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Enjoy Working from Home More with These Tips

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With so many people working from home these days, significant changes are afoot. Gone are the days of wearing suits, and even business-casual dress feels impossibly fancy.

It also gives people granular control of the environment in which they work. Here are some great ways you can make working from home more comfortable and enjoyable.

Appropriate Clothing

People may associate woolen clothes with thick winter sweaters, but the material is perfect for summer clothes. T-shirts, boxers, socks and other clothing made of high-quality Merino wool are very breathable, as the fabric is naturally antibacterial and moisture-wicking.

The best manufacturers like Unbound Merino make very versatile t-shirts you can wear during a big night on the town or a day inside with your laptop. You’ll love wearing these clothes when it’s hot out. They’re also designed to travel and be extremely durable — wrinkle-resistant, soft, stylish and sustainably-sourced, wool is excellent in all seasons and situations.

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People joke about working from home in their underwear or from their bed, but it’s hard to concentrate on work when you’re not even dressed.

Cover your feet, too. You may not want to wear shoes indoors, but slippers are perfect. If you have a long and stressful workday, it’ll be easier to bear when you’re wearing cozy slippers. Work clothes may be more casual than ever, but it’s still important to dress to get things done.

Music

When you work from home, you may not need headphones! Everyone’s home living situation is different — you may have the place to yourself, or there could be children running around. But even if you’re alone and you have total control over the music, you don’t necessarily want to just play your favourite songs.

What music helps you concentrate? Many people get distracted by lyrics, so they listen to instrumental music with no singing.

You don’t need to crank up the volume, either. The music is there to help you focus and make the day go by quicker — it needs to add to your ability to get work done, not take away from it.

Work Station

It’s best to get a place at home that puts you in the psychological headspace necessary for work. Pick a seat at your kitchen table and make it your new office.

Outfit this space with whatever supplies you need for work. Make sure the lighting is good and that it’s comfortable. You don’t need a huge amount of physical room, just make sure the space is ergonomic.

You don’t want to be doing your work on a couch. It seems like a good idea, but it’s hard to concentrate at a high level for long periods when you’re that comfortable.

It’s unclear how many people currently working from home will still be doing so in a year. But in the meantime, you’ll enjoy working from home more if you remember to dress appropriately, put on the right music, and carve out a suitable place to do all your work.

 

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Is Canada in a recession? StatCan’s early estimates are saying not yet

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Early indicators from Statistics Canada on show the country’s economy is slowing but might not be in recession territory yet.

The agency released new gross domestic product (GDP) data on Tuesday, showing the economy grew at a rate of 0.1 per cent in November.

Early indications show that the country’s GDP was essentially unchanged for December.

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Overall, StatCan said advance information suggests a 1.6 per cent annualized increase in GDP for the fourth quarter of the year and annual growth of 3.8 per cent in 2022.

Economic growth is expected to slow in response to higher interest rates, with many economists anticipating a mild recession this year. A recession is traditionally defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

“Overall, today’s data show that the Canadian economy continues to cool, but not as yet shift into reverse, in the face of rising interest rates,” said CIBC Senior Economist Andrew Grantham in a note to clients Tuesday.

The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate eight consecutive times since March, bringing it to 4.5 per cent, the highest it’s been since 2007.

After hiking interest rates last week, the central bank signalled it would take a pause to assess how higher interest rates are affecting inflation and the economy.

In November, growth in real domestic product was driven by the public sector, transportation and warehousing and finance and insurance.

Meanwhile, construction, retail and accommodation and food services contracted.

— with files from the Canadian Press

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St-Onge urges provinces to accelerate efforts to make sports safer for athletes

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Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge says ending abuse in sports will require complaints processes that include provincial-level athletes, not just national ones.

St-Onge and provincial sports ministers will meet during the Canada Games in mid-February where their agenda will include the ongoing effort to address widespread allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse in sports.

She says she asked the provincial ministers at an August meeting to look at joining the new federal sport integrity process or creating their own.

The national sports integrity commissioner can only investigate allegations of abuse from athletes at the national level.

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But St-Onge says the vast majority of athletes aren’t in that category and only Quebec has its own sports integrity office capable of receiving and investigating complaints.

The national sport integrity office officially began its work last June and has since received 48 complaints from athletes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2023.

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Justice is a Privilege Reserved for the Few

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History is full of examples showing us that Justice is a privilege reserved for the few, the wealthy, politically and financially connected, in fact, those of the right colour or race depending on where and when this justice was to be dealt with. Justice must be earnt, and it expends a colossal cost. What do I mean?

When a justice system demands proof of your innocence, while viewing the accused as guilty until that proof surfaces, the system of justice seems to be blind to all but those with the ability to hire known lawyers and a defense team to point out any misunderstandings that arise. A Black Man with many priors stands before a judge, accused of violent crimes. Will such a man have the ability to raise money to get out of jail and hire a powerful legal team? If he is a financially well-off man perhaps, but if he is an “Average Joe”, the justice system swallows him up, incarcerating him while he waits for his trial, and possible conviction. While the justice system is supposed to be blind to financial, sexist, and racial coding, the statistics show White men often walk, and Black-Hispanic and men of color often do not. Don’t think so?

America’s Justice system has a huge penal population, well into the millions of citizens in public and private prisons across the land. According to Scientific America, 71% of those imprisoned are not white. So do you think these men and women got there because of their choices or did the system help to decide that while whites can be either excused, rehabilitated or found not endangering the greater society, “the others” are threats to the nation’s security and population?

White privilege is still prevalent within our system, with financial privilege a close second.

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The World was white, but now its really black(non-white)
Justice for all is never achieved, just verbatim.
What can justice do for the lowly man
while jails fill and are built anew continually?

When you are seen as an outsider always,
and the precious few escape societies’ hungry grasp.
Justice for all is the cry we all hear these days,
While the policeman stamps your future out at last.

Martin L says the Black Persons going to win this war,
and a war of attrition it truly has been.
Justice is a privileged and socially mobile thing,
leaving the many to pray to the spirit of Tyre Nichols,
asking what the hell can we do???

I walked through an airport recently with no problem and no questioning. Customs and border officers were busy getting into the face of many non-white travelers. To this very day, a non-white person flying anywhere with a long beard, and dressed like a Muslim could get you unwelcomed trouble. Being different will always create difficulties. Being out of your place in another financial-ethnic society will be a challenge. Race, financial and political privilege will forever be with us. The powerful will always be able to dance around the justice system’s rules and regulations. Why? Well, the justice system is an exclusive club, filled with lawyers and police. The administrators and enforcers of the system. Some other form of the judicial system is needed, with a firm root in community equality. Can our Justice System be truly blind to all influencers, but the laws of the land? Can victims of crime receive true justice, retribution in kind for the offenses carried out by criminals against them?

” In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect”(Jimmy Carter). Mutual respect of all actors in the play known as the Justice System, influenced, manipulated, and written by lawyers and academics. God help us.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario
skaszab@yahoo.ca

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