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Making The Most Of Your ‘Downtime’

Hub blog Make the best of your downtime

We’ve all had those days. In fact, we’re having one of those days today. There’s about 12 inches of snow making it’s way down all day, client meetings are cancelled, and we’re pretty much caught up on work. It’s a wonderful feeling to have things crossed off your To-Do List. Wonderful that is, until the guilt starts creeping in. If you’re anything like us, you don’t do “downtime” well. While you may be dreaming of cuddling under a blanket and mindlessly binging on Netflix, when it comes to actually doing it, you find it hard to shut your working brain off. And now it’s a snowy Tuesday, and while you probably deserve a day off, you’re finding it hard to get past that “I should be doing something” feeling.

Well, we’re here to tell you it’s ok. It’s ok to take a little downtime every once and while, and it’s also ok to want to make the most of it. We’ve got a list here for you of some of our favorite ways to take it easy, all while keeping your brain churning and your business growing.

1. Review relevant publications. Take some time to review the newest trends that are happening in your business, or better yet how to market your business. You may learn a new way to advertise, how to better optimize your current outlets, how markets are shifting, or how other businesses, like yours, are succeeding. Some of our favorites (for our industry of course)? SmartBrief – An awesome collection of business, marketing and advertising news focusing on newest and upcoming trends. Advertising Age – Check out what some of the largest companies and agencies are doing and brainstorm about how you can use similar strategies in your own business. Business Insider – After checking out a few of the entertaining op ed’s, we head on over to the Advertising and Media sections to get some of the insider information on what’s happening in the industry.

2. Get your learn on. Have you jumped onto the online class trend yet? If not, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to learn some best practices, new marketing techniques, insider secrets and ways to inspire growth. Learn from some of the best in their business and learn the same tips and tricks they’ve used to grow their businesses to become major players in the market. Amy Porterfield – A former business consultant, she’s completely transitioned her business into online training ranging from webinars to social media marketing. Melanie Duncan – The Pinterest queen, Melanie Duncan teaches you how to kick butt in one of the fastest revenue driving platforms on the market. Marie Forleo – The founder of B-School, Marie Forleo can help you get past any negativity or doubt that can come creeping in when you’re not looking. Courtney Foster-Donahue – A little quirky, Courtney breaks down the always illusive Facebook, and how to actually create Facebook ads that work. Hub Digital – Who can forget your favorite crew from Hub Digital? With classes ranging from prepping your digital content, to blogging, to getting your website to the first page in search (that’s right! Exciting stuff coming soon!) we’re sharing all our best secrets that we use to propel our small business clients.

3. Plug into a Podcast. Grab your headphones and listen to some of your fav’s without having to read through lengthy blogs. Better yet? Jump on a treadmill, pick up your duster, or apply a your favorite face mask, and you can now multitask growing your business while getting a little quality “you” time. Amy Porterfield – She’s back, and bringing in some of her favorite friends sharing their top insider secrets. Gary Vaynerchuk – If you’re not offended by swearing, Gary Vee gets real about all things social media, entrepreneurship and business best practices. The Fizzle Show – who says growing your business has to be so serious? The Fizzle Show hilariously takes on entrepreneurship and focuses on how to stay creative.

Working Alone Together and Growing a Business Community

a Hive office

The Weekly BUZZ at The Hive RI & the Mill at Lafayette…

We have 2 offices open in The Hive!
It doesn’t happen often but we now have 2 of our coveted 4 private offices within The Hive RI available.  Unlike elsewhere throughout our lovely Mill at Lafayette, these offices are rented month to month, no deposit and no lease required…we just ask for a 30 day notice when you’re ready to move on (or up, as many tenants end up moving into larger spaces within the mill).  These offices are great if you like privacy but also like to be within a community setting.  They are $300 per month and will go quickly so if you (or someone you know) is interested, please let Tuni know

Coworking in The Hive RI:
Have you been thinking about ‘coworking’?  We only charge $100 per month and you’re welcome to come ‘test drive at The Hive’ for zero, zip, zilch for the first couple of days!  Come on by, make yourself at home and see if this might be a good fit for you!

Exercise during your work day:
We are adjacent to Ryan Park, a beautiful wooded park owned by the town of North Kingstown that features miles of walking/running trails, ponds and streams.  So many of our community members here at The Hive RI and in the Mill at Lafayette take daily advantage of this beautiful space.  We have showers available so don’t worry about working up a sweat!

The Mill at Lafayette:
Check out the rest of our amazing businesses and community members here: business directory .  Read the blogs to learn more about what’s going on in the historic (and innovative) Mill at Lafayette and if you’re interested in joining us you can see what we have for available spaces too!

Be social:
If you haven’t already, be sure to ‘like’ and visit our Fb page to keep up on the day to day musings and goings on here in The Hive RI coworking space, as well as throughout our mill and local communities!


By C. Alexander Chiulli

As employment lawyers, we are often asked questions related to the classification of employees as exempt versus non-exempt, as well as for guidance in navigating the many federal and state laws and regulations concerning the payment of wages to employees. Rhode Island employers should regularly review their wage and hour practices to ensure compliance with the ever-changing legal landscape relative to these issues. The following reminders highlight aspects of federal and state wage and hour laws and regulations that employers should take into careful consideration.

Major Changes to Federal Overtime Regulations. With few exceptions, hourly workers must be paid time and one-half their regular pay rate for all hours worked over forty in a workweek as well as for time worked on Sundays and holidays. This rule does not apply, however, to certain exempt employees, such as those holding executive, administrative, or professional positions as defined under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, so long as they are paid a minimum base salary. Starting December 1, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) will significantly increase the minimum salary for many exempt employees, such that most workers earning $47,476 or less per year will be eligible for overtime wages. This increase more than doubles the present threshold of $23,660 per year. According to the DOL, the rule change will supply increased pay to approximately 4.2 million workers nationwide upon its implementation. Rhode Island employers should therefore proactively evaluate whether their employees will be exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay in advance of this forthcoming change.

Minimum Wage: Effective since January 1, 2016, Rhode Island’s General Assembly raised the state’s minimum wage to $9.60 per hour. As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage for employees receiving gratuities will increase to $5.71 per hour. Relatedly, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (“DLT”) strictly enforces employers’ compliance with hour and wage laws. Rhode Island employers must consequently pay increased attention to determining and correctly paying employees’ wages.

Timekeeping. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training also mandates that records be kept by employers for all employees, whether salaried or not. It is thus essential that employers keep accurate and detailed daily and weekly time records for all employees for no less than three years in order to comply with Rhode Island regulations.

Breaks. Unless subject to an exception, employees must be given a thirty-minute meal period for every eight hours worked and a twenty-minute meal break for every six hours worked. During a regular shift that is less than six hours long, employers are not required to provide coffee or other breaks.

Pay days. Under Rhode Island law, employees must be paid weekly, and pay days must fall within nine days of the end of a payroll period. To be excused from the weekly requirement, employers must file a petition with the DLT. The Director of DLT may then permit payment of employees less frequently under specific circumstances, such as if: (a) the employer’s average payroll exceeds 200% of the state minimum wage; (b) the employer pays wages on a preset date at least twice per month; and (c) the employer provides surety in the amount of the highest biweekly payroll exposure in the preceding year.

It is vitally important for Rhode Island employers to ensure compliance with the various wage and hour laws and regulations, as violations may result in claims or lawsuits by employees, as well as investigations and potential civil money penalties imposed by government agencies. As always, when in doubt, please contact a seasoned professional to assist.


WARREN, RI– Look no further than Rhode Island’s East Bay for that one-of-a-kind gift for that one-of-a- kind-person this year – and have fun doing it!

The East Bay Chamber, in collaboration with the Barrington Business Association, Discover Warren, and the Bristol Merchants Association, has coordinated a tri-town shop local campaign, which kicks off on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, with the East Bay Holiday Shopping Express. Two festive trolleys will circulate the downtown hubs of Bristol, Warren and Barrington, taking shoppers to the hottest retailers and restaurants in the East Bay.

This year, we’ve expanded our trolley run times. Shoppers can get off and on the trolleys from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with no cost to ride. Trolley stops and parking locations can be found on our website, Our main starting point will be Gooding Plaza in Bristol, next to People’s Credit Union on Gooding Avenue.

New this year is our East Bay Passport to Savings. This convenient book is loaded with savings, coupons and discounts to over 50 local merchants. These Passport deals are good through the entire holiday season, with offers expiring on Dec. 31, 2016.

Make sure to mark your calendars and grab your friends and family. Get your shopping done in three, two, one… Three towns, two trolleys, one day!

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