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Dana R

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"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."

Every September, Apple announces a new, major version of its iOS operating system for iPhones – and, true to form, Apple made iOS 15 available for download on 20th September.

However, though the software is compatible with all iPhones already running iOS 14, iPhone users have seemingly not taken to iOS 15 quite so eagerly. One MacRumors report suggests that iOS 15 reached about a fifth of supported iPhones by the end of September – but, if you haven’t yet upgraded to iOS 15, the following exciting additions it brings could force your hand.

More Zoom-like FaceTime calls

Apple has brought FaceTime closer to parity with Zoom by letting users join FaceTime video calls from any device, not just Apple ones, on the web.

The Portrait mode enabling users to blur the background of a subject in photography – while keeping the subject itself looking crisp – has also been added to FaceTime, where Ars Technica’s Samuel Axon says “it’s dramatically better-looking than the background-blurring effect in Zoom”.

More synchronicity between Messages and other apps

Imagine how convenient it would be if, when a friend or family member uses Messages to show you photographic, web, news, music, podcast or TV content, you could quickly insert it into a particular Apple app? That’s what the new Shared with You feature lets you do.

In Apple apps like Photos, Safari, News, Music, Podcasts and TV, the feature also automatically surfaces such content your Messages contacts have shared in that app.

Holding a Smartphone

It’s easier to stay ‘in the zone’ with Focus notifications

Though notifications are supposed to be useful, they can – in practice – distract you for insufficiently good reason. This dilemma has led Apple to introduce Focus, where users can filter notifications so that only the most timely and relevant ones get through.

There are some ready-made filters, such as the Work Focus, which limits notifications to those from co-workers and work-oriented apps, and the Fitness Focus for preventing unhelpful notifications when you are engaged in a workout.

The Live Text feature makes photographed text interactive

Text that doesn’t react in any way when you tap a photo of it is sooo iOS 14. Once you’ve installed iOS 15, you will be able to interact with text in photos you view anywhere on your iPhone – including in the Photos app, in social media apps and even on the web.

Through tapping that text, you could – for example – copy, paste or translate. You could tap a photographed phone number to ring it or the image of a URL to load the webpage in question.  

An intuitive – but optional – redesign for Safari

Safari’s search and address bar have been switched from the top to the bottom of the interface, making the app easier to use while holding the device with one hand.

While the old Safari design is still available in iOS 15, you could find adjusting to the new design almost as useful a step as buying one of the relatively recent iPhones compatible with an especially wide range of iOS 15 features.

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People often hear the word sexism and wonder what exactly the speaker refers to. It’s hard to know how to stop something if a person doesn’t know what that something is. For this reason, every person must know the definition of sexism and what it entails. Once they have this information, they can take steps to prevent this type of bias in their lives.

What Is Sexism?

The Council of Europe defines sexism as “any expression (act, word, image, gesture) based on the idea that some persons, most often women, are inferior because of their sex. Replace the word women in the previous sentence with the phrase person of color and sexism quickly becomes racism. The same principles apply when speaking of these two issues. Someone is treated less based on their sex, skin color, or another feature.

However, sexism actually works both ways. For instance, a man who files a sexual assault claim may be made to feel like they are at fault or they someone wanted the act to occur. The assumption is that the male is stronger and could overcome their attacker without difficulty. This isn’t the case.

Furthermore, a man may become the victim of a “he said, she said” scenario and find they are automatically seen as the aggressor. This serves as another form of sexism. However, it has far-reaching consequences and any man in this situation needs to get legal help from a sex crimes attorney immediately.

The Harm of Sexism

Sexism leads to a person feeling worthless. They begin changing their behavior and engage in acts of self-censorship. As a result, their health deteriorates. Women and girls find themselves victims of sexism more frequently.

Sexism : - World illustration Awards

A Worldwide Issue

Sexism knows no geographical boundaries. Women journalists state this is a major issue, as 66 percent of them have been confronted with verbal abuse at one time or another. Men in Europe make up three-quarters of new sources and subjects, while 66 percent of girls in the United Kingdom have encountered sexist language in their schools.

Almost 60 percent of women in Amsterdam have been harassed on the street, and half of all women in France have been humiliated or treated unjustly because of their sex. Three-quarters of Serbian businesswomen state people don’t take them as seriously as men, even though they are successful in the workplace. This goes to show how widespread the problem truly is today.

Why This is Important?

Women may dismiss an act of sexism, thinking it is harmless and they should just let it go. However, each act contributes to a climate of fear, insecurity, and intimidation. Over time, the problem escalates and violence becomes acceptable when aimed at women and girls. The impacts affect certain women and men more than others because of their age, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, or another factor.

Every person today must know sexism and its effects on individuals. Until people talk about this problem, it will continue, and countless individuals will be harmed. They’ll suffer from low self-esteem. This could lead to them being victims of domestic violence, sexual crimes, or other suicide. Some victims develop eating disorders while others suffer from isolation and loneliness. Nevertheless, people need to recognize women aren’t the only ones affected. Men can be subject to sexism also, which is why people must understand what it is, how to recognize it, and what steps they can take to combat it. Until everyone does, the problem will continue.

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Your brand is a powerful tool, and making use of it, when you can, is an intelligent move to make. However, making the move to selling merchandise for your business is a big step, and before you do, there are a few things that you should take the time to consider first. This article aims to highlight the most important points for you to consider when you are thinking of selling your own merch.

When You Should Sell Merchandise

Buying merch is, inherently, an expression of your customer’s loyalty to your brand and business. This means that you have to be sure of a couple of things before you start selling your own merch.

Firstly, you have to be sure that you have enough loyal customers to justify producing and selling merch. After all, if you are only going to sell a dozen jumpers and a branded water bottle from anthembranding.com, then it likely wouldn’t be worth the cost.

Secondly, you have to be sure there is interest in merch from your company. Producing merch when your customers aren’t interested could end up hurting your brand and making your company seem full of itself or only out for people’s money. This will invariably hurt your business rather than help it.

Advantages of Investing in Merchandise

That being said, there are plenty of advantages to creating merchandise when there is a healthy interest in it, and these advantages can be just as major for your business as any other marketing move you might make. That’s right, marketing move. Creating merch is just as much a marketing move as investing in SEO. In fact, it could even be a better one, given that there is inherent profit in selling merch.

The Marketing Power of Merch. The main marketing benefit of selling merch comes from the fact that you will now have customers wandering around the world wearing your branding on their bodies. This will naturally remind others of your brand but also generate positive word-of-mouth marketing when your customers are asked about their merch too.

Marketing Your Merchandise

Finally, you might actually want to consider marketing your merch as well, albeit less aggressively than you might market your own company. This is because you want to be sure that any customers who might be interested in getting some of your merch are aware that it’s available.

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Expenses put a severe strain on business operations. Unless a company possesses significant cash reserves in the bank, these frequent expenses mean they have to continually produce sales and bring in revenue. If this doesn’t happen, they can quickly fall into financial trouble – to the point where their business becomes insolvent.

With this potential threat always looming, it makes sense to lessen its impact when possible. The good news is there are numerous steps you can take to reduce business costs. The following starter guide will highlight a number of ways you can cut down your current expenditures.

See what recurring expenses you can reduce

Recurring bills are inevitable when running your business. This can include everything from utilities to car leasing. However, when was the last time you took a close look at these expenses?

The first place to start is by directly contacting suppliers. It might seem improbable, but suppliers are actually likely to offer you some form of discount if you ask for it. After all, they’d rather keep you onboard instead of sending you to a direct competitor.

The next step is to utilize price comparison platforms. Say you’re currently paying a premium on health insurance for your employees. You can then compare health insurance quotes to see which provides better value. Even a small reduction per employee can make a big difference if you have a sizeable workforce.

Cut down on office space

The business world is changing. No longer is it necessary for employees to make their way to the office each workday. Thanks to the power of remote work, they can stay at home, communicate with other employees, and complete their tasks as effectively as if they’d been in the office.

This flexibility also presents the ideal opportunity to cut down on your office space. While you might not want to eliminate this element completely from your business operations, it makes sense to go with a much cheaper premise as your base. Rather than leasing an independent property, you may decide to utilize a shared workspace for an even more cost-effective approach.

Outsource tasks

A full-time employee is a notable recurring expense for any business. Aside from their standard wage, you also have to financially cover other benefits. The result: it makes retaining an employee an even more expensive prospect.

While it’s not nice to release a staff member from their job, it can make smart business sense when outsourcing is available. You can pay them per project and only use specialists when needed. This is great when you need help with something like online marketing, but not to the extent where a full-time employee is viable.

Automate business processes

When you use technology to automate business processes, this can boost efficiency, save time, and improve customer satisfaction levels. Automation allows you to handle time-consuming tasks within an instant, which can again reduce the need to have employees working on these kinds of tasks all the time.

Are you considering embarking on a Raspberry Pi? – then you’re in luck – because the small, super-smart computer has an endless amount of opportunities to get creative with. If you are looking to get your Raspberry Pi put to good use for pure practicality, here are 6 surprisingly useful Raspberry Pi projects that absolutely anyone can do.

And if you need more inspiration, browse through the products of a reputable raspberry pi store.

  1. Expand Your WiFi Network

Although the Raspberry Pi does not create the networks you use at home, it can improve them if you proceed to configure the system as a wireless range extender by utilising its ethernet and USB ports. As a result, this will enable your Wi-Fi connection to cover any dead zones of your home and extend so far as to cover your whole house with much better signal.

  • Learn Programming

The Raspberry Pi was originally designed as an inexpensive introduction to programming and computer science for beginners looking to get into the field. So why not use the small computer system to learn programming yourself. It’s an incredible skill to possess and is super easy to learn with a Raspberry Pi system, especially if you already own one, it’s worth the time investment.

  • Make a TV Smarter

If you want to add web browsing and other basic computing capabilities to your TV, the Raspberry Pi does the job for a fraction of the price of a Chromebit or other smart computer operating systems. The Raspberry Pi can also look super trendy and stylish in your home theatre with the right case.

  • Automated Temperature Check and Mask Detector

This Pi project creates an affordable, touch-free kiosk that provides contactless temperature checks, and confirms that each person who passes is wearing a mask, by utilising facial landmarking software and infrared temperature sensors. Because of Covid-19, temperature checkpoints have become commonplace in workplaces, schools, and many public places. This project uses facial landmarking and an infrared temperature sensor to automate the process of temperature checks. It makes use of a Pi Touch display, a Pi Camera Module, and a few other components.

  • Create an Ad Blocker

Instead of wasting time having ad blockers installed on each of your devices as well as your web browser, you can use the Raspberry Pi’s power to block ads across your entire home network. If you’re worried about ads that you need to see being blocked, you can whitelist specific URLs to ensure that those ads aren’t blocked.

Teach, Learn, and Make with Raspberry Pi

Pi-hole is a network-wide ad blocker that can be installed on the Raspberry Pi. When using it, no “Ad blocker detected” pop-ups appear while browsing. In addition, unlike with common ad blockers, Pi-hole can be used on all devices on your network.

  • Raspberry Pi Porch Alarm

Inexpensive motion detector alarms can be found all over the web, but you could create an alarm that goes off every time someone approaches your door with Pi. This project provides a porch pirate alarm that uses Pi and AI to detect when packages are delivered, and even sets off an alarm when a package is removed from the location.

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Managing payroll can be a big step for any small business owner, but with a bit of planning and preparation, the whole process can be smoother than you expected. If you’re new to payroll, you might be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of making sure all your staff are getting paid on time. Luckily, these tips can help you to feel more confident.

Invest in Software

Payroll software for small businesses can really help you to get on top of your finances. You’ll be able to automatically send off payslips each month and log all of your employees’ details in one central system. You won’t have to make calculations every month or make sure that taxes are being deducted, as this will all be done for you. What’s more, your employees will be able to access all of their payslips and update any changes in their details. This takes an administrative load off your shoulders and helps you run your business more efficiently.

Decide on a Schedule

While most businesses choose to pay their employees on a monthly basis, you don’t have to. Small businesses can sometimes benefit from paying their employees on a weekly or bi-monthly basis, depending on how their cash flow looks. Don’t force yourself to stick to a monthly schedule if you know that will leave you without some much-needed funds for the coming weeks.

Don’t Forget the Extras

Payroll isn’t just about handling your employees’ regular wages. You’ll also have to make sure pension contributions, overtime, and holiday pay are all being managed properly. If you know a member of staff has worked extra hours, log this straight away to avoid underpaying them on payday.

Outsource

Having accounting and payroll software makes it easy to outsource this part of your business to a freelancer or agency. While you can opt to do it all yourself, it might be easier for an external professional to handle all your financial matters. If you have enough money to spare then this could be the key to making sure your payroll runs smoothly every month.

Business

Keep Bank Accounts Separate

Having a different bank account for your payroll needs can help you to organize your finances better. You’ll be able to easily set aside the money you know needs to be paid to your employees, which will prevent you from overspending accidentally. It also makes things easier around tax time as you’ll be able to separate all your business expenses more quickly.

Have a Backup

When it comes to payroll, you can’t really afford to be making any mistakes. Not paying your employees on time because you don’t have the funds can leave you in a whole lot of trouble. As a small business, you may have some months with less revenue than others, but this shouldn’t stop you from sending out payments to your staff. If you’re worried there could be a month when you’re coming up a little short, set aside enough money to pay all your employees until business starts up again.

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Many people have good routines already for keeping their home neat and tidy, but it is also important that you limit the spread of both infections and illnesses by doing so. While it is imperative that, if you hear about illnesses becoming more frequent, you do extra to prevent them from entering your household, it can be a much better practice to adhere to antibacterial cleaning methods all year round. Even though some specific illnesses may be rife at certain times of the year, there is never a guarantee that illnesses won’t be consistently spreading, so need to be kept on top of at all times.

Pink Eye

Pink eye can be removed from your home in a number of ways. Firstly, you will want to take solid, professional advice on how to ease pink eye symptoms to stop those who have contracted it from suffering any longer than they need to. The sooner you treat pink eye, the quicker the infection will clear up. This includes not touching the eye area any more than necessary, even if it itches, and keeping the area clean, alongside the use of antibiotics or eye drops. Alongside this, you also need to prevent re-infection in the home, which can be achieved by stopping sharing towels and other similar items, as well as making sure they are washed regularly and at a high temperature.

Stomach Bugs

A viral stomach bug, when highly contagious, can quickly take over your home, turning bathrooms into fought over commodities. Taking the time to wash your hands well before preparing food, after using the toilet, and after touching high traffic surfaces can limit the exposure to others in the home. It can also be a good idea to stay off of work or school until symptoms have subsided, to limit exposure to others in your life. Spraying and wiping surfaces with antibacterial spray is also crucial, as well as cleaning toilets or buckets that may have been used for bouts of diarrhoea or vomiting. Washing bedding, towels, clothing, and any other items that may have come into contact with the germs will also keep your home that bit safer.

Tonsillitis

Infections and inflammation in the tonsils, found at the back of the throat, are commonly known as tonsillitis. There might also be white pus present, that can be seen when looking at your throat in a mirror. While it used to be common practice to remove the tonsils, now doctors prefer to avoid doing this if possible, due to the complications that can arise from surgery. Instead, if you have tonsillitis, you will be given antibiotics. During this time, it is important that you drink lots of water, and avoid kissing others, as well as covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Avoid sharing glasses or other utensils as well, and wash them thoroughly after use, to help prevent the spread.

While you can never completely eliminate the risk of infection in your home, you can take steps to reduce the chances of them occurring in the first place. Good cleaning practices, both in the home and for the people within it, can really make a big difference.

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Save your money: this piece of financial advice is universal. It doesn’t matter who you ask, everyone knows that having an emergency fund is essential. What’s less obvious is how you build it or where to put it all. That’s where asking the right questions can come in handy. Below, you’ll find the answers to five important questions about your emergency fund.

1. How Much Should I Save?

A prevailing rule of thumb for emergency savings is to squirrel away enough to cover three to six months of living expenses.

But how much you need to feel safe in an emergency is subjective. It depends on a lot of factors, like your risk tolerance, support system, and the emergency itself.

2. What if an Emergency Arrives Before I’ve Saved Enough?

Emergencies don’t follow a strict schedule like your rent payments or utilities. They arrive sporadically throughout the year, usually when you’re least prepared to handle them.

If you don’t have adequate savings for an unexpected emergency repair or medical expense, you might need to borrow money. There are personal loans like an online installment loan or line of credit that can be your safety net when your savings fall short.  

3. Should I Save or Pay off Debt?

It can be challenging to juggle both of these goals simultaneously. If you’re on a tight budget, you might have to choose one or the other.

In that case, it’s essential you make any minimum payment on installment loans and line of credit personal loans. This will protect you from late fines, extra interest charges, and potential damage to your credit.

If you have any leftover cash, put it toward a small emergency fund, aiming for something like $1,000 rather than the usual six months of expenses. Savings win over debt here because it’ll help you avoid adding to your debt.

Once you feel secure, start using your expendable cash on debt payments. Choose between the avalanche and snowball methods to find out which debt you should target first.

Stack of coins with emergency text. Premium Photo
Credit: andranik.h90 via FreePik

4. What Can I Use it On?

Use your emergency fund on unpredictable, essential expenses that you didn’t think to include in your budget. Think medical expenses not covered by insurance or auto or household repairs that you can’t ignore.

If you still aren’t sure, it’s helpful treating your fund like it’s an installment loan.

  1. Necessity: Due to their cost, you would only ever take out an installment loan online if you couldn’t wait to pay a bill or repair. Installment loans are designed to help with unavoidable, unexpected emergencies that you can’t delay. So is your emergency fund.
  2. Repayment: An essential part of the borrowing process is paying back your installment loan. The same goes for your emergency fund. You should pay back whatever you take so that you’re prepared for the next unexpected expense.

5. Am I Making the Most out of My Savings?

Consider where you keep your emergency fund. A stack of cash under the mattress isn’t just old-fashioned. It’s also not using your money to its full potential because you won’t earn interest on this cash.

Interest is a two-way street. It’s something you pay whenever you borrow money, but it’s something you earn when you save it.

Shop around for savings accounts with a high interest rate without penalizing you for taking out your money out of the blue.

Did this answer your most burning questions about saving? If not, keep asking until you build out savings that can handle any emergency.

In 2021, technology is already a big part of everyday life, and the expansion of technology into every aspect of our lives is only set to increase as we head into the future. However, many people are not ready to welcome this new technology into their lives and careers and find that they are being left behind by the new developments that are taking place. To make sure that you can prepare for the future of technology and the world that it will create, here are some top steps that you can take to make sure that you are ready in terms of your career, your workplace, and your home life.

Take an Online Degree

The best step that you can take to prepare for the rise of technology is to take a relevant degree course. Not only will these courses teach you everything there is to know about emerging technologies and the possibilities that they could present in the future, but they can also set you up for jobs in the modern workplace, including in the tech sector. For instance, at Kettering Global, their online Master of data science can help prepare you for the future of technology by giving you grounding in the technical skills and knowledge of emerging technical science that may help you secure a job within any industry in the future career landscape. This is because data science is set to become an integral part of every business’s operations in the near future. Having a degree in this will allow you to take advantage of opportunities as they are presented to you.

21 Future Jobs the Robots Are Actually Creating
Getty Images

Prepare for Future Careers

Rather than using all of your resources to prepare for the types of available jobs in your industry, you should be looking at prepping yourself for the careers of the future that might not even exist yet. Being ahead of the curve when it comes to employment can be beneficial in many ways. Many of these future careers will be influenced by technology and will come directly out of the technological revolution. Then, you should consider preparing for jobs that don’t yet exist by brushing up your knowledge of STEM subjects and developing soft as well as hard skills, such as critical thinking and innovation. You should also make sure that you continue to learn even after you have obtained a Master’s degree, such as by reading newspapers and by conducting your own research projects. This will ensure that you are always able to remain ahead.

Have the Right Infrastructure

Whether at work or at home, you can also prepare for the future of tech by having the right infrastructure, such as gadgets that are ready to support new software as it is developed. This will allow you to instantly make use of new technology as it is produced and avoid being left behind by others who are more prepared than you and who can access and put the new technology in question to good use.

Follow Emerging Technologies

Although the technologies that are currently in use are fascinating and engaging, you must always keep looking toward those technologies which are currently in development and which are starting to emerge as we speak. These include the Internet of Things and biometrics. Even though these emerging technologies currently have practical applications, more uses for them are currently being developed, meaning that they will soon start to take on greater significance within industries and your life. For instance, while VR technology was once only used for video games, it is now used to give training to employees and even create immersive advertising campaigns.

Stay Flexible

The most important step that you can take to prepare for the future of technology, though, and yet the one that people discuss the least, is to stay flexible. Flexibility is vital in both the world of work and beyond. For instance, you should make sure that you are open to changes within the workplace, such as working remotely or from home, and that you are happy to experiment with using different technologies as they come to the forefront of the tech world. You should also be ready for the fact that your job role might begin to change over time, with many of the jobs that are currently in existence having extremely different responsibilities in a couple of years as technology and automation starts to take over some of the roles that were previously required to be performed by humans.

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You would expect certain businesses to thrive during a pandemic lockdown. Things like Dropbox and Zoom are more useful and more used than ever. Food delivery services are thriving as well.

It is somewhat unexpected that the plastic surgery industry would experience a mini-boom, but plastic surgeons are reporting an increase of about 60% in business.

There were over 18.1 million cosmetic procedures performed in 2019, with 1.8 million cosmetic surgical procedures and 16.3 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures. Neither of these numbers was a significant increase from 2018’s stats. However, we’re poised to see a notable spike when 2020’s numbers are released.

The Zoom Boom

One of the leading factors in this new wave of plastic surgery is the emergence of daily video calls. Millions of people are logging into Zoom every day. Many spend a lot of that time looking at their own faces and wondering if they need a cheek lift or a hair transplant.

People are also wondering if they need a liposuction procedure, as they start to see double chins emerge on Zoom calls, and they deal with the so-called Quarantine 15.

At the same time, people with longstanding insecurities about some part of their appearance are now being forced to face it from new and unflattering angles during video chats. They’re now armed with enough impetus to get the rhinoplasty procedure they have always wanted.

A Shift in Attitudes

An eye-opening survey by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed that a startling number of people are now thinking about getting plastic surgery. Roughly 49% of respondents said that they are currently open to getting their first procedure.

This is particularly surprising when you consider that a similar survey in 2014 revealed that only 17% of respondents were open to getting their first procedure, while 49% were firmly against the idea.

An Unexpected Opportunity

The COVID-19 crisis has also created a business landscape where an estimated 42% of the entire American workforce is now working from home on a full-time basis.

This actually creates the perfect opportunity for people to discreetly recover from surgery while working from home, without having to use vacation days.

It’s now possible for people to get a procedure on a Friday, take the weekend to recover, and then be back to work at 9 am on Monday without anyone knowing that they had surgery.

Cancelled Plans and Vacations

Almost half of all Americans had to cancel travel plans over the summer of 2020, with countless more also having to cancel winter/ spring vacations and destination weddings.

While most of these people are incredibly disappointed, many have decided to put their travel money towards a plastic surgery they have always wanted. They now have the means and the opportunity to finally treat themselves.

The most common plastic surgery in 2019 was the breast augmentation procedure and it has held the #1 position for several years in a row. However, experts are saying it’s entirely possible that the Zoom boom leads to the boob job being dethroned from the top spot by a facial procedure.

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Basically, what the question boils down to is this: should your company fund its own devices for its employees to use, or should you let these workers use devices they already own? At first glance, the latter might seem the cheaper and more streamlined way of doing things, but the choice isn’t quite that simple.

Implementing a BYOD – that stands for bring-your-own-device – strategy in your business can incur a range of costs that might not be manifested entirely clearly until much further down the line. That’s why your firm needs to tread carefully when trying to decide whether it should really opt for the BYOD approach.

BYOD: a strategy that makes sense on paper

If your company’s finances are under strain, as is surely the case for many businesses, you might not want to hesitate in enacting a BYOD policy. After all, according to research mentioned by Karen D Schwartz in an article on Samsung’s website, 77% of Americans have a smartphone and constantly keep it with them.

However, the problems start when your company wants to keep a tight check on what goes onto those devices. In order to go ahead with that, your firm will need to install, onto each of the applicable mobile devices, the client for what is known as a mobile device management (MDM) platform.

Some of your employees could be reluctant to have such software installed on their phone, perhaps fearing what privacy implications could arise from their employer being able to monitor work activities they undertake on what are supposed to be predominantly personal devices.

Should You Allow BYOD? | IT Support, Georgetown, TX

Would furnishing company-owned devices be a better alternative?

It would have obvious financial drawbacks, especially for smaller businesses that could be somewhat cash-strapped compared to their better-established competitors. In the long run, however, the tactic could help to pay for itself more effectively than keeping up a BYOD policy would.

Naturally, you would have to make room in your business budget for buying devices through the company. On the plus side, though, you could choose to buy multiple units of the same device model – and, in the process, make savings by capitalizing on the likes of negotiated discount rates and volume discounts.

Which choice would bode best for security?

This is a tricky question to answer confidently. On the one hand, many workers are likely to want to regularly upgrade to new devices of their own accord, as The Balance Careers implies. Therefore, you might not yourself have to put your staff under too much pressure to replace their devices in this way.

However, people might not always keep on top of security updates with their personal handsets as much as they would with company-owned devices, on which you could install enterprise mobility management (EMM) software to ensure that the latest security patches are added as they arrive.

All the same, though, your company could easily require either BYOD or company-owned devices to use Wandera’s zero trust network access solution so that a wide array of work practices can be completed securely.

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If you were offered a COVID-19 vaccine, would you take it? Research paints a mixed picture. In one poll mentioned by The Drum, 28% of 18- to 34-year-old respondents in the UK said they would reject a vaccine if offered one. However, marketers can play a major part in encouraging vaccine uptake.

Ultimately, the success of vaccines in helping to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a close will depend on how many people take them. Here is how pharmaceutical companies, medical providers and healthcare agencies could persuade members of the general public to do exactly that.

Vaccine hesitancy: a challenge predating the COVID-19 pandemic

You don’t have to look far beyond the COVID-19 picture to see examples of skepticism about vaccines in general. Such reticence has, in some instances, led an array of vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles, to re-emerge.

In 2019, long before the current pandemic erupted, the World Health Organization ranked vaccine hesitancy among the ten leading threats to global health.

The world's first malaria vaccine could be approved for use in 2015
The world’s first malaria vaccine could be approved for use in 2015

It’s unsurprising, then, that Glen Halliwell, business unit director at Publicis healthcare agency Langland, believes that government and health services must engage in “broad education” about the COVID-19 vaccine – including “what it is for, what it will protect you against, how to get it and how many injections are required to be protected.”

He added: “Critical here is ensuring we reach the members of the community where English is not their first language, or where cultural or religious concerns regarding vaccine ingredients may lead to some hesitation.”

What threshold do we need to reach to achieve herd immunity?

Lee Fraser, who has served as Digitas Health’s chief medical officer since 2014, insists: “In order for vaccines to be successful in ending the pandemic, we will need to get vaccination rates into the mid-70% range at a minimum.”

However, he warned: “In a climate where we have seen a decline in the public’s belief in science and erosion of fact in favor of social and public opinion, studies suggest only 60% of people are currently willing to get a vaccine.”

Which marketing strategies could help – and which probably wouldn’t?

While some individual vaccines have been given their own branding by marketers, WPP Health Practice’s international chief executive officer Claire Gillis says: “I actually think that the important brand is the corporate brand. Go to the doctor and ask for the ‘Pfizer vaccine’.”

Meanwhile, though the UK government’s reported attempt to apply patriotic livery to each AstraZeneca vaccine kit would unlikely have been of much use, the UK’s National Health Service has, more encouragingly, decided to partner with influencers to promote vaccine adoption.

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No matter the industry you’re in, whether you sell goods or services, or the size of your business, branded video content is an incredibly effective and useful marketing tool. That said, some people shy away from it in the worry that it is too complicated, or they would have to hire external freelancers to be able to create it. Thankfully, that’s not the case, and here is how you can up your video content in business.

Branding

As with all things, when it comes to brand identity and online presence, keeping to your brand guidelines is incredibly important. By using branded video content you are ensuring that your content is instantly recognisable and wherever it is shared, it is clear where it has come from. If you use Bynder’s video brand studio, you are able to quickly and easily add your own branding to the videos you create, with very little effort. Think about your brand colors and images, but also the voice and style of your brand to ensure that all your digital assets work together seamlessly.

Make it platform ready

Once you’ve created the videos, you will want to share them across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, but each of those requires different dimensions and specifications. If you get this wrong, the video will end up looking weird on different platforms and really takes away from the professionalism. You can automatically export from Bynder to the channel you need and it will set your video to the right specifications without altering the look of your video.

Get personal

Why not utilise real team members from the company to be part of the videos? People connect to people and seeing faces can add more of a personality to a brand. Showing the face behind the work can really endear people to your company as they can see the human side of your products or service. You might have some secret actors or models within your team!

Add music

Choosing the right royalty-free music can set the vibe for the whole video and also add an extra dimension. Choose music that works with your message, and ensure it fits with your brand too. You could use a small sting, or piece of music in each video that helps cement your brand in the eyes (or ears) of your potential customers).

Create shareable content

You can pay for ads of course, but getting organic reach is also really important and of course, a much cheaper way to get your video in front of potential clients. Create a video that people will want to share – perhaps it’s impressive, relatable, informative, or has a great offer on it.

As you can see, video can make a huge difference to scaling up your business and by really being creative and strategic with the video content you put out, you can ensure you are really making the most of what the medium has to offer.

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Nursing is an amazing career that is noble and well-respected. Working to help others is a job that you can be proud of, and with many career paths to choose from within the field of nursing, the opportunities are bountiful. However, while nursing is a great career choice, it’s also important to realize that not everything is as it seems. While it’s universally acknowledged that nursing is a challenging job, it can still be a bit of a shock to the system for new nurses when they do finally step onto a hospital ward or other healthcare environment to begin their careers. If you have been thinking about becoming a nurse, here are six things you need to know before you start your training.

1. Career Options

As mentioned above, there are a lot of career opportunities within nursing to choose from once you’re a qualified, licensed RN. You can choose to pursue a career in mental health, specializing in pediatrics, or sexual health, and so on. Before you start a nursing degree, consider what career paths you might be interested in once you do become an RN so you can start to consider what steps you will need to take to achieve your goals. You may change your mind once you become an RN, which is fine, but it’s important to think about your options.

2. Education

If you want to become a nurse, you will have to get a nursing degree, so committing to education needs to be something you’re willing to do. You should be aware that if you did want to move forward in your nursing career that some positions will require additional certifications, which means you may have to return to school to complete a master’s degree or even a DNP nursing qualification. You can fit these further studies around your work, as there are many flexible approaches to learning, including online courses. Either way, you need to know that as a nurse, you will have to be constantly learning, even if it’s not at a degree level, to keep up with the latest in healthcare.

3. Working Under Pressure

There will be numerous times when you will feel a lot of pressure at work as a nurse, and this can be very overwhelming. While it’s normal to feel this way, the bottom line is that you must be able to overcome that and be able to carry on with your work even on the toughest of days. You might get better at this overtime during your career as a nurse, but before you start this journey, ask yourself if you’re the kind of person who can cope under high-pressure situations and stay professional.

4. Long Hours

Your working hours will depend on the kind of environment you’re working in. For example, if you’re working in a hospital, you’re more likely to be working in a shift pattern. You might notice that you’re only scheduled to work 3-4 days a week, which seems great at first. If you are only working a few days of the week, you’ll likely be working 12-hour shifts, which are a lot harder than you think. In addition to this, you might find that you’re regularly called in on your days off due to short staff issues. This doesn’t happen everywhere, but it’s something you need to be prepared for if you’re going to commit to a career as a nurse. You will be working long hours, especially in a hospital. However, working in a smaller clinic or doctor’s office, you might be working something closer to a 9-5 working pattern, depending on the office hours.

5. Variety of Tasks

As a nurse,you’re responsible for more than assisting doctors and administering medications to patients. Be prepared to serve patients meals, talk to them, bathe them, deal with their families, act as a liaison between doctors, patients, and their relatives. You will have to record symptoms, perform diagnostic tests, operate medical equipment, and educate patients about how to care for themselves once they’re discharged. The list goes on, but you’ll certainly have your hands full.

6. Dealing with Death

Finally, this is probably the hardest part of the job, particularly as you will be bonding with patients as part of your role. Death is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking. Although it might not happen every day, you will have to see people die as a nurse, and even if you know it’s coming, it’ll always be sad. Each death will affect you differently but think carefully about whether or not this is something you could cope with as part of your job before becoming a nurse.

Nursing is a great career choice, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. If you think you can handle all of the above, then perhaps you’ve got what it takes to make it as a nurse.

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The working day can be filled with stress, and, what helps stress? Food. When you are at work it can be super difficult to get out of a routine of instant ramen, fast food and vending machine snacks. Here are some small changes that you can make to start to make healthier choices at work.

Eat a filling breakfast

You know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why do so many of us skip it? We have all been guilty of running out of the house with only a coffee in hand, making our commute to work with nothing in our stomachs. A filling breakfast can enhance productivity, and it can be as simple as adding a breakfast berry-and-granola smoothie to your morning routine.

Take a simple, healthy lunch from home

This may seem like a lot of effort, but you can very easily make your lunchtime meals in advance for the whole week in bulk. You could batch cook a load of veggie-filled soup or make a few different salads. You could even make a wrap with leftovers from dinner. Keep it simple and keep it healthy.

Make the most of your breaks

As many as 82% of us admit that we don’t always take our breaks at work, instead opting to eat convenience foods at our desks while we catch up on work. However, not only does the food you consume matter, but the way in which you eat it too!

Taking a moment to appreciate our food and have a breath of fresh air can actually make incredible changes to our mental attitude. It is equally important to be healthy and happy. A wellbeing program can help you to create positive behavioral change with nutrition, healthy habits, fitness, weight management, and overall wellbeing.

Pack your own snacks

Workplace vending machines have been the downfall of diets since the dawn of time. No matter what your reasoning for eating healthily, make sure to pack some healthy snacks for if you get ‘peckish’ and tempted with your mid-afternoon cuppa’.

Drink lots of water

Getting enough water a day is very important for the health of your body. Water helps your body regulate temperature, lubricate and cushion your joints, protects your spinal cord, and gets rid of nasty stuff like toxins. It is recommended we drink about 2 litres, or around 8 glasses of water a day.

This may seem like a lot until you think about how many bottles of fizzy drinks you get from the vending machine! Try to choose water over sugary drinks and sodas. You could also try drinking black coffee or tea, flavoured water, or sparkling water as an alternative way to get your daily water intake. These are relatively low, or no, calories, but should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.

Just try your best

All you can do is try your best. Some days you might want fries- and that is okay once in a while! Eating a balanced diet does not mean anything is off limits: everything is fine as long as it’s in moderation.

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When it comes to advanced degrees in the world of business, few are as pertinent as the Master of Business Administration degree, or MBA. It is one that is vastly popular among those who wish to make it big in business and can be extremely helpful in letting future and current employers know what sort of knowledge base and business acumen you possess.

While an MBA isn’t necessarily your guaranteed ticket to corporate success, it can provide you with a great number of skills and relevant knowledge about business. The things that you gain from completing your MBA might be the catalyst you need to find success in your own career.

It is important to bear in mind that as the popularity and demand for MBA programs has increased over the years, so too has the number of universities offering variations of MBA programs. Not all are created equal, so you should take your time and put in the necessary research before enrolling on a program so that you can get the most out of the experience and investment.

If you do make the decision to earn your MBA, here are fourkey skills and business advantages that you will gain from the process:

Image source Flickr

1. Leadership Skills

Most people who enrol in an MBA program do so because they aspire to assume a leadership role in the world of business. Some might wish to start their own business and act as a leader in that regard. Others might hope to one day be considered for a major promotion at an established company that would place them in a position of leadership.

No matter what your specific ambitions are, if they involve the acquisition and development of leadership skills, then an MBA is a good option to consider. Institutions like Aston University provide students with the skills they need to act as reliable leaders in the world of business.

2. Communication Skills

Of all the things that you will need in order to be successful in a career in business, excellent communication skills rank among the top. You will be expected to have the ability to communicate across a variety of platforms and to various people both above and below you in the hierarchy of your place of work.

If you do come to assume a leadership role in your career, it is important that you know how to communicate efficiently and effectively to those reporting to you. You will also need to have the ability to communicate respectfully and professionally with those who rank above you. From writing well to speaking confidently and concisely, you will have the opportunity to sharpen all of your communication skills when you earn your MBA.

3. Connections

When it comes to a career in business, one of the most important resources at your disposal is that of a strong professional network comprised of valuable connections. The connections that exist in the world of business are what drives industry and innovation forward. Therefore, when you receive an opportunity to network and make more connections, you should go for it. An MBA can provide you with just that via the alumni network at your institution.

Most major universities have sizable alumni networks that are specific to their MBA programs. By enrolling and completing a program at such a university, you obtain access to that network. You never know how profitable such connections might turn out to be when utilized properly.

4. Credibility

When you earn your MBA, you receive a certain amount of credibility along with it. This is because the education that you receive from an accredited MBA program is one that equips you with a certain level of knowledge and a particular skillset. Most people in the business world know what that knowledge and skillset entails, therefore establishing a level of expectation for anyone who has an MBA.

It is true that an MBA is no longer as novel as it once was. Programs are far more accessible due to online education options and the sheer number of universities that offer the degree. That being said, when you are able to place those three letters after your name, it immediately conveys to anyone who reads it that you are serious about your career and have what it takes to succeed.

Not only does this grant you a certain degree of credibility with employers, but if you find yourself in a management position, those who report to you will be able to trust in your leadership capabilities.

During recent weeks the world witnessed several landmark events. Leaders of nations big and small were forced to make difficult decisions. The global nature of the pandemic and the ensuing crisis changed the face of globalization itself. These changes often had mixed results. Here is a quick look at some of these trends.

Global commerce vs. local priorities

While the pandemic was spreading, most countries shut off their borders to all but essential movement. However the restrictions soon expanded into the economic and other domains. In March India placed a ban on the global export of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that showed promise for treating coronavirus. The US government stopped the export of masks to Canada under the Defense Production Act. Widespread logistical issues caused fears about international cooperation breaking down. Most of these challenges were caused by the disruption of key global supply chains.

Governments and firms are now looking at models that can shift their reliance away from overseas suppliers. Large corporations are trying to move from global just-in-time supply to more controllable local sourcing. The Harvard Business Review predicted in May that public opinion about globalization is likely to permanently change.

Empowerment of leadership

Many world leaders did their utmost to combat the impacts of COVID-19. However, some countries seemed to have exceptionally effective strategies. Nations that suffered fewer losses from the pandemic greatly credited their national leaders for their effective policies and timely response. These leaders became exceptionally popular and empowered. For example, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen quickly closed off the country’s borders and initiated a lockdown in early March. This helped reduce the number of effective cases considerably. According to a July poll by the statistics portal Statista, 76% of the Danish people now support her.

Vietnamese President Nguyễn Phú Trọng issued a guidance on outbreak prevention and detection as early as January 21. In June the IMF reported that because of this proactive approach Vietnam will make a quicker economic recovery than other countries in the region. The president gained considerable popularity for his proactive decisions.

One trend has been consistent globally. Populations have depended on their national leaders to make sound judgments, and follow them up with decisive action. Narratives from around the world give evidence that in a crisis people are willing to empower their leaders with unbounded trust and support. In coming years we are likely to see a new wave of global leadership characterized by bold decisions and bolder actions.

Gender and leadership

Female state leaders might be seen in a different light after the pandemic. A June publication by The Harvard Business Review mentions that countries with women in leadership have suffered six times fewer confirmed deaths from COVID-19 than countries with governments led by men. This indicates that the role of gender in world leadership is likely to change.

International collaboration

The global media was quick to highlight the “me first” kind of behavior from prominent leaders of the world. Yet, there was plenty of cross-border cooperation motivated by a “let’s work together” ideology. This was particularly evident in the scientific community. Scientists in Australia and China collectively analyzed the COVID-19 genome. They made it freely available to help speed up the global vaccine research. To this end health experts from all continents regularly share information on various online communication platforms. Clinical trials are being conducted on a global scale.

Flow of information

In some ways the present crisis has brought nations closer together, and unified them with a stream of essential data. In March a team of 300 engineers joined forces to build a 3D-printed ventilator on Facebook under the Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies initiative. In May UNESCO organized a global hackathon to find solutions for controlling COVID-19. More than 165 participants from 26 countries contributed to the event. Some of the ongoing open source projects to fight the crisis are unprecedented in their global scale and scope. The Institute of Management Development predicts that the world may well become more globalized, at least in terms of the flow of ideas and solutions, if not products.

The gig economy

While corporations try to find ways to localize the supply of materials, the exact opposite is taking place in human resources. Organizations big and small are seeking remote workers and gig workers. Gig work is now being done at scale. With cost-effectiveness a priority, organizations are no longer averse to hiring overseas and temp workers. It is easy for businesses to send money online to pay their contract workers regardless of geography. The reliance on full-time workers is in decline. According to Deloitte’s ‘Future of Work Accelerated’ report, 60% of organizations are estimating an increase on the reliance of gig workers. These new trends are powering the gig economy.

About the author:

Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.

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The human resources department is one of the most important non-core functions of any business. As a result, in most cases, the HR department of any organisation has a lot of responsibilities to handle. 

From processing payrolls to keeping track of attendance, from recruiting fresh talent to employee engagement, the functions of HR are critical to ensuring smooth functioning of the business machine.

To this end, it is important for business owners to ensure their HR department is equipped with the right tools to carry out their responsibilities with maximum efficiency.

As SaaS products become more affordable and accessible, even for small businesses, it only makes sense to take advantage of them to maximise the efficiency of your HR department.

In this article, we will discuss three essential tools that have almost become a necessity for modern HR departments. 

Let us begin:

Payroll Software

The variety of payroll tasks involved in calculation of an employee’s salary are time consuming and have a lot of scope for human error. Such errors can cause serious miscalculations in an employee’s salary which can in turn, ruin the reputation of your organisation.

Modern payroll software is designed to automate the whole process with minimal effort. From processing salaries to calculating the tax returns of your organisation, a payroll software can take care of it all. These software can be customised to the specific regulations applicable to your business, along with any special rules that are applicable to the calculation of the salaries of your employees.

This way, you not only eliminate the scope of human errors from the process, but also free up the time of your HR department to focus on other critical activities.

Learning Management System

One of the most important functions of an HR department is to overlook the learning and development of the employees. A learning management system enables them to do this task efficiently. A learning management system is a platform that is used to store, share, and manage training content. 

These online training software enable learning administrators (HR associates) to enroll learners (employees) and assign different training curriculums to them. A learning management system also offers features like gamification and blended learning that allow learning administrators to create an engaging learning experience.

Additionally, these tools come loaded with tracking features that allow learning administrators to track the progress of different courses, as well as the progress of different learners. 

This way, they can pinpoint the areas where the course curriculum can be optimised for better retention and comprehension. These tracking capabilities also enable training administrators to identify learners that need special attention and tailor their learning experience according to their needs.

Time Tracking Software

At a time when teams are forced to work from their homes, tracking their productivity is one of the most essential jobs of the HR department. ONe of the most efficient ways to do so is with time tracking software.

The applications of a time tracking software aren’t limited to this time of social distancing. We’re living in a gig economy and working with freelancers is becoming an increasingly common practice. In order to make sure your company is not being billed unfairly, your HR department will need a time tracking software to track the hours of the freelancers that work for your organisation.

Conclusion

Tracking time and processing payrolls are two of the most time-consuming tasks of an HR department. By automating these, you can make your HR department much more productive, and use their potential for more important tasks. On the other hand, effective employee training is next to impossible to carry out without the help of a great learning management system.

Are there any tools that your HR department uses that we haven’t mentioned in this article? Share them with us in the comment section below!

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Experts report that there were 2.8 reported injuries per 100 full-time workers in the United States in 2018.

Many of these would have been minor, requiring little or no treatment. However, many more would have been serious enough to warrant ongoing care.

In these cases, workers should be entitled to treatment from workers’ comp doctors. However, not every doctor treats workers’ compensation patients.

Read on to learn more about what doctors accept workers’ compensation, and how to find them.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation protects employees when they suffer illnesses or injuries as a result of their activities at work.

It covers a broad range of conditions, including almost any physical injury. The most common injuries are overexertion injuries, slip-related injuries, and fall-related injuries.

Workers comp may also cover mental illnesses, although causation here is more difficult to prove.

The employer is the party who is liable for payment. However, workers’ comp insurance is widely available to provide cover here, and is actually legally required in every state except Texas.

The payment provides for medical treatment as well as lost earnings.

How to Find Workers’ Comp Doctors

As mentioned above, not every doctor deals with workers’ compensation cases. To get ongoing treatment for a condition you developed at work, you will have to find a specialist Workers’ Compensation Doctor.

These are doctors that the state government approves as providers of workers’ compensation care. You may have to find such a doctor yourself, but your employer might direct you to one in some cases.

You should note that you don’t need to go to a workers’ comp provider for your initial assessment. Your usual healthcare provider (or an emergency room doctor) is acceptable for this.

While ongoing care is provided for by the workers’ compensation scheme, there are limits to your entitlements. For instance, you will only be allowed a certain number of physiotherapy or massage therapy visits under your workers’ comp plan.

What If My Employer Won’t Pay?

As noted above, workers’ compensation insurance is generally mandatory. However, many employers will still try to escape liability in order to protect their low insurance premiums.

The easiest way for an employer to do this is to attempt to prove that your injury did not arise as a result of your working activities. This is easier in some cases than in others.

For example, if you fall off a height and break your leg at work, it will be impossible for your employer to argue that you weren’t injured at work.

On the other hand, if your injury arose because of repetitive strain, your employer might be able to make a convincing argument that you sustained it due to activities carried out outside the workplace.

Getting the Care You Need

If you’ve suffered an injury, the first thing on your mind will be recovering from it. Workers’ comp doctors can help you take the first step and guide you through the entire process.

Did you find this article useful? If so, be sure to check out some of our others! We post content on a range of topics, including romance, family, and self-improvement.

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Homework is seldom a pleasant time for any student. Most students often wonder as to why they are writing a lengthy paper on a random topic. Most teachers and parents feel that homework is assigned to help a student review their classwork and increase their overall study time. But the real question is there is a real need for regular homework. Many experts feel that the present system of homework causes unnecessary burnout in students and puts them off studies.

Homework on a Seesaw

The American education system has always been back and forth about implementing the system of homework. At the start of the last century, many progressive educational reformers pointed out the detrimental effects of undue stress on students. This developed some amount of anti-homework sentiments. But during the mid-century, these sentiments vanished. Fear arose that America is falling behind the Soviet Union at the time of the cold war and the pressure on education surmounted. The ’60s and ’70s saw an open cultural society which claimed that school homework is affecting creativity. But in the ’80s American researchers blamed the school system for the economic downfall and homework became important again.

In the 21st century, in spite of all the debate that goes around it, the importance of homework has the upper hand. Students these days have to spend twice the amount of time on homework than what 90’s students used to. Although they have an advantage because they can find answers to homework online. Still, this homework heavy regime seems to be taking a heavy toll on students, parents, and teachers alike.

Present Guidelines

The National PTA and the National Education Association agree that every night a student should spend 10 minutes of homework per grade level. There is no specification about the quality of the homework that needs to be assigned. The guideline also seems to be ignorant of the fact that not all students have the same level of intelligence. A piece of homework might take one student 10 minutes to complete while another student might need 30 minutes to complete it. At times the reason behind the student spending more time on homework might be out of their control.

Need for New Guidelines

Many experts suggest that homework guidelines should not be governed by a centralized organization. There should be certain flexibility involved in these guidelines as well. Teachers should not mark every assignment for grades but assess a student’s overall efforts toward the learning process. They can take tests based on the assigned homework to understand how much knowledge the student has gained from doing it. This will also act as a cross-check for the teacher’s efficiency and the productivity of the lessons.

The Good Side of Homework

It cannot be completely denied that homework has certain positive effects on a student’s academic success. It gives a student an opportunity to revise and practice the lessons learned at school. However, the process of grading assignments is what creates undue pressure on the students. Many experts agree that there should be a system of providing constructive feedback instead. That will help students to maintain focus and achieve the goals better. It will also help students establish a better connection between what they learn and what they already know. Experts feel that grading homework shortens a student’s learning process and cuts it off midway.

Many experts agree that homework has a better potential of being a formative assessment than tests, provided they are not graded. Tests are not ideal to measure a student’s learning process because they are conducted after the teaching and learning process of the unit is over. Homework, on the other hand, can be used to enable students to develop a better level of focus and strive to achieve mastery of the subject. But grading the homework would hinder this entire process.

The new method also takes into consideration that different students have different learning curves. Individual feedback to homework would allow every student to improve upon their previous knowledge of the subject matter and replace it with the new knowledge. Students will also realize and appreciate their teacher’s efforts towards their learning process instead of feeling pushed for better grades.

Research has shown that homework strengthens the parent-child bond which is a key factor in a child’s learning process. It helps to reinforce the knowledge and skills learned at school. It also helps students prepare better for upcoming lectures, develop independence and discipline. With the help of certain homework, a student can learn the application of classroom knowledge in the real world. Homework should not be a rat race for better grades. Instead, it should be a time to reflect on oneself, family, knowledge, and survival in the real world.

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Build a lead-generating law firm website for your legal practice by following this step-by-step guide. This guide covers all aspects of a great online presence.

There are over 1.3 million attorneys in the United States. With so many attorneys in the US, it’s difficult to stand out from the competition. 

Having a great website for your law firm is one of the best things you can do to have your name stand out. However, it’s not as easy to have a website that is easy to use, fast, and informative.

If your law firm website is not where you want it to be, you came to the right place. Read on to learn how you can create the best law firm website. 

1. Visible Law Firm Name and Logo

If you want your law firm website to stand out, you need to use your name and logo throughout your site. Using your firm name and logo on every page of your website will help create brand recognition. 

Whenever potential clients see your name offline and online, it will resonate with them. Make sure you also use your law firm name in the URL. 

2. Use the Colors of Your Logo Throughout the Website

Another way to help boost your law firm’s website is by incorporating your brand colors. Using the colors in your logo throughout your website will help solidify your brand. 

You can get creative on how you use brand colors. For example, you can use the color in the background, buttons, calls-to-action, visual accents, and more. If you haven’t settled on a color palette, you can choose a brighter one.

3. Highlight Your Area of Specialization

To ensure you attract the right client to your website, you need to highlight your area of specialization. Although many people think all lawyers are created equal, there are different areas of specialization. 

If your law firm specializes in family law, then you need to make sure you highlight this throughout your page. Aside from highlighting your area of specialization, you also need to tell them why they need to pick you as their lawyer. 

Giving them a reason why they should pick you as your lawyer should be a priority when you build your website. After all, you’re building the best website because you want to show clients you’re the best.

4. Create a Google My Business for Your Law Firm

Long gone are the days when people brought out the phone book to look for a lawyer. Whenever people need to find a product or service nowadays, they search for it on Google or any other search engine.

The purpose of a Google My Business account is to keep your business information as up to date as possible. If clients cannot find your business online, they won’t click on your website. To create a Google My Business, you should follow these steps:

Sign in to Google

Before you claim your business, you should create a Google account. Rather than using a personal email account, create an account with your firm’s name. 

Find Your Location

You want to tell your clients the specific location of your business. To get started, search for your business name and city. 

You will need to click on the navigation option under “maps” in Google. It will give you the option to find the exact location of your business. Once you have the location, you will have to pin your business on the map. 

More Information

Once you have pinned the map, a “more info” link will pop up. This is your opportunity to manage the rest of the information. Click on the “manage this page” button on the bottom of the page.

Edit

When the window pops up, you will get the opportunity to edit, suspend, or unclaim the business. If you’re sure about claiming your business, start to edit the information. 

Once you start editing the information, it’s very important you verify all the links are correct. In this section, you should add links to your website and all of your social media handles. 

Photos are a useful thing to add to your Google My Business account to familiarize your clients with your firm. If you want to add photos of the attorneys working at your firm, it will give clients an opportunity to familiarize themselves with your staff. 

Make sure you also add the hours of operation, address, phone number, and any other useful information. 

Verify

Once you have completed filling out the information, it’s time to verify the account by entering a specific PIN. You can obtain the PIN in several ways, but the easiest is by calling Google and providing them with your business’ phone number. 

After you completed the steps, your firm will appear on Google. 

5. Incorporate Social Listening

While most attorney websites focus on listing case studies and outcomes, you should dig a bit deeper. To learn exactly what your clients want to see, you should dedicate some time to social listening. The purpose of social listening is to dig deeper and get more involved with potential clients. 

Start by becoming active on the social media platforms that matter, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter. You should focus on searching for hashtags that relate to your industry and area of the law. 

After you see the search results, you will get a sense of what people are talking about. You will get a chance to look at current trends and listen to the problems people are currently facing on a daily basis. 

Social listening also gives you the option to reply to the comments and have a conversation with potential clients. 

Once you become more familiar with the issues they’re facing, you can create and write articles that address these issues. Make sure you also make your articles and blog posts shareable to keep the conversation going. 

6. SEO Optimization

Almost everyone who owns a website these days has heard the term SEO. If your law firm website is not SEO optimized, you could be missing out on organic legal leads. The purpose of optimizing your website is to help it pop up on the top of the Google results. 

While you can hire a company to help with your SEO, it’s also possible to do it yourself with a few steps.

Keyword Research

The world of SEO is all about keyword research. You need to pick the right keywords that will help you land visitors organically. Think about what your clients would type on Google if they were in search of a lawyer. 

Google keyword planner is a great tool that helps you pick the best words for your law firm. It will give you an opportunity to find only relevant keywords. 

Tailor Content to Your Keywords

Once you pick the right keywords for your law firm, you should create content that incorporates those keywords. 

Make sure you use your keywords in all of your pages but make sure you do it in a way that flows naturally. The last thing you want is to overuse keywords or use them in a way that doesn’t flow.

Increase the Speed

If you want to improve your SEO results, you need to make sure your law firm website is fast. On average, website visitors expect a website to load in 3 seconds or less. 

If your website is too slow, Google and other search engines will have no problem placing you at the bottom of the results.

Landing Pages

To help improve your law firm’s SEO, you should use landing pages the right way. When you create landing pages, make sure you keep your keywords in mind. 

Mobile-Friendly

Nowadays, people do most of their internet searches via mobile. When your potential clients look for a lawyer, they will probably use their phone. 

If you want to improve your SEO results for your law firm’s website, make sure you make it mobile-friendly. It means visitors will have the same experience if they view your site on their phone or computer. 

7. Have Client Testimonials

When potential clients look for a lawyer, they want to see the wins and testimonials. Although people care about attorney qualifications, they also want to know what previous clients have to say about them. 

If you want to take your law firm website to the next level, make sure you share client testimonials and display them on your website.

While you don’t have to display them on the main page, you should make it easy for your customers to find them. You could create banners to display on your main page, but have a dedicated page for full reviews. 

8. Show Your Achievements 

Aside from reading about what your clients have to say about you, it’s important that your clients learn about the accomplishments.

It’s very important that you put some work into the biography page of your law firm. Aside from focusing on highlighting education, you need to highlight awards and special achievements.

Clients want to know that they’re hiring the best of the best, so you need to highlight this for them. Make sure you also let your clients know which areas of the law your attorneys specialize in.

You can also have professional photographs next to attorney bios, so your clients can put a face to the name.  

9. Provide a Full List of Services

Clients want to know they’re in the right place, so make sure you display your full list of services. The last thing you want is to mislead clients to think you can take their case when you don’t specialize in that area of the law. 

Make sure you tell clients right away about all of your services. They want to know you have the full set of skills they’re looking for.

You can give them a preview on your main page, and have a separate page with a full list of services. 

10. Calls-to-Action

The main goal of your law firm’s website should be to have clients schedule an in-person consultation. Therefore, you need to include multiple calls-to-action on your website. 

If you have a blog, make sure you encourage visitors to contact you at the end of an article. Also, you should encourage them to visit other pages on your site, such as the bio page, testimonials, or a full list of services page. 

Make sure you have calls-to-action in all of the pages of your website as well.

And don’t forget to make it easy for them to find your contact forms. Rather than having a single designated contact page, you can have a contact form at the bottom of every page. 

11. Create a Responsive Website

As we briefly mentioned before, having a mobile-friendly website can help your SEO score, but it can also give your clients the best experience. 

Make sure you focus on creating a responsive website so that people can view the same content on a smartphone, tablet, or computer monitor. 

If your website freezes when someone wants to view it on a mobile device, they won’t even bother to give you a call. 

12. Contact Forms

As we mentioned, you should have plenty of calls to action on your website. However, if the call-to-action includes a contact form, you need to simplify it. 

Make sure you keep the contact forms simple to use. Trying to collect a lot of information from your clients might make them feel overwhelmed, and they might choose not to do it. 

Even if you want to collect more information about their case, avoid making this mistake. For the initial contact form, all you need is their name, email, and phone number. 

You can get more information about them later. 

13. Keep It User Friendly

Although this is the era of technology, not everyone is tech-savvy. To help your clients navigate your website, make it as easy to use as possible.

Make sure you have the most useful information on full display. Keep your menu simple and free of any distracting icons. 

Also, try to keep ads, pop-ups, and any video content from distracting your visitors. Only show the information they want to see. 

Create the Best Law Firm Website Today

Now that you know how to create the best law firm website, it’s time you put your skills to the test. 

Start by keeping it user friendly, creating a responsive website, focusing on SEO, providing testimonials, and more. 

If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more, check out the rest of our blog.

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Kitchen updates don’t have to blow out your savings account and test your patience. With our ideas to update your kitchen you can easily take it from 1 to 10 in a weekend (or less)!

Read on for our favorite 5 easy kitchen updating ideas that are budget-friendly.

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Every year, people all across the globe spend more than $34 billion on flowers. Many of them patronize one of the many flower shops scattered around the world to do it.

But these days, it’s never been easier to order flowers online when you want to buy them for yourself or send them to someone special. You can find the best flowers for just about any occasion online in a matter of minutes and have them delivered on the same day in most instances.

It doesn’t matter if you want to freshen up your living room with a beautiful bouquet of spring flowers or show your mom how much you love her by surprising her with a bouquet of roses. You can pick out the perfect flowers online and have the best floral delivery service drop them off at any time.

Want to see just how easy it is to find the best flowers online and order them? Here are the steps you should take to experience it for yourself.

Begin by Taking a Look at Some of the Sites That Sell Flowers Online

The first thing you’re going to want to do if you’re interested in buying the best flowers online is take a look at some of the sites that specialize in selling them. This part of the process is going to be easier said than done.

There are more than 30,000 florists throughout the U.S. right now. And many of them have set their sights on providing people with the opportunity to buy flowers online in recent years.

The good news for you is that most of these florists are locally owned and operated and will only deliver flowers to those in their cities and towns. But the bad news is that there are still so many options out there for people interested in ordering flowers online, which can make it hard to pick one.

Start your search by familiarizing yourself with as many of these options as you can. Googling things like “flowers online order” and “best delivery flowers” should provide you with the names of some reputable companies.

You should consider both companies in the vicinity of your general location as well as companies that serve the entire nation.

See What Other People Have Said About Ordering Flowers From These Sites

Once you’ve compiled a list of the best floral delivery service options, poke around online and see what other people have said about ordering flowers from the sites you’re considered. You can learn a lot about them and what they bring to the table.

In a perfect world, you want to work with a flower delivery service that has pretty much nothing but great reviews. The reviews that you read from their past customers should say things like:

  • “WOW! My flowers arrived right on time and were so fresh. I can’t wait to order more flowers from this site in the future!”
  • “I ordered a bouquet of roses for my wife from this site last month and she is STILL raving about them. They were super fresh and looked even better than they did online!”
  • “I can’t believe what a great customer service team this site has. They helped me place a last-minute order and made sure the best flowers showed up at my front door on the morning of my anniversary. I will be back again next year!”

Even the best floral delivery service is going to get a negative review every now and then. But you should steer clear of working with a site if their reviews are filled with things like: “Flowers came TWO DAYS late and company didn’t seem to care. No refund and, more importantly, no apology. AWFUL!”

Check out the Different Types of Flowers Available Through the Sites

Do you have your sights set on ordering very specific types of flowers for yourself or someone else? You should keep in mind that not all sites that specialize in delivering flowers carry every type of flower.

Visit the sites that you’re thinking about using and browse through the different floral arrangements that they have listed. Look at the photos of the arrangements and, if they have them, scroll through the product descriptions for them as well.

These product descriptions should break down which flowers appear in each of the arrangements and give you a better idea of which flowers will be available to you if you order them through a particular site. Some of the most popular flower options are:

  • Roses
  • Carnations
  • Lilies
  • Daisies
  • Orchids
  • Gardenias
  • Tulips
  • Sunflowers
  • Dahlias

The great thing about flowers is that, if one type isn’t available for whatever reason, there is usually another type that would serve as a great substitute for it. But if you have a type of flower that you’re dead set on using, it’s a good idea to glance through what a site has to offer before placing an order through it.

Find out If the Sites Will Allow You to Create Customized Flower Bouquets

The average person doesn’t know a whole lot about what goes into creating a floral arrangement from scratch. It’s a big part of the reason why they choose to buy floral arrangements from flower shops or order the best flowers online.

Most people would prefer to leave the flower arranging to the professionals. They’re able to get a much better-finished product in the end when they buy a pre-made floral arrangement as opposed to trying to design it themselves.

With that being said, there are some people out there who do know a heck of a lot about creating beautiful flower bouquets. They know what they want a floral arrangement to look like and they expect to be able to order one that has been customized to their specifications.

Do you fall into this category? If so, you should know that not all floral delivery sites are going to allow you to customize the flower bouquets you order from them. Some take so many orders every day that they don’t have time to do too many customizations to their floral arrangements.

If you would like to order a customized flower arrangement for yourself or send one to someone you know, you’ll need to find a site that’s open to customization. A smaller site with more time to devote to customer service would probably be best.

See What Kinds of Floral Delivery Options Each Site Offers

Are you ordering flowers for yourself and not all that concerned about when they arrive as long as they show up at some point? Then you don’t have to spend too much time sifting through the floral delivery options you’ll get from different sites.

But if you’re ordering flowers for a birthday, an anniversary, a holiday, or another special occasion, you should be concerned about the floral delivery options that will be available to you. You do not want to place an order for flowers from a company that can’t deliver them on time.

Ideally, you should try to find a site that promises next-day and same-day delivery options. This will illustrate their commitment to delivering flowers as quickly as possible and give you options when it comes to when you will send flowers to someone.

Compare the Flower Prices That Each Site Extends to Customers

Unfortunately, a lot of the people who go looking for a site to provide them with flower delivery services make cost their No. 1 concern. They don’t think about most of the other things here and choose a service based solely on how much they charge for flowers and deliveries.

This is not the best way to track down a great site that’s going to provide you with superior products and services. More than likely, you’re going to end up sending subpar flowers to someone and hoping that they arrive on time if you take this approach to buying flowers online and go with your cheapest option.

Instead, you should compare the prices that a bunch of different sites offer for similar bouquets. Check out the prices for both the flowers that these sites sell and the delivery services that they provide.

Doing this will give you a much better idea as far as which sites provide great deals and which sites seem to be charging way too much for either flowers or delivery. This will make it easy for you to stay well within your budget when ordering the best flowers online.

Consider Ordering Floral Arrangements From a Flower Subscription Service

Thus far, we’ve focused mainly on how to go about searching for sites that make it their mission to provide people with flowers for special occasions. You might order from these sites once or twice a year, if that.

But it’s worth noting that there is another option for those who want to order the best flowers for themselves or for a special someone. You can look into using a flower subscription service that will send you flowers every week, every two weeks, or every month.

If you enjoy being surrounded by flowers all year round, this type of subscription service might be perfect for you. You can have flowers sent directly to your home as often as you would like without having to do anything other than keep your subscription active.

This type of subscription service would also make a great gift if you’re looking for something to buy your parent, your grandparent, your best friend, or your neighbor. People will absolutely love getting a flower delivery on a regular basis and will thank you over and over again for it.

The great thing about signing up for a flower subscription service—outside of all the gorgeous flowers, of course—is that these services know they need to fight to earn your repeat business every time they send flowers your way. It’ll guarantee that you find the freshest, most beautiful flowers waiting for you at your front door every time a floral arrangement is delivered.

Analyze How Fresh Flowers From a Site Are When They Arrive

You can do every single thing that we mentioned on this list and find what you think is the best floral delivery service in the business. But the truth is that you’re not really going to know if they’re the best until you see the flowers they send out.

There are plenty of sites out there that put up incredible photos of flowers and promise to offer the fastest delivery services around. They also claim to offer the best prices and great customer service to match.

But until you see the types of flowers that they send out for yourself, there’s no surefire way of knowing where they stand compared to other sites. You need to check out their flowers when they arrive to see how fresh and fragrant they truly are.

This will let you know whether or not you should order flowers from them again. If they don’t hit the mark, there are so many other great sites that would love to have your business.

Buying the Best Flowers Online Is Even Easier Than You Might Think

When different companies started selling their flowers online, ordering them turned into a crapshoot for many people. Those ordering flowers weren’t exactly sure what was going to show up.

But these days, the companies that specialize in selling the best flowers online have perfected the craft of creating beautiful floral arrangements and shipping them out to their customers. They have the whole process down to a science.

That has made it a little difficult for people to narrow down their choices and select one site over all the rest when ordering flowers online. But it’s made it so much easier for them to order flowers and to trust that they’re going to look amazing when they arrive.

If you’ve never tried ordering flowers online, give it a try today. You’ll be blown away by how simple it is to order them and have them sent anywhere you want.

Find out more about ordering flowers online by reading through the articles on our blog.

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When you’re looking at a whole heap of debt, anything promising to make it easier to manage is a good thing — right?

Well, yes and no.

Sometimes different isn’t good, bad, better — nor worse.

Different can be just different.

With that said, consolidating all your eligible debts into a single loan will make your situation different. That goes without question. However, whether that difference will be beneficial depends upon a number of circumstances.

Long story short, if you’re wondering if debt consolidation is a bad thing, the answer is — it depends.

Let’s look.

Image source Flickr

How Debt Consolidation Works

As the term implies, debt consolidation is the process of combining as many of your outstanding debts as possible into a single loan. The oft-touted advantages include the opportunity for a lower interest rate, a lower monthly payment, a more easily managed situation and the potential to raise your credit score.

“OK,” you say, “sounds good so far, so what’s there to consider?”

How’s Your Credit?

If you have a strong credit score, you’ll qualify for a debt consolidation loan at a lower interest rate than if you’re currently having credit issues. That lower interest rate will typically be the difference between making a consolidation loan a good deal and a bad deal.

After all, the goal is to reduce the amount of interest you must pay and ideally, your monthly payment as well. If you allow yourself to get locked into a high-interest loan because your credit score is low, you could make your situation worse — even with a lower monthly payment. You’ll have to accept a longer repayment term to make the payments reasonable, which means you’ll pay more.

What Kind of Loan Are We Talking About?

Some people refinance their homes or use home equity lines of credit to pay off debt. Most financial experts advise against this, as it’s effectively trading unsecured debt for secured debt. In other words, you’ll be putting your home at risk to pay off debt for which the worst consequence would otherwise be a negative mark on your credit report.

Credit card debt is the type most often consolidated, along with medical debt and student loans. These obligations are secured only by your promise to repay. If you trade them for debt secured by an interest in your home, you could be forced to sell your house to pay off the lender if you hit a rough patch and can’t make your payments.

Do You Have Self-Control?

Let’s say you have five credit card accounts, each one at or near its limit. The minimum payments on them are adding up to more than you will soon be able to continue to comfortably manage each month. However, your credit score is still pretty good.

You take a consolidation loan at a good interest rate with a reasonable term and things ease up considerably. The monthly payment is easy to manage. The interest rate is lower and you’re on track to come out ahead of the game.

Breathing a sigh of relief, you go back to spending the way you did before, falling back into the habits that loaded those cards up in the first place. You rationalize it as being no big deal because of all the money you’re saving each month, thanks to the consolidation loan.

Before you know it, all those cards that had zero balances are at or near their limits again and you have a consolidation loan to service each month too.

Simply put, a debt consolidation loan will only enable you to go farther into debt if you can’t stop charging.

The Verdict?

Is debt consolidation a bad thing? Well, like so many other things in life, it depends. Debt consolidation can be the solution you’ve been seeking if you choose your loan and lender carefully, your credit score is still strong, and you manage your money well. On the other hand, it could be the worst possible thing you could do for your finances if any of those parameters are unmet.

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You are thinking of buying a trailer, but you are overwhelmed with all the choices. Well, you aren’t the first one to feel like this, and the following tips should help ensure that you invest in the right trailer.

What do You Need?

The first thing you want to do is figure out what kind of trailer you need. There are several options for you, such as refrigerator trailers that have electrical wiring within to help you cool down the interior so that items stay cool. If you are going to be transporting things like grain, then maybe you need a hopper bottom trailer that will make this task a little easier. Start by asking yourself what you need before you move on.

Photo Wikipedia

Going for Used or Not?

You should decide to purchase a used or new trailer early on. Used trailers come with a lot of perks. The most obvious perk is that you get to spend less on it. If you are strapped for cash or are hoping to use some of that extra money to invest in something else, then a used trailer may be the best option.

Now, any used trailer you’re considering should be inspected by a professional before making your final decision. This person can tell you if there are issues with the trailer you need to know about, like if there are signs of floorboard softness, which could mean rot. It may cost a bit to hire someone to inspect the trailer, but it’ll be money well spent because it’ll protect you from investing in a trailer that will give you problems.

Think About Weight

Another thing you want to pay attention to before you purchase your trailer is the payload capacity. You would be surprised how many people don’t pay attention to this until it’s too late. Remember that your payload is not always going to be the same, so try to figure out how much your load will be. Choose a trailer that can surpass that amount.

The reason you are doing this is that if the load is heavier your trailer could end up getting damaged prematurely. You might see damage to the trailer’s axles or you might see cracks on your trailer’s frame. All of these issues could cause an accident or force you to deal with unnecessary repairs. Yes, it’s going to take a while to figure out all of this, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Consider Braking Power

Braking becomes a bigger issue if you are going to be hauling a trailer. Those who have already done this know how important braking is, but if you’re a new shopper, make sure you consider it. Braking becomes a harder task if you are hauling something heavy, so you need to at least consider a trailer with an electric braking system that connects to your vehicle’s braking system.

As your vehicle starts to brake, your trailer’s wheels are going to start braking, giving you a little more power to stop. This makes it easier to drive and helps protect the content within your trailer. Braking quickly and safely is even more important for those who are going to be hauling delicate items or liquids. Those who are going to be hauling lighter items or whose trailer is not too big may not have to worry about this as much, so just keep this in mind when purchasing your trailer.

These are some tips to keep in mind as you purchase your new or used trailer. Hopefully, you find the one you need without hitting too many hurdles along the way.