Staying calm in the workplace.

We all experience a whirlwind of emotions in our day to day lives. In the workplace, emotions can sometimes run too high and negatively affect work ethic; emotions can also run-down employees, again decreasing their effectiveness in the office. Ensuring that all employees are content in their work and happy in their environment is key to ensuring that the gears of the workplace continue to turn. Here are a few ideas to keeping emotions in the workplace at the right levels for a professional environment, as to ensure not only a high standard of work but also a friendly and pleasant atmosphere:

Be understanding. 

 It is crucial to be understanding and empathetic toward other people in the workplace. Everyone is subject to different experiences from day to day and therefore handles situations differently to others. It is important to be understanding of employees when they are concerned and when they handle situations in a certain way. Everyone is different and remembering this in the workplace is key to a friendly working environment. Reprimanding employees who have tried their hardest to handle a situation can easily lead to high tensions and levels of emotion in the office that will have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the workforce.

 Expression is key. 

Allowing employees to maintain their individuality in the workplace can help maintain their mentality and therefore keep emotions at a steady level. Implementing company policies and rules prohibiting the discrimination of employees and their cultures is a good way to keep frustrating emotions at bay. 

Maintain a consistent workflow. 

Keeping employees busy is a good way to keep them content with their work. If employees are subject to a standstill environment, they can be prone to negative and disruptive emotions such as frustration and stress. Ensuring these emotions as well as anxiety levels are low, through generous deadlines and being understanding when work isn’t completed or is halted, is key in maintaining a positive working environment. 

 Provide positive encouragement. 

Finally, providing encouragement to your workforce, either through recognition or praise, is a good way to keep tensions, and therefore emotions, low and work rates high. Providing your employees with the necessary implements and helping them when they require it, will lead to employees feeling more content and satisfied with their work in general. 

Follow these steps to ensure your office isn’t subject to negative emotions that may halt the means of production in the course of your working day. 

Adam Noble - Managing Director
This post was written by
Adam Noble - Managing Director

5 ways to maintain morale in the office

Ensuring that employees are content in the workplace is vital to a successful and effective workforce. There are various ways to improve employee morale and their work ethic. Here are a few ideas:

Maintain a working environment that inspires your workforce!

A clean and productive working environment has been known to inspire employees to work to the best of their potential. Keep desks tidy and offices in good nick to boost employee morale. You wouldn’t like to work in a damp and dank environment so why would they? It is also important to ensure that all equipment and supplies is made readily available to employees when they require it in order to complete their tasks to ensure an efficient flow of competence and hard work throughout the office!

 

Ensure all employees are free to express themselves and their individualism.

Everyone is different. People process emotions differently and require different means to be content with their work and lives. It is important that all employees are given the freedom to express themselves at work in a way that allows them to be themselves without fear of ridicule.

 

Praise employees for hard work and effort.

Awarding employees for their hard work and effort is crucial in maintaining high morale in the office. Through opportunities for a raise or awards, employees can begin to feel content in their work and work harder for the right incentive. Get to know your employees and adjust rewards and the like accordingly to ensure an environment where hard work is rewarded. Praising employees for past achievements is also important as it incentivises and ensures future achievements through positive reinforcement.

 

Offer opportunity for improvement and promotion.

In order to keep your workers happier and motivated, there should always be opportunity for employees to rise higher and possibly take on more responsibility as they improve at their job in the workplace. When the possibility of a promotion is on the table, competition arises amongst employees. This can lead to workers who are more inclined to go above and beyond for the company in the hope of recognition. Don’t forget to give credit where credit is due.

 

Inspire loyalty.

Lastly, it is important to inspire loyalty in the workplace. A loyal workforce is a hardworking one. Promotional products given to employees can give them a sense of loyalty and belonging within the company and can inspire them to work harder. Staff outings and night outs are a great way to show staff that they are more than just workers within a company, and that they are members of a family. Through inspiring loyalty in the office, employees are more inclined to try harder to facilitate a better working environment.

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Add a dash of colour to your office and see the changes in employee mentality.

We all feel different emotions when subjected to certain colours. By adding a splash of colour to your workplace you can not only improve employee mentality but also their productivity. Here are a few ideas to improve the mood in your office:

  1. Relieve tensions in the office with a drop of blue.

Blue, the colour of the daytime sky on a warm summer day, is known to evoke calm and serene emotions in those who see it. Blue, as a soft colour, is often used in waiting rooms and the like to maintain a gentle and inviting atmosphere.

  1. Go environmental with a dollop of green.

Green is associated with the environment. Using green in your workplace, you can invoke feelings of security and safety via its warm and balanced nature. It is also a way to make something standout and represent an environmentally friendly approach to work.

  1. Keep things mellow with a splash of yellow.

Yellow is a courageous colour. As a brighter colour it its associated with happiness due to its connotations of summertime. By using a lighter shade of yellow in the office, you can improve employee mentality and therefore productivity.

  1. Spark your creative side with a spot of purple.

As a standout colour it can be used to symbolise creativity and when used sparingly, in certain departments it may even stimulate employee’s critical thinking and aid their problem-solving skills.

  1. Stay bold and brave with a dash of red.

Red, as a bodacious colour, has been known to evoke passion and roaring emotions. It can also convey feelings of importance and romance due to its bold nature. Using red in the office can draw attention to aspects that you may wish to show off.

There are many more colours you could use to improve the quality of your office environment; these are just a few ideas to get you started. Here at Irongate we stock a range of products, both from ourselves and from leading brands, that are brimming with colour. Improve your office view right away with these top tips!

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Out with the old and in the with the green.

Transform your office into a green paradise

The effects of global warming are becoming more apparent than ever. Most of us spend a large portion of our waking lives at work, therefore, there’s every reason to ensure that our office design goes green too. Whether it’s reducing the amount of unnecessary waste we produce or incorporating natural features to the design of an office, there are no shortage of small but impactful ways that we can create a workplace that has a less damaging effect on the environment.

Increase Productivity

Many modern-day offices offer adaptable workplaces to ensure that staff have the option of choosing an effective space that works for them. We’re introducing eco-friendly propositions that will boost your team’s performance.

Improve Employee Health

Plants are proven to reduce stress and improve air quality; a green office interior design comes highly recommended. Decorating the workspace with indoor plants is a low-cost investment but will potentially improving the overall health of your employees. You’ll soon secure the benefits of eco-friendly additions to the office.

The Right Impression

As with any space, the design of an interior will always speak volumes about your brand identity. Our carbon footprint is becoming a widespread concern across the globe, some of the most popular brands are focusing their attention on creating eco-friendly products and sustainable services. Research shows that millennials are more likely to prioritise sustainability over convenience. Showing that your business cares for the environment by going green in its workspaces means consumers and investors could choose your brand over an unsustainable competitor.

Why not try out a Moka Felt chair for the office?

Moka Felt is a unique sustainable tub chair which gives “waste” a second life. The self-supporting seat shell is made from recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate bottles. The choice to use this innovative material is not only good for the environment, but it also looks and feels great.

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How to reduce plastic waste in the office.

The first step in reducing plastic waste in the office is education. Your employees need to care about the issue in order to want to do something about it. So, get them talking, and hold a talk about the problems with plastic to get the conversation rolling.
Below are some small tips to make a big difference to your company’s plastic waste.
1. Reusable water bottles.
Single-use plastic water bottles are among the most common items found washed up on the beaches across the world. Supply your team with a company branded reusable bottle (which we can help supply) and you’ll instantly start cutting down your companies plastic waste.
2. Get rid of single use plastic utensils.
A single-use plastic utensil is useful for minutes yet will stay in our environment for centuries – harming or killing wildlife, polluting our oceans and damaging our eco systems. So, supply your staff with reusable tools in the kitchen.
3. Say no to plastic cups.
Eliminate plastic from office tea and coffee making. Take away the plastic cups from your coffee machine and encourage employees to provide reusable mugs/cups. When you think about how many cups of tea and coffee you and your team consume in a day, then think about in a year, you’ll realise that this is an area where some small changes will really count!
4. Use a water cooler.
Water coolers are a brilliant tool to encourage your workforce to not buy single use plastic bottles, if they know that can get unlimited filtered water at work. Also, get rid of the water bottles in the office vending machine and say hello to reduce plastic use.
5. Provide easily accessible recycling bins.
When employees are focused on their roles and completing tasks, the last thing they need is to have to search for a recycling bin. So, if offices make them readily available and accessible it makes it easier for them to dispose of their waste in the right way.

Adam Noble - Managing Director
This post was written by
Adam Noble - Managing Director

Go Green with Irongate

Amaze your customers with our range of promotional products

At Irongate we have introduced a new range of eco-friendly, recyclable and reusable promotional products. Eco-friendly products are a great way to impress customers and clients, score those brownie points and show you care for the environment! As recently as three years ago, plastic was just one of those problems that everyone agreed was bad, but few people considered doing much about. Show your employees, customer, business partners and prospects that you’ve gone green with our range of eco-friendly promotional products.

There’s a difference between intention and action, but you could miss out on a big group of consumers if your green credentials aren’t up to scratch! Promotional products are a great way to reinforce your company’s message to customers and a great way to stand out from your competitors. Promotional products, clothing and corporate gifts are a great way to make your recipients feel special and keep your brand in mind.

A few reasons why to switch to eco-friendly products

  • Four billion pounds worth of plastic enters the ocean
  • Approximately every square mile of ocean has more than 45,000 pieces of plastic floating in it
  • Plastic is harmful to the environment as it doesn’t break down easily and is often mistaken as food by marine animals
  • If an animal eats plastic, they can’t digest it. The plastic fills their stomachs, so they starve to death

A brief idea of the products

Reusable tote bag, reusable coffee cups/water bottles, recyclable lanyard, recycled trolley token, recyclable notepad, staple free stapler, regenerated t shirts, eco-friendly clipboards, bio-degradable sellotape, bamboo sunglasses, badges, recyclable sticky notes. The list goes on and we can help you find the perfect promotional products to represent your brand just how you imagined.

What can we do to help?

We work hard to ensure that you’re getting the best out of your business. Our helpful team are always on hand to give you the support and advice you need. We will work with you to gain a full understanding about your company and together create something beautiful!

We can help you find the perfect product and personalise it to fit your brand guidelines to ensure a true representation of your brand. We can help you chose colours, fonts and designs that are right up your street!

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Eco-friendly Office Supplies

Make small changes to make a big change

Using recycled products is a great way to portray your company’s values to your employees and is a great way to impress your customers. Taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint and protect natural resources through recycling can also help you draw in new customers and clients who are environmentally minded. So, encourage your employees and customers to swap plastic pens and desk top accessories for recycled products and see what a difference you can make. 

There is no better time than the present to modify your daily activities and making them more environmentally responsible. We all love our favourite highlighter, marker, pen or pencil, but after that last scribble or strike on your paper, it’s out with the old and in with the new. Because we go through these items so often choosing eco-friendly office supplies is a great place to begin…

Paper

A green transition in this department will have a particularly positive impact considering how frequently paper products are used in office environments. From envelopes to compostable paper cups, recycled paper products now come in many different forms why not give them a try?

Pens

Any type of pen, felt tip, or marker can be recycled. Adopting biodegradable pens is a great way to make your office greener. We can even print your company logo on eco-friendly pens to give potential customers a great first impression.

Highlighters

A recycled highlighter does the exact same job as a non-recycled highlighter, why not switch to recyclable?

Desk Top Accessories

From file sorters, mouse mats and letter trays all these products can be made from 100% recycled material and still look professional, tidy and suitable for your desk!

Top Tips

Plastic vs Bamboo

Normally, plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills vs Bamboo, which takes as long as 5-10 years to fully break down.

So why not swap your plastic pen for a bamboo one?

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Increase productivity through your office design

By choosing creative furniture which brightens up the office and makes the workspace less dull, you can promote a better working environment. The best solution is to look at each office space individually, as well as the needs of each individual, their corporate culture, and the energy of the environment that you’re envisioning for your team. Below are our tips on ways you can use office design to enhance productivity throughout your workplace.

Paint a rainbow Colours

The colour of your office can have a huge impact on your employees’ mood and the approach they take towards their daily tasks. Colour can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. It can be used to make a statement, create an atmosphere, or call for a response.

So, when choosing your office interiors, think clearly about your choice of colour.

  • Think innovatively with a yellow
  • Think passionately with a red
  • Think healthfully with a green
  • Think creatively with a purple
  • Think confidently with a blue
  • Think friendly with an orange

Think that these are the attitudes you want your employees to have towards their job, think when it comes to colour.

Try out Ergonomics

When you work in an office, you spend most of your day sat at your desk and starring at a computer screen. Let’s be honest, it can get a little repetitive at times… So, there is nothing more important in your office then the desks and chairs you spend all day sat at, right?

Ergonomic furniture provides a positive and comfortable environment for the workplace. Designing a workspace that promotes good posture, less repetitive motions, easier heights and reaches is what nurtures a more efficient work process.

Providing your staff with ergonomic furniture will prevent employees problems such as, unproductivity, feeling uncomfortable and unmotivated. These simple changes help decrease stress levels and improve employee performance.

Let there be light!

Lighting as far as possible should be provided naturally through windows and other sources of natural light. Lighting should not cause glare and be suitably distributed and maintained, to ensure there is no visual fatigue or eyestrain for employees. Bad and dark lighting can lead to a lack of motivation in your employees and simply isn’t good for their health! So, make bright choices when it comes to lighting.

Organisation is key

An organized workplace encourages workers to be productive, reduces work-related stress and saves time – especially because employees spend less time looking for things. When you establish an efficient workplace, you establish structure. Filing cabinets, lockers, pedestals and other items can help your employees to keep their workspace organisation. So, keep the paper in the cupboard next to the printer and the highlighters in the top drawer with the staples.

Why not try something a bit different with a sit stand desk?

A study of 146 NHS workers found that workers provided with adjustable desks reported better job performance, reduced sickness at work, less anxiety and improved quality of life.

What’s the big idea with sit stand desks?

  • Allows you to break up hours of sitting
  • Standing is beneficial for your health (in moderation)
  • You have the option to sit and stand
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight as you burn more calories
  • Good for productivity and focus

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Introducing Brook Taverner

Proudly based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, Brook Taverner is a world leader in stock supported corporate clothing. Established in 1912 as a fabric and button supplier to local tailors, Brook Taverner soon began to supply ready-made garments.

Over 100 years later, Brook Taverner now offer; six machine washable suiting collections, all offering different characteristics and price points to suit any budget and corporate environment. Wearers can complete the look with the Shirt & Blouse and Outwear collections, which are carefully designed to complement the six tailoring ranges. Brook Taverner has also recently launched their BUSINESS CASUAL COLLECTION consisting of modern chino, tweed, shirt and knitwear options. Elegantly designed and beautifully made to encourage individuality, this range allows wearers the opportunity to create a truly unique look.

 

Sophisticated Collection

The Sophisticated range challenges conventional corporate wear by blending a lightweight fabric with superior technical attributes. The wide range of fits and styles available provides the ultimate in choice, and it is little wonder why this premium collection is trusted by many of the world’s leading brands.

Eclipse Collection

For businesses looking to present a stylish edge to their staff, look no further than Eclipse. With design in its DNA, this range combines fine tailored lines, fashionable pin dot weaves and a durable Teflon coating – providing the perfect mix of form and function. The Eclipse range delivers on trend, on time and on budget.

Business Casual

The Business Casual Collection is redefining how organisations choose and purchase their corporate clothing. Elegantly designed and beautifully made to encourage individuality, this range allows wearers the opportunity to create a unique business casual look whilst retaining that sharp edge.

Shirts & Blouses

Whether looking for the classic finishing touch or a modern, up to date style across your workforce, the Brook Taverner range of shirts and blouses offer the ultimate in flexibility. Meticulously curated to perfectly complement every one of the suiting collections there is a style and fit for every taste and budget.

Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist
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Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist

Make UV protection part of your PPE

1575 hours of sunshine, high average temperatures and low rainfall: last summer was the joint hottest since records began in 1910. Even on sunless days, up to 80% of dangerous UV rays can pass through cloud1, and UV rays can cause premature ageing and wrinkles. But that’s not all.

A painful sun burn just once every two years can triple the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer2 , malignant melanoma. 1700 people are diagnosed with skin cancer caused by occupational sun exposure in Britain every year – and around 60 people die.

Shockingly, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world1.For construction workers, the risk is obvious, with the vast majority working outdoors. The statistics speak for themselves; a huge 44% of occupational melanoma deaths can be attributed to construction workers.

The seriousness of harmful UV rays is often ignored in the workplace, and a lack of awareness and insufficient training for those who work outdoors, can ultimately lead to a poor attitude towards sun protection.

 

SC Johnson Professional recently spoke to workers who exposed their feelings towards UV rays and the use of sun protection creams whilst working outdoors…

 

“Depending on staff levels, some days I can spend up to 6/7 hours a day outside. I’ve heard before that cloudy days can be worse because you don’t realise you’re catching the sun but because I’ve got such a bad attitude towards sun cream, it still isn’t something that I’d think to wear.” Ollie, a site manager in London

 

“I’ve worked in construction for the last 30 years. I don’t always wear sun cream when I work outside. I’ve been burnt more on the overcast days than the sunny days. We have common PPE that we need to wear all the time which includes hard hat, glasses and gloves. Sun cream should be made part of the PPE.” Danny, a construction worker

 

With the weather only set to get brighter and hotter over the next few months, it is evident that both employers and employees need to make a change. So how can we protect against the risk of skin cancer?

 

SC Johnson’s steps for UV Protection

When it comes to effective protection against UV exposure, particularly for those working outdoors, Swarfega recommend using the 5 S Approach to sun safety:

  1. SLIP on sun protective clothing – Encourage workers to keep covered up. Clothing can be one of the most effective barriers.
  2. SLOP on sun cream –Apply a broad spectrum, high SPF sun cream 20 minutes before initial exposure and re-apply every 2 hours or more frequently if sweating heavily. Water resistant creams like the TOUGH by Swarfega SPF30 Sun Cream are ideal.
  3. SLAP on a hat and neck protection – Where possible choose a hat with ear and neck protection.
  4. SLIDE on some sunglasses – Slide on a pair of high quality wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes.
  5. SHADE from sun where possible – Encourage workers to take breaks or work in a shaded area wherever possible, especially from 11am-3pm.

 

This approach should be combined with training tools such as toolbox talks, awareness posters and educational guides for employees, in addition to professional sun cream being made easily accessible to workers around the site.

 

Both workers and employees have a role to play and although UV awareness has increased in recent years, more needs to be done at both levels to combat the issue.

For more information contact Pam, our Facilities Supplies Specialist.

Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist
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Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist

The continued rise in reusable drink wear

 Over the past half a decade, and especially in the last 18 months, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in global awareness of the issues related to “single-use” plastics. As a result there has been rapid increase in demand for commercial materials that have “eco credentials” or can be “reused”. A section of this market we have noticed a particular growth and transformation in, is the drink ware market. In the past 12 months alone, some of our suppliers have quoted increases in production/sales of over 50% due to this awareness.

 

As a result of the “Blue Planet movement (and maybe a little help from programs such as Love Island…) One section of drink ware that has been impacted significantly, is the reusable drink bottle market. Suppliers within this market are now moving away from providing low cost budget plastics and have instead moved to cost effective and “sustainable” alternatives. For example; with Aluminium being both a reusable and recyclable material, there has been a vastly noticeable spike in production and sales of bottles that a predominantly Aluminium based.

 

However, although many marketing managers are now seeing the word plastic as almost a taboo word, the biggest increase in the drink ware bottle market our suppliers have seen, has in fact been the “reusable” plastic bottle market. With many employers/employee’s still wanting to be able easily see what they are drinking and also with an increased focus on keeping hydrated. As a transparent material option, plastic bottles are still a desired, lightweight, ergonomical alternative to glass. To support this, the market is now heavy in plastics that are specifically designed to be reused and not to be discarded after only a few uses.

 

One example plastic that focuses on this is Tritan Plastic. As opposed to the “singe-use” plastic bottles market (i.e. your Evian, Volvic water bottles). Tritan plastic has been especially successful as it is specifically designed to not breakdown into your drink, thus combating the idea of “single-use”. Although many of the “single-use” bottles are widely recyclable and breakdown easily, that is also their downfall, they breakdown too easily and are not meant to be reused or stored in certain conditions. Tritan plastic however can be used thousands of times without the need to throw away.

 

Alongside these “sustainable” materials, there is one that is swiftly increasing its share of the eco-friendly market, bamboo. Bamboo is being hailed by various sources, as one of the most sustainable, commercially used materials. Like Aluminium and Tritan, Bamboo is now being widely used in the drink ware market. Many consumers are opting for drink vessels containing bamboo, as this can heavily reduce the use of plastics. Bamboo is considered sustainable due to both it’s versatility and durability as a material, but also the pace at which bamboo grows, up to 91 cm per day!

So, not only do branded reusable water bottles and coffee cups look great, but they are environmentally friendly whilst always ensuring your brand is always in the eyes of your target market.

At Irongate we offer a large range of reusable water bottles and coffee cups in various different materials, allowing you to keep your brand constantly in the eye of your target market and save the planet at the same time!

Shaun Todd - Communications Specialist
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Shaun Todd - Communications Specialist

Tips for staying warm when working outdoors

The cold weather is here and as it gets colder, it’s very important to ensure that your employees have the clothing they need to keep them warm, dry and safe whilst working outside.

If you’re not sure exactly what garments you need to equip your staff with this Winter, read our suggestions below:

 

Hat Image result for beanie hat pencarrie

Wearing a hat when working outdoors in cold conditions is a great way to help prevent heat loss from the body. Winter work hats, especially ones that cover the ears are very important when trying to keep as much heat in the body as possible. If your job requires you to wear a hard hat, it’s important to wear a stocking cap underneath to try and keep your head that bit warmer.

Gloves

It’s vital to keep hands warm when working outside in the cold, wet weather. Although it may not always be convenient to wear gloves, they help with circulation and ensure that you have full use of your hands.

 

Reflective Clothing

Although reflective clothing doesn’t keep you warm, Hi vis clothing is vital when working outdoors, especially in the dark winter months. As Image result for hi vis vestthe nights gets darker and the weather gets colder, you are less visible. When working out doors or handling equipment, its very important that everyone on site can see each other.

Gilet

During winter it’s very important to wear layers, as it keeps you much warmer than just wearing a coat. Wearing layers also allows you to regulate your body temperate better as you can add or remove them depending on how you feel. A gilet is a fantastic option as a top layer as it allows you to keep warm whilst still being able to move freely.

Socks

It can be very hard to make sure your feet are warm during the winter, especially when working outside. Socks that are high in synthetic fibers encourage sweating and aren’t very good at keeping your feet dry. Instead try choosing thick, woolen socks which are the most effective at keeping your feet both warm and dry.

Base Layers

As we previously mentioned, layers are very important during the cold winter months! The layer you should always start with are base layers or thermal tops and trousers. These are very tight fitting and are designed to keep as much heat in as possible. Layering up with a thermal top & trousers underneath, provides you with lots of insulation and keeps you much more warm comfortable when working in cold conditions.

 

Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist
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Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist

How to improve your energy levels at work

A lack of energy can seriously affect your concentration and productivity. The 3pm energy crash or the early morning half open eyes after a later night are very common amongst office workers, however all is not lost! There are a few ways that you can beat the office fatigue, just read our tips below;

Eat breakfastImage result for porridge with nuts and fruit

Skipping breakfast, the most important t meal of the day can leave you lacking energy and feeling drained. Its important to stock up on fruit, grains and dairy to get your morning off on the right foot. Why not try a bowl of porridge with nuts, yoghurt or fruit? This is will fill you up till lunch time whilst giving you enough energy to last you up until lunch time. Eating breakfast is important as your essential nutrients and glucose levels drop overnight, so they need to be replenished in the morning for you to feel awake and full of energy.

Image result for herbal teaDitch the caffeine

It’s very tempting to reach for a caffeine fuelled drink like coffee when you’re tired, but this can leave you with less energy than you had before!

Drinking caffeine can often leave you with a caffeine crash later on, causing tiredness and lack of energy. Instead of drinking coffee why not swap it for herbal tea? Herbal teas can give you a long-lasting energy surge which will keep you going throughout the working day!

Keep yourself organised!

A heavy workload can feel over- whelming when you arrive at your desk in the morning, draining away all your energy before you’ve even started the day. It’s important to take five minutes to list your tasks for the day in order of importance, writing things down can make your day seem less stressful and intimidating!

Move more Related image

Exercise increases blood flow, which leads it hyperoxygenation in the brain, helping you to have more energy and feel less sluggish. Try walking to your colleagues to ask questions instead of sending an email, or offer to do the tea round, anything to get you moving every half an hour. If possible, try to go on a short walk at lunch time to really get yourself revitalised for the afternoon!

Rest your eyes

Working at a computer and starring at a screen for prolonged periods can leave with screen fatigue, making you feel sluggish and heavy lidded. Its been recommended by opticians that you take a 20 second break from looking at your computer every 20 minutes. This will help with your energy levels whilst also preventing headaches.

Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist
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Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist

The perfect recipe for how to boost employee productivity in the work place!

To be a successful business, productivity in the work place is very important. Each employee’s productivity can have a huge impact on your company’s work force and environment. By focusing on both the health and happiness of your employees this will lead to a successful business.

Create a family like atmosphere

Feeling comfortable, but not too comfortable, in the work place is vital for employees. It is important that employees are relaxed and able to be themselves without feeling judged by others. Ways to create a family like atmosphere are simple. Usually, it comes naturally because we spend as much time at work as we do at home, sometimes even more if we’re putting in overtime. However, sometimes it isn’t that easy to bond with strangers. Give staff time to get to know each other, arrange days out or even better nights out! Encourage ways for them to talk and share interests and hobbies with communal seating areas and lunch space and allow them time to chat during working hours.

Employees are people as well

Every employee has a life outside of work and this should be valued just as much as the job. To make your employees feel that they are valued provide the usual annual holidays but it’s also important to be considerate when situations we can’t control get in the way. For example, special occasions, religious occasions, doctors and dentist appointments for the kids etc. To get the best out of your employees you need to provide them with the best opportunities as possible.

Small incentives go a long way

It’s very easy for employees to feel their work is going unacknowledged and hard work is not being appreciated. This can lead to members of staff neglecting the company and their fellow employees which is no good for the working environment because it can lead to a decrease in productivity – which we don’t want! Small gifts and incentives make staff feel valued within the company, something as small as a £10 voucher can go a long way. Provide incentives for your staff which you know they will be thankful for. For example, Rachel always has the best shade of lipstick in the office and would definitely appreciate a £10 voucher for MAC.

Celebrate victories no matter how small

Without your employees you’d be out of business so make sure their victories are celebrated. Something as small as a round of applause from the entire office can go a long way, acknowledging employees victory will give them a sense of belonging, especially if they are new to the company.

Provide the right equipment

All equipment needed to do the job should be provided. You wouldn’t make a sandwich without bread, would you? Make sure your equipment works too! If you want jobs doing the suitable equipment needs to be working and provided to staff. Lack of resources and faulty equipment can lead to staff feeling frustrated and unmotivated.

Motivate and guide employees in the right direction

You want the best out of your employees. Keeping them motivated is how to do that. Everyone needs a bit of guidance from time to time so do weekly one to ones with staff members, tell them about their progress, set targets and allow them a chance to talk about any issues they’re facing.

Adam Noble - Managing Director
This post was written by
Adam Noble - Managing Director

How to make sure your work boots are comfortable

For those who work in a physically demanding environment, looking after your feet and staying comfortable at work is important. Comfort and safety are the main factors to consider when purchasing safety boots for your staff. If your employees have to work with heavy machinery, power tools or cutting equipment, safety boots are a legal requirement.

Safety boots however, are made from tough, hardwearing materials, which means they aren’t always the most comfortable. Read my top tips below on how to make sure that your work boots aren’t just protecting your feet, but are comfy too!

Good Quality Socks

It’s worth buying good quality, thick work socks. Normal socks don’t last very long and are not as long lasting or comfortable. Thick work socks dry quickly too, which helps to your feet sweat free in summer and dry in the winter!

Go half a size bigger

Buying boots that are around half a size too big , will create extra room for your feet to swell and breathe and will also allow for extra layers in the winter. When getting your staff to try on work boots, make sure you tell them to bring a pair of thick socks with them so they know which size will be best, there’s nothing worse than being on your feet all day in boots that only just fit!

Safety

Its important to provide your employees with high quality safety boots. You need to make sure your staff are comfortable and safe in the workplace, so although high quality boots are expensive, spending more money is well worth the investment!

Insoles

Another reason to buy boots a little bit too big is that they will allow room for some comfort increasing insoles. Insoles make the bottom of the boot softer adding a cushioned layer, making them much more comfortable.

Stay Dry

If you have staff working outside, its very important to make sure that their boots are 100% waterproof. Nobody wants their feet to be cold and squelching all day!

Rotate them

Many people wear their work boots until they are completely worn out. Work boots and shoes last much longer if they’re rotated in use. Providing your employees with two pairs of boots that they can alternate between is effective as it allows the boots to completely dry out between uses. Resulting in boots that last longer and feet that are more comfortable.

Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist
This post was written by
Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist

Be seen, not hurt – the importance of hi-vis clothing

Hi-Vis clothing is the best way for your employees to be seen and stay safe whilst at work. There are a few different working environments where Hi-Vis clothing is essential to your employee’s and pedestrian’s safety, these include:

-Warehouse & Construction

-Construction & Maintenance

-Rail Workers

-Those who work on Roadways or footpaths

 

What is High-Vis?

Hi-vis clothing is designed to ensure that the wearer is visible at night-time and in daylight. Although hi-vis doesn’t actually glow in the dark, the mixture of fluorescent material and reflective strips improves your visibility both day and night.

How does it work?

Fluorescent for Daytime

When fluorescent materials are exposed to daylight, they appear to glow. Which makes them effective for employees who need to be visible throughout the day. The glowing appearance of fluorescent materials make them especially effective in poor light conditions such as fog, as the glow is created when hit with the suns UV rays.

Hi-vis clothing comes in a variety of different colours and when choosing which colour to provide your employees with, it’s important to think about which colour will stand out the most against the environment the worker is in, hi- vis is available in the following colours:

– Yellow

– Orange

– Pink

Blue

– Red

– Green

 

No matter what the colour, all fluorescent materials need UV light to be effective. So, on their own, florescent materials are not effective at night.

Reflective for Night-time

Hi-vis clothing which includes reflective material is the most effective for visibility. The grey strips which are on all hi-vis garments are reflective and they glow when they’re exposed to artificial lights such as street lights and headlights. These reflective materials are made by using tiny glass beads to scatter and reflect the light.

The most effective garments are retroflective. This means that they reflect the light back at where it came from, which makes it perfect for your safety as it means that motorists will see your employees sooner than they would if they weren’t wearing Hi-vis clothing.

Choosing your Hi-vis

At Irongate we can provide you with lots of different hi-vis garments, designed to keep your employees safe across several different industries and working environments. From lightweight, hi -vis waist coats to hi-vis coats and trousers we have everything to make sure your staff are safe and seen.

 

 

Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist
This post was written by
Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist