Author Archives: The Eden Water Cooler

Iced Coffee Proves to Be a Hot Topic

Posted in Coffee on by .

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When it comes to work, late nights and early starts can take their toll – and many of us struggle to get through the working day without at least one cup of coffee. With 54% of people drinking coffee in America alone, 60% of those claim to need the alluring aroma of caffeine to kickstart their day.

But while a hot brew has long been a much-loved beverage, it seems that iced coffee is fast becoming a firm favourite both in Britain and across the pond. Blending caffeine with cool refreshment, is iced coffee the ultimate drink for all occasions?

Opinion is divided – and in today’s post, we’re diving into the reasons why having your morning coffee over ice is causing so much controversy.

 


 

The scary stats

In a previous post discussing how your brain becomes addicted to coffee, we looked at how moderating our caffeine intake can have a positive effect in the workplace – and it seems cold coffee drinks are becoming just as popular as the hot stuff. In the US, a survey carried out on 1500 coffee drinkers revealed that 75% now drink their coffee both hot and cold.

Over the years, health professionals and the media alike have debated the effect caffeine can have on our bodies – but with the BBC recently revealing that coffee drinkers have cleaner arteries, perhaps more of us should be kickstarting our days with a cup of joe.

 

Switch with the seasons

Indulging in a mug of coffee can be a great way to beat away those winter blues and warm you up in the workplace, but what about when summer strikes? Once the weather hots up, many of us face the annual dilemma of switching our caffeine fix in favour of a more refreshing beverage – but an iced coffee caters to all tastes, whatever the weather.

Whether it’s popping out for a latte on your lunch or home-brewing your iced mocha before work, there are tons of ways to enjoy your cold cuppa – and it doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. Brew your beans, pour over rocks and you’re set!

 

The cost of keeping cool

An iced drink can be a welcome treat on a warm day, but your cool coffee will come at a price – and that price is steadily climbing. While a hot drink can be picked up for small change, a cold coffee is a different story.

Taking the lead from American chains, UK coffee shops have jumped aboard the iced coffee bandwagon – and as the drink grows in popularity, the price will grow too. From the plastic cup it’s served in to the straw we drink it from, iced coffee costs more to serve and, therefore, more to buy.

Where do you stand on the great iced coffee debate?

If you prefer your coffee piping hot, invest in one of Eden Springs’ eco-friendly office coffee machines – guaranteed to give you and your team a well-earned pick-me-up throughout the working day.

5 Ways to Cut Down on Time Wasting in the Office

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

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Earlier this year, the BBC put our working lives under the microscope – or rather, how long we spend not working when we should be. The article revealed that British workers spend a staggering 18 months of their lives commuting to and from work, an activity which can feel like a bit of a black hole for our valuable time.

In a previous post, we investigated Britain’s low productivity levels – and as time goes on, the causes of this motivation meltdown are becoming clearer.

With so much emphasis placed by many employers on the ‘busy’ side of business, some UK workers are prioritising looking busy over actually tackling their workload – meaning that seemingly startling stats may actually be the product of a productivity drought.

Today we’re taking a look at the most common ways we’re wasting time at work and giving you the tools you need to tackle this office epidemic.

 

Streamline communications

In Britain, the average employee spends 36 days a year responding to work emails – which works out as almost 10% of their working life – and on top of that, London workers are receiving nearly 9000 emails each year.

Try it: allow your team some time each morning to address time-sensitive emails and resolve any pressing issues before they dive into their workload. Building this chunk of time into the working day will relieve some of the stress associated with work emails – although many urgent requests will still need to be actioned as and when they drop through.

 

Love your lunch break

Non-work related internet browsing is one of the biggest time-wasters in UK offices. From checking social media accounts to making personal Google searches and even shopping online, British workers are blurring the line between being on and off the clock.

Try it: respect the divide between office hours and personal time by encouraging your team to take the full lunch break they’re entitled to. By emphasising the importance of their lunch breaks, you can help your employees refresh and refuel for the remainder of the day while promoting a more diligent attitude to the way they spend working hours.

 

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Minimise meeting attendance

Extended or arbitrary meetings are the plague of employees across the UK. With 25% of British workers revealing that unnecessary internal meetings are their biggest pet peeve, office conferences are costing many businesses hundreds and even thousands of hours every year.

Try it: reduce the time lost through extended office meetings by inviting as few members of staff as possible. Department heads can make thorough notes of the key points discussed and feed back to their teams afterwards so that all employees are up-to-date without needing to be physically present at the meeting.

 

Balance home & office

In the aforementioned BBC article, it was revealed that 80% of employers regularly contact their staff outside of office hours – further obscuring the divide between their employees’ work and home lives.

Try it: resist the urge to contact your team outside of office hours, promoting a healthier balance between work and home life. The less often work-related issues invade their personal time, the less likely they’ll be to let personal issues eat into office hours.

 

Hydrate your team

Dehydration has been linked to higher stress levels, a decrease in brain power and a general plummet in productivity – making fresh water the key to keeping your employees alert and immersed in their work.

Try it: install a water cooler in your office to make sure your team gets their daily dose of H2O. We’d suggest having the cooler as close to your office as possible – that way, you can clamp down on extended cooler chat while encouraging an open door policy, should your staff need any advice or support.

 

Every manager’s most valuable asset is their team – and by guaranteeing that your employees’ minds are focused, their time is effectively utilised and their workloads are manageable, you can wage war on wasted time starting today.

4 Ways to keep your cool in the office this summer

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

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It’s that time of year when the weather is heating up and being stuck in an office all day requires some cool-down time. We have come up with some flavoursome ways to help perk up the workplace and stay hydrated in the summer heat.

 

1. Fruit ice lollies

They look good, they taste good and the best thing about these lollies is they are actually good for you!

Smitten Kitchen’s swirled berry yogurt popsicles
The Sweet Life’s pineapple blueberry pops
Tiny Inklings fiesta ice pops

 

 

2. Flavoured ice cubes

Nothing can quench your thirst quite like a glass of iced water. Why not spice it up by making some flavoured ice cubes?

17 Apart’s mint infused ice cubes
Babble’s berry ice is oh so nice
The Kitchn’s coffee ice cubes

 

 

A photo posted by Two And Two (@twoandtwocafe) on

3. Coffee flavoured ice lollies

If you can’t decide if you want an ice lolly or an iced coffee, then this treat is perfect for you!

A Spicy Perspective’s Vietnamese coffee popsicles
Tabitha Blue’s dulce de leche iced coffee popsicles
Hello Little Home’s coconut milk iced coffee popsicles

 

 

A photo posted by DCfoodporn (@dcfoodporn) on

4. Iced coffee

Need your coffee fix but the temperature is too high to even think about a hot drink? Well that is why iced coffee was created.

The Pioneer Woman’s perfect iced coffee
Kitchen Treaty’s creamy vanilla iced coffee
Elizabeth Minchilli’s iced coffee with almond milk

 

Eight must have office gadgets sure to perk up your workplace

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

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Is your office in need of an update or a fun injection? Then look no further. We have compiled a list of office must-haves sure to perk up your workplace:

 


 

1. Keyboard stickers

Keyboard stickers are a way of injecting some personality into your workspace. Whether you are a huge art fan or more of a comic guy, then let your colleagues know. With such a wide range available, you will be sure to find one that suits your taste.        

 
 

A photo posted by @ydnimc on


 

2. Treadmill or stand up desk

There’s significant evidence that keeping employees active in the workplace is beneficial both to their health and your business. Recently, there has been a growth in the popularity of sit-stand desks, adjustable desks which provide the ideal solution to the ‘sitting epidemic’ and allow employees to raise their desks to standing height and work on their feet. While this ergonomic innovation keeps employees active, these desks can, unfortunately, be considerably more expensive. Costing in excess of £400 each, this makes them a sizeable long-term business investment.
 
 

A photo posted by Hide & Seek (@hidenseekshop) on

 

3. Multifunctional pens

Are you someone who has a habit of chewing your pen lids – or, worse, other people’s? If so, these multifunctional pens are perfect for you. They are also ideal if you need to work through your lunchtime.
 
 

A photo posted by LBN (@frecklesinthefog) on

 
 

4. Motivational mugs

Is it that time of the month when your workload seems never-ending and you find it difficult to stay positive and motivated? We all know that a coffee break has been shown to increase productivity in the office, so why not take a break and grab a cup of coffee? Then all will be fine! Especially if you are drinking from a motivational mug.  

 
 

A photo posted by Taylor Johns (@taylorejohns) on

 

5. Office greenery

Having plants in the office helps workers to be more productive. They also have other benefits, such as cleaning the air, improving your mood and brightening up a drab desk. If you don’t want to go for a traditional plant, then why not try a USB Greenhouse?
 
 

A photo posted by Cori Moser (@corimoser) on


 

6. Ping pong table

A ping pong table can be a great addition to any office. It provides crucial bonding time among colleagues and allows them to take a much-needed break while having a bit of fun.  
  
 
 

A photo posted by @pinkdreams515 on


 

7. Balance Ball Chair

Do you suffer from back pain? If so, why not give the Balance Ball Chair a go? It provides all-day ergonomic support for a stronger, healthier back. By sitting on the ball you improve your posture and spinal alignment as well as getting a powerful core-strengthening workout.
 
 


 

8. De-stress desk toys

Ever had one of those days at the office where nothing seems to go your way? Then take a minute and relax with an office desk toy aimed at helping you de-stress when you need it.
 
 

Have fun in the office with these CEO Top Trumps

Posted in Office Motivation on by .

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Are you and your colleagues feeling a tad stressed? Then take some time out and have a bit of fun with these CEO Top Trumps! Simply click the image below, print off, cut out and let the fun begin.

office-top-trumps

Print your CEO Top Trumps now!

Still in need of a good laugh? Then why don’t you perk up the office with some of these silly workplace pranks?

50 Motivational Twitter Accounts Every Manager Should Be Following

Posted in Office Management, Office Motivation on by .

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Get Motivated Infographic

Experiencing a motivation meltdown? Finding it impossible to be productive? Need a little help accessing your inner leader?

You’re in luck.

Today we’re paying respect to the tweeters who keep us inspired no matter what lies ahead. These fountains of optimism really know how to get the job done – and by following them today, you can take your first step towards a new, more motivated you. In no particular order:

1.  Staff Motivation Matters

Twitter post

A site dedicated solely to feeding the motivation of British workers, Staff Motivation Matters is a hub of essential info for the empathetic employer. Check out John’s Twitter account for inspiring articles and essential updates from the world of motivational management.

2. Think Productive

Motivation Infographic

Self-confessed ‘productivity ninjas’, the brains behind Think Productive are committed to helping you squeeze every last minute out of your day. Sharing tweets that are empowering and actionable, no manager should miss out on these nuggets of inspiration.

3.  Evernote

Evernote screenshotProfessional proof that anything is possible, Evernote is the digital workspace designed to make your life easier. Evernote’s tweets are as as stimulating and stirring as you’d expect – helping you to get organised, get inspired and get on it.

4. Good.co

Good Co Tweet

Good.co brings a nice big dose of positivity to the working world, helping employer and employee alike find their happy place during office hours. Follow Good.co to keep your finger on the professional pulse and look on the bright side of working life.

5. Great Place to Work

Great place to work infographicTrust is a crucial factor in the success of any company – and Great Place to Work puts professional trust at the forefront. Exploring the sunny side of the job world, these tweets offer a welcome pick-me-up for any manager running low on motivation.

6. Killer Startups

Killer Startups Tweet

The ultimate entrepreneur’s resource, KillerStartups is an online treasure trove of news, reviews and special features created to inspire startups. Get these tweets in your feed for a constant stream of expert takeaways useful to managers and business owners alike.

7. All Top Startups

All Top Startups Tweet

All Top Startups is a site set on helping your business grow. Featuring a huge collection of expert tips on everything from brand-building to self-development, the website is a vital resource for ambitious professionals – and Thomas’ Twitter account provides unlimited access to inspiration.

8. Pick the Brain

Pick The Brain Tweet

Living by their powerful tagline ‘grow yourself’, the self-improvement experts at Pick the Brain are committed to boosting your motivation, productivity and confidence in one fell swoop. Head over to their Twitter account for a daily delivery of time-saving, life-affirming goodness.

9. Success Consciousness

Remez Sasson tweet
Empowerment is the name of the game at Success Consciousness, where readers can sharpen their personal skill sets on the path to success. Helping his audience to grow stronger and live better, founder Remez Sasson provides insightful narratives of his own via Twitter.

10. Motivational Memo

Motivational Memo

Motivational Memo is about being the best you that you can be. Through personal development, leadership training and a culture of positivity, Peter Sinclair harnesses his site and Twitter account to help readers take their destiny into their own hands.

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11. Addicted 2 Success

Addicted to Success tweet
A brand name that needs no introduction, Addicted 2 Success is about as self-explanatory as it gets. Gifting its audience with all of the key ingredients for personal and professional success, this is a site designed purely to help readers achieve their goals. Follow them on Twitter now to reach yours.

12. Eventbrite

Eventbrite tweet
Eventbrite exists to celebrate the significance and the impact of live events, whatever the occasion. Allowing managers and business owners to stay hot on the heels of their industry, Eventbrite brings the diverse and vibrant world of event marketing to the forefront.

13. Office Vibe

Office Vibe Tweet
At Officevibe, the first order of business is always to optimise the office environment. Helping employers engage their team every day to create a more content and connected culture within the office, this nifty site is every demotivated manager’s best friend. Explore their delightfully bright Twitter feed today.

14. Wrike

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From team collaboration to idea sharing, interconnectivity is at the heart of everything Wrike does. Innovating project management across their site and Twitter account, Wrike make maximising your productivity a piece of cake.

15. Sage

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Bringing big solutions to small businesses, Sage UK knows what it means to be a part of Britain’s thriving startup sphere. Check out the blog to add to your entrepreneurial toolkit – and keep your ear to their official Twitter account for inspiring stats and any amount of weekday mood boosters.

16. A Life of Productivity

A life of productivity tweet
If you’re experiencing a productivity plummet, look no further. A Life of Productivity is the ultimate employer resource, bringing together a colossal body of motivational insights and experiments guaranteed to help you reach prime productivity. Head to their Twitter account for a shot of motivation straight to the heart.

17. Productivityist

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Ready to be better than ever? It’s time to put your future in the hands of Productivityist.  Taking visitors on an adventure through the psychology of time management, this site is your key to a new level of professional efficiency – making their tweets a treat for the motivation-hungry manager.

18. Todoist

Todoist tweet
Todoist is the upheaval your agenda needs. Helping professionals across the world trade Post-Its for the planet’s most powerful to-do list, the site supplements this inventive app with timely blog posts and tweets designed to drive your motivation on an everyday basis.

19. Productivity Mashup

Mashup Tweet
Productivity Mashup provides thought-provoking musings on the topic of getting things done. Offering unique insight into the art of task management, Frank Degenaar uses his time to help other professionals make the most of theirs.

20. 99u

99u tweet
Bringing your best ideas to life is a tricky business – but 99u makes it a whole lot easier. Taking a look at the creativity phenomenon through the self-development lens, this bold and brilliant resource revolves around the concept of carpe diem and helps its audience find that same sense of urgency no matter what’s on the agenda.

21. Nesta

Nesta Tweet
Nesta is the non-profit dedicated to professional innovation. Communicating powerful ideas through gorgeous custom graphics, the charity works alongside ambitious businesses to bring inventive concepts to life – and their Twitter account is equally stuffed with added value.

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22. CEO Blog Nation

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A passionate network of aspirational business bloggers, CEO Blog Nation is the information hub by professionals for professionals. Explore the official Twitter account for access to expert advice, food for thought and a massive helping of can-do attitude.

23. All Things

All things tweet
The allthings blog is every manager’s one stop shop for advice and resources on productivity – helping you “get the most out of your working week”. With sections of the blog dedicated to productivity, team management and communication, and a Twitter feed packed with neat infographics and powerful quotes, allthings is every bit as all-encompassing as the name suggests.

24. Startup Nation

Start up Nation tweet
Startup Nation serves up effective, actionable solutions to the problems entrepreneurs face every day. Covering everything from building a winning team to maximising brand exposure, the blog brings managers and business owners bang up-to-date, harnessing its Twitter account to get the message out to the aspirational masses.

25. Duct Tape Marketing

Duct Tape Marketing tweet
A near-infinite pool of marketing, management and motivation resources, Duct Tape Marketing is the holy grail of business blogs – applying tried and tested methods and mindsets to the 21st century brand-building process. Head over to John’s Twitter account for even more Duct Tape treats.

26. MOO

Moo Tweet
If you like some charisma with your content, MOO offers nothing less than a taste of the professional rainbow. Effervescent tweets, expert insight and all manner of irresistible graphic design are just some of the reasons we know you’ll love MOO as much as we do.

27. Work Wise

Work Wise tweet
Since 2006, Work Wise UK has brought greater efficacy, efficiency and motivation to companies across the country. This non-profit knows how integral workplace productivity is to the success of any business – and by following them on Twitter, you can get plugged into one of the most productivity savvy sources on the internet.

28. Wazoku

Wazoku Tweet
Specialists in innovation, the team at Wazoku spend their blogging time helping managers and business owners across Britain unlock their inventive sides. Championing optimism as the route to professional success, Wazoku sprinkle a little positive thinking into every expertly-crafted tweet.

29. Positive News

Positive News
On a mission to #OwnTheMedia, Positive News should be a part of every manager’s everyday. Delivering inspirational news to Twitter followers, the site brings a burst of positivity to the working week – giving professionals of all kinds the perspective they need to tackle the task at hand.

30. Wishful Thinking

Wishful thinking tweet
Wishful Thinking is the creative business owner’s best friend, helping professionals navigate their way through the often complex and perilous world of business. On Twitter, Mark McGuinness curates the most motivational content of the moment, adding bags of his own invaluable insight along the way.

31. Crowdfunder

Crowd Funder
Successful crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder exists to turn professional dreams into lucrative realities. The blog shares exciting and invigorating success stories, while their Twitter account makes the case for choosing a public channel when it comes to seeking out success.

Get Creative Infographic

32. Kickstarter

Kickstarter
Big daddy of the crowdfunding domain, Kickstarter brings worthy business plans to prominence – helping consumers across the world fund products and services of the future. Kickstarter’s Twitter account is a testament to the power of imagination, sure to inspire any demotivated manager or business owner on a mission to kickstart the next task or project in their path.

33. Crunch

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Online accounting leader Crunch makes life for the self-employed masses a much easier experience. Discussing everything from small business successes to office culture optimisation on their blog, Crunch utilises Twitter to get the word out about the benefits of self-employment – illustrating the rewards that come with pursuing your passion.

34. Vistage

Vistage Tweet
The executive coaching experts at Vistage live to lead and use their site as a platform to help other CEOs and execs learn to do the same. Imparting wisdom through their top-notch business growth blog, the Vistage team bring the latest news, updates and insights to their audience via Twitter.

35. Birds in the Blog

Birds of a blog tweet
Strong, independent businesswomen unite – Birds on the Blog is a hub of information built to benefit female professionals nationwide. Dropping knowledge on the topics of independence, ambition and inner confidence, the blog is every working woman’s motivation manual – and you can stay up-to-date by following the team on Twitter.

36. Prowess

Prowess Tweet
Also supporting women in business is Prowess,  delivering a network of support and advice on top of specialist management and money-saving tips. Follow Prowess on Twitter and you’ll get instant access to your daily dose of female empowerment.

37. We Are the City

We are the City Tweet
Last in our lineup of female-focused Twitter heroes is We Are the City. Here, career-minded women can find job listings in their industry, as well as event calendars and unlimited access to a blog designed with businesswomen in mind. Follow them on Twitter to become a part of the conversation.

38. Talent Rocket

Talent Rocket Tweet
Created to connect talented workers with inspiring companies, Talent Rocket is a site with the best interests of employer and employee alike at heart. Head to the blog for powerful and positive insights from the experts – and keep an eye on your Twitter feed for their latest and greatest motivational gifts.

39. Go On

Go On Tweet
Non-profit Go On works to raise awareness on the issue of digital skills, helping professionals across any number of sectors reach their own ‘digital potential’. The charity tweets inspiring messages on the topic, educating their audience as to the immense importance of being digitally engaged in today’s business world.

40. Positive Sharing

Kjerulf Tweet
Alexander Kjerulf is a leading expert in happiness at work – and Positive Sharing is his contribution to the motivation blog movement. Alexander’s advice is succinct, actionable and effective, helping everyone from managers to managing directors find their inner optimist and soak up some positivity.

41. Mind Hacks

Mind Hacks Tweets
Mind Hacks puts our world under the microscope, helping readers open their minds and expand their horizons the easy way. Check out the Mind Hacks Twitter account to immerse yourself in new ideas, alternative approaches and motivational mentalities.

42. Lifehacker

LifeHacker Tweet
The unsung saviour of the digital age, Lifehacker compartmentalises every aspect of life to make living easier than anything we’ve ever known previously. From money-saving hacks and time management methods to getting focused and staying motivated, Lifehacker is the last word in efficiency and efficacy. Hack even more things by following them on Twitter.

Get Going Infographic

43. Wise Bread

Wise Bread Tweet
Wise Bread is a blog that demonstrates the power of perseverance. With a focus on nifty and thrifty ideas for getting what you want for less, this site is your travel pass to affordable achievements – and Twitter gives you a taste of the possibilities in short, accessible bursts.

44. Fruitful Office

Fruitful Office Tweet
Fruitful Office brings a sweet treat to the working week, offering readers a blog bursting with fruity updates and tasty recipes to try at home. On social media, the workplace fruit supplier serves up refreshing, revitalising quotes sure to perk up your working day no matter what’s on the agenda.

45. Super Office

Super Office Tweet
The CRM masters at SuperOffice make light work of sales growth and their blog is proof of their extensive experience in the area. Hook yourself up to the blog for intelligent, thought-provoking content created to make you more profitable – and follow SuperOffice on Twitter for an extra helping of their professional insight.

46. Brand You Brilliant

Brand You Brilliant Tweet
Green business aficianado Kay Hebbourn is the voice behind Brand You Brilliant – a vital resource for managers and business owners interested in eco-friendly professional practices. On Twitter, Kay shares her views on news, politics and ethics, giving followers an informed insight into the environmental side of enterprise.

47. Switch & Shift

Switch and Shift Tweet
Switch & Shift are on a mission to bring the human element back into business, populating their spirited blog with daring and disruptive pieces that span the professional sphere. Treat yourself to the range of powerful mantras scattered throughout their Twitter posts and you’ll find a reliable source of forward-thinking thoughts for the day.

48. Smart Insights

Smart Insights Tweet
The Smart Insights blog does exactly what it says on the tin. Offering readers a double whammy of powerful stats and high quality content, the blog is a central hub of valuable marketing know-how. On top of that, their Twitter account is thoughtful, inspiring and guaranteed to maximise motivation no matter what industry you’re in.

49. Gingko

Gingko tweet
Gingko’s user-friendly interface makes light work of any task and is ideal for creatives, executive decision-makers and everyone in between. Dive into their blog for inspiring and introspective posts on the topic of productivity, and trawl their Twitter account for mottos to manage your time by.

50. Toggl

Toggi Tweet
Toggl is the ultimate time tracker. Helping managers, business owners, freelancers and employees across the globe maximise every minute of their working day, this app exists to optimise your efficiency on every level. As you might expect, both their blog and Twitter account are crammed with time-saving tips and productivity insights galore.

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Get following these pioneers of productivity for an instant hit of feel-good inspiration. After that, the rest is up to you.

And don’t forget to follow @eden_springs for your daily fix of motivation and productivity boosters, courtesy of the office experts!
Eden Spring Twitter Feed

The Perfect Work Schedule: the Best Time to Get Things Done

Posted in Office Motivation on by .

work-schedule

During the busy work week, it can feel overwhelming trying to keep on top of a packed schedule – and while our rigid 9 to 5 timetable may have been established over many years of office culture, the question is whether this fixed schedule is actually helping us or hindering us.

Studies have shown that you may in fact have more success by mixing up your schedule a little – finding the optimum time for each task on your list. By implementing a few simple changes, you could make both yourself and your team more productive throughout the week – ensuring you hit those all important targets, all the while streamlining your workload.

Eden Springs Clock

Productivity peaks

The work day is full of peaks and troughs, and it can be hard to predict your next slump. However, if you work on a variety of projects throughout the day, it’s best to do the most important tasks in the middle of the day. Research by the Harvard Business Review has revealed that we’re most productive between 11am and 1pm. Plan your team days to get the most important jobs completed before 1pm, allowing you to naturally wind down as the day draws to a close and your team become less productive.

Ignored emails

Sending emails can be particularly frustrating if your task list is dependent on a response or engagement with what you’ve sent out. However, while our working week may run Monday to Friday, studies actually show that this may not be the best time to send emails – especially if you have a tough time getting the desired response. The logic behind this comes from the simple fact that most office workers are inundated with emails throughout the week. So by sending them at the weekend, particularly in the morning, you’re capitalising on empty inboxes – giving your email a better chance of being seen. A 2014 study by Yesware concluded that you’re 6.7% more likely to get a response at the weekend. Try scheduling your email shots in advance to capitalise on weekend availability.

The creative hour

Eden Springs Morning Coffee

Logic dictates that the best time to brainstorm is after a freshly brewed coffee and a good night’s sleep. However, you’ve probably heard of people waking up in the middle of the night shouting ‘eureka!’ or having a lightbulb moment in the shower. Research shows that we often get our best ideas when we’re tired – successful brainstorming is all about taking a fresh approach to an old problem, and sometimes we need to be a little switched off in order to see beyond the straightforward solution.

Ethical timing

A 2014 study by Harvard University into the ‘Morning Morality Effect’ has shown that people are less inclined to cheat or lie about something in the morning – making it the perfect time to tackle an ethical dilemma. In the research, self-control is described as a ‘muscle’, getting weaker after extended activity. Make the right call by making tough decisions early in the day after a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast.

It’s clear that there’s something to be said for switching up your schedule when it comes to maximising productivity at work. Don’t forget: keeping healthy and hydrated also plays a big role in staying switched on – so keep your staff cool, calm and collected by investing in a water cooler for your office.

Workplace Productivity: Why Britain Is Behind

Posted in Office Motivation on by .

unproductive-ad

Employment figures are on the rise and the economy is growing in strength, but when it comes to labour productivity, Britain is seriously falling behind – with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing little change in the last two years. In the fourth quarter of 2014, labour productivity fell by 0.2% in comparison to the previous quarter – and despite 2015’s stats recording a 0.3% growth in labour productivity in the first quarter of the year, we’re still left asking the question:

Why are British workers so unproductive?

Eden Springs Laptop

Possible causes

Misplaced focus – while the headlines are dominated with issues surrounding immigration and employment statistics, we’re failing to focus on the productivity of those employees once they secure work. It’s encouraging to see that UK employment is on the rise, with 114,000 more people employed than in the previous quarter – but being employed isn’t enough if productivity remains low.

Poor management – in a previous post, we discussed why good management matters – and when it come to workplace productivity, leadership skills are key. From implementing effective training to recognising the individual value of your team members, the way you run your team will have a direct impact on their productivity.

Lack of employee development – in an article published earlier this year, the BBC suggested that, while other countries spend time and money investing in the development of their staff, us Brits are more complacent. Failing to encourage and stimulate staff will cause a decrease in motivation as they’ll struggle to visualise their role in the future of the company – and your business’ productivity will suffer.

Suggested solutions

Create a motivated workplace there doesn’t have to be a noticeable lack of productivity in your company for you to take a more proactive approach to motivating your team – and you can put the focus on your employees by getting back to basics. Your team are the lifeblood of your company – and if they’re not happy in their work, your business will undoubtedly be less productive as a whole.

Keep your team healthy – whether it’s the occasional sick day or a prolonged period of illness, when team members take time off from work, the productivity of your business will inevitably suffer. While not all illnesses can be avoided, you can help keep your staff healthy and hydrated by installing office water coolers and encouraging regular breaks.

A personal approach – if you’re at the head of a team of 5 or 500, it’s important to recognise that each team member has individual attributes and needs. From taking a flexible approach to personal circumstances to scheduling regular 121s where you can check in with your employees, focusing on your staff’s individual needs will benefit your business as a whole.

Eden Springs start up

If you want to increase workplace productivity, you can start by ensuring your staff are happy and healthy. Invest in one of Eden Springs’ eco-friendly office coffee machines or water coolers and help your team stay hydrated throughout the working day – keeping them motivated and increasing productivity in the process.

Holiday Headaches: Staff Stressed Despite Taking Time Out

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

holidays-ad

Whether it’s a one-off bad day or a string of stressful events, sometimes we just need to take a time-out – and recognising when your staff are feeling pressure in the workplace can help you alleviate some of their stress.

With recent research showing that stress levels remain high despite taking time out, we’re breaking down the reasons behind workplace stress – and how to alleviate it both at work and home.

Water Cooler

Holiday headaches

When it comes to taking time out from work, holidays can provide a welcome break from the ritualistic routine of the 9-5. However, a recent BUPA study shows that 45% of employees aren’t even taking lunch breaks, let alone their full holiday entitlement. This raises major concerns over mounting work-related stress levels. Surveys have shown that employees are reluctant to take time-out as they’re concerned with the workload they will return to and only 77% take their full holiday entitlement.

When staff do utilise their allocated holiday time, reports have found that they’re unable to fully relax because their minds are preoccupied with what’s happening while they’re away and the mounting workload that will build up in their absence.

Causes of stress

There are any number of reasons why your employees may be feeling particularly stressed. From a hectic home life to being given more responsibility at work, recognising when your staff need extra support or holiday time can help to reduce their stress levels before they begin to impact their health and performance.

A common cause of stress is when employees struggle to find the balance between their work and personal lives. If they are having difficulty in one area, it will undoubtedly spill over into the other – and a lack of support in the office will lead to a decrease in motivation. Allowing stress to take over can be a slippery slope, as employees begin to miss deadlines and under perform – which in turn, causes more stress. And this is why it’s integral to monitor the main causes of stress and actively find ways to control them at the earliest opportunity.

Ways to reduce stress

Both in and out of working hours, employees across the UK are feeling the stresses of their jobs – and if you’re at the head of a company, you will carry their burdens, too. In a previous post, we listed some office toys that can help combat workplace stress – and from impromptu check ins to scheduled 121s, touching base with your team will allow you to check that they’re efficiently managing their workload. Encouraging holidays is also a great way to reassure your team that the business will cope without them and they needn’t feel guilty or worried that the company will struggle in their absence. If they’re still concerned with the amount of work they will be returning to, suggest ways that they can get ahead of schedule before they take their well-deserved break.

The first step to ensuring stress levels are kept under control is to keep you and your staff healthy and hydrated. Dehydration will lead to a lack of concentration which will have a knock-on effect in the workplace, but you can alleviate this risk by installing a water cooler and giving your staff regular access to H2O. Drinking plenty of water is proven to help brain activity and help us stay alert – which is essential if your staff are trying to meet pressurising deadlines.

Water Cooler

If you want to reduce your employees’ stress levels, start with a focus on their health and invest in one of Eden Springs’ eco-friendly water coolers. Keeping your staff healthy and hydrated will ensure they’re working to full capacity and help to keep their stress levels low.

Interview: Creative artwork made from coffee spills

Posted in Coffee, Office Motivation on by .

coffee spills art

I was browsing Facebook one day and this image popped up on my news feed:

 

A photo posted by Giulia b (@bernulia) on

 

I thought this piece of ‘Alice and Wonderland’ artwork created by coffee spills was absolutely stunning. So intrigued by the piece was I that I contacted the artist to find out more about her and to ask why she uses coffee as a medium for creating art.

So here is the low-down on our coffee spill artist.

Her name is Giulia Bernardelli, a 28-year-old museum worker from Mantova, Italy. She says that ‘art has always been part of my life’ and helps to organise art courses for children in her father’s art gallery.

 

A photo posted by Giulia b (@bernulia) on

 

When asked what gave her the idea to use coffee as a substitute for paint, she responded: “I started to use coffee by chance, less than a year ago. I accidentally knocked over a cup of coffee and suddenly appeared a new world, made of beautiful shades, each one different from the other. In my artwork I try to catch the magic of a moment, as if the coffee created a story by toppling. I love the spontaneity, the ephemeral, the magic.

“The different shades, from the Espresso to the Americano, make coffee an amazing raw material to create art with.”

 

A photo posted by Giulia b (@bernulia) on

 

The piece above is Giulia’s favourite of all those she has created and depicts a dream sequence she had. She likes “its continuity, as if the images came out from a unique stain. I believe it’s magic. It is my favourite, even if the picture other people like most is ‘Alice in Wonderland’.”

 

A photo posted by Giulia b (@bernulia) on

 

When I asked Giulia if she has any plans or ideas for her next piece of coffee art, she said: “I don’t like planning my next work; I follow my moment inspiration.”

 

A photo posted by Giulia b (@bernulia) on

 

Obviously someone who uses coffee to create art with must really enjoy it and she calls coffee her ‘life partner’. As an Italian, she drinks many cups a day alone, while with friends every cup is a “special moment”.

She is not fussy about how she takes it either: “I love coffee in every way! Cappuccino, Espresso, Americano, Macchiato…” for her it is a “ritual”.

 

A photo posted by Giulia b (@bernulia) on

 

To see more of Giulia’s amazing coffee artwork, follow her on Instagram.

Do you and your colleagues love coffee? If so, we think her work would be perfect for hanging on your office walls and perking up your workplace.