Office life is certainly different to working from home. And not just when it comes to eating out of a lunch box and sharing space with your coworkers. Not to mention the extra technology to contend with.
From the PCs to the printers – there’s much more to an office than the people. But surprisingly, office technology can be a great excuse to get to know your colleagues.
It can be great to gather around the printer for a quick catch up while you figure out how to refill the printer ink or go on the hunt for some more paper.
Catching up on the office gossip or figuring out lunch plans to the sound of some fresh documents being printed is an experience only office workers can relate to.
But it’s a fantastic way to make friends at work, which can help to make office life a bit more entertaining.
As Christmas gets closer though, Secret Santas are just around the corner. While it’s a staple in office life, for some it can be a dreaded event. What gift do you buy for your colleague? How do you make it personalised, even if you aren’t too close with them?
We wanted to take the stress out of the situation for you. To make things much easier, we have created the perfect Secret Santa gift for any office worker looking to make their colleague smile.
And our favourite part – it makes using your work printer a bit more exciting!
We have gone full festive mode and created vouchers that you can give to your favourite office friends and are even perfect for a Secret Santa gift.
All you have to do is download our PDFs, where you can find the vouchers. Then just pop them in a festive envelope and hand it to your coworker who can then cash in their voucher and redeem their gift!
You can choose from the following:
Tea / Coffee round for a week
No one likes having to get up to make another cup of coffee, especially if you’re in the middle of a task and in need of a quick pick-me-up. This voucher offers the recipient a week of tea and coffees made to order, whenever they request it.
Car parking space for a day
Help your coworker save some time and energy by offering them a car parking space for the day with this voucher. We suggest getting them to check the weather first too – so they get to avoid any nasty cold and rain.
I will send you a Monday Motivation email for a whole month
Be the ray of sunshine the office needs with this voucher. Print it off and hand it to the coworker you’d like to give a helping hand at the beginning of the month and they can cash it in to activate their weekly Monday motivational quote.
A lift home from an office party
Keep your coworker safe and guarantee them a comfortable drive home after a heavy night at an office party. They’ll be sure to appreciate this voucher after one too many, and who knows – they might offer to buy you some chips on the way back home!
Will prepare and bring lunch in for you
This voucher is truly a generous offering. Gift this to a coworker that would love to try some of your delicious food. But if you’re not too confident in your cooking ability, perhaps you could offer them an office takeaway?
Will print anything you need for a week / collect printed material from the printer
We’ve all been through the tedium of repeat printer collection. When you’re trying to concentrate, having someone grab your printouts is truly the dream, so offer this to the coworker you think would love it.
I will motivate you with an air guitar performance when you come into the office each morning
Let your inner rock god out with this voucher. Print it off and hand it to the coworker you’d like to give a helping hand to at the beginning of the day, and they can cash it in to activate their air guitar performance when they enter the office each morning.
I will bake you a homemade cake
If you’ve been inspired to really test out your baking skills, this voucher is a great way to impress your lucky colleague. Treat them to a delicious baked treat and give them a voucher to cash in on any birthday, occasion or just whenever they fancy some cake!
Help complete their boring admin tasks
Save your colleague from the paper piling up and offer them this voucher to redeem whenever the admin tasks become overwhelming. This gift may not seem too exciting (who said admin was?) but the recipient will really appreciate your help on those long days.
Whatever you like!
You know your colleagues better than we do, so we wanted to leave a blank voucher for you to fill in with whatever you like. Whether it’s something a bit cheeky or you’re brave enough to let the recipient fill it in – we know it’ll make a fantastic gift.
The ultimate office Secret Santa vouchers. Ready to hand out with just a few clicks, your colleagues can receive beautifully designed gifts that are not only personal, but help make the working day that bit easier.
Imagine if someone told you that January 2020 was as good as the year was going to get? You would have laughed in their face!
We had holidays booked, nights out planned, parties in the calendar and the kids had a full year of school ahead of them. Life was looking peachy!
Then March happened…
Covid-19 had arrived and the country entered into lockdown.
Suddenly, life was all about ‘navigating the new normal’ – baking banana bread and trying to create magical moments with family virtually – like we were auditioning for the next Sainsbury’s advert.
We desperately tried to balance homeschooling while trying to maintain a semblance of professionalism on Zoom calls with our bosses.
We gave PE with Joe Wicks a bash until we realised an exercise routine designed for kids was embarrassingly difficult to keep up with.
We turned to TikTok for entertainment and got swept up in the challenges.
We let our hair go wild, our waistlines expand and our dress sense take a nosedive.
And cocktail hour got earlier and earlier.
But you know what, we survived!
As winter 2020 rolls around and the likelihood of a second nationwide lockdown looms, we must remember that we have the resilience to get through it again.
Here at Cartridge Save, we’re here to help you through it.
And when it comes to the adults – the heroes who are keeping everything together – we’ve got you covered too!
The last few months have been tough, but we’ve all shared experiences that have brought us closer together.
It’s time to settle down, grab a brew, pick up those pencils and relax with some adult colouring in….
We know that we’re living in unprecedented times right now. If you’re one of the thousands of people working from home for the first time due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we’re here to help you find your way through the adjustments, continue to work effectively and keep your team happy and motivated.
So, here are our top 5 tips on working as efficiently and as effectively as possible when your business is operating from home…
Set your team up for success
1: Set up file sharing tools: We use things like Dropbox and Office 365. The latter is brilliant for helping Accounts share large spreadsheets.
2: Use collaboration tools: Google Docs is great for helping your team work together in real time. Edits can be made on live documents, saving you from continually making draft copies, which could lead to error or something important being missed.
3: Introduce video chat to help reduce isolation: For a few years, my business partner and I worked remotely from one another but often had Google Hangouts running in the background. It meant we could chat as we worked on a project together. So it was like being in the same office space.
4: Invest in good quality office consumables: If you’re using a laptop, invest in a good quality keyboard and mouse as they will help maintain a good posture and prevent repetitive stress injuries. When we renovated our home I installed a standing desk, so I feel like I’m ready to go!
5: Buy a printer: A printer is an essential part of any office set up, whether you’re at HQ or working remotely. I’d recommend a multifunctional printer with a scanner and a small footprint so it doesn’t take up too much space. You can get a great model for around £60 that won’t cost a fortune to run and that has Wi-Fi connectivity. Not all printers do and it’s unlikely you’ll want to plug your in your printer right next to your router.”
Top advice for business leaders
Communication is key: In reality, over the next few weeks or months you’ll be doing everything you already do, just remotely. Make sure you keep talking, make sure you keep meetings in the diary and set clear objectives for your team. Successful remote working is all about having good habits in place.
Set expectations: People still want to do the work. They just need to know what’s expected of them and the core hours they are expected to work and set quality standards so they know what they’re aiming towards.
Be considerate: Remember, these are not ordinary times. You also have a duty of care to your team, so check in and see how they’re doing, ask about their families and be understanding if they’re juggling with childcare or sick partners.
Trust your team: Just because you can’t see staff working, it doesn’t mean they’re not. If you want to maintain particular service standards, then ensure you have robust KPIs in place. Showing your team that you trust them is a great way to boost morale and passion in delivering their best work.
How other professionals adapt to working from home
Here at Cartridge Save we also reached out to business leaders who know what it takes to make working from home successful. Here are some of their best tips to keeping your business productive, your team motivated and your mental health on track…
Give yourself a set routine
Fran Quendler, from London-based, female-led, ethical womenswear brand SABINNA, emphasises the importance of developing a set routine.
This is the daily-routine for her team and something you might like to borrow for yourself:
Get up early and develop a routine at home! Start your day with a workout, yoga or a stretch.
Get dressed! Put on real clothes – sometimes even simple things like shoes or a bra can help trick your brain that this is the start of the working day
To do lists are especially important! Make sure you set goals of what you want to achieve in a day and stick to them.
Do not procrastinate! The kitchen is close and so is your phone but make sure to focus on your work and limit distractions to a minimum.
Spend your free time wisely: If you’re feeling lonely in the evenings, why not plan a video call with friends over a cup of tea or glass of wine. Or catch up on that book you’ve been putting off or finally get around to trying that one recipe?
Make sure your workstation is fit for purpose
Alessandro Zanardi, Codeworks CEO and seasoned home worker, looks after a large student body who are now all studying remotely. He reminds us there are some practical considerations you’ll want to make sure you get right.
“Make sure you have lots of natural light, reduce distractions as much as possible, and drink lots of water. For me, I always pay attention to my posture as it’s quite easy to end up slumped on the couch, so I try to be aware of my posture and stretch regularly. I use a laptop stand and external keyboard to make sure my posture is good. The key thing is to stay mobile – don’t spend 8 hours working in bed.
“Another thing is to be aware that you’ll be making more video calls while working remotely, so make sure you have a good place to speak with people – as little echo as possible and a good light source in front of you. Don’t sit in front of a window or you’ll just be a blurry silhouette!”
Protecting your mental health
While the decision to close office spaces made for the good of people’s health in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important to consider the mental health consequences that can come with working remotely.
Mykay Kamara, CEO ofWellbot, tells us “We know that mental health can be adversely affected by lack of social interaction. At a time when isolation and quarantine is an essential part of day-to-day life we all need to look after our personal wellbeing as well as our health.
“Indoor exercise, eating regularly, hydration, routine and communication are all essential to helping keep on top of things. If you live alone then it’s a good time to schedule calls with friends and family – social media contact can be good too, but don’t overdo your screen time.
“House work contributes to exercise, so you can concentrate on doing tasks around your home. You don’t need a gym to keep healthy, simple tasks like tidying up and cleaning can help you get on top of your mood.
“People who work at home tend to work longer hours, so make sure you regulate your own time. Don’t be afraid to have a break for lunch and stop at a reasonable time. Having a good working routine will help you balance out work and home life when you no longer travel to your place of work.”
In January Cartridge Save decided to conduct a survey to gather statistics surrounding what businesses use their office printer for – and just how many people rely on their office technology to print off personal items.
We conducted the survey with Censuswide UK – gathering 2,500 office workers to really get into their minds and daily working lives.
The idea came after it emerged two thirds (67 per cent) of Brits cite looking for a new job as a New Year’s resolution for 2020 (source CV Library).
With thousands of businesses based all over the UK it was important we surveyed a variety of office workers – from juniors just out of college in London to long standing employees nearing retirement in Northern Ireland.
We know the drill – it is sometimes just a simple case of convenience for office workers – they spend half their lives in the office so it’s a no brainer. Something important comes which they need a paper version of and they turn to their office printer.
But there is a cost to everything and we’re all too aware of the financial impact printers, ink and accessories can cost a business.
According to our data, three quarters (77 per cent) of office workers admit they print off personal items at work.
The most commonly printed item was their CV with HALF of office workers (50 per cent) admitting to printing off their CV right under the noses of their boss.
Following closely behind, however, was travel tickets – with 45 per cent admitting they use an office printer for holiday admin.
Other common items printed off in office time- and at a cost to their employers – emerged as concert tickets (42 per cent), interview documents (38 per cent) and photographs (16 per cent).
And it’s not just once or twice – with more than one in four (28 per cent) Brits revealing they frequently use the office printer when looking for a new job.
And the data revealed a quarter (24 per cent) of those printing out their work records do so during a lunch break. A sneaky one in ten (11 per cent) of us leave printer misuse until the boss is in a meeting, while 21 per cent said they come in early to make use of the printer.
One in three (30 per cent) revealed have been caught out for printer mis-use – a quarter (26 per cent) said getting caught printing off their CV or a new job application led to a pay rise.
The survey by printer firm Cartridge Save revealed half of office workers (54 per cent) around the UK use their employer’s printer ink because they don’t own a printer.
Almost one in five (18 per cent) said they do so to get back at their boss and those that like to keep things hidden from their other halves (13 per cent).
And it could be a daily occurence – with 38 per cent of office workers admitting they print personal items off up to FIVE times a week.
Cartridge Save estimates that on average this kind of personal use of printers could cost employers £85 per person per year.
On average people print off 11 pages of personal information – and at 5p per page the cost per employee per year is £85.
Multiplied by an average of 50 employees for a medium-sized business could cost upwards of £4,292.
But it doesn’t go unnoticed – with nearly a third (30 per cent) of managing directors issuing verbal warnings or sacking employees for printer misuse.
However a quarter (26 per cent) of office staff who have been caught revealed they had been rewarded with a pay rise when their employer caught them printing off their CV.
And 21 per cent of those who have been caught out using the printer for personal use (30 per cent) said there had been no consequences.
While most people (88 per cent) have never had the misfortune of catching a colleague or employee printing off ‘outrageous’ items – 8 per cent revealed the unfortunately amusing incidents they had witnessed.
The list included, but is not limited to: Kids homework A dating website profile Cartoons Intimate body parts Football fixture list A graphic novel Party invitations Knitting patterns And legal documents.
Ian Cowley, MD of Cartridge Save said: “It has been an unwritten rule in lots of businesses for a number of years now that employees use the printer. Most bosses do tend to turn a blind eye – but it is worth adding up that cost to the business. It could equate to staff bonuses, a pay rise or an office social. Equally it is easy to see why office workers do take advantage of the office printer – it’s convenient and obviously not at a cost to them.”
Bonfire Night is one of the nations favourite calendar events! When attending a bonfire or handling fireworks, safety is key, read our Bonfire Night safety tips and ensure you’re staying safe.
Choose The Right Fireworks
If you’re hosting a bonfire at home, make sure the fireworks you buy are suitable for home use and for the size of your garden. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks, and do not return to a firework once it has been lit. Needless to say, fireworks should be pointed away from spectators.
Protect Your Pets
With all the loud bangs from fireworks, pets can get very scared around Bonfire Night. Keep them inside the house so they don’t get near to the bonfire or fireworks, and close all winds and curtains to reduce the sound of explosions.
Be Safe With Sparklers
We all love sparklers on Bonfire Night, but use them with safety. Light them in an open space that’s not too windy. Always ensure everyone holding sparklers is wearing gloves and holds the sparkler horizontally, as far away from their body and face as possible. Have a bucket of water near at all times, so once sparklers are no longer burning, they can be put in a bucket of water.
Keep Your Distance
Make sure you stand far away from both the fire and the fireworks. Always ensure a responsible adult is in charge of the bonfire. Always keep a bucket of water on hand for emergencies and don’t go near a firework once it’s been lit.
Are you a Halloween friendly household? Download and print off our trick or treat print-out… Not only would this be perfect to put in a cute frame to display in your home, but it would be great for parties too! Alternatively, pop one of our print-out on your front door or porch to let trick or treaters know they are welcome.
Don’t forget, if you need some printer ink for your downloads, head over to our site to stock up!
Download our Mental Health Awareness posters to spread some positivity and supportiveness this week. Display our posters around your working environment to make your colleagues feel loved and to let them know you’re thinking of them.
We have another recipe for you to try in your kitchen. This time, we’ve chosen the nation’s favourite… The Scone!
Perfect to make for the whole family to enjoy, simply follow the recipe below.
350g self-raising flour (plus more for dusting)
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp of baking powder
85g butter cut into cubes
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Beaten egg (to glaze)
Jam and clotted cream (to serve)
How to make Scones:
Step 1: Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
Step 2: Pour 350g self-raising flour into a large bowl with ¼ tsp salt and 1 tsp baking powder, then mix.
Step 3: Add 85g butter cubes, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs then stir in 3 tbsp caster sugar.
Step 4: Put 175ml milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot.
Step 5: Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and a squeeze of lemon juice, then set aside for a moment and put a baking sheet in the oven.
Step 6: Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first.
Step 7: Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round about 4cm deep.
Step 8: Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. You may need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four.
Step 9: Brush the tops with a beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
Step 10: Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream.
Step 11: If freezing, freeze once cool. Defrost, then put in a low oven (about 160C/fan140C/gas 3) for a few mins to refresh.
You can print this recipe below and Don’t forget, if you need to top up your printer ink, you can grab everything you need on our website.
You can’t beat a classic Victoria Sponge cake, perfect for spending time with the kids, baking for someone you love or brushing up on your baking skills!
Follow our very easy step by step recipe below and make your own.
For the cake
200g caster sugar
200g butter, softened
4 eggs, beaten
200g self-raising flour
1tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
For the filling:
100g butter, softened
140g icing sugar, sifted
Drop of vanilla extract (optional
Half 340g of strawberry jam (good quality)
Icing sugar to decorate
How to make a Victoria sponge cake:
Step 1: Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper.
Step 2:In a large bowl, beat 200g caster sugar, 200g softened butter, 4 beaten eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp milk together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
Step 3: Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Step 4: Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
Step 5: Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
Step 6: To make the filling, beat the 100g softened butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in 140g sifted icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract (if you’re using it).
Step 7: Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the sponges. Top it with 170g strawberry jam and sandwich the second sponge on top.8- Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.
You can print the recipe below and don’t forget, if you need to top up your printer ink, you can grab everything you need on our website.
Download our Mental Health Awareness Week posters to spread some positivity and supportiveness this week. Display all three of our posters around your working environment to make your colleagues feel loved and to let them know you’re thinking off them.
If you fancy getting sparking up the barbecue this weekend then we’ve got the perfect recipe for you!
It’s simple and easy to follow, fun to make and is an essential part of the summer time. Just make sure you recruit your most enthusiastic helpers. Remember to cook responsibly.
Every step is designed for anyone to be able to create the perfect burger.
Full details of all you need are included in the easy-to-follow recipe card available to download and print.
With summer seeing Brits fork out almost £400 per person on going out, you might be looking at ways to cut back on your spending and save some of those precious pennies. We have teamed up money saving blogger Emma Drew to provide you with 10 easy ways to save money around the home.
1 – Meal plan
If you want to see immediate results for your efforts then meal planning is going to start saving you money straight away. Start by checking your fridge, freezer and cupboards for what you already have and try to base your meals for the next week or longer using up these items. Then meal plan by coming up with a list of meals you will have for the next week. You can be as rigid or as flexible as you like – I can’t stand knowing what I have planned to eat next Friday, so I come up with a list of seven meals for the week and pick one every day. Create a shopping list from your meal plan and you will stay focused whilst shopping and save yourself money. Meal planning is also great for reducing your waste.
2 – Shop your home
Starting with your kitchen, have a look around your home for what you already have. Do you have a pile of unopened toiletries that will save you from having to buy new ones for a while? What about cleaning products and even new clothes that you have stashed at the bottom of your wardrobe? You’ll be surprised at what you already have within your home.
3 – Take out free trials
There are so many great free trials to make use of, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hayu and many more. These free trials will provide you with a month’s entertainment for free to test out whether you like the service or not. Don’t forget to set yourself a reminder to cancel the free trial before you have to pay full price, or you won’t be saving any money.
4 – Take your own lunches to work
A meal deal might only set you back £3 a day, but that soon adds up over the week. If you are going out to restaurants or pubs for work lunches then you’re going to spend even more. Taking your own lunches to work can save you a small fortune, and if sandwiches aren’t your thing then there are plenty of other options. Salads, soups and even last night’s leftovers are great money saving lunch ideas.
5 – Make fakeaways
The cost of a weekly takeaway is increasing so you might want to consider turning to fakeaways. A fakeaway is where you create a takeaway at home for a fraction of the cost. You can recreate almost any takeaway from home from fish and chips to your favourite curry.
6 – Switch your energy provider
When was the last time you looked at your energy prices and looked to see if switching could save you money? It takes just a few minutes, and you’ll need a recent bill (you can usually access them online) to see how much you will save. The switching is all done for you and you’ll be kept up to date throughout the process. You can save hundreds of pounds per year by doing this.
7 – Cancel unwanted subscriptions
Make yourself a cuppa and grab your latest bank statement (or log in online) and really scrutinise your Direct Debits and standing orders. Are there any that you don’t actually make enough use out of, like a long-forgotten gym membership, or a credit score subscription? Make a list of all the ones you don’t use and make a plan to cancel them. Most of them can even be cancelled online, saving you time.
8 – Switch to paperless billing and pay by Direct Debit
Did you know that some companies charge you for a paper statement and charge you more when you don’t pay by Direct Debit? Some phone companies charge as much as £5 per month for not paying by Direct Debit. Look at your bills closely to see if you are being charged any extras.
9 – Shop in charity shops
Charity shops are just getting better and better, with more options available. Whether you want a new outfit, a new piece of furniture or something else entirely, you never know what you will find at a charity shop for a fraction of the cost. Shopping in charity shops allows me to find high end brands at a great price, and if you don’t fancy second hand clothing then you can also find items that are brand new with tags.
10 – Haggle on your bills
If you are paying for a TV subscription service then you might want to consider haggling for a better deal. All you have to do is ring up and ask (or sometimes you can even haggle on live chat) for a better deal. It doesn’t hurt, and most of the time some savings can be made.
Always search around for the best price
With online shopping it makes life a lot easier when search around for the best deals. Although it might be tempting to do so, don’t always buy with the first retailer that sells the product you are looking for as you can sometimes find a better price elsewhere if you do a bit of searching. Admittedly no wants to spend hours on end searching the web, however even searching another couple of outlets, you will be able to see whether you are getting the best price available.
Make a list of what you need to buy
Being prepared and making a list of the people you need to buy for will help you budget so you know how much you have spend on each person. Set yourself a maximum price on what you can afford to spend on each person and make sure that you don’t exceed this. You will then know exactly how much you are going to spend which will put you at ease that you aren’t overspending.
Make the most of the online sales
If you can get in there early enough the sales can be brilliant time to get your Christmas shopping done. There are normally sales at the start of October at most major retailers. If that’s far too early for you to start Christmas shopping there is also Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the end of November.
Save money on travel
Buying train and bus tickets in advance is a great way of saving money over the festive period. Rail firms will confirm the times tables 12 weeks ahead, so this will give you a chance to buy tickets at cheaper prices. If you can be flexible on what time you travel this will also save you money by travelling outside of the peak hours. Keep an eye out for offers during the sales periods as rail firms will also be reducing their prices as well the high street stores.
Don’t over spend on food
Christmas is a time for indulgence, it can be very easy to buy everything in sight when you’re doing the supermarket shop for the Christmas period. Again, writing out a list before hand of what you absolutely need to buy and giving yourself a budget of the maximum amount you can spend will help you manage what you’re putting in the cupboard.
Make the most of discount codes
This can be an easy way of saving £10 here and there, so it’s definitely worth having a searching around online to see if any retailers are offering discount codes in the lead up to Christmas. This could include getting free delivery or a free gift if you spend a certain amount. Simply searching for the retailers name you are shopping with following by ‘discount codes’ should bring up what you are looking for.
Prioritise what the children actually need
When the children are getting all excited when it comes to writing their Christmas wish list, try to get them to prioritise what they would really like at the top of the list so you know what they will appreciate the most. This can be made easier by downloading our printable Christmas Wishlist.
Save money on your weekly takeaway with this spicy sichuan prawns Fakeaway recipe, perfect to whip up for the whole family.
Instead of heading down to the local chippy on a Friday night, enjoy this British classic for a portion of the price. If you’re buying for the whole family then you can definitely save money with this simple recipe!
The summer of 2018 – with record-breaking hot weather, a royal wedding and the World Cup – saw Brits shell out just under £400 per person on going out.
The Office of National Statistics has reported that the UK’s gross domestic product went up in line with the temperature as people ate and drank more all summer long.
Our research has revealed the full extent of people’s productivity away from work as they splashed the cash on trips to beer gardens, socialising, entertaining, barbecues and days out.
Socialising with friends in the pub took top spot, accounting for an average of £45 per week, followed by attending or hosting barbecues (£25 weekly), World Cup themed events (£27 per week) and attending events associated with the Royal Wedding (£15 per week).
The average amount spent was an impressive £384, with one in 11 people spending more than £1,000 in the period from June to August.
England’s run to the semi-finals of the World Cup was given as the reason for so much spending by one in eight of those surveyed, compared to last summer, when there were no major sporting events and the British summer reverted to its usual, damp and drizzly self.
The long weeks of hot sunshine accounted for higher spending by almost half of those surveyed (43 per cent).
With an eventful and expensive Summer behind us, now is a great time to start thinking about saving the pennies again before the festivities start over the Christmas period.
To make your money saving that little bit easier, download our printable money saving chart which will help you cut back on indulgences throughout the week.
Here are a few simple tips for you and your colleagues to keep your energy high at work!
Drink lots of water
A dehydrated body can’t function efficiently and leaves you feeling sluggish leading to an unproductive day at work. You don’t need to drown yourself, but just have enough so your not thirsty and your urine is a light colour. That should do the trick!
Food gives your body energy to burn. Your brain and muscles require glucose for fuel so eating high-carb and high-fibre breakfast foods (such as oatmeal, cereal or whole-grain bread) will supply you with slow releasing energy to keep you going until lunch time. They also prevent low hunger which can lead to low energy.
Get away from your desk
A quick walk to the corner shop or even the other side of the office can make all the difference! Moving your body boosts energy levels naturally as it increases the amount of oxygen going to your heart, muscles and brain. This means a peak in productivity. Exercise also improves mental well being leaving you feeling happy due to the hormones it releases.
Listen to music
It has been scientifically proven that listening to upbeat music boosts your mood and energy levels. So put on a lively radio station to sing along to or pop in your headphones. And if your favourite song comes on, why not get up and have a little boogie – that should surely wake you up.
The strong peppermint or spearmint flavours of chewing gum can increase alertness and productivity. It is stimulating and the motion of chewing battles inactivity. So next time your in the shops, pick up a packet and see how it works for you.
Here are a few simple tips you and your colleagues can do to help save your business:
Most people will be surprised to hear that hiring freelancers for particular jobs will save you money. They bring a range of new expertise from their field for each individual task. Although their hourly or daily rates might be higher than you would pay your employees, you’ll save money in other ways. There’s usually no need to provide any employee benefits, healthcare, insurance or perks. In fact, in most cases you won’t even need to supply a desk, chair or computer as many work from home.
To save money on costly recruitment firms when hiring new colleagues for your business, you should start much closer to home. This could be within circles of your friends, family and current staff to try and recruit the right talent. You can even make the most of social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter to find the most qualified, talented and largest pool of applicants.
Use online marketplaces that sell preloved goods to buy cheap office furniture and equipment. Websites such as Ebay and Gumtree are a great place to start and can save you loads of cash when you are kitting out the office.
Make the most of social media, especially Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to spread the word about your business. Talk to and engage with customers to help grow your business and followers. By creating a brand following you can also create a loyal audience that you can interact with and find out what valuable things they are saying about your business.
Such a straightforward way to reduce your electricity bill without affecting operations is turning off lights, appliances, computers and machinery. In the standard office, desktops are the biggest energy waster, so they should be powered down before leaving for the day along with lights.
Be Space Efficiently
For rent conscious business owners, collaborative workstations and multipurpose rooms e.g. meeting rooms that double as break rooms are all great news. So it can be worth thinking about this when re-designing your office or if you are planning to grow into a larger, more expensive space. These space-efficient principles might just help you save some cash and allow you to do more in less space.
Everything Is Negotiable
Unless it’s clearly spelled out in a binding contract, every listed price is negotiable. Never be afraid to ask for a discount from a manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor. Check to see if they offer any discounts in general, on quantity, for buying early or for buying in bulk. Once you build a relationship with the supplier they may be more open to offering regular discount.
Limit Travel Expenses
Limiting company paid travel is one of the biggest ways to save money for your business. Re-assess whether you need to travel for every client meeting or office check-in and if you really need to be there, try and book train tickets in advance, this can save you hundreds of pounds. Allowing employees to work from home will reduce their travel costs – keeping more money in your pockets.
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Follow our sun safety tips to make sure your little ones aren’t left caught out this summer:
Use a good sun cream
Choose a sun cream with an SPF of at least 30 and at least four stars for UVA protection for your little ones. Make sure that any exposed skin is covered in plenty of sun cream and don’t forget about those key places that often catch the sun all too easily:
Back of the neck
Top of the ears
Top of the feet
Top of the scalp
Avoid prime time
You don’t need to hide from the sun completely but it is good to take breaks by moving into the shade or going indoors during prime time. This is when the sun is at its highest in the sky and hottest between 10am and 4pm.
Drink lots of water
Drink up, don’t wait until you are thirsty! Encourage your little ones to drink lots of water at regular intervals throughout the day if you have been out in the sun, especially if they have been running around.
Wear a sunhat
It’s always a good idea to pack a sun hat if you are heading out for the day. Floppy hats are best for children as it ensures their face, neck and scalp are covered when they are out in the sun. If they don’t tend to like wearing a hat and keeps removing it – try one with chin straps.
Keep topping up the suncream
Make sure you apply sun cream at least 30 minutes before your child heads out to play in the sun. Reapplication of sun cream is just as important as applying it in the first place, so try and aim to reapply sun cream every two hours. If you have been swimming, it is best to re-apply more often than this.
Download these handy tips to stick up in the classroom or at home.
Let your little ones give their dad a Father’s Day card he will cherish this year with our printable Father’s Day colouring card. Download the card below, print it out and get creative colouring in our choice of two designs design. We hope you love it.