Office Playground Blog

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Welcome New Employees with Office Toys!

clock March 1, 2012 14:18 by author Office Toy Guy

You placed the ad for a new employee, interviewed several candidates, made your choice and hired the next new shining star for your company. They arrive for their first day of work. Now what? You put forth great effort to find the right person for the job. Do you follow that up by properly welcoming them to the company?

The first thing you should do to welcome a new employee is to...well...welcome them! Greet them when they arrive and introduce them to their co-workers. Don't just leave them lingering in the lobby twiddling their thumbs.

Here are a few steps you can do to welcome a new employee:

  • Be prepared for the new employee's arrival by assigning them a desk and making sure their computer is ready and the phone system is updated with their information.
  • Have a training plan in place and assign a mentor to guide them.
  • Let the personality of your employees and work culture come out by giving the new employee a welcome sign, flowers, snacks or some tchotchkes. Welcoming a new employee with fun stuff will quickly make them feel at home.

Here at, we think a great way to welcome a new employee is by giving them a variety of fun office toys and stress relievers to help make their workspace a more enjoyable place. makes it easy to build your own new employee welcome kit. Choose from a wide range of desktop toys, stress relievers, office supplies and more.

We recommend the following categories to get started:

Stress Balls
Novelty Pens
Memo Holders
Liquid Motion Toys

Whatever your budget, you will find the right office toys at to welcome your new employee and help make them feel like they are part of your company.

For more HR tips on welcoming new employees, check out the following sources:
10 Ways to Welcome New Employees - HR World
How to Welcome a New Employee -
Top 10 Ways to Turn Off a New Employee -


Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Working with Aliens

clock September 22, 2011 08:17 by author Office Toy Guy

Do you work with aliens? How would you know if you did? Finally there's help, here's a simple guide to discovering who among your colleagues are from another planet:

Working with Aliens

Food – Aliens don't eat normal human food. Look for colleagues who you've never seen eating. Offer them a slice of pizza because nobody from this planet would refuse free pizza.

Performance – Aliens are way smarter than humans and so they are typically successful. Look for those in your company who are high up in the organizational chart. Aliens are looking to run things, not be bossed around. For example, Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) are aliens.

Social Skills – Aliens are not very good networkers and never play the role of office clown. Look for the ones who don't talk much and have a very difficult time conducting a conversation. Aliens don't have hobbies, they don’t have "good weekends" and they don't say "TGIF".

Office Romance – Aliens don't mate with humans and thus the aliens in your office won't ever get caught up in office romance. That should eliminate many of your colleagues as potential aliens.

Limited Time – Aliens don't just grind away at the corporate rat race. They are at your business for a specific reason, maybe to run a few experiments you would rather not know the details about. If one of your co-workers just vanishes one day, instead of a new job, they may have just returned to their home planet.

Now that you know who the aliens are at your company, you can begin the process of uncovering the robots. Stay tuned...

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson.

Best Practices in Using Stress Balls for Meetings

clock September 6, 2011 08:21 by author Office Toy Guy

Toys, such as stress balls, can make your meeting or training event more successful. There are certain variables to consider when you shop for your next batch of meeting stress balls. (See all of our Stress Balls here.)

Distribution – We recommend laying out a variety of stress balls together, maybe in a large bowl, and let the attendees take their pick. The folks who show up early get the best pick and the ones who are late get whatever is left (they won’t be late again).

Top Picks – Here are some of our best Meeting Stress Balls:

Koosh Ball
Koosh Ball
Mood Dude Happy
Mood Dude Happy
Cyber Gel Ball
Cyber Gel Ball
Happy Face Stress Ball
Happy Face Ball
Gripp Stress Ball
Gripp Stress Ball

Make the best choice for your meeting:
Noise – Some stress balls make noise and that is too distracting for a business meeting or training event. Avoid balls with water or any liquid inside since they’ll make a squishing sound when squeezed. Also, some stress balls actually talk back when squeezed. While that is funny the first couple of times, it doesn’t work when the meeting really gets underway.

Filling – Any stress ball with liquid or gel inside has the potential to break. Our stress balls are strong, we don’t sell weak ones, but sometimes they do fail. You don’t want the contents of a liquid-filled ball or Gel Stress Ball all over the table during a meeting.

During these stressful business times, giving out the right stress balls at your next business meeting, training session or event will yield huge returns.

Bill Ross
Founder & CEO
Office Playground, Inc.

Business Decisions

clock August 24, 2011 13:29 by author Office Toy Guy

Magic 8 Ball Bad business decisions are something every company tries to avoid, but they happen. Some legendary ones include the makers of M & M's decision to not allow their candy to appear in the movie ET. Reese's Pieces were used instead and the sales exploded. Jerry Yang decided to walk away from Microsoft and missed out on receiving $44.6 billion of Bill Gates' money. Many book editors rejected the Harry Potter book series and Decca Records had the opportunity to sign the Beatles and didn't.


An example of important decision making can be shown through choosing stock investments. The Chicago Sun-Times wanted to illustrate the often chance nature of picking stocks, so they had a monkey sit on newspaper stock pages and make marks on five stocks. As of January 2007, the stock-picking monkey had beaten the market four years running.

If you don't have the resources to hire a monkey, perhaps a fortune-telling item such as the Wall Street Guru Ball, the Mystical Orb, or the time honored Magic 8 Ball may help. The Dartboard Decision Maker is a fun and active alternative.

Dartboard Decision Maker Affirmation Ball Next time you're faced with a landmark decision, give the Affirmation Ball a shake; its response might be "Brilliant Idea!" However, the Sarcastic Ball might warn "Not a Chance!" and the Wall Street Guru might suggest "Ride it Out". The Dartboard Decision Maker offers many options. Give it a spin and toss the dart, which might land on "Take a Vacation," "Stay Late," "Call a Meeting," "Hire" or "Retire". A fortune telling ball or decision maker may not offer the appropriate advice, but it's sure to generate some lighthearted stress relief.

About Office Playground

phone: 800-458-1948

The Office Toy Guy is passionate about office toys and spending a little time playing at work. He also enjoys imaginary pinky wrestling (it’s similar to thumb wrestling but you use your pinky and you conduct matches in your mind against imaginary opponents), cooking, underwater speed-reading, massages, and an occasional lighthearted office prank. (He’s really the CEO of Office Playground!)

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