5 Quick and Easy Office Organization Hacks

5 Quick and Easy Office Organization Hacks

by Avery Products

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.

1.) Eye-catching Reminder Tabs

Keep tabs on important notes with repositionable Ultra Tabs (74753)

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.

2.) Check File Folders at a Glance

Clearly list file folder contents with shipping labels (94215)

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.

Click here for the file folder contents label template.

3.) Color Coding To-do Lists

Streamline your tasks with color coding labels (5795)

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

4.) DIY Hanging File Folder Tabs

Create top-view tabs with binder clips and clear rectangle labels (94208)

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.

5.) Easy Cable Management

Always choose the right cable with the help of barbell labels (94749)

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.

Bonus: Webcam Security

Add an extra layer of privacy with ¼” round labels (5795)

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 Jacobs Gardner Office Products.
Contact us today at 1-800-638-0983 or shop online at www.jacobsgardner.com

Products used in this article:
2″ x 1-1/2″ Ultra Tabs (74753)
3-1/3″ x 4″ TrueBlock Shipping Labels (8164 / 94215)
¼” Removable Color Coding Labels (5795)
2/3″ x 1-3/4″ Clear Return Address Labels (15695 / 94208)
½” x 2-1/2″ Barbell Jewelry Labels (94749)

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How to Stay Motivated When You Are Working From Home

How to Stay Motivated When You Are Working From Home
How to Stay Motivated When You Are Working From Home

We’re excited to bring you today’s post written by LCSW, Amy Moran. With more people working from home those days, we know many are struggling with motivation and the challenges of staying engaged in your workplace. We think you will find her suggestions helpful. Please let us know some of your own tips for staying motivated!

Most people find working from home to be challenging—especially at first. From piles of dirty laundry to daytime TV, there are tons of distractions.

And sometimes, pajamas and a comfortable seat on the sofa just don’t provide the same type of motivation you get from a suit and an office chair.

Whether you’re home alone and the house is too quiet, or you’re home with the family and the kids are out of control, you may find it’s tough to stay on task, get your work done, and feel productive. Fortunately, the following strategies can help you stay motivated when you work from home.

1. Create a Schedule

Without a structured workday, time can get away from you. You might find that you start shifting your workdays later and later as you sip an extra cup of coffee. Then, your work hours extend later into the evenings, which causes you to stay up later at night, as well.

Or you might find that you easily get off track or distracted while working. Projects that used to take 20 minutes are suddenly lasting 2 hours.

That’s why it’s important to have a clear schedule. Establish a time to begin and end work. Try to stick to it as much as you can.

2. Establish a Dedicated Workspace

You might be tempted to work in bed. After all, it’s likely the most comfortable space in the house.

But when you associate your bed with work, it can interfere with your sleep. And trouble sleeping will affect your performance the following day. Most sleep experts recommend reserving your bed for sleep and sexual activity.

So even though your bed might feel like a comfortable spot, create a workspace somewhere else. The kitchen table or a desk in the corner of the living room might be better alternatives to your bedroom.

3. Work in Small Blocks of Time

Blocking out small amounts of time—and planning what you’ll do during that timeframe—can make big tasks feel more manageable.

You might find you have more motivation when telling yourself that you just need to complete one invoice in the next 30 minutes, rather than telling yourself that you have 50 invoices to create by lunchtime.

Scheduling your time will also hold you more accountable. You’ll be less likely to get lost on social media when you know you only have 15 minutes to complete a task. And you’ll be less likely to procrastinate when you’ve given yourself a tight deadline.

4. Limit Distractions and Interruptions

You might find that you struggle to get back on task each time you’re interrupted. You can stay motivated by limiting the distractions and interruptions you experience.

This may mean muting your phone notifications and only checking your email once an hour. Or placing your phone on “Do Not Disturb” until you complete a specific task.

If you’re working from home with kids, keep them occupied to reduce how often they interrupt you. Give them tasks to do and plan to check on them at a certain time.

Establish some ground rules about what constitutes a legitimate reason for them interrupting you while working. Then, you can reward them for playing well on their own with a chance to do something extra fun when you’re finished working.

5. Practice the “10-Minute Rule”

It can be hard to convince yourself to start working on a task you really don’t want to do. Whether you know it’s going to be boring, frustrating, or just really challenging, convincing yourself to get started is tough.

One of the best ways to get moving on something you don’t want to do is by using the “10-minute rule.” Tell yourself that you only have to work on something for 10 minutes. Then, after the 10-minute mark, you can take a break if you want.

More times than not, you’ll likely find that at the 10-minute mark you’ll choose to keep going. Usually, getting started is the toughest part. But once you do, it’s easy to keep the momentum going.

6. Reward Yourself

You might find you work best when you know there’s a little reward waiting for you. For example, tell yourself you can watch your favorite show if you get your work done by 6 p.m. Or tell yourself you can have a cup of your favorite tea as soon as you finish this report.

A little incentive can often go a long way toward helping you get work done efficiently. And it’ll help you see what you’re capable of accomplishing.

7. Challenge Yourself

Sometimes, a little challenge can help get you moving, too. For example, you might try to write a certain amount of words in 30 minutes. Once you see how many words you write in 30 minutes, you might try beating that during the next 30-minute time slot.

You might also make some discoveries about yourself. Maybe you type faster when you’re sitting at the kitchen table, or perhaps you have better focus right after lunch. Learning these things about yourself might help you set up your day for success.

Being more aware of your time helps you use it wisely. And challenging yourself in some way might provide the extra incentive you need.

8. Practice Good Self-Care

You’ll never be at your best if you’re exhausted and running on caffeine and sugar only. You need a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and good self-care strategies to perform at your peak.

But meeting your physical, social, and emotional needs right now will be a bit more challenging than usual. Eating a healthy diet might not be as easy when you’re limiting your trips to the grocery store. And video chatting with friends isn’t the same as meeting in person.

So take a step back every once in a while and ask yourself what else you can do to better take care of yourself. As your stress level increases, your self-care should increase right alongside it.

9. Experiment With Different Strategies

There are plenty of online tips about how to work well from home. But everyone is different. And what works for one person might not work well for another.

So it’s important to experiment with different strategies to discover what works well for you. You might find you feel more motivated in the evenings, or you might have more energy after a morning workout.

10. Practice Regulating Your Emotions

Research shows we tend to put off tasks that stir up uncomfortable emotions. If you’re anxious about a medical appointment, you might not be motivated to call the doctor. Or, if you’re afraid studying will bring frustration, you might find yourself binge-watching Netflix instead.

In these cases, the lack of motivation stems from your desire to avoid discomfort. And when you’re working from home, there are always plenty of opportunities to engage in something more fun than the work you’re supposed to be doing.

So consider what emotion(s) you’re trying to avoid feeling. Acknowledging the emotion might make it feel less scary. Remind yourself that you can handle feeling uncomfortable.

Additionally, remind yourself of how good you’ll feel when you get the project done, as opposed to how bad you’ll feel if you don’t do the work. This might remind you to take action regardless of whether you feel like it.

What This Means For You

Working from home can be challenging in the best of circumstances. But if you find yourself working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, the added stress of the situation will make it harder than usual to stay motivated.

Be willing to cut yourself a little slack if your productivity isn’t on par. Rather than beat yourself up for not being motivated enough, you might find a little self-compassion goes a long way toward helping you feel your best.

Jacobs Gardner has the products you need to be productive whether you are working from home or in the office. Contact us for fast, free delivery on over 50,000 products today. 1 (800) 638-0983 or shop www.jacobsgardner.com

Jacobs Gardner

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10 Tips for Returning to the Workplace Safely

10 Tips for Returning to the Workplace Safely
10 Tips for Returning to the Workplace Safely

With the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, 2021 is opening the door for many businesses to consider a partial or full return of employees to the workplace. While small and medium-sized business owners feel a sense of urgency to return to business as usual, there are facts to consider about where we are now in the pandemic and practices that can help to ensure the safety of everyone in your workplace.

By March 15, more than 38 million Americans had been fully vaccinated, or 11.5% percent of the country’s population. The Biden administration has announced goals to get all Americans eligible for vaccinations by May 1 and to get the nation “closer to normal” by July 4. While vaccinations have helped to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and many of those at high risk for serious health consequences have been vaccinated, 88.5% of the country is still waiting (or worried about taking the vaccines). There is still much to be done before we reach herd immunity, but progress is happening quickly.

So where do we stand now in terms of what we should and should not do in our workplaces? The CDC recently advised that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or physically distancing. They may also gather with a small group, such as coworkers, even if that group has not been vaccinated. Those who haven’t been vaccinated are advised to continue to minimize the number of people they are in physical contact with and to wear masks in public.

If your business is like most others, most of your employees, customers, and visitors have not yet been vaccinated. With this in mind, here are some key safety considerations for gradually returning employees and visitors to your workplace:

1. Promote vaccinations: Over the next few weeks, the Biden Administration will deliver vaccines directly to up to 700 community health centers and will double the number of pharmacies and community vaccination centers operating. Simply communicating the availability of vaccines in your local area and the eligibility criteria as they are announced will maximize the number of employees who can gather without masks or physically distancing.

2. Require face masks for all employees and visitors, including those who are vaccinated, since the findings on whether vaccinated people can transmit the virus are still unclear. Keep spare face masks on hand and educate employees on the proper way to wear and handle masks. Noses must be covered!

3. Stagger a return to work: Some of your employees have been vaccinated. Others can only work effectively in the workplace. Bring these two groups back to work first, then stagger the rest according to vaccinations and need to be in the workplace in order to execute their roles. If an employee lives in an at-risk community or immune-compromised household, extend their ability to work from home.

4. Have a pre-screening policy: If you can prevent sick employees from putting others at risk, you are taking the most important step in ensuring a safe workplace. Consider having someone check temperatures at the door and turning away employees running a fever. Ask all employees to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms including body aches, a fever over 100 degrees, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell.

5. Seek emergency medical attention for anyone in your workplace exhibiting sudden signs of trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake or stay awake; or pale gray or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

6. Routinely sanitize and disinfect the workplace, carefully following these CDC guidelines for the materials to use, surfaces to clean, and frequency of cleaning.

7. Adjust your floor plan to reduce congestion and the potential for face-to-face contact as people pass one another. Consider using tape to mark areas where people can walk to ensure that there are six feet of width between people as they pass one another, especially in intersections. If there are areas where congestion or face-to-face contact is almost impossible to avoid, use partitions to reduce the potential for viral transmission.

8. Promote physical distancing by not holding meetings in closed rooms, if possible. Use open spaces instead. If this isn’t possible, use the largest possible rooms for in-person meetings and limit the number of attendees to only those that must be present. Consider holding virtual meetings or hybrid virtual/present meetings.

9. Post signage reminding workers of proper protocols including individual mask-wearing, handwashing, avoiding handshaking, not sharing objects, and other hygienic practices.

10. Be ready to adjust your protocols and plans as the situation changes. While it is highly likely the pandemic will continue to subside as more people are vaccinated, there is a possibility that COVID-19 variants could complicate the situation. Be prepared to reverse course and let your workers return to remote work temporarily, as necessary.

There is no doubt the impact of COVID-19 has been greatest for smaller businesses. As a small-to-midsize business, you have fewer resources to deal with an unexpected crisis. These ten guidelines can be implemented by businesses of all sizes. When put into place as a matter of policy, they should be all you need to gradually and safely return employees to your workplace.

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5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity

5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity
5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity

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 Jacobs Gardner Office Supply.
Call to Order – (800) 638-0983 or Shop Online: www.jacobsgardner.com

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4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From Home Lunch Break

4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From Home Lunch Break
4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From

If Wellness in 2021 is your goal, we’ve got 4 great Work Day Wellness Activities for you, even if you are working from home.

Most of the work from home guides you may have read focus on productivity, with tips about how to concentrate on work and better utilize tech, such as external monitors or laptop docking stations. But productivity is just one half of the recipe for WFH success.

Wellness is also a crucial ingredient. After all, it’s not easy to perform at your best if you’re feeling unhealthy or stressed-out. There are some easy wellness activities that you can take advantage of during your lunch break to stay active and engaged.

Activity #1: Eat Lunch Somewhere Other Than Where You Work

When you work from home, time can seem very fluid, with no clear boundaries between work and leisure periods. Similarly, the lines between “workspace” and “leisure space” can become blurred.

But you still need clear differentiation as well as regular breaks to avoid long, uninterrupted periods of staring at a screen in the same spot, which can quickly put you into a lull. In other words: Don’t eat lunch in your WFH workspace, or deprioritize doing so just because you feel like you’re “in the zone.”

A survey from hygiene and health company Tork found that employees who regularly took lunch breaks felt more engaged on the job than those who did not. It might seem counterintuitive that people who work fewer hours overall, and do so more sporadically with interspersed breaks, are more productive than ones who just power through all day at their desk, but it makes sense in a way:

Leaving your workspace for a kitchen or patio table lets you switch contexts and can help recharge your mental energy.

It also spares you from literal multitasking – for example, trying to eat and respond to emails simultaneously – that taxes the brain and decreases the quality of any attempted work.

By really focusing on your lunch, within a non-workspace, you can also avoid the tendency to overeat, which is a common effect of distracted eating.

Activity #2: Take a Walk or Do Other Exercise During Your Break

Going for a walk offers multiple benefits to productivity, health, and wellness.

First, like eating lunch somewhere else, it provides a clear break from sitting in front of your computer. That’s important for resetting your mind. Walking helps sharpen the senses and improve key brain functions for memory, learning, and cognition.

Second, if you can walk outside, you can give your immune system a boost. Georgetown University researchers once found that sunlight boosts T-cell activity.

Third, it’s good for keeping up with a formal health and wellness program or regimen, if you follow one. Specific requirements of these programs – such as getting in a sufficient number of steps each day or achieving a certain heart rate – can be more easily met with some lunchtime physical activity.

If walking isn’t your favorite thing, you can still do some other beneficial exercises with minimal setup:

Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and pushups require nothing but a little space and can pay dividends right away in how physically and mentally alert you feel.

Consider getting a pair of dumbbells and a yoga mat to add more challenge and create a more comfortable surface, respectively.

Track your time so that the exercise routine doesn’t run too long or make it more difficult to fulfill your work-related commitments.

Activity #3: Eat a Prepared Meal

Activity 3 Eat a Prepared Meal

Switching from a commute-based job to working remotely can dramatically change your eating habits, and not necessarily for the better. Since snacks might be readily available from your WFH workspace, it can be easy to eat junk food throughout the day. On top of the risks already present from sitting for too long (like higher blood pressure), there are possible downsides for your health.

Planning your meals is one way to avoid falling into this trap of impulsive and stress-induced snacking (plus, it’s good dietary advice in general). Enjoy a meal that was prepped in advance, like you might have done before if you packed your own lunch for the office. This helps instill structure in your workday, too, helping avoid the boundary-less work-life muddle discussed earlier.

Consistent hydration is also important, so keep a water bottle nearby as well as grab your favorite drink of choice at the beginning of each workday. Making these kinds of preparations benefits your health as well as your productivity, since they reduce the time you spend on tasks such as getting up from your desk to get a drink.

That said, do take breaks as needed, perhaps on a schedule aligned with a time management technique like the Pomodoro Technique. This particular technique entails intentionally breaking the workday down into 25-minute increments, with frequent 5-minute breaks and less frequent 15- to 30-minute ones.

Activity #4: Listen to Music or Look at Art

Every lunch break is an opportunity to do something positive for your health and wellness – and that “something” doesn’t have to be physically strenuous.

If you don’t listen to music while working (maybe because it’s disruptive to others at home, or has to be paused/stopped frequently for meetings), try doing so during a break to give yourself a boost of endorphins that elevate your mood. Music may be good for productivity because of its mood-enhancing effects. A study of software engineers found that programmers who listened to music while working felt better and produced higher-quality code.

Likewise, looking at art or – better yet – creating it is a proven health and wellness activity. Even a 10-minute art break with just a pencil and some paper can get the creative juices flowing, with a spillover effect on your productivity and your overall wellbeing.

Check out all our Work From Home Products for Improved Productivity and Comfort at www.jacobsgardner.com

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Scientists Agree: The Airborne Transmission of COVID19 is a Real Risk

Scientists Agree: The Airborne Transmission of COVID19 is a Real Risk
Scientists Agree

Recent news on COVID-19 airborne threat

Until now, there have been conflicting messages related to the risk of the airborne transmission of COVID-19. A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries have published their open letter to global health community to present the evidence.

In their letter, the highly qualified group state:

Multiple studies “have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdoplets small enough to remain aloft in the air”.

These microdroplets “pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond [3 to 6 feet] from an infected individual”.

“we are advocating for the use of preventive measures to mitigate this route of airborne transmission.”

Read the full text of the letter: It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19

What we know about COVID-19

As discussed above, the highly qualified group of 239 scientists highlight in their open letter that multiple studies:

“have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdoplets small enough to remain aloft in the air”

 

Surfaces and COVID-19

While it’s believed that COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person contact, officials haven’t ruled out surface contact as a potential source of contagion. It’s just too early to tell.

In fact, recent tests on the coronavirus COVID-19 showed it can stay active on various surfaces. Researchers found viable coronavirus samples could live for up to:

24 hours on cardboard

four hours on copper surfaces

two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

During tests, the researchers also found the coronavirus could be detected in the air up to three hours after emission, making it vital that people clean the air.

The importance of cleaning

While the majority of COVID-19 cases are derived from person-to-person contact, we can’t overemphasize the importance of proper room cleaning.

So, while many people have stressing surface and hand cleaning, the addition of cleaning the air will undoubtedly help manage enclosed spaces. AeraMax Professional’s four-stage system, with True HEPA filtration, can effectively and efficiently build on the hand and surface cleaning routines.

 

Where AeraMax Professional can help

We do know that AeraMax Professional air purifiers can mitigate additional pathogens in the air where people are infected, removing pollutants from air and reducing risks for people already infected.

AeraMax Professional air purifiers:

Are certified to be effective in reducing airborne concentrations of influenza A (H1N1) aerosol in a test chamber, reaching 99.9% airborne virus reduction within the first 35 minutes of operation.

Are certified to capture 99.97% of pollutants at 0.3 microns.

Can capture more than 97.8% of pollutants at 0.1-0.15 microns, via IBR Laboratories test data.

 

What’s more, an AeraMax Professional III with PureView Technology can sense when airborne contamination is present in a room, automatically adjusting cleaning to remove the offending particles from the air. This is ideal for places like assisted living facilities, where residents already have compromised immune and respiratory systems.

AeraMax Professional Air Purifiers are available at Jacobs Gardner Supply Co. www.jacobsgardner.com

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How to Minimize the Threat of COVID-19 Spread in Your Workplace

How to Minimize the Threat of COVID-19 Spread in Your Workplace
healthy workplace

This month’s blog post comes to us from our friends at ECI. We found their suggestions for a safe and healthy workplace very helpful, and believe you will too.

As of September 14, 2020, there have been 6.7 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and nearly 200,000 deaths. A recent poll shows that 54% of U.S. employees say they are worried about exposure to the virus at their job. But, the good news is that 71% of employees have confidence their employers can manage workplace environments safely. Fortunately, there are several ways to minimize the threat of spread in your workplace.

1. Keep employees, customers, and visitors informed

Stay in constant communication with your employees, customers, and visitors to inform them about your risk mitigation plans. Use snail mail, email, loudspeaker messaging, and signage to provide information about these measures and enforce mask-wearing, frequent hand washing, and proper 6-feet distancing. Ensure that employees understand the importance of mask-wearing; masks help to prevent a person who is sick from spreading the virus to others by keeping respiratory droplets contained and from reaching other people. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Provide training for putting on and taking off masks properly, and even for fully washing hands, caution employees against touching their faces or their masks, and install hand sanitizer stations to further minimize the risk of spread through touching objects. You should also keep a supply of either surgical or N-95 masks if employees’ mask straps break.

Continually keep employees apprised of all new developments. Inform them that risk assessments are taking place, and instruct on what they should do if they are feeling symptoms or if they notice other employees that are exhibiting symptoms.

Disseminate your sick policy digitally and in paper form concerning a possible outbreak to your employees, along with resources from the CDC for learning more about what they can do to protect themselves (see step 3 below).

2. Have a work-from-home Plan B in case of a local outbreak

Hot spots continue to pop up all over the country, and your region may be affected sooner or later.

Should this occur in your area, you’ll need a contingency plan allowing as many workers as possible to work from home. Make sure there are enough laptops, VPN devices, printers, and any other role-specific technologies (such as phone systems for receptionists and customer support staff) to support work for all of your units that must remain operational. Account for your “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy and the handling of sensitive data, so that an outbreak doesn’t lead to a data security disaster.

3. Mandate that symptomatic employees stay home

Once employees show symptoms of fever or acute respiratory illness, the CDC recommends that they should know your company wants them to stay home until they are free of symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever and symptom-reducing medicines.

If an employee presents symptoms at work, such as shortness of breath, nasal drip, muscle aches, chills, sore throat, or coughing, they should be separated and sent home immediately.

If an employee is not sick or showing symptoms, but has a family member at home diagnosed with COVID-19, notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for conducting a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Finally, if an employee tests positive, employers should inform employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace while maintaining the confidentiality required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance on conducting a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

4. Keep the facilities clean

The CDC recommends routine cleaning of all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace. If your cleaning staff cleans bathrooms and common areas, but workers maintain their workstations, communicate that they should sanitize their areas (including doorknobs, keyboards, and desks) frequently, and provide disposable wipes for the purpose. The CDC offers a comprehensive set of instructions for cleaning and disinfecting your facility.

5. Avoid workers coming in for financial reasons

Given many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, a scenario to avoid is sick workers evading testing or coming in for fear of not getting paid. Just one employee making an ill-advised decision could be catastrophic for other employees and the organization. Employers are not legally obligated to pay self-isolating workers who may not be sick or, in some cases, sick. But it makes sense to reward conscientious hourly employees by offering to keep their paychecks coming if they need to take time off because of illness or exposure.

Places of employment, as well as schools, have a significant role to play in the prevention of COVID-19 spread. Following these measures is the social (and in some cases, legal) obligation of every employer until the end of the pandemic.

Jacobs Gardner Office Products offers a large selection of PPE and cleaning products to keep your office safe and healthy.

Content comes from them: https://www.ecisolutions.com/blog/how-to-minimize-the-threat-of-covid-19-spread-in-your-workplace

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Organizing Everything With Lists

Organizing Everything With Lists

How lists make productivity skyrocket.

Why do lists seem to magically help get everything in order? According to The Guardian, people perform better when they have written down what they need to do.

It’s usually easier to remember what you need to get done at work when you write (or type) it out – even if you’re not actively looking at it. That concept can apply to nearly every facet of your life. Here are some tips to make the simple list, an effective professional productivity tool for you.

 

Organizing-Everything
Master List

Your master list should be a broad brain dump of short and long term goals you want to accomplish in your professional life. Don’t over-complicate this list. It can be messy and updated whenever you want.

Weekly List

This is where you start to break down your to-do’s into more manageable chunks. First, collect all the items you want to achieve this week. Include small and big accomplishments like “respond to emails” or “complete part 1 of X project.”

Daily List

Now you’re ready to make a daily list. This list should be very specific and can be broken down chronologically or you can assign priority to each item. Start with higher priority projects and leave the smaller stuff for later in the day. If you don’t get to the lower priority items, just be sure to add them to tomorrow’s daily list.

Go Digital

Going old school and writing down your lists on a piece of paper is effective (and feels great when you get to check them off). But papers often get lost in the busy shuffle. Consider using a digital tool to keep track of your short and long-term goals. Many phones already have a list app built–in – and you can refer to them any time!

Include Yourself

Lastly, make sure you schedule some time for YOU. Ideas include: coffee breaks, a 15-minute walk, or stretch, and video chats with your career mentor.

Jacobs Gardner has a huge selection of List Trackers and Notebooks. Visit us at www.jacobsgardner.com or call 1-800-638-0983. We’re happy to help!

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Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home

Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home
Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home

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.

CDC

How to clean and disinfect

Clean
Clean

  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.

Disinfect
Disinfect

  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.

Soft surfaces

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.

Electronics

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.

Laundry

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
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
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.

Food

  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.

Trash
Trash

  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.

Jacobs Gardner is here to provide you with all the cleaning and disinfectant supplies you need to stay healthy. Call us today for fast, free delivery.

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5 Ways to Maintain Sustainability Indoors

5 Ways to Maintain Sustainability Indoors
5 Ways to Maintain Sustainability Indoors

The coronavirus epidemic has impacted the entire world, with many people working from home and being told to leave the house as little as possible. In times where we must stay at home as much as we can, it can be tough to remember that the world is also facing an environmental crisis. Fortunately, there are opportunities to help the environment, even while working from home and staying indoors. Here are five considerations from our friends at Double A Paper to be sustainable indoors.

Limiting Purchases

Learning to live a more minimalist lifestyle can help you save money and aid the environment. Shopping online and placing orders for new products may be fun, and at times it can even be necessary, but limiting your purchases will cut down on the amount of money you spend while also cutting down on the amount of fuel used for shipping and the amount of materials used for production. It can help you learn to better appreciate things you have at home as well. Take time to consider what you truly need. If you do require something, there may be ways to make it or obtain it sustainably. Be mindful of the buyerarchy of needs before you place an order.

Limiting Energy Usage

You’re at home, so of course you’ll need to use your computer to work. But how much energy do you require on any given day? Make sure the lights around your house are off unless they’re needed, and as tempting as it may be, don’t use things like a TV for background noise while you work. The amount of energy you conserve will be noticeable, and you’ll appreciate it when your next utility bill comes in. The extra time you save without having a commute could also be dedicated to conserving energy. It can be tough, but with the right effort, you can make hand washing your dishes more efficient than running your dishwasher.

Consolidate Errands to Minimize Need to Leave Your House

There are times where you’ll have to leave your house – such as obtaining groceries. If this is the case, keep a list of things you need to leave the house for (medicine, food, other necessities, etc.). Make a plan to buy only essential items and minimize the amount of time you spend at each location and travelling between them. This will help to keep you safe and reduce the amount of fuel consumed for travel.

Regulate Your Home Temperature Conservatively

As the temperatures outside increase and summer approaches, you may be tempted to stay cool by using air conditioning to a high degree. Consider the alternative ways to keep your home cool, such as sunlight-blocking curtains, in order to save energy while keeping your home cool. Remember, you can also open your window to let in some fresh air and listen to the sounds of the outside world.

Stay Informed and Do Research

New methods of being environmentally conscious are being discovered all the time, and every day, people are coming up with inventive and unique ways to be sustainable and protect the environment. In your downtime, do research into new ideas and developments around sustainability, and what you can do from home. For more ideas on practicing sustainability, by yourself, in your home office, or with your family, subscribe to our blog and get more updates and fresh content!

 

Stay Informed and Do Research

 

People all across the world need to work together to make a major difference, both for our own health and for the Earth. There are times where that can be a challenge, but we must remember that our planet should always be a priority.

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