Tag Archives: business

Greener options when labor laws change

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor released revisions to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that will go into effect on January 16, 2009. For an overview of the changes, please read New FMLA rules: What  you need to know.

This latest set of labor law changes will require every employer covered under the FMLA to hang new posters and acquire updated forms. Existing labor law handbooks and manuals will have to be replaced with newer versions to reflect the most recent changes.

As these FMLA changes go into effect, businesses across the country will be throwing away millions of sheets of paper and stacks upon stacks of labor law posters. Most of the labor law posters out there are laminated, therefore un-recyclable, and only a small fraction of the discarded materials will be recycled.

With dozens of labor law changes each year, this process repeats over and over, wasting more paper and adding to the size of our growing landfills. Because these changes are mandatory, it’s difficult for business owners to think there’s anything they can do to change it.

Thankfully, those at Tread Softly on the Earth recently shared some green tips on how businesses can stay in compliance with mandatory changes while reducing their carbon footprint. Here are just a few:

  • Explore recycled and recyclable options. We’re seeing more and more recycled labor law posters and resources available on the market every day. Providers like mystateposters.com have developed state and federal posters made entirely with recycled materials.
  • Go paperless, if possible. Choose downloadable or printable versions when replacing your mandatory forms. Go a step further and print your forms on recycled paper using soy or vegetable ink.
  • Buy or print the minimum. Reduce the amount of waste in your workplace by only purchasing or printing the forms and papers you really need.

Read the full list of green compliance ideas.

It may take just a little more work on your part, but your impact on the earth will be big. Find greener ways for your company to do business and we’ll all succeed.

Co-op, online collaboration without distraction

Co-op is a new, free web application that is similar to using Twitter at work, but makes it even easier to update and stay connected with co-workers.

Using Co-op, co-workers can post status updates on what they’re working on and check to see what their colleagues are busy with. Co-workers can ask each other questions, share knowledge, track time and update agendas all in one place with Co-op.

Instant messages can be distracting and it can take time to scan through a list of Tweets, but Co-op allows teams to quickly update each other and stay connected without disruptions.

For example:

Sue in Marketing needs someone from Creative to help with a small task. Instead disrupting the team with an e-mail, instant message or friendly visit, Sue can login to Co-op and take a look at each designer’s status messages. In seconds, Sue can find out who is busy and who looks like they have some time to help her out.

On one screen, teams can see an overview of what they’re working on, their daily agenda and what was completed yesterday. Created specifically for the workplace, it could be a great communication tool for coworkers and a new way to interact in the office.

And the best part – it’s free! Visit Co-op and find out if it can improve how your team works.

Co-op Anatomy

Co-op Anatomy

Free webinar: Employee training in a recession

During a recession, businesses typically respond in a number of ways including widespread job cuts, reducing training opportunities and consolidating multiple jobs into one position.

Learn why training needs to remain at the top of your company’s priority list, and how you can squeeze the most benefit out of every training dollar during the free webinar, Squeezing the Most Out of Your Training Budget: Corporate Training in a Recession.

The value of employee training:

  • Better trained employees perform more efficiently, with less errors and delays
  • Employees taking on extra work catch up more quickly with proper training
  • Improved employee morale, confidence and loyalty
  • Well-trained employees are your best asset, especially during economic tough times.

Companies may think they’re saving money by slashing employee training budgets, but they’re causing more harm than anything. Avoid taking the “easy” way out and use this time to build upon your existing strengths with cost-effective employee training.

Led by experienced training professionals, you will learn:

  • Typical responses to a recession and how training suffers
  • The priceless value of training during a recession
  • How to find better training at less cost

Good, quality employee training doesn’t have to be expensive. Join us on Wednesday, October 15, 2008, at 1 p.m. EST for the free webinar – Squeezing the Most Out of Your Training Budget: Corporate Training in a Recession. Space is limited, reserve your seat now.

Recession or not, now is the best time for online business

A website is your own personal employee whose “life is your business 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” according to Glen Graham at the G&R Group Blog. During tough economic times, the Internet can open the door to opportunities that are outside the reach of brick-and-mortar businesses.

With Americans debating whether to spend their economic stimulus checks on gasoline or food, why is now best time to start a marketing website?

Here’s why:

No time off. A website doesn’t take breaks, vacation days and doesn’t complain about how expensive it is to drive to work because of $4/gallon gas prices.

No pesky employees to deal with. You don’t have to pay a sales person to hang around all day and update their Facebook page when sales are slow.

Low start up costs. Find a domain name and hosting service. No need to run around the city, searching for the perfect building to rent, and no desks or chairs to buy.

Easy maintenance. You don’t need to hire anyone to come in at night and vacuum up the floors or wash the windows.

It’s where your customers are. One-third (33%) of online U.S. adults are more likely to shop online because of high gas prices, low shipping costs and freedom to shop 24 hours a day.

Make sure your site is good enough to do the selling for you and now (even during a recession) can be the best time to start up an online business.