Author Archive: October 15th, 2013

15 Oct

Exercise Your Way to a Happier Workday

Blog No Comments by Mareisha Winters

Exercise Your Way to a Happier WorkdayAre you happy at work? Or does work make you miserable? Given the amount of time we spend working (especially in the US) it’s worth doing whatever possible to make sure that the time spent there is happy.  Many people cite work-life balance, great co-workers and bosses, and working their passion as reasons why they love their job and are happy at work. So what about your job brings you joy? This month at LTAW we are giving tips and advice on how to “work happy”.

Not happy on the job? It may not be the work, it may just be that your body needs your attention. Lack of exercise could be one cause to your feeling of unhappiness. Exercise produces chemicals known as endorphins in your body. Endorphins are known to enhance your mood, they make you feel happier and reduce your level of stress. So, maybe the work is fulfilling, but your body is in need of endorphins.

Have you ever found yourself looking at the clock at lunchtime (or later) realizing you hadn’t gotten up from your desk since you arrived to work in the morning? While you may think that’s a good thing—it shows your boss you’re working hard—in reality you can be doing yourself more harm than good. Your job performance may actually be suffering because of the simple fact that you are not moving around or exercising regularly. Also, you may not even notice it, but you could be giving off bad mood vibes to your co-workers which can cause problems. Your health and happiness is an area that suffers greatly when you’re working yourself beyond the limit!

One way to fix this is to exercise. I know what you’re about to say— “I’m too busy to work out!”  Well, you’re in luck, you can do your workout right at work—even while at your desk! Below is a nifty infographic by KT Tape that shows how you can still fit in exercise even when you’re stuck in your cubicle/office.

Click the image for a full size version.

Exercise Your Way to a Happier Workday

Work Happy!

 

27 Sep

Who Let The Dogs Out?: The Benefits of Dogs at Work

Blog 3 Comments by Mareisha Winters

Who Let The Dogs Out?: The Benefits of Dogs at WorkWork is not the same as it was 50 years ago, or even 15 years ago! Flexible work arrangements have thrown the traditional 9 to 5 out the window.  In an effort to boost employee morale, productivity and engagement organizations are offering perks from bringing your dog to work to providing places to “play” during the workday.  This month at LTAW we are talking about the unconventional in the workplace…which we are sure will someday become the new normal.

Work has gone to the dogs.  Okay, not completely, but more and more companies are allowing the little furry companions into the workplace. There is  a national Take Your Dog to Work Day that some companies choose to participate in yearly. But some companies have adopted a dog-friendly policy year round. In a 2008 poll conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association of working Americans 18 and older, 17% responded that their company allows pets at work. In a different survey conducted by the same group in 2012, workers surveyed reported they brought their dogs to work 22 times, compared to 17 times in 2008.

So does bringing your dog to work really make good business sense? Employers who have embraced this policy– including Amazon, Google and even Congress – would most likely argue yes. Some of the benefits of dogs in the workplace include increased morale and productivity, happier employees, lower absenteeism rates and even improved relationships among co-workers. One survey found that employees would work longer hours if they could bring their dog to work. Having your pup in the office also forces you to take breaks; research has shown that when you take frequent, short breaks you boost productivity. Another study conducted by Central Michigan University revealed that dogs in the workplace can lead to more trust between co-workers and that leads to more collaboration among team members.  Having your dog around has its health benefits too. A recent study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that having your dog in the office could reduce stress and boost employee satisfaction.

While there are obviously benefits of having man’s best friend in the office, employers considering joining this trend should take the time to determine if it’s the right move for their organization. Keep in mind that not everyone is a dog lover (I know hard to believe! 🙂 ) and some people may have allergies. Also, not all dogs are well behaved and some may not warm up quickly to new people. Some companies have dog-friendly buildings or departments to accommodate those that may not be too keen on the idea of having dogs around. The Humane Society has published a guide to assist companies with creating a business environment where employees’ dogs are welcome.

Are you looking for a dog-friendly place to work? Check out this list of companies that allow dogs at work:

  1. Google: It’s not surprising that Google, probably known as the #1 fun place to work, is also dog-friendly. Google’s dog policy outlines a basic set of guidelines including cleaning up after the dog makes and being mindful of allergic co-workers.
  2. P&G Pet Care: P&G Pet Care not only allows employees to bring their dogs to work, the company has its very own V.P. of Canine Communications, a dog named Pawl Griffin (he even has his own twitter account!).
  3. Ben & Jerry’s: An ice cream and dog lovers dream! As if getting free ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet every day wasn’t enough, you can also bring your four-legged pal to the office…hmmm, I wonder if they have dog-friendly ice cream too.
  4. Build A Bear Workshop:  According to their blog, on any given day there could be 10-20 dogs at the World Bearquarters. Similar to P&G Pet Care, the company also has a dog on the executive team, Milford.
  5. Humane Society: We know the Humane Society knows dogs! Employees at this company have to submit an application to bring their pooch to work. If everything checks out, the dog can become a permanent member of the workplace.
  6. Amazon: Amazon has long had a pet friendly policy. A normal day at Seattle HQ will have anywhere from two to three dozen dogs on the premises. At Amazon the dog must remain on a leash unless it is behind a baby gate or in an office with a closed door.
  7. Clif Bar & Company: Allowing employees to bring their dogs to work fits into the company’s “sustaining our people” aspiration. Clif Bar was named one of Outside magazine’s Best Places to Work of 2010 in part due to their pooch-friendly workplace policy.
  8. Replacements, Ltd.:  “It’s part of our culture here to have pets,” said one employee, adding that most days there are 20 to 30 leashed or crated or behind-baby-gates dogs in the building, and even the occasional cat or rabbit.

What do you think about dogs in the workplace? Does your company allow dogs (or other pets)? Tell us in the comments below.

Be Unconventional!

 

13 Aug

Getting It All Done: 7 Apps to Improve Your Productivity

Blog 4 Comments by Mareisha Winters

Getting It All Done: 7 Apps to Improve Your Productivity Does it feel like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done? Do you sometimes wish you could clone yourself or hire a personal assistant in order to complete everything on your to do list? If you answered yes, keep reading.

We often talk about unplugging as a way to get ourselves back on track and get things done. The increase in technology and our constant need to be connected sometimes hinders our ability to accomplish tasks. One survey estimated that we spend approximately 23 days a year looking at our phones—and let’s be honest, during those times we are not being very productive. But, this constant connection to our smartphones and other devices is not all bad and can actually be helpful.

Loaded with the proper apps, your smartphone can be an unbelievably helpful tool for simplifying tasks and organizing your work and personal life. There are a number of productivity apps on the market for all of the major smartphone platforms, you have to find out which ones work best for you. We have compiled a short list of some of the top apps on the market for managing your time and boosting your productivity to help you get started on the road to a more organized life.

clear-app

Clear

If you are like me and work better when you create yourself a daily “things to do list”, then this app is for you. Dubbed “iPhone’s most beautiful to-do list app” by The Verge and “perfect for busy people” by Gizmodo, Clear is an incredibly user-friendly list-keeping app for those who care just as much about aesthetics as they do functionality. Clear is designed with simplicity and flexibility in mind and works great with any list—work tasks, shopping list, personal goals, etc.

yast appYast

Do you know how much time you waste in a day by getting sidetracked? Not managing your time can kill your productivity. Yast is a time tracker app that can help add some much needed discipline into your daily routine. Yast keeps track of the time spent on projects and tasks. Do you work on projects where you have to bill your client for time spent? Yast can help you keep track of the amount of time individuals and entire teams spend.

evernote_appEvernote

Evernote is one of the more popular productivity apps out there.  Evernote helps you “remember everything”. Listed by New York Times as ‘Top 10 Must-Have App’, Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.  If you see something you like online or in the real world, Evernote lets you use your smartphone to take a picture of it, record audio, and any other notes and save them. And if you want to share the information with colleagues, you can do so with ease thanks to Evernote.

cloudonCloudOn

Have you ever been in a pinch and needed to access a Microsoft Office® file, but were nowhere near your computer? Fear no more!  Recommended by Mashable for boosting work productivity, CloudOn puts Microsoft Office® on your favorite devices to create documents on the go. Users can sync with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive accounts, and also email files to contacts directly from mobile devices.  And if that wasn’t enough, the built-in Adobe Reader and File Viewer lets you open and view virtually any file type, including PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.

checkmark_appCheckmark

This app allows you to create reminders based on time and location. Dubbed by LifeHacker as the best location-based app around, Checkmark is the fastest way to remind yourself of all the things you have to do in your busy life. So how does it work? Just add your favorite locations to the app (like your house, the bank, the grocery store, and work), and create tasks for any of those locations when you think of them. When you pass by or enter one of those locations, Checkmark will remind you of what you have to do. How cool is that?

dropbox_appDropbox

Have you ever saved important data to your computer at work or home, only to find out that you need it once you’re out on the road?  That’s where the Dropbox app comes in to save the day.  Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you save to your Dropbox from all your computers, smartphone devices, tablets and even the Dropbox website. This is a lifesaver for busy people who are constantly on the go. Concerned about security? All of your Dropbox files are secured with advanced encryption as well as two-step verification.

skitch_appSkitch

The Skitch smartphone app is all about collaboration.  In short, if you need to share feedback or important ideas, Skitch allows you to do just that.  You can communicate visually with your co-workers in an instant with this app. Annotate images and documents with arrows, shapes, text, and more. Use Skitch to sketch something new, mark up maps, screen captures, or even a photo. Then save or share your Skitch annotation to help others see and understand your ideas. Getting everyone on the same page has never been easier.

Have you used any of the apps listed above, what do you like or dislike? What other apps do you use to help you be more productive? Share your favorites in the comments.

Manage Your Time & Get Organized!

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