Lumbergh would be proud!

“When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower." Alexander Den Heijer

For the past two weeks, I've had a pretty strange acting gig...I've been a sheriff. The Hendersonville Sheriff's Department hired me and a few other actors to be role players for their promotions process. You see, all the people up for promotions have to pass certain tests, including how they interact with people in real-life scenarios.

A few of my friends played upset mothers confronting officers about the supposed mistreatment of their children. I got a much easier role - playing a well-meaning subordinate who messed up in some way and needed guidance.

Overall, I had a blast. 

It was really eye-opening to interact with a group of people I normally don't spend much time with (thankfully). I also got to witness firsthand different management styles and saw how those who focused on my strengths rather than my weaknesses made me feel much more motivated to become a better officer.

What wasn't the best, however, was the environment I was in for two weeks. I'm fortunate to have worked from home for the last several years - it's been years since I've worked in a typical office.

And boy, is there a difference.

My heart definitely went out to all those who still spend a majority of their waking hours working inside, under fluorescent lights. Like Milton here...

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So what to do if you're one of the millions who work in a cubicle? Here are my tips:
  • Light It Up: I noticed several people at the Sheriff's Department who turned off the overhead lights in their offices and instead used plug-in lamps. Not only were the rooms more comfortable on my eyes, they seemed more inviting and less sterile.
  • Set the Temp: Offices are typically heated and cooled according to men's body temperatures, which are higher than women's. Therefore, the office was freezing! Have no fear - I simply turned up the thermostat a few degrees. If you don't have access to that, be sure to bring an extra layer to wear. Or even better yet, check with your boss if the temperature can be changed long-term. It'll save energy costs and goosebumps...
  • Nap Time: I was fortunate enough to have a small sofa in my office. I brought my Tempurpedic Eye Mask with me so I could take a cat nap if I needed one. And since I'm so not used to the 8-5 routine anymore, I usually needed one! Seriously, even a 10 minute power nap at lunch can make a huge difference. And if there's no sofa in your space, there's always your car.
  • Walk Around The Clock: Every day at lunch, I took a walk. It got my heart pumping, gave me access to fresh air, and allowed me some alone time. Just me and my iPod. I came back refreshed and ready to go. Again, you don't need a lot of time for this - a little goes a long way.
  • Snacky snacky: You know I had to bring my own healthy treats with me. Sure, they had vending machines and to-go menus for lunch, but I eat clean, so planning some healthy snacks and meals ahead of time were key. I even had some final Shift Bars prototypes with me - now that's how to do it!!! 
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Now I know these strategies can make you look like the odd one out, but they're so worth it in the long run. You'll feel better, work better, and the office will feel more like home. Don't be afraid to ask for healthy accommodations at work that take care of you - you're worth it! CLICK TO TWEET

Like Danielle LaPorte said, "If we were all more human in our work communication, work would be more…humane."

How have you changed your work environment to fit you better? Please share your suggestions on our Facebook page.  I'm sure many people will be grateful you did!

And don't forget those TPS reports!

PS- Kudos to those who spotted the references to Office Space, a true classic!