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Archive for August, 2021

When the pandemic hit in 2020, no one could have foreseen the changes it would bring to the workplace, socializing and life in general. It brought with it a new normal and where some people have adjusted, others are struggling to adapt to the new way of doing things. Businesses have been hit the hardest, especially when it comes to health and safety rules. Here is a quick look at the new norms and standards. 

Getting to know the new standards

Employers and employees have an equal stake in the health and safety of the office. However, employers need to initiate the new protocols and ensure that the regulations are implemented and adhered to. To better acquaint themselves with the new rules, they need to find an EHS software package that can assist in developing a new health and safety protocol. 

Regardless of the industry, ETQ has several solutions to ensure that you are compliant with the latest regulations. It all starts with a job safety analysis to determine where the weak spots at the office are. From there, custom solutions can be developed and deployed to ensure the safety of everyone at the office. 

Keeping clean

The pandemic put a new emphasis on cleanliness, especially in business. Health and safety rules now state that there should be visible disinfectant stations throughout the business area. 

All bathrooms need to be fitted with disinfectant spray and every entry and exit point should also have a space where people can sanitize. This is a basic measure that every business now has to budget for to ensure that their staff is always able to sanitize. 

After a day’s work, the entire office or workspace needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Lastly, no one in the office should be able to say that they did not know. Therefore, clear messages, policies, and practical guides should be posted for everyone to boost awareness. 

Having a plan B

After businesses started to open their doors again, everybody quickly realized that how the business operated had changed forever. In the past, it was a given that everyone needed to clock in, in the morning and leave at the end of the day. Now, businesses have to allow staff to work remotely. 

Not only do they need to allow their staff to work remotely, but they have to insist thereon when a staff member shows any symptoms. This means that companies need to be geared to accommodate remote work, whether it is by choice or not. 

Setting new social distance rules

Office space has changed dramatically because of the social distance that workers need to keep from one another. As per the new rules and regulations, a distance of more than one meter should be maintained at all times. 

Co-workers can no longer work with their desks facing each other. Cubicles are out of the question and communal areas may not exist anymore. As far as is possible in a closed business space, staff should keep to their equipment and stationery to minimize the risk of spreading disease. 

Monitoring

A staff member can no longer merely state that he or she was under the weather and could not come into the office. Temperature monitoring and daily symptom questionnaires are but some of how employers need to keep track of the well-being of their staff. 

When someone shows any sign or symptom, then it has to be reported and investigated. This might feel like an invasion of one’s privacy, but for the sake of everyone should be done nonetheless.   

Posted by Emily Dawson on Aug 19, 2021 5:11 PM BST

Costa Rica is a stable country with a tropical climate and a thriving economy. The government makes an effort to encourage foreign investment. Americans wanting a second home in a country with beautiful scenery and amazing beaches are attracted like magnets to Costa Rica. 

The country has one of the lowest crime rates compared to other countries in Central America, the people are welcoming and the cost of living is reasonable.  

Americans can purchase and own property

Citizenship and residence in Costa Rica are not required for property ownership. The Costa Rican constitution guarantees Americans and other foreigners the same ownership rights as Costa Ricans. Americans can buy a property with a tourist status visa. Few physical restrictions apply, besides a 50-meter limit from the beach on oceanfront property. Doing due diligence and working with reputable real estate agents is important. 

Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica offers the widest and highest caliber selection of Costa Rica Real Estate in Guanacaste, from condos and traditional single-family homes to sprawling beachfront villas and homes in gated communities. They deliver a best-in-class experience with their bilingual and local expertise.   

The perfect location

Costa Rica borders the Caribbean in the east and the North Pacific Ocean in the west. It covers about 800 miles of coastline and includes several islands. From the golden sands of Guanacaste to the rainforests in the south, the tiny country offers plenty of adventure, stunning beaches and caters to every kind of lifestyle. 

There are many national parks, protected zones, wetland areas and forest reserves. It has pristine beaches and the weather is sunny and warm almost every day, despite a windy December and a rainy season.     

A valuable investment

With tourists and expats buoying the real estate market, properties have been steadily increasing in value for a couple of decades and this is likely to continue thanks to its endless natural attraction and its friendliness to foreigners. There are definite benefits from investing in an established market with good solid gains.   

 An investment property in Costa Rica can also provide an opportunity for rental income and a good real estate company can help investors to organize this. There is always a demand for rentals as the natural beauty of Costa Rica is an irresistible draw. Buying a condominium may be preferable for absent owners because they have good security and usually have additional amenities that are an advantage if the plan is to rent it out. 

Low taxes

The property taxes in Costa Rica are low – a quarter to 1% annually. The tax can be paid on a quarterly basis or in one payment for the year that gives a small tax break. 

A good incentive for American investors is that Costa Rica has no capital gains tax. The Costa Rican government does not tax sellers on profit from a sale as long as it isn’t undertaken as a means of business. Americans do still have to pay taxes on any declared earnings they bring back to America. 

Convenience

There are direct flights from many major U.S. cities to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica and it is possible to find cheap ones. This makes it easy for Americans to fly back and forth. The locals in Costa Rica generally speak English and have a high literacy rate so there are few language barrier issues. 

Experts predict that Americans from North America are likely to make up about a fourth of Costa Rica’s total population in the future. Their dollars go much further in Costa Rica, where they can enjoy entertainment, dining and accommodation for less. 

Posted by Emily Dawson on Aug 17, 2021 3:42 PM BST