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More workers are tired on the job and it’s bad for business

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Do you ever go to work tired? New research suggests you’re not alone. The results from an online survey from Robert Half, an HR consulting firm, suggests that 76 per cent of people are regularly tired while working.

Nearly one-third or 31 per cent of respondents said they were “very often” tired on the job, 45 per cent said “somewhat often” and 23 per cent said it “rarely” occurred that they were tired on the job.

David King is the Canadian director at Robert Half, an HR consulting firm. (Robert Half)

The online survey randomly selected 570 Canadian employees in February 2018. The results are considered accurate plus or minus four per cent, 19 times out of 20.

David King is the Canadian director at Robert Half. He says a tired workforce severely impacts a company’s bottom line.

“One of the big concerns is that you’ll generally have a level of disengagement by employees,” said King. “That leads to, certainly, a loss of morale; loss of productivity and things such as the missed deadlines or the mistakes in the person’s work. That leads to a poor relationship with the employer and, potentially, ultimate turnover in their employment.”

‘Reframe your mindset to the value of sleep’

Clare Kumar isn’t surprised that so many people are tired on the job. It’s one of the complaints that she consistently hears from her clients.

Clare Kumar is the founder of Streamlife and calls herself a productivity catalyst. (Submitted by Clare Kumar)

Kumar is the founder of Streamlife, which helps clients to get organized, improve productivity and achieve greater peace of mind at work. She says people don’t value sleep enough, but it’s the foundation of a successful day at work.

“You need to get your head around that sleep is when your body heals,” said Kumar. “It’s not time when nothing is going on. You have to reframe your mindset to the value of sleep. You have to believe that you deserve the sleep and then you have to set your schedule up to claim it.”

But Kumar says that companies also have a significant role to play in combating a sleepy workforce.

“Look at the culture that you’re creating and the language around sleep in your office,” said Kumar.

Tips to decrease incidents of tiredness

Kumar suggests employers take bold steps to decrease incidents of tiredness by, for example, creating an electronics-free wellness room where workers can go to relax for 15 to 20 minutes or even take a power nap.

She encourages bosses to lead by example by not consistently working late nights or sending emails after hours. She also says encouraging employees to unplug when they leave the office and not rewarding employees who work long hours can go a long way to boost morale and promote a restful workforce.

Ultimately, says Kumar, we have to take responsibility for ourselves by making sure we get seven to eight hours of sleep, exercise regularly and eat right.

“The broader, more important strategy is around cultivating the right amount of sleep for you,” said Kumar. “And I call that getting in touch with your sleep number: determining exactly how much sleep you need and then setting up not only the environment for sleep, but also your schedule so that you actually claim the sleep that your body needs.”

All the stuff we know we should do, but every once in a while need a reminder to actually do it.

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Real Estate

Do you know what kind of condo you’re buying?

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(NC) Condominiums can come in all shapes and sizes. But it’s important to know that not all condos are created equal when it comes to warranty coverage.

Whether you’re buying a condominium townhouse, loft-style two-bedroom or a high-rise studio, they are all classified as condominiums if you own your unit while at the same time share access (and the associated fees) for facilities ranging from pools and parking garages to elevators and driveways, otherwise known as common elements.

The most common types of condos are standard condominiums and common elements condominiums. The determination of how a condominium project is designated happens during the planning stage when the builder proposes the project and the municipality approves it.

When you’re in the market to buy, you need to know how your chosen condo is classified because it affects the warranty coverage under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Standard condominiums have warranty coverage for units and common elements, but common elements condominiums only have unit coverage.

How could this affect you as the owner? If your condo complex has underground parking and, for example, there are problems with leaks or a faulty door, the condo designation will determine whether there’s warranty coverage.

If your unit is a standard condominium development, then the common elements warranty may cover the repairs. If it’s a common element condominium development, then repairs might have to be covered by the condo corporation’s insurance, which could impact your condo fees or require a special assessment on all the owners.

To avoid surprises, you should have a real estate lawyer review the Declaration and Description attached to your purchase agreement to be sure that you know the designation and boundaries of the unit you’re looking to purchase. Find more information on the types of condos and their coverage at tarion.com.

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5 savvy renovations to make your kitchen look like new

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(NC) The kitchen is the heart and focal point of any home. But if yours is looking a little tired, a few simple renovations can change the feel of the entire space.

Whether you’ve just moved in, have been meaning to update for years or are experiencing life changes, remember that a kitchen uplift doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag. These small-scale projects could be the change your kitchen needs:

  1. Brighten it up.Adding LED lights below your cabinets will brighten your backsplash and counter and provide a warm glow. Place your favourite containers below to act as focal points – those copper canisters that are hiding under the island and the marble coasters you couldn’t resist can now all be on display.
  2. Swap the old with the new.The backsplash is the first thing you see, so replacing it can be enough to give the space a whole new look. Try a unique shape or colour to change things up, like turquoise or patterned tiles, hexagon-shaped tiles or even a full slab of stainless steel.
  3. Rework what you have.People often think new cabinets are necessary for a kitchen reno, but a lot can be done with what you’ve got. Repainting the cabinets and switching out the knobs to chic new handles will do wonders for a makeover.
  4. Don’t hide away.Try adding some open shelving in an unused spot, such as above the sink or window, or next to the cabinets. Display your most beautiful dishes and add some decorative pieces to give the space a modern, airy feel.
  5. Add new materials into the mix.Changing the island to a butcher-block counter adds warmth and practicality.

Taking on a renovation can often feel overwhelming. But if you talk to your contractor about budgeting and spreading out payments through services like The Home Depot Project Loan, it can be easier than you think. The service allows you to finance any home projects, big or small and is available at locations across Canada.

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Real Estate

How to afford a home renovation that fits your life

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(NC) Changing seasons always bring about the desire to update our living spaces. But your life stage and budget can influence what kind of upgrades you can make. Here are some tips to get you started.

Assess the investment. The first step is to gauge how much value your investment will bring, whether you’re looking to sell or grow into a family home. A common misconception among home owners is that all renovations will increase a home’s value; unfortunately, this is not always the case. It’s always a good idea to strategically renovate the space to fit your life plan and goals.

Plan for both long- and short-term value. As a homeowner, it is important to assess what kind of value items can contribute to your life plan. Searching for products that are energy efficient, like an eco-friendly washing machine or water filtration system, can help you save on your monthly bills. A long-term investment, such as hardwood floors or bathroom tiles, can spruce up a living space for years to come. While sometimes this require a larger budget, the project can be both appealing to future buyers and stand the test of time in a family home.

Create a renovation budget. Once you have a clear plan, you’ll need to create a budget to align with your financial goals. Always ensure your budget includes any interest you’ll be paying. Ask multiple sources for competitive quotes.

Use a payment plan. For those high-ticket investment items, consider using a payment plan. Payment solutions such as The Home Depot Project Loan can help with bigger renovations. This allows you to stick to your budgeting goals while using a flexible payment plan to make larger purchases more accessible.

Use DIY to offset costs. In addition to using a payment plan, taking on a few safe and simple renovation projects yourself is an easy way to offset renovation costs. Your local hardware store can help source materials and provide helpful tips to make those do-it-yourself projects, such as refinishing cabinets or sanding old hardwood floors, a breeze.

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