How To Be Proactive About Workplace Safety

If your team is anything like ours, you’re already counting down the days until you can return to the office and regain a bit of normality. However, returning to the workplace comes with the responsibility of ensuring office safety for your employees. 

There’s no greater time than now to come up with a plan of action for reopening.

Simple Ways To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19 In Your Workplace

The thought of staying proactive through the pandemic can feel overwhelming for business owners. To make it easier for you, we’re sharing a few simple steps from the World Health Organization that you can take to ensure safety for your employees. 

  • Make sure your work spaces are clean and hygienic: Surfaces, and objects like phones, keyboards and door handles need to be disinfected regularly. Contamination on surfaces is one of the main ways that COVID-19is spread. 
  • Promote regular hand washing to employees, contractors and customers: Try adding hand sanitizing dispensers in high traffic areas throughout your office, and be sure they are refilled regularly. You could also ask your local health authority for motivational hand washing posters that you can then hang in the office. Here is a directory of local health departments. Most importantly, be sure there is a place for hand washing with soap and water. 
  • Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace: You can display respiratory hygiene posters in your office to guide your employees. Ensure that face masks and paper tissues are available at your workplace, along with closed bins for proper hygienic disposal. 
  • Brief your employees on your plan of action for office safety: Come up with an office safety plan of action regarding future illnesses. The World Health Organization suggests that anyone with a mild cough, or rising fever stay at home. They should also stay home, or work from home, if they have had recently taken simple medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection. Continue to promote the message that your employees should stay home even for mild symptoms of illness by displaying posters with this message. Your local health authority may have campaign materials to further help promote this message.

How To Manage COVID-19 Risks When Planning Meetings And Events

Organizers of meetings and events need to think about the potential risk from COVID-19 as there is a risk that people attending your meeting or event might unwittingly bring the COVID-19 virus to the meeting.

We’ve shared the  World Health Organization’s pre-meeting checklist below.

Key considerations to check before the meeting or event: 

  • Contact local authorities for advice regarding the location of where your meeting or event will take place and follow their advice. 
  • Consider whether a face-to-face meeting or event is needed. Could it be replaced by a teleconference or online event? 
  • Could the meeting or event be scaled down so that fewer people attend? 
  • Pre-order sufficient supplies and materials, including tissues and hand sanitizer for all participants. Have surgical masks available for anyone who develops respiratory symptoms.
  • Actively monitor where COVID-19 is circulating. Advise participants in advance that if they have any symptoms or feel unwell, they should not attend. 
  • Have a plan in place, that includes an isolation room and a safe transfer to a nearby health facility, in case someone were to fall ill with COVID-19 symptoms.

Although the future is uncertain, following these steps of caution is the first step in making your workplace safe as your employees return to the office.

Increasing Employee Productivity: 3 Benefits of Plants in the Office

Employee.Productivity

Employees love to spend the day outside, and this can be one of the best ways of increasing employee productivity. Unfortunately, not every workplace can do so frequently. However, incorporating the benefits of living plants can be a cost-effective way of compensating. If you’re looking to add life and energy to your office, adding something as simple as a potted plant can have huge positive impacts on employee morale. Here are 3 benefits of using plants at work for increasing employee productivity.

1. Reduce Negativity

Beyond just adding to aesthetics, plants can impact the mood and environment of a workspace. Negative emotions can spread quickly and be detrimental to the culture and atmosphere of your office. A study from CIPHR shows living plants have been proven to give workers a huge range of benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, lower rates of anger and less risk of depression.

2. Improve Air Quality

Working in an office building can put employees at risk for a number of health hazards, including harsh air quality. If you’d like to quickly fix this at your company, add some living plants! A study conducted by NASA showed the simple addition of plants made a significant impact on the health of employees working indoors. 

3. Create a Comfortable Environment

Plants benefit your office by creating a more pleasant environment; workers are more efficient when they are comfortable. In addition to increasing employee productivity, living plants help regulate the temperature and humidity year-round, lowering heating and cooling costs. Reducing negative emotions, improving air quality and regulating temperature and humidity are all benefits you’ll enjoy from adding plants to your office.

For more recommendations on increasing productivity at work, check out these additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

Social Media & The Workplace – 3 Tips For Success

We live in a world driven by technology. Our Twitter accounts and Facebook pages connect us instantly across the world, but with the freedom that social media platforms provide, it is essential to understand how these technological resources should and should not be used while at work. In this blog post, we identify three tips for appropriate workplace social media activities. 

Three Workplace Social Media Tips for Success:

1. Keep it professional: Social media is a great resource for networking, news, and just about everything in between. Keep in mind that as a professional, everything you post on your personal pages could come under scrutiny at work. Keep your content appropriate and friendly, never complain about work, supervisors or coworkers and use it as an opportunity to convey positive messages.

2. Utilize it on your own time: Social media platforms are available at our fingertips and while they are easily accessible, this doesn’t mean that they should be accessed at any and all times. Try and keep your online activities work related while at the office, and if you do feel the need to update a status or send a tweet, do so only on breaks. 

3. Be familiar with your company policy: Every company will have a different set of rules in relation to their social media activities. The best way to prepare yourself is to have a thorough understanding of your individual organization’s policies. If your company has a ban on all social media sites, don’t risk updating that status as it could cost you your job. 

Social media is exciting; it allows us to remain constantly plugged into the world and those around us, but keep in mind that there is a time and a place for everything, and social media may not always be an appropriate workplace activity. Use good judgment and always be professional and you will be well on your way to social media success.

 For more recommendations on increasing productivity at work, check out these additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

Why You Need To Invest In Team-Building Activities

The most important asset to any company is its employees. They are the backbone of the company, which is why it’s essential to make sure your team feels valued and appreciated. 

It’s unfortunate that the thought of ‘team building’ has become increasingly less exciting, or even seen as a waste of time. Despite this reputation, team-building is one of the most important investments you can make for your people. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication and increases collaboration. 


Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line. Team-building is as adventurous as you want to make it, which is why we’re sharing a few thoughts to consider before you start planning, and the benefits you can hope to see as a result.

Don’t Force The Corporate Stuff

The most successful team-building events are the ones that don’t feel like a typical day in the office. Activities that overtly aim to draw in leadership lessons, or practical takeaways are often less successful. Spending time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal allows conversation and bonding to happen organically and far more effectively.

Team Building Is Not A Splurge, It’s An Investment

At the end of the day, you want to provide an activity that resonates well with your employees. You don’t have to overdo it, but don’t skimp out either. You want to leave your team feeling appreciated and valued, which ultimately lasts longer than the activity itself.

Team Building Boosts Employee Engagement

According to Museum Hack, employee engagement is one of the most crucial elements of a successful business. It demonstrates how much employees care about the company’s mission, and how hard they’re willing to work to ensure the company succeeds. 


Team building is a great way to boost employee engagement, morale, and show employees you care about their well being. Teams with highly engaged employees earn two times the annual net income of companies with low engagement levels.

Team Building Can Help You Attract And Retain Top Talent

Kathy Caprino at Forbes wrote an article describing how mega companies like Uber, Facebook, and Salesforce use team building to their advantage. One of the most insightful parts of the article came from a quote by team building expert Jenny Gottstein, who says the following:

“Interestingly, we’re seeing companies use their strong corporate culture as a bargaining chip to recruit the best and brightest talent. When applying for jobs, millennial employees are not only assessing their salary and benefits, but also whether or not they relate to the working environment, and enjoy rolling up their sleeves next to their peers. As a result of this culture shift, team-building is being used as a marketing and recruitment tool. Often we will produce games for prospective employees or interns of large companies as a way to show off the perks of the company’s working environment.”

Team Building Improves Communication

There are a wide variety of team building exercises, and most all of them require communication. Whether it’s strategizing, coordinating, or solving a problem, the need to communicate is inevitable when it comes to team building exercises. 

Let your employees engage with one another naturally, and watch their relationships grow!

With quality team building activities, you can foster unity among your team members and make them feel acknowledged and appreciated.

For more recommendations on increasing productivity at work, check out these additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

How To Give Constructive Employee Feedback With Care

Nobody likes giving an employee negative feedback and, unless everything is going perfectly, giving constructive criticism can be pretty rough on both the employer and the team member. Unfortunately, ignoring problems and hoping they’ll just disappear will be worse in the long run.

The good news is there are a few key tips that can help make the review process fairly painless for you and the employee, and likely to yield tangible results.

Set The Stage For Sharing Employee Feedback

Here are a few things you can do to help the initial sit-down go smoothly.

Avoid Surprises

A meeting without notice can cause an employee to feel intimidated and put them on the defensive when you provide feedback. Schedule the meeting ahead of time and let them know what you want to talk about. This will give the employee some notice and time to prepare.

Keep It Private

Don’t provide individual employee feedback in a group setting. Constructive criticism should be given privately so that an employee doesn’t feel singled out. Public and rushed feedback can quickly devolve into destructive criticism.

Make Sure Your Employee Feedback Is Effective

Giving employee feedback is useless if you don’t present it to them in the right way. In order to make sure that improvements are easy to identify and follow-through on, consider these tips from LinkedIn.

Be Specific, Not General

Specific critiques are far more actionable than general employee feedback, and also easier to deal with. For example, don’t tell an employee they need to run their meetings more efficiently – that’s too broad. Instead, tell them to have an agenda sent out before each meeting and to stick to it.

Be Descriptive and Helpful, Not Evaluative and Punitive

Let’s say an employee turns in a report that has errors within it. If you’re in a rush you might be prone to criticize them for the errors and tell them it’s not up to standard. But taking a moment to be helpful can go a long way. Point out the errors and ask the employee how they might avoid them in the future. This turns criticism into a coaching session.

Own Your Feedback

Don’t give in to the temptation to pass the blame for the feedback to someone who isn’t in the room, or an unnamed force like “management.” Instead, stand behind your words and make it clear to the employee that they are yours by using phrases like, “That’s how I see it,” or “In my view.”

Address Issues, Not the Employee

Don’t tell an employee they are bad at a certain task. Instead, point out the specific errors they have made. There’s a psychological reason behind this. If you tell a team member they are “bad,” it reinforces a fixed mindset and makes it harder to move beyond.

Alternatively, openly discussing the errors and allowing a chance for them to be remedied reinforces a growth mindset and shows that the employee can excel at a task instead.

Employee Feedback Should Be a Dialogue, Not a Monologue

Consider opening your sessions with a question like, “How do you think the meeting went today?” This allows them to open up and share their thoughts, which will help you refine your employee feedback on the fly. 

The employee should also be given the chance to explain his or her reasoning behind their actions and ask their own questions about how to improve. Hearing their perspective can help you tailor your future feedback with them.

Recap at the End of the Meeting

Before the conversation is over, inquire about what the employee heard and give them a chance to tell you in their own words that the message was received.

Follow Up, Don’t Forget

You don’t want to give constructive employee feedback and then never bring up the issue again. Instead, make it a goal and track how the person is improving in that area so their weakness transforms into a strength. If your feedback was important enough to deliver, it’s important enough to follow up on.

Whether you’re an employer seeking out a new employee or a candidate seeking a new position, we want to help you succeed! Click here to check out our current job listings and contact us if you have any questions or are interested in applying.

How To Increase Productivity At Work, No Matter Where You Work

Whether you’re preparing to enter a busy quarter, catching up on work or just trying to make the most of your day, there are always steps you can take to become more productive. Productivity at work may seem like an overwhelming topic, especially when everyone is inspired and motivated differently. So what are the easiest ways to stay on task through a long work day?

The methods to  increase productivity at work are not one-size-fits-all. There are numerous factors including the type of person you are, where you work and what your limitations are. For example, the suggestion to brighten your work space might not come so easily for those working from a cubicle in a corporate office. Read on to find a strategy or two that you can incorporate into your work day.

Tips For Staying Productive While Working In An Office

  1. Plan ahead. Get to your desk 15 minutes early and write out a list of tasks to get your work day started. Highlighting your top three tasks can also help you stay on track to accomplish your daily goals.
  2. Time chunk desirable tasks to help space out your day. Lori Lynn Smith, a Lifehack author, says that by shifting your focus between tedious and repetitive tasks and those that are more engaging, you can keep yourself happily involved in your work throughout the day. Give each task category a time frame and alternate back and forth between them for better productivity at work.
  3. Listen to music. Did you know that music can help you settle into your work routine? Low-volume music or a trusty set of earbuds can drown out noises in the office without interrupting your coworkers. Choose music that helps you focus without distracting you. It has been shown that while listening to classical music your IQ actually increases—you might want to give it a try!

Tips For Staying Productive While Working From Home

  1. Plan phone calls and meeting thoughtfully. Unless you live completely alone, you don’t want to have loud children or a barking dog in the background of your conference call. Not only is it unprofessional, but you might miss something important while trying to silence those around you. Plan your calls according to the daily hustle and bustle of your home.  
  2. Have a designated office space, even if you don’t have a private room for it. Having an office space can increase your productivity at work. Productivity Writer and Author Kayla Matthewssays that this will help put you in “work” mode, as well as prevent you from seeing things that might distract you, like that pile of dirty dishes you ignored last night or a hamper full of clean clothes waiting to be folded. Giving yourself a designated space often means a higher rate of productivity at work.

Whether you work from home or in an office, increasing productivity at work doesn’t have to be a challenge. 

For more recommendations on increasing productivity at work, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

How to Use A Staffing Agency and What Josephine’s Professional Staffing Can Do for You

No matter where you are in your career, or how long you plan to remain in your current position, it is never a bad idea to have a staffing agency on your side. Whether you have a business looking for employees or are an individual who is looking for work, allying with a staffing agency may be one of the smartest moves you can make.

What Sets Josephine’s Professional Staffing Agency Apart?

JPS takes pride in our ability to build bridges between our employees and our clients. JPS is a staffing agency with over 30 years of experience matching our clients with employees to fit every need. 

For a business, we understand it can be extremely difficult to find a perfect fit for a position – a hire who is not only be great at doing the job itself and also fits into the environment and be willing to stick around as long as it takes to complete the work.  

We offer:

  • Temporary contract matching, perfect for clients that need a job done but are hesitant to bring on a full-time employee. 
  • Temporary-to-hire matching, ideal for those clients who need a new employee, but want to try them out first. 
  • Direct hire placement, finding the perfect candidate for the position you need filled and getting them started as soon as possible.

We also have decades of experience with, and are happy to provide, vendor-on-premise contracts and payroll services.Contact Josephine’s Professional Staffing Agency Today

No matter your industry or field of business, enlisting a staffing agency is always a good idea. Not only can we fill executive positions, we also excel at filling:

  • Administrative/clerical 
  • Accounting and finance
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare/medical 
  • Light industrial or manufacturing jobs

When it comes to making sure our employees and clients are matched perfectly, few staffing agencies come close to JPS. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company. For more recommendations on increasing employee engagement, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

5 Healthy Snacks That Will Increase Employee Engagement

Remaining consistent in healthy eating habits while at work can seem like a second job! With all of the time, energy and planning that goes into preparing healthy snacks, hitting a drive-thru can seem like the easier option. Although opting for convenience may sometimes feel like the better choice, after eating a high carb meal energy and productivity levels pay the price. By keeping healthy snacks on hand in the break room, you and your employees will be able to conveniently stay on track and on task. 

By keeping healthy snacks at the office, you will likely notice an increase in employee engagement and productivity. Here are 5 easy healthy snacks that can be left out for your staff to enjoy throughout the day.

1. Dried Fruit and Nuts

Nuts and dried fruit make for a healthy, non-perishable snack mix. This filling combination has an outstanding balance of all three macronutrients, with healthy fats and protein from nuts and good carbs from dried fruit. Both of these snacks are loaded with fiber, which will leave your team feeling full between meals. By keeping your staff’s carbohydrate intake low, you will likely see a jump in employee engagement.

2. Greek Yogurt with Granola or Fruit

It’s sometimes difficult to peer into the fridge and look past what could be a delicious, but energy draining snack and opt for the Greek yogurt instead. But by offering a healthy alternative, you give your staff the chance to choose a snack high in protein and calcium. If you keep granola and fresh fruit on hand, employees can customize their Greek yogurt even more, too! There are numerous options for different types of granola, meaning each day they can incorporate a different flavor into their plain Greek yogurt.

Continue reading “5 Healthy Snacks That Will Increase Employee Engagement”

4 Easy Office Decor Tricks That Will Boost Employee Engagement

Do you enjoy what you see when you gaze around your office? How about your employees? Is their work space reflective of who they are and what they do? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it might be time to think about adding some inspiring decor that will not only please the eye but will boost employee engagement. Bring on the plants, colors and natural light, your staff may need it more than you realize. 


Kelly Weimert at The Spruce explains, “There are several incredibly simple and economical decor tricks you can integrate into your office that will leave you and your employees feeling energized, inspired and motivated.” Whether your office is large or small, you can apply these tips to optimize your company’s employee engagement.

Decor Tricks to Boost Employee Engagement

1. Brand Your Work Space

When you look around your office space do you see your brand? Is your logo proudly displayed? Does the office theme match your mission? Is your team part of the branding? Your office is not only a representation of the business, but it also represents the employees and managers who occupy it. Frame a team picture, get your employees branded coffee mugs, etc. Do whatever is in your means to let your employees and guests know that this is an inclusive space.

2. Maximize Lighting

Soft, natural light is inspiring and will increase employee engagement more than many other strategies. Find ways to incorporate natural light into your space, rather than the typical harsh, bright lights you usually find in offices. If your team is looking at their computer screens all day, the softer light will help them to not strain their eyes, resulting in a healthier staff and more consistent productivity.

3. Add Inspiring Greenery

According to researcher Lewis Humphries at Lifehack.org, studies show that the presence of plants in the workplace can significantly reduce stress and blood pressure. It was also revealed that workers surrounded by plants were able to complete computer-based tasks with a reaction time that was 12 percent faster than alternative test groups. The research also suggests that the process of tending to potted plants can help improve focus over the course of a typical working day, increasing the concentration and attention to detail in the process. Not only will adding greenery to your work space improve employee engagement and decrease staff stress, but the plants also purify the air and provide opportunities to customize and enhance your interior with decorative pots and vases.

4. Get Organized

Do you have an office organizational system for files and important documents that your employees need access to? Organization is not only a time and frustration saver, it can also be aesthetically pleasing, resulting in higher employee engagement. Browse fun websites like The Container Store to get inspired and let your creativity flow!

While decorating adds a few touches of beauty to a space, it also benefits the company in multiple ways. Take a look around your office to see where you can easily implement the above tips; they will inspire your staff and improve employee engagement overall.For more recommendations on increasing employee engagement, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

5-Minute Team Building Games Your Employees Will Actually Like

Team building exercises should be both educational and enjoyable for your staff. By implementing five-minute games into your meetings, your employees will develop their communication and problem solving skills while also growing and learning about one another. We have outlined our four favorite team building games for you to try at your next staff meeting. 

Four 5-Minute Team Building Exercises For Your Staff

1. Play a Quiz 

Create a quiz with five to 10 team building questions on it about your company history, future company goals, the boss’ background or any other relevant topic. Once your employees have finished the quiz, go through the questions and reveal the correct answers. If an employee gets an answer wrong, they are out. The last one standing wins!  

2. Describe and Draw 

Pair off your employees into teams of two. One person on each team will start with a blank piece of paper and the other’s paper will have a shape (e.g. circle, square, triangle, etc.) on it. Whoever starts with the paper with a shape, will need to describe the shape to their partner without saying the name of it. Their partner will need to listen and draw their interpretation of whatever they think their teammate is describing. At the end, have a short de-briefing and learn how each employee communicates and receives messages differently.

3. Object Memory

Create a list of at least 30 words. They can be related to a topic of your choice or random. Display the list for your employees to view for one minute while they try to memorize as many words as possible. After one minute, hide the list and ask everyone to write down as many words as they can remember. See who remembered the most. Repeat this game with a new list of 30 words, and let your employees try in teams. They will quickly see that they can remember more words when they collaborate. Debrief and discuss assumptions about working individually vs. collaborating. 

4. Purpose Mingle

This is a quick and easy team building game that will improve your employees’ productivity and get them thinking about how they will contribute to an office meeting. Before your next meeting, have each individual walk around and share what they hope to contribute to the meeting with as many of their colleagues as possible. If applicable, you can offer a prize to the employee who shares with the most people, and another for the employee who successfully contributes what they intended.

Developing an efficient team doesn’t have to be tedious or an overwhelming challenge. Most leaders and managers today are beginning to understand that we get more out of our employees when they feel valued, and team building activities are an easy way to get employees recognized. Entertain your employees while reinforcing company values in an engaging and lasting manner. 

At Josephine’s Professional Staffing, we offer solutions to staffing, retention and productivity issues. For more recommendations on building your team, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!