Improve Collaboration Among Your Staff

Collaboration between your employees is vital if you want your business to operate well. You need everyone to be capable of working together, whether they’re members of the same team or they’re in different departments that need to coordinate with each other. Although your staff members might already collaborate with each other, improving their collaboration can deliver a variety of benefits to your company. When everyone works better together, you can produce better results, reduce conflicts, and perhaps even keep your employees around for longer. Take a look at these top ways to improve collaboration among your staff to enjoy these benefits.

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Update Your Technology

Technology is key to helping your employees to collaborate. When they have the right tools, they are able to work together much more easily. In fact, with cloud computing, they don’t even need to be in the same location to work together. When you use cloud technology, your employees can collaborate whether they are in the same office or in completely different countries. You can use cloud-based systems and software that allow people to access the same information and files and work together to achieve their goals. It’s easy to get started with some cloud-based tools, but you can also switch to an entirely cloud-based system for your business.

Try Team Building Activities

Team building activities don’t always appeal to your staff, but they don’t have to be how many people imagine them. There are many ways to carry out team building activities to help bring your employees closer together. You can choose to do office-based activities, but there are also plenty of other ways to get out of the office and do something interesting. From team building at climbing centers to outdoor adventure activities, you can use fun and interesting things to get your employees to really engage.

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Improve Communication

Good communication is essential for your team to be able to collaborate with each other. Having the tools to work together is a good start, but everyone also needs to be able to communicate well so that they all know what they’re doing, who should be doing what, and how each project or task is progressing. You should consider the different ways that your employees communicate with each other and perhaps consider the tools that are available to change the way they communicate. For example, Slack can be used to create different “channels” to discuss different topics.

Build Trust and Engagement

It’s also important that people within a team are able to trust each other and that they are engaged with their work. Trust and engagement are two things to work on building if you want to improve collaboration and productivity among your employees. You can try to create a community and company culture that encourages people to trust each other and to care about their work and the results they produce. Ensuring you look after your employees can ensure they are more engaged in their work.

Better collaboration is a must if you want your company to be productive and produce great results.

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5 Things To Consider When Starting A Blog For Your Business

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The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing possibilities, with one of the most common and successful being, content marketing. Content marketing is a marketing approach focused on the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content with the goal of attracting and retaining an audience. In terms of businesses, this audience is then nurtured into paying customers, meaning that content marketing can be a relatively inexpensive way for businesses to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise as well as to increase their online presence and boost their bottom line. When starting a content marketing strategy the first thing businesses need to do is decide where they are going to publish their new content, and for most, the answer can be found in the creation of their own business blog. 

Here are a few things to consider if you are thinking of starting your own business blog.

Where will you host it?

Business blogs typically exist as a page on a companies pre-existing website and enable the business to easily link through to their products and services as well as to promote their content through other digital channels such as social media. There are now a number of ways to host a blog and website from google WordPress hosting through to website builders such as Squarespace and each has its own set of pros and cons. In the beginning, just host your blog wherever your website is hosted. 

What will you write about?

For content marketing to work you need to be writing about things that your ideal customer would want to be reading and so deciding what you want to write about is very important. Sit down and think about the pain points of your customers, what would they be searching the internet for? What value can you provide them? With your answers to these questions, begin brainstorming some content title ideas, or if you are still a little stuck then take a sneak peek at what your competitors are doing for some inspiration.

How often should you post?

The key to successful content marketing is to create consistent and valuable content, and this means posting reliably but not for the sake of it. As a general rule once a week is a good place to start when beginning your content marketing, but you may find that this eats up your content ideas quite quickly. Rather than sacrificing the quality of your content, opt for a slightly more spread out publishing rate of perhaps once a fortnight and remember that one of the tricks to content marketing is the repurposing of old content. 

Where should you promote your content?

If your blog posts are SEO optimized then they should appear naturally in Google search results but there’s no harm in also promoting them to your audiences across your social media. When thinking about where to promote your content the question to keep in the back of your mind is ‘do my customers hang out here?’ if the answer is yes, then share away, if it is no, then you may be publishing your content in the wrong place. 

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3 Dating Misconceptions You Need To Stop Believing

It’s so common to hear people complain about how modern dating is a nightmare and it’s impossible to find somebody that they are compatible with. But a lot of the time, people struggle to find success in their dating life because they believe some of the common misconceptions about dating. There are a lot of things that people get wrong, and it makes it impossible for them to find the right people to date and form successful relationships. These are the common dating misconceptions that you need to stop believing. 

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Online Dating Is Terrible For Real Relationships 

Online dating should, in theory, be great for everybody because you can meet so many new people. But people tend to associate it with casual relationships and they often think that it’s terrible for people that want a real relationship. But that isn’t the case at all and online dating can actually be great. There are so many different dating sites to suit specific types of people so it’s important that you find the right ones. You also need to put time into your bio and come up with something interesting that gives people a sense of your personality. Don’t just write basic things about your interests, write about what kind of person you are and what you are looking for in a relationship. As long as you use it in the right way, online dating can be great. 

Shared Interests Are Essential 

Shared interests and hobbies are good when you first start dating somebody because it gives you something to talk about, but a lot of won’t date somebody if they don’t have much in common. But it’s not shared interests that are important, it’s shared values. That’s why sites like arablounge which match people that share cultures and religions are so good. It doesn’t matter too much if you have different hobbies, but it matters a lot if you fundamentally disagree about important aspects of your lifestyle. Always look for somebody that shares your values, and don’t get too caught up in interests. 

Relationships Solve All Your Problems 

There are so many people that are unhappy in their lives and they think that a relationship will fix it. Then they get into a relationship and they realise that they’re still not happy. Often, they assume that their partner must be the problem and they break it off. But the truth is, relationships won’t fix your personal issues and they will still be there if you start a relationship with somebody, no matter how amazing they are. If you want to be successful with dating, you should spend some time learning how to be happy on your own and dealing with any issues that you have. It’s a bit of a cliche, but you can’t love somebody else unless you love yourself. 

These dating misconceptions are believed by so many people and it ruins their chances of ever forming good relationships. But when you let go of these ideas, you will be far more successful.

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Why Dating 2.0 Is Not All Bad

Online dating has a surprisingly bad reputation. Even though more and more married couples admit they’ve met online, the public mind refuses to believe that cyber technology and screen time can provide a healthy ground for a love story. 

In my time, say the seniors, people met at school or through friends. Sure, a lot of happily married couples today have tied the knot with their college sweetheart. But not everyone gets to cross paths with their significant other through their day-to-day activities. When you’re stuck in a closed social circle, online dating offers a new perspective on things. 

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It gives you more choice

First and foremost, dating sites are all about choice. Think of it as the romantic pendant of a networking platform such as LinkedIn. It gives you new insights into your surroundings, letting you meet new people who share your interests. While it’s no guarantee that you’re going to find your soulmate online, dedicated platforms such as Muslim dating sites or lawyer dating networks can help you to explore a micro-community. While it’s not to say you should only date people who share the same story and background, it can be a helpful approach to make friends when you’re new in town. 

You join the game with your eyes open

Your cyber dating journey begins with the creation of your profile. Your profile is, in many ways, similar to LinkedIn profiles. It’s a summary of who you are, except that you’re not trying to sell your professional skills and experience. Therefore, your dating profile lets you share what you expect from life and what makes you happy. For many online daters, it’s an exercise in defining their sense of purpose. Why does it matter? Typically, as you try to describe what you want to achieve in life through your profile, you get a better sense of who you are and what you need from a dating partner. The simple act of creating your profile and filling up the blanks gives you time for self-reflection. 

You don’t waste time

Dating apps have become a swiping exercise. Swipe right, swipe left, you choose whether you like the person or not. At first, it can appear a little too superficial. Most users describe their Tinder or other app interactions in terms of choosing whether the person in the photo is hot or not. It can feel pretty much like shopping for your next date. But in reality, the process happens naturally in real life too. You have a type, and therefore, you’re more likely to be attracted by people who share the same features. While the dating swipes might feel shallow, it’s an extension of your taste. You don’t waste time getting to know people who don’t fit your type. 

You communicate more

The advantage of online communication is that, for a lot of people, chatting comes easier than having a face-to-face conversation with a stranger. Therefore, the dating revolution gives busy introverts the ideal platform to get to know each other and share jokes and personal stories even before their first meeting. Why does it matter? Because you can be relaxed on your first actual date if you’ve already become cyber-friends. 

Is online dating as bad as the media make it to be? The debate is still open. However, depending on what you need and seek, it can be the perfect solution for you. After all, we’re all different, so it’s only fair to offer different dating paths. 

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Social Enablers: Builders of Happiness and Health

Originally posted by Margaret-Ann Burness on silvernest.com on Nov 27, 2017

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A few years ago, I went cellphone shopping with my seventy-year-old mom. Much to my surprise, she wasn’t shopping for a basic phone. No, she wanted an iPhone. I was shocked. I knew she could handle the upgraded technology, but I just assumed she wanted the path of least resistance and stay with what she knew. Leave it to my mom, once again, to prove that I don’t know it all.  

Like many of my peers in their 40s and early 50s, I was too quick to put her and her generation into a box. I made unfounded assumptions, and lumped my mom into the stereotypical “older generation” of yesteryear, and I was astounded by her new fearless, “all in” approach to technology.  

But then why should I be surprised? Fearlessness is what Mom’s generation was built on. Just think back to the 1950s. Their approach to so many different things—innovation, manufacturing, and social evolution—is their hallmark. And the 65.2 million boomers retiring look nothing like their predecessors, and their digital adoption is the greatest example of that.  

And they’re not dabblers either. That’s right, boomers today not only use, but also engage in technology daily and even hourly.  

What’s the Attraction?  

It’s all rooted in Generation Z. It’s “grandchild factor.” Let’s be honest, it’s a big motivator – I mean, my mom barely acknowledges me when my daughter is around. But beyond those cute smiles and first-day-of-school pictures, the digital realm of possibility triggered their “take charge” attitudes as it did for my mom. Just like it did for Rebecca on the NBC’s mega hit “This is Us.” Her character joined Facebook to see pictures of her son’s newborn baby and it eventually opened up a new world of possibilities for her like connecting with old friends and even leading to a second marriage. 

Keeping up with family and friends is the number one reason most all us go online, regardless of age. Think about it. While we all love our alone time, my introverted self especially, in the end we’re pack animals. We crave social connection. And today, with so many families and friends spread across the country, social platforms like Facebook and new technology such as smart phones have become our connectors. With that in mind, it only makes sense that all generations, especially boomers, would want to engage. For my mom, it was her innate yearning to be closer to me and my family who live over 2000 miles away. For me, it’s about staying close to friends whether down the street or across the country, and reconnecting with family, around the world, who I wouldn’t otherwise see.  

So, it’s no wonder that technology adoption is exploding among all generations including boomers. It just makes us happier and when we’re happier, we’re healthier. Seriously. AARP reports that living alone over 50 is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day on our health and studies have shown that loneliness can increase the likelihood of morality by as much as 30%.   

Craving socialization also opens to a window as to why boomers and seniors are looking into alternative aging options like co-housing and house sharing. Not only are they the generation of invention, but they are also demanding more from their lives and retirement than their parents.   

So, this holiday season, when your mom or dad asks for an iPad or a smart phone – don’t laugh. In fact, encourage it and encourage them to build their social connections both on and offline. Not only can it improve their happiness but their health, too. And it may even bring everyone in your family closer. And to that point, while technology is fantastic way to build social connections, nothing replaces genuine one-on-one contact – for them or for you.  So, encourage their technology whimsy, but also take the opportunity to reconnect and inspire them to be more social overall. 

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Things Your Business Can’t Afford To Skip

When you run a business from home, you are your own marketer, content creator, website maker, and so much more. And it is essential for you to learn as much about the foundations of your business as possible. There are weeks and sometimes months that the time and/or money is strapped. So you can make some smart decisions to help keep your bank balance healthy, and help you maximize your time too. 

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Expenses

They wrack up thick and fast, but if you aren’t tracking them correctly you’re going to be missing those tasty tax deductions for one, and for two you might get audited, and if it doesn’t add up you’ve got some trouble. 

It can be hard to keep all of the paper receipts, so start taking photos of each receipt that relates to your business, and add them all to a file. 

Coaching

To be better at business, in general, there are two paths you can opt for. One is coaching, the other is hands-on experience. There are so many coaches who specialize in small business or freelancers who are looking to expand and grow. They often have experience in your field too. The great thing is, you can find a lot of guidance and support for free online now. Or, you might have a B2B scheme in your area with offers of assistance. Spend some time looking around for free support tools. 

Uptime

You can’t afford to have lousy technology. You need as much uptime as you can muster. And sometimes this means you might need to call in the professionals, visit onlinecomputers.com for more. Managed IT services might just save your business. This one will save you time, time which can be put back into working on your business. 

Social Media

If you aren’t on social media already – that is your first mistake. If you are, and you aren’t leveraging that into more traffic and sales – that is a big mistake too. Take some time to sit down and work out your followers and reach on all of your platforms. Take a look at your analytics. Where is doing the best? What time does the most engagement or impressions happen? 

How are you going to compute those numbers into something actionable? First, take a look online for some guidance on how to put together a social media campaign. Remember to have your goal in mind – traffic? Sales? Social growth? Each one will require different actions from you. 

You can always hire someone to do those things for you, but it pays for you to learn to do them yourself too. If you have the knowledge, you can then build a campaign for someone else to carry out and report back on. 

Of course, there are more things like insurances, retirement plans, long term financial planning, and more and all will make a positive impact. But it is vital to tackle things in the personal development area, something that can free up time, and explore services that will ensure you never miss a beat in the fast-paced online world. 

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Your Smartphone Can Simplify Your Life–If You Use It Properly

Smartphones are incredibly versatile devices that are capable of enriching our lives and helping us stay connected. Unfortunately, the way they invade our lives as been met with a lot of negativity with some critics even argue that they’re taking over our lives and, thanks to social media, making us more stressed than ever.

But that’s simply not true.

One argument is that people tend to interact less in person now that we have smartphones, but if anything, people are more prone to interact with each other thanks to the internet, especially if they previously lacked confidence or had no real social connections in their daily lives. But to go an extra step further; did you know that smartphones are now capable of completely simplifying your life and getting rid of a lot of clutter, stress and frustration?

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Use your phone to help keep your life schedule

Your phone is a convenient little organizer that can help you keep things in order, take notes and also schedule things with notifications. There are pre-installed apps that can help you do this on both iOS and Android devices. For example, you have Apple Calendar and Google Calendar on your phone which can also be edited and accessed on laptops and desktops.

Notifications can also be attached to sound clips and music which can be played to alert you when something is coming up soon. There are also third-party notifications that can add extra features such as smart reminders or even use text-to-voice reminders.

A quick break to have some fun

For many people, smartphones have become the ultimate portable gaming device. With both the iOS and Android app stores, you can download thousands of fun games for free or even pay a small price to play premium titles such as slots online or fully-fledged ports of existing PC and console games. These games are great for having a bit of fun on a commute or when you’re waiting for someone, and they’re even a good choice to replace existing consoles if you don’t have time to play full games anymore.

Fun also doesn’t need to be limited to video games. Fun can also be reading or watching your favourite shows which can be another way to clear up the clutter in your home. You can purchase digital versions of all of your books or even subscribe to a service to get unlimited access to thousands of books to read, and there are also options for audiobooks and subscription TV on your phone. This means you never have to buy a physical copy of a show anymore and they’re conveniently organised and stored in your phone, able to be transferred to any new device you buy in the future.

Shopping made convenient with your phone

Ever needed a last-minute purchase from the store? Perhaps you’ve forgotten the milk or maybe you need to buy a lot of drinks but don’t see yourself carrying everything.

Thanks to the myriad of shopping services available, it’s incredibly easy to just make a purchase on your phone and have it delivered to you within 24 hours. There’s nothing quite as convenient as shopping from the comfort of your phone and it can simplify your life greatly while also giving you more time to spend on other things.

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