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Sick leave is contagious

Absenteeism cost the Australian economy more than $24 billion last year according to a nation-wide survey. The Ai Group’s Absenteeism & Presenteeism Report 2014 found the average Australian worker took 9.41 days of unscheduled leave, a 12 per cent decrease from 2012. To find solutions to tackle absenteeism researchers in Norway went in search of…

Australians embrace collaborative economy in search of elusive pay increases

I wonder if my Uber driver will let me take my dog to my BorrowMyPooch match on the way to the airport?  I really hope the room I found on Airbnb is nice.  Oh, and by the way, did you ever get that graphic design job you bid for on Airtasker? Yes, these are all…

Chamber membership and the importance of networks

Consumers are 63 per cent more likely to purchase goods or services from a small business that is a member of a chamber of commerce. That’s according to a 2012 US study to determine the value of chamber membership to business.  The study also found membership was viewed as an effective business strategy by 59…

Trans-Pacific Partnership to put local procude on international shelves

Lauded as one of the most significant global trade deals in recent history, the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been finalised after nearly a decade of negotiation. The TPP encapsulates 12 member nations which together account for 40 per cent of global GDP.  A statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade…

It's not a coffee break, it's cognitive fatigue reduction!

The Department of Defence has confirmed what the overworked and sleep deprived have known for more than a millennium: caffeine is the sweet elixir of the fatigued. A joint study between researchers from Australia and the United States found caffeine had a positive effect on reducing cognitive fatigue – essentially, how hard the brain has…

From Facebook to Fair Work Commission: a cautionary tale

A Facebook unfriending has successfully been used as evidence in a Fair Work Commission decision about workplace bullying. The Commission handed down the decision against a Tasmanian real estate franchise after finding merit in a number of claims put forward by an aggrieved employee. An agent at the real estate franchise alleged that over the…

Putting the work into networking: top 3 tips for success

Did you know 86 per cent of all small businesses get their business through networking? Research has shown small and medium enterprises (SME) in regional Australia are “a major source of prosperity and employment” critical to the resilience of the communities they operate in.  Underpinning the sustainability and profitability of regional SMEs is innovation and…

Regional superheroes wanted!

Attention business owners – if you’re using the internet to make your business grow, Google and the Regional Australia Institute want to know! From free range egg farmers using web streaming to assure customers that chickens are happy and healthy, to online-only fashion retailers forgoing traditional bricks and mortar shopfronts to peddle their wares; the…

And the award goes to…

Business and customer service excellence has been in the spotlight lately as Cessnock celebrates its industry and community achievers. The 2015 Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards and Cessnock Customer Service Awards recognised our LGA’s talented, committed and entrepreneurial high achievers. But as the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it.  Often,…

New ministry recognises importance of tourism industry

The ministry shake up following Malcom Turnbull’s leadership victory has brought welcome news in the shape of a dedicated tourism portfolio. In a move applauded by stakeholders, Senator Richard Colbeck was appointed federal Minister for Tourism and International Education in the Prime Minister’s new-look cabinet. In a statement made prior to the announcement, the Australian…

Double tap, thumbs up, pin it, share it or spare it: storytelling in 2015

Gary Vaynerchuck is an American marketing, sales, social media and wine industry innovator. He took a family wine business and turned it into a $60M venture. Gary is a successful public speaker and internet personality who runs a social media-focused digital agency and has been described as “the first wine guru of the YouTube era”.…

Business slack on social savvy

The average Australian owns three internet enabled devices; however, studies show Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are not making the most of this connectivity. This year’s Sensis Social Media Report found 68 per cent of consumers surveyed used social networks.  Although this was a one per cent drop compared with last year’s figures, it…