Effective Solutions Through Partnership

New Year’s Resolutions…At Work?

KAI Partners

By Sarah Walsh

Each year, January rolls around and with it comes the mad rush to the gym, produce aisle, yoga studio, and farmers’ market. And for good reason! Despite everyone’s best efforts to offer healthy eating tips during the holidays—“When you’re at a cocktail party, just snack on vegetables!”—imbibing can be unavoidable.

When the holidays are over, though, and you head back into the office after two weeks off, health and fitness shouldn’t be the only things on your mind. Think about it: You probably spend at least 40 hours a week in front of a computer at work. By the time you get home, go to the gym, eat a kale salad, and spend time with your family, it’s time for bed. Poof! You went and spent the majority of your day in the office. So, why not come up with a few ways to live healthier and happier while at work?

Here’s what I’m going to focus on improving upon this year at work. Join me?

Walking Meetings: Okay, okay, I know I implied that fitness resolutions were passé, but even if you’re lucky enough to have a standing desk, you still need to get up and get going. I had an HR Business Partner institute walking meetings a few years ago and it was more productive than I anticipated. Thirty minutes was just enough time to walk two miles, plus we got our meeting over more quickly, since there were no interruptions. At my next job, my cubicle neighbor and I had weekly walking meetings and we were both happier for it.

Improve Financial Wellness: If you’ve been putting off signing up for a 401k, just do it! Especially if your employer offers a matching program, then run, don’t walk! Also make it a priority to finally look into your company’s options for pre-tax deductions, like Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. (Full disclosure: I need to do this myself.) If you’re unsure of what your break-even point is between take-home pay and what you contribute, set up a meeting with your HR person to look at the details.

Ask for Feedback: Many companies are beginning to do away with official employee evaluations in favor of regular check-ins—check-ins that, let’s face it, don’t always happen. Nothing is worse than going to work each day, unsure of where you stand. Am I doing a good job? What could I improve upon? If your supervisor isn’t actively giving you feedback, then schedule a meeting with him/her and seek it out yourself. It can be daunting—sometimes ignorance is bliss—but it could also open the door to more opportunities that you may not find out about if you don’t put yourself out there.

What are you going to work on accomplishing in 2016? Achieving Inbox Zero? Throwing your hat in the ring for a promotion? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author: Sarah Walsh has nearly a decade of communications experience, including public sector roles in the California State Senate and State Assembly, as well as private sector roles for a sovereign Native American tribe and a global pharmaceutical company. In addition to communications work, Sarah and her husband are team captains and fundraisers for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s annual Walk MS event. When she’s not writing, editing, or soliciting her friends and family for MS Walk donations, she loves performing improv, hanging out with her husband and 4-year-old daughter, and cooking. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahsykeswalsh.

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