workplace http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9690/all en-US 6 Rules of Creating a Powerfully Productive Workspace http://www.wisebread.com/6-rules-of-creating-a-powerfully-productive-workspace <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-rules-of-creating-a-powerfully-productive-workspace" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-470445829.jpg" alt="woman working" title="woman working" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a particularly long morning at work, does it sometimes feel like you and your office chair have permanently merged (in the worst way possible)? That those ceiling-mounted fluorescent lights are energy-sapping torture devices? That you'd give just about anything to be able to burrow through to the parking garage and speed your way toward a permanent vacation? Your exhaustion and lack of motivation may be due, in part, to an office environment that just isn't working for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-improve-your-performance-at-work?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Improve Your Work Performance</a>)</p> <p>Thankfully, we can exercise some control over our workspaces and with a few small changes, significantly improve our productivity, energy-levels, and happiness. Here are six tips for creating a powerfully productive workspace.</p> <h2>1. Design for Use</h2> <p>If you're setting up a home office or have some control over the arrangement of your office at work, design for how you'll actually use the space.</p> <p>Before you arrange a single stick of furniture or wheel in that Aeron chair, consider your habits, preferences, and work style. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-to-get-out-of-your-office-chair?ref=seealso">Reasons to Get Out of Your Office Chair</a>)</p> <ul> <li> <p>Do you need a large desk or would you prefer room to move, organize multiple projects, or read comfortably?</p> </li> <li> <p>Is your office a hub for other workers, requiring more open space and a few extra seats?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you travel extensively for work and need a place to stow luggage before and after flights?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Designing for real-world use instead of purely stylistic concerns will help you build a space that supports, rather than fights, your work.</p> <h2>2. Lighten to Brighten</h2> <p>Unfortunately for most workers, fluorescent lighting and office environments go hand-in-hand. But a growing body of research suggests that fluorescent's single spectrum of lighting may actually be doing us harm &mdash; contributing to inactivity, exhaustion, or anxiety. Studies show that <a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/effects-flourescent-lighting-school-children-8729489.html">fluorescent lighting in schools</a> may be contributing to children's hyperactivity and abbreviated attention spans.</p> <p>To improve your productivity, bring as much natural light as possible into your workspace. Gravitate toward lighter colors, reflective surfaces, sheer window coverings, and other design elements that maximize natural light and reduce the need for glaring artificial light.</p> <h2>3. Go Natural</h2> <p>It makes sense. We're natural creatures, and we respond well to the natural environment. While working indoors all day may be a necessary evil in our modern world, bringing a bit of nature in can help <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2002499/Stressed-work-Put-pot-plants-desk.html">reduce stress</a> and keep us engaged. Besides their aesthetic appeal, adding plant life to your workspace is an inexpensive way to improve air quality and interior humidity levels.</p> <p>If your office doesn't get much natural light, choose your greenery carefully. Bamboo, jade plants, peace lilies, and philodendrons are hardy choices that do well in artificial or low light conditions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-hardest-to-kill-houseplants?ref=seealso">Hard-to-Kill Houseplants</a>)</p> <h2>4. Enjoy the View</h2> <p>Of course, the ultimate way to let nature and natural light into your office is to take advantage of a wonderful view. Though we may be sequestered away in our offices, taking a moment to enjoy a view of nature or society can have a restorative effect. If you're stuck in a windowless or garden-level office, create a faux view by hanging photos of inspiring outdoor scenes.</p> <h2>5. Decorate</h2> <p>Those sleek and minimalist offices look great in glossy magazine spreads, but adding a few personal touches to your space can help boost productivity. It's all about comfort. Think about it: If you have to spend 8-10 hours in a space, then photos, artwork, plants, and other items can help you feel more relaxed and, in a tangible way, connect your work with other parts of your life.</p> <h2>6. Ignore the Messy Versus Neat Debate</h2> <p>A 2012 study conducted by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota found that people who work in messy or cluttered environments tend to be more creative and innovative, while those in more <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/24/9/1860">orderly spaces are prone to make healthier choices</a> and be more generous. The bottom line? Clutterbugs and strict minimalists each have their upside. Stop worrying about how you think your space should look and embrace the strengths in your personality that are reflected in it.</p> <p>So, the next time you're clicking away at your keyboard and notice your fingers beginning to feel like sticks of lead, consider how your office may be working against your personal productivity. Would a smarter layout, better lighting, or personal touches help? With a few tricks and tweaks, you can change your space and reinvigorate your workday. At the very least, ditch those industrial fluorescents and let a little sunshine in.</p> <p><em>How do you maximize productivity in your workspace? What single idea or strategy has helped the most?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-rules-of-creating-a-powerfully-productive-workspace">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-successful-people-do-every-morning">13 Things Successful People Do Every Morning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-a-time-budget-and-how-to-create-it">Why You Need a Time Budget — and How to Create It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-to-do-lists-more-effective-with-these-5-simple-hacks">Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective With These 5 Simple Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity desk Office productivity workplace Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:00:19 +0000 Kentin Waits 1135258 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don't Make You Look Silly http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/difficult_yoga_pose.jpg" alt="Woman in difficult yoga pose" title="Woman in difficult yoga pose" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us work long days at desks, even though we know it's not the best thing for our health. A sedentary lifestyle makes us obese. And heck, I have trouble just focusing if I don't get up and move around every now and then.</p> <p>This is why I've always loved the <em>idea</em> of exercises you can do at work. Exercise is a great thing to do for your body and mind! However, I find that most articles I read about exercising at work are utterly impractical. Sure, if you have your own office with a door, that's great. Keep weights in there, do some fierce squats, and complete push-ups until your arms scream. And likewise, if you work at an office where you can easily skip out to the gym during lunch, or where you have onsite workout facilities, bully for you.</p> <p>But when I was still working in offices instead of out of my house, I had none of these things. I always worked in a cubicle hive, where coworkers could buzz by at any moment and see everything I was doing. I'm a person who doesn't mind if someone else sees me doing a few jumping lunges, but I also recognize, out of respect for my coworkers, that behavior like that can be considered weird, if not disruptive. Thus, here are 10 exercises you can actually do at work without weirding out your coworkers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">Fitness for People Who Hate Exercise</a>)</p> <h3>1. Calf Raises</h3> <p>These are perfect for when you're waiting at the copier, printer, or microwave. While standing, simply lift your heels up off the ground, bring them down, and repeat. Sure, they're noticeable, but the actually amount of movement is about on-par with fidgeting.</p> <h3>2. Walking</h3> <p>So many articles on exercising at work include walking for a good reason &mdash; it's great for you, easy to do on your lunch break, and a totally normal activity. I won't suggest that you trade eating mindfully for shoving your face full of food so you can get out and walk, but if you can split your lunch break between eating and walking, that's a great compromise.</p> <h3>3. Kegels</h3> <p>Ladies, we've all been told that we should do our <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kegel-exercises/WO00119">Kegels</a>. And fellas, strengthening the pelvic floor can be helpful for you as well (check out this <a href="http://www.askmen.com/dating/love_tip_60/67_love_tip.html">male Kegel explanation</a> from AskMen, but be forewarned that it includes some graphic sex talk). Since you're just clenching and unclenching the pelvic floor, nobody will know you're doing these (unless you find a way to be super awkward about it).</p> <h3>4. Chair Dips</h3> <p>This probably has the highest silly factor out of all the exercises I'm recommending. You can't do these without bobbing up and down a little bit, and depending on the height of your cubicle walls, your up-and-down motion could make you look like you're on a boat at sea. Check out instructions for <a href="http://exercise.about.com/od/exerciseworkouts/ss/tricepexercises_4.htm">chair dips</a> from About.com, or if you want to stay seated in your chair, you can also try putting your hands on the arms of your chair and lifting yourself up and down.</p> <h3>5. Taking the Stairs</h3> <p>Yes, this is another old classic. You should take the stairs instead of the elevator, but also take the stairs, up, down, and up again a few times if you can. This can be especially fun if you work in a big corporate complex. Carry a folder to make it look like you're delivering something.</p> <h3>6. Leg Lifts</h3> <p>Lift one leg until it's straight and parallel to the ground. Hold for a few seconds, then lower. Repeat 10-15 times, and switch to the other leg.</p> <h3>7. Stretching</h3> <p>Ah, yes, stretching &mdash; or, as I like to think of it, &quot;the only exercise you can do a lot of at work and get away with it.&quot; Where most cardio or strength-training efforts might seem out of place in your business-casual environment, pretty much everyone recognizes that sitting all day can make you rather sore. So stand up and stretch your arms, legs, torso &mdash; whatever. You might just want to avoid doing a <a href="http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/491">downward-facing dog</a>.</p> <h3>8. Sitting on an Exercise Ball</h3> <p>Times change. It's now acceptable to write &quot;email&quot; instead of &quot;e-mail,&quot; and similarly, I think the exercise-ball-as-chair has finally gained enough acceptance that you can bring one into your office and not worry about it being strange. Sitting on an exercise ball helps strengthen your core and keep your posture straight. It's also fun. In fact, I am writing this while sitting on an exercise ball.</p> <h3>9. Muscle Clenches</h3> <p>Your abs and butt are prime candidates for this. Clench the muscles for a period of several seconds, then release. Repeat again in sets of 10-15.</p> <h3>10. Maintaining Good Posture</h3> <p>I know &mdash; what kind of hacky suggestion is this? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-slouching-5-ways-to-improve-your-posture">Posture</a> isn't an exercise! But if you normally have poor posture, actively maintaining a straight back will give your back muscles a serious workout.</p> <p><em>What exercises do you do at work? Share in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walk-walk-walk-walk-walk">Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-you-should-take-a-walk">25 Reasons Why You Should Take a Walk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-benefits-to-wearing-a-pedometer-at-home">4 Benefits to Wearing a Pedometer at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-benefits-of-a-10-minute-walk">10 Surprising Benefits Of: A 10 Minute Walk</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty exercise walking workplace Mon, 11 Jul 2011 10:24:24 +0000 Meg Favreau 615094 at http://www.wisebread.com Fantasy Football Leagues in the Workplace? http://www.wisebread.com/fantasy-football-leagues-in-the-workplace <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fantasy-football-leagues-in-the-workplace" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nfl.jpg" alt="Fantasy Football League" title="Fantasy Football League" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">It’s that time again.<span> </span>Football fans are gearing up for the excitement of a new season.<span> </span>The rest of the world is prepping for how to deal with it.<span> </span>And Football Fantasy Leagues are popping up everywhere – including at work.<span> </span>But is it a good idea? </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Before I even get started, is there anyone out there who doesn’t know what Fantasy Football is?</strong><span> </span>(Buehller?)<span> </span>It works like this: </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Ordinary, everyday folks (usually in the office) become managers of their own imaginary, made-up football teams.<span> </span>They can recruit for the players of their choosing (using various methods for offense and defense) from among all the real-life players from either a college or pro season.<span> </span>(Trades can also be made during the season).<span> </span>As the season goes on, new picks can be made weekly, or they can choose to keep the same players.<span> </span>Points are given for achievements on the field, and are tallied through the end of the season.<span> </span>The manager with the most points for his/her team at the end of the season wins the Championship.<span> </span>(For more details on how it works and where to get started, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_football_%28American%29">check the Wiki page</a>.)<strong> </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Is it Gambling?</strong><span> </span>Maybe.<span> </span>If it’s done purely for fun, no money-exchanged, it’s not gambling.<span> </span>If money is used as a condition of joining, then I consider it a “membership fee.”<span> </span>If bets are made on the outcome, then you might put it into the gambling category.<span> </span>Most people that participate in Fantasy Football Leagues within the workplace know what is considered acceptable, and what isn’t.<span> </span>Just follow along, and you’ll <em>probably</em> be OK. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>So what’s the big deal?</strong><span> </span>It’s actually a very big deal for many.<span> </span>By combining football with cash (which is often used as prizes or exchanged when drafting new players) the excitement can become too much for a workplace.<span> </span>A 2004 San Francisco Chronicle piece estimated that <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/09/21/BUGI18S4VN1.DTL">Fantasy Football Leagues cost businesses $36.7 million daily</a> in loss of productivity.<span> </span>(With personal internet use already common in workplaces, is this really much different than excessively checking emails, viewing YouTube, or shopping on Ebay?)<span> </span>A slightly more recent USA Today article claims that Fantasy Football Leaguers spend an <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2006-08-16-fantasy-football_x.htm">average of 34 minutes a day</a> just thinking about their teams, and other sources have claimed over an hour of time per employee is spent dreaming about their teams (time that could have just as easily been spent scheming ways to kill your boss.) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Are there any advantages?</strong><span> </span>Supporters of Fantasy Football in the workplace offer some unique solutions to keeping the leagues in the office.<span> </span>CNBC’s Darren Rovell weighed the benefits of using league time as <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14118397/">an effective networking tool</a>.<span> </span>While not totally convinced of its merit for bringing top execs together with the bottom-rung working class, he does explore the possibility. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">As Fantasy Football invades the workplace, many employers are taking a no-tolerance approach to the seasonal ritual.<span> </span>Citing Fantasy Football as a form of gambling, they often include language in their employee handbooks which prohibit the game.<span> </span>Not all HR advocates agree on this approach, however.<span> </span>Many offices (22%) are more likely to <a href="http://baltimore.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2008/07/14/daily44.html">ban Social Networking activity</a>, such as Facebook and MySpace.<span> </span>The morale boosting capabilities of Fantasy Football can sometimes work in favor of employers.<span> </span>After all, some people need more than a paycheck to look forward to each day (and it’s got to be better than surfing NSFW sites or harassing their cubicle buddy.)<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">A workplace’s attitude toward Fantasy Football may depend entirely on what the higher-ups feel about football in general – fans seem to allow it more often than those who despise football.<span> </span>In largely female workplaces where football interest may be milder, you may be more likely to find Oscar Picks Pools or wagers on when the new secretary’s baby will be born.<span> </span>Although I’m not discounting the possibility of an all-female workplace Football Fantasy League (it has happened, I’m sure.)<em> </em></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>What do you think?<span> </span>Does your work allow Fantasy Football?<span> </span>Do you wish they would?<span> </span>Do you even care?<span> </span>Let’s hear what you have to say!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fantasy-football-leagues-in-the-workplace">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-that-it-is-not-the-job-for-you">6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/notchup-get-paid-to-go-on-interviews">NotchUp - Get Paid to Go on Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retail-job-lessons-learning">Seven Lessons Learned from Working Retail</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-answers-in-life-heres-your-key">Looking for Answers in Life? Here&#039;s your Key...</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Career Building Art and Leisure draft pick fantasy football league Making Extra Cash workplace Fri, 29 Aug 2008 16:11:28 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2381 at http://www.wisebread.com