The Future Office: Technologies Businesses Need

Technology is essential in any business because without it, a company risks falling behind. With the right systems and tools, your business could boost productivity, improve customer service, and beat the competition. But which technologies would suit your office best?

Start with the simplest, easiest upgrade.

The Upgrades Every Office Needs

Much like the innovation in furniture for classrooms, office supplies are getting inventive as well. The desk, for instance, no longer limits your movement. Modern desks are designed to correct your posture. With a motorized foundation, it can be configured into a sitting or standing desk. These innovative desks not only promote better health, but they also improve productivity.

Some of the highly advanced models feature sensing and actuation components as well as data analysis. The desk gathers relevant data and adjusts according to the user’s comfort and needs.

A desk isn’t the only upgrade you’ll want to make your employees’ lives easier, helping them become more productive.

Consider wireless charging stations around the office. The concept has been around for 100 years since Nikola Tesla showcased magnetic resonance coupling. But it hasn’t been developed for practical application until recently. Some rely on electromagnetic fields between copper coils. Others use loosely-coupled electromagnetic resonant charging, which transmits a charge within a few centimeters. Then there are models that use radiofrequency wireless charging.

Through this seemingly simple technology, you enhance the mobility of your workers and improve their productivity.

These upgrades allow your business to easily but seamlessly transition to a smarter office. Once you’ve made the more accessible changes, you can plan to transform your workplace for the future.

Automation and Choice

Office automation makes it easy for you to control every aspect of the office, from the heating and cooling systems to the air conditioning. You can improve the interior environment with a swipe from your smartphone or tablet.

One automation to think about could be the lighting system.

Lighting is a crucial element in any office environment. Artificial and natural lighting affect morale and productivity, leading to absenteeism due to illnesses and a lack of focus. A good design would be to make the system personalized, which will allow employees to control overhead lighting. They can enhance or dim the lights through an app.

If automated lighting systems aren’t practical for your budget, try a different type of lighting fixtures. A company called JoyTunes has workstations built with adjustable overhead lights that hang below an 18-foot ceiling.

Another technology to think about is visitor management systems. Instead of relying on sign-in sheets and cluttering up a reception desk, consider installing a digital check-in system. A digital check-in system not only enhances your brand’s images as an innovator. You could also save money on getting paper supplies and on receptionist wages. Startups with limited staff could benefit greatly from this system.

The future office makes way for improved productivity, better employee health and morale, and enhances your brand’s image. Invest in the right systems, and your business will find it easier to operate and beat the competition.

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What Not to Do during a Deposition

Depositions are crucial parts of litigation and can often change the course of a case. If you’ve been summoned for a statement, here are some of the things you must remember NOT to do.

Depositions are vital components of litigation, often serving as pivotal points of a case. When you are summoned for a testimony, everything you say will be taken under oath. Now, this is nerve-wracking as it is. But if you know what to do (and more importantly, what not to do), you can make a good and strong deposition.

When you receive a summon, here are the things you should NOT do:

1. Panic

Giving a deposition can be a scary and intimidating experience. But whether you are going to do the testimony with a video court reporter on in person at the lawyer’s office, the last thing you want to do is panic. When you receive the summon, keep yourself calm (which, we know, is easier said than done) and contact your lawyer to find out what you need to do to prepare.

2. Lie

Lying in a deposition is perhaps the worst thing you can do, so don’t even think about trying it, no matter how small the lie might seem. Lying can put you in legal trouble and cause unnecessary delays to the case.

3. Come unprepared

To give a good deposition, you need to do some preparation. Start by reviewing your version of the story as well as relevant documents, such as medical records and any receipts that you might have. Work with your lawyer to determine how you are going to tell your story and what you need to do to make a good impression. Aside from helping you stay calm during the deposition, enough preparation will help you establish your credibility as a witness.

4. Volunteer information

Only answer the questions that you are asked. Do not volunteer any other information besides that. A deposition can be drawn out, awkward, and annoying, but don’t try and fill the silence by volunteering unnecessary information.

5. Guess

If you are asked a question that you don’t know or can’t remember the answer to, don’t try to guess or make up an answer in the heat of the moment. Instead, say, “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember.” Alternatively, you can give an estimate if you are asked about something specific, such as a date, time, or speed, but make it clear that you are approximating. And if you don’t understand the question, ask the person to clarify.

6. Let your emotions take over

interview

The opposing attorney can try and get a rise out of you, but don’t fall for it. Stay calm and collected throughout the deposition. If you lose your temper and say things out of anger, you can face the consequences of it.

7. Strike up casual conversations

This can be your way of easing your anxiety, but engaging in casual conversations with other people present during the deposition is not a good idea, even if you’re “off the record.” Mind your own business and only speak with your lawyer.

Knowing what to do during a deposition is just as important as knowing what not to do. By avoiding these common deposition mistakes, you can adequately establish your credibility, make a good impression, and give a strong testimony.

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Why Yard Care Matters More Than You Might Think

These days, many people are investing in yard care. Taking great care of your turf does not only improve your property’s curb appeal. It does more than just giving you a sense of pride, knowing you did a great job in maintaining your yard. There are various other reasons why yard care matters now more than ever.

It affects your health

Caring for your lawn helps keep yourself healthy. Such activities are great cardio exercises. This means they help keep you stay fit and better care for your heart and lungs. Mowing and raking leaves are some activities that can also aid you in burning unwanted fats. These can also ease your stress and put your energy over something productive.

The fact that natural lawns help in boosting air quality and purifying the air makes lawn care worthy of your time and effort. Imagine yourself shopping for gardening tools and sod supply to lay on your empty turf. Doing so will not only give you a sense of accomplishment and instantly boost your curb appeal. You are also helping create cleaner air for you and your family while beautifying your home and boosting your health.

Garden landscaping with pathway

It has positive effects on the environment

Did you know that 50×50 square foot natural lawns can provide just enough oxygen to meet the daily requirements of up to four people? This is according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland. Just envision how much more oxygen you can help produce if you have more plants and trees in your yard.

We already know that a well-cared yard also aids in absorbing rainwater. Not only that, but it also prevents soil erosion, improves the quality of soil, and aids in providing a good environment for wildlife. But did you know that it also aids in cooling the environment and even helps minimize noise? All these are not just environmental benefits. There are also advantages we all can leverage from at one point or another.

It leads to more and better connections

You may not think much about it. But yard care helps you create more connections and improve your relationship with others. A beautiful yard will not only attract the attention of your loved ones. It will not only leave a good impression on neighbors and passersby. This is also a great conversation starter that can lead strangers to become better acquaintances.

Having a presentable yard gives you more reason to appreciate and maximize your outdoor living space. This also prompts you to make the necessary improvements. Doing so allows you to entertain guests and hold mini gatherings right at the comforts of your home. If you are in the yard care business, you can even use your own yard as a sample portfolio and boost your business in the process.

These are just some of the reasons many companies are now offering yard care as well as landscaping services. It benefits you as a homeowner or businessman. Yard care also has its environmental, social, and health benefits. Since caring for your own yard offers numerous advantages, it only makes sense to invest in yard maintenance. ​

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5 Signs You’re Ready For a Healthcare Franchise

Franchising a healthcare and medical facility is not only a golden opportunity for businessmen; it is also a beneficial move for the community. However, being a successful healthcare franchisee is not an endeavor that anybody can enter. So, how do you know if you’re a suitable candidate?

Here are some of the signs to look for:

1. You have great business skills

Healthcare franchises like urgent care opportunities are essentially businesses. That said, a great candidate is one that has adequate business skills to run the franchise successfully. Ideally, you would already have business experience under your belt prior to franchising a healthcare facility. While the length of time in the business does not determine the quality of your skills, experience does come in handy when operating something unique like a healthcare franchise.

2. You are compassionate

Healthcare franchises are wholly different from other types of businesses that aim to please customers. In healthcare, you aim to help patients recover and achieve a better quality of life. That said, a compassionate leader should be on top of the franchise; one who truly cares for both patients and employees. If this is a quality that you see in yourself, it’s a sign that you are ready to be in the healthcare industry.

3. You have outstanding people skills

handshakeBeing a healthcare franchisee involves much more than just dealing with shareholders, board members, and other higher-ups. You also have to be able to communicate well and interact with healthcare staff, patients, and patient’s families. In short, a good candidate for a healthcare franchise is inherently a people person, someone who can relate to people and manage them in healthy ways.

4. You are a flexible person

Flexibility is something that all franchisees need, regardless of which industry they are in. A healthcare franchise, in particular, involves many different tasks from business administration to human resources management. Although you can definitely hire people for the many different roles involved in a healthcare facility, the one on top should be able to deal with all the problems that arise from different departments. Thus, the more flexible you are as a leader, the better you will be able to guide your business to success.

5. You are empathic

Sometimes, an employee will not be able to report to work for a family emergency. Other times, a patient may not be able to pay their full hospital bill. A good healthcare franchisee should be able to look beyond profits and practice empathy with both patients and employees. In this way, employees will be more motivated to work, knowing that they are being taken good care of by their employer. And as for patients, they will be more than willing to give you good reviews and recommend your facility to people they know.

More importantly, empathy is one of the core values in an industry that deals with people’s health and lives. If you lack this soft skill, you may not be fit for the role of a healthcare franchisee.

A healthcare franchise is an excellent investment for suitable candidates and a convenient healthcare provider for people in the community. If all the signs mentioned above apply to you, it means you are a great candidate for this type of investment.

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Three Problems Phone Systems Might Face and How to Resolve Them

Phone systems are crucial to the everyday operations of every business. Without it, communication and collaboration among staff and customers will just be impossible. 

If your business still relies on outdated, traditional phone systems, you may be in trouble. Outdated hardware may just not satisfy the telecom demands of today, which can hurt the productivity of your employees and, eventually, your business. Here are three common issues that may arise from your outdated phone system and ways to resolve them:

Outdated hardware

Unfortunately, for any phone system, this is bound to happen at some point. With telecommunications constantly experiencing advances in innovation, it may only be a matter of time until your phone system becomes obsolete.

What happens if your system becomes obsolete? It can lag, cause disruptions, or give up completely. For older systems, the average cost of a minor repair is $200. For major problems, it can jump to $2000. Moreover, downtime to fully repair the system can take anywhere from one to three days. Updating your phone systems helps ensure that your business is ahead of potential problems. It's good to seek new options every six to ten years. 

Overloaded lines

Your phone system should scale as your business grows. If your company is growing faster than your phone system, it may be time to upgrade. 

Have you gotten complaints of missed calls from customers? This may be because your phone system has its lines maxed out and, therefore, cannot accept any more calls. Lost revenue because of missed or unanswered calls is estimated to cause billions of dollars in the U.S. Moreover, according to the Baltimore Post Examiner, nearly 90 percent of customers whose calls were not answered would never call again. If a customer had questions or concerns you weren't able to answer, they could end up chatting with one of your competitors instead. 

Limited features

Do you think that the limited features of your present phone system aren't an issue? Think again. Just like how phone systems can become overloaded, your growing business might need a new set of features to keep up with your evolving communication demands.

If you want to conduct videoconferences in the future that require remote employees to join in, will your current phone system support that? How about auto-responses or touch-screen features? All of this can matter for your business. This is why it pays if you invest in modern telephony technology such as a business-grade PBX phone system. It's a feature-rich system that has features such as extension dialing, customer wait queues, music on hold, call conferencing, and business hour settings. 

A study from Hanover Research found that despite the rise of video, email, and social media, three out of every four small and medium-sized enterprise owners said that voice communication is still essential in their operations. This shows that despite the advent of new communication technologies, many still prefer the good ole phone call. This highlights the importance of ensuring that your phone systems are responsive and fast to maintain high quality of service. 

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