Tackling Your Business’s Waste Problem

With increasing regulations and a growing awareness amongst consumers, every business owner has to seriously consider the environmental impact their work has. In particular, waste is still a significant issue, but one that you can help to decrease dramatically. Here, we’re going to look at some of the greatest sources of waste in all businesses and what you can do to lessen your impact at least a little.

Paper

Paper isn’t being treated as the completely expendable commodity that it once was. This is thanks, in large part, to the growing reliance on IT. More and more businesses are turning to a paperless or near paperless model. By relying more on digital storage and backups, you can reduce the amount of paper your business uses dramatically. Not only does this cut on the costs of buying paper itself, it also saves in terms of printing costs and the storage space necessary to keep all that paper, too.

Power

Many businesses use more electricity than necessary. From vampire electricity wasted by leaving devices on standby to relying on old equipment that is far from energy efficient, you could be driving your power bills sky high. An energy audit service can help you easily see where exactly you’re using the most energy and what to do about it. Investing in question like a genset can help you cut costs, too. Many utility providers are willing to offer discounts on energy, for instance, if companies are willing to use their own genset to supplement their reliance on utilities.

Water

Water-saving faucets and toilets can drastically reduce the amount of water wasted by employees in every bathroom. However, water waste isn’t just about how much water your business uses, but how clean it is when disposed. From businesses with fleets to warehouses and construction crews, water contamination is a serious problem. Oil water separators are more than just an ethical choice, they could be an essential part of making your business compliant with environmental regulations, depending on the industry you’re in. As the business grows, make sure that you’re getting rid of waste water in the cleanest way possible.

Packaging

If you’re in retail, manufacturing, or production of any kind, consider the packaging you offer. Regular product packaging is one of the most widespread sources of plastic and paper waste, but there are eco-friendly packaging options available. You can make it much easier for your customers to recycle or reuse your products. Not only will this help tackle your ecological footprint, but it’s a very visible sign of your company’s dedication to environmentally friendly operation methods. It can be as much a part of the brand, helping to win the goodwill of your consumers.

It’s reasonable to expect that businesses will be legally required to produce less waste as time goes on. Even now, consumers are becoming more mindful of who they support and producing lots of waste can be bad for your image as far as they are concerned. Keep the tips above in mind, as it’s only going to become more important.

The Impact of the Office Layout on Productivity

Noise can be a serious distraction and have a negative effect on your productivity and desire to work, and one of the reasons why most offices are loud is the lack of privacy. However, the fact is that most people function better when they can focus on their own work. It may sound strange, but the office layout should be executed in a certain way in order to boost the creativity and the positive workflow between employees. Here are a few easy tricks that could help you take your office to a new level when it comes to efficiency and work ethic.

The open-space concept

This is the most popular setup at the moment, both at big corporations and small startups. It became popular in the IT industry and, soon enough, everyone else joined the movement. The main reason why this type of office functions well is that everyone is close to each other and it’s much easier to work that way. It welcomes collaboration and allows you to work individually and as a part of a team.

The employees will communicate better without physical barriers between them, so the open layout has a positive effect on the socialization between them as well. One of its negative sides, though, is that those who like privacy and work better when they’re alone might struggle with too many people crammed together.

The cubicles

This type of workspace is probably the least favorite option, but not everyone thinks it’s so bad. Sure, cubicles can feel tiny and claustrophobic, but they also provide the right amount of privacy and modify the space between employees, giving everyone a chance to work in a quiet and peaceful environment. Apart from that, there’s no chance important documents are going to get lost in a cubicle since it’s so small!

However, dividing your employees this way creates a certain barrier between them and it leads to bad relations and a lack of communication. It can also cause bad collaboration and some business projects could suffer as a result. Be careful with the number of things you include in this small space because it can get crowded in a second with all the documents spread around the table.

How to optimize the space

Whether you work in an open-space office or a cubicle, your desk needs to be impeccable and organized to perfection. The first thing you need is a system for filing documents and enough storage for such a system to work, so you’ll always know where everything is.

To be able to organize your desk, use a variety of affordable office supplies and find the best option for keeping track of your tasks. Create a planner and stick to your duties, and that will help you finish your job on time, but don’t forget to leave an extra day, just in case you run into a problem. Finally, add some personal items to create a more pleasant workspace area and these will also inspire you to be more productive.

A lounge area

Every office needs a space where employees can relax and take a break from their hard work. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and even a simple seating area with a coffee machine and some bean bags will be just fine. Even though it seems that having a space like this is a distraction, the truth is quite the contrary – some companies even like to add games to their lounge, giving everyone a chance to release the negative energy while playing games rather than feeling stressed out.

There’s also a possibility of creating a themed lounge by combining everything the employees enjoy: a small gym, an arcade heaven and a chill zone with some peaceful music. Nowadays, there’s a rising trend that includes meditation break rooms which are a great way to take a step back and breathe when things get too hectic.

The office layout surely plays a significant role in the company results and how the employees feel when coming to work. You can’t choose the type of office you’ll work in, but you can definitely make the most of the one that’s assigned to you – at least until you reach that corner office you’re striving for!

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

4 Factors That Trigger Employee Stress in the Workplace

According to the National Institute of Safety and Health, over 40 percent of people reported that their job was stressful or extremely stressful. Over 29 percent of people reported that they felt extremely stressed at work. Good employers should be taking the stress levels of their employees into consideration and planning ways to help lower stress in the workplace.

Eliminate Intrinsic Dangers

Many workers report that there are intrinsic dangers that are inherent in doing their job. While not all workplace dangers can be eliminated, meeting regularly with your employers and allowing them to voice their safety concerns is a great place to start as they may have super ideas about how to make their jobs safer. Take a realistic attitude toward the amount of time pressure you are putting on each employee. See if there is a way that you can divide the workload in a more realistic manner. Hire a commercial cleaning service to make sure that the work environment stays spotless.

Develop Clear Work Guidelines

Many people report that they do not understand how they can move up in the company. Others report they feel stressed because they do not clearly understand what their job entails. Still, others report that they feel stress because they do not have a good life-work balance. Writing company guidelines is a great place to start eliminating a lot of these stresses. The guideline should clearly spell out how you expect employees to behave away from the office along with clear guidance on how they can move forward.

Put into Place Objective Goals

Your employees should be well informed about the goals that you want your company to meet over the short-and-long course. Yet, many employees report that they feel stressed because they do not understand how their job responsibilities align with meeting those goals. Meeting with everyone to explain how their goals fit into the overall picture can help. Make sure that you are giving pay raises and promotions based on preassigned criteria so that people know what they must do to be considered. Create an open-door policy allowing employees to voice their concerns while receiving guidance from you.

Build Better Relationships

Make a large portion of your manager’s evaluations their ability to manage others. Then, seek feedback from those working under them regularly. Plan team building activities to allow employees to get to know each other better. You may be surprised what hidden talents lay on your team unless you allow someone the freedom to express themselves. Watch for signs that someone is feeling overly stressed and have a private conversation with them about what you can do to help solve the problem.

While it is impossible to eliminate all stress in the workplace. Use these ideas and your own ingenuity to help lower everyone’s stress levels at work.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

How the Workplace Is Changing in 2018 (And How You Can Keep Up)

Guess what: The workplace of today isn’t the same as the workplace of even a few years ago. There are forces at work that are influencing who you hire, why you hire them, and even why people come looking to you as a possible place to work.

Take the generational shift: Baby boomers are retiring in greater and greater numbers. And they’re going to be replaced by millennials—in greater and greater numbers.

And despite worries about the cost of education and debt, those millennials are entering a workplace where employers are competing for incredibly qualified workers. That means what they offer to potential employees has to be innovative and competitive, too.

We keep hearing about the incoming robot revolution, and automation is going to change the workplace. But no one really knows what that’s going to look like. In fact, the jobs that get replaced may be supplemented by jobs that are new.

What else is the workplace going to look like? This graphic gives some details.

Please include attribution to https://zerocater.com with this graphic.

How the Workplace Is Changing in 2018 InfoGraphics

 

4 Steps Businesses Should Take Against Bullying in the Workplace

Bullying can be a major problem in some workplaces. From catty gossip to more aggressive intimidation tactics, you may have noticed classic bullying tactics on the job. If bullying is a problem at work, you should take these four steps to combat the issue.

Establish an Anti-Bullying Policy

A no-tolerance anti-bullying policy can help create a safer work environment for everyone. A policy that clearly states your company’s stance against bullying will likely be the most effective. The policy should also spell out the consequences for staff members who violate the anti-bullying rules. Each employee should receive a copy of the policy and be required to sign it. You can also post a large copy of the policy on a wall or reader board so that everyone can review it regularly.

Confront the Person Directly

If a staff member is bullying you or one of your employees, your company should encourage you to confront the person directly in a tactful manner. Monster.com suggests pointing out the negative consequences caused by the person’s actions instead of just focusing on how the bullying makes you feel. You can highlight how the bullying makes it more difficult to accomplish work tasks or convey your ideas during meetings. Try to remain civil during your discussion to prevent making the matter worse. Having an honest discussion with the person may be enough to stop future incidents of bullying.

Consider Terminating Problematic Employees

Firing employees who are known to bully other coworkers may be the best option if they refuse to change their ways. If your company has a business insurance policy with a carrier like Marine Agency, you can review the consequences that your business could face if liability claims are made because of the bullying. You may have to terminate these employees yourself if you’re a supervisor or bring these matters to the attention of upper management who can make the decision. If your company faces liability claims because of these bullies, the insurance for employer liability will cover up to a certain dollar amount.

Keep Records

Documenting episodes of bullying will help you notice a pattern. If you notice that a pattern of bullying is occurring instead of just a few isolated instances, additional measures will need to be taken. It’s important to record the specific dates that the bullying occurred and what exactly happened during each incident. You can record episodes of bullying for yourself or one of your employees who may feel too intimidated to speak up about the problem. Having a record will make it easier for you to take measures against problematic employees.

There are many ways to stop bullying in the workplace from getting worse. By combating the problem early, you’ll have an easier time putting an end to the torment.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

The Importance of Creating Healthy and Positive Work Environment for More Productive Employees

Productivity at work is affected by many factors. One of the main factors has everything to do with the way employees perceive their work environment. Therefore, it’s essential that you make sure that the space people work at as well as the way they communicate with each other is positive and encouraging. This is nothing new in the world of productivity, and there are plenty of tips that you can utilize for your own office space.

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The office should be clutter-free

In general, you should encourage your employees to keep their own desk clutter-free by making sure that the whole office space is clean and organized. This doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any sign of personality anywhere – quite the contrary. But, it’s essential that there are not too many distractions at work. Moreover, an organized office means that your employees can freely move around without feeling trapped and pressured. Just like clutter and mess, a poorly utilized layout can cause mental pressure and decrease productivity levels. With that being said, make sure that everyone can get up from their desk, move around and properly communicate with each other.

Lighting and air quality

It’s essential that the lighting in the office is pleasant for the eyes. Obviously, natural light is the best option, so do your best to utilize it to the fullest. However, artificial lighting is also crucial for the productivity at work. In that respect, opt for full-spectrum lighting that actually feels pleasant on the eyes. Just like lighting, the air quality plays an important role in office productivity. For starters, a proper ventilation system is a must. One of the best tricks, however, is to enrich your space with plants. Plants are known to boost productivity and reduce stress, but they also clean the air effectively. You may want to look into the possibility of installing a green wall, as this is definitely the best way to bring nature into the office, as well as engage your employees more.

Make sure that everyone is comfortable

If your employees have to sit at a desk for the most part of the work day, it’s paramount that you ensure their comfort – and health. Basically, do your best to find ergonomic furniture that will adjust properly to the individual using the furniture. Chairs with proper support for the back and arms, as well as sturdy desks of proper heights will minimize the neck and back pain, allowing your employees to be more productive. Moreover, don’t hesitate to add some other comfy features to the office, such as a yoga ball and other comfy furniture for the break area. This will also encourage your staff to get together and spend time with each other during the break more.

Let the design of your office boost employee bonds

When you make sure that your office is designed with productivity in mind, you’ll literally create a chance for your employees to bond and connect more. This will also improve their team work and overall professional content, which obviously leads to a productivity boost and better performance. Aside from the previously mentioned tips, you may think about promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle at work as well, organizing interesting team building events, providing proper credit, rewards and bonuses, allowing pets in the office, and many other things that seem like a good fit for your office space, your team and the productivity goals you wish to achieve as a modern business.

Work and life balance is a must

Don’t spoil your beautifully designed office by overloading your employees with work. Productive design won’t work if people feel constantly stressed and overworked. What you can do, however, is promote work and personal life balance. This can be done in many ways. One possibility is to allow your employees to get to work a bit later on Monday and leave a bit earlier on Friday. On the other hand, you may allow employees to work from home for one day in the week, if that suits them. Most importantly, divide the work properly, so that you actually strengthen the teams and get more work done instead of pushing people to the point of burning out.

Employees represent your brand, and when they are happy, you can bet that your brand is going to get heard of one way or another. For starters, happy employees will constantly perform well and connect with the company’s business success goals. What’s more, positive word-of-mouth is also going to do your brand a lot of good. Therefore, don’t hesitate to make the most out of your office space and provide your staff with productivity boosters that will make them truly happy to work for you and move your business forward.


Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

Office Remodel: How to Keep Your Employees Accommodated during Major Renovations

While your office is being renovated there are a number of challenges that can pop up unexpectedly. Aside from the typical contractor and construction issues, it is likely that your employees will have some of their own issues from the noise, dust, parking issues, and other problems that come with a construction project on this scale. Luckily, there are a few different strategies one can use in order to minimize this issue. In the following guide, we will examine some ways to keep your employees accommodated during major renovations.

Determine Parking

Often times one of the biggest inconveniences for employees during an office remodel is the parking situation. Many office buildings are located in busy areas of town and already have issues with parking. Taking away even a small percentage of dedicated spots can cause havoc with on-time arrivals, towed cars, and many other snafus that are bound to come up. This may also help with your business insurance- employee cars that have to be parked off property tend to raise insurance rates.

Set up a parking plan before your remodel begins so that your employees will have a clear understanding of where to park. If you are in a busy urban area, try and speak with nearby businesses to reach some kind of arrangement where your employees can park there temporarily. An ounce of prevention in this situation is worth even more than a pound of cure.

Bathroom Replacements

If your remodel is in your bathroom facilities or will be blocking access it is incredibly important that you set up alternative restroom facilities for your employees. Not only is it the right thing to do- it is the law. There are two ways that you can arrange for your employees to have access to restrooms during work hours.

The first is to hire a portable toilet company like Direct Hire. An organization like this can provide for all of your bathroom needs and washing. These services will travel to your location- no construction on your end involved at all. You also have the option of making a deal with a local business and using their facilities if need be.

An office renovation does not have to be a horrible experience for everyone involved. Similar to other problems in life, it can be avoided or lessened with some planning. Use the information and tips we went over in this article in order to keep your employees accommodated during an office renovation.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley