Spring Company Outing Ideas

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We are quickly approaching my favorite season of the year – spring! Whatever is left of the snow is melting, the sun is staying out longer, and the temperatures are rising slowly but surely. After a couple months of frigid cold, it is no surprise that the majority of people want to take advantage of the spring by going outside as much as they can. Companies usually have an “outing” for their employees at least once a year, and to me, spring is the optimal time to have one of these. Here are three ideas that I think would work well for a potential spring outing.

Minor League Baseball Game – If your company is located in or around a major city, chances are there is at least one “minor league” baseball team around. They aren’t affiliated with any professional team, so the tickets should be very affordable. I have been to a few New Jersey Jackals games, so if you are in the Northern New Jersey area, this would be a fun option to explore. Teams like the Jackals allow companies to purchase group ticket packages, and this is a great idea for a spring outing. Most ballparks contain grass areas near the outfield, so coworkers can bring their kids, and toss a baseball around before the game starts. Being able to sit back as the sun sets, eating some food off the grill and sipping some beer with your family and coworkers after a long day at the office while watching “America’s Pastime” in person (even if it is a minor team) if a very fun experience.

Company Picnic – To continue with the theme of being outdoors, I’d suggest a company picnic as an option for a spring outing. A picnic could be scheduled for either Saturday or Sunday, so work shouldn’t be on anyone’s mind. Who doesn’t like sitting outside and eating? Everyone can bring a food item, almost like a pot luck lunch at the park. Some parks also allow grilling in certain areas, so the company “grill master” can show off his or her chops. Employees can relax by laying on the grass, or compete in some friendly Frisbee or whiffle ball competitions.

Mini Cruise – The spring weather also allows those with boats to take a nice ride out on the water. Another nice way to soak up the rays would be to take an afternoon excursion on a mini cruise. Boat services offer short “cruises to nowhere”, usually for a couple of hours. The boat stays out on the water, passes by different sites, and there isn’t a destination to reach. It allows passengers to feel the nice wavy breeze and relax in the sun. It also allows passengers to have a few drinks as well (almost all of these types of boats have a bar), without the responsibility of steering the boat back to shore. As the case with most group outings, you can take advantage of group discount prices.

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Top 3 Bad Work Habits You Need To Overcome

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We all want to do our best at work. But even the best intentions are sometimes met with bad habits. Here are 3 bad work habits you need to overcome today!

Being late for work or meetings
Unless your role at the company doesn’t require you to be at your desk and ready to face the day at a set time every day, start times are implemented for a reason. If you know that traffic can be unreasonable, allot yourself some extra commute time in the morning.

Being late for meetings is another bad work habit. If a meeting is set for an hour and you’re five minutes late, you’ve set the hour off and that can bleed into other commitments later in the day. Being on time is a sign that you respect other people’s time – and your own! It also goes a long way towards showing that you’re dependable.

Answering emails as they come in.

You may think that answering emails as soon as you see new ones in your inbox is a good idea. It’s not; in fact, it’s counterproductive. As email’s role in our work lives becomes more and more prominent, the number of messages you receive increases. If you spend all of your time checking your inbox, you’ll find little time for your other responsibilities!

Instead, schedule email processing time into your calendar. Spend some time with your inbox over your morning coffee when you arrive at the office, then schedule an afternoon session after lunch. If an email is informational and doesn’t need further action, move it to a reference folder or delete it. If an email can be responded to at that time, do so. If an email needs a bit more time to respond to, flag it for a future time.

Scheduling in your email time frees up the rest of the day for you to work on projects and tasks without an added distraction.

Not practicing proper hygiene

If you’re guilty of flossing your teeth or clipping your finger (or, please, no, toe) nails at your desk, stop this behavior immediately! Your boss and your coworkers will appreciate your well-groomed hands and your free-from-food mouth a lot more if you take care of that stuff in the privacy of your own home before you get to the office.

These top 3 work habits you need to overcome are just the tip of the iceberg. What other bad habits have you noticed in your office or overcome yourself?


Congratulations to our Round 8 Finalists!


Tips On Helping Empower Your Workforce

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Having trouble keeping your workforce motivated, autonomous, and with high morale? The following are some quick tips on how to help empower your workforce!

Make expectations clear. When employees are given a standard with which to measure their success, they are more likely to meet or exceed that standard. Creating smaller goals along the way encourages employees to reflect on their own performances and asses if they are meeting these smaller, more attainable milestones.

Keep your employees accountable. When you properly reprimand or appropriately acknowledge poor performance, you are increasing the accountability in your workforce. You want employees to know that substandard work will not be tolerated. This keeps employees from trying to take advantage of the company and helps encourage employees keep each other on task, as there are consequences.

Give them a say. Ask for your employee’s opinions and encourage frequent feedback on every aspect of their day at work. Find ways to improve and resolve any concerns. This will make your employees feel included and will make them more likely to come to you with issues or suggestions in the future. Having an open line of communication with your employees is imperative to achieving higher levels of success.

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Business Cards: Dos and Dont’s

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  • Do always keep enough with you. What’s the point of having them if you don’t hand them out? They are a staple marketing tool of the modern business world.
  • Do include pertinent information like name, contact info, and a website or link to recent work/resume.
  • Do deliver your card confidently with a firm handshake, eye-contact, and a smile.
  • Do think about your line of work and which design would best suit your needs. Consider the type of card as well (horizontal or vertical, glossy and laminated, matte, velvety, etc.). Take care in deciding the details. This will set you apart from your competitors.


  • Don’t use hard-to-read fonts, colors, or designs.
  • Don’t bend, fold, crumple, or stain your cards. They are a reflection of you and your attention to detail, so they must be neat and clean. Consider keeping them in the free travel case The Gallery Collection provides with your order! It will be oh so impressive when you retrieve a fresh card.
  • Don’t crowd your card with too much stuff. Photos, logos, quotes or testimonials, accomplishment highlights, and extra links are all fine additions to your business card . . . but maybe only one or two of them. And absolutely never include outdated or incomplete details. Weigh your options and strive for developing a precise, informative card.
  • Don’t keep putting off ordering your business cards at The Gallery Collection! The Gallery Collection’s high quality, double-sided, customizable business cards will be sure to impress.


3 Card Assortments Everyone Needs

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Card assortments are essential for any business or individual to keep at their disposal. Unless you can remember every event and foresee unexpected events, assortment boxes are a must have.

The first one I feel is a must have is the All Occasion Card Assortment box. This box has an assortment of cards for every occasion. There are birthday, anniversary, thank you, get well and congratulations cards in this box. When something unexpected occurs you will have the necessary card to make someone’s day.

The second card assortment box I feel is necessary to keep on hand is one of the Birthday Card Assortment boxes. I feel like every time I turn around I need an unexpected birthday card. Sure I can run to the local card store and spend $5.00 for a card, but why deal with that stress and expense? When I get these assortment boxes the cost per card is less than half that price and the quality is awesome. Plus, I avoid any last minute running around.

As for the last card assortment box, I always make sure I keep a box of Fine Art Note Cards around. This way if it just a simple note to say, “Hi. I’m thinking about you.” you can use one of these. They are an all-purpose option and can be used for business or personal use. Consider these assortment box choices to keep at your disposal.


How can working moms go about balancing career and parenting successfully? I won’t say it’s easy because who would really believe that anyway, but I will say that it’s completely doable. Like anything else that is successful in your life, you just need a plan of action. Here’s how to get there:

Decide What’s Important
First and foremost, you have to decide what’s important to you. The key word in that last sentence is YOU. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. Determine what your must-haves are and work from there. If breast-feeding your newborn is non-negotiable, make sure that your career somehow gives you the flexibility to do that. I was able to work part-time during the first 6 months after my daughter was born and was able to nurse her at home most of the time while pumping some during work hours. Maybe your must have is that you want to see your children off to school in the morning or need to be home when they come home from school. Whatever it is decide what you absolute need while still keeping in mind that you will need to sacrifice something along the way.

Ask Your Village For Help
It does take a village to raise children so ask your village for help and be sure to offer your help in return.
Exchanging baby-sitting services, rides or any other parenting duties is a great way to fit it all in. Perhaps you can call on a stay-at-home mom to drop your children off at karate in the afternoon and you’ll do the pick-up in the evening. Be careful to not abuse your friends and contribute when you are able to. If you have older children, get them involved in helping. Depending on their age, they should be able to take care of themselves and some household duties so it doesn’t all fall on you. It helps your children have a sense of responsibility and helps you out in the process. My children started doing their own laundry (from start to finish if you get my drift) at age 10 along with other daily and weekly chores. If you have a life partner, ask for their assistance if possible. Get your co-workers and boss on board to. Explain to them how important your family is and how they might be able to help you achieve the balance you are seeking. Many companies now offer flexible schedules, job sharing, work-from-home options and other perks that can make it easier for you.

It’s Okay to Say No
One of the things that has helped me the most as far as balancing career and parenting successfully is accepting that sometimes the answer is no. If I really can’t fit something in at work or at home, I am honest and say no (nicely.) I no longer do things out of obligation. For example, fundraisers are abundant once children get to be school age. After stressing myself out selling stuff because I felt obligated, I decided I would ask if I could just write a check to make a “donation” which would result in the same amount of money going to the school. It really made my life easier in so many ways. Figure out which things you can easily so no to that would help lighten your load. Sometimes you have to get creative.

The important thing to remember in all of this is that you need to take time for yourself and time with your children. Granted you may not want your career to suffer but your children are only children once and trust me, the time flies by.


Congratulations to our Round 7 Winners!


Why People Still Appreciate Greeting Cards

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During this technological day and age, everyone is always messaging you or contacting you through social media. That’s definitely a quick and easy way to reach out to people, but there comes a time when you want to show someone you are thinking of them…for example, on special occasions. Digitally, you tend to lose the beauty of the personal feel of opening up a card and reading it. There’s something to say about opening up a piece of paper, reading the handwritten message on it … and this is why people still appreciate greeting cards.

Not to say that sending an email to show best wishes for an occasion is wrong, it just tends to feel impersonal. Sure you can send a “Happy Birthday” text message, or a “Congratulations” email, but then what? The person deletes it, reads it in a hurry and goes on to the thing they were doing, or doesn’t even get it right away because they’re just too busy to check their email or personal messages until later. With greeting cards, someone can actually take the time to read how much you care. They can display your card on their desk at work or on their end table at home, and will be reminded of you every time they look at it! There’s an element of surprise and joy when you open up the envelope, and see what kind of card someone has chosen to send you.

Greeting cards take your well wishes and thoughts to another level, a tangible level. To me, this goes above and beyond a quick text message. I know someone took the time to think of me, pick out a card they think I’ll enjoy and go out of their way to put their thoughts on paper. Even if the note is simply stated, receiving a greeting card beats reading digital thoughts any day!


Sending Baby Congratulations Cards To Employees

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Someone in your office announced that they are having a baby! What is the best way to wish your employee the best? With a quality card from The Gallery Collection, of course! The Gallery Collection has a number of Baby Congratulations cards available including traditional Congratulations cards to celebrate a colleagues upcoming bundle of joy.

There are dozens of greetings to choose from which can be printed in ink or foil colors. Here are some that are perfectly appropriate for the office and would work in any of the card designs above:

Y2 “Congratulations on the new addition to your family”
M4 “Best wishes from all of us”
J8 “We’re excited to hear the news!”
J1 “Wishing you much happiness with your new bundle of joy!”