Book Review: Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska

Wilderness documents the seven months from 1918 to 1919 that Rockwell Kent spent living in a cabin on remote Fox Island in Alaska with his nine-year-old son, Rockwell. Their life is primitive, at best, but the more stamina it requires, the more delighted Kent appears to be. Enduring the enormous forces of nature both delights and empowers him. Day by day Kent details how he and his son spend their hours in a landscape he repeatedly describes as rejuvenating to the soul.
In his entries Kent writes of the seemingly most mundane aspects of his existence on Fox Island. He tells of making bread, sweeping the cabin, chopping wood. He charts the weather conditions. His son befriends wild animals. He and his son chop wood, hike in the woods with you new amazon tactical flashlight, roll in the snow naked. He writes, he reads, he paints. These are the activities that fill Kent’s days and that he describes over and over again in his journal. Yet among the log of each day’s activities, Kent rather randomly pens beautifully profound commentary on the state of the world, the universe:

He writes, “I think whatever of the mystic is in a man is essentially inseparable from him; it is his by the grace of God. After all, the qualities by which all of us become known are those of which we are ourselves least conscious” (88).

And… “What a strange thing! Nothing is coming to us, no change in any respect in the routine of our lives but what we make ourselves,–and yet the day looms so large and magnificent before us! I suppose the greatest festivals of our lives are those at which we dance ourselves. You need nothing from outside,–not even illusion” (132).

And… “It seems to me that the ideal of a man is the real man. You are that which in your soul you choose to be; your most beautiful and cherished vision is yourself” (152).

Although he seems to revel in these great realizations, accepting his own self and living according to the idealist ideologies he writes of were true challenges that tested his will throughout his entire life. The harsh reality, of course, is that life simply is not so simple that a man can do just as he pleases.

Kent clearly is a complicated man. Although he embraces the notion of living life as simply and as truly free as possible, he banishes interacting with the rotten core of humankind for only short stints. He is never able to shed the capitalist-driven American lifestyle he is so critical of. In fact, attempting to do so appears to be merely ego-centered adventure to him.

I can’t help but like the guy anyway.

International Backpacking: Keeping Your Body and Clothes Fresh

 

When backpacking – true backpacking – showers will not always be available. Depending on your location, showers may never be available. Some nights are spent sleeping in alley corner or on a train station floor because no cheap room could be found for the night (or you’re just to tired to care).


No matter the reason, some times you will just feel dirty. This can make an experience miserable. It is uncomfortable, and exhausting. It makes you self-conscious and worried about being around others. You begin to feel jittery and anxious.

Staying fresh while backpacking overseas is a necessity, not only for everyone around you, but for your own sanity. Use these tips to stay fresh and to feel rejuvenated when backpacking through different countries.

1: Rubbing Alcohol. This is an indispensable commodity, especially when traveling through poor, often dirty locations. A large bottle of it is ideal, but if customs does not allow it, a large pack of alcohol wipes will work.

Not only can rubbing alcohol be used to clean items of dubious sanitation, but it can also be used to make yourself feel clean and cool rather quickly. If you are dirty, sweaty, or uncomfortable and have no access to a sink and some soap, bring out the rubbing alcohol. Pour it on a rag and begin wiping your body with it. The scent will disappear almost immediately, along with any other scents you may be carrying. You will feel cooler and definitely feel cleaner.

2: Dryer sheets. Bring dryer sheets and use them. Keep your clean clothes in baggies and wrap a dryer sheet in each one. Get one in thepnw.co. When you put on a clean smelling shirt, even if you happened to wear it to bed, you will feel instantly better, and you will smell better to the people around you. Keep all of your clothes sealed with a dryer sheet, to prevent other smells from absorbing into the clean clothes.

3: Cool clothes. If you are staying in a hot, dusty, and/or dry location, the odds are you are sweaty and uncomfortable. You probably feel zapped of strength and dirty. One of the best ways to feel rejuvenated is to put on a cold shirt and shorts and pair of socks.

Bring a couple of ice packs with you, both reusable and disposable. When you get to a hostel or hotel, stick them in the freezer so you have them when you leave.

Put an ice pack in a small baggy and wrap a shirt around it. When the shirt is cool, put it on. If you are in a hotel room or somewhere your clothes won’t get stolen, place them in the freezer. Make sure they smell good so you feel really fresh. Let them get cold, and then put them on. You’ll feel great.

Meet a Successful WAHM: Web Designer Jenni of Suga Pink Designs

Are the figures just not adding up? Are you searching for extra income? Do you want to work from home? Are you searching for legitimate, scam-free work at home job opportunities? One idea is to become a work-at-home web designer.  You may even apply for a job on web hosting Canada reviews.  If you have the skills, or are determined to learn, web designers can make significant income and allow moms to have more flexible schedules to allow for family time.
One successful work-at-home mom is the owner of Suga Pink Designs, a thriving web design business. Jenni is based in Minneapolis but can serve clients from any location. She began doing web design about three years ago, and opened Suga Pink Designs nearly two years ago. Her work-at-home job as a web designer allows her to spend more time with her 2 1/2 year old son.

What Inspired to become a WAHM?

Well my son, of course! There is nothing more important to me in this world than being able to be here for him day in and day out, while still proving for him and having my own idnetity at the same time. It is a very accomplished feeling knowing that no matter what, we will be ok financially.

What is some of your previous employment experience?

In another lifetime (the pre-mommy one, of course!) I was a legal professional. I decided to stay home with my son after he was born, and started out sewing baby slings and clothes. Web/Graphic Design found me!

What Kind of training/education do you have, if any for Web Design?

I am a self taught web designer. I owned several websites, but couldn’t afford to pay someone to design them all for me. I started messing around with codes, and eventually it all started to make sense!

Describe Your Work as a Web Designerl

I am a freelance web and graphic designer. I mainly work with other WAHM’s, and small businesses, but I also work with recording artists to put together cd covers and flyers. I am a “one stop shop” for a lot of my clients, because not only can I do their website, but I take it a step further and provide small business advice, SEO and consultation services, print designs for their business, and I also get a lot of repeat customers when one of my past clients needs party invites, or holiday cards! We really do it all!

What is your schedule like?

It depends on the week, and how many projects I have lined up. I consider myself a full-time SAHM during the day, and a full-time WAHM in the evenings and well into the night. If I had to put a number on it, I would say I work at least 12 hours a day. (oh man, that sounds like a lot! …and it is! lol)

How Much Do You Charge?

My rates are a lot less than most web designers out there. That isn’t a negative on them, many of them are very talented, and deserve every penny. For me, it was always about where I started out financially, and how I felt as a beginner WAHM knowing that I had an awesome product, but not having the money to get the design services I needed to project the image I knew would bring in the business. I think all web designers, myself included, can hear what a client wants to accomplish and know right off the bat how much work it would take to make it happen. Sometimes, we end up working for very littler per hour because the project is so involved. Explaining the fee schedule is more difficult than I thought it would be!

After a few years of networking and building client lists, it’s reasonable to expect to make a comfortable full-time salary working as a web designer. Starting out though, it can be tough if you don’t have a large portfolio or much experience. I would say my first year, I covered hosting fees and maybe a little over! It really depends on too many factors to be specific, though.

Why did you choose Web Design?

Web design chose me! I started out with a small website where I sold handmade baby slings, and clothes. After getting frustrated at how much it would have cost me to get the design I wanted, I started playing around with codes, and figured it out myself!

What advice do you have for other moms who might want to work from home as a web designer?

Well, good luck! It’s very fun and rewarding work, to know that you are directly helping make other WAHM’s dreams come true! Practice your craft, take your time, and don’t get frustrated in the beginning. Familarize yourself with your chosen photo editing software, and play around with it, a lot! Find some tutorials online, and build mock websites. But the most important piece of advice, never get discouraged! Network, network, network, and always be friendly- even when you don’t want to be!

What skills do you think it takes to become a web designer?

First and foremost, you have to have some artistic ability. Some things just can’t be taught. You should be skilled in both photo editing software, and know html, css, and php. It also helps to have some experience, so like I said above- practice!

What tips/advice do you have for other work-at-home moms?

Balance your day, and never forget why you are working so hard! If you need some time, take it! Enjoy your moments and always be proud of yourself- this is a difficult job!

What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced trying to juggle family life and working from home? It’s hard to find time to do everything. I haven’t actually sat down to watch t.v in a month, and my fiance has been trying to schedule a movie night with me for weeks now. It’s hard not to work all the time, because you are always aware of the millions of things that need to be done, and your office is open 24/7!

How do you find your clients?

I find a lot of my clients through networking, and a lot of them find me through search engines.

What websites do you recommend for web designers, or those aspiring to be one?

Oh wow, there are so many wonderful resources out there, I’d hate to miss one. Some of my favorite sites are dynamic drive (wonderful selection of codes!), colourlovers.com (thousands of gorgeous color palletts just waiting to be turned into a design!) and any site where other designers showcase their work. It’s so inspiring to see what others are creating!

What are some of pros of the job?

It’s fun and creative, and a wonderful way to express yourself. The gratitude from clients is the best, and I love helping other WAHM’s!

What are some of the cons of being a WAHM web designer?

It can be frustrating when you’re exhausted, kids are hanging all over you, dinner is burning, and you’ve just mistyped a small section of code that takes the whole website offline. That, my friends, is a bad day!

What mistakes, if any, have you learned from as a WAHM web designer?

Read the code! Don’t just think you know what it says, or skim over and assume. Read it! Oh, and backup, backup, BACKUP!

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Web design is fun, and very rewarding work. Personally, I’d prefer no more competition but… I’m only kidding! If you decide to become a web designer, I’m confident that you’ll love it as much as I do! It’s a great feeling to watch something you’ve created bring others so much joy and success!

For more details of Jenni’s company please be sure to visit the Suga Pink Website at http://sugapink.com. You can view her online portfolio and have more of a feel of the kind of work involved in web design.

For other work at home job ideas, please click here to read “Legitimate and Scam-Free Work at Home Job Ideas” Also, you might read this article on fantastic home-based businesses. Click here and here for forums and message boards for work-at-home moms and to discuss work-at-home jobs. Working from home requires dedication, motivation and lots of hard work. But, it can be worth it for the flexibility and job environment. Good Luck!

How to Design and Hang a Pretty Bathroom Shower Curtain

 

A how-to guide for creating a pretty and useful shower curtain starts with the materials you will need. Try finding everything at a discount or dollar store for an even more satisfying design.
Buy a curtain rod in the chosen color scheme hanging it at the right height for your ceiling to floor coverage.

Next, you will need two shower curtains.
The main one, for example, could be clear plastic. This is good for small bathrooms, making it seem lighter and brighter.

The decorative element is with the second shower curtain. It should be in a color to match the shower curtain rod. At the dollar stores a lot of them come with matching shower curtain rings which could match the curtain rod.

After hanging the clear plastic shower curtain on all twelve hooks, fold the decorative curtain into thirds and hang it on the middle four shower curtain hooks on the outside of the main curtain. It will hang down the center front of the clear curtain creating some privacy and a pretty, restful place for the eye.

An attractive example is of a clear shower curtain on a navy blue rod with navy blue hooks and a blue and white striped decorative curtain folded in the front. With a white painted bathroom and seashore style decorations and prints, this look is traditionally nice. White towels with blue trim would make a nice finishing touch as would blue and white soaps in a pretty dish. Yellow is a good accent color for blue and white decor too. A yellow candle in a clear glass holder would be a nice touch.

This project is easy to do and very cost effective. Specially for those of us who get bored quickly and like to change the look of a room frequently. My current shower curtain design cost less than $15.00 and that includes the rod, two shower curtains and matching hooks.

Also, on an environmentally green note, you can recycle the shower curtains and use them as drop cloths for painting or for beneath bird cages to catch seeds.
They can also be used as tarps to protect home maintainance tools and mowers or boats from the elements. Albeit very pretty tarps that will brighten your environment on the outside too.

I do recommend you visit an online shop I like where you can buy some thinga for the bathroom. It was where I also bought my current favorite wooden dinnerware sets.

Product Review: Bio-Oil

I had been looking for a product to help me with my stretch marks and dry skin problems for a couple of months, as I am trying to get ready for my upcoming planned pregnancy. I had tried plenty of products but the moisturizing effect they produced it never lasted more than a couple of hours and I did not see any significant improvement for my existing stretch marks. Finally a little over a month ago a friend of mine recommended me to try Bio-Oil and to use dermaroller amazon.
When I got to Walgreens and saw the little bottle of 60ml/2fl.oz. pinkish oil for about $12 dollars I almost leave without it. In the package it said I had to use it twice a day which for me meant that I was going to need at least four bottles a month if not more. Coming to about $50 dollars or more just for my moisturizer, but I was curious enough and trusted my friend so finally decided to give Bio-Oil a try.

The bottle comes with a little instructions pamphlet on how to use Bio-Oil for the different needs you may have: Scars, Stretch marks, Uneven Skin tone, Aging Skin and Dehydrated Skin. It also has the list of Ingredients starting with PurCellinOil which helps with the absorption of the other ingredients: Vitamin A and E, Lavender, Calendula, and Rosemary Oils, and Chamomile Extract. This description did not reassure me either but I proceeded to use it.

I have been using Bio-Oil twice a day on my stretch marks and problem areas, after my shower and before I go to bed at night and once a day on the rest of my body. My skin overall has improve a 90% it is smoother and has better tone to the touch, it looks healthy and has that polished glow that I always love in others. I have also noticed that insect bites heal quicker without leaving dark spots behind and my stretch marks are 25% less noticeable. If you take into consideration that I have had those stretch marks for more than 10 years it is a great result.

Bio-Oil absorbs fast without leaving a greasy feeling behind. It has a pleasant smell that is subtle enough that is not perceive if you wear perfumes or body sprays. It is also safe to use on your face and neck and I have seen the results on my friend’s first wrinkles as they get smother and less noticeable. After a little over a month I have used three bottles of Bio-Oil but in my opinion they are worth every penny.

Beach Sand and Gardening Toys from Recycled Plastic Milk Jugs

 

That ubiquitous plastic milk jug: instead of landfill fodder, why not recycle into sand toys for the beach and gardening tools? Make a set of eight tools. Perfect for Earth Day, preschool, school, scout troop, 4H group, camp and day care. Perfect small hands and young gardeners. Reuse or recycle. You will need:
-two clean plastic milk jugs per child
-permanent marker
-scissors (children’s Fiskars scissors work great)

To make a gardening bucket, plant starter, sand pail, strainer or sifter:

-Draw a line around the base of the milk jug, about three inches from the bottom.
-Poke a hole in the line with sharp scissors
-Cut along the line.
-You have a sand pail or gardening bucket or plant starter. For a sifter or strainer, poke holes in the bottom.

With the remainder of the jug:

-Draw a circle around the top about two inches down from the mouth.
-Poke a hole.
-Cut around the circle.
You have a funnel or sand castle mold.

With the leftover piece, you can make a trowel or shovel:

Make a trowel:

-Draw along the indentation on the jug where the handle is.
-Snip the lower end of the handle to separate it form the jug.
-Poke a hole on the line.
-Cut around the line.
-Trim the top part above the upper end of the handle to a v-shaped point. You will have a flat surface with a handle to smooth out surfaces and a corner surface for edging. This tool makes an great hoe for a small garden or potted plant. If you cut it with a zigzag edge it can be used as a garden rake.

Make a shovel:

-Draw a circle around the part where the lower end of the handle attaches to the jug, about an inch or so from the handle.
-Snip the top end off from the jug.
-Cut along the circle you’ve drawn.

For more green, recycle bin crafts, visit my linked blogs. And of, I’ll be having a workshop at Teddy Kids Kinderopvang so see you there!

Looking for Portable and High Quality iPod Speakers? Discover the Logic3 I Station

When it comes to a speaker system for your iPod or other MP3 player you may want to consider the Logic3 i Station. This portable speaker unit is very compact and works well with the iPod especially where travel is concerned. It has immersive sound too. The Logic3 i Station is designed for travel and is just right in the home, work place or vehicle. It’s not only a good fit for iPods either. While Apple’s hardware is the main thing the designers had in mind, there is an included auxiliary input and minijack cable. Using these two items together you can hook up MP3 devices that use the minijack. That opens up a lot more options for you than the speaker systems which were made solely for Apple. Plenty of thought was given, however, to the compatibility with all of the various iPod models. The universal dock will fit all dockable iPods.
A very basic case is included to help with travel. The Logic3 i Station is powered by four AA batteries or the included AC adapter. The remote control is a bonus. You would be hard-pressed to find an MP3 player speaker station in a comparable price range that would include one. It’s also helpful that the station recharges and powers your iPod simultaneously while letting you listen to your music. Another feature of added convenience is that you can switch music in and out between your MP3 player and PC while keeping it hooked into the speaker station. The cable needed for this function comes with the Logic3 i Station.

The two 1.25 inch tweeters are really impressive because often you’ll find one tweeter of this same size as part of a much larger stand-alone home stereo speaker. Seriously, just look into it if you don’t believe me. Here you get a set of two of these in a tight compact system to easily carry around with your iPod. It’s a pretty good deal honestly. In case you don’t already know, the tweeters give crystal-clear sound quality to higher frequency parts of your music. Then there’s the subwoofer. The two and a half inch subwoofer provides plenty of quality bass and low frequency support.

The portable Logic3 i Station even has a built in 3D surround processor. You really get your money’s worth with this speaker set. The station boosts the overall experience of the iPod or MP3 player. It wouldn’t be easy (if possible at all) to find another set of speakers this compact and with this much sound quality for your portable music player. The Logic3 i Station is at the top of its game, especially for the price range it competes with.

Special Features of WordPress Development

 

WordPress is believed to be one of the best content management systems (CMS). Increasingly, it is being known as common option for webmasters in the field of website development as their best choice for its functionality and user friendly attributes. WordPress provides a very convenient use to users as it can be downloaded from the internet at free of cost. It has a great focus on each and every principle, uniqueness and utility of all websites .The ability to create and maintain your website conveniently by installing WordPress gives a very effective wave, it is a great chance of attracting visitors.
Coming to the striking features of wordpress development that bounces lots of privilege in website designing and development. These features are regarded as the reason why wordpress is one of the best options in CMS or otherwise known as DNN .net CMS. To know more about these you should check out as they are illustrated below –

Effectiveness of its cost – This is an amazing privilege why you should choose to use wordpress. It enables you to download from the internet at free of cost which is incomparable with other CMS as well as fulfilling the desires you have in website development. You don’t need to pay a huge amount of money.

It is easy to install- The process of installing WordPress on your website is easy and does not require any complicated task to complete. It is just to click on the wordpress links and fill the general information being asked. In fact, a very easy process to install right away.

User friendly – Over here technical skills are not required for using WordPress in your website. As wordpress provides very convenient and easy way to use, you can feel relax and esteem of its usability.

Better optimization for search engines -Wordpress makes your website to be easily optimized for search engines results .If your site is easily searched by the Google then there would be more chances of getting visitors and get more success.

Functionality of website – Any kind of function you like your site to perform can be done by applying WordPress Plug-ins. It is like a soup up for your website that help you in saving time through out your functioning.

Automatic up-gradation- When you apply and utilize WordPress design in your website, you will be well acquainted with the functioning of automatic up-gradation. It will be activated in your website and every new version being launched in WordPress will be automatically upgraded. There will be no requirements of following any manual process.

Easy Extendibility – You can avail any design or layout being available and change it according to your wish .This possibility is provided by using WordPress in your website development for instance Plug ins and Widgets.

Good Administration- WordPress can save your site from traffic jams in the internet. It can balance the server heavy load as well as ensure your site is functioning in rhythm without any interruption.

No requirement of keeping back up- By using WordPress there is no necessities in keeping any back up in your blog, as it has already been set up automatically by WordPress.

No spam – WordPress gives its users to function without any need of spam. Pre installation of Akismet in your site will help in blocking spam in the background. Hence, WordPress provides an innovative platform to WordPress developers to work without spam.

With these features there is no doubt why website developers chose WordPress as a helping hand in developing websites. And utilizing such advantageous features of wordpress in your website will fascinate a lot of visitors and get acknowledge on the platform on World Wide Web.

Why Every Boss Should Consider Officewide Telecommuting Arrangements

 

So, you’re one of the last holdouts. All around you, companies and organizations have jumped on the telecommuting bandwagon. But in the department where you’re the boss, everyone is still showing up and chugging through the 8 to 5 routine, battling traffic, daycare issues, and your clock-watching nature.
Whether you realize it or not, chances are that at least some of your employees are looking to greener pastures. Even those who don’t wish to telecommute full-time wouldn’t mind the opportunity to work from home a day or two a week.

But you’ve got an organization to run and customers to serve. If they don’t like doing things the old school way like writing in an academic diary, they can head out to the highway, right? If work was fun, then it wouldn’t be called “work.” Trying to arrange work from home options for your staff is a headache that you just don’t need.

Before you decide that’s the way it has to be, think about the benefits of telecommuting from your company’s perspective. As a manager, it is understandably part of your job to ask ‘what’s in it for the company?” The answer is that in almost every organization, there is a significant amount of work that can be done off-site, and in fact is better performed without the distractions of a busy workplace.

The option to work from home as little as one day a week, or even every other week, can significantly improve quality of life for your employees. But beyond that, it can be just plain good for business. Here a few things that even the most old-school of workplace operators should think about before shutting the door on telecommuting options:

1. Yes, your employees will do others things when they’re working from home. But they’ll still work harder.
There’s no doubt about it. When an employee is working from home, she’s probably going to do a few loads of laundry in between returning calls, responding to emails and writing that proposal. She may take a break and chop up the salad for her family’s dinner. If she’s really living dangerously, she might even run to the store on her lunch break to pick up a few things her household needs, instead of wolfing down a limp sandwich at her desk like she usually has to do in the office.

On the surface, it sounds like you’ll be contending with a lot of wasted time. But think about it for a moment. If you’ve made your hiring decisions wisely, your employees are trustworthy and committed individuals. They’re also human, so of course they’re going to take advantage of the chance to multi-task. But any telecommuter worth her salt knows that the opportunity to work from home is a privilege, not a guaranteed right. She’s going to go above and beyond to give you your money’s worth and then some.

Sure, she might juggle a few household chores throughout the day. But that hour she usually spends getting ready to leave the house in the morning, and the 45 minutes she sits in traffic each way? You can be pretty sure she’s going to spend a good chunk of that time focusing on her work. Instead of ironing professional clothing and putting on her makeup, she’ll be reading the morning’s emails and reports. Instead of sitting in traffic cursing at a red light, she’ll be preparing her notes for that conference call.

2. Less Stress Equals More Productivity
Impending deadlines or important presentations lead to the kind of stress that fosters productivity. But traffic jams and long commutes lend themselves to the kind of stress that actually causes employees to lose focus.

If an employee feels like he’s fought a battle before he even gets to the office, he’s not going to tackle that report with the energy and enthusiasm you’d hope for.

While chances are that you can’t let your employees ditch the commute every day, allowing them to work at home on special projects or job tasks that require focus, concentration and creativity is beneficial to both you and them.

3. Are There Really More Distractions at Home?
It’s a common misconception that those working at home will be subject to more distractions than those in the workplace.

A dedicated employee will control the distractions in his home. He’ll keep the TV off and the web surfing time to a minimum. He’ll tell his mother that no, she can’t call three times a day.

In the office, the chatter of co-workers, the crowdedness of workspaces, and other activities going on around them are often beyond an employee’s control. It is easier to give in and join in the “American Idol” conversation going on across the cube farm than it is to try to work through it.

4. Sometimes, Hiding from the Customer is a Good Thing

As a general rule of thumb, customers aren’t a distraction. They’re the reason you and your employees are there. But when part of your deliverables are products like content, reports, web sites, presentations, or just about any other item that requires focused work, constant calls and visits from clients can cause staff to lose momentum.

Creating a workplace where employees divide their time between providing on-site coverage and support and working on their part of projects or deliverables from home can provide the best of both worlds. You can deliver the friendly customer service face and still give employees the focused, uninterrupted time they need to churn out their best work.

5. Not Much in the Budget for Raises This Year? Done Right, Telecommuting IS A Raise of Sorts.

You expect your employees to go above and beyond and produce consistently. In return, they expect to be fairly compensated for their services and to have strong performance recognized with pay increases and promotions.

Sometimes, the money isn’t there to do all you’d like. While providing the benefit of telecommuting should never be considered a reason not to give good salary increases, including the option to arrange some work-from-home time into their schedule does provide employees with a way to cut the cost of living.

Reduced gas expenses, less time for children in daycare, and the need to buy fewer high-end professional clothing items are benefits employees will appreciate, especially in years when your budget is lean and your pay increases are less than you and your staff had hoped for.

6. If you don’t let a good employee telecommute, someone else will.
Retention is an issue in the workplace. Your best employees are those who are in the most demand, and they know it.

If your company or departmental policy prohibits flexible work arrangements, an employee who wants one bad enough will find it elsewhere.

A friend of mine recently had a company try to woo him away from his current employer with a significantly higher salary offer. He enjoyed his current job, but hated his hour-long commute, and the money and shorter drive were too much to pass up. When he went to talk to his current boss, she went to her higher-ups and explained the situation. While their budget didn’t allow them to match his offer at the competing company, they were able to retain him by allowing him to telecommute 2 or 3 days a week, depending on the work schedule and priorities at the time.

7. Maximize use of your office space
Setting up combined telecommute/on-site schedules for your staff can decrease the crowd in your cube farm, giving employees less distractions and more space on any given day.

In fact, if you’re really strapped for space, you can use such hybrid schedules to let two staff members share the same workspace throughout the week. Many employees will be more than willing to give up a completely personal workspace in the office in exchange for more flexibility and freedom.

8. Some telecommuting arrangements actually increase customer service options

Office employees do much of their work in a virtual environment. So do customers.

Depending on the population your organization serves, your customers may actually prefer to transact business online or by phone. I work in a university environment, in an office that provides services ranging from advising to registration to records management. Our clients, the students, grew up wired. For them, the internet is a way of life. Having to come into the office to obtain a service seems old-fashioned and inconvenient. They’d often rather get questions answered by email or instant message, or participate in advising done by discussion board and chat rooms.

Employees with the right set-up can deliver phone and internet based services from home just as well as they can in the office. In exchange for the ability to do so, employees may be more willing to be flexible with work schedules.

A mother who needs to collect her children from school and get a meal on the table at night can’t stay in the office to host an evening online program or be available to respond to messages and emails from clients. But she may be perfectly willing to do so from home.

9. Telecommuting can improve interpersonal relationships and increase cooperation in the office.
So, your employees want to work from home, do they?

Instead of seeing making telecommuting arrangements as an additional management responsibility, consider challenging your staff to come to you with a proposal on how your office can make fair arrangements for everyone and still cover essential services in the office.

Let employees take ownership of providing themselves with flexibility. Encourage them to work together to come up with a coverage schedule that ensures everyone has a fair opportunity to work at home and provides enough staff members in the office on any given day to ensure that on-site work is accomplished. Let them work out the details of who does what, and when. Review the proposal, and gradually implement it over a trial period. At the end of the trial, reconvene your staff to work out the bugs, tweak arrangements as needed, and move forward.

If you employees want the opportunity, they’ll put aside personal differences and work together to set up an arrangement that benefits all. They’ll be flexible with each other and compromise when needed to keep the telecommuting option in place. It is amazing how well people will work together if they know they stand to lose something they value otherwise.

10. Telecommuting is a great opportunity to cross-train your staff

There’s a lot more to providing a fair telecommuting arrangement among multiple staff members than just working out a schedule. Chances are that if everyone has been in the office day-in-and-day out, each person is performing at least one task that only he or she knows how to do.

Sue is the one who knows all the computer passwords and where the keys are to all the various supply locations. Kevin is the only one who responds to inquiries of a certain nature, while questions about a different service always go to Jen.

But for the telecommuting option to be fair for everyone, Sue, Kevin and Jen can’t be expected to be there all the time. To make it work, others will have to be trained on what they do.

Some employees tend to hold key bits of information about how they do what they do close to their chests. They don’t mean to be guarded, but knowing they’re an “expert” on something that no one else knows makes their jobs feel more secure. That’s a hard habit to break. But people are more likely to break it if the reward for doing so is the option to participate in a telecommuting arrangement.

Likewise, some employees are hesitant to learn more about the job responsibilities of others. They’re already feeling overworked in their own roles, and fear that if they learn something new they’ll be regularly tasked with it too. Again, if the price to pay for the chance to work at home a day a week is to be cross-trained and able to provide support to other areas, employees are usually more willing to participate with a smile.

Increasing the knowledge base about roles and tasks in your office makes your entire operation more productive, and gives you the widespread expertise you need to cover your bases when employees resign, have medical issues, go on extended vacation or hit the lottery.

11. Productivity can be easier to measure in telecommuting scenarios.

When employees are working at home, they should be dealing with tangible and measurable tasks. You can gage whether the arrangement is working by the quantity and quality of their output.

Sure, you can do that in the office too. But an employee’s assertion that she’s having trouble completing her daily quota of content, research, reports or data entry because her office is closest to the lobby and she’s always being interrupted by walk-in clients may be very real. At least, it’s hard to disprove. If the employee is given the chance to work at home and completes her quotient and then some, then chances are her assertions were true. If not, then maybe she really is a slacker. At least you’ll know.

Telecommuting arrangements aren’t always the easiest things for management to implement. As both a manager and someone who values work/life balance, I frequently telecommute myself. I wouldn’t feel this was fair if I didn’t work to make it possible for my staff as well.

You will face employees who take unfair advantage of the arrangement. But in truth, that’s not so different from the slacker who surfs the web all day in his on-site office. In time, work performance speaks for itself, and you’ll deal with individual situations appropriately.

Overall, telecommuting can have many benefits for your organization. Happier and more productive employees, increased cooperation and team spirit, more measurable work outcomes, better use of office resources and improved customer service can all be end results of telecommuting arrangements if they are handled with fairness and flexibility on the part of both managers and employees.

How to Spot a Drug Addict

 

Many people would believe that spotting a drug addict would be an easy thing but it most cases it’s quite the opposite. A lot of addicts have a way of hiding what is really going on with them. There are a lot of things to look out for and since there are so many things that a person can become addicted to, the symptoms and behaviors of an addict can vary from person to person.
The most obvious inclinations that you are in the presence of a drug addict are usually physical indicators. One important physical indicator to note is if this person you suspect of being an addict has an increase or decrease in energy. Since fluctuations in energy can be related to other circumstances such as stress, a drug addict would more than likely have a substantial change in their energy.

Watching the way somebody speaks can also be used as an indicator. Certain types of drugs can cause speech to change from normal to slowed or slurred. On the other hand, in the case of stimulant abuse, speech and movement could be increased. The person could be talking faster and moving faster than normal. Any variations in the speed of speech and movement could be related to drugs.

Another important physical indicator of drug addiction is a large increase or decrease in weight. Most stimulants cause the majority of people who abuse them weight loss but the effects can be adverse on certain individuals. Any large fluctuation in weight could be related to drugs so it’s an important thing to keep an eye on.

Changes in sleep habits can also sometimes be linked to drug abuse. Insomnia as well as heavy, long sleeping can indicate a drug problem. A drug addicts sleep patterns, most of the time, will be very different from the sleep patterns of a non-drug-abuser.

The mental signs of a drug addict, though not as obvious most of the time, can be a way to spot a drug addict, especially if you have known the person for a while. Mood swings can be a indicator drug abuse. For example, the way the person would normally react to a situation that may be unfavorable would be substantially more intense if they were on drugs. They would be more likely to have periods of extreme happiness that drastically changes to agitation and moodiness. Depression is also an indicator but especially if they had issues with depression prior to their change in mood. Most of the time, drugs are to blame.

Since there are so many different types of drugs that cause many different occurrences, here is a list of some other things to look out for.
– excessive marks on their face
– large pupils can be an indicator of stimulants and many other drugs.
– change in interests
-sudden change in friends or people they hang out with
– various changes in stories they have told you about where they are going
-excessive bruising on the body
– extreme highs and lows in mood

All of these behaviors and physical symptoms that have been listed can be directly related to a drug problem. If you know somebody who is experiencing any of these changes, keep your eyes open and be there for them. There are many centers that are available to treat drug addiction and the only thing you can do is try to offer this person help. I hope this information was helpful and remember these changes can also be related to other things such as stress or changes in lifestyle. However, it is important to keep a look out for addicts, especially in the people who are close to us.

Next topic for the week: Identifying legit products from not and using serum for the face (I will list down top  vitamin c serum for face reviews so better watch out!)