“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Or is it? Holiday cheer is no doubt contagious and everyone at work has an extra groove, but the holidays also usher in a bit of anxiety around the office work schedule. Who’s on vacation? What work has to get done before year’s end? What about budgets for 2018? How will you manage family time and providing extra care to clients?
For those like me, who are self-proclaimed “planners,” the holidays can also be a great time to reflect and prioritize projects. While you may not be able to avoid working late the nights leading up to the holiday break, there are a few things you can do to achieve work-life balance and combat stress during the holidays. Below are a few of my own suggestions:
- Put in extra hours before the holiday to build a buffer & complete projects
As I said, I am a planner and one tool I implement during the holiday season is scheduling ahead to add one extra hour of work to my day, each day leading up to the end of the year. If you are like me, this will allow you to get more work done and hopefully put you ahead of projects.
- Determine “must-do” items versus “would like to do” items on your list
Part of living a balanced professional and personal life is planning and setting clear expectations with team members. I generally have two lists of priorities. The first list is my general “to-dos” and the second list is my priority “to-dos” that I re-write each day. Making these lists of what has to get done, versus what can wait until the new year, helps keep me on track when last-minute projects arise. Prioritizing and thinking ahead helps me ensure I am creating the right deliverables. While it is almost certain you will have last-minute fires to put out, staying organized helps to keep these fires more manageable.
- Give yourself time to mediate and reflect
Between holiday parties, gift shopping and prepping for family to arrive from out of town, it is easy to get caught up in this crazy time of year. That said, it also a great time to hit pause once a day and take time for yourself to reflect and recharge. Recently, I have been practicing meditation and using an app on my phone called Calm to guide me through my practice. The app offers tools to become more present and often provides perspective on the many things we can appreciate about each day.
While all of the above contribute to reducing stress around the holiday season, the most important thing to me is to stay present and enjoy this magical time of year.
Did you know that, on average, executives spent nearly 23 hours a week in meetings? What’s more, 65 percent of senior managers say meetings keep them from completing their own work and 71 percent say the meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
Photo credit: AleXander Agopian via Flickr
I came across these depressing stats while reading an article from the Harvard Business Review about how to “Stop The Meeting Madness.” My husband suggested I read it after yet another dinner-time exchange that resulted in me describing my day as mostly spent in meetings. In an effort to understand more about how this meeting culture developed and how it was impacting my day-to-day, I dug a little deeper to also find some solutions. Read more after the jump…
Is there a silver bullet for building and improving workplace culture? According to a recent Gallup study, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.
So, what is the silver bullet you ask? Leaders. Gallup’s research shows that 70 percent of the variance among “lousy, good and great cultures can be found in the knowledge, skills and talent of the team leader.” A strong company culture is a unique identifier of an organization’s values, vision and goals. This requires a thoughtful approach from leadership along with a shared responsibility among employees to create a culture that embodies the company’s mission.
Luckily at GFM | CenterTable, we have Laura Love and Ramonna Robinson at the helm leading our team of expert, senior-level communications professionals. Laura and Ramonna have created a collaborative environment where people are encouraged, motivated and supported to provide clients with the best service possible. This collaborative atmosphere is one of the many reason why GFM has been named in the top five of OUTSIDE Magazine’s Best Places to Work of 2017 for the fifth consecutive year.
The magazine’s staff spends months carefully sifting through surveys and interviews from thousands of hopeful U.S. companies to identify the 100 companies highlighted on the list. Not only do the list-making companies provide great workplaces for employees, but they also encourage a balance between work and enjoying life in the great outdoors. Additionally, the companies respect the environment in how they conduct business and in their production practices.
GFM is proud to have been recognized for a wide variety of non-traditional benefits that cultivate a true “work-life” blend. That said, it is important to note that our culture is very much a result of our leaders’ efforts to lead by example and celebrate each team member’s unique skill sets and interests.
Laura and Ramonna recently wrote an article for Colorado Biz which highlights the five guiding principles that GFM lives by every day. In the article they say, “It is up to the leaders of an organization to set the tone and ensure a strong culture, but that intention only goes so far. A company’s culture is a true amalgamation of the people who work there, and their values and inspirations. The best thing leaders can do is lead by example and let team members take it from there.”
I’m a home-brewer and Certified Cicerone®, so when I first started at GFM I hosted a beer and cheese pairing to help break the ice between with my new co-workers. Everyone enjoyed it so much that I began hosting weekly beer tastings that highlighted different beer styles. It has been almost four years since our very first Beer Club, and we’re still having fun with it, as evidenced by our Outside Magazine write-up for this year’s “100 Best Places to Work.” Beer Club has morphed into a time where we all can take a breather and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s also a time for us to socialize with clients away from the usual confines of a business meeting. Everyone is invited to Beer Club, so the next time you are free at 3:30pm on a Thursday, stop by the office and join us. Read more after the jump…
Working for the one of the Best Places to Work in Denver and the No. 1 place to work in America, according to OUTSIDE Magazine, has its perks, one of them being GroundFloor Media’s generous sabbatical program. After 10 years of employment, employees are encouraged to take one month off to “undertake activities that promote individual rejuvenation and personal benefit.”
For the month of August, I decided to head out my first day to a girl’s weekend birthday celebration, in the wine country of the Palisades in Colorado. I also enjoyed a week of relaxing at home and attending, much missed yoga classes. I then headed out on a 10-day dream trip to Ireland with my husband. For my last week, I took the time to organize and prep for my first week back.
It was an incredible experience to be able to take time for reflection over the course of the month and I wanted to share some of my takeaways that might be helpful no matter where you find yourself in life.
Read more after the jump…
The Get Grounded Foundation recently announced its latest round of grants to four local community programs supporting youth services. A total of more than $17,000 was granted to Child Advocates – CASA of Jefferson & Gilpin Counties, The Bridge Project, The Denver Children’s Advocacy Center and PCs for People. The programs were selected by a volunteer committee made up of individuals from GroundFloor Media and our sister agency CenterTable.
The foundation seeds funding for new or expanded, innovative or entrepreneurial programs or projects within an existing, qualified nonprofit that directly supports the healthy development of at-risk youth between the ages of three and 13 in the Denver Metro area.
In addition to the Get Grounded Foundation, GroundFloor Media encourages employees to actively participate in community service to make a difference through their own charities.
Throughout my career, I’ve found that companies who encourage community involvement separate themselves from their competitors, develop more loyal customers and enhance employee happiness. Participating in community service not only makes a difference to the organizations and people being served, but also makes a difference in your own personal life. Participating in community service activities helps to enhance social awareness and responsibility, while building community relationships.
As a new member of the GroundFloor Media team and as a Colorado native, it is incredibly impactful to know I am working for a company that is committed to making a difference in the Denver community.
Back in March, I wrote about my attempts to become better at managing my energy (vs. focusing simply on managing my time). My results have been mixed, at best, largely because I find that it’s hard to a) break old habits and b) make new habits stick. Our agency recently participated in an Organization and Efficiency Workshop, facilitated by GG Johnston, and she turned us on to an interesting quiz by Gretchen Rubin that looks at how individuals respond to expectations. Called The Four Tendencies, the theory is that how you respond to expectations directly impacts how you form new habits – thus the connection to my energy management project.
Read more after the jump…
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has posted “Great Catch” signs across the Charleston International Airport celebrating the efforts of their security agents.
What do you discuss with your TSA agent?
Believe it or not, that’s a question I often ask myself as I approach the gatekeepers of airport security. Is it the weather? Do I venture a joke about the tumultuous sea of humanity I just traversed? Should I preemptively acknowledge the fact that my ID looks like it’s been acid washed (it does)?
Thankfully, that question was answered for me on my latest trip.
“Thank you Officer Mady,” I said to the agent. “Thanks for making sure that doubled-edged knife didn’t make it on my flight.”
You see, someone who works for the Transportation Security Administration within the Charleston International Airport has posted “Great Catch” signs throughout airport security lines — an arena where eyes are prone to wander and likely land on graphic images of weapons.
But instead of simply declaring these items aren’t allowed in your carry-on (duh), beneath the images are stories about how Charleston TSA agents have detected these very items during the course of security screenings.
All of a sudden, Officer Smith and I had something to talk about.
Read more after the jump…
National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal recently did stories about how some employers are cutting back on allowing employees to work from home, citing the need to have people together to enhance creativity and collaboration.
A number of large companies in recent years announced similar measures – Yahoo, HP and IBM – all began to recall home-based employees to work in the office.
Still, teleworking is extremely widespread. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 40 percent of employers allow employees to regularly work from home.
Read more after the jump…
We are excited to partner with PlatteForum to help advance their art and learning lab through our Get Grounded Foundation. PlatteForum is a non-profit organization that supports contemporary artists and underserved youth in metro Denver through long-term art programs. Their programs allow youth to collaborate with artists in residence to plan, produce and exhibit a body of work in an environment where artistic excellence is highly valued.
Read more after the jump…