It’s an average morning at work and you’re sitting there going through your emails and as you’re sipping on a hot coffee in a styrofoam cup, the teammate working nearby tosses his first plastic water bottle of the day in the trash bin under his desk. At the same time, someone around the corner is changing the printing cartridges and throwing the used ones away while someone else opens an energy bar wrapper in the breakroom. You go to write something down on your notepad but the pen has gone dry, so you throw it like a basketball at a bin across the room, swish! The amount of single-use products that office workers use in a single day can really be astonishing. For someone who works in an office, the average amount of waste they generate is 4.4 pounds per day. Then if you consider the number of people who work office jobs, the amount of waste created becomes almost unfathomable. Much of this waste can actually be recycled but the current infrastructure and patterns of behavior in most American offices has left us with a waste-generation problem. Recently the issue of microplastics, a symptom of the disease that is plastic waste, is creating serious health risk issues for humans across the globe, potentially including yourself.
What is microplastic and where does it come from?
Anything that you use in your office that is made with plastic materials (e.g. pens, plastic bottles and cups, cutlery, coffee pods, etc.) either ends up in a landfill or sewage. In that landfill, the plastics break down into tiny pieces about the size of sesame seeds or even smaller (5mm or less in length). These are microplastics and from the landfill, these small but mighty plastic shards leak out of landfills and end up washed into nearby waterways such as rivers and ponds. Water filtration systems fail to stop these harmful materials from reentering our lives. They eventually make their way via those waterways into the oceans and lakes, into the fish and other animals that we consume, the water that we drink and even into the air that we breathe. Humans can come into contact with microplastics through ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact, and can cause health issues like cancer, organ failure, diabetes, neurological and reproductive issues, amongst others. These microplastics are pervasive across the globe and scientists don’t fully understand the extent of this problem or the long term impacts they could have on human health and the environment. What scientists do know, however, is that these materials are extremely harmful to marine life in the short-term, this puts an essential nutritional resource to many cultures across the globe at risk.
While you may think that you can avoid microplastics simply by not eating fish, unfortunately, that is not the case. Researchers at the University of Victoria in Canada analyzed microplastics levels in the bodies of various people and found the biggest sources of microplastic to be not only from seafood but also from the air they were breathing and bottled water they were drinking. That’s right, bottled water! The very thing that is breaking down and creating the microplastic problem in the first place. An article in Time magazine states, “when people drink their water only from bottled sources, they ingest about 90,000 microplastic particles every year from that water, but people who drink only tap water get 4,000 of such particles a year”. This fact is shocking and certainly has left us with a distrust of bottled water here at Bevi. Because we know that microplastics are harmful to our bodies, we need to start to reduce the amount that we are allowing to enter the environment and ultimately our food chain. It is not enough to simply get better at recycling single-use plastic products. We also need to work at not creating them in the first place. Workspaces and offices are one of the largest sources of plastic pollution and there are so many ways these spaces can be altered to be better for the environment and better for the health of their employees. Read on!
How can I reduce the amount of microplastics my office creates?
Office managers and eco-friendly workplace warriors can really help when it comes to combating the issue of plastic waste and microplastics. Initially, there might be some investment needed in order to move away from things like single-use plastic forks and spoons and toward reusable silverware that is much better for the environment. There may be other hurdles to overcome, such as not having a good recycling program in your area. There may also be some pushback from co-workers initially, who are used to having their iced coffee in plastic cups every day or who just don’t see the urgency in changing their behavior. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the amount of plastic waste coming from your office and in turn you will be helping to reduce the amount of microplastics in your surrounding environment. Ultimately your company and your co-workers will thank you.
1. Find some inspiration
There are so many great zero-waste influencers on social media these days and they are helping to teach others about all of the great DIY projects and eco-friendly products they use in order to reduce the amount of waste they generate. You can follow a lot of these folks on Instagram such as the waterthruskin and get inspired to go waste-free yourself. Follow accounts likezero.waste.collective that provide tips on things like creating a zero-waste dishwashing routine. That’s something you could implement in the office!
2. Trash Audit
In order to make changes, one often has to find the urgency to do so. There is no way to find the urgency unless you know how much you are actually wasting. A good way to do this is an office-wide trash audit. It can be eye-opening and will spark behavior change amongst your co-workers. In order to do this, take a trash bin from different parts of the office including the breakroom, the printer room, conference room, or whatever other rooms you may have. Dump it out and with gloves on go through it, and write everything that you find in there on a whiteboard or piece of paper. If there is more than one of something, for example, multiple plastic cups, just put extra tally marks next to that item on your list. If you’re noticing one type of garbage taking up most of the space in the bin, you might try to make that the first thing you try to switch from disposable to reusable. You can even share with the rest of the company what you found, and give them the heads up that there might be some small changes coming their way.
3. Make the easy switches
To get buy-in, tell the people in your office why these changes are important and thank them for working with you to make your office healthier and more sustainable. Start a BYOB initiative and encourage people to bring their own reusable coffee cup and/or a reusable water bottle. If your company can, a good way to discourage the use of disposable plastic products is by supplying team members with company-branded water bottles or travel mugs! Plus when they’re using the cups out-of-office, these can serve as free advertisements for your business!. Motivate team members to pack lunch from home and avoid eating out. This might be difficult to get everyone to do, but try tying this initiative in with a healthy-eating initiative. Something that would help start this process would be to make sure you have a refrigerator where your co-workers can store their lunches, and perhaps even a dishwasher if possible. Employees can go one step further and bring bamboo or metal cutlery and their own reusable straws. Every little thing helps! The most important part of this part of the process is raising awareness across the company. Choose someone to spearhead and be the face of the zero-waste initiative. You can incentivize your co-workers by putting different teams in competition with one another to see who can reduce their plastic waste the most in the upcoming months.
4. Amenities: better for employees, the environment & your budget
Now that you got everyone using their reusable coffee mugs and water bottles, it’s time to take things up another level. There are tons of innovative products on the market that are specifically meant to reduce the amount of office waste that a business might generate. Bevi is an awesome way to inspire employees to refill their bottles all day long and save office managers from the stress of restocking shelves with beverages. With Bevi, your co-workers can completely customize their beverage with carbonation or different flavors. This makes the hydration experience throughout the workday much more exciting and generally reduces the amount of dehydrated and angry people in the office. Bevi is often cheaper than continuing to buy and stock tons of single-use seltzer cans or plastic water bottles. Additionally, if you have anyone coming to the office, the Bevi is a fun way to entertain your guests while also providing them a delicious and healthy beverage.
5. Recycling Programs
Recycling is not standardized throughout the US and often much of what we think we’re recycling ends up in landfills anyway. Some cities are better at recycling than others, so it’s important that if you are trying to become zero-waste in the office, you should research the recycling programs for your general area. If you find that the recycling programs in your area are inadequate, there is a company called TerraCycle who is ready to help you! TerraCycle has various programs and products aimed at eliminating the idea of office waste. The Break Room Separation Zero Waste Box™ is a good way to collect all of the recyclable material from your breakroom. TerraCycle will provide you with points that can be redeemed for various prizes or exchanged for money toward a charity of your choice.
We spend so much of our lives in our workplaces and within those spaces, we each generate a huge amount of waste. Most of that is plastic waste that ends up as harmful microplastic particles that could harm the health of our employees and co-workers later down the line. Shouldn’t we all be taking steps to reduce the amount of waste we generate during the workday? Hopefully, this information and our tips will help you kick off a zero-waste initiative in the office, and please share this article with other office managers if you found it helpful!
Many companies these days understand the importance of retaining brilliant young talent as well as the cost associated with high turnover rates. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly common to invest in corporate perks such as ping pong tables and bean-bag chairs, napping pods and meditation rooms. While these office additions may help with employee burnout, there isn’t much evidence that they address the actual wants and needs of employees when it comes to their health and wellness in the workplace.
One Havard study that looked into the wellness programs of various large US companies and found that 80% of those programs lead to less-than-satisfactory results. Much of this had to do with the types of perks that were a part of the wellness programs, which were not actually addressing the issues that mattered most to the majority of employees.
Another study dove deeper into this idea of “perks” to discover which were the most important to employees and their productivity. This found that air quality, comfortable lighting, and great water quality were the 3 most important wellness perks from a survey of 1,600 workers. These three categories were more important than having healthy snacking options and even fitness centers on-site. This was due to their power to promote not only the employee’s physical wellness but also their emotional and environmental wellness.
Water quality as an essential perk stood out to us here at Bevi because we’ve seen first-hand how increasing hydration in the workplace has benefits in productivity and general employee satisfaction. Workers that are dehydrated are usually lower energy, more irritable, and less focused and alert during the day. A large part as to why this occurs is because the hydration options in most offices are limited, uninteresting, or unhealthy.
While plenty of office managers and business owners offer freshwater for their employees, coffee and sodas are also extremely popular. Those options are less healthy than water and definitely do not have the maximum hydrating power that H2O does. Coffee and soda are historically less boring than water and when they need a break from their busy day, sometimes employees want to sip on something a little bit more exciting than plain old water.
The lack of exciting options leads many team members to forget about hydrating all together, which brings on those other symptoms of dehydration discussed earlier. It is through solutions like Bevi, the smartest and most exciting watercooler around, that office managers can boost the “water quality perk” in the office and also increase retention and performance. Employees hydrate more times throughout the day when using Bevi because they can completely customize their beverage to their liking, adding carbonation and flavors, as well as adjusting the temperature of the water. The flavoring has little or no calories and is created using natural ingredients that are gluten-free and kosher. That means that with Bevi, there are options for everyone in the office from the soda-loving accountant to the seltzer-obsessed communications manager.
Human Resources managers and Wellness Directors should look into how Bevi can be an addition to your company-wide wellness programs and initiatives. We now know that increasing the water quality and options at work can help dehydrated employees struggling to get through the long workday, and we think Bevi takes that to another level by bringing excitement back into staying hydrated. A less dehydrated workforce is a higher-performing and happier workforce and that is key to retaining top talent these days.
We are excited to share that Bevi has been honored in Built In Boston’s Prestigious Best Places to Work List in 2020. Bevi is ranked #24, and the complete list is available here.
Built In Boston helps Boston tech professionals stay on top of tech news and trends, expand their networks and carve out futures at companies they believe in. The Places to Work list rates companies algorithmically based on compensation data and employer benefits. Rank is determined by combining a company’s score in each of these categories.
Located in Charlestown, Bevi is disrupting the beverage supply chain by using intuitive, user-centered design to provide customizable, healthy beverages at the point of use – and to save the waste generated by over 150 million plastic bottles, and counting.
“I really wanted to work for a company that shared my values, and Bevi’s environmental mission really aligns with who I am. Since I started, Bevi has tripled in size. My role has changed so much along the way: I started as a Sales Assistant working mainly behind the scenes, and now I go all over New England to meet clients and partners face to face. Unlike my previous experiences, at Bevi I’ve been encouraged to take initiative and think outside the box to find solutions; I really enjoy this creative aspect of my role.”
– Jen Toro, Team Lead – Territory Sales Manager
Bevi has an open-door policy, even our CEO is just a Slack message away! Our office features an open floor plan, and we even have an onsite gym. As a mission-driven company, we value the impact our employees have on the community and offer paid volunteer time. We work hard, but we play hard as well. Our office gets together monthly for office parties, and an annual retreat.
We have various internal groups at Bevi that collaborate and support each other! “The Green Team” connects on topics like recycling and environmental impacts, changes we can make not only as a company but how we can improve as individuals. We have a Diversity and Inclusion Group – Bevi DNA, where we discuss diversity initiatives, share experiences and support one another.
Do you ever feel downright sluggish at work? Nothing, not even your usual dose of coffee seems to help?
In the fast-paced world we live in, it is paramount that each of us can contribute to the best of our ability. We all clamor to be the MVP. The employee everyone admires, the boss loves, and the one who is constantly praised for “killing it” time and time again. We look up to this person and wonder how they can consistently produce great results.
Doesn’t there seem to be something preventing you from reaching that level?
Well, there is, and it affects 77% of workers every day.
I know what you’re probably thinking. There’s no way this guy knows the secret to unlock higher productivity in the workplace. While that may be partially true, I do know that proper hydration is one of the key ingredients to increasing productivity. I’m not just saying that – a recent study showed that adequate hydration could lead up to a staggering 14 percent increase in productivity.
Ok, now go grab some water and come back to finish the blog!
The Dehydration Epidemic
The jog in the morning, a cup of coffee when you get into work, the sodium packed dish that you had for lunch. Can you spot what’s missing? Proper hydration. This is a typical schedule for many 9-5 workers, and water, in its holistic self, is bereft from that equation. For those who do have an office job, a majority of their day is spent at work. The way you hydrate, there can have a considerable impact, not only on the job but away from the office as well.
Look around your office. Say you have 50 people. 39 of them are dehydrated and are functioning at sub-optimal productivity levels. It’s an epidemic. An epidemic that can easily be abated by drinking more water.
Did you know that the minute you start feeling thirsty means that you are already dehydrated?
Even slight dehydration has huge ramifications that can cause a near domino effect. Dehydration -> lower productivity -> lackluster results. This is a vicious cycle. As consumers, we have to make a change and be proactive about hydration. Your body and your manager will thank you.
Speed kills. The age-old saying. And it’s true. The faster you are on the ice, on the field, or in the office, all the better.
Throughout the day, our bodily functions cause us to lose pertinent fluids that are vital to our well being. These have to be replenished. If they aren’t, it can lead to dehydration… and well, we all know some of the nasty side effects of dehydration. Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, the list goes on and on. Losing as little as 2 % of your body’s fluids is enough to cause dehydration.
Right now, the hype is all around caffeine. The 4 dollar Starbucks coffee before work, the 3 dollar energy drinks packed with caffeine. Both of these do a great job giving you a short jolt of energy, but we are all too familiar with the afternoon crashes, killing productivity.
Our focus is backward. The hype should really be around proper hydration and not hitting our caffeine targets each day.
Our focus is backward. The hype should really be around proper hydration and not hitting our caffeine targets each day.
Here are some of the key benefits of drinking water; Let’s start to build the hype.
Increase oxygen throughout the body – Water is the main component of blood, which supplies cells with oxygen and nutrients and carries out waste.
Promote healthy brain function and increase mental clarity – 73% of the brain is water, so it’s understandable how big an impact hydration has on the body’s most important organ. Scientists have done studies to show that losing just 1.1% body water weight increases your neural effort when performing cognitive tasks, having an effect on short term memory, long term memory recall, arithmetic, and general problem-solving. Consuming water should allow you to think, synthesize, and act at your highest potential.
Increase energy levels and combat fatigue – Water is one of the most important energy sources in your body. It has several enzymatic functions, including contributing to good sleep, production of energy throughout the day, and restoration of bodily systems. Next time you are feeling a bit sluggish, try reaching for a glass of water in lieu of another coffee.
Prevent/treat headaches and migraines – Maybe you drank a few too many glasses of wine the night before or are simply not drinking enough water throughout the day, dehydration can often lead to the dreaded headache and even migraine. According to researchers, dehydration causes blood volume to drop, which results in less blood and oxygen flow to the brain and dilated blood vessels. Water is the catalyst for oxygen production throughout the body. Maybe it’s the missing cure for your chronic headaches.
Where’s the water?
The most common beverage you’ll find in almost every office is coffee. Coffee isn’t the evil dehydrating drink that it’s made out to be. Recent studies have shown that drinking coffee actually has a net hydrating effect. Still, multiple cups of coffee a day won’t give you the proper hydration you’re looking for.
The most significant limiting factor when it comes to workplace hydration is access. Some offices may not have a water dispenser of any sort which forces employees to either buy bottled water at the Starbucks down the street or, even worse, try to ignore their thirst. Larger offices may have a water cooler through a maze of cubicles and hallways that makes filling up a pain and not worth it. An easy way to fix this is by rearranging your layout or by adding additional sources of water.
Channel what we just talked about. 14 percent higher productivity, increased focus, added mental clarity. It’s in every office’s best interest to at least provide some water vessel to their employees. A simple water dispenser, or two, should suffice in almost any office.
For some, water can be too bland and flavorless. Luckily, we do live in the 21st century, and there seems like an infinite amount of healthy beverage options. People are becoming more health-conscious and aware of what they are consuming. Sparkling water is the big fad. Soda esque characteristics, yet hydrating and calorie-free without all the added sugars, chemicals, and whatever other ingredients that no one can pronounce without searching google. At least most of the time.
With the rise of employee perks, a number of offices now stock soda’s, seltzers, coffee, tea, you name it. There’s usually a divide in what people drink. Most are addicted to coffee, some will opt for the sugary soda, others will go for the healthier seltzer.
For the Office Managers out there – Isn’t it a pain ordering and restocking a variety of beverages for your employees, each with different preferences? What if I told you there was a suite of machines that provide delicious, customizable hydration on tap.
Bevi has a drink for everyone. Whether you’re looking for plain filtered water to keep you satiated, or your feeling a little ambitious and want to go with a fruity, sparkling option – the choice is yours. Check out how Bevi solved Medallia Food Services team’s need for variety here!
At the end of the day, how you stay healthy and hydrated is your choice to a point. If you don’t have easy access to water, then you’re at a disadvantage. Take action and get Bevi, and together let’s quest to stay hydrated!
Planning a company retreat is not easy; there are so many things to remember and take care of! We at Bevi recently took two days off for our retreat in Maine, and even if we say so ourselves, it was PERFECT! In this article, our Office Operations Manager,Jill Rudnicki, shares her guide to planning your corporate retreat, and making it a success!
Why should I plan a retreat?
A company retreat provides employees a chance to decompress and bond in a social setting, away from the stresses of everyday deliverables. Retreats are the perfect way to boost employee morale, increase communication and collaboration across departments and, ultimately create better working relationships with increased productivity. The Bevi team has been growing across the country, and we believe in building in-person connections. The retreat was a way to bring everyone in one room outside work and get to know each other.
What did we do?
Jill organized our retreat meticulously, and our 3D2N trip had it all – from outdoor activities to a raging 80s themed Prom! Lovingly named the Watyr Festival, our team members traveled from across the country to the relaxing and beautiful state of Maine to unwind and bond.
Here is your guide to planning a successful corporate retreat!
Discuss the purpose of your retreat
Work with your leadership team to decide on the purpose of the corporate retreat. The purpose will then dictate the types of events you plan out. If you want to focus on team building, activities like scavenger hunts are an excellent way to get everyone moving, working together with people outside their own departments and forming bonds. The team-building purpose allows you to measure the success of your retreat. We could say the retreat was a success, as during lunch on day 2, each table had a mix of members from different teams enjoying lunch together and bonding!
“The Bevi retreat was one of the best I’ve been on. Being a remote rep, I don’t get to interact with others at the company so I really appreciated getting to know more of the staff! The accommodations were top-notch and Jill did an outstanding job of coordinating all the logistics. Let’s see 2020!!!”
– Matthew Macdonald
Involve the team
Involve the whole team in the planning. It gets people invested and excited. Ask team members if they have been to past retreats, what they liked, and what could be improved. Have new team members answer open-ended questions about activities, etc. that they would enjoy participating in. This way, you will also get a feel for the types of activities that people might enjoy. Incorporating their preferred activities is a sure-fire way of increasing their engagement. This is how we came up with an 80’s Prom!
Another tip is to involve future team members too. Incoming Business Development team member Alexis Bryant’s first day was scheduled for after the retreat. We invited her to join us in Maine for a deep dive into the Bevi culture.
“I instantly felt comfortable at the retreat. I was really nervous to go because I didn’t know anyone but everyone was so kind and welcoming and I had the time of my life. Bevi is such a mix of personalities and backgrounds but everyone is respectful and kind-hearted. I feel lucky to work here!” – Alexis Bryant
Having been in the hotel industry for over 15 years, Jill knew that overnight rates at hotels drastically vary from day to day. It’s common for rates to quadruple from the night before based on expected occupancy in the area. Her tip is to have 3-4 dates that work for your company. Share these dates with the hotel or resort and choose the dates with the lowest rates. This will make the most significant impact on your budget. Of course, make sure the time works in terms of business. We avoided dates near the end of the month or quarter and organized the retreat just after our annual sales summit. This ensured that people did not have to fly down to New England twice in the same quarter.
Choose your retreat venue wisely
Being an environmental company, it was important to us that our site was a certified green property. We chose Sebasco Harbor Resort, located in Maine, due to the resort’s unwavering commitment to eco-friendly standards from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Additionally, the retreat has earned the Gold status from the Tripadvisor GreenLeaders program.
To get the most out of your budget, choose a location with activities included to save money or a CMP (complete meeting package), which will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner included in the rate. Bundling lodging and meals or most meals into a rate will save a lot of money. AND negotiate! No price is set in stone, especially when your company is flexible with dates.
Balance activities and free time
Planned activities with randomized groups help break the ice and get people talking. We planned a games night, karaoke, the 80s themed prom night, scavenger hunt, trivia session, and Bevi core values revamp focus group sessions from an outside facilitator as part of the activities.
Jill shared a detailed presentation about other outdoor activities available – including hiking trails, best places to watch the sunset, canoeing, and bike trails before the trip. Everyone likes a different outdoor activity, and giving people options to choose from allows those who have the same interests to get to know each other!
“I really enjoyed the retreat this year. I loved the blend of togetherness and structure with free time to just hang out together. I’d love to have had even more time with my coworkers, but I’m not going to complain about spending a day at the onsite spa!”
– Rhiannon Chiacchiaro
Over-communicate the details
It can be challenging to ensure that everyone is on time, and no one gets lost! Over-communicate when and where everything is, what activities are mandatory, and what people can choose to do. Let them know what is included, very precisely, and what they should be expected to pay for on their own. Create a packing list so everyone is prepared for the climate and any outdoor activities that you may have planned. A list of emergency phone numbers and a map of the resort with locations marked for each event should be shared before the event. This reduces the chances of people wandering off to an incorrect place and delaying the activities. Jill created a detailed guide for the Watyr Festival, that was shared internally. She organized welcome bags for everyone, which had a printed card with the itinerary for the trip along with some useful goodies for the trip.
Be prepared for things not to go 100% smoothly – stay calm and smile. As the planner, you see things and stress about stuff that no one else is noticing. As long as you look around and see people smiling, then everything is okay. And lastly, don’t forget to take a feedback survey at the end of the retreat. This will allow you to collect valuable information, and plan better for the next one!
“The retreat was like being a cast member on a corporate version of The Real World. I got picked to live on a resort with many people from different departments who came into the weekend as strangers to me. We partied. We shared ideas. We developed relationships that have outlasted our stay. At points, I had my life taped but people didn’t stop being polite in order to get real. It was an absolute blast and the most memorable company retreat I’ve ever been on.” – Ryan Garcia
Every company has a unique culture, do what works for you and your company culture. In summary, Jill’s tips for planning your next staff retreat are:
Discuss the purpose of your retreat
Involve the Team
Choose your venue wisely
Balance activities and free time
Overcommunicate the details
We hope this guide was useful! We had a blast at our staff retreat, and we hope you have an excellent retreat!
There’s the candy jar on your co-worker’s desk that somehow always offers all your favorites. And the box of donuts that arrives every Friday morning like clockwork. Then, there’s the cakes and cookies for celebrations that seem to happen weekly. And the closet in the back, always generously stocked with soda.
Sometimes it seems like going to work be dangerous for your health!
While each of these sweets and treats may tempt you on the brink of your 3pm energy slump, we know that none of them contribute to a healthy diet for you or your coworkers. But make a few quick swaps and your entire office will be ready to start the day on a high note, push through the slump, and make progress on the path to better health.
Skip the weekly donut breakfast
Replace with Granola and Greek yogurt
If you’ve made a tradition of weekly breakfast treats, the good news is you can keep it going and make it healthier. Bags of granola and a fridge stocked with Greek yogurt will still start the morning sweetly but without hurting your health. Go for bonus points and bring in a few pints of fresh blueberries or strawberries to top it all off.
Dump the candy bowl
Fill it with dried fruit and nuts
We know the drill. Every morning you swear you’ll stay away. And every afternoon, you find something very important to discuss with the coworkers who sit between you and the candy bowl. Well you can keep that afternoon circuit going too. Just make it healthy by replacing the candy with dried fruit, nuts, or trail mix.
Forget the cake
Celebrate with Muffins
Birthdays, work anniversaries, successful project completions—celebrations strengthen bonds and culture in a workplace and we vote for celebrating as often as you can. Just celebrate in a healthier way with muffins instead of cupcakes or even fresh fruits and veggies to munch on while you chit chat.
Kick vending machines to the curb
Stock up on healthy pantry essentials
Not all office snacks are sweet. Vending machines or cabinets full of chips also create temptations and the likeliness of unhealthy snacking habits. Turn things around by stocking up on healthy pantry options like popcorn, whole wheat crackers and peanut butter. Try new things with a service like NatureBox, Graze, SnackNation and get regular deliveries of new, healthy snacks. SnackNation has a super cool tool that recommends the best snacks based on certain attributes.
Empty out that closet of soda
Hooking up to a water line, the Bevi smart water machine provides customizable still, sparkling, and flavored water on demand. Pure filtered water included! Bevi is also internet-connected and automatically notifies Bevi technicians when you’re running low on flavors or carbonation. Instead of stacking the office closet with cases of soda, save time, reduce waste, and stay healthy with Bevi’s low- or zero-calorie flavored water.
In addition to Bevi’s fruit-flavored water, there are many other healthy alternatives to soda and other sugary drinks. From maple water to kombucha, tea to fruit-infusions, check out this list of delicious soda substitutes that will help you cut the cola.
How often do you gather your employees together for something that has nothing to do with business?
Creating camaraderie and a sense of social engagement in the office goes a long way to not only spreading your company culture but strengthening it as well. Giving everyone a chance to relax a little and get to know each other better can boost employee morale and collaboration.
Ice cream social: Invite an ice cream truck to pull up outside your office or buy a few gallons from the closest grocery story and set up a sundae bar on a Wednesday afternoon.
Chili Cook-off: Or any kind of cook-off. Assign a panel of judges and tell everyone to get cooking and bring their best. Just be sure to have a prize for the winner.
Pot Luck: Amp up the Friday afternoon happy hour by assigning snack, drink, and even dessert duty to different teams around the office.
Non-business meetings: Survey the office to see what folks are interested in and then bring in an expert. A sommelier could come in to teach about wine tasting or a local stand-up comedian could run an improv workshop.
Game Day: Ask everyone to bring in a favorite board game and spend an afternoon of a little friendly competition.
Start a Book Club: Maybe you read and discuss books related to your work, maybe you work through the latest NYT best sellers. Either way, it will bring folks together.
Office Talent Show: What are your colleagues good at outside of the office? It’s time to find out.
Afternoon Snack Time: Take yourselves back to your Kindergarten days and schedule afternoon snack time for all to come together. (We recommend gathering around the Bevi).
Afternoon at the Movies: Take everyone out to the local theater or pop some popcorn and bring one in.
Scavenger Hunt: Plot one out within the office or break into teams and take to the streets for exploration and team building at the same time.
DIY Awards Show: Think of fun office awards (e.g. best smelling lunch, first in every morning, best email sign off) or create your own based on inside jokes. Don’t forget to hand out trophies.
A Day of Pampering: Bring in a masseuse for seated massages, a barista to make coffee to order, and anything else that will leave employees feeling well taken care of.
Contests for Anything: Create a contest around anything that gets you all engaged—from a costume contest at Halloween to a friendly step-counting contest and beyond, there are countless ways to get everyone cheering each other on.
Bevi Taste Test: This one’s our personal favorite—an afternoon of ‘name that flavor!’
Picture this: you’re sitting at your desk, working away towards your 3pm deadline, all while your four-legged best friend sits by, encouraging, comforting, and cheering you on.
If you’re a dog-lover, this sounds like a dream.
“Sometimes, the best lap to rest on is a working lap.” – Hero, Bevi Puppy in Residence
But to make this dream a reality for you and your employees, you’ll need to consider all the pros and cons of a pet-friendly workplace.
Every dog-owner knows (and craves) that feeling of coming home at the end of the day to puppy love. The unconditional companionship of a dog has a unique ability to relieve stress, be it the sweet little nose on your lap, a furry head to pet, or just knowing that someone who loves you is nearby. Pets ‘on staff’ can reduce employee’s stress levels and make them feel more comfortable in the workplace.
Studies show that dogs increase bonds and collaboration in an office. Think of them as a natural conversation starter. Don’t know Jean too well even though she sits three seats away? Stop by to pet her pup and you’ll know her better in no time, leading to more conversation and collaboration.
Enter in the morning, exit in the evening and never get breath of fresh air in between. We humans do it all the time. But dogs don’t. While needing to get up from your desk in the middle of the day to walk the dog might seem like a productivity-crashing interruption, it actually brings about great healthy and creativity benefits. Walking is a great way to stay in shape and clear the mind at the same time. Ever get a great idea the minute you walk away from your computer? Count on that happening daily.
When employees can blend the line between work life and home life, often they feel a greater sense of balance. In this case, time spent missing their pups, worrying about them alone at home, or feeling guilty over being gone for so long can now be better spent.
The Sneezes and Phobias
Unfortunately, for every dog-lover, there is a cat-lover. There are also those who don’t like any furry friends, who are scared of the canine kind, or allergic. Creating a productive and welcoming environment for everyone means making sure that everyone feels comfortable. And sometimes, your furry best friend will make that tricky.
Furry, friendly, and lovable, yes. Clean and tidy, not always. The mess dogs leave in their wake starts with occasional shedding and only gets worse from there.
Dogs are loyal and loveable companions. But they can be quite needy. They also have a knack for directing all the attention in the room towards themselves. If the first fifteen minutes of every meeting are filled with puppy talk, you might have a problem.
For all the tension they relieve, they have the power to create a little too. Disagreements over boundaries, responsibilities or even pet-led conflicts can disrupt office congeniality.
Ultimately, your decision should take your employees and culture into account to determine whether the downsides of a pet-friendly workplace are worth the rewards. And, if you do decide to invite the dogs in, let this list of cons guide you in developing pet-friendly policies around things such as vaccination, training, and guidelines about proper pup behavior.
The quick answer is no, you do not really need a foosball table. You also don’t need a well-stocked beer fridge, free lunches, or office Segways.
Foosball certainly translates a laid-back, fun-loving culture into something you can touch. (Just as a Bevi transforms a forward thinking, sustainability-minded culture into something you can taste!) And these things might be the perfect expressions of your workplace culture. But they don’t make a culture on their own. After all, what good is a tube slide between floors if your culture demands professional business wear every day?
Your workplace culture should be evident in everything you do, from the way you approach a project to the benefits your employees enjoy. Then, it should be talked about widely to attract the kinds of talent who will make a great fit. Because ultimately, you want employees to be as excited about your 9am strategy meeting as they are about your 5pm cocktail hour.
Here’s how to make that happen.
1. Paint a picture of culture
Start with your company’s mission and vision. Then go beyond, to the less obvious values and beliefs. Think about what sets you apart in your industry, or in the world. Do you excel at collaboration? Do you prioritize learning and? Do you approach your work as both meaningful and fun? Considering your collective values, beliefs and interests will help give shape and form to your workplace culture.
2. Tap into top talent
As you determine what you value, check in with your top performers. Find out what you’re already doing that’s keeping those folks happy. Dig into what brought them to you initially as well as what keeps them motivated in their day-to-day work. These nuggets of culture, some you may not even be aware of, will help you attract more of the same kind of talent.
3. Perk it up
When Apple added full education reimbursement to its list of benefits, the message was clear—Apple cares about learning and development. Other companies offer flexible schedules with remote work options, unlimited and untracked vacation time, and even paid monthly housecleaning. Fabulous perks, indeed. But also, emblematic of cultures that value work-life balance, mutual trust, and time to recharge. Get clear about what you value and believe to can attract like-minded employees.
Show what you care about to attract employees who care too!
4. Pull it through
Once you’ve aligned your benefits and perks, keep going. Weave your laid-back culture through everything you so, so that prospective employees feel it long before they see the foosball table. Flow your collaborative approach beyond your open floor plan into the way you talk, the way you interview, and the way you present your company on social media and beyond. Make your culture something that can be identified and felt beyond your office walls.
5. Talk about it
Once your culture is in place, talk about it. Everywhere. Share snapshots of your culture on social media, talk about it in your job ads, and weave it into your interview questions. Get your employees to talk about it too. Make videos, host events, and speak about it at conferences. And sure, if it’s right for your culture, maybe even hold that foosball competition you’ve dreamed about.
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