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Globalization and lean manufacturing have made supply chain management more important than ever.

It's crucial that materials and parts arrive when needed in the manufacturing process so that you can fulfill orders and customer expectations. But because of the minimization of inventory, your company could be more vulnerable to disruption.

Most people don't like to think about a catastrophe striking their business, so when things are running smoothly, it's tempting to put disruption planning on the back burner.

Unfortunately, most disasters don't give advance notice, although today's more sophisticated weather tracking does give some warning.

For example, Hurricane Sandy, which struck the East Coast in October 2012, was predicted five days ahead. One of the country's biggest ports was shut down by the huge storm, as were transportation and logistics businesses operating in the region.

Would five days be enough time to make contingency plans if an important shipment was due in New York? Probably not.

In addition to severe weather, disruption might be caused by labor issues, raw materials shortages, wars, fires and terrorism. Sometimes a supplier to your supplier is the one with the problem, and the ripple effect impacts you.

While you can't prevent these critical events, you can mitigate their impact through risk management, a key part of supply chain planning. Because of economic uncertainty on top of wild weather and political unrest in many regions of the world, risk management is rising in importance.

Almost all executives (98 percent) recently surveyed by consulting company Accenture felt risk management was more important than two years earlier. Four out of five were worried about the resilience of their supply chains.

Most companies plan out their supply chains several years in advance. Rather than regard your plan as static and set, take a hard look at your chain to find the weak spots. Which supplies or sources are most critical to your functioning? Which have the longest lead times? Where are you most at risk because of external political, geographic, weather or scarcity factors?

If currency exchange rates and fuel costs could make supplies from certain countries too expensive, include them as risks.

A useful tool to rank supply risk is a grid with low risk to high risk on one axis and low importance to high importance on the other. You can map out which supplies are both high risk and high importance, high risk and low importance, etc. This will help you prioritize disruption planning to address the most vulnerable areas first.

Once threats are ranked, the next steps are to mitigate the risk as well as create a plan to address disruption, should it occur.

Risk can be reduced in several ways. You can increase your inventory of the critical, high-risk part to create a more comfortable buffer. Establishing relationships with alternative suppliers and logistics and transportation services will give you options should the worst occur.

Strategic alliances with others in your industry might also be a viable part of your plan, either as an emergency provider of inventory or a source of intelligence.

Recognizing the complex nature of supply chains in a global economy, companies are working together to share information. The Fair Factories Clearinghouse in New York, for example, gathers submitted documentation on 30,000 factories in 142 countries.

A cross-functional team approach is key to developing and modeling your disruption plan, since it is likely all departments will need to respond in some way – from accounting to the production floor.

Running through "what-if" scenarios, your team can brainstorm and draft on paper various response strategies.

After the best options are selected, testing and dry runs will validate your plan. Your team's roles and responsibilities during a crisis should be pre-determined so decisions can be made quickly and effectively.

A system and responsibility for ongoing intelligence gathering and situation monitoring should also be part of your plan. You can identify the critical issues – weather, currencies, fuel prices, political situations – for your most important suppliers and set up a data-gathering mechanism.

This intelligence gathering could include customized real-time data feeds watched by your team. RTT News and Reuters are examples of services that allow users to set preferences for continuous news updates.

New information should be integrated into your ongoing supply chain management process so that you can respond and adjust to changing conditions as they occur.

As smartphones (iPhone, BlackBerry) and tablets (iPad and Kindle Fire) become more popular, employees are increasingly asking if they can use their own devices for work.

Whether employees use these devices for work full-time or just to take work home to check email after hours, many employers are recognizing the advantages of giving them a nod. It can boost productivity and employee satisfaction as well as reduce capital equipment expenses.

In a recent survey, 75 percent of responding organizations said they allow employees to use their own mobile devices for business. Some companies even provide a stipend for the purchase of such devices and/or pay the monthly service fees.

smartphone

But on the down side, there are some threats to data confidentiality and security with personal devices, and employees are required to give up a measure of privacy.

When an employer provides employees with a mobile device, their IT department equips it with software to protect it from thieves and hackers. This is not always the case with personal devices. When employees leave the company, they are required to return all company-owned equipment. Not so with their personal mobile devices.

If you let employees use their personal devices for company business, here are some suggestions to protect your assets:

  • Insist on the installation of a security package, including password protection, encryption, automatic lock-out after several failed log-in attempts, automatic log-out after a period of inactivity, anti-virus and anti-spam protection, and remote “wipe” capability, which wipes the device’s memory clean.
  • Get employees’ written authorization to issue a remote wipe command if the device is lost or stolen and have them sign a release of liability for any loss of personal data that ensues.
  • Get employees’ written consent to access the device for legitimate business purposes.
  • Plan how to retrieve proprietary information when employees leave the company. One way is to include a review and deletion of company data as part of the exit interview. For hostile terminations, you may need to do a remote wipe command.

A separate issue involves employees’ personal use of devices for non-work purposes during business hours – such as sending personal emails or texts, recreational Internet surfing, etc.

Policies vary, depending on the nature of the work, the setting and the work force. Obviously, use of personal devices should be prohibited where it could be a hazard, such as manufacturing or transportation.

At the other end of the spectrum, a professional work force may require only a general statement, if anything, such as, “The use of personal electronic devices for non-work purposes during business hours should not be excessive nor interfere with work.” A middle ground might be to restrict the use of such devices to breaks or urgent communications.

Is your business taking full advantage of the Domestic Production Activities deduction?

This deduction – which can be as much as 9 percent of your U.S.-based business activity profit – is available to virtually every small business in the manufacturing industry.

A company engaged in the following business activities may qualify for the Domestic Production Activities (DPA) deduction. The items on this list are called “qualified production activities” (QPA):

U.S. flag made out of gears

  • Manufacturing based in the United States
  • Selling, leasing or licensing items that have been manufactured in the United States
  • Selling, leasing or licensing motion pictures that have been produced in the United States
  • Construction services in the United States, including building and renovation of residential and commercial properties
  • Engineering and architectural services relating to a U.S.-based construction project
  • Software development in the United States, including the development of video games

The DPA deduction is limited to income arising from qualified production activities in whole or significant part based in the United States.

Under the “safe harbor” rule, businesses can take the deduction if at least 20 percent of the total costs are the result of direct labor and overhead costs from U.S.-based operations.

If any part of manufacturing or production activities is outside the United States, the business must use either the safe harbor rule (at least 20 percent of total costs are from U.S.-based production activities) or allocate costs using the facts and circumstances of the business.

The following lines of business are specifically excluded from claiming the DPA deduction:

  • Construction services that are cosmetic in nature, such as painting
  • Leasing or licensing items to a related party
  • Selling food or beverages prepared at a retail establishment

The key to figuring the Domestic Production Activities deduction is to examine “qualified production activities income.”

Qualified production activities income (QPAI)

– Qualified production activities expenses

= Qualified production activities net income

X The QPA deduction amount of 9 percent

= The Tentative QPA Deduction

The qualified production activities deduction is all income arising from qualified production activities.

For a company with only one line of business, QPAI will be the same as gross income. For companies with multiple lines of business, income will need to be allocated. The same is true for qualified production activity expenses, which are all expenses directly related to the qualified production activities.

The dollar amount of the DPA deduction is limited. The deduction cannot exceed adjusted gross income (for sole proprietors and owners of partnerships, S corporations, LLCs) or taxable income (for C corporations). The deduction cannot exceed 50 percent of W-2 wages.

If you engage in contract manufacturing, you can claim the DPA deduction only if you have the benefits and burdens of ownership of the property while manufacturing activity occurs.

Which party in a contract manufacturing situation has the benefits and burdens of ownership is a factual question. The parties cannot designate by contract which one is entitled to the DPA deduction.

If a company enters into a contractual arrangement with a nonrelated party to perform some or all of the manufacturing activities, the following is a three-step process to determine who has the benefits and burdens of ownership.

Step 1: Review Contract Terms

  • Which party had title to the work-in-process?
  • Which party had risk of loss over the work-in-process?
  • Which party was primarily responsible for insuring the work-in-progress?

Step 2: Analyze Production Activities

  • Which party developed the manufacturing activity process?
  • Which party exercised oversight and direction over the employees engaged in the manufacturing activity?
  • Which party conducted more than 50 percent of the quality control tests over the work-in-progress while the manufacturing activity was occurring?

Step 3: Evaluate Economic Risks

  • Which party was primarily liable under the “make-good” provisions of the contract – for example, the warranty, quality of work, spoilage, overconsumption or indemnification provisions?
  • Which party provided more than 50 percent, based on cost, of the raw materials and components used to produce the property?
  • Which party had the greater opportunity for profit increase or decrease from production efficiencies and fluctuations in the cost of labor and factory overhead?

Many taxpayers have overlooked this deduction, so if you think your activities may qualify, contact your tax adviser.

When a recession hits, it may be tempting to slash departments and costs seen as nonessential.

Marketing comes to mind. So do research and development. After all, who knows if your R&D investments will ever pay off once they do make it to market?

R&D Activity Increasing

R&D investments by U.S. companies experienced a slight downturn in 2009 but are growing again, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2012, businesses are expected to spend more than $280 billion, an increase of 3.7 percent over 2011.

R&D StrategyPharmaceuticals, transportation equipment, food technology, and consumer goods remain the leading industries for R&D. Service industries also account for 30 percent of R&D activity.

It’s apparent that savvy companies aren’t shelving new product and service rollouts despite the continued weak economy. R&D departments undergo the same rigorous review and adjustment other functions are experiencing as companies strive to operate in a frugal and efficient manner.

Opportunities for New Development

Even during a downturn, there are opportunities to create a successful new product or service. R&D Magazine reports in the 2012 Global R&D Funding Forecast by the Battelle research group that key global issues are impacting R&D focus. For example, climate change is influencing the energy, materials, communications and automotive industries.

Sustainable development concerns are affecting agriculture and food manufacturing. Terrorism has shifted the direction of the aerospace, defense and security industries. Market intelligence about your end-users is vital right now to understand long-term as well as short-term trends.

The recession highlighted the cost savings and efficiency aspects of the green movement, and attitudes aren’t likely to shift back easily to one of disregarding fuel and energy costs. The advantage will be to make new technologies affordable and integrated into everyday products and lifestyles.

Steps in the Process

In light of existing market conditions then, the first step to maximizing your R&D efforts is a stringent review of projects, both for completion status and continued viability.

Now is the time to prune your portfolio to only the best and strongest projects. Freeing up resources will allow you to accelerate time to market or reinvest in a new and more promising project.

Some companies find it worthwhile to allocate a portion of R&D time to revamping, updating or finding new applications for their existing product or service line.

Next, look at your entire innovation process with an eye to “leaning” systems and procedures. Such tools as value stream mapping can be used to identify bottlenecks and redundancies.

Critical steps of the process will be evident, and anything extraneous can be eliminated.

Operating a lean R&D department will save money and make innovation more effective. Employee productivity and teamwork are other areas to review for maximum performance.

The Funding Forecast also reports a new focus on collaboration to leverage R&D activity. According to Battelle’s research, 81 percent of manufacturing companies are involved in joint R&D with academic institutions, federal laboratories, other U.S. companies or foreign enterprises.

Knowledge sharing, access to technology and shortening the development cycle are key collaboration drivers. Rather than do it all in-house, strategic partnerships might fill gaps and let you leapfrog to a new level.

Remaining competitive, taking advantage of tax breaks and positioning your company for the future are all good reasons to review your R&D plan.

Employee stock ownership plans – ESOPs – are tax-advantaged employee benefit plans designed by Congress to allow the purchase of private company shares to encourage employee ownership.

Trends In The MarketESOPs work well for companies to encourage employee ownership and for companies that might otherwise have a hard time attracting outside buyers.

How Employee Stock Ownership Plans Work

An ESOP acquires a private company’s shares, often from founders, and holds them in trust for the benefit of employees who qualify to be beneficiaries. The ESOP vests ownership in the shares over time, becoming another retirement account similar to a 401(k).

The plan typically borrows the funds needed to complete the acquisition, and then the company makes deductible contributions and pays dividends to the ESOP to fund the repayment of the loans.

ESOPs are excellent vehicles for structuring deals to fine tune the needs and preferences of owners. They move ownership of the company into the hands of the employees and give selling owners tax-advantaged liquidity.

Owners are more likely to sell their companies when they are ready to change their lives than when market conditions would indicate the optimal time to sell. The driver is psychological: When the economy is growing and profits are rising, even more seasoned owners feel invigorated and involved. Buyers become more active as the credit cycle loosens.

While the Great Recession officially ended in 2009 (though unofficially it is entering its fourth year of casting a shadow over the economy), conditions today are far from optimal.

Many owners who would be sellers are finding that “going to market” has been a tough prospect these past few years. But in the right circumstances, ESOPs represent ready and willing buyers for many companies that would otherwise not gain much attention today.

Valuation Multiples and Capital Markets

Transaction multiples have stabilized, and volume has improved significantly since the bottom of the recession. Comparing results from 2010 and 2011 to multiples and number of transactions from 2008-2009, transaction markets have certainly up ticked overall, even if only in relative terms.

Public markets have been more mixed. Though the broad markets have rallied from their 2009 lows, a number of public companies have shown significant earnings growth without a similar increase in value. So their multiples have moved down toward longer-run levels.

Meanwhile, reports of lending continue to focus on tightened credit, though ESOP lending has improved from the nearly-no-lending environment at the bottom of the recession.

Upside-down ESOPs

ESOP companies have been climbing out of their own earnings hole. ESOPs of a certain vintage, particularly from the mid-2000s, were formed during peak market multiples and peak valuations. At the time of formation, those valuations were in line with the market. Unfortunately, those ESOPs that were fully leveraged have seen their enterprise value fall significantly below their debt levels, and the improving conditions haven’t quite reached equity break-even – yet.

Still, for companies with positive earnings and a sustainable outlook, the equity did not go to zero. Instead, it has behaved as a long-term option play: So long as the company can service the debt or work with the lenders to operate and grow the business, the equity has the value inherent in capturing the upside of future performance. Their expectation is that one day the growth will be sufficient to fully repay the debt and create positive value for shareholders.

The Evolution of ESOP Valuation Practice

Valuation theory and practice continue to evolve for ESOPs. A number of issues continue to be debated in ESOP appraisal. Shares owned by an ESOP carry a mandatory put option by law, so that employees can convert them to cash upon retirement or leaving the company.

Whether that put option is truly the reason the discount for lack of marketability (a reduction in value if the initial valuation is deemed to be based on readily marketable shares) is small or zero for ESOP shares is a hot topic. The other side of the same coin is whether the repurchase liability should have an impact on valuation of ESOP shares. (The repurchase liability is the quantification of the impact on the ESOP or company of the obligation to cash out shares from retiring employees.)

For more complicated leveraged ESOPs, an area of current focus is whether formulaic options valuation models properly capture the nuances of complex financing instruments. This is an area of ongoing development, particularly when audit firms examine the expenses and value related to financial derivatives.

Legislation to Hold Appraisers as Fiduciaries of ESOPs

Everyone is getting in on this game. The Department of Labor is working on new rules and regulations to hold appraisers as fiduciaries. Meanwhile in the Senate, legislation is in the works opposing the DOL/ESOP fiduciary proposal.

Proponents suggest the increased responsibility is necessary to hold appraisers accountable, to provide strong enforcement tools for protecting ESOP beneficiaries and to protect the public from improper appraisals.

Opponents worry the added regulation is excessive, and the increased costs and liability exposure will drive appraisers from the ESOP market, causing disruptions and hardships. This is a very hot topic, particularly in an election year, and one worth keeping track of for ESOP companies.

Overall, the market continues to improve, albeit slowly. ESOP appraisals continue to evolve, but changes brought about by the evolution should not cause disruption for ESOP companies. What happens in Congress, on the other hand, is something worth paying attention to – as if folks really needed one more reason to pay attention in an election year!

Am I allowed to monitor my employees’ off-duty behavior and fire an employee because of it?

Chances are that most managers have wondered about some form of this question.

Employee BehaviorThe behaviors might include drinking, smoking, working for a political party or candidate, using a competitor’s product or services, displaying certain bumper stickers, engaging in dangerous sports, cross-dressing, having extramarital affairs or cohabitation.

The answer is complex. In general, unless there are state laws tying your hands, there are no federal laws that prohibit you from firing employees for their off-duty behavior. Of course, you cannot discriminate on the basis of a protected category, for example, age, race, sex or disability.

You can fire an employee for any reason – with a few exceptions (see below). This is an upshot of the “employment at will” doctrine, which states that either the employer or the employee may end the relationship at any time, without having to prove cause.

That said, there are exceptions to “at-will,” and there are other reasons you might not want to fire an employee for off-duty activities.

First, a growing number of states are enacting so-called “lifestyle statutes” that prohibit firing employees for engaging in certain legal behaviors or using legal consumable products on their own time.

Smoking is the most widely protected of these lifestyle behaviors. Some states go as far as to prohibit discrimination against employees for any lawful activities on their own time, even if employers do not approve of those activities.

However, there are exceptions even to lifestyle statutes. For example, while drinking alcohol may be protected, if it affects job performance, it is not. This is especially the case in safety-sensitive jobs, such as transportation and operation of heavy equipment.

Federal laws do protect certain off-duty behaviors. These include whistle-blowing, reporting potential safety violations, union organizing and filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Most collective bargaining agreements specify that union employees may not be terminated without “just cause” and provide for a multi-step grievance procedure, plus arbitration.

Other considerations that can limit an employer’s ability to terminate an employee for their off-duty behavior include an employee handbook or written employment contract that states that employees will not be terminated without cause.

Finally, there are some less tangible things to consider. Even if you are not prohibited from firing employees for their off-duty behavior, how will it affect the morale among your other employees? How will your image in the community be affected if it makes it into the media?

There is a general assumption of individual freedom in our society. The extension of that into the workplace is the belief that employees should not lose their jobs as a result of lifestyle choices as long as those choices do not affect the business or workplace.

If you are thinking about terminating an employee for off-duty behaviors, it might be prudent to consider whether that behavior affects the employee’s job performance, the workplace or the business. If not, you may want to reconsider such an action.

Manufacturers attempting to optimize investment and profit created the concept of lean manufacturing.

Going beyond the definition of waste as excess or ruined materials, lean manufacturing evaluates process flow and the productivity of people and machinery.

Customer DrivenInventory is replenished “just in time” with base levels restocked as used. Over the past few years, lean manufacturing proponents are taking this discipline further by looking at customer satisfaction as a measure of high performance. This is called creating a customer-driven supply chain or demand-based manufacturing.

In this approach, everything from raw materials to end-user delivery is regarded as part of the supply chain. Demand-based manufacturing aims to eliminate any material, process or production output that doesn’t create value – that is, result in a sale.

Because scheduling is more flexible and stockpiling is avoided, inventory turns are increased, customer service is improved, and lead times and defects are reduced. Improved communications and efficient delivery systems are largely responsible for making a lot of this possible. Information is gathered at every step and fed back into the system for adjustments in output.

But, like many major business improvements, successful implementation hinges on company commitment and culture. This may require a shift from being operations driven to customer driven, and some employee discomfort might go along with that. Decisions are based on what is best for the customer, not the maintenance of the internal status quo.

The first step is to learn more about your customers. Under this approach, the customer includes the distributors and retailers as well as the end-user.

Similar customers should be grouped together – for example, mega-retailers, independents and direct sales to end-users. Determine each group’s key requirements regarding product and service.

Also look at the sales volume, sales cycle and trends for each group to further define present and future demand. Your supply chain can then be examined in light of these needs to add or eliminate processes or features.

For example, some computer manufacturers initially offered complete customization to each end-user but learned that the majority of customers were happy with standard configurations. In this case, the ordering and manufacturing processes were simplified.

Demand forecasting is the next step, since hiring, materials buying and production scheduling depend on it.

A key feature of the customer-driven supply chain is being nimble and responsive. That presents a challenge in planning, since long-term investments and strategies must be balanced with short-term flexibility.

This is where better customer intelligence will help. Understanding product demand cycles more specifically, de-biasing and quantifying sales forecasts, and using past history while assessing previous forecasting accuracy are all methods to refine your sales projections.

Finally, your processes will need to be aligned with the new production forecast and customer service plan. Perhaps, counterintuitively, standardization increases flexibility.

Processes, materials and products are consistent to a level where variations are quickly planned and executed, a must in the real-time world of customer-driven production.

Again, consider computer manufacturing. The basic shell and contents are the same for the entire run of a model, with a certain segment receiving additional hardware, based on orders. And, in the most efficient supply chains, a just-in-time system with trusted raw material and components suppliers further reduces costs.

Creating a customer-driven supply chain model for your company may not be simple or easy. But it has the potential to improve profitability, make you more competitive and increase customer satisfaction. All are vital issues in a global economy.

The main reason good product ideas fail is that they get stuck between conception and development, often in processes that inhibit breakthrough innovation, according to a new study by CGT magazine and Sopheon Corp.

Nearly 60 percent of the study’s respondents said that development resources were stretched too thin because of too many other projects under development.

Product DevelopmentOnly one in five ideas was truly innovative, with the rest being product revisions, line extensions or promotional ideas and packaging changes, respondents said.

The average company gets 25 percent of its revenues from products introduced within the past five years. But only half of those products achieve profit goals because of a lack of product differentiation and poor market analysis, each a part of early-stage development.

Respondents came from global companies with annual revenues of $300 million or more. Markets included food, apparel, consumer goods and electronics.

A majority of respondents said there was a lack of coordination between short-term product development activities and long-term growth strategies.

These included:

  • Information gaps that undercut new product investments
  • Inhibitors of effective product portfolio management
  • Deficiencies in post-launch performance measurement practices

In December 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an informal statement of opinion that employers who require a high school diploma for a job, without clear business necessity, may be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This practice may be seen as discriminating against applicants who are unable to earn a high school diploma because of a learning disability.

High School DiplomaThe EEOC maintains that a job qualification standard, such as a high school diploma, which disproportionately screens out applicants with disabilities, must be proven to be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

There are two steps to complying with these criteria.

First, to be job-related and consistent with business necessity, a qualification standard must accurately measure applicants’ ability to perform fundamental job responsibilities.

Once that is established, the employer must also show that each individual applicant who does not meet the standard is not able to perform the fundamental job responsibilities – even with a reasonable accommodation.

In other words, even if the employer is able to show that a high school diploma is job-relevant in most cases, the employer should still try to establish whether a particular individual whose learning disability keeps him from earning a high school diploma can do the job with or without a reasonable accommodation.

This may be established by looking at the applicant’s relevant work history, including recommendations, and/or by allowing them to demonstrate their ability to do the essential functions of the job. If the applicant can perform the requirements of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, the applicant cannot be excluded from the job based on not having a high school diploma.

While the above opinion from the EEOC is only an “informal discussion letter” and does not have the force of law, prudent employers will take heed so as not to become the first test case.

Shiftwork – defined as working either a night shift or rotating shifts – is hard on people.

Shift WorkersThey usually don’t sleep as well, which can lead to a host of issues, including fatigue, impaired concentration and problem-solving ability, stress and mood swings.

A study of more than 30,000 Canadian shiftworkers found that they were twice as likely as day workers to be injured on the job. That rate is five times greater between midnight and 6 a.m., and 15 times greater between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Shiftworkers often don’t eat as nutritious a diet as day workers. Their social life can be diminished or harmed because their schedule is out of synch with that of most of their family and friends. And extreme sleep deprivation is associated with a whole list of health problems.

But there are some steps the company and individual employees can take to minimize the negative effects of shiftwork. Here are a few:

  • One of the most important things companies can do is to provide opportunities for employees to nap on the night shift. Research on circadian rhythms recommends that employees working nights take 20-minute naps “as needed.”
  • Employers should keep the workplace brightly lighted at all hours to promote alertness.
  • The less frequent the shift rotations, the better. That is, employees should stay on each shift as long as feasible, rather than changing frequently. The least stressful shift rotation is from day to evening to night – not from day to night to evening.

Employers could help their shiftworkers better handle the stress their hours bring by encouraging them to consider the following tips:

  • It is beneficial to take a short nap (no longer than 30 minutes) before your shift, but turn on bright lights when you get up so you will not feel groggy when you get to work.
  • Good sleep practices include keeping your bedroom cool, quiet and dark. When it is light outside, use room-darkening shades or wear a sleep mask. Turn off your phone. If there are noises you have no control over, such as lawn mowers or traffic, wear earplugs or turn on a fan to block them out. Stick to the same sleep schedule when you have only a day or two off.
  • Talk to friends and family about your sleep and work schedule, and ask them not to wake you.
  • A fit, healthy body can handle shift changes better than an unwell, frail or overweight body. Therefore, get regular exercise and eat nutritiously. Do your workout before your shift – this helps your energy level at work and helps you sleep better after work. Eat plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Minimize sugar, junk food, alcohol and caffeine. Taking your meals to work is a good strategy if the only alternative is junk food or fast food.
  • Be creative about connecting with friends and family when you are on a late shift. How about meeting people for breakfast? They will be heading to work while you will be getting off work.

Plan ahead to make good use of your days off. Schedule the activities you enjoy with friends and family that you can’t do during your shiftwork.

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