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5 Healthy Alternatives To Morning Coffee

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Oh the morning coffee! It sounds so good until… you start feeling uneasy and crash. The Mayo Clinic revealed that consuming even moderate amounts of caffeine can lead to negative side effects. So, if you want to prevent the insomnia, heartburns and mood swings, we recommend you trade morning caffeine for one of these healthier options.


Originated in the Peruvian mountains, Maca has become very popular for it’s many nutritional benefits. VegKitchen recommends taking ½ tsp. every other day to decrease fatigue, build up muscle and increase both stamina and endurance. Definitely a healthier and more effective option to give you an energy boost in the morning!

Source: draxe.com


Although it contains some caffeine, experts from Livestrong.com state that consuming yerba mate doesn’t cause the crash. Being a mixture of stems and leaves (also from South America), yerba mate has been used as an energizing drink for generations. True it doesn’t have the best taste but the benefits pay up for it!

Source: eatthis.com


Fruits are low in fat, rich in vitamins and have no caffeine, cholesterol or refined sugars. Plus, they have the best taste. If you’re looking to boost your energy levels in the morning try consuming citric blends, add a lot of greens and combine with vegetables and healthy oils. Sure it takes some time to prepare a smoothie, but it can get easier if you have a great recipe in hand.

Source: lvac.com


So, if you must have that caffeine kick, then I recommend you choose matcha green tea over coffee. Why? Well, Epicmatcha.com summarized in two major points. First, matcha contains amino acids that break caffeine more slowly preventing the crash and creating a calming effect instead. And second, matcha provides many more health benefits than coffee. Matcha is one of the best sources of antioxidants out there, it contains many vitamins and it helps with weight loss and anxiety.

Source: wingd.com

  1. WATER

This is a no brainer. Clean water is the most natural and accessible source of energy you’ll find. Drinking water in the morning not only hydrates you but also boosts your metabolism and wakes up your brain. And, if you boost it by adding ginger, citric fruits or honey…the energizing effects will be even higher!


If you enjoyed this post, please let us know in the comments!








Feng Shui: Transform Your Office In 5 Steps!

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Although I’m no “Feng Shui” expert, I’ve managed to discover it’s great power!

To lead a more positive and successful life experts suggest that you transform your environments into places were you feel safe, happy and at peace. And, since you probably spend most of your day at the office, why not start there?

Here are 5 easy-to-accomplish tasks that will have a great impact and will require little effort!

  1. Keep the air flowing and clean

Feng Shui practitioners insist that the first step into a better environment is a “clear air”. And yes…plants are the best element to accomplish this!

According to Smallbiztrends and Greatist.com, there are many plants that could make your office look great but they recommend these for better results  (regarding health benefits, maintenance and air purification): Peace Lily, English Ivy, Aloe, Garden Mum, Spider Plant and Weeping Fig. Small, effective and….cheap!

Source: www.pinterest.com

  1. Choose the right lighting for your eyes

Experts agree that having optimal lighting is very important for productivity. If you want to improve your results you must improve your “visual performance” and adjusting the color, direction and level of light to your eyes’ needs.

Lighting Deluxe suggests you create a balance between daylight and artificial light and avoid glare or shadiness at all costs. Try not to have light hitting windows or computer screens directly and place all artificial light somewhere it doesn’t hit your eyes directly.

Choose the illumination intensity that makes your eyes feel “at ease”, using light tones that inspire you to stay awake but at peace. And…as an extra tip, try to use energy-saving products to cut costs and reduce carbon footprint.

Source: www.relumination.com

  1. Place the right pictures in the right place

Putting pictures of your partner and/or family on your desk is a great way to enhance the “good vibes”. It brings positive thoughts and in turn it stimulates you to do better.

To take full advantage of these pictures, “Feng Shuists” recommends putting the picture of a partner on the “right back corner” of the desk and that of family on the left center corner, in front of the computer screen. Also, it is advised to keep at least half of your desk free of things to let the air flow more easily and reduce any chances of stress and overwhelm.

Source: www.pinteres.com 

  1. Use the right colors

The bottom line here is that color matters….a LOT! When if comes to color experts suggest you never stick only to one, since different colors stimulate different parts of yourself. Experts recommend blue to inspire productivity and loyalty, green to create balance, yellow to spur creativity and orange to create a sense of emotion.

Source: www.pinterest.com

  1. Bring in positive energy by being and thinking positively

 As I mentioned in a previous post, nothing will change if your inner self is not ok. So even if you re-arrange your office space, if you’re not happy with yourself the new look will get old pretty quickly. If you want to learn more techniques to be and stay “mindful” keep reading here.

I hope you enjoyed this short post and that you let us know in the comments!








how to get a sicknote via skype International Business Academy trends Business English

Get a Sick Note via Skype

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There are now 2 websites in Australia that offer sick notes through Skype. Instead of having to go to the doctor’s office to get an assessment and get a legitimate sick leave, you can now easily do it through a Skype call and avoid the commute and waiting.

From the employee side this is great news because the waiting factor is eliminated; particularly if you have to wait more than half a day at the doctors office just to get excused for the day. When this happens, by the time you get back home you are exhausted and reevaluated the value of having waited for 6 hours just to get 2 hours of rest versus just going to work.

From the employer side, the fraud factor is a legitimate concern as well as the ease of obtaining a sick note. Although receiving an accredited medical certificate first thing in the morning, as opposed to the next day, does have it’s merits since you will be able to shift resources quickly without having to doubt the absent employee. Furthermore, if the worker is legitimately sick, it is best to keep him away from your otherwise healthy workers; the last thing you need is a flu outbreak throughout the office.

The two websites that have launched in Australia are Dr. Sicknote and The Medic. These two practices are embracing the use of technology into their customer satisfaction and turnaround time.

how it works, the medic. International Business Academy tech trends

image: themedic

It will be interesting to see how soon this will be replicated in other countries, and what measures the healthcare industry and companies will have in place to reduce fraud.


Source: Mashable

man checking phone

How after work emails are ruining your health

Trevor 3 comments

Although emails have facilitated communications by not requiring all parties to be present in the same office or time zone, they do have a flip side: you are always reachable whether or not you’re at work.

52% of Americans check their email before and after work, even when they take a sick day.

Nearly 50% of Australians check their email when not at work, and for those that turn on their phone in the morning, 70% of them check their emails first.

Northern Illinois University (NIU) school of psychology study coined this concept as ‘telepressure’ and the research explores the results of ‘never switching off’. What they found was that people who engaged in telepressure were at greater risk of burnout, absenteeism and poor sleep quality.

“It’s like your to-do list is piling up, so you’re cognitively ruminating over these things in the evening and re-exposing yourself to workplace stressors,” lead author Larissa Barber explained. “When people don’t have this recovery time, it switches them into an exhaustion state, so they go to work the next day not being engaged,”

What’s interesting about Barber’s results is that telepressure is a workplace problem, not a worker problem. There seems to be weak correlations between the type of worker and the effects of telepressure. It doesn’t matter if you’re a type-A overachievers or a laid back type, telepressure still affects them.

Do you telepressure?

“We all get kind of used to that immediate gratification of getting fast responses and having those communications that are complete,” Barber says. “We all like it when other people are telepressured, because it helps us complete our tasks faster.”

person writing emails

Managing telepressure

Barber suggests thinking about where the telepressure is coming from and strongly considering having a conversation with your supervisor about email expectations; and if you’re the boss, be a good role model.

Another suggestion is laying out clear messages and expectations in your emails. If you are emailing back and forth about a casual get together, the pressure to quickly answer is present because it would be rude, not to. But, if you are explicit in your email by including things like “No need to respond to this message” or “I look forward to hearing from you between 8:30-11:30am tomorrow” you take the pressure off email.

An earlier version of this article credited the research to the University of Illinois instead of Northern Illinois University. 

Sources: Time, The Sydney Morning Herald, APA Center for Organizational Excellence,


Chronic stress can cause brain damage

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has long been recognized as a stress related illness that is usually associated with soldiers in warfare; however, new studies suggests that long-term work related stress can also have a similar impact on our brain structure, similar to PTSD. Structural changes include a difference in volume of gray matter versus white matter, and a change in size and connectivity of the amygdala.

Effects on Uncontrolled Stress

“In the short term, a stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes or abusing drugs and alcohol.” –American Psychological Association

person losing idea

Types of Work Related Stress

These are only some examples of stressors, and they will be different for each person. Do you recognize any of the following as a work –related stress for yourself?

1. Low salaries

2. Excessive workloads

3. Few opportunities for growth or advancement

4. Work that isn’t engaging or challenging

5. Lack of social support

6. Not having enough control over job-related decisions

7. Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations

person with wires coming out of head


Managing Stress

Track your stressors: keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings, and your surroundings. How did you react: did you raise your voice, go for a walk, or go for the vending machine?

Develop healthy responses: Instead of engaging in unhealthy reactions such as overeating or drug abuse, you should seriously consider ‘exercise’ as a healthy alternative. Doing things we enjoy also reduces stress levels, so make time for hobbies and favorite activities.

Establish boundaries: With the pressures of staying connected at all times of the day through emails and social media, make sure you draw some lines separating your personal life and work life. Choose something that you’re comfortable with, such as not checking your email after a certain hour.

Take time to recharge: Vacation time exists for a reason; it is designed to allow you to unwind and recover. So don’t overlook your vacation time because you think that you need to keep working, this down-time will allow you to recover and come back as a productive member of the team. The more stress you have, the more mistakes you’ll make and the less productive you’ll be at work.

Learn how to relax: If you’re taking time off work but still thinking about work, you’re not really taking time to relax and recharge. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experience and thoughts without judging them) are all good options that you could start doing today.

Talk to your supervisor: A healthy team member is a productive team member. Have a conversation with your supervisor on how you can improve your time management skills and also, create a plan to address your stressors. This is not about complaining, but rather, working together and developing a plan to reduce your stress. This might be a good opportunity to clarify work expectations, getting necessary resources or support from colleagues, enriching your job to include more challenging or meaningful tasks, or making changes to your physical workspace.

Get some support: Accepting help from friends and family can also improve your ability to manage stress. If your stress levels do not improve over time, consider talking to a professional psychologists who can help manage your stress.

brain made up of clogs

Sources: Psychology Today, APA