Construction on the Clock: Save Time for Your Business

If you own or work for a construction company, you know that time and money are everything. You can’t afford to waste either on any part of a project, so you need to keep tight control on how everything progresses. Your business can make some significant changes that have many advantages if you’re willing to spend some time considering what you could do. There are many ways you can save both time and money, as they usually go hand in hand. By taking the right measures to save time, you can save money too, and you don’t have to compromise the quality of your services.

Streamline Your Company

By making the structure of your company and the lines of your communication more streamlined, you can save a lot of time and make your business more productive. You can cut through all the bureaucracy so that no one has to waste their time filing unnecessary paperwork or putting their work through several different stages that don’t need to be carried out. Get rid of some of the red tape in your company so that people can do their real jobs. You can find that multiple levels of bureaucracy build up over time, so it’s worth doing periodic checks of what your organizational structure looks like. A review of where things slow down and the things that get in the way of people doing their work will help you confront any problems that have developed.

Increase Transparency

Transparency can also be a problem for businesses that have trouble with productivity and time-saving. Poor transparency can mean that people don’t have the information they need to do their jobs adequately and managers aren’t able to see what could be going wrong. Everyone needs to have access to the information that will help them fill their roles better. You need to know that the reports produced by managers and contractors are accurate. If you invest time and effort into improving control and transparency for your business, you can find that you save both time and money. Communication can play a big role in this, helping to ensure everyone is up to speed on all relevant information.

Invest in New Tech

Technology is a must for any business in any industry. Your construction business should be looking at ways to use tech in the office and on project sites to save time and increase productivity. It’s important to spend time assessing the potential benefits technology solutions can have and weighing up the advantages against the costs. It’s not wise to invest in any and all tech in the hope that it will be useful for your company when you haven’t fully assessed whether it will help. All kinds of technology could be useful, though, so keep your mind open too so that you can take a look at your options. From mobile tech to the right project management software, you can make huge improvements where time saving and money saving are concerned, but only with the right tech for your business.

Look for Good Customer Service from Suppliers

Dealing with suppliers can be one of the most time-consuming tasks involved in running a construction company. If you want to avoid wasting time, you need to choose the best suppliers, whether it’s for materials you need all the time or equipment that you only rarely need to purchase. Look for suppliers like who will deliver great customer service so that you don’t have to waste your time. Any suppliers you use should be able to deal with orders and issues as quickly as possible. You should feel like they value your time and make an effort to be there for you when you need them.

Keep Track of Materials

Know what materials you need to order and when will also help you save both time and money. You don’t want to waste materials, and you also don’t want to have projects delayed because you don’t have what you need at the right time. If you want to get it right, tracking your use of materials can be very helpful. You’ll have the data you need to make smarter decisions about when to order materials and what you need. You should know how quickly your suppliers are able to deliver what you need and when the materials need to be available to make use of them.

Track Working Times and Schedules

Knowing when your employees are working and how long it takes them to do certain tasks is extremely helpful if you want to save time. Getting employees to punch a time card or fill out timesheets is nothing new, but technology can make it much easier to get more in-depth information about working times and schedules. Instead of asking people to fill out timesheets, which they can feel is a waste of their time, you can use tech to automatically track when people are working and what they’re doing. With more comprehensive data, you can plan projects better, as well as work on productivity.

Improve Collaboration

Better collaboration among your team, whether in the office or onsite, can make a huge difference in how quickly you can complete a project. Everyone needs to work well together and be on the same page to help projects run smoothly. Tech can help in this area too, especially with all the cloud technology tools that are now available, combined with mobile devices. Cloud tech makes it easier for everyone to have the same information at the same time, and you can access it instantly from almost anywhere. You only need to have an internet connection, and you can see changes to documents and data in real-time. It avoids people getting their wires crossed or anyone having outdated information. There are numerous tools you can make use of, such as messaging apps and document storage, so that collaboration is quicker and easier.

Create Templates for Easier Planning

One of the simplest ways you can save time for your construction company is to create templates that you can use. These could be document templates that you use for communication or for various letters, contracts and other materials. You can create templates for spreadsheets or even databases, and you might also have templates for use with design and planning tools. If you often need to use the same elements, there’s no point starting from scratch each time. You can save a lot of time by already having a basic setup ready to go, whether you’re starting a completely new project or you just need to send someone a letter.

Strengthen Your Team

In addition to improving how everyone can collaborate, spending time strengthening your team can give your business a boost in the time-saving department. While some people will argue that team-building is nothing but a waste of time, it can actually mean you stop wasting time due to poor communication or other issues that come from not functioning well together. Everyone needs to feel like they’re part of a team that they contribute to and that they can rely on to get a project finished. If you want people to collaborate well, you need to not just give them the right tools but also help them to trust and respect each other.

Work with the Right People

It’s not always obvious who you should be speaking to if you want to make sure your projects go smoothly. There are some professionals who you might not immediately think of, but who could help you save a lot of time. For example, working with an attorney who specializes in construction sites could help you avoid a lot of hassle. They can help you comply with any regulations and ensure you’re doing what you can to protect the company from lawsuits. They could provide assistance with contracts and negotiate if any legal issues do arise so that you can avoid expensive court cases.

Use Asset Tracking

Keeping track of your important assets is vital if you want everything to run smoothly on a project. From large equipment and vehicles to smaller tools, you need to know where they are so that they’re ready to go when you need them. If you can’t locate something, it’s not available, or you don’t have time to get it where it needs to be, you could end up wasting time or losing money. Asset tracking, using methods such as RFID and GPS technology, can help you know where everything is at all times so you can save both time and money.

Choose Time-saving Products

When selecting products for use in construction projects, it’s a good idea to think about how much time they can take to install, deliver, and even make. For example, if you select prefabricated elements for a building, it could save time by not having to construct them onsite. However, you would need to consider how long they would take to make offsite and when they could be delivered, as well as the cost and logistics.

There are many methods your construction company can use to save time and save money in the process too. An audit of your business could help you discover which improvements will help you most.

The Gray Dollar: Where Can Older People Find Financial Advice?

Knowing where to turn to for advice is one of the most valuable assets to have as you get older. Financial advice, in particular, can become more and more important. You need to know how to manage your money as you approach retirement age and need to start considering things such as a possible need for care when you’re older. Older adults can sometimes assume they know all there is to know about a few things, thanks to all their life experience. While you likely have more knowledge and experience than someone twenty years your junior, it doesn’t mean you’re an expert in everything. Financial advice is one thing you should always be willing to seek, even if it’s your area of expertise. There are plenty of ways you can get the advice and support you need to manage your finances well.

Read Online Resources

Many older adults are now adept at using a computer and making use of online resources. Soon, it’s likely that pretty much everyone will be completely comfortable finding whatever they need online. The internet offers a huge number of resources to make your financial planning easier, and plenty of them are free. From blogs like Diversified Finances to free information from banks and financial institutions, you can find a lot of ways to learn and even get personalized advice. If you don’t like reading, there are always videos to watch and other materials that can benefit you. You can even download some things or access them on mobile devices to take them on the move.

Find the Best Books

Things might be a lot more digital than they used to be, but books are still highly relevant in many areas of life. As well as giving us enjoyment, they can teach a lot about financial education and planning. And now you can have your books in digital format, instead of just as physical paper books. There are so many books giving financial advice, many of which are specifically for topics relevant to older adults like retirement planning or paying for care needs. Some of the best retirement planning books include titles like ‘The Five Years Before You Retire’ by Emily Guy Birken and ‘The New Rules of Retirement’ by Robert C. Carlson.

Attend Free Workshops

If you prefer to learn from someone in person, a workshop that can teach you some valuable skills and knowledge could be a good idea. You can often find free or inexpensive events to attend that can help you out. The Hal Hammond Foundation for Financial Education is one of the organizations that put on these types of workshops, often in community spaces like the Roser Community Church. You can have the opportunity to learn from a financial expert without having to pay professional prices for the advice you receive. Workshops can be a great chance to start putting things into practice and to talk to other people who are in similar situations to you.

Talk to Your Bank

Banks will sometimes have financial advisors who will speak to you free of charge as part of their customer service to you. Of course, they might be aiming to sell you certain products when offering you advice, but it’s in their interest to treat you well and steer you in the right direction. They can help you do the things that any financial advisor might offer advice with, from going over your past and current finances to making recommendations for how you can prepare for the future. You can take note of any products they recommend to you, but you don’t have to feel like it’s essential to buy them.

Speak to Younger Generations

A surprising way that you might learn about managing your finances is to speak to younger people. It’s easy not to notice how much things have changed over the years, and what you might think is still relevant advice, could actually be out of date. Speaking to younger people can sometimes help you realize the realities of managing your money in the modern world. If you have children or even adult grandchildren, they might have some useful advice they can give you about how to protect and grow your money and assets. It might give you a new perspective on your finances.

Pay for Financial Guidance

As well as getting free advice from a financial advisor at your bank, you can pay for someone to give you independent advice. While spending money to sort out your finances might seem nonsensical, it’s often worth spending a little money if it’s going to help you save more and make sound investments. A professional financial advisor can speak to you about your goals and help you work out what decisions are best to improve your financial health.

Approach Charities and Resources for Older Adults

You can also discover that there are charities and nonprofit organizations set up specifically to help older people with their finances and other aspects of their lives. For example, AARP helps people aged 50 or older and has some useful financial resources. One of the things they offer is a service for anyone who may be unable to afford to pay someone to do their taxes. The AARP Tax-Aide helps you get your taxes done for free, so you have one less thing to worry about.

Getting Legal Advice

When you’re looking for financial advice, legal advice is also often helpful too. It can be particularly useful for older adults who might be wondering what will happen if they become ill or want to ensure they organize their finances for after their death. Speaking to a lawyer who specializes in wills and probate or looking into options like setting up a power of attorney will help you decide how you want your money to be handled if you can no longer look after your finances. Taking these steps protects you and your family.

There are plenty of places to turn to if you want legal advice on managing your finances as you get older, and many are free or low-cost. Don’t try to go it alone when you don’t have to.

Starting to Work From Home? Here’s How to Set Up Your Home Office

If you’re about to start working from your home, you definitely need to create your own home office. This will be your base for all the work that needs to be done on a day to day basis. Simply working at your dining room table with a laptop is not the answer and it won’t produce the right results for your career.

There are plenty of things you should know about before setting up your home office. It’s not as simple as you might assume at first. If you cut corners or make mistakes, it could affect your working life massively going forward. So read on to find out how you can set up your office and make it just right for you.

Find Inspiration Online

Finding the right inspiration for your home office plans is really important. The one social media platform that you need to be making use of during this process is Pinterest. It will show you all kinds of creative and interesting home office designs. Sure, some of them are much more elaborate than most people need them to be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up ideas from here, there and everywhere. There are plenty of websites that will tell you about cheap home office hacks too.

Choose Comfortable and Ergonomic Furniture

The office furniture that you choose for your home office will need to be both comfortable and ergonomic if you want it to serve you well for years to come. Sitting in a chair for a long time each day can lead to back problems if you’re not sitting on an ergonomic chair. The most important aspect of this is the back support that your chair offers. Many people working from home forget the importance of good furniture because they’re used to it just being there in the office. But buying your own means having to consider all this.

Ensure You Have a Source of Natural Light

Never underestimate the power of natural light when you’re setting up your brand new home office. That feeling you get when you’re shut away in a dark and dingy home office for the whole day can be really depressing. You don’t want to feel like you’re entirely shut off from the rest of the world. Having a bit of natural light coming into the room from a window will keep your mood more positive and prevent you from feeling too locked in, which can be a problem for many people working at home.

Make Sure it’s Private and Free of Distractions

The last thing you want when you’re trying to get work done is people interrupting you and distracting you. So make sure that your office is properly shut off from the rest of the home so that you don’t get distracted from your work every few minutes. Privacy is a big deal and it can be hard to find when you’re working from a home where other people are also living. It’s up to you to find a way around this.

Find Creative Storage Solutions

Storage is one issue many people struggle with in their home office, and in a way, it’s not hard to see why. Home offices tend to be pretty small, and that means that getting all the things you need to store into your home office can be tricky. Adding high wall shelves is one of the tricks that is really helpful because you can then put storage boxes high up there and out of the way. That’s something that you should take inspiration from and keep looking for creative storage solutions.

Organise Your Wires and Cables

Cable management is something you need to be on top of before day one. If you allow your wires and cables to get tangled and messy below and behind your desk, you will regret it when it comes to moving things around or taking an appliance out. Luckily for you, there are so many cable management tools and products out there on the market right now, so make use of them. They’re so simple to use and they make such a big difference.

Add Multiple Work Zones

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have various working zones in your home office. Maybe you need a small area for printing and scanning and another area for your regular computer work. It’s up to you how you organise these different functions of course, but be sure not to put everything in one area if you have a whole room at your disposal. Everyone’s work is different so only you can decide which working zones you need in your home office.

Personalise the Working Area

One thing that you can’t always do very much when you’re working in a corporate office is personalise your working area. It’s important to make sure that you make that break and add some personal touches to the area in which you’re working. It makes the atmosphere in your home office more positive and applicable to you. That’s a big deal because home working is different from working in a regular office, and there’s nothing wrong with emphasising those differences.

Don’t Allow Clutter to Accumulate

Clutter can quickly get on top of you and bog down your home office when you start working from home. There are plenty of pieces of paper and documents and files that need to be stored somewhere. But they certainly shouldn’t just end up stacked on your desk looking for a home. Once that clutter starts to accumulate, it’s very hard to tackle it and get it back under control. From day one, you should make sure that this problem doesn’t develop at all.

Working from home is rarely as fun and relaxed as it sounds, but with the right planning and implementation, you can create a workable office in your home. This will help you stay focused and fulfill your career potential each and every day of the working weak. So get to work on this right away.