ATTENTION! HOW BUSINESSES CAN COMBAT THE 9-SECOND ATTENTION SPAN

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Shocking though it may sound, our average attention span is down to just 9 seconds. That’s according to Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate: Your Seven Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation.

Compared to 100 years ago, when it was closer to 20 minutes, it would seem we all have forgotten how to focus.

9 seconds… really?

Generally, people will give you 9 seconds of attention when it comes to facts and figures, but according to Yamini Naidu, author of Power Play, engaging with emotions gives you a much wider window.

How can businesses engage emotions to motivate employees?

  • Business storytelling

According to Naidu, business storytelling is storytelling for a purpose, and for results. The art of business storytelling allows leaders to create a connection with their clients, teams and stakeholders.

“I think spreadsheets and data can help leaders create a context for change. But story power can succeed in engaging the emotions of people we are seeking to influence,” Naidu told L&D Professional.

“Storytelling is a simple, yet powerful way to engage people better. Leaders can use personal and everyday stories to impact people, create a mandate for change and connect with stakeholders to really transform business outcomes.”

  • Encourage breaks

People need breaks, whether it’s a walk to the kitchen to stretch their legs or simply flicking onto a non-work related browser tab for a few minutes. Time-wasting happens when a person poorly judges their work-break ratio.

Encouraging positive feelings about work can also improve employee engagement. Rather than giving staff a single long break, why not encourage staff to take shorter breaks when they need them to encourage productivity on ‘work time’?

  • Create a unique office environment

If boredom is a large factor in short attention spans, then steer your office environment away from the dimly-lit cubicles and uninspiring layouts most people think of as ‘office life’.

Offering interactive meeting spaces and opportunities to engage with your surroundings means staff may be more likely to listen when it comes to a task which requires maximum focus.

ATTENTION! HOW BUSINESSES CAN COMBAT THE 9-SECOND ATTENTION SPAN

SLOW INTERNET HOLDING YOU BACK? HERE ARE 3 THINGS THAT MIGHT HELP

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We’re spoiled by the phenomenal speeds the internet can now provide, except rural businesses who are twice as likely to have bad broadband than their urban counterparts, according to research by the British Chambers of Commerce.While your location may have a bearing, there are other factors which can put your connective capabilities on the back foot. Here we list three of them and show you how to address them.

While your location may have a bearing, there are other factors which can put your connective capabilities on the back foot. Here we list three of them and show you how to address them.

Actual speed
Websites including SPEEDOF.ME and TestMy.net allow you to test the speed of your connectivity to make sure you’re getting the service you’ve actually been promised by your provider. Test this at different times of the day throughout the week to get an average.

If it’s wildly off what you’re supposed to be getting, then it’s time to assess your internet package. You could check to see if there are any downtime issues in your area by speaking to your provider or switch altogether.

A different package or fibre optic connection may make a world of difference, and most big internet providers have this option.

Updates
As irksome as constant messages to upgrade can be, ignoring them may be the source of your slow browsing. Out of sight, wireless routers can be easy to forget, but they have regular firmware updates and often all it takes to bring them up to par is a few simple steps. Internet browsers often prompt an update, otherwise, do this themselves every few days. Wi-fi enabled devices that are lagging behind can also slow down when denied the latest revisions.

Reception
Routers placed near competing frequencies can have an impact on its effectiveness. If this sounds familiar, try moving your router to a more open space, rather than hiding it behind the TV unit. If the problem is that you lose connection the further away you are, then a signal booster could help you stay connected throughout the house and beyond.
New routers offer vast improvements on reception, so buying a new one is another option.
If you’re using your wi-fi in your home office, be mindful that loss of connection can severely impact your business. Get in touch with InsureEasy to find out about how Business Insurance for home office work can feature business interruption insurance

SLOW INTERNET HOLDING YOU BACK? HERE ARE 3 THINGS THAT MIGHT HELP

DON’T FORGET TO BLINK – AND OTHER TIPS FOR SAVING YOUR EYES FROM THE SCREEN

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The average UK adult spends 9.5 hours a day looking at a screen, whether that’s at a desktop computer at work, or flicking onto Facebook during TV adverts.
Our time spent on handheld devices alone meanwhile, has increased by nearly 400% in usage time over the four years, or 90% year on year, and our eyes certainly don’t thank us for it.
In fact, they can start to feel the strain even after just two hours in front of the screen – not hard when many of us rely on our computers to do our job, and rely on our smartphones for almost everything else.

There are plenty of websites, ironically, which advocate logging off and tuning out for the sake of our sanity, but with eye strain and computer vision syndrome causing headaches and blurred vision, excessive screen-time is clearly a body-wide issue.

Here are some tips to give your eyes a break when averting your gaze from the glare is not an option.

Blink
It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget to blink when you’re deeply focused. Blinking stops our eyes from becoming dried and irritated. If you often forget, it might be worth getting some eye drops, so you can at least relieve tired eyes if you’ve been staring too hard and too long at the screen.

Adjust
A slightly too bright a screen or small text is only going to exacerbate the issue, but both these problems can be easily remedied with settings on a modern computer or device.

Have a stretch
Just like your legs stiffen up after a long car journey, so your eyes do when you spend too much time looking at your screen. After 20 minutes of looking at a screen, try looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, to allow the muscles in your eyes to stretch. That was, you won’t get the same lapse in adjustment when you do finally tear yourself away from the screen and back into the real world.

DON’T FORGET TO BLINK – AND OTHER TIPS FOR SAVING YOUR EYES FROM THE SCREEN

A BRIEF HISTORY OF INSURANCE

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For most of us, insurance is a necessary facet of everyday life – as well as forming a large portion of the economic world we live in.

The UK insurance market is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world, and according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) it employs around 314,000 people.

But how did it become so important? Insurance hasn’t always been the regulated market it is today….

  • Circa 1750 BC

Ancient Babylon
In what is now Iraq, the Code of Hammurabi set out ancient Babylonian laws including on the topic of “bottomry” – a maritime insurance loan. A merchant would borrow money to fund his shipment, and could pay an extra sum to guarantee that the loan did not have to be repaid if the ship sank.

Ancient China
Around the same time, Chinese merchants had started mixing their goods between vessels, so if one sank on its treacherous river journey it would not wipe out a single merchant’s stock.

  • Circa 600BC

Greeks and Romans
Rather than moving goods around, it was the Romans who first structured insurance as a financial contract a few thousand years later. The ancient Greeks and Romans both introduced the origins of health and life insurance with the creation of guilds or “benevolent societies” to care for the families of deceased members.

  • 14th Century

Genoa
Insurance contracts as a separate entity, i.e. not bundled in with loans or other contracts, were invented in Genoa in the 14th century. The oldest known insurance contract dates from here in 1347.

  • Early 16th Century

Alpine Farmers
In the early 16th Century, farmers in the Alps organised mutual aid societies, agreeing to look after each other if livestock or family members fell ill. This system views risk as something to be shared, as opposed to something to be traded on.

  • 17th Century

London
In 1687, Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house on Tower Street, near the London docks. The shop became known as a hotspot for gossip, on topics including the plague, the Great Fire of London, and the ships sailing in and out, and what they carried.

Gamblers placed bets on whether they would arrive safely or not.

Edward Lloyd began to assemble a network of reporters and informers, and create a newsletter full of information about port comings and goings known as “Lloyds List”.

If someone wished to insure a ship, insurers in the coffee shop would draw up a contract and sign his name underneath – hence the term “underwriter”.

  • Key events 

Destroying more than 13,000 houses, the Great Fire of London in 1666 had catapulted property insurance into the limelight as a matter of urgency. Sir Christopher Wren included a site for “the Insurance Office” when rebuilding London after the disaster.

In the late 19th century, accident insurance was invented. Operating much like life insurance today, the Railway Passengers Assurance Company was formed in 1848 in England to insure against the rising number of fatalities on the railway system.

  • Today

80 years after Edward Lloyd established his coffee house, a group of underwriters who hung out there formed the Society of Lloyd’s. Today Lloyd’s of London is one of the most famous names in insurance.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF INSURANCE

All YOU NEED TO KNOW REGARDING 12% INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX

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Amid reports that car insurance premiums have seen an 8% increase in six months, the new rate of insurance premium tax is only weeks away from coming into force.

On the 1st June, the new figure of 12% is estimated to add £51 to the average household’s bills, with an increase on car insurance of £15 a year, according to research from Mirror Money.

However, the government insists that when offset with a crackdown on whiplash claims and a freeze in fuel duty, drivers may see a decrease in their motoring outgoings, despite the change in IPT.

 

IPT – when it will affect you

Policies arranged after 1st June
Unlike previous increases – of which there have already been two in recent times – there will be no concessionary period, meaning new policies and renewals arranged after the 1st June will automatically come with the higher 12% rate. The rate will also apply to any mid-term adjustments, which may be pertinent to businesses which have seen a change in circumstances, such as an expansion or relocation.


Policies arranged after 1st June
It won’t apply, however, to policies arranged or renewed before the 1st June. Any mid-term adjustments or cancellations will also follow the same rate as that which the policy was arranged with – so 10% if it was purchased before 1st June.

If you’re unsure as to what level of IPT will apply to your policy and how much this will amount to, speak to us at InsureEasy and we’ll be happy to help.

Contact us on 01737377250 or visit http://www.insureeasy.co.uk for all of your insurance needs.

 

All YOU NEED TO KNOW REGARDING 12% INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX

DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE NEW SPEEDING PENALTIES?

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The HM Treasury will soon be receiving more on top of the £45million it scooped in a four-year period, courtesy of the mistakes of others on the road.

Over 100,000 speeding fines are issued every year, and a recent magistrate review will now see the worst offenders having to pay 50% more.

Those caught using their mobile phones while driving are already affected by changes which came in on 1st March. The penalty has doubled both with regards to money and points, to £200 and six points on your licence.

But as of the 24 April, speeding fines are changing with the three-tier system.

Here’s an example of how it works regarding points:

Speed limit: 20mph
Recorded speed limit: 21 – 30mph
Band: A
Penalty: 3 points

Speed limit: 20mph
Recorded speed limit: 41mph and above
Band: C
Penalty: Disqualification for 7 to 56 days or 6 points

When it comes to fines, matters get more complicated. The minimum speeding ticket penalty currently stands at £100, with a cap on £1000 on dual carriageways. The £2500 cap of motorway speeding will remain the same, but more offenders will see that higher limit enforced.

Those which fall under Band C could expect a fine which is 150% of their weekly income, and a possible 56-day ban. On the other end of the scale, Band A lawbreakers will be asked to pay a fine that equals half their weekly wage, although this could be adjusted in the context of time of day, population density and weather.

If you’re having trouble securing insurance due to unspent driving convictions or points on your licence, get in touch with InsureEasy to see how we can help.

DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE NEW SPEEDING PENALTIES?

WHEN WILL THE LETTING AGENT FEES BAN TAKE EFFECT?

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Much to the relief of private rental property tenants across England, Philip Hammond’s 2016 Autumn Statement referred to a ban on letting agents imposing fees on tenants, “as soon as possible”.

Tenants have reported being hit with fees running into hundreds or even thousands of pounds for services including drawing up tenancy agreements or carrying out reference, credit and immigration checks.

Lettings and managing agents have been legally obliged to clearly publicise their fees since 2015 – although one survey suggests 12% of agents still don’t display their fees.

Letting agency fees to tenants have already been banned in Scotland. So when might this happen in England?

The proposed ban is in its formal consultation stage until 2nd June, allowing for the opinions of property industry experts and consumer groups to have their say. It can then be drafted into law.

According to analysis by the Residential Landlords’ Association, the final law may not be implemented before late in 2018.

David Smith, the association’s policy director, says: “The ban will need primary legislation and so the actual implementation date is not clear but is unlikely to be before late 2018.”

Contact us on 01737377250 or visit http://www.insureeasy.co.uk for all of your insurance needs.
WHEN WILL THE LETTING AGENT FEES BAN TAKE EFFECT?