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Category: Work-Life Balance

How to Make the Most of a Long Weekend

Filed under: Good Habits, Productivity, Time Management, Vacation, Work-Life Balance

Long weekends are the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. So, to spend them in front of the television would be almost criminal.

“If we don’t plan our weekends, they just kind of go by,” Phoenix-based productivity expert Nicole Bandes told HuffPost. “Be intentional with the time you’re going to have for the three days.”

The key here is balance. You certainly don’t have to plan each moment of the long weekend. But making time for a few activities can leave you recharged and happier once the holiday has passed.

Here are some expert and research-backed ideas on how to make the most of your long weekend while improving your wellbeing in the process:

1. Enjoy a staycation.

Sure, adventures like camping can be fun, but they also require a lot of work to plan. This may lead to feeling the opposite of relaxed, Bandes said. (Unless, of course, you are a hardcore camper and you wait all year to go. You do you!)

Instead of tackling a big trip, she recommends trying activities that are close to where you live. For example, visiting a local winery, going to the zoo or checking out a nearby waterfront are all low-effort ways to recharge your batteries.

2. Tackle a big project.

A three-day weekend is a great opportunity to tackle the “never-quite-get-to” projects, Bandes said. This could come in the form of painting a room, clearing out the garage, working on the car or finally getting around to organizing your closet using the Konmari method (which comes with its own added wellness perks).

3. Host a group gathering.

Invite family or friends over for a meal over the weekend. A meal-centric hangout with your crew can bring some perks: Not only are there psychological benefits to baking for other people, research shows that being around a best friend can help lower stress.

4. Take a digital detox.

Some research suggests that too much time on your devices is correlated with more negative thoughts, anxiety and depression.

Bandes recommends putting your phone away for a few hours or even half a day. It’ll pay off: unplugging every so often can increase focus, lower stress, increase sleep quality and help you think more creatively.

5. Volunteer for a worthy cause.

Carve out some time this weekend all in the name of generosity.

A 2013 study found that people who volunteer are more likely to improve their overall wellbeing and life satisfaction than people who aren’t altruistic. Giving and unselfishness is also associated with having a lower risk of early death, a stronger marriage and decreased depression.

6. Catch up on sleep.

Schedule in some rest. An estimated 1 in 3 American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a 2016 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Good sleep makes your memory sharper, improves mood and focus and literally clears your mind: Neurological science shows that proper sleep clears toxins which build up in the brain.

You can continue reading this article on Huffington Post.

5 Things You Deserve From Your Job (No Matter Where You Work)

Filed under: company culture, Professional Development, Respect, Success, Work-Life Balance, Your Career

I have news for you: There’s no such thing as a perfect job. Even the careers that seem like they jumped straight from your dreams and into reality have their downsides—that’s why there’s a paycheck involved.

But, while you might never love every aspect of your job, there are a few things that you absolutely deserve to get from your career—aside from enough money to cover your bills.

Believe me, I get it. It’s easy to think that wanting and needing these things makes you picky, entitled, or high-maintenance. You’re getting paid to be there, so how much else do you really need?

Well, think about it this way: You’re going to invest a large chunk of your time, energy, and attention into your job. That means that a work environment that checks the following boxes isn’t something that you should consider to be meant for just the lucky few—it’s something you deserve just as much.

1. A Safe and Supportive Environment

Let’s start with the basics. You’re more than worthy of feeling safe and supported in your office. You should be able to bring your authentic self (your authentic professional self, of course) into work and not feel worried or threatened when doing so.

Rest assured that your expectations in regards to feeling secure in your surroundings aren’t unreasonable or out of line.

Nobody should have to head into the office day in and day out wondering who’s going to throw them under the bus or stab them in the back. You’re entitled to a basic sense of respect and a company culture that isn’t overflowing with toxicity.

2. A Boss Who’s Invested in Your Growth

When it comes to your career, your manager should be your greatest ally. They should be in the loop on your desires and plans for professional development and provide necessary support and guidance whenever they can.

If you feel like your supervisor is always undermining your accomplishments, offering criticisms that are in no way constructive, and is completely disinterested in your growth and advancement, know that you’re justified in wanting more.

3. An Understanding of Your Life Outside of Work

Work is a big part of your life—but it’s still only a part. It’s not the entirety of your existence, and you’re entitled to an employer who understands that fact.

Endless pings and emails when your team knows you’re away and unplugged. Major hurdles and complaints when you have a family emergency to deal with. Relentless guilt trips when you finally take a well-deserved vacation.

Those are things you shouldn’t have to deal with on a regular basis. You deserve a life outside of your job—and an employer who encourages you to live one.

You can continue reading this article on The Muse.

15 Culture Perks to Boost Team Productivity During the Summer

Filed under: company culture, Productivity, Work-Life Balance

Summer is heating up, and so is the restlessness of your employees. You need to find a way to engage them and keep their head in the game. Giving your team top-level perks is one way to ensure they perform in the summer and keep the distractions at bay.

Summer hours, casual Fridays and outdoor activities can help your employees appreciate your company in the summer and help you retain them even if a better offer comes by. Using the summer to your advantage will allow you to provide your staff with all sorts of advantages they will enjoy, and will help increase the respect they have for you.

Below, 15 members of the Forbes Agency Council share some of the successful culture perks or bonding activities they typically implement in the summer to improve their teams’ creativity and productivity.

1. Summer Hours on Fridays

It’s not a radical idea in the agency world, but sometimes the best ideas are the tried-and-true ideas. We close our offices at 1 p.m. on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Sometimes it makes the work week a bit more stressful, but on balance, that simple half day off seems to punch above its weight. And the net effect makes weekends seem much longer and more renewing. – Justin DaabMagnani

2. Walking Meetings

Walking meetings are a great way to get out of the office and enjoy the nice weather while still being very productive. For your next meeting, consider taking it outside. It’s refreshing, helps inspire creativity and breaks up the day in a fun and healthy way. – Brad WilliamsWebDevStudios

3. The Picnic Table

It is so simple yet powerful. Breaking bread has been shown to strengthen relationships, as well as give a feeling of stability and connectedness. We plan monthly team meals where we fire up the grill and eat outside around picnic tables on the back patio. It’s not uncommon to see team meetings and group discussions moved to the patio when the weather is nice. – Korena KeysKeyMedia Solutions

4. Meditation, Retreats And Shutdown Days

Everyone knows we take meditations, retreat and shutdown days seriously — not just because of their positive benefit to society, but because they aid the process of flourishing for each team member. When each person on our team truly flourishes, it has a great impact on how we focus on our work of building happier flourishing Africans. And if you cannot meditate for one hour, meditate for two. – Chude JideonwoJoy, Inc.

5. Innovation Days

We try to dedicate one day a month in the summer to innovation and creative thinking — not work product. Usually, this leads us outdoors and into nature. We often hike, talk and take photos and generally enjoy the fresh air. It’s amazing how this changes our perspectives and keeps us fresh. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

6. Press Releases By The Pool

One of the things we do is soak up some Vitamin D by hosting a “press releases by the pool” day for our team. We’ll have refreshing beverages, Texas barbecue and pool activities all afternoon. Company culture should never take a break, and playing to your strengths is important. When it’s routinely 100-plus degrees outside in Austin, Texas, not only is this a nice culture perk, it’s practically a necessity. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications

7. Work-From-Home Days

We rolled out a work-from-home policy every other Friday two summers ago and it was an instant hit. Employees, especially millennials, love the freedom to work where and when they want. We also found our employees achieved a lot on these days since most days were free of meetings. This day became a great “knock it out” day while providing the ability to work from your local park or schedule a personal appointment with more flexibility. – Simms Jenkins, BrightWave – North America’s Leading Email Marketing Agency

8. Monday Walk

People tend to dread coming into the office on Mondays. I am attempting to change that with a Monday afternoon walk. It breaks up the day, gets us outside and allows the team to bond. It also gives everyone something to look forward to (myself included). Thus far, it’s been a big success. – Aidan Cole, nTuitive.social

9. Airbnb Experiences

To say that summer in San Francisco is a bit chilly may be the understatement of the year. One way we beat the fog is to book an Airbnb experience. These experiences get us out of the office, collaborating and, most importantly, laughing. – Michaela Dempsey, Scout RFP

10. Special Party For Team, Clients, Family

Every summer around the 21st of June, we throw a party for our team, clients, friends and family. We work together to plan a meal and cook tacos for our guests, and we spend the rest of the evening celebrating a successful first half of the year. Guests tell us that it is one of the most unique events they’ve attended and our growing staff loves participating in the tradition. – Benjamin Collins, Laughing Samurai

11. Dedicated Remote Live/Work Space

Last year we opened the MODassic Outpost in Salida, CO which serves as remote live/work space where our employees can escape their daily routine. Our team is all in house, but we really value travel and getting away. We wanted to create a place where employees could get away and enjoy the mountains, river and town but still work and not have to use up their vacation time or spend money on hotels. – Ryan Short, MODassic Marketing

12. Summer Happy Hours

Our office is located in a cute beach town, and we especially try to take advantage of that during the summer. We typically pick a day during the week to do an office happy hour where we close the office early and walk to a nearby restaurant. I believe this makes my team more productive — having an outing to look forward to mid-week. Sometimes we even just opt for wine on the beach. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

You can continue reading this article on Forbes.

Solomon Page Joins NYRR for 5K in Central Park

Filed under: company culture, Company News, SPG News, Work-Life Balance

On Thursday, July 25th, Solomon Page joined the New York Road Runners and over 4,700 other runners for a 5k through Central Park.

 

With temperatures in the mid-80s and high humidity, the course proved to be a welcomed challenge.

Our team embraced the heat in style and had a great time while doing it (especially while celebrating their achievements with post-race popsicles).

We’re very appreciative of New York Road Runners and all their volunteers for coordinating such an enjoyable, well-planned race.

The Power of Culture in the Workplace

Filed under: company culture, Job Market, Job Statistics, Professional Development, Work-Life Balance

Corporate culture is a concept at the forefront of the employment marketplace—professionals want to feel valued as individuals, not just for their professional contributions.

In order to ensure a fulfilled and productive workforce, employers should build a strong culture to enhance employee morale; this translates to defining the organization’s mission and core values, as well as creating a sense of community amongst employees through professional and personal development.

Our 2018 Market Insights Report shows the impact culture has on professionals from the moment they consider a position through the lifecycle of employment.

1. The Offer: Our study shows that following compensation, corporate culture and work-life balance are the most important factors to consider in a job offer. And while respondents agree that salary is the most significant determinant in accepting an offer, nearly half (40%) of jobseekers would take a position that did not meet their financial expectations but with a company that promotes culture and professional development.

2. Engagement: In this candidate-driven market—the U.S. unemployment rate is below 4%, the lowest in 18 years—hiring quality professionals is only the beginning. In addition to attracting talent, companies must keep their workforce engaged. Our study shows that while people value the financial and tangible aspects of employment—compensation, insurance, 401(k)—they equally value professional growth and fulfillment.

3. Job Satisfaction: We can assume that, to jobseekers and tenured employees alike, culture may not be regarded as the most important aspect of a job, but it is certainly an unequivocal determinant. 93% of all respondents agree that it is important to have a sense of belonging and shared values with their organization. Our results show there is strong correlation between culture and job satisfaction:

    • of the professionals who claimed they fit in ‘very well’ with their culture, 77% were satisfied at their job;
    • of the respondents who fit in ‘somewhat,’ 62% were satisfied;
    • and of the people who didn’t fit in, only 33% were happy in their roles.

4. Retention: As challenging as it is to attract talented professionals, retention is equally as essential. In today’s competitive marketplace companies must invest in retaining top talent, as turnover is not only costly but impacts morale and employee engagement. Culture is a key factor in employee retention—of the people we surveyed who were planning a job change within the next year, only half (50%) noted a positive company culture, compared to the professionals who weren’t planning a job change, of which 90% reported alignment with company culture.

Our study concludes that positive company culture vastly benefits both employers and employees—your external brand is only as strong as your internal culture. In order to perform well employees need to feel appreciated, engaged, and aligned with their company’s mission and core values.

It’s crucial for companies to build and enhance culture for the well-being and productivity of their workforce, as clients will never love a company until the employees love it first. Ultimately, business improves along with employee morale: low turnover, as well as increased motivation, translates to positive results.

 

Stay tuned for more insights where we will reveal steps employers can take to successfully implement a positive company culture and productive work environment.

Work-Life Balance for Workaholics

Filed under: Work-Life Balance

In an increasingly stressed-out world, the phrase “work-life balance” resonates with us all. No matter how many hours we work each week, it always seems like there’s a little too much time spent in the office (or on the phone) and not enough time spent with family, friends, hobbies or leisure time.

Can we always control our work schedules and maintain a certain number of “off” hours? No. But, we can build better habits around the downtime we do have to make sure we get the most out of it.

Here are three things you can do each week to reclaim some of your work-life balance no matter how much you’re working.

Click here to read the rest on SimplyHired >>

5 Enjoyable Weekend Habits That Set You Up for Success

Filed under: Good Habits, Strategy, Success, Uncategorized, Work-Life Balance

Understandably, the weekend is a time when many workers focus on relaxation, family and fun. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that, but you can also think bigger. Instead of simply using the weekend for leisure time, there are things you can do ahead of time to help your next work week go more smoothly.

Unfortunately, we rarely appreciate the power habits can have in transforming our lives. Whether you’re new to habit-building or you’re an old hand, give these five weekend habits a try in order to set yourself up for a successful work week.

1. Get enough sleep.
Many times, we throw away our typical schedules on weekends – telling ourselves that staying out late or getting less sleep is “no problem” since it’s the weekend. But this habit sets you up for failure by making it hard to get up on schedule on Monday morning.

Click here to read the rest on Business Insider >>

Sorry: Work Stress is Just as Bad for You as Secondhand Smoke

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Quick Tips, Stress, Time Management, Work-Life Balance, worry

It’s far from breaking news that stress is bad for you, but new research from the Harvard Business School and Stanford University has outed exactly how damaging it can be to your body and mind, and it’s not pretty: Workplace stress is just as harmful to your health as secondhand smoke.

In a meta-analysis of 228 studies, researchers looked at how 10 common workplace stressors—including long work hours, poor social support in the office and work-family conflict—affected four health outcomes: having a diagnosed condition, the perception of poor physical health, the perception of poor mental health, and, finally, death.

Those suffering from job insecurity are 50 percent more likely to rate their health as poor, which are the same odds reported by people exposed to secondhand smoke.

Additionally, similar to the effects of secondhand smoke, high job demands raise the odds of having a diagnosed illness by 35 percent, and long work hours increase odds of death by 20 percent. You read that right: 20 percent.

Click here to read the rest on Marie Claire >>

Why Food, Sleep and Exercise are Critical to Success

Filed under: Decision Making, Good Habits, Success, Work-Life Balance

Small changes can make a huge difference

How we care for our bodies affects our performance at work. Skipping your twice weekly workout because you believe you are strapped for time leads to negative habits that impact your overall happiness and productivity. Similarly, ordering fast food instead of cooking to save the hassle of buying groceries and preparing your own meals hurts more than it helps.

Here are three arguments that will convince you to pay more mind to the way you eat, sleep and exercise.

1. Good food nourishes the body and powers a strong mind

Did you know that certain foods make you smarter? For entrepreneurs, the best brain-healthy foods include beets, fish, berries, lean protein and walnuts. Eat these to improve your concentration, focus, memory and sharpness. Also, to sleep well, try things like MCT oil, krill oil or raw honey before bed.

Click here to read the rest on Time >>

Six Ways to Find Work-Life Balance During the Holidays

Filed under: Career Advice, Holidays, Strategy, Work-Life Balance

December has arrived, and while I love this time of year, it always feels chaotic. November through early January are my busiest times of the year.

After work, I have tons of things to do – decorating for the holidays, cooking, shopping and gift wrapping. Let’s not even get started on parties!

This is one of the hardest times of the year to strike a good work-life balance, so before your calendar starts to fill (although let’s face it, it probably already has), let me share some tips that keep my life from getting out of whack.

Click here to read the rest on Go Girl Finance >>