Mention a shorter work week to anyone within earshot and no doubt you'll hear a resounding "Amen!" 1 in 9 Americans work 50+ hours per week as per The Center for a New American Dream. Compare that to 1 in 81 in Sweden and 1 in 152 in the Netherlands and it's no wonder so many of us are stressed-out and exhausted.
Working fewer days per week is not just something to dream about while you ought to be filing reports and crunching numbers. There are already employers switching to a 4-day work week model and others thinking about doing so. Why? The benefits are powerful and enhance the lives of employees and their employers as well.
A shorter work week is valuable to take into consideration if you're the boss and something to bring to the table with these 3 benefits to back you up if you'd like your company to take this notion seriously. 3 day weekend… here we come!
Better for Overall Health
When we're overworked, tired, and stressed, health inevitably takes a toll. As per Healthline, "Numerous reports and studies have shown that the expected pace put upon the U.S. workforce is to blame for many health issues that plague adults today. These include sleep issues, obesity, and an overall weakened immune system. Cut back the work week by a day, and we could see significant improvements in our physical and mental health."
With health issues like these so prevalent in our work-centric society, people are taking more and more sick days, or come into the office when they're not at their mental or physical best. Time isn't of value if the employee isn't able to produce as well as they want or are able to. This can lead to even more stress, creating bodily illness and mental strain – a vicious cycle.
That cherished extra day of free time clears the mind and allows the body to recuperate. Employees will have the chance to focus on themselves for 24 more hours so that while they're at work, they can give their all to the job at hand.
Even though the employee will be spending fewer days at the office, it's been shown that their work effort and output is actually higher with a 4-day work week. As per Joseph Chris Driving Business Connections, "Employees return to work more refreshed after a 3-day weekend. They even make it a point to work very hard during the compressed week, so that they will not lose the privilege of a four day work week system. When staff is pumped up to go back to work, they tend to be more productive. This results in more output and higher company revenue."
Employees appreciate this benefit and are more inclined to be sure everything is complete and done well so they can take full advantage of this arrangement. They are happier and more willing to work together to keep the system in place. This is a win-win for the employee and the higher-ups.
Plus, with this 4-day work week program, each day will include more hours in the office to compensate for the missed day. Therefore, as per WiseStep, "Because employees spend continuous hours at work, they do not miss the flow of work or get distracted to leave for home. They get enough time to complete the task in the same day rather than passing it off to the next day. 10-11 hours of work (per day) motivates the employee to finish the task the same day with full concentration."
Enhanced Work – Life Balance
Naturally, a 4-day work week allows for a better work – life balance. People can spend more time with their families and doing things they enjoy such as hobbies, exercise, and vacationing outside the office. As per The Center for a New American Dream, 59% of employees say their jobs do not leave them with enough time for themselves and 75% feel they do not have enough time with their kids. A 4-day work week system would surely change these percentages for the better.
Although you may get home later or need to head into work a bit earlier on the 4 work days, an entire full day of free time more than makes up for it. No interruptions and no work worries. Joseph Chris notes, "(A 3-day weekend) gives employees more relaxation time with family and friends, and whatever errands they were unable to do during the work week they can accomplish during the weekends. If anyone wants to escape the fast-paced life even just for a while, 3 days would be enough time to unwind and rejuvenate."
As far as the employer's benefit, Nevada Small Business notes, "You're likely to attract more highly qualified new hires who view the four-day week as a major lifestyle benefit. Plus, because of the longer work day, employees miss the standard morning rush hour, getting to work early and staying later. Less time in traffic – a big plus."
Who's not interested in a 3-day weekend? These 3 benefits are no-brainers and make sense for the worn-out worker. Let's all move to the 4/3 plan and improve health, wealth, and life in general!
Between buying a new home and transporting yourself and your belongings to it, moving can be an expensive process. One often underrecognized cost of moving occurs before one's original house has even been sold, and that's staging the house. Homeowners often spend hundreds of dollars making a home appealing to potential buyers. To ease the financial burden of moving, here are several tips for staging your home on a budget.
Downsize Instead of Storing
The goal of staging a home is to create a blank canvas that potential buyers can imagine their own lives painted upon. To accomplish this, homeowners should depersonalize the home as much as possible, removing items that are specific to their family and eliminating clutter. This is where homeowners often incur their first costs as they rush to put as many older things in storage as possible.
To cut costs, focus on downsizing rather than storing items. Look for items that you can sell, donate, or give away. For remaining items, look for alternative places to store them, such as a friend or relative's house. This will also reduce the cost of moving your belongings when it is time to go to the new house.
DIY What You Can
There are times when homeowners should bring in a professional to manage home renovations and decorating, such as when a task requires specialized skills. These types of jobs, when done incorrectly, will incur even greater costs if attempted on your own. However, many of the home improvement tasks that go into staging a home are simple enough that the homeowner can DIY them, such as painting, installing a backsplash, or refinishing the deck. Doing these tasks yourself will save you a significant amount of money.
Don't Redo, Update
Homeowners are often eager to make their houses look as appealing to buyers as possible. However, recall that the point of staging is depersonalization, making a home presentable so buyers can mentally impose their own style onto it. When staging a home on a budget, focus less on completely transforming the space and more on making what is there look presentable. For instance, if you wanted to give your bedroom a facelift, trying to replace the furniture and flooring would be pointless unless it was damaged or unkempt. Simply organizing the space and replacing the bed's comforter would be sufficient.
Another way to update the space without entirely redoing it is to rearrange it to maximize the space that is already there. For instance, pulling the furniture away from the walls will make a room appear bigger and allows more space for those touring the house. Using window trimmings that maximize natural light and incorporating wall mirrors can also make a room seem more spacious.
Raising a larger family than most means that your lifestyle is going to change. Costs will continue to multiply as your family grows larger. However, just because your family is large doesn't mean your quality of life needs to suffer. It just means you need to make a few adjustments to help things work smoother and more efficiently. We've compiled a couple of money-saving tips for larger families to help you get the most out of your dollars.
Always Buy in Bulk
The benefit of having a larger family is that things you buy in bulk rarely ever go to waste. Smaller families can benefit from buying in bulk, of course, but your large family will see the most use out of shopping in large quantities. You'll want to avoid going to smaller stores for necessities such as groceries and clothes, as these places generally have higher markups on their items.
Buy Wholesale Items Online
If you want to take buying in bulk to the next level, one of the best money-saving tips for large families is to buy online from wholesalers. Buying online comes with a number of benefits that you won't get when you go to a physical store:
- You don't have to drag your kids to the store with you
- You have a lower probability of making impulse purchases
- You can search for exactly what you need
- Wholesalers sell in very large quantities for a lower price per item
Never Throw Away Something Useful
When you have to buy things for multiple children, your costs to replace items will be much higher. That's why it's so important to keep everything you can. Clothing is a big part of this. Hand-me-downs can prevent you from needing to replace entire closets every year. Try to repair or upcycle any clothes that may have damage, as this is usually much cheaper than buying brand-new items.
Stick to a Budget
When you support a large family, expenses can sometimes get away from you. Proper budgeting helps to keep the extra purchases that add up to a minimum. Budgeting correctly can save you a lot of heartache in the long run. It's up to you how much control you want to take; you can make your budget weekly or monthly, depending on how tight a ship you need to run. What's important to remember is that making the budget is only the first step—sticking to it is where you'll really need to enact some willpower.
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Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.
Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!
Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.
Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh
Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.
The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.
Make the Inside Warm and Cozy
In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.
When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.
Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.
Make Your Home Less Personal
Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.
It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.
Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.
Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.