I spend a lot of time thinking about the quality of life. Always striving to create an environment where I, and others, can not just survive, but thrive. Since moving into the new Runway offices from my home office and travel schedule its been fun to take in the new environment and work through new challenges.
A lot of you, I'm sure, set New Years Resolutions. Get healthier. Be fitter. Spend more time with loved ones. Whatever they may be, the truth is a lot of us are also busy business women and men who tend to drop some of those by the wayside come January 31st because we feel like we are just to busy.
An amazing website, the Quality Of Life Observer, has much to say about how the quality of life, in all areas, correlates with how we work. I am such an avid believer of this. Sharing an office with awesome co-workers lets me to creatively work in an environment that allows me to still take care of myself. I have included a list of tips below of what a typical workday in an office environment can look like if you take the time to take care of you, without sacrificing taking care of your daily duties.
This post is part of International Quality of Life BlogIt Day, sponsored by Sodexo
The Quality of Life Observer lists the six pillars of a quality work environment. I myself, set my own goals within these categories. Whether I'm working from home, from the offices or from a hotel room or airport terminal, I try to employ these tips for healthy work/life balance.
1.) Social Interaction –
This one was a big one for me this year. I resolved to be more present to those that I love and those I work with. Here are some tips to improve on your social interaction within the workplace.
- Simply, communicate. I've worked in many office environments through my managerial roles, and there's been times where oddly no one speaks. You never know where new friendships lie, or when a new idea can spark just by talking to those who surround you every day.
- Bond Through Outside Activities. I always host the holiday party every year. It's puts me out there, it bonds me to my co-workers and employees outside of the office and it allows me to do something I LOVE, host. A win/win.
- Back to communication. If you are running late or if you have something big happen in life, share it. (no need to over-share, but keeping people in the loop shows you care) Your employer, employees and co-workers will appreciate your honesty.
2.) Ease & Efficiency –
These are lovely words. I thrive on organization and organization leads to ease and efficiency.
- For me this means lists. I keep a planner on my desk where I have my daily tasks written out and I check them off as I go. This keeps me organized. I make this list the day before before I wrap up to go home. So when I come in in the morning, I already have a set plan. My Monday's list is done on Fridays as well, so I don't stress on my weekends when I'm traveling or growing my blog and brand.
- Plan meetings ahead. My co-workers and I plan our meeting dates and times ahead of time. Usually a week out at a time, that way everyone is always prepared and no time is wasted.
- One Thing At A Time. This one is huge for me this year. I juggle a career in publishing, a blog and brand, a music writing career and a home life as a wife. If I focus on ONE job, ONE task at a time I can breeze through it with focus and creativity and not feel panicked or overwhelmed.
3.) Physical Environment –
This. Just this. You've all seen my glorious pink office right?
What you don't see is the chandelier above me and my pink custom chair that matches that frame.
- Make your space your own. While some offices don't allow for much customization, or maybe you don't have an office, make whatever space you do have your own. If that means pulling out all the girlie stops such as mine, then go for it! If it means just a small plant to connect you to nature, or a photo of your family, make sure that surrounds you, it's important.
- Organization. A clean work space is a happy work space. Everything in my office has its place, otherwise it would make me feel anxious to work amongst clutter. You don't need anything crazy, a pen holder, an in and out box and a file cabinet would be a great place to start.
- Get Outside! Staying in a stuffy office for 8+ hours isn't good for anyone. Make sure you get some sunshine and good old fashioned vitamin D in your day. Even its just to stretch your legs in between emails.
4.) Personal Growth –
I love supporting those around me and working in a field where I can always grow, learn and achieve my next goal.
- Be a cheerleader. My co-workers and I are great about supporting each others projects. We are all multi-career jugglers and its important to ask about how their other projects are going. It shows support and builds community.
- Use your knowledge to help others - Through my new position I've gained so much knowledge through seminars, conferences and meetings. These tools are things you can use to help others grow and better serve their purpose. Remember that sometimes we learn things that are less for our own benefit, but more for others.
- Create an environment where people can thrive - There's that word again. If you yourself are the employer, create an environment where your employees can grow. When people have something to strive for and work towards it breeds hard work and dedication.
5.) Recognition –
A pat on the back can go a long way.
- Recognition is huge to me. In every place I've worked, if I had employees I always wanted to let them know I appreciate them. When someone is working hard and being loyal I like to extend a "thank you" and a pat on the back, to let them know they are valued. Because I know how much it drives me when I'm on the receiving end.
- Small gestures. Aside from bonuses I also do incentive programs or small gifts to say thank you. By working on #1, social interaction, you will learn about your co-workers and next time you're in line at Starbucks or seeing the new action flick, you may feel so inclined to get Barb or Dave a gift card to show appreciation for a job well done.
- Goal Boards - At our office our goals are everywhere. Lists. White boards. Call sheets. We are a production office, so its a necessity. But its helpful when everyone is cheering everyone else on to accomplish the collective goal. It keeps the atmosphere lively and helps everyone to work with intention.
6.) Health & Well-Being – This is personally my number one. If I'm not healthy, I'm not the best at my job, or best at anything in my life. I could write a list of 20 tips on this topic since I hold it at such a high regard but I will keep it at three so we don't mess up our flow here.. but, if you'd like more ideas, feel free to contact me. And feel free to share your ideas too! I'd love to hear them.
- Breathing and Stretching. These are SO crucially important and so EASILY forgotten when we get busy. I start my day deep breathing, I end my day deep breathing and in the middle of my day I slow down to make sure I'm not holding my breath. I also do posture checks throughout the day and I keep a yoga mat by my desk. I don't care about the looks I get. It keeps me balanced and healthy.
- Walking Meetings. When I take meetings, or have conference calls on my cell phone and don't need to be at my desk I take a walk outside in the sunshine. Walking meetings not only help get your blood and creativity flowing, they reset and refresh your mind.
- Bring Your Lunch. I have always promoted for my co-workers and employees to bring their lunch to work. You save calories, preservatives and money by doing so. It's a good idea to invest in a mini fridge for your office if your work doesn't have a break room with a refrigerator. If you are going to eat out while at work, map places close by that have healthy options. I found a Sprouts Market a mile from my work that I didn't even know was there by doing so!
I would love to hear how you are implementing these six pillars of health and growth into your work environment. Use the hashtag #QoL on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to share YOUR ideas.
Welcome! My name is Mandi & I hope you stay in this happy little space a while. I'm a Christian, a wife to my Mr. Charming, mama to baby Greyson, healthy food-lover, traveler, professional journalist and Personal Nutritionist who hopes to inspire others with my story...
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