Lifestyle Self Improvement

How to Become A New Tenant in London 2020?

It’s easy to understand the lure of London, from the capital’s bright lights to the high-earning job opportunities that it provides. However, the cost of living in London can be prohibitive, with the capital ranked as the 46th most expensive city to live in the world (from a selection of 477 global locations).

Perhaps the biggest cost for any London resident is rent, with the average price of new tenancies in the capital estimated at £1,665 each month. Overall, it’s thought that rents in London increased by 3.1% last year in comparison with 2018’s figures, highlighting the challenges facing new renters in the area.

London 2020
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In this post, we’ll explore this further, while asking how to become a new tenant in London in 2020.

Rent in London – The Key Considerations

While we’ve discussed the average rents in the capital, it’s important to know that this can vary wildly from one borough to another.

For example, the South London borough of Croydon (which sits at the most affordable end of the spectrum) commands rents of just £1,136 per month, whereas the corresponding figure in Westminster is a hefty £2,526.

Of course, much also depends on the size of the property that you look to rent. With even one-bedroom and studio apartments likely to cost you significant amounts of money as a new tenant.

Renting a studio apartment in the fashionable borough of Marylebone will cost you £1,780 per month on average, while a one-bedroom flat in the same area will set you back £2,509 over the same period.

Conversely, you can rent a three-bedroom house in southeast London’s Abbey Wood for just £1,285 per month, and this highlights how location and your precise accommodation needs impact on your cost as a tenant.

With these points in mind, it’s crucial that you develop an accurate and manageable budget as an aspiring tenant. Before targeting areas that are comfortably within your means.

If you’re operating on a tight or restricted budget but want seamless access to the capital. We’d recommend reviewing boroughs such as Dartford. This is sets in Kent and resides on the outskirts of London. But it also benefits from outstanding transport links that make commuting quick and efficient.

This is an important balance to strike. While you should also note that regions such as Dartford are home to genuinely affordable properties.

What Else do You Need to Know?

Once you’ve found a property, the next step is to understand your rights. And duties as a tenant and take out any necessary insurance.

When it comes to the latter, investing in comprehensive tenants’ contents insurance should be your major priority. There are plenty for insurers that offer this type of coverage. And your task is to find bespoke and tailored policies that guarantee you genuine value for your money.

If you’re renting social housing, we’d also recommend reviewing the Tenants’ Agreement and Handbook. As this will form part of your tenancy agreement with the City of London Corporation.

If you’re intending to house share as a way of curbing costs. You should definitely let your contents insurers know that you won’t be living alone.

Otherwise, you could run the risk of invalidating your insurance. Costing potentially hundreds of pounds in the event of fire, theft or accidental damage in the property.

Lifestyle Self Improvement

Why Spring is the Best Time to Overhaul Your Life

Just a couple of months ago, most of us were in the process of abandoning our new year’s resolutions. While a change in the significant number on your calendar might be looked at as a reason to alter your behaviour, the fact is that old habits die hard. And it’s difficult to pick up new ones and stick with them in the spring season.

Why Spring is the Best Time to Overhaul Your Life
Image by Pexels

One problem is that winter isn’t naturally a good fit for those looking to make big changes to their home lifestyles. Spring, on the other hand, makes a lot more sense. It’s a time of positivity when fresh green shoots are appearing everywhere, and flowers are coming into bloom. And while the unfolding of an unprecedented global pandemic might have put a slight dampener on this positivity, the fact is that all of this unpleasantness can be viewed as an opportunity. And a catalyst for a big change in lifestyle that lasts for longer than the time it takes to develop a vaccine.

So how might you turn your life around within a week or so? Let’s run through a few simple steps.

Make a List

As with everything in life. You’ll be more likely to achieve your goal if you first establish what that goal is. And that means making a list of objectives. Once you’ve set everything down on paper. You’ll be able to break each of your goals down into smaller tasks. And establish exactly what you need to do to achieve each of them. For example, if you’re intent on learning a new skill, then you’ll want to have concrete, measurable targets, and you’ll want to set aside a little bit of time each day to work on that skill.

Changing Cars

If you’ve been looking to invest in a new (to you) vehicle, then there’s never been a better time to do it, as demand on the motor industry has slumped. This is especially so if you’re an essential worker who needs to be able to move to and from work in a hurry. And you have to decide to buy a new car or a used car after reviewing your financial status.

Moving the Furniture

Cleaning is an activity that’s often performed during spring. This is a deep clean that involves steam-cleaning carpets, sorting through wardrobes. And tossing out all those items that you don’t really need. There’s a metaphor for life in there, somewhere.
If you’re looking for a change at home, the spring clean is also a good opportunity to move furniture around. A change of scenery might provide you with exactly the inspiration required to look at things differently.

Changing Careers

Never before in the history of the world have so many people been thinking about a change in career. If you’ve always been planning on quitting the rat race and starting a new career from home, then now’s the time to do it. Put in the groundwork, do the necessary preparation, and take the leap – there’s never been a better time.

Self Improvement

Exploring The ‘Nine Gems’ of Holistic Education

International schools have always been known to provide students with a diverse landscape for learning. Not only will your child be surrounded by students from all walks of life, but they will be able to learn about new perspectives and beliefs that will help them develop an open mind. These days, being open to ideas that used to be foreign to you is crucial in maintaining a civil conversation. We just cannot impose ourselves on other people, we must take the time to listen and analyse before engaging in discourse — and there is no better environment than an international school.

Nine Gems of Holistic Education
Image by Global Indian International School

Moreover, international schools highly promote a holistic education, often creating their own system of learning which has garnered them awards and recognition. One of these schools is the Global Indian International School in Dubai and its award-winning holistic teaching methodology.

In this article, we will put a spotlight on their educational framework called ‘Nine Gems’ and explore how these can help students become well-rounded individuals.

Academic excellence, collaborative, and project-based learning:

Learning does not stop with pedagogy. Yes, it is important to know the theories and concepts that run the world, but that is nothing if synthesis, application, and critical thinking are not involved. At GIIS, they also give focus on an “understanding by design” type of learning wherein students collaborate with each other through project-based learning and cross-campus exchanges. It allows the students to share their knowledge with each other and discuss their analysis, disagreements, and new ideas borne from their own minds.

Sports, health, and fitness excellence:

The school does not just promote cerebral excellence, but athletic prowess as well. Students who have shown interest in honing their abilities in any sport are given the facilities and the coaching they need to improve their abilities. According to GIIS, improvement is measured qualitatively and quantitatively — and this allows students to advance their strengths and polish weaker areas. Athletes are also taught the most important value to have: sportsmanship.

Digital and visual arts:

It is important to develop an appreciation for art, in whatever medium it comes in. Films, books, paintings, and photos are just some of the ways people express themselves — and an inclination towards it helps promote learning of a different kind: through sympathy, empathy, and understanding of human emotion. Students of GIIS will be exposed to digital and visual arts and are given the guidance they need so they, too, can express their own creativity.

Personality development, speech, and drama:

Character development is also key in learning about jiving with other people, no matter how different their world-views are. Students will learn proper communication and social skills, confidence build-up and the importance of teamwork, and self-expression. For this reason, activities in the theatre and music field are explored in personality development.

Creativity, innovation, and problem-solving:

Creativity is not just confined in the arts and drama, it also helps in problem-solving. Students will be able to look at a complex problem and find new angles to approach it and think up new ways to come up with a solution. The Comprehensive Creativity Development Programme promotes innovative ways to problem-solving through a wide range of empirical and theoretical approaches.

Entrepreneurship and leadership development:

Since GIIS has given focus on effective communication, promoting creative problem-solving skills, and critical thinking, it is time for them to learn how to apply it. They can do this by taking on responsibilities and practising their leadership skills. The Leadership Lecture Series, the Student Council, and the Entrepreneurship Programme of GIIS helps students engage and innovate with others at a leadership level.

Universal values, ethics, and discipline:

GIIS does not just want to produce the smartest leaders, but also empathetic individuals. the Global Indian Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Universal Values teaches students about being good people based around the teaching of peaceful leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and others. The programme’s approach includes practising kindness, community welfare, mutual cultural respect, and the value of peace.

Community connection, care, and conserve:

But discussing community welfare is nothing if students are not given the opportunity to take part in community care initiatives. GIIS wants to produce socially responsible citizens by encouraging them to participate in activities that raise awareness about the environment and society at large.

Life skills, career, and vocational competencies:

The Global Centre for Education Excellence and the Action, Research, and Consultancy initiative want students to choose a life path that will bring them meaning, fulfilment, and satisfaction. Which means being able to differentiate between a career and a vocation, and the life skills needed for them to explore them.

These ‘Nine Gems’ will produce leaders of tomorrow who are socially responsible, creative, and empathetic — values and ideals that the world, right now, needs. See if this kind of educational framework works for you and your child and try to adapt it even when you are teaching them at home.

Employment Self Improvement

How to Improve Employee Wellness

Employee wellness is a hot topic, with managers and executives around the world focusing on ways to keep their employees happy. From small perks through to comprehensive employee wellness programs, businesses are increasingly seeing the benefit of focusing on matters other than just financial remuneration. Though pay is a key part of attracting and retaining employees, it can often be the working environment that sets your workplace apart as a more attractive place to work.

Why employee wellness is important

Over time, businesses have moved away from a view of simply trying to tap as much productivity out of employees as possible, to understanding that content and happy employees contribute more to the workplace than employees who are highly strung and unhappy. The costs involved in maintaining employee wellness are usually vastly outweighed by the benefits of a cooperative, motivated workforce as this spills into every area of your business – from the creativity involved in product development through to customer service.

How to Improve Employee Wellness
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Improving employee wellness

There are a number of approaches to employee wellness, and what you do will depend somewhat on the expectations set in your industry. For example, workers at tech start-ups would expect certain perks in the workplace that others may not. Nonetheless, there is a baseline of comfort and care that every employer should follow. Here are a few tips:

  • Provide healthy, subsidised food options

Most workplace positions require hours that stretch across mealtimes, so employees either bring their own food or go outside of the workplace to find something to eat. They don’t always make the wisest choices when doing so, and buying meals near work can eat into monthly pay. Think about providing healthy food options for your employees, and flex your available real estate and ability to negotiate to offer better prices. Some employers even opt to offer food to their employees free of charge.

  • Invest in your employees’ health

Companies around the world have learned that keeping their employees healthy helps to keep their employees at work and productive. On-site doctors give employees the opportunity to discuss medical issues before they turn into bigger problems – without needing to take time off work to see a doctor.

  • Set the right temperature

Investing in temperature control can pay off. Employees who are too hot will struggle to be productive, while freezing cold conditions in the winter can make your workers ill. Humidity levels should also be given attention as damp conditions are a brewing ground for bacteria, so consider dehumidifier hire options to help keep your office hygienic. It can be difficult to satisfy everyone with exactly the right climate conditions, so provide portable heaters and fans for employees who are generally hotter or colder than the mean.

  • Run a wellness program

Wellness programs offer employees a selection of perks and treats that they can customise to their needs. As the employer, you give your workers a choice of gym memberships, cash rewards for healthy living or discounted access to weight loss plans. You don’t even need to run the program yourself – many providers offer schemes that your company can join. Your employees will appreciate the perks, and your business will benefit from more productive and healthier workers.

  • Subsidise education

Most people enjoy improving their knowledge and understanding, but education can be costly, preventing people from taking courses. By helping your employees pay for education ranging from short courses to full degree program, you will benefit not only from a happier workforce but also from having more qualified and capable employees. In fact, in some industries, workers will expect continuous professional training and development.

  • Respect your employees’ privacy

One important factor to bear in mind when working on a wellness program, especially one where health issues are tackled, is that your workers will want to keep certain aspects of their lives private. Make sure that your wellness program is not so intrusive as to make employees uncomfortable, and that employees feel reassured that any personal information that they share with, for example, an on-site doctor is not going to gain a wider audience.

Balancing employee needs with business realities

It can be tricky to get right the balance between what you offer employees and the added value that you receive from your workforce. It is worth looking at your industry and seeing what other employers are doing when it comes to employee wellness. Overcompensating your employees with lavish treats will be costly and can risk a sense of entitlement. On the other hand, coming across as a stingy employer while putting your workers’ health at risk will lead to problems in the long run.

Home Improvement Self Improvement

Hands-On Learning Continues Throughout Your Life

Find Opportunities To Grow

Neuroplasticity is the brain forming new neural pathways. It’s the brain learning new things. It’s the brain-building new bridges. They say that once you lose brain cells, you can’t get them back. They’ve said this erroneously. The truth is, you continue to learn throughout your life. What stunts your development via entropic processes is the loss of telomerase binding your DNA.

Telomerase is the best thought of like the tape surrounding a bit of shoelace. As you trudge forward through varying environments, that tape is worn off until the shoelace becomes a frizzy conglomeration of uselessness. Looking at this process provides the viewer with an excellent mental picture analogous to the ageing process. In the analogy, the tape is the telomerase.

One of the largest factors in shortening your telomeres is negative stress. Remember, there are multiple kinds of stress. Some are good, some are bad. Working out and the drive to wake up early enough to get to a job are examples of positive stress. Getting stranded or injured are examples of negative stress. The more negative stress you can curtail, the more healthy you will be.

Educating Yourself: Kill Two Birds With One Stone

There are very few people who don’t understand the advantage of a project’s completion. When you have an idea, and you see that idea through successfully, it naturally feels good. This is because it is an example of positive stress, and inhering biological neuroplasticity has built new pathways in your brain increasing your intelligence quotient, ergo providing you with the ability to avoid future stress.

Consider building a piece of furniture. You’ve got to read the instructions, screw this in here, tighten that there, clip this here, etcetera—voila! You’ve got a new couch. Now, the first time you ever do something like this, it might take you hours, cause you to sweat profusely, and result in the children learning the expletive vocabulary they were previously unaware of, causing tensions with your spouse.

But the second time you build a similar piece of furniture, you may sweat a bit, but you won’t be nearly so angry—especially if you’re building the same type of furniture. As you continue to make such projects, you’ll be able to successfully pick up new ones that you’ve previously had no experience with because your brain has built neuro-pathways which save you time and stress.

In this way, negative stress can be transformed into positive stress. Think of it like the difference between a morbidly obese person trudging a mile out of necessity, and a healthy person jogging a mile a day as a regular health measure. Now consider that both individuals are the same person in different stages of life.

Learning Leads To Learning

Learning Leads To Learning, And Hence: Value

Once you’ve built enough things one way or another, you may even find you have a desire to continue building. Well, if your hobby is expanding, why not monetize it? Consider DIY steel building kits designed for prefabricated steel buildings.

Technology has advanced such that these buildings are sturdy enough to handle most weather. Says American Steel Span of its buildings: “[they] have been facing the weather throughout the United States for decades—without a glitch.”

These are projects you can commission to your own specifications then build in your own backyard. The resulting structure can be used to house vehicles, as a clubhouse for your kids, or as an emergency shelter. In the end, you’ll have increased the value of your home’s property, learned new skills, decreased negative stress, increased positive stress, and diminished the ageing process through dint of activity.