5 Activities for National Safety Month

The top activities for engaging employees during National Safety Month include:

Set a company goal for AED/CPR training: Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a stoppage of the heart, causes an estimated 15 percent of workplace deaths. Employees who are well-trained in both CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) use will be fully prepared to respond when SCA occurs. Set a company-wide goal to get a large percentage of workers certified and recognize those individuals who participate in the program by hosting a lunch or picnic. Enlist the help of a training provider and American Heart Association (AHA)-certified instructors to highlight proper AED use and CPR technique.

Fit employees for PPE: Since PPE is only fully effective when it fits correctly, and employees are more likely to wear it when it fits, National Safety Month events are a great opportunity to size employees for gloves, eyewear, hearing protection and protective apparel. PPE that fits properly will not inhibit movement or comfort, but will be tight enough to protect employees during daily activities. Set up fitting stations with several sizes and have a representative on duty who can maintain a log of employees’ sizes to make future ordering easier.

Host a safety contest: To keep employees focused and enthusiastic about safety, use contests and trivia to test employee knowledge about correct safety practices. For example, use an “identify what’s wrong with this picture” contest and have employees submit answers for prizes. To maintain engagement over time, launch a recognition program that rewards certain departments or individuals who have shown an exemplary dedication to workplace safety.

Test fire extinguisher skills: Pick a vendor that can be on-site during safety events to train employees on proper fire extinguisher technique using a fire simulator. Then, test employees’ knowledge with oral quizzes and online training courses. In addition, make sure employees know where all extinguishers and exits are located throughout the facility so they can be fully prepared if a fire occurs.

Teach emergency response: A common misconception is that employees know how to properly respond in the event of an emergency. Use safety awareness events to teach employees proper response including evacuation protocol, first-aid techniques and how to call for help during an emergency. Assign stand-out employees to emergency response teams that can correctly handle chemical spills, fires, natural disasters and SCA.

Dockers and the Birth of Casual Fridays

Loving the everyday comfort of Dockers® at your desk? You’re not the only one. Over the past two decades, a button-down shirt and Dockers® khakis, an ensemble that was originally deemed too casual to constitute business attire, has taken the corporate world by storm.

Dockers® is often credited with the invention of Casual Fridays, the phenomenon that inspired a cultural shift in how we dress for the office. It’s partially, but not entirely, the truth.

In 1966, a professional manufacturing association known as the Hawaiian Fashion Guild figured out a plan to boost sales of Hawaiian shirts and dresses. “Aloha Fridays” gave employees the fashion freedom to wear these colorful garments in the office at the end of the week. Their strategy not only sold many shirts, but also enforced a societal message: There’s room for fun and relaxation in the workplace. (They don’t call it “island time” for nothing, after all).

The tradition inspired the popular sing-along Aloha Friday,” with lyrics that include  “I work hard all week long. I can’t wait to get away.” Try listening to this catchy tune and not fantasizing about piping it into your office loudspeaker next Friday afternoon!

Aloha Fridays eventually made their way to the mainland during the dot-com boom of the early 90s. While some offices rejected the practice, thinking it would decrease workplace productivity, other management realized that allowing their employees to participate might be a great way to boost office morale and give the workforce an end-of-the-week “perk” that was cost-effective.

The practice encountered a few issues early on. Some HR departments worried that Hawaiian shirt and flip-flop ensemble of Aloha Fridays was a little too much fun. And the lack of any real guidelines for how to dress beyond the confines of a business suit left many professionals scratching their heads while staring into their closet Friday morning.

Dockers® found themselves in the perfect position to come up with a creative solution. “When Dockers was conceived back in the ’80s, it was at a quintessential time when business people were looking to break away from the suit and showcase a bit more of their unique style.  This represented a significant shift from the traditional dress code of that time towards something that was considered both modern and professional with a nice twist of laid back style,” said Adrienne Lofton, Chief Marketing Officer of the Dockers® brand at Levi Strauss & Co. In 1992, they created a trusty “Guide To Casual Business Wear,” and mailed the pamphlet to approximately 25,000 HR managers across the country.

If there was ever any doubt that Casual Fridays caught on, here are some numbers to chew on. In a survey conducted by Evans Research in 1995, nine out of ten companies allowed their staff to dress casually in the workplace, either on an occasional or full-time basis, up from about two-thirds in 1992. And while in 1992, 20% of companies dressed casually every day, by 1995 those numbers were closer to 33%, with a whopping 42% of companies allowing their workers to dress casually one day a week.

The “Guide To Casual Business Wear” was undoubtedly the culprit. With handy tidbits such as “consider the style and tone of your outfit when choosing belts scarves and jewelry,” the guide provided instructions as well as handy visual inspiration.  It stressed the idea that casual was not another word for sloppy—“Keep wrinkled, stained, or dirty clothing out of the workplace”—and cautioned that anything too revealing—lingerie looks, transparency and in some cases, bare legs—could be a major no-no. Dockers® even sponsored in-office fashion shows, and provided a hotline for workplace dress code emergencies.

This roadmap for dressing in casual business attire formed the foundation for the relaxed look we’ve come to know and love, and boosted worker morale nationwide. Dockers® was hailed as revolutionary for creating a cultural shift that propelled their khakis into the mainstream.

It was a pioneering and forward-thinking approach that the brand continues to implement today—for instance, with the development of their dynamic and modern Alpha Khaki. Whether you have Casual Fridays in your office or not, we guarantee you that when you invest in a great-fitting pair of pants, you’ll want to wear them more than one day a week.



article via: levistrauss.com

Earth Day Paper Facts

Paper plays a big part in making sure forests are sustained for long-term growth. So much so, that we like to think that we celebrate Earth Day every day!

Employee Spirit Month

The Strickland team does our very best to help you maximize your WorkLife efficiency and productivity by offering tools you need to get your job done. But, their are other factors that contribute to a happy WorkLife besides the perfect paper or your favorite ink pen.

March is Employee Spirit Month: here are 10 ways you can boost morale and encourage a happy, healthy working environment at your office. 

  1. Set a good example: Stick to your word, maintain a positive attitude, and be approachable at all times.
  2. Let your employees know how they are doing. Congratulate and recognize them when they’ve completed a project well. Likewise, provide feedback and suggestions on how to improve if you’re disappointed in their work.
  3. Celebrate special milestones, events, and accomplishments in the lives of your employees: birthdays, engagements, weddings, births, and anniversaries.
  4. Listen to your employees. Paying close attention to their needs, issues and personal stories shows respect, support, and trust.
  5. Communicate clearly, frequently and in person. This ensures everyone is on the same page and keeps your employees in the loop as much as possible.
  6. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Encourage your employees to try innovative, risky ideas, take on new responsibilities, and share their own advice.
  7. Give them plenty of room to grow. Encourage your employees to attend training seminars, conferences and other developmental opportunities to help them evolve within your company.
  8. Offer incentives for a job well done. This could be anything from a free lunch to a half-day on Friday for meeting an important deadline.
  9. Encourage a good work-life balance. Be open and flexible. Encourage breaks throughout the day so your employees don’t feel overwhelmed and overworked.
  10. Have fun! Make team-building events, community service projects, themed parties or after-work get-togethers a regular part of your schedule.

Print and Paper in a Digital World: Key US Survey Findings


5 New Year Resolutions for Your Office Design

The end of the year is here, and that means you’re busy celebrating – and thinking about a fresh new start in 2018. If you’re hoping to make your business more successful and your employees happier and more productive, you might want to look into your office design. Believe it or not, the design (or lack thereof) of your space could be affecting your employee morale, productivity, and creativity. So if you’re thinking of New Year’s resolutions, show some love to that office space – your business and your employees will thank you.

Collaborate more

When it comes to inspiring creativity, the more minds that come together, the better. And if your office doesn’t exactly encourage collaboration, it’s time to make some modern steps toward a better workspace. Today, office design is turning more and more to open, collaborative space rather than a series of offices or divided cubicles. Sure, everyone needs to put their head down and get some work down now and then, but too many walls can stifle creative thinking. If you need some quiet space, sanction a few offices or conference rooms for that purpose. But keep in mind that these don’t need to be “traditional” offices – assigned based on seniority. A flexible space allows everyone what they need at the moment – whether that’s a place to pow-wow with coworkers or a quiet spot to jump into a spreadsheet.Collaborate with Coworkers

Lighten up

If your office space is bright, white and completely artificial, your employees could likely use a little more natural light. Today’s optimal workspace use natural light rather than the depressing fluorescent ceiling lights of yesteryear. Studies have shown that natural light not only improves employees’ health (goodbye, endless sick days!), but it also encourages productivity. If you can’t move to a new, lighter space this year, then take a good look at how you’re using your office space. Do you have high cubicle walls that are blocking the windows from most of your employees? Are the windows obstructed by ugly filing cabinets or boxes? It may be time to rethink the light – and let it in!

Scale back

A cluttered workspace often means a cluttered brain – and if you’ve got a dozen employees, well, that’s a lot of cluttered brains. If you’ve ever grown out of an office space, you know what it’s like to have boxes stacked in corners, file cabinets everywhere you look and miscellaneous desk supplies filling every nook and cranny. If your space isn’t exactly making your creative juices flow, try decluttering. Do you need 100 copies of that ad you ran back in 2001? Is there a reason you need ten printers and 547 staplers?  And as you clear the clutter, you’ll likely clear your head, too.

Color it

“White, gray and taupe always inspire my creativity,” said no office worker ever. If your office looks like someone dumped a can of hospital paint all over it, make 2017 the year you let the color in. That doesn’t mean your space needs to look like a unicorn threw up in it, but a good office designer can help you add pops of color – like bright chairs, rugs, and accent walls. As an employer, the colors you choose for your office can help you encourage certain feelings in your employees. For example, some colors are calming, while others invoke a sense of energy and excitement. For example, you might use light blue in a break room to encourage a sense of calm, while adding red to a conference room or collaborative space to boost energy.

Ready to start a 2018 transformation? We can help.

Birmingham Strickland Thanksgiving Lunch

One of the best office traditions is the Thanksgiving pot luck lunch. On this hallowed day, we thought we’d share some of Strickland with you:

Misty Minor – CSR

Weslie Whatley – Receptionist

Chancie Rogers – CSR

Eric Upshaw – Sales Representative

Tracey Wise – Packaging Purchasing/Office Manager

BT Tynes – President

Carlos Singleton – Packaging Shipping and Receiving

Beth Swindle – Packaging Purchasing Assistant/CSR

Forsyth White- Sales Representative

Sonny Randolph – Warehouse Manager

Amanda Akers

Susan Crawford – Contract Sales Specialist

Beau Tynes – Vice President

Ashleigh Trivette

Mary Perry – Sales Representative

Holly Stiles – BP Operations

Samantha Calvert – Accounts Payable

Taylor Ragsdale – Paper Purchasing Assistant

Morgan Watts – Paper Purchasing Assistant

Karla Centers – Accounts Payable


22 Work-Appropriate Halloween Costumes

Even if your workplace is cool with Halloween costumes, it can become a little tricky to find something totally work-appropriate. A face full of fake blood or dressed head-to-toe as a wedge of cheese might be sort of distracting at that 3pm board meeting. If you’re struggling to come up with a Halloween idea that’s both creative and SFW, these costumes are sure to do the trick.

HR Vampire

1. Vampire: Forget the gory makeup and blood capsules — all you need is a large cape, widow’s peak, teeth and some black lipstick. (via Brit + Co)

HR Bat

2. Bat: Keeping the costume minimal for the workplace is always a good idea. They’re probably still expecting you to get stuff done, after all. All this costume calls for is an all-black ensemble with a sewn-in cape. (via Again We Say Rejoice)

HR Aquarium

3. Aquarium: Hey, moms-to-be, get a little creative this year and head to the office as an aquarium. The costume itself is super easy to make, so you can get back to the important things, like, you know, growing a tiny human. (via Brit + Co)


HR Awkward Picture

4. Awkward School Photo: Halloween doesn’t fall on a #TBT this year, but you can still take a stroll down awkward memory lane as a throwback version of yourself. (via Jessica Hische)


HR Cruella

6. Cruella de Vil: Channel this classic Disney villain with an oversized coat, red vintage flats and some seriously wicked eye makeup. (via @101dal__)


HR Cat Woman

7. Catwoman: This HR-approved ensemble is tame but fierce. Okay, maybe (definitely) leave the whip at home. (via Brit + Co)


HR Ice Cream

8. Ice Cream Cone: Head to the thrift store for a white dress (think: lots of tulle), add the sprinkles and a cone hat and voila! This is kind of the cutest costume ever, and it’s totally perfect for the office. (via Treasures and Travels)


HR Cat

9. Purrfect Black Cat: Cats are always a safe option for the workplace, and this costume is way better than just a couple of painted on whiskers and a tail. Pick your favorite statement necklace and jazz up this Halloween costume staple. (via Brit + Co)

HR KAte Middleton

10. Kate Middleton: This spot-on interpretation of Princess Kate is a great choice for the workplace. And there are tons of A+ Princess Kate looks to inspire. (via @awesomejaymee)


Hhr Sugar Cookie

11. Pink Sugar Cookie: If you haven’t tried these sugary angels yet, you’d better head to the store ASAP. They’re totally worthy of their own (office-safe) Halloween costume. (via A Joyful Riot)


HHr Dorothy

12. Dorothy, The Wizard Of Oz: If you have a pet-friendly office, we highly encourage you to bring your own Toto to work. (via The Joy Of Fashion)


HR Mary Kate Ashley

13. Mary-Kate and Ashley: These costumes call for a serious dive into your local vintage store. (via Brit + Co)


Hr Mime

14. Mime: This Halloween, put your striped shirt and black denim to good use. The best part? You have an excuse not to talk to that co-worker who you kind of can’t stand. (via Brit + Co)


HR Queen Of Hearts

15. Queen Of Hearts: This makeup look calls for items that are probably already in your makeup bag. Just grab a deck of playing cards and get snipping! (via Brit + Co)



16. Hamburglar: With this costume, you’ll definitely be asked to head out on the office takeout run for lunch. (via What I Wore)


Hhr Rosie

17. Rosie the Riveter: This timeless tough girl always makes for a great costume. (via Brit + Co)

18. Fred Flinstone: Just put some shoes on, please.


19. Bill Lumbergh: Yeah, that’d be great.

Image result for men office halloween

20. Where’s Waldo: Perfect for hipster Tim in IT.

21. Forrest Gump


22. Wayne’s World




What will you be for Office Halloween? Share your pictures with us on our Facebook Page.

Survey: Outdoor Workers Should Be Provided Sunscreen

Skin cancer is by far the most common form of cancer and too much exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation increases the risk of skin cancer. However, according to a 2016 survey Deb Group commissioned, 71 percent of outdoor workers are not provided sunscreen by their employer’s to use at work.

A new survey commissioned by Deb Group, and conducted online by Harris Poll among 2,057 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, examines the public’s opinions on sunscreen at businesses. The study found that 74 percent of Americans believe businesses with outdoor workers (ground care and window washers, for example) should provide sunscreen for their employees to use while at work.

“Outdoor workers naturally spend more time exposed to UV radiation, putting them at greater risk of sun damage and the potential of developing skin cancers,” said Isabelle Faivre, Vice President of Marketing, Deb North America. “Unfortunately, the dangers of skin cancer in the workplace have often been neglected. Employers have an obligation to minimize the risk of harm to employees. Providing and encouraging sun protection for outdoor workers can help create a healthy and safe workplace.”

Every year, Americans lose more than $100 million in productivity because of restricted activity or absence from work due to skin cancer. Most skin cancers are preventable when best practice is followed, which includes wearing sunscreen when the UV index is three or higher. The 2017 survey also found that beyond the workplace, more than a third of Americans (35 percent) believe that outdoor public facilities, such as public pools and amusement parks, should provide sunscreen for public use.

On average, by enduring more than five sunburns a person doubles their risk for developing melanoma. Deb Group is proactively campaigning to raise awareness of the risks associated with prolonged UV exposure to workers who spend a significant amount of time outside. As part of its Be UV Aware campaign, Deb offers an Outdoor Workers’ Guide to help employers implement a suitable and successful sun safety policy to protect its workers.

Meet the Team: James Byrd

You’ve seen him around town behind the wheel of our fancy, Big Orange ‘S’ Business Products trucks, or perhaps he knows you by first name and greets you with a smile and a case of copy paper each week- our Strickland Star, James Byrd let me ride along on his morning route and here’s what I’ve found:

EM: Thanks for letting me ride along, James; I love the mornings. You’ve been a Business Products delivery driver here at Strickland for a little over 2 years- where and who were you before you joined the company?

JB: My wife and I have three children- the two younger play softball and the older is in college. My very first job was at a McDonald’s and I’ve been in the delivery driving business for the past 12 1/2 years. When I’m not driving, I enjoy coaching my girls and being a handyman around the house.

EM: Glad to hear you’re a family man. My favorite part of being with family is the food. Do you have a favorite home-cooked meal?

JB: Baked chicken, chicken and dressing, macaroni cheese, and corn bread.

EM: You’re stranded on a desert island. You have one companion and three items; who and what are they?

JB: Sandra Bullock, cooking pot, fire starter, and machete

EM: You said Sandra Bullock but you meant your wife, right?

JB: No

EM: Although I suspect you’ll be doing all four soon, which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom or vacuum the house?

JB: Mow the lawn

EM: What else do you want the world to know about you, James?

JB: My family motivates me to work hard and I don’t sing karaoke, although I do prefer the Rolling Stones over the Beatles. I like to get out of Alabama on family vacations, and learning a different language and being debt free are two items on my bucket list.

To ride on a morning business products route you have to be at the Strickland warehouse at 6:30am. I’ve been described as a bit of a morning grouch more than once in my life, but I can say James’ smile and genuine love of his job are infectious and leave little wonder in my mind as to why he’s our Strickland Star. We’re lucky to have you, James!