Is Your Home Healthy?

When was the last time you really asked yourself whether you were running a healthy home? Not many people consider this as something that they should be thinking about, but a healthy home is so important if you want to ensure that you are getting the best for your body and your mind. If there are times where you slack on your cleaning (and we all do it) or there are times you really don’t have the time or energy to get stuck in, then you need to assess whether your home is as healthy as you thought it would be. 

If you’re on top of your cleaning, are you remembering to clean out your ceiling fans? Have you dusted out your HVAC and called DUCTZ to help? You have to work on ensuring that your house gives you the room to breathe that you need. That means making sure that you stay on top of the cleaning you are doing, even if only sporadically. So, with this in mind, here are signs your home isn’t as healthy as you thought.

Image Source: Pexels

  • You’re not using the right cleaning products. The products that are on the shelves and popular because of certain Mrs Hinch product recommendations aren’t always the best ones that you could be using for your home. You have to know the cleaning products that you use are good for your health; after all, you’re the one breathing them in. Home is where your health begins, and that means starting with the things you clean with. The right solutions should be chemical-free and as natural as possible!
  • You have damp going on. When was the last time you checked the bathroom and laundry room vents in the house? These can clog up with dust and dirt and when this happens, you can end up with a build up of moisture in the home. The last thing that you need is a humid environment packed with mold. Do you have to make sure that you are ventilating well in spaces that have a lot of moisture in the air?
  • You didn’t use a HEPA filter. When you run your HVAC, you need to know that the air is clear. When you’re running a vacuum cleaner, you have to be sure that your air is still clean. Without a HEPA filter, the air can become polluted. You have to think about whole-house filtration and make sure that you have filters everywhere. 
  • You’re not clearing your oven vents. We are talking about ventilation for the bathrooms and laundry space, but what about ventilation from the ventilation in the kitchen? You have to consider making sure that your oven is ventilated, too, so that you don’t have smoke and burning filling the room. Oven vents need to be cleared just as much as every other vent in the home.

A healthy house is one that smells fresh and is one that you can breathe in. Make sure that you can with the tips above.

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What’s Bringing the Value of your Home Down? Find out Here

If you own a property, then you will know how important it is for you to try and rocket the value. You may want to do this if you intend on selling in the future. That being said, most people focus on what they can do to increase the value of their property, to the point where they don’t look into how their value is decreasing. If you want to stop this from being the case, then you can look below.

Source: Pexels (CC0 License)

Unfashionable Furnishings

Everybody has their tastes, but if you have a unique taste then this could well be working against you. A timeless design can be achieved with some hard work, especially if you have an eye for style. That being said, most people don’t have this eye. If you want to increase the value of your home, then you have to make sure that you maintain and improve your home. If your kitchen looks like it was decorated in the early 00s, then now is the time for you to change that. If you think that someone is going to have to redecorate when they move in, now is the time for you to do that for them. If you do this, then you will soon find that the value of your home increases.


Japanese knotweed was imported in the 1850s and it is now present all across the world. Gardeners favored it at one point as it strongly resembled bamboo. The problem is that it can now cause major problems. This plant has the ability to grow up to 10cm in a single day and it is very aggressive. It can actually weaken buildings and it can also grow up to 14 feet deep. On top of this, it can also be dormant for 20 years or more. If you have this plant on your property, then you need to try and make sure that you cut the canes so that they cannot regrow.

Structural Damage

You may notice that sometimes, little things appear in your home over time. You may have a roof tile that is missing, or you may even have a crack in the foundation of your home. It can be very tempting to avoid or ignore issues like this, but ideally, you need to deal with them immediately. One issue can easily lead to another, and this will end up being expensive for you if you aren’t careful. You need to look out for issues such as a sagging roof as well as termites and uneven floors. You also need to look out for damp subfloors and timber rot. If you have damaged drywall, now is the time for you to invest in a drywall repair service.


Did you know that if you have pet damage, you could lose 5% of your home’s value? Nobody is saying that you should not keep pets, but you should try and be mindful of the pets you do keep and how you keep them. Dogs might be full of positive energy, but they can cause damage by dragging their muddy paws throughout your home. Pet odor is the biggest issue for those who may be valuing your home, so get everything professionally cleaned before your home gets valued.

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Interviewer Training

A morning at the dentist having root canal work, or a morning of interviews for new hires into your department? Tricky choice. Oh, and by the way it’s just been landed on you by HR, who are sure you’ll do a good job.

It’s now a common problem in fast growth companies who are hiring rapidly, as the central HR department tries to delegate the interviewing process down to the hiring managers. What does excellent look like? How do you ensure that you attract the candidates that will really add value to your organization, and that they accept your offer, and that they stay beyond 6 months? Conversely how do you avoid hiring potential troublemakers, or avoid legal action from a candidate with a grievance about the interview process, who claims discrimination? And how do you ensure consistency across multiple busy hiring managers?

It’s over 20 years since the phrase “war on talent” became commonplace after the McKinsey book of the same name. A 2017 study of over 600,000 individuals from business, research, politics and entertainment showed that high performers were 400% more productive than average ones. As a business, you want as many of those as possible.

So how should your organization ensure that you have an interviewing process that ticks all the boxes and gets you the very best candidates? Obviously you will need to have a competitive offer, but in addition you need to ensure that your interviewers;

• Understand your organization’s hiring process and their individual role within the process.
• Know how to prepare for an interview i.e. develop questions, review
CV’s and application letters.
• Understand how to conduct an interview which is legally compliant, that avoids bias and really gets the best out of the candidate.
• Know how to give good feedback and provide a consistent interview score.
• Understand the post-interview process and what happens next.

Interviewers need to strike the right balance between asking challenging questions which adequately assess the candidate’s skills, and with making the candidate feel that the organization is the right place for them to build a career. It’s partly a selling job; you want to highlight the “value added” of the organization, whereas candidates need to feel that your organization wants their talent, and that after joining they can make an impact and feel at home. Remember that the evaluation process is two-way, candidates are assessing you as much as you are assessing them.

In short, you need to ensure that your interviewers are trained to a high standard, and will be able to provide an interview that will leave the candidate feeling great about your organization, whether or not they receive an offer. Your training should ensure that interviewers can do the following.

Understand and explain your hiring process

Interviewers need to know how many stages are involved, the time frames and any pre-selection testing ie inbox exercises or Excel assessments. They need to show empathy with candidates, and be able to explain why the components are necessary, and how it all fits together.

Interview preparation

Candidates want to join an organization that cares about them and their development, and will be put off if your interviewers have failed to match up the role’s required skills and behaviors with those shown in the candidates CV and applications. This will also highlight areas for further exploration during the interview.

Well-conducted Interview

Interviewers should always start on time, introduce everyone and their role, explain that there will be taking some note-taking, tell candidates the duration of the interview, and avoid sitting directly opposite the candidate. Start with a general “settling“ question that a candidate will be able to answer easily, something that they will know, before launching directly into questions.

It should always be clear what you are looking for when asking a question. If it is obvious that a candidate is struggling to answer, then either rephrase it or give them a hint to try to guide them, or gently move on to another question.

Interviewers need to understand whether the type of question and how to score the response.

• Behavioral, where typically they will be looking for a strong example to illustrate from the candidate, using a framework such as STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to score against.
• Strength-based, where assessment of body language and enthusiasm is used to establish natural innate strengths.
• Technical, where either specialist knowledge or literacy/numeracy/judgmental skills are tested.

Many managers have invisible or unconscious bias, and tend to prefer candidates with which they share common beliefs. This may lead to lack of diversity in recruitment, and all training courses for interviewers should include an element of unconscious bias training, so that least there is awareness and the opportunity to correct this.
Most countries expressly prohibit discrimination based on age, sex, religion, nationality, childcare requirements or medical conditions. These are defined as “protected” characteristics, and interviewers cannot directly ask these questions about these i.e. “Which country were you born in?”. Instead, questions must focus on the ability to carry out requirements of the role i.e. ”Is there anything that would prevent you from fulfilling the job requirements?”.
Training in unconscious bias and avoidance of discrimination should be mandatory for managers, both to improve inclusivity and diversity, but also to protect the organization from legal claims.

Interview Scoring and Feedback

Ideally there should be high consistency between different managers, when interviewing the same candidate; this is where scoring templates and model answers can really help. This helps both in selecting the right candidates, but also becomes the basis for informed and helpful feedback, as well as reducing the potential for discrimination claims.

What Happens next

All interviewers should be able to keep to the interview timing, so there is adequate time for wrapping up, questions from the candidate, and to explain what happens next, within what time frame. They should use the opportunity thank the candidate for attending, try to sum up the candidate’s strengths and how they would add value to the organization. This is still part of the sales pitch!

Much of the above will be second nature to experienced HR professionals, but for hiring managers, it is essential that they receive adequate training, and only conduct interviews when all are confident in their ability to deliver.

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