World’s Funniest Engineering Fails – Bridges

World’s Funniest Engineering Fails – Bridges

When building of a bridge is conducted it’s a convoluted situation requiring knowledge and proficiency. Various key aspects come into play, such as costs, Engineering limits, and Environmental Impacts, when deciding which construction method to use and bridge type to build. These are all aspects to look at before construction takes place. There are also numerous reasons bridge Engineering could conceivably fail such as Environmental issues (floods, fires, Earthquakes); construction incidents, and most commonly design flaws.

We depend on professionals to seemingly take note of all these aspects.

In the line of history, Engineers have made many mistakes that make us just wonder? “What in the act of engineering are you doing?”

 

A few examples of the world’s funniest Bridge Engineering fails include:
“Just meet me half way…”
Copenhagen’s Kissing bridge.
Located in Denmark, The construction started in 2011 and it was ‘intended’ to open in 2013. The bridge had several errors one of which was being misaligned (Not meeting in the middle) that delayed the construction for just over 2 years. The bridge that did not end up kissing. They had one job, one job…

Another example, is right under our noses, situated in South Africa.

“ To be continued…”
The Foreshore Freeway Bridge in Cape Town also known as the “unfinished bridge”. The construction started in 1977, and due to lack of funding it was never finished. The purpose of a bridge structure is to bear a passage, #justsaying. This unfinished business has somewhat become a tourist attraction in the City of Cape Town. So there is at least one positive aspect to this failure.

As history has proven to us that not every Engineer takes note of precision – but, we surely hope that our future Engineers would take note of these mistakes and hopefully learn from them, as amusing as they may be.


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Why are Bridges Built?

Why are Bridges Built?

I am not much of a Blogger, so let me just “build a bridge” and get over it.

Why do we need or build bridges?
Bridges have been built and used since ancient times, used to carry traffic or humans across an area of obstruction where they are unable to get across.

The benefits of Bridges:
Connecting people, goods and transport
Safety
Reduce traffic and collisions
Easy access (easy passage over obstacles)

The negative impact of Bridges:
Bridges can also be harmful to our environment, can harm trees, cause pollution of our waters, chemicals from vehicles and construction can contaminate the water via precipitation. The construction of bridges can also drastically change the environment and impose serious health issues.

How Bridges have evolved:
From cutting a tree, dragging it into position to serve as a plank, to tying rafts together to form a pontoon, to modern bridges, where you, me and any mode of transport can utilise.

Out with the old and in with the new:

The world’s longest sea crossing: The bridge spans 55km (34 miles) and connects Hong Kong to Macau and the Mainland Chinese City of Zhuhai.

Bridges are beautiful, a masterpiece designed by the hands of architects and art in the eyes of humankind.

Tip of the Day: Build and never burn your bridges

Sources:
Geograph
Flickr
Alamy
Wikipedia
BBC


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About Michelle Ngubo

I have been working at L2B since March 2014 and my current position is Content Researcher - Africa Department and Classy is the best word that describes me.

Common Mistakes in Bridge Construction

Common Mistakes in Bridge Construction

The best way to avoid bridge failures is to expect them to happen and develop a good risk management strategy. Don’t just wait to cross that bridge when you get there. This is the only way to protect the public from injuries, loss of life, property damage and destruction. Some bridge collapses are mysteries when they first happen. It isn’t until a detailed investigation is completed that the true cause is revealed.

I am going to list a few common mistakes in bridge construction:

1. Poor Bridge Maintenance: The collapsing of bridges could be prevented with more strict inspections and frequent routine maintenance. Rusted parts must be replaced, drainage areas cleared in case of natural disasters and reinforcements added especially when the use of the bridge has increased. The Connecticut Turnpike over the Mianus River collapsed due to the failure of steel pins that had corroded. I can not believe the lack of bridge maintenance! Can’t get over it.

2. Cheap Materials: A bridge is only as strong as what it’s built with. No one likes to spend money, but excessive cost-cutting can leave the bridge vulnerable to collapses. Not only is the bridge put in a more precarious situation, but saving money on materials can also lead to more costly repairs down the line.

3. Design Defect: While some bridges are constructed perfectly with high-end materials, they can still fail if the design is flawed. Bridges with a poor design could fail to hold enough weight or withstand natural conditions. There are bridges whose collapse was unpreventable before the bridge was ever built.

4. Natural Disasters: Today’s changing climate and the extreme weather events associated with it is causing chaotic weather. Most collapses happen on bridges that were built a long time ago when designers couldn’t imagine the kind of storms they’d have to withstand today. We can’t control the weather, but we can build structures strong enough to withstand such natural disasters. There is always room for improvement.

5. Accidents: Whether it’s a truck hitting a support post, a train falling off the tracks or a boat colliding into a foundation, accidents are one of the leading reasons bridges are damaged or come down. Bridge engineers must plan for all types of incidents. They will have to also bear in mind what the future holds for us. Will there be driverless cars, larger ocean tankers, and cruise ships, along with pilotless drones that could impact bridges in the near and distant future? I think it’s possible, most of it is already happening.

I am definitely no expert in any of these aspects, but keep these failures in mind next time you sitting in your car under a train bridge and the robot for you to go is red.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Civil Digital
Asset Works
Engineers Journal


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About Sonet Du Plooy

I started working at Leads 2 Business in 2014. I was part of the Tenders Africa team and have now recently moved to Private Projects. I love every second of it!

How to Secure your Server like a Pro

posted in: General, Safety 0

 

In today’s fast-paced connected environment having a secure server is vital for your business’s needs, without addressing the security needs of your infrastructure you could run into devastating consequences down the line.

In this blog, I will list 5 security practices that can help your server stay secure.

1. Password Security: Use passwords with at least 8 characters, they should be complex including numbers, symbols and punctuation. You should use a variety of passwords for different accounts or roles.

2. Public Key Infrastructure and SSL/TLS Encryption: This refers to a system that is designed to create, manage and validate certificates for identifying individuals and encrypting communication. This can prevent man in the middle attacks where an attacker imitates a server in your infrastructure to intercept traffic.

3. Update your system frequently: Keeping your software up to date is the single biggest security precaution you can take for any operating system. Software updates range from critical vulnerability patches to minor bug fixes, and many software vulnerabilities are actually patched by the time they become public.

4. Configure a Firewall: Using a firewall to block unwanted traffic to your server provides a highly effective security layer. Be very specific about the type of traffic you allow in, only allow the traffic you need and deny everything else.

5. Web Application Security: You should scan your web applications regularly and have any custom code reviewed for security issues. Make sure to use coding frameworks with a good security history and secure web application admin areas with IP based restrictions. Specify permissions when creating files and limit file upload creation activities to specific directories.

Following these 5 tips will help you secure your server like a pro.


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About Barry West

I am a software developer.

Best Security Tips Ever

Security, Safety and Protection are things that we will always struggle with, no matter who you are, regardless of the kind of house you live in, or where you live – security will always be a concern.

Security Threats can find you anywhere, at any time and everyone is vulnerable. We blindly look to technology, believing its efficient and all we need to protect us, but as much as that is true, the equivalent [if not more] works in favour of the same threats we need protection from.
Crime evolves with technology. It equips criminals with better, more efficient tools and creative ways to carry out their crimes. No surprise there!

We no longer have the luxury of concerning ourselves with just home and body safety – there is a big dark cyber world out there, and their attacks are more severe and lasting than any home burglary. And with today’s social media obsession, who’s really to blame? We put ourselves out there, documenting every detail of our lives for anyone and everyone to see, risking personal information/details that you think is safe, but easily accessible to those who know where and what to look for!

Fact: South Africans spend an average of 8 hours online per day, a third of which is on social media.

Point: Protecting yourself online is important, more than you might think.

One of the many threats out there is Identity Theft.

It is real and serious and it’s an ever growing and terrifying danger that you have to protect yourself from.

It is easy to laugh off and think, this will never happen to me, but just one wrong click on the internet, or 1 fake telesales call where you are distracted and divulge some personal info you should not have and WHAM – that comfortable ‘I would never be so stupid’ rug is swept from under your feet and before you even comprehend what just happened, it’s gone… its all gone – your life, your money, your credit, your Identity!

Ever lose your wallet, or had it stolen? I have.
It’s a massive pain and so inconvenient and time-consuming, having to run around and cancel cards, get new cards, replace your ID or Drivers license [which means hours at home affairs] and of course, let’s not forget – buying a new wallet!.

Now, think what its like when your whole life is stolen, your identity – which is all you have that is actually yours, something that no one is supposed to ever be able to take from you – but they do, they have, and they will continue to do so – and anyone can be next.

Losing a wallet or having it stolen is unpleasant, disruptive and inconvenient.
Having your personal info/identity stolen/hacked is, without measure, WAY worse

So today I am sharing 5 Basic security tips [thats not as basic as it sounds because so many don’t think of it] to protect you from Identity theft:

1. Keep your Tax Info, Bank Statements, and financial docs in a secure place.

2. NEVER EVER give anyone your ID number or any other personal information unless you initiated the contact or you are sure that you know who you are dealing with

3. Your cellphone is not safe! NEVER EVER save sensitive information such as ID Numbers, Bank Login Details or PINS etc on your mobile.
Fingerprint and password-protected phones are never full proof – there’s always a way around it to unlock the phone.
If your phone is stolen with sensitive information stored on it, you have literally handed your identity to criminals all wrapped up with a pretty bow on top – to do with as they see [pro]fit!

4. Tighten up on your social networking security settings. It is known that Criminals can make use of the information obtained on social media platforms,
And do not ever respond to emails that provide you with a website link which requires you to either log in with a password, or update personal information

5. Protect your computer/phone/laptop from hackers by keeping your software up to date, install security apps and keep them up to date to help keep your devices more resilient against automated hacking tools.
Create complex Passwords on everything, and change them regularly. And do not save said passwords anywhere on any of your devices either!

It can never be emphasized enough: Always Protect your Personal and Financial Information.

 

Sources:
Businesstech
SARS
Kaspersky
CreativeBloq
Locklatch
TomsGuide


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About Jackie Van Zyl

My epic journey at Leads 2 Business started September 2008, as a Researcher / Data Capturer in the Tenders Africa Department. I joined Customer Relations in 2011, where I have had the great pleasure of being part of the Dynamic L2B Admin Department [From 2011 to present]. I deal with the Registration and Administration details of New Account Activations, and Existing Account Upgrades, etc. I also assist with client & staff queries. I’m a ‘think-out-of-the-box’ individual and an excellent problem solver. I am hardworking, meticulous, efficient, friendly and always happy to help! I look forward in assisting you with any queries you might have

5 Tips to avoid Epic Fencing Failures

posted in: General 0

When it comes to fencing there are so many different options to choose from nowadays, picket, synthetic, chain link, wooden, just to name a few – how do you choose and where do you start?

Here are my 5 tips to (hopefully) assist in making your decision easier.

1. Choose a style you actually like looking at. It sounds a bit dense, however if you think carefully – your fence is the first thing someone sees when arriving to your property/ office. Fences are often something that is overlooked, because it is seen as a basic security measure, which of course is true however it could also be used to upscale the look of your property/ office.

2. Continually maintain your fence. Without a doubt you want your fence to look the best it can – without paint fading or chipping, or iron rusting, you want to keep your fence clean and you don’t want your wood to rot. However, this isn’t really only for your own benefit – if your fence becomes an eyesore, your surrounding neighbours will also be affected. It could even affect their property value. Which is why it makes sense to only get a fence that you are able and can afford to maintain and keep looking great. If a wooden fence is too much maintenance, you could consider something like the chain link or low maintenance material like vinyl or aluminium. A good tip is also to get a darker coloured fence, as it doesn’t show dirt as much as a lighter coloured fence would, it also won’t need to be cleaned as often.

3. Do your research on the contractor before installation. In doing some research for this article, you would be surprised how many articles I had come across about people who didn’t do proper research on the companies they have selected for the installation of their fences, and in turn ended up with disastrous results. It is important to know their skills and history – previous experiences will give you an idea on what to expect for your final results.

4.  Define your property lines beforehand. Again, this might sound obvious, however statistically this is one of the biggest mistakes made when fences are put up – overlapping onto neighbouring properties. If you don’t have the deed for your property, it is always obtainable from the deeds office after filling out a few forms. If you have the deed to your property, you are able to seek assistance from a surveyor who would be able to place stakes along the boundary and give you more of an idea as to where your fence could be positioned. It is also important to keep in mind that there are laws in place when it comes to the height of fences as well as how far a fence needs to be from a road.

5. Unless you’re Noah II, DO NOT DIY. It’s easy to underestimate the time and skill it takes to build and install your “perfect” fence. There’s no doubt you would be saving money on installation and labour costs if you do it yourself, however consider how long it would take for you to do all of this without any help – the biggest factor to take into consideration is the end result, will it really look as good as it would have if you had just gone with a professional. After all, they are the specialists for a reason.

Sources:
HiPages


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About Daniella Hockey

I joined Leads 2 Business in the beginning of 2019, and love working as a sales executive, based in the JHB branch.

16 Office Etiquette Rules

posted in: General 0

 

As we spend more hours at the office, than we do at home, we all want to work in a pleasant, friendly and comfortable environment, no-one should feel uneasy in their work environment.

 

Let’s take a look at a few Etiquette rules to make your work experience more enjoyable:

 

  • Be on time – do your utmost to get to the office on time, if you are going to be late due to car troubles, traffic congestions, etc. be sure to notify your superior.
  • If you are sick stay at home – no-one else wants to get your illness, so keep your germs to yourself and stay at home until you are fully recovered. And let’s be honest how productive are you really going be.
  • Dress Appropriately – Even if the office has a casual dress code, leave the beach wear and PJ’s for just that! Follow the office guidelines in terms of hemlines and necklines, to avoid embarrassing clothing mishaps.
  • Be Respectful of others Space – No-one likes to have people invade their personal bubble, so be mindful of your colleague’s space too! Don’t help yourself to their stationery or refreshments either, always ask first.
  • Telephone Etiquette – Don’t speak loudly in an open plan office, especially private calls, no one else needs to or wants to hear your business. Leave the office and take your call outside.
  • Mute your cell phone – Ringing cell phones and message alerts are very distracting for those around you, so always be mindful of this.
  • Email courtesy – Don’t reply all unless requested to do so, most of us don’t have time or the desire to read through these mails! Secondly, always watch your tone in your emails, as it is often hard to read, be aware of how you are saying it, to avoid upsetting the recipient.
  • Watch your social Media posts – know that nothing is private nowadays! If you are going to rant about your boss or colleagues don’t use this platform and secondly if you don’t want everyone to know your private business don’t splash it all over social media.
  • Watch your body language – we all have bad days, so if you are feeling frustrated or angry be aware of what your body language is telling your colleagues, if you are not in a good space take a walk.
  • Cleanliness – Keep your workspace clean, and always clean up after yourself in the kitchen. No one else wants to be cleaning up your mess. It is just common courtesy.
  • Be aware of strong smells – Avoid wearing strong perfumes as not all of us are partial to it and it can often trigger allergies for some. Lunch boxes too, can stink out an office be aware of what you are heating up as cauliflower, brussel sprouts and eggs can be quite pungent.
  • Table Manners – although you may not be at your grandmother’s dining room table, it is still not appropriate to eat badly at your workplace. No-one likes to hear loud crunching or be exposed to talking with food in your mouth, slurping or “chops slapping”.
  • Mind your manners – just because you are not at home, does not mean you lose your manners. Please and thank you go a long way regardless of where you are.
  • Be Considerate – in all that you do in the office, treat others with respect and they will offer you the same respect. If you feel someone has stepped over the boundary, take them one side and gently inform them of this. Sort it out promptly to avoid issues later on.
  • Practice Tolerance – in a workplace environment, there are people from all walks of life with their own traditions and cultures, personalities and different styles. Be mindful of this and tolerate the differences.
  • Last but not least – Don’t gossip – you do not like to be the talk of the town and neither do your colleagues. If you can’t say it to them then rather don’t say it.

I hope the above factors will come in handy in making your work day experience a happy and productive one!

 

 

Sources:
Entrepreneur


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About Debora Keet

I started working for Leads 2 Business in January 2006 as a Private Projects Researcher and have been in the Administration and Human Resources department since October 2008 until present.

Amazing Examples of Office Style Inspiration

posted in: General 2

Amazing Examples of Office Style Inspiration

We all know that we are spending more and more time in the workplace. On average, we spend about 80% of our time in the office.

If we are going to spend such a huge amount of our time in the workplace we might as well be in comfort and style right? Yes, I said it, Style. Who doesn’t like Style? We all like to look good and dress the part especially when we step out. So, why not bring some style into our work environment.

Today, I am going to be chatting with you about the Amazing Examples of Office Styles.

What are we waiting for? Lets get right into it.

We know that an Office is a place where a number of employees come together to perform functions to meet the desired result of the organisation.

Lets take a look at the different types of Office Space, shall we?

The first one we will look at is called, Traditional Office Space: This type of office style offers more of a quiet/intimate space and is mostly used among law firms and consulting rooms. The features of a Traditional Office include the reception, boardroom and private offices.

The next type of office style is Creative Office Style and this is commonly associated with Open Plan offices and that is what we are going to be taking a closer look at. So, what is an Open Plan Office you may ask?

Well, the name pretty much sums it up. Open Plan buildings, offices or rooms have no internal walls dividing it into smaller areas. Modern day office styles are all about Open plans and open spaces.

Now, let have a look at the different types of Open Plan Office Styles. We are going to take a peek at the following Four types:

The first one is called One Large, Open Space and this style is suitable for small and quiet offices where individuals work side by side at adjoining stations. This type of office plan has a free and collaborative feel to it.

The next Style is called Cubicle and this is the most common type of office plans and this is because the work stations are set up as cubicles. This type definitely provides the highest level of privacy outside of a closed office.

Now, we are going to take a look at Half Partitions, yes, well this office plan allows the employees to see and speak over the space divider. If you prefer an office that works in teams then this office style is ideal for that.

The last type of Office Plan is called Team Enclosures and this office is great for work corporations where creative thinking is necessary and brainstorming and regular discussions are part of the daily requirements. Rather than waiting for a scheduled formal meeting or booking a meeting room, Team Enclosures are suitable for employees who need to communicate constantly and effectively.

So what conclusions can we draw from Open Plan Offices besides the immaculate styles and how cosy they can be? Yes, I know style does cost money but not as much as you would think.

Open Plan Offices are becoming the norm in modern day organizations because it can actually benefit the company economically. Yes, you heard right; you can save on money with these types of offices. Think about, with fewer walls to build, the cost tied to construction is reduced as it requires less time and materials to create the intended office space. And with the price of everything increasing these days, who’s not looking to cut down on costs right, or even save?

As a result of having a single workspace, companies can save since communal spaces use shared office equipment like printers, multi-purpose machines and filing cabinets. Let’s not forget that with staff members being in a shared environment, stationary and other materials are most likely to be shared amongst staff.

We all need our jobs and having one these days is absolutely necessary. We need to make a living but how about genuinely enjoying our jobs? I’m talking about having a love for what you do to the point where you’re not dragging your feet to work the next day. A work environment that not only looks good but creates a great impression where you connect with your colleagues. It starts with you and me, lets be a little bit more approachable and yes, a smile definitely does go along way.

Sources:

Squarefoot.com
Collins Dictionary
Commercial News
SMB Nation

 


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About Lauren Davids

I am a Content Researcher for the Western Cape Region in the Tenders South Africa Department.

5 Best Ways To Landscape Around Office Buildings

posted in: General 0

5 Best Ways To Landscape Around Office Buildings

 

  1. Welcoming Front Entrance

A vibrant, welcoming front entrance sets the stage for your office’s whole environment. Your office building’s main entrance is everybody’s front door. It should be warm, inviting, welcoming. A poorly maintained, grey exterior won’t be as appealing as a flower-filled, well maintained, inviting one.

The entrance is the first place people are going to see when they come to your building and therefore can improve your company’s image and make employee’s feel proud of the place they go to work every day


Some ideas for Office Building Front Entrances:

  • Planting Beds – Attractive planting beds are great for main entrances, around signage and any place you want to enhance visibility however should be low-growing varieties so they don’t block your signage and that the varieties you plant are suited to the environment around your entrance. Don’t underestimate the power of fresh plants, colourful flowers, rich mulch and a nice crisp edge.
  • Colourful Container Plantings – It’s amazing what a beautiful plant can do to catch your attention, especially when in a unique container that increases your entrance’s “wow” factor. There’s a wide array of styles that can either match a building’s style or colour or stand out to make a statement. Of course, what you put in the container matters too. You can also choose one substantial plant like a small tree or topiary; just make sure it’s always perfectly trimmed.
  • Walkways – If your office building has old cracked concrete walkways, they’re not only unsightly, they’re a dangerous trip hazard. Consider replacing portions or entire stretches of walkways with pavers that can help break up the industrial look of a long stretch of concrete. Whether your staff and clients arrive at the front door on foot or by wheelchair, maintaining the walkway is paramount. Of course, you want to make sure your visitors don’t hurt themselves and that the walkway is attractive, but it’s also a liability issue.
  • Driveway – Your property may have a traditional parking lot, or it may have a driveway very close to the entrance. Perhaps your building’s main entrance is on a cul-de-sac, with a drop-off area in front. To make the entrance more dramatic, consider using an island in the middle of the driveway as a palette, painting a picture with landscaping. Vary the landscaping height with tall and medium-size trees, and shorter shrubs as well as flower beds. Palm trees fit with the region but also don’t block the building’s view. Flowering shrubs add unexpected colour at different times of the year, while flowers complete the look at the base.
  • Signage – Every company wants their signage to be prominent and visible. Emphasise signage by planting flowers and other interesting plants around it. This will automatically draw the eye towards the signs and make them stand out more. Just make sure you keep everything trimmed so the plants don’t obscure writing on signs. Colourful flowers, interesting grasses, bright spring bulbs all attract attention.
  1. Seasonal Color Rotation

People notice colour. And what offers spectacular colour better than flowers? Change your colourful flowers with the seasons and you offer intrigue year-round. Summer colour is a given – but don’t forget the other seasons. The great thing about flowers and plants is there’s a host of choices for every season.

Interesting plants and colourful flowers make a huge impact at main entrances, around signage and any place you want to draw attention.

Different plants look good at different times of the year. When planning which plants to use, think about how the landscaping will look all year round. You don’t want it to just look great in summer – the best landscaping is appealing at any time of year.

  1. Outdoor Seating/Common Area

Create a space your employees will love. Boost worker morale by offering a peaceful, beautiful outdoor sanctuary area where employees can enjoy lunch, eat a sandwich, read a book, chat with colleagues or even hold an outdoor meeting. Outdoor meetings are increasingly common, and this kind of gathering spot is perfect for fresh-air brainstorming.

Seating can be simple picnic tables, stone benches or heavy outdoor furniture. Built-in sitting walls are great incorporated into a patio. Everybody appreciates privacy and shade so, therefore, don’t forget trees for shade and flowers for colour and interest. Consider fragrant plants and flowering shrubs to offer a bit of pleasant scent in the air, this makes it a great place to escape and recharge in nature. Consider creating different spaces for socialising and quiet reflection to give people options when they are outside.

Providing wireless Internet at outdoor sitting and picnic areas can also expand the workspace, taking employees from their desks to the outdoors for work, as well as rest.

  1. Water Features

Waterfalls and fountains are both great options, whether to attract passersby to an entrance, as water features always impress visitors, or incorporated into a common area for employees to enjoy.

Water features can be incredibly attractive and appealing and they add a nice feel to any outdoor landscape. The sound of running water is soothing and can be a great stress reliever for office employees. It relaxes and soothes away the stress of a busy work day and offers a bit of tranquillity in a hectic world.

Even a simple fountain near the front door, in a courtyard or placed in your common area for employees to enjoy makes a big and memorable impact.

  1. Don’t Forget To Freshen Up

Landscaping can look a little boring after a few years of no change. Take a look around. Have you been staring at that same row of shrubs for years? Keep things looking updated and contemporary with new flowers and grasses. A fresh layer of mulch each year does wonders to keep beds looking tidy and well-tended. And, as it breaks down, it enriches your soil. Modern landscapes typically incorporate native plants and a lot of grasses that create movement.

To keep your landscaping looking its best you’ll want to update it regularly and keep it maintained as an overgrown outside landscape won’t reflect well on your building and could be a deterrent for potential clients.

Helpful hints to Freshen up

  • Identify key visual areas – Focus on highly visible areas as a good place to start for maximum visual impact. Working in smaller areas also enables you to better manage the tasks at hand and not get overwhelmed by working on the entire area at once.

  • Take inventory – Look long and hard at each and every component of your landscape and evaluate it objectively. Keep features and plants that still look good and serve a purpose and lose the stuff that doesn’t.
  • Focus on impact – In a commercial landscape, bigger is usually better. Large elements such as commercial parking areas, retaining walls, and other features demand bigger, more colourful plants. The impact is all about size, colour, and diversity in plantings.
  • Focus on long-term maintenance – Carefully choose plants and features to fit the environment and its conditions. Plants that don’t adapt easily to their surroundings will cost a lot more, in the long run, to maintain or replace.
  • Focus on people – Commercial landscapes and people interact in many different ways and so it’s important to design and plant with people in mind: how will different areas look from different perspectives? What will people see when they first drive into the parking lot, walk on the sidewalk, and look out windows?

The challenge is to create a landscaped environment that is beautiful and appealing in its form while offering functionality and a solid return-on-investment.

 

 

Sources:
OutbackLandscapeInc
TheGardenContinuum
LevelGreenLandscaping
GreenearthLandscapes
Pixabay
enhance services

 


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About Liesel Du Preez

My journey with Leads 2 Business started in August 2005 in the Africa Tender Department, where I researched and uploaded Africa Tender Notifications. Once the Africa Tender Department had grown I was then promoted to Customer Relations in the IT Department in January of 2010, assisting subscribers and staff with any problems they may encounter or with any queries they may have.

10 Ways to make your Office more Efficient

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1. Don’t be afraid to delegate

You are losing money and precious time each day the files pile on top of your desk. Be sure to clearly define goals and objectives to your employees. Educate your employees on your expectations. Give responsibilities to qualified employees, and trust that they will perform the tasks well. This gives your employees the opportunity to gain skills and leadership experience that will ultimately benefit your company.

2. Match tasks to skills

Knowing your employees’ skills and behavioural styles is essential for maximizing efficiency. Asking your employees to be great at everything just isn’t efficient, instead, before giving an employee an assignment, ask yourself, is this the person best suited to perform this task? If not, find someone else whose skills and styles matches your needs.

3.Communicate effectively

Every manager knows that communication is the key to a productive workforce. An age-old aphorism goes, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Good communication is what separates a poor leader from an exceptional one. When you communicate well with your team it helps eliminate misunderstandings and can encourage a healthy and peaceful work environment. Some examples of communicating effectively would be communication via training; having open meetings; listen to your team members; use visuals like presentations; display confidence and seriousness; act out your message; be humorous; encourage feedback and be appreciative.

4.Keep goals clear and focused

Everyone and every business needs goals. Make sure yours are S-M-A-R-T ones…

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time-based

Monitor and measure your progress by conducting quarterly reviews. This will help to keep your team on target and working together. Be flexible and open to adapting to the situation as some goals will no longer be relevant or achievable. Try to keep them realistic and reasonable.

5. Incentivize employees

Most people agree that receiving money is a good incentive to work harder and stay motivated. There are however people who prefer to be recognized in a different way. It costs nothing but goes a long way with employees to hear how well they are doing. Practice boosting morale with words of encouragement and by catching people doing things right. Another way that won’t cost the earth is a brag board. Mention the employee’s good work in a place where everyone can see it. Printing certificates of achievements that the employee can put on their desk, in their office or cubicle. Throwing a staff lunch

6. Cut out unhealthy stress

Studies show that excess stress can cause real physical symptoms like headaches, upset stomach, increased blood pressure, chest pain and trouble sleeping. Not to mention mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Of course, not all stress is created equal. A certain amount of healthy stress in the workplace is actually a good thing. Here are a few points on how to relieve unhealthy stress at work: Form positive relationships; start exercising; eat healthy nutritious foods; get enough sleep; prioritize and organize, and kick bad habits.

7. Train and develop employees

Employees are a company’s biggest asset and investing in talent is vital to sustainable business growth and success. Boredom in the workplace can create feelings of dissatisfaction and negative working habits. Regular development initiatives can prevent workplace idleness. Having frequent training will also establish regular re-evaluation of employees, skills and processes.

8. Give each other feedback

Employees and managers the world over dread the ritual of performance reviews. We save up our comments and document all the things we note about a person’s performance and then, like a big cat ready to pounce, the manager calls in the hapless employee to spring a year’s worth of “constructive criticism” onto him or her. When done the right way with the right intentions, feedback can lead to outstanding performance. Employees have to know what they are doing well and not so well, carefully and frequently. When done the right way with the right intentions, feedback can lead to outstanding performance.

9. Think Big picture

Looking at the BIG picture involves trying to see the entire scope of a task. This can be a tactical way to obtain a full sense or understanding of things. Sometimes the big picture can seem overwhelming so by breaking it down you avoid worry, procrastination or even disengaging completely from the task. Ways to help would be to block your time by using a calendar or create an itinerary. Consider a realistic and thorough overview of the situation. Think positively about the path you’ll have to take to get there and be confident. Figure out skills you can use or need to develop. The sooner you begin to identify what skills you need the sooner you’ll gain forward momentum.

10. Ethics & Honesty

An article in Forbes states: “Companies find that ethical business practices increase their competitiveness in their respective industries, helping to further substantiate the notion that a culture of ethics is crucial to sustainable excellence.” Sometimes the moral fibre of society and the blind ambition of some leaders will not even consider the two most important traits essential to making a decision: honesty and ethics. Honesty builds trust, one of the most critical elements of solid leadership. It is displayed and built on personal behaviour, the quality of decisions and open and honest communication.

 

Sources:
Forbes
CourseHero
Smallbiztrends
TheHartford
Kazoohr
Snacknation
Getsmarter
MindTools
Creativitypost
Bizjournals

 


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About Helga Venter

My name is Helga Venter. I started with the company in 2004 and was promoted to Financial Director in 2007.

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