How to create an organised home office

More and more of us work from home than ever before. Self-employment’s on the increase and employers have woken up to the advantages of remote working. So if you’re one of the nation’s army of homeworkers, you need a home office where you can work undisturbed.

When you think about creating your office, the first things that come to mind are a decent desk for your PC and phone along with a comfortable chair. You will also have to decide which spare bedroom, bit of the garage or unused space you’re going to convert. What you might fail to consider is something that’s just as important, if not more so: storage and organisation.

Organisation is key

The key to a successful home office is organisation. And organisation means good storage. If you don’t have adequate storage solutions you’ll run out of room pretty fast, as the paperwork can pile up easily. Legally, you have to keep certain correspondence and receipts for a minimum number of years and you’ll need somewhere to store them. Storage unit providers, such as Shelfstore, offer a host of products and solutions to help you create an organised home office.

organised home office

Typically, you’ll need to store a mix of files, books and boxes packed with all sorts of different bits of paper, stationery, and maybe a few CDs and DVDs, of all weights and sizes so you need shelving that’s strong and sturdy as well as practical and attractive. Pine shelves with adjustable supports are a good option as they tick all the boxes. Available as shallow shelves which are perfect for books, plastic wallets and files and deeper ones which are better for boxes, baskets and containers. Don’t forget you can add a cross brace or backboard for extra strength and stability too.

Mix and match

Your shelving also needs to suit the space you work in. Offices come in all shapes and sizes and now, so does shelving. If you’re a bit cramped and need something not too tall, go for wide shelving or shelving with a stepped effect if you need it to go under stairs. Mix and match sizes if you need to, and don’t be afraid to have floor-to-ceiling shelving where the space allows.

How you use your shelving needs to be considered. Keep things you need to lay your hands on regularly close to your desk and stow your older paperwork on shelving units further away. Stick labels on files or on the shelves so you know where everything is. A simple option is to group similar items together or file alphabetically.

Nerve centre of the home

Your home office is the nerve centre of your house. It’s where you’ll spend the most time during the day and it needs treating with care as you won’t get much done if you’re always having to wade through piles of clutter and mountains of mess. Keeping on top of things and having an organised home office can make all the difference to how your business performs, so make sure yours is organised as best you can.

The top 10 work related accidents

There’s no denying the fact that workplace safety has improved over recent years. However, risks do remain. According to figures provided by the Health and Safety Executive, 28.2 million working days were lost in the UK in 2013-14 due to work-related injury and illness. Meanwhile, 133 people were killed while performing their duties over this 12-month period.

To help minimise the dangers that exist in working environments, firms can take advantage of the health and safety courses offered by specialist training providers like SHEilds. It’s also important for managers to be aware of common risks. With this in mind, here are ten of the top work-related accidents to watch out for.

1) Slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls are a frequent occurrence in a range of settings. Slippery floors and the presence of hazardous objects are often the cause of these accidents. In many cases, the incidents are not serious. However, sometimes victims suffer broken bones or head injuries. The accidents are particularly dangerous if they occur at height.

work related accidents

2) Back and neck strains

Another common workplace problem is back and neck strains. People can suffer these injuries when they lift heavy or awkwardly shaped objects.

3) Burns

Burns are a big problem too. These accidents can occur in a range of settings, including factories, laboratories, garages and kitchens. They can be caused by both chemicals and sources of heat.

4) Cuts

Cuts are another top work-related accident. These injuries are especially common in industrial settings and kitchens.

5) Vehicle crashes

Another major cause for concern is vehicle crashes. Accidents involving cars, lorries, forklifts and other vehicles frequently occur in warehouses, car parks and on the highways. Continue reading →

Mobile computers for business

There is a wide variety of mobile computers on the market these days. So if you’re a business owner and need to invest in this kind of technology, where do you start?

The first thing to consider is what you need a mobile computer for. Do you need to be able to communicate quickly with colleagues and have access to documents and databases? Or do you need to perform sales transactions? Or perhaps you need your fleet of drivers to have mobile computers they can track deliveries with?

Whatever you need a mobile computer for, there’s plenty of choice out there. Like most technology, change happens very quickly in mobile computing and it can be hard to keep up. But fear not, suppliers such as Symec can help you get to grips with your options.

Mobile computers have come a long way since the days of simple PDAs that people used to carry around to check their emails and browse the internet. Mobile computers today are powerful, independently-powered machines capable of doing just about everything a desktop PC or laptop can.

Rugged mobile computers

Mobile computers for mobile workers

In some fields, people need a device that is able to handle a tough working environment. Rugged mobile computers are perfect because they look like a smartphone and run on operating systems people are familiar with, like Windows or Android. Most of the major manufacturers, including Honeywell and Motorola, make this kind of handheld device and buying a refurbished model can save you some serious cash.

Hands-free options

Some jobs, such as lifting and moving stock around, require workers to have both hands available. Such workers might need to scan things and keep a tight record of where things are. Wearable mobile computers provide the perfect solution here as workers can keep the computer on their wrist. Conveniently, most have voice-activation capabilities as well as scanning options.

Vehicle-mounted mobile computers

Mobile computers can be mounted in a range of vehicles, from forklifts to trucks. Users can stay in touch with your fleet and keep an eye on your distribution centre. Most have a real QWERTY keyboard rather than a touchscreen one, and come fully-loaded with software and licences.

Finding the right portable devices for your business is crucial. They’ll keep your workforce connected, improve your productivity and generally make life easier for mobile workers. It’s worth getting advice on which mobile computers are best for your business, as some fit specific industries better than others.

Wedding hairstyles tips

Congratulations you are going to be a bride – how exciting!! Now here is where the fun starts.

When looking for a hair stylist you need to choose someone with lots of experience who can advise you and suggest various hairstyles which will not only suit your face shape but also your dress, chosen look, personality and hair type. It is also important that you like their personality as they will be there on the day with you!

Pick a company with lots of experience who can suggest not only hairstyles but can also make and design headwear, tiaras, hair accessories, veils, feather fascinators, grips and combs with an amazing selection of over 1000 for the bride and her bridal party. A company that can also provide you with a synthetic or real hair piece to match your hair colour exactly should you need extra bulk or length.

For your wedding day you can go for many looks whether natural, glamorous, chic and styled or curly and feminine. Whatever your look, you need to find someone who can advise you not only what will suit you but also what will work best with your hair.

Wedding hairstyles

It is always good to have a practise beforehand so your hairstylist can come to you and show you various different styles to see what you feel most comfortable with and what you feel suits you most and makes you feel extra special.

A lot of brides grow their hair for the wedding day which is wonderful if you would like a hair up style but there are also beautiful styles for shorter hair which can look just as feminine or glam. Generally it is good to find your hair stylist before you have bought your tiara, headdress or hair accessory as they can really advise you what shape would compliment your faceshape beautifully and then show you different styles to work around that. Continue reading →

How To Succeed As An Online Entrepreneur? Vashi Dominguez Explains …

Vashi Dominguez
“By leaving no stone unturned; Vashi diamonds are everyone’s best friend.”

It has been less than 10 years since Vashi Dominguez set up the online diamond and fine jewellery store Competing at the top with some of the world’s most leading luxury jewellery brands, Vashi has quickly become the go to guy for diamond advice and jewellery, turning over a profit of £10 million. Providing expert advice to an audience of millions of people worldwide and jewels to celebrities from Myleene Klass, Leona Lewis, Binky Felstead, Holly Willoughby and many more, Vashi Dominguez gives his top five tips on how to succeed as an online entrepreneur.

Vashi’s Top 5 Tips

Turn your passion into a much needed resource: I firmly believe your character dictates how far you will get in life. Drive and determination can turn a great idea into a multimillion pound empire. From a very young age, I had always had a fascination with diamonds, as I became intrigued at how something so small could be so valuable. I studied gemmology, worked within the industry and eventually sold my electrical business to focus all my efforts into diamonds. My aim was to offer the web the best value on diamonds and fine jewellery. I started doing this by selling jewellery through eBay, which then launched into my independent site,

Turn obstacles into prospects: Increasing competition together with a downturn in the economy can make it very difficult to turnover a profit, especially if you’re a small business. I was turned away from over 200 offices before anyone would meet with me. Having said that, for every problem there is a solution and that is why it’s extremely important that you conduct due diligence to turn most of the threats into opportunities.

Be proud of your achievements: It is important to step back and be proud of what you have achieved, whether it’s taking an idea and turning it into a fully-fledged business, building trust amongst your customers and employees and/or winning awards.

Look after your clients: It depends on the industry but the one thing that I’ve learnt, is that customer service is paramount for any new business. If you provide your customers with the best service then they will always come back and that is essential to grow any business long term.

Be aware of your competitors: There are millions of online businesses all targeting the same group of people. At, we offer the strongest guarantee in the business backing every product with the combination of a no questions asked money back guarantee including great value and a lifetime warranty on all diamonds and fine jewellery. This allowed our business to create a gap within the marketplace, separating us from internal and external competitors.  With continuous competition battling to be the best on the high street in addition to online companies, it’s vital that your business stands out and offers something quite unique. I quickly recognised that the best way to connect with my customers is to offer a product with great value at the comfort of their own home by directly dealing with the mines to avoid high street inflation.

Having the right business ethic and product: Business can be tough and it’s essential that you do your research and evaluate the pros and cons. I also feel it’s important to establish the purpose of wanting to start your own business e.g. does your targeted customer really need your product or service? What are you prepared to sacrifice in order to achieve it? Will your idea turnover a profit in the next five years? Is there a gap in the market for it? Familiarising yourself within the area of business you wish to get into and all its competitors, are the key tools needed to succeed in the world of online business. It’s also important to install trust within your brand at a very early stage. I believed it was essential to deal directly with the Diamond Trading Company, the world’s largest diamond miners, to ensure that our diamonds are ethically sourced. We only deal with associated companies whom, like us, proudly adhere to and enforce the standards established by the Kimberley Process (an international system that polices the trade of diamonds) to ensure that they’re from sources free of conflict; therefore building trust with our customers and making us a recommended and reputable company.

Ultimately, running a successful online business with an ego doesn’t mix. If you’re in business for the wrong reasons it will not work.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Jesus Flores, of Harvey, Illinois, has been afraid of storms for as long as he can remember. It’s not a typical fear he experiences. Most people get nervous when high winds send tree branches flying, thunder rattles the rafters, and lightning strikes nearby, but Flores and others like him have it much worse: They have a real phobia.

There is no name for this particular phobia, surprisingly. We have names for all the features of it — the fear of lightning and thunder (brontophobia or karaunophobia), the fear of rain (ombrophobia or pluviophobia), and the fear of tornadoes and hurricanes (lilapsophobia) — but at the moment there’s no Greek name for the whole shebang.


When his phobia was at its worst, Flores would feel anxious in the days preceding a forecasted storm. He would stay glued to the National Weather Service radio station or the Weather Channel on TV. As the weather approached, his anxiety would mount, and when the storm was upon him, he was gripped by such terror that he would hide in the closet.

Things are better, he says, since he started his web site in 1999. The site put him in touch with hundreds of other storm phobics. “I don’t feel like I’m alone,” he says. And mentioning there are lot of students with phobias, that’s a relevant information.

Understanding that others have the same problem has helped him deal with his phobia. “I started hearing some of the more extreme things that people do” to avoid storms, he says. One woman he talked to would call an ambulance whenever a storm was brewing because she felt safer in the hospital. Stories like hers brought his own fears into perspective. “I wouldn’t even come close to that anymore,” Flores says. Now, he doesn’t feel intense anxiety in anticipation of a storm, although he will stay indoors and cancel appointments when one rolls in.

Phobias are, by definition, irrational fears, although they are “usually based on some realistic harm,” says Mia Weinberger-Biran, PhD, a professor of psychology at Miami University, Ohio. “Sometimes they develop out of a frightening encounter,” she says, but often they develop without any obvious cause.

When it comes to treating phobias, the usual combination is psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Talking to a psychologist or psychiatrist can help sufferers understand what the phobia means to them and how it started, Weinberger-Biran says.

Then comes the hard part — learning to overcome the fear by gradually increasing exposure to the feared object or situation. “You need to be pretty creative with this,” Weinberger-Biran says. “It’s not always easy.” Storm phobia is a case in point. For someone with a fear of heights (acrophobia), treatment might involve exercises like standing on a second-story balcony until that feels comfortable, then a third story, and so on. The same approach would be hard to apply to storm phobia.

Learning the science behind severe weather is one way people can overcome the fear of it. The idea was put into practice by John Westefeld, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Iowa, who did the first research on severe weather phobia. Westefeld has held counseling sessions where phobics sit down with him and a meteorologist to talk about their fears, and talk about the weather.

Flores stresses that people with this phobia should seek help from a mental health professional, and stick with it. Many of the storm phobics he has talked to, he says, start therapy during the spring and summer, but quit when winter comes and storms are less common.

In addition to professional help, sharing the experience with others seems to do the most good. Those who have gotten involved “feel a strong sense of community,” Flores says. “They feel more at peace with their fear.”

At what age can contact lenses be worn?

Although spectacles have become an increasingly sought after fashion accessory these days, many children would prefer to wear contacts. In some cases, the shift from glasses can improve self-image which can be a major motivator for many young people.

Sometimes, it’s not appearance that drives the desire to switch, but sports performance. Although quite safe to wear for the majority of sports, glasses can occasionally be distracting and many children would prefer to have contact lenses that they can just forget about.

Understandably, parents are often concerned about whether these are suitable for youngsters. There is no hard and fast rule about at what age it is possible to begin wearing lenses. It depends very much on the child in question. For example, a child as young as seven or eight might be deemed quite capable of using lenses, whereas a teenager might not.

contact lenses children

In most cases, the best course is to speak to your optician with your child present. They will be able to judge how responsible and motivated your son or daughter is. Your child will need to be able to insert and remove their own lenses and take responsibility for the accompanying hygiene programme. This means that they must be willing and able to clean their lenses without adult assistance.

The optician will monitor your child’s progress and eye health and if they feel that they are not managing in a hygienic and responsible manner, most will not hesitate to withdraw the prescription. Quite often, the knowledge that they will have to return to wearing spectacles can be enough to ensure that children and adolescents take adequate care of their lenses.

There is a wide variety of contact lenses available and the optician will provide the necessary advice and guidance. For instance, they will recommend whether hard or soft lenses are most appropriate and whether or not disposables are a good option for your son or daughter. In some cases, such as astigmatism, it may be possible to use corrective contacts to improve the condition.

Before visiting the optician, it is best to talk to your son or daughter about their expectations and to discuss the level of responsibility that will be expected from them. If you don’t wear lenses yourself, it might be a good idea to ask a friend or relative if they would be willing to demonstrate the procedure to your child.