Want the right workspace?

 

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Businesses such as Flexible Future, Zinfinity, Enfair and Loving Social Media have benefited from the Let’s Go! Business Hub

 

Hi there.

I started to think about work spaces and working from home after I read an article by The Guardian Small Business Network called, Can business hubs give entrepreneurs a head start?

If you have not heard of them, The Guardian Small Business Network is an online network which produces news, views and articles geared towards small businesses. They send newsletters to those who sign up to the group. I’ve found the articles to be interesting and informative and I’ve noticed that my online presence has increased since subscribing.

Now back to the matter in hand – work spaces. The work hubs mentioned in the article appear to be quite specialised, however, this does not take away from the importance of what these facilities mean for small businesses.

According to BBC Business, The Office of National Statistics states that the number of people working from home is at its highest, and 4.2 million people in the UK are home workers. These figures include those who use their home as a base but work in other places.

With these numbers of home workers, you can see why hubs or work spaces would be beneficial. They offer flexible spaces, for working and meeting clients. Working from a hub also means that you will hopefully be sharing space with like-minded people, and this should take away some of the isolation that may come with working from home. Depending on their prices, these spaces may even work out more cost effective than working from home all the time.

A local space that I use is the Let’s Go! Business Hub at Enfield Business Centre. See Enfield Enterprise’s website – www.enterpriseenfield.org. As one of the registered hub users, I have access to free Wi-Fi, hot desking, meeting room hire, business advice and workshops.

To answer the question that was raised in the article, I can say that being part of a community of hub users, has definitely been beneficial to me and my business.

I’d suggest that if you’re a home-based business, you do some research and see what’s on offer. From a quick search on the internet, I found the following that seems to offer the same facilities and permanent work spaces:

www.coworkinglondon.com

http://www.atworkhubs.co.uk

www.thehotoffice.com/work_hubs.php             www.workhubs.com

I cannot vouch for any of the websites, so once again, cross check information with other websites.

I hope that you feel inspired to do some research, and get out there and use your local hub space!

Take Care,

Tricia

Grey Matters! Part Two

Hello there,

Continuing with the theme of quality material, the examples that I am discussing are those which I have used, but of course you are going to have your own preferences.

I must stress that whilst I personally prefer to read certain books and newspapers, this is not to say that you will not learn or gain anything from other forms of media. What I refer to as quality, may not be seen as such to others.

The newspapers which I find to have fair and unbiased articles are The Guardian, and The Independent. I read both on the internet and I follow both on Twitter.

See, The Guardian, www.theguardian.com/uk and The Guardian@guardian

The Independent, www.independent.co.uk and The Independent@independent

I watch, read online articles and again follow BBC News, as I think they cover a broad range of National and International news.

See www.bbc.co.uk/news and BBC Breaking news@ BBC Breaking.

Recently I read Me Before You, a superbly written book by Jojo Moyes, which made me laugh and cry.

Why am I telling you this? Well, Jojo Moyes is an excellent writer and I have read a few of her novels, but this is one of my favourites. As a talented writer, she uses a good range of words and while I enjoyed her book for the well-crafted storyline, I also gained a new vocabulary with the words that I had to look up in my dictionary.

As an avid reader, I buy and borrow books all the time, and try to make a note of all words that are new to me and as I previously mentioned, I have a separate note book of new words, with their meanings.

I have a kindle and this a handy gadget as you are able to make notes whilst you read the books that you have stored in your device. Considering you can store over a thousand books on the Kindle, there could potentially be a great deal of notes too. Of course this is dependent on the quality of the books that you have downloaded in the first place.

If you are not a native English speaker, reading all sorts of newspapers, magazines and books will undoubtedly help to improve your English. There may come a point though, when you will want to move on in your reading and challenge yourself a bit more.

With so much access to books, whether the library, charity bookshops or via online stores, there has never been a better time to get reading.

If you are unsure as to what you should be reading, you could try Goodreads. This great website has quizzes, trivia, quotes from well-known thinkers and writers and of course book reviews. It lists all genres, and when you click on your chosen link, it brings up New Releases, Giveaways, Most Read, Lists and Popular. You really are spoilt for choice. See www.goodreads.com.

I hope that this has inspired you to get out and start reading even more!

Take care,

Tricia

Grey Matters! Part One

Hi there!

Have you ever sat and thought about how much information enters your brain on a daily basis and of that amount, how much is really useful or relevant?

In an article in the Scientific American, a reader asked,

‘What is the memory capacity of the human brain? Is there a physical limit to the amount of information it can store?’

Paul Reber, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, replied,

‘The human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. If each neuron could only help store a single memory, running out of space would be a problem. You might have only a few gigabytes of storage space, similar to the space in an iPod or a USB flash drive. Yet neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.’

Sorry, here’s some more scientific information for you to take in.

In an article on the website http://www.quora.com › … › Social Sciences › Psychology, someone asked if the mind records everything that the comes through the five senses, and the answer from Paul King, Computational Neuroscientist, Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience was,

‘Briefly perhaps, but most of the information that passes through the brain is permanently forgotten.’ He goes on to say that,

‘The brain uses numerous heuristics to select what information to retain. To make effective use of a neural network architecture that was not really designed for declarative (factual and episodic) memory, the brain uses an array of statistical tricks to capture information about the past. Information from thousands of experiential moments are consolidated, simplified, and generalized in order to fit as a broad representation of experience as possible into the brain’s finite neural structure. In a sense, the brain makes extensive use of “lossy compression” by retaining enough of the important things so that what is left out will not be missed.’

So, your head is now hurting from all this information and you are wondering how it all relates to English Grammar, right?

Well apart from the fact that the information is fascinating and makes you appreciate the old grey matter, it is extremely relevant.

The old saying, ‘You are what you eat’, comes to mind, as it is the same with what you feed your mind with.

If we are all on a quest to increase our vocabulary and to improve our grammar, then it is important that we read good books/newspapers/magazines; listen to well recorded factual/fictional broadcasts and watch quality programmes.

Our brains, as Paul King says, have the ability to know what to retain, and by challenging yourself to read or watch media that is out of your comfort zone, you have already increased your knowledge base and grammar!

I can only speak from my own personal point of view when I say that reading all kinds of interesting books, and making a note of words in a notebook (which are new to me and later looking them up) has been beneficial.

In part 2, I will be talking about which books and online media I have used, enjoyed and felt that I have benefited from.

Take Care,

Tricia

Words- Worth!

Hello there.

Twitter, like it or not can be useful grammar tool.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about Twitter I think of how limited space is for each tweet.

Of course, the point of Twitter is, to get lots of information out there, quickly. The limit is 140 characters, and you will be glad to know that there are a few websites who are happy to give you advice about how to use Twitter effectively within the word limit.

I will not be giving you advice regarding word counts, however, I will be pointing you in the direction of two Twitter pages and what they have to offer when it comes to English Grammar.
When you type ‘English Grammar’ in the search section English Grammar @Grammar updates appears and according to their bio they are:

‘The official Twitter page of http://www.englishgrammar.org – Are you up to date with your English grammar? Follow us now to stay posted!’

With a respectable following of 13,000 and having tweeted over 2, 000 times since joining Twitter in 2012, they may not be huge, but they are useful.

Initially, there is not a great deal included within the 140 characters, however, once you click on the links in their tweets you get access to a range of exercises including those in conjunction and prepositions. This is quite an effective tool, as it is a quick way to get information straight to whoever needs it.

Although you can search for English Grammar on the internet and get lots of results, with Twitter, once you look at the bios you can quickly see how many followers the organisations have and how many tweets they do. You can also see related Twitter accounts that may be of interest to you.

Now if type ‘# Grammar’ and Grammarly@Grammarly appears in the results. It is the Twitter page for Grammarly.com which is one of the most popular Grammar sites around. They are one of my favourite sites and I see regular posts being shared for them on Facebook. I am not surprised by the numbers, which speak for themselves. They have 78,000 followers and have sent 19,500 tweets since they joined Twitter in 2009. I would seriously like to be Grammarly when I grow up!

Their bio cleverly reads,

‘Give me your dangling modifiers, your misplaced apostrophes, your comma splices longing to be corrected.’

The site is a one stop shop for those of us who love words. If a foodie is a person who loves food, does that mean that we are ‘wordies’?

Grammarly give tips, advice, using amusing quotes and photos, which are all effective; You are entertained and educated in 140 characters!

Take a look for yourself and maybe let me know what you think. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions about who you are following on Twitter and why?

Take care, and hope to see you on Twitter soon, checking out what’s available.

Tricia

 

University Grammar Challenge!

Hi there,

Welcome to July!

Whilst many will be winding down and looking forward to their summer holidays, with not much thought given to English Grammar, it is still important that we all continue to have access to any material available.

There will be future students who have already checked out universities and their websites. These sites are not just useful for students but for anyone who has ever felt unsure of whether something they had written was grammatically correct.

As I always point out, I cannot vouch for the information that is contained in these websites, so all I would say is, have a look for yourself and cross check the information against other websites.

These blogs are in no way exhaustive of everything available, nor are they the authority on all things Grammar. I like to think that I am giving you a taster, which will then inspire you to look at what is out there.

Last week I mentioned that I would be telling you about the different university websites and their English Grammar sections. There are over 100 universities in the UK, so I could not possibly list them all, along with their English Grammar resources, so I have just listed a few.

A really good site that I discovered recently was from The faculty of Arts at Bristol University, see www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar.

I found their Improve your writing section to be well designed and thorough. It breaks down the components of English Grammar, so that the reader is able to identify and correct grammatical errors. As well as explanations, there are exercises to reinforce any examples used. This site has become one of my favourites, as it has excellent content, and is easy to use.

The next site, is from University College London and is called The Internet Grammar of English. This free site is quite basic in the way that it looks. It does however have everything you need and is straight-forward with its navigation. There is even an app for mobile phones, so you can have grammar on the move. See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar.

The University of Reading, see https://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/studyadvice/…/stagrammar.aspx has a study advice page on Grammar.   This is a useful website for two reasons.

Firstly it consists of one page which is easy enough to use and breaks down the article into helpful sections.

Secondly, at the end of the article there is a section which includes related subjects and where they can be found. It mentions other universities too. All the information contained on this site is downloadable.

I hope that you have found the information useful. Please feel free to make suggestions regarding which English Grammar subjects you would like me to cover in future blogs.

Take care,

Tricia