The Dirty Little Secret – No One is REALLY Working 8 Hour Days


If you are reading this article, it’s more than likely between the hours of 9-5 and you are sitting at your desk (which is owned by the company), reading this on your computer (which the company provides) and taking a “break” from your “demanding” work (which the company pays you to do). From the outside, you look busy because your eyes are aimed at the screen. This should make your manager happy. The reality is that this virtual “smoke break” will not be just the standard 15-minute break from your workload. Instead, it will morph into 2.09 hours per 8-hour workday, not including your lunch break or allocated break time, according to American Online and Survey.com [1] That’s 2.09 hours PER employee. Now multiply that by the number of employees you see in your immediate eyesight and you realize that there is a whole lot of nothing being done each day. The research by American Online and Survey.com has shined a bright light on the fact that employees are wasting twice as much time as their employers think they are wasting. And to really add salt to the employer’s wounds, Salary.com ran the numbers and found over $750 Billion (yes, with a B!) is spent on salaries (translation= compensation for actual work) for work that was never performed. Who’s pulling a fast one on whom?

Now before the employees start muzzling me for exposing the dirty little secret, it’s important to take a look at why they are spending so much time sitting at their desks without actually producing any relevant work for their employers. Given the current economic implosion, it’s easy to justify the feeling of burnout most employees are experiencing and the overwhelming inability to manage work / life balance.

53% of employees would opt for a personal assistant rather than a personal trainer. [2]

Only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation. The average American spends more time in the bathroom than on vacation. [3]

88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life. [4]

70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children. [5]

64% of Americans report that time pressures on working families are getting worse, not better. [6]

Work is inevitable but does it mean we have to give up our personal life for the sake of a paycheck? Not at all. It just means that employers should recognize that work / life balance is a huge motivator for employees. So if you can’t beat ‘em, why not join ‘em? A corporate concierge program can bring sanity to an otherwise scattered workplace filled with unsuspecting managers overseeing unproductive workers.

Texas Instruments is a perfect example of a company that understands happy, stress-free employees make for profitable champions for the business. According to the Texas Instruments website, in 2010, their concierge program served more than 2,900 U.S. employees and fulfilled more than 8,000 requests. They also expanded on-site services, providing 1,276 employees an opportunity to save a trip away from the work site during business hours. [7]

Implementing a corporate concierge program equates to:

  • The ability to retain and recruit quality talent
  • A far more productive and engaged workforce
  • A reduction in absenteeism
  • A lower level of stress within the workplace

Corporate concierge programs can be operated either virtually, with employees having access to the concierge through email or a dedicated website, or on-site, where employees can interact with the concierge in a face-to-face engagement. The concierge is retained to provide a solution to the employee’s work/life balance problem.

Frequent requests include:

  • travel coordination
  • errand running,
  • household management
  • personal shopping
  • personal assistance and
  • event planning

Imagine stopping by the concierge desk in the morning on your way into work with a request for designing and planning tonight’s dinner party; only to leave the office 8 hours later armed with the necessary groceries, a customized cd for background music, a paired wine selection and personalized favors for each guest. A corporate concierge becomes the one-stop solution for the time strapped employees. Without a concierge, the employee must manage this to-do list from their own desk and their lunch hour is spent running the errands.

As the workforce begins to shift from retiring Baby Boomers to Generation X & Y prodigies, employers need to evolve. What worked “back in the day” in terms of designing a workplace is completely foreign to today’s up and comers. Gen X & Y demand instant gratification because they have grown up in a world of access.

Although this might seem extravagant to those over the age of 45, the “children are the future.” (cue Whitney Houston).  I think this is what Darwin would call “survival of the fittest.” The strongest employee benefits package will become King of the Jungle. If you don’t make their life easier, I’m sure your competitor would be glad to invite them over. Now is the time to be a trailblazer and create a workplace that can be a place for a Gen X / Y’er to park themselves for a while because their work/life balance needs are met, versus just being a hop, skip and a jump on their resume.

Nicole R. Matthews is Chief Experience Officer of RECESS by The Henley Company, a concierge firm specializing in events travel and lifestyle experiences. She set out to create a company that gives clients the gift of time to experience life. Living a life that incorporates RECESS is a commitment, not just a hope and a dream.  Working with corporate clients, busy individuals and executive families, Nicole designs lifestyle management programs that create work / life balance. She champions the implementation of corporate concierge programs because she knows happy employees are productive employees. When she is not in the office, Nicole can be found with a Diet Coke in hand planning a trip to somewhere that requires her passport, kicking a soccer ball, drooling over fabulous accessories, scanning her social media sites (@henleyco / FB= Recess By The Henley Company) or belly laughing with her family. Follow her journey on her blog: www.henleyco.wordpress.com.

 

[1] Salary.com, 2005

[2] Circles, 2001

[3] The Families and Work Institute

[4] Aon Consulting, 2000

[5] Family Matters Survey; The National Partnership for Women & Families, 1998

[6] The National Partnership for Women & Families; Family Matters Survey, 1998

[7] Texas Instruments, 2012


Vacations 2011: Time Off Improves Productivity, Not Just Reducing Stress

 

Vacations 2011: Time Off Improves Productivity, Not Just Reducing Stress – ABC News.

Clearly this article reminds us that “recess” does a body and mind very good!  Taking time to decompress actually helps our bodies to restore and to lower stress levels.

Are you overdue for a vacation? Even a short weekend getaway is enough to allow for the body to feel restored and the mind to rest!

Next time the bell rings for recess, don’t ignore it! Instead go running out to the playground with full force! Your mind and body will thank you!


Schwinn’s Magical Bell

As we have been working to rebrand, we have been looking at lots of images related to recess. I love what Schwinn has done with their campaign! Totally takes you back to riding your first bike – remember the freedom, the belly laughs and how your imagination soared with each push of the peddle? That’s exactly what RECESS by The Henley Company is all about!  Kudos to Schwinn for helping us to stroll back down memory lane!!

Schwinn Magical Bell | The Inspiration Room.

February Family Experience – You are Invited!

You are invited to join us for our

 

FEBRUARY FAMILY EXPERIENCE

at the

San Diego Botanic Garden

Saturday, February 26, 2011

10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


There is so much to see, explore and do at the San Diego Botanic Garden!

 

SD Botantic Garden

We will enjoy Garden Bingo, a scavenger hunt that will take little explorers all around the Garden. Our families will be able to express themselves with paint, clay and help to create a mural for the Garden art program. Children can pot plants, climb in a tree house and play with boats floating in the stream. Check out and enjoy the beauty of the Butterfly Bed & Breakfast – a new enclosure for caterpillars to eat, rest, and transform into butterflies-all the stages of butterfly metamorphosis. For those really looking to explore, you could help Lucille the Lizard find her friend Leonard, who is hiding somewhere in the Garden!

 

Butterfly

Explore four miles of garden trails, enjoy restful vistas, flowering trees, majestic palms, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Thanks to our mild climate, plants from all over the world thrive here. Our diverse topography provides a variety of microclimates giving the visitor a sensation of going from a desert environment to a tropical rainforest, all within 37 acres. The Hamilton Children’s Garden, is the largest interactive children’s garden on the West Coast.

 

Register Now!

Admission includes a picnic lunch at the Hamilton Children’s Garden.

 

$25 – Adults (13 yrs and older)

$18 – Children (3-12 years)

Children 2 and under are free with paid adult

 

A Celebration of The Royal Wedding

You are cordially invited to join The Henley Company

for a once-in-a-lifetime trip

to Celebrate the Royal Wedding of

HRH Prince William of Wales & Ms. Catherine Middleton.

 

***********

 

“A Celebration of the Royal Wedding”

April 24 – May 4, 2011

London, England

_________________________________________________

“A Celebration of the Royal Wedding” is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to celebrate the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Ms. Catherine Middleton. For most American’s to enjoy a Royal Wedding they must get up in the middle of the night and watch the coverage on TV. It is how an entire generation of young women recount the wedding of HRH Prince Charles and Ms. Diana Spencer. Forget setting your alarm this time around! Grab your girlfriends, your sisters and your Mom and hop a plane to London so you can enjoy all of the pomp and circumstance first hand for the Royal Wedding of Wills & Kate! You can be witness to the dawn of the modern monarchy and celebrate the love story of a dynamic young couple.

 

Enjoy 10 days/9 nights in London, England for a unique Royal themed tour and celebration of the Royal Wedding!

 

Prince William & Kate

Photo by Mario Testino

 

 

Tour Package includes:

 

4-star luxury hotel accommodation in central London with daily breakfast

Private coach service & transfers

Private visit of the Crown Jewels

Panoramic tour of the old City of London and City of Westminster

Private tour with expert guide of luxury boutiques and retailers with the Royal Warrant

Private tour and lunch at Chavenage House, the earliest Royal residence

Private tour of Eton College (school of HRH Prince William of Wales)

Visit to Runnymede & Windsor Castle

Private visit to the Judith Blacklock Flower School for a demonstration of Royal Wedding flowers

Join the public celebration of the Royal Wedding

Special dinner in honor of the Royal couple

Guided Tour of Westminster Abbey

Private tour of the Royal Garden with Royal Historian

Private lesson in the history and etiquette of High Tea

And more activities to come…

 

London Wedding Bus

 

This exclusive trip will be limited to 25 guests.

Airfare will be priced individually.

 

Total Investment per person for a once-in-a-lifetime experience:

 

$6,297.00

 


 

_________________________________________

 

To secure your place, a deposit of $1000 is due by April 1, 2011.

 

Contact:

nicole@thehenleycompany.com

to obtain a more detailed itinerary and additional tour information

 

Note: The tour does not include access to the Royal Wedding at Westminster Abbey nor does it guarantee that you will meet any members of the Royal Family. The tour includes the ability to participate in the public festivities being arranged around the Royal Wedding, in addition to the private tours as described above.

 

CST 201 1220 40

Living the Life Thanks to Lifestyle Villas in Cabo San Lucas

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If you have been following our blog lately, you know that we recently took a trip down south to visit our office in Cabo San Lucas…and by “office” I mean the palapa next to the pool overlooking the ocean! There is certainly nothing like the creativity bolt that you get when your view is the Sea of Cortez, your co-workers for the day are the marine life swimming past and your employee lunch room is a 5-star catered meal poolside. To say that I love my job is an understatement!

The creative masters behind my flawless trip was the amazing team at Lifestyle Villas. When they invited us down to do a site visit and to “experience” their villa offerings I knew I was going to be impressed. I was not prepared to be blown away! Talk about a first class operation! My interaction began several weeks before my trip as my Destination Specialist, Susana, worked with me to ensure a smooth trip. Lifestyle Villas makes it their priority to make sure that your trip exceeds every expectation. Susana made sure that our villa was stocked with the appropriate amenities: tequila, margarita mix, guacamole…you get the hint! It was nice to have the comforts of home, including my beloved Diet Coke, in the refrigerator.

The airport pick-up could not have been smoother. Immediately upon exiting the baggage claim, a Lifestyle Villas representative was on hand. He immediately whisked me to a beautiful SUV and handed me a cold bottle of water. Within 20 minutes, we were safely delivered to our gated estate, Villa Anna-Lei, which is over 6000 sq. feet of beach front loveliness. Villa Anna-Lei is located in the corridor, about half way between San Jose del Cabo and Los Cabos. It is one of the most breathtaking pieces of property in the world. My consumption of the view was only interrupted by the heaping plate of guacamole and salsa that welcomed us into the property. I can easily lose my focus with chips & dips! Our personal concierge, Daniel, was at the house upon our arrival and made our transition easy. Within minutes we had a tour of the house and our luggage was tucked away into the appropriate bedroom. Daniel was on hand throughout the weekend to make sure we had everything we needed. The level of personal assistance that we had far exceeds any 5-star hotel.

Lifestyle Villas went all out to ensure that we had a very VIP treatment. The spa experience we had with Suzanne Morel Mobile Day Spa, followed by dinner by A Matter of Taste, requires their own blogs. I was stunned by the “experience” that both created for us. As an event planner, I feel very jaded about design, decor and good food because I come in contact with so much of it. Most is good; rarely is it remarkable. Both A Matter of Taste and Suzanne Morel are remarkable.

For anyone looking to get away, Cabo is an easy jaunt from Southern California. The flight time is less than 2-hours from San Diego/LA. With a direct flight, you are easily sipping margaritas under perfect sunshine by 2:00 p.m. Cabo is wonderfully safe, exceptionally clean and the level of service in the restaurants, bars and attractions is first-rate. It feels like worlds away from San Diego, while just being a stones throw away.

Muchas gracias Lifestyle Villas for a wonderful weekend! I look forward to the partnership we have established. I have every confidence that you will take care of my clients at the same level you took care of me!

I hope you will enjoy the slide show – the photos don’t really do the property and the experience justice. It was all breathtaking – from beginning to end!

For those looking to do events in Cabo, the go-to team is:

Lifestyle Villas
@lifestylevillas
Festa Fina  – Rentals & Event Design
Cabo Floral Studio
Suzanne Morel Luxury Mobile Day Spa
@suzzannemorel
@cabolinens – they also did the linens for the spa/dinner
A Matter of Taste Catering
@cateringincabo

The Ultimate Royal Wedding Experience

We are just days away from announcing the final itinerary for our Royal Wedding Experience. All of the key pieces are falling into place and we are super excited with all of the planning! Our interest list is filling up fast so make sure you get yourself on the list ASAP! The tour will only accommodate 25 attendees in an attempt to keep it super unique and intimate.

A few of the highlights of the trip being finalized include:

  • A private tour of the Crown Jewels with The Yeoman Warder (Beefeater)
  • A vist to the Royal Warrant luxury boutiques & retailers with a fashion expert
  • A day trip to Windsor & Eton College (where Prince William attended school)
  • Demonstration on Royal Wedding flowers, bouquets and decorations at a Flower School
  • High Tea including a history & etiquette lesson
  • Meet & greet with members of the Royal staff
  • Public celebration of the Royal Wedding in Hyde Park
  • Champagne Toast at the top of the London Eye

We look forward to joining you in London!!