Simon Says Give | Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month

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Innovative Office Solutions is the proud sponsor of the Charity of the Month program in partnership with the Minnesota Wild. The program brings exposure to a different Minnesota Charity each month throughout the NHL season.  The Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month for April 2015 is Simon Says Give.

SSG engages kids who want to be involved in helping others. Their volunteer kids have the opportunity to provide celebrations and gifts – some necessary, and some fun – to children that would otherwise not receive them. The volunteer kids have the opportunity to use their special skills and talents to create fundraising events from which they can manage, learn and grow.

To learn more – or to volunteer, enroll or donate – click here to visit their website.

The Multiple Benefits of Water | Innovative Office Solutions

  The Team Player’s Got Your Back!TeamPlayer_WEB

With March being the month of the Team Player – you know as well as we do that the Team Player has your back in the office. Whether it be refilling your company-branded water bottle, grabbing office visitors coffeewater, a healthy snack, or simplyCoffee reminding you to drink enough throughout the day, the office Team Player understands the importance of hydration.

 

 

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated especially during the summer months. But do you really know the full benefits of water?

Benefits of Water

There are plenty of clear-cut benefits of water, but here we’re going to profile a few that stuck out to us. The following are a few simple benefits that you can expect to see after guzzling down your daily water consumption.Water

Helps Aid in Weightloss

First – plain water has ZERO calories, and no additives to boot. Sure, water is it is fairly boring when consumed by itself. If it is too boring fro your tastes, try adding lemon or mint. Not only will it ad flavor, but also the benefits of citric acid of the lemon and natural taste of the mint leaf. If you find yourself craving something specific during the day, it could be your bodies way of telling you it’s thirsty. So before you reach for that candy bar, refill your water bottle and see how you feel!

Can Help Prevent Different Forms of Cancer

You’ll feel better knowing this: Water can protect against certain types of cancer. Being that it aids in digestion and moving things along, it is great in preventing against things like bowel and colon cancers. Studies have shown that those who stay hydrated on a more regular basis are at a lower risk to these forms of cancer.

Water and Mood

According to Mens Health, a study conducted in France shows that increased water consumption lead to better moods. “Not only were people getting their thirst quenched, but also participants reported feeling less fatigued, less confused, and more satisfied overall with their mood at the end of the study.” And, on the flip-side, lowering water consumption lead to worse moods in those who normally drink large amounts of water.

Hydration Prevents Headaches

Dehydration is the loss of water and electrolytes, such as sodium, chloride and potassium, which are necessary for the body to function. When your body is lacking these essential nutrients, things can get wonky. If you find yourself suffering from frequent headaches due to low water consumption, drink more water! Drink 16 to 32 ounces and in an hour or two you should start to feel better.

Preventing Excessive Sweating

Cold water helps regulate your body temperature and, in turn, helps keep your sweat cells under control. So if you’re prone to excessive sweating, or are a gym rat, be sure to keep cold water handy. Not only will you be more comfortable, but you’ll be doing your body more good. Something less comfortable when it comes to ice water, but equally beneficial, are ice-cold showers. When you hop into a cold shower, your metabolism increases by up to 550% of its resting level, burning calories in the process.

So be sure to find the Team Player in your office! Chances are their encouraging team work, monitoring hydration in company exercise classes, and just being an overall asset to the office!

 

Daylight Saving Time – And You | Innovative Office Solutions

Our office persona for March 2015 is the Team Player – helping you stay productive and on track throughout the entire month!  When it comes to keeping you less and less groggy during these first few weeks of daylight saving time, our Team Player is happy to provide you with all the necessary solutions you need to keep going!

Like most of us, you may be suffering from drowsiness and grogginess thanks to daylight saving time.  But – you’re not alone.  

The History of Daylight Saving Time History*

In 1918 “Fast time”, as Daylight Saving Time was once referred, was first introduced when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the World War I effort.  Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist who is often referred to as the “father of Daylight Saving”, spearheaded the idea after having encountered the idea in the United Kingdom.

Having been repealed seven months later, some cities – including Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York – continued to use it until was instituted year-round by FDR in 1942.

Daylight Saving Time and Sleep**

Our biological clock is unhappy with the time change. During the days and weeks before the time change, most of us awake to sunlight, which is your internal wake-up alarm. Sunlight stimulates our biological clock and activates other brain regions involved with maintaining homeostasis and wakefulness. However, because of daylight saving time, our early morning hours are filled with darkness and we may have more of an urge to “sleep-in.” Less daylight in the morning hours can pause the biological clock’s wake-promoting drive, causing a jet-lag-like feeling – making mornings harder than they are normally.

Whatever your morning routine, these next couple weeks may be a bit more difficult because of the time change.  But fear not – Innovative Office Solutions is happy to provide you any of the “go juice” needed to help you get up and happily greet the day!  For the coffee lovers, we have k-cups and grounds galore.  For the tea drinkers in the office, we’ve got all of the green tea you could ask for.  And for those who prefer energy drinks, we’re stocked!

So we know the effect daylight saving time can have on our internal clock and our sleep schedule – but what about energy consumption?  We’ve all heard the rumors that it was originally used for farming purposes, but are we really saving, well, anything with daylight saving time?

Staying Powered***

With residential electricity output heaviest at night, the idea of daylight saving time is to quell energy use.  It makes sense in theory – wake up earlier, more daylight at the end of the work day and into the evening, equalling less energy used.  But does it really save as much energy as we think?  Some studies show there is little proof that daylight saving actually saves energy.

A study between two Australian states – Victoria and South Australia – showed that daylight saving did help reduce energy use in the evening.  However, energy usage in the mornings increased – negating any energy saved the previous evening.  So that begs the question – how much energy are we saving?  Furthermore – should daylight saving continue?

It doesn’t seem like daylight saving time will cease any time soon.  However, there are further steps you can take to help reduce your energy output, stay energized, and help get back on schedule during these first few weeks of daylight saving time.

Because the time we live in is so reliant on power, Innovative Office Solutions is your best bet when it comes to keeping your office running as productive as possible.  Everything from battery and device chargers, to energy-efficient projectors and printers.  Even without daylight saving time these devices will save you the hassle – and the money – in the long run.

Let Innovative be your single source for all your office needs. Join us and become a Team Player in your workplace!

A Chance To Grow | Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month

Innovative Office Solutions is the proud sponsor of the Charity of the Month program in partnership with the Minnesota Wild. The program brings exposure to a different Minnesota Charity each month throughout the NHL season.  The Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month for March 2015 is A Chance To Grow.

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A Chance To Grow offers multiple programs and services to children and families with a diversity of needs. Based on an understanding of brain development and stimulation, A Chance To Grow’s interventions all have the same goal: to help all those they serve achieve their highest possible potential.

A Chance To Grow offers nine integrated brain-centered programs and services all under one roof.  Their holistic approach to developing individual programs for each client ensures a comprehensive experience at A Chance To Grow for children and families alike. Trained in the areas of speech pathology, occupational therapy, traditional and developmental vision interventions, auditory therapy, neurotechnology, elementary and early childhood education, their variety of specialists bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and care to every client’s experience. Each and every day, they are driven by an agency-wide passion for helping every person reach his or her highest possible potential.

For more information on A Chance To Grow, and to learn how you can help, visit their website.

The Importance of Sleep – Productivity Series | Innovative Office Solutions

A crucial component of stellar productivity is proper sleeping habits.  In this second installment of our Productivity Series – we focus on Sleep.   

Sleep is one of the most important, yet under appreciated, keys to productivity.  By not focusing on this essential part of our daily lives – we are only doing further damage to our productivity – and health – as a whole.

According to the CDC, 35 percent of Americans report regularly getting less than the recommended amount 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  Arianna Huffington, of The Huffington Post, preaches the importance of sleep herself.  By not getting proper sleep, not only are you damaging your body for the long and short term, but your output at work as well.

Harvard suggests that “sleep deprivation was a significant factor in the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, as well as the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl.”

Accidents due to sleep deprivation can also be attributed to events on a less disastrous level.  According to the Institutes of Medicine, “over one million injuries and between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths each year result from preventable medical errors, and many of these may be the result of insufficient sleep.  Doctors, especially newly graduated interns, are often expected to work continuous shifts of 24 to 36 hours with little or no opportunity for sleep.”  A decrease in productivity due to sleep-related issues not only effects an employee’s workload output, but can also cost companies thousands – even millions.

According to a study published in 2010, within the data taken from participants, $54 million roughly $1,967 per employee within this study could be expect to be lost annually.  Estimated costs linked to productivity decreases ranged from $1,293 to $3,296

Like any employee or business owner you are now most likely thinking, “I wonder how much money we’re losing due to sleep deprivation?”  Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer for you.

However, we do have a few ideas on how to encourage proper sleeping habits throughout your office – ultimately leading to increased productivity.

Increased Workplace Flexibility

  • Allowing more flexible start and end times may help contribute to positive lifestyle behaviors.  Their are many benefits to a more flexible work schedule other than increased sleeping patterns and productivity,  but those two are essential reasons to start incorporating a more flexible work schedule.

Workplace Education Programs

  • Educate employees on the importance of proper sleeping habits, and how they can improve life both at home – and at the office.  Make it clear that occasional sleep loss and fatigue are expected, but teach employees on how to safely and effectively function while “running on empty”.  Topics such as regular exercise, proper nutrition, and manageable workloads could all be covered in depth as they are a few important elements when looking to improve sleeping habits.

 

Getting more sleep is often times easier said than done.  However,  as long as you’re more conscious of how important proper sleeping habits are, the more likely you are to change your current habits.  There are plenty of reasons to get into a better sleep routine – saving your employer thousands, increasing workplace safety, and keeping your sanity – that it is up to you to put the proper actions in place.

 

 

 

GiGi’s Playhouse | Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month

Innovative Office Solutions is the proud sponsor of the Charity of the Month program in partnership with the Minnesota Wild. The program brings exposure to a different Minnesota Charity each month throughout the NHL season.  The Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month for February 2015 is GiGi’s Playhouse.

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GiGi’s Playhouse is a one-of-a-kind achievement center for individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community. GiGi’s Playhouse offers more than 25 therapeutic and educational programs that advance literacy, math skills, motor skills and more; all of which are free of charge.

Programs are created by professional therapists and teachers who generously donate their time and expertise. All programs are based on best practices for Down syndrome learning styles, and customized to ensure individual success. GiGi’s Playhouse actually serves infants through adults. GiGi’s Playhouse is headquartered in Hoffman Estates, IL; with 15 locations throughout the United States and Mexico, with more opening soon.

GiGi’s Playhouse makes a difference every day. Our unique points of difference empower individuals and their parents to achieve their greatest potential with confidence, independence, and joy.  They have a “place”; and they will never let location be a barrier to success.  They have “programs”: they will never let curriculum be a boundary to achievement. Most importantly, programs are free.  GiGi’s Playhouse will never let cost deter families from participation or impede the achievement of children and adults.

For more information, visit http://gigisplayhouse.org/twincities/.

Race Into the New Year with Help From Innovative Office Solutions | Innovative Office Solutions

Not only do organized races encourage a healthy lifestyle, but also increase awareness for countless different movements and organizations.  5K’s and other organized races seem to last year round.  If you’re planning an organized run – whether a 5K or otherwise – for the near future, let Innovative Office Solutions help outfit you with all the branded merchandise you’ll need!


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Innovative Office Solutions is known for providing companies with high-quality products and services.  Did you know those products also include apparel and ear buds, to trail mix and first aid kits?  Being that Spring is right around the corner (we hope), 5K’s and other races are going to more and more popular.  Be sure you’ve got all the essentials at your next event!  Check out what we can provide.

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Runners

  • Apparel
    • This goes without saying.  Everyone loves a t-shirt or hat to commemorate their participation.  Leave your participants with unforgettable memories  – and merchandise!

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  • Towels
    • Nothing can be more irritating than beads of sweat running down your face or getting in your eye as you run.  Keep your participants comfortable with branded towels!
  • Lip balm
    • Wind can be brutal on runners skin – surprise your participants with some branded lip balm.
  • Water bottles
    • Water bottles and running go hand-in-hand.  Keep your participants hydrated.

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  • Ear buds
    • Some runners enjoy music while running.  Provide your participants with sweet ear buds so they can plug into their “running” playlist!

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  • Trail mix
    • Perfect for refueling after an arduous race.

For those folks who come out to support friends or family members during their race, the participants don’t only have all the fun.  Attendees can get in on the action, too!

Attendees

  • Bottled water
    • Don’t let attendees sit and cheer on their friends or family members without something to drink!
  • Umbrellas
    • For those rainy, snowy, or overly sunny days – umbrellas are perfect for those avid 5k fans
  • Can Koozies
    • Help keep attendee beverages cold with branded koozies – another great idea when looking to give attendees something by which to remember the event!

From celebratory and commemorative metals, to finish line ribbons –  we’ve got everything to make race organizers lives that much easier.

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  • Medals
    • Because winners loved to be recognized, and again – a great way for participants to remember the race

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 These products are all perfect for, but aren’t strictly limited to, 5k runs!  Most would also work for things like corporate golf outings – or simply having around the office.  Contact Innovative Office Solution’s Promotional Specialist Pearlee Coty at 612.386.8204 or  PCoty@innovativeos.com if you’re in the stages of planning a 5K, corporate outing, or simply need to spruce up the office space with more branded products!

Shriners Hospital for Children | Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month

Innovative Office Solutions is the proud sponsor of the Charity of the Month program in partnership with the Minnesota Wild. The program brings exposure to a different Minnesota Charity each month throughout the NHL season.  The Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month for January 2015 is Shriners Hospital for Children.

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Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities’ board certified surgeons and care providers have been providing high-quality medical care for children in a family-centered environment since 1923.

Located in Minneapolis, their 40-bed hospital and clinic focuses on treating children with orthopaedic (muscle, bone and joint) conditions, cleft lip and palate, and specialized plastic surgery needs in an environment designed to put children at ease. Every member of their staff, from surgeons to therapists, to nurses to prosthetists work together to ensure the best course of treatment for each patient. As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, they have direct access to Mayo Clinic resources and expertise.

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For more information on Shriners Hospitals for Children visit their website!

Reasons to Increase Office Collaboration | Innovative Office Solutions

“A collaborative culture” sounds good on paper – but how many businesses actually put this key piece of interaction in place?  Collaborative workspaces seem to be a hot new trend in office layouts – and have proven to be beneficial to many successful organizations.

However cool they may look, the key part to collaborative workspaces can be found in the word itself – collaboration.  Cool layouts are for naught if they aren’t used properly.  We’ve touched on the benefits of collaborative workspaces on the Innovative blog before, but this post will focus on the importance of the action of collaboration – and how it will benefit you, your employees, and your business in the long run.

1.  Increased Innovation

  • When one thinks about “office collaboration”, the cliche phrase “two heads are better than one” comes to mind.  In this case – that phrase is correct.  Office collaboration provides you the opportunity to work with someone you may not always work with, in order to achieve a common goal.  However, as outlined earlier, that common goal must be clearly outlined before collaboration is to being.

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2.  Utilization of Multiple Strengths

  • By combining teams of coworkers who don’t often work together, new and multiple strengths can be uncovered.  For instance, someone in finance may have a knack for the written word, or a member of the customer service team has a deep desire to design.  When new partnerships are forged within the workplace, coworkers strengths can be uncovered – ultimately benefitting each other and the business as a whole.

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3.  Proper and Efficient Use of Resources

  • If one person in the office is tasked with something they are either unfamiliar with or something for which they are unqualified, it can turn into an inappropriate usage of time and resources.  However, when multiple people are focused on one project – where each worker’s strengths are properly showcased – different employees can shine – and projects get completed more efficiently.

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4.  Increased Efficiency 

  • Workplace collaboration allows businesses to efficiently complete important projects and initiatives. The more departments and employees involved, work can be distributed more evenly to those who have the time and expertise.  Often referred to as the divide and conquer strategy – a larger team, consisting of six or eight individuals – where multiple members could each take a small specialized part of the project and accomplish it in a faster timeframe.

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If you’re thinking about redesigning your office layout – or would like to learn more about the open office floor plan at Innovative Office Solutions – give us a call at 952.808.9900!

Increased Printing Efficiency and Security – HP JetAdvantage Pull Print | Innovative Office Solutions

hp_logo_hpe Experience the benefits of HP JetAdvantage Pull Print today – at no extra cost.

Maintain print job confidentiality with the new JetAdvantage Pull Print service offered by HP, both in the cloud and on demand.

By requiring user authenticationHPWLESP13034_JetAdv_PullProtect_IMG before print jobs can be released, you can be sure the right documents land in the right hands. And because it works with your existing HP fleet of printers and MFPs, you can get started quickly.

When utilizing the HP JetAdvantage Pull Print service, you eliminate accidental and misplaced print jobs – helping cut costs on paper, toner, ink, and time. Plus, you can increase productivity by enabling users to only print from the most convenient enabled HP printer or MFP.

Make your business more cost-efficient today with HP JetAdvantage Pull Print.

If you’d like to learn more about this service from HP – or to see if you qualify – visit our website or contact our Account Executive Christina Boerigter – CBoerigter@innovativeos.com – for more info!