5 Sustainability Tips for the Office

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Now more than ever there is a growing desire to embrace more eco-friendly living and thankfully businesses are looking to do their part as well. It can be a little overwhelming when trying to figure out how to get started so we’ve put together a list of the best tips for creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly workplace.

Start a team dedicated to maintaining a sustainable office

A group of people designated to maintaining a sustainable office can get a lot more done than just sending out a memo. The team should be assigned projects such as putting together a recycling program, stocking up on green cleaning supplies, and making more energy-efficient options available for appliances. They can also engage other employees hands-on, providing them with the information they need to do their part in creating the most efficient office environment possible.

Create a challenge for everyone to participate in

Introduce a monthly challenge to the office to get everyone in the spirit. A type of challenge could include going a month without using plastic utensils and offering a small gift card as a prize. Or, you could encourage employees to use reusable coffee mugs when getting their caffeine fix.

Turn off all electronics at night

This includes lights, computers, and any appliances that could use energy while no one is using them. Make sure that the last person who leaves the office turns off all the lights. Better yet, set everything on a timer so you don’t have to worry about someone forgetting to turn off something that takes a lot of power.

Invest in office products that are better for the environment

There are all sorts of products that can have less of a negative impact on the environment from recycled office materials to more energy efficient computers. There are options for everyone no matter the size of the budget and any switch is better than no switch at all.

Research green power sources

Solar and wind energy are more available now than they ever have been and businesses both small and large can make the switch. If this is out of budget you can look into your energy provider and see if they offer a more sustainable energy plan.

There are many other ways to make the office more sustainable such as going paperless, adjusting the thermostat to run less, and even adding office plants and utilizing natural light to clarify the air and conserve energy. Don’t be afraid to get creative and applaud your employees for doing their part!

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How to Create Positive Relationships Between Your Coworkers

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Positive working relationships are imperative in any workplace. When coworkers get along and respect one another, they work well together and the office is that much more productive. Establishing and maintaining healthy relationships in the office requires effort and these tips can help anyone foster a positive relationship with the people they work with at their job.

Recognize a job well done

When people recognize the hard work their coworkers put into a job or a project, it makes their coworkers feel good. They feel appreciated and valued and that benefits everyone working in the office in numerous ways. The first is that it makes people continue to work hard so they can earn more appreciation. It also helps people realize their coworkers want them to have credit for their work rather than trying to take it for their own benefit.

Encourage teamwork

Collaboration is the best way to ensure people are given the opportunity to work together and appreciate what their coworkers bring to the table. Each person is different, and it’s one way to teach people to learn to appreciate the talents and skills everyone in the office has so that they can work together for more success.

Set goals

When an office sits down together and discusses their goals, they bring themselves closer together. Putting the entire office in a room to share their goals with one another helps everyone. When one person shares their goals, their coworkers can help them figure out how to achieve that goal, and the same goes for anyone who works in the office. Everyone is different, but they are working to achieve the same thing and motivation works no matter what your end goals are.

Create fun

The workplace is often serious and busy, and the demand to produce great work and make positive changes in the lives of everyone connected to the business is sometimes overwhelming. It’s easy to forget to have fun and focus on just getting the job done, but coworkers who have fun together are more likely to enjoy working with one another. Create time for employees to unwind and have fun, such as an office dinner party or quarterly party to celebrate a job well done.

Fostering a creative and happy workplace is as simple as taking a little time to make people feel good about their role in the company. Good manners, a happy work environment, and recognition when it’s warranted is all it takes to foster healthy relationships in your workplace.

If You’re a True Leader, You’ll Recognize These 5 Leadership Styles

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Every business has its own leadership style that is determined by the organization, industry, and ultimately the leader of the company. Most companies operate on multiple levels of leadership, finding what works best for them and their workers. Here are five of the most common types of leadership styles.

Laissez Faire

Laissez faire is derived from French meaning “let (people) do (as they choose).” With this leadership style, employees are given freedom to perform how they wish with little to no interference. Leaders who choose to lead in this style promote trust in their workers and instill a higher sense of responsibility. While this seems like a great way to empower your employees, this leadership style also has its disadvantages. Without direct leadership, productivity tends to decrease along with the quality of work. If a worker doesn’t possess the right set of skills, the lack of leadership can hinder their work.

Authoritarian

The Authoritarian leadership style has one leader who has complete control over everyone underneath them. This is often the type leadership style implemented in a small business environment. With this type of leadership, there is a more streamlined work process and the decisions of the business are made more quickly due to the lack of layers in management. However, this leadership style often leads to low morale because of less contribution from everyone in the company about the decisions made that impact everyday work.

Democratic

This leadership style is quite the opposite of Authoritarian. The democratic style gives everyone in the organization a voice, leaving the ultimate decision up to the leader. Employees have higher morale due to feeling like they are included in the decision making process. Allowing everyone an opinion in the decision requires time, making time the only enemy of this leadership style. This type of leadership does not work well when a decision needs to be made quickly.

Transactional

The transactional style of leadership requires an exchange. As the leader, you let your workers know exactly what you expect from them. Should they meet this criterion and exceed your expectations, they will be given something in return, such as a bonus. However, if this expectation is not met, employees can be punished or will require additional training. This is a popular tactic in the world of business but should not be the only way to lead.

Transformational

This is one of the most empowering forms of leadership. Leaders who follow a transformational type of leadership expect the most from their workers. Expectations are set high enough that workers are constantly striving to achieve more, but not set too high where they feel like failures for falling short. These leaders focus on the big picture, which allows for the workers underneath them to take ownership of the smaller tasks required to achieve this goal.

Do you recognize some of these styles of leadership? What combination of styles has worked best for you?

Learn How to Travel the World for Your Job

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While some people find business travel to be terrible, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are lots of jobs that require travel, often numerous times throughout the year. You may spend a week or more away from home when traveling for business. Maybe you have to go to remote locations that do not seem very interesting. Travel can be stressful no matter why you’re doing it, but here are some ways you can make business travel a little less terrible. Make traveling for work something you actually enjoy and no longer stress over!

Join a rewards program

One of the best ways to maximize the benefits of frequent business travel is through joining a rewards program. Since most companies reimburse purchases you make for business travel, find a credit card with quality rewards and use it for business-related travel. Most airlines and hotels also offer rewards programs, so if you’re loyal to a specific company, you’ll greatly benefit from your business travel.

Streamline your packing routine

There are few things worse than realizing you have to leave for a lengthy business trip the next day, but you haven’t even started packing. You should always try to start packing a few days ahead of leaving so you have time to make sure you pack everything, but sometimes last minute is your only option. Create a packing routine that takes minimal time – know what items you’re taking with, keep travel sized toiletries packed at all times, and use the same bag so you know how everything fits.

Learn how to cure your jet lag

If you’re making significant changes to your timezone, jet lag can kill your entire trip and prevent you from functioning at your best. Keep hydrated before, during, and after your flight. Try to sleep on the plane and begin adjusting your schedule before you even leave. If you need to take some kind of medicine while flying, know what works best for you.

Plan ahead

You might be incredibly busy with work, family, and other obligations before your flight, but you need to plan ahead if you want to avoid unnecessary stress from flying. Clear everything with your company about the times of meetings and what will be reimbursed or how much you can spend. Know the times of all your flights and your booking numbers. Think about how you’ll get around where you’re heading, whether you’re renting a car, using public transportation, or located close enough to walk to places. Planning ahead means you’re that much more prepared for your trip.

Stick to a healthy routine

If you have a set routine, especially when it comes to diet and exercise, stick to it as much as you can while you’re traveling for work. If you usually read for a bit before bed, do that! Or try to get to bed at the same time you normally do, if it’s possible while on your trip. Do not push yourself and end up exhausted. Also make sure you’re watching out for sick people around you and taking steps to keep yourself from catching any kind of illness.

Keep track of your spending

Though most companies reimburse all expenses associated with business travel, very few will do so if you do not keep track of your receipts and what money is being spent on what. Save your receipts and make some kind of list (a spreadsheet would be even more useful!) to keep track of all the costs on your trip. Make sure everything is clearly labeled for business or personal so there’s no confusion.