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Your Office Lighting May Be Killing Your Productivity

Did you know that lighting not only affects visual conditions, but also has an effect on biological functions and emotions?

Light directly influences the amount of melatonin a person produces, contributing to motivation and happiness.

If your office still relies primarily on overhead fluorescent lighting, it may be affecting the productivity of your employees.

Have you ever asked your employees how the lighting in your office affects them or about their lighting preferences? It’s a conversation worth having since poor lighting can lead to eye fatigue and the myriad of symptoms that accompany it.

Making a few adjustments to your office lighting can make a huge difference in employees’ productivity and comfort during the workday. Here are a few tips for creating a more productive workspace for your employees: http://ow.ly/NfKi8.
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Keyboard shortcuts: Windows 8/8.1

Send unwanted pop-ups or unpredictable results walking when mousing along the bottom of the Desktop. Use Win+T to toggle through pinned icons on the task bar, instead. When the light appears under your selection, press Enter.

Visit http://ow.ly/N9cYd for two more great Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts to help you become more efficient on the computer.
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Recover From Workload Paralysis

When that heaping mound of work in front of you seems insurmountable, workload paralysis may set in. Your instinct: Procrastinate by surfing the Web.

Move past your feelings of workload paralysis and get back on track with these tips:

• Finish something. Pick a task that you can do quickly and mark off your to-do list, or tackle your most difficult task first. Just complete something. That will give your confidence a boost and build your momentum.

• Take a few minutes to prioritize. Figure out what you absolutely must do now to keep your job, avoid a huge problem and so on. Then focus exclusively on your top priority until it is complete. Keep that going until all your urgent tasks are done.

Visit http://ow.ly/MXz0m to see three more tips to help you recover from workload paralysis.
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How to Schmooze When It’s Just Not Your Thing

Even the most confident leaders may cringe when entering a crowded room of strangers. Schmoozing can cause otherwise commanding personalities to clam up and feel nervous.

Introverts face special challenges. They need to draw upon extra reserves of energy to mingle and engage in small talk.

For Elisabeth Hendrickson, founder of Quality Tree Software in Pleasanton, Calif., preparation pays off. Before she starts networking, she memorizes these three questions that help her launch stimulating conversations: http://ow.ly/MRQoh.
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Before you send that nasty email …

You may be tempted to unleash your fury in an email. After all, the format allows you to thoroughly cover your grievances—something that might not happen in the heat of the moment.

While email can allow you to avoid an awkward or heated in-person exchange, the for­­mat does little to re­­solve the conflict and move the relationship forward. Instead of lashing out on email, follow this advice: http://ow.ly/MEAP4.
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5 Rules for Effective Teamwork

When you’re collaborating with great people, it’s important to make sure you gather everyone’s best ideas and use their time and energy efficiently, says UpdateZen founder and CEO Paul Ruderman. Here are some of his “golden rules” for collaboration:

1. Show everyone respect. This should go without saying, but it’s necessary to remind people sometimes. Apart from just being kind, it’s good business to treat everyone with fairness and dignity. This will encourage positivity, productivity and loyalty, and help ensure people are less likely to leave your organization or department during tough times.

2. Champion polite disagreements. Not everyone will have the same thoughts and feelings about every project—and that’s fine. Allowing people to share dissenting opinions or alternative ideas can lead to discussion and solutions that perhaps no one had thought of.

Visit http://ow.ly/Mylan for Ruderman’s other three rules for effective teamwork.
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4 Rules for Concluding Emails

Email is the most predominant—and preferred—means of communication for most business professionals. Fol­­low these tips to leave the best possible impression when you conclude your email:

•  Don’t use an oversized logo. Logos can distract the reader from your main message. If your company requires you to use one, make it as small as possible while still being legible.

•  Steer clear of quotes. Your slogan is fine, but avoid using inspirational or humorous quotes which can rub some people the wrong way.

Visit http://ow.ly/NcGZt for two more rules for concluding emails.
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Want to Be a  Leader? 3 Simple Ways to Act Like One

Being a successful leader is about equal parts skill, intellect, inherent talent—and how you’re perceived.

Here are a few simple ways you can adjust your approach, and boost your perceived authority and credibility amongst leadership, and the teams you manage: http://ow.ly/N6qX4.
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SpongeBob or Squidward: Which Would You Hire?

Quick! Which would you hire: SpongeBob or Squidward?

Well, maybe not so quick.

Perhaps you should take your time on this one.

These lovable cartoon characters have two opposing personalities, and their boss, Mr. Krabs, the miserly proprietor of the sometimes-busy, most-times-not fast-food joint, the Krusty Krab, hired them both. (Who knows? Maybe they were the only applicants.)

OK. we’re not suggesting that your job candidates are as wacky, outlandish and exasperating as these guys, but each has recognizable work ethics—as exaggerated as they are—that are inherent in a lot of the folks who answer your employment ads, or who are on your payroll right now.

Let’s take a look at those qualities: http://ow.ly/MUi9D.
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When you say , employees hear

Bosses are full of bossisms. You know, a certain way of speaking to your workers that naturally comes to all who enter the gates of management.

And whether you’re euphemizing, energizing or just skating by the moment with a threadbare phrase, just be aware that those words you say are going through your employees’ decoders.

Here is a list of common bossisms and their interpretations by the rank-and-file from Management Editor Cal Butera: http://ow.ly/MOcMN.
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Is it Possible for HR Professionals to be Too Compassionate?

Maybe you were attracted to HR because you like helping people. Maybe you still get the warm fuzzies when you help solve problems or ease employees’ pain.

But does your instinct to empathize with employee suffering also trigger vicarious pain in you?

“There’s a downside to empathy when it comes to the suffering of others,” says Olga Klimecki, a researcher and the lead author of a study on empathy in the journal Cerebral Cortex. “When we share the suffering of others too much, our negative emotions increase. It carries the danger of an emotional burnout.”

The goal is to be receptive and compassionate to others’ feelings without adopting those feelings as your own. Use these tips to maintain your emotional distance while still remaining effective: http://ow.ly/MBwQe.
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Motivate Staffers by ‘Backcasting’

Typically, leaders who want to motivate staffers to enhance their performance start by saying, “Let’s set goals for you to push yourself to improve.” That’s not necessarily a good idea.

When you assess the current situation and then analyze historical data to determine what goals or action steps people should take, tensions can flare. Employees can defend why they’ve been doing what they do—and why they deserve more credit for their efforts.

Indeed, they may chafe at having to pursue lofty goals when they feel they already excel at their job despite myriad obstacles.

To avoid such conflict, motivate people by “backcasting.” That means starting with the future state you want to create and then working backward from that vision to the present situation. This involves asking, “If we want to attain this goal, how can we get there?”

Visit http://ow.ly/MuYwc for tips on how to backcast effectively.
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At Business Management Daily, we’re driven to help organizations and individuals succeed. That’s why we deliver plain-English, actionable advice to high performers at more than 80,000 companies of all sizes across hundreds of different industries.

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