Author Archives: Amy Mulcreevy

Staying Comfortable at Work

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Now that the weather is starting to change, it can be really easy to forget to wear the best clothes for inside the warehouse, and still keep the right attire on for the weather when you get out of work. A bit warm and yet still getting colder, those shorts and t-shirts you have probably been wearing all day long will most likely not be the best option for both all day anymore.

The best thing to do is to pick a work outfit that is right for the environment you are in all day long. Leave it at work and change clothes when you get to work and before you go home, or wear them as a first layer. Don’t forget to add more layers or change your clothes before you leave the warehouse each day: more illness is caused by striking differences in temperature and lack of proper clothing than anything else. It happens all the time – you get to the end of the working day, are hot and tired and just want to go home. You leave work hot and walk outside where it is cold and your body temperature has an immediate adverse reaction. Some people like to think that this is a good thing in that it feels like it is waking you up. What is actually happening is that your body is going through the shock of having such a quick and large change in temperature and addition of wind and rain.

wh2Certain types of fabric are better to wear when you are working than others, and knowing the difference can help you stay comfortable no matter what the weather. When you are working in a large warehouse, it is best to wear breathable fabrics, like cotton and wool, and hemp is becoming popular as well. Avoid synthetic fibers: you will end up sweating and will be uncomfortable, and probably embarrassed. Wear socks that are the right type for the weather, as you can retain a lot more heat and lose a lot as well through the improper pair of socks. You might be the type who want to get as much use out of something as possible before throwing it away, but it is not a good idea to do this with shoes. A comfortable pair of shoes is worth more than you might think! If you are the type who want to have long wearing clothes, it is worth spending extra on quality made items. Name brands are not necessary, but well made is. If you spend $100 on a really good pair of shoes and they last a couple of years, that is a lot cheaper than the $30 pair that lasts a few months.

Being comfortable at work is important to being productive, and wanting to continue with a job. Be realistic about what you will be doing all day, for how long, and in what conditions. Then do the best you can to make this time go by as comfortably and productively as possible. Find a headset, pick some music, and enjoy the time you have at work.

 

How To Get Through The Boring Days

manoverboard There are times when a day at working in a distribution center can be fast paced and anything but boring. It is always nice to have a new job come in and get set up, and helps to relieve the monotony that you can sometimes face when working on the same job for a long period of time. Everyone knows that time flies when you are having fun, and can really creep along otherwise, and no one wants to face a 40 hour week where they feel each second painfully. The way you look at the job you do is very important. If you feel you are really bored, chances are you will make less of an effort through the day, and this is not ideal.

So what can you do to keep from getting bored during work and still perform the very best you can? One of the handiest things you can do is get a headset and listen to music. Every night or each morning before you go to work, download a couple new songs. Also, build up a list of your favorites, this is the best way to get through time happily and not feel like you are going to fall asleep from the boredom. Think of something that you have always wanted to learn, like a new language, and start doing so. Every night learn a few new words and sentences to use them in. Throughout the next day practice the words in your head and every day go through the whole list, not just the new ones you learned the night before. This way, the information will set in and you will always remember it. This can work with any new information, but languages work especially nice. If you are interested in history or politics, pick a book and read a few pages every day, spending the time at work to think about what you read in great detail. This will cement the new information into your mind.
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If you are finding that one job in particular is really monotonous for you, ask to be changed to a different job, there are always a couple going on. Packing boxes is usually more fast paced than some of the longer processes in manufacturing and distribution centers, and will get you moving around. Sometimes all you need is a change of scene and changes posts work well for change. Also, remember that your working day is only a part of your overall day. If you can’t change your job in any way and just have to stick it out, try making life outside of work more interesting. That way you will appreciate the steadiness of your work day all the more.

Another way of passing the time is to time yourself and try and beat your old times. This will turn any boring job into something that you are trying your hardest at and in doing so, your work day will fly by faster than you expected. Your work space can never be too clean, and if you find you have time on your hands while waiting for the next part to come along, pick up around you and keep your area as clean as possible. Before you know it the day will be done, and then the week, and you will have a few days off to clear you head an create new things to think about.

Beating boredom at work: Make the most of your time

For most distribution center or warehouse jobs, boredom at work is the biggest part of the job. Even though a job can technically be easy, like packing boxes or running plastic injection molding machines, the hard part is not getting bored. The key to the job is to be able to last for a long period of time doing the same job at the same speed. This is really important if you are being paid on a piece-rate.

Finding things to think about is an essential tool to being able to last working a job like this and doing well. If you don’t have any thing to think about then the day can feel a lot longer than it has to be. If you think about it, the normal thing to do is to get up, go to work, go home, and then try to deal with situations or problems that you might be facing outside of work. Most of the time people find that there is not enough time left in the day to complete all the things they have to get done before bedtime, let alone deal with any more long term issues.

How-to-create-a-mind-map-mindmap A good thing to do with your mental time while work is to structure it in a way that makes you think about each step of what you need to get done at home, and in your personal life, such as go to the bank, pay the car insurance, buy school clothes for the kids, or attend one of their after school activities. By deciding at the beginning of the day to make a ‘mind map’ of every thing you need to do when you get out of work, you can decide while you are still at work the order in which you will do things in, what you need to buy from the store, how much it will all cost,etc. You can also make good use of your mental time by thinking about the household budgeting during this time, adding all the bills up that you need to pay for the week, subtracting that from your weekly pay, deciding what to do with the remainder, if there is any.

There are two good reasons for doing this, other than to keep from being bored. One would be that by doing so you get to make sure that you don’t forget to do anything important, and make the best use of your time by creating a logical order, but you are also working your brain, which is a very important thing to do. Working your brain is something that can easily be overlooked when a person works with their hands doing a repetitive job that really does not need much thought. Your brain is like any other muscle, it needs to have exercise or it will get weak and flabby.

Another added bonus to deciding to think in a structured way while you are working with your hands is that once you get good at it, your work rate will improve automatically, because you will find yourself thinking about things in great detail that are important outside your work life, and you will automatically start keeping your optimum work rate. It is kind of like an involuntary function and is especially good for piece-rate workers.
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There are times, of course, when you need to keep your mind on the job, for reasons of safety or quality, and this will not apply to those of you who have to do that, but to those who are in packing, or collating, this will make your life better as you will truly be using your time as wisely as possible.

Staying cool in a warehouse during the Summer

summer-heatAnyone who works in a warehouse or a distribution center knows that working in the summer can be very hard. In the winter the extra bit of warmth that you get working in a nice warm distribution center is great, and something to look forward to, but in the summer it is hard to find the same joy in the hot warehouse environment. There are a few things you can do to make your day better. This starts with thinking in advance. Keeping cool in the summer while you are working requires you to plan every day the night before. If you wake up and think about it, it is already too late to take advantage of your options.

There are a few different things you can do to stay cool while you are working.

The type of clothing you wear makes a huge difference to staying cool. Even if you would not normally wear certain clothes in your everyday life, there are no prizes for looking good in a warehouse, and staying cool is far more important. Choose loose, breathable clothing. Stay away from polyester and blends, and try to wear cotton or other light and airy fabrics. Even if that shirt is ugly, if it is breathable, wear it.

Another great way to stay cool while working in a warehouse is to freeze all of your water bottles each night before work. Then, as it melts throughout the day, you have a constant supply of ice cold water (to drink or pour over your head!).

Another great idea is to take dish towels and get them very wet, then fold them up until they are a bit wider than a tie, and put them in plastic bags in the freezer over night. Do this with 2 towels. When you get to work, put one towel in the freezer in the cafeteria, and place the other one around your neck. Keeping your neck cool will actually make the rest of your body cool as well. If you don’t like this idea exactly, you can also freeze plastic bags full of water, and then wrap them in a dry towel to put around your neck.

Pick your lunches carefully. Hot food on hot days can only result in a hot person. If you normally eat a piece of fruit while you are at work, try cutting it up the night before, and putting it in the freezer, making sure to keep it in the freezer at work until you eat them. Ending any meal with ice cold fruit on a very hot day will keep you cool for up to an hour after you go back to work.

warehouseIf you bring a thin shirt to work as an extra shirt, roll it up very tightly and put it in a lunch sack, you can put it in the refrigerator when you get to work, and when the heat starts to become unbearable, go change your shirt to the nice cool one you have in the fridge, making sure to put the one you were wearing in the bag and back in the fridge. You will feel like you are in air conditioning for at least 30 minutes, and you can change your shirt each break. This also works very well with socks, which have an instant total body cooling effect.

Even if you are working inside, wear light colored clothing if possible. If you go outside at all during the day, and are wearing a dark shirt, you pick up heat and take it back into the warehouse, making it feel more hot than it actually is.

These are a few things that can be done and they will all help you stay as cool as possible when you have to work in a hot warehouse. Do you have any suggestion to beat the summer heat? Please share them below.