Yeah, we said it. Take a break!

Less than 1 in 5 workers actually leave their desk during lunch, but a break from work is the necessary jump start to the rest of your day. Why are we all so comfortable spending our legally allotted break time stressed out and working? Why can't we take a page out of Spain's book and have a two hour long siesta in the middle of the day?

While a nap and wine at lunch would no doubt lift our spirits, this is the U.S. And the whole world knows: we don't sleep when it comes to work (and sometimes we don't eat either). We're all lucky if we can sneak out for a quick sniff of fresh air without getting death stares from coworkers eating salad out of tupperware at their desks.


If we all took lunch breaks, the "they're leaving for lunch" resentment would vanish. So let's start the movement, you trendsetter you. Take a break, whether it's for lunch or not, and if you need some ideas (because you're the hardest worker in the office, right?) we've got them for ya:

1. Run errands.

The least fun but most practical plan for your keyboard hiatus, running errands gives you a great thing: peace of mind later. Your brain won't be swimming with all the things you have to do after work, and your personal health will thank you. If you're the type of person who doesn't feel comfortable relaxing in the middle of the day (you're in Work Mode), this is the perfect solution. GSD (get "stuff" done).

2. Call your mom.

Depending on your mom, this one can be a real mood booster in addition to showing your mom some love. She'll stop pestering you to call already, and you'll actually keep up with all the family gossip. Two birds, one stone.

3. Tool around on the internet.

Yes, this means you'd stay at your desk. Rainy days, moody days, and days where you don't feel like getting up exist, and there's something to be said about some self-indulgence. Go ahead, waste some time online, it might not put you in a better mood but it's the work equivalent of watching Netflix for half an hour before diving back into emails. Which brings us to our next suggestion..

4. Watch an episode of something.

This one is tricky, and best used if you have a work-wide lunch break or your own office. Nothing annoys people more when they're working than hearing someone guffaw at some Netflix standup on the screen next to them. So stick to the dramas, turn your screen away from view, and make sure you've got some kind of food in front of you so it is a known lunch break.

5. Walk outside.

Even in winter, people! Do it. Get some temperature fluctuation, invigorate those nerve endings, breathe in the smell of whatever gyro place is down the street, and absorb all that freshness. You would be surprised at the perks of a lunchtime work walk. Stress reliever, enthusiasm booster, and relaxation enforcer, a walk will do your productivity and happiness wonders.

6. Bring a friend.

If you go somewhere for lunch, bring somebody. Walking? Bring somebody. Running errands? Bring somebody. a) This will increase the number of people leaving for lunch (you're not the only one, see?) and b) You'll get some friendship time out of it. If you need to rant in the middle of a challenging day, or just need help figuring out what to do this weekend or what to make for dinner tonight, throwing a friend into the mix will make your lunch break feel productive in a multitude of ways.


Posted: 9/26/2016 8:01:04 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

Keys? Check.

Wallet? Check.

New Work address in Waze? Check.

Great! Sounds like you’re ready for your first day at your new job! But…wait…

What if your coworkers aren’t friendly? What if they aren’t as welcoming as your last team was?

Fact is – they probably won’t be. It’s human nature to want to evaluate based on evidence, rather than testimony (“Marry in haste” etc.) So, what can you do to make things easier on yourself when adapting to your new workplace’s culture? We’ve got some tips and tricks that can help you flex that muscle your first week, and keep you keepin’ on thereafter.

1. Be Honest

Ok – somewhere out there, eyes are rolling. This one’s obvious, right? Well, sometimes, we might be tempted to prove *how much* we know, especially when demonstrating a skill on our resumes (which you knew not to fib on, right?) BUT even if you are a seasoned pro, avoid offering up information unless you are 100% certain it’s accurate. The only thing worse than being the office “Know-it-All” is being the office Know-it-All who…doesn’t.

2. Be Open

So you know you’ll be in a new work environment, with new people, and new ideas. Why would you want to bring your old preconceived notions with you? Was there a group of people who were the proverbial Mean Girls/Guys at your last job? Don’t assume you’ll run into the same thing! Maybe Reply-All emails were a Big Deal where you used to work – show caution until you figure out the standard for your new team. Also, and this is a big one, don’t assume anything about your fellow employee’s personal culture just because you knew someone who identified as they might (“Well, my friend’s fiancée is Irish, and he’s a huge drinker – you must love to tie one on!”) Not only is this offensive and presumptuous, you risk ostracizing your coworkers, and gaining a harassment charge. Let your new coworkers tell you about themselves on their own.

3. Be Patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day. You may not feel 100% comfortable at first with your team, or position, or company. Give it time! Everyone gets the newbie jitters at some point – don’t let that cast a negative light on what could be the job of your dreams. That being said – don’t stay somewhere that makes you wonder if it really is possible to die of boredom (or frustration, or annoyance). You’re worth more than that!

While this list is clearly not the be-all, end-all for having a successful first day/week/month at your new job, it certainly can’t hurt. Just take a deep breath, be yourself, and go with the flow – you’ve got this!

Posted: 9/12/2016 1:18:17 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments