April 2010 Archives
Take notes from our winning organizations that have policies and practices in place that help ensure their employees’ safety and promote employee health and well-being.
The American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO) has an internal wellness program that not only helps the organization stand out as an industry leader, but also delivers high participation rates and measurable results, with a return on investment (ROI) of 2:1. Also, check out this video on ACIPCO’s psychologically healthy workplace practices.
Leaders Bank, in Illinois redesigned their employee stress management program to better suit the needs of employees, based on employee feedback, and it’s worked. Employees are taught specific methods for recognizing the early warning signs of stress and how to implement prevention and stress management interventions. Read more about that program here and check out this video to see more of Leaders Bank’s healthy workplace practices.
Pacific Shipyards International’s safety program nicknamed An Extra Pair of Eyes helps keep their employees safe by using statistical information, task analysis, and behavioral science concepts to develop preventative safety protocols and simulations. Read more about the details here.
Our Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award winners and Best Practices Honorees show leaders that employee safety is priority and striving to improve employees’ health everyday is worth the investment. Take the opportunity to learn more now and take a proactive approach to your employees’ health and safety. Your employees and their families will thank you.
Moving House? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 35 million people move each year. Around 20 percent of those people relocated because of work, but even those who moved for reasons like a bigger house or better neighborhood still have jobs, and moving wreaks havoc on your life, the effects of which can spill over at work.
In preparing for an upcoming move myself, I started thinking more about the impact my life has had on my moving strategy. I counted, and this will be the 26th time I’ve moved, which basically qualifies me as a moving expert or professional (in my mind anyways). When you move that much, the actions become automatic and make sense because you are constantly in moving preparation mode.
Moving makes us stressed, less organized, exhausted, and just plain cranky. Finding new health-care providers, coordinating schools for our kids, and developing new routines take time, so flexibility from our employers goes a long way. Moving an office can be stressful as well and relocating for a job (essentially moving house and office) is even more of a hassle. Check out APA’s Help Center for resources on dealing with stress.
Yes, moving is a pain. But it can also be a time to simplify your life. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that can help keep you organized so you’re not overwhelmed. Maintaining some semblance of normalcy during your move will help you juggle your work and home demands, even though your entire life is packed away in boxes.
Plan Ahead (as much as possible).
Give yourself time to prepare, prep, and pack. Start early and do what you can in spurts so it’s not one big undertaking on moving day.
Pick one place to keep important documents, like a laptop or designated bag so anyone who needs that receipt or confirmation number for turning on the electricity in your new place knows where to find it.
Collect used boxes and packing supplies that you can use for your move. Grocery stores generally have loads of boxes they are happy to offload. Save your newspapers and check online listings for people that have already moved and want to get rid of their boxes and left over moving supplies.
Swing by a bicycle shop at the end of the day and swipe some of the boxes the bikes get shipped in -- you can easily fit wall frames in them and most even have handles cut into the box!
If you have to buy boxes, check out some of the greener moving companies – many have options that allow you to rent durable plastic “boxes” that are cheaper than cardboard boxes, don’t require tape and delivery and pickup is included in the price.
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.
Keep It Simple. Ask yourself: How much stuff do we really need? How much better do we feel after letting go of clutter?
Streamline your life where possible so it’s easier to stay on top of work demands amid the clutter that will temporarily be taking over your living space.
Organize everything on one, electronic calendar that you can access remotely and preferably on your phone. Keeping your work deadlines and personal obligations on one calendar is the simplest way to make sure you don’t miss anything important. This way you can see how your workflow meshes with your moving tasks and the inevitable appointments and time off you’ll need to take to get your family situated in a new home. I include as much detail as I can, like the phone number for appointments, just in case I need to cancel, or the address to places so I can quickly plug it into my GPS.
By automatically adding the extra information when you add the event to your calendar, you save yourself time and hassle, not to mention stress, if you end up needing it at the last minute. I also send my husband an invite if it’s something he needs to know – with just a few clicks, I can let him know he’s supposed to pick up his parents from the airport (and their flight number) and he can’t hold me responsible if he forgets!
Coordinating schedules with your spouse will also make it less stressful to figure out which one of you will take time off work to stay home and meet the cable guy, based on your workloads.
Go Through Everything.
This is also a great time to do a home inventory – it will come in handy for insurance claims if anything terrible ever happens to your home and/or belongings. This way you’ll know exactly how many pairs of designer shoes you had or the brand of electronics that need to be replaced.
Sell what you can on eBay or craigslist and donate what you cannot sell. This way there will be less stuff for you to pile out on the curb when you leave, you’ll make some extra cash, and you’ll feel good about someone else being able to reuse your stuff.
Find out in advance where to dump the stuff you cannot recycle or throw in the trash, like batteries or electronics. If you don’t have time to drop them off or need to use them up until you move, tape the address where they need to be deposited to the item or keep it in a central location.
Take stock of all your paper files and clippings. What can you archive electronically? Our house is filing cabinet free and we keep important original documents in a fire-proof safe. Streamline by scanning and archiving documents and back them up on discs or a removable hard drive, just in case. You may also want to back up your documents online using something like Google Storage, or a combo like Dropbox which allows you to save documents on your computer and then access them remotely.
Recycle those stacks of paper after you’ve scanned them, or, even better, repurpose them by shredding and turning them into packing padding for your fragile items.
Set up a folder on your laptop to save electronic confirmation emails or other important messages that you may need for your move. There may be a gap of time in between houses that you don’t have Internet service, so make sure you have pertinent work files saved somewhere you can access them while in transition.
Things Change. Like Your Address.
If you are relocating for a job, make sure to ask the recruiter or HR person if the company offers a relocation package or any type of moving assistance. Don’t forget to check if you can deduct moving costs from your taxes.
If you are staying with your current employer – coordinate with your HR, payroll, and benefits department and make sure they have your new address. Among the other important places you need to change your address, start with the post office to ensure you receive your mail.
Pack It Up.
You know all the sheets, towels, and bedding you have to pack? Roll them around breakables like picture frames and knick-knacks and you’ll save on bubble wrap. If you need something a little more snug to pack your china, consider Geami – it’s cost-effective and easier to use than bubble wrap or those annoying loose fill packing peanuts that make a mess, plus it takes up less space and keeps your valuables safe. I personally love this stuff and the fact that you can reuse it.
What about the oversized luggage you never use? Or the pack you trekked around Europe in? Use all the bags you have in your house and fill them up. Since they are especially good options for packing your clothes and shoes, in my house, we leave bags for last minute items like clothes and toiletries that you use up until moving day. One last note about clothes – don’t pack all your work clothes or workout gear too soon, you don’t want to be without your clothes!
Readers – What tips do you have? How do you juggle the demands of moving with work? Any job relocation resources to share?
Photo Credit: Jessica McKenzie Peterson