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We’re proud to be supporting Breast Cancer Now

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img870_london_cambridge_cycle

We’re proud to be supporting Breast Cancer Now – the UK’s largest breast cancer charity who are dedicated to funding research into this devastating disease. Breast Cancer Now believe that if we all act now, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live.

A message from Breast Cancer Now:

We’re determined to stop women dying from breast cancer. By discovering the causes of the
disease, we’ll find ways to prevent it. By improving early detection and diagnosis, we’ll give everyone the best chances of survival. By developing effective new treatments for every type of breast cancer, we’ll make sure more women are treated successfully. And by learning to stop the disease in its tracks and control breast cancer that’s spread to other parts of the body, we’ll stop it taking lives.

Get involved by raising money at the London to Cambridge bike ride this Sunday 3rd July:

Starting in Pickett’s Lock in north London the London to Cambridge Bike Ride takes you 60 miles up through the Hertfordshire and Cambridge countryside finishing up on Midsummer Common in the heart of Cambridge.

You will be greeted with a festival like atmosphere filled with music, refreshments and a chance to have a well-earned massage.

So whether you’re an individual or part of a team, a pro or an enthusiast, grab your helmet and cycle to help raise vital funds for living saving breast cancer research.

We will be providing a special order of 1,700 sport bottles of Eden water to support the cyclists and the supporters on the day. Good luck all from the team here at Eden Kafevend – we hope you enjoy the water!

Enhance Creativity and Boost Productivity in the Workplace

Posted in Office Management, Office Motivation, Well Being at Work on by .

The modern employee sees employment as an ‘experience’ more than a ‘pay-check.’ They want to be offered choice in how, when and where they work. Many employees work independently as well as collaborating with others, they work at desks, on the move, between 9-5 and outside of these hours.

Companies and organisations who have adapted to meet the needs of the modern employee are prospering. By simply taking time to understand the employee mind-set and considering employee wellbeing you too can enhance creativity and boost productivity.

Read More

Undertake ‘random acts of wildness’ throughout the month

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Biophilia

Biophilia

Undertake ‘random acts of wildness’ throughout the month. This June the Wildlife Trust are challenging people to find their inner wildness and to undertake ‘random acts of wildness’ throughout the month. These acts could include something as simple as making and wearing a daisy chain necklace, putting out a bird feeder in your garden or something more dramatic such as testing your survival skills and spending the night under the stars out in the wild.

There are many reasons why we should try and reconnect with nature and channel our inner wildness, not least because a study conducted by the University of Derby concluded that an increased connection with nature can result in greater feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Also spending more time outdoors is undoubtedly good for our health and fitness, and helps us to appreciate and therefore be more likely to help with the growing need for nature conservation. Lucy McRobert, the campaign manager for the 30 days wild initiative said “The results of our study show that taking part in 30 Days Wild makes people happier, healthier, and more connected to nature in the long term.”

Dr Miles Richardson, head of psychology at the University of Derby, who carried out the study said that the study results backed up the idea that a connection with nature could reduce demand on the NHS; “Even in urban areas, nature can provide a simple solution to complex problems.”
It’s easy to feel a complete disconnect with nature when sitting in an office, breathing in artificial air and surrounded by technology, but armed with the knowledge that experiencing nature is so beneficial, here are some ways in which to participate with 30 Days Wild from your office.

1.Hold Meetings outside

Escape from the stuffiness of the boardroom and arrange to engage in meetings in the fresh air instead. If there is nowhere suitable at your place of work then find a nearby park. Being outside in the fresh air and surrounded by greenery will give you an instant mood boost and encourage creativity. It is now widely accepted that children benefit from having lessons and learning outdoors, so it follows that adults will reap those same benefits too.

2.Use Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is the practice of using natural elements to enhance buildings. A global study into the impact of office design, which collected data from 7600 workers in 16 countries found that those who worked in spaces that incorporated green or other natural elements reported a 15% increase in wellbeing compared to other participants, and were 6% more productive, and 15% more creative overall. Ways in which you can easily incorporate biophilic design into your own office might be introducing plants (the more the better), relying less on artificial light, and painting walls natural colours.

3.Get back to nature with an office day out

Instead of the clichéd social events at work which normally include alcohol and dancing (and then, let’s face it, often embarrassment and regret the morning after), organise a day out somewhere green. The potential activities are endless, hiking, geocaching, den building and learning a woodland craft are to name but a few. This would undoubtedly promote good team building, would be a fun and healthy way to socialise all whilst connecting to nature.

It’s not too late to sign up for 30 Days Wild, sign up at wildlifetrust.org – 30 Days Wild for more ideas and try to incorporate some wildness into your personal life too-grrrrrr!!

The Benefits of Life in the Office

Giving the gift of clean water in Africa – Eden supports World Water Day

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World Water Day 2016

Uganda boreholes

Uganda boreholes

Each year the arrival of World Water Day on 22nd March is a positive reminder of the importance of water globally. It also raises awareness of the almost one billion people who don’t have access to safe water worldwide. So, we’re firm supporters of the initiative here at Eden Springs.

With water being central to our business, it’s important to us that we support projects throughout the year to bring clean water to those who need it most. We work with a carefully selected corporate charity partner – People Help People-One World – who helps communities in Central Africa, at a grassroots level, gain access to clean drinking water.
One project we’ve supported was the building of several clean water wells in the Wakiso district, which in turn is helping to improve access to drinking water for the area’s 1.4 million inhabitants – 70% of whom don’t have a source of clean water.

We are excited to announce our support of a second and new project for 2016. Through our association with the Carbon Neutral® organisation, Eden’s carbon neutral offsetting will lend support to another water infrastructure project in Sub-Saharan Africa.

About the project

Based primarily in Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi, the project provides clean drinking water to small rural communities by repairing broken boreholes and drilling new ones. The boreholes are used as water wells by installing a vertical pipe casing and well screen which allows water to be extracted from the ground. Funds from the carbon offsetting pay for this activity, as well as ongoing maintenance to ensure they continue to operate.

Estimated to impact 3,000 children and 5,700 adults, the project is successfully reducing incidences of diarrhoea and fatalities in the local communities and, importantly, freeing up the time women and children used to have to spend collecting water located hours away.
It’s often the case that in many communities health, education, income and general development is negatively impacted due to a lack of water. So, providing access to clean water has a wealth of benefits.

World Water Day has our full backing and we all need to be playing our part in helping ensure safe water year-round.

To find out more about our charity partnership and our carbon offsetting, visit our website.

 

Raising Awareness of Clean Water: World Water Day 2016

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World Water Day 2016

Uganda Boreholes

World Water Day 2016

Every March 22nd since 1993 the United Nations has celebrated World Water Day, with the sole purpose of raising awareness of the importance of this vital natural resource. The occasion is a time to bring water to the forefront of our minds and shine a light on those across the globe who need it most.

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is better water, better jobs. It’s aiming to highlight the power water has to transform people’s lives. The United Nations (UN) states that 1.5 billion people, that’s around half of the world’s workforce, work in water-related sectors. Nearly all jobs depend on water in some way though this is not often recognized. Here’s some examples:

• 40% of the global economically-active population work in crop and animal production, fisheries or hunting. Yet, only 20% are employed as waged workers, according to the World Bank.

• In terms of agriculture, which represents 70% of freshwater withdrawals worldwide, a farmer’s job is heavily dependent on water, from managing the available resource, addressing groundwater depletion, climate change and water scarcity.

• In some communities, including many in Africa, women and children have to walk for hours to collect safe water. This is a demanding job that is not recognised as such or paid. It’s important this changes to help empower and improve the lives of women.

So, whether it’s the presence of water, its quality or its quantity, it’s easy to see how it has such a significant impact on workers across the globe. It’s certainly time to shine a light on the topic this World Water Day –better water, better jobs. Show your support by visiting the website and learning more.
Water sits at the very heart of the Eden business, so this year’s theme really resonates with us. We are proud supporters of projects to provide clean water to communities in need in Africa and we’ll be telling you more about these in an upcoming blog.

Lacking Creativity – If you’re looking to improve your creative output then this list is for you. Some of these hints and tips may seem surprising, but give them a go and unleash your creative side.

Finger pointing to brain

Switching the brain on

1. A tired brain is more creative.

At first glance this seems very odd but allow me to explain! Creativity springs from allowing our minds to be free to wander and explore what may seem like unrelated thoughts. In contrast when we need to solve problems or be analytical our brain needs complete focus which can only be achieved when we are wide awake and at our optimum. A tired brain finds it difficult to filter distractions but creativity benefits from distractions and random thinking.

2. Exercise for creativity.

Exercise is good for us for a myriad of reasons and a recent study shows that it is beneficial for creativity.

“Sweat is like WD-40 for your mind-it lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more fluid. Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in your subconscious.”

Psychology Today-Christopher Bergland-The Neuroscience of Imagination

3. Creativity flows in ambient noise.

Silence is useful for sharpening our focus but creative thinking thrives in ambient noise (think buzz of your favourite café), which promotes expansive thoughts and fresh ideas.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

4. Creativity is not necessarily original.

Coming up with new ideas can be scary and put us under enormous pressure. Actually often generating new ideas comes from making connections between ideas that already exist.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” Steve Jobs

5. Travel to promote creative thinking.

A study has shown that amongst a group of university students, those who travelled abroad rather than just staying on campus scored better on creative thinking tests. This could be explained because when we travel to different countries we experience different cultures and traditions which is bound to broaden our thinking.

Dim Light Bulb

Dim Lighting

6. Dim lighting encourages a sense of freedom.

Research shows that dim lighting increases creativity. This is due to our subconscious feeling more free to explore; “…darkness elicits a feeling of being free from constraints and triggers a risky, explorative processing style.”

7. Mess can enhance creativity.

Check out this research…which proves beyond reasonable doubt that having a messy desk can lead to more creative thinking! Wonderful news for a messy person like myself but perhaps not so with your hyper organised tidy boss, still at least you can legitimately argue the case for messiness now!

Reference: We have used this article by Belle Beth Cooper  for inspiration: Creativity Methods For More Ideas –  Take a look at her full article

Energy on a budget

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Energy on a budget – If you find your post-Christmas resolve to lead a healthier lifestyle and become more ‘zen’ quickly dissipating as the cold dark days of January seem like they may well last forever, you’re back to binging on processed sugary snacks to get you through the afternoon slump and then experiencing post sugar energy crashes when you get home, try these no bake raw energy bars, oozing with health and vitality to get you feeling positive and back on the health wagon again. Not only are they delicious and easy to make, they will also be considerably cheaper than buying something of similar ilk at your local supermarket, leaving you more money to put in that holiday fund to escape the cruel British winter!

The beauty of these bars is that you can completely adapt them to your tastes and change flavours often so you don’t get bored. Also for added oomph in the health stakes you could add a spoonful or two of chia seeds, coconut or flaxseed if you wanted too.

Ingredients:
1 cup of nuts (e.g. cashew, peanuts, it’s totally up to you)
1 cup of dried fruit (again the choice is yours, perhaps a mixture of berries)
1 cup of pitted dried dates (Medjool would be best if you can get them)

Unbelievably you need nothing else for scrumptious snacks except a food processor, cling film and a sharp knife!

Add all the ingredients into your food processor and pulse a few times to start breaking up the ingredients, if the dates clump together then separate.

Process for 30 seconds until everything has broken down into crumb size pieces. If necessary scrape the bowl to ensure nothing is sticking.

Process again until a ball is formed (about 1-2 minutes). Turn out onto a sheet of clingfilm and press into a thick square. Then wrap and chill overnight.

The next morning unwrap and cut into a bars, wrapping each individually. They will keep in the fridge for several weeks or up to 3 months in the freezer. Most tasty eaten straight from the fridge so if you’re taking them to work then store them in the staffroom fridge until hunger strikes!

Share with us your ideas for energy boosts during work: @eden_springs

10 Ways to a more environmentally responsible business

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It has never been more important or indeed urgent, especially in the wake of ongoing scientific research and the Paris Climate Summit, that every single person needs to become more environmentally aware. This doesn’t simply mean that we need to take stock of our carbon footprint and attitudes to the world around us only in relation to our personal lives. It is critical that businesses no matter how large or small also seek to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint and do their bit for combatting climate change. Here are ten ideas to get you started.

Don’t just recycle waste paper, recycle everything you possibly can. Old electrical items, printer cartridges…………………….

 

1 – RECYCLE YOUR RUBBISH

Ensure that there is a food waste bin in the kitchen or staff room and that people are actively encouraged to recycle their rubbish, (generated by lunch for example) by providing different bins for recyclable materials that is separate to that of a general waste bin.

recycle-57136_1280

2 – GO PAPERLESS

As a business go paperless. Not only is this excellent in terms of reducing waste, it also has the added bonus of banishing the cluttered untidy desk to a thing of the past. It is simple to invoice electronically now for example and to send documents by e-mail.

paperless office

 

3 – CARBON NEUTRAL

Research and then use carbon neutral companies where possible for services that as a company you have outsourced. In addition to this, research how as a business it is possible to become a carbon neutral company yourself.

 

4 – TRAVEL LESS

In the digital age of skype, facetime and the like, consider whether it is absolutely necessary to travel to attend meetings and conferences. If as a company you can lessen the amount of miles travelled for business purposes, not only will you dramatically decrease your carbon footprint, you will also save huge amounts of money in the process (petrol and expenses such as food and hotel costs). It’s a win win!

 

5 – GET SMART

However if it is necessary for your business that you or your colleagues have to travel then forget about the traditional company car and invest in the new breed of electrical vehicle, or at the very least a hybrid. After the initial investment this course of action will also yield significant financial savings.

electric car

 

6 – GOVERNMENT CYCLING SCHEME

Encourage and even incentivise employees to find alternative ways to travel to work, such as cycling or using public transport. There are government schemes to facilitate this.

cycle to work

 

7 – IS YOUR OFFICE ENERGY EFFICIENT?

Spend time everyday ensuring that your office is as energy efficient as it can be. Check that the light bulbs are energy saving and that computers and all other electrical equipment is completely switched off at the end of each day or when not required. Have specific times for tea breaks so that the kettle isn’t boiled unnecessarily. Reduce frivolous usage of heating or air conditioning unless absolutely needed.

efficient bulbs

 

8 – GREEN ENERGY

Consider whether it would be possible to harness alternative energies such as solar power at your place of work. Any energy generated that isn’t utilised by your business can be sold back to the National Grid.

 

9 – WORK FROM HOME

Allow employees when appropriate to work from home to reduce their carbon footprint. As well as benefiting the environment it will also be greatly appreciated by staff.

 

10 – RESPONSIBLY SOURCED TEA AND COFFEE

Only buy environmentally friendly and ethically sourced tea and coffee products. Look at http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/ for companies who source and supply these products. Rainforest Alliance approved products help alleviate poverty in the developing world, combat the decimation of forests and curb climate change through investment of people and the environment.

5 Workplace Resolutions

Posted in Health, Office Management, Office Motivation, Well Being at Work on by .

5 Workplace Resolutions for the year ahead…

If returning to the office after the Christmas break left you full of dread and catapulted you back to feeling like a small child begrudgingly going back to school, then the 5 Workplace Resolutions list below is for you. Not only will it benefit you but also your colleagues around you.

  1. KEEP CONTROL OF TECHNOLOGY

    worklife

    In this digital age of smart phones and tablets, it is becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible for people to switch off and go incommunicado.

    For many gone are the days when a person could leave their desk at the end of the day and not have to think about work until the next morning. As technology becomes more sophisticated the boundaries of work and personal life become ever more blurred, and expectations of companies for their employees to be ever available is on the rise.

    Let this be the year when you reclaim your personal life and reset clear boundaries with your employer. If you must take your work home with you then let the times you do so be the exception not the rule. You will feel more energized and motivated within the workplace if you are able to enjoy a life outside of it.

  2. MAXIMISE YOUR ANNUAL HOLIDAY ALLOWANCE

    holiday

    Still on the subject of work life balance, make the most of your holiday allowance, and by that I mean take every single day of holiday you are entitled to.

    Too often people neglect to take time owed to them because they feel under so much stress from their work load they feel they cannot afford the time off.

    Taking a holiday from work will help you be more productive when you return, as well rested refreshed employees will feel motivated and be more resilient to stress. Remember you’ve earned your holiday, so make the most of it and enjoy it!

  3. DEVELOP YOURSELF

    personal development

    Examine ways in which you can develop yourself and your role within the company. Research courses and training which would benefit your company but most importantly benefit you by building your confidence and skills which leads to greater job satisfaction and future prospects.

  4. KEEP POSITIVE

    Keep positive

    Be a positive force within your office; take the time to speak to your colleagues especially those you have never taken the time to get to know.

    Give compliments and positive feedback to others. Listen to those around you and be proactive and constructive when solving problems. Fellow employees will respect and appreciate your positivity which in turn will contribute to a happier more cohesive workplace environment and better team work.

  5. ENJOY YOUR LUNCH

    enjoy your lunch

    If you are somebody who is forever chained to their desk and who has forgotten what a lunch-break is, take action to remedy this. It is hugely counterproductive no matter how heavy your workload to refuse to leave the office and have a break. This will only lead to stress and eventually burnout.

    Even just a five minute walk in the fresh air can do wonders for your mood and on returning to work you will feel reinvigorated to carry on with your toils!

    Try once a week to share your lunch-break with a colleague, leave the office and work behind and enjoy good food and conversation-you deserve it!

Hopefully these ideas will set you on happier path for the year ahead. Remember folks we work to live, not live to work!

 

Best Secret Santa Gifts

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It’s that time of year again when offices throughout the land succumb to the ever growing ‘Secret Santa’ craze. Read our essential guide to the best gifts available that’ll make you want to break with tradition, become Unsecret Santa and be applauded by your colleagues for your fabulous present buying prowess!

1. Wooden beard and moustache comb

For something unique look no further than www.notonthehighstreet.com With something to suit all ages, tastes and budgets this fantastic company make buying a thoughtful and quirky gift easy peasy. For the hipster in your office bestow upon them this personalised wooden beard and moustache comb by Wood Paper Scissors and be their friend forever!

 beard comb

2. Christmas chocolate bar library

Gone are the days (thankfully) when it was acceptable to gift a naff box of unimaginative chocolates to a poor unsuspecting colleague. The independent and artisan chocolate business is a growing market and the pick of the bunch has to be Montezuma’s, with such a vast array of high quality deliciously decadent chocolate gifts to choose from you’ll find it hard to resist ordering a little something for yourself too! Check out this Christmas chocolate bar library-genius!

chocolate library

3. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

For the environmentally conscious (hopefully that’s all of us) you simply can’t go wrong with Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, purveyor of wonderfully fragrant natural products. They have an imaginative and expansive festive range to explore, but for those of us in a present buying induced panic they have kindly provided us with a creation specifically designed for our covert gift giving operation….

lush

4. Wind up salt and pepper ‘bots

For the resident stationary lover in your office a trip to Paperchase will guarantee a happy recipient. With everything from funky diaries, to hip flasks (see what I did there!) for transporting your morning coffee there really is something for everybody. Who could fail to be delighted with these marvelous not to mention unusual wind up salt and pepper ‘bots?

saltpepperbots

5. 642 Tiny Things to Write About record book

Buying for a bookworm or wannabe future writer? Waterstones is more than a safe bet. With a huge array of fiction and non-fiction titles, they also stock imaginative gifts designed to lure out our creativity that’s been locked away since our carefree pre adult days! Unleash that inner author with the inspiring 642 Tiny Things to Write About record book. It’s bound to get those creative juices flowing.

book

There you have it, some festive shopping inspiration! Perhaps you can tick off more than just your secret Santa with these excellent ideas…Happy shopping!