Optimize Your Home Office Lighting

home office lightingAwhile back, I published a post on the virtues of home office decor. This one is going to be a sequel of sorts, in that I’m going to talk about some ideas and things to look for when you’re buying or renovating your home office lighting.

There are plenty of stylistic options to go for when you’re lighting up the office. One ideal place to find fixtures that covers the entire spectrum of lighting options is a home lighting company called Valley Lighting. The most obvious factor to consider while you’re working is the kind of overhead lighting that you want. This is perhaps the most flexible in terms of fixture style and light color/strength, so you have the most freedom in choosing what kind of light, and therefore the mood, you want to set for your office space. If you have the option to do so, design with flexibility in mind: that means installing multiple lighting fixtures and dimmers so that you can adjust the lighting to your specific needs in that moment.

Another factor to consider (and perhaps more important to your actual work) is the addition of a desk lamp to your workspace. Again, these come in a wide variety of strengths and styles. Your ideal preference also varies on the kind of work you do. You’ll want a different kind of lighting if you’re working with physical papers or manuscripts, compared to a computer screen that already gives off its own light.

Aside from the kind of fixtures themselves, the color of the light can affect your productivity significantly. Here’s an article that explains how light colors can affect your home decor. Typically, you want some–but not too much–blue light to maximize your focus and work effort. This most closely matches daylight, which could be a boon if you’re spending your day indoors. However, be careful not to go overboard with this light if you tend to work late into the evening, as it could cause unneeded strain on your eyes. The same can be said about light that simply feels too bright or intense after a period of time. If it starts causing discomfort, lower the light’s intensity or change the color of light to a warmer hue.

I found a broader video that might be helpful; it contains some general home lighting ideas, but a lot of them can be applied to your home office:

How to Reward Employees for Hard Work

Everyone likes to feel appreciated for what they do. In fact, recent studies have shown that the new generation of workers must be praised for their work in order to feel that they are doing their job properly.  If  your employees have been doing an especially good job in the workplace and you would like to reward them for their hard work, here are some ideas on how to boost their self-esteem and acknowledge them for a job well done.

1. Catered Lunches: The gift of a free and delicious lunch is a greet way to tell someone you appreciate them. Catered lunches provide a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the work day. And hey, who doesn’t love free food?

2. Award Ceremonies: Company award ceremonies are great because they can be serious or take on a funny and goofy atmosphere, depending on the mood you’re going for. It’s okay if your company is on a tight budget for events like this, because there are plenty of dazzling yet affordable trophies out there that are sure to please your hard workers.

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3. Company Outings: Whether it’s organizing a company picnic or getting together for a roller skating session, company outings create stronger bonds between employees and let people hang out with their work friends in a stress-free environment. Taking the time to plan and execute events like this is sure to show your employees just how much they mean to you.

4. One-On-One Time: Setting aside time to speak with your employees one-on-one is a great way to show them that they are important to you. This time can be used to discuss concerns they have or simply to get to know them better. Either way, your employees are sure to appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to check on them and give them a genuine and personal thank-you for their efforts.

Framing Your Life

I love walking into my bedroom after a long or difficult day, because I am immediately greeted by the smiling faces of over 100 photographs. If you have space to cover on the walls of your bedroom-or any room in your house-what better way to decorate than to fill them with pictures of your life? Picking out which pictures you want to use and figuring out how to arrange them all may seem like a daunting task at first, but there are plenty of simple and creative ways that make decorating your walls with photographs a fun activity.

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1. Fun Tack: Using Fun Tack to stick your photos onto the walls is a simplistic but elegant way to decorate. You can spice it up by arranging the photos in a certain shape, or just scatter them to your heart’s desire for a more freestyle feel.

2. Clotheslines: Hanging clotheslines from your walls, and then clipping the photographs onto them using clothespins, is a super artsy and fun way to brighten your walls. This can create a dorm room-esque feel, and you can get creative with the clothesline colors to match them with your bedspread or carpet.

3. Classic Frames: Sticking command hooks to your walls and hanging picture frames from them is a cute and classic idea, especially if you only want to hang a few photos in the room. You can keep it simple with typical earth-toned frames, or mix it up with some brighter and more animated frame colors.

4. Washi Tape: Washi Tape is a brand of tape that comes in a variety of colorful designs and patterns. It is a very inexpensive and versatile alternative to actual picture frames, because you can create your own frames out of various rolls of tape.

5. Cork Board: Sticking a cork board to your wall and then pinning photographs onto the board is probably the easiest way to incorporate photographs into your home decorating. This option is great because you can easily switch out the pictures on the board for new ones without any hassle.

For more framing fun, see these DIY frame ideas!

4 Apps to Save your Cell Phone Battery

From simply checking e-mails to using certain apps to connect with employees and clients, cell phones have become very important when it comes to work. However, cell phone batteries sometimes don’t last as long as we need them to. Whether you have a brand new cell phone or you decide to buy used phones to save money, we have some battery life tips to tell you which apps you should download in order to keep your phone running efficiently.

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1. Greenify (Android): This app effectively lets you choose certain other apps to put in a state of hibernation while they are not being utilized. Without Greenify, those apps would still be running in the background taking up precious battery life.

2. Battery Manager Pro (iOS): This app alerts you when your battery needs to be charged, and tells you how much time you can spend on each app according to your cell phone’s current charge level. It allows you to slide a toggle back and forth for each app to see how much time you can spend utilizing certain applications in relation to others.

3. Carat (Android and iOS): Carat is an app that takes measurements of the amount of power each app is using, and tells you how much longer your phone battery will last if you quit the application. It is unique in that it gives you tips by combining the data from your phone with the anonymous data of other users.

4. Battery Doctor (Android and iOS): Battery Doctor aims to conserve battery life through a variety of different methods, and it performs the same function for Androids and iPhones. It has a three-stage charging system that can speed up the charging process, tells you how much power each app is taking up, and gives you forecasts of how much power you can save under various phone settings.

 

Home Office Furnishings and Decor

Alright then, for this week’s post we’re going to talk about your home office. Sure, right now, it might just be that spare room where you let bills and papers stack up, but it doesn’t have to be. You can turn that around, starting with the office furnishings. Your home office should be a room in which you feel comfortable and want to spend time in. Or, at the very least, don’t mind spending time in when you need to work.

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Where can I find office furnishings?

One place that you can find a lot of your furnishing needs is Rug and Home, an online rug store. From the name alone, you can guess that they’ll have that perfect rug that you’ve been looking for, but they have a great selection of office furnishing as well.

There are plenty of ways to model and remodel your home office; after all, think of the room’s versatility. It may actually be the location of your 9 to 5 job, or it may just be the place where you pay the bills. It might be a place where the kids can come in and do homework, or it might effectively serve as your home library. Barring anything else, it can just be a nice, quiet place that you relax in. Whatever the case, it’s worthwhile to make good use of the space and furnishing so that it’s optimized toward whatever you actually use it for.

Anyway, office furnishings come in many shapes and sizes, but just about always include a desk/chair combination. Again, even among these pieces, theres a huge variety to be seen. You don’t even need to look further than pinterest to find something you might want to emulate. Rug and Home is also always available to browse through their selection.

I think that about wraps up this post–actually, here’s an interesting little slide show with a whole bunch of home office furnishing examples:

Health Benefits of Air Conditioning

If your building’s air conditioner has ever malfunctioned on a hot day, then you’re probably familiar with the discomfort it brings and the problems it causes. Not only can it bring discomfort, it could impact the health of those occupying the building. A safe and efficient air conditioner is always the best option, don’t ignore unexpected issues. Some find it easier to push the situation to a later date, maybe it’s for money reasons or the stress of making an appointment, but this could make the situation worse. Find a company that offers emergency AC repair services. These companies understand the importance of fixing an AC right away. If you still need a little inspiration to make that call, here are some health benefits a working air conditioner can provide for you and those living around you.

Staying Healthy Thanks to AC!

Those that suffer from respiratory conditions, allergies and even stress and fatigue, can benefit from being around a functional air conditioner.

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  • The AC manages stale air and the overall air quality, ensuring it’s clean to breathe. It also reduces allergens, such as pollen.
  • A working AC ensures that the body stays stable. If the temperature is too hot due to the lack of AC, the body could be using too much energy to try and remain comfortable. This increases the chances of  a person becoming ill or overtired.
  • AC reduces stress. If the temperature of the body isn’t at a normal number, the body can go into stress. This is why it’s important to get the AC looked at as soon as it’s noticed. Being exposed to too much heat for too long means being stressed for too long, especially if the body is already accustomed to constant AC when it’s hot outside.
  • AC is better for physical activity. Heat will negatively impact performance and body’s safety.
  • AC reduces the chances of insects and reduces the amount of germs.
  • AC reduces the risks of cardiovascular issues, especially in those that are older or overweight.

The same goes for the body being too cold. It can negatively impact the body’s well-being. Make sure the AC is the proper temperature.

Keep your air conditioner well maintained, and always respond promptly to an emergency.