You’d be hard pushed to find anyone on Earth who isn’t aware of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ventilation in the factory or workplace is the concern of all workers who value their health and wellbeing. So unless you work in the great outdoors, you should concern yourself with how fresh the air is in your work environment.
Who hasn’t taken fresh air for granted? Pre-pandemic, ventilation and air quality indoors didn’t get the same attention that it’s getting now. What’s changed? The real experiences of catching airborne COVID-19 via small droplets and particles. Today business owners realise to keep their staff safe at work, the factory or office must have an effective ventilation system.
Had to step up and take ownership of righting the wrong with ineffective ventilation systems in the workplace. However, there are steps you can take to make the air indoors cleaner and purer, too. Furthermore, there are plenty of good reasons you want to improve indoor air quality in your factory by improving ventilation. Here are 6 reasons why factories must be well ventilated.
Studies also confirm good air quality can improve productivity and vice versa, i.e. air pollution can stifle both the quality of work and how much of it is done. Remote working is now preferred by workers the world over, so to get them back to the workplace for some if not all the work week will require your business to prove you’re taking their health and wellbeing seriously with great air quality.
Health and Safety
Governments require businesses to look after workers health and safety in the workplace, so it is a must-do for every organisation. There’s no escaping climate change and how we pollute the air with industry. When in confined spaces, the quality of air has a bigger impact on our health and productivity. Therefore ventilation systems are needed to remove hazardous pollutants and fumes, including:
- Heating and cooling systems
There are many negative side effects of poor air quality, including:
- Eye irritation
- Skin rashes
- Coughing, sneezing
Plus, where there is a high mold, employees prone to asthma attacks and respiratory infections will suffer and take more sick days.
While there’s the investment to improve the ventilation system, the upside is not only fewer sick days and higher productivity, businesses will likely see an improvement in energy use.
Good ventilation will eliminate hot and cold spots in the building. By increasing the airflow and maintaining an even temperature throughout the building, temperature and humidity – i.e. the moisture in the air are controlled. It may seem counterproductive to use energy to run a ventilation system; however, it can use less energy when it’s optimised for your environment.
Plus, you could say there’s a trade-off when you use energy to maintain air quality and flow versus not doing so and using time and resources to replace workers on sick leave and damaged goods.
Protect Your Inventory
High-quality ventilation is also good for your assets and inventory. With low humidity and dust, your physical assets, raw materials and inventory ready for distribution are protected.
Moisture can get in anywhere, and when it does, it compromises the quality of materials and products. Avoid the unnecessary need for replacements and associated costs with a ventilation system fit for purpose in your workplace.
There will be a need for managing worker habits so they don’t interfere with the optimum settings for good air circulation. Plus, you don’t want HVAC equipment working longer and harder than it has to, so you will need to educate staff on its use.
What may also assist you is knowing how to read fan curves so your engineer designs an energy-efficient ventilation system with the right fans for optimum air quality in your factory or workplace without wasting energy.
There is no escaping our activities are degrading air quality, and with the threat of pandemics like COVID-19, there is a sense of urgency to ensure our workplaces are safe and healthy for work.
Ventilation systems control temperature, humidity, and air motion. A good ventilation system combined with HVAC equipment is not a luxury item. Instead, it’s essential to the continuation of business-as-usual. Read our next article on often you need to deep clean your work environment.
Benefits of Team Building Activities at Work
Off-site team building events are recognised in my businesses as pivotal to keeping staff focused, productive, and happy in the workplace. Also, the change of routine encourages employees to unwind and learn more about their work peers. You may not want to know this statistic, but on average, all workers spend over 13 years of their life working. This fact may depress some of you while it may have the opposite effect and motivate you, and this is due to the different personalities we spend a lot of time with, in the workplace.
A day out of the office with management and colleagues can be fun and provide other benefits. Team building activities for work have been proven to encourage better communication and lift productivity.
Here’s another interesting opinion, did you know experts say there are only five types of people from which 16 personalities are construed? The ‘five-factor’ model gives you insight into your staff’s personality types and their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they can perform in teams. It’s worth researching into the basic personality types of your staff before witnessing how they get on together during a group event.
Regular Team Building Exercises Benefits
Get to know the different personalities in your office
Employees are not robots, and they react in their own way to change and how they interact with their colleagues and management.
How a team member deals with challenges and the new environment will reveal more of their personality. Using an offsite location for team building will encourage more openness and present the leaders from the followers among your staff.
Increasing productivity and motivation
The camaraderie among workmates increasing productivity as well as foster individual performance. Self-confidence and feeling at ease in the company of other people will lift overall company output, and future proof the business as a strong competitor.
Working in a team means everyone has to deal with personal and opinion differences. And that is the reason why effective communication is critical. Not every worker has a friendly or outgoing personality, and this is something that needs to be acknowledged. Some people are shy and timid, while others are naturally extroverted.
A team-building activity is one of the best solutions to break these barriers and gaps in communication. Team building involves games and other recreational activities forcing everyone to connect on a deeper level. It is one of the simplest ways to get everyone talking and conveniently align their precepts according to the values of the company.
As such, when staff return to work, there will be less reluctance to share their opinions openly in communication and transparency speeds up the identification of issues that need resolving, thus improving overall productivity.
Reinforcing a positive work culture
We all need to know how we perform outside our comfort zone, yet most personalities shy away from putting ourselves to the test. When the team day out is ‘work’ there’s no way out, with attendance compulsory, so we look for commonality, familiarity and find our group culture. Plus there’s time to work on the goals and visions of a company with the whole team altogether. On returning to the workplace the renewed energy among the workers, even the more introverted personality types who are expressing their emotions more freely, is proof these days offsite are good for business.
There’s little doubt that happy and satisfied staff is the foundation of every successful business and investing in regular company-wide team building is a low-risk strategy for apositive work culture.
Start the new year with an offsite activity or event, so your workers can come together, share their holiday experiences and reignite their focus on their job and how your business will meet its targets.
3 Terrific Niche Brands To Watch In 2020
Some successful businesses operate in very crowded marketplaces. For example, Amazon’s offering is as broad and deep as the river it borrows its name from – and since it isn’t the only operator in the online shopping stakes, it has differentiated itself through the speed of delivery and responsive customer service.
At the opposite end of the scale are organizations that are incredibly specialist in their offerings. With USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) being founded on products and services that are niche and in a league of their own, i.e. without competitors.
However, to survive in business, niche operators have to strike a fine balance between adapting their range sufficiently to cater to changing tastes and that of diluting their offerings so much that they no longer can claim a different category or point of different i.e. they’re now regarded as generalists.
There are specialists who manage this balancing act brilliantly – so if you’re in the same boat, with a niche business, you can learn a thing or two from for the successes of proven brands. With that in mind, here are three terrific niche brands to watch in 2020.
Few people of Scottish extraction can hear ‘the skirl of the pipes’ without the hairs on the back of their necks standing up and the blood surging furiously around their tartan hearts.
And don’t forget that it’s not just people in Scotland who love bagpipe music – there are bagpipers in immigrant communities of Scots all around the world.
Scottish music specialists McCallum Bagpipes are more than happy to serve this niche market with the beautiful artisan pipes they craft in their Kilmarnock factory before shipping them far and wide.
With an informative website, snazzy showroom and modern manufacturing techniques, this is one traditional business that’s moved with the times.
In any industry, technological advances and changing tastes mean that some products inevitably become obsolete. However, with the gentleman’s fashion accessories gurus, Albert Thurston, they’ve bucked the trend, and kept their products in demand, because their braces and sock suspenders have providence. Consumers want to be associated with the brand that has been proudly manufacturing quality garments since 1820.
Albert Thurston is enjoying a resurgence, perhaps thanks in part to the plethora of retro TV shows and longstanding movie series regularly hitting small and silver screens. If you happen to be a fan of Peaky Blinders or James Bond and you believe that classic accessories never go out of style, you’re probably a dedicated follower of this type of heritage brand.
When canny Scotsman James Ormiston first started selling spring wire for wigs and corsets in London in 1793, he surely couldn’t have predicted that today, wire specialists Ormiston Wire would still be thriving as an innovative family-owned business.
Wigs aren’t part of their current product offering, but this age-old business has survived by diversifying into everything from catenary wire for architectural installations to the fine wire for TV puppets. Through adapting the same core material to the needs of diverse markets, Ormiston has steered a steady ship for generations.
Take a leaf from the business books of these three brands and your own startup might still be serving customers a couple of centuries from now – with the right approach, carving yourself a niche can still be a recipe for success.
That’s our list! There are many more successful brands that stay true to their category and avoid diversifying as a catch-all strategy to grow sales and revenue. Staying niche and small is often a better strategy for the longevity of a brand. Share your own niche business advice in the comments section.
Why Gold: Our Top 3 Tips
Gold has always been popular and it’s where many investors today put their money during tough economic times. In fact if you see the price of gold going up dramatically it could be a indication of tough times ahead.
Buying and selling gold is a favourite pastime of hobbyists and of course it’s also a business with thousands of product and service suppliers around the world making their way in the business world via their expertise in the dealings of the precious metal.
So if you’re keen to invest in gold, you’ll need to know the ins and outs and not get too carried away with the romance of it all. It’s easy to lose your hard earned funds through ignorance and bad investment strategies.
Investing in gold over the long term is considered a low risk strategy so it’s not going to get your rich quick. Here’s some tips before you dip your toe in the yellow stuff.
Investment Risk Profile
Seek to understand then to be understood as Dr Stephen Covey says from his ‘7 habits of highly successful people’.
Wherever you start out, seek to learn first and take action second. Your goal is to learn all you can about your investment risk profile which is essentially the trade off of risk versus profit. Once you know if you’re high risk, medium or low risk you can then take the appropriate steps to invest.
Many investors that prefer other asset classes like real estate also invest in gold and shares. Real Estate investing also has it’s low risk and high risk strategies so if you’re already a real estate investor you’ve got some transferrable skills and you’ll be aware of your underlying risk profile. You’ll also know that to do well in any investment or business it takes time – lots of it.
The saying: an overnight success takes 10 years is spot on. There really is a sequence of events and even though we can learn from the mistakes of others, it actually takes time to learn of the mistakes of others! So hold back, don’t naively jump in and take unnecessary risks.
There’s another saying: if it sounds to good to be true it is.
Like any any industry and business, there are always scammers and rogue buyers to watch out for. You’ll want to know how to safely buy and sell gold. There will be some interesting stories online re. scammers and foul play and it’s heartbreaking to learn of other’s misfortunes but there’s a lesson in it for you. Knowing the types of scams, and cyberattacks is all part of lowering the risk to you and your investments.
Look Before You Cross The Road
It may be an odd title for this section but there’s a reason for it. Too often – fools rush in before they’re ready so research, read books, join discussion forums, sign up for newsletters, you need to do the lot. Plus you’ll need to get professional advice from your investment advisor, lawyer and accountant.
Remember you can never know too much about an industry especially when you’re investing it and learning never stops. There’s always new strategies and different conditions that can make or break economies and living in a global economy as we all do today means we can be forewarned by events before they actually hit us in the pocket and that’s way you’ve always got to stay on top of your game.
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