Best Apps For Office Managers

Photo courtesy of Unsplash under Creative Commons 0 licenseThe New Year is quickly approaching, and if you’re a busy office manager, now is the perfect opportunity to start 2019 with a new plan in place. It can be challenging to keep up with the demands of managing the workplace, but technology makes it easier to stay organized and stress-free. Here, we share a few of our favorite apps that are helpful for office or project managers. 

Wunderlist

If you’re struggling to keep track of a seemingly endless to-do list, simplify your process with Wunderlist. This dynamic online to-do list offers a host of helpful features, including the ability to organize lists into separate folders for easy accessibility. In addition to its stellar organizational system, Wunderlist allows users to share lists, set reminders, add notes and comments, and much more. 

Hipmunk

Office managers are masters of organization, and Hipmunk is a great tool to effortlessly plan travel for teammates. The Hipmunk app is compatible with Facebook, Slack, and Skype, and makes it easy to book flights, hotels, and rental cars for individuals or large groups. The app is available for iPhone and Android, so it’s simple to schedule transportation and accommodations on a moment’s notice, and share the plans via email from the app. 

Trello

Looking for a way to set goals and track progress? Trello is an excellent choice for task management. Whether you’re using it for individual use or teamwide project management, this app is scalable and user-friendly. Trello is designed to look like a virtual whiteboard, so you can clearly see and organize your goals, deadlines, notes, and other important details. 

FreshBooks 

Many office managers juggle numerous responsibilities, including invoicing or managing accounts. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on financial details, and FreshBooks is an ideal solution for small business invoicing and client management. It’s not just invoicing and expense tracking--with FreshBooks, you’ll also gain access to estimate calculations, time tracking, and financial reporting. 

Office managers play an essential role in the office, and these apps will make it easier to perform at top level. If you’re planning to make significant changes for the workplace this upcoming year, consider replacing flimsy plastic chair mats with a superior option. Our team at Vitrazza takes pride in producing super strong Glass Office Chair Mats, and we back each of our products with a never-dent promise. If you’re interested in making a bulk purchase so each team member can enjoy a new mat, ask about our quantity discounts. Our concierge-style customer service team is always here to answer your questions and help you select the ideal product, so please reach out when you’d like to explore our in-stock or custom options.

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How to Run an Effective Meeting

Glass Chair MatsWell-run meetings seem to be a rarity in many offices. If you’d like to ensure that each session is productive and leaves employees feeling motivated and ready to contribute, it’s crucial to make the best use of time. Here, we share tips to facilitate distraction-free, effective meetings that are simple to implement. 

 

Only Schedule a Meeting When There’s a Clear Objective 

“All purpose” meetings generally aren’t a good use of time, and they can be frustrating for employees. If you’re thinking about holding a meeting but you haven’t quite identified a clear-cut objective, re-group for a moment until you can pinpoint a direction for the gathering. Once you’ve found a target, let attendees know in an email or invitation ahead of time so they come prepared. 

Invite Necessary Personnel Only 

While you may be inclined to invite the entire team to a meeting, it’s best to stick to necessary personnel only. When each attendee is essential and offers valuable input, everyone involved will have a much more productive meeting. Additionally, small groups tend to be quicker and more focused than larger gatherings. 

Stick to a Schedule 

To hold the attention of meeting attendees, be sure to provide a schedule beforehand and display it on a whiteboard or projector during the conference. This practice is an excellent way to keep everyone on track, and will provide a visual guideline for meeting expectations. 

Discuss Actionable Steps 

When it’s time to wrap up the conference, be sure to spend a few minutes drafting an action plan for the group or set individual goals. Ending with a plan in place is a great way to keep employees engaged and ready to meet their goals. 

Send a Follow-Up Email 

For best results, send a follow-up email as soon as possible after the conclusion of the gathering. This simple step reinforces a strong action plan, and will allow employees to reference it as needed. When it’s time for another meeting to check on progress, each member of the group can easily pick up where they left off. 

Meetings don’t have to be an event for employees and presenters to dread. A productive meeting process can make an impressive difference in setting and reaching goals, but it’s essential to plan ahead before scheduling a conference. If you’d like to ensure that each member of your team has everything they need to succeed, consider equipping each workspace with a sleek Glass Office Chair Mat. A glass mat designed with ergonomics in mind will allow greater freedom of movement, and it’ll also transform the look of the office. Our team at Vitrazza is proud to produce beautiful, high-quality products crafted with super-strong glass. We back each of our mats with a never-dent promise, and offer speedy shipping throughout the United States. To learn more about our products and find the best fit for your needs, please reach out to our customer service team. 

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Ideas For an Office Gift Exchange

Office Gift ExchangeIt’s that time of year again--the holiday season is almost here! If your office is participating in a gift exchange, you may be on the search for presents that your coworkers will love. It can be challenging to find the right gift for your teammates, but we’ve compiled a list of ideas that are versatile and nearly universally enjoyed. 

Stainless Steel Travel Mug 

A good mug always comes in handy, and a stainless steel travel version is especially useful on early morning commutes. A double-walled travel mug is an excellent choice for a gift exchange, and you may even choose to include a gift card to Starbucks or your co-worker’s favorite coffee shop in the mug. For inspiration, take a look at this site to browse a variety of different brands.  

Apple Cider or Hot Cocoa Mix 

When you’re looking for a sweet treat to gift to coworkers, pack some apple cider and/or hot cocoa mix into mason jars. Add some ribbon or a bow to the glass, and the presentation looks festive and thoughtful. Jars of warm beverage mix are a great choice for office-wide distribution, and your coworkers are sure to appreciate the gesture. 

Scented Candles 

For a zen work environment, present your coworker(s) with an assortment of scented holiday candles. There’s an incredible selection of aromas during this time of year, and a candlelight glow can brighten up any office. Warm scents such as gingerbread, peppermint mocha, or pumpkin spice are cheerful choices for work friends, so stop by your favorite candle store to explore the scents or find a DIY tutorial.  

A Donation to a Charity of Their Choice 

If you and your coworkers enjoy helping others, a donation to a charity of their choice is a thoughtful gift that will spread holiday cheer. Crafting a coupon that’s redeemable to the charity of your teammate’s choice is a nice way to present the gift, and the recipient will likely appreciate the opportunity to donate to a good cause. 

Celebrating the holidays with your team is a special experience that can boost morale and build relationships. The gifts mentioned here are ideal for gift exchanges between coworkers, but if you’re looking for a grander gesture to treat your employees to, consider investing in Glass Office Chair Mats. Most employees don’t use a chair mat, and this can lead to poor maneuverability and lack of comfort. Our team at Vitrazza is dedicated to crafting outstanding mats with high-quality materials, and we back each of our products with a never-dent promise. To browse our in-stock inventory, visit us online at vitrazza.com. To learn more about custom options, please get in touch with our customer service team. 

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Office Holiday Celebrations For Any Budget

Photo courtesy of Unsplash under Creative Commons 0 licenseThe holiday season is the perfect time of year to build rapport with your team and nurture a tight-knit company culture. To relieve your employees of some of the stress that often accompanies the holidays, consider hosting a party so they have an hour or two to step away from work responsibilities. Here, we share several office party ideas that are ideal for any budget and workplace size. 

Organize a Gift Exchange 

A gift exchange has the potential to be a lot of fun, but it may be a welcome change to avoid traditional “Secret Santa” or “White Elephant” gift swaps. Instead, try a different route and allow employees to create wish lists that are within the designated price limit on a platform like Elfster. This simple practice takes the guesswork out of gift giving and will ensure that everyone involved truly enjoys the process. 

Host a Cookie Swap 

Want to spread some holiday cheer? A cookie swap is a beloved and wonderful tradition to bring to the office. Encourage the team to share their favorite seasonal treats and brighten up the conference room or break room with a beautiful selection of baked goods. If you’d like to take it up a notch, set out a hot chocolate and coffee bar (with plenty of toppings) so employees can warm up with a mug of their favorite holiday beverage. 

Take a Break From Work to See a Holiday Show 

When the holiday season is in full swing, there’s usually an abundance of movies, plays, and other performances to enjoy. If you’d like to treat the office to a day of R&R and holiday fun, consider treating the entire group to a show. Seeing a performance by the Radio City Rockettes or a local rendition of The Nutcracker are both excellent choices, but consider asking your staff for recommendations. 

The suggestions mentioned here will make for a fun holiday party, but if you’re looking for an officewide gift, choose an option that will improve the daily workflow of your employees. If you’d like to show your team how much you care, the holiday season is the perfect time of year to make significant changes to the workplace. Consider upgrading each office with a premium Glass Office Chair Mat. At Vitrazza, we take pride in producing glass mats that are beautiful, durable, and designed with ergonomics in mind. We offer 12 in-stock sizes to suit most rooms, but we can also help you create a custom option to perfectly fit any office. Quantity discounts are available, so if you’d like to learn more about a purchase for your staff, please reach out to our customer service team. 

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Ideas For Celebrating Thanksgiving at the Office

Celebrating ThanksgivingCelebrating the holidays with your team is an excellent way to boost morale and build strong interpersonal relationships. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and you may be interested in hosting an office-wide, informal gathering with an emphasis on camaraderie and relaxation. If you’re considering hosting a Thanksgiving celebration at the workplace, take a look at our ideas below and adopt a few new traditions!   

 

Display a “Thanks Board” 

Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation for your team. Crafting a “thanks board” is an excellent way to express gratitude for your team and to encourage coworkers to acknowledge each other’s hard work. A “thanks board” doesn’t need to be complicated: simply put up a corkboard in the breakroom and set out index cards and push-pins so each member of the team can write a short note. When it’s time for the Thanksgiving celebration, display the board in an easily visible place so employees can read the uplifting messages. 

Host a Recipe Contest 

If you’re hoping to avoid a more formal, catered lunch, you may choose to host a recipe contest in which employees bring their favorite Thanksgiving dish. This is a great opportunity for the team to experience new flavors and traditions, and it’s also fun to offer a prize for the winning recipe. 

Play Holiday-Themed Games 

Looking for a fresh new take on team building? Look no further than celebrating the holidays with a little friendly competition. Pumpkin bowling is a great option for the office: all you’ll need are mini pumpkins, makeshift bowling pins (water bottles work just fine), a tabletop to play on, and a bowling score sheet. 

Have a Lunchtime “Campfire” Party 

Not interested in going the potluck route? Keep things simpler with a “campfire” party at lunchtime. Set out some candles, offer s’mores and hot chocolate, and encourage a laidback team bonding session. The holiday season is often hectic, and your employees will likely appreciate the opportunity to take a breather and enjoy some sweet treats. 

The holiday season is an exciting time of year, and celebrating the festivities in the workplace is a great way to relieve stress and bring teammates closer together. If you’re looking for ideas to improve workplace morale and express your gratitude for hard-working employees, consider upgrading each workspace with a Glass Office Chair Mat. Vitrazza offers premium glass mats that add style and function to any office, and our customer service team is here to help you select the ideal product. When you’re ready to learn more, please visit us online at vitrazza.com or get in touch with us. 

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Easy Potluck Ideas For the Workplace

Potluck IdeasThe holiday season is quickly approaching, and for many offices, that means potluck gatherings and gift exchanges. If your workplace is looking forward to hosting a potluck, team members may be wondering about easy, flavorful dishes to bring. Here, we share a few of our favorite recipes that are crowd-pleasing and simple to make. 

 

“Grown Up” Mac and Cheese 

This “grown up” version of mac and cheese is crafted with a blend of Gruyere, cheddar, and blue cheese. It’s a far cry from boxed macaroni, and its rich flavors are sure to be a hit at the potluck table. You can keep this recipe vegetarian, or spice it up a little with bacon bits. 

Classic Pot Roast 

If you’re looking for a warm comfort food to serve at the office party, a classic slow-cooked pot roast is an excellent choice. This savory dish only requires a few ingredients, and it can cook in the slow cooker the night before to ensure great flavor and tenderness. When you’re ready to transport, simply keep it in the slow cooker and set it to the “keep warm” setting when you get to the office. 

Oven-Baked Barbecue Chicken 

Oven-baked barbecue chicken is an easier alternative to grilling, and a simple smoky glaze will add some zing. This recipe is ideal for serving with finger food sides, such as rolls or potato chips. 

Bite-Sized Apple Pies 

Looking to treat your co-workers to a delicious dessert? These bite-sized apple pies are perfectly portioned and packed with seasonal flavors. The best part about these delectable bite-sized desserts is their no-fuss prep time of just 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes of bake time. If your office has freezer space, consider bringing some vanilla ice cream to complement the taste of homemade apple pie. 

There are many ways to bring your teammates closer together and foster a positive work environment. Hosting parties and potlucks are a fun way to encourage casual conversations and boost office morale, but it’s also important to invest in the aesthetic and function of each workspace. If you’re currently using flimsy plastic mats to protect the floor, consider making the switch to super-strong Glass Office Chair Mats. Our team at Vitrazza designs beautiful, sleek glass mats that are backed by a never-dent promise, and they’ll enhance each office space in the workplace. If you’d like to browse our 12 popular in-stock options, please visit us online at vitrazza.com. Our customer service team is here to answer your questions or help you select the best products for your needs, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

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The Best Essential Oils For Focus and Concentration

Essential Oils for FocusIf you’re looking for a natural way to improve your focus and concentration at the office, essential oils may be a worthwhile avenue to explore. These plant-derived oils are used around the globe for a variety of purposes, and are known for their healing and calming effects. If you’d like to give the theory a try, consider keeping the following oils in a desk drawer or your work bag: 

 

Lemon Essential Oil 

Lemon essential oil is an excellent choice for everyday use, whether at work or at home. Its light, citrusy scent is thought to boost mental clarity, and it’s also used for reducing stress. This essential oil has a scent that’s subtle, so it probably won’t be offputting to your office neighbors. If you’d like to give it a try, you can place a few drops into a diffuser or create a DIY room spray by combing the oil with filtered water. 

Peppermint Essential Oil 

As we approach the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to experiment with peppermint essential oil. Peppermint is a classic holiday scent, and its potent properties may help sharpen your focus and improve cognitive performance. According to a UK-based study, office workers exposed to peppermint oil exhibited higher levels of alertness and enhanced memory compared to those who did not use peppermint oil. 

Sandalwood Essential Oil 

Sandalwood is a rich, warm scent that’s often added to perfumes and colognes as a base note. If you enjoy earthy scents, sandalwood could be a great natural remedy to try. In essential oil form, sandalwood is known for its ability to soothe stress and promote concentration. If you often find yourself stressed and unable to focus, try mixing a few drops of this oil in a carrier oil (such as almond or coconut oil), and apply it to your neck in the morning before heading to work. If you’d prefer to avoid wearing essential oil, simply place your preferred amount in a diffuser and enjoy the benefits throughout the workday. 

Thousands of individuals use essential oils to improve concentration, decrease stress, and relieve anxiety. In addition to their therapeutic effects, many essential oils have a pleasant aroma and keep your office smelling fresh. While natural remedies may improve your ability to focus and allow you to get more done, your office design matters, too. You should feel at ease in your workspace, so consider upgrading the area with a premium Glass Office Chair Mat. This feature is sleek and elegant, and will do a much better job of preserving the flooring than a plastic mat. Vitrazza is proud to design and produce superior glass mats that are backed by a never-dent promise. When you’re ready to get started, browse our inventory to find the perfect fit for your work or home office. If you have any questions, our customer service team is happy to help you find the best solution for your needs. 

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The Top Office Distractions and How to Avoid Them

Office DistractionsWorkplace distractions are everywhere, and succumbing to them can have a serious effect on your team’s productivity. Countless offices struggle with time-consuming distractions, and we share a few of the most common culprits below. When you’re ready to encourage maximum productivity and reach the goals your company has in mind, consider our tips for reducing the impact of distractions in the office. 

 

Cell Phone Notifications 

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, cell phone usage is one of the most common distractions in the workplace. When smartphones are stored at arms’ reach, it’s easy to go off track when the screen lights up. If you struggle with this distraction, be sure to keep your phone stored in a desk drawer or your bag. If you’re a team leader or company owner, it may be helpful to let new employees know your expectations as soon as they start the job. To encourage team members to keep cell phone usage brief, consider drafting a code of conduct and send a copy to each staff member. When employees are aware of office guidelines, they’re more likely to stash cell phones out of sight and check their devices periodically throughout the day. 

Conversations With Coworkers 

Relationship building in the office can be a great thing, but personal conversations are cited as major distractions in the workplace. While most offices encourage brain breaks throughout the day, it’s essential to find the right balance. It can be challenging to draw the line between appropriate conversations and time-wasting visits, but if you feel that a discussion is heading toward a disruption, offer to continue the chat over lunch. If you find that you’re often distracted by other coworkers’ conversations, pop in some headphones to cancel out the noise or to signify that you’re unavailable at the moment. 

Internet Browsing 

Browsing the internet throughout the day is a good way to press pause on work, but it can also become distracting if left unregulated. If you’re hoping to cut down on internet usage for non-work-related purposes, consider setting some simple ground rules. In general, you may find that a 5-minute browsing session is appropriate after every full hour of work that gets done, or after you’ve achieved a significant goal for the day. 

Rising above distractions in the workplace can be a challenge, but there are several steps you can take to minimize disruptions. In addition to the tips we share here, it’s essential to create an office where you feel comfortable and at ease. For best results, add personal touches like stress-relieving desk toys and a Glass Office Chair Mat. Making the switch from a flimsy plastic mat to super-strong glass will make a significant difference in your comfort, which in turn can lead to enhanced productivity. When you’re ready to explore our selection of in-stock options, please visit us online at vitrazza.com. We stock 12 popular sizes, one of which will fit most offices, but we can also create a custom design to fit any workspace. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a customer service representative, please get in touch with our team. 

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How to Prevent Spreading Germs at the Office

Prevent Spreading GermsFlu season is approaching, which often leads to officewide bouts of employee illness and absenteeism. The flu strain of early 2018 was one of the worst of the decade and caused numerous hospitalizations across the country. While we never quite know what to expect from each flu season, it’s best to play it safe and do what you can to minimize the spread of germs in the office. If you’d like to reduce the chances of sickness and the spread of germs, consider the following tips for keeping the workplace healthy: 

Spread the Word About the Flu Shot 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza. Most individuals can safely get the flu vaccine, so be sure to spread the word about the shot’s effectiveness. A memo, flyer, or email can serve as a quick reminder for the entire office to get protected. 

Offer Sanitary Stations 

To prevent the flu and other illnesses, make an effort to implement sanitary practices. No-touch trash cans and soap pumps are great options, and you can also place hand sanitizer in each office. When employees have access to sanitary choices, you may find that the rates of illness are lower during flu season. 

Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home 

Even when you do everything you can to promote office health initiatives, illness may still occur. To prevent the spread of germs throughout the workplace, encourage sick employees to stay home and rest. Taking time to heal is a vital part of the recovery process, and it’ll also help keep contagious viruses or bacteria out of the office. Make it clear to each team member that it’s necessary to stay home when they’re feeling under the weather. The flu can last up to a week, so consider offering work from home days to allow employees adequate recovery time. 

Flu season has the potential to wreak havoc on the workplace. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to minimize the effect of this highly contagious illness. In addition to the tips listed here, be sure to wipe down each office on a regular basis. 

Cleanliness is easier to achieve when the workspace is equipped with sleek, smooth details like a Glass Office Chair Mat. Vitrazza is proud to produce premium mats, and each one of our products is backed by a never-dent promise. If you’d like to improve the aesthetic and function of each office space, browse our in-stock options online. To explore custom options, please reach out to our customer service team. 

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How to Minimize Job Stress and Leave Work at the Office

Minimizing Job StressIf you often experience feelings of stress or anxiety at work, you’re among the 29-40% of workers who struggle with negative emotions in the workplace. As you probably already know, chronic stress and fatigue can wreak havoc on your health and wellbeing, leading to even more work-related and personal problems. For peace of mind both in and out of the workplace, consider our tips for minimizing job stress and leaving work at the office. 

 

Get an Early Start 

For many individuals, running a bit behind schedule feels inevitable. When you’re late dropping the kids off to school or have to fight traffic, there’s no doubt you’ll arrive at the office already in a frantic state of mind. It can be difficult to come back from a hectic morning, so if you’re habitually a few minutes behind, consider changing your habits to get an earlier start. In addition to having plenty of time to reach your destination(s), you’ll also have the chance to start your day with a meditation session or an energizing cup of green tea or coffee. 

Revamp Your Organizational System 

If you often find yourself struggling to keep deadlines straight or get each email replied to, you may need to find a more effective organizational system to reduce your stress levels. To avoid letting things slip through the cracks, try setting up Google Calendar and integrating this tool with each of your electronic devices. If you feel overwhelmed by setting goals, break them into achievable steps with the app, Things. To explore more apps to simplify life, take a look at this website. When you need to take a quick break for relaxation, try the apps we share here. 

Take a Few Moments to Unwind Before Leaving 

When you leave the office immediately after finishing up a project, you may continue to think about work-related matters during your commute home. While you may be tempted to get home as quickly as possible, be sure to decompress and find a good stopping point before heading out. Once you’ve found an acceptable time to wrap things up, listen to a calming playlist or breathe deeply for a couple of minutes if you’re still in work mode. If possible, make it a point to unplug from work responsibilities after you leave the office. Your projects will be there in the morning, and you’ll return to work feeling refreshed. 

Job-related stress is an extremely common experience for Americans, but the tips we share here can help you achieve balance. In addition to implementing these suggestions, it’s possible to boost your mood at work by making the space feel more like home. If you’re interested in adding aesthetic appeal to your office, consider investing in a Glass Office Chair Mat. Our mats are crafted with super-strong glass, and each product offers superior ergonomics and maneuverability. When you’re ready to explore our in-stock sizes or create a custom option, please browse our website or reach out to our customer service team.