Whether you embrace the morning or muddle through, there’s little doubt that those early moments set the stage for the day ahead. Give yourself the opportunity to focus on what matters most each day with these tips to simplify your mornings.
Simplify Your Morning Routine to Get More Out of Your Day
(Family Features) Some people wake up each morning refreshed, bright-eyed and ready to take on the day. Others slap the snooze button repeatedly and drag themselves begrudgingly from a cocoon of blankets. Whether you embrace the morning or muddle through, there’s little doubt that those early moments set the stage for the day ahead.
Give yourself the opportunity to focus on what matters most each day with these tips to simplify your mornings.
Prepare the night before. Many of your morning tasks will flow more smoothly if you take time to plan the night before. Consider what you’ll wear and ensure your outfit is clean and ready for the next day. If you brought work home, collect everything back into your bag or briefcase so nothing gets left behind in the morning rush.
Stick to a routine. Especially when you’re groggy, it can be easy to miss important steps. There’s no right or wrong way to go about your routine, but make it consistent. If you follow the same general pattern every day, habits will form so you can cross each task off your list in order.
Fuel up naturally. Busy mornings make it tempting to skip a morning meal, but a nutritious breakfast can help you reach optimal physical and mental function. When pouring your morning cup of coffee, consider non-dairy creamers. Simple, easy-to-pronounce ingredients like almond milk, coconut cream and real vanilla go into natural bliss Half and Half, providing an innovative, plant-based twist on the classic coffee creamer. Additionally, Oat Milk creamer is another non-dairy option that can replenish your body for the day ahead. Each flavor is crafted to offer simplicity and bliss in your morning routine.
Build in time for exercise. Get moving with some light exercise to get your blood pumping and metabolism revved up. Exercise need not be strenuous or lengthy. Even a half hour of yoga or brisk walking can jumpstart your system. Remember part of exercising is the nourishment that takes place before and after to refuel.
Unplug at breakfast. Once you find the discipline to regularly enjoy your breakfast at home, take the enjoyment one-step further by declaring the breakfast table an unplugged zone. Consider stirring an option like natural bliss Toasted Coconut creamer into your coffee, which offers a flavor that can transport you to an island oasis. Use the time to enjoy a moment for yourself or mentally prepare for the day ahead without the interruption of electronic pings.
Make your commute count. A lengthy commute can make a long day seem even longer, but those moments don’t have to be wasted. Use this time to find your workplace state of mind or review tasks and meetings to prioritize your plan of attack once you reach your desk. You might even use this time to give a presentation one last practice run.
Transform your mornings and find the full creamer portfolio at Coffeemate.com.
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During the summer months especially, many employers plan events and switch up work schedules to give their team members a break to enjoy some fun in the sun. Extra days off, summer hours and company picnics are just a few of the ways employers create an enjoyable environment for their employees. One of the latest benefits to come to the corporate world is incorporating a dog-friendly atmosphere. Keeping these five tips in mind when bringing your furry friend to work can help ensure a fun and safe time for all.
5 Tips for Bringing Your Pet to Work this Summer
(Family Features) During the summer months, many employers plan events and switch up work schedules to give their team members a break to enjoy some fun in the sun. Extra days off, summer hours and company picnics are just a few of the ways employers create an enjoyable environment for their employees.
In a competitive talent market, employers are typically looking for new ways to provide the latest and greatest in employee benefits, eager to be the best place to work. One of the latest benefits to come to the corporate world is incorporating a dog-friendly atmosphere. In fact, a survey from Mars Petcare found that 87 percent of employers in the United States believe that being dog-friendly helps them retain and attract more talent.
“Having pets in the workplace can boost morale, increase physical activity and even improve productivity,” said Cheryl DeSantis, vice president of people and organization at Mars Petcare. “Our survey findings also discovered that nearly half of pet parents are concerned their pets are lonely while they are at work, and nearly 40 percent worry their dogs need to be walked and are either hungry or thirsty while they’re home alone. Bringing their pets to work with them can drastically eliminate these concerns.”
Keeping these five tips in mind when bringing your furry friend to work can help ensure a fun and safe time for all:
To learn more about how to safely bring your pup to work this summer, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com, where you can download the Pets Work at Work toolkit and find more information on the survey results.
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To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs.
(BPT) - If you’ve ever felt tense, anxious or simply unable to relax while performing your job, you’re far from alone.
A recent survey by the American Institute of Stress found 80 percent of U.S. workers across industries have felt stress in the workplace; nearly half say they could use help dealing with it and 42 percent said their co-workers could use some relief.
To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs. For example, for the past 20 years Purina has encouraged its associates to bring their pets to work, and in a typical week hundreds of dogs and cats enjoy spending time with their owners at the pet food maker’s St. Louis campus.
"Pets bring a wealth of benefits — both physical and emotional — to pet owners and their families, so it's no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees," notes Dr. Kurt Venator, Purina's chief veterinary officer. "Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina we experience the benefits of pets at work every day, and want others to as well."
As more and more companies adopt a pets-at-work policy, consider these facts based on a recent Purina report about the many advantages of such programs:
* They can benefit health: Pet-employee interaction has been shown to reduce the employees' blood pressure and cholesterol levels in addition to alleviating anxiety.
* They can improve employee retention: Sixty-three percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces say they’re very satisfied with their work environments — nearly twice as many as those in other workplaces. In fact, respondents rank the option of bringing pets at work as the second most-valuable employee perk — more valuable than free coffee and parking. Overall, three in five survey participants wish their workplace would institute a pet-friendly policy.
* They can alleviate loneliness: Eight in 10 employees who can bring pets to work say that activity makes them feel more happy, relaxed and sociable. That's partly because talking about pets can be an ice breaker, making it easier for people to approach co-workers and get to know them better.
* They can promote physical activity: Many employees spend breaks and lunchtime playing with their pets or taking them for walks, boosting their own aerobic activity at the same time.
* They can increase pets’ happiness: Rather than staying home waiting for their owners to arrive, pets get to socialize with new people, play with other pets and enjoy more activity. Nearly nine of 10 people in the survey agree that bringing their pets to work strengthens owner-pet bonding.
In light of the proven benefits, Purina encourages other employers to consider allowing pets in the workplace. A toolkit with tips and information is provided at Purina.com.
“Our goal with our report is to continue to raise awareness of the benefits of taking pets to work and to arm employees and employers with insights that can help facilitate pet-friendly environments within their companies,” notes Dr. Venator.
Despite societal stereotypes that suggest female relationships encourage anxiety, pressure and judgment, it has been found that women can have a positive impact on other women as an engine for ambition. These tips can help support women aspiring to have “it all” be the best versions of themselves.
How women can inspire other women
(Family Features) Having “it all” is a concept women have discussed and aspired to attain for nearly 40 years. Still, the conversation continues because no one has determined what having it all actually means.
A first-of-its-kind social experiment dug deeper into the choices women make in life and uncovered that female relationships often play a significant role. In collaboration with Dr. Emily Balcetis, Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University, Lean Cuisine asked women to define their “ideal life,” as part of the ItAll social experiment.
The experience explored how women answered questions alone versus in the presence of other women in their lives. The results showed that women help each other set a higher bar for themselves. In fact, 89 percent of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women.
Despite societal stereotypes that suggest female relationships encourage anxiety, pressure and judgment, this experiment determined that women have a positive impact on other women as an engine for ambition.
“We rarely talk about the positive power of female relationships that we saw firsthand in the ItAll experiment,” Balcetis said. “Women can encourage each other to shoot for more where it matters most, rather than working to accomplish something less fulfilling only because society says they should. Women have a truly unique way of inspiring each other to reach their own greatest potential.”
Balcetis offers these tips, which were observed during the ItAll social experiment, to support women aspiring to be the best versions of themselves:
Be a Role Model
For example, the ItAll experiment first surveyed female participants individually then allowed them to express their aspirations in the presence of familiar, influential women in their lives. Life choices became less conservative when others were involved. For example, participants declared a desire for higher salaries, chose to work more hours, wanted to spend more time with friends and be more involved with children.
Start a Conversation
Learn more about the social experiment and discover ideas to spur ambition for your own life at youtube.com/leancuisine.
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Working from home is a reality for a fast-growing portion of American workers. It can add flexibility, drive higher productivity and reduce company costs related to maintaining physical facilities. However, it also comes with challenges. A collaboration tool that integrates online presentations, video meetings and instant messaging can help address remote working woes.
Make Working from Home Productive and Liberating
(Family Features) Working from home is a reality for a fast-growing portion of American workers. It can add flexibility, drive higher productivity and reduce company costs related to maintaining physical facilities.
However, it also comes with challenges. If you have worked from home, you have most likely encountered issues collaborating and communicating with colleagues in multiple locations. While there are multiple technologies aimed at helping remote workers and increasing their productivity, they can at times thwart it.
All too familiar with productivity, remote working woes and how to address it, CyberLink created U, a collaboration tool that integrates online presentations, video meetings and instant messaging whether working remote or down the hall from one another.
“It’s a place to hold online meetings, have presentations and chat with your colleagues that doesn’t come with the messy installation fuss and technical errors associated with other options out there,” said Richard Carriere, CyberLink’s general manager and senior vice president of global marketing. “It brings the best of social media, such as emojis, ease of use and the flexibility to have impromptu interactions, to a business environment, in a unique way that heightens communication and collaboration across users.”
According to commissioned research by polling firm YouGov, nearly half (43 percent) of U.S. office workers think it’s harder for remote workers to be seen in the workplace than non-remote workers. Office workers think it’s twice as difficult, when working remotely, to make strong relationships with bosses and coworkers while collaborating effectively. In fact, 1 in 6 think remote workers are less valued by the company, more than 1 in 3 think remote workers miss out on office culture and 1 in 5 think they get promoted less often.
There are also technical difficulties workers can encounter when using the technology solutions of the past. Of office workers who said disruptions and working with a solution that’s incompatible with the demands of a remote workforce today had impacted their work, the most prominent included:
To help address these issues and others, all of U’s offerings create virtual counterparts to in-person scenarios, in turn allowing workplace culture, creativity and dialogue to resonate beyond the physical workplace and to all workers, despite location. Learn more at u.cyberlink.com .
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(BPT) - If you feel like you're working more, but getting less done, you're not alone. Employees are working an average of 44 hours per week, of which only 29 were considered to be productive, according to a new survey of 1,200 full time office workers.
The recent "Productivity in the Workplace" study commissioned by Fellowes found respondents feel the key to productivity is making adjustments within the existing workday versus working more hours. Chatty coworkers top the list of productivity killers, with unnecessary meetings, cell phone disruptions and problems with office equipment also on the list. Respondents identify productivity boosters as cutting back on meetings, having more quiet spaces to work, schedule flexibility and more up-to-date technology.
Laura Stack, also known as "The Productivity Pro," travels the country helping organizations of every size improve their employee and team productivity. She shares the following tips to help people make the most of their hours in the office so they can get back to business.
1. Give disruptions the boot. Resist the urge to constantly check email and turn off email notifications. Put your cell phone on airplane mode, instant messaging on Do Not Disturb, and let calls go to voice-mail.
2. Speak up. Need something new in the office to help your coworkers and you stay more productive? It never hurts to ask. Office equipment, like printers and shredders, are now being made with advanced technologies that can make your job easier and help you get back to work.
3. Cut down on meetings. Ask yourself if you really need to have a meeting. Can you cover agenda items via email? Cancel meetings if face time isn't imperative and give colleagues more time to get their jobs done. Also, try to schedule one day a week on your calendar that is meeting-free.
4. Don't multi-task, single-task. When you do have a meeting, make sure you are 100 percent focused. You don't want to miss crucial updates and next steps on projects, it will only hurt your productivity later on.
5. Practice "on, in, around, or shred." Eighty-eight percent of people use paper in the office. Keep items you work with daily on your desk, those you work with weekly in your desk drawers, and those you work with monthly around your desk, in archives, or filing cabin Use an automatic shredder for everything else, like Fellowes' line of AutoMax shredders, which shred up to 500 sheets of paper at a time with the simple touch of a button -which helps avoid disruptions.
6. Break it down. If you have trouble getting started with a big task, break it into smaller chunks. Ask yourself, "What is the next action step I need to take to see progress on this project?" Then set a timer, leap into action, and focus on the next step.
7. Vary activities. For mental and physical alertness, vary sitting activities with standing ones, mental activities with physical ones. It will help prevent fatigue and keep your efficiency high.
8. Put some fun into your work. Turn boring tasks into a game. Make a deal with yourself that when you complete the activity, you will do something fun afterward - like taking a walk or having a piece of chocolate. By creating internal enthusiasm, you can stay focused longer.
9. Change of scenery. Try to work in a different setting once a week. Whether you work from home, the library, or a nearby park, new surroundings can inspire ideas and give you the energy you need to tackle your to-do list.
To learn more about Laura Stack and the "Productivity in the Workplace" study, visit www.fellowes.com or www.TheProductivityPro.com.
When the common cold hits, sharing is not caring
(BPT) - Being considerate of others when you’re sick is one of the first steps to good sick etiquette.
For example, you may think you’re going to score points for showing up at work despite feeling under the weather. However, if you were to run this by an etiquette expert like Diane Gottsman, she would probably tell you the reverse is true.
“A recent survey found that half of Americans feel anxious about getting sick when others cough around them,” Gottsman says. “So when you cough, your co-workers are likely going to be thinking of themselves and may not sympathize with you.”
That’s why Gottsman says the best thing you can do is steer clear of the office. If working remotely isn’t an option, it is best to take a sick day.
“When you’re sick, it’s so important to take precautions to keep your germs from infecting others, which should always include staying home from work or other activities until symptoms have subsided,” says Gottsman. “I understand that sometimes life seems too busy to get sick or a workplace may not offer enough paid time off. So staying home and putting work on the back burner until you’re well is not an option for everyone. Still, productivity will decline when you are sick and you may prolong your illness by overexerting yourself."
With that, Gottsman says the name of the game is keeping those germs to yourself. Don’t be afraid to be demonstrative about that so you send a clear signal that you care and you don’t want to infect anyone — it will put your friends and colleagues at ease. Here are Gottsman’s sick etiquette tips:
Telecommute: If it is physically possible for you to complete a day’s work at home, that is probably the second most ideal solution to taking a sick day. If that’s not a typical arrangement at your place of employment, though, frame it as being beneficial to your boss and your fellow employees. For example: “I understand we have this important deadline coming up, which is why I would prefer not to spread this bug to others. What if I worked on the project from my home office today instead of coming in? If you sent me the call-in information, I could still join the conference call later. Of course, if you need anything at all, I’m just a phone call or email away.”
Touch no one: If a friend moves in for a hug or a handshake, kindly warn them that you are recovering from a cold and would prefer to “play it safe” before extending your hand or leaning in for a hug.
Keep a sickness arsenal: Keep your desk well stocked to help you treat your symptoms and keep common areas germ-free. For your kit, consider items like tissues, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, as well as relief for sick symptoms, like pain relievers and a cough syrup like Robitussin.
Avoid shared surfaces: Cold viruses can survive several hours on surfaces, transferring easily to your colleagues. Germs can be hard to contain and avoid, but you can do your part by wiping down shared areas like a table or chair with a disinfecting wipe when you are finished using them.
Cover your mouth wisely: Coughs and sneezes give germs and viruses a nice little vehicle to get around and infect others nearby. When you must cough or sneeze, use a tissue or cough into your arm or elbow — never your hand, because the hands help spread the germs around. When using a tissue, promptly dispose of it and sanitize your hands.
Minimize coughing: When people hear someone cough in a crowded space, 26 percent feel annoyed, and 46 percent feel anxious about getting sick themselves, according to a recent online survey conducted by the Harris Poll. Keeping the medicine cabinet stocked with a powerful cough reliever is one effective way to suppress your cough. One product Gottsman recommends is Robitussin 12 Hour Cough Relief, because the long-lasting formula gets you through the whole work day by providing soothing relief from the hacking coughing. (You'll also be much quieter, which is a bonus.)
It’s not always possible or practical to stay home for several days when you come down with a cold, but practicing good sick etiquette can help keep viruses from spreading to those around you.
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