From all of us here at Scurich, we thank you for your support and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful 2022!
With the launch of a new year, you may resolve to improve your career and expand your skills, mentor someone or climb the corporate ladder. Have you considered workplace resolutions that improve your health? Stay strong, fit and active and succeed on the job with several resolutions.
Learn Something New
Stimulate your brain function, improve memory and stay young when you learn something new. Study a new language, take a college or professional development class or engage in a new hobby during your work breaks as you expand your mind and improve your health.
Change Your Eating Habits
Skipping breakfast, chowing on donuts in the break room and eating fast food for lunch cause you to gain weight, feel sluggish and struggle to focus at work. Resolve to make dietary changes as you improve your health. Prepare portable burritos or egg muffins for breakfast, bring nuts and fruit for snack time and pack a balanced lunch. These simple eating habit changes assist you in staying healthy at work this year.
Your body and your brain need movement to function properly. Adequate movement improves your physical health, focus and sleep, so plan to walk at least 10,000 steps per day with these tips.
- Hold walking meetings.
- Pace your office as you talk on the phone.
- Stretch every 30 minutes.
- Walk during breaks.
- Join an intramural sports league with your coworkers.
Stress affects your motivation, productivity and morale, and it can cause health problems like headaches, obesity and depression. While you can’t remove all stress from your work day, resolve to identify unhealthy stressors and reduce those challenges. That may mean transferring to a different department, addressing problems with your boss or rethinking expectations and saying no to extra projects as you lower stress and improve your health.
Achieve Better Work-Life Balance
Productivity, creativity and problem-solving skills actually decrease as your work hours increase because your brain and body need downtime to relax and recharge. Instead of working over your lunch hour, take a walk, read a book or call a friend, and turn off your phone at home. With work-life balance, you actually relax, improve your health and perform better at work.
Strong relationships reduce health problems, improve sleep and increase longevity, so resolve to cultivate beneficial relationships with your coworkers. As you get social and chat more, improve collaboration and spend time together during breaks, you build relationships that help you live longer.
With these work resolutions, you can get healthy this year. You may also talk to your doctor or health insurance agent to discover additional resolutions that improve your health.
Christmas isn’t the same without lights. Strands of sparkling lights can be hazardous, though, if you forget to follow safety tips as you hang, plug in, store and enjoy these holiday essentials.
Buy lights that are safety tested. Lights without an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) tag may be unsafe to plug in and use.
Inspect lights and plug them in before hanging them. This visual assessment exposes fire hazards like cracked, loose or broken bulbs and frayed, chewed or broken cords. It also lets you replace burnt out bulbs and ensure all the bulbs are the same wattage. After repairing any problems, plug in the lights to ensure the bulbs work and the strands work properly.
Separate indoor and outdoor lights. Strands designed for indoor use should not be hung outdoors because their thin insulation is easily damaged when exposed to cold, wet outdoor conditions.
Hang lights with insulated hooks. Staples, tacks or nails can pierce the strands and cause dangerous electrical shorts and increase the fire risk.
Use extension cords properly. Plug no more than three strands of lights into each extension cord, lay rather than coil extension cords and use only outdoor certified extension cords for your outdoor lights. If the cords feel hot, unplug the lights for a while to reduce fire risk.
Turn off lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Otherwise, the hot lights could start a fire, and you will be asleep or away from home and unable to intervene.
Water the tree regularly. A dry tree and hot lights are an unsafe combination.
Store lights properly to prevent damage and simplify decorating next year. Instead of stuffing them in a box, carefully wind the light strands, secure them with twist ties and store them in plastic bags. Alternatively, wrap the strands around a paper towel tube and thread the ends through the tube’s hollow center.
Hanging lights is a fun and festive holiday tradition. With these safety tips, you have peace of mind as you enjoy your sparkling home all season.
December holiday celebrations often include an obligatory office party. Before you automatically throw a holiday party for your employees, though, consider the pros and cons.
Pros of a Holiday Office Party
- Reinforce the company culture – A fun party reminds employees that your organization prioritizes teamwork and is a fun place to work.
- Improve employee engagement – Help employees feel included and engaged with co-workers, two factors that contribute to higher job performance and company loyalty.
- Demonstrate the company’s health – A holiday party is one way to show employees that your company is stable, prosperous and committed to ongoing job security.
- Thank employees – Use a holiday party to thank employees for their hard work over the last year.
Cons of a Holiday Office Party
- Diversity could suffer – Most employees hang out with the colleagues they know during social events. That means your holiday office party probably won’t help employees mingle or build stronger relationships with colleagues they don’t know well.
- Employees could engage in unprofessional behavior – A holiday office party is considered a workplace event, but employees may act in an unprofessional manner. They could let down their guard and drink too much, make unwanted sexual comments or advances, and otherwise act in inappropriate ways.
- You could face liability challenges – Forcing employees to attend the holiday office party, excluding employees of a certain religion, gender or other protected status, or allowing employees to drink too much could result in a lawsuit. Even though you have commercial liability insurance, this or a similar legal challenge could affect your company into the future.
- Productive work time decreases – The holiday party may only last a few hours, but carefully consider if your company can afford the downtime.
How to Decide if you Should Host a Party
While you can use this list of pros and cons to help you decide if you should host a holiday office party, you can also consider several additional factors.
Do employees really want a party? Despite the benefits, your employees may prefer not to attend an obligatory holiday office party.
Should you serve alcohol? To reduce liability and promote a safer party, consider giving each employee a drink ticket and hire a bartender who can monitor alcohol consumption. Or nix the alcohol and serve an interesting non-alcoholic beverage instead.
What’s the best way to show appreciation to your employees? An afternoon off, sporting event tickets or cash bonus might be a more appreciated way of demonstrating your gratitude to employees.
A holiday office party has several advantages and disadvantages. Weigh the pros and cons as you decide whether or not to host one this year.