Useful Tips to Help Commuters

Commuting to work can take a lot of time. but there are some useful things you can do while driving like listening to an audiobook. By all means, follow the rules of the road. It is not just avoiding tickets. It avoids accidents.

Being a commuter has its benefits and its drawbacks. One of the benefits of being a commuter is that you get to be in control. You control when you leave from home, when you leave from school or work, and you get to travel in the comfort of your own vehicle. You can listen to your own music, or talk to yourself if you want to. You also get to live in the comfort of your own home.

freeway entrance
Commuting to and from work takes time. But, there are some things you can do worthwhile while driving alone.

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Is Your Workplace Safe? Top Tips for Business Owners

What you invest in workplace safety will save you money in the long run. Hire employees who will help you to enforce a safety environment. Provide employees with protective equipment.

As a business owner, workplace safety should be at the top of your list of priorities. If you put safe work practices into place, then you are completely covering your back and ensuring the safety of your employees, your business and your wallet. Whatever industry you work in, it’s important to sharpen up on all of the health and safety regulations you must follow. Here are some simple steps to follow to ensure that you are providing the best work environment for your employees…


two men working with wheel barrows
Especially if your business is in construction where accidents can easily happen, safe work practices must be enforced.

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Looking to Work Abroad

In these hard economic times, more and more people are looking to work abroad. You  can attest to the hassle of planning a career out of the town you grew up and schooled in. The process gets even more complicated when the job requires to move to a foreign country.

Dealing with language, culture and currency are what you will have to deal with if your work requires you to move into another country.
Dealing with language, culture and currency are just a part of what you will have to deal with if your work requires you to move into another country.

There are many things that will be strange and new in the different environment you will be exposed to.  Some of them are obvious like language, culture and currency. Other tricky issues include tax returns and conditions of employment for foreigners. However, there are many tax advisors to help you with these issues to make the relocation easy and straightforward. Getting prepared gives you the peace of mind and ease of blending into a new environment with ease:

If the kids will come with you, they need a place to go to school and someone to take care of them when you are working.

1. Research where you will live

It is important to gain as much familiarity with your new country as possible because you will need to be comfortable in it. The laws, major roads and highways, mode of transportation used and the food options this foreign country has, are important in getting to know what you will expect when you get there. Since you are going for a work engagement, learn the basics of how you will be getting to work every day and where you will be living in relation to where you will be reporting for work.

2. Organize yourself

Some people are able to travel with their families at once so that they can settle together while others prefer to travel ahead and then plan to bring their families once they are settled. Whatever your option is, there has to be great planning to make it work well. If the kids will come with you, they need a place to go to school and someone to take care of them when you are working. On the other hand, leaving your family behind is another option but this means that you leave them with enough supplies which will last them until you start sending money for their upkeep.

3. Learn the key phrases

You may not be able to learn a foreign language and be fluent within a week of landing in a new place but this does not mean you cannot communicate. By learning some key phrases and words that relate to what you will be doing every day, you will start of your stay with comfort and people will be more willing to teach you other words because they see the interest you have. Key phrases include polite words to seek and appreciate help, ask for direction, welcome guests and say good bye.

If you have the time, learning a second language can take also no time at all. Get yourself a learn in your car language audio. While you are driving, you can listen and repeat in the privacy of your car. This takes almost no extra time.


Kiev, Ukraine image owned by AFSB

Back Injuries in the Workplace

At work, employees should be educated on workplace safety, especially on proper techniques on the prevention of back injuries.

Back injuries are very common in the workplace.  Many employees become victims of mild to serious injuries. The wokplace is one of the hazardous work places in which they can occur. They can be caused by chemical, physical and biological hazards caused by dusts, vapors, radiation, lighting, electricity, viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.. These injuries can be caused by repetitive movements, awkward load carrying or manual handling postures,  extra force, poor housekeeping, slip, trip and working stress.

surface back anatomy
Especially at work, keeping your back straight is important. Remember when lifting, use your legs.

A worker can sustain a number of injuries including head and brain injury, repetitive stress injuries, broken bones, hand, arm and back injury. Back injury is the most common of all other workplace injuries as it results from a number of factors. Back injury sufferers can make a claim to get employee compensation if his accident was not his own fault.

Back pain or back injury can be severe when it does not let an employee to focus on his job. In the workplace, the following can be several different causes behind back injuries;

Lifting and manual handling: Lifting heavy loads at the workplace can cause back injury or back pains. Handling loads in awkward positions or exerting to much extra force in lifting can result in severe back problems.

Repetitive Movements: A person involved in tasks that needed repetitive certain types of movements (bending, pushing, pulling and twisting) can also face back injury. Repetitive stress injury can result in muscle fatigue and irritating back pains.

Unchanged positions: A worker involved in tasks that require sitting for a long time can also suffer from back pain.  It affects the natural curve of back that results in muscle pull and tiredness. Excessive unchanged positions over time can intensify the back pain.

Slip, Trip and Fall: Very common cause of back injury is slip, trip or fall type accidents. In the workplace fall due to wet floors, moving parts of equipment and inappropriate instrument provided.

Prevention of Back Injury

Back injury or back pain can be reduced or prevented by a variety of exercises. Taking regular breaks in difficult handling and lifting tasks are also important. Keep your back straight and bend your knees when lifting. The natural curve of the spinal cord is very important. To avoid back injury it is important to maintain curves in the spine. Some other tips to avoid back pain are; reduce stress from mind, have a balance diet, quit smoking and regular exercise to improve physical strength and flexibility.

Employee’s Health and Social Care

It is the responsibility of employers to provide workplace health and safety of the entire workforce. If a worker falls victim of workplace injury then the employer is liable to compensate his injured employee. The employer should initially fulfill the all requirements to ensure workers’ health and security. In order to avoid back injuries employers should take appropriate safety measures.

Employers should provide appropriate training to the employees for safe lifting techniques. It is best to eliminate manual handling techniques where possible from the workplace otherwise size which can cause back injury. It is important to adjust heights at which materials are to be handled. It can reduce the chances of falling and receiving back injury. Slip and trip hazard can be eliminated by good housekeeping. Employers should make sure that working conditions are clean, safe and hazard free in all respects. Moreover engineering technology and ergonomic designs can be used to improve worker efficiency by reducing back injury chances.

Social care of injured employees is also the duty of the employer. A worker cannot be dismissed or sacked from his job due to his back injury or any other injury caused in the workplace or the employer might face a greater liability. Rather, the employer should give moral support to the worker with a back injury. Employers should give proper working breaks, have proper safety equipment and give lighter work to workers suffering from back injury until they recover.

Employment Category Post List

AFSB news and articles in the Employment Category.

Small business related articles on employment, unemployment, employment law and other employment issues.

two men constructing a stone fence
Posts and articles in the employment category.

What You Need to Know Before Switching to a Home-Based Job

Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to experience financial freedom? Do you want to work whenever you want to work? Do you want to quit your nine-to-five job? These questions are heard over and over again when pitching a possible home-based work opportunity. The sad part is, it’s not as simple as most people think. When you think about it, these questions are often followed by stuff like “buy this guide and know the secrets that will set you for life” or something of that sort.

home illustration with dollar sign
Do you want to have a home based business? Here are a few things top consider.

But really, if it’s anyone knows the method of getting rich, they should already be rich, right? Why would they need to sell a $10 product.

When working at home, you don’t have to pack or buy lunch. Either way you think about it, this is good savings all around.

But I digress. A lot of people are enchanted with the idea of working at home. While it is a very fulfilling type of work, the truth is it’s a knife that cuts both sides.

The Good

One advantage of working at home, either as a freelancer or a blogger or even as a family business owner, is that you don’t have to beat the traffic every day. If you start working at eight, you can wake up at eight and have your morning coffee while you work. After working hard and you need to crash, the bed is just a few footsteps away. If you feel like going to Starbucks, bring your laptop and you can still work. Simply put, the world is your office.

When working at home, you don’t have to pack or buy lunch. Either way you think about it, this is good savings all around.

The Bad

Alas, any advantage of working at home can also be a bad thing depending on your perspective of things. For instance, when you’re working at home, you tend to work; completely oblivious to the fact that you’ve neglected your promise of working at home to spend time with your family. If you neglect your work and spend more time with the family, you become distracted. Your productivity goes down and your income goes down with it if it’s a performance-based work.

Simply put, you just brought your work home with you. This also brings a few other bad things. For one, while you are more comfortable working at home, you tend to get stuck there, especially since blogging isn’t as a glamorous life as it’s purported to be. You need to be running a lot of blogs and do a lot of promotion for you to earn enough to replace your nine-to-five.

The Verdict

Is a work-at-home scenario for you? If you prefer to stay at home and don’t mind being glued to your computer chair while your social life dissolves in front of you like the rest of us have experienced, then go ahead. It’s a lot of sacrifice but it’s a fun life, probably because it’s a little unpredictable. If not, then you can stick to your proper job. If someone makes fun of you for it, slap them in the face with a piece of paper containing your company benefits information.

Author’s Bio:

Marion Wendell is a freelance blogger who loves to write about her experiences in job-hunting back in the day and has been in the job recruitment business for more than five years. Whether looking for bank jobs in Singapore or finance jobs in Australia, she has a wealth of ideas, tips, advice and suggestions to new job-seekers and help them land the job of their dreams.


home based business image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Preparing for Your Job Interview Tips

The top tips for job interviews include good preparation by researching the company, knowing your pitch, answering behavior questions and practicing.

Success in the interview is really decided before you arrive at the office during preparation. Interviewers can recognize very quickly between individuals who are prepared and those who are not. Make sure you are the right kind.

You will impress the interviewer if you know things about the company. It pays to do research before your interview.
You will impress the interviewer if you know things about the company. It pays to do research before your interview.

Think about different questions that they may ask and specific experiences you can apply. The easiest way to do this is to come up with three or four great past experiences you have had that can be applied to several different questions.

Do Your Research

Be knowledgeable about the company you are interviewing for. This is not as difficult as it used to be. All you need to do today is hop online and visit the company’s website. In fifteen minutes you can learn the company’s history, vision, products, and past successes. If you want an in depth feel for the company you can even view old financial reports if the company is publicly traded.

Doing the background research will answer the biggest question, do you want to work at the company? You may be surprised at how much your view can change after you gather more information. If you end up deciding that you do want to work at the company you will now know why. Interviewers will often ask you why you want to work at their company.

The background information will also prepare you to ask better questions yourself during the interview. At the end of your interview you will often be given the opportunity to pose a few of your own questions. You can sound competent and savvy about the industry and even highlight your strengths with specific company examples.

Know Your Elevator Pitch

Tell me about yourself. This question is one of the most difficult to answer because it is so broad. It also is usually the first question that you are asked and you need to prepare your elevator pitch. If you had only moments to tell me about yourself what would you say?

Your pitch should be around a minute long. You should include your background, what you enjoy, and what influences you may have had. Present a broad explanation of who you are as an individual. Scattered throughout this background should be your educational and professional experience. Seal the deal with how you are going to benefit the company. The elevator pitch is a great opportunity to direct the interview in a favorable direction. Talk about your strengths and the interviewer will probably ask you to elaborate.

Answer your Behavior Questions

These are growing evermore popular in interviews. Behavioral questions are based on the idea that your past experience and actions are the best indicator for how you will do in the future. They involve a general question with the caveat of how you dealt with a similar situation in the past. Go through the problem by explaining an issue in a similar situation, the specific challenges you faced, and how you resolved the issue. Popular behavioral questions you may be asked include:

“When faced with a problem with a coworker or client how do you handle the situation?”

“How have you dealt with demanding deadlines in the past?”

“When faced with a difficult problem what creative solutions have you come up with?”

Think about different questions that they may ask and specific experiences you can apply. The easiest way to do this is to come up with three or four great past experiences you have had that can be applied to several different questions.

Practice, practice, practice

With a friend or in front of mirror, you need to run through your interview out loud. Know the answers to behavioral questions and memorize what answers you wish to bring up. Make sure you not only know the background of the company but that you can express it coherently. Check that you are speaking normally without hesitation or rushing. The more you go over it the better you will know your material and the less nervous you will feel during the interview.

Whether you are graduating with a business management or if you are a Liberal Arts Major in New York you will need to understand how to interview. The most important part is your preparation.

If you are interested in learning more about interviewing I would recommend the book Boost Your Interview IQ by Carole Martin. The best part of the book is all the practice questions that will give you a better feel for the types of questions that will be asked and what the best answers are.

job interview image by Pixabay