Throwing An End Of Summer Party

summer_partyAs a way of bidding farewell to the summer, throwing one last party may not be a bad idea after all. This is supposedly the king of all the parties you have been holding. You need to do some planning, invite guests, spruce up your home and decide on what food to give to your guests. You should also stock up on drinks. Without further ado, here are some ideas that will bring your party to fruition.

Planning

Even if you do it on a budget, a haphazardly held party will not go down well. You need an elaborate plan covering all the finer details. The guest list can be a group of old school mates, fellow workmates, neighbors you name it. However, ensure that the people you are inviting are well known to you or there is something in common. Decide on a date and time. Post these details on your social media page and share it out with your friends.

Budget

Parties differ in magnitude depending on the occasion being celebrated and the people you know. Behind all this is a budget. Do not opt for a popularity contest with your friends or neighbors. Just because a neighbor hosted a lavish party with lots of food and drink does not mean that you should do the same. Prepare a budget that will see you spend according to your means. Low budget parties can supersede expensive ones if the organization is good.

Food and drinks

Decide on what type of food your friends like. Have a range of snacks, something just to keep the party going. Unless you are financially capable, do not prepare full course meals. Have a barbeque, some fries, salads and a variety of cakes. Do the same with the drinks. If you are doing alcohol, get to know what the favorite brands are. Have a variety of beers, wines and whiskey. Again, this depends on the people coming to the party. You do not expect to serve alcohol at a Christian party. Alternatively, hire a corporate event catering firm to handle this aspect.

Have a party theme

You could base your summer party on a color scheme or choose an event such as a birthday. If you have any member of your group whose birthday falls in late summer, make the party in his/her honor at some point. Thematic parties are easier to plan.

Decorations

You do not have to spend much on this. Choose a setting whether indoors or outdoors. The latter would be perfect. If partying will be in your backyard decorate it with flowers and appropriate furniture setting.

Apart from the above tips, remember to put some restrictions especially in relation to time and noise. Do not play very loud music.

Common Problem in IT

it officeComputers have become an essential part of the average American’s daily life.  Whether you use a computer at home, the office, or both many activities take place quickly with the use of a computer and internet connection.  Everything from communicating around the world with email, checking bank balances and paying bills, to completing homework or office tasks; a computer becomes an essential ingredient to a productive day.  With a computer however comes some frustration when it’s not functioning as expected.  Some of the most common frustrations that come are related to common problems in IT.  Here are a few of the most common IT problems you may face at home and at work and simple suggestions to fix them:

  • One of the most common problems that occur is the loss of internet connection.  The internet has become a vital part of nearly every action you take with your computer.  Simply connecting to send and receive email, check on local new stories, or to connect to the world via social media outlets.  The most common IT complaint both at home and the office is the inability to connect to the internet, or a very slow and ineffective connection.  When you notice that your computer no longer has an internet connection the first thing you should check is all of the computer connections and power to the internet.  Checking the power to the router, the wired connection to your computer, or the wireless connection strength may soon find the source of your internet problem.  More detailed diagnostics would include checking your current IP address and LAN settings.
  • The inability to communicate with other parts of the network – other computers, printers, servers, or internet connections is also a common IT problem.  Sacramento IT solutions will work to create a network for your office that limits downtime and ensures better communication within your company and to the world.  Just as internet connection problems can be related to wiring and server issues, so are interoffice connections between computers and other peripherals.  Your IT department can begin to diagnose these connection problems in the same way through checking physical wiring and connections as well as wireless settings.
  • There’s nothing as frustrating as the morning when you go to use your computer and nothing happens; it doesn’t even turn on!  Loss of power is common after time with computers.  Begin by first checking the power connection both at the computer and the wall.  When power is supplied, the most common cause for a computer not turning on is that the power supply unit inside the computer has died.  This common problem happens over time as the power supply unit fails.  Even as a novice you can open the computer case and replace a power supply unit.
  • The blue (or black) screen of death evokes fear in any computer user.  The fear that information is lost or that your computer is going to crash.  Often this screen appears when a driver fails to load and simply restarting the computer will clear the problem.  If it continues to appear, back up all of your information and consult an IT professional.

While many of these problems are common, facing any IT problem during the day is nerve wracking and frustrating.  To avoid loss of information and downtime caused by IT problems it is a good idea to routinely back up information and perform routine maintenance on your computer.

Company Branding 101

business-brandCompany branding is the use of a company’s name and/or logo on items for the purpose of advertisement and name recognition.    A company brand helps to give you an identity in the marketplace.  The goal of company branding is to make your unique company name and logo identifiable by current and potential customers and encourage good thoughts in correlation with this.  From custom sweatshirts to company letterhead and shipping products having a unique company logo or slogan that is then used for various items can create consistency and recognition for your company.  When you are first beginning the process of creating a company branding learning the basics as well as the purposes behind branding can help.  Here are two important things you should consider:

  • If the purpose of branding is to make your company easily identifiable to the general public you must first create an easy to identify image.  Whether on your own or working with a professional graphics artist you should create a logo or image that represents your company in scope and purpose.  When creating an image consider these important aspects of what makes an effective logo:
    • Clear – An image used to represent your company must be clearly understood
    • Size – The size of individual components within the images must work together and the overall image must be easy to understand.
    • Color – Consider how printing your logo or brand in single and multiple colors will work.  Often you want to choose an image that will work in a single color to save on costs.
    • Shape – Some company brands incorporate shape into the design.  This is something to consider when creating yours.
    • Name – Is your company name easily identifiable or quick to discern in the logo.
    • Design – Consider the overall design and appearance of the logo when understanding that this single image will become the representation of your company.
    • Once you have a great logo or slogan designed you can begin using it in marketing and other avenues of business.  Here are just some of the places you should consider using your new logo to create image consistency as well as promotion:
      • Letterhead or stationary.  Your company letterhead should feature your new logo and/or slogan to help it become easily identified by those you communicate with.
      • Business cards.  Just as your company letterhead will effectively communicate your brand or image the same is true of business cards.
      • Packaging.  Think about the products you ship or sell, could you benefit from the use of a logo on individual items as well as packaging?  Many companies have been known to use their logos on shipping boxes for great advantages.
      • Products.  Products that contain your logo make it easier for consumers to remember your company as well as place additional orders.
      • Marketing items.  Marketing materials such as flyers, poster, and other advertisements should consistently display your logo for recognition.
      • Clothing items.  Custom t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and jackets that contain your company logo make it much easier to get your image well known and seen more often.

Choosing your company logo is Just as important as choosing your company name.  These two most identifiable things will help consumers recognize you as well as begin to establish a feel for your company.  When using your logo or brand to promote your company keep in mind the choices you make in logo design and how they will reflect upon your company and specifically the branding or image of it.

Application of Ergonomics in the Workplace

A strong understanding of ergonomics is vital in creating a well-equipped working environment that will make workers comfortable. When purchasing office furniture such as desks, tables and chairs, it is important to consider ergonomics. Even minute details must adhere to ergonomic standards so as to make sure employees are not injured on the job. This even extends to the choice of computer, mouse, or keyboard, as it is essential to have an ergonomically satisfying design that would provide the right posture for work.

The average employee spends about 8 hours a day in the work environment. Improper working posture over such a long period of time might trigger various unwanted problems such as back pain, neck pain, or other serious medical conditions that might prevent the workers from performing effectively. For this reason, it is important for employers to maintain an ergonomically ideal workplace.

Defining Ergonomics and the Science Behind It

The ergonomics definition explains that it is a science that deals with the human work environment, and the design, devices, equipment, and humans associated with it. Some people spend their entire lives with the same organization, and being in the same work environment for so many years may mean spending working hours in the same position (sitting, writing, operating a computer, or typing). These activities, if performed while sitting in furniture that was not designed with ergonomics in mind, can cause various serious injuries. This is possible, as working in the same position for many years would put a strain on health and reduce productivity. This translates into lost health for the employee and lost profits for the organization.

People who are required to be seated while at work are at a 10 times higher risk of injury than those who must stand for long hours. This is because when a person sits, the weight of the body is shifted wholly on the chair. This is spread through the back seat, base and arm rest of the chair, putting strain on the shoulders. Hence, chairs should have arm rests with adjustable heights to reduce the stress on shoulders.

Conclusion: Smart Businesses are Paying Attention

In recent years, businesses have come forward to welcome ergonomics into their firms with open hands. They either try to replace their non-ergonomic furniture or try to make corrections according to the needs and rules of ergonomics. With this, the employees can perform energetically with fewer pains and strains. In addition, the firm would also be showing excellent productivity and enhanced profit levels. Apart from this, the work place would have a modern and trendy look, which is a sign of thriving business.

Company Party Ideas

company partySo you are in charge of your next company party and have no idea where to begin. You want it to be fun and enjoyable for all the employees, but at the same time it needs to be appropriate since it is a company party. Fear not, the following are some ideas of great and appropriate company parties that would be approved by HR. First, if you are low on cash consider having a potluck. You might not think this is very exciting, but let’s be honest, everyone likes to eat. You can send sign up sheets around the office and people can sign up to bring different dishes. This is a good idea so you have a variety of food. One way you can jazz this up is to have a contest for best dessert for instance. This could be fun for employees to share with everyone something that is meaningful to them. Second, if you have a good budget and want something more active consider taking everyone to play paintball. This is a fun idea to get everyone interacting with one another. It is great for building teamwork within an office since it is a strategic activity. You can divide the teams up by different divisions in the office or mix different divisions together so people get to know one another. Not only is this a fun activity it can also be stress relieving. Third, you could have a company white elephant gift exchange. It takes a bit of planning, but can be a lot of fun. Make sure everyone knows to bring a gender neutral gift and set a price limit for the gifts so everything is equal.

I know the times I have participated in white elephant gift exchanges that they have been a lot of fun and very entertaining to see the funny gifts people come up with. You could even make a theme and say all the gifts have to fall under a certain category. Fourth, you could have a company picnic if it is in the summer. One thing you could do is get some live corporate entertainment from dancebands.com. They have a wide variety of live bands and you could have your own little private concert or dance party. They also can connect you with other sorts of entertainment ranging from fire throwers, tarot card readers to unicyclists. This could be fun because you could have your employees bring their families and make a day out of it. You can even save money on food by having a BBQ and the venue is outside so you won’t have a room rental fee. Fifth, you could have a costume party. Kids aren’t the only ones who like to dress up and be silly every once in a while. Encourage your employees to dress up and compete in a costume contest. Be creative in the costumes, think about creating your costume out of basic materials such as garbage bags, or aluminum foil. For more costume specific parties you could have everyone dress up as a superhero or their favorite character as a child. So if you are in charge of the next company party, don’t fret have some fun!

Keeping Your Employees Happy On the Job

Employers all know that it is important to keep their employees happy. There are so many benefits to any company that works to keep their employees happy. Employees who feel well taken care of will also feel more valued. That will lead them to work harder. They will actually want to be at work when they feel like they are important to their employer. They will try to be to work every day and they will give their all while they are there. They will also be less likely to take other job offers that come their way. So here are just a few ideas of what could be done to keep employees happy.

Employers should have employee restrooms that are nice and always clean. This may sound silly or unimportant, but studies show that employees really appreciate having nice and clean restrooms to use. After all, they will be spending a lot of time at work and they need to feel like their restroom time will not be dreaded and disgusting.

Any company that has a great break room will be well loved by their employees. People who work really hard will appreciate a nice area to enjoy their break in. It needs to have comfortable furniture that encourages a little relaxation. It also needs to have basic kitchen appliances that will allow people to bring their own lunches and to heat them up right there at work. People enjoy getting to save money and getting to eat healthier by bringing their own tasty lunches. They will also not have to take such long lunch breaks when they do not have to leave the building every day just to go get food.

Have some fun once and a while! Employers do not actually have to be all business all the time. They can have some fun with their employees. They can lift morale in the office and still encourage hard work when they allow people to have a little fun. One idea would be to hold a friendly competition. They can challenge people to something that will actually benefit the company, like getting the most new clients in a certain amount of time. Then they need to have real prizes at the end to keep people motivated.

People also want to be comfortable while they are at work. There are a few different things that employers can do to keep people comfortable while they are working. If they do not have a working AC unit then they should get AC repair Oklahoma City.  They can get their AC unit working well and keep their employees cool and comfortable. That will help them to work more efficiently throughout the long and hot days of summer.

Creating a Fun Break Room

 

Cool Break RoomCreating a Fun, Inviting Break Room for your employees provides them to have a place for those few minutes of downtime where they can recharge, relax, and then return to work focused on the tasks at hand.  There are several “must have” items to create a break room that both benefits your employees and that they will actually enjoy using.  These items include:

  • Creating a place to relax by providing comfortable seating.  From comfortable seating to quite areas, providing a way for your employees to relax is the most
    important purpose of a break room.  Providing a way for your employees to forget the stresses of work for a few moments allows them time to recharge and refresh their minds.  Many time employees who are frustrated by some aspect of a project will find that taking a few quiet minutes in the company break room will allow their mind to wander and a solution to present itself.
  • Providing entertainment they can enjoy while on break.  From books and magazines to TV, entertainment in the break room will give you employees something to fill their time while either at lunch or on a break.  Dish Programming is just one way to provide entertainment in the break room.  With hundreds of channels and package options, choosing one that will work best for your break room is easy.  TV is a great time filler during breaks because it allows your employees to completely release their stresses if even for just a few minutes.
  • Supplying the necessary equipment for preparing and eating meals.  The minimum requirements for a great break room that can be used for lunch time is to have a least a microwave and a refrigerator.  If you want to provide a break room your employees will really use effectively you should consider also having a sink.  Some companies also have break rooms that boast a full kitchen.  Having a complete kitchen allows employees to save money on their lunches by providing them the means to create their own lunches.  This can be a great motivator.
  • Offering access to quick snacks.  For those days when your employees have rushed out the door, it’s nice to have quick snacks available to them.  From providing vending machines with snacks and sodas as well as healthy alternatives, to supplying periodically stocked snacks in a cupboard there are many options.

If you will put in the effort to create a successful break room, you will notice that you have happier, more productive employees during their working hours.  Other fun things to do in the break room you could consider include having monthly guessing contests or drawings and inviting in a local restaurant to cater lunch occasionally.  Any little “extra” you do for your employees will pay for itself in increased motivation and productivity.

Planning a Company Retreat

Golfing in vailA company retreat is a great way to reward your employees for the work that they do and provide a much needed time of relaxation for the people who work so hard to keep your company together. There is a lot that goes into planning a company retreat, so if you are hoping to organize a company retreat for your business and employees, then don’t wait any longer to get everything in order for your company retreat!
The most important thing to plan for a company retreat is the place. The employees are seeking to feel fulfilled from this retreat, as well as rejuvenated and educated. That is why it is so important to book a venue for the retreat that is not only fun but that is conducive to the sorts of activities that you will be doing. Many company retreats involve team building exercises and small events where the employees are able to get to know one another and grow together as a group of workers. In order to accomplish these goals, the retreat must be planned in an area where the employees are able to stay for however long the retreat is intended to be.
In addition to finding a place that is conducive to the atmosphere of the retreat itself, it is equally important that the company retreat be planned in a place where the workers can have fun when they are on their own. By planning the retreat in a place that is surrounded by a number of different potential activities and fun events, you can ensure your employees that they will not only enjoy the time that they spend in workshops and corporate events, but they will also enjoy the time that they have to explore the city as well.
Vail, Colorado is a great place to book your company retreat. With a number of different housing sites, there is sure to be a place that will fit your corporate needs for your company retreat. The city also offers a number of Vail hotel deals for people who wish to book hotels for the workers who will be coming to the retreat. Additionally, Vail is chock full of fun activities for everyone to enjoy. There are a number of skiing and snowboarding places to go, and the ski resorts are absolutely beautiful in their season. Colorado is known for its perfect weather for winter sports, and the weather in Vail does not disappoint. If you plan to visit during the summer months, there are many different summer activities to take part in. Vail golf packages are available to those who wish to set up golfing times for their workers during their visit to Vail.

Keeping the Office Fun With Holiday Parties

Office parties are a great way to increase unity and productivity at work.In an office setting it is important to balance the relationships and try and keep things positive.  In a single workplace the employees come from all walks of life and their different ages, cultures, and backgrounds will influence who they are.  These differences and sometimes cause awkwardness or contention among employees.  A negative work environment will have a bad impact on the workplace, so working on building unity is essential.  A great way to build unity is through holding holiday parties at the office.

There are so many holidays throughout the year that it is easy to pick a few dispersed about equal distances apart and create holiday traditions.  Some obvious holidays are Halloween, Christmas, Easter, the 4th of July.  Other holidays that could be used are Valentine’s day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving.  You could even pick more holidays or other events like birthdays to celebrate, and simply institute a small tradition for some of the in-between ones and bigger traditions for other holidays. Remember that there is a nice balance between increasing productivity and wasting time when dealing with office parties, so you need to have parties often enough to keep spirits high and employees engaged, but not too often where you are losing valuable work time and employees are less productive.

Christmas is the most obvious and most often celebrated holiday at work.  You can do many things including decorating with Christmas lights – white lights can be especially calming for employees.  Some other ideas are holding a Christmas party in which you can have karaoke, an appearance by Santa Clause, a white elephant gift exchange, and some nice snacks.  If you have a bigger budget in your company you could have dinner and door prizes for your employees.

Halloween is another fun holiday that many companies overlook.  It is good for the adults to get out of their element and dress up for fun events.  Some adult Halloween costume ideas include movie themed characters (such a Davy Jones from the Pirates movies), cartoon characters (such as Homer Simpson), presidents, etc.  Halloween parties can really get the employees laughing and enjoying each others company.

The 4th of July is a great time to have a party outside of the office.  Hold a pool party, a barbeque, etc.  Get your employees outside, eating, and participating in some fun activities.  Frisbee, obstacle courses, etc. are great ideas for getting your employees enjoying their time together.  You can also easily invite family members to events like this.

Some fun holidays are Valentines Day and St Patrick’s Day.  You can decorate silly little brown paper bags and deliver valentines to The Office Christmas Partyeach other.  You and offer cookies or cupcakes to your employees at a little lunch break type appreciation party.  St. Patrick’s Day would be a fun holiday in which to get everyone wearing green.  Offer 4 leaf clover buttons/pins so that no one gets pinched.  Offer a pot of gold in the break room (popcorn, chocolate wrapped in gold foil, etc.).

Get creative and get your employees excited about the holidays and feeling appreciated.  When you employees feel appreciated and have their spirits lifted they are going to perform better and have a higher quality of work.  They try harder to get to work on time and show you that they can be responsible.  A happy work environment is a great one.