Sticky Notes

Holiday Office Gift Etiquette Advice

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, both at home and the office. Whether you’re pondering giving a gift to your favorite co-worker or plunging into the annual company gift exchange, you’re certainly facing the question, “What do I get and how much should I spend?”

Gifting to friends and co-workers is common during the holidays, but the office gift exchange can be the trickiest to navigate. You need to be neutral, politically correct and professional; you don’t want to go over the top, but don’t want to come across as a penny-pincher, either. So, how do you give something that is both thoughtful and meaningful?

Here are some etiquette tips you might find helpful:

  1. Mandatory or optional?

Your company’s gift exchange may be optional, giving you the opportunity to gracefully bow out.  If you find the exchange too much to handle; because of politics, economics, religion or personal concerns don’t be afraid to take advantage of this “out”.

  1. Follow the spending cap

Gift exchanges almost always have a spending cap.  Having this expectation sets an equality guideline and makes gift selection easier while also reducing the chance of causing jealousy or bad feelings.  Unless you are the boss or owner, make sure you adhere to this as closely as possible; people who try to “one-up” others can be perceived as arrogant.

  1. Be thoughtful

If you really want to make an impression, consider doing a little investigative work.  Focus on your co-workers hobbies, family, interests and even a goal they have set for themselves.  An easy giveaway for people’s personalities is how they decorate their desk or work areas.  Personal recognition can earn huge points with someone.

  1. Avoid getting too personal

When selecting a gift for someone, try to avoid items that might be perceived as too personal. Roses, intimate apparel, cosmetics, cologne or anything otherwise suggestive of a professional working relationship should be avoided. Instead, focus on career-related gifts. Gadgets, Gift cards, electronics, food, or candy are a few safe ideas.

  1. Use humor with caution

Humor can be a double edged sword and should be used with caution.  One person’s humor can be another’s dehumanization.  You never want to risk irreparable damage by offending or insulting someone.  Instead, take the high road and give something thoughtful that will be appreciated.

  1. Try a group gift

This can be an easy way to avoid any fear of fault, because there is always safety in numbers. For anyone like a boss, manager, mentor or coach where multiple people want to purchase a gift, group contribution will help solve several of the above mentioned issues. A group effort will bring consensus when choosing the item, along with taking spending power much farther and last but not least, it won’t appear as if you’re trying to win favor for any particular person.

  1. Always say Thank You

You might be surprised if you asked corporate gift managers how many people actually said thank you after receiving a company gift.  It can be quite alarming, actually.  Therefore, no matter who gives you a gift, be sure to acknowledge them and say thank you. Verbal responses are nice, but it’s more meaningful to take the time and send a handwritten note or card.

  1. I received a gift, do I give one back?

This is the most common fear people have surrounding holiday gifting. Frankly, you are under no obligation to reciprocate a gift, but remember, a thank you goes a long way. You may also find it helpful to keep a supply of small gifts (even if they are from the dollar store) inside your desk, just in case!

How to Avoid Getting Sick at the Office

It is upon us once again: flu season. Nobody enjoys a cold or the flu, and being stuck in an office where sniffling and coughing are commonplace may eventually lead to germy microbes landing on your desk.  Getting sick at work is easy when so many viruses cause the common cold; and colds are the biggest reason why adults miss work. Trying not to catch a cold is tough when you’re surrounded by infected colleagues and work spaces. Although it’s impossible to stay away from germs altogether, there are steps you can take to avoid getting sick at work.

Wash your hands Frequently

Cold prevention starts with frequent hand washing. Germs lurk everywhere…doorknobs, remote controls, elevator buttons, microwave door handles, pens, pencils and more.  If you wash your hands constantly, you will stop spreading illnesses to others and also protect yourself from germs.  The most important times to wash your hands are before and after you eat; after using the restroom; and after you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose.  Make sure when you wash your hands that you do so for at least 20 seconds.

Try Not to Touch Your Face

Germs spread mainly through saliva droplets that are emitted when people talk, cough, or sneeze. These tiny droplets can easily get in your mouth and nose, or you could breathe them into your lungs.  Additionally, they can remain on your skin or other common objects & surfaces near you. And, to complicate matter further, most flu viruses can survive for up to eight hours (while cold viruses can live for about three hours). If you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, this is typically how you contract the illness.

Step Back, Jack!

You don’t need to be in close proximity with someone who has a cold or the flu to get sick.  Infected patients can spread their germs to others up to six feet away.  If you notice a co-worker who is constantly coughing, sneezing, or sniffling, try to avoid them at all costs. If a co-worker is ill, try to encourage that person to stay home to prevent spreading the illness.  People who are ill should ideally remain home until they are fever or symptom free for at least 24 hours.  Or, if your office has a fairly liberal work from home policy, take advantage of it.

Keep Hand Sanitizer and Tissues on the Ready

Tissues are best used to contain spreading germs from coughing, sneezing, etc.  Alcohol-based hand sanitizer typically has at least a 60 percent alcohol content, and although they don’t remove all types of germs, these gels can immediately decrease the germ content on your hands. Also, by practicing this behavior of keeping tissues and sanitizer handy, you’re subtly encouraging your co-workers to do the same.

Clean Shared Items

If you never saw that news story about hotel rooms and germs, the world was shocked when we learned that the dirtiest, most germ-infected item in the room was not the bathroom – but the TV remote!  With that said, you should simply avoid sharing items with co-workers, such as your phone, computer, conference room remote controls and food.  And, any other frequently touched item should be disinfected to prevent the spread of germs.

 

How to Easily Turn Your File Cabinets Into Digital Documents

Are you tired of your file cabinets getting bigger and bigger?  Are you tired of that one employee not returning the client folder you need to the right place?  Life would be easier if you could just do a quick search with some keywords and find the exact document you are looking for, like your own private Google search index made just for you.   Now, with Digital OCR technology you can easily do this with a scanner and some software.  The Canon imageFORMULA DR-C225 Sheetfed Scanner does all of this with ease and will take you from the stone ages to the new ages in just minutes.

Not only is the scanner fast (25 pages per minute), but once your documents have been scanned in, you can use the bundled software to OCR your documents & add meta data to them making these documents fully searchable and easily retrievable by adding meta data to each PDF you create and the OCR feature.

Not only can you digitize these documents, but you can also do more with the software, such as:

  • Convert PDF’s into Word, Excel, Powerpoint & WordPerfect Documents
  • Create digital, fillable forms easilyNuance Cloud Connector
  • Combine and Assemble Documents easily into a single format
  • Speak to Text Feature
  • Easily Edit PDF files
  • Create Digital Signatures
  • Compare Document Feature – Detects unauthorized edits
  • Scan to Box, Google Docs™, Windows Live® SkyDrive®, Office 365, Evernote® and Dropbox

And much more!

Scanner Features–

The DR-C225 scanner is ideal for general purpose distributed scanning of a variety of document types. In corporate or remote offices, this scanner is well suited for use by individuals or small workgroups to modernize paper-based processes, helping to increase efficiency and productivity. Many areas, such as legal, financial, healthcare, and government, can benefit from its small size and ease of use. When combined with the bundled software, the DR-C225 scanner can be used for converting documents into editable electronic files; scanning business cards and organizing contacts; file archiving, retrieval, and sharing; PDF creation; and much more.

Canon DR-C225 Scanner

Space Saving Design

With top feeding and default top eject, the DR-C225 scanner has a very small operational footprint. This slim, narrow scanner’s unique upright design is ideal for environments where desk space is at a premium.

Easy Use

By default, the DR-C225 scanner features intuitive front-sideforward, top-up item feeding. It also includes a mode through which a single click can adjust multiple feature settings to easily deliver an optimal scanned image. This scanner is bundled with Windows and Mac drivers for easy integration with third-party scanning software. The bundled Canon CaptureOnTouch software enables users to configure routine scan jobs for quick and easy, one-touch access and can also route scanned images directly to various cloud applications, such as Evernote, Microsoft SharePoint, and Dropbox.

Flexibility

Scanning at up to 25 ppm, both sides of an item at the same time, the DR-C225 scanner can reliably handle a wide variety of document types, such as thick or thin documents and plastic or embossed cards. The DR-C225 scanner also includes features to handle long documents up to 118” in length or oversize documents up to 11” x 17”, and double-feed detection to help ensure no data is lost in the event that one occurs.

High Image Quality

For maximum image quality, the DR-C225 scanner includes features to help improve character legibility, as well as to straighten and remove shadows from scanned images. Another setting is useful for scanning mixed batches of documents and photographs, automatically adjusting the output resolution to help improve image quality while reducing image file size. The DR-C225 scanner can even detect color documents automatically, helping to reduce batch preparation time.

and Do you want to make a digital format out of the hard copy of any document? If you do, OCR (abbreviation for “Optical Character Recognition”) is the technology you need. Optical Character Recognition is a modern technology used for digital replication. The OCR program software does more than simply reading the fonts from scanned documents or digitally captured images – it can recognize line breaks in the document, split up columns, turn images into graphics, allow searching the text by keyword, allow document editing, etc. The process is quite simple, easy to manage, and can take just a few seconds. Some even say that OCR program software can replace a Data Entry service. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to both forms of digitizing content.

ADVANTAGES OF OCR

If you want to convert a document into an editable digital format, the OCR program software is the best choice. The Optical Character Recognition process can save both time and effort when developing a digital replica of the document. It provides a fast and reliable alternative to typing manually. All you need to do is use an optical scanner or digital camera to turn a document’s hard copy into the digital format. When scanning, always remember to enable the “scan to OCR” option. The OCR program software can convert a document into many different electronic formats, like Microsoft Word, Text (and Rich Text), Excel, and of course, it can also convert scanned PDF documents

All documents created through OCR program software are editable and allow you to modify the content as you see fit. If you compare the cost of OCR with the cost of manual data entry, OCR is a lot cheaper. It is already an indispensable part of most large companies’ office equipment and a valuable technology in industries that are heavily scanning documentation, such as the legal department, financial institutions, government agencies, etc.

 

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