Increase Company Mindfulness in 5 Steps

Increase Company Mindfulness in 5 Steps

This month’s blog comes to us from our friends at Double A Paper

How we see the world around us impacts our lives and how we relate to others. Understanding your own emotions can be a powerful tool when interacting with the world, both personally and professionally. By learning how to cultivate company mindfulness, you can increase team interaction, employee productivity, and the bottom line.

What is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a concept centered around self-awareness. Mindfulness is about being in the moment and experiencing your environment with no distractions. While being mindful, you pay close attention to your thoughts and emotions without judgment.

Mindfulness cultivates emotional intelligence and provides the skills needed to ignore impulsive, emotional reactions. Teaching your office how to be more mindful has the potential to increase the happiness of your work environment.

Why Company Mindfulness is Important

More companies are focusing on the wellbeing of their staff due to the increasing cost of an unhealthy workforce. Employees who are dissatisfied with their workplace tend to call out, resist work, and look for other opportunities. This could potentially leave companies with high turnover and a toxic culture.

The number of sick days used for mental health has increased exponentially over the past five years, causing mental health to be the number one reason for employees to call in sick.

Mindfulness can lower blood pressure, increase focus, and reduce anxiety and depression in employees. In fact, when employees practice mindfulness, they are more likely to be resilient in the face of stressful situations. Resilience and adaptability to stress play a key role in wellbeing.

When employees feel confident in handling stress, they are more likely to make good decisions for the business. A mindful employee is more likely to focus on productivity, reduce waste, and be conscientious. This will support the planet and your bottom line!

Teach Your Employees to be More Mindful

Educating your employees is the first step to increasing company mindfulness. It begins with establishing an open dialogue. Be open to discussing your employees’ emotional stance with the company and allow everyone to share what they love about their job and which areas need improvement.

Make sure you let them know that this conversation is a safe place designed to enhance their work experience. Teach them about mindfulness and why it is important. Some of your employees may be practicing mindfulness on their own. Encourage them to share their strategies.

Allow everyone to discuss any concerns and tackle their anxieties head-on. Allow an open flow of conversation and practice empathy and understanding.

Brainstorm ways to incorporate mindfulness into the workweek. Let your employees be a part of this shift in the company culture. This will allow them to feel valued and heard.

Incorporate Mindfulness into Remote Work

Many employees are now working from home to stay healthy and safe. It is more important than ever to incorporate mindfulness into your company’s work-from-home culture.

Stay accountable by touching base with your team. Make sure they are taking the time to be mindful while away from the office. Remind them to get fresh air, clear their mind, and make time for short movement breaks during the day.

During this uncertain time, it is essential that your employees feel as if they are part of the team. Take time at the end of video meetings to have everyone discuss their mindfulness practice. Prompt them to explain how mindfulness has impacted their new work environment.

Lead by Example

It is essential to lead by example when implementing mindfulness at your company. The first step is to make mindful decisions for the company.

For example, you could start a mindfulness accountability group. Gathering a team of dedicated, mindful employees could create a domino effect for the rest of the company. Before you know it, mindfulness will be ingrained in your work culture.

Manage with Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand, perceive, and manage your own emotions. When you manage with emotional intelligence, you use empathy, understanding, and self-awareness to communicate with your team.

Mindfulness is a powerful component of emotional intelligence. Managers with high EI communicate their message better because they understand who their audience is. Managers with high emotional intelligence are more persuasive and inspiring to their employees.

Practicing EI will allow you to gauge and control your employees’ reactions to difficult situations. With this in mind, you will see the efficiency of your team increase.

Allow Mindfulness Breaks During the Day

Creating space in the day for your employees to practice mindfulness is essential to increasing company mindfulness. Allowing time between meetings for self-awareness is a great solution.

By the end of a meeting, most employees have checked out. They are already mentally preparing for their next meeting. This train of thought can continue all day, leaving your employees feeling burned out.

Providing time between appointments will allow them to decompress and focus on themselves for a moment before focusing on their next obligation. Let your employees know this time is for mindfulness.

Encourage them to step outside, do some deep breathing, or reflect on how they are feeling. You will have more focused, productive meetings when you allow your team opportunities to be mindful.

Schedule Movement Breaks

Most office workers have minimal amounts of movement during the workday. This time can increase if employees are working from home. Sitting for long amounts of time has been reported to be as unhealthy as smoking. Schedule a five-minute movement break for your team.

During this time, they can get up, stretch, and walk around. Remind them that this is a part of their mindfulness practice. Encourage them to focus on the sensation of moving after sitting for so long. This will allow your employees to energize themselves by breaking away from their responsibilities and moving their bodies.

Mindfulness comes in many shapes and sizes. Regardless of how you increase company mindfulness, you will be rewarded with a happier, more effective workforce. For more tips on building a healthy work environment and personal fulfillment, subscribe to our blog.

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HP Business PC & Print Devices Cleaning Guidance

HP Business PC & Print Devices Cleaning Guidance
HP-Business-PC-Print-Devices-Cleaning-Guidance

We wanted to share this relevant information with our customers at this time of an unprecedented health crisis. We hope you find this information valuable, and we wish you good health.

HP is dedicated to providing customers with market-leading business solutions that help them be innovative, productive and support their well-being. With public health concerns over the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease, also known as Coronavirus, spreading worldwide, HP wants customers to have the information they need to effectively clean HP devices and to assist customers in maintaining a healthy work environment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning surfaces, followed by disinfection, as a best practice for the prevention of Coronavirus and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

Cleaning Guidance:

HP Business Personal Systems & Office Imaging & Printing Systems

A CDC-recommended disinfectant that is also within HP’s cleaning guidelines is an alcohol solution consisting of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water. Please follow the steps below to use the CDC recommended alcohol solution to clean high-touch, external surfaces on HP products:

1. Wear disposable gloves made of latex (or nitrile gloves if you are latex-sensitive) when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

2. Turn off the device and disconnect AC power (for printers, devices should be unplugged from the outlet). Remove batteries from items like wireless keyboards. Never clean a product while it is powered on or plugged in.

3. Disconnect any external devices.

4. Moisten a microfiber cloth with a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol / 30% water. Do not use fibrous materials, such as paper towels or toilet paper. The cloth should be moist, but not dripping wet. Isopropyl Alcohol is sold in most stores, usually in a 70% Isopropyl Alcohol / 30% Water solution. It may also be marketed as rubbing alcohol.

5. Do not spray any liquids directly onto the product.

6. Gently wipe the moistened cloth on the surfaces to be cleaned. Do not allow any moisture to drip into areas like keyboards, display panels or USB ports located on the printer control panels, as moisture entering the inside of an electronic product can cause extensive damage to the product.

7. Start with the display or printer control panel (if applicable) and end with any flexible cables, like power, keyboard and USB cables.

8. When cleaning a display screen or printer control panel, carefully wipe in one direction, moving from the top of the display to the bottom.

9. Ensure surfaces have completely air-dried before turning the device on after cleaning. No moisture should be visible on the surfaces of the product before it is powered on.

10. After disinfecting, copier/scanner glass should be cleaned again using an office glass cleaner
sprayed onto a clean rag to remove streaking. Streaking on the copier/scanner glass from the CDC recommended cleaning solution could cause copy quality defects.

11. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.

Cleaning-Guidance

Many common household cleaners and disinfectants can damage electronic products. Do not use any of the following chemicals or any solutions that contain them, including spray-based surface cleaners: bleach, peroxides (including hydrogen peroxide), acetone, ammonia, ethyl alcohol, methylene chloride or any petroleum-based materials, such as gasoline, paint thinner, benzene or toluene. Some disinfecting wipes containing bleach and hydrogen peroxide can be used on select Healthcare Edition products only. Wipes containing bleach and hydrogen peroxide should not be used on any other products.

FAQ for Cleaning Your HP Product

Q: How can I disinfect my HP devices to help prevent Coronavirus?

A: You can clean your HP devices by using a CDC-recommended disinfectant that is comprised of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water. To use the recommended alcohol solution to clean and disinfect high-touch, external surfaces on HP products, please follow the guidelines found in this document.

Q: Can I use bleach or peroxides to disinfect my PC or Printer?

A. Some disinfecting wipes containing bleach and hydrogen peroxide can be used on select Healthcare Edition products only. Wipes containing bleach and hydrogen peroxide should not be used on any other products.

Q: Will the letters and symbols on my keyboard disappear from cleaning?

A: Some chemicals are very harsh and can damage non-HP Healthcare Edition keyboards and other surfaces. By following the steps outlined in this document to clean your device, you can reduce the risk of damaging your keyboard or other surfaces.

Q: What portions of my devices are safe to clean?

A: All external components of your PC or printer can be cleaned using the recommended solution, including ports, cables, keyboard keys, rubber, plastic, metal surfaces, displays and printer control panels. Please reference the cleaning guidelines for more information.

Q: How often can I clean my PC, keyboard, mouse, display or printer?

A: HP recommends cleaning your non-Healthcare Edition devices a maximum of 3-5 times per day. Excessive cleaning of your non-Healthcare Edition device with any cleaning solution can lead to potential wear on component.

Penny Wise will continue to provide tips for keeping your surrounding clean and sanitized, and we wish our customers good health in the weeks ahead.

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Put Your Health and Fitness First in the New Year

Put Your Health and Fitness First in the New Year
Health and Fitness First in the New Year

Now is the perfect time to take a few steps to prepare yourself for a strong start to the New Year (and new decade). You have a much better chance of making positive long-lasting changes when you’ve laid the groundwork ahead of time, rather than waiting until January 1.

Here are a few things you can do today to get ready for a great new year….

Reflect and assess on 2019.

What worked this year in your life? What didn’t work? What could you have done better? And what did you do really well? Sit down this week and actually put pen to paper to take a look back at the entire year to see where you need to make changes and where you need to give yourself a pat on the back. Once you’ve fully reflected and given yourself a real reality check, then you’re ready to keep an open mind and move forward armed with all the knowledge about how to tackle 2020.

Join a gym or hire a personal trainer and book your training sessions through the first two months of the year.

A great way to work on your health and fitness is by joining a gym, hiring a personal trainer or having an accountability buddy to work out with. The beautiful thing about signing on to work with a trainer is that you can actually book, block out and schedule your workouts with your trainer weeks in advance. If those workouts are already in your calendar and your trainer’s calendar before the New Year even starts, you’re much more likely to keep them and commit to them, especially with someone else keeping you in check.

Buy new workout clothes and sneakers, a new gym bag and water bottle.

Just like you want to dress for success at work, you also want to dress for success at the gym. If you’re still hiding in oversized cotton t-shirts and sweatpants that cling to your body and don’t let your sweat breathe, now’s a perfect chance for a wardrobe upgrade. Find some sweat-wicking leggings or shorts, supportive sneakers and even a gym bag that fits all the essentials, along with a big new reusable water bottle to keep with you at all times. You could even add your fitness gear to the Christmas list that you give to others, then fill in the holes based on whatever you don’t receive. Once you’ve invested in the proper attire for your workouts, you’ll be extra excited to make them happen regularly.

Remove obligations that could get in the way of your goals.

In today’s go-go-go society, we’re trained to think that the busier you are, the better off you are. But truly, that’s not the case. Before the New Year hits, we think you should take some time to review all of your current obligations, commitments and even relationships. Do they bring you joy? Do you look forward to them or dread them? Do you leave them feeling uplifted or drained? Do they support your healthy goals or hinder them? Whatever people or responsibilities are weighing on your time and emotions, consider eliminating them, if at all possible. Not only will you have more time to focus on your workouts, sleep, self-care and healthy eating, but you’ll also feel a weight lifted off your shoulders — and you can’t put a price-tag on that.

A few other honorable mentions …

Clean out your pantry and fridge of all the unhealthy and expired food you don’t want to eat.

Start stocking up on fresh produce and frozen produce to have on hand so you can have veggies at every meal.

Sign up for a healthy meal delivery service for busy weekdays, so you can be sure you’ll have a nutritious and filling meal that supports your health goals.

Write your goals down on multiple pieces of paper and paste them everywhere, including your mirror, fridge, car and desk.

Good luck!

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How to Actually Unplug Over Your Holiday Break

How to Actually Unplug Over Your Holiday Break

Aiming for a work-free holiday break this year? Here’s how to realistically make it happen.

You’re working like crazy to tie up all of those necessary loose ends before you officially say goodbye to your desk for the holiday break.

Ideally, you’d spend your time off relaxing and recharging. But, if the past few years are any indication, you’ll more than likely spend a good chunk of your time glued to your computer or phone instead.

Well, no more. You deserve to actually kick back over the holidays. So, here are six tips to help you seriously disconnect and enjoy this merry time of year without work commitments hanging over your head.

1. Be Realistic

While you should definitely make a strong effort to check out of work-mode over the holidays, it’s important that you’re also realistic with your expectations.

Now that we’ve all become so accustomed to being constantly connected, it’s that much tougher to unplug entirely.

So, don’t enter into your break with the assumption that you won’t even glance at your inbox until your time off comes to a close. You’ll likely only wind up disappointed and frustrated. Focus on being better than normal, rather than perfect.

2. Lay Some Ground Rules

When you’re planning to disconnect for some time, it’s important that you set some clear expectations — both for yourself and the people that you work with.

In regards to yourself, will you allow any time to check in on work-related matters? If so, outline those rules now, such as only letting yourself pop into your inbox once per day for no more than fifteen minutes.

Also, make it known to your colleagues that you plan to be out of touch and for how long, so that they know better than to wait on you for any urgent requests.

3. Prioritize and Work Ahead

A key part of truly being able to unplug during your time off is adequate prep work — after all, it’s tough to relax if you feel like there’s a ton of unfinished business looming.

When you’re a few weeks out from your break, make a long list of all of the things that need to get accomplished before you officially check out. Then take a look to see what can be delegated and what can wait until after you return.

Sort the tasks that are left in order of deadline, and then start chipping away at those to-dos far ahead of time. That way, everything should be pretty close to handled by the time you stroll out of the office for your break.

4. Refrain From Setting Goals

This one can seem somewhat counterintuitive, particularly with the popularity of resolutions during this time of year.

However, if you know you’re going to be tempted to work when you really should be enjoying quality time with your loved ones, refrain from setting any professional goals for yourself until you’re back at work.

Why? Well, outlining those career and business ambitions during your time off will likely inspire you to get moving on those goals immediately — which will ultimately put you right back in front of your computer.

5. Set an Out-of-Office Message

This step seems obvious, but it’s one that far too many people neglect.

Setting an out-of-office responder when you’re on your break will remove much of the pressure from your shoulders, as well as keep your colleagues in the loop.

So, make sure to draft one of these messages before you take your time off. Include your return date as well as the contact information for someone else who can help with urgent matters, and you’ll be able to cut that tether that’s constantly connecting you to your inbox.

6. Abandon Your Electronics

Perhaps you’ve implemented all of these tips and you still don’t feel confident that you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities without a screen in front of your face.

If that’s the case, go ahead and lock away your electronics. Power down your phone and keep it in a drawer for the majority of a day. Put your laptop and your work bag in the back of the closet — where you’ll have to consciously reach for them.

These small changes can make a huge difference in how often you find yourself relying on those devices. When you need to be intentional about their use, you’re much less likely to be attached to them.

You deserve some time to unplug and relax over your holiday break. But, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Put these six tips to use, and you’ll be able to enjoy some (mostly) work-free and guilt-free time off.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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Memorization Tips for Studying

Memorization Tips for Studying
Memorization Tips for Studying

Our friends at Hammermill have provided a great resource for effective studying, just in time for Back to School season.

When you have many small tidbits of information to memorize, like a list of words and their meanings or a list of dates and events, there are some simple tricks you can use that make remembering easier. We’ve put together some good ideas that can give you an edge when it’s time to study.

Have a test coming up? Check out our Study Guide Templates, and be sure to join our mailing list to receive more tips and ideas.

A Little Understanding; a Big Difference

When it’s time to memorize, knowing a little bit about how our brains work can really help. Our memories are not all stored in the same place. Different kinds of actions are remembered in different parts of the brain. There’s short-term memory, long-term memory, muscle memory and more. Some people remember what they see more easily, while others remember what they’ve heard or what they’ve done.

A good trick to increase your odds of remembering is to use a study method that puts the information in more than one part of your brain. That might sound difficult, but it really isn’t. Here’s the key: don’t just read information and expect to remember; write it down and say it out loud. This simple process ensures that the information is going to several different areas of your brain, making it easier to find later.

Do It Again…and Again…and Again

The next thing to know is that repetition is essential. Repetition is really important. Repetition builds success. To remember ideas or concepts, try rewording them a few different ways to ensure you fully understand them. For simple facts such as names and dates, information that shouldn’t be changed, repetition is the glue that will help them stick in your brain.

You might be lucky and have a super brain that catches everything the first time. But even then, you encounter a ton of information every day, and there are ways to make it easier for you to remember later.

A Simple Method

Here’s one way to get more from your study time. Take a blank sheet of paper. Make a column down the left side of the paper. Now, inside that column, copy down all of the facts you need to remember. The smaller you write, the more information you can fit on a page, BUT the harder it is to read and check later. Write your information down in a size that is efficient but also comfortable to read. As you write the information down, be sure to say it out loud (NOT in the library).

Now, turn the paper over. Make a column down the left side of the paper. Try to write down as much information as you can from memory. Don’t worry if you can only remember a couple of things. Once you’ve written down everything you can remember, fold the paper over so the completed column on the back is next to the incomplete column on the left. Copy down everything that you couldn’t remember.

Be sure to check out our helpful Study Guide Templates to see how it works!

When you are done, fold that left-hand column back so that you can’t see it anymore. Make another column and try again. You’ll probably remember a little more this time. When you’ve finished writing down everything you can remember, unfold the paper and check the corrected list on the left against the list you just made in the next column over.

Once again, copy down everything you couldn’t remember, saying the information out loud as you write. Now, fold the two columns back so you can’t see them anymore and try again. Keep doing this until you can write the entire column without missing any information. If you really want to be sure you’ve got it, keep going until you can write down all the information without any mistakes three times in a row. It may take a few sheets of paper until you can successfully write everything down from memory. Got it? Cool!

Take a fresh sheet of paper, make a column down the left and write all the information down from memory. Okay. Time for a break.

And Again…

At the start of your next study session, start with the information you’ve “already memorized”. Take the piece of paper you used at the very end of your last study session, flip it over to its blank side, make a column down the left and try to write down everything from memory. Don’t be surprised if a few facts don’t come to you quickly. Try hard to remember as much as you can, but when you get stuck and can’t remember any more, fold the paper over and check your results, copying down all the missing information. Keep repeating the process until you can do it all correctly three times in a row.

Be sure to use a sturdy paper that is thick enough to hide the answers on the back, something like Hammermill Fore® Multi-Purpose. You can also print out our helpful Study Guide Templates to save you some time!

Hammermill paper is available at

Penny Wise 1-800-942-3311 or www.penny-wise.com

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Introducing the Ultimate Game Zone Chair Mat

Introducing the Ultimate Game Zone Chair Mat
Ultimate-Game-Zone-Chair-Mat

 

Do you have a Video Gamer in the family? Need a great gift for them?

Take your gaming arena to the next level with the Ultimate Game Zone Chair Mat by E.S. ROBBINS. Cutting edge style and function combine to create the latest in floor protection gear.

Ultimate-Game-Zone-Chair-Mat

 

Whether your setup is on hard floor or carpet, the hybrid vinyl grip system has you covered. Upgrade your gaming experience with a smooth rolling surface while protecting your floors from scuffs, scrapes and spills.

   Unique shape fits compact setups and advanced gaming environments

   Angular design provides maximum space utilization

   Hybrid vinyl grip technology

   GREENGUARD Gold certified for low chemical emissions to UL 2818

   Limited Lifetime “No Crack Mat” Warranty

   Made in USA

Ultimate-Game-Zone-Chair-Mat

 

To Order, Call Penny Wise Toll-Free: (800) 942-3311 or Email: customercare@penny-wise.com

 
 

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Back-To-School Classroom Decorating Tips for Teachers

Back-To-School Classroom Decorating Tips for Teachers

Our friends at Hammermill have some great ideas for teachers who are busy decorating their classrooms. Decorating shouldn’t be stressful for teachers. It should be a chance to get creative and show off your personality. DIY classroom decorations are easy to make, and they can help add some fun to your classroom. These classroom decorating tips below will help you get your classroom ready for back-to-school.

Back-To-School Classroom Decorating Tips

 

Introduce Yourself

The first day back to school can be nerve-racking for both kids and teachers. You can help make the transition back easier by creating a poster that introduces yourself to your students. Add photos and include interesting facts about yourself. You can include your hobbies, pets and where you went to school. This can help break the ice sooner rather than later.

Encourage the kids in your class to create their own posters that introduce themselves. Put the posters up on the wall so students can get to know one another more quickly. Providing opportunities for you and your students to get to know each other is a great way to create a welcoming environment in your classroom.

Welcome Students Back

One of the easiest ways to decorate your classroom for back-to-school is to welcome your students by hanging a DIY, easy-to-make welcome banner. You can add scholastic imagery to the banner to help add some fun to it. Ready to hang one up in your classroom? Check out our Welcome Banner Template.

Add Some Color to Your Classroom Decorations

Bright colors can help add some pizzazz to your walls. Adding colorful decorations that reinforce your first lesson plans for the year can help introduce students to the subject matter they will be learning. Try printing out a quote and putting it on a bright background to hang on a wall. The quote could be from a novel they will be reading or one from a significant point in history they will be learning about.

Need a colorful paper to post important dates and classroom announcements on? Check out our Colors paper. It comes in an array of fun colors to choose from.

Get Creative with Your Bulletin Board

Bulletin boards provide a place for teachers to display important announcements and dates. They are also a great space in your classroom where you can get creative. You can customize your own border for your bulletin board with paint and glitter. Collaging the backboard of your bulletin board with relevant newspaper or magazine cut outs is an easy way to reuse material you already have. Get creative and have fun with it!

We hope these tips will help you decorate your space for the first day of school. Have fun decorating, and be sure to share pictures of your decorated classrooms on social media using #PaperforSchools. We recommend using Hammermill® Premium Color Copy Cover 100LB for classroom decorations.

Call us or visit us online to order yours today!

800-942-3311 or www.penny-wise.com

 

 

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Top 10 Time-Wasters at Work, and How to Avoid Them to Get More Done.

Top 10 Time-Wasters at Work, and How to Avoid Them to Get More Done.

Our friends at Smead, are masters of organization. All of their products are available for next day delivery when you order with us! They have just come out with their Top 10 list of Time Wasters, and ways you can avoid them to be more productive.

1.   Joining the crowd: According to employees, here are the top 5 ways they waste time at work: Gossip (42%), Social interaction with Co- Workers (32%), Snacks and Breaks (27%), Meetings (23%), In-Office Noise Distractions (24%). (Source: BrianTracy.com) Are you part of this crowd?

2.   Checking email often: Limit checking for email, and responding to it, to once or twice per day, in “scheduled” 30-minute increments.

3.   Lack of motivation: OK, so maybe your job isn’t the best thing since sliced bread, but it’s bringing in the bacon. So, why not make the most of it? Write up a bunch of 5-minute rewards and enjoy one every time you reach a 30-minute work goal. Another possibility: Challenge yourself to do something you’ve always done better, faster, or cheaper.

4.   Allowing interruptions: While some interruptions are necessary, most are nothing more than obstacles to you getting your work done. When you’re working on something important, reduce interruptions: close your door, allow your calls to go to voicemail, and don’t keep checking email and/or text notifications.

5.   Waiting for something to happen: While you’re waiting for something to happen (perhaps you’re on telephone hold or are waiting for a file to download), do something else.

6.   Not organizing your messy desk and filing system: The messier your space is, the more time you’re going to be wasting searching for things. Remove clutter and get things organized!

7.   Going to, or hosting, unproductive meetings: All meetings should have specific goals, only involve key people who will be working on those goals, and ultimately result in positive, measurable changes. If your work meetings are mostly gab sessions (or complaint forums), there’s a lot of time being wasted.

8.   Doing things manually: There are so many digital apps that can help you be more productive at work. If you’re doing tons of things manually with paper and pen, research how you can do those same things automatically instead. It may be worth it for you to call in a productivity expert for ideas.

9.   Never writing down instructions: When you learn something new, take notes. The next time you have to do it, you won’t have to rely on your memory, and you won’t have to waste time trying to figure out how to do it…or waste someone else’s time asking again.

10.   Recreating the wheel: Before you start something “from scratch,” be sure to research first to determine if someone has already done it before. Duplicating work that has already been done is a major time waster, and very common in businesses

Maria Gracia

Visit www.GetOrganizedNow.com?smead for a FREE Organizing Idea-Pak to help you organize your home, your office, and your life!

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How Office Temperature Affects Productivity and State of Well-Being

How Office Temperature Affects Productivity and State of Well-Being

We work closely with our friends at Kensington who provide the products to make your office run smoothly…and comfortably. Kensington recently shared this study on the correlation between comfort and productivity that we thought you’d find interesting.

Improving the comfort of each employee within their personal workspace is an important part of improving overall wellness and happiness in the office. That’s why ergonomics is such an incredible field; its fundamental aim is to improve the comfort of all (as well as safety, productivity, and accuracy) — by retrofitting and designing workstations and environments accordingly. And an element of our environmental comfort that is oddly overlooked?

Temperature

And it’s about time temperature gets the attention it deserves, for the prominent role it plays in the comfort of everyone in the office. According to the results of a 2016 survey on job satisfaction, the biggest complaint issued about the workplace concerns temperature. And according to CareerBuilder, 22% of workers have difficulty concentrating in an office that is too hot — 11% have the same difficulty in one that is too cold.

It makes perfect sense; when the body has to expend extra energy to stay warm or perspire, less energy is available to concentrate. The good news is, the reverse is also true: when the ideal temperature is met and comfort improved, focus follows.

The Stats: Our Environment Affects Our Productivity and Well-Being

When office temperature is increased from 68 to 77℉, errors can be expected to fall by 44%, while output can be expected to increase by an incredible 150%
The highest productivity level occurs around 71.6℉
An office of 100 people will have between 8-18 hours wasted each day, due to temperature; the equivalent of 2% of the team’s staff never showing up to work that day
Improving temperature conditions can save employers as much as 10% in extra labor per worker, per hour, that was previously spent on mistakes made due to a “too-cold” office

In short, it is easier to think when you’re comfortable — and, thus, easier to do your job. Too hot, too cold, or too fluctuating a temperature compromises the focus, efficiency, accuracy, and, ultimately, output that make for a good, happy day’s work.

“…raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour…”Professor Alan Hedge, Cornell University

And temperature affects much more than productivity. Colder temperatures cause our muscles to tense up, creating pain and discomfort. This “chill” can disproportionately affect women, as females tend to have less muscle mass than their male counterparts. Adjusting the temperature appropriately thus improves physical comfort. There is even research connecting warmer temperatures to a more friendly culture among colleagues, as temperature influences our mood and general openness to others. Because we are biologically wired to seek warmth from day one, our ability to stay present during, say, meetings or conversations with colleagues in passing (where important relationships have the opportunity to develop), is benefited greatly when we’re physically comfortable, and hurt when we’re cold.

“The indoor temperature affects several human responses, including thermal comfort, perceived air quality, sick building syndrome symptoms and performance at work”Seppänen O, Fisk WJ, Lei QH

Why Turning the Knob on the Thermostat Hasn’t Solved the Problem

Aiming for a number on OSHA’s recommended temperature range (68-76℉) hasn’t cut it because the number picked will be both arbitrary and, unfortunately, satisfy some while dissatisfying others.

“Whether temperatures soar or plummet, unbearable office conditions can have a serious impact on employee health and well-being. Unfortunately the law is left open to misinterpretation by simply stating that employers must provide a ‘reasonable’ workplace temperature.” – Helen Pedder, head of HR for ClearSky HR

The fundamental problem here is that there is no universally-preferred temperature; we all have a different idea of what feels “just right”. Our physical perception of thermal energy is influenced by individual, changing factors of weight, age, gender, clothing choices, season, and even stress levels. Consider this: why is the same 63℉ ideal in the summer while frigid in the winter?

The kind of work we perform in the office even has an impact on preference; those performing more creative work generally prefer to work in a warmer temperature. What’s more, our perception of temperature itself is actually fickle and fussy, being largely informed by psychological factors. Put simply: our bodies don’t make accurate reads as thermometers, and a large extent of our supposed “preference” is, in fact, all in our head.

Moreover, turning the knob will only do so much if part of the problem is temperature fluctuation on account of the building’s design or cooling/heating system. And such big problems tend to make for expensive fixes.

The Alternative: Personal Desktop Solutions

A promising alternative to tinkering with the thermostat in the hopes that comfort for all will be relatively realized is to narrow the focus. And equip each employee with the right tech that gives them control over their personal workspace (think space heaters and fans) — so they have the tools to achieve their own version of “comfortable”.

In addition to giving employees power over the temperature of their workspace, this kind of focus is economical. Energy-efficient heating and cooling desktop solutions decrease overall reliance on the not-so-energy-efficient HVAC systems. Take the CoolView Monitor Stand with a built-in fan, for instance — it powers via USB computer charge and runs quietly at a chosen speed — for an efficient way to get the air flowing in the desired direction. Additionally, it elevates your computer to the ideal height for a comfortable, healthy posture through the back and neck.

A desktop fan like the CoolView is a great product for those of us that tend to “run hot”. As is a cooling seat cushion that reduces the body’s temperature. An ergonomically-designed one will also promote a healthy posture, improve circulation, and relieve spinal pressure; making sitting for long periods of time even more comfortable.

For those of us who work from home, the heating bill is, of course, as top-of-mind as it is for businesses. And a quality space heater built specifically for your desk gives you the option of setting a lower temperature on the thermostat and simply warming your small workspace to a comfortable level. Just note that the most important features to look for in a space heater are safety features that eliminate the risk of fire hazard. Consider, for instance, the WarmViewTM Wellness Monitor Stand with Heater which passes a Certified 10-Point Safety system. And note that a space heater should never be plugged into an extension cord.

Desktop tech like these products should achieve physical ergonomic benefits without adding to the footprint (clutter) of your desk — the heater for the WarmView, as an example, is built right into its home monitor stand that elevates the computer to that ideal ergonomic height; its modular design doesn’t take up any more space than a typical monitor stand does.
The WarmView is a great solution for those who suffer cold hands (which compromise dexterity and speed) and haven’t found success with fingerless gloves, which can hinder movement.

Additional Tips for Comfort in the Office

Learn hand exercises. For those of us who type a lot, taking preventative measures against carpal tunnel syndrome is highly recommended, especially if your hands tend to be cold.

Check the ergonomics of your workstation. Cold hands could be a result of an unhealthy typing posture that is restricting blood flow. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor at a 90° angle to your upper arm when typing. Maintaining an ergonomic, healthy posture is also key to protecting against other work-related MSD’s (tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, tension neck syndrome…).

Layers, layers, layers. Whether you run hot or cold, having the freedom to take off and put on layers throughout the day = adaptability, when the temperature fluctuates in the office.

Move more throughout the day. Taking stretch and movement breaks throughout the day improves circulation by getting your blood flowing and increasing your heart rate. And more movement, in general, delivers long-term health benefits far beyond simply warming the body temporarily.

Exercise more. If you have poor circulation, pains and strains in the body from sitting too much, or bad posture, exercise will treat both the cause and the symptom at the same time — you will, to put it simply, feel better.

Comfort in the workplace is an important factor influenced by every element of our office — from the height of the desk, to the style of lighting. And as the field of ergonomics has expanded to include environmental considerations such as temperature, it is exciting to see such versatile solutions brought to the market that help all achieve greater comfort, regardless of from where they might be working.

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Staying Fit During the Work Day

Staying Fit During the Work Day

A cubicle-bound work week is no longer an excuse for a sedentary lifestyle. The key is to keep moving whenever you get the chance.

1. Go for a walk during your lunch break to get energized

2. Incorporate a sit-stand desk into your work routine to keep active throughout the day

3. Start deskercising during your downtime. Perform these simple, low-impact exercises at your desk and feel the difference in your energy level, flexibility and personal productivity.

Now that you’ve had your work out, call us to order your Sit-to-Stand Desk Today! Fast, FREE Delivery.

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