This week, we’ll be posting a few articles focused on health in the workplace. In this piece, Associate Ashley Shahid illustrates the concept of work-life integration — and how the attention we pay to our health outside the office can influence our performance inside the office.
We expect a lot of Vesties, and want each teammate to bring their best selves to the office. This is the only way we can deliver top-notch work for clients, and scale the business to meet the industry need. But bringing one’s best self to the office means taking care of oneself outside of the office, as well. Here, I detail six things to prioritize outside the workplace that help to ensure maximum performance in the workplace.
Sleep is NOT for the weak. Humans spend more than one-third of their lives asleep (and if you’re me, you spend the rest eating and monitoring for client news coverage). All jokes aside, sleep is a vital part of human life and according to the National Sleep Foundation, average adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep for their brains to perform efficiently. It’s imperative to carve out time to sleep – even if you work long hours, even if you’ve set out to change the world. Aiming to improve the quality of your sleep? Try bedtime rituals, cutting caffeine at a reasonable time, and eliminating blue light in the bedroom. Recently, Account Executive Adrienne Kim and Senior Account Executive Emma Clarke have been excited about blue light-eliminating glasses in the office. Our bodies associate blue light with daytime, so the glasses can be especially useful at night, when blue light from screens can disrupt natural sleep patterns.
In a white-collar workplace, where many employees spend hours on end at a desk or in front of a computer, fostering balance by embracing social interaction is extremely important. Over the last decade, companies have taken cues to incorporate social areas in their offices. But even further than social interaction at work, it’s important to put yourself out there in your city. Social life looks different for everyone. For some, it’s chatting with a coworker over coffee or cocktails. For others, it’s attending exciting parties and building bustling social calendars.
Either way, take care to balance work and your social life in a way that suits your needs (and know when to say no). Vested employees find balance through families, traveling, going to the gym, visiting restaurants and museums, joining industry organizations, taking classes, dog ownership and more. Socialization promotes an open mind, mitigates boredom, and increases general satisfaction in life. Director of Operations Adrienne Robbins loves to explore museums and restaurants, and attend concerts. And Senior Account Executive Ibby Hussain is well-versed in music festivals.
Travel is one of the most enriching experiences that a person can have. To see different places and cultures on TV or online is one thing, but to immerse, digest and internalize a culture for yourself takes the experience to the next level. Collectively, American waste 658 million vacation days a year. Take the time off! Here at Vested, we have an unlimited paid-time-off structure, and though there are parameters, we encourage employees to get out there and experience a new way of living, new economies, new customs and new views. Just this summer, Vested employees touched down in China, Myanmar, Peru, Portugal, and countless domestic destinations. There’s just one ask – you have to take Mini Milton along for the ride. Mini Milton is the bobblehead version of our Chief Economist, Milton Ezrati. Check out the adventures of Mini Milton here.
We’re big on continuing education, and arrange Series 7 training for all our employees, but education doesn’t have to be work- or industry-specific. There is great value in learning and absorbing topics that truly interest you beyond your day-job. Whether that’s Italian Renaissance art or aviation history, it’s important to expand your knowledge base far and wide. Some ways that Vesties like to learn about new and exciting subjects are through podcasts, newsletters, books, visiting museums and exhibitions, and attending panels and talks. Many also take classes; Account Manager Seres Lu has taken art classes, and Senior Account Manager Marian Daniells has taken a class on comedy writing.
Stepping away and instead looking at the big picture — of life, of society, of welfare — can provide great perspective and mental relief. Philanthropy and charity work are some of the most rewarding ways to practice gratitude and refresh your mind. And there is no shortage of ways to give back and get involved in causes that about which you are passionate. Vesties give back in a multitude of ways including volunteering here in New York, volunteering abroad, and by donating to causes and organizations near and dear to our hearts. Education and children are particularly important to me, so when I’m not at Vested, I am working on my own non-profit called BNGLDSH, or with UNICEF where I’m a member of UNICEF Next Generation. Graduate Associate Caroline Andrews volunteers with women’s health organizations, and Senior Account Executive Biz Cozine participates in charity walks and hosts fundraisers to give back.
Last but certainly not least, take proactive care of your health. Take time to go the doctor or dentist. How are you supposed to be a rockstar in the office if you’re off, or constantly distracted by a cough or trying to navigate the work day in a fog of medicine? Will you be able to advise your clients on communications strategy with a broken voice? Take care of yourself. Vested just arranged a flu shot clinic to enable easy vaccinations for the team, but health care also includes exercising as well. A healthy human needs about 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week. Vested CEO of Professional Services Amber Roberts opts for hiking as her activity of choice. And many of us attend bi-weekly Finyasa yoga classes which provide an easy workout but also have a meditation component.
Curious about our other health-focused posts? Check out Biz Cozine’s piece on financial companies’ support for mental health programs, and Leslie Campisi’s piece on yoga and her experience working in financial services.