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 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.

There are several drawbacks. Commuting takes time. When you’re a working adult who is also in school, time is a precious commodity. It shaves off precious moments that you could be using to work, eat, or study. Chances are that you don’t really have a choice in the matter.

In order to make more use of your time and be more accepting of your status, here are a few tips you can learn in order to make it not such a pain. One way to become more comfortable, is to try to manage your stress. There are many ways to do this. One way is to just calm down when you’re driving.

By all means, if you must use your cell phone, use them hands free. Try not to change lanes when traffic is slow, because it rarely makes a difference. Make eye contact with other drivers as often as you can, and try to avoid getting angry over little things. If you put on a relaxing album or an entertaining audiobook, itcould become less of a hassle and more of an enjoyable experience. You may even start to look forward to your commute time because it will become your schedule alone time.

Avoid getting pulled over. The most obviously way to not get pulled over is to simply follow the speed limit. Speed limits are there for a reason; they help you stay at a safe speed while driving. It is not just about getting a ticket. It is also about avoiding accidents. If you have a lead foot, then you can count on getting pulled over by a policeman at least once in your life, or heaven forbid, an accident.

If you do manage to get pulled over, do not be rude to the police officer. Be as polite as possible, and if you know you were breaking the law, admit to it. If you believe that you weren’t speeding, you can ask the police officer to see the radar gun he used to pull you over. Many states require that if an officer pulls you over, he or she must show you the radar gun. If the officer refuses to show you the gun, you can always just take the issue to court after they’ve issued you a ticket. The key is to stay calm and not be a jerk to the officer.

With the high costs of traffic tickets these days, always contest your ticket. If given the chance, always contest by mail. You can explain your position by mail. If you don’t succeed there, you can still go to court. If the officer does not show up in court, your case will be automatically dismissed.

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.

Hire smart:

The employees make the business, so always keep this in mind during the hiring process. When you’re busy and under-staffed, it’s really tempting to make a quick hire to fill the space, but this can be extremely damaging to your business and personal brand. During the hiring process, you need to be welcoming people to the team who will add value and follow safe work practices.

However frustrating this process may be, it needs to be done thoroughly so that you can gain a fair understanding of how the person thinks, feels and their long-term work ethics. Always seek to include some form of psychometric testing during the interview process, this way you will be able to get an insight into the mind of your potential employee and whether they will pose a risk to your other employees or potential clients and customers. 

Creating a safe environment: 

Creating a safe work environment is essentially practicing what you preach. You cannot expect to create a safe work place without making necessary adjustments in the process. If you work in an office space, ensure that all wires are covered or out of the way so that your employees do not trip and fall.

Indoor air quality is often massively overlooked by business owners, but studies have shown that poor indoor air quality can be more detrimental to people than poor air quality outdoors – enclosed spaces with poor ventilation make for lots of different health and respiratory problems. Make sure that you have the correct ventilation systems that will filter out any toxins and provide fresh air to your place of work.

Another way to create a safe work environment is to build trusting relationships with your employees, so that if anything is bothering or upsetting them, then the issue can be safely resolved. This is a great way of safeguarding your employees and also making yourself a more trusted and amicable employer.

Practices and precautions:

These are essentially your instructive “dos” and “don’ts” for your company – for example: don’t run with scissors, do make sure the door is locked at night, don’t play fight in the office, do wear a hairnet. Be sure to have all of the rules and regulations well documented and with clear access for your employees. If you have all of your rules and regulations written down, then you have a point of reference if anything bad should happen – the clearer your rules and regulations are, the easier they should be to follow!

Provide protective equipment:

All different industries will have different safety precautions and PPE (personal protection equipment) for employees to use. For example, if you’re working in an industrial site, construction site or within a restaurant/ kitchen you will need to provide people with aprons, gloves, hard hats, protective shoes, and goggles etc.

It is imperative that you provide your employees with everything that they may require to cover yourself as an employer. If you are unsure on what equipment you must provide, then always consult with a like minded industry specialist or legislative handbooks, which will provide guidance and information on all kinds of workplace health and safety.

There are simple and easy steps that you must follow to make your business a safe environment. Covering every possible avenue that could result in injury, health problems or damage, will ensure a more successful and safe work environment, and choosing to ignore these factors could make you liable to pay the price.

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