5 Tips For Stepping Up Your Office Lunch Game

Although my job here at Track5Media is pretty damn awesome, I’d be lying if I said that lunchtime isn’t one of the highlights of my day. As the self-appointed “lunch coordinator,” I’ve been able to explore cuisines and bring the office closer together with our savory meal decisions. Office lunch isn’t just about fueling up so you can get through the day. It should be a time to enjoy some good food and good company. Now, I won’t look down upon those who opt for the traditional packed sandwich or salad, but I do think there are ways that you can spice up your office lunch and make it one of the best parts of the day! Below are just a few ways that you can make sure you’re doing some great office lunch bonding.

Tips For Crushing Your Office Lunch

Make It a Group Thing

One of the best things about getting lunch here at Track5Media is that you’re usually not alone! If someone is feeling Chinese takeout, you can expect that you’ll have a few others looking to hop on that lunch train. If time allows it, opt to take lunch outside on a particularly nice day. Spending some time outside with your coworkers is a great way to break up a day spent in the office. We’re always open to lunch suggestions in the office, and there’s usually more than one of us trying a new place to eat! It also might be a good idea to organize a monthly lunch outing where you can all get out of the office and enjoy a nice sit-down lunch.

Keep Condiments and Silverware Handy

Luckily, we have a pretty large kitchen here in the office, so we can afford to stock up on silverware and condiments. If you’re working with a smaller space, don’t hesitate to use some of your desk drawers to stock up on condiments and spices. This way, if you find your meal needs to be refreshed or spiced up by the time you get to your lunch break, you can do so with ease. Alternatively, if you don’t pack your lunch one day and you find your lunch-break purchase is a little bland, you can kick it up a notch or two. Also, few things are more unappetizing than eating a meal out of a takeout container with a sad, flimsy plastic fork that’s likely to break as soon as you take your first bite. Keeping some silverware handy will ensure that you’re enjoying your office lunch to the fullest.

office lunch

Don’t Be Scared of Leftovers

I know some of you might groan when hearing the word “leftovers,” and believe me I still do sometimes. However, leftovers are an underrated option when it comes to crushing your office lunch. If you had something truly delicious for dinner last night, why not enjoy it again for lunch? If you don’t feel like eating the same thing for multiple days, try turning your leftovers into a new meal. Take that leftover pork loin and turn it into a pulled pork sandwich!

office lunch

Snack, But Don’t Overdo It

I hate to admit it, but this is definitely a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. The snack monster that lives on my shoulder constantly barks in my ear while I’m at work, which is why I’ve had to be mindful when it comes to snacking. I try to snack on something light, like popcorn, if I’m feeling hungry. There’s nothing worse than overeating and feeling way too stuffed while trying to get your work done for the day. I’ve found that taking small baggies of chips or mixed nuts really curb my penance for overeating.

Get Creative

Probably the contribution to the office that I’m most proud of is our “Lunch Wheel O’ Goodness.” What is this intriguing sounding piece of innovation you ask? Well, it’s a wheel that randomly chooses a place to eat for lunch. If none of us in the office have a specific hankering, we’ll let the wheel decide. It has options for our favorite places as well as some fun categories like “person with the closest birthday chooses.” There are a ton of online templates that will allow you to bring some fun to the office when getting lunch.

Lunch should be a time that you can bond with your coworkers. You spend a good amount of time with them after all, so why not make lunch a highly anticipated event. If you have other ways that you crush your office lunch, leave us a comment below!

Surviving an Open Office Plan | Basic Tips

It’s 9:30 am and everyone has finally started waking up for the day. Phones are ringing, loud laughter is punctuated by random coughs and grunts — then comes the Spotify playlist regurgitating generic pop songs for all to hear… Sound like your company’s open office? Well you’re part of the 70 percent of U.S. businesses currently utilizing this corporate feng shui to organize their offices for better or worse! Whatever your take, we’ll explore what surviving an open office plan really takes and how employees can stay working efficiently.

surviving an open office plan

Trickling down from Silicon Valley’s all-knowing corporate wizardry, open office plans have become the norm for many modern businesses. Mostly, this means large open spaces with desks, no walled offices, and very low partitions — or sometimes none at all! For trendy, techy startups, open office plans provide easily reconfigurable setups, and ultimately a way to cut costs. Bosses can keep tabs on employees with ease, and gazing out into a thrumming open office just looks productive… but is it?

Since open office plans have become popular, studies show that many workers actually despise the ebb and flow these plans create. Many cite a lack of privacy, difficulty concentrating, and avoiding illness, as well as an all or nothing approach to environmental factors like lighting, temperature, sound, and smell. Disgruntled employees are also much less productive in an open office, although that’s an issue in and of itself.

Surviving an Open Office Plan | The Basics

Clearly, surviving an open office plan is something more employees are dealing with than ever before. So what can workers, managers, and bosses do to really optimize these types of spaces? Let’s explore:

Crack Open That Suggestions Box!

Sure, nobody really has an old, wooden box with specifically-worded pet peeves on note cards anymore, but that doesn’t mean the practice itself is outdated. If your company is growing and adding new team members into the mix, you may be due for a good ol’ roundtable on office etiquette. Just ask employees how they feel things are going with the open office. Be aware that broaching certain subjects can get a little too particular for some.

If certain employees insist on eating strong smelling foods or others feel the need to scream into their phones, it’s important to address these issues in generalities. Singling out employees has the potential to create more issues than before, so tread lightly.

Consider the Solutions

Surviving an open office plan isn’t always as easy as just saying “hey stop eating stinky food,” or “just tune it out,” although that’s part of it.

Many of the possible solutions come from working with the resources your company already has. Are there pieces of furniture you can rearrange? Can open team discussions take place in a quiet space instead? Where is the best place to eat that weird smelling sandwich? Designating particular zones for certain activities is one way to make surviving an open office easier.

surviving an open office plan

Sometimes, there are no real changes to make — so that’s up to you! If you’re feeling oddly stressed by every small crinkle of a water bottle or squeaky office chair, take a little stroll outside, and breathe deeply. I know, how zen of me to recommend, but honestly don’t knock it until you try it. Just pretend you’re a basketball player making a free-throw with screaming fans from the other team. Tune it out. Or maybe you’re a concert pianist with all ears on you. Focus inward. It takes practice, but it pays off if you can whip up some Buddha-like vibes to fend off annoyances.

Otherwise, invest in some noise-canceling headphones or even a white-noise generator if you’re an employer. Also, consider ways to better partition an open space to cut down on visual distractions. Surviving an open office plan isn’t always easy, but with the right communal efforts, it’s definitely possible!

What are your experiences with surviving an open office plan? Let us know your story and solutions in the comments below!

What Does Track5Media Do?

It’s a question that I get on a monthly basis. Sometimes it’s asked over dinner from my girlfriend’s parents. Other times it’s asked after running into a friend that I haven’t (and didn’t want to) seen since high school. What does Track5Media do? For the longest time, this question sent a shiver down my spine and beads of panic-sweat would roll down my temple. It’s not because I was embarrassed about what I did for a living, or whom I worked for. In fact, I think my job is pretty damn awesome! It was simply the fact that I didn’t know how to explain what I, and more importantly, what Track5Media does. To be honest, I think this is a sign of a successful company. If someone asked you what Facebook did, what would you say? Yeah, it’s a social media company, but it’s clearly much more than that. Although it took awhile, I think below I provide a proper answer to this frequently asked question. What does Track5Media do?

What Does Track5Media Do?

We Find Problems, And then We Solve Them!

When I put it that way, it sounds simple enough, right? Well…not exactly. Initially, we try to figure out what problems we can solve with our resources. Our first brand, TravelNurseSource.com, was designed to help travel nurses link up with companies that hire travel nurses. “So it’s a job board?” Well, not exactly. We partner with dozens of companies and provide leads for potential employees. However, we’re not JUST a lead generation company either. We work closely with each of our clients to not only provide leads to potential employees, but we help them build a company profile that will attract as many potential recruits as possible. We also provide resources, infographics, and blogs to help those within the industry.

Once we got the formula right, we began expanding our Track5Media brand by creating even more websites. These include AllTruckJobs.com, AllPhysicianJobs.com, AlliedTravelCareers.com, and LocumJobsOnline.com. These were all designed similar to TravelNurseSource.com and were made to help both employers and employees in each of their respective niches. It takes a team effort to create all this awesomeness here at Track5Media, so let’s take a look at each department.

Development

what does track5media do

Although part of our development team works in Florida, they were all together for our 2017 holiday party!

The development team is essentially the backbone of the Track5Media squad. Without our hardworking and passionate developers, we’d have no sites! To build a website from scratch is a large undertaking, let alone five of them. We’ve also implemented lead generation software that goes unmatched as well as a responsive team that will ensure that any bugs or other issues are taken care of immediately. Their work might go unrecognized from the outside perspective, but they’re truly the engine that keeps the Track5Media train going.

Sales

Our sales team has mastered the art of answering the question “what does Track5Media do?” In fact, they know the ins and outs of our services like nobody else can. Our sales team is able to entice employers into using our services. Through demos, they’re able to show all that our websites have to offer. Without our sales team, it would be awfully hard to generate income.

Account Management

Once a client comes on board, our account management team ensures that they’re making the most of their time with us. They’ll help to set up a stellar company profile and will routinely check in to make sure they’re having success with our software. It’s their willingness to always help and provide the best for our clients that keep them coming back!

Marketing

whatd does track5media do?

Learning is a big priority at Track5Media. In 2017, the marketing team attended a digital media conference in Philadelphia in order to beef up our strategy.

We can’t forget about our marketing team! This team, which I’m part of, works to get the word out about our company and provide the best content to attract new clients. We also write some awesome blogs, including one that answers the question of “what does Track5Media do?” We use everything from podcasts to video content to help promote our brands and make sure Track5Media is recognized as a company that everyone wants to work with.

Our Leader

what does track5media do

Of course, none of this would be possible without our fearless leader, Oliver Feakins. Oliver has turned a very small company into one of the top 5,000 fastest growing companies in the nation. His drive and dedication are contagious, and it pushed our entire team to do the best that we possibly can.

So I hope that answered the question of, “what does Track5Media do?” If this seems like a place you want to work at, feel free to check out our job openings!

Top Content Distribution Strategies in 2018

…Content. Content. CONTENT! The proverbial meat and potatoes, or finishing garnish depending on what corporate course of the meal you’re on! Honestly, I think it’s safe to retire the whole “content is king” adage because WE GET IT. But do we really know what content distribution strategies in 2018 we need to look out for? Anyone? …Come with me on a journey through your personal time and cyberspace:

content-distribution-strategies-in-2018

Pictured above: A never-before-seen look at the literal insides of the internet circa 1999 A.D. Wow oh wow!

So you’ve spent time writing weeks worth of content — great blogs, resource pages, and maybe even a few branded images here and there. Now you just post them on your blog platform of choice and POOF! Instant Google page rank and authority right?

If that actually happened to you, please email connor@track5media.com to claim your Official Horse-Pucky Certificate and 3-week getaway at the Bull**** Hotel in beautiful Nantucket, Massachusetts.

For all of us still tediously living in the “real world,” we know that it takes actual strategy and marketing prowess to get that savory link juice flowing to a website. It’s 2018 and the future is probably never going to arrive, so we should prepare now while we still can!

Top Content Distribution Strategies in 2018

Of course, every business will have its unique needs and challenges, but this isn’t about YOU. Just kidding, it is, and that means getting those real results that make everyday count. Getting your amazing content through the right channels to your audience is the goal, especially when so much of that content is already available to you. Really, we’re talking about repurposing your best pieces to yield new results with some great tools!

1. Consider Publishing an E-book

Are you prone to writing the next great American novel throughout the course of several industry-specific blogs? I bet you are… so why not turn this chain of content into an e-book? By sifting out several of your most poignant, evergreen pieces of content it’s now easier than ever to publish them as something more impactful. One tool that’s making this process simple is Designrr. If you aren’t trying to hire a design firm or take time from in-house personnel, this platform has all you need to cobble together a solid e-book.

content distribution strategies in 2018

After you’ve got a shiny, new hunk of (old) content with added tidbits and features, you can market this thing to high-heaven — building an email list, pitching it for link building, and spreading the love to fellow content creators for a chance at social media shares and the like. Of course, you’ll want to design this with conversions or your marketing goals in mind, but it makes for one of the best content distribution strategies in 2018 hands down.

2. Turn Blogs into Videos

So while you may be thinking: NO NEVER WHY OUCH STOP THAT — I’m here to tell you that turning blogs into videos is relatively easy and anybody can do it. Obviously, video content is the most massive marketing opportunity since people started using euphemisms about sliced bread, so get with it! If you are going the software route, then consider finding your own content creator packs to implement into your editor of choice. Otherwise, some interesting “all-in-one” tools are available.

content distribution strategies in 2018

If you’re looking for a way to create short video previews of your blogs for social media, consider using:

Lumen5

Content Samurai

Animoto

Shakr

And there are many others out there for whatever you need to accomplish! Essentially, you’re teasing out all the juicy bits of your blogs, putting them in a fancy moving picture, and throwing it out to your audience. It’s like Canva’s approach to graphics but for video SO DO IT.

3. Create Some  A  n  a  l  o  g  Content

That’s right I said it — de-digitize some of your content and bring it to life in the physical dimension! Maybe that means literally printing an infographic, creating some sort of fold out, or just a nice laminated appreciation card for clients. Whatever you decide, pulling yourself from the matrix of digital marketing to create real-world content snail-mailed to some influencers is just the ticket!

content-distribution-strategies-in-2018

Computers are amazing, but sometimes you have to focus on the human stuff or whatever!

Again this can take many forms but consider ways to funnel those interactions and outreach efforts back to your content, and right on through to a conversion. Everybody likes some free (branded) stuff, and if you do this right, you could have the chance to build relationships with key brands and people in your industry. Sometimes the magic ingredient to the savviest of content distribution strategies in 2018 is simply doing the opposite of what’s expected — unless that’s deleting your blog entirely and setting fire to your computer… don’t do that.

What are your picks for the top content distribution strategies in 2018? Let us know in the comments below or scream it from your car window during rush hour!

Mobile Video Ads on Facebook | New Report

As we run headfirst into 2018, there’s one aspect of marketing sure to keep everyone interested — mobile video marketing! In a recent company blog post published on Facebook’s business website, the social media giant discusses some findings that have gained lots of attention. Seeing how the introduction of mobile video changed the way people interact with social sites and ads, these new insights come as no surprise. Still, for marketers looking to make the most of their mobile video ads on Facebook and other sites, the info is invaluable. Let’s take a look!

mobile video ads on Facebook

As Facebook’s head of ads and business platform, Mark Rabkin writes, “there is no singular video ad experience on mobile. Instead, there is a variety of unique experiences, each requiring a different approach.”

Although marketers are painfully aware of this fact, the more granularly we can learn about ad consumption, the better! Luckily, Facebook’s report provides charts and an analysis detailing how much time people typically spend watching ads, in addition to how these watch times fluctuate with an environment. Ultimately some pretty useful stuff, if you know how to make sense of it…

A Broad Analysis

To start, these charts make suggestions rather than reaching conclusions. Although there are no actual numbers involved, we’ll just have to interpret the generality of these behaviors. Also, these charts are primarily based on unaudited internal data from Facebook in August 2017. Other data was pulled from YouTube during that same month, in addition to a commissioned TV viewer report from March 2017. Just note that while these charts include logos from Snap and Hulu, one can’t regard these representations as evidence of their video ads’ performance one way or the other.

So, what do these charts tell us then? Unlike usual reports showing the percentage a video was viewed, we’re getting the actual number of seconds that each viewing session lasted. For anyone tracking session data whether, for video, audio, or general platform interactions, you’ll know that it’s sometimes very difficult data to get. That’s particularly true for Facebook!

Essentially, what we see here is the length of time people watched mobile video ads on Facebook before losing attention. That could mean either skipping or scrolling ahead, closing the app, or putting their phone down altogether. The x-axis represents watch time, while the y-axis shows video sessions:

mobile video ads on facebook

Mobile Video Ads on Facebook | A Breakdown

Feeds

mobile video ads on Facebook

As one of the primary ways users interact with video on Facebook or Twitter, feeds have an unprecedented scale and reach. Even though the majority of users consume this content quickly, there is the potential to direct them to longer videos. Of course, this particular chart is showing the need for quick, attention-grabbing content that communicates very directly!

Non-skippable Mid-roll or Pre-roll

mobile video ads on Facebook

These ads most closely resemble the TV ad experience and exist before or in the middle of a piece of content. Understandably, people already in the mood to watch a video with the sound on continue watching these ads. It’s somewhat obvious that annoyance grows strongly with ad length, however, this format is slowly dying out. The rise of ad-blockers can now make quick work of these types of adverts despite their effectiveness.

Skippable Mid-Roll or Pre-Roll

mobile video ads on Facebook

As a striking combo of the first two graphs, these ads behave almost like two ads in one. Essentially what we see here is a 5-second ad that most viewers encounter, followed by a 15-30 second ad that reaches 10% of viewers. Consider the interesting creative opportunities of linking these ads to the same company or type of product!

Stories

mobile video ads on Facebook

With lots of social platforms now offering this type of format, stories are one of the fastest growing mobile video ads on Facebook. Although they are similar to feeds, stories feature full-screen, often sound-on snippets. Here all of the content is sequential, so the opportunity for narrative is much greater. Considering that these videos don’t require high production techniques, the potential for flashier adds is much higher. That said, the ability to skip ahead is almost inevitable as the graph shows…

Live TV

mobile video ads on Facebook

The immediate impression of this graph is that it resembles the non-skippable ads pretty closely. What we see here is that people actually have the tendency to “scroll away” in a sense when confronted with TV ads. Think about your own habits — when the commercials come, how great of an opportunity to check your phone is that? Apparently, most consumers agree! The takeaway may actually amount to retargeting smartphone users based on the television channels they watch for similar mobile video ads on Facebook…

 

Employee Personality Traits at Track5Media

Have you always wanted to work at Track5Media? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, you might be one of the many potential employees that we interact with on a monthly basis. It’s no surprise that in 2017 we were named one of 5,000 fastest growing companies in the nation. This is exactly why we’re constantly looking to add new members to our awesome team. However, that doesn’t mean we add just anyone to our team. During our interview process, we look for specific employee personality traits that will mesh well with our team. If you were lucky enough to be researching our company and stumbled across this blog, I’m going to tell you exactly what we look for!

Employee Personality Traits We Look For

Punctuality and Time Management

This goes far beyond showing up to work on time, although that should always be an important aspect when working anywhere. The reason that our company has been able to grow so quickly is because our staff is able to manage time properly and meet our goals. Most of what we do relies on hitting certain deadlines, so it’s important that you’re able to manage time properly. While it rarely happens, this means that you might be working outside of the traditional 9 to 5. When it comes to employee personality traits, it’s important that you can manage time and show up when required.

Passionate

One of the biggest selling points, when I came to Track5Media, was their willingness to do everything possible to create a great work environment. Our company president Oliver Feakins realized that cultivating the passion of employees would create a better product. If employees are excited to come into work, they’ll be more willing to go that extra mile when it comes to completing the next task or project. While it sounds cliché, we truly are a family here at Track5Media, and it’s our passion for what we do that makes us one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.

Positive

This goes hand in hand when it comes to employee personality traits that we look for. Nobody wants to work with a Debbie Downer, so it’s important that we’re hiring positive people. Like any business, we’ve had our fair share of setbacks and obstacles to overcome. However, we were able to brush past these hang-ups because we have a staff of positive people. In addition, problems call for solutions and employers desire workers who can recognize problems and assist in suggesting, devising, and executing solutions. The more problems they help solve, the more precious they become to our company. The ideal employee is willing to accept responsibility for all that he does.

Team-Oriented

We also look for employees that are willing to work together with other team members or even other departments. Our company is successful because we are all able to communicate with each other. According to CareerBuilder, 60% of hiring managers look for team-oriented candidates during the application process. This is why we look for candidates with a history of collaboration, as well as giving and receiving constructive group feedback. The ability to fit in with our company culture is another one of our employee personality traits that we look for. We know that company culture starts on our end, which is why we offer various in-office benefits like a snack bar, company outings, and office massages! Company culture is important to us, which is why we’re constantly showing off on social media what it’s like working here.employee personality traits

Flexibility

This goes hand in with teamwork when it comes to employee personality traits. Flexibility within our company means that you’re willing to pick up the slack from another team member if they need help. It means that if it snows, you might be working from home instead of in the office.

If you’re looking to join our awesome team, check out our “work for us” page today!

Track5Media 2017 Resolutions and Recap

With Track5Media 2017 officially in our rearview mirror, we here at Track5Media took some time to reflect on all that this past year has given us. While there were certainly some bumps along the way, we also managed to accomplish some amazing things as a team. This year we grew as a team both literally and figuratively. With our fearless leader, Oliver Feakins, leading the way we finished 2017 learning a lot about ourselves individually and about our company as a whole. However, it’s important that we start looking towards the future, and all the things we want to accomplish this year. That’s why below we’ve provided a recap of all the awesome things we did this past year, and some Track5Media resolutions as well for this upcoming year.

Track5Media Recap

Awards and Accomplishments

Track5Media 2017 awards and accomplishments were highlighted by the announcement that we were named to the Inc. 5000 list of “fastest growing companies.” This accomplishment honored the 5,000 fastest growing privately owned companies in the nation. Not only was this a great piece of recognition, but it put into perspective just how far we’ve come in the last few years.

Another big accomplishment we’ve had was the debut and growth of Big Rig Banter. What is Big Rig Banter you ask? Well, for starters, it’s a podcast. This podcast presented by our AllTruckJobs.com site is a monthly piece of audio hosted by two members of our marketing team. In each episode, Troy Diffenderfer and Connor Smith take a look at the latest news and trends in the industry while speaking to actual truckers. They’ve quickly amassed a solid following and are hoping to increase the number of listeners in 2018.

New Faces

As one of the fastest growing companies in the nation, it’s no surprise that we’ve added a few new faces this year. Essentially, we’ve added at least one new member to each team this year as well as heavily grown our development team. As always, we had a stellar group of interns as well this year that will hopefully use the skills they’ve gained here at Track5Media at their next place of employment. We’ve also added a brand new group of interns that will join our ever-growing team! Not only did we grow internally, but we also welcomed 2 Track5Media babies as well!

Giving Back

As always, we try to give back every year as much as we can. For the third year in a row, we participated in our own day of giving by handing out toys to various local charities. Dressed as Santa and his gang of elves, we spent an entire day spreading holiday joy to children all throughout Lancaster County. This past year we made it a point that Track5Media 2017 included helping those who need it the most.

track5media 2017

2017 also saw the debut of our “Future U.S. Nurse Scholarship” which was a $2,000 scholarship that was awarded to a special nurse. We felt it was important to help this new generation of nurses so we decided that the best way to do that would be to help fund their education process.

Track5Media 2017 Resolutions

Now that we’ve detailed all the awesome things that happened in 2017, it’s time to look towards the future. We asked some of our staff what they’re looking forward to in 2018 and any resolutions they have.

Lenay Ruhl, Digital Marketing Specialist

Last year was a year of transition for me, both personally and professionally. I made a lot of changes to better my life, including starting a new job at Track5Media. My goal this year is to be surer of myself and to build on the foundation I spent 2017 creating.

Kelsey Herbst, Account Manager

I love painting and sketching but haven’t been dedicating enough time to keep my creative juices flowing. In 2018 I’m planning to dedicate more time to my art!

Elissa Dommel, Marketing Intern

I think one of my biggest ones is to eat healthier and cleaner, not so many processed foods.

Troy Diffenderfer, Marketing Associate

My resolution is to finish writing my collection of short stories and my novel! I don’t write nearly as frequently as I would like, so my goal is to be more disciplined and finish writing.

Brett Koch, Digital Sales Rep

Look forward to seeing my son walk, say his first word, celebrate his first birthday. Also looking forward to my daughter turning 5 and completing her first full year of school!

Connor Smith, Digital Marketing Specialist

I’m more about New Year Revolutions than anything. As far as goals are concerned, I’ll be working to produce some great video marketing content, keep on with podcasting, and soon release some personal music I’ve been working on for several years.

Today we look towards 2018 and we hope you will too! Cheers to having a successful year!