Get in touch with us today! Call us toll-free at 1.866.754.4111 or email us at [email protected] Close button
Web Design Kitchener Waterloo Guelph Cambridge AODA Development




Blog

We've written some insightful, entertaining articles that span topics from support to design to content management and beyond!




This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Man between two arrows pointing opposite directions

 

The biggest downfall of many small businesses is something that married couples often aren’t properly prepared for: divorce. Divorce is stressful enough on its own, without having to worry about a shared business on top of it.

 

Therefore, couples who manage businesses should have a plan in place in case divorce ever occurs, and if you’re already going through this process and don’t know where to start, consider the tips below.

 

1. Seriously consider a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement

If your business is already in the picture before you’re planning on getting married, investigate a pre-nuptial agreement. If you’re married already, consider a post-nuptial agreement to work out the details of what would happen to your business should you divorce. Consulting a lawyer and having this information clearly laid out in case of a separation is a smart safety net to have.

 

Written agreements signed by yourself, and spouse can help you both avoid unnecessary added struggles and ensure that each party has some secure financial protection in relation to your business should you decide to ever separate.

 

It may seem like an awkward or unneeded conversation to bring up (discussing divorce while you’re married is never comfortable or romantic), but it’s a wise move to make when nothing in the future is ever completely certain–and you don’t want your business to suffer because you didn’t draw up a proper plan that works for both of you.

 

2. Seek legal advice

When in doubt, seek legal advice. Even a free consultation with a family lawyer can help point you in the right direction with the steps you need to take to ensure the health of your business is maintained and prioritized while you’re going through the process of divorcing your partner.

 

3. Transfer business assets into a living trust

Another option to protect your small business during a divorce is to transfer your business assets into a living trust. Creating a living trust essentially places ownership of your business to a third-party trustee, while you can still maintain control and earn money from it. However, if your divorce your spouse, the business cannot be divided because you don’t own it. Always pursue legal assistance when considering a living trust to make sure the process is done correctly.

 

4. Location matters

The city or province where your business is located may have different regulations surrounding asset division during divorces than the region you file your divorce. Therefore, it’s important to understand how your business ownership, assets, and income would be interpreted by a judge in your area to properly protect it. 

 

5. Understand the difference between separate and marital property

Another factor to consider in your marriage and in the event of a divorce, is the difference between separate and marital property. Although it varies depending on where you’re located, separate property is generally including property that is owned before marriage, inheritance received by one partner, or gifts received by one partner from a third party.

 

However, separate property like a small business that was owned before the married occurred, can easily become marital property if there is no strict management and careful protection in place before the wedding. When property is mixed–like a joint bank account for example–it will almost certainly become marital property.

 

Conclusion:

The dissolution of a marriage is a challenging process. Emotions will be raw, and your personal life will be in turmoil so it’s necessary to have a secure plan in place that works for you and your partner when you share and own a small business. It’s far better to plan for a situation that may never happen than to struggle without a proper course of action when you’re forced to deal with it unprepared.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Man holding a bucket full of cleaning supplies

 

Spring is just around the corner. The new season has a lot of opportunities for more growth, organization, fresh starts, improved mindsets, and better productivity.

 

Spring cleaning doesn’t need to only apply to your home. Giving your business a springtime refresh can be beneficial for a multitude of reasons.

 


 

Here are seven ways you can spring clean your small business.

 

1. Buff up your customer relations

You never want to let the customer relations side of your business fall to the back burner too much, but having more relaxed and complacent periods can happen when you’re particularly busy. Now it’s time to prioritize a thorough overhaul of your consumer operations.

  • Go through those customer-lists. Look through the information you have about your clients. Are there addresses up-to-date? Have any of them moved, changed phone numbers or emails? Make note of when you last heard from specific customers and move forward with updating any information if you have access to the correct details.
  • Put out a satisfaction survey. You should always be looking for more opportunities to grow and improve your business, and what better way to do that than by receiving feedback from one of your most important sources? Take this chance to check in on them and see how happy they are with your services.

 

2. Tidy up your website

Take a critical and thorough look at your website. Any problems that you’ve made note of over the past year that have managed to fall through the cracks, address them head-on. It can be easier to push these issues to the back of your mind when there are more pressing matters and problems to focus on, but your website should take top priority. It is a reflection of who you are as a business and is likely the first impression most of your clients will have when choosing who to do their commerce with. Assess whether or not your website perfectly aligns with your brand, services, and mission. Perhaps you need to update your logo, colours or mission statement. Maybe your product list or contact information needs to be updated. There are likely ways that you could also improve your website’s accessibility for visiting users and expand the scope of what your site currently offers. So while you’re fixing those little issues, take advantage of this time to look for ways you can improve what you already have in the process.

 

Talk to REM about getting a thorough Website and SEO Audit to find out what needs to be fixed first.

 

3. Purge your email inbox

It’s incredibly easy to let emails pile up in your inbox and it can be a daunting task to tackle if you’ve been putting it off for awhile (we’ve all been there). This is your sign to set aside the time to sit down and do it. Although it can be time-consuming, it will be worth it when you’ve finally completed it. Go through your spam folder, delete old emails and organize important ones into specific folders. Unsubscribe from any unnecessary newsletters and generic emails. Look over your contact list, add names to emails, and update it accordingly. Do you want to change your email signature or your contact photo? Now is the time to do it. Any little task surrounding email organization should be prioritized and completed now. As tedious as it may seem, dedicating the proper focus to getting these smaller and often overlooked points on your to-do list done will benefit you in the long-run. 

 

4. De-clutter your desk

An organized desk can do wonders for your personal productivity, work mindset, and your overall mood. Your workspace is where you’re likely spending the majority of your time, whether you’re working at the office, at home, or between both. The desk where you tackle your daily tasks and projects can say a lot about you, and the state of its organization and cleanliness likely has an impact on your on your wellbeing and desire to work. So wipe off that keyboard, put out a plant or two, tidy up your loose files and papers, and remove any unnecessary clutter. Try to make your desk layout simple with few distractions, but it should have personal touches that make it desirable for you to sit down and work there. Whether that’s a few framed photos or some subtle desk decor, turn that space into your own and one you can be proud of.

 

5. Check-in with your employees

Employee satisfaction should always be a priority to make sure your business can run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Checking in with the people who help run and manage your business can provide you with different perspectives that you may not have considered before. You see operations from one side, they see it from another. Actively listen to any feedback, notes of improvement or concerns they may have.

 

6. Take a close look at your data

Pouring over your business’ data can be a very effective way to find gaps or weaker spots that are in need of improvement. Really knowing what’s behind your data and how to engage with it more critically and efficiently can be incredibly helpful for your small business. Keep tabs on what you’re selling, look at peak times and demographics for website users, get to know your clients and their buying habits with customer insights, and look into real-time updates on how your business is doing sale-by-sale.

 

7. Clean your office space

It’s very likely that the office you work in has not been held to the same standard of cleanliness and organization that was once there before the pandemic. Fluctuations with in-person work have probably resulted in some office tasks being shifted to the bottom of everyone’s to-do lists. Tackle the literal part of spring cleaning and bring your office the deep clean and de-clutter it needs. Toss out trash, go through any overlooked mess, vacuum, and sanitize surfaces and high-traffic areas. Similar to your personal desk, your office should be an inviting space for your employees to come to work in.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Business woman wearing a white blouse and brown skirt

 

With spring right around the corner, it’s time to freshen up your wardrobe and step into a new season with style.

 

Your workwear should evolve as you move from winter into spring – you want to keep up-to-date with current fashion trends and adapt to the warmer weather while still staying fashionable.

 

The pandemic has shifted the way many of us approach workwear styling. As we changeover from the matching loungewear sets we’ve been living in while working from home into more work-appropriate and professional business wear, it’s important to keep some styling tips in mind.

 

Even if you’re still not going into the office every single day, that doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish and professional for your Zoom meetings and video conferences.

 

Transition your business attire into spring with these fresh looks and styles.

 


 

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started:

 

1. Load up on layers

Layering your business looks is essential for spring, especially if you’re going to work in-person and need to travel to get there. Choosing water-wicking materials, carrying a change of shoes in your work bag, and opting for trench coats, light jackets, and loose sweaters (that you can take off and put back on when the temperature fluctuates) can make a world of difference when navigating the unpredictable spring season weather.

 

2. Take opportunities to dress-up and wear clothes you feel good in

After navigating a pandemic for nearly three years, it’s long overdue for many of us to shift back into more formal and chic outfits for work. Spring can be a great time for new beginnings and opportunities – which can include diversifying your weekly fashion picks. Pull out your dresses, iron your skirts, and dust off your heels. Putting time and care into the outfits you choose for work and adding that little bit of extra effort into your clothing choices can not only boost your confidence, but your productivity as well. A win for you and your workplace.

 

3. Incorporate conventional classics into your wardrobe

While you don’t necessarily need to build a capsule wardrobe in order to remain both practical and fashionable, it is worthwhile to invest in some conventional classics that won’t go out of style. Some worthwhile staples to include in your spring wardrobe:

  • A crisp, white poplin shirt. Button-downs are especially trendy right now, but they’re a versatile staple that can be styled in dozens of different ways to suit a variety of outfits and can be dressed-up or dressed-down depending on your workwear needs.
  • Tailored trousers. A straight-legged, relaxed-fit pair of neutral-toned trousers can elevate any basic outfit from blah to timeless. Opting for a camel or brown coloured set of pleated pants that are fitted at the waist and looser on the legs can match pretty much match any outfit combination you can think of.
  • Comfortable black heels. Finding the perfect black heels can elevate any outfit from forgettable and boring to chic and timeless. The right height and width of the heel can make all of the difference, and you want to choose a pair that is both comfortable and durable for potentially long work days at the office or for meetings with clients.
  • A fitted coat. Every woman should have a fitted coat in their closet that can be worn over their outfits for work. When choosing this simple staple, you should opt for a coat that isn’t too form-fitting and can be worn over layers.
  • A structured blazer. A working woman’s necessity, a structured blazer can take your professional business attire to a whole new level. High-quality options that fit your shape and provide a flattering silhouette are best. Bright blazers are an excellent choice for spring, but if you want to invest in a blazer that can be worn from season to season and still remain timeless, steer towards more neutral shades. 
  • The basic white tee. Don’t underestimate the power of a plain white t-shirt. The beauty of this wardrobe essential is that it can be combined with any outfit combination. Look for high-quality options that are made with thicker fabric, with a looser fit. Tucked into trousers, worn under blazers and sweaters, the combinations are endless.
  • A classic sleeveless sweater. Knit vests are a minimalist option for those who want to look chic but stay comfortable. Not as warm as a traditional long-sleeved sweater, and easily layer-able, this option is perfect for spring.

 

4. Learn how to subtly accessorize

You don’t need to go overboard with accessories in order to properly pull and outfit together. Now that it’s spring, it’s your chance to accessorize without heavy winter-wear getting in the way. Minimalist, chunky (but not too chunky) gold hoops are perfect for styling with basically any outfit while remaining professional and not overdone. Go for jewelry staples that aren’t ostentatious or distracting, like gold or silver bangles and cuff bracelets, and earrings with a hint of colour to pull your outfit together. Finding the perfect timeless watch to wear with your every day work look or investing in sophisticated bands for your smart watch can make you appear more put-together.

 

Spring brings more rain, but hopefully more sun along with it. Going to and from the office means adapting to the changing weather, so it’s important that you’re properly accessorized. Look for a practical, yet versatile umbrella to protect yourself from those April showers, and classic black sunglasses for brighter workdays.

 

Brands everywhere have embraced and integrated face masks into their clothing collections. With so many different options now, look into colour-cooridinating your mask with your outfit.

 

Your spring workbag doesn’t have to sacrifice style for functionality or vice versa. Cross-body belt bags have seen a huge rise in popularity this year. They’re practical, understated, and perfect for on-the-go travel. Over the shoulder, durable bags that are just the right size for all of your office essentials are also a subtle way to introduce colour into your outfits.

 

5. Don’t be afraid to add pops of colour

You don’t need to go over-the-top in order to add some colour to your spring wardrobe. Spring can be a time to bring out softer, subtle pastels and bolder pieces that don’t suit the autumn and winter months.

 

If you’re feeling more adventurous, but still want to remain professional, learn about colour blocking. Colouring blocking can be a fun and flattering way to dress if you find what palettes and tones work best for you. 

 

6. Keep it fresh and profesh’ – virtually

Many of us have fallen into fashion slumps during the pandemic. But with spring on the horizon, you can start integrating small changes into your everyday workwear that can go a long way. Even if you’re working from your home office, you can still present professional and stylish looks that will make the coworkers on your conference calls envious of your outfit choices.

 

Chic and sensible blue light glasses to not only protect your eyes from staring at a screen all day but to pull your outfit together, are a small, yet noticeable way to elevate your look. Styling your hair in a sleek bun with an oversized scrunchie, choosing collared blouses with light detailing that are noticeable but not distracting, and matching sets that aren’t too casual, are all great options for working from home that aren’t unprofessional.

 

7. Stay up-to-date with trends and build your own style inspiration

You can choose timeless pieces for your spring wardrobe while also dressing to fit current fashion trends. Turn to Pinterest, TikTok, and fashion websites to follow what looks are in style and discover what suits you best. 

 

8. Refresh your wardrobe 

It’s very likely that many of us who are returning to work in-person have neglected to update their current wardrobes since the beginning of the pandemic. There are likely clothing pieces that no longer fit you properly, aren’t in style, you don’t like or they’re simply worn out that you could donate or get rid of. Spring is the perfect time to refresh and clean out your wardrobe so you can make note of what clothes you’re in need of and rediscover the pieces you haven’t worn in ages.

 

9. Know how to properly dress for a “business casual” environment

It can be tricky to navigate the realm of business casual attire. It’s important to have some understanding of what your workplace expects in terms of a dress code. Some offices may be more relaxed in terms of their standards for dressing, and for example, be comfortable with employees wearing jeans on Fridays. Others may have stricter standards.

 

Knits, ankle pants, chiffon blouses, blazers over t-shirts, are all examples of business casual outfit possibilities. Looking towards options that could be easily dressed-up or dressed-down with minor changes like adding or removing a blazer, are a good place to start.

 

10. Find the right footwear

Going from slippers and socks to heels and boots can feel a bit daunting, but we have you covered.

 

Opt for wet-weather footwear to go to and from work. You don’t have to choose between functionality and fashionability when you’re choosing water-resistant shoes. Chelsea boots are understated and can match with practically any outfit, while keeping your feet dry.

 

Loafers and clogs are other trendy footwear choices that are perfect for an office look while remaining practical and comfortable for spring.

 

If you’re looking to make your outfit more chic and formal, pull out a pair of strappy heels.

 


 

Your post-pandemic, return-to-work spring wardrobe doesn’t need to be overly high-maintenance and complicated. Stick to the basics, add pops of colour, and shift into spring with a sophisticated business style.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Happy, young woman working from home

 

It’s been quite some time now that some companies have offered their employees the ability to telecommute, but what does that actually mean? What are the pros and cons? If you choose to offer this “perk” up, how do you make sure you’re ready for it? In this blog we’ll summarize all of the above with the help of noobpreneur.com

 

What is Telecommuting?

Telecommuting is an employment arrangement in which the employee works outside of the employer's office. Often this means working from home or at a location close to home, such as a coffee shop, library, or co-working space. (source)

 


 

Pros of Telecommuting

 

Noobpreneur.com [SR3] has compiled a list of pros and cons of telecommuting that we though we’d share:

 

1. Cost Saving

Smaller offices, not so many parking spaces, less milk etc. There are many costs associated with employees that can reduce when they spend part or all of the week at home.

 

2. Retention

Offering a talented employee the option to telecommute will stop them looking for another job if they ever need to relocate and make changes due to family considerations.

 

3. Job Satisfaction

A recent study found that those who telecommute are more satisfied with their jobs than those who spend 40 hours a week in the office.

 

4. Less Stress Causing Improved Performance

Employees who worked from home reported feeling less stress due to the fact they were no longer exposed to commuting or office politics.

 


 

Cons of Telecommuting

 

1. Collaboration Becomes More Difficult

Some of the best ideas get sparked off during a chat with a colleague at the watercooler or following a casual conversation at your desk. It is incredibly difficult to replicate impromptu moments like these on IM or over the phone.

 

2. Awareness & Culture Disconnect

There is something incredibly immersive about the work environment. You can learn a lot about your job and the company just by being present, listening to the conversations that go on around you and watching other people at their work. The telecommuter is not part of this environment and will often find themselves one step behind, potentially causing them to feel as though they are not part of the team.

 

3. Hard to Manage

Whether it is keeping up to date with where a telecommuter is at on a current project or checking productivity and time management, it can be incredibly difficult to monitor the progress of someone who is not frequently present.

 


 

Employee Compatibility

 

Telecommuting is not for everyone, and as an employer it’s incredibly important to ensure that if you are offering up the ability to telecommute, you must ensure that your employees are compatible with this form of working.

 

Noobpreneur.com has provided benchmark questions that employers should ask when deciding whether or not an employee is capable of telecommuting:

 

Can the employee communicate well through written channels?

IM and e-mail are normally the primary method of contact for most telecommuters. People who are notorious for blunt or abrasive email communication or silly IM chats may not be the best candidates.

 

Is the employee well disciplined, organised and are they proven to work well independently?

It is much harder to supervise those who work from home and so you need to have confidence that they will get on with the job.

 

Does the employee have suitable reasons for wanting to work from home?

Most employees want to telecommute due to family commitments or the need to be in a specific location but here will always be those who will see it as an excuse to take things easy.

 

Will the employee cope with the isolation?

Despite your best attempts to make your telecommuters feel as though they are part of the team there is a chance that they may feel a little cut off socially. Employees who thrive on the team dynamic may struggle to adapt to the quietness of home working.

 

There are a lot of factors that you should consider prior implementing telecommuting at your company, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you do decide to move forward keep in mind there should be a trial period to see how employees and you adjust. There should also be periods of time throughout the week that everyone is to be present – this helps boost employee morale and allows you the required in person time that is needed to carry out elements of the job of an employer and employee. Finally, it’s incredibly important to set expectations for those telecommuting and ensure they are met.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Young woman managing her small business with a laptop

 

There is no doubt that the pandemic really turned everyone’s lives upside down, but one the groups of individuals that took the brunt of the pain were professional women. The retail, foodservice and hospitality industries are predominantly made up of female employees with COVID-19 forcing restrictions on these industries, more women were forced to function on a significantly decreased income.

 

In addition to restrictions in the industries mentioned above, the move to online learning for children and students required parents to be at home and adjust their lifestyle to take on more roles and responsibilities when it came to educating their children.

 

According to Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC):

“The federal government has provided more than $52 billion in emergency relief support including programs for businesses but in many cases, the size and structure of women’s businesses made them ineligible. Statistics Canada confirms that the impact of COVID-19 has been highest on those with under 20 employees and in service sectors.”

 

Although women have struggled significantly throughout the pandemic, they have perpetuated a movement silently and are showing resilience and growth. With more women staying home and creating ways to make an income, we’re seeing a significant growth in women entrepreneurs, and this is a great thing.

 

The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy spearheaded by the federal government agrees as well:

“The full and equal participation of women in the economy is not just the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do.

 

Studies show that by advancing gender equality and women's participation in the economy, Canada could add up to $150 billion in GDP. Only 16% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are owned by women, and the Government of Canada is working to change that.
 

The government is advancing women's economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a more than $6-billion investment that aims to increase women-owned businesses' access to the financing, talent, networks and expertise they need to start up, scale up and access new markets.”

 


 

With the Federal Government rallying to aid women entrepreneurs, you’ll find there are a lot of resources available to you to help in all stages of starting your small business. I came across a fantastic list of resources from Unlimited Mississauga’s website:

 

 

Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

 

Women Entrepreneurship – Pandemic | Resources, funding & support

  • COVID-19 – Resources for Women Entrepreneurs in Canada – wekh.ca

  • Government of Canada to Invest $100M to support women impacted by the pandemic  – canada.ca

  • Economic Insights | Women-owned Enterprises in Canada – www.150.statcan.gc.ca

 

Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

The Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) to help women grow their business through access to financing, talent, networks and expertise.

www.ic.gc.ca

 

Women in Business Guides

The Government of Canada provides guides for women entrepreneurs to start, manage and grow their business; including financing, business planning, support groups, regulations and taxation, and inspirational stories.

 

Grants, Financing and Funding For Business Women

The Government of Canada provides links to resources for women entrepreneurs to access funding to capitalize on opportunities, diversify markets and grow on a global scale.

 

Business Women in International Trade

The Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) program of the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) helps open doors and opportunities for Canadian women-owned businesses to successfully expand into global markets. BWIT offers women-focused trade missions, funding and financing, exporting advice and support and international contacts and opportunities.

 

Export help for Canadian Women

www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca

 

Business Women in Technology

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) offers the BDC Capital’s Women in Technology (WIT) Venture Fund, helping support and grow great women leaders in tech and in venture, including offering direct investments, hosting international trade missions, networking and workshop events, and more.  In the first year of investments, the fund almost tripled to $200 million, making it the largest venture fund of its kind. In addition to the WIT Fund, BDC committed to supporting women entrepreneurs and has earmarked $1.4 billion in lending for women-led businesses by 2021.

 

Women in Technology (WIT) Funding – bdc.ca

 

The CanWIT (Women in Tech) Group is a GLOBAL Forum for women professionals to connect with peers, share knowledge, promote research, collaborate and seek suggestions and advice on career advancement and business growth in the high-growth technology sector.

 

CanWIT (Women in Tech) networking group – cata.ca

 


 

As you start to build your strategy, and are looking for ways to promote your services, feel free to contact REM Web Solutions, we can help you design, build, and market your products and services digitally – through website design, digital marketing and so much more!

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Illustration of two people next to an NFT coin and digital items

 

Have you heard about the hype on NFT’s? Well to be honest, I surely missed the memo on this new form of blockchain-based trading. Did what I just say make any sense? Probably not. I’m still doing my best to figure this one out and it seems like I’m not the only one on the struggle bus. So let me try to decipher what I learned.

 

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token.

 


 

Fungible vs. Non-Fungible

I think the first thing we should attempt to understand is the difference between something that is fungible and something that is not.

 

Fungible

According to Investopedia, “Fungibility is the ability of a good or asset to be interchanged with other individual goods or assets of the same type. Fungible assets simplify the exchange and trade processes, as fungibility implies equal value between the assets.”

 

Examples of physical assets that are fungible would be the dollar, gold and casino chips. If you exchange any of these for something else, the value remains the same. If I have $500 in casino chips, I have $500 in cash. Instances of digital fungible assets would be Bitcoin and frequent flyer points.

 

Non-Fungible

A non-fungible asset is something that can’t be substituted and the value is not interchangeable. Examples of physical non-fungible assets are houses and paintings. Instances of non-fungible digital assets are video game skins and copyrights.

 

Token

Now that we somewhat have a grasp on the difference between fungible and non-fungible, let us try to understand the concept of these “tokens.” A token is a digitalized certificate that is secured by a blockchain database. As defined on Investopedia, “…crypto tokens are cryptocurrency tokens. Cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies are denominated into these tokens, which reside on their own blockchains. Blockchains are special databases that store information in blocks that are then chained or linked together. This means that crypto tokens, which are also called crypto assets, represent a certain unit of value.”

 

Non-Fungible Token

I think I’m making some progress here, so let’s tackle the definition of a non-fungible token provided by Investopedia once again. “Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are cryptographic assets on blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency. This differs from fungible tokens like cryptocurrencies, which are identical to each other and, therefore, can be used as a medium for commercial transactions.”

 

That is a lot of words that now make some sort of sense to me, and I will do my best to give you an analogy that hopefully gives you a bit more clarity. When I read through this definition the first thing that comes to mind is sports cards, whether baseball, basketball, etc. Each card holds a specific value and that value is determined by the owner and purchaser. Majority of the time, there is not a dollar value attached when individuals are trading sports cards. This example would be considered a physical non-fungible token.

 

The Digital Hype

Now this is where I sometimes get lost, when discussing digital NFT’s—which can be pretty much anything, such as music, drawings, GIFs, etc.—I’m going to use digital art to illustrate such as a digital artist creates an image and sells it as an NFT; they are selling the original file. Yes, you can right click and download copied versions of it, BUT it is not the original. Think of it this way, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa: you can go to the market this weekend a purchase a copy of it for $10, right? However, where is the original masterpiece and how much is it worth? Right now, this piece of art is hanging in the highly secured Louvre Museum and is apparently valued at somewhere around $700 million USD.

 

In 2021 the digital artist Beeple created and sold the most expensive NFT artwork. The name of the piece is “Everdays: the First 5000 Days.” It was auctioned at Christie’s starting at $100 and eventually sold for $69.3 million. This non-fungible digital token’s worth in 2021 is astonishing, however the trend is continuing and becoming a fantastic way for digital artists to make money.

 


 

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably still scratching your head in disbelief and you’re not quite sure how to make of this information. I believe as cryptocurrency evolves things will become clearer. I am currently in the process of purchasing my first NFT and will share my thoughts in a later post!

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Illustration of a man juggling the letters S, M, A, R and T

 

At a very young age I was taught the benefits of creating goals for myself and didn’t really understand the importance until I was much older. I remember always thinking to myself, what do I want out of life? Where do I want to be in 20 years? What do I want to be when I grow up? Great questions to ask of course, however the real kicker came in when I started asking myself…

 

How do I get there?

 

As I got a bit older, I started to really think about my personal and professional ambitions and realized that achieving milestone objectives meant creating interim ones for myself; little did I know, I was practicing the basics of creating SMART goals for myself.  

 

What does SMART mean?

SMART is an acronym used across many organizations today that represent the characteristics of creating objectives that are inspirational, focused and clearly defined. This idea came from a paper written by George T. Doran in 1981 called “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives” and encourages people and organizations to create objectives that are

 

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

 


 

Specific

Being specific is extremely important when it comes to setting objectives. This is when you clearly define what it is that you want to accomplish. Some of the questions you should ask yourself here are:

  1. To accomplish your goal, who needs to be involved?

  2. What is the result that you’re seeking by creating them?

  3. How long are you giving yourself to achieve them?

  4. What are the potential barriers that exist that can prevent you from reaching them?

 

Measurable

Apply some sort of metric that allows you to measure the progress of your objective. This will help you monitor your progress and provide you with the ability to conclude when the goal has been met. Some people use time as a metric to validate the progress of a target, some use a dollar value if there is monetary value associated to them. There are plenty of other ways to measure different types of targets; for example, if you are trying to solve a problem or create a solution, the likelihood of success can be used as a metric itself.

 

Achievable

We all create goals in life, some of us have aspirations and dreams that we would like to accomplish in our lifetime. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but it’s incredibly important that the objectives we set out for ourselves—whether personal or professional—are achievable. Once you know what you want to do, it’s important to make sure that you have the ability to carry out what needs to be done in order to achieve your ambitions. This is not meant to discourage you; however, many see this characteristic of objective creation to be motivational. For instance, perhaps you’re attempting to do something but don’t have the skills, can you acquire them by taking a course?

 

Relevant

This in my opinion is the most important characteristic of setting a target that will increase your potential for success. Is what you are trying to accomplish relevant to you or your business? As an example, if you’re a business creating a product or providing a service and you’re faced with a decision on whether or not you should change your offering, it’s imperative to keep in mind whether or not the change is relevant to your business and customers.

 

Time Bound

It’s incredibly important to set your ambitions within an achievable timeline. Take the extra steps to ensure the end date you have chosen is a logical date. As you build out your plan and time line, be sure you have clearly stated the deliverables required to meet your ambition and establish a clearly defined time it will take to complete them, ensuring you add room for flex.

 

Now that you have the basics on what it means to create SMART goals, give it a try! Ask yourself any question that you can possibly think of, including the hard ones. Take the time to do your research, we all can achieve the objectives that we set out for ourselves, the biggest battle you’re going to face is being diligent and sticking to your plan. If you’ve evaluated each one of these characteristics and how they affect your target, you’ll be prepared for any obstacle you face.

 

Remember, this method is great for all types of goals whether they are personal or business related. It can be utilized in all departments at every level.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Todd playing foosball in the office

 

Let me preface this blog with the fact that I cannot play foosball. It’s not that I don’t want to, or I don’t care to it’s simply just one of those games that I cannot succeed at. I’m a klutz by nature with absolutely no hand-eye coordination so playing the game of foosball just never fared well for me.

 

However, I do love how much joy it brings my teammates, I desperately miss the sounds and laughter of my colleagues over lunch challenging each other. Whether or not each individual chooses to play, it’s an important part of our culture at REM and gives us a little bit more than just a lunch hour break.

 

When asked why Foosball is such an important part of the REM culture our designer Christine had a lot to say:

 

“Foosball at REM builds comradery between coworkers and teaches us good sportsmanship, friendly competition and owning up to mistakes, while being silly and goofing around. It adds excitement in our office, we cheer loudly for our coworkers when we compete, which builds confidence in other areas of our lives, like our jobs. Foosball gives us an opportunity to laugh and witness aspects of each other’s personality we don’t normally see and is a great way to 'break the ice' and welcome a new team member into the group. It encourages us to create strategies and 'think outside the box,' thereby stimulating the innovative, problem solving parts of our brain.

 

"Besides the emotional and mental benefits, it’s also physically good for us and here’s why – Foosball encourages us to get up and move, even if it’s mostly our arms that are moving. We use quick, powerful motions with our arms and wrists during the game, which loosens our forearm muscles, helps circulation and relieves tension. It also increases our heart-rate, promoting good health. We’ve proven this by looking at our smart-watches with heartbeat monitors. One time, Sean S. was super dialed into the game and his heartbeat rose to more than 120 beats/minute (that’s in the fat burning zone!).”

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Home office with white walls and chair

 

With the continuous increase of COVID cases in the KW region, our small but mighty team transitioned back to fully working from home until further notice. The WFH lifestyle is definitely something that I’ve struggled with in the past and I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to share some tips and tricks I’ve come up with over the past year to help keep myself on point.

 

Create a dedicated workspace

Whether it’s in your basement, a second bedroom turned office, or a closet turned into a desk - having a dedicated workspace makes all the difference in the world. It was incredibly important for me to create a space that allowed me to be productive with little distractions, a place that I could go to and remove myself from when needed. If you’d like to see what our workspaces look like check out our Battle Stations blog!

 

Breaks

One of the things I struggled with at the start of working from home was breaking. I felt that when I was working from home, I needed to be accessible 24/7 and it caused me to burn out. It’s important to allow yourself to take breaks. This time around I have kept the same rest/work cycle as I would at the office, and it really has helped me. The only thing I miss is hearing the team playing foosball (we’ll get to this in another blog).

 

Get Dressed

I remember the days when I would say “I could totally just wear pajama’s all day and work.” Yes, I can but I really felt a dip in my mood and productivity when I didn’t get up in the morning, have my coffee and get “ready” for work. Rolling out of bed and turning the computer on did not work well for me. I have now reverted back to my routine and take the time to prepare myself for the day ahead.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Home office setup with a glitchy effect

 

It’s been quite some time now that most of our team has been working from home, we miss each other and our awesome office. 

 

One of the most important things when working remotely is having a dedicated workspace to stay engaged and ready for action. A well-armed, personalized, organized, ergonomic home office makes all the difference when battling one’s foes, also known as daily tasks and routine. For most of us who are nerds and/or gamers, we wanted to show off our sweet setups, complete with multiple monitors, LED lights and peripheral equipment/devices. There are some perks to working at home for me – I get to snuggle with my dog on my breaks and make really good lunches!

 

We decided that it would be great to share what our at home “battle stations” look like and give you a few ideas for yours!

 

 

Sean S.'s home office setup

Sean Sanderson

 

Christine's home office setup

Christine Votruba

 

Sean L.'s home office setup

Sean Legge

 

Sean M.'s home office setup

Sean McParland

 

Ryan's home office setup

Ryan Covert

 

Rob's home office setup

Rob Matlow

 

Todd's home office setup

Todd Hannigan

 

Matt's home office setup

Matt Stern

 

Shauna's home office setup

Shauna Ramsaroop

 

 

 

For more tips on how to create a great workspace, check out this blog post: “A Streamlined Work Environment

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Contributors

Sanj Rajput
24
May 24, 2022
Show Sanj's Posts
Rob Matlow
117
February 17, 2022
Show Rob's Posts
Sean Sanderson
65
January 24, 2022
Show Sean's Posts
Haley Burton
1
December 7, 2021
Show Haley's Posts
Generic Administrator
1
December 3, 2021
Show Generic's Posts
Colleen Legge
1
November 26, 2021
Show Colleen's Posts
Christine Votruba
30
November 3, 2021
Show Christine's Posts
Sean McParland
18
August 20, 2021
Show Sean's Posts
Ryan Covert
48
July 26, 2019
Show Ryan's Posts
Matt Stern
4
July 16, 2019
Show Matt's Posts
Sean Legge
1
June 28, 2019
Show Sean's Posts
Todd Hannigan
47
November 13, 2018
Show Todd's Posts