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Keeping fit during the work day

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exercisesKeeping fit is important for your well being as well as being a great way to keep stress levels down. Fitting exercise into your work day can be a difficult task, but is well worth the effort. Decide what type of fitness training you would like to do – power walking, yoga, jogging, swimming, or a mixture. Even a short walk will do you good – try getting off a stop before you need to and walk the rest of the way, run up the stairs instead of using the elevator and take a walk in the park at lunch time instead of sitting hunched over your desk.

As far as gyms go, there fitness classes for all abilities, with times to suit office workers. You could take a pre breakfast yoga class, a lunchtime spinning class or go for an after work weight training session. If your office building has its own gym you could come into work a little early and spend twenty minutes using the facilities.

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Thanksgiving Ideas, Events and How Your Business Can Give Back to the Community in NYC

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Thanksgiving is an opportunity to show employees how much you appreciate them. It is also an occasion to encourage teams to give back to the community. Rather than organize an office feast with turkey and all the trimmings, giving back is a great way to commemorate the holiday. Employers can do this by encouraging employees and making it easier to volunteer. Giving back as a group helps build a community spirit in the office while promoting charitable causes.

What Can Your Business Do to Help the Less Fortunate at Thanksgiving?

There are many people in New York City that will celebrate Thanksgiving with very little. Businesses can show their appreciation for all their good fortunes by serving a meal at a local charity or church or helping to deliver meals. The Real Life Church at Hunts Point in the Bronx and Greenpoint Reformed Church in Brooklyn are just two community churches that serve meals during Thanksgiving. Bringing together colleagues to help with food preparation, serving or clean-up is a fulfilling opportunity to build your team while giving back.

There are dozens of organizations that are willing to partner with businesses to provide nutritional meals to less fortunate New Yorkers. City Harvest and the New York Food Bank welcomes volunteers as well as donations of canned foods and non-perishable items. Both organizations see volunteer positions fill up quickly during the holiday season, but there are smaller pantries and food banks that also need help. In addition to serving dinner to some 350 people on any given day, the Yorkville Common Pantry will also be offering a home-cooked meal on November 23. Located at 8 East 109th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, the pantry welcomes volunteers on weekdays during the lead up to Thanksgiving. Each day, God’s Love We Deliver delivers three-course meals to 1,500 New Yorkers that find themselves homebound. During Thanksgiving, the charity welcomes drivers to deliver specially decorated gift baskets along with their meals. New York Cares also distributes food to community centers and senior centers throughout the city.

Free, Fun Thanksgiving Events in New York City

From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, late November host some of New York’s most iconic events. Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square is a holiday celebration that brings together more than 20,000 people. Free entertainment and live music are held alongside food tastings from over 30 area restaurants and eateries. First organized in 2000, the event includes the Upper West Side’s only tree lighting ceremony. Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square offers businesses a fun opportunity to bring together coworkers and their families while giving back to the community. New York Cares is one of the organizations that use the event as an opportunity to help the less fortunate, including with a coat drive. The charity also welcomes volunteers to help during Winter’s Eve.

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Flexible Working Trends in New York

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For several decades, the predominant corporate culture in the United States has been characterised by long working hours and a generalised reticence to taking vacations. However, in recent years flexible working practices have begun to be frequently implemented in companies around the globe in an attempt to provide employees with a better work-life balance. This trend has of course had a direct impact on US-based firms too, and it is estimated that more than 3 million US employees now benefit from flexible work arrangements.

As one of the most prosperous and forward-looking cities in the country, New York has led the way with regards to the implementation of flexible working practices. This article provides an overview of the progress made so far, as well as a review of the most flexible workplaces in New York.

Flexible Work Arrangements in New York: General Trends

According to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, flexible work arrangements are particularly common among New York employees who hold managerial, executive, or administrative roles in the private sector. Within the public sector, New York employees who work for the federal government are more likely to have access to flexible working arrangements than their local or state government counterparts.

Another trend worth mentioning refers to the widespread adoption of flexible working practices across genders and age groups. For example, a New York Times article recently drew attention to the fact that telecommuting is no longer an option limited to mid-career employees, as the typical telecommuter profile has grown to include young graduates and employees close to retirement age irrespective of their gender.

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Thanksgiving Ideas for the Office

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Thanksgiving has always been a popular holiday. Setting aside a day where families can come together and be thankful for each other and all that they have is truly wonderful. In fact, people hold this holiday so dear that more people travel to be with their families on Thanksgiving than any other holiday.

Transferring this great feeling over to the office is easy with a little planning. The gathering can result in a true bonding experience among employees and raise office moral. Following these simple tips can help you create the perfect Thanksgiving gathering for your office or business.

Be Thankful for Each Other

While it may be tempting to turn this event into a be thankful for your job, it should be more centered on being thankful for everyone who contributes to the success of the office or business. Everyone should realize that they are appreciated and should also be able to express their gratitude for the people they work with each day. It is a true morale booster and creates a wonderful experience for the party.

Make the Dinner Personal

While turkey is traditional and should be available, encourage employees to bring a dish that is special to their family or traditions for this holiday. This allows employees to bring some of their personal life and heritage to the gathering, making it a more personal experience. Make sure that you have enough side dishes and desserts to make everyone happy and be sure to ask if there are any special dietary needs that should be met so that everyone is included.

Hold the Party the Week Before the Holiday

It is probably very wise to hold the office Thanksgiving party a week before the real holiday. This ensures that employees are not over stressed from having to make plans and run errands for their own holiday at home. Some businesses may even want to opt for a weekend party when employee family members can also attend.

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How Alcohol Can Make You Look Stupid: The Imbibing Idiot Bias

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Whether you are at a work function or holiday party with family members, it is important to realize the effect that alcohol can have on your perceived reputation. At one moment, your co-workers may view you as a super-smart, hard-working person. After a few shots of tequila, however, this perception can quickly change. A University of Michigan research study reiterated the idea that drinking alcohol in front of other co-workers can make co-workers perceive one as less intelligent.

The Impact of Choosing Alcohol Consumption  

This recent University of Michigan study was published in 2013. The researchers were concerned with assessing the impact that merely choosing alcohol over other beverages has on one’s perceived social appearance. The researchers worked under the assumption that behavioral changes related to consumption of alcohol would most certainly change the way in which co-workers perceived an individual. The researchers were most interested in studying whether merely the choice of alcohol could cause co-workers to lose respect for others and cause them to judge individuals as possessing less intelligence.

The Imbibing Idiot Bias

The researchers set out to show that an “imbibing idiot bias” actually exists. They conducted a total of five separate mini studies to prove that this bias exists. In the last research study, the researchers discovered a very interesting conclusion. The researchers set out to place the research subjects in an interview setting. The researchers set out to determine whether ordering wine at the dinner would influence the hiring decision of the manager. At this stage of the research study, many of the research subjects believed that ordering a glass of wine made them appear to be more intelligent before the interviewer. The reality was that the individuals who ordered a coca cola received higher ratings than individuals who ordered wine at the dinner event. The hiring manager believed that those who consumed soda or non-alcoholic beverages possessed greater control and intelligence than those who ordered alcohol.

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Office Politics

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Our opinions and interests are what make us unique and in the office environment, or in everyday life for that matter, this can lead to conflicts.

When it comes to office politics it’s important to remain objective and focus on what is best for the business. Taking sides between two people who are at odds with each other can lead to further complications, you need to try to get them to communicate positively and constructively.

You will earn respect within your company if you are seen to be fair, listen to others and consider both sides of the story. Sucking up to people, gossiping, backstabbing or dirt slinging will always come back on you in the end. You will end up with a bad reputation within your company and could hamper your career prospects.

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Getting your dream job: Interview do’s and don’ts

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istock_000009146344xsmallWhen you get a call back about a job interview the first thing you should feel is excitement, the company you have applied to obviously thinks your worth taking the time to talk to.

Your resume has already impressed them; however you have to remember you could be on a long list of applicants with similar work experience, skills and qualifications.

You need to stand out to the interviewers as the best candidate, so polishing up your interview technique is a good idea. A nice smile and firm handshake is not going to do the trick.

Interview questions:

Why do you want a new job? Was there a problem with your old one?

Don’t say:  I hated my boss and was expected to be nice to customers even if they we’re idiots.

Do say:      I enjoyed my job and went as far as I could, I’m looking for new challenges and to expand on what I’ve already learned.

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Using Social Networking Sites in the Office

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workerWith social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and YouTube becoming increasingly popular, the amount of time people spending on them is going through the roof. Understandably many businesses are looking for ways to prohibit or crack down on personal use during working hours.

While the occasional use or checking in for perhaps ten minutes a day seems harmless, some people spend up to two hours a day while at work accessing these sites. The amount of work hours lost is becoming an increasing problem.

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How to Combat the Afternoon Slump

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We have all been there, come mid afternoon you feel like snoozing at your desk (not recommended if you want to keep your job!) and your focus starts to waver. You feel drained and exhausted and you find even stringing a sentence together difficult. This drop in energy is a physiological response but the good news is there are steps we can take to prevent it.

A major factor is what you eat at lunch, you need to avoid sugars and simple carbohydrates as these get absorbed into your bloodstream immediately which causes a rise in your blood sugar.

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Top 7 tips to improve your productivity in the open-plan office

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ProductivityHere’s a list of tips you and your colleagues can use to help reduce the negative impact of open-plan office arrangements.

1. Be quiet. Try and keep the noise level to the minimum. Avoid using the speaker phone if it’s not necessary. Avoid using noisy gadgets. Befriend a set of headphones to listen to videos and podcasts. Find an enclosed space for short personal phone calls if you must make them.

2. Control your phones. The constant ringing of your cell phone while there’s also someone on your direct line can be distracting to your colleagues. Turn down the volume and try to answer the phone within three rings. Avoid fancy ringtones.

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