October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
I was invited by Creve Coeur Workspace to write about this topic since I’m on the board of The Arya Foundation. The Arya Foundation helps families of children with disabilities purchase adaptive equipment in the greater St Louis area.
The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “The Right Talent, Right Now.” So, how does that relate to us small business owners at Creve Coeur Workspace, where for many of us, the only employee is ourselves?
Even if you don’t have employees, being aware of inclusiveness issues will help with our customer relations. October is a good time to review your company policies to ensure they convey a commitment to inclusiveness.
One of the reasons I located my business here was the accessibility. I do have disabled clients and my old office space was a problem when it came to accessibility. Here we have plenty of accessible parking and the front door actually has the push button set back from the entrance. If you haven’t had to deal with a wheelchair before, you might not have noticed how great that is. Many office building doors have the open button right at the door. If you’re in a wheelchair, you push the button, then have to move back for the door to open, and then move forward again to go in the building. The timing can be off, and you can actually get hit by the door trying to enter the building. I hadn’t noticed how cool our entrance was until one of my clients took me outside to show me. Happy client = returning customer.
Besides wheelchair accessibility, what else can we do to make our businesses more inclusive? Many of us are using Social Media marketing tools. It’s estimated that 20% of the population has some type of disability which limits them from seeing our messages.
The federal government has a toolkit of tips for making your social media more accessible. Here’s a link for more information: https://digital.gov/resources/improving-the-accessibility-of-social-media-in-government/#general
Just by making our websites and social media more accessible we can increase our market reach by 20%. That’s pretty cool!
The Arya Foundation also hosts the Disability Awareness Convention. The next one will be held Sunday, February 23, 2020 from noon until 5 PM at the Purser Center at Logan University. We are already signing up vendors, sponsors, and speakers. If you would like to learn more about how your business can participate, please check out our website at: https://thearyafoundation.org/dac2020
Roberg Tax Solutions
Microsoft Outlook is the most used Email Service in the Business World. If you have thousands of unread emails in your inbox, or cannot find old emails when needed, you might need to organize your Inbox! Here are some tips to help make using Microsoft Outlook an enjoyable experience for you!
1. Quick Parts
Do you always type some of the same verbiage in some of your emails? Cut off the time spent of typing all of it up by using Quick Parts! While drafting an email, go to the Insert Tab > Text Section > Quick Parts. In the drop down, you have the option to insert an already saved text, or you can save text to use. To save the text, highlight the chunk you wanted saved and click Quick Parts > Save Selection. You can save the formatting that you have, and how you want the text to be pasted in the future.
2. Folder Organization
Your email will always have a couple standard places you commonly use – Inbox, Outbox, Drafts, and Sent Items. You can expand that list and organize it by creating more folders! On your Home Page, go the Folder Tab and click New Folder. You can create a folder that will help you organize your emails so you can reference them faster. For example, try using a To-Do folder do you have short list of emails that require a task to be done, or an Important folder to hold emails you need to reference back to. After you have these folders, you can create rules for incoming emails to be filed away, but we’ll get to that later.
3. Clean Up
Many times, we get emails that are duplicates or redundant and can clog up your inbox. While in your inbox or in a folder, you have the option to use Clean Up. There are two ways to access this function. On the Home Tab > Delete Section > Clean Up, you can find the option to clean up the current email thread you are in. If you go to the Folder Tab > Clean Up Section, you can find multiple ways to help manage your inbox with a click of a button!
4. Email Rules
Did you know you could set up incoming email to be placed right into the folder you want it to go to? While viewing an email, in the Home tab, find the Move section and click Rules. Click Create Rule and then go through the prompts to complete the rule. You can have the rule set by the sender, or by the subject line. To manage your existing rules, click the same Rules drop down and click Manage Rules and Alerts.
5. Keyboard Shortcuts
Instead of clicking through endless menus to find what you need, use Keyboard Shortcuts to complete tasks quicker in Outlook! Here are some of the most commonly used shortcuts:
New Message: Ctrl + Shift + M
Send: Alt + S
Search: Ctrl + E
New Task: Ctrl + Shift + K
Additionally, pressing Alt + H while on the home page will give you a little guide of different shortcuts you can select:
Using these tools and tricks can make your Outlook inbox more manageable and efficient. Have fun cleaning up those inboxes!
Sharing the working space has had untold benefits. Having other small business owners, and other employees from many different types of businesses has kept Robin, Tammie and I connected. Being in a space with other lawyers, many of whom are solo or small firm practitioners has also helped. Melissa, and her prior colleagues have reminded us of what a great receptionist is capable of, making a really great first impression.
This June, we’re celebrating Workplace Well-being Month to introduce more healthy choices and activities into your workday! Whether you work from home or work in an office, here are some ideas to help you focus on your well-being!
Since nicer weather is here, we thought what better way to celebrate than go out and visit the area’s best parks! There are many parks and trails in St. Louis and St. Charles that are free to the public and offer various activities for a fun day in the sun. We put together a list of the most popular parks in the area. Check it out!
1. Forest Park
We are excited to introduce Connie from Conmar. She has been a long term tenant of Creve Coeur Workspace and are delighted to feature her. Check out her interview below:
In a shared workspace environment, taking care of the space you’re in can make everyone’s work life easier. No one wants to walk into the shared kitchen area to see the sink full of dishes! Take note of these super simple tips to make everyone’s time in the space run more efficiently.
Schedule conference and meeting room time with wiggle room.
Oftentimes conference and meeting rooms are booked back to back. If your meeting runs over your scheduled time, you’re causing the next meeting to begin later than expected. Check with the receptionist to see if anyone is booked after you and add more time if you need it. We will do our best to accommodate you and your guests in a different meeting room if needed.
Be mindful of your noise level.
It can be quite distracting when you’re on a conference call to hear a neighbor’s music or conversation. If your phone is on speaker, keep the volume low or close your door. Keep music or other noise at a low level so you’re not disturbing your workspace associates.
Our most used shared space… the kitchen.
The kitchen is one of the busiest areas in our suite. Two easy rules of thumb here: First, if you wouldn’t want to smell it in your private office, don’t microwave it in the kitchen. Second, clean up after yourself. Please don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or a trail of crumbs across the floor.
Utilize our most valued resources!
Our associates are our most valued resources. When you’re looking for help in a particular profession, why not see if someone in the suite can help you or your client? Creve Coeur Workspace is fortunate enough to have specialty tenants in many different areas of practice: tax pros, lawyers (Criminal, Estate, Social Security, and more), home health care, realtors, insurance agencies, tech help, and financial advisors just to name a few.
What do you find most useful about being in a shared workspace? If you’re not already in a shared workspace, how do you think it would benefit you most? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy coworking!