Guest Rooms That Make Guests Happy Setting Up An Online Store You Re Fired If Only It Were That Easy Avoiding An Unfair Dismissal Trial How To Overcome Isolation When You Work At Home

According to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, there are numerous things ” you can do to make guests feel welcome in their sleeping quarters, even if you have just a sliver of space to offer. Appoint a guest room as you would your own room, with attention to design and detail. And think of what needs they may have.

You want to avoid a guest having to ask you for something.”

And we agree. That’s why we came up with a few tips on how to create a guest room that’s worthy enough to make friends and family prefer to stay with you instead of at a hotel.

First, a comfortable bed is key. Everyone prefers different room temperatures when sleeping and there’s nothing worse than trying to sleep when you feel like you’re either going to freeze or bake. Stock the closet with extra blankets and keep a small fan and portable heater in the room as well. Guests can then be in control of their own room temperature and you can still enjoy whatever temperature you’re used to.

Second, give them a desk. Even a small computer desk like the Versa Table from Versa Products, Inc. is a great way to give guests a little space to write, check email on their laptops, or sort out receipts and other things they’ve collected on their journey. Having a computer modem or Wi-Fi is an added benefit as well. Stock the desk with blank paper, writing utensils, and miniature desk accessories likes staplers, staple pullers, and envelopes to help them stay organized.

Third, give your guests their independence. Provide an alarm clock for the room, a small television with a remote, and enough empty closet space or drawers that they aren’t piling everything into a corner. Extra space will also help them sort their clean and dirty clothes as their trip progresses which makes packing to go home much easier when the stay is over.

If your guests will have their own bathroom, stock it with enough toilet paper and tissues so that they don’t have to ask you to replace them. Give them extra towels, and stock their medicine cabinet with the miniature versions of what most people need: toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, soap, aspirin, hand cream, nail files, tweezers, etc. If you have fragrant candles in the bathroom, be sure to leave matches. Leave a hairdryer in the bathroom drawer and a few bottles of bottled water that they can take back to their room at night with them. Be sure to leave a hamper in the bathroom so guests won’t have to wonder where they should leave soiled towels.

Extra little touches like fresh flowers, or a bowl of fruit is also a nice touch, and a few magazines based on their interests in the bedroom and bathroom also make a guest feel at home. Being a good host or hostess when house guests arrive can mean the difference between your guests enjoying their vacation or not. Think about all the things that make home feel like home to you, and then offer that to your guests.

It seems like online stores are all the rage lately. There are many places online where you can buy things and where you can make other types of purchases. There are sites that sell new items, sites that sell old items, and sites that sell a combination of the both. If you want to work at home, and you are thinking of setting up an online store in order to do so, there are several things that you might want to keep in mind as you embark on this adventure.

First of all, you should choose goods that you have an interest in. If you are a big book reader, for instance, maybe you should sell used books online. If you have another interest, try to figure out a way to work your interests into your online store. This is important because you are going to be able to take control over your online store and make sure that you are selling what you want to sell, and if it is something that you are interested in, chances are good that you are going to find yourself more involved.

After you have decided what your online store is going to be selling, you need to figure out where you should get your products. Are you going to buy them around your town, or are you yourself going to order them online? Wherever you are getting your products from, you have to make sure that you are able to get products cheap. The best way to make sure that you are going to make a profit is to try to buy items in bulk so that you have many of them. Often you’ll be able to buy items much more cheaply if you buy a lot of them at once, and shipping costs will be reduced, as well. Then, you can sell the items individually to buyers online and make a profit that way. Since a person is only buying one item, they will pay more for it than you paid for it when you bought it in bulk.

Now you are ready to set up your store. You need an online space with a name that you can easily have people remember, and then you need to begin the marketing. Try to do as much as possible so that your name and your address are in as many places as they can be. Once you have started to get some business, you can continue to sell items and get even more business. The key to being successful is having a product that people want and being able to market it in a way that is going to make you money in the end.

I think I speak for all managers around the country when I say that we have all, in our darker moments, fantasized about mimicking Sir Alan Sugar’s catchphrase on ‘The Apprentice’ and telling an employee in no uncertain terms that they need to clear their desk and leave: “You’re fired!” Nice as it is to be able to pretend it would be this easy to get rid of that typist who spends more time on the phone to friends than doing their job, or the office manager who pulls a sickie every week, the truth is that simply firing your staff in this unceremonious manner will lead to all the ‘pleasures’ of an ‘unfair dismissal’ lawsuit.

So how should we go about getting rid of staff who are bad for the company? There’s a procedure you have to follow to ensure that your back is covered should the disgruntled sacked employee be feeling litigious and looking to call wrongful dismissal.

The first step towards this is ensuring that you have a clear set of rules and regulations. Afterall, if something is against the rules, but you’ve never actually explained it to your employees, then how are they supposed to know they are breaking them? At this point, you also need to be very clear of the consequences if such rules are broken.

There are two levels of misconduct you need to make provisions against: general and gross. Due to the different levels of seriousness, you need to make clear the action you would take in each circumstance:

General Misconduct

These are minor offenses or one-offs that would not result in serious repercussions for your business if occurring. The sort of thing that falls into this category should be: lateness, personal calls on the company telephone or under performance.

Gross Misconduct

This type of offense is for serious offenses which could damage the company, including acts of physical violence, drug or alcohol abuse, vandalism of company property, serious breaches of health and safety regulations, theft, fraud, harassment, discrimination or serious negligence. Additionally, the behavior listed in general misconduct could accumulate into gross misconduct if persistent while ignoring staff warnings.

So how do you go about ditching the troublesome staff? As I mentioned before there are procedures and you can’t just go and make an example out of someone on the spot – well you can, but the chances are they’ll be entitled to make an example out of you in the courts with a ‘wrongful dismissal’ lawsuit! Here’s how it’s done to avoid litigation:

1) If and when you become dissatisfied with the employee, tell them in writing.

2) Meet up with the employee and discuss the issue, trying to find a way in which the problems can be resolved. If possible, resolve the problem informally: You might consider training, or more supervision. Tell the employee the improvements you expect, and when their progress will be reviewed.

3) If an informal solution isn’t possible, take formal action – first a written warning, and then a final written warning. These must explain the nature of the problem, what you expect to improve and the consequences if they fail to meet your standards. Explain they have the right to appeal against your decision and give them opportunity to explain themselves.

4) If they accept their right of appeal, arrange a meeting and hear their case. Tell the employee your decision.

5) If the employee fails to meet your requirements, you may dismiss them or offer them a different job. Once again you need to follow procedure: a written dismissal, meet with the employee and give them the opportunity for appeal.

It may seem like a lot of hassle, but in the long run it’s better for employers to be able to resolve problems with their staff internally anyway. If you give your employees notice and they improve their ways, not only are you avoiding an unfair dismissal case against you, you are saving the costs and time involved in looking to hire a replacement for the sacked employee. Keep this procedure in mind, and avoid the Alan Sugar fantasies and the whole legal minefield that inevitably follows!

If you think that working from home is all sunshine and roses, think again. Just like any job, there are advantages and disadvantages. One thing that many people fail to take into account when they begin to work at home is the isolation they may feel and how they can combat the loneliness that comes with working from home.

Ways You Can Avoid the Trappings of Loneliness When You Work at Home

Try and establish a structure to your day when you work at home. Nothing gives loneliness a chance to get its foot in the door when you are looking at time stretching before you like the hot desert without an oasis. When you work at home you should start each day with a plan and stick to it. Assign your tasks and carry them out according to plan. The best time to schedule your day is to do it the night before so you have it in hand when you awaken.

Reach Out to Others

When planning your day, be sure to include at least a couple of activities that will have you interacting with others outside of your home. You may love your family to pieces, but a harried spouse and demanding children will not satisfy your need for socialization. Some say the hardest part when you work at home is the lack of adult conversation. Schedule a break when you know a buddy can have a nice chat with you. Take a walk with a friend or your pet to take in the fresh air and connect with the outside world.

When you work at home, you can think about joining a club or a group. You can take a class or attend a trade show or seminar that pertains to your area of business. This will enable you to share the triumphs and pitfalls you experience when you work at home with others handling the same situations.

Get Your Muscles Pumping

If you work at home, joining a gym can be a great way to meet and talk to other people and get yourself feeling and looking good at the same time. You can schedule your time at the gym for the same time everyday and you will be surprised at how quickly you become friends with others who visit when you do.

Arrange a Party or Picnic

Don’t sit home and wait for invitations to come to you, plan your own get-togethers to ensure you have some fun and adult interaction. Whether this is in the form of an outdoor barbeque, a picnic at the park, or a night you plan with friends to get together and play cards or some other sort of game, it is a wonderful chance for you to relax and do some catching up.

You can organize a function that is business oriented and get to know others who work at home too. It is a terrific way to network and make contacts as well as share ideas and inspirations for juggling a home business and a family.

Using chat rooms, blogs and forums to stay connected with others is easy with the internet, but beware you don’t spend too much time answering emails and chatting. This can become a distraction if you let it, so if you intend to socialize online, schedule a time to do this too.

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