My Working World*

Since my return to work in March last year I’ve found myself in an office based role- for those who have read my blog for a while you’ll know I was mostly clinic based prior to being signed off sick so I had never given much thought to what my ideal office would be like.

As it happens this is an incredibly timely post as just last week I was offered a full time position in my new job role, meaning I’ll be a 9-5 desk girl for the first time in my working life. I never thought I could do a desk job, I fidget too much, I usually hate being chained to one place and inactivity drives me crazy, however, it turns out that with the right components office work can actually be great fun and perfectly comfortable.

In this post I’ll be talking about my ideal office environment, everything that makes my 9-5 both comfortable and fun, in association with Slater & Gordon employment solicitors


Probably the most important factor for me for any office environment is team work. In my job as a prescribing clerk I work as part of a small team- and it really IS a team. We all pull together to sort out problems, support one another and provide friendship and camaraderie- and we’re really good at taking it turns to do the coffee/tea run! this is what makes 9-5 bearable to me, having colleagues I know I can count on and who I know can count on me. We do the work we need to do, and we do it well, but we have plenty of laughs along the way.

Secondly having the chance to personalise your work space is really important to me. On my desk I have my own mug, my own stationery and a couple of Instax photos of Mae and Pablo blu-tacked to my monitor. I like coming in each morning knowing where I’ve left things, and having familiar items around me that make me happy and give me something to ground myself with when things get stressful.

Having access to free tea and coffee is a definite perk that makes the day that much easier! I know that not everyone has this luxury at their work so please don’t think I’m rubbing it in- I know how lucky I am! Sometimes taking five minutes away from the screen to grab a caffeine boost and gather your thoughts makes all the difference!

Finally, the most boring and yet probably most important point- the furniture! If you’re going to be sat at a desk all day you need a decent desk and chair set up. I do find this tricky as my history of back problems makes finding a chair that suits really bloody hard, but referring to my earlier point about personalisation, I find bringing a bright and fun cushion from home to provide extra lumbar support not only makes me working day more comfortable but also means I’ve put my own stamp on my working environment.

What would your ideal office environment be like? I’ve kept it pretty simple here as firstly, I don’t go to work for the bells and whistles, I go to do the job that I enjoy and all of the office slides and free massages in the world wouldn’t take away from that. Secondly, office work is still pretty new on me, give it a year or two and I might have a list of demands to rival any showbiz diva, but for now my needs are met and I’m perfectly content.


How to Achieve the Work-Life Balance Everyone’s Talking About*


Work-life balance- it’s a term that’s often bandied about by everyone from politicians to busy mums but I’m willing to bet that there are very few of us who have actually obtained the holy grail of perfectly balancing our time at work with time spent at home relaxing, working on hobbies and spending time with our families.

If you’re content with seeing your office colleagues more than you see your partner/kids and working more than you do, well anything else, then that’s great. For the rest of you reading this, who would love to strike a better balance between your obligations and your desires, check out these tips to help you achieve the perfect work-life balance that everyone’s talking about:

Turn Off Work Notifications

To start with an easy way that you can get more of your personal life back and redress the balance between working and relaxing is by turning off your mobile phone once you leave work- or at the very least turning off work notifications. You might feel under pressure to check your emails every five minutes or check if your colleague has finished that report, but do you really need to do it now? Your free time should be just that and you shouldn’t be scared into giving it away by bosses and colleagues who can’t ever switch off themselves. In fact, you might want to point out that the more time spent working the less productive and more stressed out you’ll be, which is hardly going to do your work any favours!

Learn How to Say No


Similar to the above, if you have a boss who’s very demanding and always wants more than it is reasonable for you to give do yourself a favour and learn how to say no. Just because you work for someone doesn’t give them the right to encroach into your private life and unless it’s written in your contract they have no right to ask you to stay behind to do an extra job, complete an extra project or answer emails at midnight. So, if you don’t want to do something say so. Be polite but be firm. The time spent with your family is more important than time spent trying to impress your boss, hands down. I mean, few people ever wished they had worked more on their death beds!

Say Goodbye to Perfection

If you’re a perfectionist you probably spend considerably longer on tasks than your peers who know that good enough really is good enough most of the time. Therefore if you can fight the urge to make everything you do absolutely perfect you can claw back some considerable free time to spend with family, friends, pets or even a good book.

Work from Home

More and more companies are allowing their staff to telecommute- working from their own homes. If you can swing this it’ll mean that you no longer have a daily commute to contend with and you’ll possibly be able to create your own schedule which in turn means more time spent doing the things you love.

Retrain or Start Your Own Business


If none of the above help you to create a better work-life balance you could think about either retraining to go into a career than offers more flexibility, or even better starting your own business where you can call all the shots. Becoming a personal trainer with the help of Origym, setting up your own blog like I have and monetizing it or starting your own graphic design business are three very viable options for setting up on your own but there are literally thousands of ways you can change your career to give you more control over your time.

Work Smarter

Whether you’re working for an employee or running your own business it always makes sense to find ways that you can work smarter rather than harder. For example using software programs to automate your most monotonous tasks or creating new spreadsheets that can process data in a fraction of the usual time will mean that you can get things done much more quickly, giving you more free time to do what you truly love. Many employees don’t much care when you’re in the office as long as everything gets done so this is a really good option for any of you who don’t want to leave your jobs but do want to have more free time.

Do you have a great work –life balance? What steps have you taken to achieve a better life?


How Office Yoga can Help you*

Anyone who has ever worked in an office will know that you spend a lot of time sitting on your arse. A recent study has shown that office workers sitting at their desk for at least eight hours a day face a 60% increase in their risk of premature death. It’s not all doom and gloom though as making some simple changes including taking a five minute break every hour, and grabbing some exercise in your lunch break or evenings can significantly improve your chances.

With this in mind Furniture at Work have launched a campaign to encourage desk-workers to get moving using beginners yoga as a focal point. The campaign- #OfficeYoga aims to prove that it doesn’t take much time, or indeed effort to get some health benefits in to your day- using a top yoga teacher and two average office workers to highlight the importance of taking a break and how it doesn’t have to be taxing.

The campaign is backed by youtube videos showing the simple poses that can be fitted easily in to the working day as well as a great infographic both of which I’ve shared below.

Of course as well as keeping you fit reducing your risk of an early grave yoga has the additional benefit of helping you escape from the stresses of the working world and claim back some “you time” each day. Are you a yoga advocate and will we find you doing this at your desk? I’m pretty game on for instating it in my work place once I get back (I just won’t share the news with my colleagues just yet…)


Finding A Job In 2016*

In this day and age it may seem that it is incredibly hard to find a job in such an over-saturated market. If you are a recent graduate it can feel like you will never find a job in your field of interest or that you will need to go back to education just to land a job related to your degree. The reality is that yes, it is hard to find your dream job but it has always been this way. What has changed is that technology allows you to look for jobs more easily than ever. Sites such as Jobrapido allow you to access thousands of job openings and to apply to hundreds per day. Here are some tips on how you can maximise your job search to begin your dream career and find a job you’ll love.
According to new trends there is still a plethora of opportunity in the mobile, analytics, health care technology and automation industries. What do all of these have in common you may be wondering? They all are being innovated through technological advances and need skilled employees who are on the pulse of this new age. Anything within the healthcare field is also growing due to the ageing population and is also being merged with innovative industries.

When we talk about an over-saturated market we are pointing out that there are many people entering the workforce with degrees. However skills and experience are always more helpful on top of a good education. When you have graduated it is important to never stop developing your skills to make them more applicable to real world scenarios and careers. If you are pursuing a masters degree for example you may want to find a more specific program in order to allow yourself to stand out from the crowd.

There are many job boards and websites to start your search for a job but you will also want to check out talent communities. These are interactive discussions between employees and potential employees as well as employers. You automatically have to specify which industry/industries you are looking for a job in return you’ll have a platform for future opportunities. It is also a great way to network and learn more about jobs before you decide to take one.

Mobile devices allow you to stay connected no matter what and apply for jobs on the go. When you have free time during your current job or are commuting you apply to any number of jobs per day. These job applications have the interface and interaction people crave making job searching more fun than scrolling through descriptions and trying to pick the best opportunity. There are so many ways to make job hunting more interesting and more effective try out all of these suggestions and you may find yourself landing your dream job in no time!


Working from home in style with Viking

Since starting my work with Riddle I’ve had to become a lot more organised with everything. My time management skills had to improve ten fold and my habit of leaving to-do lists and bits of paper all over the house had to stop. I was recently contacted by the folks at Viking Direct and asked if I would like to pick a few bits from their range of fashion stationery which was the perfect kick up the backside to sort myself out in style…not only for my job, but for all my blogging paraphernalia too.
Obviously my old faithful Mac Book is a blogging and working essential but unlike most people I know, I’m not a fan of spreadsheets for keeping organised. I prefer good old pen and paper so when I saw this adorable Hello Kitty fountain pen it was immediately added to my “please may I have” list. I always think my writing looks loads neater when I use a fountain pen and I love the old fashioned look of real ink.
On the afternoons where I set up office in the conservatory (or when I’m cheekily writing blog posts on my bed) you’ll never see my far away from my pink Moleskine notebook and my weekly planner from Paperchase. I don’t care what anybody says, Moleskines are hands down the nicest notebooks to use- they make me feel a lot more productive too, for some reason! The planner is a recent addition to my desk and it is so, so useful as I can see at a glance what I have on for the week and how much time I have to fit in all that I need to.
Also from Viking I picked this pink 3 litre storage box to store some of the bits and pieces I get sent for review as I am so bad for putting things down somewhere and not finding them again for ages. I also have some pink plastic bucket type things from Asda for bigger items and they keep my bedroom looking a whole lot neater!
Finally- FOLDERS! I’m mad for owls so it was a no brainer when I saw the funky owl range
on the Viking site. I always feel like I can never have enough folders in my life as I use them for everything- receipts, press releases, copies of invoices, important documents, magazine clippings…the list goes on and on.

I think that just about sums up my current essentials, all you lovely bloggers (and work from home-ers) what can’t you live with out? I’m sure there are things I am lacking and I do love an excuse for a good stationary shop!