may not be humans, but they were built and designed by them which means they are still prone to human error. Cars have problems. They break down, or get flat tires or just stop working. That is when an emergency kit comes in handy, and there is little worse than rooting around in the boot and finding absolutely nothing useful. The idea of your child being stranded isn’t pleasant, and that is why it is well worth packing an emergency kit in advance of any trip they go on. You can find an extensive list of must-haves at http://www.bankrate.com, but any and all emergency kits should include a spare tire, a jack, a torch, a first-aid kit, jump leads, de-icer and a tire iron from which to build on.

 

Let them Drive With You

There is no better way to learn than by doing. It is proven to be the most effective form of learning out there, which is why you should take every opportunity you can to share the driving responsibilities. Let your teenage kid take to the wheel, and take this chance to teach them a few things and let them improve their skills in a safe environment. It could be that they drive you to the supermarket to do your grocery shopping, or to school to pick up their younger sibling, or to their grandparent’s house. This will help you understand what their driving is like while also helping them to feel like they are contributing, and thus building their confidence to a safe standard.

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Be Honest With Them About The Dangers

Driving is dangerous; there are no two ways about it. It is one of the leading causes of death in the world. As such, it is crucial you have open and regular chats with them about the dangers of driving. This doesn’t just mean drink driving but distracted driving too, which can be lethal. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and it comes with a lot of responsibility. At the end of the day, strangers drive toward each other at speeds of up and over 70 mph with only a white line dividing them. It is madness, and it demands respect, concentration, and understanding. That is why it is important you sit down with your child and carefully explain the consequences of bad driving habits, driving under the influence and taking your eyes – or mind – off the road. It can kill, and that message needs to be understood.

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Times Change; Will Your Business Strategy Change With Them?

The future is coming.

 

As a business owner (prospective or established), you are probably used to thinking far ahead. In the midst of one quarter, your mind is already turned to the next one, and the one after that. It’s the only way to run a business. If you don’t keep your finger on the pulse, then you will quickly find your company being left behind.

 

Mostly, however, you will be focusing on your business. As you do that, with a short-sightedness that intense scrutiny affords, you might not have the opportunity to notice the world is shifting around you too. While you focus on your one sector, everything else might change – and these changes pose just as much of a risk to you.

 

The Future Of… Employees

 

When you’re an employer, you are keenly aware that you are responsible for the livelihoods of many people. In rough times, it can weigh on your conscience. In good times, you are delighted to have a staff of reliable employees who have made this possible.

 

However, employment practices are changing. Contracts are changing; many people want more flexible working than the standard nine-to-five. You need to keep an eye on political changes in case they impact employment law. And you need to be aware of how technology might allow you to reduce your workforce, or at least transfer them into other roles.

 

The Future Of… Your Business Partners

 

Focused on the immediate business aims, you can lose track of the human side of things. Do you have measures in place to protect your company if something happens to one of your fellow owners? Or, if you’re a sole trader, what happens to the company if you can no longer run it?

 

Uncomfortable as it might be to consider, you should be considering key person life insurance and ensuring your will is up to date. You have a responsibility to your staff to ensure that times may change, but they will always have a job to rely on.

 

The Future Of… Globalization

 

If you import any aspect of your business – from materials to end line products – then you have to keep an eye on political changes. The current force of reform is towards an anti-globalization switch, bringing back home-grown manufacturing and reworking trade agreements. If this happens, are you going to be able to cope? Do you have alternatives in place? If not, spend an afternoon thinking of an alternative strategy – a contingency plan that you might not ever need, but will be glad to have if you find you do.

 

The Future Of… Technology

 

Mentioned above, technology may one day trim your workforce as machines and computers can do the same work as humans but without the need for sick days and money. Are you ahead of the curve on this? Do you know what to expect, and have you considered the legal and ethical implications?

Considering all of the above might sound like a full-time job in and of itself. However, setting aside a few days a month to open your eyes to the rest of the world and ensure you’re ready for what’s going to hit is the only way to ensure your business is in safe hands.

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