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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The Art of Writing

The Art of Writing

Writing is not a lost art. In fact, it’s becoming more artful.

Many find it surprising that even in the digital age, people are still writing by hand.

This is no surprise to our partner, Pilot Pen. They’ve discovered the many benefits of handwriting, and explain that the brain fires in a fundamentally different way when you are handwriting versus keyboarding.

• Enhanced Memory

The benefits of hand writing have been observed and measured in the classroom. Recent studies of learning and memory in college students concluded that in-class note takers who used a laptop retained significantly less information compared to those using pen and paper. The students who handwrote their notes had to process and reframe the information, actively engaging more areas of the brain. This process led to deeper comprehension and greater retention of the information versus the verbatim transcription the students employed when using a laptop.

• Enhanced Creativity

Handwriting can also have an important effect on our creative processes and abilities. Creative ideas need time to take shape. The multiple strokes required to form each letter, paired with the more complex brain engagement, appear to give the brain valuable extra time to process and create.

• Enhanced Sense of Well-being

The modern world is fast-paced and stressful, and we are always connected by our digital devices. This has resulted in a sense of digital overload. Many have begun to embrace the idea of ‘digital detox’ – refraining from using electronic devices and embracing physical interaction and analogue communication. Journaling and expressive writing, whereby a person writes down their thoughts, feelings, aspirations and details of their emotional state, have been linked to reduced stress, enhanced mood and even faster healing when done regularly.

There has also been a resurgence in hand lettering and calligraphy. The unhurried process of creating hand-drawn typography causes the brain to work in a complex manner, combining writing and illustration and tapping into both sides of our brain. The results for the writer include beautifully drawn letters, a sense of accomplishment and, often reduced perceived stress levels. Decreasing stress has been shown to increase serotonin, the body’s natural mood-enhancing chemical. With these benefits in mind, it seems clear why this form of writing is core to the digital detox trend.

Handwritten is best!

Personally, I love getting a hand written note in the mail. It’s the very first thing I open. I’ve found when leaving a digital note on a co-workers desk, a handwritten note on top it always gets more attention.

Let us know what you think, and you could WIN a collection of Pilot Pen products for yourself!

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Pro Tips for Stamping Excellence

Pro Tips for Stamping Excellence
Stamping Technique for Best Results

Are you a Faded Farrahor a Blotty Bettywhen using a pre-inked or self-inking stamp? Well no more! With these surefire stamping tips, your stamping frustrations will be a thing of the past!

Blog-stamp

ALL STAMPS
Always stamp onto a hard, solid surface
      Stamping onto a stack of papers, for example, will result in uneven impressions

Always stamp straight down to avoid overprint (ink smudges where there should be none)
      Overprint is often a result of rocking the stamp left to right or top to bottom while stamping

Pre-inked Stamps

The more pressure used to make the impression, the darker and more distorted the impression
      It does not take much pressure to leave an impression

Self-Inking Stamps 
The more pressure applied, the more ink transferred from stamp to paper
      No matter how hard you stamp, the impression made will not be 100% solid with ink

 

Creating Stamps with Lines

Always use a minimum line weight of 1pt

      Line Weight point size and Text point size are not the same thing

      Double check line(s) in uploaded artwork have a minimum line weight of 1 point
      When in doubt of line weight, go thicker, not thinner
      Underlines can be used to create lines, but their point size should be minimum 6 sizes greater than the text size

 

So now that you have a little swagger in your stampmanship – stamp away with confidence!

Remember, we’re here to help you with all of your custom stamp, nameplate, name badge, signage and business stationery needs. Just give us a call or shoot us an email!

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