Archives for the month of: November, 2014

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and thoughts of all things “holiday” have begun to flood our minds: the excitement of seeing family and friends, re-living our favorite traditions, and the ever-important holiday practice – eating! The easiest decision in the face of this seemingly endless buffet is to go on a 2-month hiatus from every trace of health-conscious habitude you had prior.  This is ultimately a personal choice; however, I propose you consider the road less traveled.

Why not make this year a healthier holiday? I have provided several ideas below for making healthier choices this season, applicable to both the office and the home.

1. MAKEOVER YOUR RECIPES

When preparing a dish for a work party or family gathering, consider researching a “lighter” version of the recipe to make ingredient substitutions that improve nutritional value. Many traditional full-fat, high-calorie dishes are easily made over without sacrificing flavor. For example, one Green Bean Casserole recipe from EatingWell.com skips the canned soup and all of the fat and sodium that comes with it by substituting a lighter, homemade white sauce. See the full recipe here.

Other helpful websites:

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The Skinny Taste blog offers lightened up thanksgiving recipes, healthy holiday recipes and skinny fall recipes.

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The Chocolate Covered Katie blog will help you find the perfect healthy dessert recipes to add to your holiday meals.

2. MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE

Free time is limited during the holidays, which makes us more apt to put fitness on the back burner. Exercise is important in easing stress and preventing weight gain, and can foster the motivation needed to consistently make healthy choices. Consider the following ideas for fitting exercise into your routine.

  • Start your day with exercise. This will free up your evenings for other holiday-related tasks.
  • If you’re not a morning person, try walking or running outside, or visiting a local gym over your lunch hour.
  • Walk or run a local race with your family, friends, and/or coworkers. Many communities have an annual “Turkey Trot” on Thanksgiving and a holiday-themed race in December.
  • Training in preparation for the event can be instrumental in boosting motivation.
  • Click here for upcoming races in the Muscatine, Iowa area, courtesy of the Cornbelt Running Club.

3. EAT SMARTER

The holidays are a notoriously celebratory, emotional, and sometimes stressful time, and with food thrown into the mix it can be more difficult than ever to maintain self-control. Try these simple methods for eating smarter this year:

  • It may seem logical to skip breakfast and lunch to save calories for eating whatever looks tasty at the afternoon office party. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
  • When meals are skipped, the likelihood of overeating increases as your appetite is stronger than usual once you allow yourself to eat.
  • Instead, try to eat portion-controlled meals at mealtime, and allow yourself to have a special treat at the party.
  • Another effective method to battle the urge to overeat is to track your intake throughout the day.
  • There are numerous free apps that allow you to input what you’ve eaten and provide an outline of your daily progress. This creates accountability in providing a visual summary of your choices.

Relax. Allowing yourself a second (or third) piece of pie doesn’t mean you’ve thrown all self control out the window. Forgive yourself and move forward, always keeping your end goal in mind.

What are some other healthy tips you would add to our list?

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Legendary fashion designer Tom Ford once said, “dressing well is a form of good manners.” How does that apply to the office? Here are 5 tips for putting your best fashion foot forward in the workplace:

  1. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Want to be a manager someday? Take note of how members of leadership are dressed, and then emulate their style.
  2. HON headquarters is in Muscatine, IA. With winter fast approaching and temperatures in single digits, dressing for the season is a must. In Iowa, this usually means adding fun accessories to your wardrobe, such as a scarf, and wearing stylish yet practical footwear. Be mindful of the weather and dress accordingly – no matter where you live.
  3. When in doubt, overdress. After all, you never know when you’ll be pulled into a meeting with leadership wishing you’d put more effort into your appearance. Your self confidence will get a boost just knowing that you look great.
  4. On that note – be conservative. Being noticed for your work ethic and overall poise is good; being noticed for your flashy clothes is not. Stick with classic lines and colors to be noticed in the right way.
  5. But, don’t be afraid to infuse your own style and personality into your outfit when appropriate. A funky pattern or statement piece can strike up a conversation and show your individuality. One of the things I love about working at HON is being able to showcase my personal style every day.

What are some of your favorite fashion tips for the workplace?

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Panels are dropping. Footprints are shrinking.  These are two common workplace trends that we’ve heard over and over again.  But, have you ever stepped back and asked yourself, “how does this affect seating?”

Lower panels and light-scale environments make seating more visible throughout the floor plan.  As a result, continuity of seating across all applications becomes very important.  To address this need, HON offers families of seating.  “Families” are comprised of many seating solutions in one universal series, creating a coordinated design language throughout your entire office.

The photo below exemplifies how our newest seating collection, Endorse, can fit seamlessly into any office space. Whether it is a conference room, private office, workstation or collaborative area, the Endorse collection offers the perfect solution

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Another exciting change happening in our seating portfolio is the addition of Momentum seating fabrics into our core fabric offering.  HON has added 14 new patterns and over 200 colorways ranging from bright to neutral.  Learn more about what HON has to offer by viewing the Momentum and Perspectives Color Card.

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Email-Marketing

Considering how long email has played a role in our lives, it’s easy to assume we know how to use it effectively. However, good email etiquette is something that will never go out of style. Here are a few things to consider when drafting your next professional email:

1. Write an Appropriate Subject Line

Although this is viewed by some as not being an essential part of an email, it’s important that the subject clearly identifies the point of the email in just a few words. A good subject line leaves no mystery for the recipients to guess what the email is about, and helps later if you need to search your inbox for it.

 2. Start with a Proper Greeting

Just like writing a letter, it’s polite to add a greeting or salutation to the start of every email. It’s good practice to address someone by name in the greeting, but whether it’s the first or last name depends on the subject and formality of the email. For example, “Hi Jim” would work fine for an email sent between co-workers, but “Dear Mr. Smith” would be more appropriate for a formal email such as writing to a prospective employer.

 3. Write with a Respectful Tone

With the use of emoticons on the rise, it’s easy to want to slip these in an email and type the exact way we speak. However, be conscious of the recipient(s) of the email with the understanding that it could get forwarded on to individuals that it wasn’t originally intended for. Being polite and professional always reflects well on yourself and your company.

 4. Get Straight to the Point and Keep it Short

The reason for the email should be addressed at the start. Studies show that you’re more likely to get a timely response if the purpose is called out at the beginning. However, the point can be lost if there are multiple paragraphs to follow, as a large amount of text can be overwhelming to take in. If it’s necessary to address a number of things in one email, bullet points are easier to read and ensure that none of your points get lost or overlooked.

 5. Proof Read and Use Spell Check

Writing an email can feel like a small accomplishment that you want to send right away, but it’s important to proof read and run spell check before clicking the send button. A typo or spelling mistake can turn one word into a completely different one, and could even be a little embarrassing when done in a professional capacity. Click the spell check button that appears on the email template, but be sure to proof read to catch anything that spell check didn’t catch.

What are examples of good email etiquette that you have used recently?

In today’s hectic world it can be easy for organization to take a backseat to your daily tasks.  I am the type of person that needs an organized workspace in order to keep my thoughts organized.  Here are some suggestions on how you can keep your workspace organized:

Start with a blank slate

Remove all items from your worksurface.  Sometimes it is easier to start with a blank canvas and add what is most important (like that coffee mug).

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Prioritize

Determine what items are most important and used frequently.  Keep these items in easy to reach areas (Pens, phone, important documents, etc.)

Pencil Cup

Add a pencil cup and get rid of any unneeded pens/pencils.  This will help create a designated spot for your writing utensils so they aren’t strewn all about.  This will also help you feel less cluttered; it doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a mug will do!

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Determine your storage type.

Do you like to create piles or do you tend to keep your information stored in files?  Determine your filing type and add the best type of storage for you.  This could be more file cabinet space for your files or more open space for your piles of paper.

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Add Monitor Arms

Adding monitor arms can help clear off additional desk space.  Since your monitors will be raised off your desk, you will have more space underneath.  This will help create a clean, uncluttered feeling.

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What helps you feel more organized?

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