Business Travel Tips

Business Travel Tips; Reduce Stress and Enjoy Yourself Traveling for Business is Less Stressful When You Take Time to Prepare and Organize.Here are a few tips for your business travel that will make that time away from home just a bit more enjoyable. Let’s start with packing for business travel. Start with the purchase of a good carry one bag. Any seasoned business traveler will tell you carry on is the only way to travel. It will keep you out of baggage claim and you will never have to worry about lost luggage. Buy a couple of good quality pieces constructed of polyurethane-treated fabric that have nylon zippers. The polyurethane will keep the moisture out and the nylon zippers are far less likely to snag.Consider keeping a duplicate of as much as possible when it comes to those things that you use on a daily basis such as your toiletries. This way you won’t have to worry about unpacking them when you return home. They can just stay in your business travel bags. You may also think about going to your local drugstore to purchase trial sizes of your toiletries. Try to pack your bag with space saving in mind. Cut down on the number of business suits for example by packing alternate shirts and ties that will go with the same suit.Women can change the look of a suit with different blouses, scarves, sweaters or jewelry. Pack socks and underwear inside your shoes. Not only does this save space but it will also help keep the shape of your shoes. Pack your belts around the edge of your suitcase. When considering the items to pack think of those things that are necessities and those items that may make your business travel just a little more comfortable.Here is a business travel tip when choosing your mode of transportation. When choosing transportation for business travel the distance that you will be traveling should be considered. Although air travel is the first choice when it comes to long journeys for a shorter trip that is only a couple of hundred miles away a train or automobile may be the better choice. Take into account the time you would spend traveling to and from the airport. Also, don’t forget to consider the amount of time taken at the airport to check in, board, disembark and then find transportation to your final destination etc.If you do choose to fly consider alternative airports just outside your departure and destination city. Typically these airports may have fewer flights but also will have less chance for overbooking and delays.Always try to stay in hotels that cater to business travel. Most of these hotels will have high- speed internet access and will offer access to business machines. For unbiased reviews from other business travelers just like you we recommend that you research
hotel reviews at TravelPost.comOne of the more important business travel tips is to check your cellular service prior to leaving for another city. Check with your cell phone service provider. You may find that they don’t provide service where your business travel takes you and therefore you will need to find an alternate carrier for this trip.Can you imagine not finding out until you’re there!Hope that you will find these business travel tips helpful and may all of your business travel bring further success!

Managing Temporary Employees in the Construction Industry

Temporary or agency employees are a vital resource for management in the construction industry. They are used to meet a short-term need for labour, generally of a specific skill group, without the need to keep many individuals on the company’s books. Although the cost may be more expensive as a per-hour rate, if you take account of employee tax, pension/superannuation payments, management time and HR for each full time employee, using agency employees becomes a very attractive option.One potential pitfall is for a management gap to occur – who is responsible for the employee’s development and growth? The agency who employees the individual or the company where they are deployed? To get the most out of the agency staff they need to be managed on a daily basis, and this is best done at the place of work. Below are the key areas which need to be addressed. One individual needs to be responsible for managing all agency employees and this should be built into their job description – this is to maximise the value from agency employees. Management need to accept that there is some cost in time and resources when using agency employees.Preparation Before agency employees are brought in, ensure that you have the right equipment for them to do their job properly. Someone commencing work as a site cleaner may require cleaning fluids, cloths, mop & bucket, broom, dustpan & brush and protective gloves. If you do not provide the right equipment it will give a negative impression of the standard of work expected from them and may prevent them from completing their tasks. Create a structure for each day regardless of how frequent agency employees are used. It is important to document the structure of the day. This will help them feel comfortable, know what is expected of them and give them an opportunity to raise any issues they may have (health and safety, skills etc).Create a structure that defines activity to be carried out in the morning, lunchtime activity and pre-finishing. You can include meetings with them in the morning or after lunch to check on progress.For example: 7.00: Open entrance gates, open equipment store rooms, 7.15: Meet with supervisor, 13:00 – Ensure all food waste is removed from lunch room, 16.30: Close gates, close store roomSet time-frames for workA simple and effective management tool – setting time-frames clarifies expectations for both sides and can be used to discuss any issues if the time-frame is not met. Even if there is no urgency over a task being completed, ask for “this to be done by the end of today” and it probably will be.Explain why something needs to be doneGiving some background into the task that you want done will help the agency employee to frame their work in a bigger context, improve their understanding and drive their motivation. If they are cleaning, explain how keeping the site clean is important in reducing accidents or damage to equipment and finished work.Assume they don’t know what to do until they show they have the skillsAsk most men if they know how to use a angle-grinder or a jackhammer and they nearly always say “Yes” – especially on a building site! When dealing with new agency staff or giving a new task to existing ones, work with them and show them what to do the first time. Check they are happy and reduce the risk of mistakes and accidents.Use different styles of management for different peopleThis is one of the toughest things to get right with full time employees and a nightmare with temporary staff. How do you know if someone works best with regular supervision or by being given a task and allowed to use their initiative to complete it?My suggestion is to start cautiously – frequently check on progress and have several, short discussion with them each day. At the end of each day, check if they feel the level of supervision is OK and work with them to find the right balance. Ask them questions about what they have done. Years ago, sales people realised that using open questions gets more information out of customers than closed (yes/no response) questions. When speaking to agency employees, use the same tactic to open communication channels and get honest feedback. Try “How did you do today?” or “Can you talk me through what tasks you did today”Provide feedback – especially positiveManagement is a 2 way street and people need to feel they are getting something back for the work they have done. Yes, they are getting paid, but money is not a key motivator for most people. Job satisfaction and feeling that you contributed towards a goal are much more important. Make sure that agency staff are told when they have done a good job – it is often the last thing on a busy managers mind so make it part of the daily structure to say thank you.In summary, spend as much time and effort managing agency employees as you do on full time employees and you will be rewarded with motivated, engaged people who contribute to your business.

Construction Industry Tradesmen – Need to Retire Earlier

The government seem determined to make construction industry tradesmen work until they drop or better still, until we end up in a wooden box. People in the UK on average work a lot more hours than our European counterparts in general, but this Conservative/Liberal Government want us to work even harder. Construction industry tradesmen need to retire early.Does anyone ever consider the physical efforts involved in a particular industry?Work hard and you get respect. Work hard and you get 2 homes and a car with heated seats. Work extra hard and spend half your life working with people you don’t like, never see your children, never see the wife, but earn loads of money they can spend. Work hard in a construction trade and all you will achieve is a Bad back, Tennis elbow, Hearing Loss and if you are really lucky… a Knee replacement. Now the government is trying to make construction workers spend even more time at work. Only God himself will know what joys in retirement constructions workers will have, that’s if they ever get to that age. Some well being advice can be found at I-BRICK.COM, which may help people have a better quality life.BricklayersLet’s look at one particular trade and try to work out the actual stress that will be put on the human body in the course of their natural working life. It’s difficult to work out exactly, so let’s do some calculations that may just help people realise the effects such hard work will have on the “Old Bones”.• Concrete Blocks: 34, 000 tonnes per working life
• Mortar: 10,000 tonnes per working life
• Concrete Lintels: 1000 tonnes per working life
• Shovels of sand: 800,000 per working life
• Trowels full of mortar: MillionsThe realityNow this is a very broad estimate and would not be the same for everyone, but do politicians think all construction workers sit in a nice warm office, always have access to hot food, access to clean toilet facilities and drive a car that is fuelled by tax payer’s money. The reality is totally different on a construction site. Work in very adverse weather conditions for 7 months of the year, no hot food, very bad toilet facilities that quite often don’t even have hot water and a car that thrives on being filled up with overpriced fuel that they can little afford. People often have either of the following 2 philosophies:Live to workGet up at 05.30 o’clock, shower, breakfast and merrily go to work. They come home from work at 7 o’clock in the evening with a sense of satisfaction from their achievements and have a sense that it was all worth it. For some it would be the huge salaries often achieved in certain industries, for others it’s the power over people they think or know they have.Work to LiveFor this work ethic people view work as a bind that must be done in order to earn a living. Quite often these people want the maximum return for the least effort, others have great skills, huge commitment to their job, but they don’t let work rule their life’s. Construction workers in general seem to have a third philosophy……Work to dieNow this ethic is one of get up at 05.30, no breakfast, no shower and on average £10 spent on fuel just getting to work. Work hard all day with absolutely no interest in the job. Get treated in most cases like a third class citizen with little or no respect from managers that will never gain respect from anyone. This philosophy make people think why on earth anyone wants to work on a construction site, but like most things in life “needs must” Many Tradesmen within the construction industry will retire in a less than healthy state.Roll on my 67th! Will I be able to blow out the candles?