Blog :: Archive for November 2011
Today, the office in Duck HQ is very quiet. It is usually quieter on a Friday as many of our staff work part-time and take Friday as their day off, but today it is quieter than usual. Why? Because two members of staff are working from home today.
I am always stunned at the reluctance some companies have about allowing their staff to work from home. I hear concerns voiced such as “but they won’t be able to concentrate” and “we can’t get hold of them as easily”. In Puddle Ducks we have found that an easy balance between working from home and working in the office is ideal and should be encouraged.
Here are our top ten reasons to allow staff to work from home:
- You don’t need to waste time travelling to the office every day
- There’s more room in the office for everyone else!
- Fewer interruptions
- Higher levels of concentration
- You can make confidential phonecalls
- You take control of your home-life (it really doesn’t take long to put the washing machine on and you’re actually in when the postman delivers a signed-for package!)
- Skype is free
- You can wear your slippers and even pyjamas – as long as you don’t use the video conferencing facility!
- You can work flexible hours
- A change is as good as a rest – it can be quite refreshing to spend a day quietly working at home
Posted by Tracy on Friday, 25th November 2011
I was excited last week to learn that the BFA (British Franchise Association) arranged a meeting with MPs to discuss franchising.
The consultation, attended by a total of 30 MPs, follows the recent Natwest BFA Franchise Survey, which showed that more than 90% of UK franchisees are reporting profits.
The study further revealed that the rate of commercial failure in this field is currently less than 4% a year – making franchising between six and 10 times stronger than conventional business start-ups.
MPs were encouraged to promote the concept of franchising in their constituencies to foster sustainable growth in their local economy.
Interestingly, in the same week, Theresa May, Home Secretary has declared that women can boost the economy by £60bn (£42bn could be generated if there were as many female entrepreneurs as their are male entrepreneurs in the UK).
The Home Secretary, who is also the Equalities Minister, said that 'real, practical help' would be provided including advice over issues such as finance, work-life balance and working from home and is planning to set up a Women's Business Council.
How exciting that in just one week, the government has endorsed the two key elements of a Puddle Ducks franchise - a profitable and sustainable franchise model with flexible working to enable work-life balance.
Posted by Tracy on Monday, 7th November 2011
For any of you who happen to follow me on Twitter @swimfranchisor, you may have spotted that this afternoon I was totally mesmerised by the wonderful Strictly Gershwin show by the English National Ballet at the Liverpool Empire theatre.
And what made the production even more exciting for me, was that the lovely Kate Hext was performing on stage throughout. Kate is both a wonderful friend, and an amazing musician. We are extremely lucky! Kate and her equally wonderful husband Dave, who have been customers of Puddle Ducks for many years, have helped us make classes Puddle Ducks classes such musical fun. Between them, they have composed many of the songs that you know and love (including our welcome song) and have arranged and performed all the songs (74 of them!) on our fantastic CD (available in our online shop).
I've not been to such a feel-good show for a long, long time. The English National Ballet are touring with the production at the moment. They will be in Milton Keynes next week, and Bristol and London in the New Year. If you get a chance to see it - do! It's absolutely fabulous!
Posted by Tracy on Saturday, 5th November 2011
Our lovely friends at Askamum have posted a wonderful article on their site all about the benefits of Aquanatal - for bump and for baby.
Have you been to aquanatal classes? Did you know that Puddle Ducks now offers aquanatal classses at several locations around the country?
Why not join the discussion on the Askamum site and tell them your experiences?
One of our wonderful customers from Worcestershire gave birth to a beautiful little girl, rather earlier than expected, wrote to Kate to say:
"I was hoping you could pass my best wishes and luck to the ladies who I met at the sunday classes and basically just wanted to let you know I hadn't given up and not said anything just my little one decided to join us earlier than expected!"
We hope many of you are enjoying similar experiences - if so, please do let us and Askamum know!!
Posted by Tracy on Thursday, 3rd November 2011