National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!

While not enormously popular, National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day falls on November 15 and we think it’s the ideal time to make sure it’s up to your workplace’s cleanliness standards!

As a shared space the fridge should be regularly cleaned and organized . So how should your workplace prepare? Here are a few steps that can make the process less daunting for everyone:

Keep the fridge organized:

The secret to a clean fridge is an organized fridge! Make sure there is a designated area for the communal items such as cream and butter as well as for personal lunches. Likewise, label all sections in the fridge. If possible include dates on your labels for “best before” guidelines.

Establish best practices & guidelines for fridge cleaning:

A fair and simple policy should include all employees in a rotating weekly cleaning schedule. This will keep maintenance fair and regular. If there is more than one fridge in the office divide the tasks accordingly by each department. Simple “rules” as listed below can help avoid sticky messes:

Properly clean your fridge:

Scheduling occasional fridge clean days should be welcomed and encouraged. While it can initially take a long-time (when was the last time you cleaned your fridge?!) – if your workplace sets a regular cleaning schedule the time necessary to clean should decrease. Eventually – if everyone follows the above mentioned “best cleaning practices” then there might not be a mess to clean up in at all!

Maintain good fridge etiquette:

Food past it’s expiry date? Toss it. Out of condiments or cream for coffee? Add it to the office shopping list. Be proactive in making sure that everyone at your workplace is responsible for their own items. No one want’s the below policy where food is chucked out at the end of day because it wasn’t eaten or labelled properly!

Workplace Stats to Recognize International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day! We would like to look at some recent developments of women in the workplace (our own head office consists of 75% female employees, including top leadership positions)! While there are many more strides to be made – it’s great to see gender equality taking shape over time:

  • women were 47.3% of the total labour force in 2016 (compared to 37.1% in 1976) [Source]
  • between 1976 and 2007 employment for mothers with children under 6 years old more than doubled from 31.5% to 68.1% [Source]
  • by 2012, college attendance went up to 71% for women (while staying stagnant at 61% for men) [Source]
  • Women in executive roles earn 72.3% of what men in the same position earn [Source]
  • 15.6% of SMBs are majority owned by women, and 19.7% are equally owned by women and men [Source]
  • in 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau named 15 women and 15 men to his cabinet, marking the first ever gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history! [Source]

These are just some of the stats that show the progress we’re making in having equality at the workplace. While not perfect it does show change towards the positive! If you’re looking for more resources, tools and articles on the gender gap in the workplace check out World Economic Forum’s Women & Work section.

Why you should personalize your workspace

For most of us, work is a second home. We’re there at least forty hours each week, often in a very small space that we call ‘our own’. Whether your space is a cubicle, an open-concept desk or an office, it can be optimized with simple office decor. So you can enhance your performance, without changing a thing about your work habits.

Workspace Personalization

The privacy factor

When your office lacks privacy, you’re forced to divert energy away from your tasks to avoid distraction. That creates a mental drain and leads to poor productivity.

But research shows that personalizing your space can mitigate those negative effects. To reduce emotional stress and exhaustion associated with low-privacy work areas, bring in family photos, your favourite throw pillow and an office plant. The more ‘you’ the space feels, the more productive you’ll be.

A better attitude

Researchers in the UK learned that simply allowing an employee to decorate her own office led to a 30 percent increase in productivity. Why? When a worker feels like she has control over her work environment, her attitude dramatically improves.

The benefits of colour

Most offices are decorated in neutrals. Grey walls, beige carpets and black office chairs might look professional, but they sure lack personality. Back in the 1960s, researchers found that factory workers’ productivity increased when they took the workers out of neutral workspaces and into factories with colourful elements. If you’re a creative type, consider bright colours. And if your job is high-stress, try soothing pastels.