Our last blog of the year comes from Christopher Littlefield of BeyondThankYou.com. Christopher has lots of thoughtful questions to ask yourself as the year comes to a close, and the New Year unfolds.
Answer These 5 Questions Before Wrapping Up Your Year!
Do you ever find that no matter how hard you work or how much you accomplish, you end up focusing on everything you didn’t do? No matter if your last year was the best or worst yet, before you mentally and emotionally reset and establish goals and resolutions for the year ahead, invest thirty minutes to an hour to reflect, learn from, and celebrate the last twelve months. In my latest article in Forbes, I share a simple, personal reflection activity to support you in this process. You can read the full article on Forbes, and I have included the questions below.
1. What were my most interesting moments and unique experiences over the last year?
Did you attend a conference, start a new job, or get to sit in on a meeting with the boss? Did you attend a cool concert or a friend’s wedding or pick up a new sport? What moments or experiences defined your last year and why?
2. What challenges did I face in the last year, personally and professionally? How did I grow from these?
Did you start a new position that required more responsibilities? Did you or a loved one face a health issue? Did you go through a breakup or start a new relationship? How did you deal with these challenges and what did you learn in the process?
3. What new skills did I develop/improve last year?
Did you learn how to code, give presentations, or start learning a new language? Did you improve your ability to run meetings, coach employees, or increase the speed at which you write reports?
4. What have I learned about myself, how I work, and what I need to be at my best?
Did you develop any personal routines/processes that support you in and outside of work? Did you learn anything about the types of projects or topics you enjoy working on most/least? Did you learn anything about the types of people or work environments you enjoy most/least? Did you learn about what impacts your physical or mental health the most?
5. What am I most proud of?
After answering the above questions, reflect on what you are most proud of yourself for over the last year.
After, take a minute to reread and celebrate all that happened over the last 365 days. When you are done, schedule time to brainstorm what you want to make happen in the year ahead!
This month’s blog comes to us from author Pamela Bump and our friends at HUBSpot. They have a huge selection of resources to help balance your work and personal life.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you love your job, you’ll never have to work again.”?
Well, that myth is both false and incredibly misleading. In fact, research shows that the more passionate you are about a job, the more work you’ll actually do.
The truth is a successful career takes time, initiative, and hours of hard work. And, while some companies enable employees to successfully execute on their roles within 40 hours each week, you’ll occasionally need to work later or longer to excel at other organizations
When you think you have the perfect job, you might tell yourself, “I clock in 70 hours a week because I’m doing what I love,” or “The family dinners I’m missing will be worth it in the long run.” But, while your role might not “feel” like a job, working long hours without making time for yourself eventually takes a major toll.
In fact, research shows that throwing yourself into work too heavily could cause stress, burnout, and — commonly — a lonely personal life.
Yes — Managers value employees who take initiative and put in extra effort when needed. However, your personal life is important to your
physical, psychological, and emotional well-being
So, how do you continue to excel in your career while making time for yourself and your loved ones?
The truth is there’s no simple trick to achieving an ideal work-life balance. But luckily, there are a handful of strategies that can get you pretty close.
To help you juggle your work and personal life, even if you work remotely, here are six tips that I collected from a few highly motivated HubSpot marketing managers.
While the tips below work well for in-office employees, these can be especially helpful if you’re working remotely and finding it hard to separate your work life from your personal life.
6 Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance
1. Set hard-stops for each workday.
Despite the thought that successful employees will work late into the night, studies show that you’re least productive at night. Additionally, working late hours can make you tired in times of peak productivity during the day.
If your role revolves around large projects or long to-do lists, you might be tempted to work late or on weekends to get more done. However, our marketing managers suggest setting hard stops so you don’t overexert yourself.
“When working on a long-term project, it’s very easy to keep going into the night thinking, ‘I can get the whole thing done today,’ which was obviously bad for work-life balance,” says Joe Mayall, an associate product marketing manager at HubSpot. “Setting hard stops for myself in the evening really helped me balance things out.”
“Set (and abide by) your own boundaries and accept that a task is usually not THAT important that it can’t wait until tomorrow,” advises Lisa Toner
To prevent any tasks that you can’t plausibly complete in normal work hours, Toner says, “You should manage expectations with your manager about how much can actually be done during business hours.”
When you’re working remotely, setting hard stops can be even more import.
My blog colleague Christina Perricone explained that knowing when to stop working is a common struggle of remote employees who usually work where they live.
“Since you miss out on the social cues to head out for lunch or end the workday that are inherent in in-office settings, you have to create them,” says Perricone. “Set calendar appointments for lunch or a walk or a midday workout. Otherwise, you might find yourself sitting in front of your computer for 10+ hours a day.”
2. Make time for self-care and breaks each day.
Whether you’re working remotely or in an office, you can take steps towards managing your personal life without getting distracted from work. If your schedule allows, one way to do this is by blocking time for breaks or short self-care activities, such as taking a walk, on your calendar.
“Schedule personal things in your calendar like workouts, phone calls with family or friends, or coffee breaks. Then honor those commitments. This will force you to take a break in your workday and do the things that will recharge and fulfill you,” says Jennifer Stefancik, a marketing manager in our acquisitions department.
“When I get back to work after doing something personally fulfilling, like going on a run, I always feel more focused and energized.” Stefancik shares.
3. Be transparent with your manager and colleagues about your personal-life boundaries.
While you need to set work-life balance boundaries for yourself, you should also be transparent about boundaries you’ve set with your team or manager.
One way to do this is by noting your work and off-work hours on your company’s internal calendar. Additionally, you should also talk to your manager to come up with a schedule that enables you to experience and manage important moments in your personal life.
One HubSpot manager who’s transparent with his team and creates a public schedule to embrace his life as a parent is Victor Pan, HubSpot’s Head of Technical SEO.
“I cherish the small talk I do when I drop off my daughter at school and with other parents. To do this, I talked to my manager about blocking out time in my work calendar — which is shared externally to my peers and colleagues,” Pan explains.
However, Pan notes that establishing a flexible schedule with managers won’t always be doable at other companies.
“Being able to engage in work-life design is a privilege for teams with safe spaces, but it’s also something someone engaged in part-time work can consciously control,” says Pan. “At the end of the day, we’re here to make the most out of the time we have given to us.”
4. Prioritize and audit your to-do list.
Along with establishing a transparent schedule that fits in both time for life and work, you can prevent yourself from instances where you’ll need to work overtime by taking on prioritization tactics and auditing your to-do list to ensure that you’re working efficiently.
“So many of us get bogged down by never-ending to-do lists and as you check off one item, three more gets added. In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to focus on the high impact activities and reduce or cease the activities that do not drive significant results,” says Toner.
To help her prioritize her tasks so that the most important items fit smoothly into her work hours, she draws out an “Impact/Effort Matrix”: a four-by-four chart where you list all your tasks on scales related to the effort needed to complete them and the impact they’ll create.
Once she’s done filling out her matrix, Toner follows these steps:
• Review the activities in the high effort low impact bucket and assess if you can simply stop doing them — these are usually not worth your time.
• Take the activities in the low impact, low effort bucket. Determine if you need to keep doing them or if they can be delegated to someone else.
• Look at the high impact, high effort bucket and research more efficient ways to achieve the same results. If so, move those items into the high impact, low effort square.
When you’re done using the matrix, “you should have one to two items remaining in the high effort, high impact bucket that you continue to work on over a longer period of time,” says Toner.
“Everything in the low effort, high impact bucket should be the work you prioritize,” Toner adds. “By doing this exercise regularly you can learn if your to-do list is actually worth the time it takes to do it. Then, you can decide if you should stop, delegate, improve efficiency, or keep going.”
5. Schedule time off as needed.
In a recent blog post where HubSpot marketers revealed how they prevent burnout, Irina Nica, a community and influencer relations manager, noted that taking time off can help you eliminate stress while also adhering to your personal life.
“I was one of those people who would rarely take any time off because ‘there are so many things to be done,'” Nica said. “Even when I did, I still let some work slip into my day, even if that meant only checking my emails.”
“Over time, I’ve changed my views on time off and it’s been great for my productivity,” Nica explained, adding, “I learned to disconnect in the evenings and during weekends. Now, aside from the regular summer and winter holidays, I take long weekends off every now and then. That helps me relax and refreshes my perspective.”
Taking time off doesn’t necessarily need to be devoted to vacations or travel. For example, if you live with family, time off can be used for staycations, where you stay in and spend time with loved ones. Or, if you live alone, you could simply take a few days off to relax, video call friends, binge some TV, and perform self-care.
6. Physically separate work from your personal life.
If you occasionally or regularly work from home, the lines between work and life can get incredibly blurry. Because of this, you might find yourself working too late or thinking about work when you try to relax in your home. Luckily, one strategy that can help with this is creating a workspace for yourself.
“Try to designate a space in your home exclusively for work,” Perricone advised. “Taking calls from your bed or writing memos in front of your TV likely won’t be very effective. You need a space that allows you to focus and be productive. That way, you can keep your work and home life as separate as possible.”
Finding a Good Balance
While the five tips were all slightly different, they all followed just a few major themes that you can keep in mind when aiming to achieve a work-life balance:
• Time off: Everyone needs breaks or time to disconnect from work. Even if you work remotely, be realistic with yourself about when you’ll need a break from work and schedule break times in your day or longer PTO accordingly.
• Setting boundaries: Schedule hard stops and breaks for yourself, while also setting boundaries related to your work hours with your team and manager.
• Prioritization: Recognize the tasks you can save until tomorrow and how to complete your weekly to-do list more efficiently.
• Separate work from life at home: When you work from home, the lines between work and life can get blurry. Be sure to use the tips above to help separate your work life from your personal life at home.
Is “Inbox Zero”—the clean slate with every email handled—an impossibility at your workdesk? Whether you work in the office or remotely, archiving, keeping tabs, delegating, and crafting the right responses to every important email you receive is probably becoming another job in itself.
There is an epidemic of email overload, and virtual work has led to serious stress for many professionals. According to a 2021 Superhuman survey, email fatigue is the leading cause of distraction at work and a major cause of rising dissatisfaction with remote work. It’s such a pain point that 22% of remote workers want to leave their current job because of the volume of email they receive.
While your flood of email can’t be stopped, here are some efficient ways to handle overload so that you can minimize interruptions, decrease mistakes, and gain back more of your time for productive pursuits:
Email Strategy #1: Set clear expectations for email use with your team
Harvard Business Report reveals that 57% of employees report not being given clear direction, and 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees. Set communication guidelines with your team, accounting for the following points:
• When email is the appropriate communication platform and when it is not • When direct messaging, phone, or in-person discussions should be used • When a “reply all” is necessary and when it is not • Which team members certain types of requests and communications can be delegated to, as needed • The importance of being concise and getting to the point immediately
Email Strategy #2: Answer emails at designated times
Set up 3-4 blocks of 15-30 minutes per day, depending on your email volume, to respond to emails, so that you can maintain your workflow at all other times. Communicate this to your team so that no one expects immediate responses, and provide an alternate channel for urgent messages such as direct messaging.
Email Strategy #3: Turn off email notifications
With your time block system in place, you won’t have a need to receive distracting notifications. Notifications can be stress-inducing and overwhelming themselves.
Email Strategy #4: Delete, do, delegate, or defer
Go through your inbox during the designated time slots and organize emails in folders by using the 4 Ds model. You’ll notice an immediate feeling of relief when you see how many emails can be deleted, delegated, and deferred. This habit will enable you to take timely action on the emails that matter most, and still effectively handle other communications as your priorities require. You may want to add a fifth option—a “waiting” folder for action-pending emails that require others to respond before you can do anything.
Email Strategy #5: Create subfolders, if necessary
If step 4 still leaves you with too many emails in the “do” category, create subfolders and group together important emails and email chains according to key topics. This archiving method will make it much easier to find what you need when you do have time to respond. Outlook and other email applications can automate this step once you set up rules to categorize or filter emails into subfolders and prioritize based on the sender.
Email Strategy #6: Add follow-up reminders to your calendar
For messages that require a follow-up action that you have designated to defer, put a reminder on your calendar including the folder location and date when a follow-up is required.
Email Strategy #7: Unsubscribe from unwanted email
Do you receive industry newsletters and marketing communications in your work email? Remove yourself from these lists by using the unsubscribe button. For those communications you still want to receive, change your email to a non-work address that you can review by choice during your personal time. Mark all unwanted communications as “spam”, so that you won’t continue to receive more of the same from these sources.
“Inbox Zero” may be an unrealistic pipe dream, but with these strategies, you should be able to conquer your inbox without feeling overloaded. Let us know how these tips are working for you!
Why are successful people so often the most effective time managers? Because they do three things better than everyone else: 1. They are continually aware that time is a very limited resource. 2. They learn and apply critical skills to arrange their schedules efficiently. 3. They monitor their use of time and adapt effectively as variables change.
You wouldn’t be here if you had time to waste, so follow these five rules to become the best time manager you can be and get back hours you never knew you were wasting each day.
Time Management Rule #1: Delegate work that others can do 75% as well as you
If you are a manager or executive, consider what you’re doing that others could do almost as well, and free up your valuable time in the process. Because we’re all biased toward the way we do things, make a list of all of the projects and tasks that you’re confident someone you could delegate to would do 75% as well. Then clear your plate for what really matters.
Time Management Rule #2: Organize your day around SMART goals
What makes a goal worth scheduling? It should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). Specific goals are clearly defined, down to the nitty-gritty details. Measurable goals can be tracked or even quantified. Achievable goals are realistic and attainable. Relevant means there is a real purpose or benefit to getting something done, and Time-bound means the goal has a specific deadline. If your goal is MART or SMA but not fully SMART, it isn’t worth scheduling.
Time Management Rule #3: Stop falling prey to time-wasters
If you’re like most people, you could save an hour a day or more each day by following this rule alone. According to Salary.com, 89% of people waste time every day at work, and 69% of men and 62% of women use the internet for personal reasons. To squeeze more time out of your day, every non-essential activity or task that isn’t getting you closer to your SMART goals has to go. This includes surfing the internet, posting on Facebook, and getting a haircut during the day (not every time-waster is digital).
Time Management Rule #4: Prioritize, schedule, and monitor your time
“Spontaneous” is a word for time-wasters. If you can avoid it, make sure you account for all your time in your daily schedule. Create a task list and prioritize the times, first according to deadlines and second to importance. If a task seems complex, break it down into more easily Achievable components. Record how much time you allocate each item in a calendar, and then monitor your time to see when you’ve gone into overtime. Review at the end of each day and week to modify your estimating process and your efficiency for each task.
Time Management Rule #5: Set aside a block of time for reading and responding to emails
U.S. workers now spend an average of 3.2 hours per day checking work emails and more than 90 minutes per day recovering from email interruptions. This is a serious crisis and An excellent first step to take is to set aside a block of time each day to read and respond to emails and let your collaborators know you’ll be reachable and responsive during that time.
Try these tips and share them with your team. Then tell us on Facebook how many hours per day and per week after week one you’ve saved by implementing them!
Penny Wise is here to help you achieve maximum productivity during your workday! Visit us online today: Click Here »
Happy New Year! There’s no better time than now to declutter your workspace. Brighten your workspace and improve your efficiency with these clever office organization ideas using Avery products. Labels, Ultra Tabs® and markers are all you need to try out these brilliant life hacks. You can also use these ideas and products as a springboard for imagining your own desk organization ideas.
Is there something that keeps slipping your mind? For some people it’s an extension number or a shortcut key or an important date. Make sure to keep these details within your view with colorful, repositionable Ultra Tabs on the edge of your monitor. Ultra Tabs are great office organization supplies and are available in a variety of colors, finishes and sizes.
A brilliant file folder hack is to write down the contents of the folder on to a label on the front. Avery shipping labels with TrueBlock® material blocks out everything underneath the label so that you can easily place one over the other without having the previous list bleed through. Ultra fine tip Marks-A-Lot™ markers also work perfectly for clean and compact writing.
It’s easy for a plain, black and white to-do list to blend into the background of your desk. Adding round color coding labels is a fantastic way to bring color into your routine while also making it easier for you to parse your schedule visually. If you’re interested in creating your own color coding system take a look at our article on how to improve your day with color coding for some great office organizing ideas
Skip the work of scouring through hanging file folder tabs by creating your own top-view tab markers. Print onto clear labels and center them on the top of binder clips for improved tabs that are easier to view. Clear labels are also great for marking your supplies, addressing envelopes and creating your own DIY labels.
Every charging cable looks the same behind your desk and it’s easy to lose track of which one is which. Barbell labels are ideal for identifying cables since they are easy to wrap around, will stick in one place without sliding and allow you print out double-sided tags.
Concerned about your privacy? An extra use for round color coding labels is to block out your webcam so that it only works when you need it. They’re also easily removable to keep your screen clean or if you feel like changing up the color.
These labels and more can be ordered from Penny Wise Office Products. Contact us today at 1-800-942-3311 or shop online at www.penny-wise.com
The warmer weather and the longer days intensify our desire to clean and organize. While many people take the time to clean out their wardrobes and organize their homes, one area that is often neglected is an office or desk space. Since your work area is a place where you spend 8+ hours per day, it is important to take the time to clean out these spots, as well. Use these tips to get the most out of your spring cleaning and prepare yourself for the rest of the year.
1. Digital Declutter
Digital clutter slows down your computer over time and leaves you with little space to store your work files, which is why a routine e-cleanup is necessary for top performance. Start by going through your files and transferring ones you want to keep but don’t actively use to a server or an external hard drive. If there are files that you do not need at all, go ahead and delete them! After completing these steps, organize your desktop and folders to simplify your file search.
2. Clear the Unnecessary
Your desk should hold your most important items such as a computer, phone, notepad, and a reliable pen or mechanical pencil. If your desk has drawers, use them to sort any paperwork you have on the top surface away, to keep your surface clear and streamlined. The trick is to keep your most used items within arm’s reach. Being organized and having a clean slate can help you become more productive during the workday.
3. Wipe it Down
Now that your workspace is tidy and streamlined, it is time to clean it. Start by using a disinfectant wipe to sanitize your work tabletop and then move on to using a screen cleaner spray for any electronical surfaces like your computer and phone screens. One area you’ll want to make sure not to forget—your keyboard! Using a microfiber towel and cotton swabs can help you get into all the spaces between the keys. Try making cleaning part of your weekly routine to truly feel a difference.
4. New Supplies
Now that you have gotten rid of all the clutter, it is time to take inventory of your supplies and make a list of what you still need. At the top of that list should be new pens and mechanical pencils for the rest of the year. The Sarasa Grand Retractable Gel Pen comes in 6 aesthetically pleasing barrel colors and rapid drying gel ink for an effortless writing experience. For a mechanical pencil option, try out the DelGuard Mechanical Pencil. Its lead won’t break under pressure and is refillable.
5. Add Some Pizzazz
Finally, don’t forget to make the space your own by injecting your personality into it. Show off your style with a potted faux plant, sleek metal mousepad, or a few framed photographs. No matter how you do it, adding your own personality to your workspace is a great way to breathe in new life and help you (and your desk) feel refreshed.
Even if it isn’t spring, adding some personality to your newly cleaned and organized office can help you refocus and improve your productivity. We hope these tips help you organize, clean, and refresh your workspace.
All the supplies mentioned here are available from Penny Wise Office Products. Call to Order – (800) 942-3311 or Shop Online www.penny-wise.com
This month’s blog comes straight from the CDC, which we thought would be helpful during these uncertain times. Do you know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? This is a good time to reevaluate the steps we take to stay safe and healthy.
How to clean and disinfect
• Wear reusable or disposable gloves for routine cleaning and disinfection. • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant. • Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include: • Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
• Recommend proper use of disinfectants, as listed below.
Many products recommend:
• Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label) • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product
Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.
• Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards • Ensure adequate ventilation • Use no more than the amount recommended on the label • Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label) • Avoid mixing chemical products • Label diluted cleaning solutions • Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets
You should never eat, drink, breathe or inject these products into your body or apply directly to your skin as they can cause serious harm. Do not wipe or bathe pets with these products or any other products that are not approved for animal use.
Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.
• Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection and has a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 5%–6%. Ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening, may not be suitable for disinfection.
• Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.
• To make a bleach solution, mix: • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of room temperature water
OR • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of room temperature water • Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours. •Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.
For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes.
•Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces. •Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
OR •Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. Use disinfectants that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19. • Vacuum as usual.
For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls. • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics. • Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting. • If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
For clothing, towels, linens and other items.
• Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. •Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick. • Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items. •Do not shake dirty laundry. • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. • Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.
Clean hands often
• Key times to clean hands • Immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a person who is sick. • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing • After using the restroom • Before eating or preparing food • After contact with animals or pets • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
•Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. •Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly dirty, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.
• Keep hand sanitizers away from fire or flame • For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision • Always store hand sanitizer out of reach of children and pets •Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
When someone is sick
Bedroom and bathroom
Keep separate bedroom and bathroom for a person who is sick (if possible).
• The person who is sick should stay separated from other people in the home (as much as possible).
•If you have a separate bedroom and bathroom: Wear disposable gloves and only clean the area around the person who is sick when needed, such as when the area is soiled. This will help limit your contact with the person who is sick.
• Caregivers can provide personal cleaning supplies to the person who is sick (if appropriate). Supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners, and disinfectants. If they feel up to it, the person who is sick can clean their own space.
•If shared bathroom: The person who is sick should clean and disinfect after each use. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting.
•Stay separated: The person who is sick should eat (or be fed) in their room if possible.
•Wash dishes and utensils using disposable gloves and hot water: Handle any used dishes, cups/glasses, or silverware with gloves. Wash them with soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
•Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.
•Dedicated, lined trash can: If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the person who is sick. Use disposable gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.
Penny Wise is here to provide you with all the cleaning and disinfectant supplies you need to stay healthy. Call us today for fast, free delivery.
Today’s businesses understand that eco-friendly offices are a trend that bears paying attention to, and our friends at Clover Technology have provided you with 7 of the very best ideas for creating an environmentally conscious businesses.
Making an effort toward sustainability within your organization can increase your competitive edge and boost revenue — as well as productivity and company morale.
In fact, it’s been proven that workers perform better in offices that emphasize environmentally friendly upgrades. And that can do more than ramp up productivity — it can also help your organization attract the kind of workers that make a real difference to the level at which your enterprise operates.
Let’s look at some simple, but powerful, ways you can boost your office’s eco-friendly quotient.
7 Environmentally Friendly Office Products to Help Your Office Go Green
With more than 8.5 million tons of office furniture making its way to our overburdened landfills each year, it’s no wonder that the best, easiest, and most cost-effective way you can green up your office is to look closely at reuse and recycling.
Our selection of environmentally friendly office products centers on items that will help your office not only reduce or eliminate waste and reduce your carbon footprint, but help you reuse where it’s appropriate.
1. Eliminate Single-Use Water Bottles with a Water Delivery Service
With plastic debris accounting for anywhere from 60% to 80% of all marine pollution, it’s no wonder that single-use plastics are under fire. Four states – California, New York, Maine, and Vermont – have passed bans on them and cruise lines, hotels, and other businesses are following suit.
You can green up your office and make a difference by swapping out single-use water bottles with a water delivery service and encouraging your employees to bring in their own refillable bottles for use in the office.
Water services range from hot/cold fountains that are super-filtered at the source to water that’s delivered in reusable BPA-free bottles to be chilled on an as-needed basis — it’s up to your team to decide which better serves your office environment.
2. Reduce Environmental Impact with Remanufactured Printer Cartridges
According to statistics, more than 375 million OEM cartridges thrown away each year, further clogging already overburdened landfills. And, when you recognize that it takes a single one of these cartridges nearly a thousand years to completely decompose, you can understand what an enormous environmental burden they are to the health of our planet.
Additionally, these cartridges have been tagged as “potentially carcinogenic” and in landfills they have been found to leach toxic chemicals into the soil that can reach all the way to underground aquifers, polluting our precious water resources.
Each remanufactured cartridge that you buy can contribute to your overall level of corporate responsibility and commitment to sustainable practices. With each purchase, you’re keeping another cartridge out of our landfills and averting a significant chain of impacts to the environment.
3. Replace Light Fixtures with LED Bulbs
A quick fix for a greener workspace involves converting your incandescent lighting to LEDs to maximize your energy efficiency. Because LEDs are so small, they put off less heat into the environment, which can, in turn, help you keep your thermostat stable and in energy conservation mode.
The energy efficiency of these bulbs means they don’t have to be changed as frequently and, since they last five to ten years, they aren’t being thrown into landfills and adding to our solid waste problems.
And, today’s wide array of LED designs means you can find practically any type of bulb you need, even in specialty sizes.
4. Consider Document Management Software to Cut Down on Paper
The average office worker uses up to 10,000 sheets of paper every year, but 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up in the trash by day’s end. That’s what makes investing in document management software important in curtailing excessive use of paper.
Document management software can help reduce the amount of time employees spend looking for hard-copy documents, which can increase productivity and it can help prevent the catastrophic loss that sometimes occurs when paper-based records are damaged.
However, remember that some important documents will need to be printed in hard copy form, which brings us to our next product — refurbished printers.
5. Choose Refurbished Printers to Manage Your Carbon Footprint
Even if you choose document management software, you will always need to print certain critical documents, so to keep it green, consider pairing your remanufactured print cartridge with a refurbished printer for maximum impact.
Not only will you be conserving energy and resources by buying a refurbished unit, but you can realize savings of 10-25% over a new unit. And, high-quality refurbished printers will perform as well — or better — than new versions and come with a warranty to protect against premature failure.
6. Buy Recycled Paper, Tissues, Paper Towels
Since we’re talking about greener printing, don’t forget to source your copy and printer paper from companies that offer recycled papers.
Recycled paper produces 39% less solid waste using 31% of the energy it takes to create virgin fiber paper. In addition, it takes 53% less water to produce and uses no trees.
In fact, it’s estimated that if the magazine industry switched to using 100% recycled paper, it would be like removing 248,000 cars from the road – for a whole year!
7. Use Refillable Whiteboard Markers
Dry erase markers are a staple in most conference rooms, allowing staff to brainstorm, organize, and make assignments during meetings and events. However, it’s often hard to find one that works when you need it, as they tend to dry out quickly.
A great way to keep them out of the trash — and avoiding frequent spending on new ones – is to purchase a refillable set. They come in all colors and can be refilled easily, at a fraction of the price of new markers.
Other Ways to Go Green for Maximum Benefit
Offices looking to become more sustainable might consider some of the following options to increase their commitment to developing an environmentally friendly work space:
• Use renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power
• Lower energy usage by using natural light to illuminate office spaces
• Reduce commuting impact by hiring remote workers or promoting walking, biking, or public transportation
• Turn off the lights, heat or air conditioning, and electronics on weekends, during holidays, and every evening after work
Remember, making a transition to a more environmentally friendly office not only helps heal our planet, it provides concrete benefits for businesses in the form of cost savings, productivity, and competitiveness.
And, while we can’t guide you on implementing all of these changes, if you’re ready to discover how remanufactured cartridges from Clover can maximize your sustainability while saving you money, contact your