Author Archives: Michele Smith

Home / Articles posted by Michele Smith

Office Culture First, Career Second

Sir Richard Branson is quoted as saying “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.” I wish I had read that prior to launching a mediocre teaching career that I very much despised. My sense of humor, extreme directness, and love of workplace shenanigans made me less than an ideal candidate for working with the uptight school administration in my district. I left five years ago when I realized that if I wanted to have a career I loved, I needed to first find a workplace culture that was the perfect blend of shenanigans and success.
read more…

Fighting the Summer Blues at the Office

Whether an employee dreams of playing in the sunshine with their toes in the sand or binge-watching Netflix to their heart’s content, the truth is that summer is bad for business!
 
According to Captivate, summer itself has a negative impact on the workplace. Productivity goes down (20 percent), attendance dips (19 percent), project turnaround times increase (13 percent) and workers are more distracted (45 percent). The addition of summer hours only exacerbates these problems. For example, 53% of employees who leave early on Fridays report a drop in personal productivity and 23% of those who make up for fewer Friday hours by working longer hours from Monday to Thursday report that their stress levels increase.
 
So how do you boost your work productivity and still have time for fun in the sun?  Simple changes in your daily routine can help you get through your workday in a productive manner even in the summer months!  Check out Business Insider’s 5 tips for staying productive during the summer months!
 

Finish the important work first.

“Tackle the most important items on your to-do list when your energy levels are high,” says Amanda Augustine, career consultant and career management expert for Ladders. “This is especially important in the summertime when temperatures are sure to continue rising as the day stretches on.”
 
“If you’re a morning person, consider waking up and starting work earlier in the day,” Augustine suggests.
 

Send emails and make phone calls early in the day.

If you’re not the one currently soaking up the sun at the beach, then you’ve at least noticed your coworkers taking advantage of their vacation time.
 
It’s crucial to consistently communicate with colleagues year-round, but especially during the summer when schedules are hectic with social gatherings and getaways. So be proactive when speaking with coworkers about projects or deadlines.
 

Buy a cheap desk fan.

If the office is sweltering and the thermostat is out of your control, take it upon yourself to keep cool throughout the day. “Heat drains energy and concentration levels,” Augustine warns.
 
Besides dressing appropriately for the workplace during the summer heat, an inexpensive fan could be a life-saver.
 

Drink more water than usual.

You should never neglect a hearty daily intake of H2O, but hydration is especially important during the hot and humid months.
 
“Pack an extra bottle of water for your morning commute,” suggests Augustine. She recommends bringing a frozen water bottle with you to ensure an ice-cold refreshment en route to the office and throughout the morning.
 
If plain water is too bland for you, coconut water is a great option. It’s sweet, yet hydrating and an excellent source of potassium.
 
Also be sure to restrict your coffee intake. Three cups of coffee might seem like a staple, but caffeine is a natural diuretic and can lead to dehydration, a severe energy drainer, Augustine explains.
 

Take a quick walk.

If all else fails and the view of the park is too inviting to ignore, don’t be afraid to take a quick recess.
 
“Aim to take real breaks and get outside for just a bit,” says Laura Vanderkam, time management expert. “It’s like a mini-vacation in the middle of the day. You’ll return to work with a lot more energy than if you just try to soldier through.”
 
Read more