Archive for June 2016

How Multipoint Video Conferencing Can Work for Your Business

video conferencing

video conferencingIf your online meetings don?t seem to work, you might be doing something wrong. Not a case of human error? Then it might have something to do with the type of video solution you chose.

Multipoint Over Point-To-Point

Point-to-point refers to connections between two locations, which could mean your conference room in New York to another one in Seattle. Multipoint, on the other hand, allows for many locations to be included in a call. This is where a bridging service comes in, making it possible for different terminals to come on board a single call. As a result, more people can talk and come together in a single instance, which is a huge departure from point-to-point communications that?s sorely and severely limited to only two locations at one time. So if you?re going to choose an online meeting solution, it makes sense to choose multipoint over point-to-point functionality. Here are a few more reasons why:

Fast Information Dissemination

Betanews says it?s made rapid outreach possible. That?s true. One of the best advantages of video or web conferencing is the fact that both allow a lot of people to come together in a single call. That?s only possible through multipoint bridges. Want a town hall with all onsite and offsite teams? It?s simple enough to fit everyone into one call. Looking for a way to discuss the latest revisions to the campaign? The technology allows communication to be rapid and clear. It?s an excellent way for people to discuss all sorts of things about work. It also lets them make quick decisions and get things done.

Better Collaboration

By making group calls possible, the technology also boosts collaboration for onsite and offsite teams even further. It?s probably the number one reason why a lot of startups rely on these solutions. In the past, hiring and managing remote teams was difficult and hardly cost-effective. Companies had to spend a lot of money just to send key members of their management teams to offsite branches, leading to costs that could run to hundreds of thousands a year. But with technology making online meetings possible, companies now have a better way to stay in touch and look after their remote staff.

Enhanced Training

It?s also changed training sessions over the last few years. Companies no longer had to spend an arm and a leg just to bring in training experts to their locations all across the country or beyond. Webinars and online trainings took the place of intensive weeklong trainings. With the help of industry leaders like Blue Jeans, video bridging for IT companies made for better and more cost-effective training solutions.

Deeper Engagement

The best advantage seems to be the effect it has on teams. Face to face contact brings something more intimate to an exchange. You hold greater trust for someone you know by sight than for a name you see on your email mailing list. By encouraging teams to use the technology?from daily hellos to brainstorming sessions?it?s allowed remote teams to experience a deeper bond and improve their engagement with the company. One of the challenges of managing offsite staff is that there are less opportunities to build camaraderie and teamwork, qualities essential to building a strong team. Video meetings provide companies with a way to address and deal with those issues, says B2B Marketing. Offsite and onsite teams don?t just see each other, but they also have plenty of opportunities for friendly interaction, allowing a foundation of trust and positivity to develop.

Employee Retention

Why does this matter? When employees are engaged and feel valued, they?re more likely to stay. When you think about how much companies lose whenever employees jump ship, putting in measures that boost employee satisfaction and happiness at work seems wise and imminently practical. This also leads to another positive result: valued employees are more likely to perform better. Their productivity levels are high because they?re sincerely motivated to give their best, are driven to succeed, and want to work hard. That?s the kind of team that changes a company. That?s the kind of employee that improves a company?s bottom line. It doesn?t even take much more than having regular team meetings or huddle sessions online to make this happen. It doesn?t take much more than reaching out and having casual, every day conversations.

If you?re looking for a way to improve the way you do your business, or if you?re on the lookout for something to enhance teamwork and positivity at the office, it might be worth it to give multipoint video conferencing tools a shot. It may also make your people perform better, encouraging them to invest more of their time, effort, and heart into the work, and, as a result, put more of themselves into the business. Who knows what could change if you changed the way your business worked, if you changed the way you connect to people? It might just turn out to be the human touch your business needs.


Photo courtesy of: Unsplash

4 Simple Ways to Save Money on Moving Costs

moving costs

moving costsMoving is never fun. Sure, the end result ? getting to live in a new house ? is fun, but the process of actually moving all of your stuff from one place to another can be a serious hassle.

Whether you are moving just across town or all the way across the country, you certainly want to do your best to save money during this process. By planning ahead carefully and always keeping your budget in mind, you should be able to complete your move without totally blowing the budget.

Below are?four tips that should help you save big bucks on moving costs.

Don?t Buy Boxes

Yes, you are going to need boxes in order to complete your move, but you most likely will not need to buy them. Many people make the mistake of rushing out to buy a package of boxes when they decide to move, only to learn later that they could have found them for free.

A quick call to several friends or family members is likely to earn you many boxes that your friends and family will be happy to get out of their garage. If you don?t find as many boxes as you need by calling around to people you know, check with local retail stores ? they frequently have boxes just sitting in the back waiting to be thrown out.

Do Everything Yourself

If you are only moving a short distance ? and you have access to a truck ? you may be able to complete the moving process yourself. Even if you can?t move everything yourself, you should work on moving as much of your stuff as possible without the help of a professional mover. National moving companies, while useful, can raise your costs.

It will take a little sweat to handle this challenging job on your own, but you will be glad you did when you check your bank account at the end of the day.

Have a Yard Sale

Before you move, plan a garage or yard sale to get rid of some things that you don?t want anymore. Not only will this save you the time and effort of having to move the items to your new house, it will also help you raise a little bit of money along the way. If you would prefer not to have an actual garage sale in front of your home, you could look into selling items online instead.

Borrow a Truck Instead of Renting

If you don?t own a truck, ask around among friends and family to see if anyone has a truck that you can borrow before you go out to rent one. Of course, it would be nice to at least buy dinner for someone who has allowed you to borrow their truck ? but that is still going to cost far less than a rental. Also, the truck owner may even be willing to help pitch in with the work, allowing you to save even more over the cost of a professional moving team.


Have you used any of these tips to save on moving costs? Can you think of any other ways to save on moving costs?


Photo courtesy of: vikvarga

7 Ways to Save Time and Money on Laundry


laundryLaundry is probably the most dreaded chore of any kid, mom and adult. Personally, I think it’s the worst part of being a grownup, outside of paying bills of course. 😉

We know it has to be done, but why does it seem to be constant? Unfortunately we can?t wear our clothes forever without washing. If you did, you?d start to smell and then the flies would come in. Not a pretty picture.

Even though we all dread that ever growing pile of clothes, there are some ways to save time and money while doing the laundry.

Don’t Wash Clean Clothes

Are your clothes really dirty? Most people over wash their clothes.

We are taught from a young age that if you wear it once it?s dirty so you should put it in the hamper. That might have been the case?when you were little and like to make messes, but we are generally much cleaner as adults.

If you wore that outfit to the office once and didn?t get all sweaty in it, take it off when you get home, put on your lounge wear, fold your outfit and put it away for another day. Wearing your outfit twice before washing will make your clothes last longer and save you time and money on detergent, water, etc.

Wash in Cold Water

Cold water can clean your clothes just as well?as hot water. By using cold water, you save on gas to heat the water. You also don?t use quite as much water as your hot water tank doesn?t have to keep up reheating cold water, thus saving even more money. Plus, some detergents work better with cold water anyway, so be sure to read your detergent label.

Purchase High Efficiency Machines

Your washer and dryer don’t have to be brand new. Mine aren’t, but they are still high efficiency. In fact, upgrading to high efficiency can save you money in the long run if you can find a pair of gently used ones from someone who thinks they have to have the latest and greatest.

High efficiency washers use less water than a?regular washer, saving you money on your water bill, they take less time for a cycle to run. The same goes for the dryer. You can probably sell your old pair and make some money back to help cover the cost of a newer set, or donate or recycle them.

Use Less Detergent

How dirty are your clothes anyway? As mentioned, most of the time your clothes probably aren?t that badly soiled, so you really don?t need to use the full amount suggested on the detergent bottle. Using less detergent means the fewer bottles you need to buy which saves you money. The only reason companies suggest you use that much is so they can sell more detergent.

You should also look for concentrated formulas so you get?more for your money by not?paying for added?water, and again, you don?t have to use as much per load. You can also try making your own detergent if you really want to “go green” and save money.

Air Dry

Hang your clothes to dry. This is easiest during the summer months when the hot wind quickly dries and softens your clothes. If you don?t have a line outside or if you live somewhere you can?t put a line out, an [easyazon_link keywords=”indoor drying rack” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″]indoor drying rack[/easyazon_link] works just as well. No drier running is money kept in your bank account, plus air drying is easier on your clothes too.

Only Run Full Loads

Doing little loads of laundry here and there is an inefficient way to use your washer and dryer. If you can, wait until you have a full load and then wash it. As a single person, this means I usually have to save up my laundry all week and run the washer for one load of dark colors and one load of light colors/whites on the weekend. That way I can save time by washing it, drying it, and folding it all at once.

Pay Attention to Clothing Care Labels

Over washing clothes and shrinking clothes is one of the most expensive things about laundry. If you have to constantly replace your wardrobe because your ruined them by washing clothes improperly, that?s money out of your bank account and down the drain.?If it says hand wash then hand wash.

But to save even more time and money, read the clothing care labels before you buy clothes. I do this so I can avoid buying items that are going to cost me time and money for “dry clean only” or “hand wash only.” I don’t need those high maintenance clothing items in my life and you probably don’t either unless it’s for a very special occasion.


Do you dread doing the laundry? How do you save time and money on this household chore?


Photo courtesy of: RyanMcGuire

5 Precautions You Should Take with Unstable Roommate

unstable roommate

unstable roommateLiving on your own for the first time is a heck of an experience. Getting out from under the watchful eye of mom and dad and living by your own rules feels like the ultimate freedom. That is at least until you live with an unstable roommate who doesn?t quite live by the same rules you do.

Living with someone who doesn?t respect the house rules can be a nightmare. Before you agree to live with a roommate, here are some things to discuss together to make sure it?s the right fit for everyone.

Set Up Visiting Hours

It?s fun to entertain and meet new people, but sometimes that 8 a.m. final is more important than having friends over. If you aren?t able to relax, study or even eat a bowl of cereal in peace because your roommate?s friends partied hard the night before and are sleeping in the living room nursing a hangover, be ready for some serious resentment.

Designate days of the week that friends can come over. This will help to make sure that you are both still getting to socialize and enjoy your downtime.

Chore Chart It Up!

Not everyone has that incessant need to keep things clean and tidy, and that?s okay. But there?s always that one roommate who will leave a passive-aggressive note on the counter about the frying pan you left in the kitchen sink after cooking dinner last night. How can you avoid your roommate?s quiet wrath? Just set up a chore chart. A chore chart will spread out cleaning responsibilities among you and your housemates and make taking out the trash or changing the toilet paper roll seem pretty easy. And guess what? It really is.

Know the ?Language? of the Space

It?s safe to say that if your roommate has their bedroom door closed, they probably don?t want to be disturbed. If their door is open, they?re probably willing to have a chat and hang out. Knowing when and when not to ?bug? your roommate is just good rooming practice.

Pet Parenting 101

If your roommate agreed to let your dog live in the apartment, don?t take advantage. Just because your roommate said you can have a dog, that doesn?t mean you get to ask them to take Fido out out for potty breaks or ask them to ?babysit? on a Saturday night. If you have a pet, you are solely the one responsible for it, that includes any havoc it may wreak on your roommate?s rug or the sliding screen.

Keep an Inventory

Keep track of all of your things. Take pictures of the apartment and furnishings to have a record of their original condition. If you have a roommate who has damaged, destroyed, or even stolen any of your things, you have evidence to support. If you don?t keep a detailed list, good luck on winning any custodial arguments.

One way to help you back up your claims is with renters insurance. The fact of the matter is until you live with a roommate you don?t know what you?ll need to ensure that your peace of mind and personal effects are secure. Renters insurance will provide the stability you need in the crazy situations you and your roommate find yourselves in.

A lot can happen when living with a roommate. For some, we meet our best friend for life, and for others, well?we meet someone we hope to never meet again. By establishing some ground rules and using solid communication, you can turn an uncomfortable living situation into a better one.


Have you ever had an unstable roommate? How did you handle it?


Photo courtesy of: vilandrra

4 Summer Staycation Ideas to Save Money


staycationGoing on vacation is fun ? but it is also expensive. Of course, you already knew that. While everyone would love the opportunity to take their family on a great vacation to somewhere warm and beautiful, that kind of experience doesn?t always fit within the household budget. Faced with the option of either taking a nice trip or staying home and saving the money, many people today are forced to pick the smart (but less exciting) option.

With that said, there are plenty of things that you can do close to home which will allow you to have much of the same kind of fun that you would have while on vacation. Without the travel cost associated with going somewhere far away, you can save money and still make memories with your family. The following list includes four summer staycation ideas for you to consider.

Visit National Parks

There are beautiful National Parks spread out all across the U.S. ? meaning there is likely one within a reasonable drive of your home. If that is the case for you, consider making a day trip out to a National Park to enjoy the incredible nature that has been preserved within.

You will have to pay a small fee to enter the park, but that fee will pale in comparison to what you would spend on a traditional vacation. In fact, if you are going to visit more than one park during the summer, you may wish to consider a season pass in order to save money.

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

Depending on where you live, there are likely a number of tourist attractions in the biggest city near you ? and you probably have never bothered to visit them yourself. Put together a list of nearby tourist attractions and spend a day or two doing all the things that people do when they visit your area. As part of the experience, be sure to try out new restaurants that you normally wouldn?t visit in your day to day life.

Check Out an Amusement Park

Do you have an amusement park near your home? If so, take a day to visit the park with your kids to pretend like you are on an out of town vacation. This is probably not something you do on a regular basis, so it will feel like a vacation and the kids will have a great time. You will obviously need to pay for admission to the park, but without the hotel and travel costs you are still going to save nicely.

Enjoy Your Home!

Most people are so busy with day to day life that they never get a chance to enjoy their own homes. While it might not sound that exciting at first, you may be surprised to find how much fun you can have sleeping in, playing in your own yard, and just relaxing with your family. You don?t always have to be on the move to have a good time, and staying home won?t cost you anything!


Can you think of any other fun staycation ideas? Do you like the idea of a staycation as a way to save money?


Photo courtesy of: Wokandapix