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Sleepiness a Common Occurrence Among Employees

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Drained at your desk? You’re not alone. Recent research from staffing firm Accountemps suggests feeling worn out at work is a common occurrence among U.S. employees. Seventy-four percent of professionals reported they operate while tired at least somewhat often.

  • Very often –31%
  • Somewhat often – 43%
  • Not very often – 24%
  • Never – 2%

According to the research, the sleepiest city is Nashville, followed by Austin, Denver and Indianapolis. View an infographic of the 15 cities that have the highest percentages of professionals who are exhausted on the job. Texas had two cities in the top 10 – Austin at No. 2 and Dallas tied at No. 8.

“Though often overlooked, sleep is a critical component of producing good work. Errors and ineffectiveness can occur when team members are running on empty,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. “Consider the underlying causes of why employees are sleepy. If it’s because they’re stretched too thin, retention issues could soon follow.”

Accountemps offers the following tips to minimize working tired:

For Employers:

For Employees:

1.      Set a good example by working reasonable hours. Come to the office with adequate sleep and encourage your team to unplug after they leave the office.

1.      Ask for help before you burn out; your manager may be able to assist you with prioritizing or delegating tasks.

2.      Meet with your employees regularly to discuss their current projects and where they may need support.

2.      Leave work at the office door so you can recharge. Try going for a walk or attending a yoga class to clear your mind.

3.      Bring in temporary professionals to ensure staff aren’t overloaded or feel they need to put in overtime.

3.      Don’t bring your phone or laptop to bed. This can help ensure you get a restful night’s sleep and wake up refreshed.

 

 

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More Shake Up at SAGE – Interim CEO Resigns

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In just two months time, one of the most revered nonprofits on the East Side has had a shake up.

First, longtime CEO Jackie Gorman departed in late September. Now, interim CEO Akeem Brown has also resigned. The San Antonio Business Journal reported Friday that Brown left the organization only after two months in his new position. According to his LinkedIn page, he’s been with SAGE for a little more than two years and previously served as its director of operations. Prior to joining SAGE, Brown worked with former Councilman Alan Warrick as a director of communication and policy. 

The recent turnover in executive staff at SAGE raises questions of who will lead the organization forward especially during a time when many investors are looking at the area for redevelopment.

Earlier this year, the San Antonio Express-News reported on Gorman and SAGE’s efforts to bring change to the East Side, which often gets stereotyped for having high crime statistics. It reported that during Gorman’s tenure, investors are seeing the area differently now to refurbishing homes and building retail shops.

In spite of SAGE’s efforts, it has drawn some criticism as well. A 2016 News 4 Trouble Shooters story questioned why SAGE and other organizations were slow to invest more grant money on the East Side. In 2014, a portion of the East Side was designated one of the nation’s first “promise zones,” which made it eligible for millions in federal grants.

To read the story on Gorman from BlackVideoNews, go here.

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What to Expect from a Home Inspection

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By Lisa Harrison Rivas

For most people, buying a house is the biggest investment they’ll ever make. People often spend months searching for their dream home, and when they finally find what appears to be it, they can’t wait to buy it. But we all know looks can be deceiving, so before the packing starts, it’s a good idea to get a home inspection.

Here’s what you can expect from a home inspection.

An inspection is usually done after a house is under contract, meaning a signed offer has been accepted. If you are working with a real estate agent, he or she can provide a list of licensed inspectors for you to choose from. The house will be inspected for structural defects and pests (crawling critters, not annoying family members).

All lenders require a Wood Destroying Insect Report on pre-existing homes before funds will be advanced for the sale. The report will state if the home has an infestation or damage from a previous infestation and if the house has been previously treated for termites.

Sheds are a haven for termites, so they also should be inspected. One client I was working with had an old shed on a property torn down at the buyer’s request. Sure enough, the shed was full of termites and the house was also infested. The shed was removed, and the seller paid for the termite treatment, which was not cheap.

Keep in mind the Wood Destroying Insect Report must be done within 30 days of closing, so it’s a good idea to have this inspection done last in case there’s a delay in closing.

After the structure of the house is examined, the inspector will issue a report on the roof, foundation, heating and cooling system, electrical system, plumbing and other visible defects. Common issues inspectors find include damage from moisture, aging roofs, heating/cooling defects, termite damage, and improperly installed insulation.

Cracked or shifting foundations also are common in South Texas. I had another client who had found what she thought was the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. The home looked flawless at the showing. An offer was made and accepted, and she was anxious to move forward with the deal. At last, she would be getting the home she had been waiting for. But then, the inspection report came back and it revealed that the beautiful house in the perfect neighborhood had a cracked foundation. This is a perfect example of looks being deceiving and the precise reason a good licensed inspector is crucial.

In older homes, especially in rural areas, the wiring can be a problem. It’s not uncommon for inspectors to find it to be outdated. In general, they will check to see if the house has sufficient electrical capacity needed to power today’s appliances safely.

Once the inspector finishes the report, you and your agent will receive a copy. Decisions will be made about which items need to be addressed before moving forward with the deal. The buyer’s agent will send repair requests to the seller’s agent, and both parties should sign off on which items will be repaired. If you are the seller, make sure you keep all your repair receipts. If you are the buyer, make sure you ask to see them during the final walk-through.

The long summers in South Texas means air conditioning systems are running most of the year, so potential buyers often request that sellers pay for routine maintenance on the heating and cooling system before closing on the house.

And while it might be tempting to save some cash and have your uncle with a tool belt look at the system, I’d recommend that, unless he’s licensed, you politely decline the offer and hire a licensed professional, in which the state requires. Inspectors say a lot of the problems they see are caused by unlicensed Mr. Fix-its.

The buyer, unless he or she is financing with a VA loan, usually pays for both the general structural inspection and the Wood Destroying Insect Report, but like anything else, this is negotiable. The cost varies depending on the size of the house, but expect to spend from $300 to $500 for the structural report. A Wood Destroying Insect Report will cost around $160. Depending on the inspector, these costs can be paid upfront or at closing.

So now you know what to expect from a home inspection.


Lisa Harrison Rivas is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Don Johnson, Realtors. Contact Lisa at 210-380-9006 or lhrivas@realsa.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re-Inventing the Other Side of the Tracks

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Just South of the Alamodome, near the Denver Heights neighborhood, there’s a buzz going on – an old pallet manufacturing site – now holds ongoing events that feature art and community engagement.

If you take a look at the social media pages of Essex Modern City, it seems like a hip new company is using the space at Essex and Cherry streets  on the East Side to hold pop-up events that showcase beautiful murals and tasty food trucks. However its developers – Sacramento-based Harris Bay – is trying to create excitement about Essex Modern City, an 8-acre, mixed-use development that will feature office space, apartments, restaurants and retail.

But the project has yet to break ground. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the developer is working on trying to designate the area as a quiet zone from the noisy trains in the area. In the article, the developer said its hopeful construction will begin in the first quarter of 2019.

According to CREO, the architecture firm for the project, Essex Modern City is expected to be a one-of-kind project for the Alamo City, which “returns the focus to the people, both those who live there and visit, by making it a walkable community with vehicular access limited to emergency and service access. The large central plaza and extensive green space throughout provides a venue for events and exhibits for residents and visitors.”

Though instead of construction, there’s still something to see at this location. On the second Saturday of each month, visitors can mix and mingle with local and national street artists, musicians and vendors who showcase their talent, and passion.

 

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