Enable the Initiators

Posted by Jane Wang 

Ever since we have been getting increasingly involved with organizational partners, who are also passionate about creating better health and happier days for professionals; our work seemed to have the effect of compounding each firm’s impact.

We put on a wine and cheese for our partners, colleagues, friends and created a community series called “More Than a Paycheque”. It was a lot of fun, as we listened to an expert panel chat about culture, gamification and technology and how it is adding to our quality of life at work.

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As we know it, culture building is a journey for a community — a manifestation of a belief system, a result of the values the members of the social group believe in and advocate.

This is no different for people who are trying to drive health or safety or training, and various digital tools can help enable you to congregate and grow.

We are excited to grow our community, so that we can multiply the effects of each individual’s effort. My team is investing their personal time into helping out to create a community movement: Optimity_EventPoster_V1 the next community event we are hosting is now live on Eventbrite: MTAP2. eventbrite.com

We hope you can make it out and contribute to the cause of better days for productive people.

Importance of community

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Permission to stand?

Posted by Jane Wang 

Funny story: Yesterday, we had an afternoon meeting with a leader in the innovation space of a large consulting firm, and without thinking much of it, I stood up to stretch my back in the middle of the chat as we continued to talk vivaciously about the innovation climate in Canada. After a couple of minutes, he asked: “Why did you stand up? Are you leaving?” and I realized that how the culture of “movement” have not been granted for much of the community.

The way that we work is still new and somewhat shocking, even to the innovators.

So I feel compelled to ask for permission to “stand up”… for better productivity and better health.

Back pain, poor circulation, get more standing minutes? For productivity alone, we deserve the permission to stand at work.
Back pain, poor circulation, get more standing minutes? For productivity alone, we deserve the permission to stand at work.

Being a mentor for the Lean StartUp Machine workshops has opened my eyes to how small things can have huge impacts on the success of a team.

Since the whole point at LSM is to get the teams to 1) ask the right questions, 2) drill down to the essential and 3) get out of the building to find the answers (read more on LSM), managing time and cutting through the laid-back and non-actionable chatter is of the uttermost importance.

LSM – Standing Meetings
LSM – Standing Meetings

Our mentor team at LSM experimented with many things… and one of the most effective practices we found was removing the chairs. 

These No-Chair meetings cut down the time the team members debated, and energized them to all participate during the meeting! The teams reached the same conclusions in about 1/3 of the time and often get right into action following the meeting.

The productivity argument aside, it is also a good change for people who sit for 6+ hours per day. That extra 15lbs and chronic lethargy are often side-effects of our sedentary careers. Often the back pain and swollen feet are symptoms of the culture of stillness that we are unconsciously infused in. As a woman, who loves wearing beautiful yet sometimes un-ergonomic footwear in professional settings, I enjoy rely on software, wearable tech and a healthy culture to help and give me permission to stand and move throughout the day.

So rise up, and “stand up” for your right to be more productive and pain-free. Join the community by signing up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

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Reactive vs. Proactive

Posted by Jane Wang 

Managing work life and personal life is a continuous struggle for most professionals. It is especially apparent in 2015. When you are in a client-facing position, when your performance and billable hours dictate your performance and compensation, it is not always an easy task to juggle work assignments and personal issues at the same time.

I find this problem exciting, because we are truly starting to see higher engagement because our initiatives not only is loved by employees, but are getting more top-level buy in. Tech firms especially are innovators in this space, where the reduction in sick-days can be counted and gains in productivity (lines of code, deployed features, velocity) can be measured.Reactive vs. Proactive

Coaching employees to deal with stress before it happens becomes key to the success for the HR team, who aim to keep their star players performing. Top firms internally promote their Employee Assistance Programs to help their team deal with mental health and stress issues when they arise.

The problem with relying on EAP’s is that often they are reactive, versus preventative, and heavy usage is expensive. There is often a negative stigma surrounding their usage, preventing employees from using them or talking about it openly to their peers.

We are entering a world where the chronic-disease-management apps, often “free” to the employers, are a great start to helping firms understand how mobile-first technology can change behaviour.

At Optimity, we get to help on the other side, with a proactive, preventative mobile-first solution that delays and stops employees from falling into the chronic state. They are really 2-sides of the same coin in solving the rising health-cost issue for employers.

 

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