The Shared Workspace and the Noisy Shredder

imagesWhen you work in a small office, there are compromises. Probably the most annoying is a loud shredder. There is no separate shredding room of course, that would be a luxury. Instead the paper shredder is most likely somewhere in between the water cooler and the coffee station. This means that someone will inevitably start shredding while you are on the phone with a client, leading to flailing arms and the mouthed words, “turn that thing off!”  Or someone starts shredding while you are having a meeting, leading to a collective sigh and someone volunteering to tell the shredding perpetrator, as tactfully as possible, “not right now.”

Eventually someone will get fed up, whether it’s the boss and CEO (who has the little office next to the bathroom) or the admin or can’t get anything done while that obnoxious shredder rattles on all day and decides to take administrative action. This means putting up a laminated sign outlining rules of shredding conduct. Making statements like:

Please determine if a meeting is in session before shredding, or have the courtesy to not shred when others are on the phone.

But signs don’t solve the problem, and when records rooms need to be purged after tax time and a piles of paper starts taking up space around the shredder to the point where you have bob and weave around canceled FTP proposal forms just to get your lunch out of the mini fridge.  Now the complaint will be. “Who is supposed to be shredding all this?”

The poor intern of course will shrug and point to the laminated sign, indicated that meetings and phone calls have interrupted the unwanted but critical shredding process.
A Quieter Shredder Solution.

Select a shredder with quiet performance features, specifically designed for the small office.

Here are some options:

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The 79CI Cross Cut Shredder not only features whisper quiet SilentSense to return peace and quiet to your tiny workplace, it also features 100% jam proof shredding.

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Also consider the 90S Strip Cut Paper Shredder. This robust small office shredder, also with quiet performance, destroys documents for up to 25 minutes before requiring a cool down.

For higher security needs, the 99MS micro-cut paper shredder shreds paper 5x smaller than cross cut shredders, and does so quietly.

 

What is the safest laminator for children?

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Laminators can be a fun and helpful tool around the house. You can make crafts with the kids or even create learning templates like flashcards and reusable dry erase worksheets.

But laminators, like any other machine, can be harmful without supervision. The average laminator can reach temperatures of 200 degrees!

Here are some helpful tips to ensure safe laminating:

1. Make sure your laminator has HeatGuard. This feature ensures that the exterior of the machine stays cool to the touch.

2. Make sure to unplug your laminator when you are finished using it. If you tend to be forgetful, get a laminator with Auto Shut-Off.

Here is a laminator with Auto-Shut Off

Here is a laminator with Heat Guard Technology

Three Must-Have Father’s Day Gifts for the Home Office

Dad’s day is just around the corner. Give him these gifts to complement his home office with comfort and productivity.

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Upgrade Dad’s Shredder

Show how the new auto feed shredders make shredding easier. This is an especially great gift for dads who love new technology. The small office sized auto feeds operate hands free, grinding up 130 sheets of documents at one time, and all automatically. Just fill the drawer, push the button and walk away! The 130C also shreds paper clips, staples and credit cards with ease.

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Enhance Dad’s Tablet Performance

The new MobilePro is the perfect gift if Dad is a tablet user. The slim, all-in-one mobile workstation lets Dad take his work anywhere, combining iPad and paper in one luxurious folio.  The Executive MobilePro also comes with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard. Dad will love the ballistic nylon exterior, business card holders,  pen loop, a file folder, a refillable writing pad pocket and the fact that he can use his iPad in-folio, free-standing or hand-held, in vertical or horizontal orientation, and at three viewing angles.

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The Gift of Comfort

For long hours working in his office, Dad will love the Heat and Soothe Back Support. This temperature controlled backrest provides warmth or coolness to relax back muscles while delivering continuous lumbar support.

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Top Summer Laminating Projects to Keep Kids Busy

 

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When the kids get bored during the summer, bring out your home laminator and get the kids involved in fun crafts. Download the free templates below and get laminating!

Summer Games. These games keep kids occupied and they are dry erase!

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Free Download Here! Laminating Ideas

Play Doh PlaceMats.   Forget the video games, these old school play doh mats help kids get creative with their hands.

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Free Download Here! PlaydoughMats-ShapeMonsters

 

Mask Cut-Outs. Though Halloween is months away, summer is still a great time to play dress-up. Kids can make their own laminated masks.

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Free Download Here! Fellowes_IdeaCenter_Child-Mask-Cut-Outs

 

Summer Reading Bookmarks. Engage kids in reading by letting them laminate their own bookmarks. They can take them to the library or the bookstore.

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Free Download Here! Fellowes_IdeaCenter_Bookmarks

 

 

Change the Way You Work at Your Desk and End Back Pain

 

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A little awareness of how you work at your desk and some minor adjustments can end that nagging back pain.

  1. Try to keep your head and neck aligned above your shoulders. This may take some practice, as we commonly hang our head forward to see computer monitors. Known as vulture neck, this can lead to consistent back pain over time.
  2. Don’t reach too far for your mouse. Keep it close to your keyboard. The overreach, combined with insistent clicking of the mouse button, transfers pain from arm, to shoulder, to back.
  3. Use a lumbar back support on your desk chair. That added support prevents chair slump. You can also get supports with cooling and heating features for extra comfort.9190001_Hero_072210.png
  4. Breathe for your back. Try these breathing exercises every now and then while sitting at your desk. Take deep breaths from your stomach muscles, think of sucking your belly button toward your spine. This strengthens core muscles that weaken from excessive sitting.
  5. Make sure you are the right distance from your monitor. Hunching forward is bad, as is reaching for your keyboard from far off. Try to be about 2-3 inches away.
  6. Keep feet planted. Crossing feet at the ankles or resting a foot on a file cabinet will eventually put strain on your back muscles. Keep feet flat on the floor and about shoulder width apart.
  1. Take a break. Just moving around every 15-20 minutes helps circulation.
  1. Don’t cross your legs. This position creates tension in your legs that translates into back pain.
  1. The infamous phone cradle. Don’t cradle your phone on your shoulder. Even though you may do this infrequently, eventually this awkward position strains neck, shoulder and back muscles.

Checklist for Creating a Healthy Nursery

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When decorating a nursery, our thoughts usually go to the color of the paint and the style of the crib. But there are many practical ways to create a nursery that is also healthier for your baby. Here is a quick checklist:

VOC-free paint. VOC’s, or volatile organic compounds, found in many house paints continue to release fumes even after the paint dries. Choose an interior paint without these harmful additives.

Solid wood nursery furniture. Engineered wood, wood finishes and upholstery materials can release potentially harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, which is often used as a binding agent. Get solid wood over pressed wood furniture to avoid these harsh chemicals.

Organic crib mattresses. Babies sleep on a mattress for 10-14 hours or more a day during their most fragile developmental years. Get a mattress free of  synthetic materials that can release potentially toxic chemicals into the air your baby breathes.

Nursery air purifier. Keeping the air in the nursery clean with an air purifier prevents allergens, dust and mold from irritating fragile newborn lungs.  Babies breathe an average of 30-60 times a minute—that’s more than double the amount of an adult. With this greater intake of air during the early post neonatal period, the developing lungs are highly susceptible to environmental pollutants.

 

Creating Hands-On Marketing in a Digital Age

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With the rise of SEO and digital advertising, your internet footprint, as valuable as it is for modern communication,  leaves customers with just a glimpse of who you are, a brief message that vaporizes with the next barrage of marketing headlines online. Handing your customers collateral, believe it or not, still works. This is especially true for small businesses where an emerging reach with new customers and clients becomes more solidified with a printed piece. Creating your own marketing materials is also easy and cost-effective, helps build customer relations and doesn’t require the costs incurred from a print shop.

Types of  Collateral

The Menu of Services

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Whether you are running a beauty salon or a cake decorating business, an elegant menu of services that customers can hold in their hands is an ideal way to pull in new business opportunities by stimulating questions and engaging customers with printed content. The Menu of Services can reside in your waiting area or be a piece customers can take home after an initial visit to your storefront.

Tips for Menu of Services

  • Use quality paper stock or laminate the pages
  • Use a font that fits your brand
  • Take time writing each menu item description. Make sure it is clear and not so fun that it fails to communicate anything. Be detailed and make distinctions between menu offerings

Bind your Menu of Services with a wire binding machine. This type of binding allows the menu to be laid out flat and also makes it easy to switch up pages in the document if menu offerings change.

The Professional Leave Behind

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For sales calls and new client meetings, a professional leave behind is the ideal way to tell your company story succinctly and without a lot of fluff. A leave behind that is kept, over one that ends up in the trash after you leave, is defined by a professional look from cover to cover. Use a thermal binding system to communicate the quality of your services and indelible permanence of your company. You want your client to see your brochure as too premium to be tossed. Be sure to communicate in pictures and words what you can do for your client and how you do it.

The Customized Proposal

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When it comes time to crunch numbers in a client proposal your presentation becomes a combination of clarity, accuracy and professional look. Whether you are quoting for a contracting opportunity or a closing on a service agreement, that customized proposal needs to have all the right info and look as good as its contents, but not too high end that it looks like you might be wasteful with budgets.   High quality thermal in this instance may imply excessive spending. Show you are conservative and mindful of the bottom line. Use a comb or wire binding system when putting together your presentation so information is clear and not cluttered behind jazzy graphics or a lot of copy. The other advantages to this binding system is that documents can be laid out flat on a desk to discuss details while meeting with your prospect.

Top Four Moving Season Mistakes

Because most of us don’t move that often, we tend to forget the moving mistakes we made. With moving season upon us, here are some reminders of what we typically do wrong and how to correct those mistakes.

Mistake 1#  What is wrong with cheap moving boxes? Getting unstable, cheap moving boxes from the supermarket-The bottom will literally drop out on boxes meant to hold vegetables and dry cereal. These boxes were not meant to hold your stuff!

Solution: Invest in actual moving boxes. Because they are designed for moving, they have greater durability and special construction features that make them stackable. No failed bottoms or bulging sides.

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Mistake# 2  Sealing your boxes too soon. Moving day is chaotic and you will quickly find yourself taping up boxes too soon, only having to tear them open because you forgot to pack an item or you have accidentally packed a item you need to take with you (like the keys to the moving truck).

 

Solution: Select tape-free moving boxes. No need to buy packing tape and no need to worry about opening up a box again once you have sealed it.  Tape Free Moving Boxes make it easy to change your mind about what you have just packed. Plus, it makes unpacking a whole lot easier without when you don’t have to cut through packing tape.

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Mistake #3  Improper lifting equals back problemsWe may remind ourselves to lift with our legs, but in the commotion of moving we will forget the rule with painful consequences.

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Solution: moving boxes with handles. Handles give you a firm grip on every box compared to the smooth sides of standard boxes. Plus you can easily lift every box without having to reach under the bottom and lift, which is usually when back injuries occur.

 

Mistake #4 No labeling-where does this box go?-Forgetting to label your boxes means disorganized unpacking once you reach your destination.  Nobody wants unpacking to turn into a guessing game.

 

Solution: Choose moving boxes with clear labeling areas. You can stay organized by marking each moving box clearly.  It will make unpacking easier and the move smoother.

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QUICK TIP: Use colored dots to mark boxes for different rooms. Create a legend that coordinates with the colored dots. So yellow dot boxes go to living room, red dot boxes go to kitchen, etc. This is especially great when you hire movers who don’t know where everything goes!

How to Maximize Space in a Small Cubicle

A small cubicle workspace does not have to mean disorganization. Use the partition walls for storage, task management and brainstorming. Here are three cubicle hacks for quick and easy organization.

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Vertical Storage

Files and office supplies can take up space on desktops. Convert one of your cubicle walls with vertical storage, using Partition File Pockets and Vertical Organization Trays to organize documentation, and Partition Shelves and Pencil Cups for office supplies. Also use waterfall sorters and step files for vertical file management.

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Section off one of your partition panels for task management. Your priority to-do list is as easy as a Partition Clip and pending projects can be displayed with a Note Rail.

 

Brainstorming in a Small Space

Transform your cubicle into a think tank with simple accessories. Use a Partition Dry Erase Board for new ideas and hang a vertical file pocket or brain bin for notes, thoughts and problem-solvers.

Traveling with your digital devices? Here are some things you might need.

 

Phones, laptops and tablets help us stay productive, pass the time and keep us networked while traveling.  Here are a few extras that can help enhance that on-the-road digital experience.

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Privacy Filters

On a crowded airplane, that casual glance at your laptop screen be annoying. Take the precaution of a privacy filter for peace of mind. Blackout privacy filters completely black out the side view of your laptop or tablet and even some smartphone screens(depends on the model). Yet the straight on view of the screen for you is completely clear. Privacy filter technology is improving, make screens easier to attach and remove for those occasions when you want to show someone your screen. Otherwise, even if you are not necessarily looking at confidential info, it’s still more comforting to keep your screen private.

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Tablet Portfolios

Tablets are especially useful for business trips. They are compact and versatile and are quickly becoming one of the go-to digital technologies for quick and easy digital presentations. Now you can improve the productivity of your tablet by accessorizing. Tablet folios feature new designs that allow you to view your tablet free standing, or hand held, in vertical or horizontal orientations and in several different viewing angles. Executive folios even come with a Bluetooth keyboard.  And it doesn’t matter whether you are left handed or right handed, new folio designs accommodate both. It’s also nice to have traditional stand-bys with your tablet—such a writing pad, pen and business card holder, a few perks that make traveling with your tablet more productive.

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Laptop Lapdesk

As wonderful as laptops are for travel, on a long flight they can leave your lap a little warm, if not hot. Lapdesks eliminate the burn. With built in cooling channels  you will never suffer from scorched thigh syndrome again. Modern designs also feature bumpers that keep the laptop securely in place and slightly angled for easy typing. Toss one in your briefcase or bag pack for your next trip.