25 06 2018
June is National Great Outdoors Month! Don’t miss out on the opportunities this has to offer you and your business. With a little bit of strategic planning, your business can on its way to generate additional revenue while enjoying the Great American Outdoors.
Here are some tips for you to go by this month-long celebration of the great outdoors:
Promote your business
There’s nothing wrong promoting your local small business while enjoying the natural environment. In fact, running a business and promoting environmental protection can work hand in hand.
If you run a local restaurant, put out some displays about the scenic beauties surrounding your business. Do you have a door-to-door delivery business? Print some extra fliers promoting the nearby outdoor activity in your state (don’t forget to include your business logo).
Do you see tourists flocking to your state? Make sure you have items such as pens with your logo to give away so they’ll remember your store while enjoying outdoor activities near you.
There are many ways to slant National Great Outdoors Month to your business’ favor. All you need to do is to get those creative juice flowing and occasionally woo the “muse” to give you bright business ideas.
Teambuilding for your staff
Want to enjoy the Great American Outdoors during work hours? What better way to do it than to enjoy each moment with your employees!
Taking your staff outdoors can rejuvenate them after months of stressful work. There are plenty of group activities to choose from:
Regardless of the activity your team engages in, the outdoor experience will bring your employees closer together. Plan ahead and think of activities that will help your staff take a little bit of recreational rest and get their pent-up energy out in the open.
Have them wear your company t-shirt or windbreakers while doing activities. This adds visibility to your company and makes others in the area know your company exists. Extra eyeball advertisement for your brand will surely help drive your business forward.
Increase your staff’s productivity
Are you having trouble increasing your staff’s productivity?
This is related to #2. Enjoying the great outdoors could spell dramatic increases in your employees’ performance.
People who spend more time enjoying the great outdoors develop a special kind of social skill—they tend to work better in groups.
Do you have staff members who don’t work well together? Let them indirectly sort things out by putting them in the same team activities! It may be awkward at first but reminding them that this is a fun activity could cool things down. It could eventually lead to a much more harmonious collaboration among team members.
A sedentary routine is one of the biggest threats to a healthy life. When you spend majority of your time sitting down in front of a computer, don’t be surprised if you feel pain or get sick more often.
Humans are social beings. We all began living closely tied to the outdoors hunting for food and later, tilling the soil. But advancements in technology, while extremely beneficial, brought with it several painful changes in our work-life balance.
You can get your health back by simply stepping outside! And what better time to do it than this month!
Climb a mountain with your friends, trek with your employees, go on that fly fishing trip with your dad that you’ve been planning to do for months now but keep putting off. The health benefits are enormous!
By the way, when we say health benefits, we don’t mean only physical health benefits. Perhaps you’ve been looking inward for so long now and it’s time to look outward. Being outdoors helps reestablish the balance you need and want for your mental state.
There are so many benefits the Great American Outdoors can give you. One of the best benefits? You get to take control of your health back.
Care for the environment
With all the talk of global warming and climate change, you and your business can make positive impacts on the environment. Take the time to show the world that you care about the environment.
Give out small notes to tourists to remind them to “clean-as -they-go” once they’re done with their recreational activities. (Don’t forget to include your business logo in your notes.) Or you can give them quick guides on how to be safe in their trip or an easy local number to call in case of emergencies. (Again, don’t forget your business logo.)
These reminders, though not earth-shaking, can leave a small but positive impact on the environment.
20 06 2018
Warehouse mezzanine refers to an elevated section of flooring or platform that’s installed between the floor and the ceiling to serve several purposes in some warehouse operations. They are an excellent option for increasing storage space and workspace in a warehouse facility. But before we discuss how your warehouse can benefit from mezzanines, here are the different types of mezzanines available.
- Freestanding mezzanine. Freestanding mezzanine is the type commonly used for storing products and extra parts. It isn’t a necessary part of the building, but it requires a floor that can accommodate working employees and extra storage. Freestanding mezzanines are very flexible and have the capacity to house pallet racks and shelving systems.
- Building column connected mezzanine. This type of mezzanine is the one that depends on an existing building structure for support. It means that the facility must be designed to carry or support heavy loads should you decide to have building column connected mezzanine installed. This mezzanine can also be attached to a wall and have the rest of the columns rest on the floor.
- Rack supported mezzanine. Rack supported mezzanines are either installed above or between a pallet rack. If you opt for this type, make sure that the extra load can be supported by the rack system. This one is also more economical compared to a free-standing mezzanine because there is already an existing structure.
- Shelving supported mezzanine. Shelving supported mezzanines are an ideal choice if you need to store smaller items and products alongside your existing shelving. You can also add more shelving for extra storage space or have a deck installed above to serve as a workspace.
BENEFITS AND USES OF WAREHOUSE MEZZANINES
Increased storage space
One of the most common problems faced by warehouse owners and managers is outgrowing their facility. If you are in the manufacturing business or have a lot of shipping and receiving activity, adequate storage space is crucial. This is where warehouse mezzanines can come in handy. They are the best bet if you need to add accessible and durable space to a warehouse. When you install warehouse mezzanines, it becomes easier to keep up with the storage needs and product demands of a warehouse.
Ability to keep your current location
Running out of storage space is one of the most common problems most warehouse facilities face. If you need a cost-effective solution to increase storage space without moving into a new facility, consider installing warehouse mezzanines. With warehouse mezzanines, there won’t be any need to relocate to a bigger building or facility. Even with space constraints, mezzanines can be the best solution to storage woes. Its applications are vast and you won’t have to worry about moving your business elsewhere. A building extension could also be tempting if you’re in desperate need of extra storage space, however, this is a more expensive option, not to mention the hassle to keep moving.
Increased warehouse safety
Warehouses are one of the most dangerous places to be in. Products and heavy boxes are stacked up on top of one another, with people operating forklifts and climbing up ladders. One way to monitor activity and keep an eye on everything that’s going on in the facility, consider adding a mezzanine. A mezzanine floor does not only offers an additional working and storage space, it could also be a perfect vantage point for looking at what’s going on in the warehouse so that injuries and accidents can be avoided.
Another advantage of a warehouse mezzanine is that it is the cheapest option when you need extra storage space in your facility. Adding an extension or moving to a new building is expensive. However, when you choose a warehouse mezzanine, you’ll enjoy its benefits while making the most of your investment.
Installing warehouse mezzanines in your facility can benefit you in more ways than one. For more information on warehouse mezzanines, please visit Reno Forklift.
22 05 2018
National Bike Month happens every May in the US. Originally established in 1956, it is celebrated in many communities across the country.
Why a national month?
Many reasons, but arguably the best reason why National Bike Month was created to last a full month is that it encourages people to get out there and ride.
Reasons to ride
Helps the environment
One of the most obvious and beneficial reasons why biking is such a good choice is that it has minimal impact on the environment. As more and more communities create biking paths and lanes, it makes biking a more viable form of transportation.
And when more people choose to ride their bike over driving their car, the environment benefits even more.
Helps your health
While it’s not hard to hop on a stationary bike at the gym, it’s more practical to ride your bike outside.
- It works your body harder
- Helps you burn more calories in a shorter period of time
- You can run your errands while getting a healthy workout at the same time – saving you both time and money
- It’s heart healthy – improves heart and blood vessel fitness
- Reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Can help you sleep better at night
- Is easier on your joints than running
- Can help build up leg muscles and improve bone density
Boosts your mood
What do fresh air, warm sunshine, and cool breezes have in common? All of these elements combine to lift your spirits, energize you and keep you feeling good – even after you’ve finished riding!
No more wasted gas as you circle the block looking for a parking space – or waiting for a meter.
And you can save on car repairs and ownership costs (e.g. fuel, insurance, licensing, etc). These costs can be greatly reduced when you opt to ride your bike whenever possible.
Ways to celebrate
There are lots of ways you can celebrate National Bike Month! Pick one which works for you and enjoy… It might just become your favorite way to get around!
Here are some great ways to take part in the fun:
Bike to work
Lots of communities put together Bike to Work Week and/or Bike to Work Day – which comprises a part of National Bike Month.
You can go it alone, or for more fun, get your co-workers involved.
Some ways to keep it interesting:
- Competitions (e.g. most miles ridden, days biked to work, etc.)
- Team goals (e.g. sales vs marketing department, etc.)
Bike share programs are growing in popularity across the country.
Self-serve bike stations provide shared community usage for short-term use. These amenities are typically found in high traffic areas of cities and/or communities.
If your city doesn’t have self-serve bike stations, reach out to city planners, council members, etc. to see about getting them started where you live.
If you don’t already own a bike, consider finding an old or vintage bike that you can restore to new life rather than buy a new one.
Often it doesn’t take much to restore one:
- a good wash and maybe a new paint job
- new chain
- new brake cables
- new tires and
- a bell, of course!
Not only will you save money, you’ll rescue a decent bike from the bike boneyard!
An organized and efficient warehouse is a more profitable warehouse. Springtime is the best time of the year to do some cleaning and an excellent time to start getting your warehouse organized, too. A warehouse facility can easily get cluttered during the winter months. Now that spring is here, try these easy steps to help you get started with your warehouse spring cleaning and organizing project.
Design a simple plan and stick to it
The first step is to study the warehouse workflow. Analyze how time and energy are utilized in the processes involved in the daily operations, and how a spring cleaning project will affect them. Be sure that your workers are aware of the plan so that they remain organized as they work. Avoid cutting corners and ensure that everyone follows the plan you put in place.
Purge everything that’s no longer working or useful
Be ready to throw away anything that’s no longer useful in your warehouse. This means getting rid of papers and documents that are no longer important. Throw away all garbage and debris generated by daily activities and operations. Utilize receptacles in the problem areas for future organization. A clean space is a safe space. Throw out all of the distractions that could be blocking your daily success.
Increase warehouse efficiency by keeping your paths clear
Springtime is not the only reason to start warehouse cleaning initiatives, it is also an excellent way to increase your warehouse efficiency. One of the most important things a warehouse manager does is plan warehouse reorganizations. This means making the navigation of your warehouse as easy as possible. Keeping the paths clear is one step that could help make it happen. Think about the things that hinder employee success. Then come up with the best solutions to these obstacles. Perhaps there is a need to invest in new storage systems that will help maximize vertical space instead of floor space. Also, consider investing in new technology or automated solutions to increase the efficiency of your workers.
Minimize operational impact
A spring cleaning project will affect operations in one way or another. However, the goal is to keep the impact as low as possible. Cleaning a warehouse is difficult, and may interrupt the hustle and bustle of a normal workday. Try to organize the schedule in such a way that your cleaning efforts won’t get in the way of your workers. Perform cleaning projects during a date and time when staff levels are reduced. When hiring a third party cleaning company, have them clean when the warehouse is less populated or empty.
Set goals and deadlines
Cleaning an entire warehouse facility can be overwhelming when goals are not established. It’s important that you create a plan. The plan should include the cleaning projects per section. Set timeframes and due dates to ensure that it doesn’t create a significant impact on operations and the business as a whole.
Revisit your machines and equipment
Spring cleaning isn’t only a time for reorganizing, de-cluttering and getting rid of garbage, it is also a perfect time to check the condition of any equipment and make sure that they are in working condition. Perform inspections to determine if anything is in need of repair or a tune-up. Check storage systems, pallet racks and conveyors to make sure everything is still working smoothly. Doing this will help you prevent costly repairs and replacements down the line.
If you haven’t done your warehouse cleaning project yet, now is the best time to start!
Looking for new material handling equipment to keep your facility organized? Please visit Reno Forklift.
Unless you live under a rock, your life has been impacted by the efforts of a volunteer.
There’s just no way around it.
Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes …from the local church youth group raising money for the homeless, to the first responders in rural communities everywhere, people are giving their time and their talents to help others.
This month, the nation takes time to honor the efforts of the amazing men, women and children, who make the world a better place through volunteering.
While a great way to celebrate National Volunteer Month is to thank every volunteer you meet, a more fulfilling way to observe this holiday is to start volunteering yourself!
Here are some of the reasons why people choose to volunteer…perhaps they’ll encourage you to volunteer too!
It reduces stress
You shouldn’t be.
When you’re focused on meeting the needs of others, any normal “worry routines” you’ve developed are interrupted, thus reducing your stress levels.
Volunteers report feeling more joy, optimism and control over their own situations, strengthening their immune systems and giving them a better quality of life.
It saves resources
The Corporation for National and Community Service estimates that in California, a volunteer’s time is worth $26.87 per hour!
When people volunteer their time and energy it helps their local communities save money for other needed improvements. For example, when communities aren’t paying someone to clean up the roadways, they can use that money towards other things, such as the community food pantry.
It provides experience
Think you’d like to make a career switch? Volunteer your time in the industry you think you’d like to be involved in, and see for yourself if it would be worth the effort to change careers.
Volunteering can also help you make connections that could make the transition to another career easier.
It builds self esteem and fuels personal growth
When you make the effort to volunteer at something that is outside of your comfort zone, you learn more about yourself.
You build skills and gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. This in turn will lead to the desire to stretch yourself even more in your own personal life as well.
It strengthens your community
Volunteers often contribute to the following kinds of community businesses and programs.:
- Daycare and eldercare
- Schools (tutoring, literacy programs, assisting educators in the classroom)
- Youth programs (after-school, mentoring, etc.)
- Community public works (cleaning up public areas such as parks or roadways)
It helps to build your network
When you volunteer, you’re exposed to people and organizations outside of your normal sphere of contacts. This helps both you and your community because the more individuals you connect with, the more opportunities you have to pull together resources to help meet the needs of your community.
While it may feel uncomfortable working with others you wouldn’t normally work with, the experience will encourage you to come up with creative solutions that you might not have thought of otherwise.
It’s a lot of fun
Working together on a worthwhile project, while rewarding, can be frustrating if you forget to have fun.
Bottom line, everyone working together is doing so because they have a passion for helping others, so remember to keep it light as you work towards the goals you each have in common.
It helps you learn a lot about…
- Existing local resources for individuals in the community who are in need.
- The inner mechanics of the government by working with local non-profit agencies
- Yourself. You may discover hidden talents you didn’t know you had!
It’s personally satisfying
When you’ve set out to accomplish a goal, in partnership with others in your community, and you finally achieve that goal, the feeling of personal satisfaction is like nothing else.
Knowing that you’ve helped to improve the lives of others in your community, and helped to make it stronger, is a very satisfying feeling…one that you’ll want to repeat, over and over!
For people with limited mobility and those who have difficulty with staircases, accessing rooms on different levels of a building can be a real challenge. The good news is that platform lifts provide a safe solution mobility issues. A platform lift is designed to provide an easy floor to floor access when stairs aren’t a viable option.
When you think about buying a platform lift, some of the major factors you should consider are the convenience and safety of the user. Some manufacturers offer a variety of designs that integrate specific features based on the needs of the user. To help you decide on the platform lift to buy, here are some points to keep in mind.
Space and the loading capacity
An important item to consider is the loading capacity of the device. Check to make sure that a wheelchair can fit inside the lift. Platform lifts vary according to type and model and it is crucial that you pick the model that will meet your wheelchair requirements.
When buying a platform lift, also consider the lifting height of the building. This is something that can be derived by measuring the floor to ceiling height in the building. This information is especially critical for indoor wheelchair lift installation. On the other hand, if you’re doing an outdoor installation, measure either the floor height or the vertical height of the stairs. This is the lifting height. Be very accurate with your calculations and measurements, otherwise, it could result in the failure or malfunction of the platform lift.
There are different drive systems used in platform lifts. These include the screw drive, guided chain and hydraulic. Discuss the drive system with your platform lift manufacturer. Different drives will affect the space requirements, the ride, as well as the longevity of the components. For example, choosing a hydraulic drive system would mean that you need to allocate extra space for the fluid tank.
Design of the platform lift
When choosing the design of the platform, there are two significant factors to consider – the access to enter the platform and the wheelchair structure. Check if the size of the platform can accommodate the size and structure of the wheelchair. In addition, try to allow for enough space for easy wheelchair maneuverability inside the lift during the lowering and lifting process.
Auto doors are also something to consider based on the individuals who will be pushing and pulling the door. There are different types of automatic door closers. To ensure you select the one that meets your requirements, take the time to discuss the differences with your lift provider.
There are platform lift models that integrate several features making the ride safe and convenient for users. Most platform lifts are designed to make sure that users are protected from injuries. Some of these safety features include a manual lowering valve, over-speed governor, non-skid platform with side safety flaps, sensor system on the platforms, remote control, safety doors with interlock, emergency stop button and more. To ensure the safety of lift users, be sure to discuss the safety features needed with your platform lift with the lift provider.
After deciding on the type of lift to buy, select one that fits in your budget. There are a lot of reliable dealers that offer good quality devices. Their platform lift models also incorporate the safety features you need. Shop around, you may even come across a gently used one that will fit your needs and your budget.
With the help of these tips, choosing a platform lift should be easy. And if you are in need of a reliable dealer that can provide quality platform lift and other forklift products, please consider Reno Forklift Services.
Love to knit or do you prefer whitewater rafting?
Maybe you love to sell your jewelry on Etsy or you give scrapbooks to your family as gifts each Christmas.
Whatever it is that you – and your co-workers – love to do on your time off, one of the most surprising ways to learn more about your co-workers is to discover their hobbies.
For example, maybe you’ll find out that the soft spoken receptionist for the sales department loves to scream out rock and roll songs at the neighborhood karaoke bar. Or you’ll learn that your “tough as nails” supervisor has won the Annual Chili Cook-off for the past three years running.
When you take the time to share your hobby with others you deepen their understanding of what you enjoy which can increase their appreciation for who you are as a team member.
Why it’s important to choose a hobby
While some hobbies are more expensive than others (e.g. collecting antique cars), all of them offer many benefits with little to no drawbacks.
Can relieve stress
Hobbies allow us to disengage from our everyday work and other obligations, relieving stress and helping to rejuvenate our minds and our bodies.
Challenge your brain
While some hobbies require more thought than others (e.g. playing chess) when you ask your brain to do something different, such as learning a new hobby, it stimulates your mind and forces it to form new thought patterns.
Allow you to leave a legacy
A homemade quilt, passed down through the family, a story about your childhood, a scrapbook filled with your dreams, travels, family photos and stories…all of these are wonderful ways to leave a legacy for the generations that follow you.
And they’re all a type of hobby that is easily learned and can also be passed down from generation to generation.
Make a little extra cash if you want
Whether your goal is to make your hobby pay for itself, or you’d like to earn some extra income doing what you love, hobbies can be an enjoyable way to make money.
If you have a hobby that you love to do, use this month – National Hobby Month – as a good excuse to share that information with your co-workers.
You may find out that one or more of them have similar interests outside of work, or each of you may be entirely different. It doesn’t really matter what kinds of hobbies you enjoy, the most important thing is taking the time to learn more about each other and find ways to forge connections that help you function together as a well oiled machine.
National regifting day is celebrated each year on the Thursday before Christmas. The date was chosen, because that’s when many companies hold their Christmas parties.
Interestingly, what was once thought of as “tacky” has now become popularized by such shows as the Seinfeld episode, The Label Maker.
As you prepare to observe National Gratitude Month, you realize that good workers are sometimes hard to find. You want your workers to know that you appreciate what they do for your business day in and day out. You also want to inspire all your workers to invest in your company, so they will work harder. Another goal you have is to achieve and maintain high morale in your workplace. Do not worry about how much it will cost you. You do not need a large budget to show appreciation. You can be frugal and still make what you do meaningful for your employees. In the end, whatever you spend will be worth it to you.
Give Time Off
One easy way to show appreciation is by giving paid time off. You may not be able to give employees a whole day off with pay, but that would let your workers know you are thankful for what they do. An alternative is to allow them to leave one or two hours early, or come in one or two hours late. If your company operates during regular business hours, your employees may have personal business they need to tend to. This will make it easier for them. Your employees will in turn, appreciate your thoughtfulness in giving them this gift.
Let Them Recognize Each Other
Many times, the workers themselves know who is putting in the extra effort that makes your business successful. Not many business owners are on the floor, but your employees are. Set up a weekly or monthly recognition program where workers nominate each other as outstanding employees. You could have a drawing for the prize where you pay for the winner’s lunch or even assign them a parking spot.
Listen to Them
When you own the business, your focus is often “the bottom line.” Sometimes, you are so focused on doing business, you may not be seeing different ways to do it. Your employees have ideas because they are doing the work. Give them the opportunity to share their ideas. Then, act upon them when able. You can create a forum where employees give input into upcoming decisions you are considering. Another way to get ideas is to have a suggestion box. With this option, you need to make sure you read the suggestions and act on them. You need to let them know you have read them and considered them.
Make Them Family
Get to know your employees by name and learn something about them. Workers will be more committed to a job if they feel like they are a part of something bigger. Compared to them feeling as if they’re just another employee. You could also host a “chat and chew” lunch where fellowship is the focus rather than business. Of course, you pay for the meal. Another idea is to plan an event for everyone and include their families. You can also allow them to flex their hours if they ask to attend a function at their child’s school or their spouse’s job. Knowing that you value their family time will only build their commitment to you.
Give Little Gifts
Sometimes smaller means more. Rather than doing this for one month, stretch your recognition of National Gratitude Month throughout the year. Set up a week every quarter as Gratitude Week or a day each week, like Thankful Tuesday. Give small, useful gifts or sweet treats they can enjoy as they go about the workday. You could set up a free coffee and tea bar. Another idea in this category is to give a variety of small denomination gift cards. $5 off is still $5 you have saved them.
These 5 suggestions for observing National Gratitude Month are ideas that are easy to put into place. As you carry out your plans, you will see the benefits. If you follow through, you will see a rise in morale and quality work. You need to invest your time and some of your money to make this happen. Remember, your employees make your business what it is. The leadership starts with you. When workers are invested in their place of employment, they will be happier and work harder. Everyone wants to know someone sees the good things they are doing and appreciates their effort.
Curling up with a good book after work is a great way to relax and escape the stresses of the day. To celebrate National Book Month, you can explore all the benefits found between the pages at home. These same benefits can also boost professional skills and relationships in the office. Implementing a reading program and encouraging people to read may take time and effort. As a business team leader, encouraging the group to read more can have surprising effects. Reading can benefit the entire department or company.
What Does Reading Do For You?
Although reading non-fiction books can help you learn about specific topics, reading any book provides benefits in general. Even the latest fiction beach read can give you a boost. Encourage your team to read if you want them to improve in the following areas:
- Improved intelligence and knowledge base
- Larger vocabulary and understanding
- Automatic development of writing skills
- Expands the ability to analyze complex situations
- Eases interpersonal relationships
- Reduces stress
3 Tips to Encourage Solitary Reading
Reading by yourself is more for entertainment, though some prefer informational texts. The best way to encourage employees to pick up a book is to leave the subject matter and title to them. Don’t make it sound like homework or something they must do, or risk their job.
–Make free books available throughout the building. The more visible they are, the more likely people will be to pick one up and read. Every break room should have a mini library where people can take and give back. It makes it easy to stock, as well as keeps the selection fresh from library sales and thrift shops.
–Inform people of the benefits and set a good example. Post small posters near the bookshelves that list how reading can help them. Pick up a book yourself and read it on break and discuss it with others.
–Make books and bookstore gift cards a coveted prize for productivity goals met, or for special situations, holiday gifts, and fun giveaways.
How to Make Reading a Team-Building Exercise
Any time you can get your team to do something together, work-related or not, the strength of the whole becomes stronger than its parts. Book groups are a natural choice for encouraging your team to improve reading and social skills.
Provide the same book to the entire team, but make reading it voluntary. No one wants to be forced to do at-home work for their job. Schedule a regular book group meeting in the break room or even at a local bar or café. Make it fun. You could even hold it at your house if you are comfortable with that. As employees improve their knowledge and vocabulary from the book, they will improve their communication skills. It can also boost respect for fellow team members.
Employees work harder when they are enjoying the project or receiving rewards. For example, your business team got a client’s order out three days ahead of time. Reward them all with a gift card to a bookstore.
Turn reading into a game at work as well and give prizes for it. If you are all reading the same book, create daily quizzes or reading progress charts. This can foster a bit of friendly competition. Post a quiz question about the book on the wall and ask people to email the answer. Whoever gets the most right by the end of the week gets an extra-long lunch or a special prize.
There are many ways to encourage reading in the workplace. Books and magazines offer so many benefits for cognition. Other benefits include vocabulary and writing skills. These skills are much needed in any workplace, so it makes sense to push your team to read.
National Book Month is the perfect time to start making changes which will positively impact the success of your team. It does not matter what industry you work in or what niche you fill. Reading entertaining books will boost productivity, interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and reduce stress. These benefits help everyone, and they are all found within the pages of a book.