10 Mid-Afternoon Pick-Me-Ups That Won’t Let You Down

If you get sleepy or lethargic around two in the afternoon, you’re in good company. Many people experience a mid-afternoon slump due to any number of reasons, from eating the wrong thing at lunch to spending too much time in a chair. But unless you have the luxury of taking a nap, finding ways to recharge is essential if you want a productive afternoon. Try these 10 pick-me-ups, and see how easy it is to reboot your energy and make the most of the rest of your day.

Drink Up
Sluggishness is often the result of being dehydrated. In fact, if the body loses just two percent of its water, feelings of fatigue can set in. When mid-afternoon hits, turn to the best hydrator around: water. Fill a tall glass with cool, fresh water and keep it nearby throughout the afternoon, sipping regularly for a boost of energy.

Cool Off
Heat and humidity cause a rise in body temperature, making it hard to stay alert. If you’re working in a warm room after lunch, open a window or turn on a fan to cool off. Remove your sweater or suit jacket if that offers relief. Or, try spritzing with a facial mist. The cooling sensation will refresh and re-energize you.

Grab Your Pet
Spending time with your furry companion is both therapeutic and invigorating — and a great activity for a mid-afternoon break. Play a game, have a grooming session, do some obedience training, or just talk to your pet. You’ll both benefit from the experience and be ready and rejuvenated to tackle whatever comes next on the schedule.

Switch Tasks
A boring or tedious task could be a contributing factor of mid-afternoon fatigue. If possible, set aside what you’re doing and switch to a different task for a refreshing diversion. Giving yourself something new to focus on, even if temporary, can provide the burst of adrenaline you need to perk up your mind and body.

Eat Some Energy
While certain foods can weigh you down and make you sleepy, others can revitalize you. If you ate heavy carbs at lunch, for example, you’ll likely feel drained within a few hours. Reach for an energizing snack to counter the effect. A tablespoon of peanut butter on whole grain crackers or a handful of almonds will do the trick.

Converse with an Optimist
Ever notice how optimists energize you? Conversing with someone who exudes positivity can be the perfect antidote to a mid-afternoon slump because it will boost your mood and inspire you. Take a break and call a cheerful friend or family member or visit with a half-glass-full co-worker for some stimulating conversation.

Bend and Stretch
Rejuvenating the body and mind in the middle of the afternoon can be as simple as a stretch. That’s because stretching and bending increase blood flow and activate the nervous system. Take your stretching session a step further and do some yoga poses; yoga has been shown to fight fatigue and encourage vitality.

Walk the Block
While going for a walk may be the last thing you want to do if you’re feeling tired, it’s an effective way to get energized — and you don’t have to do it for very long. Short bursts of exercise awaken the body and mind and can keep you alert for hours. Instead of lowering your head on the desk, take a brisk walk around the block.

Plug In a Song
Music has the power to heal all kinds of health problems, from stress to poor blood vessel function, thanks to its ability to stimulate the brain. But music can also curb boredom and fatigue, which lead to sleepiness. When mid-afternoon hits, plug in your favorite upbeat songs and hum the mid-afternoon yawns away in no time.

Laugh
Research has shown that a good laugh releases endorphins in the body. Endorphins enhance your mood and give you an overall uplifted, invigorating feeling. Simple ideas for mid-afternoon humour? Read the comics in the paper, search for jokes online, or have a good old-fashioned laugh with a coworker.

Don’t let the mid-afternoon slump affect the rest of your day. Try the above pick-me-ups when sleepiness sets in after lunch, and get pumped for an energizing, productive afternoon.

How to Maximize Breakroom Benefits

In a recent Staples® Survey, 58% of respondents said  a well-stocked breakroom would encourage breaks and make for more productive employees. Giving some thought to your breakroom can benefit everyone and get you the most bang for your breakroom buck.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your breakroom, no matter how big or small.

Think Budget
While breakrooms might not seem like a major budget item, establishing a clear budget helps plan a space that meets your needs. Focus first on the big expenses such as the appliances, dishware and utensils employees may want or need.
Hint: Coffeemakers, microwaves and refrigerators are among the top must-haves.

Design the Right Space.
Designing and furnishing the breakroom to meet employee expectations is worth your while. The first step is deciding what your breakroom will be used for – quick breaks, full meals, internal meetings, employee socializing or a quiet spot for some much-needed downtime.

  • A space with no seating is seen as a quick place to grab snacks and supplies
  • Adding comfortable seating or tables and chairs creates a place to eat and socialize
  • Whiteboards and monitors encourage collaboration on work-related issues in the space.

Survey for Snack Choices.
Providing healthy snacks and beverages of your employees’ choosing keeps them feeling recharged, happy and appreciated. In a 2014 Staples® survey, respondents said they overwhelmingly prefer healthy snack options such as nuts and granola bars (57%) to traditional chips, cookies or candy (10%). So ask away, the answers may surprise you.

Don’t Forget To Clean Up.
A clean breakroom is a popular breakroom. You’ll want to include at least basic cleaning supplies in your budget so employees can manage spills and clean up after meals. Add surface cleaners, paper towels, disinfectants and air fresheners to your list.
Hint: Keep everything in its own space – label all your food, cleaning supplies and other inventory.

Safety First.
The breakroom is often the hub of any office, making it a good place to keep first aid and fire safety supplies. Just like with food, it is important to do period checks to make sure all of your supplies are up to date.

By taking a more comprehensive approach to your breakroom, you can not only better meet your employees’ needs, but also maximize the return on your breakroom investment.

To find out more about how Staples Business Advantage ® can help you maximize your breakroom ROI, please visit StaplesBusinessAdvantage.ca/breakroom.

Mission: Sustainability

As every facility manager knows, offices go through a lot of paper, from paper towels and facial tissue to bathroom tissue and napkins. This presents the perfect opportunity to buy products that support their companies’ overall sustainability missions while saving money.
Here are factors to consider when stocking up on sustainable paper for the bathroom and the breakroom:

Pre-and post-consumer content.
Many products are made with pre-consumer recycled content, utilizing wood scraps and other wood waste from manufacturing plants. Look instead for labels that indicate the levels of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content which is salvaged and recycled from used and discarded products like magazines and office paper.

Production without pollution.
In the case of recycled paper products, processed chlorine free (PCF) products contain recycled content produced without elemental chlorine or chlorine derivatives. These processes cut down on chemicals and pollution formed as a by-product of paper production.

Dispensing system.
Making your facilities eco-friendly is more than changing what you use, it can also mean changing how you use it. Save money and wasted product by installing dispensing systems that dispense a set amount of paper product.

Additional benefits.
In addition to saving resources and cutting down waste and pollution, the right paper products and dispensing systems can minimize germs and contamination and deliver significant cost-in-use savings

Did you know?
Not all green and recycled paper products are created equally, and just because a product is “recycled” doesn’t mean it’s the most sustainable option. Look for products with significant amounts of PCR content.

Schedule a site visit.
Staples Advantage Facility Specialists can provide you with the information, advice and products you need to put your eco-conscious paper program into action.

Call your Account Manager today for more information or shop our Eco-Friendly products selection on Eway.ca.

 

4 Steps To A Germ-Free Desk

For most of us, we spend five days a week and countless hours working away at our desk. So when we released the “10 million reasons to clean your desk” blog post last April, it came as no real surprise that it ended up being one of our most read blog posts of 2015.

So in honour of National Clean Off Your Desk Day, we’re sharing some of our top tips to make sure your desk isn’t crawling with germs.

According to the UK Daily Mail, the average worker comes into contact with 10 million disease causing bacteria lurking on your mouse, keyboard, and phone (Resource).

While some bacteria are inevitable, it raises the awareness and the importance of doing a thorough clean at your desk and in the office to eliminate dust and illness causing germs.

Use these simple tips to thoroughly clean your desk and office space to get rid of lurking germs and bacteria:

  1. Remove everything from the surface of your desktop
  2. Use a pressurized air duster to clean out your keyboard
  3. Take a micro-fiber cloth to wipe down and dust the entire surface of your desk, including hard to reach corners, shelves, monitors, and even books and binders
  4. Use a disinfectant cleaner or wipes to clean all areas of your workspace. Pay special attention to high traffic areas of your desktop such as the mouse, keyboard and phone

Bonus tip: Don’t stop at your desk – breakrooms are notorious for harbouring germs. Tackle this area by using wipes or disinfectant sprays to wipe down microwave doors and handles, tea kettles, coffee makers, fridge door handles, and anything else that comes into contact with lots of hands.

Shop eway.ca for the best selection of office cleaning products. Add your cleaning tips in the comment section below, or tweet us @StaplesAdvCan.

A Guide to Surviving the Office Holiday Party

Holiday party season is upon us! While this can be a fun and enjoyable time to interact with your colleagues in a casual and festive atmosphere, it’s also important to keep a sense of professionalism in your celebrations. After all, everyone wants to make it through the holidays safe and sound.

Our guide to surviving the holiday office party contains some simple do’s and don’ts of enjoying the celebrations. Whether you’re at an in-office gathering or an off-site company party, these are a few things to keep in mind.

Do:

  • Attend the party and have a little fun – this can be a great team building opportunity.
  • If you’re hosting the gathering, ensure you arrange for plenty of food for everyone (especially when serving alcohol).
  • Make sure the menu outlines any items that contain common allergens, like nuts, and where possible provide vegetarian or free-from menu alternatives (like gluten-free, dairy-free, etc).
  • Choose healthy snack options. Nutrition plays a big part in keeping you healthy and will help get you through the holidays feeling more energized.
  • Keep well hydrated throughout the day and get plenty of sleep at night – both efforts will help to keep you alert and prepared through the holidays.
  • Keep a first-aid kit close by, especially at events where activities will take place.
  • Remind guests to take a safe mode of transportation home. Encourage guests to have a designated driver, provide signage with taxi phone numbers and display directions for alternative modes of transportation like public transit.

Don’t:

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Don’t RSVP that you’ll attend and then not show up. If you can’t make it, let the host know as soon as possible so they can arrange to let the caterer know.
  • Don’t pack your holiday schedule so full that you exhaust yourself. Consider all your commitments and turn down invites if you need to take a break.
  • Don’t use this as an opportunity to talk about personal issues or gossip about your colleagues. And don’t talk about work too much. Find the right balance so that everyone can enjoy the conversation.

These are just a few tips on how to make the most of holiday celebrations at work. Do you have any other pieces of advice? Share below in the comments section.

 

It’s National Coffee Day!

In celebration of National Coffee Day today (September 29), Staples surveyed a number of office workers to find out just how serious they are about their coffee habits. It came as no real big surprise to learn that the workforce loves their coffee. In fact, 37 percent of workers say they can’t even get dressed for work without their first cup of coffee. And, nearly half consume at least three cups of coffee each day.

In addition, workers revealed that there are a number of tasks they can’t handle before their first cup of the day:

  • 44 percent said they can’t have a conversation or commute without coffee
  • 40 percent said they can’t check email before their morning brew
  • 38 percent said they can’t eat a meal before consuming coffee

For a significant percentage of the workforce, one cup each day will not suffice. Over 57 percent need at least two cups of coffee to feel productive and alert. In today’s always-on work culture, coffee has become even more essential. When asked if they had to give up social media or coffee forever, three out of four employees said they would give up social media instead of coffee.

To give a morning boost to employees across the country, and to celebrate National Coffee Day, Staples Advantage is giving away coffee for the office! Contest closes October 2, 2016. Enter today for your chance to win: http://ow.ly/RVzL0

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Six Tips for Keeping Your Breakroom Well Stocked

The benefits of a well-stocked breakroom are often more significant than some businesses may realize.

Having the right supplies on hand enhances employee morale, encourages worker socialization and collaboration, and provides employees quick access to the items they need, reducing the amount of time they spend out of the office.

Here are some tips on how to effectively stock your breakroom to get the most out of your employees, while reducing costs.

  1. Consolidate your spend
    Ordering breakroom supplies from a variety of different vendors is time consuming, expensive and can lead to more frequent stock-outs. Getting most of your breakroom supplies from a single vendor streamlines the ordering and restocking processes and offers opportunities for reduced pricing.
  1. Buy in bulk
    Buying in bulk makes sense for some products, but not all. High-use items such as cleaning supplies, dish detergent, disinfectants and paper products don’t expire — buy them in bulk and combine the shipments into as few as possible. For items with an expiration date, like coffee creamers and snacks, smaller, more frequent orders are the best way to keep stocked.
  1. Free and frequent delivery
    When an office manager is responsible for buying the breakroom products, leaving the office and transporting goods back becomes time-consuming. Working with a supplier that offers free delivery can ensure that breakroom supplies are consistently replenished with less wasted time for employees.
  1. Use versatile products
    Instead of buying multiple cleaning products, it can be more efficient to find one product that does the job of several. For instance, to keep all your breakroom surfaces clean, consider an all-purpose cleaner or wipes. But, one cleaner does not fit all — working with an account manager can help identify the right multi-use products for the job.
  1. Minimize waste, reduce order frequency
    Certain breakroom products require more frequent restocking than others. Making some basic changes in the breakroom can reduce consumption of some materials. For example, buying or encouraging the use of reusable glasses, mugs and plates instead of disposable equivalents is not only good for the environment but also cost-effective.
  1. Measure use to stay well stocked
    A common mistake when it comes to stocking the breakroom is not planning ahead. Make a plan to keep track of inventory and how often items are reordered. Working with a supplier that does this for you will help reduce costs, avoid last-minute, higher-dollar buys and will indicate the best timing for shipments.

In today’s economy there’s no room for waste — implementing these simple tips can help keep your breakroom well stocked while reducing costs.

To learn more about how Staples Advantage® can help you keep your breakroom stocked, visit StaplesAdvantage.ca/breakroom.