United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Bill Olson

Senior VP, Operations at United Benefit Advisors

Recent Posts

Ready to Spark Joy in Your Office?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 18, 2019 4:09:18 PM

shutterstock_134432759The hit Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has set off a wave of house organization, purging, and general tidying. Many thrift stores and donation centers report being overwhelmed with bags and boxes of items recently filling American’s homes. What, though, of the workplace? Should a similar wave of de-cluttering and cleaning be happening at desks and in cubicles across the country?

Messy or cluttered spaces can make people feel more anxious and stressed, less able to focus, and more likely to procrastinate. It makes sense, then, that workers can boost both productivity and mood with some spring cleaning.

Read More

Topics: office culture, office environment, organization

8 Ways to Better Manage Your Time

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 12, 2019 5:28:03 PM

shutterstock_1225617076Feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? It might sound strange, but you might want to slow your pace. When we try to operate at warp speed, we sometimes make more mistakes and often feel more stress. Check out these tips to make the most of your time without pushing yourself too hard.

Read More

Topics: time management

Changing marijuana laws impact HR

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 9, 2019 3:54:37 PM

shutterstock_309992177In more and more states, the legalization or impending legalization of cannabis requires HR teams to assess, and potentially continually reassess, company policies. In some states, legalization has been limited to medical use but, in others, it has extended to recreational use. Workforce magazine has had several recent articles focused on helping HR professionals understand how new and existing laws impact their work and workplace. In nearly every state, every employer will need to consider current and future policies around possession, use, and what constitutes impairment.

Read More

Topics: workplace safety, work performance, marijuana

The future is freelancing

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 4, 2019 4:03:23 PM

shutterstock_1241911273The freelance revolution is here, and it’s here to stay. In the past, freelancing was an option for workers between jobs with the likely goal eventually getting back into a full-time position. Today, it’s shifted into a lifestyle choice individuals make for a host of reasons, and something they may do for the long-term. Some research points to more than half of all workers identifying as part of the contingent economy, with those numbers trending upward.

Read More

Topics: recruiting, freelance

Easy food swaps to healthy-up your diet

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 2, 2019 4:38:39 PM

shutterstock_594621377Did you know you can eat plenty of food to fill  you up, while cutting out some of the not-so-healthy stuff? It’s true. You can enjoy some of your favorite, most decadent recipes simply by doing some creative ingredient swapping.

Don’t just think about the number of calories in a food. There’s more to it than that. You get full from the amount you eat, not by how many calories you eat. It’s about replacing higher calorie foods with lower-calorie options or with foods higher in fiber that will fill you up. Some of these include fruits and vegetables, low-fat and fat-free dairy, and beans and peas.

Read More

Topics: healthy lifestyles, diet, healthy eating

Playing in the workplace

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 28, 2019 2:59:32 PM

shutterstock_1048652945Have you heard of gamification? To gamify an everyday activity, you add the best fun or competitive elements associated with games to help boost engagement, according to G2 Crowd. Why bother and not just slog through your paperwork? The idea behind gamification is that feeling accomplished or engaged in fun ways, whether by earning points, badges, or accolades, can help people stay motivated to stick with tasks they might otherwise abandon.

Read More

Topics: office productivity, time management, gamification

Weight Loss: Myths vs. Facts

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 26, 2019 4:19:05 PM

shutterstock_282254006Eat this! Don’t eat that! Lose weight fast! Blast away calories with this best-ever workout routine! 

Read More

Topics: healthy lifestyles, exercise

More companies flirt with the idea of the four-day work week

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 21, 2019 3:22:14 PM

shutterstock_487208749Many white-collar jobs, particularly those in creative industries like PR, publishing, and design, have embraced summer hours for years, with shortened workdays on Fridays. Now, some companies are experimenting with “Winter Fridays,” says The New York Times. While clearly seasonal-specific options, both these trends are part of ongoing explorations on the impact of reduced workweeks. Though hardly ubiquitous in either summer or winter, research points to a year-round, four-day workweek gaining some popularity across industries and across the globe.

Read More

Topics: work-life balance, flexibility in the workplace, time management

Sharpen Those Soft Skills

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 12, 2019 4:29:21 PM

shutterstock_661818811Knowing how to code or being well versed in Artificial Intelligence or Virtual Reality are some ways for a recruit or employee to set themselves apart. In many companies, though, it’s soft skills like time management, public speaking and oral communication, leadership, and even emotional intelligence that are desperately needed, according to the LinkedIn 2018 Emerging Jobs Report.

Read More

Topics: employee communication, employee education, soft skills

Hot tips for winter driving

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 7, 2019 4:24:44 PM

shutterstock_181434695Driving in wintry conditions can be nerve-wracking even for the best drivers. Snow, fog,  and black ice can make it hard to see and even harder to control your vehicle. But if you follow some basic tips, you’ll be more likely to keep your cool and get to your destination without mishap.

Before you hit the road

First things first: Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition. And don’t wait till the last minute to do this, in case mechanics find issues that need repairs or need to order in parts. Check the battery, lights, cooling system, tires, windshield wipers and defrosters to make sure everything’s working correctly.

Read More

Topics: employee wellness, employee health