When it comes to window cleaning products, your choices may seem unlimited. However, there are certain products that we always recommend cleaners keep in their cleaning kit. Today we’re going to highlight the best products on the market that any domestic cleaner should use for window cleaning this year.
Microfibre cloths are an excellent option for cleaning windows. They are absorbent cloths that you can wash and reuse after each cleaning session. Microfibre cloths will leave your windows looking shiny, clear of dirt, and streak-free.
Most cleaners will use these alongside a cleaning solution. Due to their soft texture, you won’t risk causing any damage to your windows when using microfibre cloths. Some microfibre cloths are now made from textured materials, which makes it easier to remove spots and dirt from windows.
Squeegees are the tool of choice for most professional window cleaners. They do take a little bit of getting used to during your first use, but after that, you’ll find them to be an excellent window cleaning tool. They have a flat rubber edge, which is ideal for scraping any dirt or grime from your windows.
You’ll find that squeegees remove additional liquid from your windows in no time at all and are much quicker to use than towels. Many individuals opt to use these alongside microfibre cloths to achieve perfectly clean windows.
Glass wipes are an inexpensive window cleaning option that many cleaners like to keep in case of an emergency. You’ll pay very little for a large packet of glass wipes, and most products today offer smear free technology. They work to remove dirt and stains from your windows and effectively cut through grease.
Glass wipes are now designed so that windows dry extremely quickly, meaning they are one of the most efficient window cleaning options. You’ll enjoy crystal clear windows when using glass wipes, and they are handy to have in your kit for emergencies.
Using glass cleaner alongside a squeegee or microfibre cloth will help to keep windows clean and clear for longer. You’ll want to find a window cleaner that’s of a high quality and make sure you always follow the instructions carefully.
Ensure you don’t overdo it with glass cleaner, or you will risk streaky windows. Invisible Glass cleaner is a popular product, which quickly and easily cleans your windows. It doesn’t leave any streaks or residue and can be used on any household glass fittings, not just windows.
Products such as this one come in a trigger spray bottle, which makes it much easier to apply straight from the bottle. Spic & Span Cinch Glass Cleaner offers a similar experience and leaves windows looking shiny without streaks. It will easily lift dirt from glass without dulling the windows from the residue.
A combination of these window cleaning products listed above will help you to clean windows to perfection each and every time. When used correctly, these products can help you avoid streaky windows.
By equipping yourself with all four of these tools, you’ll find you are ready to tackle even the dirtiest windows in the future when needed.
You can display your skills, experience, and reputation using Umwuga to help yourself stand out from the crowd and find your next job. Employers can also use Umwuga to help make hiring new employers much easier.
There are no fees or commissions with Umwuga it’s all about helping you find your next role! Our mission is to help people turn their talents into a new career and now more than ever our services could be a great help to you.
What Are Blue-Collar Jobs?
When looking for jobs online, you may come across the term “blue-collar”. It can be difficult to understand the difference between these job roles and others. In this article, we are going to detail exactly what blue-collar work is and provide examples of these jobs. We’ll also look at the highest-paying blue-collar jobs and the current state of the job market.
What is a blue-collar job?
A blue-collar job often involves something being physically built or maintained and generally requires manual labour. Examples of this type of work include manufacturing, farming and waste collection. Other popular blue-collar jobs include driving and maintenance; these jobs are physical and labour-intensive.
The term “blue-collar” was first used in a newspaper in Iowa in 1924. The colour blue is associated with the jeans or shirts that were often worn as part of the uniform. The blue colour helps to hide dirt on uniforms. They are a better choice for labour workers than white shirts that are usually worn by office workers.
Many uniforms include embroidery with the name of the company or worker. Blue-collar jobs are also often segregated by social status, but this is changing rapidly. The average pay for white-collar jobs is reducing while the same for blue-collar jobs is increasing. As a result, blue-collar jobs are becoming more well-known and popular.
What are the differences between white-collar and blue-collar jobs?
White-collar work is normally done in an office environment. It usually involves the worker sitting at a desk or computer to get their work done.
Pink-collar jobs are another category of work that aren’t talked about much. These are service industry jobs that typically include the beauty industry, nursing, social work, teaching, customer service roles, or childcare.
One of the regular stereotypes about white-collar workers is that they tend to have a better education. Of course, this is not always the case, especially now that blue-collar jobs are in high demand.
Examples of blue-collar industries
A wide range of industries employ blue-collar workers. Their work is often physically taxing. It's also often related to manufacturing and warehouse work. Mining, power plant workers, oil field jobs, and fishing are all examples of blue-collar employment.
Drivers and truckers are blue-collar workers in one of the most in-demand jobs. Another example of blue-collar staff is the waste and recycling collection crew. Blue-collar jobs, as you can see, span a wide range of industries.
As with all industries, certain roles require more training and education than others. Landscaping and pest control, for example, require specialised training and certification. Blue-collar employees undergo training unique to their job position. Naturally, this is not as formal as it would be for white-collar employees.
High-paying blue-collar jobs
Although blue-collar workers are often associated with the working class, that does not mean they aren't well paid. Staff in the structural iron and steel industry earn a high hourly wage.
A construction or building inspector is also a blue-collar worker, but they aren’t regularly associated with this type of work. They are, however, very well paid for their time and experience.
Another well-paid blue-collar career is that of a boilermaker, who instals and builds boilers. Although some positions entail extra preparation, the payoff is well worth the effort.
Train engineers are yet another well-paid blue-collar occupation. While you may start in an entry-level role, you can work your way up over the years to this high paying job. Although it's a very responsible role, elevator engineers are also well compensated.
Finally, one of the best-paying blue-collar work is that of a powerplant operator. All these roles need years of training and work experience. But the payoff is worth it overall, when you begin to command higher salaries.
What is the job outlook for blue-collar work?
Around the world, one of the biggest concerns for any type of worker is the threat of automation. As many blue-collar jobs need little training and use manual labour, there is a risk of automation. Many people can lose their jobs if self-driving cars and trucks become a reality. The same goes for robot cleaning devices.
However, the more likely result will be a shift in the types of jobs that workers perform. In the future, society will most likely use a combination of humans and automation to get work done. The two will work hand in hand for the best results. The value of blue-collar workers in daily life cannot be overstated. So, it’s very unlikely computers will take over soon.
In comparison to some white-collar jobs, blue-collar jobs are much safer. Certain roles, such as engineering and inspection roles, will exist for many years to come. It’s unlikely that robots will completely replace humans.
The world will not feel safe with this for a long time still. Technology is still quite a way off replacing humans as drivers and operators. Most companies will opt to keep their blue-collar workers for the time being.
Blue-collar jobs are in high demand around the world. Without their vital work, our society will not be able to function. Without drivers and cleaners, life will come to a halt, so these workers are here to stay.
For blue-collar job opportunities, ensure you check the training and education requirements. Each role varies in its entry requirements and may need qualifications or training. But they often need less formal education than white-collar jobs.
Many employers have on-the-job training or apprenticeship opportunities. Although these occupations are mostly associated with the working class, many of them pay well because few people choose to do manual labour. As a result, you should expect to be well paid for your time and effort in blue-collar work.
National Entrepreneurship Week - Interview With Our Founder
What's harder than launching a start-up? Launching one during a global pandemic! Umwuga is a worker-first social network founded in December 2020 by Nasi Rwigema.
As Team Umwuga, we believe that with our strong determination and hard work, Umwuga will make waves with people who work in trades and services jobs. In the spirit of National Entrepreneurship Week (13 - 20 February) we interviewed our founder, Nasi, to get the inside scoop on the Umwuga story.
Tell us about yourself - where did you grow up and study?
Hi I’m Nasi Rwigema. I was born and raised in South Africa by a Ugandan father and Zimbabwean mother. My parents were both educators, so academics were always important in our household.
I studied aeronautical engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg which gave me a great foundation for the fascinating journey that has been my professional career so far.
What inspired you to create Umwuga?
I’ve been fortunate in my career across several fields of white-collar work from aircraft design, to developing renewable energy power plants and also being a private equity investor.
With each shift, I’ve been able to speak to the academic degrees, job titles, company names, and career progressions on my resume which helped my new employers make an informed judgment on whether I would succeed in the job was interviewing for.
While building solar and hydro power plants in often remote places, it occurred to me that many the semi- and mid-skilled workers we hired for the build couldn’t speak to similar career highlights that made them stand out from the pack.
This later inspired me to work on an improvement to the ways in which these hard-working and extremely talented workers were found and evaluated for work opportunities.
What are some challenges you have faced?
Every aspect of starting a new business is a huge challenge. The common experience is that, as a first-time founder, you begin with no credibility, very few resources, a lot of naivety, and a super unclear path ahead of you.
My challenges included launching in the middle of a pandemic with the jobs market being at a historic low. However, the flip side of this challenge has been that many of our members are being forced to consider changing their careers and have found Umwuga to be a helpful way of pursuing this.
What are your hopes for Umwuga for the upcoming year?
As an early-stage business, our sole focus is to work closely with our early members to improve and expand on our service and community to make it even more useful to them.
We’re excited by our early progress and feedback so far but we, and our early supporters, know that the problem we’re addressing is a giant and that the solution is a collaborative work in progress
What have you learned by building a start-up?
The most important thing I have learned is to care more about the problem we are trying to solve than I do about our start-up. The problem is that the world of work and recruitment is designed for the handful of white-collar workers like me. Because of this, in many trades and services industries such as handywork and domestic housekeeping, there is a deep mismatch between how and where employers search for help and how and where great workers present themselves.
Umwuga was designed and built to address this problem from the perspective of the worker. I believe that we care more about our customers that any other business in our industry and that if we keep this focus and work harder than everyone else, we will develop our start-up into an exciting and longstanding business.
What advice do you have for people wanting to create a start-up?
We are just at the beginning our start-up journey, but we’ve already poured a lot of blood and sweat into it. It has been wildly interesting, fun, and incredibly difficult. Despite my wonderful career to date, I have never been as engaged or motivated to work as I have been with Umwuga.
My one piece of advice would be to find a problem you can fall in love with solving. The journey will be rough, and you’ll need something more than a Silicon Valley dream to carry you through.
Thank you Nasi for your insights behind Umwuga. We look forward to catching up with you in the future. We love how passionate you are about the worker coming first.
If you are a worker and feel this is a problem that’s being solved in your work, sign up and create your free, zero-commission account today.
And if you have the urge to create a start-up then we say:
GO FOR IT!
Sincerely - Team Umwuga
What you need to know about Employee Benefits
When companies hire new people, they offer benefits in addition to a salary for the employee. But do we pay enough attention to the perks on offer?
When negotiating a new job, always read through your employment letter thoroughly. It will detail the bouquet of benefits that makes up your “Cost To Company”.
Some companies call them benefits, some Work Perks or just perks. Some companies view them as a privilege or a kindness towards you. Regardless of the name, these extra offerings make up your full compensation package and you should reasonably expect benefits with the right job.
Glassdoor's 2015 Employee Confidence Survey revealed that nearly four in every five employees would prefer new or additional work perks over a pay increase.
In this article, we help you understand the various forms of employee benefits and highlights the ones which you have a right to in the workplace.
What Are Employee Benefits?
Employee benefits are any kind of extra incentives given to employees in addition to base wages or base salaries. They’re designed to help promote employee satisfaction and wellbeing, and could include anything from private health insurance, cell phone plans, stock options, to shopping vouchers.
Although some benefits are legally required (core benefits), others are offered as added perks that are used to attract and retain employees. Employee benefits are basically, any kind of non-wage gain attached to an employee’s position can be classified as an employee benefit, be it mandatory or voluntarily given by an employer.
What Are Non-Salary Benefits?
While money is very important, it’s not the only reason you might want to join a company. In many cases, an attractive benefits package can seal the deal. Examples of these perks could include a company-provided mobile phone or perhaps a car allowance and, in some cases, schooling for your children.
When negotiating a remuneration package, you can ask for perks such as health insurance, paid work leave, flexible work hours, or a budget for home office furniture. If you take the time to prioritise and quantify your needs, you can approach the negotiation with offers such as “I am willing to give up the car allowance in exchange for five extra days of paid leave.
The term “Cost to Company” is a literal one, each perk on offer is a cost to the company and accounts for the total amount of money that the company is willing to spend to have you work for them. Since you receive the perks as non-salary benefits, you should think of the benefits in terms of how valuable they are to you, or “Value to Me”. Flexible working hours might seem priceless to you compared to a gym membership that you may or may not use.
Of course, some office campuses have a gym, tennis court, basketball court, and vast lawns where employees can train their body fitness. You may not be able to negotiate the value of these facilities but they may also be an extra reason to choose one company over another.
Compared with a bit more money, a generous benefits package may help you:
maintain a better work-life balance
be more productive at your work
take better care of your health
What Perks Do Employees Want?
The challenge for Human Resources departments is to understand and offer the most attractive and competitive work perks packages. While this varies between industries and certainly across cultures, studies have canvased the most desirable employee benefits. The most popular provisions for any long-term engagement include…
Leave or Vacation Days
Despite our efforts at Umwuga to fill you work calendar with high-paying and fulfilling work opportunities, the truth is that none of us are able to work without a few restful breaks. In most countries, you have the right to vacation or leave from work days and you should check your local regulations and be sure to demand them in accordance with your work.
Beyond the regular vacation or annual leave, other forms include compassionate leave for which you may need to care for family member, and sick leave which should not count against your vacation leave days.
You should be paid for this time off and should not let employers bully you into taking leave only when it suits them. 80% of working professionals say that the right job should not deny its workforce from taking leaves and going on a vacation.
Some companies allow their employees to take special paid or unpaid leave for a long time. These include sabbaticals or maternity leaves.
Job seekers who plan to study further while retaining their current jobs sometimes opt for sabbaticals. A quarter of women consider paid maternity leave as a dealbreaker requirement for any job they may take.
Health And Wellness
A responsible company looks after the health and wellness of its workforce. Health, dental, and optical insurance are common perks that are provided to employees.
Some companies are thoughtful towards not only their employees but also their families. Companies who offer this tend to lose fewer employees over time.
Employees can assure themselves of emergency loans and reimbursements. They are added to the Individual Life Insurance and Medical Insurance policies of the organisation.
Income protection shifts a percentage of your salary each month to an insurance policy for the benefit of all employees at the company. In the event that something unfortunate happens to you, this policy will then pay out to support you through your challenges. Joining an employers Group Income Protection scheme can often cost less that taking out equivalent protection for yourself.
The objective of these benefits is to ensure that you have enough money to life and, hopefully, maintain your lifestyle after retirement. As with any regular workplace insurance, your employer would direct a portion of your salary to a retirement plan account which would then be released to in a monthly form when you retire.
The basic principle behind this is to help you save for retirement and the incentive your Government gives is to allow you to ‘withdraw’ your ‘savings’ at a better tax rate after retirement than what they would charge you now.
Retirement benefits come in many shapes and sizes and are sometimes known as a Provident Fund, Gratuity, or Pension. The main reasons for taking this benefit out with your employer are 1) that employers can send your money to the insurer before tax is charged; and 2) that the employer will often contribute an additional amount to your retirement account.
While it may not be the most seductive of perks, Life (or Death in Service) Insurance can be highly valuable for the family you leave behind in the unfortunate event of tragedy. This benefit pays out a tax-free sum to your family to provide support for the people who depend on you financially.
If your employer is willing to provide you with this benefit, make sure it is structured in such a way that you can transfer or take it with you if you ever leave the company.
What Kinds Of Employee Benefits Are There?
If most of the concepts above are new and exciting to you, you might be interested in learning about all the different benefits and perks you should be fighting for in your next job negotiation. We won’t go into the necessary detail on these but rather list them for you to search:
Student loan assistance
Corporate Social Responsibility
Gym and Fitness clubs
Free or discounted food
Free or subsidised travel
Free or discounted lunch
Unlimited vacation allowance
What Are Long Term Employee Benefits?
Not all employees in a company will be eligible for all the work perks. Some entitlements are kept for members of staff who have completed a certain number of years of service.
For their long-standing commitment, the company may open up some of the higher-value benefits such as long leaves, hiatus, or sabbaticals. Other benefits like student loan or tuition assistance may include conditions that, on your return to the company, you will need to ‘work back’ the assistance by staying with the company for 2-5 years. If you choose to leave the company while still ‘working back’ your perk, the company would typically ask you to pay back a portion of the assistance they extended to you.
Long term service benefits can also include monetary bonuses, jubilee awards like a gold watch, and vacation awards.
When you're considering the right job, a basic salary is no longer enough. You deserve and should fight for an attractive package of benefits to accompany your pay.
Consider these work perks to be part of your salary calculation and do the work to understand the value of each perk before you have your negotiation with the employer.