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OfficePlayground Blog

  • Watch Office Toys Get Crushed By A Hydraulic Press

    How much stress can these stress toys take?

    Continue reading
  • 5 New Ways to Say Thank You

    Saying thank you can go a long way, but if you thank someone without thought, it becomes meaningless. In today's hectic workplace, it can be difficult to find the time to compose a thoughtful thank you note. We'll help you out with 5 new and fun ways to say thanks. Now you can show your appreciation for your job, coworkers, contractors, clients, and employees with a twist of fun.

     Word Stress Toy - Thanks

    1. Send a squeezable thank you

    The Word Stress Toy in Thanks spells out your appreciation. Have several of these on hand to give to employees for a job well done. To add some thought, write a short message with a permanent marker on the back telling the recipient why you're thankful.

     Sticky Notes - Awesome

    2. Write an awesome thank you note

    The Awesome Sticky Notes memo pad gives you the perfect prompt for starting your thank you notes: just list out reasons why you think the recipient is awesome. When you're finished, be sure to check the "Actually Awesome" checkbox for added emphasis.

    Thank You Sound Button

    3. Press a thank you button

    The Thank You Sound button is perfect for small and shared offices. When you receive help from a coworker that sits in the cubicle next to you, press the Thank You Sound Button to express your gratitude.

     Talking Pen - Thanks

    4. Give a thank you pen

    When you thank someone with the Thanks Talking Pen, you're giving both a useful gift and a grateful message that can be listened to over and over again. Press down on the figurine to hear him say, "Thanks a lot! Thank you very, very much! Thank you so much!"

     Word Stress Ball - Thanks

    5. Say thanks with a stress ball

    You can also customize the Thanks Stress Ball with your logo or custom message. It's great for thanking volunteers who participated in a large event or attendees of a trade show or conference.

     

     

     

     

  • 5 Super Easy Ways to Be a Better Manager Tomorrow

    Guest Post: 5 Super Easy Ways to Be a Better Manager Tomorrow

    better-manager

    We all qualify managers differently depending on our personal and working needs, but it's probably safe to assume everyone has had a "bad" manager at least once in their career.  While you may not be everyone’s favorite manager, you can be a better manager, whether you need to improve communication, reduce micro-managing, or be more available to your employees.

    Your management style might not change immediately, but there are several adjustments you can make become a better manager over time.

    Use these tips to get better at your job. They're not only good for you they are important to the business and your employees.

    1. Use the Golden Rule

    If you take a step back and consider your management style from the perspective of your employees, you’ll get an important reality check. When people are put in a position of power they can forget that they were once lower-level employees who struggled, worked long hours, and valued acknowledgement from the higher-ups.

    Humility is a great quality to have as a manager because it allows you to recognize that, although you’re in charge, you should still treat everyone equally, which is where the Golden Rule comes into play: treat your employees the way you would want to be treated. Look at situations through their eyes and remember how you might have felt in a similar situation.

    This perspective will make you a better manager in no time.

    2. Acknowledge Progress

    According to a recent poll of 1,000 American adults, the number one fear is personal failure. This fear can lead to a lack of confidence in work. Your employees may have unhealthy thoughts like: "This isn’t right, I just know it" or "My manager never said the project looked good, maybe they didn’t like it." To increase productivity and employee engagement, it is your responsibility as the manage to provide positive feedback, acknowledge employees’ progress/good work, and listen to their concerns.

    You are in a perfect position to make sure that your employees have the support and encouragement that leads to progress and improvement.

    3. Admit That You’re Human

    Sometimes the pressure of being a manager can be overwhelming. Others look to you on a daily basis to lead by example. If you’re constantly obsessing over being perfect, employees will begin to do the same.

    This stress can be toxic for the office and morale. According to ComPsych’s 2014 Stress Pulse survey, 42 percent of stressed people lose 15 to 30 minutes of productivity a day and 35 percent lose an hour or more.

    Remember, your bandwidth has a limit. Delegate tasks, work to your capacity each day, and let the rest go. As a result, you and your employees will benefit immensely.

    4. Listen Carefully

    Listening is one of the most important jobs of a manager. Your employees have problems that only you can solve; truly listening to what they need from you will make everyone’s life easier.

    It’s important that you also listen to their ideas. Maybe they have new ideas for an upcoming project or maybe it's a new training process that they experienced at another job. In a survey by The Office Club, 12 percent of respondents said that listening was an important quality in a manager:

    Employees appreciate when their voices are heard and their opinions are genuinely taken into account. A manager who listens to input with an open mind, then applies this feedback toward improving work performance, will encourage organizational loyalty.

    A great method to make sure your employees are heard is to hold regular 1-on-1 meetings with them.

    5. Don’t Pick Favorites

    Work is work and if you keep work relationships professional, you’ll be less stressed and more effective. It’s easy to show favoritism when certain people on your team are friends or previous coworkers. there’s a fine line between management and employees. It's important that everyone is treated equally.

    Level the playing field, because it gives everyone the opportunity to succeed and improve the company as a whole. Before meeting with an employee you consider a friend, remind yourself that this is your job as their manager. This is a manager to employee exchange, not coffee with a friend. If you can master that, you’ll be in a good place.

    BIO:

    Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and has five years of experience in the marketing world. She is a professional blogger with published work in Lifehack, Manta, Ms. Career Girl, StartupNation, and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.

  • Bring Toys to Work... Not Donuts!

    Bring Toys to Work... Not Donuts!

    Are you still bringing donuts to meetings? WAIT! You don't need to do that anymore. There's a better way to get everyone energized and excited at your next meeting. It's simple: bring toys, not donuts.

    We all know that donuts are bad for you and the sugar crash is a serious downer. Bringing donuts to meetings is like saying, "Here, I hope you all feel sick for the next 5 hours and act like zombies all afternoon." Donuts only take a minute to eat, give you heartburn and require an extra workout to burn off the empty calories. On the other hand, a good office toy is long-lasting, stress relieving and brightens up your workspace.

    So why bring toys to work? Note the health considerations: bring toys to work Have some fun at your next office meeting and bring toys. Who knows, maybe you'll impress your boss so much, you'll get further in your career (we make no guarantees).

    Next time, bring some:

    Tangle Jr.

    Fidget Toys!

     

    Or:

    Neon Mesh Squishy Ball

    Stress Balls!

     

    Or:

    Colorful Crawly Caterpillar Toy

    Stretchy Toys!

  • How to Make Your Promotional Pen Stand Out

    promotional-pen-stand-out

    Make sure your promotion gets noticed.

    So, you want to promote your business with a pen -  GREAT idea! Pens are very popular promotional items, with good reason. They're inexpensive, useful, and easily handed out anywhere.  Continue reading

  • Top 5 Things to Do With a Slinky

    Top 5 Things to Do With a Slinky Image: Clare Black

    Slinkys have been around for over seventy years now. Why? Because there are so many fun things you can do with a Slinky. Chances are you grew up with one slinking about your home.  Continue reading

  • Should You Wear a Halloween Costume to Work?

    Should you wear a Halloween Costume to Work? Halloween falls on a Monday this year, so you might be wondering when and where you can wear your Halloween costume.

    Continue reading
  • What Type of Boss Are You?

    What Type of Boss Are You?

    What Type of Boss Are You?

    A great boss can be hard to find. They're supportive in developing their staff members, they are great communicators, and they empower employees to excel. Are you a great boss? Maybe you like to play it cool. Take this quiz to learn what type of boss you are (all in fun, of course). Since everyone could use some pointers every now and then, (Nobody's perfect!) we will also give some ideas on how to become a better boss.

    Mr. or Ms. Cool

    Mr. Cool Emoji Stress Ball You like to play it cool. You tend to be very sociable, funny, easy going, and confident. In some cases, you are seen as the relaxed boss that wants to be your employee's best friend. The plus side of being the cool boss is that you are well liked by almost everyone. The downside is that you might not be the best boss you can be. That just means there is room for improvement! How can you be a better boss? That answer is different for each cool boss. You got the cool thing down--the next step is to be both cool and a well-respected leader.

    The Angry Boss

    Mad Stress Ball Uh-oh. You're the angry boss type. Maybe it’s time you took a step back to make sure your emotions are in check. Instead of blowing off some steam by yelling at your staff members, squeeze a stress ball and count to 10. Becoming a calmer boss will help you and your team enjoy work and be more productive.

    The pointy-haired boss (The Boss) from Dilbert

    The Boss Stress Toy from Dilbert You are quite the character--you're the boss from Dilbert. This probably isn't a good thing, but it does mean you have room for improvement. According to Wikipedia, the pointy-haired boss "is frequently childish, immature, ignorant, and rude, yet also annoyingly cheerful and oblivious to his own actions." It might mean that you need to be more involved in what your employees actually do and learn to trust them. You also might benefit from training or a class in business communication or management.

    The Great Boss

    Gold Mini Trophy You are a rare find--the great boss. You certainly deserve a gold trophy because you are a great communicator, you know when and how to delegate, you empower your staff, and you give genuine praise for even the small things. Not quite the total package yet? Take a first step to becoming a better boss by praising, rewarding, and encouraging great habits. This can be simply done through written or spoken communication or you can give employees a gold trophy of their own.

    The Executive

    Executive Reactionary The executive boss is a true professional. You exhibit many qualities of a great boss: you are confident, a great leader, respected, and competitive. From time to time, you might be a little demanding, but you know how to get things done. Your dedication and strong work ethic support your success. In order to maintain this success, you need the right staff. You only hire the best and if an employee isn't pulling their weight, you do what you need to do to make things right.

    ---

    Did the results match up to your management style? Even a great boss could use a pointer or two for becoming a better boss. Here are just a few ideas. How are you a great boss?

    1. Make sure you're encouraging yourself and staff members to learn and grow. 2. Have mutual respect between you and your employees. 3. Be fair. While each individual is unique, do your best to be consistent. 4. Praise your staff. Employees like to know they're doing well. Let them know you appreciate them.

  • Motivational Quotes to Help You Get Through Your Work Day

    Motivational Quotes to Help You Get Through Your Work Day

    "When you form a team, why do you try to form a team? Because teamwork builds trust and trust builds speed." - Russel Honore

    Continue reading

  • Decorate Your Cubicle Like the Guys from Workaholics

    Workaholics subicle

    Decorate Your Cubicle Like the Guys from Workaholics

    Workaholics is a show loved by all who understand and live through an office workday. It follows the hijinks of three 20-something cubicle mates (and roommates), as they somehow manage to not get fired while at the same time make the most out of their workweek. We just love how much of our awesome toys and products are in the cubicle inhabited by our favorite 9-5ers on TV!

    Take a moment to hover your mouse on the above image to see what OfficePlayground toys we've spotted.

    Want more Workaholic ideas?

    Chomp The Shark

    CHOMP THE SHARK

    A hungry shark is the last thing you want to be near. Lucky for you, because this one is in the middle of digesting some unfortunate fellow

    Buy Here!

    Butt Putt Farting Golf Putter Game

    BUTT PUTT FARTING GOLF PUTTER GAME

    Whether you're an aspiring golfer or a astute 9-year-old boy, the Butt Putt is sure to be a hit. This golf ball return game features a none-too-subtle bum-shaped putting target,

    Buy Here!

    Fart in a Can

    FART IN A CAN

    Fart in a Can is the ultimate fart-friendly gag gift. Each time you press the button on the blownhorn-styled can and you’ll hear one of these six delightful sounds: Silent but Deadly, Loud & Proud, The Big Boy,

    Buy Here!

    Thigh Master - Exercise Toning System

    THIGH MASTER - EXERCISE TONING SYSTEM

    Now you can get in a quick workout, and do it without leaving your desk! Use the Thigh Master to tone your entire body, including your thighs, chest, hips, and arms.

    Buy Here!

    Dress-Up Bigfoot

    DRESS-UP BIGFOOT

    Not to get philosophical, but if you think about it, Bigfoot walks around naked. Sure, his fur makes does an okay job of covering up, but he's a forest-living, hippy nudist.

    Buy Here!

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