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6 Vital Things Everyone Should Know about Workers’ Compensation

6 Vital Things Everyone Should Know about Workers’ Compensation

Hard working people around the world are busy doing jobs to feed their families and make their dreams come true. However, there are only a handful of people who really pay attention to other things than spending their 8 hours in the office working. These are the people who like to keep information of their rights and privileges. They want to make sure they are not working like animals and that they can raise their voice when their rights are violated. This is how every worker in the world should act but many don’t know their basic rights at work.

Well-informed workers can always act appropriately in different situations at work. If you are working hard to make money for yourself and your family, you should know your rights and not sign documents without reading them like many people do. When you are working your employer has some responsibilities and liabilities towards you. Employers are required by law to make you aware of your rights and give you your rights when the time comes. One of the most important things to know when you are a worker is workers’ compensation. Here is some information to help you with this:

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1. What Is Workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is the name given to a type of insurance that protects the workers. The protection to workers is given in the form of finances in an event where the worker is injured while performing their duties. The employer is responsible for providing safe environment to the workers but if something goes wrong and the worker gets hurt, he/she has to be paid for the expenses of covering that injury. These injuries can be temporary, permanent or at times the incident might even result in the death of the workers. In this particular case the dependents of the worker are given the compensation.

An important thing to keep in mind here is that when you have signed the documents to receive workers’ compensation, you have relinquished your right to go to court for work injury claims. If your employer has not had you sign such a document and given you such insurance, you could file a case under work injury claims.

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2. Knowing Workers’ compensation Properly

There are federal laws that govern workers’ compensation for employees of the federal government. However, all the states have their own laws too to govern workers’ compensation. Since laws can vary from state to state, it is extremely important for you to know about the workers’ compensation laws and acts in your state. You can visit state’s offices to get information or find the information online too. Make sure you have updated information so you are fighting for something you deserve or not fighting for something you don’t deserve.

3. Incidents Covered by Workers’ compensation

It is also of utmost importance that you know what incidents are covered under workers’ compensation law. You don’t want to be fighting with your employer for an incident that is not covered. First, you will not be given any workers’ compensation if you are found under the influence of a drug or alcohol at the time of working. Make sure you stay clean of these substances or else you will lose your right. Secondly, you can’t take advantage of the law by inflicting some damage on yourself. Self-inflicted claims are also void and are not given any workers’ compensation. Furthermore, you are not given workers’ compensation if you were injured when it was not your duty time. The injuries have to be conceded when you are on duty.

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4. What Benefits Will You Receive Under Workers’ compensation?

First of all, the amount of compensation you receive after an incident depends a lot on how much you were making at your job. At the same time, your compensation also depends on the number of dependents that are affected by your injury or disability to work. In normal circumstances, your compensation is less than the actual pay you get for your work. However, other expenses are covered in the compensation that arise from the incident. For example, all your medical expenses to cover the injury are paid through workers’ compensation.

You are given a replacement income too. If you require retraining for a particular job or the same job after the incident, this retraining is also included in the workers’ compensation. Permanent injuries are dealt with differently in this particular law. If you have any permanent injuries, you will receive compensation for them too. In addition to that, if a person is killed on the job then the compensation is provided to the survivors. The family is compensated based on the number of people dependent on the person who has died on the job.

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5. Is Everyone Eligible for Workers’ compensation?

No, that is not the case. If you are working in a private home or as an independent contractor, you will not be given workers’ compensation. Similarly, business owners, maritime employees, volunteers, farmers, casual workers, railroad employees etc. are not covered by workers’ compensation. It also has to be kept in mind that if you are a federal employee then you are covered by federal workers’ compensation, and you will not be covered under the workers’ compensation laws of the state. In addition to that, there are a few states that will not enact workers’ compensation law on employers who are only operating with 5 employees or less.

6. Can You Never Sue Your Employer?

There are circumstances where you can still sue your employer if the workers’ compensation is already in place. In a situation where your employer did something on purpose to inflict harm on you, a work injury claim can be filed in the court. When you are faced with such a situation you will have to keep in mind that your workers’ compensation rights will be waived off since you have made a claim. Make sure to go for an experienced lawyer if you want to follow this path because winning such a case can award you with lots of benefits including loss of wages, punitive damages to employer, compensation for mental anguish etc.

Featured photo credit: compensation is low via lifehack.org

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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