Consumer Real Estate News

  • Moonlighting Goes Mainstream: 85 Percent of Workers have a Side Gig

    24 May 2017

    The good ol’ days of working 9 to 5 is quickly becoming the stuff of myths, as the vast majority of Americans now hold down more than one job.

    According to a recent Spherion Staffing survey, 85 percent of workers hold at least one side gig, or secondary source of employment, in addition to their primary job. Of that group, more than half (54 percent) hold two or more side gigs, extending their skills across multiple roles and fields of work.

    Not surprisingly, financial incentives are the primary driver behind employees' search for extra work. Among workers holding at least one side gig, a desire to supplement their current income (42 percent) and make money to save for future interests and responsibilities (37 percent) were the most frequently cited reasons for doing so. In particular, more than half (57 percent) of female workers deemed income growth the main inspiration for their side gig activity, far surpassing the volume of male workers (31 percent) who said the same.

    However, for some employees, a side gig generates a return beyond the wallet. Spherion found that many workers engage in side gigs that allow them to try something different or be involved with a hobby or cause of interest, with 26 percent of those interested in picking up a side gig in the next year preferring to do so in a space not at all related to their primary job. Additionally, 45 percent of respondents seeking gigs outside of their main field said they would still take part in a side gig even if it did not generate significant income.

    "The escalating interest in side gigs across the American workforce does not necessarily reflect that workers are unhappy with their job, but rather a desire to pursue new and exciting growth opportunities – be they financial or personal," says Sandy Mazur, Spherion division president. "Given this growth, side gig flexibility must be taken into account as companies refine their recruitment and retention plans. Employers and employees must find a middle ground that gives workers freedom to explore supplemental opportunities without inhibiting productivity or performance."

    While many businesses encourage employees to take part in side gigs, 40 percent have formal policies regarding employees' side gig involvement, namely to avoid possible conflicts of interest and keep them focused on essential work. Employees seem to echo these feelings, with 48 percent expressing concern that their side gig efforts could interfere with their main job responsibilities.

    Spherion uncovered several other noteworthy trends regarding how employers and employees approach the escalating side gig movement:

    - Nearly half (47 percent) of workers say that changing societal norms have set the expectation that at least one side gig is necessary.

    - One-fourth (25 percent) of workers who have never before held a side gig say they are "extremely" or "very" likely to pick one up in the next year, with millennial workers (43 percent) leading the charge.

    - More than half (51 percent) of workers would prefer that their colleagues not discuss their side gigs at the office.

    - A nearly equal number (48 percent) have taken vacation time or time away from their primary job to focus on their side gig.

    - Despite potential mixed responses, many workers still feel comfortable discussing their side gigs with their colleagues (82 percent), manager (74 percent) and other senior leaders (73 percent) at their primary job.

    Source: Spherion Staffing Services

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Rev Your Metabolism for Easier Weight Loss

    24 May 2017

    Metabolism, as described by Women’s Health Magazine editors, is the ‘personal trainer’ inside you that burns calories, turns them into energy, and helps you lose weight more efficiently.

    Staffers recently turned to metabolism experts for tips on revving up a tired metabolism all day in order to boost energy levels and shed stubborn pounds:

    In the morning:
    - Eat breakfast. If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode and metabolism slows to conserve energy. Egg white omelets with veggies or steel cut oats with berries are good choices.
    - Drink caffeinated coffee. It stimulates the central nervous system 16 percent more efficiently than decaf.
    - Drink cold water. End breakfast with a glass of ice-cold water – and drink at least seven more glasses full each day to help keep metabolism at peak.

    At work:
    - Pick protein for lunch
    . Choices like a cup of low-fat cottage cheese, four ounces of water-packed salmon or tuna, or a boneless chicken breast can help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
    - Brew green tea. Consuming two to four cups a day can burn up as many as 50 calories. That translates to about five pounds a year.
    - Undo damage with dairy. Succumbed to French fries at lunch? A calcium-rich afternoon snack, like eight ounces of milk or six ounces of low-fat yogurt helps your body metabolize fat.

    When you food shop:
    - Add heat to your menus. The capsaicin in chili peppers can help fire up metabolism.
    - Go organic. Organic fruits and veggies do not contain pesticides, which can gum up metabolic rates.
    - Boost iron. It carries oxygen to your muscles. Stock up on beans, dark leafy greens, and iron-fortified cereals.

    Toward end of day:
    - Work out. For maximum effect, take it slow but steady, and combine exercise with popping a fish-oil supplement.
    - Curb the alcohol. Just two mixed drinks (or two glasses of wine or beer) can put the brakes on fat-burning by 73 percent as your liver converts alcohol to acetate and uses it – instead of fat stores – as fuel.
    - Hit the sack early. Make sure you get at least eight hours sleep. Researchers at Stanford University found that people who snoozed fewer than 7.5 hours per night experienced an increase in body mass index.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to De-Stress Your Vacation

    24 May 2017

    There’s nothing worse than taking time off to spend with your family, only to drag your work stress along for the ride.

    According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 3 in 5 workers (61 percent) say they are burned out in their current job, and 31 percent report high or extremely high levels of stress at work, yet a third of all workers (33 percent) have not taken or do not plan to take a vacation this year.

    CareerBuilder offers the following tips so you can kick back and relax this vacation--and leave your work woes in the office where they belong.

    Tell everyone you're off: People will think twice about contacting you about the small stuff if they know you're on vacation. So whether you're planning a quiet staycation or a trip halfway around the world, let your manager, colleagues and clients know you'll be off the clock. In addition, set an out-of-office message to let folks know you won't be answering emails or phone calls — or, if you will stay connected, explain in the auto-reply that they shouldn't expect a reply right away.

    Deploy and delegate: To make sure business and client needs are taken care of in your absence, set the auto-reply on your email to provide the names and contact information for the colleagues who are covering for you. Be sure to give those coworkers any important files, project statuses and other pertinent information so they won't have to contact you unless it's an absolute emergency.

    Set aside check-in times: If you can't resist the call of duty — or find it nearly impossible to relax without knowing all is well — consider setting aside some time each day to touch base. Checking in once in the morning and once in the evening may give you peace of mind and permission to stop thinking about work the rest of the day. That way, you can leave your work phone turned off — and not feel bad about it — when you're supposed to be relaxing and having fun.


    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Making Sure Your HVAC is Ready for Action

    23 May 2017

    As temperatures rise, our thermostats get lowered. Make sure your HVAC system is up for the challenge with some simple maintenance checks from Baltimore-based Winstar Home Services.

    Replace your air filters: Air filters work overtime in the winter, so be sure to replace your filters. Dirty air filters make your HVAC system work harder than it needs to. This puts strain on the system, which can cause bigger issues and lead to higher utility bills.

    Check and clear your unit's drainage line: Most HVAC units have a drainage line at the base of the cabinet. In order for the unit to run properly, the hole needs to be clear. To make sure the drainage line works properly, use a paper clip or a wire to ensure the hole is clear of any obstructions.

    Check your ductwork for issues: Your home's ductwork, or ventilation system, can often be the cause of poorly distributed air, which means you're spending more money on cool air that isn't making its way into your house. Check for leaky connections and return vents, damaged or fallen insulation, and ensure your vents (both incoming and outgoing) are not blocked or obstructed by rugs or furnishings.

    Test your unit: Turn on your AC and let in run briefly to see how it performs. If there are any problems, address them right away.

    Make sure you conduct these tests before temperatures hit their peak.

    SOURCE: Winstar Home Services

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • You Really CAN Prevent Forest Fires

    23 May 2017

    The majority of wildfires are actually started by people. One stupid mistake can take out acres and acres, threatening lives, homes, and nature. Whether you are camping, hiking, or just having a barbecue in your backyard, implementing proper fire safety tactics is crucial. Whenever you’re out enjoying nature, take the following suggestions into account to ensure you don’t start a wildfire.

    - For campers, make sure campfires are lit a safe distance from tents or other flammable supplies.

    - Contain campfires by using designated fire pits or use rocks to create a ring around your campfire.

    - To extinguish a campfire, pour water on the fire, and fully drown all the embers.

    - Never use volatile gasses, like gasoline, to start a fire.

    - Avoid burning garbage, treated wood, or yard waste.

    - For smokers, don't discard smoldering cigarette butts – snuff them out and put them in a designated garbage container.


    Published with permission from RISMedia.