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How are Monitor Screens and Fluorescent Lights Really Affecting Us?

By Taylor Landis 7 days ago 285 Views No comments

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Most of us spend half of our lives in some sort of office environment. If you’re lucky (and motivated, smart, efficient, professional, etc.), some of that time is spent in a large, gorgeous private office with windows over-looking the beautiful scenery. That natural light is a notable luxury of working your way up the ladder to your personal office space. The rest of us spend our days typing away or answering phone calls from our office cubicles. Not that this environment should be scorned, however, slightly more exposure to bright, overbearing fluorescent lights in addition to the excessive use of monitors, laptops, phones and any other devices are evident. Even that luxurious private office won’t save you from the necessity of some sort of technological device (with a screen) in any business-related profession.


Now you’re asking, “So what? Sure, the lights are a nuisance and I get headaches at work sometimes, but that’s probably because of stress.” Actually, those obnoxious lights and excessive exposure to bright monitor screens play a much larger role on our physical, and potentially mental, health.


EFFECTS OF MONITOR SCREENS


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It’s not only monitor screens that have a negative impact on us. Be aware of the amount of time you spend staring at a monitor screen, tablet, laptop, phone, gaming system, TV, etc. You probably spend majority of your day with your nose in a screen. I know I do. But, next time you leave work and plan to go home and relax on the couch with Netflix and a glass of wine; you may want to reconsider how you spend your free time. Here are a few of the dramatic effects of monitor screens (and other devices):


Restructures your brain


The more time you spend staring at a screen, the more the physical makeup of your brain is altered. Elements in your brain that are affected by “screen addiction” include:


  • Grey matter shrinkage
  • Negatively impacts white matter’s ability to communicate (white matter transmits messages between neurons)
  • More cravings
  • Poorer cognitive performance


More susceptible to metabolic syndrome


Metabolic syndrome is described as a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. A study published in the Journal of Public Health reported that the odds ratio of metabolic syndrome increased notably when the subject was exposed to three hours or more of screen time per day.


Computer vision syndrome


According to the American Optometric Association, individuals who spend more than two continuous hours per day at a computer are at a greater risk for developing computer vision syndrome. Symptoms of the syndrome include:


  • Eye fatigue
  • Burning and itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to bright light


What You Should Do


While you can only do so much to avoid these consequences (technology advances in the workplace make monitors and other devices with screens unavoidable), there fortunately are steps you can take to counteract the harsh effects of a monitor screen.


20-20-20 Rule


After 20 minutes of staring at a screen, look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.


Use a dimmer switch on devices


While this is such a simple fix, most people don’t think of it. When you’re checking your email or social media on your phone in a well-lit room or outdoors, just turn the brightness down.


Spend less time on mobile or electronic devices outside of work


Majority of these effects are caused by an excessive use of devices or amount of time spent in front of a screen. So, while we can’t control the need to use a monitor, phone, or laptop at work, we can manage the time we spend outside of work watching TV or on our phones. Simply cut back on device use and spend more time outdoors, exercising, or out with friends instead.


EFFECTS OF FLUORESCENT LIGHTS


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If you aren’t fortunate enough to work in an office exposed to natural light, you are most likely hidden behind your cubicle walls or tall privacy panels. Which means that your only source of light is the overhead fluorescent lights that almost all office building utilize.


While incandescent lights give off a full spectrum of light (not as much as sunlight, of course), fluorescent lights give off a very limited spectrum. Additionally, fluorescent lights flicker because the electricity which flows through the gas that the bulbs contain is not constant. Sometimes, this can go unnoticed, but some people are more sensitive to this flicker. With this combination of qualities, these bright fluorescent lights cause a variety of health problems.


  • Migraines
  • Eye strain
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Agoraphobia (anxiety disorder)
  • Problems sleeping
  • Weakened immune system
  • Female hormonal/menstrual cycle disruption
  • Obesity
  • Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder


What You Should Do


More sun exposure


If possible, try to situate yourself in an area that is exposed to sunlight by windows or skylight. Additionally, direct sunlight is most effective, so spend more time outdoors whenever possible.


Introduce another light source


Keep a desk lamp with an incandescent bulb in your workspace or cubicle.


Phototherapy


Phototherapy or light box therapy has been used as an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder.


Prescribed glasses


Optometrists have prescribed glasses in the past with a very light rose-colored tint in them to counteract the effects of the fluorescent lights which has been proven very effective for women experiencing hormonal problems.


While we can’t avoid our office spaces altogether, it’s important to understand the effects of specific elements that we’re exposed to daily and take all necessary precautions to protect our health and well-being.

If You Feel Left Out of Summer, Bring Summer to Your Cubicle

By Taylor Landis 17 days ago 107 Views No comments

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Warm weather, sun-kissed skin, longer days, beach vacations, cookouts and bonfires. I’m talking about summer of course. Everyone’s favorite time of year. Unless, you’re stuck trapped inside your office cubicle instead of soaking up the sun in a bikini on a beach somewhere.


Do you feel like you’re wasting the months watching the long summer days pass you by as you’re tucked behind your cubicle panels, drowning in files when you’d rather be lying on the beach drowning in margaritas? Unfortunately, margaritas are frowned upon in the workplace, however, I may have a few other solutions to help you soak up the summer before its gone (without losing your job in the process).


Open the windows


Summer means riding around with sunglasses on and windows down. Why should the office be any different? Open the windows and enjoy the fresh air and warm summer breeze on your skin. As a small precaution, you may also want to keep a small fan on or near your desk. The sun can be pretty powerful around 3:00 in the afternoon and I’m assuming you would rather not be suffering heat exhaustion at your desk. That may make your tasks at hand difficult to complete.


Bring the outdoors in


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Introduce live plants and colorful flowers to your dark, dull cubicle to add a little piece of the outdoors to your workspace and brighten up both your cubicle and your day.


Summer snacks


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Always keep your minifridge stocked with plenty of summertime foods and drinks, such as smoothies, fruit, juice, popsicles, fruit-infused waters, and iced coffee. Check out even more delicious summer snack ideas here.


Replace your mid-morning coffee run with an ice cream break



I’m not suggesting you give up your morning coffee altogether; that would be absurd. However, a quick ice cream break can do just as much to uplift your mood as coffee. Additionally, the cold, mouthwatering treat will really force you into the seasonal spirit no matter where you’re forced to eat that ice cream (including your office cubicle).


Use your lunch break wisely


Take advantage of the free time to get out of the office and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Eat your lunch outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.


Match your playlist to the season


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If you’re one of those people (like me) who listens to music while you’re working, listen to songs that help set the summertime mood. I listen to Pandora every day. One of my favorite stations is “summer hits of the 90s” or sometimes, “summer hits of the 2000s.” However, there are plenty of other great selections, or you could create your own playlist and fill it with any songs that remind you of summer.


Turn off those obnoxious fluorescent lights


I don’t think anyone would disagree, we’d much rather have natural light flooding through the office than be forced to endure those overbearing fluorescent lights any longer. So, turn off the lights and open the blinds. If your cubicle is slightly more caged off than you would like, limiting your exposure to natural light, utilize a desk lamp as well. Anything is better that those overhead office lights.


Switch-up your wardrobe


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Dress for the season! Yes, this means no more blazers. If you need a little help putting together a summer outfit that still qualifies as “business attire,” check out a few of these suggestions. Utilize floral prints, fun patterns, pastels, and pops of color. Talk to your boss about changing “casual Friday” to “Hawaiian shirt day” or “luau day” as well for a fun way to mix it up and get everyone in a summer state of mind.


Change your desktop wallpaper



Yes, it really can be this simple. Switch your standard, conventional desktop background to an artsy or personal beach picture. You’d also be surprised at the effect that a cute, fun desktop wallpaper can have on your mood. At the very least, it’ll put the occasional smile on your face when your work day seems to be dragging on. Find one you like and download it ASAP.


Décor that matches the outdoors



Lastly, incorporate some fun, bright, warm, and colorful décor that matches the season into your cubicle. Here are a few great décor ideas you’ll probably enjoy.


Just because your “adult schedule” forces you to work throughout those perfect summer days doesn’t mean you have to skip the entire season. Bring a piece of summer to the office and enjoy a few of the benefits right from your cubicle. You might even forget you’re actually at work for a minute.

7 Things to Consider Before Quitting Your Cubicle Job

By Taylor Landis 1 month ago 131 Views No comments

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Everyone despises those cubicle years. At first, your new job seems like the best thing in the world. You’ve just graduated college and now you’re entering the real world. You love that 9-5 schedule; it means you don’t have to serve tables at that bar down the street until 2:00 in the morning anymore. You’re proud of yourself, as you should be. You went from working your part time job, getting yourself through school with as few mental breakdowns as possible, playing school sports, joining clubs, and plenty of partying. Now, you feel like an adult.


But, after about a year, you begin to wander what the expiration date of your new office cubicle job in that fancy office building might be. You won’t be boxed in here forever, right?


For some, those cubicle years may last a little longer than others and before you know it you’ve been trapped behind those tall cubicle walls for 15 years. But, before you decide you’ve had enough and storm into your boss’s office to announce you’ll never step foot behind those gray panels again, consider what the alternative has in store. You may not be as prepared for life outside the comfort of your own little chamber as you thought.


There are multiple reasons that people decide to step away from their office position. Maybe you’re leaving to take a remote job position and work from home. Perhaps you’ve decided to take that first step to starting your own business. Or, maybe you won’t be working at all. Instead, you plan on taking some time off to travel or even take on the responsibility of a stay-at-home parent.


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I know these alternatives sound inviting. But, before you take the jump into your new lifestyle, consider a few of these points first. Believe it or not, there are some benefits to working in an office cubicle for a few years.


#1. The financial security of a cubicle position


You have to admit, receiving the same amount of pay every week without clocking in or out or relying on tips to pay your bills is extremely relaxing and promising. If you’ve decided to start your own business or take some time off work, you can say goodbye to that regular, weekly paycheck. You’re going out on a limb here and taking a huge risk, so make sure you have plenty of money saved up before you walk out of your office building without looking back.

#2. Your office cubicle is a rite of passage



Your cubicle position is like a rite of passage. You start from the bottom and work your way up. After all, that’s the only direction you can go. It’s a very rewarding process to witness yourself climb the ladder all the way up to your corner office or your remote position with the added benefit of travel. It’s all a big learning experience, therefore, don’t leave your current job until you believe you’ve learned all there is for you to know from your position.

#3. Do you have what it takes?


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I know this seems fairly general, but it’s an important question to ask yourself. Not everyone is cutout for running their own business or even working from home at all. If you plan to start your own business, you can’t be afraid to fail; many startups do. It’s necessary to have a strong support system as well. Keep in mind, you aren’t only in charge of just marketing or just accounting anymore. You will make up the marketing, finance, IT, graphic design, and customer service department. Be sure that you are able to take on each and every role.


If you’re transitioning to a remote working position, a strong work-ethic and lots of self-discipline and motivation is required to be just as productive, if not more than you were in an office setting. Managing your own schedule is a huge responsibility. Ask yourself, “Is working from home the best choice for you?


#4. You’ll probably work way more than you do now


Before you quit your current job, accept the fact that you’ll be working way more than you do now (unless, of course, you’re taking time off work). No more 9-5 routine. If you’re starting your own business, all of your time will be devoted to that, so make sure you’ll be readily available to put your company first. Whether you become an entrepreneur or a remote worker, be prepared to work weird and long hours.


#5. Lack of social interaction


Unfortunately, leaving your office job also means no more office holiday parties, team lunches, and small talk with your cubicle neighbor. You’ll wake up everyday and head to your office space consisting of just you. You might miss the regular social interaction. And because you’ll spend more time working, you’re sacrificing your free time. You won’t be part of the “after work drinks” crowd anymore. You’ll most likely have less time for your friends as well.


#6. Do you have a plan?


You can’t start a business without a business plan. Make sure your plan is well thought out and validated. Seek assistance from a mentor or business coach. Also, think long and hard about what you really want. It would be awful to walk away from the security of your cubicle job to pursue your passion only to realize you hate it after 6 months. Keep in mind, this will become your life, not just a pat-time hobby.


#7. What are your goals?


Before making the transition from your office cubicle to your home office, carefully asses the risks of this alteration and be sure it’s what you really want. There’s no turning back. Clearly define your short and long-term goals to be sure that you’re one hundred percent prepared for this drastic change and your new job or business is carefully planned.


After considering each of these points, you’re ready to say goodbye to your comfortable cubicle job (if that’s still what you really want). But, be careful, you might miss your office cubicle more than you thought you would.

Look On The Brightside: The Best Things About Your Office Cubicle

By Taylor Landis 1 month ago 271 Views No comments

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Everyone hates their office cubicle. People repeatedly complain about their “cages” on social media and protest their confinement and seclusion to their coworkers and managers.


But, I’m starting to wonder; do all employees really have such strong feelings toward their cubicles, or do they despise their workstations to this extent because the media tells them to? Go ahead, search “office cubicles” on Google and every article will list all the reasons you should hate them.


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We’re told to hate our cubicles for reasons like the seclusion, the lack of individuality, and the tiny space, but they’re not the same chambers that they were back in the 90’s. With that being said, you might find yourself enjoying your job a little more, or at the very least, making it through the day without throwing your phone through those tall panels, if you just altered your outlook. Look on the bright side, your cubicle has some plus sides to it as well that those open-office plans seem to be lacking.


Private


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The most obvious and recognized benefit of your surrounding cubicle walls is the privacy which accompanies them. No one can see you playing games, texting, or scrolling through Facebook and no one caught that dramatic eye roll you gave your boss when she dropped last quarter’s report on your desk. NO ONE CAN SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Are you working or are you watching cat videos on YouTube? I guess we’ll never know.


Your intimate little work space is quiet and private…well quieter than an open office where you hear a paper clip drop on the floor at the other end of the communal table. You can hide things behind those cubicle walls as well. Like food! And you’ll never have to feel guilty about it. Your coworkers can’t judge you as you shove that third donut in your mouth before 11:00 because they won’t know you even have donuts (if you don’t want them to).


And if you really hate people, invest in a cubicle door! There are sliding doors, frosted glass and glass cubicle doors. Never again will you be interrupted during an intense game of solitaire (or even spoken to for that matter) again.


Personal

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One of my favorite aspects of an exclusive office cubicle is the fact that it’s my own space. Mine and only mine. I can decorate and organize however I want. And who doesn’t love a few (or more than a few) decorations? Bring in personal pictures with family and friends if you’d like to remind yourself that real life does in fact still exist outside this other dimension of corporate robots; filing and typing, filing and typing, repeat.


When you come in to the office each day you won’t have to worry about another employee taking your unofficial “assigned seat” either when management decides to follow the “hot desking” trend. We’re adults here, if I sat in the same seat at our community work table Monday through Thursday, what makes you think I won’t also sit there on Friday? The nerve of some people.


Organized


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Your personal work space is organized by you, for you. If you like to stuff your filing cabinet until it won’t shut anymore, no one’s stopping you. Maybe you coat your cubicle panels with cubicle wall organizers, so another paper will never touch your desk again; that’s fine too. Or perhaps your method is to stuff your overhead cabinet with whatever will fit and pretend it no longer exists. Whatever floats your boat.


Personally, organizers are the greatest things ever invented and you bet I will be using every variety of them. And if my cubicle neighbor’s workspace looks like a tornado blew through it, followed by a tsunami, it won’t affect me.


Cubicles Have Evolved


Like I mentioned before, we don’t work in the same gray, fabric-wrapped cells that existed twenty years ago. Offices have evolved and so did the furniture that goes with them. I’ve heard and read hundreds of times that office cubicles are dull, boring, lifeless, they lack individuality, and strip the life and creativity out of its captives. I don’t know about you, but my cubicle doesn’t look like this…


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It looks like this…

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Not a bad place to work, right? It’s definitely not boring, dull, or lifeless.


Easier to be Anti-Social


It’s much easier to avoid people and conversation if you’re not crammed elbow to elbow in an open office. No more pretending that you’re busy to avoid conversation. Especially if you have a cubicle door, you can make it through an entire work day without speaking to a single soul. But, you might have to systematically schedule your coffee runs and lunch breaks around your coworkers’ schedules.


However, if you do decide to engage in some casual conversation, everyone is conveniently close enough to easily carry on a conversation; just in case you feel the need to tell everyone about how amazing your 6-year-old son did in his soccer game last night…again.


Your exclusive little office cubicle is not as terrible or soul-sucking as you may think. It’s certainly better than the alternative. Accept a little positivity into your workday and your entire perception of your workspace, job, coworkers and manager will change for the better. Just look on the bright side for a change. It’s a lot nicer over here.

Corporate Moving Guide

By Rainbow Movers 2 months ago 136 Views No comments

In business, the key to success often boils down to being prepared for change. Whether you identify an emerging trend before your competitors or adopt a new technology that makes your business more effective, being ready for change can mean the difference between success and failure. Although it may not be as monumental of a change to your business as a new technology or a shift in customers’ buying habits, a corporate relocation is nonetheless a change for which your business needs to be prepared. Whether you’re moving to be closer to your customers or to give your business more space, a corporate relocation is an opportunity for bigger and better things for your company — but only if you’re ready for it.


Far too many businesses stumble with corporate relocations for the simple reason that they don’t plan sufficiently. They may not give themselves enough time to get everything done properly, or they may choose a low-ball bid from a moving company and receive subpar service. Whatever the issue, there’s a good chance proper planning and preparation could have prevented it. The following guide contains some pointers to help you make sure that your next corporate relocation goes off without a hitch.



Infographic by Rainbow Movers.

8 Cubicle Safety Hacks for Hazards that You Probably Didn’t Know Existed

By Taylor Landis 2 months ago 112 Views No comments


I know what you’re thinking, “What could possibly be so dangerous about an office cubicle?” Well, besides boring you to death, there are a few safety precautions that should be acknowledged in the workplace for the safety of you and your coworkers. Although you may be secretly hoping that your entire office space bursts into flames overnight, frying each cubicle to a crisp, this is not something that we condone, and these common, often-ignored cubicle hazards should never be disregarded.


We receive calls everyday from customers or potential customers asking questions about our office cubicles. Sometimes we’re surprised by the (what we consider basic) safety precautions that people are completely unaware of. So, we decided to publish this post to help shed some light on the subject.


Here’s a list of a few cubicle safety hacks and precautions that you and everyone else in your office building should be aware of.


  1. Keep your cubicle clutter-free


This is an extremely simple precaution that is often neglected. Keep you space neat and organized. Not only is this beneficial to you for numerous reasons, including improving your focus and productivity, but it prevents trips and falls as well. Keep things off the floor, keep office supplies in their designated spot, and put files, folders, notebooks, and papers away when you’re finished with them. Save yourself the embarrassment of getting up to go to the bathroom and tripping over a binder and falling in front of everyone on your floor.


  1. Contain wires


Wires are another common cause of trips and falls, as I’m sure you can imagine. If possible, invest in a cable management system to properly conceal and contain your various wires and chords. If you don’t have access to a wire concealer, simply keep them hidden under your desk. I recommend concealing them with zip ties or twist ties. You could even color-code the twist ties to keep your wires organized and remind yourself which wire operates which device.


  1. Regularly check wires, chords, and outlets


Electrical issues are a common cause of fires in the U.S. and are a major safety hazard in offices across the country. General electrical safety tips and precautions should be monitored regularly and your supervisor should be made aware of any damages or issues with wires, power chords, or outlets immediately.


  1. Space heater safety


I understand that during the colder months employees like to bring out the space heaters. However, these should not be placed under your desk in your office cubicle! They should not be apparent in high-traffic areas and they do require at least 36 inches of clearance around the entire diameter of the heater. All space heaters should also be properly and regularly inspected. Hazards of space heaters include:


  • Fires and burns caused by contact with heater or surfaces located in close proximity of the heater.
  • Fires and explosions caused by flammable fuels or defective wiring.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning from improper ventilation.
  • High humidity released by heater can lead to mold growth.


  1. Cubicle desk and panel weight limit


We’re often asked questions relating to how much weight the desks can hold. Your cubicle and the worksurface attached to it are very sturdy. However, too much weight can weaken the frame over time. The desks are built to support your office supplies, organizers, folders, files, binders, notebooks, your monitor(s), keyboard, phone, etc., however, they are not designed to hold the weight of all of these things plus the weight of a person. Weight limits will vary depending on the particular cubicle, but please resist the urge to use your desk as a ladder. You should also not store your filing cabinet on the surface of your desk; this belongs on the floor tucked under your desk.


Also, be mindful of the amount of weight on your cubicle panels. You should always be aware of the amount of weight that your worksurface and cubicle walls can hold. Consider the wall organizers and decorations you hang on the walls of your cubicle and do not lean on your panels; they were not constructed to support the weight of a person (usually).


  1. Proper cubicle assembly


The most obvious cubicle safety precaution is to be sure that your office cubicle is properly assembled and installed. If you install the cubicle yourself, follow the instructions very carefully, have someone or others help you, double check each piece to be sure that it is securely in place, and inspect the cubicle after it’s assembled.


  1. Store materials properly


Store all office materials and supplies properly in their designated place. Return all items to their delegated drawer or file and be sure to close the drawers when they’re not in use to prevent tripping or being caught on an open drawer. If any materials are stacked, be sure they are in a steady position and be careful not to stack anything too high or out of reach. You wouldn’t want an entire stack of binders, folders, and notebooks to come crashing on top of you as you were reaching for a particular folder on the bottom of the pile.


  1. Do not block your entry or exit


Keep your cubicle entryway clear to prevent trips and falls and allow for a safe, swift exit in case of an emergency. Your workspace should follow all OSHA standards for cubicles in addition to providing a space wide enough to accommodate employees’ egress.


Cubicle safety precautions may not be the most exciting or interesting topic, however, more employees and managers should be aware of these safety measures and office safety hazards. In such high-traffic areas such as workplaces, safety should be a better prioritized subject of discussion and attention.

Proper Interview Attire: Workplace Fashion That Makes A First Impression

By Taylor Landis 2 months ago 322 Views No comments


You’re only one day and a few hours away from your big interview. It’s for your dream job. You’ve been patiently waiting and working harder than ever for years to prepare for this moment. It would be devastating to throw all your hard work and preparation out the window because the interviewers were extremely disappointed with your outfit choice. Short, tight dresses showing cleavage, wrinkled shirts, and old, beat up tennis shoes tend to make any recruiter turn the other way. Remember your attire demonstrates your professionalism, how serious you are about the position (do you really want this job or is it just another option…), and the level of respect you have for yourself, the interviewer, and the company.


Or maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum; you’ve done your research and you’ve spent two hours (okay…maybe two and a half) choosing the perfect pair of heels. If you’re anything like me, you spend more time preparing your interview outfit than preparing for the interview itself (which isn’t necessarily a good thing). Of course, your interview attire is important, however, it should be subtle and simple. You wouldn’t want your outfit to distract from your words. Your answers to the interviewer’s questions are what lands you the job, your outfit is just an aid. But, be sure your “aid” helps you rather than hurts you.


Why proper interview attire is important


Like I’ve previously mentioned, dressing professionally shows respect for yourself, the interviewer, and the company. Keep in mind, you only have one chance to make a first impression; make it count. Consider the message that your interview attire sends. Are you clean, neat, and professional? Or are you uncommitted, disorganized, and unprepared? This doesn’t mean that you’re obligated to spend $800 and an entire day picking out the perfect interview outfit. Just spend a little extra time ironing your blouse or button-down shirt and be sure that it’s free of lint or pet hair.


Remember, this isn’t a fashion show. Unfortunately, you won’t have the chance to strut down the runway (lined with office cubicles instead of photographers and press) with every employee poking their head out from behind their cubicle panels hoping to catch a glimpse of this season’s stunning designer “workplace collection.” Your best chance of getting seen is being lucky enough to be interviewed in an office with glass walls and doors on the busiest floor of the office building. Therefore, avoid dressing for attention. Keep it subtle, professional, and understated.


What NOT to wear


Before we get into proper interview attire, it’s important to understand the things you should never wear to a job interview.


  • Blazers are ideal interview attire. With that being said, be aware of the layer under your blazer or jacket. Low-cut tops that show cleavage or casual, wrinkled tees are not appropriate. A blazer does not grant you permission to just throw on any old shirt underneath.
  • Go light on the perfume or cologne. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if your interviewer kept coughing or covering their nose, or even worse, had an allergic reaction to your strong scent?
  • No open-toed shoes, sandals or flip-flops, or old tennis shoes. These shoe options are way too casual and unprofessional.
  • Ladies, don’t overdo your makeup. I understand that makeup is a necessity (it is for me as well) and helps us look our best but, keep it natural. Bright red lips, false lashes, and a bold smoky eye is both distracting and unnecessary.
  • Avoid looking too dated. Believe it or not, an outdated outfit can be just as distracting as a tight, short, bright colored dress. Throughout the entire interview, the interviewer will be wondering which decade you time travelled from instead of being attentive to your answers to their questions.
  • Keep accessories to a minimum. For guys, a belt and watch is perfect. Women should keep to studded earrings, a dainty necklace, and/or a watch or bracelet. Your jewelry should not be clinking and clattering with every step or small movement.


What to wear


Before you even begin to consider your outfit possibilities, do some research on the company you’re interviewing for. But, not on the company’s background, product or service, etc. (although that type of research is required and very important as well). Google images of the company or office and conclude the attire that other employees are wearing. Is the environment business casual or business professional? This will help you determine how you should dress for your interview. However, it’s always better to overdress rather than appear too casual. Of course, business casual attire does not mean cargo shorts and a t-shirt. In fact, there is no exact definition of this type of dress. I’ll try to offer you the best description and examples, however, “business casual attire” requirements will vary depending on the company, location, and industry.


Your interview attire should be understated rather than flashy and you’ll want to wear something that makes you feel confident. For example, a button-down shirt and slacks which fit properly will have you feeling and appearing much more confident and comfortable than pants that are too short and a blazer that restricts your arm and shoulder movement would.


Women


Let’s begin with proper interview attire for women (assuming that you’ve determined the formality of the office environment).


Business Casual


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  • Khaki, corduroy, twill, or cotton pants or skirts (be sure that your skirt is not too short; around knee length or slightly above the knee is appropriate)
  • Flowing or sheath dresses (solid colors rather than loud, bright patterns)


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  • Sweaters, cardigans, polo or knit shirts, or a blouse (a basic print or statement color is acceptable as long as other wardrobe pieces are neutral and understated)
  • Flats, peep-toe shoes, or heels (for a slightly more formal look)
  • Minimal jewelry



A more casual environment might accept dark-wash jeans without holes or tears. Limit your attire to only one statement color. For example, if you wear a bright yellow blouse or sweater, your skirt or pants and undershirt should be a neutral color such as gray, white, khaki, or black.


Business Professional


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  • Navy, black, or dark gray suit
  • Suit skirt (skirt should be no shorter than just above the knee)
  • Basic patterned blouse with a solid-colored skirt
  • Sweater with black or khaki dress pants
  • Dark, solid, neutral colored blazer


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  • Solid-colored dress with an appropriate neckline and knee-length hem (a statement-colored dress is also appropriate if it is more conservative as the color will already draw attention)
  • Simple black dress
  • Natural colored pantyhose (if necessary)
  • Closed-toed shoes (preferably heels, but not platform)
  • Minimal jewelry


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Remember, your formal interview attire should appear neat and clean. Remove all lint or pet hair from your outfit and make sure it’s free of wrinkles or stains. Wear natural-looking makeup and a professional hair style (keep your hair out of your face and eyes).


Men


Whether the proper attire for the company is business casual or professional, men’s interview attire should always consist of dark dress socks (not ankle socks), dress or leather shoes, and neatly pressed pants.


Business Casual


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  • Khaki, gabardine, wool, or cotton pants
  • Cotton, long-sleeved button-down shirts


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  • Sweaters over button-down shirts (if the sweater is bright-colored or patterned, the undershirt should be a neutral color)
  • Leather or dress shoes
  • Leather, brown or black belt


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If the environment is more on the casual side, dark colored jeans without holes or tears may be appropriate. To make the attire a bit more formal, add a colored or patterned statement tie and a watch.


Business Professional


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  • Solid, neutral-colored suit (navy, black, dark gray)
  • Color-coordinated, long-sleeved button-down shirt
  • Leather or dress shoes


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  • Leather, brown or black belt
  • Tie
  • Watch (optional, however, I think that it’s a stylish addition to the professional appearance)


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Be sure that you appear neatly groomed and shaved with trimmed, clean nails and a professional hairstyle. Your attire should be clean and pressed in addition to properly tailored and fitted.


Dressing for your interview might appear as more of an afterthought, however, the importance of your interview attire should not be underestimated. After all, this is your opportunity to dress to impress before you’re hired and exiled to your office cubicle where your amazing style is hidden behind your cubicle walls anyway.

The Ultimate Mother's Day Guide For Working Moms & Their Families

By Taylor Landis 3 months ago 246 Views No comments


I grew up with a mom who worked hard; long-nights and busy weekends, but as I got older and she continued to excel in her career, I watched as she received promotions, pay raises, gained benefits, and traveled more, and traded in her office cubicle for a substantial corner office with enormous windows overlooking the city from the sixth floor. I was taught from a young age that hard work really does pay off. If I wanted to achieve something, anything, I had to work for it, even if I didn’t “feel like it” that day. Nothing is just handed out, it’s earned. I was taught extremely important life lessons simply from observing my mom.


In addition to making majority of the household income (or all during the time period after her first divorce) she cleaned the house, cooked dinner, ran errands, played taxi driver, helped with my homework, and was (and still is) the best support system I could’ve ever asked for all without a single complaint. Mothers are the backbone of every family. Women contribute to more than 40% of the household income in half of American households and somehow still manage to hold the family together.


Yes, my mom, just like every other, was busy. But, her career has made my life better. She was able to give me everything I needed growing up and most of what I wanted. Looking back now, I don’t feel that I missed out at all. If anything, I cherished the moments that I did spend with my mother that much more. I give my mom all the credit for where I am and who I am today. The credit that she rightfully deserves. I know she felt guilty for missing mine or my brothers’ athletic events occasionally or serving dinner at 8:30 at night…again. There were weeks where she was gone five out of the seven days travelling for work. But, I never felt neglected or ignored. Especially now, I understand that everything she was doing; the hard work, excessive travelling, and draining days, were all for her family.


With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I’m sure you’re all reflecting on everything your supermom has done for you and how she’s made your life better while scrambling to find her that perfect gift. But, let me share a little secret with you…what she really wants is some relaxing, quality time with her family. Of course, she still deserves to be showered with gifts, make sure to show her how much she’s appreciated for those long nights at the office just to get you that new bike or spending just a little extra time planning your perfect birthday party last year while also getting you to every single soccer practice on time with snacks and Gatorade in hand.


Working a full-time job and managing a family is no simple task; which is why working moms deserve the ultimate Mother’s Day. Most importantly, all “mom responsibilities” are waived for the day. No cooking, cleaning, or driving allowed. Here’s a few ideas to help you plan the ultimate Mother’s Day for your mom.


Brunch/Breakfast-in-bed


Every perfect Mother’s Day begins with brunch or a nice breakfast-in-bed prepared just for her by the whole family. If you decide to make mom a special breakfast-in-bed, here’s a few delicious recipes to consider. There’s no better way to start the day than a mouthwatering breakfast and cup of coffee that you didn’t even have to make yourself brought right to your bed. (Make sure mom is not the one cleaning up the mess left behind from making the breakfast).


Spa Day or Relaxing Activity


Remember, mom works harder than anyone. She spends all day sitting behind her desk at work to come home and work her multiple side jobs as a taxi driver, chef, tutor, housekeeper, event planner, secretary, and household manager. What better way to help her relax than a spa day? Whether you gift her with a relaxing spa day away or create an at-home spa, she’ll treasure the time she’s granted to finally unwind after weeks of nonstop work. To fabricate the optimum at-home spa, you’ll need a few ingredients first.





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  • A hot bath
  • Silk sleep mask




Maybe your mom prefers other methods of relaxation, such as yoga or going on a hike. Whichever activity equips her with utter peacefulness and tranquility is a necessary element of an ultimate Mother’s Day.


Gifts


Although your mom might tell you she doesn’t need gifts and she “just wants to spend time with her family,” you and I both know that she deserves the best gifts money can buy. While you’re pondering over what to get her, trying to find something that’s worthy of being presented to the strongest, most amazing person you know, consider a few of these Mother’s Day gift suggestions.


  1. Pandora bracelet or charm from their Mother’s Day collection. A charm representing each of her children would also make a thoughtful gift that she’ll always cherish.



  1. A personalized Greetabl Mother’s Day box with a personally chosen pattern, photos, small gift, and short message.



  1. A bathtub caddy will be a perfect addition for her at-home spa day or any other day mom needs to unwind after a long day of work.




  1. A personalized bracelet with her children’s names, birthstones, birthdates, or coordinates to a place that holds a special memory for you and your mother.


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  1. A personalized coffee mug. You could serve her coffee in her adorable new mug when bringing her breakfast-in-bed.


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  1. A beautiful vase to hold her gorgeous Mother’s Day flowers.


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  1. A stunning bracelet and watch set. She’s always trying her best to be on-time for everything anyway. Why not help her out? She’ll look great while rushing around the house trying to get everyone ready for school and breakfast and lunch made before she goes to work.


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  1. A Birchbox gift subscription so she can enjoy that spa-day luxury every day of the week (or whenever she can find time).


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  1. Photo coasters with pictures of her and her family during memorable moments.



  1. A detailed life planner to help her organize her workday as well as every other family members’ day.


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  1. Premium chocolates that are just as sweet as she is (if that’s possible).


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  1. A cookbook stand to help her our during those hours on end she spends in the kitchen.



Mother’s Day Dinner and Wine


Because her gourmet breakfast, relaxing spa day, and thoughtful, irreplaceable gifts still don’t do her justice, plan a nice dinner (and don’t forget the wine). Unsure of what to cook? Check out these 15 Mother’s Day dinner recipes for some inspiration and ideas. Because she deserves only the finest wine, here’s a few suggestions.


  • Sparkling: Berlucchi Franciacorta ’61 Rosé



  • White: Smith-Madrone 2013 Riesling



  • Rosé: Solace 2014 Rosé




  • Red: Mira 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon



After her relaxing, lavish Mother’s Day is over, don’t forget to remind her daily just how much you appreciate everything your mother does. Tell her she shouldn’t feel guilty for late nights at the office because you understand how hard she works to provide you with everything you’ve ever wanted and needed. After all, she only works about ten side jobs to keep every family members’ life together in addition to her day job that regularly turns into a night job and sometimes a weekend job as well. It can’t be easy to excel in your career while also managing your family life. I think she deserves the ultimate Mother’s Day experience. Don’t you

12 Cubicle Accessories That Will Instantly Make Your Workspace More Awesome

By Cube Decor Zone 3 months ago 348 Views No comments

It’s no secret that cubicle life can sometimes get downright boring. The bland uniformity of office buildings coupled with the unnatural white monotony of the overhead lighting can have a draining effect on the soul. Luckily, most of us do have some control over own workspace and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time, money and effort to perk it up. Below you will find a list of 12 accessories that you can use to instantly make your cubicle more comfortable and infuse your work life with some panache.


1. Otto the Otter Tape Dispenser

If you’re an animal lover, this is an easy one! This inquisitive-looking otter sits on your cubicle desk and supplies you with tape whenever you need it. Otto is a great item for office workers who like to bring cute little decorations into their cubicle for a homier atmosphere at work. It’s a cubicle accessory that not only looks good on your desk, but also serves a practical purpose.




2. Crock-Pot Food Warmer


If you often find yourself heading down to the cafeteria for lunch, a crock-pot food warmer is a great accessory to keep in your cubicle. It’s a convenient way to eat healthy, and it can save you big money in the long run. One of its best qualities is that it doesn’t release any attention-getting food smells when in use. Also, the heating base disconnects from the container making it extremely easy to bring from your home to work and vice versa. Here are some easy recipes to get you started in bringing cost-efficient, healthy and delicious lunches to work. Say farewell to the greasy company microwave and keep your wallet in your pocket!


3. Motion Activated Candy Dispenser


A motion activated candy dispenser is a fun and useful accessory for a cubicle dweller or office worker who is also a candy or nut connoisseur. With this on your desk, you’ll not only have your favorite munchies right at your fingertips, but you’ll also gain that universally lusted after popularity that may have eluded you in high school. Motion activation is an important feature because it helps to discourage the spread of germs and bacteria in the workplace.


4. One Small Positive Thought Wooden Sign


Harness the power of positive thinking by keeping a stylish rendition of this important phrase in your cubicle. Seeing it when you get to work in the morning will put you into a productive frame of mind and set you on the right course for the rest of the day. It’s small enough to sit unobtrusively on your desk, and light enough to hang on fabric covered cubicle walls.


5. Living Ecosphere


Micro-organisms, algae and small shrimp coexisting in filtered sea water cooperate to ensure the health of the entire ecosystem as a whole, as well as the survival of each individual organism. Take a break from your work and recharge while you gaze into this fascinating world. This amazing desk accessory is great for the cubicle because it requires absolutely zero maintenance and has a life space of up to 3 years. Remind yourself and office coworkers what real environmental sustainability is all about!


6. Digital Photo Frame


If you keep a lot of photos in your cubicle, consider a digital photo frame. A great thing about this item is that it replaces all your photos with one single digital frame. Save precious space by getting your cherished memories off your desk and into one convenient location. It comes ready to use out of the box with lots of useful features such as motion sensor ON/OFF activation as well as slideshow and movie capabilities.


7. Motivational Stress Balls


Offices can be stressful places. Office relationships, job workloads, and general nervousness can all contribute to anxiety in the workplace. Stress balls can be great tools for quietly relieving stress when you work in a cubicle and don’t have the luxury of being able to take a long bath or go out for a run. The motivational messages will help you calm your nerves and regroup while putting you in a more productive frame of mind.


8. Self-Stirring Mug


Have your morning cup of joe in style with a handy self-stirring mug. The conveniently located handle operation button allows you to write with one hand and easily stir your coffee with the other- no messy spoons or stir sticks required. The whisper quiet motor lets you whip up your coffee into a luxurious froth during business meetings and no one will be the wiser!


9. Wrap-a-Nap Sleep-Anywhere Pillow


We’re all guilty of this sometimes: no matter what time we have to get up for work in the morning, we’ll still stay up late into the night binge-watching Netflix or allowing our tired, impressionable brains to be mesmerized by Dr. Ho’s latest pain relief infomercial. You can make your workday a little bit easier by keeping a Wrap-a-Nap Sleep-Anywhere pillow in your cubicle. This does what the name implies: it lets you sleep anywhere. When you’re worn out at work even a 20 minute catnap can have a profoundly rejuvenating effect. This soft pillow turns cold, hard surfaces into inviting resting places for your tired old noggin. Conveniently, it also blocks out any unwanted light and sound.


10. Melting Clock


If you’re into gadgets and cool-looking decor, you might want to consider a melting clock. Although it’s a bit of a novelty item, it consistently keeps accurate time. It’ll look good sitting comfortably on any shelf or perched atop your cubicle wall while helping the minutes till punch-out time ooze on by.


11. Bitten Apple Tissue Dispenser


No one likes allergy season but a cool tissue dispenser like this can help to lessen its bite. It’s basically a container for tissues in the shape of a bitten apple. The nice thing about it is that it doesn’t take up any more space than a regular box of tissues. It’s cute and fun cubicle decor and also makes a great gift idea for teachers and students alike.


12. Cute Toast USB Hand Warmers


It’s fun to decorate and accessorize our cubicles for a homier feel, but one thing we can’t control is the office thermostat. These cute hand warmers will quickly make your poor cold fingers warm and toasty without detracting from your freedom of movement. Just plug them into any USB port and you’re ready to type away in comfort. They come in a variety of colors and flavors so be sure to find the one that best suits your personality.

How To Lose 10 Pounds With 30 Minutes A Day At The Office

By Taylor Landis 3 months ago 267 Views No comments



The days are getting longer and warmer and the sun is getting brighter and you know what that means: summer is getting closer. Do you look at yourself in the mirror before work every day and wonder just how you’re going to achieve that summer body when you work eight hours a day and then have to come home and cook, watch kids, clean or, like me, work a night job? How do you get in shape before June 1 when you work 70 hours a week and have adult responsibilities? If you’re like me, then the only thing you want to do on the few nights or mornings that you have off is sleep.


But what if I told you that you could achieve that summer body you desire from your office? No need for a gym membership and fancy equipment, and you won’t need a genie to grant you an extra 2 hours a day to make time for working out. Just 30 minutes a day at the office (ask your boss if you can steal it from your lunch break- after all, you only need 30 minutes to eat anyways!) and some simple lifestyle changes will have you rocking those skinny jeans in no time.



First things first, before we jump right into the exercises and healthy snacks, you’ll first want to terminate bad habits that are likely to reverse all the hard work and effort you’re about to do. Think about the amount of time you spend sitting throughout your day. You sit in the car on the way to work, at least eight hours a day while at work, and then again on the ride home from work, and then you sit during dinner and to watch tv on the couch, and then you go to bed. Not including the time you spend sleeping, Americans spend an average of 6-8 hours a day sitting. Overall, you spend about half of your life sitting down. You could spend two hours a day working out, but there is no amount of physical activity that can reverse the negative health effects of sitting for such long periods of time every day. So, before you start putting all that effort into working out, eating healthy, and taking the stairs, you should start by eliminating the major issue at hand.


In case the obvious weight gain and reversing the positive effects of all the exercise that you’ve been doing isn’t enough to get you up off your chair, sitting for extended periods of time also results in an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and anxiety, muscle degeneration and back and neck pain, and organ damage. Now that I’ve terrified you into throwing your desk chair in the dumpster (which I promise is not necessary), here’s a few reasons to convince you to spend some time throughout your day exercising instead of sitting at your desk chair for a full eight hours.



  1. Weight loss (this one is pretty obvious)
  2. Great for your muscles and bones


Aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises will aid in protecting your muscles, joints, and bones.


3. Improves your overall mood and mental health


During exercise, your body releases specific chemicals which improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed which will help you deal with stress and decrease your risk for depression. Summed up, you’ll be a happier person.


4. Increased energy levels


Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, helping your cardiovascular system operate more efficiently, which in turn improves your heart and lung health, resulting in more energy throughout your day.


5. Lowers your risk of chronic disease and some cancers


Exercise fights a number of diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, arthritis, and a number of cancers such as colon, breast, uterine, and lung.


6. Improves brain health and memory


Exercise can improve brain function and protect your memory and thinking skills.


7. Improves skin health


Physical activity increases your body’s production of natural antioxidants, aiding in the protection of cells and stimulating blood flow, resulting in a delayed appearance of skin aging.


8. Relaxation and quality of sleep


Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep, helping you sleep more soundly and remain asleep.


9. Reduces pain


Several studies have proven that exercise aids in reducing chronic pain and improves quality of life.


10. Improved sex life


A variety of studies have also proven that regular physical activity improves sex life for both men and women.


Now that you’re thoroughly convinced that you should spend some time everyday working out, we can go over a few exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own office cubicle.


Arms & Shoulders


  • Bicep Curls


It’s best to do this exercising from a standing position for the simple fact that I just mentioned a few very serious negative effects of sitting for an extended amount of time. I don’t believe that this exercise requires an explanation. For all of these arm exercises you may use water bottles in place of dumbbells. (20 reps with each arm)


  • Front and Side Arm Raises


Again, you may use dumbbells or water bottles. Relax your arms by your side, alternating arms and keeping them straight, raise your arm straight out in front of you. Beginning from the same position, raise your arms straight out to the side. (10 reps with each arm)


  • Overhead Presses


Begin standing with your arms by your side. Using either dumbbells or water bottles, bend your elbows and raise your arms straight up in the air and then return them to your side. (15 reps)


  • Shoulder Shrug


Stand and relax your arms by your side holding either dumbbells or water bottles. Raise and lower your shoulders simultaneously. (20 reps)



Sit on the very edge of your desk or a non-rolling (that part is very important) chair and place your hands on either side of you. Place your feet flat on the floor a step or two in front of you. Bend your arms, lowering your body until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, and then raise yourself back up straightening your arms again. (10 reps)



You can also increase the difficulty of this exercise by doing real pushups; however, I’m assuming that you would rather not lie on the office floor. Instead, place your hands on the edge of your cubicle desk shoulder width apart with your legs straight out behind you. Lower your chest down to your desk bending your arms, push yourself back up straightening your arms again. (15 reps)


Legs & Butt


  • Chair Squats


Sit in your desk chair (sit straight, shoulders back), keep your knees at a 90-degree angle. Without using your arms, stand straight up and then slowly sit back down. Simple enough. If you’re looking to take it up a notch, try a few squats without the chair. (10 reps)


  • Wall Sit


Standing against a wall with your back and shoulders flat against the wall and your feet flat on the floor shoulder width apart, lower yourself until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Hold for 30 seconds. Also, I don’t recommend doing this against a cubicle wall or you might end up on the floor along with the wall. And you were worried about the exercises drawing attention to yourself.


  • Calf Raises


Stand straight with your feet flat on the floor. Raise yourself onto your toes and then lower yourself back down until your heels are slightly above the ground. Repeat. (25 reps)



Sitting in your chair with your back against the back of your chair and your shoulders back, raise your legs up straight in front of you and then keeping your legs straight, slowly raise your legs so your thighs are lifted off of the chair. Then, while your legs are still straight, return them to the chair. To increase difficulty, place a purse or briefcase strap over your ankles to add weight. (15 reps)


  • Cubicle Kick


Stand behind your chair and place your hands on the back of your chair in front of you. Lift your leg straight out behind you as high as you can, hold for five seconds and then lower your leg just above the ground. Repeat. (10 reps each leg)

Abs/Core


  • Exercise Ball


Replace your desk chair with an exercise ball to improve balance and tone your core.


  • Swivel Twist


If you’re lucky enough to have a swivel chair, sit tall in your chair with your shoulders back and knees at a 90-degree angle. Slightly lift your knees so your feet hover above the ground. Twist your abdominal left to right slightly swiveling your chair back and forth with you. (15 reps)


Cardio


  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Ride a bike to work
  • Take frequent, short walks around the office


Visit your coworkers’ desk for a quick chat or question instead of sending an email


  • Cycling or walking on the treadmill


If this equipment is available at your office.


Of course, there are plenty of other exercises that can be done at the office. These are just a few to get you started.


You may have noticed that it will most likely take more than 30 minutes to do each of these exercises. So, alternate between them each day. Focusing on a particular body region each day is a great way to prioritize your activity. For example, focus on arms on Monday, legs and butt on Tuesday, abs on Wednesday, cardio on Thursday, etc. Or, choose a few exercises for each body region each day to work on a little bit of everything every day.


You’re probably thinking, “you forgot to mention sit-stand desks.” These are a great option to have in your office. After all, “sitting is the new smoking.” It’s important to move around throughout the day. You should definitely not be sitting for extended periods of time without movement, however, standing for extended periods can actually do more harm than good. Risks include fatigue, varicose veins, and similar to sitting, neck and back pain. Alan Hedge, an ergonomics professor at Cornell University, suggests sitting for 20 minutes, standing for 8, and walking, stretching, or moving for 2; repeating this cycle throughout the day.


Remember, exercise alone won’t give you that summer body if you head home each day to sit on the couch with a bag of potato chips. So, here’s some easy, delicious, and healthy snack ideas to take to work with you or enjoy when you get home.


  1. Hard boiled eggs


  1. Cucumber sushi



  1. Avocado hummus



  1. Trail mix bites



  1. Fro-yo bites



  1. Chicken avocado roll-ups



  1. Donut apples



Remember to stretch, sit less, move more, participate in at least 30 minutes of activity each day, drink plenty of water, and incorporate healthy snacks into your daily diet and you’ll have that summer body in no time without taking any additional time out of your day for exercise or fitness-related activities. Transforming your office into your personal gym is an easy and convenient solution and you won’t even need to purchase that expensive gym equipment or pay monthly for a gym membership that you’ll rarely use. In addition to your perfect body, you’re also acquiring numerous health benefits and eliminating the negative side effects of sitting. What more could you ask for? Sure, an office sauna and pool would be nice. But, we’ll start with the basics. So, get up and get moving!