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The office Kris Kindle is tough-going, particularly if you’re given someone you know very little about or you're brand new to the company.

Oh and we forgot to mention that most of our work places also has a money cap on pressies – so it’s just another hoop we have to jump through, in the hopes that don’t totally mortify anyone.

However, we have put together a fool-proof gift guide which will help you navigate through buying one of the hardest presents of the festive season.

1. Pyjamas 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Primark (@primark) on

The Christmas cosy feels have arrived in Primark, and you cannot go wrong with these PJ boxed-sets.

They come in at a cool £12 or €13 each. 

2. Candles

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A good festive candle is always warmly welcomed in the office.

Whether your Secret Santa victim…I mean recipient chooses to bring it home or leave it in work, it is bound to come in handy when someone has fish for lunch.

And if they do bring it home, you know you've just won the scent game and they love it.

You can get gift sets that range anywhere between €7-€20, depending on your budget.

3. Hot Water Bottles

Image credit: Nickynackynoodesigns 

Give your co-worker a hot water bottle with a twist – get their name on it.

The present will be much more personal and if your office is an icebox, the present will definitely be used.

These are slightly more pricey but it's worth the extra as they're handmade, prices start from €23.51 at Nickynackynoodesigns Etsy shop.

4. Keep Cup

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Most of your office will drink coffee, so this is the ideal gift for the caffeine lovers.

It also does our planet a solid as they aren't using non-reuseable cups.

They have a budget to suit everyone and start from prices as low as €13.00/£11.00. 

If you're a UK hun, check them out here and if you're an Irish lass, all versions are here.

5. Stationary 

Image credit: Handmadebyswans

Anyone with a sense of humour will love this stationary heaven made by Handmadebyswans on Etsy. 

Although we work in offices, we tend to forget to buy ourselves the tools we need to get through the day, so your kris kindle will love this.

And the hilarious stationary won't cost you a fortune as this was a steal at €4.64. 

6. President Donald Trump Rubber Duck

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Yes, this rubber duck is actually a thing. You can get a Donald Trump Rubber Duck for £8.99. 

So bath time for your Secret Santa just got a lot more political.

This is a perfect mock present for anyone who dislikes the president or if you have any Americans boppin' around the office.

If your budget is a little bit bigger you can also throw in this: Where's Trump?: Find Donald Trump in his race to the White House. 

You can get the duck and the book £11.99.

7. Notebooks

Caption

If there are any Harry Potter fans, these notebooks will go down a charm (excuse the pun).

They are A5 notebooks so they're perfect for work and keeping track of the day.

They very reasonable as you can get the set of three magic notebooks for €11.76 from 's Etsy. 

8. Hand cream

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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As the colder weather arrives, people often forget to look after their skin.

If you work on computers all day too, hand cream is essential to keep your skin smooth and soft. 

L'Occitane have a whole range of hand cream for your budget, but the Shea Butter hand cream is a firm favourite in our office and it's €24 a pop.

9. Blankets

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Who doesn't love a good blanket? They are the BEST presents and your kris kindle will light up when they see what you've gotten them.

We are personally LOVING the Primark range and they're such a bargain.

Their collections start from €8 and go up to €20.

10. Stress balls

This is the BEST gift for the office stress head and kinda funny too, if they aren't too touchy about it.

The stress balls start from €12 on amazon, and the one pictured is perfect if you think your co-worker is a little bit pooh. 

11. Dear As*hole: 101 Tear-Out Letters to the Morons Who Muck Up Your Life

Any hot heads in the office? Give them this for Secret Santa. It's little letters they can tear out and give to the people that royally p*ss them off on a daily basis. Just don't go crying or be surprised if you're the first victim of their angry letters.

The tear-out letters are £4.50. 

12. Ostrich Pillow

We could all do with ones of these when office life just gets all too much.

It's hilarious and they will love it, unless they are as dry as a cracker.

It's retails for 12.51 and you can buy it here.

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It's time to buy hand sanitiser and disinfect wipes in bulk.

It turns out many of your work colleagues, friends and family have forgotten what their mama taught them at age three.

Three-quarters of us are failing to wash our hands properly, according to the results from a survey by Initial.

Now before you go waging a war on germs, there are only certain ones that aren't our friends.

There's an important reason why your mam would stand over you and make sure you got every inch of your hands nicely lathered – bacteria. 

The survey showed that a staggering 95 percent of the 264 participates did not spend long enough washing their hands to fully remove those little germy fellas. 

The excuses offered up was poor hand-washing practices (sorry, mammy), being in a hurry, and another fifth said they refused to sud up in a dirty bathroom – which is fair.

And the results show that people aren't loving soap – in fact, only 60 percent occasionally use it when getting those hands clean.

It's the lads that are the biggest offenders, with two third of them never using soap or very rarely, compared with 36 percent of women – Gross.

Something you mightn't have known, according to the experts, cold water is far less effective in removing oils and germs – so get ready to scald the hands off yourself in the name of hygiene.

Getting into the nitty-gritty, the hand washing pros say we NEED to spend over 20 seconds giving them a good scrubbin'.

But only 5.3 percent of those surveyed actually did this…could you only imagine how much bacteria is sitting on your phone after you give your hands a quick rinse and run? – Puke bucket, please. 

And moving to manners, before we inhale our food, only a tiny 23 percent wash up before every meal.

And three-quarters of us sinners, only wash their paws occasionally before a meal – like Christmas.

So the next time you go to shake someone's hand, just keep this information in mind.

And remember it for the next time a co-worker asks to borrow your stuff or hands you something to you – the horror. 

The expert advice to all you disgusting people is to wash your hands AT LEAST six times a day –  in particular before every meal and after using the bathroom. 

20 seconds is the golden rule with warm water and get every inch of the hand – I'm talking to you boys. 

I can hear the collective mammy's sighing around the country as they've attempted to teach us this basic life hack for YEARS. 

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We've all been there – 12pm comes and you already feel like you've given all you can give for the day. Sure, you might perk up for 20 minutes or so after lunch, but really, it's all down hill from there.

Between your hourly tea break, scrolling through ASOS sales, and basically doing anything other than what you're supposed to be doing, there's not much time for anything else now is there?

Well, according to new survey, the average employee is productive for just under three hours a day (2h 53m to be precise).

Sound about right?

VocherCloud asked 1,989 full-time office workers about how they really spend their working days, and as you probably guessed, there's not a whole lot of work going on inside those cubicles.

When asked – “Do you consider yourself to be productive throughout the entire working day?” 79 per cent of respondents said 'no' (and the other 21 per cent were lying).

So, what are we doing instead?

Well, here are the top 10 responses from participants when asked what they actually do at work and how long they spend doing it:

1. Checking social media – 47 per cent/ 44 minutes

2. Reading news websites – 45 per cent/ 1 hour 5 minutes

3. Discussing out-of-work activities with colleagues – 38 per cent/ 40 minutes

4. Making hot drinks – 31 per cent/ 17 minutes

5. Smoking breaks – 28 per cent/ 23 minutes

6. Text/instant messaging – 27 per cent/ 14 minutes

7. Eating snacks – 25 per cent/ 8 minutes

8. Making food in office – 24 per cent/ 7 minutes

9. Making calls to partner/ friends- 24 per cent/ 18 minutes

10. Searching for new jobs – 19 per cent/ 26 minutes

You can't deny the facts – three-hour working days for all!

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Reading this at work? – You might want to put down the cuppa before we go any further.

So, it's no secret that office workers all over the country consume an impressive, albeit slightly worrying, amount of tea on a daily basis.

Whether your looking for an excuse to take a sneaky break, or simply just in desperate need of a pick-me-up, it's amazing how a little stroll to the kitchen can make the working day feel just a tad bit more bearable.

However, it's looks like we might need to find a new way to break up the day, because a worrying new study has found that office teabags can carry up to 17 times more germs than a toilet seat.

Research carried out by the Initial Washroom Hygiene revealed that the average bacterial reading of an office teabag was 3,785, compared to just 220, for a toilet seat.

And as if that wasn't enough to turn you off ever stepping foot inside the office kitchen ever again, other common equipment also ranked high on the gross scale.

Bacterial readings of the average kettle handles were 2,483, while fridge doors came in at 1,592.

Dr Peter Barratt of Initial Washroom Hygiene says we all need to be more aware of the potential dangers that lie in our communal eating spaces.

“If you stop to think about the number of different hands that touch things such as the kettle handle, tea bag box lid, mugs, and so on, the potential for cross contamination really adds up,” he explains.

“Using anti-bacterial wipes on kitchen surfaces and regularly cleaning your mug can pay huge dividends in terms of maintaining a healthy workforce.”

If anyone's looking for us we'll be eating our lunches in the bathroom stalls.

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Many would say that working with a computer is not exhausting. You're sitting down all day right?

However, every single office worker out there will sigh and roll their eyes at that statement.

Because, guess what? Office workers all want to faceplant onto the couch the minute they get home (we should know).

Grayscale Photo of Computer Laptop Near White Notebook and Ceramic Mug on Table

Well, for all those naysayers out there, science has actually proven that staring at a screen all day is pretty tiring.

'Mental fatugue' can be just as bad as going through an intense workout, and you can get it from being really stressed out, or even over-thinking things.

Speaking to The Cut, Dr Steven Feinsilver, who is a director of sleep medicine, said: “Your heart will pump and you’ll produce adrenaline whether somebody’s chasing you, or you’re just really upset about something.

Image result for tired women

In other words, if you’re conscious, your brain demands your energy, and will therefore exhaust you when all of your energy is used up.

“We’re animals that are designed to exercise physically as well as mentally,” he says. “Mental exertion is real, and certainly tiring."

See? We knew it all along.

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Do you go from wanting to sit back and watch the world burn just before lunch, to wanting to buy everyone you know a tiny puppy and a bunch of freesias once you’ve eaten?

This phenomenon, as we’re sure you know, is called being ‘hangry’. You’re not just hungry, or just angry – oh no, you’re a delightful little cocktail of both.

We all have that one hangry friend in work, the one who can't control her hunger rage, the one we have to supply with emergency snacks, just to talk her down…

1. Just before lunch you turn into (a nastier version) of Regan from The Exorcist

OK, so your head’s not quite spinning around, nor are you shouting expletives (well at least not out loud) but it’s fair to say in that half hour before getting food in your belly you’re a complete wagon.

2. You see someone else eating and your colleagues have to hold you back

How DARE she open that burrito in my presence! Does she not know I’m teetering on the edge here? Guac, she’s eating guac? BUT SHE KNOWS I LOVE GUAC! Wait, how did those deep, animal-like scratch marks get onto my desk?”

3. You’re offered a crisp, so you grab the whole bag and hand them back ONE CRISP

Aren’t you a charmer? And when they politely ask you for their bag of crisps back, you point behind them and say, “Is that Superman?” using the moment they turn around to leg it out the door laughing hysterically.

4. You get sassy – particularly with your email sign off

You really should have had a snack. Because maybe if you had you wouldn’t have replied to one of the company’s most valued clients, “Yours sort of sincerely”.

5. When it’s someone’s birthday YOU blow out their cake candles… just to speed things along

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to… blah blah blah enough of that – time to cut the cake. Yep, I’ll have a nice big slice there thanks. Bigger. A little bigger. BIGGER THAN THAT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!”

Luckily even the hangriest so-and-so can keep this phenomenon at bay with Carr’s Crinklys, the delish new savoury baked cracker crisps from Carr's in Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar and Bacon. A pack of these babies is just the right size to keep you ticking over, but won’t spoil your lunch or dinner – and they’re baked not fried, so are way healthier than normal crisps. We know what we’ll be filling our drawer with for those hangry moments!

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We were pretty excited to hear this week that women in China will soon get a monthly allowance of leave days specifically for period pain.

Yep, rather than having to make up an excuse or mutter something about 'lady problems' when they're dying of cramps, employees in the Eastern Chinese province of Anhui will be granted one or two days off every month, if they show they have a history of tough period-related issues.

We do think it's something of an injustice that we're only officially allowed a 'sick day' in this part of the world when we're literally on death's door. After all, it's not always food poisoning or a case of the flu that has us wishing for a Get Out Of Work Free card.

Let's face it, some days you just need a bit of time out from the world.

With that in mind, here are a few occasions where we think a day off is TOTALLY justifiable, especially for us ladies. Listen up, employers.

1. When our period is generally making us feel like crap
It's not just cramps – it's the bloating, sluggishness and all round tiredness that comes with that time of the month. The cure? A day on the couch.

 

2. When we'd rather not speak to or look at ANYONE, thanks
PMS or just a standard 'I hate the world day'… Surely it's in our colleagues' best interests that we stay at home?

 

3. When our hair just won't do the thing, godammit
Either we're going to work wearing a wig or we're not going at all.

 

4. When we couldn't get to sleep until 5.30am
You know those nights when your brain just won't shut off? Disaster.

 

5. When it's just too cold to function
Who in their right mind would willingly abandon their cosy bed to venture out into THAT?

 

6. When Netflix drops a whole new season of OITNB
*cough* Sick day needed on June 17 *cough*

 

7. When the mirror is not being kind
'I can't come in, I'm having a fat day' = a totally acceptable excuse in our book

kate cats fat work out fat gifs

 

8. When one glass of wine turned into a bottle… and then some
We demand one official Weekday Hangover a year.

 

9. When you're definitely harbouring a cold, but could *probably* manage to get to work
Surely if you stayed at home today, you'd fight off that cold a whole lot faster. Who's with us on this?

 

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Feeling sluggish after eight hours at your computer? Desk yoga could be the answer.

Plus, any fitness trend that doesn't even require us to stand up is one that we can get behind. 

It won't just help with toned arms and a flat stomach either – studies show that yoga can help people dealing with anxiety and depression. 

So, while you may not be leaping up to sun salutations or downward dog poses while everyone else is gathered at the coffee machine, there are other poses you can do at your desk to help yourself out.

The Neck Roll 

Sit up tall and press your feet into the floor. Tilt you head towards one shoulder and hold for five seconds before repeating on the opposite side.

Back Bends 

Sounds a bit extreme, doesn’t it? No worries, all you have to do is reach behind you and hold the seat of your chair.

Push forward with your chest and tilt your head back. Repeat as necessary. Pro tip: also an excellent way of dramatically avoiding eye contact.

Side Bends 

It helps when your whole body feels stiff from spending hours sitting. Move to the right and sit up tall.

Put your left hand on your chair and press down. Lift your right arm straight up and reach to the left, take a few deep breaths and swap sides. Also a great way of starting an office-wide Mexican wave. 

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If you find yourself laying awake at night, freaking out about how you're going to get through the next day, we feel your pain.

It happens to the best of us, and no matter what we try, we just can't get to sleep.

But rather than propping your eyes open with matchsticks at your desk, help is at hand with these seven simple ways to get through your sleep-deprived situation:

1. DON'T hit the snooze button

Hitting the snooze button on your alarm is a big no-no. Those bite-sized chunks of sleep will actually make you feel worse. 

 

2. Eat breakfast

It's probably the last thing on your mind after a sleepless night but eating within an hour of waking will boost your cognition and is ideal if you have a foggy head.

 

3. Avoid sugar

A muffin or chocolate twist may sound MEGA-appealing when you're tired, but they will send you in a spiral of sugar crashes throughout the day. Stick to protein and grains instead. 

 

4. Go outside – and DON'T wear sunglasses

Natural light boosts your alertness by raising your body temperature – so don't do an Anna Wintour and wear your sunnies all day. 

 

5. Be strategic with your coffee intake

Having a cup of coffee in the morning, and another at lunch is fine but no more after 3pm. Caffeine lasts for eight hours in your system, so you don't want another sleepless night ahead of you.

 

6. Do your toughest tasks early

This will be your most alert time of the day so, to avoid any mistakes, do any difficult work in the morning. 

 

7. Do menial stuff in the afternoon

Sleep specialists suggest that you can only concentrate for ten minutes at a time when you haven't rested. So, that probably explains why you have resorted to funny cat videos by 4pm. 

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We all know that people who spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk are likely to face some interesting health issues as result.

Sore necks, backs and poor posture in general are often associated with those who are desk-bound.

Now it has been found that prolonged sitting can be just as bad for your health as smoking. According to researchers at Queens University Belfast, sitting for long periods of time has is linked to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even early death.

Dr. Mark Tully from the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health at the university said that people can spend up to 80 per cent of their waking hours sitting down.

“Public health scientists have recognised the need to develop effective interventions to address the high levels of inactivity across ages, with sitting regarded as the new smoking,” he said.

Dr Tully is a regular user of a treadmill desk and said his office also has standing desks in place.

“Those of us who stand while we work are more creative and productive in our working lives too. So it may well be that sitting is reducing productivity in our workplaces,” he said.

He also said in a previous study people who spent most of their time sitting were 50 per cent more likely to die than the people who spent the least amount of time sitting.

So what can we do to help break the unhealthy cycle?

“Break up your sitting with a little bit of standing. What my colleagues do is drink lots of water because that encourages breaks to go and relieve yourself,” he said.

We will more than willing to deal with a queue for the bathroom at the office if it means we can live longer and healthier lives.

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Office spaces can often be dreary and dull, especially if you work in an environment without a lot of light or with cubicle dividers.

It might not surprise you to know that sitting in a grey, uncomfortable and unwelcoming environment for eight hours a day can have a negative impact on your mood and even your health.

But it's much easier than you'd think to brighten up your desk space and make it more warm and inviting.

Here are a few tips…

1. Make the space personal to you
Bring your desk or cubicle to life with some framed photos and bright artwork. We love how much these fun prints brighten up this decidedly dull desk area:

2. Prettify your storage boxes
Wooden storage boxes like these can be picked up cheaply in Ikea or other homeware stores. Simply apply a layer of masking tape around the box, two inches above the bases, and paint the area below the tape in a calming colour like green or blue. Instant zen!

3. Make books, files and notepads into desk decoration
Rather than  stacking books and files in a messy pile or loading them onto your in-tray, get or make some cute bookends and display your things with pride! It'll help to de-clutter your desk, too.

4. Keep your desk as clean and minimalist as you can
The more clutter on your desk, the smaller it will feel. Try to clean it at the end of every day so that all files and notes are tucked away. 

5. Get a killer wall planner
Rather than writing meeting notes on scraps of paper, get a wipe-clean wall planner or calendar, like this framed one which can be written on with dry-erase markers.

6. Light your space up
If your desk does not get much natural light and you're sick of fluorescent bulbs, consider getting a lamp or a string of fairy lights to add warmth to your work space. Missing the bright natural light? Try a full-spectrum bulb in your lamp, which imitates sunlight.

7. Bring nature indoors
A desk plant can go a long way to making your workspace feel calmer and more open. If you travel a lot or don't trust yourself to keep it alive, try an air plant like a tillandsia which doesn't need watering. 

 

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Susain Cain is the author of the best seller Ouiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. In her book she writes about the science behind being more introverted than extroverted, and how to live your life in a way that means you can reach your true potential – even if you’re not the type to shout it from the rooftops.

She’s teamed up with Steelcase, an office furniture company, to design a series of five work spaces that are introvert friendly, AKA: Susan Cain Quiet Spaces.

The modern ideal office seems to be open plan and less hierarchal, but the statistics show that people still yearn for a private space.

A survey of 39,000 North American workers, found that 95% of workers reported the need for quiet spaces where they could have confidential conversations – whether it’s a phone call to your doctor or a business call you’d rather not make in public.

Cain says the spaces – which are called Be Me, Studio, Mind Share, Flow, and Green Room – are meant to offer respite, as “the more employee well-being is nurtured, the better their work”.

What do you think, would these rooms improve your productivity in work?

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