The Importance of Staying Hydrated While Working at Home

Working remotely from home is often as mentally consuming as working onsite, but it gives you more control over your working conditions, timing and breaks. For this reason, you have to make sure you manage your food and fluid intake in order to stay productive. Research conducted at the Indian Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences shows that only 2% of dehydration will negatively affect cognitive functions like short-term memory, reasoning and hand-eye coordination, although they also state that a mere 1% is enough to lower your intellectual performance.

How to drink enough water at home

Remote workers have to mind their fluid intake in order to prevent mild dehydration, which can be difficult because it’s easy to become absorbed in the work and forget about everything else. Many use the old trick of placing a bottle or a big cup of water by their computer or on their working desk, in order to remember to drink some every now and then. This is a good idea, just make sure to use a capped bottle or a cup with a lid on if you are working with materials that could be damaged by an accidental spill, such as blueprints or cardboard models.

Some workers opt for tap water, while others stay they prefer mineral water or spring water because it is healthier. In fact, bottled water tends to be safer than tap water, but the main downside is that it is more expensive. Since the suggested daily water intake is 9 glasses for women and 12 glasses for men, buying spring water is an expense you have to consider when planning your monthly finances. Mineral and spring water also have ionized minerals that help improve your cognitive functions.

Best drinks to order when working at a cafe

Many remote workers and freelancers like to step by their favorite cafe – or a new one every day if they are traveling workers – and spend a couple hours working there. Some actually focus better and produce more when working at a cafe, and ordering a large cup of a nice beverage helps them stay hydrated. Now, not all of them know that some drinks are better than others for their hydration. Coffee, tea and sodas have a high percentage of water, but many have caffeine, which acts as a diuretic (a dehydrating agent). So decaf drinks are more recommendable in these cases. Also, juice fruits and milk-based drinks tend to have a lesser percentage of water than infusions, so they are not as good in that regard.

Food that hydrates you

Drinking water is not the only way to stay hydrated. Many foods are very rich in water, so if you eat them at lunch or during your breaks, you can add up to your daily fluid intake. Fruits such as grapes, watermelon and grapefruit are among the most hydrating aliments you can eat. Soup and Jell-O are also big sources of water. Interestingly enough, many types of meat such as beef and chicken, have up to 60% of water, so a hamburger at lunch or a nice hot pot for the winter can be just as great as a glass of water.

Staying hydrated is not as difficult as you may think, but it’s certainly very important to keep you at the top of your game. Make sure to drink enough water and use these hydration hacks to keep yourself productive, awake and making the best out of your remote working hours.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

Why health incentives are a work perk you shouldn’t overlook

When it comes to considering a new job, most people think first of benefits such as salary or paid time off. They’ll use those as the only measurement when considering whether to take what’s offered, or whether they should push harder when they bargain.

But here’s the thing: There are other tangibles that make just as much of an impact on your daily life as do salary and vacation or sick time. For example, what about not ever needing that sick time because your employer has helped you do whatever it takes to be as healthy as possible? Have you ever considered the idea of negotiating health benefits in order to achieve that end?

If you haven’t, you should. Health incentives—whatever you have and whatever you can negotiate—can help you not only feel better but reduce your out-of-pocket costs. Here’s what to consider as you review them.

 

Is Your Business Friendly Towards the Environment?

Whether in business for many years or starting one, how friendly are you with the environment?

In a day and age when there is more focus on how man impacts the environment, it is to your benefit to protect it.

That said your business can take a positive role in this effort each day.

So, is your business friendly towards the environment?

Ways You Can Contribute to a Healthier Environment

In looking to be a responsible business, here are ways you can help contribute to the environment:

  1. Recycling – Does your company recycle all kinds of different products? If you answered no, how about changing this moving forward? Recycling is a great means to help keep the environment cleaner. For example, you should have a place in your office where employees can recycle things. These would include papers, bottles and cans. It is quite easy to put some bins throughout the office for such matters. You might even have a contest each month to see which employee can come up with the most recycling. In doing this, you encourage your team to do their part for a better environment.
  2. Solar energy – What is your office building made of? If you had the chance to, were solar panels installed at the time of its construction? In the event you are building a new office complex, would you go solar if you have the option to? By using the energy from the sun, you can power your complex and save money on utilities in the process. As a business owner, saving money wherever you can should always be on your mind. You can also do your part to better keep the environment clean. If learning about solar and where and how to build an office, reach out to companies like Precision XYZ. Such brands can educate you on how best to make for a safe and money-saving office site.
  3. Education – While you never force workers into anything, do all you can to encourage them. As an example, provide them with reading materials and even a video or two to show during a company meeting. It may be a case where some employees want to do their part, yet they do not quite know how to go about it.

When you decided to go into business years ago or recently, you may not have had the environment on your mind in thinking where your next office will be built.

That said more business owners are stepping up to the plate in this all-important cause. As a result, it is opening more minds up on how they can do their part.

Take time to go online and see how your business could contribute to a better environment.

Not only will you and your employees be the beneficiaries of this, but others will too.

So, think about your role, the role of your employees, and then get to planning how you will all make a difference.

In the end, you might be quite pleased with what you come up with.

And you know the environment will be too.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business topics on the web.

 

 

4 Ways Business Managers Can Better Connect with Their Employees

The most effective managers are those that make it look effortless. Connecting with your employees is the best way to become more effective at your job. Here are some techniques that you can use to help you better connect with your employees.

Practice Open Door Relationships

Almost every manager will say that they have an open door policy. Employees know that some managers are just saying this instead of practicing it. You have to practice what you preach. Take the time to listen to what your employees have to say. Be sympathetic and try to help them brainstorm solutions to their problems. You may find that they’re more willing to be open with you in return. This could help you to be aware of ongoing issues within your employee group.

Provide an Outlet

There will be times in which your employees need to vent. Let them know that this is okay as long as they’re respectful of their coworkers. Another venue to provide them with an outlet is to host an event or company party. This will allow everyone to get out of their element and socialize. Look into using a rental company like Party People Rentals & Sales to help you with your party needs. It will give you more time to focus on planning activities instead of the logistics.

Be a Mentor

Give your employees an opportunity to grow into a new position if they’re interested. You can help them achieve their goals by providing mentoring and helping to set goals. This will give you a chance to have a meaningful conversation with them about their motivations and desires. You may find that you have more in common with your employees than you had previously thought. This can garner you more respect with other employees.

Get down with It

Some of the most effective managers are those that understand all aspects of the job. Lead by example and pitch in if someone is out sick or there is a large project looming. If employees see that you’re willing to help out when needed, they view you as more approachable. This may be all that you need in order to start connecting with them. A manager that’s willing to get into the trenches tends to be more respected and trustworthy.

The first place to start when connecting with your employees is to make it personal. Having a vested interest in their success will show them that you care about their well-being and livelihood.

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

 

4 Factors That Make a Comfortable Work Environment & How They Impact Employees

There’s no doubt about it—employees thrive better in more comfortable work environments. As a business owner, it is up to you to find creative ways to make the work space as cozy as possible without compromising on productivity. So, what can you do to spruce up the work environment? Here are four factors you should consider when considering a revamp.

Use Proper Lighting

Having the right type of lighting in the workplace is essential for creating productivity among workers. Lights that are too dim can cause employees to strain their eyes to see while extremely bright lights can cause headaches and dizziness. Find a warm, inviting lighting style that works with the rest of your office decor and doesn’t impede the ability of your employees to work in comfort.

Make Communication a Focal Point

What is the point in having a physically comfy workplace if emotional comfort is lacking? By opening up the lines of communication, your employees can feel like their presence within your company matters. Not only does this drive everyone to perform better, but it helps to build trust between workers at all levels.

Place Emphasis on Organization

A disorganized and dirty work space is both inefficient and discouraging to employees. Your business doesn’t have to be spotless from floor to ceiling, but it should be kept tidy enough so that workers feel comfortable. Of course, it is always a great idea to hire a commercial cleaning team to come in and help keep the environment as clean and hospitable as possible.

Also, make it a point to encourage employees to keep their spaces organized. Offering incentives or playing games that emphasize cleanliness and organization can help employees stay on top of their productivity and feel valued by you.

Make the Break Room Fun to Use

Break rooms sometimes come off as stiff, stale, and ultimately boring. They become the rooms that employees don’t enjoy spending time in when the rooms themselves have very little to offer. Break rooms should instead be areas where employees can relieve stress and spend time chatting with one another.

To make a break room fun, try adding some activities, such as a putting hole and golf clubs or a pool table. You could even put in an old-school arcade game to create a sense of nostalgia.

Your work environment won’t be flawless, but it should be physically and emotionally comfortable and inviting to all employees and visitors. As a business owner, the standard for comfort begins with you.

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 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.