Posts made in October, 2014

3 Signs That Your Computer Needs To Be Serviced

Whether you use your computer for work or pleasure, it is important to make sure that you are keeping it in the best possible condition. By ensuring that all problems are fixed promptly by a professional computer technician, you will have a computer that can last for many years. So check out the following three signs that may indicate your computer needs to be serviced so you know when to call for help.

Fan Running Too Much

How much is too much? There may not be an exact science to this, as the fan is supposed to run at times when it needs to cool off the computer. However, if the fan has suddenly started running more than normal or runs nonstop, you have a problem. Either the fan is malfunctioning or the computer is overheating too quickly, causing the fan to run excessively.

Pages Slow To Open

It is fine to have the occasional rough day with the computer. However, if you are starting to find that every page you try to open takes a much longer time than normal, you will need to look into finding someone to help you fix the problem. It may simply be that you have too much spyware or viruses on the computer. It could be that you do not have enough memory in the computer. Either way, a computer technician can easily resolve these problems.

Shuts Down On Its Own

When a computer is overheating so quickly that the fan cannot cool it down, the computer can shut itself down in order to save itself. When this happens occasionally, it is not a problem. However, if it is happening so much that it is interfering with your normal day-to-day uses for the computer, then it needs to be serviced. If you try to force the computer to run while overheating, you could completely destroy it and there might not be much to repair at that point, as it would be better to simply buy a new one.

If you would like to make sure that you are saving your computer and your money, it is vital that you are having it repaired or serviced as soon as you realize that there is a problem. Therefore, should you happen to notice any of the previously mentioned issues taking place, call a computer repair technician like Valley Geeks Computer Services and schedule an appointment to take your computer in.

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How To Make The Most Of Performance Assessments For Your Staff

Performance assessment meetings are often approached with dread by both staff and management. Employees who are uncertain where they stand may find the upcoming meeting overwhelming and stressful, while some managers push them to the bottom of the priority list. The truth is that performance evaluations are important for employee productivity and to ensure quality of performance. Here are some tips to improve the evaluation process for you and your staff.

Why Performance Assessments Matter

When employees know what is expected of them and how to meet those expectations, they typically perform better at their jobs. Performance assessments allow employees to see how they are performing against those expectations on a regular basis.

Appraisal meetings provide a medium for employees to give and receive directed, honest and relevant feedback about performance and operations. Employees will see that you, as their employer, care about their professional development and their role in the company’s success.

How to Make Performance Assessments Effective

In order for your performance assessments to truly encourage your staff, you need to make sure that the program you put in place is consistent, honest, and fair. This means training your supervisory staff in these expectations. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your assessment process, like with GEMS of Florida.

Set Measurable, Mutually Agreed-Upon Goals

You can’t complete an effective performance evaluation without having something to evaluate against. Start each evaluation year by setting clear objectives that your employees will be expected to work toward. Make sure that the objectives are measurable, such as improving sales by five percent or responding to all inbound calls within less than 24 hours.

The measurability gives you a benchmark by which to evaluate success. It also provides your employees with an easily identifiable goal to work toward. When your employees know clearly what they are expected to achieve, they can be more successful.

Document Everything

Once you establish those objectives, you’ll need to make sure that you keep regular documentation of the activities and performance throughout the year. There are a lot of things that happen throughout the year, so it’s important for you to make sure that you have a solid record of those things. Otherwise, you risk focusing solely on the recent events and achievements, which could result in an incomplete review.

Meet Regularly

Don’t just plan an annual meeting to review progress. Employees will be more successful and productive if they are provided with routine assessments and encouragement. Plan a quarterly meeting to review the progress toward the pre-determined goals and adjust those benchmarks as needed, according to existing progress. This will help eliminate surprises at the end of the evaluation period and will help your staff understand how their current performance relates to the existing goals.

The goal of performance assessments is to keep your staff on track and contributing to the success of the business. When your assessment process is designed for encouragement and success, your staff will likely be more productive and positive. With these tips, you can establish a solid assessment plan that your company can rely on.

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Two Important Benefits Of Choosing Ergonomic Office Furniture

Supplying your office with furniture can be a deceptively complex task because there are many different factors that must be considered. Unfortunately, some business owners do not put much thought into the types of furniture they supply their workers with, and this can lead to numerous problems. However, many of these issues can be avoided by purchasing ergonomic furniture for your employees. In particular, there are two major benefits that you should consider when purchasing office equipment.

Improved Employee Health

Typing at a desk may not seem like a physically demanding task, but it can make employees prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome and a host of other issues. Ergonomic office furniture ensures that employees are easily and comfortably using proper posture while they work due to the design of these pieces. The results of not using the correct posture when utilizing a computer can make employees more likely to need medical treatment, and this can increase the monthly insurance premiums for the company.

For companies that do not provide health care plans, ergonomic furniture can also provide a major benefit. Employees who are sitting at their desks with the recommended posture are often times less likely to experience pain after a long day at their job. Constant pain can create a difficult work environment for a company’s employees.

Increased Productivity

A happy employee is a productive employee, but it is difficult for employees to be happy if they are uncomfortable. As a result, it is vital for employers to keep their employees comfortable when they are on the clock. Yet, this can be difficult to do if the office furniture causes individuals to sit or work in an unnatural posture.

Luckily, ergonomic furniture is designed to keep individuals comfortable while maintaining a natural position of the body. For example, many people will start to slouch if they are in a chair that does not provide adequate back support. Over the course of a work day, this poor posture can drain the employee’s energy and morale. Not surprisingly, this can drastically lower their productivity, and this can cost your business money.

When you are choosing furniture for your office, you should carefully consider the benefits of opting for ergonomic furniture. This furniture is designed to keep individuals comfortable by encouraging them to have a more natural posture while they are working. Unfortunately, some business owners may avoid this type of furniture because it costs marginally more, but the benefits of improved employee health and productivity can help offset this cost differential.

Most office furniture stores will offer ergonomic furniture, but to get started you can try these guys out

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Why Should You Choose Slate Roofing?

Slate roofing is a type of roof that is made from slate roofing tiles or shingles. These shingles are very durable and have a modern look. They are typically made of metamorphic rock that is excellent for roofing material, though you might end up paying a little more for it. If you’re currently looking to have a new roof installed, here are some reasons to consider switching to a slate roof.

Appearance

One of the top reasons people switch to a slate roof is because of how it looks. The slate shingles are very beautiful for any home style, though more often seen on newer homes with a contemporary or modern style. They have a classy and aesthetically pleasing appeal. While many people think slate roofs are gray, this isn’t always the case. Slate roofing shingles also come in other colors, such as red, black, green and purple.

Durable

The metamorphic rock that is used to make slate roofing shingles is very durable, providing excellent protection from various weather conditions. They are appropriate in most weather conditions, including dry and humid climates, and rainy and wet climates. They are often resistant to water, fire, ice, snow and heavy winds as well.

Long Lasting

As you might imagine, the high durability factor of slate roofs also provides a longer lasting roof. If you have had problems in the past with your roofing materials only lasting a few years before needing to be repaired, this is great motivation for making the switch to slate. They can last a very long time, depending on the quality of the shingles and how well they were installed. This also makes them more environmentally-friendly, since they don’t need to be replaced as often.

Low Maintenance

While slate roofing shingles are more expensive than most others, they last longer and don’t need as many repairs. You can expect to have the roof installed and not have to keep getting more work done. Even if you live somewhere with heavy winds or the occasional natural disaster, your roof is most likely to be the one on the block that is still standing and doesn’t need excessive repairs.

The downside of slate roofing is definitely the cost. The slate shingles beat many other roofing materials in its longevity and durability, but they are also more expensive. This is something to discuss with a roofing contractor such as Architectural Exterior Design before choosing the best option.

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5 Ways To Liven Up Your Outdoor Tent For An Amazing Party

Backyard or outdoor weddings are very popular as they can be much more affordable than having the wedding in a formal venue, and they can make the event feel more personal. With so many pieces of party equipment available for rent today, you can have an amazing graduation or birthday party right in your own backyard as well. To make any event even more special, consider five ways to liven up an outdoor tent from a company like Classic Party Rentals of Virginia.

1. Go with a carnival theme.

For a casual event such as a kid’s party, choose a tent with a bold red and white or blue and white stripe and go with a carnival theme. You can carry this theme through the party; your invitations might be designed to resemble tickets to the carnival and you might rent carnival games for everyone to play.

2. Add ribbon columns.

The inside of your tent might look a bit dull especially for a formal event, so add ribbon columns. These are large swaths of fabric, typically chiffon, which can be available in a color that matches your wedding or party theme. They are hung from the ceiling and tied near the middle to keep them in place. These columns can break up the space of your tent and give it a more formal and appealing look.

3. Hang chandeliers.

If you still want a more formal feeling for your backyard or outdoor wedding, choose a tent rental that includes chandeliers. These types of tents usually have wiring installed that goes across the ceiling and which then plugs in at the base of the tent. The chandeliers are then installed after the tent is erected, and they can add a formal touch to your party.

4. Use electric candles.

Typically candles are not allowed in a tent rental because the tent material is so flammable, but electric candles can look exactly like the real thing and can give the interior of your tent a beautiful glow. These candles operate with a battery and throw off a soft light. For added visual appeal, place them on mirrors you set on the tables or the buffet table.

5. Use colored lights.

Your tent will probably need lighting inside, so use colored lights for added visual appeal. You might choose something that matches your wedding’s color scheme, or choose something for a kid’s party like pink or purple. These lights will add a fun element to your party and make the inside of your tent seem softer and even more formal yet festive.

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