Revamp office space; it will be a perfect May Day gesture

Poor office design is often responsible for loss of productivity apart from hurting employee morale. According to a survey, nearly thirty per cent people opt to leave their current jobs owing to the poor office environment and almost an equal number of prospective employees turn down a job offer largely because of a firm’s poor work environment.

The most common complaints from people working in badly designed offices are:

Noise – It affects their work efficiency.
Temperature – The offices is either too warm or too cold for comfort.
Insufficient space – The people commonly find their workspace cramped and constrained.
Uncomfortable furniture – Employees often are dissatisfied with the outdated office furniture.

Other common areas of complaint and irritation are poor ventilation and poor illumination. The ventilation system should provide quality indoor air. It should also provide the right levels of humidity and temperature. Importantly, it should be well maintained. A badly lit office may cause accidents resulting from shadows, glare, eyestrain and fatigue.

The idea of building a pleasant office environment is to create productive and conducive conditions for optimum output. A well-designed office layout improves staff morale and profitability whereas badly designed offices constrain employees. Getting rid of clutter and reorganizing the workspace will lead to a positive working environment.

Take steps to revamp office space. It will be a perfect May Day or International Workers’ Day gesture!

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Rubik’s Cube, voted as the greatest toy craze ever, makes an intelligent gift idea

Rubik’s Cube is incredibly addictive, multi-dimensional challenge that continues to fascinate puzzle fans across the world. According to an estimate, it has 43 Quintillion” possible moves and only “ONE” correct solution! The engrossing exercise still appeals people cutting across age, occupation and level of intelligence as has been confirmed in a recent online poll that has rated it the greatest toy craze of all times, ranking it way above Playstation and other modern, techno-toys!

The classic Cube will make a perfect corporate or personal gift for the brainy types who will certainly enjoy this immensely popular puzzle. Rubik’s Cube is a six-sided, 3 x 3 puzzle. It’s a perfect brain-teaser with an objective is to twist, turn and jumble the Cube employing various combinations to return it to its original state – every side having one solid color.

The Cube bears the stamp of the genius Erno Rubik, a lecturer at the Dept. of Interior Design at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts, Budapest. Hence it’s called Rubik’s Cube. Rubik was fond of geometry, the study of 3D forms, construction and loved exploring the hidden possibilities of combination of various forms and materials. It was the realization that the simplest elements, cleverly duplicated and manipulated, can yield abundant, multiple forms made him invent the Cube. The compulsive interest of colleagues, students and friends in the Cube amazed its creator, but it was months before he thought of mass-producing it.

A solutions booklet along with the captivating, challenging Cube will make the gift complete.

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A wide array of PMP offerings to enhance your gifting portfolio

iPod touch: With iPod touch, you can discover new music anywhere. Built-in wireless capability gives you access to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. It’s a unique iPod with wireless access to the web. You can search the web using the touchscreen keyboard. Zoom in and out by tapping the Multi-Touch touchscreen display. It allows you to switch between portrait and landscape view, depending on how you hold your iPod touch. You may sync your bookmarks, or add them to your Home screen. iPod touch can automatically create a Web Clip on your Home screen from any of your favorite sites. The 3.5-inch display gives you a fantastic video quality.

Teclast’s M26: This PMP is perfect for people who enjoy watching videos while they listen to their favorite music. It boasts a 2.6-inch screen that displays videos and pictures at 400 x 240 resolutions. It supports various file formats including, RMVB, RM, FLV and AVI, TV out and Microsoft’s PlayFX abilities, too plus a built-in FM radio.
takeMS MEM-P3 Tube: It boasts a sliced off pen-like body shape. The chic, silver colored clip, with which the MP3 player can be securely fastened to clothing/bag, is a very practical solution. If one wants to hang the MEM-P3 tube around their neck, a fashionable carrying strap is included. It is available in three different memory capacities and three trendy colors. It allows up to six hours of musical enjoyment and supports MP3 and WMA music formats.

iRiver E100 flash-based MP3 player: Boasting a sleek chic look with its cream-colored plastic casing the iRiver E100 is a flash based Mp3 player with a 2.4-inch display. It can play most popular audio formats and supports .avi files. Its in-built FM tuner enables users to configure it up to 20 presets and stay in sync with the latest happenings. This unit displays photos and text and has an integrated microphone and a line-in jack for voice recordings.

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Perfect gift choice for music lovers

MPIO V10 Personal Media Player: It draws your attention with its metallic design. The 3″ 480×272 pixel touch screen puts it close to the Samsung P2 screen wise. The codec support is rather impressive. It has a FM tuner, TV out and a dictionary. Other features are 8GB of internal memory and battery life of 5 hours for video.

Beta, Gamma and Uno: Zebronics has on offer really cheap MP3 players called Gamma and Uno The former is compatible with MP3 and WMA formats, has no radio or voice recorder, but has an external speaker. It has a 1-inch OLED dual color display encased in a scratch-prone plastic screen. The DJ Uno is again for the extreme budget conscious who still won’t prefer no-name brands. The Beta, an all-in-one device, does music playback, voice recording and has FM plus some really cool features.

NV Life from iriver: iriver’s innovative navigation device plus PMP has an 800×480 screen. It carries FM transmitter and DMB TV tuner, and offers player identification and password protection facility.

Polaroids’ Freespace MPU-43315: The player comes with a 4.3 inch LCD screen, FM radio receiver and Wi-Fi streaming capabilities. It lets you play WMV and MPEG4 video files, as well as MP3, WMA and WAV audio files. It offers 4 hours for video playback and 16 hours of audio.

Samsung YP-S5 music player: The successor of Samsung K5, it features a 1.8-inch QCIF display, and the DNSe technology for better audio quality. The S5 supports MP3, AAC, WMA music, MP4 video and JPEG pictures. It comes with also Bluetooth for you to enjoy music wirelessly. It is available in 2GB and 4GB.

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Corporate and personal gift ideas For Cancerians, Leos and Virgoans.

You may love astrology or hate it, but cannot ignore it. There are peculiar gift giving ideas relevant to each sign. Whether you are deliberating over what to gift your boss, your friend or mate on his/her birthday or any special occasion, their zodiac signs will give you clues for the suitable gift. Here, we consider Cancer, Leo and Virgo!

CANCER

Boss: For Cancerians, there’s nothing more precious than their home or their family. Good gifts for them comprise a family portrait, prints, photo albums, home accessories, decorative pieces, etc.

Friend & Family: Mix sentimentality with home & hearth and you’ve got it right with them. An intimate dinner bash, a family outing, or quality time with your partner are great tangible or intangible gestures that they will appreciate. Things to do with home décor, kitchen utilities will be well liked. Your options are cookbooks, cooking courses, goodies basket, gift certificates from a home store etc.

LEO

Boss: A Leo treats her/himself as the king of his/her domain, much like Lion, the king of the jungle that represents this sign. A Leo boss has high expectations and expects to be treated royally. Appropriate gifts are the high quality and rather grand ones! Sophisticated and exclusive items like jeweler, gourmet foods & wines, fine crystal products, branded merchandise make ideal gifts.

Friend & Family: Go for something, which is flashy and makes them feel as the centre of attraction. Gift items with a lot of bling like rhinestone studded clothing, diamond ornaments, hair accessories, fancy cuff links go well with them. They like to be pampered so a session at the spa is a perfect gift for them. Apart from those making them feel like king, gifts involving an element of drama are also well received. Thus, lottery tickets or tickets to a big Bollywood/Hollywood hit will allow you be in their good books!

VIRGO

Boss: Probably the most practical Zodiac sign, a Virgo tends to be extremely organized and tidy. They appreciate gifts that reflect or accentuate the same quality. So, your options comprise fancy calendars, personal diary, organizer, visiting card holders, leather wallets etc.

Friend & Family: Apart from being organized, a Virgo is also very health & beauty conscious as their sign rules the House of Health. Ideal gifts include salon certificates, beauty treatment packages, gym memberships, exercise equipments, manicure and pedicure sets health products, etc. Healthy and long-lasting is the way to describe a Virgo friend. Good gifts comprise health books/CDs, dancing/sports lessons, vacuum cleaner, Yoga class membership, etc.

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Astrologically correct gift ideas

You may love astrology or hate it, but cannot ignore it. There are peculiar gift giving ideas relevant to each sign. Whether you are deliberating over what to gift your boss, your friend or mate on his/her birthday or any special occasion, their zodiac signs will give you clues for the suitable gift. Here, we consider Aries, Taurus and Gemini!

ARIES

Boss: An Arian boss is all about ‘me, me, and me’! A gift, which pampers or boosts their ego, is a perfect choice. Personalized gifts work well for them (e.g. personalized office desk sets, pens, etc.). High end electronics items (palm tops, digital camera etc,) will also please them.

Friend & Family: An Aries partner is usually quite competitive by nature. Things, which generate a sense of competition, will get their pulse racing. Tickets to a sport of their action or some adventure action will be appreciated by them. And if the action involves speed (such as in horse racing), that’s even better! A dress in any deep shade of red will make Arian women happy since the ruling planet for them is Mars! Aries represents the head, hence any gift that has to do with the head like a fancy hair ornaments or some funky headgear, etc. is a good option.

TAURUS

Boss: Your boss with Taurus as zodiac sign is hard working and practical in approach. So avoid frivolous, fancy gifts! Try something practical! A utility accessory, such as a leather briefcase, a rolodex or credit card holder will be ideal. Add some chocolates and sweets to satiate their sweet tooth.

Friend & Family: A Taurus partner desires something that will touch not only their emotions but also physical senses. Exotic fragrance, scented candles, silk sheets, etc. should do the trick for you. Taurus represents the throat and neck. So, opt for a pretty scarf, bold tie or necklaces. Musical CDs and cassettes are recommended since Taurus also rules the vocal chords.

GEMINI

Boss: Mercury, the planet of communication, rules Gemini. Gifts for a Gemini boss should make him/her analyze, think, and communicate. Good choices are mobile accessories, Internet applications, organizer, PDA etc.

Friend & Family: A Gemini relishes discovering new things. Travel is atop their priority list. So, a romantic weekend getaway will be a great gift. Travel kits, magazines, trendy luggage should also work well! Alternatively, pick gifts that keep them occupied like games, quiz books (Sudoku), etc.

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Some bestsellers you will love to gift .

If you are thinking of giving book as a gift, here is a listing of some of the current bestsellers for you. By going through the list below, it will be easier for you to make the choice.

Among the Granth top-rated books are:

Blue Ocean Strategy – How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant W Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Red by Irwin by Allan Sealy
God’s Little Soldier by Kiran Nagarkar
Blood Brothers – A Family Saga by M J Akbar
Home by Manju Kapur
Rule #1 – The Simple Strategy For Successful Investing In Only 15 Minutes A Week!bBy Phil Town
The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma
Get Out Of Your Own Way – The 5 Keys To Surpassing Everyone’s Expectations by Robert K Cooper
The Wal-Mart Effect – How The World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works – And How It’s Transforming The American Economy by Charles Fishman

Landmark Book Store recommends

King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema by Anupama Chopra
Indira: The Life Of Indira Nehru Gandhi by Katherine Frank
Black Friday by Hussain Zaidi
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (BOOK 7) by J K Rowling
India’s Unending Journey by Mark Tully
Mirror of Fire and Dreaming by Chitra Banerjee Divakarun
The Audacity of Hope by Obama Barack
The Completely Mad Don Martin: Mad’s Greatest Artists by Don Martin

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Most popular authors in India – perfect as a gift

We present you with a concise list of most popular titles in India, one of which will make a perfect gift for your family or friends.

Some top non-fiction bestsellers currently are:

Little Green Book Of Getting Your Way by Jeffrey Gitomer
India’s Unending Journey by Mark Tully
The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown

Among the top fiction bestsellers currently are:

The Children Of Hurin by J R R Tolkien
The Missing by Chris Mooney
The Witch Of Portobello by Paulo Coelho
The Accident Man by Tom Cain

The Crossword’s bestsellers list includes:

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Age of Shiva by Manil Suri
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Age Of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan
We are Like That Only by Rama Bijapurkar

Incidentally, the leading British publication ‘The Mirror’ has reported that Pride and Prejudice is the book the UK relishes reading the most.  Classic works dominated the rest of the top 10 chart, as is evident from the list below:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bible
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
1984 by George Orwell
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Gift Books on World Book Day celebrations

The World Book and Copyright Day has become established as the biggest global event aimed at promoting the pure joy of books and habit of reading. The day has been designated by UNESCO as a celebration of knowledge sharing through books. It’s marked in over 100 countries.

The celebrations are launched in March, with Britain stealing a march, literally over other countries. The origins of the day, celebrated in the UK & Ireland owe their origin to Catalonia, where books and roses were given as gifts on St. George’s Day to loved ones. In Catalonia, on 23 April (Saint George’s Day), for each book sold a rose is traditionally given as a gift. Most other countries hold World Book and Copyright Day on 23rd April every year.

Indeed, giving books as a gift can be a real meaningful gesture. According to a recent survey on gifting patterns conducted by Nielsen India, books were mentioned as their preferred gifting item by 49 per cent people. But the choice was found to be more popular with the mature group aged 45 and above.

To cater to them, many leading bookstore brands in India have opened spacious shops in leading metros of the country where book lovers can discover the pleasure of buying books. They can hang around for as much time as they wish to. One can see even youths leafing through books of their choice, lolling in comfy sofas with their favorite author or genre for company at these bookstores, which indeed is an encouraging sign.

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These gifts can act as a stress buster


 

While April is International Stress-Free Month, April 7 is World Health Day. Sitting in an air-conditioned office safe from the heat and dust and pollution of the outdoors, you might think your health is better off but actually, there are other potential health hazards you have to look into. Most of us do not lead very exciting lives. Our days are governed by the wall clock in office and we are sitting for the better part of the day. Here are some great gifts that will make anybody’s day much better –

 

Muscles – From a small foot massage machine or a high-backed massage chair, these great stress-busters are available in many shapes and sizes. As a boss, you could buy one for the department or your special core team to use as and when they please. They make great gifts for a potential partner too. As employees, you could pool in and buy one for the boss.

 

Eyes – Eyes undergo the most stress as they are forced to stare into computer screens most of the times. Other than basic eye exercises which you can learn about from an optician, eye-masks are easily available nowadays. Best when chilled, these masks cool your eyes down and reduce puffiness. As a boss, ensuring a regular supply to your team will enable them to work better. Studies have proven that occasional breaks are great for the working mind. And peppermint or cucumber eye masks are great for the eyes.

 

Skin – You may not realise it but the skin gets very dehydrated in an air-conditioned environment. While as a boss it might be great to switch the AC on for regulated periods of time in the day, it’s not good for the machines. Bottled skin sprays are great to rejuvenate one’s sense of being. Preferably choose moisturising ones from a reputed brand or a mineral spray like Evian bottled mountain spring water. They’re not as costly as they sound and well worth their price. Certain brands also have facial wipes enriched with Vitamin E that are great for the skin and lend one a pretty, subtle fragrance too.

 

These little objects go a long way to protecting your health while your fingers click-clack away on the keyboards. They’re simple but take care of essentials that you probably don’t have time to look into at a gym or through home-cooked meals. So remember these pointers on this special day of this month.