Six reasons to have plants in your workplace

Research suggests that there are a whole host of benefits surrounding having plants in a workspace. In this article we take a look at the top six reasons why they should be introduced.
Whether you are looking for offices to let Basingstoke or Bradford, chances are greenery isn’t at the top of your list. But scientists have discovered that humans naturally want to be connected with nature, a condition called ‘biophilia.’ The bad news for us humans is that those offices to let Basingstoke or in Bradford, are mostly devoid of the nature we crave.

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Stress reduction

Australian research from 2010 found a 37 percent fall in anxiety, a drop of 58 percent in depression, a 44 percent reduction in anger and fatigue reduced by 38 percent, where plants were found in workplaces.

Productivity on the up

If you are looking for Offices to let Basingstoke through http://www.matrix-house.co.uk/basingstoke.html, you’ll want your employees to be productive. Other research has shown that spaces with plants saw an impressive 15 percent increase in productivity.

Sickness and absence

In 2011, a report announced that more than 58 percent of office workers had no plants in their work environments. However, those that did had a 15 percent higher score for wellbeing and 6 percent for productivity. Another report from the 1990s saw a 2 percent decrease in ill health.

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The law of attraction

A third of us are reported as saying that workplace design and its environment will have an impact on our decision whether we would like to work for an organisation or not. This corroborates the biophilic theory above and should have employers sitting up and taking note.

Clean air

Through photosynthesis, plants release clean oxygen, a thoroughly convincing argument why you should add plants to your indoor space. In fact, NASA scientists in the 80s found that plants were expert at removing chemicals such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from the air. More recent studies have shown that indoor plants reduce carbon dioxide by around 10 percent in air-conditioned offices and up to 25 percent in non air-conditioned ones.

Noise pollution

Plants help to reduce background noise by absorbing them; this means that office chatter and open plan meetings won’t distract colleagues. Living walls are the perfect choice for reducing such noise levels.

Most People Still Don’t Actually Know What the Gender Pay Gap Actually Is

The “gender pay gap” has been a hot-topic news story for several years now, and the media never seems to tire of reporting stories about big corporations and the differences in salaries of various employees. But it seems that not everyone understands exactly what the term actually means.

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Mind the Gap

In a survey commissioned by YouGov, it was revealed that just under two in three people nationwide incorrectly identify it as men being paid more than women for performing the same job, when in fact the term relates to men being paid more than women overall.

Gender Split

In fact, it is young men, aged 18-29, who have the best understanding of what the gender pay gap is, and conversely women in the next age bracket of 30+ were the least likely to define the gender pay gap accurately. 70% of women overall misunderstand the term. Almost all people questioned in the survey felt they knew the correct definition.

The lack of understanding poses a problem for those looking to remove the difference, as it’s not always easy to spot. There are also complications of parental leave and the gender stereotypes that still persist. The government is taking steps to address that, as are some employers, but there is also a part to play for society to get everyone challenging inequality when they see it.

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Reporting

Currently, smaller businesses are exempt from having to report their salaries and the differences between genders, and those that have a payroll of 250+ are the only companies required to report.

For small businesses, the intricacies of employment law and salaries can appear very complicated, but paying for an HR Manager might seem like a significant expense. A consultancy basis is a great solution on a needs-only basis.

Small Business goes into more detail about the benefits for start-ups and smaller businesses of HR outsourcing services or other specialist skills from experts. Look up companies offering specialist services like https://www.mushroombiz.co.uk/homepage/services/hr/ and take some weight off your mind.

The time saved by outsourcing to people with expert knowledge is important, and it allows you to get on with what you know best: your business. Imagine what you could do with that!

Three More Ways Thieves Can Target Your Car

As we’ve already seen, although car security technology has improved a lot in recent years, new technology has also opened up innovative ways for criminals to gain access to and even drive away your car. Technology means it’s often no longer necessary for thieves to physically damage the car by breaking a window or hot-wiring the ignition. Here are some more techniques that can be used.

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Range Issues

Keyless entry systems are convenient, but they can also leave cars unexpectedly vulnerable. Most keyless systems have a range of just a few feet, but do you know exactly what that range is? If your car is parked outside the house and the key fob is on the hall table, that could be close enough for the car to be unlocked.

Thieves know this and use the old-fashioned method of trying door handles to see if a car is unlocked. Even if your car isn’t stolen in this way, you run the risk of a flat battery as proximity to the key leaves electronics on standby and draining power. To guard against this, keep the key out of range or put it in a metal box.

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Code Grabs

How effective this threat may be is not currently fully understood. The theory is that criminals will lie in wait near desirable cars and use a scanner to capture the key fob’s signal when the owner approaches the vehicle. There’s not much evidence that this technique is widely used, but it is a theoretical risk. Additional security measures like Ghost Vehicle Immobalisers can ensure that even if the lock code is ‘grabbed’ the vehicle still can’t be driven away.

Hacking Apps

Many of the latest high-tech vehicles – particularly electric cars like the Tesla – are now linked to smartphone apps. These allow owners to locate the car and to control certain functions remotely. Apps can allow the vehicle to be unlocked via a password on a phone. Though of course fitting Ghost Vehicle Immobalisers available at http://www.mphvehiclesolutions.co.uk/ghost-vehicle-security can stop the car from being driven.

App passwords can be stolen or guessed – especially if they haven’t been reset from the default. The best way to keep your car secure therefore is to choose a secure password with a mix of letters and numbers that is hard to guess.

7 Tips For Better Online Banking

Banking has never been easier than it is today. Online banking allows you to access your bank at any time of day or night. You can even do this dressed in your underwear if you like. And if you choose to do it that way, it’s just as well there are no lines to wait in for online banks.

1. Probably the first thing to consider with online banking is the convenience. You can access your bank via the Internet at any time of day or night, even while lying in bed if you like.

2. Transaction performed online are generally much cheaper than those done over the counter at a bank branch. You can pay bills, transfer cash, check balances, and much more for much less.

3. Online savings accounts is something worth considering. The interest rates are usually higher and the fees are lower than traditional bricks and mortar bank branches.

4. Your computer has convenient ways to help you remember your login details. But don’t use the “remember my password” option if your computer suggests it. Keep your bank login details very safe and very secret.

5. Most online banks will allow you change your password. This is a very good idea and something you should do regularly. Of course, you must also remember your new password each time it is changed.

6. Logging on to your online bank is easy and very convenient. But after you have completed your business, remember to log out of your online bank again. This is especially important if you access your bank from a library, at work, or in a cyber café.

7. Enjoy your online banking, but beware of any email you receive asking you to verify your bank details by clicking a link. The site may look authentic, but it will probably be a fake. Respectable banks don’t ask anyone to verify details by email.

Skidding across the car park.

We have reached that point in the year where we are clinging on to the last of the warm weather and making the most of late summer sun. Soon we will be into the realms of the colder and wetter weather and before long we will be racing our way towards Christmas and the possibility of icy snowy weather that come with this time of year. Each year people venture out in these conditions, ill prepared for the problems that they could encounter.

Each year the Highways Agency sends out road gritters and uses tonnes and tonnes of grit and rock salt in a bid to keep our main roads clear of ice and snow and all good business owners will employ the services of Car Park Gritting companies such as http://www.contract-gritting.co.uk/ to ensure that their car park areas are free from icy hazards.

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There are some things that you can do to prepare yourself for any possible problems that you may encounter whilst driving in cold, snowy and icy conditions.

Preparation is key – make sure that if you know the weather is going to be inclement and you may experience issues with the roads that you make some essentials. On the RAC list of things to make sure you have in your car for the colder weather is:

  • Fully charged mobile phone and in car charger
  • Some bottles of water and snacks
  • A spare winter coat and some warm socks and shoes or boots suitable for walking
  • A warm winter blanket

It is also important to let people know of your planned journey and the approximate timings. Whether this is letting a business acquaintance know what time you are aiming to meet them or letting friends and family know of your intended route in case you run into any problems and have to walk some of the journey home.

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If driving on icy roads there are also some tips for driving styles etc:

  • Your tyre grip on wet and icy roads is greatly reduced meaning that your breaking distances are longer. This may mean that you need to adjust your driving style and factor in the distance between yourself and the cars in front and in some circumstances, this can be as much as ten times the normal breaking distance.
  • In order to reduce the risk of skidding you should try and make your acceleration, braking, steering and gear changing smoother. If you find yourself skidding on an icy patch you should always steer into the skid. This basically means that if when you skid the rear of the car moves towards the left you should then steer the car gently towards the left.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – An Overview

Run a search on any of the 200 major search engines, and the results will come up in similar orders on quite a few of them. How a website owner/operator gets their website to the top of a list is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Optimizing a website involves many of the same techniques, whether the aim is to optimize for Google adwords, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves or others. There is a list of what not to do as well, and that list is applicable to all engines, as it mostly refers to tricks and hacks unscrupulous designers use to try to trick the engines. These kind of pages generally get removed by automated tools and don’t generally last very long, so they are not recommended to bother with.

Website optimization starts with content. If the content is irrelevant, the website will not last long in the rankings, no matter how many keywords are included. The best way to get relevant content is to get an expert to write the content. General content may be more friendly to beginners, but in the search optimization arena, content is what is going to keep readers coming back and webmasters linking to the page. Many search engines use link counters to rank sites. If enough people like and value the site, they will link to it from their own site as an example of expert help for visitors seeking more detailed information than they can provide, or are willing to provide. Often, general-interest sites will link to expert sites, thereby also driving their own traffic up as the initial portal to those expert sites and improving their own rankings in the optimization listings. The quality of the sites linked is also a major factor in the rankings, as quality sites such as Microsoft and Google are going to be more effective “heavy hitters” than a link to Bob’s House of Website Optimizing.

When the content is being created, keywords are the “anchors” that search engines hook onto, but just filling your content with keywords risks being dismissed as a spam site, as many spammers merely fill a page with keywords, hoping to hook anyone searching for anything. These kind of pages are usually removed quickly, but they exist nonetheless. Specific keywords are the key–instead of Search Engine, use Search Engine Optimization for Google, or combinations of the key words or phrases. Optimization for Search Engines in one area, then Optimizing for higher Search Engine rankings in another increases the chances of an engine ranking your website content a little higher than it may have otherwise.

The guidelines for content also go for Meta tags such as the title. Title is very important, as it is one of the bigger spots for an engine to catch, as well as the hook that draws a surfer in once the rankings have been displayed. A recommended length is 50-80 characters (including spaces), with keywords located near the beginning in case the window is resized on the screen. A good example would be “Search Engine Optimization tips and tricks for Google”, instead of “How to do important SEO for websites.”

Search Engine Optimization–what to avoid: Don’t use huge strings of keywords without relevant content–you may be labeled as a spammer and blacklisted off the engine(s) you’re trying to climb. Stay away from pop-ups, excessive load times (by keeping the page clean and using fast hosting servers), and lots of flash animation, as this takes time to load and also detracts from the readability of the site.

More specific information can be found by typing “Search Engine Optimization” into any major search engine like Google or Yahoo and following the links. Good luck!

Search Engine Optimization: Natural Linking Strategies

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be the difference between a small, barely profitable or visible website and a traffic magnet website. There are a lot of ways, both good and bad, to influence the search engines. Some search engines react to certain strategies better than others. Some even have conflicting strategies that they react to. To document all of these things would require a significant number of pages and research that goes beyond the scope of this article.

However, there are a number of things that can be documented that will work for most if not all search engines. And let’s face it; there are really only 3 that make a difference between a successful and an unsuccessful SEO strategy. They are the big three: Google, Yahoo and MSN. These three search engines in any given month are responsible for over 90% of all internet searches.

So, what is this article about? It’s about what you can do as a website owner that will influence the search engines using commonly accepted practices of linking to other websites (outbound) and getting website links (inbound) back to you. There are basically 4 strategies that a website owner usually will employ to increase their website value in the eyes of the search engine.

They are reciprocal linking, one-way linking, multi-site linking and directory linking. A website owner should not think that using just a single strategy is the right answer – sure it will help your SEO but it won’t be the Best answer. The Best answer is to employ all 4 techniques and to do it naturally.

Each of the four linking strategies has specific descriptions that can be summed up as:

1. Reciprocal Linking: Site A links to Site B, Site B links back to Site A

2. One-Way Linking: Site B links to Site A

3. Multi-Site Linking: Site A links to Site B, Site B links to Site C, Site C links to Site D, and Site D links back to Site A. Could be 3..N number of sites involved.

4. Directory Linking: Site Directory A links to Site A

That seems simple enough but it takes time and effort to perform all 4 strategies and most website owners aren’t willing to spend the time or don’t have the time to spend on it. As a website owner, SEO needs to be one of the highest priority tasks that you need to address, just after Order Processing and Fulfillment and Customer Service. Without free traffic from the search engines, other traffic generation strategies that usually require payment must be engaged.

Now doing the 4 strategies above is great, but it gets even harder because you have to do it in a way that doesn’t trigger the search engines to enforce a penalty upon your website. No one except the search engine engineers know all of the exact penalties but we have some good theories for some of them.

The first is the rate at which links are created. There is a certain threshold for creating links that is too fast. It’s possible that the threshold is a sliding scale and is related to the age of the website according to the engine. For example, a young low-traffic website should not normally be getting 1000 links a month whereas an older website that gets a lot of traffic could be OK to get 1000 links a month. As you progress in your linking strategies make sure you keep this in mind, especially if you are thinking about buying links.

The second is that having a link to every site that links to you will likely reduce the value of the links. In other words, if all you ever get is Reciprocal Linking, you will likely move up the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page’s) but you won’t reach your sites full potential. Having a mixture of all 4 strategies will appear more natural to the engines.

The third is having all inbound links to your site on “linking” pages will make those links less valuable than having a natural link on a contextually relative page for a percentage of the inbound links. The higher you can drive this context percentage, the better your website will rank. These types of links are often some of the most difficult links to generate an exchange for because it requires more time and effort for both website owners.

The fourth is to have links inbound from all different ranking sites. If all you have linking to you is page rank 6 and 7 sites then you are likely to be sending the message that you purchased your links and that is not natural to the engines. Some would argue that purchasing links for driving traffic is just fine and it is. However, you should not expect the search engines to give those inbound links very much weight when calculating your SERP positions. It is significantly more natural for you to have a large number of rank 1 and 2 inbound links and a decreasing number of inbound links as you move up the page rank scale (0 – 10).

The fifth is to have the text of you inbound links varied. It isn’t natural to have every website that links to you to have the same text on the link description. The natural tendency would be to have a certain percent be the sites name, but after that it should be a wide variety of description. Your link text description is a key factor for how your site/page will rank, so make sure that you keep that in mind as you specify your preferred link text description on your website.

Finally, it would be best for a good percentage of your inbound links to appear within the text of a page that appears natural for the reader of that site. And for those links to not all point back to the home page of your website. It’s most natural for a good high quality link to appear in the text of a page and have it point internally within your site.

So, when you begin or continue your SEO activities keep all of these things in mind and don’t be impatient. Impatience could incur penalties or worse. Your website could end up in the “sandbox”. It is rumored and becoming more concrete that Google supposedly uses a sandbox that questionable sites are put in until they have aged to a point that Google no longer feels that they are being manipulated. Many of the search engines use similar protection schemes to eliminate spam sites and manipulation sites to keep their SERP’s from being cluttered.

Tips for cleaning the school during the summer

School is back after a long and peaceful summer of empty corridors and quiet classrooms. However, for those charged with maintaining and keeping the property secure, summer is the perfect time to complete all those jobs that are difficult during term time. With the bustle of term time gone for a few weeks, the building is free to have a really thorough deep clean with no interruption or time constraints. Here are some areas that can have a deep clean that might not normally receive one during term time:

The Floors

All floors can receive a thorough clean and wax, including halls, toilets and gyms. Classrooms, staffrooms, reception and dining hall are all clear to have a good clean done. Moving desks is time consuming and labour intensive but during the summer this job can take longer making it easier to complete at a steady pace. For hard surfaces, a clean to remove dirt and grease might be needed before waxing. For carpets, steam cleaning will rid the fibres of dirt that can damage the carpet over time. Areas like skirting boards and doors should also receive a wipe down. For Office cleaning in Gloucester, visit http://intocleaning.co.uk/services/office-cleaning/

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The Lockers

A lot of stuff gets stored in lockers and it’s not always just books. Imagine the things that could be lurking – sweaty jumpers, grubby PE socks, leftover sandwiches and who knows what else? Once empty, this is the perfect opportunity to give them a good going over with a scrubbing brush and some antibacterial solution. This will deodorise, disinfect and remove any sticky residue.

Heating and Ventilation Systems

Summer also presents the ideal time to examine the conditions of heating ducts and air vents. Throughout the year, these areas attract dust, allergens and other debris that is not only bad for respiratory health but also affects the performance of the heating system itself. You’ll want this ready for peak performance as the autumn and winter months approach.

Dining Hall and Kitchen

This is an important area to clean correctly and includes many different areas. These include floors, walls and ceilings as well as appliances, fridges, freezers and countertops. Grease builds up over time, leaving sticky residues, attracting pests and being a possible fire hazard. Taking good care of a kitchen will also prolong the life of expensive specialist commercial equipment.

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Toilets

Summer is the ideal chance to fully sanitise and disinfect all bathroom surfaces. As you can imagine, these areas receive high footfall and are among the areas that most need serious attention. All surfaces and receptacles need cleaning, including the inside and outside of all cubicle doors.

Gym and Hall

These are the largest areas and see a lot of traffic, including pupils, teachers and the public. Any furniture should be moved out of the way so the whole area, including furniture can be dusted and wiped clean. Upholstery and carpets should be steam cleaned. The same applies to gyms but these also need attention paying to any shower stalls, locker rooms and restrooms.

Don’t Have Time But Need Excellent Quality Work

Many students are stumped when they find themselves stuck between a hundred different things to do, especially when there is a college/school assignment, that’s due soon and they have not yet started working on it. The major worry for a student, especially a good one, in these situations is to ensure good quality of work. It is very hard to find such high quality services in your college or home vicinity. There is a solution for this and that is online assignment writing services.

WHY USE THEM?

Time: This is the major reason why most people resort for help on writing assignments. There may be an urgent call from your hometown. You may be stuck between too many extra-curricular activities or other situations. You lose all hopes of completing your assignment, let alone complete it on time. Most of these companies are extremely specific about due dates, so you never have to miss yours.

Quality: These companies hire people with post-graduate degrees, along with some experience of work. O you never have to be worried about content nor presentation of your work. All of these are very particular about providing plagiarism free work as well.

Affordable: Now, only reason why not everybody would get their assignments written by somebody else is that they come at a price. However, unlike what most people think, if you need to get your work written by someone, most of these companies provide at a very cheap and affordable price. You can easily find prices starting from just 10$ a page.

Guarantee: Most of these websites allow you to check out samples of their work as well as provide testimonial videos, to support their work. They provide you with a guarantee of confidentiality and your work is completely yours alone, once you have paid for it. All you need to do is verify that a reputed company has good reviews from users.

High-End Work: These companies provide services for a wide range of courses and subjects. They even write research papers and provide services for professional courses. In addition, in all this, you have nothing to worry about because you can be sure that one that is writing definitely knows what he is doing.

Consumer Friendly: Most of these websites are very customer friendly and you can get multiple free revisions of your assignment, if you are even slightly unsatisfied with your work.

Ease of Use:  Services of most of these websites are extremely simple to avail. All websites provide how to information on their websites, that vary only slightly. All you need to do is fill out your contact details and project requirements in a form, then a quick order confirmation.

Learning: Once you avail one of these services, you probably will not have to use them again for quality purposes. You can learn methods of great presentation and produce excellent work yourself, in your future assignments!

So go ahead, whether you need a school essay written or a nursing assignment help online, visit one of these websites and check out services they provide. Confirm your websites reputation, and you are good to go!

Safari Itinerary – Get Close To The Nature And Wildlife

It is a gripping moment to witness herd of swans dancing in water, elephants, beautiful and innocent rabbits jumping around, deers etc. Wildlife safaris could provide you more beyond than that. To experience Uganda safaris at your budgetyou can select to search across the internet. You are sure to find one that suits your needs.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME FOR WILDLIFE SAFARI?

If you want to get a close look of wildlife animals in their natural background, you should travel off season. During dry seasons, animals gather together around ponds, lakes and other water sources. Hence they are much easier to spot. You could easily get 25- 30% discount, in this season.

Even monsoon season can provide you with some amazing benefits. The green grasses, rains, beautiful atmosphere and stunning sunset are things that must not be missed.

WHY YOU SHOULD PREFER THE SELF DRIVEN SAFARIS?

Self-drive safaris are quite popular in countries like Namibia and South Africa. There are many benefits of such expeditions. You can travel at your own pace and plan the things, accordingly. You can easily manage the trip, as per your interests.

If necessary hire a trustworthy guide, at some point. The guide is well aware of the animal habitat and their habits. They will surely help you to spot the stunning wildlife easily. Carrying a travel guide to make things simple and smooth is sure to help on the way.

SAVE ON SAFARI TRIP

Cheap rental cars, self-catering accommodations and hiring camp gears will help you to stay within your intended budget. The first week of December witnesses few crowds, so it is the most appropriate time. Plan an expedition to Tanzania and Kenya from January to March. During this time, you could gain heavy discounts.  In winters too, the best deals to South Africa can be availed.

Many online companies offer three types of services-

  • Semi deluxe safaris
  • Budget safari
  • Comfortable safari

FEATURES OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF SAFARIS

In comfortable safari, you will be provided with many benefits like raised beds, sheet, pillow covers and variety of other facilities. Majority of services offered will include professional guides, during the trip. Additionally, the staff members will take care of all, your camping tasks.

Tourists with few passengers can book a single vehicle for safari. There is a backup vehicle for emergency purposes always reserved.

You can get to enjoy the cuisines from professional chefs, who accompany the safari. They prepare fresh meals with fruits and boiled vegetables. These light fruit provide you strength and energy. They will offer you some selected drinks at an additional cost. Toilet and bathing arrangements are also arranged for the convenience of the clients.

If you select budget safaris, you will be provided with limited features. The company provides a 1.8m dome tent. They will supply nothing more than mattresses to sleep. You can carry the sleeping bags during the trip. Facilities like shower and shared toilets are also arranged. You will get only one vehicle along with a trailer. You have to cook your own food.