Have you ever heard of the phrase “vacation deprivation” before? According to a recent survey from Expedia, Americans are leading the pack by taking fewer vacation days than the majority of workers in most countries. The primary reason is because Americans are allotted fewer vacation days than other countries, and they also – gasp! – leave an average of two days unused per year.
Vacation Days in the US versus the Rest of the World
In the US, it is expected that you will be awarded close to 10 vacation days as a benefit in your full-time job. Yet compared to the rest of the world, the US workforce may be overworked and underappreciated. And we appear to be contributing to the problem.
Countries with the most vacation days earned (at close to 30 days) include:
Other contenders with well over 20 vacation days earned per year include Italy, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. The only countries lower on the totem pole than the US in terms of vacation days are South Korea and Taiwan.
Some European countries don’t leave any vacation days unused, making a break from work a top priority for the purpose of balance and mental refreshment. These countries include the UK, Spain, France, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
So what can we learn from our global friends that value vacation far more than the American culture?
The Benefits of Taking Vacation Each Year
While your annual vacation may be something that you look forward to all year long as the opportunity to sit back, sip on a beer, and relax on the beach, taking allotted vacation time can benefit an employer as much as an employee.
In a 2010 survey from Right Management, it revealed that 66% of employees did not use all of their allotted paid vacation within the past year. This included all levels of staff, as well as upper management. Many employees felt that they should skip out on a much-needed vacation because of the state of the economy and competitive conditions on-the-job.
However, skipping vacation altogether is counterproductive. It can quickly lead to employee burnout to affect the overall productivity of a company.
If that’s not reason enough to convince you to go on vacation, here are several other benefits to consider of taking time off from the daily grind:
If the idea of entertaining colleagues in your own home has you shaking in your boots, you’re certainly not alone. It can be a daunting task to host a gathering like a cocktail party or dinner party for coworkers, especially if you are trying to make a good impression on superiors in your company.
You can simplify the process with these user-friendly entertaining tips to set the scene when hosting business associates in your home:
As the host or hostess of an event, it’s your job to get the party started. You can use the tips above to set a welcoming scene when entertaining and encourage conversation by mixing and mingling with all guests at your party. After a few drinks, coworkers will be more likely to relax and enjoy themselves as they network in a stress-free setting.
For most workers, happy hour is the perfect opportunity to reward yourself for a job well done once the 5 o’clock whistle blows. But instead of heading to a neighborhood tavern, you can use your handy smartphone to find the best happy hour deals in your city to keep costs low.
Start with the Happy Hour Finder App
By downloading a handy free app like the Happy Hour Finder, you can search for the closest happy hour in your city to take advantage of cheap prices on both drinks and appetizers. The best part of the search is that happy hours will be listed by day to show neighborhood deals based on time and location.
Once you’ve locked in a preferred local happy hour on a certain day of the week, you can add it to your favorites list to return again and again. Customers have written rave five-star reviews about the app and recommend using it when meeting with colleagues out of town or in unfamiliar locations.
How to Find the Best Happy Hours in Your City
If you happen to live in a big city like New York or LA, you’re in luck; many app creators have designed city-specific apps for major hubs like the Big Apple to make finding local drink specials easier than ever before.
The NYC Happy Houred app uses Google maps and your unique location to find the best local happy hour deals. Even better, this app has specialized settings to screen for the type of happy hour bar you are looking for with categories like Soho, singles, hipsters, etc. Users also have the opportunity to upload their own preferred happy hour bars into the database.
If you haven’t found a happy hour app that caters to your city, never fear. You can still use these helpful tips to find local happy hours in your area without smartphone assistance:
If you’re ready to go it alone and start your own insurance agency, there’s much more to the process than filing paperwork, hiring an accountant, and employing new staff members. If you haven’t caught on by now, you’re about to enter a rigorous on-the-job training process that will force you to become a leader of your own business.
The question at hand is: Do you have what it takes?
Leadership Is a Never-Ending Process
The type of leader you become will determine the ultimate success of your new business. You can start by assessing your current status as a leader to determine what action may need to be taken to improve areas of weakness.
At this time, it’s important to be open to criticism and honest self-assessment. If you want to grow both personally and professionally, you must be willing to learn new skills and potentially consult an outsider for help in the form of a mentor, life coach, or leadership seminar.
5 Critical Leadership Traits for a Business Owner
As you open your business for the first time, there are several categories of leadership skills that will provide the framework for your role as a business owner:
Even if you feel that you possess most of these skills already, you may find some areas lacking as you scratch the surface. First and foremost, it’s critical to have a clear idea of your goals for your new insurance agency. You can begin by determining where you want your company to be in the next one, three, and five years.
Long-term goals work hand-in-hand with daily business planning. You must be able to assess what needs to get done in your business for the day and organize these tasks accordingly using time management. These same traits can be passed on to your employees with open and honest communication.
And, yes, your communication style does matter. As employees learn to trust and value your opinion, you’ll be able to build long-term relationships with your staff and clients. This brings us directly to the underlying framework of employee support, where you are solely responsible for rewarding employees for their efforts.
Rewards can come in the form of praise, cash bonuses, or paid time off. The point is that if you want your staff to continue working for you year after year, they have to know that they are appreciated and will be rewarded for a job well done.
Although the above leadership principles may seem simple, they’re difficult to implement in the heat of the moment on the job. Practice makes perfect, coupled with professionalism, to make you a standout leader in your agency.
According to the American Psychological Association, 66% of men and women revealed that work significantly impacts their stress levels. Roughly 25% of employees view their jobs as the top source of stress in their lives.
If you’re experiencing constant stress on-the-job, you may feel your energy levels drain before you set foot in the building. Fortunately, there are several proven remedies that you can use to boost energy levels at work, without chugging an entire pot of coffee:
What comes to mind when you think of pesticides? For most of us, pesticides are often associated with the agricultural industry, where chemicals could affect the quality of our food supply.
But another legitimate danger that has affected the lives of many is pesticide exposure in the workplace. Many workers have gotten sick after an office building was fumigated, and school staff members have experienced health issues due to agricultural pesticides sprayed in surrounding areas.
Pesticides and Emotional Health
Pesticides can cause a number of physical symptoms that can result in illness after long-term exposure. Yet many people neglect to consider the fact that pesticide exposure can also trigger emotional issues, like:
For even the average person, ongoing pesticide exposure could cause serious psychological problems like depression. One study pointed to the fact that farmers with previous pesticide poisoning were three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression.
Pesticides that contain chemicals called persistent organic pollutants are unable to be processed by the body. As a result, these chemicals could take anywhere from 10 to 100 years to break down. These pesticides are also attracted to fatty tissue in the body; the brain is a fatty tissue that can draw large amounts of harmful pesticides for life.
If you don’t take the time to detoxify, a collection of pesticide chemicals in the brain could affect your concentration, mood, and behavior for the worse.
How to Keep Pesticides Out of the Office
As an office worker, you may be in danger of pesticide exposure from routine extermination. When pests invade an office, a building manager may be forced to fumigate with pesticides that could contribute to emotional health issues over time.
Even though a company may take precautions to fumigate over the weekend when an office is empty, workers often report feeling ill on Monday morning. After a weekend fumigation, workers may experience symptoms like headaches, vomiting, and nausea.
If a pest control company doesn’t use proper methods of Integrated Pest Management and chooses to spray in a poorly ventilated building, workers will be affected by the chemicals. Employees must also be informed about pest control fumigation so that they can delay returning to work and seek medical attention, if necessary.
As an employee, you have the right to know which chemicals are sprayed and where in your workplace. Before a weekend fumigation, workers are urged to remove all personal items and food and return to an office only after it has been declared safe.
Trailers are wonderful travel vehicles for families, group of friends, and even individual travelers like you. They are designed to provide a great sense of comfort just like a home no matter where you are heading to. When it comes to choosing the right trailer flooring, there are about so many choices to choose from. It is essential that you know more about your choices so you can confidently choose one that’s light, long lasting, and sturdy. The better you know about them, the better you can choose the right one for your mobile home.
Plywood are commonly used as Apitong trailer flooring for many mobile homes. They are composed of panels of wood veneers which are glued together so it creates an alternating layer of wood grains. High quality plywood are very strong and that they are even impact resistance. Moreover, they can evenly expand when they are wet. In the market, there are many different kinds of plywood available to choose from. But no matter which quality and variety you choose, it would be best to install plywood in an enclosed mobile home. This way, they are not too exposed to harsh elements that can facilitate the early deterioration of plywood. However, should you prefer to have one on your deck, be sure to always opt for a plywood which is pressure treated and designed for outdoor use.
Hardwood floors are wonderful and beautiful planks for many mobile homes and trailers that usually carry huge amounts of weights with alley arms. Hardwood planks are much denser than plywood and other softwood thus they can stand up more to huge amounts of pressure and abuse. There are several great hardwood plans which can make suitable floors for trailers. These are ipe woods, apitong woods, oak wood, maple wood and many more. What’s truly great about hardwood planks is that they are highly resistant to almost all kinds of outdoor elements. On top of that, they are much more resistant to insect, molds, and fungi. As for maintenance, a simple stain and sealant can already do wonders in preserving the planks thus boosting their durability and lifespan.
So if you are to design and make significant changes to your trailer’s floor, always consider getting the most durable and reasonably priced wood. Know that the type and variety of trailer flooring you choose should most importantly depend on whether you will use it outdoors or indoors.
Termite attacks can cause significant amount of damage to the home. Their penchant for wood and anything with cellulose in it can cause the early destruction of the foundation, beams, walls, pillars and furniture within the dwelling. The only route homeowners have to take to prevent termite infestation on their precious belongings is to employ a termite treatment.
Pest control agencies employ a few types of termite treatment methods. One of the strategies they use is the bait treatment. So, how does this termite bait treatment works?
Baiting of termite is a unique approach. It is actually more of a termite monitoring system. What the pest control companies do is to install monitoring stations in areas where termites are likely to be. The monitoring station acts as the bait. It is often an untreated wood that is strategically placed near an infested area. Pest control companies are careful to scatter them around the house. The monitoring stations or baits are placed on soil close to the home, on tree stumps, on areas near the downspouts and AC drip lines, on areas covered by shade and on damp sections of the house.
Basically, the termite bait system capitalizes on the behavior of termites. You see, termites are social insects. Just like ants, they come in contact with each other as they look for food. They groom each other. They have this so-called Trophallaxis behavior, wherein they directly transfer food or fluids to one another. Termites practice proctodeal feeding or the anus-to-mouth transfer of food. This is very important for their diet and as a means of colony communication.
Whenever the monitoring system gets a hit or infestation of termites, the untreated wood is replaced with poisoned bait. Hinging on the social behavior of the termites, once they forage on the wood and walk back to their nest, the poison is being passed through from one another as they go along. Pest control companies are careful to utilize chemicals that will immediately kill the termites. Generally, slow-acting poisons are used so as not to scare them off from the bait. With the continuous foraging of termites and return to their colony, the queen may eventually become infected and the entire colony is eradicated.
The termite bait system, however, takes time to take effect. It depends on how long the termites can spot the bait. It can go anywhere from 6 months to a year. Constant monitoring will have to be done. Frequent checks are made during warm season where termites are active.
The main advantage of the termite bait system is that it has the capacity to destroy an entire colony. This method also uses lesser chemicals so it is considered to be safer. Ongoing maintenance, nonetheless, is required to prevent a new colony from moving in.
Many people are moving away from the hassle and work that comes along with maintaining natural fireplaces and switching to cleaner and more easy to use electric fireplace. Old style fire places require the user to either purchase or chop their own wood and struggle to start and maintain the fire. They create smoke, which can damage the home and represent a fire hazard is not properly cares for. Electric fireplaces solve all of these issues while still maintain that natural look and feel inside your home.
If you are interested in electric fireplaces, you have two options as far as installing the unit within your home. You can hire a contractor to do it, however this can be costly and you will have to endure strangers walking in and out of your home over the course of a few days. The other option is to install it yourself. If you are interested in installing an electric fireplace inside your home, we have outlined how to install an electric fireplace below.
First you will need to close your existing fireplace. If you currently have a fireplace within your home, the good news is you won’t have to remove it. You can simply use the existing fireplace to install your new electric one. When you are purchasing your faux fireplace, make sure to find one that will be able to fit inside or in front of your existing fireplace. Make sure to close off all openings to your previous fireplace including the chimney to prevent cold air from entering your home.
Next, you will need to build a new hearth. To build a hearth, you will first need to measure the floor area in front and build a U shaped frame two feet long and four feet wide. You may alter the dimensions to better fit your home and fireplace. Attach the frame to the floor with screws and use a sheet of plywood to cover the top of the frame.
Once the frame is installed, it will be time to install the fireplace inserts. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly mount the new unit to the wall. At this point, you will need a drill to drill a hole in the frame in order to fish the electrical cord through and connect the plug to the nearest outlet.
Once you fish the cord through, you will then reattach the fire insert into the frame. At this point, you will be able to see how your fireplace will look and if you have made any mistakes in the installation process thus far. Now that your fireplace is attached to the hearth, use wood to build a frame that will fit around the fireplace. There are no specific requirements as far as the size of the frame goes, as long as it fits the fireplace. Attach and secure the frame and make any additional changes that may be needed. Now that you have your faux fireplace installed, it is time to paint or stain the surrounding wood. Once this is complete, you are ready to go. Simply check to make sure the fireplace ignites, sit back and enjoy your new fireplace.
More information at: www.ventless-gel-fireplace.com
It is possible to undertake moving on your own as long as you possess the proper equipment, the right skills and the competent help from your family and friends. But, when you possess neither of all the things mentioned above, it is rather advisable that you contact the proper moving authorities when it comes to your relocation. Professional movers are the best people you can hire to help you overcome the many complications associated with your moving.
Proper equipment is needed whenever you relocate. Acquiring packing supplies may not present much problem for you. All the cartons, tapes, packing peanuts, newspapers, blankets, plastic bags, shrink wraps and markers can be readily purchased from stores nearby your place or on the web. But unless you own a big company with lorries, trucks and vans in your transportation wing, it becomes really essential that you hire the movers. Only the professional moving companies will have a good range of moving trucks that can easily fit all the household supplies you’ve got no matter how numerous and massive they can be.
Possessing the right skills is also very crucial. Packing isn’t a simple activity wherein you just wrap things and shove them readily into the boxes. There is an art as to how they are supposed to be done. While you can resolve to do research as to how all your possessions can be properly packed, it won’t be achievable if your relocation is fast approaching in a matter of days. Leaving all the packing tasks to the professionals who are skillfully trained will be rather helpful, quick and easy for you.
Finally, you need all the competent help that you need. Unless your family and friends are able-bodied and are into hard labor, they may find the duty of transporting your things into the truck and off of it extremely overwhelming and tiresome. Without proper training in lifting things, all of you are all subject to the hazards of sustaining back, leg and hand injuries. By hiring professional movers, competent help is duly provided. All the crew is carefully chosen to be physically fit to carry out the task. Their years of experience taught them a handful of knowledge on how to secure things while they are being carried through stairs, narrow hallways and very tight turns. Bulky items are no problem for them because they have expert know-how when it comes to dissembling and assembling them with care for ease of transport.Austin Movers
More information at: Square Cow Movers