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6 Promotional Product Trends Spotted at the 2019 PPAI Expo


In a word, WOW! We just spent the week pounding the proverbial pavement at the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. This show is, hands down, one of the premier events for the promotional product industry, where thousands of marketers, entrepreneurs, vendors and innovative industry insiders mix, mingle and unpack what’s new and next on the premium front. And this year was truly jaw-dropping, even by PPAI standards.

So the BIG question? “What’s about to burst onto the scene in 2019 and beyond?” In addition to the promotional product trends we identified at our first show in Orlando, there were a ton of truly unique, truly innovative products, each building on 2018’s most high tech, high touch, customer-first must-haves. So, regardless of your budget, your business or the message you want to share with the world, there was something at PPAI for you. Read on, then get in touch.

2019 Promotional Product Trend Takeaways

Trend #1: Branding That Goes BIG on Apparel

Branding was BIG at PPAI. While that may not sound like a surprise, this year’s vendors took branding and messaging to new heights. Whether it was a clever and unexpected placement, high impact technique or simple creative imprinting and embroidery, we saw (and applauded) it all.

One of our favorites was the Elevate Karmine Softshell jacket. This clean classic offers seemingly endless branding options, all while retaining its sleek appearance.

Check out this example, which shows how a client utilized many different branding opportunities, including:

● Their anniversary logo “HXD” in metallic and on the bicep of jackets

● Their company name laser-printed with zebra print behind the embroidery of their transfer

● Embroidery on the back of jackets to identify staff

●A private label on the back of the jacket

● Custom interior branding utilized to show the company’s core values – this company took full advantage of the available branding space

Our Elevate Karmine Jacket Shown with Various Multi-Media Imprints.

Speaking of jackets, did you know 70% of consumers keep their promo outerwear for a year or longer and that 42% of women wear their outerwear on a weekly basis? Long gone are the days of boxy, hard t-shirts as the only option for your brand. Performance and high-tech is hot right now, and the trend is here to stay. Interested in more stats? Click here.

Trend #2: Tech Swag

No question, all things tech are big again in 2019. The difference? This year we’re seeing tech pop up in some very unexpected places. For example, Threadfast gives you the opportunity to add RFID to their shirts (wow!) A small chip is placed at the bottom and, unless you were looking, is more or less undetectable. What to do with it? Consider activating promotions as wearers pass by your store or trade show booth, go number free at an upcoming race, or simply better control your inventory. The possibilities are endless.
Threadfast shirts offer RFID capability
Bluetooth® has also been front-and-center this week. Looking for something fun and different? These UV 400 Bluetooth speaker sunglasses allow you to listen to music or take a hands-free call with a quick click. Great for fitness and outdoor brands, the top of the case has a beautiful large imprint area.

Our Bluetooth Sunglasses

Trend #3: Retail Meets Promotional

Modern. Sustainable. Efficient. Recognizable. These are some of the words to describe just some of the themes we saw across the board. One of our faves for corporate gift-giving? These compression packing cubes. You just can’t go wrong with useful items.

Our Custom Compression Packing Cubes

Another brand we’re digging? Parkland. Owned by the retail brand, Herschel, these bags use fabrics created from 12 plastic bottles (per bag).  A fantastic choice to show your support for the environment and stay on-trend.

Parkland Bags are made from 12 plastic bottles

Food treats, like this Rice Krispies® jar and topping kit are also making heads turn this year. We’ve seen similar food gifts offered at Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales. They’re simple and frill-free, but the packaging makes a bold statement.

Our Rice Crispy Treat Jar and Toppings Mix

 

Trend #4: Active Lifestyle Items to Get Out and About

We’ve been seeing a lot of the wilderness and “spending time outdoors” trends pop up lately. While this was certainly present at the PPAI Expo, we also saw other alternatives to “get out” – namely, some very cool, very clever promotional items ideal for an active lifestyle.

For starters, these chargers with suction cups are perfect for everything from tailgating to camping to hitting the beach – suction your charger and, ideally, your device, away from dirt, sand, BBQ sauce and anything that could be a hazard. It’s simple but totally brilliant.

Our Wireless Charger with Suction

Same goes for these speakers with removable tees. If you’re hitting the greens, you can bring along your beats and your tees, all in compact packaging that easily pops into your golf cart cup holder. Every time your clients hop in their cart, they’ll think of – and thank – YOU.

Speaker with Golf Tees

Also ideal for a beach day: custom surfboards. Sure, these are very “big ticket” items, but for the right brand and the right customers, distributing these – even to just one or two relevant recipients – will drive tons of impressions, word-of-mouth and that all-important cool factor. Don’t have the budget? Consider these beach cup holders, which stick right into the sand, keeping your drink nice and clean. So simple, yet so practical and genius that everyone will wish they came up with the idea themselves.

Go big with custom surfboards or budget friendly with beach cup holders

Trend #5: Upscale Wine Accessories

We just couldn’t resist these upscale wine accessories, which seem to be getting more high-tech and more sophisticated by the year. To compliment our top selling insulated wine tumbler, consider this Aviana™ Chateau Double Wall Stainless Wine Bottle Cooler or perhaps this temperature sensor, which tells you the current temperature of the wine.

Luxury Wine Accessories

Trend #6: Classic Creativity Gets a Nod

And, of course, there’s the classic trend: amazing creativity. This year, “thumbs up” goes to these blood bags – yes, blood bags. Each proudly announces the “color” that a recipient bleeds – open the bag and pull out a matching t-shirt for their favorite sports team.

Bleed Bags with Custom T-shirt Inside

Whether it’s Dodgers® blue or Rockies™ purple or Cincinnati’s big, bold red, the choice is yours – or your customer’s. But either way, this one is going to turn a lot of heads and generate a lot of buzz. #WhatColorDoYouBleed, anyone?

 

Want to see and experience more promotional product trends from the PPAI Expo? Check out our album on Facebook, and while you’re at it, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Linked In and Pinterest to stay up-to-date with what we’re promoting.

Looking for more trends? Don’t miss our First Look at the Top Promotional Trends of 2019.

  1. Source: Advertising Specialty Institute, 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study.

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Statistics Show These Promotional Items Are Most Effective


We’ve always said it—and, more importantly, we’ve always known it: promotional products are central to your customer relationships. More than brand building tools, promos that “speak” your brand cut through the clutter, get noticed, and make a lasting impression. ASI’s Global Ad Impressions Study unpacks the impact, effectiveness and overarching value promotional products bring to the table.

Did you know that 85% of people who have received a branded piece of apparel can recall the advertiser’s name? This stat alone means you absolutely must make apparel a part of your marketing budget this year (and you may want to consider increasing it).  Your customers want these items, use these items and place a high value on these items—and, in turn, on you, your business and your relationship.

Not only that, but the cost – when looking at it on a per impression basis, is so minimal. Have you ever compared the CPI’s of promotional products by category? It’s pretty impressive:Comparing the CPI's of Promotional Products

 

Let’s explore a few more takeaways from this research:

#1. The Power of the PEN

Don’t dismiss something as simple and ubiquitous as a branded pen. Nearly nine in 10 consumers report have and use promotional pens or other writing instruments, and 20% say they have a least 10. Considering each generates about 3,000 impressions over its nine-month life—and the fact that more than half of people say they’re more likely to do business with brands who share promotional writing tools—the low out-of-pocket cost makes this one a simple, strategic slam dunk.Pen Stats Reported by ASI

#2. Bag it Up

Another must that’s equally simple—and equally loved? Bags. Seventy-three percent of consumers say they own a promotional bag, which they hang on to for close to a year. In that time, these bags generate 3,300 impressions—on a $5 bag, that’s a CPI (cost per impression) of less than $0.005. The icing on the cake? Studies show that 50% of consumers are more likely to do a business with a company that gave them the giveaway. We would imagine that this percentage increases if you find a bag that suites their style, taste and demographic. 50 Percent of Consumers Are More Likely To Do Business With A Company When They Are Given A Promotional Bag

#3. Fit to a “T” (shirt)

Not only do promotional shirts have the same CPI as bags, but they have a very long shelf life—nearly two-thirds of consumers keep branded shirts for more than a year, and close to half hang onto them for two-plus years. Considering 80% of the population owns at least one, that’s some serious bang for your proverbial buck.

One more major shirt perk? Their appeal with the all-important 18- to 34-year-olds. This is the way to go. Millennials in particular can’t get enough of this promotional item—the average 20/30 something owns five branded shirts. Need help determining the right size for a logo on custom t-shirts? Click here.

T-Shirts that cost $7 Have a CPI of 2/10 of a cent per impression!

#4. And if it’s men you’re after…

Consider branded hats and headwear the shirts of the male segment—69% own promotional hats and one in three say they wear theirs weekly, if not more. That’s serious—and that’s leading to more than 3,400 promotional impressions per hat.

Better still, each branded hat creates a meaningful connection with consumers—nearly two in three say they hang onto the ones they receive “because they are attractive.” That’s a powerful statement and an incredible jumping off point for lasting engagement and advocacy.

One-Third of Men Wear Their Promotional Hats Weekly

#5. Power it up!

One of the newest must-have premiums of 2018 was the power bank —and 2019 is already proving this trend is here to stay. That said, just one in three consumers owns a promotional power bank, meaning the market is ripe for yours.

Even if recipients have one already, there’s nothing wrong with having a second (or third…). More than two in five people say they use their promotional power bank at least weekly. That means your will no doubt have a welcome home in their bag, car, desk drawer or carry-on bag. And because the average customer hangs onto their for two years or more, you’re getting tons of engagement for a very low price—bonus.

41 percent of consumers use a power bank once a week or more often

That, though, is just the beginning—and judging from this study, 2019 will be the year of the promotional premium. Get in touch to learn more and see what’s popping to the top of consumers’ must-have list this year, and how you can get ahead of the curve with these cutting-edge essentials.


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7 Unique Giveaway Ideas for Your Next Trade Show or Conference


Trade shows and conferences are rife with competing businesses clamoring to grab attendees’ attention with promotional items and gimmicks. How does one stand out above the crowd? Sure, pens and the like are useful, but they can be a dime a dozen at a big event.

When in doubt, we recommend choosing gifts that are unique. Think about how to you’ll breathe new life into your marketing efforts with an original giveaway idea that far exceeds expectations!

A unique promo item can be:

• Unexpected
• Creative
• Original
• Limited
• Luxurious
• Funny
• Experiential
• Personal

The benefit to this approach is that you have a better chance of being remembered, and hopefully, gaining new and engaged customers. In this piece, we suggest seven unique giveaway ideas to draw visitors to your table, and make sure they remember you when they walk away.

1. Experiential: The Gift of Relaxation

Trade shows and conferences are a blast… but they’re also exhausting. Hours on your feet and continuous stimulation (talking, music, mingling!), not to mention the travel to get there, are all a recipe for burnout. Earn attention by providing a promotional gift that guests will need: Items geared towards R&R.

This is a unique idea because it provides a reprieve to the high energy buzzing around the event – a perfect juxtaposition.

Give these items out in style by creating a dream-like relaxation station for guests to pop into during breaks. Diffusers misting out relaxing scents like lavender, an overhead canopy to allow you to filter out harsh conference lighting, herbal teas, and Zen-like music playing softly in the background. Ahhh. Kick it up a notch by having masseuses on-hand for free 5- or 10-minute chair massages.

When guests are ready to depart your relaxation station? Send them off with a branded swag to remind them of the oasis you offered (and your business!), with ideas such as:

Back massagers
Fragrant candles
Essential oils and incense
Bath and body products

2. Creative: Promotional Favorites with a Twist

Anyone who’s been to a trade show has received a pen, t-shirt or candy bar on numerous occasions – and for good reason. They’re practical items that guests like and use, which allow for easy customization.

But if you’re heading out into a big crowd and want to stand out, consider getting creative with your promo staples. For example, these classics use uncommon materials to make them more memorable and valuable:

• Wooden shades – Sunglasses are a great giveaway, especially if the conference is in a sunny locale. The wood tone style is a nice change from plastic and metal, which are the more traditional options.Our Woodtone Custom Sunglasses
Glass water bottles – Ditch the plastic and go green with a beautifully made glass bottle. Or, if you want to stay with plastic (it’s more lightweight, for example), consider a unique shape, like a foldable/reusable or flask style water bottle, which is a great way to add some humor into a busy day.
Novelty calendars – Wall calendars are the norm, and magnetic calendars are a dime a dozen. There are more unique options out there, including pop-up, wallet-sized and other novelty calendar designs. Best of all, they guarantee visibility of your logo the whole year long!
Special magnets – Speaking of magnets, not all designs must be made with vinyl! For a cost-effective gift that’s a unique departure from your competitors’, consider a magnet made of stone, chalkboard, metal, cardboard, or even a full color memo board.
Glass candy jar (with candy!) – Every conference goer can use a pick-me up between meals, which is why snacks and candy are great promotional giveaways. But rather than gifting an item that’s eaten and then forgotten, gift attendees a small glass candy jar they can refill and reuse. There’s a good chance an item like this will make its way onto their desk, where you’ll get some serious shelf-life and continued advertising.

3. Unexpected: Something Living

While puppies would be cute, we’re thinking something more along the line of plants. Adding greenery into an office space is a great way to make it feel comfier. Gifting attendees with plants, outfitted in customized planters, is a unique way to get your brand name on something valuable with staying power.

You can build an entire theme around the gift, too. Imagine: a green, plant-filled oasis in the middle of an otherwise beige conference. Your floor space will definitely stand out! A few plant and gardening giveaways to consider are:Our Seed Paper Logo Matchbook with Wildflower Seeds

Herb Garden
Plant Kit
Flower Pot Pen
Seed Paper Matchbook

4. Funny: Socks

It sounds simple, but of course we’re not talking about boring old white ones. Branded socks are a fun and unique way to make your brand known. Especially for 2+ day events, guests will be able to put your gift to good use at the hotel or on the plane ride home!Our Custom Rainbow Knee Highs

Some of our favorites:
Tube style
Rainbow knee highs
Crew style

5. Luxurious: Hip Tech Accessories

Considering how plugged-in we all are, tech accessories are always a hit at trade shows. Instead of the usual USB key or screen cleaner, why not opt for something more unique? Choose an item that can add great value through convenience (not to mention, price point), and you’ll have a memorable gift that recipients reach for again and again.

Check out these gifts to get your creative juices flowing:
Bluetooth speakers
Wireless charging pads
Webcam covers
Well-designed iPad/tablet cases

6. Original: Not Directly Related to Industry

If attending a tech or internet marketing conference, you likely wouldn’t get much attention with the gifts mentioned above. Effective giveaways are not just unique products; they are often unique to the industry in which your company and recipients work.Our Custom Apron with 2 Pockets

Consider this:
• At automotive events, gift desk and office toys
• At sports and fitness conferences, give novelty kitchen products
• At trade shows for entrepreneurs, offer health and wellness giveaways
• At conferences for creatives, supply thoughtful office supplies

You get the idea! Find the perfect gift that is tangentially related to your target audience, and unique enough that they won’t have seen it before on the trade show floor.

7. Personal: Individual Care Packages

Especially for the budget-conscious marketer, traditional giveaways are sometimes still the best option. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put a unique spin on them!

Consider creating small swag bags or care packages that bundle useful items together. Offering them in a paper or plastic bag makes them feel more special and speaks volumes about the kind of care and attentiveness you put towards your customers.

To add a personal touch, fill your care packages so that no two are exactly alike – by mixing and matching inexpensive items, and including various color or design options. Here are a few items to consider stowing inside:

Pens
Notepads or sticky notes
Snack foods
Small travel accessories
Stress balls or other toys

A unique promotional giveaway is a great way to grab attentions in a space that is buzzing with people, conversation, and loads of other tables and booths. Throwing some pens on a table is not going to have the same effect as a giveaway idea that is funny or unexpected.

The more you design your booth space to create a unique and inviting atmosphere, the more attention and traffic you’ll earn. When it comes to trade shows and conferences, we say don’t be afraid to get creative!

For support in designing a custom promo item, logo or other marketing artwork for your next event, get in touch with the professionals at ePromos!


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Ways Businesses Use Promotional Magnets Effectively (With Examples)


Magnets are a go-to promotional premium – and with good cause. Universally useful, incredibly customizable and long-lasting, countless businesses are using these promotional products effectively and in new, unique ways.

That said, modern promotional magnets aren’t a one-size-fits-all – and neither are the businesses and industries using them. There are countless ways to use promotional magnets , including a variety of product types – think business card magnets, refrigerator magnets and more. And, for each custom style and finish, there’s a company utilizing these low-cost magnets to build consistent brand awareness and ensure their message is front-and-center. Some of our favorites?

#1. Local Vendors That Create a Useful Business Card

Business card magnets are some of the most popular promotional products for local businesses. These magnets are useful because they can include prominent contact information and be put on a local resident’s fridge or other highly visible magnetic surface.

20 MM Full Color Business Card Promotional MagnetAs portable as a business card, these 20 mm and 30 mm magnets pack a serious punch for businesses and recipients – unlike traditional business cards, your contact information is on-hand when your customers need it. That means, when their plumbing goes in the middle of the night, there’s no rummaging through wallets and bags, and no trying to remember recommendations. They’ll see your magnet and call you first.

Local businesses aren’t the only ones tapping into business card magnets. Travel companies with reservation lines, insurance brands with customer service hotlines, schools, universities or any business that deals with frequent consumer outreach can benefit from using these products. Include bold branding, a short message and a call-to-action and you’ve got a promotional piece that will always be visible to your core customers – and that’s powerful.

#2. Companies That Set Built-In Reminders

Calendars are a great way to keep customers in the know – and companies using promotional products are doing just that. For those who provide routine, ongoing services – think mechanics, exterminators, primary care physicians and dentists, for example – calendars can be an organic way to remind customers to schedule routine maintenance throughout the year. Often, these critical tasks are overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life – and the chaos of customers’ smartphone calendars.Full Color BIC Promotional Calendar Magnet

Custom calendar magnets are always in a very visible location, be it on the fridge, a magnet door or other household hotspot. By populating your calendar with important reminders or dates – and including prominent contact information so customers can get in touch – you’ll be able to boost engagements, bookings and, overall, ensure your client base is in-the-know all year long. You can even customize the look and feel of your calendar magnets to ensure they stand out.

#3. Brands That Provide a Useful Giveaway

Sometimes it’s more than just a call-to-action and contact – other times just a logo will do the job. That’s where these fridge magnets come in. Designed to stick to a magnetic surface and clip onto photos, menus, coupons or other important information, the bold, colorful and fully customizable magnets do double duty – they announce your brand and can also include valuable info or offers which customers can choose to display or store away for future use.

While many businesses are adeptly using these products, some of the most common uses are for restaurants offering a magnet and menu – then customers don’t even need to open the fridge – the magnet offers up a quick, delicious solution. Other high impact uses include offering a series of coupons or monthly offer mailings that can be popped into the magnet – customers can grab and use anytime, without ever worrying about misplacing their latest deal.

Making Your Creative and Distribution Count

All of this said, creative layouts and use cases are just the beginning – it’s important to get the most bang for your magnetic buck by creating magnets people will want to pick up and use.

As we’ve seen over and over again, one of the best ways to do this is by aligning magnet content and creative with customers’ lifestyles, preferences and causes that matter. The following brands are perfect examples – each maximizes their magnet campaign with clever, compelling lifestyle-first content customers can latch on to and which, through their visible support, drives greater awareness and engagement…all from a single magnet.

The National Alliance of Mental Issues (NAMI) drummed up attention for mental health and, specifically, to eliminate the stigma surrounding these common conditions. Their clever creative called out for drivers to “Put the Brakes on Stigma” with a call out to #MentalHealthMatters, making it ideal to affix to a car. If it’s a cause you believe in, you’d likely be willing to grab a magnet and proudly declare your support to the world.

NAMI Bumper Sticker Promotional Magnet

Likewise, juice bar Raw Juce makes using their magnets a lifestyle choice. By adding one to your car, you’re telling everyone you’re health conscious and you sip local. It’s a smart way to drive added usage – and because Raw Juce leaves magnets next to the register, they’re easy for loyal customers to grab as they go.

Raw Juce Promotional Magnets Left at Checkout Counter

Orange Theory Fitness and Green Monkey Yoga have a similar approach, utilizing magnets to enable customers to tout their wellness-first lifestyle.

Orange Theory Fitness Cooper City Promotional Bumper Sticker Magnet

Similarly, Salt Life – a popular beach and surf brand – gives magnets and bumper stickers so followers and customers can proudly declare they’re living the Salt Life. Affix these magnets and you’re telling the public you’re an avid waterman, who lives and breathes all things ocean.

Salt Life Bumper Sticker

Pet Vet Animal Hospital in Deerfield Beach, FL, also encourages magnet users to proudly declare their affinity – in this case, for dogs. Magnets, which can double as bumper stickers, proudly declare “I Love My Dog” with a call out to the hospital’s phone number.

Pet Vet Animal Hospital Bumper Sticker Magnet

These lifestyle-driven creative executions and clever formats are just the beginning. There are countless uses for these in-demand promotional magnets and countless ways to integrate these low-cost, high-impact premiums into your marketing strategy. Get in touch to learn more and to start customizing your magnets now.


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The Puffer Trend is Taking The Promotional Space by Storm


There’s something about winter that makes us want to hunker down and get cozy—and that’s exactly the vibe we’re getting from January’s Product of the Month.

This month’s pick is our popular “puffy” collection which includes a few winter essentials, perfect for hunkering down, hitting the slopes and, literally, anything in between. On-trend, in-demand and ideal for the cooler months, these quilted premiums are the perfect products for your clients, vendors and employees — but be sure to snag at least a few for yourself…

You Won’t Want to Miss These 3 Top Picks for Winter:Our Puffer Collection

#1. Insulated Drawstring Backpack

Brand this drawstring backpack and you’re good to go anywhere winter calls. The perfect carry-on, weekend bag or road-tripping pack, this is the ultimate seasonal must-have. Not only is it sleek and durable, but its “puffy” factor is sure to stand out in a crowd—and sure to draw lots of added attention to your brand.

Looking for an even bigger “wow” factor? Fill this quilted drawstring backpack with additional premiums, promotional items or even your latest proposal and pop it over to your client. There’s no way this delivery will go unnoticed, or won’t drive a “follow up” on the spot — bonus!

#2. Custom Insulated Tote Bag

This puff packs a serious punch. With a built-in pouch, this go-anywhere, do-anything quilted  tote bag is an ideal bag to load up with some post-slope snacks or a thermos of hot cocoa. And because it has durable straps, it’s easy to grab and go — wherever “go” takes you this winter.

#3. Insulated Can Cooler or Insulated Koozies

If there was such a thing as a cozy Koozies, this would be it. This puffy insulated can cooler keeps drinks ice cold — as if the single-digit temperatures won’t. Available in black, blue and red with an oversized imprinting area, your brand or brand message will pop against any snowy backdrop—and, equally important, ensure your seasonal sips are the perfect temperature whenever you need a drink.

Many of these cold weather essentials have already popped to the top of our clients’ winter wish lists — and with good cause. Consider them the puffy coats of the promotional item landscape, and the products you want hitting your clients’ and contacts’ desks in the New Year.

Get in touch to learn more about our exclusive “puffy” collection.

Missed our Product of the Month from December? Check it out here.

 


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Ways to Promote Work-Life Balance at the Office


Work-Life BalanceWork-life balance has been a hot topic for the last few years, in part, due to the climbing number of millennials entering the workforce, coupled with the advent of tech giants, where on-site arcade games, beer fridges, and free meals are the norm. Word on these buzzy perks has gotten out, and workers want in on them. Offering these kinds of things not only makes your workplace more appealing, but it’s a great way to create an environment ripe for a healthy work-life balance.

Why is work-life balance so important? Studies show that employees not only want it, but need it. Work-life balance helps workers stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and helps avoid burnout—a common occurrence among overworked employees. Also, contrary to some out-of-date thinking, just because employees work around the clock, doesn’t mean they’re actually being efficient or productive.

Keep reading for 15 tips on how to create better work-life balance for your employees.

1. Enact Flexible Scheduling

Some folks are early birds, others night owls—so why expect them all to homogenize to a standard 9-5? If your business can allow for it, consider opening up scheduling, like 7-3, 8-4, 9-5, and 10-6. This doesn’t mean employees should change it up daily, but picking a timeframe and sticking to it should make everyone happy.

2. Offer Telecommuting Options

More and more companies are offering telecommuting—and for good reason—it has been shown to actually increase employee productivity. How is that possible? For starts, there tends to be less distractions when an employee can hunker down in the comfort of their home office, skip traffic-y or long commutes, and *bonus* keep their sniffles to themselves (preventing an onslaught of office sickness making the rounds). Consider supporting one day as a pilot, though many companies offer employees the opportunity to work from home several days each week.

3. Offer Gym Memberships or Gym Equipment

Physical exercise is important not only for the body, but the mind. Encourage employees to get physical by offering a gym membership, or even a discount to one if you can’t cover the whole bill. Many health insurance plans offer discounts, too, that employees can take advantage of. If yours does, make sure they know about it! As a way to promote the program, hand out custom gym bags to get kick start momentum.

On the other hand, if you have the space for it, consider adding a small gym to your office. This may sound extravagant, but even setting aside a single conference room for a treadmill, stationary bike, and a few yoga mats is a great way to help employees exercise as part of their daily work routine. Or, make the entire office a fitness space by providing pedometers that track employee steps and other fitness stats.

4. Hold On-site Fitness Classes

Consider hosting a weekly yoga, Pilates, or other fitness class right in the office. If you really want to encourage fitness, consider holding two or three each week.

5. Encourage Comfortable Workspaces

From ergonomic desk chairs, to standing desks, there’s a ton you can do to help create comfy spaces for employees. Another idea—add plants around the office for a pop of color and improved air quality. You can also encourage employees to personalize their spaces by gifting them picture frames they can use to hold pics of their kids, pets, loved ones—memories that will make them smile on even the most stressful days.

6. Create a Meditation Space

Offering employees a space to quietly zen-out during a hectic day is a great way to allow them to re-route frustration, anxiety, or the daily chaos of company work. Whether this is something they do at-will, or a morning ritual—say, your team meets at 9:30 every day for a quick 15 meditation circle—promoting this stress-relieving activity is a perfect in-office tactic. Also, consider passing out stress balls for employees to keep on their desks to use as needed throughout the day.

7. Host On-site Chair Massages

Whether this is something you hold monthly or quarterly, trust employees will look forward to it! A luxurious mid-day treat, a chair massage is a great way to work out the tensions that build up over time—especially for employees that sit all day at a computer (AKA those ripe for shoulder and neck knots!).

8. Discourage Late Hours

Full-time employees (generally) sign on for 40 hours/week…but it’s all too common to work many more—which is no bueno for a healthy work-life balance. Encourage employees to leave the office at reasonable hours, and discourage late night and weekend emailing. Sure, sometimes it’s necessary for projects, but it shouldn’t be a long-term, regular occurrence if you want work-life balance.

9. Support Ongoing Learning

Encourage employees to stretch their minds and creativity by partaking in ongoing learning courses and certifications. How to encourage it? For starts, you can help pay for some of the fees associated with it. Or, allow employees time to study (if taking a test, etc.) as part of their work day (perhaps two hours a week).

10. Offer Family-friendly Ticketed Events

Many ticketed events provide discounts for group rates. Considering purchasing a chunk of tickets to a local sports game, ballet, or play that employees can then purchase from you at the discounted rate. This is win-win—employees get the discount and some family time, while employers make them happy, without compromising the work day (as these types of events occur at night or on the weekends).

11. Host Regular Happy Hours

Getting employees to socialize with one another outside of a project or typical workday task is a great way to improve relations around the office and have some fun. Gathering up your team to head to a local happy hour is a great way to break loose, laugh, and get to know one another in a non-work space.

12. Offer Paid Holidays

Holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends, relaxing and celebrating—not working! Offering paid holidays is a generous perk. Of course, most companies already do this, but to varying degrees. While the average is about nine, consider adding in a few more days—like July 4thand 5th, or December 25th and 26th. Lots of employees end up using their PTO to take these days off, but making it an official company holiday is a generous move employees will appreciate.

13. Encourage the Use of Time Off

Many companies offer paid time off, but that doesn’t mean employees will use it. That said, taking vacation time is an important part of creating a healthy work-life balance. Consider half-year check-ins with employees to ensure they’re using this important benefit, and consider setting a limit on roll-over days from year to year.

14. Provide Healthy Snacks

The water cooler and coffee pot may be workplace pantry staples, but consider going a step further by offering healthy snacks to go along with these beverages. Fresh fruit, granola bars, yogurt cups, and dark chocolate are a few ideas folks will not only love, but will keep them nourished through their work day.

15. Host Monthly Lunches

Lunching together is a great way to bond with colleagues in an informal setting, where you can talk about things other than projects and work tasks. Whether you take your team out to a restaurant for this meal, or simply have a few pizzas delivered to the office, employees will appreciate the gesture—and are likely to partake, because, uh, who doesn’t love free food?

We hope these ideas have got your creative juices flowing about the ways you can usher in better work-life balance with employees. Of course, you’ll need to lead by example and actually partake in whichever items you enact—but hey, from entry-level through executive leadership, work-life balance is important for everyone (yes, even you).