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Why Taking that Vacation Can Lead to a Better Workplace Do you love your vacations? Are they relaxing, fun and entertaining? There are many reasons why a vacation can enrich your life and fulfill you with joy and happiness. But many of these reasons actually can also be directly translated into reasons for why taking that vacation can lead to a better workplace for you, your boss and other employees. Vacations are as essential to a hard working employee as a parachute to a person jumping from an airplane with the goal to land safely. Many employers would love to minimize the time you are gone from your workplace because they think the more time you spend there, the more work you will accomplish. This argument is right up to a certain amount of hours and days a months or a year, but whenever your body starts to get tired and exhausted, the amount of work that you produce decreases. The quality of your work starts to decline as well. Time off work, time together with your family, time to relax, time to regenerate and time to just plain have fun are very important in an employees life. Taking a vacation has many benefits to the employee, but also to the company you work for. The more relaxed and happy your worker starts a workday or the workweek; the better will most likely be his or her performances at work. Research has shown that relaxation and regeneration are essential to human bodies. Did you know that in some companies in Europe and Asia, the emphasis on relaxation goes so far that meditation, morning sport and a short power nap belong to their required parts of a work day? The United States is actually one of the only industrialized countries that does not mandate a minimum of vacation days that the worker has to take off. In fact, in many countries in Europe, a minimum of 20 and more days is the norm. Since the late 1970s, the average middle income family works in total hours three and more months a year more then they did back then and according to a research done by Boston College, approximately 25% of Americans do not take a vacation at all. After all these facts are slowly emerging from mounts of collected date, some of the bigger American companies have actually begun to realize that off-time and vacation are essential to prevent mishaps and screwed up designs and products. If you are not taking your vacation or your employers does not allow for any vacation, a series of health hazards such as stress and high stress, sleeplessness, burnout, heart attacks and even more serious health conditions can occur. Another big factor in working too much, working overtime or never having vacation can be problems and loss of family and friends. Problems with families and friends will directly impact performance at work and even though the employee might not talk about it at work or might b e holding back his or her feelings, the mood and general behavior of the employee will have an impact ion his work and other employees. Every employee should value the vacation time given to him or her and employers should grant the time asked for to their employees. Vacation is essential to the performance at work and the quality in products the company can deliver. Following the examples that are set by many European countries, the US should give their employees the time they need and also make sure that their employees do take the time off to be a better employee overall. Vacation is fun, relaxing and regenerating.

Four Ways to Create a Better Work Environment and Increase Job Productivity What kind of environment do you think creates the most potential for job productivity – one in which everything is very regimented and the workers perform their work because they are afraid of “getting in trouble,” or one in which the workers are relaxed and allowed a great deal of freedom and flexibility? It is the great working conundrum – to get workers to do more, you have to let them work less. Further, you have to create a work environment in which work is not stressful. In fact, creating an environment in which work is even enjoyable and a pleasure gets the best results of all! If you want to get your employees to improve their job productivity and job performance, forget about cracking the whip. Instead, think about how you can make coming to work appealing for them, so they actually want to get things done for you! The first way to create a better work environment and increase job productivity comes down very much to your attitude and the way you treat your employees. Make sure you create an environment in which your workers can come to you and discuss work related problems they are having with you. The feedback you get from them will enable to make sure the office is working as efficiently as possible. Additionally, it will allow you to stay on top of everything that is happening in the office much easier – instead of employees trying to hide mistakes and problems from you, they will bring them to your attention and work on finding a solution. Above all else, creating a good relationship with your employees will keep the mood in the office positive – no one likes working for someone who doesn’t appreciate them or casts a black cloud over the office. You’ll get more out of your employees if they are happy when they are at work. The next thing you can do is consider “fun” options, like a dress down day once a week or a weekly office lunch get together. These kinds of shared activities increase the team building and the morale among the workers in your office. When everyone feels like he or she is a member of a team, they will be more likely to feel responsible to each other and perform better at their daily tasks. The third idea for creating a better office environment is related to the second, but has more to do with the actual office itself. Open plan offices are believed by experts to increase feelings of belonging and team membership among employees. Try to encourage shared workspaces and a healthy exchange of ideas between your employees at all times. Again, when employees feel like they are part of a team working together for a common goal, they will be more likely to make sure they are holding up their end of the bargain. Last but not least, make sure your employees are well rested and as stress free as possible. Allowing flex time hours in your office is a great way to give employees more control over their time; it gives them time to get rest when they need it or take a day off when they need to recharge. Encourage your employees to disconnect from the office when they are not at work instead of being constantly available, even after hours or when they are on vacation. An employee who actually gets some time off will be more productive when they return to the office. Likewise, make sure that the office has a break room that offers a real respite for employees during the day, and encourage employees to make use of it. Allowing your employees to get they breaks they will increase their ability to deliver for you when they return.

The History of Writing Tools (history of writing tools) Writing tools are essential to written communication. A person is not able to write without the proper writing tools. However, many people don’t realize that writing tools did not just pop into existence; writing tools have a long history. Writing tools have helped societies write their history and bring civilizations to life. The history of writing tools begins with the cave man that invented the sharpened-stone, which was later developed into the first writing tool. Cave men used these instruments to scratch pictures onto the walls of cave dwellings. The drawings were said to represent events in the daily life of the cave men, such as the planting of crops and hunting victories. Clay was later discovered, which made portable records possible, and many merchants of the time used clay token with pictographs to record the quantities of materials being traded and shipped. The Greeks developed the earliest form of pen and paper. They used the writing stylus, which could be made of metal, bone, or ivory, to make marks on wax-coated tablets. The tablets used by the Greeks were made in hinged pairs that were closed to protect the scribe’s notes. Cadmus was a Greek scholar who seemingly invented the written letter, which is a text message on paper sent from one individual to another. The written letter proved to be a major event in the history of writing tools, and was the starting point for the development of ink. “Indian Ink” was developed by the ancient Chinese society, and perfected for writing. The ink was originally designed for blacking the surfaces of raised stone-carved hieroglyphics, but was later used for writing. This early ink was made of a mixture of soot from pine smoke and lamp oil mixed with the gelatin of donkey skin and musk. By the year 1200 B.C. the ink had become common as a writing tool. Inks were also developed by other cultures, who used natural dyes and colors derived from berries, plants, and minerals to create them. The different colors of inks had ritual meanings attached to each color in early writings. In the history of writing tools the development of ink paralleled the introduction of paper. Early cultures such as the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Hebrews used papyrus and parchment paper to write on. Romans invented a reed-pen for parchment and ink, from the hollow tubular-stems of marsh grass and the jointed bamboo plant. The bamboo stems were converted into writing tools that resemble the fountain pen. The plant was cut at one end into the form of a pen point, and ink filled the stem, by squeezing the reed, writers could force the ink from the point and write on parchment paper. The early forms of ink and paper were great developments in the history writing tools, but were often unstable. A stable form of ink was developed in 400 A.D., which was a composite of iron-salts, nutgalls, and gum. The ink was seen as having a bluish-black hue when applied to paper, but quickly becoming a darker black color, and fading after years and appearing as a dull brown color. The Chinese created a wood-fiber paper in 105 A.D., but it was not known to other cultures until 700 A.D. when the Japanese learned the secret. Eventually, the wood-fiber paper was brought to Spain in 711 A.D., but was not widely used in Europe, as most European societies did not use paper until the 14th century. The quill pen is also a major invention in the history of writing tools. The quill pen was introduced to the world in 700 A.D. The pen was made of bird feathers, and the strongest quills were typically taken from live birds from the outer left wing feathers. After the development of the quill pen, plant fiber paper became the popular medium for writing. Then another invention changed the history of writing tools; Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. This invention has led to various other developments in printing and writing tools. Writing tools are essential to writing, and without the development we would not be able to show others our ideas and thoughts.