Tag Archives: workplace

Is Your Desk Job Hurting Your Health?

desk_job_killing_you_webCould too much of a good thing be bad for your health? While it’s exciting to land that office job, it’s also important to remember that your body is made to move. Did you know that sitting in front a screen, like a computer, for extended periods of time can increase your risk of certain diseases? Check out these tips to make sure you’re staying healthy both at home and in the workplace.

Stay healthy.
Sitting is often unavoidable and, when broken up into smaller periods of time, won’t do too much damage. The key to staying healthy at your desk job is making sure you take breaks that get you out of your chair. In fact, experts suggest standing every 30 minutes, if possible. To help you get moving, try out these tips:

Stand Up

  • Set reminders. Try using your email or calendar to set reminders that will pop up and remind you to stand for a few minutes. You can also try this trick at home by using TV commercials as a signal for you to stand up and get moving.
  • Stand up and straighten your office or workspace. De-cluttering can also help you cut down on stress.
  • If you like to drink a lot of coffee or other beverage, use a smaller cup in the morning. This will force you to make more trips to fill up your cup throughout the day.
  • Stand up and get a glass of water if you’ve been sitting for too long.
  • When you’re eating lunch or talking on the phone, stand up if possible.
  • Instead of using email or interoffice mail, hand deliver papers to a co-worker.
  • If possible, use a printer that’s stationed away from your work area so you have to walk to retrieve your documents.
  • On lunch breaks, take a walk around the building or nearby area.

Rest Your Eyes

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a break from your screen and stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to help the focusing muscles in your eyes relax.
  • Make a conscious effort to blink every 10-15 seconds so you coat your cornea and nourish your eyes with oxygen.
  • Try increasing the brightness level on your computer’s monitor to decrease eye fatigue. Also, it’s recommended that your computer screen be positioned 20-28 inches from your eyes.
  • Eat eye-friendly foods like kale and spinach to lower your chance of developing a cataract.

Protect Yourself

  • To lessen the strain on your back, try sitting at a 135-degree angle while you work.
  • Keep hand sanitizer at your desk and wash your hands regularly. According to IdealBite.com, the average office keyboard harbors five times more germs than a public restroom.

Even though there are risks associated with desk jobs, the good news is that there are ways to minimize these risks and stay healthy.

How do you keep your health in check while working in the office? Share your tips in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

10 Tips for an Earth-Friendly Workday

earth_friendly_work_day_webWednesday, April 22, is Earth Day, a worldwide event that was first celebrated in 1970 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. You can be a part of the movement from the comfort of your very own workspace.

The Office’s Environmental Footprint
Little changes can make a big difference. In some cases, office environments are the worst offenders when it comes to waste and environmental damage, but that trend is changing.

The future will see companies turn to the efficient use of local resources and services to help cut the high cost of powering and providing water to buildings. Communities are looking to “buy local” and are demanding that businesses play their part in creating a sustainable and environmentally healthy economy.

So, how can you help your office become more sustainable? Check out these 10 easy tips for an earth-friendly work day.

  1. Use energy-efficient light bulbs or natural light. If your office has plenty of windows, make use of that daylight. If not, choose compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use 25 to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  2. Install motion sensors in areas like storage rooms, bathrooms, and spare rooms. Timers and smart control systems turn off devices that are not in use, like kitchen and heating appliances.
  3. Introduce a recycling bin system. Encourage co-workers to put plastic bottles, waste paper, and other recyclables in these recycling containers to reduce waste in landfills.
  4. Start a “bring your own” program for coffee mugs and plates. Have a contest to see who has the most unique coffee mug and discourage the use of paper and plastic plates and silverware. The simple task of washing used dishes can save hundreds of dollars, as well as reduce waste.
  5. Read memos and reports online. Printing every memo or multi-page report equals hundreds of pounds of paper waste every year. When possible, read these reports and communications on the computer instead of printing them out.
  6. Turn off machines that use a large amount of energy overnight. Employees should be encouraged to power off their computers or put them in “sleep” mode when they leave.
  7. Recycle ink cartridges. Empty ink cartridges can be sold to companies that recycle them. Some companies even deliver a collection box for empty cartridges and will collect them as well.
  8. Start a carpooling or car sharing program. Adding incentives like gifts or rewards to those who carpool helps boost participation – plus, you’ll get to know your co-workers better!
  9. Reuse and reclaim. Try to use companies that reclaim unwanted or used furniture and fix them up. Not only do you help the environment, but you can get some truly unique and cool items.
  10. Buy local. By choosing small, local businesses, you’ll save on transportation costs and will help strengthen the health of your community.

What does your office do to help save the planet? Share your best office conservation practices with us in the comments section below.

Happy Earth Day!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

National Have Fun at Work Day

have_fun_at_work_day_webThese days there’s a national holiday for just about everything. On Wednesday, Jan. 28, it’s National Have Fun at Work Day.

Work is usually a place where we’re serious and focused on deadlines, meetings, and the hustle and bustle of work life. But, having a little fun is good for the soul and productivity. Here are a few ideas to shake stress off and make the day fun!

  1. Dress up.
    No, not in your typical business attire. Pick your favorite TV show or movie characters to dress up as. Maybe don your best 1950s gear. Get creative and clever with it, because this is a day to be silly.
  2. Have a potluck or go out for a long lunch.
    What better way to have fun at work than with a potluck? Each person could make their favorite dish and then there could be a contest for the best recipes. The winners could be featured on Facebook or in the employee newsletter. Or, how about the entire team picks a new restaurant to visit? Take time to really sit and chat. Relax and enjoy getting to share time with your co-workers.
  3. Host games throughout the day.
    Make a day of it with your very own office Olympics. Different departments can compete against each other to see who earns a trophy and bragging rights. And if playing all day is not possible, maybe every hour or every other hour there could be an activity. Get creative and encourage teamwork!
  4. Give back.
    Why not do some volunteer work on this national day of fun? Spend the day with your co-workers giving back and making a difference in your community. Many nonprofits rely on volunteers to help fulfill their missions and would gladly accept the help.
  5. Take pictures.
    Who doesn’t love a photo booth? Plus, they’re very cost effective to create. Usually all you need is a flat wall or doorway and some streamers. Throw in some hats and various props, grab someone who can snap some pictures, and you’ve got a fun way to document the day!

National Have Fun at Work Day doesn’t have to cost a fortune or consist of elaborate activities. A little bit of creativity can go a long way! Let the good times roll!

How do you celebrate National Have Fun at Work Day? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Avoiding Hand Injuries at Work

hand_safety_webWe use our hands for so many tasks that we often take them for granted. Imagine how difficult it would be to brush your teeth, put on shoes, drive, work or do a million other things because of an injury or loss of a hand.

Unfortunately, hand injuries occur in the workplace every 32 seconds according to Telecom Insurance Group. Every year 16 million people seek emergency care for hand injuries

Most of these accidents are preventable, so it’s very important to know and understand prevention tips.

Sources for Hand Injury Prevention
WebMD offers valuable tips for preventing finger, hand, and wrist injuries. You can also find prevention tips from Canada’s Labour Program. And, a new website, www.choosehandsafety.org, was launched this spring to help teach workers how to protect their hands, including what to look for when choosing and using hand tools and gloves.

The National Safety Council and the Labour Program also have resources you can share with your employers and co-workers.

Leave Mechanical Maintenance to the Professionals
Although generally cautious about burns or cuts while handling objects, workers often do not think of the dangers associated with reaching into a machine to fix a jam or remove material. But, reaching into a machine can be very dangerous. Think about how much you use your hands before you put them at risk by reaching into a machine.

For more information on machine safety, read this article.

It’s important to take some time to know the risks and prevention tips associated with hand injuries. And, of all the prevention tips, remember to think safety first!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How to Say Yes to a Summer Work Wardrobe

summerwardrobe_webBuilding your work wardrobe is never easy. Between the hassles of finding reasonable prices and making sure your new clothes fit the dress code policies of your office, sometimes staying up-to-date with the current season and fashion trends can fall by the wayside. However, looking your best is something we sometimes take for granted. As it’s frequently said, first impressions mean the most, and what you are wearing is commonly the initial thing that others notice about you. That’s why Movin’ On Up has compiled a list of ways to say yes to a summer work wardrobe; to help you stay fashionable while keeping your professional appearance intact.

Say Yes to Modesty

Summer is hot. We all dream of lounging at the pool in our bathing suits or taking a stroll in shorts and flip flops. However, when you’re at the office, it’s crucial to keep covered. A great way to accomplish this while still staying cool is to add some lighter materials to your ensemble. Pack up the heavy, thick pieces you used to keep warm in the winter and bring in some breathable clothes, like cotton dresses and dressy tank tops for women (as long as your dress policy allows for them) and cotton button-down shirts for men.

Say Yes to Color

Summer is fun! There’s no need to keep all your colors neutral and boring. Take advantage of the fact that it’s bright outside and bring some of that into the office. For women, simple colored blouses or fun patterns can add a little cheer to your workday, along with white trousers and jackets, and neutral nails. On the men’s side, staying classic is best, and adding small pops of color is encouraged.

Say Yes to Accessories

Summer is exciting. That’s why you shouldn’t leave your wardrobe looking dull and lifeless. Make sure to jazz it up with some simple finishing touches that really bring everything together. The skinny gold bangle is a surefire win for women this summer, as are perforated leather totes and statement necklaces. Men don’t have as many accessory options as women, but a nice summer watch can do wonders for adding some charm to your outfit.

Say Yes to Professionalism

Summer is still a time to work. As with everything, the set guidelines for dress in your office are the ultimate say-so. Even if you find the perfect sandal wedges or dangly earrings for the season, if your clothing policy says no, don’t break or even bend the rules. Save the shorts, capris, and sheer tanks for the weekend. Even if it’s listed in this article, it doesn’t necessarily mean your boss will agree. Always strive to look your best and represent your workplace the way it intends to be represented. There are always ways to look good, no matter what the policies dictate!

Choosing your wardrobe for the summer is a time to express yourself and look your best. Since trends tend to change year-by-year, the more timeless you can keep your outfit, the more money it will save you in the long run. Stay modest, stay colorful, stay accessorized, and stay professional.

Do you have any tips for a summer work wardrobe? Are there more summer trends that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Reinvent Your Online Identity

online _identity_May2014Whether you’re looking for a job and want to expand your network or just wanting to freshen up your social media presence, it’s important to frequently revamp your online identity. A revamp doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your social media presence, but it’s a good way to put your best foot forward. Here are some ways you can get started on revamping your online identity today.

First Impression

Some people say first impressions last a lifetime. If that’s the case, your profile needs to be the best representation of yourself it can possibly be. Do you have pictures or posts that aren’t great representations of you? Do yourself a favor and delete things off your page that could potentially hinder or cause a hiring manager to change their mind about you. Also, be mindful that if you’ve applied for jobs, hiring managers are probably already checking out your online identity.

A new survey by CareerBuilder, nearly two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates and according to Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, “Employers are using all the tools available to them to assure they make the correct hiring decision,” and that includes social media.

Stay Active

Do you actively search for job opportunities through social media networks? If not, becoming active through social media groups is a great way to start. You can learn about companies and gain knowledge of different industries just by being part of a group on LinkedIn. You never know if a LinkedIn connection you made through a group can be helpful in getting a job in the future. A recent Jobvite survey shows that more people get hired from online referrals and company career pages than from job boards. So it’s important to stay active online, never stop networking, and keep everything professional.

Keep it Current

Is the information on your profile accurate and up-to-date? Sometimes we get busy and forget to update our information – especially after a move or change in job. Be sure to take a good look at your social media profiles and make sure all your information is current. Not only does your information need to be consistently updated, but it’s also important to keep an up-to-date profile picture.

It’s never too late to reinvent your online identity. You can start today by using these quick tips we’ve shared. Have you recently updated your social media profiles and got a job as a result? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Know When To Go – Job Change

Know when to go_May2014Everyone has moments when they wonder if it’s time to make a change and find a new job. But, if you find yourself constantly thinking of leaving your job and wishing you worked somewhere else, you probably need to do a little soul-searching. It may be time to try something new, or you may just have unrealistic expectations of your job.

Making a job change can be a great career move, but it’s not something you should take lightly. In order to know when to go, you need to take an honest look at your situation. Understanding your reasons for leaving will not only help you make a wise decision, but also ensure your future success wherever you work.

How’s Your Attitude?
There is no such thing as a stress-free job. Even the most passionate professionals can find themselves frustrated and stressed out. So don’t make a quick decision to change jobs when you’re emotional. Take the time to uncover if you are just stressed or have burned out. Also, see if making a conscious effort to have a positive attitude for a few weeks changes your perspective.

Are You Running Away From Someone?
Toxic coworkers or managers can ruin any job. However, there will always be difficult people in the workplace you don’t get along with. If you want to change jobs to get away from someone, consider if you’re dealing with a true toxic relationship or if it’s just a matter of personality difference. And, to be fair, you should also reflect on if you’ve played a part in creating the negative relationship and if there is a way you can turn things around.

Have You Maximized Your Current Job?
A lack of career development opportunities is a legitimate reason for leaving a job. However, it’s easy to mistakenly assume you’ve outgrown your current job and employer. Think through all your job responsibilities – have you mastered them all? If so, are there other skills you could learn in your department or in other departments? Sometimes lateral moves at your current workplace can offer the challenge and development you’re looking for, without the uncertainty and hassle associated with a new employer. This is also the time to decide if you want to be a job-hopper or a job-shopper.

Before you make the transition into job-hunting mode, take the time to consider why you want to change jobs. If you decide to leave, then you’ll already know some of the key things you’re looking for in a new job. And, if you decide to stay, you’ll know how to improve and be happy in your current job.

How do you know when to go? What do you look at when you’re considering changing jobs? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.