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Archive for February, 2013


Tips for Building Effective Workplace Networks

In every business, workplace networks serve an important role for forming groups that enable you to meet your personal and professional goals. The ideal workplace network is focused on creating positive change while encouraging members to do their personal best. A true measure of a thriving workplace network is one where every member knows that he or she can speak without judgment. An open atmosphere encourages the socialization that networking requires and also promotes the kind of creative problem-solving and innovative thinking that is the hallmark of a successful business professional. To promote openness, avoid making judgmental comments about anyone or about the company and work at resolving any conflicts that arise. Be willing to share knowledge and help each other when the need arises.

If you spend the day tucked away in a cubicle or office, it can be hard for workplace networks to develop. Take the initiative to get together regularly with your network. Take coffee breaks together or meet for lunch. Make it a point to check in with key members of your network at least monthly to keep the relationship fresh and rewarding.

Workplace networks support collaboration. As coworkers learn more about each other’s strengths, your network will expand and grow to become a resource that will help you whenever you have a problem that needs a solution. In addition, when a network focuses on making positive contributions to its members, it can be the driving force behind organizational and personal success.


E-Mail Etiquette Tips for Your Staff to Follow

E-mail is the preferred method of communication for the majority of businesses today. Even with the increase in texting and instant messages, e-mail still provides the most flexible option for conveying important information. As a manager, you know how important effective e-mail practices can be for helping your business to run smoothly. The following e-mail etiquette tips can offer you a way to help your staff to maximize their use of this important way to communicate.

  • Assume People Other Than the Recipient May Read the Email

Everyone has heard a horror story of an e-mail mix-up, or they may have experienced one themselves. To avoid potential misunderstandings, always assume that someone other than the intended recipient may be reading an email. In a day of easy forwards and misplaced keystrokes, no one can ever be certain where an e-mail may end up. This one tip alone can help save you or your entire department from many potential embarrassments.

  • Know When to Send and When to Call

Timing is crucial when sending an e-mail. Although it may seem easier to send out an e-mail regarding a meeting that starts in an hour, the odds are that many people may not see it in time. Therefore, consider the nature of the message before hitting send. If it is easier to say it in person, then a simple phone call could be more effective.

  • Keep It Simple

We have all been on the receiving end of long-winded or overly punctuated messages. While it may have been sent with the best of intentions, the unfortunate truth is that most of the points may have been lost in the junk. Streamline messages. Keep images and emoticons to a minimum. On the receiving end, it is best to avoid mentioning instances of bad grammar or incorrect spellings in replies.

By practicing a little common courtesy, everyone can enjoy the rapid exchange of information that e-mail offers.


Easy, Safe Execises to Do at Your Desk

Sitting at a desk for long hours does not need to prevent you from incorporating a workout into your routine. There are easy, safe and discreet exercises that can be completed while sitting at your desk that will help to get your blood flowing and your body toned.

For those who have more privacy than a simple cubicle in the middle of the room, aerobic exercise can be gotten from running in place, doing jumping jacks or simulating using a jump rope for a minute at a time while remaining right by your desk in case you need to answer the phone.

You can also build strength from your desk chair by lifting one leg at a time and extending it straight out, holding the position for a few seconds, lowering the leg close to the floor, holding that position for a few seconds and then switching to the other leg. Repeat about 15 times.

Stretching is another way you can exercise at your desk. An easy move is to stretch your arms way up as if you were reaching for the sky and holding that position for a few seconds. This can then be followed by lifting one arm higher, holding for a few minutes and then switching to the other arm.

Another stretching position comes from yoga. Sitting straight on the desk chair, move your head to the right and your torso to the left, slowly and at the same time. After holding the position for a few seconds, you can switch sides. You can repeat this a few times and feel your body stretch and lose some tension.


Quickly Clean Up A Messy Computer Desktop

Clutter appears in many parts of your life. One of the most insidious of these areas is the computer desktop. Because the desktop is home to a variety of virtual items, users are often surprised by how quickly the things can amass. One day, the screen has a scant few icons; a few weeks or months later, they fill the desktop. After enough time, sorting through the icons can become daunting. A few steps can be taken to make the organization process a quick and relatively painless one.

Start by creating a new folder on the desktop. Give this folder a functional name, such as “Desktop Storage.” Then select every icon on the desktop by positioning the mouse in one of the screen’s four corners, hold the mouse’s left click button down and then sweep the mouse across all the icons. They should each be highlighted, typically with a blue color. Be sure not to select the new folder. Once this is done, drag every icon into the folder. The screen should then be pleasing to the eye: empty except for the new folder.

Open the new folder and change the view to Details. Arranging the files by “Date accessed” can illuminate several pertinent qualities. At a quick glance, this information tells a user when the last time a file or shortcut was accessed.

Only the hottest shortcuts and files, those used at least once in the last week, should be returned to the desktop. All other files should either remain in the folder or find their way to a better labeled folder on the computer’s hard drive or on a shared drive.

File names need to communicate their contents immediately. If a file has a name that means nothing at first glance, open the file to see what it is, then either rename or delete it entirely.