close-up of a messy desk

A healthy work-life balance is becoming harder and harder to maintain. Technology makes it so easy for us to stay connected to our work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Most statistics indicate that Americans do a poor job maintaining a healthy work-life balance. A survey from Gallup found that the average full-time employee in the U.S. works forty-seven hours a week. In another survey, 63% of U.S. employees stated that job-related stress caused them to regularly engage in unhealthy behaviors.

So what’s the secret to finding a healthy work-life balance? Unfortunately, there’s no magic answer. Your work-life balance will probably look different from your co-worker’s. That being said, the only way to find that balance is to try a few different strategies. Here are six ideas to get you started. 

Work-Life Balance Starts With Unplugging 

One important aspect of creating a healthy work-life balance is to leave your work at work. Or, at least, quarantine your work to specific places or times. By unplugging—both electronically and mentally—you allow yourself the time you need to focus on other important areas of your life. 

1. Write tomorrow’s to-do list before you leave.

It all starts before you even leave work. At the end of the day, take five minutes to review what you’ve gotten done and write a to-do list for tomorrow. That way, you already have a clear idea of what your next day on the job looks like. Hopefully, this helps you avoid lying awake at night trying to strategize your workload for the next day. 

Pro Tip: If you love making to-do lists and taking notes, than you may want to give Bullet Journaling a try. This is a specific system for organizing your tasks, notes, lists, and everything else about your life. It’s easy to learn and doesn’t require any special books or tools.  

2. Disconnect from your workday with a mini-ritual on your commute home. 

Disconnect from your work day by starting a small ritual or habit on your way home. Take a few deep breaths, listen to a specific song or playlist, put on your favorite podcast, or ceremoniously turn off your email and slack notifications. Whatever this mini-ritual might be, simply making it a habit will trigger your subconscious into mentally disconnecting from work. 

3. Don’t check your work messages during time with family and friends.  

This is another vital aspect of creating a healthy work-life balance. By making a point to turn off work-related notifications you’re forcing yourself to be fully engaged with those you care about the most. This not only helps you relax, but shows your friends and family that your relationships with them are more important than your work. 

Of course, sometimes our jobs require us to be reachable at all times. If this is the case for you, set up a specific system for being “on call”. Whether this means only being available a set amount of hours, only taking work calls if it’s an emergency—make sure to set specific parameters for your on-call hours. 

Perfecting Your Work-Life Balance With Self-Care 

4. Exercise to stay fit and relieve stress.   

There’s more to exercise than staying healthy. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise is not only a way to stay fit, it also relieves stress. Exercise does this by increasing your endorphins (also known as your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters). In a recent study, 67% of 18-29 year olds said regular exercise was one of the best ways to avoid burnout. You don’t have to run a marathon or train for a triathlon. Simple activities like taking a walk or playing basketball is enough to reduce stress and put you in a good mood.

Besides improving your mood, exercise can increase self-confidence, relax you, lower symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve your sleep, and even get you closer to a meditative state. The focus that comes from exercising regularly can help you remain calm and collected in other areas of your life. 

Pro tip: any kind of exercise will increase your fitness level and decrease your stress. Do what you love! Whether it’s walking, rollerblading, yoga, gardening, or running around the yard with your dog. Take care of yourself and relieve some stress with exercise!

5. Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. 

Sleep is just as important to your health as diet or exercise. The side effects of poor sleep are: moodiness, fatigue, irritability, depression, difficulty learning, and forgetfulness. More serious health problems come along with chronic sleep issues including: heart disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Bottom line: don’t mess with sleep. It could have serious consequences. 

Pro tip: Don’t spend a lot of time on your phone or watch too much TV before you go to sleep. I know, I know…we all watch Netflix before we go to bed. But, in reality, the light from your phone or the TV can interrupt your body’s normal sleep patterns and keep you feeling alert. While this is great during the day, it isn’t super helpful when you’re supposed to be sleeping. Experts recommend limiting your phone and TV exposure 30 to 60 minutes before bed to allow your body to naturally produce melatonin. While it may be hard to give up your nighttime Netflix addiction, in the end your body (and your brain) will thank you for it. 

6. Meditation for mindful work-life balance. 

Even if you don’t call it “meditation”, simply making a point to be more mindful in your everyday life will help you reduce stress. Taking a few moments to quietly reflect on the day (whether in the morning or at night) puts things in perspective and helps you think more clearly about the day’s events. Perhaps during a minute of reflection, you realize that the irritation you feel towards your co-worker could be resolved with an honest conversation. Or maybe gathering your thoughts will help calm your anxiety about an upcoming meeting.  

Pro tip: Download a meditation app. Whether you want to start with a five-day guided practice session from “The Mindfulness App” or try out the sleep tracks and nature soundscapes from “Headspace”, a meditation app will help you take advantage of the quiet moments in your day. 

Skip the Stress with Workbox 

Stress can be a huge drain on your system. At Workbox Staffing, we make finding a new job or hiring a qualified candidate simple and stress-free. We know that there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to jobs. That’s why we pair job seekers with a personalized career coach who listens and understands your skills and goals. Are you ready to take the next step in your job search? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today about finding your next job.   

In your company, you understand why safety is important. You know the risks and what can happen to your team and you want to keep them from injury or worse. You follow the OSHA requirements and know the processes and repercussions should something happen. Sometimes, it feels like you live and breathe safety, but does your team feel the same?

In order to get general buy-in, you need to change how your employees view safety. Here are some suggestions to extend the understanding beyond management.

Develop a company culture built on safety

If safety isn’t the expectation, your employees will never take it seriously. When it becomes ingrained in your company culture, it will be second nature to follow the rules and even report violations.

Start with additional training and signed contracts with your current team if safety needs to be more of a focus. Then, when you onboard new employees, impress the importance of it on them and have them sign as well. Eventually, by doing this, safety will become a part of your company.

Keep your team updated

Regulations change and new equipment is installed, so make sure you’re holding meetings and trainings when necessary. This way, there’s no excuse for not knowing and you can be sure everyone is educated.

There might be grumblings about meetings at first, but like building it into your culture, soon it will become an understood part of the job. Plus, you can use this as a recruiting tool to let potential employees know you value both safety and training.

Develop rewards system for safety practices

While you don’t want to develop a culture built around tattle tales, you can reward other safety practices to provide an additional incentive for following the company rules. For example, if an employee notices something off with a machine and reports it, that could qualify for a public acknowledgement and small reward. You could even develop a safe employee of the month program to recognize someone who consistently makes it a priority.

Find the safe employees you need today

The right employees can make or break your company, which is why you need more than just a body in a role. You want performers who value what’s important to your company, like safety. We put our employees through an extensive evaluation process, including background checks, testing, and drug screenings, to make sure they’re the real deal.

Next time you’re looking for an employee in your light industrial, warehouse, manufacturing, or office/administration setting, trust Workbox Staffing to deliver. Contact us today to get started!

There’s a familiar dread you may have experienced as Sunday rolls on. Early in the day it still feels like the weekend, but soon you can’t deny the brutal truth that tomorrow is Monday and you have to go to work. Even when you resolve to make it a good day, sometimes Monday will still get the best of you. When this happens, here are five ways to turn your day around before it ruins the whole week.

Take a walk

This can happen while you’re still at work or after the day has ended. Allowing yourself some time to literally move away from it all and refocus can help you put whatever happened behind and take into the next day in a better mood with a more optimistic attitude.

Vent it out

While too much complaining and negativity can make a situation worse, the right amount of venting can take the frustration off your shoulders. The simple act of explaining what happened and having someone listen can be therapeutic so you aren’t trapped in your thoughts all day, slowly growing more and more agitated.

Give yourself a break to laugh

The Internet is full of amazing videos meant to make you laugh, and one of them is sure to be the solution to your case of the Mondays. Not only is laughter the best medicine, but it also takes your mind off of what’s happening and allows you to calm down and enjoy yourself.

Don’t work too hard

When you’re at work, you need to do your job, but try focusing on tasks that don’t require too much effort. You can’t avoid what’s time sensitive, but you can take your Monday a little easier if you aren’t trying to solve every problem at once. By planning a calmer day to ease you into the week, you might find more success moving forward.

Be grateful

Even if everything is going wrong now, it doesn’t mean you don’t still have good in your life. Take a break and right a list of reasons you’re grateful. By counting your blessings, it takes your mind off of what’s wrong and redirects your thoughts to all the good you have.

An employment agency with you in mind

When your case of the Mondays becomes a weekly occurrence, it might a sign that it’s more than just a bad day. Instead of suffering through your job, partner with Workbox Staffing to find something new. We pair you with a personalized career coach to understand where you’re at in your career and where you want to go. Then, we’ll find the job that’s perfect for you. Search our job boards today to begin your journey!

happy worker on lunch break

Let’s face it. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. When you’re at work, you may be tempted to skip your lunch break in order to get a few extra things done. But research has shown that skipping your break isn’t healthy and may actually decrease your overall productivity. Here are some ways to unplug from your workday and make the most of your lunch break.

Basics of a Productive Lunch Break 

Rules of thumb for planning your break:

  • Plan. Simply knowing that you have time set aside for a break will make you more productive.
  • A Short break is better than no break at all. Give your brain a rest! Even short breaks increase creativity and productivity. 
  • A fully detached break is better than a semi-detached break. Try not to check your email at lunch, or talk about projects in the break room. 
  • Moving is better than staying in one place. Stretch your legs, take a walk, or do some stretches. Get your blood flowing
  • Being outside is better than being inside. Studies have found that sunlight and fresh air increase productivity and improve sleep. Take a minute to step outside and soak in some sun. 
  • Most importantly, do something that you enjoy! Using your lunch break to solve a Rubik’s cube is pointless if you don’t like puzzles. 

Five Ways to Take Advantage of Your Lunch Break

1. Give your body the right fuel. 

Whatever else you do, make sure to actually eat on your lunch break. Yes, “lunch” is in the name, but you’d be surprised at the things people prioritize over eating. Bottom line—a good meal is vital for staying energized and productive for the day.   

Foods high in protein will give you energy for a longer period of time. Make your brain happy with antioxidant-rich foods. Berries, walnuts, and dark chocolate are all antioxidant superfoods. You don’t even have to eat these things during lunch. Grab a trail mix with dried fruit, or try some mixed nuts for smart snacking. 

2. Go for a walk (or other light exercise).

Simply getting your blood flowing will increase productivity. A study from the American Psychology Association found that just taking a walk increased 81% of the participants’ creativity. Running errands is also a great way to get away from your workspace and be outside for a few minutes. 

3. Give your brain a break too.

Disconnect from work by giving your brain something else to think about. Listen to your favorite music, read a book, or put on a podcast. If you’re ambitious, try giving your brain a challenge with:

Tip: listening to certain kinds of music while working can also increase productivity. According to research, the three best sounds for your brain are: classical music, epic soundtracks, and nature sounds. 

4. Connect with another human. 

If you’re a people person, sitting at your computer all day can be mentally and emotionally draining. Break up the monotony by meeting a friend for lunch or catching up with co-workers. Connect with people you don’t see everyday. Call your grandma or video chat with long distance family members and friends. 

5. Get organized. 

Getting organized is a great way to take a mental break. Take a few minutes to clean up your desk or clean out your locker. Flex your artistic muscles by color coding your notes or illustrating your grocery list.

Real Talk: Suggestions for Stress

Let’s face it, stress is an epidemic in the workplace. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, and 25% of people have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress. If you’re in the 80%, here are some stress relieving ways to spend your lunch break. 

  • Low intensity yoga.
  • Meditate (lots of free apps available). 
  • Stress-relieving music (search for stress relieving music on your favorite streaming service). 
  • Humor: watch a funny YouTube video or listen to a witty podcast
  • To help with eye and muscle strain:
    • Avoid looking down at your computer.
    • Keep a reusable rice sack to help with aching muscles. 
    • For eye strain, practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes, look away from your screen at something at least twenty feet away for at least twenty seconds. 

Get More Done with Workbox 

Here at Workbox staffing, we’re here to take the stress out of your job search. Our job placement process is simple, personal, and efficient. We match you with a professional recruiter who takes time to get to know you and what kind of job you want. We make finding your next job easy, so you can focus on getting more done.

 

 

4 Tips to Help If You’re Not Getting Along With Your Boss

Your relationship with your supervisor can make or break your experience at your job. It doesn’t matter how great an opportunity is if you don’t like your boss. Similarly, the best boss in the world can make a horrible job seem a little better. If you’re having trouble getting along with your boss, here are four tips you can use to improve the situation.

1. Focus on the good

The best way to make a bad situation worse is to fixate on exactly why it’s so bad. When you’re frustrated with your boss, sitting and thinking about their negative qualities all day will only strain your relationship more.

Instead of letting yourself fall to the dark side of thinking, remember what you like about them. Recognize their strengths and how well they do their job. This can snap you out of your funk and improve your relationship with your manager.

2. Ask for feedback

This is a good practice on several levels. First, it places your boss in the role of a mentor which many people will value.  They’ll want to invest in you more. Second, you can learn more about their standards and make sure you’re adhering to them. Plus, you’ll improve as an employee and show your boss your efforts to continually get better.

3. Look for cues in their behavior

The longer you work with someone, the easier this is. If your boss is known to have a bit of a short temper or gets flustered easily, make sure you’re reading his or her mood before presenting new ideas or solutions. Not only will this help you be heard, but they’ll appreciate the space and understanding.

4. Let things go

If you hold onto to every disagreement and negative feeling you’ve had, it’s likely you will have a bad experience with your supervisor. Grudges don’t do a thing for you or them and can ultimately just make your performance worse.

The most important thing to remember is this person is your boss and not your friend. That doesn’t excuse someone who is cruel or incompetent, because those are different issues. You can have a functioning professional relationship without being pals, and that should be your goal.

Trust Workbox Staffing when it’s time for your next step

Sometimes issues with your boss are serious and you know it’s time for something new. When that happens, Workbox Staffing is the employment agency for you. We pair you with a personalized career coach who listens and understands your skills to make sure we’re aligning you with the perfect opportunity. Search our job board for your fresh start today!

5 Reasons getting to know your employees will help you manage

As a manager, you want to be seen as more than just someone who tells the team what to do. You want to be a leader so people will follow you out of passion and devotion, instead of obligation. One of the best ways to establish yourself as a leader and develop loyalty is to take the time to learn more about your employees. Here are five reasons for getting to know your team will help you manage them better.

1. Take Them Outside of Work

Engaging with your team in social settings will help you and them learn more about each other in a non-work environment. When you see them in different environments, you can learn more about their behaviors. Plus, you have time to actually talk to them beyond standard work conversations about projects and deadlines.

2. Give Them Your Support

While you don’t want them to think they can misbehave or break company policy, it’s good for them to know you’re behind them 100 percent. When they have new ideas, help them implement them and encourage your team. If something goes wrong, don’t immediately pass the blame but accept responsibility yourself. Doing this shows you’re in their corner, no matter what.

3. Keep Your Door Open

Being approachable goes a long way. By opening yourself up to their conversations, you’re letting them know they can come to you, and you’ll listen. Even when you’re having a stressful day, lead by example and retain your friendly demeanor. Consistency means everything to your team.

4. Encourage Development at all Levels

You want your team to improve, and frequently that starts with the individual. Developing your team as a whole is important, but you want to make sure the members of your team have room to grow as professionals.

5. Always Be Empathetic

Excuses aren’t acceptable, but things do happen that cause pause and consideration. When something is going on in their life, engage with them as much as they’re comfortable and make allowances where possible.

Find Talent With Workbox Staffing

The job search shouldn’t take away from the time it takes to run a successful business. That’s why we’re here! Workbox Staffing, we can take hiring tasks off your plate to free up your time and guarantee the talent you want. Learn more about how we can help you!

Best ways to ease back into work as a new parent

Life is full of routine disruptions and transitions, but few are more difficult than going back to work as a new parent. Not only is your normal schedule flipped on its head, you’ll find a shift in priorities and much less time and sleep than you’re used to prior to baby. Because of this, beginning your work life can be stressful. Here are the best ways to ease back into work as a new parent.

Begin With Boundaries

Boundaries are an important aspect of work-life balance at any time, but the need becomes especially strong with your new family. If your schedule is modified or you’re working from home more, make sure your team has all the details of when you will and won’t be available.

Even if you’re used to checking and replying to emails in the evening, now might be the time to move away from that habit. Being able to give your family your full attention after work will help make the time matter, instead of being distracted by messages that can wait.

Find Good Childcare

One important way to ease your worrying throughout the day is to find childcare you can trust prior to returning to work. This isn’t a decision to make idly. Whomever you choose is responsible for caring for your child several hours a day, and you want to know your baby is in good hands.

If you don’t have the option of having a family member or someone you know watch the baby, ask around for suggestions and begin researching convenient childcare centers near home and work. By making your decision ahead of time, you can feel confident your child is in good hands.

Depend on Your Support System

While you are the one going through the process of leaving your child to go back to work, you don’t have to wade through all the emotions yourself. Open and honest communication with your partner friends, and co-workers in similar situations can help you share the weight and see you aren’t alone in your feelings.

Take Care of Yourself

The needs of your baby, family, and job are important, but you don’t want to lose yourself in the balancing act. Make sure you find time to take care of yourself, whether it’s a once-a-week class by yourself or a lunch away from your desk where you can find some peace.

Similarly, don’t beat yourself up when it gets hard and don’t assume you’re a failure or doing anything wrong. There will be hard times and you won’t automatically be perfect. Take the time to develop a rhythm and don’t worry about the timeline – adapting at your own pace is the right goal.

From Search to Solution With Workbox Staffing

If you’re looking for a new job with adjusted hours as a new parent, or if you’re simply ready for something different, Workbox Staffing has access to the best light industrial, warehouse, clerical and general labor positions near you. Check out our job board today to find your next opportunity!

The decision to move to a no-car commute is one that can have many benefits. Research from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that nearly 30 percent of carbon emissions come from vehicles, primarily cars. The American Automobile Association (AAA) says that owning a car can cost an average of $8,500 each year.

You know you want to make the decision, but how? Here are five ways to create a no-car commute!

1. Start by scaling back

Before you take the plunge into a no-car lifestyle, try it out by using other methods of transportation in addition to your vehicle. You can figure out your best option and once you’re ready, ditch the car completely.

2. Try sharing rides

While you aren’t necessarily free of your vehicle, you are cutting back on expenses and carbon emissions. Even chipping in for gas can be less expensive than traveling on your own every day.

3. Ride your bike

This is one of the most popular options, but it might not be as easy as just jumping on your bike and switching your commute style. The first step is to determine the best route. Sites like Google Maps can help you determine the most effective roads for a bike, but the timing might be off. Test it before you try it to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to get to work.

Safety is another consideration when it comes to riding your bike to work. Using Google Maps suggestions and your own knowledge, try to select the route with bike lanes. Make sure to wear a helmet, have lights and reflectors on your bike, and wear bright colors, especially if your morning and/or evening commute occurs in the dark.

4. Take a walk

Even though this is the slowest option, it can be the most rewarding. One study found it’s less stressful than other methods of commuting, even in the colder months. To make your walk effective, make sure you have good shoes for the various elements.

5. Navigate public transportation

If you want to get rid of your car without braving the outdoors, you can try public transportation. It will take some planning and testing to see how long the commute will take, but it can be a good time to read, prepare for or decompress from work, or listen to your favorite podcast.

Finding the right job just got easier

Workbox Staffing partners with the top manufacturing companies to provide you with the best opportunities. We listen to where you want to go and match you with the organization that will help facilitate this growth and be a good match to your current skills. Don’t settle for where you are now. Achieve more with Workbox. Contact our top manufacturing recruiters today!

The new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) budget officially began in October 2018 for Fiscal Year 2019, meaning the new updates are beginning to take effect. Here are some of the major changes for you to be aware of in your workplace:

Beryllium Standards

One of the areas of major reforms for OSHA are the beryllium standards. Beryllium is a chemical element in an alkaline earth metal with cancer-causing properties. The new rule is designed to prevent chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer in workers. Specifically, the standards are for general industry, shipyards and construction.

Currently, more than 60,000 workers are exposed to beryllium on the job every year. This includes both shipyard and construction workers conducting abrasive blasting operations with slags that may contain beryllium in trace amounts. Protecting workers isn’t a new initiative, but the revised rules will save an estimated 90 lives and prevent an additional 46 cases of chronic beryllium disease in a year.

Record keeping Rule

OSHA revised this recordkeeping rule with two major changes, including industries that do not have to keep OSHA updated with their injury and illness records and the list of work-related injuries that must be reported to OSHA.

Exempt industries experience relatively low on-the-job injury and illness and, therefore, aren’t required to submit every case to OSHA. The previous list used information gathered from the Standard Industrial Classification system and illness data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the years 1996, 1997, and 1998. Now the list is assembled from the North American Industry Classification System and BLS numbers from 2007 to 2009. If a company has 10 or fewer employees, they are exempt regardless of industry.

For work-related injuries that have to be reported to OSHA, the eight-hour window to report fatalities remains with the addition of other incidents that must be reported within 24 hours, including loss of an eye, in-patient hospitalization, and amputations.

 Fit-Testing Procedures

Another area receiving revisions are the processes for testing the fit of respiratory equipment. The complete list of general requirements for fit-test protocols can be found on OSHA’s website.

 Hire employees you can trust

 One of the keys to a safe work environment is hiring the right team to follow the protocols. That’s why at Workbox Staffing, we take the time to screen and vet our candidates to make sure they value safety as much as you do. Our extensive evaluation system finds the employees you need for your manufacturing, warehouse, and light industrial operations. Find the right employees for you today!

Forklifts are an important piece of equipment in many warehouse and manufacturing operations. Like all heavy machinery, they present certain risks to safety when not properly cared for or operated. In fact, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that approximately 25 percent of all deaths related to forklift accidents are caused by the forklift overturning. Here are eight forklift safety tips to help you avoid damage, injury, and death on the job.

1. Inspect forklifts frequently

Safety inspections for forklifts should be done daily before every shift. This way your team is aware of any changes or potential issues. If the safety checks turn up anything unusual, report it to the shift supervisor and do not operate the forklift until it’s resolved.

2. Limit use to qualified operators

Operation of forklifts should be limited to workers who have been trained, authorized, and licensed to use.

3. Plan your path

Before operation, make sure your path is clear and there’s enough room to navigate while carrying your load. This includes looking at overhead clearances depending on the size of what you’re carrying.

4. Follow your company rules

Outside of the general rules, make sure you’re aware of your company’s specific safety procedures. These may include information about seatbelts, passengers, speed limits and the proper equipment to wear.

5. Make sure you can see

Always adjust your load to maintain optimum visibility. If it is too high, drive the forklift in reverse slowly. Ask your fellow workers for assistance when surrounded by corners and high stacks to aid in navigation.

6. Pay attention to your forklift’s capacity

One of the easiest ways to cause an accident is to overload a forklift. Know the weight restrictions and don’t try to add counterweights to carry a heavier load.

7. Monitor load stability

In addition to weight, you want to make sure your load is stable. If you pick it up without verifying, it may cause the forklift to become unbalanced. When going up ramps, make sure the load is held higher than the body of your machine, and you should go up moving forward and go down moving in reverse.

8. Watch for pedestrians

When approaching a busy pedestrian area, slow down the forklift and be on the lookout. Don’t risk any blind spots or crosswalks, including intersections, stairways, exits, doors, entrances, and corners. Always stop and sound your horn before continuing.

 Jumpstart your job search

When you’re ready to find a new job, trust Workbox Staffing for help with light industrial, manufacturing, and warehouse operations positions. We’re committed to finding the right fit based on your skills and experiences. Apply online or call us today to begin your journey to a better tomorrow.