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Fostering a Work Environment that Works

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

There are a lot of things we want from our job. Money, benefits and time off are all important goals, but perhaps one of the most sought after requirements in a job is that you like being there. So for managers who want to create a culture of employees who enjoy their job, here are a few tips.

Practice an attitude of transparency

If you mess up, admit it. If you are confused or overwhelmed, ask for help. Thank others for their honesty when they do the same. This way, fear won’t be the driving force that motivates people and collaboration will be the norm. The point of working in an office is to be a team. This requires regular interaction, honesty and the knowledge that you won’t be fired for imperfection.

Stop Venting

That being said, it’s important not to complain. Venting does not make you more productive, less stressed or more motivated. Instead it creates negativity and wastes time. A positive culture is vital, and if you or your coworkers spend your energy complaining, this is impossible.


I have a theory that productivity corresponds with laughter. Joking around with your coworkers increases energy and revitalizes motivation, making work feel less like work. Especially if you’re the manager, it’s good to goof off a bit, and lead the trend.

Work hard, but with Attitude

Everyone is different. And the best way to like your job is to be accepted for your unique self. As long as the work gets done and done well, any personality should feel welcome. This allows for a vibrant workplace that is comfortable and positive.


The Secret Recipe to Productivity

Productivity is one of the most used words in our vocabulary. It’s a quality that matters to both a business and the individual. Everyone wants to feel like their life has purpose, and productivity is a measure of whether or not you’ve applied yourself and have something to show from your day.

There are apps, books and careers dedicated to getting us to be productive and yet, the average person tends to trudge through their day and force their productivity to come out. It’s a chore, not a habit.

In a recently discovered blog called, TYNAN, the article, Why Obsess About Productivity?, got me wanting to pinpoint the key ingredients for productivity.

  1. Be Excited

This might seem obvious, but too many people are living a life that they simply aren’t passionate about. It’s no wonder why the daily tasks that make up their day are less than stimulating. For instance, if you like writing and yoga, these tasks will be easy. They make you happy, and with some intention, they’ll become habits. If you hate running and coding, these tasks will most likely take forever to finish, and even when you did manage to, it’d most likely be done badly.

So before you can change your day to become the better version of yourself, first decide if the way you’re spending your time is actually the way you want to spend it. Reflect over your day. Are you proud of your work, your hobbies, and your habits? If not, what else would you like to do? Zen Habits Leo Babauta gives this encouragement in his article, Letter to an 18-year-old on the Career Path Less Traveled, “Try a lot of things. When you get good at something, by the way, you’ll like it much more. You’ll suck at everything at first.”

Imagining change is scary, but the idea of doing something that makes you miserable just because it’s available is even scarier. You have one life. Get excited about it.

  1. Make your work a Sprint. Not a Marathon.

This advice comes from Jamie Herzlich’s article, “Small Business: How owners can reduce stress.” The concept is essentially to work hard and stay focused when you’re doing a task rather than attempting to work constantly and running out of steam.

Jeff Haden’s article “The 8-Hour Workday Doesn’t Really Work,” gave this advice, “Instead of thinking, “What can I get done in an 8 hour day?” I’ve started to think, “What can I get done in a 90 minute session?”

Also, Give yourself breaks after you finish a task and clear your head. This keeps you from “multitasking” for the sake of working, which usually equates to scattered, unproductive effort with little product. If you’re bogged down, try to stretch, walk, or laugh rather than sit in your chair and go on autopilot.

  1. Stop Rushing and Get Organized.

Have you ever been to a restaurant where your server was going nonstop? Did you enjoy the experience? Did it make ordering your food easier? Was your server even doing a better job?

Now imagine that your coworker rushes like this hypothetical server. Does working with a manic manager make you a better employee, or a scattered one? Most people would agree that it’s easier to accomplish a task and enjoy yourself while you do it if those involved stay calm and collected. This point is expanded upon in Will Yakowicz’s article, “Stop Rushing at Work: Stress Makes you Less Productive.” “The key is to plan and prioritize instead of being reactive. Being in control instead of being rushed helps your employees to stay calm, avoid stress, and be more productive.” The point: don’t rush your tasks, rank them.

On this same thought, you don’t have to respond to every email immediately. Instead, try to set aside a few times in your day to respond to all your emails at once so that you don’t lose focus on what you have set out to do.

  1. Stay Motivated

Now that you’re passionate, focused, and organized, the only thing you’ve got to do is maintain that energy. This is done by accomplishing the tasks you’ve set for your day and giving yourself the credit for these achievements. Whether it’s making a checklist and steadily eliminating your tasks, or the positive momentum you’ve collected from knowing that you’re having a successful day, recognize your pattern and repeat it with joy. Because you are now doing a job you love, and you’re doing it well.

Living the dream is possible. You just have to enjoy yourself and set your pattern.


Is Expecting Workplace Happiness Expecting Too Much?

Employee HappinessIf you’re like most working adults, you have a Linkedin profile that connects you with other professionals. This month, one particular article caught my attention.

The article, “Four keys to happiness in your job” by Gary S., a CEO of oDesk spoke on what a person needs to thrive in their career. To me, all the factors were pretty self-explanatory and even common sense: impact, growth and development, financial reward and work-life balance.

What got my attention wasn’t the content of the article itself, but the comment a man named Kevin Rockwell left in response. “Nonsense to your 4 points…Most people could care less about what kind of impact they’re going to have on the world, their growth and development within the company, or for the flipping work-life balance. Geez, that last one is ridiculous. People want to pay their bills… Here’s a suggestion, Gary – one night this week sit down with your family to a dinner of noodles with cream of mushroom soup as a sauce and a side of pinto beans. Then get back to me about how important your four points are.”

Regardless of who I agree with, this debate sparked my curiosity and caused me to ask some questions around the office. One coworker in particular surprised me when I asked him if he cared about the impact his job made on the world. The man I asked is one of those fit, All-American men with a cheerful disposition, a happy family at his remodeled home and a job that he’s good at. But when I asked him my question, he stared at me with a stumped look. He said he had never thought about it. He said that as long as his impact and integrity at home were positive, he didn’t care about his job.


Why are the two not intertwined, I asked. Well, I guess they are, he said. He then went on to describe a past job at a large corporation you’re quite familiar with where he made lots of money but he hated every second of it. For you Harry Potter fans, he compared his workplace to Azkaban and his coworkers to dementors. He was literally drained of happiness.

Obviously we work because we need to pay our bills, but beyond that, shouldn’t we work because we enjoy it, we’re good at it, and we care about what we produce? From serving tables to protecting the President, we all have a role to play and when a person is doing his or her best at all hours of a day, expressing fully his or her values and beliefs in a consistent manner, a habit is forged that produces character. Life becomes integrated. What is held to be true, good, and virtuous in one setting . . . is true, good, and virtuous in ALL settings. There is no switching from “work mode” or “work values” to “home mode” and “home values.”

What do you think? Have you thought about these keys to happiness before? Do you care about how your work and home life integrate with each other?


Employee Engagement: Four Steps to Productivity in the Workplace

Employee engagement increases productivity in the workplace and therefore profits

Employee engagement increases productivity in the workplace and therefore profits will increase as well.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance

Employee engagement is vitally important when we are trying to maximize productivity in the workplace. When employees feel as though they are an integral part of the business, they will do everything in their power to ensure its success. Yet, the field of employee engagement is often neglected by businesses, both young and old. There is a sense in which we expect people to just buy into the company from the word ‘go,’ and all we need to do is let the engagement develop organically. Sadly, this is not the case; follow these four steps in order to maximize your employee engagement.


Being a leader requires more than just telling people what to do. It also requires you to put forward a vision for the organization, and to stick to it. Employees need to know what they are working toward. It is the job of the employer to set forward the aims of the company, and foster a particular philosophy that the employees can buy into and thereby increase productivity in the workplace.


Employees don’t want to be belittled, and they want to feel as though their job matters. Make sure that your managers have excellent management skills; they need to know what makes the employees tick in order to ensure that they fulfill their potential.


In many companies, the first time that employees hear about decisions from above is when they are affected by them. This has the potential to be highly disruptive, with many people becoming disillusioned with their company as a result. To avoid such problems, it is important to ensure that your employees have a voice, that where a decision is likely to affect them, they are consulted and have a chance to air their views. When an individual has their voice heard, they will feel as though the business cares about them.


It is not enough merely to say what you are trying to do; it is vital that you then try to follow it through. All too often, employees are given an outline of the aims of a company, only to see those aims altered after a few weeks. This leads to confusion, and a confused workforce is less likely to maintain productivity in the workplace. Ensure you avoid this issue by staying true to your company; stick to the aims that you have outlined.

Ensuring that your employees engage with the company is vital to maximizing the profitability of your business.

For more information about Andy’s work-life balance programs Contact Us Now!



Convention Speakers Practice the Right Kind of Stress

Adrenaline from healthy sources can be a good kind of stress.

Adrenaline from healthy sources can be a good kind of stress.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

To many ears, the word “stress” has negative connotations. It conjures to mind images of not feeling well, being burned out and wanting a break. However, convention speakers like Andy Core know that stress can also be good.

  • Getting a rush from exhilarating activities like test-driving a race car, bungee jumping or even something as simple as ordering an exotic dish at a foreign restaurant makes those butterflies in your stomach good ones. Moreover, the knowledge that you overcame a hurdle will only add to your confidence.
  • When you carry a heavy workload, as opposed to a workload that drags you down, it is a good way of keeping yourself busy. The busier someone is, the less likely they are to make mountains out of molehills.
  • The release of hormones in your body is good in small doses. They can make you extra alert to your surroundings, enabling convention speakers to take in more information and make more informed decisions.

Not all stress has to be of the negative variety, and it takes stress in your life to make you realize the good parts. However, like all good convention speakers recommend, the key is to minimize them and use stressors for their key qualities instead of letting them overtake you.

To learn more on Andy’s programs,


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Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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