I have read enough lately about the health benefits of standing at my desk. But, my motivation really has been because of unrelenting pain due to an accident that fractured my knee and pulled tendons and ligaments and sub-luxated my hip. Sitting for long periods of time now is simply too painful.
Aside from having a hip replacement to solve the problem...they hope, I have pursued alternative solutions to aid my health in general. That got me to Rick Williams here in Santa Cruz who had been a great help. Through him I bought a Salli backless desk chair. It is really more like a saddle, giddy up!
It has made a world of difference. Now I am researching a hydraulic desk that is sit/stand accommodating. I will keep you posted.
Watching a client make this transition at Apple has been thought provoking.
I am truly impressed how a company that values their talent is willing to do whatever it takes to accommodate an employee ergonomically. They are spending bunches more money on an adjustable desk than I am willing to do. But the investment is in improved health, productivity, lower medical expenses and time off, and high morale.
I will keep you posted on the desk.
Studies and articles listed on Jesse Noller's blog I found very helpful, thanks!
They have been doing the same ridiculous surveys for year and the results never change. Neither does the corporate response to the answers. Employees want to be better paid. It is no secret that the American worker's standard of living and income has continually lost ground over the past 30+ years. The workloads increases while the wealth has not trickled down and it is unlikely to do so as globalism continues to level the employment playing field. Only the very few types of skilled professionals will be sought after and well compensated.
On the other hand, the continuous request for flexibility has shown some improvement over the years as global, distributed teams have increased the necessity to work remotely and at staggered times across borders, as has the increased cost of energy. It seems that having employees work from home saves on energy costs at work.
People have wanted the same things since serfdom ended: to be recognized for work done not micromanaged for time put in, to be rewarded fairly, and to trusted and treated as thoughtful, contributing adults not mindless drones.
CareerBuilder Survey Reveals Most Wanted Office Perks and What Motivates Workers to Stay With Companies
CHICAGO, January 24, 2013 – .....A new CareerBuilder survey explores which job factors are most important to today’s workers. More than 3,900 full-time workers nationwide participated in the survey conducted online by Harris Interactive© from November 1 to November 30, 2012.
Nearly one-third of employers (32 percent) reported that top performers left their organizations in 2012 and 39 percent are concerned that they’ll lose top talent in 2013. While most workers (66 percent) stated that they are generally satisfied with their jobs, one in four (25 percent) said they will change jobs in 2013 or 2014.
How important is title?
While upward mobility is a key factor in job satisfaction and employee retention, having a certain title isn’t important to more than half of workers (55 percent). The vast majority (88 percent) reported that salary matters more. Other factors that outrank job title in what is most important to workers are:
· Flexible schedule – 59 percent
· Being able to make a difference – 48 percent
· Challenging work – 35 percent
· Ability to work from home – 33 percent
· Academic reimbursement – 18 percent
· Having an office – 17 percent
· Company car – 14 percent
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
I laughed when the then Secretary of Defense made that statement as it sounded like a military-speak aphorism. But, it rings with profound wisdom the more I deal with career management and employment issues in this economy.
How do we deal with the business and career issues we don't know we don't know?
I advise my clients to do deep research on companies for interview preparation, but that never, within time parameters, uncovers sufficient information to make a well reasoned decision on an offer if one comes. Sometimes it is the luck of the draw that you land well. What do you do with networking referrals devoid of context or personal engagement? You are left in a vacuum to deal with the referral and in the dark as to how to proceed.
Time is so precious. You know it if you are in a driven high-pressure position, in career transition, or an entrepreneur. There isn't enough of it, and your living comes from the finite amount of time that you can dedicate to your business. We don't have time to be sidetracked with the unknowns that we don't know.
What's worse is that we don't know what we don't know until it is past tense. Often in retrospective, we can look back at an entire situation and see what we needed to know at the time. I believe that is the Monday morning quarterback syndrome personified.
Unfortunately, I don't know what to advise you as I don't know what you don't know. But I do have a few mental guidelines that help me and I am happy to share them.
Everyday is Groundhog Day
Remember the Bill Murray movie where he relived the same day over and over again until he actually had no unknowns left to figure out. Seriously! He ended up knowing everybody in the town and everything they were going to do that day. His level of response by his final rerun day was masterful.
I try to remind myself that every day is essentially the same. Within each day there will always be unknowns that are unknown. The result of that attitude is not ending up feeling blindsided as I have already factored that in. When I stay very attuned and mindful I can almost sense them coming out of left field. It is comforting at least.
Belts and Braces
The British, bless them, had an unspoken rule about being prepared for the unknowns in life. Back in Victorian times and the early part of the last century, men work both a belt and braces (suspenders). Over time and the era of spandex and jeans below your butt, the braces have fallen by the wayside. But belts and braces represented a way of approaching life.
The message is clear, expect catastrophe and be doubly prepared: keep an umbrella in the car, hide a house key under a rock, back up your files...twice. You may never need to implement plan B but it's good to know that you can. Think about it. That's why we have a Vice President of the United States.
The Morning After the Night Before
Letting decisions stew a bit is a good thing. Figuratively, "sleeping" on business problems and issues allows time to have more information unfold and it diminishes the number and size of unknowns.
There are certain Myers Briggs personalty types that are really in their comfort zone when they get things decided, goals set, and marching orders relayed to the troops in an expedited fashion. They rush to judgement and freak out when the other shoe drops with unforeseen catastrophes.
Other personality styles prefer to put off decisions and just let things unfold. Often that is the best remedy for those blindsiding unknowns. Just let them sort of slide into view rather than dropping on you.
Embrace the Unknown
The greatest adventures, opportunities and joys in life are most sweet when they have not been predicted, expected, and factored in. Aren't the unknown unknowns often some of the nicest, best surprises that come upon us. We just think that any unknown will be necessarily be bad, negative and undesired.
If life is like a box of chocolates then it helps to be an epicurian with a broad palette. Thus you are delighted with whatever you find in the box. The unknown unknowns will always show up in our lives. The impact they have depends on how we choose to experience them.
I was having my monthly coaching session with my client, a successful marketing vice president in an online media company. We were discussing her current efforts in balancing home, family with new job, book proposal and a daily 2 hour commute.
She is one of the most dedicated and driven professionals that I have met. I have been with her career growth for over ten years now from dot.com companies through multiple graduate degrees, along with coast to coast relocations, marriage, and a baby.
When her mom died in last year she had to fly to Europe to attend the funeral. Her then employer penalized her for taking time away from her position and she was summarily laid off after returning from the funeral.
She landed an even better position in less than 2 months, a record in this economy, but again faces the challenge of keeping her life in equilibrium. She used to be the one to rescue a floundering company and do anything meet the goals and deliverables. But the lessons of the corporate political arena have instilled in her a wariness that has enabled her to back off her typical knee-jerk readiness to save the day.
The latest test of her balance came with her agreement to write an interactive book. Talk about scope creep, the publisher went from a small book on a narrow but very interesting topic to an expansive book and a much more general topic .
She would not have benefited from this expanded version as it would curtail follow on books and derail a potential series. And she would have to rewrite the proposal that she had already done. Her time was stretched too thin as it was.
In revisiting her own career goals, priorities for balance and the value of a multi-book series for her professional stature and thought leadership, she decided to renegotiate with the publisher back down to the original agreement.
Bottomline was as she put it to me, " No job loves you like your family loves you." I might add publisher as well. She has her priorities straight.
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