Here’s the Dirty Little Secret…

…No one is actually working an 8-hour work day!

feet on deskIf 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 climate, 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.

30 Days of Unique Experiences

One of the highlights I will take away from 2014 is my personal 30-day challenge of doing something new and unique every day. I loved committed to taking time for recess every day for 30-days straight! I was able to learn, explore and create memories.

Here’s the final list of my 30-day journey:

1. Jumped high at a trampoline park

2. Played 18-holes of soccer golf

3. Learned to knit

4. Took a tour of the new San Diego Central Library

5. Explore Leo Carillo Historic Park

6. Took an aerial silk class

7. Took a new hike in Scripps Ranch

8. Learned archery

9. Visited the Butterfly Garden at the Water Conservation

10. Learned the business of flowers at Organic Elementa

11. Attended a domestic violence fundraiser

12. Learned how to ride a dirt bike

13. Visited the Meditation Garden at the Self-Reflection Center

14. Had a head massage

15. Hiked to the top of Canyon Hills Open Space

16. Took at pizza making class at Great News Cooking School

17. Volunteered at Homecoming at USD

18. Took a swing dancing class

19. Attended the Little Italy Festa

20. Walked over the suspension bridges in Banker’s Hill

21. Took time out to meditate

22. Attended the Pit Bull & Enrique Iglesias concert

23. Took at boxing class

24. Attended a single’s event by Match.com

25. Staffed the Vista Hill Gala

26. Visited a bird sanctuary

27. Took a fall cooking class at Pirch

28. Had lunch with my prom date

29. Attended a Court Appointed Special Advocate Informational Meeting

30. Took a police ride along – 10 hour shift

I can’t recommend enough committing to a 30-day challenge – it shakes life up in a fun and exciting way!

Back to School = Back to the Grind!

Back to school

The school bells are ringing again. Welcome to a new school year. Whether you are sending off your little one for the first time, are lamenting over the fact you now have a high school senior, or anything in between, with a new school year comes a new rhythm. If you are like most families, getting kids up and out the door is now as challenging as the schedule shuffle that takes place after school with all of the extracurricular activities kids participate in every week. Do any kids just come home after school and get time to play? No kids we know!

To help manage the craziness of the back to school grind, we offer these helpful tips:

1. It’s all about the schedule – get organized! Make sure everyone in the family has access to the same family schedule and you note every practice, game, performance, rehearsal, school nights, test dates and major projects. Don’t forget to add Mom and Dad’s schedules too. This will highlight any transportation challenges that might arise.

2. Get organized in the kitchen – after a long day at work, followed by the after-school shuffle of activities, the last thing you want to do is come home to the burden of deciding what you want to cook for dinner. Plan ahead with weekly menu planning and go old school – bring out your Crock Pot and let the cooking happen while you are away.

3. The dinner table is sacred space – put away your cell phones, turn off the tv and engage as a family. As a child, my parents created an environment where the time around the dinner table was the most memorable. It was a place where we could talk about our days, laugh at memories and talk about family issues. To this day, the whole family comes home to my parents house on Sunday nights for family dinner. It is a cherished tradition and provides a safe space where after all the running around and juggling of balls we do all week long, we know all is right with the world around the dinner table.

4.  The Rapid 15!  Make a game about getting organized for the next day. Set a timer for 15 minutes before bed time and challenge everyone in the family to get organized — all backpacks by the door, school clothes laid out for the next day, all sports bags and school lunches packed. You could make it a family competition and give points to the family member who can get organized in the rapid 15 the fastest.

5. Take time for you! I remember the days when my parents would actually drop us off at soccer practice and come back 2-hours later to pick us up. There was never a line of parents lined up on the sidelines just to watch our practice. Hello helicopter parents! I know my mom cherished that 2-hours she had while we were at practice; whether she ran to do errands, went home for free time or jammed to the gym to get in a workout, my mom took the time for herself. It’s perfectly fine to be the parent that just does the drop off and actually takes practice time to focus on you! Go for a run, take a yoga class, grab a coffee with a friend or just go home and enjoy the peace and quiet. We promise your soccer star is going to be just fine at practice without you watching every shot on goal!

What other tips have worked for you? We want to know! Share your tips in the comment box below!

 

An Intimate 50th Anniversary Celebration!

We recently had the opportunity to produce a very special 50th Anniversary Weekend for a client and her extended family. From enjoying VIP festivities on 4th of July at a San Diego Padres Game to an intimate celebration for 16 guests at the Birch Aquarium, we took care of every detail!

Together with San Diego’s best vendors, we produced a visual bounty for the eyes, and an event that yielded rave reviews from the client! Go Team Henley!

 

Photography:  Merima Helic Photography

 

Meet Ms. Henley…

With our new branding, comes the introduction of Ms. Henley….MsHenley_Final

 

Ms. Henley is the ambassador for The Henley Co. She is the magic behind the brand and she is a connoisseur of living the good life. She has her finger on the pulse for current events, unique experiences and creating a lifestyle, not just a life. When Ms. Henley gives her approval, she is endorsing a product or service of distinction.

Ms. Henley is your go-to girl. She is sophisticated, and super connected. She always knows what fun is going on, and you can always count on her to bring any event or task to the next level. She is your Wonder Woman who makes magic happen.

Ms. Henley is the extra set of hands everyone needs and their secret superhero. She is savvy and smart, poised and professional, impeccably fashionable and contemporary.

The Henley Co., through Ms. Henley, champions the spirit of its visionary founder, Nicole Matthews. The personality of Nicole is infused in this personification of the brand, and Ms. Henley represents the level of poise and creativity that everyone in the company aspires to.

Fans of the brand can spot Ms. Henley around town making magic happen. Be sure to follow her on all Henley Co. social media sites.

 

Twitter:       @henleyco

Instagram:   @mshenleyco

Web:              www.TheHenleyCompany.com

 

What can Ms. Henley do for you?

 

 

The NEW Henley Co!

Happy 7th Anniversary to us!

On July 13, 2007, The Henley Company hung out our shingle and opened the first event management AND concierge firm based in San Diego. It has been an amazing journey, and we are more excited than ever about the future. Over time, our brand and website seemed to get the seven-year itch so we decided to make a change! Without hesitation, we called up the super-talented, design-genius, Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York and asked for her creative brilliance as we started to re-brand!

You might have known us as:

 

New Year

 

 

But effective July 1, 2014, it’s out with the old and in with the new! We are delighted to introduce you to the NEW Henley Co!

 

TheHenleyCompany

 

Operating now as an event, travel and lifestyle concierge firm, Henley Co. has a new look and a beautiful new website: www.TheHenleyCompany.com We are still delivering the same level of first-rate experiences for our clients; we are just doing it now in a cuter outfit!

 

postcard

 

Check out our new site and let us know what you think! Oh, and do us a favor, invite your friends to check out our new website by posting the following on your social media accounts:

“Ready to live the life you want? Check out @HenleyCo ‘s new website http://www.TheHenleyCompany.com!”

 

Cheers!

 

11 Meaningful Flowers For Earth Day & Why You Should Immediately Fill Your Home With Them

April 22nd is Earth Day! Take a minute to enjoy these beautiful mementos from nature and celebrate the day to give thanks to the earth! Wouldn’t you agree that flowers help to brighten up any room?

11 Meaningful Flowers For Earth Day & Why You Should Immediately Fill Your Home With Them.