Going Biophilic: Making Your Office Pop with Nature

A trend in office design caters to workers’ well-being and the need for a better connection to their environment, and that is biophilic design. With this movement, designers are integrating nature and other natural elements into spaces that would otherwise feel cold and less conducive to productivity and interaction. It’s been proven by studies that the way a workplace is set up can greatly impact how efficient work is done.

You might be wondering how you can adopt this trend into your own space. Here are some neat ways to do so:

  • Install a green wall

Stress and fatigue are more greatly increased in office spaces that look completely urbanized and have no semblance of nature in them whatsoever. A manageable way to combat this is to install a fixture that even aesthetically creates a natural atmosphere, even if it isn’t legitimately a tree from the forest.

For instance, artificial green walls are produced in Malaysia to bring the benefits of plants and flora without the same need for upkeep (like direct sunlight and consistent watering). The mental relief that comes from seeing the presence of nature is properly triggered in mind, even if artificial greenery is used. As the imagery is curated, the brain perceives more natural elements and immediately creates a positive response.

  • Let in some natural light

One of the core elements in biophilic design is making use of natural light. Psychologically, people tend to feel tenser when there is limited access to natural light sources. Simply keeping a wide window without thick curtains or panels covering them can provide that relief to employees.

In areas that don’t have window access or see staff working at night, natural light can be generally simulated by using light fixtures that are warmer and less harsh. With the right set-up, this can even end up harnessing more creativity and collaboration than a space that is too dim and filled with harsh, cool tones. Letting in some sun also helps to make a space feel less cramped and makes way for shadows and such that produce more feelings of ease, contributing to an uptick of performance.

  • Mimic nature in your furniture set-up

While incorporating plants into your office space is the surefire way to go, you can also sustain this environment by mimicking the flow of nature with the way you set up your furniture. Even if you don’t overhaul everything to incorporate wood and stone elements, you can simply arrange your spaces in a way that feels more natural instead of completely structured and manmade.

This style can be seen in a lot of open working spaces, and you can still achieve it even if you need to create departmental partitions and closed areas for meetings. Incorporating patterns with intertwined movement and using placements that feel more organic can effectively simulate nature’s growth in workers’ subconscious, without sacrificing any cohesion in the workplace.

Try these design suggestions in your own office. You can watch the space bloom into a solid investment in productivity and employee satisfaction.

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How Businesses Can Combat Metro Manila’s Pollution

(And pollution in many other cities around the world, too!)

Metro Manila is arguably the biggest hub for commerce and business in the Philippines, seeing a vast population of workers everyday bustling across the stretch of cities to stimulate the economy. Right in the heart of Luzon, the national capital region stands a consistently busy area seeing dense crowds, many activities, and with it, some of the worst pollution seen in the country.

This state has made taking action on sustainability more critical for companies and businesses for the environmental impact and the employees’ well-being. Here are some changes that can be adopted to create positive change in the metro.

  • Eco-friendly installations

It’s become more popular and accessible for companies to make use of installations that add an aesthetic quality to their offices and base of operations while providing functional green benefits.

One popular way to achieve this is the living moss walls for the buildings and structures in the Philippines. These have been adopted by businesses that showcase being “green” and industries that want to add a splash of life into their environment.

Their benefit is that they are visually appealing and can fit into different interior designs nicely. They also actively provide better acoustic insulation and improve the air quality of the area. These installations make use of moss, which carries the benefits of having plants without the hassle of needing to constantly water them every day and expose them to adequate amounts of sunlight. These durable wall fixtures are easy to maintain and can work for any workplace.

  • Energy efficiency

One of the biggest impacts that businesses have on the environment stems from their energy efficiency. There are a variety of ways to make sure that spaces aren’t wasting energy and contributing avoidable emissions, especially since Metro Manila sees startling levels of air and water pollution, among others.

Properly maintaining ventilation and using mindful set-ups can significantly help airflow so that cooling systems don’t have to work as hard. It is one simple change that is easy to manage. Practices can be implemented that promote better energy usage with lights, equipment, and water. The use of more energy-efficient appliances, equipment, and tech can also curb a lot of the harmful environmental effects that litter the cityscapes daily.

  • Sustainable innovations

From infrastructure to operations, some of the country’s biggest players are becoming leaders for the movement of sustainability, which could incite other smaller enterprises to follow suit.

As new infrastructures are built to service operations, using materials and practices that are eco-conscious can turn the tide in climate change. Then, using the business’s platform to fund and promote causes and programs geared toward innovation in this sector can help follow through and maintain those efforts. Combining those two factors not only creates a new avenue for mindful modernization but also connects to the public in a new way.

By integrating these suggestions into a company’s practices and processes, businesses in Metro Manila can hope for a cleaner tomorrow. Even in different ways, climate change can be addressed by the workforce.

And this can go for any city or community in the world as well.

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How To Make Your Business More Economically Friendly

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Everyone is looking for new ways to make their company more eco-friendly that will also save you money in the long run along with controlling the amount of pollution you create daily. Even though many items seem great for boosting your projects they often aren’t great for the environment, so ensuring that you do some research before making a big purchase can contribute to saving the plant one bit at a time. 

Industrial air compressor 

Having an air compressor like at https://cbeuptime.com/compressor-central/ is the glue to the day to day running of your business. They can save you a lot of money in the long run as well as helping you to control your pollution. Large-scale air is released when electricity is produced so switching up your air compressor will be more economical. There are multiple air compressors that can help every sort of business. 

Cut down on your existing problems

We forget to assess how our daily routines can affect the environment, like disposing of any ink and toners from any printing safely using the facilities that are provided in the supermarket, stationery shops, and other places that can recycle them into new items. You can hire paper recycling stations if your business still uses paperwork that can be shredded and reused, or if your company can, then transferring your database and paperwork on to computers can save a lot of printing and help protect our forests. 

Lights and appliances

Switching light bulbs from the regular type to an energy-saving option can make a massive difference which can be done instantly and will save you money too. Every time you leave a room or when your business is closed for the day, briefing your staff members to turn off any lights and to switch any appliances off will leave you noticing that you are saving a lot of money. Don’t forget that items left on standby still use electricity. 

Green cleaning products

The chemicals that are in some cleaning products can be harmful to the environment and your health so keeping an eye out for non-toxic products will reduce this. You will also find that it will protect your staff members’ skin if it becomes in contact with them. Looking for moisturizers that are built into your hand washes can prevent your hands from cracking or getting dry or providing hand cream for your staff members to use throughout the day.

Plant trees or shrubs

Trees and shrubs can play a big part in our ecosystem. You could maybe create a team-building exercise to plant some trees to learn about how they can act as a filter for pollution. It can make the surroundings of your building look aesthetically pleasing and especially with trees you’ll find that they don’t need much maintenance to look after them.

Using these five ways to make your business eco-friendly will save you money whilst protecting the environment. It’s also very appealing to customers when you look to change what you do to save the planet.

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Three Clucking Good Reasons To Go Organic On Your Farm

Farming and agriculture are two of the oldest industries in the world. Our ancestors likely kept at least a few chickens, and so did their ancestors before them. In short; getting stuck into the ag-business means following in a long line of your forefathers. But, there’s a pretty high chance that the industry has changed since they were hoeing their fields and supporting their families.

Now, a focus on healthier food sources and what goes into them is forever driving farmers to consider their practices. This, alongside the vegan revolution, has left countless farmers struggling to pull the profits they once enjoyed. And, many are finding that farming alternatives like organic options are the best way to weather that storm.

Essentially, organic farming involves removing the chemicals from your processes. Instead, organic farms rely on natural pesticides and even antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) alternatives when it comes to supplementing livestock feed, etc. These may seem like pretty extreme steps away from what you know, but here are three clucking good reasons why this organic shift could be worth your while.

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# 1 – Potential for profit increases

Everyone knows that organic produce costs more, and this is perhaps the main reason to get started here. While standard farming practices have long been falling out of favor and losing money, the opposite can be seen from organic trends. In fact, produce from farms certified by bodies like USDA can typically sell for around 60% of average retail prices. This is particularly the case if you focus on farm shops, local markets, etc. Even better, you should find that consumers are more than happy to pay the difference if they can feel good about the purchase afterwards.

# 2 – An eco-focus

In the current climate, consumers are forever favoring greener companies with clear eco-focuses. And guess what? Going organic right now proves precisely that. After all, pesticides and harmful food additions are doing significant damage to water supplies, soil quality, and more. None of these is going to do you any good, and could even see consumers turning away. By comparison, that organic label proves you use only natural processes, meaning not only that your food is healthier to consume, but also that the ecological damage you cause to produce it is minimal or next to none.

# 3 – Land preservation

Along roughly the same lines, it’s worth noting that a shift to organic practices is far better for preserving your land in the long-run. Your resources (soil, water, etc.) will undeniably stretch further and reap better growing grounds than they would with the addition of nasty chemicals. As such, a farm that goes organic now is far more likely to stand the test of time than one that continues to practice harmful agricultural habits.

As if these benefits weren’t enough, making the switch to organic is often easier than you realize. All you need to do is think about alternative farming practices and habits that could make it possible.

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Changes to Your Business that are Best for Your Health

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Creative businesses can be brilliant outlets for talented professionals, but they can also take a toll – the kind of toll we are not always ready to confront or confess. I began my own entrepreneurial career as a successful makeup artist for weddings and events. I eventually moved into a storefront and expanded into wedding planning as well. Unfortunately, business success does not always equal personal wellbeing. I became overworked and my health deteriorated.

I knew things had to change.

Emily Sullivan Events was born of this time in my life and career, as was a laser focus on keeping my company small, overhead low and stress level down.

Do you see yourself in my story? More creatives do than you might expect. We pour our hearts and souls into our work, sometimes at a grave personal cost.

What kinds of changes would make a difference in your career and personal wellbeing?

Focus on the Basics

Taking stock of your personal and professional life is an important first step. What are your priorities? When you accept too many social invitations, even when they relate to business, what are you giving up? Time with your family? Opportunity to tend to self care?

Limit appointments and events to the ones that will help you achieve your goals without overwhelming your schedule. Give your family obligations, children’s events and time with your spouse as much weight, or more, as your business obligations.

Choose Your Team Carefully

Look for a team that complements your strengths. I searched for someone who could take some of the load off my plate and handle all of the physical activities. You might need someone who has the time to field phone calls, act as a leader on event days, or manage other employees day to day. Get the help you need to prevent you from overdoing things and putting your own wellness in jeopardy.

Keep Your Health In Check

You hear it from everyone – your doctor, friends and loved ones: you need to establish a routine that includes exercise, sleep and healthy meals. By the time the ramifications of ignoring these instructions start to manifest, it can be too late to repair the damage. The arthritis flare up that forced me to reconsider my business was my wake up call. It was the evidence that convinced me that the stress of the job was affecting my health. Don’t wait for your body to send such a dramatic SOS. Start incorporating healthy habits today.

Set Boundaries

Establishing your limits and making your boundaries known are the best things you can do. Accept that your to-do list will never be done, but you can still be successful even so. Don’t allow the world around you to influence your values or your self-image.

Life is simply too short to allow your business to rob you and your family of your best. Make the changes that will give you all a better quality of life before it’s too late. You simply won’t regret it.

This article by Emily Sullivan was originally published at honeybook.com

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Sensible Times To Outsource In Business

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Outsourcing is something that all businesses can benefit from. But when should you outsource and when you should take on a task yourself? Here are just a few of the key times to consider outsourcing.

When it’s beyond your expertise

There are some jobs that you may simply not have the expertise to handle. While you may be able to teach yourself the required skills in some cases, this could still take a lot of time and energy.

Manufacturers for instance will often specialise in certain areas and outsource parts and other processes. You may specialise in casing for machinery but may require another company to handle electronics assembly. Without spending years studying electronics, there’s no way you can do this task yourself.

Legal support is another task that is commonly outsourced because it requires specialist expertise. Lawyers can help to explain business laws and may be able to help with tasks such as writing legal contracts, applying for trademarks or defending you against a lawsuit.  

You don’t want to be outsourcing tasks that are your speciality. If you can competently handle a task, save yourself the money by doing it yourself.

When it saves you money

Another great time to outsource is when it could possibly save you money. Outsourcing does cost money, but there can be times when you make a return from it.

One example could be outsourcing a delivery service for your online store. Hiring your own team of delivery drivers and buying vehicles is likely to cost a huge amount compared to outsourcing a delivery service.

It’s also often more economical to outsource one-off tasks to save you from purchasing equipment and resources. If you need to print off and mail newsletters but don’t own a printer, you’ll save a lot of money by hiring a printing and mailing company to handle it the task for you.

Always do the math beforehand so that you can be certain that you’re going to save money. Don’t outsource something that you can do cheaper yourself if you can achieve the same level of quality doing it.

When it saves you a lot of time

There are many tasks which take up a lot of time. By outsourcing these tasks, it gives you more time to focus on more pressing things.

A lot of companies outsource office cleaning because it takes up a lot of time – even if it is something you and your employees can do yourself. It allows your team to focus on their core responsibilities, while a team of professional cleaners can then focus on keeping your office tidy.

Similarly, you may want to outsource a task like answering the phone if you’re constantly being barraged by calls and can’t focus on other tasks. A phonecall answering company can take all calls for you, so that you’re no longer having other tasks interrupted.

Of course, there’s no point outsourcing a task like answering phone calls if you rarely receive phone calls. You’re much better off handling these tasks yourself if they only cost you a small amount of time.

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Should You Go Freelance?

As the coronavirus continues to spread, shutting down businesses all over the world, an opportunity has arisen. More people than ever are being forced into working from home. 

Many won’t know how to handle this, while others are guaranteed to enjoy it. This might be you, and already you’re thinking whether you could do this full time? You may realize you hate your job, and you need a change.

Freelancing is easier than ever, and with the right discipline, it can add an enormous amount of value to your life.

Should you go freelance? Here are some reasons to consider it.

It’s Not That Risky

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Even just ten years ago, being a freelancer was considered very risky. Today, the business world has evolved and being a freelancer has never been easier.

Progress with technology and software has made us more connected than ever. Entire businesses can run remotely without their staff ever meeting each other in real life.

Freelancing is no longer risky and thus becoming increasingly popular across the world.

You Don’t Need Much To Start.

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All you need to become a freelancer is your skills, a laptop, mobile phone, software such as Microsoft Office 365, and a secure internet connection. This is your new mobile office in which you can achieve anything you want. 

You can contact clients via phone, discuss projects over Skype, collaborate on Slack, and complete your accounting on Quick Books. The internet has everything you need to run a small business of your own.

Manage Your Own Time

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Don’t fancy work this morning? No problem, move your schedule back a few hours and work later. Want to drink coffee with a friend? Take the kids to school? Eat lunch with your family? No problem, schedule it in your day.

Freelancing gives you the unique opportunity to create a work/life balance. To lead a life, you actually enjoy. No more sat in traffic for hours each day. No more missed lunch hours. No more overtime.

Freelancing allows you to spend more time with the people you love and more time with yourself. 

Mobile Office

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You can work anywhere as a freelancer. You don’t have to sit at home in your underwear all day (unless you want to). You can work in cafes, restaurants, outside in the garden or one of the millions of great workspaces available in major cities.

Not only will you get out more as a freelancer, but you will also experience a sense of freedom you can’t have in an office job. 

You Earn It, You Keep It

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Freelancers keep all their profits. No more working hard every day to make someone else rich. You find clients, start projects, complete the projects, and take all the rewards. Profits can be invested back into your work, saved, enjoyed, or however you would like to use it.

If you have skills and you work hard, finding new clients and projects is easy. It won’t always be high flying, but you will have the opportunity to make more money than you ever did working for others.

Freelancing not only gives you physical freedom but financial freedom if you put the work in.

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