August 20, 2013

Take a stand!

About three months ago, I made the commitment and ordered my new “workstyle.”

About three months ago, I made the commitment and ordered my new “workstyle.”

It’s so easy to fall into certain work habits. Some can help us be very productive, while others merely turn into … well, bad habits.

As a young account executive sitting at metallic desk in a not-so-semi-private cubicle, I aspired to one day have my own office, with a wooden desk and a fine leather chair that rolled smoothly and maybe had a little sophisticated rock to it! Such are the frills that fuel little-boy-like dreams. The important stuff, particularly in my chosen profession — full-service advertising and public relations agency work — is to find yourself working in the best possible agency environment, with smart, interesting people who love what they’re doing and therefore work harder every day to be better! And over the last 35 years, I have been lucky to work with lots of great people — not the least of whom are my 70-some coworkers at AB&C, many of whom I have worked with for more than 20 years. As a friend would say, “all good stuff.”

But let’s not forget about the frills.

A dash of Irish luck and a load of hard work delivered my own office, a larger-than-necessary wood desk and, yes, even a high-backed leather chair. How did this affect my work? Well, I had more clutter on the desk than I considered beneficial, and I began to develop bad posture slouching in my big accommodating chair (that rolled!). One day I stood up, stretched and said to myself, “This is … crazy” (or words to that effect); “I am going to end my career as a fat old man who spends too much of his day slouched at his desk!” I vividly recall the moment when I pushed my chair back, stood up and walked to my window, thinking, “How can I drastically change how I am working?” I stood staring out the window and all of a sudden … that’s it! A stand-up desk.

All the early research was encouraging. Scientists, physicians and researchers all agreed that the stand-up desk is good for your body. It can help you achieve any number of the following:

  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced muscle pain
  • Increased life expectancy
  • Improved productivity
  • Just plain feeling better and happier

So about three months ago, I made the commitment and ordered my new “workstyle.” I am not doing anything new, other than accomplishing more in a day, feeling much healthier and more conscious of my posture, and fielding questions from passers-by like, “So how’s that feel?” Still working on a smart answer to that question. Is this the perfect solution for every working person? I sincerely doubt it.  But for me it was the stand I needed to take.