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5 Ways to Relax Without Leaving Your Office Chair

Do you ever finding yourself needing a mental break while at the office, but opting for a walk outside just isn’t feasible at the time? De-stress and clear your mind with these simple ways you can clear your mind, and relax a bit without even getting up from your desk.

Close Your Eyes and Take Deep Breaths
Practicing breathing techniques will do wonders for stress, but also wonders to help you relax. Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths will certainly help to ease your mind if you’re stressed about meeting a deadline, developing a report, or preparing for an upcoming meeting. Take a minute or two to clear your mind through this exercise.

Daydream
While some folks might perceive this as a waste of time, it’s actually quite relaxing for those needing a few minutes to de-stress. Look outside your window for a few minutes, consider weekend plans or travel plans, and daydream about all the wonderful things you’ve been able to accomplish. By letting your mind wander, you’ll find yourself relaxed – but don’t daydream too long or else you’ll have trouble getting re-focused. Take a few minutes and let this relax your mind.

Doodle
Doodling is a great way to relax your mind, but also explore your creative side. Let your mind at ease by taking the old fashioned pen to paper and seeing what comes from it. You might even find yourself combining a daydream with your doodles! Either way, let yourself have fun with it and clear your mind.

Clean Up
If your desk isn’t tidy, it might be a good time to clean up should you find yourself needing a few minutes to relax. While cleaning isn’t necessarily relaxing for some people, you’ll go back to work feeling refreshed just by a few minutes of cleaning up your area. Even if it’s as simple as wiping down your desk, by making a conscience effort to clean up, you’ll be in a much more organized environment and will feel more relaxed.

Massage Your Ears and Temples
While this might sound strange, it’s not and is actually backed up by several medical studies. It’s a soft practice similar to acupuncture. If you start to feel anxious or stressed, take a few minutes to massage both ear lobes with your fingers in circular motions. You can also move up to the sides of your ears as some of the pressure points will help you to de-stress. It’s also reported that this helps to give you an energy boost, if you’re hitting that 2pm wall.

There are many other ways to de-stress and relax while not even getting out of your office chair, however if you have the option, taking a short walk is always good to help calm nerves or any anxieties.

5 Ways to Relax Without Leaving Your Office Chair

Fantasy Football in the Workplace

Autumn means lots of things for lots of people. For a vast majority, fall means football, and with football comes fantasy football. Out of all of the Americans and football fans out there, it’s estimated that between 60 and 75 million people play fantasy football. Out of those who participate, over half of those people work full time jobs. In those full time jobs, many, if not all, have high-speed internet availability, which is prime for re-working and strategizing a fantasy team. So what does that mean for productivity?

Fantasy football puts the player in control of the team as the GM and coach, selecting players from a list of the best in the NFL who compete on a weekly basis during the season. The player’s on-field performance during real NFL games drives the fantasy team’s point total and success. This might sound simple enough, but the fantasy football culture requires lots of attention to detail, planning, and strategy. Many groups of people host fantasy football draft parties, specifically just to draft which NFL players will be on who’s team. As one might imagine, a simple draft can take many hours of pre-planning, not to mention the ongoing effort and planning throughout the season.

In a recent study by Challenger, it was estimated that roughly 39 million Americans manage and participate in fantasy football during work hours. With data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that 39 million who play fantasy football during the work day, earn an average of just over $25 per hour, which equates to that $990 million annually, mentioned earlier, that is lost in unproductive time not spent on work that would otherwise be accounted for. While these numbers may seem daunting, Challenger also noted that this may seem like a lot of money, but in the overall economy this isn’t much damage overall, and that companies will likely see no impact from fantasy football in Q3 and Q4.

Meanwhile, the Society for Human Resource Management found there are also some benefits to fantasy football in the workplace. The time employees may spend during their downtime, lunches or breaks on fantasy football can foster relationships, create some good old healthy competition and it provides for conversation around the watercooler that typically is fun for people. Furthermore, short breaks during the workday have been shown to increase work productivity and boost morale.

Companies that embrace fantasy football rather than turn the other cheek, can use it to their advantage by increasing morale and creating team building opportunities and contests. One of our offices actually did a mirrored contest recently and drafted employees on to teams to compete in their sales numbers and activity. This again fosters engagement, competition and it ultimately drove productivity. Additionally, most of the employees time spent on managing a fantasy team will happen after business hours and especially if proper expectations are set. It might be a wise decision to embrace the ever-so-inevitable fantasy football, to maximize the impact and create an engaging, exciting work environment. Letting employees have fun while setting guidelines.

Fantasy Football in the Workplace

How to Make the Most of Lunch Meetings

Lunch meetings can create a bit more pressure than a typical in-office meeting or a conference call. There are elements that aren’t typically a factor in those meetings that can arise during a lunch meeting. Getting distracted by the hustle and bustle of a restaurant, improper social or table etiquette, allergies, and more are some of those factors to name a few. Here are some ways to combat the outside factors that could lead to an unproductive lunch meeting, and help make your meeting successful and effective.

Set an Agenda
Just as you would with any other meeting, organize an agenda and share it with the person, client, or prospect you are meeting with prior to the lunch. Consider important background information, and be sure you’re as prepared as possible to stick to the agenda and satisfy all related questions or discussion points.

Consider Allergies or Food Restrictions
As you request the lunch meeting, be sure to consider any allergies or food restrictions, and make sure the person you are meeting with will be in a comfortable scenario. Otherwise, if there are no food options for the person you requested the meeting with, it might make for an uncomfortable meeting for you and them.

Consider Meeting Purpose and Restaurant Ambiance
As you select the restaurant for the lunch, make sure you consider the type of restaurant you choose and if will be appropriate for the agenda at hand. For example, if this lunch meeting is fairly casual, a more laid back atmosphere with background noise is appropriate. If this lunch meeting is with a high-profile individual, somewhere more upscale and quiet is more appropriate. Consider that when choosing a restaurant, as the restaurant chosen will be something that stands out to the person you meet with.

Be Punctual
Make sure you are about 10 minutes early, and that you are seated first to start the meeting off in control. Being late to a meeting in general is bad practice, but being late to an in-person lunch meeting could be detrimental to the flow and effectiveness of the meeting.

Don’t Forget Table Manners
Sometimes you can get swept up in a lunch meeting, and forget you’re actually in a meeting. Don’t forget your table manners. Be respectful to servers, and make sure the person you’re meeting with is taken care of. Don’t talk with your mouth full, and pick up the tab.

Keep Your Purpose Top of Mind
Make sure to allow for casual, small talk, but to also accomplish the goals and agenda of the meeting. Make sure to take notes (if necessary) and to remember that you’re in a meeting which will likely result in follow up and take away items. It’d be counterproductive to forget or breeze through important items to talk through because you’re in a more comfortable setting.

Lunch meetings are a great way to bridge the gap of the typical meeting, and to create personal relationships with customers, clients, and prospects. By keeping these reminders top of mind, you’ll be able to execute an enjoyable, effective lunch meeting.

How to Make the Most of Lunch Meetings

Want a raise? Here is when to ask.

Asking for a raise can be a nerve-wracking experience. In order to make the process less anxiety producing, you’ll want to approach the topic at the optimal time. You don’t want to ask for the raise before you have earned it, yet you also don’t want to miss the perfect window of opportunity and be viewed as complacent and unambitious. Here are some of the optimal times to request a raise.

During your performance review:

If you receive a stellar performance review, that is one of the best times to further sell your skills and ask for a raise. If your manager is performing a number of reviews and doesn’t have the time to discuss it during your meeting, set up a separate time to speak with your manager one-on-one after the reviews have been completed and approach the topic then.

When you learn a new skill:

Learning a new skill set is not only great for your resume but is also great for your employer. It shows that you are eager to continue furthering your professional growth and investing in your future. If your new degree or certification will benefit your job directly, you have more to offer your company and are more valuable. Sell your new skill set to your manager and speak to the fact that it will help your job or possibly open the door to other roles within the organization.

If you receive a promotion:

There really isn’t a better time to ask for a raise then when you receive a promotion. If you’re receiving a promotion that means that the company believes in you and your abilities. Most people assume that promotions come with a raise, but that isn’t always the case, and if you are receiving a raise, it may not be the salary increase you were hoping for. Now is the time to negotiate a better salary.

Overall the above scenarios are the optimal time to talk to your manager about a raise. You will want to make sure to approach the topic at a time when your company is doing well and isn’t on a strict budget. You will also want to make sure that you have your main points practiced ahead of time so you can ask for that raise with confidence and poise.

Want a raise? Here is when to ask.