Friday, 20 October 2017

What does your email sign-off show about you?

If you work in an office, you no doubt use a computer, and if you use a computer, you most likely have to send emails! Email communication can be a mind-field, and we all have our own way of writing emails. Your sign off shows a lot about you, but it can also cause offence! So what does your sign-off say about you, and do you need to change?

1) Thanks, thank you
Saying "thank you" shows you are courteous, thoughtful and polite. However, ending every email in this way may be overdoing it, and depending on the context you may not need a thanks.

Be careful not to use a full-stop after a thanks, as this can come across passive-aggressive, and may not be received well! Try to stick to a comma, or an exclamation mark, to avoid any offence.

2) Cheers

"Cheers" is a casual sign-off which shows you are laid back, comfortable, and confident in communication with people online. This sign-off manages to still be professional, while giving off them impression that you are approachable.

However, this sign-off does not do well if the email is of a serious nature, so you might want to skip it if this is the case.

3) Have a great morning/day/evening/weekend

Although some people may find this insincere, if you add a line like this your emails, you genuinely want the best for people and have a positive outlook on life. The recipient of an email with a line like this is sure to feel positive after reading!

4) Kind regards/regards

These are one of the most common email sign-offs. It's not too formal or laid back, and it exudes confidence.

"Regards" is the more standard form, but some may add "kind" or "warm" on front. These are seen as more formal, so if in doubt stick to "regards" on it's own.

5) x

Unless the recipient is an office romantic interest, or you are very comfortable with your colleagues, you probably won't ending an email with a "kiss". If you do you will be seen as very open and familiar, and unless you have a good relationship with the recipient it may be seen as TOO familiar (and unprofessional).

6) Sincerely

"Sincerely" is a rare sign-off these days, as it's generally reserved for writing a letter. If you do write this on an email, you will be perceived as holding onto an outdated signature style.

7) No sign-off at all! 

This is a very casual way of ending an email. However, you may be seen as respectful and efficient - if you are in a long chain of emails; time-poor; or know the person you are emailing is super busy, leaving the extra line off will save those crucial seconds for both you to write, and the recipient to read.

How do you sign-off your emails? Let us know @office_fruit!

Friday, 13 October 2017

4 Natural Immunity Boosters

It's that time of year where everyone starts to get the sniffles, and we all feel a little run down and sad about the incoming colder months! What natural things can we eat when we're feeling unwell and need a boost, or just want to avoid catching the latest cold?

1. Yogurt

Yogurt contains live active cultures, which are the healthy bacteria that keeps the gut and intestinal tract free from germs. You can take probiotics to supplement your diet, but having yogurt is a great way of including both calcium and live active cultures in your diet - win win!

2. Garlic

Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. A British study found that people who took a garlic extract for 12 weeks were 60% less likely to catch a cold. If you don't like loading your food with garlic, take a supplement containing garlic to get all the extra benefits.

3. Chicken Soup

When we're ill, people always want chicken soup; but are the curing benefits of chicken soup a myth? We're pleased to report it isn't! Researchers have found that chicken soup blocked the migration of inflammatory white cells, which is significant as cold symptoms are a response to the cells' accumulation in the bronchial tubes. The amino acid cysteine, which is released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine, and the soups salty broth keeps mucus thin the same way cough medicines do. If you add other spices such as onions or garlic, this adds to the soup's immune-boosting power.

4. Tea

People who drank 5 cups of black tea for 2 weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink, said a Harvard study. The amino acid responsible for this is L-theanine, which is found in both black and green tea. You can also find it in decaf versions!

What's your favourite way to prevent a cold? Let us know @office_fruit!

Friday, 6 October 2017

Our Top 7 Most Popular Apples

Here at FFTO HQ, we sell a lot of apples, but we wondered: what are our top 7 most popular apples? Read on to find out!

1. Pink Lady
By far our most popular apple bought from our Tailor Made section, Pink Lady apples are Cripps Pink apples, which are a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Lady Williams apple. Sweet and refreshing, they'll have you coming back every time!

2. Granny Smith
Bright green, tart and with a crisp bite, the Granny Smith is our top green apple! The colour is perfect for show as well as eating, and we can certainly see why they are so popular.

3. Braeburn
The Braeburn is another firm favourite - and firm to the touch too! It has a red/orange streaky appearance on a yellow/green background. The flesh is firm and juicy, and is a great staple for any fruit delivery.

4. Royal Gala
The Royal Gala apple originated in New Zealand in 1934, and is a cross between Kidd's Orange Red and Golden Delicious apple.

5. Red Delicious
Red Delicious apples are the ultimate Snow White apple, with a deep red colour and shiny skin. The flesh is softer than other apples, with a powdery texture.

6. Golden Delicious
Golden Delicious are a pale green/yellow apple, with a crisp and white flesh. Don't let the name fool you, it isn't closely related to the Red Delicious!

7. Jazz Apple
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Jazz Apple! They are a cross between a Royal Gala and a Braeburn, and are the closest apple in taste to the Pink Lady.

What's your favourite apple? Let us know @office_fruit

Monday, 2 October 2017

7 ways you know it's Autumn!

1. The leaves start changing colour

We love when the leaves start turning that gorgeous reddy-brown colour and begin to fall off the trees.


2. It's cold enough to break out those jumpers

We're officially sick of t-shirts, and can't wait to break out our snuggly jumpers (the cornier the better!)


3. It's starting to get dark when you wake up (boo!)

We've been so used to it being light when we wake up that this is a big adjustment as the days start to get shorter.


4. The air has that "crisp" smell

You know what we mean - there's a slight chill in the air, and it just smells great! We bet that smell bottled would sell like hot cakes!


5. English fruit hits the shops 

'Tis the season for the yummy English fruits to hit the shops - from raspberries to blackberries, from apples to pears, there's sure to be something scrummy for your fruit bowl.


6. Suddenly everything is "pumpkin spiced"

You know what we mean - pumpkin spice latte anyone!? Along with pumpkin suits, and of course just using pumpkins as decoration, Autumn is truly the season of the pumpkin.


7. Hallowe'en decorations start to go up!?

We know there's a whole month to go, but for some Hallowe'en is the event of the year! We love when the spooky decorations start to make an appearance.


What's your favourite thing about Autumn? Let us know @office_fruit!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Meet the Team: Accountant

In this week's edition of Meet the Team, we are talking to Victoria, our accountant!

What is your job title?

What do you do every day at work?
Number crunch and paper shuffle

How long have you been with FFTO?
6 years wow!

What is your go-to breakfast?
I'm guilty of skipping breakfast and snacking - elevenses!

What do you do as soon as you get into work?
Breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the peace for a second after the hectic school morning rush

What's your favourite fruit? (or fruit snack?)
Grapes if enjoyed out of sight of Harri (my son) ;)

Tea all day, or tea never?
Never, no hot drinks here!

Tell us one thing no one in the office knows about you (yet!)
I hate polystyrene - EKKKK

What is your party trick?
Not really much of a party trick - but I can drink at a ridiculously fast pace

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
A cat so I can finally get some sleep!

Do you have any questions for Victoria? Let us know @office_fruit

Friday, 15 September 2017

What is a portion of fruit?

We all love to tuck into fruit, but when we are always told we need at least 5 portions of fruit and veg each day (the recommended amount is now 7!), it can be hard to know if we have eaten enough. Never fear! We have a handy portion guide, so you can make sure you're getting in your 5 (or 7!) a day, every day!

Roughly speaking, one portion of fruit is around 80g, but what does this mean when fruit is all different sizes!?

Small fruit
One portion is two or more small fruit, such as plums, satsumas, kiwis. You need 3 apricots for a portion; six lychees;  seven strawberries; or 14 cherries.

Medium fruit
One portion is one piece of fruit, such as apples, bananas, pears, oranges or nectarines.

Large fruit
One portion is half a grapefruit, one slice of papaya, one slice of melon, one large slice of pineapple or two slices of mango.

Dried fruit
A portion of dried fruit is around 30g, which is the same as one heaped tablespoon of raisins, currants or sultanas; one tablespoon of mixed fruit; two figs; three prunes; or one handful of dried banana chips.
However, be aware that dried fruit is high in sugar and so can be bad for your teeth, so eat in moderation along with fresh fruit.

Tinned or canned fruit
One portion is roughly the same as for fresh fruit, such as two pears of peach halves, 6 apricot halves etc. The canned fruit in natural juice is better, and healthier, than in syrup.

Bear in mind that one portion means on portion of that particular fruit - if you eat 10 apples, that does not mean you have eaten 10 portions of fruit. Make sure you have a wide variety of fruits (and vegetables) in your diet, to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need!

Do you get in your 5 a day every day? Let us know @office_fruit

Friday, 8 September 2017

Look Good Feel Better

As a fruit delivery service, our ethos at Fruit For The Office is all about health and wellbeing. So when we heard about the Look Good Feel Better cancer support charity, we just had to let everyone know about this fantastic organisation. Every 2 minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer, and this disease is likely to touch everyone in some way during their lifetime. Since launching, LGFB has helped over 147,000 women and teenagers face to face across the UK. Their founder members include Boots UK Limited; Chanel; Elizabeth Arden; Estee Lauder; Loreal Paris; Procter & Gamble Uk; and Revlon International.

 So what's it all about?

Look Good Feel Better is the only international cancer support charity providing practical support for women and teenagers struggling with the visible side effects of cancer treatment.

As we can all imagine, finding out you have cancer is traumatic and daunting. The added stress of the appearance related side-effects can be demoralising and feel overwhelming. This can have serious consequences on self-esteem and confidence at a time when a positive attitude is vital.

The Look Good Feel Better free skincare and make-up Workshops and Masterclasses are held all over the UK for people undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. The two-hour sessions are led by trained beauty volunteers, who share tips and techniques to help with eyebrow and eyelash loss and changes to the skin.

Let's hear from a few people who used the charity:

"The whole experience was outstanding. It's not just about a bit of make-up, it's not vanity - it's about control. It gives women the strength to fight this horrible disease." Fiona, LGFB Beneficiary

"I had such a lovely time filled with hope and laughter. The beautiful good bag was just overwhelming! I hope the beauty brands realise the effect their donations have." Audrey, LGFB Beneficiary

"Being able to use my skills in such an amazingly positive way is priceless." Suzie, LGFB Beauty Volunteer

So what's the history of Look Good Feel Better in the UK?

LGFB has been working in the UK for 23 years, starting in 1994 when their first Workshop was hosted in the CancerKin Centre in the Royal Free Hospital, London, in 1994. Their aim is to great increase women's confidence and self-esteem, at what is an extremely difficult and emotional time in their lives.

Their free skincare and make-up Workshops are held in 96 hospitals and cancer care centres across the UK, and they held more than 300 Masterclasses in 2016. In 2001 they launched Teenage Workshops, helping younger people deal with the effects of the disease.

The award-winning #Warpaint4Life advertising campaign was created pro-bono by some of the industry's top creatives when the charity launched 23 years ago, and has appeared on donated space in shopping centres, billboards, magazines, and newspapers.

In 2009 they launched The LGFB Confidence Kit - an extensive self-help DVD and 48-page booklet designed to offer our support to people in their own homes. 

And it's proven to work - 97% of respondents to a survey of 2000 contact said they felt more confident after attending a LGFB Workshop and this remained at 96% three months later. 

And the most amazing thing of all? The LGFB service is available in 26 countries worldwide, and to date they have helped collective over 1.8 million people. With your help, they can help many, many more. 

So what would they like from you? 

Look Good Feel Better wants to raise awareness of their service, so more women and teenagers get the benefit of this impressive service, which helps thousands of cancer sufferers in the UK alone. Without donations their fantastic work would not be possible. If you would like to donate, you can do so here, and you can even get involved to help them with fundraising events. Just £50 funds a place for a patient at a LGFB Workshop, so why not donate today?

Contact the LGFB team on the below social media channels:

or contact us @office_fruit

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