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How automation can keep your home secure

(NC) Whether you’re planning a sunny getaway to escape the cold or are back in the office on a regular basis for the first time in years, it’s reasonable to be worried about your home when it’s empty. The good news is, there are easy ways to keep a watchful eye.

Keep it bright 
While the days are getting longer, illuminating your walkway and entryways after dark can deter people from approaching your property. Set your lights up on timers or install motion-sensitive models.

Get smart with security 
While you shouldn’t live in fear, theft and break-and-entering do occur. For an easy and effective way to monitor your home, consider an all-in-one smart security system that includes 24/7 monitoring and real-time alerts. That way, you’re immediately notified of activity around your home such as someone walking up your driveway or if a door or window has been opened.

Automate from anywhere 
Whether you’re out shopping at the mall or visiting relatives out of town, take advantage of the ability to secure and control your home from anywhere with an all-in-one smart security system such as Telus SmartHome Security. Schedule or manually turn your lights on and off to give the illusion someone is home, or lock and unlock your doors when your children get home from school. True automation can provide added peace of mind and security from near or far.

 
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Maximize your small space

(NC) Unless you’re living in a seven-bedroom mansion, chances are you’re like most Canadians: trying to make the most of your small living space. From studio apartments to three-bedroom family homes, most of us are craving more space, particularly when home is also the office.

Maximizing your small space to include an office is not an insurmountable challenge. With the right tools and a little planning, you can bring the benefits of a much larger space to wherever you work.

1. Get a desk that works
Though you may love the look of something larger, chances are you can make do with a compact desk. Measure your workstation and see what makes sense, taking into account the space you want versus what you actually need. Pro tip: an adjustable standing desk can give you the option to stretch your legs throughout the day.

2. Invest in an ergonomic chair
Considering this is where you’ll be sitting for eight hours a day, investing in the right chair is crucial. Find something with various controls so you’re at a comfortable height, with feet flat on the floor and elbows and wrists straight when typing.

3. Clear the clutter
Extra pens and pencils, papers, folders, and empty coffee mugs and dishes…when you’re working in a small space, every item takes up room both physically and mentally. Combine regular work breaks with bringing dishes to the kitchen and store loose items in a box or drawer.

4. Put two screens in one
Multiple screens were great at the office, but at home, it’s rare to have the space for extra monitors. The LG UltraWide monitor has a single stand and curved screen which can show multiple windows at once, making it easier for you to multitask at work.

5. Make use of sleek backgrounds
By now, we’ve all seen the hilarious (and not-so-hilarious) backgrounds available for virtual calls. While they can be entertaining, they also serve a helpful purpose: hiding your unmade bed, scattered kid toys and dirty dishes.

Using your space wisely will contribute to a more relaxing and productive work environment so that at the end of the day you can reconnect with family, friends or your adorable pup. To check out more productivity solutions, visit lg.ca. 

 
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3 affordable ways to create a home office that works for you

(NC) This year’s home must-have is an office space that offers flexibility to go seamlessly from video calls to virtual classroom to everything in between. To help you create a workspace that works for you, Sharon Grech, Benjamin Moore colour and design expert, shares three affordable tips to create a stylish office no matter your style or budget.

Choose colours that promote productivity.

Struggling to find focus when working from home? Your wall colour can help promote a sense of calm and concentration to help you through your busiest days. “Tints and shades of green such as Spa AF-435 or Flora AF-470 can help foster a sense of calm and support your productivity,” recommends Grech.

Giving your home office a coat of green paint is a project you can do yourself, and the increased focus and reduction in eye strain will help you work smarter all year long.

Make room for your workspace.

If you don’t have a dedicated home office, you can easily create a place where you can focus by making a work area in your home. A floating shelf or a side table can double as a compact desk in small spaces. Once you select where you want to set up your workspace, clean up any clutter that could be distracting. Grech suggests shopping your home for baskets, mason jars and catch-alls to store office supplies such as notebooks, pens and loose papers.

Create a chic background.

On video calls all day? You can create an envy-inducing backdrop in just one weekend by painting out a bookcase, including the backs of shelves, in one solid hue like Amazon Soil 2115-30. Grech recommends choosing a durable paint designed to adhere to wooden surfaces such as Advance interior paint for results as professional as your new office. Once dry, position your bookcase, with styled shelves of books and decorative objects, behind you for a put-together background.

 
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4 easy tips to make working from home so much better

(NC) After a year of working from home for many of us, it’s only natural to be hitting a rut. No matter how great your at-home work setup is, you might need a refresh.

Here are few tips to make working from home so much better:


1. Declutter your workspace
A lot of work-related clutter can build up over time. Take a few minutes to collect any office items lying around the house, such as your video call headphones or your loose papers and sticky notes. Then recycle anything you don’t need and store the rest in a dedicated location. You’ll feel fresher and ready to take on what’s next.

2. Upgrade your workwear
Just because you aren’t going into the office doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to feel your best and look sharp. If you’re keen on business wear, try easing into a new pair of pants or a simple summer dress to find a more relaxed summertime vibe. If you’ve defaulted to pyjamas and sweats every day, consider finding the happy medium with a new pair of sleek joggers, just for a change.

3. Get outdoors

Take advantage of the season and head outside while you can. A quick walk in a local park is a great way to take a break or end your workday. If you have a backyard or balcony, set up a simple internet extender to move the office outside on warm days. The fresh air will lift up your spirits and do wonders for your productivity.

4. Boost online security for your personal devices
According to a recent survey, only 18 percent of Canadians are using online identity theft protection tools, and most of us just don’t know where to start. With so much online activity taking place, including a high volume of info sharing, we’ve become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks and identity theft, so it’s worthwhile to update your security measures for your personal devices as best as you can.

While no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, using an all-in-one solution like Telus Online Security Powered by NortonLifeLock can help protect your personal devices, online privacy and information. Made for consumers, the comprehensive coverage is available across Canada (excluding Quebec residents) and includes multiple layers of protection that can help protect your identity and provide restoration if your personal information is ever stolen.

Overall, changes like these can help bring peace of mind to your work-from-home life going forward. Find more information at telus.com/onlinesecurity.

 
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