4 Ways to Make the Workplace More Fun
Create An Enjoyable  Work Environment

Create An Enjoyable Work Environment

Conducting business and keeping your company afloat is a serious affair, and it’s well worth it to instill in your employees a sense of gravity about the operations that you’re managing. The last thing you want is to create a workplace so lax in its environment that it starts losing you money, which could eventually spell disaster for you. However, you also don’t want your office to have an oppressive air about it, as this could also be detrimental by undermining employee morale. You don’t want to be seen as a boss that has no sense of humor or concept about how hard your employees work. To that end, there are a number of things you can try implementing in your workplace to inject a little more fun into your operations without compromising the integrity of your business. You might even find that your productivity increases when your employees are more excited to come to work!

1. Surprise Your Teams With Small Rewards For Meeting Their Goals

This is a great tactic to try out if you have weekly, monthly, or even quarterly goals that your employees are striving to make. Positive reinforcement isn’t just something that works on children who have completed their schoolwork; showing your teams of employees that you appreciate their dedication to the tasks at hand will ensure that they work harder each time to meet or exceed the goals you set for them. Don’t announce beforehand that you’re going to rewarding great work; watch your workers and see what teams are really going the extra mile to represent your business well and drive more sales. When your goal deadline has passed, assess everyone’s results and select an appropriate reward for the team that performed the best. This could be anything from a small box of gourmet chocolates for each employee to an extra vacation day. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should make your team members feel appreciated. Don’t repeat the gesture at the end of every sales period, but do make a habit out of rewarding great success.

2. Mark Birthdays With More Than Just a Card

Celebrate Special Ocasions

Celebrate Special Occasions

At some point in everyone’s career, they’ve had to spend their birthday in the office, and most everyone is familiar with the birthday card that everyone in the office has signed and delivered to your desk at the end of the day. Instead of just following this boring old tradition, try to be proactive and take note of which birthdays are coming up. You don’t have to go out and buy personalized gifts for your employees, but you should carve some time out of the workday to allow everyone to relax and celebrate the birthday of their colleague. You could bring in donuts or cupcakes in the morning and allow your employees a few minutes to enjoy them. Even making a point to stop by and wish them a happy birthday on your own can make you seem like less of a faceless manager and more like someone who cares about and is in touch with the lives of your workers. Simple gestures like this go a long way toward creating goodwill towards management.

3. Celebrate Holidays With Themed Attire

We’re all familiar with the idea of casual Fridays, where the workplace dress code is relaxed for a day, but you might consider taking it a step farther and encouraging less business-like clothing for a day or two near major holidays. Allow employees the leeway to dress up for Halloween and maybe even hold a costume contest at the end of the day where everyone can vote on their favorite get-up. Encourage the wearing of seasonal colors like red and green around the winter holidays, or pastels around springtime. Simple changes like this can break up the monotony of wearing a suit and tie to work day in and day out, and greatly improve employee morale.

4. Spring for a Catered Lunch During Crunch Times

Make It A Fun Place To Go To Work

Make It A Fun Place To Go To Work

When your employees have their heads down and are working as hard as they can to meet a goal with a rapidly approaching deadline, the general mood of the workplace can plummet quickly. Show your appreciation for how hard they’re working to make your business succeed by catering a lunch, or dinner if the whole office is working late. Your colleagues will all appreciate the chance to step away from their desks for a few minutes to grab some delicious hot food and socialize with the pressure turned off. Afterwards, they’ll be more energized and ready to return to the tasks in front of them without the distracting thoughts of where they’ll go for lunch.

5 Ways Crock Pot Recipes Help You Save

Crock Pot Recipes

Cook Tonight’s Dinner In A Crock Pot

Everyone who budgets sings the praises of the crock pot meal. For a simple investment in a cheap appliance you can have easy, simple, delicious meals every day of the week if you want. Crock pot lovers make this sound like the easiest thing you can ever do to save money. If you’re a skeptic, you’re not alone. Here is the breakdown of the 5 specific ways a crock pot will cut down on your expenses and make your life simpler, easier, and more organized.

Save Time with Bulk Preparation

One of the best things about crock pots is that you’ll never have a boring, empty weekend day again. If you’ve got a whole morning or afternoon to devote to chopping and mixing you can take the time to whip up some prepackaged meals. Freeze the crock pot supplies together in one bag, meat, veggies, and all. Add the spices and mark on the outside whether you’d need to add broth or water to the pot when you want to cook it. Then you can take it out, pop it into the crock pot, add the liquid, and leave. Everything is already done for you.

Round up all the recipes you’re going to make and get chopping. You can chop up all the veggies and meats for many different recipes in one big batch and then just portion them out into different bags. That way you only have to chop once to make 7 or 10 days worth of dinners. Talk about saving time and effort.

Save Money by Buying in Bulk

Easy Recipies To Make

Easy Recipies To Make

Many foods are cheaper in bulk. You’ll get a better deal on the chicken for recipes if you buy eight pounds of it instead of one half. You’ll be able to get the most value out of your veggies if you buy them and then immediately chop and freeze them as part of crock pot mixes because none of them will spoil. You’ll also save on gas money because you’ll be making fewer trips to the store. These all sound like little things, but you when you add them all together you see that you’re making big strides in managing your food budget. Buying in bulk gives you less time in the store, which also leads to fewer impulse purchases and keeps you where you want to be in terms of healthy products purchased.

Save on Cooking Costs

Save Money Cooking This Way

Save Money Cooking This Way

Believe it or not, a crock pot can also save your cooking costs. Most can simply plug into the wall. They run on electricity, but it honestly doesn’t take much current to run it. You don’t have to spend the time preheating them, you don’t have to slave over a hot stove, and they’re just generally more convenient. They also won’t make your whole house hot the way an oven will. Between the fuel you save and the fact that you’re not running up your heating and cooling costs trying to compensate for the cooking process you’re saving a good amount.

Save Cash Avoiding Take Out

Crock pot meals are so great because they’re easy. Again, all you have to do when you prepackage them is take one out, add a can of broth or fill it up with water, and let it go. In an hour or so you have a fresh, delicious meal that you had to put very little work into. If you’re the kind of person who loves to get take out because you’re just so tired at the end of the day, crock pots will save you a ton of cash. Put it on and go unwind with an hour of television. You’ll come back to the smells of a fresh meal.

Save Money in Health Care

Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy Eating Habits

This is a bit more abstract, but it’s easy to get all your veggies and make healthy recipes in the crock pot. When you’re in control of what you’re eating and what’s going into you, you can count better health as part of the complete package that you’re getting. A healthy diet based off of low fat, high nutrient, vegetable rich crock pot recipes will help keep you fit and strong for years to come.

What Not to Eat on a Date

Garlic Has Many Health Benefits... Just Avoid It On A Date

Garlic Has Many Health Benefits… Just Avoid It On A Date

Going out to eat is a time-honored tradition in the dating world, and you’d think that as a species, we’d have it pretty well down by now. However, there are a lot of things to think about on a date, and making sure that you’re not offending anyone is pretty important. It’s also important to remember that there’s a whole lot of stuff to come later for when you’re ready, and that you don’t want to sabotage yourself for tonight by what you’re doing at the dinner table, no matter how good that certain food looks. Here’s a list of the three most important foods to avoid on a date, no matter whether it’s the first or fiftieth date with this person.

Garlic

This one should be a no-brainer by now. You know as well as anyone that a lot of garlic hangs around on the breath for a very long time. You know that, just as well as you know that it’s also prone to stay on your fingers and your lips if you’re not careful. What you may not really notice is that garlic does not taste the same way that it smells. Much in the same way that fish smells vastly different to the one eating it and the one smelling it, garlic takes on a fairly bad odor when it’s on someone’s breath, so watch out that you’re not being completely gross when you eat out at a cute little Italian place that you’ve heard so much about.

Hot Peppers

Don’t Show Off... Eating This Could Kill The Romance

Don’t Show Off… Eating This Could Kill The Romance

Hot peppers are absolutely delicious, and there’s no reason not to eat them on a date, right? After all, you get to show off how hot a pepper you can handle, and you get a delicious treat out of it, too. That being said, there is a downside to eating a super hot pepper with your meal, whether you’ve thought of it or not. That downside is that later on, if there’s even the slightest bit of oil remaining from that pepper on your fingers or tongue, you could be in for a world of hurt with your partner. Don’t show off, and don’t try to be cool. It’s a lot better not to make someone’s genitals feel like they’re catching on fire when you go down.

Offensive Meats

Be Aware Of Your Partner Religious Believes And Lifestyle

Be Aware Of Your Partner Religious Beliefs & Lifestyle

If you’re going to date someone, you should be at least peripherally aware of what their beliefs and religion are. You might think that you’re being a good host by eating only greens and braised pork instead of garlicky hot peppery things, but you might actually be shooting yourself in the foot. If your girl is kosher, halal, certain kinds of Hindu, or many other religions or sects, she might take offense to you ordering pork, or even not be allowed to touch you that entire evening. Find out beforehand, so you can make allowances. If you’re dating someone who’s vegan and unable to compromise, you should also be ready to make some sacrifices, or stop dating her.

Why Celebrities Lose Weight Faster Than You

Practice The Same Tricks Celebrities Use To Loose Weight Fast

Practice The Same Tricks Celebrities Use To Loose Weight Fast

Celebrities drop pounds faster than us normal people, and that’s as undeniable as it is frustrating. It feels like sometimes you see them one day in a magazine spread and they look one way and then a week later they seem to have dropped 30 pounds, and half of the time you end up staring at yourself in the mirror and criticizing yourself for your efforts not showing the results that you want them to. You shouldn’t be comparing yourself to celebrities anyway, because that won’t get you anywhere. It’s especially true when it comes to weight loss, and here’s why: they have time and people dedicated to helping them take care of issues they have with their weight and while you might have a support team encouraging you, your results won’t be the same because you don’t have the same tools. There’s no shame in that, either! After all, you’re just one person and they’re, well, a celebrity. Once you realize that and stop comparing yourself to them, you’ll do great.

They Have Time Dedicated to Exercise

30 Minutes Of Cardio Work Out Every Day

30 Minutes Of Cardio Work Out Every Day

You might think celebrities are busy, and you’re right. But the fact of the matter is that into that hectic schedule that they are no doubt adhering to, they have a dedicated time allotted to work out and depending on their activity level and profession, it can be anywhere from half an hour to three hours or more. For normal people, that just isn’t possible. In between work and personal life (add on family life if you’re married, have kids, or both) it’s just not possible to spend that much time working out and you shouldn’t feel bad about that. You’re not going to see the same results that you see a celebrity talking about in their interviews simply because you don’t have the time to throw yourself wholeheartedly into an exercise program in quite the same way that they do.

They Have a Dedicated Team

Work Out With A Team

Work Out With A Team

Even more than just the time to exercise regularly, celebrities have a team that works together just for them to help them achieve the body they want. They have a dietician who works to plan out all of their meals and tell them what they should and shouldn’t eat (and they usually have housekeepers who take the time to cook the meals for them, too) and on top of that, they usually have at least one personal trainer to create workouts catered just to them because of their skill level and goals, whether they’re weight loss or building muscle tone. Now, you can consult a dietician and hire a personal trainer as much as you want, but the fact of the matter is that you don’t have a dedicated team of professionals who work together solely for you. It sounds harsh, but that’s the fact of the matter. You won’t see the same results as a celebrity because you are only one person, not a closely-knit and highly functional team working together to help you drop those pounds or build that muscle tone you’re looking to build.

Location Tagging: Is It Wise?

Geo tagging Or Location Tagging

GEO tagging Or Location Tagging

You’ve seen location tags. When a friend updates their Facebook status or posts a picture from whatever event they went to, when you tweet about what you were up to on a specific day, or if you’re a fan of the popular social networking site Foursquare, undoubtedly you’re familiar with location tags. They’re on nearly every social media website and it’s becoming the norm not just to update your profile or feed, but to set a location pertaining to your update. Setting a location for your update is a personal preference, but studies have shown that geotagging might not be the best idea. To add a voluntary location tag to your posts poses a significant security risk, but what a lot of people don’t know is that even without the website’s option to set a tagged location, information can still be revealed without the user being aware of it.

Sharing Too Much

You Might Be Sharing Too Much Information Via Smartphone

You Might Be Sharing Too Much Information Via Your Smartphone

Do you really want everyone knowing where you are every moment of the day? Unless you’re looking to show off all of the fun things you’ve been doing and brag about it to all of your friends, it might be sharing just a bit too much. No one needs to know where you are at every moment of every day, and it can be especially annoying if you have location tagging turned on and you end up being somewhere you shouldn’t be at a certain time and end up revealing yourself. Although geotagging is a personal preference, many people recommend against it unless you really want to show off somewhere you’ve been: think for a fundraiser or charity event that you’re trying to attract people to. I

Security Risks

Because of the GPS feature incorporated into new smartphones, any photo taken with the device can have information embedded in it. Of course, it’s invisible to a viewer’s naked eye, but it’s there. Think about how often you upload images to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Those photos can be downloaded by anyone viewing it just as easily as you uploaded it, and once they’re downloaded, they can be examined to reveal all of the data embedded within the photo. Anyone can see the type of camera that was used to take the photo, but they can also see the exact time and date it was taken on, as well as data about the location. With how easy it is to share photos and posts, there’s no telling whose computer screens your photos might end up on and into whose hands they might fall into. When all of this information is already embedded into a photo, it becomes a huge security risk to also tag your location at each moment you post a photo, because the location of the photo combined with your exact current location can lead to quite a bit of trouble.

Turn Geotagging Off

Turn GEO tagging Off

It sounds a little farfetched, but imagine this. If you upload a picture of your new laptop to your public Twitter and someone sees the post, then sees that one hour later you’re halfway across town at a party for the next few hours thanks to the location tag you put on the post, they know it’s a perfect time to come and break into your house to steal that new computer you just got. A lot of people think this won’t happen to them and they think that uploaded a photo is an innocent act and won’t cause any problems for them, but it’s a possibility. Although its true geotagging has led to the capture of some criminals in the past, it can also lead to an increase in crime. If someone knows you’re not home because you’re somewhere else, it gives them the perfect opportunity to take advantage of you whether its finding where you are because of a tag or knowing you aren’t home because of a tag.