Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why Workplace Flexibility is a Business Issue

There has been quite a lot of talk in the Presidential election about workplace flexibility. While I am encouraged to hear the topic has received so much attention, I think the focus of the debate has been all wrong. Workplace flexibility isn't a women's issue, not really even a family issue, it's a business issue.

One thing Momentum Resources has spent the last five years proving is that this is a profitable, successful, high-growth business model. Not only do employees want and need flexible and reduced-hours roles, but that businesses benefit from them as well.

As we've worked through these challenging business cycles, Momentum Resources has helped non-profit organizations with very lean budgets hire exactly the help they need, often matching the expense of that employee to a grant or contract. We've helped businesses lure hard-to-find talent away from non-flexible organizations by offering the one thing that money can't buy and doesn't cost employers a dime: schedule flexibility.

But bottom line, we've kept people working and organizations operating. Through an historic recession and through multiple natural disasters (Snowpocalypse? Derecho?), by establishing workplace flexibility in our engagements from the beginning we've proven - with an astounding 2,169% growth over the last three years- that is a very smart move for successful businesses.

And the workplace flexibility hit home this week with the East Coast bearing the brunt of Hurricane Sandy. After securing my home for the storm and getting the boys settled,  I conducted candidate interviews via Google Chat and Skype until we lost power. I kept our clients informed as to the status of current and pending placements so that all of our people were safe, preparing for the storm, and working where they were able. Without power at home today I'm spending a few hours in the office  catching up on emails while charging our electronic devices and the boys have an rainy day movie on the iPad.

Workplace flexibility isn't a benefit, it isn't a nice-to-have in a stronger economic climate, it's a smart way for businesses to operate.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fitness in the Halloween-Holidays Death Spiral

Fitness and wellness are important to me for a number of reasons, but mainly to keep me sane in this crazy life I'm leading. Finding time for exercise while raising three busy boys and growing a company is not easy, but with accountability (running partners) and goals (races) I have for the most part been successful.

But with my last race behind me, colder temperatures outdoors and the impending doom of that Halloween-to-Holidays death spiral, I was starting to panic.

I turned to Krista Riddley of Imagine Me Fitness for a few tips on how to incorporate exercise in even the busiest of schedules. As an athlete, wellness coach, certified trainer and recovering perfectionist, Krista loves seeing women light up at the achievement of tighter buns, more energy and the coveted Michelle Obama arms.

Read what Krista has to say!

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about perfectionism, and the havoc it can wreak if I’m not careful.  My new motto is, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  This is especially important given the busy lives we are leading today.  That brings me to the subject of the “perfect” workout.   

I’m reminded of a former client. She was a busy professional who was writing her first book and she was on a tight writing schedule.  On top of that, she had two small children, one of whom had been diagnosed with a developmental disorder and she needed a school and skilled professionals to support him.  Her writing required travel, and her husband also traveled for work.  She wanted to maintain a serious exercise routine, stay fit and healthy, look good and feel good.  She realized, however, that  the best laid plans could change in an instant if her husband was suddenly called away, the nanny got sick, or one of her children needed attention.   Over time, however, she learned that a less than “perfect” workout could make all the difference.  

For my client the motto became “seize the moment”.   If she unexpectedly had 25 minutes on her hands, she could go to the basement and get on the treadmill.   If her husband had a non-working weekend, she could hand over some household responsibilities and squeeze in a short workout at the gym.   The point is, there is always enough time to do a less than “perfect” workout, if you seize the moment.

So here we are at the beginning of the potentially slippery slope from Halloween to New Year’s Day, when all bets are off.   With all of the activity that happens during this time frame, you could easily ditch your workout all together.   If you are anything like me, you don’t want to be in the hole on January 1, making another one of those New Year’s resolutions.  What can you do to make year different? Here are some ideas:
·      Be creative:  Who said that a workout has to be at a sweaty gym on an elliptical machine?  What about going up and down your stairs at home 10 times, and finishing up with some pushups (hands on the lowest step you can handle, feet on the floor).  If you are watching TV, get up during the commercials and do jumping jacks, or better yet, high knee march and squat throughout the program.
·         Make it a family affair:  Enlist the family to join and support you.  Walk to your errands with the stroller, play catch in the back yard in between leaf raking, put on some music and dance with the kids in the living room.  Get your husband to make a grocery run while you do a quick yoga session.
·         Plan for it:  Put it in your calendar, just like all the other activities in your life.  See a free hour in your schedule? Fill it in with an exercise date.
·         Make it easy on yourself: Choose the activities that require little set up, commuting or changing.  Think walking, an exercise DVD, or a workout from your favorite fitness magazine.  There are some great 10 minute workouts on YouTube.

Most importantly seize the moments!  Click here for some additional tips on how to get moving today!