Office Culture

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Emergency Zen: 4 Yoga Stretches to Practice at Your Desk

Read Time: 3 Min

While we should all aspire to have excellent posture, a perfectly ergonomic workstation, and find time to do a breathe exercise during the day, the reality is that our jobs get in the way. To remain zen, relieve stress and help you recharge, here are some yoga moves to keep you upright. Brownie points to those starting off team meetings with a group stretch!

Twist it Out

Seated twist

Plant your feet on the floor and sit up tall. Place your right hand on your outer left knee and twist your torso to the left.  As you inhale, sit up taller and as you exhale, rotate your ribs and shoulders to the left. Keep your right hip back as you turn. Take three deep breaths, then switch sides. You will know you are stretching too far if you can’t keep a steady breath and can see all the way to Martha in accounting.

Pigeon in a Chair

Seated pigeon

Start with both feet flat on the ground and place your left ankle just above your right knee. Maintain a straight back and flex your left foot. If you don’t feel a stretch, lean forward with your torso—we’re not talking head on your keyboard, just a slight stretch—without tilting to either side. Hold for five deep breaths, then switch sides.

Crescent Moon For Desk Neck

Crescent Moon

With arms over your head, place your palms together with your fingers stretched wide. Lean to the left for three deep breaths while keeping your shoulders down. As you inhale, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale continue to deepen the delicious stretch (sorry, we talk in ‘food’ here at Platterz). Feel the release of tension in your neck and shoulders.

Cow Face Clasp

Cow Clasp

With a bent elbow, take your left arm behind your head as you bring your right arm to your upper back. Bring your hands together if you can. If you can’t, move them towards each other and think about that lengthy to-do-list for an extra push (just kidding, this should be a small stretch!). Hold for three deep breaths and switch sides.

Hungry for more wellness in the office? Try desk pilates, a deep breathing practice, and décor for your desk.

Work up an appetite? Keep the zen going with some healthy eats; try a delicious salad, fresh poke or an acai bowl.

Namaste.

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How the Platterz Founders Use Passion to Cultivate Community

READ TIME: 4 min

“The history is what made us who we are.”

From a quick coffee meeting turned 8-hour business brainstorm, Platterz co-founders Eran Henig and Yishay Waxman have used their infinite passion to build an international team of innovators, entrepreneurs and dreamers—a team driven to lead the way in the office culture revolution.

We sat down with our CEO & President to uncover how they’ve grown a successful company into a culture-fuelled community, why they believe in work as family, and what the future—for Platterz, for offices, for employees—holds.

“Everything in life is timing.”

Why start Platterz?

Y: When Eran and I met for the first time sitting at a Starbucks, we weren’t even talking about business. After working in offices that ordered the same food, from the same places, we shared the same curiosity: ‘There has to be something easier, where the food changes, and so does the standard office environment.’

Where do you see Platterz going?

E: Platterz is going to make a global impact about how companies are treating employees and managing culture needs in the office. It’s a one-stop shop for any corporate service.

Y: If I had a crystal ball into the future, I see Platterz fuelling more than just food [it’s our anchor]. Companies will engage with the platform across all regions in multiple facets.

What is your one wish for Platterz employees?

E: That they will never see us as work. That they’re not driven by numbers, but rather, come to the office with a smile, and create something great as if it were a hobby.

“When it’s built in a way from the ground up, where everyone treats it as their own—because it is their own—the chances of success are that much greater.”

Why is changing office culture so important to you?

E: People work really well and create when they’re in an environment that helps express themselves and identify who they are. That can only happen when they’re given the place to collaborate with people of different mindsets. The togetherness is what makes people care.

Y: You spend so much time in the workplace—often more than your actual house. You want to feel comfortable coming to work, and want to work with people you respect, look up to, enjoy eating and speaking with—and that transforms into the environment, which trickles down into culture.

Eran Henig and Yishay Waxman

Eran Henig, left and Yishay Waxman. Photo courtesy of Financial Post.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Y: Passionate. The passion that I have also translates into the feelings that I wear on my sleeve – I care so much about Platterz and its people that it’s like another child of mine.

What are you most proud of, and why?

E: Our team. By far the biggest achievement we’ve had is bringing together 100+ individuals that care so much.

Y: When a group of strangers who have never met each other come in [to town] for a company barbecue, or message another team member they didn’t know a few months ago — that’s what makes me the proudest in the world.

“The more you reinvent yourself, the stronger you are in knowing your skills, creating a strong foundation for a very strong team.”

How do you encourage creative thinking?

E: Exposing the team to a lot of different concepts. Even those ideas that might not be practical or ready to produce, but it gets them to challenge what they thought before. Being unbiased towards the effort they put into something is important to keep improving themselves.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

E: I’d experiment early. With everything; never staying attached to a place, an idea, the work I’ve done. There should be no mental boundaries or barriers to hold you back from what you create.

What would you tell future entrepreneurs, dreaming of landing their big break?

Y: Don’t be scared to fail. You might not get it right the first time, but don’t give up.

“It’s not about a lucky break… We create our own luck.”

The Platterz story is just beginning. Read more about how we’re helping local businesses grow, fostering positive relationships, and on a mission to boost office culture.

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How To Host The Happiest of Office Happy Hours

Summer is commonly known as Post-Work Drink Season, Patio Season, Leave-The-Office-Early Season, but here at Platterz, we call it Happy Season. What happens during Happy Season you might ask? For starters, they key is narrowing it down to an hour. That peak hour between 4:00pm-5:00pm on a Friday in August: one of—if not the most—happiest hours of the week. The team is preparing to head out of the office for the weekend, and people are starting to wind down after a week of hard work. We can’t think of a better way to kick off the anticipated weekend than with an office happy hour! Here are a few tools to help you plan the joyous occasion—that is, a Friday afternoon.

First things first: mark your calendars.  

 

calendar

It goes without saying that no one wants to have meetings late on a Friday afternoon. Just incase, it’s important to have this hour booked in your team’s calendar well in advance. If you’re looking to get creative, try out Canva, the super easy, super FREE web program that allows you to customize invitations. The best way to entice coworkers to attend (aside from the beverages and great company) is to make the invite clear, concise and most importantly, catchy.

Get mixing.   

Coworkers drinking at cocktail party

Before you get to mixing the cocktails, it’s key that everyone in the office gets to mix and mingle with one another. This is, in fact, what Platterz preaches every single day. To ensure that all employees are chatting not just amongst their respective teams, but with all of their coworkers, introduce a few interactive games and/or activities. Have you ever heard of Two Truths and a Lie? Try these conversation starters to help break the ice, or liven things up with old-school Music Bingo. There are so many ways to bring everyone together to collaborate, compete and communicate.

When hunger strikes, opt for light bites.  

cheese platter

4pm hits and the late-afternoon cravings kick in. The problem? You don’t want to spoil yours or anyone’s appetite for dinner. The solution? Plan ahead with a few bite-sized snacks and appetizers for your whole office to enjoy. For the elevated audience, pair wine with a cheese platter and fresh fruit. If your team is more of the cocktail crowd, how about an assortment of dips and canapés? Don’t worry if your office prefers the casual classics like sliders, pizza and chips. There’s more than enough for them too.

Last, but most definitely not least: the beverages.  

glass of beer
A pop-up bar? Yes, it exists. The easiest way to host an in-office, out-of-the-box happy hour is to bring the bar (and bartenders) to you through a bar service, such as SIPBAR. This includes certified bartenders, selections of craft beers, quality wines, premium spirits and custom cocktails—so custom that you can bring in a mixing station for your team to participate! Or, if you’re on a tight budget and plan to keep it low-key, visit the nearest liquor store and pick up a few cases of locally brewed beer or ciders. You can even think up a themed mocktail, or spruce up sparkling water; there are endless alternatives to alcoholic beverages. Happy hours should appeal to everyone in the office, because after all, they’re synonymous with bringing people together during the best time of the week!  

By implementing these four core elements into your office happy hour, you’ll end up with the reputation of being the office host with the most. Now we’re talking.

Want to turn your happy hour into happy hours and interested in planning your next office party? Platterz is here to help, so contact one of our Event Specialists to chat next steps.

Keep an eye out on FEED and on our social channels for a deep dive into how SIPBAR quickly became the one-stop beverage-shop that your event can’t live without.

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6 Desk Décor Tips To Make You More Productive

Fact: We spend close to one third of our lives in the office, sitting at our desks. Fiction: We have to keep our desks dull to ensure we stay productive. At Platterz, we’re tackling the myth that life in the office is bleak, and that your desk has to be a reflection of that. Not a closeted DIY expert? Don’t want to spend money on your office supplies? No problem! We know time is a luxury, so here are six ways you can effortlessly update your desk décor to optimize your workspace and workflow.

1. Combine Colours

The Benefit: Induce Emotions

colourful desk

It goes without saying that a day in the office is never black and white, so why should your desk be? Yellow is commonly known for energy and optimism, while blue is affiliated with relaxation and focus, and green with tranquility and balance. A study conducted by the task management app, Taskworld, suggests that, contrary to popular belief, implementing colours into your day will actually stimulate greater creativity, rather than serve as a distraction. Try opting for coloured pens or notebooks, or even a bright coloured coffee mug. We’re not saying every colour of the rainbow per se, but it’s important to find which colours are best suited to you, your role, and your work environment.

2. Strategic Supplies

The Benefit: Improve Efficiency

calendar with post-its

Whether you work on a computer or prefer traditional methods such as writing everything by hand, it goes without question that your office supplies should be tailored to fit the way you work. Do you write to-do lists everyday? Then jot down your thoughts in a daily agenda. Are you high-tech and use multiple devices at once? Tame the cord chaos with cable organizers to avoid your desk becoming a storage facility. You learn your best practices when you have the tools to support you, so be sure to check out Business Insider’s list of affordable yet undeniably beneficial desk-hacks. Seriously, you’ll ask yourself how you ever worked without them.

3. Plant Life

The Benefit: Feel At Home

plants at desk

According to WeWork’s Senior Designer, Rachel Montana, people want to feel at home, and personalize their workspace while in the office. Work is seen as an expression of who you are, so being comfortable in your own space is essential, and will help ensure others feel the same. What’s a simple way to bring home life to the office? Plants! According to The Guardian, “considerable energy has gone into showing how plants and flowers brighten the work experience.” In fact, the term Biophilia was coined to demonstrate how green office spaces reduce stress hormones and increase brain functionality. So, pick up a succulent, cactus and/or small flower pot – just don’t forget to water it!

4. Healthy Snacking 

The Benefit: Boost Energy

snacking on fruit jar

3pm strikes and you’re craving a bag of chips, or perhaps you have a sweet tooth and the convenience store across the street has unlimited chocolate bars. The only problem is that you’re busy at work and don’t want to binge on unhealthy treats. The easiest way to avoid the mid-afternoon-hunger-strike is by keeping a jar of bite-sized munchies on your desk. Having fruits, veggies and nuts ordered to the office make for effortless snacking, without sacrificing time and the charming aesthetics of your revamped tabletop. And if you get thirsty post-snack, replace plastic bottles with a coloured water bottle or themed tumbler to add a touch of spunk, all while staying environmentally conscious!

 

5. Stick to a Scent

The Benefit: De-Stress

aromatic oils on desk

We all know that scents tend to be very personal. Some people might love the warm essence of vanilla bean, while others might prefer a fresh lemon-lime aroma. However, there are actually a few scents that are proposed to have a universal effect on people, especially in the workplace. Candles are likely a no-go in an office building (fire hazard and all), so try keeping these rollerballs or oils lined up on a decorative tray. Not only do they provide subtle scents, they don’t hurt the eye nor disrupt colleagues! Not sure which fragrance you fancy? Huffington Post Canada points out that citrus-infused scents such as lemon and orange aid in concentration, peppermint reduces headaches, lavender’s nourishing properties help with stress, and cinnamon can combat fatigue. We’ll take all four, please!

6. Personal Touches 

The Benefit: Generate Sociability

photo frame on desk

Do you spend your 9-5 daydreaming of the last time you lay on the beach, climbed a mountain or slept in a hotel bed? Us too. And, as it turns out, we’re not alone. WeWork polled over 4,000 of its members around the world, and discovered the extensive lack of work-life balance in traditional offices—a notion that Platterz is already on its way to combating. The solution? Personalizing your workspace is crucial in both putting a smile on your face as you reminisce, and to serve as an effortless conversation starter. If you have a framed photo of your new Dalmatian, or a landscape of your bucket list vacation, add it to your desk collection! Colleagues and visitors to the office are bound to want to know more. Trust us, there’s proof in the pudding.

Try these out and let us know how you designed your desk by tagging Platterz in your desk décor photos on Instagram. If you’re already a master at creating a pretty yet productive workspace and have a method to the madness, share your tips in the comments below!

Don’t just want to limit this tips to your desk and are hoping to improve your office’s space too? Check out our spotlight on Top Hat’s office and take a peek into their interactive, innovative workspace for inspiration (FYI, they have purple walls!).

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