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2018 office trends we LOVE!

2018-office-trends

OECD data shows that the average South African works for 43.3 hours a week. This is the the fifth highest average in the world. The line between work, social and home life is increasingly fading as many people are spending more time at work than anywhere else. Because of this, companies need to provide an office space that motivates and inspires working individuals and teams to be happy, healthy and productive.

Thanks to research, modern office designs are ever-changing – mostly for the better – especially since most companies are adopting fluid and agile working styles, allowing employees to be more productive and creative. Here are the 2018 office trends we LOVE!

Collaborative space

Classic boardrooms are way too formal. For this reason, the open collaborative space is an ideal, comfortable space – often equipped with whiteboards, screens and comfy seating – that staff can use to bring their ideas together. The space is ideal for creative teams, especially ones that use agile methods of working.

Unconventional workspace

Think about places in an office you never thought you’d be able to work, such as corridors and other nooks and crannies, on bean bags or comfy sofas – these are the types of unconventional workspaces that may inspire employees to work better. Thanks to technology, employees can work from almost anywhere.

As working in random places may seem a little too unstructured for some companies, office designers have come up with a ‘Third Space’ concept. This is basically a space away from the conventional desks that employees can work. This promotes flexibility in the workplace.

Nature-inspired design

A new trend hitting the workplace is biophilic design, which incorporates nature-inspired designs and components. Besides the aesthetic benefits of biophilic design, there are other benefits, such as improved air quality, stress reduction and productivity.

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How to gain financial independence in your 20s

How-to-gain-financial-independence-in-your-20s

Successful people START NOW. Failures wait for better circumstances.

  • David Young

Your life changes phenomenally in your 20s. From moving into your first apartment to getting your first paycheck, you’re steered into becoming independent fast.

One of the most important things you need to learn in your 20s is how to manage your money effectively. This may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you’re also having to pay off student loan debt as well as find enough money to cover accommodation, a car, etc.. But taking control of your finances is possible.

 

 

 

Here are a few tips to help you:

  1. Pay off your student loan debt as soon as possible. Student debt haunts a lot of 20-something-year-olds. It’s important to get rid of debt as soon as possible so you can regain your financial freedom.
  2. Create a budget. To ensure you’re spending your money wisely and keeping up with all your payments, create a budget that states all your expenses.
  3. Establish savings goals. The sooner you start saving, the more your money will accumulate and grow. Set savings goals, including long-term (over a year), medium-term (six months to a year) and short-term (less than 6 months) goals. Once you have an idea of what you need to save for, calculate how long you will need to save for. Consider creating multiple savings accounts to save for your different goals.
  4. Start saving for retirement. Although retirement may seem like ages away, because of the magic of compound interest, the sooner you start saving, the more your money will grow. Your future self will thank you!
  5. Keep money aside for emergencies. Make sure you start building up emergency cash reserves so you have money on hand for unforeseen expenses, such as a medical emergency or a car breakdown.
  6. Buy an affordable car. While it may be tempting to spend a lot of money on a car, a car is not an investment but an expense, especially because it depreciates so fast. So, make sure you go with a cheaper option, such as an affordable used car. Once you’re older and more financially stable, you can upgrade your car.
  7. Insure your assets. Insure your valuables, such as your TV, cellphone and car.
  8. Get medical aid cover. Your health should be one of your top priorities. Unfortunately, decent healthcare is very expensive. Depending on the plan you choose, joining a medical aid scheme will help you afford healthcare as well as ensure that if you end up in hospital for an emergency your expenses will be covered or subsidised.
  9. Build up a credit history. It’s important to take on some debt without getting into dangerous debt to build up your credit history and obtain a good credit score. A good credit score will ensure lower rates on loans and credit cards.
  10. Sort out all your financial documents. Make sure you have all your important licenses, certificates, etc. in your possession. Keep all your banking accounts and expenses information, apartment lease, car registration and title and insurance policies in a safe and secure place that you can access when you need to.

Clean up your online accounts. Don’t let social media jeopardise future job opportunities. Many employers will search for you online. Make sure you get rid of any pictures, posts and comments that are offensive or “trashy”.

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What are the highest paying jobs in South Africa?

Best-Jobs-in-SA

Do you enjoy your job? While that is probably the best indicator of whether you have the right job, money also plays a big role in ensuring job satisfaction. CareerJunction collected data indicating the highest paying jobs in South Africa. The data collected is based on real salary offerings posted on the popular job board.

Over the last year, the warehousing and logistics sector as well as the building and construction sector increased a lot in salary offerings, especially for senior- level professionals within the sectors. Building foreman, equipment operators, warehouse packing and construction/ demolition equipment operators increased in salary offers and yearly increases, with a jump of over 43%. Salaries of systems and network administrators and IT project managers have also increased by over 20%

Salaries for systems & network administrators as well as IT project managers saw a considerable jump of more than 20% during this period. Unfortunately, sales and marketing professionals have seen a dip in salaries over the last year.

Additionally, data indicates that in terms of places to work, Gauteng offers the best salaries. Because job professionals are in higher demand and there is a lot of economic activity in the province, people in Gauteng are offered higher salaries. In Kwazulu-Natal, people with careers in marketing and engineering and construction earn up to 20% below average and people with careers in sales, ICT and warehousing and logistics earn up to 30% below average. In the Western Cape, people with careers in finance can earn up to 24% below average. (Source: http://www.careerjunction.co.za/blog/south-africans-earn-right-now/)

Here’s the top 10 highest paying jobs:

Job Sector Average monthly salary Average annual salary
Civil/Structural Engineering Engineering R70 301 R843 612
Corporate Lending Finance R69 632 R835 584
Technical and Business Architecture ICT R66 558 R798 696
Chartered Accounting Finance R65 840 R790 080
Financial Management Finance R65 322 R783 864
Environmental Engineering Engineering R64 944 R779 328
Mechanical Engineering Engineering R63 157 R757 884
Hospital Management Medical R61 195 R734 340
General Practitioner Medical R60 998 R731 976
Electrical Engineering Engineering R60 864 R730 368
IT Management ICT R58 337 R700 044
Financial Analysis Finance R55 977 R671 724
Industrial Engineering Engineering R55 842 R670 104
Consulting Engineering Construction R53 369 R640 428
Electronic Engineering Engineering R52 879 R634 548

 

For more information, go to CareerJunction.

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BusinessMarketingTools for success

Don’t have a business blog? Here’s why you need one.

Dont-have-a-business-blog

If you’re not on the online blogging bandwagon, you’re at a great loss. Most of your competitors are probably reaping the sweet rewards of the convenient online platforms. Here are a few statistics I found on HubSpot – and they’re just about blogging.

  • Small businesses, more often than not, see the biggest gains in traffic when they post more blog articles.
  • Companies that blog 15 or more times every month get a whooping 5 times more traffic than those who don’t blog at all.
  • Business to business companies generate 70% more leads by blogging just 1 to 2 times per month than those who don’t blog at all.

So, while you may think a blog is an unnecessary addition to your website, there are millions of businesses all around the world that are using this amazing online power tool.

I came across Mailguard, an Australian based cloud security provider that provides information about phishing scams as well as demonstrates the company’s skills and abilities in their blog. Not only does the blog display useful, relevant content that their audience actually wants to read, but it also showcases the company’s skills and knowledge. This has helped them grow an interested audience and larger customer base. If you’re wanting to reap the same rewards, invest in a business blog today.

Here are the main benefits of having a business blog.

Drive more traffic to your website

No matter what the purpose of your website is, you need to direct traffic to it. This is how a business blog can increase your website traffic:

  • Posting blogs to various social media platforms and sending blogs to a newsletter database give people a quick portal to your website.
  • Also, every time you add a blog post, you have another indexed page on your website, which is another opportunity for you to show up on Google or other search engines.

Educate your audience

When it comes to writing niche blogs, there are people in your company with a wealth of knowledge that you can get to help generate content. Educating your audience about your products and services will increase their trust for your brand, making them more eager to follow your sales processes.

Convert leads

With more traffic coming through to your website, more leads are bound to convert. Plus, you can guide your audience through purchasing processes and build trust with them through your blog so that by the time they go to your website, they are ready to convert.

Improve trust with your brand

Like mentioned before, Mailguard demonstrated their industry knowledge and skills in their blog. Their blogging strategy helped them establish themselves as leaders in their industry. So, the best topics to post about are ones that resonate with your knowledge and your ideal audience.

Boost your SEO

You should aim to rank above your competitors for keywords relevant to your website on search engines. New, fresh content is a great SEO booster, especially if you have a proper content strategy that incorporates trending, relevant topics and important keywords and keyword phrasing. Keywords help your ideal target market find your website online. An SEO copywriter knows how to write professional copy that Google “approves of”. Following the best SEO practices is the best way to ensure your website ranks for keywords relevant to your products and services.

Do you have a Blog?
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LifestyleSABESTSmart LivingTools for successTrends

What’s the buzz about Apple’s new iPhones?

iphone-x-and-iphone-8

On the 12 September 2017, Apple presented three new iPhone models at their event at the Steve Jobs Theatre.  The release of these iPhones is a big leap forward for Apple.

Tim Cook proudly announced the new premium iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. He mentioned that the launching of the iPhone X “will set the path for technology for the next decade.”

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BusinessTools for success

How will SA’s “junk status” affect you?

effects-of-sa-junk-status

“Breaking News: South Africa has been downgraded to Junk Status.” A few months ago, this news blew up on every news channel. Standard and Poor’s (S&P’s) downgraded South Africa’s credit rating to junk status. This devastating downgrade, however, was not an abrupt downfall, but rather a slow slide, mainly as a result of the country’s failure to recover from the 2008 financial crisis.

By 2000, South Africa had secured its investment grading, which it maintained for 17 years. But the slow decay into junk status has threatened our standard of living.

The question most South Africans are asking is, how will junk status affect our economy? In practical terms, when an individual has a bad credit record, it’s more difficult for them to get a loan and, when they do get credit, they have to pay higher interest rates. Now, the same thing happens when the South African government tries to borrow money: less money is available for them to borrow and the interest rate on any money they borrow is higher. So while the government scratches for money to meet debt repayments, healthcare, housing and education funding will be taking the backseat.

Investors are quick to jump ship in troubling waters. Fearing that South African’s economic growth rate would take a hit, investors sold out of  government bonds and the JSE, resulting in the fall of value of shares and bonds, affecting how much pension funds are worth.

Obviously, following the weakening of the rand, the price of imports, like food and petrol, have already started rising, putting major pressure on household finances. In future, higher inflation rates will lead to mortgages, car payments and other such debt increasing.

Then, most South Africans are also wondering, how will junk status affect businesses and employees? With fewer job opportunities, fewer salary increases and less consumer spending, the cycle of business in South Africa will definitely take a huge hit; however, with hard work and dedication, you can still thrive during the difficult times to come.

So, although things seem pretty bleak for South Africans, there are ways that can help you survive the crisis:

  1. Pay off your debt as quickly as possible, starting with the debt that has the highest interest rate.
  2. As soon as you’ve finished paying off your debt, save as much money as you can.
  3. Stop wasting money and only spend money when necessary.
  4. Supplement your salary with a passive income, whether it be a small home business or offering freelancing services to others.
  5. If you’re renting, don’t live in a house that’s bigger than what you need.

If you are battling to deal with debt, contact Debt Rescue, SA’s best debt counselling and debt review company.

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