How to bring a touch of feng shui into your office

The environment we live in can have a significant impact on our lives and our emotions. Nowhere is this more important than in the workplace. Fortunately, the power of a positive office space is something which employers have begun to pick up on in recent years. Gone are the days of grey, drab offices.


You don’t need to hire an expensive feng shui expert to help you get the most from your own office space. Here, we take a look at a few simple things you can do to get things moving in the right direction.


Open up space


One of the primary rules of feng shui is to create open spaces. It should be an easy task to walk from one side of your office to the other, free from obstacles and lengthy routes. Hemming desks in close to one another can create a claustrophobic environment, which is unlikely to sit well with employees.


Remove clutter


Whether it’s at work or at home, there are few things more distracting than clutter. It’s a good idea to invest in storage solutions in order to get the things you do need to keep out of site. When it comes to waste, it’s absolutely essential that it is kept out of sight. Bringing a waste compactor into your office will not only cut down on the aesthetic impact which waste has on your office, but it will also lower your carbon footprint.


Embrace greenery


Bringing plants into the office is not only a great way to liven the place up visually, it can also work wonders for the air in your office. This can be particularly effective in large offices, or during the winter time when opening the windows can get expensive.


Don’t be too work centric


Good feng shui is supposed to make everyone in the workplace feel relaxed. For this reason, it can make sense to incorporate some items into the workplace which aren’t related to work. These could be fun, or simply relaxing.


How far you go with this is up to you, but anything is a good start. Whether you start by creating a comfortable space in which people can rest during their time off, or go all the way and create a games room which employees can use whenever they’re lacking inspiration or motivation, this is up to you.

Criminals Confiscated Cash Where Does It Go

Over a decade ago, an act came into force that made it easier for the state to strip criminals of illegally acquired gains and established an agency to recover them, the Assets Recovery Agency.


Part of a long history of legislation to prevent criminals benefitting financially from their crimes, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 – usually abbreviated to POCA – and its various enforcement bodies have managed to reclaim millions of pounds, much of it the product of money laundering and fraud. But once this money has been confiscated from the convicted parties, what becomes of it?


Naturally, a large proportion makes its way back into the justice system, from the courts through to the police force. In addition, there are groups like Cashback for Communities, based in Scotland, who have used money recovered by the act to fund projects that benefit local people, including the installation of all-weather synthetic football pitches, providing courses for aspiring young filmmakers and musicians, and Just Play, an initiative that allows families from deprived areas to play in controlled, safe environments.


In 2012, Greater Manchester Police used £100,000 from proceeds of crime to run the LionHeart project, which saw the police force engage with local schoolchildren by holding a Dragon’s Den style competition where kids were asked to come up with a new crime-fighting tool. 30 schools participated and the finalist were judged by a panel of police officers and business owners. Similar projects take place in communities all over the country.


There are also those who believe that the money reclaimed from criminals should be used to help those on the wrong side of the law, specifically those not long out of prison. In June, Deputy Mike Higgins, a Jersey politician stated that cash from the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund should be used to fund a new charity drop-in centre for ex-offenders and asked for £200,000 to be released to renovate a derelict workshop that would act as the premises.


In most cases, the feeling is such that the harm done to communities by criminal activity can be, in some small way, attenuated by using the ill-gotten gains for good. But there remains a huge sum of assets that haven’t been seized. As recently as January there was a story of a scottish criminal James Mangan who owes £225,000 to the government. Though £50 million has been seized in the last five years under the act, the scottish authorities have declared that the country’s richest criminals still owe around £7.5 million.


Since the 2002 version of the act, which contained the principal legislation on money laundering in the UK, solicitors who specialise in Proceeds of Crime Applications have become much more prevalent. Some of said solicitors consider the measures set in place by the act as draconian and have argued that assumptions can be made about how assets have been obtained, leading to inflated estimate for benefit of crime amounts. Confiscation proceedings can only be started against those who have been convicted of an offence, so if you are worried about your assets following a conviction see a solicitor as soon as possible.

Companies move to lower TAX BURDENS?

Pfizer is currently waiting for AstraZeneca to except their proposal then the move of their headquarters to London will seal their wishes.

The legislative director of Citizens for Tax Justice, Steve Wamhoff a public advocacy group feels Pfizer should be more concerned about their taxes. Wamhoff believes “Pfizer is just going to be moving paper around, while pretending to be a foreign company when in reality they are simply trying to avoid paying their U.S taxes”. (Should this be allowed)? Hopefully, congress will take note of this and call for action.

It would appear: Home is not where the heart is….It’s where lower taxes are for Pfizer.

Evidently Pfizer came from that time period where businesses open their headquarters in places like: Bermuda so they can practice tax inversion, this was a very popular technique up until 2004, when Congress stepped in and changed the law, making companies who had 80% ownership in the U.S. subject to taxes.

Now, big companies are getting more clever with finding ways to hold on to their profit’s, and tax inversion is raring it’s ugly head once again only this time its wearing a different label. Take a look at Liberty Global, Perrigo, and even Chiquita (that’s right the fast on the go breakfast snack) they have all admitted to buying foreign companies and shifting their head quarters, and they each claimed the foreign move was to lowered their tax burdens. Maybe we all should open a yo-yo business in a foreign country and move to lower our tax burdens.

Michael Kirsch a former international tax counselor for the U.S. Treasury and a law professor at Notre Dame believes “that the recent mergers between U.S. companies and foreign firms are aimed at circumventing the restrictions of the 2004 law”.

Normally when there is a merger it means that a firm or company has fallen below 80% of their domestic ownership threshold. (Pfizer is not faced with this issue).

So, even though Pfizer will be opening its head quarters in London, the executives and staff working in the U.S. will more than likely continue to live in the U.S.

There has been some concern from Pascal Soriot the AstraZeneca CEO he testified before the British parliamentary committee where he openly expressed his objections to Pfizer’s proposal. Pascal Soriot, questions whether or not Pfizer is committing tax inversion. Pascal Soriot is also concerned that this can negatively impact the reputation of AstraZeneca.

Ask yourself, is it really fair to allow these businesses to do most of their business in the United States and benefit from public investments that we pay for? Is it time to crack down on companies that practice tax avoidance? Why does tax avoidance work for large companies operating in foreign countries and no one else?

About the Author:


Hello, I’m Blair Thomas and I’m an electronic payment expert and the co-founder of from Los Angeles, CA, the High Risk Merchant Account Processor in the country.  I enjoy hiking, dining and discovering new music. When I’m not working in the electronic payments industry, you can most likely find me producing and writing music. Add me to your circles at Google +

When do you need the service of a property lawyer?

Property sales are a big money business, and whether it is your first time buying property, or you have done it before, the process can be complex. Paperwork seems to be never ending and there are many different professionals that need to be hired through the process. Continue reading When do you need the service of a property lawyer?

What Does the Budget 2014 Mean For You?

Last year Chancellor George Osborne vowed that the government would ‘back small businesses all the way’ but one year on what does the new Budget mean for businesses run by people like you or me?

Here I take a look at how the Budget 2014 will directly affect UK businesses and what benefits have been unlocked as a result this April besides the cut in Bingo Tax and pint prices!

Great news for SMEs looking for investment

For small to medium sized enterprises in particular, recent changes will be a cause for celebration as the Chancellor announces a host of positive outcomes for the ‘makers, doers and savers’.

In the search for a more sustainable recovery, the Budget 2014 will aim to encourage investment in businesses thanks to the 50% rise in investment allowances. This allowance has doubled to £500,000, ensuring that ventures looking for start-up or follow-on funding to support growth become one step closer to achieving this financial assistance from private investors. The boost will also allow businesses of all sizes to obtain the investment tax reliefs that have become an essential part of investing and supporting business growth.

Slashing your corporation tax bill

Under the new Budget, businesses will see their corporation tax bill cut from 23% to 21%. Corporation tax has been falling steadily since 2010 and the change, which came into effect at the beginning of the month, will be a welcome break for businesses looking to reduce their annual tax bill further.

Say goodbye to the burden of business rates

Business rates have always been a hot topic, especially for small and start-up businesses that have found these high rates have a damaging effect on both their prospects and profit margins.

The Budget 2014 saw business rates capped at 2%, whilst business rates reliefs for small businesses are now available until April 2015. As a result over half a million small businesses will receive a discount on their business rates with a further 33% not paying any rates at all.

Boost your company’s workforce thanks to reduced NICs

Available to the majority of UK companies, the Employment Allowance will see business owners from all sectors pay reduced employer Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs). This reduction will slash the average business’ annual tax bill by up to £2,000.

The Employment Allowance is great news for smaller local businesses that put off the unavoidable cost and paperwork that goes hand-in-hand with employing new staff. The changes will enable these businesses in particular to hire the staff they need to take their company to the very next level.

About the Author

Tony Earnshaw is the founder and director of UK Commercial Cleaning. The organisation has grown from strength-to-strength since it was established in 2007 and with a little help from Dragon Duncan Bannatyne, UKCC is now the country’s foremost commercial cleaning firm.


How to Increase Your Warehouse Storage Space?

The warehouse storage space should be used in an efficient manner. In order to utilize the space in an efficient manner, you can resort to alternate flooring. Mezzanine flooring is the best option through which you will be able to provide a workable storage solution. The flooring can be done to fulfill various kinds of requirements, including manufacturing, service & delivery and delivery & installation. In addition to the mezzanine flooring you can also go for racks and shelves through which you will be able to use the available space in an efficient manner. Continue reading How to Increase Your Warehouse Storage Space?

Why use stainless steel nails?

Stainless steel nails are often the choice for interior finish carpentry as well as other woodworking projects if you do not want the nail head to be seen. These types of nails have a bit of a rounded head this is larger than their shanks and are used to provide a great look as well as never rust. The best reason to use these nails is that they can used on a variety of wood surfaces with any type of finish and not be seen and never rust so the furniture or finish will look great for years to come. The nails are perfect for outdoor as well as indoor projects that will avoid discoloration as well as corrosion.


You will find an array of stainless steel nails, which differ in head diameter, gauge, size, and the length and diameter of the head and shank. The type of nail you may need depends on the type of carpentry work you will be doing as well as the type of the finish you will use. On a good note, stainless steel nails are used for many different projects and are often referred to as the common nail. The main reason they are chosen is that resist corrosion and will not stain wood.


Stainless steel nails are used in many different projects such as upholstery trim panels, moldings, hardwood flooring, construction, door casings, window casings, paneling, wainscoting, and millwork. Most carpenters use these nails as they can handle most weather conditions and never tarnish.


For those that live in an area where there is high humidity, you may notice that nails are rusted or have changed colors even inside your home. This can be resolved by using stainless steel nails that can handle humidity without any discoloration at all. The reason is that most nails due to the ore will not be able to handle water and moisture and will begin to deteriorate thus you will start seeing discoloration.


In order to create beautiful woodwork that will handle humidity and most other issues, stainless steel nails is the answer. Any woodwork project that uses nails other than stainless steel will notice that due to exposure will begin to corrode and cause all kinds of damage to the wood. Stainless steel nails will never discolor or rust so the woodwork will always look its best.


Another reason to use stainless steel nails is that they are strong and durable. This allows you to use small and very thin nails, which helps with the aesthetic value of your project. The use of small nails will ensure they will not be seen with the eye so your wood working project may even bring you more money. Along with this, the life span of the woodworking project no matter if is the interior of a home or furniture will be longer as the nails will last. See more about top quality stainless steel nails.

What Are T Bar Hooks and What Do You Use Them for?

Our ceiling is a space that we often overlook. It is something we generally put a light on, and perhaps decorate with fancy plastering, but other than that, we don’t do anything with it. This is strange, because we stuff both our floors and walls full of furniture and decoration items. The ceiling can be used for similar things, although you do have to be a little bit more creative.

Using T Bar Hooks

With a T bar hook, you can attach anything you like to drop down ceiling installations. Many people have these in their garages to create suspended storage spaces, for instance. However, they can just as easily be used in other rooms, including the basement, the attic, sheds, the kitchen and so on.

All you need to do with your hook is attach one on each side of the bar. This really secures the hook and you can then create a full installation with things such as string, wire, other rods or chain for instance. You can click here for more information on how this works and what sort of tools you can use besides your t bar hooks to complete the installation.

You can really get creative with your ceiling installations once you have these hooks. The only real risk is that you end up with a ceiling that has as much stuff on it as your walls and floors, which would leave for a very cramped house. Try to make sure you use them in a way that is practical and esthetically pleasing as well. Do remember, as well, that sometimes, stuff doesn’t need to find another place in your home, but simply needs to be thrown out. One final thing is that you have to watch out for the weight that you put on the bar, as there are some limitations.

A Look at Smart Offices


Running your own business isn’t always easy, especially if it is something that you are doing alone. When you are the person in charge of dealing with customers, marketing and the general day to day running of a business it can be hard to know how you are going to fit in all in. At the end of the day you can only spread yourself so thin, so it can be hard to do everything – especially when you are trying to complete everything to a high standard.

If this is something that you are struggling with then you might want to look up Smart Offices and help they can help you. Smart Offices are generally virtual offices that can help you with the day to day running of your business. You’ll find that companies who offer these services have a range of packages and services so shopping around to find something that suits your needs perfectly should not be too much of a struggle.

Getting Help with Smart Offices

One of the nicest things about using Smart Offices is that you can hire them to do as much or as little as you need them too. You can ask them just to take care of your phone calls for you, answer emails or take care of even more of your day to day office and admin needs. Smart Offices like this have experience in all sorts of industries and taking care of the office needs of all sorts of businesses so you can feel confident that they’re going to have the skills to help you.


Perhaps one the of the best things about these smart offices is that they’re often much more cost effective than setting up and running your own business premises and taking care of your own workforce which for many companies is  a welcomed relief. Click here for more information.

The Virtual offices allow businesses that are brought from home, companies are starting and established small businesses can project an excellent image without incurring the expenses relating to a physical office space. For a set monthly fee, you can get a professional business address, dedicated phone number answered by a local receptionist and managing your mail and calls. The purpose for which they are used determines how they are used, so it’s a great idea to consider what are the features that best suit your type of business.

More professional image: Based business to home, a nightmare is the possibility that a call from one of its most important potential investors is answered by her 3-year-old. And when you receive a call from a major customer, do you really want your conversation has as background a discussion of your children so loudly?

How the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal Function Side by Side

The Green Deal came about in 2013, in an attempt to foster the desire to create solutions for energy efficiency in homes throughout the UK. It was designed to provide the opportunity for domestic customers to pay for energy efficiency upgrades without suffering undue financial hardship. The programme works by ensuring that upgrades are cost-limited to only the amount that would be saved by upgrading during the first year. It allows individuals to pay for these upgrades through their energy bills, reducing the stress and sudden costs that can be associated with assessments and upgrades. Continue reading How the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal Function Side by Side