Thank you to our VP of Human Resources & Customer Service, Robyn Pike, for putting together the following resources for our employees and customers:
Visit the Bright Horizons Resource Center for the following information:
Guest Blog Post Courtesy of Samantha Williams, Director of Public Relations, GOJO Industries
Where did 2019 go? As we get ready to gather with friends and family this holiday season, it’s important to do all we can to stay healthy, so we don’t miss out on any of the excitement this time of the year brings.
Healthy eating, regular exercise, adequate amounts of sleep, and of course getting a flu shot are all good places to start. Illness-causing germs can spread, however, if you don’t practice proper hand hygiene and disinfect and clean frequently touched surfaces.
Handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer are the best ways to prevent the transfer of germs. Keep in mind:
Don’t splash and dash – Use of the lackadaisical “splash and dash” handwashing technique doesn’t count as washing your hands. Be sure to wash carefully, with soap, for at least 20 seconds. This contact time is important for lifting germs from hands and rinsing them down the drain. When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, leave your hands wet for at least 15 seconds. This amount of time is necessary to cover your entire hand and to allow the proper contact time for the alcohol to kill the germs.
Clean hands at critical times – Since it’s impossible to constantly practice hand hygiene, either washing or sanitizing your hands at key moments is the most practical way to prevent the spread of germs that can cause illness. Critical times include before and during food preparation, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
Encourage others to practice good hand hygiene –Even if you do everything right, germs could still be passed around at your holiday gathering if others aren’t as careful. A helpful tip is to keep pump bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in strategic food prep and dining areas.
It is important to remember that illness-causing germs can also be spread by the surfaces we touch. Make sure to:
Sanitize and clean food-contact surfaces – Germs can easily develop if food-contact surfaces are not sanitized and cleaned after every use. For example, be sure to sanitize cutting boards after each time to avoid cross contamination.
Disinfect frequently touched objects – At work and in our homes, we all touch a variety of surfaces. Between doorknobs, kitchen and break room counters, light switches, and grocery cart handles, germs that can cause illness are easily transferred from one person to the next via the surfaces we touch. It is important to frequently clean and disinfect both hard and soft surfaces, as well as objects such as office equipment and children’s toys.
No one has time to be sick, especially during the holiday season. Luckily, proper hand hygiene combined with surface disinfecting and cleaning can help you stay healthy and not miss a single special moment of the season. Find more tips at www.PURELL.com.
Guest post by: Alesia Netuk of primarylearning.org
We live in an age of growing opportunities for children to utilize technology to create their writing. From typing, to stylus pens, to voice-to-text software, there are many ways children can write other than picking up a pencil. While technology can be efficient and also provide accommodations for children who struggle with traditional pencil and paper tasks, there is still value in learning to write.
Writing helps develop visual motor skills. This is the communication between the eyes and the hands that allows us to write. These skills are necessary for other tasks as well, such as reading or catching a ball.
Writing by hand is also believed by some to slow down our thought process and allow us to dedicate time to areas such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar. These skills can be supported by technology but ultimately, rely on our own knowledge of how to use written language correctly.
By Mary Bonesz, Trade Show Management
You’ve done your research and you’ve booked a booth at a tradeshow. Now what do you do?
Exhibiting at a trade show is one of the most efficient and effective way to meet your target audience face to face. Where else can you connect with crowds of people who are looking for what you are offering?
It might seem easy but there’s a lot of planning that goes into a successful trade show. Here are a couple of ideas on where to begin once you’ve signed your booth agreement:
Biodegradable, compostable and recyclable— what’s the difference? If you’ve ever had confusion about the three, you aren’t alone. To start, each recovery-process helps sustain the environment by lessening our dependence on local landfills, but in three different ways (each) with unique end products or benefits.
Reposted with permission by navitor.com Written by Emily Roycraft
We know that sometimes your sales can slow in the summer, but that additional space in your schedule could give you the opportunity to build momentum that can continue through the end of the year! Here are just a few of the ways that you can keep your business moving during the summer months.
1. Take the Opportunity to Make a Personal Connection
When things are a bit slower, consider using that extra time in your schedule to contact customers directly. You could take a moment to give top customers a call to thank them for their business—and let them know about products that they might be interested in—or you could call customers whose sales have flagged to encourage them to come back to your business. Not only will this help encourage sales during a slower time of the year, but it will help make your customers feel more emotionally connected to your business at the same time.
2. Prepare for a Busier Season
Just like a more open schedule gives you the opportunity to connect with customers, it also gives you the chance to work ahead. Organize your financial information from the first half of the year so that your documentation is ready come tax season or prepare your emails for upcoming events. Go through your files and remove documents that you no longer need. The slower season is a chance to take those tasks off your plate before sales pick up again in the fall.
3. Take a Look At Your Goals
You made your goals early in the year, but you might not have spent much time looking at them since. After all, between winter weather and customer needs, you’ve had a lot on your plate. The summer slump is a great time to take a look at your goals, see how you’re doing on those goals, and readjust as needed.
4. Build New Habits
Is there something you want to do better in your business? Do you want to get better about building to-do lists or more diligent about sending updates on customer orders? Do you want to neaten up your desk at the end of every week or file documents more regularly at the end of a project? This is the time to build those habits! When business is slower, it’s easier to get into good habits and ensure that they’ll stick around during busier months.
5. Take a Break
Rest is important, and whether you’re a workaholic or tempted by the sunny days outside the window, taking a break can help you be more productive in your day-to-day work. When you take a break, you’ll come back rested, refreshed, and ready to work harder and smarter.
Do you have tips for staying productive during the summer season? We’d love to see your tips in the comments below.
Reposted with permission from Navitor.com Written by Emily Roycraft
You’ve missed a call. Maybe you stepped out of the office for a moment, or maybe you were out of town for a few days. You might have even received a call over the weekend when your business wasn’t open. Whatever the reason, you’ve got a voicemail, and one of these characters might be waiting for you! Have you met these characters on your voicemail?
The Lost Information
This person may be nervous, or they simply might be forgetful. Either way, you’re missing some important information on their call. The Lost Information often forgets the information you need to get back to them: their full name, their phone number, their order number, and even the question they called to ask in the first place! While caller ID can help, chances are you’ll need to return their call—or even do some research and guesswork to figure out whether they’re an existing customer—before you can actually help them with their request.
And you might have also met The Lost Information’s twin…
Unlike The Lost Information, you don’t have to track down the information this caller forgot—that’s what their second message is for! The Double-Caller can be very helpful because they fill in the additional information you missed in the first message. However, it’s a good idea to take notes while listening to their messages because the important details might be split between the two messages.
You’re going to need to listen to this message a few times! The Mumbler doesn’t speak quite loud enough into their phone, but without a person on the other end of the line they didn’t have a chance to adjust their volume while leaving their message. As a result, you might have to listen again to catch what they are saying.
The Speedy Speaker
Like the mumbler, you’re going to need to listen to this message more than once to make sure you’ve caught anything. When you’re dealing with a Speedy Speaker, they might be perfectly clear, but they speak so quickly that you may only catch part of the important information when you listen the first time. The Speedy Speaker might also surprise you by leaving a message at normal speed but rattling off their contact information so quickly that you can barely catch it. Either way, get ready to listen a few times.
The Unintended Visitor
This person didn’t intend to leave a message—in fact, they didn’t even intend to call! The Unintended Visitor dialed you accidentally, and their voicemail message reflects it. You might hear muted conversation, clothing rustling around the pocket the phone was in, or vehicle noise. The good news, though, is that you don’t need to worry about returning this call.
The Distracted Dialer
This character in your voicemail is doing their best to leave a great message, but something keeps getting in the way. Someone might be talking to them while they try to leave the message, or they might be talking in a busy area. Whatever the reason, the Distracted Dialer is just that—distracted. As a result, like the Lost Information, some important details might be missing.
The Final Word
We all want The Final Word in our voicemail! Their messages are short, sweet, and to the point. They include all the information you need to get back to them about their question. Their messages aren’t just great to receive: they also allow you to return the call quickly and get back to your day.
The whole idea of a vacation is to kick back, relax and forget all about anything that stresses you out but, sometimes when on vacation, we find ourselves doing the opposite.
Completely switching off and avoiding your texts, calls and work-related emails can prove more difficult than you think. Sitting on a sun lounger with a cocktail in hand should be the perfect time to forget about the rest of the world but it’s also prime pondering time when you can easily begin to sweat the small stuff and worry about the pile of work awaiting your return to work.
However at Twist OP, we believe there is a time to work and a time to sit on the beach, and not have one single care in the world, and here are 4 tips we think will help you relax and enjoy your vacation.
Finish all the work you can before you go on vacation and then delegate everything else. It’s a good opportunity to practice your delegating skills and it will show you trust your colleagues too, which is always a positive thing. If you’re worried about one project in particular, or the person you’re delegating to, provide contact details for a colleague you trust most in case they need assistance.
Set an out of office message on your emails. Checking emails can be addictive, and often too easy if you have access to them on your phone. But if you’re checking in on them a few times a day on holiday, you’re not properly taking the break you really need. An out of office message will tell the person emailing you that you’re not available, so don’t be concerned about getting back to them. And if you add contact details for a colleague in your absence, then important queries will find their way to the right person in the end.
If you do have to check emails and there is no other way around it, then be strict with yourself. Schedule a few minutes every day or two to check in on emails and respond to the necessary ones. Be mindful of the time you choose as you don’t want to spoil your free time with your family or friends. Pick a time early in the day, even before breakfast and then dedicate the rest of your day to enjoying your time off.
Switch off work-related notifications. Switch off email alerts and sign out of any work-related social media accounts so that you’re not bombarded with notifications throughout the day and night.
Trust your colleagues
When they take time off, they leave the work to you. So trust that they will do the same in your absence. And remember, if it’s something really important, they will find a way to reach you. Make the decision to enjoy yourself. You deserve this break, you’ve worked hard and you’ve saved harder. Going back to work stressed and worried won’t prove very productive so take the time off, enjoy it, and you’ll find you return to the office bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready to take on the world once again.
Can you believe that it is almost time to go Back To School? We have so many wonderful schools as customers, so we thought you might enjoy this lesson plan idea from our friends at Mead! As an added bonus, you can download a pdf for FREE at the bottom with this lesson plan should you want to print it out for your files!
Most people do not think about wearing eye protection while cleaning, cooking, doing yard work or working in the garage. However, half of all eye injuries occur when doing these everyday chores, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Although 90 percent of all eye injuries are preventable by wearing the proper eye protection, the AAO reports that 78 percent of those injured were not wearing any protective eyewear.
"All too often, when we’re working around the house and doing chores that we've done a thousand times before without incident, we forget about the risks we take by not protecting our eyes," said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. "But all it takes is one split-second accident that could damage your vision for a lifetime."
Almost 40 percent of home eye injuries are in the yard or garden. Debris from lawn mowers or power trimmers can unexpectedly enter the eye at a high rate of speed. Prevent Blindness America offers these tips on how to protect your eyes while doing work in the yard:
In addition, using household chemicals, including bleach or other cleaners, cause 125,000 eye injuries every year. Eye protection should be worn when using any chemical. Also, after any project, make sure hands are washed thoroughly before touching the eyes or face.
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