Feng Shui on your very desk

March 7, 2010 | Filed Under Front_Page_News, Life coaching, Life in the office, Work and management |

When Feng Shui came out in the 90s it was a big thing.  Since then it has become a by-word for paying a lot for getting very little.  At relaxedworkplace.com, we asked if there was anything in Feng Shui that could help us out at work and might just give us the edge we need on the phone, in the client project meeting or just getting home on time for once.  We asked health and well-being consultant Samuel Furse to give us his top four tips for Japanese harmony at work.

Tip One – Easy reach. Just like us, the Feng Shui gurus don’t believe in bending over backwards to accomplish simple tasks.  Everyone wants to have enough energy to enjoy life and deliver at work.  So, take a look at your desk.  Is your mouse in a useable place or is it next to a pile of stuff that needs doing but you haven’t got there yet?  If you use the phone a lot, have that in easy reach too.  Phone cables are a fuss, so see if you can get a cordless one.  Check you monitor is at the right height for good posture.  This can only help stop aches and pains creeping in through the day, and let you go home as fresh as when you arrived.

Tip Two – Enough space. Sadly most of us are not blessed with large offices that we can set out just right, but you might be surprised about how your working environment can be altered so that you can have a comfortable space.  Take time to look into space-saving ideas.  These could come under the heading of Health and Safety at work initiatives, so won’t be hard to fund.

Tip three – Air. Getting the air environment just right is difficult in many climates, but we need to battle the elements to keep things consistent and thus maintain client focus, daily output, and project productivity.  Throughout the year the temperature in Britain can change by up to 45-50 °C – and with global warming who knows what’s around the corner for us.  Whatever it is, having systems in place that give you breathable air can only be a plus for managing your objectives.

Tip four – See it coming. If you have a varied work pattern that can change at a moment’s notice, or work for you feels like doing the same thing over and again, remember that you can be ahead of the game too.  Equipment and working practices can fail and change, and if you see this coming, plan and adapt to it.  No one wants a shock to the system, and so if your work station, office, desk or area is as flexible as possible you have a valuable weapon in keeping both yourself happy, as well as your clients, boss and colleagues happy – and you’ll be much more likely to deliver on time.

Hello there ! - We offer Corporate office massage in London. We specialise in on-site massage in the office, accupressure massage, seated accupressure, chair massage, head and neck massage and stress management massage. Achieve relaxation in the office with the help of our therapists - Relaxed workplace

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    Happiness at work is the number 1 productivity booster

    December 14, 2009 | Filed Under Front_Page_News, Life coaching, Life in the office, Work and management |

    happiness_productivityIf you want to get more done at work, it’s all about having the right system. You need to prioritize your tasks, you must keep detailed logs of how you spend your time, todo-lists are of course essential, you must learn to structure your calendar and much, much more.

    But that’s not where you should start. You should start by liking what you do.

    The single most efficient way to increase your productivity is to be happy at work. No system, tool or methodology in the world can beat the productivity boost you get from really, really enjoying your work.

    Here are the 10 most important reasons why happiness at work is the number 1 productivity booster.

    1. Happy people work better with others
    Happy people are a lot more fun to be around and consequently have better relations at work.

    This translates into:
    Better teamwork with your colleagues
    Better employee relations if you’re a manager
    More satisfied customers if you’re in a service job
    Improved sales if you’re a sales person

    2. Happy people are more creative
    If your productivity depends on being able to come up with new ideas, you need to be happy at work. Check out the research of Teresa Amabile for proof. She says:
    If people are in a good mood on a given day, they’re more likely to have creative ideas that day, as well as the next day, even if we take into account their mood that next day.
    There seems to be a cognitive process that gets set up when people are feeling good that leads to more flexible, fluent, and original thinking, and there’s actually a carryover, an incubation effect, to the next day.

    3. Happy people fix problems instead of complaining about them
    When you don’t like your job, every molehill looks like a mountain. It becomes difficult to fix any problem without agonizing over it or complaining about it first. When you’re happy at work and you run into a snafu – you just fix it.

    4. Happy people have more energy
    Happy people have more energy and are therefore more efficient at everything they do.

    5. Happy people are more optimistic
    Happy people have a more positive, optimistic outlook, and as research shows (particularly Martin Seligman’s work in positive psychology), optimists are way more successful and productive. It’s the old saying “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right” all over again.

    6. Happy people are way more motivated
    Low motivation means low productivity, and the only sustainable, reliable way to be motivated at work is to be happy and like what you do. I wrote about this in a previous post called Why “motivation by pizza” doesn’t work.

    7. Happy people get sick less often
    Getting sick is a productivity killer and if you don’t like your job you’re more prone to contract a long list of diseases including ulcers, cancer and diabetes. You’re also more prone to workplace stress and burnout.

    One study assessed the impact of job strain on the health of 21,290 female nurses in the US and found that the women most at risk of ill health were those who didn’t like their jobs. The impact on their health was a great as that associated with smoking and sedentary lifestyles (source).

    8. Happy people learn faster
    When you’re happy and relaxed, you’re much more open to learning new things at work and thereby increasing your productivity.

    9. Happy people worry less about making mistakes – and consequently make fewer mistakes
    When you’re happy at work the occasional mistake doesn’t bother you much. You pick yourself up, learn from it and move on. You also don’t mind admitting to others that you screwed up – you simply take responsibility, apologize and fix it. This relaxed attitude means that less mistakes are made, and that you’re more likely to learn from them.

    10. Happy people make better decisions
    Unhappy people operate in permanent crisis mode. Their focus narrows, they lose sight of the big picture, their survival instincts kick in and they’re more likely to make short-term, here-and-now choices. Conversely, happy people make better, more informed decisions and are better able to prioritize their work.

    The upshot
    Think back to a situation where you felt that you were at peak performance. A situation where your output was among the highest and best it’s ever been. I’m willing to bet that you were working at something that made you happy. Something that you loved doing.

    There’s a clear link between happiness at work and productivity. This only leaves the question of causation: Does being productive make us happy or does being happy make us productive? The answer is, of course, yes! The link goes both ways.

    But the link is strongest from happiness to productivity – which means that it if you want to be more productive, the very best thing you can do is focus on being happy with what you do?

    So how do you get to be happy at work? There are two ways :
    Get happy in the job you have. There are about a million things you can do to improve your work situation – provided you choose to do something, rather than wait for someone else to come along and do it for you.
    Find a new job where you can be happy. If your current job is not fixable, don’t wait – move on now!

    Hello there ! - We offer Corporate office massage in London. We specialise in on-site massage in the office, accupressure massage, seated accupressure, chair massage, head and neck massage and stress management massage. Achieve relaxation in the office with the help of our therapists - Relaxed workplace

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    Work balance – employers hesitant about it

    November 20, 2009 | Filed Under management strategic decisions, Work and management |

    work_home_life_balanceWORK-LIFE balance is a hot topic. But how far should employers go to help staff to harmonise their work with the other elements of their life?
    And however desirable work-life balance sounds, is it something that businesses and their employees can ever achieve?

    A changing labour market
    One of the reasons why the topic of work-life balance is hitting the headlines is the changing face of the labour market.
    The old stereotype of male breadwinners out in the workplace with their womenfolk looking after hearth and home has changed radically.
    Women not only make up 46% of the labour market, but are also set to be the source of 80% of its growth over the next six years.

    The workforce is ageing – there will be 12m over 65s by 2021 and the Government is floating suggestions that people might continue in employment until age 70.
    Women and mature workers are a valuable resource for employers. But firms cannot ignore the fact that women continue to bear the brunt of domestic work and childcare or that many older workers may want to work fewer hours.

    Recent developments
    Recent legislation, including an extension of maternity and paternity rights and granting parents of children under six the right to request flexible working patterns, has put the work-life balance debate at the top of the agenda.

    Employers are slow to understand the issues and what’s at stake
    Many, if not most, employers find it difficult to put work-life balance policies into practice.
    Some employers mention the difficulty of allowing one person to work flexibly but not others. What about the impact on colleagues’ workloads? And what is a ‘good’ reason for being allowed to work flexibly – only childcare, or should other responsibilities and interests qualify?
    Attempting to address the work-life balance can leave managers feeling unsure. Flexible working requires less command and control, more focus on outputs and more trust. It’s not easy.
    Smaller businesses often complain that it is something that only big businesses can afford to do. Many see it as a flash in the pan, a topic that will go away if you just draft a policy on it to comply with legislation.
    This is understandable. Customers are becoming more demanding. They want longer opening hours and more personal service and their expectations must be met. With these commercial pressures, where does work-life balance fit in?

    Why companies should embrace work balance more?
    The reason work-life balance is important to employers and employees is that in many businesses, profits depend on adding value, on customer relationships and on knowledge. That means the costs of recruiting, retaining, motivating and rewarding the right people has gone up.
    Work-life balance and flexible working helps many companies to hire and keep the best staff. Employees whose lives are in balance are also likely to respond better to customers’ demands than those who are discontented.
    Flexible working can mean the difference-between keeping and losing a valuable employee, with all their experience and contacts.
    The average cost of labour turnover in 2001 was £3,462, rising to £5,699 for managers. So reducing these costs can bring bottom-line benefits. This is not only true for big organisations.
    Research in 2000 found that some small businesses saved up to £250,000 through introducing flexible working policies that reduced staff turnover.
    Improving staff motivation and satisfaction through flexible working can have a significant impact on customer service and productivity.
    Organisations that have found work-life balance to be the most effective tend to ensure they have their own balance – between the needs of customers and the needs of the organisation, and between costs and resources.
    Companies need to maintain this delicate balance or they will find themselves doing the same old thing – working harder, not smarter.

    Hello there ! - We offer Corporate office massage in London. We specialise in on-site massage in the office, accupressure massage, seated accupressure, chair massage, head and neck massage and stress management massage. Achieve relaxation in the office with the help of our therapists - Relaxed workplace

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