(BPT) - It’s fair to call Charger a bull in a china shop. Well, at least a pit bull. The charming nine-year-old has a full-time job in the marketing department at dinnerware giant Replacements, Ltd.
“Charger’s been coming to Replacements since I rescued him from the side of a road as a puppy, so he’s really grown up here,” says Kevin Boyd. “Coming to work is great for Charger because he’s able to engage with people and other dogs so it’s really helped him become more sociable; he has so many friends who give him treats or want to take him for walks. Having him here helps me relax because I know he’s not home alone and really creates special moments in the day, like having him sit in my lap while I’m working.”
Charger is among dozens of pets you’ll find at Replacements. A walk through the warehouse and you’ll see dogs riding on carts pushed by their owners or perhaps encounter a cat or two. An opossum riding high on the shoulder of her human friend even graced the company's retail store with a visit.
Replacements implemented its pet-friendly policy more than 20 years ago, after Founder and CEO Bob Page received a dog for his birthday and couldn't bear to leave him home alone. Fast-forward two decades, and national and international media have repeatedly recognized Replacements as one of the top pet-friendly businesses in the country. The company invites all employees and customers to bring their pets to work or shop; in fact, Replacements’ front doors read, "All Well-Behaved Pets Welcome."
Gaining scientific support
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University spent a week at Replacements, focusing specifically on the impact of dogs in the workplace. The VCU team monitored stress levels among three test groups: those who brought their dogs to work every day, dog owners who left their pets at home, and those who do not own any pets.
"We were surprised to find that stress actually decreased throughout the day among those who brought their dogs to work, while stress levels significantly increased for those who left their dogs at home," says principal researcher Dr. Randy Barker. "About half of those who bring their dogs to work said their productivity increased with their dog present. Some employees even commented that the presence of pets increases cooperation and builds relationships among coworkers.”
Barker also notes employees overall had higher job satisfaction than industry norms. He believes establishing pet-friendly policies could be a great benefit that doesn't hamper a company's bottom line. "I think leadership in many organizations may be hesitant to allow animals in the workplace, but our study indicates pet presence may serve as a low-cost wellness intervention that may enhance organizational satisfaction and perceptions of support."
Getting started as a pet-friendly workplace
Replacements hears from large and small companies across the country wanting to start similar practices and policies. Their best advice? Start small.
“Consider having a pilot day to gauge how a pet presence works for your organization,” says Public Relations Manager Lisa Conklin. "You might try allowing pets for a half day or a Friday to determine the best fit for your employees and your business. Being pet-friendly is truly a huge part of our corporate culture — so many of our employees tell us it’s one of the best benefits the company offers."
Replacements' formal pet policy requires all animals must be current on vaccinations, polite to people and other pets, and stay on a leash near their owners unless contained in an office or cubicle space. Owners are also required to clean up after any accidents.
Conklin adds pet owners must be sensitive to the fact some people have allergies or may be fearful of animals. Likewise, other employees aren't allowed to aggravate or intimidate pets. "We've seen many instances where employees actually got to know each other better through their pets. Seriously, it's hard not to smile when you're greeted by a wagging tail and friendly face!"
(BPT) - Picture this: After months of networking and polishing your resume, you managed to make the necessary connections, get in front of the right people and land an interview.
You deserve to be here. After all, you have an impressive background, great experience, fantastic references and are confident you can exceed the requirements of the job. The interview is really just a formality.
For many, the hardest part of the job hunt is simply getting an interview. However, many top candidates get passed over and are surprised when they are not offered a job. The reason for this is they often spend a lot of time practicing how to answer questions and explaining their qualifications, but forget about the soft skills.
A successful interview is about making the right impression, and these five soft skills are essential to making the impression that leads to a job offer.
1. A memorable appearance. We all know you need to dress your best before going into an interview, but you should go the extra mile to ensure the person you meet with remembers you. In addition to looking clean, tidy and professional, dress in a way that makes you feel confident and will make others notice.
2. Be ready to floss on the go. If someone notices something in your teeth, a piece of spinach or fleck of cereal, they won’t be able to see anything else. Before any interview, be sure to have a pack of Plackers Flossers with you. Made with strong floss that can quickly remove any gunk stuck in your teeth, these convenient one-handed flossers also double as a toothpick. Don’t leave home without them!
3. Exude confidence. Beyond just making you look good, the big reason behind dressing well and double checking that your teeth are clean and free of gunk is because this will give you confidence. Hiring managers can tell the difference between someone who is confident and someone who is not. Needless to say, they’re more impressed by confidence! So even if you’re nervous, dress up, keep clean, give a firm handshake and—if you have to—fake it until you make it!
4. Keep it positive. How you answer questions is often just as important as the answers you give. Always frame what you say in a positive note. In describing difficult managers or poor work conditions at other companies, frame it as a challenge you were happy to take on, an opportunity to learn and grow. Most importantly, remember to smile!
5. Eat well. You might be nervous and lose your appetite, but be sure you eat well the night before and the morning of the interview. Whole grains and foods loaded with fatty acids, such as salmon, eggs and kale, can help you feel great and relaxed for the interview. Just remember to have a few Plackers Flossers on hand so that energizing meal doesn’t become an unsightly mess in your mouth!
(BPT) - Did you know that in an average week, 75 percent of Americans skip doing something for themselves because they didn’t adequately plan or allow enough time for it? Does looking at your to-do list feel so daunting that it discourages you from making any progress at all?
You’re not alone. A new Post-it Brand productivity study found that more than 1 in 4 Americans feel completing everything in their weekly to-do list is harder than running a marathon.
Juggling multiple tasks at one time, along with a never-ending to-do list, is a common challenge for everyone — even those at the top of their game. Two professionals in the culinary and fitness industries share some of their tips to help you take control of your to-do list and increase your productivity.
The ‘write’ way
You’re 42 percent more likely to get something done if you write it down, according to research from the Dominican University of California. Creating a to-do list is an efficient way to visualize and prioritize your tasks, both short-term and long-term. Celebrity chef Russell Jackson is always looking for ways to be more productive and stay inspired. “Writing items down helps me feel that I’ve taken the first step in conquering the task,” he says. “I like to think of lists as a roadmap to help me visualize what I need to achieve.” Post-it Super Sticky Notes, 4 inches x 6 inches, are a perfect tool for jotting down tasks, goals and to-dos, and when paired with flags and tabs, it’s easy to keep important information at your fingertips, stay organized and take your to-do list wherever you go!
Break it down
Too often people attempt to improve their productivity by tackling large projects in a single session. The results may be disappointing and, in many cases, the project is left unfinished. Instead of getting bogged down in the entire scope of a project, take time to break down to-dos into digestible actions, and goals into specific, manageable categories and tasks. This allows you to focus on handling each of these smaller objectives so you can transition some goals from to-do to done.
Toss your tech
“Technology isn’t always the answer to checking things off your to-do list,” says Jackson, adding that even a tech lover such as himself needs a tactile method to spark creativity. Without a screen limiting you to seeing only the small tasks at hand, take advantage of a large surface and use Easel Pads to move big ideas around so you can see everything you are trying to accomplish. Seeing how fluid tasks can be can relieve some stress.
Clear your mind
If you find your current strategy isn’t working, don’t be afraid to switch it up. Go for a walk or clear your head by taking 15 minutes to do something you enjoy. For world-renowned fitness artist and celebrity trainer Nicole Winhoffer, even a 10-minute jog can help bring fresh ideas. She uses Post-it List Notes to write down her post-workout inspirational thoughts. “When you come back to your task after that quick sweat session, write down the first things that come to mind — those can spark ideas that you might never have thought of.”
Post-it Brand created a quiz to help you learn more about your list-making style and to find solutions and tools to help you be productive, tackle your to-do lists and achieve your goals. Visit www.post-it.com/quiz to take the short quiz and find solutions tailored for you to boost your productivity.
Survey details: The Post-it Brand Productivity Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,021 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between March 30 and April 5, 2017, using an email invitation and an online survey.
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