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The Natural Solution to Improving Employee Performance

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Beyond attendance, something as simple as access to light makes employees happier. Research shows that happy employees feel more valued. And employees who feel valued are more likely to stay with their current employer, which makes the business case for decreased employee retention costs. Often just 13-15 minutes of exposure to natural light is enough to trigger the release of endorphins or “happy hormones”—an effect that can counter the consequences of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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8 Ideas to Show Employee Appreciation

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Expressing appreciation to your employees is encouraging, boosts morale and helps in recruiting top talent.

Here are 8 ways to show your team how thankful you are for all they do:

  1. Feed the team – Let’s face it, people like to be fed. Providing lunch or treats on occasion is always appreciated.
  2. Paid Time Off – Whether it’s leaving early on Fridays, paid days for employees to volunteer or just time off for R&R, people appreciate time off.
  3. Team / Family Events – Laser tag, bowling night, paint & sip…these are just a few ideas for fun company events
  4. Bags of candy with thank you notes attached – A pack of Lifesavers with the tag “You’re a Lifesaver! Thanks for all you do,” for example.
  5. Express appreciation in a newsletter – “People who feel appreciated will do more than what’s expected.”
  6. Celebrate milestones and life celebrations – Birthdays, graduations, births, engagements, etc.
  7. Training & Professional Development – When you invest in professional development, employees are more valuable and feel more valued.
  8. Say “thank you” in person and often.

Prepping for an office move?

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Relocating your business can be an exciting move. It can also be overwhelming.

Here are some things to think about when prepping for an office move…

  1. Make sure the new location is set up for I.T., phone, internet, break room appliances, etc.
  2. A few weeks prior to the move, take inventory, purge, digitally store files, shred and recycle unnecessary paper.
  3. Get the whole team involved by assigning tasks like packing the kitchen and storage closets, distributing boxes and labels to each desk/office, wrap cords.
  4. Send out a postcard or newsletter announcing your move date and new address.
  5. On moving day, reward employees with one last pizza party at the old office.

Sit Less!

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More and more research is showing that it’s not good for your health to be sitting or lying down for long periods during waking hours. Researchers call this ‘sedentary behaviour’.

There’s evidence that shows adults who sit less throughout the day have a lower risk of early death, particularly from heart disease. Sedentary behaviour is associated with increased risk of being overweight, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Evidence also suggests that even if you meet guidelines for how much physical activity to do, this may not help reduce the risks of sitting too much. Health benefits are greatest for people who sit less, AND move more.

Read more…

4 Ways to Beat the Heat

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Summer is on the way! The days are getting longer, the kids are almost out of school and the temperature is rising.

Here are 4 ways to beat the heat:

  1. Stay hydrated! Perspiration leads to dehydration so keep drinking water.
  2. Wear loose-fitting, light-weight clothing.
  3. Look for indoor activities and shady parking spots.
  4. Get your steps in early in the day or during the cooler evening hours.

4 Ways Business Owners Can Tackle Exhaustion

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Owning a business can leave you feeling drained. With what seems like demands from every angle and having to put out fires at every turn, it is important to fight fatigue.

Here are 4 tips to help you stay alert and focused:
1) Keep a set sleep schedule – Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
2) Create a digital curfew – 30 to 60 minutes before you tuck in for the night, turn off all devices.
3) Keep cool. The recommended bedroom temperature for optimal sleep is between 60-67°.
4) Get moving – Exercise has been proven to speed up the time it takes to fall asleep and increases total sleep time.

Your Home Away From Home

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Picture yourself in a place with a comfortable plush sofa, plenty of USB ports, a fancy espresso machine, great lighting and room to stretch out and relax. Imagine if that described your office space. The latest office furnishings reflect the comforts of home. This trend is referred to as Resimercial…residential comfort with commercial-grade durability.

Studies show that a relaxed work environment results in higher productivity, employee retention and better collaboration. Stop in our showroom to sit in samples of this latest trend.

Dog Etiquette Checklist

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Although seeing dogs at work used to be rare, these days more employers are allowing pets in the office.

According to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management, around 8 percent of workplaces are now pet-friendly—and for good reason.

Numerous studies have shown that animals decrease stress, boost morale and increase worker productivity, leading to better bottom lines.

Click here for 6 tips on making dogs in the office a great experience.

4 Generations at Work

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In a few years, workspaces will have to accommodate four generations of workers, each with different work styles. Here’s what HR leaders need to know.

Increasingly, Human Resources is influencing workplace strategy. We know from years of study that work environments greatly affect employee health, engagement, and well-being. Collaborating on decisions impacting planning and use of office buildings, HR leaders can help organizations create workplaces that produce positive effects. Exponentially changing technology has paved the way for a new workplace—with the need to accommodate agile workers who span four very distinct generations.

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4 Types of Collaborative Spaces

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When people work together, great ideas are born and connections are made. People learn from one another. And project progress happens faster. As technology has expanded our ability to work anywhere—including from home—we are increasingly seeking out opportunities to collaborate and connect face-to-face with our teams.

Designing for collaboration helps create an environment where employees feel valued for their unique experience and input.

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5 Reasons to Bring Back the Water Cooler

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While it may no longer take the traditional form of a glugging five-gallon jug next to a stack of cone-shaped paper cups, the “water cooler” is finding its way back into the office. Often referred to as “hydration stations,” “refresh areas,” or “water bars,” today’s water cooler spaces offer benefits you may not have thought of.

Organizations are beginning to understand that in a world of virtual connections, informally gathering and socializing in person—while also fulfilling a common physical need—can lead to increased happiness, well-being, engagement, and productivity at work.

More specifically, there are five main reasons every office should have a water cooler: Here’s why…

Design A Happier Workplace

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These days, the office is less a tool for increasing productivity and more about making employee well-being a priority.

This shift is partly due to Millennials who blend their work and personal life. They come to work with the need for belonging, connection, and contribution to a greater good. This change in workplace expectations led the Haworth Research team to ask: Could office design become a driver of happiness and meaningful work?

The team’s findings show that a person’s workspace does affect happiness in two key ways. First, thoughtful workplace design gives people more control at work. Second, organizations that invest in flexible interiors where people are empowered to work the way they want demonstrate that they care about their people. This investment makes employees feel valued and contributes to their happiness. Read more…

6 Design Tips to Keep Employees Energized

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In physics, the simple definition of energy is the capacity to do work. When it comes to human beings, though, it’s really more than that. All people have some level of working “capacity,” but that doesn’t mean they are inherently overflowing with the energy to do good work—especially in a less-than-inspiring environment.

  1. Remove Barriers
  2. Add Social Spaces
  3. Places for Individual Work
  4. Support Physical Well-being
  5. Integrate Brand and Culture
  6. Ask People What They Need

Read more…

Social Norms in the Office

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Let’s face it: Change in the work environment can be disruptive for people and processes. For example, a well-planned workspace reconfiguration—intended to achieve a positive end goal—is sometimes challenging for people to accept initially. We feel comfortable with our routines—sitting in the same place, talking to the same people next to us, with everything set up just the way we like it.

But space transformation doesn’t have to be painful, especially when a change management process is implemented. We know this well at Haworth, where we frequently reconfigure our floor plans to support new ways of working, especially at our corporate headquarters—a showroom and workplace that demonstrates our research in a living lab we share with customers. Read more…

Konmari in the Office

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Could the “magic of tidying up” apply to your office space?

Absolutely! Follow the same few steps taught by Marie Kondo regarding decluttering.

Ask yourself if each item that surrounds you in your office sparks joy.

I have a purple flower tape dispenser on my desk. It is a practical item that sparks a sense of whimsy and makes me smile. I also have a red Swingline stapler which brings me joy every time I look at it because of a character named Milton from an old movie called Office Space. Other than that, a picture of my kids and a hand lotion that smells divine are the key items that remain on my desk at all times.

Take a moment to scan your desk and decide if you are surrounded by things that make you smile. If not, make some changes and enjoy your workspace. After all, you spend a good fraction of your life there.

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