5 Powerful Morning Routine Ideas To Boost your Office Productivity

Co-workers having an ice cold drinks.

It’s a well known fact that a good night’s sleep is an essential ingredient for an efficient and successful day at work.

Also, you are likely familiar with the benefits of incorporating appropriate exercise and diet regimen to boost your performance and help you achieve your professional and personal goals.

But what about morning rituals? Have you given it any thought?

There is a host of things you can do in the morning to enhance your focus, boost your energy, and improve your cognitive function.

There are some common methods successful people use to reach peak productivity. Here we outline some simple and powerful early morning routines that serve the goal.

Learn these tricks to reach your full potential. You don’t have to use them all at once, play around and see what suits you, but each one of them will do the trick.

1. Cold Water Morning Ritual

There’s nothing quite like the good old cold water face washing ritual to kick-start your morning. If you haven’t felt the benefits yet, you may want to try to prolong your face washing ritual. If you persist, cold water should make that dreadful early morning drowsiness subside.

It’s also a good idea to use your office washroom to repeat this ritual during the working hours. It’s good to freshen up a bit when you start feeling tired or distracted. Of course, as an employer, it should be a priority to equip the workplace washroom well and make it spotless.

This will prove your care for your employees’ health and well-being. Plus we shouldn’t dismiss the fact that working in a clean environment influences your employees’ productivity as well.

And you certainly don’t want to compromise your company image, do you? Fresh & Clean provides a hassle-free solution to keep your workplace hygienic and healthy.

2. Get Hydrated

Insufficient water intake can lead to short-term memory problems, brain fog and exhaustion. Thus make sure the first thing you put in your mouth is water. It will jump-start your metabolism, make you hydrated and more alert.

Some accomplished executives choose water over coffee first thing in the morning.

For instance, Kat Cole, president of Focus Brands, drinks 24 ounces of water each morning.

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and Birchbox Man chief Brad Lande start their days with a glass of hot water with lemon. So, don’t forget your water, it will return the favour.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Images by priyanka98742

3. Get Up and Moving

Starting your day with a little bit of movement will lift your spirits and raise your energy levels. You can include a regular morning exercise routine to make your body and brain happy. Try out jogging or a set of convenient exercises to do in your bedroom, for example.

Any type of physical activity will boost your focus and make you ready-to-act. You can also take a bike ride or walk to the office instead of taking public transport.

Nonetheless, if morning is not a perfect time of day for you to workout, don’t be too hard on yourself. You can still do yourself a favour by doing a set of easy 5 minute stretching exercises, or choose steps over lift.

4. Whatever You Do Don’t Skip Breakfast

Skipping breakfast can make you literally unable to perform your daily tasks. It can also trigger unhealthy snacking and overeating habits later on during the day. But how to choose the ideal breakfast that will put that brain cells to work?

Grabbing a junk-food package first thing in the morning isn’t the best idea, as you might assume. Sooner than later it will get you sluggish, nervous and craving more junk food.

It’s way better to opt for whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, etc.) and prepare your breakfast at home.

In case you’re not keen on spending your early hours in the kitchen, you can use the five ingredient rule. Zoom in on that food declaration and only buy items that contain the maximum of 5 ingredients.

If you need coffee to increase your alertness, go on and serve yourself, but do it after the breakfast. We did some research for you and here are some energy boosting foods to help you fuel up your mornings:

  • Protein-rich whole wheat meat, salmon or egg sandwiches
  • Bananas
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Oatmeal or granola
  • Mood-Boosting Smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Hummus

5. Do a Short Breathing Exercise

Do a 5-minute breathing exercise as soon as you hit the office. It will help you gather your thoughts and sharpen your focus. Research shows that spending time in the fresh air improves health. It also does wonders with your concentration and energy levels.

Maybe you fancy going out for a walk in the park on weekdays or prefer a weekend hike in the woods.

But, if you are an employer you can also bring some nature to your workplace. Install Fresh & Clean’s oxygen-based air fresheners to your office. They will eliminate odours, reduce carbon footprint and make your office more pleasant.

Numerous studies have shown that scents can improve mood and generate pleasant emotions in humans.

The journal article The Use of Scents to Influence Consumers: The Sense of Using Scents to Make Cents reveal how ambient scents prompt immediate emotional responses in customers.

What’s more, sufficient indoor oxygen levels are proven to enhance working productivity. The beneficial effects of using scents in your office are obvious and manifold. If you want to make your employees and clients happy, and you most certainly do, with Fresh & Clean’s scents you have the winning combination.

Excitingly enough, Fresh & Clean also offers to take your business to the next level by creating your company’s own signature scent. A unique way to strengthen your brand, isn’t it? One thing’s for certain: don’t forget your employees and clients and they won’t forget you.

Investing a little into your healthy weekday morning routine will pay off in the long run. You can then sit back (or stand up) and enjoy the fruits: your health, success and sense of well-being.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Images by rawpixel

21 Remarkable Ways Guaranteed to Make Your Office Greener at No Cost

Recycle plastic cups

Being a green business is highly beneficial for both your business and the environment. Here is how: You’ll greatly reduce your operating costs, get tax credits, have a healthier workplace, productive employees and benefit from consumer demand.

Better still, your sustainability efforts will save the earth from the effects of climate change and global warming, thus making it a wonderful planet to live in.

A perfect way to achieve these wonderful benefits is by making small simple green changes in your workplace.

So let’s take a closer look at these highly effective tips. What’s more, implementing them is absolutely free.

So, here we go…

1. Reuse

Do your printing on both sides of the paper, for lesser paper use. Use used paper for note taking. Furthermore, instead of disposing of used papers, send them for recycling.

Old files and folders can be reused by simply flipping the records inside out and using the fresh looking folder instead of new ones.

2. Recycle Waste

Form a habit of recycling waste materials. For example, you can dramatically reduce your office expenditure by recycling office supplies such as empty cartridges.

There are plenty of office supply firms that take in the used supplies. While at it, some even reward you with cash incentives.

For waste materials made from aluminum and glass, send them to the relevant recycling companies. These are commendable efforts that can reduce environmental pollution through the reduction of garbage waste.

Also, have a strategically placed recycle bin at your workplace, and encourage everyone to make use of it.

Photo courtesy of Pexels Images by Digital Buggu

3. Use Cloth Towels for Hand Drying

Hand washing is a common good hygiene habit that is often done throughout the day while at the office. But there’s one problem: If you are using paper towels or hand dryers, they are hurting the environment.

Here is a better option. Use the continuous cloth towel.

Why? Because cloth towels besides being hygienic, also offer significant environmental benefits, with less than half the environmental impact of paper towels, using up to 63% less energy, and creating 48% fewer greenhouse gases and up to 79% less waste.

4. Use Energy Efficient Lights

Obviously, any workplace must be well lit, but it shouldn’t result in very high electricity costs. Simply switch to energy efficient lighting like LEDs and save up to 80% energy.

Any lights that are not in use within the office must always be switched off. Another option is adding motion sensors so that lights are only on when there is occupancy.

5. Grow Office Plants

Live plants are great at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and act as natural air purifiers. Moreover, they add a dash of natural beauty to your office, therefore creating an enjoyable ambiance for everyone.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Images

6. Turn Off Electronics

Lower your electricity bill by constantly switching off any electronic not in use. Computers and other electrical appliances can also be saved from damage in case of power overload after a blackout.

Did you know that if still plugged in, electronic appliances consume power even though you’ve turned them off?

Therefore, completely unplug the electronic appliances from power cords or sockets after switching them off.

7. Establish Natural Ventilation

To create a comfortable internal climate in your workplace, use natural ventilation which is much cheaper and healthier compared to air conditioners.

8. Switch to Recycled Office Supplies

You can help reduce wastage by using recycled office supplies. Printing papers and toner cartridges for your printing needs is a great start.

9. Purchase Gently Used Items for Work

Nowadays, thrift stores are well stocked with quality gently used items that can be purchased at a lower price than new ones. Office furniture, general decor, storage items and much more can be purchased and repurposed to suit your taste. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to even get nice clothing appropriate for work.

10. Donate

More often than not, something you don’t need may be of great benefit to others. Rather than rendering your gently used items obsolete, donate them to charity or local development groups. For example; old furniture, computers, printers, phones, books and manuals.

11. Telecommute Where Possible

Commit to having your employees work from home whenever possible. They will not only save on transport costs but will also reduce gas usage and carbon emissions.

Working woman at home
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12. Change the Way You Commute

Adopting a simpler approach to how you commute to your workplace can help save money and reduce carbon emissions. For instance: public transport, carpooling, cycling, or even walking to work.

13. Go Digital

Maximize the use of digital communication tools to share information with your workmates.

Replace the traditional paper cards with electronic cards.

Paper versions of newspapers, trade journals, magazines etcetera can be made available electronically, saving your budget and the environment.

14. Switch to Green Non-toxic Cleaning Supplies

Naturally, your workplace must be sparkling clean, but are you using the right products to get the job done? Frankly, biodegradable products free from volatile organic acids and harsh chemicals are the best options.

Here’s why: They keep the people cleaning the office environment and other office utilities safe from harm. Plus you’ll be supporting companies that value sustainability.

15. Encourage Use of Reusable Utensils

To reduce expenses and environmental pollution, use reusable water bottles and mugs. If you’re carrying lunch to the office, make use of reusable containers and bowls. You’ll have eliminated wastage of packaging paper bags which eventually end up in the garbage.

16. Dress in Layers

Layering your dressing is another great way to save on office energy costs. While keeping you appropriately warm, it eliminates the need for turning up the heating appliances in the office.

17. Limit Frequent Travels to Meetings

Incorporate virtual meeting tools for your meetings to limit travels thereby saving time, costs and lowering transportation emissions.

18. Redesign Your Office

Improve your working environment with simple office redesigning techniques. It’ll help improve your workers’ comfort and boost productivity. Aim for fresh natural air and sufficient sunlight while at it.

19. Think Before You Act

Think through the things you need to do and consider other eco-friendlier options. For example, appending a reminder signature at the bottom of an email asking one to consider if they really need to print that document is a good practice.

20. Get Everyone Involved

Share green tips with everyone in the office. This will encourage a good working culture that is eco-friendly. Moreover, when everyone involved is in the know, it makes collaboration easier leading to much faster accomplishment of tasks and goals.

You may also appreciate and motivate employees who demonstrate sustainable work habits.

21. Ditch the Elevator for the Stairs

Rather than using the elevators which consume a lot of energy, take the stars. Remember every step of stairs is your chance to burn kilojoules for a healthier and fitter you.

Your Greener Workplace

Now it’s your turn. Go ahead and implement these highly effective tips for a greener workplace that you will be truly proud to be associated with.

Remember our lovely planet, which is the only home we’ve got, will also benefit from your efforts. Better yet, you’ll make huge savings on your office expenditure.

Sounds impressive, right?

Now, don’t get left behind. Start greening your workplace by switching to an environment-friendly way of hand hygiene – use cloth towels. With an average of 200 uses per towel, you can’t go wrong with these hygienic and super soft absorbent towels. Order your cloth towel today.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Images by Eric

13 Ridiculously Simple Lighting Tricks Guaranteed to Make Your Office Greener

Operating a profitable business is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of planning, budgeting and internal controls to break even or increase profitability. Don’t even try to deny it.

Employee salaries, travel costs, logistics and much more do impact the office budget when looking into cost-cutting measures. But there is an area that is often overlooked-the electricity bills. It often takes a major portion of your office expenditure and you can do something about it.

According to Climate Works Australia’s Energy Productivity Index, Companies could improve their profits by 2-10% each year by saving energy.

For example, improved energy efficiency has already led to USD $1.2 billion in annual savings for the 70 companies analysed across six sectors: airlines, automobiles, chemicals, steel, paper and construction.

And that’s not all, The United Nations Environment Organization shares similar sentiments as well;

A troubling thought, isn’t it?

Let’s have a look at some ridiculously simple and practical ways that can help you reduce the lighting electricity expenditure and boost your profits.

But you know what else? You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and helping our planet stay greener; a noble task that most companies and businesses have undertaken to help save our planet from further destruction.

And while we are at it, you could also use eco-friendly products and services at your workplace to further that noble course of making our planet greener.Sounds good?

So let’s take a closer look at the simple tricks you can start implementing today for a greener workplace and reduced lighting bills.

1. Reconsider Your Lighting Options

First of all start by identifying and upgrading your office lighting to more energy efficient options.

And here is the best thing:replacing all the incandescent and CFL bulbs with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) will save up to 80% energy.

If you’re on a tight budget, start gradually with areas where lights are on for longer periods.

Here are the benefits and features of LED lighting;

✓ Long life – it features long operational lifetime expectations.

✓ Energy efficiency – it features much better energy efficiency.

✓ Ecologically friendly – it is much more eco-friendly.

✓ Durable quality – its illumination can withstand rough conditions.

✓ Zero UV and IR emissions – it features close to no Ultraviolet and Infrared emissions.

✓ Design flexibility – it has powerful flexible design features.

✓ It’s operational in extremely cold or hot temperatures.

✓ Light disbursement – it to achieve higher application efficiency.

✓ Instant lighting and frequent switching – it can be turned on/off many times.

✓ Low-voltage – it can run on low-voltage power Supply.

Low voltage bulb
Photo courtesy of Pixabay Images by qimono

2. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting

Whenever the sun is shining in abundance during working hours; make good use of it for illumination. It wouldn’t make sense to have the lights on, on a bright sunny day, would it?

Even in the mornings, have the curtains and blinds adjusted to let sufficient light in, instead of having the lights on.

It helps to have the workplace arranged in a way that allows maximum natural light in.

Your employees will appreciate the natural light, plus it has been proven to prevent eye strain, boost good moods, increase productivity and enhance an overall sense of satisfaction.

3. Install Motion and Occupancy Sensors

This is an excellent hassle free option to manual on and off switching of lights. Take note of the rooms that aren’t always in use and install motion-activated sensors so that the lights are switched off by default.

The most common types are dimmers, motion, occupancy and photo sensors and timers.

They are flexible to implement because you can easily add them to new or existing light fixtures. Rooms that are best suited for these sensors may include individual offices, the conference rooms, restrooms, storage areas, and the mailroom.

4. Decorate with Light Colours

Use light colours on the walls combined with high gloss sheens. They easily reflect off daylight reducing the need for artificial light.

Here is more on the psychology of light and colour.

5. Label Switches

For easy identification, labelling switches will help your staff to know the relevant switches for use thus reducing unnecessary lighting.

6. Install Light Dimmer Switches

Light dimmers save energy by enabling you to adjust the light intensity for your intended purpose. Dimmers let you have one light for different applications, allowing you to only adjust the brightness of any one light to serve various purposes.

It’s a very versatile option for your office use and saves you money.

7. Task Lighting

This is a method of lighting your localized workspace to eliminate unnecessary lighting, therefore, reducing energy use and costs. The targeted work areas will have higher illumination levels than that produced by overhead lights.

Examples of task lights are lamps, under-cabinet lights lamps that will consume less energy than overhead lights in most workplaces

Here is an excerpt from a research conducted on the case for task lighting.

Consider spotlighting for display areas but not for general illumination. If you’re in the retail or hospitality industry, always keep the lighting at reduced levels and then switch them on when you’re just about to open.

8. Turn off Lights Campaign

Instill in your employees a habit of turning the lights off when not in use.

For instance, it’s pointless to have the lights on in an unoccupied office room or washroom all day. Place reminders for switching office lights off when leaving for home and the outdoor lights when they’re not in use.

You could even consider having a reward system for the members of staff who consistently switch lights off. Even a simple extra 10 minutes paid lunch break would go a long way.

Light switch on/off
Photo courtesy of Freepik Images by shayne_ch13

9. Daylight Linking

Using sensors and smart control systems, you can link artificial light levels to natural light levels to minimize energy use.

10. Use Two-way Switching

For office rooms with two exits; ensure that lights can be easily turned off when leaving the room.

Here is more on the difference between one way and two-way switches

✓ One-way switches only have two terminals while two-way switches have three.

✓ A two-way switch can be used to control a light from two locations while a one-way switch cannot.

✓ One-way switches have definite on and off states while two-way switches don’t.

11. Choose Light Fitting Wisely

There are some light fittings especially those that have coloured fabric or glass that can block up to 50% of the light. This means that they’ll need a higher wattage globe which is costly.

Check out these tips on how to choose your lighting wisely.

12. Use LED Lighting Fixtures for Outdoor Lighting

Instead of having outdoor security lights, spotlights or flood lights on all night; you can install infrared or movement sensors.

Apart from reducing your electricity bill, they will also alert people that there is something going on in your office building.

13. Clean Lamps and Fittings

Clean lights remain bright and have a longer lifespan through reduced heat. Always ensure they are free of dust and build up for optimal output.

Do the cleaning regularly using a soft cloth and plain water, or if excessively dirty, you could use a mild detergent.

Create a Profitable and Greener Workplace

In essence, these simple daily efforts that are sometimes overlooked, do make a big impact in the long run. Don’t get left behind, start implementing these tricks at your workplace today for a profitable and greener business.

Here is all you have to ensure;

✓ Sufficient natural light at the workplace

✓ Selected lighting corresponds to the appropriate visual task

✓ Balanced direct and indirect light

✓ Optimized use of energy saving lamps

✓ Use of flicker- and glare-free lighting

✓ Ensure the light intensity in the room is individually adjustable

✓ Use pleasant and bright light colours (warm white, neutral white)

✓ Avoid glare and distracting reflections

It really is that simple.

Want to know more on how you can make your workplace even more eco-friendly? Check out Alsco’s eye-opening resources to make your workplace greener and healthier.

We guarantee you a comprehensive solution to your business worries – from convenient, cash flow friendly payments through to a regular servicecompletely flexible to your needs. And isn’t that what you want?

Photo courtesy of Pexels Images by Pixabay

10 Ideas To Make Your Small Business More Sustainable

Recycled bulb shade

Considering we spend about a fifth of our lifetime at work, it’s worthwhile thinking about how we can make our workplace better both for ourselves and the environment.

Sustainability in the workplace is much more than using energy-saving bulbs and recycling — it’s an holistic approach to creating a general sense of wellbeing in a workplace that cares for both people and the environment.

Although this might seem a difficult concept to introduce to small and medium size businesses because of the limited resources available, it doesn’t have to be that expensive.

As Human Resources Strategist, Therese Ravell of Impact HR states, it’s been proven that employees who share their organisation’s values are more likely to perform better and stay longer in the company.

As an experienced consultant in helping small and medium size businesses, Therese suggests ten low-cost yet effective ideas to improve sustainability in your Australian workplace.

1. Change Your Team Habits

Big changes start with small steps. Motivate your team to change their everyday habits in favour of eco-friendly choices.

Replace disposable coffee cups with reusable mugs, add recycling bins and managed sanitary bins to the office, use prompt them to print less. They will feel motivated to do something useful for themselves and the planet.

2. Create Green Spaces

Having plants in your indoor environment will help clean the air and improve the general mood – and of course it will make the office look prettier. Encouraging your employees to take care of the plants will make them feel more responsible and involved.

3. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Create a recycling culture within your team and if possible, give each of them a specific task to help recycling in the office.

Some ideas could be installing and checking the usage of recycling bins, managing the printer by making sure everything gets printed double sided and printer cartridges gets refilled when necessary, collect used batteries and recycle them (even better switch to rechargeable batteries) and making sure the food waste is kept to a minimum.

4. Introduce Flexible Work Policy

Giving flexible working conditions to your employees is another great step towards sustainability.

For instance, working from home has considerable advantages both for employees and the environment – it will help them have a more productive workspace and it will cut down the carbon emission they would normally produce on their commute to work.

5. Have a Weekly Office Food Shopping Expedition

Ever thought about doing an office food shopping? Most of us will probably spend their lunch break at work so why not planning the week meals together with your team.

Doing a common food shopping trip will help your employees saving money and time and it will also make them feel good about their food choices.

6. Stay Online

Minimise paper waste as much as you can. This will not only help the environment but it
will also save you money when using the office printer.

Try and manage work activities such as reading reports, sending invitations, taking meeting notes and sending documents online. Having online meetings and conference calls also helps when it comes to reduce pollution and save money on travelling.

7. Get Them Involved

Your team involvement is key to their retention. Motivate them to take part in eco-friendly initiatives such as managing the kitchen waste smartly, taking part in Australian Recycling Week and carpooling.

You can also get creative with your team building activities – ever thought about organising a gardening workshop or a green week challenge for your team?

8. Manage Your Office’s Energy Consumption

Keeping the energy levels of your office equipment under control is useful, especially when it comes to reducing your electricity bills. Ask your team to switch off their equipment overnight and shut everything down during long weekends and holiday periods.

When buying new laptops and technology equipment for the office, make sure to do some research beforehand and choose the best energy efficient items within your price range. Once your equipment is out of use, recycle it to minimise landfill.

9. Start Acting Local

Transport and energy costs are reduced considerably when you buy locally made products. Have you ever thought about where the tea and coffee you buy come from? By buying local products you will decrease production costs and you will support companies with a similar ethos to your own business.

10. Sharing is Caring

Having a sustainable working environment also means saving financial resources that could be invested somewhere else within the business. Encourage your employees to share their ideas about how to save energy in the office and attract more socially-engaged customers. Make sure you reward the ones who have the best ideas – even better with something eco-friendly such as a plant or a reusable coffee mug.

These are some general tips that you can take as an inspiration and adapt to your own workplace. By doing your best to improve your employee working conditions and your own work environment, you’ll be more likely to attract a stronger and more reliable workforce.

Contribution by:
Therese Ravell is the Director of Impact HR, an innovative HR consultancy for SMEs based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Passionate about people, performance and profitability, Impact HR’s tailored approach will ensure each business receives the right help to grow and manage their workforce.

If a healthy and environment-friendly workplace is what you want, contact Alsco today for workplace solutions for your business.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Images by domsen