Monday, June 23, 2014

10 Ways To Rock Your Office

The typical image of an office worker usually involves a bored business person on the phone, trapped in a tasteless cubicles, but that's not at all what work has to be. Many creative people have shared their ideas for making the office, a fun, productive place where everyone gets along. If your workplace could use a change of pace, here are some excellent ways to rock your office for sure!

1. Season's Greetings

Summer Office Decor

Decorating in time with the seasons and holidays is a great way to keep the office feeling fresh as the year goes by. Changing decorations, scented candles, and floral decor provides a nice change of pace that keeps the workplace from getting stagnant or suffocating. It's also a great excuse to provide deals, sales, benefits, or seasonal packages to clients and employees, while also really getting everyone into the spirit of whatever season or holiday is coming up next!

* Here are some fun office decorations for every season:

Flowers, greenery, bright colors, open windows, linen or floral scented candles

Coral, seashells, sun cutouts, ocean photography, paper pinwheels, fruity drinks and smoothies

Autumn leaves, pumpkins, pinecones, cinnamon and spice scented candles, Halloween decorations

Paper snowflakes, snowmen, hot coffee and cocoa, holiday decor, ornaments, peppermints

2. Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacks

Staying healthy at the office is a big problem for many Americans because it promotes such a sedentary lifestyle. However, eating right can do a lot to increase energy, focus, and even weight loss at work. Adding healthy snacks to your list of smart office accessories is sets an excellent example for coworkers and clients alike. Not only will you feel better, but with "brain food" snakes like walnuts and blueberries, you may also increase productivity and output in the workplace.

* Here are some healthy grab-n-go snack recommendations perfect for work:

Dark Chocolates
Veggies with Dip
String Cheese
Dried Fruits
Whole Grain Cereal
Granola Bars

3. An Awesome Lunch

An Awesome Lunch

With snack time taken care of, we can move on to everyone's favorite part of the workday: lunch! Brown bagging it has long been the preferred method for dieters and health fanatics that want to eat their way to a healthier lifestyle. Packing one's own lunch is a much better alternative to fast food, especially since you'll have a much better idea of what's going into your body. Simply pack a lunch and instead of dining on the office break room tables, head to a nearby park for a coworker picnic with some close work friends. This B.L.T.A wrap or sandwich makes a super healthy tagalong!

* B.L.T.A (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado) Wrap Recipe:

Cooked bacon slices (warmed in microwave optional)
A few sliced Roma or baby tomatoes
Shredded or chopped lettuce
Sliced avocado
Whole wheat or flour tortillas (warmed in microwave optional)
Your favorite salad dressing or hummus

Slice up some Roma tomatoes, romaine lettuce, chopped leftover bacon from breakfast, and sliced avocado. Snag some of your favorite whole wheat or flour tortillas and lay them out (you may even decide to warm them up in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds). Spread some ranch salad dressing, yogurt, or hummus down the center of the tortillas, and lay down the B.L.T.A. ingredients. Roll it all up and take a bite of the goodness!

4. Bringing the Outdoors In

Bringing the Outdoors In

Many studies have shown that an outdoor walk on a work break helps to increase both focus and health in the average office worker. But if you can't get outside for lunch, don't worry, there are plenty of excellent ways to bring the outdoors into the office. The best way to start is by adding a little green! In studies done by universities like Rutgers, the University of Hawaii, and even NASA, many plants have been scientifically proven to improve indoor air quality by removing toxic VOCs. The removal of VOCs helps increase focus by clearing out the volatile organic compounds that, when breathed in, negatively affect the brain. By adding efficient office air purifiers like good indoor plants (for example, peace lilies, spider plants, or lemon balms), office workers can drastically improve the air quality of offices in the cities.

5. Craft Contest 

Craft Contest

On a slow workday, nothing livens things up like a little craft contest. This can be done with friends or by yourself on a day when you happen to have a little extra time to boost creativity. Just dig around through your retractable desk pencil drawers for some creative tools. Block erasers, pens, pencils, paperclips, binder clips, rubber bands, and pushpins all make excellent equipment for building spaceships, rockets, or little office animal buddies to sit on the desk. Time yourself with some coworkers and judge based on final output for a team-building session everyone can enjoy!

6. Decorated Cubicles

Decorated Cubicles

Expressing creativity and personality with cubicles is one of the best parts of working in an office. Empty cubicle walls are boring and can contribute to diminished creativity or even a bad habit of napping on the job. Instead of suffering through a boring space day in and day out, take the initiative to create for yourself a workplace sanctuary. It's usually okay to bring photos of pets and loved ones, but don't be afraid to ask the boss for live things too. Plants and bowl fish like bettas are quiet companions that won't distract or make a ton of noise during phone calls. If that's not your cup of tea, see if it's okay to print out large photos of places you want to visit or art that you like and paste them to the walls. In the end, you'll all have creative, professional cubicles for business that clients will be happy to visit.

7. Office Games

Office Games

Craft contests are loads of fun to do by oneself or with others when there's extra time, but it does require using materials reserved for work. Office games, on the other hand, provide excellent team building opportunities that can unite the whole workplace. On slow days, lunch breaks, or during office parties and events, taking time for a quick game of "trash-bin basketball" serves as a fun break, and an excellent cleaning opportunity. See who can get the most shots into vertical office file cabinets or cubicle trash bins by balling up old paperwork and tossing from an office chair. Any of the dry erase presentation boards for conference room use will make excellent scoreboards.

8. Go Ergo

Go Ergo

It may not be as fun as decorating with flowers or fish, but outfitting your workspace to be more ergonomic is an excellent way to increase work output while also improving health and comfort. Adding devices like ergonomic monitor arms to reduce neck strain, or adjustable high tech office chairs to reduce back pain leave users feeling more at ease in the office. Over time, these gadgets can help force the body into more healthful positions and habits, so the whole workplace can benefit.

9. Privacy Boosters

Privacy Boosters

Not everyone is a talker. For those of you out there who love your coworkers, but are still distracted by Talkative Tim, privacy boosters make excellent solutions. No one likes to be bothered when they're on a really productive streak. To combat contact, check with the boss to see if you can add a folding shoji screen to cover your cubicle entrance (they also double as efficient sound barriers). As an added precaution, noise-cancelling headphones act as the universal symbol for "don't bother me." And for those immune to symbols, a real sign never hurts...

10. Surprises


Surprises are the spice of life. Not always knowing what's around the next bend is a wonderful way rock the workplace, especially in offices that never seem to have a change of pace. See if you can get the boss to agree on an event coordinator to organize potlucks, game sessions, and holiday events after work hours. Movie nights, harmless pranks, funny outfit days, open mic nights, and scavenger hunts provide just the right amount of whimsy to make all the work in the workplace worth it!

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