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5 Things to Consider While Furnishing your Office

5 Things to Consider While Furnishing your Office

Like it or not, people will judge you by the appearance of your office. Whether you want to convince your clients to do business with you or if you wish to hire excellent employees, the state of your office plays an important role. The décor must be appealing, elegant and stylish for clients to believe in you.

Furnishing your office will take astute planning and a considerable amount of your time and money. Your office is not just a bunch of furniture, stationary and other things kept together. It is your home away from home. It is your companion on a journey towards your goal. You will probably spend more time at your office than at your home. And it’s not just yourself you have to take care of. Your employees become your responsibility and it is your duty to provide them a motivating ambiance.

Here are 5 things you should keep in mind while furnishing your office.

1. Get comfortable furniture

Let’s start with the essentials: desks and chairs. There is absolutely no doubt that desks and chairs are the most used pieces of furniture in any office. People spend most of their working hours sitting on chairs poring over some problem or simply handling the paperwork on their desks. It is. therefore. imperative to make sure you have comfortable desks and chairs that are nice to your body.

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Desks need to be big enough to hold computers, files and other necessary office items as well as personal items of the people using it. The desks should be of appropriate heights which depends upon the height of the person doing work as well as the nature of work the person is doing.

Chairs should be properly cushioned with proper backrest and armrest. Adjustable chairs that allow you to alter their height, tilt and recline are very useful as they can be easily modified according to users’ needs.

Uncomfortable desks and chairs can have severe effects on your health and induce long-term pains in your back, neck, arms and legs. Therefore, getting comfortable and cozy furniture should be a top priority for you.

2. Quality over price

As long as your business stays you will need your office. And you will want your business to run forever. So make sure you get good quality furniture that lasts long even if it costs you more. You will notice a substantial price difference between poor and better-quality items. But the cheaper goods usually come with a lot of risks– the legs on chairs break, desks become wobbly and the file cabinets fall apart. Simply put, they do not last long.

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Make sure to buy items that are made for heavy-duty use – Desks and chairs that last long, file cabinets that can actually hold files without breaking down and that survive for years.

If your budget is an issue then, search for good quality used furniture than buying cheap, new, lowly items. Buying expensive, durable furniture may seem an unnecessary financial burden at first, but it makes more economic sense in the long run.

3. Add a personal touch

A stylish office with a beautiful décor can send a strong positive message about your business to your clients giving you an advantage. But to truly capture a client’s interest, you should give a glimpse of what you and your business are all about.

Your office should be an extension of your personality. It should reflect your values; its décor should accentuate things that you believe. Paint your walls with bright, vibrant colors to give a sense of welcome. Hang portraits of people you admire. Buy and put artifacts that you love. Personalizing your office not only makes it unique from so many others but also helps you communicate a lot about what is important to you.

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Investing your hard-earned money, time and effort to make sure your office has a unique (and of course spectacular!) look is, therefore, very important.

4. Strive to create a serene environment

If you want to your employees to work peacefully, it is your job to create a calm environment. The ambiance around your office can have a great impact on you and other people working there.

There is no way you can have a productive session with clutter, commotion and bad lighting disturbing you into frustration. Offices should be designed so that most part, if not all, can receive natural lighting. If there is not enough natural lighting, artificial lighting with appropriate brightness should be available. A well-formed plan to manage huge piles of paper that are collected must be put in practice.

Keeping plants in office space can do wonders to keep a tranquil work environment. Plants can add beauty to the environment, reduce noise and stress among other things.

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5. Invest to keep things fun

Gone are the days when work and play were considered opposites. There has been a shift in the way people think about work – to be productive in work you need to be having fun.

Human beings quickly get bored with monotonous tasks and need a break from time to time. Making workplace fun not only motivates people to work harder and faster, it also makes them more happy and stress-free.

Workplaces in big corporations today have different facilities including gyms and spa to pamper their staffs. However, these facilities are not feasible for all. Making smaller but effective facilities like ping-pong tables, pool tables or massage chairs available can help people blow some steam off.

Furnishing your office is not just about buying furniture and filling up space. It is about creating an elegant appearance and a lively, vibrant ambiance. You together with the furniture you buy, the color you use on your walls, the art and photos you hang, the plants you keep and the employees that work for you build an entity that embodies your principles.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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