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Deck the Office Halls

 

 

Happy holidays!!!

How are you keeping the festive holiday spirit alive in the office? It can be tricky sometimes to decorate with a limited space or a limited wallet.

Here are some of the office ideas we have done here around our Porter’s Office Products work station!

Our furniture specialists pop onto the retail floor several times a day. They decided to hang some garland up with some fairy lights intermixed for some holiday glow!
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What brings the holiday spirit better than a fully decorated Christmas tree? We have loved having this tree in on our retail floor so that everyone always see it. We even stored our employee Secret Santa gifts for one another underneath it for the time before our party!
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A great and inexpensive way to decorate is hanging Christmas ornaments around the office. We hung them from the shelves on the retail floor. It glistened the place up a great deal.
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Something else we enjoyed doing this holiday season was displaying our holiday cards we received from fellow business friends on our warehouse door.
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Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without the Blue Cow stamp of approval! Our little buddy has certainly enjoyed the holiday season thus far!!
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There are also many ideas we have seen that we love to share as well!

One of our absolute favorites is this rendition of Elf on a Shelf! They created Elf bodies out of construction paper and attached their own photos on as well! They move them all around the office and have them act out hilarious winter scenarios. Great idea coming from Seema Adnani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great and simple one is turning your door into a present! We love this idea coming from Nap Time Decorator. It will make anyone feel the holiday spirit as they walk into your “presents”!

Front Door Wrapped Present.

There are so many fun ideas and decorations you can use in your office space. Let us know if you have another idea or something you have already tried!

Spring Cleaning with Genuine Joe

It’s spring cleaning time and you’re going to need a little more than elbow grease to get the job done. At Porter’s, we’re proud to offer Genuine Joe cleaning products to help you get things squeaky clean in and around the office. Genuine Joe offers a full line of products at affordable, straightforward prices that won’t break the bank.

A few products we recommend for spring cleaning jobs around the office include:

  • Glass cleaner. Knock out the winter grime on the outside and the dust and dirt on the inside, and get your windows sparkling to let in the spring sun.
  • Bathroom cleaner. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. Genuine Joe’s bathroom cleaner takes care of pretty much every surface in your bathroom, and leaves the place smelling nice.
  • Disinfecting wipes. Handy to have around and ideal for those spots that need a quick wipe.
  • Mibrofiber cloth. These are perfect for dusting or light cleaning, and safe on hardwoods and fragile surfaces.
  • Mops and brooms. Simple but effective, and the best way to get your floors shining in a flash.

For more spring cleaning products and tips, check out our Facebook page.

Gardening is coming fast

Here, the latest tips and tricks from Paul James, host of Gardening by the Yard:

1. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.

2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.

3. To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.

4. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you’ll already have a measuring device in your hand.

5. To have garden twine handy when you need it, just stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and set the pot upside down in the garden. Do that, and you’ll never go looking for twine again.

6. Little clay pots make great cloches for protecting young plants from sudden, overnight frosts and freezes.

7. To turn a clay pot into a hose guide, just stab a roughly one-foot length of steel reinforcing bar into the ground at the corner of a bed and slip two clay pots over it: one facing down, the other facing up. The guides will prevent damage to your plants as you drag the hose along the bed.

Flowerpots of Different Colors

8. To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.

9. Got aphids? You can control them with a strong blast of water from the hose or with insecticidal soap. But here’s another suggestion, one that’s a lot more fun; get some tape! Wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand, sticky side out, and pat the leaves of plants infested with aphids. Concentrate on the undersides of leaves, because that’s where the little buggers like to hide.

10. The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants, and you’ll be amazed at how the plants respond to the “vegetable soup.”

11. Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.

12. Use chamomile tea to control damping-off fungus, which often attacks young seedlings quite suddenly. Just add a spot of tea to the soil around the base of seedlings once a week or use it as a foliar spray.

13. If you need an instant table for tea service, look no farther than your collection of clay pots and saucers. Just flip a good-sized pot over, and top it off with a large saucer. And when you’ve had your share of tea, fill the saucer with water, and your “table” is now a birdbath.

14. The quickest way in the world to dry herbs: just lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What’s more, your car will smell great.

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Saint Patrick’s Day By The Numbers!

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Solutions and Anecdotes for Ergonomics

Did you know…

The word ergonomics comes from two Greek words: “ergon” meaning work, and “nomos,” meaning natural law. Mereged together, the word becomes “working according to nature.” So it is natural that ergonomics makes good sense in the workplace, as people are better able to perform productively when things are in the right place for their bodies to function correctly. For more historical facts on ergonomics click here!

 

Ergonnomic Facts!

1. The average person sits more than 8 hours per day. Many office workers sit as much as 15 hours per day.

2. Ergonomic interventions can increase productivity from 3-12% and reduce error rates by 25%

3. Short and frequent breaks from the computer are more effective than longer, more infrequent breaks.

Grab and go: it couldn’t be easier

The Easy Grip Pocket File folder expands up to 5″. It was designed with a special “grip strip” to provide twice as much grip as a standard pocket folder, requiring less gripping force to remove from drawers or shelves. The rollover Tyvek reinforcement makes it virtually tear-proof. Contains 30% recycled content with 30% post-consumer material. SFI Certified. Click here to order product!

 

 

Ergonomic Travel Advice for the wireless worker

Many people find themselves traveling for work, and it becomes harder to think about ergonomics. However, given the strain and discomfort of travel, here are some things to be mindful of to create a productive and safe mobile office.

For your journey

  • Take breaks as often as possible by shifting positions, stopping at a rest area (if in a car) or taking a stroll up the center aisle (if in a plane).
  • Bring along a lumbar cushion. Inflatable models fit easily into carry-on bags
  • Keep it light and distribute carried weight evenly whenever possible. Use a padded ergonomic backpack and use rolling bags with extended handles when possible.
  • Pack a portable footrest for use in the car or airplane to elevate the legs, promote circulation, and eliminate stress on leg muscles. The footrests can then be used at hotel room desks as well.

For your mobile Office

  • Laptop track pads can place stress in the shoulders or upper back. a travel or wireless mouse is ideal.
  • A full-size keyboard for laptops or tablets promotes proper posture of the wrists and arms. Folding or roll-up keyboards are travel-friendly options.
  • A hands-free device for your cell phone prevents unnatural bending. And, frankly, these devices help you multitask.
  • Wrist rests provide cushioning and promote correct typing posture, and the gel strips fit easily into carry-on bags.

The perfect spring potato recipe!

Idaho® Potato and Grilled Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds Idaho Potatoes, peeled (if desired) and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled or broiled
  • 3 large Belgian endive, sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
  • 1 bunch watercress, large stems removed
  • 1/2 cup bottled raspberry vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups green grapes, halved
  • 1/2 pint container (1 cup) fresh raspberries

    Optional: 1/2 cup slivered almonds toasted

Directions

  1. Over high heat, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add cubed potatoes to boiling water; return to boiling and simmer 6 minutes or until tender but firm. Drain potatoes and set aside or refrigerate.
  2. Slice chicken into thin strips. Mix together washed greens (endive, romaine and watercress) and refrigerate.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together vinaigrette, mustard and mint. Toss dressing mixture with grapes and chicken. Stir in potato cubes.
  4. To serve, arrange greens on a platter (or on individual dishes), top with salad mixture and garnish with raspberries and almonds.

The Significance of Earth Day

Earth Day, first launched on April 22nd, 1970 when 20 million Americans came together and demonstrated for more environmental action, is considered the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Landmark acts such as Clear Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other ground breaking laws soon passed as a result of this remarkable event. Today, more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

100% Recycled Storage Boxes

Also did you know that 74% of office paper is recycled, but it is still the largest single product going to landfills. Recycling one ton of paper saves three cubic yards of landfill space, 20 trees, 60 pounds of air pollutants, 7,000 gallons of water, ans saves enough energy to power the average home for six months? If your office isn’t recycling, start a program today! Find out other head-spinning green facts at http://www.goinggreentoday.com/blog/10-green-facts-that-will-make-your-head-spin

Green is Gold with Steelcase!

This article by Steelcase General Manager
Ken Tameling breaks down the innovative re-design process of the Steelcase Think
chair and how designing for sustainability can result in a higher performing, cost neutral and less expensive product- perfect for an educational setting.

 

“At Steelcase, we know the way to remain an industry leader in providing the best products IN the world is to ensure that they are the best products FOR the world. That’s why every step of the way – through design, manufacturing, delivery and product lifecycles – we consider the impact of our work on humans and the environment and uncover opportunities to make things better. A recent example where we successfully found a product alternative that did just that was with our Think Chair.

We initiated a redesign project to eliminate a small concentration of identified material of concern. The material we sought to replace was an integral ingredient in the product assembly. After an extensive global search, we discovered that an alternate material did not exist. However, it was our objective to completely eliminate this material from the Think Chair and our product portfolio. A project team at Steelcase was tasked with the challenge of designing a new solution that would maintain the same product performance and meet our environmental requirements. The project team focused on solutions that could be produced utilizing materials that had already been through the human and environmental health assessment process and ensured that newly introduced materials also met the assessment requirements. The team successfully designed a new solution that not only met our environmental criteria but more than doubled the durability.

An added benefit was that the new solution resulted in an annual cost savings of $44,000. This project demonstrates that designing for sustainability can result in a higher performing, cost neutral – or even less expensive – product. Our team is motivated by these types of challenges and strives every day to create maximum value while being catalysts for good at the same time. By doing so, we’ll continue to deliver innovative products and increased value to our customers and stakeholders.”

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