Why Your Small Business Might Need High-Quality Connectivity

The internet you get for your business is one of the things you need to give serious thought. When your business is still young, it’s understandable that you want to keep costs low by getting a cheap, low-speed business internet plan.

But while starting small is a good idea, high-speed connectivity is one of the things your small business should invest in early on. Here’s why.

Faster Uploads and File-Sharing Improve Productivity

Your employees need a speedy, reliable connection to make fast uploads. A high-speed business internet plan enhances productivity because it lets your staff upload things in a few moments and get back to work.

In the modern office, nearly all the tools employees need to thrive are web-based. Similarly, many business activities use the internet. To name a few: Your IT team maintain your website online; your marketers communicate with customers on social media; your sales team processes customer orders on a cloud-based CRM.

Business-Class High-Speed Internet Supports Collaboration

As a small and young business, you may choose to work with freelance contractors and remote employees rather than running an expensive payroll. For this arrangement to work, you need to rely heavily on cloud technology. A high-speed business internet connection is the foundation on which every cloud platform rests.

Top-tier, enterprise-grade data plans let your remote workers and freelancers communicate and collaborate with minimal friction. No matter where in the world they’re located, they can connect with you, other employees and clients and share information and files through video conferencing technology, collaboration software and file-sharing solutions.

An Enterprise-Grade Internet Connection Evolves Alongside Your Business

Scalability should be among your top priorities when setting up communication systems in your business. You should think about all the resources you need to help you grow at an acceptable rate. The last thing you want is to bring everything to a halt to restructure your business so that it can accommodate the expansion. A high-quality business-class internet connection can easily grow with your business.

Choosing the Right Business Internet Plan

The most widely used types of business internet solutions are cable and fibre. Fibre-optic connectivity is the more reliable option while cable internet is the more affordable one. The primary considerations to make when buying internet for your business include your budget and your requirements for speed and reliability.

Empowering Your Business to Address Workplace Loneliness

The United Kingdom recently appointed a Minister of Loneliness to help combat what experts consider a major mental health issue. CBC reports that at least one out of five Canadians of all age groups experiences loneliness. People may be dealing with loneliness in your workplace, even if they are constantly around or virtually connected to others.

Loneliness is a perception of feeling less connected to others than we believe we should feel. This differs from being alone; we can be alone but not lonely or lonely in a crowd. The perceived isolation of chronic loneliness can affect brain function by shutting down the zone of the brain crucial to empathy and communication. Other areas of the brain go into overdrive, causing a person to be on guard against real or imagined emotional threats.

Research by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania links loneliness with disengagement and poor job performance. When this emotion persists, it can lead to serious mental and physical health issues. Loneliness can be contagious and trigger a cycle of isolation, indifference and even antipathy.

As a business owner, you are in a prime position to cultivate a culture of kindness in your workplace. Psychology researcher and former journalist Michelle Gielan advises that whenever we invest in connecting socially, we simultaneously mitigate loneliness and fuel our success. Your commitment to alleviate loneliness at any level can spark positive changes for them, yourself and your enterprise.

These are some things you can do to alleviate loneliness in your workplace:

  • Be Predictable: The lonely mind treats uncertainty as a threat and seeks to protect itself with isolation, so strive to ensure that your workers are in the know regarding your company mission, job responsibilities and work-related events.
  • Come Face-to-Face: Speaking with people in person creates a stronger social connection than meeting digitally.
  • Break the Ice: Begin meetings with short, interactive exercises to help employees build meaningful connections.
  • Reach Out to Others: Set up opportunities for you and your employees to work together for a local humanitarian cause.
  • Connect and Grow: Connect with business owners or colleagues within and outside your business and encourage your employees to do the same.
  • Be Kind: Rachel Reeves states that kindness can be the best cure for loneliness; a genuine smile, handshake or word of appreciation is free but priceless to a lonely person.

4 Great Tips for Tackling Summertime Procrastination

Tackling summertime procrastination is doable whether you work in or out of the home. Working doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of activities that make you happy. Getting a handle on your procrastination lets you achieve more of a balance between your job and all the things you wish you could be doing instead. The following tips can help get you going.

1. Reward Yourself for Finishing Tasks

If you’re often inspired by rewards, consider using that tactic when it comes to work procrastination. Many options could propel you forward. It could be something as seemingly simple as getting an iced coffee or dining al fresco at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try.

2. Commit Yourself to Separate Work and Play

Dedicate yourself to making work time all about work and play time all about play. Everyone has their own personal distraction triggers, like text message notifications, which could lead to procrastination. Determine what yours are and do what you can to prevent them from happening. According to the Udemy 2018 Workplace Distraction Report, decreasing distractions in the workplace can have a positive impact on employees. When you’re working, reduce distractions and use laser focus to do your tasks. But when you take a break, use that time to clear your mind. During off hours, avoid work emails and messages and just enjoy doing summer activities you love.

3. Schedule Bursts of Downtime

Taking breaks throughout your day and doing activities, like going for a walk, can be good for you. Listen to music, grab an ice cream cone, sit in the park and feel the warm sun, or do whatever it is that brings a smile to your face.

4. Complete Urgent, Time-Sensitive and Difficult Tasks First

Do the tasks first that you’re not looking forward to doing so you’re not using less important ones as a procrastination tactic. Once they’re completed, it’s like a weight off your shoulders. This could also let you fully focus on having fun during your off time rather than worrying about what still needs to be done at work.

You have the ability to tackle summertime procrastination. Consider all the activities you can do and the clear mind you can have once the work is done. That peace is worth more than procrastination.

Making Strides in Fair Employee Compensation

When assessing company goals and fiscal responsibilities, it’s important to consider employee compensation and benefits. The middle of the year is the perfect time to make adjustments to ensure you meet yearly goals.

An excellent compensation plan is the best way to attract and keep good talent, which is the backbone of any business. Even small companies without the income that corporations enjoy can create a compensation plan to compete in the overall market. Consider the following ways to create a strategic plan for employee compensation and benefits.

Mid-Year Reviews

Review each employee’s progress in achieving work objectives and provide positive feedback where necessary. The middle of the year is the time to create new end-of-year goals and to see who’s performing to the best of their ability.

Identify any company issues affecting the employee’s performance. You can accomplish this by sending out a workplace survey. You can also get a perspective of what Canadian workers are concerned about by studying the 2019 Staples Canadian Workplace Survey. This survey provides insights into the current state of the workplace and what employers can do to improve it.

Setting a Budget

Valuable employees pay for themselves in terms of compensation and benefits, and if you aren’t compensating them, they will look elsewhere. Take a realistic look at what you can spend on each employee, then check to see what the competition is paying by talking to others in the industry or using an online salary calculator or a website like Salary.com or Glassdoor.

According to GGFL Chartered Professional Accountants, for every dollar an employer invests in an employee, the employee must generate at least $3.15 in revenue. Factor in your operating costs and how much each employee costs the business. These costs include:

  • Recruiting
  • Sick days
  • Health and paid leave
  • Severance costs
  • Training
  • Vacations
  • Liability insurance
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Health care

Implementing a Compensation Plan

Write out and incorporate any new changes into your fiscal budget. This plan should include specific numbers to avoid any confusion among employees. List the number of sick and vacation days each person is entitled to and discuss paid holidays and the approval process for overtime. Mention any changes to the benefits package, including health care and retirement. Clarity helps keep employees motivated.

Tips For Keeping Your Busiest Days Organized

The modern office worker is obsessed with productivity. There’s an infinite supply of advice from thought leaders, productivity specialists, and time management experts on getting the most out of the 24-hour day. The productivity software market in Canada was $2.9 billion in 2018. As this year rages on, we share some tips to help you stay organized, especially on your busiest days.

Focus on Systems, not Goals

Start by breaking down your time and task management system to its essence. Improve your productivity by doing more with less. Open up more time by focusing on tasks that really matter and getting rid of trivial activities. Once you set the right goals, shift your focus to the process because it’s the only thing you can control.

The only way to change your results is by changing your systems. Result-level solutions are temporary. For permanent improvements, you need system-level solutions. Fix the inputs, and the outputs fall into place. Furthermore, drawing satisfaction from the process rather than the product means you don’t have to wait for the results to be happy.

Stop Piling on Tasks

Working exclusively on essential tasks improves your efficiency. Come up with two or three clear goals at the beginning of the week, and make them your top priority. Every morning that week, prioritize tasks that help you get closer to these goals. If a task doesn’t support your main goals, label it as a non-essential task. Take on non-essential tasks only after you completed your two or three main goals.

If you have difficulty prioritizing, consider cutting out one day from the workweek. Counterintuitive as this move might seem, it can boost your productivity as it forces you to prioritize better and eliminate all distractions that may eat into your well-earned free day.

Set Aside Time to Think

Be honest about how much time you need to maintain your energy, balance and creativity. Depending on your job, this might mean staying committed to the time you set aside for creative headspace to reflect on issues and spawn ideas.

Schedule 30 minutes to an hour every day to think proactively about your priorities rather than someone else’s. You can create extra time to think by making your meetings as short as possible. Make sure each meeting has only a single agenda, and close the meeting immediately after the discussion.

The Best Ways For Your Business To Celebrate Summer Solstice

Summer in Canada officially starts today, June 21. It might seem like the only way to celebrate the summer solstice is sitting around a bonfire or by the dockside. But you’ll be surprised to find that there are some ways to celebrate it with your colleagues. Since numerous associations plan indoor business events and seminars in the winter months, event planning for the summer provides a welcomed change of pace and an opportunity to get outside. As an event organizer, you should always be ready to suggest ideas for your corporate hospitality events, sales summits, and even product launches.

Here are the best business summer event ideas that will take advantage of the summer solstice.

1. Ground and Centre Your Team on the International Day of Yoga

The summer solstice coincides with the International Day of Yoga (IDY), a day for acknowledging the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of yoga. Businesses can use this day to offer employees a way to share a therapeutic practice.

Company employees can attend a group yoga class. Many studios and instructors offer customized yoga events and classes on the week of International Yoga Day. Identify a good studio near your business premises and schedule a group yoga class. You can also support the local yoga community by donating a studio that offers free classes.

2. Start Summer Resolutions

Create a summer thrill list with your business partners. Pull out the markers and poster board and let the creativity flow. Watch the movie Not Bummer Summer and Judy Moody for inspiration. Summer resolutions resemble the New Year’s resolutions. Although, unlike the start of the year that follows with simply a couple of days of freedom before school, summer is three months packed of opportunities. As a group, start by setting small goals. Understand that you’re on holiday, so there is no harm to go off track on some occasions. Of significance, remind yourself daily what you want to achieve, and lets this be the fuel that leads you to make a change.

3. Thoroughbred Horse Racing Events

“Win, place, or show!” A day out for thoroughbred racing, bizarre food and manicured grounds is a great approach to shaping business relationships whether it’s with clients, workforces, or even business partners. Group entertainment package alternatives may comprise the following:

  • Box seats
  • Administrative suites and millionaire’s a dining room
  • Marquee tents
  • Meeting facilities

Event Planner Pro Tip: Ensure your program consist of a winner’s circle group photo for your visitors.

5 Most Effective Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day

Canadians are under a lot of stress. In fact, one in four Canadians say they have left a job due to stress. Statistics Canada states that 23 percent of those at least 15 years old report most days are quite stressful, and that figure rises to 30 percent for those between 35 to 54.

Taking an occasional day off for mental health purposes might be the best way to combat rising stress levels and the damage they work on your mental and physical health.

More Attention to Employee Wellness Is Needed in the Workplace

According to the Staples 2019 Canadian Workplace Survey, mental health days are common among a subset of the population, with 35 percent of employees admitting to taking mental health days. Women outnumber men in this statistic by 44 versus 26 percent. Additionally, four out of five people surveyed say employers should take responsibility for employees’ physical and mental well-being.

Best Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day

Here are the most effective ways to spend a mental health day.

  • Do Nothing. Be content to relax the entire day, without stressing about what you aren’t doing. The peace of mind you receive will leave you feeling recharged when you return to work.
  • Listen To Music. Music helps you slow your heart rate, which can lower blood pressure, so throw on some tunes as you enjoy your day away.
  • Stop Watching The Clock. Clocks on cell phones, computers and our walls constantly remind us of what we aren’t doing. Try to ignore the pull of tracking time when you take a mental health day.
  • Control Your Breathing. Tai chi, yoga and meditation all help you regulate your breathing, which can reduce stress. Anxious people tend to breathe from the upper chest. To calm down, take slow, deep, measured breaths that swell your abdomen rather than your rib cage.
  • Let your thoughts wander. Chances are you are probably pretty good at daydreaming, but give yourself special permission to create a happy, relaxing mental space.

Taking a mental health day may give you the energy you need to fully commit to work and personal responsibilities again.