10 Chair Exercises That You Can Easily Fit Into Your Day

The Benefits of Chair Exercises

In the busy world that we live in, it can be tough to find the time to exercise. If you are looking for some quick and easy exercises that can be done at work or home, then you’re in luck! This post is all about getting you moving from the comfort of your desk or lounge. Combined with the correct posture at your workspace, these exercises will go a long way to help prevent pains and injury.

To lose weight and be healthy, you don’t need a gym subscription and you don’t have to spend an hour or more working out every session. Brendan McCann, Exercise physiologist at Live Well Rehab Brisbane told us that exercise in small bursts has actually been proven to give the same results and it’s more maintainable for most of us, especially for anyone suffering from musculoskeletal disorders, or undergoing pulmonary or cardiac rehabilitation.

Brendan was also kind enough to provide us with his 10 favourite chair workouts. While aimed at burning calories and toning your body where you need it most, many of these exercises can be done as low impact exercise for anyone recovering from injury or undergoing injury rehabilitation. Many of these don’t even require you to get off your butt so you can do them while working at your desk, or even when watching TV! If you’re seeing a physical therapist, you may recognise some of these modified exercises from your exercise physiology program.

Seated Jacks

Seated Jacks how to toJumping jacks are a popular exercise to get the heart pumping but the ‘seated jacks’ are a nice alternative and mean that you can stay sitting down.

– Sit up tall towards the end of your chair, with your knees bent and brought together in front of you. Your toes should be pointed and just touching the ground. You should also bend your arms and have them our at your sides with your palms facing forwards.

– Quickly open your legs out to the side, flexing your feet and putting your arms overhead like you would with a regular jumping jack. Return to the starting position and do 20 repetitions in a row (the quicker, the better!)

Skater Switch

How to do Skater switch exerciseThe sitting skater move will burn calories in addition to targeting your core, arms and inner thighs! This is definitely the exercise for you, especially if beach season is fast approaching.

– Again, you need to be sitting on the edge of your chair for this move.

– Bend your right knee out to the side and extend your left leg to the other side, straight with your toes pointed.

– Extend your arms and quickly move forward, as you do so – reach your left arm down to your right foot. As you do this, raise your right arm up behind you and twist your torso.

– Switch sides and repeat 20 times or so.

Hinge & Cross

Hinge and cross exerciseThis toning move focuses on your abs, I bet you never thought that you could get a six pack while watching your favourite TV show but you can by doing the hinge & cross regularly.

– Sit down towards the end of the chair with your knees bent and your toes pointed just touching the floor in front of you.

– Put your hands behind your head, engage your core and lean back on the chair.

– Bring your body forward and cross your right elbow to the outside of your left knee.

– Don’t forget to do this on both sides and for 25 reps each.

The Magic Carpet

abs hold chair exerciseThis exercise tests your strength and is different to most chair workouts that you would find.

– Sit in the chair with your legs crossed and your hands on the armrests.

– Take a deep breath and raise yourself above the seat using your core and arms.

– Hold for 20 seconds before lowering. Rest and repeat a few more times.

Abs Hold

Another great one for the abs and quite an easy move, once you get the hang of it.

– Sit up straight on the edge of your chair, placing your hands either side of you for support.

– engage your core and stretch out your legs while lifting your butt off the chair so your body straightens to plank position

– Hold for around 10 seconds before lowering. Rest and repeat a few more times.

Chair Running

chair running exerciseMaybe you aren’t REALLY running with this chair workout, but it still gives your body a metabolism boost, burn calories and helps to tone.

– Sit down towards the end of your chair with your legs extended and your arms bent to your sides.

– Lean backwards until your shoulder blades touch the back of the chair.

– Lift your legs slightly and bring your right knee into your chest, turning your left shoulder in towards that knee and pulling your right elbow back.

– Repeat around 30 times, ensuring that you alternate sides.

Chair Twists

chair twists This movement burns calories and also helps to give the abs and obliques definition over time.

– Sit up straight on the edge of your chair, placing your feet on the floor shoulder width apart and your arms out to the side, parallel to the ground.

– Move your arms and body to the left side in a gentle twist movement, before doing the same on the other side for around 20 reps each.

Oblique Bends

If you suffer with the dreaded love handles and could rather do with out them, these oblique twists are perfect for banishing them once and for all.

– Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet hip width apart and your hands behind your head.

– Ensure that your back stays straight, use your core to lower your right elbow towards your right hip.

– Return your body to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Leg Contractions

Working on your lower body is also important and this exercise does just that. It is also good as a general stretching exercise which is important if you are on a chair for a large portion of the day.

– Sit on the edge of your chair with a straight back.

– Flex your core and bring your legs towards your chest, as you lean back slightly. Your body should pretty much be making a “V” shape.

– Take your current position a step further, by pulling your knees in towards your chest and holding.

Buns and Guns

buns and guns exerciseAlthough just a small exercise, this will tone your inner thighs in addition to your triceps and glutes.

– Sit on the edge of your chair, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your hands should be rested on the chair, just outside your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent.

– Squeeze your knees and your butt together, push down with your hands and extend your elbows.

– Release and do 30 super fast reps of this move for the best results.

Big thanks goes to Brendan for sharing his exercise knowledge with the Ideas for Good team . If you need an exercise physiologist in Brisbane pop in and see him and his wonderful team, or follow Live Well Rehab on Facebook for more health tips!

Quality Affordable Furniture – Your IKEA Alternatives

a designer apartment interiorFitting out your home with your dream furniture designs can be a huge financial investment. You’ve already spent money on the purchase of your home, pest control, plumbing, and moving costs, but of course you want the place to look great too.

Just because you’re short of cash doesn’t mean you can’t own elegant and beautiful furniture that gives you house a more homely feel. Instead of settling for cheap IKEA products there are plenty of options available which will give you a better look at an often much better price.

From thrift shops to furniture warehouses to Gumtree.com.au, there are plenty of options available for the savvy interior designer looking for a bargain. If you are on the hunt for some stunning antique furniture, you just need to look in the right places and you’ll be able to outfit your home for a fraction of what people will think you paid.

Similarly, you can get that high-end interior designer look by purchasing replica designs from discount online furniture warehouses such as Glicks Furniture.

New and Improved

Replica furniture is becoming cheaper and better quality. The craftsmanship of the makers is so detailed that you will often not be able to identify an authentic piece from a replica.

Reputable manufacturers have perfected the art of creating wonderful pieces of furniture built with sturdy materials that are more tolerant to everyday wear and tear. Many new replicas are not as fragile as they look and will completely overhaul the look and feel of your home or office.

replica chair

Online Search

Many antique fanatics spend years searching for beautiful traditional furniture pieces that are still in good condition. For those who are eager for instant gratification, buying replicas is a great way to go. A simple online search for a specific furniture style, preferred era or designer of choice will provide you with some leads to follow up on.

If you’re looking for genuine antiques, second-hand markets can be a goldmine. Take a look in local classifieds, on eBay, and through your local newspaper to find out about local garage sales. You might have to do some searching but that time spent is well worth it when you snag yourself a genuine antique piece for a fraction of what it’s actually worth!

Price Tag

You may have in mind a classic designer furniture piece that you want but are hesitant to purchase because of its high price. With replica furniture, you can have it for less and experience the real thing.

A lower price does not mean low quality either. Designers almost always add on a premium for their original design, but in purchasing a replica you do not get taxed that often considerable extra money so your money stays in your pocket.

Furniture is an investment that can last for a lifetime. Quality pieces may even be passed on to future generations. While you can purchase low cost, lower quality pieces from places such as Ikea, that furniture will only last a few years before it needs to be replaced, so getting quality is a much better, and more affordable, long term solution.

second hand furniture store

Second Hand Stores

You can visit some second hand good stores in your area. These which may be selling new and used furnishings, appliances, clothing and more. Often you will find older but sometimes great quality, furniture pieces at bargain prices. Often a professional clean on one of these items will bring them to looking as new again, and you’ll save yourself thousands.

Thrift Store Chains and Charities

Some thrift stores have old and slightly used furniture being sold at low cost. You can find a basic bookshelf for a price of a movie ticket. Community-based thrift stores may also provide you higher-quality furnishings but you’ll need to check back regularly as the nicer pieces will get snapped up quickly.

Getting to know the staff at your local stores and let them know what you’re looking for so they can get in touch when something suitable comes in.

Garage Sales

As mentioned earlier, visiting garage sales can snag you some great furniture at bargain prices. Purchasing from the original owners also allows you to ask about the history of the furniture pieces and given the lower number of people who attend sales like this it is often easier to find rare and valuable items that would have been snapped up earlier were they sold anywhere else.

Your Grandparents’ Furniture

Antique couch at your grandparents houseAnother great way to collect some stunning antique designs if through your family and extended family. Often grandparents will have older style – but well maintained –  furniture that they may be happy to hand over to you.

Auties and Uncles may also have some great furniture they no longer need that they might be willing to part with. Ask around and see if anyone can help, often your family will give you unwanted items very cheaply or even for free. So this can be a great cost saver.

Social Media

Why not ask around on social media to find out if anyone in your network is interested in selling some furniture to you. With all your Facebook friends and Twitter followers you’ll be sure to find somebody in your area who is moving house and needs to sell some furniture or is cleaning out unused tables, chairs or lounge suites.

Post online about what you’re after and see who gets in touch, you never know, you might find the perfect item for your house from one of your close contacts.


5 of The Best Free Health Apps

apps on an apple watch

Almost every aspect of life nowadays has an application to suit. From mobile phone banking to sleep cycle tracking, you can rest assured that there is an app (or ten) our there to make your life easier.

The biggest problem we face now when it comes to app selection, is which ones will best suit our needs. Sure you can read reviews on the iPhone App Store or Google Play, but we all know these can be faked, and we certainly don’t want to be spending money buying them when we’re not sure we’ll even use them.

Thankfully thought the team at Sold My Device, a cell phone buyback company have put together a list of some of their favourite free health apps for us to share. Have a read below and see if you think any these apps might be of use to you.

1. MSN Health & Fitness: The iPhone and Android App for a Healthier You

The MSN Health & Fitness App has numerous tools which can help its user maintain a healthy lifestyle. Among its more notable features include a GPS tracker, steptracker (pedometer), diet tracker, cardio tracker, workout and yoga archives, health and fitness articles, and symptom checker.

2. Power Nap

Never belittle the benefits of a power nap. Countless studies have shown and advocated the numerous benefits of a quick sleep during the day. So how can you make the most of this knowledge? By downloading the powerAPP! This app will help you track your nap schedule/pattern, provide soothing background music, napping tips and a unique alarm system.

3. Period Tracker

This is one for our women readers only. The Period Tracker accurately tracks your menstrual cycle and provides a reliable calendar showcasing your next expected period, ovulation period and fertile stage. All these data are shown in a visually appealing yet clear and organized interface, so you can make sure you’re body is running on schedule.

cell phone apps for health


4. First Aid Guide

Accidents happen, and we’d be lucky if there were people around us who would be able to administer the proper medical aid or attention to help solve the problem. For those of us who aren’t nurses or doctors, having this first aid guide app would definitely come in handy. The interface is simple and easy to use. The top most search box directly link you to the solution for any problem (that which can be helped with first aid). The instructions are all simple to understand and easy to administer.

5. Relax Melodies

The hustle and bustle of everyday life can often prove to be incredibly taxing. Sometimes there are be days when you just want to tune everything out and get away from it all. Simply download this app, and have everything you’ll need to attain the peace and quite that you are looking for.

Do you think you could benefit from any of the above? If so you’d better get your cell phone now and start downloading, while they’re still free!

Developementally Appropriate Toys

There are always a plethora of exciting gadgets and playthings on sale at any children’s toy store. It’s always tempting to buy the latest, in-fashion products with the newest technology or attention grabbing features. In some instances however, “more” doesn’t necessarily mean “better”. When buying toys for a baby or young child, it is important to first identify if the toy caters to the learning abilities that they need at that particular stage of their growth and development.

baby skill developement toyThe easiest way to do this is to base it on their age. If the child is a typical learner, then their mental age will be the same as their biological age. Children that are gifted or those with special needs will have a different mental age to their biological age, and toy purchases should be made accordingly. Once you have an idea of the child’s mental abilities it will be easier to pick an appropriate toy for them.

As babies, the developmental areas or skills that every parent should focus on are their gross and fine motor skills. This is especially true for the newborn children who are transitioning towards toddler stage. For babies, gross motor skills include the crawling, rolling, raising of the head, and tilting it from side-to-side. Rolling is the first skill that is learned, followed by crawling, walking and then running.

Children usually learn rolling and crawling by themselves, however, if a child shows signs of difficulty in performing these tasks, colorful mats from tummy time can be useful. They are visually appealing to the child and encourage them to flip over in a comfortable setting. Placing a plastic mirror in front of the child can also help promote their receptive and social skills. Numerous health benefits have also been given that encourage parents to engage their children in tummy time activities.
Fine motor skills can also be improved through the use of tummy time mats that have their own arch/gym. These will encourage the baby to touch the dangling items and reach out and grab the toys. These toys usually light up or shake which engages the child in the learning experience.

Djeco Doll House for Girls

A Doll House from Djeco

Other items that are perfect for fine motor skill development are rattles and soft books. If you want to inspire creative play for your baby, soft toys like some of these from Colette Bream are perfect. For slightly older children more advanced and complex toys such as the range of doll houses and accessories from Djeco are a good option. If you have a boy, some wooden toys might be more appropriate, take a look at the range of wooden toy cars here from Automoblox.

Having the right toys is just one part of the learning process. The most important aspect of any toy would be how it facilitates interaction between parent and child. It is always more fun and meaningful when the parent or caregiver plays with the baby. Match the sounds made by the object by identifying what object or animal usually makes that sound. Use hand-over-hand prompts to help the child manipulate the object properly. All of these seemingly small actions are the parts which really help the child grow and learn. No toy can every replace genuine guidance.

Switch to Tea, and Reap the Benefits!

There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea to soothe your senses especially on a cold winter’s morning. This warm, tasty, caffeine-free pick-me-up also has a lot of wonderful benefits for your health and wellness. Teas and the herbs in herbal varieties have a number of great healing powers, from soothing a troubled stomach to easing insomnia and providing relief from anxiety.

Drinking a well-steeped herbal tea regularly is also a great source of vitamins and minerals as we get all the benefits from the plants in a form that is easily digestible.

a cup of herbal teaThere’s also an element of aromatherapy in drinking herbal tea and you can drink it with other people. This way you can be social while at the same time also getting a great health boost. Keep in mind however that the tea should always be steeped in an enclosed container so you can maximize the medicinal properties that the drink has to offer.

When choosing the perfect tea for its health benefits, it’s important to avoid purchasing those that have additives such as artificial flavouring, so you can really maximize the full benefits of the plant. There are so many kinds of tea for you to try. Here are a few of the most common and most delicious ones:

Chamomile Tea

Soothe your senses with this calming and therapeutic tea made from flowers. Chamomile tea can be helpful for those experiencing insomnia or restlessness. It’s a good to drink after a meal for smooth digestion and is also recommended for cases of cough and bronchitis, or colds and fever. Another benefit is you can also use it for gargling to relieve inflammation in your throat. Don’t forget to steep it thoroughly to get all its medicinal benefits.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is the easiest herb to grow. You can make a fresh cup straight from your garden. It’s great for relieving abdominal pains and bloating. It can also relieve muscle spasms and is good for nausea without the vomiting. It also helps heat up the body to release sweat. But if you have indigestion or heartburn problems, doctors recommend avoiding peppermint in general.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is another great aid for digestion, and can be used to prevent nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness. You can make fresh ginger tea by simmering a small piece of ginger root on the stove for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you have a cold, you can add fresh lemon juice and honey to add a zest of protection for your immune system. Powdered ginger is also good for making tea to ward off a potential cold.

Rosehip Tea

Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant and are one of the best sources of Vitamin C from plants. Vitamin C is very essential to the immune system, skin and tissue health, and for adrenal function. Be sure to try rosehip tea whenever you need a health boost.

Milk Thistle and Dandelion Tea

Milk thistle and dandelion, when made into tea, can be gentle liver cleansers because they can help the liver to regenerate and function at a higher capacity. It can also help with our digestive process.

While these above teas all have their own benefits, there are thousands of teas, both herbal and non-herbal that all offer different benefits. Look online for a range of organic teas, and try a few to find out which ones you like the best.

How to Prevent Home Drainage Clogs

It’s easier to prevent blocked drains rather than to clear them. In addition, prevention of clogs is less demanding and does not consume a lot of time. Here are some expert plumbing repair tips from the professionals at Drain Cleaning Brisbane to help you prevent drainage issues in your home.

Clean After Use

Immediately after you finish washing your dinner or lunch dishes, pour hot water down the kitchen sink. Do this every day to prevent buildup of gunk that might cause a blockage. The hot water prevents grease, hard water and other oily substances from solidifying in the drain. You can also pour some baking soda or vinegar down with the hot water to help remove any stuck debris.

debris in a drain pipeRegular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is always a good preventative measure. Make a consultation with a plumbing contractors to regularly inspect your drains. Frequent inspections may uncover drainage problems before they cause further damage. You can also check your home sewer line yourself using a snake drain, however, for major home drains you will need to hire a plumber to conduct a thorough inspection.

Avoid Disposing Materials down the Sink

Keep in mind how you manage your waste disposals. Products like grease, butter, cooking oil and margarine should not find their way into your drains in any way whatsoever. Avoid pouring these materials down the sink because they are a primary causes of clogged up drains. Instead, allow the fatty substances to cool and then dispose of them in the trash. Clogged drains that result from fat buildups are some of the most difficult materials to clear.

Install Filters

Another common drain nuisance is the building up of hair, food particles, soap pieces or other materials. To prevent this, install filters to catch and keep such materials from entering the drains. Since the filters collect particles of substances and hair, remember to clean them regularly to avoid buildup of dirt and grime.

Use the Right Chemicals

In some cases, chemical are used to clean drains. Before putting them to use, read carefully the instructions on how to use them. Be on the lookout for harsh chemicals that may corrode pipes and avoid using them. The corrosion may cause further blocking up of drains later in the future. Ensure you run ample water down your drain to wash away the chemical after use, as per the instructions on the bottle.

Follow these simple, basic tips to reduce your plumbing repair expenses. In the event of a major blockage be sure to consult a professional plumber immediately. A blocked drain can end up costing you a lot of money if it is left clogged and water backs up and overflows from all the surrounding drains.

Installing Your Grease Trap to Comply with Local Laws

While it’s not the most interesting topic, grease trap installation is necessary for many new business owners. If you are considering starting a restaurant or a business that prepares or serves food, and has any form of oily discharge that leaves from the kitchen or dishwasher etc. you must have a correctly installed grease trap to comply with local laws.

Grease traps, often also called grease interceptors or misspelled as a single word to be greasetraps, are necessary to stop the flow of oils, fats and other greases into the sewer collection lines where they can cause blockages. If these systems were not put in place there would be constant problems with clogged up wastewater piping which would end up being extremely costly and problematic over the long run.

Many people believe that warm or hot grease can be poured down a drain without any issues, however once the fats or oils cool they harden which can cause major blockage issues. Large, solid clumps of oil or fat can also cause problems at treatment plants when wastewater is being treated.

Depending on the amount of fat, oil and other grease you expect to be discharged through your system will depend on the size of the trap you need installed. A licensed, local grease trap installer will be able to give you more information specific to the size of your establishment and the laws in your area. We recommend speaking with several installers to get quotes before going ahead with any work, to make sure not only you have been given the right information, but also that you are getting the best price for the job.

Grease trap complianceFor smaller commercial establishments with minimal wastewater runoff, an under the counter trap may suffice, but larger restaurants will require an outdoor interceptor. Take a look at the image above to see the preferable drainage layout for a grease trap in compliance with the Plumbing Code of Australia, 2012.

While there are many plumbing companies that install grease interceptors, it is always best to use one that specializes in their particular area to make sure your trap is set up and installed properly the first time. Should your grease trap be improperly installed it may cost you a fine from your local council, or even worse, you may need to pay to completely redo the job, which can be extremely expensive for a new business.

If you are in Brisbane and are looking for more information on grease traps, take a look at Grease Trap Sales, for a quick run down on what is involved with a new install, or speak with a few local installers to get more information and a quote on setting up your new trap.


Could Outsourcing to Remote Offshore Staff Help Your Business?

Staff in the Philippines

Outsourcing, offshoring or remote staffing; call it what you will but up until recently is has had a shaky reputation. You don’t know who you’re working with, how reliable they are or if they’re actually capable of doing the work assigned to them. Stories of unsatisfied customers or staff that have disappeared half way through jobs are quite easy to find.

New companies outsourcing to the Philippines aim to change all of that, by putting the ‘service’ part back into remote staffing services. The service provided by outsourcing company Stafflister isn’t just the service of the offshore staff you hire, but also comes from Stafflister itself.

“Companies that hire through outsourcing firms are often just left on their own with their new staff” says Toby Gospodarczyk, founder of the offshoring company. “We don’t really agree with that method. A lot of Australian business hire these outsourced staff without any training or knowledge on how to remotely manage them. It’s a different skill to managing onshore staff. We’ve decided to help mediate the process a lot more than other companies and always have a constant daily presence to make sure things are running smoothly”.

Toby says they are able to achieve this due to the fact that Stafflister has been built from the ground up with efficiency in mind. Many processes that would normally need manual action are streamlined, and the latest in online technology has been used as an integral part of their business structure. “This leaves us with a lot more time for customer service and really taking care of client needs”, says Toby.

designapprovalsThis constant mediation process is possible because Stafflister provides easy to use online collaboration tools for client and their Filipino staff to work together on. “It looks a bit like Facebook, so people will already be familiar with how to use it. But it’s actually also very versatile and able to adapt to different types of work being done. For example if we have a graphic designer working with a client, we’re able to add a design approval application that allows staff to drag and drop a design for the client to see and the client will then approve or disapprove of the design, with comments and reasons as to why”.

Stafflister is also a little different in the fact that it also provides Project based staff, along with part time and full time staff. Traditionally, outsourcing companies will only offer full time or part time staff.

Where do these staff come from?

Stafflister head hunts its Filipino staff individually, one by one. “This takes time, and negotiation. The truly skilled workers rarely apply for jobs and are not found on the boards that many outsourcing companies use. They also expect to be compensated accordingly” says Toby. “We’re able to compensate our staff in the Philippines well, because we take less overhead and as previously mentioned, a lot of manual process have been streamlined so we can afford to do so. We feel there’s no point in saying ‘we have 10,000 staff on hand’ as in this industry we think the quality of staff is hugely important. We have staff that have worked with SEGA, EA, DISNEY and other big name companies. That is the level of quality we’re offering.”

Some of the most popular outsourced skills are reportedly graphic design, payroll, accounting, article writing, and data entry. This is a change from past years where most skills outsourced were of a more technical nature such as C++ programming, python, java development and so forth.
This change has been brought about as more companies and in particular the smaller ones realize that almost all skills can be outsourced, even your typical data entry services.

With this realization, these companies are able to outsource these skills to the Philippines at around $8 and hour as opposed to the $25 or so an hour they would be paying onshore staff. This frees up their budget for further advertising, marketing, or hiring onshore staff within a different area.

“It’s all about balance, and what you want to do with your budget. I love having the opportunity to help up and coming companies grow, and often have discussions with them about their experiences within their business. I learn a lot from it.” adds Toby.

Is Stafflister’s pricing any different to its competitors?

Despite all of the apparent benefits to working with Stafflister, its pricing remains on the lower end of the industry scale. We might see more of these types of business models in the future that rely the latest technology to deliver something special and cost effective, but for now it’s a slow shift. Invoicing and payment is also easy, along with being able to view the amount of hours your staff have worked at any time.


A more human approach, and a different philosophy on outsourcing

Toby maintains that his staff are treated exceptionally well, and sticks with the theory that “happy staff are productive staff”.
“With the amount of initial negotiating, collaborating with them in work, and daily chat, we get to know our staff very well. We make sure that everything is great on the staff end too, not just on the client side. That’s important.” Says Toby, when asked about his take on staff management.

I then asked what stops clients from working directly with clients and cutting Stafflister out of the equation. He responded “I’m very familiar with the struggles that gaming, music, and movie companies have with piracy and have followed the industry news in regards to this for a long time. It was at the forefront of my mind when creating this business, and decided to follow the model that online gaming company Steam uses. Steam’s founder says ‘Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem.’ I love this way of thinking and I’ve applied this to outsourcing. We provide a service that’s worth paying for and once you experience it, you wouldn’t really think about doing things the old way. The amount you would save by going direct is minimal and the benefits of working with us are huge.”
This really seems to challenge the model of other freelancer sites that offer purely direct to staff services.

Stafflister has an interesting business model and may very well be the solution you’ve been looking for if you’ve been a bit cautious in trying outsourcing in the past. They look forward to further growth throughout 2015 and helping Australian business grow.

Australia is currently one of the largest users of outsourcing, with per capita spent almost double that of the USA.

If you’d like to know more about Stafflister, take a look at their Facebook page or give them a call on 02 8091 3131.

Solar Roof Vents – Smart Roof Ventilation for Australia

Whirlybird-vs-Solar-roof-ventThe Solar Ark solar roof vents are Australia’s highest performing solar roof vents and can give you the equivalent performance of up to 20 whirlybirds. The solar roof vent works by a solar panel providing the required power to operate the extraction fan. The extraction fan then sucks the hot air out of the roof cavity, reducing the room temperature of your home and making it a much more comfortable living area.

Summer roof temperatures often exceed 700c (especially if your roof is black!) and greatly increase the room temperatures inside your home. Solar roof vents can reduce roof temperatures by up to 300c and room temperatures by up to 60c. This can save you big $$$ off your electricity bill as it helps your air conditioner run much more efficiently and in some cases eliminates the need for an air conditioner all together. Thanks to the solar panel the solar roof vent has no running costs ever and a built in thermostat, that shuts down operation when temperatures drop below 240c, ensures that you are not extracting valuable heat during Winter.

Solar roof vents also fight mould and condensation build-up in your roof space, reducing the likelihood of mould spores in the roof that can affect the health and air quality inside your home. A typical whirly bird has a flow rate of 90-100m3/h and the Solar Ark SAV-20 has a flow rate of 2718m3/h, however this is not the only advantage. With whisper quiet operation and a much more attractive appearance the solar roof vent is a superior ventilation system than a whirly bird.

There are 3 different models of the Solar Ark roof vents available – the SAV-20, SAV-20T and the SAV-30.  Solar roof vents require the solar panel to be facing North to operate efficiently. The SAV-20T is the exact same as the SAV-20, but with an adjustable tilt for the solar panel. This makes it very effective for installations where it is not possible to install the vent on a North facing roof. Both the SAV-20 and the SAV-20T use a 20w PV solar panel to operate the motor. The SAV-30 is the big performer for high extraction requirements with a flow rate of 3150m3/h. This means a larger 30w PV solar panel is required to operate its larger motor. These roof vents are not restricted to home use as they are very effective and often used in sheds and warehouses and have even been used in horse stables.

Not only are Solar Ark roof vents Australia’s highest performers, but they are also made to the highest quality standards. They use a polycarbonate fan blade and stainless steel fan cover, along with a brushless (super quiet) DC motor. Their quality is backed up by a 10 year warranty on the solar panel, body and fan and a 3 year warranty on the motor.

Tips on Picking the Right Tenants for your Rental Property

We’ve all heard horror stories about the tenants from hell. A Current Affair would have been culled from the Nine Network’s lineup years ago were it not for these stories of trash-filled, squalid homes and tenants who refuse to leave.

While these epic battles between landlords and their tenants might be extreme cases, disputes like these but on a smaller scale are a regular occurrence all around the country. Spending a bit of extra time selecting the right tenant for your property from the get-go is the best way to ensure you don’t end up in one of these sticky situations further down the track.

Generally speaking the majority of tenants are well behaved and clean people, however there are a small percentage of people who increase the risk of renting out your investment property. We spoke with Andrew a Brisbane property management expert about how you can ensure you don’t get stuck with a tenant from hell. Here is what he has to say:

Meet the Potential Tenant in Person

meeting with property managerYou can usually get a vibe about a person from meeting them in person. They might seem shifty, or you might just not feel comfortable around them, which is a good enough reason to not let them move onto your property. As a property manager I meet a lot of renters and I can usually tell which ones are clean and well-behaved and which ones are going to be a hassle to deal with.

Ensure you meet any potential tenant in person before signing anything. That way you’ll have a better idea of what they are like and how you expect they will behave.

Check their History

Generally prospective tenants will give you references. Make sure you get in contact with all of them to see what they have to say. People won’t usually add people to their reference list unless they expect a positive review, but you may be able to “read-between-the-lines” or even get some stories out of the referee that may give you a better idea about the personalities of the prospective tenants.

Also make sure you do a background check on them the make sure they do not have any serious criminal history. This could save you from some major hassles in the long run.

Ask for the Maximum Bond Allowed

There are legal restrictions on how much bond is allowed to be, but why ask for any less than the maximum. In Queensland the landlords and property managers are restricted to taking a maximum of 4 times the weekly rent as bond. Why take any less? If your tenants are responsible they will get it all back when they move out again anyway.

Take these steps and you are much more likely to get a responsible, decent tenant in your rental property. If you are not a good judge of character, get someone you trust; a friend or someone from your local property management agency to speak with the applicants on your behalf. A little bit of extra effort when choosing a tenant can save you a lot of money, time and stress in the long run, so don’t be lazy!

If you’d like more tips like these, check out the Rental Guardians blog at http://www.rentalguardians.com.au/blog/ or click these links to follow Andrew on Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter.