Birthday Party Themes for a Coworker

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Most companies celebrate a coworkers Birthday with the traditional card that’s signed by coworkers, a cake, maybe some snacks, and on those special birthdays ending with an zero (you know those), you may receive balloons or flowers if you share the magic number with your coworkers.

Why not think outside the box and do something fun & unexpected by having a Birthday Party Theme for a coworker.

Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with the traditional card giving, & cake to celebrate ones big day but, how fun would it be to decorate the birthday persons cubicle with a theme based on their favorite hobby, last vacation, favorite sport, or base the theme around a holiday that falls in their birthday month.

Go ahead, throw a themed office birthday celebration and see the surprised reaction from the birthday coworker.

Here’s just a few ideas to decorate a coworkers birthday cubicle.

All the decorations can be found at a party supply or $1.00 store.

  • HAWAIIAN LUAU THEME: Leis, grass skirt, tiki drinking mugs, palm trees, beachcomber straw hat, little umbrellas to put into your drinks (non- alcoholic).
  • WESTERN THEME: Cowboy boots, cowboy hat, vest, bandana to tie around the neck, so little horses to place on the desk, and a lasso.
  • SPORTS THEME: Baseball, football, basketball, soccer, golf, and hockey.
  • MARDI GRAS: Lots of beads & feathers, masks, in the traditional colors of yellow, purple & green.
  • CASINO: cards, dice, casino chips, fake bills, coins, a little slot machine & roulette table.
  • BEACH THEME: Sunglasses, flip flops, sand, plastic fish & sharks, beach balls, shells & star fish, maybe even a little goldfish bowl placed on the desk.

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Tips on Goal Setting in the Work Place

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I think the first tip on setting goals in the work place actually works in any environment and it’s to make the goal realistic.  Nothing is more demoralizing than to see a goal as so unattainable you don’t even want to try and reach it.

Assess the situation carefully and set a goal that people have to work hard to achieve, but is still doable.  A good manager doesn’t set people up to fail.  I’ve worked in an environment where we had a daily shipping goal and you could hear the cheers at the end of each day when that goal was met.  And since it was a team effort, everyone worked to make it happen and everyone could take pride in the success.

When setting a goal you want to be certain all parties involved in attaining the goal have all the tools they need to make success possible.  Also, be certain communication is clear and concise so there is no confusion as to what that goal should be.  When employees are involved and knowledgeable, they are more likely to give their best effort.

Lastly, reward employees when they reach the goal you’ve set.  It doesn’t have to be monumental, but acknowledging hard word and determination go a long way in building a satisfying work environment for everyone.

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Fitness Tips for the Office

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Keeping in shape is one of the hardest things to do. When you work in an office it gets a little harder since you have to sit all day. I have 3 tips to keep you in shape in the office without disrupting the workplace.

Take the Stairs:  This here is a sacrifice because I know we all love the ease of an elevator. But this is a fitness conversation. The trip up the stars in the morning will be your cardio and weight training. Your bag will act as a weight while you do inclined leg lunges up the stairs. The walk up the stairs will burn fat and slim your arms, thighs and legs. And the walk down the stairs will be your daily dose of cardio.

 

Healthy Well Portioned Lunch & Snacks: Now some people get a bit dismayed when they hear well portioned healthy meals. It’s easier than you think and tastier as well. You breakfast can be a banana with a muffin or bagel and cottage/cream cheese. Your lunch should consist of 1 cup of grain (i.e. rice, potatoes, quinoa), 1lb of protein (i.e. chicken, beef, pork, veal, fish), 2 cups of vegetables (i.e. spinach, broccoli, kale) and a glass of water/fruit juice. Your afternoon snack should consist of a muffin, water/fruit juice, and an apple.

 

Leg Lifts: This is an exercise that you can do at your desk without anyone even noticing. It’s also great for your calves and abdomen. As you sit at your desk every now and again just lift your legs up side by side and hold them straight for 10 seconds. Now do this 10 times and repeat this every hour after your lunch.

 

If you continue this routine every day for 3 months, I guarantee you will be satisfied with the results.

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WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE TIME FRAME TO SEND A SYMPATHY CARD?

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Expressing sympathy when a friend or a colleague has lost a loved one seems to be difficult for many people. What should I say? Should I go to the service? If I go to the wake how long should I stay?  What is the appropriate time frame to send a sympathy card? It is easy to be caught up in an internal struggle of how we should act on these occasions. We can give advice to others on all these questions but the simplest answer is, do what feels right. The simple fact that you care will be comforting to anyone.

The time frame for sending a sympathy card should be dictated by when you found out about the person’s loss. If you heard right away, say when a colleague at work is out for a death in the family, the appropriate time would be within one to two weeks. Your colleague will be most likely be back to work in that time and you don’t want the card to appear to be an afterthought as if you finally could find the time to write the card out. When you decide to send a card you should send it as close as possible to the time of loss so the person can feel this is a genuine expression of sympathy. It is also appropriate to bring a card if you are attending the wake, however, sending it a few days later is considered a good time frame.

The only time sending a sympathy card after the two week period, would be if you had just found out about the person’s loss. Sometimes we have friends who live a distance away and you may not have found out until several weeks or months later. It is then appropriate to send a sympathy card with a personal note saying you have just heard about their loss.

Many times we just don’t want to do the wrong thing and so we do nothing. It is always better to take a positive step to sincerely express your compassion and concern.  People will accept any attempt a friend takes to comfort them with an open heart. Taking the step is what is most appreciated.

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What to write on your boss’ birthday card

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The hardest decision you may have at the office is: what to write on your boss’s birthday card. If your office is like mine then you get a birthday card from the boss with a little personal note. As of a matter of fact it is signed by several of my superiors. So when their birthday comes along, my dilemma is what to write that is a little more personal. Friendly without being syrupy is the way to go. I have made up a list of good and bad phrases for use in a bosses birthday card.

BAD

  • Happy Birthday to the most awesome, beautiful, funny, great friend – Have a fabulous birthday.(a little over the top)
  • Boss in honor of your birthday we are all taking the day off. (if only)
  • Boss you are not hold just vintage. ( might not fly)
  • Happy birthday to the big cheese. (a little to familiar)
  • Wishing you success since you are the best boss in the world. (can we say – really!)
  • Even a boss like you is human on their birthday. (time to find another job)
  • To the best boss – from all your nuts. (a step too far)
  • To the king of the rat race. (maybe not)
  • To celebrate your birthday – you can give everyone a raise.(I’m out of here)

GOOD

  • You inspire me to do my best. Happy Birthday.
  • Wishing a great day to a great mentor.
  • It’s your birthday boss – celebrate!
  • It’s been a pleasure to work with you – Happy Birthday.
  • To the best boss – Happy Birthday
  • May the year bring you more success.
  • Enjoy your day – you deserve a celebration.

It may seem simple to wish your boss a happy birthday, but remember what you put in writing lives forever. I happen to like my boss. Out of respect for him, I will only write something polite and warm. Crossing the line to funny can always be misconstrued. Bye the way – Enjoy your next birthday.

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Retirement Party Themes For A Coworker

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There are many stops along the trail leading to the end of a career.  Whether those forays were from one occupation to another or simply from one desk to another, the final destination of this journey is always the same – retirement.  This is often a happy occasion as concluding a career will offer an individual the freedom to invest more energy in their hobbies and passions, to spend more time with the ones they love, and to bask in the feeling of a lifelong job well done.  At the same time, retirement has the potential to engender a sense of loss and finality as an individual is permanently leaving work they may have felt strongly about and coworkers whose company they’ve come to appreciate and enjoy over the years.  Therefore, it is usually a good idea to keep retirement parties fun and light both to celebrate the positive aspects of retirement and mitigate any sadness associated with it.  A few retirement party theme ideas found below aim to accomplish just that.

Retirement Party Themes

  • Gag gifts – In addition to any actual gifts the retiree may receive, make a point to throw in at least one or two gag gifts to put a smile on his or her face. For example, you may wish to wrap up an alarm clock set to 5:00am and a shiny, new hammer and welcome the retiree to make good use of that hammer.
  • Mock Award Show – The red carpet could literally be rolled out for the retiree as coworkers pepper him or her with fun award show-type questions as he or she arrives at work. A video montage of work accomplishments could be shown as background narration is provided by someone impersonating an overly dramatic movie trailer announcer (In a world where budgets are always balanced…).  A silly award (maybe a “Linda” if the retiree is named Linda) could be presented amidst thunderous applause.
  • Retirement Interview – Easy “yes or no” questions could be fired in rapid succession at the retiree much like those asked during a job interview, but the questions would be instead attempting to evaluate if he or she is the right candidate for retirement.  For example, “Do you have any experience relaxing on the beach?” “Are you up to date on the latest television shows?,” “Is your greatest strength spending time with your family?”  Of course, no matter the answers given, the interviewer must say, “I’m sorry, Joe, but I just don’t think you’re the right fit for retirement.  We’ll see you at your desk on Monday.”

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Saying thank you with a card is never really inappropriate however in the workplace just as everything else, we must practice moderation and follow policies that are set in place.  A simple thank you for a favor a coworker has done or to all the employees for their hard work during the quarter is almost always okay.  The only reasons a thank you can become a problem is if it disturbs someone or embarrasses them.  Personal thank yous can also show favoritism if there is a difference in hierarchy so bosses should refrain from sending out individual cards leaving that as a reward for something like a company-wide contest that everyone is aware of.

Appropriate occasions for a thank you card are plentiful keeping everything previously mentioned in mind.  Contemporary Thanks Anniversary Card this clean and spaced design gives a professional thank you to an employee the way you want it to, showing gratification without overdoing it.  While for those looking for something to write a more personalized message the Signature Thank You Card captures sincerity with a more artistic approach.  So whether you’re looking to thank all your employees or show appreciation for your coworkers for favors done a thank you card is definitely appropriate to send.  Trust me, it will definitely be appreciated and show in the future.

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5 Tips To Beat Fatigue At Work

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It’s easy to feel like you’re starting to drag at work.  People often turn to excessive amounts of caffeine or sugar to get them through the day.  Despite the quick increase in energy, this ultimately results in a caffeine or sugar crash a few hours later.  Even just powering through the fatigue can have its drawbacks.  Here are 5 tips on how to beat fatigue at work.

  1. Start your day on a good foundation: Sleep

A good night’s rest can go a long way.  Getting the right amount of sleep is key, but it is also important to get quality sleep.  Avoid as many distractions as possible by turning off the television, music, cell phones and tablets.  If you still have light pollution in your bedroom, try using a sleep mask.  You will feel ready for a productive day after a long quality rest!

  1. Don’t skip meals!

This one is tough because it is easy to forget to eat when you’re busy.  Unfortunately, this will lead to a huge drain in energy.  Even a small breakfast, like cereal or yogurt, will make a difference.  If your job allows it, keep a health snack at your desk.  A handful of pretzels or almonds will provide a quick recharge.  Most importantly, never skip lunch.

  1. Find a reason to get away from your desk

Moving around will provide an energy boost because it increases blood circulation.  Maybe you have something to file or copies to make.  If you can’t get away from your work station, try standing for a few minutes instead of sitting.  You can also try small stretches at your desk.  Wiggle your toes, move your ankles around, move your shoulders and neck around.  It’s simple enough that you can do it while getting your work done.

  1. Look away from the computer

Constantly staring at a computer screen will cause significant eye strain and fatigue.  Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer at a distant object (20 feet away) for 20 seconds.  This is known as the 20-20-20 rule.

  1. Remember that there is a world outside of work

It may feel counterproductive to walk away from your work, but powering through it is exhausting.  Try to go outside for lunch or even a 10 minute break.  At the very least, walk past a window and sit somewhere else for a few minutes.  A change of scenery can go a long way in helping to unwind and relax.  While you’re out there, forget about everything that’s happening at your desk.  You will feel recharged and more productive when you return to your desk.

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Showing your coworkers and employees that you appreciate them is a wonderful way to boost morale and keep everybody happy and comfortable with their work environment. And what better time to show them you appreciate them than January 28th, National Fun at Work Day? Here are just some of the many ways you can celebrate, make your coworkers/employees feel appreciated, and have fun at the same time!

  • Ice cream and pizza social

The notion of the ice cream and pizza social is somewhat of a cliché in the office world, but that’s because it works. Nothing is more relaxing than coming from a long morning of hectic work to find ice cream and pizza waiting for you on your lunch break. It not only fills workers’ stomachs; it warms their hearts, because they are able to see just how valued they truly are. Being able to celebrate with everyone over good food is also a great stress reliever, so they will return to work feeling refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day.

  • Throw a meeting that is unrelated to work

Although meetings are necessary for many different positions in many different jobs, they can incite feelings of apprehension in employees who stress about saying the wrong thing, making a bad impression, or otherwise messing up in some way during the meeting. So throwing a meeting unrelated to work is both a great way to distress during National Fun at Work Day, and a good way to ease some of the trepidation generally associated with meetings. All you have to do is gather everyone in a meeting room, similar to how you would during any other meeting, and keep the conversation lighthearted. Ask everyone to talk about themselves. Talk about your plans for the weekend. Discuss possible vacations people are thinking about taking. Any conversation that doesn’t relate to the job or work-related responsibilities works great; the goal is to help employees relax and have fun for a few minutes, and also make them feel valued, because you are having a meeting centered around them. It also has the extra benefit of easing some of the nervousness they will feel towards future meetings, because they will remember how valued they are, and worry less about doing the wrong thing!

  • Introduce some fun activities to keep work interesting

It may be National Fun at Work Day, but the work doesn’t just stop. All employees still have to fulfill their duties; the goal is to make their typical duties fun and exciting. A good way to do that is by introducing fun activities they can participate in even while working. Anything that doesn’t interfere with their job responsibilities works great. Some suggestions include dressing up in costume (and maybe giving away rewards for the best costumes), playing music (at a low volume so those working on the phone can hear!), and drawing raffles to win some fun prizes. Anything creative that keeps work exciting works great!

  • Have a scavenger hunt

Hide little surprises and prizes around the office for people to find. This keeps things exciting because people never know what they are going to find, or where! If you want to make sure it is fair, you could hide things in random spots on people’s desks, so that you ensure everyone walks away feeling like a winner. This still keeps things exciting because people don’t know where on their desk they are going to find their prize, or what they are going to find. Then once it’s over, the fun will continue as people compare prizes and discuss how hard/easy it was to find their prize.

  • Get everyone involved in the celebration process!

Nothing makes people feel more valued than knowing they are being heard. So why not have coworkers get involved in planning for National Fun at Work Day? This way, you can learn what they find fun, and cater the activities to suit their own interests. Implementing some sort of incentive is a good way to excite coworkers as well, and make them eager to contribute their ideas. It doesn’t have to be anything excessive; awards, certificates, and even small, simple prizes go a long way towards building excitement and getting people eager to participate! After all – it is a day for them!

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What are Museum Art Masterpieces?

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It’s always in good form to make a genuine effort to acknowledge clients and colleagues during the holidays, on special occasions, or just to congratulate them on a job remarkably well done.  Quite often, a finely crafted greeting card encompasses all the elements necessary to convey your message in an attractive and thoughtful manner.  However, there are certain instances when you may wish to push the envelope so to say and venture in a slightly different direction.  It may be the case that you wish to mark a particularly special occasion, or that your recipients possess refined, discriminating taste and have an undeniable passion for the arts.  If so, then feel free to take a long, appreciative look at Museum Art Masterpieces.

Museum Art Masterpieces are just what their name implies.  Nestled behind an elegantly embossed front cover printed with an occasion-appropriate greeting and your organization’s name proudly stamped in vibrant gold foil is a 9” by 12” reproduction of a timeless, influential, and evocative piece of art created by a true, recognized master.  Works from some of history’s greatest artists are available in the Museum Art Masterpiece collection, and these reproductions are double matted and mounted so your clients and colleagues can gladly frame and display their unique and generous gift for all to see.  For those who have everything, give them something that they can never have.  Maybe owning one of these actual works of art is an impossibility, but the opportunity to view a beautiful reproduction every day can elicit a serenity, an appreciation, a sense of awe that is just as real as the feeling evoked by the genuine article.

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