For good health, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply them all. It is not about a single meal, it is about a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference!
A high-fat lunch could be followed by a low-fat dinner.
After a large meat portion at dinner, perhaps fish should be the next day’s choice?
About half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates, such as cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. It is a good idea to include at least one of these at every meal. Wholegrain foods, like wholegrain bread, pasta, and cereals, will increase our fibre intake.
3. Replace saturated with unsaturated fat
Fats are important for good health and proper functioning of the body. However, too much of it can negatively affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects, and some of these tips could help us keep the balance right:
We should limit the consumption of total and saturated fats (often coming from foods of animal origin), and completely avoid trans fats; reading the labels helps to identify the sources.
Eating fish 2-3 times a week, with at least one serving of oily fish, will contribute to our right intake of unsaturated fats.
When cooking, we should boil, steam or bake, rather than frying, remove the fatty part of meat, use vegetable oils.
4. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fibre. We should try to eat at least 5 servings a day. For example, a glass of fresh fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps an apple and a piece of watermelon as snacks, and a good portion of different vegetables at each meal.
When shopping, we could choose products with lower sodium content.
When cooking, salt can be substituted with spices, increasing the variety of flavours and tastes.
When eating, it helps not to have salt at the table, or at least not to add salt before tasting.
Sugar provides sweetness and an attractive taste, but sugary foods and drinks are rich in energy, and are best enjoyed in moderation, as an occasional treat. We could use fruits instead, even to sweeten our foods and drinks.
6. Eat regularly, control the portion size
Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet.
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, we could choose yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.
Paying attention to portion size will help us not to consume too much calories, and will allow us to eat all the foods we enjoy, without having to eliminate any.
Cooking the right amount makes it easier to not overeat.
Some reasonable serving sizes are: 100 g of meat; one medium piece of fruit; half a cup of raw pasta.
Using smaller plates helps with smaller servings.
Packaged foods, with calorie values on the pack, could aid portion control.
If eating out, we could share a portion with a friend.
7. Drink plenty of fluids
Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and we can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavoured. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk and other drinks, can all be okay – from time to time.
8. Maintain a healthy body weight
The right weight for each us depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being affected by obesity and overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient – protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us spend the energy, and makes us feel good. The message is reasonably simple: if we are gaining weight, we need to eat less and be more active!
9. Get on the move, make it a habit!
Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. It helps us burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases our muscle mass, it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. We don’t have to be top athletes to get on the move! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is advised, and it can easily become part of our daily routine. We all could:
use the stairs instead of the elevator,
go for a walk during lunch breaks (and stretch in our offices in between)
make time for a family weekend activity
10. Start now! And keep changing gradually.
Gradual changes in our lifestyle are easier to maintain than major changes introduced all at once. For three days, we could write down the foods and drinks we consume throughout the day, and make a note of the amount of movement we made. It won’t be difficult to spot where we could improve:
Skipping breakfast? A small bowl of muesli, a piece of bread or fruit, could help slowly introduce it into our routine
Too few fruits and vegetables? To start with, we can introduce one extra piece a day.
Favourite foods high in fat? Eliminating them abruptly could fire back, and make us return to the old habits. We can choose low fat options instead, eat them less frequently, and in smaller portions.
Too little activity? Using the stairs daily could be a great first move.
Are you looking for a new diet or nutrition program to help you lose weight, have more energy, clear up a diet-related health concern, or simply feel healthier overall? In your search, you may have come across the keto diet.
Short for ketogenic, the keto diet can be an effective way to shed a few pounds, boost energy, and even ease the symptoms of certain health conditions.
That said, some nutrition experts question whether it’s a great diet to be on for the long-term. So, let’s take a closer look at what the keto diet is and whether or not it’s the right dietary strategy for you!
Basically, it’s a nutrition plan where you eat high amounts of fat and low amounts of carbs. This makes it similar to Atkins and other low carb diets, but with a twist.
With Atkins, you eventually build up your carb intake after the first couple phases of the plan. You can also eat as much protein as you’d like. With the keto diet, however, carb intake remains low the whole time, and protein intake is limited to 20% of your daily calories. (More on the specifics of that below!)
how does the keto diet work for weight loss?
The keto diet works by putting your body into a state called ketosis.
That’s a natural metabolic state where your body breaks down fat and converts it to ketones to use as energy.
Normally, your body would just use the glucose in carbs for energy, but if you aren’t eating many carbs, it uses your body’s stored fat instead. This is how the keto diet leads to weight loss.
Your body doesn’t get into this state of ketosis immediately. It takes about three to four days for your body to run out of its normal fuel, after which you’ll enter ketosis and start burning fat as energy for daily activities.
the basic principles of eating “keto”
To get your body into ketosis, it’s typically recommended to eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.
This means cutting out high-carb foods like breads, pastas, potatoes, sugary foods and the like. It also means no alcohol—sorry!
For reference, 50 grams of carbs is about a ½ cup of rice or a half bun.
In other words… it doesn’t take a ton of food to reach that carb limit.
So, when eating on the keto diet it’s essential to plan out meals, snacks and daily carbs ahead of time to stay on track.
what can you eat on the keto diet?
When “eating keto,” you’ll mainly want to eat foods that are high in healthy fats (think unsaturated fats like omega-3s). Things like nuts, seeds, cheese, yogurt, butter, and avocados are all on the list. Foods high in quality protein are also important, including eggs, poultry, fatty fish, and ethically raised meat.
There are a few different methods of eating keto, but the main one involves dividing your food between fat, protein, and carbs:
In general, the keto diet means sticking to a diet of about 70% fat, 20% protein & 10% carbs.
what does the keto diet look like in practice?
So, what does the keto diet actually look like in a day of eating?
For breakfast, you might have two eggs and some sautéed greens cooked with butter.
For lunch, you might have a cheeseburger (without the bun) loaded with avocado, mushrooms, and greens.
For dinner, you might have a pork chop paired with green beans cooked in coconut oil.
Snacks throughout the day might be a handful of nuts, a chunk of cheese, or some jerky.
Though it’s certainly much different than the standard carb-rich diet many of us are used to consuming, following the keto diet has some common health benefits, which we’ll chat through below!
health benefits of the keto diet
We’ve already talked about how keto is often used for weight loss, but health experts have also found it provides a number of other health benefits as well. Some of the benefits of eating a low-carb diet (like the keto diet) include:
Weight loss: Because it helps the body use stored fat as energy, the keto diet is an effective way to burn fat, improve body composition, and lose weight. (As well as maintain healthy bodyweight.)
Managing blood sugar to treat diabetes & prediabetes: With diabetes (or prediabetes), blood glucose levels are too high because the body has trouble either producing or utilizing insulin. A ketogenic diet can help with this by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing levels of glucose in the blood.
Protects against heart disease:Eating a ketogenic diet has been linked to higher HDL cholesterol levels, which is the good cholesterol that lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease. It can also lower your blood pressure and body fat, both of which impact heart health too.
Improves brain health: There’s a common misconception that your brain needs carbs to survive. This actually isn’t true! Ketones can provide a ton of energy for the brain. (This is one of the health benefits behind intermittent fasting, as well.) Research also shows that a keto diet can help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease.
May help fight cancer: This one is still being researched, but some scientists think eating a keto diet can help fight against cancer. Since cancer cells typically use glucose to reproduce, lowering glucose levels and using ketones as energy instead (via the keto diet) may stop cancer cells from spreading.
Clears acne naturally: Adult acne is often directly linked to your diet. Studies have shown that lowering your carb intake can improve the health of your gut bacteria and help stop those irksome breakouts.
Eases symptoms of PCOS:PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a hormonal disease in which women experience irregular periods, excess body hair, and unexplained weight gain. Eating a keto diet can help ease these symptoms.
So, that all sounds great, but are there any drawbacks to the keto diet?
drawbacks of the keto diet
While the keto diet can certainly have some helpful health benefits for short-term use, it may not be the best for a long-term wellness plan.
After several months of being on the keto diet, some people develop kidney stones, extra fat in the liver, or become deficient in certain nutrients. 😰
Of course, the “healthiest” diet for each of us is determined by our bioindividuality, so the keto diet is not always the best fit for everyone. That’s one important possible drawback to keep in mind if you’re interested in trying the keto diet—it doesn’t matter what benefit it is to other people, it matters how well it works for your body.
Another potential drawback of the keto diet is that it’s common to develop the “keto flu” when first starting the diet. This is totally normal as your body adjusts to no longer having the amount of carbs it’s used to, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun to deal with. No one likes being sick!
Keto flu symptoms include:
nausea or vomiting
being unable to exercise
And, to that last point: the keto diet is not the best choice for athletes or those looking to add muscle. To put on muscle or perform strenuous workouts, you’ll generally need a more protein-heavy nutrition plan.
so, is the keto diet healthy?
With all that said… is the keto diet healthy for you?
Yes, it can be! While there are some more things you’ll need to consider (and talk to your doctor about) if you’re looking to stay on the keto diet long-term, for short-term health or weight loss goals for otherwise healthy individuals, the keto diet can certainly have some notable health benefits.
Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new nutrition plan, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.
where to find healthy keto recipes
It’s actually not as challenging as you may think to find great keto recipes!
You can browse your favorite cookbook or cooking blog—a keto recipe doesn’t have to be specifically labeled as “keto” to use it, as long as you’re able to do some quick calculations to see if it fits into your meal allotment.
And, as the ketogenic diet has become quite popular recently as an effective weight loss method, there are many food blogs and cookbooks specifically built around keto recipes. If you’re looking for some of those, we’re linking a few helpful keto cookbooks below, and we also curate low-carb / keto recipes over on Pinterest.
If you’re looking for a new physician job with a group practice or health system, you’re probably already anticipating some questions that an interviewer, or interview panel, may ask you.
But are you prepared to ask them the right questions, as well?
What they’ll ask you
The most common questions posed to physician candidates will cover a range of topics—from career motivation, clinical skills and experience, to personal strengths and weaknesses, including how you handle conflict.
Recruiters report that behavioral interviewing and questions that evaluate emotional intelligence are becoming a larger part of the physician interview process.
In essence, interviewers want to know: “Why should we hire you, and what will you bring to our team or practice?”
And they have a right to be concerned.
Patient outcomes, practice reputation and team dynamics are hanging in the balance. Health care employers need to be extremely careful that they “hire well.”
Yet physician candidates need to be just as careful as they evaluate each job opportunity.
What you should ask potential employers or partners
Employers also want to know that you are invested in the interview process and expect to hear a few questions from you. And you’ll want to be sure that this specific job is a good fit at this point in your career.
As the physician job candidate, you should prepare some thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer(s)–and anyone else you meet at the organization who may contribute to the hiring process, or is part of the clinical team.
So, do your homework ahead of time. Get some basic information about the organization, including size and location, the services it offers, the size and composition of the staff, etc.
If you are working with a physician recruiter at Merritt Hawkins, he or she can help provide a lot of the basic information. They can also share more about the job posting and the employer to make sure you understand what the organization is looking for and what this particular physician job entails.
Then you should prepare some questions that will help determine whether you and the organization will be a good fit for each other.
8 Questions to Ask During Your Physician Interview
No matter how you word the questions, the following topics should be on your list to address during the course of your job interview:
How would you describe your organizational culture?
Ask about the culture of the organization and/or department, and what makes it distinctive or special. How might other physicians describe the culture? You could also ask about the organization’s place and reputation in the surrounding community.
What is your organization’s vision for the future?
Where is the organization headed in the next few years? What initiatives or plans do they have in place to get there? How do they assess whether they’re making progress toward their goals?
What is your decision-making process?
Who makes the decisions, and are there opportunities for you to be involved in that process? Along those lines, you might also inquire about the relationship between the administration and the physician staff.
What are the biggest challenges currently facing the organization?
What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenges in the next few years? Every health care organization has some challenges. Their answers to these types of questions can help you get an idea of the environment you may be entering, and how the group addresses problems.
What is my role and how does it fit in the organization?
Ask more about this physician job, and the role of your specialty, in the organization. How does this particular job fit into the organization’s current plans and its plans for the future? What will be expected of you? How will you be reviewed or assessed?
What kinds of opportunities are available for physicians?
Ask about what kind of professional development and leadership opportunities are available for physicians. Will you be required to serve on committees, lead any initiatives, or mentor other physicians? If so, how would that work? If it is a group practice, is there partnership potential?
What would be included in my compensation?
Many experts suggest waiting until the interviewer brings up this topic, but you should be prepared just in case. Find out as much as you can ahead of time from your recruiter about salary, benefits, opportunities for bonuses, profit-sharing (if applicable), and student loan repayments. If you are offered the position, that is generally the best time to negotiate.
How do you support physician wellness amid daily demands?
Ask questions about patient loads, support positions, work scheduling and on-call duties, if you haven’t already tracked down this information prior to your interview. If you have the opportunity to meet with any of the organization’s physicians, you might ask their experiences and how they approach the issue of work-life balance.
If you’re interviewing with a group practice, you should also prepare some questions that specifically deal with the way the practice functions, including their structure and management issues. You might also inquire about relationships or affiliations the organization has with other practices and hospitals in the community.
While the candidate should let the employer drive the conversation, it is important to remember that every physician interview is a two-way street, and an opportunity for both parties to get to know each other and make a sound evaluation.
Being prepared to ask the right questions–and listen closely to a potential employer’s responses–is just as important as being ready to answer their interview questions.
Are you ready to retire from your career as a physician, or is it on the horizon? Before you hang up your white coat for good, there are some important considerations that deserve attention.
While more than two of five physicians are projected to be on the cusp of retirement in the next 10 years according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the added strain of COVID-19 has some physicians considering an early retirement. Whether you’ve expedited your physician retirement timeline or not, let’s review the six things you should do to prepare for a smooth transition.
1. Is Burnout Driving Your Physician Retirement Timeline?
If so, you’re not alone. A recent Medscape survey uncovered that 42% of physicians report being burned out. Many of these doctors whose long-term stress has led to emotional and physical exhaustion, lack of professional fulfillment, and dwindling feelings of accomplishment are seriously considering leaving medicine altogether. Of those who responded to the survey, 55% said they were overwhelmed with too many bureaucratic tasks and working excessively long hours. If burnout is behind your decision to retire now versus later, consider approaching your healthcare administration about working fewer hours. Jackson Physician Search conducted a survey on retirement and found that nearly 28% of physicians planned to work part-time or elsewhere upon retiring from their current position. Your current employer may entertain other options including a part-time schedule or taking on telemedicine hours.
2. What Will You Do with All Your Newfound Free Time?
The pandemic has many physicians working the volume of hours that resemble the old days of residency. But even prior to the pandemic, doctors worked an average of 50 or more hours per week. When you’re used to that kind of pace, suddenly having all of that time at your disposal can be a bit unsettling. Make a plan for developing new hobbies and other interests, network with physicians who are also making the transition, or consider ways in which you would enjoy giving back to the medical field.
3. Is Your Financial House in Order?
Prior to 2020, you were probably ecstatic with your retirement account’s financial performance and the unprecedented market gains we were experiencing. Now, like many of us, those financial gains likely took a noticeable hit. Many physicians subscribe to a financial plan called FIRE or Financial Independence, Retire Early. Working toward FIRE means that you have a plan to leverage your high demand, high salary career toward the ability to retire when you want. Even if you haven’t subscribed to the principles of FIRE, it is important to discuss your options with a financial advisor.
4. Will You Maintain Your License to Practice Medicine?
Even if you plan to fully retire, you should still consider maintaining your medical license. While it varies by state, allowing your license to lapse can take up to six months or more to renew if the need arises. During the early days of the pandemic, some physicians felt called to come out of retirement to help. Since the future can be so wildly unpredictable, many physicians plan to keep their license and board certifications active for up to five years.
5. Have You Reviewed the Legal Considerations of Retirement?
Unlike some occupations where a person retires after a long productive career and can generally walk away unencumbered, that’s often not the case for physicians. Here are a few that you should address early:
Employment Contracts. In most cases, you will have an employment contract that contains stipulations about leaving the hospital or practice. Review the agreements or consult your lawyer to ensure you understand all aspects of your pending retirement.
Patient Records. Depending on your particular practice setting, how you handle patient records will vary. If you own your own practice and plan to shut it down entirely, you should consult your state medical board regarding records retention and accessibility of patient information. In other settings, the records question can usually be handled by your employer.
Notifications. Multiple notifications need to occur, including your patients, state licensing board, professional associations, and employer. We will cover employer notifications in more detail below, but the others are also worthy of consideration.
Patient notification – While it is likely that your state will have specific requirements, providing your patients with at least a 60-day notification is often standard. Where practical, and with higher-risk patients, notification by certified mail with a return receipt is the safest course of action.
State licensing board – Before retirement, it is vital that physicians contact the state licensing board, state medical society, and the American Medical Association. Depending on the state, you may be able to maintain an active license with certain restrictions at a reduced cost.
Professional associations – Over the years, you have likely participated in various professional associations, specialty boards, and other types of medical societies. Each organization has different policies, but it is a good practice to reach out to them with notification.
6. When Will You Notify Your Employer?
This can be a tricky area for physicians who want to provide plenty of notice but are unsure how much is necessary. In the aforementioned Jackson Physician Search retirement survey, 80% of physician respondents stated that it was their responsibility to initiate the retirement discussion with their employer. The caveat is that only 52% of them feel comfortable discussing the subject with their administrators. On the other side, 37% of administrators thought it was their responsibility to initiate retirement discussions, but 74% said they were very comfortable having that conversation. Depending on your specialty, it can take up to a year to fill a physician vacancy. That may shed some light on why 50% of administrators responded that the ideal notification timeframe is one to three years, while 40% of physicians stated that six months or less was sufficient.
Retirement is a highly personal decision and rarely an easy one to make. After a long and successful career, you deserve a smooth transition that allows you to pursue new goals and interests. As you prepare, here’s a helpful physician retirement checklist made available by TheDoctorsCompany.
Modern cosmetology develops rapidly. Nowadays, beauty salons don’t cease to surprise their customers with a great number of face care procedures. In addition to the huge and diverse choice, innovations in cosmetological sphere provide great visual results in a short time and help people get rid or minimize skin issues.
LED Light Therapy is one of the most interesting novelties allowing beauticians to solve many aesthetic problems. Furthermore, there is a great opportunity to select the LED treatment personally for a client in accordance with a patient’s problem. For instance, it may be a rejuvenation, bringing the skin into tone, getting rid of acne and post-acne, or just fighting with a stressful influence of environmental factors. In addition, it is scientifically proven this method of skin care is absolutely safe because it excludes tissue warming and harmful UV exposure. Light therapy visibly revives tired and dull skin after a short session (15-20 min). The prolonged results becomes visible after the whole course. For this reason, this treatment has been used in cosmetology for more than ten years.
Some time ago, LED technology was considered an auxiliary treatment of pain syndrome and used for wound healing. But later, it was scientifically proved that infrared LED light therapy possesses wonderful properties and its influence on human organism is really amazing. With a professional led light therapy machine, it becomes possible to suspend the aging process of the skin, control visible aging signs, and help people look years younger without surgery. Moreover, such skin problems, such as tightness, wrinkles, lines, rough spots, and redness can be significantly reduced.
So, let’s find out what the LED-treatment method is, whether it really works, its pros and cons, and who it helps to preserve beauty and skin freshness.
How does it work?
Just as plants absorb and transform sunlight into energy at the cellular level, human skin absorbs therapeutic light as a source of energy. All this is necessary to stimulate cell regeneration, mobilizing skin for collagen and elastin production. Thus, the regeneration of new tissues is sped up, and healing processes are optimized. Besides, a light emitting diode increases the production of nitric oxide in the treatment areas and improves blood circulation there. Furthermore, such kind of therapy influences the mitochondria in the skin cells, an organelle that provides the cell with energy-producing adenosine triphosphate. While penetrating through the tissue, light particles (photons) stimulate mitochondria in the epidermis to produce more ATF acid. This, in turn, improves local metabolism with all the ensuing favorable benefits.
The LED therapy procedure takes between 20-30 minutes to complete, and there is minimum discomfort throughout the experience. This is enough time for the remedy (hydrogel mask or serum) to improve skin color, make skin tighter, reduce wrinkles. To get optimal results, a patient needs to have no less than 8 sessions in intervals of 2 times per week. During treatment, the device is placed a few inches from the treated area and affects pre-cleansed skin. Session duration, intensity, and color of light depend on an owner’s protocol and desired results.
The main reason why LED light therapy is so effective and can complete a wide range of functions is because it uses different lengths of light waves. In other words, it has different colors. Moreover, the choice of color is of decisive importance in skin treatment. Let’s consider them in more detail.
A wavelength of this sort of light is from 620 nm to 700 nm. The color changes from a light to deep, dark tone. An LED facial machine with red light is predominately used to get rid of rosacea and redness which appears on sensitive skin with weak or broken capillaries. Furthermore, the procedure helps the derma to keep moisture better, the main advantage of red therapy is its anti-aging effect. The light stream penetrates deeply and stimulates collagen and elastin production. Fine wrinkles are smoothed and the density of the tissue increases. As a result, skin becomes strengthened and looks fresh. In addition, if clients suffer from inflammations, blemishes, or sun damage, this is definitely an excellent way to treat and improve the skin tone.
There is also an infrared light with a wavelength between 700 nm and 1,400 nm. It is closely connected with red waves and has the same characteristics, however, it has unique features. The infrared light is invisible to the naked eye and able to penetrate deeply into the skin. Thus it promotes healing of the deepest wounds and relieves muscular and joint pain.
Blue light therapy is often used to treat acne. The light between 405 nm and 420 nm is appreciated for its antibacterial effects. Such length allows rays to penetrate into the derma where they are absorbed by porphyrin molecules. These particles are mostly contained in acne-causing bacteria. As a result of blue light and porphyrin interaction, singlet oxygen appears, easily gets into the bacteria, and kills it. The procedure renews the skin and heals wounds, preventing the appearance of scars.
Together with red light therapy, the blue rays provide anti-inflammatory relief.
Amber and Green Lights
Amber and green lights are famous for their restorative action. They help flush waste from the skin, improve lymphatic flow, and stimulate the growth of cells. Having the length of between 570 nm and 620 nm, these waves are hardly used separately. They effectively interact with red and blue lights, and perform a function of skin “resurfacing”. This means that after a treatment, the face becomes softer and smoother. In combination with a light chemical peel, the amber and green lights can help get rid of dark spots.
This light therapy is perfect for sensitive skin due to its calming effect.
This kind of LED therapy is often called “anti-stress light”. It is considered that the white waves are particularly useful for the treatment of low moods, but, they also have a relaxing and calming effect on the human body during any cosmetic procedure.
Indications for LED Light Therapy
LED-therapy sessions help to reduce the inflammatory process, normalize metabolism in the skin, improve blood circulation, and enhance local immunity. Furthermore, due to such treatment cosmetologists manage to reduce either the Propionibacterium reproduction on the skin or microorganisms, which take place in the acne disease development.
To sum up, Professional Led Light Therapy Equipment is widely used for:
preventing visible aging
treating acne (from the light to the moderate stage)
reducing the severity of pain from injuries and diseases of the joints
healing damages to the skin
eliminating redness and inflammation
caring for skin after strong procedures like microdermabrasion, peels, and laser therapy
relaxing and reducing stress: the heat from the light-emitting diode has a relaxing effect.
And the color chosen according to the situation helps to tune in the right way.
The benefits of using LED therapy are quite obvious: it gives the skin a natural glow, promotes more active absorption of serums and creams, and enhances the effect of other cosmetic procedures.
Why should you choose American Alarm Systems for your Irvine home security needs? We’ve got nine reasons our security solutions are the ones you’ve been searching for in your Irvine home. Whether its video surveillance, environmental monitoring, or the customer service experience a local home security company can provide, American Alarm Systems has you covered.
1. American Alarm has installed Irvine home security systems for over 50 years
Owned and operated by the Beale family since 1958, American Alarm Systems services all of southern California. We live and work here, so we understand both the crime patterns of the city and your Irvine neighborhood. From Woodbridge to University Park, we’re committed to addressing the security and safety challenges Irvine communities face.
2. American Alarm offers a full range of security cameras for your Irvine home
Security cameras are always home, even when you’re not. American Alarm’s home security camera systems provide HD quality video with night vision for your Irvine home. We’ll help you mount and install cameras so you can view live footage of your Irvine home remotely from your smartphone. No more package theft from the front doorstep or lying awake in the middle of the night, wondering if that noise you heard in the yard is an intruder.
3. American Alarm has affordable monitoring for Irvine home security systems
At American Alarm Systems, we understand that your Irvine alarm system is only as good as the monitoring that comes with it. That’s why we connect your home security system to our UL certified Central Station Monitoring Center to watch over your security 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a recognized leader in the security industry, we’re committed to keeping our monitoring center outfitted with top-tier hardware, software, and redundant dual coast communications at a price you can afford.
4. American Alarm provides excellent service to Irvine customers
As a locally owned family business, we strive to exceed the expectations of every client and we’ve got the A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau to prove it. Our experienced and licensed security consultants will evaluate your Irvine home and property perimeters to identify risks, but we’ll also make sure your security concerns are heard. Our goal isn’t to sell you an equipment package but to become a partner in keeping your Irvine family and property safe for years to come.
5. American Alarm Systems brings smartphone alarm systems and automation to Irvine homes
If you plan on outfitting your Irvine home with the latest technology, you’ll want a home security system that can keep up. Not only can American Alarm home security systems and security cameras be controlled from your smartphone, but we also offer compatible home automation devices from door locks to lighting control to thermostats. Our technicians can help you set up and install a home security system that plays nice with all your favorite home automation devices.
6. American Alarm protects Irvine families with carbon monoxide monitoring
Carbon monoxide is a deadly, invisible gas nicknamed the silent killer for the way in which rising levels can affect the air quality of your home and the health of your family. It’s a leading cause of death due to poisoning in America. That’s why American Alarm Systems offers a full range of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to protect your family and your Irvine home from danger.
7. American Alarm Systems cares about Irvine pet safety
Here at American Alarm Systems, our pets are part of the family, and we design home security systems with them in mind. Our pet-friendly technology minimizes false alarms with pet-sensitive motion detectors and sensors. We’ll work closely with you to ensure that your four-footed friend has full access to your Irvine home without compromising your home security.
8. American Alarm also installs commercial security systems for Irvine businesses
Looking for more than just home security or a residential alarm system? American Alarm Systems serves both small businesses and larger enterprises with access control, sophisticated alarm systems, video surveillance, fire alarm systems, and more. We’ll consult with you about the needs of your Irvine business, including commercial safety concerns like site location, employee needs, building configuration, and more to design a commercial security system that will work for you.
9. American Alarm customizes security solutions for Irvine homes
We’re not picking on other alarm companies, but let’s be clear that national home security companies don’t always have the experience or the customization that Irvine home security solutions require. American Alarm Systems specializes in assessing the security risks your Irvine home and property face and then proposing a home security system to address those concerns without blowing past your budget.
Our goal is to bring you greater peace of mind through securing your home in a way that enhances rather than limits your daily life. Whether that’s a complex home security system with all the latest home automation or a basic approach that gives you options to add on when your budget allows, American Alarm Systems is here to serve Irvine homes and business.
Installing, arming, disarming, paying monthly fees, and dealing with false alarms are all things that are tied to monitored security systems which may cause you to wonder if home security systems are worth the inherent hassle. This is a good question to ask as you consider how you can best protect your valuables and your loved ones.
There are a lot of elements to think about when it comes to home security systems and that includes how the security system could benefit you and your family. Here are a few reasons how that is true.
Starting a real estate blog is one of the best ways to market your real estate business. It can help you sell more homes, showcase you as an industry leader in your local market, and best of all, help produce leads 24/7. Blogging is a powerful marketing tactic for real estate professionals to maintain a solid web presence by discussing industry trends, tips for new homeowners, and general resources that new and existing clients may find helpful.
Coming up with interesting topics for your real estate blog can be challenging. SEO experts advise never to get hung up on keywords making your blog lack substance. Make sure that every blog post provides value to your readers. Maintain your real estate blog with fresh and interesting content, and most importantly, content that is appreciated by your niche audience.
Looking for a career change? Download our FREE guide: Is a Real Estate Career Right for You?
Here are 50 real estate blog topics that can help you attract new real estate prospects and grow your real estate business.
Write about your local real estate market
Local area events: Keep up with local events in your niche area by reading local newspapers and community events calendars. Advertise upcoming events and write about attending recent events.
Write about a local business (market, store, restaurant, etc.). Before posting, ask the business to link from their website and Facebook page to your post when published.
Local housing trends: Are home sales up or down? Is this a buyer’s or seller’s market? How do mortgage rates affect local buying?
Celebrity news: Any there any celebrities who’ve recently sold or bought in the area or have properties listed?
Luxury properties: Create a list of top-end properties for sale in your local market. Let your readers know you will be happy to show them.
Affordable properties: Create a list of the lowest priced properties in your local market.
Best value properties: Provide a list of properties you think are the best values.
Schools: How are area schools performing? Heard any recent good news concerning specific area schools? Link to an article or report that ranks the best schools in your area.
Property taxes: What can buyers expect in specific neighborhoods?
Transportation: Which neighborhoods or streets have the easiest access to subway stations or bus stops or rail stations? Does your area have many commuters? What are the estimated commute times from certain areas or neighborhoods?
Job opportunities: Are there new companies or factories in your area? Are there good job opportunities?
Crime: What are the local crime rates? Have they gone down or up? What are the safer neighborhoods?
Notable people interviews: Find people in the area that readers will be interested in knowing their opinions. For instance, interview the local school district superintendent or a local politician.
Promote a neighborhood: Promoting an up-and-coming neighborhood in your area is a good way to attract attention. Here is an example from a real estate company blog in New Jersey.
Restaurants: Which ones offer the best bang for your buck? Which has the best pizzas or burgers? Where are the healthiest eating options?
Entertainment and nightlife: Which places have the best happy hours? Where are the fun places to go to after work? Which have the biggest dance floors?
Sports: Are there any golf courses in or near your area? Where are the nearest public tennis and basketball courts? Are there any public swimming pools nearby?
Coffee: Where can you find the best coffee or unique cups in the area?
Day trips and local getaways: Where to go for a getaway not too far away?
Blog about your target audiences (sellers, buyers, investors, etc.)
Write for your target: Write an article addressing the needs or concerns of your target audience, like first-time homeowners, newlyweds, seniors, retirees, new parents, etc.
Investors: Do you have any advice for real estate investors? Would you recommend specific neighborhoods for potential future value due to planned infrastructure improvements or other activities?
Sellers: Think about all the questions sellers asked you when obtaining listings. Provide a typical Q&A format in your blog posting. When trying to sign up a new listing, send an email with a link to this post.
Buyers: Recall all the questions buyers asked you over the past year. Provide answers to their typical questions. Follow up with an email linking to this blog post.
Relocation: If I am considering relocating to this area, what questions should I be asking?
Kids: What activities are available for children in your area? Are there public swimming pools, beaches, libraries, or summer camps?
Pets: Provide tips for pets when moving in. If I take a vacation, is there a kennel where I can leave my cat or dog? Are there good vets nearby?
Tell people about yourself
FREE DOWNLOAD: The many hats you will wear as a real estate agent.
Why should people work with you? After writing the post, link it to your website “About” page.
What do you love about your area or niche? Connect with your readers by showing them how passionate you are.
Testimonials: Write about recent transactions including quotes from happy clients.
How you work: Do you use any unique software or apps to manage your time or make your work more efficient? Do you have a system for helping buyers or sellers achieve their goals?
Marketing: What unique ways do you market your properties?
Clients: Interview your recent home buyers and sellers to see what they liked about a certain area or neighborhood. Ask what they wished they had known before they listed or bought their home.
Track record: If you’ve received awards in specific areas or specializations, sold many homes, or gained notoriety as a top-notch real estate agent, brag about it a bit.
Give home maintenance tips on your real estate blog
Staging: What should I know about staging my home?
Renovations: What are the most important renovations to add value to my home? What are the worst renovations attempting to add value to homes?
Decorating: Offer some good home decorating tips. Recommend good websites offering decoration tips.
Pitfalls: Give advice on how to avoid the most common maintenance pitfalls when selling or buying a home.
Write about your listings
New listings: The newest listings are always popular. Include photos of the best features.
Price reductions: Always advertise price reductions in your blog.
Open houses: Besides what days and times and where, include specific directions and a map. If providing refreshments, mention what they will be such as fresh baked cookies or finger foods from a popular deli or bakery.
Give insights about the future
Predictions: What real estate trends do you foresee in the next 10 years? Are there any planned infrastructure or housing development projects for the area in the near future?
Reverse mortgage: Can a reverse mortgage allow me to retire sooner? Find a mortgage specialist to write a “guest post” regarding this or other financing topics.
Technology: How are new technologies affecting real estate?
Explain different real estate topics
Glossary: The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has an excellent web page explaining all of the important real estate terms and phrases. Link to this glossary in your blog or use it for numerous posts by having a regular “This week’s glossary.”
Mortgages: The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides resources about understanding real estate mortgages. You can get some good blog post ideas here.
Educational guidelines: Once you have accumulated several articles for buyers, sellers, and other niche clients, you can create a blog page with links to every past post. This is a good example from a Colorado real estate company’s blog demonstrating a quality layout.
Discuss current trends
Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media users look for new people and brands to follow. You can recommend people and brands to follow in your blog posts. Explain why they should be followed, e.g., “This Italian restaurant constantly posts awesome Tuscan masterpieces.” Like business review posts, this will help you get “in” with local businesses and personalities who can become valuable resources for your marketing efforts.
Pop culture: Prevent your blog posts from becoming stale by incorporating pop culture into the real estate world in humorous ways. Take musicians, iconic films, and society figures and mix them into your posts. Like Star Wars, “Become the Jedi Master of Property Investments.” Or, like Taylor Swift, “The Best Way to Shake Off a Pulled Offer on Your Home.” Or even Harry Potter, with “10 Hogwarts-like Houses in the Local Market.” You can include a non-copyrighted image or photo of the pop star.
Online resources: List helpful online resources for people relocating to your area. Include schools, gyms, doctors, dentists, vets, lawyers, organizations, churches and synagogues, libraries, parks, community centers, etc. Ask the resources to link back to your blog.
What other interesting real estate blog posts have you read lately? Share in the comments below, or jot them down and refer back to them later—whenever you need inspiration for your own real estate blog. No matter where you find inspiration, make sure your real estate blog topics are interesting, timely, and valuable to your readers.
As companies scramble to protect employees from the spreading coronavirus with travel restrictions and remote work arrangements, there’s a distinct possibility that in-person meetings with teams, customers, or suppliers may be canceled for days — or potentially weeks.
Under the best of circumstances, as soon as one or two attendees “dial in” to any meeting, productivity starts to suffer. There’s a long list of reasons. Attendees often interpret virtual meetings as a license to multi-task. Meeting organizers tend to be less careful with the purpose and design of the conversation. And it’s not uncommon for one or two attendees to dominate the discussion while others sit back and “tune out.”
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Virtual meetings — even impromptu ones sparked by fears of a contagion — can be run more effectively, using basic meeting best practices and easy-to-use, inexpensive technology.
Here are 12 steps you can take to make that happen:
1. Use video. To make people feel like they’re all at the “same” meeting, use video conferencing rather than traditional conference dial-ins. Technology — such as Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting — helps to personalize the conversation and to keep participants engaged.
2. That said, always provide an audio dial-in option. Video conferencing can work very well, but it relies on a strong internet connection that may not always be available. People need the ability to participate via audio, but make it clear that video-first is the new norm.
3. Test the technology ahead of time. Nothing kills momentum at the start of a meeting like a 15-minute delay because people need to download software, can’t get the video to work, etc. Prior to a virtual meeting, all participants should test the technology and make sure they are comfortable with the major features. And remember, supplier or customer conversations may require your team to familiarize themselves with different software packages.
4. Make sure faces are visible. Video conferences are more effective when people can see each other’s facial expressions and body language. Ask individuals to sit close to their webcam to help to recreate the intimacy of an in-person meeting.
5. Stick to meeting basics. Prior to the conversation, set clear objectives, and send a pre-read if appropriate. During the session, use an agenda, set meeting ground rules, take breaks, and clearly outline next steps (including timing and accountabilities) after each section and at the end of the meeting.
6. Minimize presentation length. The only thing worse than a long presentation in person is a long presentation during a virtual meeting. Meetings should be discussions. Background information should be provided beforehand. If someone needs to present, use screen sharing to guide the conversation, so attendees can literally “be on the same page.” But prioritize conversation to maximize the time people are looking at each other.
7. Use an icebreaker. Although we’re not big fans of them, it’s important to use every tool to reinforce interpersonal relationships when people may be feeling isolated. Also, it’s important to know if a participant may have a close friend or relative fighting the virus, so some type of “check in” is in order.
8. Assign a facilitator. It’s usually harder to manage a virtual discussion than an in-person one. It can be helpful to assign one individual to guide the conversation, allowing the other participants to focus on the content. The facilitator can also use a polling system to “take the pulse” of the group on certain questions and ensure that all voices are heard. The facilitator should also be able to resolve basic questions on the technology being used.
9. Call on people. Getting everyone to participate without talking over each other is one of the more challenging aspects of running a virtual meeting. To forestall this, we recommend periodically calling on individuals to speak, even by virtually “going around the table” before a decision is finalized. Some software packages even allow attendees to “raise a hand” if they want to. This can help the facilitator drive closure without the risk of excluding an introverted participant’s views.
10. Capture real-time feedback. Gathering and processing high-quality input during a virtual meeting can be challenging, especially since visual cues are harder to read. Use a phone-based survey tool like Poll Everywhere to collect on-demand feedback from attendees on specific topics in real time. Keep the polling open, separate from the videoconference to avoid disrupting the conversation. Participants will need clear instructions on how to use the system and practices, but groups get the hang of it very quickly and it’s well worth the effort.
11. Don’t be afraid to tackle tough issues. Meeting virtually is a learned behavior, and you’ll be amazed how much you can get out of it once you and your team begin to be comfortable working this way. It may seem natural to wait to discuss tough issues until everyone is in person, but that may not be an option. So don’t shy away from controversial topics.
12. Practice once or twice while you’re still together. Hold your next staff meeting virtually, with each executive sitting in their office and hooking into the meeting with no assistance. After the meeting concludes, gather and debrief about the experience. What went well, and what didn’t? How can you evolve your virtual meetings to make them as productive as when you meet in person?
Not being able to work together in the same room with colleagues may become a major challenge in the next few weeks. To make virtual meetings work, you might need to adjust how your team conducts them. But a small investment in preparedness now could have a huge impact if that time comes.
Owning a home is often referred to as the “American Dream.” There are many obvious benefits of owning a home and also some that are not so obvious.
One of the first steps to buying a home is to determine whether owning a home is the right fit for yourself. It’s important when making any decision that you strongly consider both the PROs and CONs of what you’re deciding on.
If you’re currently living with family, friends, or renting a property and you’re considering the purchase of a home, below are some of the best benefits of owning a home. Understanding what the benefits of home ownership are can really help make the decision whether to buy a home easy.
1.) Stable Monthly Payments
If you’re going to be buying a home by obtaining a mortgage, it’s highly likely that the mortgage product you’ll use for the purchase will be a fixed rate mortgage since they’re the most popular type of mortgage. With a fixed rate mortgage comes stable monthly payments, which is one of the best benefits of owning a home.
One of the wildcards to renting a property is the unknown that comes with the monthly payments, year over year. It’s very plausible that the monthly rent payments for a property can change from year to year upon the renewal of a lease agreement.
The stable monthly payments that come with owning a home can provide some great peace of mind as it makes it easier to create a predictable monthly budget. Certainly monthly payments can change when owning a home if property taxes or homeowners insurance were to change, but the amount of change in property taxes is normally a very small amount.
An increase in yearly taxes of $500 would only change a monthly payment by approximately $40.00. The good news is that property taxes don’t change very often in most areas, maybe every 4 or 5 years!
2.) Opportunity To Build Equity
When you hear people talking about real estate and owning a home, one of the most popular words you’ll likely hear is equity. “What is equity” is one of the most commonly asked questions from home buyers.
Equity in real estate is the probable market value of a home minus any liens against the property, such as a mortgage. One of the great advantages of home ownership is the opportunity to build equity.
The longer that you own a home, the more you’ll pay towards the principle balance of any liens. As the balance of any liens against a property gets lower and hopefully the value of the property increases, the larger the equity.
3.) Cheaper Than Renting Overtime
Owning A Home Is Cheaper Than Renting!
There are many costs to buying a home, such as the down payment, appraisal fee, and homeowners insurance. The upfront cost to buy a home is substantially more than just paying monthly rent to a landlord, however, over time owning a home is cheaper than renting which is a great benefit.
In most Cities across the world, if you were to compare a rental property and the monthly mortgage of a comparable home, the cost of ownership is typically much less.
Recently while working with a Rochester NY first time home buyer who was currently renting a 2 bedroom apartment in the City, they could not believe the difference between renting and owning a home. The 2 bedroom apartment was costing the buyer $1,000 per month plus utilities. The buyer ended up recently closing on a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath 2-story home in one of the Greater Rochester area suburbs for $100,000 and their monthly mortgage was only $900.00. Not only are they taking advantage of these benefits of owning a home but they were able to get a bigger place to live for less money per month!
4.) Owning A Home Provides Tax Advantages
There aren’t many people who enjoy paying taxes but it is a necessary evil. A great benefit of owning a home are the tax advantages that it provides. Buyers who have a strong understanding of important real estate tax tips quickly realize that owning a home provides some solid tax advantages.
Arguably the biggest tax advantage of owning a home is the option to deduct paid monthly interest from your tax returns. During the first several years of the term of a mortgage, a borrowers monthly payment is almost all interest. This means that at the end of the year there’s a nice deduction.
In addition to the ability to deduct monthly interest from a tax return, a borrower can also deduct mortgage insurance payments and other home-related purchases. It’s recommended that if you’re unsure how owning a home will impact your taxes that you discuss with your accountant so you fully understand how owning real estate will impact you come tax season.
5.) Freedom To Make Changes
When someone is weighing their options as to whether they should keep renting or buy a home, one of the biggest factors is often the ability to make changes that ownership provides. When you rent a property, it can be difficult to make even the simplest change such as painting a room as it’s often spelled out in a lease that you cannot alter the property in anyway.
A huge benefit of owning a home is the ability and freedom to make changes. Whether it’s something as simple as painting a bedroom or something complex such as a complete kitchen remodel, when you own a home you can make changes as you see fit.
Not only is the ability to make changes to a property a great way to make a house feel like a home, it also can give a nice bump in the properties value. There are many budget friendly home improvement projects that add value to a home and also projects that can cost thousands of dollars, but either way, owning a home gives the freedom to make changes as you please.
6.) Build Your Credit
There are many factors that impact a persons credit score, one of the most important being the length of credit history. A great tip for improving a credit score is to improve average length of credit accounts and owning a home can accomplish this.
Since the length of a mortgage is typically 15 or 30 years, having a mortgage on your credit history is a great way to lengthen the average of your credit accounts. In addition to improving the average length of credit accounts, each and every month that a mortgage is paid on-time it shows that you’re a responsible borrower which not only can improve a credit score but also improves the chance of approval for future credit accounts.
7.) Solid Investment
Buying A Home Can Be An Excellent Investment & A Benefit Of Owning A Home –
There are many options when it comes to making an investment. Owning a home is a solid investment which is another fantastic benefit.
While a home is large purchase, it also provides a much better return on investment than other large purchases such as a car. When you purchase a car, the depreciation begins as soon as you drive it off the dealers lot.
Owning a home provides the opposite as in many cases real estate will appreciate, depending on the local market conditions. Real estate markets are different even if they are close in proximity and it’s critical before buying a home you have an idea what to expect in terms of potential appreciation over the years.
An experienced real estate agent cannot predict exactly what’ll happen with home values in an area, but they certainly can provide some information on the values over the past several years.
8.) Pride Of Ownership & Community Involvement
Owning a home provides many buyers a sense of pride in their home but also their community. The pride of ownership and community involvement that comes with owning a home is another nice benefit that should be considered.
Many homeowners take huge pride in their community and the relationships that come with being involved in their community. Building relationships with fellow neighbors, local politicians, and local community service employees, such as the local firefighters is something that is difficult to establish without owning a home and being involved in the community.
9.) Choice Of Location
The number of options available for rental property is often limited, depending on your location. If this is the case in your area, this means that the location you can live in is often limited as well. For example, in the Greater Rochester area there are very few rental opportunities in many of the suburban areas.
Buying and owning a home gives you more of an opportunity to pick where you want to live. One of the most important factors for many buyers is the location of the home.
Selecting a neighborhood to buy a home in is very important and is also one of the luxuries of owning a home. Buyers have the ability to pick where their home is located in proximity to their employer, what school district the home is located within, and many other location based options.
10.) Improved Stability
One common trend among people who rent a home or apartment is they’re frequently on the move to new places. It’s fairly uncommon for people to remain in one apartment for 5, 10, or 15 years.
Owning a home improves stability for many people, which is a nice perk. Since buying a home is a long-term commitment and rather large investment, moving every few years is unlikely.
Buying a home and turning around to sell a couple years later can be difficult since the amount of equity built after a couple years is relatively low. Not having enough equity in a home can lead to having to come out of pocket to cover the costs of selling a home or even worse, a short sale. While it’s impossible to predict where exactly you’ll be in a couple years from now, if you’re purchasing a home you need to be somewhat confident you plan on staying in the property for an extended period of time.
People who’re buying a home are often looking for that extra stability that comes with owning a property!
Final Thoughts On The Benefits Of Owning A Home
As you can see, owning a home comes with many great benefits! It’s important that before you go out and purchase a home you’re fully aware of the above benefits. Owning a home is so much more than just having a place to live!
Video conferencing is becoming an increasingly viable method of communication for businesses both small and large, but it’s important to understand exactly what its advantages and disadvantages are.
Seven advantages of video conferencing include:
Saves time and money.
No traveling required.
Brings remote workers and telecommuters together.
More personal and engaging than phone conferencing alone.
Increased efficiency and productivity.
Cuts down on carbon emissions.
What Is Video Conferencing and How Does It Work?
Simply put: video conferencing is a method of communication that uses the web to connect a group of people via a live video and audio feed. Video conferences are held with the help of video conferencing software and services, such as FreeConferenceCall.com, join.me or GoToMeeting, to name a few.
What Are the Benefits of Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing offers a wealth of benefits to businesses of all sizes across a multitude of industries and sectors. We will be reviewing video conferencing advantages and disadvantages and the types of video conferencing available today.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest benefits:
1. Saves Time and Money
Consider for a moment the costs associated with a traditional face-to-face meeting. For a meeting that participants must travel to attend, costs can add up quickly.
Even in-office meetings can come with an array of costs, including the paid time employees spend setting up the meeting and waiting for latecomers to arrive.
All of these costs add up to some big numbers: In a study published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Philosophy, researchers from multiple universities found that businesses waste approximately $37 billion on ineffective meetings every year.
2. No Traveling Required
Traveling to attend a meeting isn’t just costly—it can also be incredibly inconvenient and taxing. Even if the travel time is as short as 30 minutes, it will inevitably eat up valuable time that could otherwise be spent accomplishing important tasks or preparing for the meeting.
3. Brings Remote Workers and Telecommuters Together
With 43 percent of employed Americans working remotely at least some of the time, more people are working remotely than ever before. So, it’s important for businesses that employ remote workers and telecommuters to bring those employees together in a way that doesn’t rely on face-to-face meetings. (See No. 7 on this list for more benefits to remote workers.)
4. More Personal and Engaging Than Phone Conferencing Alone
Although conferences conducted over the phone can allow for effective communication in many situations, video conferencing is unique in that it allows participants to see each other’s body language. Studies have found that communication relies on body language between 55 percent and 70 percent of the time.
5. Increased Efficiency and Productivity
The combined effect of many of the advantages of video conferencing—such as less time and money wasted, increased personal connection and a lack of travel—is a greater level of efficiency and productivity.
After all, if attendees are spending the bulk of their time actually participating in a meeting rather than preparing for it, traveling to it or waiting for other participants to arrive, it makes sense that efficiency and productivity will go up.
6. Cuts Down on Carbon Emissions
Since adopting greener business practices can save money, attract consumers and improve reputation (in addition to helping the environment, of course), 10 percent more companies have set carbon and water targets over the past five years.
Given that transportation accounts for 28 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, it’s clear that businesses who adopt video conferencing can significantly cut down on their carbon emissions and save money in the process.
7. Improves Relationships
Happy workers are up to 20 percent more productive than unhappy workers, and it goes without saying that any business can benefit from increased productivity.
So, what makes workers happy? For one, positive workplace relationships: 67 percent of workers say that having friends at their job makes work more fun and enjoyable. Since video conferencing is an excellent way to build professional relationships with colleagues and clients alike, it’s worth your while to consider video conferencing as a means of improving workplace relationships—especially for remote workers.
What Are the Disadvantages of Video Conferencing?
Like any other form of communication, video conferencing also comes with its own unique set of disadvantages. Some drawbacks include:
Requires participants to possess a basic level of tech literacy: Although participating in a video conference is certainly not as technologically advanced as other tasks, it still requires attendees to have a foundation of technical knowledge.
Can be less personal than a face-to-face meeting: While video conferencing is generally more personal than a conference that’s conducted over the phone, it does have the potential to be less personal than a face-to-face meeting, especially if some attendees aren’t actively participating. Potential for technical difficulties: A successful video conference relies on several stable and high-speed internet connections, as well as multiple properly functioning computers, webcams and microphones. That’s a lot of variables. Knowing this, it’s not hard to see how a video conference can be delayed or detoured by technical difficulties.
What Video Conferencing Software and Services Are Available?
However, very few of those offer a complete suite of features for free. Here, we’ll compare the cost and features of some of the top video conferencing services:
As you can see, while the top video conferencing services and software have many of the same features, it can be difficult to find on that’s truly free.
When comparing the advantages and disadvantages of video conferencing, the benefits generally outweigh the drawbacks. For many businesses, video conferencing can be a low-cost (or even free) way to bring people together, increase productivity and save money.