Take a Page from Bitly: Why Your Office Should Add Lunch and Learns to the Weekly Routine

Posted by on Thursday, December 19th, 2013 with 1 Comments

Looking for a way to increase engagement, build relationships, and keep your employees well-fed and happy? Take a lesson from Bitly and consider implementing a regular “lunch and learn” for the entire office.

office catered meal

A relaxed lunch and learn builds relationships and employee satisfaction in the office.
Image source: flickr user Tarnie

Bitly recently used their company blog to describe their weekly lunch and learn routine: “Every Wednesday, all of us (regardless of team, meetings, or schedule that day) will sit together over lunch to learn about —anything!” While the company is best known for something relatively simple (a link-shortening service), it’s clear that they have put a lot of thought and effort into the complex task of building a positive corporate culture.

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Eating for Energy At Work: How to Win the Blood Sugar Battle

Posted by on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 with Comments Off on Eating for Energy At Work: How to Win the Blood Sugar Battle Comments

Picture this: you’re running late for work, so you stop at the corner coffee shop for a latte and a doughnut for breakfast. Half an hour later, the caffeine and sugar have done their trick, and you’re plowing through your inbox with gusto. But by eleven o’clock, you’re exhausted again. What happened to all that energy?

box of doughnuts

This innocent box of pastries could sabotage your energy levels.
Image source: flickr user avlxyz

Essentially, your energy levels have become a casualty of your own body’s natural methods to maintain equilibrium. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates, like those found in white bread, white pasta, and your morning doughnut, are broken down very quickly once eaten. This breakdown results in a burst of glucose flooding into your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels and provides a boost of energy. That’s not so bad, right?

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Surveys Show an Employee Appreciation Lunch May Be the Motivator You Need

Posted by on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 with Comments Off on Surveys Show an Employee Appreciation Lunch May Be the Motivator You Need Comments

If your company’s idea of employee appreciation means a five-year pin or a ten-year watch — or worse, just a paycheck — chances are good that you’re missing out on a key way to motivate and retain your best workers.

Appreciation has long been recognized as key to a successful, positive workplace environment — and two new employee surveys are underscoring just how important that recognition can be to employees, as well as the most effective ways to get the message across.

employee appreciation cake

Peer-to-peer recognition is important for creating a culture of appreciation! Image source: flickr user pedestrian saint

The first, a new study by online career site Glassdoor, confirms that appreciation from their boss is the most common motivator for employees — moreso than a demanding boss or the fear of job loss.

And the best way to show that appreciation? Well, a pay raise. But after that? Food!

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Are Your Office Snacks Smart? New Study Shows Sugary Foods Can Damage Memory in Days

Posted by on Monday, December 16th, 2013 with Comments Off on Are Your Office Snacks Smart? New Study Shows Sugary Foods Can Damage Memory in Days Comments

Does your office keep a candy bowl in the break room, or bring in donuts for impromptu staff breakfasts? New evidence suggests you may not just be indulging your sweet tooth when you partake in sugary snacks at work: you might actually be harming your brain, and specifically your memory.

A recent study at the University of New South Wales in Sydney has generated new evidence that high-sugar diets can lead to memory loss, and much faster than previously thought. Researchers fed groups of rats distinct categories of diets, including some supplemented with sugar and fat. The resulting impact of the change was nearly immediate: rats who were fed high-sugar, high-fat diets experienced deterioration in memory and spatial recognition in less than a week.

office cabinet loaded with snacks

Is your office snack table bad for your brain? Image source: flickr user NateOne

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Hosting a Successful Office Breakfast: 5 Ways to Make the Morning Special

Posted by on Friday, December 13th, 2013 with Comments Off on Hosting a Successful Office Breakfast: 5 Ways to Make the Morning Special Comments

Especially during the holidays, many companies throw lavish parties to celebrate, build social bonds, and show appreciation for their hard-working employees. The wine flows freely, the frocks are festive, and fun ensues. Of course, there’s always the added stress of keeping any inebriated employees away from the copy machine and crossing your fingers that no one gets the inspired idea of roasting the boss!

However, not every business can afford extravagant menus, open bars, or even the time it takes to plan and execute a soiree… but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with your team! Show your appreciation for your staff’s hard work with a festive — but feasible — office breakfast. Make it an occasion to remember with our five tips for hosting a successful office breakfast:

office breakfast

Provide a time & place for your staff to celebrate together. Image source: flickr user Pioneer Library System

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Reinvent the Working Lunch: How Catered Meals Can Save Time & Stress in the Office

Posted by on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 with 3 Comments

When confronted with a lengthy to-do list and packed calendar at work, people often make a potentially disastrous choice: they’ll just work through lunch. Grabbing a quick “meal” from a vending machine or the closest fast-food chain and absent-mindedly shoveling it down while you work may seem like a time-saver, but most industrial-organizational psychologists (that is, psychologists specializing in the workplace) maintain that lunch breaks actually boost productivity.

Stressed out worker eating lunch at desk

Eating lunch at your desk can increase stress and decrease productivity. Image source: flickr user slworking2

The experts may agree, but Americans aren’t listening. According to some estimates, only one-third of American workers take a real  lunch break most days of the week.  The other two-thirds either eat at their desk, or even skip lunch altogether. But why is the typical working lunch bad for us? And how can we change the unhealthy habit without adding hours to the workday?

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Why You Should Invest In Your Office Break Room to Boost Productivity

Posted by on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 with 4 Comments


break room with foosball table and pool

This is definitely a Pinterest-worthy break room. Image source: flickr user kristiewells


Break rooms are a place where employees can step out of the work zone without stepping out of the office.”

Neil Jenson

The office break room has the potential to be either the most popular place or the saddest space in the workplace. We all know the telltale signs of depressing break rooms: sticky, poorly-stocked kitchenettes, glaring overhead lights, uncomfortable folding chairs, and tattered, months-old copies of trade publications that pass for reading material. Are you ready to head straight back to your desk in defeat?

It doesn’t have to be this way, nor should it. Break rooms are intended to be welcoming and relaxing spaces where employees feel comfortable, can strengthen social bonds, and relieve stress during the workday. It’s becoming increasingly important for employees to find respite within their work space. As workers continue to spend more and more hours at their jobs, having that space to take a brief break is becoming even more valuable to their overall performance.

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7 Easy Ways to Bring Brain Foods Into the Break Room

Posted by on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 with Comments Off on 7 Easy Ways to Bring Brain Foods Into the Break Room Comments

Woman holding cup of green tea

Green tea is a better choice for a caffeine fix. Image source: flickr user vordichtung

We’ve all seen it. It’s mid-day at the office, and everyone’s energy is dropping. Employees are reaching for their third or fourth coffee and a sugary muffin to get through the rest of the day. Unfortunately, this boost will only lead to another crash later in the afternoon.

Does this sound familiar? If you’re looking to improve efficiency and energy levels at the office, don’t send out a memo or buy a bigger coffee pot. Healthier snacks can help employees get through the day with energy to spare. We’ve collected seven of the best brain foods that are easy to incorporate into the company breakroom. These natural brain-function boosters may improve memory, focus, concentration — and employee morale.

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Planning an Office Holiday Party Menu? 5 Tips for a Successful Spread

Posted by on Monday, December 9th, 2013 with 2 Comments

60s holiday party & contemporary holiday party

A time-honored tradition: the holiday office party. Image courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives, flickr user iCrossing.

Each December, businesses small and large face the challenge of an ubiquitous tradition: the office holiday party. Although intended to boost morale and celebrate success, the lucky employees who plan these annual soirees know that combining work and play can be tricky. Especially during the busy Christmas season, many employees’ calendars are already overbooked, and expectations will run especially high to make the party a success.

Nowhere are the stakes higher than the holiday party menu. A steady supply of food and drink is crucial, and our holiday party menu tips will help you craft an exciting spread while pleasing all kinds of palates.

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Following Google’s Food Philosophy: Corporate Catering Done Right

Posted by on Friday, December 6th, 2013 with 4 Comments

Workplace dining may not get any better — or buzzier — than the cuisine served up daily at the Google campus in Mountain View, California. Its collection of approximately 20 on-site employee cafes are legendary, with their five-star chefs and health-conscious ethos extolled by media outlets from CNN and The New York Times to Gourmet magazine. By now, we’ve all heard that Google offers its employees a nearly endless and incredibly diverse menu of primarily locally-sourced, organic meals — for free. But why does Google make such a fuss about food?

Google cafeteria

Google’s cafeteria does more than simply keep its employees fed. Image courtesy of Flickr’s Creative Commons, User Brett L.

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