Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Rebuilding ourself

Through the last couple of years, things that we have done in the past have changed in a lot of ways. So many things that we took for granted are different now, and now what we must do is figure out how to adapt to the new way of doing some of the things that we have done so automatically in the past.

For a lot of people, how they work has changed because more people are now working from a remote location instead of going into an office daily. Yes, this is a big change for a lot of people because it has meant that they no longer have that commute which they might have used for reading or listening to things. The normal lunchtime was for doing those errands that you could fit into that hour.

Some benefits for being able to work remotely:

  • Reduction on number of outfits that you need because so often if you are attending meetings remotely, people only see the top half of you.
  • Picking up lunch at a food court is not an option when working at home so the cost of meals out goes down
  • The overall cost of commuting is way down because in some cases you only have to go into the office once or twice a week.
  • Fewer distractions due to people wanting to socialize and interruptions for getting a quick answer to something.
  • More family time because you aren’t commuting as much.

Some disadvantages for being able to work remotely

  • Your time for yourself in reduced because you don’t have that commute time
  • Team building is a lot harder when you are not in the same location
  • Getting quick answers to questions takes longer because you can’t walk over and get the and answer.
  • Interruptions from others that are also at home.

Yes, so there are both benefits and disadvantages for being able to work remotely, but they are things that we all must learn to deal with. It might be something that for some companies will be a temporary basis and for others it’s the new way of working.

They are so many other things that have changed through the last couple of years, and how we communicate and socialize with others has also changed. Now we can do a video chat or call, whereas before we would get together in person for those conversations. Conferences and community groups are also finding ways to have either a hybrid version of things, or they have also gone totally virtual. These are things that we all are learning to deal with.

In so many ways, these last couple of years have taught us how to use technology a lot more, and in some cases it’s a good thing and in other cases it’s bad. Senior’s that have never used technology or have used it very little have been impacted greatly due to these changes that have happened. In so cases, seniors have felt more isolated because their social gatherings have been eliminated, and they don’t have the ability to enjoy the company of others as much. So, if you know a senior that doesn’t use technology too much, make sure that you either visit them or call them on the phone to check in on them to make sure that they are still feeling wanted and important.

We are all rebuilding ourselves, and what we need to do is think about those around us and ensure that they are doing ok in this new way of doing things. Who knows how things are going to continue to change because it’s something that we will have to adapt to moving forward.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Targets versus goals

 

Lately I have been thinking about things that I would like to achieve in 2023, and I kept saying that they are my goals, but now I am thinking that they should be considered my targets. What is the different between the two terms for me.

Goals – something that you want/need to achieve and if you don’t, you can get upset with yourself because you didn’t achieve them.

Targets – things that are you are going to strive to achieve and even if you don’t reach the target but made progress towards it, you will be happy.

Now what I have come to realize is that if I say that I am going to have these goals for a year and I don’t reach them, I am very disappointed in myself for not reaching them. What I don’t normally do is think about the reasons why the goal wasn’t reached. There are times when the goal was just out of reach from the beginning, and then there are times when the goal couldn’t be reached because of things that happened during the year to impact the achievement.

This coming year I am going to be aiming for targets and if I reach them, I will be very happy but if I don’t, and I can identify the reason or reasons why they weren’t achieved I will be happy. I know for some f the different things that I want to aim for I am going to be pushing myself, so maybe just having the target is a better idea. In some ways I think we put too much pressure on ourselves when we set either goals or resolutions because you don’t know what the year is going to be like and some of these things can be impacted by things outside your control. For example, did any of us think about how Covid was coming to impact us and our goals in 2020, probably not but did we beat ourselves up because some of the goals weren’t met, we may have.  Now to figure out how to change our mindset to be aiming for targets instead of goals.

It might be very similar for a lot of people, but at least being able to figure out something that you would like to achieve instead of I have to achieve it may help move things forward.  I am now going to work on getting some targets that I would like to achieve in 2023 and then at the end of the year I will be how things went. I will also track things that impact me during the year to determine if it helped me reach the target or not reach it. No matter what I am looking forward to seeing how things go in 2023, and I will see what I achieve and what I don’t, but I am not going to put that additional stress on myself saying that I have to achieve goals, next year I will be aiming for targets.

Hope everyone can figure out what works best for them because knowing if a goal or a target works best can help you see how to achieve things that you want to achieve.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Where has the year gone?

For me, I am sitting here and asking the simple question of “Where did the year go?” 

For a lot of us, we have been getting back into a new routine and finding out what worked and what doesn’t work after almost two years of restrictions and changes that have happened around us. In some cases, for some people, the way they work has changed from being in the office every day to now working at home either all the time or most of the time.

In some cases, the changes are going to be permanent and for other’s the new year is going to result in going back into the office either more often or every day. For someone like me my home is also my office, so there isn’t a change that is going to happen other than when clients want me in their location, which has happened all along.

One of the things that I have noticed is a lot more people are spending more time at home instead of always wanting to be out and doing things. For us, we don’t go out as much as we did in the past, and that means that we have more time to spend together at home doing things that we enjoy. We have also found ways of being happy doing things without the need of being among a lot of people.

In a lot of ways, this year has been the year when we have been able to discover our new routines and our new normal. It may still change some over the next little while, but figuring out how to be happy is what is important. As I am writing this the end of the year is quickly approaching and the year will roll over to a different number but what’s the only real difference, I can see that is going to be happening for us. Yes, the year seems to have gone by quickly in a lot of ways, but then maybe that is because we are doing what we enjoy doing.

So with that I wish every one a Happy New Year and I hope that 2023 is a good year for you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Store layouts

Over the last little while, I have noticed some things about stores and how they lay out their aisles that have started to bother me. I am going to try and note some of them here.

  1. Poles in aisles – yes, I know that poles are part of the structure for a building, and they are needed, but do they need to be in the middle of the aisle where customers are walking? The aisles should be made so that the poles are in the shelving section and not blocking where customers walk. It seems that putting the aisles where the poles are is the lazy way of designing a store.
  2. Narrow aisles – there are stores where two small buggies cannot pass easily in the aisle, and that makes for a rather difficult shopping experience. If you need to have aisles that are that narrow, make sure that you have a method of controlling which direction customers travel in those aisles.
  3. Low stock – here is something that has been happening since Covid, and now it is starting to look very interesting in some stores. We have been in a few stores and there are either large sections of open space where bins had been in the past or the product is now set up one deep on a shelf over a large section of the shelf. Yes, I understand that there are some shipping challenges.
  4. Restocking shelves during a busy time – this is one that we encountered this weekend, which is the weekend before Christmas. We were in a store, and they were restocking shelves, so part of the aisle on one side has a cart with boxes and then just past that there was the person kneeling on the floor restocking the shelves. This resulted in an obstacle course around both the cart and the person. It would have been a little better if the cart had of been on the same side as the person, so the restocking was being done when the store wasn’t that busy.
  5. Checkout lines – one thing that I have liked that a lot of stores have started doing is one single check out line, and you go to the next available cashier. This has meant that you aren’t stuck behind someone because of an issue they are having, checking out. What is the problem right now is not knowing where the line continues once it has gone out of the marked area. I have seen a store have the line go one way one day and then a different way another day is that means that customers don’t know where lines are, and they end up standing in stops thinking they are in line when they aren’t.
  6. Not enough cashiers – this could be a staffing problem or just a case of someone not calling for assistance. There are times when the line is growing to check out and there is either only one or two cashiers available, but there are a lot of other staff restocking shelves in the store. There other staff should be helping check the customers out. Michael’s at least during the busy time does something to assist with checking out and that is while you are standing in line, one staff member is going along the line and entering your purchases and giving you a card to give to the cashier. This means that once you are at the cashier all of your purchases are already scanned, and you just pay, and you are on the way.

A good store layout and staffing can make it a better experience for a customer and make for happier staff because customers aren't getting upset with them. I know that the layout of the store isn’t determined by the staff, but whoever oversees the layout needs to think about the flow of traffic in the store, not just what might be the easiest for them to design.