How to Keep Your Office Polite Even When Your Opinions are Radically Different

These are tough times. A pandemic is upon us; social issues are dividing us; and partisan politics is inescapable. Chances are that opinions on some of these problems may differ, extensively, within your workplace. Does that mean you can never have a casual lunch with colleagues in the break room again? Must we always avoid those who don’t share our perspectives to keep the peace?

Fortunately, the answer is no. If you’re willing to take the lead and model some patience, tolerance, and empathy, you could broker a successful and lasting truce among the people at your job. Here are a few suggestions to maintain a happier and more harmonious atmosphere when you’re on the clock.

Employ the “tell me more” technique

In Kelly Corrigan’s memoir, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say, she suggests those three words to not only encourage the people in your life to open up, but to also give yourself the opportunity to listen. If someone brings up an upcoming election or a controversial article she read at the lunch table, instead of automatically shutting it down to prevent conflict or biting our tongues to avoid disagreement, we could just say “tell me more”.

It may be hard at first, especially if the person who is speaking is negative or irritable, but those simple words can really soften people up. Everyone likes to be heard; everyone appreciates respect. Prompting others to “tell me more” doesn’t mean you have to listen to a three-hour soliloquy; it just means that you’re willing to hear them out and that you’re interested.

When discussing differing opinions, find at least one thing to agree with

what do you do if you have a disagreement with someone at work

One of my pals at work is the polar opposite of me politically. The two of us have no problem discussing any topics, however, because we both know that nothing is all black or all white. We respect each other as intelligent, well informed people and often find ourselves saying things like, “well I’ll grant you that” or “that’s certainly true.” When practicing the “tell me more” technique, you can probably find at least one tiny thing your speaker says on which you could comment positively.

Is the topic climate change? Perhaps you could offer something as simple as, “Well the weather has been crazy this year.” Arguing about an election? Try offering, “It just seems like everyone running has something wrong with them.” Such statements, though not exactly worthy of a Nobel peace prize, are nonetheless bridges to those around us. Keep them generic, simple, and true and they’ll have remarkable results.

Model how to communicate and disagree professionally

People who work together usually mind their manners quite well when they are involved in their everyday tasks or teams. They are busy; there may be quotas; time is money. If you want to have friendly conversations with your coworkers at break or over lunch, you need to interact with consistent professionalism throughout the day. Show them how you can communicate a difference of opinion without judgment or rancor. Be aware of your tone. Assume the best about someone who might be making a mistake.

Instead of, “You’re doing that wrong,” try “We’ve found it usually works better like this.” Know that most people are just like you: doing their best and, sometimes, having a bad day or experiencing personal distractions that make their work a little less than optimal. When people know you are sensible and even-keeled they frequently offer you the same treatment. Such behavior is much more likely to extend to down time when it’s practiced all the time

Have a go-to phrase that changes the subject

Even when polarizing events aren’t in the news, conversations among coworkers can sometimes get heated. It may be a project that’s not going well or someone who is not pulling his weight. Whatever it is, however, people get ticked off about it. This is when investing in getting to know your colleagues pays off. In my work place we have numerous older employees who have grandchildren. Whenever words get raw in the break room, I just throw in something like, “So, Chris, how are those grandkids!” or “John, isn’t your daughter-in-law pregnant again?”

If you don’t know your coworkers very well, you could use another statement that is suitably neutral like, “Thank God the weekend’s coming up!” (even if it’s only Monday.) Or tap into everyone’s love of sports, “How ‘bout them Knicks?” The idea is to have some kind of bait ready; anything that will turn the conversation in a better direction. Others will almost always appreciate it and follow your lead.

Don’t be afraid to close down a conversation or excuse yourself assertively

disagree with someone at work

This goes along with (4) above. I’ve used my safe phrases (yes, I have several) numerous times early in conversations just to avoid the possibility that things might go south. There are certain people among my colleagues who just can’t resist the opportunity to bust one another’s chops and I refuse to be in the middle of that. Sometimes, however, the best played safe phrases fail.

When that happens I have literally said to people, “Hey, guys, it’s time to get back to work.” Or “Let’s not do this.” Pair those remarks with getting up to leave and throw in something like, “Hey, Bill, can you help me with something in my office?” Those tactics always work for me. If you’re not confident enough to execute them, however, simply excuse yourself. Don’t run away, but make sure people know you’re leaving. A simple and straightforward “I’m going to go” is enough. No one is allowed to intimidate or frighten you.

Over my numerous careers I have always found that everyone appreciates good manners, even the most curmudgeonly. You don’t have to be fake or a doormat to get along with your colleagues. You do, however, need to be aware that you’re not the only one on the job. That means you need to offer some consideration for others and not just vent about everything or everyone who irritates you. Practicing some patience and being polite is guaranteed to improve your productivity and work experience, whether in the break room or the board room. You will almost certainly find it does the same thing for everyone else.

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The Ins and Outs of Cloud-Based Gaming

Everyone likes picking up a video game from time to time – whether you’ve caught the Fortnite bug and play for hours on end, you have a round of Super Smash Bros every now and then with your friends, or you’re getting out your phone for a bit of PUBG or Pokemon Go. These days, video games are available across so many devices and platforms that it can be hard to keep up. The latest really innovative concept in the gaming world is cloud-based gaming. But what’s that?

What is cloud-based gaming?

Cloud-based gaming is video games streamed to your device – almost any device – through either the browser or a gaming platform app. Instead of the processing power being over on your device (the CPU/s and GPU on your console or PC) it’s in the cloud. All operations are simply streamed over Wi-Fi or cellular data. This is great news for gaming fans who either want to play on the go or don’t want to splash the cash on a full gaming setup.

stadia future of gaming
Is this the new normal

What this means is that people can now play console-quality games without the hardware that was necessary in the past. The only requirement? A super-fast network connection so that you can stay in the game without choppy gameplay. For example, Google Stadia, one of the main cloud gaming platforms, recommends a network speed of 10Mbps or more. While these numbers aren’t available to just anyone, if you live in the appropriate area and have a good internet plan, you might just be able to take advantage. And for everyone else? These type of speeds should be coming soon to your door.

The platforms

ins and outs of cloud based gaming

There is a wide variety of platforms on the market that specifically do cloud gaming, however not all platforms are made equal. Making sure there is a data center near you will ensure smooth playability, no matter the platform. Here are some of the best.

Google Stadia

Google’s Stadia offering is the latest release in the cloud gaming ecosystem. While the service entered the field with a bang, it’s still suffering some teething problems – namely enough players to play with in cooperative games. It works via the Chrome browser on most devices and plays best with a dedicated controller.

GeForce Now

Nvidia have long been known as titans of the GPU and gaming card space, regularly topping the charts of gaming PC builds for the best of the best. That’s why it should come as no surprise to gamers that they have their own gaming platform – GeForce Now. GeForce goes across most devices and can plug in to your Steam, Battle.net or Uplay library.

Shadow

Shadow is often touted as the best allround platform for cloud gaming. Why’s that? Because it can connect with pretty much any game library that Windows supports, such as Steam, GamersGate, and Discord, offering the most games to play, as well as mods. The only issue with this platform is its currently limited amount of worldwide servers.

The games

The games that you will encounter depend on the platform you decide to go with. For instance, Shadow only has BYO games, linked up to your existing library. The same goes with GeForce Now. Google Stadia, on the other hand, has the Google Stadia Store, which includes titles like The Elder Scrolls Online, PUBG, and Borderlands 3 for purchase, or you can subscribe to Stadia Pro for access to a range of games on a subscription basis.

One of the interesting aspects of cloud gaming is being able to do virtual reality gaming with just a headset and a cloud gaming platform that supports VR games – so long as you have the bandwidth to support it! This wasn’t very common before. For instance, online casinos tried to take slots into the virtual reality realm, but this has not worked as expected. We expect this to change as more people get headsets to take advantage of cloud gaming potential.

The verdict

gaming cloud based

If you are already a gamer but want to expand your gameplay to other devices, or don’t have a console or PC to play with right now – then cloud gaming could be a great option for you.

You will need to assess whether there is a close data center to your location provided by the platform/s of your choosing, as well as check whether your internet speeds match those required. You’ll also need to assess whether you want to bring your own library or games or whether you’re happy purchasing titles, or accessing them on a subscription basis. Getting the right controller may also be something you will need to consider. All these choices will inform the best platform for you.

Once you have picked a few cloud gaming platforms that fit your needs, then have a play around and see which one you like best!

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Why Your Small Business Must Have an Internal Employee App?

An internal employee app is a great way for organizations to engage with their employees. This is more so for small businesses, where employees play a critical role. Large businesses have regular inflow and outflow of human resources. Small businesses work with a small team of people and it is very important to retain the employees to avoid business disruptions. Employee engagement can play an important role here. Engaging with employees helps in making them more committed to the job. This helps in employee satisfaction and retention.

While there are multiple strategies to help in employee engagement, one of the simple and effective ways to do it is through an employee app. An internal employee engagement app would be effective in doing this. Such an app would run on the smartphone of the employee. It is known that people like to use their own devices. Most organizations prohibit using personal devices at work. With an internal employee app, employees are encouraged to use their phones at work to access the app. This is definitely a move that employees would be happy with.

What an Internal Employee App Can Do?

A small business can have many benefits by using an internal employee app. These benefits illustrate the importance of having such an app.

It Ensures Open Communication

employees internal app

Communication is very essential in small businesses. An organization that encourages communication and allows free flow of information will improve its effectiveness. An employee communication app can help with this. The app allows employees to interact with each other using a single channel. Using multiple channels like e-mail, chat, social media, etc., can lead to some messaging being missed out.

When everyone uses an internal app, communication is improved. It ensures transparency as everyone knows what is happening in the organization. It ensures people are constantly engaging with each other and with the management. This creates a better work environment, which would help in improved productivity. Above all, this can ensure better feedback for the management which can be used to improve business operations.

Helps in Recognition and Reward

Employees do not work just for a salary, they work to achieve goals. An employee who achieves goals needs to be recognized. A simple word of appreciation can be very effective in motivating employees and, thus, helping them be better engaged with their work. An internal app can be used to recognize work achievements. A transparent reward system can ensure that hardworking employees are suitably rewarded. Such a system motivates everyone in the organization.

Ensures Employee Development

An internal employee app can be used not just for communication but also for training. Employee training, which is crucial for organizations, can be delivered through an app. This is easy and convenient for both the organization and the employee. Small training modules can be delivered through the app. This allows employees to upgrade their skills periodically. Such a move would help in improving employee engagement.

Better Work Scheduling

Service organizations work on tight schedules. The absence of an employee can affect work. Work scheduling plays an important role. When an app is used, work scheduling can be managed more effectively. Managing work shifts, assigning jobs, etc., can be done using the app. When someone goes on leave or wants to change their shift/schedule, they can do it easily through the app. It would also ensure that everyone is informed about the change in advance, so there is no confusion.

Monitor Employee Satisfaction

internal app for employee

A satisfied employee is unlikely to quit the organization. Small businesses need to work hard to retain talent. An internal employee app can help them do this. The app can be used to get regular feedback from employees through surveys, questionnaires, and feedback forms. All these can be easily administered. The feedback from employees can be used to solve employee problems and act on their suggestions. This can be very helpful in keeping employees satisfied, which will reduce turnover.

The benefits listed explain why a small business must invest in an internal employee app. The app would improve communication, and help in effective employee engagement. All these would help a small business improve employee retention and enhance its business effectiveness.

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Tools to Help Your Employees Work from Home

Working from home has become the new normal, but it’s something that not all businesses and individuals can immediately jump into. There are things to consider, such as new technology and employees used to working on site.

The transition can take time if your company is not prepared for it. Sometimes, situations like this cause confusion and uncertainty among the workforce. However, technology is always one step ahead, so there’s no need to worry.

There are numerous tools available online, both free and paid. These make the process more convenient for you and your employees.

Whatever it is you need, there’s almost always a tool available for it, like video conferencing tools, audio tools, productivity tools, and even project management templates.

Choosing one from the many is challenging, so it’s vital first to find out your choices. Here are some tools to help your employees make working from home more comfortable.

Tools for Productivity

productivity tools for remote work

One of the things businesses worry about when working from home is employees’ productivity, and several tools can help with this.

● Google Online Suite

If your employees use Microsoft Office for many of their tasks, Google Online Suite is what your business needs. It’s Office’s online version, and it has Google Drive, Forms, Sheets, Calendar, Docs, Hangouts (now Google Meet), Slides, and Gmail. It has everything your employees need to be productive.

Google Online suite also makes it easy for teams to communicate, share, and collaborate.

● Trello

Teams tend to achieve more when using a collaborative task management tool like Trello. With its easy-to-use dashboard, monitoring your employees and their progress is simple. There’s an editorial calendar that shows what all the tasks teams are working on – writing, designing, editing, and publishing.

● ProofHub

ProofHub allows you and your teams to work together in one central place. Its main difference from some of the other project management tools is that you and your employees can also communicate and collaborate with clients.

Communication Tools

Most work from home tools have communication components, but using a tool intended solely for communication is essential. Here are some choices to consider.

● Skype

There are now numerous communication tools available online, but Skype is still popular and used by many businesses. It’s highly functional and equipped with a variety of features that help make communication convenient between teams and individuals.

Aside from chat and video conference functions, Skype also works efficiently for online interviews and meetings. Sending photos, videos, and files are likewise easy.

● Intercom

Intercom is another online messaging tool for you and your employees. It’s not as popular as Skype, but it’s just as useful. It’s not only for communications; it’s also an app for customer acquisition. Your employees get to answer clients’ queries, work on email campaigns, and perform various functions.

Video Conferencing

video conference tools for remote work

Video conferencing tools are different from chat or communication tools because they allow you to perform tasks you usually do when you’re in a meeting or conference with your employees. Here are some choices to consider.

● Zoom

Zoom is probably the most-used video conferencing tool nowadays. It’s simple to use and comes with features that make an online call look like it’s happening inside the conference room.

There are two ways to use Zoom – for free with no time limit but with only 100 participants, or paid with unlimited time and up to 1,000 individuals. It has tons of features like scheduling calls/conferences, text chat, recording conferences, and sending individual private messages.

Zoom also allows users to share their screens, either a part of it or the whole screen.

Even if you or your employees have internet connection problems, Zoom will keep working, albeit at a reduced quality.

Zoom is compatible with iOS, Android, macOS, Web, and Windows devices.

● Google Meet

The best reason for using Google Meet is your free access to and use of Google apps such as Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Classroom, Slides, and Gmail. Likewise, you can schedule video conferences ahead of time and mark them on Google Calendar.

Google Meet is available for free or for a fee. Some of its most exciting features include live stream support, real-time captions, 250 participants at once, call recording and mic muting. It’s also easy to share your screen whether you want the participants to see your entire desktop, one window, or a tab.

Social Media Management

Social media plays a significant role in ensuring business success. There are several tools to choose from.

● Hootsuite

Hootsuite is probably the most popular among all social media management tools. Its features include content management, filtering social conversations, analytics, and reports. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most social media networks. Hootsuite is also easy to understand and use.

● Buffer

Buffer is an intuitive social media management tool used by reputable businesses, individuals, agencies, and brands. It’s perfect for collaboration, engagement, publishing, and analytics.

Helping your employees transition to working from home is not a walk in the park, but using the right tools helps make the process easier. Spend some time studying which options are best for your business before settling for one or two (or more).

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How Tech And Remote Work Will Turn The Economy Around

Necessity is the mother of invention as the old saying goes, and our inventiveness during this economic downturn has led to modernization of a lot of processes and industries. The Great Depression brought inventions like the chocolate chip cookie, electric razors, and car radios, so what great advancements will come out of the current economic downturn?

The Work From Home Revolution

economic recovery by technology

For years workers have been clamoring for work from home options. While the United States has officially been in a recession since June, companies that sent their workforce home to continue to do work are keeping the economy chugging along.

Since the advent of the internet, everyone from working parents to disability advocates have been asking for flexible work arrangements. For working parents, being able to be home when the bus comes reduces the need for before and after school care and leads to fewer days off because of sick children. It makes working fit a worker’s lifestyle instead of trying to make a worker fit into a company’s rigid expectations. What’s more, people who work from home report greater work/life balance and feel more energetic about and engaged with their work.

For disability advocates, work from home arrangements are an opportunity to have reasonable accommodations made in the workplace. Think about the difficulty of finding a job that is a good fit for your skills and needs – even under the best circumstances it’s a challenge. Now imagine you find the perfect job but the bathroom isn’t accessible or your desk won’t accommodate your needs or it’s an open concept office and you have ADHD or an auditory processing disorder.

Finding an appropriate job under such circumstances becomes impossible, and working from home is a great solution. Now that we have seen that most jobs can be done remotely, it will open doors to greater employment opportunities for those in the disability community.

So what does all this have to do with the economy? Because remote work has kept the economy going, it’s likely that this is going to be the exact mechanism that kicks off our ascent out of the economic recession. We have the technology to lean in to remote work and get the economy strengthened and ready to recover if we would just use it.

How Tech Is Aiding Work From Home

economic recovery technology

Have you tried to buy any piece of computer or communications equipment lately? It’s sold out across the board at almost every retailer. Home office tech sales are increasing rapidly:

  • 400% increase in Chromebook sales
  • 179% increase in webcam sales
  • 138% increase in monitor sales
  • 134% increase in headset sales
  • 64% increase in keyboard sales

In addition to equipping home offices with the hardware that is needed to keep the work from home boom going, use of software and apps is also growing rapidly. People are communicating differently, which has meant greater reliance on apps like Slack and Zoom has grown. Even cloud-based enterprise software like the G Suite, which allows workers cloud-based access to spreadsheets, documents, slideshare, and more has gained 1 million paying businesses in February alone.

Microsoft got their start in the oil crisis of the 1970s, and today they are one of the two largest companies in the United States. Part of their success was because they offered services businesses needed to rebrand and rebound from economic instability.

During the Great Recession of the early 2000s, companies like AirBNB, Uber, Groupon, and WhatsApp were invented to serve a need, which was to extend needed services to people who were suddenly struggling to make ends meet because of a recession.

Innovation Is The Way Forward

We’ve all heard the saying that we can’t get out of a mess by using the same thinking we used to get us into that mess. The same goes for the economic recovery. If you are waiting for things to go “back to normal”, you’re going to be waiting forever. It’s time to realize the economy is going to have to modernize in order to bounce back. Working from home and the technological advances in the digital workplace are a key component of the economic recovery. Learn more about how tech will aid in the economic recovery from the infographic below.
How Technology Will The Economy Recover
Source: TradeShowCareers.com

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3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic)

I don’t know about you, but 2020 easily ranks #1 Strangest Year of My Life. Our attention spans inevitably get sucked up by news headlines and the constantly changing city and safety ordinances as a result of the pandemic’s infection rates. Even as I write this from Los Angeles, just today we’ve begun Shutdown 2.0, and I frankly cannot believe it. More businesses crippled by the current health emergency, and more uncertainty about how the economy will fare. Yet despite all that noise, despite the whiplash of changes this crazy year has presented… life goes on.

Yup, even in a pandemic, you’re hard-pressed to meet a guy who still doesn’t want a woman to become both his companion and lover. That never changes. But how do you meet women during or following a crisis of this magnitude? What’s the right way? Well, here are 3 approaches to try — and note: whenever you read this article, these approaches apply because they’re rooted in basic social truths, not fads.

Check the #1 most important thing (that all women have a radar for)

meet women during a pandemic

Hands down, if you do NOTHING else, make sure your intentions are clean and clear. Whether you’re online dating, meeting a girl six feet away at a restaurant, or passing her on a trail while wearing a mask, women innately possess a keen radar for men who are just after that one thing. So what should your intention be? Should it be to get that date? Her number? Nah. None of those, which obviously excludes sex… but stay with me.

Your intention needs to be to have non-threatening, friendly interaction with her. That’s it. Your first, second, third, etc. interactions with a girl should not be riddled with dating or sex vibes. She can sense that, and the girl who wants that isn’t the girl you want. Treat meeting women and dating as if you’re out just to have friendly conversations with new people. Don’t DM or talk to women like you’re a hound on a fox hunt. That’ll push her away, and likely, invite situations where you just get rejected. But if you make your intention just to meet women for the sake of meeting new people, you’ll eventually find someone with whom the communication and vibes work, and from there, you can gradually grow the interaction to one with chemistry.

Avoid men’s greatest fear by ditching these

Men obviously have many fears, but in the dating sphere, let’s be honest: no one enjoys rejection. Oh yes, rejection is the chokehold of dating; just one bad rejection from a hot girl can cut your confidence and recalibrate what you think you deserve from a relationship.

So how do we avoid rejection in dating? Ditch your expectations. Expectations are the trap of dating because by having expectations, you pigeonhole yourself into how the interaction, night, or date should go. By placing a “should” on any dating scenario, you automatically get sucked into your head, and worst of all — out of the environment. When your attention is not on and in the environment, you cannot experience the girl, or see clearly if she really is a good match for you.

Also, let’s be honest: you don’t know how the future will go when you start dating. You have no idea who you’ll hit it off with! I had no idea I would hit it off with the girl I am with, but in the beginning, we just kept hanging out, talking, and talking some more. My expectations with her were not to have sex, get serious, or build a future… but funny, that’s eventually (over time) what happened. When you have etched-in-stone expectations about how a conversation or date should go with a certain girl, you cut yourself off of what could be. And, when things don’t go exactly how you planned? You just end up feeling rejected… but you’re feeling rejected by your OWN ideas. Get that?

Stop creating expectations around dating, and just adhere to #1: adopt a clear intention just to meet people, hot or not.

Follow the flow and never use force

tips on how to meet women during a pandemic

I know that sounds like something a sailing instructor would tell you, but in dating, you want to keep the flow light. What do I mean? Don’t force interactions that aren’t easy, and that aren’t wanted. I’ve read advice from other guys stating that they called their girl every month for a year before they got a date. Maybe that works sometimes (in rare instances), but I’d liken that approach to forcing something that maybe should not be forced.

You want to meet a girl who adds to your life, and with whom life is better — not more work. So if you’re talking with a girl online or offline, and the conversation feels awkward, or maybe she’s just rude? Maintain good manners and keep it moving. Just because she’s hot doesn’t mean she’s worth pursuing. The right girl who evolves from a simple communication into a longer conversation into a hang-out, into a date, and so forth will ultimately be one with whom everything flows. I can’t think of any relationship or human interaction that results well from using force. Have you ever been screamed at? That’s force… and how did that work out for you? Probably not well.

Use flow. Give attention to interactions that run well with no drama, only good vibes.

Now, do you notice something?

I didn’t mention anything about using online dating apps or making sure you hit up the hottest clubs. That’s because the most effective dating and communication tactics work well anywhere — online or offline.

The truth is, achievement in any area of life starts with you, not to sound like a bumper sticker, but you need to check your motivation and goals when it comes to dating. So get your head right, and stack the odds in your favor. Meet many women just to be friendly and meet new people. Meeting new people is one of the joys of life!

And if you occasionally meet people who suck? No worries. Follow the flow, keep it moving, and remember: if you keep your positive attitude and keep your eye on the top of the mountain, you’ll eventually get where you want to go.

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5 Tips on Finding Compatible Partners on Dating Apps

Online dating has become the mainstream way to meet singles. Nowadays, it’s more common to meet couples who say that they met on an app than those who say they met at a bar.

During the age of social distancing, more and more singles are turning to dating apps to meet potential partners—especially those with video call features, such as Say Allo and Coffee Meets Bagel. Even as restrictions ease up, dating apps will still be a vital tool for meeting new people.

Dating apps have grown in popularity over the years. There are now 1,500 dating apps around the world that cater to people from all types of backgrounds and interests. According to Pew Research Center, dating app usage in the U.S. has been on the rise over the past few years. 30% of U.S. adults have at some point used a dating app, an 11% increase since 2013.

In addition to a surge in dating apps and an increase in usage, apps have become increasingly diversified. There are apps that cater to people from all walks of life with different tastes and personality types. There’s now a niche dating app that appeals to every type of person.

Whether you want to meet someone who shares your faith, or who is passionate about saving the environment or who loves dogs; or you’re an introvert who prefers intimate connections, you’re sure to meet someone who shares your interests and lifestyle preferences.

While dating apps have made it easier to meet a large pool of singles, it doesn’t mean they’ve made dating easier. The idea of sifting through a sea of romantic options is daunting and it leaves many people wondering if it will actually lead them to that one person who they can share a magical and lasting connection with.

Most experienced daters know that sharing common interests isn’t necessarily an indicator of personal compatibility. There are other deeper and significant aspects of compatibility that should be considered when looking for a stable and long-term connection such as, future vision, attitude towards family and financial planning.

Dating and relationship expert, Susan Winter, said in an interview with Say Allo, that dating can be a valuable learning process, provided we take the right approach. Winters said that by being strategic about our use of dating apps and gaining experience as we date more people, we’ll maximize our chances of finding our perfect match.

If you’re someone who feels overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options of potential partners available on dating apps or you’re having difficulty finding compatible matches, here are five tips you can use to find compatible matches and set yourself up for dating success.

Ask the right questions

In the beginning you want to keep things light and flirty, but if you want to take things to the next level you should be asking questions with substance. These are questions that allow you to get to know a person’s true character. Good dating questions help you scratch more than just the surface and reveal personality traits and interests to see if you’re a good match.

Make sure your profile reflects the real you

online dating tips for finding the right person

Your profile is set up to give a snapshot of who you are: your personality, what you’re into and possibly some hints of what being in a relationship with you would be like. This helps matches get what your vibe is and understand how you’re different from others. The more you reveal the real you, the more you filter out people who would not be a good match for you. Don’t be afraid to declare if you’re a geek at heart or if you’re a gym rat or a vegan. Fully own everything about you and know your value.

Spend more time on each profile

When using dating apps, there’s a tendency to mindlessly swipe through matches, but if you want to find compatible partners you have to spend more time on each profile, especially the ones that pique your interest. Look at photos and examine details such as outfit choices, locations, body language, locations, poses. Read each person bio and responses. What does it reveal about them? Are they playful, serious or cheeky? Are they career-driven or are they the life of the party type of person or a bookworm?

Use apps with the right features

The technology of dating apps has become increasingly sophisticated with filters that allow users to focus on personality traits, body types and values before they even meet in person. There are dating apps specifically designed to find compatible matches for long-term relationships. Compatibility indexes and reports such as the ones offered on Say Allo and eHarmony do all the work for you. They also provide an overview on initial compatibility centered on income, religion, education and more.

Use your gut instinct

dating tips

We’ve all heard a lot about those happy couples who said they “just knew” right away when they met someone special. That’s because they listened to their gut instinct—a powerful tool in dating. It’s that strange feeling you can’t quite put your finger on. It could be a voice in your head, butterflies in your tummy, and feelings of nervousness. It could be a knot in your stomach. Whatever it is, listen to it. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your judgement. But if you sense good vibes from the person, go ahead and swipe right.

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A Guide For Solving Your Muscle Pain

Back pain is no abnormality, and employment is a primary fueler to the condition. Half of American adults have musculoskeletal conditions, and 64 million adults said their condition impacted their daily lives. Not only does back pain cause physical turmoil, but also socioeconomic losses.

Back pain and musculoskeletal alone lead to 264 million lost workdays each year, costing $214 billion per year in care and lost wages. To minimize both physical and financial turmoil caused from muscle fatigue, it’s best to reduce your stress, trauma, and any excessive use of muscles as even minor problems can lead to long-term injuries.

What Causes Limited Range of Motion?

relieving muscle pain

Muscle tightness is the primary indicator of weakness. Today, the most common causes of muscle strain include fatigue, overuse, misuse, and physical accidents, such as falling. 1 in 4 American seniors fall each year, and specifically among older adults aged 65 and up, falls are the leading cause of hospital admissions.

Muscle stress can be caused by even the slightest everyday activities, like prolonged desk sitting. Lack of movement from desk work may lead to biomechanical instability, muscle tightness, and pain. Physical trauma can also cause our muscles to hurt, such as being in a car accident or being severely injured. A car accident is a great example of a physical trauma that can cause muscle weakness and pain. Similarly, repetitive motor activities often negatively impact the back, wrists, and hands. Excessive typing, or even heavy lifting, can lead to muscle fatigue.

How to Know If You Have a Musculoskeletal Condition

While it’s best to seek professional care if you feel you are suffering from a musculoskeletal condition, there are telling signs you can keep an eye peeled for. Most commonly, musculoskeletal conditions symptoms include:

  • sudden pain,
  • soreness and swelling,
  • stiffness, spasms, or weakness, and
  • tightness and/or limited movement range.

Furthermore, no one is exempt from enduring musculoskeletal disorders as they can affect all ages. Most commonly, Americans aged older than 75 suffer from musculoskeletal disorders, impacting 69% of their demographic. 68% of Americans aged 65-74 have the same condition, 59% of Americans aged 45-64, and 46% of Americans aged 18-44.

According to a 2017 Global Burden of Disease study, musculoskeletal conditions were a main contributor to disability everywhere on the globe. However, modern therapy has possible solutions.

Is Muscle Therapy The Answer?

relieve muscle pain thru massage therapy

For some conditions, physical therapy can be as effective as surgery – which is ideal since it prevents unnecessary operations. In 2018, a study showed that 43% of patients were suffering from lower back pain.

Similarly, massage therapy can also help patients with muscle fatigue. A 2015 study found that massaged muscles had a higher blood vessel count than non-massaged ones. In other words, blood vessels are thought to be connected to improved pain recovery.

Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) is another alternative to physical therapy for treatment of muscle disorders. MAT can improve the patient’s muscle stability and strength to optimize their muscle function, giving 85% of patients positive results.

Furthermore, Muscle Activation Therapy analyzes the patient’s range of motion to pinpoint where their muscles are dysfunctional, uses muscle-specific palpations to activate dysfunctional muscles, and implements position-specific isometrics to improve muscle function. As a result, patients can reduce their muscle tightness and improve their mobility.

What Happens To Untreated Muscle Conditions

Muscle disorders should always be addressed for many reasons. For starters, ignoring any indicators of muscle weakness can leave you with lingering discomfort. On top of that, small issues can domino into further problems. In other words, it’s important you tend to any muscle pain you’re experiencing sooner rather than later. This way, your muscles can correct their positions before becoming worse. These minor issues can transform into progressive weakness, increased susceptibility to injury, and degenerating strength and dexterity.

On average, people missed an average of 12 days of work per year due to muscle conditions that impact their everyday lives. Knowing this, turning to physical and massage therapy, or Muscle Activation Techniques can provide great benefits.

It’s easy for us to ignore our medical conditions, but it’s even easier for them to become more severe. Even the simplest everyday actions we engage in at work and home can give us back pains. For more information on what causes muscle pain and how to fix it, check out the information below.

Please include attribution to Muscle Activation Techniques with this graphic.

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The Four Most Simple Mistakes That Renters Make All Too Often

There are over 100 million renters in the USA, meaning around a third of people in the country do not own the roof above their head.

That number is 74% higher compared to the 1960s and it’s a result of a variety of reasons, from the high cost of buying property to the freedom which many value of not being tied down. There are also various other factors such as economic recessions and personal circumstances that might dictate the decision to take the leap and become a homeowner.

Whatever the reason though, with so many Americans opting to rent, there are several things they should know. Firstly, it’s essential to understand your rights as a renter and next to avoid mistakes which can potentially cause big issues. Simply by being aware of these house renting tips, renters can avoid foregoing their rights or losing out on their hard-earned cash.

Avoid Renting a Property You Have Not Physically Seen

renter mistakes

It sounds obvious, but one should never rent a property that they haven’t seen. If this can be avoided, never sign for a property without viewing it!

There are many reasons why you may not be able to view a property before you sign an agreement. Perhaps there’s a need to move quickly, or you may be in a different city or country and need to move for work. There is some practical advice for how to deal with this, but be sure to do your due diligence and avoid making what could be a costly and upsetting error.

Even if you currently reside far away, if you are physically able to visit a property to view it before signing a rental contract, then there is no excuse for not doing so. Even if you find yourself in a rush to find a new residence, don’t rely solely on photographs or sales literature as this can often be misleading. Take a Skype tour, find someone you trust to view the property, and remember if the deal seems too good to be true then it probably is.

It’s not just important to view a property in person to check out the property. When visiting a potential rental, you get a clearer picture of the surroundings. During a visit it’s also a good idea to locate any amenities or transport hubs like trains or bus stops that are close by.

Document the Condition of the Property

Once you sign the contract and get the keys there are important steps that all renters should follow. For many of us, we want to make our rented property feel like our home as quickly as possible. However, before you put down that new rug, document the condition of the house /or apartment. Ideally this should be before you move in, or at least before unpacking your belongings.

Documenting can be tedious work depending upon the age of your rental. You should make notes of cracks, electrical problems, structural problems, or anything that just doesn’t look right. The slightest of problems should be noted, including small holes in walls where picture frames have been hung; no imperfection is too minor to note. If you document these problems them in an inventory, the landlord may fix these prior to moving in.

Pictures can help as visual proof to accompany any written documentation. Taking photographs beforehand is advantageous for when you move out. If you happen to have a dispute about deductions from your security deposit, you might need photographical evidence to support your case.

Documentation could save money down the line if you happen to identify a minor problem that could turn into a major problem.

It depends on the terms of the contract, but the burden of responsibility at the point of documentation is usually on the homeowner so long as it’s an issue noted in the walkthrough prior to moving in. Always discuss an inventory with landlords as it proves the state of the property when you move in, helping to avoid any disputes when you leave.

Consider taking out insurance

When buying a property, it’s almost unheard of that the homeowner won’t take out insurance. Yet so many renters do not even consider rental insurance.

A landlord, or the property owner, will have insurance to cover the property in case of fire, natural disasters, or other types of damage, but this insurance does not extend to cover the contents of the tenant. This could be a particularly expensive mistake if you are unfortunate enough to become victim to a fire or flood in your rented home.

When assessing the terms of renters’ insurance or if you should insure the contents of your home, consider the items of value and the cost to replace them should they become damaged. Some personal contents insurance policies also pay-out if you happen to fall victim to burglary. Take the time to carefully review the terms and conditions of potential insurance policies to see what’s covered.

Know Your Responsibilities

When moving into a new property, rented or not, it’s important to understand contractual responsibilities. In a proper contract, it should be clear when the renter is responsible for maintenance or when responsibility falls on the owner/property manager.

For example, gardens are always a bit of a grey area. Establish who is responsible for the upkeep of any external areas and get a clear idea of how often it will need to be tended to.

For larger, more complex maintenance cases there will be many responsibilities that lie with the owners. However, always ensure that it’s legally written in the contract that it is the owner’s responsibility to undertake major works and inspections. Details regarding the frequency of maintenance works and inspections should be clearly notated. Legally it can vary state-to-state, but as a tenant you should be aware of how often a fire safety inspection should take place. Other important areas of maintenance and inspection duties include security. Establish in writing whether it is up to the tenants as a collective (i.e. if you’re renting an apartment in a building) or the responsibility of the landlord or property owner.

In Summation

mistakes that renters make

Remember it’s your responsibility to know your rights. Ignorance of the law does not exempt you from responsibility. Legal precedence states that a person who is unknowing of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely due to being unaware. Do your homework and seek legal advice if needed, as there’s a plethora of free resources out there. Even if you pay for a legal consultation for a contract review, be rest assured that for tenants especially, knowledge is power!

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