Top 12 Rookie Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Business

Top 12 Rookie Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Business

Building a start-up from scratch is one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life. 

Notwithstanding the enthusiasm that every business owner has when seeing their business getting off the ground, there are traps to be avoided. 

Even though every business requires a unique strategy and different levels of effort, there are some common pitfalls that entrepreneurs need to avoid in the early stages of a start-up. 

12 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Business

  1. Buying assets with the cash flow: This mistake can easily lead to a cash shortfall (if the new item does not fit into the cash flow). In this case, it would be best for entrepreneurs to use a business loan in order to pay for big purchases such as a new piece of equipment or vehicle. 
  2. Taking on too many expenses: Entrepreneurs who are new to the business game should reduce costs instead of wasting money on unnecessary assets and items. For example, they should get a cost-effective virtual office (like the ones provided by B2BHQ) instead of paying expensive overhead expenses related to traditional office space.  
  3. Not separating business and personal finances: Every entrepreneur should have separate business and personal accounts in order to prevent overlap between business and personal expenses.  
  4. Running a business with the wrong mindset: Ditching the employee mindset is an absolute must when running a business. Entrepreneurs should think and act like leaders, not employees.  
  5. Expecting to make a quick buck overnight: Success does not happen overnight. Most of the time, businesses need years to grow and become prosperous. For example, most start-ups take at least two years to reach profitability.  
  6. Ignoring negative feedback: Ignoring critics is not a constructive way to build a business. Customers are at the heart of every business, and entrepreneurs should take advantage of the negative feedback to improve the customer experience. 
  7. Outsourcing too many tasks: Entrepreneurs should outsource only basic administrative tasks that are time-consuming (and not strategic core activities that are essential for driving profits).
  8. Not building a solid online presence: In the digital era, having a rock-solid online presence for marketing success is critical. Every business needs SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to reach a broader audience and increase brand awareness.
  9. Premature scaling: Scaling too soon happens when a business expands faster than it should. Since premature scaling is one of the most common causes of startup failures, business owners should have patience and not make rash decisions.  
  10. Avoiding outside help: Many business owners are trying to do everything themselves in order to cut costs. However, this approach is not constructive as it does not allow them to focus on the core business properly. 
  11. Underestimating the power of technology: In today’s business environment, technology is more important than ever (especially because remote working has become an absolute must for businesses worldwide). For this reason, every business owner should rely on essential tools for efficient communication between managers and staff. 
  12. Not keeping up with the latest trends: Today’s work environment is more flexible and agile than ever. Small businesses should keep up with trends in order to stand out from competitors (e.g., prioritising e-commerce, adopting remote work policies, alternative payment options, etc.).

Conclusion: One of the most important lessons that entrepreneurs should learn is that mistakes are inevitable, no matter how talented they are. 

Therefore, this article won’t help them avoid all the mistakes they are likely to make during their entrepreneurial journey, but only the biggest and most common ones.

Hence, a business owner should expect to make some mistakes in the early stages of their start-up. 

However, these mistakes do not necessarily need to pave their road to success, but on the contrary, they will teach them what doesn’t work and encourage them to find innovative ways to make their business thrive.

Images source: pexels.com

Queenstown to Christchurch: Discovering New Zealand’s underrated patch of paradise

Queenstown to Christchurch: Discovering New Zealand’s underrated patch of paradise

New Zealand’s Southern Island is what I think about when I listen to the call “God’s nation”. Skyrocketing snow-capped hills reduce at coverings of thick clouds; mammoth lakes shimmer like fluid silver, and deep green valleys weave their method with the remarkable landscape.

And sheep are often consisted of in these scenes – there are greater than 27 million sheep in New Zealand inning accordance with the last matter. To place this in point of view, New Zealand’s populace is simply over 4.75 million.

Today, nevertheless, my hubby and I are maintaining our eyes peeled off for yellow-eyed penguins, or, their Maori call hoihos. This threatened penguin type is just discovered on the Eastern and Southerly coasts of New Zealand’s Southern Island, and right below on the Otago Peninsula, a trip with Penguin Location provides among the very best possibilities of seeing them in the wild. We’re section of a team of 8, gradually strolling with trench-like passages and peeking with openings attempting to area an adorable critter or more.

A few of the unusual penguins are spotted regarding an hr into the trip, one warming an egg in its cozy nest and another relaxing on close-by a shake. Throughout the two-hour trip, we likewise see secures indulging in the cozy sunlight and our direct informs us that this is most likely among a couple of areas on the planet where you can observe secures and sheep sunning themselves side-by-side. “I have seen secures up on the hills and sheep by the coastline,” he chuckles. “That is New Zealand for you.”

That evening, while eating at Lanarch Castle, I discover that the peninsula is likewise the home of the just landmass reproducing nest of albatross on the planet. I am uncertain what thrills me more, this info or that I am resting about a gigantic table in a luxurious ballroom within New Zealand’s just castle. And we reach rest right below, as well.

The dinner-in-the-castle experience is scheduled for visitors remaining in the castle premises, with 3 kinds of lodging offered. We’re remaining in among the lodge spaces which all have magnificent sights of the Otago Harbour and Peninsula.

Lanarch Castle and the close-by Otago Peninsula are simply 2 of lots of quits on our self-drive trip from Queenstown to Christchurch, a journey that sees us pass through numerous kilometers over 8 days.

Greater than 70 percent of Australians self-drive when going to New Zealand, so in a manner, we are complying with the masses, yet we never ever seem like we belong to a group. In some cases, we share the roadway with a couple of others, while at various other times we really feel rather solitary. Happiness.

The Catlins, possibly New Zealand’s many underrated spots of heaven, is a location on the southeast suggestion of the island. Right below roadways weaves their method previous grass-carpeted areas full of grazing sheep, production for ideal pictures that typify New Zealand.

There is likewise a tough shoreline, the home of the interesting Curio Bay, a seaside embayment with a petrified woodland going back to the Jurassic duration. We invest a few hrs right below, initially going to Tumu Toka Curioscape, an info center with interactive touch displays and an immersive theater, together with a coffee shop and gift shop. We after that walk along the seaside high cliffs and coastline, searching for penguins and petrified timber.

Additional inland, rich jungles and teeming falls produce various states of mind. McLean Drops and Purakaunui Drops are 2 of the very best understood cascades and we make time to go to both.

We invest the evening at Catlins Mohua Park and if we really did not have anywhere else to be, we’d remain a lifetime. 4 homes are distributed throughout a big property with bushwalking tracks and customized eco trips carried out by owner-hosts Gill and Lyndon. Check-in here’s a laid-back “hi” and after that it is as much as you whether you desire human communication (Gill and Lyndon can prepare up a tornado for visitors to appreciate with each other) or peaceful time to saturate up the borders. We have our very own materials and when we’re worked out in it is simply us, the stunning hillsides and tons of sheep. Our child is producing “baa baa” sounds by early morning.

Owning from one indicates another I understand that what makes this journey amazing is the varied range of experiences on provide. If you wish to increase the adrenalin and be hurled off a high cliff, New Zealand is your type of enjoyable. However, if you just wish to own about quiting for coffee, hokey pokey ice cream and fantastic sights, New Zealand is the location for that, as well.

You can quickly do both. Our 2 days in Queenstown consist of gondola trips and spectacular sights, an unwinding cruise ship, excessive ice cream (Patagonia Delicious chocolates, I’d remain in difficulty if you had a shopfront in Sydney) and a practically near-terrifying experience that’s the Nevis Catapult. I was all kitted up and prepared to skyrocket, however, because of wind problems my leap was terminated. We most likely to Fergburger rather than probably the very best burgers in the nation.

Another emphasis of our journey vacation is how bit range we need to own to obtain from one location to another as there are lots to see close. We typical 2 to 3 hours’ owning a day, taking our time appreciating the surroundings in the process and each location we drop in at. There’s a propensity to wish to in shape whatever in, to stuff in the views, however, as experienced visitors, we have discovered that seeing much less is really seeing more.

Our greatest own day is a return journey from Te Anau to Milford Audio. With quits, it is greater than 3 hrs each method, however, it is well well worth it. Lengthy owns on gusty roadways frequently time-out me to rest, however, there was no chance I was losing out on also a min of these implausibly gorgeous sights.

I do not believe I have ever combated rest as long as I did while sitting in the traveler seat that day, however, New Zealand is one location you do not wish to miss out on a 2nd of.

FIVE OTHER PLACES TO VISIT ON THE SOUTH ISLAND

MARLBOROUGH

The biggest red white a glass of wine area in New Zealand is finest understood for its sauvignon blanc, with the white range representing regarding 80 percent of the red white a glass of wine created right below. With greater than 30 storage doors close red white a glass of wine, enthusiasts will be hectic.

STEWART ISLAND

Greater than 85 percent of New Zealand’s 3rd biggest island, situated 30 kilometers south of the Southern Island, is a national forest, so it is not surprise walkers and wild animals lovers, especially birdwatchers, group right below.

HANMER SPRINGS

New Zealand is the home of a wealth of all-natural warm springs and those situated in the towering community of Hanmer Springtimes are well well worth a go-to. Sit back in a warm swimming pool (sulfur swimming pools, sprinkle jets and shake swimming pools among other choices) bordered by snow-capped hills. Really magnificent.

AORAKI/MOUNT COOK

New Zealand’s greatest hill, at 3754 meters, is the celebrity of its namesake national forest. There are 19 various other hills increasing greater than 3000 meters in the park, so pedestrians and mountain climbers have lots of options. Aoraki/Install Prepare Town lies within the Aoraki Mackenzie Worldwide Dark Skies Book which produces a few of the very best stargazing on the planet.

FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER

Franz Josef Glacier is just one of the country’s many fascinating glaciers – New Zealand is the home of thousands – because of its distinct glacial atmosphere, a location where ice, jungle and the Waiho River all satisfy.

Looking for Christchurch Bus Hire? Contact https://christchurchbusandcoachhire.co.nz/

quickstyle-panels

Decorative Acoustic Panels

We provide high-functioning acoustic audio panels that integrate gorgeous development and high work. Our cutting-edge acoustic wall surface panels, not just change the acoustic convenience and echo patterns of any type of area however can function as spectacular development functions as well. 

Acoustic panels have been utilized in a wide variety of various places: from buying centers to lecture theatres, sporting activities halls to workplaces and atriums to dining establishments.

We will deal with you to find the very best acoustic wall surface and ceiling panels to satisfy your requirements when it concerns acoustic efficiency, visual, functionality, resilience, and budget plan. 

No matter which design and complete you opt for, you can really feel risk-free in the understanding that our acoustic panels are of the finest. The panel varies is a laboratory accredited for its acoustic efficiency, developed from accredited Green Celebrity products, and has a complete 7-year efficiency guarantee.

Acoustic Panels help in taking in audio within the indoor utilizing the gorgeous visual appeals of all-natural wood. The Acoustics appropriate for domestic and industrial applications, on the wall surface and ceiling applications. The wood Acoustic Panels are a quick-fix panel, showing an effective setup and affordable sound service for industrial fit-outs. Improve the visual charm of the indoors while helping with audio absorption utilizing Acoustic Panel vary.

SPECIFICATIONS

The vary is a premade and prefinished wood Acoustic Panel. The panels are made from strong wood and powder-coated aluminum braces, with Acoustic scrim and optional acoustic matting. We utilize Paulownia wood for its lightweight qualities and all-natural acoustic residential or commercial homes.

Ordering:

As each Acoustic Panel job is distinct, please talk straight to the group for a customized estimate.

Accounts:

  • Basic accounts
  • 26 x 26mm Rounded Account
  • 26 x 26mm Settle Account

Customized accounts:

  • 26 x 40mm Settle Account
  • 26 x 60mm Settle Account
  • NOTE: The Accounts can likewise be mix-and-matched for a distinct appearance

Measurements:

The Acoustic Panel is 368mm broad x 29.5mm thick (with a 380mm protection consisting of overhand of material). Basic sizes are 1800mm and 3600mm nevertheless the panels can be reduced to the preferred size on demand. The space in between battens is 12mm.

Timber Battens:

The basic batten dimension is 26 x 26mm in a Rounded or Settle laminated batten account. The Settle and Rounded wood battens can likewise be bought separately for outlining and completing cut.

Acoustic Rating:

We have accomplished a Sound Decrease Coefficient (NRC) score of as much as 1.00 throughout the screening. The Acoustic Panels include black Acoustic scrim as basic, and 25mm or 50mm Acoustic Matting can be included behind the panel to improve the outcomes. If you have actually any type of additional concerns, please talk to the sales group.

Acoustic wall surface and ceiling panels providing exceptional sound manage:

  • High acoustic efficiency.
  • Lab-tested with accredited acoustic examination outcomes.
  • Crisp sides, immune to noticeable cracking.

Unique acoustic panel choices offered:

  • Customized patterns after demand.
  • Rounded wall surface and ceiling panels.
  • Green Celebrity choices.
  • Fire Team / and 2 to AS5637.1 choices.
  • Accessibility and solutions choices.
  • Non-combustible variation in 3mm aluminium to NCC2019 C1.9 and AS 1530.3

Choice from our variety of acoustic panel patterns:

  • 5 perforated Binary Code patterns.
  • 3 slotted patterns, likewise offered in our distinct V-Slot innovation.
  • 2 opening patterns.
  • 3 innovative patterns.

Select from a variety of surfaces:

  • For a smooth and constant complete on all acoustic ceiling and wall surface panels.
  • For all-natural wood veneers chosen and completed to provide timber acoustic panels with skill.
  • For an extremely resilient color and metal complete for your acoustic panels.

Looking for Cheap Acoustic Timber Panels? Contact the Quick Style Group for more details.

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Fibre Cement

Fiber Strengthened Concrete (FRC), or just fiber concrete, is a prominent constructing product in the very early 1980s when introducing using option strengthening products to produce asbestos-free cement-based constructing items.

What is Fiber Concrete made of?

Fiber Strengthened Concrete items are a mix of:

  • Cellulose fiber, from plantation-grown Radiata Evergreen
  • Rose city Concrete
  • Sand
  • Water

Little quantities of various other chemical ingredients are utilized to assist the procedure or offer items with specific qualities.

Why select Fiber Strengthened Concrete?

Fiber Strengthened Concrete constructing items will not shed, are immune to long-term sprinkle and termite damages, and, when set up as guided, are immune to decaying and bending to the degree laid out released product present at the moment of setup.

The items are simple to deal with and reduced upkeep, production them a suitable option for expert contractors, developers and designers, DIY lovers and property owners.

5 Benefits of Fiber Concrete Constructing Products

1. Trendy and Flexible

Quickly develop a home to fit differing ground degrees on a developed website and have higher versatility in regards to blending and coordinating a varied variety of outside designs without altering the hidden technique of building.

2. Resilient and Reduced Upkeep

Fiber strengthened concrete items are effect immune and weatherproof. They do not break, swell or warp like timber so they can hold dark colors and for much longer. As a matter of fact, some paints bring a 15-year guarantee when utilized on specific constructing items.

3. Thermal Effectiveness

Utilizing lightweight, concrete compound constructing products can provide considerable advantages on cozy days due to the materials’ fundamental capability to awesome quickly in the evening. This can provide alleviation to resting locations in the evening.

4. Enhanced Rate of Building

Utilizing Scyon and items makes the constructing procedure easier and much faster by decreasing the requirement for damp professions on the website. You can accomplish a higher setup price each day with many items, obtaining you to secure much faster and in the house quicker. A fantastic profit for both contractors and property owners!!

5. Area Maximisation

You can produce a higher interior floor area and living space within a house since the wall surfaces can be thinner compared to conventional building techniques. Compound products repair direct-to-frame decreasing squandered area, unlike option building techniques.

How is Fiber Concrete made?

The fiber concrete production procedure creates a resilient, extremely workable and visually pleasing item by a procedure that significantly decreases the treating time compared with air-cured concrete items. This implies your developed relocations along much faster, with much fewer hold-ups and problems.

You can constantly depend on the high quality of a structure item as all our Australian-produced fiber concrete items satisfy ISO 9000.1 quality control requirements. This likewise guarantees runs with:

  • Enhanced high-quality understanding
  • Enhanced and previously understanding of prospective issues
  • Enhanced customer support
  • Enhanced administration of high quality
  • Enhanced services and product high quality

What Fiber Concrete items do make?

Produces the biggest, many flexible and appealing variety of slabs, pipelines, columns and constructing boards (or else called sheets). They are all utilized thoroughly in the building of new houses, in remodelings and restorations and in industrial structures for (connect to appropriate applications pages):

  • Outside cladding
  • Interior cellular lining
  • Interior and outside floor covering
  • Damp
  • Location
  • Cellular lining – Restrooms, laundries, and so on.
  • Eaves, Verandas & Carports
  • Fire and acoustic wall surfaces
  • Bracing
  • Fence
  • Ornamental aspects

The items are varied, being available in various accounts and surfaces for a variety of exterior and interior constructing applications that fit many building designs.

Contact Trumark Group for Fibre Cement Cutting Services.

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Your Ultimate Guide to Line Marking a Warehouse

Anybody that has or handles a storage facility, understands the significance of preserving a well-organised area. From preparing easy-to-follow floorplans to setting up effective storage space systems, preparation and organisation is the key to efficiency. Among one of the most important functions for any type of storage facility is line marking. 

Your work health and wellness and security hands-on might overview the place of each area and its function. However, remove aesthetic hints are equally essential. That’s why we have ready you the supreme overview of line marking your storage facility.

Why do you have to line mark your storage facility? 

There are lots of reasons many industrial warehouses utilize line markings for much far better navigating, security and ease of access. Not just do they make life simpler, they can likewise reduce the danger of work environment mishaps.

Using remove line markings in your storage facility assists you to:

  • Specify risk-free pathways for workers and customers
  • Designate particular locations for the disposal of dangerous squander
  • Assign particular laneways for transfer cars and hefty equipment
  • Enhance the rate of the process by reducing time invested browsing the area
  • Reduce the danger of work environment mishaps.

Should you plan first before you line mark?

When it comes to line marking a storage facility, preparation is essential. You might be lured to figure it out as you go, however, doing so enhances your possibilities of production errors that might result in work environment mishaps and injuries. Before you begin using repainting or tape for your storage facility flooring, it is finest to sketch an intend on paper or attract it to range on a digital system.

How should you prepare your warehouse for new line markings?

You would not paint the wall surfaces of your house without cleansing them initially, and the exact same guideline uses when you are line marking the flooring of your storage facility. To ensure you obtain the task done appropriately the very first time, push pause on routine everyday tasks to prepare your area. 

To do so correctly, we suggest complying with:

  • Sweep down your storage facility flooring.
  • Utilize a scrubber to eliminate any type of difficult spots.
  • Prevent hosing down your storage facility flooring to remove the possibility of extra moisture at the moment you make your line markings.
  • Removal all hefty equipment that might obstruct accessibility to locations you have to get to with your line markings.

Do the colours of line markings make a difference?

Inning accordance with nationwide work health and wellness and security standards, it is essential to utilize particular colours for your line markings, to assist your workers and storage facility site visitors comply with all indicates easily. To ensure your line markings guide people as they ought to, keep in mind:

  • Use yellow line markings to suggest courses, work cells and traffic lanes.
  • Use red line markings to sharp workers to risk areas.
  • Use black line markings to suggest operates in development.
  • Use blue line markings in locations of basic materials.
  • Use mixes of red and white line markings to caution workers of locations that might have limited accessibility for security factors.

Is it better to line mark a warehouse with paint or tape?

Typically the option of paint verse tape has boiled down to versatility verses resilience, tape provides you versatility and paint provides resilience. Nevertheless, Line Marking Tape is specifically developed to stand up to the rigors of storage facility tasks and is unrivaled in resilience. It’s likewise simple to use and will not leave a sticky deposit when eliminated, which makes it a quite solid situation for line marking tape. In the long run, the option is your own, think about your choices and select a line marking technique that makes good sense to you.

If you are looking for a professional Line Marking company in Melbourne, contact https://www.suburbanlinemarking.com.au/

acoustic-panels-architectural-soundproofing

Acoustic Panels for Architectural Soundproofing

Outstanding acoustic design is ending up being more of a requirement compared to a high-end. From efficiency high quality in auditoriums to worker efficiency in workplace setups, acoustics effects practically every massive building job. 

Utilizing the scientific research behind sound to produce a preferred acoustical efficiency within a particular constructing is complicated. There’s no solitary “acoustical service” that’s widely appropriate to constructing development.

Every structure has its very own atmosphere that provides its private demands of acoustical specifications. Comprehending the distinctions and understanding ways to utilize constructing products and system development are elements to accomplish the remarkable acoustical design.

What are Acoustic Panel Systems?

Acoustic wall surface and ceiling panel systems are a few of the commonly utilized aspects to accomplish effective acoustical structure.

These systems are made from sound-absorbing products, such as mineral woolen or foam. They are included in between ornamental external panels that can be made from perforated steel, material, indoor timber paneling or various other products.

The product in the external panels can be chosen for its ornamental worth, and sometimes, for its resilience to endure the effect of specific products in high-activity places, like sporting activities halls. The external panels can be set into wall surfaces or ceilings to offer sound management with a trendy building complete.

How Do Acoustic Panel Systems Work?

When acoustic waves strike a strong surface area, they recover as echoes. In a big interior space, this produces echo, which is made more powerful if more strong surface areas exist in the space for audio to jump off. This is why concrete stairwells or below-ground parking areas are especially susceptible to echoes.

Acoustic panels are developed to catch the acoustic waves and avoid them from resembling. An acoustic panel utilizes its permeable external surface area that enables the audio to permeate the product of the external layer, facilitating audio absorption. This occurs since the acoustic waves trigger the production of the external layer to shake and produce a percentage of heat. Essentially, the audio is exchanged warm, which is quickly taken in, therefore producing a quieter atmosphere.

Incorporating Acoustic Design in Building Plans

Consisting of acoustic panels starts throughout the design stage. Lots of designers suggest taking keep in mind a number of audio specs of the construction or space. Determining decibel degrees and ideal audio infiltration for different constructing systems is mostly useful throughout the constructing procedure.

Acoustic demands might consist of personalized ceiling or wall surface forms, such as in a tilted acoustic ceiling in theatres. Documenting the soundproofing specs is essential in selecting the appropriate in-wall devices, sound dampening sets and flooring underlayments.

Contact Atkar for more details on Architectural Wall Panels.

In praise of the office: let’s learn from COVID-19 and make the traditional workplace better

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Geoff Plimmer, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Diep Nguyen, Edith Cowan University; Esme Franken, Edith Cowan University, and Stephen Teo, Edith Cowan University

Having had to rapidly adjust to working from home due to COVID-19, many people are now having to readjust to life back in the office. Many will have enjoyed aspects of what is sometimes called “distributed work”, but some may be dreading the return.

So is there a middle ground? Could hybrid work arrangements, known for boosting well-being and productivity, be a more common feature of workplaces in the future?

We say yes. Organisations need to recognise the valuable habits and skills employees have developed to work effectively from home during the lockdown. But they will need good strategies for easing the transition back into the physical workplace.

In doing so, they should aim for the best of both worlds — the flexibility of distributed work and the known benefits of the collaborative workplace.




Read more:
The death of the open-plan office? Not quite, but a revolution is in the air


Good riddance to hot-desking

A good start would be a proper re-evaluation the two worst aspects of office life: crowded open-plan designs and so-called “hot-desking”.

Cramped shared offices and free-for-all hot-desking are both known for their negative impacts on quality of workplace life. The results are often interpersonal conflict, reduced productivity and higher rates of sickness.

Some organisations have already done away with hot-desking in an effort to improve physical and mental well-being. Acknowledging the evidence that tightly packed, cost-saving, open-plan office arrangements have not delivered what was promised should be another priority.

Hopefully, the impact of COVID-19 on business as usual will spell the end of these often poorly thought through management fads.

Work-life imbalance: how do companies help their employees and also boost productivity?
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Working from home can be isolating

At the same time, there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The office still has its advantages, and there is research showing that working from home has clear disadvantages for employees and organisations when it is offered as a permanent arrangement.

One study involved a large (anonymous) US Fortune 100 technology firm. It began as a traditional survey of what it was like for individuals to work from home, but evolved into a study of the effect of what happened to the company’s community when working from home was normalised.




Read more:
The research on hot-desking and activity-based work isn’t so positive


The option of unrestricted distributed work meant employees simply stopped coming to work at the office. Many reported the well-known benefits of working from home, such as work-life balance and productivity.

They also reported a kind of “contagion effect”. As colleagues began to stay at home a tipping point arrived where fewer and fewer people opted to work in the office.

But this actually increased a sense of isolation among employees. It also meant the loss of opportunities to collaborate through informal or unplanned meetings. The chance to solve problems or be given challenging assignments were lost as well.

Those who participated in the study said social contact and productively interacting with colleagues was the main reason they wanted to come to work. Without it there was no real point. The research raises the possibility of a net loss in well-being if everyone were to work remotely.

Well-being and job satisfaction depend on a range of factors, including having clear goals, social contact and the structure of the traditional working day. Of course, jobs can also be toxic if there is too much structure. But fully distributed work may not provide the support, identity and community that offices provide for some.

Nor is technology always adequate when it comes to the subtle value of face-to-face catch ups. Five minute water-cooler talks and post-meeting debriefs still matter for both productivity, social contact and cohesion.

A different kind of management: motivating and maintaining morale in a distributed workplace requires new skills.
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Management has to adapt too

None of which is to suggest there are not identifiable advantages of distributed work and the flexible workplace. As many of us discovered during the lockdown, just avoiding the daily commute helped with lowering stress and better work-life balance. Choosing when we worked was attractive too.

But this requires better management skills. Distributed workers require different (often better) engagement strategies, including the ability to build mutual trust.




Read more:
Working from home: what are your employer’s responsibilities, and what are yours?


Research into how best to manage the health and safety of distributed workers has found that some leaders simply can’t adapt to the digital environment. Trust, consideration and communicating a clear vision or sense of purpose matter more for distributed workers than for those in the traditional office.

Recognition, reward, development and advancement in a distributed working environment will all need special attention. So too will ways to deal with people not pulling their weight, maybe because of too much time on social media.

Even the simple benefits of spontaneous humour in meetings or informal team interactions are easily lost with “e-leadership”, so new ways of building and maintaining morale are vital.

This is not an either/or question. Rather, the challenge is to strike a new balance — how to retain the benefits of distributed work while maintaining the sense of community that comes from personal interaction in the office.The Conversation

Geoff Plimmer, Senior lecturer in Human Resource Management, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Diep Nguyen, Lecturer, Edith Cowan University; Esme Franken, Lecturer in Management, Edith Cowan University, and Stephen Teo, Professor of Work and Performance, Edith Cowan University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Get a proper chair, don’t eat at your desk, and no phones in the loo – how to keep your home workspace safe and hygienic

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Libby (Elizabeth) Sander, Bond University; Lotti Tajouri, Bond University, and Rashed Alghafri, Bond University

The onset of COVID-19 saw a dramatic shift, with many in the workforce suddenly finding themselves working from home. As hashtags sprung up on social media documenting makeshift work-from-home setups, it rapidly became evident that for many workers, their new improvised workspace fell well short of ideal.

Far from having a separate home office, it emerged many employees didn’t even have a desk, as social media teemed with photos of kitchen tables, ironing boards, upturned laundry baskets and even the top of a fridge as an improvised standing desk.

While Winston Churchill used to work in bed in his pyjamas and John Lennon tried to change the world from between the sheets, research suggests working on your laptop on the couch or from bed is less than ideal for our health.

How do I set up my home workspace?

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common work-related injury in Australia, accounting for 55% of serious workers’ compensation claims in 2015-16.

A proper ergonomic setup has been shown to reduce problems such as muscle strains, lower back injuries and tendonitis, as well as decreasing muscle fatigue and enhancing productivity.

The Conversation, CC BY-ND

If you can’t access a separate work desk, a flat surface is vital, and a proper ergonomic chair is a must. Some employers are allowing their staff to take their office chair home, so ask your employer if this is possible. Fresh air and natural light are important, as is considering your posture while working.

The UK Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors suggests several practical steps employees can take to set up their workspace and stay healthy while working from home.

An infographic showing some ways to create a positive atmosphere when working from home
Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors

Physical movement and taking regular breaks will also help our physical and mental well-being. Stay hydrated, go for a walk outside and stretch regularly. Don’t stay sitting for hours on end, which is easily done when you are on endless Zoom calls.




Read more:
5 reasons why Zoom meetings are so exhausting


Keeping your home workspace hygienic

While an ergonomic home workplace presents challenges, our exposure to germs will be constant. Our home workplace is also a haven for microbes: the typical office desk is home to more than 10 million bacteria. So never think you are working alone!

Your monitor, keyboard, computer, mouse, office files, chair and personal items are all reservoirs for microbes, which are mainly deposited via our hands, skin and hair.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic has turned us all into armchair virologists, you’ll doubtless already know these microbes include virus particles, especially if you have contracted an infection and keep working at home.

With an ongoing infection, you should seek medical help and take time off sick. Resist the temptation to keep working, even from home. Soldiering on has two drawbacks: not only are you spreading germs all over your desk, but by stressing yourself by working when ill, you can weaken your immune system and reduce your ability to fight the infection.




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In any case, healthy or sick, practising good hygiene is essential. When returning home, take your shoes off and wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the intrusion of outdoor microbes into your home environment. Good hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce germ transmission.

Your home work desk should be uncluttered and clean, and should be wiped down frequently with ordinary detergent. To clean your keyboard, monitor and other equipment, first unplug them, then dust with a soft microfibre cloth before wiping with a moist alcohol or detergent wipe.

Do not eat at your desk, unless you want a side order of microbes with your sandwich. Wipe and disinfect your phone regularly – it hosts all sorts of pathogens, potentially including faecal material. Resist the urge to take your phone into the bathroom, especially if you enjoy scrolling during your lunch!




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While it is impossible to eradicate all microbes, good hygiene and regular cleaning will keep your home work space safer. And while it might seem obvious, washing your hands after going to the bathroom is not done in the workplace as much as we might imagine. Finally, coffee cups and coffee makers, while vital to the work-from-home economy, can also harbour unwanted bacteria and other microbes, so make sure they are cleaned regularly.

Not the ideal start to the day.
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Having enjoyed the benefits of working from home, recent surveys suggest many employees want to carry on, for at least part of their working week. A safe and hygienic work environment in the home is essential to maximise the benefits, and to reduce the risk of injury and illness.The Conversation

Libby (Elizabeth) Sander, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Bond Business School, Bond University; Lotti Tajouri, Associate Professor, Genomics and Molecular Biology; Biomedical Sciences., Bond University, and Rashed Alghafri, Honorary Adjunct Associate Professor, Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

man having a call

Working from home: what are your employer’s responsibilities, and what are yours?

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Robin Price, CQUniversity Australia and Linda Colley, CQUniversity Australia

So you’ve been asked to work from home.

Doing so usually requires changing aspects of your relationship with your employer. What it doesn’t change is that your relationship is based on mutual obligations. These remain exactly the same even though you work at home.




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Your employer’s duties, under both industrial relations and work health and safety laws, are to ensure you are able to work safely at home, and to cover reasonable expenses. Your obligation is to work if you want to be paid.

A safe workspace

In Australia, an employer has a legal duty of care for the health and safety of workers “so far as is reasonably practicable”. This duty is contained under the uniform work health and safety legislation of states and territories – see, for example, the Queensland legislation.

That duty of care extends to anywhere work is performed. If you are asked to work from home, your employer is responsible to ensure this does not pose a risk to your health and safety.




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Some organisations conduct formal inspections of homes before approving working-from-home arrangements. That may not be practical in current circumstances.

The next best option might be a virtual tour using virtual meeting software such as Google hangouts or Zoom. At a minimum, your employer should provide you with a health and safety checklist, specifying considerations such as:

  • a safe work space free from trip hazards (such as rugs and cables)
  • a broadly safe environment including an exit, smoke alarms and a first aid kit
  • appropriate lighting and ventilation
  • ergonomic requirements such as a desk large enough for tasks, phone and mouse within reach
  • a chair that adjusts to ensure your feet are flat on the floor
  • a computer screen positioned for your eyes to meet the top of the screen

Reimbursing expenses

Your employer’s primary responsibility under industrial relations law is to pay you for the work you do under applicable awards, enterprise agreements and contracts.

Your employer is also responsible for providing you with the appropriate resources for work to be carried out. These might include a computer with systems to access and protect work files, a headset, a webcam and virtual meeting software.




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There is an implied obligation also to reimburse you for expenses incurred while working at home, such as extra electricity or internet access.

This obligation may be spelled out in an enterprise agreement or a working-from-home policy, but not all organisations have codified entitlements. You may need to establish with your employer what costs will be reimbursed, what limits apply, and what approvals are required.

If your employer does not reimburse you for running costs – because the paperwork is arduous and the amount usually small – remember you can also claim work-related expenses, including the cost of a dedicated work area, as tax deductions. Claimable expenses are set out on the Australian Taxation Office’s website.

Employee responsibilities

In allowing you to work from home, your employer is demonstrating a degree of trust that past generations of managers would have found unacceptable. Your obligation is to do the right thing even without direct supervision, observing the same practices as normally expected by your employer.

All your usual employee responsibilities from the workplace continue to apply, such as obeying lawful directions and working to the best of your ability.

Much has been written on how best to work at home. There are some common themes. Get dressed for work, so that you feel “at work” and behave accordingly. Maintain a separate work space, so there is a clear delineation between work and leisure. Ensure you take breaks to maintain your health and well-being.




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Another aspect of well-being you will need to pay conscious attention to is minimising the psychological stress of isolation.

Working from home can be isolating in the best of times, and in the current situation this is arguably also an aspect of your employer’s duty of care. But this is something that cannot be easily codified and will require goodwill and negotiation. You and your employer may need to consider new routines for communication to ensure working at home is about physical distancing and social solidarity, not social isolation.The Conversation

Robin Price, Lecturer in Employment Relations and Human Resource Management, CQUniversity Australia and Linda Colley, Associate Professor HRM/IR, CQUniversity Australia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Be careful what you claim for when working from home. There are capital gains tax risks

Be careful what you claim for when working from home. There are capital gains tax risks

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Dale Boccabella, UNSW

Nearly all of the income tax focus in the context of “working from home” during COVID-19 has been on claiming “running expenses” – things like electricity, heating and internet/broadband fees.

These are pretty straightforward.

The Australian Tax Office has created a temporary shortcut for claiming running expenses to make it easier: it’s 80 cents for each hour you work from home between March and July.

At the same time, it has made the brief comment that employees generally cannot claim “occupancy expenses” as deductions. Occupancy expenses are things like interest on housing loans, rent, council rates, building insurance and similar things.

These would be deductible if you were running a business from home, but generally should not be if you are merely working from home for an employer that normally provides you with a place to work.

Claim running expenses, not occupancy expenses

Occupancy expenses are usually far bigger than running expenses and their deductibility assumes considerable importance to government revenue, and to people who claim them.

And there’s something else about them.

The capital gains tax exemption for the gain on sale of the family home (the main residence) is linked to them; in particular to the deductibility of interest expenses.

If a taxpayer is entitled to deductions for interest on the home loan, she can lose a portion of her capital gains tax exemption.

Section 118.190 Commonwealth Income Tax Assessment Act

In effect, the tax benefit from deductibility is offset or clawed back through denial of the full capital gains tax exemption later on.

Of course, if there is no immediate prospect of the sale of the home, then to many people the loss of the full capital gains tax exemption won’t be of much concern.

Try not to put capital gains into play

An interesting, perhaps strange, aspect of this part of the rules is a homeowner can lose part of their capital gains tax exemption even when they don’t have interest to deduct (such as when they have paid off their home loan).

The relevant rule poses the question: would you have got interest deductions if you still had a loan on the home? If the answer is yes, the homeowner loses part of the capital gains tax exemption, even though the home owner did not in fact obtain tax deductions for interest.

There is a perception among some taxpayers, and perhaps some tax practitioners, that taxpayers have choices in this area, that it will help to say: “I will not claim my deductions, and therefore I get to keep my capital gains tax exemption.”

In short, there is no choice given to taxpayers in the relevant substantive tax rules. If the tax office knows you have used your home to earn an income, it has every right to deny you some capital gains tax benefits if and when you sell later on.

Not claiming deductions might not help

Of course, how taxpayers (possibly with help of tax agent) fill in their tax returns is their choice; they can decide to depart from the law, assuming they know how it applies in their situation. In turn, whether ATO audit coverage is sufficient to pick up incorrect tax returns depends on a range of factors.

What could be a disastrous outcome for a taxpayer would be to forgo a deduction (when entitled to it), but later on sale, have the ATO apply the capital gains tax rule correctly and withdraw part of the capital gains tax exemption.

If the taxpayer was out of time to amend (or make) their deduction claim, they would suffer both ways.
The other issue with occupancy expense deductions is that if there is “financial union” in the finances of spouses, the spouse entitled to occupancy expenses may only be entitled to 50% of the relevant expenses because the other 50% is incurred by the other spouse.

Regrettably, legal cases and the tax office itself have not dealt with this issue in a meaningful way.

There’s a high bar for occupancy expenses

The central question therefore becomes whether a worker’s situation of working at home could be sufficient to attract deductions for occupancy expenses.

The courts and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) have set the bar very high. Let’s put aside for the moment the situation of the mere contemplative worker who needs little equipment to work, other than perhaps a laptop computer.

There are two requirements; both must be satisfied.

First, the room claimed for occupancy expenses must be used extensively and systematically for taxpayer’s work. Some cases have put this requirement in terms of near exclusive use for work such that the taxpayer and family have forgone domestic use of that room and/or that the room is not readily adaptable back to domestic use. Minimal domestic use (such as storing some clothes in room, thoroughfare to rest of home) will not preclude satisfying the usage requirement.

This usage requirement will be enough to deny deductions to many COVID-19 at-home workers because many are working in bedrooms, lounge rooms, dining rooms and so on.




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Those who choose to “run the risk” of satisfying deductibility for occupancy expenses and thereby losing part of the capital gains tax exemption might consider retaining a significant degree of domestic use of the relevant room.

(Renters, not being owners, have no capital gains tax cost down the track so obtaining deductions for occupancy expenses would be a win with no accompanying loss.)

Assuming the usage requirement is met, the second criterion is the requirement that the home office is not just a mere convenient place to work. This has come to mean that the home office is needed as a place of necessity because the worker does not have anywhere else to carry out their work and/or the employer does not provide a work location.

A worker who has been lawfully directed, due to COVID-19, that they cannot work at the normal employer-provided premises must be taken to satisfy this second criterion; that working at home is a necessity and not for the mere convenience of the taxpayer.

It’s hard to claim a place for contemplation

What about the mere contemplative worker, the one who needs very little equipment or items to carry out their work, perhaps just a laptop computer and a range of hard-copy documents.

There is little to no guidance in the cases on this. However, it’s likely if a worker is a mere contemplative worker, that person cannot deduct occupancy expenses even if there is extensive use of a room.

The reasoning is likely to be that the worker could work in many places (such as a lounge room, public library, café) without compromising their quality of work.




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The room in the home they are working in does not have that degree of necessity about it and/or working in that room might have a high degree of mere convenience. It is also likely that aspects of the “usage criterion” will be drawn on to help deny the deduction (such as that the room has not lost its domestic character).

In the end, a court or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal will have to rule on at least one COVID-19 case. It is hoped that the case(s) are roughly representative of workers more generally so serve as guidance.

As well, some authoritative ruling on the mere contemplative worker would be very welcome, even for a post-COVID-19 world.


The commentary in this article is largely based on two articles by Dale Boccabella and Kathrin Bain, namely, The age of the home worker – part 1: deductibility of home occupancy expenses (2018) and The age of the home worker – part 2: calculation of home occupancy expense deductions, deduction apportionment and partial loss of CGT main residence exemption (2019), both in Australian Tax Forum.The Conversation

Dale Boccabella, Associate Professor of Taxation Law, UNSW

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.