Category Archives: Business Planning

7 Tips to Managing HR in Off-site Locations

Technology alongside the pandemic has combined to encourage the number of off-site or teleworking employees and contractors. Most mobile aspects of businesses operate from off-site locations, and with the same productivity objective.

Working off-site encourages contactless management. In the same manner, HR managing becomes even challenging as HR managers do not meet the workforce. Since they can’t meet the workforce, it is tough to tell the difference between a satisfied and dissatisfied workforce.

Fortunately, HR software brings the reality of stringent man-management despite operating from off-site locations. A typical reliable HR software features 24/7 support, more comprehensive employee-manager communication, advanced assessment tools, and trendiness.

Upon implementing preferred HRIS, the next thought in line is effective off-site management. So, what are the tips for managing HR in off-site locations?

1. Schedule Employees

Managing and balancing schedules when dealing with multiple off-site teams in various locations can be challenging. However, implementing staff scheduling and management systems can be organized to enhance management.

To make scheduling seamless, HR software must be user-friendly and accessible by everyone. Of course, it must be app-based online systems that support instant adjustments sending notifications and reminders to the workforce regardless of their location.

When the workforce is scheduled in this manner, it also enhances regulatory compliance in your jurisdiction. Moreover, neither work overtime nor under-time, which creates balance.

2. Bring Technology to the Workforce

HR managers must bring technology to the workforce to enhance off-site management. In this regard, employees and contractors must be open to self-service and partake in the digital culture of the company for collective progression. A characteristic of off-site management is contactless working. It means that managers and employees will find it difficult to rapport effectively.

So, why not give your workforce technology? It is simple; configure a portal and provide the employees with self-service access. The HR tool must be such that employees can lodge complaints, make suggestions, enter updates, etc. Most importantly, employee HR software must support HR administration before changes and suggestions are deployed.

3. Delegate Tasks

Managing HR in multiple off-site locations should not be a one-person task. Your HR team may be the best, but you can configure the HR system to delegate responsibilities manageable from one system.

Suppose the company is under pressure to deliver, what becomes of the lone-working HR? In a bid to satisfy the company or clients while managing off-site location HR, you may burn out. Seize the capability of human resources management software to delegate tasks, even onto the workforce. HR assistants should not be exceptions either.

Meanwhile, depending on the nature of certain HR functions, HR can delegate activities to employees. The idea is to task employee supervisors with simple objectives. They become responsible for managing sections of the workforce that may be tedious to reach out.

4. Ensure Collaborations

Modern HRM software allows shared docs that ensure tracking of company activities. It will enable HR managers to remain apprised of the team’s activities. The most intelligible aspect is that it helps managers refine responsibilities and employee expectations while operating from off-site locations.

Moreover, you must agree on the acceptable behaviour for virtual collaboration. Professionals, note, for instance, that sending quick messages such as “Busy. I will return the call soon” and “Busy, please” are a decent virtual collaboration behaviour. It is imperative while focusing on a task when another employee reaches out.

Reliable collaborations are also dependent on the quality of the HRMS. Getting in touch with colleagues virtually would be best if the HR tool offers extended features, which necessitates selecting HR software carefully.

5. Implement Similar Management Options

Every working site is unique, regardless of whether the functions may be similar. First, you ought to understand how each location is structured by contacting supervisors to report what you know. Secondly, you need access to the database, except for the organisation that integrates all-employees-in-one databases.

Understand that implementing consistent and uniform operating standards across various locations can enhance convenience. Of course, the HR would have no need reinventing the wheel for each site.

Regarding employee management, endeavour to maintain a similar employee handbook across the various locations. Each employee must experience the same shift structure, training, assessment, and reward system. Moreover, this practice simplifies moving the workforce to other branches at short notice to replace shifts.

6. Welcome Feedback

It is vital to be open to critical feedback from your team irrespective of their opinion. You can encourage sincere feedback by configuring the HR software to maintain staff anonymity. It means you provide the room for the team to commend or rule out the management’s effectiveness. Make sure to encourage feedback that suggests changes instead of critique only.

To encourage your team to feel comfortable, have an open-door policy and explain to your team the need for their contributions.

Regardless of their views, your reaction must not be retributive. If you have reasons for implementing particular policies that feedback lash, give detailed explanations to your team. It is also advisable to adjust to demands rather than impose relentlessly.

7. Engage Virtually and Commend

The biggest secret for managing HR in off-site locations is to engage your team virtually and commend deserving individuals. First, ensure that your HR virtual tool is reliable, whether for an all-employee team-building event or custom leadership development.

Get the team to connect from the various off-site locations and seize the time to commend top-performing staff or branches for challenging the workforce. You must, however, commend everyone while singling out top-performing talents or groups.

If you are looking for office space, coworking space or traditional, for your company or employees, we can help. Contact us today to find out about our no cost service.

Even Though Much of The World is Working Remotely, Here’s Why You Should Still Consider An Office

Remote Work PlaceIt is estimated that approximately 56% of the jobs in the US are compatible with remote work. Global Workplace Analytics project that 25-30% of the workforce will be working remotely, most of the week, by the end of 2021. The pandemic has created some new norms for working that are expected to last. The question is, will working remotely work for you and your company even after the panedmic subsides? There are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account in making the decsion on whether or not to maintain an office. What things should you consider?

Is your home environment suitable for working remotely?

While it’s great to save that extra travel time to and from work, is your home working environment conducive to productivity? Who is at home during the day? Where in your home do you work? We all love spending time with our family (well, maybe not all the time) but how much are you going to be interrupted at home?  As we know, it’s impossible to plan for all interruptions from Wi-Fi to plumbing issues to your elderly neighbor needing to borrow an egg for the cake they are baking. What you need to consider is, are you going to be more productive in an office, even if it is more convenient working from home. The pandemic has put an extra burden on working parents, especially those with more than one child. Many schools have reopened and yet most children have continued their learning online or virtually. This means that many parents have now had to balance their workload with playing teacher (creating a renewed respect for teachers that they rightfully deserve). Being physically in an office means that there are fewer opportunities for you to be interrupted, and, if you can increase your productivity, then you may be able to clock off early and better manage your responsibilities at home.

Are you starting a business?

The majority of businesses have been adversely affected by Covid-19, many closing down, but some new businesses have been innovative and thrived. If you are hoping to be one of those, then working from home may not be the best option. Are you going to be happy with people coming into your home, is it even going to be possible? Renting a new space is going to be less expensive than usual, given the oversupply of space. Most new businesses involve a lot of meetings, hiring staff, receiving goods from suppliers, and pitching to investors or clients. Consider a co-working space or renting office space monthly to cater to some of the dynamics that may come with starting a new business.

It can be quick and painless to register your new gig with many companies now providing this service. The pros at Fatstacksblog have screened the best companies for this, check out their review. Most new businesses involve a lot of meetings, hiring staff, receiving goods from suppliers, and pitching to investors or clients. Consider a co-working space or renting office space monthly to cater to some of the dynamics that may come with starting a new business.

Being social is important for physical and mental health

Much higher rates of anxiety and depression have been reported this year and many clinical psychologists have attributed this to isolation and the lack of human-to-human interaction not just in working remotely, but in our lives in general. Other negative effects of isolation have been lethargy and the so-called “zoom- fatigue” from too many online meetings. When you are considering working from home, it’s important to think about how much less you are going to socialize with others because of this. It is amazing what comes from water cooler conversations. Then think about all the meetings, coffee breaks, and small talk you have when you are in the office. All of these tiny interactions and adverse health effects add up. Taking this into consideration, healthier and happier workers are going to be more effective, confident, and creative in their job. It may be worth working in an office and being a better working version of yourself.

How Much Office Space?

If you decide to return to the office, working remotely is still an option. There is nothing that says this is an all or nothing decision. The big question is how much office space will you need and where do you need it? There are a number of options. Understanting the Agile Workplace concept is important. The concept is activity-based working space and making the work space flexible. It is an office hoteling reservation technique or set up in a workplace. It is a way of utilizing a work area more efficiently, utilizing non-assigned seating arrangement and desk-sharing to maximize and creating collaborative spaces. There are many companies that have taken this to heart even before the pandemic.

Many companies are now choosing to take advantage of using executive suites or coworking space as a means of providing flexible workspace for their employees. They do not all have to be located in the same place, but can be spread around for the conveniece of employees.

The whole world has had to embrace working remotely. It was a no-brainer, no-choice decision. Technology allows us to work from wherever we are. Once the pandemic subsides, it may not always the best option for everyone. For many, it may be their personal circumstances, such as being a parent, the number of children they may have, and if they are starting a new business. there are many considerations in deciding the level of working remotely that you choose. As we mentioned, there can be some negative mental health consequences from working remotely, too, For people considering working from home or thinking about going back to the office, assess your home environment to conclude if it is condusive to productivity and if it is going to allow you to be the healthiest and most productive version of yourself.

If you need help finding office space,, whether conventional or flexible space, we can help. Contact us today for a no-obligation discussion on how we can help.

 

5 Tips to Market your Service Business

Businesses are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to market a product or a service to a wider audience. However, marketing service can be tough especially when there are a plethora of tools out there. Plus, it is different from advertising a distinguished product. When it comes to marketing a product, you design a campaign around it, highlight the benefits of the product and it gets the sales done.

On the other hand, when it comes to promoting a service, you have to market your ability and your team’s capabilities to achieve the given tasks. There is always a need for good service providers in businesses and the competition for who’s the best is cut-throat. Here, we look at five ways you can market your service-based business better.

  1. Make your business message stand out

One of the first things in your marketing strategy should include is a clear cut message that you want to convey to your audiences. Your words must focus on your service delivering on the critical fronts and calming the pain points. The message should capture the imagination of any prospective leads in one go. You need to identify your unique selling proposition. What can you do that your competitors can’t? In turn, making them into regular customers. Differentiate from your rivals by offering a unique selling message to the clients.

  1. Increase value for your customers

At times where competitors engage in price wars, it becomes evident that even though the offered price may be low but the contract will go to the one that gives the best value to the client. One of the ways businesses hone their value generation is through bundling mechanisms. It is like offering a full meal instead of just an Ala carte item in a fast food restaurant while still maintaining the profits. What does your service plan entail? Does it offer more than what the rival company is offering at the same price? Most service operators combine two or more functions as part of the deal and consider customers as actual people and offer plans that suit their needs. Personalizing a deal increases creativity which helps build brand value. Other ways you can achieve this is by offering faster delivery speeds, offering expert opinion, analysis and enhancing the customer care support for the clients.

  1.   Make the best of online

While making the jump to take your business online, you must look for a good web host provider where you can park your webpage and build on it. Talking of web hosting solutions providers, Stable Host is not bad and comes with options for a rookie first-timer and even a full-fledged professional portal. A good web host, with good 24×7 customer support and the latest data security procedures in place, goes a long way into determining how well your website will function.  

  1.   Expand your visibility

It is time to move from the Yellow Pages, if you even remember them, and local directories to appearing on online paid search engines. Attach your advertising links to a trusted website that reflects your brand and give out information about your company and how it meets targeted goals. Tap into the whole gamut of social network marketing methods and connect with your target audience via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and professional networks like LinkedIn. These are ways in which you can connect with the community and build a rapport with potential customers. Getting in the news for good reasons always helps generate good feedback.

  1.   Build your existing client relationships

Give incentives and better offers to the existing customer base. Many companies offer premium services to subscribers and some of those features remain exclusive. If the customer is loyal enough to spend money and time on your service, give them something extra so that they are retained. From the existing client base, start winning contracts via referral schemes. Create marketing tools that can reach your current clients and through them reach new audiences and markets.

And if you are looking for a place to call your business home, we can help. Contact us today to find out more.

 

10 Security Tips to Protect Your Company’s Data

Hackers and online criminals are working day and night to access our data. They look for vulnerabilities in our software, and also in us. People have had their identities stolen and sensitive information accessed. Even the US government is vulnerable as demonstrated with the most recent series of attacks on sensitive servers. When this happens to a company it can be disastrous on a larger scale. Many small companies end up closing due to the financial implications of what has happened.

The term ‘paperless office’ has meant that more and more business information is being moved online. That increases the pickings for cybercriminals. When hackers are getting more and more clever, what can be done to protect company data? Let’s find out right now with these 10 security tips.

Consider Third-Party Hosting

When this option is chosen, the responsibility for data storage, updating software, and maintaining security is moved to the host company. If someone chose to use QuickBooks cloud hosting their data would be stored on a dedicated server. The advantage can be that a business is not sharing the host site with another company. With shared servers, both companies need to maintain their IT security. If one is hacked, the other company will also be hacked.

Other benefits of such hosting are that passwords and usernames are kept private, and there is automatically encrypted data backup.

Draft An IT Security Policy

One of the biggest security vulnerabilities that companies have is their staff. Employees should be advised not to leave their computer screens unlocked when unattended. USB sticks and hard drives should be securely locked away.

Businesses should incorporate their IT policy into staff employment documentation. This should include an outline of the responsibilities, accountability, and consequences of security breaches. Training sessions should be conducted as part of the staff induction process, and also on a rolling basis.

Training should also be given on creating and maintaining effective passwords, identifying phishing emails, and not downloading files for personal use. Staff should also be warned about using public wifi or reading private company information in public places.

Use A Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN software puts an encrypted (coded) layer around the person’s online activities. End to end encryption is where a message sent by one person is encoded, and it can only be unencrypted by the valid recipient. Website access and data exchange become secure as a result.

Without a VPN, staff may be vulnerable when working remotely. The wifi hotspots found in coffee houses, airports, or hotels frequently connect to insecure networks. This means it’s easier for hackers to access the data.

Install A Firewall

Companies have these as external hardware devices or internal software. They are built into Apple and Windows. Firewalls act as security guards day and night, observing all incoming and outgoing activities. They instantly report issues and block them.

There are a host of unwelcome visitors that firewalls are designed to stop, ranging from spyware, adware, viruses, and worms.

Use Antivirus Software

This is designed to supplement the effectiveness of the firewall. Defender software is installed within Windows 8 and 10. This can do the job effectively in most cases, but there is always the risk that such things as ransomware may be able to bypass it.

Warnings can also be provided by antivirus software that sites are insecure or have known risks.

Have A Strong Password System

A study found that from January to March 2019, 74% of security breaches related to passwords getting into the hands of the public.

Employees should never keep written passwords on their desks or share them with others; neither should they use the same one for different applications. Obvious passwords should be avoided too, including passwords, 12345 or previously used ones. They should be at least eight characters long and include letters, numbers, and special characters such as $£*&.

Password management software is well worth considering as it creates the passwords for you, stores them all in one place, and even logs in to programs for you.

Securely Dispose Of Data

If a computer, memory stick, external drive or laptop are thrown in the rubbish there is the chance that someone could take it. Even deleted files or reformatted drives are unable to stop criminals from gaining access to the data.

Fortunately, there are external companies that can securely dispose of computer equipment. When one looks at the financial risks involved, this could be well worth the money.

Perform Updates And Allow Patches

It may not be hard to imagine that a small item of software may have security vulnerabilities that need regularly addressing. More alarmingly, there are similar issues with big players such as Windows, Adobe PDF readers, Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, or Firefox.

Cybercriminals are constantly searching for blind spots and loopholes, so when they have discovered it’s necessary for an update or patch to be installed to keep them out.

Set Up Two Factor Authentication

This can be created for use when people log in to such applications as Facebook, Gmail, or Evernote. It can also be utilized when making online payments.

It acts as a ‘prove who you are’ question. Someone may receive a code by text that they need to enter into the computer before they can proceed. Alternatively, they will receive a phone call requiring a secure code.

Create Data Backups

USB sticks and external drives can be stolen or lost. Computers can break and websites can be hacked. When data is stored online there is an extra layer of protection.

Companies frequently create disaster recovery plans. They should include what to do when IT equipment is destroyed or a cyber attack has been effective. It’s no good waiting until it happens before such things are considered.

There are a host of actions and policies that can be put in place to protect a company’s data. When it is all adopted, a secure wall can be created to keep the villains out. Whilst many of these suggestions will cost money, the alternative can be unthinkable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Reasons to Use a SIP Trunk to Reduce Telecommunication Costs

SIP trunk in the cloudThe world, nowadays, is all connected through telecommunication services. Businesses, in particular, rely heavily on telecommunication tools to carry out daily tasks and get in touch with employees and possible clients. Traditional communication methods can be quite costly when startinga  business, which is why they are always on the lookout for cheaper options that offer premium solutions at an affordable rate. SIP trunking is among these solutions that help reduce the telecommunication costs and allow businesses to carry out the necessary work without a hassle.

You are probably asking yourself the same thing I did. What the heck is a SIP Trunk? SIP stands for “Session Initiation Protocol.”  SIP trunking is a method of sending voice and other unified communications services over the internet. It works with an IP enabled PBX phone system and replaces traditional telephone lines.

Having a business of your own also means having to manage all the services you offer your customers; from payroll services to merchant accounts. A SIP trunk allows you the advantage of re-prioritizing your budget according to your needs. A SIP trunk is a virtual form of your analogous phone line that aids in effective communication with all your employees along with easing the constraints on your budget. SIP trunking enables an end point’s PBX to send and receive calls via an IP network, such as the Internet or private WAN. As the Session Initiation Protocol is applied as the signalling protocol for multiple real-time applications, SIP trunk is able to control voice, video and messaging applications

Here are some of the reasons why your company should start using a SIP trunk to reduce telecom costs.

1.  Minimal Initial Investment

One of the main concerns for any business when it initially starts is covering all the necessary costs to get the workflow running smoothly. When you use SIP trunking, you will ensure your initial investment in telecommunication services is minimal or almost non-existent. Even if you are transitioning to SIP trunking, you will not be needing to invest a large amount of money to get the process going.

2.  Free Internal Calls

All establishments need to communicate internally one way or another. Using a SIP Trunk service, you will save a lot of money, as you will be getting free internal calls within your establishment to make day-to-day communication easier. It is a very attractive advantage for all businesses who rely heavily on internal calls and want to allocate more money to other areas in your business. Calls made via SIP trunking are made through IP connections, making them significantly cheaper than any other telecommunication method. It is free, reliable, and quite attractive, especially for startups.

3.  Reduced Communication Costs

SIP trunking eliminates the need for traditional phone line connections, which has been shown to save companies an average of 70 percent on their monthly phone bills. Many businesses tend to rely on long-distance calls, and regular communication services can cost them a fortune. Even if the calls are not internal and free, SIP trunking still costs a lot less when making external communications than other traditional methods.

4.  Easy Compatibility

When you choose to invest in SIP trunking for your company, you will not have to worry about spending more money on device upgrades as it is easily compatible with most existing devices. You will not have to worry about replacing any old hardware as SIP works with the majority of phone systems and can easily be integrated into your communication system.

Effective communication is the life and soul of any modern business. Establishments in all industries need easy and cheap solutions to communicate internally and externally in order to keep the workflow going smoothly. SIP trunking offers many businesses the chance to save a lot of money on telecommunication costs without having to worry about investing a fortune in replacing their existing phone systems entirely. Before you make the transition to SIP trunking, make sure you do some research in advance to ensure that your business communications will run smoothly without a hassle.

You may be wondering why we are starting to post articles such as these. At OfficeFinder we help businesses find and negotiate for office space, but we also want to help businesses improve their bottom line. We have taken upon ourselves to expand our blog to incorporate ideas for businesses to do just that. We hope you find it beneficial.

When and How to use Drug Test Kits for Your Office Employees

Drug test

For employers, drug testing is an important way to determine if an applicant has a substance problem or not. When a drug is detected during a background test, it usually results in an immediate denial of the application.

The main purpose of drug test kits available today is to test drug use in the workplace. An individual’s ability to get a job is often affected by their past drug use, which makes it crucial to have an accurate drug test kit on hand. 

When To Use Drug Testing For Employees

A drug kit is often an ideal solution for pre-employment measures against drug use in the office. Drug test kits, such as urine drug test kits, include a sample kit and instructions, are affordable, user-friendly, and offer quick results. 

Most drug test kits usually test for the presence of certain illegal drugs in an individual’s blood by utilizing a saliva sample. This sample can then be analyzed by a trained laboratory technician who can determine the drug’s concentration within minutes. An employee may also receive a notice that their application has been denied, as an employee failing to produce a reliable test result could put their job in jeopardy. 

Here are some basic facts about when and if employees should be tested.

  • Each state has different legal requirements. Some states require employees to be tested for a drug at the start of employment, while other states only allow testing after a notice has been given to the employee. 
  • For employers, drug testing kits come in handy when hiring new employees. Employers need to ensure that drug abusers don’t have access to sensitive information within the company, such as sensitive documents, computers, and other devices that could potentially expose company secrets. Drug test kits can help catch employees who are using drugs, giving the employer peace of mind.
  • Most states don’t require employees to submit to random drug testing.
  • When a person first starts to take the drug tests, they’re usually asked whether they had used illegal drugs in the last year. However, many employers don’t require drug tests for employees who have not used drugs in the previous year. This is especially true if the employee has taken a drug-prevention class or has shown a willingness to follow an anti-drug program.

How To Use Drug Testing For Employees

As a general rule, employers who want to drug test their employees should consider taking a sample of urine or blood. Since urine contains more concentrated substances than blood, an employer may receive more reliable results. 

However, there are a few factors that determine whether an employee will be positive for a drug. 

  • First of all, the test may be able to detect recreational drugs. In addition, certain types of drugs can have a delayed effect on an employee’s response. Therefore, if an employee has a problem with drug use, the test can often give false negatives because the employee has no prior problems or is using the drug for the first time.
  • Once an employer decides to test employees, there are a few questions that should be asked before administering a drug test. These questions can include: Are there any physical signs of abuse that cannot be ignored? Is the employee willing to let their doctor know about drug use? Are there any signs of withdrawal? Does the drug make the individual feel nervous or anxious? Are there any negative changes in the way that the person acts?
  • Many of these test kits will also include instructions on how to prepare the employee’s urine samples. Therefore, the employee will know when and how to use a test kit for their own urine and will know what to do when they’re ready to test their urine. 

In some cases, the employee will be able to send a urine sample home with the employee kit, but they’ll only be able to do this if they have had a chance to get a hold of the kit before it’s time for the test.

  • There are many different drug test kits available on the market today, some of which are very accurate. However, it’s essential to know how these kits work before you actually decide to purchase one for accurate drug test results.

Conclusion

Regardless of the reason that an employer decides to test for drugs, it’s important to know when employees need to take their tests. By understanding when and if they should be tested, employers can avoid having an employee suffer the consequences of drug addiction as well as keeping the office running smoothly.

4 Questions to Ask When Looking for Small Business Insurance

 

Protect Bookkeeping Office

Do you have a small business? If so, you will quickly come to realize that business insurance is essential to safeguard your investments and your enterprise as a whole. Here are a few vital questions to ask when looking for quotes.

What type of cover do I need?

This is the most critical question to ask when searching for the right small business coverage. The reality is that business insurance requirements vary dramatically from enterprise to enterprise and are usually based on the size of your business, where it is located, and the nature of what it does. Most organizations operating within the same industry will have similar needs when it comes to commercial coverage.

It is recommended that all small businesses consider signing up for General Liability insurance which protects against any unexpected accidents or property damage that may occur on the company’s premises.

If you are uncertain in terms of what you need and you are looking for some expert advice, it can help to approach experts such as those at Next Insurance online. They are able to guide you in terms of how to ensure maximum coverage and peace of mind.

Should I get General Liability insurance or Professional Liability insurance?

You should consider getting both, as they are quite different. Professional Liability insurance protects against negligence claims and any mistakes made by you or your employees when on the job. In contrast, General Liability insurance protects against accidents and damage to property.

If you have both working in your favor, you can be sure that your business will be sufficiently protected against most threats. Luckily, several reputable insurance providers will offer business owners package deals that include both General and Professional Liability insurance at a lower cost.

Do I need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

If you have any employees, the chances are good that you will need Workers’ Compensation. However, the requirements surrounding this type of commercial insurance vary somewhat from state to state. Texas is currently the only state in the United States that does not require a business to take out Workers’ Compensation by law.

Workers’ Compensation insurance provides protection for both a business and its employees relating to situations revolving around accidents in the workplace, employee illness, etc. It covers costs such as loss of income if an employee suffers an injury that renders them unable to work for a specific time, as well as medical expenses brought about as a result of a workplace accident.

How do I Obtain a Certificate of Insurance (COI)?

In the past, it was extremely challenging to get hold of a Certificate of Insurance. Now, a few insurance providers have streamlined the process so that you can get your proof of insurance quickly, affordably, and online for maximum convenience. Remember – you will need a COI when approaching financial institutions for funding, leasing a property, or partnering with another business. Plus, it also plays a significant role in building trust among your employees and clients, so be sure to display it proudly where it can be seen and acknowledged.

You will also most likely need to provide your COI to your landlord. Most leases require a certain amount of liability insurance with the landlord co-insured. Others may even require casualty insurance. A good tenant rep, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder can help you negotiate the insurance clauses in a new lease.

Hope this helps in finding the perfect insurance fit for your business!

 

Employee Rights Every Employer Should Know About

Can you imagine finishing four years of university, getting a dream job, and realizing that working is not what you imagined? Well, a lot of people feel this way, but luckily, there are employers who are aware of how it was when they were at their first job. Many first-time employees are told never to settle for a bad workplace that don’t treat them well and and grant them their basic employee rights. Here are some of the most important employee rights all employers should be familiar with if they want to keep them for many years to come.

Wage and Hour Law

For many inexperienced employees getting their first job can be exciting, but also terrifying because they don’t know their basic rights – they might even settle on the horrible treatment – like working overtime ALL the time and not getting paid, or not having paid leave days. Experts at ECLaw state that employees can file a claim if your company is unable to provide them with their basic rights. But you as an employer have a duty to provide them with a strict schedule of set working hours and a minimum wage. This is both for full-time workers, and part-timers such as interns.

Discrimination Law

A workplace shouldn’t be like going to high school, with the only difference being that the adults are bullying you. If your employees are faced with any form of discrimination due to their race, sexuality, age, religion, or disability at the workplace, this is breaking the basic human rights law. In no circumstance can a colleague or an employer make remarks or treat one employee differently than the rest simply because they are different. If this happens, they have the full right to take this matter to court, so try to always be aware when such issues occur and listen to your employees when they reach out to you with such sensitive matters.

Workplace Safety Law

Regardless if you are working in an office or if you are working with hazardous chemicals – you as an employer have to provide your employees with a safe environment! It’s too common for workplace injuries to happen, but some are more preventable than others. This is especially for those who work in a dangerous field, having faulty or old gear can double the level of danger you can face. So it’s up to the company to provide the employees with the best possible equipment to do their jobs properly, and on top of that to be safe. Nobody would like to work in an environment where they are terrified for their safety all the time! If you can, gather your colleagues and discuss this with them, see if they suffered any workplace injuries, and try to figure a way to prevent these problems from reoccurring.

Privacy Law

Your employees are human beings above all, and if there’s something they deserve –  it’s privacy over their personal information. Just because your employees had to disclose details about their personal lives to get a job, that doesn’t mean that you as an employer can spill that information around. Their personal information should stay between you, them, and your company. Private information is not required for a job in every state, it also all depends on the type of job you are applying for, but regardless of that, any confidential information like someone’s physical or mental health should not be disclosed to anyone.

The Freedom to Make a Claim

Working in a giant corporation, employees might feel like an ant compared to the company itself. But you shouldn’t let that scare them away from voicing their opinions and asking for better treatment at your workplace. You, as an employer, have an obligation to protect your employees, while they have full right to sue the company if they don’t follow the basic employee rights and regulations have been respected. Many such huge cases have been happening over the years, regardless of a business being small or a giant company. Employees can make a personal claim, or even go one step further and gather all their colleagues to file a class action case against your company. At the end of the day, you want to be the one on their side, not the one they wish to sue.

When candidates apply for a job, they are devoting their time and energy to it, and with that, they expect the bare minimum when it comes to their rights. These include a safe environment to work in, but many companies seem not to care when it comes to these types of things. That’s why it’s up to the employee to speak up and know their rights, and why your job as an employer should be to protect them. No job is worth the discrimination and suffering, jobs are hard on their own and you want to experience a safe space around you. So speak up for your employees and never let yourself be associated with bad treatment!

And if you want to find a great office space for your great emloyees, that is what we can help you with. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you. Contact us today for your no obligation consultation.

 

5 Ways to Manage Multiple Offices

5 Ways to Manage Multiple Offices

It’s great when your business is thriving and successful when there are a positive cash flow and a steady increase in your profits. These are the times that you begin to think about expanding and possibly opening another location or locations. But are you ready for such an endeavor? Do you have what it takes to be able to manage multiple offices at the same time? The idea is exhilarating, but the work can be overwhelming. 

It can be done. With hard work and dedication, you can manage to operate more than one business at a time. By following these 5 guidelines, you can handle multiple offices with relative ease and efficiency. 

Simplify your operations

Running a successful business is all about using the right tools for the right job. When managing more than one office at a time, using property management apps like Proptech, could be quite effective. Apps for time-tracking and inventory control can easily save you money and time, allowing you to focus on more immediate problems. Accounting programs and project management software allow you to handle your affairs seamlessly between offices. By training your employees on how to use such tools, you allow yourself to be more available to visit and review your business’ operations.

Organize your SOPs

The first step to a successful management process is to organize your standard operating procedures (SOP). Review your working manuals and handbooks and devise a program to keep all functions running in the same manner. For example, make sure all employees are interviewed and hired in identical formats. Your customer complaints should be handled similarly throughout any office you have. Also ensure that your customers continue to have a fantastic experience in each of your locations, not just one or the other. The purpose is to keep everything on the same successful level so there is no deviations or exceptions.

Good Managers

In your primary office, you developed good and reliable employees who know their job and do it well. When expanding and opening new locations, it’s just as important to maintain the same bar of excellence with new employees. If it’s possible, promote someone from your original business to work as a manager in your new place. Apprentice the new people so they may learn from your older ones. You should feel confident to leave your managers in charge on a daily basis. They need to be able to supervise all operations, so you don’t have to. Only then can you oversee all your offices and bring your business to greater heights.

 Communication

Communication is the link that keeps business working, and many businesses working well together. When you have more than one office open at a time, communication is key. Your managers need to know where to locate you and how to contact you in case of an emergency. They also need to know when they can handle a problem on their own. To maintain their confidence, be sure to visit the office on a steady schedule and be available for conversations by phone, email, or one-on-one chatting. Hold meetings for your managers and your employees to confirm what you expect and what kinds of issues may be coming up in the near future. Share how each location is performing and allow your people to have input into their own. 

Once your communication system is in order, make sure to use it to the best of your ability. Try to eliminate repeating the same information from one office to another. Set up a group chat or website to share common data to all your employees and managers. Allow everyone to view it and check for company updates and announcements. Take the time to communicate your company’s information in the most efficient way possible. It can save you more than 15 hours a week of repetitive explanations and clarifying comments. That will save you money too. 

Team Camaraderie

 When expanding your offices, you also want to maintain your brand. This may be harder with a wider variety of employees to deal with. A cohesive brand requires a cohesive business. To keep your company all on the same page, bring them together for company wide meetings (or zoom meetings in the time of pandemic) and get-togethers. Let one office meet up with another to promote the bigger picture. Help them with motivation by employing inter-office competitions or games. Set up off-site excursions to stimulate and inspire your employees. When a group of people can work together for a common purpose, the outcome can be phenomenal. 

Conclusion 

When your business is doing well, it is quite natural to think of expanding your services to different locations and reach more customers all at the same time. When that time comes, it’s vital that you have the resources to fulfil this venture. Whether it involves managing your SOPs or utilizing property management tools, you can successfully travel the path of expansion by familiarizing yourself with the helpful tips listed in this article. 

If you are looking to expand, we can help finding the right office space at the best price. Contact us. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you.

 

5 Ways to Stay Connected With Your Clients

Kim hakui and choi soon sil

As a business owner, it’s essential that you still connect to your clients even after they have availed and purchased the goods or services your company offers, as it strengthens the business-to-customer relations. Importantly, when you provide the customers’ demands and earn their trust and loyalty, it entails a significant positive sudden shift to your business. Potential customers would know your firm and products through prior clients’ word of mouth.

Hence, it’s vital that you adapt to the emerging technology and software to put your business at pace. With the power and influence of technology, your business’s parameter would reach further, which enables your clients to keep on track with all the best-deal goods you offer. And to help you reach your customers and all the way to the top, we enumerated five effective communication methods below.

1.   Text Messaging

Today, there’s an estimate of 5 billion people who have mobile phones, and most of them typically spend an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes on their device. By considering the massive amount of people who own a mobile phone and the length of the time spent on the device, you can grab this opportunity to utilize text messaging for your business’s sake.

Text messaging is one of the most beneficial communication tools that humanity has received. This communication method provides numerous benefits to both consumers and businesses.

As a business owner, this tool enables you to track the transactions with your customers: reminding their appointments, notifying them of their current bills or best-deal offers, and keeping on track with the transactions, which are necessary for record-keeping. But remember, it’s appropriate that you observe texting etiquette to avoid customers being offended or misinformed.

Meanwhile, as a customer, it would be more convenient for you to set or reschedule a missed appointment. Also, you’ll receive notifications from the business firm with their current offers. And most importantly, it’s another way to release feedback based on the quality of the goods and services.

2.   Social Media Platforms: Facebook and Twitter

Nowadays, almost everyone has a social media account—from young to young at heart. They see social media as a tool for communication with important people afar. Although numerous social media sprung throughout the years, three social networking sites rose: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And these sites have already covered billions of people and still amass until now, which is perfect for business ventures.

Facebook

Launched by Mark Zuckerburg in February 2004, Facebook now has approximately 2.7 billion active users of all ages. Before, Facebook was just used primarily for photos, chats, etc. But, in recent years, it’s used for business ventures and transactions. With that, Facebook recently launched a business-service platform, which is a beneficial option and avenue for businesses. Small and big businesses can post and promote their products, and it has an automated response on messenger for convenient purchasing and transaction.

Instagram

With almost 1 billion monthly users and 500 million daily users, Instagram made it the top popular and most-accessed social media site. This free-photo video-sharing site highlights photos and videos on the wall, which users could easily slide through.  Further, it has become a platform where businesses show their products by posting pictures and videos with details. Thus, it’s an excellent way to notify your clients about your firm’s whereabouts and updates.

Twitter

Twitter already has 1.3 billion accounts and 145 million daily users. This social media site is popular with teenagers and adults. Considering the enormous amount of active daily users, it’s suitable for promoting products for thriving business ventures.

3.   E-mail (Electronic Mail)

The email you use and receive today is still similar to the first email in the 1970s, but with a little bit of modification for improvement. This online-messaging tool is primarily used to notify the client or customer regarding his/her current standing and transaction and a way to promote products and recent best-deals.

Importantly, since it’s done on the internet, you must have a set of quick-response teams to respond to the customers’ inquiries and feedback. With that said, you could avoid unnoticed and mismanaged emails that’ll badly affect your record-keeping. Therefore, an efficient and effective quick-response team must compromise the quality products and services you offer.

4.   Email Newsletters

In order for your business to grow and prosper, it’s important that you show to your current and potential clients the updates and new products you offer. One way of keeping them in touch and updated is through sending emailed newsletters. It’s also essential that the client agrees to the terms, which will permit your firm to send the emailed newsletter regularly.

5.   Blog

Online readers could now have access to online-review write-ups, also known blogs, in just one click. From thousands to millions of readership daily, it’ll definitely affect the performance of your business. Therefore, while you improve and maintain your service, you must also influence prominent bloggers to gain positive reviews to persuade potential clients.

Takeaway

In a nutshell, no matter how exceptional the services you offer to your customers, it’ll be a waste if you miss or fail to ask how to communicate with them further. Since communication is one of the significant keys to earn trust and loyalty, you must utilize the power of emerging technological innovations today. After all, business-to-customer relations don’t end after purchasing and leaving.