Staying Fit When You Have a Desk Job

A healthy body is a body in motion. Whether you spend two hours a day at the gym or simply get most of your exercise from the day to day running around you do as you go through life, building your strength is key to maintaining your overall fitness. This can be a challenge in your everyday life, and is sometimes made doubly difficult if you find yourself firmly established in a desk job.

 

It can be easy to blame the number of hours tied to your desk as the reason for inactivity. But, always keep in mind that you are your top priority in life, ahead of jobs, outside commitments and other people. You can only give your best self to others if you are taking care of yourself first.

 

How can you work around that desk job to care for your top priority?

 

  1. Exercise isn’t an all or nothing proposition. Even ten minutes is better than nothing. Get up ten minutes earlier in the morning for a quick round of movements before you hit the shower. You won’t miss the sleep and you will jump start your energy level for the day.

 

  1. Avoid the temptation to work through your lunch hour. Carry your lunch to work in order to save time, money and extra calories. Use those saved minutes to take a walk around the block or climb the stairs in your office building a few times.

 

  1. Don’t let technology turn you into a marshmallow. Texts, e-mails and voice messages are all easy ways to communicate while keeping you sedentary. Stand up every chance you get and deliver your messages in person. Walking across the office or down the hall is good for your circulation, even if it’s not enough to break a sweat.

 

  1. Discourage business meetings that take place over the lunch or dinner table. You can discuss a contract on the golf course, the tennis court or the walking trail.

 

  1. Not all desk jobs are simple nine-to-five time commitments. Many people put in a lot of extra hours at law firms, medical facilities and busy office environments. You can’t always control your job requirements. You can, and must, control what you do with your time away from the office.

 

  1. Resist the desire to stop at the local pub with co-workers after work on a regular basis. You need to make yourself the first priority. Save the happy hour for special or occasional events and fit in an hour or two of something physical. Try to encourage your co-workers to join you on your fitness journey.

 

  1. If you have an option to walk or bike to work, take advantage of it. If not, park at the far end of the parking lot and take a little stroll on your way to and from the office. If you use public transportation, get off a few blocks before your destination.

 

  1. Don’t munch at your desk. Fitness is as much about the caloric energy you consume as it is about the energy your burn. Don’t sabotage your fitness goals with poor nutrition. If you get hungry, have an apple or banana handy.

 

  1. Don’t hunker down at your desk for the duration of the day. Stand up when talking on the phone. Stand up to stretch or squat at least once an hour. Pay attention to your posture. That hunched over tension can build up and lead to headaches, back problems and stiff muscles, things that will make you feel like not exercising even when you have the time.

 

  1. Learn to manage your stress. There’s no getting around it. The confined movements that seem to go along with desk jobs put stress on your body. Time commitments and scheduling requirements on the job add to that stress. Practice some simple meditation techniques to give you the mental fitness you need to go along with your physical fitness.

 

Working for a living incorporates the best and the worst styles of living. While it’s great to be gainfully employed and fully participating in the world around you, the workplace can take a definite toll on your healthy commitments to yourself. It’s important to take the lead in your own life when it comes to establishing your priorities.

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5 Important Considerations to Make Before Renovating the Office

There may come a time when renovations are due for your office. Perhaps it needs a bit more breathing room to account for new employees, maybe you want to update the look, or you’re moving and looking to have the new space reflect your vision and culture. Whatever the case, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before beginning the renovation project.

  1.  The Strength of the New Design

You’ll want to make it as easy as possible for clients and/or customers to find you. That means having a design that is easily recognizable, one that people will know at a glance. For many companies, that often boils down to a big sign. While there’s nothing wrong with that, don’t be afraid to experiment with new looks.

Keep in mind that there is still value in fitting into the area. Standing out too much makes you seem out of place, like you don’t actually belong there. Striking a balance between fitting in and standing out is difficult, but it is worth the headache.

  1.  Energy Efficiency

Many businesses don’t have a lot of capital to spare, so anywhere you can shave costs is great. One good place to start is your office’s energy consumption. The more energy efficient it is, the cheaper the upkeep will be.

This goes beyond simply making sure that the wiring is on point. If you’re in a cold climate, for example, making sure the insulation is all in place can save you money on heating bills. Even something as simple as updating or upgrading your windows can keep heat in and the bills low. Additionally, doing this at the right time can net you energy credit during tax season, or power provider rebates.

  1.  The Most Important Change

Unfortunately, chances are you won’t be able to afford all the changes you want. With that in mind, you should focus your resources on getting the most important changes done. What can’t your new office live without?

Look at the workspace. Is it affecting company productivity? Is the setup too dour, resulting in it driving customers away? Look at the numbers and see where a renovation can help the most.

  1.  The People Affected

Your business isn’t yours alone. It’s not just for the people who work there either. It’s also for your customers and for your neighbours. What seems like a good idea can actually annoy neighbouring establishments, which can affect future deals and relationships down the line.

Talk to everyone involved. Ask employees if there are any changes they would like to see and tell them how you plan on accounting for the inevitable disruption a renovation will cause. Check with your lawyers and find out what laws you need to learn. Talk to neighbouring businesses and community stakeholders so you can warn them about any and all inconveniences that the renovation will create.

  1.  Costs

Renovating an office isn’t cheap, but you can’t cut corners on tools or services. You get what you pay for, and a well-designed office will pay for itself. Talk to your accountant and see what you can do to get what you want while keeping costs under control.

For example, if you’re doing the work in-house, rent the equipment needed. Chances are, you won’t need the gear for too long. Ask your network to introduce you to trustworthy contractors and see if you can cut a deal for lowered costs, such as promising future work to them or recommending them to your partners.

Office renovations can be an exciting event for your business, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Approached hurriedly or without care, it can easily make your office worse than it was before. Take your time. This is your office you’re rebuilding. Make sure it turns into something that fits your vision, culture, and needs.

 

 

 

Career Skills: Becoming More Assertive in the Workplace

Being assertive is an important skill for succeeding in the modern office or other employment setting. After all, few people will ever receive more responsibility, a better position or a raise without asking for these things to happen. While it is difficult for a person to completely change his or her personality overnight, the following will help a person to develop the assertive traits that are useful in the workplace.

Passiveness, Assertiveness and Aggressiveness

Before learning to be assertive, many people need to learn the meaning of assertiveness. An assertive person is one who speaks up for his or her needs, expresses both positive and negative emotions and does not avoid conflict simply to keep the peace. Conversely, a passive person is one who stays quiet and lets others make all of the decisions. On the other extreme, an aggressive person is one who dominates all interactions and tramples the rights of others through loud, rude and boorish behaviors. While there may be times that aggressive and passive behaviors can be beneficial, a person who is assertive is typically the most successful.

Examples

To develop effective skills, a person needs some real-life examples of when he or she is not assertive. By keeping a notebook on hand at work, a person should be able to come up with a few examples from everyday situations at work. For example, a person may always be given the task of picking up lunches for everyone else in the office. Picking up these lunches daily may cause the person to fall behind on his or her work and then be forced to work late to catch up.

Alternatives

Once some examples of non-assertive behavior have been identified, he or she should think about alternative behaviors that are assertive and would work better in the future. In the lunch example, the person may choose to tell his or her co-workers that it is not fair for him or her to get the lunches every day and the responsibility should be shared among those in the office. When choosing alternatives, it is important to keep the response short and to the point. In many cases, simply saying “No” can be an appropriate and assertive response.

Role Playing

Once a positive and assertive behavior has been identified to replace the passive one, a person should practice the scenario with a trusted individual. If no individual is available, a person can use a pet, stuffed animal or other object to practice being assertive. Making an audio and video recording of the conversation is also a good idea, as it is important to be aware of voice tone and volume as well as body language. When being assertive, it is important to speak clearly and to look the person being spoken to directly in the eye.

Implementation

Though it may take some time, a person should begin to implement the examples of assertiveness that he or she has chosen. This should be started as slowly as possible to encourage success. Once a small amount of success is found by being assertive, it will become easier to build upon this success and to be more assertive at the office and in other parts of life.

3 Tips For Keeping a Fresh Workplace Bathroom

Keeping the workplace clean and fresh is one of the best things that businesses can do for employee morale. It is a good idea to have a cleaning action plan, either geared toward the cleaning service you work with or toward the employees responsible for keeping your workplace clean. Such a plan should include a bathroom component, and to that end, here are three tips for keeping your workplace bathroom fresh and clean.

  1. Add Greenery (and Care for It!)
    A plant or two plants (or more) go a long way toward freshening up your bathroom. For example, a bamboo plant in an intriguing vase adds a splash of style and sophistication to a bathroom. Do make sure that detritus from the plant(s) is tidied up on a daily basis and the water kept fresh. You may prefer fake plants instead, but replace them before they become faded or torn. Dust them too.
  2. Clean Ventilators and Replace Air Fresheners
    Part of making your bathroom airy and welcoming entails placing air fresheners and ventilators strategically. Clean the vents once a month, and change the filters then too. Keep plenty of air freshener supplies on hand.
  3. Balance Technology and Practicality
    Sanitation is a must for freshness. Therefore, install touchless devices that promote good hygiene. Examples include touchless soap dispensers, touchless hand dryers and touchless paper towel dispensers. Don’t become so high-tech, though, that you neglect practices such as emptying the trash frequently and having ample space for garbage.

By following the three simple tips above, you are well on your way to having a clean and fresh bathroom. Developing a checklist will help keep your cleaning action plan on track.

 

Why Monday is the Best Day of the Week

If you ask most people which day of the week they prefer, you will most often hear a response of “Friday” or “Saturday.” Many people look forward to the end of the work week, in anticipation of a restful and relaxing weekend where they are more in control of the hours of their day. They look forward to time with family and friends, and the opportunity to catch up on everyday chores. The weekend can be a time to regroup and prepare for the fresh new week ahead.

This is where Monday comes into play as the best day of the week. While many, perhaps most, people might not choose Monday as their preferred day of choice, it’s clear that Monday has a lot of positive attributes.

  1. Fresh starts are empowering. Monday, being the start of a new week, is similar to that first hour in the morning after the alarm goes off. It’s a brand new day. There are new options and a chance to start over with a clean slate.
  2. If you can embrace Monday whole-heartedly, you will have a great advantage over all those Monday-morning sad sacks who can barely muster the strength to crawl out of bed and face the day. Loving Monday can give you a jump start on the week.
  3. If you play your cards right, Monday can bring a renewed energy to your life. If your weekend was a time of renewal, Monday can bring that rebirth of excitement and enthusiasm to your life and your goals.
  4. The occasional Monday holiday is a gift. The idea of an extended weekend is a welcome and anticipated delight. A Monday holiday is a bonus event that is unparalleled by mid-week holidays.
  5. The pace of Monday is unlike that of any other day of the week. If you can hit the ground running, you will be far ahead of the competition. If you can’t be quite that energetic, the pressure to perform is lessened because most of your contemporaries are sluggish on Monday, as well. Expectations are lower on Mondays.

You may or may not approach Monday with enthusiasm. Why not grab life by the horns and get the most out of one-seventh of your life? Monday truly can be viewed as the best day of the week.

Why Do Ergonomics Matter?

Want a happier, healthier workforce? It all starts with an ergonomic office. Well-designed workspaces promote good posture and increase productivity while reducing pain, strain and stress.

Ergonomics Tips For Your Desk
Your health is important. Follow these tips to avoid workplace strain:

  1. Always keep your feet flat on the floor when seated
  2. Sit at arms’ length from your computer screen
  3. Position the top of your monitor no higher than eye-level
  4. Take periodic breaks to rest your eyes by focusing on objects at a
    distance.

ergo

 

Time-Management: The Key to Stress Reduction

Mismanagement of time is one of the main reasons people are stressed at work. They worry about not being able to get enough done in the time available. The burden of deadlines and requests from their employer and colleagues leave them frazzled. Getting into the habit of managing time well can dramatically reduce work-related pressure and the stress you bring home from the office.

Be the boss of time
Take charge of how you handle time instead of giving others the reins. People will inadvertently control your time if you allow them, so you need to manage how you use it confidently.

Everyone has an agenda, and those who want your assistance won’t take yours into consideration. To handle time efficiently, you need to consider how you want to use it and let others know your intentions. Thus, you might set aside a certain amount of time in which to help them if you want, but only after your plans are fulfilled.

Think about definite obligations and priorities, and put them first. Compile a list of what you want to achieve and how long you imagine doing so will take. You won’t always guess correctly, but at least you’ll have a timeframe to consider. Also, leave time in which to unwind and relax. As a result, you’ll have the energy to do what needs to be done and be in top form.

Stop wasting time
Everyone wastes time, you just need to identify where you’re not using yours shrewdly. Some people allow time to slip away by checking social networking sites online and looking at their emails. Ten minutes here and there, added together can eat hours from your week. Others gossip with colleagues or chat on the phone long after business is complete.

Alternatively, you might be a manager who wastes time having meetings that go nowhere, when you could just as easily arrange short skype calls with employees and clients, or send emails when information needs to be shared. Identify how you mishandle time and ways you might manage it better. Consequently, you’ll discover you have more time in which to complete tasks than you imagined.

Don’t procrastinate
Let’s face it, you sometimes put off doing jobs you dislike, imagining you’ll get around to them. The stress of knowing you haven’t tackled them builds, making you miserable and tense. Also, tasks mount up or expand when they aren’t dealt with in a timely fashion. You’ll feel better, and have more time, if you deal with jobs you hate as soon as they arise.

Are you slaving away, but not seeing results? No doubt, you are extremely stressed. You probably imagine, since you’re working hard, you’re using time well. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Start thinking about what you achieve rather than the length of time you toil.

Hours of hard labor without satisfactory results are worthless. Thus, if what you’re doing isn’t productive, approach tasks from a different angle and use time wisely. Excellent time management is about making the most of time, and quality rather than quantity counts.

If you’re stressed at work, the chances are you also mismanage time. Stop wasting it and procrastinating. Also, think about results rather than imagining working long hours is necessary. Take control of how you spend time; you’ll be more productive, and anxiety will fade.