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.




Discounted Minnesota Wild Tickets! | Innovative Office Solutions and the InSports Foundation

Who likes discounted Minnesota Wild tickets?  You do, that’s who!  Check out this exclusive offer from the InSports Foundation and come cheer on your favorite National Hockey League team!
insports logo 2
The InSports Foundation – a partner of Innovative Office Solutions –  encourages children to get involved in sports, while helping them become more confident, proactive members of their community.
The InSports Foundation has teamed up with the Minnesota Wild for an exclusive fundraising opportunity.  Help raise money with the Minnesota Wild and the InSports Foundation by purchasing discounted tickets to the upcoming Wild games!  The ticket prices will be marked down throughout the year, with a portion of each ticket going directly to InSports Foundation.
Hurry!  Lower level tickets are only at the bargain price of $65 while supplies last!
Purchase tickets here – and be sure to use the promo code INSPORTS at checkout!
For questions or to purchase groups of 8 or more, please contact Lindsay Weier: 651-312-3495 or

Harding’s Hope | March 2014 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.

Harding’s Hope is a Minnesota charity launched by Wild goaltender Josh Harding to raise awareness about MS and to raise funds to support people living with MS.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. MS symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Women are more than three times as likely to develop MS than men and MS is more frequently observed at northern latitudes.

People living with MS face unexpected, ongoing financial challenges. The average health care cost is $70,000 per year per family according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Josh Harding was diagnosed in October of 2012. He is thankful for the support he has received from family, friends, medical staff, the hockey community –  and  recognizes that not everyone has the same ‘team’, nor the financial ability to ensure that they do not have to make the choice between getting treatment and paying their day-to-day expenses.

Josh believes in the power of teamwork and that ‘every one percent counts’. To help promote MS awareness month, Harding’s Hope launched ‘Make the Save’, a fundraising program that encourages people to team up and join Josh by donating for every save the Minnesota Wild goaltenders make during the month of March. Individuals, families, classrooms, sports teams and businesses can commit to any amount and select either an individual game or multiple games during March and be eligible for prizes including signed equipment and photographs, a visit to your school or business, or a a suite night at a Wild home game with a post game visit with Josh.

For more information, or to find out how to get involved with Harding’s Hope, visit  Join us in helping promote MS awareness month and Harding’s Hope as the Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month.

INtern Awards and Year Recap

INtern Awards and Year Recap

As the summer winds down so does our internship here at Innovative.  It was an eventful three months and I can say with confidence that each one of the INterns came away with an invaluable experience.   We were given a phenomenal opportunity to learn more about the sales world and gain skills that will lead us to success in our future careers.  I believe we did our best to fully take advantage of that.  To conclude the first year of the INtern program we would like to nominate each INtern for an end-of-year award and recognize the progress that we have made during the summer.

Most Valuable Intern – Max Smith

There is truly not a more experienced intern in the nation than Max Smith.   Entering his fifth year, Max was primed to repeat as MVI.  His countless hours of cold-calling and willingness and determination to go on as many lunch meetings as possible made this happen.

Comeback Intern of the Year – Luke Trepanier

He returned for a monster year in his second year after finishing runner-up in the MVI race during his rookie-campaign.  Experts considered him to be a shoe-in for the award all year long seeing as he was the only candidate after Max won Most Valuable Intern.

Sportsmanship Award – Peter Burke

No intern has handled adversity with more grace than Peter Burke.  His demeanor in and out of the office is that of a true competitor.  His post-race interview after his chair-racing victory at the Innovative Cup was truly moving.   The man has an incomparable respect for the game and his opponents.  What a class act.

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Drew Bjordal

Drew has gained an impressive reputation all across the Midwest in only his first year.  Geography is no limitation for Drew and he has an unheralded ability to close accounts with his charm and good looks.  He would like to dedicate this award to his mentor and close, close friend, Sarah Johnson.

Defensive Rookie of the Year – Eric Ritacco

Eric’s ability to defend his company against any and all opposing vendors is earth-shattering.  Rumor has it that Eric “The Stone Wall” Ritacco has stopped several companies from tapping into our business simply by giving them a death stare.

JV Intern of the Year – Tony Companion

While he did not play on the varsity team this year, Tony maintained a great work ethic throughout the year.  His hustle and positive attitude were both an inspiration to everyone in the office.  I’m confident that Tony will continue his tireless effort all year and make a case for the varsity squad next summer; he is a true spark plug.

And that rounds out the Intern awards for this summer.  We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that contributed to our blog and helped us out along the way, it was an incredible journey.  I’m excited to see what next years INterns have in store for the program.

Signing off one last time,

The INterns

The Art of Being Rejected

Soichiro Honda once said, “Success is 99% failure.”  If that’s true, which I believe it is, the interns have had a very successful summer thus far.  If a salesman can persuade one out of ten people to meet with him, he’s had a good day.  If that same salesman can convince even half of those people to buy something, he’s had a great day.  And if that very same salesman can convince you, the reader, that this blog is funny, then he should retire with no complaints.

In the spirit of rejection each INtern will share his most interesting cold-call failure (anonymously of course).  Leave a comment with your guess as to who said what for a chance to win four tickets to the Minnesota Twins game on Wednesday, August 29th at 7:10 PM vs. the Seattle Mariners!

Intern #1

“On this particular day my confidence was pretty low.  One woman had already told me that I should dress nicer and another told me that I should never contact their organization again for any reason.  I figured that my day couldn’t get much worse so I walked in to the next building and gave my sales pitch.  Before I could even finish, the gentleman stopped me and asked, “How long have you been doing this?” I said, “A couple weeks, why?”  “That was a pretty bad sales pitch” “…” “Your posture was bad, you didn’t have great eye contact and your voice was monotone” “Can I try again?” “No, I’m still not interested.” “Dang it, okay have a nice day sir.”

Intern #2

“One time a fellow INtern and I were walking into a local business hoping to land an account.  We walk in with high confidence and are ready to sell.  Before we even get done telling the receptionist who we are, and asking if they have ever heard of Innovative before, she yells at us and explains that, “We get more people in here trying to sell us stuff than we have people walking in here to buy stuff.  That’s why there’s a ‘No soliciting’ sign on the door, now get out!”  We said we were sorry and slowly walked out of the office as we tried not to laugh.”

Intern #3

“Once I walked into a computer company and the lady at the front desk was having trouble with her own computer.  She told me that she wasn’t really a ‘computer person’ and asked me to help.  After messing around with her computer for about 15 minutes I finally fixed her problem.  She was very grateful and I asked if she was interested in sitting down for a meeting.

“Yeah, no thanks.”

Intern #4

“I walked in to Brunswick Zone with another INtern and had some trouble figuring out where the front office would be.  The first two adults to catch my eye were sitting behind what looked to be a desk.  I approached them without asking if they worked there – rookie mistake.  Halfway through my sales pitch I was interrupted by one of the adults, “Umm, I don’t work here, I’m just here watching my kids play in the arcade.”

Intern #5

“The cold-call couldn’t be going any better.  The woman I’m speaking with is very receptive to my sales pitch.  She’s giving me great eye contact, nodding her head and seeming eager to hear more.  At the end of my speech I ask her if she’d be interested in getting a free quote and she looks me dead in the eye and says, “You know that your company is our biggest competitor, right?”

Leave your guesses as to which INtern (Max, Luke, Pete, Drew, Eric) said what for a chance to win the tickets.   If you guess all five correctly, you will be entered for a chance to win.  Make sure to leave an email address so that we can reach you if you’re a winner.

-The INterns

What People Think We Do

Lately, many of our friends, family members, and co-workers have been asking us a difficult question, “What do you guys actually do?”. It’s a fair enough inquiry, but not an easy one to answer.  We recently posted a video to poke fun at the fact that many of our peers give us a hard time for slacking during office hours.  While this is not entirely true, we do acknowledge there are certain perks to being an INtern.  This prompted us to take an outside look at how various people in our lives perceive our working conditions.

What My Friends Think I Do:

Sales training










What My Mom Thinks I Do:













What Society Thinks I Do:

This doesn’t taste like hot chocolate.












What My Boss Thinks I Do:

Crunching numbers.












What I Think I Do:

Reviewing a $100 million dollar deal












What I Actually Do:

Preparing to “Meet with clients”












Looks like a typical day in the office to me.

Thanks for reading and please keep up with our antics on Facebook and Youtube.  We encourage you to comment on our page and are always willing to answer your questions.  Keep an eye out for out next video promoting an upcoming event with the Minnesota Twins, it’s sure to be a big “hit”!

-The INterns

Innovative makes Top 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Led Companies

Today, the Womens Presidents Organization (WPO) and American Express OPEN released a list of the 50 fastest-growing women-owned or women-led companies in North America.

We’re very excited to have just made it on the list at number 49. Here is the link with more information.

Jennifer Smith, CEO, Innovative Office Solutions #49