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Stay on

the ball

k distractions

oid wor Six tips to help you av

office show 2011 Your guide to the London PA and office manager event

PA of the Year A day in the life of a Jamie Oliver PA

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en lia d

editor julia dennison

editorial Contributor matthew jane

commercial director vicki baloch

senior account manager – media solutions matthew moore

DESIGNER sarah chivers

production assistant sinead coffey

Circulations manager sinead coffey

DiGITAL media MANAGER dan price

publisher david collingbourne


sept 2011


Notice board Office news

The latest in office politics

on the job Olé job board Recruitment news, job advice and office gossip

Stay on the ball Six ways to keep yourself focused at work

Day in the diary A day in the life of PA of the Year Louisa James

lunch break Lunch hour Win tickets to the Vagina Monologues

Olé loves Half-price fruit delivered straight to your office

And one more thing... Ocean Horan has a hangover

taying focused in the office as you return from your summer holidays can be a challenge, especially when it can often be the busiest time of year. In our On the Job feature this month, we bring you six tips to help you stay focused at work. Of course, there are easy things to do right now. Stopping reading Olé is not one of them (we pride ourselves in our useful office-related content), but closing your partly hidden Facebook screen that peeks out behind that important report you’re working on is. There are things you can do to swiftly minimise mental stumbling blocks, leading to the birth of a more-organised, über-efficient version of yourself (for five minutes at least). This issue also brings you a guide to London’s office* show this month – the main event for PAs, office executives and managers. There is so much going on at this ever-growing yearly event, that it’s often hard to know where to start. We bring you the best bits to look out for when you’re there. We give you the chance to win tickets to see The Vagina Monologues – a must-see show that’s all about the girl power. Olé has also arranged for 50% off all fruit orders for readers at Fruit DID YOU KNOW? for the Office, so if you’re worried 40% of Olé readers arrange you’re not getting your five-a-day, conferences or book now’s your chance. The healthier you meeting facilities for their office are, the better you’ll do at work.


b e c i Not sprUce Up that saNdWich There’s a huge range of sandwiches to choose from these days, in all shapes and sizes. Follow these tips from Heart Research UK to make this lunchtime essential a heart-healthy fast food alternative. Go for wholegrain varieties – wholegrains have more fibre so whether it’s sliced bread, rolls, pittas or wraps, fill up with the unrefined and wholesome grains. Breads with nuts and seeds such as walnuts, sesame and poppy seeds add wonderful flavour and texture to traditional plain sandwiches, and wheat is not the only option, consider other grains such as rice, oat and rye bread and ditch the processed white bread. The type of bread you use can impact your heart health so be adventurous in your choice.  Hearty fillings – add colour to your sandwiches and incorporate some of your recommended five-a-day with fillings such as lettuce, peppers, olives, avocado or onion. Try oily fish like fresh tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel, which contain essential fatty acids and help to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.  Banish that fat – cut visible fat off meat and go for lean meat such as chicken or turkey. Opt for healthier ways to cook your food such as grilling, baking, boiling or steaming. If you choose cheese, pâté or spreads, use low-fat versions.  Dress down – be careful with oils and sauces and choose light mayonnaise.

Word oN the tWeet

st office- and work-related tweets We bring you some of the funnie r at @olezine. To celebrate on the street. Follow Olé on Twitte cinemas, we bring you some the opening of Horrible Bosses in by @HorribleBoss nightmare boss stories retweeted @robangus I had a boss that took two weeks off because her cat was minorly sick but gave me a disciplinary for being 5 mins late.

@RunBonnyRun my boss reads my emails & comments on them before I open them. She also tapes me to my chair IN CASE THE PHONE RINGS.

@heltranter My ex-boss once said to me; (just before he was demoted) “People like you are ten a penny. I can replace you in an instant.”

@positivesarah I had a boss once who would change my CORRECT grammar so that it didn’t make sense, just because she was a cow.

d asr ept11 iNterNatioNal Watercooler

inbrief... A nose of dog A bloodhound dog has such a well-tuned nose that she has landed a job as a wine tester. Seven-year-old Louisa Bella has been trained to spot wine that has been tainted, even through the bottle. Her sensitive nose can also sniff out faulty corks, which her Australian owners Michelle Edwards and Daniel Fischl say saves them a fortune. The two run boutique wine label, Linnaea, in Melbourne, and say that by using the dog’s

NeWs oF the World scaNdal

Photo: Pi

nk Slippe

rs on Flic


The News of the World printed its last edition on 10 July after 168 years in print. The closure of the publication was in response to the developing phone hacking scandal, after a private investigator allegedly hacked into the phone of murdered British teenager Milly Dowler, possibly interfering with the police investigation and causing distress to the girl’s family. The allegations led to a public backlash and a number of companies pulling their advertising from the paper pending an investigation. The scandal deepened when the paper was alleged to have hacked into the phones of families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. There is speculation that News International will launch a Sunday edition of The Sun to replace the News of the World.

diarY date For the en d, Antalis,

wis, Kafev British Airways, John Le and r Collection,, Flybe, The Westminste just a some of the first Happy Box London are * ce to meet over 5,000 offi time exhibitors ready s ated event for PAs, EA visitors, when the dedic rls turns to London’s Ea and Office Managers re ber 2011. Two thirds of Court on 15-16 Septem e hibit at office* 2011 ar the companies set to ex here to book your place new to the event. Click at the show.

talent, they are leading the way in a new wave of vineyard techniques.

I don’t need money

A German pensioner has told how she’s healthier and happier since giving up cash 15 years ago, bartering for everything she needs instead. Heidemarie Schwermer, 69, who has revealed her secrets in the book The Star Money Experiment, even turned down a cash advance from her publishers. “I am never short of food, clothing or friends and I have so much less stress in my life,” she said. “I’ve hardly seen a doctor in 15 years and I’m as fit as a fiddle.”

Appy and healthy A paramedic downloaded an iPhone app to help her treat an accident victim who did not speak English. Nicola Draper searched for the online Medical Polish translator tool when she realised the lorry driver could not understand her, reports The Mirror. The trucker, who was involved in a road crash near Colchester, Essex, was given the all clear and continued on his journey. Source: Orange news


say what!?*!

Want some sound advice? E-mail with the subject line ‘Gripes’. We won’t judge.

Time mismanaged

Rearranged arrangement

Dear Olé, I am terrible at managing my time. I get distracted whenever anyone in the office asks me to do something and I have trouble telling people ‘no’. My boss wants to give me a time planner, but I’d rather try to improve on my own. What do you suggest? Georgina, Saunderton

Dear Olé, I’m an office manager at a busy London office. I’m tired of the maze of cubicles that make up our open-plan office and I’m keen to try new layouts for the space. What can you recommend? Sherri, London

You may want to start by reading our feature on page 16, because your problem seems to lie less in time management and more in the fact you let yourself get distracted easily. If you don’t want to have a time planner imposed on you, why not try creating your own? That way, when someone randomly asks you to do something, you can actually say you’re busy and mean it – just make sure you plan breaks for yourself, or it will feel unrealistic. People will respect you for it.

There are a number of things you can do without spending any money. For one, if you can, why not get rid of the partitions and embrace the open plan? If you don’t have walls, you may as well use the layout to your advantage. More and more offices, particularly in the trendier parts of London, Manchester or Birmingham, are starting to embrace a round-table set-up, whereby everyone hot desks around one large table to encourage communication and discussion.

click here to enter

Angies Photo:

Welcome to the caption competition. Every month we bring you a new picture to challenge your wit and inventiveness. To enter, just come up with a caption (fewer than 25 words) for the picture to the right and send it in to: with the subject line ‘caption comp’.

on Flickr

caption competition >>> name this caption!

Last month’s winner was Richard Freeman with: “Jim had tried to digest too much information at once.” Well done; we’ll be in touch to arrange your prize.

THE PRIZE: The prize – M&S vouchers – will be delivered to the best entry as judged by the very right honourable Olé editorial judging committee.

“After getting through this lot, “After “Aftergetting getting through through this lot, “After getting through need decent cuppa!” II IIneed needa adecent decent cuppa!” cuppa!” need aa decent

Don’t forget to add Don’t forget to add Don’t forget to add Don’t forget to order. add Tetley to your Tetleyto toyour yourorder. order. Tetley Tetley toa busy your order. You can’t expect workplace to You can’t a workplace to You can’t expect expect a busy busy workplace to run efficiently without the most essential You can’t expect a busy workplace to run efficiently most essential You can’t expectwithout a busy the workplace to run efficiently the most essential supplywithout ofwithout themthe all… Tetley tea! runoffice efficiently most essential office supply of all… Tetley tea! run efficiently most essential office supplywithout of them themthe all… Tetley tea! office supply of them all… Tetley tea! office supply them Tetley tea! So to makeof sure youall… never run out, So to make sure you never run out, So to maketosure you add never run out, always arun stock Soremember to make sure you never out,of remember to always add a stock of totoalways add arun stock of Soremember to make sure you never out, Tetley 440s every stationery order, remember to always add a stock of Tetley 440s to every stationery order, Tetley 440s to every stationery order, remember toyour always add a stock ofup and 440s keep colleagues topped Tetley to every stationery order, and keep your colleagues topped up and keep your colleagues topped up Tetley to every stationery order, with440s the Nation’s Favouite brew! and keep your colleagues topped up with the Nation’s Favouite brew! with theyour Nation’s Favouite brew! up and keep colleagues topped Come join usFavouite at the Offi ce* Show with the and Nation’s brew! with the Nation’s Favouite brew! for a cuppa on STAND 5024

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W O H S E C I F F O preview EArLs CoUrt 15-16 sEPtEMbEr 2011 Leave your desk to spend the day at office* when the show opens its doors to 5,000 PAs, EAs and office managers at London’s Earls Court this month. Specifically designed to meet the business needs and aspirations of thousands of talented office professionals, the office* show is the one-stop shop for all the latest innovations, training tips and workplace products for you, your company and colleagues.

OF FI CE CH IC m king and feeling good fro To make sure you’re loo be a number of leading nine till five, there will u nds on hand to help yo fashion and beauty bra ett work wardrobe. LK Benn make the most of your t presentation of its lates will be hosting a catwalk to on and treating visitors autumn/winter collecti Icon rsonal stylist and Style fashion advice, while pe n will show founder Natalia Robinso press. TR AI N TO GA IN you how to dress to im pro, ed on as se a or t ou g rtin t will be Whether you’re just sta Cosmetic brand Benefi oire of ert rep ur yo to d ad to zabeth there’s always scope joined by Katherine Eli d master an rs na mi se 32 *’s ce Curls to skills. Each of offi Millinery and Lipstick & d an ls too al nti l of esse ur classes are packed ful offer £50 Golden Glamo your to ce en fer dif l rea a e solutions that can make ticket-holders a complet t of a rut ou t ge n ca u yo w ho t ’s working life. Find ou makeover in the show friend your be r, ree ca ur yo ng ssi ons to and start progre Pamper Parlour. (Sessi or ’ ail em nt illia ‘br to y the ke bursting inbox and find be booked in advance.) ent on ev ct rfe pe the r live de Natalia Robinson get to grips with how to S AF TE R HO UR time and on budget. ep a healthy For those who like to ke DS you register for your SAVO UR TH E STAN life balance, make sure rk/ wo show’s training and Planet Hollywood on Standing alongside the to the office* Party at ite inv e is office*’s central rous tinsel-towndevelopment programm day evening. The glamo urs Th s es sin over 175 leading bu out a pink carpet to exhibition, showcasing inspired venue will roll d an n tio na entertainment. the MIA Desti guests to a night of live its suppliers, and featuring me lco we e. Villag FMA Office Manager’s Venue Village, and the

TO P TI PS FROM TH E ers ssive, with Ann Summ The speaker list is impre e d lingerie queen Michell boss Jacqueline Gold an ge at this year’s free Mone OBE taking the sta ll ynote presentations wi Keynote Theatre. The ke ’s 50-strong, workshop complement the show ross five theatres. line-up, taking place ac

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Step into The Link Club and enter a captivating world of rewards and lifestyle privileges! Presented exclusively by Ascott, The Link Club rewards our valued corporate clients for making frequent reservations at our serviced residences around the world.

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W O H S E C I F F O schedule Choose from the 32 seminars and master classes listed below, plus 18 free keynotes and demos, hosted by top trainers, motivational leaders, business speakers and tech experts. Seminars and workshops cost £39 each, or you can build a training programme of three sessions for £89 by purchasing an office* Training Passport.

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10.30-11.30 Rosemary Parr, Global PA Network & PAs of Excellence 7 Skills of 21st Century Personal Assistants

10.30-11.30 Susie Barron-Stubley, Castalia Coaching Limited Personal Effectiveness in an Executive Environment

10.30-11.30 Ian Golding, Reed Learning Maximise Your Impact!

10.30-11.30 Jean Sutcliffe, Hemsley Fraser Perfect Minutes in an Hour

12.00-13.00 Sue France, EUMA The Art of Positive Networking

12.00-13.00 Laura Belgrado, Microsoft Corporation New World at Work, Virtual Management of Your Manager

12.00-13.00 Alison Kemp, Reed Learning Catch & Connect: The One Hour Workshop in Managing Upwards

12.00-13.00 Ian Caldecourt, Hemsley Fraser Winning People Over

13.30-14.30 Monica Seeley, Mesmo Consultancy Brilliant Email – How to Save Time Dealing with Your Email 15.00-16.00 Carmen MacDougal, The Virtual Assistant Coaching Company 6 Key Strategies to Get Out of Your Rut and Start Progressing in Your Career

13.30-14.30 Marguerita King, The Internet Savvy PA 15.00-16.00 St John’s Ambulance First Aid: An Office Solution

13.30-14.30 Chris Powell, Reed Learning How to Deliver the Perfect Event on Time and on Budget!

13.30-14.30 Jean Sutcliffe, Hemsley Fraser Get Seen and Get On – Personal Image Branding for Your Career Development

15.00-16.00 Yvonne Bignall & Siobhan Brown, Reed Learning & Hotel Chocolat Commercial and Business Awareness

15.00-16.00 Paul Richardson, Hemsley Fraser Project Management Tips for the Office Professional

REED LEARNING THEATRE 10.30-11.30 Ian Golding, Reed Learning Maximise Your Impact!

HEMSLEY FRASER THEATRE 10.30-11.30 Jean Sutcliffe, Hemsley Fraser Perfect Minutes in an Hour

12.00-13.00 Alison Kemp, Reed Learning Catch & Connect: The One Hour Workshop in Managing Upwards

12.00-13.00 Ian Caldecourt, Hemsley Fraser Winning People Over

EPtEMbEr FriDAY 16 s OFFICE* THEATRE 1 10.30-11.30 Paul Pennant,Today’s PA Taking Control with Outlook 12.00-13.00 Sue France, EUMA The Art of Positive Networking 13.30-14.30 Monica Seeley, Mesmo Consultancy Brilliant Email – How to Save Time Dealing with Your Email 15.00-16.00 Carmen MacDougal, The Virtual Assistant Coaching Company Six Key Strategies to Get Out of Your Rut and Start Progressing in Your Career

OFFICE* THEATRE 2 10.30-11.30 Susie Barron-Stubley, Castalia Coaching Limited Personal Effectiveness in an Executive Environment 12.00-13.00 Laura Belgrado, Microsoft Corporation New World at Work, Virtual Management of Your Manager 13.30-14.30 Marguerita King, The Internet Savvy PA 15.00-16.00 St John’s Ambulance First Aid: An Office Solution

13.30-14.30 Chris Powell, Reed Learning How to Deliver The Perfect Event on Time and on Budget! 15.00-16.00 Yvonne Bignall & Siobhan Brown, Reed Learning & Hotel Chocolat Commercial and Business Awareness

13.30-14.30 Jean Sutcliffe, Hemsley Fraser Get Seen and Get On – Personal Image Branding for Your Career Development 15.00-16.00 Paul Richardson, Hemsley Fraser Project Management Tips for the Office Professional

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Pamper Parlour


info point

Microsoft Academy

Main Entrance

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Exhibitors Almo Office Antalis ASAP Ascott Hospitality Management Avery Dennison Office Products BGB Management Ltd 7028


7032 7034 7036

Bong Uk Ltd


Britannia Hotels Brother UK Ltd



7033 7035



Brunel Conference Services Business Info Castalia Coaching Church House Conference Centre CIBT UK Ltd

Keynote Theatre

Destination & Venue Village

Club Med UK Cotswold House Hotel Davies Tanner DURABLE (UK) Ltd E. O. G (UK) Ltd



Egencia UK Ltd

4034 4028 4030



EDF Energy London Eye Elementus EUMA Events Insurance Services Eventuality Events



4040 Office Manager Village

Executary News Executive PA Magazine Executive Serviced Apartments


Farnborough International Ltd Filing relocation Finnair

3039 3025



3037 2038

2028 2030

First Great Western FMA Fortnum & Mason PLC Fredericks Designer Flowers Friends House Hospitality Ltd

2032 2036

Fruit for the Office Fruitdrop Fujitsu in the UK Geodetic Software Systems Ltd Global Office Supplies Globestar Management Happy Box London Ltd Hays Specialist Recruitment Hemsley Fraser Group Ltd

Upstairs to Training Theatres

High Performance Hortic Express Hospitality & Events North Magazine Hospitality Line Ltd House of Fraser Ltd HR Insight Limited IET Services Incentive QAS Limited Institute Of Professional Administrators Inverawe Smokehouses Jeans for Genes John Lewis Solutions for Business Kafevend Group Limited

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Knights Business Supplies Lewis Secretarial & Computer College London Bridge Hotel & Kensington House Hotel London Translations Ltd LTT Vending Group Malmaison & Hotel Du Vin Maverick Solutions UK Medieval Banquet Mitsubishi Pencil Co UK Ltd Murodigital Not Just Stationery Ltd Oak Filing Oakwood Serviced Apartments Old Swan & Minster Mill OS Magazine Paramount Restaurants Parker Wells Pentel (Stationery) Ltd Planet Hollywood Recruitment Genius Red Incorporated Limited Reed Learning Richard Elder Floral Design Ricoh Uk Ltd RTG Radio Taxis Group Saco Sealed Air Speedy Hire Plc St Ermins Hotel Stock In Trade Ltd Stoke Rochford Hall Swarovski Crystallized T King Associates T3L Group Tate Tay Associates Ltd Tetley The Apartment Service The Association of Personal Assistants The Branding Team The Business Travel Magazine The Corporate Team The Keyboard Company The PA Club The Pilot Pen Company (UK) Limited The Scout Association The Westminster Collection Thorntons Titan Fire + Security Total Transportation Tourism Ireland Training Alliance Group United Hygiene Services Ltd Visit Brighton WEXAS Working at Height Ltd Zibrant

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rosoft will host tw Software giant Mic year’s o sessions at this afternoons of dem s, EAs, PA annual event for office* show, the d top-level office office managers an t on ndon’s Earls Cour support staff at Lo 15-16 September. e Demo Theatre Taking place in th ys 4.15pm on both da between 1pm and ng ki ssions, called ‘Wor of the show, the se ork esent ideas and w better together, pr y Microsoft’s Ita from anywhere’ (b e easy anaging change th McAndrew) and ‘M omise s Lara Kingwell) pr way’ (by Microsoft’ ion ct an expert introdu to give attendees office ft’s most popular so ro ic M of e m so to ft – including Microso business software tions, lu d collaboration so communication an o. and Microsoft Visi Microsoft Project new ow rosoft, the sh ’s In addition to Mic m fro also host sessions demo theatre will and; Elementus; HR ; UK e th in su Fujit new demonstrating its, who’ll be rtal office manager po r is free to attend fo The office* show tors si vi pre-registered (using priority code OFF11001). For further information, and to view the full conference programme, visit www.officeshow.

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The recent freakish weather condition s in the UK, which have seen sudden downp ours followed by bursts of heat, are leading to an increase in workpla ce insect infestatio ns, according to pest ex terminators. Flies can pose som e of the biggest threats to workpla ces, especially thos e with any type of ca tering facilities or food on the premise s due to the pest’s attraction to anythi ng edible. With a fly harbourin g up to six million bacteria on its feet alone, it’s vital to ta ke as many precautio ns as possible to pr ot ect against them, acco rding to workplace equipment provid er Slingsby. Common house fl ies can carry and spread a wide rang e of serious diseas es including typhoid, cholera, gangrene , tuberculosis, gono rrhoea, bubonic pl ague, leprosy, diphtheria , scarlet fever, amoe bic dysentery and polio myelitis. Lee Wright, marke ting director at Slingsby, said: “Alth ough there are lots of species of flies the most dangerou s is the common hous e fly and these actu ally cause more deaths than sharks, spider s or snakes through th e diseases they sp re ad . For this reason bu sinesses can’t affo rd to take any chances.” For example, unde r The Food Hygien e Regulations 2006 ac t, any windows opening into food preparation areas must be fitted with inse ct-proof screens.

B BUSINESSES AT RISK ON THE ROAD Businesses risk caution for failing to educate driving employees about road and vehicle safety. Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide act 2007, business owners are required to ensure that their safety systems are adequate and enforced. Failure to do so will mean that business owners face charges of gross negligence if an accident results in a person’s death. Many company owners are not aware that the law applies to employees who are driving during working hours. Vehicles that are used for business purposes are required to be checked daily, this includes cleaning all windows mirrors and number plates as well as checking fuel, lights and tyres. Road safety expert and founder of www., Stuart Fraser, who developed a system that allows company managers to monitor staff road safety records without having to deal with piles of paperwork, said: “The more cars that a company has, the worse it will be for them if there is a crash and no evidence of proper road safety precautions.”

inbrief... Covering for the boss

Ten office workers in China pushed their boss’s car three miles home after an office party – because he was too drunk to drive. After an office night out, company vice president Zhang Fei realised he was too drunk to drive home and that none of his employees were sober enough either. With drink-drivers in China facing up to six months in jail and a heavy fine, the boss suggested his employees push him home. He pointed out that it was only three miles and the exercise would do them good. The staff agreed and pushed their boss’s VW car home. Traffic officers said as long as the car’s engine was not running, it could not be classed as drink-driving under Chinese law, however, they warned against others following suit as they said the dangers of pushing a car, while drunk, through busy streets were high. Source: Orange News

over heard

Heard some funny things in the office? We want to hear from you at Here’s one from

BRUNETTE OFFICE GIRL: She’s off sick today, she has a cold. BLONDE OFFICE GIRL: But how did she get a cold when it was so hot yesterday? Sydney, Australia

Six tips to av o i d w o r k distractions There is an art to coping with distractions. David Lavenda outlines the six steps you can take to improve your productivity

on the job


ow many of us have gone to work and pledged to be ’more productive today than yesterday?’ Yet somehow, it always ends up the same – the end of the day rolls around and the task list is still overflowing. Why are we so unproductive? Information overload and the glut of digital interfaces play a major part. The plethora of software, gadgets and other tools – which were supposed to make us more productive by allowing us to be constantly ‘on’ – has produced unexpected consequences. Most significantly, the constant deluge of email alerts, text messages and tweets put workers into a constant state of digital overload. According to a new industry study, many employees are interrupted at least every 15 minutes, and the majority waste at least an hour a day dealing with all types of distractions. And when each of those distractions happens, it can take 20 minutes to regain focus and get back to the work at hand. In an organization with 1,000 employees, wasted time comes with a bill of over £3.2m every year in lost productivity. Almost 60% of interruptions at work involve using communication and social tools, like email, social networks, text messaging, instant messaging, or switching between different applications. These tools do make people more productive – email alone has revolutionised how businesses operate. But while receiving the right email or IM can save you time, it can also cause problems. Case in point: according to the survey, a third of employees have trouble getting their work done, and a quarter can’t think deeply or creatively about their work, guaranteeing that their employers aren’t getting the best work possible. It’s not uncommon for people to tune out of meetings to deal with digital distractions, either. Despite the rudeness of doing so, 64% of employees studied report that they will ignore a meeting in which they are participating to answer email, answer a cell phone, update their social status, or send an instant message. Reducing distractions, and finding times when you can avoid electronic distractions entirely to focus on the task at hand, has become a necessity. These six tips can help you to minimize distractions and work more productively. 

on the job


Start with prioritisation

Whether you’re responsible for your own work or you get a task list handed down from management, it’s impossible to know if you’re off track when you don’t have priorities. The simple truth is that there is always enough work to fill the day, so you need to choose what you’re going to accomplish. Choosing your priorities can be as simple as writing the next three things that you need to accomplish on a sticky note. Most of us do have to leave room in our plans to deal with new tasks as they come up, but it’s usually doable to choose three or so actions that you’re going to take today, before you get side tracked by anything else.


Set a schedule for your work

Most people have certain times of the day when it’s easier to complete certain tasks. You may have noticed that you can write easily first thing in the morning or brainstorm new ideas better in the afternoon. Pay attention to when you’re most effective at the work you need to do. Protect that time. You can spend the hours when you don’t work quite as effectively on those tasks that constantly come up but aren’t actually a part of the project you’re working on – sending out emails, updating social networks, taking meetings and so on.


Remove distractions from your environment

It’s not a big deal if you get interrupted in the middle of sending out an email. But if you’re trying to design a new product, research a problem or do something else that requires deep, uninterrupted thought, distractions become a much bigger problem. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is physically take your distractions out of the room you’re working in. Leave your cell phone in the car, shut the door, even disconnect your computer from the internet, if that’s what it takes. Working offsite is one of the best ways to remove distractions. You may be able to get more creative work done in a morning at the coffee shop than you do in a whole day at the office. It’s not possible to spend all of your time disconnected like that, but even spending an hour away from the physical presence of distractions can let you get an incredible amount of work done. You can even set rules for when people are allowed to interrupt you if you’re concerned about missing out on something. It’s a rare emergency that can’t wait an hour, especially one that’s work-related.

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on the job


plan for time away from your deSk

The number of people that can sit comfortably at a desk and work straight through an eight-hour workday are few and far between. For our own health and well-being, it’s crucial to get up and leave our desks at least a few times over the course of the day. The trick is planning those times, rather than leaving them up to how often you get distracted by something in another part of the office. One of the best options is to plan a workout or other exercise into your day. Even talking a walk once a day can burn off some of that need to get up and move around. But you need to make a point of getting up and carrying through on your plans every day.



deleGate and collaBorate where you can

When you work in a larger organisation, there are always people around with different skill sets – people who may be able to handle certain tasks on your to-do list more effectively than you can. It can be tempting to try to do everything yourself – after all, who knows better than you how exactly you want something done? But either bringing in the right person for some aspect of the task or delegating it entirely can keep some minor issue from distracting you entirely.


diSconnect when you’re done

At the end of the day, most of us head home. But even outside of the office, we tend to be distracted: with the right phone, you may still be working on something you should have left at your desk. According to the survey, 82% of employees report that they stay connected when they leave the office in the evenings and fifty percent are still connected when they go to bed. That means that you’re just as distracted when you’re trying to spend time with friends or family as when you’re at work. The only way to avoid such distractions is to leave your work in the office. Not all organisations are particularly accommodating to someone who wants to turn off his cell phone in the evening or take over steps to disconnect from work, but it comes down to where you should really be focusing when you’re at home.

It is impossible to eliminate every possible distraction from your day and, to be frank, you likely don’t want to — business runs on email and the other communications that pop up during your day. But by investing time now to reduce those distractions during the times you need to focus will save you time in the long run. It takes between 10 and 20 minutes to recover and refocus every time someone stops to ask you a question or your email alert buzzes. Even an interruption lasting less than a minute can throw you off for a quarter of an hour. The only way to avoid wasting all that time is to reduce the number of distractions that actually get through to you during those times when you need to focus. You won’t get all of them, but every one that you do eliminate could mean 20 minutes of work time that you’ll get back. The bottom line is there is a need to create boundaries for using time-saving digital technologies. Being ‘on’ during business trips or while out at customer visits is a godsend for busy people, but cutting back on the deluge of information by setting boundaries and shutting down while at home, on holiday, or at your child’s school play will allow you to focus better for the really important tasks. David Lavenda is vice president of product strategy at


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on the job

Day in the DIARY

a r-star office professional, Louis pe su of e lif the in y da a low We fol nner MD of Jamie Oliver Ltd and wi the n, va no Do ra Ta to PA , es Jam Year award 2011 of Hays and The Times PA of the 06:30am The alarm goes off. I’d love to say I bounce out of bed, but I hit snooze more times than I should. 07:15am Shower, dress and get the train to Waterloo, checking e-mails on the blackberry on the way. I walk from there to our office in Old Street (in the summer only). I love the walk across Blackfriars Bridge and through Smithfield Market. 08:30am Get to the office and have some breakfast. We are lucky enough to have a ‘breakfast club’, where the company provides fresh fruit and freshly baked bread, along with cereals and tea, coffee and fresh juice, so we get a proper start to the day. 09:00am Check Tara’s diary and e-mails to see if there are any changes to her schedule or if anything urgent has come in overnight. One of the projects I manage is based in Australia so there are usually some e-mails from our partners out there, which I like to get to first, or I call them to catch up on how the project is doing. 11:00am Have a look on iTunes to see how our apps are doing and have a meeting with our developers to work on future strategy. Tara will usually be in meetings back-to-back so I check her e-mails to see if there is anything I can respond to on her behalf. 1.00pm I go out and grab some lunch for us both or head downstairs to our test kitchens to grab some food that has just been cooked up by the food team.

3.00pm Catch up on reading. I subscribe to various newsletters and reports so I take some time to get up-to-date with what’s happening in the industry. Our company spans TV, publishing, brand management, restaurants and fast-moving consumer goods, so there is a lot to take in. 6.00pm Leave the office and run home or go to pilates. I run a lot as a way of keeping healthy and destressing. It’s a great way to end the day and clear my mind. 8.00pm Home and dinner, usually cooked by my husband who is a much better cook than I am. Check e-mails again and then maybe watch a bit of TV or a film. 10:30pm Bed. I need my eight hours!

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Lunchtime giveaway Olé readers can win tickets to see The Vagina Monologues at a town near them. Eve Ensler’s hilarious Broadway and West End smash hit is back, featuring a new all-star cast including the brilliant Tiana Benjamin (Eastenders), the stunning Louisa Lytton (Eastenders, The Bill) and the sensational Wendi Peters (Coronation Street, Celebrity Masterchef). This witty and moving collection of stories is an unmissable show for every generation – bring your mum, your best friend, your sister or even your gran – this is the ultimate girls night out. The Vagina Monologues donates a percentage of revenue from ticket sales to V-Day, benefiting women’s charities globally. See for more details. To enter to win tickets, email your name, address and phone number to



Reserve this When you fancy venturing out for your midday meal, we present you with a monthly review of a restaurant, pub or café that calls our name

Shaka Zulu


What is it? A Camden-based South African restaurant. What we thought: As you descend into the depths of Shaka Zulu, an extraordinary restaurant, bar and lounge in London’s Camden, it’s easy to mistake it for another world. The walls are covered with wooden friezes and the lower floor bedecked with 20-foot warrior statues that stare down at you as you dine. Highlights include carpaccio of ostrich (pictured) and a traditional dessert menu that includes the moreish and donut-like koeksisters. What really stands out is the Shaka Zulu sample board, comprising springbok, ostrich, kudu and lamb rump steaks. Not for the faint-hearted, Shaka Zulu is a venue certain to impress any client meeting or office party.

Lambs lettuce and rocket salad with asparagus and pancetta Serves 4 What you need... 1 bag of Florette Duo Lambs Lettuce & Rocket 250g of asparagus tips 130g of pancetta 100 ml of French dressing 1 tsp of honey

How to do it… 1 Boil the asparagus tips for approximately four minutes until tender. 2 Gently fry the pancetta until crisp and golden. 3 Drain on kitchen paper and cut into bite-sized pieces 4 Mix the honey with the dressing and pour over the salad. Toss the salad lightly with the pancetta. Top with the asparagus and serve.

tReat YouRseLF If you thought vodka was bland, you'll soon be converted by this flavoured range from Godminster. By infusing English vodka with flavours like quince, they certainly succeed in making it more interesting. Domatcha Green Tea, from, is a luxurious way to enjoy your fix. The high quality tea comes in a stone-ground powder that can be mixed with hot water or whisked as a latte.

power hour Gym bunnies of the world unite. Every month, we try out a routine and report back

BREakFaST OF ChaMPIONS HHHHH They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet busy workers all too often sacrifice the repast in favour of getting to work on time. However, there are two breakfasts making the rounds at Olé that make us think again: Rude Health’s range of seven-grain granola cereals, in Honey Nut and Apple & Cinnamon flavours (£2.99 at Tesco); and Mornflakes Oats2Go porridge sachets in Lyles Golden Syrup flavour (£1.99 at Asda or Morrisons). Wholegrains are puffed to make Rude Health’s granolas light enough to enjoy with milk or yoghurt, while Mornflake Oats are full of complex carbohydrates that release energy slowly, certain to keep you going till lunchtime.

suRviving the

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It’s mid-afternoon, you can feel your eyes closing and you’re stifling yet another yawn. There are two and a half hours left until hometime but it feels like you’ve only just got out of bed. Sound familiar? It’s that all too common afternoon slump. Also called the postlunch slump or afternoon apathy syndrome, it’s at its peak from around 3pm to 5pm. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the slump's frequency and duration.

1. Stay hydrated – keep a water bottle handy all day and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to take a sip. Coffee can help keep you hydrated too, so moderate consumption* can help. 2. Plan your activities – people tend to be at their peak alertness earlier in the day, so do your toughest tasks in the morning and use afternoons for catching up on tasks that require less mental concentration, such as sending emails and admin. 3. Get some fresh air – walking boosts circulation and helps you breathe better. A change of scenery helps break the tedium too. 4. Meditate – Meditation is great for rejuvenating and reenergising the body. Doing some simple breathing exercises gets more air into your system and has a calming effect. 5. Have a laugh – sharing a joke with colleagues exercises your heart, reduces blood pressure and puts a smile on your face at the same time. * 4-5 cups per day or 2-3 cups for pregnant women.

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Clean, green machine If cleanliness is next to godliness, ecofriendliness must be nirvana – that’s what Lilly’s Eco Clean will have you think anyway, with its range of green household products, including washing up liquid and eucalyptus spray cleaner. The idea came when Lilly became ill from conventional products, so developed a range of eco-, human- and animal-friendly alternatives. Olé tried them and the results were sparkling.

Put an end to duvet dramas Any modern couple knows the dilemma – you’re hot when he’s cold and when you’re cold; he’s hot. No, we’re not talking about your love life, but rather something much more sensible, the temperature of one’s bed. After numerous sleepless nights, St Albans couple Ian and Ruth Pressman invented a unique ‘His and Hers’ duvet to the market as a solution that will put an end to millions of couples night time duvet dramas by allowing bespoke temperature control for each side of the bed. “We could not find a duvet that offered flexible temperature for each of us on the high street, we found summer/winter duvets but they did not offer a solution to our problem,” said Ian. “We knew we were not alone with this problem. Being at our wits ends with lack of sleep and not wanting to end up in single beds, we decided to make one ourselves.” After numerous design sketches at the kitchen table and experiments with the sewing machine, the CosyCool ‘His and Hers’ duvet was born. The couple showed their prototype to friends and family and after receiving such positive feedback the duvet was put into production and Duvet fast facts deliveries began.  Duvets have actually been commonly used The duvet is throughout Europe since the 18th century and are likely to have originated in Switzerland designed to allow and Austria. one partner a high  In days of old, it was commonplace to give a tog warm rating and duvet to a newly married couple. the other a lighter tog  The word duvet comes from the French ‘down’. rating if they prefer  Australians call a duvet a ‘doona’. a cool sleep. It’s  The term ‘duvet day’ is sometimes used to describe a company-approved day off available in standard that employees can take if they feel too double, king or super tired to work. king sizes. Cosycool A survey by the University of Worcester, revealed two in five Britons admitted to not allseasonsduvets. washing their duvet every six months.

k l a w t a C e c i Off Hot outfits of the month


change in your wardrobe. A change in the weather means a ar for the office. We bring you the latest autumn ge 2



4 5


1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Limited Collection top with sequin shoulders, M&S, £35 Steel cashmere waterfall sweater, M&S, £149 Great Plains autumn/winter collection Leopard block peep-toe shoes, New Look, £29.99 Hound’s-tooth trousers, Limited Collection pleat skirt, M&S, £35 Lace skirt,



More thing...

The hangover By Ocean Horan


ot flushes. Thirst. Lethargy. Anxiety.Vomiting...? Let’s face it: hangovers are rarely much fun, but throw in an early morning start with at least nine hours of harsh office lighting and your day quickly becomes hellish. I can honestly say that I’ve never pulled a sickie to recover from a hangover (I like to reserve those days for true emergencies) but instead throw myself into a day that is undoubtedly going to be far longer than your average. My last experience was a classic: I had a deadline that couldn’t be ignored and my boss was in the office and seemed to be lurking over my shoulder all day, laying in wait with awkward questions that I really should have known the answer to (and probably would any other day) but my alcohol muddled brain refused to proffer anything of great use. I mumbled my apologies after the second round of questioning, blaming my slowness on an encroaching illness rather than an overindulgence of red wine the night before, hoping that it would ward off any more desk hovering. General support for the day came from my lovely desk mates, mainly in the form of Google images of greasy full English breakfasts and other vile objects aimed to provoke my throbbing head and churning stomach. Nice. After eating a hugely calorific and carb-filled lunch, I had to deal with another major hurdle of the day: the annoying guy. On an average day,

Tom spends a good part of his time scanning the office for someone to wind-up with his Daily Mail views and was quick to lock-on to my weakened state. After intense badgering he’d cornered me into agreeing that all forms of corporal and capital punishment can be completely justifiable. Now let’s make this clear – I do not believe this, but it was easier to lay down to his miserable views than fight. The only time a crippling hangover ever seems bearable is the morning after a big office party; when everyone’s in on the joke. Painkillers and Berroca tabs are deftly shared out, and you’re free to rib your desk-mate on his dodgy dancing and ever-so slightly inappropriate flirting with the work experience girl. Best of all, my boss always seems to get food poisoning from the seafood canapés...

Did you agree with the columnist? Think YOU can do BETTER? Email us with your “and one more thing” of approx. 300 words to

Ocean Horan Web editor Age: 29 Location: London

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Solutions and inspiration for today’s office professional


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