Did you know that Americans only spend 10 percent of their time outside? That translates to roughly two and a half hours a day where we are breathing in fresh air. Now I don’t know how you feel about that statistic, but it makes me want to get up from this computer right now and step outside for some fresh air. According to a Fast Company article it would seem that I’m not the only one concerned about the effects being indoors 90% of the time has on us. This week, Fast Company wrote a piece on a new study that Mayo Clinic and, a real estate company by the name of, Delos conducted. “The Mayo Clinic and Delos, a real estate company with an emphasis on wellness, have partnered to launch the most ambitious study yet of how life indoors influences the human body and brain.” According to the article Mayo Clinic and Delos have set up what they call the “Well-Living Lab” which is located in Rochester, Minnesota. The space is designed to measure every aspect of the indoors and track how each part affects the human body. The Mayo Clinic will then be reaching out to Rochester residents who might be willing to earn some money by spending several days living in the labs as if it were their own place. The lab is set to be running studies in early 2016 so keep your eye out for any results, this should be very interesting!
In previous posts I’ve written about the pros and cons to working remotely and how to continue carrying business relationships while being a freelancer. Today, I’m writing about how to find the perfect location for working remotely. According to an article released this week by Fast Company, there are a few ways to discover the perfect work environment if you work remotely. The author states that you must first think of your “must-haves.” In other words, think about the things that you HAVE to have in your work environment in order to be productive. For someone who can’t tune out outside conversations, this could mean needing a space that is near-silent. The author also points out that it is important to “think outside the coffee shop.” This one was my personal favorites because all too often people who work remotely just resort to a coffee shop. Coffee shops are by no means “bad places” to do remote work in, however it is important consider all of your options and mix it up a little. “Experiment with different places to see where you work best. Consider trying places that don’t meet all your criteria…” The full article lists many intriguing points and cites various research done on remote work. Next time I work remotely I may just skip the coffee shop and try and outdoor mall.
This week Customer Think wrote a piece discussing the various advantages to utilizing market research and how, as a small business owner, developing a budget for this can be difficult. However, the article provides a list of 5 free online tools that every business owner can utilize. The first of these tools is The American Fact Finder which can help aid companies in collecting U.S. Demographics Research. It is mentioned that this site can be particularly helpful in the exploratory phases of market research. The second tool is called Freelunch.com also known as economy.com. This site offers economic data that can help you build more of a numbers picture in your market. For your macro data platform, Customer Think suggests using the Statista Statistics Portal because it “not only…collects a ton of worldwide data but also aggregates it into a single platform for users to parse through.” Also among the free tools is Survey Monkey and Free Sample Market Research Report, both which help to collect data on the market and competing markets. I highly recommend reading this article in its entirety and learning about each of these free tools, as they all seem extremely beneficial for any small company struggling to put a budget together for market research.