7 Easy Ways to Promote Healthy Eating Habits at Work

When you spend lots of time at the office, it’s easy to develop an unhealthy diet.  Choosing healthy meals is difficult for the many Canadians who eat lunch at their desks due to workplace pressures, and it’s often difficult to say no when generous colleagues bring in baked goods to share.

The combination of spending lots of time sitting at a desk and adding junk food to the mix is not good. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to boost your willpower.

Ditch Junk Food

Empty your desk drawers and candy bowl. Get rid of those chips, crackers and other gut busters you’ve stashed away for emergencies. The less junk food you eat, the healthier your overall diet becomes.

Make Time for Real Meals

It’s easy to give up lunch when you spend the day on the phone or in meetings. Block off 30 minutes to leave your desk and have a healthy meal. This raises your energy levels and helps you stay productive.

Bring Leftovers

Make extra food when you cook meals at home so you can pack leftovers for lunch. It’s also a good way to save money.

Plan Your Meals

Many people eat at least two meals and one or two snacks at work. If you plan ahead, you can come prepared and avoid trips to the vending machines.

Keep (Healthy) Snacks at Your Desk

It’s not as hard as you think to stay stocked up on healthy snacks. Get dried fruit, applesauce, snack bars, packaged tuna, jerky and nuts for your spare drawer. These might not be as healthy as fresh fruit or a nice salad, but they’re better than anything you’ll find in many vending machines.

Drink Lots of Water

Bring a full bottle of water to work each day and refill it as often as possible. Drink the recommended daily amount for your height and weight. This keeps you hydrated and full of energy — and you can also flavour it.

Choose Snacks Wisely

When planning what to eat for snacks, combine healthy fats, carbohydrates and lean proteins that boost your metabolism, keep energy levels high and help you feel full. A peanut butter and banana sandwich or an apple with some almonds are great snack choices.

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The Top 8 Items on Your Employees’ Workplace Wish Lists

Happy employees produce better results so, as a business owner, it’s in your best interest to provide what they need. While conducting the STAPLES Workplace Employee Survey, released in March of 2018, researchers uncovered the items that employees want most to make their workplace a positive environment. There are many ways to improve productivity and work satisfaction for your team.

8. Outdoor Space

Sunlight and fresh air can have a dramatic effect on overall well-being. Providing an outdoor area for employees to soak in nature’s healing while they eat lunch or take their breaks improves mood and promotes harmony.

7. Updated Bathrooms

The quality of your restrooms can be a good indicator of the quality of your business. A clean bathroom in good repair gives your employees a comfortable place to retreat when nature calls.

6. A Private Place to Rest

Everyone needs a moment to recharge during the day, and your employees are no exception. Whether you offer a private break room or a fully outfitted wellness room, your workers need a calming place to catch their breath.

5. Food and Drink Options

Work takes energy, and recharging that energy takes fuel. Aside from scheduled lunches, employees sometimes need a snack or a drink to perk up their efforts. Having options available on-site ensures everyone has what they need to stay alert.

4. A Fitness Centre

Exercise promotes good health and keeps the mind alert. Providing an in-house fitness centre gives employees the chance to get their blood flowing on their breaks. Healthier employees mean fewer sick days, too.

3. Private or Personal Space

Individual space free your employees from the distractions of working too close together. Having a private area can also help creativity flow.

2. Ergonomic Furniture

Ergonomics promote comfort, pain relief and improved bone and joint health. Less pain leads to greater focus.

1. New Technology or Equipment

You can’t get the best out of your employees if their tools are out of date. That’s why this took the top spot as the most requested item. Update their equipment and technology to improve employee efficiency and productivity.

Four Great Marketing Tips for Intense Customer Engagement

Customer engagement is a crucial connection your customers develop with your brand. When you create highly engaged customers, they promote your brand to others and buy more of your products and services. Therefore, a quality customer experience is a win-win and should be part of every marketing strategy you implement.

What’s in It for Your Brand

An engaged customer base effectively become a community of brand ambassadors, and communities have conversations. Here are some things those conversations can do for your brand:

  • Drive excitement about new features and updates.
  • Elicit honest feedback on your products.
  • Generate more prospects and conversions by word-of-mouth.
  • Increase retention rates if this community feels like you listen and respond to them.

Humanize Your Brand

Customers love it when companies get engagement right. This is easy to do if you have a fun brand like Red Bull or Adidas, but any brand can generate buzz around product releases that solve problems for loyal customers.

Events, contests and social media play a part in giving your brand an identity. Forget cute campaigns that get attention but don’t hone in on product strengths. Instead, humanize your offerings in natural ways that resonate with your audience.

Create a Corporate Culture That’s Customer-Focused

Make sure you hire people who are excited about the product and committed to an amazing customer experience. Your customer support team forms the front line of your business, so empower them to solve problems.

Social Media that Wows

When you think of engaging content, reviews should be at the top of the list. Don’t just provide great content; give customers a chance to tell you what they need you to know. People leave comments and reviews to be part of a larger conversation sparked by your content. Plus, getting honest reactions from their family, friends and connections helps you figure out how well a campaign or product is going without forcing a reaction.

In-Product Messaging

With the internet delving into every nook and cranny of our world, connected products give you a great opportunity to send messages to your customers within the product experience. The conversion rates for this approach are high.

Using these tips, you can create meaningful interaction and encourage an intense customer engagement with your products.

The Strategic Role of the Office and Facilities Manager

Office and facility managers are widely recognized for playing a critical role in the workplace.  According to the Staples Business Advantage Workplace Employee Survey, 82% of Canadian office workers believe that the office and facility manager is vital to the success of their organization, and 65% see this individual as a “strategic employee who should be given the maximum resources they need to help grow the business.”

The value that these individuals provide, however, is often overlooked – while 74% would give their office and facility manager an “A” or “B” grade, 59% agree that the individual is under-appreciated in their organization.

Part of the issue is that office and facility manager job description covers such a wide range that few – only 22% of respondents – feel they have a complete picture of what these individuals do.  Typically, the responsibilities might include selection and provision of office furniture, equipping and supplying washrooms and break rooms, keeping technology up to date, procuring safety and medical supplies and equipment, or providing traditional office supplies.

As a single-source supplier to Canadian businesses, Staples Business Advantage Canada assists office and facility managers in all these areas, freeing them of the chores of working with multiple vendors and allowing them to focus on the strategic aspects of their job. This is evidenced by the growing number of businesses that are turning to Staples to take a more strategic role in helping their organizations become more successful.

The connections between the work of the office and facility manager and the success of the organization are many. The look and feel of the office, for example, can have significant impact on both employee retention and customer satisfaction, and the ability of the business to provide the tools employees need to do their job can be a major determinant for how well that organization serves its customers. Staples Business Advantages Canada is becoming an essential partner for a growing number of office and facility managers as they face the many expectations that these responsibilities entail.

Tips on how to Build an Amazing Wellness Room

A stressful work space can have a negative impact on the overall health and well-being of employees, affecting their performance and inhibiting their ability to learn and grow. With the amount of time people spend in the workplace, it’s important for employers to consider employee wellness as a priority. Creating an effective wellness room is a great way to improve job satisfaction and get better results from your team.

According to the STAPLES Workplace Employee Survey, less than one out of every five employees has access to a wellness room. If your company lacks a space like this, or if you have one but want to maximize its positive effect, there are a few elements you should consider.

Relaxation

Above all else, a wellness room should promote relaxation. Include comfortable seating and possibly even offering an area for napping. Well-rested employees are productive and engaged, so give them a place to recharge when their energy is low.

Entertainment

Offering something to take their minds off work can help your employees reset during a particularly stressful day. Televisions, video game consoles and computers can give your team something else to focus on while they take their breaks, leaving them refreshed when they return to their stations.

Convenience

Providing power outlets lets your workers keep their mobile devices charged and gives them a comfortable place to plug in their laptops. Installing a phone in the wellness room gives employees a way to make personal calls when needed. A refrigerator provides a place for cold drinks and snacks while toiletries create an opportunity for freshening up before returning to work.

Privacy

A good wellness room includes lockable storage for employees to secure personal items. Make sure any windows have blinds or curtains, and the door should have a lock to enhance privacy.

Cleanliness

A clean room is a comfortable room, so wellness rooms should include bins for garbage and recycling. A sink and any necessary cleaning supplies should be accessible.

Wellness rooms create space for your employees to ease workplace stress. This helps to improve their professional performance and has a positive impact on their overall health. A properly developed wellness room leads to happier employees, better productivity, and fewer sick days.

Great Fitness Exercises for Authentic Team Bonding

Team-building exercises are ideal for promoting bonding within a group, but many of the most common activities inspire groans instead of excitement. Instead of the same old icebreaker challenges, why not set up some physical activities that get their adrenaline flowing and require cooperative efforts to complete?

Scavenger Hunt

Create a timed scavenger hunt and break your group into teams. You can set it up in a designated area as big or small as you want. Use clues instead of naming items, and be sure to include some that are ambiguous so teams have to work together to agree on their interpretation.

Tug-of-War

Tug-of-war is pretty basic and lets each team adjust their tactics in real time to beat their opponents. Have each team decide the placement of their members before beginning, and give them time to discuss their strategy.

Capture the Flag

This is a fast-paced game that requires collaborative efforts to win. Divide the group into two teams and place them at opposite ends of a designated area. This is their base and should have that team’s flag pinned somewhere. Teams have to advance to their opponent’s base to find the flag and bring it to their own base. Captured opponents must go to a penalty area until a teammate frees them. The first team to capture the other team’s flag wins. You can even add an extra flag for each team to increase the challenge.

Commercial Adventures

If setting up team building exercises isn’t your thing, you can take advantage of physical challenges available in your area. White water rafting requires synchronicity and communication. Paintball fights encourage communication and delegation. Escape the Room adventures require group problem-solving, time management, delegation and critical thinking. Check your local area for group activities that can challenge your team to work together in new ways.

For a company to run efficiently, coworkers should work and communicate well with each other. Physical team-building exercises are a great way to help employees bond, instill trust and determine the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. The result is a team that knows how to work together to get the best results for your company.

Fantastic Remedies for Distraction That Will Supercharge Your Productivity

According to a recent STAPLES Workplace Employee Survey, many workplaces are so noisy that employees leave the building to take work calls or wear noise-canceling headphones so they can concentrate. If you work in an open office or are bombarded by emails, teleconferences and instant messages all day, you’re probably distracted a lot. There are several ways to increase productivity while putting distraction on the back burner.

Get Off the Grid

You can’t do anything if you’re constantly putting out fires or stuck in meetings. Every time you check your mail or pick up the phone, you lose productivity. The solution is simple: Turn off your phone, close your email browser and get your work done. You’ll find things go a lot faster once you’re free to concentrate without these distractions.

Quiet Your Workspace

If working remotely isn’t an option, you have to find a quieter place at work. Look for conference rooms and quiet break rooms you can book or take over during crunch times. If you have an office but an open-door policy is killing your productivity, it’s time to shut the door. If you feel bad, you can always post a paper clock marked with a good time for visitors to come back.

Hold Standing Meetings

Instead of weekly staff meetings, try a few shorter standing sessions to give everyone a chance to voice their top concerns and concisely ask for help. Standing keeps people from getting too comfortable, so everyone is encouraged to resolve issues efficiently.

Multitasking is a Myth

When you multitask, everything takes twice as long. Every time you switch tasks, you disrupt your train of thought and have to start over. Instead, focus on completing one task at a time.

Give Yourself Lots of Breaks

A tired brain is an unproductive one. It’s hard to finish writing a paper or report if you’re doing head bobs. Take at least 10 minutes to recharge with a walk or a healthy snack.

By removing distractions and getting work done quickly, you become far more productive than ever, so don’t be afraid to set some boundaries.

For more workplace trends visit https://www.staplesbusinessadvantage.ca/workplace-employee-survey/ to download our full Staples Employee Workplace Survey report.